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79 Middle East Senior Cruise Reviews

This cruise was a belated birthday present for my wife. She had always wanted to visit Jordan, and I wanted to visit the Suez Canal, so when I spotted the itinerary for this cruise it was a no-brainer. It suited that we did the ... Read More
This cruise was a belated birthday present for my wife. She had always wanted to visit Jordan, and I wanted to visit the Suez Canal, so when I spotted the itinerary for this cruise it was a no-brainer. It suited that we did the longhaul flight out first to Muscat in Oman to join the Discovery and only had a short flight home from Corfu. On this ocassion embarkation was a little hetic as our flight out of Manchester was delayed by nearly an hour which caused a bit of chaos for the crew to get our baggage onboard and the passenger's checked in. We were sailing within an hour-and-a-half, which was a shame as we would liked to have had a walk around Muscat before sailing. We were not new comers to the Discovery as we had sailed on her some 18 months previous. On this occasion we had an inside cabin, not recommended as it was dark and you felt like it was night all the time, however, the bed was comfy and the cabin staff did a wonderful job of keeping it clean and tidy and I also kept updated with the football results from the TV in the cabin. A major improvement in the restaurant's this time was that the food was always hot and not luke-warm like the last time, the service seemed to have gone up a notch too, so all-in-all it made for a great experience. We spent the first at at sea before stopping at Salalah in Oman. Because we had already pre-booked a few excursion we did not get off at Salalah, plus you had to either get a bus or taxi as Salalah was about 40 minutes away, and if you did your own thing you were advised to agree your fare before getting in the taxi, and also not to pay until you return otherwise you risk being left by your driver, this was slightly unnerving to say the least. Aqaba was our next port of call, here we had an excursion to Petra The Rose Red City which was well worth the money. We walked in the footsteps of Indiana Jones and discover the city that was lost to the world for over 1000 years. Petra is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites with 2000 years of history and 800 monuments still standing, well worth the visit. The icing on the cake for me was travelling through the Suez Canal. It is a sight you have to see for yourself just to grasp the scale of the project undertaken to land cut the Canal. I have to leave wit a word of warning, please ensure you cover yourself in sun screen before leaving your cabin. The temperature was always in the 40's and with the breeze whilst sailing it's like being in a fan oven. Many passenger's had the misfortune of being badly sun burnt on the first day, and spent the rest of the cruise looking like mummies. Don't make any sense to spend a couple of grand on a cruise holiday only to spend probably three times as much in doctor's fee. And another thing, some of the places you visit on your excursion, you have to cover your shoulder's and knee's especially if you wish to visit places of worship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My friend and I booked this cruise last year while on MSC Seaside. I had been to most of the Far East ports, but my travel friend, Judy, had not seen them. We flew from Tampa to Toronto and on to Dubai enjoying business class all the ... Read More
My friend and I booked this cruise last year while on MSC Seaside. I had been to most of the Far East ports, but my travel friend, Judy, had not seen them. We flew from Tampa to Toronto and on to Dubai enjoying business class all the way. One night was spent at the Dubai Marriott, and the following morning we taxied to the port. And there the problems began! There was a "time to board" listed on your information, but most of the 3500 passengers were already in the very crowded check-in area. Those in Yacht Club were given a place to sit and wait - we commoners just stood in line for nearly two hours. Not a good impression!. Once on board, we found our adjoining balcony cabins to be nicely furnished. I requested my duvet be replaced by a light blanket, and it was quickly done. My "bath tube" as noted on the reservation was a lovely large tub with shower - and all the really hot water one could ask for. Storage space was wonderful, and would have been fine for two guests in the room. The TV was mounted at ceiling height and quite small. We were out of range for English speaking stations much of the time, so it didn't matter too much. We had requested early dining, and found ourselves seated with folks who had limited English. We asked for a change, and were assigned to another dining room where we shared a table for six with an English couple and a couple from Australia. We had a grand time comparing countries and cruises for the entire 28-day cruise. Entertainment was based on opera most evenings. A soloist or duo or quartet sang with piano and flute or violin. There were a few song and dance shows, but due to the passengers' many languages we had no comedians or acts that required a good understanding of English. Food in the dining room tended to be about average rather than great. Always sufficient for any normal appetite, and enough selection to suit almost all passengers. The beverage package that included cocktails, wine, specialty coffee, water and soda in unlimited quantity was a true bargain at $28 per day. We had prepaid for excursions in all ports, and found many were not worth the price paid. Passengers with excursion vouchers had to congregate in the theater, and the staff sent out four or five busses (speaking various languages) at the same time to the same destination. We were late arriving at many sights, and waited in lines for up to an hour to board an elevator in some buildings. There was a library that had about 500 books in German, a hundred or so in French, Spanish, Italian and Chinese, and NONE in English - although there was a shelf with a sign that said English. There was almost no TV, and no daily news sheet was every printed. We had little idea of what was happening in the world during our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We did this cruise because it included a land tour of the The Golden Triangle, which was fabulous. We have been on four celebrity cruises, so we felt confident in booking this one. Firstly the pros : Overall the staff were very ... Read More
We did this cruise because it included a land tour of the The Golden Triangle, which was fabulous. We have been on four celebrity cruises, so we felt confident in booking this one. Firstly the pros : Overall the staff were very friendly The ship was clean and tidy The entertainment was very good some nights When in port going ashore was run quite smoothly The pool area was kept clean and tidy Announcements were kept to a minimum Cons: The library was a disgrace, it is so minimal, nothing to read. Lack of meaningful activities, we are completely over trivia, bingo. Putting competitions ect. Several people complained to us that they were bored, it was time to go home they said. The upselling is tedious and cheapens the brand I ordered drinks at the pool bar, they were so awful I never repeated thay again. Drinks at the reflection bar were quite acceptable. We always look forward to the last night to enjoy the lobster tail. When it was served to us we were appalled, the majority of the shell contained some sort of filling which was inedible, no lobster flesh. We sent our meal back uneaten, shame on Celebrity, if you are cost cutting don't put lobster on the menu ! I think Celebrity have forgotten who their core market are, after many cruises I can see a large section is made up of baby boomers and older who would enjoy a lot more activities of enrichment than they are being offered. At certain times of the day tea, coffee and water were only available at the end of the Ocean view Cafe on level ten. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We read the negative reviews prior to booking. I really don't take much notice of them. How wrong we were. We booked because of the itinerary, lots of places we wanted to visit.Not much to add to many other negative reviews. The ... Read More
We read the negative reviews prior to booking. I really don't take much notice of them. How wrong we were. We booked because of the itinerary, lots of places we wanted to visit.Not much to add to many other negative reviews. The overall on board experience was dreadful. Frustrating to miss 2 of our desired ports Sir bani yas & Piraeus (Athens). Of course MSC did not refund port charges even though they substituted a port for the 2 missed..We travelled as a group of 3 couples. Have to agree with others about food, endless announcements in 6 languages. Staff seemed disengaged except for bar staff & coffee shop. Positives..... Embarkation exceptional. MSC gives you status match which was good. Loved the music played when we left ports. Coffee (if you had the beverage package or paid for it) was great. Guest relations desk well manned 24 hrs a day. WOW that's not much. Negatives to add.... Guest relations desk apart from about 2 people who were brilliant, the rest seemed clueless. We were charged for drinks which should have been included in our beverage package. We had signed for 0 charge but they still charged us. Luckily we had the receipt. When we went to challenge this we were told it was our mistake. Eventually resolved but took a lot of discussion. Poor drainage in bathroom shower, eventually resolved. Daily program often not delivered to our cabin until 10pm or 11pm. European travellers were farewelled by the captain with a handshake while the non-Europeans exited through a different area in Venice. No water in dining rooms.....they want you to buy water!!! B2B in Venice....couldn't get off the ship for hours, no communication, huge levels of frustration from all of us. My list goes on but that's enough to add. We have an excellent Travel Manager who organised for us to meet with the local MSC state manager which we did. She seemed horrified about our experience & will give MSC our feedback. Still waiting. MSC has a good product will airfares & hotels bundled. Their itineraries are amazing. I think their bigger ships would be totally different from the small ships. MSC would need to come back to us with very good compensation for us to travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
If you are a regular browser of this site then you would have known what to expect with Oceana so there is no need to whinge. SHIP-It is ageing but most of the public areas are in tip top condition. CRUISE-This was a new venture for ... Read More
If you are a regular browser of this site then you would have known what to expect with Oceana so there is no need to whinge. SHIP-It is ageing but most of the public areas are in tip top condition. CRUISE-This was a new venture for us in this part of the world but you have to have your wits about you finding your way through Dubai airport as we did landing at terminal 3 with emirates.Keep your wits about you and follow the instructions form the airport staff because it was a real trek to baggage collection.Overall the cruise was interesting and the excursions were well organised.The free shuttles at ports was a real bonus and whether that continues next year is not known. FOOD-This is always a big talking point.We were in the Adriatic MDR 8.30pm sitting.On the menu are 5 starters,10 mains and 5 desserts each day plus ice cream and cheese and if you cannot find something that suits you then you must be really fussy or from a different planet.We did not use the Plaza buffet as to us the atmosphere is like a works canteen. SEADAYS-There was only one sea day and of course you had what I call benidorm cruisers.Out at 7.30am reserving their favourite sunbed even with high winds across the decks no doubt going through the same ritual as when they used to go to benidorm. ENTERTAINMENT-Gary Barlow show,excellent-the 4 tunes very good-headliners-I do not know how much of this singing is live apart from the lead.If they are singing and dancing then they are doing a good job.Steve Day,comedian dire. PORTS-The only port we did not enjoy was Khasab which really was a waste of time unless you were doing a dhow cruise.It is a small town with a few shops a few goats wandering around. SUMMARY-Enjoyed the cruise and all the lovely people we dined with.Would we do it again-no. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Chosen this cruise line because of the itinerary offered and being an Italian passport holder I did believe to be proud of the italian hospitality offered and convinced friends to join on the Costa Mediterranea. A total catastrophy to say ... Read More
Chosen this cruise line because of the itinerary offered and being an Italian passport holder I did believe to be proud of the italian hospitality offered and convinced friends to join on the Costa Mediterranea. A total catastrophy to say the least!!! Never again will look or put a foot on a Costa vessel regardless on what they offer. A catalogue of mistakes, rudeness, could not care and bother attitude from all, especially from management, supervisors and officers as a whole. Informations as from the so called Head Offce never reached the vessel, comunication failure all round. Billing instructions even worst. Costa liner has become a 'bums on seat' category styled business, they attitude has totally gone astray and into deep waters. No customer skill or customer care in force. All what they want is: come on board, pay the bills and get out!!!!! Arrived in Dubai with BA flight at 08.00, presumably you could check in at 13.00, never advertise differently, the earliest they allowed you to, was 16.30, without a drink, snack or whatsoever. Had a special need individual with us, requested a wheelchair for at least 4 times, never arrived untill 17.20. By this time we were already stressed up. Taken luggages at 11.00am, yet never arrived in the cabins untill 20.45, just before dinner time. We were planning to visit Dubai, we hand up going nowhere expect on board. Lost the visit of Dubai sights!! Next day went to one of the bar for informations on non-alcoholic cocktails, prices and choices, was manned very rudly by an individual in the most abrat way. Complained to Head barman (Umberto) and had no confidence in him simply he was not responding enthusiastically and responsive to guest need. Blant as a tree trunk. Ordered via Costa website, water packages (3), never materialised even dough I had receipt from Costa on my mobile emails. Had to argue my way around. Restaurant food was very mediocre on majority of nights, very small or miniscule portions, mostly was cold or just about warm. Felt sorry for our waiter, because he was getting the hard times from the company failures. Gluten free diet was the worst ever experienced in 11 cruise taken in the past with other companies. Bread roll was like a chewing gum, soups were very watery, offered fish finger as main course, offered mini burgers or pizzas as glutel free mains. These dishes I dont even offer them to my granchildren which are 4 years and a 6 years old!! When decided to by a water package, reception decide to cancel it making my stressful time even harder. Every night in the main bar had discussion and disagreements with catering staff in respect to the totals showing on receipt, and being told the computer has made mistakes. How many naive guest have not checked and lost their drinks? Buffet food was always cold even dough they had proper utensils and not used fully! in numerous occasions had to ask chefs to change the food on offer and ensuring food was hot when it need to be hot!! A Russian originated receptionist and a night Italian male extremely rude in occasions. By the time we arrived in Muscat, I wanted to check out and return to UK, if I had the facilities of internet connection for flight search. Paid a wifi connection for the whole cruise, (48 euros) yet only used 30 minutes a day because it was not working properly, excuse was 'the satellite was not in good condition'. English breakfast tea, not available most of the days, had to beg waiters and given one bag at the time. Same goes to the decaffeinated coffee, you had to beg for getting a sachet. Public toilets closed most day at buffet time, when lunch session started. No facilities of hand washing, hence the contamination of dirty hand on board, not enough liquid jel for guest to use. A broken chair found in the casino and reported was never fixed for a least 4 days, very cleverly the chair was moved to another fruit machine. Lots of inconvenience for guest but very conveniently for the staff. Of course they are there to work but they are there to please and ensuring the guest needs are met. Worst of all, the service charge is a compulsary and very expensive item. £180.00 for the cruise each. The only saving grace was the entertainement team lead by Ariel, was very helpful, friendly, enthusiast, and above all very funny to all guest. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Great theater shows not advertised on daily planner!?. Reasonable food. Over 40 nationalities but all pleasant if not a bit excitable! Watch your account! Service charges 10 Euros a day but cancelled immediately after questioning ... Read More
Great theater shows not advertised on daily planner!?. Reasonable food. Over 40 nationalities but all pleasant if not a bit excitable! Watch your account! Service charges 10 Euros a day but cancelled immediately after questioning customer services by phone. Ship docks at Port Rashid. Dubai Mall must sees : aquarium near main entrance, waterfall, water fountains to music at opposite end of main entrance. Burj Khalifa next to water fountains, best seen lit up in the evening. Excursion for lunch at Burj Al Arab is good as it includes Burj Khalifa 124th floor, souq and museum. Going it alone, a bill for taxi from Dubai Mall back to ship cost us 31 AED (£6.50) after street guy tried to get us in a private taxi for 120 AED (£24). At the Dubai Mall, taxi meter is set at 5 AED then pay by time taken for journey. Waiting time 10 mins when we did it at 9:15pm. Don't worry about a queue, they wait for about 10 taxis then let the queue out to get in the taxis all at once. Ground floor near main entrance. About 20 min journey back to Port Rashid. QE2 now a hotel at port Rashid. Abu Dhabi, capital of the Emirates and voted for the second time as the safest city on Earth. Sheik Zayed responsible for the city's growth and formation of the 7 Emirates into The United Arab Emirates. The Grand Mosque (Sheik Zayed mosque where he's buried) now very commercial with high airport type security. Strict route now to follow as carpets were being spoilt from children spilling food and drink etc. Le Louvre, amazing museum but looks better online. Ferrari World worth a visit for those inclined. Sir Bani Yas Island good beach with MSC drinks and food on shore. Excursions to see the animals on the island that Sheik Zayed introduced and cared for. About 6 tenders continuously deliver and return passengers to and fro. Long queue on the beach is about 10 to 15 min wait to get back to the ship. No charge for the beach visit. Cabin clean and good with well kept balcony. UK TV in cabin limited to BBC World News. Welcome on board by the captain arranged half way through the cruise at 6pm. By 6:35 he hadn't showed up so we left for dinner. Notification of meeting time for excursion to Qatar given at 9:05pm the evening before the excursion meaning setting our alarm at 6am the next morning if we wanted breakfast. Far too early. Food in the buffet restaurant fairly good but very crowded. After letting the crowds die down and going in about 30 mins later the food wasn't kept hot. Luke warm at best. Staff very friendly and helpful. Although we had a drinks package the drinks in the mini bar were extra, even water. Beware! Trip to the desert a little disappointing because of the amount of rubbish left behind by tourists. In summary, the ship itself is quite good, but the passengers from over 40 nationalities made the experience poor. Total lack of feeling great. Ladies dressed up well on a few evenings but most men didn't bother. Bit like a 'Butlins' cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Chose this cruise because of destination, (Arabian Gulf) and the warm weather. The guests were mostly retired, and talking to many of them, only sailed with P & O, never anyone else, "because P & O are the best". ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of destination, (Arabian Gulf) and the warm weather. The guests were mostly retired, and talking to many of them, only sailed with P & O, never anyone else, "because P & O are the best". Nonesense. The Oceana is a tired, smallish vessel, and P & O expects their clients to want to go to bed early, and indeed many do. By 11 p.m. the ship was quite deserted. We were (eventually) given first sitting and we had a nice table for 8. The service was good, but the quality of the food left a lot to be desired. I do believe they had a glut of squash, asparagus and mushrooms, because that was on the menu all the time. The buffet is small, but never much of a queue, except when the tours returned. However the food was poor and repetitive. The onboard Headlines were awful! Two of the lady singers couldn't "sing". One struggled to find a tune and the other just screamed down the microphone. The dancing looked more like an old-school PE session, with lots of jumping about with lots of energy, but no finesse. The visiting acts were mediocre, the comedians were telling jokes from the 60's. Again all past their sell by date. The magician was good but dragged out his performances. There was a pianist in the atrium, and without actually checking, he either had 6 fingers on each hand, or only 2. He was dreadful. However people sat in rows, like an old folks home, listening to him. Can't for the life of me think why. The seating in the show lounges was poor. In the Starlight theatre there were bucket seats crammed together and behind them were a sofa seating. The buckets seats were higher than the softas, and the distance between them was so tiny, that people were climbing over the backs of the sofas to get to their seats. The Footlights theatre seating was all sloping forwards, so not very comfortable. We had an inside guarantee cabin which was perfectly adequate, B624. No complaints there. However there were sequins on the floor when we arrived, and still there when we left. Obviously never vacuumed. The price of alcohol is expensive. A 250ml glass of house red/white wine was £5.65. A Peroni on draft was £4.80 a pint. Can't comment on any other drinks. The ship was always cold, from the air conditioning. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Had the pleasure of travelling in the Arabian Gulf on MV Horizon, it was outstanding even though the ship is 30 years old it is still a good ship and the service is exceptional, food very good , service great and the advantage of free ... Read More
Had the pleasure of travelling in the Arabian Gulf on MV Horizon, it was outstanding even though the ship is 30 years old it is still a good ship and the service is exceptional, food very good , service great and the advantage of free drinks was a nice touch. The shows were great, everything is done in Spanish and English, majority of crew are Pilipino so no problem, compared to the opposition MSC who I have travelled with out of Durban several times, always a disaster and terrible food, there is no comparison, Pullmantur really goes the extra mile. I thought the food quality was only because of the ship going out of Durban but after hearing the horrendous stories from passengers from two MSC ships in the Arabian Gulf they all complained about the bad food on their MSC ships and this stunned me. Seeing a certain South African travel agency loves to run Pullmantur down and I have now had first class experience to it not being true. I now throw out a challenge to the CEO of MSC if the comments made by several of your passengers is not being true show me that this is not the case. You want a great cruise try Pullmantur you won’t be sorry we met several UK passengers who were on their 3 trip on Pullmantur so that’s good enough to hear the positives, Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
* Our cabin attendant Mathew Lobo was always very happy and friendly and a great asset to the ship. * Our dining room waiters Inyoman Udiana Yasa & Andyson Anthony Manaji were always friendly & helpful with the menu and also ... Read More
* Our cabin attendant Mathew Lobo was always very happy and friendly and a great asset to the ship. * Our dining room waiters Inyoman Udiana Yasa & Andyson Anthony Manaji were always friendly & helpful with the menu and also both are a great asset to the ship * The meals in the dining room were average, a bit small in size and tasteless * The food in the buffet was a bit ordinary * We found it hard to speak to the Front Desk staff we are Australian, and they had trouble understanding us and we sure had trouble understanding them, not very helpful. * The entertainment at night time were very good. * The staff in the casino Florin & Danial were always very friendly, both are a great asset to the ship. ** We have been on MSC and found the Lirica a let down compared to our last cruise with MSC would not travel with MSC again. Been on 9 other cruise ships and Lirica would have to be the most disappointing Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We had only just come home from a Christmas cruise on Sinfonia and had a great time, by chance I was browsing the MSC site and found this cruise from Dubai flying out from the UK on Emirates at a price for a balcony cabin for what you ... Read More
We had only just come home from a Christmas cruise on Sinfonia and had a great time, by chance I was browsing the MSC site and found this cruise from Dubai flying out from the UK on Emirates at a price for a balcony cabin for what you would expect to pay for the flights. The flight was very good and we were transferred to the ship by about 8:30 in the morning, we expected to have to wait until after lunch to board but were shown through to check in and were on board by 9am and offered breakfast in the dining room. Our luggage arrived quite soon and we were able to get changed and freshen up before lunch. It was nice to see some familiar faces from other ships among the staff, and they went out of there way to make us welcome. We have sailed on Splendida previously so knew what to expect, but there were some changes that had been made presumably to suit Arabic tastes, One change in particular was a bar only playing Arabic type music, the bar seemed quite empty most nights; and this bar had always been full and buzzing on previous cruises. We did find the dinner service to be very slow, we were on first sitting (6:30) and we only just completed our meal by 8:30 when the second sitting were waiting to come in. On one evening we were served our starter and the dirty plates were still on the table half an hour after we had finished. I cleared the table myself and gave the plates to the waiter, as you can imagine that caused quite a fuss and service improved the following night but then slipped again. There was another issue with a sharp foreign body in my wife's soup, we are still waiting for a good explanation why it was there. We used the restaurant for most of our meals though when we did use the buffet it was fine. The cabin was very good and a good size though fittings are looking a bit shabby and a bit more attention need to be taken regarding cleaning in the corners, but with too many cabins to service it must be hard for the staff. Mentioning the staff, everyone we met was always willing to serve you with a smile and a chat, we never had to wait long in the bars, if you just sit there and expect them to find you then you may have a wait. If you see the waiter/waitress then just stand up and wave your cruise card and they will acknowledge you, it always worked for me. Disembarking was a breeze though it was early in the morning (3:30) we were transferred to the airport at Dubai, it's very large and flashy but there was enough going on to keep you amused until the flight. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Loved the variety of ports offered on this cruise. Abu Dhabi to Abu Dhabi, including Dubai and Mumbai and Goa.all different and exciting in their own way. The New Year overnight tour in Dubai was fabulous, from Jeep riding over the dunes, ... Read More
Loved the variety of ports offered on this cruise. Abu Dhabi to Abu Dhabi, including Dubai and Mumbai and Goa.all different and exciting in their own way. The New Year overnight tour in Dubai was fabulous, from Jeep riding over the dunes, camel ride to a Bedouin camp and dinner the Bedouin way. The tents were extremely comfortable. Sunset on the dunes and sunrise at the camp were amazing. After breakfast we went to a camel shelter to pat and talk to the beautiful animals. This was a Celebrity shore excursion and the best we have ever done. Returning to the ship we felt like we were coming home, the crew were all so friendly. Dinner every night was a pleasure as our waiters learnt quickly our dietary needs and made sure every meal was perfect for us. We loved Cafe Bachio and met many new friends there. A cruise is as good as you want it to be. Ours was perfect. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise, Wonders of Asia, because of the itinerary and the fact that the weather in this part of the world at this time would be good. We applied for our Sri Lanka visa on line which took ten minutes and was free. Then for ... Read More
We chose this cruise, Wonders of Asia, because of the itinerary and the fact that the weather in this part of the world at this time would be good. We applied for our Sri Lanka visa on line which took ten minutes and was free. Then for the Indian visa - this took hours to complete as the Indian system kept crashing and we had to start again. If we had known how difficult it would be we may not have booked the cruise. On top of all the grief in applying they have the cheek to charge each of you 100 US. All of our fellow passenger agreed it had been a nightmare. We flew to India with TUI in a Dreamliner and upgraded to the Premium cabin which is well worth the extra cost especially on our return flight which was 13.5 hours with a 7 hour time difference. Now for the cruise, we have been on Discovery2 and Discovery is identical so we knew our way around and also new a few members of the crew. We had an outside cabin on Deck 3 which was of a good size with plenty of storage and well looked after by our cabin steward. Just a small point, bathroom towels did not always arrive until early evening. The public rooms and bars were all in good condition and bearing in mind it was a Christmas cruise nicely decorated. We always have breakfast and dinner in the main restaurant which on the whole was good with just one or two exceptions. The open seating at dinner worked reasonably well especially earlier, however if you went about 8pm you often had to obtain a bleeper and wait to be called which was on average about 15 minutes. The buffet at lunchtime had plenty of choice and we never had a problem finding a seat (unlike some other cruise companies we have been on). The nearest thing to a cruise 'formal' night is the 'dress to impress' weekly night which a large number of passengers really dressed up. Now for the AI drinks package, this was really good with a good choice of beer/larger good house wines/spitits and a large selection of cocktails. The bar staff are all very good and really encourage you to have another. Having said this we never saw a passenger drunk. The staff were all excellent, were friendly and worked really hard bearing in mind they almost work seven days a week for eight months. We generally do not do the shows in the theatre so cannot comment. The sunbeds were plentiful especially if you were happy to sit away from the main pool. There were many excursions on offer some of which were reasonably priced. The Italian restaurant was good and free, however the two other speciality restaurants ( which we did not use) were both very expensive. The weather turned out to be just what we wanted, very hot and very humid which we felt was the reason for the late arrival of towels as we felt the laundry could not keep up with the demand. This area of the world is a 'first' season for Marella and generally all went well with one exception. We were relived of our passports by immigration when we boarded the ship and were not to see them again until we disembarked. It would have been good if the company had advised passengers the passports were on the ship and were needed at each port of call by the immigration people. They did not give any reason for their being retained. Generally a good cruise, no children, excellent value for money and a company we will go with again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise due to the amount of new boxes we were able to tick ✅ Although we’ve spent time in Dubai before this offered overnight stays in Oman and other unusual destinations. The ship has had a fairly recent refurb ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the amount of new boxes we were able to tick ✅ Although we’ve spent time in Dubai before this offered overnight stays in Oman and other unusual destinations. The ship has had a fairly recent refurb and the cabins were very compact but very well planned and practical. This is our tenth cruise and we rated it in our top three. We had a couple of slight problems on checking in to the cruise terminal when a staff member caused queue chaos by lifting a barrier and our key card didn’t have a code for the Drinks package we had pre paid but after I had raised our concerns with the Guest Relations Manager we all felt he had addressed our complaints appropriately and it didn’t spoil our trip. Although mostly French and Italians on board there was a great atmosphere and I have to say the animation team worked very hard to achieve the fun atmosphere on board. Plenty of bars with a great variety of drink options and it was good to see branded soft drinks available in cans as opposed to watered down pump alternatives, this was a big bonus for us. There was a great choice of quality wines too and I can highly recommend the drinks package. Bar staff in the Lord Nelson worked really hard and Helda from Indonesia kept our drink orders coming smoothly and speedily, she was great. Food was good in the buffet with lots of choices and great in the restaurant for evening meals although we only went 3 times. All in all I would recommend this ship as a good all rounder but we (a party of 4) especially rated the size of the ship as it wasn’t too big (we were on the Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas earlier this year and it’s too big and too commercial) wasn’t too small but just right and we’ve all decided to do the same trip again the same time of year if it’s on offer which is something we’ve never done before so that in itself is high praise indeed, well done MSC! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Go on this cruise for the ports, not for the cruise ship experience. This should not be anyone’s first cruise. This is a cruise for adventurous, experienced cruisers. Let me explain what I mean. This is not the cruise to take if ... Read More
Go on this cruise for the ports, not for the cruise ship experience. This should not be anyone’s first cruise. This is a cruise for adventurous, experienced cruisers. Let me explain what I mean. This is not the cruise to take if you are looking for the ultimate cruise ship experience. One of the topics that united everyone I spoke to on the ship was that the ship was, "adequate/competent" at best and to be honest, I heard a few "utilitarian" comments, It is not an over the top ship experience by any means and if that is your expectation take another ship. What makes this trip really nice however is the ports and the travelers who are attracted to this trip. The vast majority of people on the ship were confident, experienced travelers who knew how to, "Roll with the punches". You could always find a group of people who had decided to walk around the port rather than take the scheduled tour. Many of the passengers were familiar with the area and contributed information that made the trip memorable. You could typically find a group of people who had identified a museum that they really wanted to go to. People had done their research and came prepared knowing what was here to see. This is very much a "learning" cruise. There is only 1 day at sea and with the exception of Dubai and Muscat, each day is a different port. If you tire easily, take this into consideration. I like a smaller ship so the size and "vintage" experience didn't bother me. There were 3 formal nights although often people just came as they chose. The dining room seems confused in some ways. I couldn't understand some the choices that were made. For example, the after dinner coffee was eliminated from the MDR and put as part of a drink package. Why would one do this in a European market? Additionally, the traditional "Surf and turf" was cut out and made available only for an additional charge, as was a, "Steak and a glass of Barolo". Again, I wondered why? Additionally, I was kind of disappointed at the limited offering of Italian wine on a ship with Italian heritage. I was looking forward to a wider selection. Overall, I found the food to be simple, straight-forward and satisfying. I was pretty surprised at the lackadaisical attitude towards to hand sanitizers. On other ships I can remember being forbidden to enter the buffet unless I used the sanitizers. On this ship the sanitizer machines were there, but no one enforced their usage. I saw a lot of bad behavior at the buffet during breakfast, people cutting in front of the queue, it wasn't really necessary, in my opinion. Embarkation/Disembarkation was really smooth, when I arrived there was no one there and I just walked on. One thing that really bothered me was the mis-information I received about the visas. My travel agent very clearly stated that I needed visas as an american citizen and it was my responsibility to acquire them. Additionally, she indicated that the potential to be denied boarding existed if I did not have them. When I arrived at the check in desk, they just started laughing and assured me that I needed NO visas to take the cruise. I received additional confirmation of this from the Immigration officer once I got on board. This needs to be clarified. Towards the end, I became somewhat annoyed at the daily "shuttle fee" for what was a short walk. It just seemed to be necessary nickel and dimeing of the passengers. The ship spends time in Dubai. There is a free shuttle from the cruise port to the Dubai Mall in the center of the city. It stops right in front of the ship and is usually right next to the big bus location. It is marked. It is supposed to come every hour on the hour but sometimes that does not happen. The alternative is the big bus hop on hop off, but that is not free. It is very comprehensive however and you can get a nice overview of the city in the first pass. You can then hop on and hop off on the second pass. You can purchase multiple cities, (I purchased hop on/hop off for Dubai, Muscat, and Abu Dhabi together). Multiple cities will give you a discounted fare. If you are OK with the subway, I would strongly suggest using the subway instead of the big bus. If walking is not an issue the subway is cheap, fast and will give you a truly birds eye view of the city and its residents. The Dubai subway is new, clean and fast. You can get everywhere the big bus takes you on the subway; you just have to walk more. There is flea market in El-Zabeel Park on the first Saturday of every month. If you can make it, go. Dubai residents are big shoppers and the prices can get out of hand. The flea market brings you back to reality. It costs 5 dirhams to enter; either cash or you can use your subway card. If you plan to travel to the Burg Khalifa observation Deck, know that there is a sunrise viewing that includes breakfast on the weekend for the same amount of money that just the observation deck costs. You can reserve online in advance. The ship spends an overnight in Muscat. Its a good choice, although I found prices in Oman to be higher than in any other port for the same merchandise. Do not miss the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha. It is a gem and has its own library dedicated to the museum which should not be missed. The one thing that became arduous is that you navigate 3 different currencies. Make sure that you know what $20.00 equals in the currency that you are dealing with before you leave the ship. Additionally, if you plan to buy silver/gold, stop at the reception desk and find out the price of the day. Everything is weighed. I would take this cruise again. Even with the warts, it was an amazing, relaxing time at a reasonable price. We were welcomed everywhere we went. I learned a great deal about a different part of the world. I met like-minded travelers who don't get ruffled at the least little thing not going as planned. I met confident travelers who have seen a lot of the world and gave really interesting perspectives. It’s not for everyone, but it’s my type of travel and I enjoyed it. Pros • small ship • experienced travelers • easy embarkation • relaxed attitude • enthusiastic crew • interesting view of a different part of the world Cons • Unanticipated shuttle expenses towards the end of the trip • Mis-information regarding visas • Confusing choices in the Main Dining room • Lack of variety of Italian wine on ship Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We took the cruise from Yokohama to Abu Dhabi, with many interesting ports on the route. The ship itself was nice and well maintained. The entertainment with the shows and in the bars was good. The staff for the dining and for the cabin ... Read More
We took the cruise from Yokohama to Abu Dhabi, with many interesting ports on the route. The ship itself was nice and well maintained. The entertainment with the shows and in the bars was good. The staff for the dining and for the cabin were doing good work. But the food specially at dinner was no good, depending on the chief cook. Normally when the chief cook passes in the dining room he will get applauded,But here it was quite and very guick he passed through the dining room. We together with many other passengers passed on the information to the management for the dining. Another thing was the very long ques at the information desk, which did that many of us had to wait for hours to solve different problems. It was also more or less impossible to call them, as they were probably occupied with the long ques. The long ques and the lack of experience for the people at the excursions desk many of us felt like a big problem. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise after long cancer treatment .It looked a good deal with a great itinerary. Sadly this cruise proved to be a disappointment.Although we had a lovely cabin spacious and beautifully clean the rest was a let down.After ... Read More
We chose this cruise after long cancer treatment .It looked a good deal with a great itinerary. Sadly this cruise proved to be a disappointment.Although we had a lovely cabin spacious and beautifully clean the rest was a let down.After cruising several times in the past we had high expectations .The food was boring and repetitive and not very large portions in the restaurant but the buffet restaurant was like a free for all no spare tables and the food was the same most nights.The entertainment was not good mainly the entertainment crew dancing and fooling around .The theatre had shows every night but not a lot of variation.Our itinerary sounded good but the ports of call were uninteresting and having to pay for shuttles and take taxis made it extra expense.If this had been my first cruise it would have put me off cruising but happily we have enjoyed some really good cruises this being by far the worse Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the exceptionally good pricing. We arrived in Venice 2 days prior to cruise embarkation to find the city Flooded. Embarkation process on 2 November was disappointing. We were asked to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the exceptionally good pricing. We arrived in Venice 2 days prior to cruise embarkation to find the city Flooded. Embarkation process on 2 November was disappointing. We were asked to produce our passports by 4 different MSC personnel but we are not sure what valued added each person contributed if anything. Later when we were allowed to go to our cabins we got our cruise card. We had purchased a drinks package prior to embarkation(2 Months prior) but when we first tried to get a drink we were told our card was not annotated for a drinks package and so we made our first trip to the Reception Center where our cards were eventually corrected. We were travelling as a group of 30 and to MSC credit we had 5 tables together on first sitting dinner as we had requested. Guisseppe (Head Waiter) and Indra (our waiter) provided excellent service throughout the cruise but there are not enough staff in the dining room to handle the amount of customers and therefore service tended to be slow to non existent often times. One trip to the Buffet was proof that we never wanted to see that facility aGAIN. The facility was over crowded resulting in long waits to get a table. For some reason MSC only open one side of the Buffet restaurant at a time. this results in long lineups, pushy customers, line jumpers and inevitably cold food. Bar service in the Buffet seemed to be non existent unless you horse collared a waiter. Waiters seemed to believe that their only job was to collect dirty dishes. Cabins were small but well organized and clean. Cabin attendant reasonably responsive. My complaint with housekeeping is the inordinate amount of time that the housekeeping carts clogged up the narrow passageway. Although necessary with the European consist of the passengers the announcements in six languages became an annoyance. The daily program was a joke. Program was basically the same every day of the cruise. Program provided next to no port information. The info that was provided was slanted to try andd sell MSC shore excursions rather than to provide an information service.. During our visit to Aqaba the site at Petra was subject to flash flooding which caused people to be very late in returning to the buses for the return to Aqaba. MSC handled this exigency very well and the ship left Aqaba a little over 3 hours late. Our group did not use the Ship[ Shore Excursions as they were expensive. Taxis or Shared Vans resulted in costs less than half of what the shore excursions would have cost but this is typical of most cruise lines. Most of the Port calls were very interesting. The Exceptions being Sallalah and Khasab. In particular Khasab has no redeeming qualities that would make it worthy of a future stop. In my view these two stops could have been eliminated and Safaga added to the itinerary. This would have made this trip much more attractive Sadly MSC seems to focus on procedures to make it easier for the crew rather than on procedures to enhance the customer Experience. Staff shortages throughout the Customer service areas contributed greatly to the poor impressions of this ship. It is NOT likel;y that we will use MSC again and even less likely that we will recommend MSC to others. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose Viking River Nile cruise because of a great experience on the Grand European cruise last September. Viking commissioned a new river boat - The Ra - with the promise of an early. March launch. About 5 weeks before our June cruise ... Read More
We chose Viking River Nile cruise because of a great experience on the Grand European cruise last September. Viking commissioned a new river boat - The Ra - with the promise of an early. March launch. About 5 weeks before our June cruise date we were notified that Ra launch was delayed but not to worry - they substituted the Amarco II. We were offered a small refund and future cruise credit because of the change. I cannot express how disappointed we were when we arrived at the boat. The AmarcoII is VERY dated and worn. The amenities we paid for based on the Ra are not available. The boat smells moldy, bath tub is filthy, furniture frayed, bed is lumpy and very uncomfortable. The dining room is dreary with no view and the lounge is dark with very dated furniture - not one thing INVITING or Viking quality on this boat. Only positive is the staff - they are hard working , kind people - they knows the guests are disappointed and they are trying to accommodate us as best they can under terrible circumstances. This was an expensive cruise and we expected a qualityViking experience. Viking knew there were problems with the cruise and they withheld the information from the guests until the last minute and at in our case, we were not offered another option. We were planning 2 other Viking cruises - now we’re not so sure - the lack of accountability from their Corporate office makes us wonder whether they truly understand customer service. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We choose.this cruise in hopes of seeing all that Egypt has to offer and its amazing history and culture. We flew from the US thus the flight time and time difference leave you a little out of sync. Getting test is critical and being ... Read More
We choose.this cruise in hopes of seeing all that Egypt has to offer and its amazing history and culture. We flew from the US thus the flight time and time difference leave you a little out of sync. Getting test is critical and being organized is a priority. We felt safe during our travels as many safety features are in place. We were able to visit many ket sites that are simply amazing. The Egyptian people are very friendly and want to see a smile on your face. The River Cruise has and outdated ship but very clean. Our main gaol on the ship was to rest and dine. We did not go to Egypt to party and stay up late. The Kitchen Staff goes out of their way all the time on every meal this was surprising the food was good. My only request was that they would offer a package of beverages for free outside of water, tea, or coffee. All drinks are very expensive a small coke cost over 2 dollars. Forget the minibar just water. The rooms were very clean and the service was great. The Bus Rides to destination only offered water traffic was and issue. The 4 seasons Hotel is amazing great rooms make sure you get a high floor to avoid the street noise the Italian restaurant is the best. Pick up to the airport and back was good except for departure you have to leave 4 hours prior to flight. My concern with this trip is we made 4 stops to visit local stores with 30 people on the bus this was a waste of time as we did not travel this far to go to stores they should make this optional I would have rather been at the hotel resting. My biggest concern was when we had locals attached their boat outside our rooms screaming out our window for 45 minutes to buy stuff which was a little to much and concerning. This was on our first day and it happened twice with 2 different boats. I called the front desk multiple times and they told me both time it would take 5 minutes which was not the case. Being upset and concerned about our safety, privacy, and lack of sleep having someone attached to your boat outside your room I was hoping for a more proactive response. The Hotel Manager spoke to me during dinner but his response left a lot to be desired. I mentioned we had flown over 15 hours and the last thing we need is to have someone screaming outside our room latched on to the boat. The Boat crew was over the top nice we had no issues with any one for lack of service. After the first day we had no more issues with the small boats attaching to our Ship. I tried to share in a diplomatic way that we did not travel this far to go into 4 stores with 30 people having to waste about 4 hours time when there is so much more you can be doing that is much more logical. Most of the folks buying stuff was trinkets for friends or family members that you could buy all over the streets of Egypt. Coming from the states were we could buy almost anything from Amazon delivered to your doorstep this was the opposite experience wait fore ever for people to get in and off a bus to go into a store were you are flooded around not having a clue what you are looking at or what it is worth and why the heck do you need it. Everywhere you go in on the Tour you have people trying to sell you stuff our tour guide even thought it was a good idea to have some of the folks come on some mini cruises with us amazing. As far as Egypt is concerned we felt very safe except for the cruise having the boat attached to us. The People are very nice there is a lot of poverty thus they try there best to make a living selling tourist trinkets, garments, it is a rich culture with and amazing history. The River Cruise is well balanced the meals are amazing and the guest blended in well with the crew. The Guides should probably do powerpoint presentations or have in room videos of your daily events for preparation and learning. Having a lecture outside for 30 minuets in the Egypt heat is not good a couple of people passed out. Some of the tours are challenging the guide does not let you know until the day you are there. I do not know if we are spoiled or just take things for granted but with a little coaching this great group of people can have a much more positive outcome for folks who traveled so far to see there great country. the sites were amazing we were blessed with great guest from all over the US and Australia. I only wish we did not waste so much time doing things like leaving 4 hours early to the Airport at Midnight with no traffic or stopping at stores. I am hoping this review helps the folks at UNIWORLD Develop a better game plan as I thing we wasted 2 days of time which is 20 percent of our vacation doing things that could have been avoided. I also heard other guest mentioned that a uniform tip would be helpful rather than having to make multiple stops at banks to pay the Bus driver, Tour guide, Hotel staff etc. Yes we also spent over 1 hour stoping at banks for people to get off the bus to go to a ATM. In summary Egypt is a great place to visit we felt the people were great we only wish that the organization four this amazing country for a tourist to visit had more detail prior to tours and less shopping. I also thing the guides should be more helpful telling the street vendors to give us some space. Prior to leaving get some rest bring lots of small bills and make sure you make time to rest when you get back home. I hope this was helpful and I want to thank all the great people who made a difference in our trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My girlfriend and I chose this cruise because of the destination. We usually don't cruise large ships, but decided to give it a try. We booked the Fantastica package, which included 12 drink vouchers per person per week. Since ... Read More
My girlfriend and I chose this cruise because of the destination. We usually don't cruise large ships, but decided to give it a try. We booked the Fantastica package, which included 12 drink vouchers per person per week. Since coffee, tea and water are free all day long (juice only in morning), we used them for cocktails, beer and wine in the evening. Embarkation was quick and efficient. We were able to embark three hours before the designated time. Disembarkation was also easy. I asked the Service Desk to check me out early, which was no problem. My flight to Frankfurt left at 1:50 am from Dubai Airport and I left the ship at 10 pm. Was approached by a man trying to sell me a taxi ride to the airport for 125 AED (Dirhams). I rejected his insistent sales pitches and took a taxi parked in front of the cruise terminal for 60 AED. Food: Buffet food was good though not overwhelming. Restaurant food was below average. Especially "Mediterranean Night" was a great disappointment. Paella was a sad risotto, hummus was worst I have ever tasted, Moussaka needed salt and spices, the fish was tough, the shrimp mushy and the stew dreadful. During the week, we had a few dishes that were good, like the octopus carpaccio, the mussels and the prime rib. The wait staff was efficient, friendly and helpful. Actually, most of the staff was great. The Service Desk personnel especially is doing their best, sometimes under stressful circumstances. It never fails to amaze me how rude passengers can be to people who are obviously bending over backwards to help. Sea Day is a zoo. Not enough chairs for all those sun worshipers. One has to get up before 7 am to secure a lounge chair. The daily bulletin notes that if a chair is abandoned for more than 30 minutes, it is up for grabs. I wish they would actually enforce this. Many chairs were claimed early in the morning and than left unused for breakfast, lunch, bar visits, etc. Since there are only a limited amount of chairs available, it would be nice to share. I vacated mine after 4 hours to a very happy young woman. Excursions: We took the "Big Bus" in Abu Dhabi and loved it. A dhow harbour cruise is included. First one is at 10:30 am. Stop #4 is the Ettihad Museum of Antiques. It is adjacent to a modern art gallery and definitely worth visiting. Conveniently, right next door is the "Art World Cafe", a lovely restaurant with a shady courtyard and delicious food. Also not to be missed is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which is a stunning building at the outskirts of town. The Jeep Desert Safari and Arabian Nights Dinner Excursion was our favorite. The food was the best we had during the trip and racing up and down dunes was quite an experience. In Khasab, we took the Jeep Safari into the interior and were a bit disappointed. Coming back to port, we had enough time left to hire a private boat. Captain Mohammed showed us the fjords of Oman for 4 hours, made us coffee and offered some very delicious dates. He was friendly, informative, passionate about his country and the ocean environment, and a pleasure to be with. He made this boat tour memorable. We had an engineer from the cruise ship join us for this trip and Mohammed charged us Euro 25 each, which was just over 90 dollars for the three of us. This was much cheaper than an excursion booked through MSC. Because this cruise was not expensive, our expectations were not that high. Considering what we paid, we were satisfied with what we received - except the restaurant food. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Myself and wife booked this cruise because we wanted to cruise the Gulf..this would be our 3rd MSC cruise...but this one was totally insane.As Canadians we behave civilly and show respect to others....unfortunately the passenger make up of ... Read More
Myself and wife booked this cruise because we wanted to cruise the Gulf..this would be our 3rd MSC cruise...but this one was totally insane.As Canadians we behave civilly and show respect to others....unfortunately the passenger make up of this ship are from various countries...and some are just pushy , uncivil rude obnoxiuos and unfriendly ...maybe they are just being gun shy(LOL)..I hope all are not like this...they do not smile and always pushing,speaking loudly,not queing,finger picking foods and the list goes on and on.........when you pay to cruise you expect that fellow passengers to be mannerly....maybe there should be a standard set. MSC did not deliver on this cruise....the food was very substandard..maybe others liked it...the shows were stupid and put you asleep,again catering to a small segment of the passengers,the band music,etc not too good too..oh well. MSC missed out on this cruise and things just did not go right..I will give them another chance but this one left a lot to be desired...The ship itself was nice and clean..and I had no issues with cabin except for the first night. ..They messed up at check in,they did not change the sheets(I had to complain and then they did),I complained to the restaurant manager about the food and suggested that the chefs and all cooks be replaced...lol ha..ha.. The initial life drill was a disaster...no one to show you or guide you to muster station..I have never seen anything like this...this is my 21st cruise..we did eventually find a man dressed in white who indicated that he is safety officer and crews would be coming soon...this man was reeking of liquor..totally wasted ..unbelievable...this was 10.40 pm and drill was for 10.30pm. I cant tell MSC how to run their business but a lot of senior officers need replacing. The cruise itself was not bad... For breakfast one should go to the sit down restaurant where you get real food...lunch and dinner in buffet is the only way to go..you can always find a piece of bread and cheese to eat.The restaurant at dinner is more flair than substance..we went once and ran away. So much dfor the ship....too bad MSC has failed miserably. Now for the cruise... Dubai can be navigated cheaply..there is a shuttle bus that takes you to Dubai mall for free,you can then buy a pss at the metro station and go by bus and trains to your desired choice of visit.. In Abu dhabi the same goes,a shuttle bue takes you to World centre mall,you can then hop a taxi to your destination..very good value...stay with metered taxis that have the cameras..just ask...their are scrupilous people wanting to take you but they are not metered nor part of the taxi system. The island of yas nasir was ok,but very cold the dat we went. In muscat this was dream...just go outside port and ask a taxi driver for private taxi..2or 3 peopl..I dont think 4 people can fit in car...just tell taxi driver you will pay #) Omani Ryals thats about 65Euros for a tour..he will take 3 hour tour. He will take you to Qaboos mosque(a must see),opera house,sultan palace,museum a few other places and drop you back to ship.THe key is to spend no more than 45 minutes at mosque,and other places just spend a few minutes We got our taxi at 8.50 and the man dropped us off at 12 pm...this was a bargain...they are fair people,do not tack on extra time unless you negotiate ahead of time...meaning you can tell taxi driver for every additional hour after 3 you will pay x amount..you can determine that amount but i was told it is less than 10 Omani Ryals...3 hours is alot of time. In all ports there is something called BIG BUs..hop on and Hop off..thats people's choice but you can navigate things on your own. In Kasabh port just walk to the town..its not far,you pass by a fort you pay 1ryal go see it then walk to town another 10 minutes..total walk time 20 minutes...you have all day. And please hold your breath..the italian cxrowds will push and shove ...just shout at them.. Have fun Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I wanted a cruise our of Dubai. My hobby is traveling and I travel every month-plus. I have been on about 140 cruises. My first cruise in 1973 was with Costa and I cruised on the Carla C out of San Juan years later. These cruises were ... Read More
I wanted a cruise our of Dubai. My hobby is traveling and I travel every month-plus. I have been on about 140 cruises. My first cruise in 1973 was with Costa and I cruised on the Carla C out of San Juan years later. These cruises were great, but Costa has changed. They charge extra for every thing. I booked cruise, air, hotel and excursions with Expedia. Everything worked out fine, except the cruise and the last two excursions. I had to be out of the hotel by noon. So I got to the terminal at 1130. There the Costa people told me check in was at 8:30 PM, which was new to me. They said it is on your documents, not mine. So the first day of the cruise was spent sitting in the terminal. So it became a six day cruise, even the gratuities were for seven days on a six day cruise. If you had a complaint, they would say what is your cabin number and that was the end of that. Most cruise ships post menus, not this ship. On the plus side best room safes I have seen and most of the crew were friendly. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We embarked in Singapore and it was probably the best embarkation we have ever had. Very fast and efficient. We went straight to our cabin and one of our suitcases arrived soon after. Our cabin steward as always, was fabulous. These ... Read More
We embarked in Singapore and it was probably the best embarkation we have ever had. Very fast and efficient. We went straight to our cabin and one of our suitcases arrived soon after. Our cabin steward as always, was fabulous. These guys are amazing. In fact all the staff were very friendly and helpful. Yes, the ship in places is a bit tired but this did not detract from the cruise. My main gripes are the food in the MDR was not as good as on previous cruises and the price of drinks is excessive! We did this cruise as we wanted to visit India and we were not disappointed. This was an amazing cruise and one we will never forget. One word of warning, we normally do Celebrity shore excursions but some of the prices are very high. We did a houseboat tour with Viator in one of the ports of call and it was the best trip of the cruise at less than half the price people on the ship paid for the same trip, so beware! Best place on ship? Without a doubt the martini bar! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Stayed in Dubai pre and post cruise, embarkation and disembarkation was smooth. We had a large interior cabin and had to ask for the bed to be split so that it was easier to get into the beds through the middle rather than the side.The ... Read More
Stayed in Dubai pre and post cruise, embarkation and disembarkation was smooth. We had a large interior cabin and had to ask for the bed to be split so that it was easier to get into the beds through the middle rather than the side.The cupboard doors and the drawers need updating, very noisy when opening and closing. We could hear the cupboard doors shut and open in the cabins either side of ours. The food in the main dining room was ok, for 2 days running we were served cold food, noticed on the second day that the waiter took everyone's orders first and than returned from the galley with all the starters, sometimes 20+, by the time we received ours they wee cold. After this we decided to dine in Windjammers were the choice of food was good. We spent most of our day time in the Solarium, although for adults only children were in the pool and jaccuzi until there were asked to leave by the staff. We also noticed that some smokers were smoking in areas which were not the designated smoking area, RC need to monitor and manage this accordingly. Overall the service was good, the ship definitely needs a good makeover but I would not cruise on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017

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