17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise for the trip destination and the Crystal reputation. We have been on other Crystal trips and this is the first time we did 3 back to back trips, total 45 days! Embarkation was a piece of cake. Bags we shipped were ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the trip destination and the Crystal reputation. We have been on other Crystal trips and this is the first time we did 3 back to back trips, total 45 days! Embarkation was a piece of cake. Bags we shipped were in our room when we arrived and the bags we brought arrived shortly thereafter. We are hoping the same for disembarkation. The Captains Larsen and Willheim are the best, with rough seas when we had them. They are cautious on all conditions. The rest of the crew are equally praised in every area of the ship. The wait staff are amazing from the Maitr’d down to waiters. It is amazing how they remember names and faces. They anticipate your every need. We are fortunate to have a Penthouse on deck 10. The butler and housekeeping staff all work well together. Because the seas are rough today, our housekeeper wanted to go out and do windows on the veranda. We told her to take that off her list today due to sea conditions. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This is our third cruise on Crystal and Symphony. Our first was 22 years ago from Istanbul. Our second was February 2017 Singapore to Hong Kong. Both were amazing. We chose an easier quick trip out of New Orleans with our daughter and ... Read More
This is our third cruise on Crystal and Symphony. Our first was 22 years ago from Istanbul. Our second was February 2017 Singapore to Hong Kong. Both were amazing. We chose an easier quick trip out of New Orleans with our daughter and her spouse. We both had suites, we decided on the new Seabreeze suites which were just redone in 2017. They were very nice woth a large shower with excellent water pressure... Anyway the ship was superb, from the staff, the AMAZING speciality restaurants and the fabulous entertainment. I even had time for the casino. Keep in mind everything is inclusive, all liquior, wine, WiFi, grautuities. This time there were children on the ship and the staff seem to handle well. We are in 9051 and as I said it was very nice. We have taken over 45 ocean cruises and three River Cruises and Crystal and Silverseas remains at the top of our list. You cannot go wrong with this cruise line. Good luck and keep cruising. We loved it! Read Less
33 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We picked this cruise because we’d never taken an ‘all-inclusive’ type cruise and this one was a short 7N from New Orleans which is close to us. I’d seen the various pricing sheets showing how close in cost a cruise on a Line such ... Read More
We picked this cruise because we’d never taken an ‘all-inclusive’ type cruise and this one was a short 7N from New Orleans which is close to us. I’d seen the various pricing sheets showing how close in cost a cruise on a Line such as Crystal was to a ‘standard’ Line such as Celebrity, which we’ve cruised 20+ times and wanted to see if they were true - it’s true! At least for the shorter 7N cruises. We loved this ship and the entire Crystal experience. I will be giving my opinion about this cruise by comparing it to our Celebrity experiences. I won’t cover the ports - it was a Western Caribbean and been to all of them. Spent most of the time on the ship. So here goes. Embarkation: With barely 800 passengers, it’s not nearly as crowded as our previous cruises. The larger ships handled the 2000+ well, but this was better than nice: as we walked into the terminal, they asked us if we were suites or standard SR, and gave us a number. When called (waited about 10min), we walked onboard and checked in there. Given our keycard, gave them our paperwork and charge card and that was that. 5min max. Handed a drink as we walked further in and off to a lunch in the main dining room, not a buffet. And was introduced to ‘Crystal’ Dining - wow. Will talk on that shortly. Ship: very elegant but low key. Lower ceilings than other larger ships which gave all the common areas a more intimate feel. Many bar and seating areas. The Avenue Bar is like a pub with wood paneling and lovely pub bar. Pianos and live music in most of the bars. The ship has a nice and inviting game/card room. We played lots of bridge and had classes. Was never crowded in any of the common areas. the Palm Court on the top deck forward was unbelievable. Elegant-great bar-seating for groups and couples. Windows with all around views. The place to be at sea. Ship has a true Promenade Deck. Wood and fully wraparound. Great walking and jogging or standing and just viewing the sea. Loved it. Shopping: All was very high end, so for us, not needed. Beautifully laid out, but only a small section for ‘oops, I forgot something’ type items. Didn’t use any of the stores, but nicely laid out. Standard Lines such as Celebrity have more day-to-day items and clothing and lots of sales and ‘buy 2 and get 3’ type sales. Crystal didn’t have any big sales pitches and everyone going through piles of clothes and stuff. Dining: Here is the major plus. the Marketplace ‘buffet’ is only called that because of it’s layout but it was outstanding in choice and quality. I love the Celebrity buffets but this blew me away. The main dining in the Waterside was fantastic. No set time and no reservations. You walk up, ask for a table for 2 or 4 or whatever and you are seated. Great quality and options. I love lamb and it was so tender, I almost didn’t need a knife. Great fish and steaks. All high quality. the entrees and appetizers were relatively small so I could try multiple dishes. The Grill was well beyond a hamburger/hotdog grill. It had many salads and sandwiches, including a Ruben I’d die for. Each bar had snacks and the Bistro was a great place for pastries and light snacks and coffees and expresso-styles. Loved all of it. Specialty Restaurants: You get a least 2 dinings at these restaurants. Each we tried was unique. We loved Prego - Italian and outstanding steaks and fish. Umi Uma was Japanese and our favorite. Great choices. Silk was Chinese. It was nice, but I thought the Marketplace choices were better. Entertainment: I was mainly concerned that a small ship would have mediocre main entertainment. I was wrong. It was excellent. Not as fine as the larger Lines, but the theater is smaller and you are very close to the singers and dancers. Fun. Excellent quality. They had a magician from the Magic Castle in LA that killed it with up-close slight of hand. But one of the weak areas was activities during in port times. It was almost nonexistent. Not a big issues since we can entertain ourselves, but if you are not going to spend all day ashore, it’s very quiet. Nice, but quiet. Service. A+. Excellent ratio and well trained personnel. They were always working to meet your needs and wishes. Never went ‘dry’ with servers coming up to check. Not obtrusive, but always available. Room steward was a charmer. Very attentive and went the extra mile. We had a very bad night and day returning to New Orleans with 50+kt winds and huge waves. She came in to check us and would have got us meds if needed. The entire staff was fantastic. My experience was Celebrity also had great service, but Crystal just had more staff per passengers so more overall attention. Drinks: I wasn’t sure if the all-inclusive drinks would be that handy (I enjoy a few drinks but don’t get the packages on other ships), but it was just great. It was so nice having a glass of wine and a server walking up and asking if I needed a refill. Good quality cocktails. Smoking: I’m a non-smoker and was concerned because the Crystal website shows more than a bit of smoking areas. But it was fine. the outside smoking areas were mainly on the very stern of a few decks and didn’t interfere with me and gave the smokers a nice place. One inside smoking bar for cigars was available. Again, I was concerned because on a Princess ship, whenever you walked even semi-close to the bar, there was smoke all over the place. But this had a double-door set up and it wasn’t an issue for me. Ports: Not going to discuss ports. Standard ones on a Western Caribbean and only did one tour and wandered a few ports on own. One issue: it appeared Crystal had lower priority for the docking and anchoring locations compared to all the other Lines. In all cases, the docking and anchoring locations were further from the main port facilities. One port we anchored and the other three ships docked. Disembarkation: Returned to New Orleans about 5 hrs late: big winds and waves (10 on the Beaufort scale! With 50+it’s winds). Stayed in SR all day and night. Docked at an alternative pier in NO and they had shuttles to the main terminal. All-Inclusive: I’m not going through what the actual costs were, I just say, I paid for one photo (yup, did the come aboard shot) and one tour. That was it. This was truly all-inclusive: Quality drinks, wine, soft drinks; two specialty dining venues; Gratuities; Laundry room with iron; Specialty coffees and snacks; Room service; unlimited Wi-Fi on multiple units. What cost: tours; Laundry/dry cleaning; ‘upscale liquor’, but what I drink wasn’t. Yes, I know nothing is ‘free’ and paid for in the overall costs. But I ran the numbers comparing this cruise to a standard large cruise line costs by adding the additional charges for gratuities, drink packages, unlimited WiFi, 2 specialty dining. The difference would be about $450 for two people. But since I’m Elite Plus on Celebrity, and I wouldn’t get the drink package and pay a smaller amount for unlimited Wi-Fi, the different approach $950. Was it worth it? You Bet! Don’t know if this is similar for longer and more ‘exotic’ cruises. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We had an amazing time on the Carnival Dream. The staff was amazing. We loved all the bartenders, when you passed staff members they always greeted you with a smile. Our most favorite was our waitress Olivia. She was beyond amazing and we ... Read More
We had an amazing time on the Carnival Dream. The staff was amazing. We loved all the bartenders, when you passed staff members they always greeted you with a smile. Our most favorite was our waitress Olivia. She was beyond amazing and we made sure to ask for her every night. If you are ever on the dream and eat in the cremson dining be sure to ask for her. Food was good some days and not so great other days, but their was always something you could find to eat that you would like. The only problem I had was some peoples children walking around with their foul language mouths and rude, which is not carnivals problem but the parents problem. Loved the comedy shows, they played movies at night on the lido deck, they had an 80s party and a mega deck party. Overall, we had an amazing time and will definitely do it again. The only bummer was we couldn't go to mahogany bay because of the bad weather Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
First, I want to say that the Duchess is a lovely boat and the AQSC does everything possible to make journeys enjoyable. Of course, there are occasional glitches but none that should deter anyone from taking a cruise on the Duchess. ... Read More
First, I want to say that the Duchess is a lovely boat and the AQSC does everything possible to make journeys enjoyable. Of course, there are occasional glitches but none that should deter anyone from taking a cruise on the Duchess. Accommodations: We had booked one of the deluxe suites which are located near the rear of the boat. There is a living area with a dining table and four chairs, a bedroom area, a double-sized balcony, and a bath and a half. All are tastefully decorated and there is also a refrigerator and coffee maker in the living area. There are two TVs and that provided one of the few glitches in that changing the channels on the TV in the living room, turned on the TV in the bedroom area. Once we learned to close the doors between the two areas, that was no longer a problem. The only real negative to the room was the bath/shower combination which was difficult to step in and out of. In addition, the shower curtain was so long that one had to stand on it while showering. Dining: The real highlight of the cruise was the exceptional dining. We ate most often in the grand dining room which was elegant. Breakfast was served there with about seven or eight selections that changed daily. The dinner menu in the grand dining room typically involved four courses -- Appetizer, Soup or salad, entree, and dessert. There were always three appetizers listed, about five or six choices of soup or salad, seven or eight entrees, and about half a dozen desserts. Like the breakfasts, the dinner menu changed daily. The one exception to the timing involved the “Thanksgiving Feast” that was served mid-day with “leftovers” available in the evening. The appetizers were elaborate including such things as fried artichokes, mushroom tart, and olive bruschetta. Soups were memorable with entries like lobster bisque, crab and corn chowder. Among our main course entrees were lamb chops, lobster tail, a variety of fish dishes, pastas, and strip steak. The presentation of the entrees always included sauces and vegetable accompaniments. The kitchen was very accommodating in deleting any items from the presentation that one did not want. And, complimentary wine was included with dinner with a choice of either a red or white wine. We also had one dinner (reservations required) and several breakfasts in the River Grill and Bar, a far more informal space. Both breakfast and lunch there are served buffet style and the breakfast buffet seemed to include the same selections each day. No matter the restaurant or the time of day, a highlight of all meals involved the baked goods – breads and pastries were especially delicious. Room service was also available, but we used it just once on a day when my stomach rebelled at all of the rich food. I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich. Excursions: One of the reasons we chose the AQSC cruise was the opportunity to view the ports via a HOHO bus. Our ages preclude long walks and standing for a long time listening to a tour guide. Instead the HOHO busses that followed the ship allowed one to see each community and get off according to one’s interests. The cruise line had prepaid admission to the key attractions in each community and one could hop off to see anything that appealed and get back on when a later bus arrived. (The busses circulated on a 15 or 20 minute schedule.) There was a guide on each bus who described special features of the port. The evening prior to the port stop, one was provided with the route of the bus with stops indicated. In addition, the map included information about the main attractions like museums, shopping stops, restaurants, restrooms, and almost anything else one might want to know. I should add that there are also premium (extra-cost) excursions which many people selected. Getting to and from the boat was easy as a golf cart would shuttle you up and down the often steep banks of the river. AQSC should also be commended for its relationships with the major attractions as many were willing to open to accommodate those on the HOHO busses at times when they would normally be closed such as early in the morning or on Thanksgiving Day. Entertainment: Each day there was a talk by the Riverlorean and a show in the evening. The Riverlorean talks lasted anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes and covered such topics as terminology about the boat, characteristics of the Mississippi river, major floods on the river, and common phrases that originated from the old river boats such as “hitting rock bottom.” All of these lectures were quite interesting. The evening shows varied with two caberet style performances, an evening of jazz, another of country music, and one focusing on Broadway showtunes. The American Duchess showband of four or five musicians accompanied all performers. They were quite versatile and also provided music at occasional receptions and/or special programs. There were also games scheduled throughout the day though we did not participate in any. Service: Without exception, the staff were hard-working and very pleasant. By the end of the week you felt like they were new friends. Embarkation and Disembarkation: We flew to New Orleans and spent two nights there before boarding the boat. One of the nights was at the Hotel Roosevelt, the hotel used by the cruise line. We took a tour of New Orleans during the day of embarkation which began at the hotel and ended at the boat. Disembarkation involved taking a tour of Memphis before being dropped off at the airport. Both embarkation and disembarkation went relatively smoothly. Clientele: The average age of those on the cruise would be late 60's. The boat was about 2/3rds full and thus it was very easy to get seating in the dining rooms and space on the HOHO busses. It appeared that many cruisers came with families or travel groups-- far fewer couples than we have experienced on ocean cruises. 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Sail Date: November 2017
I have been sailing with NCL since 1989 and love this cruise line! I went to Roatan, Honduras for the first time in 2000 and have been doing Missionary Cruises to Roatan since! Because of my 2001 sailing I started a Legal Non-Profit, Luke ... Read More
I have been sailing with NCL since 1989 and love this cruise line! I went to Roatan, Honduras for the first time in 2000 and have been doing Missionary Cruises to Roatan since! Because of my 2001 sailing I started a Legal Non-Profit, Luke Four:18 International Outreach Ministries with a mandated area in Roatan for Charity work.This year we sailed on the Beautiful Norwegian Pearl from New Orleans! We were able to take much needed supplies over to those in need! Our group had the best of both worlds! Having the safety and luxury of the cruise ship while being able to make a difference in someones life abroad! A Shout Out To the Norwegian Cruise Line for having compassion and caring for others! We were offered great amenities on the ship, always love the $10 day shopping on the ship! We already have our next cruise booked! Dr. Wanda D. Tolbert Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We just returned this past week from a 5 day Western cruise with Carnival Triumph out of New Orleans (Monday-Saturday). We've cruised many times on Carnival and other cruise lines, we always come back to Carnival for the fun ... Read More
We just returned this past week from a 5 day Western cruise with Carnival Triumph out of New Orleans (Monday-Saturday). We've cruised many times on Carnival and other cruise lines, we always come back to Carnival for the fun atmosphere, good food and friendly staff. This was our 2nd trip on the Carnival Triumph. Our first was a few years ago with the grand suite, this time around we tried the ocean suite since it was just 2 of us. The room was an adequate size for 2 adults. Lots of space to and storage to put all of your belongings. Our cabin steward was Randy, very hospitable and good with taking care of our our room while we were away from the cabin, etc. The food for this trip was noticeable that the buffet's food wasn't as we remember with food quality - for example, on one day with fried chicken on the buffet, it doesn't look as though food is kept fresh/switched out periodically during the time it's sitting at the buffet. The fried chicken was so dried out and hard, we couldn't eat it. Also, this was a 5 day trip, so there was no lobster/steak night. My husband opted to purchase it on one of our dinner nights and was happy with the steak, but he said the lobster was overcooked/rubbery. Not worth the $20 extra that he paid for it. I ate a couple of times at the pay for seafood restaurant - lobster rolls $11 (they were good) once, and the fried seafood platter another time $10 - the oil I don't think is hot enough because their french fries on both orders were very greasy. They auto charge gratuity for whatever you order at this place, so be aware when you sign and it asks for tip. The chinese food and the deli sandwich shop are both good. The rueben at the deli shop was my husbands favorite. Also, we can't forget about Guy's hamburger place - everywhere you looked, there was a Guy's hamburger that someone was eating. They are really good, so I was glad it was onboard to quickly grab a good burger. The blue iguana cantina had good huevos rancheros ready each morning at 7am, so I visited them for breakfast often. They also have a good taco salad during lunch. Also, brunch on seadays from 8am-12:30 is the best breakfast with steak and eggs, pork chops, don't miss this breakfast in the Paris dining room. For entertainment, the comedian show was always packed, so get there early if you want to get a seat. We didn't get to go to the Rome Lounge for the show, but I remember there were 2 nights - Tuesday with music and dance styles from around the world at 7 & 9pm. on Wed, there was a vegas style magical show at 7 & 9pm. Overall, the ship is kept very clean, lots of activities (more than you can do on the 5 day cruise), friendly people on board, very diverse group of people with everyone having a good time and enjoying themselves. Embarkation and debarkation was very smooth - the quickest we've ever experience at the Port of New Orleans for debarkation. We were happy with the cruise and service from everyone and was able to relax and enjoyed this trip. We'll be back on board again in December! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Had been on Serenity before, so our expectations were high and fully met. Staff everywhere were attentive and helpful. The bar tenders can actually make a cocktail--not just pour wine or make a mojito from a mix. (Seabourn, please note.) ... Read More
Had been on Serenity before, so our expectations were high and fully met. Staff everywhere were attentive and helpful. The bar tenders can actually make a cocktail--not just pour wine or make a mojito from a mix. (Seabourn, please note.) This may seem like a small matter, but clearly not as social time spent at the various bars reflected many more requests for a specific cocktail than for , example, scotch on the rocks. Beyond their capabilities, the three mixologists at the Crystal Cove bar--Riccardo, Maria and Johnathon--from 3 different countries--were charming and personable. Our cabin on Deck 10 was a Pure, meaning standard size bit with various features to make the space as allergen free as possible. (Again, we had a similar cabin on a previous cruise.) The chef happened to be Austria, and one night I asked Mario, the venerable controller of all things that occur in the main dining room, whether it might be possible to request saurbraten on a subsequent evening. A bit later i was informed by one of the head waiters that the dish would be available in 3 days as (with an unnecessary apology) the dish requires 3 days of marinating. And when it did arrive, ift did so with all the appropriate trimmings. Looking for things to carp about--and reallt does have to search--I would note that itb was impossible to get hot pancakes or french toast in the Lido. They were there, but the buffet process pretty much guarantees that hot food will never be hot when you get there. One clear exception was the custom egg station, manned by a smiling egg artists who flipped eggs with uncanny grace. Carp, carp. Well, the sweet potato fries in the Trident buffet were not very good, and the chili on offer was so mild as to disdain its description. And one last whine. One night the dinner menu offered curry, which I eagerly chose. The condiments offered were many, but the main attraction had no heat, no spice. Yes, I understand that many older folk have sensitive tummies, but curry must be offered at something approaching full strength--perhaps with a warning about its spiciness. Crystal is a very expensive and cossetting experience. I only wish I could afford it more often. A last comment: should your cruise include Grand Turk, I enthusiastically recommend the tour which takes you to Gibbs Cay, and a special gathering with stingrays. These noble creatures are not penned, they appear from the ocean while you stand in knee high water. seemingly as curious about you as you might be about them. It doesn't hurt that Gibbs boasts a tiny but perfect white sand beach, the ocean is a magical turquoise, and the December sun bright and warm. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
Lots of puzzle pieces to put this voyage in motion! The adventure all began because my brother-in-law wanted to embark from New Orleans, add that to the fact my husband and I wanted to sail over our anniversary (December 17) and on ... Read More
Lots of puzzle pieces to put this voyage in motion! The adventure all began because my brother-in-law wanted to embark from New Orleans, add that to the fact my husband and I wanted to sail over our anniversary (December 17) and on Crystal! Not to mention friends who wanted to join in on the fun, could not sail over Christmas. What was the likelihood?!?! A year and a half later, all I can say our time together on and off the Crystal Serenity during those two weeks was the best of best times! From one who is totally into Christmas and has sailed on various cruise lines enjoying many holiday cruises, this ship was decked out in absolutely the most gorgeous decor that I had ever seen while on the seas. We were even able to have our butler set up an artificial Christmas Tree in our suite. Trimmed by the staff, it was beautifully decorated, lights and all! Throughout the various ports, my husband and I would purchase a hand made Christmas ornament relective of the islands we explored. Talk about being spoiled...the food, the entertainment, the daytime enrichment classes, ... everything excelled. We loved reviewing our French from a Berlitz instructor who gave both morning and afternoon classes. The practice was fun and we were able to speak French on two Caribbean islands. Learning how to create I Movies was also a plus as both my husband and I have continued making short videos. Having taught school for thirty years, all instructors deserved an A+. That is what Crystal is all about. The finest in everything. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We have enjoyed our previous Azamara cruises. The crew are the warmest people who genuinely aspire to provide great service. The entertainment is very good, the Azamazing evenings have been delightful, the food is quite varied and good. ... Read More
We have enjoyed our previous Azamara cruises. The crew are the warmest people who genuinely aspire to provide great service. The entertainment is very good, the Azamazing evenings have been delightful, the food is quite varied and good. There is a courtesy laundry onboard for guests. (I bring fabric softener sheets). The ships have been refurbished most attractively. A sad but reassuring situation arose this recent sailing. After we sailed out of the Dominican Republic a man onboard needed hospitalization. The couple were packed up, arrangements were made, and an appropriate crew member who speaks Spanish stayed on with them so they would not have a language barrier at such a stressful time. Azamara rises to the best with genuine efforts to care for their guests. Among the others onboard there was a wish Azamara would get around to providing free wifi. That would be a huge attraction to their guests. Also, they have an array of news networks, one rerun tv station, a movie channel, and we had ESPN. It was during the election. We all were tapped out on drama and stress and wished for more upbeat choices to view in our cabins. While onboard we, like many others, booked a future cruise. It gives us pleasure to look forward to returning to Azamara. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our fourth Azamara cruise. We chose it specifically because it started in New Orleans, a city we had always wanted to visit. We stayed in New Orleans, at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel on Iberville Street, for 5 nights and loved ... Read More
This was our fourth Azamara cruise. We chose it specifically because it started in New Orleans, a city we had always wanted to visit. We stayed in New Orleans, at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel on Iberville Street, for 5 nights and loved the city. Our hotel was extremely well located on the edge of the French Quarter and we were pleased with it. Embarkation was, as usual, quick and easy and we were soon on board drinking our welcome glass of bubbly. Our stateroom on deck 6 was a verandah stateroom. There was plenty of storage space in the cabin, and the bed was very comfy. The large TV opposite the bed was great and there is a reasonable selection of channels to watch. The bathroom was small, with a small shower with a curtain, but it was fine and we liked the new shelves for storage as well as the cupboard under the sink. I always take a couple of sets of cloth pockets to hang on the hooks on the inside of the bathroom door so that I can find a home for everything. We mainly used Discoveries (MDR) for our evening meal. We felt that the food had regained its Wow factor (missing on our last cruise). We loved the fact that although you can see the menu on the TV and outside the dining room each day, there are two main course dishes (Chefs Special and World Destination special) that are a surprise until your waiter tells you about them. The menu always had a great choice, with some dishes, such as Escargots in garlic butter, Prawns with Marie Rose sauce, New York strip steak, Salmon repeated every day alongside all the dishes of the day and the specials. Dining on Azamara is free time dining and most days we were able to be seated when we were ready (usually between 7:30 and 8:00pm). Sometimes we shared with others and sometimes had a table for two. We also bought a good value package for the two speciality restaurants - Prime C and Aqualina. The cover charge is normally $30 for each, but for $70 you can make 3 bookings. Meals there are exceptional, even better than the excellent quality in the MDR. We had breakfast and lunch in Windows - there were always plenty of choices and the food was lovely. You could have Bucks Fizz ( Mimosa) or Bloody Mary for breakfast if you wanted! I particularly enjoyed the ginger based 'Energiser' smoothie every morning. Most of the entertainment was very good. There was a pianist and guitarist who played in various venues and there were shows in the cabaret lounge. All the shows were good except one comedian who failed to get a laugh! We also enjoyed joining a trivia quiz team and taking part in the daily quizzes. We went ashore in all but one of the Caribbean islands the ship visited. We did not use any of the ship's excursions on the islands but did our own thing. In Grand Cayman we just had a walk around the town. In Port Antonio, Jamaica we got a taxi to give us a tour of the area, including the Blue Lagoon - not cheap at $40 a head for a couple of hours. In Curaçao we just had a wander around Wilhemstadt - very pretty little town with plenty of shops and restaurants and an interesting market along the canal. In St Barts we just had a look around - very expensive place, window shopping was the order of the day, as well as walk to Shell Beach which was nice. At St Maarten we took a taxi to Mahoe Beach ($20 a head) right next to the airport runway. Good fun standing right under the flight path as jets come in close over your head. At Nevis we took a taxi ($20 a head) to the Botanic Gardens and the Montpelier Plantation (Princess Di's favourite Hotel). The gardens are beautiful - well worth visiting. As we had a few hours before our plane home from Miami, we took a ship's excursion on the Hop On Hop Off bus. This was excellent - the bus picked us up at the dockside, including our luggage. Our luggage was then stored for us at Bayside Marketplace whilst we took the bus on the Blue, Miami Beach, route which we loved. Then we had an hour or so wandering around Baysie Marketplace which had a good range of shops, cafes and restaurants. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our first with Azamara, a repo from New Orleans to Miami. Part of our promotion was a overnite in NO with a dinner cruise on the Natchez Queen which was lovely. We stayed at the Doubletree Inn in the French Quarter -- good ... Read More
This was our first with Azamara, a repo from New Orleans to Miami. Part of our promotion was a overnite in NO with a dinner cruise on the Natchez Queen which was lovely. We stayed at the Doubletree Inn in the French Quarter -- good location, clean room. We had a handicapped accessible room due to DH use of a scooter which was on the 7th floor. First morning there -- a power failure (30 sec.) caused ALL elevators to stop working and we were stuck in our room for 5 hours. Why the designers of this hotel had all elevators on one system was extremely poor planning not to mention dangerous for safety reasons. After complimentary room service --- manager was finally able to get us on one of the service elevators so we could catch our Gray Line tour --- only for the elevator to quit between the second and first floor !! As the manager was with us --- staff on the other side of the door were finally able to get us out --- really funny when we talked about it later but not at that moment. The Big Easy is "OK" -- we really didn't get too see very much -- would have liked to see a plantation or two and more of the country. Bourbon Street is just a dark, dirty,narrow alley IMO. Didn't impress us at all. The Quest is a lovely ship -- the smallest we have cruised on to date. The service is OUTSTANDING. You couldn't ask for a more happy and accommodating crew !! Our Club Continental suite was wonderful -- so much more room than the original V 2 balcony I had booked. Actually was able to look into one and I have never seen such a small, cramped room and balcony. Of course, the CC came with a much higher price tag but we would have been very uncomfortable in the first one not to mention no space for DH's scooter ! Only drawback to Suite 8063 were the loud noises during the night from the deck above (Windows Cafe) from rolling carts and furniture. Islands: Were "ok" --- poor planning on Azamara's Itinerary Dept. to schedule Jamaica and St. Bart on Sundays when everything is closed -- not even a mini mart to grab a snack or two. Would choose the Quest again but i will look for better prices in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
Forgot the other lines. Azamara tries hard and delivers. Everything is great--especially the shows if you keep in mind there are only 600 passengers on the ship. Have sailed five times on Azamara and I just think it's the best ... Read More
Forgot the other lines. Azamara tries hard and delivers. Everything is great--especially the shows if you keep in mind there are only 600 passengers on the ship. Have sailed five times on Azamara and I just think it's the best line. I've sailed Oceania, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Star Clipper, Viking River and Viking Ocean. All are good but Azamara just has that extra something special. Just don't go if you are looking for problems. Whiners can always find something but this line always goes the extra mile. The staff are incomparable. They always have time for you, time to answer a question, time to fix something, get you something you need, whatever. And, always with a smile. Don't know how people can work so hard and still be eager to please. Love the fact that alcohol and gratuities are included. You don't feel that people have their hands out all the time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
Stayed two nights at the Royal Sonesta on Bourbon St. NOLA. Booked King sized room six months before cruise. When we got there we were told that all the rooms were sold out. They tried to give us a room that was used as a meeting room ... Read More
Stayed two nights at the Royal Sonesta on Bourbon St. NOLA. Booked King sized room six months before cruise. When we got there we were told that all the rooms were sold out. They tried to give us a room that was used as a meeting room with a pullout sofa bed at half price. It was wasn't until we demanded to see the manager that we received a bedroom/bath from a suite. The refurbishing presented a ship that is brighter and more cheerful. The Living Room on deck 10 is now a destination. At 5P tapas and drinks. Later some entertainment. The crew, as always is friendly and accomadating. Captain Carl however does not mingle with guests like Captain Johannes on the Journey. The Chefs Specials in main dining room each night added to the dining experience. They also offer two different wines for white and red each day. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose Azamara because rumours said it is a pleasant ship for seniors. Only 600 very friendly and social pax. A wonderful crew spoilt us rotten, food was excellent and allthough we love our grandkids, we do appreciate a cruise with ... Read More
We chose Azamara because rumours said it is a pleasant ship for seniors. Only 600 very friendly and social pax. A wonderful crew spoilt us rotten, food was excellent and allthough we love our grandkids, we do appreciate a cruise with no kids. It is also nice not to have to sign or show your key-card every time you have a drink, a glass of wine or a cappuccino. Entertainment was OK - but the star of the show was the on board lecturer Prof. John Johnson's 5 lectures on 'The great American Songbook'! He lectured, played the piano and sung - Gerswin, Berlin and others. Wonderful! Hope we will meet him again on another cruiseship. Ports were interesting! Port Antonio, La Romana and Nevis gave us a colourful and good reminder goods in this world is not evenly distributed, and Willemstad, Gustavia, Philipsburg and Virgin Gorda gave good retail therapy. Beautiful nature throughout. The only 'cloud' on this cruise was all the soot from the funnel that landed on our aft cabin... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We had a delightful introduction to River-cruising in the USA with American Cruise Lines up the Mississippi. Their attention to every detail made the trip pure pleasure for us. And we thank their wonderful chef for accommodation to our ... Read More
We had a delightful introduction to River-cruising in the USA with American Cruise Lines up the Mississippi. Their attention to every detail made the trip pure pleasure for us. And we thank their wonderful chef for accommodation to our vegetarian meal requests. Every staff person on board was helpful, anticipating all needs even before we realized we needed them! The shore excursions at each River stop were perfectly arranged. The experts on board added immeasurably to our experience, with their lectures about the River, the Civil War, and the river-boat culture. We now know that it's all about the River! A special commendation for Bill Weimuth whose outstanding presentations and multi-faceted entertainment skills are tailor-made for River cruising in the USA. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
The cruise left New Orleans, went up to Vicksburg, Mississippi, and returned to New Orleans. Highlights included 3 plantation homes (each very different), a working cotton plantation with roots going back to the late 1700s, and the ... Read More
The cruise left New Orleans, went up to Vicksburg, Mississippi, and returned to New Orleans. Highlights included 3 plantation homes (each very different), a working cotton plantation with roots going back to the late 1700s, and the Vicksburg Battlefield National Park. The best thing about the cruise, though, were the staff/cruew and their service service. A cruise director overheard me mentioning how good the peanut butter cookies were, and the day they were featured, I received a plate of them, still warm, in my stateroom! Another passenger was bothered by the engine noise and he was moved to a new, upgraded stateroom. Because the river was at flood stage, some excursions had to be planned on the fly--passengers experienced no disruptions. The food was excellent all the way around. By the end of the cruise, the staff was calling me by name! I have been on 3 cruses with American Cruise Lines and everyone has been special, not only in the things we saw/experienced, but also because of the nice, friendly, helpful staff and crew. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Best experience anyone could imagine unless their are more hours in a day. Staterooms, bath, and balcony were exactly as advertised with room to share for two. Ideal to be able to listen (or not) to river historian on ship radio broadcast ... Read More
Best experience anyone could imagine unless their are more hours in a day. Staterooms, bath, and balcony were exactly as advertised with room to share for two. Ideal to be able to listen (or not) to river historian on ship radio broadcast from lounge while lounging on balcony and watching the river sites. Locally sourced meals were prepared by top notch chefs and served to high standards. Excursions on time and high quality. Guides except for one who was ill were excellent and from the location; their knowledge was presented with humor and candor. All needs seemed to be provided for disabled folks routinely with gentle care. Crew was professional, well trained, and passenger service centered, always happy and friendly. High river level never interfered with our itenerary since Captain adjusted sailing times to fit without compromising any activities. Sailing was smooth and seemed effortless. We will sail with them again! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Our first ever river cruise was on the American Queen from New Orleans to Memphis. This very unique journey on a genuine 400 passenger Mississippi River steamboat was fabulous in every way. The embarkation and disembarkation processes ... Read More
Our first ever river cruise was on the American Queen from New Orleans to Memphis. This very unique journey on a genuine 400 passenger Mississippi River steamboat was fabulous in every way. The embarkation and disembarkation processes were outstanding, as was the organization of the included hop-on/hop-off tours and the premium tours. The places visited were rich with history and architecture and there was always more to see than you had time for. The food and service were excellent, and the variety and quality of the entertainment was outstanding, especially on such a small boat. The captain even played with the musicians in the beautiful Engine Room bar. Gerry the Riverlorian was both informative and very entertaining. The décor was Victorian ostentation, and immersed you in the elegant heyday of the Mississippi steamboat era. Everything was so well organized that we experienced only one little glitch--we had dreamed of sipping a mint julep on the deck rocking chairs, but they never had any mint! The passenger loyalty is staggering--we met "Miss Ruth" on her 150th trip on this boat. The line thanked her back by upgrading her to a luxury suite. She said she hardly knew what to do with the butler, but the digs were wonderful. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
wow! We had a great 3 night cruise staying in both the best suite on the boat (501) and a room with no windows (541) Both rooms were perfect! 4 of us went (me, my husband, sister and 89 yr old mom- for her birthday!) The small room was ... Read More
wow! We had a great 3 night cruise staying in both the best suite on the boat (501) and a room with no windows (541) Both rooms were perfect! 4 of us went (me, my husband, sister and 89 yr old mom- for her birthday!) The small room was roomy enough with a good size bathroom and storage. TV, air/heat, radio (although it took me 3 days to realize the radio was on the wall in both rooms!) The staff made mom feel special the whole time and were always nice, with hugs, and a special birthday cake and singing at dinner. Champagne in room 501 was a nice touch, as were the cheese plates and Adams special touches to make the room neat and clean daily The boat was amazing! Clean, spacious, PLENTY OF FOOD AND ACTIVITIES if you wanted. We had incredible weather so we were able to enjoy the private deck that came with room 501. All the food we ate was terrific and they helped with dietary restrictions. This was a Big Band themed cruise, with a full brass band twice a night for all 3 nights, dancing in the theater was fun too! Our ports of call were nice (2 mansions) easy to get to and walk around. Bikes are available for the taking (just sign up!) I would recommend this cruise to people who are fun, easy going, and enjoy a good time, I only wish I were still on the boat right now! PS~ ask for Kim B, Kelvin, Kris or Adam because they were THE BEST! Pursers folks were super helpful too! xoxo Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Any mention of the Mississippi brings to mind Mark Twain and stories of life on the river. Things have changed since that era but we found a way to recapture the history and atmosphere of those times. We did it by taking a trip on the ... Read More
Any mention of the Mississippi brings to mind Mark Twain and stories of life on the river. Things have changed since that era but we found a way to recapture the history and atmosphere of those times. We did it by taking a trip on the American Queen the largest, most opulent paddlewheel steamboat in the world. This boat is luxurious, elegant, historical and unlike any other boat we have ever seen. It was re-launched in 2012 after a $6.5 million renovation and is the only authentic steamboat in America. The staterooms are large and beautiful as are the many public rooms filled with antiques. The Mark Twain Gallery contains one of the most expansive collections of Tiffany glass in existence. It feels more like a stylish boutique hotel than a boat. The nightly five course dinners are great and in keeping with the atmosphere of southern charm. We particularly enjoyed the southern cuisine, big band jazz and relaxing in rocking chairs while we glided along the second longest river in North America. We took a short four day trip that involved excursions into the antebellum past and visits to several plantations and a swamp tour where I was handed a live alligator. Nottoway is the south’s largest mansion and dates back to 1859. The setting is magnificent. It has three floors and 22 white columns which has given rise to its nickname as the White Castle of Louisiana. It boasts an amazing 64 bedrooms and has 365 openings. Not to be outdone, the Oak Alley plantation is known as the Grande Dame of the Great River Road. Set on 25 acres, this Greek revival mansion has a quarter mile of 300 year old oak trees and reminded us of scenes from Gone With The Wind. The traditional mint Juleps and guides in period costumes may have helped. The 1830 St. Joseph plantation was a highlight as we were shown through by three charming ladies who were direct descendants of the original family. We came away with a far better understanding of this period of history and the devastation that resulted from the civil war. New Orleans has its own incomparable charms, interesting architecture, traditional jazz bands and wonderful restaurants and southern cuisine. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
This was an impulse trip that my husband wanted to do. I thought going on this trip might be a little boring. Boy was I wrong. First of all the boat is beautiful. Fully renovated in the true style of the time. Our room had a veranda and it ... Read More
This was an impulse trip that my husband wanted to do. I thought going on this trip might be a little boring. Boy was I wrong. First of all the boat is beautiful. Fully renovated in the true style of the time. Our room had a veranda and it was great having coffee service bought to the room each morning and sitting out there watching the river roll by. The beds are as comfortable as any five star hotel. The crew is outstanding, always smiling and ready to help you. Most of the time they were coming over just to see if you need something. They have the formal dinning room which is beautiful and the food was wonderful. Great selections everyday. If you want more casual dinning, go to the front porch and enjoy the open air dinning. The shows are spectacular, a seven piece orchestra and great performers. Something unique each night. The ports that we stopped at are historical and very interesting. You have the option to do tours that are included in the price or premium tours that they offer. We did about half and half. One of the great things about the cruise is because this is not a huge cruise ship, you get to know the people on board. We made some lifelong friendships this week. All in all it was a great trip and we will definitely go again. They are several different routes you can take. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
One of the most enjoyable vacations in recent years. The American Eagle was fabulous. It would have been even better if Longwood Mansion were eliminated from the land tours and a lovely plantation home visited instead. While only its ... Read More
One of the most enjoyable vacations in recent years. The American Eagle was fabulous. It would have been even better if Longwood Mansion were eliminated from the land tours and a lovely plantation home visited instead. While only its second sailing (I believe) the staff for the most part were well trained with a few exceptions in the dining room, but all in all they were most accommodating and pleasant. I agree with one of the comments concerning the level of noise in the dining room. With the full ship dining at the same time, the noise level gets a bit loud. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
Overall we had a wonderful time. Accommodations were great, food was plentiful, flavorful, good choices and very good. Tours, for the most part were excellent. As with everything, a couple could have been better, but overall very good. ... Read More
Overall we had a wonderful time. Accommodations were great, food was plentiful, flavorful, good choices and very good. Tours, for the most part were excellent. As with everything, a couple could have been better, but overall very good. Entertainment on board was adequate. Banjo player Dan Knowles was excellent! With seven days of tours and entertainment, you will always like some better then others. Doesn't mean that they weren't good, just different tastes for different folks. What we may have thought was just okay, others thought was excellent. Daily choices for tours were great. Something for everyone and they kept you busy every day. Staff members were always cheerful, accommodating and efficient. With the smaller size ship (about 150 people), you never had to wait for anything and got to meet a great deal of the folks on board. We totally enjoyed sitting with different people at dinner and sometimes were able to seek out people that we had enjoyed other nights. All tours were very well organized and we never felt rushed or had to wait for anything. We totally enjoyed ourselves and even signed up for another cruise while on board. Would highly recommend this cruise. The Mississippi River is awesome. Take an extra day at either end to explore both New Orleans and Memphis like we did as they both have a lot to offer and are fun cities. Forgot to mention that the majority of the passengers are the over 60 crowd. Read Less

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