1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Pullmantur
  4. Pullmantur Cruise Reviews
Cruise Ratings
See Reviews For
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2014
Our party of six - three couples - boarded the Horizon on January 21, 2014. We have all cruised many times to various destinations including Alaska, the Mediterranean, Panama Canal, Baltic, etc and on the major large cruise lines. In ... Read More
Our party of six - three couples - boarded the Horizon on January 21, 2014. We have all cruised many times to various destinations including Alaska, the Mediterranean, Panama Canal, Baltic, etc and on the major large cruise lines. In addition we have travelled extensively over land .I cruised last month on Carnival Valor so that was still fresh in my mind and I thought it would be good to use as a comparison. This was my thirtieth cruise. We booked as usual through a major online agency. I am dealing mainly with my impressions of the Horizon since information on ports of call is readily available. Let me say now that I will never again cruise on this ship and I am unable in good conscience to recommend it to anyone because of the behaviour of the staff which negated everything else that was positive. We got to the port at 1.30 p.m. and took our luggage to the designated area. Then Horizon staff gave us forms to complete - immigration, health and expense account. These had to be done right there standing in the open hall. There were no chairs and certainly not the type of welcome you get on the Carnival Valor where you are allowed on the ship and offered a seat and refreshment. After completing and returning the forms we went to the ship to the reception area to be checked in. We were amazed to learn that our passports would be confiscated and only returned at the end of the cruise just before we were escorted off the ship. The two British couples in the group even had their ID cards taken. What is that about? Is this still done? I would suggest that you travel with a copy of your passport information if you intend to be on this ship. We were not at all comfortable with this situation. We finally got to our rooms, ocean view on deck 4, and were pleasantly surprised, because although it is an old ship the inside is quite attractive. However, do not expect complementary toiletries as on other lines. There are shampoo and body wash dispensers in the shower stall and only one cake of soap at the face basin. Facial tissues are not provided. If you need these things bring your own. Our cabin steward was a pleasant young man but he was unable to complete the work. Do not expect turn down service at night. This was hit or miss. Of the seven nights we were on the ship we got this only three times. Breakfast and lunch were very good, and better in my opinion than other lines. There were the traditional breakfast items and lots of French pastries, the omelettes were prepared before hand. Lunch also was good - salads, vegetables, meats and fish and lots of fruit. Of course wine and drinks were free. On other ships we often have breakfast in the dining room to get away from the crowds, but there was always somewhere to sit in the upstairs buffet on this ship. Dinner was nothing to write home about. There is one formal night, and that was the worst meal of the entire cruise. There was no lobster, shrimp cocktail, cherries jubilee or baked Alaska. We ordered duck, and it was so undercooked we thought it would have jumped off the plate quacking and fly away. The waiter encouraged us to try other things on the menu. He was really very nice and helpful and did everything in his power to make our dining experience pleasant. The same cannot be said for some of the other staff in the upstairs buffet. They were downright rude. A passenger asked one politely to clear a table, his response was 'you don't have to tell me I can see for myself'. If he can see it why doesn't he clear it? They stand around talking with trays of wine and drinks but refuse to serve. Of course not all of them do this but you can't help noticing the ones who do. One cleared the table directly in front the passenger's face like he was going to break the man's nose off. The lounges are quite nice but small and seating is limited, so while the music especially in the Rendez-Vous lounge was good it was not possible for us to spend time there as we had hoped. The announcements were made first in French, then in Spanish and finally in English so we were always aware of what was going on. However in the theatre the jokes were in French or Spanish only so obviously English speaking passengers were at a loss. The shows were quite entertaining, with songs in all three languages. One night there was a tribute to Michael Jackson and another to Abba. Just before the end of the cruise the staff informed us that we would have to pay an additional 72Euros each for gratuities. We took all our documentation that we had received from them showing that these were included in the fare. The staff said they did not care they were taking an additional 72Euros each. Well at that point I was totally disgusted and disappointed and only wanted to get off the ship. I have seen passengers in droves demand their gratuities back, especially in the Mediterranean so why are they grabbing our money especially for poor service? We were not even refusing to pay just advising that we had already done so. I am happy to say that the agency is refunding the money. At the disembarkation talk the international hostess said that we would all assemble in one of the lounges at 9.00 a.m. where we would receive our confiscated passports and be escorted off the ship to the Customs area since we would already be cleared by Immigration. A passenger asked if she could stay on for an additional two hours since she had a late flight. She was told that she could not do so. Take note that anyone who is accustomed on other cruise lines to checking out of the room but staying on board must be aware that this is not permitted on the Horizon unless according to the hostess you have a Pullmantur package. I am accustomed to better service so I found it difficult to accept the type that was offered. If you are cruising on this ship be aware of the above. We will not be back. Once was enough for us.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2008
I read a review before I went which made me think "Oh no, this is going to be Benidorm at Sea" which is very unlike what I would have expected from a cruise, but then again, it was about half the price that I paid for the last ... Read More
I read a review before I went which made me think "Oh no, this is going to be Benidorm at Sea" which is very unlike what I would have expected from a cruise, but then again, it was about half the price that I paid for the last cruise I went on. I am a down to earth person that expects to get what I pay for. I can tell you that this is exactly the case when it comes to the Island Star. Talking to other passengers, comments were all pretty similar. One family told me that the Ocean Village was far superior in entertainment and facilities and this is the same price range as far as I know. Hygiene was very good, with staff waiting at the entrance for you to sanitize your hands but there were other food areas where people walked in without sanitizing which was not good. I have been on another ship where the waiter/waitress will only give you your plate when they have seen you use the hand sanitizer. I would say that the best meal of the day was breakfast. The other meals were very good and it seemed that everybody on the ship enjoyed the choice. There was an allowance for special dietary meals if requested. The ship was far too overcrowded with no sunbeds being available when the ship was at sea and the swimming pools were so small, we didn't bother! Some children were boisterous and running around, throwing each other into the pool but it was the parents that kept them in check, with no staff intervening. The worst thing was that there was no draught beer. Everything they sell you is in cans. My husband asked for a pint of Boddington's and got a pint glass with an inch missing off the top so he asked them to fill it up and they said that they couldn't because it was a can. His receipt showed a 'pint' for £2.80 so he insisted on having his 'pint' and they just opened another can and topped it up. They then confessed that there were no hand pumps or draught beers anywhere on the ship. They did not serve Stella either so it was Corona by bottle, Boddington's by the can, Fosters by the can, Strongbow Cider, Bulmer's cider and cocktails or shorts. On the day we were disembarking, they received a large delivery of Stella by cans. If you are a smoker, you will love it. Smoking is allowed all down one side of the ship and on the balconies if you have a balcony room. They do not recommend smoking in the rooms. HOWEVER............. We arrived very exhausted and glad to get to our room, to find a dirty false finger nail next to one bed and the room stunk of stale fags. The toilet seat was lose and the bedding smelt musty. My little boy and my husband were exhausted so went to sleep while I went to reception to try to sort something out. I appreciated that the staff were stressed by people complaining so I was very polite and asked if it was possible that we could leave the ship and be put up on the island instead, as I thought the room was disgusting and I then began to get a lot tearful because it was very important to me to get away for xmas and having left my mum, dad and all my sisters and brother, I wished I hadn't. The reason I wanted to leave the ship is because there were no other rooms for us to move to. They said that I should try to sleep and see how I felt in the morning because the weather was bad and we were tired. They said that we would see it differently in the morning. We woke up mid-morning and the weather was bad and the room still smelt awful but we decided that we had no choice but to enjoy what we had. Meanwhile, I was offered another room that smelt clean and fresh but was for 2 adults and no children, even though we had a child. I had to turn it down for obvious reasons. The manager had a look at my comments and sent us a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of red wine along with a bowl of fruit. As a nice person, I wrote him a letter thanking him for cleaning the room and sending us those gifts. This ship is being sold in March 2009 and having a complete restoration and name change as far as I know. For the man who made a comment about the ship apparently being renovated in 2006, I would have to agree with him and say that it hasn't seen better days in years. Oh, and the bar staff are forced to ask you if you want a drink all the time. In five minutes, you will get up to 5 staff asking you if you want a drink from the bar. They make commission on what they sell and I can tell you that a bottle of Bulmer's cider was charged to me at £3.95 and no, that wasn't a 2 liter bottle! The rooms are cleaned regularly and tidied every single day. The bedding was changed regularly and very fresh after my initial complaint. I need to finish here otherwise it might become a book LOL. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise