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40 Miami to Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

I had never been on a cruise before and a friend of mine higher recommended the Empress of the Sea. I was going to a wedding in Miami so decided to make a trip out of it and go on a 5 day cruise beforehand. The Empress of the Sea is a ... Read More
I had never been on a cruise before and a friend of mine higher recommended the Empress of the Sea. I was going to a wedding in Miami so decided to make a trip out of it and go on a 5 day cruise beforehand. The Empress of the Sea is a small cruise ship so if you hit bad weather - prepare to rock/roll and be sea sick! We had bad weather for ALL 5 days. The boat rocked so much it was impossible to sleep and everyone was sea sick - even the staff! I attempted to get a massage to relieve my massive headache due to the rocking and the masseuse had to leave in the middle of my treatment to throw up. Everyone was throwing up. Crew were hosing down the decks due to all of the vomit. Staff was down due to being sea sick so room service was 30 minutes late. I had to get room service 2 days because I was too sick to leave my cabin. All people I spoke with said it was the WORST cruise they had ever been on. I met a couple when I was well enough to venture out and they mentioned it was their 30th cruise. They said it was so bad it made them never want to cruise again! The one good day was our stop on Cozumel. It was sunny and most importantly we had land. I had a great time in Cozumel and the people were lovely. I was dreading getting back on board and sure enough it started to rock and roll again leading everyone to be miserable and sea sick. Our only hope was we were going to Costa Maya the next day. Around 6 AM the Captain came on saying we would NOT be going to Costa Maya due to the waves and instead of going to another port we would spend 48 hours at sea. Everyone was so upset that we were not going to another nearby port or going back to Miami early. Everyone said they would rather get back to Miami one day earlier vs. spending 48 hours at sea being sick on a rocking boat. There was also nothing to do. The pool was drained due to the waves, rock climbing wall was down and no one in our group wanted to drink because we felt so sick. We are in our 30's so enjoy adventure/fun. The only activities were Bingo, Trivia the casino and Karaoke. It was beyond awful. It was supposed to be a fun trip with my husband, sister and brother in law. It was our first cruise for all of us and Royal Caribbean did nothing to make up for the bad experience. I would never go on "vacation" on this boat again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Our adult children chose this cruise because they are taking their company staff on a Christmas cruse in December. We chose my time dining and made a reservation for the same time every evening. Our wait staff (the same ones every time) ... Read More
Our adult children chose this cruise because they are taking their company staff on a Christmas cruse in December. We chose my time dining and made a reservation for the same time every evening. Our wait staff (the same ones every time) were exceptional. They are so friendly and took a personal interest in our dining preferences. The entertainment in the main theater was excellent, the best production we have seen onboard a cruise ship. We had one teen with us he had a wonderful time and the activities were age appropriate. Empress of the Seas is a small beautiful ship. Cozumel is a great destination. The forum shops are friendly and helpful and prices are excellent. The shops at the port are under construction but look like they will be great too. Texi service is good and reasonable. Our cabin was small but very clean. The shower is extremely small. All in all we had a great time and yes we will cruise with Royal Caribean again. Maybe book a balcony cabin off the back of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was our first cruise, so we had nothing to compare it to. The unfortunate timing of the rough waters made it pretty much suck. Being the smallest ship, it rocked back and forth and up and down 24/7. Which ruined any excitement or ... Read More
This was our first cruise, so we had nothing to compare it to. The unfortunate timing of the rough waters made it pretty much suck. Being the smallest ship, it rocked back and forth and up and down 24/7. Which ruined any excitement or enthusiasm one would have for the experience. Of course everyone we meet from cub cruisers to veteran cruisers said it was the worst cruise (as far as being tossed about) that they had been on and not to let it ruin our desire to go on others. But when you're eating breakfast and the dishes, apples and plexiglass protector come flying off the buffet because of the ship's rocking, one has to understand why we didn't enjoy the cruise. However, with that being said, it's not royal caribbean's fault the waters were really rocky. So here's my opinion of the onboard ship experience. Food and service was fabulous While the ship is the oldest, i felt it was maintained and keep up well. Entertainment was so-so. Magician and hypnotist were lame but the dancers and whitney houston tribute were great. Especially the ballroom dance couple. I felt that royal caribbean spends too much effort on hacking their wares, whether it's pictures every time you turn around. (i was almost expecting a photographer in the toilet to capture my first bm while on the ship:) clearance sales from the gifts shops, bingo cards...just lighten up on the sales royal caribbean and focus more on the customer's happiness and you'll get more sales. Worst part of the trip (besides the rocky waters) was the fact that our stateroom was directly above the ceiling speakers for the theater below. So every night we heard every show, dance, game, party as if it was in our bathroom. Kept us awake almost every night. Called one night and complained the next day and it wasn't acknowledge. I'm sure everyone who gets those rooms complains each trip so they're used to it. Would i take another one? Well it's going to have to be a huge ship with lots of port stops and not a lot of days at sea. Oh and heres one big money saving tip... We stayed at the la quinta inn at the airport and they offer free parking during the entire cruise and even take you to the port for free. The return trip costs $10 per person. I WAS EXPECTING TO PAY $20 A DAY AT THE PORT GARAGE, SO NEEDLESS TO SAY I WAS EXTREMELY HAPPY TO SAVE $100 Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was my third cruise, and my first with Carnival. For us, we chose this based on the sail date, the price, and the number of nights. It was a good value. As others have noted, the Victory ship is one of Carnival's smallest in ... Read More
This was my third cruise, and my first with Carnival. For us, we chose this based on the sail date, the price, and the number of nights. It was a good value. As others have noted, the Victory ship is one of Carnival's smallest in their fleet. The decorations and room palette is quite outdated, but it isn't terrible. There aren't many amenities on the decks - just a couple of small pools, a waterslide, and very small miniature golf course. When I planned my honeymoon, I chose the newest, largest ship on the water. For this one, it was more about the sail date and price, and I got what expected. The wait staff and housekeepers were fantastic and friendly. They had our names memorized by the second day and always greeted us by name. Our rooms were always well cleaned and taken care-of, and considering there were five of us, that wasn't an easy task. There was a wide selection of food, but it was all rather mediocre. It wasn't terrible, but it certainly wasn't a five star meal by any stretch. We went to a couple of shows that we liked and a couple we didn't like. Billy Washington performed as a comedian, and because his style was to make fun of people in the audience, he got some push back. The show was kind of a disaster (he even asked for a shot during his performance). Alex Ortiz on the other hand did a fantastic job on his comedy routine. As far as the shows, we loved the final show - a high energy mix of popular songs in a variety of genres. The kids' Camp Carnival program was great. Our children (5, 7, 8) loved their time in Camp Carnival. Having sailed on Royal Caribbean, I prefer that scene a little more over Carnival. Carnival can be a little... how shall I say this... unruly, loud, obnoxious at times. I didn't have high expectations for this trip. I was looking for a bargain, last minute cruise, and I got what I expected. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My husband and I used carnival for our first anniversary. From the very moment we stepped on the ship we were very underwhelmed. The staff was not joyful, the deck 10 buffet food was not good, unflavorful, our room had bunk beds when we ... Read More
My husband and I used carnival for our first anniversary. From the very moment we stepped on the ship we were very underwhelmed. The staff was not joyful, the deck 10 buffet food was not good, unflavorful, our room had bunk beds when we paid for a king bed, guest services could care less about our bed situation and were unable to get another room. At dinner at Wind Star, night one, we were seated next to the waitor's counter (next to the dirty dishes). Our Waitor was emotionless and didn't check on us. My husband got food posining from his meal and was on lock-down for 24 hours in our room... Unable to leave the ship to see Key West. On night three I received food poisoning from my dinner and was sick in bed for our day at sea (last day). Over all this trip was awful! A waste for our vacation time and money. DO NOT CRUISE WITH CARNIVAL! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I went on a cruise for me, my two sisters, and my dad's birthday and this is how my birthday cruise went. The boat was small, my room had food stuck to the carpet between the beds, the window in my room was so dirty you ... Read More
I went on a cruise for me, my two sisters, and my dad's birthday and this is how my birthday cruise went. The boat was small, my room had food stuck to the carpet between the beds, the window in my room was so dirty you couldn't see out of it, only one tiny pool and two tiny hot tubs for 2,000 people, the food was bad, the staff was rude, everybody i talked to said it was the worst cruise they've been on, the menu in the dinning was mostly in Spanish not everyone speaks Spanish this is America, and only three of the elevators were working good. The ONLY GOOD THING I have to say about the trip was the Rascal Flatt's concert. Overall i'm don't think i'm going to go on Carnival again next year and if i do it will be one of the newer boats. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Just returned from a 4 day cruise aboard the MSC Divina which had stop at Cozumel, Mexico. I have taken several cruises on both Carnival Cruise Lines and the Disney Cruise Lines and the MSC Divina is much prettier overall. The crystal ... Read More
Just returned from a 4 day cruise aboard the MSC Divina which had stop at Cozumel, Mexico. I have taken several cruises on both Carnival Cruise Lines and the Disney Cruise Lines and the MSC Divina is much prettier overall. The crystal staircase was stunning and all pools areas were nicely done. The ship is very lovely and the staff keep it impeccably clean. The staterooms were truly beautiful and again kept spotless. The only complaint I have would be the food. The buffet at breakfast was fine and I enjoyed it. Unfortunately, the buffet at lunch and dinner was lacking. While I don't eat pizza nor hamburgers, hot dogs and french fries, they did offer a large selection of various pastas which I also don't eat. The only kind of soup they served everyday was a different kind of cream type soup which I also don't eat. They did have other items like carved meat and rice but compared to other cruise lines I believe they should offer more of a selection...I have been on cruises that offer Mexican and Chinese. Perhaps MSC cruise lines was really trying to cater to the "American" type appetite...unfortunately, I try to be health conscious and stay away from the hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza even on a cruise. We had late seating dinner at 8:45 PM and while we always arrived on time and order our food right away, the main course never showed up before 10 PM....service was very slow at dinner. However, they did offer a nice variety of options at dinner but, on several occasions the main meal was lack-luster. I am Italian and on Italian night I ordered pasta and bean soup and it was not pasta fagioli soup by any means....it tasted like beef stew with white beans in it. My husband ordered lasagne and it was all dried up with hardly any sauce on it. My husband ordered the veal osso buco one night and it was also all dried up....he couldn't eat it. I really do try to be understanding that they are cooking for alot of passengers but I never experienced meals in the main dining room at dinner that were so poor. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
So I took this Spring Break cruise with a group of friends. It was really cheap ($265) for a 4 people cabin with stops in Key West and Cozumel. So the Ecstasy is the 2nd oldest ship in Carnival's fleet- built in 1991. It was ... Read More
So I took this Spring Break cruise with a group of friends. It was really cheap ($265) for a 4 people cabin with stops in Key West and Cozumel. So the Ecstasy is the 2nd oldest ship in Carnival's fleet- built in 1991. It was overhauled recently but you can tell the Carnival pays more attention to its newer ships. The inside theme makes you feel like your are still in the 90's. The ship itself is relatively small and doesn't have all the bells and whistles the more modern ships have For example: only one small pool in the middle of the top deck, about 4 hot tubs, one small water slider... limited buffet options, etc. The comedy club is worth checking out and so is the casino if you gamble. The Serenity club is for 21+ and features 2 hot tubs and some extra deck beach chairs. Besides that, there is the club which is kinda small and really nothing else... All the signs and everything are paper and framed, unlike Royal Caribbean that has all LED and video displays. Food: There is a 24 hour pizza buffet but unfortunately the machine was broken the entire cruise, so we had to either wait for the midnight buffet or just get a sandwich. The food was subpar in my opinion. First, there were pretty long lines to get food (never had to wait in Royal Caribbean) and the quality was so so. They did have a bbq station with burgers, fries, chicken cuts, etc. which was good. The dining hall food was also pretty decent, but only open for dinner. I personally got a little sick from the food, but it could have been the sea or the alcohol... In short it was pretty decent but not great, and waiting times . Also, the water from the fountains and sinks is YELLOW. that's kind of disgusting. Alcohol: I got the Cheers Package (unlimited drinks for $50 a day) and it was definitely worth it. The only drawback is that you can get any free drinks up to 15 a day, and of a value of $8.95 per drink. if it's over, you get a 25% discount which sucks cuz you would expect just to pay the difference. Also, another thing that is really annoying: you can't get more than one drink at a time. You actually have to wait 5 minutes for the 2nd one. and you can't get your friend/spouse a drink on you either. That kinda sucks. They have quite the variety at the bars but for some reason only 2 bars are open past midnight: the club and the one outside the casino! 2 bars for 2000+ people? idk why they close the rest of them. I would recommend this cruise for a short one, if you are on a budget and want to just have some fun time with friends or family.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Beautiful Ship. Generally very good food. Beautiful art throughout ship. Excellent cabin. Advertises free unlimited internet. Doesn't tell you in advertisement that it is for 1 person per stateroom. My wife and I like to check email ... Read More
Beautiful Ship. Generally very good food. Beautiful art throughout ship. Excellent cabin. Advertises free unlimited internet. Doesn't tell you in advertisement that it is for 1 person per stateroom. My wife and I like to check email first thing in morning and before going to bed. Had to keep switching by one of us logging off and other logging on. Was treated very rudely when I complained. They pointed out the language on my confirmation which I received after paying for cruise. and which was confusing. Witnessed internet person refuse to print an elderly passenger's boarding pass un less he purchased an internet package. Never had a hotel refuse to do that. No place to get coffee and desert after buffet closes at 9 pm. Concierge couldn't accomplish anything asked of him including internet issue. Tough to get pool lounges in shade. Didn't enforce no saving rules. Service good but doesn't compare to the service on Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
left late for most excursions. did three total at a pretty big cost thru carnival ship.Dolphin swim, Sting Ray swim and ..well..was supposed to swim with turtles. Always waiting on others, and not keeping with the scheduled times..got cut ... Read More
left late for most excursions. did three total at a pretty big cost thru carnival ship.Dolphin swim, Sting Ray swim and ..well..was supposed to swim with turtles. Always waiting on others, and not keeping with the scheduled times..got cut short on my Grand Camen turtle swim..'not enough time to get in the water with them'. Cruise had elevator problems 1st and third days. Jacuzzi broken for 2 days in back of ship. Main LIDO deck pool was empty the 4th day . Food was good. Entertainment was ok. Piano bar was very unfriendly. Comedy club however was fun- funny. And over all staff was fun and upbeat. fairly clean ship...could have been better. Room however was spotless entire trip. Very good job cleaning room 2228 anyways! :) Earned enough credits to 'drink a few on the casino so long as I was playing"..but once drink card was visible..no server was to be found. Not a big drinker, but I was on vacation. On my attempt to watch my dolphin swim on DVD..turned out 'blank' and at an extra cost of over 85$..not good. Also never received Sting Ray photos I paid for...also over 25 bucks paid cash.. Very disappointed. Two truly fun parts of the trip I'd like to be able to remember. Carnival seemed more interested in how much money they could make off me rather than give good service. Opted for an early bird massage at 'cloud nine spa'....premium bamboo massage for over and hour and got a lecture on several detox products and lotions...all while cutting my 'massage' down to just over 40 min. Again..at a huge $ premium. :( Overall~ was an ok experience. I'd like to give Carnival Cruse lines an opportunity to prove this was a fluke bad cruise...but would only do it at their expense. Wanted to rave good thoughts about Splender Cruise...sadly this I can not do :( Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We ordered a small balcony room and booked throughout Carnival. Thrilled to hear from Carnival that they would update our room, one month before departure, to a ocean suite with jacuzzi and large balcony for $370. We couldn't wait to ... Read More
We ordered a small balcony room and booked throughout Carnival. Thrilled to hear from Carnival that they would update our room, one month before departure, to a ocean suite with jacuzzi and large balcony for $370. We couldn't wait to go. We parked at Premier Parking that we found online. It was average and not customer friendly but we did save lots of $$ to park our rental car. We were not to leave till 4PM Thurs but after reading the reviews, tried to get there around 11:30. We were put into a holding room and had to stay there till they let us on the ship at 1:30. We went to our room and our baggage would not be delivered till 3. So we went to the buffet on the Lido deck. Very nice. Food was plentiful and quite fancy, like escarole salad instead of tossed, Dill and apple salad instead of waldorf, lots of tortes and cheeses and other things. I saw lots of waste each time we went because people would take lots of food but not like the many types of flavors and leave it. I think they should make more comfort foods like soups, macaroni and cheese, steak and potatoes...things people were used to. We also went to the pizza cafe. The men were working very hard making pizza from scratch, waited 20 minutes, great flavor. Loved the frozen custard machines and we tried to skip the desserts and eat frozen yogurt to save calories. The dining room in the evening was pleasant. We were seated at a booth with another couple. Had we not bonded, that would have been very uncomfortable. We loved out waiter, Suba and Igedde, who catered to our every whim and called us by our first names. The cruise was remarkably calm to this motion sick person. I live on non drowsy Bonine during all my cruises but within the second day, I did not need anything. I never had a moment's problem as I did on all the previous ships. People were cleaning, scrubbing, bussing tables, sweeping and the whole ship seemed well cared for. We loved our balcony but did not enjoy the resident two doors down that smoked. We reported this twice as it is a fire hazard to see ashes come onto our balcony in the dark. Our steward, Christian, was Fillipino and wonderful. Couldn't be more kind and helpful. There was a slight sewerage smell at times that bothered us but it was not all the time. The ship was beautiful. I saw the other reviews that said it was old. We thought it was as beautiful as the Valor which we went on last year. The boat is 14 years old and I thought beautifully decorated. We are the vegetarian, birding, age 50's type so we didn't do all the things that others do. We skipped most of the entertainment but did go to the orientations where we won an excursion we really enjoyed. We walked throughout the ship, noticing the pools and casino were always full. We tried to go to dinner and buffets early so we could avoid lines and we did well with that. There were classes and activities to participate in throughout the day and daily schedules handed out in our cabin each morning. Our food was unusual and many times tasty in the dining room. Our seat mates said the food is not to the quality it was of their early cruises and complained when they were asked to pay extra for filet mignon. Overall, a wonderful time for us and very relaxing. Loved the balcony, excited to see sunsets and sunrises, watch ships pass and flying fish. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We were on Riviera Deck and had two staterooms R97 and R101 .. The ship looks tired and grubby! It's inevitable as this ship is now really showing it's age .. We cruise regularly and have recently cruised with Costa and MSC and ... Read More
We were on Riviera Deck and had two staterooms R97 and R101 .. The ship looks tired and grubby! It's inevitable as this ship is now really showing it's age .. We cruise regularly and have recently cruised with Costa and MSC and we have cruise very succesfully with Carnival before ... Embarkation was faultless and smooth. Our staterooms were both fine and we very very happy with the room service from our bedroom steward ... It's hard to put a finger on why this cruise was so average and nothing special .. Food was just OK! on one night we paid the extra $20 each for the Lobster. It was AWFUL ... so salty and we did tell our server .. BUT ... Nothing no explanation, no offer of anything else to replace it and we were still charged the entire $20 each for the dish! ... THIS was a big dissapointment as it was not just the dish itself but the way it was dealt with or rather NOT dealt with! (as a postscript I did write to Carnival from home and NEVER received a response from them either).. On other nights we ate in the Star restaurant and some dishes were good and some average and a few others poor .. Overall there was little that we ate that we could honestly say was memorable in a good way. We ate at the buffet restaurant at lunchtime and this was suprisingly good ... especially the carvery dish which changed everyday ... However the bar service was slow at best. We did want to try the Mongolian stir fry but the line for this was so long everyday that we just could not be bothered. .. PLUS ALL those Huge people piling their plates to overful was incredible .. I've never seem so much food being eaten by so many big, big people! ..... Entertainment was hot & cold ... Comedy shows were great! We really enjoyed the venue and the comedians .. The Revue shows were pretty poor though I suspect this was more due to the shows than the performers themselves .. One cover band playing just outside the casino were outstanding !! THANK GOD they were there to entertain us as it would have been a real drudge without them. The band were made up from many nations and included a Bruno Mars type singer who had a great voice .. All the musician were brilliant .. although the guitarist did give the impression that he thought he was better than he really was ... Mr guitarist .. If you read this YOU ARE GOOD! .. BUT sometimes less is more !!! The Karaoke Bar was Terrible ... We went in there twice and the second time a couple of guys were actually swearing down the microphone ... THIS SHOULD NEVER be allowed! We walked out! Getting on and off the boat at the ports was a little slow and in Keywest we actually had to line up in the sun to get back on at Midday, however they did bring cups of water round to refresh us .. It took a good 30 minutes to get from the quayside INTO the ship ... I understand the need for security but they really need to speed this up a bit. All in all we did enjoy our cruise. The Serenity deck for over 21's suited us down to the ground and we spent the enitre sea day there ... Cabin was comfortable, food was ok and ports we visited were great. Would I choose this ship again? NO! .... Would I choose Carnival again .. Maybe? However there are other cruise lines that do things way better! .... Carnival Customer Service .... Why do you not reply to customers who write to you? It leaves a very bad impression of your company! .. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My wife and I have been taking cruises for over 12 years now, mostly with Carnival. Over the years, we have noticed the quality in nearly all areas has declined to a level where we will never take a Carnival cruise again. The most ... Read More
My wife and I have been taking cruises for over 12 years now, mostly with Carnival. Over the years, we have noticed the quality in nearly all areas has declined to a level where we will never take a Carnival cruise again. The most disappointing is the food quality and variety. The menu item choices have been greatly reduced. Food quality, epically the imitation eggs and rubbery bacon were enough for one to lose their appetite. The coffee, (when the machines were working) is harsh and the water has a horrid taste. The waffles were hard as bricks. No whole milk of any kind was available. Meat quality across the board is very poor unless you enjoy chewing on it for an extended period of time. The cabin was considerably smaller than any balcony cabin we have ever been on. We could not even get by each other. We are used to a larger cabin having a refrigerator and bath tub. We had neither.....very disappointing!!! The crew was excellent, very responsive and helpful. The boat was way over crowded and it was difficult to navigate through most areas, many people pushing and shoving. We feel cheated on our $2,000+ purchase. So we are done with Carnival for good.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Before my wife and I went on the Epic cruise this February, we checked it out on Cruise Critic. The first reviews we saw were very negative and made us wonder if we had made a poor choice. We are experienced cruisers and especially like ... Read More
Before my wife and I went on the Epic cruise this February, we checked it out on Cruise Critic. The first reviews we saw were very negative and made us wonder if we had made a poor choice. We are experienced cruisers and especially like Oceania. After seeing poor reviews of the main dining rooms, we signed on for specialty restaurants for 5 nights. First the negatives: - We were disappointed that there was no information in the cabin about the ship. Especially irritating was no schematic or floor plan of the ship. Epic is a very large ship (5,000 passengers and 18 decks). Not having a map of where everything was located was annoying. - They allow smoking in the casino. This raises two issues: one is the smell which is nasty and unavoidable - even at nonsmoking tables. Another is the fact that the casino is on the same deck as the main entertainment venues, which forces everyone aft to walk through the smelly casino to get to the shows. I would encourage NCL to rethink this decision. - The design of our cabin was strange. The toilet was on one side behind a sliding door and was tiny. The tub/shower was on the other side. The sink was separate and next to the toilet. The sink was tiny. Now the positives: - Food. The main dining room food was fine. We never had to wait for a seat. My wife actually had one of her best meals there. Le Bistro, Cagney's and La Cucina were very good. Tappanyaki and Shanghai were only OK. I would not bother with Shanghai. The buffet was good with a huge selection. There are several outdoor venues for simple food that are good. - Entertainment. Best of any ship we have been on. The dueling pianos were great! Blue Man Group was fun, but not for everybody (a little strange, but that is their shtick). Second City was pretty good - a little hit and miss, but it is improv, so that is expected. All things considered, the cruise exceeded our admittedly low expectations. The price was right and the crowds were not a problem. It did make us appreciate the quality of Oceania, tho. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We really enjoyed this cruise with the Panama Canal crossing being the feature. This was our second cruise with Norwegian so we knew their free style cruising system and feel it suits our style. The Star is a ageing ship and in areas it ... Read More
We really enjoyed this cruise with the Panama Canal crossing being the feature. This was our second cruise with Norwegian so we knew their free style cruising system and feel it suits our style. The Star is a ageing ship and in areas it shows but overall it is still in pretty good condition. This cruise was featured by a concerted effort by the crew to prevent the spread of the dreaded stomach virus. It was in evidence on the previous cruise to ours so embarkation was delayed as they were attempting to wipe every surface. This had a major impact on eating in the buffet. There were always queues while the staff served every item of food. It really slowed up the system. To us it appeared that there was an intentional effort to restrict food options in the buffet to encourage people into the restaurants. We ended up eating most of our meals in Versailles and Aqua and one only in the paid restaurants (Le Bistro). This was an excellent experience with the food options varied, and well presented. The service couldn't be faulted. High standard and always cheery and polite. Like most cruises, the price of drinks was high( and there was a compulsory gratuity-15%). On our first cruise with NCL there was a regular happy hour and this proved to be a lively and friendly place to meet. Unfortunately there was only one happy hour this cruise and we felt that this new policy took away from an opportunity to meet fellow cruisers. Also the Red Loin ( the pub) was generally empty. All in all, we had a good time and enjoyed the ports. We also appreciated the efforts by the crew to prevent the stomach bug as at the same time one major ship had to return to port with reportedly 700 sick passengers. The crew's hard work was rewarded by no obvious sickness among the passengers. The shows were of a high standard with Elements and Oh what a Night being the stand outs. There was also real variety from singing, comedians, magic and dancing. The theatre was usually full so I feel that this was a good indicator of popularity. I feel that Norwegian put on a good cruise and we will certainly consider them in the future.. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
I have one word for this Carnival cruise experience: MEDIOCRE. It was our first time taking a cruise and after reading plenty of reviews, Carnival didn't sound as bad we had heard. But boy was I wrong… THE BAD- - Room: We asked ... Read More
I have one word for this Carnival cruise experience: MEDIOCRE. It was our first time taking a cruise and after reading plenty of reviews, Carnival didn't sound as bad we had heard. But boy was I wrong… THE BAD- - Room: We asked for a trundle bed for our son upon boarding and didn't get it set up until about 9pm. The room was dusty, phone was broken, the curtain was filled with holes and some metal parts in the bathroom were rusty. Whenever we would make an observation about the room to the cleaning person, he just kept making excuses rather than acknowledging our troubles. - Food: The food was TERRIBLE! I have absolutely nothing good to say about it. The breakfast and lunch buffet were incredibly unappetizing, and the dinner was always cold and bland. The food by the pool was just greasy, unhealthy and uninspired. Even the simplest foods, like pancakes, were horrible. The only thing that saved us were the pizzas by the pool. - Ambiance: Cheap and cheesy with a touch of drunken people and very loud music. - Ship: Old, dark and dated. THE GOOD- -Sunrise, sunsets and star watching…but that has nothing to do with Carnival.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014

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