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16 Rome (Civitavecchia) to Trans-Ocean Cruise Reviews

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
I had a pretty poor X experience a few years ago on the Eclipse, the captain having to write to each cabin to apologise type of experience. I wanted though to travel the Suez Canal though and so it seemed a good time to give the X another ... Read More
I had a pretty poor X experience a few years ago on the Eclipse, the captain having to write to each cabin to apologise type of experience. I wanted though to travel the Suez Canal though and so it seemed a good time to give the X another try. it started badly though when their greeters in Rome said I wasn't on their list and went on from there. The room had used toothpicks and peoples pills in the draws while the clothes line in the shower hung at neck height and wouldn't retract, the entertainment was mostly rejects from BGT etc with even one from Star in their eyes though to be honest they were better than the staff shows, the Suez Canal commentary was read from Wiki and over in a few minutes, while the food was okay service was slow and the wait staff went on about 10s on and off for the whole cruise and a couple of my excursions were cut short as they ran out of time (a plea here if you can't walk as far as the description says please don't book that tour and if the ship takes tour bookings please put off people that obviously won't be able to do the tour). On the plus side the guest services desk was great though I did see them a lot more than I normal do and the passengers camping out in the indoor pool playing the Ukulele was actually better than the pros. The best part of the cruise was the ports. The final straw was when I got my passport back for the last time, we had to hand it in twice to find a very stuck on sticker on the picture page of my passport. No third chance. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I took this cruise for The Suez Canal and the Arabia countries for their culture and religion and also a time for a good memorable vacation for me and which I’ve got from this cruise. I liked the entertainments in the theater also ... Read More
I took this cruise for The Suez Canal and the Arabia countries for their culture and religion and also a time for a good memorable vacation for me and which I’ve got from this cruise. I liked the entertainments in the theater also the lectures on destinations by Debbie. I still have more on my bucket list to go through yet. I was hoping on this cruise could’ve helped me make a quick decision on my next cruise but the future sale and captain circle staffs were always too busy and not warm to help us to achieve that goal. Disappointed! The conditions of sapphire really needs a update. It’s sanitary conditions is not updated. There are many leaking water stains or even wet spots in the hallways with strong moldy smell which I think is the main cause for the many people being sick with the flu like symptoms. I was happy that the dinning room head waiter attended to my dietary needs. Loo Hua Jiang from customers service desk helped me solved my airline booking problem with great effort and patience. The excursions were very good and the buffet lunch at movie-pic and the tea at the KingsBury hotel were good. I wish there would have had a lunch scheduled for our excursion in Malaysia. It was a long time after our early breakfast and our excursion ended At 2 PM by the time we return to our cruise was close to 3. Overall we had a good cruise and now we’re safely home and time to start planning our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The holiday was part of my wife's 80th birthday celebration. Having been several cruises with other companies we wanted to try out the Celebrity Cruise line. Also we had never before been through the Suez Canal. We spent a few ... Read More
The holiday was part of my wife's 80th birthday celebration. Having been several cruises with other companies we wanted to try out the Celebrity Cruise line. Also we had never before been through the Suez Canal. We spent a few days in Rome (a city we are familiar with) before the cruise and then a few days in Dubai (a new experience) at the end. Seen it now - wouldn't go back! The ship was very good (maybe a little bit tired) but the cabin was excellent and the organisation and staff first class. We old folks took part in lots of on-board activities and particularly enjoyed the entertainment - especially the very informative lectures. The upstairs buffet was very good but unfortunately the main dinning room not so. Many people complained about the slow service and on occasions the piped music made conversation impossible. I've never had such a bad crepe suzette. Would we go again with Celebrity ? Well, maybe. While we can perhaps afford it, I'm never comfortable feeling I'm being "ripped off". The excursions were well over priced; $300 up front for gratuities plus 18% on all drinks (come on !!) and $530 for Wi Fi - even the ship's comedian thought it was a joke. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, we had a great holiday - thoroughly enjoyed it. However, our two immediately previous cruises on TUI Discovery and the Allure of the Seas were equally good, if not better value for money. Celebrity Cruises are good - but not as good as they think they are. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We were very excited about this cruise and choose celebrity with its great reputation and with this ship having so many sea days we wanted to make sure we had great food and great entertainment... we were in an aqua spa suit with balcony ... Read More
We were very excited about this cruise and choose celebrity with its great reputation and with this ship having so many sea days we wanted to make sure we had great food and great entertainment... we were in an aqua spa suit with balcony and on first impressions although it was dated it was very clean so we were happy well this didn’t last long... our room was above the main buffet so it was noisy and constantly smelt of food and the overwhelming strong garlic smell that stuck to our clothes and was in our room and throughout the corridor was sickening... the main buffet served the same everyday just changing the meat, the man carving the meat would just pick it up with his hands and chuck it on your plate even though he was wearing gloves it put you off eating it he was very rude and he had an argument with a guest because he manhandled his food so bad half of it miss his plate, it was like being served in prison...I always eat fresh vegetables at home so much to my shock and surprise to find them serving only frozen vegetables in the buffet they were tasteless and soggy quite frankly vile... I can confirm it was frozen veg as every day we saw a member of staff walking through our corridor with bags of frozen veg taking it down to the buffet... there was a particular group of people that spend all day and all night in the smoking area getting drunk which is fine until they were so drunk they were swearing shouting racist remarks being rude to the bar staff chucking rubbish and bottles all over the floor and upsetting many guest around them... where was the ships security why were these people aloud to carry on... if i had been told for 3 days of this cruise the outer decks would be shut down and lighting turned down for safety because of pirates I would have never booked this cruise, this also ment if you had paid for a balcony you couldn’t go on it the lights had to be off curtains shut... our room was difficult to get to and from with the amount of areas shut down on the ship and I saw many elderly people struggling to get to there room in the dark and getting lost in fact we helped a few and we don’t even work on the ship... entertainment well if you can call it entertainment was diabolical the best singer I saw on that ship was a guest getting up to sing in karaoke, the shows were so amateur that it was embarrassing to watch I never saw any to the end cos it was awful, celebrity need to take a leaf out of Norwegian books they had amazing shows, they charge 25 dollars per person to play deal or no deal I know other ships charge 20 dollars, the only good thing the entrainment team put on was the silent disco... tv channels consist of all about celebrity cruises a bit of sport and news channels if you want to watch a movie you pay 15 dollars that’s of course if the movie can download now even though they are charging you 15 dollars to watch a movie in your room you can watch some of them films for free in the outdoor cinema total daylight robbery on celebrity’s behalf... also opposite the coffee shop you can purchase ice cream at a cost but you can get the same ice cream in the buffet for free how can you charge people in some parts of the ship and have it for free in other parts of the ship... daylight robbery... the internet is massively over expensive and we need it for my husbands work but over half the time it didn’t work...When we got on the ship we brought a drinks package included soft drinks and alcohol much to our surprise half way through our cruise the had run out of coco cola, Nescafé and other brands not exceptable celebrity especially when it was at the start of the sea days so you had to wait till the next port before they could stock up again and even then there was still beverages unavailable... we wanted champagne with our dinner in the Italian restaurant which was the only nice meal we had they had a long list and we know that’s not encluded but we wanted a romantic night and were more than happy to pay for champagne the only good one they had was Cristal how can you run out of champagne...me and my husband got tummy aches and sickness along with a lot of other guest whilst on this ship, the only time We enjoyed ourself was when we got off the ship in Tormina and Petra... when we docked in Abu Dhabi we changed our flight and came home early because we couldn’t stand to be on this ship a moment longer I can honestly say our bad experience with this ship has put us off cruising for life I certainly will never book with celebrity again Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Classic Drinks Package-to 9$ a drink- except not highlighted you pay in full if the included drinks are from cabin mini bar or served with food in cabin, & you pay in full for $5/6 fruit & smoothies drinks from the Spa Bar. ... Read More
Classic Drinks Package-to 9$ a drink- except not highlighted you pay in full if the included drinks are from cabin mini bar or served with food in cabin, & you pay in full for $5/6 fruit & smoothies drinks from the Spa Bar. It's either a drinks package or it isn't, & it isn't. A rip off. Horrendous loud screaming music in the buffet restaurant - turn it OFF! This is not a pleasant dining experience. Gratuities do not get any mention or prominence in the glossy brochures other than in the very small print terms & conditions. Celebrity, why are you deliberately concealing these charges from your customers? Put them up front in your brochures. On Select Dining why are large groups able to advance pre-book tables at the same time each evening resulting in denied access to others until after 8.00pm. They should be allocated to Fixed Dining. The excursions in Israel were probably the best experience we have had in 25+ cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We were a family of 6 adults. This was my second celebrity cruise. We were in Aqua class. Disappointed in the cruise. The Suez Canal narrator did not have adequate microphone so he ended up speaking to people as they came up to him. Not at ... Read More
We were a family of 6 adults. This was my second celebrity cruise. We were in Aqua class. Disappointed in the cruise. The Suez Canal narrator did not have adequate microphone so he ended up speaking to people as they came up to him. Not at all like Panama Canal crossing on NCL. We used Aqua class and main dinning room menu- which was nice to have access to. Not as boring as repeats. The entertainment in the main venue was good but the entertainment in the other clubs was not. We attended most of the podium lectures which were good. Physics, naturalist and historical series. It was nice to get an invitation to go to helicopter area for docking. We ordered cheese for our afternoon snack which was far superior to the other offering in Aqua. No extra charge. Room service for breakfast was very prompt. Our cabin steward was always available and helpful. Aman. Our waiters at dinner got our preferences down and we had a table for 6 reserved for us which was spacious and nice. We went on private tours. The Dark Rome tour of the Basilicas and St. Peter's was great. The guides were very learned energetic and enthusiastic. We were able to get tickets to go down to St. Peter's tomb and see the old pagan cemeteries. Contact the Vatican- very limited each day. We were very lucky. On the way up to the main basilica we saw other areas. We also went to the top on the elevator. Would suggest this. You can climb up to the top for additional 300 stairs. We were happy with the elevator inside and out. You ended up where the statues are and the dome inside. To go to the top of the tallet building in Dubai get your tickets in advance. We were dissapointed. A must see the Mosque in Abu Dabi. We did a dune bashing which was fun. I would skip the dinner cruise- too long and you can get a water taxi that goes the same route and takes you to the gold market suick. I did not buy anything but the malls are a nice walk through with the aquarium and the ski slopes. Food courts are very interesting. Like being back in US but the customers were veiled. People were always very friendly. The acropolis is being restored which is nice. Also went to Poseiden ruins. Petra was fantastic and much larger than just the treasury in the Raider's movie. A very long walk. Horses and carts are available. Donkeys also. Hope this is helpful. No problem with pirates. We had some black out dates. Windows and curtains drawn. We did have a Safe Haven drill. Felt very safe. Enjoyed the Captian's talk.Buffet had great variety and was good. The aqua class comes with the Persiean Garden. This was not the same as on our other Celebrity cruise. Dark small and dank. I did enjoy the sauna for the general members off the pool. The gym was visited by my husband alot. The stretch exercises and abdominal exercises were good but needs to be offered more times especially since we had so many sea days with little activiites. They were very popular. I liked the fact that there was no hard pressure sales in the spa when we attended women's pamper day. My sister and sister in law enjoyed the brow presentation also. Our hostess in aqua class was wonderful. She greeted us and was very polite and happy!! She loved her job and it showed. Nice greeting every night. NurseGator Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
There's a lot of rust all over the ship. The public restrooms are almost always more dirty and smelly than the restroom on the average petrol station. The WTC Abu Dhabi shopping mall has better quality on their toilet paper than ... Read More
There's a lot of rust all over the ship. The public restrooms are almost always more dirty and smelly than the restroom on the average petrol station. The WTC Abu Dhabi shopping mall has better quality on their toilet paper than the ship. As always there are too many different kinds of music on at the same time around the Al Bacio, which is usually our favorite place to spend our time and money. This cruise we didn't. We couldn't. The two girls strangling their violins must have paid a lot of money to be on this ship because they really can't play. Classical music is supposed to be harmonious, but they have no ounce of harmony in their act. They just sound like they're mistreating their instruments. The singer Jessica Hart in the production team destroys everything that allows her to open her mouth. She can't carry a tune, at all. Vocal Captain Matt on the other hand is amazing. I've been calling Celebrity customer service a lot in the previous months asking about our upcoming trip and every time I got different answers. Not one person knew anything at all about visas or visitors permits. But they should all be fluent in the workings of the ship and that you will handle ships excursions and the guests needs. It turns out we've been worried for nothing. But we've actually seriously considered cancelling this cruise because it was virtually impossible to get any answers from customer services. The Silent Disco was the absolute highlight of the activities on the ship. The short episodes of "if you laugh you lose" would have won if they were longer. I could easily see this on stage in the theater for half an hour and remember it as the highlight of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
The free use of the thallasotherapy pool and spas were great. Deck chair hogs were not. Smoking was allowed on the far corner of the pool deck and the smell was disgusting. Had to hold my breath when I needed to pass through the area. ... Read More
The free use of the thallasotherapy pool and spas were great. Deck chair hogs were not. Smoking was allowed on the far corner of the pool deck and the smell was disgusting. Had to hold my breath when I needed to pass through the area. Why not have smoking on an open deck where others do not have to inhale second hand smoke? Rude able-bodied passengers occupied the two tables set aside for disabled passengers in the buffet area and staff did nothing to correct this issue. Rude passengers also cut into the front of buffet lines and pushed. Best to eat where you can be served. Cabin was nice with plenty of space to store things and the bathroom had a cabinet with two shelves underneath the sink to store toiletries. Our cabin attendant was thoughtful and efficient. Food in dining room was delicious and the service was excellent. Finally got to see Petra. Was on my bucket list for a long time. Absolutely fell in love with Abu Dhabi and Dubai. I did not leave my heart in San Francisco...I left it in the UAE. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We did noy stay in Rome before departure as we have visited a couple of times before in depth,so we went straight from the airport to the shipwe did not have a great start here as we were told in baggage reclaim to look out on the left ... Read More
We did noy stay in Rome before departure as we have visited a couple of times before in depth,so we went straight from the airport to the shipwe did not have a great start here as we were told in baggage reclaim to look out on the left hand side when exciting missed them they were behind a great big pillar we walked around the arrivals and went back to our starting point luckily for us we spotted a fellow cruiser who waved to us and told us the location of the bags deposit to go to the ship(the airport team had there backs to the exit point talking not doing there jobs).Although we had pre checked in it was slow the coach was held back for some 10mins whole process took about an hour. The ship although we found it clean we also found it tired it was supposed to have had a re-fit earlier this year have a look at the carpet in Main Dining it is filthy and threadbare in parts. The cabin we found to be ok everything worked that we used. We went for second seating dining which we also do all the time when cruising we sat sat down everynight apart from 1 night in the Tuscan for our 40th anniversary of which the ship managed to cock up our Reservation.We enjoy the dining we were looked after very well in the most part found the food to be of a high quality and well presented and very good wines to go with the meals. Sorry we are lazy dont do activities(apart from the Quiz)but we foung that both groups on this ship are the best we have seen on any cruise. Service was of a high standard we did not find any negative issues with this. We used the shore excursions in Athens / Petra we found both of high quality with excellent guides (in fact the athens guide a young girl was the best we have ever had in any sort of excursion while on holiday). We used the shore excursion as well in Oman (Muscat Walking Tour) we did not do very much walking to be honest it was on a Bus we did not think this one was good valuse for money in hindsight we would do the Big Bus tour they did a good deal on Oman / Dubai / Abu Dhabi. Dubai / Abu Dhabi we did the Big Bus both run a shuttle from the boat to the kicking off point downtown. Dubai (saturday) chaotic drop of point is the Dubai Mall exremely busy did the mimimum we wanted to do but that was mainly because of the heavy traffic. Abu Dhabi a lot better traffic around the city a lot lighter if you are tight on time do the mosque. Disembarkation was fine off the boat strangley short of taxis outside and the 2 men running this moved the taxi down the rank so people at the head of the queue were overlooked British / Americans / canadians and Scandinavians sonn showed them the erroe of there ways. We stayed a further night in Abu Dhabi at the Dusit Thani fantastic and well appointed Hotel with a fantastic dining experience it is slightly set back from downtown and is pretty isolated but taxis are very cheap here. In all it came to our expectation we booked it for our 40th wedding anniversary and had a great time we made some friends without having to resort to some on board fancy club. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We picked the due for the itinerary and value for money. Rome, Sicily, Athens, Suez Canal, Aqaba for Petra, Muscat, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Sky suite, deck 6, midships, good location close to where you needed to be. Great feature was that ... Read More
We picked the due for the itinerary and value for money. Rome, Sicily, Athens, Suez Canal, Aqaba for Petra, Muscat, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Sky suite, deck 6, midships, good location close to where you needed to be. Great feature was that the bed faced to window and not side on as in other suites we’ve had. Good standard of ship and guest entertainers. Luminae great as usual although there were a few night where we had to pick from the main dining room menu. Only thing that we disliked aboard the ship was the quality and appropriateness of piped music when there was no live music or DJ. The music in the Martini Bar which we love was appalling, techno electronic which set your nerves on edge and created a negative ambiance. I can’t stress how bad it was. We requested that they play something more appropriate to the bar and crowd aboard but were told that the music was set by head office in Miami and couldn’t be changed. Every evening we asked them to turn it down.......it was truly awful. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
May 21, 2917 Majestic Princess to Singapore After spending a relaxing week in Rome, we finally got to board the Majestic Princess. Wow, wow, wow. I was blown away by it from the minute we walked in! My experience was so positive. ... Read More
May 21, 2917 Majestic Princess to Singapore After spending a relaxing week in Rome, we finally got to board the Majestic Princess. Wow, wow, wow. I was blown away by it from the minute we walked in! My experience was so positive. We planted ourselves in our favorite room, Emerald 319 and obstructed balcony with no real obstructions! I’ve spent close to 55 days in that room on the Regal/Majestic in the last 6 months! I am a creature of habit I guess. Anyway the room is identical to that on the Regal, and for the most part the ship is the same except for a few important changes. Bed Linens and the new robes were fantastic, much nicer than I’ve ever seen on a Princess ship. They now use sheets between the comforters and I like it much better. The top of the bed is also covered in a lovely while sheet. Our room steward was The Casino is still in the same place but it looks different, however I did not spend any time there and cannot tell you how. The casino is no longer open to the floor above, so shopping is not as stinky now, more on that later. The vista lounge has changed but only a little; in the back of the room are Mahjong tables which are accessible for trivia players when trivia is held in that Lounge. Those tables are rented out at $10 an hour, including the whole set up, and the room is now called the Vista Gaming lounge. It is still the place where many parties take place. Club 6 is gone, totally MIA and in its place is a bar and smoking room. I barely went through it once. There are mid ship stairs in place now, making many people happy. The center atrium is the same except a few shops have moved. The regular store with candy and basics, well lots of candy, is on the 5th floor, opposite to the International Café. Service was fantastic, from the Barista’s to the Buffet (World Market Place) the servers were kind, hard working, and lovely to interact with. The food was magnificent. Yes, it was the best food I ever got on Princess. We were in the traditional dining room on the 6th floor aft, and our servers were incredible. There were so many dining options and for sure we did not hit them all in the 28 days on the ship. Frankly the food was so good in the main dining room we did not want to leave it ever! We had specialty dining given to us by our wonderful travel agent and we ended up turning it in for credit! I did hear that the Chinese food specialty restaurant was wonderful. There is little Pizza on the ship, you have to go to Alfredo’s to get any, and of course you can still order it from room service for $3, and its good. There isn’t any Pizza near the pool now, instead is a delightful little noodle bar with its yummy and different menu. Its next to the grill, which still serves up Hotdogs, burgers, and yummy fries. Next to Princess live is a Boba tea bar with the most incredible drinks (non-alcohol) and I became addicted from the first one I ordered. This bar also has some fancy coffee, no more cookies and no booze there. There was a ton of activities offered, many of them were basically sales presentations, seeming to be a normal part of the patter these days! As my friend Bob say’s “I applaud them as a stockholder and am alarmed as a cruiser” or something like that. Anyway trivia was offered too many times in Princess live, at least now they are giving teams writing boards, well board. Now there is a giant window outside of P.live so people can observe games in progress, or even play while outside. I met a gentleman (happy dentist) who had made his own boards for his trivia mates using cardboard and rubberbands, they were so cool and he got the materials by asking his steward for the cardboard (lots of boxes on the ship) and rubberbands! Brilliant idea. Ports were fantastic as they always are, my 2 private tours in Athens and in Petra turned out wonderful. Especially Petra, which was the tour of a lifetime! We visited Naples day two and had a tour with Fabrizio of course. We visited Paestum, one of the best Greek ruins in Italy, and it was amazing and quite educational.  Thankfully we had hired a guide to educate us about the ancient Greeks who lived here long ago.  We all loved the tour and stopped to eat and shop but I didn't buy anything.  We also went to a diary and water buffalo farm where we had a lovely lunch with the most incredible fresh cheeses and breads and OMG it was amazing.  I would be so fat if I lived here, am grateful that this food is not available at home, there is nothing like fresh cheese in Italy.  I'm drooling now! Next we went to Athens and since I was not feeling well Ken had to be me and managed the group tour that I had put together.  He did great and for this cruise we decided that he would be me and I get to be him!  This in and of itself is a total vacation for me and Kenny keeps saying how hard my "job" is!  The universe is divine in its lovely little lessons.  Ken said the group had fun and he also enjoyed it, I on the other hand stayed in bed and lolled around.  Later in the day I called Barb and Gary and we went to the duty free shop and bought some food/munchies.  Not that we need it her on the ship, it is like a food orgy here and man the food is very good. After Athens we visited Santorini, one of the Greek Islands.  We sailed into what used to be the center of the island but thousands of years ago there was a humongous volcanic eruption which blew half the island away, now scattered around the main island.  Most of the island is high above the bottom and you half to take a donkey, walk, ride a gondola, or hire a cab and drive to get to the towns.  I have a picture of my mom riding a donkey here, so I am always thinking of her as we go.  We visited the picturesque towns or Oia, and Fiera, and another that I forgot!  This is the most picturesque of all the Greek Islands and a first time for us!   After Santorini, we were tired and ready for the two sea days it take to transit the Suez Canal, which was interesting and quite picturesque.  On one side of the ship were the great sand dunes of Egypt and on the other side small towns and roads, as well as pontoon bridges and guards.  As we sailed into the gulf of Aiden, there are guard boats everywhere.  We are on Pirate guard now and being my mother’s daughter, I am not afraid and instead excited that I might see a pirate!  Of course no such luck. We have lots of security on the ship as well as off the ship with boats all around us filled with armed guards.  And all the railings have giant hoses wrapped around them which is used as a good defense.  We sail for three days as we make our way to Petra. We finally reach Aqaba on the Jordanian coast of the Red Sea.  Gary and Barbara keep reminding us that this is where Moses parted the Red Sea!  We don't see that, but we are off to Petra, which I missed last year because I was sick, for a change!  I always get sick on cruises and so far I am pretty good.  Hope I didn't just jinx myself, lol. I organized a private tour of Petra for $155 pp, in a small group of 13, instead of taking a princess tour with 40 at $300 pp!  Our Guide is Ali and he is amazing, speaks perfect English and takes amazing g care of us.  Throughout the tour he call us the “adventurers” and we all like that! We go inside caves that none of the other tours get into, and yeah I am able to walk the whole 3 miles down!  Petra is a blow mind, just amazing.  The Siq is a narrow slot canyon made of amazing red rocks, we could begin Utah/northern Arizona the only other place in the world that I know of that has these kinds of slots!  As we walk Ali illuminate’s us with stories of the ancient Nabateans who lived here long ago.  At the bottom, as the tour ends, I don't shop much to Kens amazement, instead we try to walk on but I am pooped and shaky and it is almost 100 here.  Ken puts me on a Donkey (just like my mom who was here some 30 years ago) and takes me back to a shady spot where Barbara and I wait while Ali finds us a horse drawn carriage to talked us to the top.  Ken and Gary walked back up the 3 miles, such determination and Gary is in his mid 70's.  We aspire to be just like them when we reach their ages.  The entertainment was great, both in the piazza and in the Theater. We saw several new shows, and lots of interesting acts including a duo called Branden & James, they were fantastic and I bought their CD! Also of great interest to me was Pete Best, the Beatles first Drummer who was fired before the band became famous. He gave a Lecture and answered some questions from the audience, most importantly he did not know the reason why he was fired! We got a good seat because we came early enough.  We had just participated in a Beatles trivia which was fun. The ports continued to be intriguing including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Cochin, Sri Lanka, Penang, and Kuala Lumpur. For the most part, the Princess tours were not so great, consequently we canceled many tours and opted to go on our own to various places and many malls. We had all been to most of the ports anyway. After 4 weeks, we were ready to get off the ship. Singapore was a mess, at least the disembark was not so fun because there was a huge line for taxi’s. We had booked a 2 night stay in Singapore’s Katong district, at the Hotel Indigo. I loved this hotel so much, it was immaculate and the room was so comfortable. Although I did not have a tub room, I did make great use of the foot soaking bowl, which was very traditional. The food was very good. The staff was excellent, from the manager to the bellhop, and desk staff, they were all magnificent. While we waited for our room, we were given traditional tea and coffee drinks and the room was available quickly. They provided water daily, which was greatly appreciated. Finally, the neighborhood was incredible! We have stayed in downtown hotels, and a hotel at Changi airport but for sure this was my favorite neighborhood. We walked for miles getting to see old row houses, two story shops, and right across the street we discovered a wonderful store named Choo with hand beaded purses and so much more. We will definitely come back here! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Joined the ship in Rome which was smooth and effortless. Ship is lovely and clean, balcony cabin was par for the course albeit cupboard space a bit tight for 17 days, shame our maid lacked the little touches, like ensuring we had the ... Read More
Joined the ship in Rome which was smooth and effortless. Ship is lovely and clean, balcony cabin was par for the course albeit cupboard space a bit tight for 17 days, shame our maid lacked the little touches, like ensuring we had the correct number of towels. One rather annoying feature of our balcony was the regular cleaning of the ship outside which washed all the flakes of paint and dirt onto our balcony (3 times), which made it unusable for a day until next cleaning. The buffet was a bit of a disappointment due to its idiotic layout and lack of choice for things like salad. The hot food was mostly luke warm at best but always had something edible if you could be asked to walk around the many counters to make sure you didn't miss something. It was always pretty much packed and the noise level reminded one of the school canteen. The main restaurant was good and the food lived up to expectations. However we had a waiter with attitude who didn't want to top up your glass until the last night, and serving became rather chaotic on many occasions with pot luck as to what meal they delivered until corrected after a lengthy wait. It was also disappointing that dress codes were often flouted without challenge and no adherence to hand cleaning on entry. Entertainment was patchy but then trying to do anything in 5 languages always presents a challenge but announcements do get tedious after a while. As for the cruise itself we loved the places we visited, as these ticked off quite a few from our bucket list. Would we use MSC again, unlikely. Too big, too crowded, too many rude europeans. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was my fourth cruise on Regent (wife's fifth). We had originally planned to take Navigator trans-Atlantic in March, but switched to the new ship as soon as we got the announcement email. After looking at the floor plans, we ... Read More
This was my fourth cruise on Regent (wife's fifth). We had originally planned to take Navigator trans-Atlantic in March, but switched to the new ship as soon as we got the announcement email. After looking at the floor plans, we decided on a concierge room, and it was the nicest we've had on a cruise. When we renovate our house, I want our bathroom to be as nice as our cabin's! Our transfer from Rome to the ship and embarkation were smooth and timely. We explored and found we liked just about everything on the Explorer...the set-up of decks four, five and 11...the smiling crew, etc. My wife loved the spa services, and I thought the gym setup good, although the weight scale developed a gradual increasing trend during the cruise. Not sure how that happened... Speaking of dining, overall we loved the food, wine and service. We followed previous recommendations on Cruise Critic and had most of our dinners in Compass Rose and Prime 7. Service was exemplary...we thought Allan (CR) and Marius (P7) were two of the finest and nicest waiters we've had on cruises. Make sure you get your name on the P7 standby list for as often as you wish to dine there...that worked well for us! And I thought Vladimir (dining manager) was a twin or triplet...he was everywhere, and remembered our name from the get-go. Room service was also excellent, including one dinner we had on our deck in port in Bermuda. More kudos for service go to Alessio (sp?) at the coffee shop, and Nele, the bartender in the Observation Lounge, who was very personable and a joy to talk to. Excursions were overall good, with the exception of an island tour of Bermuda. Although the guide was nice and informative, the van was too cramped for a three hour plus ride, particularly for one of the guests with bad knees. Internet was generally OK. Be careful when you log off; several times I'd come back to the internet to find I was still online. I'm not sure what happened, but that didn't help the other guests with band width. Other reviewers have commented on some negative aspects, such as the theater and the whistling cabin sliding door. My time in the theater was primarily for the enrichment lectures, which I felt were very, very good, and even though busy, I didn't have problems with the theater stairs or sight lines. The provided refreshments and snacks were welcome. Our cabin door was "mostly" fixed when reported. Our only other concern was the elevator landing on deck five aft - there's not enough room between the doors and the stairs, causing jams. Although we could use the crew stairs to descend in an emergency, the landing is just not designed well, IMO. I'll end this review with a recommendation on using the "roll call" feature of this site. I somehow skipped this part while reading Regent/Explorer reviews for months, and almost missed what turned out to be one of the best parts of this cruise. The people we met through the roll call gave us almost instant friends even before we boarded, when we attended a meet and greet in Rome. And it was nice to have acquaintances we could join for coffee or drinks...I can only hope to see most of them again on future cruises, as their advice and companionship really made this cruise wonderful! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Embarkation was speedy but there was no food available and we had missed lunch. The patio area was not open at about 3.30 pm when we boarded despite indicating it was in "Pursuits" Crew were helpful and accommodating. ... Read More
Embarkation was speedy but there was no food available and we had missed lunch. The patio area was not open at about 3.30 pm when we boarded despite indicating it was in "Pursuits" Crew were helpful and accommodating. Service with a smile. Dinner in the dining room was very good in terms of quality and choice. Breakfast and Lunch in Windows cafe was a little repetitive and no sushi offering at lunch. We did not eat in Windows nor use the other 2 restaurants (Aqua and Prime)any evening.. Ports were interesting Entertainment was poor. We don't go to shows preferring music while we have a pre or post dinner drink or coffee. Guitarist and piano player were both poor and repetitive.. Can't comment on the shows as we don't do shows. Wifi is expensive and poor. Azamara need to address this as it could be a deal breaker for us TV entertainment is extremely poor. We were on-board for 17 days and films from 1st week were repeated on the second week. Some cruisers spend time in their cabin and like to relax and watch a film, not so on this ship. Offering was really poor unless you wanted to pay for a film. Some passengers don't want fancy shows but prefer quieter entertainment. Communication in "Pursuits" needs to be a bit more forward thinking e.g. "no bus into port a Salalah" needed to be communicated well ahead of the night before we docked. This resulted in a rush to book a tour for those that wanted to go ashore after 4 nights at sea. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016

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