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106 Mediterranean Spring Break Cruise Reviews

I chose this 15 day Mediterranean cruise because of the amazing destinations. If it hadn’t been for the amazing destinations we visited, we would’ve jumped overboard. Terrible... read on Great selection of food in the buffet & ... Read More
I chose this 15 day Mediterranean cruise because of the amazing destinations. If it hadn’t been for the amazing destinations we visited, we would’ve jumped overboard. Terrible... read on Great selection of food in the buffet & it tasted nice. The restaurants were average eg tough steak, poor menu selection. But if the rooms aren’t cleaned properly, is the ship kitchen clean... who knows... read on One power point in the main part of the cabin & one power point in the bathroom for a shaver etc & there’s a wall hair dryer. So if you need another power point for a CPAP machine or an essential power device, you’re screwed. So remember to bring your extension power cord & power board along. Ridiculous!! Poor design. The housekeeping staff don’t replaced soiled bed linen or towels. They just flip the sheet/doona cover around so you can’t see the stains & our dirty towels were re-hung again. Cost cutting obviously. And who knows the last time those mattress protectors (non-waterproof) were sanitised. Very unhygienic. Ewwww!! The toilet doorway opening was so narrow, you had breathe out & suck in your stomach to get in/out so, if you’re a fuller figured person, you’re screwed. You’ll have to go & find a public toilet on the ship to use. My partner is disabled, so major issues there. Even though we were told this ship caters for people with disabilities. Just something they say to get your money, then you’re screwed. The vacuum toilet blocked the first day of the cruise & overflowed onto the floor. And continually blocking throughout the cruise, even though we were careful with toilet paper amount. Apparently blocked toilets are a common issues on this ship. Carpet wasn’t vacuumed properly. And whatever you do, make sure you have plenty of spare money tucked away. The first night on the ship, my partner got a urinary tract infection. He went down to the medical centre/hospital & was treated with antibiotics (intravenously twice daily for the first 4 days-1 hour each time), then oral antibiotics, blood pressure check each time he visited the clinic at $150USD each time. Temperature check each time at a cost. Pulse check every time at a cost. Plus a blood test/results & any other routine examinations & routine services... all added up to $13,000AUD plus just for an UTI. If you need to use this service, you have to pay for the use of this service which they charge your credit/debit card each procedure each visit. So make sure you’re rich, just in case you become sick. And with a ship load of people, the chances are extremely high. One 91yo gentleman was being treated for pneumonia & told us that he can’t afford to have a holiday next year. Poor man, he was so sad. And then there’s the waiting times for the lifts at meal times, shore excursion times etc., which my partner had to use because he has Parkinson’s disease & can’t manage stairs. The disembark time with the lifts was so busy, I had to take our 2 full backpacks & manual wheelchair down 14 flights of stairs from level 11 to level 4, while my partner had to wait until one of the lifts had room for him to enter. The able bodied people could disembark at level 7. What a nightmare for people with a disability. And each time we had a shore excursion, these annoying photographers would try to get you to have your picture taken, just so they could add more cost to your onboard account, which you may not be aware has been charged to your onboard account, even though you don’t order a photo from them. And level 7 is another con just to try & suck you in to buying what you think is a discounted price, only to find the duty free airport stores have better prices. Just a money grabbing adventure from marketing team for Norwegian Spirit. And the amount of people queuing up for the Jacuzzi, which has everybody’s bodily juices eg. perspiration, body fat, dead skin cells, faeces, urine, sexual transmitted diseases & whatever else), NO WAY would I go in that concoction of unhygienic, hot, sizzling sludge. Vomit!! This was our first experience of a cruise ship & our last. And unless we made an effort to talk to other passengers, nobody bothered to make conversation with us. And yet, other passengers who didn’t know each other, managed to make conservations with other strangers. We will always be friendly to others unless they can’t be bothered with us. We will take our money & stay on land & spend way less money enjoying foreign countries where we can spend time in each place, at our own pace. Then everyone at the end of the cruise gets charged with a $15USD a day multiplied by 15 days of the cruise, for service to each cabin. And the housekeeping staff didn’t give us clean linen if soiled... ahhhh no way. What a rip off!! If you go on this cruise ship, you are feeding NCL & helping make them richer. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
First impression on entering the ship and speaking to customer service we didn't think we would enjoy, as we had booked a drink package and disappointingly they had no southern comfort. This is our 8th cruise and first ship not to ... Read More
First impression on entering the ship and speaking to customer service we didn't think we would enjoy, as we had booked a drink package and disappointingly they had no southern comfort. This is our 8th cruise and first ship not to supply this. That being said if customer service would have apologised and at least tried to find an alternative we would have been a tad happier. Customer service didn't engage very well and also informed us that they don't hold LGBT meetings. This is the first ship we have been on that don't hold this. That would definitely be a recommendation for MSC to take on board. Positives: rooms are excellent. Lots of hidden space for clothes, which is excellent. Have to say probably one of the best ships for room interia design. Room steward was very good and cleaned room twice a day and nothing was too much trouble. Thank you Danilo Santos The entertained team were excellent and always very engaging and encouraging customers to be involved. The nightclub was fabulous and the DJ was great. The mixes he did were excellent, especially like the remixes of Freddy Murcury and Queen. Best bar member of staff was Mishal Dsouza. Mishal, was a very hardworking young lady who always was happy to service us all with our drinks and went the extra mile. Mishal, worked at a variety of bars and as soon as any of our group of friends required a drink she would happily fetch them to our table. Very delightful, helpful and pleasant in her duties. Big thank you Mishal for looking after us and MSC should be very proud to have you on board. Little gem you are and I wish you good health and it was a pleasure to meet you. The food was excellent and none of my friends could fault this in anyway. The dining at 7.15pm was suppurb and our waiters Were both excellent yan and Elizabeth made our dining experience amazing. Nothing was too much trouble. The matradee was very attentive and he too was excellent in fact best matradee we have ever had on any cruise Negative; no bar waiter service on the decks, first time on any cruise we have not had this. No staff ever entered the sunbathing area to see if customers required drinks, so we had to bring drinks up and down stairs and wait in long lines, if we couldn't find Staff around. This ship seemed to be very under-staffed with regard to drinks. Had a fabulous time with my friends and the 70's night was amazing. Evening entertainment is brilliant. Lots of variety and plenty of entertainment. I would return to MSC, but only if they purchase southern comfort and hold LGBT meet at certain bars so you can meet other LGBT people. Clean ship and all staff work extremely hard. 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
We have been on three river cruises previously, two with Viking so thought we’d give the ocean cruise a go. We have been on the larger cruise ships as well but there was no comparison, the ratio of passengers to crew was amazing your ... Read More
We have been on three river cruises previously, two with Viking so thought we’d give the ocean cruise a go. We have been on the larger cruise ships as well but there was no comparison, the ratio of passengers to crew was amazing your every need was catered for by a crew who seemed to be enjoying their work as much as you we enjoying the cruise. Management were always in evidence but not in an intrusive way. Our steward was a lovely chap. The only thing was l might have liked a get together in the evening about the next day like they have on the river cruise as you get more information than just reading it on a daily handout. I know there’s a difference between the small numbers on the river compared with the larger cruise ship but we have alway enjoyed the cruise directors advice. We are looking forward to our next trip in June next year and would not hesitate to recommend a Viking Ocean Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
It should be the first cruise and should be a great experience. On closer inspection, the ship was outmoded, worn and not up to date. Data transfer to iphone or laptop a sheer catastrophe. The bed width (we had twinbeds) only 80 cm - with ... Read More
It should be the first cruise and should be a great experience. On closer inspection, the ship was outmoded, worn and not up to date. Data transfer to iphone or laptop a sheer catastrophe. The bed width (we had twinbeds) only 80 cm - with a little swell you threatened to fall out. There should be a butler individually available to each cruise guest (which was mathematically completely impossible) - but that per Butler 15 guests were to look after, shows how rarely one had "his" butler actually available. The entertainment events were rather of moderate quality. Good were the mostly Filipino staff in the cabin cleaning and in the service of the three restaurants. In this overall form you can not advise a trip on the SilverShadow.A clear difference was also noticeable when offered dinner in the inclusive restaurant "the restaurant". We ate there twice and in both cases the food was extremely salted and we let things go back. Good were only the food in the two restaurants, where the drinks were charged separately. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My third Tui cruise and my last I’m afraid. I’m won’t be too hard in my review as you get what you pay for and this cruise was heavily discounted. Naples airport was very poor- many passengers over 65 struggled having to carry their ... Read More
My third Tui cruise and my last I’m afraid. I’m won’t be too hard in my review as you get what you pay for and this cruise was heavily discounted. Naples airport was very poor- many passengers over 65 struggled having to carry their luggage a long distance from the airport to the coaches. Uneven pavements, crowded walkways and tiredness after a flight don’t mix well. One mature lady had a fall and was took away by ambulance. I would not recommend this embarkation port for anyone with health or mobility issues, or those who would struggle to carry their cases. I know Tui won’t be using Naples for this ship next year. This may be one of the reasons ! The food was disappointing- poor choice for those with dietary needs. Our cabin was fine and everything worked . The cruise has been refitted and is pleasant. It does however lack the plush luxury you get on most other ships. Buffet restaurant more like a canteen - crowded and noisy with queues. There was a bug on board so extensive special measures were in place to prevent its spread. This couldn’t be helped and contributed to difficulties. The main areas are open plan and lack cosy comfort making it all feel abit like Butlins. All the staff very friendly and welcoming . Shops have a good choice of products. The shore excursions were well planned and organised which was better than my last Tui experience . To summarise - I expect more from a cruise and won’t be back Tui . As I’ve said, it was heavily discounted which is the reason for the three rating . Had i paid full price I would have been very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The saying is: never go back! In 2012 we had an unforgettable cruise on Aegean Odyssey and we have always wanted to return. So on 26 April 2019 we flew to Athens to join her for a Classical Greece and Islands of the Aegean cruise. All ... Read More
The saying is: never go back! In 2012 we had an unforgettable cruise on Aegean Odyssey and we have always wanted to return. So on 26 April 2019 we flew to Athens to join her for a Classical Greece and Islands of the Aegean cruise. All went well, transfer to the port of Piraeus was swift and we were quickly into our comfortable outside cabin. Later we attended an Excursion Briefing for the following day and noticed that though we were now leaving the first port five hours earlier than published in the Excursion Booklet, no explantion was forthcoming. Those guests who were staying on for the Black Sea cruise the following week were asked to stay behind. The next day we learned from those passengers that the subsequent cruise had been cancelled as one engine had broken down. So the pattern for the next seven days emerged. Each day the ship left port hours early so that it could proceed at half speed in order to reach the next port in time for the morning excursion the following day. At no time did Captain Pallas (soon named Captain Invisible), Cruise Director Alison Lewin or Tours Manager Chantelle offer any explanation and of course rumours soon materialised. Reference to the Cruise Industry News website revealed that Voyages to Antiquity had issued a press release announcing that ten cruises through the Summer had been cancelled and that the ship would enter dry dock for a replacement engine. However for us unfortunate passengers there was no such information. Further it emerged that the ship is to be reconfigured and leased to the Road Scholars group for three years. So it was then clear that we were on Aegean Odyssey’s Farewell Cruise and that Voyage to Antiquity is no more. This was born out by free drinks being available to all on the last day (though once again nobody knew). The cruise would have been good, but excursions were inevitably rushed, and little time was left after to explore interesting tiny towns in which the ship docked. The Greek Easter Sunday lunch excursion was outstanding in Heraklion, Crete as was the visit to the Stephanos Crater on Nisyros. All the included excursions were well guided by knowledgeable local folks. The food was was mostly good and the included wines plentiful in the Marco Polo MDR though service could be very slow particularly if on a large table. There was a relevant lecture program which my wife enjoyed but there is no evening entertainment of note. So farewell Aegean Odyssey, great little ship with lovely public rooms and staff, let down by management in the face of a crisis which can happen on any ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This is our second Viking ocean cruise and we have already booked our third! The ship is luxuriously appointed with comfortable seating everywhere. There is a choice of dining venues from the informal World Cafe to the Chef's ... Read More
This is our second Viking ocean cruise and we have already booked our third! The ship is luxuriously appointed with comfortable seating everywhere. There is a choice of dining venues from the informal World Cafe to the Chef's Table. Food is outstanding at each and every venue. The onboard "enrichment" (lectures, talks, films etc.) were all most interesting and enjoyable, with some outstandingly good speakers. The expeditions were also excellent, well planned and interesting. They even provide a 'shuttle bus' service for passengers wishing to arrange their own excursions. The exercise and spa facilities are just the best ever. The sauna, steam room, snow cabin, swimming pools and other installations are But the thing that really makes Viking the BEST is the staff. Every member of the ship's crew and staff wants to make their guests as happy and comfortable as possible. Any small problems that may arise are dealt with promptly and courteously. Viking are not the cheapest, but they are undoubtedly the best value for money. I'm counting the weeks until our next Viking cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
-For my parents´ wedding anniversary we decided to sail on the Bellisima. After a night spent in Barcelona, visiting the Sagrada Familia, we took a taxi to the cruise terminal, which was quite far away from the city center (and the Sants ... Read More
-For my parents´ wedding anniversary we decided to sail on the Bellisima. After a night spent in Barcelona, visiting the Sagrada Familia, we took a taxi to the cruise terminal, which was quite far away from the city center (and the Sants Train Station). Embarkation was quite smooth and easy. Check-in was really fast, and doing it in the phone App is not really necessary. After 10 minutes of waiting, we could enter our cabin, guided by one of the butlers. -The ship itself is stunning. The Bellisima Promenade is absolutley fantastic. The stores are quite expensive, but worth looking at them, especially the Chocolaterie, with stunning chocolate sulpture. Eventhough a couple of days are needed to adapt yourself to your new home, the MSC for me App and the many screens displayed throughout the ship help a lot. -The Marketplace buffet was quite good. For breakfast there is a huge variety of Continental, English, Mediterranean, or even Oriental breakfast. There is free coffee, infusions and water at all times and free juice at breakfast. Our courtesy restaurant was Posidonia. The waiter was quite slow, and most days we took from 19:45 to 21:30, and we could not go to the 21:15 show. On one hand, the entries and main courses were Ok, not very tasty in most cases. But on the other hand, the desserts were extremely tasty and well made. -The animation crew, especially Borja Vila and Sebastiano Avola, did a fantastic job to organise the thematic parties every night and the rest of activities onboard. Everything was very well organised you could definitly feel a special ambient thanks to them. Live music was excellent too, not just for dancing but to listen to while looking at other things. The band `` Nearly a Band ´´, who plays every night before and after the thematic party, had two singers worth listening to. -The shows were the most special part of the cruise. Everyday, a diferent show performed for three times. All of the singers were spectacualr, especially Lindiwe Bugane, who had an amazing voice, pretty much like Jeniffer Hudson. The generes of the spectacles were very variated, anywhere from Opera, or Rock, to Shadow Puppets. -The WiFi service was quite expensive, so I took it as a chance to disconnect. Be sure to put your phone on airplane mode unless you want exra fees charged from your mobile company. The SPA and Massage services were also very expensive and not worth it. Room service was quite efficient and useful. Cirque de Soleil was totalyy worth the price and It´s a must for those who want to experience such a priviledged way of art. The pools and jacuzzis were climatised and confortable, but a bit overcrowded. Dance classes were very easy and the dance teachers were very nice. Gym was free, very good and equiped, and not very crowded. -The shuttle buses are very expensive, and you can get a shuttle bus and a tour for the same price, if booked with another company. Same with excursions. - Our children made friends in the Teen Club. Attention for them is provided throughout the day; but I must say they charge for many things such as the F1 simulator or the arcade. They also had a Kids menu in the Courtesy Restaurant which was quite an advantage for ``difficult´´ kids when it comes to eating. -I would go again and again. Everything was really special. When put together, everything made a truly unique experience, and I have no doubt that this has been one of the best experiences in my life. Thanks to all the crew for making it so special. MSC stands for its name and without doubt I can affirm that after sailing in the Bellisima. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
It was our 10th anniversary this year, but I am a teacher and we have a 2yo and a 5yo. We were trying to figure out something that was new and exciting, had some active days and some relaxing days, would fit with our schedule but not drop ... Read More
It was our 10th anniversary this year, but I am a teacher and we have a 2yo and a 5yo. We were trying to figure out something that was new and exciting, had some active days and some relaxing days, would fit with our schedule but not drop us into summer crowds, and was something we would eventually want to go back and explore more when our kids get older. This cruise fit all the bills, so we booked. We are somewhat control-freak nervous-travelers, but can definitely relax when the time is right, so we planned to land a day early, and leave a day later. We landed in Rome, booked an afternoon tour of the Vatican, checked into our hotel, and took the free shuttle down to the city center. Rome is great, and we are definitely going to come back, but that doesn't have much to do with the cruise, so I will move on. Embarkation day we went to the airport to meet our transfer. I think we were the first ones there, there was a bit of a wait and not a lot of direction, but in the end, we got on an awesome double-decker bus, met some of our neighbors for the next ten days and enjoyed a gorgeous ride from the airport to the cruise port. It was amazing. The cruise port was great, they had a lot of seating, amenities, called people up by group, processed everything quickly, and got us on the ship by noon. My husband left his passport at the check-in desk and they ended up leaving us a notice in our stateroom that we had lost something and they recovered it, so we went to guest services to retrieve it. We didn't even know we had left it because the first day of the cruise was sea-day, so we hadn't needed it. Day 1 was exploration, we found the irish pub, Henry's, that became our home for the cruise, and where we met the best people, including Jay, the bartender. Boy is he knowledgeable about whiskeys! And really just the best with customer service!! The art gallery onboard (an actual art gallery, not a hallway or 'we took over this lounge for a few hours') was great, especially because we have a habit of buying art on every cruise we go on. The steakhouse food was great. None of the food servers were really anything to write home about, and some of them were pretty obnoxious, but with the freestyle dining, they can be easily avoided. The Italian restaurant onboard makes up for in taste what it lacks in ambiance (as it is just a section of the buffet cordoned off at night for the specialty dining). The Osso Bucco was to die for. The french restaurant was kind of a waste of time and effort, and I am glad we took two nights in the steakhouse instead. The shore excursion staff was GREAT!! Most of the excursions were amazing and well worth it. The only one I would warn against was the Athens Acropolis and Leisure tour. The Acropolis can be seen alone and read about in a travel book, and the leisure just consisted of 'eat at this restaurant we get a kickback from and shop at these stores we get a kickback from' with not the best tour guides. I wish there had been more time to get off the boat and explore in Crete (we only had a 5 hour port call and Chania doesn't have much, so it is a half hour or more to get to anything non-industrial), but it was also nice to relax on the ship one of the days to recover from all of the exploring. The ship was perfect and the experience still has me glowing and excited for our next trek to Greece or Italy!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
As part of my aim to cruise with as many different cruise companies as possible in 2019 it came to the turn of Costa. I will have to say my expectations were low in advance of the cruise, mainly for three reasons. My previous ... Read More
As part of my aim to cruise with as many different cruise companies as possible in 2019 it came to the turn of Costa. I will have to say my expectations were low in advance of the cruise, mainly for three reasons. My previous experience with an Italian based cruise line, MSC, had been appalling. Secondly the cruise was cheap - did that mean I would be getting what I paid for and, thirdly, there have been some very mixed reviews about the ship on here. Embarkation was typical Mediterranean chaos but it was reasonably quick. Registering payment card for onboard spend was easy at the self-service terminals on board. As we were planning to spend most days ashore we opted for a seaview cabin and it was satisfactory with a nice large porthole style window. The cabin was a reasonable size with plenty of space to walk around. Both the bed and pillows were very comfortable and that is praise indeed from me as I'm incredibly difficult to please when it comes to pillows. Initially we only had one pillow each but a quick chat with the cabin steward soon resulted in a couple of extra pillows. The steward was very good, almost OCD when it came to tidying - charging cables left on the desk were always neatly arranged on our return. Paperwork was also neatly stacked etc. and most days the valance across the bed had been arranged in some neat sculpture. The bathroom was good and although very small the shower head was detachable. Water temperature was just about hot enough. There is no night time turn down service but that's more a luxury than necessity. Food fell into two categories. The main dining room was good with five courses available for the main evening meal. Food was hot and of a good standard. Service, on the whole, was good although one night there was a problem with the tablet used for ordering and they had to resort to paper, which slowed things down a bit. The final night of the cruise they played Italian opera with some audience participation - not normally my scene but it was actually good fun. Most days we had breakfast in the main restaurant, although the first morning we diod regret our decision. There are breakfasts from around the world available and we made the mistake of ordering the "full English" The only edible part was the scrambled egg, the rest was inedible as everything else had clearly been deep fried and it was like eating an oil slick. Plus the "bacon" was the appalling streaky variety, cooked to within seconds of cremation. The other days we stuck to the extensive cold buffet which was good with plenty of variety. By contrast the buffet was disappointing. relatively small with limited choice and many items appearing every day, so not a huge amount of variety. Also, in contrast to the main dining room, the food quality was variable. Minute steaks for example were very chewy with a lot of gristle. Buffet opening hours were more limited than other cruise lines. What was exceptionally good was the use of ropes to funnel passengers through the serving areas, greatly reducing the amount of pushing in which can occur. Other cruise lines take note. We had the Pranzo and Cena mealtime drinks package included in our fare but upgraded to the Brindiamo package for €10 a day each. We are not great drinkers by any means but the package also included tea and coffee so it was worth the extra cost. Dress codes are optional. On the "Gala night" probably no more than a dozen men wore dinner jackets. It's a shame but that's the way it is with some cruise lines Three of the four shows in the theatre were from the in-house entertainment team with two lead singers to the fore. The female singer was superbe and the male singer had a good voice as well, however many of the songs he was given to sing were not suited to his voice, which did not do him justice. The other show was an exceptional acrobatic show - the standard of which would give Cirque du Soleil a run for its money. There were plenty of activities throughout the day with an enthusiastic entertainments team - although having to use half a dozen languages all the time did slow things down. Costa Victoria is a smaller cruise ship, around 2,000 passengers but for me that is a major plus - I prefer the smaller ships to the new mega-ships which are, sadly, becoming the norm. Built in 1996 she is also a little dated but that, also adds to its charm. The staff were generally friendly and attentive, without being in your face. The captain was conspicuous by his absence, appearing only for the obligatory photo call - something I still cannot get my head around. Why do people queue to have their photograph taken with the Captain then pay an extortionate amount for the photograph. If I catch a bus or train I don't queue to be photographed with the driver, so why do it on board a ship. I'm happy to admit my initial concerns about Costa were wholly unfounded. Would I sail with them again - absolutely. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise as it was stopping at ports we wanted to visit on dates when we wished to be away. The Bellissima is a stunning looking ship and has something for everyone. Our cabin was on deck 10 midship and was lovely with a ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was stopping at ports we wanted to visit on dates when we wished to be away. The Bellissima is a stunning looking ship and has something for everyone. Our cabin was on deck 10 midship and was lovely with a balcony, reasonable space and being a new ship did not show any signs of wear and tear. Our cabin steward Genesis was attentive, friendly and always happy to see us. He maintained our cabin beautifully and recognised a particularly special date that we celebrated whilst on board ship. At this location on the ship it was difficult to know whether the ship was moving it was so quiet with no noise from adjoining cabins or fromthe engines. Our allocated restaurant was The Lighthouse on deck 6 excellent choice for us as we had a table for 2. The menu was varied and offered something different every day to suit most requirements. Meals were well presented and of good quality. Service was excellent and the staff who served us each day at table 479 were Carissa and Abdul and are worth a special mention for their professionalism and attention nothing was too much trouble and again went out of their way to celebrate our Ruby Wedding Anniversary. Breakfast and lunch served in the Marketplace was a challenge. There was plenty of choice and something for everyone but the shear numbers of diners at any one time made the experience quite stressful. The staff were as efficient and patient as they could be given the logistics of numbers and seats available at any one time. There were good shows on board and plenty of entertainment for all ages. The musicians who played in all of the areas were first class with music choices to suit all tastes we particularly liked the Jazz trio who played each evening on Deck 16. We purchased the Cirque Soleil show and dinner at 40 euros each which was very good value for money . The show was excellent, food very good and Alwyn and his team served everything beautifully so that dinner was served before the show commenced. We have scored food at 3 because of the breakfast and lunch experience. Weather whilst on board ship was not particularly good so consequently much of the outdoors facilities were not in use. They were however very clean and well presented with water facilities to suit all tastes the water park on deck 18 would be great fun for families. We enjoyed our holiday we would cruise again but not for cruising sake but to see particular places that are included in the itinerary. We did not book MSC excursions but instead booked with local providers in Naples we did a tour if Naples and went to Pompei in a small group of 6 with a very knowledgeable guide. In Messina we did the same and rode the cable car to the top of Etna and visited Tourmina. Again an excellent excursion with small numbers and a local guide. Every other port we did our own thing and really enjoyed. This cruise met our expectations and we would consider MSC in the future provided the itinerary met our requirements. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Several disappointing things unfortunately seeing this was suppose to be a maiden voyage,firstly the not so good things! on arrival we found the safe in our cabin was not working,we reported it to reception who told us that apparently 250 ... Read More
Several disappointing things unfortunately seeing this was suppose to be a maiden voyage,firstly the not so good things! on arrival we found the safe in our cabin was not working,we reported it to reception who told us that apparently 250 safes were not working,another member of staff told us there were 46 safes not working in total,either way they should have been checked before paying guests went on the ship,it was still not repaired when we left the ship after 7 days,lots of guests had complained that their phones in their cabins were not working either,ours was ok but according to a member of staff the owners of the ship before tui had left the phones in that state,in which case why were they not checked?I ordered a celebration package for £99 for a surprise for my husbands birthday which included a birthday cake,i was asked to give a slip of paper to the waiter secretly whilst having our meal so my husband could have it presented to him at the end of the meal,it never happened,i went to reception the following day and asked them to just deliver it to our cabin instead,i was told it would be there in half an hour,an hour and a half later still no cake so another visit to reception!! we were told we would get a refund for the cake,so i will wait and see! In my opinion this was not a maiden voyage as the ship had already been named and had travelled from Cadiz to Palma with 800 travel representatives to promote the ship,they had Olli Murs for their party nights,streamers, dancing, we had a strictly come dancing guy who hardly anybody knew and someone from British Bake off!! Food was brilliant,staff were friendly and the entertainment overall was excellent,The captain continually apologised for all the problems but at the end of the day the ship should have been checked over properly before all the paying guests got on board,such a shame as it could have been lovely cruise. 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
Nice to enjoy warmer weather, although mixed sun and cloud. Surprised how many children were on board in term time. All were well behaved, but some of the Dads made nuisances of themselves, jumping and bombing into the swimming pools ... Read More
Nice to enjoy warmer weather, although mixed sun and cloud. Surprised how many children were on board in term time. All were well behaved, but some of the Dads made nuisances of themselves, jumping and bombing into the swimming pools and frightening toddlers. Lunchtime Buffet service rather limited. Shellfish never varied, shrimps in cocktail sauce and mussles every single day. Volume in the playhouse far too loud. I actually saw two people wearing noise cancelling headphones. Rather a lot of ‘we need to keep you entertained’. Activities and a great mant quizzes. Excellent Captain’s Welcome aboard evening.. a great pity that some passengers are rude enough to carry on conversations whilst the captain is speaking. Most people dressed appropriately in the evenings but some did not and no action was taken by the crew. As usual, the crew were friendly and hugely polite. A pity some passengers do not give the crew the same respect. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We have just returned from a 12 day cruise on Azura to Canary Islands from Southampton and wish to share our experience of a first cruise with P and O, after having sailed with Princess each year since 2016. The contrast between the two ... Read More
We have just returned from a 12 day cruise on Azura to Canary Islands from Southampton and wish to share our experience of a first cruise with P and O, after having sailed with Princess each year since 2016. The contrast between the two companies is frankly alarming despite there being no difference in the prices we have paid, like for like. We have stayed on Lido deck forward on three occasions; twice in an outside partially obstructedand once in balcony and up until now and despite some rough seas off Cadiz, have not been unduly bothered by that location. This time we stayed in L101, which I will comment on shortly. We have also stayed on deck 12 on Crown Princess at the rear but the vibration from below was terrible. Embarkation was excellent and we were able to gain access to our room quite early, but once on deck it was apparent that all was not good. As we passed through the automatic doors from the outside deck to our corridor we were greeted with a tatty, very worn carpet which didn’t improve much all the way to our cabin at the end. There were also numerous scrapes on the walls. First impressions were bad and didn’t get better in the cabin which also had a worn grubby carpet but worst of all a horrible configuration with the bed back against the window leaving about a foot all around to maneuver. We had to move the table under the clothes rack and were unable to use it. Annoyingly the rooms either side had the bed against the side-wall and far more space all round. The TV was a joke, Not only tiny, but positioned on a shelf high above the coffee making area which made it impossible to view unless you were standing up. That didn’t really matter because there was no signal for TV for most of the cruise (and even in Southampton), and the film choices were terrible. The maps for showing the position of the ship looked as if they had been drawn by a 5 year old. The young girl steward, Misty worked tirelessly keeping our cabin clean and neat given the poor state it was in and was the only person on the ship we found worthy of a tip. We went to the buffet where we found the hot food was the same temperature as the cold stuff. It resembled what you would expect to see in a works canteen. I had a stone cold curry and rice. We thought this might be just a changeover day problem but it was the same the next day. In fact lunch was pretty well the same every day, often cold, repetitive and bland. Having enjoyed some great sail aways from Southampton on Princess we were expecting something similar but this one was totally dead with little effort from our entertainment team and bar staff who looked as if they had just heard gratuities were being removed next month. In fact far from being the friendly, attentive, happy people, mostly from the Philippines, we had experienced on other cruises, this bunch were in many cases morose or doing their best to pretend we weren’t there. In fact for the entire cruise we found many staff to be indifferent. At the front desk, staff often chatted to each other or looked at computers rather than acknowledge us. I lost my glasses and reported that to the desk along with a detailed description of case etc and this was noted down with a promise to inform me if found. A few days later I called at desk and identified them. Nobody had bothered to check or inform me. Why would they when they can’t even be bothered to acknowledge a guest standing waiting in front of them? Who trains these people in such basic customer skills? I now turn my attention to various areas of the ship in the vain hope that somebody might actually take note of my observations. The buffet at breakfast was probably the worst aspect of the cruise. The scramble for tables was horrendous with guests reserving tables with various discarded items such as handbags or coats and even books. Once secured those guests would often remain there chatting over numerous cups of tea regardless of the poor souls trying to find somewhere to eat. Staff struggled to clear tables and the jostling for food was really annoying. Staff looked particularly irritated if asked to make poached eggs, omelets or pancakes. What was also annoying was the closing of one side of the buffet, which had the effect of compressing the already large volumes of people into less space. Trying to get a table that wasn’t occupied or reserved (people like to occupy outside seats or diagonally opposed or even place bags on unoccupied seats to discourage/prevent others from sitting down, such is their selfishness) was difficult bordering on impossible. Welcome to the 2 star holiday camp. This was also apparent in some bars and the theatre where you had to arrive 30 minutes early or risk not getting a seat or being split up courtesy of everyone leaving one spare seat next to them. The bars all had their own character. The Planet bar on the18th level was like a care home. Where Princess have skywalkers disco with late night dancing, a happy hour and a place for those still willing and able to enjoy a decent club atmosphere, P and O had Beth and James, A piano and guitar duo you could get a good nights sleep listening to. What a waste of a great venue that actually looked good. The Atrium was a massive disappointment as it was not only compact but devoted almost entirely for the whole cruise to ballroom dancing where the same usual suspects were in attendance showing off nightly. The so called Brodies bar which also housed the casino had the best choice of drinks but often the worse choice of entertainment and guests. If this is P and O’s impression of a British pub they need to get ashore more often. Most of the quizzes were held there along with bowling on the Nintendo Wii, bingo, darts and live football (satellite reception permitting). This was where Benidorm meets Jeremy Kyle and having to listen to one large family singing loud Liverpool football chants was definitely a low point. Incidentally the quizzes of which I attended a few were decidedly hit and miss with themes such as breeds of dogs, for gods sake or fish. The prize for such huge efforts was laughable. You could win a gold star (great if you are in primary school, but not particularly exciting if you were much older but sadly the P and O faithful embraced the idea. I accumulated a couple of the coveted stars and after great difficulty, managed to locate a prize redemption area at the end of the cruise. The prizes actually weren’t bad but it would have been so much easier just to give a prize to the winner at the time. The Glass house was another rest home for the elderly enjoying crosswords, sudoko or a nap. The Blue bar at the Atrium was popular for pre dinner drinks but just ok. The Malabar looked smart with fancy red lighting and Palm trees outside but on approach absolutely stank of sewage. The smell was disgusting and it never subsided. Some people commented on it, some ignored it, and some didn’t seem to notice, such was the diversity of clientele. It had nightly music, usually the resident group, Authorised or Pulse who popped up all over the ship for sail aways or filling in. I can honestly say that whoever is booking these bands either never heard them or needs a hearing aid. The girl singers were terrible and managed to either murder songs or sing them in a way that made even the most popular and well-known song sounded unidentifiable. The other main bar was called Manhatten and was used as a secondary venue for shows which were mostly Tribute acts or comedians. Head and shoulders above the rest was Jeff Dingle as Bruno Mars who really rocked, closely followed by an Adele act and the inevitable Beatles. The Bootleg Beatles are still the bench mark but this band did a fair job whilst actually looking nothing like them. What was really annoying in Manhatten however was the family that sat boozing whilst their two young daughters ran around the bar for hours annoying other guests until midnight. Staff as usual did nothing as they did when same girls were running around the pool ‘bombing’ earlier. On a plus note, and there aren’t many, the Headliners shows were good and clearly a lot of effort had gone into them and the guest speaker Stephen King commanded huge audiences with his insights on the music industry. With regard to one of the more important aspects of cruising, we were on freedom dining which is supposed to mean that you were free to dine anytime between 6pm and 9:30pm. Sadly this was not the case. It did not take me long to figure out that they we working a ‘sitting’ operation. At 5:30 a queue started forming, that was 60 strong at 6pm opening time. Many guests were opting to dine table for 2 and were accommodated. Once full, buzzers were given out and you would think they would be called in as tables became vacant. Not so. We witnessed whole lines of tables empty and not being filled. Eventually when all tables were empty buzzers were going off all over the place and in came sitting number 2. Finally around 8.30, in came sitting 3. We noticed a keenness to move us swiftly through courses on sitting 1. On sitting 2 staff became a little overwhelmed and waits between courses extended. As sitting 3 progressed they began clearing up vigorously. Menus in restaurants looked impressive but the reality was not always so good. Some meals were good, notably slow cooked lamb shanks, but then that’s not rocket science. Starters were small and often basic and bland. Deserts were also just okay with watery custard and rather tasteless or ice cream. Some staff made the effort whilst others just looked bored. Front of house seemed much happier. I walked around the ship one day to see what was on offer. The sports deck was an absolute disgrace. There was a large open deck area covered in green matting completely unused. No putting green or bowls here. Two members of staff were playing basketball and the golf net was just a small, tented area and a bag of clubs fit for the bin. The whole area was an absolute disgrace, totally neglected and abandoned. Deck 16 housed Breakers bar, an area almost totally given over to smokers. Down on 15 smokers were again occupying one side of the deck next to the pool. They had slowly on a daily basis been able to extend even further along the deck and when you were going to and from the buffet you had to pass through a wall of smoke. Congratulations to who ever came up with this positioning. The one table tennis table was squeezed into the other corner outside the buffet area. Clearly P and O put greater emphasis on accommodating smokers than people who wish to engage in sporting activities. I have reserved a few final comments for the cruise director and staff. Again on previous cruises with Princess we knew and recognized him and his staff who connected with passengers and seemed to always be around. I’m afraid I found Chris to be conspicuous by his absence and I would fail to pick him out in a line up. His merry men (and girls) were equally grey and seemed to only pop up briefly for quizzes before fading away into anonyimity. Their stupid holiday camp style dancing on deck sailaways left me cringing. This might be Butlins or Haven but it sure wasn’t expected on what I thought was going to be an upmarket holiday. P and O are clearly targeting the mass market in order to fill cabins. There was one other trauma that deserves a mention and also was the pivotal point in my deciding never to book P and O again. One evening we identified a few things to see. One was billed as an Elvis show. What transpired was possibly the stupidest and most pathetic rubbish I have ever seen. Unbeknown to us ‘Elvis’ was not a tribute act but cruise director Chis dressed in a silly costume and making stupid noises. He asked if there were any Elvis fans present, to which there were a few affirmatives including an elderly Welsh couple seated next to us. He then proceeded to make silly wheezing noises and stupid mimicry of Elvis which clearly offended said couple who promptly stood up and walked out. I personally am not an Elvis fan but I felt sorry for them and we did likewise. This man acting the fool on stage was being encouraged by quite a few of the crowd who would definitely not be candidates for Mensa and reinforced my feeling I was on the wrong ship. Fortunately we were able to make it to Manhatten for the Adele tribute singer who actually had some talent. In summary we had a highly disappointing holiday on a tatty ship, with average food and entertainment, constant queuing and a firm conviction that Brits will often accept this. If this had been full of Americans or even Germans, staff would have been overwhelmed with complaints because they expect and demand better standards and get them. Would P and O be our first choice when booking another cruise? Not likely if this one is anything to go by. We will just have to pay more for Celebrity or find a Princess ship going out from Southampton. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose our cruise to Canary Islands through Wingbuddy Travel, on line, with free air fare,beverage package & gratuities. Everything went as promised, we didn’t have to pay anything extra! The NCL Spirit is a well run ship, our ... Read More
We chose our cruise to Canary Islands through Wingbuddy Travel, on line, with free air fare,beverage package & gratuities. Everything went as promised, we didn’t have to pay anything extra! The NCL Spirit is a well run ship, our cabin with balcony was clean & Henry, our room Stewart, was friendly & pleasant. He kept our cabin neat & clean and looked after every detail. Complimentary dining at Windows & The Garden was excellent, fine dining, and we never had any problem in getting a table for our group of six people. We did make reservation for the evening dinner, & found we didn’t need one for breakfast/lunch. We only dined at the buffet once or twice, which was also good, but we found the Windows/Garden less crowded & food was served . The buffet is open most anytime. We never ate at any of the specialty restaurants. There was a floor show every evening, no charge, which consisted of professional dancers, singing groups, classical violinist & even a magician. Great entertainment!!. The crew were all very polite, cheerful and always provided prompt friendly service. I would sail with NCL again!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Happy 12-day cruise but just sometimes food quality was surprisingly poor. Potatoes with black rotting areas and occasionally not hot. Staff in smart restaurants and buffet were hard-working, helpful and pleasant. Often a ... Read More
Happy 12-day cruise but just sometimes food quality was surprisingly poor. Potatoes with black rotting areas and occasionally not hot. Staff in smart restaurants and buffet were hard-working, helpful and pleasant. Often a feeding frenzy in buffet servery which is too crowded sometimes and too small. One area is opened while the other closes. Ideally should both be open. All made worse by impatient passengers who don't like queuing. Also, despite polite request notes on each table asking diners to vacate once finished eating, there are some who seem to camp there for an hour or two chatting, dozing or reading books while others search for seats. Some ignore hand sanitisers in restaurants. Thump of engines can be heard in main restaurant. We heard that P&O have made economies on several fronts and sometimes it shows compared with previous cruises by us. Cabin stewards now asked to service more cabins daily. Stage shows were very good/excellent. One comedian fared badly/gross with old folk with mime of him pretending to wipe his bottom, complained about weak P&O 2-ply toilet paper, said some elderly passengers "smelled like the homeless" and were infirm - among other grubby "jokes." Long wait to disembark because of tide change and positioning the bridge to terminal. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We looked forward to the much hyped inaugural cruise on Bellisima. MSC are not that well known here in UK, and it was a great surprise that Southampton was chosen for the christening and inaugural cruise of this enormous ship, capable of ... Read More
We looked forward to the much hyped inaugural cruise on Bellisima. MSC are not that well known here in UK, and it was a great surprise that Southampton was chosen for the christening and inaugural cruise of this enormous ship, capable of carrying well over 4000 passengers. As we approached the harbour we we were astounded at the sheer size of the ship, but were delighted by how speedily we boarded. There were no words of welcome or proffered welcome drink, and guests milled about wondering which direction to take. Armed with a ship plan, we worked out the location of our deck 12 cabin, and after a few wrong turns we arrived. Our cabin was pleasant but rather dull, with dark furnishings, grey ceiling and mustard soft furnishings. The bed proved to be comfortable, the wardrobe adequate for a shorter cruise, but the cabin was dominated by a huge convertible sofa. The bathroom was a masterpiece of compact planning, with glass shower enclosure, wedge shaped sink and narrow counter. We’d luckily packed toiletries as those provided were generic MSC dispensers. The narrow balcony had 2 mesh chairs and small table to enjoy on sunny days. We tried out the innovative Zoe interactive system but found it confusing and irritating. After a 3 hour train journey, we decided that we’d find the buffet, a well laid out, but crowded , deck 15 area, with plenty of tables and a wide selection of dishes. Busy waiters rushed to serve drinks, and guests settled to enjoy all that the ship had to offer. After lunch, like everyone else, we explored this vast ship, with its long central domed LED displays above a range of shops, cafes and bars. It was a truly amazing spectacle to have this moving image display as one strolled the area. The central atrium is a delight, furnished in silver and soft greys with beautiful swarowski crystal staircases linking decks. We liked the cosy pub but were astounded by the paucity of the library, in reality 2 shelves of paperbacks, completely inadequate for a ship of this size, as many guests like to relax with a book when at sea. The top deck has a water park with water rides and a range of interactive gaming opportunities, several of which had to be booked , attracting a charge per use. The attractive pools areas are well furnished with sun loungers, sun beds and chairs, very popular when the sun shone, unlike many ships, there were life guards. Dining is well organised with 3 main dining rooms, several speciality restaurants as well as the separate yacht club area restaurant for suite guests. When booking a choice of dining times was offered. We had chosen a 6pm set time, and the dining room had plenty of tables for 2 , closely spaced. The dining room staff were well organised and efficient, and the menus varied daily. The restaurant was well run, the waiters friendly and helpful and the restarant manager Fabio a charming host. Most guests had a drinks package of some kind, but the basic wines on offer were decidedly unimpressive. We chose from the bar menus, enjoying some very good , varied , Italian wines. Like many others, towards the end of the cruise, we checked our account, discovering several errors. As it is a paper free billing system, it was a matter of queuing at the guest service desk to remedy the problems, a complicated business as the relevant department had to be consulted for each mistake. MSC needs to address this issue and simplify the system. Evening entertainment is very European in style, and with such a polyglot audience acts had to have a wide appeal, jugglers, shadow performers and ventriloquist are the norm, with the addition of a separate Cirque de Soleil showroom , performing just 2evenings on our cruise, despite the promise of it being. ACirque de soleil at sea cruise. The popular Bellisima bar was the liveliest spot, with live music, a tiny dance floor and a busy bar. We enjoyed a couple of evenings there, but seating is limited and it is a very crowded spot. Disembarkation was as well organised as at the start. A colour coded system worked well, with no crowding and a well organised system. Collecting luggage was a bit chaotic, as the area was small, but it all seemed to go quite smoothly and we were soon on our way. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise as it was one of a very few to walmer climes, without a long haul flight. We began our cruise on Feb 3rd from Barcelona,( we were on the same ship 13 months previously). We bid for an upgraded cabin but were ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was one of a very few to walmer climes, without a long haul flight. We began our cruise on Feb 3rd from Barcelona,( we were on the same ship 13 months previously). We bid for an upgraded cabin but were unsuccessful, we were alocated an inside 8509 forward, the cabin itself was ok, BUT we were opposite the tannoy, with early morning announcements which always woke us up, so most days we felt very tired.The shuddering when we came alongside a port was also disturbing even earlier! I suggest if you are a medium to light sleeper don't chose this cabin! ( our friends were luckier having been alocated 9th deck AFT) We had dinner in the windows/ garden restaurants most evenings, most were ok, but poultry dishes were very very dry and overcooked. The Shogun restaurant was very good, considering there was no extra charge to dine there. The staff were pleasant, but didn't have any finess, and many of the entertainment staffs English was quite poor, so in the daily trivia quizzes there pronounceation was very poor and hard to comprehend. I will add that the whole trip was good value! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I chose Norwegian star for its itinerary: Venice, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Athens, Santorini, Naples, Rome. I was my first time visiting these ports except Rome, loved all the ports we visited ! Comparing to 2 previous cruise with MSC and RCL, ... Read More
I chose Norwegian star for its itinerary: Venice, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Athens, Santorini, Naples, Rome. I was my first time visiting these ports except Rome, loved all the ports we visited ! Comparing to 2 previous cruise with MSC and RCL, Norwegian star is the best. Staff is very friendly and attentive, service is excellent. When we return from excursion at each port, they were waiting for us with towel and water outside the ship. Food is very good at the complementary restaurants: the buffet, Versaille, aqua, and Ginza. Staff is always very quick picking up the dirty dishes. It could get busy at buffet at peak hours, sometimes hard to find a table. On the sea day, I enjoyed time on the sundeck, listen to the Latin music. Cabin is clean. But I feel the size is a bit smaller than other cruise lines. Entertainment is good, but has room to improve. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This is our 12 cruise and we have sailed with different cruise lines but this is our second time with RC. We choose this cruise as a taster cruise for our friends, the itinerary was perfect for a first cruise. Embarkation was very ... Read More
This is our 12 cruise and we have sailed with different cruise lines but this is our second time with RC. We choose this cruise as a taster cruise for our friends, the itinerary was perfect for a first cruise. Embarkation was very quick, we arrived at the port at 11am, our cases were taken from us straight way, we then checked in and we were onboard within 15 minutes, RC are one of the best cruise lines that organise the embarkation perfectly, just make sure you complete the check in details online. Once on board we had plenty of time to explore and get our bearings on where everything is, a very easy ship to get around. Our rooms were ready at 1pm and our luggage had arrived at the cabin door. Dinner in the MD was excellent, we had great waiters and nothing was too much trouble, some of us had more than one starter, which was never an issue, we also ordered extra veg with our meals and again there were no issue with this. The food always arrived in good time, good quality and hot. We never had to wait for drinks. We ate at chops grill one night, steak is to die for but to be honest we all loved the MD so didn’t book any other speciality restaurants. We didn’t attend any of the shows so can’t comment on these, but there is one show that is in the schooner bar, Perry Grant, he is a much see, so funny and great sing along. Disembarkation was very easy, we did the walk off with our cases. Overall the ship is a little tired but the staff are awesome and hard working. The ship is the right size if you don’t like queues. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
We chose this ship as we wanted a Mediterranean cruise in a club class cabin#D417 less expensive than offered by Regent Seven Seas. The ship was very modern with a decent size cabin and very good bed linen and balcony . Our cabin steward ... Read More
We chose this ship as we wanted a Mediterranean cruise in a club class cabin#D417 less expensive than offered by Regent Seven Seas. The ship was very modern with a decent size cabin and very good bed linen and balcony . Our cabin steward was excellent and he provided canapes every day but there was little choice. We had two large TVs to keep us amused. The ship was very quiet and smooth even in rough weather which we experienced, the Captain wisely decided to skip a couple of ports due to weather but no abatement of other onboard credit was offered for loss of Toulon and Kotor as we had found when ports were missed on other cruise lines. The Club class section of the restaurant was rather odd as people were seated always according to how they walked in the door. That is to say if you were a couple you were always seated on your own and never allowed to share unless you arranged to share outside the entrance. I seemed the privilege of space was what Club class was all about and the food was the same wherever you sat except the maître'd sometimes prepared a simple dish some pasta or ready made crepes. Waiter service was always excellent and prompt unlike in other restaurants with eight people to a table service would be slower. So the entertainment in the theatre was very good and some of the best we have seen A wonderful Billy Joe Earl act was the best. Not much in the way of enrichment programmes and the port lectures were not so good. On deck lots of noise which was hard to escape and the Sanctuary a quiet area was $40 per day and was aptly named. Public rooms were mainly focused on music and drinking and the library was poor. Films on offer in the cabin were mainly aimed at the very young or interested in catoon characters and the menu was poorly formatted. Normaly one would expect a synopsis in the daily journal on content of the TV Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I chose this cruise because it would have been my third with MSC. I was very impressed with the two previous cruises therefore I invited family with me on this Cruise. I was very very disappointed. It was by far the least impressive and ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it would have been my third with MSC. I was very impressed with the two previous cruises therefore I invited family with me on this Cruise. I was very very disappointed. It was by far the least impressive and the itenary was misleading. It stated ONE day at sea but when we boarded we realised it was two. The days at sea the Coffee bar only opened at 18h00 and only one coffee bar was not enough for all those people. The service at the Coffee bar was also very slow as there was only one guy behind the counter doing all the coffees. The service was very friendly though. The time for excursions at Mykonos was far too short and two excursions at two different places were just too much!The family who accompanied me on the trip don’t want to do another cruise ever again. My previous experiences still gives me the benefit of the doubt therefore maybe in future I will try it again? Read Less
Sail Date September 2018

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