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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We were in Silver Suit #9236: a balcony by the mid ship elevator. I thought it was a great location near the Stabilizers. We hardly felt any motion from Barcelona to Dubai. We ate Br, Lu and Dn in the Silver Dining Room every day from ... Read More
We were in Silver Suit #9236: a balcony by the mid ship elevator. I thought it was a great location near the Stabilizers. We hardly felt any motion from Barcelona to Dubai. We ate Br, Lu and Dn in the Silver Dining Room every day from Day 2 onward. We could have had Lu the first day, but we didn’t know the Silver Dining Room was open till we got to our cabin. I called about Dn the first night, but was confused by their answer. We went to the Windjammer Buffet on Deck 14 and got a Noodle Bowl. Br was the usual assortment on Eggs, Pancakes, fruits, Oatmeal, Yogurt, Juices, etc. They have a Latte, Cappuccino, Hot Chocolate, etc. machine so you don’t need a coffee card. Sometimes you can get the Waiters to make the drinks for you. They use real plates and silverware + glass drinking glasses. Lu was a big spread with multiple Meats and Seafoods, lots of salads and vegs, and desserts like Tiramisu & Cheesecake. Dn was Appetizers. They always had 4 hot appetizers like small Chicken Legs, Shrimp, Spring Rolls, Onion Balls and Sausage Rolls. They always had 4 cold appetizers plus Cheeses and Wafer Bread. Small desserts, but you can have free alcoholic and soft drinks from 5:30pm till 8pm (and lots of people do). We never saw the need to go to the Dining Room! We had reserved a Transfer Tour from the Barcelona Airport to the Port. But, the Immigration line took over 1 hour and we missed the bus (they don’t wait). Fortunately, a RCCL rep was there that got us on a direct transfer bus from the airport to the ship at less cost. Great!!! NOTE: You have to reserve the direct transfers from the Reservation people (they are not shown in the on-line Shore Trips). Check-in was very fast. The rooms were ready early at 12:15pm. We had reserved the 10.5 hr The Best of Rome shore trip, but my wife wasn’t feeling good after the long flight from the US. A Shore Excursion rep refunded our money. We had a pleasant walk in Civitavecchia, the Port for Rome. We had Lu in town overlooking the MedMer. We walked around the Port area in Naples, and had a Pizza Lu. We walked a mile from the Port in Athens @ (37 56.23N 23 37.46E) to the spectacular Church of the Holy Trinity @ (37.943651° 23.644060°). NOTE: It is a 2.5 mile walk one-way from the Port large ships must use to the Subway Station to go to the Acropolis. We took the 10 hr ship tour to Petra. We walked the 3 Kms thru the Siq to the Treasury façade and back in 2.3 Hrs. I took 400 pictures. The light is really good for pictures in the Siq in the morning. You could rent horse-drawn carts for a fast ride to the Treasury. Our ticket included a ride down and back on a slow horse led by a local tribesman. You could also rent Golf Carts with a driver for a moderately paced ride. We passed on all of them because we wanted to look for birds and take pictures. In my view, if you took the horse carts, you would largely miss the beautiful views in the Siq. NOTE: The main trail goes on for another 3-miles (5Km) to the 4000-seat ancient Amphi-Theater carved into the rock, the Colonnaded Street (where ancient shops had been located), and the 135,000 sq ft Great Temple. There were mobs of People coming downhill to the Treasury at Noon as we were walking back to the entrance. I’m glad we got here earlier. Our only delay was where a woman had fallen at a narrow place in the Siq. This created a real bottle neck for the horse carts. There seemed to be Park Staff caring for her already. Petra is not Handicap accessible. Our tour included a Buffet Lu at the MovenPick 5-Star Hotel next to the entrance to the Petra Park: Hummus, Zucchini Hummus, Tomato slices, Mint sauce, Olives, 3-Peppers w Cheese Sauce + Pulled Pork w Rice + Pita Bread ++ Chocolate Tart, and Chocolate Mousse. Beautiful!!! The bus ride to and from Petra was interesting as well. I took 170 pictures on these drives. Part of the drive was on the Kings Highway mentioned in Numbers Chapter 20. We didn’t get off the ship in Dubai till time to go to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Cost good for a repositioning cruise...Ship was generally good as it is quite new. BUT cabins are small as are the bathrooms and balconies. The pillows are awful felt like I was sleeping on a marshmallow and when I requested a better ... Read More
Cost good for a repositioning cruise...Ship was generally good as it is quite new. BUT cabins are small as are the bathrooms and balconies. The pillows are awful felt like I was sleeping on a marshmallow and when I requested a better pillow was given 2 pillows squashed into one pillow case. The mattress is ordinary. The ship's PIAZZA is ok at first.... BUT is very noisy and if you want to watch some thing you have to get there early in morning as the same people monopolise the seating 24/7. The same can be said of the Cabanas and seating around the pools. The ship is set up for the Chinese market with too many areas for gaming ie the 16th and 17th decks. There are not enough interesting activities such as Wine and other Alcohol courses or food demos and tasting times , or even interesting craft courses...there is too much emphasis on the Art shows and Bingo. The long days at sea need more activities. The LIBRARY was a disgrace it effectively did not have any books from day 1...it needs to be bigger and have staff looking after it. The so called SALES in the shops are ridiculous the same stuff, that is mostly junk is put out daily. There could be more interesting food stalls around the pools that could change regularly...the ice cream was the same flavour every day. The off shore tours were boring and not particularly well run. not really good value for money Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Ship is just renovated cabin with larger shower area. Cabin is always clean! Thanks to our cabin service. Always love flexibility diner restaurants timing with so excellent services they gave to us. Entertaining is marvelous with ... Read More
Ship is just renovated cabin with larger shower area. Cabin is always clean! Thanks to our cabin service. Always love flexibility diner restaurants timing with so excellent services they gave to us. Entertaining is marvelous with différents shows but some with same performers. Service are excellent with smiles in their face and minds. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth as supposed to be. Singapore is very model and clean with many excellent facilities, Bali is beautiful but to many traffic. Love Darwin with manageable small town and large botanical garden. Brisbane is modelly beautiful with rich historical town. My wife love all activities and joined many of them. For the ports and shores are mostly excellent (that’s why I choose this itineraries!) only some required tending in the rough sea but that understandable. Some port is kind of miss and hit but we just site relax on the ship with nice jacuzzi and swimming pool. I love to go again with Norwegian Cruise in the future with different itineraries since the world has so many wonderful places to visit. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We cruised from Venice to Dubai via the Suez Canal for seventeen nights in an inside cabin, mid-ships, on a re-positioning cruise with MSC in November 2018. We have cruised before but this was our first experience of MSC. Facts The ... Read More
We cruised from Venice to Dubai via the Suez Canal for seventeen nights in an inside cabin, mid-ships, on a re-positioning cruise with MSC in November 2018. We have cruised before but this was our first experience of MSC. Facts The passengers were predominantly Italian, German, Spanish, French and Portuguese with a minority of British. There were two European and two US electrical sockets in the cabin. There were lots of drawers, shelves and hanging space for storage. It was easy to obtain extra coat hangers and extra pillows from our cabin steward. There was good storage space under the bed for empty cases. There was a stocked mini-bar in the cabin. There was a wall mounted bottle of body wash and shampoo in the shower which was refilled during the cruise and liquid soap at the basin. No conditioner, body lotion or bars of soap were provided. There was a wall-mounted, hose-type hair dryer in the bathroom. The small TV had a limited number of English speaking channels including BBC News, CNN and Sky news. Some films were played on a loop but most were not in English. The TV had an HDMI socket which you could use to connect your devices with your own cable. There was a large wet play area with padded floor for kids on deck 11, two swimming pools with ladder access, shallow sections for kids and two small Jacuzzi’s. Pools were initially cool but warmed up as we traveled south. There were lots of sun loungers and some high back reclining chairs around the pools and on the 12th deck but often, on a sea days, these were filled. Pros The cabin was compact but clean. The air conditioning was easy to adjust and was effective. The bed was firm and very comfortable. The sound-proofing in the cabins was generally good. Theatre entertainment was generally good with a wide variety of styles ranging from slapstick to high brow classical music. Disembarkation was fast and easy. Cons Embarkation slow and shambolic with unfriendly, unhelpful MSC staff. The shower in the en-suite was extremely compact and had a shower curtain rather than a solid door. This made showering in such a small space without flooding the floor quite challenging. The service in the main restaurant was slow, unfriendly and the food was cold until we complained. Thereafter the service improved and the food was served hot. The food was generally rather bland and uninteresting. Portion sizes were generally small. Our pre-arranged restaurant coffee package was refused on two evenings. Other guests sat in our allocated table one evening early in the cruise and we had to stand around for five minutes while the staff decided what to do. We were then asked to move table for the rest of the cruise. Breakfast food in the main restaurant was never hot and service was unfriendly and slow. The drinks call bells on the buffet restaurant tables were only answered 50% of time. Buffet tables were not wiped effectively. The buffet food choice was poor and food was not hot. Hand sanitizers throughout the ship often did not work and MSC staff did not encourage passengers to use them. Waiting staff and others did not give way to guests when passing in narrow corridors. It felt like some would have knocked you down if you hadn’t stepped aside to allow them to pass. TV reception was poor/non-existent for about seven days in and around the Red Sea. It took a week to resolve an intermittent faulty lock on our cabin door. There was no warning prior to theatre shows regarding the use of strobe lighting. Passports were retained by MSC on embarkation and only returned the night before disembarkation. Passport return arrangements were a shambles with too few MSC staff, leading to huge queues. Poolside entertainment was much too loud for customers not wishing to take part. The sun loungers had very low backs which did not allow for head support. Our MSC loyalty scheme status match to Black status was not initially honoured and it took multiple visits to the loyalty desk over two weeks to resolve. We therefore missed out on some Black benefits. Loyalty staff and reception staff did not seem interested in resolving this. MSC were very poor at communicating port of call arrangements. E.g. at Salalah in Oman, the literature said a shuttle bus would take us from the ship to the "main square". We were actually dropped off at a taxi rank at the exit of the port where there was absolutely nothing to see or do other than take a taxi. There was no signage or crew direction to where we were to collect our luggage after disembarkation. We enjoyed the itinerary and the weather was very good however having previously sailed with Royal Caribbean, Princess, P&O and TUI which all offered a far superior experience; this will be our first and last MSC cruise. Many of the other British passengers we spoke to agreed with this sentiment. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Main reason was to go along the Suez Canal and then see Petra. We saw and liked the Suez, but Petra had to be cancelled due to the flood there the day before our arrival. Practically nearly all of the other ports we had visited ... Read More
Main reason was to go along the Suez Canal and then see Petra. We saw and liked the Suez, but Petra had to be cancelled due to the flood there the day before our arrival. Practically nearly all of the other ports we had visited before, and this ship and it's itinerary (apart from the Sea or Sun Princess World Cruise) go through the Suez and gave the chance of going to Petra. Had we seen advertised before we booked, various section itineraries of this cruise we would have just taken the Rome to Dubai section, and missed out the problem and cost of the Indian Visa's, plus the trouble the Sapphire Princess had with them when we were about to arrive at Cochin. Fortunately, we had ours on a thumb-drive and were able to have Sapphire Princess customer service reprint them. A lot of people had problems there. The Sapphire Princess also charged excessively for shuttle buses that were probably put on by the ports, for which Princess would probably pay only a pittance. The shows were sub-standard and a lot of passengers were complaining about them and walking out. There was little in the way of activities, and the Cruise Director staff were very loud, would shout or scream even though they were using a microphone. The Cruise Director Manager, Paul, would 'put down' his female staff and it was 'beneath' him to talk to passengers. On the whole, this is the WORST CRUISE we have ever taken with Princess, and it will take a lot of consideration before joining Princess again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Keen to try the larger ship for the first time. The OVation is a beautiful ship only 2 yr. young, the artwork & walk throughs are great, 270 at back of ship is great venue with the robots entertaining the humans. The theatre ... Read More
Keen to try the larger ship for the first time. The OVation is a beautiful ship only 2 yr. young, the artwork & walk throughs are great, 270 at back of ship is great venue with the robots entertaining the humans. The theatre handles the large number of passengers & the smaller venues cope well with passenger numbers. The staff were excellent, cannot fault, they are eager to please & satisfy any requirements whether dietary or something else. Management are on the ball with this ship, it shows all the way down to staff, service was first class. The Cruise Critic get together was a bit ordinary, scheduled at 930am in the Music Hall, on the other hand there were a lot of us to handle & plenty of onboard stuff to attend to in the venues. Embarkation in Singapore was a shambles, me thinks the port cannot handle such a large number of passengers, getting off at Freo was very slow, Sydney was good, we left the boat at 9am; this is probably why RC is building its own cruise terminal in Florida, so it can handle the large numbers. The entertainment was great, the production shows (2) were up there, the 3rd. show at Pixels was excellent with robots & human interaction, although i was confused as to the theme, maybe that was it, interaction. The music around the ship was pretty good, the electric grand piano had a terrible harpsicord tone, why so ? The INXS Show was very good, a bit loud for my damaged ears but very energetic. The cabin steward Ida was excellent, the dining room staff in the Grande were also very good, food came out on time, i miss eggs benny thats for sure. The Windjammer was very good, i dont mind the same food presented most meals, there is plenty of it & plenty of variety, just avoid peak times, there are plenty of food venues around the ship that are complimentary. I did not seek out the speciality restaurants such as Izumis this time as i was happy with the Grand & bistro. The coffee has improved by the way. There is an electric jug & refrigerator in the room. The bed was very good, big & comfortable. Would i go again ? At 4100 passengers this is about 800 short of max, i dont think the max would be good for me, i am on the Radiance to NZ in a few weeks, looking forward to that cruise with about 1/2 the number of passengers. There were 2 delays with people being winched off to helicopter, this delayed ship to Singers & Freo, with so many people on a ship i suppose you might expect this, but staff said this was the first time they had 2 incidents with helicopter needed, but if it was the 1st time it will not be the last. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We were delighted to find that the MSC Musica was relocating from the Med to South Africa, and booked Venice to Durban (24 days) as the conclusion of a long trip away from home in South Africa. By way of summary, our experience ran ... Read More
We were delighted to find that the MSC Musica was relocating from the Med to South Africa, and booked Venice to Durban (24 days) as the conclusion of a long trip away from home in South Africa. By way of summary, our experience ran along these lines: 1 - The web site is a monster and needs some serious attention from someone who understands UX ('User Experience' - the trending approach to web design today?). 2 - The four options (Bella, Fantastica, Aurea and Club) have preset options none of which really suited us. We chose Fantastica because it assured us we would get the best cabin in the category (see 4 below!). That did NOT work! 3 - Embarkation in Venice involved a LONG walk, in the blazing sun, from the Venice 'People Mover' (which links the city to the port) to the ship. Once we were in the shade it took about an hour (long queues) and it would have been smarter to arrive much closer to the deadline, when there were no queues. 4 - The cabin (11195) was a disappointment. We chose inside because we are happy not to have views or balconies, but we got one of the inside cabins with BUNKS. They are turned up to the wall, but there is inadequate space to get into bed standing upright; the solution was to get into bed by crawling up from the bottom. Further, there is NO SEATING - just a padded box that sits under the very small dressing table. I see on the deck plan some of the inside cabins have black blobs - because ours has four I guess that means it sleeps four people? Pity there is no legend to explain that! 5 - Hence, we found that MSC have a problem with information management. I had two reasons to request on board that Reception assist me: first, I was listed as 'Mr' (my correct title is 'Dr' or 'Prof', as indicated at booking time) and it ought to be SO easy to correct these small things; 'they' were simply not interested. The other issue was with the door to the Library, which made a dreadful screeching sound every time it was opened. The library should be a sanctuary of peace and quiet, but it was horrible for that one reason (actually, there were VERY few books, which caused people to come in and noisily discuss how shocking it was to find that there were no books to read - no reference books such as atlases and travel guides, only a selection of fiction, in several languages, that quickly reduced as more than 3000 'guests' helped themselves). 6 - Previously we have cruised with no internet, and as I had work to do I was delighted to see that continuous internet is offered, and although the log on was somewhat convoluted it worked most of the time. But forget the service that you might get at home, this was SLOW and in 24 days I used about 3Gbytes, that cost me 95 Euros. Some people had bought a cheaper package that, astonishingly, did NOT allow access to email services. 7 - There is a 'CyberCafe' but nobody in attendance to assist with problems. The young man sitting there - confusingly - was the Voyager Club representative. His response to any assistance with the cybercafe (that he was sitting right in the middle of) was abrupt almost to the point of rudeness. I guess we all have bad days ... I took my laptop to the cybercafe to try and get faster internet (I think that worked) but there are NO power outlets there, just standardised screens with a keyboard, a mouse and a small USB accessory for your memory stick or whatever you have. 8 - There were some glitches with the excursions. On the catamaran trip (Mauritious) two passengers were sent to the wrong coach, and so the whole remaining party of 23 had to sit or stand on the catamaran for more than an hour, with only partial shade. When the late-comers arrived, one of the sun-drenched (German) passengers asked - rudely and without any evidence - that the late-comers should apologise; well, they were from Australia and the anglo-saxon expletives and tears flowed freely. I mention this because it is the sort of incident that should be managed by the cruise staff, and I would have expected some apology from them. As it was, it took half of the day for the tempers to cool down and it was the fellow-passengers who did more to manage the situation than the 'staff'. Having said all that, what was good? The entertainment was excellent, although it was inevitable that over 24 days the song and dance crew, the acrobats and the classical musicians had to include some repetition. Not really a problem. We enjoyed the Queen (Freddie Mercury) entertainment so much we watched it twice (there are early and late shows, for the later and earlier sittings in the restaurants. The food in the restaurants was a little variable - we had just one main dish that was inedible and had to go back to the kitchen, but the starters and deserts were excellent. Portions were modest, and that suited us perfectly! The cafeteria was, well, rather like a cafeteria. The cabin and restaurant staff were excellent. The deal is that MSC add 10 euros per person every day for service (and that is in addition to the 15% surcharge on drinks from the bar), and so we were wondering how much of our 480 Euros (about one third of our 'ticket' price!!) would go to the front-of-house workers, and how much gets put into the slush fund. At the desk they admitted that the 'standard' 10 euros per day per passenger was actually optional, and I 'renegotiated' it. One of our fellow passengers told us that he went to reception on the FIRST day to tell them that he did not agree, and did not want to pay, and they agreed that it was at his discretion. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our fifth Silversea cruise, our second on the Muse but our first repositioning voyage. As always, we flew to our embarkation city the day beforehand and had a fun 24 hours in Athens. We didn’t feel it necessary to book our ... Read More
This was our fifth Silversea cruise, our second on the Muse but our first repositioning voyage. As always, we flew to our embarkation city the day beforehand and had a fun 24 hours in Athens. We didn’t feel it necessary to book our accommodation through Silversea as it’s a major European city with good transport links. When you just need a relatively central location, a comfortable bed and a good shower, why pay over the odds? Silversea waived the “deviation fee” on this occasion so we booked a simple hotel 10 minutes on the metro from the Acropolis. We enjoyed exploring the city on the Sunday and spent Monday morning in the magnificent Acropolis Museum before taking an inexpensive taxi to Piraeus and boarding the ship with minimum fuss. We were sat outside La Terrazza having lunch within 15 minutes. We previously sailed on the Muse on her inaugural voyage in April 2017 and had a great time, despite the dining chaos complained of by some. It definitely felt like a home-coming, with some familiar faces amongst the crew and we easily slipped into the warm embrace of luxury provided onboard. The ship looked good and well-kept. For us, the public spaces achieve the balance between muted luxury and comfort - we are not interested in being surrounded by “bling”. Our suite, although on a lower deck than we have previously sailed on, was in all other respects exactly the same and very convenient for the “big beige lounge” (the Dolce Vita) and Team Trivia every afternoon. Over the course of the cruise, we ate in all the restaurants with the exception of La Dame. This was a conscious choice on our part as on our previous voyage we didn’t feel La Dame merited the extra charge when the food in Atlantide is particularly good. We dined in Kaiseki to celebrate a birthday and the chefs and staff gave us a memorable evening. We also enjoyed the sushi and sashimi for lunch at Kaiseki, which sometimes provided a quieter alternative to the buffet or the pool deck. The food at all restaurants ranged from very good to excellent. It was pleasing to see that the menu at Silver Note (previously our lest favourite option) had improved. The flavours at Indochine were spot-on and the bar there was one of the nicest on the ship. Not all guests appreciate Asian fusion, but it was heartening to see the Indochine dining room busier than previously. Where we had previously sailed on port-intensive itineraries with relatively few sea days, we had to make an adjustment on this cruise where it was roughly half port and half sea days. This was made easier with plenty to keep us busy. There were three guest lecturers on board, two of whom - Mark Elowitz and Tom Jones - were particularly popular. Team Trivia became increasingly popular as the cruise progressed. Cruise Director Vikki conducted matters with elan and confidence. We used the gym regularly and my husband attended a number of classes with the fitness instructor, who he rated highly. The jogging track was busy with walkers and runners first thing in the morning. We had a bridge tour, various cooking demonstrations in different parts of the snip, a galley tour and many other diversions. The Voices of Silversea did a really good job on this voyage and all the various musicians worked hard to support each other and devise new combinations of musical entertainment to offer guests. Charlie the guitarist was a particular star. In addition, there were two other artists brought in for different parts of the cruise - a singer/pianist and a flamenco guitarist. Both were very skilled. We took a number of excursions in the ports we visited. The desert jeep safari in Sharm El Sheikh was more fun and interesting than we had originally expected. The landscapes through which we drove were remarkable and the visit to the Bedouin camp was enlivened by both a whirling dervish and a belly dancer. The full day excursion to Petra was tiring but very well worth it. Again, the desert landscape we passed through to get there was quite spectacular. Everybody will say that there isn’t enough time to do more than skim the surface in Petra and I think that is true. Once we had passed through the Siq, we left the tour group behind and wandered on our own. There was enough flexibility in the lunch arrangements for us to maximise the time in the old city and just grab something quick back at the Movenpick Hotel. After all, there didn’t see a lot of point in going all that way to spend half of it sitting in the dining room of a hotel, however nice. In Safaga, we took the overnight excursion to Luxor. This gave us the best chance to see as much as we could in the time available. For us, the Valley of the Kings was the highlight and more time there rather than at a couple of the photo stops on the way back to Luxor would have been welcome. The evening buffet dinner at the Sonesta Hotel on the banks of the Nile was very relaxed and enjoyable. Having sailed through Pirate Alley and reached Salalah, we cancelled the excursion we had booked and took a taxi with another couple. This gave us the chance to see what the city had to offer at our own pace. It’s not a big place but there are still points of interest - the vegetable and fish markets were amazing. It always surprises us when we hear and read complaints of poor service on Silversea. We have never experienced anything less than exemplary service and this cruise was no different. Our butler and room attendant were efficient and friendly and did a beautiful job of decorating the suite for my husband’s birthday. The staff definitely deserved the applause at the crew parade on our penultimate evening on board. Disembarkation at Muscat was a little slower than on previous occasions, but that was more to do with the local immigration officials than with Silversea staff. All the arrangements for our transfers within Muscat went smoothly. We are looking forward to our next Silversea cruise - we have an open booking and are still pondering which itinerary to try next. Based on our previous experience, we are confident that Silversea will deliver the cruise we want. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We have traveled with Celebrity, Cunard, P & O and Princess and till now Princess was our clear favorite, but our experience over the past 3 weeks has left that favoritism in tatters! There were many negatives on this ship but I ... Read More
We have traveled with Celebrity, Cunard, P & O and Princess and till now Princess was our clear favorite, but our experience over the past 3 weeks has left that favoritism in tatters! There were many negatives on this ship but I will start with some positives. The staff were all very helpful, polite and generally good at their jobs. The ship itself was extraordinarily stable with almost NO rocking and rolling over the entire 22 days even though we traveled from Asia to Australia. Their system of taking the passports from the passengers to ease the immigration processing worked in most cases and the tendering service on the one occasion it was used was extremely smooth. Sadly, the negatives affected our cruise more than the positives, with one having a major effect on us throughout most of the trip. I will work through them in a logical order. Some are not fixable but it is probably best if you are aware of them rather than being surprised later. For this particular cruise the boarding in Shanghai was a nightmare. I am told that Princess were not responsible for the debacle in Shanghai and had indeed tried to be in control and failed. All I can suggest is that in future they avoid Shanghai altogether. It ensured most of the passengers boarded the ship in less than a positive frame of mind and could well have been part of the reason so many people were negative about the ship . For our part, the cruise was spoilt by our inability to have the balcony door open at night, but more of that shortly. On the first evening we went to dinner in the any time dining restaurant, Symphony, at 6.30 only to be handed a buzzer and told to go away and wait till it buzzed!! I assumed they had made an error as there were plenty of empty tables in the restaurant and told them I had any time dining, but they said they realised that and to take the buzzer and wait. 40 minutes later it went off and despite a preference for a table for two, we were forced to share a larger table of six if we didnt want a further delay! In all the cruises with all the different shipping lines we have sailed with that was the first time that had ever happened. Any time dining in the past referred to any time WE wanted to eat not any time the staff could fit us in! As a consequence to eating so late, I had severe indigestion that evening and in order to avoid that problem again we went to dinner at 5.45pm each night to ensure we got mostly the same table and didnt have to wait to be placed on a table. However it completely nullified the point of any time dining which is one of the main criteria we look for on a cruise. The other main essential for us is a cabin with a balcony so we can sleep with the door open at night. The reason we do this is because we enjoy fresh air and it usually avoids the problems associated with breathing recycled air conditioned air and the coughs and colds that often causes. On this cruise, despite paying so much extra for a balcony (and indeed a mini suite) we were unable to sleep with the balcony door open for all but the final few nights. The reason for that was a loud ''howling'' sound that erupted spasmodically from the wall next to the door when it was opened. Sometimes it was a high pitched whistle and other times it sounded like the night of the living dead! On the morning of the second day, we asked the cabin steward to listen to the sound and see if it could be fixed. He appeared horrified and baffled by the noise and told us he would get someone to look into it. Nothing happened so we assumed it was something structural which could not be fixed at sea and started sleeping with the door closed. Whilst it had an impact on the cruise from our point of view, we understand that sometimes there are events that are outside peoples control. However, on the 18th day an engineer came to the cabin to check our fridge and while he was there I asked if he knew what was causing the wailing sound when the door was opened. He listened to it and recorded it on his phone after tracing it to the panel of the bulkhead beside the door and told me to call reception and request a carpenter. I did this as he waited, but all that achieved was the cabin steward arrived asking if I had called for him. I explained I had asked the engineer about the noise we had told him about 2 weeks earlier and he called down to someone and spoke to them in a foreign language and left after telling me a carpenter was on his way. After a while we left the cabin as well. 8 hours later I called down to reception to ask if the carpenter had been as the noise was still there and they said he had been and not heard the noise when he opened the door and left! I had explained it wasnt constant but irregular and often. After dinner there was a message to call reception if the noise started - which it did almost immediately. They said the carpenter would be there, but it took about 2 hours for him to arrive! Around 10.15 that night the carpenter came. The noise was very much on and off and not as serious as before but he did at least hear it and started banging a hammer on a screw driver. A manager arrived part way through and then when the noise stopped they both left and the carpenter said he would check back in the morning to see if the noise was gone. In the morning we advised him it was substantially reduced but still there a little and he then filled several gaps with silicone and from then on it was perfect. However it was annoying to discover we had paid for a mini suite for the balcony and not been able to use it for all but the final 3 nights despite pointing out the problem on the first full day! We may as well have paid for an ocean view for all the good of it. THAT issue obviously had a major impact on our cruise and its enjoyment. But it was not the only one. On the Majestic there is no promenade deck as such. On EVERY cruise ship we have traveled on in the past we could walk around the entire deck with a nice view and fresh air as we go. This was not possible on the Majestic and I believe that is a major design flaw. We took a Princess shore tour in Singapore and have to say we were shocked by the poor condition of the coach we traveled in. It was quite old and the air con was VERY limited. Worse still when the engine idled it was impossible to hear the guide speaking and the smell of petrol became quite over powering at the back of the bus where we were seated.Having said that, we could see the other coaches were all quite new, so it is possible we were unlucky. However the tour ended at some markets in China Town. They were about the least inspiring markets I have ever seen and having driven past all the fabulous stores on Orchard Street, a stop THERE would have been far better than ending up in a smelly third rate market! Due to the passenger numbers on the ship, there is another problem - not enough places for passengers to sit and read quietly. Most of the common areas are so full, there isnt a seat to sit on at times and far too much noise when there is. The lounge in front of the Hollywood Club was either full up (which it was all day) or the odd person would come and play the musical instruments around the place (BADLY) to interrupt any attempts to have a quiet moment in the evening. I am sure that sounds picky, but a lot of passengers look for that little place to sit and have some peace on board. On Majestic it really doesnt exist. For Trivia, there were more people than seats which resulted in my missing out a few times and I assume others missing out when I didnt! The room just wasnt big enough for the passenger numbers. The little nook and cranny problem was exacerbated by some of the few areas available being closed off now and again so a British film crew could film a fake wedding or give a (fake) impression of quiet areas on board as they made their free advert for Princess which will be shown on English TV shortly.! Finally I should mention the entertainment, which was disappointing. In over 3 weeks there were only 3 major stage shows on board - UNHEARD of on any other cruise where they are usually every second or third night. Whilst the value of the other entertainers is very much subjective and affected by personal opinion, the stage shows by the singers and dancers are what most of the passengers look forward to and less than one a week is pathetic! As for the other entertainers, some were good and some were iffy at best. I wont criticise individuals because as I said it is all a matter of personal opinion but for me, I have certainly seen better on every other cruise in the past. These are not all the problems or all the things that adversely affected the cruise for us, but I am sure if these had not been applicable the rest of the problems with have dimmed into insignificance. We may reconsider, Princess in the future, but at this moment we are very disappointed with them. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We arrived in Shanghai for 3 nights before the cruise,we were aware that the biggest percentage of guests would be Chinese,what we didn’t expect from royal Caribbean was the food /entertainment and everything else were definitely aimed ... Read More
We arrived in Shanghai for 3 nights before the cruise,we were aware that the biggest percentage of guests would be Chinese,what we didn’t expect from royal Caribbean was the food /entertainment and everything else were definitely aimed for the Chinese market only,the food was by far the worst food We have ever had on any cruise ship we have been on,the entertainment was an absolute joke,they had a magician on one night and he was that good nearly the whole audience disappeared in the first 2 minutes and never returned,Chinese karaoke was the final straw for evening entertainment,the customer services desk was also by far the worst we have ever experienced mostly Chinese and couldn’t understand a word of English and no help at all,the bar staff were the same they have not a clue how to make drinks cocktails we had to tell them,Hadi in the solarium was excellent really nice guy very pleasant and helpful nothing was to much trouble,we mostly ate in the coastal kitchen ,the waiter Jonnie was also very good,the embarkation and disembarkation was a disgrace they have not got a clue,it took 3 hrs queuing to get on to the ship,they are going to be putting the new spectrum of the seas over there what a waste of a ship,again we don’t think this cruise should be sold to any one outside of China.we spoke with a lot of people on the ship from Australia and the United States and uk ,every one was of the same mindset and most said they would not sail royal Caribbean again. Read Less

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