46 Tampa Repositioning Cruise Reviews

Last minute deal in our email box caught my eye. The price, the "close to home" port and the itinerary added up "to let's take a chance on this transatlantic to Barcelona." This is our 4th TA, and the weather was ... Read More
Last minute deal in our email box caught my eye. The price, the "close to home" port and the itinerary added up "to let's take a chance on this transatlantic to Barcelona." This is our 4th TA, and the weather was less than perfect compared to our previous 3 TAs on Celebrity. They're was plenty of activities to fill the day, however, but missing was professional speakers with lively and entertaining subject matters. The evening entertainment was very good and the music groups around the ship were excellent. We are Elite Plus with Celebrity which gives us Diamond status on Royal. The perks were different between cruise lines, but evened out in the end. With Celebrity we each receive 240 minutes of WiFi. With Royal we each received one 24hour consecutive period. I ended up purchasing a package for the last 9 days. Discounts on laundry services was offered on Royal. On Celebrity they are free (2 bags of laundry each, plus dry cleaning and pressing). BUT, the evening Diamond member Happy Hour, was far superior on Royal - longer, very generous, themed receptions, plus 3 drinks per person to use in any bar on the ship. This was in addition to the reception, which was in The Colony Room, because there were so many Diamond members on board. Loved the ship overall, but wish it had more adult outdoor spaces. We had a Superior Cabin, which was very comfortable and great storage. Much better than Celebrity's Solstice class ships, where I have to stand on the bed to reach the cabinet! My Time dining was great. The dinner menu was varied and the food consistently good. The buffet was lacking variety, however. The Park Cafe is a nice alternative for breakfast and lunch. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Travelling with my husband who is confined to a wheelchair was very, very good on this cruise. Our room was perfect for accessibilty. Complimentary breakfast room service was exactly right. We were disappointed when we understood ... Read More
Travelling with my husband who is confined to a wheelchair was very, very good on this cruise. Our room was perfect for accessibilty. Complimentary breakfast room service was exactly right. We were disappointed when we understood that room service was no longer included. This was one of the biggest benefits to me as a caregiver... we however WERE TOLD THAT.. CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST IS STILL FREE... THIS WAS BEAUTIFUL FOR ME!!! No compaints at all! I would recommend this cruise to everyone, especially if you are travelling with someone who is confined to a wheelchair. Our dining experience was excellent, the Windjammer cuisine was always fresh and had variety. My only disappointment was the enrichment activities. Fred the Astronomer was excellent however he was not listed on the daily list of activities. My husband was very happy to have seen Fred on the ship (Len had taken Fred's Astronomy Class in the past on re-positioning trips). Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle also was a disappointment... no contacts were made except for Fred. All in all we had a wonderful holiday on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
For our 50th Anniversary we wanted to take a Transatlantic Repositioning Cruise from Tampa to Barcelona; with a Back-to-back from Barcelona to Venice to Barcelona. We've been on this particular cruise several times and just enjoy ... Read More
For our 50th Anniversary we wanted to take a Transatlantic Repositioning Cruise from Tampa to Barcelona; with a Back-to-back from Barcelona to Venice to Barcelona. We've been on this particular cruise several times and just enjoy this area. This was a trip of a lifetime for us and we packed a lot of memories into these 30 days. Each day we tried to do something that we had never done before -- that was challenging on the days that it was too windy or cold to go out on deck. We played pool by the Colony Club and marveled at how we could sink EVERY ball with one shot (sometimes we sank all the balls before we even hit them.). It was a little rough once in a while and that helped the balls go to the far corners. We played Trivia, went to the shows, played cards with friends, went to Karaoke, hung over the rails at the Centrum to watch the dancers and the programs, read as much as we could, and ate at every opportunity (we actually concentrated on walking more on this trip so we went home lighter than we had started). There was always something to do. We had several exceptional crew members: Michael (our steward); Noel, Inuit and Irish in the main dining room; and Susie in Future Cruise Planning. One area of discontent for me personally was in food selections -- keep in mind that I am diabetic and have food allergies so my choices are always limited because of the situation. I asked Chef Gabrielle on the second day in the Windjammer if he could provide Sugar Free Pudding or Sugar Free Jell-O on the dessert bar -- Sugar Free cookies or cake don't count because carbs from flour and fat convert to sugar. It is possible that the cooking staff is not aware that "low-fat" and "lite" are not the same as Sugar-free. Those selections were never offered on the entire cruise. There were also a few issues with the menu items being mislabeled in the Windjammer. My main dining room choices were usually salmon and vegetables because the menu was heavy on shellfish additives (even Caesar Salad has anchovies in the dressing). Our head waiter, Noel, was very good at warning me what was appropriate to select. He was more careful than some have been because his little boy has severe food allergies also, and he knew what the dangers were. We are loyal Royal Caribbean customers that travel exclusively on RC. Even with that consideration, we received no introduction to the Diamond Lounge or the amenities there -- our keys didn't work until two days before the end of the cruise. We would have much preferred free Wi-Fi in exchange for the offered 6 drinks a day (not everyone does drink so why not offer a choice) . Other aggravations were created when the booking arrangements from Tampa Airport to the Hotel were messed up -- no one came to pick us up as arranged and eventually we found that the name of the hotel had been changed. The hotel was very nice and accommodating after we had been checked-in. By the time we left for the ship on the next morning, we were ready to relax and rest -- but we spent another hour at the terminal trying to get through the lines. When we departed the ship at the end of a 30 day cruise, there was no one to pick us up and take us to the hotel. We waited over two hours for our transportation before one of the young men secured a cab for us. The next morning when it was time to go to the airport for the return trip home -- there was NO TRANSPORTATION AGAIN to get from the hotel to the airport and we had to pay $55 euros for a cab. That is really unacceptable for a company that prides itself on "customer service". Our loyalty Ambassador was condescending when we couldn't understand her directions. The Centrum really isn't the place to position the Loyalty areas, customer service, or cruise planning. It is impossible to hear anything with the loud music in the foreground. We have already planned two more cruises, and it would be wonderful to find that some of these issues have been attended to by the time we embark again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. My husband is a diver and he has always wanted to dive Belize and Cozumel. Royal Caribbean did not offer a diving excursion in Belize (Even though it is one of the top diving destinations ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. My husband is a diver and he has always wanted to dive Belize and Cozumel. Royal Caribbean did not offer a diving excursion in Belize (Even though it is one of the top diving destinations worldwide.) He had to book it outside of the cruiseline. Getting on the ship at Tampa port was very well organized. We did not have our Sail Away documents printed out, but we were still able to board very quickly. The security and lines look very daunting, but move very quickly. I was quickly frustrated on board. it was crowded and we were hungry. There were many crew members about as we came on board, but none of them directed us until we started downstairs which was not yet allowed. We finally found our way to the Windjammer, but there was NOWHERE to sit. After wandering for several minutes, we finally found a table and took turns getting our plates. We ate quickly so as to free up the table for others. Once we were able to get to our cabin, we met our cabin steward, he was fabulous. We had dinner reservations at Chops at 6:30 and he was able to get my husbands suit pressed in plenty of time. Paulino was one highlight of our week. Chops was fantastic. We went back a second time. Our first day at sea was quite rough. Lots of people were seasick. We met our table mates and diningroom server that night. Martin was absolutely our favorite part of the trip. If I could request him on future sailings, I would. We stopped in Roatan, Honduras and Belize City with no trouble. Our excursions were as we expected and our on board experience was great. The water in Belize was rough and my husband's dive experience was not as great as he hoped...reasons to return. Our next stop should have been in Costa Maya. The captain tried, but was unable to dock. We were to have another day at sea. There wasn't much to do. We had a massage. It was fine, but not amazing. Cozumel was wonderful. Our last day at sea was quite relaxing. Saying good bye to Paulino and Martin was sad. Disembarkation was very smooth. The line at customs was very long,but if one uses a porter one uses a different line that is quite short. (Why doesn't everyone use a porter?) Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this cruise as going to the Panama Canal was on my bucket list. My great grandfather had actually worked building the original canal and I wanted to experience it for myself. There were 4 of us adults in an extended balcony ... Read More
We chose this cruise as going to the Panama Canal was on my bucket list. My great grandfather had actually worked building the original canal and I wanted to experience it for myself. There were 4 of us adults in an extended balcony cabin on deck 7. The cabin itself was fine; plenty of storage for the 4 of us as I have come to expect with a Carnival ship. There were some dents and scratches but the cabin itself was very clean and the room steward was great; another think I have come to expect from Carnival. Embarkation in Tampa was fine. We had FTTF and were on the ship by noon. However, our luggage did not arrive until 8 pm! Here I will comment on the reported over 1,000 Diamond and Platinum members on the ship. I believe the staff overall during the 14 days were so overwhelmed with serving the perks of the Diamond and Platinum members, that the rest of us lowly Gold, Red and Blue card members got overlooked. We had YTD, but because there were so many people who requested early dining that could not be accommodated, it was practically impossible to eat before 8 pm in YTD without having to wait 45 minutes for a table. Therefore, we only ate in YTD I believe 3 times on our 14 day cruise. We were hungry before we could get a table so we just ate on Lido for dinner, since the menu was almost the same. Upon debarkation, the FTTF people were held along with the suite people in a private area of the ship, but were not told to debark until after luggage tag 5 was called. We weren't actually told to debark even though we had luggage tag #2, but someone heard #5 called and we all left. The person in charge of us royally goofed. Anyway, the actually debark in Baltimore was fine, except there were absolutely no taxis available by the time we got off the ship. It was in the 20's that morning and we waited probably 45 minutes for a taxi. So, debark in Baltimore was not very good for sure. Anyway, the fact that Carnival sold FTTF spaces with that many Diamond and Platinum guests was a big mistake, IMHO and I believe it was a waste of money. All of the ports were great! Weather was perfect in Cozumel, Costa Rica, going through the Panama Canal, Aruba, Bonaire and St. Maarten. We just took a cab to Paradise Beach in Cozumel, had a private tour in Costa Rica (awesome), took a cab to the Butterfly Garden in Aruba, shopped and went on the sunset cruise in the afternoon (awesome), rented a golf cart in Bonaire and went on a 2 beach private tour in St. Maarten. I will say that besides the Panama Canal being a highlight, we wish that Costa Rica would have been a longer stop. There was also an issue with getting off the ship in Costa Rica because everybody wanted to get off at once because of the short day. We had a wonderful tour, but with the ship being in port only from 11 am to 5 pm made it a very rushed day and it is such a beautiful country! It was very windy in all ports except for Costa Rica and excursions in Aruba and St. Maarten were cancelled. Since we only ate in the dining room 2 or 3 times, I cannot comment on the wait staff really. The food on Lido was just OK and we always could find something to eat, but the Chinese food was pretty bad and there were none of those boneless breaded chicken fingers to be found anywhere on the Pride. We even asked the chef, who told us in no uncertain terms that they would not be served on Lido ever and we were told to go to the MDR. So, we went to the MDR and were told they only had the chicken strips but we had to order them a day ahead of time. We did this a couple of times and made them a take out order, but they were very small and I think had a Panko crust that was very thin. I never heard so many people complaining about the food choices on a cruise for dinner as on this cruise. Many guests called them "weird food" and I would agree that there were some strange things on the menu. Lots of pork dishes, lamb, very little pasta, dry seafood, beef dishes were generally tough and very little chicken. I only saw turkey one night and it wasn't the night of the American Feast. Thank goodness for guys burgers, salads and fresh fruit! There was a noticeable lack of bar staff wandering around the Lido except for embarkation day. It was always easy to find a deck chair except for Serenity. The wait staff in the bars was pretty good, but it didn't seem like this was a drinking crowd because the bars were rarely full. The entertainment in the Taj Mahal was pretty dismal. The Playlist Productions were not good. We have seen these productions on other ships and on the Pride they did not met my expectations. The special acts they brought on because it was a Journeys cruise were great. Adam in the Piano bar was OK. The other singers around the ship were OK, but the young woman who sang like Joni Mitchell and played the guitar really got on my nerves. It seemed wherever I went, she was there singing. They had her and another singer on the Serenity Deck for a few hours a day also. It's supposed to be quiet on Serenity, IMHO. Nice string duo playing around the ship. Overall the Pride seems tired. It was very clean, but it is showing wear. Examples, there were many floor tiles loose in the Lido area that were not fixed, worn carpets, scratches and dents in various areas of the ships. The CD, Steve from Canada also seemed tired. The Fun Shops didn't have much of a variety of merchandise and it seemed like a lot of wasted space. We love the layout and different areas of the Spirit Class, but the Pride needs an update. The one shining spot for the Journeys cruise was the Academy of Fun classes run by Tom Parks. Very informative, and we learned a lot from him Tom is also very approachable and if you had a question or wanted further information, he was always around to talk to. The 80's throwback day was also fun. Overall, we had a great time and were not disappointed with the itinerary, which is generally why we choose a cruise. The other passengers were very friendly to us, but there were grumblings among them about the food, entertainment, condition of the ship and some were very rude to the staff. We would take the Pride again since it is only a 6 hour drive for us, but the normal itineraries out of Baltimore are not very great and it needs an update. We rate this cruise very good, mostly because of the itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We did the back to back cruise starting from Barcelona: consisting of a 2 week Trans Atlantic cruise followed by a 1 week Western Caribbean cruise. Emarkation in Barcelona wasn't that well organised, we had a very long wait with no ... Read More
We did the back to back cruise starting from Barcelona: consisting of a 2 week Trans Atlantic cruise followed by a 1 week Western Caribbean cruise. Emarkation in Barcelona wasn't that well organised, we had a very long wait with no seating available for the less able guests. The disemarkation in both Miami and Tampa was a nightmare but this was due to the customs and immigration rather than NCL. We really enjoyed the laid back atmosphere of the Trans Atlantic part of the cruise and would highly recommend it as a relaxing care free holiday. NB the average age on board for this part of the cruise was 64 years . The Western Caribbean part of the cruise was good, however the atmosphere on the ship changed dramatically - surprisingly as the average age of the guests on board was much lower the ship was quieter in the evenings after 9.30pm - apart from the casino, which must have tripled the turnover of the previous 2 weeks... We found the food and the wine on board to be of a nice if not amazing standard - even the buffet was very acceptable. The staff were very helpful and polite and most were friendly. We were grateful we had a drinks package as part of our deal, as the price of drinks on board are very expensive for those without a package. We found the bar staff in city bar area to be very friendly and extremely knowlegeable about their trade. The staff in the Spinnaker bar didn't appear to take the same pride in their work, to be honest I am not sure if it was down to the waiters misunderstanding the order or the bar staff taking less care but lets just say when the order arrived it was often surprising but not always delighting. Overall we really enjoyed our time on the Jade and we would certainly sail with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I chose the Atlantic crossing to see if I would like being on the ship for that many days without a port call. I loved it. I did have early concerns because, being a fairly new cruiser, I unknowingly picked what was supposed to be a ... Read More
I chose the Atlantic crossing to see if I would like being on the ship for that many days without a port call. I loved it. I did have early concerns because, being a fairly new cruiser, I unknowingly picked what was supposed to be a "not so good" location for an oceanview cabin. It was on deck 3 all the way at the front. However,it turned out to be just fine. Our cabin steward was fantastic and treated us like we were in the luxury suite. I did not have any bad experiences with the motion of the ship or any unusual noises. The only negative (which turned out to be a positive) was how far we had to walk to the dining rooms and other public areas. Considering the amount of food I consumed, it was excellent for me to have to walk those extra steps. I was pleased with the size of the ship and all the interesting things they had scheduled to keep you occupied if you needed it. I didn't chose to use the wifi package and it was a big plus for me to be 'unplugged' for the days we were crossing the Atlantic. I could always find free wifi in each of the pots and catch up on what was necessary. I didn't book any shore excursions preferring to do my own thing which worked out just fine and was a lot cheaper. Overall, I'm very happy with the experience and plan to do another one next year. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My 4th cruise with RC and first transatlantic.... I loved it! The room, the balcony, the staff service, friendliness and professionalism were all terrific. I thought room service, dining in the Windjammer and the Minstrel 4th floor and ... Read More
My 4th cruise with RC and first transatlantic.... I loved it! The room, the balcony, the staff service, friendliness and professionalism were all terrific. I thought room service, dining in the Windjammer and the Minstrel 4th floor and food was perfect! I never tried any of the specialty restaurants as I thoroughly enjoyed the dining room and the group of people I sat with. However, I would not use the spa mani/pedi (fire/ice) again, though. Extremely overpriced ($120) and not to US standards .... no gloves worn, nor foot soak prior to starting pedicure, no vibrating chair. I was the only one in the room at the time and the attendant continually ran to the door trying to fix it, rather than letting one of the others who had no customers handle the situation. *** My advice.... make sure you have your nails done before the cruise, or plan to do them yourself. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise to be with great friends and travel the Atlantic with so many sea days. We love being at sea and appreciate the activities and time to kick back and relax. We loved the evening Diamond/Diamond Plus events and spent ... Read More
We chose this cruise to be with great friends and travel the Atlantic with so many sea days. We love being at sea and appreciate the activities and time to kick back and relax. We loved the evening Diamond/Diamond Plus events and spent many hours visiting with old friends and making new ones. The crew were awesome and the Captain sure set the tone. He was everywhere and was a real leader for the team. We started in Tampa and stayed with friends. We've been to some of the ports before so we were able to discover new places and explore different sites. The only difficulty was the rain in Europe (oh well). We had an aft JS on this ship and loved the space and the balcony. It was the site of many wonderful sail away and sail in parties. This also provided us with a great down time zone. The ship is older and showing the age in spots. We had ++ vibration in the cabin due to the position. This was especially prominent at night when they pick up speed. The temperature was good in our cabin but many had difficulties in others. I love the aft so the size and balcony are well worth the other issues. The temperature regulation on the ship was problematic. The Windjammer (although I only went in a few times) was always unbearably hot while the centrum on Deck 4 was fridgid. You get a strong smoke smell anywhere near the Casino but this seems to be a problem on all Royal Ships. The activities staff and variety of events was excellent. There was always something one could do during the day if needing entertained. Lots of trivia opportunities that we participated in. Once again our favourite spot is the Schooner Bar. The nightly Diamond/Diamond plus event was moved to the Show lounge and it was very nice to sit back there as the noise level was manageable. This ship is just not designed to have a large number of loyalty members in either the Concierge Lounge or Diamond Lounge. I did not spend much time in the Concierge at it was always very warm as well. The nice thing was it was quiet. They didn't have the TV blaring or music so it provided a nice getaway. At times there were strange odours throughout the ship… We ate at all the specialty restaurants and enjoyed the food very much. The dining room service was good and the food very good. The problem with MTD is always getting the time you really want but I understand the difficulties. Thank you once again for a great vacation. The Next Cruise Desk know us well. I love that so many people are available now. Thank you to the Loyalty Ambassador for helping us out and providing ample opening times. I found the Loyalty times on the Serenade were extremely limited. Cheers and I would do it again… Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Our transatlantic voyage on the Vision of the Seas was a lovely experience. There were some minor issues, but our goal was to get to Europe in the most pleasant and economical way possible. The weather was generally very good with just a ... Read More
Our transatlantic voyage on the Vision of the Seas was a lovely experience. There were some minor issues, but our goal was to get to Europe in the most pleasant and economical way possible. The weather was generally very good with just a few instances of rainy weather that resulted in some instability. We had no trouble with walking or sea sickness during these very few times. The Vision of the Seas is a small ship but very well maintained. With age comes some inherent issues, such as smaller than usual staterooms and equipment that is challenging to maintain to current standards (the shower water was never very warm, especially during high use times). There were a few nights where it was a bit rocky with vibrations from the stabilizers. The Windjammer on VOS has a very small selection without a lot of variety. In their defense, the serving area is quite small. Captain Marek Slaby is an excellent captain and the crew was also top notch. I usually hold most crews in high regard but this group was exceptional. Captain Marek is personable and quite handsome. His wife was onboard and it was lovely to see them dancing and interacting. He was a guest judge each day for the Officers’ Master Chef Competition. Captain Marek also said goodbye to each guest at disembarkation. Embarkation: We stayed at the Doubletree Suites which was very nice and in a safe neighborhood. We had dinner at a nearby Caribbean restaurant. The hotel provided a shuttle, but we walked back. The hotel arranged for a shuttle $10 pp to port. The embarkation process was very efficient and we were onboard between 11:30-12:00. Only the Windjammer and Café near the Solarium are open for lunch on embarkation day. We toured the ship by ourselves. The first night’s entertainment featured comedienne Rick Snyder who offered up old jokes. Things got better after that first night. Dining: The MDR was generally a very good experience. Our waiters were excellent and the food was nicely prepared and delicious. A few beef dishes were a bit tough according to the other guests at the table. Our table mates were all lovely people and we enjoyed the conversation each evening. I don’t particularly enjoy waiters dancing and don’t like the pressure to rate them a 10 that increased as the end of the cruise neared. The Windjammer’s breakfasts featured generally the same items each day with a little variety (scrambled egg with tomato, scrambled eggs with shrimp, etc.) The fruit was cut into chunks (nice!) but the pancakes and waffles were dry and hard. The one omelet station was crowded. The food in the Solarium Café was very good and it was pleasant to enjoy a meal there, if you could find room to sit at lunch time. Cabin: We had a small, but efficient inside cabin on the seventh deck. The shower was really small and I am a pretty small person! We dislike a shower curtain clinging to us. Not much storage in the bathroom but the cabin storage was adequate. The mattress was sort of hard and they had no egg crate toppers when I asked but our steward did find one softer pillow. He did a very fine job of cleaning, but we are a couple with few needs. There were no gel or bathroom amenities automatically placed in the bathroom. Entertainment: Many of the entertainers were excellent and worthwhile. We enjoyed Gary Arbuthnot (flutist), James Stephens III (singer/impressionist and comedienne), Mark Preston, Traci Shields, the excellent show band, aerialists and others whom I failed to record in my notes. The dancers and singers were fine and the other performers around the ship were the same. One of the best experiences were the many dance classes offered by Miriam and George Moses. With great skill and patience, they taught the foxtrot, tango, waltz, cha-cha, two step, rumba, swing, etc. The classes were held in the Atrium which has a small dance floor. It would have been much better to hold the classes in Some Enchanted Evening which has a large wooden dance floor, but the games and bingo were held here instead (go figure). Marian and George came each night where dance music was played to help anyone who needed further instruction (or remediation). They were outstanding! There was a variety of dance music each night. We enjoy ballroom dancing but there could have been just a bit more music from the 1960s to1990’s. Karaoke seemed poorly attended and the venues could have offered dancing instead. Enrichment opportunities were interesting if you like to learn about economics. I would have preferred something on history or Europe or Spain, but the presenter did a good job on this topic. Cruise Director and staff: The cruise director, Mike Hunnerup and his sidekick Elvis were the weak link of the crew. I’ve really loved every Australian I have met on cruises, up until this point. His previous mediocre reviews were verified. I think they both purposely try to avoid passengers. I don’t find Elvis’ brand of sarcastic humor entertaining. Enough said. Elvis was the only crew member at the Meet and Mingle for our Cruise Critic group. It was absolutely the worst event ever (no fault of the cruise critics). He held control over it like it was an irritation to be there. NO OFFICERS were present. The rest of the crew was outstanding. Even the customer service staff was kind and efficient and a few went above and beyond which is not typical of many ships. They even made a ship to shore call for me so that I could confirm a private excursion. Master Chef Competition: This was enjoyable and something different. The judges were two passengers who were chosen because they had accrued an ungodly number of cruise days on RCCL. The man was fine but the woman mumbled and couldn’t be understood and was often critical. Captain Marek kept the atmosphere fun and upbeat. The downside was that there were no cooking demonstrations, which I enjoy. Exercise Room: The smallest I have ever seen and very crowded. I don’t want to spend my cruise waiting for equipment. I love a rowing machine and none were there. The promenade was just fine for walking except that the bow was closed off so the dogs onboard could relieve themselves. There were at least three onboard, one being a very well trained and “real” service dog. The others were given rides in strollers… Religious Services: A priest held mass daily and the Jewish passengers had a Passover dinner. RCL put the priest in charge of the Sunday non-denominational gathering and he didn’t even show up on the first Sunday. The Protestants had to sort of fend for themselves. At first, four different groups posted on the community board but then they all worked together amicably to have one daily at 3:00. The ship did not allow the service to be mentioned in the daily bulletin even though there were several ordained people in this group. This group turned out to be another wonderful experience and grew in number each day. James Stephens III, a performer on the ship attended each day and added immensely to the comradery of the group. We met many lovely people and a number of people who were on their way to the mission field in Europe. This group was one of the very best experiences on the ship. Medical Services: I had the misfortune of needing to use the facilities but it turned out that the doctor was just wonderful and diagnosed my condition exactly right and the total cost was lower than I expected. $186 for the exam, lab test and two medications. I went down to the medical center at 8:00 and was done by 9:00. Very good experience. Pool and Solarium: Even though it was April, many guests had a chance to use the pools. The Solarium is lovely but the chair hogs start coming before 7:00 (I had my AM coffee there each morning and witnessed the claiming of chairs each day). RCL did nothing to stop it. The pool and solarium area were large and pleasant with comfortable seating. Laundry: RCL had a $30 “special” bag but it was only for items that did not require pressing (pajamas, t-shirts, underwear, socks, etc). Anything that required pressing was at the regular rate, but the cost was not prohibitive. Priority Status: A transatlantic often has many people with diamond status and above. Some Enchanted Evening Lounge featured alcohol and appetizers each day before dinner for the Diamond+ event. We aren’t at that status yet. It would be nice to have a free drink before dinner every day! Comments and Survey: We were told by Elvis to let them know if there was a problem while onboard instead of writing a negative review. There was no easy way to let people know of problems: no comment cards, not many officers roaming the ship, etc. A survey was mailed upon disembarkation but expired in seven days. Many who travel on a spring TA stay in Europe a while, so we had no way of giving our opinion when we returned home after spending 11 more days in Europe. Disembarkation: The process in getting off was relatively easy but it was raining and the que for a taxi was long and many people had to stand outside in the rain. We went through European passport and customs in Portugal, so Barcelona was a snap. Summary: Despite some details that were a bit disappointing, nothing about the cruise would prevent us from booking a cruise on the Vision of the Seas or RCCL again. The positives far outweighed the negatives and it was a great value. The crew and the other passengers made the cruise a great experience and were glad we went to Europe on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Our 2nd transatlantic cruise with RC. Will always try to travel to Europe this way instead of flying, which we find torture. We don't drink or take excursions as we find these very overpriced, but always enjoy our cruises. My ... Read More
Our 2nd transatlantic cruise with RC. Will always try to travel to Europe this way instead of flying, which we find torture. We don't drink or take excursions as we find these very overpriced, but always enjoy our cruises. My wife and I traveled with a friend and were given a family cabin (Cabin 2532) which was perfect for us. The cabin steward, Arlin, was great - low key, friendly and efficient. We found the food not quite as good as on our previous cruise 4 years ago, but still pretty good. I'm a vegetarian and I decided to have most of my meals in the Windjammer as there was much more choice for me there. My companions preferred the dining room for the evening meal and tell me the service was excellent. Captain Marek was great, and every crew member we met was friendly, personable and efficient. Certainly no complaints there. The only real downside was the coffee in the Windjammer, which was terrible! Worse than any coffee we have had anywhere. I hope that RC will make some improvements in that department. We used the gym on deck 10 most mornings. Would like to see more treadmills.There was a 20 minute time limit on them due to high demand. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Fantastic cruise, As a solo cruiser it was the best ever, I met lots of solo women my age group, someone to dine with every night. There was more than enough activities to keep me occupied even the eight days at sea there was plenty ... Read More
Fantastic cruise, As a solo cruiser it was the best ever, I met lots of solo women my age group, someone to dine with every night. There was more than enough activities to keep me occupied even the eight days at sea there was plenty to do, lots of fantastic people from all over. The food and crew were also terrific, I think it was great value for money. The smaller ship was also an advantage being solo the bigger ships can be very lonely. I loved Tampa, great city to cruise out of, I spent two days there after a long flight from Australia. Combining the western Caribbean and the Transatlantic cruises together was also a plus giving me twenty one nights sailing and two different passenger groups, the younger and party mode on the first seven nights to the older more reserved on the Transatlantic. overall a fantastic trip can't wait to do it again Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My trip was a triple back to back to back 28 day. Did cruise at same time as popcorn52 and totally agree with her comments. Best Capt. (Merak) ever. Food was so-so but that's the standard with Royal Caribbean now. But plenty of it. ... Read More
My trip was a triple back to back to back 28 day. Did cruise at same time as popcorn52 and totally agree with her comments. Best Capt. (Merak) ever. Food was so-so but that's the standard with Royal Caribbean now. But plenty of it. Too bad you have to go to a specialty restaurant to get a decent steak. Probably on purpose. Prefer Princess overall however RCL's dining rooms are laid out better. Now that I've reached Diamond level I'm told RCL is playing games. Seems the Pinnacle's don't want to associate with us commoners. Putting a rope between us. Give me a break!!! We will be Elite with Princess after our next cruise so most of our future cruises will probably be with them. Princess will also stack on-board credits, Military, Shareholder, etc. Where RCL will just give you the best credit. Just my observation. Hope this helps you. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Tampa was a easy port to depart from. Staff at pier were very friendly and polite. I did bring 2 bottles of wine, wrapped in bubble wrap, in my carry on . I also transported 12 cans of diet coke in my carry on. No problem going thru ... Read More
Tampa was a easy port to depart from. Staff at pier were very friendly and polite. I did bring 2 bottles of wine, wrapped in bubble wrap, in my carry on . I also transported 12 cans of diet coke in my carry on. No problem going thru security. It is a bit of a hike to get on the ship so if you need a wheelchair assist do not hesitate to ask for one. Our balcony cabin was nice. Room steward did a good job. Friendly and courteous. Windjammer was busy on first day but we were able to find seating. Food was very good with nice variety. We ate most breakfasts and lunches there. The Park Cafe has wonderful roast beef sandwiches..not to be missed. We had first dinner seating. Our wait staff was excellent. I was able to order shrimp cocktail a few times even though it was not on the menu. Food was very good..not excellent, but very good. Entertainment was good to excellent. We enjoy going to the shows and the late night comedy. We enjoyed Clo the cruise director. I thought she did a very nice job. Unfortunately, we hit some bad weather, a storm actually, and the seas were very rough for 2-3 days. Days on board were chilly requiring a light jacket. For a 14 day cruise there were 3 formal nights. It was fun to get dressed up. However, my husband didn't share my sentiment so one of the formal nights we ate in the Windjammer. Shore excursions: We didn't do one in Norfolk as my husband was stationed there in the service. We did do the ship excursion in Cobh and thought it was nice. Weather was chilly and rainy so that didn't help. We were fortunate to book a private tour to the Omaha Beach..very moving. The ships tour had sold out weeks before sailing. So if you plan on seeing the beaches in France.book early. We took the scenic Flanders tour in Brugges. It was very nice..got to the chocolate factory..yum. Disembarkation was easy. Plenty of porters to help with luggage. We stayed 2 nights in London following the cruise. It was fun. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Some of the reasons that we chose this cruise was because of the ports since we had not been to Ireland nor had we been to Norfolk, VA or Cherbourg in France. But the other part is just that we like to cruise and the transatlantic answers ... Read More
Some of the reasons that we chose this cruise was because of the ports since we had not been to Ireland nor had we been to Norfolk, VA or Cherbourg in France. But the other part is just that we like to cruise and the transatlantic answers that. This was our 2nd transatlantic and we met some great people and there was plenty to do plus we got hooked on Trivia. It had been a long time since we had been on RCL and I was pleasantly surprised. Very easy to find your way around with the little directional interactional maps that they have on each deck . We are now booked on another RCL Med cruise, the Rhapsody of the Seas in October 2016 which we booked because it had great ports plus it was going to do a transatlantic but unfortunately RCL canceled that portion. I think they chartered the ship out so we booked NCL out of Barcelona. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
It was a good cruise and being my first time really enjoy it will be taking other next year.Our Stewart was very nice room was always clean and if we needed anything he was willing to get it for us.almost every night it was show,dinner and ... Read More
It was a good cruise and being my first time really enjoy it will be taking other next year.Our Stewart was very nice room was always clean and if we needed anything he was willing to get it for us.almost every night it was show,dinner and dancing it was really nice to have different choose every day in what was happening at night.Most did private excursions on port days but we did one shore excursion with cruise and really enjoy that. There was so many different types of dining to choose from and it was good and you could eat where ever your heart was into that day. Enjoy the fact that it could be dress down or up depending on your mood. Could have not ask for better service from the cooks to the waiters who clean the tables and the messes that some people left. To me it was a good trip and being my first time really enjoy it was fun to meet different people from all over the world. But as always you get people who will complain about anything and sometimes it seems. That they enjoy hearing their own voice or just looking to complain about anything and if that is the case why not stay home than. p.s no curtain from shower goose me lol Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was my second cruise, the first being a Baltic/Russia cruise 2 years ago, on RCL's Brilliance of the Sea. It was fantastic, and was port intensive. This time, I wanted my next cruise to have MANY sea days, and this ... Read More
This was my second cruise, the first being a Baltic/Russia cruise 2 years ago, on RCL's Brilliance of the Sea. It was fantastic, and was port intensive. This time, I wanted my next cruise to have MANY sea days, and this Transatlantic had 10 sea days, 8 of them consecutively. This is what I enjoyed the most - the ship's culture, activities, service, etc. The ports and excursions were secondary, but more on that further down. Embarkation went off without a hitch. Although the lines were long, there were sufficient staff waiting to check you in, that the line seemed to never stop, and rarely did one stand in the same place for any length of time. The ship itself was a bit smaller than the Brilliance and had no mini-golf, but this was known ahead of time, so can't fairly complain about that. The Windjammer Cafe seemed to have a fairly limited menu, but I was still able to find sufficient quantities and varieties of food, but did not quite meet my expectations. I ate breakfast here every morning, except on a couple of days when I went without, as the time change (we gained an hour on 6 days as we travelled west) occurred at 10 am, and made it too close to lunch time. Lunch was here every day, save one. My experience with both breakfast and lunch was the same: Food was adequate to excellent, and the service was ALWAYS excellent. Their attentiveness can't be faulted, offering juice, water, tea/coffee. Their pleasant demeanor and smiles made me feel welcomed and at home. One warning though: in an effort to remove empty plates and keep tables clean, the staff can be overzealous here. If you do go back for seconds, or for dessert, ensure at least one member of your party stays at the table - or if dining alone (as I sometimes did), leave a personal item (I would leave my e-Reader). Otherwise, you will come back to the table you had, but already occupied by others. Dinner was always in the MDR, again, save for one night. The menu each evening offered a fantastic variety of starters, main courses, and desserts - different each night (with a few staples or "Classic" entrees offered every night). Variety was not a problem, and the quality could rarely be faulted, although one fish dish I had was a bit on the cold side (but had been thoroughly cooked). As a pair, our servers were adequate. The main server was quite personable and interactive, always asking if "everything was ok", but his assistant was a bit of a mystery - he seemed to be always smiling, and was quick at filing my ever-empty water glass! But he barely said a word, and his heart just didn't seem in it. Perhaps he had too many tables to serve? But for me, I like to interact and chat with my servers whenever I can (in any restaurant) and he just did not seem to care. We did use the specialty restaurants twice - both times at Giovannis - once for lunch early in the trip, and then later on for supper. Both times we had the same waiter - in fact, he offered us to return for supper at a 20% discount ($20 for lunch, $25 for supper, but with the discount he offered, it was $20 for both). Ali was quite attentive, very enthusiastic about his service. He just LOVED to bring us food, more food than we could possibly eat. The supper we had, we had with a married couple we had met in the airport in Toronto (after having met online through the Cruise Critic Roll Call), and as a group, in good humour (and faultless motives) chided Ali about all the food he was bringing (large portion, etc.) For whatever reason (perhaps cultural?), he took offense to it. He did his best to hide it, but it appeared to us we had inadvertently cause some harm. So we did apologize and left what I hope were considerable tips (despite the menu saying the price of the meals included the gratuity). The only late night venue which offered hot food (or any food at all after 11pm) was the Park Cafe, located in the solarium, by the pool. I used it a few times for slices of pizza (adequte, but certainly not gourmet) or hamburgers, cold drinks, and a small selection of sweets. Salads and sandwiches were also usually available, but I did not have any of these. Ports of call were adequate, but this was not a focus for the cruise for me, and nor should it have been for many. Key West was our first one, and it was nothing special to me, although a visit to the one of its museums taught me much about its history. Funchal, Madiera (Portugal) was an occasion of white knuckles for me. We had booked a 4 X 4 Madiera Adventure, and that it was! Some of the roads on this island born of volcanic activity are extremely narrow - such that one would have to pull over to allow oncoming vehicles to pass. That some of these roads were right on the edge of cliffs, sometimes with no barriers, and often times at such high inclines, this is not for someone with a fear of heights (such as me). My hand actually started aching from hanging onto the handle that was handing from the ceiling of the Land Rover. Gibraltar was quite enjoyable. Exploring the Siege Tunnels, get a chance to see the Barbary Apes, and visiting Europa Point - the southern most point in Europe. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate, and seeing the north coast of Morocco was not possible. None of the excursions in Malaga appeared overly interesting, but I choose the Caves at Neja. For caves they were spectacular, but caves don't really capture my attention. The Port of Malaga is one that I could have done without. But having said that about the Ports of Call, I didn't choose this cruise for the ports. It was for the sea days - to do nothing if I wanted. I was able to read 5 books on my eReader, watch a few movies, and found a willing and much better Chess opponent, where we spent hours playing each other. It turns out he was once on his native country's national chess team. This entire period of the cruise was relaxing and rejuvenating. Just to do what I wanted - or do nothing at all - at my own pace - was liberating. One final highlight: Cruise Director Steve allowed High Seas Ministries to conduct church services on the 2 Sundays of our cruise, and on Sea Days, they did a 1 Hour Bible Study. Tracing the themes of creation, covenant, and salvation through each of the 66 books, we spent 5 days in the Old Testament and 4 in the New Testament. This was not something I had expected, but it was a wonderful blessing. About 50 attended regularly. Kudos for Steve and Royal Caribbean! Disembarkation went off well, although we were about 1/2 hour late leaving the ship compared to the posted schedule. But there was still plenty of time to get on our Royal Caribbean transfer to the Barcelona airport in time for our flight. In all, it was a very good cruise, and it was almost everything I expected. Ship was clean and presented well. Although I have little to compare it too, many often commented about the extremely high level of interaction by the ship's officers, from Captain and right on down. For what I wanted out of this cruise, I surely received it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We have been on the Pride previous to the 2.0 upgrades and it was just ok. This time my experience was much different. The upgrades added greatly to my experience. The food choices and quality were much better. The venues were a great ... Read More
We have been on the Pride previous to the 2.0 upgrades and it was just ok. This time my experience was much different. The upgrades added greatly to my experience. The food choices and quality were much better. The venues were a great addition. I would have liked to see "Pub Grub' offered in the Red Frog Pub though.... The room still is in need of some upgrades, like a flat screen TV. The toilet had a long delay and the light in the bathroom took forever to turn on. The entertainment was the best I have ever experienced on any cruise I have taken. As, well as the entertainment staff. Although I didn't care for the new CD, Jase, the rest of the staff was great! The Gym has completely new equipment with tv's on each of the cardio equipment. The ports and weather were fantastic. Our favorite port being Bonaire! Disembarkment in Baltimore is the same as always, very slow. Nothing to do with Carnival, but Baltimore needs to figure out the kinks because it took over 3 1/2 hours. I am already excited to see the Pride again next year for the Journey cruise in March!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This was our fifth time on the Pride and was grateful for the changes from the "same old thing". Embarkation in Tampa was a breeze! Many folks ignore recommendations and insist on arriving at the pier at 930-10am and then get ... Read More
This was our fifth time on the Pride and was grateful for the changes from the "same old thing". Embarkation in Tampa was a breeze! Many folks ignore recommendations and insist on arriving at the pier at 930-10am and then get annoyed when they have to wait to board. We arrived around 1230pm and was on the ship within 25-30 minutes. We walked right on after getting our s&s cards....no line whatsoever. Ship: Loved the new upgrades. Some areas of the ship still really need to be repaired/painted but the 2.0 ares looked amazing. New areas definitely looked a lot more classy/polished than the old parts of the ship. Food: Guys Burgers were great after getting back on board, good burgers/fries and very quick service. Burrito/taco bar was a tasty alternative as well. It is only open for breakfast and lunch. Deli was good as always as was the pizza. MDR was good to very good. Steak house was very good but not as good as I remembered it. Buffet was VERY poor in my opinion. Caribbean stew and jerk chicken were good but found everything else I tried bland and luke-warm at best. Chopstix Asian buffet has some nice spicy offerings. Cabins: As expected, cabin was clean and well-maintained. Steward did a great job as usual. We had an obstructed balcony cabin for the first time but will spend the extra and get regular balcony from now on. Lifeboats made noise and being on deck 5 above dining room area you could smell smoke from below at times. No more obstructed for us. Entertainment: Ships shows were good, I don't get into musicals etc but they were still entertaining. Comedians ranged from very good to horrible. There were 8 different comedians over the 14 days. The final comedian we watched had approx 40 people walk out during his performance because he just simply was not funny. Most were good for a few laughs though. Staff: Amazing. Staff was great! Alchemy Bar bartenders are a must see! Debarkation: We were off the ship with no problems. Apparently there was a long delay right after us so many people were inconvenienced but we got lucky. The Good: New areas look great, addition of the dive-in under the stars was a nice option on such a long cruise, enjoy the band/dj at the main pool but the could change the song selection up a bit more. The Bad: Many people on board were sick, including us. I am amazed when the staff are all pushing the sanitizer on us and promoting safe hand washing etc and I still see men walk out of the washrooms without washing their hands or people coughing in/around the buffet stations etc Who raises these people? The buffet food deserves another mention here. Wow, was it bad. I tried the Asian buffet for the first time ever and glad I did as the rest of the buffet was tasteless and borderline cold. Love spicy food! Passengers: Chair hogs were running wild. We didn't bother with Serenity as it was jammed and those seats that were "empty" were "reserved". Table hogs-This one is new to me but on the last sea day when it was too cold to sit outside we witnessed several groups holding card tournaments in the buffet seating areas while countless numbers of folks walked around carrying their plates looking to sit down and eat. If you want to play cards go somewhere else....maybe the card room? Most people we encountered were great, fun people. What on Earth is with everyone announcing their Platinum/Diamond status to anyone who will listen within earshot? I experienced it on Royal but this group put all others to shame. Loved the Pride and her now options. Have sailed exclusively Spirit Class ships to date so really looking forward to the Dream in January. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
The ship itself was very nice, a bit on the opulent (like Vegas) style which I thought was very nice but some thought was a little "over the top". Despite some of pre-cruise issues with propulsion system it ran flawlessly and we ... Read More
The ship itself was very nice, a bit on the opulent (like Vegas) style which I thought was very nice but some thought was a little "over the top". Despite some of pre-cruise issues with propulsion system it ran flawlessly and we went through some very high winds (peaking >60mph)for couple of days but ship was amazingly stable. Almost no sense of movement at the worst of it. Ship was clean. Wait staff in main dining room was not very professional generally but there also many that were just delightful and overall we enjoyed these dinners. Our cabin steward was a delight and a wizard with towels for our nightly amusement. The negatives were a noticeably lower quality of night time entertainment, just average food most of the time and very little to choose from in off hours dining. No sushi in open dining at all and only offered one time that I ever saw. Absolutely the worst regular TV, movies and video I've ever had on a ship. This was my first transatlantic (in a cruise ship)so maybe that is common but I got more news while crossing in my own sailboat. Other cons were that communications while on board were quite limited so it was not always easy to know what was going on. Overall we considered it a great value and a wonderful relaxing way to cross the ocean. Beats the hell out of flying and was only a little more expensive!   Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We prefer HAL and were new to the Ryndam, chose this cruise because we wanted to be in England early May. I would not choose the spa room category again, thought it was a waste of money, a water feature took up a lot of space and splashed ... Read More
We prefer HAL and were new to the Ryndam, chose this cruise because we wanted to be in England early May. I would not choose the spa room category again, thought it was a waste of money, a water feature took up a lot of space and splashed our "stuff" on the desk area. We normally go for verandah but this ship goes from ocean view to suite category and a huge price difference. Our 21 day voyage began with a stop in the Bahamas and then off to Madeira we thought. To miss a bad storm we headed south of the Canary Islands and up the inside passage, well worth missing Funchal, we were a small ship,been in storms. Canary's were amazing, Lanzarotte, our second stop was volcanic and was like a moonscape, we will return. Perhaps same time next year. The ports of Cadiz, Spain, Lisbon, Portugal, St Malo and Cherbourge, France and Zeebrugge, Belgium were very special too. We took ships tour in Cadiz, to Jerez de la Fronterra, mainly because it was Eater Sunday and the city was closed-up. Lisbon we had toured previously so we chose to walk to the Fortress. Vigo is Vigo, we had toured there before, spent our time window shopping. St Malo is a walled city with lots of charm, tendered out here and again walked the walls. Seeped in history. Belgium is almost perfection, having toured Bruges, we chose a ship's tour to Ghent, included a canal tour, brilliant educated guides, perhaps best ever. Embarkation and Dover disembarkation ran very smoothly, Sunday morning, May 1 after the Royal Wedding weekend, we were in Heathrow before 10 a.m. for the flight home. Of course it's a very short run across the Channel from Belgium. This was our 4th transatlantic, last year on Norwegian Sun and on the inaugural Noordam voyage to Rome. In 1967 we were on the old Constitution to Gibralter in a hurricane, navy duty station transfer, it took a lot of courage to get back on a ship but it has been well worth the effort. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011

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