38 San Diego Luxury Cruise Reviews

We have previously sailed on Crystal Serenity. Both cruises our suite was beautifully furnished and very comfortable. Since we had cruised the Bahamas in past years, we wanted a different itinerary. So we decided to Hawaii would be a ... Read More
We have previously sailed on Crystal Serenity. Both cruises our suite was beautifully furnished and very comfortable. Since we had cruised the Bahamas in past years, we wanted a different itinerary. So we decided to Hawaii would be a nice change. Embarkation started off a little rocky, Crystal was trying out a new system and it took awhile to get information into an iPad. Our cabin was ready when we boarded. However, we were shocked and horrified after entering our penthouse suite 1035 to see duct tape all around a door connecting to another suite. Yes, duct tape. Then we looked at the furniture. First you see a big wooden desk that is old and shows a lot of wear. Nicks and dents in the wood. Then looking at the carpet you could see it was stained in places. The rest of the furniture was also worn and shabby. Shabby is probably a good description of this suite. This was very depressing. We try to book a suite when there a lot of sea days, since we usually spend more time in our cabin during sea days to relax. We had 10 sea days and we were not looking forward to spending time in this depressing room. We talked to the Concierge about changing rooms, but the ship was sold out. Housekeeping came by and apologized for the duct tape around the door. After they took it down it was apparent that there was a big gap around the door that allowed noise and light thru. So you have a choice of looking at duct tape having some privacy or hearing your neighbors conversations thru the door. Both the concierge and the head housekeeper to their credit did not try to deny that the suite was not what is should be. They noted the ship was going into dry dock in April, but that did not help us. There is only one outlet in the room, none next to the bed. They ran a big extension cord around room to get us a pug there. This ship is very cold in the some common rooms and venues, so pack a sweater. Coffee is very weak. We were saved by the coffee maker in room. There are lots of pluses. Crew were all friendly and helpful. I do think they are short on housekeeping staff. Took awhile to get our room made up. Food in all venues was very, very good. Probably better than on Serenity. Entertainment was ok. The New Years Eve party was fabulous. The cruise director Russ is the best we have seen. Try to catch the magic show. You get tickets in the library. Computer classes were good and a lot of people enjoyed the lectures. Weather, I was told by someone that the Pacific could be rough in December. I was hoping they were wrong. They were not. As soon as we left San Diego weather turned cold and over cast. Lots of wind and rough sea. This ship (as acknowledged by an officer) has unbalanced propeller which causes a lot of vibration and noise. We were delayed in leaving because the ship's doctor had become sick and was taken to the hospital. The captain had to go faster then he normally would in rough seas to make up time and that caused a lot of rocking and rolling. One night we heard a large crash when the ship hit a wave and dishes fell in the dining room. Finally, get to the Hawaii Islands only to be told by the captain that we would leave a day early missing the big island Hawaii, because more bad weather was coming. Another disappointment. So, this was not the best cruise we have been on. I would urge you, unless you need a connecting suite to stay clear of 1035. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Just recently sailed on the Azamara Quest from San Diego to Miami through the Panama Canal. We have previously cruised on Oceania and Princess several times, Viking once and we are elite level on Celebrity. The pros for Azamara Quest were ... Read More
Just recently sailed on the Azamara Quest from San Diego to Miami through the Panama Canal. We have previously cruised on Oceania and Princess several times, Viking once and we are elite level on Celebrity. The pros for Azamara Quest were the White Night and Azamazing Evening in Cabo San Lucas. The wait staff in the restaurants and bars were excellent. The crew was very friendly and approachable. The food in the specialty restaurants was very good. The buffet had various ethic food nights. I thought that for a ship this size that the entertainment was very good. The cons, we had a verandah cabin on deck 8 and in the middle of the ship, lots of vibration especially at night. My wife got seasick one day and this was the first time this happened after 18 cruises. The bathroom. Is very small and the shower is too small for most humans. Disembarkation was at least 2 hours late getting off the ship due to congestion in the Miami harbor according to the captain. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Great experiences with Azamara. Azamazing evening in Cabo was truly fantastic. The whole idea of no extra charges multiplies the value. An all inclusive at sea. When the captain knows your name by the 5th day, you KNOW you’re on a small ... Read More
Great experiences with Azamara. Azamazing evening in Cabo was truly fantastic. The whole idea of no extra charges multiplies the value. An all inclusive at sea. When the captain knows your name by the 5th day, you KNOW you’re on a small ship journey. Our 5th voyage in a row out of 20+ total. Before we found Azamara, HAL had been line of choice. Now, we have done a transAtlantic, SE Asia, South America, and some random Caribbean Cruises with Azamara and are satisfied. There are leaks and tweaks on any cruise line and this is no different—just minimized because of the small ship and great service. The entertainment is not as strong as a big ship, but you don’t have to fight the crowds or sit in the third balcony. The time in port puts these cruises in a world of their own. Last year we did a week long cruise with another line and spent 18 hours total in ports. Our Azamara cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore spent 2 to 3 days in different ports allowing side trips to Angor Watt, Mekong Delta, Hanoi, etc. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We'd done many Uniworld riverboat cruises and wanted to do the Panama Canal, so Azamara seemed to be a good choice. The staff on the boat was excellent, very friendly and accommodating. The food was quite good too, however the ... Read More
We'd done many Uniworld riverboat cruises and wanted to do the Panama Canal, so Azamara seemed to be a good choice. The staff on the boat was excellent, very friendly and accommodating. The food was quite good too, however the buffet dinner in Windows was marginal and the service was worse. Breakfast and lunch there were fine. The specialty dining venues were very good but I question the value of the "upcharge" and then their asking for a tip on top of that.... The ship itself was in good condition, but you could tell that they were in need of some major TLC in certain areas; our stateroom was clean and comfortable albeit a typical cramped room. The shore excursions thru Central America were interesting however there was too too much time spent on the bus, and too little time on the ground. Given the geography of CA, this is understandable and unfortunate. Azamara's website is pathetic and its interface to the shipboard system was lacking, according the Azamara folks we talked with. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We are loyal Celebrity cruisers and wanted to try something more upscale and on a smaller ship. The Azamara Quest was truly a wonderful experience. The cabins were a bit smaller but had very efficient storage space and decorated with ... Read More
We are loyal Celebrity cruisers and wanted to try something more upscale and on a smaller ship. The Azamara Quest was truly a wonderful experience. The cabins were a bit smaller but had very efficient storage space and decorated with lovely cool gray colors. The closets light up when the door is opened. The food was wonderful in the Main dining room. We enjoyed breakfast, some lunches and some dinners there. We also ate in the specialty restaurants which were a cut above the main dining room in service and ambiance. Overall possibly the best food we have had on any of our many cruises. There were two wonderful evenings you can read about on the web site “White Night” and the “Azamazing Evening”. Both events are so well organized and enjoyable. A must not miss for sure. The entertainment is more subdued than on a ship like Celebtrity but still several beautifully appointed spaces to relax and enjoy a drink before or after dinner. Overall, it was a more sophisticated atmosphere. The decor and ambiance was relaxing and classic. There were no photographers hounding us for photos. There was no pressure to keep spending more money on extra things. The fare is all-inclusive for basic spirits and wines etc. This was wonderful and no need to upgrade unless you are very picky. Highly recommend this ship! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We have made multiple cruises with Azamara and have never been disappointed. The friendly crew and officers keep bringing us back for more. We have always been treated as welcome and important guests. Incredible experience. We have ... Read More
We have made multiple cruises with Azamara and have never been disappointed. The friendly crew and officers keep bringing us back for more. We have always been treated as welcome and important guests. Incredible experience. We have repeatedly cruised on the Journey and this was our first time on the Quest. Never once did we feel out of place. The atmosphere on board was identical to what we would have expected on the Journey. We even met 5 or 6 crew members who recognized us from our previous cruises on the Journey. How wonderful is that?. The only negative we experienced was their decision to change the entertainment offered. They have dropped the production shows and substituted a formula combining comedy theater and vocalists which needs considerable work. Hopefully the company will recognize the error that they have made and correct it quickly. We have every faith that they will bring their entertainment offerings back to the previous levels. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Went on this cruise because it was out of San Diego and had 2 new ports for me. I lived near Loreto so it was like going back in time. Loved how you felt like family on board. Would have liked to have singers and dancers. The ... Read More
Went on this cruise because it was out of San Diego and had 2 new ports for me. I lived near Loreto so it was like going back in time. Loved how you felt like family on board. Would have liked to have singers and dancers. The "short Plays" would have been fine in between other entertainment but not for an hour. Not the right venue. The actors that did the readings were very personable and I liked the idea that they were at some of the parties and got audience participation. Had a great time with them. Hotel director Phillip stood out to me as he worked on the line serving food when needed and was always smiling and friendly. Embarkation went smoothly, usually does in San Diego....don't know why there aren't more cruises leaving from San Diego. It is one of the most convenient cruise ports as far as getting from the airport and things to do and hotels in the areas. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We just returned from a 35 day cruise on Oceania's newest ship - Sirena. This is actually one of the old "R" ships which Oceania has 3 of already. Sirena is now the 4th "R" ship. When Oceania took over this ship ... Read More
We just returned from a 35 day cruise on Oceania's newest ship - Sirena. This is actually one of the old "R" ships which Oceania has 3 of already. Sirena is now the 4th "R" ship. When Oceania took over this ship from Princess, it was in deplorable shape and underwent a massive renovation. Horizons was redone completely opening up the room making it more functional. Princess had added men's and woman's bathrooms which is necessary as the old "R" ships don't have a bathroom on the 10th floor and one has to walk down one flight. The room now is much nicer. I hope they will add bathrooms to the other smaller "R" ships. The Penthouse cabins have been redone. The bathroom which had a small shower and tub, has been upgraded. They took out the tub and shower and made a much larger shower, which is great. We unfortunately were in one of the veranda cabins which doesn't appear to have been updated. But we visited a penthouse and the occupants really enjoyed the changes. Restaurants: The "R" ships have 2 nice restaurants aft on 10 and one Main Dining room on deck 5. Then there is the Terrace café on deck 9 which is a self serve lunch and dinner facility. The change that Oceania made was in the 2 restaurants on deck 10. Oceania's other "R" ships have the Polo Grill and Toscana on 10. Oceania turned these 2 restaurants into one for one of the restaurants on deck10 combining both menus. So we still get our lobster, and steaks, plus some of the great Italian dishes Oceania is famous for. This restaurant is called The Tuscan Grill. To be noted is that not all of the menu items that were in Polo and Toscana are offered. The trade off is the other restaurant on 10 was turned into Oceania's famous "Red Ginger" (which is only on their larger ships) and is absolutely beautiful. RG doesn't exit on the other R ships that Oceania owns. I really like this change because I enjoy RG. Then Oceania added Jacques for lunch in the MDR. This has been fabulous! Of course, now we're fighting the extra pounds we gained with all this wonderful food. The other services on Sirena are the same as all of Oceania's ships' services. The officers and staff are always wonderful. Ports of Call: It's important to research this before you book a cruise. If you enjoy luxury ports where the towns visited are clean and beautiful, don't book a cruise that goes to the Amazon. But if you want to learn about the primitive life along the Amazon and the history of this part of the world, then you will enjoy this cruise. Oceania always comes up with different and interesting ports to visit. Entertainment: I usually enjoy the shows that are put on by the hired entertainers but this cruise we only had 5 such shows for 35 days. The CD, Dottie who is fabulous, asked the 2 top entertainers to come up with a show on their own. This was the best show they played. The other entertainment is usually one person playing an instrument. While these people are usually good, it makes for a boring show in my opinion. I think for longer cruises, some of the main production shows should be repeated. Since they are always held at 9:30 sometimes people are not finished dinner yet, or are too tired to attend. This would give options. This cruise took place over the holidays, and it was the first time we've ever been away for the holidays. The ship was beautifully decorated and we enjoyed the festivities that Oceania created. We were also given a nice gift from Oceania. In close, I understand that Oceania put a lot of money into renovations of Sirena, but it seems to be a work in progress with a lot to still be done. I enjoyed the different feel of Sirena. I also enjoy cruising on their larger ships. Sirena adds a variety to the fleet with the changes Oceania has made. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Cruise: San Diego to Rio de Janeiro on Oceania's Sirena - December 16, 2017 to January 20, 2018. Cabin - Concierge Balcony Category A1 This was our (my wife and I) 19th cruise and first one with Oceania. We chose this cruise ... Read More
Cruise: San Diego to Rio de Janeiro on Oceania's Sirena - December 16, 2017 to January 20, 2018. Cabin - Concierge Balcony Category A1 This was our (my wife and I) 19th cruise and first one with Oceania. We chose this cruise because we liked the itinerary and also because we had sailed on the R1 with Renaissance, around the turn of the century, and had fond memories of that sister ship. We are going to get rid of the sour taste in our mouth, up front, before we go on! LINGERING SOUR TASTE: The one area we were extremely disappointed with was the Destination Services area (Shore Excursions and Port Services). The excursion costs were exorbitant, excursion contents were way below par, some tour guides were high school students, some tour guides could speak very little English, the department staff had none or very little port information/assistance to offer and were totally unresponsive and tactless, almost to the point of being rude (including Gustavo Brasil, the manager ~ I have no Supervisor on the ship. Fill this form and complain to Miami office ~ who was almost never to be seen except when he came for his dinner). Waste of BIG money and waste of valuable opportunities on Oceania’s shore excursions! Ah, that feels better! On to the rest of our experience!! DEMOGRAPHICS: Most of the guests appeared to be between 65 to 85 years of age (few younger, some older). While there were people from several parts of Europe, Australasia and some other places, most of the people were from the US, UK and Canada. SHIP: In spite of its age, Sirena is a very beautiful, well appointed and generally well maintained ship (brass railings on the stairs need to be polished, though). However, the ship appeared to be under-powered for the itinerary and we found ourselves racing at maximum rated speeds many a times (sometimes even slightly above the maximum rated speed), presumably to catch up on time. The ship rocked way too much (the pitch - front to back, more often than roll - side to side), just about everyday. The Tender Service was very good. The SIrena, Regatta, Insignia and Nautica (the smaller 4 Oceania ships) do not offer as many benefits/amenities at the Concierge Balcony A1 level as Oceania's larger ships. The Cabins were small but well maintained and furnished tastefully with reasonable amount of storage space. The public places were very nicely decorated and well maintained. The Library - collection, furniture, decor and maintenance - was excellent. SERVICE: The Embarkation and Disembarkation were quite smooth with a minimal wait. The cabin was ready a bit ahead of time. The bags were handled carefully and delivered promptly. The Officers were quite visible, friendly and easily approachable. The staff was very friendly and generally very eager to please guests in almost all areas - Special Mention must be made of Housekeeping, Laundry Service, Entertainment and Restaurants' staff. Sirena held a mid-voyage survey about guest experience and they actually read the filled forms and followed through with responses/corrections right away - Impressive! The exception to the foregoing being the Destinations Services (Shore Excursions and Port Services) Department. FOOD: This is a mixed bag with quality of dishes, variety in menus, and service being inconsistent from restaurant to restaurant. (a) There are 2 Specialty Restaurants (Red Ginger - Oriental, Tuscan Steak - Italian Steak House) and there is no extra cover charge for either. Each offers its own exact same menu every day, from day to day. The food and ambiance in both is mediocre with Tuscan Steak being a bit better than Red Ginger. The locations of the two restaurants is poor - Deck 10 Aft. Both are generally not crowded and service in both restaurants is good. (b) The Grand Dining Room (main restaurant) is spacious, has excellent decor and the food quality is good with a different menu every day but the service was extremely slow. If you didn't mind spending 2+ hours at a dinner table then this is your place. This restaurant also served Lunch as Jacques Bistro. (c) Terrace Cafe is a semi-casual buffet. This is a popular place and seating is tight, at times, for the demand. It has a large variety on the menu from day to day with lobster tails, steaks and shrimp (all cooked to order before you) every day. The service and food quality are both excellent. (d) Waves Grill is a pool side grill (under shade) and has a salad and dessert bar and cooked to order (limited) entrees. The food and service is good and this a good place for a quick lunch. (e) Room Service is at no extra charge and in addition to the three meals it is available for snacks in between meal hours. The menu is, of course, limited but the food is good. The quality of delivery service is somewhat sub-par with orders not being filled right or at times delayed (luke warm). The mini-bar in the cabin is stocked daily with soft drinks of your choice at no extra cost (charge for alcoholic drinks/snacks). (f) There are some nice special features like the Four O'Clock Tea in the Horizons Bar, two Cocktail Parties (more for repeat guests), Cake Decorating and Ginger Bread House Decorating Contests, Food Demos and Themed Dinners which sometimes include local fare. PORT INFORMATION & ENRICHMENT LECTURES: This is one of two areas that was sub-par (the other being Shore Excursions). In this case it was either because of bad/boring information or bad presenters. ENTERTAINMENT: The Serena has a small but a very talented and energetic entertainment staff headed by an excellent Cruise Director, Dotty. They have great personalities, work well together and also double up for a variety of other on-board activities. Special mention must be made of Frank, Gabriela, Hunter and Shandy, the vocalists. The orchestra does a good job! The String Quartet is excellent! The talent, quality and style of outside contracted artists/entertainers varied and could use improvement. Special mention must be made of the excellent Bridge Instructors/Tournament Directors team of Dave and Dianne who did an outstanding job! On-board Entertainment is Sirena's untold secret. SHORE EXCURSIONS: We should have done our research about Oceania's Destination Services (Shore Excursion and Port Services) prior to booking. As indicated above, this is a major shortcoming of Oceania and apparently quite well known, but we were not aware of that. This is a major Black-Mark on the image of an otherwise good ship/cruise line. Enough said about this area! THE BOTTOM LINE(S): On the whole, it was a good cruise but definitely over-priced for the value. Sirena is a beautiful, well maintained ship. But it was under-powered for this itinerary and therefore mis-matched for this cruise. It has an excellent entertainment staff and very good shows for a small ship. The food and restaurants are significantly over-rated. The cost of Shore Excursions was exorbitant and the content was terrible – they were the worst we have experienced in our 19 cruises. It has excellent officers and staff who provided excellent service (except Destinations Services/Shore Excursions staff). If you like a quiet ambiance and good service, can handle the daily rocking of the ship, you want lobster tails, shrimp and steak for every lunch/dinner, you get port information on your own and arrange port visits/excursions through your own vendors, or stay on board during port stops and and read a book in the wonderful library, or buy your favorite drink in a short/tall glass and lay by the pool, enjoy the sunshine and get a good tan, and, yes, you don't mind the cost of all this, then this is definitely your cruise and you will love it! Now we know what Oceania is all about and hope our above experience is useful to you! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We found what we believed to be and should have been a once in a lifetime 18 day paradise cruise to the South Pacific. It was an anniversary so we went big and purchased a Vista Suite. Left from San Diego on Nov 1 for a wonderful 5 day ... Read More
We found what we believed to be and should have been a once in a lifetime 18 day paradise cruise to the South Pacific. It was an anniversary so we went big and purchased a Vista Suite. Left from San Diego on Nov 1 for a wonderful 5 day cruise aboard the Regatta to Honolulu. Schedule was one day on Honolulu, then to Kauai for a day, Maui for most of a day, a 4 day cruise to Farakova then to Nuku Hiva, Bora Bora, Moorea and Tahiti. Problem is we left Honolulu at midnight and about 1 am the ship went totally dead in the water with zero power anywhere, i.e. no toilets, water, nothing. At 5 am the Captain announced that we all needed to muster in common areas as they were running out of battery power and would not be able to communicate to the passengers. This was done and I must say the crew was fantastic, keeping all calm and happy. Turns out one issue was the emergency generator did not work at first, thus no power for the ship. We do not know why it went dead in the water. Final result was a tow back to Honolulu where we were allowed to disembark after noon to spend another half day on Oahu (not the best of the islands). Next morning we were told we were not going to leave until probably after noon so we were off for another half day repeat and back by 1:30 to spend another half day on board in port, not leaving until 9 that evening. Instead of seeing Kauai, Maui and Farakova, we cruised for another 5 days directly to Nuku Hiva. The rest of the cruise went very well but for missing 3 important islands Oceania offered a free cocktail party and $500 toward a future cruise in the next two years. Oh, and the chartered flight from Papeete to LA was supposed to leave at 10 but even the day before they found out it would not leave until 1 am. Many of us, ourselves included, had to miss our connections and in our case it cost us another $750 to change and book another flight. Very unacceptable. Please do not get me wrong here. Oceania is a wonderful line, the crew always exceptional and the food spectacular. The Vista Suite on the bow was a great way to go and we did have a great time overall, but of course were very disappointed to miss three islands. Regatta is a terrific ship and our first in the smaller class. We found that for us, we probably prefer the larger version with more restaurants, boutiques and other amenities but hey, that is personal. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Wanted to visit hawaii and french polynesia. oceania cruise line arranged this wonderful itinerary prior to our cruise from san diego to tahiti, november 1 to 19, 2017. My husband and i are seasoned cruisers having 24 cruises under ... Read More
Wanted to visit hawaii and french polynesia. oceania cruise line arranged this wonderful itinerary prior to our cruise from san diego to tahiti, november 1 to 19, 2017. My husband and i are seasoned cruisers having 24 cruises under our belts, 2 with oceania. On this cruise the first 5 days across to honolulu we had no air conditioning or hot water. Safe not working. food which was, for lack of a better word, insignificant!!!! (oceania prides itself on the finest cuisine). After spending a day in honolulu we proceeded to our next destination, kauai. 2 a.m. All went dark and quiet. Engines broke down, no power, captain came on intercom “emergency power”. Everyone up to terrace café and horizon lounge. At day light we were allowed back to our cabins. Very little communication from the captain while they repaired whatever. We were never told what happened only that testing was being done and we were to resume our voyage 2 days later “with trepidation”. Prior to the departure there were a few guests that left the cruise, terrified!!!! Our new announced itinerary skipped maui, kauai and fakarava in french polynesia. While in port of honolulu fire caught on deck 11.officers smoking area. They announced it was a small fire. While looking down 11 fire trucks were at the bottom of the ship. we lost 3 destinations out of 8. Hundreds of guests complained to concierge and were told that the company would be coming out with a letter of explanation and compensation. Our trip cost us $ 15,000 with air from papeete to lax. We received an offer of $500 future cruise credit usable in 2018-19 – wow!!! What an insult to our intelligence. We lose over 1/3 of our itinerary and they offer a cruise credit which costs them nothing!!! We had expected at least $1,000.00 cash/credit. Very nervous continuing another 5 days at sea at ¾ speed cause they didn’t want to tax the engines. We were not going to complain about other aspects of our trip but after this experience we might as well spell it out!!! Room - smallest balcony stateroom ever, smallest bathroom, smallest shower Food - rotten anchovies in Caesar salad - Cold food - constantly tough cuts of beef, pork lamb - rubbery lobster - cold soups at lunch and strange tasting - poached eggs cooked in too much vinegar – rubbery chicken stew – cold fresh fruit served on hot dishes taken out of dishwasher – cold, rubbery scrambled eggs etc etc etc Internet – slowest on the planet – we were not able to reply to emails – toooooo slow. Entertainment – poor to mediocre To add insult to insult the final port was papeete, arriving at 8.00 p.m. On a saturday night. Guests leaving the cruise were told to be off the ship by 8.00 a.m. Sunday. They were not given the opportunity to take advantage of tours offered to guests continuing on to new zealand. Stores were closed since it was sunday. Upon questioning what was available for guests while waiting for the chartered fight leaving at 10.00 p.m. We were told we could pay $150 each and go to a hotel where we could sit in the lobby and drink free coffee and juices. It should go without saying the guests were extremely fed up with the way they had been treated by oceania. Oceania was happy to take their money and dump them as soon as possible!!! We would appreciate your explanation as to why you did not provide the guests with the true experience you mention as set out in the top right hand corner on page 8 of the cruise vacation guide book i.e. “OCEANIA CRUISES PIONERED OVERNIGHT PORT STAYS AND LATE EVENING DEPARTURES, ALLOWING GUESTS TO TRULY EXPERIENCE EACH DESTINATION TO ITS FULLEST” This did not happen in papeete – the true experience was being kicked off the boat with no thanx!!!!!! We could go on and on but why belabor it. It was a 19 year old tub, badly in need of repairs. “regatta” don’t go, you may be sorry, we were!!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This cruise was to celebrate our 50th anniversary and we had always wanted to travel to Tahiti and French Polynesia, plus the stops in Hawaii were also of interest. We have been to Hawaii before and were looking forward to Maui as we ... Read More
This cruise was to celebrate our 50th anniversary and we had always wanted to travel to Tahiti and French Polynesia, plus the stops in Hawaii were also of interest. We have been to Hawaii before and were looking forward to Maui as we have some favorite spots there we wanted to visit, plus had never been to Kauai. This was the unfortunate cruise that lost power and sat in Honolulu for three days. I won't go into details as others have stated at length the problems that guests were subjected to when they wrote their reviews. When the revised itinerary was given to us their letter said there would be "only minor adjustments to our itinerary". Imagine our surprise when we realized that minor adjustments meant we would lose 3 of the 8 ports, or nearly 40% of our cruise ports!!! Minor??? They referred to the loss of power as "Technical Issues". I agree with others that this is more than technical issues, these are major problems and this ship either needs to be totally overhauled, or retired. It was frightening to think of the outcome if loss of power had happened when we were hundreds of miles away from any assistance!! We spoke to the concierge on two occasions about compensation for the loss of such a big part of our cruise experience. On both occasions he told us to write to guest relations at the home office when we got home, to request compensation, implying that there would be something available, but not until the cruise was over. That was all fluff, he just wanted to get us away from his desk so he didn't have to listen to our frustrations. I believe he always knew Oceania would do nothing more than cruise credits. How dumb do you have to be to spend more money on a cruise line that fails to provide the trip that was promised the first time you traveled with them. Because this was a special trip for us, we pulled out all the stops and reserved a Penthouse stateroom, plus a deluxe dayroom at a resort in Papeete while we waited for our flight back to CA. Considering everything we spent, flights to and from California, excursions, tipping of staff, hotel stays at both ends of the trip, our cost was upward of $20,000. So we felt we had a legitimate argument for some kind of compensation, if nothing more than to refund the port charges and taxes for the 3 stops that were eliminated. NOPE! They just wanted to give us a few more dollars in cruise credits. It was insulting!! Our travel agent also intervened on our behalf to request a refund, but they didn't even acknowledge her email. As to what we received while on the ship, the food was OK but not the excellent cuisine that we had heard about with Oceania. They made a big deal about making reservations to the two specialty restaurants, but we did not find them to be exceptional at all. We actually preferred eating evening meals in the Grand Dining Room. We were very pleased with the staff, our butler was absolutely wonderful, as were all of the housekeeping crew, servers in the restaurants, attendants on the pool deck, etc. They all gave us wonderful service for which we tipped generously. Entertainment was mediocre most of the time, but we weren't expecting any broadway shows on a ship of this size with fewer than 600 passengers. We attended several of the evening shows, and also several of the daytime lectures, which were generally quite informative. Public areas of the ship were attractive, but showing their age. Our overall feeling after the cruise was relief to get home safely and sadly we felt we had spent alot of money for experiences we didn't receive. Instead of owning up to their responsibility to their guests, after the cruise was over, Oceania sent out letters with hollow platitudes and apologies, telling us our comments had been noted for Oceania's "reflection and future planning". How does that help the passenger who lost out on their trip? Lastly I would like to comment on the onslaught of brochures and publications that Oceania continues to send us with the beautiful pictures of faraway places we might want to cruise to. We receive at least one or two per week. If they devoted even a fraction of their promotional budget to delivering what we were promised, they wouldn't have to work so hard to get new guests. Their existing customers would be coming back for add'l cruises. Every time we receive another mailing from them it is like salt in the wound. We would just like the forget this cruise!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We had cruised from san diego on a 19 day cruise to hawaii and tahiti. we stopped in honolulu for a day and left at 12 midnight. . approx. 2 to 3 in the morning ; i found the room to be very stuffy.. Soon afterward the captain got on the ... Read More
We had cruised from san diego on a 19 day cruise to hawaii and tahiti. we stopped in honolulu for a day and left at 12 midnight. . approx. 2 to 3 in the morning ; i found the room to be very stuffy.. Soon afterward the captain got on the pa to inform us they had lost all power on the ship and ship was dead in the water.. worse than that the aux. Power would not go on ... Therefore the captain (rightfully so) instructed all passangers to go to open pool area because there would be daylight shortly and it would be dangerous for anybody to walk about in the dark.. worse part of this 'incident' is the good will gesture oceania had offerred all passangers .. A future cruise credit of $500 towards a future cruise. are you kidding!!! also, they changed the itenerary.but not informed of the change till after the ship was cleared to leave honlulu (ps we had to be towed into honolulu ...even though the power eventually came back on).. moreover, the captain instructed evrybody to be back on the ship bt 2:30pm (believe it was november 8th) with further info re departure. .. Never recieved info re departure till after 8pm when the ship was about to leave and most of the passangers were at dinner. We were informed the change of itenerary would be in print in the stateroom.. Upon review of the new intenerary, we were informed of loss of 3 ports and added 5 more sea days. this is not what i signed up for... If given my drutherers and given the opportunity i would have left the cruise in honolulu..... By the way ncl executives had flown in from miami were on the ship when the change of intnerary occurred ncl and oceania messed up terribly miss handeled this situation and owes each passanger more than the $500.00 future cruisecredit... This is an insult we have choices for future cruises..for me it will not be the regatta or oceania. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this cruise because of the 8 ports scheduled and the area. Due to a power failure we were tugged back to Oahu in the middle of the night, no lights, no toilets, and we were evacuated to the 9th deck in our pajamas and jackets for ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the 8 ports scheduled and the area. Due to a power failure we were tugged back to Oahu in the middle of the night, no lights, no toilets, and we were evacuated to the 9th deck in our pajamas and jackets for 4 hours. We were stuck in Oahu for 3 days while the ship was "fixed". There was a fire on board during that time with no explanation given. 3 ports were eliminated from our itinerary, ones that were important to us. The incident was called an "inconvenience". Upon leaving the ship in Papeete, we were bused to a hotel meeting room where we sat for 12 hours. Our charter flight was delayed 4 hours, causing a change in our connection at LAX. We missed our flight to San Diego because LAX immigration was so crowded. Our luggage made it to SD but we did not. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
As this was our 10th Azamara, we were looking at returning to the Quest with great enthusiasm. Our on board experiences again did not disappoint. Other reviews talk about the white nights, Azamazing evening and the like so I don’t see ... Read More
As this was our 10th Azamara, we were looking at returning to the Quest with great enthusiasm. Our on board experiences again did not disappoint. Other reviews talk about the white nights, Azamazing evening and the like so I don’t see the need to revisit them in this review other than say that the signature events are exciting, anticipated and very much enjoyed. The advantages of the size and ambience of the R Class ships, Quest (and Journey) to us outweigh any negatives. To step aboard and see familiar faces amongst guests, staff and crew and to be remembered by name makes a comfortable, pleasant and enjoyable experience. The refit wasn’t a new experience for us as we’d been fortunate to have had 32 days on board straight out of dry dock last year. The Quest is a ship not only well loved but also well maintained and extremely clean. Firstly, what a great itinerary, even with the unplanned change from Cartagena to the touristy Cozumel. Due to storm activity in the Caribbean we concur that safety of the vessel, staff, crew and guests is of top priority and the change of itinerary and subsequent fine under the Jones act was Azamara’s decision. The Panama Canal was on our bucket list and the day’s transit experience didn’t disappoint. The history of the Canal is like nothing else. We loved the variety of the ports on this itinerary and without hesitation would re visit if the price were right. If it’s not on your bucket list it needs to be. The addition of the biking program is welcome by us wanting something different, hopefully (positive feedback here) the lengthy insurance form that needs completion prior to the activity is stored on board and can be reused again for future bike activities on future cruises. The ones we did were extremely well organised, fun and very enjoyable. Bike were easily to manage. Well done to those staff involved. The benefits on the self-service laundry continues to be an undervalued addition to your cruise price. The machine are smart, efficient and leave no one guessing to how long the washing needs to be ‘in’. Due to this upgrade in technology I believe that the laundry ‘protocol’ or behavior has improved to an acceptable standard and I met some lovely interesting people there, who then became ‘friends’ around the ship. Regulars will know what I mean. We met old friends and made new ones of all ages, nationalities and demographics. Over the years, we have seen some stubble and not so stubble changes on board, but on the whole we continue to be pleased with the product, service and quality of the food provided. This cruise also bought some variation and welcome additions to foods previously offered both in the buffet and Discoveries. I don’t agree with other negative review about the food as I believe it to be of high standard, tasty and surely inviting. We did mention in our mid cruise feedback form, and it was addressed immediately, that whilst acknowledging service was generally very good we did notice some delays in service in Discoveries. It wasn’t a deal breaker and we would happily return there each night if we weren’t dining in a delightfully exotic buffet or one of the specialty restaurants. The Discoveries staff do an amazing job and the attitude, flexibility and enthusiasm that they display needs to be commended. Shows where of usual standards with some enjoyable guest entertainers, sea days provided general 'something to suit everyone' experiences. Guest lecturer was popular and informative. Those activities, along with progressive trivial was the usual fun 'tongue in cheek' laugh at those more serious about it than our team. You could clearly do as little as wished or be quite active. As always under the competent helm of the Captain, senior officers, experienced staff and crew the service was impeccable and the attention to detail outstanding. We do not have a problem with the size of the staterooms or bathrooms as we know that they just ‘come with’ the design of the R Class ship which we love. We however appreciate that it would be a considerable challenge for some. As Azamara moves towards the future with the release of the 2019 itineraries, I’m pleased to say we have committed to another four for the next 12 months and must soon start thinking about 2019. The downside is that they all involve long haul flights but we are excited to be introducing other ‘newbies’ to our favourite brand and are prepared to ‘share the love’ when they step aboard with us next cruise. Until then we wish all Azamara staff, especially those on the Quest (and Journey) smooth sea and fair winds. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was our first Azamara cruise. The food was delicious, the service fantastic, and the tours were excellent. We tried all of the restaurants and found them all to be great. Azamara was exceptional in their attention to detail. ... Read More
This was our first Azamara cruise. The food was delicious, the service fantastic, and the tours were excellent. We tried all of the restaurants and found them all to be great. Azamara was exceptional in their attention to detail. Upon returning from any tour, the staff could be found at the pier to greet you with a smile, cold drink, and towel. You never wanted for something to drink no matter where you were located on the ship. The talks by Dr. Jim were very interesting and informative. He would always make himself available to answer questions whenever he was out and about. Very accessible and knowledgeable. Only two negatives. First, the rooms were very small. We had a club veranda stateroom. It was small than cabins on other ships we have taken. Secondly, if you do not play bridge, do not attempt to use the card room. The bridge players were hostile to anyone not playing bridge. I would recommend Azamara and will be cruising with them again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We love the Sea of Cortez itinerary and this was a great trip. The other people on this cruise were great and we meet lots of other interesting people. We had lots of stimulating conversations. The crew is a happy one and do all they can ... Read More
We love the Sea of Cortez itinerary and this was a great trip. The other people on this cruise were great and we meet lots of other interesting people. We had lots of stimulating conversations. The crew is a happy one and do all they can to take care of any problem you may have. The food was good with just a few exceptions. The complimentary wine selections have improved enormously since sailing with them 8 months ago. That really made the meals even better Wish that Coors Light was on the list of complimentary - had to pay 2.75 for it. Bud Light is complimentary. But that sure is a small complaint. Captain Jose was amazing keeping us closer to shore to avoid swells after one of the California storms. He even told us that we would be near St Ignacio lagoon at sunset - this is a Grey whale sanctuary where there are lots of whales and dolphins - unfortunately we did not see much from the ship but I sincerely appreciated the try for it. When was the last time you had a cruise ship even look for wildlife much less tell you to watch for it! 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
The itenerary for this cruise was the main deciding point for us. Plus being able to drive to and from San Diego was great. Our trip to Copper Canyon, though long, was terrific! The guide was very informative about the canyon, its people ... Read More
The itenerary for this cruise was the main deciding point for us. Plus being able to drive to and from San Diego was great. Our trip to Copper Canyon, though long, was terrific! The guide was very informative about the canyon, its people and their history. He also told us about the construction of the train track. Azamara reserved a special train that held just cruise passengers so it wasn't at all crowded. The crew on the Quest were as friendly and helpful as always. It is so nice to be remembered and appreciated. We also loved the chance to see small towns in Mexico that we have not visited. It was particularly nice to be in little towns that don't typically have cruise ships visit. I will continue to travel with Azamara whenever possible. We always feel as if we are part of a big family when we board either of their two ships. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose this cruise on Crystal Symphony because it would take us from San Diego to Auckland in time to visit family in New Zealand for the holidays. The first leg was a film and theater theme and took us to Papeete. This segment was at ... Read More
We chose this cruise on Crystal Symphony because it would take us from San Diego to Auckland in time to visit family in New Zealand for the holidays. The first leg was a film and theater theme and took us to Papeete. This segment was at capacity. The second leg was food and wine and was only half full. On the first leg, the dining room was always full and a bit noisy but the service did not lag. There are enough public spaces that, even at capacity the ship does not feel crowded. For the Christmas season, the ship was very nicely decorated with Santa’s, trees, elves and nutcrackers in abundance. We took most of our dinners in the main dining room and found the food in quality and choice to be excellent, as was the service. We also dined once on each segment in Silk Road and Prego. These meals were superb as was the service. We had several lunches at the Trident Grill. A toasted ham and cheese sandwich for one lunch was less than satisfactory. It gave the impression of being production line product that was pulled out, unwrapped and toasted. Other than that, the Grill food was satisfactory.. Breakfasts in the Lido Grill were fine with a large selection from the buffet and we discovered the person who had access to the berries (in a drawer behind the serving line). The Grand Buffet lunch in each segment was a great showing of the prowess of the chef and culinary staff. There was one issue we experienced with wine. When we boarded and went to our first lunch, my wife asked for a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (her favorite) and the wine steward said there was none on board and had not been on board for three years. She settled for a French SB. However, the second night at dinner we learned that there was an Ara Marlborough SB carried for the dining room and had been for sometime. We could not understand why the first wine steward was ill-informed. When we called room service to have a bottle sent to our stateroom, we were informed that Ara was only available in the DR and could not be sent via room service. We found this strange for an all inclusive cruise line, especially as the Ara was not a premium wine. Service at all levels was excellent - dining room staff, bar staff, and stateroom attendant. Before dinner, we found a glass of wine in the Avenue Saloon to be quite nice and this venue was never crowded. Palm court was also a great venue and we were impressed by the Mozart Tea served there. The on-board entertainment was excellent. Dr Sobey’s lectures on the ocean and Dr Sowell on the history and culture of the various islands we were to visit were very informative and enjoyable. The iMovie course by Kerry Merrick and Dina Sterr was fantastic and I now use the skills I learned to capture pleasant memories of this cruise. My wife also learned knitting from the on-board knitting instructors. The Magic Castle at Sea shows (one per each segment) were amazing especially because the venue was the intimate Avenue Saloon and even being so close to the action did not permit us to crack the slight of hand. Cooking demonstrations were not so successful as there is not a convenient venue for these and the Galaxy Lounge stage elevated the chef above the audience. The port guides for each stop were very useful with maps and information. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We boarded the Crystal Symphony in San Diego. It was largely uneventful staff had us wait while the gang plank got reattached to the ship. We were not told how it got separated from the ship. It stayed overnight and since we were in our ... Read More
We boarded the Crystal Symphony in San Diego. It was largely uneventful staff had us wait while the gang plank got reattached to the ship. We were not told how it got separated from the ship. It stayed overnight and since we were in our home town we took full advantage of it. The meals were all very good. The entertainment was sub par for my taste. The crowd was at least 15 years my senior so I can understand the slower pace. It just took a few days to adjust. We enjoyed our table 86 of mates and they each added to our vacation. Crystal's all inclusive really is top shelf and has spoiled me in regards to future cruises. We didn't book a future cruise on board because our next cruise will be a family one with the Grands. Crystal would be too expensive for that outing. In the meantime we have this memory to last for awhile. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Celebrity Infinity Pacific Coastal—Hubbard Glacier Cruise. May 2016 My wife and I took the eleven-day Celebrity Pacific Coastal cruise followed by the seven-day Hubbard Glacier Alaskan cruise in May 2016. The two cruises were a total ... Read More
Celebrity Infinity Pacific Coastal—Hubbard Glacier Cruise. May 2016 My wife and I took the eleven-day Celebrity Pacific Coastal cruise followed by the seven-day Hubbard Glacier Alaskan cruise in May 2016. The two cruises were a total of eighteen days filled with visits to iconic landmarks and views of magnificent scenery and wildlife. The Pacific Coastal is a repositioning cruise for the Infinity as it moves from its Panama Canal season to its Alaskan season. We embarked in San Diego, California, cruised north as far as the Hubbard Glacier in Alaska and returned to Vancouver, British Colombia in Canada for our return flights home. All of our travel, including the cruises, excursions, air fares and hotel were booked through Celebrity, the safest way we have found to reduce the risk of unpleasant travel events. The Itinerary: The first cruise began in San Diego with stops in Santa Barbara, Monterey, and San Francisco in California, Astoria in Oregon, Seattle in Washington, Nanaimo and Victoria in British Colombia, ending in Vancouver, BC. The second cruise began in Vancouver with stops in Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Ketchikan in Alaska, a spectacular day cruising near the Hubbard Glacier, and a return to Vancouver for disembarkation. The infinity does this route twice a year as it repositions to and from Alaska. Delta airlines flights booked through Celebrity got us to San Diego and home from Vancouver. Our Celebrity booked hotel with transfers was the Embassy Suites, located very near the port in San Diego. Port-to-airport transfers got us efficiently from ship to air transportation. Landmarks and views: We started with the hotel and port in San Diego which are near the famous museums, zoo and naval operations. Aircraft carriers, one a museum and two operating carriers complete with airplanes were docked opposite the Infinity. Santa Barbara was home to a lot of Spanish inspired architecture. Monterey was our opportunity to stroll along Cannery Row filled with colorful sights. San Francisco sights included the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, Alcatraz, Beacon Hill, the iconic Transamerica building and Fisherman’s Wharf. We could see the Space Needle in Seattle from the ship. Nanaimo, which was new to us, was the historic home to a flourishing, and now nonexistent coal mining industry. The scenery is beautiful. Victoria is the capital of British Colombia, complete with its government buildings. Downtown is interesting complete with a big Hudsons Bay department store, a modern descendent of the famous Hudsons Bay fur trading company. Icy Strait Point has a new cruise terminal and an enthusiastic native American population. Our visit was late in the day, short lived and cold with beautiful scenery. Juneau is the capital of Alaska in a very scenic mountains (snow covered) and harbor setting. Ketchikan is a classic Alaskan small city with thriving fishing and tourist industries. Shopping was fun. They have a lumberjack show worth attending. Transportation around and between Alaskan cities is either by airplane or boat. Float planes and ferry boats were everywhere. The Hubbard Glacier is a special cruise ship visit. Ships enter the harbor close enough to the glacier to easily see and hear the ice cracking with huge chunks falling (calving) into the water. The glacier is three hundred feet tall and breathtaking in size and magnificence. The sounds are awesome. Ships stay, spin around and take a lot of time so all passengers get a shot at the views. Ports have shuttles for passengers and numerous options for shore excursions. Float planes, boats, taxis and busses await to take cruise passengers to whatever adventures they desire. We always opt for ship sponsored events to lower our risk of problems. We saw whales, seals, otters, deer and eagles along with a lot of birds we couldn’t identify. It is great fun scanning the shorelines along the Alaskan inland passage for wildlife as well as enjoying the incredible scenery. Snow and tree-covered mountains are the foundations for nearly every view. They are impossible to adequately describe and photograph. We tried. The ship and service: The Infinity is a 2001 ship that underwent a major refurbishment in 2015. The interior of the ship was in excellent shape and had new venues added. The top deck movie area, Michaels Club and the Luminae restaurant for suite guests, QSine and the Tuscan Grill specialty restaurants are major changes. All great! The ship looked very good on the inside with new furnishings. The exterior showed some wear but nothing that affected passengers. The service, typical of the Celebrity brand, was special! Crew members were always helpful. Officers were constantly present. The executive chef, for example, was around nearly every day. Senior officers were available for several events including receptions for past and frequent Celebrity passengers. Nice. We selected cabin 6116, a sky suite, for the cruises. We are also members of the Blue Chip casino players club. This added to the already special service for us. Our butler, Albino, was there with afternoon snacks and made certain that our cabin was cleaned while we were gone. He provided great advice on ports and processes having been on numerous cruises. The Luminae restaurant is a giant perk for suite guests. A staff of about ten people serve breakfast and dinner daily as well as lunch on sea days. Cevrine, the receptionist, waiters Kavarij and Chitra, Arfin the assistant waiter and Bekir the Maître D along with the others made us feel special at every meal. Food: The food was very good, nicely presented and well served. We dined on Filet mignon, turbot, shrimp scampi, halibut, cod, lobster ravioli, pork tenderloin, Australian sea bass, scallops, tilapia, roast turkey, pad thai, swordfish, lobster, lamb shank, veal loin, salmon and beef for entrees. Desserts were tasty. The buffett featured roast beef, pork, and chicken along with salads, sandwiches and a wide choice of entrees. Lunch, one day, featured thirty six cakes, all decorative. There was ice cream for every meal and for snacks. The QSine should be on everyone’s schedule. The food and presentations were unique. We found it a great opportunity to sample foods from several countries. Most were very good. Bistro on Five had a special crepe that my wife found to be her favorite. We tried the Tuscan Grille but steak is not one of our favorites. Perks: We chose the multiple perk package, booked a suite and are Blue Chip casino members. More perks than we could possibly use. People should carefully select every perk they can afford and use. Complimentary drinks, internet minutes, gratuities, on board credit, laundry and specialty restaurant fees were among the choices. Makes the final bill much less painful. The “booking a cruise on board” is also a significant perk if one plans to take another Celebrity cruise. Just pay attention to the offers. Ours included three hundred dollars of immediate on board credit to offset the three hundred dollar deposit for a cruise with date and itinerary to be determined. Conclusion: The combined Pacific Coastal and Hubbard Glacier cruises offer a unique cruising adventure that includes major US cities and wonderful scenery. The refurbished Infinity was a very nice and comfortable ship. The entire Celebrity staff was professional and responsive. Many are knowledgeable world travelers and have a lot to offer in the way of information about ports and ships. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I enjoyed the 32 day cruise. The library was large, the food very good, the entertainment enjoyable, the ports interesting, the lectures very informative. What's not to like ? The wheelchair stateroom was very large & was easy ... Read More
I enjoyed the 32 day cruise. The library was large, the food very good, the entertainment enjoyable, the ports interesting, the lectures very informative. What's not to like ? The wheelchair stateroom was very large & was easy to park my scooter out of the way. The bathroom was also large with a handicap shower chair that was easy to use. The room stewards, the waiters, & all the rest of the staff bent over backwards to be friendly & very helpful. You could ask for almost anything off the menu & you'd get it with a small wait. The embarkation was easy especially since we checked in online. The debarkation was only as fast as customs could work. Everything was ready- from porters to help find & carry luggage to lines for aliens & Americans. I didn't like that scooters were in the same line as passengers because I ran over a foot inadvertently. I drove my scooter both on & off the ship, thru embarkation & debarkation. This cruise line is quite superior to others. Last year & the year before we took Princess. Nothing was as good on Princess as on HAL. I like lectures; Princess doesn't. I like a large library; Princess doesn't. The entertainment was comparable on both cruise lines, but the food was not as good on Princess as on HAL. The staff on Princess was OK, but HAL is superior. The activities were varied as well as the shore excursions, however expensive. We took an excursion from a new excursion company affiliated with Costco travel. The tour guide was outstanding & we travelled on a mini bus instead of a large motor coach bus.Hal couldn't tell me in advance whether I could take my scooter , placing it in the under compartment of the bus, whereas the new company could give me every detail. There was a children's club, religious services & a great cruise director . It's no wonder that we've travelled over 120 days altogether on HAL(over 15-20 different cruises on many cruise lines) & was rewarded for it with a medallion & discounts in many areas of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our first time cruising with NCL having sailed only with Princess on prior cruises. We went with no expectations and tried "not" to compare the Sun to the three Princess ships we had sailed but did find ourselves ... Read More
This was our first time cruising with NCL having sailed only with Princess on prior cruises. We went with no expectations and tried "not" to compare the Sun to the three Princess ships we had sailed but did find ourselves comparing a few times. Overall though we were very happy with the experience on board. A much more laid back crowd but then I guess that is what Freestyle cruising is all about. The ship, although a little smaller than the Grand, Golden and Ruby is still a large ship with plenty to keep you busy while at sea. Pool areas were often full during sea days with the good weather but generally were able to find a couple of seats within a short amount of time. Thought the entertainment was good with variety, They changed it up once or twice during the 11 days and brought new entertainers aboard. Food in the dining rooms was excellent IMO, and lunch and dinner in the Garden Cafe was generally quite good as well. The exact same breakfast options everyday get's to be a little boring, but, Princess was no different. We also had the free Ultimate Beverage Package which unlike Princess does not include bottled water, sparkling water or specialty coffees but considering they were throwing it in free with the room I'm not about to complain. We booked a guaranteed inside cabin but they dropped the price dramatically after booking so we called and were upgraded to a picture window ocean view ob deck 9 which was very nice. Enjoyed all ports of call. Acapulco, Manazanillo, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Really not much to see in Manzanillo and all the newest development and resorts are to the North of the Port, although the old downtown is right in Port. All the staff for the most part were friendly. Jonas, Keiran. Elizabeth, Lucas at the bars were our favorite. Dining staff was good. And my wife really loved Encep our room steward who had a different Towel Animal each night we returned to our room. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our experience aboard NCL and I would sail with them again, especially if the price is right. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My husband and I had been planning this trip for months and after such a positive experience on the Pride of America we could wait to be on another Norwegian cruise. The ship is very old and small. We couldn't get over how small ... Read More
My husband and I had been planning this trip for months and after such a positive experience on the Pride of America we could wait to be on another Norwegian cruise. The ship is very old and small. We couldn't get over how small the buffet area was. it was especially bad on the first day when everyone was trying to eat lunch at the same time. Once we set sail only the main buffet was open for lunch and the outside buffet would open at 3:00 PM. When the main buffet was closing and resetting for lunch. We couldn't understand why both buffets weren't opened with staggered closing times to be reset for dinner since the space was so small. The ship did offer pizza and pasta, but it was not in the same location as the buffet and was very difficult to find. They did offer a barbecue on the pool deck that helped with the lunch traffic on sea days. The ship is very chopped up and difficult to navigate through. All in all the ship is in major need of an overhaul in dry dock! I have never seen a cruise ship that had so few poolside activities. There were a lot of activities on the ship, but the ones I wanted to try were are during the day when I wanted to be at the pool in the sun. I would have liked more entertainment options in the evening starting around 6:00 PM, the dancing never starts on cruise ships until 9:45 or 10:00 PM. That's just to late for those of us that get up early. My favorite was Deal or No Deal game. I actually won $50.00 playing that game. The only good service I received on this ship was from my room steward and in the Casino. All of the other service I received was way below standard especially in the dinning rooms. Getting seating in the dining room was a chore. We were always the first or second couple to get to the dining room. After our table was assigned the server walking us to our table didn't know where the table was located. They were actually carrying maps of the dining room around, but still couldn't find our table. The service was very poor and slow in the main dining rooms you were left at your table for long periods of time before your order was taken and many times we had to request for items such as drinks, coffee, butter, cream and artificial sweetener multiple times. There was never enough staff at the pool bar for service and rarely were there employees walking around the pool deck asking if you needed anything from the bar. Acapulco - we did the city bus tour, shopping, and fort. This was a good tour and very informative. The shopping places they took us to were very expensive, Don't spend your money here, you can do better price wise in other ports. Manzanillo - we did the all inclusive beach getaway. This was a great excursion once we got there. The bus didn't have working air condition. Is is very hot in Mexico this time of year and we couldn't go on a bus without air conditioning. We were late getting away for our excursion and the bus still didn't have great working air conditioning. We were told to be back on the bus at 4:55 PM only to lean that the tour operator changed his mind and told half of the people on this excursion to be back at 4:30 and had an attitude with the ones that returned at the original time of 4:55 PM. No one ever told my husband and I that the return time had changed. There is not a true beach at this resort it is more like a cove. The pools, drinks and food are very good and it was worth the money. The time change of our trip messed up our entire evening and kept us from seeing the only show I really wanted to see. We did speak with the shore excursions manager and expressed out displeasure with the trip and the attitude of the tour operator. I did request a refund since my entire evening was messed up and I had spent almost $800.00 on shore excursions. He refused my refund and gave me a bottle of wine and chocolate covered strawberries instead. Much to our surprise, when we requested a printout of our ship account it had been credited with the cost of the excursion. Puerto Vallarta - We didn't do a planned excursion at this port and I'm really glad we didn't. This a a great port to walk around and shop. There is a market just outside of the port and you can get some great deals there. If you can't find what you are looking for you can take a cab downtown for $10.00 to the mega shopping center. Also, there is a great restaurant right where the market is that has great drinks, chips, salsa and cheese dip with high speed WiFi connection, so you can catch up with your family back home. Mazatlin - We did another beach break with a buffet lunch and two drinks included. The beach was beautiful! However, it was crawling with locals selling stuff all over it. Once you bought something they wouldn't leave you alone. After a couple of hours of this we got tired of it and when to one of the three pools for the remainder of the day. They take you by cab to the resort, so you are not locked into staying for the entire day. You can go back to the ship anytime you want. The tour operator was very nice and worked hard to make everyone happy. She was always smiling and very happy to help with anything you needed. Cabo San Lucas - My favorite port by far! It is just beautiful! Norwegian tried there best to ruin it with the awful tender experience, but we didn't let that bother us. Getting off the ship in the mornings was fine because we had planned excursions and were taken as a group to the tenders. It was getting back off the ship and on after dinner that proved to be challenging. We were in port overnight. The first day we tour the boat tour out to the Arch and went to the glass blowing plant. The Arch is beautiful and the glass blowing plant is amazing. The shop at the glass blowing plant is a great place to by inexpensive gifts. I couldn't get over the great prices there. If you have a lot of shopping to do skip the demonstration and go straight to the shop. You only get 30 minutes to shop and I could have stayed for hours. When we finished out tour we shopped around the amazing marina, after spending some disappointing time a Senior Frogs, where they said they had WiFi, but it wouldn't work. The marina is huge and you can spend an entire day just shopping and looking around. After a long day in the heat we decided to go back to the ship, freshen up, eat dinner and return to the marina to find a go WiFi connection. A lot of the stores close early in the Marina, and we didn't know that. We found a place to get some drinks and WiFi. We wanted to be sure to be back on the ship prior to 10:00 PM, because after 10:00 they only have one tender per hour running. I don't understand the thought process on this when you are docked in port from 8:00 Am until 2:00 PM the following afternoon. We were back at the port ready to catch the tender at 8:30 PM. We had to wait forever for the tender to arrive and once it did we were told that we couldn't get on the tender because it was rocking too much. Everyone trying to get back on the ship was not happy and expressing their displeasure with the process. They finally let us on the tender that was rocking too much and we arrived back on the ship at 10:00 PM. That is a very long time to wait for a tender. We later learned that they only had two tenders running. This is unacceptable to me in the service area as we only have limited time at ports and on the ship before we have to return home to the real world. The second day we went horse back riding on the beach in beautiful Cabo. You get some great views of the water and your picture taken on you on your horse with the beach in the background. This is a great excursion to do on your second day in port. You get back to port in time to shop a little more before you get back on the ship for the last time. Our inside cabin room was plenty for us as we are not in the room much at all. The shower is very small and makes it difficult to shave your legs, but other than that there was plenty of room for two during our 11 day cruise. The bed on the other hand were awful! They were so hard and lumpy that my husband and I had to take Advil PM in order to be able to sleep. 11 days is a long time to sleep on a lumpy, hard bed! Our needs were met by our room steward everyday. We always received prompt service when requested and we had fresh ice in our ice bucket each time we returned to our room. He kept it very clean and was the only employee that we felt deserved additional tip money from us. I've had better food on other cruise lines and a menu that changed every night. They had a standard menu that never changed and the other side of the menu did change each night. I had two good pasta dishes, but other than that my taste buds were left lacking. The best meal of the day was breakfast at the buffet and I didn't get my baked Alaska that I so look forward to each time I cruise. Do yourself a favor and purchase the specialty dining package when you book this cruise. We ate at the steak house one night and the service is what we have grown to expect from the main dining room on the cruise ship and the food was excellent! I feel like I must mention as stated earlier in this review how poor the service was in both of the main dining rooms. Also, there was supposed to be a dress code in the Seven Seas dining room. However, it was not being enforced. Why do cruise lines force us to shove all of those nice clothes in a suitcase along with our casual clothes while trying to keep our luggage under 50 pounds since we have to fly to the port only to find it was totally unnecessary to begin with? Either make the entire ship cruise casual or enforce the dress code. This is very frustrating for us rule followers! The entertainment was decent. We missed the O What A Night Performance, because of the problem with our shore excursion. Most of the entertainment seemed geared for an older crowd and I have to admit that I felt like one of the youngest adults on the ship at the age of 44. The disembarkation process needs serious help! That process was the biggest mess I have ever seen. If you are going to do easy walk off at anytime and handle your own luggage you have to go down to deck 3, deck 5 is too steep for luggage. All of the no US Citizens have to go through immigration. They are told to be in the observation lounge at 6:00 AM. Yes, you guessed it people didn't follow the rules. The ship docked an hour early and we were scheduled be able to walk off the ship at 8:30 AM. They were still looking for all of the non US Citizens at 8:30. They tried many times during the 1 1/2 hours we waited from the time we docked to locate these people, but had a very hard time. We could have exited the ship early had it not been for these people. Once again the rule followers were punished for the actions of a few rule breaking people. We were able to get off the ship a little after 8:30 AM, getting a cab and over to the airport was very easy. This was our fourth cruise and we have never experienced such and unorganized lengthy disembarkation process. I'm not sure if the cruise line, port terminal, or immigration is to blame for this one. All in all we enjoined each port and I would love to return and spend more time in these lovely places. However, if I could find the same itinerary using a different cruise line I would definitely take them instead of Norwegian in hopes that the cruise line would provide a more updated ship, better customer service, better meals and more accommodating entertainment times and a comfortable bed to sleep in. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015

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