1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Western Mediterranean Cruises
  4. Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

56 Miami to Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

This is still our favorite Regent SS ship. Great crew, wonderful large stateroom, fun days and a smooth crossing. Entertainment: Some nice comics but they had many movie nights. Like so many other ships, entertainment is no longer ... Read More
This is still our favorite Regent SS ship. Great crew, wonderful large stateroom, fun days and a smooth crossing. Entertainment: Some nice comics but they had many movie nights. Like so many other ships, entertainment is no longer goo. Dining: Prime 7 is always a great steak venue. Service in the main dining room, Compass Rose, is always great. When we arrived in Barcelona we had an overnight and enjoyed seeing the beginning of the renovations. Upon arrival, teams of folks waiting at the dock with lines of dumpsters. Seeing all the deck furniture, pool furniture, lounge chairs, dining room furniture being removed was exciting. We saw the photos of what the Navigator will look like after dry dock. RSS wants all it's fleet to be modern and look like their latest new ship, the Explorer. So nice to see our favorite ship being "fixed up". Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Our first Crystal cruise; we began cruising in 1998 and have taken at least one a year since, 8 with Oceania. The Serenity is a beautiful ship, meticulously maintained and extremely comfortable. The sea days offered many activities, ... Read More
Our first Crystal cruise; we began cruising in 1998 and have taken at least one a year since, 8 with Oceania. The Serenity is a beautiful ship, meticulously maintained and extremely comfortable. The sea days offered many activities, great lecturers, current films etc. Our stateroom was compact and there was plenty of storage. The bathroom had a tub - risky getting in and out - and the two vanity sinks were convenient. The guests were friendly, active, well-traveled and easy to chat with. The crew and staff are exceptional, many are long time employees and their eagerness to help and their friendly nature added to our enjoyment. Our sole complaint is with the dining policy. We chose late sitting and a table for 4, thinking we would meet another couple. Another couple never joined us yet our table remained set for four. Our table was next to several large tables of 8 and the area was noisy. The serving staff seemed to rush around, were eager to finish their shift. This was not the leisurely dining we expected aboard a Crystal ship. After 3 dinners in the dining room, we dined at Tastes, the informal restaurant placed where the covered pool use to be. Tastes became our restaurant of choice. No additional fee is required but reservations are. Tastes offered us a limited and unique menu; leisurely dining, a quiet atmosphere and we were not rushed. We also dined at Prego 3 times, nothing exceptional; we also dined once at Silk Road, the Asian restaurant, and the smell of raw fish was upsetting. We could not understand why tables were empty in the specialty restaurants and the dining room was crowded and noisy. Guests could not just walk in at the last minute to dine in the specialty restaurants. No sharing of tables as offered on Oceania ships. Guests we spoke to who selected the dining by reservation also complained about being seated near a serving station or in a noisy area. We asked for a different table for 2 and were told none were available. Fortunately we had Tastes. We cancelled next year's cruise aboard the Symphony when we were told there is no Tastes restaurant on that ship. For us to return to Crystal and their new ship due out in 2018, the dining policy needs to be changed. Open seating and any time dining has to be implemented. The set dining time is out of date. We were told the galley can't handle the any time open seating concept. On a different note, formal attire for women need not be a long gown; many women were dressed in slacks with a "dressy" tunic. I wish I knew that before packing! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Embarkation was chaotic to get on board the ship. At one point, after methodically calling out group number in sequence, a GENERAL BOARDING announcement was called and a stampede ensued to the doorway. An employee stopped the herd at the ... Read More
Embarkation was chaotic to get on board the ship. At one point, after methodically calling out group number in sequence, a GENERAL BOARDING announcement was called and a stampede ensued to the doorway. An employee stopped the herd at the doorway saying the announcement came from a different terminal. It was at that point it was just impossible to turn the entire crowd around and back to their seats, as was insisted upon. As previously noted, the balcony room was extremely tight with no passing room for 2 people let alone 4 people. Lack of draw space for your clothes. I can understand the failed bathroom set-up. Walls and mirrors in the room were dirty along with with being chipped. I heard the ship was going through some refit in its permanent stay in Europe. Having sailed on both the new GETAWAY and BREAKAWAY ships, the bathroom set up is traditional and large, the balcony rooms are 1/3 larger than the EPIC’s balcony room. The wait staff in TASTE, O’SHEEHANS PUB, MANHATTAN ROOM, housekeeping, casino staff seemed tired, careless and quite bothered. The cabin stewart (Edmundo) was efficient in his work and quiet. He rarely said hello when I greeted him and never mentioned my name. Shanghai’s food was practically inedible. O’Sheehan’s food was cold. The buffet was just ok, at best. The entertainment was lack-luster. The most entertaining was Nadeen the Hypnotist. Legends In Concert had live musicians and were excellent. Some performers in Cirque Dreams were very good, however the dinner was poor. The constant-whistle-blowing-character was beyond annoying and painful. He turned the venue into a children’s show. The Murder Mystery Luncheon by 2nd City troupe was entertaining, but the food was frozen. The tour of the spa area was too constricted when all you wanted to do was to see the thermal spa suite especially after going through the prior embarkation process. The Spa staff were unrelenting in making each guest go through each sales pitch for each service. The usage fee for the Thermal Suite was $269 for the crossing. I understand from other guests, the cost varied without reason. The spa staff was constantly wiping down water and replenishing towels. It seemed the entire staff rarely smiled, except for the entertainers. The musicians on the ship were outstanding, displaying fine musicianship. Debarkation went flawlessly at 6:30am with no lines. I had a great time with some disappointments. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This is our 5th cruise, we did back to back from miami transatlantic then mederteranian rome to Rome on celebrity reflection. We travelled from Australia and expected obviously too much from this cruise line. As for the cruise our first ... Read More
This is our 5th cruise, we did back to back from miami transatlantic then mederteranian rome to Rome on celebrity reflection. We travelled from Australia and expected obviously too much from this cruise line. As for the cruise our first leg of 16 days was a nightmare. We went to our room on arrival only not to be allowed in till around 4pm. By this time, it was late and we wanted to change and unpack. We went to the room 6131 and found that someone from the last cruise had been sick in it and it smelt of vomit and the carpet near the bed was wet. We went to guess relations and they sent up a cleaner who told us he would have to strip the room and the bed to clean it. The room would not be ready till 8pm. We went bak to guess relations and asked for another room and reluctantly they agreed. However could not guarantee us the same room for back to back. Even though I paid for this privilege. So we got a same room balcony 7248. The service in the dining room was very poor and resulted in us walking out on several occasions without being served. We had one time where we waited over 30 minutes of a menu and water. The bars were not open as per there itinerary and often did not open till 4pm. The sea days of which were 8 to start with were disappointing with no entertainment during the day. No special brunch days or bbq”s or fruit carving or ice carving in which the Royal Caribbean do all the time. The food in the buffet did not change for 8 days from lunch to dinner. the food was also heavy on salt and sugar rendering most foods inedible for us. You could not get even a sandwich in the buffet until day 9 on the cruise and everything seemed that you needed to pay for it. Pay for a basic panini sandwich. Pay for a basic BBQ. The speciality restaurants were $50 a head which is ridiculous. The casino was not very good with slot games that i have on my computer they are so old. the bar staff you had to chase up for a drink. The layout of celebrity reflection I found disappointing. There were no seated bars to sit and enjoy the ocean views like the schooner bar in royal Caribbean. all areas are out in the open and deliver no ambience. The top sky bar people were smoking so we could not sit there and the only other area was the pool bar. The entertainment non existent. Anyway, by the time we got to the end of the first leg of the cruise we were told we would not be able to leave the ship in rome, could not go out, had to sit and wait for hours to work out what room we would be in. We had to pack up our stuff, carry our possessions with us until the old people got off the boat, the new ones boarded and the ship sailed before we could have a room. This was unacceptable. They tried to give us the original room back 6131. We did not want it knowing it had been vomited in. We went to speak with managers and anyone who would listen in guess relations only no one would listen to us. We spoke to Alex who could not care less and offered a concierge room as consultation but still could not fix the situation. Finally we spoke to some other australians who asked us to speak with the assistant manager Rachel Wever. By this stage I broke down in tears and asked her to get us off the ship and go back home I was sick of it. She offered us a sky suite to compensate. We took this and got the opportunity to use the other dining rooms. To me it was better food and service. My only issue is that on the last morning the staff were despondent and did not care and were to the point of rude and did not serve us in the lumina dining room. I also asked to see a doctor on the evening before as i had a pain in my ear and could not get to see him, the nurse told me unless its urgent go to the shop and get some cold and flu tablets ! I then spent 200euros getting a GP in Rome! So the holiday was good and the ports were good. I loved Santorini and Mykonos was my favourite. I would do another mederterainian cruise however i would never travel with Celebrity again i would use another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Riviera, Miami-Barcelona, April 1-15, 2015 We have been looking for a cruise “home” for much of the past decade, and we think we have found it with Oceania. It is an elusive mix of ambience and personality (staff and guests)—an ... Read More
Riviera, Miami-Barcelona, April 1-15, 2015 We have been looking for a cruise “home” for much of the past decade, and we think we have found it with Oceania. It is an elusive mix of ambience and personality (staff and guests)—an easy sophistication and charming manners all round. The ship is remarkably congenial. It’s twice the size of most we’ve sailed on (around 1,300 versus 680 or so) but still feels intimate and uncrowded—lots of inviting spaces. And unlike every other ship we’ve sailed on (from Regent to Azamara to Princess) there’s a welcome lack of hard sell: to get where you want to go you don’t have to slog through the art shop display, or past walls of photos of you and your fellow passengers getting on and off the ship. The range and quality of the dining is an important factor: a prevailing sense of appreciation and restraint, with the menu in the grand dining room rarely a notch behind the specialty restaurants (Red Ginger and Toscana our special favourites for their individual flair and imagination). We haven’t sampled every example of cuisine at sea, but we’re prepared to believe the high claims of excellence for the fare on Oceania. One interesting thing: the noise level in the dining rooms—and generally—is much lower than on the all-inclusives, the obvious reason being the lack of unlimited free booze. You can have a quiet conversation over dinner without being drowned out by braying drunks. This may also account for the general air of civility around the ship. It all helps push Oceania to the top of our list. A surprise pleasure, given the resolutely non-classical musical ambience of other ships: a resident string quartet, popping up all over the place to play a mix of classic pops and pop classics. Plus: a great library, and guests who appreciate that it is a place to retreat to and read quietly. Staff are unfailingly pleasant, courteous and helpful (“unfailingly” is the key word here: we’ve never been on a ship where every single staff member seems eager to make sure you’re pleased). And while every other cruise line entertainment team we’ve experienced has tended to use a tone of infantilizing cheer toward guests (perhaps because repetition makes anything a chore), Oceania treats you like an adult. Entertainment options, such as they are, are just that—options. You are never bullied into participating, and you are never made to feel there is any implied judgment for choosing to cruise your own way. Yes, we think: Oceania has become our cruise home. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Background: For about 10 years we sailed exclusively with Regent. Then, after a not-so-great experience on a trans-Atlantic crossing in 2012 we decided to try Oceania. We were so delighted with our first cruise on Riviera (in an ... Read More
Background: For about 10 years we sailed exclusively with Regent. Then, after a not-so-great experience on a trans-Atlantic crossing in 2012 we decided to try Oceania. We were so delighted with our first cruise on Riviera (in an Oceania Suite) that we booked the April 2015 crossing in the Owners Suite to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. We are both in our 70’s and are from Switzerland. Boarding: Oceania boards in accordance with suite/stateroom category. We were told we could board in Miami at 1100 so we were there around 1045. The Executive Concierge came into the boarding area about that time and walked around, introducing himself and explaining how the boarding process would work. Promptly at 1100 boarding was announced for Owners, Vista and Oceania suite guests. The necessary paperwork was done quickly, photo taken, suite card issued and by 1115 we were in our suite. (Like boarding, suites and rooms are « released » for occupancy in order of category. We find this to be rational and it also makes the entire process smoother for everyone since one knows what to expect instead of having a mad rush to be first in line and then a long wait to get into one’s room). Owners Suite: To say the suite is spacious and beautifully decorated is an understatement. The sitting/dining room has a table for 6 and ample room for 8 to be seated on the couch, easy chairs etc. The bedroom is huge with king size bed. Bathroom also large with Jacuzzi bath, separate large shower, two sinks and ample drawers. There are two walk in closets. My husband counted 60 hangers in his (I didn’t bother but certainly had more than half to spare!) The terrace is relatively narrow though and in our case I felt there was too much large teak furniture on it. Terrace is split in two by the floor to ceiling windows of the foyer/bar (with player piano which we enjoyed when we had friends for drinks or dinner). The suite was incredibly comfortable. However when the ship is going at close to full speed there was a definite vibration felt mostly when lying in bed. We did not notice it at other times. Our Butler, Sandeep – Head Butler – and his assistant Francis looked after us perfectly, Sandeep anticipating our every need. We had people in for drinks and dinner and he make great suggestions as to what we might have to eat as well as organising all our dinner reservations for the entire cruise. Our Stewardess, Yulia from the Ukraine was wonderful and charming besides (!) and her assistant, Kumar did a great job too. We felt as though we were in the proverbial lap of luxury – which we were! Restaurants: Grand Dining Room – we ate several breakfasts there and quite a few lunches. We had excellent prompt service and were impressed with the menus. There is an item each day at lunch « Dishes of the World » which is fascinating and we tried it several times – a lazy Susan with small dishes from one particular country or region’s cuisine. This was really fun and original. Terrace Café – We like the way things are done in this buffet restaurant. Because of the design with the centre island offering duplicate dishes from each end there are no queues. And because everything is served by the staff instead of having people help themselves it is very sanitary AND food looks nice. No « heaping portions » which is what happens when people help themselves. One can always go back for more… The grill area is nice with its changes in offerings and while one did have to queue there the wait wasn’t long. Nine times out of ten someone was waiting to take my plate back to my table for me, which I also appreciated. Waves Grill – We had lunch there twice. Once a really excellent hamburger and fries and the second time just a grilled piece of lobster and salad. Both were cooked the way we requested. Red Ginger – This is our favourite of all the restaurants. We ate there three times, each time ordering multiple appetisers instead of a starter/main course/dessert. Our favourites were the Duck and Watermelon salad and the crispy calamari. The green tea and the red pepper and salt ice creams were fantastic! Jacques – We live in the Suisse Romande and are no strangers to French provincial food yet we found the offerings at Jacques really excellent. The Sole Grenobloise was really excellent, so was the Rôtisserie chicken. It is easy to mess up a roast chicken and hard to do it well. This was superb! Polo Grill – They have the most wonderful meats that could be cut with a fork! We do not get anything near this quality at home and we were impressed with the great attention given to cooking the meat exactly as we requested. Toscana – Our least favourite of all the restaurants. We think the main dishes are just not imaginative and reflect « Italian American » cooking more than they do Italian. (We live only 45 minutes from the Italian border) Their portions – even the half portions – are way too large for us. On a future cruise I think we will give this one a miss. La Réserve – We are very used to « menus dégustations » here and so were a little leery of trying la Réserve in case it was not up to par with some of our local restaurants. However It was really really good and we were delighted! There are 3 tables of 8 and when on arrives one is seated outside the dining room at a large coffee table for 8 and served a Kir Royale. This is great because one gets to know one’s tablemates before starting the meal. The menu – Odyssey Menu – had seven courses all of which were not only beautifully presented but also well balanced in terms of taste and perfectly sized. The wines were all very good. We were surprised by the quality of the meal and would definitely do this again on a future cruise. Bars: We are not great bar-goers and prefer to have a drink in the suite before dinner but we did, a couple of times, have a drink from the pool bar and twice at Martinis before dinner. We were impressed there to have our « Classic Martini » brought in individual shakers and have the shakers left for us to top up our drinks. The one drink I really love – Apérol Spritz – was not available on board and after I mentioned this in our mid-cruise comment form the Head Bartender found us and spoke with us about it. He said he has now requested that they stock Apérol ! (This drink was THE drink of the summer in Europe last year and is really great in warm weather!) We found the drink sizes to be very generous and attention paid to how we requested drinks – i.e. Margarita straight-up with salt etc. We took the “Premium Beverage Package” AND had the in-Suite Bar set up so we were rather swimming in alcohol on this cruise! I think that Oceania definitely had the advantage when it came to the cost of the package and probably on a future cruise, provided we are in a Suite, I would not take it again. That said we prefer not to have to keep track of expenses and the package, being paid for up-front, takes that out of the equation… Spa: I only went to the spa once to get a manicure. It was OK but very over-priced. The spa really does look lovely though and had the weather been better I think I would have used the spa terrace occasionally. Lectures/Entertainment etc.: There were two on board lecturers. We only heard one of them who was supposed to speak on the History of Portugal and Madeira. Instead he read – from the screen – a rambling travelogue related to Madeira. We left after 30 minutes. To say this was « boring » is an understatement. I took two cooking classes and had planned to take four but cancelled the last two because I found the classes to be badly organised and not sufficiently « hands on ». The teacher – Noëlle Barille – tried to do too many dishes for the time allotted and so did a lot of pre-preparation leaving the class to do very very little with the dish in question. Given the excellent set-up of the Culinary Centre I think this was a shame. They should focus on two or three things and let students work all the way through them. Because ours was a re-positioning cruise at the end of the Jean Ryan Singers and Dancers contract and the change-over to the NCL entertainment (which promises to be very good) we had no « shows ». Between Miami and Bermuda we had the « Love Boat » singer who is very good (have heard him on Regent before and loved his show on Riviera!) After that there was a comedian and some other musicians but since we had relatively late dinner times we did not make it to the other shows with the exception of the crew show which we loved. We played Trivia every day and to our surprise found that holding it in the theatre worked very well and we thought that the Cruise Director, Leslie Jon, did a superb job of running it. Fellow Passengers: On our last trans-Atlantic (Regent Mariner) we had been extremely un-impressed with the general level of politeness and friendliness of our fellow guests. On this crossing it was a world of difference. People were nice and polite to each other and to the staff. No « gimme this » or “I want” but a nice « please » and « thank you ». People were considerate of others. Spoke to each other when entering a lift and in general the atmosphere was delightful. I can only assume this is typical of Oceania passengers since there were more than 700 repeat guests on board! Most people were retired (a two week cruise is a long time to take as a holiday for Americans), there were no children and the vast majority were from the USA with a smallish group of British people and the odd French, German or Spanish speaking guests. Plus of course two Swiss! Itinerary: Trans-Atlantic cruises are not port-intensive (!) which is why we like them. We had a night in Bermuda, so two full days there. We did not take a tour since we know the island very well. Went into Hamilton on the Saturday for lunch and should have played golf on the Sunday but it rained heavily all day so that was sadly cancelled. In Funchal (Madeira) – again a place we know well having been there 5 times – we did our own thing. Walked through the town, went to the lovely covered market, took the cable car to Monte and then to the Botanical Garden and returned to the ship for a late lunch. Gibraltar – we had not visited it before and I would be thrilled never to see the place again. It is very scruffy and if you do not like apes and do not trust cable cars nor do you like tunnels there is not a huge amount to do there anyway. We walked into town from the ship and after a 30-minute walk which was noisy (traffic) and smelly (diesel engines) we turned and went back on board. Why this port is on any itinerary is beyond me. Malaga and Cadiz are so much nicer and so much cleaner. Disembarkation: Could not have been smoother. We docked in Barcelona around 0600 and had breakfast served in the suite. We were going to a local hotel for the night so needed no transfer and were told we could disembark whenever we wished from 0700 to 0900. We strolled off the ship at 0830, found our suitcases easily and a porter and were in a taxi by 0845 and at our hotel by 0900. Taxi cost was €20. This was a fabulous cruise on a beautiful ship and we would do it again in a flash! Not perhaps in the Owners Suite (this was a special occasion!) but certainly in an Oceania Suite. We are so impressed with the level of service and cuisine on Oceania compared to the other companies we have sailed with! Oceania is very special… Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My father-in-law (83) and I (61) took our second "old fart" cruise to the Western Carib in early November 2014. We flew into Miami the day before and wandered around S Beach the evening before. The beach was having a 24 hour ... Read More
My father-in-law (83) and I (61) took our second "old fart" cruise to the Western Carib in early November 2014. We flew into Miami the day before and wandered around S Beach the evening before. The beach was having a 24 hour fashion show that Friday night so the strip was hopping-we had a ball wandering and mingling! We had a room overnight in S Beach one block off the strip in a funky old hotel that was trying its best to hang in there...Perfectly adequate for us. Cabbed over to Glory next day about noon and we were thru the boarding process in 25 minutes-amazing! Every single spot at their check-in counter was manned and they had us on board lickity-split. A+ grade to Carnival! Rooms weren't ready until 100-ish so we had tea and chilled out and visited with the other early birds. Carnival put our cruise on sale a few months before, allowing us to upgrade to an outside cabin with balcony for about 20 bucks a head from our original inside cabin price! Watch those e-mails after you book!! Having a balcony was perfect for a cocktail before and after dinner-We are spoiled now, big time! The ship is showing signs of age-painted over rust on balcony, constant maintenance crew drilling and cutting the canopy cantilever over the aft pool area-a little noisy, but no show stopper by any means. The walls are constantly shedding their small tiles in this area also, but, again, no big deal. note: the bar aft, by the pool and hot tubs has single malt Scotches of very fine provenance-18 yr old Macallan, for one. The cost is identical to any garden variety scotch or american whisky so be sure and head back there if you have a discerning booze pallet-like my bagpipe playing father-in-law Malcolm. He was purring like a kitten when he found this spot! FYI, doubles are an extra 3.00 in the restaurants and at the comedy club, not at the bars! Also, this was the only bar we found with the high end selection, including The Alchemy Bar. Note to Carnival-Bourbons go a lot deeper than Makers Mark for top shelf choices. We are from KY, so we shared a lot of label names with the staff there and they were genuinely interested in the info. The Eurocentric staff and buyers appear to be well behind the curve on the Bourbon revolution sweeping the US! The food was very nice and we did not have any issues with any staff anywhere on board. Carnival staff do very well in this regard in our two experiances in the last year-here and Sunshine. The Gym is very nice, but I did miss the newer cardio machines (with live displays of scenes around the world) on the Sunshine! Alway get a charge out of how crowded it is day 1 and 2-by the third it's the staff, the dancers and a few fellow gym rats! We attended two comedy shows and one stage show-we had a blast and were very happy with the quality (and those doubles for an extra 3.00)! Food alert: the fish and chips above the aft general eating area was a very, very nice find. Great fish and chips and a very good bouillabaisse I could have bathed in-very, very good (but don't call it cioppino unless you want the stink-eye from the chef!). Never was crowded but appeared just open through lunch. The Pizza aft was very good as well, but much busier! We did no sanctioned excursions, just got off and walked or took van transports around to sight see and shop. Bought the wives bamboo/cotton sheets in Caymen and had them shipped. we both had the sheets at out doors within 1 week of coming home. The ladies love them! Excursion alert: Roatan has an amazing little beach you can walk to from the ship-we spent an afternoon there and were pleased with the people watching! The water was terrific and you can spend the day there for free if you don't take the tram or rent a cabana. Get there early if you want a chair and bring your own towel! Cold beer and good food choices if you don't want to walk back to eat/drink! We paid up one night and had dinner in the steakhouse-I highly recommend this. Clearly these are the very best waitstaff and the food was amazing. I had a terrific rib-eye and Malcolm ordered a filet and we were shocked at how big it was-had to be 12 oz... I had the cheese tray for desert and they brought a wheel of each variety out to display the choices and cut rather large volumes of my choices-almost overwhelming. The waitstaff was there when we needed them and invisible the rest of the time-to me, that defines professional service. Do it, you will be very glad you did!! All in all we had an absolutely wonderful time on Glory, age spots and all (we can relate!). Cant wait to get out to the Caribbean with Carnival again. Remember, Carnival is not just for hard partying young adults-It is pretty darn appropriate for a couple of old farts looking for some sunshine and relaxation away from the cold on the midwest> Thank you Carnival for a great time again!! Thomas and Malcolm Lexington, KY Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Our first transatlantic cruise couldn't have been better! The Reflection was new, our crew always efficient, happy and helpful, and our accommodations roomy. The 16 day cruise explored the Canary Islands (Tenerife and Lanzarote), ... Read More
Our first transatlantic cruise couldn't have been better! The Reflection was new, our crew always efficient, happy and helpful, and our accommodations roomy. The 16 day cruise explored the Canary Islands (Tenerife and Lanzarote), Barcelona, Spain, Toulon (Provence), France, Livorno (Florence/ Pisa), Italy, and Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy. On the plus+ side, all crew members made it their personal goal to extend every courtesy to us from our cabin steward (Alfredo) to our dinner wait staff (Angel and Jose) and others. When any issue arose that required action, it was handled quickly and pleasantly. The entertainment booked for the cruise was phenomenal, each one better than the one before it (only exception was the male singer who couldn't stay on pitch and seemed full of himself). Daily activities (zumba, line dancing, brain trivia games, swimming and hot tubs, choir, bridge, wine tasting, movies, speakers, and cooking demos made the time go quickly and pleasantly. We opted not to buy a wine package that limited our selections and instead put money on a card we used in the 'Cellar Masters' Enomatic wine dispensing machines. These devices allowed us to choose a taste, 1/2 glass, or full glass of wine from an ever changing selection of great wines. The machines were open 24/7 and we took our wines ANYWHERE we wanted on board; no restrictions. The food in each of the restaurants were FABULOUS! Even the 14th deck Oceanview Cafe catered to every culinary desire. Our prepaid shore excursions were the only less-than-excellent aspects of our cruise. Our 4x4 Tenerife Adventure was fully refunded after we, and many others who participated, voiced our concern regarding issues encountered during the excursion. We expected off-roading and more remote vistas. Instead we travelled to the same locations and over the same roads, in far less comfort, and for twice the price as did those passengers who chose the tour buses. Our trip to Cinque Terre was 'rained out' and proved extremely dangerous when we had to travel between only two of the five hillside cities by boat in rough seas and utterly miserable conditions. Celebrity compensated us 50% for this excursion. Our advice to you is: when something is not right, put it in writing. Also, when an action or activity is very good, let Celebrity know that too. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
I did have some reservations about this cruise. First of all I assumed since the the ship was heading to Italy for conversion to Carnival Sunshine, there will be work done on the ship during the cruise. Second, I did not consider Carnival ... Read More
I did have some reservations about this cruise. First of all I assumed since the the ship was heading to Italy for conversion to Carnival Sunshine, there will be work done on the ship during the cruise. Second, I did not consider Carnival Cruise Line as a top tier cruise line since it makes it's money on four to seven day "party cruises" (some friends have call Carnival "a floating trailer park"). And finally, the low price, 18 days with an amidships balcony stateroom for under $1700 for my wife and I. With all of that said, it turned out to be an outstanding cruise and greatly exceeded my expectations and well worth the price. The transatlantic entertainment was very good. There were five comedians on board. Of the comedians, Tommy Drake also juggled and Peter Gross also did hypnotism, Comedians Mark Evans, Lance Montalto and Larry Omaha rounded out the quintet. The five comedians besides doing their routines in the evening held comedy clinics for "aspiring comedians", which my wife took advantage of. Comedian Mark Evans took my wife Linda under his wing and not only polished up her act but got her over her stage fright. Linda performed on the main stage on "Open Mike Night" in front of hundreds and did an outstanding job. The Carnival dancers and singers also performed well on the transatlantic portion but were not seen much of during the nine days in the Mediterranean. The acts brought on board when we docked in Spain and Italy were OK but below the bar set while crossing the Atlantic. There were many other activities on this cruise, Linda and I were never bored. Our balcony room was on Deck Eight just below the Lido Deck and close to the amidships elevator and stairway. The room was spacious enough with a loveseat, a very comfortable bed and plenty of closet space. Our steward, Ugi did an excellent job meeting our every request. It did get quite chilly on a few days in the Mediterranean but since I have been on Navy ships that sailed from mainly warm climates to a cold climates, I knew it might take some time to get the heating going. Ugi did get us extra blankets and by simply turning off the air conditioning in the room until the heat came on and the extra blanket, we were very comfortable. The food in the dinning room was well prepared and presented. The dinning room staff did a great job of taking our orders and serving our meals as ordered. As for the buffet, the food was generally not as hot as it should have been. The steam tables needed to to have been hotter. My wife and I on previous cruises usually ate more meals in the buffet than in the dinning room, this cruise was an exception. We did enjoy the deli on the Lido Deck and would sometimes grab a sandwich and a salad and take it down to our room for lunch. The pastrami and corned beef were both definitely New York grade. Would we take another Carnival (four to seven variety) cruise, probably not but if another cruise like this one was offered by Carnival, even at an increase in price, I would seriously consider it. We met a lot of really wonderful fellow passengers and hopefully made some lasting friends. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
My wife and I have been on over 50 cruises on many different lines. We had heard great things about Celebrity and decided to try a 5 day cruise on the Constellation. The cruise departed from Miami and called at Roatan and Cozumel. ... Read More
My wife and I have been on over 50 cruises on many different lines. We had heard great things about Celebrity and decided to try a 5 day cruise on the Constellation. The cruise departed from Miami and called at Roatan and Cozumel. Arrival We had made parking arrangements with Premier Parking after reading some good reviews on line. What a terrible mistake. We arrived at their lot at 12:45 pm, the time on our reservationn and were told to leave and come back in a couple of hours. That they had no room for any more cars. Well, where do you go in Miami for an hour or two when waiting to park your car? We looked around for another lot and finally called the home office and got them to intervene and have the lot start valet parking. Of course, then we had to wait over 45 minutes for a shuttle to get to the port! Called a cab, but they never showed. So we finally arrived at the port at about 2:45 pm. There was no line to check in, but some how the lady took about 10 minutes to get us checked in and did not swipe the credit card for my wife ( we found out later). Once on the ship, we were greeted by free drinks, but no directions. We found out room and it was made up and ready for occupancy. We went up to the Sea View and had lunch. The lifeboat drill was painless and over fairly quickly and we set sail for Roatan. Room: Our room was a standard inside and was very nice. Had a great shower, much bigger than most ships, but poorly arranged closets. You could not open the bathroom door if someone was trying to get in the closet. Otherwise the room was fine. The biggest complaint we had about the Constellation was that it should have been refurbished a year ago, not 2013. There were torn duvet covers, stained blankets, stained towels and mildew in the bathrooms. This is not what one expects from a top drawer cruise line. Food: Dining room food was very good. Best French Onion Soup I have ever had. All dishes were served hot and had good taste. Found very little that was not good. Service in the dining room was excellent, again among the best I have had. We had Early Dining. The food on the Buffet was bland and never changed. I thought they could do much better. The Pizza was just average. The Buffet set up was confusing and people seemed to have a lot of trouble figuring out where to go to get what. Entertainment: Excellent. Of the five acts 4 were among the best I have seen. Only the juggler was not very good. The Cruise Director was good and very approachable. Ship Condition: Needs refurbishment. Threadbare and dirty in places. Also, was told by a number of Celebrity fans, don't judge the line by this ship. I hope they are correct. Corners were cut because it was a five day cruise-- no lobster, no prawns, etc. Seems to me they would go all out to impress you so that you would do a longer cruise with them. We had 10 in our group and none were excited about going on another Celebrity Cruise. They said this one was just OK. Disembarkation-- Very quick and very smooth-- no complaints at all. Overall: Would try Celebrity again if the itinerary was one I wanted and the price was good. But if I have to choose, everything else being equal, I would said with Princess or Holland America before Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Carnival Imagination 10/1 -- 10/5. Starting in Miami, going to Key West, Cozumel Mexico and then back to Miami. Wife and I were in an inside cabin on E deck (Deck 7). A large mix of people from all over the world. This is our third ... Read More
Carnival Imagination 10/1 -- 10/5. Starting in Miami, going to Key West, Cozumel Mexico and then back to Miami. Wife and I were in an inside cabin on E deck (Deck 7). A large mix of people from all over the world. This is our third Carnival cruise and we have done 5 other cruises mainly on Celebrity. FOOD -- Equivalent to Applebee's or sometimes Denny's. We ate most our meals in the main dining room. The 24 hour pizza tasted about the same as grocery store frozen pizza. Overall, the food was, on a scale of 1 to 10, about a 5. I was not impressed at all. Celebrity has much better quality. The anytime dining was great, as it gave us a chance to meet others on the ship. ENTERTAINMENT -- The two shows we watched were probably a 6 (on a scale of 1 to 10. The singers and dancers were all good, but occasionally you would catch them off key or missing a step. CABINS -- Our cabin was clean and the stewards were always there to keep it that way. We were disappointed that there was no refrigerator or blow dryer in the room. We found out the last day that we could have requested a blow dryer. SHIP -- The Imagination is an older ship in need of a remodel. Even the crew told us that they can't wait until the ship gets remodeled. We found the decor ugly and in need of modernization. INTERNET -- 45 minutes for $29 is not that good for slow internet. Barely fast enough to check your email. We are currently on the same ship to the Bahamas and this chartered cruise has free internet. The speed is 7 times faster. About the speed of DSL, fast enough to surf the web and have multiple windows going at the same time. This means that Carnival purposely turns the speed down to make more money with their Internet. The slower the speed the longer it takes you and the more you spend on minutes. Not good Carnival!!!! ACTIVITIES -- Pretty standard, trivia, newlywed game, and such. Just not enough. Hardly saw the cruise director at all. Should have had more activities. SUMMARY - I would avoid the Imagination until it is overhauled. You will have much better food, cabins, and entertainment going on Royal Carib. or Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
From beginning to end, this vacation was destined for disaster. The room was filthy, even after the second time they so called "cleaned it". Rug had not been vaccumed then cleaned, sheets were stained and hairy. Disgusting. ... Read More
From beginning to end, this vacation was destined for disaster. The room was filthy, even after the second time they so called "cleaned it". Rug had not been vaccumed then cleaned, sheets were stained and hairy. Disgusting. Not to mention, unsafe equipment leading to injury. The food was nothing special (and took forever in the dining room), except for pizza and deli sandwiches which were actually very tasty up on the Lido deck. The last night we didn't get our food until after they performed the "good bye finale", in which we were some of the last people in the dining room. On our final morning, I located some breakfast on the Lido deck. I waited in line, but when it was my turn, they were closing it down! It happened three times! Cocktails were very good in the main lobby by Albert (only 1 bartender) while we watched the football game, until they lost the signal and we waited for 15 min waiting for someone to show up to fix it! If you don't smoke, I don't suggest this cruise. We love to gamble and this cruise actually kept us out of the casino for most of the time. The ventilation system is non existent. They have slot machines with signs on them designating that smoking is allowed; and that's in most of the casino. We couldn't even go to the crap table because of all the smoke! As soon as you walked into the casino, you were greeted by the smokers at the bar and this continued throughout the casino! This continued on the Lido deck, bars, and other areas on the ship. Prepare yourself for a big dry cleaning bill to have the smoke removed from your clothes! I really can't comment on the shows because my sinuses and eyes were so sore from the smoke, I opted for Advil and a private balcony. We played a few trivia games and other onboard games which were fun, but the Love and Marriage Game run by the cruise director turned out to be the best. We cruise quite frequently and try to make the best of every one, but this was by far the worst. I have been told this ship is going into dry dock for improvements, but unless some of the crew are going in with it, skip this one. It's really not worth your time and/or money. Carnival needs to step up if they want to continue to be counted as a cruise worthy company. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
This was the second time I had the pleasure of the EPIC and the first as a solo. I was much more impressed with the EPIC this time. Loved her the first time, but after having more time onboard, was able to find even better reviews and ... Read More
This was the second time I had the pleasure of the EPIC and the first as a solo. I was much more impressed with the EPIC this time. Loved her the first time, but after having more time onboard, was able to find even better reviews and places and entertainment. The fact I was solo, also meant I discovered the exclusive studio staterooms and lounge. I am only 26. Quite young for a solo cruiser. I travel solo as a it means I can do exactly what I want, but more importantly I don't have many family or friends who could afford a journey like this. I booked the cruise, as a fly cruise package, including flights with British Airways, transfers between the airport, hotel and port, a pre-cruise hotel, and porter fees at the hotel and at the port. A Very good package. I booked this through a local travel agent when they were offering 10% off. I flew to Miami the night before. A very nice flight, well served by British Airways staff. At the airport I was met by a NCL rep and transported to an airport hotel. (Sofitel Miami). This was a lovely hotel, room only, but had a starbucks in the foyer, outdoor pool, bar and restaurant. I believe there was also a fitness center. A shopping center was about 10 minute walk away. I was only here for 1 night and I was satisfied. The hotel also had a NCL rep who explained the procedure for embarking the cruise in the morning, and shuttle bus time. The next morning the hotel foyer was filled with passengers for the cruise buses. We were transferred to the port arriving around 12. It was unclear at the terminal where to go. On my documentation I had down a terminal for check in, but this was closed. As the ship was only half full I anticipated that one terminal was closed for this. There was a queue for security of about 30 minutes, but check in was quick. Unfortunately I wasn't directed to the latitudes check in. (I was entitled to). I somehow missed picking up a daily - noted passengers carrying these after security, asked and got one at check in. Was able to board the ship straight after check in. Had the cringing picture before getting on board... wish I could opt out of these. We embark the ship on deck 6 by the theatre. Met by officers welcoming you to the ship. Very nice atmosphere. Sooo, what facilities: The EPIC has pretty much everything you could ever need for a lengthy vacation: Mandara Spa and salon, fitness center 2 pools on the main pool deck, 1 pool in Spice H20 - bar at the back, adults only About 6-7 Jacuzzis, a couple adult only 3 water slides 2 main dining rooms, Irish bar (24 hour food) and 2 buffets (indoor/outdoor) all complimentary. Various locations for complimentary drinks: tea, coffee, some fruit juices - available all day on this cruise, iced tea and water. Cake and pastries - complimentary from the atrium cafe Amazing entertainment - Blue man group, legends, howl at the moon, jeff hobson, slam allen, twice as nice, and various other entertainment - music, comedy, improvisation.. lots and lots! Private access to studio lounge (for passengers in studio cabins) Could purchase access to POSH (haven area) Currency exchange Art gallery and auctions Photo gallery Cruise consultants available Gift and liquor shops etc etc etc Stateroom: I was in a studio stateroom. Ideal for solo travellers. On some cruises these are cheaper for a solo guest on others slightly more expensive. I view these as a upgrade to a inside stateroom as: -They have mood lighting - Lovely toilet/shower area - Free chocolate every evening - private access to the studio lounge - the only place for getting complimentary cappuccino, espresso based drinks, cakes/pastries/continental breakfast. This is an ideal space to meet fellow solo travellers and was the location of the daily solo travellers gathering. A very well used space. There was also a bar here, open during the evening. - the daily towel animal guessing game in the stateroom each evening was fun. The service on the ship was second to none. This stood out more than my previous cruise. The staff seemed willing to serve all the time. Anticipated needs well. And ALL staff even if walking past will say hello, INCLUDING officers. The officers were very visible and approachable. Several meet and mingles took place during our cruise, the officers even attended the cruise critic meet and mingle. For the cruise critic lunch, a chefs table special menu was created, which is part of the menu for the special captains table meals... very very impressed! I also noted several passengers were offered free bottles of wine, when enquiring at guest services about separate issues even if not complaining. This was especially true of passengers who were on back to back cruises. I totally believe NCL looks after its guests well. I only ate in complimentary dining options, there were numerous speciality restaurants but I didn't feel the need for these as the food was AMAZING!! I ate half and half between the main dining room, and the buffet and 24 hour bar O'sheehans. The menus seemed to be quite mixed, only issue for me was lack of Indian curry options in the main dining rooms, and lack of really spicy dishes. A comment could be made the English style fish and chips is nothing like the real thing... but it was all good quality and I didn't leave any food behind on my plate! Entertainment: Many complimentary options, a few with charges (second city murder mystery and cirque dreams) I was disappointed Blue Man show was exactly the same, so would prefer that show to be revamped with new content. There was an amazing magician on our ship - Jeff Hobson, now cruising NCL and alaska I believe. And many amazing musical acts, all very good. I didn't feel the legends show was upto scratch, was extremely disappointed by the adult feel of the madonna act, and would prefer this to be scaled back to be more family friendly. Activities: LOTS to do on boards, several things on every hour as per the freestyle daily listings. Game shows, talent shows, cooking demonstrations, quizzes, special interest groups... you name it you got it (or can suggest it) A very good team of cruise directors. The highlight for me was the solo travellers gathering lead by Meaghan. Only comment, lets meet just after lunch on a sea day so we can spend MORE time planning activities together, and later on a sailaway day as sailaway often clashed with the meeting. Pool area: I agree the pools could be quicker, but on my cruise perfectly adequate (I didn't go on the cruise to go swimming). Plenty of Jacuzzis, water slides had no queues. Easy to find loungers on this cruise (half capacity ship). Weather; The sea and weather conditions were very good for a TA. WE had a couple of days of windy and choppy conditions, but otherwise, cloudy, temperature mid 20C but due to breeze did give enough sunlight strength for tanning. Port Stop: Ponta Delgada Azores. Highly recommended stop. A unspoilt, island. Wonderful landscape. Ship docks right in the town, so no need for excursion if not required. I took an excursion for $59, took me to pineapple plantation, garden, and several crater lakes. We had a clear day - amazing landscape! Would love to revisit. The excursion, allowed enough time at the end to shop and get souvenirs. Disembarkment was quick, embarkment was quick. There was a alcohol drop off zone. I would definitely do this cruise again. The cost is less than a 7 day itinerary on EPIC and you get more time onboard. Very good value, and as the ship rarely sails full on this itinerary more space to enjoy the facilities without the ship feeling too full. I was able to buy a cruise reward onboard and I'm trying to work out if I want to book the TA next year (via Marseilles) or to try one of NCL's older ships without the studio concept... its a tricky choice. Definitely do the TA if you haven't had chance. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
The Grandeur of the Seas Vision Class is a nice attractive ship but tired. From Malaga May 1st the ship goes into Cadiz for a complete refit. They are to add more cabins. Where more people will sit I don't know. Every inch of deck ... Read More
The Grandeur of the Seas Vision Class is a nice attractive ship but tired. From Malaga May 1st the ship goes into Cadiz for a complete refit. They are to add more cabins. Where more people will sit I don't know. Every inch of deck space is covered with plastic sunbeds. The fitness centre is well equipped but far too small, its always full. The restaurant --only one, is massive. Table service is good at 7/10. Food is mid market and very good. The Self service buffet also has a good selection of food daily. Food and service is not an issue. Formal nights are a waste of time, for it's the same routine, nothing special. It's largely ignored with only about 5% dressed in Tuxedos/cocktail dress, Another 10% in jackets. Last night which was formal -- we dressed in dinner dress as usual for such occasions, and were sat next to a poorly dressed woman with her husband who dressed in a donkey jacket, jeans and t shirt, one of the worst granted, but smart dress is not how we would describe the pax complement. Well what do we think of Royal Carib big ship cruising? Overall aimed at the lower middle class market. We took an owners cabin to cushion. Thank God, it's the best thing we did, we can dance in it. However in a major way it's the worst choice, for we didn't sleep the first 5 nights ! All passengers & cruise agents should be aware that the 5 most expensive suites are located directly below the cafeteria, which in part has tiled flooring --right above the suites, upon which they trundle heavily laden metal/hard plastic wheeled kitchen carts between dining areas and kitchen- ALL NIGHT LONG. Imagine living under a metal railway bridge where you can experience the thunderous rumble and trembling. You've seen it in films from New York. Well you've got the picture. This ship with all RCCL Vision class suffer the identical problem. Ships management report they've fended complaints from pax for 17 years without rectifying it! The simple expedient of fitting soft rubber wheels to the carts would remedy it in minutes. Sleep was impossible, and as I pointed out sleep deprivation is an effective form of human torture. 5 days of staggering around in a semi comatose daze was enough. Letters of complaints were ignored. My eventual meeting with Mr Tony Curtis the hotel manager, during which it was unfortunately painfully necessary to overtly threaten him and management with personal exposure on the internet to get a result, eventually persuaded them that acceptance and acquiescence was the better part of valor. I had tried to arrange a meeting with him all us affected suite passengers who had complained. He said that wouldnt be allowed and he's have to call security as that would be considered incitement to riot. I cautioned him that at sea that was called Mutiny. Instantly embarrassed he apologised retracting his threat. On night 7 peace finally reigned, and we slept throughout for the first time. Note they have no plans to insulate the floor nor address the noise issue. Careful assessment of deck plans are essential to avoid noisy cabins. Ashore we bought many bunches of flowers needing large vases. It must be a unique event judging by the fuss the staff made. It took 2 days of asking, pleading and eventually a stand up argument with the hotel manager to get them. The result ? 4 small jam jars! Eventually we got the vases. From which you should judge the standard. Ask for a map of an island, and the answer is indicative of the style. No frills airlines EasyJet and Ryanair & Southwestern come easily to mind. A map of 'recommended ' shops and tours they sell is the only one available. Island information -- same map. Haiti -- we'd decided not to get off for the place is disease riddled. But ha. This company transports its pax to the special paradise of Labadee. In effect an enclave cleverly commercially owned and exploited by Royal Caribbean, designed to give its special pax that special island experience. Visit the traditional authentic tourist market where you can buy junk from Haiti, and no doubt even Chinese made' Haitian' junk specially selected for their pax. Of course passengers can buy drinks, buy food. Buy a boat trip, buy another boat trip. Buy a ride to a beach (wonderful beaches). Buy a drink. Buy a paraglide ride. Buy a snorkel experience. Buy a jetski ride. We laid on deck and enjoyed the empty ship. Perfect. Internet at almost $0.85 a minute! And so conveniently sloooooooow. The crew are OK but a mixed bag where the Indians & some south Americans are the best. The advertised 'suite personal butler' .. a misnomer, they don't exist. Our cabin cleaner turned up staggering drunk one night, and in common with the standard of the ship, cleans superficially. We asked "Why are the windows and tables salt stained"? "Oh" was the response. Guest services tell us they should be cleaned twice a week, but that doesn't happen. We're used to having them cleaned daily or as necessary when we cruise. Yep this is a different and much lower standard. And speaking of standards, our narrative should be moderated by the fact we have the top class of suite. And afforded VIP status through the recommendation of another captain of the fleet; who kindly sent us a special gift, delivered with a note from this ships hotel manager, so they were aware, but makes no difference. Their advertising promises exclusive seating areas and bar areas reserved for suite guests, they don't exist and asking for them is met with blank looks. No special menus. Room service never get the order correct. They promise gold, but have nothing but copper to offer. The entertainment is very good, presented in an attractive theatre. Theres good live music in many areas most of the time. The cruise director is inconsequential. Overall the only similarity to our usual level and standard of cruising on small ships with Seabourne , Silver Seas or SeaDream, is they float, feed one and arrive safely and on time. Finally les pieces de resistance my new wife on honeymoon, was bitten and found a bed bug. That was positively reacted to with the attention it merits. The bites were treated swiftly by the Dr. whilst they dismantled the cabin and treated it, they parceled us off on a free limo private tour for the day. Returning 6 hours later it hadn't been done! Bad management again, obliged us to stay out of the cabin for hours whilst it was completed. The suite needed to be treated twice more, and as they refused to move us to another cabin to sleep, (the ship isn't half full) we were obliged to breathe in the insecticide, which we are assured is safe and non toxic. Whatever the insecticide prospectus states, breathing any insecticide within a small compressed airspace for 12 hour periods must be unhealthy. It's to be hoped we don't suffer any long term consequences. Despite their disinfectant attempts, Louise has been bitten 4 times more. They said they'd deep cleaned the suite. In fact they didn't even vacuum the carpet. It took numerous meetings to make them clean properly. Bugs love dirt, which is probably why theyre infesting the place. Worried that the bugs or at least eggs may be carried home, we asked for our clothing to be laundered. Expressing their deep concern, their response was immediate in removing and laundering and dry cleaning everything in hours, whilst re treating the suite. The toilet overflowed, it took 4 hours with 2 reminders to appear and repair it, and another 5 hours with constant reminders to clear its contents from the bathroom floor. It overflowed its contents on the floor twice more. Similar delays to clean it. They repaired it, but it continually noisily flushed in the middle of the night . Another day whilst they fixed that problem, common on this ship. It's occurred almost daily since now. The guest service managers profuse apologies for all our troubles, were bolstered by sending us, as he described "A lovely bottle of excellent champagne" to help you sleep through any noise remaining. Expecting Dom Perignon or Crystal, you won't be surprised to know we have a bottle of Californian sparkling wine instead -- unopened! After many days of wrangling, the management have accepted and apologized profusely for the noise problems and by replanning, have for this cruise at least, mostly resolved the noise issue. We are only woken twice a night! They are really trying their best to make the rest of the cruise acceptable. A new cabin attendant with supervision has resolved the cleanliness issue. Its clearly a management issue which may be better on another ship. The noise however will be the same. The staff are helpful but the management is overall poor, but theyre humble enough to eventually admit it, and have thanked us for indulging them in what they now a consider a re training process. They admit and openly discuss their failings which have now been addressed. Habitually they leave the heavy cleaning carts in the passageways 24/7 . this is a serious safety hazard for in the event of the ship lurching, a cart could roll into a person causing bodily injury. worse in the event of an evacuation, a cart would effectively block the passageway preventing free passage. The US Coastguard and ships insurers should be appraised of this. The Guest services manager said he hadnt noticed them . Eventually they moved the one in our passageway, but not others. Do we really need to feel like unpaid ships management consultants --badly needed-- whilst actually paying for our trip? This year we will be travelling transatlantic east west again, and notwithstanding this bad experience will consider a large ship again, but taking great care to select the right cabin and cruiseline. Disembarking in Malaga we felt tired, disgruntled and extremely dissatisfied. Finally I discussed compensation with Mr Sam Murdoch, team leader customer services UK. He explained they were fully aware of the unacceptable experiences we'd suffered, which they were appraised of through the many communications between the ship and UK management. Apologising for the ruined cruise, he offered a maximum discount of 25% off a future cruise. Our honeymoon was ruined, for which a 100% refund would be the least expected, plus consideration for damages. He outrightly refused to consider anything more. I wonder what would provoke a refund. A ship sinking maybe? Sadly we can only recall this trip as poor, sleepless, and a disturbed transatlantic ferry crossing. Never to be repeated with any Royal Caribbean Cruise, unless of course the CEO was in the next cabin. hope this helps you choose a decent cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Just back from a 5 night cruise on Celebrity Millennium with stops in Roatan and Cozumel. Millennium is now going to drydock for three weeks in the Bahamas. We had a wonderful time. Lovely balcony in C2 class. Eddy did a great job ... Read More
Just back from a 5 night cruise on Celebrity Millennium with stops in Roatan and Cozumel. Millennium is now going to drydock for three weeks in the Bahamas. We had a wonderful time. Lovely balcony in C2 class. Eddy did a great job keeping us happy fulfilling all our needs. Food and drink was great. Embarkation and departure were smooth and painless. Great entertainment! Just a pleasure. Suggestions for future passengers- * order a cheese and fruit plate nightly to complement the canapes. * don't stress the a partially obstructed view in 8050. Not a big deal. * Do not depend on Internet. Just terrible. Slow and cutting off regularly. Even when trying to book a new cruise with the Celebrity travel consultant. Maybe the Sosticizing will solve this. * Do eat in the Olympic dining room. Maybe even twice. Wow! * If you can avoid it, do not go on the last cruise before dry dock. Crew members are mentally moving on to home, their next contract or into dry dock. They have no idea what to expect and some were fairly apprehensive. Celebrity was already tearing down parts of the ship {sport bar)and the noise was really unfortunate. Suggestions for Celebrity. * Fix the internet. Really bad. * Open the coffee bar at 6 AM. There is just not enough available for early risers. * I know refits are unusual, but please do not start the overhaul while customers were on board. On the fourth day at sea, they began taking apart the 11th deck above the buffet hall. Talk about a way to end the cruise early. YOU just felt like the cruise line had moved on and they just wanted you out of the way. It was loud, continuous and a real breach of customer focus. All that said, it was still a great time for us and just our bad luck to catch the last trip. I only emphasize this so others can avoid it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
We just returned from our 5-day cruise on the Celebrity MIllennium. We left from the Port of Miami and went to Key West (6-hours in port), Cozumel (9 hours in port), a day at sea, and then back to Miami. This was our first time cruising ... Read More
We just returned from our 5-day cruise on the Celebrity MIllennium. We left from the Port of Miami and went to Key West (6-hours in port), Cozumel (9 hours in port), a day at sea, and then back to Miami. This was our first time cruising with Celebrity, and, overall, we were very pleased. First off, getting on the boat was a breeze. We flew Southwest to Fort Lauderdale and used SAS shuttle service to get to the boat in Miami. I can't say enough good things about SAS. I booked them online ($15 pp one way) and Steve was very responsive and professional. The shuttle van showed up at the airport within a few minutes of my call, and the trip took about 35 minutes. Once at the boat (at around 11:15 a.m.), we were ushered onboard immediately, welcomed with a cool drink and were relaxing by the pool by 11:30 am! We ate lunch at the Oasis buffet--very good and were told we could get to our room at 1:30 p.m., which we did. The room was a lovely surprise. We had one of the least expensive rooms (no porthole and on deck 2) and it was bright and roomy and more than adequate. Lots of drawer space and plenty of hangers! Much better than comparable rooms on RCCL or Carnival. Our room steward and her assistant (Maylene and Mario) were very attentive. However, for some reason, one of our suitcases was delayed in getting to the room and we finally had to go down to Security to retrieve it around 5:30 p.m. No explanation was given for the delay, and no apology was given when I pointed out that the zipper on one of the outside pockets was broken. The good: I was a little nervous about what to expect, since the Millennium is going into dry dock in April to be spruced up. However, we both thought the ship was lovely, not at all shabby, and beautifully appointed. The lounges, club, casino, buffet, and main dining room were very nice--there are lots of little tucked-away places onboard and I especially liked comfortable chairs on deck 3 by the windows. Our friends all raved about the casino, too. The pool area is great--plenty of chairs on 10 and 11--and the service at the pool was great! We also enjoyed the stage shows (iBroadway and Boogie Wonderland). Lots of talent there--and very professional, from the costumes to the choreography to the quality of the singing and dancing. Also, when the cruise director sang Time to Say Goodbye, well, it just blew everyone away--she has a fantastic voice!! We also enjoyed the Celebrity Chef Cook-Off very much. We liked the food at the Oasis buffet--especially the little sandwiches and the scones that come out in the afternoon. The pizza also looked good, as did the sushi. Also, at the Kova (?) Cafe on deck 5, there are tappas in the evening that we enjoyed, plus little finger sandwiches and pastries in the afternoon. Breakfasts here were good--the omelet station especially. Also, room service for breakfast was a nice treat--and the coffee seemed to be a tad bit better here than elsewhere on the ship. Also, there were not a lot of kids on this cruise--it was mostly couples and some groups of college kids/20-somethings. But the ship does have activities for children and I do have to say that the children I saw were all really well-behaved and seemed to be having a good time. The college kids and 20-somethings also seemed to be having a great time, too--especially after we left Key West and were sailing to Cozumel!... and I know we had a great time, too!!! Overall, all of the staff was friendly, helpful, and available when you needed them. The chocolates on the bed each night were excellent, especially the raspberry chocolate! Now, you may think that's a silly thing to comment on, but we are talking nice, expensive-tasting dark chocolate.... mmmmmmm. :o) Disembarkation was also quick, painless, and accomplished in less than 15 minutes. I called SAS and the van was there in less than 5 minutes. The bad: I was not impressed with the food in the main dining room. Nothing really knocked my socks off, though it was all fine. The service was OK, though the wine service was slow and spotty. I remember the food and the service being 100% better on Royal Caribbean! But, the other people in our party all really liked the food, and you could order as many things as you wanted... on the last night, I ordered several appetizers and salad and then had the seafood risotto appetizer for my dinner and it was more than enough. The desserts aren't spectacular, but the New York cheesecake was OK. I do have to say that we all pretty much thought the coffee on the ship was awful--very strong and often bitter. I mean, I like a bold cup of coffee, but I had to use 5 or 6 of the little creamers just be able to drink it. And the coffee/beverage stations at the buffet were not set up logically for easy use--you had to keep crossing in front of people to get your glass or cup then get your coffee or cold drink, and then get cream or sugar. That may be nit-picking, but it was annoying when the buffet was crowded and the ship was rocking back and forth because of rough seas. :o) Also, it could be easily fixed. The excursions: We booked the trolly and took the ride around Key West and over to the other side of the island and it was fine, given the limited amount of time we had in port. For our day in Cozumel, we had booked a Mayan cultural tour that was cancelled at the last minute so we opted for the Tulum Ruins and Beach Break. Unfortunately, due to the rough seas, we were about an hour late in docking and getting off the ship, and then the ferry was delayed by rough seas in getting us over to Playa del Carmen, so the advertised 8-hour tour had to be shortened. On the plus side, we enjoyed our tour guide and the ride to the ruins--but, because of time constraints, we only had an hour at the ruins. They are beautiful, though. Then we went to the beach club where we had a buffet that included Mayan fish (delicious!), beef frijitos (NOT what you may be expecting if you are used to the frajitos you get in the USA at Chili's or other TexMex chains, but very tasty!), black beans and rice (yummy) and some other things. It was good. Then we walked out to the beach--and it was just spectacular! White sands, blue/green/azure/turquoise/periwiinkle-hued water, and rolling waves... and the play of sunlight and shadow just could not be captured with the camera. Overall, though, I would say if you really want to see the ruins, just book the Tulum Express and don't be concerned about getting back to the ferry at Playa del Carmen--it's easy to get to and the town looked like fun to explore. The ferry ride to and from Cozumel takes about 35-40 minutes if the sea cooperates. The ride to Tulum takes about 35 minutes, too. Our traveling companions all did some variation of the dolphin encounters (push, pull or just the encounter) and they all enjoyed themselves though they all said the photo packages were outrageously expensive. We did get a nice professional photo of ourselves at Tulum that included an informative book about the ruins and the area for just $15, so that was a nice surprise and well worth it. Overall impression: We really enjoyed our Celebrity experience and would definitely sail with them again. I think in some ways they are a step above RCCL, although the food and dining room experience on Royal Caribbean are far superior, INHO. In fact, I have to check to see if there are Celebrity cruises leaving from Bayonne, NJ (as there are RCCL cruises) because from me, cruising from Bayonne is the ULTIMATE in convenience! I would not hesitate to recommend Celebrity and the Millennium if you are looking for a nice, relaxing time at sea. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
The Marina is new so it is clean but horribly decorated having a glitzy mishmash of styles, but overall very heavy in decor(e.g.,a main dining room in white and gold with ugly lighting).The cabins with verandas are spacious but the drawers ... Read More
The Marina is new so it is clean but horribly decorated having a glitzy mishmash of styles, but overall very heavy in decor(e.g.,a main dining room in white and gold with ugly lighting).The cabins with verandas are spacious but the drawers to keep clothing do not open fully and are deep so you cannot reach into the drawers. The bathroom is spacious but the shower stall is so small a thin person has problems showering. Very poor design. The cafeteria for breakfast and lunch are total disorganization with improper flow of people and poorly designed venues to pick up ones food. People are constantly bumping into each other which makes the use of the cafeteria very uncomfortable. Deck services are almost nonexistent. You look for someone to bring a towel and no one is in sight. Very rare for a ship with only 1200 passengers. I have had better service on ships with 2000 passengers. The French and Oriental and Italian specialty restaurants are quite good especially the French. The main dining room food is not good at all and the menus are not very enticing in spite of the fancy language used to describe each dish.The main dining room staff are very nice but not well trained.Breakfast can take up to one hour with one waiter serving beverages and another eventually coming to take your order. Dinner takes forever. Many waiters but little coordination to manage them. In general I would say that the food is at the level of a average coffee shop in Manhattan. The buffet in the main dining room which occurred twice during this cruise was of very low quality with cheap selections being offered. The passengers who took this ship gave one the feeling that one was in an assisted living facility on water. The elevators(which are very slow) were filled with walkers and wheelchairs)which makes it difficult at times to take an elevator. This is not directly Oceania's issue but this is what I encountered so if you are looking for a younger crowed, do you research. The cheap prices do seem to cater to a certain crowd. The ship is not very quiet. The cruise director should not read over the loadspeaker the daily activities since the activities are written in a daily newspaper distributed to all passengers in their rooms. THe background music on the ship is pure DIN of the cheapest quality. You get the impression that you are in an bus station or airport or a low class shopping center in the USA. People want to get away from it all and so called musical sounds constantly being played can be annoying. The entertainment is OK for people who are amused with glitzy repetitious shows playing the same Broadway tunes that are played on some other ships. Perhaps the entertainment moves around from one ship to another performing the same skits. I must say that the ports chosen were quite interesting:Bermuda,,Madeira and Tangiers. Kudos for this itinerary. Hope this reviews helps Oceania to improve and better its product. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
This was the first cruise my husband and I have taken by ourselves (no friends, no children). We were thrilled with our stateroom. It was clean and well appointed. I was impressed that everything in our four suitcases could be unpacked and ... Read More
This was the first cruise my husband and I have taken by ourselves (no friends, no children). We were thrilled with our stateroom. It was clean and well appointed. I was impressed that everything in our four suitcases could be unpacked and stowed with empty drawers to spare. Even our suitcases could be stowed in the closets. Our cabin attendant was very attentive and responded to our special requests promptly and with a smile. After reading that this ship was scheduled to be dry-docked next month I was a little concerned about what to expect. We didn't find one area of the ship that was not well kept and in good repair. Perhaps experienced cruisers might note the color schemes or missing amenities but I don't think anyone could fault the overall upkeep of the ship. We loved the size of the ship. It is easy to get around on, intimate enough to get to know fellow cruisers but large enough to find private space as well. Although cabins on both sides of us were occupied we never heard noise from either side. We especially appreciated the size once we docked right next to the Oasis of the Sea. That ship made us look like the harbor tug boat. We enjoyed listening to the wonderful Mariachi Band perform pool side in Cozumel while the passengers on the five decks of the Oasis that loomed above our ship clapped along. It was an amazing contrast of size. We don't have any complaints about the food or service. Everything was top notch. The only negative comment we have is purely subjective on our part. We did not find the entertainment to be diverse enough or as engaging as we would have liked. The performers worked really hard on the shows and we applaud their efforts and talents but we would enjoy seeing a wider selection rather than two nights of variety show acts with similar performance themes. Overall, great cruise and we look forward to cruising again with Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
Having cruises with Oceania in the past we were really looking forward to cruising on the new ship. What a huge disappointment. We waited a year, to give them time to work out the kinks on the new ship. However, the kinks of a new ship ... Read More
Having cruises with Oceania in the past we were really looking forward to cruising on the new ship. What a huge disappointment. We waited a year, to give them time to work out the kinks on the new ship. However, the kinks of a new ship were not the problem, poor customer service was the issue. And this was not a training issue, this was a top down attitude problem. The staff had such disdain for the customers on the ship. They actually acted like we were bothering them by being on their boat. It was the strangest thing I have ever seen!!! The captain never greeted or ate with the customers. There was never a staff member at the plank to see us off each morning. The tours were a disorganized mess! After one or two most of us just canceled them. The internet didn't work at at. After almost a week they finally admitted that they didn't have the system properly set up. Our very poorly trained butler made our lives more complicated instead of less so. He was rude, said inappropriate things and was never there when we needed him. He was far from helpful. The staff seemed very unhappy. Everywhere you went on the ship fellow passengers were complaining. I have never heard so much complaining from people on vacation -- who were supposed to be relaxing and enjoying themselves. The only break from that was in the spa, which was well ran (by a different company) and the staff was happy and pleasant. I went there four times during the cruise just to get a break from the complaining and to be around happy people. The only truly good food on the ship was at Red Ginger. That was fabulous! When I wrote a detailed letter to Oceania to let them know -- it took months to get a response and they just said oh thanks for letting us know. Nothing else. What a joke. I will be sailing in the future with SilverSea and Seabourn where we have had wonderful cruises and excellent service. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
My mother kindly took our family (me, my husband, 8year old, 13 year old) on a Western Carribean cruise on Dec 17th. Since this was my first cruise, I extensively did my research and took a lot of advice from the boards. Here's ... Read More
My mother kindly took our family (me, my husband, 8year old, 13 year old) on a Western Carribean cruise on Dec 17th. Since this was my first cruise, I extensively did my research and took a lot of advice from the boards. Here's what I learned: 1. Yes, the boards were right. Breakfast on the Liberty was repetitive - that being said, the same 30 or so items (with several other hot items being swapped in) were available each day. Come to my house sometimes - we have the same 4 or 5 things every day! I never got a chance to try everything. 2. Coffee was much better than I thought. I am a Starbucks fanatic. I brought a hot water immersion appliace and some Starbucks VIA (instant). Didn't need it. Now, not as good as Starbucks, but not quite the swill that I was led to believe. 3. Bring liquid detergent! What they sell in the laundry room is powdered and for some reason (probably to do with the mineral content of the water), it doesn't "melt" very well. I happened to bring liquid and was very glad. Also, several of the dryers seemed to be out of order (but without signs) - a minor annoyance. 4. We had 4 stops in 4 days (Cozumel, Belize, Honduras and Grand Cayman). Cozumel and Grand Cayman were awesome. Looking back, I think I would have done EITHER Belize or Honduras, but not both. It was a little difficult and less than relaxing having to hound everyone to be ready by 8am each morning. It would have been nice to hang around the ship on either of those days. 5. The boards are right - don't take the cruiseline excursions with very few exceptions. One of those exceptions is Honduras. At every other port, we met our independent tour guide right outside of the cruiseship terminal buildings - very easy. In Honduras, you need to walk up a hill, then down another big hill, probably about 1/2 mile from the main buildings. Once passed the secuirty gate, you are mobbed by people trying to get into your car. Someone was trying to tell my kids to get into their van! I have been all over the world and travel very well independently. This was incredibly overwhelming to be in this situation, especially since the tour guide that I had hired and PRE-PAID was not there. We ended up driving around with some other random guide who knew the man we were looking for. It mostly worked out in the end. All in all, in hindsight, Isla Roatan Honduras would have been better seen with one of the cruiseship excursions. 6. The "over the door clear shoe organizer" was a lifesaver - just handy to see all your stuff - ipods, chargers, camera etc in one place although I found Carnival's rooms were very large and we didn't even use all of the closet space. 7. Bring your own cheap towels from the 99 cent store. Those Carnival ones are nice, but I don't trust my kids not to lose them. The other thing is that they're REALLY thick. We took 3 excursions where we needed to bring towels and trust me, 5 of those things would have taken up a backpack EACH. We fit all 5 of the cheapie towels into one big beach bag. 8. BOOZE - there are endless threads about booze. I pre-ordered a bottle from Bon Voyage for about $40 for a bottle of bourbon. We also brought along the allowed amount of wine (1 btl per adult). Coming back from our first stop, Cozumel, everyone had brought a bottle from Duty Free and everyone was taking them to their rooms! I heard about 1 person whose alchohol was confiscated until the end of the trip but I personally saw about 100 people bringing alchohol back from Duty Free on the various stops. 9. The balcony room was worth it. Sitting out there was great (the smokers next door were less than great but it wasn't too bad). Having that extra space was priceless. If you can afford it, it really was worth it. 10. I dutifully brought the power strip to plug in all of our various electronics but never used it. 11. By far and away the best thing we brought was Ziplocks, water bottles and an insulated lunch box. On excursion days, we would fill up one of the baggies with ice, pack some snacks from the Lido deck (pastries, cold cuts etc), fill up our water bottles and that would get us through until we got back to the ship and coud have a late lunch. I honestly think we saved about $150 - $200 in lunches just by doing that! 12. The food in the dining room was not great - service was very nice but tt is NOT fine dining. I didn't have to cook it and I didn't have to clean it up, so I thought it was fine! If super-high end dining is high on your list of "must have's", then this is not for you. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Embarcation was a breeze. Got to Miami Port at noon and was on the ship by 12:30. The Food was very good in all venues. The Olympic was way over the top. We thought it was an excellent meal. Both of had the Filet Mignon and ... Read More
Embarcation was a breeze. Got to Miami Port at noon and was on the ship by 12:30. The Food was very good in all venues. The Olympic was way over the top. We thought it was an excellent meal. Both of had the Filet Mignon and Souffles. We thought in general the crew was very friendly greeting everyone when they passed. The Captain kept us well informed with good english. The Entertainment was great. The shows were excellent with a live orchestra on stage. The ports were just ok. Roatan was not a paradise by any means but we did get off and walked around a bit. The Captains Club Hostess Melissa from Australia was professional but lacked basic people skills. After having Chandru, Juliana, Donette and Anna we were very let down by this Hostesses lack of human skills. She is not in the right position in our opinion. There were several instances where she ignored people or was just plain rude to the people she talked too. The GSM Philip was teriffic. He just has that "can do" attitude which is the norm for Celebrity. Our Waiter and Asst Waiter were great and Harrish our AMD was the best yet. The room team did an excellent job of keeping our CC Room spotless although I never met their boss the Asst Ch Housekeeper. All in all we had a great 5 day cruise. Cannot wait to take a future Celebrity Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We cruised for the first time on the Carnival Dream in December 2010 and really enjoyed everything from the ship to the food to the entertainment but not so much the ports. Armed with more knowledge, we decided to book our second cruise, ... Read More
We cruised for the first time on the Carnival Dream in December 2010 and really enjoyed everything from the ship to the food to the entertainment but not so much the ports. Armed with more knowledge, we decided to book our second cruise, again on Carnival, and we just got back. I've got a lot to say! We sailed on the Carnival Valor to the western Caribbean (Grand Caymen, Islad Roatan, Belize and Cozumel) September 4-11. What a difference a port and a ship make! We will likely not leave from Miami again: the hotels are a lot pricier and the port authorities are a lot less nice. The embarkation process seemed a bit messier as well and not as organized or personal as it was out of Orlando. The process took about an hour and we found ourselves on board. The first thing we did was sign up for the "Behind the Fun" tour - which they can't sell in port but they add you to the list - get there early as the tour is small. If you have never done this before, it's worth the $95 pp. It's a behind the scenes tour of the ship on the last day. More on it later. Our first impression of the ship is that it was older, the colors were really gimmicky and there was a lot more noticeable wear and tear on the ship (furniture, etc.). We did make our way up to Lido for our lunch - lines were long, as expected but to our great surprise, the aft pool area was ADULTS ONLY. This was a great respite for us during the cruise and gave us an opportunity to meet people, have a few drinks, etc. However, whereas on the Dream there was yummy Indian food as well as a deli in the aft dining space, on this cruise only one of the sides was open and all you could get was pizza. Highly sad that there wasn't really an opportunity to experience other ethnic food. Our stateroom, 6209, was decent. No complaints there. My wife did buy a door decorating thing for our anniversary MONTHS in advance and all I got was a note to say "sorry, we can't do it." It would have been nice for them to have contacted her to be able to surprise me in the same way, you know? Some other information about our experience on the Valor: -Dinners in the Lincoln Room were mediocre at best. Every time, my fish was overcooked. We did find great wait staff though: Wilbur and Alfredo, as well as Koko, our beverage service staffer who kept out colas filled throughout dining time. -Food overall was NOTHING like on the Dream. Buffets, again, were mediocre. -Scarlett's Steakhouse though was 100% better on the Valor than on the Dream. Worth the additional $30 pp. -The Serenity Deck - we had an issue with a staff person who, instead of telling us the deck was closed, sprayed us with water. So we didn't return. -The Spa - I have to downgrade here. We spent over $400 in services and we were pitched at the end after every one. After dropping this kind of money on something that was supposed to be relaxing, I tensed right back up. It is a shame but we won't visit the Spa ever again on Carnival. -Comedy Club was fun, as always. -Goose reminded me of a frat boy and we hardly saw him the entire time we were onboard. He was better than Butch though and not as [frequently] annoying with the announcements. Didn't seem to really be "in it" though. -Lido dance party was a ball - but soooo hot :) Makes for some good exercise! -Many ship excursions are PACKED with people. Get used to sitting so close you can smell what your neighbor had for lunch! -Ship medics need to get some bedside manners The Behind the Fun Tour was great - delve into what life is like as a member of the staff. See how they do the laundry, prepare your meals, take all those "crew only" staircases, go to the engine control room and up on deck with the Captain. Treats, pictures, a "fun bag" with goodies and champagne in the steakhouse all come with the pricetag! Totally worth it! Ask all the questions you want too. Tara was great. Overall, and mostly because she chose some great excursions, we had a blast. But I think we have to stay with the Dream class of ships. Magic and Breeze due in US in 2012 and 2013! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Our first time sailing with NCL and their freestyle dining system. We were very happy about everything pertaining to this cruise. The price was right. We had a balcony-forward which was partially enclosed for protection, but that meant a ... Read More
Our first time sailing with NCL and their freestyle dining system. We were very happy about everything pertaining to this cruise. The price was right. We had a balcony-forward which was partially enclosed for protection, but that meant a larger and more private area for our enjoyment. The embarkation went smoothly. As we had read online before departure, we knew the staterooms were on the cozy side and configured somewhat non-traditionally. Our room had the restroom area, then bed, then couch area, then the balcony. That was very uncomfortable as there was a choke point by the sink and vanity area. We did end up requesting the vacant room next door which had the flip arrangement with the bed nearest the balcony door. That felt more "right" and helped ease congestion. The ship was beautiful; the staff very professional, friendly and helpful; the entertainment opportunities were great. The ship did not sail full so we never experienced big crowds or lines. The food at the buffet was nice, but not as elaborate or varied as I imagined from what I had read. Even so, for the price and considering other eateries on board, the buffet was hardly a problem! We ate at the "free" Manhattan Room almost every evening, and were able to get in whenever we showed up. The option of sharing a table with others was terrific because we met so many great and interesting cruisers! We did have an opportunity to partake at the French Bistro (courtesy of our booking agent) and truly enjoyed the ambiance, service and delicious food. Overall, we were enthusiastic about our time aboard NCL's Epic and plan on sailing with this line in the future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We've just returned from 22 wonderful days on the Epic. We found the staff exceptionally friendly with many greeting us by name. As advertised, the entertainment is superb. The big name acts were as expected: Blue Man Group, ... Read More
We've just returned from 22 wonderful days on the Epic. We found the staff exceptionally friendly with many greeting us by name. As advertised, the entertainment is superb. The big name acts were as expected: Blue Man Group, Legends, Second City. All were enjoyable, especially as the transatlantic sea days provided time for special "meet the performers" sessions for BMG and Legends. In addition to these, there were many other talented performers in bars and the atrium. Our favorite of all entertainment was the Slam Allen Band which performs in Fat Cats Lounge. This New Orleans style blues band was absolutely fantastic. Second City left after the TA. Stephen Sorrentino, a talented musical comedian came on and was very enjoyable. I did not care for the marionette group which also came on after the TA. We did not see the Spanish ballet which came on in Barcelona. Much has been written about the stateroom and bathroom issues. The standard balcony room was smaller than any we'd been in before. The bathroom didn't cause any problems for the two of us but I would not like that style rooming with a friend rather than spouse. Two days into our cruise we were notified that we would need to move due to noise from a repair on the spa above. At this time I requested a handicapped room to make using my knee scooter easier and having a place to park it. We had paid more in order to not have to move during the three cruise segments and I was not pleased to have to do so. No handicapped rooms were available. (I had not booked one since the accident happened after booking and I'd hoped to be well by the cruise.) None were available but the desk staff very kindly provided an upgraded room which helped a lot. I met someone during the cruise whose travel agent had booked them into a handicapped room because they are bigger. This is an unacceptable practice, IMHO. I had never before traveled or cruised as a handicapped person. I now admire those who seem to do it easily. The design of the Epic did not help me with my first such attempt. Our rooms were both aft at the very end. I never went to breakfast at the buffet as it was too much of a struggle to get there, going the length of the ship to get there and again to get back. I tried to coordinate meals and activities, minimizing the trips to the far end. Whoever designed this ship did not consider the needs of the handicapped. If you wished to go to the Taste dining room, you literally could not get there from the aft elevator. This is not a problem if you walk and take the escalator from the sixth floor. If you must use an elevator, you have to travel the length of the ship, take the forward elevator, and then go back half way. Mid-ship elevators would have helped me get around much better. I'd advise booking a forward room if you have mobility issues. Not all public restrooms had handicapped facilities. The ones which did were very nice, but if one needed wheelchair access, you might have to go up or down a floor to find one. There was no elevator available at the time of embarkation in Miami as it was still being used by those leaving. No reason was given for the delay but being told to sit and wait while others got on was not acceptable. Fortunately, I could stand, so my DH carried my scooter up the escalator so I could board rather than sitting for an unknown amount of time. I booked the spa package for the TA and found it well worth it. It was not at all crowded as the ship was not full. It was easy to get to for me as it is located aft which was right above our room. Food was certainly plentiful. We had one dinner at Cagney's which was excellent. Dining room food was not quite as good as on other NCL ships in past years. I do not know if the more limited menu is just the Epic or change fleet wide. However, if you didn't find something you liked, the "anytime" items such as salmon and steak were always good as was the garden salad. We booked this due to the Med itinerary. If you want time in Pisa, I'd advise not booking a tour that combines it with others. We had only five minutes there..would have been fifteen, but I spent ten in the bathroom. All tours varied according to the guide, I found by comparing notes with other cruisers. It seems there is not enough quality control on this. All in all, we had a great time. I look forward to returning to the Epic when I'm completely back on my feet and can enjoy all of it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click