271 San Diego Family Cruise Reviews

No one does it better than Disney! After the terrible experience of taking my first cruise on Carnival about 5 years ago I was real hesitant to go cruising again...least to say I'm very glad I gave Disney a try because they ... Read More
No one does it better than Disney! After the terrible experience of taking my first cruise on Carnival about 5 years ago I was real hesitant to go cruising again...least to say I'm very glad I gave Disney a try because they changed my perspective on the whole cruising industry. Our cruise was a 7 night to the Mexican Rivera with stops in Cabo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. Room: The room was great! We had a family balcony stateroom which was very spacious and could sleep up to 5 people with 4 beds in the room. The split bathrooms on Disney ships are genius, especially for getting ready in the mornings. Our room steward Lorenzo was amazing! Entertainment: There was never a down moment aboard the Disney Wonder! They always had something going on. We saw 3 stage shows which were all amazing and they also had a Ventriloquist, Magician, comedian and hypnotist aboard doing shows daily. Being 23 I was concerned that there would be annoying kids all over the ship and that all entertainment and activities would be geared solely to children. Despite what I thought, the only time I really saw children was a breakfast in the buffet and at night at the stage shows. For the most part they stayed in the kids clubs and the children pool. There were plenty of adult areas to relax in, and the entire front of the ship in filled with adult only clubs and lounges. Food: To me the food aboard the Disney Wonder was a bit of a disappointment. The appetizers, soups and desserts always blew us away but the entres were somewhat lacking in flavor and constancy. I feel this is one area they could definable improve. The buffet was good, they had a great variety of food and rotated their menus which I appreciated. I really enjoyed the rotating dining that Disney does, my favorite restaurant for food was Tritons and Tianas Place for the atmosphere. Service: The service aboard the ship was incredible! Our servers were amazing and really boosted our experience aboard the ship! Tati and Ikadek were our servers and they treated us like kings. The cruise line lost our bags on the first day, we went to guest service and they located them within hours and sent chocolate covered strawberries and a hand written apology for the inconvenience. Spa: I spent alot of time (and money) in the spa and was pleased with the service rendered there. On day one of the cruise I won a raffle for a $50 spa certificate. I ended up getting a rainforest pass which for $129, I don't feel was worth the money. Also had my teeth whitened what I was very pleased with (they honestly did a better job than my dentist), I received an acupuncture session (waste of money) and a great massage! They always tried to sell you stuff after services which really got annoying after a while. Ports: Highlights Cabo: we didn't do any excursions here, just walked around the pier. Extremely touristy! Mazatlan: Probably our lease favorite port. We did the Best of Mazatlan tour which was a complete waste of money and time. They took us to see a light house (which was a couple miles away from the look out point the bus stopped at) Then took us to see a old church (which was pretty) Their "golden zone" was super trashy and full of street vendors that get really annoying after a while. We ended the tour with a nasty fiesta lunch filled with store bought taquitos, overcooked rice, and other gross, non authentic food. There was supposed to be a folkloric show that mainly just consisted of drinking games. Don't go on this tour. Puerto Vallarta: Our favorite port. It's very jungly here and lest touristy. We did a cooking class which consisted of visiting a local market and tortilla factory where we bought masa, then took a bus ride through the mountains to a rural village where we learned to cook amazing authentic mexican food. I highly recommend this tour if you are looking for an authentic mexican experience. Altogether the cruise was amazing! I booked another cruise while onboard and can't wait till my next one! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was a special cruise called HALLOWEEN ON THE HIGH SEAS. San Diego, Cabo, Mazatlan and PTO Vallarta/San Diego return. My first-ever holiday sailing. Cabin 5012 was forward and located on deck-5. A excellent location with great ... Read More
This was a special cruise called HALLOWEEN ON THE HIGH SEAS. San Diego, Cabo, Mazatlan and PTO Vallarta/San Diego return. My first-ever holiday sailing. Cabin 5012 was forward and located on deck-5. A excellent location with great access to everything. This is a outside stateroom with the large picture window/porthole. The ship is in pristine condition. As in the cleanest ship I have ever sailed on. Both in stateroom and public areas. Embarkation was classic Disney with perfection in line/group control but Disney was using the older San Diego cruise terminal that is in dire need of refurbishment. Escalators and elevators were broken so it was the stairs for all with the exception of one elevator. It's dark, cold, poor seating and with limited restrooms. Once aboard, it all turns to Pixie Dust and I will never know how Disney accomplishes such crew perfection but they do and with ease. Every single employee/cast member/crew member was amazing 24/7. I was never so impressed. Cabins are larger than most at-sea with a two-bathroom concept that takes up way too much space in the stateroom/cabin. Serving no purpose as only one bathroom has a toilet. Stateroom TV's are ultra small at 22"-26" and guess what? It's all Disney programming! ABC, FOX and CNN can be had but that did not occur when at-sea. The most disappointing aspect of a Disney cruise is the overall dining quality (my third Disney sailing). That said, expect 'Theme Park Dining' at best. Catering to families and kids mostly. You'll need your own salt & pepper shakers. The food is bland, boring, basic in presentation and uneventful in every single course. Disney incorporates what is called 'Rotational Dining' in that that every night you change dining rooms (keeping the same waiter) which are themed on a different approach each night. We had ANIMATOR'S PALATE, TRITON'S and TIANA'S PLACE as our dining venues. Tiana's Place is new to Disney with a Mardi Gras theme and it is exceptionally loud. Very loud. It is a dining room floor show experience in a sense. It can be impossible for the waiters or the guest to engage in conversation. There are Quick Service dining venues also aboard The Disney Wonder but they all failed. The only exception to any dining experience onboard is the buffet area called CABANA'S. That saved us all! Yet Disney closes it for dinner making it a sit-down venue instead serving the same basic and bland offerings as found in the dining rooms. Unlike most other cruise lines that offer 24/7 dining options, Disney has a very rigid schedule of openings and closings. Room service is 24/7 thankfully but on par with Arby's Roast Beef if not worse. Disney is all about its movies and shows and expect only the best because that is the rule for any Disney showroom presentation. We were entertained for FROZEN, THE GOLDEN MICKEY'S and DREAMS. There were also several guest performers for a 7 day cruise but all were 'VERY SAFE' because we are a family cruise line first and foremost. Because this was a holiday sailing involving Halloween, candy was passed out Halloween night and most passengers dressed in costume for the event but activities were very limited. Menus that night never addressed Halloween. This isn't a cruise line for just kids. There are many 'adult-only areas' (never enforced) and on this sailing the amount of kids never felt like it exceeded 40-50%. What I will remember most about the type of passenger aboard a Disney cruise was the morning we were dining outside (at Cabana's) and on the table, next to the drink station for beverages, was a mother changing her baby on the table while we all dined for breakfast. Several Disney cruise staff walked by the event but none ever addressed it... There was a bathroom just inside the doors some 30 feet away that the mom could have used. That said, it is a family line. It's a Disney product and it's always 'Pixie Dust'. Sometimes boring. Unless you are a kid or a pure Disney fanatic. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Summary of our trip: If you ever traveled on one of the larger Disney boats, the Dream or Fantasy, you will be somewhat disappointed on the Wonder. We traveled with our adult children and their children ages 8, 6, 2-1/2 and a 10 month ... Read More
Summary of our trip: If you ever traveled on one of the larger Disney boats, the Dream or Fantasy, you will be somewhat disappointed on the Wonder. We traveled with our adult children and their children ages 8, 6, 2-1/2 and a 10 month old. My husband and I had connecting rooms with my daughter who has two babies. The connecting rooms helped with the small cabin size as we freely went back and forth. We had all their junk in our cabin so they could accommodate the pack and play comfortably. I don't know how they could have managed with all their kid stuff....stroller, diapers, formula, diaper genie, etc...if they had only their cabin space. Embarkation was fine. We arrived at the Port of San Diego about 10:45 and people were already checking in. We were number 21 for boarding and that happened about 12:45. We headed for the Triton sit down restaurant, but it was already full and there was a 30 minute wait. So off to the food court, Cabanas, we went. What a mad house as everyone was there since the cabins were not ready. Your first impression is ....holy cow....how crowded is this small ship. It took some ingenuity to find a table for nine. Once we could go to our cabin at 1:30, we received our bags about 45 minutes later. The first night of dining was at the Animator's Palace, early seating. They had a cute show on the walls and Mickey makes an appearance in Fantasmic fashion. Our servers were Jen from the United Kingdom assisted by Angelina from Poland. They could have not been more helpful especially since we had two kids in high chairs making a mess every night. Out of the many cruises that we have been on, the food delivery was the quickest that we have experienced. Tonight's show was the Golden Mickeys in the Walt Disney Theater. Note that this theater is only on one level....versus the larger ships that have a balcony. Go early if you want a decent up front seat. We never arrived after 8 for a 8:30 show. (First dining at 5:45, shows start at 8:30) We spent some time the next day in the Oceaniere Lab during the open house....the only time the toddlers could be in the Lab. The two year old thought it was fun, but the 8 and 6 year old loved it. We did not get off the ship in Enceneda....others felt the same was as it was full of people for a shore day. Pirate dinner in Tiana's Place. Servers walked around in pirate gear. It was pirate night and here is where the difference between a large ship and a small old ship is highlighted. On the Dream last year, there was a detailed pirate show that lasted a full 15 minutes with about 30 actors. On the Wonder, it's basically a dance party for pirate night. Mickey and a pirate go down the zip line, but there is no show to speak of. What a disappointment. Fireworks at sea lasted for about 90 seconds. It was not worth keeping toddlers up to past 10:15 when the fireworks happened. Before the pirate and firework event, there was a magician in the WD theater. We saw half of the show then left to save seats on the pool deck for the non existent pirate show. Day three was a sea day. Our impressions....the food at Cabanas is fine. Nothing special but it is convenient if you want to be at the pool area. There is also an average burger and pizza spot. Daisy's food area has salads and sandwiches and fruit, so we enjoyed that area. We went to Triton's for a sit down lunch most days....nice to be out of the crowded pool area. Speaking of pools....the pool area compared to the Dream is about half its size, which is also a disappointment. BTW. Kids must be potty trained...swim diapers not allowed. A kid pooped in the baby pool and it had to be closed for three hours. If not potty trained, there is a very small splash pad area....again, half the size of the Dream. Not worth the hassle with the toddlers. We played bingo with the kids....$40 for the cards. Dinner again at Tiana's Place where she made an appearance and they had a New Orleans style parade around the restaurant. The show was Frozen. Fabulous production. The actor playing Elsa is amazing with a really solid voice. Again, if you want center, up close seats, get in line early....for this show, earlier than 8 pm. Next day was Cabo. There are tenders in Cabo....a royal pain with kids in strollers. We went to the Dolphin area where the older kids swam with the dolphins. They enjoyed themselves...they should for the price of this excursion. Cabo by the port is very touristy...bars and tee shirt shops. Next time, I won't get off the ship. Dinner at Triton's Place...the most boring restaurant of all. Forgot to mention that the cabin stewart, Omar, made sure his services did not interfer with nap time. He was great dealing with that dreaded diaper genie. Thanks, Omar! The highlight for the 8 and 6 year old granddaughters happened on the last full day. The Princess Royal Tea. Very expensive for the girls, but well worth it. It is done so well. The girls were showered with gifts only available at this tea....a doll, jewelry box, charms, crown etc. The Princesses came to each table and spent time talking to the girls. A cute show with the hostess and baker....two very good actors from the ensemble. I can't recommend this tea more....worth every penny if you have girls that love the Princesses. The show tonight was Believe which was fabulous. It's snippets of many Disney movies. Don't miss. Back to Animator's Palace. No show by the servers. Disembarkation was chaos. We had breakfast in Animator's Palace....they rush you through. We had first seating at dinner....so first seating for the last breakfast at 7:15. They servers make it very apparent that they want you out for the next group. You get off the ship on level 3 and the elevator spills out to the area where those waiting for Tiana's Place are lined up. It was gridlock. Plus, most people are with all their luggage ignoring the night before drop off. There is luggage everywhere, wall to wall people on level 3 and no where to go. I'm so surprised that Disney has not figured out a solution to this problem. Getting off was easy if you do not need an elevator in the port building. We carried down the stroller or we would have had a 20 minute wait for an elevator. Customs was a breeze and cabs were plentiful. Again our total impression....we will not cruise on the Wonder or Magic, the smaller ships, again. Just too crowded, not as technically advanced, more of a wall to wall people feeling. Give us a newer, larger ship any day. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It was my husband's fall break from school and my dad and his wife could fit this cruise into their schedule so for the first time we were able to take a cruise together. We had been looking forward to it for many months. We flew ... Read More
It was my husband's fall break from school and my dad and his wife could fit this cruise into their schedule so for the first time we were able to take a cruise together. We had been looking forward to it for many months. We flew into San Diego a day earlier and got a night at the nearby Best Western prior to embarkation. Embarkation went smoothly. After checking in, we had to wait about 40 minutes before we could get on the ship but they had a decent waiting area with plenty of seating so it was not a big deal. Once we boarded the ship, we were able to go right to our rooms to check them out. We got side by side balcony staterooms and had our room steward open the balcony partition between rooms so that we could enjoy each other's company during the cruise. Our room stewards were Rohman and Ron and both seemed fine. One thing I didn't really like was that I felt a little shamed for asking for an extra towel to be inside our bathroom at all times so that if needed, I wouldn't have to ask for it. I got the lecture about how they want us to re-use the towels to save water. I get it but I'm also asking for one extra towel and shoot! I'm on vacation. If I want to use an extra towel, can't I? What I did learn super quickly though was an extra hand towel was needed to keep the sink area dry because every time we reached between the soap and the faucet, water dripped everywhere. They really should use hand soap dispensers - kind of like they do in the shower with shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. If the dispenser was right over the sink itself, there would be no mess of drips everywhere. We then went up to lunch in the Lido Cafe otherwise known as the "buffet." I would give it an 8 out of 10 for lunch. I found the desserts to be lacking in flavor though. And, the ice cream was good but twice I wanted a waffle cone and twice they said, no more. Wait until next time. I think whoever makes them needs to make more if they are this popular. I liked the salad station though. It was nice to be able to have salads made up however I wanted them. We pre-purchased a soda card and a drink card before boarding and they were both very useful. In fact, I don't think we actually zero'd out the soda card by the end of the cruise. The dining room was nice and we had great waiters. Supardi and Eki where wonderful and always greeted us with a smile, and gave us what ever we asked for. And, my thing is Creme Brulee. I asked for it every night but one and I got it every night but one. Thank you for that!! Now that is an awesome fulfillment of a request! The options for appetizers and soups and salads were a little bit lacking I thought. Maybe they have cut down on choices over the years? We also enjoyed our wine guy. His name was Ron and he was great. I only ordered wine once but my dad and his wife got a wine package and he was super friendly and not pushy which is what I like!! These 3 got extra tips from all of us! Entertainment...well, I hate to say it but I was totally bored by the HAL performers on the ship. That is the first time in 11 cruises (other lines as well as HAL) that I've ever had to say that. Too bad. We opted to skip the second night they performed too. Now, the hired help - Comedians...they were awesome! Both kept me laughing and left me wanting more. Went to all three shows of theirs. The entertainment in the lounges was good, however seating was lacking if you got there even one minute after it started. That actually annoyed me. The four of us did enjoy the game nights in the different lounges though. We originally pre-purchased two shore excursions from HAL but ended up cancelling the one for Cabo because it was a beach/resort day and we found out it wasn't even on a swimmable beach and to see the pictures online left a lot to be desired. We went out on our own and purchased a resort day online before leaving - for a whole lot less, and at a nicer resort on a swimmable beach! In Puerto Vallarta we also purchased HAL's resort/beach day and it was actually very nice! My only complaint was that it should have started and hour or two later so that it ended later. Many in our group never got to eat lunch in a restaurant at the resort because the seating was limited and we had to get back on the bus at 1:20 and the restaurants didn't open for lunch until noon. If you weren't there waiting in line right at 12:00, you didn't get a table. The excursion should have gone from 10-3 or something along those times. The resort itself though was super nice with multiple pools and a private beach with kayaks to use. The all-inclusive aspect at the resort was nice too. They had nice towels and free drinks! In Mazatlan, we caught a taxi to go to the Golden Zone to shop. It was SO HOT though that about 1 hour into it we had enough. Sweat dripping down your back just isn't fun. In the future, I would do a water related excursion - at least this time of year. We also went to the newer Wal Mart and picked up some extra bottled water and a few other little items. My husband likes to bake so picking up about 5 bottles of Mexican vanilla was "the thrill of the hunt" for him! I think he ended up with different brands too. So this next part is why I gave this cruise 3/5...On the last sea day, my husband started feeling sick in the morning. Not the ships fault, but what made it really hard was that our stateroom flooded! We were away from the room, and when I came back to change, the door was open, there were huge fans all around as the water had come out into the hallway, and our room was flooded almost all the way over to the balcony. No one could tell us why and how it happened but something about the pipes in the bathroom. So my husband went to Guest Services to tell them what had happened (Rohman had told him to since he couldn't handle the catastrophe) and they followed my husband down to the room, looked at the situation and then said, "well, we'll wait and see!" Ok, our bed had been upended. Our luggage which had been stored under the bed, was next to the balcony and every item of furniture was pushed over to the door of the balcony. All the water had been shut off. It was totally unlivable! And they say, "let's wait and see????" Nope, not good enough! So we were basically displaced outside of our cabin for a few hours while they decided to "wait and see." Finally, they found us and gave us a new cabin to go to which was nice because it was a suite. Great! But at this point my husband was really feeling awful and slept the day away in the suite which meant I had to get out of it so he could rest. Moving all of our stuff to the suite was all up to us too so that was all kinds of fun. I entertained myself the rest of the day - outside the new cabin and by 10:00 that night...I was now sick! Not a fun way to end the cruise. Disembarkation was quite chaotic and both of us felt awful and had to look forward to the journey home feeling that way. ***on another note, we heard from other cruisers onboard that the ship had an issue with A/C in multiple cabins. There was none!!! Why didn't they get moved to available cabins?? These people went all week with no A/C and many of them were elderly people! That seems unacceptable to me! Many had to beg for fans! And there weren't enough! Maybe it had something to do with just coming from Alaska but even so, these systems should have been checked out before getting to the Mexican Riviera where for the most part it was extremely hot in every port! If it had happened to us, my husband said it would have been our last cruise!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We are experienced cruisers (12 +), second time with Celebrity. We selected this itinerary for the Pacific San Diego to Vancouver route. My brother & his wife traveling with us, first time on Celebrity. Concierge cabins 2138 & 2140 ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers (12 +), second time with Celebrity. We selected this itinerary for the Pacific San Diego to Vancouver route. My brother & his wife traveling with us, first time on Celebrity. Concierge cabins 2138 & 2140 on deck 12. We picked these so that we could have a combined balcony which worked great the first day. Until the trouble started with the excessive noise above us from the oceanview café - intolerable. Requested a move for both cabins. We are elite members (celebrity), diamond (RCCL). We were moved to a down graded cabin, we should have been upgraded. Moved to a far forward lower cabin away from our family & we had to ask for everything promised to concierge class. Concierge totally dropped the ball & when we complained to him personally, he was very defensive. Finally offered us $200 toward future cruise - big deal - not. Concierge class is a joke, a few amenities thrown on a standard balcony cabin, not worth the money. Canopes every day were no better than seagull food, which we did throw to them. We were embarrassed because we convinced our family to try celebrity for the first time. They usually sail Princess. Food is very average. Again these cruise lines are pushing you to use specialty dining. Big mistake. The shows were very boring and disappointing. Cruise director Alexandro was the only highlight. The ship is beautiful, the crew very pleasant, the captain very accessible. The embarkation process in San Diego was very disorganized. Shore excursion staff very good. The eclipse was the most rocky ship that we had every been on (12 cruises on other ships). The pacific was very rough so that could account for it, or maybe an unstable ship, not sure which or both. Celebrity makes big distinction in price & amenities for suites vs. all others. We did book a future cruise to take advantage of the offers but may cancel it. Biggest highlight - beautiful ship. Biggest disappointments - Cabin 2138 & 2140. C2 Concierge. Lack of respect for Elite class member & moved us to a down graded cabin. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Have just disembarked the Celebrity Eclipse following a 9 night Pacific Coastal Cruise from San Diego to Vancouver. We chose this cruise because we had sailed on the Eclipse 3 time previously and liked the itinerary. On embarking ... Read More
Have just disembarked the Celebrity Eclipse following a 9 night Pacific Coastal Cruise from San Diego to Vancouver. We chose this cruise because we had sailed on the Eclipse 3 time previously and liked the itinerary. On embarking the ship we were greeted with the customary glass of champagne (make the most of it as it’s the last freebie you will get). The first thing I would say is that the Eclipse is not the ship it once was. The ship is looking a bit tired and does not seem to be as well maintained as it once was. Previously every time the ship was in port it was being painted, not so anymore! The soft furnishings have scuffs, rips and tears. That said, our cabin steward Salvadore was exceptional and kept our cabin tip-top. Be aware that every drink you order, be it tea, coffee or alcohol will be subject to the addition of a 20% Service Charge which is added automatically so the staff have no incentive to offer a good service. You have to wonder how much of this 20% is passed on to the staff! Maybe the American market is different to the European market and is geared around giving a low entry price and then charge for everything you can as an “extra”. The onboard shopping experience is poor with most shops selling over-priced tat. The Qsine restaurant concept has been changed, and whilst it is different, the menu is very limited, the old concept was much better and offered more choice. Murano continues to be the jewel in the crown when it comes to the speciality restaurants. The food and service here is exceptional. Tuscan grill is a good second choice. The Oceanview buffet restaurant offers a good choice but the food is only ever luke warm at best. Moonlight Sonata, the main dining room is OK but the quality and choice of food has declined. The staff here aren’t particularly attentive and seem to be lacking experience, there seemed to be a changeover of staff occurring during our trip. The entertainment is more East End than West End, maybe the Americans are easily pleased. We missed our stop at Monterey due to bad weather. Astoria has nothing of interest to offer and seems to be a stop for the sake of a stop. San Francisco was well worth it and the additional overnight in port due to us not stopping at Monterey was a welcome surprise. Victoria and Vancouver were both nice places to visit. Having travelled on Eclipse three times previously it was my favourite ship and I would have recommended it without reservation, unfortunately I can’t do this anymore. The Staff only seem interested in up-selling everything they can at every opportunity, even the bottled water in your Stateroom is now charged for. Eclipse is no longer a 5* experience it’s now 4* and declining experience. Hopefully the re-fit next year will restore Eclipses former glory. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose a Disney cruise because we thought it would be an ideal vacation for a couple with toddler. It’s a tough age to keep actively engaged. While the character greetings and related events were spectacular, experiences for toddlers ... Read More
We chose a Disney cruise because we thought it would be an ideal vacation for a couple with toddler. It’s a tough age to keep actively engaged. While the character greetings and related events were spectacular, experiences for toddlers overall were really quite limited. That being said, this alone was not why the magic was missing for us. The stateroom was not in the best shape when we arrived. The safe lock had not been reset (we had to wait for maintenance to reset, which was fine if that was the only issue), the clock alarm had not been reset (getting us up much too early the next day), there was hair on the shower curtain, and a pair of eyeglasses were lost in the cabin (?). The cabin and ship was especially creaky the whole trip. This was not our first cruise...so found it annoying. It negatively impacted our sleep. The restaurant food was good but too hot for our toddler, every time. One would assume that this would be tested before plating. While the service itself was especially friendly, off-putting was the constant requests night after night for an “excellent” rating. It left us feeling soured. We didn’t need to be pushed so much. Maybe just say it once and leave it. As for the food quality outside of the restaurants and buffet, it was really bland. We needed cash for one of the excursions and guest services would only take personal checks (in 2019!). My son and I caught a bad cold by the last day! On balance, this was not the vacation that I hoped for and expected from the magical Disney. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
THIS IS MY SECOND DISNEY CRUISE. The first one in the carribean to their private island. It was so good that we decide to go on another one. This time is was from San Diego to Cabo and Enesanada. Checking on in San Diego was so smooth. ... Read More
THIS IS MY SECOND DISNEY CRUISE. The first one in the carribean to their private island. It was so good that we decide to go on another one. This time is was from San Diego to Cabo and Enesanada. Checking on in San Diego was so smooth. No line up. As soon as I arrived in cabin after lunch in buffet, I phoned the conciege and asked for a robe since I was sharing with my daughter and her boyfriend. The bathrooms are super small and there's no where to put your clean clothes after you take off your dirty clothes to shower. I was told that the robes are only for conciege class. I explained about the situation in the bathroom and when I cruised on Disney before they supplied robes no problem. So I went to the desk to ask again, this time for someone in charge. She left me standing there while she went to the back for 10 mins. I told the other person standing there , that "This is a waste of time, how long does it take to ask about a robe". Also there are no slippers. Good thing I bought it from my hotel. I said I gotta go for dinner, I will come back for an answer. I stopped by the room after dinner and surprise, There's a robe. One of the drawers was stuck and after pulling it out it will become jammed. I told the room steward and he pushed it back in and said: It's fixed. Next time I pulled it out, it got stuck again. I informed the steward again when I was heading out and he said he will fix it. Next time i pulled it open , it completely fell out on my foot. This time I phoned the conciege and they sent a maintenace guy to fix it for real. I'm lucky I didn't break my foot. The day before we arrive in Ensenada, we wanted to go to the place where margaritas were invented. I looked it up at home but we didn't have internet on the ship, and I couldn't remember the name of it but I recall the ship did offer a tour there. She told me she didn't have that info and there's no such tour. She told us to find a Starbucks to get internet and we could google it. After walking a couple of miles to find the Starbucks, we found the place. It was right across from where the ship was docked. We were sitting there enjoying our drinks in the courtyard and wondering why the ship doesn't support this place. And surprise the tour arrived from our ship. Do not take the shuttle from the ship in Ensenada. It's supposed to take you into town but we saw it stopped a couple of blocks down the pier. There is not a town and not much to see except the place where we went to. There was a museum which charge $2.00 and then bar which we got margaritas. There's a small market. We got fridge magnets. There's a beautiful cactus garden. But everything else there is not worth to see cause there's nothing to see. We did eat some corn and some pancake, at the little booths that were on the walkway. Nobody spoke English. Lucky for us, my daughter's boyfriend spoke Spanish. Be aware that the charge to use the washrooms. The food on ship at the buffet at lunch was good and the dining at night was very good. Loved the shows. Got to see the lastest Disney movies in 3D if you want. The live shows are really good. Service in dining room was good. Over all the Disney experience was evident on the cruise but the price was triple other cruises to the same places. I expected better service and larger washrooms. We had a cabin at back of the ship on 7th floor. There was so much creaking and weird banging noises that it was extremely hard to sleep. It was every night. This cruise had a lot of kids on it because of spring break. There was an adult only area but there were kids in this area too. Be careful not to trip over them, they run around through you to try to be first in line to see their characters. Don't take this cruise unless you love Disney a lot. If you want to see Mexico, use Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We sailed the Disney Fantasy this past December. There was Disney magic at every turn, we loved it. We are seasoned cruisers, with 75+ cruises. The Disney Wonder, where do I begin? The excellent: The Golden Mickey, Frozen and Dream ... Read More
We sailed the Disney Fantasy this past December. There was Disney magic at every turn, we loved it. We are seasoned cruisers, with 75+ cruises. The Disney Wonder, where do I begin? The excellent: The Golden Mickey, Frozen and Dream shows. The character experiences and the Kids Club. The Bad: Very poor service in dining room, luke warm food to cold food. The taste was terrible. We never had our drinks refilled, pepper offered, minimal interaction with our table. On the Disney Fantasy, the staff are calling your by name, doing magic tricks with the kids etc. The food was very good on the Fantasy and it was served hot. The Cabana's food was just okay, like at a Denny's. Our stateroom host was friendly and kind. Our stateroom 7067 had mold around the tub. Screws falling out from door stops. The walls were beat up. He could never remember what time we had dinner however. Our stateroom would get cleaned about 2:00 pm or after. We would come back after eating at 5:30 and the 8:30 dinner shows and our stateroom would not have been turned down or cleaned from showers taken before dinner. Our ports were Cabo and Ensenada. Our granddaughter did the kids dolphin encounter ($100.00) at Cabo Adventures. She loved it and we loved watching her. The photos's were $300.00 Embarkation and disembarkation were seamless. We have done the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at the parks, about six times. On the Disney Fantasy once, and on the Wonder this pass cruise. Oh my, not the experience you pay for on the Wonder. On The Fantasy we bought the three trips into BBB, the pirate day was so fun on the Fantasy. Speaking of Pirate show. The Wonder's pirate night is NOT what you get on the Fantasy. It is one short show and no pirate buffet afterwards. Yes, no turkey legs. On the Fantasy you have a Character pirate show, then a big production of Jack Sparrow and friends show. All pirate buffet. The fireworks were the same. They are now giving you large containers of soap, shampoo and conditioner. No cute pillows on the bed of When you wish upon a star. DCL commands at least a 50% premium. I would NOT sail on the Wonder. I would sail on the Fantasy. No comparison. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
An exceptional (whole family) vacation experience - we highly recommend! The brand name might scare all us 6 star luxury cruises away, (I certainly was for years!), but I will admit Disney delivered a fantastic product for everyone of ... Read More
An exceptional (whole family) vacation experience - we highly recommend! The brand name might scare all us 6 star luxury cruises away, (I certainly was for years!), but I will admit Disney delivered a fantastic product for everyone of us 'kids' (from 3 to 73). The 4 Cabins and Suites we booked were all well appointed, dining was a lot of fun and always delicious, and the entertainment was Disney quality. Surprises for the kids were everywhere on the ship. The product is also VERY expensive when you consider it is not all inclusive - full stop... And you will leave the ship with another 3K in shipboard expenses … But there are enough (adult) spaces to keep the ship classy, and more than enough (child friendly) spaces to keep them all busy and happy - and this is why we were onboard. We all had a wonderful time, a perfect family week escape. Disney delivers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We sailed on the Wonder 10 years ago with our then 1 year old and had the most glorious time. We had since cruised on both the Fantasy and Allure of the Seas, so it’s interesting to compare experiences. The Wonder feels very small ... Read More
We sailed on the Wonder 10 years ago with our then 1 year old and had the most glorious time. We had since cruised on both the Fantasy and Allure of the Seas, so it’s interesting to compare experiences. The Wonder feels very small compared with those larger ships. I love that it’s quick to get anywhere on board. We never felt particularly crowded except around the pool. We all felt the ships movement much more than the larger ships but overall I quite liked the size. Just wish there was more space around the pool!! I LOVE the magical Disney touches. Disney music piped in the halls, the horn’s tune, entertainment, themed restaurants. It seemed like most people on the cruise were there primarily for the Disney-ness of it all. Service was good. Not as over the top as it was 10 years ago but still good. We had two major disappointments. Our kids hated the kids club! I couldn’t believe it. Especially my daughter who loves participation in kids activities. She said she couldn’t understand the staff because of their accents. Second was the wifi. My hubby needs to stay connected for work so he bought the highest package of 1000 MB that claimed “will suit all needs including streaming shows”. What a joke! He burned through that in just a couple days of periodic email checking and one hour’s worth of work. And yes, he logged out of the wifi each time. It was also insanely slow. We had perfect wifi when we cruised on the Allure so assumed it would be similar. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
They sent as a coupon. 1) My husband booked me a 2 hours spa treatment. I was taken in late for my treatment, while i did the seaweed wrap the therapist left the room , and never bothered to come check on me, and ask how i was doing. ... Read More
They sent as a coupon. 1) My husband booked me a 2 hours spa treatment. I was taken in late for my treatment, while i did the seaweed wrap the therapist left the room , and never bothered to come check on me, and ask how i was doing. The massage was probably the worst massage i have ever had. Once the treatment was done, she was trying to sell me $ 350+ worth of products, and trying to talk me into purchasing additional treatments, by pointing out my skin is sagging, my eyes are puffy etc.....very intelligent:) They put a bottle of water in your room, but there was no label or warning that they were going to charge you $ 5.75 for it! When we got the final bill they raised the daily mandatory tips at $ 14.50/person. The food in the buffet was same every single day, without a fail. As far as entertainment, not much , there was only one show worth the time in the whole week. In the day time , the ship was like a dormant boring place, unless you had plenty of cash to spare you would keep yourself entertained because all they did , tried to sell you anything. The library had no books, other than speciality travel books and such. To conclude, I think I am pretty much done cruising. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Background- We ended up on this cruise because we waited too long to book for our planned Caribbean cruise and this was what was available with a good selection of cabins at the last minute. We are an extended family of 12 from 16 to 82 ... Read More
Background- We ended up on this cruise because we waited too long to book for our planned Caribbean cruise and this was what was available with a good selection of cabins at the last minute. We are an extended family of 12 from 16 to 82 and we booked 5 cabins. Some of us are from Southern CA and that made this a convenient cruise as it was out of San Diego. We parked at the Wyndham across from the cruise terminal. This is incredibly convenient and was only $11 per day. We dropped luggage and people off and then went and parked the car. The walk is only about 5 minutes. We parked around 11:30 and were on board by 12:30. The embarkation process was smooth, lines were not too bad and staff was as quick as possible and friendly. The cabins were ready and we dropped everything off and we were in the buffet before 1. Internet- My SIL bought middle tier on embarkation Sunday it was $99.99 for the entire cruise. I bought the middle tier just after midnight at about 1 AM Monday and it was $89.99 for the duration of cruise. For the most part the internet worked well all over the ship and my cabin but at times it would be spotty or stop working for a bit. Checking in water- We checked in 3 flats of water, no problem. They were delivered to our cabins. One flat was still intact at the end of the cruise and my brother checked it as luggage for debarkation. The water was delivered in tact with our luggage on arrival and at baggage claim on debarkation. Entertainment- BB King- Great band, very talented musicians, especially the trumpet player. The female was ill and only sang the last night. Billboard- Fun piano bar duo, the male had just got on board when we did. Lincoln Center- Again great musicians Stage Shows- Enjoyed 1000 Steps, not so crazy about One World. 4 in our group left One World after about 3 minutes. Comedian excellent. Really enjoyed the BBC Earth with live orchestra. I did not see the magician or the show the final night that was the comedian and magician with new material. Activities- Really enjoyed the Mexican ambassadors. Great entertainment with the folkloric shows. They also had dance classes, language lessons and art classes. Not much of interest to our group in the AM on sea days though. No morning trivia like all other lines I have been on. It seemed that all of the activities we would enjoy were lumped at the same time in the afternoon. This is one area this ship could be improved. Food- Loved that at the buffet the staff serves the majority of the food. I dislike using the same serving utensils as hundreds as other people so this was a biggie to us. We all agreed that the food was great in both the Lido and the MDR. Great fries at Dive In. Tried a piece of pizza and it was OK. Compared to Carnival, Celebrity and RCL, we all agreed this was the best food we have had. Liked that there was a legitimate late night buffet each night from 10:30 to 11:30. Staff- Incredibly friendly and accommodating. Top end of what we have experienced on other lines. I have no complaints about the staff, they were really amazing. Other guests- I was expecting an older crowd but it was actually skewed more to middle age, with some younger and some older. There were about 1/3 the number of kids on the ship per our waiter vs. the holiday weeks prior to ours. Kids running around at the pool was a bit dangerous and no one said anything. Ship- nice small size and in very good shape. No smoking indoors!!!! Cabins- I was in an obstructed OV. The view was mostly of one of the shorter life boats so we could see light and some things over the life boat. The cabin seemed smaller than other ships but the bathroom was much better with a tub, room to actually move around some. Lots of cabinets and storage, we did not even need it all. Two cabins in our group with balcony and they said they seemed small, they looked average to me. TV- I did not watch much but there was a very good selection of live TV, movies, America's Test Kitchen, etc. plus the dinner menu. I was on one ship with so little TV it became a joke that I kept watching the same episode of Big Bank Theory over and over in various languages! Ports- Cabo- Two of us booked a private excursion to bird watch, there were a couple of issues but it turned out nicely in the end. The others in our group booked with HAL a dolphin interaction (their original choice was cancelled and they did not know until they showed up in the AM, HAL had delivered a letter but they did not read it!) They loved it but the pictures they sell were outrageous, something like $160. 2 booked scuba, 2 a boat tour to El Arco and 3 snorkeling trip to Chileno Bay all with HAL, they said all the trips were great. After tours some shopped and hit bars/restaurants. 1 did not get off the ship. Tendering was smooth, we needed off early to meet our private tour and we got number 2. Show up earlier than posted to get your tender number if you want off early. Mazatlan- 5 of us did the Birding and Estuaries. It was wonderful, I really enjoyed this trip. It ended with lunch and a short amount of beach time. I am a birder, as is my Mom, the other 3 from our group are not birders. This is not a hard core trip for birders, there were some other birders on our trip but most just were there for the nature experience. Others booked a private ATV trip and said it was lots of fun. The rest booked Nautical Heritage by Land and Sea. They really enjoyed the trip that included a boat tour, watching the cliff divers and a bus tour of Mazatlan. After my birding and estuaries tour 3 of us hired an open air taxi to take us to the cliff divers, the church and a general drive around. Very nice, highly recommend as well. PV- 4 of us did the Dolphins, Whales and Marietas Islands trip. It is at least 1 hour by boat to the islands. Once there we snorkeled, kayaked and paddle boarded. After we had lunch and drinks on the ship. Then we looked at the blue footed boobies found there and then whale watching. There were tons of colorful fish. During the whale watching we saw 25 to 30 whales, many at very close range. It was awesome. This was booked with HAL but ran by Vallarta Adventures. 4 others did a trip that was a speed boat, snorkeling, horseback riding, lunch, waterfall, etc. They said it was great. The other 4 did a private tour zip that they loved. We were in port until 11 PM so Rhythms of the Night was offered as a ship excursion meeting at 5:20 PM and back about 11. Although a bit pricey, it was fantastic. There was about a 45 minute boat ride to a candle lit/tiki torch lit location with a fantastic dinner buffet. After dinner was a Mexican themed Cirque du Soleil type show that we loved. The benches were incredibly uncomfortable though. The speed boat and night show were also run by Vallarta Adventures. Bonus- I love that they had 2 staff on board dedicated to helping you organize port visits on your own without booking an excursion. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was my 23rd cruise, and I like to offer my insights. I like to start with positives so here we go: Staff is amazingly helpful. Ship is immaculate. Storage is amazing on this ship. Closets, cabinets, shelving, compartments. ... Read More
This was my 23rd cruise, and I like to offer my insights. I like to start with positives so here we go: Staff is amazingly helpful. Ship is immaculate. Storage is amazing on this ship. Closets, cabinets, shelving, compartments. Everything was terrific. Elevators are really fast and never crowded. Cabins have a great amount of USB ports so you don’t have to lug charging bricks with you. Loved the makeup mirror they give you in the cabinet. The LED reading lights are terrific. The free movie selection in the room was unparalleled! Truly the best ever offered on a ship. For once, the pictures were lovely. No hard sell, very good value and the best, they had REASONABLY priced photo gifts that the produced right on the ship. BB Kings location and music was terrific! It’s enclosed and the acoustics are lovely. Much better than the Konigsdam which was wide open and had no ambiance of a club. Now for the real issues: This was our 3rd New Years cruise on HAL and the first time there was NOT ONE table to put your drink on while you were enjoying the New Years party near the pool. I looked at pictures from the Konigsdam and saw all of the high top tables around the deck. We had the 8pm seating for dinner and were NOT offered ANY New Years party favors. The ship has horrible plumbing issues. We had standing water in shower and backed up toilets constantly. Other people had brown water in bathroom sink and was told at first that it was ok to use to brush your teeth. Then Later, was not to use it. This ship doesn’t have a “sports bar” per-se but there are so many TV’s around and they just didn’t have enough viewing locations for all the college bowl games and NFL playoffs Some smaller issues: no laundry bags in room. If you make the mistake and take the bag marked “laundry” bag, you will be charged $15. The daily activities were pretty much non-existent. If I had not been on three other HAL cruises, I would have just chased it up to the “target” demographic but I must tell you, I think this is a direct reflection of the “middle aged” cruise director who just doesn’t necessarily care about making the shop have varied activities. On deck 11, there’s an area where they do all the cultural talks. I don’t know why they don’t utilize the same seating area and show movies so people don’t have to stay coupes up in their rooms if they want to watch a movie. There should be scheduled movie times crwatingvan atmosphere of socialization! It wasn’t until the last day at sea that I saw coloring pencils in the Fugi craft area. Why the ship didn’t let people know there was an adult “coloring ” time is beyond me. The food was ok. Nothing special and certainly nothing like other Holland ships. When they say “rack of lamb” but serve two pancake thin lamb chops, this is NOT rack of lamb. The food in Lido was mediocre to say the least. The bakery selection for breakfast was terrible and the eggs (scrambled) were just inedible. I don’t understand why the “daily menu” selections were not printed in the menu every day considering the menu was not very good. Ships should move over to paper straws rather than discontinue straws (on request only) Port of San Dirgobwas very easy for both embarkation and disembarkation. There were over 280 kids this week but the ship didn’t change anything on the daily program. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The embarkation process in San Diego was the easiest I have ever experienced. It may be because it is smaller and we were the only ship loading, but security, registration and boarding took 15-20 minutes in total. The Ship: As ... Read More
The embarkation process in San Diego was the easiest I have ever experienced. It may be because it is smaller and we were the only ship loading, but security, registration and boarding took 15-20 minutes in total. The Ship: As usual, HAL does a great job with decorating for Christmas in a classic, tasteful way. A gingerbread village was on Deck 1 in the Atrium and smelled so good when you were anywhere near it. I did notice a few less decorated trees this year (this is the 6th Christmas cruise my family has taken). The ship itself was in good repair, and we noticed some upgrades in the public areas from our last cruise on the Eurodam in March of 2018, including carpeting and seating in all public areas. They had reinstituted a book exchange in the Crow’s Nest and games, including 2 permanent Danish large wood games, can now be found in the Gallery Bar adjoining the casino (puzzles were still upstairs in the Crow’s Nest). I have always loved the Gallery Bar for the quiet atmosphere since it is tucked away, although it was less quiet on this cruise when the extra children and families on board for the holidays used it as a hangout. Still it was nice to have a place to go and they have many more games available than before. I have been fortunate/blessed enough on all my cruises to have had at least a balcony cabin and many have been in suites, but for some reason the balcony (class VF) on the Eurodam seemed smaller than usual to me. However, it was clean and comfortable. The cabin stewards were friendly and efficient, and we always enjoy having adjoining cabins so the balcony portion can be opened to allow travel between the rooms. It allows us to use an open/closed curtain system to know when others are willing to be disturbed. Our first two days were at sea, including Christmas Day, which was very relaxing on board. Ports: This was our first cruise out of San Diego and to the Mexican Baja Peninsula so we enjoyed the new places. San Diego is as beautiful as I heard. The hills, water and walkable streets were a feast for the senses and we especially enjoyed our time eating our way through Little Italy. There is a beautiful Catholic church there where we attended services. I was excited to visit the old Love Boat route, having grown up watching that show and always wishing I could be Julie McCoy. Our first stop at Puerta Vallarta was entertaining as we booked a walking food tour in the old part of the city (vallartafoodtours.com/food-tours/). Our tour guide Bernardo was knowledgeable and friendly. It was 3 ½ hours so a lot of walking was involved but all pretty much on flat ground- just wear good walking shoes. We stopped and 8 places sampling 9 types of food and drink. I can’t name a favorite because I enjoyed the chocolate shop, agua fresca, tuba water, street tacos and everything so much! I highly recommend this tour that was a 10 minute ride from the ship, which included history, a visit to the historic church and across the bridge to the island. The iguanas roaming the streets were entertaining. Note: the taxi from the ship areas was $24 for 3 of use to the meeting place at the end of the boardwalk. The ride back from in town was only $8 for all of us. I am sure there are risks with walking outside the ship area to get a taxi but it would be considerably cheaper. On the way back we had our driver drop us at the Walmart that was across the street from the cruise port. We always enjoy walking into foreign grocery stores to see the different products and we struck gold here, buying a liter of Kahlua for $8.50 USD! We were less thrilled with Mazatlán. After reading about State Department warning, we only briefly walked outside the cruise ship area here, not venturing into the old town. It requires a tram ride from the ship to the cruise terminal area where many shops and vendors await, as it is a working, busy port. I did buy something at an ice cream stand ($3 minimum purchase) so I could obtain wifi and get email from work. We also enjoyed margaritas and spicy chips and homemade salsa at the bar in the center of the plaza. The next stop was Cabo, which was a clear favorite. The areas we visited (historic, shopping and port areas) were clean, felt very safe and we enjoyed a visit to Cabo Wabo Cantina for delicious, spicy fajitas and ceviche, as well as delicious tequila based drinks. The food and drink prices there and at the bar we stopped at on the waterfront were very reasonable. Cabo was beautiful as we entered and beautiful as we left. It was definitely a place I would come back and visit for a longer period of time. We would have liked more time there than the 6 hours we had, since we had to be back on board at 2:30 and really be prepared even earlier to head back since it required a tender. We then enjoyed a final day at sea before arriving back in San Diego on Sunday where the disembarkation process was easy as well. We waited in our cabin after a quick breakfast (a welcome benefit for HAL who lets you do this) until our time to exit was called. We quickly found our luggage and exited the terminal. Again because it is small, it is easy to get beyond the secured area to pick up an Uber or taxi to the airport. Food and Drinks: Although HAL has a pretty clear brand, over my many voyages there has been variability as to the quality of the food, really meaning between good and great. This trip fell into the great category and is a testament to the Hotel Director, as well as the head chef and chief bakers. Perhaps because Hal caters to an older crowd who may be more conscious of a lower salt diet, I have found food on other trips to be a little bland. Not so on this trip, where the proper use of salt in all items, including bread made the products more flavorful. The desserts had a fresher, more vibrant taste, as did our entrees in the dining room and food from the Lido Market. We enjoyed all of the specialty restaurants at least once (using our newly acquired Mariner discount) and all were enjoyable. Canaletto in particular was a better experience than on prior trips as the food quality was good and the service was at least twice as fast on prior visits. A major concern about this venue to the time it takes to order and receive different courses. This was a much improved experience and they have now added an additional entrée as a special of the day. I would like to see that at all of the specialty restaurants as it adds something different if you have dined there many times. We did attend afternoon tea on two occasions, one with plated services and one with waiters walking around serving. The food, consistent with the other dining venues, was better on this cruise. The Lido Buffet was very good (an effusive thank you to Rouisa who served us breakfast at the Lido most mornings we ate there- the friendliest employee HAL has). Denada was another roving server in the Lido who was always welcoming. Beverage service on this cruise was some hit and some miss. They had 5 specialty holiday cocktails we enjoyed trying, both throughout the trip and at a $15 bar class where we tried 3 of the specialty cocktails and took home the recipes. One pour note (sorry for the bad pun but I couldn’t resist): they have a new Dale DeGroff cocktail menu and we were excited to try some cocktails. However, it was only 2 weeks old and they did not have all the correct ingredients listed so the bartender liberally used substitutes. However, you cannot substitute cinnamon syrup in a drink with ground cinnamon and think it is the same. Other substitutions were for cheaper brands of liquor, or leaving out ingredients altogether. The bar tender apologized and we actually asked him to remake one drink because he didn’t measure and it tasted awful. I was disappointed to pay anything for these drinks and believe they should have told us upfront that they could not make the requested items. Also, for new drinks, measuring ingredients is necessary, even for experienced bartenders. As mentioned, we enjoyed the holiday drinks, particularly one called the Christmas Cookie and other HAL menu staples such as the Tropical Cable Car, but found significant variations from bar to bar as to taste and alcohol level. In another instance, we were given two wine lists in the main dining room and had no problems ordering from both (the older one being much more extensive). However, at the Pinnacle the next night, the wine steward did not want to give us the old menu, stating that most of the wines in it had been discontinued. In fact, our choice of a bottle was not available. To her credit, she did substitute a similar type that was a few dollars more for the same price. All in all, some consistency from bar to bar is still needed. Entertainment and Other: My only other comment is regarding Internet service. The HAL app is very useful and I like being able to see events, my shipboard account and keep track of ship time using my phone or iPad. However, when I purchased the Internet package (mid-tier so I could keep in touch with work), it would download the message line of emails, but never download the content so I could read the body. These were not emails with large attachments, and my sole visit to the customer service desk on this trip was to ask if there was a problem with the Internet. The response was that we were at sea so it could be slower. Clearly never getting an email to fully download (even after 20 minutes) is more than being slow. However, they promptly refunded the full charge to my account when I asked for a refund due to the service issue. Although I stopped and listened at BB King, Billboard and Lincoln Center a few times I did not partake in any scheduled nightly entertainment. I did want to see the comedy show that only had one viewing, but by the time we arrived at the theatre, it was already standing room only. It seemed there were a few more activities scheduled, including dance classes and we enjoyed the EXE talks about Mexico’s history and geology. I remain a loyal HAL cruiser and continue my journey towards 4-star before I retire and take my 30+ day cruise as a reward. This trip was better than most, and our next cruise was already booked several months ago so my new countdown has begun! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Chose this ship because we had a great experience 8 years ago on their cruise to Alaska. This was frankly very disappointing. Unlike the previous cruise most everything besides meals is extra. I mean like diet cokes , even WATER! They try ... Read More
Chose this ship because we had a great experience 8 years ago on their cruise to Alaska. This was frankly very disappointing. Unlike the previous cruise most everything besides meals is extra. I mean like diet cokes , even WATER! They try to up sell you on everything you do. Even Bingo.. They charged $2.50 for a pen! Outrageous. Then, in the gym, 3 out of 5 bikes worked. Stuff was not working. Also, more maddening than anything.. The wifi was useless. It barely worked and they charged 128 for premium! It was dial up speeds if any. Will never do this again with them. Excursions were ok.. Standard stuff. Room lighting was abysmal.. Couldn't read very well and again wifi non existant. 5 TV channels.. Wow. Pool and deck are fine, food lines very slow. No self service anymore probably due to health risks.. Dining room is again an upsell.. Lobsters 20 extra with no meat on them. Would rather eat dinner in Lido deck. The whole thing was very nickel and dime.. Not what I was thinking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise as friends took it last year and really liked it. I cruised with my parents whom did not want to take this trip by themselves; they are in their 70's, I am in my early 50's. I have cruised in the past with ... Read More
We chose this cruise as friends took it last year and really liked it. I cruised with my parents whom did not want to take this trip by themselves; they are in their 70's, I am in my early 50's. I have cruised in the past with Celebrity and this is my first Holland America cruise so wasn't sure what to expect. The ship was always very clean and all of the staff was very friendly! We were on deck 7 Forward cabin 7014. Our stewards were wonderful; always friendly and very service oriented. We enjoyed watching the Mexican Embassadors performances several times during the cruise. They sang, danced, gave a few talks and gave dance lessons, it was very fun! The food was always very, very good! We chose 'anytime' dining and it turned out to be a good decision as we were never in the dining room at the same hour. We did notice however that the staff was always very, very busy and although everyone was very service oriented, happy and friendly, sometimes it seemed like we were an afterthought once they had completed all other tasks. One evening we waiting for a long time to catch someone's attention to get coffee and refill our water. The food however was excellent! I can not say enough good things about the food. I love poached eggs and the ones in the main dining room for breakfast were EXCELLENT and perfectly cooked! The reason I gave them an 4 and not a 5 is that in my opinion they did not have a enough activities. I do not want the Royal Caribbean activities, but more activities and shows. On port days they had a movie at 8pm! We saw the same magician twice and a show with the dancers. We are used to better shows, entertainment and more enthusiasm on Celebrity. The cruise director was ok, she was was an MC at times, nothing that made an impression. The ports were very nice and we truly enjoyed our cruise, I plan to take it again with my husband (who was not able to go this time due to work). Happy cruising! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We simply chose the Holland America volendam because the dates fit in with several of the party we were cruising with. We do enjoy Holland America and our only bad experience out of 7 sailings with them has been on the veendam in the ... Read More
We simply chose the Holland America volendam because the dates fit in with several of the party we were cruising with. We do enjoy Holland America and our only bad experience out of 7 sailings with them has been on the veendam in the spring 2018 so we were a bit anxious about this booking on the volendam. We were absolutely delighted with our experience on the volume down. She is well maintained. Her food is excellent. The crew was extremely friendly. when we had any issue the staff bent over backwards to help us work it out. If we submitted a common card with anything the least bit negative we got a phone call to our stateroom and if we were not in our stateroom to take the call we got a note on our door. They then followed up to make sure every little thing was perfect. of the seven sailings with Holland America in the last two years I have to say this was probably our best overall experience, even though we did enjoy all of our other sailings except on the veendam. What I'm coming to realize is that most ships seem to go through a low period, And then if the company is smart measures are taken to get its act together and correct their weaknesses and make the ship much more pleasing and accommodating to passengers. The volendam is the same class of ship as the veendam and westerdam. As beautiful as a koningsdam and the eurodam are we do enjoy the smaller ships and this class a ship that the volume down is in is somewhere between 1300 and 1450 passengers. A great experience and we would definitely cruise on her again. It was really hard to even find constructive criticism to give on our end of cruise survey. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Beware! There are many gimmicks, schemes, and hoaxes running rampant on the Eurodam. My family of 5 just returned from a 10 day cruise RT San Diego on December 9, 2018. My family and I were trusting and gullible and fell for many ... Read More
Beware! There are many gimmicks, schemes, and hoaxes running rampant on the Eurodam. My family of 5 just returned from a 10 day cruise RT San Diego on December 9, 2018. My family and I were trusting and gullible and fell for many appealing offers that never panned out. We received a $40.00 credit for 2 photos from Costco that the Photo Gallery staff did not want to redeem, and ultimately, they provided 2 unflattering photos that we did not select. We received 4 coupons for $50.00 off spa services that the spa staff did not want to honor, at least not before having a stressful argument. There were daily notices to pick up a "free" sapphire or charm, but upon arrival at the designated time and place, the lady was not there to provide them. "Come for coffee, scrapbooking and quilling craft class!", but there was no coffee, no scrapbooking, and there was pressure to purchase the HA quilling kit for $14.99 per person. "Come to the American Test Kitchen Program about Steaks!" but over 100 passengers showed up and the class was cancelled; "Come for the Gnocchi Cooking Class!", but that, too, was cancelled. We often felt duped by the lure, and then the bait and switch. If an offer is made, or a coupon is provided, it should be honored graciously, without a struggle. Nothing came easy with the HA staff. They tried to renege at every opportunity. If they don't want to give out anything at a discount or free, fine, but they should not make claims about "special offers" and welsh instead. Be wary! Internet on board costs 75 cents PER MINUTE!!! Be wary! Book your SHORE EXCURSIONS online prior to your trip, since HA excursions cost $50.00 to $75.00 MORE PER PERSON for the exact same excursion by the exact same company--another rip off. There were so many disappointments from the contractors on this ship--be careful! HOWEVER--the hardworking crew were outstanding--the room stewards, waiters, food staff, cleaners, towel animal crafters, florists, etc! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our 41st cruise and 10th on HAL. The ship is only about 10 years old and is very nice and well kept-up being quite clean comfortable and smooth sailing. Our only disappointment was the food in the main dining room... the ... Read More
This was our 41st cruise and 10th on HAL. The ship is only about 10 years old and is very nice and well kept-up being quite clean comfortable and smooth sailing. Our only disappointment was the food in the main dining room... the selections left much to be desired, food arrived barely warm and the meat (steak and prime rib) was never cooked as ordered (either too rare or too done), Service in the dining was spotty and ranged from poor to good, but never exceptional. Actually the Lido had a much better selection, food was always hot and was better prepared. Dive-In and Pizza were not worth waiting for. All in all we did have a very nice cruise except for the above and we hope that HAL will do better in the future. I think that Master Chef Rudi wold not be too pleased with the lowering of HAL's food over the past several cruises. However I feel that we will still sail with HAL as we prefer sailing from San Diego and not Los Angeles (we live in Arizona and do not fly any more). Read Less
Sail Date November 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
definitely very disappointed ! An expensive and bad cruise. It is not worth the price paid . Poorly organized cruise.. The port adventures White House Beach in Grand Cayman and Cabo San Lucas by Sea were a scam. the food of low ... Read More
definitely very disappointed ! An expensive and bad cruise. It is not worth the price paid . Poorly organized cruise.. The port adventures White House Beach in Grand Cayman and Cabo San Lucas by Sea were a scam. the food of low quality. Only two good shows in 14 nights. the parties of pirates and frozen were very poor . and the worst was the mistreatment received in front of an inconvenience with our luggage upon disembarkation. It was our fourth Disney cruise and I do not recommend it. is not at the level of the Fantasy or the Magic .. The staff works discontent and often does not treat the passenger well. The new system of selling the photos on board is a scam. positive: the activities of the children were good as always, and they enjoyed them, but the adults felt cheated (there were three families and we had three cabins) Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Geez where do I start. This was our 8th cruise on Disney. For Halloween, they only brought out 4 characters for 2 hours dressed in Halloween attire. The first day and rest of second we’re in traditional attire. The 4 characters were ... Read More
Geez where do I start. This was our 8th cruise on Disney. For Halloween, they only brought out 4 characters for 2 hours dressed in Halloween attire. The first day and rest of second we’re in traditional attire. The 4 characters were Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and Goofy- no villains. Trick or treat was at 2p for 30 mins at 7 stations on Deck 3,4. Trick or treat bags were delivered to rooms but many did not not receive them. The cruise line seems like they are getting really cheap. We use to receive a welcome letter from Cast a way club when we arrived in our room Day 1- or any more. In the past we always sailed Concierge. We always felt the services were below par so this cruise we were in a 4a room which was so small with a tiny shower for a short person. On a past cruise we saw the Concierge attendant come down with a group of guest and let them off first for Walk off. They filed to tell us about this and we were knee deep in a crowd waiting to get off. Sadly, the same happened on this cruise to a concierge guest waiting disembark for walk off. At the same time I was telling her family what happened to us, the concierge attendant comes down with a group of guests and let’s them off while they were waiting in line. I also noticed none of the concierge guest had a lithograph. Disney has gotten so controlling and cheap. The first day there were only 2 characters in the lobby. We did not relieve tip sheet and comment card until 10p the night before we disembarked. The ship was still showing Golden Mickey (zzzzzz) and Frozen. No music acts. Time for a change. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Disney gone cheap. Halloween bags not delivered to room, only four characters appeared once each in Halloween outfit over a 2 hour period, 2p trick treat at 7 stations on deck 3,4, no Halloween on Day 1 and only 2 characters in lobby. Cat ... Read More
Disney gone cheap. Halloween bags not delivered to room, only four characters appeared once each in Halloween outfit over a 2 hour period, 2p trick treat at 7 stations on deck 3,4, no Halloween on Day 1 and only 2 characters in lobby. Cat room 4a very small. Characters were common 4..no villains or scary ones. Boring. Concierge guests did not receive lithograph and had Stich at Private meet and greet. Shows were Frozen and Golden Mickeys. Time for a change. Concierge guests were not told of private escort for walk off. Little upset when they were standing in line and saw concierge escort group off so htem. Same happened to us on the Magic. Checked in online first day, first minute but was assigned group 9 at cruise terminal. First to check in at port. Tip sheet and comment card were delivered to room at 11p. No bag tags were ever deleivered . Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My wife and I were on Holland America's Niew Amsterdam for its 18-day cruise through the Panama Canal, departing San Diego October 3, 2018 and arriving in Ft. Lauderdale on the 21st. Though we had many good-to-great experiences on ... Read More
My wife and I were on Holland America's Niew Amsterdam for its 18-day cruise through the Panama Canal, departing San Diego October 3, 2018 and arriving in Ft. Lauderdale on the 21st. Though we had many good-to-great experiences on this voyage we also had far too many disappointing ones. Highlights of the good-to-great experiences are as follows: 1. The ship's decor is spectacular, a feast for the eyes, beautifully color-coordinated with attractive furniture, fixtures and (especially) carpeting. 2. Staff universally were dedicated to pleasing passengers. Theirs was a "can do" attitude, always served with a smile. 3. Though a large ship (2,000+ passengers), it never felt crowded and there was never a sense of having to stand in long lines. Even entering and exiting the ship was an effortless process, always well-managed. 4. Even with winds and relatively high swells no one seemed to get motion-sick. The ship was wonderfully stable at all speeds. 5. Entertainment was excellent, especially the five young women (playing two violins, one viola, one cello and one piano) in the Lincoln Center Stage and the two individuals playing piano at night in the Billboard Lounge. The Holland America singers and dancers in the Main Stage also were excellent at their crafts. 6. There were many dining venues. Ratings below are from 1 (average) to 4 (excellent): Food Quality Service Value Lido Buffet--2 1 3 Main Dining--6 2 2 Tamarind--3 4 4 3 Pinnacle Grill--2 4 4 3 Canaletto--3 3 4 3 Sel de Mer--2 4 4 3 There were upcharges ranging from $15 per person at Canaletto to $49 per person at Rudi's Sel de Mer. A value rating was given only to the last four restaurants, which were the upcharge restaurants. The numbers following each restaurant's name are the number of nights we ate there. In total we spent $596 in upcharge costs on this trip. Having one bad experience aboard a Holland America ship is understandable and acceptable. Nothing is perfect. However, we had eight experiences that were disappointing (spa, hydropool, food quality in Lido buffet and Main Dining, smoking on ship, bingo, ports of call scheduled, ports skipped and our excursion-related drop-off at the Ft. Lauderdale airport. 1.Spa services were seriously over-priced and spa staff members were unpleasantly aggressive in selling spa products and services. Spa promotions appeared at first blush to offer real bargains but the fine print said otherwise. My wife and I had two couples massages, both of which were fine for my wife. My first massage was so mechanical in was not at all relaxing, so I requested a different therapist for the second one and she was fine. The first therapist was extremely pushy in selling me skin products, which I promptly returned (unused) three days after I'd purchased them. The spa staff person reluctantly processing my refund made it clear she was not happy with my return. 2. The spa's hydropool was OK but was incredibly over-priced. We were not familiar with the Niew Amsterdam's hydropool but assumed it was as large and enjoyable as the one on the Holland American's Koningsdam, which it was not. At $599 for the entire cruise--no daily pricing offered-the hydropool was a total ripoff. We and one other couple apparently were the only two families naive enough to pay $599 so we had the hydropool to ourselves the entire cruise. 3. If the food in the Lido Buffet and Main Dining had been better we would not have gone to the upcharge restaurants so frequently, far more often than we originally intended to do, spending an unbudgeted $596 as a result. 4. Smoking was permitted on the aft deck of the ship on the same level as the Sea View swimming pools, one of the two pools on this ship. We would have enjoyed using that pool because it was not covered by a roof, and it was wide open in terms of views whereas the main pool was enclosed on four sides. Also, the main pool became hot and humid when the roof was covered, which happened frequently. 5. Bingo was over-priced and my perception is that it was literally impossible to win the large cash prize until the last day bingo was played. Consequently, passengers who played bingo daily in order to try winning the large prize (growing from about $1,400 to about $2,200 at the end) spent a lot of money buying cards that probably could not win until the last day, when numbers continued to be called until a winner yelled "bingo!" I say "probably could not win" for two reasons. First, to cover 24 squares (plus "free") within the first 50 numbers called is mathematically almost impossible. Second, because the ship knew which cards were being played it would be easy to program the electronics of the numbers being called to assure that those numbers ensure no one could win. 6. As readers can learn by reading the itinerary for this cruise, the ports of call are not all that great to begin with. We have cruised on Holland America at least seven or eight times and another 5 to 10 times on other ships so we should have known better than to select this cruise. It fit conveniently into our schedules, and included the Panama Canal, but we could have chosen better. 7. We had more sea days than planned (10 days on an 18-day cruise when we had no opportunity to go ashore, versus 8 days originally scheduled as Sea days). High winds prevented the ship from entering one port in Mexico and in another port (Coast Rica) high swells prevented passengers from boarding the ship's tenders for the ride to shore. Both decisions reflected the captain's concerns for the health and safety of the passengers and crew. Nonetheless, Holland America could have offered some token as recompense for the missed ports, but did not. 8. Because we would be getting off the ship October 21 at 8:30 a.m. and our flight home was not until after 5 p.m. we signed up for a four-hour land and sea excursion, which was delightful. The bad part about it was the tour director, Bonnie, having the bus driver take her back to her car, which was parked at the port, before the driver took 40-50 of us to the airport. When we got to the airport two things happened. First, there were some missed luggage issues, eventually corrected with the help of other bus drivers, because our driver spoke virtually no english. The tour director should have been on our bus, at the airport, to resolve those problems instantly. Second, in sending us off to the airport Bonnie said I was to exit the bus at the third of three stops, but using mainly gestures the driver insisted we exit at the second stop, which turned out to be considerably farther from our check-in counter than the third stop would have been. By dumping us out at the second stop the driver then had an empty bus and could skip the third stop. It was a long walk, up an incline, for me. And if a kind airport employee had not offered to get a wheelchair for my wife it would have been a much longer and tougher walk for her. Overall our cruise had many attractive and enjoyable features. Unfortunately, it also had far too many disappointing experiences. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018

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