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123 Mediterranean Senior Cruise Reviews

12 Day Mediterranean cruise on the Epic, Barcelona RT. My main criticism of this cruise was the Epic as a cruise ship. Having a friend who sailed on the Epic's maiden voyage and she giving it a less than sterling review I can now ... Read More
12 Day Mediterranean cruise on the Epic, Barcelona RT. My main criticism of this cruise was the Epic as a cruise ship. Having a friend who sailed on the Epic's maiden voyage and she giving it a less than sterling review I can now understand why. This ship would be ideal for children, teens, and adults who enjoy all the water features on this ship except all that equipment came came at the expense of pool size. They could be could be filled with two teacups. in less than five minutes. On a transatlantic or cooler climes on the planet the top deck is mostly useless. The other group who would enjoy this ship are the confirmed gamblers who love a very large, very smelly casino located almost mid-ship. To traverse the ship on deck six one has to wend your way through the people, noise, and smell of the casino to access the aft elevators. Elevators... only two banks of elevators,, one fore and one aft. Always long waits and once inside very dark, a muggers paradise :) . Cute little Christmas tree lights on the ceiling of the elevators and trying to see the floor buttons is impossible because they are not lit. Public spaces are always crowded, with over 4000 persons on board what can you expect? The only public outside promenade deck is only on one side of the ship and the lifeboats are hung outside blocking all views of the ocean. All the public spaces, with the exception of the Garden Cafe (most window tables "hogged" by certain groups of people) have NO outside views. It is like the entire ship is an inside cabin with NO cross ventilation, ocean views or a chance to breathe fresh air. The "atrium" with its two story screen and low ceiling is LOUD beyond belief. All music on this ship is ear splitting in the venues and even the theatre... LOUD DOES NOT MAKE MUSIC BETTER~! Food was the biggest disappointment I have ever experienced aboard a NCL ship (I just became a Longitude Platinum member on this cruise) with the exception of TASTE, LA CUCINA, and CAGNEY'S . At this point I must add that I will not be reviewing staterooms because we had decided to try an inside cabin and one of the big ships on this cruise.... NCL assigned us a Disability cabin and other than the "all in one" shower/toilet wet room and the Barbie sized sink in the main room, it was about 50% larger than the standard inside cabin and afforded more storage space. Now NCL tv is another gripe... knowing NCL wants to up sale you a movie pkg. The only news station was BBC... world's most boring and uninformative news outlet. The movies they did show were geared to the mindless sci-fi genre or the equally slow minded teen aged girls. My travel partner was a Latitude Platinum member and received two specialty dinners each. When we booked we were afforded two "Free at Sea" upgrades and as usual we chose the Beverage pkg. and two upgraded dining opportunities. Thus, making four specialty dinners for the 12 day voyage. We were informed we would only be eligible for the two upgrade dinners because we chose the 30 min. wifi option. We have NEVER used wifi on any cruise and as a Platinum member he was automatically issued 30 min. wifi. Guest services rudely informed us we would have to use the two Platinum vouchers for the dinners and they had no control what the Reservations Agents promise and what the Guest Services were obligated to provide. Also stating they are two different departments.....and that was that. Disappointed with NCL customer service. Two things in closing: Our room Steward was AMAZING. Waiters, service personnel were outstanding and if anything there was NOT enough help in some areas for the NCL service we had become used to. The other thing is just how ugly and cumbersome this ship appears. With the elimination of a wonderful comfortable quiet observation area in order to expand the Haven category thus giving the appearance of the profile of The Elephant Man. I could say more but in closing I admit I am JADED~! because of the layout and comfort of a smaller ship, i.e., THE JADE (4 cruises on this Noble Lady two of which were TA)~! Being an older cruiser, celebrated my 75th birthday on the last night of this cruise, I will be sticking with smaller NCL ships without the hordes of people~! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Room is fine 11061 is a bit noisy but great size butler &maid Dining & tour arrangement a 3rd rate low price Cruise line disaster. Tour changed with no notification (some attendees, not all received notification 2 days in ... Read More
Room is fine 11061 is a bit noisy but great size butler &maid Dining & tour arrangement a 3rd rate low price Cruise line disaster. Tour changed with no notification (some attendees, not all received notification 2 days in advance. WE DID NOT) from am to pm thereby not allowing time to dress for cocktail party & attend dinner reservation at speciality restaurant. The restaurant refused to change reservation 2 @ any time ! Reservations made online weeks ago for a very special birthday. Birthday when attempting to confirmed with Butler upon boarding I was informed my reservation was for the ninth not the tenth but he assured m we no problem as long as we were flexible with time. Tried to confirm planned birthday celebration at Jacques 2 day in advance informed I was on waitingist THANK YOU VERY MUCH Not even Carnival abuses multu repeat crusiersj. Oh wonderful !!just learned Port of Monte Carlo will be cancelled Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We have cruised with this cruise line several times. We had always had a good experience but since our last cruise I am a vegetarian and can only comment on the lack of vegetarian options are atrocious Lack lustre curry stir fried ... Read More
We have cruised with this cruise line several times. We had always had a good experience but since our last cruise I am a vegetarian and can only comment on the lack of vegetarian options are atrocious Lack lustre curry stir fried vegetables fried rice , or salad were the only option for meals and so the only meal worth looking forward to was breakfast There are no vegan options either. We met really lovely people, entertained by the Acoustic Soul brothers excellent!! And the piano virtuoso Ian West who tinkled the ivories like a legend. Some of the stops were by tender and can be slightly precarious for older persons however the staff were always helpful, some of the stops had very steep slopes so looking at the shore excursions need to be considered before booking The ship itself had a good variety of entertainment great swimming pool and cheerful staff. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, and it did not disappoint. We knew the ship was tired and would be going into dry dock for retrofit. But I loved the size and layout of the Spirit. The staff and crew overall was amazing. The ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, and it did not disappoint. We knew the ship was tired and would be going into dry dock for retrofit. But I loved the size and layout of the Spirit. The staff and crew overall was amazing. The ship was clean and well kept. The entertainment was very good to boring, but overall good. The Soul Sound Brothers were great and the Elements Show as I have seen on other NCL ships was excellent. Other shows in the theatre should either cut out the fog machine or use It lightly, as it was a distraction.However I was disappointed with the gift shops having over priced items and the extra 20% vat. We have never experienced that on other Mediterranean Cruises. The food was a little disappointing. We noticed cheaper less tender cuts of meat. Over cooked fish and the seafood was really so small. Too much repetitive in the menu. The vegetables, salad and fruit was plentiful and fresh. The last day of the cruise a new dessert was introduced, a Kula cream tart which was Devine. Hope they will keep it on the menu. The Asian restaurant and buffet were good, but there again disappointed in the meat carving as the cuts of meat were poor and repeated too often. We also noticed the linens on the bed were older and thin, not like other NCL ships. Hopefully this will be corrected after it is retrofitted. The specialty restaurants prices have gone up, or become a la cart so we didn’t bother, which was disappointing as we were celebrating our 50 Th Anniversary and wanted a special meal to celebrate. We treated ourselves to two special meals in Athensand Santorini instead. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Good itinerary and reasonable price! Food was rather ordinary. No special nights like they have on other cruise lines. One night food was so bad ( rubber chicken) that I just refused to eat it. Ship was somewhat tired in many areas. ... Read More
Good itinerary and reasonable price! Food was rather ordinary. No special nights like they have on other cruise lines. One night food was so bad ( rubber chicken) that I just refused to eat it. Ship was somewhat tired in many areas. Service in the dining room and bars was terrific. Room service was below par. Washroom dirty when we checked in and we never really had communication with our steward. He neglected to report the lights out in our washroom and we had to report it twice more to get something done. Would think twice before cruising with Norwegian again even with their good price. Nice to be on a somewhat smaller ship but this one needs to be refurbished. Shore excursions were fairly good , but you can usually do better by arranging your own through web pages etc. All in all I would call this a satisfactory but not great cruise which was saved by the great itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Been on a few P&o cruises on ships Oceana, Azura and Brittania, so me and my partner decided to try Aurora and the Canary Islands. Overall we felt a bit dissapointed with this one. The ports were great and the excursions were great ... Read More
Been on a few P&o cruises on ships Oceana, Azura and Brittania, so me and my partner decided to try Aurora and the Canary Islands. Overall we felt a bit dissapointed with this one. The ports were great and the excursions were great but we felt that having a full day and evening in Tenerife on the Monday instead of a full and evening day in La Palma on the Sunday would have been better, as everything opened at 10:00 and shut at 14:00 in La Palma,so you were just on the ship until we sail away at 21:00. The ship was a great size, and the new refurbishment was great with new carpets and everything in communal areas seemed new, however you could tell it was built in 2000. A tiny TV, with only certain channels compared to the On Demand service you get on Brittania, also it was in a really awkward position in our cabin. There was only one plug socket in the whole room too, which in an era of technology isn't really the best. Although advitised as an Adults only cruise, it'll be better off advitised as a over 50s cruise. Myself and my partner are in our 20s, and managed to make friends with two other couples in their 20s. We all felt that the entertainment in the evenings was aimed at the over 50s. The only real act who engaged with the whole audience age wise was the comedian Phil Melbourne. One great act was the Irish lad who did acoustic guitar sets on the Lido deck and in the crows nest some evenings. The entertainment team were great, very welcoming and friendly. The Headliners this year I would say were below the expected standard. The vocalists really carried the show, as the dancers were quite poor. It seemed that the best vocalists and dancers go on Brittania and bigger ships. The shows seemed a bit dated too, compared to those we saw more recently on Brittania. Instead of a West End experience, it felt more like a Panto in your local theatre. The crew this year were great, from cabin steward to waiters. There was only one waiter we had a problem with as he got my starter wrong, giving me a mushroom sausage roll instead of Potted Shrimp, and heinsisted that was what I asked for, even though I don't like Mushrooms! If you're over 50 it's a great cruise for you, however if you're under 50 I'd aim for another ship in the fleet! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Civitavecchia to Lisbon, sunset cabin deck 9 cabin 219 Vista suite. Veendam is in very good condition overall given her age. The crew were always polite and helpful, no matter how busy they were. Our cabin steward SAN was always ... Read More
Civitavecchia to Lisbon, sunset cabin deck 9 cabin 219 Vista suite. Veendam is in very good condition overall given her age. The crew were always polite and helpful, no matter how busy they were. Our cabin steward SAN was always smiling and ready to assist. HAL appears to have an austerity drive in place. The quality and variety of the food was not up to the standard we experienced on Nkordam in 2014. The same dishes kept appearing day after day. The roast meats were always served rare (still bleeding), With no option for those who prefer meat to be cooked through. The tableware (plastic drinking cups) were all grungy and looked unclean as did the cutlery. The table service crew were obviously distressed by this, searching for the cleanest they could find on the trays, but it was out of their control. Meal portions were also seemingly on the "money saving" hit list, with very small portions served up. This made the guest feel obliged to always ask for more. This should not be the case on a 7 day cruise which cost over AUD 6000 for two people. Another big bear was the imposition of a 15% surcharge on all die ks and onboard shopping and services when the prices were not cheap in the first place. How do HAL justify this charge? A bottle of Evian still water, in cabin was charged at USD 5.00 plus the 15 percent surcharge. The same bottle ashore was € 2.00. I only had 2 alcoholic drinks in 7 days because we refused to pay the high costs being charged. HAL has gone from being one of our favourite cruise lines to "Never again". So sad that the bean counters have forced this decline on a once proud cruise line. The HAL shore excursions were also mega expensive, the same, or better could be had ashore for one third of the price. In Gibraltar, the HAL tour buses could not even negotiate the narrow roads to the top of the Rock. The participants did not even get to see the Barbary Apes. How sad. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Having sailed on this ship some 18mths ago we were surprised at how some parts of the cabins had deteriorated in particular 5022 Last year we could not fault them after all this was a comparatively new ship but has gone downhill since ... Read More
Having sailed on this ship some 18mths ago we were surprised at how some parts of the cabins had deteriorated in particular 5022 Last year we could not fault them after all this was a comparatively new ship but has gone downhill since The shower recess had mould. Now it would not take much to remove it but in the 21days it was not. Our steward was lovely but they are pushed to the limits so cleaning mould was not part of his cleaning schedule. Our friends shower was the same..yet other people we spoke to said they had no issues. The doona was marked as to was the lounge, the TV did not work nor did the phone for a day or two, which meant we were missing any bridge communications. The common areas were still maintained to a standard. The dining room menu was varied & most of the meals very good. Lido is still the usual scrum and finding a table at peak times is like winning the lottery as it is on most cruise lines which is why we opt for the dining room for breakfast & dinner. Wine list on this cruise was not to a standard with a very nice wine only available in the dining room. Why all bars did not offer this was beyond us. Most wine by the glass $11USD + gratuity which should be at the discretion of each guest not automatically added but the drinks waiters we most times well deserved of it anyway Entertainment on HAL ships is below par. Guests were walking out during performances Shore Excursions: Mostly very good & at times well organised just more info prior would be helpful. If anyone gets a chance to go to Monaco and they offer a cruise to EZE DO IT!!! This old fortress & village was amazing, just be prepared for some uphill climbing but so worth it. TIP: If you do not do a ships shore excursion but still wish to go out & about HIRE a taxi. Talk to them re a price & length of time you wish to spend out & about. We did this a couple of times & so worth it. Embarkation & disembarkation was smooth & effortless. We actually embarked earlier than allotted as it was a back to back As with most cruises you met some wonderful people (we met mostly Aussies) shared some great experiences & were attended by some great staff. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had previously done a cruise with HA in 2015 and it was amazing. We thought we would receive the same service this time when we chose a 23 day Mediterranean Cruise. The good points; Amazing staff and so happy to greet you each ... Read More
We had previously done a cruise with HA in 2015 and it was amazing. We thought we would receive the same service this time when we chose a 23 day Mediterranean Cruise. The good points; Amazing staff and so happy to greet you each day Great ship, reasonably clean Great Captain Some entertainment was ok but repeated their shows quite often which were the same Great selection of food at the Lido Really well organised embarkation and disembarkation Well organised shore excursions The bad points; Our second trip did give us a $150 credit but talking to new comers they were given more eg a cheap drinks package and a free meal at the Pinnacle etc No water in cabin, no fruit Our biggest gripe is 15% surcharge on WATER, really, 6 one litre bottles cost us $24 plus the surcharge which amounted to around $27 American dollars. In Australian dollars around $42. That is disgusting. 15%surcharge on all drinks, I can understand in a dining room or being waited on but when you buy your own, disgraceful. We were 55minutes outside Spain and I was charged 15% surcharge on a drink that I purchased then another 15% Spain surcharge so that glass of wine cost $26 American dollars Wine waiters trying to sell alcohol constantly The dining room food was very ordinary and the desserts were awful. We walked by ? the Lido and the same desserts were being served there. Really. The Pinnacle was a let down, it has dropped its standard of high quality. I had previously told friends and recommended this Dining Room The excursions were quite expensive and a couple were not worth the time or the money. HA need to clarify their rules on bringing alcohol on board. We were told we could bring 2 bottles of wine on board which we did. People next to us tried this and it was confiscated, so clarification is needed. Would I recommend this ship, probably not. I would certainly tell them of our experience and let them decide. Would we use HA again, no, it is all about the money and how much they can take off you. People save hard for a cruise and one hopes for a great time but unfortunately the hidden costs is bitter. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My husband and I did this cruise this summer and we did not think it was anything special. I am a well-traveled individual, but I thought I would try something different. Unfortunately, it just confirmed every hesitation that I ever had ... Read More
My husband and I did this cruise this summer and we did not think it was anything special. I am a well-traveled individual, but I thought I would try something different. Unfortunately, it just confirmed every hesitation that I ever had about cruises. You are on some else's schedule and you really do not have anytime to experience any culture (except American culture, of course). On top of that, it felt as though everything was a money grab. You could not do the most basic activities without having to pay an arm and a leg. That being said, it was essential to do activities on the ship to prevent yourself from dying of boredom. Additionally, for a ship with thousands of guests, the pool was very small. We barely spent any time by the pool because of how crowded it always was, which was very disappointing. On a more positive note, I will say that the food was pretty good, the staff were very friendly and the gym was very nice. However, I believe you can have a way better trip if you just plan it yourself. I understand that people are suckers for the convenience of having everything planned for them, but it really does not take that much more effort to plan a trip and save more than half the money spent on this cruise. There is a price to laziness after all. To conclude I would only recommend this cruise if you have multiple children and want to see Europe or if you are above the age of 65. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Just back from the repositioning of Star from Miami to Terragonna and stayed for Terragonna to Venice. (Actually April 27 - May 24) The restaurant servers seriously needed training. I am now 4 days short of Platinum plus and was ... Read More
Just back from the repositioning of Star from Miami to Terragonna and stayed for Terragonna to Venice. (Actually April 27 - May 24) The restaurant servers seriously needed training. I am now 4 days short of Platinum plus and was shocked by the lack of training. Normally an experienced server has a 2nd person they are training as they serve. Not this time. I had servers pouring water so high above glass it poured all around the glass .... 3 times. Didn't bother the server at all. Consistently servers could not remember what was ordered and had to ask for repeats and be corrected. Could not remember who ordered what when serving. This happened repeatedly in all restaurants. Even the paid restaurants which ought to have most skilled servers. Also, those did not have their own bar tenders and they had to go out to a very busy bar and take a long time to get drinks. Shore excursions were consistently mishandled. Not close to up to par of NCL on prior cruises. Port planning was extremely poor. Many on NCL for first time were commenting they would never do NCL again. I had to ask them to not judge NCL by this poorly managed ship. They blamed ports, which was very bad cause NCL ought to know their ports by now. Rome was a complete disaster for everyone. Not everyone had been properly notified of the change to Terragonna. The ticket management of the shore excursions were very bad. worst was for the White Houses tour. Told to meet on pier. Nobody on pier. Some had walked all along pier to outside the building and were waiting there. My friend and I were stopped from going into building and sent back to gangway. This time we found someone with a clipboard ... no sign. Had not been there before. Walking back she gets stopped by bus driver on other side of fence where we had been refused before. Now we form two lines there. 1 for our excursion and 2nd for a different excursion. She never goes to get people who had gone out front .... they just kind of discover the buses on their own and manage to come back to form lines. It was a total mess. Her attitude sucked. If you travel with a buddy credits only go on the first named passenger. It is a mess to get it sorted out. My buddy was listed first..... I am the stockholder. Hard to get my stockholder credit on the right accounts even though printouts had said I would have them. Took emails to corporate. Oh, and on a back to back they treat it as a single cruise and hard to get the freebie onboards for 2nd cruise. Don't wast a freebie on the credit per port for excursions. Two people can't do anything for $50 total. Our cabin stewards were great .... although 1st cabin always moved my nightgown to other person's bed. 2nd cabin guy (Joe) was much better. 8162 should remove the wall between sink counter and toilet. It just makes the space choppy and smaller. Other than that it is a really nice oceanview. On the TA the bridge instructor was great. Kept my bridge buddy happy. The passenger dance for the passenger show was taught by Naomie and she is an awesome dance captain. The singing was by Dominique. Shorter than the dance, 1st day of practice had no singing. Short song had first half done by 3 people ... all others only got to do last half of song. I am used to Choir getting 3 songs and all sing. Very disappointed. Production shows are great. Aerlists are great. Barricade (former Les Mis singers) were great, wish they were kept on so I could hear them again 2nd cruise. Internet is right above Atrium and sometimes the noise from music in atrium was too loud to try to do Internet (and connectivity was bad and guy running it unskilled). Trivia was consistently fun ... although Simba got irritating with his pride and insistence on poor pronunciation. Educators are not fond of people unwilling to learn. Prizes were so bad that we didn't even bother going to get them after 2nd cruise. Kudos to the frequency with which NCL has Karaoke... consistently popular. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I thought the itinerary was varied and interesting with a few places we had previously visited and a few we had not. Noticed a decline in service especially in Terrace Cafe plus only one fresh vegetable served almost everyday, broccoli, ... Read More
I thought the itinerary was varied and interesting with a few places we had previously visited and a few we had not. Noticed a decline in service especially in Terrace Cafe plus only one fresh vegetable served almost everyday, broccoli, cauliflower, zuchinni mixed vegetables! Almost as many supervisors in shirt and tie as server/helpers but doing very little to help! The dinner selections in the Grand Dining Room seemed of lesser quality than on prior cruises on the same ship or the Regatta. The entertainment overall seemed improved, but predominantly from the UK whereas the majority of passengers are still from the USA. Also, the afternoon Tea seemed to have fewer food choices. Both the Cruise Director and his partner and Assistant Cruise Director were both from the UK and little too flamboyant for our tastes. There were several tender ports. It seemed little attention was given to those who might not do well with stairs going down to the tender deck. Some tender operations seemed in need of a little more training in tender operation. Finally, I must say this Captain may do a good job, but was not particularly cordial to customers even dining at an adjoining table! The ABSOLUTE worst part of this cruise was the disembarkation on the final day! It was totally disorganized, no calling by color and number to disembark. a total stampede with no sign of any ship officers to thank the passengers! It was a horrible mess at too small a terminal facility for this ship too! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise to allow us to visit Petra in Jordan*, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, it also called in at Kefalonia, on the Petra return the driveshaft went on the bus delaying us for almost 2 hours. The weather was hot in Jerusalem and ... Read More
We chose this cruise to allow us to visit Petra in Jordan*, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, it also called in at Kefalonia, on the Petra return the driveshaft went on the bus delaying us for almost 2 hours. The weather was hot in Jerusalem and more so in Jordan, but later in the cruise after traversing the Suez canal we had two days of high winds and grey skies that not only kept you from sunbathing, but kept you off the top deck completely. Half way through the cruise at around 07-00 there was a 'machine labouring' noise, the cabin lights went off, and the ship stopped for 15 or 20 minutes the 'claim' being 'dirty fuel', although I find it difficult to understand that dirt in a ships fuel would cut everything off completely at the same time with no back up, fortunately for us we carry a battery lamp. Those who had been on for two weeks said the ship had suffered an 'air conditioning' breakdown the previous week and had to pull in for repairs, thus delaying people on the following onshore trips. The food onboard was fine generally, and the cabin steward and cleaning lady were excellent as usual. The entertainment was rather drab, we were on this ship 2 years ago, and the 'Broadway show lounge' shows were still exactly the same routines and songs as they had been. The music played in all the bars, disco, and entertainment parts of the ship was ranging from the early 60's to early 80's (it seems Marella believe music stopped in the early 80's, and nothing has been produced since). The one exception to the drab entertainment rule was a guy on a guitar singing Irish songs. On departing the ship in Corfu, we were stood waiting outside the airport in a queue of some 100 meters for more than an hour, with no explanation of why, or as to how long we would be there until someone challenged one of the TUI staff over the matter. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Seemed like a good idea at the time, first day we were greeted by a pedal bin in the toilet full of tissues and a used tampon smiling at us, reported it and all we got was a grunted apology whereas friends of ours got a fifty pound extra ... Read More
Seemed like a good idea at the time, first day we were greeted by a pedal bin in the toilet full of tissues and a used tampon smiling at us, reported it and all we got was a grunted apology whereas friends of ours got a fifty pound extra spend because some noise was heard early one morning.Although not P&O,s fault the ship was overun with wheelchairs, zimmer frames and mobility scooters.Technical faults ensued throughout and rudely awoken at 4.20 one morning with chairs etc being moved above us, when complained was virtually called a liar as no one goes above deck until 7.00 am to move stuff ,haunted ship I suppose. I dont think I've seen so many vastly overweight people in one place before, food ok but nothing wonderfull but most staff ok with some of the younger girls very smiley and chatty. One waiter virtually threw the food at us and seemed like he would rather be elsewhere . Two P&O cruises and four Princess and will go back to Princess in future , shame really as we would rather support home grown. Freddy Mercury tribute was awful if you were a queen fan and on a last note ive never seen food consumed in such large ammounts by people in their 80s as on this trip, no wonder it cost so much in care homes, lovely bunch though. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
THIS WOULD GET A 5.7 FROM ME FOR MANY REASONS: 1 - we were told by travel agent & we double checked ourselves on the NCL website that we could bring a '750 ml BOTTLE OF WINE OR CHAMPAGNE' on board - it was taken away = ... Read More
THIS WOULD GET A 5.7 FROM ME FOR MANY REASONS: 1 - we were told by travel agent & we double checked ourselves on the NCL website that we could bring a '750 ml BOTTLE OF WINE OR CHAMPAGNE' on board - it was taken away = VERY POOR MARKS 2 - room smelt of sweat sox - the steward didn't notice as he rarely got any outside time so was nose blind - however he was so nice & unobtrusive that we liked this in him - I will bring fabreeze next time = POOR MARKS for ventelation but good for actual steward 3 - most meals were good [not the chicken parmesan] = OVERALL GOOD MARKS 4 - approx 40% were american but majority of things were geared to them including the safety drill stating met american standards .... should be International standards on a ship registered in Nassau travelling in Italy in Greece = POOR MARKS 5 - we like to go to trivia [3 x a day] - on 9th day 6 out of 20 questions were repeats = POOR MARKS 6 - never put a meeting for bridge players in the daily bulletin - we like to play bridge but had hard time meeting others - we used their cards which were toast after 1 game of cribbage [glad we brought our own ] .... Poor choice on ncl - how do you spell 'very cheap'? = POOR MARKS 7 - had art auction which was discreet & we liked that = GOOD MARKS [FYI people who buy art on ships = chump] 8 - CASINO was situated where we didn't need to walk through it = GOOD MARKS 9 - we were supposed to leave ship over 6 1/2 hrs before flight - we had to change that - felt that they were trying to get rid of us as fast as possible - airline counter didn't open until 3 hours prior to departure = POOR MARKS to NCL 10 - mini fridge in room - waste of space & we could have used that space better = POOR MARKS 11 - we were not allowed to bring any fluids on board - no water, soft drink just so they could pad up their bill = POOR MARKS 12 - took ncl tour of athens - sat in theatre for an hour ... poorly organized - felt like we were sheep being herded by a border collie - did not repeat = POOR MARKS 13 - we went on shore & did the same thing for 40 to 60% less 14 - POOR ARRANGEMENT FOR CRETE - 7 AM to noon - museums didn't open until 10 - didn't bother to get off ship - could have been scheduled better so that we could have decent time there = VERY POOR MARKS 15 - hot tubs had perfect temp = GOOD MARKS 16 - shops & photo areas were waste of space = POOR MARKS 17 - most time we felt if there was any way NCL could put their hands in our pockets & take more money they would do so - drinks overpriced but no effort to arrange bridge as there was no money in it for NCL = VERY POOR MARKS Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We used ‘Park on my Drive’ and saved about £100 in parking fees however taxi to the terminal got us there too early so we had a long tedious wait to be checked in. Food My wife’s dietary preferences meant that we had to eat ... Read More
We used ‘Park on my Drive’ and saved about £100 in parking fees however taxi to the terminal got us there too early so we had a long tedious wait to be checked in. Food My wife’s dietary preferences meant that we had to eat exclusively in the Buffet Restaurant Venezia, so that she could select food to suit her. There was too much emphasis on curries and Indian dishes, very little variety with few cooked vegetables and food not always as hot as it should have been. Venezia restaurant always crowded as only half the space open most of the time. Coffee machine not working for the whole of the cruise, fruit juice only available at breakfast and pineapple juice only available 3 mornings out of 12. The milk dispenser often not filled and you were expected to use UHT milk sachet instead, Drink P & O are new to the drinks package idea but do not have the price right. A drinks package for two for 12 days would be £960 when in fact our bar bill was under £100. You would need to be an alcoholic to get your money’s worth. Their soft drinks package would have been £480 compared to Norwegian on the Epic at £138. Service The cabin service was very good but in the restaurant there seemed to be a lack of willingness to help and when service was given it was very slow, when ordering drinks they often arrived halfway through the meal even when ordered right at the beginning. Tables not cleared as quickly as they should have been. Entertainment I understand that P & O have won an award for entertainment and goodness knows why. The entertainment was very poor with a few second rate comedians and singers and no shows. The standard was so low that the highlight of the week was the entertainments manager doing an Elvis impersonation. Cost We opted for the saver fare as opposed to the select fare and consequently were only allocated a cabin a week before we sailed and then treated as second class citizens in dining room allocation and having to pay on the “free” shuttle buses. An example of the shuttle bus cost in Lisbon was £4.00 per person per journey a total of £8 each way compared with a taxi cost one way of 6 Euros. The cost for the internet package was very high and so we did not use it. P & O should rethink this policy in this interconnected electronic age. Not a very good move to encourage future bookings on P & O. Ship The Azura started operation in 2010 and is now in desperate need of a refit. Certain areas such as the Malabar and deck 7 midships smelled of sewage all the time and one passenger reported black mould under the toilet seat which was not immediately rectified. The satellite TV was not working for most of the cruise. P & O’s standards have dropped considerably and are now below an acceptable level and do not compare well with rivals such as CMV. Shore Excursions We did two P & O excursions, one to La Palma for Whale watching. 3½ hours on a small boat in heavy seas and saw no whales nor dolphins, in fact not even a fish and no compensation for this. We also did Lisbon by land & river and this was very good with a tour of Lisbon by coach and then a very pleasant river cruise. We also did three excursions by Cruising Excursion The first at Madeira where we were left stranded on the top of a mountain and had to return to the ship by taxi. The second to Tenerife where we saw lots of rocks and volcanoes at the foot of Mount Tiede and the third to Lanzarote where we saw lots of rocks and volcanoes on a visit to Fire Mountain. All the excursions by both companies are vastly overpriced. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We like to compare Cruise compagnies. Barcelona we like. Embarkation in Barcelona was bad organised , 30 full Sun no shadow because they used only 1 Controller so ther were 4 other unused. The evening programs were great.(Shows) ... Read More
We like to compare Cruise compagnies. Barcelona we like. Embarkation in Barcelona was bad organised , 30 full Sun no shadow because they used only 1 Controller so ther were 4 other unused. The evening programs were great.(Shows) The Entry hygiene (Restaurants) was outstanding The Selfservice : eating was mayby good for USA citizen certainly not for us Belgian. Soup : not warm , less taste. Lot of salad bar and Veggie Dessert: a lot but less Taste The Koffie : was awfull except Lavaza in restaurants Lot of Sausages not real specialities. Even in Specialitiy restaurants : general rate 6/10 Drinks: midrange lowest category Fruits were enough Organisation on Schip must be good because there were absolut no queues at Service desks Personnel is very helpfull and kind Shore excursions we did on our own We did use already other cruise companies like HAL, Prncess,MSC, Costa,Regent Our points for NCL Spirit 5.5/10 Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise because we like to do long ones crossing the Atlantic. Unfortunately it was the first time we had such bad sea for 5 days. Our cabin was the very last one on our deck. 13223 stern. Wow every little swerve or move of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we like to do long ones crossing the Atlantic. Unfortunately it was the first time we had such bad sea for 5 days. Our cabin was the very last one on our deck. 13223 stern. Wow every little swerve or move of the ship we felt. It was okay until we had very strong winds continuously 90 miles an hour for about 5 days. We had to be in the atrium as much as possible it was better. The food was very good not extraordinary but very good. The cabin service was excellent. The entertainment was very good at the theatre but the activities were not. I guess too many languages would have made it difficult to have too many different ones. The port presentations were excellent. Embarkation and deembarkation was terrible. A total mess no one to take charge in different situations it seemed there was no management to lead. We will cruise again with them as the prices for a crossing is excellent and the ship was super nice. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Happy 12-day cruise but just sometimes food quality was surprisingly poor. Potatoes with black rotting areas and occasionally not hot. Staff in smart restaurants and buffet were hard-working, helpful and pleasant. Often a ... Read More
Happy 12-day cruise but just sometimes food quality was surprisingly poor. Potatoes with black rotting areas and occasionally not hot. Staff in smart restaurants and buffet were hard-working, helpful and pleasant. Often a feeding frenzy in buffet servery which is too crowded sometimes and too small. One area is opened while the other closes. Ideally should both be open. All made worse by impatient passengers who don't like queuing. Also, despite polite request notes on each table asking diners to vacate once finished eating, there are some who seem to camp there for an hour or two chatting, dozing or reading books while others search for seats. Some ignore hand sanitisers in restaurants. Thump of engines can be heard in main restaurant. We heard that P&O have made economies on several fronts and sometimes it shows compared with previous cruises by us. Cabin stewards now asked to service more cabins daily. Stage shows were very good/excellent. One comedian fared badly/gross with old folk with mime of him pretending to wipe his bottom, complained about weak P&O 2-ply toilet paper, said some elderly passengers "smelled like the homeless" and were infirm - among other grubby "jokes." Long wait to disembark because of tide change and positioning the bridge to terminal. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We wanted to try the cruise ship and visit Rome. We were disappointed that we had to walk so far to get on the buses for the excursions. The excursions were ok, but not nearly as good as the river boats were. In fact, I can only remember ... Read More
We wanted to try the cruise ship and visit Rome. We were disappointed that we had to walk so far to get on the buses for the excursions. The excursions were ok, but not nearly as good as the river boats were. In fact, I can only remember a couple, so I guess they weren't too memorable. We stayed in Rome for a couple of days and were really disappointed in the Viking employees who were in charge. On other river cruises where we had pre/post cruise experiences, we were given opportunities for walking tours and also help in going to local tourist sights. We had to do everything on our own, and would have truly appreciated more help in this area. Needless to say, we are doubtful as to whether we will go on another cruise ship adventure. We truly love Viking, but will probably stick with the river cruises. In fact, we have one booked for March (our 5th Viking trip.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted a holiday over the New Year period and so we stayed in Barcelona for 4 nights prior to joining the cruise. As we had previously cruised on a number of occasions with NCL we were directed to the NCL ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted a holiday over the New Year period and so we stayed in Barcelona for 4 nights prior to joining the cruise. As we had previously cruised on a number of occasions with NCL we were directed to the NCL Previous Cruise Embarkation Line - unfortunately, as there were not many checkin desks available for this line people who were first time cruisers and were behind us in the queue joined the ship before we did. Our first impressions of the ship were that it was a little dated, but quite clean and that the staff appeared friendly although there was no name card for our cabin attendant which I always find quite helpful. ( One did appear on the day before we left the ship) The overall standard of the evening shows was quite good but I felt that the day time programmes could have been better and more varied. On one evening the Cruise Director was very critical of guests who left before the show had finished indicating that it was disrespectful to the entertainers and could be dangerous especially on the following evening when all of the gangways would be used. Unfortunately, when he made this statement many guests had already left. One thing that he failed to mention was that a number of guests put their glasses in the gangways and these were then broken by people leaving the theatre and not seeing them. The other aspect that I felt had not been fully assessed was the provision of a line of "disabled seating and tables" at the front of the fixed seating because these seats are higher than the fixed seating making viewing difficult in the first few rows of fixed seating, not fixed together or to the floor creating a hazard in the event of an emergency evacuation together with tables that were free standing and many with glasses. This together with the fact that some guests also had their mobility scooters with them and many with carers that were clearly not disabled. There are disabled bays available in parts of the theatre but these did not appear to be used. When the stage is fully extended for some shows there is a vast reduction in the width of the front escape route and together with the fact that putting the disabled between the stage where open flames and pyrotechnics are used and able bodied persons is in my view asking for trouble. Note. The location of the Stardust Theatre on this ship is different to many others in that it is located at the stern end of the ship rather than the bow and this means that the majority of guests enter at the front by the stage rather than the rear and it is well known fact that in an emergency people tend to leave the building by the way that they enter and obviously putting unsecured disabled seats and chairs in this position could cause a serious evacuation problem. We only tried the Windows and Garden Main Dining Rooms and did not find them to be very notable so tended to dine in Raffles Court where we could see the food before we ordered - some days it was quite good but other days the choice was quite poor. The selection of desserts tended to be be very poor and did not change much over the cruise. We thought that the shops and goods available were very poor and quite expensive even compared with prices in the UK. The selection of everyday items was also very limited. As we had previously been to most of the destinations we only went on one excursion and that was to Casablanca and again we were a little disappointed with this as for part of the tour we were taken to a local pharmacist who wanted to sell us pills, potions and remedies that we were not really interested in. We do like the Freestyle Dining offered by NCL but being so disappointed with this cruise will probably not cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the mild weather in the Canary Islands and Spain. Morocco was a determining factor which proved to be a bust! Very dangerous destination that should be eliminated from the cruise itinerary. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the mild weather in the Canary Islands and Spain. Morocco was a determining factor which proved to be a bust! Very dangerous destination that should be eliminated from the cruise itinerary. Would have preferred an additional cruise day instead. The majority of cruisers were senior citizens and the activities were geared more towards what they would be interested in doing. My husband and I are in our 50's and still enjoy having a fun time with numerous activities and dancing. There were some families with children and others in our age range but not many. Overall I found the cruise to be boring. The food was sub par, boring with tasteless boring menu selections and the specialty restaurants offered the same items as the complementary restaurants and wanted to charge a nominal price per item which was ridiculous! The breakfast was horrible with the same boring food selections and we found ourselves getting off the ship just to eat decent food. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We like Viking. It was going to the Azores which we had wanted to see and had never been to during any of our travels. We have sailed on Viking Ocean 4 times now. This was a cruise that did not live up to our expectations. The cruise ... Read More
We like Viking. It was going to the Azores which we had wanted to see and had never been to during any of our travels. We have sailed on Viking Ocean 4 times now. This was a cruise that did not live up to our expectations. The cruise director was very talented herself but pretty much dominated the cruise and did not let the other entertainers perform to the best of their abilities. The food which is usually excellent was still good but the service in the restaurants was unusually slow. Disembarkation was truly a disaster. Handled by the shore excursion manager it could not have been worse. This is the second time we have had this manager for shore excursions on Viking. Unfortunately he is not the best and often unorganized or ill prepared. In addition he is not accessible and does not speak English very well which makes him hard to understand. The ship is excellent and most of the staff would do anything for you. Since this cruise had 8 scheduled sea days there should have been more activities. We would be unlikely to take such a cruise again however we most likely will travel again on Viking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and we had enjoyed our Viking river cruise several years ago. Also, we booked when Viking was offering reduced air. We loved the ship and especially ou cabin. We were upgraded from ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and we had enjoyed our Viking river cruise several years ago. Also, we booked when Viking was offering reduced air. We loved the ship and especially ou cabin. We were upgraded from deluxe to veranda a bout a week before cruise. We did not really care for dining in main restaurant. Service was very slow - not waiters fault- they just had too many tables to service. We have done a lot of cruising and prefer confirmed dining at same table with same waiters at same time (for dinner). We also missed the evening shows in the theater. The included excursions were tooearly for us, so we even missed the one optional that we paid for. We go on cruises to relax , and hurrying thru breakfast to get on a bus just wasn’t appealing. The air schedule was great going to Rome from Atlanta. Returning was a nightmare!!! We flew from Barcelona to JFK. OMG - what a horrible airport. Luckily we had a four hour layover - it took us almost three hours to maneuver customs , going thru security again and then our gate changed twice. We had to go outside and get a bus their to take us to correct terminal. A very nice ship but a bit disappointing. We had hoped to do Danube next year but not sure now. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My wife and l wished to go back to Praidi Vitoria in the Azores as the last time we visited the lsland it was raining so hard we did not get the chance to appreciate it. We booked on Arcadia as she was visiting Prai di Vitoria and Ponta ... Read More
My wife and l wished to go back to Praidi Vitoria in the Azores as the last time we visited the lsland it was raining so hard we did not get the chance to appreciate it. We booked on Arcadia as she was visiting Prai di Vitoria and Ponta Delgada,sailing on 21st November 2018 which we realised was a slight gamble with the weather at that time of year. The boarding of the ship went very smoothly and it was from the City terminal,Southampton which we had never sailed from before. Our cabin was a P B grade inside and we have used this type of cabin before so no great surprises as it works for us . The one surprise we did have was that in the midships section on B deck it was the only inside cabin and opposite us was the top of the range suites. The position of the cabin meant easy walking distance to both the Crows Nest and the Belvedere buffet restaurant. As it turned out it was not a good choice as the cabin was really noisy not just motion of the ship which we expect but on one side was a locker where they stored bottles and cans etc and next to it was a door to possibly an air con room? Which rattled all the while and on the other side a stewards pantry which also seemed to have extra noise . l mentioned this to reception and they sent someone up who seemed to think it was just ship motion and of course he came in the day time not the middle of the night. They did offer to move us down to G Deck which is not where we like to be so we declined and spent the cruise with ear plugs in and very little sleep at night. So personally we would not recommend that cabin and thought it was graded too high for its position but it was our choice to stay so we cannot complain. Regarding the cruise it all went well to Lisbon then the Canary Islands but after we had visited Madeira with a welcome overnight we had the news that we would not be visiting the Azores due to really bad weather coming across the Atlantic and would now be going to Cadiz and Vigo in Spain as an alternative. Although very disappointed we think it was a wise decision by the Captain and we did seem to keep ahead of any really rough weather and whenever it was rough at all the Arcadia seemed to handle it very well with the stabilisers out. Our call to Vigo was made that bit more enjoyable as the ship stayed till 10pm so we could go ashore and see the Xmas lights , then as we left we were advised the Bad weather was catching us up so the ship put on extra speed and we arrived in Southampton on Thursday evening instead of Friday morning. We have only given a low rating as it was not quite the cruise we booked for other than the bad choice of cabin everything was more or less good. We did freedom dining and found the food good and the revamped crows nest was nice either in the day or at night. The entertainment was very poor except for the Headliners theatre company who we thought very good considering some of them where on their first tour. The Captain was very informative keeping us up to date on weather and destination and the library was well stocked with books so we could relax and enjoy the cruise Read Less
Sail Date November 2018

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