6 Naples Family Cruise Reviews

Our first ever cruise with the family on MSC Bellissima. All 4 of us (two teen boys) gave it 10/10. We could not fault anything. We had a balcony room and it was spotless, as was the entire ship. Food was really good and the staff are ... Read More
Our first ever cruise with the family on MSC Bellissima. All 4 of us (two teen boys) gave it 10/10. We could not fault anything. We had a balcony room and it was spotless, as was the entire ship. Food was really good and the staff are really amazing, despite working long hours, etc. Always a smile on their faces. Malta was the highlight of the cruise, we will definitely return there. Francesco & Leonalla in The Masters of the Sea bar were very attentive and deserve a special mention, they go out of their way to bring a smile to your face and entertain you, as was Gabriella and the Cuban guy in restaurant Posidena. Even though there was probably 4-5K passengers on board, it never felt over crowded and disembarking was smooth and efficient. We had a week in Sorrento afterwards but i think in future, i will stay first and cruise second, as you have far more choice of food on the ship. We ate in one of the speciality restaurants The Butchers Cut and the steaks and desserts did not disappoint, food and wine really good. The gym was a good size and boys also liked the indoor airconditioned multi sports hall. Really enjoyed the whole experience, MSC provided a superior service and will cruise again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My wife and I have had a very memorable cruise on Explorer2. Balcony cabin deck 9 just perfect and reasonable size with a very efficient steward. Food was of a good standard both in the MDR and Vista, we ate mainly in Vista. Breakfast and ... Read More
My wife and I have had a very memorable cruise on Explorer2. Balcony cabin deck 9 just perfect and reasonable size with a very efficient steward. Food was of a good standard both in the MDR and Vista, we ate mainly in Vista. Breakfast and Lunch was taken in Market Place, again everything you could possibly want. The many bars we used had friendly and more than attentive staff. The entertainment in Broadway Show Lounge was good, without being perfect, most of the shows very much the same, apart from a couple of very good nights. The ports of call, the reason we chose this cruise, were very good and met our expectations. Days at sea a little chaotic, the usual fight for sunbeds, but we got by ok. The only downside was embarkation, a total nightmare - we will not be using Naples Airport every again. Not sure if TUI read these reviews but the dress code needs a thorough shakeup, Shorts and trainers in MDR and Vista, sorry but not acceptable, if they wish to dress this way then the Market Place is the place for them. All in all a very enjoyable two weeks on the Explorer2 Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I had read a lot of bad reviews and was a bit worried if our so much wanted cruise would be as exciting as we anticipated. Yes, it was. Let me first note that we were first time cruisers. Joined Meraviglia from Naples, Italy. The ... Read More
I had read a lot of bad reviews and was a bit worried if our so much wanted cruise would be as exciting as we anticipated. Yes, it was. Let me first note that we were first time cruisers. Joined Meraviglia from Naples, Italy. The embarkation was a bit frustrating as there were no clear signs where is the drop of luggage section - it appeared to be in the other wing of the port. Then we waited a long line with no seating options. Once we gave our suitcase we were assigned a number which meant we had to spend a few more hours in the waiting area. Of course we used the time to explore out and about, but in general the embarkation was very exhausting experience. Once we got aboard we were met by the kids club staff who put a wristband to our 5yo so he could be easily tracked and signed at different activities. There was no other kind of welcome on board. We had to find our own way to the elevators and cabin. Not that we didn't manage but it was somehow annoying. I don't know how it is organized on the other ships- here we felt a bit like dropped in the deep. Cabin- Apart from that first experience the rest was fantastic. We got newsletters every night so we would know what the schedule for the next day was. the cabin- inside on Deck 13- there was enough room for all 3 of us- 2 Adults 1 child. We had 2 wardrobes, a good size bed, the kid's bunk bed was also a good size- he enjoyed going up and down the ladder. The bathroom was bigger than expected. Very good ventilation system- our swimsuits and small washing dried up very quickly. The TV in the cabin was showing screens from two of the ship's cameras so we felt like we had a window- this was the first thing in the morning- switch on the TV to see where we are. The cabin steward was a nice guy- these people work so hard from dusk to down and even more. We would get up very early in the morning- he's seen in the corridor, going back to the cabin past 10pm- he's still folding towels. One day I pushed the DND button just to give him some rest. The policy of tiding up cabin 2 times a day is a bit too much for me. Dining- We ate dinner 3 times in the restaurant and the rest in the buffet. The restaurant was nice - Olive D'Doro on deck 6. The waiters, the atmosphere, the tables layout- fantastic. The food- delicious but minor portions. Even if you eat lunch at the port, you get back to the ship at around 4:30-5pm (5:30 is all aboard time) so you need some snack to bite. Go up to the buffet- mainly hot dogs and hamburgers. OK wait for dinner, already starving eat a small portion of food and then end up in the buffet again. And actually we enjoyed the buffet food at the proper meals times. Big variety of salads, meat, pasta, bread, vegetables, desserts- everything for everybody. Entertainment- Fantastic shows, we saw 4 shows and Cirque Du Soleil. From the regular shows we enjoyed Way and Paz the most. The kids club is also a very well organized. There's entertainment for the kids all the time. The girls take them not only in the play areas but for some movies down in the theater, for games in the sports zone, there are constantly some activities for the kids. Also there is fun dinner time in the buffet, so you can dine in the restaurant or in the buffet and they will entertain and feed your child. Unfortunately among all the variety of food in the buffet they feed the kids hamburgers and fires - even my 5yo said it's not healthy food and didn't want to eat with them the following days, although he enjoyed the rest of the daily program. We couldn't attend any of the dancing classes, Master Chef or other entertainment as we were too tired from the onshore exploring, but we were very impressed by the variety of activities offered. Even if we had 7 days at sea there would be something new to everyday. The musicians were all fantastic. I can't say a bad word for the entertainment- just fantastic! We were very happy with the pools- all with warm water even the outdoor one. The jacuzzys were also very pleasant (quite packed most of the time though). I only missed a changing room at the pool area. We got a bit cold as we had to walk in wet towels back to the cabin and even though we were inside we could still feel some some air drаught. Service- all in all we were very happy with everybody. Yes, some of the staff seemed tired, but they were never rude. We are please with the interactive info screens and the mobile app. We did not have the need to visit reception. Although the lack of the human touch in communication felt a bit like a 'self-service-luxury'. Ports- we enjoyed all the ports. The only con was in Marseille where the ship docks really far from the center and if you want to use the free port shuttle you have to walk over a kilometer through the windy port, then wait 20 min for the shuttle, then travel over 15min to get to a transport hub. It's so much waste of time. Of course there is a transfer from the ship which is approx Eur12.00 per adult. Having in mind it was 3 of us- we would had to spend more than Eur30.00 just to reach to the city. Drink package- We are not big drinkers so we only bought prepaid vouchers for caffeine drinks and soft drinks. They were absolutely enough. At dinner we bought water from the restaurant (approx Eur3,00 for a 1l bottle). In the buffet there was free water and juice. We ordered a glass of wine once or twice and it was absolutely enough for us. Even if we had a full drinks package I don't know if we'd drink more. There's simply no time for it. In the morning you have free coffee and juice in the buffet, then spend the whole day onshore, get back in the late afternoon, have a refreshing shower and get ready for dinner, then dine, watch a show and eventually spend some more time on the top deck to enjoy the nice breeze and that's all- time for bed. All in all it was a great experience for us. And we would definitely go again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Dear cruisers, suffering from celiac disease. My children and I are suffering from celiac disease, and because of this, since we have been diagnosed, we only cruise with MSC, as it is the only monitored by the Italian Society for Celiac ... Read More
Dear cruisers, suffering from celiac disease. My children and I are suffering from celiac disease, and because of this, since we have been diagnosed, we only cruise with MSC, as it is the only monitored by the Italian Society for Celiac disease. I have to tell you that although food is great , without any objection, I have to comment on our dissatisfaction. As you just know on all the cruise ships food is available all day long until late night hours. We celiacs are convicted of eating food only in the main restaurant and only 3x daily. Which means that if you leave the boat late for lunch or dinner you stay hungry !!! Since we experienced it two years ago, last year I asked for a new cruiser MSC Meraviglia will the food be available at a particular location throughout the day? Since the response that the MSC gave was positive with enthusiasm we have boooked a new cruise. However, I must say that I was disappointed that everything was the same as on the other ships. I ask staf on board lunch packet for me and my kids , so that we could eat something between lunch and dinner (there is no gluten free food outside the main restaurant) but this was only possible on the day that we had a paid excursion. The worse thing for my kids is walking and smelling pizza , looking ice cream and pancakes and nothing FOR US!!!Otherwise, MSC Meraviglia is really one of the finest cruisers , the entertainment team is the best so far, and the food is outstanding. Why then MSC can not give us at least only a small detail, like an afternoon gluten free snack (fruit , sandwich, cookies, pizza for kids?). We look forward to that day!!! Regards Coeliac princess and kids Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
My wife and I are in our 50s and have been cruising now for a while with an increased emphasis in the past couple years. We have cruised Celebrity before on Connie as well as Princess, RCI, and Carnival. This was our longest cruise by far ... Read More
My wife and I are in our 50s and have been cruising now for a while with an increased emphasis in the past couple years. We have cruised Celebrity before on Connie as well as Princess, RCI, and Carnival. This was our longest cruise by far as our previous long cruise was a 10 day Caribbean. It was our first transatlantic and our first foray into Mediterranean cruising as well. We flew into Rome 3 days before the cruise from Miami after a layover in Madrid. Having missed our connection in Madrid due to some silly rule from Iberian Air about not letting the crew onboard our plane, we arrived 3 hours later than expected. We traveled with a group through a group package that turned out to be somewhat of a disaster on the transportation front. Being somewhat abandoned at the Rome airport by our TA/transportation arrangement, we were forced to purchase our own bus to the Hotel Diana Rooftop. The hotel was fine and had a very good location. Fortunately the weather cooperated as our room did not have AC. Embarkation was another crazy day. We received notification from Celebrity the night before the cruise that the embarkation port was being changed from Civitavecchia to Naples due to weather. What a night of confusion, both from our TA and from Celebrity. I know this had to be extremely difficult on Celebrity's part as they had to contact a couple thousand passengers through various unreliable means. Having to organize 90 buses to disembark passengers from a port 175 miles away and pickup as many and get them all to Naples had to be an unbelievable logistical challenge. They came through, though, and were well organized in the Rome airport to transport passengers and their luggage to Naples. They checked our bags directly from the bus to the ship which made checking in and getting onboard very easy. Connie is showing her age somewhat, but she still sparkles in most areas. There were always crew cleaning, patching, painting, and maintaining throughout the cruise. This is still one of our favorite ships. We like that it is not a huge ship and the number of passengers never makes you feel like it is crowded. The passengers were more of a seasoned citizen variety with a few exceptions. There were only 8 kids on the cruise. From the various languages I could hear spoken throughout the cruise, passengers were primarily from the US but with a good sprinkling of European and Canadian cruisers with a few Australians as well. There was always something to do, but we spent most of our free time reading. It was sometimes difficult to find quiet places to read since many others had the same plan as ours. The activities were the typical trivia, random game shows, casino games, etc. There were very few good weather days so there wasn't much outdoor pool activity except on a couple days. Having booked Aqua class, we ate in Blu every evening and some mornings. We found the food superior there to the few times we ate lunch in the MDR. The buffet was adequate with good variety. At times the hot food was cold and the cold food warm, but there was variety at lunch and dinner. The two nights we ate dinner in the buffet were very good since they have a make to order grill in the back of the Oceanview cafe. The dinners in Blu were different than when we we were on Connie last April. There didn't seem to be as much of the "clean cuisine" concept as before as evidenced by the insistence to put gravy on every type of meat dish. Cafe Al Bachio always had something yummy whenever we needed a snack. We had booked 4 excursions through Cruise Critic members, 3 of which came off without a hitch. The other one was cancelled due to the operator not showing up. We felt bad for the organizers because it was a large group. We booked two shore excursions through Celebrity and almost got left behind on one of them (Pisa). Fortunately I was able to run to catch the tour before they left us. Rain left us disappointed in Florence but the weather cooperated at all other ports. Agadir was enlightening and a real adventure. Cartagena was nice as were the Canary Islands. Our Aqua A2 cabin was located on deck 9 unfortunately beneath the Lido deck/pool area. On any nights where music was being played we heard it pretty loud and clear and pretty much had to stay up as long as they were playing. In the early morning we would hear chairs scraping as they were being moved as well as heavy footed people walking the deck. The cabin itself was very comfortable as was the bed. Only the location under the Lido deck made it a slight disappointment. Our room stewards were awesome and always greeted us with smiles and well wishes for our day. Wait staff in Blu was exceptional as well. We really enjoyed getting to know some of the folks there since this was a long cruise. They got to know our names and habits as the cruise progressed. Particularly exceptional were Rich Gleason, the cruise director. We've been on many cruises where the cruise director is only seen in two locations- the morning show and introducing the show headliners. Rich was everywhere on this cruise, from jumping in the pool and participating in the crew/guest volleyball game, to helping with the egg drop challenge and many other areas. He was always visible in various lounges and walking the ship talking to passengers in every venue. He was just outstanding. We actually had two captains on this cruise, Captain Nikolas and Captain Tasos. I enjoyed Captain Nikolas but Captain Tasos was incredible. Again, I've never see a captain so visible and participate in so many activities. His performance at the Liar's game was incredibly funny. Overall entertainment was pretty good. The few production shows were good to very good. I was impressed that they had live entertainment every night as well as many guest lecturers that educated and entertained us in many ways. I had my perspective changed on a couple topics due to some of the lectures we attended. Disembarkation was a breeze as there apparently were a lot of customs agents that allowed us to get off of the ship earlier than expected. I wish I could say our TA redeemed themselves with a pickup in FLL. However, after waiting an hour an half in the rain with the prospect of waiting another 1-2 hours, we decided to forego our prepaid transportation and rent a car for the 3 hour drive home. In summary, this was a memorable and enjoyable cruise for us. If I had to pick one negative (other than our TA's blundering of the pre and post-cruise transportation) it was our cabin location and the noise that came along with it. The best part of the cruise had to be the great captain, cruise director and crew who went out of their way to make our cruise enjoyable. 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Sail Date November 2014
Holland America enabled us to enjoy a first class, once-in-a-lifetime adventure for my daughter (graduating High School) and the total cost was less than one might expect to spend for a week in Europe. The service was excellent throughout ... Read More
Holland America enabled us to enjoy a first class, once-in-a-lifetime adventure for my daughter (graduating High School) and the total cost was less than one might expect to spend for a week in Europe. The service was excellent throughout the ship with delicious food, tasteful decor, great entertainment and a fun teen club for my daughter (17). With so many exciting ports to explore (18 ports in 22 days!) my only complaint is the cost of the ship sponsored excursions. The cost was about triple or quadruple what you would pay if you arranged the tour yourself. We had a FANTASTIC onboard location expert, a Holland America employee. She gave us expert advice and thanks to her we visited unforgettable places that we certainly would have missed. We primarily took subways, buses &/or trains to go it alone and met up with other fellow travelers doing the same thing. In Tunisia we even took a local train to the Medina and that was an experience we'll never forget! We found the lowest cost for us to get to Europe was via Munich so we got to Venice via Deutschebahn train and it was a nice scenic trip (for the part we didn't sleep through!). Ordering the train ticket was fairly easy online--although the tickets were issued in German so we had to do a Google translate to be sure we understood what it said so we got to the correct platform to catch the train. In Livorno a goup of us caught an immaculately clean minivan taxi (with Wifi, too) directly as you exit the ship. It took us to Florence and then Pisa. At a cost of $80 per person this was a third of the cost of a Cruise Sponsored similar tour. Also the onboard Internet Speed was absurdly slow so I would recommend going online once in port versus facing this frustration. We booked this cruise last minute and were lucky to be offered an upgrade (for a small extra fee) to a balcony room. Watch your emails for special upgrade offers from Holland America! When we disembarked in Barcelona we took a Vueling (low cost) flight to Paris and stayed in an AirBnB studio flat in a nice area close to the Metro for a couple of days. We then took a high speed TGV train to Munich and stayed at a nice hotel near the main train station for a couple of nights before returning back to Tampa. On another Holland America carribbean cruise the average age of the passenger was about 80 years old (lots of walkers and motor scooters!) but on this one there was a younger crowd and many Aussies onboard. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014

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