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106 Mediterranean Singles Cruise Reviews

In comparison to previous cruises I’ve taken I have never seen people board/disembark at every port. This created lots of confusion throughout the cruise and during this period you were not allowed to purchase food or snacks during the ... Read More
In comparison to previous cruises I’ve taken I have never seen people board/disembark at every port. This created lots of confusion throughout the cruise and during this period you were not allowed to purchase food or snacks during the safety drill that occurred everyday with the exception of one sea day. I was in a party of 12 with 4 of them being first time cruisers. I respect all cultures but this was the worst experience ever. The Europeans are VERY RUDE cut in front of you in lines and while waiting for the elevators. Very few crew members spoke English. We were promised certain packages that were never given to us and showed on our bill. When we tried.to discuss the issues no one understood us. The food was terrible from the lobster being soggy to the steak being tuff and limited salad dressing or the creamy salad dressing was like milk/water consistency. You will not get anything related to American food on this ship. You ask for a slice of cake you will get pudding. Other than the room attendant and the bartender and a few guys cooking in the Japanese restaurant the overall service was terrible. We had one tour guide lady that had terrible English and the English speaking people in our group had to keep asking for clarification on the information being shared. My group was so offended by one show they had with white/Europeans with huge Afro wigs, pampers and black Charcoal on their backs. We were unable to get the story of the show but it was very disappointed to see something like this on stage. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I chose this cruise because I was excited that we would be at port most days and I really wanted to visit Santorini, Greece. Unfortunately, we were notified the day before we set sail that the itinerary had been changed and we would not ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I was excited that we would be at port most days and I really wanted to visit Santorini, Greece. Unfortunately, we were notified the day before we set sail that the itinerary had been changed and we would not be going to Santorini after all. They offered us $100 compensation per state room. They had also removed a stop to Montenegro and had shortened 5 of our other stops. I was informed by management that we had lost an engine and were running at half speed which is what caused the changed in the itinerary. Suddenly, we were spending significant time on the ship rather than exploring the Mediterranean. I tried to make the best of it. The staff were all very friendly and helpful which did help ease my disappointment. We upgraded to include 5 nights of specialty dining. This was good as the food in the main dining rooms was fine, at times good, but at times the food was not hot and often very salty. Each day we were at sea I looked for entertainment on the ship. This left something to be desired for a middle aged person such as myself. I wasn't interested in Bingo or the art auctions. The classes offered almost always felt like they were trying to sell you something on the ship. The live music was all mostly classic rock and easy listening. There's only so much drinking I really care to do and it was too cold for the pool. This left me fairly bored most days. They had some decent shows at night and I checked out the night club and karaoke once or twice. I'm not sorry I went as I made some good friends along the way and got to see some great places. However, I will not be cruising with Norwegian again which sends people out on a busted ship and then does not compensate properly for changes they make. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We sailed the Epic for the first time. It was our third Norwegian cruise. We had sailed the Escape in 2018 and this is also a big ship, but I don't think it was at full capacity. The Epic had 4,100 people on board. The elevators ... Read More
We sailed the Epic for the first time. It was our third Norwegian cruise. We had sailed the Escape in 2018 and this is also a big ship, but I don't think it was at full capacity. The Epic had 4,100 people on board. The elevators were always crowded. It was difficult to find a seat in the Garden Cafe for breakfast or lunch. Our balcony stateroom was too narrow with only room for one person to stand or walk at a time. There were not enough hangers or drawer space for our clothes and shoes. Even though our stateroom was mid ship we constantly walked back and forth to the different venues and I was getting pains in my right leg from too much walking. The TV only had one English channel, which constantly played "Glass" and I did not like this movie. The only reason we booked this cruise was to go to Valleta, Malta and they substituted Athens and we had been to Athens at least twice. We were extremely disappointed and it was all downhill from there. There was always a very long line at Guest Relations and we spent a lot of time standing in line. We had a $150 credit and it could not be used for tips so we decided to buy a photo package from the photo gallery. We are processing a claim against Norwegian and the photo gallery for charging us VAT tax of $41.00 on a $250.00 photo package. We have cruised in the Mediterranean with Norwegian and other cruise lines before and have never been charged VAT for photos. The photo gallery would not give us a slip for VAT which we could have processed to get reimbursed for this expense as American citizens. The two complimentary restaurants where you could make a reservation had the same menu. It was difficult to find a place to sit if you did not have a reservation and had to wait for a table. The casino was mid ship and you often had to pass through this area where there was a lot of smoke to get to restaurants or shows. I have asthma and this was not good for me. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Cabin was as expected. Steward very nice and considerate. Room service prompt, food good delivery cost of $8 for 24 hr. Service was reasonable. Did not want to spend a great amount of money as i am recently widowed and was trying to watch ... Read More
Cabin was as expected. Steward very nice and considerate. Room service prompt, food good delivery cost of $8 for 24 hr. Service was reasonable. Did not want to spend a great amount of money as i am recently widowed and was trying to watch my costs. I have so much more i could say like i was abandoned in rome, had to pay taxi 200euros to drive me to the port as fast as possible (he made a 2 hr drive in 90 min.) ship was still in dock, but would not let me board. I sat in taxi and cried as i watched norwegian epic pull out. had to find a hotel for the night and learn how to navigate the train to ships next port, livorno. 2 hr. Wait for train, 4 hr train ride. Finally arrived, but missed excursion to florence and pisa. Cruise line is a money sucking outfit everytime you turn around. have all kinds of policies they don't tell you about. notices on booklet regarding mini-bar costs not covered by drink package in book provided are written so are so small that even with a pair of +250 magnification eyeglasses i just happened to have with me that were my husband's, i could barely read the print. I only realized this after checking my on board charges. Guest services, excursion refund request person walked away when i lost my temper trying to get credit for trips i missed because of rome debacle. i stood and waited until he finally returned and said he would help since i had calmed down. required a doctor's report and receipt another policy previously not known) which i had only because after rome-livorno 24 hour trauma, awoke with extreme anxiety attack at 3:00 am and could not see doctor until 6:00 p.m. That night (15 hours of anxiety attack with no medication to take). medical center only open daily from 6:00 pm -7:30 p.m. and before they will see you, they make it clear it will cost $149 plus costs of meds. By the time i arrived i was almost ready to collapse. Blood pressure was 172/109 by then. others in line before me but nurse took one look at me and took me first. Medical center staff very knowledgeable and efficient. hours are ridiculous and need to be expanded though for cases of extreme need. Charge of $15 per day per person added automatically to your bill for gratuities. however, maybe i missed something but found out later that this did not cover bar service, spa, (or restaurant service)? television is just one big infomercial to sell you on onboard. lots of movies for $9.95 rental. They never tell you that there are actually free channels to watch sports, movies, and the bbc for news. I found out about those from another passenger 5 days into the trip. I would say stay away from the spa unless you want to pay out 1/3 of your next social security check. i made the mistake of opting for the additional free 25 extra minutes only good on the day of embarkation. the massage was excellent, so no complaints there, except the total price was $181, plus $187 for product which i never used and left in the cabin because it was not returnable. i was continually pushed to buy the spa package for either $239 or $269 which i kept trying to turn down. I was told it included the hot tub which was the only hot tub on the ship. not so! two free hot tubs were on the pool deck. I looked again to make sure, and there they were. I don't like being lied to or high pressured into something. I had another spa appointment made for me which i later tried to cancel. i was told that if i cancelled, i would be charged 1/2 of the price of the service scheduled (over $100). if i would re-schedule, i would then only pay for the $200+ cost of the wrap. I declined, became agitated and told them i would not re-schedule. they tried and tried to get me to. i finally said to charge the +$100 to my account which was better than spending another $100 and hung up. I was never advised of this "policy" prior to the attempt to cancel. The massage therapist called back and said she would not charge me the cancellation fee-guess it was clear i was upset. now to the onboard credit services. Another surprise 'policy". tried to obtain euros necessary to take a scheduled excursion the next day. was told by guest services i would have to return next morning to credit person. 6:am returned to be told policy was to provide euros of only 100 per day per stateroom. I required 210 by the excursion group that was leaving that morning. Without the euros i could not go. The gentleman who had been in front of me told her i was saying the same thing he was trying to tell her. She curtly turned to him and told him he had already been assisted and she was now assisting "this guest". She insisted she could only give me 100 euros. Needless to say i threw another "hissy-fit". the woman behind me stepped forward with documentation of what the gentleman and i were telling her. she said she would have to talk to her boss to see if she could make an exception to the policy. Finally she had to fill out forms for the exception but gave us the necessary euros. Such major hassles everytime you turned around. i could continue this with stories told to me by several other passengers, but i think you get the idea. I will never, ever, sail with norwegian again. I have cruised with 4 other cruise lines over the years, but never have been milked for money, or treated so disrespectful. i will post this info on my facebook, trip advisor and genius. on two separate occasions i had made serious plans to get off the ship, go to the nearest international airport and come home. that's how bad it was. Do not cruise with norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The ship was beautiful, very sturdy and we'll maintained. The staff in general were excellent, the service good, but the food was a real let down. It was either bland or too salty and overcooked. The Britannia restaurant was poor so ... Read More
The ship was beautiful, very sturdy and we'll maintained. The staff in general were excellent, the service good, but the food was a real let down. It was either bland or too salty and overcooked. The Britannia restaurant was poor so was the buffet on the Lido deck. So disappointing. Of the three cruise lines I have travelled on this was the poorest. My accessible cabin was wonderful, everything I asked for was there. The three companions I was with were happy with the service and the cruise generally. I I did not book any excursions as I travelled with a mobility scooter. The first shuttle bus was acceptable and helpful but at Lanzarote my companions and I boarded the bus and were dumped at the end of the new port. (Why go to a place closed on Sunday?) There were no shops or cafes available, and we were told we had to walk 20 minutes into town to see if anything was open. Alternatively we could risk taking a 20 minute taxi to the other side of the island to a possibly open market. As we did not know if we could get back we just got back on the bus and stayed on the ship. Overall very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date October 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 recently cruised from Venice to Rome via the med. The ship was clean which was great, we were also the only ship to visit Mykonos and Santorini, it was extremely windy and 3 others ships chose not to go there. Santorini is such a ... Read More
We recently cruised from Venice to Rome via the med. The ship was clean which was great, we were also the only ship to visit Mykonos and Santorini, it was extremely windy and 3 others ships chose not to go there. Santorini is such a flying visit that’s it hardly worth it, also it was busy with just our ship, I’d hate to be there when there are others ships too. The biggest disappointment was the food on board, it was just average. We had a specialty dining package where we went to 4 specialty restaurants, only 2 were any good in our opinion, definitely glad I wasn’t paying for it. Staff were not fantastic for the first half of the cruise, for whatever reason they became more approachable and friendly the second half. I did find it strange that vapping appeared to be permitted on the pool deck, even near the food. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
If you’re looking for a bit of luxury, some good quality service, friendly staff, great entertainment and decent value for money, THIS IS NOT FOR YOU. The entertainment is a bunch of people singing, changing outfits and dancing, ... Read More
If you’re looking for a bit of luxury, some good quality service, friendly staff, great entertainment and decent value for money, THIS IS NOT FOR YOU. The entertainment is a bunch of people singing, changing outfits and dancing, EVERY NIGHT. The Market Place cafe is chaos 20 hours per day. Absolute mayhem. The staff and cruisers have very little to non existent manors. Pushing, ignorance, shouting and being generally rude is commonplace. MSC over charge on everything. 8euros for a beer.... PLUS 15% service charge on top. Buses at ports are all 4x the price they are when you actually leave the ship. One thing we didn’t think of was the fact people leave and start their holidays at almost every port. Imagine all of those safety drills, suitcases and so on all over the place, every day! If you’re in you’re room you have a ten minute lecture in every language about the safety procedure, almost every day. The food.... is ok. That’s it. Lack of imagination and small portion sizes but in the lighthouse during the evening it’s pretty good. They will try and get you to pay for speciality restaurants and drinks packages at every opportunity. The room we had, 12261 with a balcony was great however. Very large and much better than other ships we had been on. Our cabin steward was nice. Room always tidy. The boat is pretty nice. The layout isn’t great though and means you’re up and down stairs a lot, the lifts are always full. It’s designed and fit out a bit cheesy rather than luxury but I guess people like that. The best area of the ship by far is the Masters of The Sea. The staff are funny, friendly and personal. They remember your name, your drink and are super efficient. The live music is good and the pub has the best vibe of anywhere on the ship. One thing we should say is we are British. We’ve sailed from Southampton a number of times with different companies but this cruise fell far short and we certainly wouldn’t be booking with MSC again. Today is the last day of our cruise, looking forward to getting home. MSC if you’re reading | Areas to improve Adult only areas - quiet areas (no party music blasting) Some manors. Some organisation to the Marketplace. Restocking of minibar as standard. Entertainment - A new manager. The entertainment is simply awful. The same thing every night and every day. Very poor and a very basic standard. Try a different cruise liner and see what they do. Food leftovers left down the hallways on the floor. Pretty disgusting and often left for hours. The safety procedure. He has been talking for ten minutes In every language whilst we are trying to relax in our room. We’ve heard it 5 times. Make him stop, please. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It's the only cruise line that I travel one .In fact my first cruise was on the Emerald. We arrived in Rome one day prior and it was amazing. As a platinum member the check-in was very fast. The ship was refurbished but the ... Read More
It's the only cruise line that I travel one .In fact my first cruise was on the Emerald. We arrived in Rome one day prior and it was amazing. As a platinum member the check-in was very fast. The ship was refurbished but the stateroom decoration is outdated. The food was very good . The boutiques aren't interesting even boring. The musicians are very talented and the singers also. The atmosphere was very relaxing. We had the anytime dining and its a great option if you want to relax. the entertainment presentations at the Princess theater were the worst I've seen so far. Our room cleaner wasn't friendly and helpful .The worts we had so far.I'll remember him for a long time. The ports offers very affordable shuttle that make your reconsider the necessity of paying for expensive excursions.The one in Corfu and Chania were a waist of money and my time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The food quality and selection is not what I have been used to on Princess cruise. Was served French fries with a filet mignon. Being on a Mediterranean cruise would have expected a better selection of seafood and fish. King prawns were ... Read More
The food quality and selection is not what I have been used to on Princess cruise. Was served French fries with a filet mignon. Being on a Mediterranean cruise would have expected a better selection of seafood and fish. King prawns were the size of baby shrimps. Although the MichelAngelo waiting staff was really courteous and helpful. Pedro the head waiter was good to find us nice and enjoyable people to sit with. Front desk service is useless they give you the run around! We were booked on a shore excursion on our day of disembarking but the bus couldn’t carry luggage. It would have been great to visit Mykonos but the rough sea prevent it us to port.... the captain decided for the safety of the passenger to continue our route. I’m glad that he made that call for our safety. Princess didn’t live up to their slogan.... Come Back New! I found that Princess cruise line has been going down in quality over the last 5 years. It not what it used to be. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have recently made a Mediterranean cruise with koningsdam from 21 August 11 days. My tourism agency had recommended koningsdam. They said ”new ship, it is very clean and the food is very good” I believed of course. But unfortunately ... Read More
I have recently made a Mediterranean cruise with koningsdam from 21 August 11 days. My tourism agency had recommended koningsdam. They said ”new ship, it is very clean and the food is very good” I believed of course. But unfortunately as soon as I got on board I realized that this was not what I expected. Because I traveled with many different companies I can compare very easily. I have been cruising last 10 years with several different companies and ships. This time is my first time with Holland America. I wish to share my experience for the sake of other customers and as well as your benefit. (Actually I am very busy person who works 10 hours a day but I hope it will be appreciated that I spend my resting time to write this.) I have a very serious complaint about the reception manager (or chef) his name was M...... He made me angry so much. He treated me very unpleasantly. We are Turkish but since we are high level civil servant (We are professor doctor working in university) we were given a “special passport” which we don’t need any visa in EU countries. In every cruise, in check in desk they understand it and they don’t keep our passports. They know special passports or they can easily understand when they look at the pages there are plenty of stamps of many countries but there was not any visa. In Rome port they did the same. They checked the passports and gave them to us. The first day was sea day we would be in Cartagena following morning, But at night I found a note someone calling me to the reception. I went there a girl in the reception wanted me to give our passports to them. It was so strange. She said “my manager wants them”. I refused of course. The explanation was not adequate. She called the manager He said “Turkey is not EU country that is why I want to keep your passport”. It should not be a personal preference. I tried to explain why we did not need any visa. But he was person who cannot understand the situation. His attitude and words were very very annoying and irritating. He insist to take it. (Be honest even if we are not obliged to give it. Since I am a mature and respectful and respective person, If he had asked nicely and kindly I would give it right a way). I said no. Finally he wanted to scan them, I said “I have a copy I can give it”. In that case he dared to insist to get them before 7 am in the morning!!!!(Look at his personal caprice) I was even angrier he had to understand that I was a guest and on my vacation no one has a right to force me to do something. I said “I don’t want to get up very early in the morning”. Following day I ask an appointment for “hotel manager” to discuss this issue and the other issues related with crew behaviour. No one responded. I asked total 3 times for an appointment in different days. He didn’t even send a message to me. I know he must be very busy (actually I am one of his businesses) but even dough he should have had arrange someone else to meet me. He totally ignored me (as many of them). He didn’t give any value and credit to me as a human being who actually prefer and trust them to spend her holiday on his ship. There are plenty of issues to be mentioned: But I will briefly tell. First of all the behavior of the crew (most of them) was the most unacceptable. It seems almost all of them don’t like their job. Or even they hate with what they are doing. No smiling at all. They don’t make eye contact with you they don’t even say hello or any other greetings. From the barmen to the waiters, from the officers to simple mariners every one was tossing out you. I was shocked . (none of the ship had not had such a crew like that). First day as soon as we settled, we wanted to have a drink. We approached to the bar (opposite to “guest relation”) no one cared. I asked for a menu. He didn’t even move and looked at me very unwillingly and showed the wall (there were some writings on the wall). We didn’t drink anything. We went up to the restaurant (self-service) in deck 9. For lunch There were some stations with different type of food and there was one person in it as if they were in prison (They were looking at you as if somebody forced them to stand unwillingly). It was so strange that the self-service restaurant was not self-service. All stations were covered (protected from the customers) by glass. At dinner in the 2. floor is another story. It takes ages to wait for a dish. I had to speak to restaurant chef to attract the attention to be served. The most important thing is security. In the gang way going out and coming back, IN all other ship companies they ask to take off sun glasses and hats. It is very important to recognize the people. But in Koningsdam most of customers were wearing glasses and hats !! No one asked them to take off. Crew were only concentrated if there was an alcohol in the bags. All other companies they serve water and wet cold towels in the gangways in every port they make a tent. But in koninsdam we had nothing. Even water. No one greeted and no one welcomed us. Only last day in Livorno a couple of officers were standing in front of gangway and told “welcome”. And no entertainment at all.. There are many more to tell but these are facts. I have no intention being rude I didn’t mean to offend anybody. Because I respect everybody who does their job properly, I spent my time to give this feedback. I am sorry to tell these perhaps they reevaluate the issues to please their customers and consider them as "guest" Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Cruised many times on RC and NCL has away to go to compare! First time on NCL! First day my friend/roommate was hurt due to hole in ships floor! Spent time in infirmary! No one on the ship did anything to try to appolige or make up for ... Read More
Cruised many times on RC and NCL has away to go to compare! First time on NCL! First day my friend/roommate was hurt due to hole in ships floor! Spent time in infirmary! No one on the ship did anything to try to appolige or make up for their negligence! I ran two flights of stairs & found room where incident occurred before any medical where on scene! With the exception of the Irish pub, the food in the dining room had no flavor nd non creative options! There was no activity by the pool until the very last day! No one even knew who cruise director was! I met more people than he did! Funny enough we called the asst director to our table at 5 o’clock somewhere and expressed the disappointment without ant activity by pool! Coincidence the next day, last day on ship they did a little something by pool! Everyone enjoyed so doesn’t make sense all other days there was nothing! Other than Lesther at sky bar, Reenan the waiter in Aqua and my room steward Lunni, who were exceptional, no staff on this ship made an effort to get to know you, remember your name or display a personality! Such a shame! Even the officers were no mingling omboard until the last day! Excursions def had some wasted time organizing, days in port were short enough yet time was still wasted! Santorini was a disaster! Four ships in port with over a two hour line for cable car as the tour just drops you off and doesn’t tell you about cable car until end when you started on a bus! We did not get any time to shop or enjoy Santorini as we had to wait in this line, people were fighting not enjoyable & stole two hours of my time and a missed sunset! UGH. On that same day a women on the bus picked a fight shouting curse words across the bus the entire day! The tour guide should have thrown her off yet said nothing allowing her to taint that part of the day! I paid good money for this excursion from the ship on an island I wanted to enjoy to have it ruined! Oh and let’s point out the alternative of walking down the cliff on the donkey trail for 20 minutes in donkey poop, which was not an option to save time due to my friend being hurt on day one due to ships negligence! Last day in Croatia was cut early forcing everyone to change a schedule just to hurry up and wait causing us to get back into port in Venice over an hour late! Added stress! I feel there is a long way to go and some considerable customer service courses needed here! Almost forgot the two days my toilet in the room would not flush! Reported it, was kept up till 3 am while a man worked in closet next to room to wake up with only 2 hours sleep and still not have a toilet that works! July 2019 Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Booked a year early as a medical report put this to be probably my last cruise. Period. First I received a few days in advance that one port would be eliminated due to repairs needed to be done in Malaga meaning an extra day annoyed! ... Read More
Booked a year early as a medical report put this to be probably my last cruise. Period. First I received a few days in advance that one port would be eliminated due to repairs needed to be done in Malaga meaning an extra day annoyed! Then off we go with a dicky propulsion unit needing divers etc in Malaga Malaga was fine as we knew we had an extra day but soon after arrival we were told that we had to stay another day meaning 3.6 days in Malaga ! See my extra info on divers later. So we left Malaga but the next announcement was we had norovirus which started to kill the pleasure even more. We raced at 22 knots to venice . It was just as we left Venice we met the USA divers who told a slightly different story . The Malaga stop had not had Spanish diving approval which took some time before two faults we found . The repairs needed that extra day after all but even then the divers explained they had to dive in Venice BUT these was only allowed with Italian diver plus. The divers were leaving Venice to check out the bits at split and that is where I did not see them any more. P&O never explained all this and generally were poor in information . The norovirus controls were lifted at about 2 thirds of the cruise ! So P&O will probably point at their terms of business in removing a ports for repairs and Put norovirus down to other reasons. As this was to be my last cruise I can only explain that after a multicruise life this was a different P&O and a poor show even though some items were good. As regards the Arcadia as a ship I comment it is poor with 30 seat only cinema, a dining room aft which to my 91 year old near cabin user in B2 as against my B22 Was a trek ! The spa helped my poor feet in place of a massage due to walking round Malaga on a Sunday with not much open. I,m home sad at this last cruise and leaving my view of modern P&O to be forgotten. Nothing can compensate for that last bad cruise but nothing likely to come....will tell you if! Read Less
Sail Date June 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
This was my 10th cruise - 7th with NCL. The weather was mild and windy. In Civitavecchia there needs to be better signage for the cruise port and where to get the bus from. Be warned that there isn't a lift if you use the railway ... Read More
This was my 10th cruise - 7th with NCL. The weather was mild and windy. In Civitavecchia there needs to be better signage for the cruise port and where to get the bus from. Be warned that there isn't a lift if you use the railway station! If you walk, take a right and then a left before the tower to the cruise bus. Many people stood in the wrong place until someone went into a shop to ask! if you are taking a cab, they drop you off right outside of the terminal building. Once inside the terminal it is very quick and straightforward. I thought the ship was just the right size to wander round and had plenty of art and decor to make it attractive and interesting. The Galaxy Lounge is a great observation room and a lovely place to watch the world go by. For dining I preferred the Garden Room MDR because it was smaller and felt more intimate. I ate with 2 friends in Windows one night and we all had stone cold meals. The assistant manager handed us a bottle of red wine without asking our preference as though this was sufficient! I ordered the same meal in the Garden Room and specified that it needed to be hot and the plate and food arrived wonderfully hot! Apart from that particular meal all the rest were fine. I particularly liked Le Bistro because you could see the ocean and the service and food were great. In Cagneys the food was good but the staff seemed to dash around almost falling over each other as they came out of the service door! The Speciality Dining Rooms are a bit cramped compared to larger ships but you soon get over it! The temperature throughout the ship was just right for me. The swimming pool was also a good temperature and had a deep end which was great. There were virtually no kids on this trip which made for a peaceful cruise. I went to 9 out of 10 shows and enjoyed them all. I would give them a solid 8/10! The Captain and all of the staff did a great job. The itinerary was great with the exception of Crete where we had to leave at midday. NCL should either make this a full day or a sea day in my opinion. I liked the fact that not all days were early starts so you could relax a bit! We did hit rocky seas leaving Sicily and the ship rolled a lot. This didn't bother me but if you get seasick you've been warned! Boarding and leaving the ship at all ports was effortless! Regarding excursions, my advice is to shop around and not try to cram too much into such a busy schedule. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Firstly this was our first cruise so we have nothing to completely judge against, however the things I will talk about was our experience. On arrival onto the ship we we’re badgered by staff wanting us to sign up to a drinks package ... Read More
Firstly this was our first cruise so we have nothing to completely judge against, however the things I will talk about was our experience. On arrival onto the ship we we’re badgered by staff wanting us to sign up to a drinks package which we had already sorted pre arrival. This also didn’t stop for a couple of days. ( by all means assist customers but make staff be seen but have customers approach staff ) We also were constantly bugged by the staff photographers constantly asking if we wanted our picture taken and even after a polite no they then pleaded ‘it will only take a few minutes ‘ whilst following us. My polite no’s were beginning to wear very thin towards the end. To add insult to injury the one time we gave in, we were then automatically charged £34.99 to our card before even seeing them. From the reception they told me it was down to me to say I didn’t want them to have the charge removed. So I was glad to keep an eye on my account on my tv in my cabin. Otherwise it would have been a shock on leaving. ( may be better for customers to say yes before charging). Each place we docked at we were badgered if we wanted taxi or sight seeing bus. All were stupid prices and you can do so much better sourcing your own public transport at great prices.... it got tiresome as they wouldn’t take no as an answer. I feel msc security/ dock security should monitor this and actively reduce this annoyance. Now the ship is an absolute beautiful design. Really took our breath away. The mid ship sky screen shows and displays were very good. The shows onboard were very very good and thoughly entertaining. And at 30 mins I feel it was too short but understand with time restrictions for the program it has to be that way. I had no issues with my premium drinks package and recommend this is purchased. The staff were all very friendly and pleasant and had no bad experiences in the dining room with food or waiting staff. The cabin ( we had a balcony) was a nice size and I would say it was a slightly smaller than the average Travelodge room but pretty much the same layout. Tv channels were slightly limited ( but who comes on holiday to watch tv ). The safe is quite tiny and we couldn’t put our iPads in it. But it was simple to use. The Bed was very comfortable with two pillows. Balcony size ok. Mini bar idea not so good. .... it is not covered on the drinks package. I think to enjoy the balcony it would be good to use from mini bar to save having to go to the bar for purchasing drinks to carry back. Most drinks in there can be from the bar anyway. ( just saves borrowing and restocking ourselves the next day early). The spa is amazing and well worth the visit. Spent most days in there for a couple of hours recovering from our days walking. However on the sea day it got very busy. Maybe it would be good if msc only allowed the package deal only people to access on sea days and offer no day pass. ( could earn more money for them and balance the numbers out for spa visitors). With the numerous relaxation areas jacuzzis and steam/ sauna rooms and ice room. Not forgetting the emotional showers there are plenty of places to relax and rest. Never gambled before and the casino was an awesome experience. Staff very friendly and when it was quiet we asked how to use tables and all was explained very well. There are serious gamblers there, and people like us who had fun with between 10-30 Euros per visit. We actually visited most nights and actually walked away with more Euro’s than we started with. The water slides were fun to use, and the pools were relaxing. And the external hot tubs on the deck were very nice also. Anyone in two minds about first time cruising, I think the ship will give you the experience that will help decide if it’s for you. And as for us......... we will stick with msc and look out for more locations this ship will visit and try out the other ships in the fleet. We have been converted to a life of cruising for sure. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I had most recently cruised on NCL Epic and Breakaway (which are much larger newer ships with outstanding entertainment) so my very first impression upon boarding was that the Spirit was old, tired, and had a confusing layout requiring you ... Read More
I had most recently cruised on NCL Epic and Breakaway (which are much larger newer ships with outstanding entertainment) so my very first impression upon boarding was that the Spirit was old, tired, and had a confusing layout requiring you to go up or down to get to main dining room or theatre. Over the 10 days I came to love the smaller size, more personal experience with smaller size ship. Getting around was actually really easy. This cruise had virtually no children onboard, and they have a separate kids pool in the back, so the pool area was quiet and all adults. The musicians onboard were pretty good, especially the Filipino cover band. As the cruise went on, I began to reevaluate the entertainment and found it to be better than average. Not really a party cruise, as the only dancing takes place at 10:30 when the cruise staff shows up in the lounge for a dance party and then everyone hits the dance floor. The itinerary turned out to have amazing weather. It was high sixties low seventies every day with a mild breeze. Sea days at the pool were awesome and most excursions ended at 2:30 and got you back to the boat for a late lunch, and then right to the sunny pool deck with great music. Casablanca did not impress most people, but the Canary Islands, Funchal were much nicer and more pleasing than expected. Malaga (excursion to Gribraltar) and Alicante were awesome, only mistake I made was taking an excursion outside of Alicante to Guadalest instead of walking ashore and visiting the mountain forts in-town on my own. When the cruise ended I took the train to Valencia for Las Fallas (sort of similar to Mardi Gras) which takes place every year from April 17 to 19. Highly recommend, it was totally insane, fireworks, giant paper mache 40 foot statues, ironic, playful creations, and tens of thousands dressed in period costumes marching all night, fireworks at 1am and the last night they burn the paper mache statues in all the plazas they were erected all over town at midnight on the 19th. Great city (totally flat) perfect for bike rental to get to beach and into crowded festival downtown. I booked last minute and took my first inside cabin, deck 6 front of ship, had some pitch but I was never in the room during daylight and hardly in room at all. The weather was so good I was on deck or enjoying entertainment all the time. Cruise staff is pretty good and smaller ship size means you get familiar with staff much quicker. Finding a seat for music, game shows, was always super easy. As far as Dining, the food was the same as the other NCL ships - however this trip I ate no bread, grains/carbs, or sugar. Finally found a way not to gain 10 lbs on a cruise. However quality of fish and meats, salami, cheese etc was subpar. Never really noticed on previous cruises when I was hitting the taco bar, pasta bar, ice cream station, etc. This cruise had prime rib one night, and the New York Strip is on menu every night, but just OK, but no lobster, no scallops, salmon just ok. So unless you go to Cagney's, the food is really nothing special. There was never a wait in main dining (Windows) and service was outstanding! The few times I ate in the buffet I found the meats overcooked, one type of poor quality salami, few cheeses. Lots of fruits, breads, deserts, potatoes, rice, etc. Coffee on board was better than average. In summary, ship was very clean, staff outstanding, itinerary awesome, weather insanely good, few kids if any, entertainment pretty good, not much night-life but shows pretty good. Never a crowd or much of a line for anything. Super easy getting on and off. Tips: Stay near Plaza Catalunya in Barcelona - Airport Terminal one bus (pay on bus 5.90 Euros) takes you right to plaza - so easy) . On way to and from ship walk Las Rambla 10 minutes to Columbus Statue and board Port bus for 3 Euros. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I cruise with NCL because their itineraries are port heavy with very good excursions. If you use the $50 per excursion perk, it is very affordable. Embarkation and disembarkation are very easy. Entertainment is diverse and fun. Crew ... Read More
I cruise with NCL because their itineraries are port heavy with very good excursions. If you use the $50 per excursion perk, it is very affordable. Embarkation and disembarkation are very easy. Entertainment is diverse and fun. Crew seem to enjoy their jobs (not a fake atmosphere of hospitality). Speciality restaurants provide an upgrade from the regular fare, which is adequate but nothing special. There are always lots of fresh options if one wants to eat healthy. I have gotten to the platinum level, and plan on cruising with NCL in the future. I am a solo traveler, and NCL is safe, affordable, pleasant, and relaxed. I cruised a "high end" line last year, and really did not like the formality and presumption of the ship. The cruise experience is a matter of taste, but for me, I enjoy the happy, fun, relaxed, and diverse experience of Norwegian cruises. The Spirit is an older, smaller ship, which I also like. The ship is clean and well maintained. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
So a group of 7 girls decided to go on a cruise for one of our friends 40th birthday, only 2/7 people has done a cruise before so it’s an amazing idea on something different to do. We boarded at Barcelona, everything went very smooth, ... Read More
So a group of 7 girls decided to go on a cruise for one of our friends 40th birthday, only 2/7 people has done a cruise before so it’s an amazing idea on something different to do. We boarded at Barcelona, everything went very smooth, the check in staff were helpful and informative, so sat at the bar waiting to be called. After looking at the info the check in desks give we head into our room, collect the cards and walk out. We then go to reception get a drink, go for an explore, then head to the top deck. That’s when it goes slightly downhill, no one knows what to do next, we didn’t know about the entertainment information or the timetable as we were so excited to go exploring we seemed to miss the little pigeonhole right next to the door, I finally understood on the last night. Not Costas fault but it’s not explained very well once onboard the ship. Also being a group on girls on a birthday weekend I think there was a few more drinks flowing than normal. At 6.30 there was a safety demonstration which lasted about 20 odd minutes, then off to dinner for 9.15pm, that was a definite eye opener so very busy, the waiter we had wasn’t at all friendly (although we later found out they can work up to 8 months and that’s without a day off), even I don’t think I could plaster a smile on my face everyday. While dining in the main buffet Michael Jackson started blaring on the loud speaker, then up out of no where all the waiters start jumping about dancing. That was amazing as it comes out of nowhere!! Food was good, although the menu can get confusing as the waiter never did explain that you can order anything and everything if you choose. We all dance the night away and that was a great first night. Next morning with a slight hangovers and an early morning wake up call as someone managed to get locked out of their room and went off with another friend in another cabin, we all shower and up we get for a buffet breakfast. I can see from the choice of breakfast that they do try to cater for different nationalities but the breakfast isn’t great to be honest. I try some pancakes and bacon and that’s it. The coffee also isn’t great as unlike the bars where they have a machine and a milk frother they don’t have in the buffet, so water or orange juice is the way forward, also they don’t have a toaster, and the bread is rock solid. You could kill a bird with it. Off we go to marseille, hmmm next time I won’t bother as there’s not overly a lot to do there, walked around, saw some buildings, forced an alcoholic drink down our neck and back on the boat. lunch at the buffer, again it wasn’t too great, rock hard bread again, some warm focaccia, pasta, and a big lump of beef with potatoes, not great if you’re a vegetarian (I’m not, but 2 of our friends are). Go to dinner at 9.15pm, this time the waiters dance to some latin songs, ver well done again. Then another repeat of the night before, more drinks and dance the night away). The 3rd morning head off to the buffet again, this time no pacncakes, I don’t eat eggs so not a lot to choose from, I grabbed 2 pieces of French bread with cinnamon and some pineapple, that will do. We get off at Savona, 1 MASSIVE tip, other than supermarkets everything else shuts at 1.30 and opens back up at 4.30, unfortunately we have to be back on the ship by 4.30 so we spent an hour walking in a group of 7, with different people trying to find a restaurant just so we can get a pizza, it didn’t go down too well but got there in the end. Back on the ship, more drinks, a lot more passengers so the bar on deck 9 was a complete nightmare, then off we go again. Down to shower, off to the 9.15pm dinner, waited until 10pm to ask the waiter what time will the dancing be on tonight, he tells us there won’t be any, shame, so we all thanked him, 3 went off to bed, 4 of us decided to pop off to the casino. Within half hour our 50€ was spent and off to the bar we go. A few more drinks down our necks an the conversation turned to the bar staff. When we took 5 minutes out of our busy lives to see the amount they work, the stuff they have to put up with, and the hours they work on a daily basis, I’m so grateful for my life. The amount of time they’re away from home, they don’t see their families for months and months at a time. While we go on holiday they’re there at our beck and call when we want a drink or service. So thank you Henry and Danny for that night. So last morning just before we go to Barcelona, we set our alarms to make the restaurant breakfast. I do wish I’d gone there before but to be there by 9 is a bit of a deal breaker, unfortunately again we had a not so friendly waiter and had to be called about 3 times before he would come over to serve, at least it was nice. Back to the room to get our stuff as we had to be out by 10. We decided to go back to deck 9, as we started off from there a few more Prosecco to finish up the holiday, and off we go to the shops, pay our bill at the desk and get ready to leave. As they bleep mine and my roommates cats and unfamiliar buzz goes off, we’re not allowed to leave but everyone else disembarked, so back off to the desk to sort the cards out. Cards done and out we go. The 2 of us are last to pick up our luggage go through everything and my friend realizes she’s had some money stolen from her case. Do not leave any money in your case. There’s signs around saying the same so I don’t know what was going through her mind at that time when she left the case outside the door the night before. You HAVE to leave your cases outside of the room the night before for them to collect it. They advise to leave the cases the night before by 12 midnight and no later than 1am, but I witnessed them not coming until 3.30 am. Do not leave anything valuable at all. There’s always people workers and non workers wandering the hallways so could have been anyone. I also had stuff taken but luckily not money. Anyway other than the little hiccup at the end it all went well. I also missed the last day lunch as I was too busy booking my next cruise onboard. This time as a family, so hopefully the next one will be a little less partying and a little less hangovers. On the last note, be aware that if you suffer from rocking on land, It’s been 48 hours and I still don’t feel great and I’m still rocking and swaying. Maybe I was a little hasty in booking the next one but I’m sure I’ll be over it then. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Overall we had a great experience aboard the star. The embarkation & disembarkation was excellent. The rooms were better than I thought they would be we had a stateroom with balcony.The service from the staff especially your stateroom ... Read More
Overall we had a great experience aboard the star. The embarkation & disembarkation was excellent. The rooms were better than I thought they would be we had a stateroom with balcony.The service from the staff especially your stateroom staff was excellent. Food was excellent in all restaurant the only complaint was sometimes the service was slow. Tender process was very organised and smooth. We travelled with a group of friends and already we are planning our next cruise. We enjoyed visiting all ports Kotor,Corfu,Mykonos,Santorini and Dubrovnik. The ship excursion to Dubrovnik 'Game of Thrones' was really good and lovely way to see the city but wish we had more time to explore. We hired our own boat in Corfu and was a lovely way to see the island. Dress code is very relaxed, Cagneys restuarant was the best and the steak was very good. We would book again with Norwegian the overall experience was excellent and value for money . Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
When I embarked on Crystal Serenity in Barcelona on Sunday October 7, I recalled that my last cruise on this ship was well over almost 4 years, yet I was pleasantly amazed (but not surprised) that many restaurant staff, under the direction ... Read More
When I embarked on Crystal Serenity in Barcelona on Sunday October 7, I recalled that my last cruise on this ship was well over almost 4 years, yet I was pleasantly amazed (but not surprised) that many restaurant staff, under the direction of Leo, to me the master of all cruiseship Maitre D’s, could still greet me in name. Such is the hospitality level of Crystal cruises that many Crystal Society members return to the ship. The embarkation took no time, even the ship was practically full. Embarkation began at noon though in theory rooms are available from 3pm, but in a PH cabin mine was ready. There was a special luggage storage that takes care of hand luggages so that any guest can enjoy a leisurely lunch. Such is the hospitality with full attention to detail that makes what Crystal is, particular with direct comparison to the two cruises that I just had disembarked (I took 3 consecutive cruises in 30 days). This cruise, trade named Iberian Sojourn, a standard 7-day trip ending in Lisbon, has an ideal itinerary in that travel distance is short so that it is all port days and passengers have ample time in each port. The Spanish ports are, to me, more interesting than the Mediterranean ports in Italy that practically every cruiser has visited. In each port Crystal of course provides free shuttle so that one enjoys free and easy visits. Because of all-port, there was no formal night and the well-loved Mozart tea was not served. I have had many Crystal Cruises (my first was on Crystal Harmony, before Serenity was built), and as an old timers I can see good changes under new ownership of Genting Hong Kong. The ship was renovated only about 4 years ago, and on embarkation I learned that after this trip the ship will undergo dry docking for a whole month for another important renovation, probably the most important because the ship will re-emerge in November offering open sitting dining (Crystal Symphony had completed that process). Hitherto if Crystal was to be faulted as a luxury ship it was the two sitting system that requires one to eat either too early or too late. No more, and then my only regret is that, if I had this knowledge, I would have chosen to cruise after the renovation. A luxury cruise differs from a standard one mainly in space per passenger and crew to passenger ratio, and of course in service and food. Crystal offers best service second only to SeaDream (but the latter carries only 100 passengers with similar number of staff). Crew members here do not change ships, though there can be re-deployment as since the Genting takeover, Crystal has added two yachts and five river boats (not to mention even a luxury air operation). Great that virtually same staff members serve so that the important ‘recognition scenes’ are in place. But it is the delicate improvement of food standard that makes the ship remarkable, at a time when cutback is seen in the whole trade (including Silversea which serves packaged orange juice unless you ask for the fresh). I agree with the latest Berlitz guide as it now rates Crystal above competitors Silversea, Seabourn and Regent. The Crystal food is truly enjoyable, now that the restaurant offers two menus, one modern and one traditional, therefore many choices. On this visit I tend to conclude that the ‘modern’ menu has improved much, with artful presentation and good taste (it had been a bit ‘funny’ in the beginning as I tasted it on Symphony two years ago). There are three alternative dining choices in addition to the main restaurant, all offering good quality of food (rather than quantity in the number of available restaurants). All guests can dine twice in an alternative restaurant free (otherwise it is a mere cover charge of $35). Dining on Crystal Serenity is a real pleasure even for gourmets, and among the best at sea. Entertainment is never a strong area for Crystal. Ship size and mature passengers not really keen on shows do not justify lavish productions such as on sister company Dream Cruises, but the quality is good, and even more than on a big ship, there are always also alternative local shows in port in addition to the production show. Of these I watched one of the best acrobatic show at sea (or indeed on land) in the Balskat Duo which had performed with Circuit de Soleil. But I see the very same production shows that are old fashioned. The singers try to make more noises to lure the young, but I see few youngish passengers. The cruise director, Gary Hunter is a master of his trade, however. It is the most port intensive cruise that calls on a port very day, and all ports are interesting except for me, Gibraltar, which is however a convenient stop on route. The last night we stayed overnight in Lisbon. Valencia was the first port of call and the free shuttle takes passengers directly to the old town. It was a great visit, walking old streets and seeing various historic landmarks. Next port is Alicante and we arrived on a Spanish holiday that most shops are closed, but the town is beautiful and even with some initial rain it still makes a day of pleasant stroll. The weather was cool and pleasant. Malaga is next, and alas there was no sunshine on the Costa del Sol on our arrival. Some rains in the morning and I wonder if those who took excursion to Seville fared better. Malaga itself is interesting and it is gateway to many interesting points. As a frequent visitor to this region, I did not rush to any places, having seen them many times, and to me the ship is the destination Particularly the ship is Crystal, no matter rain or shine. Pouring rain in Gibraltar in the morning but it cleared up in the afternoon. I always think it is funny to see UK chain stores in town and here one dispenses the British pound. But Cadiz is interesting, as we had the full day I went out on my own in the afternoon my way while I have time to take an excursion in the morning. As if by bad luck it falls on another Spanish holiday, though many shops open for tourists. The morning excursion was good in that I visited sights slightly out of town that I had not seen out of my two previous visits. There was ample time to return to Cadiz proper for a stroll in its old streets in the afternoon. The trip ends in Lisbon and we stayed overnight here. It was good as there is much to see in Lisbon but a very strong wind arrived at dinner time so that the terminal was closed for the night. This is strange; though I am sure no one will opt to go ashore in such windy condition anyway. I took Crystal’s transfer to the airport early in the morning and the trip was perfectly organized, with many helpers that virtually take your luggage from ship to your check-in counter. This ends my very pleasant trip and I look forward to returning to Crystal Serenity when it operates the Open Sitting Dining. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I chose this particular cruise because of the ports of call, and no ‘at sea’ days. Booked well over a year in advance, I started reading reviews on many different sites and was becoming a little concerned but thankfully fretted over ... Read More
I chose this particular cruise because of the ports of call, and no ‘at sea’ days. Booked well over a year in advance, I started reading reviews on many different sites and was becoming a little concerned but thankfully fretted over nothing (surely couldn’t have been worse than my P&’n’O experience earlier this year. Onboard announcements were in a number of languages, English being first, and all were clear and informative. There were many Italians, French, Spanish, German, American, Australian and few British passengers onboard, I actually liked having a great mix of cultures. The ship was well laid out, from the sun terraces to the lounges. Very easy to navigate. There was always something going on in each of the venues therefore no overcrowding, always able to find a seat. The same with the sun decks, never an issue finding a lounger, and, as it suits my requirements, out of the way with nobody stuck like glue next to me. If I was to have one gripe it would be that I did book this a year in advance and requested late sitting for dinning and a table for 2, but was given early dining with a table for 10!!! I personally do not like seating for dinner with strangers (personal preference. Therefore, I ate in the buffet restaurant each night, and can say that the food in the evenings and throughout the day was plentiful and really tasty. I’m not really one for the theatrical shows so can’t comment, but I did go to a number of the venues onboard and the performers in each were a bit ‘iffy’ hence my grading for entertainment. But I was quite happy sitting at the bar in the piano lounge, or up on deck at the pool bar. I did one excursion in Dubrovnik, Game of Thrones Tour, and found it extremely informative, not only with regards to the show, but included a lot of history about the city itself. I found the staff on the ship really friendly and helpful, the bar staff were impressive (I do like it when they remember my drink and save me asking for it Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was my first cruise with NCL and I quite enjoyed it. FYI, I didn’t choose this for the ship but for the itinerary so I didn’t care so much about the onboard experience. Port I arrived in Venice two days before departure and ... Read More
This was my first cruise with NCL and I quite enjoyed it. FYI, I didn’t choose this for the ship but for the itinerary so I didn’t care so much about the onboard experience. Port I arrived in Venice two days before departure and was quite happy I did so. I had a great hotel in a residential section of Venice and spent the days exploring. I recommend doing this. Embarkation I arrived at the port around 11:45am and was on the ship by 12:30. It went very smoothly and quick. Notice: they did take everyone’s passport upon embarkation no matter what nationality. They were given back after leaving Greece. Cabin I was in an inside, mid ship cabin on deck 10. I requested the bed to be split which gave me a lot more room to move around. The cabin was very nice and clean and the bed much more comfortable than I expected it to be. And the USB ports were fantastic for charging. Dining I don’t drink alcohol and I refuse to spend money on speciality dining so I ate primarily at the Main Dining rooms. Aqua was quite nice however I found the tables too close to each other. Versailles was much better laid out although the service was a bit slower. The food itself at the dining rooms was great. Hot and delicious. I did eat at the buffet a few times for breakfast and lunch and it was good as well. Just a madhouse with the number of people. Entertainment I went to a couple of the shows which sucked. Too loud, too sexist, just not good. Activities I do not participate and since this cruise was so port intensive, I really wasn’t on the ship much. Ship This was a very nice ship. Clean and upgraded. More quiet areas would have been nice. But the refurb was done really well. Service The service was great. No complaints. Ports and Shore Excursions The ports were amazing and the shore excursions with NCL were very good. No complaints at all. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Recommended by our travel agent and she is very well travelled 40 years in the business has it listed as one of her favourite trips.Tours were excellent. Timings all round were spot on tendering pick ups ect,met some lovely people, free ... Read More
Recommended by our travel agent and she is very well travelled 40 years in the business has it listed as one of her favourite trips.Tours were excellent. Timings all round were spot on tendering pick ups ect,met some lovely people, free style cruising suited my friend and I, able to experience different restaurants. Met some lovely people and just really enjoyed the whole experience from the first step of the journey to the last. My only criticism pool is too small for the ship. All in all a wonderful trip great stop offs definitely going back to Mykonos. A tip for future travellers check by reception day before you go on trips as they have a board that gives recommendations on what to do. Only realised this on our last day as my one regret is we missed a trip to Delos from Mykonos and it looked amazing if you enjoy ancient history, Thank you NCL we will definitely be booking another cruise with you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Mediterranean Cruise Vacation ex Barcelona on MSC Fantasia. We have previously sailed with Celebrity, RCL, and Norwegian in The Caribbean, Alaska and on the Pacific coast, and this was our first European cruise and first with MSC. We ... Read More
Mediterranean Cruise Vacation ex Barcelona on MSC Fantasia. We have previously sailed with Celebrity, RCL, and Norwegian in The Caribbean, Alaska and on the Pacific coast, and this was our first European cruise and first with MSC. We are a married couple from Chicago who traveled with two single friends and we had adjoining cabins. We chose the Yacht Club package due to the all-inclusive feel, the price and the itinerary. This was a port-intensive trip with just two mornings at sea. One thing new to us was the idea of people embarking and disembarking at different ports throughout the cruise: on almost every cruise I can think we’ve been, we’ve had a complete passenger turnover on Day 1 of the cruise: not on MSC. Embarkation/ Boarding: Very smooth operation. Yacht Club personnel came to meet us (they must have seen the luggage tags) We were offered canapes and beverages while waiting for check-in. We were escorted in on the same line as everyone else, bypassing them as the butler led us on. No later than 20 minutes after boarding, we had our key cards and were given a tour of the Yacht Club enclave by our butler Germain who also thoroughly explained the workings of items in the cabin. The safety drill was an entire joke; no one was paying attention, least of all the Italians on board. The Cabin: 15001 is a large square room with an oversize balcony. The cabin was always perfectly maintained for the duration of the cruise, The TV screen was way too small for a cabin this size and was so far away from the bed that you could hardly enjoy anything on screen. We first always had to call for ice but after three evenings they got it and the ice bucket was always full when we got back. Europeans don’t use ice nearly as much as Americans; even our drinks had just a couple cubes compared to at home. Our friends next door had a regular size cabin; 15001 is really a nice cabin with extra space if that’s important to you. We had a large walk-in closet which had a lighting system operated by foot movement, so if you were in there not moving around you’d be left in the dark until you moved again! A bit disconcerting I suppose! We found it funny…. The bedding and bed linens/pillows were all amazingly comfortable and of a very high quality. A wide selection of toiletries was provided in the bathroom which had a bathtub/shower combination The Dining: Meals at L’Etoile were good but not stand-out exceptional. We had dinner there every evening, a few lunches, and just one breakfast which was slow but good. Service was attentive but not overbearing. We appreciated having this option as the regular ship buffet was always crowded and loud with people not keeping in lines. We ate there just once to try the pizza which was excellent. As a Yacht Club member you get to enjoy complimentary gelato throughout the ship, health bar shakes at tbe spa and chocolate cocktails at the Venchi bar on 6. On “Elegant” night (MSC doesn’t have “Formal”), we saw only two tuxedoes in Yacht Club, and most people dressed in smart “business casual” attire. Many men wore blazers and khakis, few even wore ties. I have no experience of what it was like in the main dining room but no one seemed to bother much about keeping to any kind of dress code. One nice thing about the Yacht Club was the personalized attention we received at all times on The One Pool deck and at the Top Sail Lounge, including Afternoon Tea service. The Entertainment: the Italian Operatic evening was enjoyable as was the French evening, but the others were just bad-mix combos of ballroom dancing, skipping-rope and street-dancing routines and I have seen better High School productions in theater. Elsewhere on the ship we had a pianist every evening at the Yacht Club Top Sail Lounge., and there were various bands and musical entertainments elsewhere that we heard about but didn’t experience. One thing I noticed on MSC is that there are many more smoking sections in some of their indoor spaces than seem to be the case of the American cruises we’ve been on. The casino, the indoor lounges all allowed smoking (sections of the lounges were non-smoking but the smell of Febreze next morning—it is used liberally to get rid of cigarette smoke stink--was quite nauseating). Personally, I would prefer a non-smoking cruise option and will look for that on our next cruise vacation. The Spa: Yacht Club guests have access to the sauna and steam room areas at all times; there is a special elevator that takes Yacht Club guests directly into the area. Otherwise you have to enter the spa through the main doors on floor 14 which is like being attacked by mosquitoes, so aggressive are the spa staff at selling options and offers. A word to the wise: I tipped my service provider at the spa generously but realized after seeing my receipt that a 20% service charge is automatically added, so you do not need to tip unless you think your therapist deserves more than that. My therapist was exceptionally good at her job, professional and obviously well-trained. The ship in general: Very clean and well appointed. Shore excursions: Poor offerings from MSC so we did our own thing. Ajaccio: we walked off the ship and explored this French town on our own. Visited Napoleon’s birthplace and an art gallery and artisanal craft store. Typical French south-coast town. Nothing much to note except the main street closest to the harbor is exceptionally touristy and you have to go up the hill to the next level or two to get the real French town feeling. Rome: picked up a rental car in port of Civitavecchia (near train station: took shuttle from ship to port entrance and port entrance to station about 4 Euro round trip) and drove to Odaleschi Castle on the shores of Lake Bracciano. Lovely day, The castle is home to an Italian Princess Orsini, and is famous for its celebrity weddings, such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. I can see why… views are stunning. On the drive back we stopped at an Etruscan Necropolis and overall had a great day and were back on ship in time for a very late lunch at L’Etoile. La Spezia: took the public ferry from the port to Monterosso. We’ve been to the Cinque Terre before, and have actually hiked the trail, from Vernazza to Manarola but this time around were happy to see it from the water and to see Monterosso which is a lovely village. Took the train back and walked to the ship. We stopped at the hotel we had stayed at two years’ ago and the receptionist recognized us! It was amazing! Another exceptional and memorable day. So enjoyable! Geooa: took a walking tour of the old town with a local guide organized on get your guide dot com. This was a great tour and included entrance to the Palazzo Rosso which is memorable for its rooftop views in addition to its art collection. Also we were back on the ship in time for lunch and then had the afternoon which some of us explored on our own and others used the ship as a vacation destination! Cannes. Tendered here. Took a tour to Monaco and Eze with Viator dot com. Also highly recommend this company. Bring your passport: you can get a free souvenir passport stamp in the Monaco Tourist Office in Monte Carlo (opposite the Casino but uphill at other end of the garden). It’s a nice and colorful souvenir. Unlike most things in Monaco, it’s free. Saw the Changing of the Guard at the Grimaldi Palace, visited the small nearby Cathedral where Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier, and visited their crypt. Vita Brevis. Enjoyed delicious ice-cream. The views of Antibes and Cap Ferrat from Eze are truly memorable. Eze is a lovely hillside village and is home to both the Fragonard perfumery and the Chevre D’Or. Walt Disney once visited here and it is obvious it inspired some of his work. We were lucky to get there early before the hordes of tour busses, and climbed to the sculpture garden at the summit for some of the best photos of our trip. Palma de Mallorca: MSC charging 14 Euro for a round trip bus transfer for what I consider a nice walk. Save money if the weather is not too hot and do it yourself. It’s less than a mile each way. We ended up taking the bus due to a travel companion’s foot problem and explored the Cathedral and Old Palma downtown. The ship was late in port this evening but we were back in time for dinner and wanted to enjoy our final evening on board. Excursions: we really saved a lot by going independently and lots of these ports are worth exploration; we had heard poor reports about value of ship excursions but no complaints at all about get your guide dot com or viator dot com, botb of which offered exceptional value and well-organized tours. MSC overall: Yes we really enjoyed this cruise but if we were not in Yacht Club we felt the ship had a crowded feel and a loud ambience. Once we entered the Yacht Club enclave everything became very quiet and peaceful and we loved spending time either on our balcony, in the Top Sail Lounge, or on the One Pool Deck. Nice touches included live piano music every evening, the free mini-bar in the suite and the daily newspaper that arrived with the morning coffee. I would choose MSC again but only in the Yacht Club. The wait staff and bartenders remembered our drinks, the concierge was exceptionally helpful and we were well looked-after. Packages: I pre-paid and saved 40% on the basic or standard internet package which lasted for the duration of the cruise. I also pre-paid for one of two massages that I had. We did not bother with photograph packages as we take enough on our phones! Our travel agent provided us a $250 shipboard credit per cabin which we applied towards things like laundry and spa services. Overall this was an excellent vacation and very relaxing. Disembark: we were first off the ship and our luggage was waiting, as was our driver; we had arranged a private full day tour of Barcelona and Montserrat and our luggage was stored securely on vehicle while we did this tour. It was an excellent introduction to our next four days in Barcelona before returning home. Photos: where to begin; they are all on my Google drive and it will take all winter to go through them! otherwise I'd upload a few here but cannot seem to be able to link to Google photos? Read Less
Sail Date September 2018

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