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104 Canary Islands Romantic Cruise Reviews

Azores and Canaries cruise on Celebrity Eclipse - 13-27 September 2015 Southampton Boat Show certainly had an impact on the Port as we queued to get to the Ibis Budget Hotel in West Quay. After nabbing the last available space on the ... Read More
Azores and Canaries cruise on Celebrity Eclipse - 13-27 September 2015 Southampton Boat Show certainly had an impact on the Port as we queued to get to the Ibis Budget Hotel in West Quay. After nabbing the last available space on the car park, we collected our keys very quickly, thanks to our online checkin on the day before. We had an 11.30 - 1530 checkin for boarding so we left our hotel at 10.50 am, anticipating some traffic hold ups. We drove onto the Shuttle parking at ABParking and a very helpful and friendly guy helped to take our cases out of the car and load them into their luggage vans. He then was really helpful as we loaded onto the bus, passing up each of my three hand luggage bags to me after I was on board, making life so much easier. We set off immediately to the Departure Check-in and with our Xpress passes duly completed we were taken immediately to a check-in desk and we were whisked through customs and were on board by 11.30. It has to be one of the most efficient and speedy check-in we have had. We had our customary glass of bubbly as we boarded and we made our way up to the Mast Bar with all our hand luggage, having a quick drink before we went up to the Sky Bar to settle a little until the cabins were ready - said to be around 13.30. Plenty of places to relax and a nice surprise when I went to the bar. I was greeted with a warm "hello again Mrs Jean, would you like one of your usual's by jairo. To say I was surprised was an understatement, as I could understand being recognised, but not having our drink preference remembered three months after we were last on board. But this is really quite an example of the excellent service we have come to expect from the Celebrity Staff and Crew. We had an obstructed D2 balcony cabin, 6180 on Deck 6, so we were not quite sure how much obstruction to expect, but it was better than we had anticipated. One of the larger lifeboats stanchion was visible up to the balcony top edge and then there was a gap to the stanchion of one of the smaller lifeboats, so we could actually see the sea between these two boats if we looked down and, of course, there is no obstruction if you look out across the horizon, Once inside the cabin, it is hardly distinguishable from the Concierge cabin we had earlier this year. The bed was close to the balcony and the settee nearest to the bathroom. The wardrobe space is adequate for a two-week cruise even with the formal attire we took, but we were very pleased that we had brought additional hangers because the ones provided were very few and took up a lot of space. We had brought light-weight, non-slip ones which don't take up much space at all. There are five fairly small drawers available so I had brought a couple of collapsible plastic cases which fit very well into the above-the-bed cupboards, but they make for easier access if you are as vertically-challenged as I am. This space also provided storage for bags and other miscellaneous items. The bathroom is spacious and the shower is excellent, being easily operated and powerful enough. There are closing shower doors, so no dreaded shower curtain . There are multiple enclosed shelves for toiletries and the space works very well. Our cabin steward Jefrey kept the cabin spotlessly clean and was on hand to help with anything we needed. We also used our cabin for breakfast, preferring this to the busy Oceanview Buffet in the morning on most days. However, the Buffet has an excellent menu for lunch, with stations serving great variety. We also used the Moonlight Sonata main dining room on occasions for lunch, our choice between these two venues being dictated by our mood at the time. We had pre-booked our evening meal for 7.00 pm all cruise, because this is our preferred time to eat. We also asked for a table for two because my OH does not hear so well when he is in a large group, so a table for two is better for us to enjoy our meal. Towards the end of the cruise we often had Markus and StagPolo waiting on us with Gjorgji as our sommelier. They serve a very nice Pinot Grigio on the Classic Package as well as a very acceptable sparkling wine. I found the food in the MDR usually very good, occasionally absolutely excellent and very occasionally quite good. We did try the Tuscany Grill after we were offered $20 off the normal price during a promotion. We had the most fantastic table, overlooking the wake of the ship as we were each served a beautiful meal, and a Pinot Grigio that was definitely superior to the one in the Main Dining Room. We did not expect dusk to dawn sunshine as we were leaving from Southampton, but we were hoping that Tropical Storm Henri would not affect us too much. Hope was in vain however, as I was woken quite a few times during the night as the ship started to rock and roll. The Captain announced in the morning that the winds were gusting at 45 knots per hour and we had 18 foot waves. This lasted for most of the day and a bank of mist also rolled in at one stage to add to the general greyness of the day. We spent most of the day after our Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle reading and relaxing, although I did join in with Bingo for an hour, prior to getting ready for our first formal evening. The captain and most of his senior officers attended the M&M, and they were very ready to have a chat with the members who attended. Day 2 at sea, on our way down to the Ponta Delgarda in the Azores started with a moderate sea, still very grey, and the captain announced in the morning that he expected both the wind and seas to increase. The waves were about 8-9 feet in the morning, but were expected to increase to 17 feet later in the day. Time for flat shoes methinks! As the afternoon wore on the waves did get higher, and the spray at times obliterated our view out of our cabin on Deck 6. Having said that, we felt the ship coped really well and I felt fine. Our first port of call, Ponta Delgarda, was new to us but we found it reminded us of Lisbon. The open-topped bus here was informative and comfortable. The weather brightened as we travelled south and stayed warm, with a few bouts of drizzling rain while we were in Tenerife. Our other ports were Funchal, Madeira: Santa Cruz, Tenerife: Gran Canaria: Lanzarote: Fueteventura and Lisbon, the busiest being Lisbon with three ships in port. Relaxing on the ship was easy as there are plenty of places to sit, the speciality coffees are delicious and service was excellent without being intrusive. The first Celebrity Eclipse Show, scheduled in the Theatre was postponed due to the sea state, as it included quite a lot of aerial performances, which would have been dangerous as the ship did its 'rock and roll'. It was performed later in the cruise and was spectacular. Instead, Jayne Curry, a comic singer gave an excellent show - her voice range and interaction with the audience was superb. The Beatles Celebration seemed to have been enjoyed by all with many of audience joining in enthusiastically. One of the biggest surprises for me was a guy called Tom Suha, a violinist who made his violin sing - he was amazing! One of my best memories will be an evening in the Sky Bar, when there was an Abba singalong, with booklets of song lyrics available to join in. The Solitaire group who performed all over the ship is also excellent and provided the music for some outstanding evenings. Overall we had a fantastic time on the Celebrity Eclipse, and enjoyed good food and drink and, most significantly, great service! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Well, we went on our 2 week cruise on Britannia wondering what we had let ourselves in for. Though we had booked in March 2014 for our 14 night Canary Island Cruise, we had read so many bad reviews that we were wondering if we had made the ... Read More
Well, we went on our 2 week cruise on Britannia wondering what we had let ourselves in for. Though we had booked in March 2014 for our 14 night Canary Island Cruise, we had read so many bad reviews that we were wondering if we had made the right decision. We knew the moment that we boarded that we hadn’t and are now sitting at home, very depressed, wishing we were still onboard! Prior to booking the cruise we had done our homework on the Princess Cruise sites re the Royal Princess, her sister ship, and had chosen an aft cabin F729. It had a large balcony which we guess was about 5ft by 9ft. We loved the cabin and though we had an hour on one sea day when there was some soot, it was quickly cleaned up by the staff and that was it for the whole 14 days. It was a quiet cabin and we did wonder if there was anyone else on the ship. Fair enough, the cabin above us could look down on to our balcony, but that really didn’t concern us and we never saw anyone above us any way. The cabin was a GD cabin and well designed. Ok, the bathroom was on the small side, but there was plenty of space to do what you needed to do in there! The toiletries provided by the White Company are good quality. There are plenty of sockets and the cabin TV is a big plus, with lots of excellent films, programmes etc. Shame that you are not able to check your bill on-going or order through the TV as on other cruise lines. We could go on forever, but have added the positives and areas for development in note form as it may not take as long: The good things about Britannia: *We loved the design of the ship and were more than happy with the colour scheme – very modern and stylish. *Though she is a big ship we never felt too crowded. Though this was one of the first cruises of the main school holidays, and was pretty much full we NEVER once failed to find somewhere pleasant to sit at any time of the day or evening. This included the Buffet area, up on deck and in the many bars at night. We were pleasantly surprised. *The lifts – again, we NEVER had a problem with the lifts. Fair enough, we were lucky as we were close to the aft lifts and used those, but when we used the midsection lifts we never had to wait for too long at all. If we hadn’t read previous reviews we wouldn’t have known that there was a problem. It was also good to see that people were always polite and courteous re the use of the lifts and for those less mobile – everyone waited and used their manners. *The staff were exceptional (well, apart from 2 who stood out like a sore thumb), very polite, friendly and helpful. *We ate in the Meridian Freedom Dining restaurant and it was very good. Thanks go to the Restaurant Manager, Jaison, who granted our request for a specific area of the dining room each evening. We did have to wait quite a while as a result as they are not allowed to reserve tables, but it was good to have the same staff each evening. We also had excellent service from Costa, Hyacinth and Jackson – thank you, we miss you! *There was an excellent range of Select Dining venues. We tried Sindhus and despite one of us not liking Indian Food we both enjoyed the experience. The Beach House was excellent value for money, though the Glass House was disappointing and lacked atmosphere. We went to the Epicurian for Afternoon Tea, but found it too rich – too many cakes - and over facing. It was nice, but we wouldn’t do it again. *The over whelming majority of passengers were a pleasure to meet and the children on board were a credit to their parents and never caused any problems at all. The 2 main pools were used for families, leaving the Serenity Pool for adults only. We preferred to sit up on deck 19 facing the pool. There are lots of small, hidden areas that are worth finding if you want a quiet sunbed, in a good location! *The ship’s photographers were very good without being obtrusive and the quality of their products was good *The formal nights were great events and we only saw one person who had not dressed up for the occasion according to the P&O dress code. Sailing from Southampton does help here as we could take there were no luggage restrictions. *As with all P&O cruises we were able to take on board a box of wine and any more wine we purchased at the various stops along the way. Drinks were about the same price as at a 4 star hotel at home and a bottle of wine was about the same price as you’d pay at any Brewer’s Fayre type pub at home : e.g. £15. No gratuities as on US cruise lines. *The ship’s officers were very personable and visible around the ship. We had the pleasure of doing the Behind the Scenes Tour and were impressed with everyone we met. The Captain had a high profile and was a good ‘people’ person. There was an incident late on the first evening – it turned out not to be an engine room fire in the end – and though it was unnerving at the time it was handled quickly and professionally by the crew. *We don’t tend to go for the entertainment so cannot comment on the quality of the theatre productions etc etc. We did go into the theatre for a look around, however, and found it to be very small, so we could see why people complained. We did enjoy the sailaway from Southampton and loved the Great British Sail away from Madeira – an excellent ‘deck party’. *The excursions we did were generally of a good quality, all booked via P&O. These were: Vigo Celtic Heritage and Wine Tasting. An excellent day Lanzarote: Fire Mountain (it rained!) was ok but we would not go for the one with wine again and wished we had done the Camel Safari with this one. Tenerife: Mt Teide by Cable Car: An excellent trip – shame we didn’t have much time at the top due to long queues Gran Canaria: Walking Trails and Wine – a HIKE (NB not a walk at all) into a crater and out again followed by some great wine tasting. This one isn’t for the faint hearted! Cadiz: We did our own thing and walked around the perimeter of the City and then to the Cathedral. A great stop Madeira: We took ourselves to the Cable Car and to the Tropical Gardens which was excellent Madeira: Jeep Safari : A fabulous excursion and well worth the money. Areas for development noted in our survey for P&O: *We met a couple who had booked an aft cabin on G deck above the Live Lounge. Sadly, this cabin was affected badly by the noise, not only during the evening but when the group was rehearsing during the afternoon. We could sometimes hear the bass beat from our cabin, but it was hardly noticeable, though we could hear the rehearsals from the balcony some afternoons. Why they needed to rehearse with the music so loud was beyond us and it was annoying when you just wanted to sit and enjoy the peace and quiet. *Many passengers complained that there was little in the way of entertainment in the atrium at night. We agree with this – there was a beautiful grand piano in the corner, but for some reason it was never used. It would have been good to have someone tinkling away quietly in the corner to give some atmosphere. I suppose the positive side is that there wasn’t loud music so you could hold a conversation! *We knew that Britannia didn’t have a prom deck, but we did miss not being able to have an evening stroll around the ship after dinner. I suppose there is nothing that can be done about it now, but something for future ship designers to consider. *The Buffet was much better than on Oceana, but we still felt that the Celebrity Solstice class ships still have the edge here. There seemed to be 4 identical areas and we felt that it became a bit ‘samey’ over the 2 weeks. They would benefit from sending someone to Celebrity to see what an outstanding Buffet looks like. * As it was a school holiday cruise the small pool at the back and area was reserved for teenagers. This was frustrating as every time we walked past there was no one there and the older teenagers were in the adults only pool ... *Embarkation was a fiasco! For some reason P&O has changed the way that it boards passengers now so that cabins would be ready when you board. I can see the logic, but they are now restricting boarding times more, expecting everyone to keep to the time on their e-ticket. Without going over the whole debate about the rights and wrongs of this, just to say that the new set up doesn’t work. The embarkation area was full to over flowing with cross passengers and when we were told that “We are only inviting Suite guests to board” it didn’t come across too well. Then the PA system kept breaking up so it sounded like some sort of a comedy act. Not a good start. In the past we have waited about 20 minutes max to board a ship and been happy to wander about waiting for our cabin. On this occasion we sat in a hot, stuffy hall for about 2 hours with thousands of others. P&O need to review this ‘new’ system. Finally, just to end by saying that we had a fabulous holiday and would not hesitate to go back to Britannia again if the itinerary was good. Rule Britannia! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
After several recommendations to sail with P&O we took the plunge and booked our first ever cruise on the beautiful Britannia. As a young married couple we were both worried that we would be very young compared to other passengers ... Read More
After several recommendations to sail with P&O we took the plunge and booked our first ever cruise on the beautiful Britannia. As a young married couple we were both worried that we would be very young compared to other passengers so we were relieved when there were lots of others our age and younger! We loved everything about it... The wonderful food, the lovely balcony cabin, the fantastic entertainment.The strictly come dancing aspect of the cruise was fantastic...where else do you get to see the strictly professionals upclose for free?! Embarkation was pretty quick given the number of passengers. We found our cabin with ease and met our lovely steward. We were very impressed with the grandeur of the ship. Spotless and beautiful! Not tacky at all. Always somewhere to sit and always a drinks waiter nearby :-) We had freedom dining which was a lovely surprise and thoroughly enjoyed the food. The waiters were attentive and very friendly. We had to wait with a buzzer occasionally but that wasn't a problem...we were on holiday and not in a rush after all ;-) Our cabin was lovely and the balcony and shower were a great size...honestly I don't know what people are moaning about!! I'm quite cross after reading people's dislike of the entertainment team!! They were fantastic, well above the standard I was expecting. Myself and my husband are both professional musicians and were really really impressed. Seriously can't find any fault at all. On most counts it was far better than the west end. We went on a Cunard ship shortly afterwards and the entertainment was abysmal.... We had to wait for a lift occasionally but again we weren't in a hurry :-) All in all we loved it! I really don't know what people have to moan about, it was just fantastic! We've just booked a mini break on the Ventura! Well done P&O!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
this was my first cruise vacation and last one.this carnival paradise was too far from being a paradise place to be.we purchase an excursion to Cozumel mexico to passion island for $160 for my wife and me,they told us that it was a five ... Read More
this was my first cruise vacation and last one.this carnival paradise was too far from being a paradise place to be.we purchase an excursion to Cozumel mexico to passion island for $160 for my wife and me,they told us that it was a five hours excursion in the island but they din'd told us that the time to get to that island was included in the five hours excursion,witch it took us over 2 hours on the round trip so it left us less than 3 hours to enjoy the excursion plus the crew that took us was asking for tip all the time.we enjoy more the shopping around the port of mexico.i recommend to bye souvenirs around the port because its a lot less expensive than any were else.we boat a souvenir in the excursion island for $40 dollars and we saw the same item on the port for $9 dollars,i was angry.carnival paradise is a cruise for people that likes to drink all day long,the pool is too small for so many people,the decoration of the ship is a casino stale everywhere on the ship. there's nothing to do on that cruise but to get drunk and hear laud and wack music. i felt trap in that ship.the only good think was the food but after the second day u get tire of eating the same food,burgers and fries and chicken strips.the sodas are not included,there is water and lemonade on the dispenser, most of the crew were nice and friendly but there was a few of them with series faces.there was lack of information for exiting the ship.they sit u with others couples on the dinner witch it was ad at the first but then used to it and made friend with others people but it feels wear at first. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
To start with the positive,embarkment and disembarkment excellent,no delays,very well managed,our promenade cabin great space and well maintained by our attendant,food was of a very good standard in main restaurant,service was ... Read More
To start with the positive,embarkment and disembarkment excellent,no delays,very well managed,our promenade cabin great space and well maintained by our attendant,food was of a very good standard in main restaurant,service was excellent,booking our table before sailing was a huge advantage with mytime dining,enjoyed the shows in theatre espcially the ventriloquist and violinist,all the staff worked very hard as usual and were very pleasant at all times.Now the negatives,overcrowding,not good enough that we had to sit on stairs at the price we paid,drink prices outrageous,had to go for a drinks package which was the cheapest option but still expensive,entertainment in the promenade had in my view health and safety issues,it was impossible to move up or down an area which i considered a lovely area to stroll after an evening meal however not on this cruise,no shop stocking normal everyday toiletries,shops with a lot of overpriced stock,the resident band horizon left a lot to be desired,did not play suitable dance music for the age bracket of the audience,on every night .no variety,a definate lack of music at pool,the large screen what a joke ,you couldnt even see it just supplied background noise,we didnt do tours but i object to having to pay for shuttle buses,the one to agadir was a joke,a complete ripoff and led us to believe that we would be dropped in middle,left at taxi rank and a taxi was required to get to markets,some people got money back but we didnt when we complained, our major problem was being left at heathrow 8 hours before departure of our flight,what a disgace and spoiled an otherwise enjoyable holiday,was in contact with airsupport but got no satisfactory explanation,was supposed to be free flights which might explain it Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Overall I should be giving 4 stars but this would be too may whereas 3 is maybe too little as it was above average. In fact in some departments its absolutely amazing and in others dreadful. The ship is big and impressive but doesnt ... Read More
Overall I should be giving 4 stars but this would be too may whereas 3 is maybe too little as it was above average. In fact in some departments its absolutely amazing and in others dreadful. The ship is big and impressive but doesnt really feel that big once on board. Royal Caribbean had it down to a tee for boarding etc. The cabin was immaculate and very nice and modern. We had an outside balcony. The food takes some getting used too if you've cruised before as its now lots of different restaurants, some where good and some where bad. The best for me was Chops Grille and Wonderland with the worst being Jamie Olivers, I would really recommend you dont eat there as its just a name and the food was bordering on rubbish ! the worst meal we had by far. The big disappointment for me on this cruise was the shows. We go and see each and every show over the cruise but on this cruise we had 2 nights without a show due to the shows being repeated, now 2 nights of no shows was maybe acceptable but we also had 3 shows that would have not got through the early stages of Britains got Talent ! The Hypnotist and Magician where almost embarrassing to watch never mind we saw the exact same hypnotist show lat year :(. The we will rock you show started off slow but did end up being very good, we didnt get t see the The gift as we got held up having a meal in Chops Grille Chefs Table which was also annoying as we where told that would be finished in time to see the show :( I simply cannot really put my finger on why I would not want to go on Anthem Of The Seas again but I wouldn't. I much preferred Independence or Celebrity Eclipse. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
My husband and I wanted to do something different and decided to do the Canary Islands on Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas. The ship is huge, but pretty easy to navigate once you figure out where everything is. Our cabin was a ... Read More
My husband and I wanted to do something different and decided to do the Canary Islands on Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas. The ship is huge, but pretty easy to navigate once you figure out where everything is. Our cabin was a balcony, which had ample storage and a nice layout. The multiple eateries were very good, but it took some getting used to having to make reservations for dinner if you didn't want to do the buffet. The entertainment was exceptional. We went to all three shows, Spectra, We Will Rock You and The Gift. The production, considering the small venue and moving ship, was fabulous! We enjoyed The Gift the most, even though they had a small set issue which caused a delay. Everyone on board went out of their way to make our vacation memorable, and we really appreciated it. I only wish two things... 1) that Royal Caribbean and Celeb would share perks as I have cruised Celebrity in the past and have two additional cruises already scheduled with them. 2) that Royal Caribbean still sold open cruises when you are sailing. I would have purchased a package, but I am already scheduled through February 2017 and I need one after that when my son graduates college, which was not available yet. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Parking Brilliant!Ship , Geared towards very unruly kids sometimes drunk and fighting,3 families were turned off the ship! restaurants not as good as Independence, No Wow factor! We had a romance package and our breakfast in bed was ... Read More
Parking Brilliant!Ship , Geared towards very unruly kids sometimes drunk and fighting,3 families were turned off the ship! restaurants not as good as Independence, No Wow factor! We had a romance package and our breakfast in bed was totally forgotten and we finally got it at10.00am, of course we had been up ages by then! HARDLY ROMANTIC WHEN YOU HAVE TO PHONE SEVERAL TIMES! As the trip was very windy it was a job to get any seats under cover, not enough staff for so many people,We only got 1/2 DAY TRIPS WHICH MEANT NOT ENOUGH TIME TO GET ANYWHERE WORTH SEEING! Two very good shows in evening out of ten days, The Mall was very disappointing, too small for such a big ship and the few shops were empty with only staff having a good natter, not very inviting ,best thing was the coffee shop! The NorthStar was fantastic and the two 70 was good too! Our rooms were very nice! The staff to the rooms were very good and so were our restaurant staff,they followed us to which was the restaurant of the evening.Everyone we spoke to said like us they would not be booking on this ship again, we spoke to one young couple queuing to get back on board, who said it was there 1st and last cruise ,we said that they must try the Independence, As that is a well thought out ship which is luxury cruising before saying No to cruising. we were very disappointed ourselves, we chose this one as we had never been to the Canaries before, but wish we had gone on the independence even though we would have gone somewhere we had been before! SORRY Anthem, but not a good review for you. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Having read all the negative thoughts from previous passengers we were determined to not listen to them, make our own minds up and enjoy our holiday. Unfortunately it turned out that we agree with the majority of negative remarks. For us, ... Read More
Having read all the negative thoughts from previous passengers we were determined to not listen to them, make our own minds up and enjoy our holiday. Unfortunately it turned out that we agree with the majority of negative remarks. For us, Britannia is not as nice as other P&O ships we have travelled on. We found the decor drab and dull, the ship doesn't have a personality and public areas don't flow. Yes the balconies are very small, lifts are smaller and seem to have a mind of their own when stopping at required floors, floor areas around the pool areas get extremely wet and slippery and not from swimmers. We were lucky and had a lovely cabin and large balcony which was right at the front of the ship, which we hadn't tried before, giving excellent views and sunbathing. The downsides to that though was it was more windy and bouncy! The food in Epicurean looked wonderful on your plate but was tasteless the night we went. Wonderful choice of food in Horizon restaurant, just difficult to get a table at times. MDR food and service very good. Beach House excellent food. Glass House also,but on bad weather sea days it's difficult to get a table to sit and eat at because people sit at the tables playing cards or reading. Entertainment during the day was extremely limited. Britannia Show Cast were excellent in their 4 evening shows. We found the ship banged loudly and shook/ moved a lot in the bad weather we had. Disembarkation was chaotic as we got in very slightly late for some reason which meant there was delays of about an hour to get off, with no-one organising people. Once off the ship it was bedlam because we were all caught up with people arriving early for their cruise embarkation. For us, we feel P&O had this opportunity to outshine all the other new ships out there, putting together all their successes from their previous ships, but they have got it very wrong. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
It was somewhere between good and poor with the odd excellent here and there. It was the ships first sailing after a refit and in some areas it was unfinished or maybe not even started? Some work was being done while we were sailing so ... Read More
It was somewhere between good and poor with the odd excellent here and there. It was the ships first sailing after a refit and in some areas it was unfinished or maybe not even started? Some work was being done while we were sailing so areas were roped off, why could this work not been done before we sailed, when you're on holiday you don't shouldn't have to deal with the smell off paint and chemicals, we understand that ship maintenance is on going but this was more than that. Part of the refit was adding extra cabins (which were not yet in service), this will make a busy ship even busier,is this RCI putting profit before the customer ? There were times when sun beds were scarce and trying to get a drink took forever, so adding more passengers won't help this ratio. We were told that they were trying a new ordering system in the main dining room, service was slow and the waiting staff seem to be struggling with it, surely they should have had more support when trying something new, they suffered and so did we ! On one occasion we all ordered our meals and after a long delay we were told that they had run out of a certain dish that many on our table had ordered, this shouldn't ever happen. On our first night we went to Chops grill a past favourite of ours, this turned into a disaster, we sat down at 7:30 but didn't get our main course until 9:40 we also had to send something back because it was cold, this is a first for us ! Later in the cruise we went to chops for an indian lunch, this was excellent, the chef showed how he cooked all the dishes, we then sat down and tried them all, this was followed by a tour of the galley which we found really interesting and good value. We thought that the food quality in the main dining and the Windjammer overall was much below par, nothing wrong with how it was cooked but the meat quality was poor especially the chicken. The Windjammer seemed to cook the same thing everyday not enough variety. The ship has now got a flow rider, hooray ! how about keeping it open so we can get on it ? most days it was closed between 11 and 5 so opening when were getting ready for dinner and after dinner isn't much use ? Entertainment on the ship was on the whole very good to excellent, I applaud RCI for keeping the music live as it should be. Our cabin was it's usual high standard and we were well looked after by our room steward. Overal we did have a nice time but certain parts of the cruise were spoiling it at times, we just hope that RCI get there act together so we can continue booking with them as our favoured cruise line.They let a ship sail unfinished and tried a new system in the main dining without a plan B which left the passengers annoyed and waiters frustrated, which isn't fair on their guests or crew who have to deal with the complaints . Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Check-in was ok, we had a little bit of a wait but not bad. Our Seapass card which serves as the room key did not work, we had to try 5 times before they got it right. Apparently a lot of people had the same issue. They eventually came ... Read More
Check-in was ok, we had a little bit of a wait but not bad. Our Seapass card which serves as the room key did not work, we had to try 5 times before they got it right. Apparently a lot of people had the same issue. They eventually came around to each room and did something electronically then they worked. We wasted a lot of time going back and forth and the lines kept growing for the same reason. Our cabin attendant Mardi was great! Our first few nights at the main dining room Sapphire was dreadful! Our waiter had no idea what he was doing, got our meals wrong, we had to send things back. Helen the person in charge of the dining room, changed our table for the rest of the cruise. Vener was wonderful! He had all the meals correct, and he even made paper origomi animals for us each evening. The entertainment was wonderful. The Royal Caribbean singers and dancers are bar none. We did not like the juggler, or the one women show with Andrew Lloyd Weber music. Several people walked out on that one. Our remote for the tv did not work, so we had to have that replaced. We did have new chairs and table on the balcony which was nice. One day after our shore excursion we came back to the ship and there was a 1 1/2 hour wait to get back on board. This did not go over well with any of us. I will say our table mates were wonderful, and I loved the ports of call. Vigo Spain actually gave us a very moving send off. They had the ship's name spelled out on the dock with balloons and about 18-20 people playing bag pipes, drums, etc. I actually cried it was so moving. Then there were 6 sail boats in formation beside our ship for a while. That was magnificent to see and hear. We didn't pack a tux or gown this time, and that was all we saw. We know for next time, it was prim and proper! The staff did remember our anniversary and sang to us with a piece of cake and candle. I liked the food in the Windjammer a lot, but it was difficult to find seats to sit down and eat at. So at times we had to share a table with people we didn't know. One of the biggest disappointments was there is no longer lobster tail served one night during the cruise. You have to pay for it, and I don't think that's right. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
I booked this cruise while on the Legend of the Seas in Apr/2014. We paid 2700.CDN for our Balcony stateroom which I think was very good value. The cruise was the first after a major refit. The first 2 days we could see and feel the ... Read More
I booked this cruise while on the Legend of the Seas in Apr/2014. We paid 2700.CDN for our Balcony stateroom which I think was very good value. The cruise was the first after a major refit. The first 2 days we could see and feel the hiccups. On embarkation day we had dinner at Giovanni's which was very good, our waiter Gary was one of the best we have had on a cruise. Considering some of the issues others had in the MDR is was a good call to have a specialty night dinner on the first night. Unlike Carnival no free bottle of wine though for those that book specialty dinners on the embarkation day. We also enjoyed Giovanni's on a port day and on the last sea day at lunch with Gary as our server. We had Chop's for dinner on a port day and it was not a wonderful experience from the start. They did not have our reservation for that night and wanted to charge us and then sort it out later. Since I keep copies of everything my DH went down to the cabin and brought up the proof of reservation and payment. Our appetizers were cold (not suppose to be) and our entrees warm. The view is very nice in Chop's though. Our cabin was always very clean and the upgrade was visible, one day there was a small period of time when the toilet did not flush. We enjoyed the special singer "Jacqui Scott" she was one of the best ever entertainers we have had on a cruise, DH even bought her CD. The group Horizon was Fantastic in the Star Lounge and played to a packed house every night. Wish there was someone playing in "Dizzy's" before it turns into a nightclub with a DJ. The skating show was good except for the "Hula Hoop" skater, I went to see a skating show. The outdoor party was on a very cool night and not what it could have been if done on a nice night. The MDR service and food improved after the first couple of days. Windjammers for Breakfast was often packed so we started ordering breakfast to eat on our balcony. With the new drink packages saw a lot of left over drinks on tables and still a lot of towels left on chairs, so often no were to sit in public areas. Ports Maderia: booked a DIY excursion with Madeira Tours to Monte, Toboggan Run and fishing Village, it was excellent considering it was not a very nice day. Tenerife: rented a car with Cicar, walk about 1/2 hours into town to pick it up. Did not know there was a free shuttle into town. We drove up to Mt Tiede and had a wonderful day which finished with a stop at a beach just out of town. Gran Canaria: booked car with Cicar,right at port. Great day exploring some small mountain towns and going to Mogan, Puerto Mogan, Masapolamas. Lanzarote: took ships excursion Fire Mountain and Camels. This was a terrific shore excursion finishing up at a very unique winery. Vigo: decided to just walk into town. Except for shopping not much to see or do. I would recommend a shore excursion to make more of this stop. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We embarked in Malaga 2 days ahead of the main embarkation in Barcelona. We flew in with Ryan Air from Liverpool and arrived in Malaga at 11.15 am. We took a taxi to the port which cost 24 euros and we were at the port by 11.40 pm. We ... Read More
We embarked in Malaga 2 days ahead of the main embarkation in Barcelona. We flew in with Ryan Air from Liverpool and arrived in Malaga at 11.15 am. We took a taxi to the port which cost 24 euros and we were at the port by 11.40 pm. We dropped our suitcases off outside and were given our stateroom number. As we had booked last minute we were guaranteed an inside cabin and that was all we knew! We then made our way to check in and were the only ones waiting to do so. We were checked in, usual welcome on board photo taken and on board by noon. As this wasn't the main embarkation port, we felt a little let down that there was no welcome committee so to speak that you usually get and which happened 2 days later for the majority who boarded in Barcelona, as this is the main start to the holiday...first impressions. We quickly got our bearings found our cabin to find we had been upgraded to a porthole window..the cabin was adequate, clean and functional our suitcases were delivered by 1 pm. We had the muster drill in the theater which was painless. Food and service in the Garden restaurant was excellent. As we did anytime dining we didn't have the same waiter once but the standard we received was consistently good. We tried Windows for breakfast on one occasion but had to wait over an hour for our food so never went back but the staff were very friendly. The Bistro - not so good. The service was slow with no atmosphere. We waited over 40 minutes for our order to be taken and then a further 40 minutes for our starters to arrive. My husband who never complains had a really bad meal. We didn't bother with desserts as we were totally fed up by now and just wanted to leave. The manager promised to refund the cover charge as a goodwill gesture but we were still charged. Cagney's - good but not amazing. We felt a bit rushed as we had booked at 7 pm by 7.45 pm we had left having had 3 courses in less than an hour. Tappanyaki - starter and dessert disappointing but the main course was lovely and of course the added attraction of the chef cooking it for you was good although not sure if it warrants the larger cover charge. We only used the buffet restaurant now and again as it was always crowded with no where to sit unless you went out onto the back of the ship which would've been fine if it wasn't blowing a gale. The Blue Lagoon - good for munchies after the nightclub. The chicken wings were excellent. Also had fish and chips here during the day which were also very good. We found all the staff who served us in the bars to be friendly and efficient. A big shout out to Alfredo who works in the Beer Garden during the day and the Galaxy of the Stars at night. Go find him...he's such a joy and a credit to NCL. Also Philly in the night club, bless her she must have one of the hardest jobs on board dealing with the "rowdy ones" until silly o clock each morning. the staff in the champagne bar were excellent too. The entertainment staff were very good. They even managed to get my husband up for dancing like a Norwegian which was brilliant fun for me, he's still in hiding now ;) The pool was closed for 5 days whilst we were on board, mostly due to rough seas but then a crack appeared. We were fortunate to meet some lovely people on board who made the holiday for us as without them I think we would've been bored by day 4. We plan to cruise with them again next year. So in a nutshell... A very old ship which could do with a major refurbish, excellent staff, good food and good entertainment. After 6 cruises with Princess and 7 with celebrity we loved the freestyle idea. Would we sail with Norwegian again? Definitely but on a newer ship. Many thanks. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My wife and I have sailed on MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida which are the biggest ships flying the MSC flag and decided at Easter15 to have a week in Santa Cruz, Tenerife and a weeks cruise on the newly refurbished MSC Armonia sailing the ... Read More
My wife and I have sailed on MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida which are the biggest ships flying the MSC flag and decided at Easter15 to have a week in Santa Cruz, Tenerife and a weeks cruise on the newly refurbished MSC Armonia sailing the Canaries and up to Casablanca. Looking at other reviews there is a real mixed bag of good and bad re MSC. We had fantastic cruises on Fantasia and Splendida and our decision to sail on Armonia was different on the smaller ship but we had a first class experience.. We had one of the few balconies on the Armonia which gave us Fantastica experience with Freetime evening dining. This was brilliant and we always got a table for two with a personal waiter every night. He was an Italian called Agostino and he made our evening meal experience by adapting very well to our needs over the week.. We found the food very good but yes it was different to what we would eat at home but we adapted and enjoyed what we got. If you want burgers, pizza etc you can use the buffet, but that is not the standard of food we want on a cruise (Ok for a snack). The ship was lovely and although we missed the bigger ship experience it had enough to give us a nice experience. Entertainment around the ship was the most noticable compared to the bigger MSC ships with fewer places to sit and enjoy music etc. This easter cruise was full but we never felt that we were overcrowded. Always book the Alegrissamo drinks package even if you are not a big drinker as it is well worth it. Ice cream, bottled water, fruit juice and coffees are included which is great. Our favourite stop on the cruise was Arricife and if you walk towards the car hire at end of the pier there is a free shuttle service. Did not like Casablanca, it was intimidating and a very long walk through the docks. We moored overnight in Casablanca and there was very little entertainment on the ship which was poor. No shops or casino and theatre closed as well. Poor planning by ship. We do like like MSC and are doing a pre Xmas cruise on their newest ship MSC Preziosa in Dec 15. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Thank you P&O. My husband was a major cruise fan (where I am quite happy by the hotel pool) but he said being on Britannia had put him off ever cruising again. Major delay getting on board meant that we had only just got to our ... Read More
Thank you P&O. My husband was a major cruise fan (where I am quite happy by the hotel pool) but he said being on Britannia had put him off ever cruising again. Major delay getting on board meant that we had only just got to our cabin when we were called to muster drill. service was very slow in the freedom dining room, so we ended up dining earlier than we would wish just so that we could get out in time for the shows, which by the way you needed to be seated at least 1/2 hour in advance because of the low capacity of the theatre/show lounge compared to the high capacity of passengers. The daytime activities were very boring. Daytimes on the ship seemed to be geared towards encouraging passengers to spend money in the spa, casino, or shops as there wasn't much else to do at sea, even the sauna was an additional cost. The shore excursions were over-priced particularly if you wanted to do anything other than the usual (very boring) sightseeing coach tour. The only saving grace is that the prices on Britannia seem lower than what we have paid on other P&O Ships in the past, presumably because you are herded in like cattle. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We decided to do the Spirit for our honeymoon, we decided to not pay for the additional transfer cost through NCL but instead make our own way to and from Barcelona from Leeds, UK. Getting there was an absolute breeze, 80 minutes in the ... Read More
We decided to do the Spirit for our honeymoon, we decided to not pay for the additional transfer cost through NCL but instead make our own way to and from Barcelona from Leeds, UK. Getting there was an absolute breeze, 80 minutes in the car to Liverpool airport and then moving on to Barcelona through a very well priced Easyjet flight and finally a 39 euro trip to the port where we were immediately allowed to embark the ship. It took a good couple of hours to get our luggage though. Activities wise, I found these disappointing, compared to what I found on both the Epic and indeed the Jade, although with 4 sea days this could have been the reason - doing the same thing over and over isn't something I enjoy, especially when we played the bingo it was $50 a time (although that was the biggest bingo package) so we only did that twice. Dining wise, 2 free restaurants the Garden and Windows and 2 buffet restaurants (Blue Lagoon and Raffles) which were very nice although the paid restaurants were nicer (although the food was gorgeous wherever we ate) and Cagneys Fillet Mignon deserved a special mention, it was superb! The cabin had a designated steward who comes in twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening to create towel animals (awesome!) and leave the "Whats on" directory for the following day. Everything you buy practically on board has an 18% auto-gratuity added to the cost so things can get a bit pricey (take this into account before boarding) and the photos are very expensive - $200 for 20 photos, $19.99 additional if you wish to have all of the images you buy onto USB for future usage. The disembark process is a little chaotic, we had to be off ship by 9am, out of the cabin by 8:30am which was a little early for our taste! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
After having been on a few cruises with various company's, but normally with Royal Caribbean, I was slightly wary about cruising for the first time on the Norwegian Spirit. It was to be the smallest ship I would have been on and I ... Read More
After having been on a few cruises with various company's, but normally with Royal Caribbean, I was slightly wary about cruising for the first time on the Norwegian Spirit. It was to be the smallest ship I would have been on and I expected it to be a cheap and cheerful cruise with the food not very good. WOW was I wrong! We embarked in Barcelona ready to sail to Morocco, Madeira, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Malaga. My first impressions of the ship were great. All the staff were very friendly in welcoming us on board and the ship was extremely clean. We did our own tour of the ship to check everything out and find our way around! Although being a smaller ship, there was still plenty on board-a basket ball court, golf driving range nets, lovely swimming pool, 6 hot tubs, children's pool with slide, large casino, fantastic theatre, spa and gym, many restaurants and bars. It was just perfect! Although it doesn't have the WOW factor of some Royal Caribbean ships such as the Oasis of the Seas which I have cruised on, it was still perfect! Our cabin was a balcony located on deck 10-cabin number 10526. The positioning was great right by the lifts and we had a brilliant stateroom attendant named Rizalde-nothing was too much trouble for him! I was very impressed with the storage in the cabin- a large wardrobe with plenty of hangers, set of 4 small drawers etc. Although the cabin was slightly outdated there were still no issues. We did find quite a lot of movement on the ship but I think it was a mixture of the sea being very rough, having a slightly smaller ship maybe and being towards the front. We used Raffles main buffet for Breakfast which has a wide variety including all fresh fruits, cakes, cereals, muesli etc., all cooked breakfast items, cooked to order eggs and pancakes. All being delicious. We also ate here for lunch and evening some evenings if we just wanted a quick chilled bite. The variety of food was good and the made t order crepes were absolutely DELICIOUS! With a variety of fillings and either normal ice cream or a 'mr softy' ice cream machine to accompany this was our favourite thing! We dined most nights in Windows where we found the food to be absolutely fantastic. The quality and presentation was brilliant. We were served mostly by Naomi who's service was exceptional. We did experience 1 evening a waiter who was prompt but not very friendly so we always asked for Naomi and she didn't fail to disappoint. We ate one night in the Garden room which has the same menu as Windows but a lot smaller and intimate. Also we dined for my Birthday in 'Shogun'. The food once again was fantastic and I had a lovely Birthday cake. The celebrations even continued the next day when I had another Birthday cake in Windows and many waiters/waitresses singing Happy Birthday! There is also a 24 hour dining area called The Blue Lagoon. Although small it was great if you wanted hot or mild chicken wings, fresh salads, fries, cakes etc. 24 hours a day and with waiter service! The cocktails were reasonably priced. We always had the amazing 'mudslide' which was just over 10 us dollars including gratuities so about average. We definitely didn't find it worth purchasing the beverage package but then we only had a couple of cocktails each day and that was it. The offer they are doing at the moment is not to be missed though when you can take advantage of the free beverage package whilst booking now. For entertainment we only went to the theatre a couple of times but one show that we did see which I would say is a 'must' was the Beatles tribute act. They were fantastic and it was just like being at an actual concert. Also the Amy Winehouse tribute that we experienced at Champagne Charlie's was exceptional. Overall we were very impressed with this cruise and even so that we have booked to go back! I would say 'Cruise like a Norwegian'! Any questions then I am more than happy to help! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We were travelling from Southampton to Madeira and then into the Canary Isles. We had chosen a suite which was really nice, clean, spacious and even given the time of year we had plenty of opportunity to utilise it. Boarding was fine in ... Read More
We were travelling from Southampton to Madeira and then into the Canary Isles. We had chosen a suite which was really nice, clean, spacious and even given the time of year we had plenty of opportunity to utilise it. Boarding was fine in Southampton the vehicle drop off was very quick and efficient and getting on board didn't take too long, what didn't work was that although asked to attend around midday, the rooms are not available so you are hustled into the Conservatory self service restaurant, which everyone seems to complain about and we called "The Zoo". I felt particularly since there are only a couple if dozen suites in particular, the room should have been ready as we had the romantic notion of going to our room and opening the champagne, instead I found myself in a canteen.....very disappointing. Things improved as we got to our room, we liked the size of the ship not so huge as to feel lost, food was extremely good, we just avoided the canteen. During the day the Al Fresco was fine for a light meal, lunch and afternoon tea available in the other two main restaurants and dinner was very nice in the Orient Restaurant which had set dinner times. It was good to see most people made a decent effort for the black tie events even on one day where it was rough and a lot of people were suffering. The average age was about 65 however there were some younger people on board and I don't think age matters, there were plenty of talks, dances, movies and shows during the day, the art class was particularly good. We didn't do the organised shore excursions we just walked into the towns in Madeira, La Gomera, Las Palmas, Lanzarote and Lisbon, all were very interesting and the weather was nice, dry and predominantly sunny. I felt that due to the policy of cutting prices so severely before sailing there was a definite element who would not normally cruise, this took away some of the exclusivity and feeling that you were among friends. The people who were at our evening dining table struggled to hold a civil conversation, some thought should be put into who you are seated with as this ruined our enjoyment of dining. Due to this we booked the separate dining of Marco Pierre White and the Sorrento on a number of occasions, both were very good and worth it though but again this spoiled the trip as did the fact that although the suites are quite expensive again there are no real perks apart from the odd fruit basket or flowers, some cruises have separate lounges, fast track embarkation etc and we felt P&O lacked that special feel. Staff were very pleasant throughout and worked extremely hard, we had a pleasant experience but I don't think I would use P&O again unless I went cut price, last minute and felt I was getting some sort of bargain! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
A wonderful trip on Windstar. Embarkation is so easy and the updated rooms were beautiful. Though smaller than some rooms on larger lines we never felt cramped. Lots of time spent on deck. We left Lisbon to sail the coast of Spain to ... Read More
A wonderful trip on Windstar. Embarkation is so easy and the updated rooms were beautiful. Though smaller than some rooms on larger lines we never felt cramped. Lots of time spent on deck. We left Lisbon to sail the coast of Spain to the Canary Islands. Weather in early November was on the cooler side but never cold. Early November in the Canaries is perfect weather actually. One port was Casablanca for Marrakech. We did our own excursion with another couple we were traveling with and it was very nice, especially as Marrakech is 2 hours inland from Casablanca. Traffic in Casablanca was horrific, ships excursion was very late returning. One this Windstar did was keep the main dining room open a few hours after main seating to accommodate the late arrivals, so they didn't miss dinner. It's those little touches that makes Windstar so special. Disembarkation at Tenerife where we rented a car and stayed in Garachico, a lovely small town on the other side of the island. It all was a spectacular trip and I look forward to my upcoming Star Breeze cruise in October 2015. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was my 3rd Celebrity cruise and about my 20th cruise on any line. It was also my 8th cruise traveling with a large, positively focused spiritual group. My first cruise with the group was a Celebrity Cruise in Alaska and the absolute ... Read More
This was my 3rd Celebrity cruise and about my 20th cruise on any line. It was also my 8th cruise traveling with a large, positively focused spiritual group. My first cruise with the group was a Celebrity Cruise in Alaska and the absolute highlight of the trip was dancing every night. The intervening cruises were on other lines but I was really looking forward to being back on Celebrity and dancing for hours in the Sky Lounge. Unfortunately it seemed the ship had no idea of the energy level of positively focused people. There were about 450 of us. We attempted to find dancing venues where we could dance and enjoy ourselves (and use the fun form of exercise to work off the food consumption) but found the venues were either designed for the young crowd that wants techno music or the very old who want slow ballroom dancing most of the time. We were quite excited one night when the Sky Lounge advertised Motown but disappointed to find it was mostly a show with a brief period of dancing following. I've cruised with this group eight times. I know how much fun it can be to dance until the wee hours with them. We booked their Sydney/Fuji group cruise for next year and I am still considering booking an upcoming one to the Caribbean in March (both on Celebrity) but really hope they actually plan dancing opportunities for the crowd. On the 1st Celebrity Cruise with this group in Alaska '09, they had a band in the Sky Lounge that did stop early but after that they provided a DJ that kept us rocking until the wee hours. On Holland cruises with this group there was a venue with a DJ that went until about 2 and they allowed us to hook up an iPod and continue dancing after the DJ went to bed. The Sky Lounge is the best dancing venue on the ship. The one near the dining room felt closed in and cramped. Beyond the dancing, we were very pleased with the cruise. Our cabin came with a Butler and Glen was wonderful--he made our morning breakfasts on the deck and our afternoon teas very special and gladly provided any services we requested. We had dinner in the Tuscan Grille three times and were very pleased with it. We had dinner once in Murano but changed our 2nd reservation there to Tuscan Grille. We had chateaubriand and the chateaubriand offered in the Moonlight Sonata with no upcharge the next night was better. The aspect we least cared for in Murano was that we wanted to enjoy one another's company during dinner and they made such a presentation of the food that it kept interrupting the flow of conversation. Perhaps a couple with nothing to say to one another would enjoy it more? I do not have a need to watch a waitress cut my chateaubriand and find conversation far more interesting. Some friends loved Murano so to each his or her own but it was not what we wanted. We ate in Moonlight Sonata the nights we did not dine in a speciality restaurant and found the food to be fine and service was nice. The ship was beautiful and clean. Our cabin spacious. We actually had two large drawers and several shelves in the closet that we did not need to use. Staff were friendly and helpful. We prefer to do our own thing in port so we did not book any excursions. Except for the lack of a place where we could dance for long periods of time we found the cruise to be very nice. We were not the only ones who were disappointed with the dancing. The first two nights of the cruise we had a group moving from venue to venue attempting to find good music for dancing and we finally gave up opting for conversation and drinks in Ensemble. We arranged all our own transportation and used Smithsforairports.com from Heathrow to our pre-cruise hotel. We were very pleased with this service as well as the early check-in the Meon Valley Marriott provided upon our arrival from an overnight flight. That may be because we are at their highest reward point level so I'm not sure if they will do that for all guests who arrive mid-morning. We were in the aft of the ship on level 12. I love the aft view. Neither of us have motion sickness. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We are just returning from an excellent cruise to Canary Islands on Norwegian Spirit. Everything was wonderful from Embarkation to disambarkation, all employees on the ship try to please you in anyway they can, the tours we took from the ... Read More
We are just returning from an excellent cruise to Canary Islands on Norwegian Spirit. Everything was wonderful from Embarkation to disambarkation, all employees on the ship try to please you in anyway they can, the tours we took from the ship was excellent for Lanzarote (best of Lanzarote) in the way that we visited a lot of things and it was very nice and the meal on the tour was excellent too, but we took a tour a Casablanca (exclusive Casablanca and Rabat) and it was not worthed to pay extra money to be in a small group in the way that we did not visit everything we were supposed to (the guide was upset with some of the questions he was asked...) )the tour was supposed to last approx. 9 hours...we left at 8h15 and we returned at 15h45 (according to the original schedule we were supposed to be back at around 17h15) and the tour on the big bus with more people took the time to visit everything and more...but I told the facts to the shore excursion personnel and they took care of my complaint right away in the sense they give me some money back...I really appreciate the fact they listen to me and take care of the situation... One other thing we appreciate is that we told at the reception personnel that a suitcase was broken by one of the porters (from the bus to the room) and they took the time to repair that suitcase...it was greatly apprciate... All the meals we took on board was excellent (at RAFFLES for breakfast and lunch except for the days we were on excursions and at WINDOWS for dinner) and the waiters and their help gave a really good service....we usually eat at around 5h30 PM and we had a table right away (no waiti) and by the Windows... Al the shows were excellent and we went to all daily shows (3 shows with dancers and singers, 2 shows of magic, 1 show with 2 excellent acrobatic, 1 Broadway show and more)... They have very good music onboard (ship band, 1 other band with 2 singers and they were excellent, 1 trio, duo, 1 pianist, 1 guitarist)....so they have music for everybody and evry taste with those 6 groups... The embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and fast....(for the disimbarkation, it took only 30 minutes from the time we left our room on the ship to the finish of checkin at the airport....I never experience a disembarkation, transport to the airport by taxi and chek-in for the plane so fast...we left the ship at around 7h00 in the morning))... Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
My husband and I just returned from our first European trip (from United States). We spent two days in Barcelona before boarding the NCL Spirit. We had a surprising quick check-in process and experiences nothing but superb service and ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from our first European trip (from United States). We spent two days in Barcelona before boarding the NCL Spirit. We had a surprising quick check-in process and experiences nothing but superb service and friendliness of the crew and staff from beginning to end. Our room attendant, Charlie, was fantastic. A wonderful smiling face to see everyday. As other reviews have mentioned, the food was just OK. We had a great food and service at Cagney's, and were happy with that we ordered at Trattoria and as for the complimentary eateries, we found Windows to be the most pleasant. We didn't particularly love the shows as the talent felt like small town community theater, but could tell the performers were really trying to put on a good show. Our first port, Lanzarote, was OK. We just walked around, lacked stores/places to visit outside of excursions. Tenerife was also OK. Unfortunately, this stop was on New Years Day so most of the city was closed. We did take a highlights tour in Casablanca and were extremely disappointed. The whole tour felt like a cattle heard and after we were shuffled through the Mosque, we spent the next 4 hours of the tour wasting time with random stops--- one at a small hotel where we were given a soda, and told we could sit in the lounge for 40 minutes (while 6-8 other tour busses did the same thing). We were dropped at some small store with souvenirs... crammed like sardines with way too many tour busses stopping at the same store. One bathroom for use, no toilet paper. Casablanca was a sad city, very dirty, and the people were not friendly.... very negative experience. We LOVED Málaga. LOVED it. Cannot wait to go back just to visit that city again. Other than the iffy stops, we were overall very happy with our NCL experience. The boat may not have had many bells and whistles and the activities felt a little hit or miss, but the Crew and Staff were phenomenal. There was always SOMETHING to do. Every NCL employee we encountered was upbeat, helpful, and friendly. Will definitely look into future trips with NCL- especially their newer ships.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Our 5th cruise, we are no cruise experts but feel accomplished enough to say that was the best cruise ship and holiday we've been on. We booked concierge class which bumped us up to a room with a better position. Our room was ... Read More
Our 5th cruise, we are no cruise experts but feel accomplished enough to say that was the best cruise ship and holiday we've been on. We booked concierge class which bumped us up to a room with a better position. Our room was exceptionally comfortable, the en suite and balcony was an impressive size. The food was superior to other cruises and the staff couldn't be better, they would go to get you your favorite drink no matter where it was on the ship and bring it to the bar or restaurant where you were. I also was happy with the value for money our drinks were. It took 3 days to actually see children, we were happy about that because the last ship was full of kids. We really don't have any complaints about this ship and will be looking for another cruise on it again. One important thing they did on the Solstice was increase the hygiene, they were very strict about anti bacterial hand wash, it seemed overkill but I'm glad they did, they have a lot to be proud of keeping us well and try to prevent the Nora virus epidemic. There were so many nice little touches that we appreciated and the ship seemed to spare little expense to ensure our experiences were wonderful.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Having been on the Epic 6 months earlier we were a bit worried that a smaller, older, ship wouldn't suit us fun-loving party animals...hmm, maybe I exaggerated our energy levels, but we are early 30s and go to bed past midnight on ... Read More
Having been on the Epic 6 months earlier we were a bit worried that a smaller, older, ship wouldn't suit us fun-loving party animals...hmm, maybe I exaggerated our energy levels, but we are early 30s and go to bed past midnight on holiday! Embarkation was great with a taxi from the airport for about 30e (better than the NCL transfers IMO) and a quick check-in. We couldn't board because we were early, but it was nice to wander around Barcelona for a bit. Top tip - get the shuttle, it's a lot longer walk than it looks! Our room, balcony on 10, was a bit small but never felt too small, and although it was a bit dated compared to the EPIC, it didn't detract from our overall enjoyment. For us faded carpet and a small toilet don't negatively impact our holiday! The MDRs could be busy, but it's important to time it around the entertainment, we had a pager on 2 nights, but we don't mind: we like to go with the flow. We didn't eat in any pay restaurants and enjoyed our meals and service every night. We also had lunch in Windows a few times, and this did seem to be a little lacklustre service-wise, but not really bad or worth moaning about. The buffet was actually really good and the crepes are amazing! On a few occasions it was too busy to find a seat (at lunch). We weren't keen on the Blue Lagoon - it's situated in a walkway and it's not nice being banged into when eating. At one point we had several people stood right next to us singing psalms (I think) and it was very loud and then a grow of children were left to sun riot it put us off for the rest of the cruise. We loved the shows and enjoyed them all - probably not what we would expect to like, but they don't last long and are quite varied. They also have films on and use it as a cinema - we really enjoyed this beings as the time of year meant lounging on deck wasn't fun! The Galaxy bar was brilliant and busy every night, although the music got a little repetitive in here it was still fun. The disco was never on, and if it was it was empty. It's a shame because it's a nice room, but I think there was a problem with the DJ having to leave the ship. There were a few other bars and a pub which were all ok, and the atrium area was lovely in the evening: quite bustling. We loved the jacuzzis and used them a lot. I also enjoyed the steam room and sauna - but they are separate for men and women and it can be confusing not knowing the "etiquette" of nakedness, but you are ok in a bikini/swimwear, you don't have to be naked! Plus they are free so that's always a bonus. The gym was small but adequate and you could always get on the equipment. There were plenty of loungers on the deck - i just wish the weather had been better! The ports: Casablanca - we did the ships tour of Casablanca. Lots of people did Rabat, but that was several hours on the bus, and I don't like coach travel. Plus Casablanca is an intriguing city and really interesting - ice it a try (but I would stick to the ships tours). Funchal - did our own thing and loved it: the red bus tour and the cable car. I don't see the point in doing a tour unless you want to see other parts of the Island. Lanzarote - this was cancelled due to bad weather and replaced with Tenerife Santa Cruz, Tenerife - it's a nice city but don't think I can judge it as a port as it was a last minute additional and we hadn't done any research so didn't know what to do with ourselves. Malaga - again everyone seemed to opt for the 2hr bus ride to Gibralta, but we really enjoyed Malaga itself and there us lots to see and all quite a good price. Barcelona - loads to see within walking distance, but next time we will definitely do the HoHo bus. Overall we loved it all. The entertainments team were brilliant and there was a good mix of holiday makers. The casino (although tiny compared to the Epic) was quite lively and they always had a busy Craps table and managed a poker cash game every night. And no, we did not develop any serious "second hand smoking" complications. If you want glossy, modern, perfect and new don't go on the Spirit. If you want a relaxed holiday with good people, and like to feel comfortable and surrounded by other like-minded relaxed people, then book it! P.s. If you wait until a few weeks before, and are happy for not so good weather (15-20c), you can get an absolute bargain!   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Really enjoyed this cruise, embarkation was easy, cabin not available till 2pm as was expected, this gave us time to explore a little before unpacking. Our first impression was that we liked this ship and that view was confirmed throughout ... Read More
Really enjoyed this cruise, embarkation was easy, cabin not available till 2pm as was expected, this gave us time to explore a little before unpacking. Our first impression was that we liked this ship and that view was confirmed throughout our stay. We would sail with NCL again My husband and I enjoyed the freestyle dining,and although we opted to share a table each evening when booking our table we actually only shared twice which was a bit disappointing. The standard of food in my view was very good, varied and flavorful, though occasionally it could have been hotter. There was roast beef served in the garden cafe one lunchtime that was some of the best beef I've eaten. Pancakes at 5.30 were delicious. The Food at Tappanyaki was wonderful and made for nice birthday experience for my husband, however no birthday cake was presented which was a tad disappointing. it was not the same having one delivered to cabin later in the evening. The entertainment on board was some of the best we've experienced at sea, Fourever (Il Divo Style) were excellent, as was RJ Red Read Less
Sail Date January 2012

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