2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Just got back from a Holland America Cruise on the Rotterdam. One of the last from the Port of Tampa. Not sure if the staff onboard is starting to get tired or what but some of the services were less than favorable. Embarkation & ... Read More
Just got back from a Holland America Cruise on the Rotterdam. One of the last from the Port of Tampa. Not sure if the staff onboard is starting to get tired or what but some of the services were less than favorable. Embarkation & Disembarkation Very easy. They have this process down very well . Rotterdam ship: Very nice ship, Teak wood upkept very nice. You see the improvements they have done over the years and it looks very nice and clean. Cabin: We had an outside Cabin which seemed very roomie for what it was. Very supprised with all the closet space. nice Touch with the free safe in the room. Bed was very comfortable and the Stewards always kept the room clean and always supplying us with clean towels Dinning: Lido Deck food was very good. Nice that the HAL buffet is served by staff and not a bunch of people reaching in and grabbing food. Food was always fresh and hot. Never needed to add salt to anything we got from the line. Burgers & Hot dogs were good from the Dive Inn grill as long as you didn't get the burger well done.. There Pizza grill did a great job with the NY style pizza. They did keep strange hours on the burger and Pizza service, as neither was 24 hours. Pinnacle Grill- In my opinion, the Main dining room food was better than here. We spent over 2.5 Hours in the Grill. Appetizers were good and hot. Main course I got the Porterhouse and Wife got the Strip Steak. We both asked for Medium Rare and both came back very Rare. I ate mine, but we sent hers back. We cut a piece off right away to check the temp. They took her's back for about 15-20 minutes and brought back the same piece of meat still under cooked (but hot this time) All of the sides came out at room temp initially. When they brought back her steak, they never refreshed the sides for her. For Desert we decide to bring back to the room as we were already there for over 2.25 hours. so she got the lollipop desert cakes along with the chocolates from the table. The waiter put them in aluminum foil and twisted the top.. It looked like one of those weights used to hold down balloons. So when we got back to the cabin it was just a big ball of chocolate. We had a 4 top table come in when She got her second try and they were getting dessert at the same time we did.. Ship services did eventually refund us the up charge and the Pinnacle manager called us to apologize and offered another try on the last night, but we already planned the evening. Entertainment and Activities: Comedians were very good. My wife Participated in the Americas test Kitchen and had a blast!! She said she would do that over and over again... Also, did the bar hop with Jeremy and that was an awesome time. There was never a shortage of things to do. Services: Room Stewards - These guys are great, never needed anything... Spa Services: Very Disappointed with spa services. First, My wife got a manicure. Her nails were chipping after 1 day.. Spa did redo the color, but talked my wife out of the color she wanted and the top of her nails by the cuticle look as if they were 1 week growth and her skin was peeling. The Facial she received left her with bruising and a sore/scar on her nose. She received the facial on the 1st sea day, so had the embarrassment the rest of the cruise. When addressed with spa manager she gave her a discount on the facial. She then gave a third chance for a massage and the tech kept going to deep after she said something several times. This left bruises on her back. Then the spa manager accosted her after her massage, because I had brought these issues up with the Ship services counter. They eventually took off the price of the facial. But during dining one evening another guest complained about being under the kitchen and got a 150 on board credit, so needless to say that was more upsetting to me. Ports and Excursions: Guatemala - We only went thru the bazaar. Prepare your self as they do not take no easily. You must walk away and not feel you are hurting feelings. Honduras: We went with Victor Bordon's Sloth and Monkey Tour - This was a lot of fun getting to touch the animals and see all the birds.. Relaxing at the resort was a really nice addition. Costa Maya, very nice and very clean port.. We didn't do much here as it was really windy ( 7-10 foot waves) made getting back on the boat a real challenge. Summary: Loved the ship and would probably give them another try. Hopefully the managers get a little training so that they stop trying to explain why there staff was making their errors and just fix things.. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
The ship was clean and well maintained, however, the style was outdated. The food looked a lot better than it tasted. The food tasted bland, but was edible. The saving grace was the service. Wonderful service across the board. Everyone was ... Read More
The ship was clean and well maintained, however, the style was outdated. The food looked a lot better than it tasted. The food tasted bland, but was edible. The saving grace was the service. Wonderful service across the board. Everyone was pleasant, friendly, professional and smiling at all times. The main dining room staff were stars. Our server and assistant waiter were wonderful, Socorro and Fernando. Maria in the main dining room was wonderful as well as Isabella. The week I traveled had mostly seniors and a few families with small children. My son's ages 10 and 8 chose not to go to kids club since it was geared towards smaller children. MSC cruises had a better children's program in my opinion. Although I had a wonderful trip, I wish the ship was more modern and had more entertainment such as movie theatre, game room for kids with board games, pool table, etc...however, the service more than made up for it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We did the 2/16 and 2/23/19 cruises on the Rhapsody. Smaller ship, but still had a great time! First week with 8 friends and the second week with 11 family members and 1 friend. (Children 4,3,2 year olds and a 9 months old) We stayed in ... Read More
We did the 2/16 and 2/23/19 cruises on the Rhapsody. Smaller ship, but still had a great time! First week with 8 friends and the second week with 11 family members and 1 friend. (Children 4,3,2 year olds and a 9 months old) We stayed in #8558 Jr. Suite accessible for both weeks. Plenty of room, storage and could have my husband’s scooter charging out of the way with plenty of room still. Only 2 outlets. I brought a plug in that I could charge 3 Apple devices at once. My husband used the scooter at all ports with no issues. We didn’t eat at any of the specialty restaurants, main dining room for all dinners and a mix of Windjammer and MDR for breakfast and lunch. MTD the first week-ended up with a standing 7:30 time which we wanted for the 10 of us. The second week we were set for early dinner at 5:30, but everyone else was coming from the West Coast and changed to the late dinner at 8:00. Worked out great. Kids were served a fruit cup and their dinner from the kids menu came before ours. They had ice cream for dessert. I enjoyed all my meals- fish, chicken and turkey, my husband liked the lamb and beef dishes. (Maybe because he doesn’t get them at home) Both weeks we would go to the Diamond Lounge for pre dinner drinks. We did more show the first week, but really enjoyed Harry playing the piano and singing and the 3 girls and a guy group. We have been to all the ports before. We did Paradise Beach the first week and Ocean Beach the second. Taxi ride was $30 both ways to Paradise....second week they wanted $40 to get there.....Then they charged us $45 to get back from Ocean Beach!!! Would not do Ocean again Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. We had ages 18 - 81 in our group of 7. 81 y.o. on a travel scooter worked out perfect. All ports were at the pier so she was able to come with us at each stop. The staff and guests all helped her get ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. We had ages 18 - 81 in our group of 7. 81 y.o. on a travel scooter worked out perfect. All ports were at the pier so she was able to come with us at each stop. The staff and guests all helped her get around the ship with grace and ease. A couple minor medical mishaps along the way with 26 y.o. and 81 y.o. were well taken care of with special care by the medical staff. All the servers and stewards were wonderful, happy and attentive. My only complaint is the room lighting. It is very dark even in an ocean view room you definitely need a lighted makeup mirror to see. Perhaps LED bulbs in the staterooms or a makeup mirror in the bathroom would improve this. Food was good and always available. We did not go to any specialty dining on board unless it was included. We used all the main dining and buffet areas, Lotus Garden and O'Sheehans. Enough variety for everyone. We enjoyed the entertainment all over the ship everyday. Port stops were fabulous, on time arrivals and departures with expeditious disembarkation. Overall a great trip!! Thank you to the wonderful staff!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Week long cruise with my mom and niece. Neptune suite 7034 with shower only was perfect for my mom who has trouble getting in and out of a bathtub / shower combo. Enjoyed the piano bar, comedian, and music on board. Ports were good ... Read More
Week long cruise with my mom and niece. Neptune suite 7034 with shower only was perfect for my mom who has trouble getting in and out of a bathtub / shower combo. Enjoyed the piano bar, comedian, and music on board. Ports were good - except we did not do anything in Guatemala. Had rented a wheel chair for my mom in advance through travel agent which was in the cabin when we arrived. Food overall was very good although we could not get dining room reservations earlier than 7:45. Really enjoyed the lido market - salads made to order were fantastic! Crew and overall service was excellent throughout the ship. Internet went down on the last afternoon / evening causing none of the slot machines to work and all ship computers were down for about 4 hours. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze as was valet parking at Tampa port. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Cuba was one of the few places we had not visited in the Caribbean. That was rectified January 2019 on a five night cruise aboard the Paradise which proved to be an excellent overall experience. This ship was easy to navigate and not ... Read More
Cuba was one of the few places we had not visited in the Caribbean. That was rectified January 2019 on a five night cruise aboard the Paradise which proved to be an excellent overall experience. This ship was easy to navigate and not crowded like larger ships tend to be. Recently refurbished the public spaces and our suite were clean and bright. We had G3, one of two Grand Suites and the views and serenity was fabulous from Deck 14. Only complaint was the back cushion on sofa bed was easily toppled over and still would have loved a coffee maker like Carnival used to have in higher end suites. The food in the main dinning room was above average and offered wide choices. Staff throughout were friendly and helpful. Major drawback was lack of information regarding Cuban Visa procedure pre-cruise in a timely fashion, not detailed to week before and while the $75.00 fee per person was typical, it should have been clearly stated that the charge would be put on your room account. Both embarkation and debarkation were easy and painless. TIPS: Exchange US dollars for Canadian dollars or Euros pre cruise and receive a much better exchange rate at Havana Terminal Exchange. Also much better and personalized old car tours of Havana can be arranged via the internet (highly recommend Old Cars Havana) prior to the ship and was literally 1/3 longer and 1/2 the cost of Carnival offered excursion. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We did this same itinerary about 9 months ago on the same ship but decided on this one because we were going with some friends and the price was right. We had not done a 21 day cruise and wanted to see how we handled it as we are looking ... Read More
We did this same itinerary about 9 months ago on the same ship but decided on this one because we were going with some friends and the price was right. We had not done a 21 day cruise and wanted to see how we handled it as we are looking at a 28 day cruise to the south pacific. Overall, the ship is in pretty good shape considering its over 20 years old. The crew and staff were excellent, as always and we have never had a complaint against a Holland America crew member. The food was pretty good although we detected a slight downgrade from the previous cruise. Mostly, the meat was a bit tougher which might be the result of cost cutting? We were fortunate and received a lot of on board ship credit when we booked so we were able to splurge on wine every night! We typically do not do excursions as we find them very costly and frankly, "touristy". We prefer to go out and negotiate a fare with a local cab driver and spend a few hours seeing the area. Sometimes, this can reveal delightful experiences and sometimes a dull, routine drive. Since we had seen all the ports of call at least one time before, we elected not to drive the areas but simply wander around whatever the ship pulled into. Mostly, these are shopping "cruise villages". The first two weeks of the cruise, we noticed a large contingent of seniors on board with very few corresponding activities. We were told by one cruise staffer that Holland doesn't do anything because the seniors only want to sleep and read. The MainStage entertainment was spotty with some excellent acts and some lame ones. Again, the result of cost cutting? Wandering around the ship yielded few things which interested us and since it is a small ship (1300 passengers), other than a pool, some hot tubs and a basketball court, there wasn't anything else to attract our attention. Our cabin was 3399 on the lower promenade deck. We picked it because we struggle with mobility issues and needed a roll in shower. It is a slightly larger cabin with a wider door for our scooter. The only real complaint was it is located under the main kitchen so we could hear someone rolling carts above us from time to time. It was also located next to a door leading to the promenade deck outside and that was slamming as people went through. It is only one deck up to the main dining and 6 decks to the Lido dining and pool so the location is pretty good. The third week of the cruise was an "add-on" as we returned to port and then headed back out. Because it was only a week and right before Christmas, we noted the passengers were much younger with small children in strollers, in some cases. This group was more "rookie" as it appeared many had never cruised before. We were told Holland offered a pretty special pricing which may have drawn so many first timers. We heard many complaining about the lack of things to do on the ship, especially for young children. Maybe they should look at Disney? Our final week took us to the western Caribbean which was Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Maya, Mexico. Mostly, we found the Guatemalan stop largely a waste unless you want to buy some things at great prices. The people are poor and desperate for US dollars so you can drive the prices down pretty low if you want. Otherwise, it was a large shopping shed with no real "town" or anything which would have drawn us out for a local cab tour. Some went out and said it was worth it and others said it was a waste. Roatan, Honduras is a "Disneyland-esqe" stop with nothing but a cruise village...a very pretty, clean sterile shopping cruise village which reminded us of something we would see in Disneyland. We tried to negotiate a cab fare for touring but found all the cabs basically run by shopping village and prices were pretty steep so we elected to stay in the immediate area and spent most of the day on the ship. Costa Maya was a much larger and more vibrant cruise village with many people and much more shopping. We took a shuttle to town and found bargaining far more enjoyable and we ate on the beach. It was our favorite stop of the three. Returning to port, the debarkation, like the embarkation was easy and smooth. We don't travel with children and try to avoid family cruises so by and large, this one worked for us. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Pros: Medium size ship is relatively easy to navigate. Generally polite staff throughout the ship. Most guests on Carnival are friendly, unpretentious people. Cruise director was pleasant and efficient. Two of the four ... Read More
Pros: Medium size ship is relatively easy to navigate. Generally polite staff throughout the ship. Most guests on Carnival are friendly, unpretentious people. Cruise director was pleasant and efficient. Two of the four comedians were very entertaining. One of the movies that was offered was excellent. Fresh fruit was available on Lido for most meals. Several dishes at the Lido buffets and main dining room were prepared well and had excellent flavor. A few desserts were works of art. There are several nice displays of decorative crystal in the ship stairwells. Shipboard shops had a couple of nice sales and sales staff were quite approachable and helpful. Debarkation at the end of the cruise was smooth and uneventful, despite long lines. Luggage was well organized and easily located in the terminal. And terminal personnel were helpful in their directions. Cons: Embarkation delays and difficulties, especially for the handicapped, as there were not enough wheelchairs to meet needs. 2-3 chairs per ship is too few when each trip takes half an hour or more to board each person and there are several dozen people waiting and more arriving all the time. Most staterooms are not available to guests until early to mid afternoon on embarkation day, so guests must lug their carryon baggage with them everywhere they go until then. There was a bad shudder (shaking) to the ship throughout the cruise. Is something wrong with the engines? Not many good choices for dining, activities or entertainment. Very limited offerings on the Lido deck for dinner. No wait staff on hand there in the evenings, either, to offer beverages or other services. Food was generally mediocre, either spiced the same or very bland, portion sizes in the main dining room sometimes varied wildly from one plate to another, sauces and dressings were often too thick to pour or use as a dip, options for ordering and free beverages were never offered by main dining room staff. Choices for pizza, outdoor grill and deli were fixed and too limited. Outdoor grill food was often overcooked, cold, dried out and inedible. One of the two soft serve machines was not functional during the entire cruise, creating long lines. No juices are offered on Lido for breakfast, only sugary drinks. Juice is offered only in main dining room, but the main dining room breakfasts were not cooked properly. Long lines for dining and entertainment venues. Gaudy, visually jarring decor in many of the public areas such as the main dining rooms, bars. Tiny uncomfortable "library" had few books, felt like a wasted space. Very heavy glass doors to some public rooms, making them inaccessible to some disabled guests. Entertainment venues were too small for most shows/comedy performances. Serenity adult area at the stern of the ship was anything but serene — packed with people, chaotic and noisy. An assault on the senses. No anniversary celebration was offered despite it being listed on our dining room slip and general cruise documents. Very disappointing. Dining room service spotty, some tables were skipped for dessert, ignored for beverage refills, etc. Spa services refused to supply a price list -- prices for each service had to be "negotiated" separately. No prices were ever listed for "specials," either, only "$$ off." Choice of stateroom service (morning or evening) was ignored by stewards, leading to daily inconveniences. "Chocolate Extravaganza" was mostly cakes. Main dining room sometimes opened late due to poor scheduling of staff meetings, stressing staff as well as guests. Slow dining room service often meant guests would have to leave before dessert to make it to the other end of the ship early enough to find seating for scheduled entertainment. Popular entertainment was often scheduled in conflict with dinner and other one time entertainment so something had to be missed. Why not have some matinees? Several entertainment activities and presentations were too childish for most adults. Because of the location, relatively few guests could get a view of the ice carving demonstration. Some port tender boats were exceedingly slow and/or poorly maintained, making for uncomfortable rides and long waits to get ashore as well as to return to the ship. No tender ports had seating in the onshore waiting areas for those wanting to return to the ship. Drinking water for returning guests was provided at one tender port but was located beyond the security ropes out of reach of guests. The Western Caribbean itinerary is always the same out of Tampa, limiting its appeal. Much of the musical entertainment was mediocre to poor, amateurish. Too many cutbacks in recent years-- no bathrobes or bath amenities in staterooms, no birthday or anniversary celebrations, no sea day teas, stained towels and threadworn bedding, ragged carpets, burned out lightbulbs, fewer stateroom stewards to service rooms which makes staterooms inaccessible to guests for 6-8 hours every day. Stateroom "categories" are practically meaningless except for location within the ship. A "large" stateroom can be very tight with little space for storage. Although we paid hundred$ extra, it was the smallest stateroom we've had in over 20 cruises. Room safe can be accessed only with a magnetic strip type card, not a keyed in code that could be used by spouse or fellow roommates. Guests cannot hear ship-wide announcements when inside the stateroom. There should be an option for this. Yet all guests were awakened in the middle of the night by an in-stateroom announcement about a private medical emergency. Announcements made in noisy public areas such as the Lido buffets and outdoor decks could not be understood at all. Also, music piped into many parts of the ship was so loud that it drove away guests. There were persistent problems with the toilets throughout the ship -- dirty water, non functioning, etc. A couple of times the electricity in the stateroom went out. There is no dedicated movie theater, no outdoor movie screen and no schedule or guide for the limited television channels. No access to the stateroom folio account or daily schedule/menus through the television, either. Most of the few movies that were offered were aimed at juveniles. Water slide was dry and nonfunctional during our cruise. No explanation given. Never enough chaise lounges or other seating near the pools to meet demand. Poltergeists apparently took over one elevator, leading to trapped guests not being able to get where they wanted to go and then opening the door only extremely briefly so guests could not safely exit, either. Sales in the atrium are never a good idea -- too many shoppers in way too small a place. People actually fought to get to the only available side of a table of t-shirts. Shipboard bar drinks were generally not well made and were much higher in price than on several other cruise lines, as well. No encouragement or urging for guests to wash their hands and use hand sanitizers, especially in the dining venues. As a result, most guests did not do so, spreading their germs/illnesses everywhere, to the detriment of all. Lots of coughing and sneezing passengers aboard the ship. Some venues (Mad Hatters Ball) were so cold the staff supplied guests with blankets to watch movies. No popcorn, though. Constant heavy "mist" spewed into the air of the Phantom Theater for theatrical atmospheric purposes smelled bad and caused coughing amongst the guests. This mist was not turned off regardless of whether it was appropriate for the entertainment production. Poor ventilation in and near the casino made for unpleasantly smoky conditions throughout that deck and beyond. Raffles in the shipboard shops (must be present to win) were held during the late evening when most guests would be at dinner or attending entertainment productions/events. Folio charges and credits were issued per guest instead of per stateroom, even though only one credit card was on file to cover the account. This meant that each guest listed on the account had to make individual purchases to cover their individual credits instead of one large purchase being allowed to absorb the entire group's or couple's credits. There should instead be an option to group the credits on the same account. Some shipboard charges, such as gratuities, are not added to the passengers' account until the last day of the cruise, creating unrealistic expectations for passengers and naturally followed by long lines at the Front Desk. Only a two hour window (9-11 p.m.) was allowed for setting luggage in the hallway for pick up the night before debarkation, leading to missed entertainment on the final night of the cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The Panama Canal cruise was on our bucket list. We are into our 70s and both have some chronic health issues, so we wanted to get this off of our list. We chose the aft facing cabin so we had a 180 degree view when going through the ... Read More
The Panama Canal cruise was on our bucket list. We are into our 70s and both have some chronic health issues, so we wanted to get this off of our list. We chose the aft facing cabin so we had a 180 degree view when going through the canal. This was a great choice and we loved sitting on our balcony and enjoying the view. Even was nice in some of the ports. Embarkation had some issues. The lady who was keeping track of those who required wheel chairs overlooked my name and I was one of the last wheelchairs on board. The gentleman who took me on board whizzed us through the ship and down to lunch in the Summer Palace, dropped us off, and our lunch was great. We had easy access to our daily dining there. However, there was a "burp" on the second night of dining. I was wearing shorts (everyday on board) and we took the elevator from deck 11 down to deck 6, which is the handicapped entrance to the restaurant. Deck 7 is the regular entrance with two flights of stairs required to get in. Well, on this night, we walked in on the handicapped ramp and were met by the Maitre' D who pointed to my shorts and said I couldn't come in, since I wasn't wearing long pants. He was very adamant about it and immediately called The Indigo Dining Room and said he was bringing us down there (no dress code there) and he escorted us (very quickly) through the Atrium and down another elevator to the Indigo, taking us right in (ahead of about 30 people in line) and seated us and with a "sorry", he disappeared. Then, about 5 minutes or so later, in comes the ships Restaurant Manager shows up with (I believe) the Hotel Manager and they both were very apologetic about what had happened and offered us a complimentary bottle of wine. They were classy in the way they handled the apology and they made sure to speak to us whenever they saw us on board. They did point out that there was signage at the entry to the restaurant regarding dinner dress codes. But, I pointed out that we never entered the restaurant on Deck 7 and there was no signage on Deck 6 (the handicapped entrance) They apologized for that, later, and said signage would be put on that entrance too. They also pointed out that the dress codes were printed in the daily Freeystyle newsletter. It was in there, but buried. Anyway, I screwed up and they screwed up and we were happy during the cruise. Another incident occurred during the Cruise Critic Roll Call Meet and Greet which was held in the Bliss Nightclub at about 11am. We arrived and were sitting with some others near the entrance of the club. The Norwegian Captain and Management team arrived and suggested we all move to the stage area. Well, the lighting was dim to dark and I nailed my shin on one of those small bolted down cocktail tables. It hurt, I almost fell, but we moved on up with the others and sat through the meet and greet. When we left, we went back to our cabin to asses the damage and I had quite the abrasion to my left shin and had bled through my compression sock. We bandaged it up (since I had those supplies with us for another issue) and continued on with our day. We went to the service desk to see if a report needed to be made. The gentleman there said no. However, later on we met with the Customer Relations Manager and she said she saw me hit the table and was looking for me later. She said to go to Medical and they would do a report and take care of the injury. Well, Medical is open from 7:30am to 9am and 7:30pm to 9pm. We filled our a medical report and while waiting to see the doctor, two security officers came in and it was like the "Norwegian CSI" They took another report, took pictures of my leg, what shoes and braces I was wearing, and my cane. Then, one of the took my wife back to the Bliss (3 decks up and on the other end of the ship and going through the Atrium crowd on the ship while he carried my wife's purse, we guess so she wouldn't run away?) He looked at what my wife thought was the right area (in the dark) and then came back to Medical. By then I had seen the good doctor and one of the nurses was bandaging my leg. I was already on an antibiotic and they said to monitor it. The next day we had a bottle of wine and a cheese plate waiting for us in our cabin. This did not include a bottle of wine that the Restaurant Manager gave us earlier. By the way, we did see the Summer Palace Maitre' D on numerous occasions and I think he tried to avoid us. All in all, it was a memorable cruise (in more ways than one) and one we'd highly recommend to anyone wanting to transverse the Eastern Locks of the Panama Canal. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was our first NCL cruise - we have been on 41 cruises. It was a promotion through our local casino. As we read about the ship we actually started to get excited. The specialty restaurants were enticing, the spa looked wonderful ... Read More
This was our first NCL cruise - we have been on 41 cruises. It was a promotion through our local casino. As we read about the ship we actually started to get excited. The specialty restaurants were enticing, the spa looked wonderful and, we love the countries that we were to visit. Besides, it was a Casino at Sea so we planned to have fun in the casino. Our first warning was the embarkation. When we got to the terminal at 11:30, people were still disembarking. We found our Casino at Seas line at 11:50 - zipped right through security because of our scooter. Only one couple was ahead of us. We got on board at 1:50! Crazy. The ship was beautiful, the service (especially our room steward) was wonderful and the shows were great. But, that's where it stops. The menus were great but the food was mediocre at best. The Moderno Brazilian Restaurant's signature meat (Sirloin roast) was dry, tough and inedible. Cagney Steakhouse was good ... a step above Longhorn but not as good as a Ruth Chris (which Carnival's steakhouses are comparable). My biggest disappointment was Le Bistro, the French restaurant. Though the food was good, it was not French. Menu was French but not the food. I ordered their most expensive ($24.95) item (a shrimp dish). I've had more flavor and bigger and more tasty shrimp at Olive Garden, and trust me Olive Garden is not all that great. The main dining rooms also disappointed. Who fries stuffed mushrooms caps? Everything was just blah. The buffet was actually better than the main dining rooms. The Spa ... I prepaid for the Thermal Suite with its "therapy" pools. Well, I am 70 and have mobility issues. The two "therapy" pools are not accessible and there is no lift. You have to be able to climb a ladder. I have only been in three Thermal Suites (all on Carnival). Both the Breeze and the Splendor are wonderful. You can walk in on steps with solid handrails. The Vista was a joke ... easy to get into but smaller than a hot tub. When I discussed my problems with the staff, they were indifferent and said "they are working on that." The Casino - well, it was small, expensive ($10 minimum for tables) and had very limited variety of slots. There were a few tournaments (no discount for Casino at Sea folk) and no promotional games, except for one hour hot seat. Two of the four ports we went to were "fake" ports that have a handful of shops (no real native crafts, clothing or jewelry). But getting on and off was very easy. Disembarkation was weird. If you carry your own luggage you can get off willy-nilly. Causes quite a bit of congestion. We started to get off the ship at 9:45 (our group was suppose to be called at 9:15) and we got on the road about noon. Valet parking was very inefficient. NCL has beautiful ships, a caring staff and great shows. But that is the wrapping paper and Tiffany box. The food, ports of call, embarkation and disembarkation, is from the Dollar Store. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The staff were very friendly and helpful. I understand that many of my fellow cruisers were delayed in the terminal before they were allowed to board. I arrived to the terminal at my assigned time of 2:30 and spent less than twenty minutes ... Read More
The staff were very friendly and helpful. I understand that many of my fellow cruisers were delayed in the terminal before they were allowed to board. I arrived to the terminal at my assigned time of 2:30 and spent less than twenty minutes in line before being checked in. Once on board I found the staff to be cheerful and helpful. My cabin steward was extraordinary and made my stay much more comfortable than some previous cruises. I would like to complement the kitchen and wait staff, especially in the main dining room. The ability to insure a gluten free menu and offering pre-ordering expanded the gluten free options available. The mix of passengers were interesting and pleasant. There were the general variety of entertainment options, however I felt the lack of a production show to be somewhat surprising. The ship's singers and dancers normally provide one or two production shows on a two week cruise. The traffic flow was never a problem, and transiting the ship from top to bottom and end to end was mostly without congestion. I was pleased with several of the ports, but was disappointed with the stops in Columbia and Costa Rico. I have visited Costa Rico previously, but from a different port and enjoyed it very much. The Panama Canal was interesting and enjoyable. The casino staff were friendly and I enjoyed seeing PaiGow poker offered along with craps and a nice variety of slots. The TV's in the casino bar could be upgraded for those wanting to watch sporting events. I would definitely sail on this lovely ship again without hesitation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Chose the cruise for the ports, price and duration. They have PLENTY OF AFTER MARKET CHARGES. A tumbler i bought disappeared from our room. They excursions are in line with other ships so they are extremely crowded. Lines are super ... Read More
Chose the cruise for the ports, price and duration. They have PLENTY OF AFTER MARKET CHARGES. A tumbler i bought disappeared from our room. They excursions are in line with other ships so they are extremely crowded. Lines are super long, the bathrooms were FILTHY. AND YOU COULD NOT EAT IN PEACE BECAUSE THEY HARKED THEIR WARES. They crowd you on buses like starving cattle. Ask you for tips while the cruise ship makes money off promoting these crowded unmonitored excursions. The extra fees and tips will run you another 50 minimum each. The kids aren't encouraged to attend any free activities. You can never find someone to help you. Cant find a trash can anywhere. The food is BLAND AT BEST. The food specialty areas (for example coffee and hot sandwiches) never have more than 2 workers per station for 1000s of people to discourage you from using the services due to the long waits. All extra activities like bingo are extra. The board game rooms have tons of the same few games all with missing parts. No playing cards. Underage drinking was rampant. Kids using their bubbles cards had a difficult time getting sodas from the bars and servers. You dont get a refund for money you won once they get to port. It should be your money...and i could keep going....say no to Carnival Paradise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We choose this cruise because friends were taking a trip. The room was spectacular with a balcony water view. It came with fresh fruit, champagne and snacks. That is exactly what we needed after traveling to port. The child care was ... Read More
We choose this cruise because friends were taking a trip. The room was spectacular with a balcony water view. It came with fresh fruit, champagne and snacks. That is exactly what we needed after traveling to port. The child care was amazing and our boys always came out of the care with something they made. This ship will always hold a special place in my heart. The staff and crew were so compassionate and understanding. My mother was ill and ended up passing away on the cruise and the support team was more than I could ever imagine. The have trained staff that are extremely supportive and I was overwhelmed by the true compassion for myself and my whole family. I am forever great full for the Majesty of the Seas team. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will cruise again for sure. Thank you so much, Sheri Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
+I had never been on a cruise before let alone out of the United States of America. I chose this exciting cruise because of a combined decision among family members. The ship is not even the biggest ship offered, yet is still really large! ... Read More
+I had never been on a cruise before let alone out of the United States of America. I chose this exciting cruise because of a combined decision among family members. The ship is not even the biggest ship offered, yet is still really large! The state rooms were very clean and the staff members were lovely. Most of my meals were held at the Marketplace. The food had many options- some the same every day but definitely enough variety for me to enjoy the experience and not feel like I am eating the same thing every day. -There were two fires while I was on this ship. One was at 3am. This consisted of staff members and the captain over the loud speaker at 3 o clock in the morning. The way the staff handled the situation was great, however a fire in the incinerator at 3am is not always the best wake up call. The second fire had to do with the A/C units. I don't know how far the A/C outage occurred, but me and my floor did not have air conditioning for a night & half the next day. The last negative I have is that the bathroom toilet in my state room randomly did not have water flowing in it and would refuse to flush. This is gross and not acceptable for obvious reasons. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to try Royal C. out. Once we were on the ship we felt as though we were just another customer. The bar staff never greeted you with a smile and never seemed eager to please. At one point my wife in a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to try Royal C. out. Once we were on the ship we felt as though we were just another customer. The bar staff never greeted you with a smile and never seemed eager to please. At one point my wife in a funny way asked the bartender to smile and he came back at her with "It's Busy". Very unacceptable considering what you are asked to pay. The stewardess (Nita) seemed as if she only wanted to do the minimum required. I did a survey earlier but never did it ask about what I thought of the pricing of services such an alcohol, merchandise, or shore excursions. We didn't do the drink package because we knew one of us it would not have been worth it but it requires both people in a stateroom to purchase. It turns out that I would have been better off getting it. Here's the math and what to expect: Beer $6.95 + $1.25(18% gratuity) =$8.20 per beer. $8.20X12 beers =$98.00 for a 12 pack! I know that they need to make money but everthing is an additional 18% gratuity on top of $14.50 gratuity required per day per person. Oh by the way they leave you an envelope on the last night asking you to tip some more. The shore excursions are considerably overpriced if you consider how less expensive it is to book online with the same thing directly. We actually just wait til we get in port and then go find the things we want to do and it is considerably cheaper (not for everyone I know but we don't mind it). Point is Royal C. dollars you to death and then wants more. No one ask me if I needed anything on the ship except "would you like the drink package" "would you like to sign up for another cruise" or "would you like to reserve one of our specialty restaurants". All of which are more $ of course. In the end Carnival is not priced much different but they sure make me feel like I'm getting more for my $. The windjammer is not open for early risers, you will have to wait until about 7:30 on days at sea. The food overall was good and no issues at all really except late night pizza(cardboard). The ship was not overcrowded but there were a lot of older people(50+) and the ship seemed to fit them. The piano bar was a dissapointment, the Schooner bar is a quiet space, there is no sports bar, the casino bar is 4 stools wide with no stools, the pool bar was ok but only one and they were in no hurry, & lastly the R Bar....well that is the centrum and was ok. Oh by the way they tell you once you get on the ship it is a non smoking ship mainly but there are 3 places you can....Outside on portside/right side deck 5, one small area on pool deck 9 but not near the bar or pool area, and in the casino by the bar area but not in the casino. I don't smoke but my wife does and it as an inconveinence. We will go back to Carnival (been 3 times before) and highly doubt we will go Royal C. again. & days definitly too long on this ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Consideration for handicapped passengers is necessary and appropriate, consideration for nonhandicapped passengers is also necessary. During debarkation and shore excursions utilizing tender boats, handicapped personnel with family ... Read More
Consideration for handicapped passengers is necessary and appropriate, consideration for nonhandicapped passengers is also necessary. During debarkation and shore excursions utilizing tender boats, handicapped personnel with family members (if they choose to accompany the handicapped person(s)) should be attended to "after" the non-handicapped passengers have deboarded the ship/boat. This particular cruise had an average age of 61 years of age. Wheelchairs, walkers, scooters and walking canes were in an abundance. Scooters were left parked at times in the cabin hallways, next to slot machines, and pool areas creating a traffic hazard should an evacuation be necessary. A handicapped scooter would not pass through the width of a typical cabin doorway. Is not they're a limited number of handicapped cabins on a ship? Anyone who utilizes a "handicapped" placard on their personal vehicle should be considered handicapped on a cruise ship and treated appropriately. I suspect some people boarded the ship not claiming handicapped status. However, the number of scooters and wheelchairs in common areas created some traffic congestion. Again I don't want to be overly critical of handicapped personnel but need to consider and evaluate the amount of space on a ship to accommodate scooters and wheelchairs is necessary and a safety measure for everyone on board. The dining, activities, service, cabin, entertainment, staff, were all good. The services both in the cabin and around the ship were very good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
I was blown away by the service provided by our housekeeping attendant, assigned waiters, and the bartenders in the casino. The ship was very clean and the foodand drinks were amazing! The shore excursions were awesome...we loved the ... Read More
I was blown away by the service provided by our housekeeping attendant, assigned waiters, and the bartenders in the casino. The ship was very clean and the foodand drinks were amazing! The shore excursions were awesome...we loved the dolphin excursion in Cozumel and the snorkeling in Belize. Overall this was an amazing vacation. They had a ventriloquist onboard was had a great show. I didn't care for the headliner comedians. I wished they had more nighttime dance parties. This ship had an older crowd..but that didn't bother me personally though if you are looking for the club/spring break scene, this probably wouldn't be your cup of tea. If you are looking for excellent service and relaxing atmosphere... I'd definitely recommend this. The entertainment director was awesome, very enthusiastic and funny. I loved the Love and Marriage game show. Also the Windjammer buffet was always fantastic with plenty of seating. Cafe latitudes' coffee was delicious as well Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this cruise because of the pictures we seen online which were a lie there was no basketball courts no movies theater and the arcade was so...small! I had a lot of fun but my two boys 14 and 16 were very much disappointed. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the pictures we seen online which were a lie there was no basketball courts no movies theater and the arcade was so...small! I had a lot of fun but my two boys 14 and 16 were very much disappointed. The staff was great Jurry who cleaned our room was awesome and my favorite bar waitress was Zailene she was always around when we needed a drink. We traveled with 14 of us and my sister is in a wheel chair this cruise was not for her she could only get out side to sit in a few spots, and lastly it wasn't a very clean ship a lot of broken things the toilets didn't flush but overall I had a good time with my family. Thank you for your time and I hope you find this helpful ! I forgot to mention Jamie was amazing keep her around she should move up to a bigger and newer ship I hope that's what we will be on next easter! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
This was our first cruise as a family (mom, dad, two teenage boys) and it was everything that we hoped for. Great weather, great staff, great destinations - we didn't want to leave! Favorite thing: We were in an accessible cabin - ... Read More
This was our first cruise as a family (mom, dad, two teenage boys) and it was everything that we hoped for. Great weather, great staff, great destinations - we didn't want to leave! Favorite thing: We were in an accessible cabin - #11116 - and there was plenty of room for my husband to get around - even when the bed for the boys was set up. He uses a motorized wheelchair AND we brought a manual chair AND we had rented a water wheelchair - all fit no problem. The bathroom was perfect size, with grab bars in all the right places and a roll-under sink - all those features were so important for a comfortable week for my husband. There is even wheelchair balcony access! Our other favorite thing about the room was that it was one floor below the Garden Cafe on 12- which is open 24/7 and has great food selections. The boys just went up a flight of steps and could eat as much as they wanted. Freestyle dining all the way! We definitely did hear the scraping of chairs on the floor above, but it never bothered us. (If there was an identical accessible room on the 10th floor - it might be tempting to try.) Port fun: Cozumel, Mexico: First excursion was booked through NCL - Dolphin swim. Note about needing accessible travel did NOT get through - but Anita at the excursions desk took care of it for us. We went on a Dolphin swim excursion with Dolphinaris, and - after speaking with the manager - they found a way for my husband to participate. Very crowded at first - but once you are in your small group it gets way better. Photos are very expensive - be warned! But they ARE great and they give you digital CD of prints. Costa Maya, Mexico: We booked a non-NCL excursion with Victor from Mahahual Ecotours to tour Mayan ruins. HIGHLY recommend! Look him up on TripAdvisor for all the great reviews - that's how we found him. He's a storyteller and expert in all things Mayan and natural resources in the area. He's a national treasure. Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras - Anita from the NCL on-board excursions desk recommended the perfect outing for us in Roatan, Maya Key! It's a private island with a great beach - short boat ride that leaves just steps from the port. We used my husband's manual chair and the boat operators helped him easily. Gorgeous beach day. Harvest Caye, Belize - We just bummed it at the beach and pool on this short port day. And shopped. Not true Belize, but enjoyable anyway. Also FREE beach wheelchair was a very nice feature. ++ Entertainment: We only saw one show - Elements - which was very good and worth it. Other nights we spent up at the pool or in the hot tubs b/c that's when they were available - or played cards together - family time! We used checkers, sports court and game arcade too. Boys didn't participate in teen activities at all - nothing tempted them. One night we watched a movie in our room - which cost $10. Food: We ate 5 meals a day plus ice cream stops! Most meals were in Garden Cafe - they have such variety there and no waiting - everybody could get just what they wanted. My son LOVED the cheeseburgers in O'Sheehans Pub - v. good! We tried Bamboo - need a reservation - but it was pretty good. All of this is included - by the way - which is astounding to me. We ate twice in Aqua and once in Venetian - I always got the fish which was delicious and left room for yummy deserts. Overall this was one of the greatest vacations we've ever had. Yes there are lines for the elevators at embarkation and port days...but that's just a fact of life when there are 2,000 people trying to go someplace - so expect it and you won't be bothered. If anyone in your party has special needs and you are planning excursions, definitely go to the excursion desk to double check that the messages got through. Even if they didn't, Anita and the others will take good care of you. Most of all, don't hesitate - book now and enjoy yourself! I miss it! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We went on this cruise for my 21st birthday and just got home from the cruise this past saturday (3/24) I have sailed with carnival before and have been on the Carnival Miracle back in 2009. I was very excited to go on this cruise because ... Read More
We went on this cruise for my 21st birthday and just got home from the cruise this past saturday (3/24) I have sailed with carnival before and have been on the Carnival Miracle back in 2009. I was very excited to go on this cruise because in 2009 I had a blast (i was 13 then). I was very disappointed with the ship, food, activities and especially the spa. The dining room was good food BUT it was so small.. we ordered fried oysters as an appetizer and got two..I ordered shrimp cocktail as an appetizer and got 5 tiny shrimp with less then a tablespoon of cocktail sauce. The servings were just ridiculously small, for a billion dollar company you'd think they could spare some more food on your plates. The ship itself was outdated, things needed maintenance, there were quite a few things we saw that needed to be painted or updated. Maybe that was just because we are a family who has dealt with boats and my boyfriend is a boat mechanic at a marina. It was just very outdated and needed maintenance. Our cabin lights were broke, the switch to the bathroom barely worked half the time so we just left the light on at all times to save the trouble of messing with it. The toilet seat was wobbly. The activities on board were so short. For example, the mega deck party was a half hour.. they played the most basic songs (typical party/dancing songs; cupid shuffle, wobble, etc.) We wanted to see this game night they did in a theater, we were late by 10 minutes and when we got there it was ending... they did a pup crawl on the first night because it was St. Patricks Day.. they went to 3 bars and stayed there for 5 minutes, I couldn't even finish a drink before moving to the next one. It was all rushed and to short. The Spa.. I was very upset and displeased (and will be complaining to carnival) about the spa. For my birthday I received a $50 gift card to the spa. I was very happy about this and went to schedule, the girl was helpful and i picked a "hot and cold mani and pedi" The girl when i scheduled it informed me it was a 2 hour mani/pedi where they massage your elgs up to your knees and arms up to your elbows with lotion, warm oil, hot stones and then put this icy hot stuff on and then your basic mani/pedi (nails trimmed, painted, etc.) It was $120.. so $70 for me after my gift card. The mani/pedi was just under 1.5 hours, the girl rubbed this exfoliating stuff on my legs and arms, rubbed water on them, then hot oil, then the stones and then icy hot. She never massaged just simply applied all these things. She filed my nails and slightly trimmed them and painted my nails. When I got back to the room i noticed my nails needed another coat or two (she never put base coat and barely applied top coat). When i gave them my gift card and sail and sign to pay I noticed she didnt charged me extra for tip, so i figured it wasnt included and left her a tip in cash. At the end of the cruise I received my statement for my sail and sign and noticed the spa charged me $88 dollars, meaning they charged me a $18 tip... $33 dollar tip between what they took and what I gave her in cash... I am very annoyed and mad that they did this. when I handed her the tip she should have stated they take a tip out (even if she thought i was tipping extra). the mani/pedi was not completely as advertised and I would and will never go to the spa there again.. NOT worth the money at all. The cruise was still fun, we made the best of it. But I would not travel on this ship ever again. Next cruise we take we will be cruising with another cruise line. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
The Dawn just received an extensive drydock in 2016 and it really shows! We just sailed on the Dawn 3 months ago and chose it again because we were so pleased with the ship and great time that we had. Again, it did not disappoint! The ship ... Read More
The Dawn just received an extensive drydock in 2016 and it really shows! We just sailed on the Dawn 3 months ago and chose it again because we were so pleased with the ship and great time that we had. Again, it did not disappoint! The ship is extremely well maintained - I witnessed absolutely no sign of wear and tear, and the decor is very fresh, modern, and trendy. There is a dizzying array of dining establishments to choose from, five of which are all complimentary! The entertainment was outstanding, and included a Vegas-style production show, acrobats, magic, and comedy. There were also a number of musicians playing throughout the ship which we greatly enjoyed. Our oceanview cabin was roomier than we are used to on cruise ships and decorated in a colorful, cheery motif. Bathroom was cramped but shower temperature and pressure were excellent. Lots of space for storage in the cabin - more than we needed. Room steward provided exemplary service twice per day. The main dining rooms weren't as good as we remembered from last time, but it was okay because we went to two of the alternative free options instead on our free nights: Bamboo (an Asian restaurant) and O'Sheehan's (an Irish pub.) Both of these were hit-or-miss, so we needed to try different things to find out what we liked, which they were more than happy to let us do. So we were able to find some options we were very happy with. We didn't care for the buffet - but that has been true for us on every ship we have ever sailed (every cruise line.) The buffet does have great views and a huge selection if you don't mind the crowds. The specialty restaurants are fantastic - we have visited all but one (Moderno) and been extremely satisfied every time. I had some of the best meals I've ever had in those restaurants. The decor in the specialty restaurants is beautiful, as was the food presentation. The lines were long at the bars at peak times on deck, and waiter service was limited with the exception of the lido deck near the pool. But we like peace and quiet, so we hung out on the promenade deck rather than the pool which is close to one of the less-busy bars so this did not affect us. The drinks were all very good. Los Lobos had the best bartender, and drinks, on the ship in my opinion, but I enjoyed all of them. The Thermal Suite is amazing, and just what I needed after a long day of walking on this big ship and exerting myself on excursions. It includes a sauna, steam room, 2 different types of Jacuzzi, a pool, heated loungers, and a relaxation room. It never got crowded and we even practically had the place to ourselves in the evening. The muster drill was fairly painless, held in the air conditioned indoors with plenty of seating. Embarkation was slow, but it was due to customs, and government delays, not the fault of Norwegian. Debarkation was not bad for us. The one and only complaint I really had was not the itinerary itself, but the order in which we visited the different ports which caused us to have only a half a day in Harvest Caye instead of a full day (especially since it was one of the biggest ports.) Had the ship started at the furthest south port and worked it's way up, it should have allowed for a full day in every port. They may have not had any control over that depending on what other ships were trying to dock there, but it was an annoyance. I could have easily spent a full day there still wanting more time. I also don't like the way specialty coffee is not included in the drink package - but I made due. Service was outstanding. I have heard some say the service isn't friendly enough on Norwegian, but that was not the case at all on this cruise for us. Staff was very friendly, helpful, and efficient. In fact, I was extremely impressed that a couple of servers even remembered us from 3 months prior!! I would definitely sail on the Dawn a third time, and highly recommend it to everyone! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this cruise because we had never been to Key West, Belize or Costa Maya and we were not disappointed. Would like to have spent more time in Key West as we did not dock until 11 am; so will return again some time in the future to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had never been to Key West, Belize or Costa Maya and we were not disappointed. Would like to have spent more time in Key West as we did not dock until 11 am; so will return again some time in the future to spend more time there. We thoroughly enjoyed Belize and the jet boat ride to the Myan Ruins; what an amazing sight to see. Costa Maya was beautiful with a swimming pool and shopping right at the end of the pier. We also took a tour to see the lighthouse and beach in the down town area; it was a very enjoyable day. As always we enjoy the entertainment and activities onboard, the shows are exceptional and performed by outstanding singers and dancers. The Rhapsody of the Seas is a great smaller ship and easy to navigate the crew and are always friendly, you are treated like family and greeted by first name all the time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
My 87 yer old wheelchair/limited mobility mother booked this cruise as a family trip. The handicap designated family suite was problematic. The comfortable king bed was at 28" from the floor so NOT transferable from wheelchair, my ... Read More
My 87 yer old wheelchair/limited mobility mother booked this cruise as a family trip. The handicap designated family suite was problematic. The comfortable king bed was at 28" from the floor so NOT transferable from wheelchair, my mother was given a step unit (she is a large woman recently surviving cancer) that she fell off of twice each time injuring herself (no breaks, but deep lacerations) The other bed in the suite is a hard pleather sofa bed (full size) with crate foam on top not comfortable nor does it have it's own lamp/light. Possibly ok for children traveling, but NCL claims it is for 4 people. The last 2 nights of the trip my mother and her husband had to sleep on couch bed as after hurting herself no longer trusted climbing the step unit. On arrival the safety bar separating shower in bathroom was rickety and only attached by 2 screws I reported this and it was addressed and 2 more bolts were added. I would also advise earplugs as the location is off the pool deck area and dance parties at night boomed bass into room (mostly over by midnight) The service is excellent, food in specialty restaurants was good. And if you like a quiet space booking the spa thermal lounge pass is a good idea. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I retired early 5 years ago and had planned to cruise. A spinal failure/collapse placed me in bed 24/7 for close to four years. 3 Surgeries later and I could finally stand and sit for up to 40 minutes... and walk for up to 15 minutes. A ... Read More
I retired early 5 years ago and had planned to cruise. A spinal failure/collapse placed me in bed 24/7 for close to four years. 3 Surgeries later and I could finally stand and sit for up to 40 minutes... and walk for up to 15 minutes. A implanted pain management device controls enough of the pain to consider taking our first ever cruise (bucket list item). We chose the Norwegian Dawn (mid size ship) after reading on Cruise Critic about the long line ups and elevator crowds on larger ships. I have to use my limited daily vertical time carefully and the Dawn was easy to get around. Elevators were very close to our room which was very helpful. We chose a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise out of Tampa which went to Costa Maya Mexico, Roatan Honduras, Harvest Caye Belize, and Cozumel Mexico then returned to Tampa Florida. Weather was ideal except for Cozumel which was a rain day (still warm). Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived 20 minutes ahead of our designated time and were ushered right in. I was able to secure a seat while DW kept our cue in line which progressed quickly to sign in. I was offered a wheelchair but opted to walk onboard as the ship was very close by. (Might use the wheel chair next time as the ship is huge). Muster safety drill was held in the Venetian Dining room ( for rooms #s in our part of the ship) and was a sit down affair. done quickly and efficiently with small groups each with an assigned coach/staff member. The food in the Venetian dining room was excellent and we ate there most days. Our server Putu was the best server I have ever encountered anywhere. He is in a league of his own...amazing memory and always sensed our needs. He helped our embarkation day by explaining how things would work on the ship, and daily would tell us a bit about each port etc. I am not a fan of buffets so my DW would go and get cereal/muffins and juice/milk which she would put in our room fridge. (for breakfast the next morning). We had an upgrade to three premium restaurants. Cagney's Steak house had an amazing steak equal to the best steak houses found in major international cities. Service was great. Le Bistro French restaurant was also quite nice and had excellent food... great desserts too! The Italian restaurant was not as intimate nor as formal as the other two restaurants mentioned, but the veal medallions were to die for. Aqua dining room has the same menu as Venetian and we preferred the water views available in the Venetian (rear of the ship)... and we preferred our server! Our room was spotless and had no chips, bangs or scratches on any of the finishes which I found quite surprising. The balcony was great for DW to sit out and knit and read and was positioned so I could lay on the bed (for back pain rest) and watch the water go by, or the activity when in ports. Philipe was an excellent steward, When something of value went down the sink drain, he worked late into the evening getting help to remove pipes and retrieve the item, and then had a plumber replace the piping. This was Above and Beyond! My DW visited each port and did two excursions. One (through Norwegian), to the mainland of Belize where she visited a spice farm and then went to see a recently unearthed Mayan ruins. Her expectations were cautious at best but she had a wonderful time and was extremely impressed with the guides, the tours and the whole process. At Harvest Caye, I decided to go to port and Norwegian had a trolley to transport handicapped folks across the beautiful new covered pier that goes on forever. I had a short walk around the shops and they had rest stations to park my butt to recuperate before continuing. I then saw the butterfly and wildlife attraction and had a peak at the gorgeous beach. This port is all new, spectacularly clean and tidy and a MUST for all those that stop there. Entertainment was top notch "Vegas Style" singing and dancing and acrobatics, magic etc etc. The theatre was great with excellent lighting, acoustics and special effects. I attended a "History of Watches" seminar which I found most educational as I am an avid watch collector. I even learned a few new things. We spent some time visiting different venues but my limited mobbility and limited time able to sit kept the experiences short and sweet. Excellent performers (singers and musicians) are everywhere you go. We spent several nights visiting the main atrium second balcony (with an entrance by our room) listening to great performers. Beofre disembarkation, all non-Americans had to report to the venetian and be screened by HOmeland Security before Anyone could leave the ship. It was a huge crowd with oursleves surrounded by over 600 Canadians and some others, and the process was quick and efficient (once the government officials arrived on ship). We left the ship on time and found ourn luggage right where it was supposed to be. A wonderful first cruise experience. And it will not be our last! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We have cruised on the Rotterdam five times. Entertainment was terrible and on several nights they just had a movie presentation. One comic juggler was bad. Another comic was great. Ship show presentation was two good and one terrible. ... Read More
We have cruised on the Rotterdam five times. Entertainment was terrible and on several nights they just had a movie presentation. One comic juggler was bad. Another comic was great. Ship show presentation was two good and one terrible. Day time activities was limited to sales pitches of excisions, jewelry, shopping in port, and art sales. Spent most of our days in the cabin watching DVD's. Almost all of the ports consisted of Duty Free Shopping stores specifically designed for cruise ships. Each port had a Diamonds International and similar stores. It all became one big been there, bought a ring. Or you could do a zip line. Food has improved and actually tasted good. You needed a food dictionary to determine what some of the menu items were. Prices keep on increasing and more and more amenities are disappearing. Crew members were all excellent without exception. Daily hotel charge is now 13.50 per person, a 30% increase since the original 10.00 charge. I guess to keep up with inflation. Read Less

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