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11 U.S.A. Repositioning Cruise Reviews

We had never been to this area and this seemed like a great way to experience it...historically and culturally. This was our first cruise on American Cruise Lines. While the ship is not new, it was very clean and comfortable, and decently ... Read More
We had never been to this area and this seemed like a great way to experience it...historically and culturally. This was our first cruise on American Cruise Lines. While the ship is not new, it was very clean and comfortable, and decently decorated. Our stateroom was AAC on the third floor and it was as large as advertised as was the bathroom. The bedding was very nice and the king bed quite comfortable. The outside balcony would have been used more if the weather had been warmer. We sailed in early November and it was often quite cool and we had some rainy days. For us the trip was almost flawless and we had a wonderful time. Attire is casual but folks dressed neatly and tastefully. We were fortunate to find many congenial groups, couples, and singles to enjoy the cruise with. No young children or teenagers. The group ranged in ages 50 - 80's and was a fairly active group. The food was quite good. I am Vegan and the cruise chef was able to plan and prepare very good meals for me. My spouse enjoyed the regular cuisine. Although some crew members were quite new, the hotel (cruise) manager did a great job making sure all the parts worked really well together. She was very organized and the materials the company provides its passengers were very clear and complete. The itinery director was also organized, quite pleasant, and competent communicator. There was an onboard naturalist who gave several lectures and he was knowledgable and an entertaining presenter. The off ship excursions were enjoyable with several locals guiding us in their respective home towns. We did book another cruise while on this one as we so enjoyed it. No complaints. The crew and staff did a great job. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our first time on Princess and first time doing a Pacific Coastal Cruise. We have cruised with Celebrity three times and six times with Holland America. The Star Princess is an older ship, a little tired, but overall very nice. ... Read More
This was our first time on Princess and first time doing a Pacific Coastal Cruise. We have cruised with Celebrity three times and six times with Holland America. The Star Princess is an older ship, a little tired, but overall very nice. The atrium was lovely. Embarkation was not great. They had an outbreak of Noro Virus on the previous cruise, so were doing a thorough sanitizing of the ship, which delayed our embarkation. We would go through security and have to sit in chairs, then go through customs and sit in chairs, and finally we got to boarding. It felt like it took forever. We discovered when checking in they had changed our Early Dining time from 6 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., which meant we had time to go to our stateroom, unpack, go to the Emergency Drill, get a drink and take it with us to dinner. No chance of going to the Sail Away Party...there wasn't time. We had a lovely table in the Amalfi Dining Room each evening for dinner and were seated with a couple from Illinois. Our waiter and assistant waiter were great, very attentive and thoughtful. The food was very good and the desserts outstanding. We did go to the Pub Lunch that was held twice in the Crown Grill during our 10 day cruise. It was casual and the food good. Breakfast in the dining room wasn't anything special, so we did that once and the rest of the mornings either went to the Horizon Court or International Cafe. The entertainment was excellent on the ship. We would say the best we've experienced on all of our cruises. The Princess Singers and Dancers were very good, the costumes and scenery incredible! and Frankie Moreno was amazing! We saw all four of his shows. The Culinary Arts Show with the Head Chef and Hotel Manager was fabulous...so funny and entertaining. The Cruise Director and his staff were good, we took part in many of the trivia sessions and enjoyed them. The bar staff were great, very friendly and pretty impressive how they could remember what we drink. We finished off most evenings in Sky Walkers Night Club with a few drinks and dancing. The ports were good: Long Beach - we took the city bus from the Port of San Pedro and visited the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach and had lunch at Bubba Gumps...enjoyed it very much! Catalina Island - we tendered in and wandered through the town. Santa Barbara - tendered in and took the trolley into downtown. We enjoyed Santa Barbara a lot and would love to go back. Lunch was at Joe's Cafe...great food and service! San Francisco - fabulous, but very crowded. It was Fleet Week and there were an extra 800,000 people in the downtown area, plus President Obama was in town. The cable cars were shut down, so no rides for us. We wandered Fisherman's Wharf and visited Ghirardelli Square the first day. We were thrilled to see the Blue Angels perform over San Francisco Bay and that evening to see fireworks. Absolutely beautiful! The second day, we had booked our own tour to Alcatraz two months in advance online. It is a short walk from where our ship was docked. This was well worth the money and very interesting. We cruised our way home to Vancouver over the next two days. I would definitely recommend Princess Cruises and this itinerary, but it you are prone to seasickness be forewarned and take medication with you. My husband and I don't get seasick, but we did have a couple of pretty rocky days and nights on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I selected ACL's cruise down the Snake and Columbia Rivers for several reasons: I'm interested in the Lewis and Clark expedition, I wanted to see the landscape of the Inland Northwest, and my earlier cruise with ACL (the Lower ... Read More
I selected ACL's cruise down the Snake and Columbia Rivers for several reasons: I'm interested in the Lewis and Clark expedition, I wanted to see the landscape of the Inland Northwest, and my earlier cruise with ACL (the Lower Mississippi) was such a treat that I wanted to travel with the company again. The Snake/Columbia River trip was one of the best I'd ever taken, and I have been traveling extensively for 52 years. My booking was handled politely and expeditiously by Sean at the ACL office, and I received all necessary papers and notices on time and in order before my departure. The itinerary, from Lewiston, ID, to Astoria, OR, was first rate. The excursions were diverse and fascinating, with excellent guides-- there was something for everyone. When we were under way, the staff always devised something fun to do, like sailing kites off the deck. Though the cabins on the paddlewheeler Queen of the West are somewhat smaller than on the Queen of the Mississippi, my room was perfectly acceptable --clean and comfortable. The company has, incidentally, just launched a new ship built to their specifications, so they are always upgrading. The service is excellent. You can tell immediately that the staff are very well trained: these young people are friendly, polite, and capable. In addition, the lecturers were outstanding. Because of my interest in history, I asked a lot of questions-- and got the answers. Above all, the cruise director was very responsive to our needs-- she even made special arrangements for me to fit in an extra excursion in Astoria. I especially enjoyed the afternoon happy hour, with included drinks, wine, and an extensive selection of hors d'oeuvres. It was a great chance to meet with the other passengers and compare notes. The ship is small, about 100 passengers, so you have an opportunity to meet like-minded, friendly people from all over the country. The food is excellent. I am a vegetarian, and the chef had no problem accommodating my needs. I have already signed up for my third ACL cruise, and I plan to take many more. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
I wrote a review a while back titled "Declining standards in a single year," complaining that the food in the Britannia was not what it had been. This was our third crossing in 2013, and I'm happy to say that the food is ... Read More
I wrote a review a while back titled "Declining standards in a single year," complaining that the food in the Britannia was not what it had been. This was our third crossing in 2013, and I'm happy to say that the food is back to what we expected -- i.e., very good, indeed remarkable under the circumstances. The service is now, if anything, even better. And my fears about the simplified dress code have not been realized: On the "elegant casual" nights (at least at the late sitting) many men wore ties and many who went tie-less wore suits. Of course the women were for the most part extremely well turned out. And the great majority on "formal" nights were actually in formal dress. My principal complaint now is just that Cunard seems to be constantly trying to sell you stuff. About half of the cable channels are devoted to peddling various products and services, and one is constantly fending off pushy photographers. In my earlier post I said something about the HSN/QVC vibe, but threading the maze of photographers to get to dinner feels more like traversing a souk. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
My husband and I cruised the transatlantic inaugural cruise and felt the whole experience was average. The ship is beautiful and decorated very well but fell short on the space for many of the activities. We are older and like quiet ... Read More
My husband and I cruised the transatlantic inaugural cruise and felt the whole experience was average. The ship is beautiful and decorated very well but fell short on the space for many of the activities. We are older and like quiet places to read and watch the ocean go by, and this ship lacked those type of places. There is no quiet places on the decks outside to just lay back and relax and read, there was loud music and activities when it was nice enough to be on deck near the pool. The library, card room, fitness center and venues like Fat Cats, Headliners, theater and Atrium were small and crowded and there were only 2800 people on board and not sure what it will be like with 4000. We were unable to use much of the outside areas as the weather on the North Atlantic is pretty cool, which made the inside areas congested. We had an inside cabin for the first time in years and I have to admit it was very adequate. There was good use of space and storage was fine for us, but we do travel light. The bathroom was very nice and spacious for a ship. The interactive TV was very handy and made checking your account, booking shows and dinning very easy. TV to watch was not very good, free movies on a printed schedule would really be nice. The food on the ship was very good and the Garden Buffet was huge. Moderna the Brazillian restaurant was excellent. The 3 main dinning rooms were very nice, but the service was slow at times, and at time difficult to get in at busier times. One problem was there was no place except the Garden area to get coffee, water and ice tea, and if you were on deck 8 you had to go to deck 15 or the Atrium cafe and pay for coffee. The best place to eat at that was free was the PUB on deck 8. Food and service was excellent. The entertainment was good, but not sure I liked having to book ahead to go see the shows that were free, like Rock of Ages and Burn the Floor, and I miss not having a show every evening to go to. The theater was small and like a movie theater instead of a show theater. The waiters have a difficult time getting drinks out as they have to crawl over people at the beginning of the rows. Both Fat Cats and Headliners were way to small and the seating in those 2 places was uncomfortable. Fire and Ice were great, but again the Atrium was too small to just sit and enjoy them as it was hard to find a place to sit. The cruise was fine, but feel the company has some things to fix. The places that are for profit have all the space, shops, casino and the restaurant that have fees, the other public areas are small. We wouldn't take this ship again, but were glad to have the opportunity to go on a first voyage once. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Okay, here's the scoop: my wife and I flew to LAX on 4/26, stayed two nights on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, hopped on the Sapphire Princess on 4/28 and sailed to Santa Barbara, San Francisco, San Diego and Ensenada. We had an inside ... Read More
Okay, here's the scoop: my wife and I flew to LAX on 4/26, stayed two nights on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, hopped on the Sapphire Princess on 4/28 and sailed to Santa Barbara, San Francisco, San Diego and Ensenada. We had an inside cabin (B422) and Anytime Dining. Check-in at the San Pedro pier was pretty painless; we arrived at around noon and were on board in about 45 minutes. As far as the ship is concerned, I wasn't expecting much. I've never liked the exterior of these ships (although it grew on me....a little), and photos of Sapphire's interiors didn't really do much for me. To my surprise, she was actually quite nice inside....yep, some areas were a bit sterile, some a bit tacky, but others were downright beautiful. I was surprised how sleek and contemporary many of the remodeled rooms were...some would fit perfectly in a Celebrity ship. Overall, I had no problems with a bulk of the interior decor. I will say that Sapphire Princess is one of the best maintained ships I have ever been on. For a vessel built in 2004, she looks as if she came from the shipyard just yesterday. Of course I know she just spent some time in dry dock, but even areas they didn't touch looked brand-new. The one remodel that's a total failure is the Horizon Court buffet. This is, by far, the worst design I have ever seen (even worse than QM2's King's Court). On each side of the ship are eleven or twelve individual food stations....all within an area of about 30 by 20ft. During meal times it was always crowded, and people constantly ran into one another. There were really no lines, it was just a free-for-all. Unfortunately the food left a lot to be desired. Hot food in the Horizon Court was lukewarm at best, and the selection was completely whacked out: pork and bean SANDWICHES? Really? Rock-hard, golf ball-sized biscuits with nacho cheese sauce for breakfast? Really? Their attempt at Indian dishes was somewhat laughable...simply adding curry to something doesn't make it Indian food. The pizza, burgers, fries, etc. out on deck were very good and, throughout the ship, desserts were excellent. I did find it funny that, at the ice cream bar, called 'Sundaes', there was not one sundae to be had. The specialty pizza in the atrium was also very good. The Anytime Dining worked out well. The Sapphire has four anytime dining rooms (5:30-9pm) and we tried all four. We liked the decor of the Vivaldi Dining Room the best so we ate there multiple times. The menu is the same in all four dining rooms, the exception being that each one has its own signature dish. In all dining rooms the quality of the beef was disappointing; nearly every steak I ordered had 'silver skin' running through it. During the first night at dinner, our waiter noticed me struggling with my steak and he walked over and said, "Let me get you another one"; I didn't even say anything, he knew. On the flipside, the pasta dishes were very good....the veal-stuffed ravioli in a mushroom wine sauce was outstanding. We ate at Sabatini's on the first formal night ($20 per person), and it was only marginally better than the main dining rooms. Service was just about the same. All in all, I'm not sure I would pay the $40 again; it certainly wasn't anything like the incredible experience we had in Millennium's Olympic Restaurant. We sat through four tunes of the "Do You Wanna Dance" production show before the sharps and flats got the best of me; the lightshow, however, was pretty impressive. With the exception of the pianist, live music throughout the ship was very good. There were two live bands on board, a heavier rock band (Indigo) and another band (name escapes me) that played the standards. I really liked both, although Indigo seemed to be just a bit on the heavy side for the mostly 70-plus crowd. By far the biggest asset Princess has going for it (at least on the Sapphire) is the staff. Service throughout the ship was nothing short of excellent, and unlike some of the crew on our last cruise (Carnival), they were always smiling and very courteous. I have no qualms about the service at all. Since I now have Elite status with Princess I received a lot of perks: free mini-bar set up, free laundry, wine tastings, etc. I also received 150 free minutes of internet time. Problem was the internet service was so slow that I wasted probably a third of the time just waiting for the thing to move. However, the perks were nice to have, and since I always have my clothes pressed on board, I saved quite a bit. I have to say, out of 43 cruises, I have never seen such a concentrated number of walkers, electric scooters, canes and wheelchairs. At night, after most of the passengers had gone to bed (which was understandably early), at least one or two electric scooters were parked in every stair/elevator landing. I mean I've been on cruises plenty of times when my fellow passengers were on the older side, but wow, not like this. To be honest, I don't think a good portion of these people should have been on a cruise....many looked like they could have kicked-off had a good, stiff breeze came by. Santa Barbara was pretty cool, although all we did was walk to the charming downtown area (about a 15 minute walk) and did some browsing in a few of the eclectic shops. While in San Francisco, Seven Seas Navigator and Norwegian Pearl were there. About Norwegian Pearl: much to what I'm sure was her passengers' disappointment, she docked miles away, near the Bay Bridge. Not much around it. Sapphire Princess and the Regent ship both docked right in the heart of San Francisco, very close to Fisherman's Wharf. The other thing is that Norwegian Pearl arrived after us and left before we did, so not only does the NCL ship dock far away, her time in port seemed pretty short. We had purchased a hop-on hop-off day pass (strictly as a means of getting around the city) and it worked out very well. We went to the Palace of Fine Arts (which was a personal goal for me as it was a favorite place of a dear friend who passed away earlier this year) and then hopped back on the bus and got off at the Golden Gate Bridge. We walked over the bridge to the first tower and then the vertigo took over. After that we headed to the Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park, Chinatown (10 minutes of that was enough), Lombard Street and then back to Fisherman's Wharf. We went on an hour- long cruise of SF Bay and then headed back to the ship. On the way, we stopped at Frank's Nautical Collectibles and I found a treasure-trove of reasonably priced ocean liner items....among other things I bought a French Line CGT cup and a silver-plated ashtray from the second class smoking room on Europa (1930)... $30 for both! San Diego was a blast. A good friend, a fellow Cincinnatian who moved out to SD years ago, met us at the pier and we spent the day romping around the city. We visited Balboa Park and then drove to La Jolla to see the spectacular views. He also took us to Point Loma to see the Cabrillo memorial, which sits high up on a cliff....more incredible views. After lunch we made our way back to the ship, said our goodbyes and then my wife and I walked over to see the u.s.s. Midway. I was happy to discover the USO tribute to Bob Hope which, being a sentimental sap was quite emotional for me. Last stop was Ensenada. Since I had already been there, and my wife had no desire to head into town, we just walked around the dock and took some photos. While we were in San Diego and Ensenada, the Semester at Sea ship, the former Olympic Explorer (now just Explorer) was docked close by. It was my first time seeing one of the two ships in the class and, to be honest, I loved the exterior. It had such a sense of speed about it...very cool. Disembarkation back in San Pedro was a breeze. We purchased the transfer to LAX while we were on the ship and it worked out well. We were off the ship, on the bus and at the airport within an hour. Overall it was a great trip. The ship was nice, service was great, we loved the itinerary and I understand that food is always subjective. I do have to eat a little crow in that I had always believed that Princess was notorious for nickel and diming people to death...not so (at least not on this cruise). Sure they had the typical watch sales, spa specials, etc., but they were never in your face about it. In that regard, it was very 'un-Carnival'. One last thing: the Cruise Director was on the television, non-stop, telling people about what was going on, telling jokes, etc......but NOT ONCE DID I SEE THE GUY. I came away thinking that maybe he wasn't even on board. I mean out of seven days you'd think I'd see him at least once. Never. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining; the last thing I want to be subjected to is a totally obnoxious Cruise Director, but this was just weird. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
BED BUGS & LOUSY FOOD FOR OUR 50TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY. TERRIBLE REVIEW for Royal Caribbean's "Voyager of the Sea" - Sailed October 30, 2011 on a 13 night cruise Barcelona to New Orleans. This was our 35th cruise! ... Read More
BED BUGS & LOUSY FOOD FOR OUR 50TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY. TERRIBLE REVIEW for Royal Caribbean's "Voyager of the Sea" - Sailed October 30, 2011 on a 13 night cruise Barcelona to New Orleans. This was our 35th cruise! We were celebrating our 50th Wedding Anniversary. This was our 7th cruise on Royal Caribbean. After this cruise, we have decided not to sail on any Royal Caribbean's cruise ships in the future. Below is our review to explain our comments. As per Cruise Critic's Guidelines, I will try and structure my review into categories. BACKGROUND INFORMATION As mentioned, we have cruised 35 times including Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity, Holland American, NCL, Princess and others. We are in our early 70's residing in Clearwater FL; we have cruised the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexican Rivera, Gulf of Mexico, Europe and about ten transatlantic crossings. EMBARKATION: In Barcelona - after waiting 45 minutes for a wheel chair, they whisked my wife away with out me and I had the paper work. About ten minutes later they showed up with another wheel chair and we eventually located my wife and then we were processed promptly. STATEROOM We were located on Deck 9, Balcony cabin #9622 - Cost for this Balcony Cabin $2,892.68 booked on December 20th 2010. We had called Royal Caribbean relative to my recent total knee replacement and were given assurance that it would be no problem to have two gel packs put in the Medical freezer daily and they would be available as we would need them as a nurse is available 24/7. After getting settled in the cabin we asked the lady room steward to please take the two gel packs to the freezer, she was quite rude in stating that this could not be done. After I explained that this was already approved by Royal Caribbean and we were advised to give the gel packs to the room steward and that if she couldn't handle it to please send the Hotel manager to our cabin. All of a sudden she was able to take the gel packs to the freezer. Since it would be 24 hours until the gel packs would be cold enough I requested a large bucket of ice so I could treat my knee using plastic sealed bags, after two hours and three follow-up phone calls with the room steward she brought the large bucket of ice and I treated my knee. We went to late seating at 8:30pm and were just seated when my knee started to bother me so I asked my wife to go back to our cabin on the 9th deck and contact the room steward for additional ice, my wife went back to the 9th deck and spoke directly to the room steward asking for an additional large bucket of ice and she said she would take care of it right away. After dinner we went back to the cabin to ice my knee and there was no ice. We called room service and they brought up a large bucket of ice. In the morning my wife addressed the room steward who was nasty in an aggressive manner, she threw up her hands in the air and said, "I must have forgot, SO"! With this attitude we went to the purser's office and discussed this problem we were having with the room steward; apparently management addressed this problem right away as we had no further issues with the room steward on the remainder of the cruise. On about the third day of the cruise my back was aching in the morning, so I pulled the bottom sheet back and found that two mattress pads had been folded over and then a third mattress pad had been put over the top of the other two mattress pads and the sheet over the mattress pad. At the same time my wife said look at my arms, I have five bites on one arm and three bites on the other arm. We went to the purser office and they said they would look into it and advise us of the results. A service man came and started to poke around by the bed head board and we left the cabin. About three hours later we came back to the cabin, new MATTRESSES were now on the bed. No one from the purser's offices ever called to say what they found; but obviously, it was BED BUGS. A couple of days later we came back to the cabin while the lady room steward was in the bathroom cleaning and we found two Royal Caribbean personnel in some type of dress uniforms in the cabin, one setting on the bed and one standing. Surprised one said, "we are not working just entertaining the room steward." We left and went to the purser office and reported the incident, but were surprised as they didn't seem to care as this appeared as common place; but it was not common place to us as no one should be in our cabin other than when it was being serviced. We never received any response from the purser's office. The other aspects of the cabin worth mentioning is the balcony, the carpet was wore out and filthy. Rusty metal was showing. The glass by the rail was never washed once during the cruise. The teak rail was raw wood, no varnish. There were NO amenities in the bathroom, no hand lotion, body lotion, shampoo, or shower cap, just one bar of soap. With the new mattress, the bed was now comfortable; however, since the DUST mites were stirred up and with the bite problem and the mattress problem, I ended up in the Doctor's office on the ship with a bacterial infection and the doctor visit and medicine cost me $156.40. SHIP INFO - The Teak Railing all over the ship was raw wood no varnish. Many deck chairs had missing straps. The ship definitely is in need of much maintenance as much wear is noted We were surprised at the declining condition of a Royal Caribbean ship. Most every day one or more elevators were out of service which was a big problem at meal times. DINING This was absolutely the worst dining experience we have had in 35 cruises; both in the Windjammer Buffet and Main dining room, 2nd seating. On the first morning I went to Deck 11 Windjammer Buffet about 7:15am and a young man approached me and asked me if I would like a glass of Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice. I replied, "that sounds interesting" and he said, "it will be $3.95, and I told him "no thanks." On Deck 11 the food was Luke warm at best. The buffet, any casserole type dish, corn beef hash, gravy or soup was loaded with SALT. The omelet maker needs to be taught how to make an omelet, it is not made by putting all of the ingredients into the pan at the same time and poking at it, the omelet came out hard and dry and not editable. I tried three times and each one was worst than the prior one, Hamburgers were Luke warm at best. Same old pastries every morning they even looked tired. The grits, and oat meal were good and they were hot. French toast sometimes was so old it was hard, and of course we did not eat it. Tables on Deck 11 were slow to be cleaned on many occasions indicating a shortage of good help. While signs are placed on the tables on Deck 11 about card playing, reading books etc. these rules are not enforced and a shortage of tables existed during the busy eating times. Once again showing lack of management involvement. Main Dining Room, when I booked the cruise in December 2010, I was placed on a waiting list for late seating; Who do they think they were kidding, the reality was that late seating was only 50% full at best with a lot of empty tables every night of the cruise. The first three nights my wife and I sat alone at a table for eight; then we were able to join another table set for eight on the far side of the dining room that had four people seated. The following is our experience in the Main Dining Room - 1st night Prime Rib medium rare - EXCELLENT - 2nd night Pork very tough - 3rd night Lamb Chops - POOR - next night nothing appealed on the menu so I just ate a Caesar Salad - Fish EXCELLENT - Lobster Tail and Prime Rib - EXCELLENT - Chicken Marsala TERRIBLE EXCUSE for Chicken Marsala baked breaded chicken breast with some poor type of Marsala sauce on top of the chicken - Lamb SHANKS absolutely terrible, they may Have been good at the 6:00pm seating but after three more hours on a steam table they were not fit to eat - Baked Chicken - TERRIBLE raw and bloody on the inside - Thai Shrimp - VERY POOR - To top it off on the final formal night Surf & Turf, Meat was tough and poor quality so tough my bridge actually broke and two teeth were implanted in the meat. NO MELTED BUTTER WAS SERVED, INSTEAD THEY SERVED WHAT APPEARED TO BE HOLLANDAISE SAUCE, WE USED THE BUTTER ON THE TABLE for the surf. Only white rolls were offered, we can't eat white rolls so we asked for dark rolls such as rye, pumpernickel, whole wheat or multigrain. A tiny bite size roll was offered. After numerous requests finally a rye roll was available. One night the assistant waiter said he had to go up to the 11th deck to get us dark rolls. It got rather boring eating the same roll every night, just one more incident of poor management at the top. Deserts for the most part through out the cruise were not interesting and I choose Yogurt most evenings. The coffee in the Main dining room 2nd seating was absolutely the worst I have ever tasted on a cruise, never a freshly brewed cup of coffee. To celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary a milestone on Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Sea management provided a chocolate mouse the size of a cupcake for six patrons to share and of course a few waiters singing. Once again, Royal Caribbean management showed No Class. The best coffee on the ship was in the little cafe' open 24 hours on deck #5. ACTIVITIES Both Libraries almost a total disgrace, as many shelves were completely empty; there were very few books available. Gym on Deck 11 and the Card Room on Deck 14 were very nice. SERVICE With the exception of our room steward, service over all around the ship was surprisingly pleasant with a few exceptions; on last formal night the assist' waiter spilled hot tea water on my wife, and said "you are too close" then ignored it and left the table offering no help to my wife; he is very poor in his duties and should not be in the main dining room. The waiter was very defensive when he was told of the poor quality of the dish and kept saying over and over that everyone liked it at the early seating. I am sure that was possible when the food was freshly cooked but after 3 additional hours any food on a steam table loses its appeal and taste. ENTERTAINMENT Glen Smith was excellent. Broadway singers and dancers were very low quality and the singer's voices were not clear, we could not understand the words no matter where we sat. Balance of entertainment was mediocre to poor. PORT & SHORE EXCURSIONS Been to all the ports before except Tenerife in the Canary Islands and we enjoyed that port on our own as there was no excursions available. DISEMBARKATION Disembarkation in New Orleans ran late- was poorly organized, additionally they said eight (8) wheel chairs were broken causing the delay to 11:30 am for disembarkation. SUMMARY & SUGGESTION This was absolutely the worst cruise we have been on in 35 cruises. To us Senior Management is not running this ship as it is absent in so many details; no cabin should ever be given to a guest in the poor condition with bed bugs that we experienced. The late seating dining room should be closed if this is the best food that can be presented. I attribute this whole terrible experience to uninvolved senior management in the daily management of the ship; with management focusing on how they can wring another dollar out of the guest; instead of how can the guest be better served. I would suggest senior management from Corporate sail on this ship in disguise and see what is really going on. We rate this cruise one star only because the ship's engines did not fail. We appreciated the Catholic Priest on board who said Mass every day, we would recommend that Royal Caribbean make available room for a Catholic priest on all cruises of seven (7) days or more. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Boarded the MSC Poesia at Southhampton for a 14 day cruise to New York. The ship itself I could not fault. For cleanliness and design it would take some beating but this is were it ends. The food was awful, with the same menu's on ... Read More
Boarded the MSC Poesia at Southhampton for a 14 day cruise to New York. The ship itself I could not fault. For cleanliness and design it would take some beating but this is were it ends. The food was awful, with the same menu's on offer day after day. The entertainment on board was abysmal and very weak. On a four day sail from the Azores to Bermuda we were reduced to being entertained during the day by a crew member throwing plastic hoops at wooden pegs with a balloon on his head. I wouldn't even try and entertain toddlers with that. The reception staff seemed to think passengers were subordinate to them. The disembarkation process was complete chaos and two elderly ladies, one in a wheelchair, were flatly refused much needed assistance by the crew and had to be assisted by other passengers. A long hard look at the level of customer service this company offers needs to be urgently reviewed and improved. I'm afraid I wont be cruising with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
EURODAM CRUISE REVIEW - AUGUST 24 - SEPTEMBER 10, 2011 ROUTE OF THE VIKINGS - TRANSATLANTICI am Phil Haggerty and my wife is Edith Goble. I am a retired city attorney and Edith an unretired homemaker who previously worked in health ... Read More
EURODAM CRUISE REVIEW - AUGUST 24 - SEPTEMBER 10, 2011 ROUTE OF THE VIKINGS - TRANSATLANTICI am Phil Haggerty and my wife is Edith Goble. I am a retired city attorney and Edith an unretired homemaker who previously worked in health services. This was our 28th cruise, since 1999, including one river cruise. Without providing a boring laundry list of destinations, we have sailed in Tahiti and the Galapagos, around and in South America; to Alaska; made the usual Caribbean, Baltic, Mediterranean cruises and several Transatlantic crossings.Why This Cruise?It is reaching the point in our cruising life that we are having a little difficulty in finding new areas to explore. We will probably never do a Caribbean or solely Mediterranean cruise again, although we have two more Transatlantic crossings set which start in the Med. We have not done any cruises in Asia, mainly because we do not enjoy super long air transits.But this cruise had appeal because of its itinerary; Amsterdam, Bruges, Dublin, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and Canada, and then a New York arrival. Edith was worried about cold weather, but after a hot Phoenix summer, I welcomed it. We had two prior short cruises with HAL and liked their professionalism, the ship-shape quality of their vessels; attributable to a line that has been sailing for more than 135 years; and the friendly attitude of their largely Indonesian staff. So we called our travel agent and made our plans.Pre-cruise PlanningEarly on in our cruising life, we learned the benefit of arranging as many of our own shore excursions as possible. We have found that you get a much better value most of the time. Alaska is an exception, since the excursions are limited, and the pricing is the same. On occasions we have found ships' tours that were unique and were reasonably priced. Somewhat surprisingly, Crystal Cruises offers some of the most reasonable excursions, which like everything else Crystal offers, were first class also. But we often have had privately booked experiences which, when compared with our fellow passengers tales of ship's excursions brought back on board, were evidently much better. It takes some effort, but through exhaustive web searches as well as information provided on the Cruise Critic Roll Call site, we have not only found excellent trips, but people to take them with. We spent a good deal of time lining up excursions for every stop except Amsterdam (we know the city and will use local transportation) and Nanortalik in Greenland, where the town itself arranges the sightseeing for everyone.Clothes planning involved some consideration. We are going to Arctic Circle climates, and we will be out of doors everywhere, so we needed to bring winter type clothing (or at least the Phoenix version of winter clothing). This included my Aran Island wool sweater that I bought on that marvelous island during an Ireland visit a number of years ago. I also brought a storm jacket acquired in Canada. I opted not to bring my tux for what we thought were four formal nights. This turned out to be a five formal night cruise. Edith uses some imagination to prepare for formal nights, and was more concerned about warm clothing for our outdoor excursions in chilly climes. We were a bit surprised when we got everything we thought we would need in one suitcase and one small duffel bag apiece as checked in luggage, along with back packs and small carry on bags with the travel necessities. ON OUR WAYBritish Air flies non-stop from Phoenix to London every day, so we booked them and splurged a little with Premium Economy. We use The Best Travel Store for our air purchases on overseas flights, and have been very satisfied. Our flight left at 8:00 P.M. and arrived on London at 1:00 P.M. We had booked a B&B in Dover called Maison Dieu, not because it was French, but because it was on Maison Dieu Drive in Dover. It is some distance from Heathrow to Dover, and while there are trains, it would have involved changing stations, hauling our luggage, in London. The B&B owners recommended Coastal Cars, and although we tried to find fellow cruisers making that trip around that time, we had to settle for a private car which cost £100.00. We were met promptly and, after buying UK pounds at the Barclay Bank ATM (which does not charge fees for Bank of America cardholders), drove down to our B&B for the overnight stay. Once there we got in touch with Bobi, our travel agent who was making the same cruise and staying at a Ramada near Dover, to join her and her cruising companion for dinner. The Maison Dieu is reasonably priced at £75.00, and the owners very friendly and helpful. Breakfast the next day was fine, and we did a little shopping in Dover before going down to the harbor to look at Eurodam docked there. Dover is a nice little town, easily traversed on foot. We loaded up a cab to go to the pier and boarded with minimal delay.EURODAMThis is a fairly new ship, having made its initial voyage in 2008. It is one of the two largest in HAL's fleet, carrying just over 2100 passengers and with a gross tonnage of 86,200 for a decent space ratio of 41.05. Holland America seems to favor a "mature" ambience, with dark wood walls and furniture, warm colors for their carpets, solid sofas and chairs, lots of reproductions of old Dutch art and artifacts. The lower exterior up to deck four is black and all above that white. The layout is normal. Deck 1 is mostly staterooms, with the front desk, the excursion and future cruise desks and a small atrium. Decks 2 and 3 are the main activity centers with access to the main dining room aft on both decks, and the theater forward. Deck 2 also has the Pinnacle Restaurant, a specialty restaurant open only for dinner with a $25.00 per person surcharge. The store area is a little unusual in that, except for one separate high end jewelry store, the display tables for all merchandise are in one open area. An open steel mesh curtain is lowered to create an aisle when the shops are closed. There is also a "Culinary Center" for cooking "shows"; a small motion picture theater, the casino and the usual array of bars and lounges. One room is dedicated to the computer "Learning Center". Decks 4 through 8 are virtually all staterooms as is Deck 10. Deck 9 has the typical "Lido" Buffet, swimming pool and spa-fitness center set-up. The pool can be covered, and was heated so that even in our cold climates, swimming was possible. There are three elevator banks, and the one midships has two outboard facing glass elevators on each side. For some reason these seemed to be the fastest and most convenient of all. One of the aft group of four elevators was out of commission the entire cruise.OUR STATEROOMOur stateroom, and it really deserved that designation, was one of the true "highlights" of the cruise. It was number 7079, and there are only 3 others like it on this ship. They are Nos. 7080, 6113 and 6118. Grab one if you can! This is the "Superior Verandah" class, but what makes these 4 cabins so neat is their special configuration. Eurodam widens out for the aft quarter of its length. These cabins are immediately in front of that "bulge", with the result that the verandah, in addition to its normal outward facing aspect, has an angled aspect looking forward down the whole length of the ship. This gave room for two comfortable arm chairs with ottomans, in addition to the normal side chairs and table. It also created a triangular area in the cabin for additional storage of stuff, if needed. Not that more space was really needed, we had plenty.There were three closets, with the center unit containing the safe, several shelves and one shirt hanger bar. Edith and I split the other two, and had plenty of room and hangers. The bathroom had a Jacuzzi tub/ shower, a separate shower and two sinks with Corian counters, plenty of room between the sinks, a shelf below and two corner toiletry shelves, providing more than enough space. The main cabin had two desks, one opposite the bed, really more of a dressing table with its lighted makeup/shaving mirror; the other to one side of the bed with its own window onto the verandah. One dressing table/desk had six drawers, the other two. The side desk also had the TV screen and the small refrigerator. There were two bedside tables, and each side of the bed had its own directed halogen reading lamp on a flexible arm for easy nighttime reading in bed. There was a full couch (which converted to a bed), an arm chair in addition to the two desk chairs and another cabinet which held two extra couch blankets, which Edith enjoyed.. There was also a decent sized coffee table in front of the couch. There was a large picture above the couch, two others on the wall next to the bed, a mirror above the bed and a full length mirror next to the bathroom door. There was room for all our items and enough space to get around comfortably. All in all this was one of the best staterooms we have ever had.PORTS OF CALLAmsterdamWe had spent several days on two occasions in this delightful, sophisticated city before this trip. Therefore we opted for the hop-on-hop-off canal trip, purchasing the all day tickets for 20 € apiece at the very modern cruise terminal. This building is within walking distance from the Central Station Plaza from which all the canal boats and most of the trams and buses originate. We actually boarded our canal boat closer to the cruise terminal and had a nice harbor view before we reached the central station area. The weather was nice; mixed clouds and sunshine and in the 70s and we had a fine time taking most of the canal routes (with some duplication) and enjoying the marvelous Amsterdam architecture. We stopped for a quick bite for lunch (having had a full breakfast on board to prepare ourselves for a full day), and at the Flea Market which was a disappointment. If you have never been to Amsterdam, we would recommend the Van Gogh, Stedelijk and Rijksmusems. The latter is huge, and probably cannot be properly seen in one day, but the first two are great on their own, and close to each other. Transportation by tram is fast, cheap and clean. If one does the canal thing, there are several companies, but only one hop-on-hop-off, and this is the recommended one for a thorough view of the city.BrugesZeebrugge is actually the present day port for Bruges, which was a major port and trading post itself up until the 17th century when its harbor silted in and caused an increasingly rapid decline which resulted in the city becoming almost "frozen" in time. The construction of the port in Zebrugge, about 12 miles away led to a gradual increase of tourist traffic, which by now has become the main focus of the city, showing off its late medieval and early renaissance architecture, easily accessible on foot or via its small canal system.Our plan had been to take a taxi arranged by Bobi, into town with instructions to return later. Unfortunately we waited in the rain for almost ½ an hour and no taxi. Edith and I were discouraged by the rain and returned to the ship. But since the daily schedule of events was pretty barren, we decided to take the shuttle bus provided by HAL to the train station in a nearby town called Blankenburg, and were on time to catch a cheap round trip fare to Bruges. We arrived shortly before noon, walked around this very quaint and attractive town, took the 30 minute canal tour, had a real Belgian waffle, very light, crisp and tasty with powdered sugar, and coffee for 6 € and wandered into the main square, always on the lookout for Belgian chocolate We noted that the restaurant prices for a regular lunch were very, very high; e.g. € 45 for bouillabaisse. I recall paying about 20 € in Cannes ( in the area where it was first made over 2000 years ago) in 2003. On the way back we explored Blankenburg, which had a nice shopping street and more reasonable prices. DublinHere we had two separate excursions, one routine, the other most unique and surprising. On this quiet Sunday morning we took a bus tour of the city provided by our travel agency. It was pleasant, and we saw some lovely Georgian neighborhoods with their vibrant, differently colored front doors. We then went to Trinity College, which is very striking. But since the line was very long for a glimpse of the Book of Kells, we all opted to return to the ship at about noon. There we, and another couple met John Kenny, who runs Hidden Wicklow. John loaded us into his Land Rover and off we were to Wicklow County, a very rolling, hilly and rural county south of Dublin. John is a young man who spends his weekdays as a barrister, drafting legislation for the Irish Parliament. He has lived in Wicklow since birth, less a few overseas trips, and knows absolutely everything about his home area. We carefully avoided all the normal tourist areas, stopping off first at a little known graveyard, still being used, but also holding stone tablets identical to those in Estonia, all carved by Vikings in about 850 A.D. We then traveled through the beautiful countryside, with lush valleys and raw, bog encrusted hillsides, where John cut us some turf, and told us how it was used in fires. We visited an ancient monastery with a marvelous tower where the only door was at least 12 feet off the ground to facilitate repelling invaders. We went to a graveyard for German airmen who accidentally, (or maybe not), overshot England in the bombing raids of WWII and were interned safely in neutral Ireland. At this spot he provided us with lunch; very nicely done sandwiches, and a fruit cobbler made of a local berry which had to be picked, one berry at a time, from the local woods. John had done both the picking and the cooking and it was delicious! We visited "Killruddery", the home of the ninth Earl of Meath (although no such titles are used in Ireland) This was not just a beautiful, stately home, but also a working farm with a wonderful vegetable garden. The home is still occupied by the family, who welcome locals and visitors, and also lent the grounds for concerts, one of which was to be held that day. We traveled through a quiet deep farming valley where John said the same few families had farmed the land for many hundreds of years. The sun was setting over a lovely view of Dublin as we returned to the ship after more than seven hours of marvelous insight into one of Ireland's most beautiful and historical counties. John is a superb guide, and this ranks with Patrick Watt's tour of the Falkland Island as one of the most memorable we have ever done.Faroe IslandsWhere? Well, the Faroe Islands are 600 miles north of Dublin (so we had a sea day, as we did between Bruges and Dublin) and 250 miles north and slightly west of the northwestern tip of Scotland. We docked in the capital, Torshavn, and joined a group again lined up by Bobi. This time the driver appeared in his Mercedes van and 10 of us took off to see this remote country. Perhaps not surprisingly, the countryside resembles both the Western Highlands of Scotland and Iceland, about 300 miles to the west. Torshavn [that's right - no "e"] holds about 17,000 people and the total population of all the islands is about 48,000. The three main islands are roughly parallel to each other. Torshavn is on Stremoy, Vafgar, where the airport is located is to the west and connected by a long tunnel. We drove up Stremoy, and crossed a short bridge to Eysturoy, to the east passing through several small towns. Few, if any people were around, and our guide, who spoke pretty good English, said most worked in Torshavn, or were out fishing, which still is an important part of the economy, despite some growth in information technology. The Faroese are Scandinavian. The islands have a large degree of political autonomy, some legal ties to Denmark, and the people speak both Faroese and Danish. The Danish Krone is the currency. The farms raise mostly sheep, and are attractive in the Scandinavian style. It purportedly is very windy, but was not bad when we got out of our van and wandered around some quiet towns. The Faroe Islands would not precisely fill one's concept of a dream vacation spot, but have a quiet charm and barren beauty.IcelandIn contrast, Iceland is a very interesting, starkly beautiful, surprising and vibrant country. We spent four days there in June 2005, and greatly enjoyed it. The offerings for excursions were many, but based on the fact that we had been to Gullfoss Waterfall, the Geysirs (an original Icelandic word, spelled that way) and the Blue Lagoon, we opted to rent a car, persuaded another couple to join us and went to two small towns, Akranes and Borgarnes, and then the Thingvellier National Park. Akranes is a small fishing village a few miles north of Reykjavik and offered a nice view of the water as well as a lighthouse. Borgarnes has the Cultural Center, which provides a narrated guide through Icelandic Viking history. Their written records go back to about 850 A.D. and the entire show, costing about $15.00 per person, was fascinating. We then left for Thingvellier, and made a few false directional starts, but arrived there not too late to enjoy it. Basically it has two claims It is the site of the first true parliament in the western world. Everyone would meet on an annual basis and make community decisions. It also marks the division between the two major tectonic plates in the northern hemisphere. There is an attractive visitor center and marvelous views out over the plains and a nearby lake. All in all it is a striking place. While driving we noted the truly beautiful Icelandic farms, widely spaced over rolling hills, and populated with sheep and graceful Icelandic horses, whose bloodlines have been kept pure for over 1000 years, and whose special stride enables them to carry people over the rough volcanic ground in the smoothest possible style. This is indeed a country in which one could enjoyably spend a lot more time; although it is expensive.GreenlandIt could be said that we spent two days in this icy wilderness. The first day was spent cruising into Prince Christian Sound, and the second in the town of Nanortalik. We had not expected much when the cruise guide said we would be cruising the Sound, but it turned out to be very striking, sailing almost due West, up a fjord-like body of water, sometimes fairly close to steep, snow covered shores with frequent waterfalls, and a view of the actual ice cap that covers most of this huge, virtually empty island. The Sound gives way to other water bodies at its west end, and on one of these we stopped to view a small Inuit community called Aqappilattoq. The captain sent in a small boat from the ship, not one of the large tenders, but a Zodiac type of craft, delivering pizza, we were told. Several small boats from the village came out and circled us, with their crews and passengers - 3-5 at the most - cheerfully waving at us. We then exited south to the open sea and proceeded, on a full sea day, around the southern tip of Greenland and up its West coast to Nanortalik.This is a town of about 1500 people, mostly Inuit. They are visited by about 3 cruise ships a year, and set up a small event for these visits. For $20.00 US per person we were given entre into a small choir presentation at a local church and a coffee, cake and dance show at the local community center. The choir sang in a very pretty Lutheran church, and the group consisted of four women, five men and the choir director; who led the initial song with an organ chord, but conducted the balance a capella. The singing was in Greenlandic, but a Danish man gave short introductions for some of the songs. It was very beautiful and a most delightful experience. The coffee, cake and dance show was enthusiastic and pleasant, if not great dance; mostly by young people. We strolled around the town; looking at the small neat homes, mostly with flowers in their front windows, as we saw in the Faroes and Iceland. There was a gift shop, but it was so small and crowded (we were there only from 7:00 to 2:00 P.M. and had to tender back and forth) that it was extremely difficult to see, much less ponder the purchase of anything. The prices were quite high also. We reboarded in time for lunch at the buffet, which we shared with about 50-60 children from town, invited to see the ship. I am sure they had a marvelous time, especially the child who managed to smuggle his puppy aboard, to the great delight of the buffet staff. It was a mite chilly on shore, but not really too bad, and we considered this a delightful and very different port.St. John's NewfoundlandSt John's Newfoundland [not to be confused with St. John (no "s") New Brunswick], is much larger and more settled that we expected. We had envisioned Newfoundland as rather desolate, rainy and windswept, but were surprised by the very well kept, up to date ambience of this city, which has an urban area population of close to 200,000. The fishing economy collapsed in 1990, but new oil and gas operations have given the area a strong economic boost. We were transported to the airport Thrifty, a trip which took about 15 minutes, to my surprise. There our group, consisting of Edith and myself and a Winnipeg family , parents and 12 year old daughter, boarded our rental car and drove about 30 some mikes to Bay Bull. Why it is called this and not Bull Bay, I have no idea. But here we noarded the Gatherall's family catamaran to go out in search of whales and puffins. There were about 20 of us on board, which gave us all enough room and ability to walk about when we were able to in the Atlantic swells. We turned up whales just outside the bay in the Atlantic after a 20 minute ride and were able to get close and follow three fin backs for a half hour or so. The do not come as far out of the water as the Pacific humpbacks but are very large and impressive when seen from our close viewpoint. We then moved over to Witless Bay and circumnavigated one of the four puffin ecological preserve islands in this bay. Puffins are actually a lot smaller bird than we imagined, but their bright orange, parrot- like beaks make them very attractive. They came quite close to the boat, landed in the water, dove quickly for fish, and then flew to the island to dive back and disappear into the bright green ground cover plants where their chicks awaited dinner. We were told they mated for life, and lived about 16 years. This was a fascinating show. The crew was amusing and informative. Most inhabitants of Newfoundland are of Irish, Scots and/or English heritage, with the Irish being very apparent in Melinda, our guide. We had hoped to see the Salmonier Nature Reserve on our return but unfortunately it closed at 3:00 P.M., so we drove back to St.John's by a different route, and enjoyed seeing the area. The whale and puffin trip was well worth it, however.HalifaxHere we had another private tour arranged by Blue Diamond Tours, a small local company. We chose to stay away from Peggy's Cove because there were two other cruise ships in Halifax that day, so a total of more than 6000 people would be traveling around, many of them to Peggy's Cove. Our excursion company had offered a wide selection of options on their website, and we chose the Eastern Shore. There were six of us in a nicely sized van, one couple from Australia and the other from Las Vegas. Our driver had been born in Halifax and was extremely knowledgeable. We crossed on one of two bridges to the Dartmouth side and went south down the harbor and the east along the coast. Our first stop was at a long public beach, where there was a good ocean surf, and some surfers in the water with wet suits. I went out to the shore edge to test the temperature, and found it to be pretty reasonable, not too cold for swimming for someone like myself who is used to the cold California Pacific and even North Sea Danish coast. We then went to a small port town and out onto a pier to see the lobster boats and lobster traps piled up everywhere. We next visited a wonderful farm house of about 900 square feet, which at one point housed a couple with their 13 daughters! The youngest of these had died in her 90s a few years ago. From there we went to a Heritage site, where the local people had restored about 11 various farm buildings to their status in the early 20s and 30s. We also were fed in a "cookhouse"; a meal with excellent soup and marvelous baked beans. We spent a lot of time going through these structures to see how people lived, and be reminded of our own backgrounds, at least in my case, of the late 30s. We returned to the ship after an excellent and reasonable ($115.00 per couple) five hour excursion, with no other tourists anywhere.FoodThis subject is of great interest to all contemplating a cruise, but is rather subjective in outlook. There is not actually a vast difference in the approach to food service taken by the major cruise lines; nor can there be, given the environment in which it must take place. There is one area in which cruise lines are beginning to try to separate themselves from competitive lines, and that is in the widening use of specialty restaurants. This is most apparent in the newer ships which have featured these alternative dining spaces in their designs.HAL is a little behind the times here, with Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam; their latest, having only two. These are the Pinnacle Room, basically an upscale, dinner only, dining room with a $25.00 per person surcharge, and Tamarind, an Oriental food venue with free, but reservation only, lunch and a dinner with a $15.00 surcharge. We received a complimentary dinner at the Pinnacle Room for early booking of the cruise, and enjoyed it, but only had a disappointingly bland lunch at Tamarind. Others reported well about their dinner there, but it was not well designed for Edith's vegetarian requirements.The main dining room, the Rembrandt, had fixed seating for two times, 5:30 and 8:00 on its upper (Deck 3) level, while it offered open seating from 6:00 to 9:30 on its Deck 2 level. We chose our normal early fixed seating, believing it to be at 6:00 as on all other ships with this system (now becoming more rare since "open" dining is gaining popularity); and were discomfited with the 5:30 time. We like fixed seating, especially if there are six or eight regular attendees, but had we known, we would have elected open dining, and shown up at 6:00 to 6:30.We were also disappointed in that there was only one other couple at our table for six. We enjoyed their company, but there were several nights when only one couple was at the table.We are not wildly enthusiastic about HAL's food. This is especially true of their vegetarian offerings, which were limited to one per meal, and inspired in neither selection or preparation. The full menus were pretty standard in both selectionand preparation. On a scale of 1-100 I would rate HAL at 82, Princess 83, Celebrity 88, Oceania 92 and Crystal 97. We have had only one Royal Caribbean and one Norwegian, and don't really have a good basis to rate them, but would probably say about 80 for both. The food service was good, although our waiter seemed a bit overloaded with three tables when all were full. The buffet also had some problems. The layout was confusing and the signs not always informative. Ostensibly for health purposes, food was dispensed by buffet servers or stewards, including coffee; which made that item slow. However after two days the buffet service by ship's personnel was somewhat hit and miss, so the health goal was not well attained. Seating was overcrowded and difficult at times since the weather did not allow outside seating aft of the main Lido dining area. The breakfast selection was reasonable, although the potato offerings were inconsistent, and the ship ran out of apple juice on the third day. The coffee in the Lido was pretty bad, but the one time we had breakfast in the dining room it was pretty good. Once I figured out where the more exotic, Asian lunch items were located, I enjoyed these. The food in the buffet was served directly on large plates. The Food Service Manager told us that HAL had stopped using trays in the buffet and that this has resulted in substantially less waste. It worked out pretty well, although if you wanted to keep your utensils, you had to make sure your dining companion was on guard against the rapid removal of apparently used dishes and cutlery by the buffet staff. I should note that each night a portion of the buffet was set aside for Canelo, an Italian food setup with waiters, linen napery etc. at no extra charge.On Board Activities and EntertainmentHAL does not rate highly in this area. We had read that they realized the weakness of their activities on short cruises (and we experienced that on both Zaandam and Veendam on one week Caribbean cruises) and were going to remedy this on their longer cruises. We did not see much of this except for the lecturer for the Faroes, Iceland and Greenland. This was Jon Sigurdson from Iceland. He did several lectures in the main theater, which were always well attended and enjoyed. His amusing and relaxed, but very informative talks added to our enjoyment of the Viking countries we visited.Aside from this there was an astronomy lecturer that we did not attend, and a "techspert"; a young lady named Kristin who ran a series of computer and camera classes, often twice a day or even more, in the "Kings Room" a small room on Deck 2 that was equipped with about 20 laptops. This was a nice concept, but there was obviously a limit to the number of people who could avail themselves of this, and the classes moved quite rapidly, so there was the danger of being left behind. Many of them were repeated during the cruise however. On most sea days there was a presentation or "show: in the Culinary Arts center, which has a small theater setup with a stove top on stage. Most of these had a comedy approach, and the one in which our very friendly Canadian Captain attempted to cook was amusing. Most of the balance of the offerings were typical cruise games, contests and sales pitches for stores and the spa.The evening entertainment in the theater had some variety and two pretty good singers, one male, one female as well as two typical "Singers and Dancers" shows. There was a flutist, a pianist who had us worried if the instrument would survive her attack, a couple of comedians and a dance/quick change artist couple. All in all, we considered the evening entertainment to be of average quality; not up to Celebrity or Crystal, but better than our last Princess cruises, and most others.A daily ship's version of the New York Times was available in many national editions. In addition, one could go on line, without charge, in the internet cafe and bring up the e-mail version of the Times. Internet communication otherwise was not free, of course. I paid $55.00 + tax for 90 minutes, and it was slow. The in-room TV was sporadic in its pickup of satellite programs, as is normal when at sea. What was annoying was that the program listing for the in-house shows, including several movie channels was totally inadequate and uninformative. Nor did it enable you to see your on board account - pretty poor service for this day and age. The Crew and the ShipHAL runs a very high quality, ship-shape operation. The crew is constantly cleaning, and the results are apparent. The crew is also uniformly pleasant and attentive. Our cabin attendants were on the spot all the time, and always had a smile. The wait staff and buffet staff were equally nice. The Captain gave detailed, very understandable reports of progress, which was well appreciated because of two hurricanes, Irene and Katya, which posed possible threats. The officers made sure you knew that their families were on board, the Captain's three children obviously enjoying Dad's failures as a cook. As on all HAL ships, the stateroom attendants and wait staff in the dining venues were Indonesian, except for the wine and liquor servers who are non-muslim Filipinos. There was some upset over the store manager who would announce raffles and then cancel them with little notice, but he was not a HAL employee. There were a few days of high seas, but no reported motion sickness, merely some swaying as one walked about. The outer decks were closed a few times as the wind approached 70 knots, but the ship remained very steady. Often people on Cruise Critic wonder about the North Atlantic crossings. This is the third westbound crossing we have made, all in fall months, and all without disturbingly high seas. We have also done two eastbound cruises, from Rio to Barcelona and from Baltimore to Rome, both in the spring and equally smooth. The highest seas we have ever had have been going north up the Baja coast and west to Hawaii from California.DebarkationThis was the slowest we have ever experienced, and it was due entirely to the customs/immigration authorities, no doubt as frustrating for HAL as it was for us, since there were still passengers on board when we left at about 10:15. The new arrivals were to start boarding around 11:00. (We read one review which said that the early debarkees exited very promptly, but progress certainly slowed down later.) However, there were three ships arriving at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, Carnival Glory, which had joined us in Halifax and Norwegian Jewel, which might have accounted for the delay. There was a very long line for taxis, but, as a born New Yorker, I believed I could walk one block to 11th Avenue and catch one there, which we did, and were on our way to pick up our rental car and drive to Long Island to visit my sister. Overall EvaluationThis was a cruise with highs and, if not exactly lows, some weak spots. The high points were the ports of call, the overall itinerary, our delightful stateroom; the general high quality of Eurodam as a ship, and its very pleasant staff. The food would be rated as medium to quite good; and the on board entertainment and activities as fair to medium. It is probably not a cruise one would do twice (although our friend Bobi had done just that) but certainly well worth doing once. We should note that of the 2100 passengers, about 450 had done a back to back with the cruise through the Baltic preceding our trip. Since we chose this cruise largely for its itinerary, and not for on board shows and activities, we were certainly not disappointed, and considered this an excellent adventure.Bon Voyage! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We have been on NCL 3 times previously so we knew exactly what to expect. This ship exceeded our expectations. The staff were wonderful, especially our room stewards, Jonathan and Ferdinand. They went above and beyond to make us ... Read More
We have been on NCL 3 times previously so we knew exactly what to expect. This ship exceeded our expectations. The staff were wonderful, especially our room stewards, Jonathan and Ferdinand. They went above and beyond to make us comfortable. The only staff that were not so friendly were the counter servers in Las Ramblas. They acted as if we were bothering them asking for tapas--this is not the table wait staff. They were as friendly as could be. Getting on the ship was easy--we just walked on and our rooms were ready. We loved the food in the MDR's. We ate at La Bistro on my birthday. The food was outstanding, but the portions were so huge that an entire family could have dined on our two dinners. Some of the entertainment was fabulous. Some so-so. We especially enjoyed the hypnotist, comedian and comedian/juggler. We are not great fans of Las Vegas style entertainment, but that is us. Others love it. We visited the gym every morning and found the equipment to be the same as at home except for the TV screens on the treadmills, bikes and elipicticals.We had no complaints about the ship, food or entertainment, except the Dazzles Lounge. It smells of mildew and mold and seems to need a good airing out. Also, the cabin TV's are ancient and get uninteresting channels. We did like the FREE in room movies though. We enjoyed the relaxation of not having to hurry up to get off the ship because there was only one port day, Lisbon. The weather was miserable at the beginning of the cruise, and there were many seasick passengers, but we were not disturbed. We knew that crossing the Atlantic could be rough. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
DESTINATIONS GREAT BUT HAL SERVICE CONTINUES TO SINK ON RECENT EURODAM TRANSLATIC A recent Transatlantic Cruise on the Eurodam showed the dip in service continues on HAL ships while HAL keeps trying to hold prices down. For the ... Read More
DESTINATIONS GREAT BUT HAL SERVICE CONTINUES TO SINK ON RECENT EURODAM TRANSLATIC A recent Transatlantic Cruise on the Eurodam showed the dip in service continues on HAL ships while HAL keeps trying to hold prices down. For the second year in a row it was hard not to notice the reduction in service, but this time it was much worse. When you drop $20,000 on a vacation you notice both the big things and the small stuff. GETTING THERE: The HAL prices for air fare from a large Midwestern city to Amsterdam and then back from New York were hard to beat...but the crazy connections and long layovers killed us! Next time I will book air travel myself. Never again flying from US to Canada for a four hour layover then an Air Canada flight to Frankfort with a 5-hour layover for a 45-minute flight to Amsterdam on a packed Lufthansa flight! It was like HAL was punishing us for spending $20,000 with them. We were in transit for 26-hours. Getting home was almost as bad. HAL did do a nice job making the airport transfer and getting us to the downtown Amsterdam hotel. The van driver was very funny even if some of his prepared speech was far from accurate. However HAL planning left a lot to be desired. The Eurodam was not docking in Amsterdam. The every five-year "Sail In" had the Amsterdam harbor choked with sailboats and concert barges. There was no room for cruise ships. The Eurodam was docked at an industrial area 15 miles out of town. EMBARKATION: The embarkation started off poorly. Heavy traffic on clogged Amsterdam streets, with people trying to get downtown for the "Sail In", meant a two-hour wait for hundreds of Eurodam passengers at the hotel. The ship sailed at 8pm but we were stuck in the industrial district at 2pm. We passed a chocolate factory near where the ship was docked, causing my wife to ask if they had tours (and hopefully samples) since we were arriving six hours before departure with nothing to do. (They didn't.) Once at the ship I saw something I have never seen in 10 years of cruising with HAL...LONG LINES! In fact there were huge lines! There were singers doing four-part harmony entertaining the passengers. However it did not make up for the fact that HAL did not serve the complimentary ice tea, lemonade and water for the waiting passengers. If you wanted a beverage you had to buy it. STATEROOM AND CABIN SERVICE: We had a Deluxe Suite, mid-ship near the Neptune Lounge. When entering the room we noticed the comp bottle of Champaign was not iced. Directly below was the glass cabinet. On the face of one cabinet door was a nasty smudge and dirt that was about four inches long. It remained as part of a fixture to the suite for the next 17 days. We called and asked for ice for both the bottle of bubbly and the ice bucket. 45-minutes later I went to the Neptune Lounge and got it myself. For the next three days we got ice and laundry bags ourselves. When you are paying for a top level suite, you expect at least average service, we never received it. While almost all passengers got their complimentary NY Times synopsis newsletter in the morning, ours and six other suites were getting the "afternoon" paper. The truly amazing thing was it was three days before we met our room stewards! The only close attention we got from the head steward was on the next to last day when he appeared to be sticking close to us possibly for the handoff of the extra tip envelope. It wasn't coming. In fact my wife went to our concierge and filled out a form to have two days of tips for the room stewards deducted from our credit card. WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE: Our room stewards were also marking us down for drinking bottled water on a regular basis. In fact we were moving the bottles to a shelf above the mini bar to get them out of the way. We had collected six large bottles when I went to the concierge and found out that we were getting charged for the water we not drinking. I then brought her to the room and showed her the bottled water collection we were amassing. She said she would take care of it. The next day the "water lady" arrived to give us our seventh and eighth bottle of water. SPINNING THE FACTS! During an "Ask the Captain" event in the main showroom, the last question had nothing to do seagoing. It was, "Is it true that the room stewards have had the number of rooms they are responsible for increase from 10 to 24?" The captain hemmed and hawed and finally said "Yes." But the Cruise Director immediately jumped in and said there were two room stewards now and this should make things more efficient. It was spinning at its worst, because long term customers know that there used to be a Room Steward and Ast. Room Steward serving 10 cabins. Perhaps a more honest answer would be that to keep prices from rising, HAL made a few non-safety cuts while trying to hold fares down. SPEAKING OF THE CONCIERGE SERVICE: The special Concierge Service for Penthouse and Deluxe Suite customers (HAL calls us guests, but we are in reality "paying customers.") was hit and miss at best and often involved apologies from the HAL staff. Several times we had the staff reserve tables for dinner. Twice they said they did it when we arrived for dinner there was no record of the reservation. Another good one was the next to last day at about 2pm when I went to exchange $60 Canadian to U.S. I was told money exchanging had closed at noon. I was stuck with extra money because HAL cancelled two of our four Canadian port-of-calls due to the approaching Hurricane Earl. I asked when the "guests" had been notified of the noon stoppage of money exchange. I was told it was in the daily program. I asked to be shown the notification. She could not find it in the program. She then said it was in the Daily Program four days earlier. I went to my room and got that program and there was no notice of a cut off for money exchange. I asked why it wasn't mentioned several times in different daily programs to remind guests. She then called the pursers office and later said the money could be exchanged the next morning. The next morning when I tried to exchange the currency, I was told it could not be done. NEPTUNE LOUNGE: The interior Neptune Lounge on Deck 7 is nice with a large screen television, sofas, a conference table, complimentary beverages and snacks, plus the two staff members running the concierge service from 7am to 8pm. There is also a waiter from the Pinnacle providing the food and beverages. What always amazes me is the number of people who pay top dollar for deluxe suites with large verandas but spend time hanging out in an interior area with no view. Me...I take a couple of plates of food back to my cabin to enjoy the view and the fresh air. FOOD: MAIN DINING ROOM: The food in the main dining room (The Rembrandt) for 18 days more often than not was very good, compared to past cruises. One exception was the Caesar salads. Nightly the lettuce didn't seem just "tired" but almost asleep. The service was another story! Doing "open dining" ourselves and another couple tried different areas of the dining room and found that the service was very bad or in the one case there was excellent service but the waiters had no personalities. We settled for most of our cruise with two waiters who often got orders mixed but were very entertaining. They actually both got envelopes from us on the last night. On our first night Chef Ruddy (all the way from Seattle) made two different "recommendations" on the printed menus for the same course. Five nights before the end of the cruise they handed out "farewell" menus, making us ask who was leaving and how, since we were at sea until the final day due to Hurricane Earl. The wait staff said the menus were a mistake. You had better odds hitting it big at the roulette table in the casino than getting a soup spoon during dinner. THE PINNACLE was the big disappointment. The dinner food was no better than the food quality in the main dining room and service was unbelievably poor. To start with the old signature starter at the Pinnacle, the Clam Chowder is now missing for a second year, replaced by a Lobster bisque that tastes like it is right out of a can, was served cold and is the same bisque that is served in the main dining room. (Why pay more?) The staff even admitted that customers continue to complain about the missing Chowder, but the folks in Seattle along with Chef Ruddy do not seem to care. My guess would be $$$$$. My steak was over seared making it hard to eat. However my wife's lamb was perfect. Perhaps the biggest disappoint at dinner was the Crème Brule. Over the years this has been my wife and mine favorite. I should have known something was up with the wait staff was pushing the Vanilla SoufflE. The sugar on the Crème Brule was over heated...you had to pound on it to break through. Once you did it was not worth the effort. THE EXCEPTION...was breakfast ...the food was excellent every day. The problem again was service. You never had a waiter. Instead you had four or five and they never knew what the other was doing. While the food was always great, on a daily basis your order was never right. Items you didn't ask for were included and some days your main dish was missing. It was not unusual to ask for a breakfast tea and to get the tea bag but never get the hot water. The last day of the cruise our breakfast in the Pinnacle never happened. We received water, juice even a muffin...but for over 20 minutes no one ever took our order despite our repeated requests. We finally had to walk out. Our best meal of the trip came during our day in St. John's Newfoundland at a local diner 10 miles south of town we stopped at while touring in a rental car. THE PROBLEM: It was easy to determine one of the main reasons for service problems. It is the continued drop in English Comprehension! Waiters did not know the meaning of "extra" or "hold." One waiter tried to tell us someone was a "Unich" when he meant "unique." It has gotten very hard to hold a conversation with many of the ship's service personnel. The other problem: Much of the day to day specials are clearly controlled by the "boys in Seattle" leaving the ship staff with little room for creativity. The day after Hurricane Earl passed the ship one might think a Hurricane would be the drink of the day. It wasn't even informally added as a waiter suggested drink. ENTERTAINMENT: The normal "kids doing the song and dance" was atypical. Some of the kids were better than others. The sets were pretty impressive. For the second time I have been on the HAL ship the house band did not have any brass. The leader did play a sax, clarinet and flute...but no one was on board with a trumpet, flugelhorn or trombone. The Neptunes trio playing in the Ocean Bar was actually better than your average Neptune group. They would get into some nice jazz rifts when no one was on the dance floor. The piano bar guy, Michael, was way over the top...his style was that of someone that Saturday Night Live used to lampoon. For the first time I have been on a transatlantic cruise where there were not any music contests in the piano bar. Michael was somewhat defiant when he said, "I don't do contests!" The piano bar contests do help draw people to the room and sells more beverages for the cruise ship. THE HEADLINERS: The entertainers brought on board were the typical magicians, comics producing a few laughs and musicians playing odd instruments. MOVIES: HAL no longer has a contract with Swank, the large movie distribution company and it shows. The Eurodam featured some movies that were over 20-years-old. There were only two movies that could were remotely close to being able to carry the "recent" label. I intentionally did not rent any movies for six weeks prior to this cruise thinking I would see several movies on the ship that were just reaching the video stores or NetFlix. I was wrong...another example of HAL squeezing a nickel. STAFF: Jason, the CD, is tops! This is the second time in two years I have enjoyed Jason's work on a cruise, he was most recently on the Westerdam (see 10-09 review "What a Difference a Year Makes" by Strode Wallace) before moving to the Eurodam. Jason also is perhaps the best I have seen in taming the type-A personalities involved in the killer trivia contests. With one exception, his staff was also top notch. Elizabeth and Paul were very passenger friendly, plus fun to talk with. The exception was DJ Matt. This guy acted as if he was being bothered every time he put on an event by himself. He also completely blew off passengers trying to ask him a question. FAILING TO PLAY TO THEIR AUDIENCE! I have seen this before on other cruise ships but it is really noticeable on HAL ships, when the staff fails to recognize and factor in the age of their customers. I have been on HAL ships where the AVERAGE age of passengers was 68. On this cruise it was 60-years-old according to a staff member...meaning there were plenty of people in their upper 70s and 80s. When they hold contests such as "name that tune" they need to include gimme stuff that older people will recognize. Two examples were TV theme songs and Broadway Musicals...each time out of 15 or 20 questions none were from the 60s or 50s. To a young entertainment staff something from 1980 is ancient...but to an 80-year-old passenger...it is something they have never heard of. The staff should throw in a "Perry Mason." "Bonanza" or "Jack Benny Program" theme on TV trivia and perhaps something older than Grease when doing Broadway tunes. I mention this only because when they hold these contests, older passengers pack the venue and leave disappointed. The same can be said for the shows. During a show featuring the dancers and singers, the audience burst into applause during a poor version of Rodgers and Hart's Bewitched, Bothers and Bewilder." Why? Because it was the first song they recognized and for a number of them it was a favorite from over 50-years ago! HAL needs to remember the older ages of their long time good paying customers while Carnival does not. LIBRARY: We found that the library on the Eurodam had a good selection of books and was well run, with self check out at night. This was a plus when we picked up extra sea days while avoiding Hurricane Earl. DESITINATIONS: The best part of this cruise and the main reason we booked it was for the destinations. EDINBURGH: The overnight stop in Edinburgh fell on a Saturday. During the month of August the City of Edinburgh is full of festivals including a book festival, the comedy festival and for one night two performances of the Military Tattoo, an event of marching bands. HAL was selling grossing overpriced packages for the Tattoo that included bus transportation from the dock in Queen's Ferry. Total package per person with HAL $100. We shared a cab into town with another couple for 5-pounds a person. Tickets for the Tattoo outside of Edinburgh Castle were going for as little of $27-pounds, more than half of the price with the HAL package. We went to 7:00 and 9:00 shows at the Comedy Festival being held at the Edinburgh University., skipping the Tattoo under the belief that over 20 minutes of bagpipes turns an event from entertainment into a punishment. KIRKWALL ORKNEY ISLANDS: We had arranged well in advance for a private tour by the small company, "Wild about Orkney." It was a great move. We got an archeologist who has lived in the Orkney's doing research for over 30 years. The five hour trip was fantastic. He also introduced us to Orkney ice cream, made in Kirkwall with milk from Orkney dairies. The ice cream was so good we made a second stop for more before returning to the ship. The van for three couples was very comfortable. THE FAROE ISLANDS: This stop was also a treat. We hired a cab with another couple and saw a lot at a reasonable price. Perhaps the best treat was the scenic cruising leaving the port featuring breathtaking seascapes and views. ICELAND: Iceland is bankrupt and you quickly find out that super inflation has hit Reykjavik. Rent-a-cars and taxi tours are all unbelievably expensive. Even McDonalds closed all of stores and pulled out of Iceland. Food costs were so high they could not maintain a menu with reasonable prices. We shared a cab for five hours with another couple we were able to tour per person cheaper than the HAL prearranged tours. Renting a car was a losing proposition. You broke even or maybe saved from a ship's tour but the very high price of gasoline made it too expensive, unless you share with another couple. GREENLAND: The day of cruising in and out of fog in southern sounds of Greenland was fantastic. The fog hid the whales, but made some interesting views of mountains and icebergs. The views we saw of the Faroe Islands and Greenland made the choice of an expensive deluxe veranda suite worth it. We stopped in the small town of Qaqortoq (pop 3,200) for six hours on a Sunday. No town in Greenland is connected to another town by a road. There were taxis in town, but on a Sunday they were busy taking people to and from church. The weather in late August was unseasonally mild with temperatures around 52-degrees instead of 38-degrees. Not much English was spoken in town with the exception of the two grocery stores where the clerks could say, "No liquor on Sunday" to passengers tired of the high price of a drinks on the Eurodam who wanted to sneak some spirits aboard. The highlight of the day was the ship inviting all the children in town along with one parent aboard for a free lunch of hamburgers, fries, hotdogs and pizza. The day before while cruising in fjords and sounds, the ship sent a rescue boat to a small village of 200 with 10 pizzas and some dry goods. NEWFOUNDLAND: Overall we found Newfoundland a treat. St. Anthony (3,200 pop) was a the first stop in northern Newfoundland. You need to arrange for a rent a car if you ever dock there. The local Chevrolet dealership is a 10 minute walk for the dock. The city does not have a center, but is stretched out along the main road. A drive to coves and bays and many small villages was fun. We saved the lighthouse, located near the dock for last and it gave us some of the best views of the day. St. John's, the capital of Newfoundland was a surprise. It was like being in a small San Francisco. The city has many hills and brightly painted Victorian row houses. It was beautiful. We shared a rent a car with some friends and hit all the spots that the HAL tour busses hit, plus much more. After going north of town in the morning, we headed south along the Irish ring road in the afternoon with our final destination being The Town of Ferryland. We had perhaps our best meal of the entire trip when we stopped at the Riverside Inn, just north of Ferryland in the Town of Cape Broyle. The chowder was better than anything we were served of the Eurodam. The diner's specialty was a plate of French fries hand cut that day, smothered in brown gravy, crispy ground beef and peas. The waitress said that the people at our table who ordered it would not want to share and she was right. Back at the wharf the arrival of the Eurodam was a big enough deal that passengers were interviewed by CBC radio on how they liked St. John's. A large crowd of on lookers lined the street when the ship departed at 9pm. Everybody liked St. John's. DODGING A HURRICANE! The ship's captain did such a good job hiding from Hurricane Earl and we missed any of the effects from a hurricane. We also missed two ports of call in Nova Scotia. While hiding along the US coast near Portland the captain announced that we should experience winds gusting up to 50mph and 9-15feet high seas beginning at 3am and lastly for three or four hours. The crew did an outstanding job tying things down in preparation of the storm. I stayed up and was disappointed when nothing happened, not even any rain. PLUSES: Ian who hosted travel Q&As before we arrived at different ports of call did something that you don't see very often on a cruise ship. Sure he pitched the ship's tours, but he also told passengers how to use public transit and even mentioned where the taxis and rent-a-car offices were. Perhaps the best part of the cruise was at the very beginning during embarkation when we unexpectedly ran into a couple who we cruised with two years ago on the Noordam during a transatlantic crossing from Rome to Florida. (see 10-8 review "The Good and the Dead" by John H) It was great fun spending time with them. Unfortunately we all agreed we would not be in a hurry to book another cruise on HAL. BAD SEND OFF: You would think the one thing HAL would want to do is make our last hours on the ship and getting home as pleasant as possible, hoping for some return business. This did not happen. We had a HAL arranged 1pm flight that was not home but instead to Philadelphia where there was another long layover before a final flight home, despite many direct flights out of New York. We received a letter in our stateroom the day before telling us we were in a debarkation group for 7am. YIKES! Six hours before for a flight out of an airport 45 minutes away. I was able to get that changed to 9am. Then the waiting began...3 hours at La Guardia. Then a twin prop commuter plane that bounced around for 45 minutes at 10,000 feet. Then there was another 2 ½ hour wait in Philly for a commuter jet home. Our last day with HAL did not leave a pleasant taste. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010

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