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555 Transatlantic Senior Cruise Reviews

Basically used as transport from the UK to the Caribbean, we had time to take this trip as part of our itinerary to reach home. Southampton check in -very quick and efficient the only flaw was NCL’s oversight in prebooking information ... Read More
Basically used as transport from the UK to the Caribbean, we had time to take this trip as part of our itinerary to reach home. Southampton check in -very quick and efficient the only flaw was NCL’s oversight in prebooking information in failing to advise that documentary proof of ESTA is required. Ship-We had anticipated some shortcomings as this voyage was essentially a shake down , however it was interesting to see how the latest cruise ships have evolved with a lightly built, full bowed hull outfitted with low maintenance Internal modular units obviously designed for a refurbishment a few years down the road. Despite its huge size the vessel reacted like a much smaller one encountering some poor but not particularly rough sea states, surprising that it is classed for “winter North Atlantic” service. The internal ambience is very understated and the internal decorators have done an outstanding job in both layout and decor. Cabin-Mini suite on deck thirteen, was a little on the narrow side and the balcony, unused due to the weather, extremely small. A large amount of storage, more electrical points would be useful(US standard only). The king bed was comfortable and located inboard of the seating area, apparently the sofa converts to a double bed, it would be adequate only for small children. Bathroom was large with excellent shower, but poor quality toiletries. Restaurants-complimentary, were somewhat limited as Taste, Savor and the Manhattan Room have exactly the same menu which changes little from day to day. The Garden Cafe cafeteria was generally a better choice, being large, beautifully laid out and with an good selection, the carvery and Indian sections were the high spots. -specialty, Ocean Blue(seafood), very disappointing , Food Republic basically sushi with a rather annoying tablet menu, a little better, Le Bistro, worth a visit for a change, Cagneys, by far the best and really the only one worth paying for unless the very reasonable Free at Sea package had been purchased. Bars, although cumulatively quite large in number only the Observation deck had a lounge quality with adequate seating. Again the Free at Sea package is almost essential even for moderate drinkers as the per drink prices are high, a plus point is that only the excess cost is charged over the base prices for premium drinks. Wi Fi-worked well but the very reasonably priced unlimited use add on is essential as the basic 250minutes was consumed by an apparently arbitrary log in and out algorithm. Service-Generally good(vessel only 50%occupied), but could improve particularly in table clearing and cabin areas. Entertainment-Two free professional level productions but not continuously available meant that tickets were scarce. Smaller general acts very similar to other cruise lines. Excessive emphasis on trivia and TV type game shows indicate a Bingo rather than Bridge orientation. Outside facilities, did not use due to weather-vessel is geared to tropical cruises. Value-exceptional,even including Free at Sea and extra Wi Fi costs Disembarkation -An utter shambles, not the fault of NCL, or indeed the immigration officers who struggled to cope with 2000+ passengers using outdated technology and without the self clearance machines used at US airports. They were fortunate, as were we, that the crew were not permitted to disembark.Customs clearance on the following day was much easier as the officers basically just watched passengers collect luggage and leave. High spot-The sea approach to New York under the Verrazano Bridge , past the Statue of Liberty and up the Hudson to the terminal berth was stunning and could have been more so had the ships entertainers been used to provide NY music during the transit. Fellow passengers-mix of American , British, Canadian and some others. Many hugely overweight and large numbers of mobility scooters, walkers and wheel chairs, generally in 50 to 70 age group and preponderance of return NCL guests. Overview-A relative bargain on a new ship , perhaps a half star lower than Holland America or Celebrity but quite enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I have gone many transatlantic cruises but this was one is one for the books. They were understaffed. Took forever to get dinner, lunch at the restaurants. The ship was not prepared for this cruise. I will never do ncl on a transatlantic ... Read More
I have gone many transatlantic cruises but this was one is one for the books. They were understaffed. Took forever to get dinner, lunch at the restaurants. The ship was not prepared for this cruise. I will never do ncl on a transatlantic again. Entertaining was good if you were a sardine and squeezeed into small rooms. Everyone was hacking or sneezing. Wasnt for the drink package it would of been a total wipeout. Room was never done on time. Come back at 2:30 in the afternoon and room still not done. Then we went threw customs that I have never experienced. Everyone off the ship and no one allowed back on until the coast guard cleared us. Old people sta ding and sitting for hours and were was ncl with drinks or food. Nothing from them and they said they had no control. This ship is not meant for transatlantics. Keep it in the US. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I chose this cruise because of its destination without really checking the specific shop. This was our 5th HAL cruise and was the most disappointing. The food quality on the Lido deck wasn't up to the usual HAL Standards. It seemed ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of its destination without really checking the specific shop. This was our 5th HAL cruise and was the most disappointing. The food quality on the Lido deck wasn't up to the usual HAL Standards. It seemed that by the time we got back to our seats, most of the hot food wasn't. We ate a lot of lukewarm to cold meals on Lido. The communication for excursion departure needs some improvement. On one of the first excursions, the announcement called for Group A. No one had ever mentioned a Group A so we incorrectly saw a large A on our ticket and thought it was us only to find out later that that A meant adult. We missed getting our excursion Dot and ended up boarding the wrong bus. My biggest complaint about excursions is the HAL staff did not prevent those with physical impairments from joining events that had been categorized as difficult from joining the group. The result is that we all slowed down and it took longer to complete. We skipped some planned stops to make up time. Extraordinarily unfair to the majority of the group. On balance with the complaints is the extraordinarily friendliness of the entire staff...officers, wait staff, cabin severs, and even workers passing in the hallways. The ship was spotless by the way. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Princess takes great care of suite passenger so we enjoyed breakfast in Sabatini's, club class dining, special room services menu items, priority spa reservations, room service on debarkation day and many other extras. We think the ... Read More
Princess takes great care of suite passenger so we enjoyed breakfast in Sabatini's, club class dining, special room services menu items, priority spa reservations, room service on debarkation day and many other extras. We think the cabin price is worth it. We've never complained about quality of food on our many Princess cruises and this one was no exception. In fact, we thought food on this trip was particulary good. Club Class dining each night had a special tableside dish that was delicious each time. We visited the Crown Grill and Sabatini's for diner twice each during the trip and enjoyed truly exceptional meals and service.The crew we encountered was all top notch--friendly, cheerful, attentive and professional. I would have like to have ticked five stars above but we were very disappointed about having two of six ports cancelled. The culprit was the weather which of course is out of Princess's control but the complaint is how missing these ports was handled. We happened to be on a Princess cruise in the maritime provinces of Canada during Hurricane Sandy that caused several of the eastern seaboard stops to be cancelled. Rather than just bob about until it was clear to sail south, Princess found a couple of places for us to visit while we waited. In the current case, Crown Princess merely changed course and aimed to the next stop after a cursory announcement from the captain. It seemed to us that in the case of cancelling the Azores call, we could have remained at Lisbon to have the advantage of a full weekday ashore or stopping at Madeira. Surely the captain knew before we left Lisbon that Hurricane Lorenzo would keep us from the Azores, so we could have stayed at the dock. If we couldn't, an explanation of why not would have been the courteous thing to do. Likewise, an explanation of why Madeira couldn't be a substitute would have been appreciated, especially since we got close enough to that destination to transfer a medical patient from Crown Princess to a boat sent out from Madeira. We think the passengers deserved more than silence. One other minor gripe. Our coffee card from an earlier cruise was refused as having expired. At sale, the cards are advertised as being good on later cruises for specialty coffees and there's no mention of expiration. Pretty cheap on the part of Princess to declare one has expired. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We will have to laugh about this cruise, but want to let others know that a repositioning cruise might not be for everyone. It was unfortunate that we didn't have a better idea about what to expect, and what we want is to let others ... Read More
We will have to laugh about this cruise, but want to let others know that a repositioning cruise might not be for everyone. It was unfortunate that we didn't have a better idea about what to expect, and what we want is to let others know, and perhaps avoid disappointment for them. We left from Southampton on Sept. 22, and sailed to Brugge/Belgium, where we had a great shore excursion. Then on to Isle of Portland, England. We were not able to dock there due to unsafe weather conditions. This is a great cruise for folks who enjoy staying onboard even during the stops at the ports, and just enjoy being on the ocean for many days at a time. My husband and I like a little more variety, and look forward to the shore excursions and learning about the people who live in the different ports.That just put us on the sea too many long days. We would suggest that the end of Sept. is too late to be in those parts. Also an older crowd on this ship. On to Burgundy, France, which was just not a great stop. The winery tour just didn't do it for us. Our next stop was Bilbao, Spain. We did dock, and had plans for a great shore excursion, but when we looked at our actual tickets, it was just too strenuous for us, compared to what we had read in the description. Other excursions were sold out, so, oh well...stuff happens. Now, on to Lisbon, Portugal, and that was a wonderful excursion, and a great day. The Azores Islands were our last scheduled port, and the one that we most looked forward to. Nope! Hurricane Lorenzo was headed there too, so we turned tail and sailed away. The captain made a great decision that time too, so we had 8 more days on the ocean. Ugh...don't take this cruise during hurricane season! Lucky for us, we met some great new friends, and had partners for Rummy 500 every day. Trivia is always fun. Performances at Princess Theatre were just a little too opera-like for our taste. We also had some nice, warm days on the deck in the shade. As you will see from my scoring, we were very happy with the crew, room steward and all of the great wait staff who were right there for us. The food was great, as usual... Some unfortunate events, which started with the fact that we boarded a ship full of sick folks in Southampton. They were carrying over from earlier cruises. Bad chest cold...everyone had the same horrible cough...others had some kind of flu, and had to be quarantined to their cabins. We got sick, yes, as careful as we were, but we got over it in a few days. Even had a couple of unfortunate folks who had to be evacuated from the ship due to illness. Our most huge mistake was not getting a balcony cabin. Our inside cabin was plenty roomy, but we needed fresh air in our cabin! The best item that we brought onboard was a fan! I am posting cabin photos. R515 interior cabin. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Great cruise line. Awesome ship and service. One of the best designed ships we have ever been on. Wraparound Promenade deck. Thermal spa outfitted with more different treatment areas (whirlpools, snow room, dry sauna, steam room, etc). ... Read More
Great cruise line. Awesome ship and service. One of the best designed ships we have ever been on. Wraparound Promenade deck. Thermal spa outfitted with more different treatment areas (whirlpools, snow room, dry sauna, steam room, etc). Great fitness room. Most rooms between the common areas on decks 1-2-7-8 limiting how many stairs to traverse to get between rooms and common areas. Ship had no feeling of crowding anywhere. Common services desks designed to address client needs. Ship was largely digital meaning that many things could be accomplished through television set in the stateroom. Service was exemplary in every way. Wait times throughout the ship were short or non-existent. Service was highly anticipatory. All administrative activities including embarkation and debarkation, as well as port visits were professionally and efficiently handled. Very good food, using fresh, high quality ingredients. Food was well prepared and tasty. Special requests were handled by the culinary staff with aplomb. World Cafe had most items of the Restaurant + some additional surprises. Mamsen's deli was okay, but the Pool Grill was outstanding. Both Manfredi's and Chef's Table were very good. Could have offered more traditional desserts. On-board activities, while not lacking, could have been more robust. Afternoon tea was great featuring more than 12 types of tea. Enrichment lectures were good also and were recorded for later viewing in the staterooms. No casino or bingo which was a plus. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Numb, as in unbelievable, Numb as in over whelming, Numb as in booked another cruise with Viking for next year. We had seen the TV documentary "Mighty Ships" showcasing the "Viking Sky" and a week later were booked ... Read More
Numb, as in unbelievable, Numb as in over whelming, Numb as in booked another cruise with Viking for next year. We had seen the TV documentary "Mighty Ships" showcasing the "Viking Sky" and a week later were booked for our cruise on the "Sea", I had Viking do all our bookings for our transportation to Oslo, as well as our Oslo and Bergen extensions. We were not disappointed, as everything went well, with ground transportation, the 2 hotels we stayed in, as well as the train trip between Oslo and Bergen. I beloved they saved us about $4,000 Cdn, (for 2 people) as I booked the airfare using a dummy account, and was well satisfied with the outcome, and that didn't include booking hotels or train trip. Upon our arrival at the cruise terminal, we were informed we would leave Bergen a day early (disappointed) and miss the Shetland and Faroe Islands (disappointed), but would have two extra ports in Iceland (Wow), due to stormy seas as the remainder of Hurricane Dorian hit the area. A few other changes were made due to rough seas, but Viking and the Captain made the changes ahead of time, allowing replacements and relocations so our cruise wasn't days at seas. This allowed us to cross the Arctic Circle, and spend extra time in Iceland, a place we might have never returned to, as well attended to the safety of the ship and passengers / crew aboard. I have mobility issues and use a walker. The tours we took, were OK for our limits, as we were allowed to wander at our own speed and were given a time and place to meet, which we adhered to. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze, except at Quebec City. I knew, as Viking stipulates in their "FAQ" area, you are responsible for getting yourself off and on without crew assistance, but at Quebec City no wanted to take my walker on or off, and it was a long stand waiting while the walker sat on the pier. The boarding ramp also in Quebec City was not handicap friendly due to the small steps (my ability of using steps, not the port or ship or anyone else's ability). All other ports, crew couldn't have been nicer or more obliging getting the walker on and off, and assisting on ramps and tenders. The ship was beautiful, simple lines but very elegant. We had so much space and a good choice of areas to sit, depending the mood and what we wanted to see or the hear the music provided by the onboard musicians. The "Living Room" was divided into smaller sitting rooms (about 8 to 10 seats), each with art work, a multitude of reading material, ornaments on tables and shelves and thro-blankets and cushions giving a very warm and at home feeling. The food overall, was very good, sometimes things weren't great or what we expected but that's standard wherever you go or even at home. The "Restaurant" had wonderful choices, with standard fare on the left side of the menu and seasonal / regional choices on the right side. We mostly ate from the right side, and enjoyed what we ordered. Service was professional, and the odd time things did get dis-jointed, but we always got what we wanted, and if something was forgotten, it was there in seconds. We never left hungry. "World Cafe" had a nice choice of foods, and they would prepare to order. We only had lunch there, as we preferred the "Restaurant" where portions are controlled, as we always filled our plates way to much, and hate to waste food. "Manfretti's" was wonderful, especially the rib-eye steak, but learned we can order or split portions if we choose. We were very pleased we could have 4 dinners there. We had one dinner at the "Chef's Table", which was Asian and wonderful, but we choose not to return for the Mexican themed dinner. At both specialty restaurants, the servers explained the menu to us in great detail, as well as the wines we ordered. We paid for the "Silver Spirits" package which included upgraded wines at meals, and any alcohol or soft drinks on board. The jury is still out, whether we would get it again. I kept of tally of what we ordered, and we broke even. The upgraded wines aren't a big deal for us, and we are not big drinkers, but ordered a few specialty drinks we wouldn't of had if we were paying for each drink. However, it was nice knowing you wouldn't get a large bill at the end. The crew were "amazing" and everyone on board made our holiday special, from their hellos in the hallways or greeting us by name in the food and bar service areas. They remembered our likes or dislikes or could predict whether we were having 2 black coffees or 2 Absolute and tonic. High Points: 1) no children 2) no up-selling 3) included internet (worked well most of the time) 4) no photography or photographers in your face 5) treated like responsible adults (not to many party people on board) 6) no pushing future cruises, it was made known you could book on ship (which we did because we wanted to, not because of pressure) There is much more to tell, bu the highlight was, Viking did us well, and we look forward to our next cruise in June 2020. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It is a bit concerning to take a small ship across the North Sea and North Atlantic. We have crushed the route on a big ship, but how would it be on a small ship. The answer is it was great. The small ship allowed us to quickly move ... Read More
It is a bit concerning to take a small ship across the North Sea and North Atlantic. We have crushed the route on a big ship, but how would it be on a small ship. The answer is it was great. The small ship allowed us to quickly move around the ship. No long lines and no waiting for elevators. The Pacific Princess ha a very friendly and efficient staff. Our embarkment at Dover went flawlessly. Quick and efficient. We got settled in, explores the ship and were ready to sail before the muster drill. This itinerary was almost perfect. A day at sea to begin with. Stavanger and then another sea day to Iceland. 4 ports around Iceland and then 2 days back to Norway. 4 ports in Norway and then a sea day back to Dover.The sea days allowed us to rest after the great ports. The ship was pleasant, but somewhat outdated. The small size presented problems for the Production Shows. They were well presented, but the venue did not provide good views of the shows. Occasionally, I felt that there wasn't much to do, but that may be ok. I was pleased with the quality of the performers. There were only two singers in the shows, but they were both outstanding. Our cabin was smaller than we were used to and had little storage. The bathroom was about the same size as usual, but was not organized as well as the newer ships. The main dining room only had traditional dining, but that is my preference anyway. The staff was well trained and efficient. I enjoyed the dining experience, but some of my companions felt the menu was too limited. The staff was more than willing to accommodate when requested. The disembarkment at Dover was quick and easy. A most pleasant experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
2019 New England Cruise- Seven-day journey. The Regal is a large ship that handled the rough sea with grace. The Crew could hot have been and any better and always available for our concerns. We are already planning our next cruise as a ... Read More
2019 New England Cruise- Seven-day journey. The Regal is a large ship that handled the rough sea with grace. The Crew could hot have been and any better and always available for our concerns. We are already planning our next cruise as a result of this fine experience. The food was awesome and always warm. Choices on food are endless and the staff made every meal special. Celebrated my wives birthday for dinner and staff made the celebration a memorable experience. Thank you Princess for being one of the top cruise lines available. Entertainment: Comedian on board for several shows that was absolutely the funniest and kept it clean. This is the first time I have sat through a whole routine without walking out. Princess Cruise understands what passengers want. Ports: Rhode Island, Boston, MA, Bar Harbor, NB, St, John, NB, and Halifax, NS. Each one was unique and most enjoyable. Indulged in three excursions. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose to travel to Canada and the Cruise and Maritime Marco Polo was available for the cruise. The ship is small and old. Built many years ago. It tilts and sways alot. It is suitable for retired and elderly people. I experienced stress ... Read More
I chose to travel to Canada and the Cruise and Maritime Marco Polo was available for the cruise. The ship is small and old. Built many years ago. It tilts and sways alot. It is suitable for retired and elderly people. I experienced stress because of a elderly woman who talked non-stop. The male supervisor who works in the buffet area, stares at you in a hateful way. He behaves as if he resents passengers helping themselves to food that they paid for! The buffet cooks behind the counter also stare in a nasty unpleasant manner. The tall, male security guard with dark hair, enjoys stalking women in a creepy manner. He follows women like a creepy shadow. WiFi is not available, so I could not access online banking. Some of the tours were suitable. For example, Montreal, Quebec and Sydney. The Marco Polo cruise was for 30 days to Canada. My dining experience in the buffet found a variety of cooked food. Chicken, fish, and vegetarian. Also salads. The Waldorf restaurant provides a daily set menu to choose from. Two or three starters, main meals, and desserts. Alcohol has to be paid for as extra expenses. Activities such as, comedy drama and singing was pleasant entertainment. There was a daily £5 charge for art classes, for this reason I only attended once. The service by staff in general was basic. The Scotts bar, had 1 good bartender who served nice cocktails. The cabin i stayed in was a standard room. Two single beds, a cabinet with drawers, a double wardrobe and one chair. A small shower room. With basic soap and shampoo with a unpleasant smell. Towels were changed by request. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our last time on the Marco Polo was in 2011, our second cruise, after our first on NCL with a butler and a concierge and lots of fancy extras. We’ve done lots of cruises since, but the Marco Polo has stayed VERY special and both times ... Read More
Our last time on the Marco Polo was in 2011, our second cruise, after our first on NCL with a butler and a concierge and lots of fancy extras. We’ve done lots of cruises since, but the Marco Polo has stayed VERY special and both times have been equally enjoyable. It’s a shame this is the last time the Marco Polo will visit Canada, so I’ll concentrate on the ship, rather than the ports. If it were to return to Canada, I’d suggest calling it “Canada with a fall”, as a lot of people took the title “fall” rather too literally and actually fell, which kept the doctor fairly busy (although he always seemed to have time for a cigarette – and the occasional brandy - out on deck!)! On arrival, the new parking facilities at Tilbury made things much easier. As we went towards check in, we were greeted by Sheena, a member of staff who recognised us from 2011 – she was also there to wish us a safe journey home when we got back! Check in took no time, and within minutes, we were in our cabin. We really like CMV, and yes, there are things they could do better – information about the ports could have maps, there could be more mugs available and a couple of the waiting staff might be a little more courteous at times (that said, our waiter, Pritish, was fantastic). Sometimes, perhaps a little more attention could be paid to detail. Getting the time zone wrong was a good example, but it does add to the quirkiness of CMV and probably why we rate it so highly. It’s a small ship experience with a very friendly and very helpful crew (mostly) and very friendly passengers (mostly), with no casino, no art auctions, very few queues, no huge upselling – and no kids (although most passengers are very young at heart). Calling it a “small ship” is correct, but as the cruise progresses, it takes longer and longer to get anywhere as you keep nattering to people on the way! We’ve racked our brains as to what facilities a larger ship has that we’d use and can’t think of anything that really makes a huge difference to our overall enjoyment. We booked a “guaranteed” cabin and were allocated 655, an accessible cabin on deck 9. It was very big and exceedingly well situated. It had more than ample storage facilities with a large dressing table and three wardrobes. And very usefully, lots of wall hooks for coats and dressing gowns that we brought with. One of the dressing gowns came in particularly useful to block out the light from under the door. Most of the time the noise from Scott’s Bar didn’t bother us, however we did have to make sure the big doors were closed before we went to bed, and were annoyed by the selfish people who opened them once or twice late at night despite the signs. Our cabin door rattled - we managed to remedy it by using a sock - the cabin attendant did say he’d inform the carpenter, but that didn’t seem to happen, however he did keep the cabin absolutely spotless and never seemed to stop working. The hold rails in the bathroom came in very useful when we were taking a shower in rough seas. However, as for true accessibility, the ship isn’t modern and one day a lady was in tears after climbing the gang way back up to the ship which was very steep due to tidal conditions – she didn’t leave the ship again until disembarkation. However, others (including yours truly) managed to dance in Scott’s Bar in rather rough seas until the small hours. With so many sea days, we were delighted with the daytime activities, especially the creative writing classes by Chrissie – and the drama classes with Harry and Emma. Doing these meant that there were clashes with some of the lectures but the ones we saw (especially Steve’s maritime history ones) were great. Sue was always on deck saying we’d just missed a whale (seriously, she was fabulous at explaining the natural world around us) – and Lucy was a real trooper although a lot of what she said about photography rather went over our untechnical heads – we just want to point and click to get a photo! Given that our previous Marco Polo Cruise Director was the amazing Richard Sykes, Josh had a lot to live upto and he was a really great Cruise Director – a very talented showman with a great future. The standout moment for us was when he unexpectedly appeared during our drama class in his costume for the cocktail competition. At that moment, it confirmed we were in great hands! The nightly entertainment was mainly very good, although we thought the comedians were rather past their best before date. At nearly 60, I really struggled with some subjects, such as putting sixpences and aspirins in stocking suspenders that broke in the wash. Thankfully some other passengers explained it to us. One thing we would change about the “Round the World” would be the English bit. Surely Gracie Fields, Vera Lynn and some outdated jingoistic claptrap about how we’re going to widen our “Empire” could perhaps be replaced by something more in keeping with the modern world, perhaps a couple of Beatles songs, like “With A Little Help From Our Friends” and “Imagine”. Or even Scooch’s Eurovision entry, “Flying the Flag”. Or something less innocuous like “My Old Man”. It was nice to see a smattering of same sex couples, perhaps we should have asked for an LGBT meet up to be put in the programme as we didn’t get to know one couple until the last few days. Being gay obviously wasn’t a problem, but we were rather more cautious about talking about politics and very carefully “came out” as pro-EU – and were delighted to find so many likeminded people – and were over the moon that EU flags sometimes adorned our cocktails! Unlike some other lines, CMV isn’t “totally” British, we very much enjoyed having a smattering of Dutch and Australian etc passengers onboard. The food was very much to our taste, I’m not sure I ordered anything I didn’t like, and there was a very good variety with very few repetitions during the 30 days, although my pescatarian husband had a couple of veggie dishes he wasn’t keen on, but they were changed very quickly to something he did like. Our waiter, Pritish, was absolutely brilliant and dealt with our dietary requirements superbly. Portions were huge and our only complaint was that the food was too nice so we ate too much! Of course, it wouldn’t be CMV without a few quirks – vinegar springs to mind where at first it came in a gravy boat, then the waiters just brought the plastic bottle! Shame I can’t be as enthusiastic about the house wine. My husband refused to drink the house white after a while and we ended up buying bottles – even at £12 after the discount, it mounts up and is rather annoying when you’ve already spent around £1200 on two drinks packages. For our next cruise, we’ve decided to take the VIP package, reluctantly, in the hope that the wine is better. To cut down on eating, many times, we had the free “breakfast in bed” – toast, a croissant, a pastry, orange juice and tea/coffee was enough – inside cabins don’t have a kettle, so this was a way round getting a hot drink in the morning. A cooked version for a tenner was also available, although I’m not sure how you’d actually eat it comfortably in most cabins which don’t have a table. We only missed one port, St Johns, due to a hurricane, the rest of the time, we got to our destinations, although the tender process was a little chaotic at times, and our last Canadian port, Sydney was only until 1pm, meaning a very short stop for some – thankfully we pre-booked an excursion meaning we were off the ship quite early, but didn’t get a chance for a walk round the town afterwards. The excursions we went on were well priced and well organised and most of the time, free shuttles to the city centre were laid on by the port authorities, but that’s down to the port authority, rather than the cruise company. There’s no denying that CMV is truly unique and not for everyone. There’s simply no point in comparing it to other lines, it does things differently, it will suit some people more than others, and I’m sure there will be reviews about the “rust bucket” and “rude staff” etc. It certainly isn’t a rust bucket and 99% of the staff are friendly and helpful. Towards the end of the cruise, we had no hesitation in booking another with CMV where we got a 5% discount – plus free parking from cruise.co.uk! We’ve now got three CMV cruises to look forward to, none on the Marco Polo, which is a shame as it’s a fantastic ship, but I hope we’ll put that right soon enough. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had the most relaxing and enjoyable time. The best part for us was the bed!! the most comfortable sleep like being on a cloud. Our accommodations were wonderful. We had a suite and big balcony. One morning we had room service and it ... Read More
We had the most relaxing and enjoyable time. The best part for us was the bed!! the most comfortable sleep like being on a cloud. Our accommodations were wonderful. We had a suite and big balcony. One morning we had room service and it was perfect but we preferred to go to Sbabinit's for club class private breakfast. Food was special, service with attentive wait staff and always with joy. Also the club class dinning for dinner was above expectations. Food was varied delicious with so many choices. Again staff and seating was so accommodating. Relaxation time in the afternoon at the Vines bar was such a treat and late lunch at Alfredos pizza and Italian was out of this world. Our excursions were one of a kind. Visiting Russian and Berlin were the high lights for us but we were so pleased with all our choices. Even some of the ports where you could go on your own and walk into towns were so enjoyable. We also enjoyed the comic shows and the music in the atrium especially the classical group which played every afternoon and also the afternoon teas. We are ready to travel with Princess again and cannot wait until we will be able to book again. Additionally, my husband had some difficulty walking and he was treated with such care and consideration as were others on this cruise who needed chairs or walkers. It was truly heart warming to see how well everyone was treated. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This is a 8th cruise with Princess and our second time on the Regal Princess. We fully enjoyed all the cities in the Baltic region we went to and concentrated mainly of the visiting and not time on the ship. The staff on the ship made ... Read More
This is a 8th cruise with Princess and our second time on the Regal Princess. We fully enjoyed all the cities in the Baltic region we went to and concentrated mainly of the visiting and not time on the ship. The staff on the ship made you feel comfortable and were always polite and made sure all your needs were met. We only went to a few shows on the ship and found them OK but not of high caliber. We found that the cities always had something for us to see and explore. We did not really use the cruise ship excursion as they were very expensive and using Rick Steves guide for the ports allowed us to go into town and see most of the sites as most ports were walkable, We did use the cruise excursion to get to town for Sweden as the ship docks about an hour away for Stockholm and the hop on/ hop off bus did not seem very convenient and we had on board credits to use. Princess also tries to scare you into using them for St. Petersburg as you need to be on an escorted excursion or you will need to have a visa for there. There are numerous other local companies that can arrange the same thing. After some research on Cruise Critic and Trip Advisor we decided used TJ Travel for a 2 day excursion at half the price and I would rate them 10 our to 10. They also will give you a discount if you mention you are a Cruise Critic member ( which they honored no questions asked). Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was a 12-day Transatlantic Cruise from Lisbon to Boston. I was a little ambivalent about going on this smaller and older ship. I knew it had recently been in dry dock for some sprucing up, so I was curious what we would find. Well, it ... Read More
This was a 12-day Transatlantic Cruise from Lisbon to Boston. I was a little ambivalent about going on this smaller and older ship. I knew it had recently been in dry dock for some sprucing up, so I was curious what we would find. Well, it was wonderful. It looked as though all the carpet and furniture in all the public areas had been replaced. The furniture was comfortable and inviting. And, like all Holland America ships, they absorb people well - I never felt like I was in the middle of a huge crowd. It's a relaxing and very pleasant environment. The food, as with our every other HAL cruise, was really excellent. We had two occasions that were a disappointment, though. One evening in the Main Dining Room, I ordered lamb kabobs. They were terrible - cold, hard, dry. I immediately told our server that I wasn't happy with the dish and he very rapidly brought me something else I chose. So, it really was no problem at all. The replacement was paella, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The other less-than-lovely experience was in the Pinnacle Grill, which is HAL's premium added-cost dining venue. We usually go twice during a cruise because we really enjoy it. This time, however, we cancelled our second reservation. We waited 20 minutes for our appetizer, and about two-thirds of the way through my appetizer I found a 10" hair. The manager was mortified. Then we waited over and hour for our main dish. I was ready to walk out, but it was too late to go to the Main Dining Room. The manager was extremely apologetic, and confessed that they had been having difficulties in the kitchen. Needless to say, despite the excellent food, it was an unpleasant experience. The manager called our room a couple days later to apologize again and to say that he hoped we would come back so he could show us a better time. We didn't return. None of this should be taken as a review of all the Pinnacle Grills fleet-wide. Each restaurant is it's own, sort of like a franchise. Every other experience we've had in the Pinnacle Grill on other ships was top-notch. The embarkation in Lisbon wasn't what we expected. We stay in a Neptune Suite, and on every other cruise, as soon as we check in we're told "feel free to board any time". This didn't happen this time. It was a decent length wait. I don't mean this as a complaint, but as an observation that if they say priority boarding is one of the benefits of having a suite, then they should make sure that happens. One notable enrichment activity: on the sea days, they have America's Test Kitchen, which is a cooking instruction - just like there might be on t.v. Each of them were excellent. As a side note: we are a same-sex couple. We have never had one second of a negative encounter/service because of it. (In fact, for the cruise we took for our 25th anniversary, they decorated our door with balloons and streamer and a huge sign. They also brought a decorated cake to our table.) Our 12 days on Veendam were simply great. I would readily choose this ship to sail on again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Everything about our cruise was great! We boarded very easily in NYC The ship, though older, is kept clean and well appointed. Restaurants: all were excellent! And I do consider myself a foodie! Have been on NCL, RCL, MSC, and way ... Read More
Everything about our cruise was great! We boarded very easily in NYC The ship, though older, is kept clean and well appointed. Restaurants: all were excellent! And I do consider myself a foodie! Have been on NCL, RCL, MSC, and way back on an Italian Line. Cunard was great in all areas; Buffet, Main Dining Room, and Verandah! Not a single line can cook a steak as well as Verandah! (Ships cannot use open flame so it’s difficult to cook a great steak without a flame!) The other point is cleanliness. Having been on all RCL mega ship crossings and each of their buffet rooms were not kept very clean when dining was going on. Waiters would wipe tables onto floor and often tables were hardly cleaned! So QM2 touché! Shows were ok. Not great but enjoyable. The walk/run deck was great! The Aqua Therapy was phenomenal and well worth the $$! Finally, as we enjoy the elegance of the QM2 the evenings, 3 of them formal, were great. The others require a jacket at dinner. (Tux are available and worth it!) The masquerade and roaring 20’s nights were a lot of fun. If you want casual go on a 7 day island cruise. If you enjoy great conversation, stimulating lectures, time to reflect and read great food, great drinks, formal evenings then go on QM2! And finally they do not beg for good reviews! PS our review for excursions says Excellent. But their weren’t any! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate my partner's birthday with a transatlantic crossing that included many destinations on our bucket list. We have been on other cruises in the Mediterranean and also South America - they were fabulous ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate my partner's birthday with a transatlantic crossing that included many destinations on our bucket list. We have been on other cruises in the Mediterranean and also South America - they were fabulous experiences that cemented our enjoyment of cruising. What we didn't know was that Cunard really only cater for people over 70. For people in this age category the cruise would have been a wonderful experience. All activities, meals, shows, events, excursions cater for this group. Even the entertainment coordinator was bland. The comedy shows were by people from the 60's and 70's where racist and sexist jokes were the norm. Sadly these acts hadn't changed their material. The only activities appeared to be quizzes or card games or ballroom dancing. There were no live bands playing popular music, sing alongs around the piano bar, live music and comedy shows around the pool. Frankly it was boring. The internet is also the slowest that we have ever experienced on a cruise ship. When on board we also found that for people who booked in Australia the cruise was for 15 days, whereas those from the UK had 18 days which included the Guernsey. Both were the same price! Not sure why Australians were given a different deal. Cunard also doesn't seem to care if people complain as they do not respond promptly if at all. Very disappointed. Perhaps when I am 80 I may consider another cruise with Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We sailed on the Queen Elizabeth in late July on a 15 night North Atlantic crossing.. The ship was built in 2010 and is the sister ship of the older Queen victoria. Both ships are Vista Class ships. Carnival Corporation, Cunards mother ... Read More
We sailed on the Queen Elizabeth in late July on a 15 night North Atlantic crossing.. The ship was built in 2010 and is the sister ship of the older Queen victoria. Both ships are Vista Class ships. Carnival Corporation, Cunards mother company, built a number of these vista class ships for its various fleets and aside from the two Cunard ships,a good number were built for Holland America, Costa and P&O, Having previously sailed on Holland America's Niew Amsterdam and Eurodam, I felt very much at home with the general layout of the Queen Elizabeth. However, by comparison, I found the Holland America ships to be far superior in many ways to the Queen Elizabeth: 1) Contrary to other Carnival owned cruise lines, Cunard ships have three distinct classes of guest accomodations: the Grill, the Britannia Club and the Britannia. Both the Grill and the Britannia Club passengers enjoy exclusive restaurants with the Grill passengers also enjoying indour and outdour exclusive areas. As a result. there is obviously less additional common areas to be enjoyed by Britannia class passengers. There is only one specialty restaurant available to all passengers ($40 per person). 2) Although the food quality is comparable to that found on Celebrity and Holland America ships, the service, especially in the Lido buffet restaurant leaves much to be desired. For instance, at breakfast, there is no coffee or juice service at the table and the coffee in the large coffee machines is constantly being re-heated leaving a bitter taste. Also, there is not enough personel cleaning and setting tables in the Lido (I presume this would not the case in Grill and Britannia Club restaurants). 3) Although the Queen Elizabeth is the more recent version of Vista Class ships, it lacks certain characteristics of older Vista class sister ships; There is no retractable roof over the pool (a must for transatlantic passages) nor are there automatic sensor doors to the rear and central parts of the ship which I found annoying when attempting to open doors with a drink and plate in hand. 4) The internet is terrible. If you are paying a premium price for an internet package you should not experience sporadic reception and you should not expect to pay for the many minutes it takes to log in and log out. If you are into serious Ball Room dancing you will be vary happy. There were the same few dozen couples who regularly took part in dancing while the rest of us enjoyed their performance. I would estimate that the average age of passengers is around 75. The entertainment is geared to this age group with music of the 50's and 60's together with a dose of Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole era songs. It felt like I was visiting a floating senior citizens residence. Cunard passengers are very loyal but I wonder how it will go about recruiting a younger generation of passengers. Cunard should be commended for the quality of guest speakers and the range of topics is excellent. If I do take another Cunard cruise it would be for the destination and not the ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Would we go again on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth ? Absolutely. This was a late July east-bound transatlantic cruise with stops in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Iceland, Scotland, Dublin and finally Southampton. We were generally blessed ... Read More
Would we go again on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth ? Absolutely. This was a late July east-bound transatlantic cruise with stops in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Iceland, Scotland, Dublin and finally Southampton. We were generally blessed with fine weather and calm seas; there was some movement on the north Atlantic but not enough to bother most people. Try to get your stateroom as close to the middle of the ship and as low as possible; it will minimize the rock-and-roll if there is any. Embarkation from Manhattan Terminal was perfect. From street to stateroom in 30 minutes. The ship is very elegant as others have said. it is sparkling in its art-deco appearance and it is very well-maintained, inside and out. Painting and maintenance are ongoing when we were at port. It is the very model of an elegant luxury cruise ship. We had 4 formal nights on the 15 day cruise; men in dark suits or tuxedos; women in gowns or smart cocktail dresses. Casual during the day but formal at night; it was not mandatory but for those not dressed up they had special dining locations those evenings. After the 3rd night I could get into my tux in 10 minutes, much faster than the first night. It was a chore the first night but it was special to dress up on this elegant ship. It takes a day or two to discover all the places on the ship and I'm sure I missed some. There are many public spaces where you can relax and read; many bars and cafes throughout the ship. Overall you get both a big but also intimate feeling on this ship. The library was very impressive; two stories with dark wood furnishings. My wife and I reserved the Queen's Grill Suite (Q4) Room 7088. On the QE there are 3 passenger classes: Britannia, Princess Grill and Queen's Grill. If it were a plane, Britannia would be economy, PG would be business and QG would be first-class. There is also Britannia Club which is a step above Britannia. The PG and QG restaurants are two, separate but similar restaurants on Deck 11 with similar menus and service. It is hard to tell the difference. They share a common lounge between the restaurants for PG and QG passengers. Apart from that, the rest of the ship is available to everyone. The PG and QG meals are served in their respective restaurants, including afternoon tea. For Britannia class, there is a large impressive restaurant in the aft of the ship; afternoon tea is served in the Queen's Room which is also the dance floor. The staterooms are of course larger for the QG than for the PG than for Britannia. Overall I think the QG is not that much different than PG. Service and attentiveness was very good. The big difference for the Grills is that you can have dinner anytime after 6 pm. For Britannia there is an early and late seating. We found the flexibility of the QG/PG to be very convenient. There are a mix of 2-tables, 4-tables, and 8-table sizes. My wife and I enjoyed our dinner mates very much at the 8-table size and we became friends. Food was very good but not great. The Verandah ($39 supplement) had much better steaks than at the QG; our dinnermates and we decided to go down there one night just to get something different and we all agreed that V was much better. Of course not everyone wants to pay a supplement for dinner when they have already paid for the cruise which could explain why the Verandah was not very busy. But it was worth it for the food. Age group was mainly in the 65+ crowd although there were some people in their 30s and 40s with children (ages 6-10) but this younger group was less than 10% of the passengers. Most were from UK, US, Australia, New Zealand. With QG there is refreshed wine and liquors in your stateroom each night, as well as refilled min-fridge at no charge. An Illy coffeemaker with refreshed tea, creamer, and coffee is provided. As well as evening canapes. This is in QG. Certainly nice touches but I think you could scrape by on PG or Britannia depending on what you are looking for. Activities on the ship were fine with lectures and high production value shows every night at 8:30 and 10:30 each night. Lectures on Broadway, Weather Prediction, Space Exploration, the upcoming ports were very good. The port excursions were generally well-organized and interesting. They are not inexpensive! And you may be able to find better value with some planning. But be sure to return to the ship on time! There are a few washing machines and dryers on each deck but not anywhere enough, so there was jockeying and some harsh words in the competition for them. Better to do your own delicates and send out the rest to the ship laundry which has a charge. I agree with others about the atrocious internet. Slow to connect, slow to use, and slow to disconnect. At $45 for 2 hours, Cunard probably makes as much on the internet as the cruise! You can't just shut off the computer because your account is still open until you sign off which was so slow I didn't know if I signed of at all. I had to call the purser every time to make sure they signed me off. Fortunately the long-suffering IT guy gave me back 45 minutes which was spent trying to get on and off the service. Befoe leaving home,sign on with your local wireless provider to use the port-days with discounted International Roaming. It is much faster and less expensive. Disembarkation was also perfect.Remember to leave some day clothes out before you go to sleep on the last night. Your luggage will be off the ship overnight so make sure you have something to wear on the last morning! We had a great time and we would do it again although we might try PG or Britannia Club for comparable value since 90% of the rest of the ship and activities are open to everyone. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We (2 couples) chose this cruise to return from a European vacation rather than fly back to the US. We knew the cruise would be very formal but as one English passenger said when I queried him about his experience on the 2nd day of the ... Read More
We (2 couples) chose this cruise to return from a European vacation rather than fly back to the US. We knew the cruise would be very formal but as one English passenger said when I queried him about his experience on the 2nd day of the cruise, "They are quite serious". LIkes: We booked the Brittania Club, therefore we had our own private dining table for four each night with the same servers. The food was truly excellent, on par with Oceania Cruise line, which is noted for it's food. (Kudos to our servers, Brendo and Orsulah). We ended up eating breakfast, lunch and dinner in the restaurant. We only gained an average of 2 pounds per person for a 7 day cruise and we believe that is because we mostly avoided the Kings Grill, which is very chopped up, located in several separated rooms with a limited selection of food. We understand it had been upgraded in 2016 from the original design. I cant see how it could have been much worse then. Also, the brewed coffee in the restaurant is very good, unlike the machine coffee in the Kings Grill. We had dinner one night in the Verandah steakhouse restaurant for a small upcharge of $39 per person and it was the best steak we have ever had. 35 day aged beef. The Enrichment and Art seminars, Tea Time and Gala Evenings were spot on great! We didn't mind the tuxedo and formal dress evenings and enjoyed the Masquerade Ball. The planetarium and Queen's Theatre were great venues also. Dislikes: Probably because we have been spoiled by cruises on Oceania Marina, Rivera, & Insignia and Holland Statendam and Koningsdam, we didn't appreciate the QM2 as much as we should. Even with the retrofit in 2016, she looks a bit tired. Very chopped up, no flow to the design. What's with the Churchill and Chart room locations? You have to go through the Brittania Dining room to access the Queens Ball room or go through the Art Gallery up and down stairs to access. Also, the aforementioned non functional Queen's Grill area. The Library boasts 8 thousand books and a room the size of an average family dining room and each passenger is restricted to 2 books at a time with the shelves locked during night hours? That's when most insomniacs need to find a book. We found this very unusual as Oceania ships boast great libraries with a barrista next door. Their libraries are unlocked and open to all cruise passengers 24/7. Finally, what ever you do don't buy the liquor package!!! Very limited pours (50 ml) which makes no sense, as it requires the staff to service you more often. (However, once they see you have a drink sticker on your card, they avoid you like the plague, and you practically have to tackle them to get service). This occurred in every lounge but was particularly acute in the Golden Lion Pub! The wine steward in the Brittania Club restaurant also was put off by our asking for wine refills at dinner, until 3 days before the cruise ended, when he finally increased the pours, which saved him extra trips. (We were not heavy drinkers, drinking no more than 2-3 50 ml pours at dinner) or any other sitting. The package was very restrictive, nothing over $11. If you want to purchase a $20 cocktail, you have to pay $16 (purchase price less 20%), which begs the ? why purchase the liquor package? Also, our traveling companions, (one who drinks and one who cannot drink because of medical reasons), cleared with Cunard corporate that if she brought a Doctor's excuse that he could by the package but she wouldn't have to. We spent the better part of the first afternoon being shuffled between the Purser's office, the G. L Pub and were even sent to the spa, because no one could or would make a decision on allowing our friend to purchase the liquor package alone. Finally, a bartender in the G.L. Pub told us in great whisper (I am not exaggerating) that he would allow it if our non drinking friend would purchase the $30 per day beverage package (water, soft drinks and coffee). You could not purchase wine by the bottle at dinner like on Oceania or HAL only by the 50 ml glass because of the liquor package restriction. The ship was good in the water, you never really felt any motion. However, it felt as if It was designed more for sailors than passengers and the staff was not there to serve you as much as ensure that all rules and regulations would be followed and not be infringed on! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I came to enjoy the cruise with my wife. Upgraded to suite and met some lovely people while on board. We have had some weather challenges snd couldnt dock, but overall enjoyed the day by day experience. Met nice restaurant team, ... Read More
I came to enjoy the cruise with my wife. Upgraded to suite and met some lovely people while on board. We have had some weather challenges snd couldnt dock, but overall enjoyed the day by day experience. Met nice restaurant team, housekeeping guy, Captain and funny Hotel Manager. Great welcome speech by the way. When we spoke with him all the things got way better! Chef Gundi we loved and his food. When we received a sad info that cruise got cancelled due to technical issues we tried to save and solve this cruise, we encountered a terrible and unfriendly person on expedition desk, black hair expedition coordinator. She is the most unfriendly.snd unprofessional person we met in the past 20 year cruising. Very rude and she ignores our questions. I am not sure how can you hire this person. One man on reception bolded, he ignored our questions and directed wrong. Hire a person who is a guest oriented. All in all Reception and other team helped us out. Thank you so much, but coordinator and guest relation manager ruined our day and cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our third crossing and thoroughly enjoyed the Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Sea conveniences as well as the fantastic attitude of the ship's staff. We sailed form Tampa to Ireland and Belgium and ended in Amsterdam. We ... Read More
This was our third crossing and thoroughly enjoyed the Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Sea conveniences as well as the fantastic attitude of the ship's staff. We sailed form Tampa to Ireland and Belgium and ended in Amsterdam. We stayed on the ship back to back on the Baltic cruise visiting Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Finland, Russia and Amsterdam. Total of 28 days. The Atlantic crossing was dampened by the overcast and cool weather however the Baltic region temperatures were comfortable for May. One of our daily favorite times is the My Time dining option sharing a table with others and having world topics as conversation. We bid on a Jr Suite for the second leg of the cruise which made that part very comfortable. Having a walk in closet and approx 300sf with chairs and a couch, the area was perfect for relaxing. We achieved our Dimond Plus status and are looking forward to our next cruise in March out of Dubai. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Great ship we ate any time dinning and we were lucky to have a great head waiter and waiter and his assistan. were the best. The food was extremly good and we really enjoyed our time on board The shows were really good and the ... Read More
Great ship we ate any time dinning and we were lucky to have a great head waiter and waiter and his assistan. were the best. The food was extremly good and we really enjoyed our time on board The shows were really good and the entertaiment in the lounges were excellent. We had fun in the CaSSINO . wE THOUGHT THAT WE MIGHT HAVE FOUND THE 6 DAYS AT SEA TOO MUCH BUT WE ACTUALLY ENJOYED IT. Once we reached our first stop we were ready to get off the ship. We took a tour and explored the Azores. The next day was a sera day and a day to rest. Then we reached Funchal and enjoyed exploring. The next stop was casablanca. we had been ther befor and did not like it so we stayed on thbe ship. It was a very relaxing day.Then we wer on to CADIZ and we took a tour to Seville. It was a very interrsting but tiring day. Then was Malaga. Really beautiful we took the Hop on Hop Off Bus and really enjoyed the day. Last stop Barcellona and what a sto. We spent three days there and really explored the city. We really loved the trip Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We took a repositioning transatlantic cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Southampton on Celebrity’s Silhouette, then took Cunard’s QM II back to the States. Taking longer trips is one of the perks of being retired! Retired or not ... Read More
We took a repositioning transatlantic cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Southampton on Celebrity’s Silhouette, then took Cunard’s QM II back to the States. Taking longer trips is one of the perks of being retired! Retired or not though, I don’t appreciate Cunard’s ineptitude at getting passengers on and off the ship; a basic and routine task. As Platinum members we had a special line for embarkation. We waited until noon to get on, but I could hear the same announcements that I’ve heard on each of the 6 times I’ve been on Cunard about how something "unexpectedly" went wrong which was causing the long delay. I had boarded, had lunch, came off again, walked to the Southampton shopping mall, came back at 4 pm for a 4:30 all aboard, and the area was still jam packed with passengers waiting to board. Cunard really needs to stop making excuses and get this simple job done right, every time. Of the 43 cruises we’ve been on with various cruise lines, I’ve never been on a cruise that I didn’t absolutely love. This cruise was no exception. We had a great time. My taste is contemporary, so QM2’s old ship décor charm was somewhat lost on me. We were in a “sheltered balcony cabin” # 5023. Sheltered means the outside of balcony wall is not glass, but metal (although oddly, I couldn’t get a magnet to stick to it). Often we take the extra savings provided with an inside cabin since we really only sleep and shower in the cabin. However, we “splurged” this time since I do like the ceiling-to-floor, wall-to-wall daylight. The cabin was inconveniently away at the front and normally we pick a more strategically located cabin when we pick inside. Turned out we spent more time in the cabin than planned as the ship was very cold and we often dashed back to the cabin where we had the heat cranked up. On Celebrity Silhouette the towels were old and thin, so we felt like royalty with Cunard’s plush soft thick towels. The food was good, but not as good as Celebrity’s. For instance, my husband is a meat-and-potato guy so he’s so easy to please. At lunch first day he looked for his usual ham and cheese sandwich only to be told it was way at the other end of the cafeteria. When he got there they directed him back to where he’d started. Now, uncharacteristically frustrated, he went back and demanded his simple request. They told him he couldn’t get it today, but each day he could order one for the following day! On ANY of the 43 cruises we’ve been on, there’s a deli-like sandwich bar where you can have any sandwich of your choice for lunch. From there, as far as food was concerned, it was just all downhill for him. As for me, I missed my daily salad for lunch. Sure, there were salad offerings, but just not as many items to include in it as I’m used to (never grape tomatoes) and certainly there were never fresh berries of any kind, at any time. I’m a chocaholic and on one formal night, the cafeteria had 1” chocolate Cunard-logo logs with flavors inside to die for. I’d go on the cruise again and again just for those little chocolates! Cruising transatlantic is different from Caribbean cruises in that Cunard emphasizes dressing up. On the 7-day Atlantic crossing there are three formal nights, but actually every night is pretty much a formal affair (although the food doesn’t always reflect it). There are more guest lectures and I enjoyed the short plays as slightly different entertainment. There are more guest “competitions” (golf, hoops etc.) than other ships; Zumba is free and there’s a variety of ballroom dance classes as well as line dancing. Cunard ships have a large ballroom which is unique, and even more unique is that it is actually used at night for ballroom dancing, complete with a half-dozen men who are paid to ask single women to dance. The ballroom of course has many other uses during in day time. Celebrity arrived in Southampton one day, and the next day we sailed back to the States. We've been to London several times and we'd both spent our first 20 years in Scotland so we weren't interested in visiting there. Celebrity arrived at 5:30 am and we took the 8 am ferry to the Isle of Wight where we visited Osborne House (Queen Victoria's vacation home and where she eventually died) and Carisbrooke Castle where Charles the first was imprisoned before being beheaded. Pretty island and worth the trip. Fish and chips on the ferry on the return journey just hit the spot. We spent the night at the Holiday Inn on Herbert walker Ave (highly recommend it) which is just outside the gate of the port where we docked so we walked straight there and next morning we walked to the nearby Titanic sites and around the Walls of old Southampton. We still had time to shop at the shopping mall right down town and Cunard's ship was also within walking distance. So we had two days and one night before sailing home. A trip I would have like to have taken would be to Highclere (Downtown Abbey) but they have limited opening days. With the ship arriving at 5:30 am you could take a train to London and enjoy the day there, but of course you would want to spend the night somewhere. With our Celebrity ship we could have taken a back-to-back to Norway (kicked myself when I realized this too late) and since Cunard's QM2 leaves Southampton (alternatively New York) every 2 weeks, we could have taken a later cruise back to the States. Oh well, maybe another time. Yes, I’d say when I take another transatlantic cruise from (or back to the States) in Europe I’d travel to Southampton to take this ship back to the States rather than fly. The 2 week cruise on Celebrity was great, changing the clock only every other day. On Cunard it was almost every day (shorter cruise) but far better than changing the clock 5 hours in one shot when flying. Flying is tough enough. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We wanted to spend enough time on the ship to explore it fully. We did have concerns seeing some of the early re3views. We decided to stop reading them as some where so very negative! We were in a suite 7306 aft S1. At the outset ... Read More
We wanted to spend enough time on the ship to explore it fully. We did have concerns seeing some of the early re3views. We decided to stop reading them as some where so very negative! We were in a suite 7306 aft S1. At the outset let me give some background. We are seasoned Celebrity cruisers. We are Elite +. We have travelled in all levels of stateroom on all ships other than Flora and Reflection! We are from UK so flew out from UK to Fort Lauderdale. We went to the cruiseport early, around 10-30. After an extremely quick check-in on computer, we were shown to the lounge where drinks and snacks were served prior to embarkation. After a quick coffee we were on board, straight to our room where we found our room keys, dropped off our handheld and were ready to explore! We just love the overall design of the ship, the big open spaces, the artwork, wonderful inspired seating inside and out. The pool areas indoor and our are just beautifully designed areas. The retreat sundeck and lounge areas have interesting modern design, nice seating, lots of private space as well as social areas. Some areas took a bit of getting used to, the club and the martini bar. They have plusses and minuses compared with similar venues on other ships. We found the club to be a little dark for our personal taste, and the twin levels at the martini bar a little odd, although we loved the live music and dance floor now in this venue. Tiny martini glasses though kept the bar staff very busy with those of us with premium drinks packages lol! Some of the entertainment we felt was aimed at an older crowd for this sailing… we are in our 60s!. When they did get it right on the last formal night the ship was buzzing and the dance floor crowded. Celebrity don't assume older folks don't like to rip up the dancefloor!! We went to one show on the first night. Nice venue, comfortable seating, but shows aren't really our thing and we didn't go to another. A bit predictable for us. We did go to the Eden show. It was a little mysterious, challenging and puzzling. Overall we enjoyed the experience, we loved seeing the acrobats from very close quarters. Maybe a narrator is needed to help some like us understand the flow of the evening. We ate in Eden. We sat by the kitchen and watched the Chef and his staff preparing food with great precision. The food was excellent in a very modern style. Entertainment very enjoyable and service just perfect. Eden was a wonderful place in the day. We had lunch from the café We sat outside at one of the 2 external seating areas. We also sat in the floating chairs just looking at the ocean. A beautifully designed multi use venue. Celebrity also threw a party for those married over 30 years. The cheers to the years event was beautifully handled with the support of cruise critic members. The ship provided champagne and a wonderful cake. The art work on board is modern and we loved walking round the ship to see it. Like all art it isn't to everyone's taste but overall we liked the décor. It was fun to find the photographs in stateroom corridors was themed and we saw many areas of the world we had travelled to and it brought back many happy memories. Luminae was as always a wonderful experience and a cruise highlight. Loved the photos in there and the themed colours and lighting. It might have been nice to break up the larger area with some screening to make it a little more intimate. The staff did a great job, never had to wait for a table, food was great and waitstaff and sommelliers very accommodating. We had premium drinks and were served a wide variety of excellent wines. Retreat lounge was a beautiful area. Nice seating lovely outside terrace. Beautiful pool area, loved the hanging chairs, great bar service, nice selection of chairs and loungers in busy and quiet areas. I do have reservations about the food and drinks in the retreat pounge. I dont think it is modern luxury especially on chic night to have self service food and drinks. There is someone behing the food counter but hey dont serve onto the plate. There is a wash station but very very few used it. Some helped themselves with their hands. For wine self service some were filling wine glasses almost to the brim to take into Luminae for dinner. The concierge told me very nice glasses for the retreat were being found all over the ship! one night there weren't ANY glasses available! Cofee and tea were a problem also with the small machine unable to cope with the deamd and resulting in people standing in lines. I bypassed it by asking a server for what I wanted. They were very willing and I was well satisfied but puzzled by the self service elements which clearly weren't working in the evening and for afternoon tea. With some staff and good service the lounge would work wonderfully well. Le petit chef we had dined at previously on Sillhouette. This time it seemed a slow night and although we enjoyed the food we found by comparison the animation to be a little dull. The somellier told us we couldnt use our premium wine package for the wine pairing. We asked for the wine list and ordered full size glasses rather than the smaller taster sizes in the pairing. It seemed unnecessary nickel and diming on good spenders! magic carpet. It was a great experience and fantastic food. Shame it doesnt have a glass floor like some buildings have. If you get the chance do it! Also loved having a drink out on it in the day. The weather didnt allow us to do it every day but when we could we did Fine cut steakhouse was a great meal, wonderfully presented and served. Would do this one again. We wanted to try a sandwich and pastry at the bistro one day, but we were told it was only the set meal at lunchtime. Again we thought this very restrictive and a missed opportunity by Celebrity for a nice lighter lunchtime venue. The spa, I was dying to see. Celebrity give access to the thermal suite to aqua guests but not suites. I live in hope they will readdress this and give a even a limited number of days or hours to suite guests. We booked a day in the thermal suite. It is a beautiful area, well designed with a series of rooms and showers to try. A day was really too long especially as the guidelines indicate no more than 10 mins in many of the rooms. Little things that can be addressed let the area down. Robes provided had no pockets so no-where to put spectacles when in the rooms, No slippers provided, the showers in the changing rooms leaked all over the floor of the changing room and a cleaner was almost permanently stationed there to clean up. It was a nice experience spoiled by those little things that make a spa a luxury experience. As always, the captain, his officers and crew are the stars on Celebrity. We have nothing but praise for their excellent work. The ship is different, will appeal to a new audience and the old audience if we dont constantly make comparisons with older ships. It wont be for everyone, and some may want to move over to other more traditional ships. Fo us the Kelly Hoppen designs were refreshing light and classy. With a few tweaks this could be a modern luxury experience........ Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this Transatlantic for the time and itinerary. We had a bad experience on Getaway Transatlantic 2017 with ship mechanical problems, skipped, shortened ports and crew unable to get passengers on and off the ship efficiently (3 ... Read More
We chose this Transatlantic for the time and itinerary. We had a bad experience on Getaway Transatlantic 2017 with ship mechanical problems, skipped, shortened ports and crew unable to get passengers on and off the ship efficiently (3 hours to get off at Brest.) We felt this couldn't happen a second time, but the 2019 TA was cut short by Norwegian for their convenience with minimal notice. We were on another trip when notice came out and had to scrambled just before cruise date to fill two extra days in our itinerary. Phone ncl was not helpful. Ship was a circus with long lines at customer service with people who did not get notification and had to have help getting further arrangement made. We only knew of the itinerary change due to our TravelAgent. Trip was okay with good food, good entertainments/activities BUT everyone was on edge. This just was not handled right. The drydock date could not have happened suddenly. Repair facilities must be booked ahead. Everyone on the ship felt NCL knew they would not make the 12 day crossing all along but sold it to fill the shjip on a 2 port only voyage and them three everyone into making new plans. We have loved NCL and are Platinum. We have encouraged our children and friends, Brian Eades, Melissa Thibodeau, Miranda Thibodeau and Denise Clark to cruise with us thus providing new customers for NCL. Now we feel the line is not organized, not forthcoming about their plans and callous toward passenger service. No one wants to start a trip to Europe amid upheaval. We previously purchased Cruise Credits but declined after two bad trips on the Getaway. We also traveled a second time with a friend on Escape and found the dining room music to be jazz, not dinner music and club music to be disco only. Ventilation for the casino was terrible compaared to 2015. Our friend who we had persuaded to come on her first cruise said"never again." With all this we probably look for other lines despite the years of enjoying NCL. Another shame of this is the incredible burden this disarray put on the Getaway staff. Tfhey all worked to hard to make the cruise good despite the line's last minute decision. They were victims of the situation and should be commended for their efforts. I don't know who makes the decisions at NCL to inconvenience travelers in such a blasé fashion. I know some financial compensations is being offered but cruisers would rather have a nice, pleasant, uneventful cruise instead. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019

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