16 Santos (Sao Paulo) Family Cruise Reviews

We are just returning from our 18 day adventure as a family of five ,two adults three children age 7, 13 ,15 we have previously sailed with RCI , NCL ,PRINCESS AND CUNARD and after reading some of the reviews of MSC had very low ... Read More
We are just returning from our 18 day adventure as a family of five ,two adults three children age 7, 13 ,15 we have previously sailed with RCI , NCL ,PRINCESS AND CUNARD and after reading some of the reviews of MSC had very low expectations but they do a loyalty match to our diamond plus level with RCL so we gave it a go and this is honestly the best cruise line we have sailed with happiest ship , friendliest crew , most gorgeous ship and child friendly ship, any child not enjoying this cruise I would say their parents have got real problems because it has everything kids love everything adults love really superb peace and quiet , loud and bouncing and all inbetween . We had a whirlpool suite cabin 14211 ,gorgeous , space,technology ,walk in wardrobe .Erica our room steward was amazing as was lokesh and Anand our anytime dining staff so helpful and obliging,although portion sizes were small in the dining room we were constantly offered more so it was never an issue. We were on the aurea package and used the thermal suite a lot (gorgeous ) we also had our complementary massages (no catch) Ship is very smooth and incredible with technology everywhere, we purchased nearly every package before we boarded and it was cheaper and so easy for f1 simulator, zip line ,4d cinema ,air hockey, waterslides ,bowling ,washing package was great and next cruise I will definitely pack less and have more washed and pressed ,brilliant . Just 1 small complaint MSC what on earth is going on with your embarcation process ???? NOT GOOD stood like sheep in sao Paulo in scorching temperatures appears no organisation or communication it was almost a crush a bit frightening to be honest ,fix this and we have found our perfect cruise line by the way disembarking was a breeze so you can do it Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Notice that the title is not unexpensive cruise, as this one costed some usd 3500 for a couple and a todler in a balcony. Well, if this is your first cruise, you probably will like it. But when you have a bunch of others as previous ... Read More
Notice that the title is not unexpensive cruise, as this one costed some usd 3500 for a couple and a todler in a balcony. Well, if this is your first cruise, you probably will like it. But when you have a bunch of others as previous experiences, you might get disapointed as we did (and most of the passenger we spoke with who had previous cruise experiences) Let me start with the good points: the ship is new, and beutifully decorated in a modern and posh way. cabins are nice and entertainment is also good, being the slides and waterpart on of the best i´ve seen on cruises. Now the down points: The food is far bellow average. You´ll rarelly see cow meat on the buffet or the menu. Burgers, pizza and sousage are available everyday, alongside with chicken. And most food lack taste or freshness (fish, salmon and chicken always seemed "dry", overcooked or looked like done hours ago and just heated to serve) Remember those nice formal dinners, where they serve lobster at least in one day? Not on this one, lobster is sold at usd 50 at the "speciality seafood restaurant". A nice steak? Not served on the regular restaurants, but rather for 95 usd in the "butchers cut" In fact the formal restaurants do not serve not even water, they charge you usd 2,10 per botle (and its not perrier, or fiji, just regular botled water that they sell for 30 cents on the supermarket) We know that cruise lines always try to find ways to charge you more on additional items, but never expected they to come to your table and offer you a meat plate for next night, to be served on the very same restaurant you have your dinners, but only if you pay an extra of usd 20 per person... this was very sad posture by them. Bear in mind also that this is a 5100 passanger ship, and the crew seems not able to handle so many passengers (I will definintelly not cruise on their 6500 passenger ship expected for 2020). And since you are not allowed to access parts of the ship unless you are a "yacht club member", you have to live on a smaller portion of the ship.(you will not acess the front lounge, one pool, one restaurant and one sundeck, unless you are VIP paying for a suite on the "yacht club" SPA, sauna and steamroom are also not accessible, unless you pay a daily rate to use the spa, or choose the "aurea" experience upon booking, paying a few hundred dollars more. There is also a bowling lane (45usd per hour) a F1 simulator (10 usd per play), a zipline (12usd per use) and a 3d theather (10 dollars per 5 minutes) Other down points were that they seemed to try to save money by contracting some chep tender boats (all our ports of call were tendered) and we`ve seem one of them be at large, without motor for almost an hour.... cruise did not send any of their tenders to save the passengers....they had to wait for another old tender to go there and transfer them in the middle of the ocean, from a boat with a broken engine that was being taken away.... We heard by the passengers that complained that they got a standard letter plus a bottle of proseco (very cheap way again to apologise for putting people´s life in danger....) Well, in general is not a bad cruise, but considering the quality of the food and all the extras they charge, I´d say it´s value should be from 20% to 30% less than a similar lenght cruise in other good cruise lines such as RCCL or Princess. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Food is terrible, this is the weakness point for sure. The food had no taste, no presentation, no talent. Service is a nightmare, it is clear for me that people had no training and its not prepare for the functions, there was no ... Read More
Food is terrible, this is the weakness point for sure. The food had no taste, no presentation, no talent. Service is a nightmare, it is clear for me that people had no training and its not prepare for the functions, there was no leadership, the managers were extremely arrogants and they spent their time talking each other instead of looking their team, I have never seen such attitude before in my previous crusies. The ship looks nice however it doesn’t work, the theater and the other areas are too small for the capacity of the chip 4300 passangers. We had to make a reservation for the theater but it never worked, we are oblied to seat on the floor, the theater has 03 presentations per night but the capacity is not enough to attend all passengers. It is a very ashamed situation for everyone. The restaurantes work in three shifts, so the last dinner is at 22hs45, my cruise was overbooked so I had bo other choice, that means my dinner started around 23hs15 everyday, crazy. I have already traveled with Costa and Royal Caribbean and had a nice experience! MSC never more!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This review is very late in writing!! The reason I am writing it now is as we have just booked a cruise on the MSC seaside for this April and all the negative reviews have been a bit worrying! When I had a look at the preziosa reviews I ... Read More
This review is very late in writing!! The reason I am writing it now is as we have just booked a cruise on the MSC seaside for this April and all the negative reviews have been a bit worrying! When I had a look at the preziosa reviews I saw that many of them were not great either and so different from our experience that I realised I really should have shared my opinions earlier. So we sailed out of venice - was actually back in may 2014- but I CC wouldn't let me review back that far. We were travelling with our 2 daughters ages 9&10 at the time. We had room 11009 a large corner suite- which was amazing - we had a big lounge room with small balcony- actually very small but was off no worry to us we prefer to be at the pool or the bar. The balcony did however extend all the way around the front of the boat- walking space only but was amazing to stand out there when sailing in and out of ports. The girls shared the sofa bed in the lounge which for 2 kids was more than fine - for 2 adults perhaps not. Our bedroom was enormous with a great king bed and large floor to ceiling windows- we were gob smacked!! we had a large walk in wardrobe and an adequate bathroom - small but fine. We found the food to be excellent- service in the MDR was fantastic and we really enjoyed the food. The buffet was huge and the pizza incredible- the one big negative was the amount of people and finding a table at breakfast was a headache- we decided after a few days to eat breakfast in MDR and was much better. We loved the layout of the ship, the service, the food and the pools / waterslide for the kids. Our only true negative was that dining and bars were crowded Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
The ship is very big, so be ready to walk, however, it's incredible, with delicious foods for all tastes, comfortable cabins, an excellent service, with some entertainment (but not always), activities such as videogames, F1 simulator, ... Read More
The ship is very big, so be ready to walk, however, it's incredible, with delicious foods for all tastes, comfortable cabins, an excellent service, with some entertainment (but not always), activities such as videogames, F1 simulator, football ("soccer", for some), baskteball fields etc. The ports in Brazil are very direct to your ship, but I can't give a review on shore excursions by MSC because we visited the cities on our own. By the way, if you're a fan of disco, there's something for you there, but I wouldn't say it's really that great if you're a hard partying person. We embarked in Santos, and the trip followed as we visited Búzios, Salvador, Ilhéus and Ilha Grande, until we return to Santos. MSC Splendida has great plays and music for all, but I'd like to assure that this ship is actually perfect for who wants to rest, feel happy again, forget about your daily problems and remember what "relax", "rest" and "smoothness" mean again, having moments where you do can have fun too. The trip was so incredible that I feel like I just disembarked to date. I absolutely recommend it! PS: As for the children, I didn't go with "my" children, they were in my group, and that's my review for children: not very recommend, the ship is more adequate for what I mentioned above, but yeah, definitely, they loved the trip for its other facilities! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was the most disappointing cruise that we have ever experience on Royal Caribbean! It was a disgrace to the Royal Caribbean WOW vacation. Here are a list of disappointments and conflicts we had on this cruise. ULTIMATE PACKAGE ... Read More
This was the most disappointing cruise that we have ever experience on Royal Caribbean! It was a disgrace to the Royal Caribbean WOW vacation. Here are a list of disappointments and conflicts we had on this cruise. ULTIMATE PACKAGE and ROYAL REFRESHMENT PACKAGE -NO fresh squeeze available on ship except if you went to the suites restaurant for breakfast -Only provide us with small bottles of water, which seems to be new to your package, however it was always a struggle to find water. -The ran out of strawberry mix a few days into the cruise -The bars ran out of Pinot Gris wine 2 days before the cruise ended -No powerade on package (this in the past was always included) BUFFET -First day arrived at 12.00 noon floors were full of crumbs and chairs were dirty-several times during the cruise we would have to get napkins to clean off the chairs as they were full of food or spills -Food was horrific (the worst we have ever experienced on all the cruises we have taken, and we have cruised 30 + times in 10 years) -Staff on the ship told us that they base the staff food on .78 cents per meal, a number of staff members told us that they are serving the same food to the guests as they are to staff. -No service in buffet for drinks, it was like begging to get a drink with lunch -Water was locked down, when asking for a bottle the waiter had to ask for a manager to open the cabinet that was under lock and key to get a bottle of water in the morning, this always took 10 to 15 minutes -Buffet shut down by 330 each day. They stopped putting out food ie. Pizza, fries, etc. by 3.00. You had to eat what was left over. -Bar service in the buffet at lunch was always set up but no one there to serve DINING ROOM -Food was the worst we have ever experienced on RC -Quality of food very poor -Quantity of food was minimal -Mostly came cold ie. Soup, lasagna, meat etc. -The worst Caesar salad ever had on any ship, could not even eat it, it was really wet and not fresh at all -Quality of meat very poor (we are in Brazil its Beef country!) SPECIALITY RESTAURANT (GIAOVANNES) -We went first day with 7 people for my sons Birthday. We arrived at 7.15 only ¼ of the restaurant full all evening however our appetizer, and meal, took 3 HOURS to serve. We gave up on ordering dessert! -Forgot 2 people on our table’s appetizers, told us they would re-order never got them! -At this point we gave up on booking another specialty restaurant, as we were extremely disappointed with the experience ROYAL FAMILY SUITE EXTRAS and DIAMOND CLUB LOUNGE EXTRAS -We were allowed to use the suites lounge on the 11 floor, we went up there several times, no service available, nothing available to drink or eat, no cards available. -We did not see any difference between suites experiences compared to the regular balcony rooms we normally booked -We were told we could use the diamond lounge 24 hours a day, we went in several times, no coffee or tea, no cups, no food, nothing, just an empty room THE TOURS -We wanted to get 3 bottles of water in theatre, the lady servicing the theatre with water told us one per family. We had 2 ULTIMATE PAKAGES AND 1 ROYAL REPLENSISH PACKAGE, the lady argued with us, after us insisting we wanted 3 bottles, she threw them at us, took the cart and left the theatre, after this she REFUSED to serve us at the pool bar or any other venue for the rest of the trip. -On one tour for the beach we booked a transfer. The people on the excursion desk recommended the transfer. On the way back the bus driver dropped the whole bus off about 1.5 kilometers away from the drop off area, then drove by us and drove by the drop off area (where there was lots of parking and other buses parked) we had our 73 year old mother with us, who had to walk all this way in very hot temperatures, this was the main reason we took the ship transfer. This action was completely unacceptable. THE PORT EXPERIENCE -Checking in was ok -Leaving the port was a disaster, no one to help out either from the port or Royal Caribbean. -The port would not let any drivers into the port for pick up, no waiting area for the transfer pick ups -If royal Caribbean wants to continuing using Santos as a main port, they need to have a few English speaking assistances outside in the port area to help out, it took us 2 hours to get out of the port with our transfer company, because he could not make contact with us, he was not allow to walk into the port area OVERALL EMPLOYEE SERVICE and MAINTANCE OF THE SHIP -Most employees on this ship complained that they hated this ship and could not wait to get off. -Many new employees were not happy, had very bad attitudes. -There was much tension between employees, many of the seasoned employees were very frustrated as new employees as they did not pull there weight or left exactly when there shift ended even though there was a line up of customers, especially at the pool bar and other high service areas like coffee bar. -Brazilian employees served Brazilian customers first, often they passed me by, even when they told me I will be with you in a moment, once a Brazilian came they would take there order first or serve there food first (this happened in the salad bar in the New Years day buffet 2 times to me) -The crew did tell us that this ship was under very strict financial restrains, as it has not made any money for several months, this is the main reason that the food quality and quantity was poor. Crew has been instructed to keep all the costs down. However, by doing this Royal Caribbean made many customers unhappy with their wow experience. -We found there was no one maintaining this ship, usually someone is painting or cleaning windows or fixing little things, no one was up keeping any thing on this cruise Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We are experienced travellers and cruisers with about 25+ cruises. A large group of use got 10 balcony and junior suites for a cruise from 12/19/15-12/26/15 WORST EXPERIENCE CRUISING EVER! For starters, the cruise was almost ... Read More
We are experienced travellers and cruisers with about 25+ cruises. A large group of use got 10 balcony and junior suites for a cruise from 12/19/15-12/26/15 WORST EXPERIENCE CRUISING EVER! For starters, the cruise was almost double the price of Caribbean/European/Alaskan tours we have done in the past; Not included (nor mentioned by the cruise line) was almost $1600 per family of visas for Brazil and Argentina on top of the price. The check in was horrendous (and we are platinum level travellers); The luggage check in was chaotic; Lines extremely long and no AC while it was 90 degrees outside. They ask for a documents that they don't specify to bring with you (luckily we had them) despite the fact that we had done our electronic checkins. They also hold your passports when you check in so lord forbid you run into an issue in a foreign country because you will be stuck there without a passport. The crew was half brazillian; Most of the crew did not speak English (a first for us); The food in the Lido Deck areas was always subpar compared to other cruises. When you return from an excursion at 4-5pm, there are NO dining areas OPEN! God forbid you like iced-tea because it was rarer than 18year old scotch. Having said that though, will say that they did have much better quality coffee than we have seen on any other cruise. Formal dining area service was extremely slow and English menus were not always available. Sent Laundry out ($30 Service in which you fill a bag for wash and dry); There are no washers and dryers available for Do it yourself. They brought the laundry back 72 hours later at 7pm the night before disembarkation; We packed it and discovered after disembarkation that either the clothes was super heated or had a chemical put in that literally turned all high end cotton garments to paper. These undergarments literally tore with minimal effort. Cruise line said that since we didn't report it immediately that there is no recourse. Casino reeked of smoke with active smoking allowed (no separate non smoking areas) 2 out of the 3 excursions were for 6 hours or less (and one required tenders!) Uruguay was very nice; Had many people have pickpocket issues in Buenos Aires. Entertainment was non existent in the large theaters; They were mostly involve the cruisers in games etc. No formal comedian shows, dance shows, magic, music etc. Balcony cabin room was fine though the shower was literally 4 square feet. Room service options were very minimal. Disembarkation, strangely enough was very smooth; Not sure whether they were efficient or we just wanted to eagerly get the hell off the ship; VERY EXPENSIVE, VERY POOR overall Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We were part of a group of 5 families (19 members). The trouble started right from the port for embarkation. There are no signs or persons that direct those with priority boarding to the proper areas; either at the long luggage drop off ... Read More
We were part of a group of 5 families (19 members). The trouble started right from the port for embarkation. There are no signs or persons that direct those with priority boarding to the proper areas; either at the long luggage drop off lines or the even longer documentation line. 3 hours later and we are passing through the final security screening to board the ship: half our party has cleared when one of the security guard asks the youngest member of our group to stop and remove his head covering so they can search him. We are Sikhs and the adults wear a turban while the children have a cloth wrapped around their head to keep the hair covered. Anyhow, he had gone through the metal detector and no problems like everyone else who had passed before him. But from there on, everyone one of us with a turban thereafter was detained unless we would remove our turbans. When asked what the problem was? Not a single one of them could speak proper english or any english for that matter. Their response was "no english". When we asked them to call the manager or person in charge, they said we are calling the Federally. As if that was supposed to scare us or something. After half an hour of hanging around at the security area, they just told us to go. No apologies or explanation for the behaviour. As a group, this would be collectively our 4th or 5th cruise in the last 6 years. An FYI: your passports are kept by the cruise ship from the time you check-in and given back only when you are about to leave on your last day at check-out. Finally on the ship, rooms are clean and our suite attendant(s) are great. Get down to the dining room on the first night and discover that half the party is scheduled for 7:30 dining whilst the other half is at 10 pm and not necessarily at the same table(s). We had booked back in early March and requested through the travel agent that all the diners be together. It really can't be that difficult can it? It would take another day to sort this out after a call from me to my travel agent and her to customer service at Royal Caribbean and an email from them to the ship. The food was average fare, we have tasted much better on other cruises and this included the buffet upstairs. At times, you have to literally flag a server down to take your order after half an hour of sitting or ask them for a glass of water or to have someone send over the drink server. Did I mention that most of them don't speak any english ? Only Brazilian Portuguese ! There were 3 ports of call; Monte del Este, Uruguay ~ tender to the port : nice stop. Buenos Aires, Argentina: dock in the middle of a huge container yard and get bussed to terminal which is about 2-3 km away. Have the whole day to sight see here. Montevideo, Uruguay: really nice town to walk around in and enjoy the day. The only place that has a proper docking facility for a cruise ship where you walk off the ship and into the city. We did our own private shore excursions from the ports. The activities on board were numerous, though I did notice that in their daily newsletter, there appeared to be more in the Portuguese version than the english version. Also, there seemed to be more announcements made in Portuguese than in English during this cruise. Our kids kept themselves busy as a group so can't really say what was available to their age group. Every night after dinner, there would always be something happening in the Centrum and the theatre would have a show going on as well. I tried the casino one day but found it way too smokey to be able to stay there for any length of time. The disembarkation went okay after spending a bit over an hour in line to get our passports back from 7am on the day of disembarkation. Since we'd all arrived by private taxis from Sao Paulo , we had asked the same drivers to come back and pick us up. This made things a lot easier as some of us had earlier flights out. In summary, overall I and others of my group were generally very disappointed with this cruise. Having been on numerous other cruises as a group and individually, we have a pretty good idea of what the norms should be and what is reasonable to expect. This cruise didn't meet most of those expectations. I don't think my family and I will ever consider going with Royal Caribbean again after this experience. We would have been better off doing just a two week and land trip to South America. Would have spent the same, perhaps even less. Fortunately, the week after has left us with fond memories of South America. For those of you that have done the European, Mediterranean, North American, and Caribbean cruises ~ don't expect the same level of service or foods. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We were a family of 4, a couple with 2 teenagers, a girl (16) and a boy (14). We have booked for our first cruise on Preziosa one of the most expensive cabins in the Yacht Club class, the Executive Family suite. The first disappointment on ... Read More
We were a family of 4, a couple with 2 teenagers, a girl (16) and a boy (14). We have booked for our first cruise on Preziosa one of the most expensive cabins in the Yacht Club class, the Executive Family suite. The first disappointment on arrival was that although we were in the front of the ship and had a balcony we could not access it as the windows were sealed and could not open. A shame, for a cabin of that size and position. Second disappointment on arrival was that even though it was for a family of 4 the sofa bed was a small sofa bed and my teenagers would have to share it, what didn't seat very well with a girl of 16 and a boy of 14. In the end this was sorted and the staff brought in a mattress and placed on the living room floor and we had to live with it for the whole of the trip. This was a bit annoying as we were told at the time of booking that there were 2 sofa beds. The Yacht Club class is very nice, but there was only 1 restaurant and a buffet area near the bar in the pool that we were allowed to use and by the middle of the trip it starts to get a bit boring with the same thing every day. For the price charged on this class we should be allowed to chose any restaurant on the ship to dine in. Drinks were only included in the Yacht Club area as well, so if we went to another part of the ship we had to pay extra for drinks. Even though it's nice to be in an exclusive part of the ship, you will not be only in that area for 7 days in a ship, so not very good value for money if you have to pay for anything outside the area. This Yacht Club arrangement needs to be reviewed in my view. On the other hand I don't recommend any other class as by wondering around I could see how crowded the other classes were. Another point to mention was the fact that the Executive suites can only be booked on the Yacht Club class, but they are located on the front of the ship while the Yacht Club class reception, bar, restaurant, pool and all other cabins from the class are on the other end of the ship, so we had to walk the whole length of the ship to access the areas every time we went there. Not very well designed and if you are planning to book these suites be aware of this detail specially if you have problems of mobility. Prepare to walk a lot from one side to the other all the time. Another negative was the lack of sun shades in the pool area. If you don't arrive early in the morning to get a table with a shade you will not get one later. There are plenty of tables and sun loungers, but not enough sun shades. On the positive side the ship is stunning, the gym and the SPA have wonderful views and excellent service. The food was good and the entertainment also good, but not exceptional. Would I book this cruise again? My answer is no. No, because of all the above reasons and I would try another cruise company such as Celebrity Cruises or Royal Caribbean instead of going back to Preziosa. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Just returning from a 7-night cruise aboard the MSC Preziosa . Travelled with my husband , my parents , in-laws and 3 nephews . Among nine people , only the children were fully satisfied with the ship . This was my fourth cruise, the first ... Read More
Just returning from a 7-night cruise aboard the MSC Preziosa . Travelled with my husband , my parents , in-laws and 3 nephews . Among nine people , only the children were fully satisfied with the ship . This was my fourth cruise, the first by MSCs . We chose Preziosa because it was the newest ship traveling along the Brazilian coast , and really , its decor is beautiful , extremely tasteful . There are many options of entertainment for children and adults . The team of Brazilian animation was pretty fun , but the qualities end there. The feeling is that there is a lot more people on board the vessel support . The public areas were always overcrowded . There was no place in the pools during the day, or in the lounges in the evening for a drink . But worst of all was definitely the buffet Maya & Inca . Disorganization is the word that best describes the place , with a terrible arrangement of food, spread over 100 meters restaurant. When you get a place to sit , the marathon begins to find food. When you return to the table , the food is already cold . The disembarkation by tender was so tumultuous and disorganized that we gave up going down on Ilha Grande - very frustrating . Another downside was the poor service . With few exceptions , grumpy and unwilling crew. Cleaning was also lacking , especially in the cabins and corridors . The carpet was always dirty and sometimes there was food dishes alongside some doors (which were also not collected within the rooms) . Now the food ... Little variety in the buffet , and repetitive menu . At dinner restaurant, excellent service by the waiter Soni and his assistant Alexander. Tasty but unsophisticated food. Very different from the other ships that I traveled before . Finally , the price of food and drinks paid separately . Too expensive ! Draft beer Itaipava 400ml U.S. $ 4.80 , can beer $ 3.00 , longneck $ 3.60 to $ 3.80, soda can $ 2.60 , $ 3.00 bottled water , and most cocktails $ 8.00 . Everything plus another 15 % service charge . No wonder there was always huge queues to get water at the buffet ... When we got on the ship we were offered drinks package "all inclusive" . Is nothing more than a booklet with 14 sheets that gives the right to any soft drink and ice cream for U.S. $ 31.00 plus 15% or 18 sheets for liquor at most $ 8.00 for U.S. $ 61.00 plus 15% . That is $ 2.55 for sodas and juices and $ 3.90 for alcoholic beverages . And don't even think about eating outside the buffet , if you are not willing to pay for it . Only one restaurant serves breakfast and lunch a la carte included in the package . We felt exploited ! Normally I try to make positive reviews of hotels and places I know , but this time I felt compelled to share my negative experience . If I recommend a MSC cruise ? Definitely not ! Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
I've been on two other Royal Caribbean ships and let me tell you that this has been the worst. All the good impression that the other two cruises had made the splendour of the seas just washed them away. Almost all the passengers are ... Read More
I've been on two other Royal Caribbean ships and let me tell you that this has been the worst. All the good impression that the other two cruises had made the splendour of the seas just washed them away. Almost all the passengers are Brazilians and I guess that is why all the activities are in portuguese and makes it impossible for people who speak another language to participare in. As well as it is very difficult to to communicate with most of the staff on the poolside bar and windjammer caffe. The staff basically discrimanate you for not speaking their language, the ignore you whenever you want to order something or they tell you that they are running out of products in order to get rid of you. At the Windjammer caffe the staff never come to take your drink order, and they leave the dirty dishes pile up on your table and when they see you getting up the staff comes and then cleans everything up. The only polite staff were the staff at the King and I for dinner time. As well as the staff at the excursion desk were helpful although for the excursions they told me to be there at 9:15 because the tour would start at 9:30 we ended up leaving the ship at 10 so we ended up losing like half an hour or even more of our tour! In my opinion I believe that if you are already paying for a trip and you are choosing a well known cruise line so that you can have a good time and make the best of your vacacion I think that they should expand their knowledge and help everyone aboard the ship to feel welcome. Since it is an American Cruise line I would also suggest having more english speaking staff members. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We started this adventure in the port of Santos, Brazil. Embarking was swifter than I expected considering so many people. The first impression of the ship is great, I particularly liked the entry setup with the little tent and flowers and ... Read More
We started this adventure in the port of Santos, Brazil. Embarking was swifter than I expected considering so many people. The first impression of the ship is great, I particularly liked the entry setup with the little tent and flowers and flag. The magnetic card check-in at the ship's entrance is also swift and cool; it makes you feel safe that the person checks the picture to be certain it is you who is entering. At first glance the ship looks so fancy, but I think the entrance space could be a bit larger since the line gets slow because everyone is admiring the lobby so it gets crowded pretty soon. Getting to the cabin the first time is a bit difficult (getting acquainted with the ships map), and throughout the trip we encountered too many people lost, specially elders, we traveled in a 7 people group with my parents, who had trouble most times getting around, I really do not understand the lack of signage marking elevators and stairs, and more didactic signage for getting around. After we settled in, everything was bliss, the ship is so tidy, it smells great everywhere. The main deck (14) restaurant area is fantastic, the food is abundant and so good, there is great quality of ingredients and preparation, although one has to schedule the visits to the buffet to avoid crowds and enjoy a better experience without long lines for serving. The pool areas are very nice but the negative side is that after so much attention to detail, it doesn’t seem that someone thought about the music volume, it is extremely too loud in all pool areas, so after a few minutes it becomes really annoying, on the one hand because music playing too loud does not allow for conversations comfortably and second because the quality of the music itself gets distorted after so many decibels. So if you can tolerate extremely loud music, continue. The pools are a bit small for the amount of people on board, when no one disembarks there was simply no room in the pools it was a bit of an adventure getting in to refresh from so much heat, the water is salty (I don’t know why) but very refreshing on the days with less people on board. We had the arabesque restaurant assigned for the evening, the menu promises a lot but the served dishes are far from that promise, the buffet if far better quality, it is hard to understand why they can’t match that quality considering it is supposed to be fancier. Get the beverage packages as soon as you get in, the service charge savings are very convenient. The entertainment was just awesome, well performed and themed, really great artists. All ports and disembarkation procedures top notch, Buzios my favorite, great picturesque little town, great shopping, beautiful beaches. Do your best to avoid visiting the medic, my wife suffered an ankle sprain on the last day, and the doctor was just awful, the low point of the MSC Company. I highly recommend this cruise, the preziosa through the Brazilian coast simply unforgettably beautiful. I shall post further as I recall more details.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We board the Vision of the Seas in Santos ( located about 50 min from Sao Paulo). Embarkation started on schedule and we were able to board the vessel at 11:30 ( staterooms were ready by 13:00).The windjammer cafe ( lunch buffet ) opened ... Read More
We board the Vision of the Seas in Santos ( located about 50 min from Sao Paulo). Embarkation started on schedule and we were able to board the vessel at 11:30 ( staterooms were ready by 13:00).The windjammer cafe ( lunch buffet ) opened at 12:00 for the early embarked guests. Our stateroom , an outside stateroom on deck 2 was clean and spacious. Tough the beds were placed separately and the fridge requested to store special medication was not there , we were pleased in general ( bed and fridge were placed as requested after a call to housekeeping). A few calls to the Purser's Desk was placed in the early afternoon and again and again the lines were busy ( usually you're put on hold automatically if lines are engaged) so that gave me the impression that in Brazil during embarkation day, pursers leave their phones out of the hook due to amount of guests at their desk. We sailed from Santos in full carnaval atmosphere . Pool bar was overcrowded as there were not enough bar staff to deal with the demand of guests trying to buy drinks. Speaking of bars, The Service at Schooner bar and the Viking Crown during early evening was horrible. At the Schooner bar twice we had bar staff greeting us by the door and disappearing right after. so at the end nobody would take our order. Same bar tender would appear to say good-bye to us. It seems he was there to greet people instead of making money. At the Viking Crown , we actually had to go to the bar and ask the bar tender to come to our table and serve us. It would be understandable if the Disco was packed but we were the only ones there as guests were partying by the pool deck. Best choice was the champagne bar them . Superior quality on drinks and impeccable service . D. Room : My time dining is the best thing you can ask for. Dining seats in Brazil are later than usual ( 07:30 pm and 10:30 pm ) We had a nice table for 2 by the window using the my time dining system . It worked perfect and we were there at 8 om every day. The service at the Dining Room was impeccable... real gold anchor standard as they like to call . 2 Brazilian gents waiter ed our table during the whole cruise and they just went above and beyond all the time compensating the lack of taste in some of the dishes offered on board. Public Areas : Unlike other RCCL ships, vision was quite dirty in public areas. Not only the elevators but all golden metal on board were filthy , greasy and full of fingerprints . Not the normal cleanliness standard that RCCL had in the past. Ports: Sunny weather helped us during the cruise. Ports were amazing for those who likes to eat fresh seafood and enjoy pristine beaches. Buzios was the top of the trip and Salvador was worth it by its architecture and colonial beauty . Many people left the ship to go dance and enjoy carnaval in Salvador as the ship overnight ed there but we decided to enjoy one of the many parties held by the pool deck. Overall : We enjoyed this cruise and the carnaval atmosphere on board. It was a nice way to celebrate it and fell safe at same time. Tough 20 different nationalities were on board, 99% were Brazilians so bare in mind that Portuguese is the spoken language on board ( even tough most of the announcements are done in English too) Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
Besides the bad food in the ship, the ports it stopped were so small, that we had to stay hours waiting to disembark, the bill in the hospital inside the ship was outrageous, the new year that was supposed to be wonderful, in front of ... Read More
Besides the bad food in the ship, the ports it stopped were so small, that we had to stay hours waiting to disembark, the bill in the hospital inside the ship was outrageous, the new year that was supposed to be wonderful, in front of Copacabana beach, ended up being a FIASCO, we were so far away from the beach we could only see the fireworks smoke. And some people working there were so rude and unprofessional to us, that it was unbelievable. And besides all, I bought the soda and the wine package in the internet, a week before the trip, and I found out that the ship was selling cheapper if you bought inside it. So what advantage I got from buying before ? and I paid with my credit card in the internet, and I had to fight with the ship because they charged me AGAIN in my bill at the boat. They asked me to prove that it was in my credit card statement the purchase made in the internet..........how could I, if I was on the boat ?? So now I am asking for the difference of what I paid in the internet to the price in the boat, and I got no answer at all. And it has been already more than 15 days that I wrote them, so I think there is really nobody that cares about you after you make the cruise. And that was not my first cruise. I love doing cruises, but after this one, Royal Caribbean is erased from my choces. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Ships Review   Splendour of the Seas March 30th Sao Paulo Brazil to Lisbon   First I must say that I have never been on a cruise I did not enjoy notwithstanding any problems that might have occurred. Having said that of course I ... Read More
Ships Review   Splendour of the Seas March 30th Sao Paulo Brazil to Lisbon   First I must say that I have never been on a cruise I did not enjoy notwithstanding any problems that might have occurred. Having said that of course I have enjoyed some cruises more than others.   This was my first time in Brazil and I decided to travel to Sao Paulo a couple of days prior to the cruise. My flight on Air Canada from Toronto was on time and without problems and there was no difficulty with picking up luggage in Sao Paulo or quickly finding a taxi to my hotel. I was staying at the Golden Tulip a short distance from Avenue Paulista one of the main shopping streets in Sao Paulo. The Hotel was fine though perhaps a little expensive compared to some others I investigated. A buffet breakfast was provided at no extra charge and that was perfectly ok.   I joined a group of 10 others on Monday morning who were also staying at the hotel and we took a coach/bus to Santos. This is not a short journey as the traffic is very heavy even at 11am and it was just over 2 hours before we got to the port. I have to say I never saw as many trucks making the trip down the side of the mountain to Santos as on this trip. A word of warning the entry to the port is awful. The roads are narrow and extremely bumpy as you wind through some very poor areas of the city and it does not give a good impression to visitors.   Upon arrival the luggage was taken from us quickly though there was some confusion, as it seems some passengers did not have the luggage labels. All of us in our party did. Anyway eventually we managed to convince the staff that we did not need new labels and the luggage was taken away. You have to stand in line to take a small and very crowded bus from the terminal to the embarkation lounge a distance of about 100 yards. Why you cant walk that distance I simply do not know and this would save both waiting in line and very cramped conditions on the bus.   Notwithstanding all of the above, it wasn't long before we were all on the ship and safely in our designated cabins.   This is an older ship but it is well maintained and in good condition. The only real concern I had with the ship was that when at sea and particularly when sitting on the bed there is a definite bumpiness rather like riding on an uneven road. This is something I have not experienced on any other RCL ship. It did not keep me awake but it was a strange sensation, and this was also noticeable when sitting in some of the lounges.   CABINS   Not much to say. Not particularly large but acceptable, the bedding was comfortable and there was ample storage and closet space. Be aware that most of the inside and ocean view cabins do not have a refrigerator something I missed on this cruise. It is also time that RCL updated the little 14 inch TV's on these older ships. The Cabin Steward was efficient and she seemed to have the knack of knowing exactly when I left and the cabin was clean upon my return. The bed was comfortable and the bedding of a good quality.   FOOD   There is only one word, which can describe the food. AWFUL.   This was a big disappointment. I am aware that opinion on food depends to a large extent on what you are used to eating. I admit I eat well normally but not on this cruise. There were only 2 types of fish on the menu, Tapalia and Salmon. The steaks were as tough as nails no matter how ordered and there was an obvious lack of quality control. As an example meat in the steak and mushroom pie, which was served in the buffet twice during the cruise had not been properly cooked and instead of the beef being tender it was like eating leather. Several times I ordered items which although shown on the menu were simply not available. The Orange Juice at breakfast time was in fact an orange drink not even the frozen dilute orange juice you usually get on board. Freshly squeezed was available at an exorbitant price. There is no alternate specialty restaurant on board so that was not an option. I would have paid extra to eat there had it been available. Incidentally my review of food was shared but everyone I spoke with on this cruise so it is not just one opinion. My concern here is whether this is an isolated incidence or something we can now look forward to on all RCL cruises as they cut costs. I sincerely hope not or I will not be cruising with them any more.   ENTERTAINMENT   Poor. Part of the problem here was that 85% of the passengers were Portuguese speaking, which meant that the bulk of entertainment was in Portuguese. In fairness given that this ship left Brazil and was going to Lisbon this was not surprising and it did not worry me too much. Just be aware that cruises out of South America tend to favor Portuguese or Spanish speaking passengers. The Staff were able to converse in English and I had no difficulty in communicating on the ship. Entertainment was mainly song and dance but seemed to be enjoyed by many on the ship.   DISEMBARKATION   I was in no hurry to leave the ship as I was staying in Portugal after the cruise. My designated departure time was 8.45am and I got off the ship at that time even though my color code had not been called as I had a ride waiting. Unfortunately while I was on the dock my luggage wasn't and it became a scene of utter confusion. The ship was late docking due to pontoons not being in place at Lisbon. I find it amazing that although they obviously expected the ship they had not put pontoons in place knowing that the ship could not dock directly against the dock. Eventually the luggage appeared but we could not pick it up until the police had inspected and sent their dogs among the luggage to check for drugs, etc.  I saw my luggage on a large trolly and watched as they unloaded it not using the handle but the pulley and breaking it in the process. The baggage handler merely slapped the pulley handle back into place even though it was obviously broken. I had no choice but to carry my luggage as I could no longer roll it on its wheels. It was a mess. I eventually left the dock area at about 9.45am.   The Cruise   I met some super people. I explored Brazil a little and crossed it off my "Bucket List" I relaxed and enjoyed reading, had lots of fun, saw Morocco (another destination on my list) and then spent 2 weeks with family on the Algarve.  I had a good time overall BUT if I likely wont cruise on this ship again and will need some convincing that the poor quality of food on this ship is not something we can look forward to on future cruises with RCL.         Read Less
Sail Date March 2009
INTRODUCTION I choose this cruise because from a lot of years ago I had the dream to see the fire works of reveillon in Rio. I leave a part of the year in Lisbon and generally in European winter I am in Brazil where I have residence too. ... Read More
INTRODUCTION I choose this cruise because from a lot of years ago I had the dream to see the fire works of reveillon in Rio. I leave a part of the year in Lisbon and generally in European winter I am in Brazil where I have residence too. We were two couples , we with a total of 120 years old the other rather young , him in the early thirties and her with 25. THE EMBARKATION We flight on 24 th. December from Fortaleza to Sao Paulo and on 26 th. we went on a private transfer to Santos. When we arrive to the Port of Santos after 2 hours I had the first surprise. The road in front of the piers was completely crowded of cars, bus, tucks, etc with a big confusion and a really horrible environment. After leave the car we went to a queue so slow as an " escargot" and after 2 hours!!! we received a paper with a figure and the orientation to go to a room completely crowded to await that our figure was called!!! I was just a pre check-in. The check in was made only about 17.15 , we enter abroad about 17.30 qand for the first time I saw a ship leave the port with more than 1 hour of delay. And for us were almost 6 hours without any kind of comfort, without food, etc THE SHIP MUSICA is a beautiful ship and cabins are nice and comfortable but balconies are smaller that in other ships . Another negative point is the number of elevators. Too small overall in a cruise where the boat was completely full.The capacity of elevators is too reduced and one elevator was out of service since the first minute. Result: people were obliged to exercise and to go up or down using the stairs. THE SERVICE and FOOD Most of employees of the ship seemed to be the first time on a boat. In restaurants to see the service was like a funny joke if the price paid wasn't so high. I was normal to have in all meals the arm of the "garçon" passing near my nose for serving my wife when was possible walk 2 meters and serve her as is common even in any 3rd. class restaurant. Once I asked for a second bottle of wine. when the waiter bring it , open the new bottle and put the wine over the rest of wine I had in the glass from the first bottle and asked me to try!!!! The food in Oleandro was generally very poor and in Buffet was horrible , hamburgers, pizza and other things without a minimum class. To see the quality of the service we need to say that on 31 December all keys didn't open the cabin doors!!! All of us were obliged to go to the reception to resolve the problem, The last day I received a notification to return the net cable!!! I hadn't asked for any net cable. THE PORTS I knew already Salvador but is always good to see the old part of the town. Ilheus and Buzios are typical Brazilian beach villages , interesting and with their beauty. Ilha Bela was a surprise . Is terrific. We rent a taxi and we go to the Curral beach that is excellent. THE SHOWS About shows MUSICA can compare withe other competitors , they are good and some excellent artists. But a cruise only for 2 or 3 good small shows is not enough.Poor MUSICA , the beauty of the ship deserved much more, overall in service quality, food and personnel training Read Less
Sail Date December 2008

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