26 San Diego Entertainment Cruise Reviews

The price was right and we were traveling with friends who had never been through the Panama Canal. We usually always travel with Holland America and always pleased with travel Volendam was small and getting from bow to stern difficult ... Read More
The price was right and we were traveling with friends who had never been through the Panama Canal. We usually always travel with Holland America and always pleased with travel Volendam was small and getting from bow to stern difficult since galley is inconveniently located thus creating a safety hazard. The entertainment was mediocre except for the ventriloquist. A comedian was so crude and awful that several people walked out, including us. I did enjoy America’s Test Kitchen. We missed the crew show which is always a popular inclusion in entertainment. The Allegro Strings was a poor replacement for Lincoln Center on other ships. The lifeboat safety drill was disastrous. The announcement was unintelligible in cabins to announce the drill and once on deck, deck crew microphones were out of batteries or dysfunctional. The initial drill is important since it is supposed to indicate the competency of the crew. We didn’t even have to put on life preservers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This cruise was chosen because the ports were places we had not visited yet. While 15 nights on board were about 7 too many, we were able to visit 6 new cities during that time. Our days at sea were restful & quiet overall, because ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because the ports were places we had not visited yet. While 15 nights on board were about 7 too many, we were able to visit 6 new cities during that time. Our days at sea were restful & quiet overall, because most of the passengers were well past 80 years of age. The noise level was low & service by staff attentive & friendly. Holland does a good job overall. Internet service should be offered & fresher fruit served on the buffet table. The 'nickel & diming' of the passengers is annoying & why many choose other cruise lines for future trips. The on shore excursions were better than those on the Westerdam Mediterranean cruise 2018. I feel for the staff who have to accommodate so many seriously handicapped individuals who often put others in jeopardy due to there physical limitations. May the staff receive extra pay for these duties. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise because my husband wanted to sail through the Panama Canal and we had experienced an amazing transPacific cruise on the Holland America Noordam in 2018. This was a type of journeyman cruise compared to that on a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my husband wanted to sail through the Panama Canal and we had experienced an amazing transPacific cruise on the Holland America Noordam in 2018. This was a type of journeyman cruise compared to that on a smaller, older ship with fewer passengers, amenities and activities. The shop’s air conditioning was faulty with many of the public areas kept at painfully cold temperatures. I talked to the cruise director about reading of this issue on earlier Volendam cruises and he admitted the frigid air conditioning was an ongoing problem which they had not resolved. There was also, perhaps not coincidentally a ship wide respiratory infection. The crouping, coughing etc. must have affected half the passengers. Everyone had the Volendam virus. My husband and i both came down with it and are still affected more than two weeks after disembarking. The good: the meals in the dining room and Lido were very good. The EXC tour director, Jude, was excellent and entertaining. The Adagio violinist and pianist were excellent as was the pianist at the Ocean Bar. The rest of the entertainment was mediocre. The crew were friendly and helpful. But the boat is so in need of updating and repair. The ports were fine but most everyone was interestedin the canal experience which was remarkable. Gatun Lake was beautiful. Cartegena was impressive. We liked Huatalco and the city of Antigua in Guatemala. The port of Corinto Nicaragua was not good. Costa Rica was interesting and we enjoyed the combination aerial tram and river rafting tour. The commentator thriugh the canal was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
First time for Panama Canal. Holland America received great reviews. The ship it self was like an ice box! When inquired we were told nothing could be done. Our cabin was never warm as was the rest of the ship. My wife received a ... Read More
First time for Panama Canal. Holland America received great reviews. The ship it self was like an ice box! When inquired we were told nothing could be done. Our cabin was never warm as was the rest of the ship. My wife received a bad rash and when we went to desk for assist they called doctor and I was informed there would be a charge to open the office and charge for any medication. After 9 PM the ship was dead. Staff very friendly, the one high point. Casino staff were great. Food was just average, nothing special. Tea at 3 was good, Shows were so so, One male singer who did Lionel Richey was very good. Magician was also very good. Rest of entertainment not very good. Sorry to say it let a bad taste for Holland America. I will never cruise Holland American again. I have been on 16+ cruises and this was the worst. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was my 23rd cruise (mostly on NCL) and my 2nd cruise on the Pearl, and my background as a former Flight Attendant with American Airlines during the 70’s-90’s (back when it was Fun to fly and I had hair…) when I worked First ... Read More
This was my 23rd cruise (mostly on NCL) and my 2nd cruise on the Pearl, and my background as a former Flight Attendant with American Airlines during the 70’s-90’s (back when it was Fun to fly and I had hair…) when I worked First Class, it provides a unique perspective. Our 1st cruise on the Pearl was to Alaska Labor Day week 2017. We booked this cruise shortly thereafter. I was also the CC Coordinator on both Pearl cruises, we had over 70+ couples who joined us on this San Diego - Tampa cruise via the Panama Canal. Staff Officer/Hotel Director Cary (previous experience was the Waldorf Astoria Hotel Director in NYC) is the only NCL Hotel Director that hosts an end of cruise meeting with myself and other CC members that would like to speak to the senior staff. I interacted with many passengers during this 2 week cruise regarding their experiences which enabled me to share some comments/feedback to the Pearl Staff - in addition to my own observations. I won’t be commenting on the day to day of what we did/eat/excursions, etc., but rather comment on our overall experience. I must say that NCL has improved greatly over the past few years and their FreeStyle is refreshing from some of the other cruise lines offerings. The main dining rooms to the specialty restaurants are indeed a treat. Never did we find a menu that was boring or repetitive during our 2 weeks on board, nor were we served anything that wasn’t fresh and tasty. I can’t say that about some of the finer restaurants in America. Even if NCL didn’t have any specialty restaurants, the Main Dining rooms would be superb. But, the specialty restaurants do add a unique experience in ambiance and taste, so if you would like a special evening, you can’t go wrong with whichever one(s) you chose to try. The Pearls staff are top notch, to say the least. The Captain (airplane or ship) sets the tone for the crew and it shows. I observed Officers picking up garbage on the pool deck, and other Officers rearranging lounge chairs in the clubs. The crew observes this so they in turn go the extra mile to serve us. Like I mentioned previously, NCL has risen in the ranks these past few years in my book and I can’t say enough good things about their staff. From the Cabin Stewards/Stewardess’, Pool Bar Servers to our Wait Staff and Bus Boys to the crew that we never see. As the CC Coordinator for this particular cruise, we organized a Halloween Costume Pub Crawl after we left Cartagena, Columbia. We had a lot of CC participants and as a bonus, the Pearl hosted a Haunted House in the Bliss Lounge. That was a fun memorable evening for all. Overall, this was a wonderful cruise! The Cruise Director and staff did a marvelous job of keeping us entertained for many sea days. NCL’s entertainment was top notch, plus a seasoned speaker/expert on the Panama Canal. Yes, we are booking with NCL again and the Pearl in particular. To me, that is the best write up/endorsement that I can make. Thank you NCL Pearl for being the ultimate Vacation Hero! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We are returning customers. Our previous experiences help us deciding to take this trip also. Are we disappointed this time or what. Room is clean. Shows are ok. The restaurants are not what they promoted. There's no free style. ... Read More
We are returning customers. Our previous experiences help us deciding to take this trip also. Are we disappointed this time or what. Room is clean. Shows are ok. The restaurants are not what they promoted. There's no free style. No shorts. No caps, no sleeveless shirts for man but ok for women. Food is unacceptable. Some of the crew members are great. Some look down to you if you order coffee or water. We traveled with Celebrity, MSC, Holland, Princess, Carnival and Norwegian. An advise for the entertainers, stay away from political jocks. Not nowadays. The people are already divided politically as never before. We're on the cruise to get away from this issues. Please, don't build up tension anymore than it already is. Buffett has a large selection of culinary cuisines but the quality is absent. Sugar free sweets are not offered. We hope that the rest of this trip will be fine. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I work in the travel industry and have heard nothing but great things about Disney, always mixed reviews with other cruise lines. I was dreading the boarding process, but to be honest it was super easy, I completed everything online so we ... Read More
I work in the travel industry and have heard nothing but great things about Disney, always mixed reviews with other cruise lines. I was dreading the boarding process, but to be honest it was super easy, I completed everything online so we zipped through the check in process and was aboard the ship in a few minutes. They really stress hand washing and sanitizing throughout the cruise which is great practice. As you board the ship your asked your names and they announce you on the speaker and you pass the line up of bridge crew clapping and welcoming you aboard. We made our way to deck 2, just down 1 level from main lobby. It was 120pm and there was a roping off of the area to the cabins until 130pm as they were still finishing off getting the cabins ready. There were a few impatient people who at 131pm thought it was appropriate to start a hissy fit in front of kids cause it’s now 131pm. There were several staff zipping by with stateroom gift delivery, etc. By 134pm they were finished and opened the way for us to the cabins. Some people were already saying their vacation was ruined cause they needed to wait!?!? They just needed to calm down. We had an ocean view cabin mid ship, it was clean and welcoming and a little larger than expected. There was a big porthole with a great view. Love the way they separate the bathroom, toilet and sink in one and sink and shower in another. The bed was squishy and so comfortable as were the pillows. Lots of subtle Disney touches and the furnishings were tasteful and well maintained. Loved that their was a fridge. Air conditioning surprised me, was turned on low for cold but you couldn’t really feel anything. Room attendant came by to introduce himself and I asked him about the air, he said their eco friendly system does not blow strongly, just set your temperature and it will work subtly which it did. Tv was flat screen and swivels between facing the bed and sitting area. Had lots of informative ship channels and then a dozen Disney movie channels. Dining Choices; Deck 9 had the casual dining choices, Pinocchio’s Pizza, open till midnight had several combinations, I noticed they made gluten free ones on request. There was boiler bites, they offer hamburgers, fish burgers, Vege burgers, chicken tenders, hot dogs, chili dogs, Bratwursts, fries, chili fries and a Chicken, beef & lamb Shawarma with lots of toppings and sauces to choose from, delicious. There was a self service ice cream place on deck, they had chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and pineapple / coconut flavors and cones. Daisey’s De Lights became my favorite place, they offer toasted sandwiches, wraps, fresh fruit, salads, sandwiches and what appeared to be make your own Pho Bowles. I loved their sandwiches, either roast beef or my favorite smoked ham, the rolls were fresh and crusty yet soft, ham was tasty, onion jam was incredible and the lettuce was crunchy and tomato perfect, they are making them out the back a few at a time so they are always fresh. I indulged way to much here but they were always fresh. Cabanas is the buffet restaurant right at the back of the ship. Breakfast is from 7 or 730am some days to either 1030 or 11am, varies depending if it’s a day at sea or a shore day. Tip. There is seating for 500 people, 9am I’m told is when most people start coming to breakfast. We dined at opening most times, no waiting or queues. Their scrambled eggs were yummy, always a plain one and a special one. Usual breakfast buffet stuff. Apple, orange, cranberry and orchid juices available. Lunch here was good however closed at 2pm, we are from Vegas so we know buffets and this one was really good. Nice selection, delicious noodles I couldn’t get enough off, meats varied daily as did the hot carving choices. Staff here were helpful and super observant if you needed a hand. Room service was 24 hours, small menu including a few salads, sandwiches, soups,tenders and wings, etc. steak sandwich was exceptional. Drinks you pay for, meals are included. There is a breakfast card to complete and hang outside on your door before 3am it’s only a continental breakfast, we used it mainly to get grapefruit juice as it’s not in the buffet, with cereal and coffee, all breakfast drinks included. It was our pre breakfast pick me up. Disney offers rotational dining, you get to move to different dinner themed restaurants each night, every night a different menu, but your same table mates and server, assistant server and head server. They know you by name, they know your preferences, they have your drinks ready, etc. Our serving trio were all fantastic, they go out of their ways to make sure they are happy. Adorable little girl at the table next to us was a little shy on night one, but by night 2 she adored the wait staff, making her feel special and cutting her meat and making her treats, it was magical to watch. As far as the meals went they were fantastic, lots of variety and if you can’t choose then get both cause the menu is going to be different tomorrow. Bars; I liked the Crown & Fin British pub, went there for a drink or two after dinner. Cozy place, live entertainment most nights. They also do a light snack buffet, quesadillas, chicken wings, vegetable sticks, slider sized sandwiches, bite sized desserts. Bar staff here were very good. Cadillac bar next door was dimly lit, reminded me of an old piano bar, they had wines and cocktails here. There were other bars but we didn’t have time for those. Cove adult only area; Nice sized pool and 2 spas on deck, bar and coffee shop in the Cove adults only area. Coffee shop was nice, I enjoyed my frozen Frappuccinos here, you do pay here but you get a coffee card with 6th coffee free. They also have a complimentary dessert / slice display with some yummy goodies. I was up early around 5am the second morning, I went to deck 9 to the self service area, free soft drinks, tea, coffee and hit chocolate, as I wandered the ship there were dozens of staff members cleaning, all of them super friendly and saying hello, checking if I needed anything. They are happy with what they are doing, I chatted with several of them, many have been with Disney 10-15 years and say they are a fantastic employer who reallly takes care of them, which I’m glad to hear about. Disney is known for their customer service, nobody does fireworks like them, their shows, parades, musicals etc are incredible. Disney cruises are more expensive than others, but in my opinion well worth it, I’d rather put a trip off another year to save more for a Disney Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We came to San Diego for a Thanksgiving cruise and stayed at the Grand Horton Hotel for a great price. Nice historic hotel in Gas lamp district. Valet parking is $42. a night though. Glad a great dinner at Fleming's Steak House a ... Read More
We came to San Diego for a Thanksgiving cruise and stayed at the Grand Horton Hotel for a great price. Nice historic hotel in Gas lamp district. Valet parking is $42. a night though. Glad a great dinner at Fleming's Steak House a short walk away. We have been on 18 cruises with Princess and about 12 on other lines but had never been on Holland America. We parked at Wyndham Bayside and walked across the street to the ship. This is a midsized ship. There were short lines and embarked in about 15 minutes. Debarking was even shorter and about 10 minutes in customs!! The entire ship looks refurbished. Our room had new bed linens, curtains, carpeting, sofa, sofa pillows etc in a nice blue color. We had a balcony room. This room is a bit smaller than we were used to but in great condition. Loved the on demand movies. Customer service was excellent on the entire ship. Food was great in main dining room and LOVED Caneletto's Italian and ate there twice. Also loved Pinacle Grill for great steak dinner. Really good room service and had the buffet a couple of times. They have great entertainment choices. We loved Billboard for the dueling pianos with a lot of variety. BB King was very good and Lincoln Center had classical music. Shows at the main stage were average or better. Most people dressed up for formal (Gala) nights - 2. Had a fun tour in Mazatlan - Shrimp Fest. Beautiful grounds, live music, pool to get into, margaritas and great food. Hardly any one at champagne art auction. Usually there are 200 - 300 people at these. Only about 25 people. Between us and our friends we won 3 bottle of good champagne!! All in all a great cruise that we will take again!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I booked this cruise as a gift for my niece. Due to health issues, neither one of us can fly. Embarking from San Diego, where we live was perfect. My niece, who is 48 years old is a Disney maniac. Halloween on the High Seas was a ... Read More
I booked this cruise as a gift for my niece. Due to health issues, neither one of us can fly. Embarking from San Diego, where we live was perfect. My niece, who is 48 years old is a Disney maniac. Halloween on the High Seas was a bonus. She has recently been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). Life span for her, living out of a facility is 12-18 months. This was perfect timing. I tried to book a handicapped cabin, but they were taken, so we booked a verandah cabin 7106. I arranged wheelchair assist for embark and debark. This experience was awesome. From the time we walked through the port doors, throughout the cruise, and debarkation, every crew member did everything they could to make it easy for her, and a memorable experience. I hope Disney continues these repo itineraries because I plan to take my granddaughter next time. We can't say enough about how thankful we are for everything from Disney. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Celebrity Infinity May 2017 Background- Total of about 35 cruises, ~30 with Celebrity, last few were all on Solstice class ships. Route-We started in San Diego and moved up the coast ending in Vancouver, 7 stops in 11 nights, also ... Read More
Celebrity Infinity May 2017 Background- Total of about 35 cruises, ~30 with Celebrity, last few were all on Solstice class ships. Route-We started in San Diego and moved up the coast ending in Vancouver, 7 stops in 11 nights, also doing an overnight in San Francisco, each city stunning in its own right. They couldn’t have picked a better itinerary, and we were only touched by rain one time in our journey which lasted about an hour, luckily that was on a sea day, so it affected nothing other than missing an hour in a lounge chair Boarding Boarding in San Diego was hectic. Two ships Infinity and Disney Magic) were boarding the same day and port didn’t seem well equipped to handle more than one. Once we made it past the security screening all was fine and smooth but did take about 1-2 hours to get to that point. We purposely arrived later in the day to avoid crowds (boarding started about 11, we arrived at 2), but still chaotic. 6/10 (but Celebrity’s portion 9/10) Cabin I initially booked a C3 for this voyage bit a few weeks before a Suite Guarantee became available for a nominal $600 so I grabbed it since it also included the 4 perks, so I ended up in an S2 on deck 6. The room was nicely maintained and updated (Infinity was refurbished in 2011), and carpets were changed again 2 years ago. The Sky suites are a bit smaller on the Millenium class that the Solstice class (250 vs 300ft2), but plenty of room for two people. Small balcony as well with a few chairs was great. Only negative I found with the suite was the combination bathtup/showers limited height. If you are tall it’s a bit awkward, as is just climbing in the high wall of the tub. Heard a few people that had sky and Celebrity suites complain unless you are tall it’s hard to climb into the tub/shower. Plenty of closet space, drawers and storage, so much so that I only used about ½ of it. Did like the little touches, the plush bath towels, great sheets, and that the room attendant and butler introduced themselves the first day. Cabin service was excellent. Never used the room service, but cabin was serviced twice a day and butler checked in 3x a day, and canapes delivered daily at about 4PM 9/10 Excursions Took two of the ships excursions and good ROI (return on investment on both). We visited the Reagan library in Santa Barbara and whale watching in Victoria. The tendering operation was a bit frustrating for some as we tendered in two ports, and some were getting antsy about the lines, but I think that’s just a part of cruising. Always amazed how crabby some people get over little things beyond their control. I do wish they would re-write the explanations on excursions details though. It just seems like every excursions details include two much flowery generic prose that could be found in a tourist publication and not really any nuts and bolts detail of nuts & bolts of the tour (how much time will we spend on bus, what places are we visiting, are we going to be sidetracked to a pottery place to try and sell us trinkets?). I wish it was more of a bulleted time line of what, where, when and how long. 7/10 Food & Dining Main Trellis Dining Room-Didn’t try it Sushi on 5-Didn’t try it Blu- Tried it once enjoyed it-Seemed to me to be a mini-me version of the MDR with smaller portions and a few different selections, nicer more intimate atmosphere than MDR. 7/10 Luminae-We dined the majority of our meals here. Can’t say any negatives about it. Truly a 100% positive experience. Service OUTSTANDING, by the second day everyone on staff knows your name and has the atmosphere of a place you’ve been dining out for decades. Food well prepared, original, seasoned and cooked to order. Their recommendations were generally spot on. The menu consisted of about 4 or 5 appetizer/soup/salad dishes and about the same in main courses. You could also order off the MDR menu if something didn’t catch your eye, but most meals I found the Luminae selection to be the better quality choice. Not even once did I find myself waiting for service, a course, or a table. Efficient, friendly and great attention is given to everything. Only open on sea days for lunch which makes sense, since when they have tried to keep it open every day (on past cruises), as it sits empty unless it’s a sea day. 10/10 Qsine-It’s a fun playful experience and you always end up with a lot more food than you can ever imagine. My only negative is that since you use the Ipads to select your dishes, would it be two difficult to have them connected to the waiter? It just seems silly that put all these inputs into a computer and ultimately the waiter comes and writes them down on a slip of paper. Bravo to Qsine for the way they handle vegan/vegetarian dishes. One person in our party, preferred vegan/vegetarian, and for just about every dish we ordered that contained meat or seafood, he offered our friend a meat/dairy/etc/etc/etc free version of the same or similar items. Truly astounded me on how the waiter kept track of the ultimately 20+ or so different dishes that he bought the three of us. 8/10 Tuscan Grille-It was awesome, had dinner one night with Captain and 8 other guests, and last night dined with the Hotel Director and three friends, and it was fabulous. I savored every bite of every dish. Filet Mignon was fantastic (as for the brown mushroom sauce for it), the plate on Antipasto (prosciutto, sopressata, salami and cheeses was heavenly). Again in Tuscan my one friend’s dietary requests were adjusted to give him alternates to the meat heavy menu. The establishment itself has a great ambience, nice old world Italian steak house design. Service was attentive but not overbearing. Like Luminae it’s a great restaurant to have a conversation in. Tables and seating are set up so you’re not having to raise your voice to speak at someone at the other end. 10/10 Oceanview Grill- Ate their twice for breakfast and a few times for lunch It’s hit or miss. I like the salads, fresh fruit and ice cream. Pizza’s are limp right out of the oven rather than crisp (I’m used to New York pizza which the Gold standard), a few of the dishes were good, but nothing really memorable. They do a great job of bussing tables, and making sure people aren’t waiting for tables. 8/10 Bars & Lounges-Great smiling faces at them all. Most of the cruise critic events were held at the Constellation Lounge on deck 11. Especially though that Istavan from Hungary was fantastic. Superb fun bartending group overall. Erik and Dian fantastic at Michaels club. Didn’t spend much time at sunset or martini bar though, so hard to give you good feedback on those. 9/10 Entertainment Was fun that they did the silent disco a few times, I think it’s a slam dunk win even if you don’t participate, and just watch the fun. Alejandro did a good job, and the activities team really seemed to enjoy getting people involved in everything from bingo, to trivia, to mock game shows. Always enjoy the Celebrity dancers and singers, the material is usually dated, but their vigor and enthusiasm makes it fun to watch. Liked some of the guest performers, magician was funny, and always fun when you see them tailor their act to audience a bit, and make it interactive. 7/10 Spa Tried an 80 minute massage, it was OK. They always try for the upsell though. 80 minute massage DISCOUNTED rate was ~$200, then if you want hot stones during it, that’s ~$30 more. I’m a massage junkie at home, and this was pretty good but not very good 6/10 Crew In a word-OUTSTANDING. Captain Berdos and Hotel Director(HD) Bosco Pires work together like a well oiled machine. Their personalities are similar and I think so is their work ethic, excellence performance. I can’t say enough good things about them and their management style. Rest of the department heads outstanding as well. The housekeeping manager, the F&B director, guest relations manager, restaurant managers all go out of their way to keep passengers happy. Kirsty the Captains club host also spectacular as was the event coordinator. The excellence of the senior managers rolls down to the staff which seems totally engaged in guest satisfaction. The senior staff attended every event that we had from Captains Club to CC, to informal gatherings, and were always asking what they can do to make things better. Great sign of an engaged group of men and women. One of the stories I heard from the HD I thought was surprising. He told me he found being a HD on a Millenium class ship more challenging then on a Solstice class ship. I would of though since Solstice having more dining venues, more passengers, more lounges and staterooms it would be tougher. He went on to eloquently explain that because the Solstice class ships have all the “bells and whistles” (my words not his, his explanation was much more poetic), it makes it easier from a guest relations standpoint. The older ships it takes some extra marketing and extra effort to make them a competitor, and he enjoys that extra challenge of showing any product he is currently serving aboard. Really enjoyed our talks as much as the meals. 10/10 Overall-I’d give the cruise 5 stars. Any minor things I pointed out were minor in comparison to all the great things that the team onboard does to keep you happy. You know it’s been an excellent cruise when you’re two biggest complaints were that Voicemail in my room didn’t work Internet was slow I already have my next voyage booked on Infinity for February of 2018, so see I put my money where my mouth is I’ll end the review with this story the Captain read on the public address system the last day, it’s called “Why I want to be a Captain” and was written by an 10 year old British boy. “I want to be a captain when I grow up because it’s a cool job that is easy to do. Captains don’t have to go to school such a long time. They only need to learn figures so they can read instruments. I think they also have to able to read maps so they don’t get lost when they sail. Captains have to be brave so they don’t get scared when it’s so foggy they can’t see and when the propeller falls off they have to know what to do about it. Captains must have eyes that can see through the clouds and they mustn’t be afraid of thunder and lightning which they have closer to them than we have. The captain’s wages is another thing I like. They earn more money than they can spend. That’s because most people think it’s dangerous to driver a boat, except captains, because they know how easy it is. There’s not much I don’t like, except that girls like captains. All girls want to marry a captain, so captains are always having to chase them away to get some peace… I hope I don’t get seasick, because if I get seasick I can’t be a captain and I’ll have to start working.” Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We go on Celebrity again and again. Obviously, we like this line. Embarkation: It went pretty smoothly for us. We live in the San Diego area and that was the embarkation point. So we arrived by train (a 40 minute trip), got off ... Read More
We go on Celebrity again and again. Obviously, we like this line. Embarkation: It went pretty smoothly for us. We live in the San Diego area and that was the embarkation point. So we arrived by train (a 40 minute trip), got off downtown, walked across the street to the cruise port and we were there. Very easy (and inexpensive). There were the usual serpentine lines but it was not terribly objectionable. About 30-45 minutes to get on board. We were booked as Concierge Class so there was lunch on embarkation day in the main dining room. There were maybe 3-4 entrees from which to select. Really quite good and I was thrilled to be able to escape the chaos that is always at the buffet in the Ocean View Cafe--the latter is just not my style. Debarkation: Easy and smooth. Vancouver was the debarkation point. We got off, walked a couple of blocks to the Canada Line Sky Train, and for a couple of bucks arrived at the airport. Much better than the cruise line bus but only for those who are willing to carry their own bags and be willing to navigate the streets and terminal on their own. Ship: The ship has three specialty restaurants (unless you are suite or Aqua Class). However, the Sushi on Five does not serve what I eat so one more would be perfect. They actually have room to put one at the Wine Cellar as a lot of that space seems to go unused. Service: Service was very good to great in most places on the ship. All the crew were extremely friendly. Our cabin steward, Elmer, was absolutely outstanding. Was it because of the $5 I gave him upon meeting him with a promise of another $5 when we debarked? Who knows. But he was great. Herve in Qusine is an absolute kick (I won't spoil the surprise for you but he was entertaining as all get out.) Jovel, the Maitre'd at Tuscan Grill simply could not do enough for us as is true of all of the staff there. And if you talk to these guys as people, many of them are very interesting. Food & Wine: My wife and I are wine and foodie people and their specialty restaurants hit our goals. We attended the Chef's Dinner (3rd time we have done this)---great and memorable experience. We, along with some good friends traveling with us, were joined by two ship's officers. That was it, just the 6 of us. Dinner in the private dining room of Tuscan Grill. Pleasant conversation with the officers including a lot of behind the scenes information. Dinner was outstanding. Wine flowed freely and it was not the cheap stuff. We did Tuscan Grill twice (first night and deep into the cruise) and Qsine one time. And because we signed up for the chef's dinner upon boarding the first day,Tuscan Grill took very special care of us when we were there. We enjoyed all three of those dinners immensely. The main dining room was really poor the second night (many of the entrees were overcooked) but got better each night that we ate there after that. But even on that second night the appetizers were very good. We were on the any time dining plan. I'm not sure I would do that again as I like having a waiter/ass't waiter who knows what I want, etc. With any time dining, some of the wait staff was less attentive/quick than I would like. If that occurred with the 1st or 2nd seating I would say something to the supervisor and expect that the situation would improve. Beverage & Wine Package: We both had this package as one of our perks. I wasn't sure it was going to be a better deal than the $150/person OBC offer. It was and I appreciated the fact that I didn't have to sign for each drink and hear (in my head) the cash register going off. Further, Celebrity had just changed their policy so with the classic package if you ordered a drink over the limit ($9 I think) you only paid the difference, not the entire tab. This is a much fairer approach. Internet experience: It is definitely better than the old system which tended to move like molasses at times. They advertise you can use this for business web conferences and VOIP calls. Maybe at times but not at the times I tried. If a lot of people on the ship are on the internet at the same time then things slow down to too slow for conferences and VOIP. And since you don't know when that will be you can't schedule a web conference. So that was a disappointment. Internet Options: We called before sailing and were told only option was unlimited at approx $200. On board there was, as I recall, a one hour, one day, 100 minutes, and unlimited options. Although the unlimited is expensive, and they do push that option, I'd still go for that as with the others you have to remember to log out or the time just keeps running. Internet Hook Up: My laptop couldn't find the log in page. The web browser just couldn't find it. ILounge guru could not resolve the problem. Unfortunately I allowed him to tweak and change some of my computer settings as he tried to get the laptop to navigate to the log in page; that was a mistake as it significantly disabled my laptop for a while until I was able to back out his changes. We did get credit for half the unlimited charge. Easy solution: log in on phone and create hot spot for laptop. If they want to charge you for two devices, get special dispensation since the laptop won't hook up. Wish I had thought of that then rather than a day later. Ports/Excursions: We rarely take the ship excursions, preferring to plan things for ourselves. I often put together walking tours of the ports we are in along with restaurants for us to stop for lunch. All of the ports were very enjoyable except Nanaimo. There is just nothing I can find to do there. In our pre-cruise planning we just decided to treat it as a "sea day," although we did get off for about an hour just to walk around. This is the second Pacific Coastal Cruise I have taken (both on Celebrity) and I would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
we have a 2 yr old and would also love to have a getaway ..so what did we decide on? what better vacation than a cruise?! With a toddler in tow, we knew we wanted something convenient and easy travel. Therefore we decided on a cruise. ... Read More
we have a 2 yr old and would also love to have a getaway ..so what did we decide on? what better vacation than a cruise?! With a toddler in tow, we knew we wanted something convenient and easy travel. Therefore we decided on a cruise. three years ago i had a blast on the Disney Fantasy and i knew someday i would like to cruise with disney again. We live in san diego, so we knew we wanted to depart from the San Diego port -- and to make sure the little one likes cruises, we decided on the Disney Wonder 2 nights cruise. It departs from San Diego which makes our lives that much more easier (because it's not so fun flying with a toddler). Disney definitely knows how to cater to families. When i was on the Disney Fantasy three yrs ago, i already had a lot of fun (and that was without a baby). So to go on Disney cruise with a toddler it made it even more special because it met all our expectation. I didnt have to carry so many thing around. All i had with me was the room key. Food, drinks, and snacks everywhere. When my toddler was hungry, i have access to pizza, chicken tenders, soups, cookies soft serve and more. When thirsty, Disney had whole milk dispenser, water, and juices easy for anyone to get a cup to quench their thirst. For entertainment, no need to question about disney, you know they will have great entertainment for adults and kids! from family activities, to kids only, to adults only shows. For a two nights cruise, they even kept their Pirates night -- fireworks on the sea followed by a late night buffet / snack. it was awesome. I didn't think they would include the pirate's night for a 2 night cruise.. i thought they only have that on longer cruises. The employees / staffs... c'mon it's Disney, you know you will meet friendly and polite staffs. You will definitely get one of the best services with this cruise line. Bottomline, 2 nights cruise is not enough to be honest. but it is a great getaway for parents with kids and who are local. yes Disney cruise is expensive but you get what you pay for. And for me that's totally worth it. Knowing that you will get great service, superb cleanliness and incredible entertainment. Definitely was a stress free vacation even though it was only for two nights. Going on this 2 nights cruise was less stress for me than going to hawaii for 1 week (even though hawaii is known for paradise). LOVED the dining experience. a rotation of dining at different restaurants so guests can experience different themed restaurants that the cruise offers. the waiters who serves you follows to each night so you get the same server. which i love because by 2nd night the server knows what you like and dislike. they even have your drink ready on the table by the 2nd night! love it! and yes of course with disney there will always be some magic touches! i highly recommend this itinerary for those who live in SoCal and who wish to have take their children on a disney cruise. I'm no Disney fanatic, but i'm definitely a Disney CRUISE fan! i am hooked!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We just got back from our disney cruise and it was not a great experience. My number one complaint surrounds the fact there is zero disclosure prior to buying your cruise ticket that children under 3 will not be able to play in the pool or ... Read More
We just got back from our disney cruise and it was not a great experience. My number one complaint surrounds the fact there is zero disclosure prior to buying your cruise ticket that children under 3 will not be able to play in the pool or splash area, this was one of the main reasons we were attracted to this ship. If I had know the only area a 2 year old could be was a closet size are with nothing to do I would not have booked the trip. Dory's reef is pathetic and needs a serious update. My 2 year old wanted to play with her older sister and could not and we were stuck in the middle the whole trip. This experience extended into the oceaneer lab and and etc etc... Also the child care area set up for my two year old consisted of a few cribs ad rocking horse, we could not subject him the boredom anymore. My suggestion is to disclose during the booking process that 2 year old children will have nothing to do so wait until they are three or at least be warned they will not have access to the pool or labs. Also the water slide was broken on the first day of our two day trip. The water slide was another major reason I choose this ship. I also think the windows of activity should be spread out, I arrived a few minutes behind schedule and they would not let my daughter visit with Cinderella. That was a tough one. We arrived at our Dinner and were seated right away. We ordered a few drinks ate some bread and got settled in, a few minutes later the waiter came to us and said we were in the wrong seats and we had to move. We had to get up from our table carry our two children over to a new table which was already seated with four other strangers and try to get resettled with a two and four year old in tow. This was very embarrassing and I feel that if the waiters made a mistake they need to own up and tell the other people they made a mistake and they will be sitting at a different table. They should not have embarrassed and inconvenienced us with their mistake. We did not go back for the second dinner, and we were charged gratuity which I feel should be refunded. I attempted to speak with guest services on the boat but the line was about an hour long, not ideal with two small children. BE WARNED you must get any refunds prior to leaving the ship, I asked them to look into this and they refused because it was too late "they already charged me." I packed a grey jacket in my suitcase and put it by my door the final night to be transported for us in the morning. The grey jacket was not in my suitcase when I got home. I believe it was taken. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Chosen for the itinerary Panama Canal.ship was clean and comfortable, cabin was adequate size kept clean by fevon who was pleasant and unobtrusive.Service in trellis restaurant excellent sommelier vergie was excellent, food was ok cannot ... Read More
Chosen for the itinerary Panama Canal.ship was clean and comfortable, cabin was adequate size kept clean by fevon who was pleasant and unobtrusive.Service in trellis restaurant excellent sommelier vergie was excellent, food was ok cannot say it was outstanding it wasn't, very small portions which was ok because plenty of food in ocean view if needed. The food here was a lot of stews and curries ,gets very busy at lunch time, I am sure the speciality restaurants were better although we never tried them. Overall you could not go hungry but some of the food not the best. I had the upgraded drinks package which to me is worthwhile some nice wines available. The entertainment was good and bad, loved the production shows and infinity dancers and singers, the artistes at various bars not very good did not like any of them either poor choice of songs poor voices or just dreary. Liked the silent discothat was good fun.good narration going through Canal . Not the three tenors really funny. Did not go on any celebrity excursions, but one organised by another guest which was excellent , in punta arenas. Easy enough to get mini bus in Puerto Vallarta to walk the malecon which was very interesting and pretty. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
WE wanted a full transverse of the canal and had had excellent prior experiences on three Celebrity cruise ships. While the ship's personnel did everything they could to make us happy, the ship itself was, in the apt words of a fellow ... Read More
WE wanted a full transverse of the canal and had had excellent prior experiences on three Celebrity cruise ships. While the ship's personnel did everything they could to make us happy, the ship itself was, in the apt words of a fellow dinner guest, "a little bit tired". And overcrowded, or so it seemed at every breakfast and lunch, and while attempting to find deck chairs in the pool and other relaxation areas. Other things we noticed which did not reflect what we expected from a Celebrity liner included ripped bed sheets, horrible cheap-motel pillows, flaking paint on railings, and ceiling leaks in public areas. Our stateroom A/C sounded like a jet during take off until we requested and (promptly) received a repair. While we enjoyed our evening meals, the service was a bit slow and sketchy. Long waits at Blu, a restaurant for Aqua Class passengers, were the norm. Perhaps most upsetting was the quality of food served in the Oceanview Cafe (the cafeteria-style facility used for breakfast and lunch by most passengers). Things like pancakes and waffles were limp and tasteless. Meats and vegetables were warm at best. My wife and I both had some rather extreme bouts of intestinal problems after dining there and feel that the culprit was the humid conditions which may have affected the food that sat out for long periods. Doors to the restaurant were constantly swinging ope allowing humid air to disrupt the air conditioning within. A few positives: There were several fine lectures given during the course of the cruise, particularly regarding the Panama Canal. We felt very well prepared on the day we went through it. The cast of musical entertainers (making their last appearances following six months on board) was talented and enthusiastic. A wide range of activities were offered, which mattered on a cruise that featured eight days at sea. The shore excursions - while quite expensive, were generally well-organized and entertaining. The guides (mostly) had good command of English and were knowledgeable about their home areas. We especially enjoyed a trip to Antigua, Guatemala, a charming UNESCO heritage site. I should mention that the average age of the passengers was way up there. I'm 68 and am pretty sure that I was below the average age. Many guests were using wheelchairs, scooters, and walkers. This was inspiring to see in that it showed a desire not to be limited by aging or disabilities, but if you're looking for a younger, active crowd, you wouldn't have found it here. Overall, we had a good time. We met several delightful people (taking advantage of open-seating rather than sitting with the same folks night after night) and saw a part of the hemisphere that we hadn't before. I stand by Celebrity as a quality company but, again, must state that the Infinity falls short compared to some of their other newer vessels. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Getting on the ship and to the room went very well. Noticed strong mildew smell and worked with staff and Concierge through various solutions. Ended up being lucky enough to switch rooms and the new is what this review is based on. ... Read More
Getting on the ship and to the room went very well. Noticed strong mildew smell and worked with staff and Concierge through various solutions. Ended up being lucky enough to switch rooms and the new is what this review is based on. Tipping: 1st time with Celebrity and the lack of tickets meant I had to carry cash with money wasting away in my account. I was told I could do an extra tip for room service at the end from my account, but that turned out to be the entire dining room staff, but they were worth it. I did discover that I could sometimes get a $0.00 bill that I could add a tip to. Service and the staff were great, but we all know a little tipping raises their spirits and they take more time to get to know your needs and wants. Isn't it about time for some IPAD type device where you can just select $1, $2 or other with a card swipe. Room Stewards: Outstanding! Dining: Very good with many choices. Service was very good and if you needed anything you just had to ask. Room Service: Pretty good, but with minor errors on the order. I like raisin bran with cold milk and 2 out of the first 3 times the milk was warm. I doubled up and kept one in the mini fridge from then on. A little unclear on quantity you will get of items when you say it is for two people (I should have called and asked). People were fantastic, but again after a great night at the Martini bar I don't like having to hunt for cash when breakfast shows up. Next time I'll request a $0.00 bill every morning I do room service. Infinity Bars: Upgraded to premium package which was great. Even better I did not need to upgrade my cabin mate! Café al Vacio - Outstanding!. Constellation Lounge and Rendez-Vous Lounge - average because it was hard to get served and twice had to ask who or where was the bartender. I gave up after two tries. Service during events in the Constellation lounge was very good. Mast Bar, Oceanview Bar and Pool Bar - Excellent! I did not try the Casino Bar or Cellar Masters. If you want a drink to a show you had better get there early or bring your own as they don't disrupt the show by trying to serve drinks in the dark which I appreciate. Martini Bar: Clearly one of the highlights of the cruise!!! Great people, great drinks and some of the hardest working people with a huge dose of fun that I have seen in a long time. Programs and Entertainment were all very good. Being able to watch programs that we missed in the room was nice for a couple that we missed. Movies on the deck were okay, but pretty hot and muggy. I never noticed anyone serving drinks or snacks, but I only did 1.5 movies. Air Conditioning: This turned out to be a real problem. The AC barely kept up the last week of the cruise. As we got closer to the end it got even worse. People entering the 9th hall way aft would comment on how bad it was. Underneath the 10th floor buffet which was also pretty warm. Somewhat expected on 10 with the doors to the Oceanview Bar being opened and closed so many times. Coolest spot was outside right in front of the doors (just kidding, but you did get an awesome breeze). Seem like some clever engineering is needed here. I'n front of the Pizza counter which had some of the best garlic bread ever you would feel water dripping on you from the ceiling which I can only assume is related to the AC problems. Pool Grill was only open from about 11:30 to 6:00 PM, but they make a very good burger as sometimes you get off schedule with meals. None of the Excursions really appealed to us for the price. People we talked to seemed to like the ones they went on. We will be doing another Celebrity Cruise, but on a different ship. I should have been more aggressive with the room temperature. My advice is bring a Thermometer! Getting off ship was great, but customs had very long lines. I'll do Mobile Pass next time!! I hope I didn't make any factual errors, but did I mention the Martini Bar... Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We brought my parents on a Panama Canal Cruise to Celebrate their 60th Anniversary and ended up bringing their best friends who were celebrating their 61st Anniversary. Getting on the ship was pretty easy since we had the Marriott guys ... Read More
We brought my parents on a Panama Canal Cruise to Celebrate their 60th Anniversary and ended up bringing their best friends who were celebrating their 61st Anniversary. Getting on the ship was pretty easy since we had the Marriott guys (SpringHill Suites San Diego) to help bring our 12 bags to the dock!! Overall the Cruise was good. We had a few issues. The ship is old so there were quite a few mechanical problems. Plumbing seemed to be a huge issue on and off through the entire 16 day cruise!! The smell in some of the hallways was intensely horrible!! Many times the public bathrooms were closed due to problems. Not a huge issue for us but an issue when older folk who have issues walking have to scout out a working toilet. The Lido Deck Buffet had issues with the ceiling leaking water. Sometimes water would drop on your head, arm or actually into your food. Not sure I'd want to eat food that has ceiling water dripped into it... but the food was good. I also LOVE the fact they do not allow people to serve themselves at the Buffet. Admit it, we've ALL seen people who have NO IDEA that others eat from the Buffet too. I see people licking their fingers and then grabbing spoons to serve themselves. Just gross. The main Dining Room had great food but the service was HORRIBLY SLOW. We'd have to plan dinner over 2 hours prior to a Show to make sure we wouldn't miss it. My Time or Any Time Dining doesn't work on this ship. It would take 1-2 hours to be seated unless you arrived about 30 minutes before the dining room opened. LOVED the Piano Guy Tom Wolf. He made our vacation quite memorable!! The Veendam Dancers and Singers were quite talented and we really enjoyed their shows too. The only complaints I heard around me was at times the music was so loud it was actually not pleasant and the room was like a refrigerator!! By the end of the cruise, many people were coming in with pool towels to use as blankets. I think our biggest disappointment happened at the end of the cruise. We lost an engine so it took 21 Hours to get from the Bahamas to Fort Lauderdale. We arrived safely so that wasn't an issue and the captain kept us up to date... but disembarkation WAS an issue. Once we discovered we'd be arriving so late, they opened the front desk to assist passengers with travel issues. This was poorly handled, with lines wrapped all around the 7th Deck and people waiting for HOURS to be helped. As you'd assume, arriving 6-7 hours late, most people had missed their flights home. We travel a LOT and we planned our flights for as late as possible. But, once we arrived, they still refused to let us off the ship!!! Now, a TON of people had already missed their flights, so WHY would they keep people who COULD make their flights, stay on the ship. I would think THEY would become priority. This issue was Holland America's fault so they were responsible for rescheduling missed flights and for putting people up in hotels for a night if flights weren't rescheduled for the same day. I waited as long as possible before going to the Front Desk and DEMANDING to be let off the ship. They finally gave us new numbers and we were able to get all 6 of us off the boat and JUST made it to the gate prior to our flight!! We enjoyed the fact that this cruise line caters to an older crowd. My husband and I LOVE children, we have 4, plus 6 grandkids and have had 14 foster babies... but sometimes we like to just get away from a bunch of running and screaming kids!!! (which is now the new normal because parents today don't seem to think their children should behave when on vacation) We only did one excursion since they were so pricey but enjoyed ALL of our stops. They made getting on and off the ship pretty painless. All in All we had a nice time but with just a few tweaks, it could have been a FABULOUS experience!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We had heard about the cruise from friends who did it a couple of years ago and it sounded great and they wanted to go again. We did. Overall it was a fantastic experience for us. It is a lot of days at sea but we managed to handle it. ... Read More
We had heard about the cruise from friends who did it a couple of years ago and it sounded great and they wanted to go again. We did. Overall it was a fantastic experience for us. It is a lot of days at sea but we managed to handle it. Laying by the pool for me and reading most of the time, for the wife, activities here and there. We had only one day of real rain in 33. Seas were very calm, worst was 2 days before the return to San Diego. She was unhappy with the type of activities overall as she was not keen on the number of activities that were aimed at over 70 types and the lack of movement oriented activities. There was no Karioke, not type of dance lessons other than hula/polynesian and the music in the lounges tended to be late 40 - 60 era. Cooking demos were interesting but short. The only more "modern" stuff was in the crows nest after the shows and the stuff on tape was a waste. The DJ just sat and made sure the tape didn't stop. The nights the band played upstairs was really good. Surprise gig by the RaveOns was just what we waited for. More of that needed. Shows were ok but accordian, violin and over the hill gymnist not what you want in entertainment, the RaveOns were the best act. We ate in the dining room most times and found the food really good and the service was the best we've had on 8 cruises. Very impressed with the executive chef Peter and would even try to find out what ship he was on next. He really made the attempt to meet you and get input and his attention to details was evident in the food. We ate anytime dining but tried to get the same table/servers every night and it made a huge difference. Room was fine, we had no problems with flooding or temperature though many on the same deck (4) did. The ship is definitely in need of a refresh and we heard they were trying to sell it. Not impressed with the cruise director or shoreside support. Very impressed with dining room crew, so-so service at the Pinnacle. 2nd time was better. Islands visited were interesting and we had some great excursions. Bora Bora we took one of Patricks tours, otherwise most were through the ship and were good. Tendering was a pain due to breakdowns, many people taking hours to get off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Let's start with the positive. The Singers and dancers were wonderful. The food was good and the crew was very friendly. Our cabin was nice and our steward was great. Many ports were good and easy to find thing to do if you ... Read More
Let's start with the positive. The Singers and dancers were wonderful. The food was good and the crew was very friendly. Our cabin was nice and our steward was great. Many ports were good and easy to find thing to do if you didn't take a shore excursion from the ship. There were 4 or 5 ports that made you feel trapped. If you didn't take a shore excursion you had to pay to take a shuttle to get to a safe or interesting part of town. We often were docked at the shipping ports and were not allowed to get a taxi or walk from there. The activities planned on board (other than the nightly shows) were very limited unless you wanted to learn about history(the speakers they had were dull or misinformed) or triva. It's pretty bad when you go to check out DVDs and they say you may only have one because too many people want them. That says they had nothing else to do. It wasn't until the last few days when the Mexican Embassadors came aboard. Many people had trouble with their cabins: toilets not working, DVD players not working, and to top it off our neighbor had his sink and toilet overflow in the middle of the night. We were awaken by the sounds of vaccuums and blowers trying to dry out their carpet. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was my first 30 day cruise - which I assumed would be a little too long - but wanted to go because of the places it went LOVED the cruise - MOST locations - the ship is showing it's age the crew was fantastic - best ... Read More
This was my first 30 day cruise - which I assumed would be a little too long - but wanted to go because of the places it went LOVED the cruise - MOST locations - the ship is showing it's age the crew was fantastic - best crew I have ever seen on a ship - best after nearly 10 other cruises I will gladly take another cruise again - there were few younger people on the ship but most were so friendly and enjoyable - Open dining is a great feature and I will only EVER use that - it gives so much freedom the entertainment was quite good - some better than others as you would expect = but all in all pretty good - the ship was steady - but had leaks so many times - with buckets standing 1/2 full of water seen all over the place Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Cruising out of San Diego, CA has the benefits of a clean well run cruise terminal, a beautiful city and every tourist accommodation. Still, the first and last two days on board are spent reaching the Sea of Cortez, and the times we have ... Read More
Cruising out of San Diego, CA has the benefits of a clean well run cruise terminal, a beautiful city and every tourist accommodation. Still, the first and last two days on board are spent reaching the Sea of Cortez, and the times we have done it, the weather has been mild but not tropical. Our stateroom was nicely appointed, although on the small side for verandah rooms on high end ships today. Concierge service (in fact, all service) was very pleasant and helpful. Room was kept moore neat than clean. "Extra charges" and sales promotions are held to a pleasant minimum, as are PA system announcements. Food was quite good and quite varied too. Long lines and crowds were usually well controlled, with some exceptions. Boarding the vessel in San Diego involved standing in a long long line, wishing we had signed for a suite. Oddly, debarking was a model of quick and painless re-uniting with luggage, passport control and customs. Four elevators (two forward, two aft) usually worked efficiently but not when events opened or ended. Reservations at specialty restaurants (there are just two) seemed to fill up quite fast, almost before we left San Diego. Flexible dining meant a line at the dining room early on, with no line an hour later but by then, sometimes having to miss the entertainment. Azamazing - the evening party and piece de resistance - was in fact as amazing as anything I might have conjured up. If you go, do not miss it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was my family's first cruise and we were not disappointed. In fact, we were surprised at how attentive the staff was and how well-cared-for we felt. We had no pre-conceptions or notions as to how cruises generally were so we ... Read More
This was my family's first cruise and we were not disappointed. In fact, we were surprised at how attentive the staff was and how well-cared-for we felt. We had no pre-conceptions or notions as to how cruises generally were so we were surprised at all of the niceties and courtesies we were given while on the cruise and at ports. We have decided cruising is the most bang for the buck because there would be no way a family of 5 could stay for 7 nights, have at least 3 meals a day, attend events and shore excursions and basically have your every wish granted. It was a real eye opener. I mean, sure, there will be times where we'll want to travel to one destination and spend more than a day there but it was perfect to get a sampling of the Mexican Riviera for a day and then go back to OUR ship and get comfortable again. It becomes a proprietary thing, when you feel you belong to a ship and a ship belongs to you. We feel that way about the Westerdam but we're definitely going to give the rest of Holland America's fleet a chance. We're already getting ready to book our next annual family vacation with HAL. I also think I would consider a quick getaway for my husband and me aboard HAL, too. Holland America is definitely a destination for every family of every type - small, large, empty-nesters, etc... So glad we chose Holland America!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Beautiful San Diego,We arrived 1 day early, Dec 3rd, Watched the sunset at Sunset Cliffs.There was the evening Christmas Parade. The King's Inn, authentic Mexican food for dinner next door. Embarkation at 1.00pm was very fast ... Read More
Beautiful San Diego,We arrived 1 day early, Dec 3rd, Watched the sunset at Sunset Cliffs.There was the evening Christmas Parade. The King's Inn, authentic Mexican food for dinner next door. Embarkation at 1.00pm was very fast and our luggage was in our room within the hour.Correction, my luggage was missing, regardless We headed up to Lido Deck 8 like veteran cruisers for lunch...Asian curry noodles and rice quite authentic. Checked with Security where my bag was held and my small travel iron was confiscated until Ensenada.You can not pack extension cords either. My cabin was Ocean View 3343 mid deck, near the Clock Tower Atrium....which was beautifully Xmas decorated with gingerbread houses, train set.Christmas trees lights.. Cabin was great,, quiet and equidistant both ends of the Amsterdam, La Fontaine Dining room and Queens Lounge..Must mention that my Cabin Stewards Agus and Made were warm, friendly and unobtrusive, kept the cabin very clean and tidy. I look forward to the Towel Art and be surprised every evening. All the ports were excellent, You are in Paradise, The ship excursions were pretty good but We decided to rent a car where We can and explore the islands on our own. HAL ships' ON LOCATION .We had Kainoa who gave us lectures on Hawaiian Culture, History and personal stories of the islands, advice,maps, guidelines to plan your day ashore,the many places to see,and shore excursions. There were the Hula Dancers performances and Hula lessons.Ukulele lessons,Hawaiian Lei making classes ,....A deeper Hawaiian experience. Dec 4th, 5 lovely fun filled sea days,This beautiful ship had fresh flowers everywhere. I read books by Dean Koontz and Jeffrey Archer in The Exploration Cafe Library. Dec 10th, HONOLULU (Oahu). We took the bus transit to Hanauma Bay, for swimming and snorkeling,Not environmentally correct to walk on the coral and rocks,then a long walk on Waikiki Beach, and some shopping for a Ukulele (Better buy on Amazon). i've been to the Pearl Harbor Memorial before .. there wasn't enough time to do more. HILO (Hawaii) Dec 11th..We drove up to Mauna Kea (13 796 ft) At 9200 ft,The Onizuka Center, the road to the summit was blocked off because of frozen ice, so We decided to drive South to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.(original plan was to do this from Kona) Moana Loa was spewing lava before the mist covered everything. Took a walk through the Thurston Lava Tube. At the shoreline of black lava fields, Kilauea was actively erupting lava into the sea, shooting massive plumes of smoke and ashes into the sky that can bee seen from afar. Next day, Dec 12th KONA, There was no car rental shuttle.It's USD28 to get to the car rental and USD28 back so no car rental. We did the Hop On for USD15 each,At the beach stop,James went snorkeling with his Go Pro and I walked the tidal pools and beaches.Saw 5 turtles and lots of yellow fishes..James did the Atlantis submarine (USD85).while I went shopping. 6 packs of Macadamia nut chocs ($24) at Target and Ross is my favorite for bargain hunting, shoes, dresses and fine Italian soap.(Bulgari 100ml parfum $30). Dec 13th NAWILIWILI (Kauai). We drove through Lihue to Waimea Canyon,The Grand Canyon of Hawaii.Don't just stop here, keep on driving to the very end of the road and from here you can see the North shore of the island, the jagged cliffs overlooking the sea.here was where they filmed Jurassic Park. A stop at Wailua Falls, there was a rainbow, before heading back to the ship. Dec 14th LAHAINA (Maui). Make sure your car rental pick-up is at JHM Airport.(not Kahului Airport which is too far from Lahaina) and the last car rental shuttle return to pier is 4.00pm ($20 cab return to Pier at 6.30pm). Drove up to Hakeakala National Park, dormant volcano, elevation 10,024 ft. We were above the clouds !!!! Nature enthusiasts would love the unique flora , silver swords. THE ROAD TO HANA, yes, We decided to do partway of this road, time permitting because We don't know when We'll be back this way again, just to say "We were there.". Narrow winding road through rain forest.Stopped at a fruit stand, On the way back, We went to the beach to watch the surfers.I had a Maui shave ice for $5, don't do that, not natural flavoring, inedible I had to throw away. It's my birthday, the dining room staff sang a Happy Happy song, which also works for anniversaries or anything else (I speak the language) and also a Birthday cake. If they sang in reverse, Am I one year younger You think? The 5 sea days to Ensenada, Mexico Dec20th, a seaside town with a wet fish market, lots of touristsy shops.Had a walk around and back to the ship for TEA., delicious scones with berries preserve and clotted cream.Earl Grey. Dec 21st, San Diego.Last breakfast.Disembark,Took the shuttle to the airport USD10. The HiGH POINT of this wonderful and special cruise was the Scenic Sailing of Kilauea Volcano 10.00pm.I videoed from the ship's bow.The lava flowing into the sea, bright orange red spewing up against the dark night.Lots of steam and smoke. Captain Fred Eversen is cool. The Amsterdam Dancers and Singers and the other entertainers were Super Excellent. The Culinary Art Centre was standing room only, Lots of activities like Trivia and stuff.... Cruise director guys were cool. The food was Excellent and ALL the staff did their best to make this an amazing wonderful cruise. I did not win the $25,000 Bingo, ;( I did not win the Cruise Bingo. ;( Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We wanted to see the south American experience. As we embarked, we had lunch at the Garden Café. We found the food to be of a very messy quality. Again as we ate breakfast and lunch we found very little variations from day to day. ... Read More
We wanted to see the south American experience. As we embarked, we had lunch at the Garden Café. We found the food to be of a very messy quality. Again as we ate breakfast and lunch we found very little variations from day to day. Too many dishes with Indian seasoning (curry). I do not understand when you have several specialty restaurants, why you have to pay extra for certain cuts of meat in the Four Season dining room (main dining room). The service was great, waiters and assistant maitre D were the most helpful and congenial people. The main dining room was nice but expected more of a higher quality of dinners, this is in comparison to other cruises we have been on. Eight days into our 17 day cruise I came down with food poisoning, (my strong opinion). This required medical assistance from the ship medical staff. I was quarantined to my room for 24 hrs. We had to cancel a special paid excursion for that day. The medical staff was able to have our $200 fair reimbursed. This was the day we were to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Bummer. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
On our NCL cruise aboard the Norwegian Sun, November 2 -- December 2, 2016, the staff was out of control.  Room cleaning was completely substandard.  Staff made little response to requests from the passengers.  Staff retaliated against ... Read More
On our NCL cruise aboard the Norwegian Sun, November 2 -- December 2, 2016, the staff was out of control.  Room cleaning was completely substandard.  Staff made little response to requests from the passengers.  Staff retaliated against "complainers."  In one instance, NCL staff left fresh excrement on the shower curtain of a couple who reported multiple times that they could not turn off the heat in their cabin. Our trip was ruined from the start.  Passengers are telling each other their bad experiences on board and there were numerous complaints. 1) Our stateroom 8312 temperature was too cold - not inhabitable for us.  We could not shut off the freezing cold current of air.  In addition to being so cold, there was mildew everywhere on the bathroom floor and the vent in the room was extremely dirty. 2) We were lied to for about ten days about a possible solution to the cold air. 3) Finally after my husband went to emergency room for uncontrollable shivering and feverish temperature, we were given a "heater" to counter the cold air.  Because of the pipeline from the heater has to be connected to the bathroom exhaust, our room smelled like sewer.  Even people down the hall could smell it and our steward didn't want to come in to our room to do the routing cleaning. 4) The cruise doctor would not admit that my husband's problem was caused by cold temperature in the room even he could not find what was wrong by tests.  5) The bathroom drain was not working well and water was slashing around the bathroom floor for days, before a technician showed up.  The problem was not fixed properly, but the condition got better. 6) Then the sink no longer draining.  Took two different engineers and three days to fix the very clogged, smelly drain. 7) Our room floor carpet became wet from water condensation from the heater, which has no pipeline installed to lead the water away. 8) The cruise finally offered to change our rooms, but said that we could only stay there for four nights and no guarantee the room would have heat.  There would not be room for a heater.  By then, we had no confidence in their words. 9) The cruise staff was so disorganized and miss communicated.  We were told one thing at one time and another the next.  On the morning of arriving Valparaiso, Chile, we were harassed by a front desk officer by ordering us to leave our room or he would send security to throw us out right after we were told to stay in there by another officer.  10) I served meals to my husband who was sick in bed for the entire trip and we had to cancel excursions and let go $650 ship credit. 11) Our complaints met a blind eye by the captain, who told me that "We don't serve individuals."   He admitted that there was no heat in some cabins and most of time there was no heat on the ship at all.  However, some passengers complained that their rooms were roasting hot and some were too cold.  People got sick and complaints were everywhere.  Compare to other cruises we took, NCL Sun was unbelievably worse in their services, room comfort and their willingness to solve problems. We had no room comfort problems on any other ship we sailed. We wrote to management many times.  We were disappointed. We paid over $6,400 for a trip of life time, but we had a miserable time because of bad service leading to illness.   The NCL Sun cruise started on Nov. 2, 2016 from San Diego and ended on Dec. 3, 2016 at the port of Bueno Aires, Argentina, totaling 31 days.  My husband hardly went on shore and he spent most his time in bed. Norwegian Sun staff told us the reason that they continued to work on this ship, because they had no pressure or less pressure.  That explains why the service was bad.   To us, a good service is the management and staff take proactive approach to problem solving.  Show us they care.  But some key staff and officers on Norwegian Sun had bad attitude including lying to make problem go away.  Read Less
Sail Date November 2016

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