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86 San Francisco to Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

This was our 20th cruise and 7th on Princess, so we are familiar with all things Princess. We chose this itinerary because we like San Francisco and wanted the stops in different countries before and after the Panamá Canal. The timing ... Read More
This was our 20th cruise and 7th on Princess, so we are familiar with all things Princess. We chose this itinerary because we like San Francisco and wanted the stops in different countries before and after the Panamá Canal. The timing (November 17 departure) fit our schedule and we were very fortunate with the weather; we had only one day of rain, that being an all day rain on the day of PC passage. We were in a mini suite on Dolphin deck, port side. Fairly comfortable with a nice bed (although we heard complaints from the older crowd that it was too soft), plenty of storage, 2 TVs and a smallish if adequate balcony. There was serious salt damage to the sliding door and exterior fixtures on the balcony but it didn’t affect our trip. Very few rattles and creaks as we had pretty calm sailing most days and nights. Now for the review: the crew was mostly nice, although not enthusiastic like we’ve experienced before. Cruise director predictably corny but that’s his job. Best cabin steward (Geoffrey) we’ve ever had. The food (and service) was not that great in the DR and only passably better in the Horizon court buffet. The overall decreasing quality of the DR food over the years is one of our main complaints with Princess. When you see menu inserts offering $20 meal upgrades, it seems like the chef has given up with every day food quality. Pizza still reliable, as is the hamburger/brat bar. Room service was great. Bar-tenders OK. Coffee bar folks very good, as was the coffee (worth the extra cost). The Cajun restaurant was in our opinion not worth the $29 ea upcharge, nor was the Crab night in the Horizon ($25 ea). Because of this we canceled our Sabbatini reservations and never missed it. The British pub lunches were very good. The entertainment was great the first half, especially ventriloquist Don Horn, and another comedian, but they swapped ships when we met the Emerald mid way through the cruise and the second half variety guys not that good. Nice theater though. Princess does a good job with the actual Canal passage, using a running loudspeaker commentary by a canal expert, and this was great. It was nice to finally do the transit. The other stops were ho-hum with tours to match. Cabo was very pretty and there was a nice boar tour. All other stops did not excite, and the tour leaders were either difficult to understand or lacked enthusiasm. Not a great value, especially the tour of Gatlin lake, which was nothing more than 90 minutes on an uncomfortable barge doing a wide circle around a few hundred acre inlet looking for lizards and monkeys in the trees. Wish we’d passed on that one. All in all, I would not do this one again as 15 days was too long, taking into account the 8 sea days (seemed like more) which gets monotonous. On the good side, since the average age on the cruise was maybe 75 years (lots of scooters) there’s no rush for deck chairs by the pool. More people in the shade than sun. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We wanted a winter cruise to warmer climes and a chance to transit the Panama Canal. Pros: -Our Coral Princess cabin was very quiet and comfortable, entirely adequate. The Promenade Deck was a delight, great place to walk, nice ... Read More
We wanted a winter cruise to warmer climes and a chance to transit the Panama Canal. Pros: -Our Coral Princess cabin was very quiet and comfortable, entirely adequate. The Promenade Deck was a delight, great place to walk, nice deck chairs to relax in, great viewing of the Panama Canal. -Dinners in the main dining room were outstanding. Had seafood virtually every meal, the staff was fantastic. -The Theatre entertainment was also outstanding. Great shows, highly professional, not to be missed. Cons: -Abusive prices for wines purchased on board in the main dining rooms. Outrageous! -Stern Serenity Area: $20/half day!!! Seriously?! -Lido Deck Hamburgers & Pizza - awful, don't bother. Worst we have ever had. -Breakfast sausage - greasy! -Food selections in the Horizons Cafe quite limited except for salads. -Far too few port stops on this cruise, far too many days at sea for length of cruise. One port stop (Nicaragua) was cancelled due to rough weather. -No self serve of beverages except water, tea, coffee. Even lemonade is by special request! -Internet service is hardly worth paying for, marginal at best. -On-board smart phone messaging between passengers about like Windows 95. Terrible, no sound alerts, often had to be re-loaded, re-booted, exasperating! -Main doors to Promenade deck, Lido Deck, Sun Deck, Horizons Cafe are very heavy wooden things that require a huge effort for most people. Great place to transfer germs, they feel sticky and will knock you down if you are not prepared. The should be automatic! -Overall the ship had a very "Stodgy" feel and atmosphere. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Only ship doing full Panama Canal transit at time of the booking. May be the first person to loose weight on a cruise ship Ship just came out of dry dock. Suppose to be in Ft Lauderdale night before cruise but didn't arrive ... Read More
Only ship doing full Panama Canal transit at time of the booking. May be the first person to loose weight on a cruise ship Ship just came out of dry dock. Suppose to be in Ft Lauderdale night before cruise but didn't arrive until 10 am cruise day prior to cruise. Long wait in terminal. Ship was dirty. Mud / salt on cabin balcony walls & floor. Finally used pool towels to clean area and furniture ourselves. Most exterior public areas filthy. Deck furniture filthy. Cabin bathroom. First 4 days sink drain plugged. Had to dip dirty water from sink with glass to use sink. For 5 days toilet valve was stuck causing toilet to overflow on floor. Every morning bathroom floor was flooded and carpet outside bathroom was wet. Cabin Stewart said maintenance didn't have any repair parts to fix toilet valve. Next 3 days toilet didn't leak but didn't have any water to flush toilet. Had to get water from the shower to flush toilet. Drink service in public areas was terrible. some times 15-20 minute wait for drinks. Most of the time went to bar, tired of waiting on servers. First 2 days of cruise not allowed on upper & sport decks. Crews were still working on ship from dry dock. Sport deck equipment poor. Shuffle Board some equipment missing, deck so rough the pucks wouldn't slide. Court netting loose / torn at several areas. Prominade deck at one end cluttered with shipping crates and rolls of carpeting. Barley room to walk through. Daytime entertainment almost didn't exist. Almost no entertainment on exterior deck. If you did play Trivia or Rip-Off Bingo there wasn't much of anything else to do. Movies under the stars was highly promoted but out of service most on the cruise. Night theater entertainment was excellent. Theater was over crowded and difficult to get seating if not there 45 minutes early. Don't expect drink service, only 2 waiters for the whole theater. Show time scheduled later so both early & late dinners could attend the show at same time causing over crowding of the theatre Getting cocktails in the casino was impossible. One time I seen a waiter walk through but never stopped. Had to go to another bar and get drinks yourself. Food quality was poor. Buffet special was only 1-2 pans. Rest was repeat every day. Food at bottom of pans stuck from being warmed over. Main dining room menu almost the same everyday, usually only had 1-2 changes. Rest was same items every day. Dinner rolls at all dining areas were hard and dried out. Couldn't cut through crust with dinner knife. Dissert was good Probable never again travel with Princess Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This ship gave us an up close and personal experience with the Panama Canal. The ship was just the right size for efficiency, all the staff was amazing. The entertainment was great, needed a little more variety for daytime, and not just ... Read More
This ship gave us an up close and personal experience with the Panama Canal. The ship was just the right size for efficiency, all the staff was amazing. The entertainment was great, needed a little more variety for daytime, and not just shopping. Food was OK, loved the Movies under the stars, and all the nooks and crannies to spend my day relaxing if I wish. We were in B612, and loved having a balcony to ourselves. We were disappointed that due to weather were unable to stop in Nicaragua, but the experience of the Canal was amazing! Cruise staff was extremely friendly, as was all the dining, bar and wait staff. Loved the Princess experience! Our shore excursion to the Walk in the Clouds was a little disappointing in Costa Rica, way too long bus ride, and not much to see when we got there. We did the arch boat ride in Cabo, which was very good, and the Gatun Lake boat to Monkey Island in Puerto Amador was very good as well, We used Dora in Cartagena and she is amazing. Highly recommended. The Everglades tour at Fort Lauderdale was the worst,,,,only because of the organization...the bus an hour late which shortened the tour due to guests needing to get to the airport. Once we got to Everglades Holiday Park, it was enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We choose this ship and cruise as it fitted with the locations and time. The ship was very nice, cabins without a doubt dated and in need of a makeover but perfectly clean and adequate. Beds and pillows very comfy. The main areas have ... Read More
We choose this ship and cruise as it fitted with the locations and time. The ship was very nice, cabins without a doubt dated and in need of a makeover but perfectly clean and adequate. Beds and pillows very comfy. The main areas have had a refurb and the Atrium is very smart. Staff very friendly and helpful, nothing was too much trouble. The food in Horizons, excellent so much choice all day long, always hot. Provance dinning room pleasant, waitress was a real gem, full of good humour and professional . Food on the second week maybe not quite so much choice, but none the less a few adaptions here and there asking for extra veg, potatoes was soon organised. We were also lucky enough to have a meal in Sabatinis as a wedding anniversary treat. NB..do not eat before you go as so many delicious courses. It is however very disappointing when passengers do not follow the dress code , example on Formal nights a lot people arriving in the theatre in sports wear, jeans , shorts. The excursions like all cruise excursions not long enough and due to weather the tender was not able to operate to Nicaragua which meant 5 days at sea, its a pity another port on another day could not have been organised. Overall more sea days that land days, but the highlight being the Panama Canal was worth the wait. We did the excursion the day before on the smaller boat so was fantastic being in the canal on smaller boat and then the ship. Also saw plenty of Dolphin pods and a whale. Movies under the Stars , we watched 2 films, popcorn was served. Blanket provided but not needed. Entertainment was good although some not for us, maybe being British made the difference as we did not know the singers from Nashville. The last show Silk was excellent. Downside need to get to the theatre at last 40 minutes early to secure a seat, annoyingly a lot people reserved for friends who did not show. Only 2 waiters generally on duty serving drinks. Wi fi was worth having although it did fail on two occasions. Immigration at the end was awful, over a hour as US Citizens were fast tracked , even though the Non US Citizens queue was very long. We missed our connection taxi due to the delay and had to make other arrangements, plus we were 30 minutes later that the given time to disembark the ship. Very satisfied with the overall cruise, would most definitely sail with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I choose this cruise because if the itineray ie full transit of the Panama Canal Overall the cruise was good although st night time it was dead definetly an older age group on this type of cruise Embarkation was quick and smooth. ... Read More
I choose this cruise because if the itineray ie full transit of the Panama Canal Overall the cruise was good although st night time it was dead definetly an older age group on this type of cruise Embarkation was quick and smooth. the ship itself is okay but dated. the cabin okay smaller than I am used to and the shower far too small - bathroom floor ended up soaking every night Entertainment - was mediocre the cruise director poor although not a bad singer Dining staff and bar staff fab Food in dining room was good but not keen on Horizon tended to use The Grill and Pizza place We did go for afternoon tea a couple of times which was great but the staff come round and try to put everything on your small plate at once ie sandwiches scones jam cream cake and cookie instead they should serve sandwiches and when you are ready the could fo the scones etc but it was good and staff are only being told to do by management. Ports and excursions were good Would I go again yeah but not sure on princess as I found drinks package expensive and the internet really expensive think princess need to look at the costs of these and come in line with other cruise companies Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, and Princess is our go to cruise line. Our cabin was standard Princess, small and efficient with a tiny bathroom and shower. The crew was great and helpful. They seemed like a happy crew. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, and Princess is our go to cruise line. Our cabin was standard Princess, small and efficient with a tiny bathroom and shower. The crew was great and helpful. They seemed like a happy crew. We think the entertainment was very good compared to our past cruises on Princess. There were some very talented singers and dancers. The food was uneven; sometimes very good, other times small portions and way too much salt. A note to the Chef, taste it before you send it out. Embarkation and departure was smooth and efficient. The Princess sponsored port activities were fine but overpriced. We did private excursions in Costa Rica and Cartagena and were happier with those. Now for my big complaint. Effy the ship jewelry store. It is almost impossible to walk by the store without being accosted by pushy salesmen. It is as bad as time share sales in some ports. It is like they invited the Diamond International people on board and gave them free reign. This is really offensive to me and I’m sure many other guests. If I want to buy some jewelry, I’ll come into the store and check it out, otherwise get out of my face. I am hoping this is just an anomaly but if it is like this on other Princess cruises I may have to re-evaluate my go to cruise line. If anybody from Princess reads this, have them back off. Most people don’t appreciate high pressure sales tactics on a captive audience. There, I’ve said my piece. Aside from Effy we had a really good time on this cruise and would recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Exceptional Princess entertainment. We also enjoyed Crooners most every night with David Moore. The Princess orchestra did an amazing job with all of the entertainers. Our mini-suite was a plus-loved the larger balcony and bathroom. ... Read More
Exceptional Princess entertainment. We also enjoyed Crooners most every night with David Moore. The Princess orchestra did an amazing job with all of the entertainers. Our mini-suite was a plus-loved the larger balcony and bathroom. Steward service by Khus was efficient and friendly on the 10th deck. The guitarist-Danny- provided great music in the Wheelhouse. The lectures were outstanding—-especially the day-long dialog going through the Panama Canal with Bill. Boarding in San Francisco was quick as well as our Deboard in Ft Lauderdale. The best part for us was going through the Panama Canal since this was reason we opted for this particular cruise. In December the canal traffic was light but it still takes all day to go thru the locks. Remember to inform those at home to check out the island princess.com web camera so they can view you going thru the locks. The weather in Dec 2018 was perfect. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Primary reason for choosing this cruise was the ports of call. Unfortunately three of our ports of call were bypassed by Oceania; Carbo San Lucas Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Instead we spent 2 1/2-additional days at sea. It is like ... Read More
Primary reason for choosing this cruise was the ports of call. Unfortunately three of our ports of call were bypassed by Oceania; Carbo San Lucas Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Instead we spent 2 1/2-additional days at sea. It is like a cruise to no where. We have no idea why the ship was unable to arrive at Costa Rica on time. We arrived five hours late causing us to miss the eco excursion, which was most important for my wife and I. Since we had two and have extra days at sea, you would think we would have arrived on time in Costa Rica. We arranged a meeting with the ships general manager. We received little sympathy. As a matter of fact we were threatened by the general manager not to have conversation with other passengers relative to our disappointment.We are in the process of filing a formal complaint with Oceania's senior management and parent company(Norwegian). All in all the cruise was a big disappointment. The hostile atmosphere made us very anxious and apprehensive for 18 days. The cruise was my wife and my seventh cruise with Oceania. The Staff in the Terrace Café had a major communication problem. Most of them were(I believe) from India or the Philippines. You had to explain to them exactly what you wanted and half the time it was received incorrectly. Big disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I have been on 2 previous Oceania cruises and chose this one because it left from San Francisco to many ports I hadn't visited and through the Panama Canal. Unfortunately, we changed itinerary for 8 days due to a tropical storm and ... Read More
I have been on 2 previous Oceania cruises and chose this one because it left from San Francisco to many ports I hadn't visited and through the Panama Canal. Unfortunately, we changed itinerary for 8 days due to a tropical storm and missed 5 excursions. Communication from Captain or cruise director was terrible. No explanation for any thing. Morale among the passengers was very poor. I'm sure they lost some loyal customers (including my husband and myself) The food in Grand Dining Room and The Terrace is still very good, but a step down from what we experienced on previous sailings. Toscana and Polo Grill are still wonderful. Service staff in general were lovely, but some were poorly trained with snafus on drink orders and restaurant reservations which seemed to disappear even though we had the print out summary of our reservations from the front desk. There was no explanation, no apology and we were supposed to feel grateful that they managed to "fit us in." There were power outages and some ship sections experienced non- flushing toilets at times. The ship is due for an overhaul and we got the impression it had many ongoing mechanical issues. But none of this was address by the staff. Our cabin was quite nice and kept very clean by housekeeping staff. There was good entertainment and plenty of activities like Trivia, golf putting, shuffleboard, ping pong, Bridge lessons and games, casino w slots and poker tournaments, karaoke. But we went for the port visits and excursions, not endless sea days. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
There are many reviews of this poor cruise already posted. I support the information and analysis and conclusions reached by the reviewers as well as information and analysis in the current thread on the current Oceania board. ... Read More
There are many reviews of this poor cruise already posted. I support the information and analysis and conclusions reached by the reviewers as well as information and analysis in the current thread on the current Oceania board. While new to CC (thanks to my TA), I am not new to cruising across many brands. This was my 3rd and last Oceania cruise. My concerns are: 1) Oceania management anti customer first attitude - as reviewers have stated, no attempt was made to reinstate ports or find another port from the many cruise friendly ports along the Mexican and Central American pacific coast. Apparently they made the decision to kill ports 7 days before reaching the Baja and the tropical storm, Bottom line, we passed the Baja a day and a bit after the storm left the area. As others have noted, so we lost 3 days of ports but only were delayed 1 day in San Diego (a port swap from Cabo). Really? For 4 days be plodded along slowly - no attempt was made to speed up to get to a replacement port. They had the nerve to show up at 3 pm in Puntarenas Costa Rica which was 2 hours before dark. I heard an officer say to another that they had to get staff off for training in Miami. Ah, the real reason they showed up there. Bottom line, Oceania did not care about providing replacement ports because they already had our $ and frankly I believe they thought we were all sheep accepting Oceania's claim to fame. They have found out differently. The Oceania arrogance is the main reason why I will not patronize Oceania again. 2) The harassment and threats to guests. Thankfully I was not one of them, but I did hear comments from others about the situation. Not acceptable Oceania. 3) Regatta has a dubious mechanical history. I should have done more investigation on the history of this ship. It is not a pretty history. On the cruise before ours, the ship missed Juneau and lost power. On this trip, there were flickering lights, short power outages, toilets not working. I will check out the track record of any future ship before I book. 4) Food decline. The new menus reduced the choice and quality of food offerings. The food in the GDR was no better than my last Celebrity MDR experience. The food in the Terrace was a step down as well, granted they do have grilled lobster etc but that hardly makes up for the limited buffet. I have to say the food on this trip had little to no taste and I quickly lost interest in eating. The table side caesar salad in Toscanna was bland and of middling quality. The hard working staff were outstanding as usual. The overall atmosphere on this cruise was one of irritation and distrust - this did not go away and was overt on the last day when cruise comments were being prepared. In my many cruises, I have never heard a passenger load speak with such hostility towards the cruise line. There are many choices in the world of cruising so I will move my cruise business to a different cruise line. I will not speak highly of Oceania in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Oceania Regatta – Panama Canal – From San Francisco to Miami – 18 Days – October 8 to 26, 2018 This voyage was a significant disappointment to me, my spouse and members of our group. It is doubtful if we and our group will ... Read More
Oceania Regatta – Panama Canal – From San Francisco to Miami – 18 Days – October 8 to 26, 2018 This voyage was a significant disappointment to me, my spouse and members of our group. It is doubtful if we and our group will patronize Oceania again because we did not receive a premium cruise line ship nor product and the negative specifics of this cruise as noted below sealed our decision. To summarize: 1) Cancelled ports before we left the dock in San Fran. We had 2 cancelled ports, 1 port reduced to 2 hrs before darkness and 1 port swap. Guests were provided minimal information on the reasons why quickly dying Sergio had such an impact on our itinerary - other than the Captain saying there is a tropical storm. San Diego was swapped for Cabo. Missed Nicaragua and El Salvador. Supposed to be in Puntarenas at 11 but arrived at 3. Were told tides were a problem there. We actually arrived 1.5 hrs before the lowest tide. The tide is 1 metre there. We believe that the tide excuse was a lie. We found out that the ship had to be at this port because staff were flying to Miami. They created 2 tours there both of which had the last 1 hour in total darkness. So they put their corporate requirements ahead of giving the passengers a real port day. There is a history of mechanical issues with Regatta as previously posted on CC (see below). There are also CC Oceania regulars who note Oceania has a history of missing and shortening ports. Bottom line - slowed down for 1 day to allow the storm to pass but missed 3 days of ports. The math does not work in Oceania’s favor. 2) No attempt to reinstate some ports given that Sergio moved across the Baja very quickly - many on the ship monitored NOAA so we were very much aware of the situation. Ship management never explained why we could not make another port. Total silence. 3) Number 2) then contributed to 3). On the pacific side, why was the ship going 15.3 knots for long periods of time? The ship is capable of a higher speed, why was it not engaged to reinstate a port? 4) On the Atlantic side, suddenly the ship was doing 20.9 knots. Why was this speed not available on the Pacific side? ie 2) and 3) above. The speed differential on the different sides set myself and the passengers into further disillusionment. 5) Water, Toilet, Power Disruptions - Lights were flashing from time to time, power was out 1 night at 2am, repeated toilet malfunction throughout the ship. Water was luke warm most of the time in the bathroom sink. No cold water in the bathroom. 6) Treatment of Guests. Guest relations was swamped with guests asking for information, return of port fees, more information on why the port cancellations, the unsatisfactory and unsafe tour buses in Acapulco, the poor tour in Puntarenas etc. Regatta management searched out guests who went to guest relations (particularly those requesting return of port fees and why no attempt to reinstate a port) and forced them to meet with the General Manager and other managers. In some cases there was 1 guest to 3 management. Guests were intimidated into signing paperwork to cease talking to guests, (myself included). If we did not sign, would be consequences. The defensiveness of the Regatta management was very overt. For 3 nights, Ray the CD, was booed in the Regatta show room. Some of the guests forced a meeting with the Captain. 7) Decline of food quality. Post the new menu in August 2018, the food size, quality, appearance, variety in the GDR and the Terrace had declined since my last trip in Sept 2017. All meat was tougher and portions smaller. Something was off, there was so little taste to anything even when labeled as Cajun. Quality examples – salads swimming in mayonnaise, bean salad in the GDR was 3 types of canned beans with 2 sliced onion rings, no dressing, no taste. A salad had the white/pale yellow insides of an iceberg lettuce with 3 pieces of blue cheese and 2 walnuts that is it. A very noticeable cut back were the high tea sandwiches – much higher % of white bread, less ingredients and decoration, less seafood fillings – and, a number of them were frozen, not cold. A couple at the next table took the frozen sandwiches down to guest relations to complain. They came back to their table and told guests that they were dismissed. There was some repeats given the voyage was 18 days. Thinking about Oceania's marketing "finest cuisine at sea" - did not end my trip with that impression. The food on this trip was similar to my mass cruise line experiences, with the exception of the specialties which were better. 8) The Ship and Cabin. A small ship with considerable movement in only 6 foot waves – would never book this type of ship again, found the movement actually dangerous. Given it is 20 years old it shows decent maintenance. As often reported of all the R ships of Oceania and Azamara, the small size of the bathroom and cabin size is not appropriate for a premium cruise line. A negative is also the balcony dividers, the dividers had a 2 inch opening against the hull so you really did not have privacy. 9) Shore Excursions. In Acapulco, the 12 person size tour van were unsafe. The seat belts did not work, there were no headrests and there was no A/C for the back half of the bus. Guests in the back left the excursion half way through. There was no pa system on the van, so the driver was constantly during towards the back to yell information - this often while driving!. The tour was good though seeing all the highlights and viewpoints. The vans were not premium quality as should be the case given this was an Oceania cruise. I and others were scared the entire time the van was moving. On to Puntarenas. As noted above, we were very late arriving. Only 2 hours to darkness. They put together two tours - one a brief area tour and shopping and one for a horse show. Our friends did the shopping tour. The bus was not well equipped and the last hour was driving in the dark. There was a very large lineup at guest relations and shore excursions thereafter. On the positive side: 10) Staff/Crew - simply outstanding in every regard. Their smiles, salutations, work ethic, friendliness and engagement a 10/10. All the staff, everyone, was great. The room stewardess and steward were wonderful and kept our cabin spotless and in order. The service was at a premium level. Unlike Celebrity who used to have pool wait staff, Oceania does and they also provide glasses of iced water on a regular basis. The service level was at the premium category. 11) Cabin 7047. Concierge. Excellent mid ship location. Quiet, no mechanical sounds and no operational rooms across from the cabin. 12) Other – Very good specialty restaurants with significant menu choice, a real high tea every day, a real Sunday brunch with ice carvings etc just like the old days, excellent live music aboard, excellent soundtracks and volume level, the breads were divine, port lectures good. The Oceania mattress was excellent. 13) No ship within a ship – everyone on Oceania ships mingle together and eat together and enjoy the same level of service. There is no overt class segmentation which isolates guests from each other like on the mass lines. There were many guests I spoke to who were on Oceania and Viking and Crystal because they refuse to sail on the mass cruise line ships that promote physical class segmentation. This is a major reason I have sailed with Oceania. 14) No mass market shrilling for sales, photo sales, painting sales etc. It was delightful to not have the mass market intrusive revenue generating experience. 15) Appropriate entertainment. The Oceania orchestra was excellent and very personable. "Grace" the string group were super especially their rendition of Michael Jackson's Thriller. The type of music like 60's and 70's songs, Broadway theme songs complimented the passenger profile. There were no Vegas style shows. Bottom line on this trip, the premium quality was not there and there was no trust in Oceania ship management and corporate. Like my household, many guests booked this cruise for the birding and naturalist opportunities to be provided in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador - all were eliminated. I and others, ended up not trusting Oceania's explanation of why our itinerary was adjusted to such a significant degree. Everyone was aware of dying tropical storm Sergio. Perhaps a more customer friendly and detailed explanation of the impacts of the storm might have enabled guests to understand and accept the significant changes. It seemed that Oceania was not interested in working hard to reinstate a port for the benefit of the guests. The ship was plodding along at below 16 knots for many days, we do wonder why an original port, or another port of many along the Pacific side, could not have been reinstated since the ship can sail in excess of 18 knots. As well, there were guests who were well aware of Regatta's past mechanical history in the past year. This information became common knowledge on the ship. Some of these mechanical issues have previously been reported on CC. November 7, 2017 being towed by the Coast Guard into Honolulu after being dead in the water with no power. May 2018, delayed in Cartagena awaiting parts. On the Alaska cruise just before this one, the ship missed Juneau and again was dead in the water for hours. Other than the excellent service and excellent specialty restaurants, Oceania’s product was not better than other mass market cruises. One of the most telling experiences on this voyage was on the last day. By the pool, groups of guests were completing their questionnaires. People were talking and sharing their forms with the general comments being “cruise from hell”, “poor value”, “don’t trust them”, “food really declined” etc. People were angry. The group of 12 guests close to my chaise lounge were competing to see who could produce the most negative rating. In the end, Oceania management's aggressive response to guest questions told me they had something to hide. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We selected this cruise for it's itinerary - San Francisco to Miami with stops in Catallina, Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia and Havana. On day one an announcement was made that ... Read More
We selected this cruise for it's itinerary - San Francisco to Miami with stops in Catallina, Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia and Havana. On day one an announcement was made that because of Hurricane Sergio we could not stop at Cabo San Lucas, El Salvador, Nicaragua and we would get to Costa Rica very late in the day. Pretty quickly "Hurricane Sergio" fizzled out. With no further explanation the ports were not added back in. When questioned, the Executive Consigliere and others had no answer. The best we got was "we would arrive at the port at night". This explanation made no sense. While I am very in favor of safety, this seemed to be an opportunity for Oceania to save on port charges. Is the increase of spending on days at sea better for them? Some of the passengers had been on the Regatta prior to this cruise for an Alaska cruise (back to back cruises). The port in Juneau was deleted because of wind. These ports deletions gave us many more days at sea. On a small ship there is only so much bingo (45 minutes a day) and shuffleboard you can play. Another passenger told us that on a previous Oceania cruise that was to include Easter Island there were 11 straight days at sea also because of deleted ports. At the halfway point of the cruise we were given a survey to complete. We felt that the Main Dining Room food quality had really declined since our last cruise. We had several staff personally find us and discuss with us and try to rectify. Of course we mentioned the deletion of the ports on the survey - NO ONE addressed that with us. The excursions were not as good as we have experienced in the past. The last one - Highlights of Havana - was a waste of time and money. It was a bus tour. While the very high back seats were comfortable, they blocked vision. We could see very little from our seats. The tour guide was very hard to understand and he took us to a cemetery and told us we would have a special guide there who we should tip. The special guide spoke no English. Also the bathroom on the bus was out of order. Not good with the age of the group. Food in the specialty restaurants was excellent. Service there was excellent as well. Cruise Director did a good job. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We had a great experience on an Atlantic crossing on the Riviera a few years ago so when we found a Panama Canal cruise with oceana with el Salvador, Nicaragua and Cuba on the itinerary, we signed up. During our safety drill, before even ... Read More
We had a great experience on an Atlantic crossing on the Riviera a few years ago so when we found a Panama Canal cruise with oceana with el Salvador, Nicaragua and Cuba on the itinerary, we signed up. During our safety drill, before even leaving port in San Francisco, we were told that because of hurricane, we will be skipping Cabo’s, El Salvador and Nicaragua, substituting instead San Diego, all for our safety. We can understand substituting San Diego for Cabo’s, but El Salvador and Nicaragua were 9 and 10 days later, with hurricane heading north while we are heading south. Deciding to chuck those ports at that time seemed premature. Sure enough, two days later, the coast was clear, but we were told it was too late to reinstate the original itinerary. Despite the fact that we still had a week to go before originally scheduled dates of arrival. And as though this was not enough, and despite the three extra sea days, we arrived five hours late in Costa Rica so any meaningful tours were cancelled. Instead, we took a tour called Scenis Costa Rica with half of the tour in the dark since the sun sets there at 5:30. Four excursion were included free on this cruise so Oceana saved a nice tidy sum with all these changes, just on abandoned shore excursions alone. It doesn’t matter how good the food or services were when ports of call get jettisoned so opportunistically! If we just wanted sea days, we would have taken a much less expensive repositioning cruise. Yesterday we learned that oceana was purchased by Norwegian since we last cruised on the Riviera. What a shame to purchase a line with impeccable reputation and then ruin it! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
After much research, we chose this sailing because of the nine ports of call included in the itinerary, which means fewer days at sea of course. We boarded the ship in San Francisco on Mon. Oct 8 with a 6 pm sailing scheduled. ... Read More
After much research, we chose this sailing because of the nine ports of call included in the itinerary, which means fewer days at sea of course. We boarded the ship in San Francisco on Mon. Oct 8 with a 6 pm sailing scheduled. Emergency evacuation drill was in the hour prior to sailing. After getting us all assembled on the deck, the captain came over the PA system telling us that due to a storm forming in the Pacific, Sergio, our itinerary would be changing. Sergio was set to make landfall on the Baja Peninsula on Fri. Oct 12. Therefore, we would not be visiting the ports of Cabo San Lucas, El Salvador, Nicaragua and instead of a docking time of 11 am in Costa Rica we would be delayed until 1 pm. We would still have Catalina Island and San Diego would be added. That would mean the first sea day as planned, 2 stops in the US and then 3 and a half days at sea in a row before arriving in Costa Rica. Catalina Island is very small and while San Diego is an interesting city, many had been there before, or at the vey least, we all know how easy it is to visit if one wishes. This announcement brought immediate negative, unhappy reactions from the guests. Sergio? There was nothing in the news about this storm. The captain emphasized safety first. Safety yes. But this seemed to be a drastic reaction to a storm that had not yet made any presence in the news media. Many of us wondered why, if we had to miss ports, the decision was not made to push out right away, skip the US ports and get south of the path of the storm. Visiting the countries in Central America was a big attraction to this sailing and they were wiped out from the get-go. In the end we did not even dock in Costa Rica until 3 pm (we were told because of tides??) and had to be back on board in 4.5 hours. At first glance that might seem acceptable but one must realize that it was dark about 5pm so we could see nothing of their stunning natural environment. As it turned out Sergio crossed the Baja late Fri. morning as expected and was only a tropical storm. Missing the ports was disappointing enough but there was no apology, seemingly no remorse and absolutely no perk or credit of any kind offered to soften the blow. Sergio fizzled out. but apparently, we could not even pick up one of the missed ports. And we were late arriving in Costa Rica because of tides? What does that mean? No explanation given. After returning from this cruise we began searching the internet and found reviews reporting that Regatta has a habit of missing ports. Why? No answers have seemingly been given to anyone. I must say though that the food on the ship was wonderful. The service staff were generally attentive and responded to requests. Their methods of communication however need improving. Most important announcements were printed and placed on the bed. Sometimes we found notices stuck on our door. Once they placed a printed notice at the gangway expecting passengers to see it and pick it up. WHAT? Not everyone got off the ship at that port and many people simply did not see the notice as it was not handed out or pointed out in any way. They continued to post incorrect information on the TV days after changes took place. A smaller point that should be addressed includes reminding guests of the dress code for the grand dining room and actually making an effort to ask guests to adhere. Caps, shorts and flipflops don't belong there. If this had been my first Oceania cruise it might very well have been my last, so disappointed was I with this sailing. One last comment here- debarkation was a nightmare. It took about 2 hours for the ship to be cleared and the removal of luggage was dreadfully slow. People were anxious as flights were leaving and some had to have missed theirs. Upon investigation it seems this is not the first time Regatta has had this problem either. Other ships in Miami seemed to get their passengers off. But Regatta was abysmal.!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because of the great intinerary, half of which we never got to see. Before we even left San Francisco it was announced that we would be skipping three of the ports and we got to Costa Rica too late to do anything, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the great intinerary, half of which we never got to see. Before we even left San Francisco it was announced that we would be skipping three of the ports and we got to Costa Rica too late to do anything, basically missing four ports. There was no credible explanation given. Never an apology or offer off compensation. To top it off we had a horrific experience on the tour in Cartegena and asked for a refund. Hah! Of course not. This was our third and last Oceania cruise. Every one has had ports canceled with no offer of refunds or credits. We went on an Easter Island cruise two years ago and they cancelled Easter Island!! The food was mediocre. The entertainment was good, as were most of the crew members. Oceania customer service very poor. Every passenger we spoke to on the ship said this is their last trip with Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our first, and last, Oceania cruise. As other reviews on this voyage have noted, Oceania failed to deliver a premium cruise and their arrogance towards the guests was visible and disgusting. The one bright spot was the ... Read More
This was our first, and last, Oceania cruise. As other reviews on this voyage have noted, Oceania failed to deliver a premium cruise and their arrogance towards the guests was visible and disgusting. The one bright spot was the hardworking crew - the best service we have received on a cruise. * The ship itself is small and not stable even in low wave height * The food in the Terrace and GDR was marginally better than the mass cruise lines we have patronized, but the service in these venues was better as there was less handling of food by passengers - simply more staff and more clean tables. Nice ambiance given all the tables had tablecloths. This was a premium item. * The specialties were only a bit better than experienced on Celebrity really, but there were more menu items to choose from, but more offerings does not automatically equate to quality. A bit better refers to having the roasted garlic in the bread basket in Toscana, the olive oil wagon etc. * Enjoyed the real high tea. The tea sandwiches were cheap though * The shore excursions were few due to the inappropriate port cancellations. Vans in Acapulco were unsafe with no seat belts, limited to no a/c. The shore excursions were often focused on shopping etc We did not believe Oceania's explanation on why 2 ports were cancelled, 1 port shortened to 2 hrs only before nightfall, a swap of Cabo to San Diego. The small tropical storm off the baja moved quickly. We passed the baja the next day with no sign of clouds or waves. The most insulting aspect of the cruise was Oceania's 0 effort to provide guests with a replacement port as the tropical storm had died quickly. There are many ports along the pacific side which we could have visited. I also heard from guests that Regatta management was harassing guests who complained. The mood was very depressed on this cruise. For the entire 18 days guests were complaining about the loss of ports etc. We could hardly wait to get off this ship and end the cruise. We paid a premium price to Oceania and they failed to deliver. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This is my 4th Crystal cruise, my 3rd on the Symphony, and it was wonderful in so many ways. I love the Symphony, because it is luxurious but casual (I feel like I can take my shoes off and put my feet up on the couch to read), and ... Read More
This is my 4th Crystal cruise, my 3rd on the Symphony, and it was wonderful in so many ways. I love the Symphony, because it is luxurious but casual (I feel like I can take my shoes off and put my feet up on the couch to read), and carries a nice amount of passengers (about 750-ish) - not too few that I see the same people everywhere, but not too many that I feel crowded or anonymous. I was traveling solo on this cruise, but knew a few people on board from previous cruises and met several more mutual friends while on board. As I said in the title, there's been a little slippage in the food and service on the ship since its drydock, but in other ways there's been a lot of improvements since the drydock. There are 2 additional dinner restaurants on board, both of which outshine the main dining room ("Waterside") in service and food quality. Both of the new restaurants do not count towards your allotted number of included visits to specialty restaurants -- those (Umi Uma and Prego) still remain the premiere dinner spots on the ship, in my opinion. Crystal put a limit on the number of included visits to those spots several years ago (generally 2 per week) in an effort to keep people from monopolizing them, but now that there are more dining options, I wonder if they will continue to do so (extra visits beyond your allotted amount are $30 each, which is still an incredible bargain for that quality and ambience). Of the new restaurants, I particularly recommend Churrascarria, which is Lido deck aft, in the same location where the breakfast and lunch buffets are......you get views of the sunset, and excellent food. Salads, veggies, and side dishes are available as a buffet, and 6 varieties of grilled meat are brought to your table on skewers (chicken, shrimp, pork, lamb, beef). Be sure and stay for some grilled pineapple for dessert. My friends on board very much enjoyed the evening shows, but I never attended (I don't, on any cruise), but I did enjoy the musicians who played in the lounges throughout the ship. Afternoon tea is served every afternoon (even port days), and it was a good time and place for our friends to meet up to chat before dinner. Going through the Panama Canal was interesting, but I don't feel the need to do it again. As this was an August cruise, in general the ports were all hot and humid, and I stayed on board for most of them. A warning should you take a Crystal cruise that stops in Bimini: The tender to port is at least 30 minutes, so you should take that into consideration before deciding if you want to go ashore. I did not, as there wasn't much on shore I was interested in seeing, especially if it meant an hour (round trip) in a crowded tender. Service is known to be wonderful on Crystal, but this trip I found it to be lacking in several places. Some was still wonderful (restaurants other than Waterside, cabin attendant, library and computer room), but some had slipped from terrific to merely good (Lido deck) or from terrific to pretty bad (Waterside). I submitted my concerns to Crystal in their post-voyage survey, so I hope these are just growing pains that will be worked out now that there have been some significant changes since the dry dock. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose Crystal Cruises because of the Panama Canal itinerary (so we can tick it off the bucket list) and the Luxury Cruise Experience. Crystal was recommended to us by a friend (who is a travel agent) we met on a non-luxury cruise in ... Read More
We chose Crystal Cruises because of the Panama Canal itinerary (so we can tick it off the bucket list) and the Luxury Cruise Experience. Crystal was recommended to us by a friend (who is a travel agent) we met on a non-luxury cruise in 2012 and she said Crystal is one of the best. So we checked off a few ticks on the bucket list. The ship Symphony was beautiful. The accommodations were very well layed out with a lot of storage. No need to use the suitcases for extra storage as we had empty drawers and the clothes in the wardrobe were spaced out not squashed up. Of everything there was only one this that irritated me that I have never come across on other ships we have cruise is the cigar room. Horrible horrible horrible. To get to The Avenue, Umi Uma restaurant and Prego restaurant you had to walk past it and the door was always open, therefore the smoke flooded into the hallway. The door should always be shut and there should be sufficient ventilation in the smoking room so if the door is left open the smoke doesn't affect other passengers. That is my only issue and I am hoping that when we are on Serenity in 2021 Crystal will have rectified this problem by having either an automatic door or a gas closing door. The rest of Crystal Symphony was fantastic. For a ship smaller than we are used to (3000-3500) this ship has a lot of quiet places to sit and relax. There are never any crowds, no children running rampant and what children were on the ship were extremely well behaved. We dined at every location and the food was divine. My favourites were Waterside (the main dining room), Prego, Silk, Palm Court for amazing afternoon tea and views. However, I still enjoyed the food and atmosphere at Umi Uma, Churriscaria, Trident Grill and the Marketplace only for an early breakfast. The staff go above and beyond and are always very polite and friendly. They always have smiles on their faces and no request is too hard. They take the time to get to know their customers. The shows were good not spectacular like on the bigger ships which is understandable since on the bigger ships the ceiling over the stage is 3 decks high making it very open and airy and great for doing acrobatic shows. The dance moves seem to be similar in every show so I put that down to the Choreographer. The special guests were fabulous especially loved John Joseph who had us in stitches. We didn't like some of the ports and thought there could have been better places to stop but we made the most of those. Some we could have had more time in. Overall we loved the cruise. We don't normally like a lot of sea days but on Crystal Symphony we really loved the sea days. We enjoyed the shore excursions that we booked. Crystal's luxury has ruined for us cruising anything less than luxury. We enjoyed it so much we have booked another Crystal cruise in 2021 South Pacific Wanderlust Los Angeles/San Pedro, US to Brisbane, AU on Serenity. So looking forward to 20 days on Serenity. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Have cruised previously, but not as extensively as others. Have traveled on various ships but this was our first Princess. We were pleasantly surprised and totally satisfied with everything. The ship may not be the newest of the fleet ... Read More
Have cruised previously, but not as extensively as others. Have traveled on various ships but this was our first Princess. We were pleasantly surprised and totally satisfied with everything. The ship may not be the newest of the fleet but offered everything one would need. Our cabin was the best lay-out of any we have had on other ships. Bathroom, clothes closet and mirror were separated from the "living area" which was convenient. We had a balcony cabin C405 . The balcony was the largest in comparison to others - with lounge type chairs, large table and foot rests. Our cabin steward, Danny was excellent and spoke very good English. We chose "any time" dining as not to be regimented into when we had to eat. The longest wait time with a buzzer was approx 1/2 hr. but were usually called in 5 - 10 minutes. We were satisfied with the food and service provided by the dining staff. Entertainment and shows were excellent. Cruise Director, Miranda was excellent and easy to understand - and fun! This being a 14 day cruise, every evening was fresh and after viewing a couple entertainers the first time, we were anxious to attend their second performance later on the trip. Many activities overlapped so it was impossible to be everywhere, so we just chose where we wanted to be. The Ports were great, although we did not go on the ship shore excursions and chose to wander about or hire a private guide (which is discouraged, in the event they do not get you back in time to sail away). All in all, we enjoyed the whole experience and will probably book Princess again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We wanted to go thru the Panama Canal. The service in the Dining Rooms was always excellent. Food not so good. The meats were tough and had little flavor. The dinner menu was very lacking re choices. The shrimp cocktail was always ... Read More
We wanted to go thru the Panama Canal. The service in the Dining Rooms was always excellent. Food not so good. The meats were tough and had little flavor. The dinner menu was very lacking re choices. The shrimp cocktail was always excellent. We ate in the Bayou Steak House one night. The steaks (very Large) were excellent, as was the waiter. Princess did a very nice thing for my wife since it was her Birthday. She received a gift card entitling her to free cover charge in one of the Specialty Restaurants. The cabin was ideally located near the front elevators (Lifts). Since my wife and I both have some difficulty walking very far, this location was great. Trips to the Horizon Court (buffet) were very easy with little walking. Trips to the Theater were easy as the Lifts near our room faced the entry to the Theater. Trips to the dining room and the Atrium required moderate walking. The entertainment and activities was excellent. Always something to do. Our cabin steward was terrific. He did a great job of maintaining our cabin. He provided us with a fresh bucket of ice twice a day. We were very disappointed with the land excursions. They were quite expensive and generally required too much walking in 100 degree weather with high humidity. Remember - Anyone with prior Military service will be given ship credit of XXX dollars. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise because we live in the San Francisco North Bay area and wanted to sail from San Francisco. The Panama Canal has been on our bucket list for sometime and this was the opportunity. The cruise was great and the staff ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we live in the San Francisco North Bay area and wanted to sail from San Francisco. The Panama Canal has been on our bucket list for sometime and this was the opportunity. The cruise was great and the staff was excellent. The entertainment was top notch and the food was very good but not outstanding. The ship is old and it showed. It was in dry dock for refurbishment in 2016 and is due for dry dock in 2019. The ship wasn't as well kept as I would have liked to see, in the common areas like the Promenade deck. Peeling banisters, rust spots, areas that had been repainted but not properly prepped. We had a balcony room B522 and there was dirt on the sliding glass door and balcony glass was not clean. The room was very nice and clean and although the bathroom and shower are small, it wasn't a problem for us. Lots of activities going on through out the day and evening. Service was excellent and the staff was friendly and helpful. We booked all of our excursions through Princess in each port. They were all very good and I would definitely recommend them. We usually book shorter excursions in the morning and then explore the port on our own in the afternoon. We were able to do that in all of the ports and had a wonderful time in each. If you are interested in sailing the Panama Canal from San Francisco, I would recommend the Coral Princess. I would take this cruise again in a heartbeat. I plan on writing a separate, short narration on viewing of the Canal transit elsewhere on cruise critic. Hamradiocruiser Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I chose this cruises because it was a full transit of the Panama Canal from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale. We went 1 week early to sightsee in California. We enjoyed the cruise very much, the Coral Princess is great ship, with less ... Read More
I chose this cruises because it was a full transit of the Panama Canal from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale. We went 1 week early to sightsee in California. We enjoyed the cruise very much, the Coral Princess is great ship, with less passengers than the Royal or Grand class the ship was not crowded. The ship was in great shape. The entertainment was very good. I liked the Universe, the venue in the rear for shows. Dr. Ken Stein was the Enhancement lector, he talked about Nasa and the space program. His presentations were excellent. The food was very good. I was in a suite and eat in Club Class that was very disappointing. I sailed prior to this on the Grand with Club Class and enjoyed it. This time nothing special, not different than MDR except different color table cloth and napkins with CC on them. The service was poor. Breakfast at Sabatini's was excellent. Food and service was fantastic. I enjoyed the cruise and would love to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose to transit the Panama Canal a second time because we joined a group of 42 ballroom dance students with their teachers and to see the new channel. We had eight sea days with 15 private group lessons. It kept us busy and physically ... Read More
We chose to transit the Panama Canal a second time because we joined a group of 42 ballroom dance students with their teachers and to see the new channel. We had eight sea days with 15 private group lessons. It kept us busy and physically and mentally active as we are beginners compared to other students. We are platinum level with at 10 cruises with Princess and ten with various other lines. Embarkation in SF was swift and easy. No long lines. We were there at 12:15pm. We had an ocean view cabin on Deck 8. Our room was ready when we arrived. The shower was one of the smallest but we managed. One complaint was the bed was lumpy and not as firm as we liked. Our request for robes was honored later in the evening but was stained and quite "ratty". My friends next door received unclean robes and requested new ones. I usually wipe down areas of the cabin with Lysol wipes. This time, it appeared slightly dirty. I don't blame our steward. He has 19 cabins to handle alone. In the early days, the stewards had assistants. Now they are rushed. They generally keep the cabins tidy and freshened. I notice that the shower curtain was beginning to smell moldy and I am allergic to mold. The bottom was turning pink from mold. The steward changed it and said they change it every two weeks. I think they should change after each passenger leaves even if before two weeks because the shower is so small. Our bed linens were nice but our pillows weren't that good. TV remote was awkward to use. Hard to find channels. Public areas: The gym was a good size with newest equipment. They didn't have a morning stretch class. Liked the laundry rooms and the token system. Best thing ever for long cruises. The Coral Princess production shows were very good and had great singers eg. Stephen and dancers. On previous cruises on Princess, I had stopped going to the production shows because the singers were awful. I enjoyed the contract musicians, e.g. David Klingkenberg and the comedians, Gary Delina and Doug Funk. Rhapsody dance band was excellent. The cruise director Martin and his staff were hardworking and he and his staff were all over the ship. Limited egress was a problem with Princess Theater. Other ships have multiple exits for the crowd to disperse. Food: pastries always a great selection and too tempting. Breakfast, enjoyed chicken congee and oatmeal and fruits. Smoked salmon was not available everyday. Lunch: soups too salty. Usually found something good to eat but in general, Chinese food was subpar. Try and find someone to cook decent buffet Chinese /Asian food. One good item was the butterfly shrimp. Main dining room for lunch was great but we were usually in a hurry to dance class so couldn't go often. Dinner: They always had some great food options for dinner. They had Mongolian stir fry but I didn't try it. Outdoor grill had excellent chicken breast sandwich. Pizza and other hamburgers and hotdogs were good. Sabatini's pizza was the best. Fish and chips at pub lunch was very good. Our wait staff at Bordeaux Dining were excellent. Cheers to Lorena and Yan, the assistant. Disembarkation was horrible. All the public rooms were crowded and over capacity. Elite lounges were overflowing too. Need a new system. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise because it left from our home port and did a full transit of the Panama Canal. Both were highlights of the cruise and fantastic. We loved taking a taxi to the port and fortunately had been warned by the CC roll call ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it left from our home port and did a full transit of the Panama Canal. Both were highlights of the cruise and fantastic. We loved taking a taxi to the port and fortunately had been warned by the CC roll call that the pier information was incorrect. I contacted NCL 3 times the month before sailing asking them to correct the edocs, but it was never done. We expected lots of confusion so arrived right at our 11:00 boarding time and had no delays getting on the ship. We had lunch in the MDR and dropped our carry ons in our cabin when it was available. To our delight, our balcony view was of the golden gate bridge and the Blue Angels practicing fly bys! The ship departed 2 1/2 hours later than scheduled which again was no surprise. The sun was just starting to set and the sail under the Golden Gate was amazing. Panama Canal crossing started with a 6:25am announcement from a canal spokeswoman and views of Panama City. Enjoyed this day a great deal. We started our viewing with the complimentary Panamanian breakfast (and mimosas) from our balcony and moved around the ship throughout the day with our favorite views being aft from the Great Outdoors. The Pearl was behind us and a large HAL ship next to us throughout the transit. The ports on this cruise are not great. Cabo, Puerto Vallarta and Huatulco were ok but similar to each other. Puerto Chiapas was a waste - we stayed on the ship and used the spa. Keep asking the spa about specials - it took about 4 separate inquiries, but finally we found a special that worked perfectly for us. In Puntarenas we were stuck at an industrial port outside of town. The tour guides had to board the bus out on a main road. Our excursion was ok, but many longer excursions were caught in terrible traffic jams. The ship waited 5 hours past departure for everyone to get back. Cartagena was the final port and the intense heat and aggressive "vendors" were too much to deal with. Ship: It is in ok shape and definitely needs the makeover due in the Spring. Hopefully, an O'Sheehan's style venue will finally be added. That small buffet is a really unpleasant. We didn't have any A/C problems in our room thank goodness, but the Seven Seas MDR has major problems. It was sweltering in the evenings and like a freezer at lunchtime. Meals in general were fine. La Cucina was a miss both times though. The $25 shrimp meal was bad. The steak special was a terrible quality of meat and inedible. We enjoyed the dinner with officers (Chief Financial Officer and Payroll Accountant). Service at the bars was good all around - particularly Jeffrey at the Champagne Bar, the poolside bar and the Great Outdoors. Entertainment: This was a long cruise with many sea days. The production cast had the best talent we've seen: the singers (all 6 were great) and dancers were very good. The guest performers were ok - a juggler, hypnotist, Irish folk story guy, comedian, Broadway singer. The Motown group was the best. The Cruise Director and staff worked hard. We had fun at the many trivia events. Internet: The manager was very helpful. We had two incidents when the sign off didn't work and she restored our minutes. The hardware in the internet café is kaput. After the first few days, the onboard software would not connect to my email provider's server and about 1/2 of the pc's were not working at all. The printer also did not work. Using our phones worked. A shout out to Cole in the Cruise Next Dept. He has figured out how to do this job the right way. He conducted the Platinum Plus behind the scenes tour as well as two presentations. He also was a dancing with the stars judge. He was very visible around the ship and remembered us when we saw him. We booked a cruise for next year with him and he was very knowledgeable about the ships, cabins and itineraries. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017

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