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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I traveled with my fiance March 24th to the 30th aboard the Norwegian Pearl, a smaller but fully refurbished ship. Getting onto the ship did take some time, but it was well worth the wait! Once getting on to the ship we were greeted ... Read More
I traveled with my fiance March 24th to the 30th aboard the Norwegian Pearl, a smaller but fully refurbished ship. Getting onto the ship did take some time, but it was well worth the wait! Once getting on to the ship we were greeted instantly by the friendly staff, and given a map of the ship. Our stateroom was 8113, an inside room with an additional third bed. We were happy to see that the two smaller beds when put together make a king-size bed. The stateroom had plenty of room for the two of us. Additionally, the hard working staff had our rooms ready for occupancy with in an hour of arriving on the ship. The cruise we selected left out of Tampa and sailed to Harvest Caye (Norwegian's private island) in Belize. The island was clean and perfect! From there we stopped in Costa Maya Mexico. The port was very clean and inviting, but didn't feel very authentic. My fiance and I did an excursion to Chacchoben, one of the Mayan Ruins! This really made the stop worth it! From there we sailed to Roatan Bay in Honduras. The port was small and was undergoing major construction while we were there. We didn't book any excursions and wanted to explore by foot. That was a mistake! As soon as we walked out of the port we were instantly inundated with locals trying to sell us this, that, and everything else. We managed to walk past the large group, but, we were followed by locals. While we never felt unsafe, something just didn't feel right. We went back to the port and enjoyed the many bars they had to offer, and let the bartender fill us in on the area. Finally, we had our last stop in George Town on Grand Cayman. This was by far the best stop we had. The island was clean, and the locals were amazing. We were able to walk all around and explore the many beaches, shops, and local watering holes! As for the quality of the on-board experience, we didn't have a bad meal or cocktail! We dined in the main dinning rooms (Indigo & Summer Palace), the staff were top-notch and so was the food. Overall, we were impressed by NCL and plan to take another cruise before the end of the year! 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
This was my wife and myself, 10th cruise with N.C.L. and it simply didn't disappoint. As usual embarkation was an absolute breeze. A very smooth operation. Access to our cabin to unpack was swift so we could start our holiday as soon ... Read More
This was my wife and myself, 10th cruise with N.C.L. and it simply didn't disappoint. As usual embarkation was an absolute breeze. A very smooth operation. Access to our cabin to unpack was swift so we could start our holiday as soon as possible. The cabin was spotlessly clean, and remained so for the cruise duration thanks to our fantastic cabin steward, Agus. A real gentleman. All cruise long, the food on board was the usual N.C.L. standard. First class. Not a single complaint on either temperature, quality, or service. The vast majority of the guests were from the U.S. and a very friendly mix of all age groups made for a very enjoyable holiday. We always get a great welcome in America. O.K. now to the main reason for the 5 star rating of this cruise. The entertainment. Without doubt, the best we've seen on any ship. The cruise director (Dingo Dave) certainly came up trumps here. Every theatre show was outstanding. The magician, the acrobats, the comedian (Landry) , the singers and the dancers. A standing ovation every night. The top show of the week was Elements. We've seen that show before and it was good, but this time it was out of this world. As good as a London West end performance. It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. The final show of the week was Showdown. Again, a top quality (mock) singing competition. The comedian (Landry) did a one off adults only end of cruise performance. Very funny guy who didn't need to resort to swearing just to get a laugh, but be warned, it is most definitely adult humour. All the around ship entertainers were excellent. The piano man (Anthony Garcia), was exceptionally talented. The poolside band (Caribbean wave), the nghtclub band ( Manilla soul), all are worthy of a mention. On the final night Dingo Dave and the rest of the entertainment crew did the 1st ever trial of a new show called, The Movie Sketch Comedy Show. A resounding success. Bliss Nightclub was packed to capacity. All the destinations were very pleasant places to visit with a vast array of excursions to choose from, but we did hear that the taxi drivers in Honduras were very pushy for business to the guests who chose to explore on their own. It is a shame when that happens. It can be very intimidating for elderly guests. Our final port of call was Harvest Caye in Belize which we unfortunately had to miss because of high winds. The captain made the right call to abandon docking. It would have been very dangerous to try. At the end of the cruise, disembarkation should have been much quicker. All non U.S. citizens were told time and time again to go to the Aqua lounge to be checked by the immigration officials, but some guests either chose to ignore, or genuinely didn't understand the instructions to follow, and as a result, our disembarkation tour of Tampa and transfer to the airport just felt a bit rushed to start. To finish off, we'd just like to thank America for a lovely welcome, and holiday. Us Scots always get a great welcome, and to all N.C.L. staff, from the captain to the happy happy, washy washy stewards, we're already planning N.C.L. cruise number 11. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
My husband and I joined a friend who wanted to go on this cruise because it fit her schedule. The 3 of us shared an OCEAN BALCONY STATEROOM (she slept in the bunk!). The Brilliance is larger than our first cruise about 15 years ago in the ... Read More
My husband and I joined a friend who wanted to go on this cruise because it fit her schedule. The 3 of us shared an OCEAN BALCONY STATEROOM (she slept in the bunk!). The Brilliance is larger than our first cruise about 15 years ago in the Mediterranean - it was a port-intensive cruise (i.e., a floating hotel) - neither of us remember a pool or kids on that 7 day trip. This was quite different - lots of young (drunk) adults with a smattering of middle school (loud) kids. Our companion took full advantage of the slot machines. My husband sat on deck and read. I just remember walking back & forth a lot - fitbit battery died on last day at sea. Food was excellent as was the service. The only onboard tour we did was the kitchen and, with a background in restaurants and father & father-in-law military cooks, an amazing operation. On the last evening, service in the restaurants seemed a bit undermanned. The only COMPLAINTS we had, and they were major, was that the shore excursions were not well run - leaving the boat was, in military terms, a goat rope - no order, long wait, long walks, etc. No guide had anything to identify themselves at a distance (in Key West, we had to follow a short woman with a clipboard held over her head). Because of the Mexican Ferry bombings, our excursion was cancelled (no problem, safety is paramount) - but we weren't told until the boat had set sail. Had we been notified earlier, we could have made other plans. In Mexico the boat docks too far from downtown to walk and for a free ride into town, we were led through the shops on the pier, transported safely to town to the jewelry store. This was reasonably well run - meeting aboard in a seating area and led directly to the vans awaiting us. (We did learn a lesson - don't trust the vendors on the pier - my non-drinking husband bought premium tequila for his best friend. Great tequila but grossly overpriced.) No part of it was done in an orderly fashion and we feared for the return at the home port - for no reason: The final exodus from the boat was beautifully organized, with the only drawback the long line through customs. In Cozumel, I did have a momentary wonderful experience. I asked, in Spanish, if the young sales clerk could recommend a restaurant - she did and it was Las Palmeras - very good, very fast, relatively inexpensive. But then she offered me a taste of the homemade quesadillas she had in her lunch! Theatre seats (for the cinema) needs updated - broken springs, very uncomfortable cushions and spacing. Would we go again - yes, we have reservations now aboard the Oasis and doing our planning 6 months out. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
This was my first ever cruise and it was nothing short of amazing. This was by far my favorite trip I have been on. This cruise took us to Cozumel, Costa Maya, Honduras, and Belize. I have no complaints. The staff was beyond exceptional, ... Read More
This was my first ever cruise and it was nothing short of amazing. This was by far my favorite trip I have been on. This cruise took us to Cozumel, Costa Maya, Honduras, and Belize. I have no complaints. The staff was beyond exceptional, the entertainment on and off the boat was always a highlight of my day, and the quality of the ship overall was outstanding. There were three main dining areas on this boat, all were very tasty, but Aqua was a personal favorite. And of course the buffet on the 12th deck was not your average buffet, it was always delicious. I stayed in the smallest room offered with two other people. Although, the rooms are small, it was perfect for us as we were hardly in the room. Also, housekeeping is amazing!! You can always expect them to be on top of their game at all times and assist all of your needs instantly. Overall, I highly recommend sailing with Norwegian, as I definitely plan to again in the near future! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Had a wonderful five night cruise aboard the Brilliance in February 2018. This was a restful and relaxing cruise. We avoided the pool deck and main dining room. Our idea of a great cruise is lots of visual access to the water and blue ... Read More
Had a wonderful five night cruise aboard the Brilliance in February 2018. This was a restful and relaxing cruise. We avoided the pool deck and main dining room. Our idea of a great cruise is lots of visual access to the water and blue sky, and alone time as we have very social jobs back home. We bought the five night specialty restaurant package and ate twice in Chops, twice in Giovanni's, and once in Izumi. Food was excellent, with some items so good we had them both nights. On the two sea days, the package included lunch in Chops and in Giovanni's. Again excellent. The buffet on Brilliance is well designed with enough nooks and crannies for seating that it doesn't have the same sort of factory/banquet feel like on other ships. Breakfast in Windjammer was surprisingly relaxing, especially if you get an outdoor table far away from the bussing stations. The Colony Club is a big wood panelled sunken lounge that feels like bygone times. Elegant and large with plenty of big comfy club seats. Often during the afternoons live classical music was played here. There are games tables and puzzle tables. My only complaint would be that the music trivia game would arrive mid-afternoon for about 45 minutes in what was otherwise a tranquil spot. The classical players would stop playing and the pop music trivia contest would blare loudly through the space. And then, if would depart. The Thermal Suites were excellent. With a Thermal pass, we were able to take in two daily visits each day of the cruise, followed by some light cardio in the gym or on the outdoor track. A great way to balance the 7 meals in the specialty restaurants. The lower promenade deck was seldom used (but for the occasional smoker) and was a perfect spot to sit and read when we wanted a break from our balcony. Surprisingly, it was great to see the absolute bow open to guests. Excellent spot for sail-away and afternoon breeze. Didn't see any shows or visit the casino. The shops had the same price for two watches we bought in Georgetown. And I stocked up on cosmetics for birthday gifts back home. Excellent prices; especially the sales table. If you don't want the hub-bub of a big ship, but want a ship still big enough for anonymity (unlike the smaller yachts), I highly recommend the Brilliance. The (gratis) steam room and sauna in the gym changing rooms were very lightly attended whenever we were there. The top deck in the evening was almost deserted and perfect for starry walks. The spa is small and personable. Everyone is in the atrium, and it's fun to walk past to watch the contests and carousing ... or not. It's a great ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I did not know what to expect after hearing good and bad on Carnival. So, I did what I always do, I decided to take a chance. I'm so glad I did. I will make a few recommendations first. Get your cruise booked months in advance. Book ... Read More
I did not know what to expect after hearing good and bad on Carnival. So, I did what I always do, I decided to take a chance. I'm so glad I did. I will make a few recommendations first. Get your cruise booked months in advance. Book your parking (if driving)in advance. Read the reviews on the tours, in advance. Get your passport squared away. There are some cruise ticket holders for sale on line, if you want them. Get your cruise tickets just before you leave. You can book your land tours in advance but you pay when you book. That may be good for budgeting. Get your camera batteries charged just before you leave. Bring your phone chargers, dramamine and Bug repellent. Finally, they allow you to bring a case of soda and a bottle of wine p/p. I really recommend this one. Okay so the cruise. Trip scheduled to go to Cayman, Mohogany Bay Honduras, Belize and Cancun. First stop, Cayman, we booked the Stingray city and Reef snorkeling trip. Awesome. Allot of time spent with the stingrays. Everybody got a chance to pet and even kiss the rays. We had a chance, at the end, to eat local food before boarding the ship again. Next stop, Mohogany Bay. We booked the Private Island with lunch. This little Island is a sanctuary for animals found in need of help. They nurse them back to health and release them back to the wild. They also have a Mayan Temple and an arena. The Food, Animals and Temple were all way batter than expected. Next, Belize. Mayan ruins and River boat tour. Wow. An actual Temple from way back. Again, Awesome. This tour was the best. Lunch place is provided and you have to buy your lunch for about $10 buck. Affordable and good local food. Lastly, Cozmel and the Secret River tour and lunch. Awesome. Very informative and really cool. Literally. I don't want to spoil all the fun for you so I will not speak about everything at each place. I will say that I highly recommend all 4 of these tours. They were the highlight our land trip. Ok, now the ship. The Miracal was fantastic. The service was fenominal. Cabin Stewart was great. Food was great. I recommend the Steak house and the Chefs Table highly. These are must do. You have never had a meal like the Chefs table offers. Well worth the money. In all, everybody was genuinely interested in knowing if you are having a great time and what can they do to assure you are. Every thing about this trip was fantastic. I can't wait to take another trip. I asked many people on board, if this was their first or tenth trip. Many said this is multiple trips on Carnival and they only travel on Carnival. I asked, why? Cost, fun, service, ships, crew and bang for the buck. I'm going Carnival again. Are you? I heard so many different comments, good and bad, on Carnival, I was not sure what to expect. So, as I often do, I decided to take a chance. (People are so fickle). First off, I would recommend getting in town the day before. I heard some people talk about delayed flights, traffic etc. They were stressed. Also, get all your stuff, tickets, passports, etc before time. The day of the cruise was a very nice experience. We arrived at the pre arranged time and everything went as expected. We dropped off bags and I parked with, again, the pre reserved valet. They took my car and we were off to our vacation. We followed direction and went to check in. Unlike the airport, this TSA experience was pleasant. 1 - 12 pack of soda p/p and a bottle of wine p/p is allowed. I recommend this. We continued to the check in desk and that went off without a hitch. So far so good. We were then called and allowed to board. Here we go. Once on board, they directed us to the bar. Imagine that. Starting off with a drink. We were later allowed to go to the room. We unpacked and chilled out for a bit. We got underway and prepared for lunch. For our first meal on board, it was pretty good. We later went to customer service to confirm our tours. We booked 4 tours before our trip but you really don't have to do that. You can wait till you arrive to book land tours. I recommend reading the reviews on each tour. It will help you make a good choice. I did that and found 4 tours that were highly recommended. Booking ahead of time also helps with budgeting money. You can pay for this before the trip. As you will find out, they require a credit card be tied to your on board account. That is how you charge evening on board. We walked around the shop and learned our way around the ship. We ran into the SPA people. If you don't want to spend a ton of money, run away. They are very good sales people and you will be caught up in the excitement of getting a great treatment We later checked in for dinner at the main dining room. It took me 3-4 days to figure this out but you can order everything on the menu or even seconds. Now you know. As for the food, wow, very good dinner. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I was looking forward to a nice elegant ship and this was the wrong choice. The ship was very dated, carpets and chairs worn out. The food was terrible and there was no entertainment. I have been on a lot of cruises and this is the ... Read More
I was looking forward to a nice elegant ship and this was the wrong choice. The ship was very dated, carpets and chairs worn out. The food was terrible and there was no entertainment. I have been on a lot of cruises and this is the worst food I think I was ever served. The crew was not upbeat or friendly. It felt as if they were wanting it over and didn't want to go out of their way to say hello. The entertainment was good but there was not enough of it. Unless you gamble there was nothing to do from 7pm to 10:30 pm. And at 10:30 pm the disco opened. Much too late after a day of sun. The excursion was fun and that was the best part of the trip. I would not recommend this ship to anyone. It needs to be scrapped and refreshed. Which I was told by staff the ship is getting remodeled in April 2018. That would explain a lot. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
The entire vacation was great. The employees really looked like they enjoyed their jobs and made sure that we were having a great time as well. I saw nothing during the entire trip that was bad, negative, or couldn't be done. I was ... Read More
The entire vacation was great. The employees really looked like they enjoyed their jobs and made sure that we were having a great time as well. I saw nothing during the entire trip that was bad, negative, or couldn't be done. I was amazed at the condition of the ship after being 15+ years old. Hope to go again real soon, and have no other cruise company to choose from other than Royal Caribbean. Thank you to Junlee and Rex for their outstanding service at dinner every night, and Rex for his service in the morning at the Windjammer buffet breakfast. Also, to Bintang for keeping our room clean and in order 2-3 times a day, and the funny towel sculptures he left on our beds. It showed us how much he really enjoyed his work in pleasing us and helping us have the best possible vacation adventure with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We have always used Royal Caribbean as our cruise vendor. For the most part we are very satisfied. On this cruise our dinner wait staff and our stateroom attendant were fantastic. The quality of the food in the dining room has declined ... Read More
We have always used Royal Caribbean as our cruise vendor. For the most part we are very satisfied. On this cruise our dinner wait staff and our stateroom attendant were fantastic. The quality of the food in the dining room has declined somewhat and they have turned the breakfast and lunch dining room experience into a buffet. Yes you can still order off the menu for breakfast and lunch, but when half your table chooses the buffet the experience deteriorates to the Windjammer level. Only with fewer choices. I have never been on a cruise where it was hard to buy a drink. Until now. The bar service, especially in the Viking Crown, was consistently poor. Often left without getting a drink. They were never busy and yet you would sit there for 20 minutes and either never see or could not find a server at 8:30 pm at night or they would just ignore you. The most common word I overheard from other passengers about their experience was that it was "boring" or a "little boring". Overall we enjoyed the experience simply because we were able to get away from the cold, not because of anything that Royal Caribbean did that was outstanding. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Admittedly, the only reason we took this cruise was to see Cuba. Key West was a fun stop, as always, but we had been there before and were looking forward to Cuba. Long story short, the people were quite nice there and it was a cool ... Read More
Admittedly, the only reason we took this cruise was to see Cuba. Key West was a fun stop, as always, but we had been there before and were looking forward to Cuba. Long story short, the people were quite nice there and it was a cool place to see. It would be nice if things opened a bit earlier, but I think it's part of Cuba's charm. Definitely see Cuba while you still have the chance! As for the cruise experience itself, it was outstanding. Royal Caribbean never disappoints! While the Empress is the smallest in the fleet, it is well maintained and the staff was outstanding. We really enjoyed Joe Hollywood in the piano bar every night and we thought the dining room service and food was quite good. While the onboard shopping was not huge, the stores had a variety of items to scratch the itch for those that shop. I also recommend the drink package, if you enjoy a few beverages while on board....it definitely pays for itself! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
This ship was very very rocky!! I was sick the first 2 days of my trip because the boat rocked so bad. This is my 6th cruise with Carnival and I have never experienced this before. Also this ship was older and kind of dies out during the ... Read More
This ship was very very rocky!! I was sick the first 2 days of my trip because the boat rocked so bad. This is my 6th cruise with Carnival and I have never experienced this before. Also this ship was older and kind of dies out during the daytime. Other ships throw deck parties during the day and sometimes a night time captain's party on the main deck and none of that happened on this ship. Lucky for us we had 125 women in our group and rented rooms to have private parties in, otherwise we would have been very bored during the daytime. We traveled to Cozumel and Costa Maya those is places were beautiful but the locals do beg a lot so be prepared. Not a good selection of food on the ship. I ate hotdogs the whole time. The drinks were really good and cost about $10 a drink. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
My daughter and I cruised on the Jade, with a lot of wonderful people. The first day at sea, the ship felt very crowded. Open areas were full of drinking sunbathers. Our first stop was Cozumel, having visited this island on more of a ... Read More
My daughter and I cruised on the Jade, with a lot of wonderful people. The first day at sea, the ship felt very crowded. Open areas were full of drinking sunbathers. Our first stop was Cozumel, having visited this island on more of a destination vacation. Cozumel is really a lovely island. A fantastic Tattoo Man named David, at "Mayan Tattoo" just across the street once you work your way out of cruise-ville. We made appointments, and headed out with our snorkel gear to Playa Corona, a very small, quiet private beach where we paid only $5.00 to enjoy this property. My daughter enjoyed the snorkeling, lovely swimming spot and fresh Shrimp Ceviche, a cold Corona of course, and a beautiful day. We were in the Cozumel Center for a couple of hours before heading out, so we were able to hire a cap for $9.00 USD to take us to this Playa Corona. I tipped her well, and asked her to come back for us in 2 hours. After our lunch, she returned for us and we headed back into the center where we were both tattooed at David's Mayan Tattoo. We were safe, as Cozumel has a very low crime rate. Take a chance on your own taxi driver, the white vans are the best and they are always lined up at the "MEGA" store just left as you come out of Cruise-ville, this store has everything you could possibly need. Dollars are very welcome, especially now, with the exchange rate of the Mexican Peso, is in our favor. Stock up on bottled water. If you shop for any sort of alcohol, they will tag it for you, take it from you, and return it to you the last night of the cruise. BUY the drink package if you expect to drink more than one or two days. We aren't big drinkers, and our first round came to $95.00. So when the drinking package goes on sale, buy it. I believe it was around $189 at one point. After Cozumel, we landed in a huge new Cruise-ville, located in a newly created Region, known at Costa Maya. The small town located there is warm, welcoming and we ate at Il Primo, as local as you can imagine. My lunch bill was $1.50 for 3 soft chicken tacos. Unfortunately, in my humble opinion, Costa Maya was not a place I would return to. As lovely as the town was, and the native peoples are lovely, and I was shocked a cruise line such as Norwegian would even stop at this place. The beaches were covered with trash, and a seasonal sea weed piled up on all of the beaches we could reach, with our rented Golf Cart, available once you work y our way outside of Cruise-ville. We paid $80.00 between 4 people, to cruise around the island, in a golf cart. It was a perfect way to adventure out and find the local taste along with discovering an American owned beach club, restaurant and dock bar, called SHIPWRECKED. Its at the end of the dirt road along the same coast the ship docks. They stop the golf carts from traveling further because the dirt road was brutal. Glad we ventured out and found some fresh air, SHIPWRECKED is the perfect location to beach it, snorkel it, and hang out at the coolest over the water bar, with amazing dishes! We found the beauty in the rough. Instead of building a huge Cruise-ville, I wish Norwegian had invested in the locale town, the beaches because many people want to experience a true sense of a place, especially on a first visit. This port was difficult to walk out, because of the barrage of Mexican Merchants selling their wares in the Cruise-ville. A fake place created to mimic the local culture. This location is also bouncing back from Hurricane Ernesto, in 2013, evidence of this is everywhere. Next Stop, Roatan, Honduras. To my surprise, this was by far my favorite spot. Again, I did not pay 3x on board for an excursion, but my daughter went on the Jolly Roger Cruise, snorkel off a Catamaran, eat lunch, and all day Rum Punch. Often this excursion is cancelled, so its best to book it the night before, as she did. I found a driver, hired him for the day for $35.00. I was shown the entire island, the areas I wanted to visit and again, was brought to a very local spot, very close to the cruise ship called RANDY'S. I had the redfish and it was amazing. Roatan was clean, there was a noticeable police presence and it is recommended to be at a beach club, to avoid thefts. West Bay is definitely the place to be. One could simply take a Taxi to this beach, pay the $10.00 entrance fee and enjoy a very secure and it is safe to leave your bag under your beach chair, and go swimming in this transparent sea. There are restaurants and bars, a bit of a boardwalk and yes, a beautiful beach. AND NO BEACH VENDORS are allowed. Roatan is safe.............. take a taxi. They are very humble and proud people, at every turn, helpful, kind, and want you to feel safe due to the mainland's crime. This is not the mainland, it is the loveliest of islands. Many missed out on exploring Roatan, because of travel fears, I had such a good experience, as did my daughter, so either way you want to go, do not miss out on Roatan's beauty and great efforts to renew a reputation that deprives many of a very nice experience. Belize was next, and one of the locations I was particularly looking forward to, We docked early in the morning, it was a very long walk to shore, so I recommend waiting for the little shuttle. It is beautiful Caye, bought by Norwegian, with privately owned restaurants and bars, little shops of local chocolate and the typical wears. Ship cards are accepted on this Caye, but drinks were expensive, this Cruise-ville was most disappointing. We were only there for half of a day, as only on ship can dock at a time there, and apparently another ship was coming in. We had to be back on the ship by noon that day, so there is no time to take the water taxi to Belize mainland, no Tubbing excursions and so very disappointing because it was our last Port, and it just wasn't even close to anything real Belize and really no time to do anything but be on the beach or in a bar drinking. Harvest Caye is Norwegian's proudest accomplishment, but don't count on going to Belize, but a man made lovely beach. My daughter explored the Butterfly disply and enjoyed the bay side view. Regarding the ship, it is brand new feeling, our cabin, 8104 was located near O'Sheehan's Pub, which was great. It was a quieter part of the ship, which suited us well. I can note several exceptional staff members, a waiter named Jimmy, in the Main Dinning Room. However, our room Steward, who's name I could not pronounce and English I could not understand, never met me until after Roatan, 4th night of the cruise. Every day, our cabin was last on his list, returning sometimes at 3pm and no cleaning had been done. When the cabin was cleaned, it was so nice and fresh. This Steward never sought to know the blind guest, or see to any additional needs I may of had. The only time we saw him, was when we wanted to ask WHEN our cabin was going to be clean, "ok we are going to dinner now, could you please do it while we are gone?" "yes, of course" and it wasn't done. I wanted sheets changed half way through the cruise, "yes of course" and it was not done. Whatever the issue, my cabin did not need to be his last stop everyday. The products supplied in the bathrooms were fine. Leave your shampoo and soaps at home! Overall I enjoyed this cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
when we booked the cruise with NCL we knew that we would have a wonderful cruise. We met with lots of new friends though Cruise Critic, from the wonderful sail-away party with the C C, doing the cabin crawl ,seeing all the different cabins ... Read More
when we booked the cruise with NCL we knew that we would have a wonderful cruise. We met with lots of new friends though Cruise Critic, from the wonderful sail-away party with the C C, doing the cabin crawl ,seeing all the different cabins that NCL has to offer, also the get together with our Cruise critic folks in the casino..most definitely so much fun even though we all won our original 15.00 plus 1.50 .... our cabin with good size for two, and to be able to sit outside on the balcony and see the sun rise and set was amazing. The entertainment shows were unbelievable awesome ... especially the Element show ! the restaurants were all so delicious... great food ! (I have gained 15 pounds ) The service was also great, everyone was ready to help you have the most pleasant trip. My wife and I had decided to do the all inclusive dolphin belly ride. It was the magical thing that we had done together since we married. We are planning on doing a friend/family cruise next year... can't wait Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
I had a wonderful time on this ship, the whole crew was very friendly including Housekeeping. There was no dissatisfaction for me the whole cruise. I love Karaoke and the two people who hosted it were two women named Kelsey & Maggie, ... Read More
I had a wonderful time on this ship, the whole crew was very friendly including Housekeeping. There was no dissatisfaction for me the whole cruise. I love Karaoke and the two people who hosted it were two women named Kelsey & Maggie, very polite hosts like the rest of the crew they will also join you in singing if you asked them. Karaoke is located in the Leonardo Lounge and the cruise has very friendly bartenders. One of my favorites is a woman named Elin, she is very friendly and a great person to talk to, she has a very bubbly personality and she makes good drinks. these 3 ladies that I have named in this review I refer them to any passenger cause they are the best and so is the whole crew! The Food Is great. they will have different nationality foods on Lido deck every once and a while along with your old fashion Hamburgers and hol dogs and fries, I never went to the formal dining cause I forgot my belt for my dress pants at home. Cozumel Mexico was great for shopping, Grand Cayman I didn't go to cause of the Mosquito's. Either way I had an amazing time. The cruise also had Single meet ups for straight & gay couples that are not ran buy any of the crew members but, I don't think anyone was interested in going to any of the meet ups when I was on the cruise I went to 2 straight single meet ups there was nobody lol and quite honeslty I think singles groups are a waste of time in my opinion. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was our first NCL cruise and we didn't choose it; we "crashed" my sister's vacation (she and her husband are awesome to travel with!). We didn't travel with children and we stayed in separate cabins. My sister ... Read More
This was our first NCL cruise and we didn't choose it; we "crashed" my sister's vacation (she and her husband are awesome to travel with!). We didn't travel with children and we stayed in separate cabins. My sister in an ocean-view wheelchair accessible cabin on deck 8 and we were in a forward penthouse cabin on deck 9 (which I can't recommend; see below) Port: We sailed from Tampa and the cruise terminal was easy to navigate. We stayed the night before in the marina area at the Marriott Marina which turned out to be a great idea. The marina area has a beautiful park, lots of restaurants in a small, easily walkable area. We even got to watch the ship come in that morning from our hotel room. The cruise terminal was only half a mile from the marina hotel. Embarkation: We got to the port at 10:00 and there were very few lines. We checked in with no problem and had snacks/coffee until they started boarding at 11:30. That went very easy, although this is the first cruise we've been on where we were not greeted with champagne. Ship: The ship itself is actually not as tacky as it looks in pictures. It's vibrantly colored, that's for sure but it's not as bad as I thought it would be. For a ship that hasn't been updated in over 10 years, it's in great condition. We saw no signs of wear and tear in any areas of the ship. The carpets looked new, not a speck of dust anywhere, etc. There are 3 elevator bays each with 5 elevators so we never really had to wait much (but the ship was not fully booked; it was clear it was "off season"). Aside from having to walk through the Moderno restaurant to get to my sister's cabin, it was a good ship floor plan. I would recommend NOT walking through the casino when going to the Stardust theater on deck 6. The casino is tightly crowded with machines and smoking is allowed. We also found that the directional signs on deck 8 were confusing - each pointed toward the other so we got lost in the maze that is deck 8! A Must "Do": Get the spa package. There are no "adult only" areas by the tiny pool area so if you want a quiet place to relax and not sit in an overcrowded hot tub, get the spa package (prior to cruising, it's $30 cheaper than buying on board). Cabin: We stayed in cabin 9002, a penthouse forward suite. The cabin was nice although the coloring was a bit "loud" for my tastes. (bright greens/purples/reds, etc). The little square table could easily fit 4 and was very useful. The coffee maker was great with very good coffee. The closet is huge and can be accessed from the foyer or the dressing room, which was convenient. Space is not an issue at all: there are so many drawers and cubbies that we didn't even use them all. Large suitcases (25" and 29") slid easily under the bed. We got very tastey snacks every day, not the tasteless canapes other reviews mentioned. We got cheese trays, chocolate strawberries, cookies, fresh fruit, fancy chocolates, fancy hor's devours of shrimp, ham mousse, etc. We gobbled it all up it was so good. We even asked for another cheese tray to host my sister and her husband on our balcony for a "sunset watching" party. It was great! Why I can't recommend this cabin (or any on the 9th floor FWD): Noise. This is the first cruise I've been on where I could hear the main stage show which was 3 decks below us and there was a cabin floor right beneath us. It was like a muffled noise, either. We heard every word they sang and we heard the audience clap. It was so loud and clear, we thought they had accidentally turned on the ship speakers in the hallway during the show. It literally sounded like the show was going on in the hallway outside our door. It made going to bed early after a long day difficult because the late show at 9:30 (shows were about 45-60 minutes). Cabin balcony: Good news: you can land a small plane on that balcony! It came with 2 lounge chairs and a large, long coffee table. We had 2 more lounge chairs brought in for my sister and her husband and you could still do cartwheels with the space. Bad news: you can't use the balcony unless the ship is moving slowly or not at all. It's simply too windy to be out on the balcony - it blows so hard the lounge chairs were tied down at night. There's no balcony light and you have to keep your curtains closed in the evening when the cabin lights are on. So on the sea days, during the day, our balcony was useless (I'm talking hurricane force winds). I tried to read my book on the balcony and pulled the chair close to the door to get out of the wind and I still couldn't keep my paperback book steady. It just wasn't pleasant at all. My tied back hair ripped free and whipped my face as well. Another major issue: our cabin neighbors were idiots that didn't lock down their exterior door at night so the intensive banging of a heavy steel door hitting a steel ship sounded like explosions. The upside: the butlers got them locked down after about a half hour of a complaint. Dining: There is good food on this ship - and there is supremely bad food on this ship. Cagney's is worth the $30/pp. Every bite in that dining room was heaven. We had breakfast & lunch there as suite guests and we found that to be the best perk of suites ever. We found the worst food on the ship at the buffet and in the french restaurant, Le Bistro. My food in both places was so bad I couldn't eat it at all. The best news is that food in the main dining room was fantastic. Everything we ate in there was cooked perfectly (no cooked-to-death chicken or fish). And it didn't take 3 hours to dine, so you could still go to dinner at 6 and make the 7:30 main show with no problem. The Alizar (free) dining room has the same menu as the main dining room but allows shorts in the evening, so that's convenient. I didn't eat breakfast or lunch at the buffet but I walked through during breakfast and it looked very appealing with lots of options. The Blue Lagoon (open 24hrs) is a great place for quick sit-down meals. La Cucina was good food, but I was disappointed in the menu selections (no pasta/cheese/sauce items at all - don't look for lasagna, ravioli, stuffed shells, manicotti, etc.). Le Bistro was a total waste of time and money. Poor service, horrible food (either overly salty or tasteless). We noticed other guests sending their food back, too. We didn't eat at Moderno, Jasmine Garden, or Teppanaki. All in all, I gained 7 pounds with the tastey food from Cagney's and the main dining room. Entertainment: The main shows were fun and they varied quite a bit, they were all different. We didn't attend any of the side-shows late at night in the bars but we caught the karaoke contest and that was so much fun to watch. Don't miss the piano comedian, Barry in the martini bar by the cigar lounge and Le Bistro. Get there at 8 and stay until midnight - he's the ship comedian and he's worth it! He does the same show every night, so no need to go back once you've seen him. The main stage comedy show was mostly clean and mildly funny. If you're a bingo fan, get ready to win tiny amounts of money. The jackpots were little ($90/$120/$150). Some of them got bigger as the week went on, so it pays to skip the first few games and hit the late week ones. Service: I can't say enough how awesome the service on this ship was. Every person working on the ship was polite, courteous and had a smile on their face. Ports: We went to Cozumel, Costa Maya, Roatan, and Harvest Caye. Cozumel: This was our 2nd time in Cozumel. We docked at Puerto Maya port, a much nicer and less crowded port than last time (International),but it's also like a little replica of Cozumel, not like the real thing at the International port. We did the Atlantis submarine excursion which was fun and exciting. Then we ate at Pancho's Backyard, very tastey and not over priced. Costa Maya: We did not go to Mahuahual. It was crowded and "over sold" in my opinion as a great shopping/eating area. If you go to Costa Maya, you simply MUST consider going to the Maya Chan resort for the day. Beautiful beach, lots of beach toys, loungers in the shade, free booze, free food, and the best service ever. They pamper you! $25 massages, floating chair loungers, waiters on kayaks to bring you drinks, snorkeling (not a lot to see, but we saw some fish and a huge red starfish), floating sun dock, kayaks, paddle boards - everything you need to enjoy a day at a small, private beach. It was the highlight of our trip. 25 minute drive from the pier, add a 10-15 minute walk through the pier area to their kiosk outside the pier. Book directly with them to save money, they guarantee you won't miss the ship. Roatan: We took an island tour but quickly realized that their new mega supermarket was the best they had to offer. We spent 3 hours touring the economically depressed country with the occasional view of the water. The last hour was spent at a private beach where we had to pay for lunch ($20). It would have been better to spend the entire 4 hours at the little beach; after lunch we didn't have time to go in the water at all. I've heard there are beautiful beaches in Roatan, but we didn't see them. I would recommend going to one of them instead of taking any kind of historic tour of the island. Harvest Caye: NCL's new made-made island, you simply can't say you've been to Belize because it's just not n Belize. We arrived at 7am and had to be back on the ship by 12:30 - short time there. The beach was terrible; the sand was large-grained and filled with broken shells. It was unpleasant walking on the beach. The pool however was absolutely amazing. It is so large and fun to play in. Lots of shaded lounge chairs, but get there early, they go fast. Drinks and food are not covered by NCL packages, so bring your wallet (or fill up a huge Tervis mug at the Aloha bar and bring muffins from the buffet like we did). All in all, we liked our cruise more than we thought we would considering the reviews we've read. I like Royal Caribbean best having been on Carnival, RC, NCL and Celebrity. I hope this review was helpful! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
This cruise was a charter, so many things may have been different. I have cruised over 10 times, but this was my first experience on Royal Caribbean. First of all the ship was nice and airy, a great greeting when we cam on board. ... Read More
This cruise was a charter, so many things may have been different. I have cruised over 10 times, but this was my first experience on Royal Caribbean. First of all the ship was nice and airy, a great greeting when we cam on board. Our drink packages were already on the card. (an improvement over Carnival, the same as NCL). We were not greeted with a bunch of "buy this" which was great. I like to go to lunch in the main dining room. This was not an option. We had an ADA compliant oceanview room. (the chartering agent had not separated out ADA rooms so I had to look at deck plans to do this myself when we made our reservations). The door was an automatic door with a good amount of time for a wheel chair to enter the room. (It took us awhile to figure out it would close on its own). the room was spacious, the bathroom was also excellent. The keeping water in the shower was a problem. . .. not an unusual problem in an ADA room. Instead of no bathroom door sill, this sill was ramped. We found ourselves tripping on the ramp often. Perhaps on a longer cruise we would have gotten it through our skulls and been less clutch in this regard. The room did not have a posting of how to turn off an emergency call if accidentally hit, so on day four when i accidentally tripped the switch getting into the shower, I knew I would be visited by an employee soon. . . he arrived just as i was getting out of the shower. He then showed me how to disable the call. Royal Caribbean was very stingy with their pool towels. You had to swipe each one out, and return them also with a swipe. Ironically these were the least desirable towels I had ever experienced on a ship. I can't imagine anyone wanting to steal one. I had a Royal Replenishment drink package which worked very well for me: though they had neither Root Beer nor Ginger Beer on the ship, a disappointment for me. the fresh squeezed orange juice, and chai lattes made up for it for me. I do not drink colas. They put us all on "my time dining" I felt fortunate to have chosen the late show as that gave us time to eat in the main dining room, or a specialty dining room each night before the main concert. Those with early show tickets either had to walk out before their dinner was complete, or eat in the buffet each night. They simply put people at tables until they were full and then took orders. It seemed as though the food service was quite slow, and the waiters were not particularly attentive. Forget about requesting anything off menu. Was this because we were a charter? or is this normal for Royal Caribbean? not at all sure. Apparently the Kids' Club did not operate during the charter which made life difficult for cruisers with pre-teen children. This was a surprise, and made me glad I hadn't brought children with me. I loved the solarium pool area. I called it "the elephant pool" Out of the sun and the noise of the "pool deck" and the pool was long enough to actual swim in. I really appreciated this. The water was extremely salty. (Not sure why, it didn't need to be that salty for sanitizing purposes, and it was definitely saltier that the sea on our stops). The hot tub was pleasant, and I enjoyed spending time in this area. The entertainment was the reason for our charter, and for the most part was excellent. A little more variety would have been appreciated by me. I will do this again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
I enjoy cruising and have taken several. We were on a charter Melissa Etheridge "Rock The Boat" music cruise. That part of the cruise was fabulous and we loved that part of it. We did enjoy the casual feel of the cruise and ... Read More
I enjoy cruising and have taken several. We were on a charter Melissa Etheridge "Rock The Boat" music cruise. That part of the cruise was fabulous and we loved that part of it. We did enjoy the casual feel of the cruise and being able to wear shorts to dinner. There were no formal nights. There were bands all over the ship at varying times. If you are interested in music cruises, I highly recommend that you google the internet for them. This was probably the most all out FUN that I have had on a cruise. Downside of the Brillance: Had this been my first exposure to cruising, it is doubtful that I would ever cruise again. The food, for a lack of a better discription: SUCKED. Tasteless, overdone, inferior quality, you name it, it was all there. Outside of the couple of soups that really were excellent, the food at the Windjammer was mediocre at best. Our cabin, an interior was fine. Enough space for 2 persons. Not enough where you would want to spend excess time in. Cabin service was impecibile Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Just returned from a 4-night sailing on The Paradise. Wondered throughout the trip why so many do not like this ship. Embarkation was totally without any problems. Once on board the ship impressed time-and-again as to the cleanliness; ... Read More
Just returned from a 4-night sailing on The Paradise. Wondered throughout the trip why so many do not like this ship. Embarkation was totally without any problems. Once on board the ship impressed time-and-again as to the cleanliness; fantastic crew attitude and all-around caring of the entire crew. Our cabin attendant was nearly invisible; yet, our cabin was kept neat and clean at all times. First time we were never greeted on embarkation day by our attendant. The dining room meals and waitstaff were very good to excellent. Carnival has cut back on waitstaff, so the wait was a tad longer - their attitude surely made up for it - - very caring and friendly. The Lido (Paris) restaurant was acceptable - nothing very fancy and not too much in the selection department for breakfast or lunch. The grill by the pool was very good. For breakfast, a suggestion is to eat in the dining room; in addition, try the "seaday brunch" - lots of great choices served by as great a staff. The Paradise is a smaller and older ship - and you can see that from low ceilings and dated things throughout the ship, including our cabin. However, this ship is very well kept by a very caring staff, so that many times you forget just how old (and small) she is in relation to the mega-ships in service today. The Paradise is not 5-star, in dining; cabins; or public areas. However, that being said, The Paradise crew and staff go out of their way repeatedly to make the experience on-board a great one. And again, the ship is very clean and very well maintained. The Paradise is very well worth the experience for a short(er) cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We chose this ship because of our daughter, with 3 kids it was allot less expensive for them to take their first cruise. My husband and I are experienced cruisers. We've been on allot of different cruise lines including Norwegian ... Read More
We chose this ship because of our daughter, with 3 kids it was allot less expensive for them to take their first cruise. My husband and I are experienced cruisers. We've been on allot of different cruise lines including Norwegian before, but this ship is the worst. The pros: 1 . Embarkation was really fast and efficient. No long lines. 2. We got lucky and got Ultimate dining package for all the nights. Dined in all the specialty restaurants, because main dining and buffet were really bad. 3. There were 4 nice shows. The Russian ballet/acrobatic couple was really good. 4. Nice size showers with the glass doors. Cons: 1. Air conditioning in the rooms is really bad because they have one unit serving hundreds of cabins. There was no air flow and temperature in the cabin would not go lower than 21-22 degrees, which is way too warm for us. Because of the bad air flow, air did not circulate and there was no way to get any fresh air in to the room. We got the fan, but that did not fix the problem. I woke up with the migraine every day but the cruise line did nothing. 2. Our cabin was so small, that there was no way to go around the bed on one side and on the other side there was the bunk on the wall and I kept hitting my shoulder on it when i passed by. There are nowhere to store the luggage as they don't fit under the beds, so we had to store them against the wall, which took the free space between the bed and the wall. As the ship comedienne said, you can literally switch on the TV with your toes from anywhere in the cabin, including the bathroom. 3. The bed was terrible. Old saggy mattresses on a aluminum beds, hard as a rock. Bedding was quite old and even though it was laundered, always stained and torn. And pillows were hard as a rock. 4. Glass doors on the shower and the toilet were falling off the railing right on top of my foot. 5. Food left allot to be desired. Breakfast was actually not bad, an egg station, the usual pancakes, french toast, bacon and so on. But lunch at the buffet was terrible. The quality of meats and fish was really low, everything was dripping with fat and souses. Just a rotisserie chicken would be so much nicer. Salad veggies were not always fresh. 6. Dishes were always dirty. I am not sure how it's possible but just taken out of the dishwasher dishes had caked on food and specks of dried food from previous meals. it was disgusting. One time we had to go 3 times for ice cream because the dishes were dirty. 6. Not to mention that all the dishes are cheap plastic. Reminded me of an army or a jail cafeteria. With cheap, uncomfortable chairs that were falling apart. Dirty tables, that were rarely wiped. And dirty dishes on the tables, because the servers were not able to handle it on time. 7. The pool is so small that more than 4 people were not able to swim at the same time. And water in the pool is not being heated. So always quite cold. Takes some getting used to. 8. There are no lounges in the shade. We had to move our lounges in to the table area to get some shade as it was pretty hot and humid. Lounges are very uncomfortable because there is no mattresses on it. Just a towel. 9. At 2PM every day the band would come to play by the pool. The quality of music as well as sound quality was so bad. It was loud to the point where people had to leave the pool area. I could not stand listening to the boring music day after day. 10. There was no place on the entire ship to relax. few lounges on the 7th deck were always occupied. but right in front was this game where people have to hit one metal disk with another one and the noise of those disks hitting each other and the lounges was very disturbing. There was no comfortable sofas or chairs in the entire ship. 11. Atrium area has area where one can relax and listen to the music, but the chairs are very uncomfortable, music was boring and no place to dance because the entire atrium was always busy with the ship photographers doing the same old poses all evening. 12. One of the bands was playing in the spinner bar(not sure I got he name correctly). Also very boring music, not fun to dance to. 13. No matter how hot it was in our cabin or outside, in the atrium and in the restaurants it was freezing. The kids was getting sick from such a difference in temperature. We all had to wear cardigans or jackets in the evening. 14. There were no fun games by the pool. After 10 parties were on the schedule, but every time my daughter went hoping to have some fun, it was dead. The music was boring and no people. Even though there were allot of young folks on the ship, nightlife was nonexistent. 15. Speaking of sick kids. The walls between cabins are extremely thin. Not even walls, just thin plastic. We could hear kids next door crying and sneezing half the night. And in detail every conversation our neighbors had. Good thing we speak several foreign languages, so I am sure our conversations remained more or less private, but I am sure they also heard everything that was going on in our cabin as well. 16. We loved the steak house, the french bistro and the Brazilian bbq restaurants. Teppanyaki restaurant, if you can call it a restaurant, was a disappointment. First of all it's just 1 table for 12 in the sushi restaurant. The meal lasted about half an hour. The chefs kind of demonstrated some craft with their knives but that was before they started preparing a meal. We pre-ordered our meats and sea food. They grilled it really quick without demonstrating cutting technic and without any fun. The guy who was grilling veg and meats used so much butter, that everything was just swimming in fat. I never saw anybody use that much fat in any of the Teppanyaki restaurants. And there were no way of ordering seconds or getting more vegetables. And the meal was over. In less than an hour we were out and the next set of guests arrived. Just ridiculous. 17. With all our complains, we still had to pay the ridiculous amount of tips. 18. I can't say that our room was always spotless clean. So to top it all off, I got an athletes foot on one of my toes and my toe was itching like crazy. Had to treat it with the anti-fungal ointment. 19. And last but not least. Non of our wet clothes ever dried in our room, so I had to wear the same wet beach skirt every day. And brought bag full of wet clothing home. I am sure I forgot to mention few other ugly details. I am also sure that those who cruised first time, like or daughter, enjoyed every minute. But we can honestly say, that this was the worst, the most boring cruise ever. So I say good buy to Norwegian, never again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This is by far the best vacation that my boyfriend and I have EVER been on. The worst experience was the amount of botox it required to remove the wrinkles from laughing so much over the last week. The service is impeccable and I really ... Read More
This is by far the best vacation that my boyfriend and I have EVER been on. The worst experience was the amount of botox it required to remove the wrinkles from laughing so much over the last week. The service is impeccable and I really believe each and every employee is happy to be apart of the Carnival family. If you're willing to participate and try new things, this is definitely the "experience" for you. I HIGHLY recommend the comedy club at night. If you're looking to cry from laughter, this is for you! In terms of being prepared, I would recommend that you buy the drink package, book excursions prior, bring extra money (you'll love the shops) and lastly, bring a great attitude and enjoy your "ship family" for the week. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
Sailing on the Norwegian Sun was a truly extraordinary experience! There's really no comparison to other cruise lines like Carnival or Royal Caribbean. Norwegian is insanely superior: it's the difference between ... Read More
Sailing on the Norwegian Sun was a truly extraordinary experience! There's really no comparison to other cruise lines like Carnival or Royal Caribbean. Norwegian is insanely superior: it's the difference between kinda-having-fun-on-a-boat and being treated like royalty 24/7. The boat itself is small and intimate (which means a larger staff-to-guest-ratio), it's beautiful, there's great entertainment (check out the wonderful "Sun Singers Unplugged" show; incredible singing in an intimate atmosphere), and the food is plentiful and tasty (the specialty restaurants are fantastic; the buffet's a bit hit-or-miss, but what buffet isn't?). Above all, the service is EXCEPTIONAL. Example: our shower head was less than satisfactory (picture yourself being stabbed with water), so we told our steward. Before we knew it, we had a brand new shower head installed (which provided one of the best showers we've ever had; we went from stab to fab in less than two hours!). The room staff is sneakily brilliant at knowing when you're away from the stateroom so they can clean up, fill your ice bucket, and create amusing towel sculptures. And the bar service is probably the best we've received ANYWHERE. Not only did our bartenders remember our names and greet us with friendly smiles, they created ridiculously tasty libations. And they didn't skimp or take short cuts. They muddled fresh fruits (and even herbs like basil and rosemary) to create sumptuous craft cocktails (just stop what you're doing, board the ship, and taste the Sparkling Garden. Seriously. It's kinda life-changing). Consider yourself very lucky to have a drink made by Brent, Dmitrije, Jonas, Emmanuel, Jeffery, Abner or Kyle. We took the seven-day Western Caribbean cruise, and it's been a little difficult readjusting to reality after being treated with such overwhelming kindness and inspired efficiency for seven days. All in all, it's the best cruise we've ever been on, and we can't wait to board the Sun again:) (And PS, be sure to pack white clothing for their amazing white party on the pool deck!) Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
This seven day cruise on the NCL Sun featured two sea days and four ports of call: Roatan Bay, Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Belize City. Please note that if you cannot do steps, you cannot disembark the ship at Belize City, even if you are ... Read More
This seven day cruise on the NCL Sun featured two sea days and four ports of call: Roatan Bay, Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Belize City. Please note that if you cannot do steps, you cannot disembark the ship at Belize City, even if you are willing to brave the tender process. The ship does not dock at Belize City and the only access to the tenders is by way of a full flight of steps. It's just as well, as most people returning said I didn't miss much anyway. With three other ports, I was bound to sit one out anyway. The ship is one of the smaller ones in the NCL fleet and there were lots of special offers and discounts for this sailing, making it very affordable. But be aware that unlike the larger, newer ships, the Sun does not feature the latest technology. The NCL Concierge iPhone app does not work on the Sun. Even the entertainment (which often features scaled down Broadway musicals on larger ships), is less elaborate here. Two of the shows were adequate (A Bacharach-themed revue and a rock revue) and the third was a real hodge-podge with no real theme to it. Naturally, NCL encourages you to try it's premium dining spots, but the 'complimentary' dining rooms are good enough. (I have the feeling they are holding back from being amazing so that you'll try the premium ones instead.) The Garden Cafe buffet was fine - if a bit crowded at peak times. As you've doubtless read elsewhere, the standard cabin bathrooms are tiny and the shower stalls even tinier - no room for swinging the proverbial cat - sort of a curtained tube with a shower head at the top. Overall, service was terrific, with the Philippine staff taking the lead - tireless and hard working - always with a smile. I found some of the European staff were a bit less smiley - borderline indifferent - but perhaps smiling doesn't come naturally in Romania. Activities on board were the usual fare - embarrass your partner games, or gambling. I enjoyed watching Deal or No Deal, something I hadn't seen before on a ship. They offer Friends of Bill W., singles, and LGBT meetings - but curiously only the singles meets were hosted. Although I prefer a small, more manageable ship - when the NCL Epic docked alongside us in Cozumel, I did wonder how the other half lives. Their floating condo complex dwarfed the Sun. Although the ship is in terrific shape - I hope that some of the technological bells and whistles can be incorporated next time she is in dry dock. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
Failure to “WOW” I just returned from TWO cruises on RCI Vision of the Seas January 17th and January 31st. Cabins 7065 and 2031 I had a week in Orlando between the cruises. I will do the normal good and bad format (sorry). I had ... Read More
Failure to “WOW” I just returned from TWO cruises on RCI Vision of the Seas January 17th and January 31st. Cabins 7065 and 2031 I had a week in Orlando between the cruises. I will do the normal good and bad format (sorry). I had no problems getting on board the ship. I had not bought the ships transfer for the first cruise, but the RCI staff at the Tampa airport arranged it with no problems. No bad lines at the pier as others have complained of. I was Platinum on my first cruise and became Emerald on the second cruise. I felt the food in the main dining room was fine. I had the same table (22) for both cruises, but different waiters. Milo on the first was very professional, and Eduardo was fun on the second. The only problem for me was when I ordered my steaks well done, three of them I had to send back for being rare! They looked well done on the outside. All quickly replaced. They had shrimp cocktail and escargot every night! I thought the dinner menu items were creative. Foods I don’t get at home like lamb or duck. Both cabin stewards were fine, but both failed to bring a sharps container (I did not ask for one) as I left insulin and unused syringes out. Got 3 towel animals on both cruises. The ship had free steam and sauna. The Spa ladies who gave the locker keys out were very nice. I brought them a box of chocolates for the second cruise. Now the bad…………….. In the cabins…….. You have to “request” shampoo You have to “request” ice. You no longer get mints on your pillow. You no longer get stationary and a pen. Fortunately I had a pen and paper from a TraveLodge motel (a budget chain) and paper from my last Princess cruise Cabin 7065 had the worst mattress I ever had (and that includes church camp when I was 12) It was OK in 2031. The shows were only mediocre. The Circe style show in the atrium was nice, but too short. The Windjammer was very disappointing and uninspired in its offerings. Park Café…. Totally BAD!!! Once onboard the 1st cruise, I went there instead of the crowded Windjammer buffet. I was served a “Ruben” that had one thin slice of beef and a table spoon of sauerkraut and no cheese. They are supposed to be open from 8pm to 2am. Once I was there at 1:30am and they were closed. On an other visit at 12:30am they had no ice for drinks, and when I asked if they could get some from somewhere else on the ship the staff said that’s not their job! They ran out of milk. They had pre packaged chefs salads but they would not provide salad dressing. I had better pizza in grade school cafeterias in the 1960’s than they served at limited times. (Carnival has 24 hour pizza) After complaining at guest services at 12:30pm, I got some quick action the next day! The manager at the Windjammer, Alex, got the Park Café staff to shape up. There was ice, milk, and salad dressing available the next night. The house keeping manager provided 4 shampoos and Vision of the Seas stationary. So if you want to cruise like 1997, with cheapened amenities, book this ship. Personally I would not. There are better choices available.   Read Less

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