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83 Mediterranean Repositioning Cruise Reviews

We have been looking for a long time and we thought we got a great value for our money ! It took a long time before I felt comfortable enough to be on a big ship for a long time. All of that worry went out the window when we first boarded ... Read More
We have been looking for a long time and we thought we got a great value for our money ! It took a long time before I felt comfortable enough to be on a big ship for a long time. All of that worry went out the window when we first boarded the ship...If all the cruises on Norwegian are like this you might just have a customer for life...The entertainment was wonderful and balanced with something for everybody... It would be prudent in this day and age to make certain sexual and gender innuendos that might insult some of your passengers.... not being preachy just a word of caution...Otherwise I will look forward to returning again! The food choices were more than adequate and the service staff was excellent..We only wish that on some of the ports there was more time to to be able and enjoy the surroundings more like an overnight stay__say like a day and a half rather than just a few hours...But the experience was not diminished....WELL DONE! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The food quality and selection is not what I have been used to on Princess cruise. Was served French fries with a filet mignon. Being on a Mediterranean cruise would have expected a better selection of seafood and fish. King prawns were ... Read More
The food quality and selection is not what I have been used to on Princess cruise. Was served French fries with a filet mignon. Being on a Mediterranean cruise would have expected a better selection of seafood and fish. King prawns were the size of baby shrimps. Although the MichelAngelo waiting staff was really courteous and helpful. Pedro the head waiter was good to find us nice and enjoyable people to sit with. Front desk service is useless they give you the run around! We were booked on a shore excursion on our day of disembarking but the bus couldn’t carry luggage. It would have been great to visit Mykonos but the rough sea prevent it us to port.... the captain decided for the safety of the passenger to continue our route. I’m glad that he made that call for our safety. Princess didn’t live up to their slogan.... Come Back New! I found that Princess cruise line has been going down in quality over the last 5 years. It not what it used to be. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our bucket list cruise did turn out to be a "Cruise of a lifetime", but, not in the way we hoped. Arrived 3 days early in Amsterdam and had a wonderful time exploring that city. Embarkation was a breeze and we were delighted ... Read More
Our bucket list cruise did turn out to be a "Cruise of a lifetime", but, not in the way we hoped. Arrived 3 days early in Amsterdam and had a wonderful time exploring that city. Embarkation was a breeze and we were delighted with the cabin (11134), initially. Evenings were interrupted by folks playing basketball dspite the sign stating activities were to end at 5 PM. So easy to fix, just put the balls away! Dinner the first evening in the Summer Palace proved to be on par with an Applebee's. Formality of service proved to be nonexistent, quality of food was mediocre. Exploration of other options proved more fruitful, specifically, Indigo and Cagney's with formally trained servers. The entertainment, overall, was quite good. There wa an acrobat male and female team that were incredible. The ships crew of singers and dancers were on par with other cruises. Their "Legends" show was outstanding. Activities were spotty, poorly timed and some never happened. Service was subpar compared to other cruise experiences. Having numerous mishaps it appears that communication is their biggest pitfall. All mishaps (but one) were rectified, but, only after having to be (begrudgingly) a squeaky wheel. This was a repositioning cruise that came up short as one of the ships engines experienced problems that were not rectified. Our cruise ended 2 ports early and missed another enroute. This was my first Norwegian cruise and will be my last. Poor communication, training and management failing to manage seems to be the primary problem. Yes, a cruise of a lifetime and one that will never be forgotten. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My wife chose this cruise because of the itinerary. Nineteen ports in 25 days was the determining factor. The interior of the ship is a different design than most ships we have cruised. The music theme throughout puts a music alley on ... Read More
My wife chose this cruise because of the itinerary. Nineteen ports in 25 days was the determining factor. The interior of the ship is a different design than most ships we have cruised. The music theme throughout puts a music alley on the second level. Four entertainment rooms each with a different musical genre encompass this level. Then main stage too is different. It is theater in the round with screens as a backdrop which could digitally do anything. Here is the failure of this entire concept. One night only there was a performance called Humanity that utilized the technology of this stage. This show was five star. Most of the other nights a solo artists performed such as a flautist or singer. Even worse was the nights Folkloric shows were staged. Mediocre at best was the theme of the main stage. Activities included bingo, twice during the 25 days Majority Rules was played. Otherwise there was a list eg. ping players meet, bridge players meet, etc. the bottom line is this was a a really substandard performance by whomever was in charge. The service staff was outstanding. The ship was super clean. Dining room staff was great. The buffet servers, waiters etc were five star. Food, yes there was variety and it was well prepared. We only took one shore excursion with Holland. I book most tours before I leave home because Holland America tours are pricey and the groups are large. Rijeka, Croatia was a poor choice for a port. Originally the port was to be Ravenna, Italy but got changed to Rijeka. Google Rijeka.....nothing to see or do there. All of the other ports were quite good. I was unsure of going with Holland America because if it’s reputation of serving the 80+ cruiser. Thus cruise had every age group represented. Summertime is family vacation time. We would have given the rating of a ten if the entertainment was up to par with other cruise lines. Instead we gave it an eight. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise for the Itinerary that it provided. A fantastic selection of ports and we loved every one. It was magnificent leaving Venice at dusk. We walked around a number of ports that we had been to in the past Kotor, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Itinerary that it provided. A fantastic selection of ports and we loved every one. It was magnificent leaving Venice at dusk. We walked around a number of ports that we had been to in the past Kotor, Dubovnik Santorini and Mykonos and took some private day trips to Messina ( Taormina ) , Naples (Positano and Sorrento) Livorno (Florence )and The Tuscan countryside. Ships tours are too expensive. We had travelled on the Star so had some idea of the layout of the boat. We travelled with 2 other couples and all found the Jade an ideal size for us. It was a plus that there was an adults only swimming pool and used this after a hot day out. The Balcony cabin on level 11 ( mini suite) was a really good size and it even had a full bath. It was close to everything and we would willing stay there again. We ate in 4 specialty restaurants and we mainly breakfasted in the Garden Cafe and often had dinner in the main dining room The Grand Pacific. We booked a number of time slots for dining online before we joined the ship. The food was lovely and served by very friendly and helpful staff. We have absolutely no complaints re food or staff. Our favourite was Le Bistro. We had the drink package which was excellent value and there is no big shock when you get your final bill on leaving the cruise. Entertainment was good, we attended 6 concerts and loved Victor Michael. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Overall a great experience. The itinerary was excellent, we booked excursions at most ports and had good experiences. The ship is very nice after its recent renovations. State room had enough space and storage for 2 over packers. We were ... Read More
Overall a great experience. The itinerary was excellent, we booked excursions at most ports and had good experiences. The ship is very nice after its recent renovations. State room had enough space and storage for 2 over packers. We were unsure about the "privasea" balcony we had but it was not an issue, it only slightly reduces the size of the opening and we used our balcony every day. The flexibility to dine at any time, at any of the many restaurants, and on our own (2 people) or with others if we wanted to was great as this was our biggest complaint on our last cruise. We will definitely only be cruising with this type of set up in the future, we don't like having a set time and group of strangers to dine with every day. Entertainment on board was excellent, we went to most of the shows and loved them all. There was always activities to keep us busy if we wanted too, even at pots where we stayed on the shit. Lots of bars to choose from. Service was great and the staff were all friendly and helpful. We will be sailing with Norwegian again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My wife and I had done a transatlantic cruise on the Breakaway last April, but our travel companions had to back out due to a late medical problem. So we decided to get together this year and do it again with everyone being healthy ... Read More
My wife and I had done a transatlantic cruise on the Breakaway last April, but our travel companions had to back out due to a late medical problem. So we decided to get together this year and do it again with everyone being healthy again. The cruise left from the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, which is a bit hard to find, and is not really an inviting place to sit and wait for boarding instructions. However, once on board, everything went well. We had lunch in the Main Dining Room (MDR) and proceeded to our cabin (a mid-ship mini suite on Deck 11). We met our cabin steward, and have him a small cash tip to ensure good service. We never saw him again, but I must say that he did his job very efficiently and our cabin was always clean and made up after breakfast and turned down each evening. The cabin was comfortable with lots of storage space and nice verandah. Food onboard was of very good quality. We ate in the Alizar dining room a few times and found it noisy and cramped. The menu there was always identical to the menu in the MDR. My biggest problem was with the shortage of variety from day to day. Appetizers did not often change and the main entree page, while being different almost every day, often did not appeal to me. Having said that, the food was well prepared and always arrived hot. Servers varied from VERY attentive and friendly, to almost indifferent and slow. One evening in the MDR, we were seated in a corner and almost forgotten. In order to make the 9 PM show, we had to get up and leave before dessert because the server was incompetent and brought the wrong items. But, for the most part, service was good. We did enjoy the wide variety of buffet items for all three meals. Breakfast was as one would expect, with all the usual offerings. The burgers and pizza at lunch were always well prepared. Lots of great dinner items, with a different cuisine highlighted each evening. Entertainment and shows were of varying quality. We did NOT like the Cruise Director, Claire Booth. She is British, and had a nasty habit of affecting a snooty accent when making public announcements which drove us nuts! We did not find her outgoing, as has been the case with other CDs we've encountered. She did a daily TV show on the ship's system with here assistant Fabi, which was painful to watch, almost as bad as watching Hoda and Cathie Lee on NBC. The productions shows were of high quality, but we've seen better on other ships. The compulsory illusionist act was somewhat boring. However, the comedian, Tony Daro, was laugh-out-loud funny. In addition, a vocalist-violinist, Greta Salome, from Iceland was unbelievably talented. Most amazing violing work I've ever seen. We found out later that she is a violinist in the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. They are lucky to have her. Won a few bucks playing slots in the Casino. Stayed as far away from daytime gambling opps such as "Deal or No Deal," as we learned last year that it is nearly impossible to win at that game. The casino had limited table games of the usual variety. There was plenty of stuff to do onboard during the sea days and the initial six days at sea during the crossing went by pretty quickly. Having the Unlimited Beverage Package made it a lot more enjoyable as we could have a drink at any time without worrying about the cost. Bartenders were always friendly. Always ordered my Aperol Spritz with a double shot of Aperol and never had a problem asking. Ports of Call were excellent. Our first call was at Ponta Delgada in the Azores. We were there last year, so we opted to walk around the town on our own. Enjoyed the Farmers Market and an outdoor meal at a sidewalk cafe. Second call was in Lisbon, Portugal. We had our own private guide and she was great. Showed us the city, as well as heading out to the town of Sintra. I can't recommend this town enough. It was wonderful! Had lunch i the seaside town of Cascais before returning to the ship. BTW, all of our shore excursions were booked on our own and we never had any problems returning to the ship with plenty of time to spare. Next port was Cadiz, Spain. We left the ship and immediately headed inland to Sevilla. Our guide took us through the Alcazar (incredible!) and then we spent some time at the Feria (an annual fair in Sevilla in May). Unbelievable costumes and displays! The drivere who brought us back to the ship was really nice and gave us a short tour of the city of Cadiz before we got back to the pier. After another day at sea, we arrived in Barcelona. We'd been there a number of times before, so we opted for a private tour of Montserrat. This is an impressive mountain with a monastery and cathedral on top. Very impressive. Excellent British-born driver/guide here and he knew his stuff, which made the day go very quickly. After Barcelona, we stopped in Cannes, France, and had an all-day tour of Cannes, Nice and Monaco. Our guide was so much fun. She took us to the village of Eze and the Galimard perfumery there. Then on to Monaco and Monte Carlo, where we actually won a few Euros in the beautiful Casino Monte Carlo. This was our favorite port call. Next, on to Livorno, where our driver met us in town (we took the ship shuttle bus--for 5 Euros per person--and noted that lots of passengers just ignored the ticket salesperson and hopped on the bus without paying and no one stopped them at all). We went to the small towns of Siena and San Gimignano. Lots of medieval stuff to see there and we had a very nice time. Finally, we arrived at the end of our cruise in Civitavecchia (the port for Rome). Disembarkation went smoothly and our driver/guide met us at the pier. We had booked a port-to-airport transfer with a three-hour included tour of Rome and the tour was wonderful. We had all been to Rome before, but our driver took us to places in Rome that we had never experienced before (along with the usual stops at the Colisseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, etc.). A great way to end our vacation. He took us to the airport and we said "Arrividerci, Roma" to end our 14-day journey. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was my second transatlantic on The Jade, my fourth cruise on The Jade. I love the ship for its size, layout, always exceptional service and staff. Jen in the Spinnaker and Maria in the Champagne and Martini bar, both are treasures and ... Read More
This was my second transatlantic on The Jade, my fourth cruise on The Jade. I love the ship for its size, layout, always exceptional service and staff. Jen in the Spinnaker and Maria in the Champagne and Martini bar, both are treasures and a credit to NCL. I do not like the absence of the bar in the Atrium being replaced by *$s. Really, most of the customers were the officer staff of the ship.. Deep 6 *$s and bring back the bar~!! Always meet some of the friendliest fellow cruises on NCL. The guitar duo were phenomenal talents. Dave was too loud for several of the venues. One group that were awful (sorry) ruined sailaway in the Spinnaker twice. The vocalist (male) salute to Johnny Cash, and others, was painful~! Sometimes "entertainment" is just NOT necessary. Loved the trivia game with Brenda in the afternoons on sea days. Brenda is a sweetheart. Always enjoy the specialty dining. La Cucina had a fantastic Osso Bucco. Cagney's prime rib was the best I have ever had. La Bistro is heaven. Great itinerary on this trip. Cadiz was a delightful surprise.... beautiful city. Lisbon and Barcelona were wonderful. My second trip to Cannes and excited seeing the hussle of the city the week before the film festival. Love the Azores. Detested the confusing Rome airport~! JMHO... The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.... (but mostly THE GOOD) Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I was planning a trip to Europe, & I was also shopping for a cruise. When I found this TA, it was a perfect match! I loved the itinerary! Besides that, the embarkation port was also my home port. I had initially wanted to sail on ... Read More
I was planning a trip to Europe, & I was also shopping for a cruise. When I found this TA, it was a perfect match! I loved the itinerary! Besides that, the embarkation port was also my home port. I had initially wanted to sail on one of the larger ships, but chose the Jade TA for the wonderful ports on the itinerary. As it happened, the Jade turned out to be the perfect ship for a TA. It was very stable, & we were very comfortable. The Jade was recently refurbished, & its a beautiful ship; very clean, comfortable, & well maintained. We had a midship balcony stateroom. We had lots of storage, we really enjoyed the balcony. Yes, it could get quite cold out in the middle of the Atlantic, but we would bundle up & watch the amazing sunrise & sunsets. Watching the twinkling lights of Morocco from our balcony was magic! We had a very active Cruise Critic Roll Call. Our group constituted practically 10% of the total number on board the Jade. As a result, everywhere we went we knew somebody! We had organized several events, including a Sailaway Party, CC Meet & Greet, Cabin Crawl, Pub Crawl, Poker Crawl, Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, Left Right Center, Jewelry making classes, and last but not least, two parties at the sumptuous Garden Villa! We also went on excursions together. As a result, we had a fun filled, exciting cruise! I do believe we made life long friends over the 15 days we sailed together! We enjoyed many other activities like Trivia, lectures, language classes while on board. The nightly entertainment was over the top. Elements was a Vegas level show; the Illusionist was great; the Aerial show was memorable; the comedy show was laugh out good; night after night, we were entertained by a great cast of entertainers. And no repeats! Our cabin steward, Cher, kept our stateroom immaculate. He was hard working, & cheerful & always there. We couldn’t ask for a better steward. We ate at the buffet most of the time, because we were always in a hurry to go to the next activity! The food was consistently good. A big shoutout to Executive Chef, Saldanha! He was at the Buffet every day, personally supervising all the stations. We became good friends! I loved his attention to detail, & how he happily accommodated my dietary restrictions. We liked the Asian station, & the Hot Entrees stations the best. The food at the MDR was good, too. All the ports had so many wonderful options for excursions; but we always felt that we didn’t get enough time on shore, there was so much to see & do! After disembarking in Civitavechia, which is about an hour from Rome, we went straight to our hotel; then spent the next 10 days exploring Rome, Florence, Venice, & Milan by high speed train (Italo), which was another great adventure made possible by this cruise. I would do this itinerary again, in a heartbeat!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Room not clean - asked to be cleaned again prior to unpacking had to ask for clean pillowcases, face washers Tv not working No satellite reception once you leave a port Water not given at dinner time in restaurant you had to pay ... Read More
Room not clean - asked to be cleaned again prior to unpacking had to ask for clean pillowcases, face washers Tv not working No satellite reception once you leave a port Water not given at dinner time in restaurant you had to pay for a bottle. No chairs on deck 7 under shelter to sit away from the pool area. Pay for movies Pay for everything extra Can’t go to the front of ship unless you are a top 16 or exclusive. Meals in the restaurant are tiny you have to order double and are cold. Meals in buffet are cold Drinks waiter at table 532 can’t understand a word of English Caos with getting on the ship. So many different stations that it all could have been done at the first one. Long cattle line queues No one to greet you when you get on board Didn’t even realise there was a cruise director. Didn’t hear or see her until the show on the second night and she was as interesting as a wet dish cloth. The whole ticketing system. You need a ticket for this or a ticket or that. While this was ok it was very confusing Couldn’t buy just a water package when on board had to buy another drinks package with less tickets. Ordered and pre paid for a bottle of wine and birthday cake to be in the room when we got on. It wasn’t. Had to ask for it 3 times before we finally received it in the restaurant and again we had to ask for it. The restaurant in squashed in like sardines. Have to pass own knives, forks and plates to other people on table for waiter as he can’t fit through. Head of house keeping should be very ashamed Opted for the laundry package once on board but they ruined all the clothes. The paid for the clothes to be washed and ironed but a 2 year old kid could have done a better job. The outside screen was never on and was told it was broken. The whole ship came down with a virus but there was not infection control to help contain it. We are still recover at home some 2 weeks later. Worst ship ever. Grand voyage my but there was nothing grand about it. We have cruise many times with other cruise lines this one just doesn’t match up to any other will never sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have recently returned from the MSC Musica repositioning cruise from Durban South Africa to Venice. We have cruised with MSC previously so are perfectly aware of some of their 'foibles'. The main reason we chose this cruise ... Read More
We have recently returned from the MSC Musica repositioning cruise from Durban South Africa to Venice. We have cruised with MSC previously so are perfectly aware of some of their 'foibles'. The main reason we chose this cruise was for the wonderful itinerary - we visited Reunion, Mauritius, The Seychelles, Aqaba, Suez Canal Transit, Katakolon, Kotor & Split. We had hoped that over the years maybe MSC would improve but sadly things were no better and in some cases worse. Embarkation at Durban was extremely poor - long queues going from desk to desk. Once on the ship we thought that was it, but no, more queues to get pre-paid drinks vouchers - I would have thought that these could have been delivered to the cabins or even put electronically onto our cabin card. We were not able to get into the cabins until after 3pm as they were still being cleaned, I heard of some passengers who’s rooms were still dirty. The luggage did not start arriving at the cabins until after the ship left Durban, some passengers did not get luggage until 10pm. This of course meant that many, like us, were not able to change out of their travelling clothes to go to dinner. The safety drill was held before we set sail. MSC’s safety drills have never been up to much, but this one was the worse - hundreds of people crammed into a show lounge with not enough seats for every one to be comfortable. A short recorded message was played and the putting on of the life jacket was demonstrated (if you could see). No one checked that passengers were putting the life jackets on correctly. We were then dismissed and advised to watch the safety demo on the cabin television (most of which were not working, more about that later). First night at dinner was chaotic, many ate in the buffet, but we chose to go to the MDR. We were shown to our table which I can only describe as being in a corridor/workstation that the waiters use. It was noisy with waiters charging past and other diners using it as a thoroughfare. The waiter who was looking after us took ages just to bring a drink, the food eventually arrived but it was cold and some of the table's order was incorrect. Additionally there were long queues of unhappy passengers waiting to see the Maitre D' to get their dining arrangements changed. The couple we were sitting with really wanted late dining, so they joined the queue and managed to change. We were happy with early dining, but we were not happy with the table that we were allocated, so we asked the Maitre D' if he could move us somewhere else. We were given a new table for the following night - this was in a better position and we had a wonderful waiter for the remainder of the cruise. The MDR for dinner, apart from being extremely overcrowded was adequate, the food to my standards was ok, the portions are on the small side and there is very little vegetables served with the main meal, but you only have to ask for extra veggies or whatever you like. Our waiters looked after us very well. The senior server was experienced and professional, the junior waiter was one of the ‘newbies’ and although extremely pleasant he had no knowledge of the wines he was serving or how to serve them. Breakfast and lunch 'Bistro' restaurant - MSC have an unusual set up for breakfast and lunch in the MDR, they call it a Bistro and basically it means that it is half waiter service and half buffet - you can choose to order from a menu or go to the buffet or a bit of both. Yes, it’s very confusing and it does not work. They also do not have a system in seating passengers, they seem to seat them anywhere where seats are available, making it very difficult for the wait staff. Other cruise lines have a computerised system so that they can see at a glance where seats are available. There were a lot of new wait staff most of them were totally inexperienced and furthermore had little or no customer service attitudes, rumour had it that quite a few were leaving the ship in Venice! Buffet - we rarely use the buffet, but from my limited observation, the choice of food seemed fair, but it was a mad house, getting food and a table. Service in general around the ship was poor, the main problem being there was not enough staff - you often waited a long time to be served in the coffee shops and bars. Reception staff could be rude and unhelpful. I ordered a birthday cake for my husband, it did not arrive in the restaurant on the night I requested it and after some 'insistence' they very ‘graciously‘ presented it to him the following night, but with no apology. Entertainment - I have mixed feelings about the entertainment. Some nights it was good, others it was very poor. They had an African group of Tenors who performed three times and were excellent. There was also rather a lot of classical music, probably too much for my taste. The MSC production shows tended to be very much the same. There was also entertainment in one of the show lounges, or on deck each evening, but these events did not start until quite late. Additionally there were usually some bars where you could go to dance or listen to music. There were never any movies shown either in the theatre or on deck or on the TV in the cabins. This was a very long cruise with a lot of sea days and I think a lot of people would have appreciated a few films. Day time entertainment was mainly limited to deck games and handicrafts. There were two 'lecturers'; one a lady who presented very interesting port talks and a man who apparently gave talks on a number of scientific/technical themes. Shopping was very disappointing - no choice, low stocks, poor merchandise, high prices. The cabin - we had an aft balcony cabin on deck 11. The cabin was equipped with all we needed, but it was quite small, the cupboard and drawer space (for a long cruise) was a bit of a squeeze. The bed was comfortable. The bathroom was tiny and a bit worse for wear - the water in the shower either scalded you or froze you - there was no in-between. The TV never worked until we were In Europe, although we reported the fault several times. Our cabin boy did his best, he had 22 cabins to look after on his own and was often still working at past 10 pm at night - he definitely was not a happy boy. Our greatest disappointment was the balcony of our cabin. We had booked this cruise long in advance to secure a balcony cabin over the wake of the ship. However, there was inadequate information on the MSC website, as the balcony had no overhang above and therefore no shade or protection from the fierce sun. This made the balcony unbearable and unusable for much of the day. Hygiene standards - from quite early on In the cruise it became apparent that there was a nasty cough-type virus going around. As the cruise went on the coughing got worse - you could hear it all over the ship and especially in the theatre. The powerfully cold air-conditioning did not help. Some people seemed to be getting quite ill and needing to go to the ships doctor - some I spoke to were being prescribed antibiotic drugs. I contracted whatever bug it was about 10 days before the end of the cruise and it took me another two weeks after returning home to finally get over it. I think that the hygiene standards could have been better. There was gel available at the restaurants and other areas, but it was somewhat erratic, whether the staff encouraged passengers to use it. Itinerary and excursions - the wonderful itinerary was the main attraction of this voyage for myself and many other guests that I spoke to. We opted to do MSC organised excursions in most ports and generally speaking the excursions were very good and the guides were of a reasonable standard. The only issue with the excursions was getting from the ship to the excursion bus, the meeting place was generally the theatre or one of the big Lounges and it was pandemonium getting a ticket and getting off the ship. MSC provided a lovely cruise visiting some stunning ports of call, the weather was wonderful and the sea beautifully calm Is that enough to make a good cruise experience? In my opinion NO. As cruisers I think we want more, we want and expect great service and attitude, good food beautifully served. Fantastic entertainment and enrichment and above all a 'can do' attitude. When MSC can offer me that I may give them another try, but for time being I will be looking around for the best other cruise lines can offer Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We initially chose this particular cruise because of the lovely itinerary and for a special pre retirement holiday. We had cruised with MSC three times previously and although it was not the best quality cruise line it was always an ... Read More
We initially chose this particular cruise because of the lovely itinerary and for a special pre retirement holiday. We had cruised with MSC three times previously and although it was not the best quality cruise line it was always an acceptable standard, reasonably priced and had good itineraries. Right from the start of this cruise things were not managed well, the cruise started in Durban South Africa and finished in Venice. We arrived for embarkation and the queues were the longest we had ever seen, it was a very hot day and there was very little shelter from the sun and no where to sit. Passengers of all ages were standing in lines for nearly two hours before getting onboard. Once on board we were told we had to join another very long queue in the theatre to sign for our drinks vouchers, we normally purchase a drink package but were advised that ships sailing from South Africa were unable to sell these. After another hour in a line we managed to pick up the vouchers we had already preordered and already paid for. When we had had a couple of days onboard and met other passengers it was soon apparent some passengers had been able to purchase a drinks package and staff were unable to explain this. A few days into the cruise many passengers were becoming unwell with a respiratory illness, hygiene standards onboard were very poor and the food quality and quantity were the worst we had experienced. No water was served in the dining rooms, we had to purchase a bottle of water if we wanted water to drink and food was only warm when served, the poor dining staff had to keep taking meals back to be reheated. For the last week of the cruise all the good wine had run out, nothing was restocked and passengers were forced to drink cheap unpleasant wine which was less to buy than the value of the prepaid vouchers. Many people had vouchers left over because of this and were told they were non refundable.The ship did not have sufficient staff and those they had were overworked and tired, several were unwell and they were all trying their best to cope and very apologetic. I caught the virus onboard and became very unwell and needed to visit the doctor, he was from the Ukraine did not communicate very well and ended up giving me the incorrect treatment which could have caused me harm, I’m still waiting to find out. Fortunately for me my daughter is a doctor in England and I managed to contacted her after two days and she was able to tell me not to continue with the treatment. The entertainment was very poor quality and we ended up not bothering with it and sitting in a quit bar to save our ears! Disembarkation was worse than the embarkation, the luggage was taking an exceptionally long time to come off the ship, we were lucky we had time and our transfer was good enough to wait over an hour for us but some unfortunate people missed flights. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Ship is very beautiful and well laid out - enjoyed the central elevators. Service staff was exceptional - excluding the Excursion Desk (unless). Very disappointed in the food served - the Italian influence was missing - I have traveled ... Read More
Ship is very beautiful and well laid out - enjoyed the central elevators. Service staff was exceptional - excluding the Excursion Desk (unless). Very disappointed in the food served - the Italian influence was missing - I have traveled in Europe and did not recognize this reported influence - a staff person reported that being a repositioning cruise the quality was diminished. This was Basic Transportation - pure and simple. During our 19 days we got sick on day 5 and remained sick for the next 4 weeks. Everyone on the ship had or have had this virus. Other than Purel stations placed in the buffet area little or precautionary measures were visible. I did email to Costa Customer Service about my experience - got a letter back that in summary said they would use the feedback for future travelers and 'To Bad - come back again sometime' - Never again Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our 8 cruise and the second with Msc. We choose this cruise because of the itinerary. We are a couple in our late fifties. Embarking in Venice took several houres and here they can do a better job. Stateroom. ... Read More
This was our 8 cruise and the second with Msc. We choose this cruise because of the itinerary. We are a couple in our late fifties. Embarking in Venice took several houres and here they can do a better job. Stateroom. We had a suite om deck 10 and it was very nice with a good bed, lots of space, å nice bathroom and a good balcony. Everything was kept nice and clean by our cleaner. Food. We had breakfest at the buffet, lunsj mostly in the buffet and one day in the restaurant and dinner every night at the restaurant at deck 6. All the food we had was wonderful and the service by the waiters was excellent. Drinking package. We had the non alkoholic package with water, coffedrinks, soda, none alkoholic softdrinks etc. and they were all very enjoyable. Smoking. We dont smoke. There are no smoking at the balcony any more . Only place inside were people could smoke was in one bar. We were not there and had no problem with smoking people. I never smelled any sigarette smoke at all. Entertainment. This entertainment ensemble is one of the best I have seen. They have wonderful singers and dancers. We saw every show. They were brilliant. Every day we were out on a organized tour and they were all good. We did Sibenik and Trogir in Croatia, Kotor and Perast in Montenegro, Ljublijana in Slovenia and San Marino in Ravenna. Every tour well organized. There were a lot of different activities day and evening on the boat to choose from . As we were out most of the day the evenings went to dinner, show and dancing. Would I cruise on this ship again. Yes with no doubt. Thank you for a wonderful week MSC Lirica. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Firstly this was our first cruise so we have nothing to completely judge against, however the things I will talk about was our experience. On arrival onto the ship we we’re badgered by staff wanting us to sign up to a drinks package ... Read More
Firstly this was our first cruise so we have nothing to completely judge against, however the things I will talk about was our experience. On arrival onto the ship we we’re badgered by staff wanting us to sign up to a drinks package which we had already sorted pre arrival. This also didn’t stop for a couple of days. ( by all means assist customers but make staff be seen but have customers approach staff ) We also were constantly bugged by the staff photographers constantly asking if we wanted our picture taken and even after a polite no they then pleaded ‘it will only take a few minutes ‘ whilst following us. My polite no’s were beginning to wear very thin towards the end. To add insult to injury the one time we gave in, we were then automatically charged £34.99 to our card before even seeing them. From the reception they told me it was down to me to say I didn’t want them to have the charge removed. So I was glad to keep an eye on my account on my tv in my cabin. Otherwise it would have been a shock on leaving. ( may be better for customers to say yes before charging). Each place we docked at we were badgered if we wanted taxi or sight seeing bus. All were stupid prices and you can do so much better sourcing your own public transport at great prices.... it got tiresome as they wouldn’t take no as an answer. I feel msc security/ dock security should monitor this and actively reduce this annoyance. Now the ship is an absolute beautiful design. Really took our breath away. The mid ship sky screen shows and displays were very good. The shows onboard were very very good and thoughly entertaining. And at 30 mins I feel it was too short but understand with time restrictions for the program it has to be that way. I had no issues with my premium drinks package and recommend this is purchased. The staff were all very friendly and pleasant and had no bad experiences in the dining room with food or waiting staff. The cabin ( we had a balcony) was a nice size and I would say it was a slightly smaller than the average Travelodge room but pretty much the same layout. Tv channels were slightly limited ( but who comes on holiday to watch tv ). The safe is quite tiny and we couldn’t put our iPads in it. But it was simple to use. The Bed was very comfortable with two pillows. Balcony size ok. Mini bar idea not so good. .... it is not covered on the drinks package. I think to enjoy the balcony it would be good to use from mini bar to save having to go to the bar for purchasing drinks to carry back. Most drinks in there can be from the bar anyway. ( just saves borrowing and restocking ourselves the next day early). The spa is amazing and well worth the visit. Spent most days in there for a couple of hours recovering from our days walking. However on the sea day it got very busy. Maybe it would be good if msc only allowed the package deal only people to access on sea days and offer no day pass. ( could earn more money for them and balance the numbers out for spa visitors). With the numerous relaxation areas jacuzzis and steam/ sauna rooms and ice room. Not forgetting the emotional showers there are plenty of places to relax and rest. Never gambled before and the casino was an awesome experience. Staff very friendly and when it was quiet we asked how to use tables and all was explained very well. There are serious gamblers there, and people like us who had fun with between 10-30 Euros per visit. We actually visited most nights and actually walked away with more Euro’s than we started with. The water slides were fun to use, and the pools were relaxing. And the external hot tubs on the deck were very nice also. Anyone in two minds about first time cruising, I think the ship will give you the experience that will help decide if it’s for you. And as for us......... we will stick with msc and look out for more locations this ship will visit and try out the other ships in the fleet. We have been converted to a life of cruising for sure. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The Divina is a beautiful ship, for sure. Clean, elegant, spacious. Definitely NOT American. And that's not a bad thing. We have plenty of "American style" cruiselines and to have another option is a plus. We've ... Read More
The Divina is a beautiful ship, for sure. Clean, elegant, spacious. Definitely NOT American. And that's not a bad thing. We have plenty of "American style" cruiselines and to have another option is a plus. We've recently returned from a 20 day Transatlantic journey and over the course of the cruise I've formed many opinions of this ship and the cruiseline in general. I'll start from the beginning. Sit back and relax- this may be information overload, but a lot of questions will be answered. Embarkation. Your cruise ticket will have a recommended time for your embarkation. Ignore that and get there when you want to. 11:00 am is fine. They will not turn you away. We did, however, have to wait awhile because as we found out once onboard, two crew members jumped ship in Miami. Defected. Left. So of course, immigration was investigating. We didn't have to wait long, however. We were onboard by 1:00 pm. Once we crossed over the gangway to the ship we noticed a lot of the ship was cordoned off and we had to go up to the Buffet- along with everyone else. So of course, it was crowded. Embarkation day- that's to be expected. No worries. We got our food, found a table and enjoyed our first Divina meal. The buffet is very large and the food is plentiful, varied and good. You do have to look around because there are different options around every corner. Burgers, hot dogs, wraps, pizza, salad and fruit can be found in the center area between Manitou and Calumet buffets. Fruit juices, tea and coffee are available all the time. They tend to run out of creamer a lot, though. Daily specials and desserts will be on either side. Just wander around a bit to get your bearings. Window tables are, of course, the most popular. They do have too many handicap accessible tables- they are usually all empty. Sit at one if you must, but be prepared to move if necessary. After lunch we checked on our cabin, which our amazing cabin steward, Maskur, told us was "almost ready." We were able to drop off our backpacks and go explore a bit. It was when we dropped off our bags that we noticed that our balcony cabin was small and had nothing more than a bed, a desk and two nightstands. No sofa. Quite a shock and disappointment considering they did not show a picture or diagram of our cabin style anywhere on their website. Balcony cabins are shown to have a sofa. This was a major issue for us- especially for a 3 week cruise. We waited a day to address this with guest relations because the we know the first day or two is so hectic for them. When we did go to inquire about the sofa we were told sorry- nothing we can do, the ship was sold out. Not wanting to give up so easily, we went back the next day to talk to a different agent. He seemed more sympathetic and understood that we didn't feel that we got what we paid for and said he'd contact us once we left New York City to see if there was another cabin available and if not he'd see what he could do. He never contacted us so we returned to him. Sorry- there was nothing he could do. We asked for a supervisor and he went behind closed doors to speak to his supervisor. The supervisor told him he had spoken to me at the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle and I had told him or cruise was great. Partly true- I had actually said everything was great but we were disappointed in our cabin, which, of course, was brushed off. We were bewildered and disappointed but decided to shake it off and not let it ruin our cruise. So just beware- there is a very large percentage of balcony cabins that have ONLY a bed, two nightstands and a desk. No sofa, as is pictured on their website. Deceptive advertising. Issue number two is do not purchase anything online prior to your cruise. If you do and want to cancel or change your order once onboard- you won't be able to. We purchased a photo package on their website prior to sailing. Once onboard we decided that we did not need 10 photos of ourselves so we asked to cancel. Sorry- you purchased online you have to cancel online. Okay. We paid for 10 minutes of internet service to cancel our package. Since we'd already set sail we could not access our online account! Back to the photo department. Sorry. Nothing they could do. Sigh. Okay... well- we purchased the package, we'll choose some photos in a few days. You have to purchase all 10 at the same time. We went to the photo department to choose some pictures and found 7 that were decent so we asked them to hold those 7 until we posed for more photos on Italian night. When we returned and chose a few more pictures to complete our order- they had lost the original 7!! We had given them our chosen photos and our cabin number. Anyway- long story short- we ended up getting the manager involved. End result- they reprinted some (some were never found on the computer) gave us about 14 pictures instead of 10 and we're supposed to get a full refund because of all the time we had to spend going through all the photos multiple times. Haven't seen the refund come through yet. We did receive an email that it is being processed. Muster drill- a waste of time. You could not hear or understand what they were saying. Had there been an emergency it would have been total chaos. Television- on a 3 week cruise the ONLY channel we could access in English was a British news channel. Can we say "Brexit overload?" One or two days they did offer a few free movies, but the test of the time your choices were to pay for movies, watch British news or turn it off. Okay- enough with the problems we had personally. On with the good. As I said the ship is beautiful. And clean! Our room steward- Maskur- was amazing. Our waiter and his assistant were both wonderful. The staff in the buffet worked very hard. They will interact with you and converse with you if given a chance. They are far from home and missing their families. Ask about their family! They will beam as they tell you about their home. Food- The food in the buffet is plentiful, varied and good. We chose to eat there on several evenings when we didn't want to dress up for dinner. It was always great. The Black Crab is a beautiful restaurant. The variety is somewhat limited in my opinion but there was always something I could find and the portions are big. I never had anything that wasn't hot and good. The best kept secret is the Sports Bar. Hamburgers, Reuben sandwiches, fish and chips, Ceasar Salad, wings- all complimentary and all good! Finding a table is sometimes a challenge though. There are only a few tables and people tend to gather there to play cards or just chat without ordering food. And you have to eat your food there- you can't order and take it anywhere else. The Piazza del Doge has complimentary cookies, cakes and sandwiches throughout the day and night. Gelato is $3.50 for a small cup or $5.50 for a large. They also make Sundaes and shakes for $6.50- $7.50. I can't speak to any drinks packages- we never buy those. Not worth it for us. There are always juices, tea and coffee available in the Buffet. The bed- comfortable enough for me. A bit on the firm side but I slept well. Activities- Dance lessons, origami lessons, craft sessions, trivia games, scavenger hunts, bingo, exercise classes, yoga, etc. are available throughout the day. The entertainment team is busy and energetic all day long. Shows - Mostly music. Singing, dancers, a ventriloquist one night. As with any ship- we enjoyed some shows and didn't care for others. That's up to individual tastes. Ports- we booked the cruise for the ports. This was a 20 day Transatlantic repositioning cruise with incredible destinations. NYC, Bermuda, Azores, Portugal, Malaga and Valencia, Spain, Marseilles and Genoa. Overnight in 4 of the ports, which was amazing! NYC- was way too cold for these Florida people! We stayed onboard on a nearly empty ship, which was nice. Bermuda ended up being canceled due to weather.... from what I heard this was the 3rd time in a row Bermuda has been cancelled- but that could be hearsay. We ended up in Tenerife in the Canary islands. A bit of a RIP off many felt, because we were supposed to have 2 full days in Bermuda, instead we got an extra sea day, and a not so great alternative port- and no refund on lost port taxes for Bermuda. It would have made more sense to give us extra time in one of our shorter ports- as we only had 6- 7 hours in several of our ports. I do understand, though, that there could be scheduling problems. Finally- MSC is a fine cruiseline and the Divina is a beautiful ship. The big area that MSC needs to improve on is communication. Talk to 3 different people about an issue and you will get 3 different answers. They are not consistent. Know this before you sail and you will be fine. Their website..... well- I'll just say it needs work and I'll leave it at that. Will I choose MSC for future cruises? Probably not. Crystal staircases and pretty decor can't make up for poor customer service and lack of communication. MSC is privately owned, answers to no one and simply does not appear to care about their guests. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Inaugural cruise promised so much and delivered so little. Here are just some of the issues: * Wardrobe doors. Very cheap sliding doors that constantly jam! * Wardrobe depth too shallow to hang clothes unless hung diagonally. * ... Read More
Inaugural cruise promised so much and delivered so little. Here are just some of the issues: * Wardrobe doors. Very cheap sliding doors that constantly jam! * Wardrobe depth too shallow to hang clothes unless hung diagonally. * Costantly creaking cabin, banging within walls and creaking balcony door frame. * Limited food options without paying upto €30+++pp in specialist restaurants. * Very poor customer service . * Few lounges apart from those reserved for Yatch Club. * Zoe completely useless, cannot answer any on board of off board questions. Bluetooth will pair to be device but it's bluetooth is too slow to be of any use. * No cabin extras such as toiletries,  not even pencil. * They should have spent more on a decent cabin structures rather than Bling in the public areas. * Untested and or unfriendly technology Zoe etc, tv, interactive screens on deck. No English entertainment channels. * 6 March glasses smashed and bottles fell off shelfs. Chairs slid across the buffet restaurant. In my opinion this ship was close to its limits that night. * TOP ENTERTAINMENT! Hand shadows was the gala night entertainment!!!!! The main restaurant staff were brilliant despite the small portions they had to serve up to guests. I have taken 20 previous cruises across 6 now 7 cruise lines, and MSC has been by far the worst in terms of entertainment, food, facilities, and staff. The Captain did not address the guests once despite abandoning one of the ports of call (La Caruna ) Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I’ve been on the ship (Viking Sky) before and it is very nice so we decided on scheduling another cruise with Viking. I was looking for a birthday cruise. Viking provides great service and even a bottle of sparkling wine (Sekt) and a ... Read More
I’ve been on the ship (Viking Sky) before and it is very nice so we decided on scheduling another cruise with Viking. I was looking for a birthday cruise. Viking provides great service and even a bottle of sparkling wine (Sekt) and a cake on your birthday. Plus all the great restaurants, shipboard amenities, very nice spacious cabins, and comfort while you cruise. Really enjoyed the aquivet terrace for lunch al fresco. Excursions were well planned and very enjoyable. The transfers to the hotel and ship were smooth and the transfer from hotel to ship even included a free tour of Barcelona. We have already explored much of Barcelona on the extension before the cruise and enjoyed tapas and watching the Spanish (Catalans) celebrate the end of the holiday season on Three Kings Day when they actually celebrate and give. Gifts so our Barcelona tour on the morning of January 6 was very quiet. The cabin is very nice. Every cabin has a veranda and ours was a penthouse veranda on a middle deck. The bathroom is very functional and roomy for a ship. Good toiletries and high quality towels plus lots of storage for your kit. The heated floors in the bathroom are very nice especially on a cold morning. The cabin has lots of storage for clothes and everything that you might bring aboard. There is even a mini refrigerator with complementary drinks. Plus binoculars to use on the veranda, a hair dryer, and robes to wear to the spa. We used the outdoor hot tub, very nice. On previous trips we have used the indoor spa with hot tub, pool and snow grotto - a lot of fun. This trip we finally used the exercise room, which is included free, and has good quality machines. All of the restaurants are nice. We had lunch in the World Cafe and it has great variety of food and also had sit down multi course lunch one sea day in the Restaurant. Dinner was in The Restaurant most nights with local specialties or European food. The nights we ate in the upgraded restaurant - Manfredi’s was excellent - great Italian food and especially the steak Florentine. The Chef’s Table is also nice with food and wine pairings although frankly we don’t like it as much as the other restaurants. Breakfast is great with lots of choices at the World Cafe and one day we tried the Norse food at Mamsem’s although really just had a waffle. The ports on this trip are nice but not as special as other trips. Barcelona and Malaga were the best. Cartagena almost as nice. Vigo was interesting and we did the optional tour to Bayona. Portsmouth was a good port especially cruising right by the old town as we left the harbor. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We like Viking. It was going to the Azores which we had wanted to see and had never been to during any of our travels. We have sailed on Viking Ocean 4 times now. This was a cruise that did not live up to our expectations. The cruise ... Read More
We like Viking. It was going to the Azores which we had wanted to see and had never been to during any of our travels. We have sailed on Viking Ocean 4 times now. This was a cruise that did not live up to our expectations. The cruise director was very talented herself but pretty much dominated the cruise and did not let the other entertainers perform to the best of their abilities. The food which is usually excellent was still good but the service in the restaurants was unusually slow. Disembarkation was truly a disaster. Handled by the shore excursion manager it could not have been worse. This is the second time we have had this manager for shore excursions on Viking. Unfortunately he is not the best and often unorganized or ill prepared. In addition he is not accessible and does not speak English very well which makes him hard to understand. The ship is excellent and most of the staff would do anything for you. Since this cruise had 8 scheduled sea days there should have been more activities. We would be unlikely to take such a cruise again however we most likely will travel again on Viking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Our past experiences with Viking have all been positive. We decided to enjoy our vacation with Viking...The staff was friendly and approachable at all times..The food is excellent, with a great variety of offerings... Unfortunately due ... Read More
Our past experiences with Viking have all been positive. We decided to enjoy our vacation with Viking...The staff was friendly and approachable at all times..The food is excellent, with a great variety of offerings... Unfortunately due to rough seas, we were not able to enjoy the pool and hot tub areas....the anticipated yoga and Pilates classes were a disappointment...they were not up to a standard that I have enjoyed here at home. Not worth the additional charge in order to participate. The speakers were interesting and we enjoyed Dr. Fuller and his offerings about the Vikings and their history. Our tour and lunch in the Azores was cancelled to our disappointment...we had been looking forward to learning about the agriculture and farming activities of the island. The substitute offering, which we chose, was just average and although it included lunch, we found that to be mediocre. We have eaten several meals in Portugal when on previous trips and enjoyed the local food immensely...The offering on this Azores tour was not representative of the excellent food that is available. All in all, we had a wonderful crossing and would do it again! PS. the disembarkation in Miami was not well done...probably due to the US customs people not there on time...but hoards of guests, with their travel gear, waiting in the hallways was not a good experience. We finally went up to Deck 7 just to get out of the crush. Since we had to vacate our rooms, they were not available, but you couldn't even get off the elevators at Decks 1 or 2, because of the crowded corridors of people waiting to disembark. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The ship was excellent, looked brand new. Food was ideal and plenty of it, too much, my diet took a severe hit. The crew was very friendly and available for any request at any time. Responses from Guest Services were timely and complete. I ... Read More
The ship was excellent, looked brand new. Food was ideal and plenty of it, too much, my diet took a severe hit. The crew was very friendly and available for any request at any time. Responses from Guest Services were timely and complete. I really liked the fitness center, the equipment was excellent and in excellent shape. The spa was a special pleasure and we really enjoyed using the spa pool. The ship has plenty of space for everyone, I never felt crowed or that there wasn't a really nice spot to sit and read or just zone out. The dining area is spacious and we never had to wait for a meal. The preparation and menu had many items that we enjoyed and I actually sampled some things I would usually never eat. It was interesting in that respect, it was well prepared and timely. All in all this was an excellent experience and one I would recommend to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Been on Discovery 2 before, nice ship, food ok, staff lovely always smiling, especially Philip he is a credit to Marcella. Ports of call very good, weather in Europe not so good, we were in a force 12 gale one day, but we survived it. ... Read More
Been on Discovery 2 before, nice ship, food ok, staff lovely always smiling, especially Philip he is a credit to Marcella. Ports of call very good, weather in Europe not so good, we were in a force 12 gale one day, but we survived it. Entertainment from Headliners excellent, didn't see comidiens so can't comment. 4 Tunes very good but did not like Jon Asher. Pleased Captain didn't say it's going to be a 'bobby dazzler' as often as he did on last cruise, he must have taken heed of feedback. I must say to all those inconsiderate people who went up to the Veranda deck to move sun beds on the 5 consecutive sea days ,one night it was 3am and others it varied between 4 am and 6am you should be ashamed of yourselves and if anyone thinks of booking a Junior Suite on deck 8 think again because you will be woken up in the early hours unless General Manager does something about blocking the stairs on deck 9 that lead to Veranda deck during night time thus stopping the selfish people from accessing Veranda deck until a reasonable time. Good cruise overall, but will not book a Junior Suite deck 8 again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We selected this cruise to celebrate my husband's retirement. The combination of ports and transatlantic cruise was the perfect fit and the time of year was just what we were hoping for. We flew into Venice a couple of days prior to ... Read More
We selected this cruise to celebrate my husband's retirement. The combination of ports and transatlantic cruise was the perfect fit and the time of year was just what we were hoping for. We flew into Venice a couple of days prior to sailing and enjoyed checking out the city. The problems started once we arrived in our cabin and discovered the toilet did not operate. Nor did it work the next day, or the day after that, or the day after that.....7 days of our cruise. No operating toilet. We had a pool of disgusting sewage liquid on the floor of the bathroom on one day AFTER the plumbers left. After reporting the problems to Customer Service, we learned the problem was a continuation from the prior cruise. But we were the problem because we were not able to move to another cabin (my parents were next door and we were unable to leave them). For our "trouble", we were given $250. Seriously. The $250 "compensation" for 28% of our cruise being impacted was unacceptable. I would strongly encourage others to avoid HAL and the Oosterdam in particular. We have cruised both HAL and the Oosterdam in the past and had chosen this cruise over several others. We spent hours with customer service staff, plumbers and not doing what we wanted to do--but hey, we got pretty good finding the "public toilets" around the ship....as this was what customer service told us to do when we needed to do our "business". Yep, couldn't use our cabin's most basic facilities. Needless to say, this overshadowed our entire cruise and has changed our views of HAL. Additionally, there were challenges with the wine stewart. We were charged for wine we didn't drink. We were charged for a chard. ($62/bottle) when we drank a reisling ($32/bottle). Who knows who else he was stealing from. As much trouble as we had with the above, we enjoyed the entertainment, the special speakers and the America's Test Kitchen. Our cabin steward was a trooper in having to perform his usual duties and then also clean up from the mess the plumbers left. The ports and excursions we amazing. One challenge we did have with the excursions is that the descriptions regarding strenuousness and the passengers abilities often did not mesh. So those passengers who were more "agile" were held back by those could not keep up with the guides. Look beyond HAL to another cruise line before booking. Or be prepared for anything to go wrong. And then be prepared to be placated by the customer service staff "I'm so sorry Mrs. ***". These individuals are left to try to clean up problems across the ship without any information on what is causing the issues. We felt sorry for them. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I chose this cruise as well as the last seven day cruise of the Mediterranean of the season which gave me 28 days on board. The ship is very modern and was kept in immaculate condition whilst on board e.g. The balcony was hosed and ... Read More
I chose this cruise as well as the last seven day cruise of the Mediterranean of the season which gave me 28 days on board. The ship is very modern and was kept in immaculate condition whilst on board e.g. The balcony was hosed and scrubbed four times in 28 days. The interior design of passageways was a bit confusing with dark wall panelling and large mirror inserts which tries to give the feeling of space but when turning a corner into a dead end corridor to be confronted by a large mirror was a problem. I would not like to be finding my way out in an emergency. The Aurea balcony cabin was the usual size and layout and the bedding was very comfortable, I would not pay the extra cost for the Aurea over the Bella if I used MSC again. Cabin steward was very helpful, respectful and pleasant. I must admit that on the seven day cruise I was upgraded to Yacht Club and unfortunately cruising will never be the same again. A more finely appointed cabin, butler, dedicated concierge, quite lounge and food area, pool deck and bar, restaurant and preferred embarking and disembarkation was a bonus. The entertainment on the Mediterranean sector was excellent but once we departed for the Atlantic crossing the quality of the entertainment was not as good and I ended up not attending a show every night. Maybe I was spoilt by my first week in Yacht Club but when I returned to my original cabin on deck 12 and used the buffet which was huge, I was disappointed by the cluttered layout of the seating and the quality of the food in comparison to Carnival, RCI and Princess, MSC should take a look at Voyager and Radiance of the Seas to see what I mean. The main restaurant was very nice, the service good and the food was OK but all beef dishes were a bit on the tough side. Bar service was excellent and drinks were in the usual price bracket. Shore excursions were good, value varied from port to port with the usual problems of transporting forty odd people in a coach. Talking to passengers from Europe and the USA confirmed my thoughts on the lack value for money that Australian passengers received in comparison,discounted fares and free drink packages were the the norm for them. My last gripe and I was aware of this before I booked was the multi language messages on the PA which became irritating after a few days. This was my first experience with MSC and unless they can offer more for the Australian consumer I don't think I will sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Okay. I still think Viking Ocean cruises are the best. Our first Viking ship - the Sky - broke down & our cruise was truncated. BUT, overall, our recent Amsterdam to Barcelona cruise was above average: The ship is beautiful and, even ... Read More
Okay. I still think Viking Ocean cruises are the best. Our first Viking ship - the Sky - broke down & our cruise was truncated. BUT, overall, our recent Amsterdam to Barcelona cruise was above average: The ship is beautiful and, even though this was a full cruise, there’s still some places I haven’t made it to... Torshaven - I’m looking at you! I love that this is an adults-only cruise for the discriminating traveler. I also liked that the line has retained its dress code of casual elegance for dinner... surprising but good! Now for some negatives, to help Viking retain its reputation as The Best: Improve the excursions!! I found both the included and optional to be lacking. The size of groups, pacing, and especially the guides could have been better!! One thing that might help is to do like on our River Cruise. Have one enduring group for the “go-getters” and at least one for the “handicapped and ‘slow-getters’ like photographers.” On that same line, my husband and I did not feel we got the value of our $99 ea Andalusia excursion. A large part of it was tasting the regional food, yet putting a whole bus-load of guests around a long cafeteria table with no choice of foods except the lackluster offerings served by lackluster cafeteria-type employees was an insult!! And the food was not tasty, much less plentiful. Limited to one glass of sangria... Really? 2) Other things noted: the restaurant service ON THE SHIP seems to have slipped since 2015, as well. On our first cruise the staff not only knew us by name but remembered something of our preferences! More training needed in these days?? Oh! And another biggie ( re: lack of personalization): I started in, I think it was April, to try to make the staff aware of a special double-70th birthday reunion for my former college roommate & myself. I wrote several times, spoke to some people and even filled out forms for the exact words I wanted on the cake (to follow our celebratory dinner at Manfredi’s.) I, of course, agreed to pay a hefty charge for this service, yet it was never correct!!! To Viking’s credit I don’t believe we ever got charged for the cake (?), yet we got one we never ate brought to our cabin as a welcome gift... compliments of ourselves?! They also brought us a small non-personalized cake following the dinner - but only after a special request from my husband to our waiter. It was not how I wanted this special dinner for a friend of 50 years to be! I never even got a response, much less compliance, to what I had requested. And finally - about food service: the first room-service breakfast we ordered was not tasty at all and everything was cold. On our second try we specified clearly what we wanted (“hot”, “browned” etc) and it was only minimally better. This was a favorite part of our first (2015) Ocean cruise with Viking!! 3). A couple of suggestions that would make the staterooms even more comfortable: have not only top sheets, but also thin blankets available for those who can’t adjust to the comforters in duvets Provide small microwaves to just re-heat stuff (ie. coffee, croissants) Cut out the Cruise Directors’ unnecessary morning-chatter-announcements... or at least make them later. They annoy us late sleepers. They woke me up - yet I couldn’t really hear them! I suggest only NECESSARY announcements piped into the rooms (not what we can also read in the Dalies/weather etc.) Just beef up the Viking app a bit more with daily changes, etc. 4) And one last complaint: that Immigration check in our Portsmouth stop was inexcusable! We decided that that was the one excursion we would skip (in exchange for a luxurious morning in bed) because we didn’t want to get up early for the immigration check and had such a short time in port anyway. Imagine our dismay at being rooted out with no time to put on makeup or anything! And it is unreasonable if you are not going ashore at all. Why can’t you just check for the necessary sticker when people LEAVE THE SHIP - or, at least, warn people of this crazy requirement in the pre-cruise literature?! SO, it seems with all of the above, I must have hated this trip. NOT SO! It was actually great in sum total, and I will continue to recommend Viking Ocean cruises to everyone I know!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018

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