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499 Rome (Civitavecchia) to Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

We chose the 17 day Renaissance Explorer from Civitavechia (Rome) to Fort Lauderdale. This gave us the opportunity to spend four days in Rome before boarding the beautiful Pacific Princess. We booked an obstructed Oceanview guarantee and ... Read More
We chose the 17 day Renaissance Explorer from Civitavechia (Rome) to Fort Lauderdale. This gave us the opportunity to spend four days in Rome before boarding the beautiful Pacific Princess. We booked an obstructed Oceanview guarantee and were booked in cabin 6036, which luckily had a view between two lifeboats and was a beautiful cabin. We are "old style" cruisers, enjoying the smaller ship experience, set dining times with the same waiters and table-mates each evening (second sitting), formal nights and smart casual for the dining room, and no amusement parks on board. Princess has the best entertainment at sea and we enjoyed wonderful production shows, incredibly talented musicians and singers, and interesting and educational speakers. No hairy chest contests here! Fun game show formats, trivia several times a day, guitar lessons and dance lessons. My husband is a musician and for the first time in many years of cruising, he had use of a Princess guitar which he kept personally for the entire 17 days (calluses were kept intact and his daily practice regime was possible). I am a retired dancer. choreographer and director - I loved the talks with the entertainers where we could hear all about the hiring and rehearsal procedures, and life on board as a professional entertainer. The service was excellent. In fact, every crew and staff member on board was friendly - we felt like one big family by the end of the cruise. We also enjoyed all of the ports, and the sea days were especially wonderful with so many events and activities available. Embarkation and debarkation were a breeze - no wait at all! There were very few children on board and the ones that were on board were delightful and well behaved. The food was excellent - always new items on the menu every night with a wonderful selection of favorites. Made to order omelets and eggs available in the lido buffet with a great outdoor table section facing aft. We definitely hope to sail on the Pacific Princess once every year. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I traveled alone on this cruise because I wanted to spend some time in Portugal and Rome before the cruise and this cruise departed from Rome. It also stopped in two ports I had never visited so another bonus. This is a very small ship ... Read More
I traveled alone on this cruise because I wanted to spend some time in Portugal and Rome before the cruise and this cruise departed from Rome. It also stopped in two ports I had never visited so another bonus. This is a very small ship with only 672 passengers so the experience was totally different from the BIG ships. The elevators were very fast and almost always, I was the only passenger on the elevator. And the only time I encountered a line at any venue was on the Mexican Sunday Brunch extravaganza. So, unlike every other cruise I have been on, the aggravation level each day was greatly reduced. Far and away the most beautiful library I have have ever seen on a ship. An incredible amount of books and lots of comfortable seats and tables. And there a table specifically for puzzle lovers who worked them each day. There is a very small entertainment venue but I never encountered it completely full. And the chairs were very comfortable. Not theater chairs but really nice free standing chairs. The buffet, while quite small in comparison to most of the big ships had very good food and one of the best dessert selections I have seen on buffets. If you are someone who likes sampling the specialty restaurants this is probably not your cruise ship. There are two specialty restaurants on board, an upscale Italian, Sabatini's, and a steakhouse, Sterling Grill. I did sample each and the food was very good along with exceptional service. But they alternated openings so only one of them was open each night. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I had been nudging my spouse to make a trip outside the western hemisphere and get some new passport stamps. This cruise was available at a good price two weeks prior to sailing so we jumped at the opportunity. So glad we did. We ... Read More
I had been nudging my spouse to make a trip outside the western hemisphere and get some new passport stamps. This cruise was available at a good price two weeks prior to sailing so we jumped at the opportunity. So glad we did. We spent two nights in Rome prior to sailing at the Hotel Quirinale. The staff was very accommodating from storing our luggage prior to check in, preparing a sack breakfast when we had an early tour scheduled, to providing directions and calling taxis. The included breakfast was quite nice. The room was small but lovely and fit all of our needs... clean and comfortable. We took the 7-hour Rome in a day tour from the Tour Guy. If you have limited time, do this. We saw the major sites, skipped the lines, and our guide, Maria, shared a wealth of information and was able to answer all of the questions presented to her. Embarkation could not have been easier. There was not a line and we were on board in under 10 minutes, and our luggage beat us to our cabin. As noted in prior reviews, a small ship is the way to go to avoid lines. Disembarkation was just as easy and not crowded. Had we chosen to, we could have disembarked 30 minutes prior to our assigned time, but we had no plans and a long wait for our upcoming flight so... The on-board entertainers are outstanding. Very talented and personable people, and they all work hard leading other programs, dance, guitar and origami classes or ping-pong, Wii, and mini golf. The Dancing with the Crew performance was not to be missed. I was not as impressed by the visiting performers; they were not as talented as those I've seen on the larger Princess ships. The venue does not lend itself for viewing a performance unless you happen to get a front row seat; the majority of the seating is at one level. The food was delicious in the main dining room, buffet, and pub lunches. We especially enjoyed the sushi and Mongolian grill. We too encountered the wait for the Mexican brunch, but it was worth it! Every crew member was friendly and helpful. Gustavo waited on us at breakfast. He not only remembered without prompting how my husband prefers his oatmeal, but he also offered travel information for his native country. Pompeii is not to be missed whether you book it through the cruise or an onshore vendor. Pictures and documentaries do not do it justice. Wear comfortable shoes and bring water. The information shared by the guides is fascinating. I loved Palermo! We shared a taxi and 3-hour tour with another couple. We went to the top of Pellegrino, the Cathedral, the royal house, four corners and even crashed a wedding. So much history to see. Compared to Rome and Naples, the city is clean. No graffiti, trash and homeless. Gibraltar and Cadiz were both great for walking. We took the tram to the top of the rock and walked our way down. I got in over 9 miles. Guard your gear from the monkeys! They like to take glasses, hats etc. FYI, if you visit the Siege Caves, there is no exit at the end. You must retrace your steps uphill. It's not that far but worth noting. The parks in Cadiz were beautiful. We walked to the fort and enjoyed the beach. In Santa Cruz de Tenerife we took the ship excursion to the Volcanic National Park. The views are incredible. You'll want to wear your seat belts! Our driver covered those winding roads competently, but very quickly. If you like sea days as I do, you can't go wrong on the Pacific Princess. There were numerous activities scheduled for entertainment or wonderful locations for relaxing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Itinerary was just what we were looking for. These ports are not to be missed. All events from embarkation to dis-embarkment and everything in between went smoothly and we have no regrets. Cabin lovely, cabin attendants were ... Read More
Itinerary was just what we were looking for. These ports are not to be missed. All events from embarkation to dis-embarkment and everything in between went smoothly and we have no regrets. Cabin lovely, cabin attendants were attentive, food excellent and served with professionalism, many options for dining, decent wine served with meals. We love Viking because it caters to a mature guest. Although casual, there are no rowdy guests or inappropriately dressed guests. Other passengers had minor complaints such as "the light over the puzzle table wasn't bright enough". I think that says it all! The included tours allowed good exposure to the various ports. Only one guide had difficulty with the English language. He was virtually unintelligible. Interesting that he did not hand out the typical port comment card that the other guides passed around. One of our paid excursions was cancelled due to no fault of the cruise line (cave experienced flooding). We were automatically reimbursed and put onto an included tour. If I could find one complaint that I wish the cruise line would take into account: it is not really acceptable to schedule a tour for 4+ hours and tell the guests that there is free time to explore, then instruct those needing a restroom break (not unusual in a four-hour tour) to go find a cafe someplace and buy a coffee or bottle of water and use the facility. I believe that a cruise line of this caliber should take into account that guests will need a restroom and have that figured out. One other little glitch: my husband had his birthday during the cruise. At dinner, without our mentioning the birthday occasion, the waiter informed us that there would be a cake sent to our cabin. We did not ask for this (and really, did not particularly want it--the desserts on the menu are great), but when we returned to our cabin the cake had not been delivered and ultimately never was. We thought that strange and sort of a disappointment after all. To be fair, there had been a bottle of wine put in our room at lunchtime with a card from the staff. A nice, unexpected touch. I only mention it because, although not anticipated, it would have been nice to receive what was promised. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
A Mediterranean ocean cruise- what could be better than that? Well, okay, perhap a Mediterranean cruise in the spring as opposed to the beginning of December - but weather be damned, Viking handled its part of the trip briliiantly! The ... Read More
A Mediterranean ocean cruise- what could be better than that? Well, okay, perhap a Mediterranean cruise in the spring as opposed to the beginning of December - but weather be damned, Viking handled its part of the trip briliiantly! The first jaw-drop was being greeted by name by so many of the crew. I used to teach and needed at least a couple of days with identification notes in order to know who's who, yet the crew actually knew us! The housekeeping staff was unparalleled! Partaking of included excursions might have been chancy on another cruise line but not on Viking. Each excursion was well-organized and, for the most part, the guides were outstanding. Indeed, there was a good mix of different people on each excursion so we weren't stuck trekking with the same people over and over again. I must confess, however, that it would have been nice if all of our shipmates were a bit more cognizant of their physical abilities. It is annoying to be on a Medium and/or Hard excursion with people that can barely keep up. The ship itself is basically a luxury hotel. Although we had no sea days, it was lovely returning to the ship in the evening to simply relax and enjoy. Food was plentiful and prepared well - particularly in the specialty restaurants. We appreciated the knowledge of the wine stewards (we had the silver package) and would have liked a group wine-tasting session such as those held on sea days. Caveats? I cannot really think of anything major. I'm a reader; however, perhaps providing more board games or videogames in the public areas would be nice. The theatrical entertainment was actually quite good, the musicians throughout the ship were enjoyable, and the port lectures are extremely interesting. So did we re-up? Yes, I have to admit that although we are not cruise aficionados, we did sign up for a river cruise. See you in 1-1/2 years! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We wanted to see Spain and Portugal. This Cruise fit the bill. We don’t especially like big ocean cruises, so we liked the smaller ship idea. I can’t really fault the ship, but since we have only been on one other “ocean” cruise, ... Read More
We wanted to see Spain and Portugal. This Cruise fit the bill. We don’t especially like big ocean cruises, so we liked the smaller ship idea. I can’t really fault the ship, but since we have only been on one other “ocean” cruise, it certainly was far better than the ocean cruise we were on previously. Unfortunately, we have been on three Viking River Cruises and found ourselves comparing our experience to. That of the River Cruises, which isn’t really rare. We love the intimacy of the river cruises vs. the ocean cruise. We felt the food on the Ocean Cruise was not as good as on the River Cruises...not enough diversity and quality was okay. We travelled with another couple, which was a good thing....otherwise we would probably be dining by ourselves most of the time...we like meeting people. We loved the entertainment, and the spa and gym...big pluses. We were always treated exceptionally, but never got to really know any of the staff the way we do on the River Cruises. we also felt, the “included” excursions had little substance. Also, don’t like the “class system” where if you have a more expensive room, you get first dibs by about 10 days on the optional excursions. Maybe not fair to compare, if we had never been on River Cruise....this would have been a better review. That being said, I don’t really want to go on an Alaskan Cruise, but my husband does, so if I do cave in and go on an Alaskan Cruise, I would do it on ?Viking, Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We liked the combination of a Western Mediterranean itinerary followed by a relaxing trans Atlantic cruise over the Holidays. Our impressions were overwhelmingly positive and we would definitely cruise with Viking again, either River or ... Read More
We liked the combination of a Western Mediterranean itinerary followed by a relaxing trans Atlantic cruise over the Holidays. Our impressions were overwhelmingly positive and we would definitely cruise with Viking again, either River or Ocean. But I will point out two issues where this cruise did not match well with our needs. The excursions were top notch, and informational material made it clear that "moderate" exertion would be involved, with a lot of walking and standing, so I was prepared for that. What I did not expect was how long the walk at disembarkation/embarkation would be. Walking on/off ship was10-15 minutes at many ports, and a couple of times, I was pushed to my limits at the end of the trip. This concern was common among many on those tours, and we were not in the "limited mobility" category. And second, a more minor concern was with the gym/exercise area. I practice yoga, and there were mats, props and floor space available. But right next to those of us looking for a quiet practice were men grunting loudly while they lifted weights. I quit going to the exercise area early in the trip and practiced on the floor of my cabin. I would have gone to more classes or used the mat area independently if there had been a quieter space. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
From the moment we were greeted by Viking staff and crew to our departure, it was a terrific trip. The staff is warm and genuine and were so accommodating to any and every request. Truly exceptional individuals work for Viking. Tours ... Read More
From the moment we were greeted by Viking staff and crew to our departure, it was a terrific trip. The staff is warm and genuine and were so accommodating to any and every request. Truly exceptional individuals work for Viking. Tours were efficient and enjoyable. Loved the attention to detail in all the restaurants. Manfredi’s was a favorite. The Explorer Lounge was enjoyed before and after dinner. Tea time was great to experience and became part of our cruise experience whenever time allowed. We were also impressed by the talent exhibited when the gingerbread house village came to life. Was my first cruise ever but will not be my last. Viking is tops in every category! Special thanks to the staff who welcomed the Cruise Critic mingle which turned out to be a way to meet fellow travelers who had corresponded on line. A stand out for us was how everyone went out of their way to make passengers feel so comfortable and truly appreciated to have us as passengers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We joined the Viking Sky at its first port Pisa due to an airline delay. From the minute we called to explain that we would join the cruise a day late Viking handled everything. They met us at Pisa airport drove us to the ship and found ... Read More
We joined the Viking Sky at its first port Pisa due to an airline delay. From the minute we called to explain that we would join the cruise a day late Viking handled everything. They met us at Pisa airport drove us to the ship and found and delivered our luggage that never made it to Pisa. Nothing was too much trouble for them. The food and wine was excellent with good service. We often went up to the World cafe before dinner just to get some sushi and jumbo shrimp. The living room bar was nice for an after dinner drink or coffee. The staff were friendly and attentive and even made my wife who had lost her voice a special tea that one of the waiters said his grandmother had made him when he was sick. We went on 2 included excursions and 2 excursions we paid extra for. The excursions requiring extra payments were definitely a cut above those included. The Spa was a highlight for us and we used the facility daily including the snow grotto. Overall Viking is our new favorite cruise line and we have already booked a cruise to Asia for April. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have been on four Viking River cruises (China, Russia, Passage to Eastern Europe, Windmills and Tulips) and two Viking Ocean Cruises (From the Caribbean to the Amazon and Western Mediterranean Explorer). We make our choices of cruises ... Read More
We have been on four Viking River cruises (China, Russia, Passage to Eastern Europe, Windmills and Tulips) and two Viking Ocean Cruises (From the Caribbean to the Amazon and Western Mediterranean Explorer). We make our choices of cruises based on itinerary. We have traveled on brands of ships with 50 and 100 passengers which we enjoyed very much. The only cruise ship bigger than a Viking Ocean was on a Disney Cruise trip with my extended family including young children. Compared to Viking River Cruises, the Viking Ocean cruises have bigger cabins and all have verandas. There are more choices of restaurants (no upcharges) and free room service. Entertainment includes an assortment of shows in the theater, atrium, Winter Garden tea, Explorers Lounge, and Torsham bar plus enrichment lectures and TED talks. There are no casinos, no one under 18, and no official photographers. Beer and wine are included with lunch and dinner in restaurants. There is extensive spa including snow grotto (even in the Amazon!) and a full size pool that can be covered with a retracting roof. There is a launderette on some decks. The detergent is included but you may want to bring some fabric softener sheets. They can be crowded or empty depending on your timing. Check what your cabin 'class' includes. Mine included ironing and shoe shining which I took advantage of. Dry cleaning is available for a reasonable price but I won't pay what they charge for doing laundry. You will need to allow a day and a half if you have them do ironing, laundry, or dry cleaning. The highest 'class' cabins include all of it. Dress is 'resort casual'. Men must wear a collared shirt for dinner in The Restaurant, The Chef's Table, and Manfredi's. I highly recommend Manfredi's. If you want more nights in either The Chef's Table or Manfredi's, more slots are available on board. We also love Mamsen's and the Pool Grill for light, casual meals. There is never a dress code for those two or The World Cafe which is their buffet restaurant which serves food similar to The Restaurant but without the tablecloths and waiters. You can wear shorts and flip flops there any time if you wish. There are no formal nights but a few guests like to wear a suit or a cocktail dress in the evening. We often took room service for breakfast to save time getting to our earlier excursions. And, if you have back to back to excursions, order a box lunch the night before from Guest Services to take with you. Speciality coffees at no charge are available throughout the day and evening from any lounge such as the Livingroom on Deck 1 and the Explorers' Lounge on Deck 7. The Livingroom has snacks available all day and evening but the wine and beer at lunch and dinner is not included there even if you are making it your meal. Go to Mamsen's instead in the Explorers' Lounge and have the same sandwich with a beer or glass of wine. The Pool Grill has a small salad bar and delicious hot sandwiches with a full bar. The included excursions are sometimes good but avoid any that say Panorama. They just drive you past the sights. The extra excursions are varied and interesting but you can always book your own. There is always a free shuttle into town unless you are within an easy walking distance. Yes, some extra cost excursions sell out quickly. I use mostly Viking excursions because it is simpler and, in the Caribbean, our ship did delay its departure by nearly an hour one time because a Viking tour was late returning from the other side of the island. Excursion reservations are easier if you have a higher 'class' plus the refrigerator is restocked with hard liquor, beer, and soft drinks daily and one bottle of champagne for the trip. By the way, if you prefer one soft drink or liquor over another, you can specify what you want. This is meaningless, of course, if you have the Silver Spirits beverage package because you can drink virtually anything (including champagne) whenever you want. The snacks in the refrigerator are a joke - tiny pieces of chocolate and small bags of nuts or trail mix. For the most part, I don't feel the Silver Spirits beverage package is worth the extra cost. I just can't drink that much after the wine and beer with lunch and dinner plus possibly what is in my cabin refrigerator. If I want an occasional cocktail or upgrade to premium wines in The Chef's Table, it is cheaper to just pay as you go. The bar prices are located on Viking's webpage so you can easily make your own judgement based on your needs. One important thing I learned is to ASK if you need something whether on the Viking Ocean or Viking River cruises. The Viking staff really want to please. My bed was too hard on my first Viking Ocean cruise and the stewards were actually hurt that I hadn't said anything until a mid-voyage evaluation was turned in. The hotel manager came personally to assure me that they would find a solution and checked later that I was happy. On a river cruise, I wanted to see some sights not included. The concierge figured out how I could manage seeing them by staying in town after the morning tour and then rejoin the group in time for our evening show in town. So, ASK! The other important thing is to not miss the Port Talks. On the Viking Ocean cruises, if you miss one, it is on your cabin's television a few hours later. There is frequently some important information and/or tips for the next day that you don't get anywhere else. It was amazing to talk to people on an excursion that had no idea that there were no restroom breaks on that two hour drive because they hadn't listened to the Port Talk when all of that and more was explained. Forgot one thing that is important to us. The Wifi is free and good. Make sure that you put your smartphone on AIRPLANE MODE from the time you take off from the USA until you return. When on the ship, connect to the Wifi. If you keep it in airplane mode for your entire trip and only use wifi on the ship and in the hotels, you will have no data charges. Also, if you need a bigger screen or don't carry a device, there is a row of computers available on Deck 1 that are tied to a printer. Make sure you use the My Viking Journey application before the cruise and the Viking Voyager application on the cruise. My Viking Journey can be used on a computer or a portable device. The Viking Voyager is for your smartphone or tablet using wifi. Both show your personal calendar including excursions. Viking Voyager also includes onboard information. 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
We always wanted to take a TA and be on a new ship very early after launching and this trip fulfilled our desire. There are not a lot of negative comments about the ship or crew that can be made. Yes it has its creaks and groans as we ... Read More
We always wanted to take a TA and be on a new ship very early after launching and this trip fulfilled our desire. There are not a lot of negative comments about the ship or crew that can be made. Yes it has its creaks and groans as we sailed into the Atlantic but none that kept us up at night. WE booked an inside cabin that is fore and aft and are sleeping that way so the gentle rocking helps. We have booked on the TA for the Enchanted as well and expect to experience the same type of ship experience in 2020. Princess has stopped providing after dinner mints and toothpicks using the excuse of environmental issues, others on the cruise think it is a cost cutting issue. All I can say is we miss them. The ship seems to be much more open in the public spaces due to the additional width of the ship. The piazza has not increased in size so dancing can be a challenge. Princess theater is much bigger and some shows are standing room only. The production shows are ok, but the specialty performers are much better. The food is good but the desserts are ho-hum. We were able to walk right on the ship when we boarded and the medallions are a time saver. Internet continues to be a challenge and the IT staff has been very helpful. We don't like not being able to link more than 1 cruise at a time on Ocean Medallion. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
DECEMBER 6 , 2019 This report is about Our just completed Maiden Voyage on the SKY Princess This is going to be a 21 days cruise from rome to ft. Lauderdale Lets begin with my and my wife big expectation for this special cruise ... Read More
DECEMBER 6 , 2019 This report is about Our just completed Maiden Voyage on the SKY Princess This is going to be a 21 days cruise from rome to ft. Lauderdale Lets begin with my and my wife big expectation for this special cruise as we never took a maiden voyage but we are elite on princess and we look forward to this experience , we board the ship in the port of civitavecchia near rome , driving up to the ship she look wonderful to me not knowing what was waiting for us , the check in process was fine , the cabin was fine the worst was just around the corner . 1 ) the first evening dinner the food is terrible , presentation sucks , food looks like is been seating around , i order tagliatelle al pesto , over cook on the pasta and the pesto is from a cheap jar i' m thinking we just left and they do not have some fresh basil and some olive oil and fresh garlic ? We are in trouble left the dining room and go up to the buffet same story up there and by the way the food is cold what's with that ? I ask the server if they have a power problem he just shrug off , he does not seem to care . 2) next morning my wife wants a latte at the coffee bar , she is served a latte in a paper cup with a paper lid that as she starts drinking from it the top start falling apart in her mouth , we ask the barista what with this he says princess is going green so all there cups are paper but we see myriad of plastic gloves every where what's with that ? 3) this ship does not have any cover pools or jacuzzis , so it is very cold on this cruise we saw nobody until the left few days , they spend millions for pools that can't be used unless you are a polar bear . 4) lets talk about the food in general breakfast , lunch or dinner is terrible , i have to say this is the first cruise i lost weight 7 pounds to be honest , presentation terrible , looks and taste terrible , food is cold , my god the cold cuts like prosciutto , coppa , salame needs to be cut thin and it has to be kept cold and don't put olive oil on top , i came to the conclusion that if you are from india or china you are probably ok with this food , lots of spices similar to currie but the majority of this passengers are from north america and by the info i got they where over 1500 of elite passengers , this is terrible. The desserts are boring and taste bad , also no donuts , this is the first cruise i actually was left with eating jello can you believe that ! 5) princess theater , what a bust , the first production show was terrible too dark , over the edge this are seniors lets stuck to the classics , the second show was not any better , in the 7 days while crossing the atlantic there was nothing going in the theater , no movies on the big screen what a bust. The piazza music basically sucks , same quartet very depressing music and same over and over i ' m asking myself where can i escape ? 6) the cabin is no better , the steward not cleaning the room , mirrors have spots from the moment we got on board until we completed the cruise , the corners of the carpet area never been vacuum , for a new ship this is very depressing , i also noted on my balcony and i taken a photo above my head there is a bracket that supports a drain hose from the above balcony that is missing the big bolt but someone did paint over , i wonder how many bolts are missing thru the ship . 7) another big problem , every port in spain we loose the satellite signal so can't watch any tv and also limited channels , offer additional channels for a fee if necessary , very boring for this being the highest tech ship and going for seven days and nothing to do , give me a break. 8) room service is terrible , is either short staff or they do not care , the only day that i call i sat for 24 minutes with a recording , i hung-up call passenger service and they said the only way was to e-mail them and to be waiting they would call me but never did . 9) on the 19th day on the way to malaga i got norovirus symptoms major vomit and diarrhea never before i got this sick and talking to the crew we find out the ship was been sanitized for exactly a outbreak of norovirus the week before we boarded the ship but nobody said anything about that to us . 10) the breakfast in the morning we like to order room service , the food is old , the juices are water down and as to top it off as elite they offer room appetizers in the afternoon , we order one time it was terrible , we did not touch any of it . 11) on the 25th we got offer a steak dinner by the casino host , we went to the crown grill , a total disappointment , i order the scallops appetizer those were the smallest scallops i have ever seen , the steak was to tough that i only could eat the fillet side and my wife order the lobster and actually that look like a very large shrimp , will not ever go back , ty. 12) now at the end of our cruise there was the thanksgiving dinner , i thought they will have a wonderful meal as this being a food base celebration but no , turkey dinner was equal to a frozen microwave dinner or similar but cold and this in the dining room , so we left and went up to the buffet and for our surprise same horrible experience up there so i just give up. So to recap , i will never cruise on the sky princess and i might not cruise on princess large ship again and if i cruise on princess i want to know who the chef will be and who is the food and beverage director is or for sure it will not be for more then 7 days . Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
What a pleasure it was to be aboard the Sky Princess. As a solo traveler, I planned this cruise 18 months in advance and at no time was I disappointed, Embarkation was a little delayed due to the novo virus and the sanitisation of the ... Read More
What a pleasure it was to be aboard the Sky Princess. As a solo traveler, I planned this cruise 18 months in advance and at no time was I disappointed, Embarkation was a little delayed due to the novo virus and the sanitisation of the ship, however we all had a seat to wait comfortable in the port of Rome. Not such a big deal, but there is always that 'I just want to get on' feeling. Rooms were not ready when we boarded, however the salty dog burger and bud light from the bar filled the gap nicely for an hour or two. Disembarkation was perfect, no issues at all, however I have been to the port may times and know the layout and where to get the shuttles to hotels etc. I booked a hotel for two nights as the airports and airfares were horrendous due to the thanksgiving weekend. It was no hardship to spend two nights in a hotel in Fort Lauderdale though before my long flight back home to Australia. The ship itself was spotless and the crew cared for it every day, from the decks cleaners, to the room stewards. It was perfect. I like the layout of the ship and as a long time cruiser only with Princess, I did not miss crooners at all and in fact loved the fact that the piazza was 'the place to be' after dinner for a spot of dancing. No partner required. My stateroom was a BB balcony and I loved it. Again, spotlessly clean and maintained by Jeffrey whom I wished I could bring home with me. The bed was super comfy and the linen was good quality. I always travel with my own pillow, however I ditched it in favour of the wonderful pillows in my stateroom. The balcony was excellent and I enjoyed several 4pm beverages either ocean gazing or port gazing. Some cruisers felt that it was difficult to identify which side of the ship you needed to head to when getting out of the lift. The carpets on each side are very slightly different - worth checking that out early. One side has a swirl of gold and the other side has a swirl of orange. Once you find it, no more criss crossing to find your stateroom. I generally dined in the MDR, always no share solo for breakfast and lunch so I could catch up on some work, but always a chance to quick chat with the couples beside me. Again, no disappointment for me with any meals. My breakfast was generally lovely plate of fresh fruit of my choosing and and delicious freshly made omlette. Both were well prepared and just the ticket to get me going for the day. Lunch again in the MDR and again always at the same table. The waitstaff, particularly Tatiana, were exceptional. Christina at the door always greeted me like a long lost friend. Dinner was traditional at the same table every night and I love that aspect of 'catching up with friends' over a delicious dinner. I have no complaints about the food - there were one or two dishes that were not to my taste, but I chose the wrong option - not the food. I did not catch any shows at all in the theatre, however I did enjoy the enrichment lectures albeit at 9am in the morning so the dancers could practice. I did miss the fact that there were no movies in the theatre during the day time, again, due to the dancers practicing. I also did not participate in the activities, however I was a watcher and the cruise director was generally very visible and friendly. Captain Laakonen, was wonderful and more visible than any Captain I have seen on any of the princess cruises. His noon broadcasts were filled with information and good humour. Loved the Elite cocktail parties. The service was outstanding by all member of the crew and staff. I have nothing but high praise for the efforts they put in to help us guests enjoy our holiday. Even though Novo was an issue for them and the extra workload was immense on them. Some have mentioned the hand washing before the buffet: On my 28 day portion, there were staff located there and everyone washed their hands prior to entering. (even though I was only going in for a cup of tea LOL) I went on shore excursions through princess for each of the ports. Yes, I find they may be a little more expensive but really, it is a drop in the ocean and for a solo traveler it is peace of mind and I saw some wonderful sights. None of the excursions were a disappointment to me. I did not shop at the shops, I felt they had gone very very upmarket and I chose to shop in the ports. I cruise for a holiday and therefore not particularly interested in the entertainment side - I love just reading and enjoying the ambience. For solo travelers who are considering, just do it. You can be alone if you choose, or you can chat with others. Cruisers are very friendly people. Yes, you do pay more, but you get the holiday you want and how wonderful to go to a restaurant every morning and lunch and read or catch up on work. Nap in the arvo if you want. Finally, A huge thank you to: Jeffrey my room steward. All the staff in Vines for keeping me supplied with Champagne for my pre dinner beverage of choice. Tatiana in the MDR for my breakfast and lunch service. Ben and Armando in the dining room for Dinner service, my table mates and I struck gold with you two. Would I cruise with Princess again, You betcha, I have five cruises lined up ready go in the next two year. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise because of the wonderful Mediterranean and Adriatic itinerary which began in Rome. For 21 of our 28 days we sailed into great ports and enjoyed ourselves immensely. The last seven days we relaxed as we sailed back to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the wonderful Mediterranean and Adriatic itinerary which began in Rome. For 21 of our 28 days we sailed into great ports and enjoyed ourselves immensely. The last seven days we relaxed as we sailed back to Fort Lauderdale. A dream trip to be sure. We have been home for almost three weeks, and have had time to reflect on our experience. The ship is lovely because it is new, but the layout is mostly tried and true. It is almost exactly like the Regal and the Royal. Nothing innovative that we could see, but there's nothing wrong with that. Both those ships are terrific. The food, as other reviewers have expressed, was indeed a real disappointment. On this ship, the food served in the dining room, was merely okay. From temperature to quality, sadly something is wrong. We never eat in the buffet so can't comment on that venue. The pizza near the pool was greasy. Alfredos was fine but the ovens broke down for a period of time. We found the food in the International Cafe to have been significantly downgraded from previous Princess ships. Sad. Our standard balcony cabin has only one chair and very little counter space. Other than that it was great to be on a new bed. We couldn't get into most of the shows in the theater. Our preferred dining time wouldn't allow us to get to the theater at least a half hour before a performance. There was entertainment in the piazza. The positives. Clean new cabins. A staff that is eager to serve. One will never go hungry as there are choices. In conclusion, for 28 days we enjoyed the magnificent ocean and the services the ship offered. Would we do it all again? Definitely yes. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We love transatlantic crossing and hoped everything about our two previous Celebrity crossings would be there plus more. The short answer...no way! Where should I start? The biggest ripoff with this ship is the “infinite ... Read More
We love transatlantic crossing and hoped everything about our two previous Celebrity crossings would be there plus more. The short answer...no way! Where should I start? The biggest ripoff with this ship is the “infinite balcony.” What a crock! It is an ocean view cabin with three extra feet and a window that SOMETIMES goes up and down. If there’s rain or wind or anything else it’s locked from the bridge and you sit and stare out a window. It’s NOT a balcony. While we’re discussing this, there’s a motorized horizontal blind that takes a noisy 45 seconds to go up or down. Don’t plan to take a quick peek outside because the blind is locked in place and your roommate will surely wake up with the racket. As for the cabin if you’re used to Celebrity’s Solstice class two important things are missing...a coffee table for in room dining and the storage area over the bed. Dining: We booked Aqua Class for the sole purpose of being assigned to Blu. Our very first meal was the worst I’d ever had on a cruise. Entree #1 took almost 45 minutes to arrive and was served cold; entree #2 arrived and was undercooked fish. To give them their due subsequent meals were prepared as ordered. The restaurant truly seems like an afterthought in the design of the ship. It sits in a hallway on deck five adjacent to lifeboats...zero view and is extremely noisy in the one third of the restaurant near the kitchen. I feel like the ship was finished and someone said,”ooops, we forgot Blu.” Eden was unusual with well-prepared food but really just a one-time destination. The deck 14 feeding trough was typical buffet fare...nothing bad, nothing great; main dining room lunches were OK. The ship itself: if you like the soaring atriums of the Solstice class ships, be prepared to be disappointed...it doesn’t exist. They refer to the center of the ship as the “Grand Plaza.” Nothing “Grand” about it...two decks with very limited visibility down to the Martini Bar which no longer has the ice bar or the intimacy of former Martini bars. Guest relations is stuck in a corner on deck three with employees standing at glass tables so anyone next to you knows your business. And, be sure to bring your own pens...none for passengers, only pencils because of the environment. No restaurant meals are posted and the nightly newsletter is pretty slim. There was a Veterans Day commemoration we were unaware of because nothing was posted anywhere. Shore excursions were no better or worse than other ships...samefor the theater. Bottom line: I’m not saying “never again” but Solstice class is head and shoulders above this new ”wonder” with the personality and charm of an office cubicle. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Overall Impression: Excellent! Technologically modern cruise liner, but some minuses explained below. Embarkation: Easiest ever, by far. No waiting, attendant simply scanned pass from cell phone, checked passports and we were on! ... Read More
Overall Impression: Excellent! Technologically modern cruise liner, but some minuses explained below. Embarkation: Easiest ever, by far. No waiting, attendant simply scanned pass from cell phone, checked passports and we were on! Sea cards were waiting at the entrance to cabin. Debarkation: Also the fastest, easiest ever at the Ft Lauderdale cruise terminal. Two years ago, it was the debarkation from Hades here. Greatly improved! Those customs declarations of the past are gone. Stateroom: see cabin review. Dining: There are four “Main” Dining rooms. Each had its own theme, although main menus were the same at each restaurant. We opted for anytime dining since we did not know about the different dining rooms in advance. That worked out well this trip, although we prefer fixed dining. Service was average to poor at times. Service at breakfast in the main restaurant seemed particularly poor. We were assigned on morning to a table that seemed to not have wait staff assigned. Waited 45+ minutes before order was even taken! Servers only seemed to appear when serving the different courses, if refills needed in between, you had to flag someone down, who then may, or may not, have notified your server. Food was about average for what we have experienced on previous cruises. Specialty Dining: We did not experience any of the Specialty restaurants. The charge seemed way too high. Entertainment: Again, about average for the cruises we have experienced. The theatre was nice. House band was really talented. Shore Excursions: Cruise line excursions were ok. Packed into full sized busses for transport. Went on a outside excursion, which worked out really well in very small tour group. Our van was able to get much closer to attractions than the full sized busses. Spa/Fitness: I have to give this a thumbs down. There is a fitness center with the expected variety of work out machines and free weights. However, there are no locker rooms! A real minus in my mind. Also wet and dry saunas are only available behind limited access area. A separate charge (not nominal) is required to enter that area of the spa. Non-existent lockers rooms and non-access to saunas where a big bummer. On Board Shopping: There is a (very) small section of one of the shops were a very limited amount of souvenirs/sundries were available. ALL other shopping areas were over the top expensive, both in their offerings and costs. Really missed the everyday, reasonable sundry shops found on previous cruises. Casino: Very modern slot machines, and some actually paid out! Kinda unusual for a cruise! Access: There are only two ways to access the front of the ship to see out front (unless you also count the forward facing camera images available on the stateroom tv). Both are behind limited access passageways. One is through the limited spa area. (I tailgated someone in to access it). The other is the limited retreat area, accessible only to suite dwellers. Us steerage classers are out of luck. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Here is our feedback from our Celebrity Edge Aquaclass Transatlantic Nov 1 - 17th. In all honesty we had a magnificent cruise. Our AQ infinity stateroom was perfect for us and the extra space on a 15 night cruise was really appreciated. We ... Read More
Here is our feedback from our Celebrity Edge Aquaclass Transatlantic Nov 1 - 17th. In all honesty we had a magnificent cruise. Our AQ infinity stateroom was perfect for us and the extra space on a 15 night cruise was really appreciated. We loved the bathroom and the spacious shower (although there was some flooding on a few days, Guest Relations are aware and gave us $200FCC to say sorry). The Spa is lovely as far as it goes but unlike other new cruise ships it doesn't have a large jacuzzi/plunge pool that we were hoping to find. The salt room is a mystery still and we don't know what it is supposed to do. The float chairs are hanging in an area that folks walk through so no benefit there. The gorgeous design is great but functionally, they'll probably have to rethink this area. Some of you expressed a lot of disappointment in BLU restaurant. Our experience was the exact opposite and once again we had such good times, food and service there. We're foodies and so we know a bit about good and bad food. The only time we sent food back was because we'd tried something new to us and it wasn't to our liking - that doesn't make it bad food. As usual we made a lot of effort to engage with the servers and the Maitre'D, this meant that within 3 days we knew where we wanted to sit and who we wanted to serve us. BINGO. Our friends from USA joined us most nights and they were as thrilled with their dining experience as we were. Just to put some perspective on this, read on. We also knew some others who were in suite class and so used Luminae. After about a week we suddenly saw them leaving BLU as we had just sat down and ordered. We said hello and were told by them that the standard of food and service in Luminae was not good and they had much better meals and service in BLU. They weren't the only ones, each night thereafter and also at breakfast, suite guests were queuing for tables in BLU. Our sommelier was an absolute character, she sometimes sang Thai love songs as she poured our wine, and we're pretty sure we had some wines that were above our Classic Drink Package once or twice. Did we pay extra cash tips? Yes, we always do in the restaurants and the bars - the return on strategically handing a few $$s to the right people works wonders - don't judge us for this, each must do what they think best. If those few $$s made the difference between a wonderful experience and not, it was a few bucks well spent. Please keep any negative judgments to your self. For further context, we made a second cruise whilst in Florida on a different cruise line, no names, the experience was supposed to be a first class suite ship within a ship treat. What a mistake that was, it only confirmed that we should stick with Celebrity and Azamara, and this is what we intend to do all through 2020 and 2021. Whoopee, how lucky to have the choice eh? Happy cruising folks! :-) Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We wanted to experience the new Celebrity Edge, and having been to most of other ports in the other itineraries, we opted for a Transatlantic to maximize the time on the ship rather than the ports. We were a part of a group of 10 ranging ... Read More
We wanted to experience the new Celebrity Edge, and having been to most of other ports in the other itineraries, we opted for a Transatlantic to maximize the time on the ship rather than the ports. We were a part of a group of 10 ranging from our 40s to our 60s, and some of us were skeptical about the number of sea days...9 out of 14. Well....after our time on the Edge, we are all looking to do another Transatlantic on the Edge or a sister ship. I honestly cannot understand some of the prior negative reviews and attribute some of them to the early shows or nuances of a new class of ship. For us, the Edge sets the bar very high for other ships and we were Wowed from the moment we stepped on until we left two weeks later. THE SHIP: The ship itself is stunning, innovative and logical. From the moment you walk aboard, you note the “gaudy” decor of ships of yesteryear are gone as you enter the elegance of a floating 5-star resort. The color palette throughout is tasteful, neutral where necessary, but riddled with breathing green throughout. The public spaces were plentiful, with the multi-story Eden having something for everyone. Eden provides small tables for two along the rear expansive window facade, larger sofa and chair areas, a bar, outside areas for dining and secluded sofa areas in the upper portion. I previously read complaints of a lack of areas to relax and read...and I find these criticisms unwarranted...seek and you shall find tranquil and tasteful ares. THE CABIN: See below. We were in an Iconic Suite but that is not what steered my positive review or experience. We travelled with friends and family ranging from Panoramic Oceanview, Concierge (with Infinite Veranda) and Sky Suite Cabins, and met many friends and visited many cabins aboard. Having visited all of the cabins, and receiving input from all in our party, our collective opinion is that the cabins, all cabins, were amazing. The Iconic Suite stands out as a floating Park Avenue apartment, with the service commensurate with such accommodation. I cannot say enough about our Butler George and his attention to every single detail throughout the cruise. The little extras Celebrity provides is fantastic, including the Fette robes with our initials on them. HINT: If you go by your middle name and want a different initial on your robe, let them know in advance. The Sky Suites with the beds facing the ocean (and sliding bathroom mirrors to face outwards) were a big hit and a favorite among those having sailed in Sky Suites in the past. Our friends stayed in the Infinite Veranda cabin. I have read the reviews and it is not for everyone, but our friends quite enjoyed the extra space and ability to open the balcony when desired. Probably 80 to 90% or more of the time one is in the cabin (and especially on rainy days) is spent INSIDE rather than OUTSIDE. The infinite veranda provided that extra space for that 80-90% of the time and gave the room a much roomier feel. I recommend it to those looking to try it...and if you don’t like it, choose a regular balcony next time. I think change is hard for many, but if two cabins were next to each other, one with the infinite veranda, and one without, if you walked into both, I think the majority would opt for the infinite veranda. In the Iconic Suite, the decor was amazing and tasteful but the true treat was the outside terrace complete with a plethora of live plants, seating, a hot tub, double chaise lounge, and more. DINING: The true treat on this ship is the Specialty Dining. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE. With a 14 day Transatlantic w had the opportunity to try every specialty dining venue at least once, including Dinner on the Edge on the Magic Carpet. Fine Cut Steakhouse: We dine at steakhouses at home, and found Fine Cut on par with or better than most high end steakhouses. They offer a 30 day dry aged steak and a Tomahawk Ribeye for the Fred Flintstone connoisseurs, and poached lobster and Dover Sole for the pescatarians. The Ceasar Salad with a twist (caviar instead of anchovies) is good but the Wedge would be my recommendation. The side options are generous and for a party of our size, all were provided. Eden: This had the WOW factor...from the Avante Garde drink ingredients and presentation, to the menu and presentation where each morsel of food was placed with a purpose. The menu options are limited and you may need a slightly adventurous palate but the kitchen will accommodate the more limited diners (two in our group have less adventurous tastes and loved Eden enough to go back). Raw on Five: One of my favorites...open for lunch as well so we went numerous times. The seafood tower is great to share, and the sushi and rolls are high quality with great presentation. Grand Bistro and Petite Bistro: For lunch the venue serves at the Grand Bistro, with French cuisine including mussels and escargot...not the typical ramekins but loaded atop a flaky tart crust...a must for escargot connoisseur. But at night, the bistro converts to Le Petite Bistro, a 4D dining animated Iron Chef-style experience across a 4 course meal. We expected the venue to be gimmicky and the quality of food secondary, but we were pleasantly surprised and all enjoyed both the experience and the food. At one point I looked up and everyone in our party sat mesmerized with their cell phone videos rolling as the dinner “show” rolled out. Rooftop Garden: Weather permitting, this is a must. We only visited once and wished we had gone more. Surprisingly good food, under the stars, but cleverly shielded from the wind in the center of the outside open deck. Definitely a must. Luminae: We have had Luminae on several ships but the number of suites on the Edge makes Luminae a bit larger perhaps at the expense of efficiency. The Maitre D’ and servers were fantastic and never stopped but timing and temperature were sometimes an issue...not their fault. Also, on the Edge, because Luminae is on deck 12 and the main dining and specialty restaurants on decks 3 through 5, the option previously afforded to order off the main dining menu as well as Luminae has been eliminated. For me...not a problem...but a bit of an issue for some of our more traditional diners. We opted for breakfast there most of the time, and dinner several nights. They go out of their way to please...and lunch is a great option as well. Oceanview Cafe: I am not a buffet lover so I only visited a total of 4 times for breakfast or lunch over the 14 days. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality, variety, and freshness of the buffet, even after several sea days. There is something for everyone...but with most buffets, you end up taking a little of this, a little of that....until it adds up to a lot of everything...hence why I try to avoid buffets. But...as buffets go...this one is exceptional. Unfortunately, the pizza was fantastic as well (not helpful when trying to limit the weight gain over 14 nights!!!). Entertainment and Activities: This was perhaps the area where our group, and others, were most critical. First the positive: The solo vocalists and musicians that performed in Eden and the Martini Bar were great...and the staging areas were central for audio and visual experiences. Ashlie Amber performed many difficult Whitney Houston songs and was fantastic. The adaptation to Hot Summer Night’s Dream with vocals combined with Cirque du Soleil acrobatic style performances was very enjoyable, but not everyone’s style, and the comedians were good. The dancers and shows were good and the Eden performances during dinner were great. However, many of the show outside performers were not up to par, and some were unfortunately just not good. This is the area I feel that the Edge is in most need of improvement. However....we went to the Club instead, and made our own fun. For a Transatlantic, I expected the Club to be empty ...but I was pleasantly surprised and the enjoyment spilled out to the Martini bar late night. For those with children ...a Transatlantic Cruise is likely not for you. There were either 2 or 4 kids I think on the whole cruise. But for those looking to experience a new style ship ...I recommend the Transatlantic for the number of days you actually get to enjoy the ship, meet your fellow passengers, relax and steal some “me” time. Would I go again? Can’t wait!!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We flew into Rome from Miami, arriving October 31, and were efficiently whisked to the cruise port at Civitavecchia where the Koningsdam awaited. The 45 minute bus ride was uneventful and I tried to stay awake to enjoy the passing ... Read More
We flew into Rome from Miami, arriving October 31, and were efficiently whisked to the cruise port at Civitavecchia where the Koningsdam awaited. The 45 minute bus ride was uneventful and I tried to stay awake to enjoy the passing scenery. Our boarding was fast and we found the HA personnel - here and at the airport - kind and helpful. My husband and I were traveling with another couple and we had adjoining veranda cabins on Deck 8. This being our first HA cruise we were excited to get to know the ship and tried not to compare with other cruise lines. No sooner had we gotten to our cabin, when the inevitable lifeboat drill began, and it was easy and quick. We had scheduled the early dinner. Just time to eat, put away our belongings, and the time change set in to our brains so we hardly knew the ship had departed. Our cabin was comfy and the veranda was very nice, slightly larger then most because of the way our cabin was situated. The bed was very comfy and I was happy to see HA uses sheets, not the European duvets. The bathroom was a bit on the small side but the shower, with glass door, was huge and the water hot. There was more than enough closet and shelf space for our clothes and incidentals. Although we were underneath the Lido, there was no noise except for rolling of carts once in a while which was not in the least disturbing. I cannot begin to say enough about the friendliness and efficiency of the staff, both room stewards and dining room staff. It is a pleasure for us Americans (who like to get to know who is serving us) to have friendly chats with our stewards and wait people. The stewards were accommodating to our different schedules and the wait staff was wonderful. Our waiter went above and beyond when he discovered that one of our party like cold fruit soup which was not on the menu. He had a bowl of the fruit soup he made himself, for each of us, every day thereafter. The food in the dining room tended to be exotic to our more mundane tastes but there was plenty of choices and everything was tasty - except for a problem with NY strip steaks, which seemed to be overcooked - in the event, the waiter happily and quickly replaced the offending meat. The wine steward was cheerful and always came to say hello even though we were not drinkers. The Lido was not laid out in the most efficient manner, being two long lines instead of grouped in the center. This entailed a long walk to peruse the various offerings, which was difficult for one of our party who had trouble walking. The food on the Lido was generally good but please someone tell the New York Deli how to make Reubens! The entertainment we saw - a comedian, a harpist, a do-wop singling group and a singing impersonator left a bit to be desired. We have seen more talented acts on Carnival! But the singer and the harpist were enjoyable for all that. There was beautiful music played in the Lincoln Center but it took me a few days to realize this was on ship, not in New York City! I always like to look through the ship's stores. In this case, they were mostly expensive and lacking some of the everyday items one might need aboard ship. However, since the Koningsdam was repositioning, all the Mediterranean items were 75% off and boy do I love a bargain! Since this was a trans-Atlantic crossing (our second) we spent a lot of time chilling on our veranda and watching the ever-changing drama of clouds and sea. We had three ports of call, Cartagena and Malaga in Spain, and the island of Madeira. All ports were wonderful and getting on and off the ship easy. Disembarkation in Fort Lauderdale was the easiest of any cruise we have been on, since we were allowed to remain in our cabins until our numbers were called. Our Captain, Captain Timmers, was one of the most personable captains of any ship on which we have sailed. He was on the intercom every day with updates of our progress, and was delightful with his rather droll sense of humor. On the next to the last day, there was an alarm in the evening, and Captain Timmer came right on to inform us of what was happening and that all was well. My only real gripe was lack of a library. I would think that a ship the size of the Koningsdam could find a little niche somewhere for us who prefer the printed page to e-readers. Being forewarned, I had lugged two books along with me. I didn't attend any enrichment programs although they were offered daily and looked to be interesting. All in all, I would not hesitate to sail on HA again and again, even if I have to lug my own reading material! It was a wonderful ship and a great crossing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Disappointing 13 day cruise. Pro: clean ship, accommodating staff, friendly interesting captain. Con: Very few activities. Sea days were particularly boring. Lack lustre cruise director. Food and entertainment were not at all up ... Read More
Disappointing 13 day cruise. Pro: clean ship, accommodating staff, friendly interesting captain. Con: Very few activities. Sea days were particularly boring. Lack lustre cruise director. Food and entertainment were not at all up to par. Limited options and repeated offerings in dining room and Lido buffet. Little fresh fruit and berries. Got worse as days went by. None left half way into cruise. Lido food temperatures poor - cold food was warm and hot food was cold. Most of the food was bland. Fish overcooked. Meat tough. Entertainers were fair to mediocre. Lectures boring. Smoke from casino and rear lido deck wafted through the areas nearby. Lounge chairs around pool were always “reserved”. No library onboard! Extremely loud music from Rock n Roll lounge overpowered the music walk. Internet extremely slow and often not working. Movie selection in cabin very poor. As you might expect, we will not sail on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our third HA cruise, and probably the last. Entertainment during the day was non existant. Main Stage acts were poor apart from female impressionist. The smell of smoking in the Casino and deck 9 was overpowering. This is now a deal ... Read More
Our third HA cruise, and probably the last. Entertainment during the day was non existant. Main Stage acts were poor apart from female impressionist. The smell of smoking in the Casino and deck 9 was overpowering. This is now a deal breaker for us. Lido buffet food was cold and laid out all over the place. The meat on offer was very poor quality. Dining room was an unmitigated disaster, the menus were not to North American tastes and the service was a joke. Mediocre pizza place and Dive in kept us alive for most of the trip. Layout of the ship was terrible. It took 20 mins to get to deck 12 crows nest from our cabin for 4.30 trivia. A few days in we just gave up. The plus points: great gym , great free sauna with sea view, very comfortable beds with great TV with some nice movies ( in the absence of any real entertainment). Lincoln Stage musicians were wonderful if rather high brow all the time, they needed to mix things up a bit. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise as a ticket home, in a more interesting way than a plane ride, after sailing around the Mediterranean on a Norwegian ship (Spirit). The NS is ostensibly a beautiful ship with a musical theme. I had a budget room on a ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a ticket home, in a more interesting way than a plane ride, after sailing around the Mediterranean on a Norwegian ship (Spirit). The NS is ostensibly a beautiful ship with a musical theme. I had a budget room on a repo cruise and did not expect the world. The cruise was ultimately very average and frankly mostly boring. We couldn't attend too many bars or areas due to the prevalence of PEANUTS in every bar, in every night time chocolate and due to the potential for cross contamination - frankly everywhere. I offered to leave the ship and fly home and was offered ZERO compensation to do so. Management told me they had a nut policy which I should have known about. I re-read the agreement after the trip and didn't find it. Due to the severity of the allergy (duly appreciated by many restaurants, schools and airlines now) we couldn't really relax. The cabin size - inside cabin - was pathetically small. The shower was pretty but slightly cramped - better than some boats however. Repo cross Atlantics are not the most exciting itineraries to begin with but the entertainment on this cruise - except the BB King Blues Bar which was great - was not like that from the better days of cruising with production shows and orchestras. The Buffet was a cluster of needy "my needs first' people moving in chaotic fashion to reach FAR TOO HEAVY CHAIRS" on carpet that further restricted their movement. The Buffet was a terrible area and I didn't find the kind of Mexican and Italian food I am used to eating, very often, or in great abundance. I didn't like dining on the NS. Others with more sophisticated palates may have relished the provisions. Too many well healed snoots lacking in happy demeanor and social graces was my call on many of the passengers - although there are always excellent people to speak with on cruises. I was left bored and underwhelmed by this cruise and Holland America has dropped in my rankings for future cruise choices. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise based on timing. We’d been in Italy for 7 weeks and thought it would be a nice way home. It had been a while since cruising and I can compare to Disney, Celebrity, MSC and Carnival. Food, service and ship: ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on timing. We’d been in Italy for 7 weeks and thought it would be a nice way home. It had been a while since cruising and I can compare to Disney, Celebrity, MSC and Carnival. Food, service and ship: Celebrity1, Disney 2, HOLLAND 3, Carnival 4, MSC 5 Shows: Disney1, Celebrity2, Carnival3, MSc4, HOLLAND 5 In general, the room was nice, we had a stern cabin. Our room stewards were awesome, but seemed overwhelmed, as attention to detail was at a 6. Unlimited laundry package-AWESOME. Dining room food, boring and prepared so far in advance that there wasn’t any level of correct temperature or freshness to it. Incomplete room service menu and morning coffee and croissants, disappointing. Spa facials with Chauntel excellent. Gym, my husband was hurt, due to an improperly tied TRX line and they couldn’t have cared less. Bar hop and Notes scotch bar fun and rock band good. Dueling pianos redundant and Lincoln players gaining play experience at the expense of the listeners. Although a TA was a relaxing way to get home and we did meet some nice people, I would say we’ll never sail HOLLAND AMERICA again or any large cruise vessel. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our 5th Transatlantic cruise and by fare the worst as far as entertainment. We booked this cruise for the musical venues. Lincoln Center on other ships was usually great. However, on this ship the selection of music wasn’t ... Read More
This was our 5th Transatlantic cruise and by fare the worst as far as entertainment. We booked this cruise for the musical venues. Lincoln Center on other ships was usually great. However, on this ship the selection of music wasn’t to our liking and they repeated them over and over during the 14 day cruise. We have no complaints about how they played though. BB King was quite good albeit a bit too loud. Rolling Stone was so loud that conversing even briefly in the rear of the room was impossible. We had anytime dining and they were very good about seating us within 5 to 10 minutes of arrival. The food was good, but the room is so large that the noise level is awful. For whatever reason, the Cruise Director would schedule many activities at 1:00 pm, such as trivia, and Lincoln Center, and the cooking demonstration. We like to eat at the Pinnacle Grill for lunch. This was not possible unless you gave up trivia or something else you might want to do. I pointed this out at Guest Services but nothing changed. I also suggested that they add a morning trivia, but that suggestion was ignored also. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019

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