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104 Canary Islands Romantic Cruise Reviews

We went Platinum this trip on NCL and no wonder with the incredible assistance they provided to me with my leg in a boot cast. I broke my ankle a few weeks before the trip. So I called my personal Cruise Consultant, who immediately stepped ... Read More
We went Platinum this trip on NCL and no wonder with the incredible assistance they provided to me with my leg in a boot cast. I broke my ankle a few weeks before the trip. So I called my personal Cruise Consultant, who immediately stepped up with a change of aft balcony to a handicapped aft balcony with no additional fee for the change. Then, she got me in touch with Special Needs At Sea for a motorized scooter which was delivered and retrieved from my stateroom. NCL arranged curbside wheelchair on/off assistance. So I was in business. What I especially appreciated were all the handicapped facilities from bathrooms to specially reserved easily accessible seats in the restaurants and showrooms. The buffet staff always assisted me and were very kind. The staff in Moderno were the very best. The stateroom attendant was also kind, leaving me ice each evening and morning to ice my ankle. The stateroom was fabulous with easily accessible bathroom and fold down seat in the shower. I can not imagine better treatment. The entertainment on NCL is always great but on the Epic there is so much to choose and to do. We did the Cirque Dreams and several shows. The pre-scheduling is a great idea with such a large contingent of passengers. I could not do some of the shore excursions but they were limited by the vendor buses which either could or could not transport the scooter. The pier in Tangiers was too long and without a tram, so I did not attempt that port. Instead I went to the Salon and had a wonderful day getting the works for my hair. Natalie was a treasure. I passed the whole afternoon there. We really needed this vacation after a long and difficult year. Thanks to NCL we more than got a great vacay. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We're do I start to payed just over 650 each for a large inside cabin crew which was spotless our cabin girl elana was great cabin number 7092 so a good start to holiday ok the magellan is a old lady of the sea which gives you her ... Read More
We're do I start to payed just over 650 each for a large inside cabin crew which was spotless our cabin girl elana was great cabin number 7092 so a good start to holiday ok the magellan is a old lady of the sea which gives you her lots of charm. as for the food it was realy very good the waiters and the chefs and we're first time class. The entertainment industry run by Johnathan and his team work in endless to entertain you plus a classical duo guest guest comedian and and opera singer and speakers and there was always something to do. We met at some lovely to people who and there were a few tears on the last day. On a negative note the passengers are a little on the older generation side which is nothing wrong with that but did a lot of complaining about silly little things instead of of looking for a the good things. Then there is was the young at heart that were having a good time whatever. Anyway thats it thank you to all the crew and to cruise and maritime a realy excellent cruise and I forgot to mention the drinks and package which is really good value for money even if if you're only a average drinker served by the hard working bar and restaurant waiting for staff Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
In cruising, as in life, some things you like, some you don`t and the NCL Epic is no exception, but the good far outweigh the bad. So, let`s get rid of the negatives straight away. The design is odd; from the well documented ... Read More
In cruising, as in life, some things you like, some you don`t and the NCL Epic is no exception, but the good far outweigh the bad. So, let`s get rid of the negatives straight away. The design is odd; from the well documented toilet/bathroom arrangement in the staterooms to the fact that the lifts are at either end of the ship. Also the casino area, even if you`re a gambler, is far too big and a lot of the tables are empty a lot of the time, so the staff could be better employed. The size of the ship is not a major issue, however, it`s all relative. We`ve sailed on the Jade and the Spirit, both of which are half the size of the Epic, so initially it looks a bit of a beast, but you soon get used to it, and it never feels overcrowded. So, now, let`s look at the positive side. The entertainment is fantastic, from the glittering stage shows and dance routines of Priscilla and Burn the Floor through to an excellent Motown show, a superb group of singers called 4Ever, and a couple of very funny comedians. Most of the shows have to be prebooked(unless you want to queue up on standby) as the theatre is really too small for a ship this size, although the acts do appear at different times throughout the cruise. Some of them also appear in another venue on the ship so you should be able to catch them at some point. There is also the Cavern Club where you will find the Epic Beatles, among others. Their sound and mannerisms are brilliant but you`ll need to be in early as it gets pretty packed. The comedy club is another venue with terrific entertainment and great atmosphere from some first class musicians. The one slight downside was the Cirque Sol for which we paid extra. What they did was very good but I was expecting trapeze rather than mainly ground based acts. Not quite what it said on the tin! I cannot fault the food. We ate in both the main restaurants, Taste and Manhattan, and thoroughly enjoyed all the meals, although the menu, particularly the starters should have had a better choice. In the Garden Cafe and O`Sheehan`s the food was equally as appertising. The service, overall, was faultless, very efficient, friendly and professional. And the cleanliness, amazing! We spotted on one occassion in the Manhattan an inspection of the tables down to the minutest detail that you would not find in a lot of top class establishments. Our steward, Rhayan, was magnificent; always available and kept the stateroom immaculate. Everytime I saw him it looked as though he`d just finished a 10 mile run. So, all in all, a very enjoyable cruise. Everbody has an opinion but don`t be put off by negative reviews. Thanks to all the crew on the Epic. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Our first cruise. My wife has always wanted to go on a cruise, I prefer to keep my feet on terra firm's, boots on and walking especially in Madeira. This holiday offered both, a cruise for my wife and a visit to my favourite place. ... Read More
Our first cruise. My wife has always wanted to go on a cruise, I prefer to keep my feet on terra firm's, boots on and walking especially in Madeira. This holiday offered both, a cruise for my wife and a visit to my favourite place. The cruise was also booked as our silver wedding present to ourselves. From the out set the holiday was a dream, seamless transfers, easy embarking, shown to a good sized, clean cabin. A walk around the ship revealed a host of bars and restaurants, we never got bored with the food and ate in a different place every night, sure it was crowded at times but if you adjust your schedule a little you could always find a seat. We enjoyed all of our stops despite the weather, but the stand out feature of this ship is the crew. I can't fault a single one, I'm a miserable old so and so, but you couldn't help smile with them, their work ethic is superb and they truly don't stop until you do. Special shouts to our stewards Nerico and Made and Helen Kurver (a gracious host at the Captains Table). The crew made our anniversary a special event that my wife and I will never forget. I thank you and recommend the ship to all in the highest possible terms. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our second cruise with Thomson and you get what you pay for basically. I've just read one negative review that made me determined to put my views on record. The review I have just read banged on about lack of standards, poor ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Thomson and you get what you pay for basically. I've just read one negative review that made me determined to put my views on record. The review I have just read banged on about lack of standards, poor food, poor entertainment. Reading between the lines this reviewer wanted Cunard services for Thomson prices!!! get real matey. Yes the ship is a bit tired and in need of a facelife here and there, but it was spotlessly clean. The cleaners were hoovering at midnight!!! the food is edible, and not slop or canteen like. All the staff were polite, happy and helpful. What more can you want? we purchased the drinks package before we departed and it was well worth it. I would recommend anyone planning a cruise to give this serious consideration. Thomson I understand are also the only cruise operator NOT to charge you an additional 200-300 dollars for gratuities, which after talking to some seasoned cruisers, was one of the plusses for them having had their fingers burned with some of the bigger operators. The enterainment team work their socks off and put on some good wholesome shows which were much enjoyed by those guests I spoke to. So, bottom line, if you are looking for VFM and don't want to break the bank, choose Thomson. if you want your afternoon tea served by some butler with white gloves, and paying over the odds for it, choose one of the other operators, there are plenty out there. No one is forcing you to choose Thomson. Me, well I am off in the autumn for another cruise, this time on Thomson Discovery, the new addition to the fleet and am looking forward to it. All my reviews are honest and should the Discovery not live up to expectations, of course this will come through in my comments. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I'm currently encounter home from our first P&O Cruise. We have cruised before with Celebrity and Thompsons. On arrival at the terminal we had to wait until our card was called, we only had a short wait and embarkation was ... Read More
I'm currently encounter home from our first P&O Cruise. We have cruised before with Celebrity and Thompsons. On arrival at the terminal we had to wait until our card was called, we only had a short wait and embarkation was pretty good. We boarded the ship there was nobody there to greet us and we had to find our way to our cabin, where our cases were sitting outside the door. Our inside cabin was on the 10th floor at the back of the boat. The cabin was spotless clean but not much room for manoeuvre. We had a double bed but the two upper singles folded into the wall meant we had to virtually crawl into and out of bed. There was loads of hanging and cupboard space but the toilet was small. We had bigger toilers in overnight ferries to France. There was a fridge that was handy, and tea/coffee making facilities which were replenished daily. Due to the location of the cabin, ever time the boat was docking, the noise was unbearable. There was heavy vibration throughout the room during the Is time. Due to having an atrium the ship was hard to get used to at first as you can only access areas at the front of the ship by going to certain floors. The ship was spotless clean throughout. We were assigned the Cinnamon restaurant but only ate there once as we prefer the buffet dining. The food was brilliant. There was something for everyone and it was always piping hot. The staff at the buffet and the restaurant were always friendly and chatty. The worked hard keeping the busy area clean. We had a meal in the Sindu Indian restaurant once, you pay £15 per head extra for this but I enjoyed it. We never tried the other restaurants. There is a pizzeria and burger bar at the pool. The food here was great however. There was no drinks machines around and you then needed to go back into the buffet restaurant for a tea/coffee. There is no drinks package like we have enjoyed on other cruises. Bar prices were not too bad. A vodka and mixer was £4.75 as was a glass of prosecco. A pint of peroni was about £3.75. We would still prefer the drink package to save continually checking our account for onboard spend. You are allowed to take your own drink onboard and also what you buy offshore but not what you buy on the ships duty free shop which is a little pointless. The entertainment was not the greatest. However a huge shout out to the Headliners who were fantastic. It we never seen enough of them, we also enjoyed the tribute acts to John Denver and Annie Lennox was amazing. The other acts were pianists, a violinist and a few comedians. There were also an ex policeman and jeweller speakers if that's your cup of tea. The quizzes in the Exchange we're good,with something for everyone. Andrea was a great hostess. The karaoke hostess, Lauren however was allowing the same singers singing the same songs and not allowing new singers up which was disappointing. We spent some time in the casino which was good fun. Croupiers Gypsy, Jemima were always happy to see us and gave friendly advice to us beginners to ensure we players with The proper table etiquette. The waiters around the exchange and Havana were brilliant. A special mention to Joel, Neil and Who were always laughing and happy to see us. There are shops onboard selling bags, jewellery, and a range of duty free items, plenty of choice however, I wouldn't buy anything for the first few days as there are normally special offers throughout the cruise on items. We bought a painting I the gallery after being assured there would be no further discounts on these only to find 10% sale the next day. A visit to tbd gallery to discuss this and the lady was happy to give us the discount retrospectively. The ports we stopped at were Lisbon, Lanzerote, Santa Cruz, Teneriffe, Gran CanariA, Madeira, Las Palmas, La Coruna. Madeira was our favourite. This was also the cheapest for the duty fee cigs and spirits, even cheaper than the ship. We never done any excursions as it was easy enough to get around independently however don't rely on too much help with this from the staff. Overall we had a great time, met loads of nice people too. The only thing was the weather which can't be helped I suppose. Out of our three cruises Celebrity still way way ahead for everything but P&O now 2nd with Thompsons third. Hope this helps you prepare for your trip. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Pre curise booking was a nightmare - so many errors - had to go into travel shop three times and was still not sorted by the time we left re flights. Seating on aircraft very compact - upgrade if you can but avoid seats right next to the ... Read More
Pre curise booking was a nightmare - so many errors - had to go into travel shop three times and was still not sorted by the time we left re flights. Seating on aircraft very compact - upgrade if you can but avoid seats right next to the bulkhead in the first row. Staff, service [with a few exceptions] and entertainment in general absolutely first class. Particular credit to our two cabin staff and our waiters . Nice choice of bars, lounges and facilities throughout the ship to suit all ages and tastes from a card room to jubilee lounge. Masses of indoor space even on a full ship [all cabins taken our friends got the last one available]. Very small gym and saunas - didnt use due to risk from virus. Majesty shows her age but is basically comfy if a little worn in places. There are stabilizers - cabins in the middle of the ship move the least!!! Thomsons will only run her until sometime in 2017 so I dont expect a lot of updates to be forthcoming. Pool deck crowded, noisy, facilities withdrawn - days spoilt with no pool or jacuzzis, loungers crammed and hard to find a free one and over crowded, [think seals basking on scrobie sands]. They should never have filled in the extra deck space up there to add the cafe. Top deck food serveries - Cafe Royale closed leading to chaos and jams in the San Marco and long queues to other restaurants. Obviously the ship was in lock down with norovirus - suddenly salt and peppers vanished off tables and all food was handed out only by staff causing chaos. Staff were fervently cleaning absolutely everything - we met various people who had been confined to their cabins by the medical officer. Food - you had plenty of choice and you could find something you liked - but it was obviously done to a very tight budget - so nothing special - ie seafood, steaks etc unless you paid extra. One night we paid £24 for two steaks and they were absolutely fabulous. There was a lot of repetition and on occasion the portions were minuscule, not a lot of green veg.. Puddings were particularly disappointing. As I said I found things I could enjoy but since I did not put on on ounce of weight [a good thing] I wasnt that tempted!!!! I recommend purchasing the drinks package - but the cocktails were very weak! Some odd exclusions - but i was happy with the house wine , cocktails, lemonade and the odd liqueur. Water is not part of the package which as i love fizzy water was a pain. You can purchase on shore leave and bring it back on board! Shore trips rather over priced - in some ports you could easily do your own thing and for a lot less money. Madeira and Grand Canaria particularly interesting and easy to get around. Local buses were very cheap - Grand Canaria Port to old town 1 euro 20 each way!. Trips up Madeira cable car and on land train in La Palma were both worth doing. Organization for embarkation and disembarkation was fantastic [hint take something very colourful to mark your suitcases out when they are lined up with 300 others! Use cable ties to secure.] Suitcases delivered very quickly to cabin. Daily ships news and map of town where docked very informative and helpful. Reception staff charming and helpful. Unfortunately I had paid a LOT of money to upgrade for a quiet cabin with a balcony and what we got was overhead noise from 5am in the morning so loud that it was impossible to sleep through even with ear plugs! This really ruined my week in the same way that people who caught the virus had their week ruined. It turned out to be service trolleys not sun loungers being moved [in the dark?] as suggested by other reviewers. One morning it was 3.50am!!!! Thomsons need to sort this out -! as it effects the most expensive cabins. Hence my marking down value for money and the cabin which is a shame as the cabin was exactly as described in the brochure [so read before you book] and what I was expecting. Check you have no obstructions if you like a clear view from your cabin - some have views that are very obstructed - Thomsons can tell you by what actual percentage!!!!. Overall - the sunshine made up for a lot, we met some lovely people and saw a variety of islands - i am glad there was only one" all day" at sea. The staff are such an asset to the Majesty - they really help to make this a positive experience. Thomsons need to make improvements to their organization and transparency in what they are actually supplying. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
FLIGHT Good flight, on time. No TV to watch or food supplied but onboard food and drink available to purchase. EMBARKATION Hassle free. Stepped off the bus and joined a very short queue to register our bank cards, check in and be ... Read More
FLIGHT Good flight, on time. No TV to watch or food supplied but onboard food and drink available to purchase. EMBARKATION Hassle free. Stepped off the bus and joined a very short queue to register our bank cards, check in and be issued with our cruise passes. We were onboard within 15 mins. ENTERTAINMENT The entertainment team worked their socks off. Shows were very good, and also activities around the ship. FOOD Breakfast buffet service on deck 10 we found the food to be warm at best, however the buffet service for breakfast in the Seven seas restaurant on deck 5 seemed to be much hotter. Lunch and evening meals we enjoyed the waiter service in the restaurant. Always found something to eat and enjoy from the menu. Waiters were friendly and appeared happy to be doing their job. THE BARS We were surprised by just how much choice there was to choose from on the drinks package. Initially thought it would have been all foreign choices but Smirnoff, Bicardi etc all on offer. Wine was very drinkable too :-) THE SHIP While the ship may be old and look tired in places the crew kept it in an immaculately clean condition and were always seen cleaning something or other. OVERALL This was our 3rd cruise with Thomsons . Having been on many past cruises and spending a fair amount of £££ on the bigger ships/ companies I have come to the conclusion that Thomsons have got it right. Yes there was no Tv/ Free food supplied on the flight. No free bus from the ports into town. And on a plus NO GRATUITIES to pay. I would rather have these choice to make than it be compulsory with added on extras to total cost of the holiday. Its easy for people to criticize and compare with the bigger companies but they seem to forget the cost is nowhere near comparable. From now on I think I will be sticking to Thomsons for future cruises. Certainly great value for money. Well done Thomsons :-) Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
How lucky are these cruise companies to keep such loyal, hardworking crew ?! On this ship (as on Fred Olsen Boudicca my other review) almost to a "man" they worked hard for long hours regardless of start/finish time whilst ,no ... Read More
How lucky are these cruise companies to keep such loyal, hardworking crew ?! On this ship (as on Fred Olsen Boudicca my other review) almost to a "man" they worked hard for long hours regardless of start/finish time whilst ,no doubt as instructed, remaining energetic, cheerful and courteous. Without this elite standard of relentless service the cruise we've come home from would have sunk without trace. Political-correctness-gone-mad prevents me from penning comments about ethnic origins and contracts up for review versus permanent posts awarded to whatever ethnic group. I loath the gratuity loading system and, this time, opted out.I feel that, somehow, this is an underhand method of massaging the company's wage bill. Instead I generously tipped the many who afforded us special service, spending far more than would have been added to my on board spend. On the reverse side, these diligent crew who were drinks waiters seemed driven beyond the desire to provide a service. Could they be target/commission/threshold motivated ? They frequently chimed into conversations and company with an absence of the commonplace courtesy of their colleagues. However, no great problem. The standard of food was excellent. The menu was varied and imaginative. These people can cook and present fish dishes, by the way ! The restaurants, along with all the other venues, excepting the arena theater to a degree, just aren't commodious enough to COMFORTABLY accommodate all who wish to avail themselves of them. A great percentage of two seater accommodation in the restaurants were no more than multi seater tables split by inches. A squashy backrest served as one seat into the bargain. The seating arrangement in the Tamarind, Havana and red room was so ill designed it made attending the venues not uncomfortable exactly, but not as carefree as one would hope on holiday, let alone a cruise. It wouldn't take an interior designer of note to fathom out furnishing plans in what, otherwise, would do in the perfectly spacious rooms- simply someone with a bit of common sense. Mr. P&O has never tried to get a seat and remain comfortable in these venues, I'll bet. "Top line entertainment" heralds the blurb. It wasn't rubbish. Much of it one could easily turn up at the local or social club and get something akin. Some of it was astounding. There were musicians among the resident group and band who were punching well below their weight. It was a privilege to hear them. They were pushed into the distance by mediocre front artists. No one was urged to dance thanks to the flat atmosphere created by the rooms, stage presence and the entertainment management altogether. One group specialised in music that I love but were unbearable thanks to a terrible imbalance of the individual component musicians. However, entertainment was ever present throughout the day. I, personally, enjoy a lounge type of environment with, perhaps, a pianist or lounge entertainer. The metropolis seemed to be just the thing I was looking forward to. We tried it a couple of times and, whilst the furnishings weren't too badly arranged, the duo were so irritating, twice was sufficient. There's absolutely nothing to say about our balcony cabin nor the steward. If I spent all day in the cabin and on the balcony with the odd cabin serviced breakfast, down for mealtimes in my monkey suite and catch a couple of worthwhile shows-well-I've got my money's worth. I want my wife to be comfortable and treated like a lady. Thanks to my tipping regime, that's precisely what I got. My wife enjoys a swim on a cruise but, the pool areas were so uninviting she gave it a miss. One pool area caters for the smokers (if you enjoy passive smoking take a trip along deck 15) who were ever present and the other for the packed cafe's overflow. Going onto the deck above was somewhat more enjoyable and that is what we did. Take a tip from me. Go on the coach. We went by Cruise Connect. This is like a "get out of jail free card" when embarking and disembarking. I still can't believe the ease of arriving and leaving. Again, political-correctness-gone-mad prevents me from airing my true views. Suffice is to say, a percentage of our fellow passengers didn't seem to fully appreciate nor avail themselves of the high, professional class of service which could be achieved. Value for money ? Undeniably so. Compare this cruise to what would be available on land, considering the sum of all components, there's nothing to touch it. We've returned, however, not having not enjoyed our holiday. To say that would be silly. "Cruising", however, conjures up an impression of sophistication, panache,style, class and the zenith of luxury. I guess the cruise companies are actively working to dispel this profile in order to encourage all comers. I doubt we'll cruise again. Certainly not with P&O. Shame. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Delays are every part of life, and this also includes sailing off into the so called Sunshine for a Christmas, New Year Cruise. Unfortunately there was a 5 hour delay leaving Tilbury, due to apparent bad weather on the English ... Read More
Delays are every part of life, and this also includes sailing off into the so called Sunshine for a Christmas, New Year Cruise. Unfortunately there was a 5 hour delay leaving Tilbury, due to apparent bad weather on the English Channel.!!! Our first port of call was to be Gibraltor on Boxing Day. But, again there was the apparently bad weather excuse to sail across the Bay of Biscay. So our first port was Antwerp, at the cost of not visiting Lanzarote. ( seems strange, it was to bad to sail out across the Bay of Biscay, but not too bad to sail back.) We did however pick up the wife and son of a Senior member of the Ships bridge up at Antwerp, and they disembarked at Lisburn as not too endure the almost dangerous weather on the Bay of Biscay. We had one evening we will never forget whilst sailing back across the Bay of Biscay when Waiters were thrown about and almost everything was thrown of the dining tables. Later that evening we was treated to Air Sea Rescue, air lifting a passenger/Passengers off the ship. Even though this was predomently a British passenger cruise over the Christmas/ New Year period, there was very little Christmas spirit given by any of the entertainment staff. No Mince Pies, Christmas Cake or Christmas Pudding. Christmas Dinner comprised with one and Half Brussels Sprouts.....there was NO Christmas tradition on board this ship. Only real highlight to this cruise was the lovely people we met and the New Year Fireworks spectacular in Funchal Maderia. I felt the entertainment was very very poor indeed, and didn't seem any real direction or participation from the cruise director who seemed more preoccupied with other things. Although myself and wife spent nearly a year looking forward to this cruise, I'm afraid we will never sail on this ship again or possibly with the Cruise company. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Just back from our Christmas and New Year cruise and yet again we absolutely loved it. As per usual,you can't please all of the people all of the time and I accept some people favour other cruise lines but I can honestly say some ... Read More
Just back from our Christmas and New Year cruise and yet again we absolutely loved it. As per usual,you can't please all of the people all of the time and I accept some people favour other cruise lines but I can honestly say some people moan for the sake of moaning. I could fault barely anything and in response to the previous critic, we do NOT cruise with P & O simply because of the name, if that was the case,we would cruise with Cunard. A very few minor details could be improved on, the furniture on the Atrium deck on the slightly higher level does need replaced, can't say my holiday was ruined because of that!! Secondly some of the cleaners are a bit haphazard but only two places did I notice this on the entire ship, one was in Le Club and it was the shelf below the window and the second was the cleaner cleaning the tables on deck 6 with a very wet cloth and not drying them after but again,not a huge issue that ruined our holiday. We pay a lot to do these Christmas cruises as we choose to book a mini suite, I'm not boasting, just letting other people know that if the ship was THAT bad, we would not choose to cruise with P & O again. The food was splendid, the cabin fantastic and the staff were all amazing. I do agree re the poor entertainment, we don't bother with Footlights or Starlights but choose to sit and listen to the entertainers in the bars, one singer and guitarist was very good but his repetoire never seemed to change and most of his songs were slow. What P & O need is some good foot stomping music, like Irish or Scottish folk, just for a change, the female singers were abysmal and we actually had to leave a bar because of the poor vocals and off key singing but again, we don't go cruising for the entertainment but we heard a lot of people raving about some of the shows, so again, it all comes down to taste. The food was fantastic, I'm vegetarian and every night without fail, the head waiter came to take my order for the next night (I needed to pre order from a separate menu) My husband who ate from the normal menu said all his meals were fab, yet some people continually moaned, I really have no idea about what. One couple we spoke to (who were loving their cruise) said they were at a table where one couple had a note pad and she was telling her husband to note down that the peas were too hard, oh dear, I nearly choked on my wine when told that, how hilarious. Christmas day, we had a slight hiccup as our table was double booked, due to some people ignoring the times they were allocated, anyway, we did mention it to reception and immediately the manager, Lawrence came to see us, he couldn't apologise enough and gave us a bottle of wine and made sure we got our table for two every night without having to wait (we were freedom diners) 5 star service. We also needed to get a plumber to our loo as it was filling up with water too much, same day, problem fixed. So, don't be put off by the minority of complainers, we're as fussy as they come and if this was a truly awful ship, we would not be using her again but as it is, we already have her booked for this coming Christmas and New year, can't wait to see the spectacular fireworks in Madeira again. Well done P & O Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
On a negative here sadly. My wife and I have done 20 plus cruises and this was our first NCL , it will likely be our last with these folks , sadly. We booked a mini suite which seemed identical to our friends standard balcony, ... Read More
On a negative here sadly. My wife and I have done 20 plus cruises and this was our first NCL , it will likely be our last with these folks , sadly. We booked a mini suite which seemed identical to our friends standard balcony, perhaps a slight oversell but I could live with that. The complimentary drinks package was appealing but bottles of water were excluded as were coffees???? Again the above I can live with . Service levels however were shockingly bad,staff didn't seem to care , likely as they knew we had packages , no excuse however, and there was a dire shortage of waiting staff in the public bars. The casino takes up way too much room with huge gaps at tables, many of which were empty, bars were too small for the ships capacity and people could not get into their favourite spots at night, badly designed and laid out is my opinion here. Our room attendant was fabulous, helpful, polite and very keen to please so there's a plus. Entertainment was very poor , live shows average at best and I'm being kind here. The Beat,Es show was allegedly good but as Cavern was small we could never get in. Movie options in cabin were fine however. We have never had such poor entertainment and service in all of our cruises and feel cheated as we really looked forward to this. The itinerary was clearly designed to keep us spending onboard with 5. Yes 5 days at sea, incredulous snot it?? Sorry NCL I won't be recommending you Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Our previous cruise experience has been with smaller ships in particular Fred Olsen and we were rather nervous about taking a holiday on a larger ship during the Christmas season but went with an open mind. LOVED The quality and ... Read More
Our previous cruise experience has been with smaller ships in particular Fred Olsen and we were rather nervous about taking a holiday on a larger ship during the Christmas season but went with an open mind. LOVED The quality and choice of entertainment. Saw the cirque show (with dinner), Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Burn the Floor, Howl at the Moon and a Four Tops tribute and all without exception were wonderful. Cabin - the layout was great and I though the loo being separate was a great idea. Super shower and lots of storage space. I thought the tea/coffee maker was ace and would like one for home! Garden Cafe - the sheer volume of choice and quality of food made this a winner for me (and I don't like melamine plates or self service so that's saying something!) Dauphinois potatoes each day was just heaven (although not for my waistline) and the interesting and varied salads were lush. Really quality fruit as well. We usually had no problem finding a table (just the 2 of us) and I truly didn't think I'd enjoy this restaurant as much as I did Waves bar - being a smoker we frequented deck 15 for the smoking area and first encountered the lovely Ravi bartender who became our favourite over the holiday and who did amazing cocktails for us - great credit to NCL LIKED Choice of restaurants - shame about Cagneys (but we were refunded), loved Le Bistro and that we could eat in Taste or Manhatten (although they were a bit souless being so huge and of course with Freestyle dining you don't get to know a particular group of people or the waiter - however I still prefer eating when I want) Art Gallery - The young man in charge really knew his stuff and they didn't hassle you at all - bought a lovely painting that I'm thrilled with. Ports of Call - interesting and no hassle or queues getting on or off NOT SO GOOD Queues - now we Brits are used to it and the Americans too form 'lines' but its not the same in all cultures and queue jumping was the norm for bars, restaurants and shows. Bars especially were difficult to get served. Indoor seating space. Several evenings we walked round just trying to find a spare table or a couple of seats together and there weren't any. I guess that with so much to do there has to be a payoff and expansive areas of seating is one of them - however I'd accept that for the benefits Noise - even on quiet decks (as another reviewer has mentioned) there is musak playing and its not pleasant. However, its a busy, fun ship and you have to accept that it will be noisy on the up side though the cabin was blissfully peaceful and quiet. DISLIKED Sorry but the 'gangs' of kids. As they got to know each other towards the end of the cruise, groups of teens (several as 'hoodies') would lurch along together and on deck were quite menacing. I often crossed the deck to avoid them. (I heard on the way home that they were caught throwing sunloungers off the side of the boat!) overall though ,we had a wonderful holiday and would definitely sail with NCL on this boat again Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My wife and I had been on many NCL cruises before. This time we went all out for our 25th wedding anniversary and stayed in a Penthouse suite in the famous NCL Haven (ship withing a ship). We had stayed in a Penthouse suite before but ... Read More
My wife and I had been on many NCL cruises before. This time we went all out for our 25th wedding anniversary and stayed in a Penthouse suite in the famous NCL Haven (ship withing a ship). We had stayed in a Penthouse suite before but never in the Haven. We picked the NCL Epic because of the size, event and location to Morocco and the Canary Islands. We cruised out of this port before and expected about the same line, which they were. Not too many delays because this port seems to be active and organized. Our concierge escorted us to the Haven where we were seated in the lounge and given about a 20 minute tour of the Haven advantages. We then went on our own to the room. When we first walked in we noticed 2 things. 1: A terrible smell of mold in the room 2: how small it was compared to the other Penthouse suite we had on the NCL sun. We called the concierge and reported the smell and they came up immediately and said they didn't notice the smell...fyi, I'm SUPER allergic to mold and have extra sensitive smell to it. Thinking it was my imagination, I went on like I didn't smell anything but asked the to spray daily some type of chlorine to remove the smell. During the cruise, the smell got worse. They called up plumbing and they lifted on the drain areas and put down air fresheners. It improved the smell but the mold was still there. Then from day one, the TV would not work, it kept shutting off not allowing us to use the new Aliance system that you can schedule dinners, excursions, etc. on it. We lost our day at sea waiting for IT to fix it since we had to be in the room while it was being looked at. If you understand the layout of these new rooms on the Epic, there was no privacy to use the bathroom or to shower so we had to use public restrooms. The TV wasn't repair until the 2nd to the last day of the cruise. Finally, about 5 days into the cruise we noticed the floor being wet. We though that maybe the cabin steward spilled some water of something cleaning the room. Over the next couple of days, the spot got larger and larger and finally the whole carpet was wet and they found a leak and the mold under the tub enclosure. NOTE: They wanted us to leave the room for 4 hours while they could dry it? They eventually moved us the last night to another room. Didn't even help us move our stuff. In the end, the Hotel Director gave us $500 credit on our bill and apologized. The room cost us over $1200 per night. As far as the excursions, they were average and it seemed like the tour operators were bothered that they had to work over Christmas and didn't seem to like Americans. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Background: My wife and I (aged 60 & 62) are new to cruising - we took a Last Minute Budget All Inclusive Mediterranean 7 Day Cruise in June 2014 to see if this type of holiday suited us before committing to a more expensive and ... Read More
Background: My wife and I (aged 60 & 62) are new to cruising - we took a Last Minute Budget All Inclusive Mediterranean 7 Day Cruise in June 2014 to see if this type of holiday suited us before committing to a more expensive and sophisticated version over Xmas and New Year (18/12/15 to 05/01/16). We booked (3 weeks before departure in the Black Friday Sale) the Balmoral sailing to the Canaries and Cape Verde Islands. I gambled that I would be 'signed off' by the hospital physiotherapist on 4th December after a hip replacement operation - I need not have worried! The main attraction of the cruise was a) Winter Sun and b) visits to 6 ports over 18 days to give a decent balance of sea days and visits. We actually visited only 4 ports and spent 14 days at sea - not what we signed up for! Travel to Embarkation: We drove from Fife, Scotland whilst the Forth Bridge was closed so had to leave at 03:30. We had booked the Marriott Meon Valley Overnight Stay, Free Parking (up to 28 days), Evening Meal (extra charge), Breakfast and free taxi to/from Southampton Cruise Terminal. Total cost £212.88 compared to £136 for only the Port Parking - £76 for Dinner, B&B and taxi transport for 2 adults was very good value for money and the entire operation was smooth. friendly and professional. Ship Information: 1300 berth stretched 27 year old vessel - not a modern tower of flats at sea by any means - 'shabby chic' is a reasonable description - care worn but serviceable. The ship is very clean and the Norovirus protection regimes is borderline obsessive - a good point - with two auto dispensers and two serving staff in support, armed with manual 'squeegee' antiseptic dispensers. The cruise brochure says that Fred doesn't bother with climbing walls etc - just as well since the average passenger age is about 70 (with a fair few in the late 50s/early 60s age range and a lot of 80 years+ passengers). The Reception Area (Deck 6) on embarkation afternoon resembled a Mobility Support Convention - buggies, zimmerframes, crutches and walking sticks in all sizes and hues - until everyone had found their cabins. About 6 shops on Decks 6 & 7 - watches, perfumes and a decent range of clothing & accessories, especially bearing in mind the space constraints - we only used the clothing shop (needed the next size of shirt after 12 days of cruise dining ...) and the service was excellent. There is a promenade on Deck 7 (4 laps for a mile) where the Daily Walk (led by Hristov from the Gym) takes place at 09:15 - not well attended because most people were either eating breakfast or undertaking other activities. Throughout the day, a hardcore of power walkers and a couple of joggers were steaming around - the deck width is just comfortable for two strollers side-by-side so it is necessary to squeeze in when the 'Scuse me ...' cry goes up as the more athletic zoom by. Most entertaining when the overtaking occurs on the slalom sections where the walkers and joggers have to dodge the crew who are on permanent repainting duty (more of which later). Don't wear your best jeans or shorts when walking unless you want a free white stripe on the right leg. The poolside furniture is plentiful as are the seats on the promenade deck - but all is well worn with yellowing rubber support straps for the seating/reclining portions - careworn but serviceable. Pools (seawater) and jacuzzis are on Deck 7 (rear of Palms Cafe) and Deck 11 (can be reached by both internal and external stairs - good exercise). The Daily Newsletter became something of a joke - no proofreading undertaken. Crosswords were printed without corresponding clues - make up your own answers ... and details of one port of call for Cape Verde was a straight 'cut & paste' from an earlier voyage, referring to a port in the Azores! Cabins: We booked the Anchor Fare Inside Cabin and were allocated number 5031 on Deck 5 - about six cabins short of the prow of the ship - like sleeping on a roller coaster during the Bay of Biscay section in each direction. Wardrobes, between-bed chest of drawers and dressing table were worn and a catch was missing from the chest of drawers and one from the wardrobe. Only a problem in the Bay of Biscay where drawers flew open every 20 minutes or so and after the chair we jammed against the drawers travelled some 6 feet down the cabin, we gave up and lived with the cacophony. The furniture quality was 'decent charity shop' standard - usually advertised at up to £35 each unit. Cabin cleaning and bedmaking/turning down was excellent every day, despite the staff having more cabins to clean than on previous years (according to other passengers). The cabin crew and serving staff are really superb and should be the standard that other areas of the operation aspire to. Towels were changed regularly and the bathroom kept spotless - a lot of work since the washbasin is quite shallow and the 'Off to Full Power' settings on the tap were very fine, resulting in the mirror being spottled with splashes each time it was used. The shower was very powerful but the hot to cold setting was very fine - a challenge not to burn or freeze. There was no waiting time for the water to heat up - less than 5 seconds. Dining: Formal dining in the Ballindalloch (Deck 6) and Avon and Spey restaurants (Deck 10) whilst Palms Buffet on Deck 7 served breakfast, morning coffee (and cakes), lunch, afternoon tea (and cakes), evening meal, Supper Club (and cakes) which explains why I bought a larger shirt ... We were allocated Ballindalloch restaurant for Dinner (2nd sitting, which we requested so that we could have maximum time in port - sore point). The serving staff in all restaurants are excellent and are probably a major reason for Fred's loyal customer base; the sight of a waiter (humming 'Here Comes the Bride'), carrying two bowls of soup at the same time as supporting two quite frail elderly ladies who clung onto his arm as we crossed the Bay of Biscay in really heavy seas, was a joy to behold. Yosi ('You see' phonetically) and Jonathan were superb - remembered names, preferences etc faultlessly - and were endlessly cheerful in the face of some rude comments from other diners. They are a credit to Fred (as is Ruby-Ann in the Morning Light Pub). Serving staff in the Palms were a little more relaxed but still looked after passengers excellently. We took lunch in the Ballindalloch (and breakfast on 2-3 days) and also in the Avon and Spey restaurants (but not when crossing the Bay of Biscay - the sway was too much!) and were delighted with the service, quality and range of food - I am a picky eater and valued the ability to choose from the Menu and then forage in the buffet area to produce some quite eclectic food combinations that would probably have caused chef to despair. Other meals were taken in the Palms where the talents of the pastry chef were always evident - consistently superb. Entertainment: Meets the needs of the client group - safe. clean and gentle. The comedian was the most 'edgy' but kept to mildly naughty so very difficult to be upset. The nightly shows in the Neptune Lounge (Deck 7) were well produced - a couple of strong singers, from the in-house company, carried those whose voices were weaker or a little off-key. The crew panto was very energetic, rich in slapstick and generated lots of belly laughs - deserved for the amount of work that had gone into rehearsal. Not Broadway or West End - but it never claimed to be - and a pleasant way to pass the evening. Quizzes, Art & Crafts Classes, Bridge Classes, Line Dancing and Guest Speakers completed the line up. Some Guest Speakers were very good, others were very bad (one sent me to sleep - and other passengers suffered the same fate). The Elvis impersonator never appeared on stage although he was spotted wandering around the Decks from time to time. I believe these are volunteer Speakers who receive a free cruise for their efforts so it is unfair to expect experts in their field. The Rosario Trio played at least twice each day (violin, double bass and guitar) and had a really good and broad repertoire - jazz. classical, Spanish guitar etc. Very popular with the audience. The scheduled shows were changed on at least 3 occasions because of staff illness so the Entertainment Cancellations alternated with the Port Cancellations to keep the passengers guessing. Excursions: This is where matters fell apart with a vengeance. The itinerary was Funchal, Arrecife, Cape Verde (Mindelo and Praia), Las Palmas and Tenerife. At the Captain's Welcome Party (queued 15 minutes to meet him but then told 'just enter the Lounge at the other entrance when we declined to be photographed - grrr!), he said that there was an exciting new project - we had left Southampton with a white hull but would return with a new grey version. Our visit to Funchal was then cancelled (via the 'Daily Cancellation Broadcast' at noon each day), allegedly because of delays crossing the Bay of Biscay. In the absence of hard information from the Captain, rumours circulated that there were engine problems and that the power was inadequate after the new section of ship was added some years ago, meaning that the timetable was too tight for the plod across the Bay of Biscay, unless it was 'like a millpond with a good downhill slope' as one passenger eruditely described matters. Our first port visit was to Arrecife, Lanzarote was 23rd December after 5 days at sea. A 5 minute trip to the town in modern coaches that operated a smooth 15 minute shuttle service. This was the port where the Guest Speaker had sent me to sleep so everything was a pleasant surprise - the old castle and port area were very pleasant as was the small mini-pontoon where small private boats were moored and the circumference was occupied by market traders selling belts, wallets etc - the standard range. The town centre was pleasant in a low key fashion - we just wandered around and took photos (second objective of the cruise - wander, take pictures, drink coffee at an internet cafe, then repeat after lunch ...). It was nice to be on terra firma again. Christmas Eve and Day at sea - the atmosphere was a little muted with mutterings of discontent - 'It wouldn't be Fred if he didn't cancel at least one port - and this is our 4th cruise with him!' was one remark we overheard. Boxing Day was spent at Mindelo, Cape Verde. The tour buses were real museum pieces (40 years old oil burners - could have come from a film set!) - no air conditioning, seat belts and Anchor fare passengers were charged £5 each for the 10 minute ride to town). Mindelo town is a very poor area but we were stopped 3 times by locals who were very keen to practice spoken English and to tell us where to get the best photographs. We found a side street cafe (as did about 4-5 other passengers from the cruise) and spent a very pleasant hour or so amongst local residents, drinking huge mugs of capuccino and using the free WiFi - all for the princely sum of €2.30! On the walk back towards the tour bus, we were approached twice by beggars/pickpockets who were quite persistent - kept walking, tightened grip on camera and raised monitoring until we were back in the Town Centre. The Town Beach is quite charming - fishermen working, females taking the catch direct from the small boats and the running the length of the street trying to sell the fish to the cafes and restaurants. Numerous dogs on the beach, none of whom are toilet trained, so be careful if you need to step back to capture that important photograph. Mindelo is a developing area and I had to remind myself that my 'charming/quaint' photograph was someone else's daily poverty. Well worth the visit - although we seemed to be the only passengers who thought so! The island and its residents are working hard to develop tourism but it is very raw and basic - we hope to see it again before it becomes too commercialised. Next day was Praia, Cape Verde where we took the 2 hours minibus and Colonial Walk Tour with Eugene, a very erudite and entertaining guide who told us about his family and daily life for the Verdeans. Excellent pace - we have been on similar tours where the duration was crammed into 1-1.25 hours; Eugene left plenty of time for the photographers so we didn't miss any of the information at the next point of interest and we finished with a 30 minute cafe break for a coffee and a meat pie of unknown origins - it might have part of a rodent control team in a former life - who knows - but it tasted OK. 2 hours was probably a wee bit padded but it allowed a gentle pace and we felt we had received good value for our £25 per head charge for the excursion. The only downside was an attempted pickpocketing on my wife by a small 'blind' boy (no white stick and walked with far too much pace and direction to be visually impaired - no coincidence that his contact point was my wife's purse but her hand had reached it first). We left Praia early because, according to the Captain, quote 'This is not a safe place to be after dark' unquote. It would have been nice to have been advised of this earlier! Next came the Captain's Cancellation Message - Tenerife had been cancelled because he was expecting more bad weather (a staff member whose parents were on board had predicted this some 48 hours earlier ...) BUT, as a bonus (!), we would have more shore time in Las Palmas. We were pretty cynical by this time and had heard that Fred has a large operation in Las Palmas (tour buses, inter-island ferries) and so has a little more leverage. Because, staying until 23:00, the majority of the hull repainting was completed in port. Did Funchal and/or Tenerife refuse permission for a badger-coloured vessel to dock? The next Captain's promise was to 'try and dock off Funchal for the New Year's fireworks - we can't dock because there are no berths but I have a plan ...' This involved the ship circling in the outer reaches of the port for about 3 hours - great views of the fireworks display but going round in circles is not the same as a full day visit! A passenger was taken ill during the night and we had to return to Funchal at about 04:00 for a hospital transfer; later that day, we had to turn back towards Funchal for about 45 minutes to enable a helicopter evacuation of a sick passenger but this was aborted - we heard later that the passenger had died. Despite these delays, we managed to stay ahead of schedule for the rest of the voyage, despite slowing down to a 'pootle' speed for over 30 hours - we still arrived in Southampton some 2 hours ahead of schedule despite a real 'force majeure' Bay of Biscay storm that led to a string of injuries and the closure of the public areas of the ship to passengers one evening. The difference in distance between Tenerife-Southampton and Las Palmas-Southampton is only some 150 nautical miles and, had we maintained a normal speed, instead of dawdling for over 30 hours, we could have made Tenerife for the scheduled visit. This is supported by the fact that the Black Watch was in Funchal at the same time as the Balmoral but was still able to reach Liverpool before we made Southampton on the same day! Why doesn't Fred stay with the published itinerary - or at least refund the Port Taxes that the fare includes? Disembarkation: Smooth and quick after breakfast that was served from 06:30. We were waiting for our taxi back to Marriott Meon Valley Hotel at about 08:15 to collect our car - perfect! Conclusion: We booked the cruise because of the destinations - to cancel 2 from 6 is shoddy, as was the manner in which the reasons were given. The changes to the Entertainments at short notice and the Daily Newsletter/Misinformation sheet merely compounded the problem. The superb service by the serving and cabin staff was spoiled by the senior operational Managers who really should lead by example. Fred appears to have become cynical and complacent, trading on the ageing client group who value/need these elements. We may need to be guided to our seat and have our food fetched in 10-15 years' time - we have no intention of cruising with Fred until we reach that state. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We previously sailed on the Celebration, same itinary. Bad choice!! We nearly gave up on Thomson cruises because of that experience but decided to give Thomson anothe go, and we are glad we did. The Majesty is a much nicer ship than ... Read More
We previously sailed on the Celebration, same itinary. Bad choice!! We nearly gave up on Thomson cruises because of that experience but decided to give Thomson anothe go, and we are glad we did. The Majesty is a much nicer ship than the celebration, cleaner, more modern, better maintained, more stable, less vibration, better eateries, better bars, better theatre/ lounge better cabins, the list goes on. Embarkation was quick, well organised and easy. Met Adam again from the Celebration on the quayside,...such a nice boy! Pleasantly surprised how much better than our previous experience on the Celebration. The Majesty feels better straight away and the buffet feels like a cruise ship buffet unlike the one on the Celebration which feels like a works canteen. Had a nice birthday meal in the Bistro (cover charge applies) and other nights alternated our eating between the main restaurants and once in the buffet. No problems really but the usual strange combinations on offer and often food was less tha 'hot'. Entertainment was very good, as it ws onthe Celebration. Buster, the visiting comedian was good and had a nice chat with him when we bumped into him on shore, but he gets sick of people wandering up to him like they know him. We took part in most quizzes and had a good laugh, winning a couple of bits too. It all adds to the expirience. Also went to the Polo bar for the impromptu late night sing along with Buster and Jason. That was definately one of the highlights. I did hear someone complaining the next day about the noise but the reason the sing along was so good was because it was in the bar, not the show lounge. Some people........ Met some great people as well, funny characters, and met a lovely couple while we were enjoying my birthday in the bistro. even though I kept getting the ladys name wrong (Glenda, not Brenda as my wife kept reminding me!!). The ports were all as expected though our organised excursion to Taradount in Morocco was all too brief. More time to wander would be great. Madeira was vey nice, our favourite I think, but the hop on-hop off bus tour was poor. We went on the Big Red Bus, maybe the Yellow bus was better? On board photography staff need immediate re-training and the prices seriously need looking at. I'm sure if the prices were made more reasonable the increase in custom would more than make up for it. Its not like the picture are even develpoed anymore, simply printed off a computer. We had a couples massage treatment which was great, and bought some dubious creams from the staff, as you do! Disembarking was again quick and easy, less restrictive than on the American ships we usually sail on We will definately consider Thomson again in a couple of years, maybe the Discovery? One thing, We we're still amazed at the number of cruisers failed to wash after visiting the toilet and who failed to sanitize while entering food establishments and on boarding the ship. This also applied to staff on a few occasions. Its the easiest thing to do. Often its the older crowd that don't bother, the very people most at risk of the Norovirus. Step up people, use the sanitizers and enjoy your cruise. Its really not worth the risk of spending time isolated in your cabin because you couldn't be bothered to spend 5 seconds cleaning. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We are currently onboard the epic towards the end of our holiday. Let me first start by saying this cruise was suppose to be a competition prize, however I can honestly say if we won this experince again I wouldn't even bother taking ... Read More
We are currently onboard the epic towards the end of our holiday. Let me first start by saying this cruise was suppose to be a competition prize, however I can honestly say if we won this experince again I wouldn't even bother taking the time off work for it. Embarkation in Barcelona took 3 hours in the cruise terminal, diabolical organisation to say the least. Not a good start to a holiday... To sum it up, the massive ship is like a zoo. There seems to be too many passengers than the capacity of the ship can handle. Often it is a struggle to find a seat or area that isn't crowded at any time. The whole organisation of the ship is poor, there is no order so it's like a free for all in the bars and restaurants. We have given up going to the buffet as people are pushing and shoving from all directions. God knows why the food is worse than what is served in hospitals. It's obvious to see this ship is understaffed, however i don't think this is an excuse for bad costumer service. I would say only 50% the staff onboard are friendly. And only 5% of the staff smile, clearly they think the same about the epic as I do. In one Restaurant staff even argued right next to us over who would serve us, as they already had too many tables to wait on. Needless to say we left, as it made us very uncomfortable being treated like an inconvenience to them. Once onboard expect to pay extra for everything, maybe the added auto gratuity to most things is why the staff feel they don't need to bother working for tips. The cost of drinks are expensive, however we paid for the ultimate beverage package. Which is defiantly worth it if you do choose to come to the zoo. The cleanliness of the ship is hit or miss. Our stateroom is very dusty, the balcony is dirty and we often get given clean towels with stains on. I think the worst thing about this ship is the quality of the food. Everyone onboard is complaining when they leave the resturants. One guy even even asked to get off the ship at the next port to be flown home. If you are spending a couple of thousand pounds on a holiday why should you be served frozen Potatoe wedges in the main dining room? The only way to get half decent food is to pay extra to go to the speciality resturants. Maybe this is why they serve slop in the complimentary ones? Also I don't understand why at each port we only port for a few hours when the other cruise lines usually stay in port all day? There are too many negatives about this most to list them all, even the bingo is a joke. $50 to play, when the top prize is only $160 jackpot. Where does the rest of the money go?!? Only positives are the cute towel animals the steward of our room makes and Glenda from merderno Restaurant. She should be running this ship as she has been the only staff memeber with great customer service skills. Over all I think NCL is just one big profit making machine, they don't seem to care when you make a complaint. Probably because everyone on this ship is complaining so they are use to it. As I said at the beginning of the review I would not sail on any NCL ship again, even if it was free. Please please choose another cruise line to spend your holiday aboard. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Our flight ,transfer and check in we're all fine .check in was quick and efficient . We were taken to our cabin which was clean but very tired and small we only had an inside cabin but I would advise booking a plus a basic ... Read More
Our flight ,transfer and check in we're all fine .check in was quick and efficient . We were taken to our cabin which was clean but very tired and small we only had an inside cabin but I would advise booking a plus a basic inside is tiny!. We could put our things away even though we only had a small single wardrobe so we weren't climbing over our cases or anything like that. The bathroom had a hand painted baby pink seat and the bathroom did look very tired as a whole . The shower however worked brilliantly and the toilet never blocked. The carpet in the cabin had seen better days and desperately needs replacing. Cabin service was excellent, we got well looked after in that respect by our two lovely cabin boys. The food was ok but I think it use to be better on previous Thomson cruises I have been on . There wasn't much variation on the buffet and afternoon tea the sandwiches and rolls were the same every day. Always cream cheese and usually beef . The same cakes and biscuits too a little variation would have been nice. In the waiter service resteraunts the food was ok but not memorable in any way . A lady next to me had a black potatoe , she pointed it out to the waiter who just shrugged but did nothing. There were a few reports of inedible lamb too , apparently it was so fatty it was impossible to eat it. I found my meals just ok but I expect better from a cruise!. The entertainment I found brilliant , the team work tirelessly to make sure everyone has a good time. Dancing and singing in the shows was of a high standard. Ben who sang in the bar was very talented , Thomson have had a find there I feel. Sam was also very good and quite a character. The cruise director Shep was very good his assistant Adam hilarious!. I have to say I thought there was a lot of movement , more than I've experienced on other cruises . It wasn't the roughest sea I've been in but it was relentless with the movement. Our cabin was on deck seven and you could really feel it in there it creaked and moved almost constantly so maybe not a good one for first time cruisers!. The stops were good in the main El heiro not so brilliant , nothing much there at all . Thomson offer a transfer costing £8 pp you can actually get a taxi for £8 to go up and £12 to come down so if you go in a group it's quite a saving , not that there is much to see at the top . If you do the transfer make sure you go on the 10am one otherwise you'll find all three shops will probably not be open. It's also very hilly and not suitable for those with walking difficulties. Madeira is beautiful , we took the cable car to the top ,the views were stunning . We took the toboggan on the way down terrific fun and worth doing. The toboggan only brings you half way down and it will cost a further 20 euros for a cab the rest of the way down. Maspalomas is quite a pleasant place to visit sandy beach with shops and places to eat and drink. Santa Cruz is a lovely place with fabulous shops and a lovely church to look around. I like majesty as a ship and would return for another cruise , the staff were lovely helpful and friendly. You could always get a seat and never a shortage of sun beds either . The bistro is worth paying a supplement for too. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We really didn't know what to expect as this as our first cruise but have no complaints really as we thought it was wonderful and service very good at all times. The decor was fine and we are shocked by some peoples comments about The ... Read More
We really didn't know what to expect as this as our first cruise but have no complaints really as we thought it was wonderful and service very good at all times. The decor was fine and we are shocked by some peoples comments about The Arcada as it hasn't been our experience at all. The choice of food was excellent wherever on the ship we chose to eat and our cabin was kept beautifully clean. We joined in many activities and found everybody friendly but it has to be said some people are not happy unless they are complaining about something especially their experiences on other ships which made me wonder why they chose to come on this one!!! The evening entertainment was really good most nights especially The Headliners ( Oh Billy you were fantastic) and comedian Mickey zany. Waiters in Meridian were fantastic and service first class and we were treated like royalty in the Meridian by Jessel and Rinson and our wine waiter Veineeth and the waiters all sang to us on our birthdays and anniversary which a lovely touch. The captain had a lovely voice and we looked forward to his announcements each day which were informative and friendly and he sent me a card on my birthday too! Photographers were always about if you wanted your photo taken but we did feel the prices were too expensive and had they been cheaper I'm sure both myself and others would buy more. All in all this was a lovely cruise and we and my brother and sister in law enjoyed it immensely. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We have just returned from a 10 night cruise on Queen Elizabeth. We sailed in a P2 suite (4096). Great position on the ship with larger balcony so would recommend the cabin and that next to it (4094). There is a crew access point to deck 4 ... Read More
We have just returned from a 10 night cruise on Queen Elizabeth. We sailed in a P2 suite (4096). Great position on the ship with larger balcony so would recommend the cabin and that next to it (4094). There is a crew access point to deck 4 opposite 4098 so would avoid that one. Link below shows a video of 4096 and then also the Grills Terrace. https://youtu.be/mxxc4_iaTGA There has been recent comment re the new PG menus that were recently launched on QE. These are not yet on QM2 or QV. Firstly can I say that we had a fantastic PG experience the service and food hit the mark for us - we travelled as a party of 6 with a fantastic window table. It reminded us of the things that we came to expect on our first few cruises some 16 yrs ago on the small P&O ships Oriana / Aurora. Naturally all that time ago we were paying some £2,000+ per person for a balcony prior to the industry wide discounting and service / quality cuts that are a natural consequence. I managed to scan many of the menus for evening dinner. These can be viewed via the link below. There is also a copy of one of the two A la Carte menus. These rotate each week. Food is always subjective so they will work for some people and not for others. For us and our party they did. Breakfast and lunch menus are as they have been for many years so no real changes there - still excellant. https://app.box.com/s/ey73o2zzyft8wpj58znz2cqja5uf25vl The biggest difference in the new menu is the significant deteriation in the A la Carte offering. That said on each evening (except formal nights where there are stronger menus) there is a Cunard Signature Classic offered. These are in essence the favourites from the old A la Carte and include Dover Sole, Beef Wellington, Lemon Sole, Gressingham Duck, Rack of Lamb etc. There is no A la Carte desert menu and the cheese trolley remains. For me two real omissions were no Lobster Bisque or Escargots on the PG menu. Perhaps they are on a 14 day cycle? It was strange that Escargots were on the Britannia menu. That said the Maitre D' managed to organise both for us - so off-menu is possible but defiantly not encouraged in PG. Whilst off-menu ordering is not encouraged the mixing of courses - mains as smaller portion starters, multiple starters, lunch menu items to be served in the evening (with advance notice) and additional choices of vegetables were all easily arranged. The latter was needed as virtually every night asparagus featured. Personal views of our party was also that beef featured too much on the menu (very good quality) at the expense of chicken and pork. Several dishes are prepared tableside. Others are just finished off by the Head Waiter or Maitre D' essentially to get the correct dish finish - well done, medium well etc. At other times the flambe trolleys are used to warm plates and sauces. Breakfast and lunch are as we remember form QE2 and QM2 over the last 10 yrs as is afternoon tea. We took this several times in the Grills Lounge and also on deck. We had not experienced this before on deck so that was a treat and surprise - with the waiters bringing the afternoon tea trolley around both Grills Terrace decks. Also worth of note is that coffee and tea are available at no cost in the Grills Lounge - nice coffee it is too! Complimentary orange juice and iced water is available on deck 12 also. For UK travellers there are no tea / coffee making facilities in the PG suite - however room service is free and punctual. Plugs in the suite were one UK 3 pin and 2 USA 2 pin is I remember correctly. Hope that helps with the current changes. We certainly found a significant differance to Britannia (better) where we completed a QM2 transatlantic in July this year. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
After reading several mixed reviews about the Anthem of the Seas, we didn't know what to expect. However, everything about this new ship is spot on. Boarding was very quick (about 10 minutes). Our balcony stateroom was on deck 12 had ... Read More
After reading several mixed reviews about the Anthem of the Seas, we didn't know what to expect. However, everything about this new ship is spot on. Boarding was very quick (about 10 minutes). Our balcony stateroom was on deck 12 had plenty of room for the two of us and the balcony was also quite large, too. The entertainment was first class throughout the cruise with the highlight being the 'We will rock you' show which was delivered to a West End standard. The two 70 area at the back of the ship delivers stunning views of the sea during the day and then at night transforms into an amazing technology entertainment area. We went on the ships 'North Star' which delivers panoramic views of both the ship and the sea. We opted for the dynamic dining having pre-booked restaurants and times and everything worked liked clockwork. The food in all of our four chosen restaurants was of exceptional quality with a large choice daily menu. The service of every member of staff on board was excellent at all times and nothing was ever too much trouble. Would we travel on this ship and with Royal Caribbean again? Yes, without a doubt! We had fantastic weather throughout our cruise with very calm sea conditions. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our 3rd cruise, having sailed on the Silhouette and Queen Elizabeth during the last 3 years. Embarkation went really smooth and we were on the ship in no time. One of the first things we noticed was the increased sales pitch from ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise, having sailed on the Silhouette and Queen Elizabeth during the last 3 years. Embarkation went really smooth and we were on the ship in no time. One of the first things we noticed was the increased sales pitch from all concerned as we wandered around before sailing, everyone seemed to have a mission to sell you a package, wether it be drinks, Internet or spa.this was really off putting as we had not even started to sail yet. After walking around we sat down for lunch and then went for a drink, this is where we found out the most expensive bar prices we have ever encountered, as I cannot drink lager I decided to have some English beer, the price per bottle varied from 9 dollars to 20 dollars per bottle. When we were approached again about a package, we were told English beer was only on the Premium package and after studying the price of the wine it was obviously going to be an expensive trip, so I decided to have the Premium package (I would never ever do this again) so I fell for the salesman patter. The Internet package was sheer extortion knowing that you get free wi-fi in most places now the Celebrity package was just embarrassingly expensive. now to the cruise, the ship was immaculate and was kept clean and impressive throughout the cruise. The food and restaurants were all really good in the ones we ate in, we did not choose to eat in any of the elite restaurants as we felt the food we received in the Moonlight Sonata and Blu restaurant were excellent and did not want to go to any more expense. Houras our waiter in Blu was fantastic and looked after us brilliantly as did most of the staff on the ship, there are however exceptions to this. We went to the Cafe Bacho one day and sat at a table to have a coffee, after 10 mins I went to the counter and asked for a coffee, the assistant asked if it was to take away I said no as we had been waiting 10 mins already, he told me to sit down and wait for table service, I returned to the table and waited for another 20 mins before we were approached by a waitress who took our order, 10 mins later she returned with our order which she had got wrong. It would not have been so bad if we had not witnessed the fun and laughter that the staff were having behind the counter at our expense, this seemed to be quite a regular occurrence. The walkway to the "elite" restaurants is like walking down a darkened alleyway anywhere in the world, why so dark? I believe it is so dark as so as not to see who is in the super elite Michaels Club, as every time we walked past this super exclusive club there was no one in it, apart from one lady member of the staff twiddling her fingers, WHAT A WASTE OF SPACE, come on Celebrity open the room to the masses and revert back to the English pub that used to reside in this position of the ship! our cabin was in aqua class with a balcony and was really adequate for our needs, it was kept spotlessly clean by Rhodora and her team, who all did everything with a smile on their faces and nothing was too much trouble for them. Now to the entertainment, we were told at the start of the cruise that the old cast of the team of entertainers had walked of the ship at the end of the previous cruise and a new team had been assembled for this crew and would need to be trained before they could appear, we appreciated being told this, but found then that the entertainment throughout the ship was very poor. The main shows in the Eclipse theatre were in general very good though there were 2 very poor shows as well.on the Thursday on the way home the new team were ready to perform their new show called Topper everyone on the staff were promoting this show saying how great it was, unfortunately we could not get a seat for the early performance so went for a drink in the passport bar. This is where we noticed how poor the entertainment throughout the ship was,it was like a ghost ship whilst the 1st performance of Topper was going on. When we went to the 2nd performance we did so in total anticipation of a great show, how disappointed can you be. The singer, s were poor and thre was no concept in the production, just everything seemed to be put into creating nice costumes this was a let down, but obviously the staff had to praise the show. A special mention has to go to the Sue the cruise director who obviously through difficult times was always positive and encouraging to the staff and passengers, she has obviously been a professional performer for years and a very good one as her one woman show was really good.to sum up Celebrity has now lost its wow factor to us and we will look at other cruise lines now until we feel that we know that Celebrity has returned to its previous standards and don't try to rip us off with their pricing policy. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our Fortieth Wedding Anniversary present to ourselves therefore we took a while to choose the ship, unfortunately we didn't take enough notice of the entertainment side as we had cruised on different lines and the ... Read More
This was our Fortieth Wedding Anniversary present to ourselves therefore we took a while to choose the ship, unfortunately we didn't take enough notice of the entertainment side as we had cruised on different lines and the entertainment was fantastic,so unfortunately assumed that this line would be as good, how wrong can you be. The entertainment was sooooo poor, if the theatre didn't appeal to you there wasn't much else on apart from drinking or gambling ( they could have given Las Vegas a run for their money), ok there was a 'Disco', sort of, but nowhere just to sit and listen to good music per se and have a quiet drink, there were several pianos which were covered up so no-one could play them. The theatre was dark & depressive, the lighting poor & inadequate and there was a gloomy feel about it which wasn't helped by any of the acts who were so poor X Factor first auditioners could have done better. They were amateurish to say the least, my husband is a musician and has performed on stage so we know what we're talking about. There were only two acts over the 13 nights that were any good that was a comedienne & singer Sue Curry and a comedian (sorry forgot his name) he was on the last night of the trip. otherwise it was hopeless one act on twice nightly so if they weren't any good that was it, no show entertainment as such. These were not just our points of view we asked a number of fellow passengers what they thought of the entertainment and they all said what a let down it was. Celebrity Cruises Eclipse, GET YOUR ENTERTAINMENT SORTED The only saving grace of the trip was the service given by both our stateroom staff and the Moonlight Sonata Restaurant, receptionist, waiters & waitresses who were excellent. No Need to book any of the so called 'up market' restaurants as the Moonlight Sonata restaurant food & service could not have been bettered. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Let me start by saying that everybody is different and to what they want out of a holiday Embarkation was really quick our time to go on board was 1.30th arrived at the port at 1.20 was actually on the beautiful Britannia at 1.33rd not ... Read More
Let me start by saying that everybody is different and to what they want out of a holiday Embarkation was really quick our time to go on board was 1.30th arrived at the port at 1.20 was actually on the beautiful Britannia at 1.33rd not bad eh Cabin was very roomy we had an inside midship (B514) plenty of hanging space and wardrobe was big enough. Bathroom very clean and new looking loved having a glass shower door, air con you old turn it up and down we always had ours on cool bit nosiey at night but soon got used to it Food was out of this world so much choice in the horizon (buffet) we had no problems getting seated and there were 5 of us. We had freedom dining out choice of restaurant was The Meridian had the same table and waiters they were really good nothing was to much trouble. Brodies was a favourite of ours went there most evenings for quizzes or just to sit and listen to the live band, The live lounge very crowded did manage to get seated there to didn't have to wait to long for a drink either, Headiners Theatre you do need to get there bout half hour before the show but all the shows and performers were brilliant the lighting in headliners amazing Pool areas were kept very clean at all times plenty of loungers and waiters to serve you . Entertainment team were brilliant always something somewhere to do,one we were so torn as to where to go we ducked into healing rs, live lounge and bodies to watch bits of all lol, the team works very hard to keep holiday makers very happy. We were wowed at the size of the ship, The Atrium was truly amazing was just nice to sit there and watch the world go by We went to The Limelight Club to see Jaki Graham and we weren't disappointed she was brilliant very friendly lady she done a meet and greet after had a photo taking, if you get chance definitely book to see her Disembarktion very organised off within 20 mins in taxi home in 15 mins as we live in Southampton Overall we had the most amazing time but you do hear people moaning bout everything I wouldn't pay all that money to moan and at what! Well done to P and O and all the staff who made our time on board a dream Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Cruise Review: Azores and the Canary Islands – September 2015 The cruise got off to an unpleasant start with really rough seas for almost three days en route to the Azores with the wife being “man down” for virtually the entire ... Read More
Cruise Review: Azores and the Canary Islands – September 2015 The cruise got off to an unpleasant start with really rough seas for almost three days en route to the Azores with the wife being “man down” for virtually the entire sailing to Ponta Delgada! However, thereafter the weather improved considerably with sunny, albeit often somewhat windy days, being the norm for the balance of the cruise which, in general, proved to be an enjoyable and interesting experience. We spent a couple of days in Southampton prior to the cruise after having spent an eminently pleasant week touring the beautiful Cotswolds area of the UK and South Wales, both areas which have long been on our bucket list. We were enchanted by this Olde England experience visiting many quaint towns, historic buildings and monuments and country pubs, interspersed with many scenic walks in this delightful part of the UK. The ship: The recently refurbished Eclipse is an impressive vessel. However, we frankly, did not see that much had changed from the previous time we had sailed on her some four years back apart from the addition of the Luminae restaurant reserved for suite holders and the change to the access to Michael’s Club, which similarly is now reserved exclusively for suite guests. But the general, understated ambience of the ship remains – clean, well-furnished, tastefully decorated and well maintained. Service: Service was of the standard we have come to expect from Celebrity and we must commend the Royal Caribbean Group for the quality of people it employs and for the obviously high standard of training that is provided. Staff were, with very few exceptions, uniformly well-groomed, courteous, friendly and efficient - some exceptionally so, such as Jacinto and Ricky our hard working, respectful stateroom attendants, also Nyoman and Yoanna in the Select dining room who provided outstanding attentive service, jovial wine steward Kenrick (Hey Mon!) always willing to go the extra mile and Govind, barman at the Sunset Bar who my wife will attest mixes a mean apple martini! Officers were always highly visible around the ship and the Captain ensured there were plenty of opportunities for officers to engage with passengers through, inter alia, photo ops, officer/guest competitions, official parties and so on. Entertainment: Entertainment was also some of the best we have experienced on recent Celebrity cruises. Despite the disruption to the main entertainment programme caused by the inclement weather during the first part of the cruise which necessitated the cancellation of some scheduled stage productions, energetic Cruise Director Sue and Activities Manager Martin, ensured guest were kept entertained with a range of activities and game shows. Some of the evening entertainers in the main theatre, including a few better than usual singers, a frenetic juggler, and a comedic pianist, were especially good. For some reason, and we never got a satisfactory explanation, it had been decreed that the evening theatre performances would take place at 8h30 and 10h30 each evening as distinct from the usual times of 7h00 and 9h00 that we have always found on other ships. We found the latter times to be much more convenient. We prefer to dine reasonably late so can take in the 7h00 show before dining at our leisure after eight each evening. However, with the changed theatre times we would either have had to dine before seven to take in the 8h30 show or resign ourselves to waiting for the 10h30 performance which, generally, we feel is too late. The matter was compounded by the numbers of passengers who now choose Select dining and often it was difficult to get a table much before 9h15 which resulted in a rushed meal if one wished to see the 10h30 performance. It seems to us as if the whole change was made to accommodate the foibles of first sitting passengers, who on this cruise were predominantly British who, apparently, like to dine a little later than the American who, typically, are the majority on most sailings. We trust the changed show times on this cruise are an aberration and do not become standard for Celebrity in future. Dining: Food by and large, was pretty good with some memorable meals and very few, unsatisfactory dining experiences. Because of the congestion in trying to get a table for two in Select dining on many evenings, we had more evening meals in the buffet restaurant than we would normally ever contemplate. We were never left hungry with the range of fare on offer including better than usual sushi. In fact, we thought the quality of food generally in the buffet restaurant was amongst the best we had yet experienced on Celebrity ships. Main dining room fare was always more than satisfactory. Generally tasty, well-presented meals efficiently served. We had one excellent meal in the speciality Tuscan Italian steakhouse but generally we find the costs of Celebrity speciality restaurants at $50 per head to be too prohibitive, especially for us South Africans where our currency (the Rand) is now over 21 to the US$, i.e. each Rand is equivalent to less than five US cents! Itinerary: Overall itinerary was interesting visiting seven ports during the course of the fourteen day cruise. We only participated in two ships excursions -in Funchal Madeira, a city tour that included a cable car ride and an exciting two kilometre rumble down the streets in a wicker toboggan and in Tenerife an exhilarating tour of the national park, a World heritage Site, with views of the lava fields of Mt Teide, the tallest mountain in Spanish controlled territory, both tours good value for money. In other ports we did our own thing, either taking a Hop-on/Hop-off bus tour, a useful way to orientate oneself to a new destination especially in large cities such as Lisbon, or just touring on our own which we did in the smaller ports of Fuerteventura and Lanzerote. Summary: All in all an excellent cruise in the comfort and ambience we have become accustomed to expect from Celebrity. We are happy to now be able to strike the North Atlantic islands off our bucket list – another wonderful privilege to be able to experience this unique part of our fascinating planet. However, we would be unlikely to do a repeat cruise to this destination and were somewhat amazed to learn from many other passengers that they had cruised the Azores/Canary Islands on numerous occasions before to the extent that many seldom even left the ship at the ports of call as they had already experienced the main attractions on offer on previous cruises! As enjoyable as this cruise was and as interesting as many of the sights and attractions offered were, there are still so many other destinations we wish to explore before we would ever contemplate a return to North Atlantic archipelago. Now looking forward to our next cruise to Alaska in May 2016! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015

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