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909 Caribbean - Southern Senior Cruise Reviews

This is my 30th RCCL cruise, of the fifty over 35 years and I am at the Diamond + level. I selected this cruise via a "discounted" Casino Royale cruise certificate. My main focus will be on the casino. Explorer of the Seas has ... Read More
This is my 30th RCCL cruise, of the fifty over 35 years and I am at the Diamond + level. I selected this cruise via a "discounted" Casino Royale cruise certificate. My main focus will be on the casino. Explorer of the Seas has one baccarat table, two three card poker tables, two Ultimate Texas Hold'em tables, several blackjack tables, two roulette tables and on ten seat poker table. Minimum bets start at $10. The slot machines are a mixture of MANY old style slot machines, and "Asian" themed slots and a few video poker machines. The Explorer of the Seas is scheduled to be renovated in the early 2020, before it sails to European ports. THE CASINO NEEDS A TOTAL OVERHAUL. The casino staff were cordial, bar and waiters were prompt in providing beverages to the passengers playing in the Casino Royale. Now on to the rest of the review: Embarkment was at Terminal F, in Miami, FL, and if you ever sailed through RCCL's new Terminal A in Miami, FL, you thought you were back in the dark ages. It takes less than 15 minutes to go through check in and security in Terminal A and get onto the ship. Terminal F had lines for Security to check you passport and cruise documents, then it was up to the second floor to get into another line for you to check in, have them take you picture and get you sign and sail card. Then to another line to finally get on the ship, it took approximate 45 minutes. First day Windjammer Buffet: Crowded, but that was to be expected, standard buffet food, good but not great. Stateroom: Interior room, 7305 which had a window to view the promenade which was the open area in the center of the ship that had the guest services, shops and bars. Nice room, my stateroom steward, Anant was very friendly and attentive, he fulfilled my several requests promptly. Main Dining Room: It appears the RCCL fleet has standardized its memus, as the Sunday menu, was exactly that same as on the Oasis OTS in December and Allure OTS in November 2019. Food was good, and service was prompt and courteous. As this was a casino cruise, I did not do any shore excursions or see any shows. The ship overall, was in good shape, but you could see that it needed to be refurbished, In the Diamond Club, the chairs were somewhat worn, as well as other seating throughout the ship. Pools: There is a Solarium pool and whirlpools for adults only which was nice, The main pools, split on the port and starboard side had plenty of lounges for sun bathing. The smoke area was adequate for the dwindling number of smokers. Drinks are very expensive, so if you tend to over indulge on the adult beverages, the pre cruise discounted beverage package if you buy it only is about $55 + the 18% tips, so if you drink 5 alcoholic drinks per day, its a push, more than 5 per day it might be worth the purchase. I did not eat in any of the specialty restaurants, however, for what I heard at the Diamond Club passengers, the quality has done down hill. Overall it was a good cruise, not a great cruise, compared to the quality of the food and services on the mega ships. The problem is that every time you experience an exceptional cruise, that sets the standard for the next cruise, to be either met or exceeded. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I chose this trip because the ABC islands are really nice to visit. We have been there four times. I also wanted a cruise for a friend who was new to cruising. In sum: -food especially the sushi at lunch was good. But the station ... Read More
I chose this trip because the ABC islands are really nice to visit. We have been there four times. I also wanted a cruise for a friend who was new to cruising. In sum: -food especially the sushi at lunch was good. But the station closed at 1400 and our tours ended just a few minutes past this time. Other lunch stations on the Lido stayed open until 1430. -breakfast food was good but it was cold. The server warmed them up for me. -The first gala night tenderloin had no flavor. I complained - we had a visit from the Matre'd or and assistant every night - and the steak on the second gala night was much better. The chimichuri was really good with extra sauce. The salmon was the best ever. It was properly grilled on the outside and barely cooked through on the inside. The spinach and rice made this my go to meal for most nights. -it helps to be specific with the waiters. If you don't want your food slathered in gloppy sauce, just say so, and they will accommodate you. -deserts were good and they thought it was funny when I wanted them for breakfast. -one shore excursion got cancelled and we got our money back. Most of the shore excursions were booked privately as they were better and cheaper than the ship tours. -The string and piano quintet was really good. The BBC nature show was excellent. I was hoping to see it again. We could not get into one of the dance recitals as the theatre was full. The money/blockchain presentation was ok but the cruise director did not explain blockchain correctly. There was no opportunity for me to correct her mistake. The final dance recital was ok but it was not a form that I like. The dancers were competent and the musical instrument theme was clever but it was not for me. -there were no port talks nor dance classes. -The towel animals were not as good as Carnival. They were thrown out every day. On Carnival, they stayed until the last cruise day. The balcony was a great place to dry clothes from the snorkelling. -I discovered bitter lemon. I had a non-alcoholic beverage card and mixing soda water with bitter lemon is my new go to drink. -The balcony suite was fine. I had a place to dry my gear. The internet was terrible. The big dealbreaker for a future cruise with HAL was the bad bad internet. We were on this same cruise in 2017 and the internet was nowhere near as bad. bought the highest internet plan and I found out to my disappointment, that my plan has the same speed as the low end plans. The plans are differentiated by the total daily volume - 500 MB down to 250 MB for the low end plan - and bandwidth throttling does not kick in until you hit that ceiling. As a result, email would not work on sea days because of these IT design mistake. I am an IT guy and I am horrified at the stupidity. I explained the internet issue to the IT person onboard. She did not understand what I was saying and did nothing to deal with the issue. We were on Carnival in December. I bought the top plan and the internet was fabulous. HAL is owned by CCL. Surely there should only be one IT group for all the CCL member companies. The idiots working for HAL need to be fired. Let me explain the stupidity by an analogy. The plan is like everyone onboard having a suite. But if you don't pay the suite rate, you only get to stay in the room for 12 hours a day. These clowns are lucky they do not work for me. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Chose Koningsdam for itinerary, departure date/port, cabin location and Culinary Arts Center. Three weeks prior to sailing I was informed the Culinary Arts Center had been changed to Club Orange, an extra charge upgrade dining outlet and ... Read More
Chose Koningsdam for itinerary, departure date/port, cabin location and Culinary Arts Center. Three weeks prior to sailing I was informed the Culinary Arts Center had been changed to Club Orange, an extra charge upgrade dining outlet and priority in guest services that certainly was not fully explained. Consequently there were no culinary talks/demonstrations, etc during the cruise. I would have changed cruises had I known sooner. Carnival's cost cutting is really making its self felt in the F&B areas. Top to bottom it is certainly not what we experienced on past HAL cruises. Short staffing in kitchens and elsewhere led to really sloooooooow service both for food and beverage in all outlets. Dining room food seemed to be dumbed down and what is with all of the thick, heavy soups on a Caribbean cruise? Gone are the refreshing chilled fruit soups from past cruises. The F&B director, Chris, seemingly proudly announced that the crew ate rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even many of the plastic glasses in the Lido Market were cloudy, making them seem dirty. The best points of the cruise were aspects of the ship itself. The art work was the best we have seen at sea. Could always find a quiet place to read and people watch. And HAL has every line beat with their Crow's Nest high above the bow. What a great place to have early morning coffee watching the dawn and/or coming into port. (BTW, the only improvement in F&B over this HAL cruise and others is that we had coffee available 24/7.) Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Chose this cruise because it covered both Christmas and New Years. Got the Neptune Suite on Deck 4 that has the wrap around balcony because we love sitting outside watching the world go by and the stars a night. Suite is a little smaller ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it covered both Christmas and New Years. Got the Neptune Suite on Deck 4 that has the wrap around balcony because we love sitting outside watching the world go by and the stars a night. Suite is a little smaller than the normal NS but the balcony is enormous. Embarkation was a breeze, security and check in took a total of 10 minutes (arrived at 11AM) comfortable Suite Lounge with water and snacks before boarding. Perfect stateroom service during the cruise including breakfast delivered on time and hot just about every morning. Did not use the MDR at all. Pinnacle Grill 5 nights including New Years eve with Wagyu Beef and Lobster with wine parings for all 4 courses. Club Orange a couple of nights and Lido when we did not feel like changing out of shorts. Lido buffet seemed to have gotten better since last cruise in March 2019 with quality main dishes, salads, deserts, and breads. Ports were all good as we have been to most before with the exception of St Vincent. Booked a couple of tours through other sources and one through HAL all went off without a hitch. Entertainment on board was good with a couple of decent comedians, some singing and a dance company that all entertained us during the cruise. BB King club was good and the Rock Club also good. Was able to find quiet spaces to read a couple of books during the cruise. Disembarkation was a snap, if you are in a hurry to get to the airport or your parked car consider grabbing a porter that will get you through the customs process FAST and on you way. Ours got us out the door in 5 minutes and in a cab to the airport in 2 more. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Newest ship liked the ports The best Rock and roll band ever. Trying to find out there fb names so I can follow them on next ship Beautiful ship . Great food didn't care for handicap accessible room. They had a very big step ... Read More
Newest ship liked the ports The best Rock and roll band ever. Trying to find out there fb names so I can follow them on next ship Beautiful ship . Great food didn't care for handicap accessible room. They had a very big step up into the bathroom. Was very hard to get up and down. We were on 11 floor felt a vibration every night. We will be getting room on lower floor from now on. We missed key West cause of bad weather that was disappointing but will cruise again to there someday .Half moon cay was excellent! Grand Turk we didn't like it there and probably never go back . Amber cove was awesome will deff go back there . Just to let you know everything is very expensive at all of these ports. T-shirts souvenirs outrageous. We were planning on buying Xmas presents but way to much for tshirts and Nick nacks.But will do cruise again best bang for your money Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I chose this cruise because of several reasons. This class of Celebrity ships are all excellent and the price was right. Celebrity has cut back in some ways but the food in main dining room and buffet is still very good. We ate in three ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of several reasons. This class of Celebrity ships are all excellent and the price was right. Celebrity has cut back in some ways but the food in main dining room and buffet is still very good. We ate in three specialty restaurants and they were all excellent led byMurano The highlights of the cruise for my wife was the lobster tails in Murano being flambayed at our table and yes they were so delicous. ! The entertainment was not up to the standard on my previous cruises but was ok.Fabulous staff in every way led by dining room waiter Rabinger or Happy Happy as he refers to all guests!Last but not least the cruise had a great itinerary including four ports and four days at sea!.The ABC islands are so nice and if you like snorting or scuba diving this cruise is for you. Enjoyed our fourth Celebrity cruise!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise because we had taken Holland America before and really enjoyed it. This trip was to celebrate my 60th birthday and what a wonderful celebration it was! Everything was perfect! Our stateroom was nicely furnished ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had taken Holland America before and really enjoyed it. This trip was to celebrate my 60th birthday and what a wonderful celebration it was! Everything was perfect! Our stateroom was nicely furnished with lots of storage. Our cabin stewards were amazing. Always there if you needed them but not intrusive at all. The concierge in the Neptune lounge were both knowledgable and helpful. It was nice for our other shipmates to gather in the lounge before going out or just visiting. We had early seating in the dinning room. The table was near the window and the service was exceptional. The food was terrific and the portions ample without waste. The Pinnacle Dining Room was very nice. We enjoyed dining there several times. There was an uncharge but certainly worth the expense. The wine list was wonderful and the service was very attentive. The pools were clean and the servers were close by to take your drink order. We ate at the Dive and the burgers and dogs were just fine. We did enjoy a number of Holland America approve excursions, they were all very nice with the exception of Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic. We had rented a pool cabana for $275 and it was a total rip off. The music was loud, the food and drinks were expensive and there was no one there! It was awful. Please do not even get off the ship in Amber Cove. Thanks for reading this and I hope you have as good of time as we did, Happy sails!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Wanted try something different other than Grandeur in December. The service on the ship was excellent. This is something we have grown to expect on RCCL. Our cabin attendant was excellent. Joseph was not very talkative but he was ... Read More
Wanted try something different other than Grandeur in December. The service on the ship was excellent. This is something we have grown to expect on RCCL. Our cabin attendant was excellent. Joseph was not very talkative but he was prompt and pleasant for his service. The dinning room service very good. The heat waiter actually changed tables for us to allow another couple at our table to make 10 people. The service could have been a little quicker but because we had mutual friends at the table it did not bother us that much. The virtual balcony was really neat. We got to see the outside at the reduced rate. Very clever. The entertainment was very good. The three special shows are not to be missed, even if you may have seen them one or more times before. There were a couple nights without a show in the main theater, but the bars and lounges were available, but we are not really drinkers. Although we were not pressured to buy drinks during any performance. The Diamond Plus lounge was excellent, but the Diamond lounge was crowded and noisy. RCCL needs to do something about the lounge conditions. The meals were a disappointment. The dinning room food was average or less than average at best. The presentation of the food on the plate was lacking greatly. The Windgammer was crowded at lunch and there was little variance every day of what was served. Even the Windgammer was busy at night, maybe because of the poor food in the main dinning room. The one Specialty spot we did visit was Chops. The service was wonderful, but even there the food was just ok. The specialties were expensive, but they were all over the ship offering special pricing. Parking at the Bayonne was $22 per day. Agh! All this being said, we re-booked for next year same time. There was so much to do, and see the Anthem will bring us back Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Our goal was to find a cruise to test my traveling ability since a medical problem has prevented me from going very far over the past three years. Prior to that I'd been on about 15 cruises. We booked on Celebrity because family ... Read More
Our goal was to find a cruise to test my traveling ability since a medical problem has prevented me from going very far over the past three years. Prior to that I'd been on about 15 cruises. We booked on Celebrity because family members had taken recent cruises and loved them. We chose the Summit for its smaller size and for the first time ever we booked a suite, mainly for comfort because we knew we might have to spend a lot of time there. As it turned out I was comparatively fine. Our balcony with lounge chairs was comfy for reading. We usually went to The Retreat Lounge - coffee, snacks and cocktails during the day - because the ambiance was great and we got to meet and chat with guests and staff. Alexandra was the bartender in the Lounge who was excellent and a very interesting person to get to know. Our concierge staff in the Lounge (Sophie, Georgina and Tony) responded to a few minor problems. They were efficient and very personable. We dined in Luminae for all dinners. Service was superb with special thanks to Kus, Vincent and Vladimir. We did not try the specialty restaurants because we enjoyed Luminae. There were games and trivia which were fun. The itinerary was great for beach lovers. We had to cancel two excursions because of weather and the island tour we took on St Maarten was not very good - driver with no personality and traffic jams, and not much to see.The Summit was very well refurbished ("revolutionized") in 2019. The Captain was gracious as were all the officers. The ship has a state of the art navigation system which will be on every Celebrity ship within the next few years. It was extremely impressive! The kitchen tour was amazing. This is a great ship for almost everyone. Young couples to seniors and everyone in between will find something to do. We will definitely book on Celebrity again - a suite - on the Summit or any of the other three Millenium class ships. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our 10th cruise and the first on Celebrity. It was by far the best cruise we've ever taken. The ship is beautiful. The staff is exceptional, I became ill while .sailing and everyone went above and beyond to make sure that ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise and the first on Celebrity. It was by far the best cruise we've ever taken. The ship is beautiful. The staff is exceptional, I became ill while .sailing and everyone went above and beyond to make sure that I was comfortable.. Our butler Tatiana and cabin steward Zam Zam were incredible. Dining in Luminae had excellent food and outstanding servers. Yuda was the best. Karen at Shore Excursions went above and beyond to assure that we were able to have accessible tours. The only downfall was the entertainment in the theater. It was rather lackluster. We did not stay for a complete show although we tried on 3 different nights From the Retreat Lounge to servers at the Sunset Bar, the medical staff, ,and everyone else it was. an exceptional trip, We will definitely be returning to Celebrity and to the Summit. Thanks to all who made our trip the best way to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We like a more than 7 day cruise, so RCI options are really limited unless you do a pricey back to back. We also like the larger ships, Radiance class & larger - for me, the larger the better! After cruising Oasis last year, this ... Read More
We like a more than 7 day cruise, so RCI options are really limited unless you do a pricey back to back. We also like the larger ships, Radiance class & larger - for me, the larger the better! After cruising Oasis last year, this ship is disappointing & in need of refurb work. Biggest disappointment is the tiny, congested main pool area, with an overhead video screen that doesn't work. A poolside bartender told us the screen has never worked, so it's sort of a big dark "sore thumb" just hanging there! Wear & tear in our stateroom & bathroom were obvious: couch material worn & frayed, shower door gasket failure. We're diamond level cruisers & found the bed on this cruise so uncomfortable, we needed to request additional cushioning. We've never had a bed on an RCI ship before that was this uncomfortable. Embark & disembark went perfectly. Dining was average at best, we only used Windjammer & Dining Room; selections were uninspired, many nights we ate at Windjammer because they had same offerings as Dining Room. Entertainment was average compared to other RCI cruises. Service aboard ship was above average, our stateroom attendant was excellent. Ports were average, been to these same ports with RCI many times before, except for St. Kitts & Antigua. We wouldn't do this ship again unless some big refurbs were done; this ship claims to be a sister to Brilliance & Jewel (we've sailed both), it isn't. It's a smaller ship enlarged to be similar to 90K ton vessels, it's not - the too small main pool area causes the Solarium pool to get overcrowded. Very loud stomping neighbor above us was never home when we called Guest Services to try to remedy this. Never had this issue before on an RCI cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I sail to snorkel. Ship looked okay but going into drydock 3/2020 for 7 weeks. Embarkation process sucked. Captain blamed it on CBP. 77 b to b held up 4000 new cruisers. Sounds fishy...lolol. Three + hours to board. No one inside had a ... Read More
I sail to snorkel. Ship looked okay but going into drydock 3/2020 for 7 weeks. Embarkation process sucked. Captain blamed it on CBP. 77 b to b held up 4000 new cruisers. Sounds fishy...lolol. Three + hours to board. No one inside had a clue except our FB group. We had a guy held up. He was one of the b to b held up and posted throughout the process. Most meals I could finish. I'm not a foodie. Terrible entrees in MDR. I refuse to pay for Specialty Dining. I was on same route same week on Explorer 2018 and thought MDR food was great. The Quest was great. Performance show was great. I avoided tanning because I burn easily. My Stewart was outstanding. On top of everything. 10's. Dining Room waiter Henry and Kaif were excellent. Labadee looked like an RCI tourist trap. Nice place to stretch legs... Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We have been cruising on HAL for 20 years but this was the worst cruise ever. The staff were overworked and except for the cabin boys mostly unfriendly. The Lido is terrible. You spend most of your time looking for butter etc. Half way ... Read More
We have been cruising on HAL for 20 years but this was the worst cruise ever. The staff were overworked and except for the cabin boys mostly unfriendly. The Lido is terrible. You spend most of your time looking for butter etc. Half way through the cruise the lemonade was discontinued and the orange juice was watered down. The butter was permanmeently gone. Had to ask the staff to find some. The food at lunch time was always the same. I remember there used to be theme menues. What happened? We were put in a veranda The cabin with a lifeboat right it front of the door.Twice there were staff working on it in front of our window. Because the music was right under our cabin, sleeping before 12.30 was impossible.. We tried to get a different cabin but the staff told us we would have to wait. It never happened.21 days of the awful music every night. That's ok for people who like going on fun ships, but not HAL!! Other than that music there was no real entertainment.or fun games or sport games. We used to enjoy them. We are now 5 star guests and fot no invitation to a coctail party with the staff. Other guests had invitations. Are we not worthy guests??? All in all it was not the kind of cruise we want to have.I consider € 5000 too much for this cruise Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Super-friendly staff with excellent customer service attitude. Easy embarkation & debarkation. Beautiful food presentation in Lido market & dining room. The staff were very accommodating for my food allergies. Many choices for ... Read More
Super-friendly staff with excellent customer service attitude. Easy embarkation & debarkation. Beautiful food presentation in Lido market & dining room. The staff were very accommodating for my food allergies. Many choices for excursions. The Curacao Beach Express & Costa Rica Tortuguero Canal were very enjoyable. High quality, talented entertainment onboard. The Step One dance show was rather frenetic with too much running about the stage. Would have liked more synchronized steps and/or traditional ballroom dances. The dual pianos at Billboard Onboard seemed to be the most popular live music entertainment. Super-talented guys...Andy & Luke. Clean, attractive public areas that never felt crowded or noisy. Balcony cabin was clean & comfortable. On a couple of nights, there was considerable vibration & shudder that could be felt in the bed while trying to sleep. Our dining table mates mentioned the same thing. We were both in forward cabins. This was our 2nd cruise on Holland America & will likely stick with them for future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Great value for money .majority of pessengers ware 50+so it was very quite. Food quality and selection was very good. Shows and bars were well stocked with variety of menu. The entire process of embankment and disembarked process was ... Read More
Great value for money .majority of pessengers ware 50+so it was very quite. Food quality and selection was very good. Shows and bars were well stocked with variety of menu. The entire process of embankment and disembarked process was amazingly efficient. Airport transportation is expensive compared to Uber/Lyft.Avoid that at any cost. Not only it’s expensive but wait time at airport is way more then Uber or Lyft We went to sabatini Italian restaurant which has a $29 cover charge per person. Food was good but price seems to little high compare to food served. Shore excursions were good but if you have little bargain skills you can save up to 50% compare to cruise ship.Most of providers are registered with local authorities and seems safe. As a general rule,simple safety rules to be followed. Do not forget to have some over the counter medicines like Tylenol, cough syrup and pepto bismol in case you need it. It’s available on ships but it’s 4 times expensive then local store. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Friends of ours kept telling us how the Celebrity Summit was their favorite ship. We hadn't been on Celebrity for over 10 years. Seeing that it was recently refurbed, we decided to give it a look-see. We were not disappointed. We ... Read More
Friends of ours kept telling us how the Celebrity Summit was their favorite ship. We hadn't been on Celebrity for over 10 years. Seeing that it was recently refurbed, we decided to give it a look-see. We were not disappointed. We booked a Concierge suite. Having been on Princess' mini-suites, it was a little smaller, but well laid out. Balcony appeared to be bigger. Embarkation in San Juan was the fastest of any of our 29 cruises. Food and service was impeccable. Asif, our waiter, and Seon, our cabin steward were magnificent. My wife is gluten free (Celiac Disease) and the chef, waiter, and assistant waiter went over backwards to take care of her needs. Shows were very good and entertaining. My wife and I won trivia multiple times, with the typical prizes (lanyards, cards, medals, etc.). We usually stay away from the casinos (SMOKE) but this was a totally smoke free casino, where I won a little money. We had been to all of the islands before (just wanted to get out of the cold in PA) so we cannot comment on the excursions. The refurb looks very good on a ship approaching 20 years since first launch. All in all, we will be looking at Celebrity in the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We have been cruisers for over 30 years & I chose this one for the ABC islands & the incredible bargain we got. Also, experience has shown that we can't go wrong w/ Celebrity. We sailed the EDGE in Feb. & found it very ... Read More
We have been cruisers for over 30 years & I chose this one for the ABC islands & the incredible bargain we got. Also, experience has shown that we can't go wrong w/ Celebrity. We sailed the EDGE in Feb. & found it very cold & lacking so returned to Solstice class. Silhouette is thoughtfully laid out, has a great library, professional service & a great solarium. We sailed Aqua class so ate in BLU - not to be beat. In addition, we dined in Tuscan Grille & that was also quite good. Passengers tend to be Baby Boomers & we found everyone to be quite friendly. Our cabin steward couldn't do enough for us & altho' he was forgetful at times, a gentle reminder was all he needed. The only disgusting thing was the afternoon canapes served in the cabin. The food was warm, greasy and just gross! We told our cabin steward not to bother w/ that for us. The acrobats, singers, comedian & little plays that the troupe presented were all very good & much better than the EDGE. We're still scratching our heads over what they called entertainment on that ship! We'll remain loyal Celebrity cruisers because we're happy w/ the overall experience and we feel it is a very good value for the money. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Love cruising on Holland. The food was excellent in the dining room. We moved once due to a poor waiter and ended up with an amazing young man that truly exceeded any expectations we had. Also enjoy the Dutch cafe. Wish they offered ... Read More
Love cruising on Holland. The food was excellent in the dining room. We moved once due to a poor waiter and ended up with an amazing young man that truly exceeded any expectations we had. Also enjoy the Dutch cafe. Wish they offered longer hours for breakfast and at night. Activities are very limited unless you want to spend money to sample wines, whiskey or other alcohol related activities. Other than the MicroSoft classes and trivia games there are no crafts, scavenger hunts or free activities that are offered on many other cruise lines. The bands in the Rolling Stones and BB King rooms were very good. Also really enjoyed the piano player/singers in the Billboard and the Holland band. The entertainment in the showroom left much to be desired. The impressionist and the first comedian(Wing) were good and the piano player but everything else was very poor. Holland still offers complimentary room service which we use in the morning. The ports were nice. We do not use Holland excursions but book ours either on Viator or Expedia prior to the cruise or find one in port. Saves us money and we have never been disappointed. Casino is very smokey! Wish they would eliminate smoking there. Casino is very tight! Four of us travel together. We had two ocean view cabins that were nice with tons of storage. Overall Holland still offers excellent customer service and food Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
1st time on Kdam. Beautiful ship. As expected on all Holland cruises, cLean, friendly & helpful crew, good food. Loads of great music choices. Lincoln Stage Center kids especially talented. There are a few parties but craziness is ... Read More
1st time on Kdam. Beautiful ship. As expected on all Holland cruises, cLean, friendly & helpful crew, good food. Loads of great music choices. Lincoln Stage Center kids especially talented. There are a few parties but craziness is not Holland’s forte. Docked next to a Carnival Cruise, at least a bazillion kids came screaming ashore! Yikes! We didn’t explore ft lauderdale. On & off was easy. Never been to the Caribbean before. Did 10 islands. Awesome itinerary. Good tours. Forts & rum big time. Saw non holland tour people running to get to the ship as we started pulling away. One tour bus broke down but no problem for them because it was a holland tour. I’m sure that’s rare but you take a chance if you book on your own. Most ports were so nice. Clean & lots of shopping. Amber Cove, St Lucia were awesome. private island Half moon Cay is beautiful clean. We took the small tram tour for an overview of the island. Really good! Ship puts on a good bbq spread for all Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We're Elite on Celebrity, but were a little disenchanted on this last cruise. I would say embarcation with the express pass was great, disembarcation easy also. We always carry our stuff off, and although directions were not ... Read More
We're Elite on Celebrity, but were a little disenchanted on this last cruise. I would say embarcation with the express pass was great, disembarcation easy also. We always carry our stuff off, and although directions were not consistent that morning, it was pretty easy. We sprung for Aqua class and totally enjoyed eating in Blu. Excellent staff, excellent food. So why are we disenchanted? So many small things that add up. The only 2 places to get a decent cocktail were the Rendezvous Lounge and the martini bar., We had the premium bev. package, not much by-the-glass selection. Had to go to Guest Services to have it corrected on our cards which read classic pkg. Had to go to guest services to get credit for 4 dinners at Quisine which was closed for the first 4 nights. We had booked prior with the discount. Got a call before we left that Quisine would be closed to install LPC software. The return of the OBC should have been automatic. Then we got a call that it would be open the last 2 nights, so did get to enjoy it one last time. New color palette was very pretty, stateroom looked quite refreshed. We thought we'd miss the cocktail table, but really didn't, although we did not order from room service. Our stateroom, 9101, was very convenient, but you DO get quite a bit of noise from the pool deck, One thing I did miss that I don't think anyone commented on, the sheer curtain is gone. Also from one side of the bed you must get out to turn the light next to the bed off. The nightstands are not "nailed" in and easily moved. When packing to go home, if I hadn't looked behind it I would have forgotten some items that had fallen thru the open shelves. Very pleased with the amount of storage. Another annoyance was the round shower head that either pushed the water toward the wall or the glass door, couldn't make the water flow downward. Did not have any trouble with the safe, it opened fine. Some have commented they had to pry the door open. Shows were as expected, nothing really stands out.. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This is a new ship and it is beautiful and the price was right. Getting on the ship was pretty fast if you don't stop to take a cruise pic. First impression of inside of ship was wow very nice. We went to buffet for lunch it was just ... Read More
This is a new ship and it is beautiful and the price was right. Getting on the ship was pretty fast if you don't stop to take a cruise pic. First impression of inside of ship was wow very nice. We went to buffet for lunch it was just ok noting special like Carnival or RCCL lines what I'm use to. Made it to cabin stated where's the 3rd closet and extra storage space. There was a foul smell coming from the shower drain at times so strong I put a wet towel over the drain to keep the odor from penetrating the entire cabin, most times the smell was in the halls. MSC should make it mandatory for all employees to wear deodorant OMG the smell was pretty bad on some employees. The ship hasn't changed over to the American market it still is favoring the European market. Food: The food on the Meraviglia is just one step above the MSC Seaside and that's not good. Back in the day people went on cruises and raved about how fabulous the food was, not on these ships. People in the yacht club were complaining about the food quality. A passenger in the YC was telling me that a man ordered a t bone steak and a strip steak was server to him. It was corrected but the mistake should not have happened in the first place. The food was lukewarm, some mornings you have super hot coffee and other days it's like warm by the time you put creamer of milk in it's cold. One day I chose a small piece of steak from the children side it was so tough I couldn't even cut it with a knife. Restaurants kept running out of clean coffee cups. I noticed how much food that was left on plates. Food was not edible, to tough or to salty or just not cooked right. The specialty restaurants were a joke, they are just a small step above the buffet. NOT GOOD. I inquired 3 times if the Meraviglia had switched over to the American market and was guaranteed that it has been. NO IT HAS NOT. MSC better wake up and copy other ships that have their program together if not it will fail in the American market. Entertainment: Went to the special show on board thought this is what I've seen in Vegas not, they might as well hired some of the seniors in wheelchairs and using walkers to do the show. Show was boring and felt like a middle school production. The show was over and there wasn't an announcement saying goodnight and thank you for coming just silence for a minute then the passengers started getting up to leave. There was a group on board that had a private event in the Sky lounge it was more entertaining then all the shows on board. We had a ball with them. There should be more to do during the day other then shopping shows or trivia. Who was the cruise director? Other pass cruises I've taken the cruise director was more active and we all knew who it was. Money: MSC nickel and dime you to death, old tv shows and movies cost $8 to watch in your cabin. bowling $25 for one half hour. .All day long you are bothered by the people trying to sell you a drink package or to one of their terrible specialty restaurants. Would I recommend this cruise line to a friend no I would not, to and enemy yes I would. I'm done with MSC Cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We had never been to the ABC islands and sailing out of San Juan was a plus! Embarkation and disembarkation were super easy. We have never walked off before, we were at the airport so ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We had never been to the ABC islands and sailing out of San Juan was a plus! Embarkation and disembarkation were super easy. We have never walked off before, we were at the airport so early, we couldn't check our bags for our flight! Ship notes: The service on the Freedom was amazing, except for one snafu on our cabin (discussed below). We especially found the servers and our room steward to be gracious, warm and anticipating our every need. The Freedom was clean, although felt old in a couple of places. She's obviously due the freshening that she's getting early next year, but there wasn't anything that was worrisome or ugly. Dining: We absolutely loved Sabor's Guacamole class. It was so much more interesting than the version on the Liberty. We actually got to make our own Guacamole this time! We enjoyed the experience so much, we booked dinner at Sabor on a later evening. The Main Dining room was lovely and our servers were wonderful. Unfortunately, diners at nearby tables made the atmosphere less-than-enjoyable. (side note: I don't believe it is ever appropriate in the main dining room to live stream the evening football game and provide play-by-play to the next table or to enter with a loud "whoop-whoop" and synchronized handshakes with the waiters). We did find it frustrating on port days to find food at later than standard lunch-times. When Sorrento's is closed, it would be nice if they had a sign out front telling you when it was open. The Gorgonzola gnocchi at Giovanni's is absolutely to die for! Entertainment and Activities We did not attend any shows in the main theater. We had late dining and after dinner, were done. It would be nice if one of the shows could be earlier in the evening. The ice skating show was a lot of fun! Don't think to hard - just enjoy the lovely athleticism of the skaters! Anna on the Cruise Activities team is Amazing! Ports/Shore Excursions: Bonaire - we walked up to a taxi tour offered at the port area. it was $25/person for 90 minutes and drove around the south side of the island. I would do this again, but maybe take the northside tour. Aruba - we booked a hotel room at the Renaissance Aruba for access to Renaissance Island. This was one of the highlights of the cruise! The Island is absolutely lovely, service top notch, and it was nice to be able to stop at a hotel room and have a real shower before returning to the ship. Curacao - we wandered the city on our own. St. Martin - after the lovely cleanness and friendly locals of the ABC islands, I'm afraid wandering through the Phillipsburg was a bust. The streets were not clean, the locals were extremely pushy and we only stayed ashore about an hour. We would absolutely take this cruise again on this ship! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our 4th cruise with Celebrity and 26th cruise overall. Our first cruise with Celebrity was on the Reflection back in 2014. Everything about that cruise was amazing and we were wowed. We declared Celebrity our favorite cruise line. ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Celebrity and 26th cruise overall. Our first cruise with Celebrity was on the Reflection back in 2014. Everything about that cruise was amazing and we were wowed. We declared Celebrity our favorite cruise line. We took the Solstice to Alaska in 2015 and while it is identical to the Reflection in terms of ship architecture, the Reflection's interior decor we found more pleasing. Nonetheless, the food was good and we had a great time. We cruised the Celebrity Infinity on a Panama Canal cruise in 2017. This is when Celebrity fell out of favor with us. While the main dining room food was good, the buffet food was often at lukewarm temperature at best. The grill where they had hot dogs and hamburgers was serving cold french fries. I don't mean barely warm, I mean cold. Ever eat a cold french fry? The hamburgers and hot dogs ranged from barely warm to cold. When the food temperature was mentioned to the grill attendant, he just shrugged. We decided to give Celebrity one more try. Hence, this cruise on the Equinox. Since cruise critic had it rated as best overall ship two years running, we were looking forward to repeating our Reflection experience. Sadly, this was not the case. My wife and I are active seniors and experienced cruisers. We love cruising. The ship is our destination and we do not choose our ship on the basis of itineraries. We do not do excursions. We have taken several cruises where we never got off the ship at the ports. Food is 50% of the cruise for us. Entertainment 25% and the last 25% is divided among stateroom and activities, facilities, service, etc. We normally shop for bargains and get an oceanview room, unless we are going to Alaska, in which case it is worth the extra money for the balcony view. My reviews are geared toward rating those items on a ship that are important to me. I will start with what I think was outstanding about the ship. The ship is beautiful. The public areas are all grandly decorated and pleasing. The layout is very good. Service by all personnel from room attendant to dining room wait staff to guest relations was outstanding. The one consistency that I have found on all Celebrity ships is that their pizza, which in my opinion, is the best pizza of any cruise line at sea and is virtually always available, except at breakfast. Entertainment was not exceptional but was very good. The singers and dancers at the production shows were above average. Costuming and staging was average. Story lines and ability to follow what the shows were supposed to be about were poor. Acrobats were very good. All of the specialty acts in the main theater were very good. Music in the atrium and on decks was good. Entertainment =A- Stateroom was very nice. Very comfortable bed, decent storage. Bathroom storage the best of any ship I have ever been on - equal to Reflection. Stateroom size is the largest for standard category stateroom around any of the cruise lines (Princess is the smallest). TV selections were limited and horrible. Stateroom gets an A rating. Would be A+ except for TV selections. Pool temperature was good and pool depth ranged from over 3 feet to over 5 feet. As I am short, this was great. I did not need to hang on to the sides to stay in the pool. Now for the bad - complimentary food venues. MDR was above average for MDR cruise food. Wait staff were outstanding. Oceanview cafe was a zoo. Embarkation day everyone gets sent up to the buffet until rooms are ready and there are not enough tables or chairs for everyone and it is a crowded mess. This is true of all the mass market cruise lines regardless of what cruise you are on. We are used to this. However, after embarkation day, things usually smooth out as not everyone is at the buffet at the same time and there are only a few meal times were it is a little crowded. Not true on the Equinox. It was always crowded during mealtimes and difficult to move from station to station or to find an empty table or chairs. .The exception would be most times at dinner, since people were eating in the MDR. Late night snacks were generally not crowded but breakfast and lunch were awful. There are not enough seats and tables for the number of passengers. Food (except for pizza) in the buffet was average at best. temperature was OK. Taste was OK, but not better than just OK. Choices were repetitive. If you wanted a hamburger or hot dog at lunch, you had to go to the Mast grill which was a walk from the buffet. If you were dining with your spouse and companion at the buffet and they were eating what was at the buffet, you had to walk to the Mast grill, wait in line, get your food and walk back to the buffet. By the time you made your way through the crowd and sat down with your companion, they were finishing their food and yours was cooling. But the worst, the very worst, was the desserts, They looked gorgeous. presentation was exceptional. Taste was the exact opposite. They looked great and tasted horrible. Expectations were dashed with the first bite. Fruits were good. Watermelon outstanding. Late night snacks consisted of the ever present pizza, pastas, make your own salad bar with a number of toppings excluding hard-boiled eggs, bacon bits and shredded cheese. Those happen to be my favorite salad toppings so I did not eat much salad. There were limited sad looking cold cuts, Cut up french bread, and rolls. No regular thin sliced bread at all except in the mornings at breakfast. Limited fruit but no watermelon. No hamburgers or hot dogs or potatoes. MDR = B Oceanview cafe = C- Activities - not much. There were some trivia games. Dancing. Karaoke.Casino with $10 minimums as the lowest minimum at craps, roulette and blackjack. Craps table is open only in the evenings. Slots are tight. I will only play at $5 minimum or lower tables. I know they will win in the end but at $10 minimums, the money goes out too fast and that is no fun. A lot of the activities that featured talks were just sales pitches to get you to buy something or go to their "recommended" shops at the port. Not objective information but that is typical for most cruise ships. The on board cruise shops had a more limited selection than most ships we have been on. Activities = C- So, in summation we enjoyed the cruise but not as much as the cruises we have enjoyed on competitor's cruise lines. Would we book Celebrity again? Maybe if they improved the food, had more fun activities and offered a great deal that we could not refuse but our experience at this point is that the quality of the brand has decreased sufficiently that it would not be our first or even second choice. How this has been rated best ship overall two years in a row is beyond me. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Review of Celebrity Equinox cruise, September 23, 2019 Category: C2 Concierge Verandah Room: 1082 on Deck 10 Booked through: Travel agent (AAA) Early seating, Silhouette Dining Room Overall Rating: 4.46 out of 5.0 ... Read More
Review of Celebrity Equinox cruise, September 23, 2019 Category: C2 Concierge Verandah Room: 1082 on Deck 10 Booked through: Travel agent (AAA) Early seating, Silhouette Dining Room Overall Rating: 4.46 out of 5.0 Pre-Cruise Flying from Boston the day prior to the cruise was simple and easy. We booked our flight via Celebrity Flights and they were able to substantially beat even jetBlue and booked us on Delta, nonstop. The close proximity of the airport to the cruise port is a huge plus and makes life so much simpler than having to take a shuttle bus from FLL to Miami. This was our first experience on Delta in more than 10 years since they filed for restructuring and cut back on destinations and frequencies out of Boston forcing us to seek out another carrier. Having flown Delta almost exclusively since the 70’s with few exceptions until they cut way back, it was good to be back with them for this sequence of flights. We did notice that there were new seats on our aircraft and while a bit thinner than I remembered, and a bit tighter in seat pitch, yet it was not as noticeable and actually quite comfortable. The updated entertainment system was a step above what we remember from other flights of years ago and even better than jetBlue’s seatback system with touch screens and earphone jacks much easier to access. Itinerary Sea Day 1 and 2, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Sea days 3 and 4, Ft. Lauderdale. Weather The weather pre and during the cruise was typical tropical weather. We only had two days of occasional rain during the 12 day cruise and none were related to any organized systems. We were lucky. Airport Experience The Fort Lauderdale airport has always been easier to access than Miami. This year even more so since we flew in a day early and took a shuttle to our hotel on state route 84. It was hot however while waiting for the shuttle. Coming to the airport post-cruise for our flight back to Boston post-cruise was a little underwhelming in the Delta terminal, most likely due to half of the terminal being under construction and food choices very limited. Coming through security was the usual inconvenience but it was taken in stride. I did notice that while there was a somewhat adequate amount of charging stations in the gates D3-D5 area, many of the USB ports were damaged and unusable. Fortunately our plane (737-800) had AC power available and USB charging ports at every seat. Embarkation Embarkation at the brand new Celebrity terminal in Fort Lauderdale was a breeze and exponentially better than its former Miami terminal. The terminal was comfortable and bright. The only complaint is while waiting for our group to be called, the room was so “live” (voices echoing off the hard floors and walls with nothing to absorb them) it was very difficult to hear or understand the many announcements on either the PA system or by staff. Sound absorbing panels such as “Soundsoak” or an equivalent should be installed to reduce the amount of ambient and reflected sound. However, the PA system was sharp and crisp without any static or other noise emitting from the speakers. This is a vast improvement over the Miami terminal. We were told we could bring a case of bottled water aboard, so we purchased a case for $3.00 at Big Lots, placed a luggage tag on it and checked it through when we got to the pier. It was delivered to our stateroom in one piece with our luggage. What we didn’t drink during the cruise we gave to our cabin attendant. Cabin We were able to secure the same cabin this year as we had last year. The beds seemed to have new mattresses and were quite comfortable. The gentle swaying of the ship at night made it easy to fall asleep every night. The cabins on the Equinox at 194 sq. ft. are 9 sq. ft. larger than most other ships we’ve been on which come in at 185 sq. ft. The nine extra feet make a big difference in comfort. We found the thermostat easy to use and kept the room at our constant temperature. The bathrooms, especially the shower, have plenty of room to turn around in. There was ample storage space in the bathroom with plenty of drawers and cabinets. The main cabin also had plenty of storage with overhead storage units above each bed. The ample storage helped de-clutter the room. It was also nice to have two 120 VAC outlets at the desk for various chargers and for use of the hairdryer. We did pack a small 12-inch 4-port plug strip as we’ve done on just about every cruise and it made charging our electronics a lot easier. It was always unplugged during the day and obviously was not confiscated during the check-in procedure. Wait Staff / Maitre D’ Our Assistant Maitre D’, Georgios, was always front-and-center, and helped my wife with her dietary requirements if there was nothing on the menu she could tolerate. Fortunately, there was much more on the menus this year than last year and the few times a problem developed, he took ownership of it with seemingly little difficulty to produce an adequate meal for her. He made it seem so much easier this year than last. Our server Sahkile was on top of her game and very personable, and the assistant waiter Ronan had a very distinguished and professional air about him. Top notch all the way! If anyone reading this happens to have him as their Maitre D’, ask him about doing the “hokey-Pokey!” Food Where does one begin about the food on this ship? The main dining room selections were that of a solid 4-star restaurant, if not better. The portions were just the right size and as with all other cruises, you could have more than one selection or seconds or thirds of the same. We like the fact they seem to be implementing better portion control which leads to much less waste (and less expansion of the waistline!). The food was superbly cooked and the presentations were excellent. The variety on an 11-night cruise was excellent with no repetition of entrees. The buffet seemed to be steps above those of other ships. There seemed to be more servers serving selections from the buffet onto your plate than we’ve noticed on other ships where it is generally a free-for-all. There were many shields over the food areas to prevent contamination from people and plenty of serving utensils. The food always seemed to be plentiful and as always made from scratch in the galleys. There were plenty of choices to answer just about any diet or tastes. One day there was a Greek Festival with many home-made choices. The Moussaka was absolutely outstanding as was the Baklava and some of the other dishes I sampled. This was certainly steps above any local Greek restaurant I’ve been to at home. The day after the Greek Festival was the German Festival with what appeared to be home-made German knockwurst sausage and Bratwurst. They were the best I’ve ever had. The buffet was open late into the night for that last minute cookie, ice cream, pizza, or coffee. The “only” complaints I can offer are that on sea days it can be difficult to procure a table in the buffet area, but this is par for the course with almost any ship buffet. If you want a burger or hot dog you have to go out by the pool, and the burgers are overcooked. I understand why that is done for health reasons. It would be nice to be able to have burgers or dogs available in the main buffet area as well. We went to the Tuscan Grill one evening for dinner and it was without exaggeration a 5-star restaurant. The appetizers were exquisite and some were offered in half-sizes. After sampling a few of them I was full, but persevered for the filet mignon steak which was just perfect. Add to this the seemingly never ending bottle of wine for the six of us and it was one spectacular dinner, one which we’ll definitely do again on next year’s cruise on the Solstice. We heard the other specialty restaurants were equally as good and some of our newfound friends frequented the Murano numerous times during the cruise and could not stop raving about it. Throughout the central part of the ship on the mid-levels were a few other small dessert, coffee, and gelato stands all with excellent selections. Add to that the many small bars all over the ship, especially the martini bar, you’ve essentially got one constant party going. Shore Excursion Desk We had little interaction with them as we had booked some of our excursions ahead of time on line or through the Celebrity phone app while aboard the ship. The times we did have to visit them, they had all the answers and seemed to be based on actual experience and not just a script. When tickets for one excursion never appeared in our stateroom, the desk immediately provided duplicates. Additionally, the SED was able to assist with any problems in either booking shore excursions or dealing with the aftermath of either failed excursions or those that did not live up to expectations. They also had to deal with the effects of an excursion that unfortunately ended in the crash of a tour bus with a car and as occupants of the bus they handled the entire situation with the utmost of professionalism. Aline and her staff were there every step of the way to ensure all were adequately treated in the Medical Center and for the remainder of the cruise. Future Cruise Desk We met with them a few times during the cruise as we were gathering information for a future cruise for 2020. After looking at least a half-dozen options with numerous prices, we settled on the Alaska cruise out of Seattle. They were totally unfazed with our various itineraries and pricing requests. For the time being, we are booked and are now exploring pre and post cruise hotels and excursions. Entertainment This is one area that was somewhat improved over last year’s cruise. While the same acrobatic shows were still being performed, the other entertainment was much improved. As noted last year, the acrobatic shows were okay and after two of them they got stale fast and we left in the middle of the third show then. This year one show was enough and we just hung around with other friends in some of the many bars. However, the other transient entertainment was very good and somewhat improved over last year. We still miss the Vegas-style production shows as on other cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean. Ship Cleanliness The one thing we notice last year was the spotlessness of the ship in every location. That was still true this year and the crew were always wiping surfaces and cleaning and mopping floors. This is probably by far the cleanest ship we’ve been on in every sense of the word. Ship’s Staff We cannot commend the staff enough. From the attentive wait staff and Maitre D’, to the cabin stewards, and everyone in between, they are all top notch and very knowledgeable. They were always eager to answer our questions regardless of their areas of expertise, and if they didn’t know the answer they always got it for us. On Board Shopping Of the ten ships we’ve been on with various cruise lines, they’re all pretty much the same and offer very similar items. We noticed there seemed to be an increased amount of ship-specific and brand specific merchandise over what we saw on last year’s cruise. What stood out were some of the clerks in the stores and their “bubbly” personalities, especially Riri, Anja, and Lisa in the general merchandise stores, and the fellow with the suspenders in the liquor store. We cannot comment on the high-end stores upstairs as we had no interest in what they were selling. Children Fortunately we were sailing after school was in session in most states and therefore there were very few children aboard which was fine with us, and one of the main reasons why we chose this cruise line and this specific cruise. The few children aboard were fairly well behaved. Excursions At this stage of the game, we’ve been to most of the islands at least once. On the second sea day we had pre-paid for a behind-the-scenes all access tour of the ship. Our tour guide John was part of the Excursion Desk staff and gave us a superb insight into the inner-workings of the entire ship. We were provided with Bluetooth earpieces to hear our tour guide, John, quite clearly. That was a welcomed addition and made for a much more understandable tour over the hustle and bustle of the galleys. We were brought inside the main dining room galleys and saw the evening’s meals being prepared. We also went into the “stores” area where all the pallets of dry goods were stored. We also were brought into the recycling area and then into the ship’s laundry. From there we went to one of the ship’s engine control rooms to see it in operation and how the azipods and engines were controlled. Then it was a walk down “I-95”, the main service corridor on deck 2 for the staff and then up to the bridge to see the how the ship is controlled. Overall it was an amazing tour and well worth the price, even for a seasoned cruiser. We were invited to the helipad for our arrival in Barbados. It was interesting to see the docking maneuvers and how precise the steering and speed of the ship can be controlled. The island tours we took were all pretty much the same. Since we were in Barbados on a Sunday most of the town was closed except for the port shopping which was basically uneventful. While in St. Lucia we took the island experience tour which was quite interesting. Upon returning to the ship our tour bus was struck almost head-on by a car in Castries, about ½ mile from the ship. The local police, fire and EMS all responded and did minor triage at the scene which was right in front of their courthouse. Fortunately no one was seriously injured – just bumps and bruises with a few minor cuts and abrasions, although our tour guide and bus driver were transported to the local hospital for treatment. Since it was a ship-sponsored tour we were somehow able to have the ship notified of the accident and were met by the excursion manager at the dock and we were all escorted through security and checked out by their medical staff upon returning to the ship. The ship’s staff took exceptionally good care of us in their medical center. What surprised us was how fast word got around the ship that one of the excursions was involved in a crash. When we were asked a few times if we had heard about the crash to which my response was “uhhh, yeah, that was us!” Debarkation Debarkation was probably one of the fastest we’ve had and for all intents and purposes just kept on walking once our number was called to proceed off the ship, not even stopping for customs. Customs forms were not required and the only pause was very slight while carding out for the final time. SUMMARY AND COMMENTARY To sum up this experience, it was probably the best cruise we’ve taken to date, and one of the best vacations we’ve ever taken. A lot of this has to do with the people we traveled with courtesy of Cruise Critic, and especially our table-mates for dinner as well as the overall shipboard experience. Celebrity definitely has their act together and I hope they keep doing what they do best. All things considered, even with this our second Celebrity cruise, and on the same ship and stateroom we had on last year’s cruise, we did not raise our expectations. However, our expectations were exceeded almost as soon as we arrived at the Celebrity terminal at the pier and they continued to be exceeded almost every day and in every way. As noted above, we’ve already booked another Celebrity cruise for next year on a sister ship, the Solstice out of Seattle. Weather and Ship’s Safety 5.0 FLL Airport Experience 4.5 Embarkation 4.0 Cabin 4.5 Dining Room Waitstaff 4.5 Food 4.2 Excursion Desk 5.0+ Shore Excursions 4.5 Future Cruise Desk 4.5 Ship’s Entertainment 3.0 Ship’s Cleanliness 5.0+ Ship’s Staff 5.0 On Board shopping 4.3 Children (lack of) 4.0 Debarkation 5.0 Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I love this itiniery, not a snorkler but really love Bomaire, but about the cruise. Ship was full (to capacity I believe, never the less, service was excellent. Kathleen my room attendant, who I saw in the corridor, slipped in and out ... Read More
I love this itiniery, not a snorkler but really love Bomaire, but about the cruise. Ship was full (to capacity I believe, never the less, service was excellent. Kathleen my room attendant, who I saw in the corridor, slipped in and out while I was out caring for my cabin and seeing that my ice bucket was always full as I had requested. On the first night In the main dining room I discovered I was seated with a lovely family from Germany. I am a solo traveller. Two of this group of 5 spoke english, but not with limited comfort. the others, did not. I don't speak German. Not ideal for me or them. Second night I spoke with the Maitre D who promptly sat me at a table of women, 3 friends traveling together, another solo and a woman traveling with her elderly mother. What a great group and we all enjoyed each others company, Our servers, Michael and Carlo were GREAT. Food was good. though there were a couple of disappointing creme brulee and an slightly overdone chocolate molten lava cake, The Royal Cheese cake was a hit with all at my table and was orderd several times by many. We also decided this was a healthier choice :) . The entrees were quite good, I particularly liked the lamb chops, and a couple of fish dishes (Talapia, salmon) I had earlier in the cruise. At the Windjammer, food was abundant. I was particularly drawn to and enjoyed the stews, perhaps because I don'y make it at home often. Servers at Windjammer were circulating with cold beverages (water, tea, and a very good strawberry-kiwi punch) and coffee. Most at my dinner table seemed to head for the carving station for lunch at the Windjammer. I did also try the dining room on level 3, for one lunch and one dinner. Here you had the option of a smaller, but very nice buffet, or table service from menu. Nice, simpler and more relaxed for lunch I jusd had soup and salad. Breakfast was fine but I think I needed the activity of the Windjammer to wake ne up. Entertainment was great, Lead Female Singer, I believe a recent graduate on New York Academy of Performing Arts, was SPECTACULAR.. All entertainment was good. Unfortunately, scheduling of Ice Show either conflicted with early dining, or Variety show for second performance, and was sold our for first performance, so I missed it. The service deask and tour desk, was extremely helpful arranging change to departure transportation, I had misread description of arrangements (with tour of Old San Juan) I had prebooked and would have arrived at airport too late for my flight. By the way cabin (inside, deck 8, overloooking promenade was great. I was thinking about changing it, but had read a positive review of this type cabin on message board and so stayed where I was assigned. So glad I did. Only problem was embarcation, long lines, outside in heat not acceptable. One more thought, I really liked the solarium pool area. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019

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