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4 TUI Cruises Las Palmas (Gran Canaria) Cruise Reviews

Just came back from our first ever Mein Schiff cruise, and my first German speaking ship experience (my partner has been once on the AIDA). This was our 28th cruise. I, a non-german, but German speaking person, give this ship a 3 out ... Read More
Just came back from our first ever Mein Schiff cruise, and my first German speaking ship experience (my partner has been once on the AIDA). This was our 28th cruise. I, a non-german, but German speaking person, give this ship a 3 out of 5. My partner, German born and raised, gives it a 4. Both of us liked a few things, and disliked a few others. All in all, we found the "Premium All Inclusive" to be a misleading moto. Basically it means you can have (almost) all the drinks you want, at (almost) every venue. Yes, there are more limitations to their "all inclusive" drink policy that one would care for. Drinks: in most bars there are a wide variety of all inclusive drinks one can order. There are also many "extra charge" drinks, but at the bars the choices of inclusive ones are decent. However, at the Main Restaurants (Klassik and Mediterran) the alcoholic drink choices are very limited, including just one choice for red, white and rosé, and all 3 are bad, really bad. During dinner bar personal will walk around and offer you "additional charge" drinks, many of which are the same that are inclusive at the bars. Just a nickeling and dimming play, one that one would not expect when booking a "Premium All Inclusive" cruise. At the buffet restaurant, the drink choices are even more limited than in the main dining rooms. So one better get a drink at a bar, then walk into the restaurant or buffet. And if you decide to try the specialty restaurants, there are no included drinks whatsoever, not even water. So, wow! Restaurants: Dinner at Main Dining Rooms (Klassik and Mediterran) was good. Food choices were somewhat limited, but they tasted good. Nothing was exotic or expensive (no lobster, no escargots). Many staples of other cruise lines did not find their way into Mein Schiff. Desserts were limited and not too interesting. Service is disconnected, and mostly very slow. Most of the times we had to wait 10 to 15 minutes between courses. Breakfast choices are limited and repetitive everywhere. Not the best (or expensive) selections. Even for the German taste the selection was not impressive. We had breakfast in 4 different venues, and did not care for it in any of them. One can only have ala carte at the Mediterran, but they do it in a very weird and hurried way. Basically a cart is driven to your table and right there and then you need to make all your selections (not many) at once. Best location we found for breakfast was at the "Tag und Nacht" 24 hour eatery. Here the choices were even more reduced, but the place is quieter and cozier. Lunch was good at the buffet. Again, nothing like better or more expensive meats, more like German comfort food, but it was good. Pluses: The cabin is quite nice and bright, clean and comfortable. Bathroom works well. Balcony nice and deep unlike the newer larger ships nowadays (I'm thinking of you Norwegian Breakaway class). However, in line with German philosophy (less choices, less service, cheaper), there is no minibar/no fridge, and no room service. Bedding is not so good like on the other cruiselines, and there is just 1 pillow per passenger. Ship is pretty, very clean, streamlined. It reminds one of the Celebrity Solstice class. Keeping up with the simpler/cheaper German mantra, there is nothing too exciting or too out of the ordinary with the decor; almost no artwork, no paintings anywhere. The ship has no art gallery, and the Casino is more of a joke than anything else. It is a tiny room, probably smaller than a simple cabin, with 6 slot machines and one computer operated roulette. That is it. The Pool Deck: This ship has two pools, one being a great 25meter long pool, great for actual swimming on a cruise ship, and one smaller covered pool. The deck area around the pools are nice and mostly quiet. Remember, no entertainment on this ship (which around the pool we found quite good - a lot more relaxing). Gym is smaller but nice. One of the pluses on this ship is the wellness area, or spa. It is a large area, with many different saunas (maybe not a big thing for Americans, but very high on the list for Germans and other Europeans) and nice relaxing rooms. This is at no additional cost. Negative: Entertaining: If you know other non-german ships, you know the entertaining that it is offered. At Mein Schiff (3), the shows were few, and lousy. In a 7 night tour we had one "real show", it lasted 40 minutes, of which half of it was the Capitan and the cruise director addressing the guests. Show #2 was quartet of singers who were quite bad, show #3 was a "crew show", and show #4 was a "thank you" show, which is basically no show. The ship has no musicians anywhere, and the few entertainers who also sing, are very bad singers. No pianist at this bar, no violin player at a lounge, or a rock band somewhere. No live music. Additional cost for almost anything offered. Any time that something was announced on the PA system or printed on the daily program, this something was at an additional cost. At one of the stops, Funchal, we had a 13:30 all aboard. We arrived at the ship at 12:30, and had the longest line we have ever experienced to reenter a ship in our 28 cruises. It look us 38 minutes in line to get thru the ships security, all of it because they would not open a second check-in/security line. UN-flexibility at it's best. Service: Not as good as one knows in the US or on major cruiselines. Even though most service employees (waiters, bar personal, cabin stewards) are from South Asia and Eastern Europe (like in most cruises), they are trained with the German crowed in mind, which means, less service, less friendliness, less politeness than one is accustomed to. Service by the German Personal (like Front Desk) is very unfriendly and cold, very unapologetic, as one knows in most of Germany. Language: German is the language spoken here. This is expected but just as a warning for non German speakers. If you don't speak it, or have a German speaking person in your party, this might not be the ship for you. There are signs in English and (most of) the crew speaks English, but just about anything is in German, all the instructions, all the excursions, all the (what they call) entertainment. One very negative thing: on the last morning we received our bill, which included 25Euro per passenger for an "early check-in". So we went to the passenger desk and asked why the charge. The German lady said "because you boarded early, and there is a 25Euro charge for that service". We said we were not aware nor signed up for it. She then told us we should have known it. We said we didn't and would very much appreciate the removal of the charges. The lady repeated herself, and said if I were not happy, to call my travel agent. At my request, she looked into the system and saw we boarded the ship at 12:25pm, and because of 35minutes we were being charged for a service they offer for people with early incoming flights who can check-in as early as 9am. Their regular check-in time is at 1pm. I told her that upon check-in there were no signs and no personal whatsoever to tell us "if you board now, instead of waiting 35 minutes you will be charged 25Euro for an early check-in." She did not remove it, did not apologize, just stood there, and called "next". Ugly. Bad system, horrible customer service. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are loyal Celebrity cruisers (8 cruises sind 2013, mostly Aqua Class), but with the newly introduced price increases we wanted to try something new. As German natives it was logic to try a German cruiseline. As we love being serviced ... Read More
We are loyal Celebrity cruisers (8 cruises sind 2013, mostly Aqua Class), but with the newly introduced price increases we wanted to try something new. As German natives it was logic to try a German cruiseline. As we love being serviced at the table, TUI was the only option for us. Unfortunately we were not as happy as with Celebrity (although we did enjoy the cruises of course): - In General the Service/Staff on the ship was not 100% attentive/ interested. e.g. Room Steward did not introduce himself. Most of staff on did not greet when we passed them - (cabin) services and procedures , etc, were not explained. - The service in the restaurant was not well coordinated, though enough waiters were available. Sometimes we had to wait about 10 min, before we even received the menus - No room service or mini bar available. Only water stations near the elevators were available. - Food in the MDR was hit and miss. The speciality restaurants were very good (but here you have to pay for ALL drinks, even water) - Staff did rarely check if sanitization was used by the passengers, luckily no outbreak of NORO happened :-) - No bottled or canned drinks available. On Port days small bottle soft water only for purchase. - Limited selection of inclusive wines in the MDR/Buffet, only 1 red, white and rosé. -Smoking permitted on the balconies Just small things for itself but in summary, we won't take a second cruise with mein schiff. We will give MSC for our next cruise a try. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Single traveler on 'Canary Islands And Madeira' cruise with 'Mein Schiff 1' from Las Palmas. I chose this cruise to experience the brand new ship and 'TUI Cruises'. Embarkation - This was done very quickly. ... Read More
Single traveler on 'Canary Islands And Madeira' cruise with 'Mein Schiff 1' from Las Palmas. I chose this cruise to experience the brand new ship and 'TUI Cruises'. Embarkation - This was done very quickly. The baggage already waited in front of my stateroom when I boarded the ship after my excursion to the city, that was about 4 hours after CheckIn. Security Drill - Cruise guests tightly pushed in a bar way too small for so many people, the elderly had to wait standing for long, and though everyone was registered at the entrance, a crew member started to call everyone after another by name, which then turned out to be a joke. The security movie from the stateroom TV was shown, and a life vest demonstration by a crew member, but few guests could see that due to the crowd. Smoking on balconies is considered to be a security risk, but on 'Mein Schiff 1' smoking on balconies was allowed explicitly, even ash trays were provided. The Ship - Just a half a year old 'Mein Schiff 1', which means 'My Ship 1', features many venues named after locations in Hamburg, where the cruise line is headquartered. Overall appearance was quite Hanseatic, with decent colors, modest decoration, restrain and understatement. Orientation was made very simple for the cruise guests due to signs pointing to bow, stern, port and starboard sides of the ship. Elevators were usually available very quickly and equipped with close door buttons. The sports hall above the 'Anckelmannsplatz' buffet restaurant was well audible when guests were dining, noisy banging and tramping. Tobacco smoke caused by too many smokers on board flew around at outdoor bars on deck and to my balcony nearly constantly. While 'TUI Cruises' promotes itself with words like 'Wohlfühl', feel-good, and 'Gesund', healthy, it was hard to gasp a clear sea breeze. My balcony was actually unusable therefore. Free sun loungers were always available, even on the sea days. There was no storm during the cruise, thus the ship always sailed very stable. Crew And Staff - They were always friendly and spoke German language astonishingly often and quite good. I maybe met the stateroom stewards at any time, but did not have had a chance to talk to them personally. That was though not necessary however at all, since they did a good job without being noticed. No intrusive promotion of shopping and spa offers, also not in written form. Dining - The choice and selection in the 'Anckelmannsplatz' buffet restaurant - I don't go to restaurants with service at the table on board - appeared limited to me in the area of the warm kitchen, in addition, some foodstuffs were offered on days in a row or even daily. Potatoes were served nearly always unpeeled, but tasted very good. Cruise guests could select food on their own at the 'WOK-Station' for individual preparation. The pantry staff did use plenty of salt and created conspicuously runny sauces. Choice from the cold kitchen with salads, cheese and Brötchen for example, German dough rolls, was good. Especially the 'Artisan' bread was very tasty. For breakfast, the same foodstuff was offered every morning. The pastries section also was a little bit limited, sometimes, pieces of fancy cakes did not have had a flooring, the pieces fell apart while being transferred to the plate by the guests. 'Bruno Gelato' was offered together with toppings in the buffet restaurant and on the pool deck, it was among the most delicious things offered on board. Some food had proper labels, including allergy notices, some things were not labeled at all. Dining obviously should fulfill German taste, needs and demand, there was less variation and very less local food from the cruise region being offered. Despite the limitations, everything I tried tasted good or even very good. Included in the cruise fare were nearly all beverages, some more expensive alcoholic drinks on surcharge. Guests could fill their glasses with soft drinks, vine and beer, or their cups with different beverages from the coffee machines on their own; the hot chocolate was very good. The dress code was casual, but long pants were required in the evening. The Guests - They were from German speaking countries only, and throughout of a higher average age. Few but very agile kids, some people with rollators and in wheel chairs. Board language was German, with some very few security related announcements in English as well. Shore Excursions - This is something I usually organize on my own. Disembarkation and Embarkation at ports of call was quickly without long waiting. The ship was always very punctual. Entertainment - Sometimes, life music was played at the pool, there were also some pool parties and daily evening shows in the theater and the small stage called 'Schaubühne'. A paint school was offering courses. Shopping - A shopping mall over 2 decks offered many things, clothes, souvenirs and typical duty free goods. The art gallery exhibited paints and photographs. Internet - Many different internet packages were offered at reasonable prices. The speed was good, the connection interrupted and reconnected seconds later sometimes. Land based LTE internet access was available when the ship cruised in coastal areas, and in ports anyway. Disembarkation - That went absolutely without problems or waiting. The baggage was easy to find in the terminal, but could also be brought from the ship by the cruise guests on their own until 09:00am. Thank you 'TUI Cruises', for this cruise on 'Mein Schiff 1'! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The fact that it was a German-speaking cruise and we have very little German did not matter since all crew speak English. Safety announcements are also in English. This was our first-ever cruise and we were truly amazed at the quality of ... Read More
The fact that it was a German-speaking cruise and we have very little German did not matter since all crew speak English. Safety announcements are also in English. This was our first-ever cruise and we were truly amazed at the quality of everything. Staff: The crew are well selected, well trained, friendly, and clearly happy in their jobs. Food: The main Atlantik restaurant is first class. Excellent quality food amazingly well prepared. The buffet is very good indeed too. The 24-hour burger bar was disappointing. We also tried the "fine dining" restaurant, Richards, and found it pretentious – a mismatched array of fruits, flowers and herbs prettying every dish – and over-priced. We ate far better in the Atlantik. Bars: Excellent choice of ambiance and a very full range of drinks, alcoholic and not. Service sometimes slow to get going in the evening. The X-Lounge (suite passengers only) was superb, but shut at 7pm – a real negative. Entertainment: Not all of the musicians seemed sufficiently experienced and/or talented. The shows in the theatre seemed of a very high standard but of course the comedy was lost on us. Accommodation: We had a junior suite, a very comfortable room of good size, with all facilities, cleaned twice per day. Cabin temperature fully adjustable. The furnished, spacious and secluded balcony was superb. Negatives: The wifi kept locking us out. This was quickly sorted by the staff each time but was a recurring nuisance. We were entitled to priority check-in and needed it (reduced mobility), but had to breach a barrier to get it. It wasn't available at all during the cruise at visited ports. We felt a little misled about this. Ideas for TUI: - Sell a day pass to the X-Lounge and keep it open longer. It's an under-used facility. Quiet is good but we were often on our own with the staff. - Make deck plans clearer. We kept finding our way was blocked (by the theatre etc.) - Designate at least one non-smoking outside area. We both developed coughs and the ship's doctor advised keeping the balcony door open as much as possible as the A/C is deliberately kept very dry to reduce virus infection etc. That sea air worked a treat. Some areas of the ship were stiflingly hot. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
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