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244 Transpacific Repositioning Cruise Reviews

We had a wonderful cruise. The itinerary, Hawaii and the Polynesian Islands, was fabulous. We were worried about all of the days at sea but we found plenty to do and were not bored. Of course the islands were terrific. We especially liked ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise. The itinerary, Hawaii and the Polynesian Islands, was fabulous. We were worried about all of the days at sea but we found plenty to do and were not bored. Of course the islands were terrific. We especially liked the snorkeling/beach day in Moorea. The staff was very friendly and hardworking and the ship was clean and pleasant. We did not eat in the specialty restaurants and found the food in the dining room and buffet to be good. We have sailed on other cruise lines, some with higher ratings, but were pleasantly surprised by Norwegian. I would not hesitate to recommend the cruise. Aside from the ports a highlight was crossing the equator by sea. It was a spectacular day weather wise, the cruise director was a great Neptune, and we enjoyed the kissing of the fish ceremony. Our only negative experience was an issue with the passport collection and the coffee at the buffet was pretty bad. Other than that it was a dream trip. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
As my husband had just retired it was time for us to try a longer cruise and The Splendour Journey Cruise of 24 days looked perfect. After a bit of a problem getting onto the ship (3 hour wait) due to technical issues with collecting ... Read More
As my husband had just retired it was time for us to try a longer cruise and The Splendour Journey Cruise of 24 days looked perfect. After a bit of a problem getting onto the ship (3 hour wait) due to technical issues with collecting passports and other paperwork, we were onboard. Our cabin was an inside on deck 6 midships. It was a nice size and had plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. It has an un stocked fridge which was very handy for the sodas and water we brought on board. The shower was adequate but has a curtain, the sort that grabs you during the shower for a slow dance! There are shower gel and shampoo dispensers in the cubicle. We had a problem with the 2 single beds which had been pushed together to make a double bed, on previous lines the mattresses had been zipped together but not on Splendor I woke a couple of times almost down the hole in the middle of the bed. This ship has unusual décor she is all pink and pearls. I loved it I felt like I was in a mermaid's palace. A lot of people were hoping she was going to be changed in the dry dock she is undergoing as I type. But no she is staying pretty in pink I am glad to say. The sailing was very smooth the whole journey, no sun shone for us we had many cooling showers but it was a welcome distraction from the searing heat and 80% plus humidity. We spent our sea days mostly on serenity deck where there are lovely padded sunbeds and cabanas. There is a bar from 10 til dusk. It was a great place for reading the only interruptions were the bean bag toss and mini golf competitions on the deck above, but it was nice to hear people having fun. I let Carnival know in advance that I have a dairy allergy, tried to see the Maître'd on boarding but due to the tech problems it was late and not possible. It was a bit hit and miss at first. I was given the menu the evening before to make my choices. A great idea in practice but when the chef deemed my choices were not available to be made dairy free he often did not send a substitute. Meaning my husbands 's meal was either over or cold by the time my meal arrived. We hit a few bumps in the road when I was served such boring food I ended up in tears. After a good talk to the Maître'd and Sheena the diet coordinator things did improve. I had some lovely meals and the chef's choice deserts were great. I had soya custard with fruit, fruit crumbles, cakes, sorbet, and of course the dairy free Carnival Melting cake which was delightful. I was disappointed that there were no soya yogurts at breakfast but the chef did make some lovely pancakes for me. If you order chef's choice for breakfast you will get dairy free oatmeal with nuts and fruit, avocado on toast with or without poached eggs. and often pancakes too. The cruise director was Lee Mason (good morning Carnival Splendor Family this is Lee your cruise director) he is amazing, the best one yet. He is so hard working and always makes time to chat to passengers. The captain called him a Duracell bunny as he never stops. He even got the chance to shout out - Good Morning Vietnam in memory of Robin Williams and our many veterans of that war who were on board. We had a military appreciation service on the morning we arrived in Vietnam for all service veterans. We were entertained day and night always plenty to do, which was important on such a long cruise. The viva variety acts were great magicians, jugglers, singers trumpet players. Ventriloquists, the list goes on. The shows were amazing we had shows in the afternoon as well as the evening. We even had a first time show with our pianist putting on a full tribute show to Elton John the place was packed and the show was amazing. The staff from Thailand and Bali put on shows in the afternoon also showing off their talents with their national dances. The staff from top to bottom of the ship were fantastic, nothing was ever too much trouble. From guest services to the dining room smiles and great service. Sevorina greeted us with a wave and a smile each evening and found us a lovely window seat most days. Apple and Sheena recovered my order and escorted us to our seats, we had anytime dining. Our main waiters was Iwayan, but we had many more who looked after us so well. I must mention Jeffrey who when I ordered a steak sandwich at lunch and was told I couldn't have it due to the sauce, went back up to the chef and insisted I got my sandwich. I did and it was delicious with a dairy free sauce. We booked 2 of our our trips with another passenger called Theresa this was for Kota Kinabalu in Borneo and Vietnam. Both trips were amazing. I would certainly do it again. In Honalulu we took a trip with a local from the port building and got great value for money, we saw a lot of the Island and got some shopping time in Waikiki too. In Guam we just pottered around the town after taking the free shuttle bus. We were greeted by 3 beauty queens in Guam who presented us with shell Lai's. Such a treat. When we sailed into Singapore it was with a heavy heart that we debarked. We self debarked and was off the ship by 7.30am. A very well organised team got the whole ship emptied by 10.30 so she could sail off to her dry dock. Thankyou Erica and team. Would I sail with Carnival again? Yes it is different but in a good way. We had a great Captain he was around chatting at some point in each day. We had a great cruise director in Lee and his Boss Erica worked hard getting everything organised for us pre sailing. So it is a definite yes. Would I choose a longer cruise again 24days plus? YES I would it went by in a flash and I did not want it to end. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
CARNIVAL CATTLE CRUISE. Itinerary: LA, Hawaii, Honolulu, Guam, Malay, Vietnam, Singapore. Derek Johnson- Carnival Splendor cabin 1277- Oct5>30 2019. Many apologies about embarkation proceedings onto Carnival Splendor, at Los Angeles, ... Read More
CARNIVAL CATTLE CRUISE. Itinerary: LA, Hawaii, Honolulu, Guam, Malay, Vietnam, Singapore. Derek Johnson- Carnival Splendor cabin 1277- Oct5>30 2019. Many apologies about embarkation proceedings onto Carnival Splendor, at Los Angeles, long beach, 5 Oct 2019. Verbal platitudes are not enough. This explanation using my personal experience as 70 years old male typifies what occurred. Arrived at port using Carnival Shuttle from airport, discharged luggage then joined the queue at 11.02, as requested by carnival courier. Outside 'snake' (photo) sunny day, no shade or seating. 13.45 arrived at cruise terminal entrance (2hours 43mins). Now standing for further 30mins, we progressed an internal 'snake', of four rows (One length of bench seats against back wall of first row) until security checks. Security personnel designated to 'priority' processed these guests as they arrived, otherwise they stood idle, ignoring our lines 5 yards away! After initial security, a seated area was allocated for 30mins until another standing queue for 20mins to the check in desk. TOTAL 4hours 5mins. Within the LA Port complex there was adequate internal seating in blocks to accommodate ALL embarking guests prior to the security process. Originally space used by Howard Hughes for H4 ‘spruce goose’ 8 propeller cruiser in 1947. Letter for CAPTAIN- Francesco La Fauche, given to Christhian at reception, wed 9/10/19. Reminder note 16/10 given personally to captain at party, by hand. Captain said "may not have received letter". Checked with Christhian 18/10, no response, checked again 24/10, reply received 25/10 from a house manager, advising company had learnt a lot. Emphasis on company not customer experience as explanation. 2x 45 min complimentary parties supplied 26/10. I restarted cruising in 2013, since then have completed 18 with 5 companies (typically Swann Hellenic 97nts, Cunard 77 nts, MSC, Fred Olsen, Cruise Maritime= total 375 nts., £26,000 approx). NEVER before treated with such total disregard for customer comfort. Booking of £3300 incl flights for twin inner cabin, was rewarded by this inefficiency and incompetence. My travelling companion suffered with heat exhaustion after the experience and treated it by staying quietly in the cabin until composed. Cultures: Custom and traits differences became obvious during the voyage- UK, USA, Canada, Antipodes, Asian with distinct evolved variation. Queues- reception (priority bias). Hopefully the photos do justice to this practice. 2 priority lines with an attendant each for 2-3 customers each line while a single line with 6-8 waiting standard guests received the attention shown! Yes none. Carnival procedure appears to 'manage' guests not please and placate their issues. Sea day brunch in golden pearl is good option, 08.30-12.30. 2 tier starter of shrimp and smoked salmon, followed by mini steak cooked to taste, over easy eggs, tomato and chips. On these days no further waiter service free food until the evening. Dining- the 3 main destinations are all festooned with pillars, walls and dividing panels. Seating is bench, carver chairs plus a few without arms. Tables are squeezed between fixed structures, which inevitably results in waiters and guests pressing behind your seat back. I eventually refused to be guided to table via a pillar placed centre aisle, which meant wrapping around it then shuffling to avoid chair back of a guest. Cotton napkins of adequate 'square' available every where, thank-you. NB: with almost full passenger compliment of about 3000, the Black Pearl was closed for breakfast and lunch throughout 25 day cruise. Therefore complimentary lunch limited to Lido Buffet (12.00>14.30) Deck 9 or entry queues at Gold Pearl waiter service (12.00>13.30 non brunch days) deck 3 aft (see photos). Dinner was available from all 3 outlets (17.15>21.00 unless allocated set times). Queues vary, There was an offer to pre book via the 'hub app' but this failed or was withdrawn after 10 days. Hub app is useful for daily itinerary and menus. All bulk catering has to cope with using leftovers creatively with flare and expertise to tempt the palate. Steak>Mince>Consommé, Fish>pie>soup, Veg>melange>fritters. Some ships are adept at keeping product interesting, with variety and individual taste throughout its transition, others less so! Be on guard, choose clearly defined menu options. Formal nights regularly start a new cycle. Entertainment: Lots of song and dance routines as usual. Varied feature artists including 8 comedians, hypnosis, conjuring, card tricks, circus. Generally very entertaining, about 40 mins duration. Great Les miserable tribute in piano bar- song quality akin to shades of phantom. Mon 28/10 15.00: hour long play of a wife whose husband is absent, refuses advances from a King and is then abducted by him deceiving her as a thirsty monk. Husband entrusts a monkey in delivering a ring to wife as notice of a rescue. Wonderful Balinese pageantry and costume performed by waiters, room and meal staff- received standing ovation. Jason the IT expert worked hard with 2 informative lectures most sea days and always helpful with questions around the ship on Mac and android. He knows his stuff. Ports- Guam: 6 mile X 2 mile. Sun 20/10/19. There were 4 excursions at $130>180, a $25 shuttle and a free shuttle, both to shopping centres. Procedure for free shuttle- 08.30 to Black Pearl forward deck 3, submit immigration form for clearance, then to rear of deck 5 (100 yards) assigned into group 21, await transfer under escort to deck 0 forward (150 yards+ 60 stairs) and disembark. On leaving gang plank ALL groups merge on quay without guidance into a free for all, amorphous mass of 500 lost souls toward 6 coaches. Any semblance of order breaks down with group 6 and 11 in with 21. Polite though with calm respect. A local police woman takes initiative, lines some beside a coach, then when full, directs line to shade of a wall. She counts approx 50, ready for next boarding, spontaneous applause erupts. The shopping centre has central atrium, additional seating, free wifi then entertainment by local children and tribes with brass band finale. An impromptu event to welcome mainly OAP's to the island. Return coaches every half hour wait outside for 30 min journey along coast to ship. Now the ubiquitous queues surface toward 2 gang planks. All aboard by 17.30. Sabah- Borneo: chose $64 excursion with visit to typical long house complex and tourist village then zoo for view of proboscis monkey, orangatan, clouded leopard, Malay elephant, tookan, sun bear. All lethargic in concrete enclosures. Countryside with rural 2 storey houses very similar Sri Lanka. Town houses individual or 2 storey terraces or apartments. Shopping malls like world over, there is a china town. NB. Tour was ticketed for 09.00, gangplank open for 08.30, all looked good to go! In terminal building found my carnival rep in scrum of options. He advised our coaches delayed, sit until summoned. By 09.30 over 1000 had swelled the hall for many events. Our herd had swollen without a definable column. 'Moo', we are up and away. Coach 11 was original guidance, queued 10 mins, foot on step 'sorry sir full', you can move to rear of queue for coach 13. Finally got on 14 after another 15 mins. WHY? Carnival had not controlled the '10.00 departing ticket holders' on ship, to prevent them stealing 09.00 capacity. Finally left port about 10.15 BUT STILL ON A 09.00 START/FINISH SCHEDULE (so tour squeezed). A word of frustration 'WILL THIS EVER STOP'. It is as if Carnival has set up systems to satisfy the company NOT the paying customer- we are required to conform to the whim of profit. Whether squeezing dining options to reduce staff or vague planning for contingency of extras. It is the Carnival Accountants who have evolved clever control to extract $ from a gullible public in a declaration of HAVING FUN! An hour in theatre every morning is given to carefully choreographed discussion by 'fun team' to welcome non controversial subjects while gently smoothing anything contentious with clever rhetoric. This has nominal audience participation and shown on TV channel 14, in fairness imminent port issues are covered to supplement occasional specific port lectures. UK CITIZENS: Your culture will struggle to cope with constant 'how r - u - today' or 'aw- rite', female staff whiten tooth fixed grins, then maybe hung over Aussies but the pragmatic will enjoy itinerary. If in doubt seriously consider our regular cruise brands whether £€$ on board. 30/10/19 Cunning plan ends cruise positively. Flight SQ0322 to Heathrow leaves Singapore at 23.45 arriving 05.55 local times. A 13 hour marathon in window seat A row 46, with one WC stretch, my first time in Airbus 787. Lamb biryani after 2 hrs then chicken noodles with 2 hrs left, it was relatively comfortable. Watched Lion King movie, then informative 2 x 1hr part history and redevelopment of Raffles, plus finally 2019 Toy Story 4. What plan? Well a $30 transfer would arrive Changi airport by 10.00, whereas $60 transfer excursion nearer 14.00 after sights of Singapore. An excellent local courier outlined detail including cities modern evolution for public housing. First visit was to an orchid garden, a wonderful display, well signed, within tropical arboretum. Next a River cruise using electric powered, traditional style craft. Commentary explained early settlers superstitions for shore development plus notable buildings, (5ft shop fronts) and Lion headed fish statue. Finally coach stopped near china town for welcome chicken rice and cold beer ($10 pp) eating with locals. Still 9 hrs to boarding but after convenient early check in/ baggage drop discovered the Jewel shopping centre. New glass dome building (Eden project on steroids) with 40M water feature (evening light shows, hourly on half hour). There is mono rail joining Changi terminals which passes through Jewel WITHOUT stopping, though great view of water cascading. Jewel has many leisure aspects including extensive rope clambering experience in roof area. Also visit Changi terminal 3 butterfly room! Detail for fuller explanation: Splendor Butter is best described as a white creamy swirl in a small dish. A slightly salty back taste, easily spread substance, it applies like an emulsified grease. I assume this concoction has air and water whipped into a butter fat base. NB: Carnival is owner of many cruise brands (the finance umbrella) including Cunard, P&O where unadulterated salted and unsalted pats are still available in buffet and dining areas (Dec2019). How long can these courageous suppliers of genuine quality resist the greed of their overlord accountants. Come clean about the Cream, Carnival! I have tasted many of these small jugs during 3 weeks so far. Room service breakfast ones sometimes turn coffee grey suggesting semi skimmed milk. Gold/Black Pearl Restaurant and Lido Table ones vary between breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some have watery back taste turning coffee grey, others correctly impart beige or brown hue to view. Taste difference is significant. Mostly Coffee appears freshly brewed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was a fantastic package deal for Australian cruises! Embarkation was an absolute disaster standing in the sun for well over 2 and a half hours with no shade or water or explanation given. The first point of contact was from a carnival ... Read More
This was a fantastic package deal for Australian cruises! Embarkation was an absolute disaster standing in the sun for well over 2 and a half hours with no shade or water or explanation given. The first point of contact was from a carnival employee in tears as we entered the igloo building As it was so late, there was no embarkation photographers to be found which was disappointing. Our cabin was on Deck 2 ( 2441) we loved this cabin plenty of room, well set out very close to the lifts. We had early dining which I am undecided about 5 30pm is a little early and I feel we missed a lot of the sail away's because of this. Dining was a little hit and miss with food sometimes cold. The staff were fantastic from cabin attendants to wait staff, in the dining room they were only too happy to help. We went to the buffet a few times, we much preferred the dining room for breakfast and lunch. It seems if you are disabled in anyway you are seated before anyone else so our tip is to carry a walking stick like a lot of our fellow cruises did! All the ports, we did our own thing and had a great time, disembarking in Guam was another disaster, sending way too many people off the ship at the same time with people pushing in, was not fun and needed to be handled better from Carnival. We were led to believe police had to be called. We hated the smoking in the casino, the comedy shows were great I think they had over 70 comedy shows on this cruise. Production shows were good. Some of the headline acts were a bit hit and miss. Overall I think Carnival did a good job for the most part, they were behind the eight ball from the start with many many unhappy cruises who were left out in the heat for so long at the start of this long cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I was really surprised at how easy embarkation was, after having stood in long lines with other cruise lines, this was really easy if you had done the electronic "pre-check in". Great idea RCCL, keep it up. The cruise itself ... Read More
I was really surprised at how easy embarkation was, after having stood in long lines with other cruise lines, this was really easy if you had done the electronic "pre-check in". Great idea RCCL, keep it up. The cruise itself was good, but as it was a relocation cruise, there were a lot of sea days. I have done such a cruise before (with a different cruise line), so I knew that it was very different from the type of cruise where you stopped every day, or almost every day. BUT the activities did get a little repetitive. There is only so much trivia/card games/dancing you can do. A little more variety would have been great. Even something as simple as more movies available on the big screen, not necessarily just for kids either. The lines for the dodgem cars were very long, but it was fun anyway. I didn't brave the roller skating, not being confident enough to do it on a moving ship! The food was great, although the Windjammer did get a bit repetitive. Perhaps varying the food by having theme days (ie:, Italian, Mexican etc...) instead of having the same two or three things on rotation all the time would have been good. I can't praise the executive chef highly enough though, having a coeliac hubby can often mean sitting opposite a grumpy face as there isn't enough variety, but the Coeliac One was usually satisfied. The main dining rooms were of course lovely, although we didn't try any of the specialty restaurants. The shopping on board was just as expected, same old same old kept getting trotted out, and after seeing the same things "for sale" for about the fourth time, I was constantly surprised at how many people were showing interest, although that may have been due to the boredom some people were feeling after the fifth sea day in a row. My cabin (10316) was excellent and kept clean (how I would love a stateroom attendant at home). The internet was expensive and often slow, so don't buy it unless you really need it. Some of the shows were a bit "meh" but some were great. As an Australian, I really enjoyed the INXS tribute, the band was very energetic and got the room pumping. Lucky things got to stay on the ship for the next cruise too, so even more people would have had a great time! Now, here comes my BIG gripe. Disembarkation was a disaster. Every other line I have been on (including a previous experience with RCCL) you are given a questionnaire with a choice of times you would like to leave, and preference is given to people who have to catch planes after getting off the ship. Not this time, oh no. We were TOLD when we would be getting off the ship, unless we wanted to walk off when the ship docked. So that's what we decided to do. Unfortunately, so did about 3,000 other people, luggage included. Deck 5 was a nightmare, people and bags everywhere. Had there been an emergency at that time, it would have been disastrous. To RCCL, YES I know there was a delay getting clearance, but that only made the problem worse, there wouldn't have been a problem with better management. There was no facility for people catching flights to be getting priority. When we finally got off, we found ourselves on the train platform (obviously there weren't enough cabs in Sydney to cope with the instant demand) with people who were just catching the train home. Getting off then, or a few minutes later, would not have mattered to them, but to us, it meant missing our flight. We were not the only ones, Mascot airport was inundated with frantic people that day. Friends of ours couldn't get another flight until after 8pm. Of course, these flight changes cost money, and when RCCL was asked for assistance as they had caused the problem, nothing was forthcoming, not even the offer of a stateroom credit on a forthcoming cruise. Well, as much as I enjoyed my holiday, I did not enjoy the stress afterwards, so for me, it will not be a Royal Caribbean ship next time. Hubby and I are already looking forward to our next cruise, but RCCL have put us off their brand by their mismanagement and misinformation. If you live near the port and don't have any time pressures to get home, give them a go. If you don't, I wouldn't risk it, even though it is a fun ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Princess was our favorite cruise line and we have taken 29 cruises and spent about 350 days on board their ships. Over the years we have noticed the little cuts but since we have not been on Princess for about 2 years we had an eye ... Read More
Princess was our favorite cruise line and we have taken 29 cruises and spent about 350 days on board their ships. Over the years we have noticed the little cuts but since we have not been on Princess for about 2 years we had an eye opening experience on this 26 day transpacific cruise. They have cut everything from the crew to toothpicks and mints after dinner to the size of the plates at the buffet. The Golden Princess is falling apart. There are water leaks coming from the ceilings of the public hallways and other places around the ship. There is also a significant odor of mold in some areas of the ship. The furnishings are in desperate need of replacing with seats in the theater that are too bent to sit in to tables and chairs in the rooms being broken. The mattresses in our mini suite were so bad that it was hard to get a good nights sleep. I know that they are transferring it to P&O but that is not for another year. On the first day of the cruise I reported that the water temperature control in our bathroom did not work. They sent someone who made an adjustment but it still did not work. I continuously reported it and when I got off the ship 26 days later it still did not work. Dining – the food presentation was good but there was no flavor in any of the food. Some of the dinners that were served in the dining room were uneatable. If you have cruised with Princess in the past you remember the “Always Available “side of the menu. Well they have cut the main courses to just one chicken dish and salmon. The salmon is not so good and the chicken was a dried out chicken breast that tasted like it was cooked the day before and some hot gravy put on it. The buffet has cut the size of the plates I guess to keep you from taking too much. Food choices at the buffet are very limited. Food was sometimes ok and sometimes not so good. The cuts do not stop there- While the production shows were well done they are the same ones that they have had for over a decade and the guest entertainment was so-so. Game shows were scheduled to conflict with the 2nd seating so that even if you rushed through dinner you could not get a seat in the lounge for a game show. This is something we never noticed before but since they changed the early dining tome to 5pm we took the 2nd seating at 7:15pm. We have cruised on most of the cruise lines and we used to always come back to Princess but they just have not kept up with their competition. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my 15th cruise on Princess, and would put me over 150 days at sea. My wife has credit for 1 additional cruise, so we did qualify for Elite benefits based on her cruise history (so free laundry on the long cruise!). There were ... Read More
This was my 15th cruise on Princess, and would put me over 150 days at sea. My wife has credit for 1 additional cruise, so we did qualify for Elite benefits based on her cruise history (so free laundry on the long cruise!). There were about 450 Elites on the cruise, so that laundry did take up to 3 days to be returned. We had a wonderfully relaxing crossing. Seas were a little rough leaving San Francisco, and we did skip the port of Napier and the scenic cruising of Marlborough Sound due to weather (they did add the port of Bay of Islands, and took us back up north to head to Sydney, rather than a more southerly (and bumpy) route.....although it was still pretty bumpy. The ports were all great. Took the Hoppa On, Hoppa Off bus in Hilo, shark cage dive in Honolulu (wow, but a really small ship heading out, and they cancelled the next tour, although the weather got much better on the way back, and they could have done that tour), snorkeling (2 places, one had rays and sharks) in Bora Bora, a private tour Segway tour in Papeete, a private tour of the national park in American Samoa, 12 mile bike ride in Auckland, the river rafting over the 21 foot waterfall from Tauranga, and parasailing in Bay of Islands). While some hiccups, enjoyed the tours, and would take them all again. Enjoyed the cruise director and the entire department. The food in the buffet didn't have enough vegetable choices. The food in the main dining room was OK, but not stellar. Lobster was undercooked one of the two days. We almost exclusively had seafood dishes, which were mostly OK (always could use a little more spice or flavor). Also like the pot pie. One of the wait staff could play the guitar, and we enjoyed talking him (and he quickly remembered to always see that we got a table for 2 by ourselves in anytime dining.....and we surprised him once when we barged in on him in a somewhat private hallway while he was practicing a song. My wife took the uke and hula class (Brian and Rowena as the Hawaiian ambassadors). Loved watching them in the Piazza, as well as enjoyed their lectures. The Maori ambassador was also informative and fun to listen to. We enjoyed the art projects (both the ones led by the regular staff as well as the kids club staff.....they did a few of the projects because they really didn't have any kids attending the kids club most days. The big issue was the ship itself. As someone else mentioned, there were leaks from the ceilings Not just the public areas, but just outside our stateroom in the rear of Aloha deck. Lots of strange smells in various places (both inside and outside) Rust and paint peeling. Some wallpaper peeling off the wall. It's like they are just trying to wait until they turn the ship over to P&O next year and not spend any more money on the ship in the meantime. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This cruise was a good price and left Vancouver which is is close to where we live in Edmonton. We always wanted to see Tahiti, New Zealand and Australia. This cruise was nice because a previous cruise did not allow us to see Victoria ... Read More
This cruise was a good price and left Vancouver which is is close to where we live in Edmonton. We always wanted to see Tahiti, New Zealand and Australia. This cruise was nice because a previous cruise did not allow us to see Victoria because of the rain and wind. Emarkation was effortless. If only service on land was this smooth. We had fabulous weather and calm seas throughout. San Francisco was warm enough and we saw Sausalito as well as Alcatraz. Alcatraz is not to be missed. On to Hilo and Honolulu. Didn't take excursions because we have been there before. Walked and took the shuttle to various venues. Sometimes you see more just by walking than just driving around. Bora Bora is small but beautiful and rural. Refreshing to see that. Walked around and saw how the locals live. Tahiti was very beautiful and Papeete much larger and more of a modern city. Moorea, a ferry boat away, is even more beautiful. American Samoa was very lovely and the people are incredibly friendly. We were like rock stars! The Samoans are not to be fooled with. They are huge and what they eat in a day is what I would eat in 3. Interestingly, they are US citizens but can't vote. Auckland was fabulous. What a clean, well run city. No thugs downtown that I saw. Well dressed, well behaved, extremely friendly, happy. Loved it. Nice, as Canadians to have another currency worth less than the Canadian dollar. The cruise ended in Auckland but we flew to Brisbane and enjoyed that city very much as well. Another very beautiful and well run city. Clean and scenic. Golden Princess. One of the "shopping cart" ships because of Skywalkers Lounge. Ship shows very well for her age. She was refurbished in April 2018 and was up to snuff. The ship is sold to P & O cruises in April 2020. Our cabin was an MB mini suite. Love the extra room, sofa, 2 tvs, and the bathtub. On a longer cruise was so nice to have the extra space for storage and lounging. The bathtub makes the bathroom larger and gives more space for everything. We each get a nice glass of champagne on departure. Because we are Elite, and because techincally it is 2 cruises, we got the 2 mini bar setups, the 650 free internet minutes, and free laundry. Great perks on a long 23 day cruise. We had the late sitting for dinner. Best waiter, assistant waiter, and head waiter of all my cruises. Chris the waiter, Nathaniel the assistant and Constantin the head waiter. Superb service and timing. They always remembered the little things, lemon in the water, the buns with the seeds, our names, and so attentive. Top notch in any restaurant in the world. Entertainment was the best we have ever had and the cruise director and his assistants were great. Funny, witty, smooth, professional, and excellent. Service was great. The odd time the romm service in the morning forgot the odd item but nothing to complain about. They were so pleasant. Met some great people on the ship. Always meet new friends and enjoy life's memories. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
If this is now Princess new standard for service and food then we will not be sailing with them again The dinning room (anytime dinning) staff were untrained and far to few in numbers to give good service if you asked for a fresh HOT ... Read More
If this is now Princess new standard for service and food then we will not be sailing with them again The dinning room (anytime dinning) staff were untrained and far to few in numbers to give good service if you asked for a fresh HOT pot of tea often you were told there is still tea in the pot its OK drink it ,The choice of meals was very poor and repeated ever few days. We have traveled on Princess many times before and never had this bad of service and meal choice The music was played so loud through out the venues that it was uncomfortable even with my hearing aids OUT The ship was in good condition and the staff in the cafe especially April were the best trained on the ship there you could get HOT coffee and tea as well as snacks . the disembarkation was very smooth I booked the Flight ,hotel and transfers through Princess this all went very smoothly so I can recommend this I have another cruise booked in October 2020 with Princess but if this is there new standard I will give serious consideration to cancelling this and book with another line Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
After ten previous Princess cruises on several ships, I've about decided I need to take a break and try another line for a while. The allure of Princess has faded some, though it's hard to switch after becoming an ... Read More
After ten previous Princess cruises on several ships, I've about decided I need to take a break and try another line for a while. The allure of Princess has faded some, though it's hard to switch after becoming an "elite" customer. Food options are much reduced; menus are stale and repetitive; prices continue to escalate for "smaller" items; and the quality of the entertainment is not what it used to be. Embarkation in LA was horrific, with chaos abounding and no one seeming to know a thing. On the plus side, the crew continues to amaze me with their caring attitudes and how they go out of their way to make you feel welcome and important. Mattress and pillow quality are superb. Deck burger grill and International Cafe never cease to amaze and delight. The folks in their shops department went out of their way to help when my wife's wheelchair broke. A wheel snapped off and they fixed it overnight at no cost. Amazing service! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We wanted to see Alaska and the rest of the Cruise was to be a relaxing experience as we had already done most of the remaining Ports. Our impressions of the staff on board (apart from the restaurant staff and room steward which were ... Read More
We wanted to see Alaska and the rest of the Cruise was to be a relaxing experience as we had already done most of the remaining Ports. Our impressions of the staff on board (apart from the restaurant staff and room steward which were excellent), specifically at the Customer Desk and the Excursions Counter was that they were not interested in us or our issues, and it was almost as if when confronted with something they didn't like, a steel shutter came down and they hid behind it. We were even accused of not telling the truth when we complained about a shore excursion in which the bus broke down causing us to miss one of the tour sights.  I would also like to give you our impressions of the ship, as it was our fourth Princess Cruise, and our eleventh overall with three different cruise lines, so feel that we have some experience with cruising to be able to comment. Our feelings were that the overall standard of the ship for food and entertainment were not up to the level of our previous Princess cruises. We could count on the fingers of one hand the meals we considered to be excellent, with the remaining average and repetitive (Curtis Stone Share excepted, which was top class on two visits). The entertainment had one or two highlights, but on the whole was below par, with some artists causing an exodus from the theatre shortly after starting. The other major gripe was the lack and standard of daily activities compared with other cruises, with much of the items being Princess sales pitches, rather than truly interesting activities.  It appeared to us and other passengers after discussions on board that these issues of substandard performance were because the Ruby Princess was on a relocation voyage, rather than destination cruising, as it seemed that cost cutting was evident in a number of areas discussed above. Hopefully the problem was the Ruby Princess so may just try one of their other Ships but leave the Sea, Sun and Ruby off any future agendas. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We’ve done many transatlantic and transpacific cruises, most of which offered many activities and good entertainment for the many sea days. Unfortunately, this 18-day transpacific cruise was sorely lacking in both entertainment and ... Read More
We’ve done many transatlantic and transpacific cruises, most of which offered many activities and good entertainment for the many sea days. Unfortunately, this 18-day transpacific cruise was sorely lacking in both entertainment and enrichments opportunities, and was a boring experience overall. This was made all the worse by inclement weather that forced us to spend a lot of time indoors. And the few entertainment events that were offered almost always conflicted with dining times. As for the ship itself, Radiance of the Seas is an older ship in great need of some basic refurbishment. The lounge chairs and theatre seating are badly worn (some with tears) and very uncomfortable. The deck floor of our balcony was all rust, and the balcony chairs extremely uncomfortable because of worn seat cushions. The ship’s cruise director was a complete amateur, curt and unfunny. He took great delight in telling us he was leaving on vacation after this cruise, and we were sorry he didn’t leave sooner. The two so-called “enrichment” speakers were equally amateurish and, no doubt, came at little cost to the cruise line. The good news: service overall and in all venues was excellent, and both the service and food in the MDR was very good. Unfortunately, the breakfast and lunch buffet were limited and mediocre at best, with many repeat offerings. Lastly, we were very disappointed at how slovenly many of the passengers were, and that the ship’s staff did not enforce their own dress codes. Men wore shorts and cutoff t-shirts at dinner in the main dining room even on evenings when “casual chic” was requested. When we complained, we were told that people interpret “casual” differently. We’ve had good experience with RCCL in general, but this sailing reflected a definite cut-back in overall quality and care. This sailing was not inexpensive, but definitely over-priced for what was provided and from a comfort standpoint, and will cause us to think twice about RCCL in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have to say that this was probably not the best Cruise Experience.. The specialty dining was not any better than going to the regular dining. I find it to be a waste of money. I did three specialty dining on this trip and did not find ... Read More
I have to say that this was probably not the best Cruise Experience.. The specialty dining was not any better than going to the regular dining. I find it to be a waste of money. I did three specialty dining on this trip and did not find them to be any better than going to the dining room. Also, the main dining room the service is poor. The guys are overworked and overwhelmed. Did have one experience that was not good with the Shores excursion department. Over an excursion purchased through them. The spa service is not very good when it comes to doing your nails. I find that they overcharge. The most positive thing that I enjoyed was having Captains Club Desk. Always very kind, helpful to take care of any issues. This trip on Millennium ship has made me think that I would consider now trying other cruise lines. We are elite members of Celebrity and have been very loyal to Celebrity. Through the years I’ve seen Celebrity changing and not for the good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The Good: Great staff, everyone from the room attendant up to the waiters, Concierge, Captains Club representative and Hotel Director couldn't have been nicer. The Ship is in good shape. The Cruise Director Steve is everywhere and ... Read More
The Good: Great staff, everyone from the room attendant up to the waiters, Concierge, Captains Club representative and Hotel Director couldn't have been nicer. The Ship is in good shape. The Cruise Director Steve is everywhere and enthusiastic. The Captain is everywhere (who's steering the ship??) but is very pleasant and does his best to communicate with the passengers even though his heavily accented Greek/English almost requires a translator. The Average: This was a re-positioning cruise through the Gulf of Alaska known for its difficult weather so when the weather is bad, you can't enjoy the outside. On bad weather days, the buffet is so crowded you can't find a seat because the overflow that usually sits on the deck by the pool are inside due to the weather. Best to go to the formal dining room. The Not so Good: While there is a difference of opinion between my spouse and I, I found the Entertainment second or third rate and the production shows boring. We have experienced much better entertainment on re-positioning cruises including on Celebrity. The food was only average or worse. Breakfasts were good, we rarely ate lunch but the dinners were another story. The appetizers at dinner were good and some of the main course meals (Prime Rib of Beef, Duck, Lamb Chops were good) the rest was not. This is not a problem with the quality of food, it is how it was (over) cooked and sometimes, had little flavor. Don't order the chicken or fish unless you want shoe leather texture. One woman at our table loved fish and ordered it every night only to be constantly disappointed by the tough overcooked fish they served her. She complained with no success, even sending it back for a replacement only to receive the same overcooked tough fish again. I lay this on the feet of the Head Chef who has been on this ship for some time and is responsible for supervising the cooks. Some people say that fish, poultry and pork should be cooked right through (tell that to the Sushi Chefs) but good restaurants and chefs have been producing juicy versions for years. Quite disappointing! On the subject of restaurants, the Specialty Restaurants were overpriced and in the case of the Sushi restaurant not popular. They were heavily discounting this one at the end of the cruise and most of the time we passed it during the dinner hour there were only a handful of couples in it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
An outstanding cruise which combines a repositioning with multi country/culture adventure. Seeing Alaska, Russia and Japan all while gaining extra sleep every other day made this relaxing. This ship (like all the Viking cruise ship) is as ... Read More
An outstanding cruise which combines a repositioning with multi country/culture adventure. Seeing Alaska, Russia and Japan all while gaining extra sleep every other day made this relaxing. This ship (like all the Viking cruise ship) is as near perfect as you can get. Comfort, food, service, public spaces, what’s included and what’s not ( no casino, kids, photos, auctions, crowds, etc) makes it a top cruise line. The entertainment was very good and varied as they pick-up up new entertainers all along the 22 days. But the talks were the best. Especially the NASA mission specialist / astronaut who took 5 trips into earth orbit and worked on the Hubble telescope. The planetarium was a nice change but needs better shows. Specialty restaurants were outstanding. We ate there many times but also loved the dining room. There were many nationalities represented on the cruise with the majority being Australians the Americans. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was one of few cruises out of San Francisco with a tour of Alaska and onward to Japan (21 days) with a circle Northern Japan for an additional 14 days. Itinerary: This ship visited several ports not normally on the Alaska cruise ... Read More
This was one of few cruises out of San Francisco with a tour of Alaska and onward to Japan (21 days) with a circle Northern Japan for an additional 14 days. Itinerary: This ship visited several ports not normally on the Alaska cruise circuit including Unalaska (Dutch Harbor) and Nome (tendering was canceled due to weather), three ports in Russia, and a couple in north Japan before stopping in Yokohama, then circle Northern Japan. It was refreshing visiting new ports in Alaska which provided a quiet non-touristy environment with free shuttles to town. The usual Ketchikan and Victoria were the normal hustle and bustle. Wanted to get a "There's no place like Nome" shirt, but due to weather, we could not get off the ship, which continued on its journey towards Russia. Russia required visas and we were not allowed to get off the ship unless we had a visa (difficult to get in the U.S.) or booked an excursion (which provided a group permit to get off the ship in lieu of a visa). Based on reviews of the ports, we opted to stay on board. Japan was very welcoming at each city with taiko, dancers, signing, and other entertainment at most ports (viewable from deck), and free transportation to the city center when needed. Yokohama was the large port with Chinatown and business areas within walking distance. The ship visited several Japanese cities with a similar experience before going to Vladivostok where we did take an excursion. In Vladivostok, the excursion was high priced and not worth the cost. We visited a Russian church, a hill where we could view the city waterfront, a natural history museum, a WWII submarine partially restored and the town square, all of which would have been walking distance if we were allowed to walk around unescorted. We were brought to a single tourist shop, but shopping, at least for cruise passengers, is unmature. On board, we had exchanged some money for souvenirs and ended up exchanging it all back once on board. At least we are now able to say we visited Russia, but we would not visit again unless it is on an independent overland tour or maybe river cruise. Traveling to Russia and Japan and between them required passport inspection which was very tedious with lines across the ship, but at least inspection was on board and it is not the cruiseline's fault its passengers have to endure this. However, a relative traveling with us, a resident of Japan, was apparently directed the wrong way by ship personnel and missed initial Japanese inspection. He was detained, and ship personnel accompanied him on shore to Japanese immigration where they sorted things out (I think they stamped him out so that he could come back in). This detained the ship a while before it was able to depart from the port. Dining was pretty good, but we missed the souffles and other fancy foods we remember from old cruises, and after several weeks, the same basic food kind of got tedious. It was nice to have a choice of soft serve or real ice cream at the buffet (served in waffle or regular cones or bowls) though the selection of flavors was minimal (They should get more flavors and rotate them). As with other cruises, food is prepared by European style chefs who know nothing about ethnic nor even regional foods. Though sushi was regular at the buffet, we, along with lots of crew, ended up going to sushi restaurants in Japan. Western food was okay, but suffered from a lack of variety. Then again, it was nice not worrying about gaining weight on a cruise. Hours were a little off our schedule, so it was pretty often when we were hungry, there was nothing to eat. At the buffet, changeover between meals (like between breakfast and lunch) had distinct and lengthy closures when nothing was available. Same with water and coffee machines which rotated and shut down often, commonly with no cups available either. Enrichment lectures were a joke. The cook/chef failed to follow her own instructions, and though she was supposed to be demonstrating Asian food, it was obvious that she had little experience in cooking, and confused Japanese and Chinese cooking. The Doctor who provided Japanese cultural lectures had no knowledge of Japan - we got more information from the newspaper circulated daily onboard. He was apparently a retired dentist (hence "Doctor") who blamed everything in Japan on millennials, with the explantion, "well, you know millennials". The natural history lecturer out of a Southern California community college, was dry (boring!) and was apparently lecturing to an introductory geology class. The biology lecturer surprisingly was very dynamic and entertaining, and imparted more knowledge about geology than the geologist. Entertainment was particularly disappointing with a few bright stars. There was no dancing or Vegas show type entertainment, with generally a few one person acts singing or playing musical instruments, and a mentalist. One group was vastly inexperienced, scheduled to give two shows, but they only had one show they could do. Singers were generally poor and the lack of talent would not have been acceptable for a small community theater. The lounge groups (performing in the bars and atrium) were generally very good and vastly better than most of the star performers. The Maasdam is ready for retirement (and we were even told it was on sale and would be leaving the Holland fleet). Things are worn out everywhere. Our room had a CRT analog TV, the shower head was broken, plugs were loose, and things wearing out. We felt our room did not heat enough and we heard many others complain of even colder rooms (this was in Alaska) and once we got to summery Japan, our cabin was still cold, but became bearable. Others became very hot, and the elevators to the buffet and the buffet became excruciatingly hot. Our cabin , E390, was an accessible cabin, so we had a wide door and a little more room than others, with very convenient access to the deck. Our rooms were guarantee rooms and that is what we got. We noticed that there were other passengers who could have used accessible cabins, but apparently they ended up in regular cabins. The problem with our cabin was that from the sofa, you can't see the TV, and we had to be careful not to flood the washroom since the floor including shower was flat, and the shower curtain had to be positioned just right. We had concerns about this deck with the promenade right outside the window, but the heavy tinting provided reasonable privacy, and we did not notice any extraneous noise other than muffled talking (the lengthy cruise meant older passengers - it might be different with more kids around). There was an outside bench close to our window. We thought about moving it a foot or two down, but it was bolted down. Crew was very attentive. We commented about the hardness of our bed and the steward provided a foam cushion which helped things immensely. In general, all crew was very helpful and attentive, showing a positive attitude, contentiously helping the passengers. We even tipped the wine steward, though we never ordered any wine). However, at Yokohama, there was apparently a substantial crew change with new crewmembers being less attentive and helpful. At the buffet, suddenly, tables were not cleaned, water/coffee service disappeared, and everything in general became unkempt. At the evening snack, we recall watching a young Filipina, acting in charge, busy flirting with the bus personnel. She did not bother to do any work at all and even got irritated when someone asked for some cups for water. In summary, we would not go on the Maasdam again unless it was renovated. We'll still consider Holland (This was our second cruise with them) and generally prefer another cruiseline though it will take an additional 90 days to reach Elite which appears to provide real affinity benefit. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We choose this cruise to visit Japan and Alaska and we liked that there were a lot of sea days when crossing the Bering Sea. The embarkation in Kobe was a little slow, but not bad. we were in cabin V705, on the same floor with Seabourn ... Read More
We choose this cruise to visit Japan and Alaska and we liked that there were a lot of sea days when crossing the Bering Sea. The embarkation in Kobe was a little slow, but not bad. we were in cabin V705, on the same floor with Seabourn Square, which was convenient for getting morning coffee and snacks. As one cruiser said in her review, the ship was clean, but the decor snd furnishings are a little tired and needs updating. we have been on Seabourn before, so we were familiar with the cabin layout and happy with it. We had a very good cabin attendant, Camila, and our refrigerator was stocked as we requested. Many of the staff knew our names within the first few days of the cruise. We felt that overall, the food was very good. we usually had breakfast in the colonnade, and other reviews have mentioned that more staff is needed, and they are right about that. one morning I waited 30 minutes for a bowl of oatmeal - on our last cruise, oatmeal was self-serve, but on this cruise, Congee was self serve, even though the number of non-Japanese far outnumbered the Japanese passengers. If the weather was nice, we ate at the Patio, but it was sometimes closed because of noxious chemicals being used on the pool re -do and also, some days it was closed because it was too windy and rainy. We ate at the Keller Grill several times - the best lobster I've had except in Maine, and the whole chicken dish is awesome, and the best Classic Iceberg Wedge Salad. The steaks, however, weren't that great. Also there are only one or two daily changes to the menu, so you can't eat there too many times. We had some fabulous dinners at the Patio, but we had to really bundle up there as it was extremely cold - coats, blankets, gloves, hats - the works. Some of the meals in the Main Dining room were excellent, some were ok, and a few were so bad that we got up without eating and went to the colonnade or the patio. We also noticed that more staff was needed there also. The selection of complimentary wines was quite nice. Heather Inggs, the guest service manager, is one of the best and most effective senior staff I've ever dealth with (more later) The spectacular: Alaska!!! the wildlife - the tons of eagles, sea otters with babies, seals, puffins, whales, grizzly bears, the vast wilderness areas, the glaciers, the wonderful wild salmon, the art of the Tlinget and other native Indians- it was all so very beautiful. Even Ketchikan was picturesque, once you got away from the pier area and the two huge cruise ships there at the same time. The bad: prior to the cruise, I had called Seabourn Customer service: I needed to get pillow protectors (allergies) so I called to ask what was the size of the pillows - I was told they were standard pillows so I bought those- NOT - they were the biggest pillows I've ever seen - much larger than king. I asked if the TV had a CD/DVD player- I was told it did - NOT. the hinges on the cabinet doors opposite the bed kept coming off we returned one night to find the large vent cover in the bathroom on the floor. The bath tub in a cabin on our floor overflowed and flooded the room and hallway - there were loud fans in the hallway for 2 or 3 days drying out the carpet and it didn't smell good. The internet access was mostly very, very slow and sporadic, and we used up many minutes just trying to connect The Ugly: On the 5 or 6 sea days, the crew decided to paint somewhere on the ship near our floor. The noxious, heavy smell of paint fumes was overpowering inside the cabins and the hallways - we opened the balcony doors wide open, but it didn't make any difference _ I have asthma, and it made me sick- Went to talk to Heather - she was very concerned and was very diligent in tracking it down. She thought the problem had been resolved. two days later it happened again. Heather was immediately there and worked out a solution to keep the smell out of the cabins. If she hadn't solved it, I thought I would be living and sleeping in Seabourn Square lounge chairs. Even if I didn't have asthma, this was an extremely noxious, overbearing smell that none of the passengers should have to tolerate - it shows a mentality of a total disregard for passengers. after we boarded the ship, we also found out that e cigarettes are allowed in the cabins - the "new smoking policy" on the 1 page agreement we signed doesn't mention this at all - it can only be found in the detailed online passenger agreement. This means that all the vapors, nicotine, and additives in e cigarettes that is now killing and severely injuring people, would be sucked into the ventilation system and spewed out into the nearby cabins. I'm just incredulous that Seabourn would adopt this policy! we spoke to at least 1/2 of the passengers on this ship since there were so many sea days, and only one person was aware of this policy, and the others were very surprised to learn this. PS we would never cross the Bering Sea again - days of very rocky seas, rain, wind, nothing to see except an occasional bird - never saw the sky or stars and didn't sleep well with all the rocking of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Loved the idea of a repositioning cruise and that part was great. Could sail forever. However, the service on board was indifferent, to say the least. The people who ran the "kid's club" were fabulous and my grandchildren ... Read More
Loved the idea of a repositioning cruise and that part was great. Could sail forever. However, the service on board was indifferent, to say the least. The people who ran the "kid's club" were fabulous and my grandchildren had a great time. This was the best part. Ebarkation and disembarkation were flawless. Food was another matter. It was, to say the least, somewhat strange. Clearly it was mostly frozen and then reheated and the descriptions didn't really match what was served. The only really good meal was in Teppanyaki. The rest of the food was indifferent--it would work if you were hungry but it wasn't a good experience. The Enrichment speaker was wonderful and very enlightening. Felt as if we were being "nickled and dimed" for everything. For example, after having bought the soda package, we were often told in restaurants that no diet pepsi was available (that there was no more on the ship) only to be able to get it later at a bar. This happened more than once. Would I sail on this ship again? Not really if I had another choice. We went on this ship because of the large stateroom (with a separate bedroom) that was available for my daughter's family. That is the only reason we would go again on this ship. I've sailed on Oceania, Windstar, Celebrity, Princess, and now Norwegian. Norwegian was, for me, my least favourite. On the other hand, it had a repositioning cruise, which is my favourite. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The Jewel has been refurbished but not to the extent that it needed. I have never seen a harder working general manager (still hotel director to me) than Stephen. His problem is he can only deal with the staff he has been given. I ... Read More
The Jewel has been refurbished but not to the extent that it needed. I have never seen a harder working general manager (still hotel director to me) than Stephen. His problem is he can only deal with the staff he has been given. I certainly understand that all the employees from the Joy needed to be dispersed throughout the company but the lack of a clear understanding of English is a problem. The ship layout is difficult for someone used to the new Breakaway class. My last review of the Bliss was that it was "bliss". This was a long cruise and there were many sea days. It is hard to come up with enrichment activities that suit all. The lectures were wonderful. There was so much "trivia" that I had to retreat to my cabin to keep myself from going mad. The spa is certainly not up to par with the newer ships. It did not have a glass door so the door was kept open in order to help people find it. In keeping it open all the heat escaped. Even on a heated bed one needed a robe and towel covering to keep from being cold. The hot tub in the ladies only locker room had resting chairs by it. Those chairs had real fabric upholstery. Some regular deck chairs would make much more sense. I never felt that I could sit/lay on one of those chairs in a wet bathing suit. So many little things that one does not find lacking on a new ship. Too many to mention. I do still fully support NCL and intend to travel only on NCL. I write this review only as I feel it is necessary that all know the difference in the various ships. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I have always wanted to go to Alaska and my husband wanted to go to Japan, so on this cruise we got to do a bit of both! Boarded in Yokohama Japan. We stayed at Sotetsu Fresca Inn Sakuragi-cho in Yokohama. This was fine and we were able ... Read More
I have always wanted to go to Alaska and my husband wanted to go to Japan, so on this cruise we got to do a bit of both! Boarded in Yokohama Japan. We stayed at Sotetsu Fresca Inn Sakuragi-cho in Yokohama. This was fine and we were able to walk to the port from here - although was a good 25 minute walk. Embarkation was a little unorganised and long, but we were also quite early! Once on board, everything was easy. We mainly ate breakfast in buffet, and this was good. Sometimes had to walk around a bit to find a seat, but no major trouble. Plenty of selection and options, although it is amazing how after two weeks you still get a little bored with whats on offer! My bad! For lunch we ate in various restaurants, we gave all the complimentary ones a go! Menu didn't change much for lunch tho. Really enjoyed O'Sheehans for lunch - their fajitas and burgers were great, better than the ones at Tsars! Massive selection at buffet for lunch and options changed daily. Nice steaks out by the pool at Topsiders Grill - although this area was closed on cold wet days. For dinner we always went to either Tsars or Azura. Same menu in both, but just different atmosphere and decor. The waiters were amazing in these restaurants. Also loved Alvin who did the table allocation at Tsars, he was great with names and very welcoming. The food was very very good. Not amazing, but very very good considering the volume they are producing for. The ship production crew shows were amazing, especially the cirque inspired one!! Other shows were entertaining, some better than others. The nice guy giving the lectures each day was very good, but a little too indepth on certain things for me! We enjoyed all our cruise port stops. Alaska was amazing!! One bit of advice for cruises that go to Petropavlovsk in Russia. Although the ship berthed at 5am and some 30-40 russian immigration guys were expected to arrive soon after to do immigration checks for all passengers. It was 11.30 before our deck 5 was able to disembark. This meant that we missed our privately organised and prepaid tour. The various decks were allowed to retrieve their passports and depart according to deck, commencing from ship excursion passengers, haven passengers, deck 11, deck 10, deck 9 etc. down to deck 4, all with allocation times approx 30 mins apart. If we had been on deck 11 we would probably have got off about 9.30, but deck 5 was second last. If visiting this port would be better to do a ship excursion (something I rarely do!) or select a cabin on a high deck! Although we missed our excursion (the tour company did wait over an hour for us, but then had to go as had others with them), we were able to walk off the ship and into town ourselves for a look around. Was about a 10 minute walk. The ship had said that we would require to buy an $8 shuttle ticket, but this was not necessary. No one even checked us to see if we had a rebooked excursion or shuttle ticket. Spas were lovely and hot and the pools were heated too. We loved spending time upstairs in the Spinnaker Lounge. This was a lovely quiet spot with comfy lounges and great views!! There are also some little computer screens at front of some bars/restaurants that you can take a selfie photo of yourself and send a brief message via email back home - handy to let loved ones know how you are going! We had the free internet package and our 250 hours were rationed amongst the sea days and worked fine. We never did work out how to do the phone package to call our kids on their mobiles tho! Drinks package was great, it was included which was good, because we probably only drank 2 or 3 drinks a day which was more than normal!, but not enough to justify buying a package! Loved the manager, think his name was Steven Jacobson, very friendly and helpful. Also loved the cruise director Dan. There was enough entertainment around the ships, although there were still times where we didn't know what to do, but thats the time to grab a good book! Easy disembark, just did it ourselves and walked straight off! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our third cruise with Viking ocean. We chose this trip for the itinerary. We had never been to Asia and liked the ports in both Asia and Alaska. Crossing the Int’l Dateline added to the attraction. We were in the Orion in ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Viking ocean. We chose this trip for the itinerary. We had never been to Asia and liked the ports in both Asia and Alaska. Crossing the Int’l Dateline added to the attraction. We were in the Orion in Jan-Feb visiting New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia. This crew was better trained and worked well together. We were pleased with most aspects of the ship. A few little things need work, but nothing major. You know what you get with Viking-it is an older crowd but activities/entertainment were sufficient for us. While some of the entertainment was the same, they did a good job at adding new entertainers. As Viking enters new parts of the world they are learning their way with shore excursions and local customs. Shore excursions were well managed. They do a good job at calling people at the right time and keep waiting times to a minimum. Checkin staff did a great job. Local guides were good. A sufficient level of activities were offered. EMBARKATION a breeze. You can arrive well before your checkin time. You are greeted with a glass of champagne and invited to use the open restaurants. Your luggage will be in your room by your assigned checkin time. DISEMBARKATION-we had a curve thrown as we could not stay in port because of too many ships in Vancouver. Luggage was offloaded in the middle of the night. We didn’t hear a thing. We disembarked via tender according to flight times. Full breakfast services available. You had to be out of your stateroom by 10am. Tenders left according to schedule with staff assisting everyone. Our luggage was waiting at our terminal at the airport. One of the most efficient operations we have experienced. CABINS Deck 3. Be careful of location. Torshavn noise is audible almost every night. Not late into the night, but it may bother some. A very convenient deck. DINING-Dining room and World Cafe offered a varied selection. Soups could use some improvement. Replenishment of eating utensils/napkins was too slow. Chef’s table-staff could use better training. One visit we had two wine pairings and no food. The French menu was too rich; not a good balance between first and main courses. Manfredi’s was very good, but don’t try to have pasta as a separate course-throws them off! SERVICE in general was excellent. Lounges and bar waiters were great. Most were very personable-not long before they know your name and cabin #! Room steward was wonderful-Edwin. SHIP-beautifully appointed. Always spotless. This ship has a dome. I don’t think this is a feature that will be included in the rest of the fleet. Makes the 8th floor area very hot. Eliminates a nice viewing/drinking area. Don’t know if that is the reason why the 7th floor area of the Explorers lounge tends to be cold. The skins on the sofas are starting to shed. Most people rolled them back to protect their clothing! PORTS/excursions. Viking’s first visits to ports can present problems. Most of our excursions were organized. In cases where we took local shuttles the scheduled were mixed. We ended up seeing what we wanted to see. ACTIVITIES-a little more variety on sea days would have been good as this was a long cruise. Lectures varied and sufficient. Like the ability to view the port talk in your cabin on the following day. Very good selection of shows/movies on the in-room system. Free internet a great feature-reception was generally good. Suggestions-have hot water in the World Cafe for hand-washing. There were some illness problems. The internet system in the room for onboard account, reservations, etc needs immediate help. The ship can not control or correct any errors. The dining for Chef’s Table had the wrong info for almost 8 days. The general website also had errors for our trip. The map wasn’t corrected until a few days before we sailed. On board future booking-a great offer that we used. However, you need to book a specific cruise that you know you won’t be using. Mucks up the booking system for other Viking customers and the whole reservation system. Viking needs to keep its attention to detail at a high level as they release the rest of the fleet! We will sail with them again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was meant to be an aniversary present for my husband. We expected to see some of Hawaii but the itinary was changed several times before the sailing. We sat in Oahu for a survey instead of cruising. They cancelled all our prebooked ... Read More
This was meant to be an aniversary present for my husband. We expected to see some of Hawaii but the itinary was changed several times before the sailing. We sat in Oahu for a survey instead of cruising. They cancelled all our prebooked shore excursions leaving us with a breif stop in Maui. If you wanted to shop great if not disapointing. It was just a really long boat trip from Hawaii to Vancouvre via Maui. Our time in Victoria was cut short due to the tide. We sat in Vancouvre overnight in port. Dissembarkation was a nightmare. Locating bags was like a really sick idea of a scavenger hunt. Close to 3 hours to get off, find your bag and wait in the longest line ever for a taxi. Of course the taxis were busy bringing people for embarkation so it was a mess. We were told when we complained that everyone received the same compensation. We received refunds for our shore excursions and refunds for 2 nights we spent in port instead of cruising. We received a credit to buy lunch because they couldnt one day. That certainly is not compensation its reimbursment! Royal Caribean do not care. They changed everything about our holiday, we did not get what we paid for or what we expected. If we had wanted to do a long boat ride from Hawaii to Vancouvre then we would have booked one. We didnt but thats what we got. Wouldnt travel with them again. The cruise was a comedy of errors and changes. Appauling customer service. MSC gave us a better cruising experience at a far better price. The activities onboard were sometimes hard to get onto and into. You certainly needed to be everywhere very early and not mind waiting in line at times. The artists were of a high standard. The food was nice in the restaurant but it did get a little boring after 10 Days as several meals were repeated. The buffet had a large range but again the choices got boring as they seemed to be the same each day. We dinned at Wonderland on one occasion and really enjoyed the quirky nature of the food. It was fun and a nice break from the main eating areas. The robot bar is fun the first time but the novelty soon wears off. Unfortunatley there were a large amount of people who had very small children in the bars even as late as midnight. We had the drinks package and found it was a good idea as the prices on board were expensive. There were multiple shopping events. Its such a shame that this cruise was spoilt by poor planning. We complained to our travel agent who passed our concerns onto Royal guest services who said that all passengers were given the same compensation. We were refunded the cost of shore excursions and 2 nights that we sat in port as well as the cost of lunch on a day they could not provide it. That certainly does not qualify as compensation. Perhaps they need a dictionary to understand the difference. At the end of the day they just did not care about our experience it was all about the money. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We took this cruise as a gentle way to go home to Canada from Japan. (We had done an around Japan cruise with Windstar beforehand) It was very enjoyable, food great, staff lovely, entertainment good. There were alot of sea days ... Read More
We took this cruise as a gentle way to go home to Canada from Japan. (We had done an around Japan cruise with Windstar beforehand) It was very enjoyable, food great, staff lovely, entertainment good. There were alot of sea days together but we got a routine of trivias, podium talks, hot tubs and eating in the day as the weather was too cold to be out on deck much or in the swimming pool. The speakers were entertaining, one gave talks on major trials. Another did Buddhism history and meditation and a third did varied talks from Rasputin to dog behaviour. The afternoon progressive trivia was fun if you had got a team together. It wasnt too rough so seasickness wasnt an issue either. We did have to change our clocks forward about 6 separate times to be on Vancouver time by arrival butbetter than getting full jetlag. So repositioing was worth doing, although the stop in Russia was a waste of time except to stretch your legs! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
While the overall cruise was very enjoyable, since we were with friends, we have for the first time, being Elite members, have found some issues with the food and/or the prep. This was the first time we sailed in Aqua Class, and while ... Read More
While the overall cruise was very enjoyable, since we were with friends, we have for the first time, being Elite members, have found some issues with the food and/or the prep. This was the first time we sailed in Aqua Class, and while the smaller dining room is nice & Blu, gave us access to two menus (Blu and Main), we do not feel the extra cost of Aqua class was merited. There were some instances where the entrees lacked flavor and were overcooked. One of our travelling companions made the remark that the crepe suzettes dessert tasted like "hockey pucks." Early on, we expressed our disappointment to Guest Relations. Subsequently the Head Chef came to our table and explained that the food comes frozen from the US. and that may alter the freshness factor and taste. Having been on numerous Celebrity cruises, Europe, Caribbean and the TransAtlantic, this was quite a unique explanation. On a positive note, service in Blu was excellent and the wait staff were always willing to exchange any food that was not to your liking. The Blu hostess was also extremely accommodating. As on all our Celebrity cruises the cabin attendant "Z" kept our room in excellent shape. Also we had fun with the Celebrity Life staff, particularly with Jaz and Tim. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We tend to prefer longer cruises with sea days. Celebrity almost always has excellent speakers and this cruise was no exception. We tried to catch all the talks. This is our second cruise in Aqua. The ammenities make the trip so much ... Read More
We tend to prefer longer cruises with sea days. Celebrity almost always has excellent speakers and this cruise was no exception. We tried to catch all the talks. This is our second cruise in Aqua. The ammenities make the trip so much more enjoyable so thats what we look for now. Our cabin, an A1 was a long way from the spa and because of the weather we didn't use it. The room was very well done and the bed was very comfortable. By the time we finished breakfast our room was usually finished. Very clean.did n The buffett was usually crowded but never so much that we couldn't find a place to sit. I noticed, and reported, when a guest came back and dumped his leftover food back into the container. After that I only ate what was served. No more self serve. I feel that they should have someone at all the stations. I have no desire to eat a strangers leftovers. The lounge music venues were very nice. The service in Blu as always was excellent. Daniell and Jet, our waiters, Yudie(sp) the Maitre d' and the wonderful hostess were were so friendly and professional. Overall the shows we great with one notable exception. The music was so loud it overpowered the singers and the guest piano player. It was also.was damaging to our ears. Some of the performances we had to leave because of the music. I don't know why the music director thinks that louder is better. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019

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