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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This past September 2016 I took a cruise on the Monarch with Pullmantur. The price was a great value and the cruise was worth every penny since I paid less than $600 for this cruise and it was a 15 day cruise. Was everything excellent? ... Read More
This past September 2016 I took a cruise on the Monarch with Pullmantur. The price was a great value and the cruise was worth every penny since I paid less than $600 for this cruise and it was a 15 day cruise. Was everything excellent? No, but for me the ship was comfortable the food was good and the staff were upbeat and nice to be around. The food at the buffet was very good and the dinner food in the dining room was good but my dining choices were limited, the menu never changed throughout the duration of the cruise (15- days) we had one menu to select from and the items on the menu were limited. My favorite hang-out was Schooner Bar was my favorite hang-out, it was right next to the Casino and the bar made excellent coffee - yum and the bar service was great. Would I take another cruise with Pullmantur? You betcha, yes, I sure would it's a great value. Read Less
36 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I had to write this after seeing negative reviews for this same cruise. I have sailed over 100 cruises and I can't wait to go on this same sailing in 2017! The food, the entertainment was all good. The value is exceptional! Where ... Read More
I had to write this after seeing negative reviews for this same cruise. I have sailed over 100 cruises and I can't wait to go on this same sailing in 2017! The food, the entertainment was all good. The value is exceptional! Where else can you get unlimited frozen drinks, beer, wine and premium coffee free of charge. It's not 5-star luxury but you're getting 99% off the price of other cruises doing the same Trans-Atlantic crossing. I read one review that said that the announcements were only in Spanish.....not true, they were also made in English. The entire crew is multi-lingual. The same review said the shows were in Spanish...again not true, we saw excellent shows in English. They do have "Spanish Only" shows for "Spanish Only" guest, other than the comedian we had no issues being entertained. The disco played mostly American music. The vibe was energetic and fun. Our outside cabin was OK, nothing wrong with the bed, lights, TV, toilet, shower, etc. I'm sure that if there had been an issue the hotel manager would have taken care of it. Our tablemates were all from the USA, and we all had very enjoyable meals, every night. We had the appetisers, several entrees, deserts and the cheese plate, along with our bottles of wine and a nice cup of expresso at the end (no hidden charges here!) Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We had an opportunity for a LONG vacation and needed to unwind before reaching Barcelona (for 3 weeks in Spain). We live on the Pacific side of Costa Rica (expat Americans) and it was very convenient to have friends drive us to Puerto ... Read More
We had an opportunity for a LONG vacation and needed to unwind before reaching Barcelona (for 3 weeks in Spain). We live on the Pacific side of Costa Rica (expat Americans) and it was very convenient to have friends drive us to Puerto Limon. The cruise on Pullmantur was less expensive than an economy flight to Barcelona and gave us 15 nights to relax on the crossing for just over $900 per person in the second best accommodations on the ship. This was a ship that could hold 1500 passengers and between Puerto Limon and the 1st of two stops, the Dominican Republic, only 80 (YES, EIGHTY!) people boarded. The crew was friendly and efficient. I believe there were 600 crew members making the ratio of crew to passenger 7.5 crew to 1 passenger. That was the ONLY good thing to say about this cruise. The ship was old; not very attractive; badly needed refurbishing; and not very well maintained. The dining service was great, but the food was a 1-star on a scale of 1 to 5. The menu offered steak and shrimp for an upcharge of $10 and $15 per person. It was otherwise bland, tough meat, sameness, and what one might expect from a not too good cooks kitchen. Only the pastry chef and bread baker were 3-4 star. If the ship had stabilizers they did not seem to be working, as walking through the hallways required holding on to the railings at all times during the Atlantic crossing. It appeared that this was a maintenance cruise as the banging continued as the rust was hammered off the metal for several hours every day. The temperature in the cabins could not be controlled and after several service calls I wound up sitting in my cabin with a sweater and wrapped in a down blanket to keep warm. I got a cold after a few days and spent the next few in bed. During that time, my husband was not allowed to carry even a cup of tea back to the cabin for me and room service would not deliver any hot beverages except at breakfast. Once we hit the Mediterranean (after 8 freezing days) it was warmer. The toilets on the ship worked on a system similar to that of a plane; some sort of air system. For at least 3 days the system was being repaired from first thing in the morning to 3 in the afternoon and there were NO WORKING TOILETS on the ship. No flushing toilets that is. And when the smell became bad enough "Out of Order" signs were placed on the public bathrooms of the ship. Thank goodness there were only 80 people! The sea was so rough that the outside decks were closed most of the time, along with the pool. The sea spray reached over our balcony onto the sliding doors of the veranda - and we were on deck 9! I am a smoker and could only smoke outside, which was, of course, impossible except at the back of deck 10, protected from the sea spray, but where most of the hammering continued from morning to night. The only smoking area on the INSIDE of the ship was a bar who only allowed passengers who had purchased their "supreme" beverage package! I had not since I don't drink at all. The entertainment on the ship was less than mediocre. There were two shows (both very unprofessional) and the rest of the nights were theme parties in the lounge sponsored by the ships entertainment crew. There was a Captain's Cocktail Party - strangely held AFTER dinner when everyone was already full. The second stop before we reached Barcelona was in Gibralter. The tour I had booked was canceled because there were not enough reservations. We were able to book the same tour with a tour vender on the dock for 1/2 the price the ship had charged and had a delightful time. With all of the above, there was never any apology - not even for the canceled excursions, broken AC or toilets! The staff at the front desk acted as if everything was in perfect order. It was surreal. All I can say about Pullmantur is although they are a division of Royal Caribbean, it's time to close them down and retire their lowest-end ships and cruises. I spent most days reading and wondering why we didn't fly, which would have given us an extra two weeks to spend for fabulous trip through southern Spain. My recommendation... STAY AWAY from a Pullmantur cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
First of all, I was not on vacation but traveling back home from The Caribbean. The ship itself was not that great except for the spacious cabin which was a nice surprise. There was no great entrance hall with glass wall elevators and ... Read More
First of all, I was not on vacation but traveling back home from The Caribbean. The ship itself was not that great except for the spacious cabin which was a nice surprise. There was no great entrance hall with glass wall elevators and marble stairs that I had seen on Empress before. But I can whole heartedly say that the staff made it up and much more! The service, attention and care on the boat were amazing. I am a young mother traveling alone with my two year old which is not always easy but with the experience with this boat and previously on Pullmantur's Empress, I can only recommend the cruise line! The food was not very good in the beginning but it got better along the way. The weather happened to be terrible but seeing my son being loved and attended by the staff and clientele and him having the time of his life this cruise has been one of the greatest travel memories for me. Note that you should know languages like Spanish or French to get the best of the cruise. The repositioning cruises are my thing and I will certainly go for more. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Previous reviewer of Horizon summed up the best description for this cruise line. If you dont go with your expectation too high, you will not only enjoy this old lady, but you will also enjoy her friendlyness and service. To summise: ... Read More
Previous reviewer of Horizon summed up the best description for this cruise line. If you dont go with your expectation too high, you will not only enjoy this old lady, but you will also enjoy her friendlyness and service. To summise: Food . Good in Resturant although can sometime be lukewarm, good in the buffet, always a good selection but again can be lukewarm. Seems a theme on this cruise line, maybe thats their way. My only reservation and its a very British reservation is that they are clueless on how to make tea. Ship. Old and Tired, in my opinion, not well maintained, carpets show signs of wear all over the ship and some are badly stained. Wood Decks on solerium by gym very rough, missing lots of corking and certainly not been polished and stained for a good few year, further up the ship wood deck has been replaced by astroturf like carpet. Entertainment: Having crossed the Atlantic on one of the big Royals a couple years ago and being extremely dissappointed with the entertainment, was surprised to find that the entertainment on Horizon was in fact quite good, the staff tried every night to put on a show that was different and entertaining and to which they mostly succeeded in doing. Overall a fine, entertaining cruise with good food and good entertainment and a freindly ship with some very good levels of service (and some poor) for a price that would put the bigger cruise line to shame. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2008
Just returned transatlantic trip 1mar to 21mar 2008, first time with island cruises, on island star We travelled via Milan, (others from Glasgow direct, Manchester direct, hrow to Frankfurt, hrow to paris) with our flight from Newcastle ... Read More
Just returned transatlantic trip 1mar to 21mar 2008, first time with island cruises, on island star We travelled via Milan, (others from Glasgow direct, Manchester direct, hrow to Frankfurt, hrow to paris) with our flight from Newcastle we were travelling for 28 hours, it was chaotic at port, we got there 8am (1st flight in) & could not check in till passengers had all disembarked, by 10 30 there was nearly a riot as new passengers arriving were trying to check in first, however we were allowed to check in then but were warned that cabin may not be ready which it wasn't but at least the surroundings were more pleasant & food & drink were available, people who booked late had to stay in Rio for 1-2-3 or 4 days as there were no scheduled flights available Cabin coral deck 5021 twin inside (booked before went for £30) at front in a quiet cul de sac, near customer services, a good size, lots of wardrobe space (not many hangars) 18 drawers, 1 chair, 1 table, dressing table, hairdryer, soap, shower gel, towels changed when you want, pool towels also, mini bar (to pay for) duvet torn at bottom, blanket had seen better days was from when the ship was the horizon I think The lounges on board were in the main comfortable except part of the pub, the theatre was spacious 2 levels, most lounges & the pool area were ½ non smoking with no smoking in any restaurants including the outdoor area the grill There were plenty daytime activities especially at sea, evening shows + other guests ie comedian, singer, comic magician who we never saw (BA lost his props) & another comedian, the show team were professional & the costumes were vg, there were singers etc in pub & some karaoke, pianists in captains table & harbor cafe & tv game shows, bingo, a 5 piece resident band etc in the bounty bar, the only one of the entertainment team who created havoc where ever he went was Josh although a likable enough lad (age 18) he wasn't really experienced, however he had a 30 min singing slot which we quite enjoyed Food & drink - we only once went to the island restaurant because there were always queues & the food was same as beachcomber the only difference was that beachcomber had no table covers & u had to collect your own cutlery, the staff wore disposable gloves & there were material napkins for the 1st few days then paper napkins (because of all the sickness & diarrhea on board), there were hand sanitation machines but a lot of people ignored them, island tables were set, both were buffet with same food, 2 other restaurants to pay steakhouse £35 for 2 inc bottle wine & oasis £30 for 2 inc bottle wine. 12 to 6pm the grill(outside) was open with burgers etc Food was not very varied, similar salads most of the time, very predictable, very few veg usually only 1, 1 meat on carvery, pasta available to be made but very slow, food usually not very warm, cold desserts & every evening there was crumble & custard. Would only give food 2 & a half star rating Dress code - I know that it is an informal ship but when people come to the evening meal in what they have been wearing all day it's not good, I have no objections to men & women wearing smart shorts & tops but some people I think just like to see how far they can go Drinks - similar to uk beer on tap only for 1 day then onto cans then bottles all same price £2.40 Bars had 2 for 1 but were smaller & weaker-all bars different offers pays to ask at each, brazilian beer small can £2.40 often on offer 2 for 1. bottle wine £8.50 changes daily, 150 ml wine £2.40, carafe 250ml £3.15, water litre & half £2.15 cans coke etc £1.40 Trips - we went on Rio extravaganza which was so disappointing we were up sugar loaf for 75mins & only at top of Christ redeemed for only 10 mins we did complain but were just fobbed off, we wish now we had got a taxi & done it ourselves but rio is a place you need to take care, other people went on a different trip with shopping, the shopping was cancelled for some reason, also did Casablanca trip where we were rushed round, some were left in kasbar, just so guide (who was very difficult to understand) could take us to a shop where he obviously had 'an arrangement', the las Palmas trip to volcano was good, the Valencia trip was very good, (except when we came to board ship, we had to stand in this hugh queue with people boarding ferry & once again there was nearly a riot), other ports of call we got off & explored by ourselves, the only gripe with that was, there was a lack of information as to how far out of town we were, some ports had free shuttle buses to port gates or to town, but we weren't told of this Island chat - daily newsletter, did give a lot of information but could have been more precise & included when docking, when sailing what to expect in ports ie how near or far, shuttle buses etc Days at sea - plenty sunbeds if u want to lie on stretched canvas ones in the sun deck 12, most uncomfortable definitely need replacing, some people would reserve a chair & a sunbed & hop between the 2, not good for other people, so selfish, I used to ask if chair or sunbed wasn't being used if I could sit on it till it was required, plenty of comfy lounges if weather inclement Weather - 31% in brazil, becoming slightly cooler as we sailed, showers & cloud 2 days out of 4 days to cape verde, it rained very heavily the day we crossed equator everyone got wet watching Neptune ceremony. Palma, Casablanca & Gibraltar hot, Valencia cloud & cold, Palma sun & cloud but very cold, we booked a night here (good Friday) & were fortunate to see the easter religious parade which was fantastic Cashless system - a credit or debit card is swiped on check in & all you spend is put on this card, I used to get a statement regularly fromcustomer relations,because if you don't you don't have time to do much about any mistakes as you don't get final statement till 2am on departure day (there were a couple of minor mistakes ) Medical costs - I tripped going up the stairs on the 7th night & split my shin, so had to see doctor on a 1 or 2 daily basis, the cost is £466 hopefully I will claim most back from insurance, 1 lady had a heart attack & had to be flown home, apparently 4 people died so goodness knows what their costs would be (there were a lot of really old people on board, plenty sticks wheelchairs etc Gripes - hovering round the lift area at 8pm, part of beachcomber, yellow dustbins wheeled through on a very regular basis, rubbish bags carried through while eating, not good, lots of noise from kitchen area, staff very noisy, lifts, at busy times ie trips or disembarking lifts were used for transporting allsorts, which should have been done in the less busy periods, daily quiz, entertainment team couldn't pronounce a lot of the words it could be hilarious, theatre, clearing glasses away during finale of shows, 1 lift out of action all 3 weeks, show times not adhered to, in fact we think this is the most disorganized cruise we have ever been on. We think the basic fact was that island cruises are penny pinching as much as they can. Although we reckon we got value for money we don't think we will ever travel with them again, maybe try ocean village, seemingly similar price & 100% better in all aspects Read Less
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