557 Rome (Civitavecchia) Senior Cruise Reviews

Just recently returned from NCL Spirit cruise that was suppose to be 21 days from Rome-Dubai, leaving on Feb. 11. This was changed because the ship was being refurbished and it was not ready. New date Feb. 14. We were not notified until 5 ... Read More
Just recently returned from NCL Spirit cruise that was suppose to be 21 days from Rome-Dubai, leaving on Feb. 11. This was changed because the ship was being refurbished and it was not ready. New date Feb. 14. We were not notified until 5 days before sailing, after we were in route to spend a few days in Rome. Because of this there were 4 ports that were deleted. They offered $300 for flight changes. We had already left so flights was not an issue but they would not offer the money towards hotels if not needed for flights. Which is ridiculous. It took 4 hours to board the ship because they were so unorganized. The ship should have never been able to depart. Toilets around the ship and in cabins did not work. No hot water for days. Flooding in the halls and around elevator, squishy wet carpet everywhere. Terrible smells from carpet glue and other construction. People were sick from the smell. Lights in some cabins never worked. Our cabin door did not lock and close properly. The staff was clearly not trained. No one knew what to do. Lines were huge at customer service desk with no resolve. Took three hours to debark ship at first port because they were so unorganized. We lost half a day in Jerusalem. Took almost two hours to get main entree in dinning room. Finally just ate at buffet. Jets did not work in Jacuzzi's. Games and events around the ship were very poor. They had you carry around a card they signed when you went to the games. After 10 signatures you turned it in for for a bottle opener or deck of cards. Hardly any shopping areas. The shows were very poor except for their dancers which were very good. Said they would give us 25% off cruise and another 25% towards another which I have not seen. I have reached out to them about this but no answer as yet. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Almost a year before the cruise, we started researching what was available to visit countries that were a part of our ancient history. Time in Israel was a primary consideration. The initial 21 day Mediterranean cruise was our choice ... Read More
Almost a year before the cruise, we started researching what was available to visit countries that were a part of our ancient history. Time in Israel was a primary consideration. The initial 21 day Mediterranean cruise was our choice which we booked in February 2019 and booked our air-fare shortly after. And the dollar-coaster ride began. Between February and July there were three price reductions bringing the balcony cabin cost from $188 per night to $140 per night. In September we were advised that the cruise was to be shortened to 20 days and be embarking 2/11 instead of 2/10. Also 2 price reductions bringing the nightly cost to $119. It needs to be mentioned that every time the reservation is rewritten, there is a $100 processing fee payable to the travel agent. In January, the Spirit went in for a 40 day refurbishment. We would be the first to sail on the new Spirit, how exciting! We arrived in Rome on February 5th planning to do some sightseeing before we boarded the ship on February 11th. While we were in the air, NCL sent out a notice to some, but not all passengers on the upcoming cruise that said, because of a dock worker strike, the cruise was being delayed for 4 days and would not leave until February 14? We would also be losing stops in Greece and Limassol. Because of the delay our cruise cost would be reduced by 25%. (The cruise was now 1/4 of what it was initially). There was no assistance offered for the extra cost in hotels, food, flight changes and other ancillary expenses. Embarkation day and no more changes. The shuttle took us to the terminal where the boarding process began. NCL staff was friendly but everyone had a different answer to our requests for wheelchair assistance. Our temperatures were taken, passports traded for room keys and we were on our way. Once onboard, we had lunch in Windows – the main dining room. Wait staff was friendly, professional and fun to talk to. One of our waitresses was from Wuhan China. She told us more than once that she was safe, the significance of her statement did not sink in until later. Lunch was good except french fries were cold – this was an issue throughout the cruise. It appears to be mission impossible to get french fries from the kitchen to the table still hot. For the most part NCL staff were wonderful.. Easy to talk to and very good at their jobs. They would admit to the difficulties of the delay in departure but would only talk about it briefly. I must confess to being uncomfortable about being a “guinea pig” for the refurbishment process. Drains drained slowly, toilets didn’t flush or only flushed partially, some toilets didn’t have toilet seats, handicap restroom doors didn’t open or close properly, stair rails were not attached, there was banging and hammering all night long as the work continued to bring the ship up to par.. The line at customer service was horrible and remained that way for the majority of the trip. Staff that worked the counter were for the most part, attentive and understanding. We had an ongoing issue with a premium beverage package, it took 10 days to finally get it straightened out. As a meet and greet activity for members of our group, we had a Pub Crawl that was a combination of bingo and a poker hand. The Cruise Director and Beverage Manager were great to work with. The Champagne Bar over looks the atrium. Evening entertainment was excellent. Of note was a piano player that played several evenings and he was absolutely wonderful. He had an extensive knowledge of piano classics and it was possible to talk without yelling. But I date myself. The addition of Starbucks was a plus for me, but I miss the towel animals and chocolates that used to be a part of turn down service. Cagney’s Steakhouse and Le Bistro remain my favorites for good food and excellent service. The new Omada was excellent as well. A very nice addition was the certified wine sommeliers. The new color scheme is a modern greys, blues and burgundies. I miss the three color coded carpeting (you knew if you were up front, midship or aft by the color of the carpet), it is all the same color now. I will probably sail with NCL again.although I sincerely hope that I never have to go through the difficulties we faced dealing with the corporate offices and trying to adjust on the fly to the changes we had to work with on this cruise. Despite my disappointment at not being able to visit Greece, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and UAE were all I had hoped for. In addition, the folk on the Cruise Critic blog were the best and the cruise staff is what made the cruise special once we finally boarded. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The ship is beautiful. New, lots of bars, modern and clean. Plus the port stop offs are lovely. Plenty of time to walk around. We do recommend purchasing shuttle buses at the port information desks rather than on ship as way cheaper. No ... Read More
The ship is beautiful. New, lots of bars, modern and clean. Plus the port stop offs are lovely. Plenty of time to walk around. We do recommend purchasing shuttle buses at the port information desks rather than on ship as way cheaper. No need to pay for excursions, just the shuttle buses into the cities needed and you can find your own way around. The staff work hard and are helpful. Our room cleaner was brilliant. For the last three days, he shaped animals out of the towels! So whenever we walked in to a clean room, we found one on our bed. Really made us smile. However Costa are focused on taking your money at every turn, including extra €10 daily fee per person. With careful spending, we ended up with extra €340 bill upon disembarking. And that’s without a single alcoholic drink. As soon as you get on board, they push drink packages which cost hundreds of Euros. Choose carefully and come with plenty of extra cash! They charge for everything. Even when you choose a package for the internet (which of course is pricey), then also charge an extra 3 Euros for the pleasure of starting the internet package which you're already paying for??! The entertainment is really lacking, just one 30 minute show each evening. That was the most disappointing thing on board (aside from the money they take from you). Hardly any dance classes until the day at sea. No dance music or live music for the under 65s. Thankfully we found a really good band on the top deck called Night Out which played in front of the swimming pool. There is no room for dancing, and of course, the acoustics were challenging, and yet this band were the best on board by far! Why they put them in a part of the ship that hardly anyone ventured to and is quite ill equipped for entertainment is quite bizarre. There were about a dozen people watching them because of where they were put. Costa - put them on the main floors with a dance floor! They're great. The food during the day is OK, though long queues in the buffet during tea time as they only had one area open for desserts! The even meal was disastrous (but we did have a fabulous waiter). Disguised as upper class food, it was bland, boring and small portions. I really struggled to find anything I liked to eat each evening. If they made the food simpler, it probably would have been ok. They changed the menu every evening except for five standard dishes (e.g spaghetti bolognese, chicken and mashed potato). But then they changed the entire menu half way through the week removing the five standard dishes, which resulted in fewer options. I could have cried! The dance floor only accommodates the over 65s with ballroom and the like. No real disco in the evenings. We were so disappointed. I brought some beautiful dresses with no occasion to wear them. The entertainment is really poor. And of course, if you're from the UK, you'll have to deal with the cruise and language being Italian (and French, Spanish, German). We tried to play one of the games but all the questions were based on Italy and surrounding nations. We just gave up. As for activities, if you're happy spending a fortune in the overcrowded spa, or on Bingo which you have to pay for, or in the Casino, then you're fine. The pool looked nice but was full of children. It had three small jacuzzi pools around the main swimming pool which looked great, but they too were packed and each of them had a large foam floating on top of the water (no doubt from everyone's lotions and creams). Clearly they weren't cleaning the jacuzzis. It really made it uninviting. We won’t be sailing with Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We sailed with MSC once previously which was a really dreadful experience, so much so, we were given a 25% discount on any future cruise. We decided to use the voucher, although not without much resistance from MSC's sales ... Read More
We sailed with MSC once previously which was a really dreadful experience, so much so, we were given a 25% discount on any future cruise. We decided to use the voucher, although not without much resistance from MSC's sales section. The ship we chose Aurea class on the new Grandiosa, it included a drinks package and all gratuities, so seemed a good deal. We found the drinks package was very basic, on the lower grade cabins there they were including the premium package as a promotion, eventually we opted to upgrade the premium plus. We also purchased their top Speciality Dining package, called the Dining Experience, all set we thought. On embarkation, we, along with everyone else, were confronted by a wall of staff trying to sell all the different packages. We had to explain we had them all, one of the staff then informed us, that's a pity as they were cheaper if purchased then, the total opposite of the information MSC put out when booking the cruise. The Grandiosa is without doubt, impressive, a vast floating hotel with something for everyone. Our cabin was very nice and with reasonable balcony, there is a new system, along the lines of Alexis, it is supposed to give you all the information you could ever need whenever you asked, it didn't, it was only any use as a wi-fi speaker. On our first visit to our Speciality restaurant the French, the menu was presented and our waiter then explained, you can only order from the third part of the menu as part of Dining Experience, should we wish to order from the restaurant a 50% charge would be levied, remember you are already paying extra top of your standard dining room entitlement for the Dining Experience package, then you are being asked for extra again should you wish anything off the majority of the menu. This was the case in all four of restaurants, even when in the much over rated Tapas, where one of the few offered wasn't available, we would still have to pay the extra if wishing to substitute from the rest of the menu, this left us totally underwhelmed. MSC really should be more honest and transparent in their sales end not cloaked in such an underhand pitch. Staffing in the restaurants was inadequate, some of the staff were poorly trained and under tremendous pressure. MSC does offer a cheaper option for cruising, my gripe is the dishonest sales methods in use. We weren't fans before this cruise, however it did still surprise us to see how much worse the practises they use had got. The are, without doubt, the Ryan Air of cruising, always looking to squeeze their guests wherever possible. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our 3rd Viking Cruise and it did not disappoint. It was so great! The Viking Staff members in each and every phase of the cruise are friendly and polite and excellent at their jobs. The food is always delicious and the ... Read More
This was our 3rd Viking Cruise and it did not disappoint. It was so great! The Viking Staff members in each and every phase of the cruise are friendly and polite and excellent at their jobs. The food is always delicious and the excursions run like clockwork. Viking takes special care to hire the best excursion guides, most of whom have first-hand knowledgr about whatever country we are in. Our rooms are elegant and comfortable and we love having a veranda. All in all Viking ranks 1st in our Hall of Fame for cruise lines and we hope we can sail with them again. Although we were disappointed not to get to see Rome, the New Years Eve party on the ship more than made up for it. We love the size of the ship and we enjoyed putting a jigsaw puzzle and playing cards on deck 2, We added a family member to our usual foursome, my husbands brother and his wife, and it was so much fun to watch them learn to love the Life of Cruising as much as we do, Good Job, Viking! . Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our very first cruise of any kind, having been an owner of a sailboat. We thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the cruise. We had been watching PBS for years, always seeing the ads for Viking River Cruises. And we were pleasantly ... Read More
This was our very first cruise of any kind, having been an owner of a sailboat. We thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the cruise. We had been watching PBS for years, always seeing the ads for Viking River Cruises. And we were pleasantly surprised how much we enjoyed this cruise. We kept looking for a great deal. When one came online, we jumped at the chance. The ship was impeccably clean. Our cabin was kept in pristine condition. The food was fabulous- large assortment to choose from. Every night we were eager to see what was on the menu. W were so impressed with the quality of all the food. The meats and seafood was so fresh and tender. Cooked to perfection. And presented beautifully. The fruits were flavorful and presented at their peak.The staff was there to cater to our whims, and the excursions were very informative. We will plan on saving enough money to take a river cruise in 2021. Can’t wait. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The cruise offered three days in Israel; it offered free excursions at every port; it served free wine or beers at most meals; etc. Viking also has an excellent reputation, and the cruise went at a most convenient time for us. My wife has ... Read More
The cruise offered three days in Israel; it offered free excursions at every port; it served free wine or beers at most meals; etc. Viking also has an excellent reputation, and the cruise went at a most convenient time for us. My wife has traveled on river cruises with Viking and loved them, but this was the first time either of us had a Viking sea cruise. We especially enjoyed the Italian restaurant but not so much the Asian restaurant. The menus for the main dining room were very varied and enabled us to enjoy our favorite dishes. We did not avail ourselves of the fitness room, but my wife did have some service at the spa, such as a massage and hair dressing. The lecture on the Bayeau tapestry we found very informative, especially as most of the elevator stages had exceollent, enlarged c opies of panels from the tapestry. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Great price. Opportunity to see countries that I wanted to see. Food was delicious The ship was spotless, staff friendly and courteous. All details were handled flawlessly. Excursions were well organized with great tour guides. Weather ... Read More
Great price. Opportunity to see countries that I wanted to see. Food was delicious The ship was spotless, staff friendly and courteous. All details were handled flawlessly. Excursions were well organized with great tour guides. Weather was in mid 60 There was entertainment at night-loved the Beatles review. Also enjoyed sitting in explorers lounge to relax We had invited friends and felt responsible for their enjoyment. Luckily they loved it too They especially enjoyed relaxing outside on our days at sea. We each bought a beautiful rug in Turkey which we enjoy looking at now every day. It reminds us of our great trip. This was our first ocean cruise having done 2 river cruises. We would do another one as long as it is calm water. I did get a little seasick the first morning but used patches behind my ears and was fine the rest of the trip. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN EXPLORER ON THE VIKING SKY We were 2 couples (65+) on this wonderful cruise. Having 5 countries and 11 ports & cities to visit was amazing. Previously we had been on 3 Viking River Cruises and 1 Viking Ocean ... Read More
WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN EXPLORER ON THE VIKING SKY We were 2 couples (65+) on this wonderful cruise. Having 5 countries and 11 ports & cities to visit was amazing. Previously we had been on 3 Viking River Cruises and 1 Viking Ocean cruise. We all agreed it was a great trip. Viking handled everything from beginning to end perfectly. It was an amazing itinerary. The Sky is a great ship, with excellent dining, an exceptional crew, and rating by us of 9.5/10!! Some tips-things we learned. Being in the lower Veranda Deck cabin meant we had the last choice for selecting Included Excursions. Knowing this I got on-line at 3 p.m. EST when the day arrived for us to book the Included Excursions. TIP- Check every day for included excursion openings and changes. DINNER RESERVATIONS AT SPECIALTY RESTAURANTS. Our cabin V-2 Veranda did not have pre-cruise reservations. On board the first night we did make reservations for Manfredi’s and the Chef’s Table in person at the front desk of the World Café. Better yet, use the on screen capability in your cabin to make reservations. It also gives the daily menus for all dining venues. We had 1 visit to each specialty restaurants. There were a number of tables that never got occupied. Suggest you go directly to the venue you want and see if they will seat you. Dining- You will not go hungry on this cruise. The World Café (deck) is causal and buffet. The wait staff supply drinks and table clearing. Always there. The Restaurant is a fixed menu with a more formal sit down service. The selection of entrees at dinner from the World Café is large. It also has a nice Sushi selection, good size shrimp and crabs legs. You will see all this when you get there. It’s all very good. Recommend Chef’s Table the “Asian Panorama” menu. At Manfredi’s try the bistecca fiorentina-rib eye steak. ENJOY AND HAVE FUN IN GENERAL- • We booked in advance with SPAIN DAY TOURS for Barcelona (1/2 day), Seville, and Granada. If interested more information and booking can be found at their website. Use the following link www.SpainDayTours.com • Our cruise had a roll call on Cruise Critic of about 25 participants. Some very active who also arranged other tours and posted them on CC. The Meet and Mingle had a sign up of 60. • Hope this helps and happy cruising. BruceB NYC Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose this cruise as it was a bargain. 2 x nights in Venice, 5 x day med cruise, 1 x night in Genoa. We had obstructed outside cabin. Opera is a very clean and tidy ship with an excellent crew. We purchased a drink package that was 29 ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it was a bargain. 2 x nights in Venice, 5 x day med cruise, 1 x night in Genoa. We had obstructed outside cabin. Opera is a very clean and tidy ship with an excellent crew. We purchased a drink package that was 29 euros plus service charge per night. I think we broke even and possibly drunk more than we would have done if we had just paid for drinks as we went. The entertainment on the boat was not the best but nether the less acceptable. The ship was full mainly of Italians and Germans us brits were in the minority. We ate in the main dining room for every meal and thought that the food was good but not gourmet. This was our first MSC Cruise and overall thought that it was value for money but not up to P & O standard and worth doing again. We were supposed to stop at Kotor but due to bad weather did not visit. Thanks to the captain and staff we made an unscheduled visit to Messina and did an organised trip up Etna. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Embarkation - for us was very smooth as our private transfer from the Empire Palace Hotel in Rome was booked for 12 midday meaning we arrived after the boarding rush and were dropped off right beside the ship. The port is very large and we ... Read More
Embarkation - for us was very smooth as our private transfer from the Empire Palace Hotel in Rome was booked for 12 midday meaning we arrived after the boarding rush and were dropped off right beside the ship. The port is very large and we on our drive through we saw many passengers who were dropped off at the Port entrance toting luggage for at least 1km to board the ship. The trip to the Port at Civitavecchia was 79km, so glad our trip package included all private transfers as the distance from the airport to our hotel was 31km, but seemed longer. Cabin - our cabin was on deck 8 ocean view balcony, 1D. Furnishings were a bit tired however, it was clean & comfortable with ample drawer & hanging space. On arrival our fridge(which we were informed was really just a chiller) was not cold and our in-cupboard safe would not lock. We reported this to our cabin steward when she soon arrived for introductions and after we returned to the cabin a couple of hours later, both had been fixed with no further problems. The shower has dispenser for hair & body wash which was a nice touch, so I didn't need to use the items I packed. There was also a small extender clothes line in the shower recess. Dining - Didn't disappoint! We prebooked Tides on deck 5 for my time dining. The menu was extensive and the portions were the largest I have ever experienced on any other cruise. The service was excellent and although the staff were always super busy, they were always very friendly & made time for a chat & a joke. We also used the Windjammer (buffet) for breakfast, lunch & some dinners and we were very impressed with the quality and variety of the dishes every day. We were also pleasantly surprised by the layout of the buffet servery stations. They were arranged in such a way that we could walk right around the station, eliminating ques. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, so we had not seen this arrangement of servery stations before, but do hope other cruise lines adopt it as well. Also the Windjammer dining area was huge having the inside and outside areas, meaning there was no problem finding a seat. Service - Over all, we were impressed with the service we received around the ship. On day three (a sea day), although I was obsessive about the hand washing & sanitizing routine, I still managed to catch something that vigorously disagreed with me. After been bedridden all day, I eventually visited the on board medical center that evening. The doctor on duty was very thorough taking information of what and where I'd eaten prior to boarding and since boarding. I received appropriate medication and a bland diet leaflet and was asked not to leave my cabin until the nurse released. I was also informed that I would not be charged for the consultation or medication and, as I was seconded to my cabin, I would receive complimentary room service. The next morning, I received a phone call from the service desk offering a full refund for my excursion that day as well as complimentary access to the paid movies on the television. I was overwhelmed and appreciative of the exceptional service I received. I was released from my cabin at 6.30pm on day four. Entertainment - The theater was a let down for us. There seemed to be a lot of comedians & jugglers and not so many choreographed shows. However, the shows we did see were lively with colorful costumes accomplished performers. Absolutely loved the Celine Deon tribute show. The designated Cinema was a bit of a let down. We managed to see a couple of movies, however we just couldn't get seats in any of the allotted time slots for one particular movie even though we arrived 45 minutes prior to the allotted time, due to the small size of the cinema, and people holding seats of others despite regular notifications around the ship that the holding of seats IS NOT ALLOWED. Very disappointing! The cinema was also freezing cold, so we needed to take warm jackets. Excursions - We had pre booked all our excursions with the cruise line, and we would thoroughly recommend this to anyone. If I had not done this, I would not have received my excursion refund, also, we were delayed by at least one hour docking in Dubai, but all excursions booked were honored. The meeting place for most of the excursions was in the Coral Theater. We arrived at the allocated time on our ticket and were given numbered stickers for our respective tours and were directed to the corresponding numbered seats to wait for our tour call. This process was very well organised and with minimal waiting times whether the ship was docked or if we tendered in to shore. All of our excursions were well organised with very knowledgeable tour guides. We received detailed information and reliable transportation to and from the ship at all times. GYM - We didn't bother visiting the gym preferring to do the walking track and swim. The Ship - Although certain areas of the ship were looking tired and dated, overall it was very clean. Our only criticism is that the glass ( there is a lot of it around- the floor to ceiling windows in restaurants and balcony's) was very streaked and not pleasant to look through. We had little to no sea spray during our trip, it was very calm and glassed out a lot of the time. The window obviously were not cleaned after the last cruise. We have noticed on past cruises, that this is something that the crew are always on top of and if the weather is not so good, as soon as there is some calm weather they're right onto the window cleaning. Disembarkation - We were scheduled to dock in Dubai at 2pm however, due to another ship being docked in our space we were delayed by about 1.5 hour. Then delayed by a further hour receiving the return of our passports and the face to face with Dubai Customs. This resulted in our being and hour & a half late for our Dune Dinner Safari excursion. None of this was the fault of Royal Caribbean, and they worked tirelessly to move us off the ship as soon as possible. We still did our excursion, just a little disappointed that we lost daylight and it was dusk by the time we reached the dunes. The rest of the night went very well and back to the ship by 9pm. Hotels - In Rome we stayed 2 days at the Empire Palace Hotel before boarding our cruise. The hotel inside was typical of Rome's history with pillars, historical painted ceilings and dark timber. The reception staff were very helpful with maps & directions and we had complimentary breakfasts. The hotel was very central and walking distance for cafes & coffees etc and some major attractions such as the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, Santa Maria della Vittoria Cathedral & the Trevi Fountain. WE had pre booked a Big Red Bus Hop on Hop off tour and thoroughly recommend this tour. As well as a great way to see and learn about the history of Rome, & we were given English speaking headsets for the continuous commentary. Included in the tickets were complimentary entry to tours at certain places of interest The tour company has tour guides who can take bookings and hand out brochures stationed at all of their stops. Well work it!! We also had a 2 day stop over in Dubai at the Four Points by Sheraton Down Town Dubai before flying home. This hotel was ultra modern and very spacious. Being somewhat exhausted after our journey, we elected to eat at the hotel bistro, and breakfasts were also included. On arrival at 10am, we were able to store our luggage and decided to use the hotel tour agent to book a Hop on Hop off bus city tour. Again we were not disappointed with the tour or the commentary and we again received complimentary entry vouchers to the Preferring to just sight see from the bus, we only got off once at the Dubai Mall and visited the Dubai Aquarium using our complimentary voucher. The aquarium was AMAZING with so many marine species we have ever seen in one place & we almost got lost in there it is so big. The following day we took a pre booked Bus tour to Abu Dharbi. It was interesting to see the difference between the two cities. Dubai, with more fancy skyscrapers than the whole of Australia has, and Abu Dhabi, still with some impressive skyscrapers, but focusing more on Trees, shrubs & gardens. Returned home after a 12 hour day and didn't even bother eating. All in all would absolutely, with out a doubt, recommend this trip. To see the places we visited was an awesome adventure. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
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
We chose this cruise because of Viking Cruise’s reputation for excellent customer experiences & we were not disappointed. In fact, we booked our first Viking River Cruise during this ocean cruise. One important factor that affected ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of Viking Cruise’s reputation for excellent customer experiences & we were not disappointed. In fact, we booked our first Viking River Cruise during this ocean cruise. One important factor that affected nearly every facet of the overall experience was the smaller number passengers onboard. Therefore there were no long waits, lines or crowds for embarkation, disembarkation, dining, shore excursions, entertainment, bar service or other ship facilities. Other comparable cruises we’ve experienced had two and a half to three times as many passengers aboard similar sized ships. The ship was beautiful in its Scandinavian design with many different areas for relaxing, dining & entertainment and was spotlessly maintained. There was no earl or late seating assigned. It wasn’t necessary. You simply dined when you desired. There were two special restaurants on board: one Italian and one seafood. Reservations were required, but weren’t difficult to obtain & there was no extra charge for using them as with other cruise lines. In fact there was no extra charge for house wines, soft drinks, coffees, mixed drinks or beer up to a certain amount. There were four things the cruise did not have that were positives for us: no casino; no annoying staff photographers; no inside cabins; and no children! Our cabin was lovely, comfortable and had a balcony. Housekeeping was excellent. We wanted for nothing in that area. The food & dining service met our high expectations for quality, variety & efficiency. The cruise director and her assistants were welcoming, knowledgeable and enthusiastic without being over the top. Entertainment was varied, of excellent quality and appropriate for grownups as well as very being thoroughly enjoyable. Before the ship sailed, we opted for the two night Rome extension and highly recommend it. During the cruise we visited :Florence & Pisa Italy, Monte-Carlo, Monaco; Marseille & Montpellier France & Barcelona Spain. Each port visit included one included excursion at no additional charge. Tours were of high quality & varied interests. Overall we received an excellent value for our money without being charged at every turn for everything. We highly recommend the Viking experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were not impressed with this old tired ship. Furniture is not only dated but worn out. It has plumbing issues so bad that with three hours notice we were told that drilling and plumbing repairs would be happening from 11pm-5am!! Sorry ... Read More
We were not impressed with this old tired ship. Furniture is not only dated but worn out. It has plumbing issues so bad that with three hours notice we were told that drilling and plumbing repairs would be happening from 11pm-5am!! Sorry for any inconvenience! That’s about the attitude of the Ship throughout the trip. We had to be diverted from Venice because of flooding which was not Norwegians fault however where did they take us....to the nearest dump of a port no one had ever heard of...Ravenna Italy. There is absolutely nothing in Taveena so the ship arranged two shuttle buses to take approx 1200 passengers into town!!! We waited in the cold night over two hours trying to get on one of these shuttle buses then gave up. Food quality was so bad we finally took to eating at the buffet. That should tell you how great the restaurant’s are...the menu was almost the same junk every night with just a different way of preparing same. On five occasions we had to send the meal back to the kitchen as it came out almost cold. Out of thirteen shows only four could be considered entertaining the rest were fill ins with mediocre performances. Example was a chap from Germany who was basically a one man band. Hopeless. Cabins are very small and poor furniture in them. Our friends didn’t even have a chair for the little desk in the room. Shower had mold in the tiles. It was just awful. The only saving grace was our cabin steward who did his best to help us. Would we ever travel Norwegian again...not likely especially when they also make you pay for everything!! Water included. Drinks are the highest in the industry plus they add on a mandatory 20% gratuity charge. Average drink is around 13$ US!! And up. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We started in Rome & ended in Dubai. Boarding in Rome was very easy. I’m a platinum plus, so zipped right thru. Only one complaint. For some reason, every one of our umbrellas were taken out of our luggage when we boarded. ??? 3 of ... Read More
We started in Rome & ended in Dubai. Boarding in Rome was very easy. I’m a platinum plus, so zipped right thru. Only one complaint. For some reason, every one of our umbrellas were taken out of our luggage when we boarded. ??? 3 of them? Every port was easy on & off. Oman & Fujairah were shipping ports, so not designed for ships yet. But transportation were brought to ship. Food in buffet was great for breakfast. Same old complaints.. people would eat & then just sit. This made it difficult to find seats. We just went by pool. Beautiful & not crowded. Never ate buffet for dinner. Had 2 free upgraded. Loved Cagney’s. The Brazilian steak house was just too much meat. The Main dining room was fantastic. Even had my waitress from my trip on the Jewel from the year before. Always plenty of pool seats. Shows were great. Plenty of seats. Didn’t do casino. Staff was great as always. The Captain was absolutely fantastic. He got on the air every morning. Gave us cheery information about the days events. His humor was so uplifting. The meet & greets with the top staff members were a blast. All questions were quickly answered. Only one person made it a complaint session. They immediately took her aside & got the her information to see if they could help. She apparently bought some jewelry at a store the NCL tour guide recommended and it was fake. They said the guides are independent, but would help if possible. The port information was almost correct. Some were said to have shuttles, but then, the transportation cane right to ship. The worst port for unorganized tours was in Egypt. It was a mad house to get the taxis. Going back to the ship, it was one if my best cruises ever!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise because it deported from Rome Italy. We cruise November 7 -21 and travelled to Greece island, Santorini,Athens,Mykonos,Dubrovnik Croatia ,missing Venice for the flood. Going to Ravenna italy. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it deported from Rome Italy. We cruise November 7 -21 and travelled to Greece island, Santorini,Athens,Mykonos,Dubrovnik Croatia ,missing Venice for the flood. Going to Ravenna italy. Kotor,Montenegro,Corfu Greece Messina Italy,Naples Italy,Livorno Italy.i was so good to have lots options to choose from lots of different lounges and restaurant. The crew has to be the friendliest ever.The cabin was comfortable.Our cabin steward was very thorough on kept our cabin spotless. Breakfast was very good,dining experience was so good we had flavorful and mouthwatering dish white of quality wines selection. We enjoyed the very talented live band,we also enjoyed Stardust theater we had the best nights. The port and shore excursion was very good for the all the port we have been very professional and organize crew.Le Bistro specialty restaurant was so good we had the best French food and the best assistant metrodee. The best cruise ship. Thanks for the great time Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Recommended by a travel agent. Cabin was for a handicapped person, which meant after a shower the entire bathroom floor was wet! Yuck! Shore tours were very expensive for what you got, not very informative, and poorly executed. ... Read More
Recommended by a travel agent. Cabin was for a handicapped person, which meant after a shower the entire bathroom floor was wet! Yuck! Shore tours were very expensive for what you got, not very informative, and poorly executed. Take a Scenic or Viking river cruise to find informative shore tours, these were a bust and mostly self-guided. What a rip. The bed wasn't particularly comfortable, the carpet heavily worn and not particularly clean. Mirrors and windows were dirty and didn't get cleaned on this short trip Cafeteria for breakfast was a 7 out of 10, limited seating was occasionally a challenge. The drink package was very expensive for low volume alcohol drinkers, paid $47 Cdn for 6 litres of water!! Specialty restaurants were very good, but expensive without the drink package. We still paid less than the drink package for two people but it was still $30 U.S. for three beers/wine plus $10 U.S, for access to alcohol. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was a 20 night cruise Genoa/Miami commencing Nov 5., Cruising background. Celebrity x 6, HAL x 4, RCI x 3, Princess x 1, Carnival x 1. Countries cruised, Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, Indonesia, USA, Canada, Caribbean, River ... Read More
This was a 20 night cruise Genoa/Miami commencing Nov 5., Cruising background. Celebrity x 6, HAL x 4, RCI x 3, Princess x 1, Carnival x 1. Countries cruised, Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, Indonesia, USA, Canada, Caribbean, River cruises; Europe, USA, China, Australia. This was my first cruise as a solo cruiser due to being widowed in 2018 so it was a new experience for me. This cruise was chosen due to its itinerary and reasonable cost, including single supplement. This was a fly/cruise package from Australia which included 2 nights pre cruise in Milan and 2 nights post cruise South Beach Miami. We (me and my fellow Aussies) arrived Genoa mid afternoon after travelling by bus from Milan. Check went reasonably well even with a little confusion over where our passports were passed around but it got sorted soon enough. Immediately on entering Divina I was accosted (politely) by the usual up sellers. My package included the basic drink package and the sales person explained to me why I should upgrade. The basic drink package covered drinks (including, soda, water and coffee) to the value of 6 Euro. On looking at the drinks list there was very limited selection under that amount so I went for a 10 Euro/day upgrade. I'm not a big drinker but I do like a bit more variety 2 reds and 2 whites and 2 beers. The upgrade covered a large wine selection, quite a variety of beers and cocktails etc up to 10 Euros. Initial impressions of Divina were very good, lots of bling but too many mirrors which confused many. Swarovski(?) staicases, A bit OTT..Due to Divina's size it took me a little while to get orientated. First big disappointment was my cabin, more on that below. Next huge disappointment was the Main Dining Room experience. My group had early sitting at a table for 6 with 7 chairs. Our table was squeezed into an alcove in one corner of the dining room. In fact, all table in the dining room seemed to have been squeezed in. There was very little room for waiters to move around when serving or pouring drinks which made their job harder than it needed to be. The room ventilation (it was hard to tell if the aircon was on) was poor and it was very stuffy in our little alcove. A couple dining with us managed to score a move to another not so hot spot. The remainder, myself and two other Aussie blokes, could not get a move. The menu selections looked good on paper but what appeared in front of us was very mediocre. The chefs (?) must be on a tight budget as ingredients were minimal and not of great quality and never served hot. I'm guessing courses were plated well in advance of serving. On one occasion my appetiser of crumbed squid rings, served on a paper napkin on a plate, arrived cold. The cooking oil had been absorbed by the napkin and looked disgusting. I called the head waiter and showed him. He took it away and a few minutes later returned with a serving that was nice and hot, straight from the fryer. This was the only time I got a dish that was hot. Vegetables, was usually boiled to death broccoli or very sorry looking asparagus. Occasionally there some (few) green beans or peas. A few times I ordered some Italian dishes but these were just as disappointing as the rest mostly lacking in any intensity of flavour. If it wasn't for the good company of my dining mates, (one of whom was a retired chef and he was scathing of the food dished up) I would have dined in the buffet. The wait staff were stretched, there weren't enough of them for the number of diners. Serving times, from ordering to serving, were erratic but usually overlong and orders were mixed up. Poor Sweetie, that was our waitress's name. She was a sweetie but under too much pressure - she did her best. One sore point is water. Unless you have a drink package, expect to pay for water when dining. How cheap is MSC? Lunches and breakfast I usually alternated between the MDR and buffet. The MDR because I could sit and chat with other cruisers, and the buffet for its reasonable variety. Never had any problems finding somewhere to sit. There are many bars spread about the ship and the ones I tried had good service, and compared to most other cruises I've been on, reasonable coffee. Entertainment was so-so. No shows as such, more like small concerts usually of a classical nature, violinist, pianist, soprano and tenor. Some dancing. It appears this is the European style of entertainment. Towards the end of the cruise there was great excitement about a Queen tribute. Along with many others, we three made the effort to get a to the theatre on time to ensure we got a good seat, we did.It turned out to be the worst tribute show I have ever experienced. It was excruciating to watch. Canned music for a start (there is no ship band or orchestra). A lead singer who was not a patch on Freddie Mercury. It was hard to recognise some of the Queen hits as they were sung in an "operatic" style which did not work at all. Another song was accompanied by acrobats on ribbons from the ceiling. I don't get that at all. I eventually walked out in disgust. My two mates stayed till the end but said it didn't get any better. Evening entertainment usually lasted about 30 minutes including the six language intro by the cruise director. "That's all folks". Time for a rant. There is smoking in the casino at all times. Not only that, there was an atrium above the casino and smoke wafted up to a bar on the next deck which had a very good guitar playing and singing couple. It was a very popular bar and I would have liked to have spent time there but the smoke was too much for me. There was not much activity during sea days for me. There junior school level craft classes. There was trivia but not as regular as I would like and every question was asked in six languages. I read a few books from the very small library on the 6 sea days across the Atlantic.Dancing classes were popular. I could go on but I've said enough. I wont be cruising MSC again any time soon. Having said that, they do offer affordable cruising but you only get what you pay for, as the saying goes. As for immigration entering US at Puerto Rico, you can read about that in other reviews. It was a shambles. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Ship’s guests were limited to less than 1000.+++ less crowded! Cabins have ocean view. Foods were excellent and never an extra charge. Service is top notch. Ports and shore excursions are all included. Our next trip are ... Read More
Ship’s guests were limited to less than 1000.+++ less crowded! Cabins have ocean view. Foods were excellent and never an extra charge. Service is top notch. Ports and shore excursions are all included. Our next trip are already planned with Viking. There was a slight delay on the embarkation due to the guests disembarking at that point and time. We can’t say enough of the great service we have had from the ship’s crew. Our kudos to the house keeping staff for the great work they did as well as the waiters and waitresses for the excellent service most especially for the food service staff. Shore tours are well planned and included. There’s also other tours that you can do if you decide not to go on the ones that are included. Tour guides should be more knowledgeable about historical events or facts concerning the sites that are visited. Extra tidbits are welcome. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Room is fine 11061 is a bit noisy but great size butler &maid Dining & tour arrangement a 3rd rate low price Cruise line disaster. Tour changed with no notification (some attendees, not all received notification 2 days in ... Read More
Room is fine 11061 is a bit noisy but great size butler &maid Dining & tour arrangement a 3rd rate low price Cruise line disaster. Tour changed with no notification (some attendees, not all received notification 2 days in advance. WE DID NOT) from am to pm thereby not allowing time to dress for cocktail party & attend dinner reservation at speciality restaurant. The restaurant refused to change reservation 2 @ any time ! Reservations made online weeks ago for a very special birthday. Birthday when attempting to confirmed with Butler upon boarding I was informed my reservation was for the ninth not the tenth but he assured m we no problem as long as we were flexible with time. Tried to confirm planned birthday celebration at Jacques 2 day in advance informed I was on waitingist THANK YOU VERY MUCH Not even Carnival abuses multu repeat crusiersj. Oh wonderful !!just learned Port of Monte Carlo will be cancelled Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise for the ports of call. We began in Genoa. Cruise was western Mediterranean. My first cruise ever. Super clean ship, nice staff. Food was never hot, and as a buffet goes had the buffet fixings. Nothing dazzling ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports of call. We began in Genoa. Cruise was western Mediterranean. My first cruise ever. Super clean ship, nice staff. Food was never hot, and as a buffet goes had the buffet fixings. Nothing dazzling about the food. All tasted good, but was average. Ran out of English breakfast tea 3 days before cruise ended. That surprised me, as I really only drink tea in the morning and after dinner. Tons of pressure to purchase drink package, we did not purchase but paid as we went, and did not spend nearly what the package would have cost. Room was large ( we had 3 people), and clean. Shower flooded the bathroom and part of the cabin. Fans put in the room to dry it up. Also received prosecco and caviar for the inconvenience. We did tours on our own. Used MSC for the Rome on your own tour...worked out fine but know it is 2 hours to Rome from the port. I would definately choose MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise as we had not seen the Amalfi Coast nor the five Mediterranean islands which were visited in the nine night voyage. Embarking in Rome and disembarking in Barcelona went smoothly .We also spent additional days in ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had not seen the Amalfi Coast nor the five Mediterranean islands which were visited in the nine night voyage. Embarking in Rome and disembarking in Barcelona went smoothly .We also spent additional days in each location and recommend both these cities for those who have not visited them, Both are easy to get around on foot or by public transport and both are rich in historic buildings, architecture, culture, music and dining options. The Azamara Pursuit is a small cruise ship by ocean cruise ship standards and has only 670 passengers. It caters largely for mature cruisers and has no facilities for young children (or gamblers). We like the intimacy of these smaller ships and find there was plenty to do even on the only sea day we had. Information sessions about the ports and local areas was adequately provided by a specialist lecturer. Our ocean view cabin was comfortable, and although the shower is on the small side, so are we - and thus no issue for us. It was kept clean and tidy by the cabin attendants. Dining options are good with a formal restaurant, bistro buffet and poolside dining area. Our package did not include the two speciality restaurants so we cannot comment on these. Suffice to say that our dining options had many food choices on offer every day, with different cuisines from around the globe which adequately catered for our needs. On board entertainment was OK, the highlight being an performance in the theatre by two local Italian opera singers. The Azamazing Evening was held in a beautiful historic opera house (similar to La Scala) in Mahon on the island of Minorca The performance of modern flamenco dancing was a little disappointing as it featured mostly a solo male dancer with the supporting female dancers getting little time on stage. Our other criticism of the entertainment is that, unlike other cruise lines Azamara does not offer live classical music in the lounge areas during the day. With one exception (Drach Caves on Majorca) we made our own arrangements for tours and excursions as we find we can do most of the things we wish to do much cheaper by using external providers than by using the excursions provided by Azamara. This was our second Azamara cruise within six months and was booked late with a favourable deal. We had the standard package which included drinks and gratuities and provided excellent value for money. It would have been even better if internet access had been included. We paid (dearly) for one day of access as we were able to get by using wi-fi in the ports. We would certainly travel with Azamara again as the service overall more than met our expectations, but the price has to be right. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Chose this cruise because of great port diversity: Rome, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Athens, Santorini, South France, Barcelona, Morocco and more. And Because we always have enjoyed Princess and specifically the Emerald. Room was great, see ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of great port diversity: Rome, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Athens, Santorini, South France, Barcelona, Morocco and more. And Because we always have enjoyed Princess and specifically the Emerald. Room was great, see below. cabin steward outstanding. Ship has been updated nicely. Service in main DR was outstanding. Unfortunately the food was terrible! which was a big disappointment for my three travel companions and me. I have been on 48 Princess Cruises, and the reason we have gone so many times over the last 30 years was because we always loved the cuisine. Princess always had a good amount of Italian influence in the menus and food prep, now it appears to be influenced by English and Australian chefs. Menus were unappealing. Beef in the DR was very tough. Marinara sauce for Pasta and Pizza was terrible, so that knocked out choices we normally would have liked. Sent several meals back which is not something I have done in the past. Many dinner choice felt like they were a lunch choice. I feel like Princess is trying to attract new clients with their new menus and themes, but may loose their solid base, if the food continues in this direction. Waiters were outstanding, but the food they could not do anything about. Ports and shore excursions were great. Two production shows were great, two were boring. Comedians and Vocalists average other then Steve Kellwodd who was great. Love Lado strings duo in atrium every day. Enrichment lecturer was very good. Have a few more Princess cruises booked, hope to see an improvement. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Grand Mediterranean cruise and TA from Barcelona to Florida. Almost too many ports for us seniors. Fantastic ports except Morocco. Princess shore excursion was awful. Tour guide went on a political rant and brought us back 2 hours ... Read More
Grand Mediterranean cruise and TA from Barcelona to Florida. Almost too many ports for us seniors. Fantastic ports except Morocco. Princess shore excursion was awful. Tour guide went on a political rant and brought us back 2 hours early. Princess gave us 25% non refundable onboard credit. Remodeling of buffet was very good. Hand washing stations, more selections, better layout. Never congested. Back areas had specialty breakfast and lunches. Evenings back areas were a low cost specialty restaurant. Or overflow seating. New tables and chairs. Rooms and public areas had new carpets. Wall mounted tv. Shelf where tv used to be had an outlet so we used it as a charging station and storage. Room still had small table and we were able to get barrel chair. Chair Appeared to be brand new. New pain and varnish on patios. Good overall maintenance on ship. Food in dining room was unchanged. Menu repeated after 2 weeks. On Mediterranean leg, 2 restaurants were anytime dining, but on TA cruise one dining room was anytime and second became anytime at 7:30. Great waiters. Fairly fast service. Morning staff in buffet was often minimal in back areas. Often took 10 minutes to get coffee and juice or table cleaned. Pizza area much improved with larger selection Planks meat restaurant was $12, tons of food, good desserts. Crown Grill was very good. Only went there because we had so much OBC. Princess has cut entertainment staff. On cruise a year ago there was a cruise director, assistant, 4 junior, and activities director. This time cruise director, 3 junior, no evidence of activities director. Seemed like lots less activities. Teen center was opened afternoons on TA due to no kids on cruise. Very popular. Would live to see it continued. Production shows were all repeats even though it was 18 months since last cruise. Good variety of entertainment. Kory was very popular in crooners. Elite access for tenders was very fast. Don’t know about regular travelers. Took private tours mainly, so can’t evaluate tours except Morocco, very poor, azores very good. Had electrical problem in room and repaired quickly. Elite laundry took 3 days due to large number of elite. Done very well with no damage. Recommend both itineraries even though almost too many ports, especially on Europe part and when the 2 are combined. We had 6 days of ports in a row. Booked as 2 cruises to get more OBC Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We did a 40 day 3 back to back cruises from Rome To Los Angeles. The regular Rome to Barcelona, Reposition Barcelona to Ft Lauderdale, then Panama Canal Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles. We did a Princess excursion at each stop. Overall ... Read More
We did a 40 day 3 back to back cruises from Rome To Los Angeles. The regular Rome to Barcelona, Reposition Barcelona to Ft Lauderdale, then Panama Canal Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles. We did a Princess excursion at each stop. Overall weather was perfect, we did have rain in Greece, and a stop in France was cancelled due to winds and rain, but overall given the time of year we were very lucky! The ship did list one morning in high winds off of Europe. We originally chose Any Time Dining, but liked our waiter Roberto and assistant Maria so much this was changed to Fixed for the last 2 cruises. They were very good to us each night, many nights we were the only diners they had (apparently not busy at 5PM seating, noticed lines at 7). Had coupons for the Curtis Stone Restaurant, service was good, food was so so, and apparently they serve the same food each night. Went to Crown Grill 2 nights, and enjoyed our meals there. We had a balcony room, but they moved us at Ft. Lauderdale, we tried to see if room could remain changed, but apparently someone else booked it before us. Both rooms were quiet, one on 15th fl, front of ship, the other 10th fl (Aloha) rear of ship. Both were very quiet. Cabin attendents on both were good, the first was much better than the second, but I think it is a personality thing, as everything got done. Food was good, but seemed to get much better on the Panama Canal Cruise for some reason. Embarkation in Rome was good, embarkation in Ft Lauderdale was terrible. In Ft. Lauderdale all passengers had to disembark for authorities to check the ship. Princess started checking in passengers, and went to lounge, but ship was not cleared to board yet, causing the passengers to be literally crammed in the lounge after check in for at least an hour before boarding. We did all the Princess excursions, and liked all of them except the city tour in Mexico. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019

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