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30 Transpacific Repositioning Cruise Reviews

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
We stayed the night before at a Marriott near LAX and took an Uber to the port the next morning. The embarkation in Long Beach, a disorganized three-hour lineup in heat, with no water and no place to sit down for the first two hours, ... Read More
We stayed the night before at a Marriott near LAX and took an Uber to the port the next morning. The embarkation in Long Beach, a disorganized three-hour lineup in heat, with no water and no place to sit down for the first two hours, was, in retrospect, a foreshadowing of the disappointing trip to come. It was as if Carnival staff had never done this before and was thus more concerned with following an invisible rulebook than doing things sensibly and with guest convenience in mind. Most of our cruising experience has been with HAL, so at first it was hard to shake off the constant contrast between the Splendor and, say, the Westerdam or Rotterdam. (For instance, who builds a cruise ship that doesn't have a forward-looking lounge, like HAL's wonderful Crow's Nest. Carnival, obviously). As reported elsewhere, the garish pink decor is hideous; it wasn't in style the day the ship was launched. It took a few days to stop comparing and start regarding the Splendor experience on its own merits, and those proved to be meager. The interior stench of cigarette smoke is pervasive and extends, thanks to the atrium, far beyond the casino, which was Ground Zero for smokers, to several decks and corridors. (Why couldn't the sports bar have been closed off? Dunno. There was a doorway.) I would have played some casino table games but the smoke was too oppressive. Carnival should enter the 21st Century and ban smoking indoors. There is a more than generous outdoor area for smokers already. Public areas are kept far too cold. I ended up with a bronchial issue that made me seek attention in the medical office, which is clearly another profit center for Carnival. It is shameful to make people sick and then cash in on their illness. (But, hey, I'm a Canadian.) The public-address system blasts music at absurdly loud volumes from before dawn. I would watch sunrise out by the aft pool and could hardly hear myself think. Similarly, the entertainment around the main pool at lunch hour is emceed by hosts who use their microphones so cranked that normal conversation by anyone trying to enjoy their food is out of the question. Speaking of qquestions: Why close two of the most popular food venues (Indian, deli, both excellent) on the aft deck at the end of the afternoon? They would be great dinner options, especially since the buffet is so darn cold. Why are there no Happy Hour deals at the bars (two-for-one beers, etc)? That said, the 24-hour pizza joint midships is excellent. Food in the MDR was OK, but again no comparison with HAL in terms of variety, quality and presentation. The Sea Day Brunch is worth attending, probably the best "value-for-money" on the whole voyage. Our tiny interior cabin (7320) had a good bed, good reading lights, only one electrical outlet, but only one desk chair and no couch, so there was no place for two people to sit unless one perched on the edge of the bed. The satellite was out for most of our voyage (during the baseball playoffs and the World Cup of Rugby, no less), so the in-room TV was effectively useless. There is no individual DVD player and no ship's library of DVDs at Guest Services. We were able to control the room's temperature to our liking. The port visits were a mixed bag. Getting off in Honolulu and Maui was easy, but Guam was a nightmare that evoked the time-consuming chaos of the Long Beach embarkation. Malaysia and Vietnam were slightly better but still unnecessarily arduous. Cruise director Lee was put in the unenviable position of announcing muster points, then coming on 10 minutes later to contradict himself and send passengers somewhere else entirely. (There was a surprising degree of amateurishness about policies and procedures.) Disembarkation was easy, although despite the staggered schedule there was still a massive bottleneck in the Immigration Hall. As is almost always the case on cruise ships, our cabin crew, most of the bartenders and MDR wait staff were professional and friendly. But despite that mitigating factor, I doubt I will ever sail with Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
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
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
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
This was our 33rd cruise and our fifth time on HAL. We chose this itinerary as a means to return to North America after a long adventure in Australia. First the things we liked: The BB King All Star Band was terrific every time they ... Read More
This was our 33rd cruise and our fifth time on HAL. We chose this itinerary as a means to return to North America after a long adventure in Australia. First the things we liked: The BB King All Star Band was terrific every time they performed, playing excellent cover versions of classic pop, soul and funk songs The BB King club was a great place to relax and dance. Overall the food was good enough. HAL has the same dishes on all of their ships, the variety is good and the quality is good enough. Generally the service all over the ship was quite good. Unfortunately the ship itself was old and the interior design was dated, unpleasant and downright ugly. This was a shock to us as we have found other HAL ships to be attractive. But the Noordam was like a bad cheap hotel with almost no pleasing public spaces. The Noordam is in desperate need of a complete make-over. There were many sea days and unfortunately the activities on board were very down market. There was only one lecturer who was mediocre, leaning on video content from other sources. Otherwise just silly games and activities aimed at upsales like gem displays and beverage tastings. So we were quite bored and had to lean on the hobbies we brought on board. Shortly after leaving Sydney, the ship began to run out of all sorts of beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. At one point there was almost no beer available. Lots of passengers were commenting about it. I got fed up and wrote a letter to the Hotel Manager which resulted in a flurry of responses, including a face-to-face meeting with the Assistant Beverage Manager. He thanked me for my letter and explained that all of the items were indeed on board but the staff just failed to go get them from their sources. He promised that they would do better. But then the next morning when the room service waiter brought our breakfast juice and coffee, he apologized that the ship was out of orange juice. Of course there was plenty of OJ on board, just not in the room service kitchen. Crazy. I was pleasantly surprised by the very low price of this cruise, but then found out the truth in the cliche "You get what you pay for." This was just a budget cruise with the quality that one usually finds with low-cost budget products. We will probably return to HAL, but probably not to the Noordam. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruises from Sydney to Honolulu as we wanted to visit the islands and Hawaii. also to try out HAL for first time, we have done 27 other cruises mainly on Princess but also on Cunard, P&O, Celebrity, Carnival. Embarkation ... Read More
We chose this cruises from Sydney to Honolulu as we wanted to visit the islands and Hawaii. also to try out HAL for first time, we have done 27 other cruises mainly on Princess but also on Cunard, P&O, Celebrity, Carnival. Embarkation was ok. Had VD verandah cabin, aft near elevators, ok with cabin. Bed fine, settee a little hard. Shower ok. Ecko our steward was fine. Had various meals in MDR and Lido, all poor, mdr meals for dinner were poorly presented and poor quality ingredients, i.e. tough meat and fish, hardly any veggies. Worse food on any ship I have been on. Little assistance given to me as a Celiac, although I advised HAL well before cruise. Not once did the head waiter speak to us re food, service at our table. Only time we saw officers was in pinnacle bar having their drinks before dining in pinnacle restaurant, they don't eat in the mdr !! The Captain did not even appear at the gala night cocktail pary and I never saw him. Entertainment was ok. I was not impressed with our first taste of HAL and will not return. Overated. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My husband and I were on the recent reposition cruise from Australia to Honolulu. We usually love RC and are Diamond (now Diamond Plus) members. This ship is in a run down condition. One of the main elevators was not working over half ... Read More
My husband and I were on the recent reposition cruise from Australia to Honolulu. We usually love RC and are Diamond (now Diamond Plus) members. This ship is in a run down condition. One of the main elevators was not working over half the time causing a log jam at the elevators. In our cabin, the sink was cracked, and hot water was seldom available. Rust was prevalent almost everywhere. There was not enough room for the Diamond and up members. In order to find seating, one had to be at the longe at least an hour early. The food is getting worse and worse over the years. The same items were on the menu night after night. And to our dismay, they ran out of vanilla ice cream in the WindJammer. On the plus side, we seemed to have a new mattresses. Our neighbors, however had an old one and were very uncomfortable. Overall, we were very disappointed in a cruise we had been looking forward to. We will be trying other cruise lines in the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Trans-Pacific cruise as ships relocated to US Northwest. Normal RCI quality, i.e. excellent food and quality staff. We we disappointed that Rita’s restaurant has been closed as we used to enjoy sitting out eating guacamole / chips and ... Read More
Trans-Pacific cruise as ships relocated to US Northwest. Normal RCI quality, i.e. excellent food and quality staff. We we disappointed that Rita’s restaurant has been closed as we used to enjoy sitting out eating guacamole / chips and sharing the grande margarita with friends (it would be nice to be able to get a pitcher of margaritas for sharing but bartender thought it was mitigate over-serving issues that have happened). The ports were only ok, generally a little on the boring side but guessing due to the last ship of the season. The ship was good shape although showing signs of external wear Horrible cabin location, it’s beneath the Windjammer and Izumi speciality restaurant. The room sounds like you’re in a bowling alley due to the carts in the restaurants above running over the stippled tile in the kitchen areas. It does subside around midnight until around 4:30 am, currently 4:21 am and the banging has started. Called several times and restaurant manager did state they would try to mitigate noise, unfortunately to no avail. Asked to be moved but was not accommodated although RCI did give coupon for small discount on future cruise. VOOM on this cruise was marginally above worthless. Using SpeedTest by Ookla, download speeds ranged from a high of 1.5 mbps down to a non-functional low but averaged at 0.55 mbps across the multiple occasions that I tested. Onboard Tech stated that it speeds is up to 4 mbps, subject to weather and sea conditions but even docked with clear skies the speeds were typically sub 1 mbps. Be warned, no refunds or recourse from RCI for poor VOOM service Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
First, let me say, I loved the itinerary for this cruise - 21 nights across the Pacific from Seattle to Sydney. Embarkation (and disembarkation) went very smoothly, though we were surprised there was no welcome aboard glass of champagne. ... Read More
First, let me say, I loved the itinerary for this cruise - 21 nights across the Pacific from Seattle to Sydney. Embarkation (and disembarkation) went very smoothly, though we were surprised there was no welcome aboard glass of champagne. This was a minor change from the previous cruises we'd taken on Celebrity (a sister company), but was just the beginning of a slew of disappointments in the quality of Royal Caribbean as it compared to Celebrity. My biggest complaint was the quality of food in the main dining room. Steaks were low quality and very tough. Selection was low quality and, most surprising, did not improve on formal nights. They were literally offering higher quality food selection at the buffet! The result of this however, was that the huge dining room was virtually empty while the buffet was packed with long lines and full tables. Secondly, was the unabashed up-sell! Even the dining room menu had choices that you needed to pay extra for! Apparently, if you wanted decent food, you had to pony up another $30-$50. Breakfast in the dining room had an option on the menu for the fresh-squeezed orange juice, but that would cost you an additional $5. We looked at menus from the signature menu and even they offered up-sell selections!! That's just plain tacky. Next was the sick-boat-syndrome. Every one of our party of 5 had upper respiratory illness throughout the entire 3 week period. It never abated until we got off the boat. Yet my husband and one of our friends, who suffered the most severe symptoms, had to pay exorbitant medical fees and wait for long lines to get treatment. The long lines and loud chorus of coughing throughout the boat was enough proof that this entire boat was suffering the same symptoms. The design of the ship itself left much to be desired. There was no outdoor dining section. In fact there was little emphasis on offering outside views. There were few window seats in the lower level lounges and even those just looked out on the lifeboats. There was one upper-level lounge that had a wide array of windows, but that looked out at the pool rather than out to sea. There were a lot of little lounge areas that looked into the atrium, but who wants to look at that when you're out at sea? The shows also didn't live up to the quality of those we had experienced on our Celebrity cruises with the only exception being the ice show. That was actually quite extraordinary! The one area they excelled at over Celebrity was the more active offerings for younger travelers - the FlowRider, climbing wall, miniature golf - and the larger children's activity center. Personally, I would never take another Royal Caribbean cruise. As an after thought - I forgot to include a review of the enrichment activities. On a cruise this long with SO MANY sea nights, they were unprepared for the number of people wanting to participate in the activities. There were literally fights between people trying to get into watercolor and jewelry classes and the lounges used for trivia were way too small to accommodate the crowds. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I chose this cruise due to the great itinerary, and my previous experiences with Norwegian. Unfortunately, NCL has evidently changed some of its policies to benefit itself. One would think that a single passenger would only have to pay ... Read More
I chose this cruise due to the great itinerary, and my previous experiences with Norwegian. Unfortunately, NCL has evidently changed some of its policies to benefit itself. One would think that a single passenger would only have to pay a maximum of a 100% Single Supplement. I paid the same as 2 passengers but while they would receive 2 Free at Seas, I only received one. And the amount NCL charged for the tips/taxes for the Free Drinks package was over $300 US. Not so free! The information then stated that in order to step onto Russian territory, you had to have either a Russian visa or be booked on an NCL excursion. This proved to be a lie, since as long as you didn't leave Petropavlovsk, no visa was required. As I have visited Alaska on several previous occasions, I was quite happy to fend for myself in the 3 Alaskan ports. I eventually was able to get a Russian excursion that wasn't several hundred dollars due to the perseverance of my agent, and I was very glad that I booked excursions for the 4 Japanese ports. The last one took us on a highlights of Tokyo and then to my hotel. Tokyo is a very intimidating city as far as getting around, so after the cruise, I was very glad to book with another tour company that picked us up from our hotel, took us to the bullet train station, to Kyoto for a tour there, and then all the way back to my hotel. On the final day, I had already booked an airport shuttle to take me to Narita airport, which was not far off a 2 hour trip. I truly feel fortunate that each activity that I had planned went off without a hitch. Embarkation was terrible in Vancouver. Even though I was provided with a 12 to 12:30pm time slot, I didn't actually get on board until after 3pm. NCL doesn't seem to think that its customers have any issues with standing in long lineups, with very little support for those who use walkers/wheelchairs. I can't stand for long periods so was very happy that my hardbody carry-on luggage could be used to sit on. I was totally exhausted by the time I reached my cabin. As far as the actual cruise, the food was fine in the 3 regular waited-on restaurants, as it was at the pay extra restaurants, although I questioned why I had bothered to pay the extra amount. The entertainment was okay but not as good as my previous cruises on the Sun and Dawn. My cabin attendant didn't get my room cleaned until mid-afternoon each day, not something I was used to with NCL. I have wanted to visit Japan for many years, so am glad that I took this cruise, along with the visit to Russia. Due to another passenger's medical emergency, we ended up turning around and visited an island south of the Kamchatka peninsula, which happened to coincide with a volcano starting to erupt straight ahead of us. I have never seen a volcano erupt before in person. There were 3 that erupted within a 24 hour period that passengers were able to see, and despite a couple of typhoons hitting Japan, we were able to miss both of them by the ship changing its course to avoid them. I will be on the Queen Elizabeth next June, a high end cruise line. I wonder why I was able to obtain a whole cabin on this ship for myself, while paying 0% supplement?! I will be looking at other cruise lines other than NCL in the future. I used to think that NCL had the best features, but no more. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I've been on several Seabourn cruises in the past (this cruise put me over 100 days sailed with them) and while no cruise was perfect Seabourn in the past has been the best - for me. I like re positioning cruises (they tend to have a ... Read More
I've been on several Seabourn cruises in the past (this cruise put me over 100 days sailed with them) and while no cruise was perfect Seabourn in the past has been the best - for me. I like re positioning cruises (they tend to have a lot of sea days and I enjoy sea days). I saw one on the Sojourn going from Kobe to Vancouver. Bonus - its a short flight from Vancouver to San Francisco so I'd only have to do the long haul thing in one direction. Embarkation started almost precisely on time and aside from one passenger using his mass to knock people out of his way to be first was a nice and quick experience. Once on board I noticed that there was no one greeting passengers or directing them to any particular place. On past cruises staff was present to greet guests and direct them. After embarkation came the muster drill. Thankfully Seabourn doesn't require you to wear or even bring your brightly colored tripping hazard (life vest). The drill took place in the Restaurant and we didn't have to go out on deck and deal with the elements. In my suite I had a letter from Seabourn waiting for me. It informed me that there would be ongoing construction on the pool deck during the cruise and that areas would be closed off. So they're saying on a crossing/cruise with a large number of sea days the outside would be a loud smelly mess and that the Patio Bar/Grill (bar and restaurant for the pool area) would be unavailable some days. Wonderful. I was not given the option for a graceful exit from this cruise. The letter was more of a "SURPRISE" that you didn't want. This was not a good start to a luxury cruise. Even mid tier hotels will inform guests of any upcoming construction. I guess the small saving grace was that I couldn't hear the construction sounds or smell the odors they generated in my room. Others weren't so lucky. For this each suite was given $500. The dining experience had a few issues that would continue to be issues. The first was understaffing. I don't know if it was due to the launch of their newer bigger ship or a harder time finding crew or perhaps penny wise pound foolish but aside from the TK Grill the other dining venues seemed understaffed (when the restaurant manager is running around taking orders and the ships sommelier is busing tables - you're short staffed). Further a lot of the staff in both the Colonnade and the Restaurant were very green. How green? They'd bring the wrong food to passengers and then argue with them (in one instance eggs Benedict were served as Florentine. When the passenger complained after the argument they were given the Benedict - with strands of spinach still on the plate. Some would become irate if you didn't order your dessert with your appetizers/entrees. They'd start out with the word "NO" and then wait for correction rather than getting an accurate answer before stating something wasn't possible. Drink service in the Restaurant for dinner was the worst of any Seabourn cruise I'd been on. They no longer have the wine stewards and now rely on your overworked green wait staff to do most of the beverage work as well. Penny wise, pound foolish again. If your overworked servers were slow with the food, well now so followed your drinks. The food in the restaurant was to me for the most part: boring, unseasoned, bland and unadventurous at best. At worst it was the worst version of some dishes that I've ever had. Thankfully the Colonnade didn't seem to have the food issues (and a far lesser extent of service issues). However the only dining location on the ship that felt like it belonged on a luxury cruise was the TK Grill. Better ingredients, more staff per passenger, and probably because Thomas Keller insisted actual flavorful food. However the TK Grill (and TK night in the Colonnade) had its issues as well. When Michael Sandoval (one of Kellers staffers) was running things the food came out cooked perfectly. They day he left the ship (and on subsequent visits) all the Thomas Keller food was off. An exmaple of this would be the Ad Hoc fried chicken. Under Seabourn it was either rubber skin and raw meat or burnt skin dripping pools of grease. Under Sandoval it was crisp, moist, tender, flavorful and not overly greasy. I got the distinct impression that left to its own devices Seabourn can't meet the demands Kellers food requires. There were also reservation issues with the TK Grill. I had a reservation deleted and other passengers felt that staff was trying to coerce them into altering or giving up their reservations. The bars (especially Observation and Patio) along with their staff seemed to be the one area of the cruise experience that hadn't declined in quality. I generally don't partake in the ships entertainment so I don't have too much to say on that. I did play trivia and this time people seemed to actually treat it like a game rather than a deathmatch as on previous cruises. As this was a crossing (really a cruise to relocate the ship to its next seasonal AO) we didn't have that many ports. Seabourns shore excursions are rather generic. They do try to keep the number of passengers per tour down but don't offer lower limit tours like some lines do. My only issue with the tours was missing one because we ended up spending an extra day in Aomori (where they added but a single tour) - but you can't blame the weather on the line. We also lost a port because of that delay. We were supposed to visit Icy Point Straight but that was cut. Originally we were supposed to visit Glacier bay rather than Hubbard glacier. I don't know who didn't do what there but IMO Glacier bay is the far better glacier experience. Because to date this cruise was an aberration I did book a future cruise. Hopefully the ship will have righted itself and food/service will be back to their usual high standards. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was a 21 day from Tokyo to Seattle cruise. We arrived 5 days early in order to explore Tokyo. Hired a local guide and had a great time. Stayed at the Marriott Shinagawa and used their Concierge Lounge. Great hotel and service. We ... Read More
This was a 21 day from Tokyo to Seattle cruise. We arrived 5 days early in order to explore Tokyo. Hired a local guide and had a great time. Stayed at the Marriott Shinagawa and used their Concierge Lounge. Great hotel and service. We took a cab to the ship and the embarkation process was swift and efficient as we had a 2 bedroom (H4) Haven suite. Our suite, Cabin 14010 was filled with mold and mildew. We are allergic to mold and mildew. Mold was also present in the duvette, sheets, and pillows. Steward and butler were great as they changed out everything and brought a HEPA filter. Also A/C ducts blew in dust and mold. Unfortunately none of that helped. We were sick for 12 of the 21 day cruise and wife still has bronchitis 10 days after the cruise. We were finally able to track the problem down to black mold in a leaky drain trough going across the bathroom area. The carpet was also filled with mildew. The crew repaired the leaky drain area several days before the end of the cruise and brought in industrial blowers to dry the area out. The mold and mildew were so bad that I had to sleep on the couch in our living room area and my wife had to sleep in the second bedroom. As if that wasn't enough, disembarkation at the new Norwegian Seattle terminal was a disaster. We had to wait 60 minutes for our luggage (even though we had priority) and when it arrived there was no orderly process to get the luggage. Just one big free for all. We asked the Norwegian terminal what was going on and they just shrugged their shoulders told us to talk to the ship personnel. Lastly, during our Norwegian transfer to the Seattle airport, the luggage compartment door of the bus opened and our luggage went bouncing down the Interstate. Bottom line, Norwegian is a great value, but I have yet to have a cruise with them where everything has gone right. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We booked this cruise while we were sailing on Empress of the Seas to Cuba. We have sailed with this line several times before, with Celebrity and RCL ships. In every instance except for this one, the cruises have been excellent. NOT this ... Read More
We booked this cruise while we were sailing on Empress of the Seas to Cuba. We have sailed with this line several times before, with Celebrity and RCL ships. In every instance except for this one, the cruises have been excellent. NOT this one. Cruise was from Hawaii, around the islands, ending in Vancouver, BC. 10 days. We had been to the islands 35 years ago and wanted to get back to see the changes. Sailing dates were May 3-13, we flew in a day early to catch up on Honolulu sights which was a good thing, should have come in two days early or more. Pearl Harbor was outstanding(not a RCL feature) We were scheduled to board at 12:30, got to pier at 12:15, checked luggage and then lines started. Did not get to cabin until 2:30 at which point we were told that cabin was not ready and would not be ready until 3:30-4pm. That was the first clue. Finally got to cabin at 4, luggage arrived at 7pm. we had dinner at 5:30. Ship was full, 2500 guests, wait staff was stretched. We had a table for 4, but our waiters also were serving three other tables, 2 tables of 10 and one table of six. Guess who came in 4th. Seriously understaffed in Dining room. This was true for entire cruise. Maui was next day, Tenders in, very small harbor, we were fortunate, to get out early, later passengers were not able to get off the ship due to congestion in the harbor. It got worse later when all the tours that had gotten out came back at the same time. The line for the tenders was 90 minutes in the heat, and 500 yards long. Oh and it was formal night, we did not get back to ship until 5:15 pm, not a lot of time for changing and cleanup. Big Island was day 3, Tenders again, I had an accident getting into the tender-what a fiasco, nothing from RCL, Sitting in the tender bleeding from the knees, and the only comment from staff was to ask what was my cabin number. Went to infirmary to get it checked out, Medical staff was great-but as I walked out of infirmary, I was accosted by one of the security staff who proceeded to interrogate me and tried to criminalize the incident. By the way, he had a body camera on him and was filming the entire interrogation., When I complained to the desk, the response was "we apologise for the inconvenience" Next stop Kauaii, that was on a pier and the visit was excellent. However at Kauaii and also in Victoria, BC, I was now subject to "special attention" whenever I reboarded the ship. I wear an external brace on my knee, so I got "wanded and patted down" each time back to the ship. I did bring this up to RCL on two occasions, first on board the ship where there was no response. Second directly to RCL via the website, there has been no response to date. I am completely baffled by this indifferent or even vindictive response by the staff to a guest. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
A relatively EXPRENSIVE 17 DAY TRANSITION CRUISE TO SYDNEY FROM HONOLULU...Lots of people sick from on board virus..(removed number 0ver 200). food in dinning room and buffet monotonous and bland. Asst Ma'de tried to calm us down ... Read More
A relatively EXPRENSIVE 17 DAY TRANSITION CRUISE TO SYDNEY FROM HONOLULU...Lots of people sick from on board virus..(removed number 0ver 200). food in dinning room and buffet monotonous and bland. Asst Ma'de tried to calm us down over food issues and brought chef to us--who then made excuses about trying to please guest who didn't like spicy or tasty food. (Cruise line trying to please wrong people). .Ports ok... Specialty results were good=with the quality one used to find of Celebrity.. Stale crackers in essentially forced quarantine. What we were offered for restitution totally inadequate. Service on board was great except for room service who may have gotten overwhelmed because of serving quarantined guest. Restitution offered only for days you had sought medical treatment. Had to smooze staff to get a refund on excusion we were unable to go on due to sickness. Policy exist to only refund those unable to attend during quarantine. (we had been sick for two days before quarantine)... Won't be traveling Celebrity any time soon... Kudos to our cabin attendant Lenie who went far beyond the normal call of duty. We were in 9356... This was out 19th cruise.. 4k video will soon be posted on you tube.. Bora Bora and Sydney were the best ports. Ackland cultural experience excursion Disappointing--2.6 hours on bus thru NZ countryside not mentioned beforehand. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
As a regular cruiser with over 300 nights at sea, this was our second Celebrity Cruise. I found what appeared to be a decline in service and onboard quality compared to the first trip in 2009. Other cruise lines offer a better experience ... Read More
As a regular cruiser with over 300 nights at sea, this was our second Celebrity Cruise. I found what appeared to be a decline in service and onboard quality compared to the first trip in 2009. Other cruise lines offer a better experience and in talking with Celebrity guests, many find the attraction is the Captains Circle perks. None of this should be considered a reason not to take Celebrity but to let you know - Celebrity fell short of expectation and needs to advance their game. Celebrity does not do any place set up at the Oceanview Buffet. Other cruise line puts napkins, forks, knife, and spoon on every table. Doing so will alleviate crowding/ circulation issues. Other cruise lines put a coffee mug and glass on every table. Celebrity: nada. This means passengers need to carry many things away to their table and sometimes make multiple trips back to the serving area. This compounds the already crowded space. Celebrity puts a spoon holder next to the coffee dispenser. People put used spoons into the spoon holder. If not, the spoon holders are otherwise empty. Other cruise lines put out coffee stir sticks plus spoons but the spoons are already on the table thus are often not necessary. Celebrity coffee is very good. Keep it up. Prepare to spice your food – Celebrity adds minimal seasoning. Sticky buns – only once on the voyage. No bran muffins. Oat muffins yes. They have no sugar added cookies – thanks. Other cruise lines create a main course style buffet dinner using elements from the main dining menu. Some also put a place mat and wine glass at the buffet place setting. Celebrity did not use much imagination here and sometimes appears to create the buffet dinner menu out of what was available for lunch. We had the occasional “Good Evening” from the Celebrity waiters as diners entered the restaurant. Other cruise lines have a variety of individual cereal boxes for breakfast. Celebrity uses only 3 bulk cereal dispensers. Different fruits may be available occasionally, yesterday bananas, today grapefruit. So far no fresh plums, strawberries, blueberries, nectarines or peaches. Cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, pineapples and apples are the usual. It appears the custom pasta dishes lack garlic, basil, capers and fresh squeeze lemon – no flavour. Due to the extended cold weather, the line up for lunch in the dining room is too long and tables in the buffet at noon are scarce. Signs urge passengers to not occupy the table any longer than necessary so others can sit down. Dining areas are often crowded. Something is amiss. Celebrity sugar free and no sugar added desserts are varied and tasty - kudos. Celebrity fish and chips were quite good. The Celebrity Timeless Dinner menu carries both steak and escargot - bravo! Celebrity Scampi are only large shrimp. Formal night scampi was a mere 4 shrimp with rice. Another formal night had lobster. The dinner portions on Celebrity are small – enough for me but many people ordered double everything. Salad soup entrée. Some waste observed and definitely adds to the cruise line costs. Stores were nice and probably too big and too numerous. The staff appeared under worked and needed sales. Celebrity had a buffet chocolate dip dessert for fruit. Nice. The Beef Bourgogne was sent back – it had strips of burnt bacon added to the stewed beef. The sea bass fish was over cooked, the seafood bisque smelled foul fish and some fish dishes were simply not fresh. The Greek salad had no tomatoes, red onions or Greek dressing. The trout was a mere half of a fillet. The potatoes whether on the plate or in a salad were undercooked. Many items were very good. The Captain Nicholas from Chania was personable, exuded competence and kept us all informed. Excellent leader. Theatre and lounges were very nice. Entertainment average to “Let’s leave early” The invite to the Heli Pad was nice. Terrible TV, no on demand service, the onboard recording service in some cases used old equipment. No published movie schedule The Deck 8 Library was almost void of any books. No onboard laundry or ironing board. Laundry by the bag is $50 each. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
On our first Silver Sea cruise aboard Silver Shadow on September 7, 2017 (Anchorage to Tokyo), we encountered a plethora of stupid mistakes and errors, starting with the initial booking with the Fort Lauderdale office. Not only did we ... Read More
On our first Silver Sea cruise aboard Silver Shadow on September 7, 2017 (Anchorage to Tokyo), we encountered a plethora of stupid mistakes and errors, starting with the initial booking with the Fort Lauderdale office. Not only did we receive a confirmation booking in someone else’s name which was followed by the sales rep requiring us to produce a doctor’s letter (Fit to Travel) from husband’s doctor in 48 hours or our booking would be cancelled. We jumped through hoops, obtained the document, scanned and emailed to Special Services. The Special Services Manager quickly responded to us that this was totally unnecessary, as we had provided all the proper medical information on the original booking! Secondly we were stopped from boarding the train from Anchorage to Seward due to administrative mistakes by both front office and the ship. We were told we were being singled out because we did not have Japanese Visas (we are American citizens). The manager at the train station could not understand the requirement and could not get anyone from the ship to answer his phone calls. Finally, everyone else was processed with stateroom keys to board, we were allowed to board the train without stateroom keys. The manager alerted us we might be refused entry to the ship, in which case, they would return our passports and we would return to Anchorage on the train. Needless to say, it was a miserable 4-hour rain ride, as we were upset, confused and feeling stigmatized by the events. Turns out, no one representing Silver Sea in at Port of Seward knew what to do with us. Obviously without stateroom keys, we could not board. Asked to produce our passports, we replied, “You have them”. After much delay, someone located our stateroom keys in the boarding area. No explanation forthcoming from anyone. My husband was ready to abort this trip and come home. At the gangway, expressing my dissatisfaction to Hotel Manager at the Port of Seward, I was told to contact the Finance Manager the next day. I asked to have this person contact me immediately! We were fed up with mistakes and errors. What else could go wrong? We received apologies for the “lack of communication” between Anchorage & the ship regarding our passports, as the processing from the home office had obliterated my passport data from the booking paperwork! We were victims again of the incompetent who handled our booking in the front office, and compounded by the manner in which this was escalated. All that was needed in Anchorage was confirmation of a USA Passport – not to be denied passage, or threatened to be returned to Anchorage. If not sufficient rationale to be disturbed by petty events caused by incompetence, we were again accosted by the reception staff on board Silver Sea via voice message, informing us they did not have our Russian landing cards, when in fact I had prepared them the same day we received them, personally delivered the cards to reception with the added information to look at our passports (in their possession) because we have valid Russian Visa (in case they wanted to include that data in the box provided on the form). I returned the call, being irritated by never ending cascade of stupidity and incompetence. The first receptionist did not seem to know what I was calling for….and put another person on the phone. I expressed my frustration at their incompetence and repeated all the conversation confirming delivery of the landing forms plus the fact of the Russian Visa. This person had the nerve to inform me I didn’t need the landing cards if we possessed Russian Visa! So why did I receive the landing cards in the first place if this is the case? More apologies forthcoming regarding “lack of communication” and “reception should not be bothering passengers” when the landing cards were already in ship’s possession. Any wonder I am fed up the compounding of errors, petty mistakes, and incompetency of Silver Sea organization & poor administrative procedures? The aggravation seemed never ending. Apologies notwithstanding, we say, “Never Again”! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We were advised by our travel agent to take a relocation cruise to enjoy a lot of extra cruising time, plus the bonus of having a few days in Hawaii before flying home. Sounded like a great idea. My daughter and her husband, both aged in ... Read More
We were advised by our travel agent to take a relocation cruise to enjoy a lot of extra cruising time, plus the bonus of having a few days in Hawaii before flying home. Sounded like a great idea. My daughter and her husband, both aged in their 20s joined us. We had only done one other cruise which was fabulous. Royal Carribbean was sold to us as a 'cut above' and more pitched to adults than families with young children. The reality was that it was an old, but well-maintained ship, only 2 main restaurants (all speciality restaurants at additional cost), plus very little to do on seagoing days. History of WWII talks, religious philosphy, learn to play bridge were the highlights of the daily activity. We felt that the whole cruise was clearly geared towards the elderly. While there were younger folk on board and there was an ongoing Michael Jackson dance contest, but even the evening concert entertainment was geared towards 'seniors'. No waterslides, and none of the onboard activities that you see in the glossy brochures (our fault for not checking more closely). The situation was made worse when rough weather closed all outdoor activity. No pools, no outdoor movies. We slept and read a lot, which was relaxing, but the 'wow' factor was certainly missing and I felt sorry for my daughter and son-in-law who spent most of their time sleeping or reading. Even internet connection wasn't available for a few days while in transit. Disembarkation was so poorly managed, that many passengers were getting angry/anxious about getting off the ship. Despite allowing 5 hours from arriving in port to get to the airport (30 minute drive), we would have missed our flight, had it not been delayed by 2 hours. The ports of call were great, but next time, we'd choose to fly to island resorts, rather than sit in a floating nursing home for 21 days. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The destinations and sea days appealed to us. Having cruised the radiance many years ago, we had no qualms of using the ship again. Our first encounter with our cabin came as a shock with worn and badly patched curtains and an over all ... Read More
The destinations and sea days appealed to us. Having cruised the radiance many years ago, we had no qualms of using the ship again. Our first encounter with our cabin came as a shock with worn and badly patched curtains and an over all shabbiness. The smell coming from the drains was terrible, our wonderful room steward was unable to help with the smell, the origin of the odour became evident when, whilst taking a shower, I found myself in almost ankle deep backflow from the drain. The bathroom was soon flooded with the terrible odour even worse! Someone was sent to work on the problem, however the odour was ever present. During some rough seas, we were awoken with drawers and cupboard doors flying open and shutting. This too was fixed with maintenance putting Velcro on the doors and drawers. But not till the following day after we had a sleepless night! The public bathrooms were not kept to the same standard of cleanliness, in fact, were quite filthy! We noticed that many cut backs had occurred such as body lotion and conditioner, both of which I had not taken having assumes that as all previous cruises, these were supplied. The crew from the captain down were fabulous . Drinks are over priced, and many of the shows were suitable for children's parties. So thanks to Radiance, cruising is now off our agenda, after all, who wants to spend 18 days on a 2 star ship! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My wife and I boarded the ship in Sydney on 12 April 2017 and stayed on board for 39 nights doing a back to back to back and disembarking in Vancouver, BC after doing the Alaskan inside passage. Where to start the cabin was good we had ... Read More
My wife and I boarded the ship in Sydney on 12 April 2017 and stayed on board for 39 nights doing a back to back to back and disembarking in Vancouver, BC after doing the Alaskan inside passage. Where to start the cabin was good we had a premium balcony for the first 32 days then moved to a Mini Suite for the last 7 days. Comparing a Balcony to Premium Balcony to Mini Suite the best compromise for cost and space is a Premium Balcony. The Mini Suite was great but does come at a higher cost. My thoughts here is that a slightly bigger shower would really be a better compromise by the cruise lines in allocating space within a cabin. Back to the cruise our first impressions the Stewards were tired and it showed in their zero to limited initiative, we found this pretty bad. We had anytime dining which was ok, However we found the buffet better and the Crown Grill awesome. We did two visits to Share which was great and several to Crown. The first 15 days were good getting to Hawaii, and Tahiti is always a fun place, the cruise to Vancouver via Los Angeles was terrible, a time limited stop in LA was the worst for us as it was our first visit there and one of the ports we were looking forward to. Next the Casino, when we sail we love heading to the Casino and playing the Slots and table games, well I can tell you these slots would float if they were thrown overboard, tight does not even start. At any rate after we piled heaps of money into the Casino after which we had to ask for free drinks to put this it into perspective my wife had over 24,000 points, with myself getting to over 7500 points. On other princess cruises this equaled a free drinks package but not here we got a dinner then had to say thanks to the host for the bone thrown! When we left no letter for gaming credits for the next cruise just a website that's it ZERO. The Alaskan cruise was good and the weather perfect, however where there's a will there's Princess to screw something up sure as eggs they did. At Ketchitan Princess decided that one of the largest cruise ship's there should tender while smaller ones docked. There were 5 ships in harbor 3 Princess and 2 Holland America. This meant not getting off the ship until 2pm and missing a much looked forward to ship excursion. To put this into perspective all the ships docked were owned by Carnival so this is pretty poor planning. Exiting and re-entering the ship at Vancouver was a 2 hour wait for pre-boarded guests, un-boarded guests had to wait over 4 hours. Cheap bastards, the coffee cups at the international cafe were changed out so only one small size was available yet you were still charged the as for the larger cups that disappeared. Meaning you were ripped off on the pre-purchased coffee cards. Finally when I had enough of all this crap I called Princess and asked to be put through to a Manager and was refused by the initial person that answered the phone, talk about poor customer service. All I can say is if you want to take a Princess Cruise be warned this ship sucked, and yes I have cruised with them before, being Platinum Cruiser. We have only experienced 1 worse cruise than this on the Carnival Spirit. We have also sailed RCA and NCL. This review is a warts and all account I trust you read it as an honest appraisal. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We have cruised with Royal Caribbean before in Europe and found them great so when we saw this repositioning cruise we decided to do it. We recieved an email prior to the cruise advising as we were on deck 12 we should be at the cruise ... Read More
We have cruised with Royal Caribbean before in Europe and found them great so when we saw this repositioning cruise we decided to do it. We recieved an email prior to the cruise advising as we were on deck 12 we should be at the cruise terminal in Singapore at 11am. We got there on time and were still waiting to board at 1.45. Have never had to wait this long to get aboard any ship. When we finally got onboard everything was fine. Our balcony cabin was as expected and very comfortable. Oir next disappointment was the main dining room. If you wanted steak there was a $25 USD charge for it. We travel with NCL a lot and steak is a permanant item on the main dining room menu. On this cruise there were a lot of stewey, casserole, rice type foods. Not much to really sink your teeth into and the portions werent very big. The menu got boring. While we were at sea for the 5 days between Singapore and Darwin they were advertising if you book a future cruise while onboard you would get 60% of the fare of the second person. We got a quote for a 13 night Alaska cruise +land in balcony cabin. They quoted us $14,000 for 2 people. I asked about the 60% off the second passenger and they said this was the price with the 60% off. Couldnt believe my ears. No way was I going to pay that for 13 nights.When I got to Darwin and had internet I googled the price online. It came up at under $9,000 and that was without any discount. I took a screenshot of the quote and was going to confront the booking desk but by the time I got around to it I decided it wasnt worth it as there is no way I wanted to travel with this cruiseline again When we got to our first tender port, Port Douglas, it was unbelievable. We had a tour booked independantly and had to meet the tour people at the cruise terminal at 9.30am. We queued up an hour before the tender tickets were due to be available to make sure we would be in the first lot to leave the ship. Our number was called first and we went to the tender. Its wasnt the normal ship tender but a big catamaran type thing that held around 300 people. We sat on this thing for 50 mins waiting to fill it up. By this time it was 10am and I had the tour people ringing me to ask where we were. I had to tell them we were still sitting on the tender waiting to come ashore. By the time we got to shore it was after 10.30. There were a lot of agro people complaining about the long wait. If they used the small tender boats it would have taken a short time to fill a boat and it would be heading to shore while they filled the next one. . I heard there were people who hadnt gone to get their tender tickets until 10am and hadnt got to shore until after 2pm. There were another 2 tender ports that were slightly faster but not much. I heard from other passengers that the section between Hong Kong and Singapore had been worse with some people asking for a refund and wanting to get off. I have nothing but praise for the crew. They were as on most cruise ships, great and willing to go out of their way to make the holiday good. Also the entertainment was outstanding. Couldnt fault it but the negative things ruined this holiday for us. Back to NCL for our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Why are disabled cabins either at the front or back of the ship? A trek to either the theatre or the restaurants. Our cabin 6003 was at the front, a good size with a pillar ( ideal for tying the wheelchair and walker to whilst crossing ... Read More
Why are disabled cabins either at the front or back of the ship? A trek to either the theatre or the restaurants. Our cabin 6003 was at the front, a good size with a pillar ( ideal for tying the wheelchair and walker to whilst crossing the Tasmin Sea ! ) It was clean but scruffy and worn, we placed a blanket over the sofa to cover stains and another over a chair to cover the threadbare arms. There was a dangerous narrow ramp leading to the balcony and a wider wooden ramp on the balcony itself which meant you couldn't turn a wheelchair round. As the cabin was under the bridge it had an electronic door curtain which could be operated from the room or the bridge, in theory that was fine but who installed it so the curtain closed over the door opening and not on the other side? You had to place the curtain behind the chair to be able to get out of the balcony door, the curtain hooks had broken and had to be re attached on each opening. As it was the cabins' situaition was so windy it was rarely able to be used on sea days. A great shame. We chose this adventure of a lifetime for the destinations and because we had enjoyed a wonderful 40 night cruise from Southampton to Singapore on ms Rotterdam 18 months previously. A mid ship disabled cabin with a restricted view which was lovely and really easy to move around the ship. Not only was it a very different ship it felt like we were travelling with a completely different company. We chose to eat in the Lido most days, the food was acceptable and the young staff really lovely and helpful. Its a great shame some of the passengers from the US had a need to be so rude to them. And they seemed to think it was beneath them to use the supped hand gel ! The Lido, like the rest of the ship had some serious maintenance problems including water leaks which could be experienced at the tables, whilst queuing to be served and whilst trying to walk on the main narrow walkthrough. I fell heavily on a wet floor causing unnecessary pain to my arthritic body. The cane chairs were worn and very scruffy, some had been replaced but ms Noordam really is in need of a major refit. We tried room service for breakfast on 8 occasions and only twice did we get what we ordered, we tried it for dinner just once and after a microwave burger and cold pasta arrived I had to fetch pizza from the Lido. Really not good. They also tried to charge for a bottle of vodka that we ordered but wasn't delivered. Entertainment. Oh dear ms Noordam really got that wrong ! During the first show the 'comedian' referred to someone as a "spas", we left the theatre and it didn't really get much better after that. If you wanted a seat it was best to get to the theatre approx 45-60 mins before any show or lecture and take a book ( I actually read 18 during this voyage !) The theatre has restricted viewing from the upper levels and really wasn't big enough for the amount of passengers on board. On the second sea day from Vancouver I asked the cruise director John what entertainment had been organised for the long sea days leading to and after Hawaii, a total of 10, his reply was "nothing, this is what head office have told us to do" The last long cruise was filled with quizzes, interesting lectures, art classes, craft classes, dance classes, language classes, music throughout at different venues throughout the day and evening and a cinema, deck games a brilliant library with games and puzzle boards, dancing and happy hour in several bars. Onboard ms Noordam there was so little to do, in the end we stopped looking at the 'Whats on' for the following day as there was nothing unless you wanted to spend at the highly priced spar, shop, play bingo or visit the casino. Its such a shame that with a total of 20 sea days that more thought into entertaining the guests wasn't given. It was a cruise that seemed to appeal to an 'older' passenger, the average age approx 70. That being the case then why couldn't the entertainment happen during the day or early evening? BB Kings was something we had been looking forward to, unfortunately we only went twice, same songs, same set list and it started at 8.45pm, by 9.15 the audience were up dancing. Great, except that when the band took a break at 9.30 the audience departed for their beds !!! Why not make the set longer at an earlier time and just 2 performances a night to correspond with the timings of the theatre show ? All the empty space on the ship and it could and should have been used and enjoyed. After all the cruise should be all about the passenger experience. Happy and contented passengers will spend and they will cruise again with that line. We are wanting to visit South America, a must on the bucket list, but although Holland America have many interesting itineraries for that area we are looking at other companies after this experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016

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