174 Port Canaveral (Orlando) Senior Cruise Reviews

Choose because we only wanted a short cruise and Key West was the deciding factor. All good. Great service, wonderful food. Easy on and off at all stops. Entertainment in the theater was amazing. Most talent we ever saw on the seas. ... Read More
Choose because we only wanted a short cruise and Key West was the deciding factor. All good. Great service, wonderful food. Easy on and off at all stops. Entertainment in the theater was amazing. Most talent we ever saw on the seas. We did find ourselves searching for something interesting to do several times. The best place to be at night after shows was the Bliss lounge or the Windjammer lounge. Unfortunately way too many people and not enough seats, and seats were on top of each other. We were invited to a private cocktail party with the captain. Would have been a great experience had the captain and most officers actually acted as if they were pleased to see us. Will pass on cocktails with the captain in future cruises. The casino is always happy to see us! Much more so than this captain and the other officers were only following his lead. I can almost hold my breath for 1/2 hr, suy he could force a smile or a hey, hi you doing or something. Very uncomfortable situation for us. Felt awkward. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
First, I was a single traveler on this trip. My wife had girls outing in the Lake of the Ozark so I decide to travel alone. I learned a lot about traveling alone. There are no perks for being a single traveler and what there is, is ... Read More
First, I was a single traveler on this trip. My wife had girls outing in the Lake of the Ozark so I decide to travel alone. I learned a lot about traveling alone. There are no perks for being a single traveler and what there is, is based on double occupancy. The only benefit is my drink package was based on one traveler and two. I would really think hard about booking a single cruise with Royal Caribbean again, This cruise turned out to be a humanity cruise and not a pleasure cruise. Due to the massive destruction in the Bahama, Mariner of the Sea changed it sailing itinerary and we lost our day at sea. The original itinerary was leave Port Canaveral, day at sea, Nassau, then Coco Cay. What we got was Port Canaveral, Freeport, Nassau where we spent overnight and two days then we went to Coco Cay. The reason why was, Mariner stopped at Freeport and dropped off several thousand of meals and supplies and then loaded several hundred refuges and then we went directly to Nassau to allow the refuges to disembark there. I like to commend Royal Caribbean on there efforts in helping the victims of the hurricane. My only complaint is no one knew about the changes until 30 minutes before departure. My travel agent got the memo after we left. I miss my day at sea, to me this is very peaceful but giving the big picture I understand. By the way, all of the refuges were restricted to the auditorium and was not allowed to mingle with the passengers. The refuges were taken care of. I enjoyed the Mariner of the Sea and this is the third trip on her. The staff were great and my room attended went above and beyond what he was required to do. He later received a nice reward. The food is still the same and there was not changes there. I had to laugh, when I went into the Windjammer and one of the staff I have seen before was not singing “Please wash your hands”. He recognized me and we had a good laugh when he pointed to his guitar and said that he needed a break. If you have ever traveled on the Mariner of the Seas you will know what I am talking about. The jingle is one of those songs that plague your mind and you keep repeating if over and over almost as bad as Disney “it’s a small world”. Despite the changes I am booking another cruise I just hope I get my day at sea. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Last Bahama cruise before hurricane Dorian. The ports will not look the same for years. Donated to help those affected. Such a tradegy. Best 5 day cruise.ever. Inexpensive; Inside room for 2 under $700 total. Food was good,better than ... Read More
Last Bahama cruise before hurricane Dorian. The ports will not look the same for years. Donated to help those affected. Such a tradegy. Best 5 day cruise.ever. Inexpensive; Inside room for 2 under $700 total. Food was good,better than other NCL cruises in the oast Theatre entertainment was fantastic: singers and dancers were very professional. Singers also danced and did quite well. Free booze was added bonus though no longer available after September Normally take longer cruises but took this cruise for relaxation and not for tours and sightseeing. Close to home (Orlando),great price Would take this ship again to different ports Only negative comment: unless taking tours in Freeport ( swimmkng with pigs?) or a beach, not much to do but visit the shops at the dock. Docks are no longer in Freport proper. Shopping center 30 minutes away by bus and through new was literally EMPTY of tourists. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was perfect for our two first time cruisers. Not too big, not too long and ports that have lots to choose from. Same great Carnival food, service and dance parties as the big ships. Benefits of a smaller ship and carnival include ... Read More
This was perfect for our two first time cruisers. Not too big, not too long and ports that have lots to choose from. Same great Carnival food, service and dance parties as the big ships. Benefits of a smaller ship and carnival include fastest and friendliest dinner service at sea. Also way easier to get on and off of than a mega ship. It was a younger, rowdier crowd than we’re used to seeing on cruise ships out of Florida. Older ship with no rock climbing walls or ropes course and only one pool. But maintained very well. It works for a short cruise with one sea day. I wouldn’t want a longer cruise with more sea days on this ship. Drinks were way more expensive than any cruise we’ve ever been on. You need to have planned excursions tours or daypasses in Bahamas. We always go to Atlantis in Nassau. We got a day pass for viva Wyndham fortuna in Freeport. Was really great day. Kayaking some snorkeling pools great beach buffets snack bars and drinks included. They have a scuba shop but we did not use it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Being very loyal to Royal, and having been on more than 60 cruises we go with an open mind with intent on having fun. I hate to post anything negative unless it's something important so here goes, I'll get the bad out of the way ... Read More
Being very loyal to Royal, and having been on more than 60 cruises we go with an open mind with intent on having fun. I hate to post anything negative unless it's something important so here goes, I'll get the bad out of the way first. Morning one, we decided to have breakfast at mini bites. It was scheduled to open at 7. We arrived shortly after. It was not open so I asked if I could get a cup of coffee and wait. I was told they don't have any coffee there. A breakfast place without coffee? Ok so we went all the way forward to the solarium bistro which was open, got coffee and tea and went back to mini bites because it is one of the few places that make omelets. We placed our order, they gave us a number to place on our table and said they will bring the food to us. After a very long wait, our omelets arrived, cold!. As we waited we noticed flies feeding on the food in the serving line. I found a supervisor and told him what was going on. As soon as the staff saw him, out came the coffee they claimed they didn't have. We left without finishing our COLD eggs and didn't eat there again. Latter when we passed by, the food was covered, hum maybe it was still the same food the flies were enjoying? On the up side if you are an omelet lover we found them at Johnny Rockets. No charge for breakfast, the food was very good and the service excellent. Best of all it was clean and no flies. Next gross issue. It's becoming more common. People putting their bare feet on top of tables. What are they thinking? Would they want to eat of their own table knowing someone has been using it a foot stool? Let's think about the health issues and keep your feet off the tables. Ok enough about the bad stuff. The cruise was very good. But it's more geared to younger cruisers and those with families. If you are a more traditional cruiser this might not be for you. Boarding was the fastest ever in the more than 60 cruises we have been on. They used scanners to confirm our boarding pass. We went directly on board, got something to eat and went to our cabin. The sea passes were on the door of the cabin and our luggage arrived shortly after. Very impressive. Our cabin was a balcony overlooking boardwalk. We wanted to check it out since were we determining if our grandson would enjoy the Harmony for his first cruise. It was a bit noisy at times but lots of fun to watch what was going on and we're sure our grandson will enjoy it. We saw lots of kids having fun and would recommend this ship for anyone with families. The cabin was one of the best we have had. Lots of storage, plenty big for 2, nice bathroom roomy shower, comfortable bed and a great cabin steward. After the first morning disaster we had all our breakfasts at Johnny Rockets. Very good and great service. The rest of our meals were at the Windjammer. It could be crowded at times, but it you avoid the peak times you'll have no problem finding seating. The staff was super, the WD was clean and lots to choose from. Some of the meats were a bit dry but overall the food was very good. The layout is a bit odd and you get the feeling you're hunting for you food instead of just going to a buffet. We saw it as a fun challenge. The crew was great, the ship clean and well maintained. Being older and more of the traditional type of cruiser we felt the only down side was the lack of dancing earlier in the evening. They had nice bands almost nightly, but they didn't play until around 9PM. That tends to interfere with other activities we'd like to do in the evenings. Overall we had a great time but unless we take our grandson on a cruise we'll stick with the smaller ships. But like I said I'm sure if you have a young family you'll enjoy the Harmony. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Chose this ship because of the ability to "sample" it with a three day cruise. I have been on Oasis twice but first time on Harmony. Large number of passengers....I believe they said 6,000+ so elevators always had long waits. ... Read More
Chose this ship because of the ability to "sample" it with a three day cruise. I have been on Oasis twice but first time on Harmony. Large number of passengers....I believe they said 6,000+ so elevators always had long waits. My suggestion if you are able is to take the stairs that way you get where you want to go faster and it works in your daily exercise program! Lots of walking from one end of ship to the other. Food was better than I anticipated, based on past RCCL cruises. Written communication was strange....I had reservations for comedy show the first night but it was not listed on the programs. I had to find the venue to be sure it was still scheduled. Evidently the comedians were also confused as it was mentioned during the show that they didn't know they were performing at that time. The comedians were not good. I booked the Chef's Table upon boarding and was given a slip of paper with no time nor date. There was no information sent to the cabin and I was unable to get anyone to answer the phone to see if we were confirmed for that night. The food and presentation were both outstanding but the venue was more like being in a tent. But it was really good. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We had never done a trans Atlantic and it won't be out last. Seas were calm and blue the entire trip. We chose this due to the many sea days and access to several unusual ports. A travel partner had relatives immigrate from Madeira ... Read More
We had never done a trans Atlantic and it won't be out last. Seas were calm and blue the entire trip. We chose this due to the many sea days and access to several unusual ports. A travel partner had relatives immigrate from Madeira and I have family to visit in Seville. Then add on Malaga, Cartagena, Palma, Barcelona and oops forgot Delgato! We had a marvelous lady give us advice about the history and how to see each port to our best advantage. Her chats were so popular they filled the Epic Theater and were broadcast in the Atrium and nearby bar. Staff from top to bottom, beginning to end, were all super friendly and excellent at their jobs. We had many activities to choose every day but mainly we relaxed, visited or people watched. Never were we prodded into participation. Problems in ports were never due to NCL but the number of ships being in small ports at one time. Hopefully limits will be set and held in the future. I left feeling like I had truly seen Spain aND been relaxing at a resort. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Let me start by saying we are not fussy cruisers. My wife and I take most things in stride. If your looking for a brand new ship then cruise in a new ship. This one shows her age BUT....we had a great time. This was our 40th wedding ... Read More
Let me start by saying we are not fussy cruisers. My wife and I take most things in stride. If your looking for a brand new ship then cruise in a new ship. This one shows her age BUT....we had a great time. This was our 40th wedding anniversary and we were joined by my wife's twin sister and her husband doing their 38th anniversary (kids lol). We have cruised most ship from Oasis class down. We made diamond on our trip as well. Boarding was a breeze. We got to the port at 11:00am and were on the ship by 11:30. This was the fastest embark I've ever had. Then we had a nice lunch in the Windjammer and hit the pool and the hot tub before going back to our room for muster call. We ate at the included dinning only. The first night they wanted to split us up to 2 tables. They quickly straightened it out. While the menu is a bit repetitive we still found good food to try. The wait staff was truly outstanding. The vision class of ships have a great view from most public rooms. The smoke from the casino is very noticeable in near by rooms like Boleros. Being a non smoker this was a real downer. They need better ventilation in the casino. Finally a great shout out to Luni in guest services, Gener and Inyoman our wait staff and Martin in Windjammer. These and many others made this a great cruise for me! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
After reading all the bad reviews of the Epic's February and March cruises, I was very apprehensive about my upcoming April 6 cruise. My worries were for naught. The cruise from Embarkation to Debarkation was very satisfying. ... Read More
After reading all the bad reviews of the Epic's February and March cruises, I was very apprehensive about my upcoming April 6 cruise. My worries were for naught. The cruise from Embarkation to Debarkation was very satisfying. Although the ship is huge, it didn't feel any more crowded than the smaller boats I've been on. Elevator wait times were not bad except when shows were finished. The wait for drinks at the bar wasn't bad, no more than 3-4 minutes at times. The specialty restaurants were excellent. The service was impeccable. Not only in the specialty restaurants but also in the free dining rooms. The food at Cagney's was very good, I had the lamb chops. The food and performance of the cook at Tepanyaki was excellent. The food at La Cucina was outstanding. There wasn't a dessert offering at Teppanyaki, I always ordered two appetizers since there was no additional charge. The food at the two free dining rooms was o.k., but the service was excellent. The entertainment was great. Broadway or West End equivalent. Pricilla Queen of the Dessert was not for kids.. It was up there with The Book of Mormon. Burn the Floor was fabulous and thats coming from one who i not crazy about dancing shows. I skipped the ports since I've been to them all before. Not a fan of most of the overpriced activities. Would go again on the Epic. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We had fabulous weather. The ports were very nice and of course the crew were exceptional as always on a NCL ship. However, the ship is too large and too crowded to really give everyone the attention they deserve. Embarking was like ... Read More
We had fabulous weather. The ports were very nice and of course the crew were exceptional as always on a NCL ship. However, the ship is too large and too crowded to really give everyone the attention they deserve. Embarking was like herding cattle. Not like any haven embarkation I've ever seen. Especially since we are platinum latitudes level. Even though we had a haven suite we were unable to enjoy the haven pool area as it was so crowded and filled with children. The elevators were jam packed. The haven epic club restaurant was fabulous. Staff and food were excellent. In fact I would forego the specialty dining and just eat there if I had to do it over again. There are just way too many haven passengers to make you feel you are getting your money's worth for anything other than the restaurant. The concierge, David, never came to our room to introduce himself or check on our needs. If you visited him at his desk there were often long lines. However, his assistant, Lillian, was fabulous. I gave her the tip. Singh, our Butler was exceptional. He took care of everything we needed and was available anytime I needed something. I did not go to any show. Apparently with so many people you had to make reservations. And some were an extra charge. What is up with that??? Even the musicians and singers at the smaller bars were so crowded you couldn't get a seat. I like the ultimate beverage package but it seems that with so many people having this option the servers are no longer coming to take your drink orders. The lines are so long as a result. All in all I was not impressed and felt I did not get much value for the amount I spent on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This cruise was set up for about 150 people by a travel agent who is a member of our fraternal order. It was a great deal, packaging everything into one price (cruise fare, port charges, beverage package and gratuities). Very convenient ... Read More
This cruise was set up for about 150 people by a travel agent who is a member of our fraternal order. It was a great deal, packaging everything into one price (cruise fare, port charges, beverage package and gratuities). Very convenient and a wonderfully great value. There is nothing better than a seven day cruise spent in only 2 ports plus their beach with the rest of the time floating on the sea. The ship was filled with endless activities to choose from, fantastic shows, comedy, entertainment and the largest casino we have seen on a cruise ship. The staff were all friendly and happy to serve us. The dining experience in all the standard restaurants was nothing short of excellent and the food was all up to a nice standard of preparedness, presentation and taste. We have sailed on about 7 different cruise lines and find that Norwegian suits our needs better than most of the others we have sailed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This cruise was a sibling reunion - 5 brothers/sisters and spouses. We booked 5 oceanview rooms at the back of the boat, deck 2. It was wonderful to hear the hum of the engine as we slept and to see the wake, but be aware that when ... Read More
This cruise was a sibling reunion - 5 brothers/sisters and spouses. We booked 5 oceanview rooms at the back of the boat, deck 2. It was wonderful to hear the hum of the engine as we slept and to see the wake, but be aware that when docking (and occasionally other times) there is a lot of engine noise. Our room steward (Silvana) was great! The rooms were clean and adequate. Walls and ceilings are magnetic, so bring magnetic clips! We sat at a large round table for dining and chose late dining (8:15). It was a bit later than we would have liked, but the early dining was too early. We loved our servers!! (Olga, I Madi and Widi). They made dining a highlight of the cruise. The food and selection was very good - much better than we expected! One comment (complaint actually) is that they have stopped putting tablecovers on except for formal nights, and the noise in the dining room is extreme - we couldn't talk to the people across the table from us! The entertainment was disappointing - not bad, per se, but lacking in variety and imagination. I'm not sure who they are catering to, but it didn't seem to be very popular with any group! Some cruises we have been on have had full broadway shows, cirque du soleil type acrobatics, professional ballroom dancers, music for all eras, lots of color and costumes, etc. The comedians were fine, the magician was okay - we never made it to the piano bar. The ship itself was clean and had nice amenities - fun mini golf and water slides and a nice outdoor theater, good hot tubs. The central atrium wasn't very exciting or beautiful. We had beautiful weather and wonderful stops, so all in all this was a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I did not chose. My brother did and we went with him. He choose this trip for 2 reasons. 1 It was in the Eastern Caribbean 2 It had a cabin type 4j we had good weather, the food was good, but not great. the entertainment was ok. I ... Read More
I did not chose. My brother did and we went with him. He choose this trip for 2 reasons. 1 It was in the Eastern Caribbean 2 It had a cabin type 4j we had good weather, the food was good, but not great. the entertainment was ok. I liked the Sunshine better than the Dream or the Libertyonly thing that I did not know was the cabin was a handicap room until I paid my final payment. Because it did have a larger bathroom but it is not a good room to make into a king size bed. our room was 7103. most of the food seems bland, it is like they try too hard to make fancy food. It would be nice if they had some just plain food. besides burgers. The soft serve ice cream is bad. I have not found it to be good on any of the previous 5 cruises I have taken. I have traveled with 3 different cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Just returned from Oasis - Eastern route - after taking Western one year ago. This year's experience was even better than last year because of a much better dining experience. Last year, My Time Dining was a disappointment overall. ... Read More
Just returned from Oasis - Eastern route - after taking Western one year ago. This year's experience was even better than last year because of a much better dining experience. Last year, My Time Dining was a disappointment overall. This year we chose early dining and our server Vaibhav and asst Claire at table 564 in Grand DR were outstanding. The American Icon for breakfast and lunch was always impressive. Windjammer was chaotic at times but well managed. We even tried Johnny Rockets for a fun lunch but opted not to try other optional restaurants. Arrival at Port Canaveral was again the most organized port we've ever experienced - kudos to all the helpful staff there. We chose a Boardwalk balcony - 10329 and it proved to be spectacular- offering both views of the ocean along with the Aqua Theater events. Highly recommended especially if you like an aft view. Once again the entertainment was very enjoyable everywhere except we avoided Cats after being disappointed last year. This massive ship offers such a variety of acts and venues. Glad to see that smoking is being very restricted. Crazy ridiculous drink prices are very evident even with highly promoted packages. Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten were good stops that still displayed the horrific hurricane damage from 2017. They're still trying to recover especially in St. Maarten. Disembarkation was organized considering well over 6000 pax. We opted to self-disembark. Overall a great experience despite such a large ship. Anxious to see what the Oasis two month refurb this fall will have to offer. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Embarkation was smooth and we boarded the ship very quickly. We parked at the port that also added to the convenience. Our first meal was as at the Seaside BBQ. The BBQ was very good (chicken, pork and beef). The BBQ beans were not good. ... Read More
Embarkation was smooth and we boarded the ship very quickly. We parked at the port that also added to the convenience. Our first meal was as at the Seaside BBQ. The BBQ was very good (chicken, pork and beef). The BBQ beans were not good. There were 4 in our group and we were all in agreement about the beans. My wife and Ihave been on over 12 cruises each. We have become complacent with the food. Over the past several years the main dining entrees have remained the same. Therefore, we do not eat in the main dining room every evening. We did eat the first elegant night and the service was great. The staff always called us by our name and we're very friendly. The food was good, but the lobsters are small and slightly over cooked which causes them to be tough/chewy. I had the Maui Maui and the sea bass on the trip and both were very good. We also had the flat iron steak and it was tough. Our favorite meal is having breakfast in the Plush dining room. The food is much better than the Lido breakfast. The eggs are cooked to order and the French toast is delicious. Manfredo provided great service at breakfast. I did eat breakfast a few times on Lido. I few times I got a lump of uncooked goo in my scrambled eggs. I enjoyed the musical entertainment on the ship. Travis played in the Red Frog Pub and was very good. We also listened to Patrick in the Piano Bar. He puts a lot of energy in his show. However, it is definitely 18+. Maybe 24+. Please do not take the kids, adults only. The Variety Violins playing in the Atrium were also very good for an alternative style of music. We did spend some time on the Lido deck around the main pool. It was very crowded and difficult to find a chair. Carnival does not prevent people from saving chairs early in the morning and not showing up until 10:00 or later. We also went to the Serenity deck and it was nice but still difficult to find an open seat. The four of us did the Turtle Cove excursion in St. Thomas. It was a good trip and we saw a lot of turtles. There were not a lot of fish. I guess the turtles ate the fish. The crew on the boat provided great service and very customer friendly. We also went to San Juan, Ambor Cove and Grand Turk. I was disappointed in Grand Turk. The pictures on the internet are much nicer. The beach was over crowed and a little trashy. I saw cups, beer bottle, broken glass and horse poop on the beach. The beer at Margeritaville is over priced. $32.99 + 18% gratuity and 11% tax. The waiter made sure we new the price before being seated. I di not think it was possible for ship beer to be cheaper, but it was. The shopping area was very clean, but don't expect any bargains. Debarkation on the final day was great. We do the self assist. We are Platinum and we met in the dining room at 6:30 and we were getting off the ship at 7:00 and I was in my car by 7:30. Overall, we had a great trip. Carnival provides a great experience for the price. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise because we've never been on a 10-day and we wanted to see Harvest Cay in Belize. Harvest Cay was amazing to say the least. We didn't have one bad day of weather except for the last day at Sea with Gale force ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we've never been on a 10-day and we wanted to see Harvest Cay in Belize. Harvest Cay was amazing to say the least. We didn't have one bad day of weather except for the last day at Sea with Gale force winds returning to FL. This was our 12th cruise with NCL and we were very disappointed with the Latitudes Members Group. No announcement of the cocktail party, & the Cruise Next deals are not as good as they have been in the past, so we didn't book another one. We thoroughly enjoyed and had great relationships with the Photography staff, especially Marco. Not too "salesy", and always too great pics of us! The buffet was great with a lot of variety at each meal. It would be nice if the pool deck food bars would open sooner for lunch on "At sea days" and close breakfast earlier. People were always waiting for lunch there. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My husband and I just returned from a 13 day journeys cruise aboard the Sunshine. We typically have rain a good portion of our vacation and were pleasantly surprised to only have rain two half days. The ship itself is in great shape for ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from a 13 day journeys cruise aboard the Sunshine. We typically have rain a good portion of our vacation and were pleasantly surprised to only have rain two half days. The ship itself is in great shape for its age. The crew went out of their way to make the cruise special. We visited 7 islands - St. Thomas, Aruba, Curacao, St. Marteen, St. Kitts, San Juan, and Amber Cove. We had been to all of these ports except Amber Cove. I turned platinum on this cruise and enjoyed all the perks - chocolate covered strawberries, a free blanket throw, 5 bags of free laundry, priority boarding and disembarkation, and a free drink. The shows on board were all pretty good. My husband and I enjoyed the comedy shows the most and averaged two shows most days. The Love & Marriage Show dragged on too long. It took almost 45 minutes to pick the contestants. We ate most dinners (10 of the 13 nights) in the main dining room with Any Time Dining. We never had to wait over 5 or 10 minutes for a table. Most nights we were in and out in about an hour and 15 minutes. We typically ate early (around 5:15). We only paid to eat one meal and that was at the sushi restaurant. Sushi for two with tip was around $25. We booked all excursions on our own. There were a few things that irritated me. Number 1 - the free drink. You have to get it either at breakfast or lunch and only in the main dining room. I went three times before I even found the dining room open during these times. One time breakfast was over and lunch hadn't started. Another time lunch was already over. ( I know it is free and you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, but get real, it is a $9.50 drink!) Number 2 - No refrigerator. This is the first time I have ever cruised a big cruise line with no refrigerator. Number 3 - making you choose morning or evening service of your cabin. We chose morning but our steward still serviced it twice a day but you could tell he was overextended doing so. Shame on Carnival for putting him in this position. I think each steward services over 30 rooms. Number 4 - Disembarkation was a nightmare. It took us over two hours with priority and we just made our flight by 10 minutes and yes it was an afternoon flight. Overall, I will still sail on Carnival again but will give other cruise lines equal consideration. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Our third cruise, others were Carnival and most recently (before this on) Holland America. Cons: The epic is huge with 5000 passengers. Will go on a smaller (2500-2800) ship next time. For us just too big, too many people, everywhere was ... Read More
Our third cruise, others were Carnival and most recently (before this on) Holland America. Cons: The epic is huge with 5000 passengers. Will go on a smaller (2500-2800) ship next time. For us just too big, too many people, everywhere was crowded and lots of emphasis on the casino, you couldn't get away from it. If I want to gamble, I'll go to Vegas. Stood in line for all shows, no real "drop in" nightclub or club where you could come in, hear/see some entertainment and come and go. The rooms were smaller than our other cruises, no table to enjoy breakfast coffee or an afternoon/evening drink, and my feet hung off the bed (only 6' tall). Closet hangers were right out of Motel 6. Halls were narrow and always filled with cleaning carts. No real public area for people to meet, have conversations, play cards, etc. so they did so in buffet dining seating area leaving diners to stand with their food. Upon inquiry, was told by crew they were told to leave alone, bad policy. Their private islands are an embarrassment, especially Stirrup Key. Would have preferred a real stop at a real port. Pros: The food was good in all venues and Cagney's Steak house was one of the best steaks we have ever had, rivals Ruth's Chris. Cabin service was friendly and attentive. Entertainment was good, especially Cirque and a group called D'Soul Duo. Overall a good experience and good value for the money, especially the open bar, internet and specialty dining perks. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We did a back to back Nov 25 - Dec 2 and Dec 2 - Dec 9. The ship is very big and it was our first time on a mega ship we have always cruised on the smaller ones. We are Diamond Plus and we loved the Diamond lounge. We found the ... Read More
We did a back to back Nov 25 - Dec 2 and Dec 2 - Dec 9. The ship is very big and it was our first time on a mega ship we have always cruised on the smaller ones. We are Diamond Plus and we loved the Diamond lounge. We found the promenade to be like a shopping mall and just not our thing. The evening activities we great there. attended all the shows and really enjoyed them a lot. Ate in the dining room every evening food was good, and servers were excellent. Ate mainly in the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch crowded but never a bad issue there. We tried the Solarium for breakfast one morning and it was full of children and could not find a seat. Had to wait for plates and flatware. We always have a great time cruising what's not to enjoy! We have already booked for April, however it will be on a smaller ship Vision of the Seas. ** One note we were re-boarding on the second cruise, they walk you down to customs and back on board easy easy easy. However, my husband fell just as we were getting back on and cut his chin open and bruised his face. The staff really didn't do much to help me with him and told me where medical was. I took him to deck 2 and the nurse cleaned up his wounds and put a butterfly band-aid on his chin. I filled out all kinds of paper work, and my point to this long note is NOT Once did we get a call asking how he was. This is the disappointing part of my review. I realize the first day they are trying to board 6,000 passengers but after that they could have called. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
When we saw CATS was being performed on this ship, we had to book this cruise. It's been 30 years since we've seen CATS on Broadway and in Toronto, and it was every bit as good on the Oasis of the Seas. We saw it twice! In ... Read More
When we saw CATS was being performed on this ship, we had to book this cruise. It's been 30 years since we've seen CATS on Broadway and in Toronto, and it was every bit as good on the Oasis of the Seas. We saw it twice! In general, Royal Caribbean spared no expense--great performers, choreography and technical effects--on all the shows onboard. We also especially enjoyed the ice show (with the Russian sand artist) and the aqua show. This was our (two adults, late 60s/early 70s) first cruise with Royal Caribbean and we thank all the Cruise Critic reviewers for their input, especially the information that advance reservations are needed for shows and dining. We had most things arranged three months in advance and are glad we did, at least for the peace of mind knowing we would see/do what we wanted. I've got to say we missed the spontaneity of past cruises, however on Oasis-class ships scheduling ahead is a must. We chose a good time to go--right after the holiday when most school-age children were back in school and not onboard, so we experienced no child-related issues. The only additional-cost specialty dining we reserved was the $20/pp "First Night Done Right" to ensure we would not run late for our first CATS performance. It was our best meal on board--at 150 Central Park (chosen for us), where we had the chateubriand for two and great service. We ate one night at the Solarium Bistro, where food was good but service was lackluster. Our dinners were rounded out by two nights at the American Icon Grill dining room (one night so bad I ate two bites of the mushy "crab" cake, sent my undercooked ravioli back and ordered a salad instead--though service was great) and a few dinners at the Windjammer (most mediocre, however they put on quite an impressive spread the last night). We also ate lunches and breakfasts at Windjammer, lunch at the Dog House (really enjoyed the German sausage) and breakfasts at Johnny Rockets (good, but slow service) and the Park Cafe. We purchased online, before we left, a soft-drinks (with Voom internet--pretty good reception and speed, overall) and two specialty-coffee packages. We sure never went hungry or thirsty (bartenders and restaurants were always willing to provide soda if a machine was not readily available). Pizza, pastries and sandwiches were always available at no additional charge. Service was, in general, excellent. Our steward, servers and all staff we met were pleasant and helpful. We never had to go to Guest Services other than to get extra tip envelopes. Especially impressive was the system used to let passengers into the Windjammer Buffet: if it was busy, a line was formed and we were escorted to a table when it became available. (The line ran smoothly and quickly with staff radioing each other for information--and we did not have to search aimlessly for a table.) We loved the peacefulness and atmosphere of Central Park (our cabin was on the same deck), as well as stopping to enjoy its solo and duo (piano, string) entertainment. Activities, of course, were geared to a more-active, family crowd. For that reason, we booked our one excursion through an off-ship source. Labadee, too, did not offer much over a beach chair and barbecue to us (most activities were pay-for). It was necessary to take the tram to get around Labadee (and a map would have been appreciated, maybe included with the Compass newsletter). We were glad a barbecue was set up in each area. Would we sail an Oasis-class ship again? Absolutely, because it offers entertainment and a visual experience smaller ships cannot. Would we go out of our way to book a smaller Royal Caribbean ship? Probably not, because the food and activities--for us--were no better than other comparable lines. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We took this cruise because of the extras offered by NCL. I think there were 17 bars and many restaurants. I was ready to be disappointed because of the number of passengers 4100 thinking that service would be slow. Not! The bartenders ... Read More
We took this cruise because of the extras offered by NCL. I think there were 17 bars and many restaurants. I was ready to be disappointed because of the number of passengers 4100 thinking that service would be slow. Not! The bartenders were already making the drinks before we were seated. The dining was not up to par, seemed the staff were overwhelmed and not enough help. The Matradee was very helpful on several occasions to solve any issues at the table. We always joined others who we did not know and some were more fussy than others. The food was very average but way to much on the plates. I don't need 10 pieces of bacon with two eggs. The steak house was the best. The filet 8 oz just fell apart, no knife needed. Bar service was instant and servers were always around. Room was the smallest we ever had, balcony was good size but needed two tables as one 12 inch was insufficient for two people. Room service was quick but after 10 AM you had to pay $8 for each order (a first for us). We had the drink package included but was not allowed to have canned soda's in our room. I would have brought my own but your not allowed to even bring water on the boat. Not good! If your over 200 lbs you might have trouble fitting in toilet area. Smallest on any cruise ship in industry. Couch very uncomfortable, back is curved out not in. Used it for storage. You should get this cruise for less than twelve hundred per person with drink package, balcony, four specialty restaurants and internet minutes included. One last thing there are only 8 elevators on each end of the ship. None in middle of ship. Usually two are out of service. This ship is over 1000 feet long so book at one end or the other. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
First time on Royal Caribbean, last min deal. After extensively reading of reviews we new what it expect from a older smaller ship. Enjoyed the stops along with the food and Service in the MDR. The buffet layout was odd but worked fine ... Read More
First time on Royal Caribbean, last min deal. After extensively reading of reviews we new what it expect from a older smaller ship. Enjoyed the stops along with the food and Service in the MDR. The buffet layout was odd but worked fine after a couple of trips around it. Would like to have seen the silverware at the table and not by the plates, made it difficult if you did not have pockets. We took issue with a couple of items. Royal Caribbean web site after you are booked is not very helpful along with difficulties navigating to get better information. Our biggest concern was the volume music was played threw out the ship. It was impossible to have a conversation when the music was being played. It would be nice to be able to check your bill in your state room on the TV as other cruise lines have available. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We had never been to Aruba before and were looking forward to it. I had researched the Sunshine and had read some bad things but I also new that the ship was going to dry dock before this ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We had never been to Aruba before and were looking forward to it. I had researched the Sunshine and had read some bad things but I also new that the ship was going to dry dock before this cruise so it should be in pretty good shape. Then we heard the news about the issues the ship had on the cruises coming out of dry dock and it had us a little worried but I also knew that Carnival would address the issues. This cruise was incident free for us. The Sunshine is a remodeled ship and is unlike any other carnival ship we have been on, from reading previous reviews I was ready for the different ship arrangement. On most Carnival ships when you leave your cabin you just have to think what deck your destination is on and you can take any elevator to get there. Not the Sunshine for this ship you not only have to think about what deck your destination is on but also what elevator you need to get on to get there. Just getting on any elevator will not get you there. Some of the elevators also will take you to the Sports Court or the Serenity area but only if you push the proper up call button, there are 2 up call buttons for some of the elevators and those elevators will not stop on your floor if you do not push the proper up button. It took us a couple days to figure this out, until we figured it out we thought the elevators just had a mind of their own and was part of the entertainment. Because of these reasons the elevators are always busy all the time. I was also surprised at the size of the public areas, they were smaller than other large ships. There is no theater, just a lounge where they have the musical review shows, Liquid Lounge, and the lounge where the comedians are, Limelight Lounge. The public areas being smaller gives the ship the feel of a smaller ship that is crowded. The serenity area on the Sunshine is one of the best I have experienced it is large, spans 3 decks and has its own pool, hot tub and water fall, like all of Carnival's serenity areas they are popular and you have to get there early to get one of the better locations, but we could always find someplace to set in this area that was shady with as much privacy as you can expect with 3000 people on board. The Sunshine has all of the restaurants that Carnival currently offers on its ships except for Guy's Pig and Anchor barbeque. All of the food we had on board was very good. The Lido buffet was small but it is forward of the Havana Bar, The Italian restaurant and the Asian restaurant and all of these locations also serve food during lunch and breakfast and their seating areas are available to the buffet, so we never had an issue finding someplace to sit. The only specialty restaurant we tried was the steak restaurant and it was worth the extra amount of $38.00. We had a great experience there. The main dining room was very good and we enjoyed all of the food we tried. The waiter's and waitresses were very good but also very busy. My favorite part of this ship was the crew, they were very welcoming and always had a smile on their face and willing to speak to you and greet you. Another surprising thing also was the availability of live music around the ship. Besides the musical review shows I am accustomed to live singers, pianists and such being around the ship playing music in the atrium and other places during the day, especially on sea days. This type of music didn't usually start until 5PM and by the time we ate dinner and took in a performance by a comedian or watched a show, they were usually on break so we saw very little of the individual performers. The movies on the big screen were good and we enjoyed watching a couple of these at night during the cruise. We had a balcony stateroom that was on deck six and it was nice, had plenty of storage a refrigerator and a great balcony. Our stateroom steward was wonderful, never disturbed us and always seemed to know when we were in or out of our stateroom so he could clean it. He also did a great job and he was great with the towel animals and always greeted us by name when he saw us around the ship. Our stateroom number was 6227 and it was between the forward and mid elevators so, it was convenient to everywhere. It was also quiet. The bed was comfy and we slept well. The cruise director was Mikey and he was great and very entertaining and he made himself very available all the time. I am a veteran and Mikey did a great tribute to the Military and first responders that was attended very well. We did not particularly like the layout of the ship but we had a great time. I do not consider embarkation and debarkation to be cruising because it is always a horrible experience. With the way Carnival does embarkation now if you arrive during your assigned check in time then it is a fairly smooth process, if you arrive early or late you are toast, long lines await the early and late. For debarkation it did not go as smoothly as possible, For the self debarkation or express debarkation which we did where you carry your own luggage. It didn't go as planned. They announced that everyone was to be off the ship by 9 am and then they took forever, they had to call your deck number before you could go to the lobby to get off the ship and this took forever. We finally got off at 8:45 AM which is not bad, but they had not called all the decks and then they were going to have to call zone numbers for the ones who checked their baggage. we had also gotten up early because we knew that they would start debarkation at 7AM and we thought we would be able to leave the ship as soon as they got the FTTF, platinum, diamond and suite people off. So we waited longer than usual due to having to wait for our deck number. We only did one excursion and this was at Grand Turk. We had been to Grand Turk several times and decided to do the "Home Sweet Home" excursion. This is where they take you to a beach house and everything is included, drinks, water toys and they also serve you lunch and it is a smaller group probably about 30 people. This was a great excursion, the staff was attentive and available and they were on the beach taking drink orders and letting you know when the food was ready. The beach was sandy and beautiful. Overall the cruise was great with only the ship layout being a negative. Aruba by the way is beautiful, we walked around the town, had a drink at Iquana Joe's and ate dinner at the Old Fisherman, a great seafood restaurant that is right off the cruise port. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We selected this cruise because it was an 8 day to ports we had never visited before. We love the Alchemy Bar. Our only disappointment was that there was no real "dance" band. Good musicians if you just wanted to sit and ... Read More
We selected this cruise because it was an 8 day to ports we had never visited before. We love the Alchemy Bar. Our only disappointment was that there was no real "dance" band. Good musicians if you just wanted to sit and listen. The DJ was very good, but never seemed to be in any of the venues we visited. The food was the standard Carnival fare, but great, as always. And our wait staff and service was amazing - from the hostesses to the waiters - always smiling and professional. Our favorite shore excursion was the sunset catamaran cruise in Aruba. Our cabin mates also enjoyed the snorkeling trips in both Aruba and Curacao. We had been to Grand Turk several times, so opted to have the token margarita and nachos at Margaritaville, and didn't do any excursions there. Overall, it was a great experience. Personally, I prefer the smaller ships because I'm not into rope walks or water features. But the Serenity Deck on Sunshine is one of the best around. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this ship because of the size, the amenities, the live entertainment and cost. We found the ship to be somewhat crowded but not where you couldn't move. The buffet lines for breakfast and lunch were somewhat long but ... Read More
We chose this ship because of the size, the amenities, the live entertainment and cost. We found the ship to be somewhat crowded but not where you couldn't move. The buffet lines for breakfast and lunch were somewhat long but nothing more than 5 minute wait. There were 6,400 passengers and approx 2,000 crew. We had my-time dining which worked out fine. We just told them we wanted 7:30 everyday and they gave us the same table and same waiter for the entire week. My time is not bad at all, in fact you can tell them what time you wanted. Our waiter, Franky, table 232 deck 3 was great. Went out of his way to make your culinary experience great. We found the food to be above average. We did eat in Giovanni's specialty restaurant because I wanted to taste the octopus. I had it as an appetizer and I can tell you it was as tough as a shoe sole. The room was very loud and honestly, I'll probably never go back. We'll go back to Chops instead. Getting on, if you are not diamond or diamond plus may be time consuming. We are D+ so it only took us 10 minutes. Now getting off the ship is another story. The line for customs os very long and relatively slow. Expect 20-30 minutes to get through. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018

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