88 Rome (Civitavecchia) Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

Chose for the itinerary. Pluses: Easy embarkation and debarkation at all ports. Cruise Ship Personnel Service Excellent Cruise Director & Entertainment Staff Excellent Specialty restaurants very good at no extra charge. ... Read More
Chose for the itinerary. Pluses: Easy embarkation and debarkation at all ports. Cruise Ship Personnel Service Excellent Cruise Director & Entertainment Staff Excellent Specialty restaurants very good at no extra charge. Polo Grill better than Toscanini. Can obtain extra reservation day of if not totally booked No issue bringing on your own alcohol Food at Waves Restaurant Sandwiches good for lunch Back of ship dining buffet good for bfast, lunch and dinner. Very casual. Grilled shrimp and lobster as requested-mmmmmm good Only had to tender at 1 port Bora- Bora Skipped Samoa Apia due to measles outbreak ( was a Sunday and nothing was open so did not miss much) Highlights: Bora-Bora, Vanuatu, Noumea, New Caledonia & Brisbane. Went to Moore on our own prior to boarding ship in Papeete. Tons of activities to earn on board ship points “OPoints” for redemption of Oceania logo items Staff very conscious of remembering guests names Happy Hours at 5-6 & 10:30-11:30 for BOGO of the same drink Easy access to elevators or stairs. Never crowded. Nice size ship with only 650 max people Games like trivia, majority rules, bingo all great fun ————— Ship excursions too pricey, book on your own Spa prices way too expensive Main Dining Room food is marginal Smoking areas should be delegated to the top deck and not so close to the pools. Promotions to book another cruise on board are not as attractive as one can get on their own Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was a great cruise, with fascinating ports. And a good season to travel, good weather. The service was top notch, best cabin steward and waiters. Really no complaints except for front desk people who were a bit rude. We tried the ... Read More
This was a great cruise, with fascinating ports. And a good season to travel, good weather. The service was top notch, best cabin steward and waiters. Really no complaints except for front desk people who were a bit rude. We tried the Share restaurant and it was fine, something new and tasty. entertainment was fine, except for too loud in the theatre and piazza. I don't like to be deafened. We just had a fine time, and the transatlantic portion was very relaxing. I would have used the gym if I knew it was free, they never say. The main problem we had is that many excursions are not very handicapped accessible. Lots of steep steps to get in buses. None had a wheelchair lift, so some people stuck on the bus most of the time. I wish they had more handicapped options. So many of the people used canes, and we are not considered much. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
1. Nickel And Dimed: I felt like everything was extra money after I paid for my cruise. - The app to message people around the ship was $10. - Most of the restaurants you had to pay for ($40-$50/person) - The best entertainment ... Read More
1. Nickel And Dimed: I felt like everything was extra money after I paid for my cruise. - The app to message people around the ship was $10. - Most of the restaurants you had to pay for ($40-$50/person) - The best entertainment you had to pay for. - All drinks except water you had to pay for. (other ships I have sailed with let you get a soda or lemonade or something similar with your dinner.) 2. Daily Disembarking - it was difficult to know what time we could begin disembarking each day. We knew when we arrived at the port, but not when we could disembark. And each day it was in a different location on the ship. It would have been helpful to have listed that on the daily newsletter, in the app, and with signs throughout the ship. 3. Laundry - I really wish they had washing machines we could use on the ship! That is a big deal for me when I choose who to sail with. I did find out that we could do a bulk laundry service near the end of our time on board (which I was NOT able to learn through ANY of the NCL information, I learned about it through Cruise Critic). I did use the service while sailing, and it was a good service. We sailed Wednesday to Wednesday. We had to put the laundry out by Friday morning and it was returned Sunday/Monday (2 of our cabins received it Monday, 3 of our cabins received it on Monday.) The bulk service is a discount from their high prices - everything you can fit in the bag for $20. The bag is just smaller than a regular pillowcase, but it is a flat paper bag. I used a suggestion I found on Cruise critic, where I brought with me a large garbage sack, put all of my clothes in it and then slid the plastic bag into the paper bag. It helped because I was able to close the garbage sack with the draw string and then I didn't have to close the paper bag. It was slick! The laundry came back folded in a small basket waiting for us in our room. 4. The App was NOT worth the $10! All it did was allow us to text one another. They didn't use it to push information to us! This app could have let us know about disembarking times and locations, when we need to be back on the ship, it could have showed me my excursion details and my dinner reservation locations and times. But it didn't. It wasn't interactive at all. If you have a large group and need to communicate, then I guess it's worth paying for, but other than letting you text, there is a static map of the ship and that's about it. 5. Dining - MAKE RESERVATIONS EVEN FOR THE MAIN DINING ROOMS! The main dining rooms get really busy, so if you want to eat at a certain time, make sure you make reservations for your party well in advance, otherwise you will wait in a huge line for a table to open up! I really didn't like the "Free Style" dining. On other cruises with set dining times, the waiters got to know our table, our habits, our drinks, our favorite appetizers, etc.. and had things ready and waiting when we arrived. With Free Style cruising, each dining experience had different waiters, so we didn't get the personal attention I've received on ALL of my other cruises! Additionally, since we were a party of 9, had I not known that I needed reservations, dinner would have been a nightmare! 6. Stateroom Layouts. I stayed in 8149. We were lucky we had odd numbered state rooms because that side of the ship was able to view most of the port coast lines! My party stayed in cabins 8149, 8155, 8157, 8159, 8161. The layouts for 8149, 8157, and 8161 were all the same. The toilets were next to the bed and the couch was on the far side of the room next to the balcony. The walkway was so tight that two people couldn't pass the bed without one of them either getting onto the bed or walking to the other end of the room. The layouts for 8155 and 8159 had the bed at the far end of the room and the wider space to move up front in front of the couch and by the bathrooms. It's a MUCH better layout!! The bathrooms don't have a door. The toilet and shower area are frost covered glass enclosed on either side of the door into the cabin. So if someone knocks on the door and you answer it while someone is using the toilet or showering, then there isn't much privacy. This area is separated from the main living area by a curtain. The sink was in front of my bed, so when I used the facilities during the night, it woke up others sleeping in the room. I've stayed in interior cabins before with more room! This "suite" was smaller than other rooms I've stayed in! (minus the balcony of course.) 7. Embarkation and Disembarkation were SUPER smooth. It was one of the easiest I've done (I've sailed 7 times.) Overall the ship was nice, the staff was wonderful, and the food was terrific. But I think I'd rather not sail with NCL again. If I did, the price would have to be a steal to get me to go through the headaches again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Cruising since 72. More than 50, I've lost count. Loyal to Royal since 74 Song of Norway. Tried a lot of others but liked Royal best. Took 1st X ship Jan/2019 Argentina to Antarctica (Eclipse), and Celebrity has won me over from now ... Read More
Cruising since 72. More than 50, I've lost count. Loyal to Royal since 74 Song of Norway. Tried a lot of others but liked Royal best. Took 1st X ship Jan/2019 Argentina to Antarctica (Eclipse), and Celebrity has won me over from now on. Booked this Europe cruise with total of 6 family to try out the Edge. As usual the crew and service knocked it out of the park. I didn't realize when I booked what the Edge would look like until after I started reading more about it. My thoughts. It looks as if Picasso and Dali designed it and couldn't agree on anything. Looks like someone punched it in the nose. I loved the over all newness but I guess I am a traditionalist and liked the Eclipse better. You can't get to there from here prevails in some of the areas. You have to go up and down decks to move fore and aft. They could have left off the carnival ride on the side of the ship, although I liked it as a tender station for one of the ports we did. Instead of Cabana's on the pool deck at $300 per day that I never saw any one use, they could have more seating. There were no upright deck chairs with arms at both pools, such as on Royal ships. As a Disabled Veteran with mobility issues I couldn't use the flat lounges. The only seats were at the cafe and it would not be right for me to use one of those. I had to sit on the ledge of the hot tub in the solarium near the hoist station and could not sit with my wife or family members. The shops are very high end. I laughed at a sign that said Breitling Watches starting at only $3095.00. I can't recall seeing anyone but clerks in the shops. I read previous comments regarding the Infinity Staterooms. Seems like 50/50 like dislike them. I usually book an inside cabin unless going to a venue that's interesting like Antarctica. That way I can do 2 or 3 cruises a year, Well the upgrade fairy visited me and I wound up in an Infinity Cabin. Absolutely loved it. You get the fresh air if you want and the cabin has more usable floor footage than a veranda cabin. The bathroom, and in particular the shower were awesome. The steward was fantastic as all the crew were. I never pay extra for dining so have no comment. The standard dining venues and Ocean View Cafe food and service, Top Shelf. Would go again if itinerary is what I want, but prefer the traditional looking pointy bow ships without the ArtDeco look. Celebrity you're the best. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Pacífic Princess is the smallest ship in the entire Princess fleet. It’s size allows passengers to meet others and form new friends, on a first name basis! The relaxing ambience means it is unlikely to be pushed by other passengers, ... Read More
Pacífic Princess is the smallest ship in the entire Princess fleet. It’s size allows passengers to meet others and form new friends, on a first name basis! The relaxing ambience means it is unlikely to be pushed by other passengers, which is an awesome feeling. The nightly entertainment is outstanding and the Cruisetone group, consisting of two men, who play jazz and other tunes is captivating. There are activities throughout the day, at times it’s hard to decide which one to attend. The captain is a young super tall man who hails from Italy. He’s so gracious with the passengers and comes out daily at breakfast to say hello, surveilling the ship as he’s walking about. This was a 12 day Mediterranean cruise, 9 days in port. Personally, I’ve learned to enjoy the sea days more than the port days. I made two ports additional sea days. The ADA inside cabin, 4035, is a quiet room with no neighbors. There was never any noise from the Medical Center which neighbors this cabin. The only downside of this room was the small size and placement of the TV and the size of the refrigerator. I would have loved it if they would have mounted the TV on the wall opposite of the bed. It is offset of the bed and odd to view at the angle it’s mounted at. The closet area where the refrigerator was at was odd, because of the head from the refrigerator nothing could be placed on top of it. It’s a small refrigerator that I wish could be larger... as if I could bring more snacks to put inside of it. There are so many relaxing pool chaise lounges available, with nobody dragging them or saving them for others. There are large pool towels and blankets available should anyone need one. I noticed new teak sofa type furniture, pillows and a coffee table have been added in the grill area. I loved sitting there to hear the outside band play poolside. The gym literally had nobody working out so it was awesome to have the space to oneself. The jogging/walking track seldom had anyone using it. The ping pong table gets a lot of use, mainly if there is anyone less than 30 years old onboard playing. The internet could use some beefing up with their satellite system. It was completely down for close to 1.5 days. Most of the time it was consistently slow. It has not been converted to the Medallion Net. I’m wondering if it ever will be! As an Elite loyalty passenger, I got 250 free internet minutes plus I used my husband’s 250 free minutes. LOL The Pacific Princess is known for older passengers cruising, occasionally, there are a handful of kids, maybe because parents failed to investigate what types of children activities/play areas were available before they booked the cruise... there are none available, nor any babysitters. It’s the only ship where Princess doesn’t provide children’s activities/play areas nor services. The food choices are good, as well as the quality and taste. A passenger is easily spoiled by their awesome staff, who are hard workers, always ready to help make your cruise the best you’ve ever had. I doubt anyone lost any weight while onboard. It’s my fourth cruise on the Pacific Princess in the last 18 months. Needless to say, it’s my favorite ship. I’ll be back onboard two more time within the next six months. Definitely for the World Cruise in 2020! I’m saddened that the Pacific Princess will not be doing the World Cruises as of 2021. I hope that Princess reconsiders and puts it back on this intimate cruising ship. I’ve cruised on many other Princess ships but none can compete with the cruising experience of the Pacific Princess! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
No doubt I will choose again to travel with NCL. We were always kept well informed of when we would be arriving to each port and can disembark. I was traveling with my parents and daughter and they both had a wonderful time. My parents who ... Read More
No doubt I will choose again to travel with NCL. We were always kept well informed of when we would be arriving to each port and can disembark. I was traveling with my parents and daughter and they both had a wonderful time. My parents who were traveling with wheelchairs were well taken care of and the handicap services were clear and accesible. The buffet had a great variety of options for my whole family and the a la carte service was excellent. The crew was kind and attentive, I can ask them questions and they were very helpful. One of my favorite and most memorable experiences were the shows that took place every night, each was different and got better every day. My family enjoyed everything it was excellent service, entertainment, activities, and dining, all beyond my expectations!!! Since coming back I have been strongly recommending Norwegian cruise line to my coworkers and family members. Thank You for giving my and I a memorable vacation. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
“The Edge” is Celebrity Cruise Lines first of their newest class of ship, and it’s an exquisite implementation of an unfortunately deeply flawed design concept. It’s really hard to understand what happened here, and the ... Read More
“The Edge” is Celebrity Cruise Lines first of their newest class of ship, and it’s an exquisite implementation of an unfortunately deeply flawed design concept. It’s really hard to understand what happened here, and the responsibility should sit squarely with its designers. They totally missed the mark, in my opinion. If my tag line above sounds befuddling, read on, and I’ll attempt to clear up the contradictions. A couple of introductory items first. In the interests of full transparency, I am a big fan of Celebrity, and frequently cruise with them. Writing a negative review of their latest offering in “Modern Luxury” is tough for me, especially after so many wonderful voyages aboard their absolute home run design of their Solstice class ships. One thing that still continues to be a tribute to the company, and that’s its hiring and training prowess. The crews of the Celebrity fleet are among the best in the business. This is particularly apparent in the hyper competitive, upper end segment of the five star cruise market. The line offers many opportunities for cross-training, career development, and plenty of upward mobility opportunities for crew. However, all is not well in this most essential area, and I’ll get to right to the reason for that after after addressing a few preliminaries. I had a chance to meet with Master, Chief Engineer and Hotel Manager of Edge in “The Retreat Lounge” aboard the ship. They explained that there were four primary design goals for the “E” class: 1) reduce fuel consumption by 25%, by using a new hull design, new flexible power generation/management options (2x12MW, 2x9MW + aux on “E”, as opposed to the 4x16MW + aux on “S”); 2) improve hotel power use efficiency by incorporating really cool LED lighting technology, high efficiency climate control, application of new kitchen food preparation/storage techniques; employment of new power savings measures in the cabins; 3) building a safer, more modern class ship, that fully actualized the corporate objective to be eco-friendly, by incorporating the latest stack exhaust scrubbers technology to lower greenhouse gas emissions, improve recycling, provide better water treatment technology, revise stores sourcing to take advantage of recent innovations to reduce trash/waste (especially plastics); and 4) attract a younger demographic to Celebrity. With the very notable exception of the fourth objective, attracting a new demographic to the line, Celebrity appears to have been pretty successful by meeting those first three objectives. There are two really important objectives that appear to have been completely omitted when the “E” class design was first presented. First is quality of crew life, hapiness, and workload right-sizing. This should have been a primary design objective. We all know the mantra, “Happy crew, happy ship. Happy ship, happy guests”. Second, the dramatic innovations in the area of accessibility, especially for the mobility impaired, that Celebrity brought to the industry when designing the “S” class, seem to have been completely lost on Edge. Very strange considering their likely future customer demographic. After their first cruise, in my case it was my third, it’s very clear that very few of the Elite, Elite Plus & Zenith level cruisers I’ve spoken with, Celebrity’s bread and butter revenue source, enjoyed Edge. In fact, many were downright disappointed. My contacts in Royal Caribbean top management tell me that the feedback has been overwhelmingly negative on the cruise surveys for Edge. Already it’s not selling nearly as well during initial rollout as previous new class ships. Hence, the monster advertising, and the big push from Future Cruise Sales, to encourage repeat Celebrity guests to try Edge. Why? Well, there are several reasons, but the primary answer I continue to hear from veteran cruisers is that Edge doesn’t feel like a ship providing “Modern Luxury”. Edge feels much more like a cold, sterile hotel. Hotels like those found in most major cities, pretty much anywhere in the developed world. Hotels built in a style that the big chains have towards the needs of their bread and butter revenue source, repeat business travelers. Edge is not an exciting new offering for cruisers looking for diverse, fun, unique vacations to exotic locales. Most of us cruise to enjoy the sea, meet and interact with other guests, experience exciting new types of events with an exotic international crew, experience quality food and entertainment onboard, have fun in ports on high quality itineraries, but definitely not to stay in a hotel that doesn’t highlight it’s nautical heritage, and really has very chilly and in some cases obnoxious ambiance. “White is the new wood”, seems to pervade the appearance of the Edge. Sustainable, natural, fireproof materials like bamboo, or cork would have been much better choices, given Celebrity’s eco-friendly corporate focus. The synthetic laminates found everywhere aboard Edge, and the especially uncomfortable furniture makes no sense. By contrast, the original furniture on the “S” class ships appears to have held up very well over the last decade, and after the “Revolution”, replacement of wall, floor coverings, and some new upholstery, Equinox looks marvelous. This is where the new “E” class really falls down. It’s just not comfortable! Many crew members have already made their concerns known to management, regarding the difficulties of working on Edge, and the primary reason is the lack of attention to detail for essential ship design requirements. An obvious example is storage for everyday use items. Every time I’ve cruised on Edge, I was really shocked to see incredible silly examples of design shortfalls. F&B staff having to stack dining linens, china, and flatware in the service corridors, because no closets were include for storage of these essential everyday items. Cabin stewards, and housekeeping staff, have to roam around the ship to obtain essentials like cleaning supplies, towels, bed linens, extra pillows, and other basics. So the crews’ ability to do their jobs, in a most efficient fashion has been severely compromised. So much so, that even many of the superb “E” class launch crews are asking to be assigned back to the older ships, where day-to-day operations are so much more efficient. Very few wish to be assigned to Apex, the next ship of the class. There are more that a few secondary reasons, but I’ll list just a few, in no particular order, to give you a sense of where I’m going with this review. The Edge has a caste system, either you are a suite guest, and have the run of the ship, or you are in Aquaclass, both castes have special restaurants, as well as access to “some” of the spa amenities, private spaces. If you don’t pay the up-charge to get into these premium cabins, you’re in steerage and must pay extra for everything. That’s not going to make many cruisers, both North American, as well as International guests, happy in any way, shape or form. Bizarrely, Edge has no sensible flow to it’s deck plan. It’s easy to get stuck with several flights of stairs, difficult routing from one area of the ship to another, and in some cases you can’t get from the entry to the four main dining rooms to ant other venues without going up and over, or down and under. Annoying when you’re heading from the show to dinner or vice-versa. There are so many six star offerings these days, including Royal’s own Azamara. Without not really any middle ground on the new “E” class ships, and this strange idea that Celebrity thinks that blocking off large areas of the ship for most guests is a good idea is patently absurd. Edge looks beautiful! Let’s be clear about that. It’s just not fun to cruise on this ship. The Infinity Edge balconies are nothing more than ocean view rooms with a window that opens, sometimes. Pretty much universally hated by every who’s tried them. The over-reliance on technology (especially the app), can eat up large chunks of your vacation. Especially when shipboard communication are unreliable, which is all the time. Anyone who cruises regularly can tell you that’s true for all cruise ships. Not being able to connect to the ship’s intranet and use the app, removal of paper programs, no visible signage for deck plans, elimination of officers’s pictures, bios, and explanations of their roles frustrates most new cruisers. First time you’re disconnected from the app, and you can’t make or change dinner/entertainment, check your schedule, check in for your next cruise or access your boarding documents, or even find your way around the ship, you’ll turn off your phone, lock it in your safe, disconnect, call Guest Relations from your cabin, or a house phone. Then maybe, just maybe, you can finally begin to enjoy your vacation. The design for Apex is frozen, no more changes. Hopefully Celebrity will get the message and make BIG changes for Beyond, the third of the “E” class ships. If not, well then half billion dollars the line is spending for refurbishment of the older ships will be a much better investment than we all expected, because we’ll all want to go back to cruising on the “S” and “M” ships, or move to another line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We booked cruise as part of our Golden Wedding celebrations. The ship is simply stunning, very understated very chic. We had a Concierge Balcony cabin which was beautiful and had everything we needed. Bathroom was a little bigger than ... Read More
We booked cruise as part of our Golden Wedding celebrations. The ship is simply stunning, very understated very chic. We had a Concierge Balcony cabin which was beautiful and had everything we needed. Bathroom was a little bigger than others we've had on Celebrity ships, though still quite snug. I was attracted to this cruise by the itinerary because we love the Greek Islands. Sadly as a disabled cruiser, I was unable to get off the ship as much as I would have liked because they had to resort to using tenders to get ashore because of weather conditions. Now I come to the piece de resistance, the food on Edge is just fantastic. We ate most nights at Tuscan and the food was outstanding. Every morsel just fabulous. Beautifully served by Tatiana (sorry for any misspelling) who knew all about the menu and ingredients used and she was ably assisted by Ranesh. Anna answered all our questions on the wine and never failed to find just the right wine to accompany the food. The service on board the Edge is just superb. Always discreet, never too much. I really can't praise the staff too much. Our stateroom was beautifully kept by Komang who did a fabulous job. We would love to sail again on the Edge but would have to save very hard as this was a very exoensive cruise. Could I say a very heartfelt thank you to Eduardo of Jet 2 based in Rome, who came to our rescue in Rome airport and helped with my wheelchair and guided us to where we needed to go. If there were 6 stars for dining an d service that's what I would give. My only negative would be the entertainment. It needs a couple of separate pubs. Maybe a nice quiet wine bar and a completely separate music bar for younger guests (adequately soundproofed). All entertainment seemed to happen around the Atrium with everything clashing together. Did it spoil my cruise, not really. If you get the entertainment to the level of the rest of the ship, what a cruise ship you will have Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose Edge because it looked very different and exciting. Demarcation was seamless we were in board within 10 minutes of arriving at the port. We booked Concierge class for the little extras, but we're very disappointed to find we ... Read More
We chose Edge because it looked very different and exciting. Demarcation was seamless we were in board within 10 minutes of arriving at the port. We booked Concierge class for the little extras, but we're very disappointed to find we had missed the restaurant lunch on arrival as it finishes at 1.30pm. Our cabin 9007 was very roomy and had some really nice touches, it was an adapted cabin and the,self opening door was a real bonus as on other ships the doors can be quite heavy when you are in a wheelchair trying to get in or out and hold the door. edge is lovely and has plenty of space on deck for everyone. The service of course was second to none, especially Nanette our cabin steward. I think the food is quite repetitive and was disappointed with the breakfast menu in the restaurant which never changes. The entertainment in the theatre was good, we have been in Celebrity before and the entertainment was fab several different acts plus shows, but this cruise was just shows by the resident cast. We also chose this cruise for the itinerary and that didn't disappoint. I would recommend Edge but you need money because most of the nice restaurants are extra. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We booked this cruise at the Nurnberg Germany Airport when my wife found a Bargain Price...08 to 20 Feb 2019 We normally take time and search for reviews but we did not this time, our mistake. I had recently had my 3rd back surgery and ... Read More
We booked this cruise at the Nurnberg Germany Airport when my wife found a Bargain Price...08 to 20 Feb 2019 We normally take time and search for reviews but we did not this time, our mistake. I had recently had my 3rd back surgery and was in a walker when we booked so the travel agent asked for wheel chair assistance. When we Arrived no Wheelchairs. My wife inquired and was told we don't do that... but the lady in Genova pointed me to an elevator. At Check in we were told our cabin keys would be in our cabin. and to use our booking papers to purchase drinks until then. it was 0930, and our cabin would be open around13:30 or 14:00, not being able to walk much without pain we settled at a seat near the ships entry point where we were offered a choice of 9 drink packages. some for with meals only drinks, some for non alcoholic and some for alcohol. Prices start at 19, 29, and 39 Euro's a day per person and all in a cabin must purchase the package. the entry level package were good for draft beers and only a few special drinks up to 6.10. Euros. Bottle beer start at 6.50 and required the 29 Euro Price. Name brand alcohol required the 39 Euro package. Ice cream and coffee and water were not free and required a package. Coffee was free at Breakfast. I only met one couple from Canada who bought an Alcohol Package and One who purchased the non Alcohol Pkg, but got a refund after an argument with ship staff when they did the math. They only drink water, which was 2.90 a bottle. We like to cruise and have spent over a 150 days at sea on 4 previous cruise lines. We like to be served as I have trouble standing for long periods and walking for short distances. to My surprise in the dining room Lunch is also a buffet. only dinner is served. Breakfast is a buffet with some options like pancakes and omelets orderable. About 50% of the time the table was set with a coffee spoon or a butter knife. no standards seemed to exist or no one was checking. Tipping was set at 10 Euros a Day per person and automatically charged to your account, as were a donation to UNICEF. At our first meal we were offered Bread. no butter was on the table and it took a full 20 minutes and an argument with the waiter the head waiter his assistant and the head of the ding room to get it fixed. we were initially told it was company policy not to put butter on the table. After I made a scene we had butter the rest of the cruise on every table. The food was sub standard compared to other cruise lines. I actually lost weight. A steak was never offered on the cruise. Lobster was offered twice at a 22 Euro upcharge. my veal had a large bone and every chance they had they smothered your meal with tomato sauce or bad cheese. We had 3 formal nights but many wore T-shirts.. dress codes were not enforced. A couple at our table wanted coffee with desert, They were given drink tickets as part of their cruise and bought us several drinks. Problem was always the emphasis was always on getting the paperwork done and your account billed and signed before they would get you a drink, or coffee. only on the last day of an 11 day cruise did he get his coffee with his desert after I again made a scene as he ate 2 deserts and everyone was leaving dinner when they finally brought his coffee. The staff did Try to meet our requests but they always seemed worried they might get in trouble for doing what we asked them. Training and customer service were not a priority. The Cruise Director was invisible the entire cruise and her only appearance or function I saw was at the show to introduce the heads of each department. If she fell overboard no impact on the ship would be felt. The staff did speak multiple languages. Entertainment was a bright spot as we enjoyed the entertainment crew who would entertain the audience before each show then dance with guests after. On stage it was also great entertainment, except for 4 opera nights. these were opera singers not productions often only a piano player and a singer. Not my cup of tea. Shore excursions were good except for Rome and Crete. In Rome we had a hop on hop off bus tour. We were dropped a long distance from the nearest bus stop with lots of roads and stairs and turns to navigate, near a kilometer. We were told to find a Burger King to use the bathrooms by our tour guide after an hour and a half bus ride from port to Rome. as soon as we were issued our tickets for the Hop on Hop on Bus the guide disappeared. In Crete the bus stopped for an hour while she took some guests for a long walk in heavy rain to look at some old part of a one horse town on Sunday with nothing open. When we were given free time it was 40 minutes and it took 15 to get to the city center from the bus leaving no time to eat and little time to shop before we had to walk back 15 minutes to the bus. The shops were open in the port town and would have been better time spent than in the little town. This was true for most other tours we took too little free time. Often I had to let my wife go alone as I waited because I had difficulty walking, which is no fault of anyone, but know you will walk long distances and have little free time on excursions. They make a point of taking you to souvenir shops they are affiliated with on these excursions. Our Cabin was clean but aged with broken tiles in the shower. shampoo and body wash was in the dispensers. Bring conditioner. Never was a towel folded in the cabin into an animal shape. My wife wanted two single blankets instead of the larger singe blanket and it was provided. No complaints on the cabin or service. Casino I amassed over 5000 points, you get a free cruise for 2 at 9999. I was offered 30% off my next cruise and 250 Euros casino Play. There were no free drinks offered as on other cruise lines at 1500 points in the casino. I will not be back to use this offer. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I am not sure we would sail with Azamara again. Let me explain a bit about our experience. Embarkation: As someone in a wheelchair, we chose Azamara because they claimed they were accessible. When we arrived? No ramp, stairs. We were ... Read More
I am not sure we would sail with Azamara again. Let me explain a bit about our experience. Embarkation: As someone in a wheelchair, we chose Azamara because they claimed they were accessible. When we arrived? No ramp, stairs. We were shown to the embarkation point, which was a stairway up to the ship. When I asked where the ramp was, I was told that it was being used to load the luggage. So, 4 small employees -- probably Filipino, since they made up a huge proportion of the staff -- carried me in my wheelchair up the stairs. This is okay in places like India, where I have no expectations around accessibility, but very surprising on an American-owned ship, docked in Europe. Especially since they have a whole section on their website about accesssibility. Cleanliness: Lipstick on the champagne flutes in our suite. Lipstick on the glasses in the lounge they call the Living Room. When our first glass of wine arrived it was covered in lipstick and fingerprints. I went to the bar to get another glass and the surly bartender proceeded to pour my wine from the dirty glass into a cleaner glass. We left. Suite: Was a nice size and the accessible bathroom was pretty good -- could have used more shelves, and the toilet was surprisingly low for a wheelchair-accessible room. Bed was comfy and the balcony was a good size. Service: very mixed. Staff in the living room were not very competent. They never got the orders right and had to be sent back to get the proper beverages. Staff in the main dining room were good. Staff in the 2 specialty restaurants were very good. So a bit surprised at how the service levels varied. Butler for our suite was outstanding. but the stewards were very junior. The overall look of the ship was nice. The ship is too small for rough weather. There were hurricane-force winds which meant our first two ports were cancelled -- we spent two nights in Civitavecchia. Cannot imagine doing a transatlantic crossing on such a small ship. We ended up going to Nice instead of Monte Carlo, which was actually better for us, since Nice is flat. Palma de Mallorca was fantastic, and we loved going back to Valencia. Our two nights in Livorno meant that we could do a nice visit to Lucca, and spend one beautiful sunny day exploring Livorno. The "Azamazing evening" was quite simply, dreadful entertainment. Food and wines: We are foodies and we enjoy good wine. The food in all the restaurants was okay, but we did not like the fact that the menus in the two specialty restaurants never changed -- so it got boring quickly. The wines included in the fare were the cheapest wines they could get. We do not drink a lot of cocktails or mixed drinks, but the drinks menu skewed heavily to liquor and not wine. The wines on the "for purchase" menu were extremely over-priced, and were mostly American. Inexplicable considering we were in Europe. Corkage fees are only $10, so once we got into some ports, we headed straight to a liquor store to buy good wine to take on board. I think the owners have really cheaped out on entertainment. They had an appalling 3-person trio in one of the lounges. They had a decent pianist in another place, and there was a good jazz quartet at the Saturday brunch. They had one person for the "enrichment" lectures who seemed really out of her depth. And they don't appear to invest in staff training. We would rank this number 3 of the cruises we have done. Cunard 1, Oceania 2, and Azamara a distant 3. I realize the staff are fairly new and not all of them are fully trained, but this is a cruise line who seem to want to compete with Oceania, and they do not. The staff in the Living Room seem to hate their jobs and there was a surprising amount of surly Russian staff who seemed to hate the guests and each other. Inexplicable, since it's a nice looking room. When I filled out their online questionnaire, I told them that I could not figure out who their target market was, but it was clearly not us. Did we hear back from them? Crickets... Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We previously crossed the Atlantic on the Koningsdam (west to east) and so we returned 6 months later. Nothing much had changed since my last review so it was still an excellent cruise with one big improvement. The duelling pianists on ... Read More
We previously crossed the Atlantic on the Koningsdam (west to east) and so we returned 6 months later. Nothing much had changed since my last review so it was still an excellent cruise with one big improvement. The duelling pianists on this trip were Paulina & Ivy who were outstanding.The other entertainment was also of a high standard. The food was also very good. Our cabin stewards were again top notch as were all the staff. The Maitre D in the MDR (RIAN) was outstanding. On the final night he took my wife's arm and said it was an honor to escort her to our table. I now have to be far more romantic with my spouse. The ship is very beautiful although some complained that it didn't feel like a HAL ship - not sure what they mean. We will certainly sail with HAL again as they offer a very good product at a competitive price. The cabin was extremely comfortable with excellent free movies on the television. And what more can be said about the shower? If only I could take it home with me. Dining in the MDR was again top notch, so much so that we were not even tempted to pay out for the specialty restaurants. All together another great HAL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Review NCL Spirit, Mediterranean Cruise We are experienced cruisers and land trippers both. We’ve been on about 40 cruises to the Caribbean, Baltic, Mediterranean, Asia, Panama Canal, Mexico, etc. So we have a decent background for ... Read More
Review NCL Spirit, Mediterranean Cruise We are experienced cruisers and land trippers both. We’ve been on about 40 cruises to the Caribbean, Baltic, Mediterranean, Asia, Panama Canal, Mexico, etc. So we have a decent background for comparison. We chose the October/November cruise with NCL largely because it went to several ports we had not sailed to do far: Dubrovnik, Koper, Corfu, and Split. I would say, aside from Corfu, that only Dubrovnik turned out to be of interest. We took the cruise pre-package which included two nights at the Crowne Plaza St. Peter’s as well as breakfast and transportation to the port. The hotel was fine. It was clean; the room was of reasonable size; the food was good in the restaurants– which was a good thing because there isn’t much around the Crowne Plaza in terms of shopping or restaurants. You can go into Rome but after a long day, you hardly feel like doing that. The hotel also has attractive grounds, outside eating, decent wi-fi, and a pool, which we did not use. I would say the outside of the hotel buildings definitely needed an update, but the Europeans have a greater tolerance for decay than we do. There is a shuttle bus for which you pay a nominal fee but be aware that it runs to different places at different times of the day. So you might have to get a cab back, which cost something like 12 euros. We did not use the shuttle as we were ready to go to the Vatican about an hour before the next shuttle was going to run. Transportation to the pier was quick and easy. On Sunday morning, it took just an hour to get there, though we had to wait about 20 minutes for our bus to be allowed up to the entry area. The area is not large, and they limit the number of buses that can enter, which was not a big deal. We got there about 1 and were able to get into our cabin immediately. The buffet generally had some tasty things on it. Most were at least lukewarm, which is an improvement over most buffets. We never had a hard time finding seating at the buffet or a cleared table. As far as other venues went, we wholeheartedly approve of NCL’s policy of having one restaurant in which you could eat very casually dressed and yet have the full dining experience rather than eating dinner in the buffet and the second restaurant for those who wished to dress up a little. This is a great idea! Most often the food in the dining room was better than average. Cagney’s, however, had wonderful meals. Our steaks were huge and tender and just great, especially since the dinner was free. NCL has the absolute best perks for platinum members. The Italian restaurant had good food though we did not find it as excellent was Cagney’s. Steak or spaghetti.... Is there a choice there? Our balcony cabin was very small. I wished we had had the choice of a mini-suite. Not a lot of room in the closet. Tiny drawers. Hardly room for my folding wheelchair. It was always in the way. Comfortable bed though. Plenty of hot water and pressure. AC worked well. Some people complain about the fish tiles. We thought they were cute. We did not attend more than one of the shows. We have seen them before. Nothing inspiring. I wish they’d had MUTS. Not much in-room entertainment worth mentioning. Internet worked fine most of the time. One great thing about this ship is that it was small enough so that I could walk everywhere despite my disability. We booked a cabin at the midship elevators and I could just hop on and go straight to the restaurants and just a short distance to the shops and theater. That was wonderful. I never needed my wheelchair on the ship. Ports: Dubrovnik: I liked this port but I guess I expected more. It was attractive but mostly it was just a very attractive shopping mall full of small shops with pretty much the same overpriced junk in them. That was a bit disappointing. I did enjoy the small market and the streets were not hard to manage with the wheelchair. Before we had gone into the city, we took the Cabrio excursion which took us out into the beautiful countryside and to some wonderful viewing areas. Venice: What’s not to like? We have been here several times and simply revisited some areas we like best. This is a hard port for the disabled though in terms of bridges. In a space of four hours, we crossed about 30 and most I had to walk over. Split: The main attraction is Diocletian’s Palace. It was a nice though brief stop. Hard to get around with a wheelchair. Many steps. You have steps to navigate to get to the public toilet as well. Surprisingly not a lot of good shops. A row of junk in tents on the way to the palace and a nice market. But since you can’t bring fruit or flowers or drinks or food onto the ship, a waste. Koper: Do take an excursion. There is nothing here to see. We were driven to Piran by a cab driver who waited two hours and took us back. Nice town to see and a wonderful shop just behind the square full of hand made items. Well worth the trip alone. An absolutely filthy public restroom and a small grocery store just off the square. Pleasant walk along the sea. Very, very difficult port to manage in a wheelchair. Very steep streets and many broken up and difficult to move along. Corfu: This is another place you want to take an excursion. Corfu is full of junky little stores and is not attractive at all. We took a tour with Corfu Taxi and loved it. I always enjoy getting out into the countryside and seeing real people going about their real lives. Katakolon: We had been here before and had done the Olympia thing. I hired a guide to take us around the area on a very nice drive, to a local olive oil manufacturing site, the monastery, and Klio’s honey farm which was great. Plenty of shops to explore at the port but much the same thing over and over. Malta: Because we had a short stop, we took the ship’s Scenic Malta excursion. Not really scenic until the last hour of a four hour excursion. Otherwise it was a tour of Malta’s most trafficked areas. Stopped at a market at Marsaloxx that was rather useless. We were delayed by a full hour due to the refusal of six people to get back on time. Intentionally late. They had argued with the guide about when they should be back. We enjoyed revisiting Rome after the cruise and then spent a week in Florence. Great trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
MS Koningsdam - A Review I cruised Koningsdam for 24 days from 10/18/2018 to 11/11/2018. She is about 2 years old and appears to be in very good physical condition and is well maintained. That said, Koningsdam is a mixed bag of good, ... Read More
MS Koningsdam - A Review I cruised Koningsdam for 24 days from 10/18/2018 to 11/11/2018. She is about 2 years old and appears to be in very good physical condition and is well maintained. That said, Koningsdam is a mixed bag of good, bad and ugly...in this writer's experienced opinion. THE GOOD By all appearances, the ship is being kept very clean. Wear and tear has not yet begun to show too much. Not much rust in sight. The theater (World Stage) is the best in the HAL fleet, and maybe in most fleets. Sight lines are excellent and there is hardly a bad seat in the house. Seating capacity is relatively generous and can fit about a third of the passengers at any one time (close to 800). That said, there were many occasions when the theater was totally filled and people were standing and/or sitting in the aisles (safety hazard?). The hi-tech stage uses a 270 degree computer controlled LCD screen as the backdrop and is the main apparatus of the otherwise sparse set decoration. Lincoln Center Stage is an outstanding plus for HAL. Koningsdam's venue for the very talented quintet is larger than other ships in the fleet and offers comfortable seating. Public seating is excellent and comfortable throughout the ship. The staterooms are a bit smaller on than most of HALs ships, but they are reasonable equipped. Electric and USB plugs are abundant and storage/closet space is good. THE BAD While Koningsdam is new and bright, HAL has done nothing to change the nickel-and-dime operation and product they offer. EVERYTHING they do is designed to get passengers to spend more money. Most of the daily on-board programs offered are for revenue and income production. Venues throughout the ship are too small for the large number of passengers, often filling an hour or more prior to a presentation. The Culinary Arts Center is the showcase venue for America's Test Kitchen, and it is very ill-suited for the purpose...very poor seating and sight angles. They also utilize this room for extra-cost dinning in the evening (much more suitable). The Mariners Program on Koningsdam appears to be treated more as necessary nuisance than as the customer building program it was originally designed to be. There does not appear to be a suitable venue on Koningsdam for a Mariners Reception, so only medallion recipients are invited, no matter how many medallions one has or how many cruise days you've logged. The multi-Star Mariners cocktail party is held in part of the Lido Pool area, while other people are in hot tubs on the other side. It's very clear that HAL management wants to change the demographic of its customers. They are looking for new, free spending blood. Staterooms are noisier than one would expect for a "new" ship. Even in slight seas there is creaking, rattling and banging...especially at night when you are trying to sleep. Fit and finish is not all that it could be. As an example, stateroom have a recessed "frame" for the wall mounted large screen TV. In my stateroom the TV was mounted well out of the center of the frame and lop-sided (one side higher than the other). There is no replay of the excursion or enrichment talks on available on Koningsdam's closed circuit TV system or on stateroom TVs. You can, however, book extra cost dining, spa and excursion options via the interactive TV system. What little "art" there is on the ship is far removed from traditional seafaring art. All is very contemporary and the artwork appears to be photo-shopped pictures. There is NO art in stateroom passageways. Passage fore and aft on public decks 2 and 3 is restricted to one side of the ship, ensuring exposure to every selling station onboard. Traffic flow is poor, especially outside elevator locations where they have planted large modern sculptures (?), creating bottlenecks. The Promenade Deck is quite narrow and there are no deck chairs thereupon. The walking gets very bottlenecked at the stern end of the ship, so if one is walking behind slow walkers or encountering walkers who insist on walking upstream, it slows everyone down. Not important enough to write Congress about...just a mention. THE UGLY Whoever designed the toilets in the staterooms should be fired immediately. One cannot sit "on the throne" straightaway. You have to sit sideways because the glass shower enclosure is in the way, and you can't get your knees to squeeze in...unless you're 2 or 3 years old. Very awkward and uncomfortable. DINING This is a very subjective area and not all tastes are alike. So offering comments about the food and service aboard the Koningsdam is treading on very dangerous ground. That said, HAL has put together a fine group of chefs in what they call the Chef's Counsel, to help Chef Rudy design a dining program for the ship's various venues. They have created offerings that, in their test kitchen, appeal to all the senses. Great food requires great ingredients skillfully assembled by craftsmen who love their work. Unfortunately, the Chef's Counsel is not on board to supervise the final product. HALs logistics program is complex and mainly designed to minimize costs and maximize efficiencies. They do not take advantage of the terrific local products as they cruise from place to place. So freshness of ingredients is sacrificed in favor of program convenience. They claim there are reasons (or excuses) for this, but others seem to be able to take advantage of local fresh product availability. That's all I have to say about this topic. Everyone has to judge for themselves. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We sailed on the Nowegian Spirit in October 2018. It was a great time of year and the crowds were light on our stops around the Mediterranean. I chose the cruise because of the itinerary and our stops did not disappoint. However the cruise ... Read More
We sailed on the Nowegian Spirit in October 2018. It was a great time of year and the crowds were light on our stops around the Mediterranean. I chose the cruise because of the itinerary and our stops did not disappoint. However the cruise ship itself was an entire mess and not catered to younger couples at all. By avoiding bingo, the bad shows, and the casino we were left to the pool (which they drained during the cruise), drinks, bad food, and a fitness center that had out of order signs on half of the equipment. So let’s talk about this food. We utilized the buffet, main dining rooms, and specialty dining restaurants. The best food we had on the cruise was from the sushi restaurant, it’s hard to mess up Asian food. The worst food came from the main dining rooms and the buffet. We were served cold or old food, it definitely did not exemplify the fine dining that you’re supposed to experience on a cruise ship. Same thing with the specialty dining restaurants, although the service was so much better the food still lacked flavor and in Cagney’s their “best restaurant” the steak was great but all of the sides came out cold. A couple of days at sea they did have a grill buffet by the pool and that was nice along with the Latin band. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We boarded this magnificent ship in Civitavecchia – we are a family of 4. This 7 day cruise went around the Mediterranean with a port every day bar one. The check in was easy. Our stateroom was beautiful - we had a suite with balcony ... Read More
We boarded this magnificent ship in Civitavecchia – we are a family of 4. This 7 day cruise went around the Mediterranean with a port every day bar one. The check in was easy. Our stateroom was beautiful - we had a suite with balcony – couldn’t fault it. The staff were all helpful, friendly and efficient. The food – wow - delicious, varied and plentiful. Everything was expertly organized onboard for a seamless experience. The Mediterranean sea was breathtakingly stunning and rich with culture, history and beauty. Special mention to the kids activities staff who made my boy, who has a disability, very welcome and fully included and the activities were varied, well-structured, creative and FUN. Points for improvement? Only a few minor things - The jogging track was uninspiring, it went around part of a mid ship deck, past lifeboats etc. The charges on board (drinks, internet) were more expensive than other cruises I have been on. Overall an amazing cruise and would do it again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We had chosen this cruise because of the itinerary. We traveled 3 generations including 2 children ages 7/10. The food was beyond horrible. We are vegetarian and they put meat in our food in the main dining hall. Guest Services was ... Read More
We had chosen this cruise because of the itinerary. We traveled 3 generations including 2 children ages 7/10. The food was beyond horrible. We are vegetarian and they put meat in our food in the main dining hall. Guest Services was awful and did not even try to remedy the horrible food. The cabins are small and outdated. The entertainment at night (nightly shows) were awful. The comedian was not funny. Even my kids didn't like the Kids Club. The room attendant was nice and was the only part of the cruise that was good. Port stops were great. We didn't do any Princess excursions. We did excursions with other groups. Princess gave us no information on what do when getting off the boat. I would go to the Mediterranean again any day as it is beautiful but I will never travel with Princess Cruises ever again. Especially if you are a vegetarian definitely do not take this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I really like the double suit experience, we had a lot of privileges in the concierge, cocktails and in the theater seating. What i really enjoyed is the lunch with the officer at the cruise. It was an amazing experience talking and ... Read More
I really like the double suit experience, we had a lot of privileges in the concierge, cocktails and in the theater seating. What i really enjoyed is the lunch with the officer at the cruise. It was an amazing experience talking and sharing their day to day work. The ports and shore excursions are amazing specially if you take them with the cruise. it's easier they drive you to the center and back to the ship with a guide or not. On board you have many things to do between shopping, casino, theater, pool, Jacuzzi... you don't get bored at all. As for the food, it's fair in the main dining room where everybody eats, but if you take a suit you will have a priority and you can dine or take your breakfast in much relaxing places. The staff are amazing, always smiling, very helpful and always trying to solve each small inquiry you have. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My friend and I hadn`t seen each other in 30 years..and we wanted to knock off some similar things on our bucket list..meaning Italy and Greece!! This was a cruise we`ll never forget!! I was a little leery about the ship..I had ... Read More
My friend and I hadn`t seen each other in 30 years..and we wanted to knock off some similar things on our bucket list..meaning Italy and Greece!! This was a cruise we`ll never forget!! I was a little leery about the ship..I had previously travelled on Royal Carribbean..but when I approached the Spirit I had that feeling in my heart that this was going to be the one!! So organized with the embarking!! In all the cruises I`ve been on this one was the most organized!! From arrival to embarkation I didn`t even have time to finish my cappuccino!! Staff was so friendly and welcoming..Making our way to our cabin was a breeze..Beautiful ship!! We had a balcony which was larger than we thought..the room was spacious..plenty of room for the 2 of us..we never felt cramped!! Our cabin steward Edgar,,the best..made us feel so welcome!!! Bottle of champagne..it was wonderful!!! Dining..I cannot say enough about it..Every restaurant was excellent..food was done to perfection..I was leery about ordering the steak...it melted in my mouth!!! Buffett always different and always top notch..very hard to choose between sit downs and buffett.food was that good!!! Entertainment for everyone!! The staff of the Spirit went above and beyond to make our stay the best ever!! The ports were amazing!! Each one better than the next..so many countries in so little time..Pulling into harbours..breathtaking!!! The casino at night after the fabulous shows was so much fun..my friend won 1300.00 and I won 500.00..be careful though..its downhill after that..but you have so much fun while losing!! Thankyou Marcko and the rest of the casino staff for all the laughs and comraderie!! I`m a very picky person..and when I read some of the reviews..I was alittle worried..but Norweigan Spirit you exceeded all my expectations and more!! You may be the oldest of the fleet..but you`re definately the best!!! I would recommend this ship to the fussiest..critical person..You won`t regret it!! Thanks David for the fabulous activities..Oh ya and did I mention I danced the night away with the Beatles?? If you go make sure you check out the band..young or old..you`ll love it!!! So much fun!!! Thankyou Norweigan for making our reunion so very enjoyable..We will be back!!! Wish we had found you 30 years earlier!! You`re the best!! Thankyou for all the memories!!! By the way...how do the servers keep track of all the names..even before we present our room card??? You guys are the best!! Thankyou!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was return to the Reflection for us, and a first time for our friends. We had also booked Aqua Class cabins for the first time, so were excited to see if the experience lived up to everything we had been told it would be. We had ... Read More
This was return to the Reflection for us, and a first time for our friends. We had also booked Aqua Class cabins for the first time, so were excited to see if the experience lived up to everything we had been told it would be. We had travelled straight from the airport to the ship, in an independent transfer. Arrival at the port and embarkation was well organised, with no real lines and it was very very speedy. The ship is beautiful, with familiar features from the other Solstice Class ships, but with a redesigned top deck to accommodate more cabins. There were lots (600+) under 21's onboard, which given that this was a summer holidays cruise probably shouldn't have been as much of a surprise as it was, but most of the time the ship felt very quiet, especially on an evening. I have never seen the Martini bar so quiet which was great, but there were areas (The Retreat most notably) which seemed to attract big groups of teenagers, to the exclusion of other passengers. Our Aqua Class cabin was nice, but compared to a Concierge cabin wasn't really any different. The shower was fancier, but I don't know that it was really any better on the whole. It was nice to have access to the Persian Garden, which is larger on this ship than the other Solstice Class ships. One of the main attractions for people booking Aqua is Blu, the restaurant primarily for Aqua Class guests. We had been told that it was very much like a speciality restaurant. We ended up eating here twice on an evening, and booked speciality dining for the rest of our meals. Blu was lovely, the team were friendly and helpful, and the food was nice, but I have to say I was a little underwhelmed. I think this was probably due to people raving about the experience, and me expecting too much! Speciality dining was as always excellent. Lawn Club Grill was especially good, and the Mediterranean night that they held was particularly great. The other exceptional experience was Le Petit Chef. I loved Qsine, and was sad that Le Petit Chef has completely taken over on Reflection, but it is a fun night, with good food, and you have to eat here! The entertainment was probably the most disappointing aspect of the trip. With the exception of The Flyrights, every show was disappointing. The production shows were tired, apart from Euphoria, which was really good. The ports were lovely, all of them busy, but beautiful. All in all, a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our first crucial and we did a lot of research before we picked it. We even went to the cruise show at the NEC. We wanted a small boat that was very informal and that is what we got. We loved it. We would go back and would ... Read More
This was our first crucial and we did a lot of research before we picked it. We even went to the cruise show at the NEC. We wanted a small boat that was very informal and that is what we got. We loved it. We would go back and would certainly recommend Viking. The ship is very understated. The decor is Scandinavia chic. The cabins are small but have everything you need. What is a bonus is the verandah where you can sit and admire the sunsets. Everywhere is spotless. However there is always somewhere to sit and read quietly. The pool are does get busy and we found it can be harder there to find a place to sit than say in the Explorers lounge. The staff are amazing. Someone somewhere is always working with a smile, saying hello and can I help you? Food- we tried all the restaurants. There is plenty of food and the quality is good, service can be a bit slow depending on who is serving you. Chefs table- worth going once, set 5 course menu with different wines at each course. Food a bit too rich for us. Manfreidis - again worth going to, more choice but very loud and busy. Restaurant- more formal but fine didning, excellent food. Worlds cafe - ate there mostly as it is very informal no need to dress up. Fantastic buffet you could just have a bowl of soup or a 3 course meal. Afternoon tea was delicious Explorers lounge - lunch and cakes in the afternoon. Good quality Pool grill mainly beef burgers but again good quality for lunch You can have drinks with your meals some didn’t bother having the drinks package. Trips- we only paid for Florence which is definitely worth the money. Stunning. Pisa - seeing the leaning tower was good fun Monaco- loved it and you can get around so easily you don’t need the tour St tropez- don’t bother with the tour waste of time. Not much to see and you can do that on your own Marseilles- again loved it so much to see but I wouldn’t bother with the tour as a shuttle bus is run from the ship and it is so easy to do your own thing. Barcelona again I would do my own thing as the tour is mainly a coach trip and 30mins in the city. Fellow passengers aged from 20-80 but 95% are American. Criticism - the flights having to change at Amsterdam when we are only flying from England to Rome and from Barcelona. It took us 14 hours to get home door. It was quicker to get to the states. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I have sailed on 7 different cruise lines on multiple cruises to the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Russia, Alaska, and Europe. Wind Surf was launched for Club Med in 1989 (30 years old). Dry dock and total renovation and redesign cannot ... Read More
I have sailed on 7 different cruise lines on multiple cruises to the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Russia, Alaska, and Europe. Wind Surf was launched for Club Med in 1989 (30 years old). Dry dock and total renovation and redesign cannot come soon enough! This is an old boat and feeling rundown and shabby (not chic). And the sails may wow folks in port, but there is a lot of hoopla over the "unfurling" of sails and playing the same Vangelis music every evening. First time was interesting, but come on folks, what's the big deal. The passenger demographic of this cruise line is well-healed seniors in their 70's who have more money than travel experience and are easily impressed. Overall, the value simply wasn't here. Some may feel they are part of an exclusive guest list of 300 passengers, but the ship is small, staterooms are very small, food service is adequate but average and entertainment is virtually nonexistent. Staff is under pressure to do their jobs and wanted little to do with passenger's requests or comfort. Overall the promise of Windstar's promotional website and literature does not match the promise of a personal and unique experience, an engaging staff, or amazing luxury cruise yachting experience. Boarding the ship in Rome (Civitavecchia), I was astounded that only one of the two elevator was functional at embarkation and the crew had that elevator tied up for hours delivering luggage to state rooms. No staff elevators on board this ship. I spoke with the Reception Desk and they promised each day that the second elevator would be fixed anytime. It took 3 days and constant reminding the desk that there are a lot of very senior passengers who have mobility issues and need the elevator. After repair and elevator started functioning again, they shut down the elevators several times during the cruise and placed an "out of order" sign on the doors. This old ship should never have left port without both elevators functioning. Our cabin was the smallest stateroom ever, with minimal closet and storage space. Bed linens were nice, but the beds were broken down and should have been replaced a year ago. But the bathroom was downright difficult and out dated. I'm 5'11", 185 lbs and it was close for me. Cannot imagine how some on board managed to shower or use the toilets as the space was so tight. Luxury Yacht? Not in my book. Each evening as passengers returned to the ship after a day of excursions, we would congregate on the pool deck expecting to watch the exit from ports during sunsets, relax, swim, chat and enjoy some bar beverages. At 6:00 pm, staff beginning removing all umbrellas, closing pool and jacuzzis, collecting all towels and bar glasses and shutting down the Pool Bar and Deck. Fresh towel bins were empty. Many passengers voiced their objections at this untimely closing of the large pool deck of the ship but staff had their orders and ignored the passengers requests. While reclining in swim wear, we were told to go upstairs and order our drinks at that bar. Then they collected and stacked the chaises to clear the deck. Stupid Ship and Bar Policy. After while, passengers gave up requesting to leave the Pool Bar and Deck open while we sail out of ports. The cruise itinerary was a major draw for us; visiting ports of east and west coasts of Italy, and the Dalmatian coast. Visiting the cruise ports was great fun, but certainly there were the other "mega ships" in port, also. So the idea that the ship is so "small" (700 ft isn't really small), we could sail into ports restricted to larger ships was false. And unfortunately for some, the rear ship "marina" was only lowered twice on the cruise. Many were disappointed that equipment was not in good condition and the kayaks were not available as they posed competition to the local businesses. Shore excursions? Unless you have money to burn, take time to research the cruise ports and figure out what interest you, rather than pay outrageous fees for Windstar excursions (yes, were talking several thousands extra for excursions). It seemed every time you turned around, there were extra charges, overpriced drinks, extra gratuity for staff (I'm glad to tip for extraordinary service), staff saying "no", not possible, cannot do that, sir. Certainly not the promise of the Windstar Cruises. One bright spot in the ships staff was the Gym Facilitor, Nathan from South Africa. Very knowledgeable in fitness and exercise and very aware of the age of his passengers. Well done! I will definitely sail more cruises in the future, but definitely not on Windstar ships. As a matter of fact, we've already booked a Viking River Cruise for 2019. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We were looking for a Mediterranean cruise to take the middle week of a three week vacation. After reading a lot of reviews, we booked this cruise on the Costa Diadema with a little bit of trepidation as it seemed a majority of the ... Read More
We were looking for a Mediterranean cruise to take the middle week of a three week vacation. After reading a lot of reviews, we booked this cruise on the Costa Diadema with a little bit of trepidation as it seemed a majority of the reviews were either four star or one star. From the very beginning, we knew we were going to love this cruise.....checkin at Civitavecchia was seamless -- we showed our tickets and passports and were boarded without a wait....have never had that happen on any cruise ship, yet alone one that had close to 5,000 passengers on it! The cabin was nice sized with very comfortable bed and ample room to move around. Our cabin steward was outstanding the entire week. Since we had been on vacation for a week already, we had laundry needs, and Costa was the best, with a laundry special of 25 pieces for a flat rate of $20 euros, washed and folded. The cabin was made up each morning and evening. Dining was a great experience every evening in the Fiorentino Ristorante. Our waiter, Ajid, was the best we've ever had on a cruise. The menu was fantastic, with three or four special choices in each category, plus a standard Italian fare always available. My wife and I both cook gourmet recipes, and this food was five star in every respect; choice, presentation, flavor and service. Being from USA we had bottled water at our table each evening free of charge. Sparkling for me, still for my wife, with full bottles sitting on the table when we sat down. We were never rushed, nor did we ever wait too long. We ate at the Teppanyaki Grill one evening and it was a fun show and marvelous Japanese food, right down to the Miso soup and Asian ginger salad. We had lunch one day at the Lido buffet, and like most cruises, found it to be a feeding frenzy, although the food was better than we've had on other cruises. Most mornings we opted for breakfast in our cabin at no charge, as we had paid a little extra for premium services. The excursions were well planned and reasonable, as cruise ships go. We appreciated the fact that Costa forewarns customers which excursions might be difficult for mobility impaired passengers. We took three 'easy' tours, which were perfect and still let us enjoy the major sights of each port.... Disembarking was just as easy and flawless as getting on the ship! No long waiting for our time slot, we were out of the cabin at the required 8:00 a.m. time, went to breakfast, retrieved our passports and left the ship to find our luggage waiting. Would we take Costa again? In a heartbeat! We have decided that all the negative reviews come from people who do not understand European service. While many of the passengers seemed rude and would brush by you, that is just the way they are. Announcements were always made in several languages and easy to understand. The 10 euro daily service fee is below that of most other cruise lines, and in fact we tipped both our room steward and waiter additional before we left the ship. Ship crew was not indifferent as many people have said, but were attentive to and responsive to all of our needs. Well done, Costa Diadema, and thank you for a wonderful experience! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I chose this ship as I wanted to enjoy the holidays with my family in a new ship and this one looked spectacular and I thought the ports would be fun as well. Before leaving I read the reviews that other people had posted and thought that ... Read More
I chose this ship as I wanted to enjoy the holidays with my family in a new ship and this one looked spectacular and I thought the ports would be fun as well. Before leaving I read the reviews that other people had posted and thought that perhaps the shortcomings of this she would be in dining and the pay for everything culture. Let me break it down: Food I found the buffet on the 15th floor to have plenty of options to choose from. Yes, you did have the same items every day like hot dogs, hamburgers at lunch or eggs/croissants at breakfast, but to be fair, I never repeated a meal 2x during my trip and had plenty of choices to choose from. Food was good, not excellent, but certainly not terrible either. Desserts were so so, which I was glad as I didnt need the calories :) We really enjoyed the japanese restaurant for dinner one night. It was loads of fun! Entertainment Well this is an area that I find they need to work on. At every port we would leave shortly after arrival, take tours and return around 4-5 pm. Then there was nothing to do till dinner 6:30 pm and then again nothing till 8:45 for a show. Nothing before or after that timeframe. Every night they have dancing lessons, which my family had no interest in, or played some music somewhere. But there was no organized games, trivia, daily bingo, etc. Just basically nothing to do on the ship. In terms of the shows, do yourself a favor and skip the magic show. It is just dumb. The best one was Way. We were supposed to see Cique Viaggio but ocean was too rough and they cancelled show. We did see Sonor and I would say for an abbreviated version of Cirque it wasn't bad. We had dinner with the show and I would say dinner that night was mediocre. Just have dinner at the main restaurant or at the specialty restaurant. Information Most of the crew is clueless and will give you the wrong information or simply not answer your questions. It is hard to find someone that knows answers to questions. Just very disorganized. If you have a question ask 3 people and go with consensus. ALl in all we enjoyed our trip as we really liked the ports, and made the best of the time we had as family. We didn't go o the boat expecting much, and we probably won't cruise MSC again, but this is more because of our more favorable experiences with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and even Carnival. ENJOY! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We booked our December cruise (Rome, Palermo, Malta, Barcelona, Marseilles, Genoa) well in advance, and like many others, we were a bit freaked out by the many bad reviews of the cruise. After going on the cruise, I can say that it went ... Read More
We booked our December cruise (Rome, Palermo, Malta, Barcelona, Marseilles, Genoa) well in advance, and like many others, we were a bit freaked out by the many bad reviews of the cruise. After going on the cruise, I can say that it went well compared with the 10+ other cruises we've been on with Norwegian, Princess, and Carnival. It was not perfect, but none of the cruises we've gone on were ever perfect. Each cruise line and ship has its pluses and minuses. The Pluses: - Beautiful, well maintained ship - Never felt overly crowded even though there were thousands of people aboard - Getting on board for the first time and leaving the ship after the cruise was really easy and fast. The fact that people started the cruise at different ports made things easy and fast. - Excellent, friendly staff -- especially the main waiter at our dinners. - The large touchscreens for ship info and reservations were great. - The food in the formal dining rooms came out fairly quick, so you don't have to wait too long. - Never had problems finding seating in the buffets. - Line to get an omelette went really quickly The Averages: - The food compares OK with other cruises I've been on. The food is designed for European tastes I believe, so the taste may not be quite be what us Americans are used to. So, if Olive Garden is what you think is good Italian food, you'll be disappointed. Like other cruises, every breakfast, lunch, dunner buffet has a stable offering that does not change (e.g. omelettes, breads, waffles, pizza, pastas, etc.), but they do introduce some changes every day to mix it up a bit. There was an emphasis on Italian food more since many Italians were on board. - As other people mentioned in their reviews, the portion size of the dinner food in the formal dining rooms was smaller compared with other cruise lines. I don't think this is an advantage or disadvantage. If you want more, order more. The wait staff doesn't care how many main courses you order. In fact, smaller sizes allowed you to have the stomach space to try more types of food. - The people on the cruises were fine. There was not the line cutting that people mentioned in other reviews. - The customer service desk was fine. There was a line, but it was not excessively long. - The shows were fine and were on par with many others I've seen on Princess, Norwegian and Carnival. There were 6 shows that rotated in the main theater in addition to the 2 Cirque shows. - The cabins were fine. The Minuses: - They tack on a surprise donation to your bill in the middle of the cruise. It was 1 Euro per person that gets added to the bill. It's annoying since I don't like to make donations I'm not consulted on. You have to go to customer service to get it removed. - The ship's large so depending on the cabin, it may take you quite a bit of time to get to another part of the ship. - There were less structured activities compared with other cruises. So, if you want more trivia contests, ping-pong tournaments, or cooking demonstrations, other cruises are better. - Not enough variety in the salad bar. Overall, the cruise went well and is not the nightmare that others have mentioned. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017

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