340 Rome (Civitavecchia) Repositioning Cruise Reviews

We have been looking for a long time and we thought we got a great value for our money ! It took a long time before I felt comfortable enough to be on a big ship for a long time. All of that worry went out the window when we first boarded ... Read More
We have been looking for a long time and we thought we got a great value for our money ! It took a long time before I felt comfortable enough to be on a big ship for a long time. All of that worry went out the window when we first boarded the ship...If all the cruises on Norwegian are like this you might just have a customer for life...The entertainment was wonderful and balanced with something for everybody... It would be prudent in this day and age to make certain sexual and gender innuendos that might insult some of your passengers.... not being preachy just a word of caution...Otherwise I will look forward to returning again! The food choices were more than adequate and the service staff was excellent..We only wish that on some of the ports there was more time to to be able and enjoy the surroundings more like an overnight stay__say like a day and a half rather than just a few hours...But the experience was not diminished....WELL DONE! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The food quality and selection is not what I have been used to on Princess cruise. Was served French fries with a filet mignon. Being on a Mediterranean cruise would have expected a better selection of seafood and fish. King prawns were ... Read More
The food quality and selection is not what I have been used to on Princess cruise. Was served French fries with a filet mignon. Being on a Mediterranean cruise would have expected a better selection of seafood and fish. King prawns were the size of baby shrimps. Although the MichelAngelo waiting staff was really courteous and helpful. Pedro the head waiter was good to find us nice and enjoyable people to sit with. Front desk service is useless they give you the run around! We were booked on a shore excursion on our day of disembarking but the bus couldn’t carry luggage. It would have been great to visit Mykonos but the rough sea prevent it us to port.... the captain decided for the safety of the passenger to continue our route. I’m glad that he made that call for our safety. Princess didn’t live up to their slogan.... Come Back New! I found that Princess cruise line has been going down in quality over the last 5 years. It not what it used to be. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I've done three cruises with Oceania before this one and had pretty good times - in those instances there seemed to be some fun folks interested in mingling with the solo travelers and the smaller ships were more cozy and open to ... Read More
I've done three cruises with Oceania before this one and had pretty good times - in those instances there seemed to be some fun folks interested in mingling with the solo travelers and the smaller ships were more cozy and open to mixing people - there were always plenty of shared tables and lots of inclusion. For some reason, this cruise had a different vibe - perhaps because it was the time and place if nothing else. Most of the people were elderly and coupled. You had to be careful of your remarks so as not to start a row over the situation in England or the US or elsewhere. The ship's crew was OK but not as friendly as on the past few trips where I'd been - they seemed to get friendly with a few folks from previous segments and ignored the newer passengers other than to say hello. I felt that they could have done more to facilitate mixing at night by having a standing shared table with a couple of crew members or entertainers on hand to encourage participation. Instead, you had to be in with the crew to get an invite to a fun table other than two scheduled events that were pretty dull. Other cruise lines are doing a more sophisticated job of courting the next generation of traveler - but I didn't see that here. We were an afterthought. On Silversea, they have cocktails scheduled nightly for solo travelers with a couple of crew members who then offer to take them to dinner; on Seabourn they put an invitation in your door ever single night if you ask for that service and you are always at an interesting and eclectic table. The layout of my room was wasted space. The huge tub was ridiculous and while I was fine as a solo, I kept thinking this would be way better if the space was used for a walk in closet. I found the concierge staff to be well below par of the staff I'd dealt with previously - normally when they know you are solo, they work to get you in at night at a shared table - that only happened after I raised a complaint - which I hate to do. I paid twice what other folks paid and got about half the service. I've always tipped on top of the scheduled gratuities but not this time - I never had any sort of personal interaction with the crew to make it worthwhile. The atmosphere was more sterile - the upstairs coffee area is almost too big and impersonal. Also, the timing for the Internet cafe is off - if I grabbed a coffee and sat at a screen, inevitably an elderly person would approach me for help because the guy staffing it had bass akwards hours to assist people. There were a few of us who spent plenty of time assisting other passengers. I will say this - the entertainers with the ship's crew were very outstanding. Much better than any other ship and that young woman from the Netherlands was astoundingly good - but then they were focused just on entertaining at the shows - where on the smaller ships the entertainers did a lot more to intermingle with the passengers - maybe they didn't sing as well but they were more fun to be around.. So here, better entertainers but not as much fun. Here's a hint - don't just dance on the dance floor at night - look for people who need a dance partner and ask them to dance with you. Every single night. Also, I had a bizarre and nasty fitness room experience - mostly because for some reason this ship has but two regular eliptical trainers and pretty much every single person wants to use them. I had started an hour long workout in the middle of the afternoon when most people were off the ship and another gentleman was next to me doing the same thing. We were two of five people in the whole place. A woman walked up and demanded that we get off and give her our machines. She relentlessly harassed us for the next 40 minutes and then returned with a rough looking attendant who had taken her at her word that we were the wrong-doers. When I let the attendant know that I wasn't happy with the situation, she accused me of being unpleasant. The man got off his machine and the lady insisted that it was too dirty for her to use. Did the attendant step in and get someone to clean the machine? Nope - stood by hands on hips whilst the mathematics professor cleaned up the machine top to bottom. Hey - he was on vacation and paying. Finally here's a hint with outside entertainers - please ask them not to use the solo women travelers as the butt of their comedy routines - just saying. It was a bit unnerving having to sink down in my chair for fear that I would be called out. Don't get me wrong - I managed to have a good time, met some folks I'm still in touch with, and there were some good people and plenty of fun - but when I'm on vacation, I don't want to have to work for my fun. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife chose this cruise because of the itinerary. Nineteen ports in 25 days was the determining factor. The interior of the ship is a different design than most ships we have cruised. The music theme throughout puts a music alley on ... Read More
My wife chose this cruise because of the itinerary. Nineteen ports in 25 days was the determining factor. The interior of the ship is a different design than most ships we have cruised. The music theme throughout puts a music alley on the second level. Four entertainment rooms each with a different musical genre encompass this level. Then main stage too is different. It is theater in the round with screens as a backdrop which could digitally do anything. Here is the failure of this entire concept. One night only there was a performance called Humanity that utilized the technology of this stage. This show was five star. Most of the other nights a solo artists performed such as a flautist or singer. Even worse was the nights Folkloric shows were staged. Mediocre at best was the theme of the main stage. Activities included bingo, twice during the 25 days Majority Rules was played. Otherwise there was a list eg. ping players meet, bridge players meet, etc. the bottom line is this was a a really substandard performance by whomever was in charge. The service staff was outstanding. The ship was super clean. Dining room staff was great. The buffet servers, waiters etc were five star. Food, yes there was variety and it was well prepared. We only took one shore excursion with Holland. I book most tours before I leave home because Holland America tours are pricey and the groups are large. Rijeka, Croatia was a poor choice for a port. Originally the port was to be Ravenna, Italy but got changed to Rijeka. Google Rijeka.....nothing to see or do there. All of the other ports were quite good. I was unsure of going with Holland America because if it’s reputation of serving the 80+ cruiser. Thus cruise had every age group represented. Summertime is family vacation time. We would have given the rating of a ten if the entertainment was up to par with other cruise lines. Instead we gave it an eight. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Where to start: First, we have sailed nineteen times and experienced an array of American AND European cruise products from RCCL, Princess, Costa, P&O, NCL, Holland America etc. The experiences of these diverse products have ... Read More
Where to start: First, we have sailed nineteen times and experienced an array of American AND European cruise products from RCCL, Princess, Costa, P&O, NCL, Holland America etc. The experiences of these diverse products have collectively informed my opinion of our MSC experience. MSC is NOT for the American market share rather, this European line is clearly after the sustainability of the European market share. American products by and large, do not charge a consistently high price for the cruise and then, charge clients for water while on board. Yes... MSC does this. Not even Costa does this. We paid over 3k for our cruise (similar and consistent to what we have paid for with other products like RCCL, Costa, Princess etc.) but while on board the MSC product we were charged for water.... we were amazed, perplexed and terribly disappointed. Its also important to note -what MSC USA sold us was not what we experienced onboard. When we pointed out the discrepancies on board we were told to take it up with MSC USA when we got home. We did, they did nothing to satisfy or settle our issue. We purchased the Fantastica experience, were told drink packages were included - then they somehow were not included. When we argued they were - we were told we had to buy a drink package which we did for our two children (non alcoholic package) and 1 adult alcoholic package. Only to get on board and be told we shouldn't have done that in fact it was included in our package and when we asked to have the initial prepaid packages we purchased refunded they said - sorry it wasn't included... The only thing which we felt was consistent was the inconsistency between what was sold and what we expected to what we actually experienced onboard. Other things we felt were important to note. The excursions - expensive but of little to no substance; again, representing to us an imbalance between what we paid for and what we actually experienced. We purchased several excursions through MSC - and quickly spent MORE TIME transiting to the excursions than we actually did enjoying the place we were visiting. This happend to us in both Arles France and Portofino. In Arles, we spent 3 hours on a bus to experience the town for only an hour. While in Portofino, same things - we paid a fortune to go to Portofino and spent three hours transiting there only to spend an hour IN Portofino... Very little value for money. Similarly, MSC twice docked at a port which they charged a fee to go from the Port facility to the town.... We were left shaking our heads and again, having the experience of other lines, this was an anomaly we felt was important to note for others who are considering this line. The ship itself was clean, comparatively clean to other lines and with cabins which were much larger than the typical stateroom found on other lines. That was about the only two bonuses on this line. Our experience of the ship was in one word -- exhausting. Terribly overcrowded and with clearly overwhelmed staff who continually treated us with discourtesy and disregard. The staff appeared as exhausted of the overcrowded conditions as we were. This was consistent from the bar staff to the dinning staff -- totally overwhelmed and continually discourteous and seemed exhausted..... The common centers on the ship were jammed daily elbow to elbow with people and loud music - wasn't a quiet spot on the ship to be found... ever. The smoking is an experience not commonly found with American products, on European lines - smoking is everywhere and something we found terribly intrusive and distasteful. Imagine placing the ONLY soft serve ice cream station for kids on the ship in the smoking section of the ship... kids actually have to endure cigarette smoke while waiting for their ice cream (which was eventually closed down due to being broken). This careless disregard for children - alone, made us not want to return to this product... ever. We have sailed many ships (19 cruises to date) and several of those other European products. First time we were ever on a ship and product we couldn't wait to leave... first time. The cost of this product comparatively is similar to other lines - RCCL, Princess Holland America - but what you get for your money is wholly inconsistent and as a result, we could not in good conscience recommend this product, especially for families. While MSC is trying desperately to break into the American marketshare, we believe this is going to be extremely difficult as people with experiences such as ours, share our impressions with others. This was an honest and unbiased account of our experience. We hope it is taken seriously so the product may be improved for others going forward. For us, we will not use or recommend this product in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise for the ports. We wanted to see a Dubai and Petra. In my opinion, the ship was in pretty good shape. Yes, it needs paint in a few areas, but it is due for a refurbish anyway. I like the M class ships and was very happy ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports. We wanted to see a Dubai and Petra. In my opinion, the ship was in pretty good shape. Yes, it needs paint in a few areas, but it is due for a refurbish anyway. I like the M class ships and was very happy with the ship. We could not get excited about the entertainment offerings in the theatre, which I think was because it was a repositioning cruise. We did enjoy the Take 5 band. The food in the main dining room was good, not great, but I had no trouble finding something that I wanted to eat. I was disappointed with the Tuscan Grill. I thought my steak lacked seasoning and could have used a little more attention from the servers. At $45 per person, I will not go back. Princess specialty restaurants, ie Crown Grill, is $29 per person. We did eat at Quine twice - catching it on sale at $30 per person, I felt we got much more attention and a great selection of food. We had 9 sea days, including transiting the Suez Canal, and 5 ports. We did ship excursions in Muscat, Oman and Petra, Jordan. We had scheduled a walking tour in Muscat which was cancelled, and the only other offering was a panoramic tour. It gave us the opportunity to get off the ship, but we were not impressed with Muscat, or the panoramic tour. Our ships tour of Petra was excellent. I only wish we had another day in Petra to explore some more. We rented a car in Katakolon and drove to Olympia. I was disappointed in Olympia. While there is signage by most of the ruins to describe the ancient use, they did not provide a map or brochure to help you organize your visit. Also, there is no parking at the site. You have to find a parking spot in the modern town of Olympia and then walk to the site. We did like the little town of a Katakolon and the people were very friendly. Our cruise also visited Dubai and Athens, where we had arranged private tours. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I will start my review by saying my wife and I are 60, a little plus and minus. We have been on about 30 cruises with most of our time spent on Celebrity ships. Except for the Paul Gauguin, this was our first entry in what I expected to ... Read More
I will start my review by saying my wife and I are 60, a little plus and minus. We have been on about 30 cruises with most of our time spent on Celebrity ships. Except for the Paul Gauguin, this was our first entry in what I expected to be the high-end cruise market. I have to start by giving the crew of this ship the highest possible praise. Not sure how Regent makes it happen, but I believe that every crew member we ran in to actually loved their job and wanted you to feel 100% pampered. The service was absolutely fantastic in every way and everyone was so nice. The other thing that made the cruise nice was the all inclusive nature of the cruise. If you stay out of the spa and shops there is really no reason to spend one dime on the cruise. They even have a tremendous selection of movies on demand in the room for those times you just want to kick back. I will say that although there is no tipping required, with the level of service you get, you will want to tip and we gave money to numerous people around the ship in addition to our normal room stewards and bartenders. In general the ship is old, but it does have a level of elegance that we enjoyed. It was like going back in time a bit when we first started cruising. I will say that the vibration that everyone talks about was worse than expected. Read my comment under room for that piece, but I would never take this ship across the big oceans again. I did like the layout of the ship and it was unusual with the main dining room in the middle of the ship and everything else at the back of the ship to include the show lounge. It had some nice touches like a putting green on the front of the ship and ping pong table on one floor. The pool is a salt water pool and since the ocean was cold, no one used the pool. My wife and I and maybe one other couple used the hot tub which are fresh water and were nice. My wife enjoyed two massages in the spa and liked those. They are a little pricey so watch for the specials. Internet was OK for email and messaging, but not for streaming or sending pictures. Entertainment was good, but just let me say that with the average age of passengers at or above 70, most of the entertainment was like being stuck in an elevator for 16 days. Need I say more so practice up on your ball room dancing. Ports were great and the shore excursions were on par with what you would normally pay for except these were free. The groups seemed smaller as well which was nice. This may be a result of the mobility of many of the passengers. Embarkation was easy, but debarkation was supposed to start at 7:00 AM, but did not start until around 8:15 AM. So what are my complaints? First, except for the service I mentioned, everything was average to poor. This would be fine except when you put it in the value for your money category the price is way too high for what you get. Even in the Prime 7, reservations required restaurant the food was average at best and the lobster and crab tasted old and watered down from being frozen for so long. They missed the mark on many normal recipes. My wife planned to send them in a couple because we were not sure what they were making in some cases. My advice is to try things you have never had so you have no preconceived expectation. Finally I am going to end with my pet peeve, “Water Quality”. Every ship I have been on has said that the water out of the tap is better then water out of the bottle. After the brown and yellow water that came out of our taps we were told to not drink it. How can you pay this kind of money pour a bath that looks like diarrhea water? They did make it better by replacing filters twice outside our room, but really? They go through so much bottled water that they literally have pallets of water stored on the back decks where passengers should be able to go, but I assume for safety they are limited to crew only. So in the end, if you want a cruise to snooze, read a book or two and eat average food, this is the one for you. For me and the money spent, I think I will try something else because I do not see Regent as an upscale cruise line, just an all-inclusive one. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
First Med cruise and first cruise with Princess. It exceeded our expectations. Everything was perfect. Staff were so nice. Food was fantastic. The activities and shows were all very good. Such nice treatment from all the crew. We met ... Read More
First Med cruise and first cruise with Princess. It exceeded our expectations. Everything was perfect. Staff were so nice. Food was fantastic. The activities and shows were all very good. Such nice treatment from all the crew. We met people from all over the world. This cruise had started in Singapore, picked up some more people in Dubai and then Rome, where we got on. 10 days of spoiling from all the crew on Sapphire Princess. The excursions were very good, we took the one to Juno beach. It was fantastic, and they had a speaker on the D-day landings, aboard the ship. The excursion in Portugal to Sintra and Cascais was excellent. It was so beautiful, both places. We really enjoyed Gibraltar and Monaco. The International cafe in the piazza was fantastic. All the restaurants, provided excellent service, everyday. The food was hot, and very good. We ordered Room service every morning and it always arrived promptly. The entertainment was great, and varied. We also tried the two speciality restaurants, the Steak house and Sabatinis. Both were very good. The pizza restaurant was good as well. So many bars, but lots of quiet spaces to find some space. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Recently returned from ten days on board this ship for Christmas around the Med. This was by far the worse ship and the worse cruise we have ever been on. This was our second MSC cruise and what a total letdown. Firstly I’ll ... Read More
Recently returned from ten days on board this ship for Christmas around the Med. This was by far the worse ship and the worse cruise we have ever been on. This was our second MSC cruise and what a total letdown. Firstly I’ll start by saying the ship was at least clean.After that the positives end unfortunately. It’s a very basic ship with extremely limited options in regards to food,drink and entertainment.So if you one of these people that enjoy poor food poor entertainment and very poor service you will love this ship. The buffet is way too small for the size of the ship and most days there are que outside at peak times.They have tried to increase the size of the seating area by offering seats on the deck in a patio heater style seating area.This is ok in summer but not in winter and eating food off plastic plates under patio heaters isn’t my idea of fun.The choice of food at The buffet was “same old” most days and again very basic. The restaurant was a slightly better environment but being forced to sit with people even after asking to be moved three times again isn’t my idea of fun.Food was again poor. Moving onto entertainment (or lack of). There are 5 bars in total with only the Irish pub offering anything in the way of entertainment before 11pm.This consists of an Italian guitar player playing a very limited song book in very limited English.He also has to stop playing every half hour or so because they could “hear him in the theatre “ even though we could never hear the theatre. It all got very frustrating leaving people sat there with no music and zero entertainment. As for the other bars,well the Budda bar was shut most times when we walked through although we did get a drink there one night and they had a guy playing piano for a while. The main bar (Manhattan) is a strange concept. Yoga and stretch classes are the main entertainment every night before dinner. Yes you did read that right!!! The musical duo who were supposed to start at 6pm usually rolled up bout 6.15 and played a couple of iffy Spanish/Italian/French songs.The “main” entertainment then began around 11pm in this bar. Ranging from a few game show things to some music. Our main highlights consisted of seeing how long it took to get served every night in each bar. This ranged from a few mins to 39 mins which was the longest it took.We ended up changing their tile from waiters to sales prevention staff because they would do everything they could NOT to serve you. This leads me onto their “all inclusive” drinks packages. If you buy one before getting on board you are offered to “upgrade” which sounded great because we only had draught beer and wine package we took up their offer.103 euros per person for the ten days.Me being a Strongbow drinker I was happy with that. Unfortunately after day 3 they ran out of Strongbow and by day 5 still had none ( even though we had stops every day bar one) So when I decided to complain feeling I had been short changed the bar manager informed me the ship was at full capacity with Strongbow (all very confusing) still the sales prevention staff kept telling me they had none.Then to my delight I was informed they had draught Strongbow in one bar.What a blatant lie,it was some sort of cider in a box but most certainly NOT Strongbow!!!! I could go on about various other faults and cost cutting areas but I think you get the picture. My advice is avoid this ship even if the price seems quite good ( we made that mistake) Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We like Viking. It was going to the Azores which we had wanted to see and had never been to during any of our travels. We have sailed on Viking Ocean 4 times now. This was a cruise that did not live up to our expectations. The cruise ... Read More
We like Viking. It was going to the Azores which we had wanted to see and had never been to during any of our travels. We have sailed on Viking Ocean 4 times now. This was a cruise that did not live up to our expectations. The cruise director was very talented herself but pretty much dominated the cruise and did not let the other entertainers perform to the best of their abilities. The food which is usually excellent was still good but the service in the restaurants was unusually slow. Disembarkation was truly a disaster. Handled by the shore excursion manager it could not have been worse. This is the second time we have had this manager for shore excursions on Viking. Unfortunately he is not the best and often unorganized or ill prepared. In addition he is not accessible and does not speak English very well which makes him hard to understand. The ship is excellent and most of the staff would do anything for you. Since this cruise had 8 scheduled sea days there should have been more activities. We would be unlikely to take such a cruise again however we most likely will travel again on Viking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Our past experiences with Viking have all been positive. We decided to enjoy our vacation with Viking...The staff was friendly and approachable at all times..The food is excellent, with a great variety of offerings... Unfortunately due ... Read More
Our past experiences with Viking have all been positive. We decided to enjoy our vacation with Viking...The staff was friendly and approachable at all times..The food is excellent, with a great variety of offerings... Unfortunately due to rough seas, we were not able to enjoy the pool and hot tub areas....the anticipated yoga and Pilates classes were a disappointment...they were not up to a standard that I have enjoyed here at home. Not worth the additional charge in order to participate. The speakers were interesting and we enjoyed Dr. Fuller and his offerings about the Vikings and their history. Our tour and lunch in the Azores was cancelled to our disappointment...we had been looking forward to learning about the agriculture and farming activities of the island. The substitute offering, which we chose, was just average and although it included lunch, we found that to be mediocre. We have eaten several meals in Portugal when on previous trips and enjoyed the local food immensely...The offering on this Azores tour was not representative of the excellent food that is available. All in all, we had a wonderful crossing and would do it again! PS. the disembarkation in Miami was not well done...probably due to the US customs people not there on time...but hoards of guests, with their travel gear, waiting in the hallways was not a good experience. We finally went up to Deck 7 just to get out of the crush. Since we had to vacate our rooms, they were not available, but you couldn't even get off the elevators at Decks 1 or 2, because of the crowded corridors of people waiting to disembark. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The ship was excellent, looked brand new. Food was ideal and plenty of it, too much, my diet took a severe hit. The crew was very friendly and available for any request at any time. Responses from Guest Services were timely and complete. I ... Read More
The ship was excellent, looked brand new. Food was ideal and plenty of it, too much, my diet took a severe hit. The crew was very friendly and available for any request at any time. Responses from Guest Services were timely and complete. I really liked the fitness center, the equipment was excellent and in excellent shape. The spa was a special pleasure and we really enjoyed using the spa pool. The ship has plenty of space for everyone, I never felt crowed or that there wasn't a really nice spot to sit and read or just zone out. The dining area is spacious and we never had to wait for a meal. The preparation and menu had many items that we enjoyed and I actually sampled some things I would usually never eat. It was interesting in that respect, it was well prepared and timely. All in all this was an excellent experience and one I would recommend to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We did the 14 day Premier sailing of the Nieuw Statendam, from Rome to Fort Lauderdale. We spent 6 days prior to the cruise in Rome, and on December 5th headed to Civitavecchia to board the Nieuw Statendam. The ship was at the ... Read More
We did the 14 day Premier sailing of the Nieuw Statendam, from Rome to Fort Lauderdale. We spent 6 days prior to the cruise in Rome, and on December 5th headed to Civitavecchia to board the Nieuw Statendam. The ship was at the beautiful new terminal, and embarkation was wonderful. Very organized, not crowded. This was our first cruise as 4 star Mariners and we enjoyed the priority boarding. Our cabin was ready when we boarded. We had a regular balcony cabin on deck 7 aft. It looked identical to balcony cabins on the Koningsdam. The only difference we could see is that the toilet placement in the bathroom gives better legroom than on the Koningsdam. A definite improvement. We headed to the Lido for lunch, and again it is almost identical to the Koningsdam's Lido. There are so many options to choose from. We like the fact that the food is served by the crew as this lessens the chance of contamination. We thought the food in the Lido throughout the cruise was good to excellent. We ate most breakfasts and lunches in the Lido, and a couple of dinners. MDR - again, identical to the Koningsdam. On the nights we dined in the MDR we made reservations for a table for 2. Often it was only late times available, 8:00 pm or 8:15, as we didn't remember to call early for the reservation. The menu always had lots of choices, the service was very good and the food was quite good. Tamarind - this is our favourite place to dine. We ate there 4 times and loved it. The atmosphere is quiet and serene, the service is excellent and the food delicious. The maitre d' told us that when the ship is in the Caribbean, they will offer outdoor dining for the Tamarind (weather permitting). We also ate once at "Nami", the sushi bar attached to the Tamarind. It was quite good but we preferred the Tamarind. Pinnacle Grill - We dined here once and enjoyed it. Service and food were very good and the setting is nice. Canaletto - We dined here once and enjoyed it. Service and food was quite good. Other food options- Dive in, New York Deli, Grand Dutch Cafe - we tried them and liked them all. We did not go to the Sel de Mer so I can't comment on it, other than to say it seemed busy most nights. Club Orange - we didn't opt for it, but we did notice that it seemed mostly empty every time we walked by it. We missed how it was on the Koningsdam last December, when they had happy hour and great snack food in there with nice music playing. It will be interesting to see if this Club Orange thing is a success. The new Rock Room was a big hit. It was always full and lots of people were up dancing. They are in the space that used to be Lincoln Center Stage on the K'Dam. Their sets are opposite to the sets at the Billboard Onboard, which was always well attended. Lincoln Centre stage now shares the Queens Lounge with BB Kings. There is also a pianist in another lounge who plays for a few hours each night, Overall the music offered is great, with something for everyone. The World Stage has 2 brand new shows that are in partnership with One-Step dance studio. The shows are wonderful and use the LED screens in the theatre to their full potential. There was also a comedian/magician who was very good and very funny - he performed twice. A jazz pianist, Judy Carmichael performed twice and was very good. There was also a singing trio the Knights who were very good. There were a few other options that we didn't attend. Overall, we thought the entertainment in the World Stage was very good. We were a little disappointed in the guest lecturers on this cruise, and judging by the attendance, we weren't the only ones. In contrast, on our previous two transatlantic cruises on the Koningsdam, the lecturers were excellent and every session was standing room only. Speaking of standing room only - The 2 talks given by Captain Albert Schoonderbeek were fabulous. He is such a great speaker and so full of information and he has a good sense of humour. I love reading his blog and it was so nice to get the chance to see and hear him in person. We also attended a talk by Orlando Ashford that was well attended. He is also a good speaker. On one of our sea days we had an Orange Party. We were all asked to bring something orange to wear. HAL also handed out orange hats, wigs, beads, sunglasses etc. Most people had orange clothes of sort sort. It was fun and a sea of orange. As always, the HAL crew was wonderful. Always friendly, smiling, eager to please. They are what makes your vacation so enjoyable. Our three ports, Cartagena, Malaga, and Funchal were all enjoyable and our weather was good. In Cartagena we just walked off the ship as it docks very close to the city center. We did a HAL excursion in Malaga - a drive to the picturesque village of Mijas. We really enjoyed it. In Funchal we did a HAL excursion, "The Best of the West" that took us to different areas of the island. We saw a lot of the island and quite enjoyed it. Both of our HAL excursions were very good, on nice buses with guides that spoke very good English. Disembarkation was organized and easy. Over all, we had a great cruise and loved the new ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Food was great in the Dining Room, Lido Marketplace, Afternoon Tea, Canaletto, NY Deli, Grand Dutch Cafe, Gellato shop. Very few hiccups in the food areas. We mainly ate dinner in the Dining Room. We mainly ate breakfast and lunch at the ... Read More
Food was great in the Dining Room, Lido Marketplace, Afternoon Tea, Canaletto, NY Deli, Grand Dutch Cafe, Gellato shop. Very few hiccups in the food areas. We mainly ate dinner in the Dining Room. We mainly ate breakfast and lunch at the Lido Marketplace. The food at these venues was really excellent! Can't beat the variety at the Lido Marketplace from crepes, bagels, omelets, etc. at breakfast to salads, pasta bars, carving stations, oriental stirfry, at lunch. We had room service several mornings (skip the scrambled egg option). There are many bars, our favorite was the Ocean Bar mid ships on Deck 2 where Roldan, Fern (Fatima), and Patrick were our servers for the whole cruise! They took excellent care of us! We had an inside stateroom on the Deck 6. Great size for 2 people We had storage space to spare. HAL was still working out some kinks with the TV information system. TV system included many movies; very few TV "shows"; limited news. But the Navigator available on your mobile device on their local intranet worked very well. You could set up the people you were traveling with and message them throughout the cruise (important on 9 continuous sea days). We did NOT get the internet package as we wanted to be relatively device-free. But many others around us still got decent internet service. Service was fantastic in all areas! Entertainment: four different music genres (Rock 'n Roll, Pop, Chambermusic (violins & pianos), and Jazz). Excellent! Especially loved Atlys (string quartet) with piano accompaniment. Good lectures. Trivia contests! We had a daily sea-day meet-up with craft ladies via a forum under Cruise Critic. We stopped at Cartagena, Malaga, and Madeira. No excursions, just walked off the ship. We took a taxi at Cartagena, but walked back with no difficulty. . We used the HAL provided bus (extra cost) at Malaga and Madeira--well worth it; too far for us to walk. Malaga just shopped and had lunch. Madeira--after the bus dropped us off, we walked to the cable car ride. Purchased roundtrip cable car ride and yellow-bus-island tour for about $56 Euros for 2 adults. DO THE CABLE CAR in the morning! The clouds started descending from the mountain tops around 1pm and the cable car stops running! Loads of shopping and cheap sandwiches (E2.5 for a Iberian ham hero) at the shops along the streets. If you want one of the wonderful Portuguese cork handbags (any shape or size), the best prices were actually in the Malaga port building--you could get off the ship and just shop right there within steps o the ship! I should have gotten my bag there, but waited for Madeira and paid more for one. We had BEAUTIFUL weather for the crossing! Stops went well. On the whole, truly a fantastic voyage. I would definitely go again and my husband is sold on HAL! I saw only a few children on board. They do have HAL CLUB, but I couldn't see what was in it. It's a controlled area, as it should be. Of course the spa was excellent and there were several "free" mini facials that were held during the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We, recently, got home from the Dec 5th Transatlantic on the Pacific Princess. This itinerary started, for us, in Civitavecchia (Rome) and included the ports of Naples, Palermo, Gibraltar, Cadiz, and Santa Cruz De Tenerife before the ... Read More
We, recently, got home from the Dec 5th Transatlantic on the Pacific Princess. This itinerary started, for us, in Civitavecchia (Rome) and included the ports of Naples, Palermo, Gibraltar, Cadiz, and Santa Cruz De Tenerife before the crossing to Fort Lauderdale. We arrived in Rome the morning of Dec 2nd and had a wonderful three day stay at the Palazzo Naiadi near the Roma Termini. The complete staff at this hotel was very courteous and helpful during our stay. While in Rome we saw the Colosseum and the Vatican on Monday and Tuesday with a considerable amount of walking the entire time. We booked our transfers from the airport to Rome (VIP transfer) and Rome to port (Countryside Tour) with Rome Cabs. I would recommend them as your first choice as they were very, very, easy to work with. Our Driver, Rosselina, was our driver for both transfers. She was on time, very knowledgeable and was a great companion as well as driver. She showed us many sites on the way into Rome. On the way to the port the tour was to Lake Bracciano and the Bracciano Castle where we toured the castle and spent some time in the small town enjoying an espresso and had time to purchase some cheese, meats, and bread for the ship. After this stop we went to the small town of Ceri for a nice lunch in a local cafe. While eating, Rosselina arranged for us to purchase a bottle of local olive oil before the store closed and we were able to pay for it with our meal. During the rest of the drive, Rosselina shared much information on the area and the port. We arrived at the port in the early afternoon and were the only passengers boarding so the process was as easy as any we had experienced. We were on the ship and in our cabin within 15 minutes. Our luggage arrived soon after. We were in cabin 8069, an aft cabin just below the Panorama Buffet. We, rarely, had any excessive noise from the deck above. For the most part, we had a quiet cabin. The cabin was suitable in size and the bed was very comfortable. The bed was lower than we’re used to, and we could not fit our large hard side luggage under the bed as with previous cruises. Although we had issues with where to put our luggage, we had plenty of space to place our clothes and other items. For your reference, my suitcase is 12” thick. Our cabin steward, Ronaldo, was very busy with many cabins, at least 12, and he did his very best to take care of all the cabins. He was, also, very good at keeping our bucket filled with ice and the cabin in good order despite his hectic schedule. We did grow very fond of him during the cruise. Our experience in the dining room was very good. Our Maître d was Luigi Pascale who was very entertaining and managed the dining room with precision. Our head waiters were Vincenzo Del Santo and Joao Serra Da Costa Santos who took very good care of us. One of our table mates needed a special menu and Vincenzo was there every night to provide him with his special menu for the next evening meal. The menu was more than sufficient, and we had many choices every evening, although there was some repetition of menu items. Overall, the food was very good with only a couple things I would not have ordered again. The Panorama Buffet had good variety of choices for breakfast and lunch. The food was always fresh and there were ample places to sit. A few times we would be joined by random diners who were, for the most, very engaging and enjoyable. We very much appreciated eating in the outside deck area. The only downside is that when we brought our fresh coffee the service staff would tend to assume we didn’t need other things like juice and water. We, frequently, had to get those ourselves. We ate in the Sterling Steakhouse once and found the steaks were only average. This is subjective though as we can get excellent cuts of steak where we live, and our expectations are high when it comes to steak. That said, the services were fine in the restaurant. After a premium wine tasting I was offered attendance at a special “Super Tuscan” wine and food tasting lunch in Sabatini’s. This was put on by the chef Alessandro Carrer and presented by the maître d and head waiters. This was a 5-course tasting menu with wine pairing and was excellent. For me, this was one of the highlights of my cruise. The entertainment, especially the ship’s production staff, was outstanding. The band was very good and played a variety of music genres. The singers were very entertaining and, again, very diverse in what they presented. The six dancers were all top notch and talented. I would have to say they were the best of any ship we have sailed. In addition to their amazing performances, the dancers also worked at the deck activities and other venues such as dance instruction and trivia, to name a few. The other entertainers who were booked during the cruise were good as well. The bars on the ship were good but our favorite was the Casino Bar. This is where we, and some of our new friends, would meet for drinks before and after dinner and after some of the evening shows. The two main people here were David and Mickey, who took excellent care of us during the entire cruise and were always there for us. Their service was probably the best during the cruise. We looked forward to seeing them daily. Naples - We took a ship excursion NAP-310, Pompeii, Sorrento, and Cheese Tasting. The tour was 9 hours and well worth the time. The first stop was to a place that produces Limoncello where we were able to taste and/or purchase the product. After, we stopped at a farm that produces handmade cheeses and we were shown how different cheeses were made. We were then treated to the cheese and wine tasting room where we tasted their fresh cheese and local wine. We, also, spent a couple hours in Sorrento, where many people wandered and shopped. After, we drove to Pompeii for the remaining time and explored the ruins. This was the highlight as Pompeii was number one on my bucket list. Palermo - We took another ship excursion PMO-210, Capuchin Catacombs and Mysteries. This was wonderfully enlightening tour that gave some insight to modern mummification was administered. After we toured the catacombs, we were taken to the historically private Oratories of Santa Cita and San Domenico where we learned of those practices and saw the magnificent artworks in each oratory. Gibraltar - We left the ship and walked to the cable car which took us to the top. Our tickets allowed access to many attractions on the walk back down such as St Michael's Cave, the Siege Tunnels, and Moorish Castle to name a few. After our walk down we stopped at Grand Casemates Square for a late lunch at the Lord Nelson Pub where we enjoyed a couple Guinness beers and a lunch we could not finish. All very reasonably priced. Cadiz - We went on a private tour with fellow roll call members to Seville that was organized by a roll call member through Spain Day Tours. The main attraction was Alcazar of Seville which was, in my opinion, more enlightening than a previous tour to Alhambra in Granada a few years ago. Alcazar was also a setting for some of the filming of Game of Thrones. Fun to see that if you're a Game of Thrones fan. Santa Cruz de Tenerife - We walked to the main downtown area, shopped and returned to the ship. The Ship - The ship is well maintained although she is still showing her age to some degree. Captain Spinardi, and his crew were remarkable and the service was very top notch, for the most part. Many thanks to the crew, in particular our waiters, bartenders/bar servers for their most attentive service. That made the cruise very enjoyable. The entertainment staff was, also, second to none. The six main dancers were exceptional in their talent and visibility during the crossing. Our, primary, reason for this cruise was to test the ship to determine how we wanted to accomplish sailing around the world. The fastest would be on the Pacific Princess but there are other options within the Princess fleet but on different ships. What I found was that, while I loved the ship and crew, it may not be of sufficient size to keep us occupied and physically active enough for a 111 day world cruise. That said, we will probably circumnavigate in segments sailing on bigger Princess ships. It's nice to have those options with Princess because we, very much, love this brand. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was my 12th cruise on HAL. I've been on every size ship in their fleet. While I still prefer smaller ships (RIP soon Prinsendam), I have made my peace with behemoths and really like HAL's newest iterations. Having been on ... Read More
This was my 12th cruise on HAL. I've been on every size ship in their fleet. While I still prefer smaller ships (RIP soon Prinsendam), I have made my peace with behemoths and really like HAL's newest iterations. Having been on the Koningsdam twice, there was no learning curve on the Nieuw Statendam. For a "premier" voyage (maiden is no longer used - wink wink), things went surprisingly well. Let's get the glitches out of the way first: - The computer system was loathe to recognize the Mariner discount when applicable - Service in Canaletto and Tamarind was very slow - One of the stationary bikes in the gym was out of order from the get go - Use of the World Stage for solo performers is not optimal Not bad for the first time out! Now for the really good: - Food was uniformly excellent. Our group of nine had the same table at 8PM every evening in the Dining Room, and service was stellar and convivial. BRAVO to Dede. He is wonderful. We ate in all four specialty restaurants as well. (I miss the Culinary Arts Center: Club Orange was always nearly empty when one passed by.) - The Pinnacle was exemplary and well worth the extra cost. Yum. - Shipwide, the staff were great. - HAL's emphasis on music continues to enhance the experience. Lincoln Center Stage now shares the Queen's Lounge with BB King's, and they often performed two or three times a day. The new venue is perfect for their wonderful concerts; I attended 17 times. (The piano quintet currently includes the stellar string quartet ATLYS.) Punctuating a 14 day crossing with these concerts: thank you. - Cabins and storage are just fine. Our port side balcony cabin had direct sun most of the crossing: I actually used it often (a balcony has never been a priority for me). Of course the weather cooperated fully: temperatures were 60-75F for the entire trip - in December! In summation: as wonderful as it is to be on a cruise where you have no extras on your account at the end (Azamara, Regent, Seabourn etc.), HAL still delivers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We had taken 4 cruises together as a couple, 3 of them on HAL. We were excited to book our first transatlantic and maiden voyage on the Nieuw Statendam. My parents were avid cruisers and their first was on the Statendam in 1972. Also, my ... Read More
We had taken 4 cruises together as a couple, 3 of them on HAL. We were excited to book our first transatlantic and maiden voyage on the Nieuw Statendam. My parents were avid cruisers and their first was on the Statendam in 1972. Also, my oldest brother and sister-in-law did the maiden voyage on the Koningsdam and raved about the experience. We didn't have many expectations as we like being open-minded travelers who are ready for just about anything! The ship, the crew and luckily, the weather did not disappoint in fact were impressive in every way. From embarkation at the lovely new terminal in Civitavecchia to disembarkation in Ft Lauderdale, we had no major issues, concerns or gripes. We really enjoyed the dining experiences on board. The only eatery we did not try was the sushi bar. Next time! Our favourite specialty resto was Sel De Mer. The seafood, service, plating and presentation were all amazing. The restaurant decor was also enchanting. The Tamarind was our next favourite. Beautiful setting and the menu was varied enough to earn repeat visits. The lack of a formal library was noticeable but not an issue. I was prepared and brought some books with me. The other issue is the wine package ordering process. It was not handled all that well at the onset of the cruise. We did get it sorted but took some doing. The crew was always smiling and always employing the right amount of attention whether it was toward the upkeep of our cabin or whilst at dinner. And very observant as well. The officers mingled nightly with passengers with the Captain was often spotted doing walkabouts in the public areas. The CD and ACD, Ross and Grant were also very involved with us passengers and Grant especially, supplied us with many laughs during Trivia and Bingo games. We really were impressed with the original stage production of Humanity. A show developed for the stage on the NS by a group from NYC called One Step. It used the hi-tech screens and lighting to great effect. The other groups, solos and entertainers were all appreciated. A bit of seasonal cheer came in the form of a twinkly Gingerbread House display outside of the Dutch Cafe. Complete with working model trains! Our cabin was quiet and relaxing with plenty of storage. And a roomy verandah. Deck 7 midships is the place to be! All the ports of call were interesting and enjoyed great weather at all 3. We especially enjoyed Funchal, Madeira. We hired a private taxi to take us on a 3 hour tour for 100 euros. Fantastic time! The 8 days at sea were wonderful. Great weather, endless ocean and sky vistas to enjoy and lots of comfy chairs to enjoy it from. We cannot wait until our next HAL getaway. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We were booked for a cruise on this ship later and were fascinated by the idea of sailing on it the first time. After spending a week with family in Pennsylvania, we flew from Philadelphia to Rome and explored the city for about a week. ... Read More
We were booked for a cruise on this ship later and were fascinated by the idea of sailing on it the first time. After spending a week with family in Pennsylvania, we flew from Philadelphia to Rome and explored the city for about a week. Even that was not quite enough - so much to see! We stayed in the Hotel Santa Maria in Trastevere, which was lovely, and really well located. Embarkation in Civitivecchia was well organized. We took Bob's Limos, which dropped us off right at the entrance to the embarkation hall. There was no significant wait anywhere until we'd checked in and gotten our group assigniment. We simply sat and waited for our group to be called, and we were on our way. Once on the ship, though, getting to our stateroom was a bit of a challenge, since most of the elevators had been appropriated by the staff for bringing luggage to rooms. We had a bit of a wait for an elevator. Had we not had carry-on bags, we would have taken the stairway. The ship itself is beautiful. It is large, but not so large that you can't get around, and while I think it was pretty fully booked, never seemed crowdedl We never got to any of the specialty dining restaurants other than the Grand Dutch Cafe because, quite frankly, the meals and options in the Main Dining Room were wonderful. Our favorite spot from a previous cruise on the Eurodam was the Tamarind, but on the Nieuw Statendam, they'd elminated the Tamarind Bar, which we loved, and made the restaurant larger and much less initimate. They also did not offer a rijsstaafel, which was disappointing. As a native Netherlander, I couldn't get enough of the Grand Dutch Cafe. Between the bags of Dutch licorice and the Kroket lunches, I was in heaven. My only complaint is that one of my favorite Dutch treats is Bitterballen, which were only available between 4:00 and 8:00 p.m., which was right before and after dinner, when we weren't hungry. I went in a couple of times and got some to take back to my room for breakfast the next day. The cabiin itself is pretty typical of HAL ships. The bathroom has a shower (no tub), which was fine for us. The tubs on the Eurodam were pretty small, and by eliminating them, they made the shower a nice size and easy to get in and out of. We're not rock fans, so we didn't check out the Rolling Stones Rock venue, but did enjoy the other three. We really enjoyed both the Lincoln Center Stage musicians and the BB King Blues group. It seemed, though, like the sound in BB King kept getting louder and louder every night, to the point where we couldn't stand it. Next time, I'll bring ear plugs so we can enjoy the music and dance. The real disappointment was the gentleman who talked about history. He seemed to be reading Powerpoint presentations he'd written years ago, and displayed some real ignorance of his subject several times. His pronunciation of the names of people and places was atrocious. We went once, which was enough. Another painful disappointment was the "opera singer" in the Main Stage, who had some real pitch problems. Ouch! Since I am a singer and my husband a retired music professor with perfect pitch, this was particularly noticeable for us. Unfortunately, we were sitting right up front and couldn't really leave without being rude. One thing definitely not to be missed is the artwork. I was worried after seeing the promotions about it before the trip that it might be really modern, but it was actually really whimsical and interesting. We spent a couple of evenings walking around the ship checking out and photographing the artwork. Some of it you have to get up close and then stand back to really appreciate. We did not take advantage of excursions, since all of the ports were pretty walkable. We took advantage of the ship's shuttle in Funchal, but it really wasn't necessary. We could have walked downtown easily. The street art in both Cartagena and Funchal was really fascinating. A highlight of the trip was the stiching group we were able to organize though the Cruise Critic rollcall. We had as many as 30 people every sea day morning gathered in the Billboard Onboard area to knit, crochet, and stitch. After a couple of days, the staff got there ahead of us and arranged the chairs for us. Holland America itself has stopped supporting these sorts of groups, which is too bad. We were still picking up people around the ship who didn't know that we were meeting right up to the end of the trip. All in all, we had a wonderful trip and really look forward to our next voyage on the Nieuw Statendam. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We enjoy cruising with Viking. They are first class and do not “nickel and dime” you. The service is excellent and the crew is very good. Everyone working on the ship is friendly and says hello with a smile. The food is outstanding ... Read More
We enjoy cruising with Viking. They are first class and do not “nickel and dime” you. The service is excellent and the crew is very good. Everyone working on the ship is friendly and says hello with a smile. The food is outstanding and the two specialty restaurants serve unique food . It is nice traveling with only adult passengers and also not getting harassed by photographers. The entertainment is average. We usually enjoy the lectures and classes , however, we did not enjoy them on this cruise. The topics were not interesting or relevant for us. I don’t care about somebody rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. The cruise port talks were not well done and the moderator seemed to be just reading his presentation. The two cruise directors were very friendly and personable- Mark and Heather. The two musical shows that Heather and her assistant, Brian Rodriguez, put on were very good. They both have beautiful voices . The glitches on our cruise were associated with the transition from one cruise to the other. It seemed that they forgot we were doing a B2B and we got no communication about the second half. There was a considerable change in the service for the second cruise and service wasn’t as good as the first part. There were long waits in the dining room for just service and food . Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
PROS: We picked this cruise for the length and itinerary--Rome to Miami 24 days. Iincluded tours in most locations were very good. The sea days were much appreciated after spending 14 days on a port a day. Getting on the ship was ... Read More
PROS: We picked this cruise for the length and itinerary--Rome to Miami 24 days. Iincluded tours in most locations were very good. The sea days were much appreciated after spending 14 days on a port a day. Getting on the ship was a breeze. The Sun is mostly identical to the Sky which we had been on in June, just newer. Very clean and well appointed. The Chef's Table had the best food. CONS: The included tours in Barcelona and Lisbon were a waste of time. Having been to both locations previously, we skipped out on both tours midway through and did our own thing. These could have been much better The exercise classes were very disappointing in selection and length. And the evening entertainment was hit and miss. Enrichment talks were often scheduled at the start of dinner. If you went to that, you would eat late and miss the entertainment. Getting off the ship in Miami was a nightmare--very disorganized and lack of communication. They kept reminding people to vacate their rooms but we couldn't leave the ship. And the people who were on their own (no flights, etc) were grouped to leave the ship first--just a bad end. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We selected this cruise based on the interesting itinerary from Rome to Abu Dhabi, including a journey through the Suez Canal and a trip to Petra from Aqaba, Jordan. The ports were all a lot of fun and interesting. Several were easy enough ... Read More
We selected this cruise based on the interesting itinerary from Rome to Abu Dhabi, including a journey through the Suez Canal and a trip to Petra from Aqaba, Jordan. The ports were all a lot of fun and interesting. Several were easy enough to do on our own. Our time was limited in Catania and Muscat, so I wish we were there for more hours. The cruise was long with many sea days, but we enjoyed the different activities the Celebrity Constellation offered. I wish they would vary the timing of activities from day to day so we could do more. For instance, if you decide to participate in trivia, it's at the same time daily and often conflicts with several other things on the schedule. Also, the schedule is packed from 10am-3pm, but not much going on in the late afternoon. While the Constellation is an older ship, it didn't feel old and they've done a good job keeping it updated. We found our cabin comfortable and the ship easy to get around. The food in the Oceanview Cafe was great for breakfast and lunch, offering a wide variety. We also enjoyed access to ice cream and cookies in the afternoon. We had great service by a couple of different waiters in the main dining room (a few not so great servers). For the most part, the food was good, but not great. We had a few misses. The entertainment was predictable but enjoyable. The production cast and musicians were very good, and we liked the theme nights in the Reflections lounge in the late evening. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our first transatlantic cruise and we had a fantastic time. We had a 2 week trip to Italy planned and decided it would be fun to sail home instead of fly. There were a lot of positives but there were some things that we ... Read More
This was our first transatlantic cruise and we had a fantastic time. We had a 2 week trip to Italy planned and decided it would be fun to sail home instead of fly. There were a lot of positives but there were some things that we didn't like about this ship. Embarkation in Rome was very quick and easy. Disembarkation in Miami was an absolute disaster. The problems could have been avoided if the ship improved their process. Times were assigned but they had no way of tracking which times people had. So at least half of the people got in line with the first group departing causing a huge jam in the terminal. We got in line at 8:45 and finally got to the luggage area at 10:00. Immigration took another 45 minutes which was the cruise lines fault but may have been better with a more controlled process. Our cabin was fantastic. Plenty of room for all of our belongings. Cleaning services was fantastic. Bathroom layout and space was great. Shower had really nice pressure and a lot of space. One negative is the mini fridge. It's a waste of valuable space and who would use it especially with the Ultimate Beverage Package. Room maintenance problems: When we tried to flush our toilet for the first time it clogged. This was 15 minutes after we got to our room (and was not our fault if you know what I mean). I told the cabin steward about it and had to complain again when it wasn't fixed 3 hours later. Took 5 hours to finally be corrected. A couple of days into the cruise it clogged again but was fixed much quicker this time and we didn't have a problem again. Our AC worked great for the first 9 days of the cruise but then didn't cool as well for the last 5. I asked Guest Services to look at it but never heard back if they actually did and it never improved. Cabin location was not ideal. You were not close to O'Sheehan's and had to go down a very winding hall to get there. Pool and buffet areas were 4 floors up and buffet was on the other end of the ship. Main restaurants were on the other side of the ship. If I took this ship again I would do so with a rear cabin. Dining on the ship was good. We had 4 nights of specially dining. Cagney's Steakhouse gets 5 stars and we ate there twice. The Brazilian Steakhouse and the Teppanyaki gets 4 stars. The free Asian restaurant also gets 4 stars and we ate there several times. The Buffet gets 3.5 stars. Most of the food was very good but the layout was horrible. There are a lot of narrow areas that were constantly log jammed. Food was different at different areas and confusing. Ice and water machines were terrible and often had out of order signs. Entertainment was mediocre. We went to several shows and most would receive 3 stars. The bar entertainment was better however the sound setup in most of the bars distorted the music and singing which made it bad. Bars: Best bar on the ship is the mojito bar inside the Brazilian Steakhouse. It's very small and most people don't even know about it so it was private. Bar staff was fantastic. A general issue on this ship is the staffing levels in the bars. There are some really good bartenders but they need help. If you ordered a drink from your seat you were going to wait for a long time. Best thing to do is to go the bar as most of the bartenders wait on people first and then work on the orders from the wait staff when then have free time. Casino: Nice selection of games. I only play poker and I was pleasantly surprised to find a real poker table on board (instead of the machines that most cruise ships have). The negative was the rake. 10% with a max of $25 is ridiculous. Having said that I did play on about 9 days and left the cruise up a couple of hundred because there are some really bad players which overcomes the horrible rake. Other negative about the casino is that they allow smoking. There is no ventilation and there were days when I wanted in and immediately left because you couldn't breathe. The Gatsby bar is down the hall and you could often smell smoke there when you were having a cocktail. Ultimate Beverage Package: It was really good with most drinks included. Also plenty of wine options. Negatives: bottled water and specially coffee is not included (both are included on other cruise lines that I've used). Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I chose it for it having Madeira scheduled as a stop. That stop was cancelled. I have been on many cruises on at least nine different lines and by far, this is the most disgusting ship that I have ever been on. The staff are young, ... Read More
I chose it for it having Madeira scheduled as a stop. That stop was cancelled. I have been on many cruises on at least nine different lines and by far, this is the most disgusting ship that I have ever been on. The staff are young, inexperienced, and poorly trained and many don't speak enough intelligible English. They hang in slap happy packs and seem to look at you blankly when you ask for something. I had several instances of being almost knocked down by rude staff with no social skills who cross in front of you and run to get ahead of you. The public bathrooms were hard to find and many had toilets that didn't flush. The casino was smoke filled and dirty. I watched two instances were tri-poker players were so drunk that they kept throwing around chips and they were kept in fresh drinks. This is definitely poor sporting. everything about this cruise was a hustle to buy buy buy cheap tee shirts and jewelry...you are bombarded by flyers in y our room every night and even get harassed on the phone to stop by for cruise deals. Our luggage tag color coded was forgotten and we consequently had to wait on the hot deck with no shade or water. Many elderly and immobile people were suffering. This ship is a disgrace of poor management. Someone needs to be fired. BTW, if it was a potato, a pasta, or a rice dish, it was served every day..day in and day out.....food was not hot enough either.... Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
No information provided by NCL on where to find the shuttle bus in Civitavecchia from the train. Aft facing Penthouse suite had serious mold issue at our arrival that was never resolved. We chose this room and cruise specifically to relax. ... Read More
No information provided by NCL on where to find the shuttle bus in Civitavecchia from the train. Aft facing Penthouse suite had serious mold issue at our arrival that was never resolved. We chose this room and cruise specifically to relax. We couldn’t even sleep well with the horrible air quality let alone relax in the suite. We both ended up sick by the end of the cruise. Room did not look refreshed (2014) Furniture and bath sink were beat up. Concierge was invisible during the cruise. We ate at all but one of the specialty dining options and ate at the main dining room and buffet. Food was mediocre quality and almost always cold. At the Specialty restaurants and dining rooms, service was slow and food was barely warm. The two shore excursions we did through NCL were not great. The St. Martin excursion was basically a bus ride to the French side where we were dropped off at tourist tents for an hour. Bus driver/ tour guide did nothing more than repeating the same three things he had memorized and the bus smelled of burnt rubber. The Barcelona tour was better, both the bus and actually had a tour guide, but the description did not explain we would be dropped at Mt Montserrat for two hours. Barcelona port had shuttle buses from the port to downtown that were inexpensive (make sure you have a few euros). We do not recommend this ship and are very disappointed in the NCL experience compared to our previous NCL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I wanted to try a transatlantic crossing, and this Rome to Miami cruise looked great. I had not cruised on NCL, but thought i'd give them a try. Earlier this year i did a 20 day cruise on Holland america and they were great! The ... Read More
I wanted to try a transatlantic crossing, and this Rome to Miami cruise looked great. I had not cruised on NCL, but thought i'd give them a try. Earlier this year i did a 20 day cruise on Holland america and they were great! The first problem I encountered was before the cruise. They have packaged deals for dining in the specialty dining rooms, otherwise several of them have ala carte pricing. No one could answer my questions about the dining package or offer a menu to show what the ala carte prices were. There were no sample menus available, and the staff were clueless. The boarding process at Citivecchia was easy. we were given numbers as we arrived, and just had to wait for our number to be called. the wait was not long, and there was wifi in the terminal. the rooms were not ready at boarding, so we were encouraged to explore the ship or grab a bite to eat. I chose to get lunch at the main dining room, Versailles. It was apparent that many of the staff were brand new, but they tried to do their best and I have no complaints. The food, however was bad. Fried calamari was as if it had been cooked two hours previously, cold and flaccid. the salmon burger smelled like the patty had been left out for days before being cooked. This wasn't the only time food came out cold and unpalatable. The irish pub brought out cold fajitas. The asian restaurant served a hot and sour soup that was neither hot nor sour, and the stock reminded me of hot dog water. their shrimp dish was equally disappointing. The dining package allowed you access to the specialty places. you can buy three or more visits. for the ala carte places, that gets you an ap or starter, main entree, and dessert. the ala carte pricing was similar to an average restaurant, the entrees were $14 to $24. The specialty dining consisted of a Brazillian meat specialty place, a japanese grill like Beni Hana, a french bistro, a steak house and an italian theme. The japanese grill was as expected, loud and silly, and the food was good. the french bistro was disappointing, the italian ok, and the steak house was quite good. the buffet was as expected, with a variety of foods. There weren't many vegetable dishes. The ship obviously was being frugal with food costs. instead of smoked salmon slices, they had a salmon mousse, from canned salmon. there was no lobster on the boat, surf and turf was steak and shrimp. all in all, dining was disappointing. The cabin was typical. small but functional bathroom, nice balcony. comfy bed. The staff were mostly great, except that many seemed to not be able to answer questions. My cabin attendent was cheerful and great. As far as entertainment, they had the typical main theater shows, a mix of dancing and singing shows, magicians, hypnotist, etc. The theater seats are uncomfortable for anyone over 5 foot 10. there is no leg room. the ship's tv included live bbc, msnbc, cnbc, fox news and movie channels in english, spanish, french, etc. they showed the same 10 recent movies in rotation, with no info as to when what would be shown. there is a sports channel that offered NFL games. They should have on demand programming, with far more extensive content. we were supposed to stop in barcelona for a few hours, but that was changed before we departed to an overnight due to work being done on the ship. that became two days because of severe weather off portugal. this meant we skipped furcal island, but people liked more time in barcelona. we also stopped in st maartin, which is a nice island. at arrival, people were given the option to have the ship deal with their bags, or just walk off with your own luggage starting at 8 am. before guests could leave, the crew had to clear US immigration, which apparently many of the new crew were not told, and did not complete clearance until after 8:30. we stood in line for an hour waiting to be let off the boat. it took a total of 2.5 hours of standing to get off the boat and thru immigration. It was idiotic. And to top it off, some kid working for NCL at the port kept literally yelling at people in the serpentine line to move ahead, as if we didn't know how to use a line. The last experience from an NCL staff member was some rude jerk yelling at adults. This alone was enough for me to decide to not travel with NCL again. NCL advertizes free amenities, such as unlimited cocktails, specialty dining, reduced excursion prices. but of course they are not free. you can opt for a cabin being assigned to you, like i did. i saved over $1,000 that way, but didnt qualify for the free things. instead i bought a soda package for $130, and the dining package for four places for $120. Internet was $350 for the whole trip, and it worked well the first 10 days, but was spotty and didnt work for much of the last 4 days. I did get a partial refund of $50. so bottom line is that the cost cutting in the kitchen, the horrible seating in the theater, the mediocre in room entertainment, and the horrible disembarkation process were enough for me to decide to not sail with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018

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