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12 Venice to Caribbean - Eastern Cruise Reviews

Wanted to explore Greece and Croatia. Nice short flight out to Venice. Check in very good and embarkation went smoothly from 12 noon. Ship in good condition areas clean needs a lick of paint on balcony handrails. Upgraded to room ... Read More
Wanted to explore Greece and Croatia. Nice short flight out to Venice. Check in very good and embarkation went smoothly from 12 noon. Ship in good condition areas clean needs a lick of paint on balcony handrails. Upgraded to room with balcony instead of porthole which was a bonus. Forward facing above Theatre but not noisey. Plenty of choices of places to eat. Ate 2 nights in Alizbar and two in Pacific. Other 3 we chose to eat in buffet as it was just as good as a hotel buffet. We didn't eat in any other restaurants which required extra payment as it wasn't necessary plenty of choice. Although there wasn't a Musical type show there was good entertainment in the main Theatre every night 2 diff times to choose from. Disco ,karaoke ,piano bar, big casino, whatever takes your fancy. Plenty of choice of places to drink. Ports Venice We got the ATVO bus from Marco Polo airport to Piazzale Roma 8 EUROS then took the People Mover 1.50 euros to port. On return from cruise we had 1 night in Venice took vaporatta from port to st Marco sq 22 euros for 2 people with luggage. Easy to get around Venice on foot. Very pretty and main square a must to see the Basilica San marco. DUBROVNIK Buy bus tickets before boarding we got them in shop 4 euros.Bus stop on port side 1a 1b to City Wall. We walked the wall you need Kuna or credit card to pay here 120 kuna. Restaurants and bars shops. Nice square inside wall. ATHENS We again chose to go on our own steam. Got bus tickets on corner of port. Bus stop on same side as port X80 bus 4.50 each all day. We visited the Acropolis 20 euros or 30 euros if you want to visit other sites too. Buses every 30 mins. Day Day's at Sea We got up early had breakfast and sat by pool. Visited the buffet at back of ship for lunch. Afternoon tea at 3.30 to 5 help yourself buffet. Singers ,disco ,live music by pool nice mix. Other placesto sit if you want peace and quiet. Newspaper each day tells you what entertainment is on during the day. SANTORINI Took the boat from far side of dock for 15 euros which took us to Oia transport to village. Choose time to leave to get bus to Fira. We stayed 2 hrs plenty of time to explore. Once in Fira there is plenty of cheaper restaurants, snack bars and shops. Cobbled streets.Took cable car down to port 5 euros. You can walk down or take a donkey!! SPLIT Walk into centre by foot 10mins. Nice old buildings. Cathedral. Right side of port walk to Bacvice beach more like a lido. Left walk round harbour then go up and over to shingle beach. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Never having cruised before, I chose this cruise for the itinerary and the positive reviews of Celebrity that I had read. On the whole I enjoyed it but there were some negative points too. Below is a summary of our views: GOOD: ... Read More
Never having cruised before, I chose this cruise for the itinerary and the positive reviews of Celebrity that I had read. On the whole I enjoyed it but there were some negative points too. Below is a summary of our views: GOOD: -Staff on the whole worked very hard and were friendly and courteous. Our cabin attendant, Barbara was delightful and couldn't do enough for us. Alex (Concierge manager) was also helpful. Ice cream man in Oceanview was hilarious. -The ship was very clean and our cabin was spacious and well equipped. -Food generally good, varied and plentiful -Room service very good and also prompt-lovely having breakfast on balcony! -Evening shows were of a very high standard-with many performers having been on the West End stage -Shore excursions were very well organised and the tour guides we had were excellent-very pricey though! -General nice touches like cold water and towels on re-boarding the ship -Embarkation, Disembarkation and general admin on the ship was efficient -Galley tour impressive and informative NOT GOOD: -The continual hard, hard sell from the minute we got on: -upgrade to this, buy that, internet package, so prohibitively expensive etc. So many expensive extras if you're not careful. Celebrity: remember we are on holiday, we want to relax and be pampered-not hustled -If you wanted to explore ports independently the shore excursions staff were very unhelpful, bordering on obstructive and rude, inferring each time it would be costly. difficult. too expensive, too far etc. -Very poor daytime entertainment. Watching someone try to sell you something every single day is not entertainment-it is an insult -We were excited to see that on our "at sea" day there would be pool games. Except the entertainment team couldn't be bothered to recruit the teams and it was dropped-with no announcement. We waited half an hour before realising it simply wasn't happening! -Really disappointed with "evening chic". Many people didn't bother. One man wore a T shirt and shorts! I really feel Celebrity should uphold standards and dress codes. If people don't want to dress smartly, there are other more casual options for dining. For the sake of those who make an effort (as instructed), please Celebrity, try to uphold the standards to which you aspire -The duo "Sugar and Honey" were absolutely awful. They were so depressing and sucked the life out of any potential atmosphere, no matter where they sang. Everyone around us thought the same, and my sister, who is currently on the same ship, says everyone on her cruise shares this view-as do the staff!! Seriously, it got so bad that on our last day we felt driven away from the pool by their dreary, repetitive, thin, depressing songs and went back to our balcony instead. Celebrity-please wake up and get rid of these two. We didn't find a single passenger who enjoyed this act and most found them downbeat and soul destroying. -Pre cruise admin (UK) was terrible. The website is only geared towards US customers, some info is incorrect (eg luggage tags are no longer posted), e-docs were issued several weeks late and phone calls are at an extortionate, premium rate. So in summary, good in (most) parts. Far less hard sell and improved daytime activities would go a long way to improving this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
To be fair, Oceania does some things very well. The ship was clean and well appointed. The crew was courteous and efficient. And the food was outstanding. But the thing that spoiled our cruise experience was their outrageous price gouging ... Read More
To be fair, Oceania does some things very well. The ship was clean and well appointed. The crew was courteous and efficient. And the food was outstanding. But the thing that spoiled our cruise experience was their outrageous price gouging on shore excursions and airport transfers. When you pay a premium price you expect to get a seamless travel experience without constantly being nickeled and dimed to death. Both our travel agent and we assumed their high rates included airport transfers to the port---especially since the air transportation was included in our package.. SADLY, THAT WAS NOT THE CASE. We arrived at the Venice airport and sought out the Oceania representative. She informed us we were not on her transfer list. I showed her our documents and she pointed out the fine print directing us to contact our travel agent or the cruise line to arrange for airport connections. Since they had a waiting coach, I asked how much they would charge my wife and myself to take us to the ship. We were informed it would be $300 total! We had been to Venice several times and knew it was not a long trip to the cruise port. So we went outside and hailed a taxi for 50 Euros----or about 22% of Oceania's demand! We were more prepared when we transited from the destination port to the Rome Airport. We had booked a Mercedes van online for a fraction of the price Oceania wanted for their bus. Similarly, their shore excursions are not included and are outrageously priced. Some relatively simple city and countryside tours can cost several hundred dollars per person. We simply went ashore and found our own tours or boat rides for a fraction of what Oceania was charging. But unfortunately, when tendering the passengers to smaller ports, Oceania gives priority to their own tour groups---making passengers with private arrangements wait till later to board the tenders. Their shipboard exchange rates are also unfavorable and passengers will fare much better changing their dollars at local banks. Of course, Oceania claims that they disclose in their brochures and documentation that the airport connections and shore excisions are priced separately. What they do not disclose is just how outrageously noncompetitive those services are. Inexperienced or naive passengers are often exploited by this price gouging. I believe a reputable cruise line offering air/ship packages should at least get you from the airport to the ship. Likewise, any shore excursions not included in the package should be priced reasonably. They should not inconvenience their guests by forcing them to make their own arrangements to avoid being price gouged. I informed Oceania by letter and in their passenger survey, that---until these outrageous pricing polices are corrected---I will avoid their cruise line and will advise my friends and relatives to do likewise. They were unrepentant and stated that they make all required disclosures and have never claimed to be a low cost provider of the services in question. Incidentally, Oceania is owned by the large hedge fund, Apollo. So perhaps that accounts for them being more profit driven than service driven.     Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Such a beautiful ship it's a shame it will get torn apart unless undergoing a lot of changes whilst in America, Whilst agreeing with an awful lot of what has been said in reviews which I have read I feel some people have been quite ... Read More
Such a beautiful ship it's a shame it will get torn apart unless undergoing a lot of changes whilst in America, Whilst agreeing with an awful lot of what has been said in reviews which I have read I feel some people have been quite harsh and petty with their comments. Yes the service onboard in the dinning room was a bit hectic but this was mainly due to understaffing, 2 hours 40 minutes on early dinning is far too long and puts 2nd sitting far later than stipulated but things did improve after the first week when staff got used to running around tables overcrowded a little quicker, felt sorry for some of the waiters. Paying for water & coffee in the dinning room is unacceptable which was soon realized by the management once the American visitors joined the cruise, never happened to myself before. Our cabin boy must of been invisible although he did keep the cabin clean & tidy was never to be found when needed only for a wave from the end of the corridor. Films on the television were a joke able to watch half of four films and only saw the finish of two other films due to constant breakdown during the screening, nothing to watch whilst crossing the Atlantic. Entertainment in the beautiful theatre was a big letdown, five good shows out of nineteen days cruising unless you liked opera which judging by the amount of persons walking out during these shows would suggest didn't. The cast which worked hard when appearing were very good but even their shows only lasted at most 35 minutes, shame that shows couldn't of been made to last longer with some other form of entertainer. The cruise was changed last minute which meant we never visited the port of Nassau I believe that this was due to the big show put on for our entrance into Miami harbour which was spectacular but didn't warrant us missing what ports we'd paid to see when booking. Things were all about to change after we disembarked, for the following three days when travel agents and the media got invited to a three day complimentary cruise when over a thousand were treated to top level entertainment, fireworks and no doubt better service & food, its a shame that paying cruise customers weren't treat the same, but I feel certain that MSC should of learnt a lesson if not then this cruise will be coming home earlier than they anticipated. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We flew to Venice and stayed in the Delfino hotel in Mestre for two nights which was an excellent base. We got a taxi transfer to the Port and were checked in very efficiently in no time at all. Our luggage was taken away and we were given ... Read More
We flew to Venice and stayed in the Delfino hotel in Mestre for two nights which was an excellent base. We got a taxi transfer to the Port and were checked in very efficiently in no time at all. Our luggage was taken away and we were given clear instructions as to what we had to do and where we had to go. The staff were very friendly and helpful from the start. On board we were very impressed with the style of the ship, it looked very classy and had a lot to offer. We were shown to our cabin very quickly and our luggage was there ready for us. We had an interior cabin which was fine for us as it was clean and tidy and did the job. The ship is amazing when you start to get to grips with it. There are so many decks with so many bars and restaurants as well as the theatre, gym, shops and so much more. Everything was well run and the whole place was very clean throughout and the hygiene standards in the food areas was very high. The shows were excellent, very professional and varied, each bar had live music each night so you always had something to do. The allergrissimo drink package was an excellent buy which we did before we went but you can do it when you arrive on the ship too. The range of drinks is excellent, all branded drinks and the cocktails are made from scratch, no premixes and cheap ingredients. I couldn't fault the service. The decks have plenty of sunbeds and you can find a quieter area if you hunt around a bit. You cant really get near the pools as the families and children seem to nab the beds around those areas very quickly and it can be very noisy anyway if you don't have children. We went on four trips and each one was well organised with no problems at all and if people wanted to go out alone there was always the option of shuttle buses which were around 10 euros. The food was very plentiful, the only thing I would say is that they need to have more choice for vegetarians in the a la carte restaurants and the Mexican restaurant as you are limited to one choice. My friend did not want to eat in the buffet restaurant so I was very limited on what I could have so more choice would be very helpful. There was a real mix of ages which seemed to work well and the main nationalities were Italian, German, Spanish and English and everyone seemed to mingle just fine. The only thing that was irritating was the constant photographers wherever you went on the ship. They were all over the place! I was spoken to very rudely by a staff member called Lydia in the photo gallery because I had my phone out sending a text message and she accused me of taking pictures of the pictures even though I didn't have any pictures there! If you like being in front of the camera its fine but if you don't it can be very annoying so less photographers would be better for me! In all I thought it was excellent value for money and I would certainly recommend this cruise to anyone looking to go round the Med. I would definitely go on their ships again and I am looking at going on a Caribbean cruise next year with them.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We traveled with a group of friends.We thoroughly enjoyed this ship; mainly because of The Queens Room...a large ballroom with a 7 piece band every night(one night "big band night" there were 15 musicians). Dancing with my wife ... Read More
We traveled with a group of friends.We thoroughly enjoyed this ship; mainly because of The Queens Room...a large ballroom with a 7 piece band every night(one night "big band night" there were 15 musicians). Dancing with my wife & friends with a big band is what we really enjoyed.The Queens Room was the best dance venue we have seen in our 11 cruises. We thought the Brittannia restaurant food was excellent; the buffet on the top deck (Lido?) was good. Our inside cabin had enough room,modern,clean & quiet.Public areas were spotlessly clean & elegant. Casino was small but it doesn't concern us.Theatre was large & the entertainment was good, with excellent dancers & a very good Irish comedian.There was always some entertainment in different parts of the ship, string quartet,harpist,jazz singer or pianist etc.etc.Plenty of variety. One complaint was the cost of table wine in the Brittannia was too high & a wine package deal did not allow flexibility to delete wines you did not want. Yalta was really a historical trip showing us where FDR,Stalin & Churchill had their meeting but otherwise not much for us. Odessa had beautiful architecture & was a real surprise. We took the ship's tour here & were very pleased with the whole town. We stopped at a lovely park for a meal. Nessebur in Bulgaria we took a tour to another village but we should have remained at the seaside area near the port which seemed just as good. Ephesus we had seen before. So we went to the town in the port which had beautiful Turkish confectionery we've never seen before & also had a Turkish coffee. This was our 11th.cruise & we thought this ship was one of the best because of the Queens Room with it's 7 piece band,good food in the Brittannia & excellent service throughout the ship. We really loved this ship & would cruise on her again if possible. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
Arriving in Venice from Heathrow London was easy,transfer to ship,easy,Embarkation a total nightmare,complicated beyond belief. Once on board the cabins are very nice,with ample room for most people,clean and well looked after. We were ... Read More
Arriving in Venice from Heathrow London was easy,transfer to ship,easy,Embarkation a total nightmare,complicated beyond belief. Once on board the cabins are very nice,with ample room for most people,clean and well looked after. We were designated a table for dinner and the staff were,as usual very attentive and helpful. The Ship is fantastic in it's design,14 decks and lots of things to do BUT do not travel with this ship if you want any kind of peace and quiet,very loud music,so loud it hurts the ears, is the norm everywhere,so loud that the sound from each place seems to inter mingle giving a mixture that is hard to describe. The drinks are reasonably priced but the service charge is extortionate!!bar service charges come over and above the normal service charges too. It is also sad that transfers from ship to shore are not included,especially when the ship is berthed so far away that it is impossible to walk. Summing up,this is a great ship for those who like lots of noise but not for those who sometimes like a little peace and quiet. The journey home was fairly easy,much easier than getting on.Ports visited were Koper,a new destination with very little to see. Ravenna,supposedly known for it's mosaics but did not see many,very disappointing. Bari,very nice pleasant town with a fair amount to see. Dubrovnik.Absolutely fantastic with the cable car,city wall walk,nice cafe's and shops. Venice.Very interesting of course,were told that it is very expensive but we found it quite reasonable,especially in the back streets with their lovely little shops.The main square was a little disappointing though,rather scruffy. I would not go with this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
The cruise was close to flawless. The ship is in excellent condition, the service excels, and the food is hard to beat. We had only a couple of instances that made us unhappy. The stop at Katakolon was only half a day and everyone had to ... Read More
The cruise was close to flawless. The ship is in excellent condition, the service excels, and the food is hard to beat. We had only a couple of instances that made us unhappy. The stop at Katakolon was only half a day and everyone had to eat lunch on the ship so that the only two open restaurants were over overwhelmed. To make things worse, the bar with a piano was also filled up during the afternoon. We also tried to go to their restaurant #2 on a popular evening and couldn't get in without a wait. However, the main dining room was always available, with excellent food and service, and room service was fast and good.A stop that isn't listed on ports below, Kotor, was very good. It's a nice medieval city that is still very much intact with a lively street life and a wonderful path to climb to a mountaintop that was difficult but worth it.The standard entertainment group was fairly bland, but they had an interesting magician one evening.We read one review that complained about the food, but that person must have a vandetta, since the only food that we've had better was at creative cooking restaurants in top dining cities. We also read a review complaining about the service, but we've only been to one destination that has service this good and that place was extremely expensive. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We just came back from our E. Med cruise MSC Musica, Sept 12 - 19, embarkation from Venice. Before this we had cruised twice before with American cruise lines. I don't know why there were so many negative reviews because we had a ... Read More
We just came back from our E. Med cruise MSC Musica, Sept 12 - 19, embarkation from Venice. Before this we had cruised twice before with American cruise lines. I don't know why there were so many negative reviews because we had a great time and everything is well organized, especially getting on and off the ship: we never had to wait for more then 15 minutes in any ports. The itinerary is great; room and boat is very clean; food is ok but not much different comparing with other cruises, with few exceptions: 1. the buffet place doesn't open 24 hours so there could be time no food is available if you are hungry. 2. We never had lobster or steak night as we had in other cruises. 3. No soft drink is provided and they are expensive; coffee and juice are only available in the morning. Entertainment: shows are pretty good, shorter than those in other cruises, probably 30-45 minutes each show. Embarkation: Really fast once we get to Marittima Port, less than 15 minutes. But to get to Maritima Port from Piazzale Roma is not very easy because there are no signs anywhere; tax ride is around 25 euros. We didn't see any public bus or bus from MSC either. So we took some train called "People mover" which dropped us at the entrance of Marittma and then walked 20 minutes to the boat. For more information, here is a link about Marittima Port. http://europeforvisitors.com/venice/articles/venice-cruise-terminal-marittima.htm After embarkation, they did put our luggage into the wrong room though, but we finally got it after a couple of hours delay. Service: in general the service is good; with the exception the people at the excursion desk and accounting desk are impatient when you ask them questions. Also, we reserved for a table for two and it was confirmed but when we got there we were put together with 4 other people. They are all very nice so we end up dining with them for the whole trip. Bari - We took the "Sassi" tour: we don't think it is worth it because it took 1 ½ -2 hours to go there and another 1 ½ - 2hours to get back; the tour itself was only 1 hour or so. Someone dining with us said they found a local guide and took a bike tour around the city and it was really nice. Katakalon - We took the Olympia and museum excursion, we found it very interesting, especially amazed at the accomplishment by Greek people two thousand years ago. Santorini & Mykonos - We booked an excursion at Santorini so we can get off the ship early after we read some reviews on this board: this is the only place you need to use a tender boat to get off the ship and those with excursions have a priority. When we came back there was a 45 minutes wait to use the cable car to get down at Santorini, after that there is not much wait for the tender boat. Both Santorini & Mykonos are beautiful. Piraeus, Athens - we also took an excursion here; same as Olympia, we were pretty amazed at Greek history and sculptures. Corfu - We didn't take any excursion here, just walked around the town. After a while, there is nothing much to do. Probably should have booked an excursion here to the beach or something. Dubrovnik - very beautiful town. We didn't book any excursion here, just joined a local 1 hour English tour. It end up only two of us are in the tour so it became a private tour for us ?. After that we took a walk along the city wall, highly recommended. Venice - Disembark: we waited in the theater for about a hour to have our "color tag" called. Once our color tag is called, disembarkation is really fast to get off the boat, less than 15 minutes. Overall the experience is great, especially the itinerary - I think it is the best for East Mediterranean. Also, I didn't notice much different with the fellow passengers comparing with American cruises, with the exception that they are not speaking English. I didn't see anything like in previous reviews that it is chaotic and people don't form lines; everybody was following rules, form lines with probably just a few exceptions. People are not rude as claimed by some of the previous reviews either. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Flying into Venice, Delta lost one of my bags. Reported it at the airport, and went to the service desk on the ship and reported it there. Princess service desk acted like it was their fault! They gave me a kit full of toiletries, and ... Read More
Flying into Venice, Delta lost one of my bags. Reported it at the airport, and went to the service desk on the ship and reported it there. Princess service desk acted like it was their fault! They gave me a kit full of toiletries, and since our formal clothing was in the bag, they immediately offered formal wear, complimentary of course. They called my cabin three times to keep me informed. They called Delta and had my bag moved to our first port, Athens, where it showed up in my cabin. I was amazed at the Princess Service. We loved the ship. We are the type to eat early, and go to the Princess Theater to see the entertainment most nights. Of the eleven evenings on the ship, they had something new on 9 of them, and we saw 8. We loved most of them. Excellent: Scottish Violinist, Welsh singer and comedienne, the ships own singers and dancers (esp "Once Upon a Dream" show). Very good: Comedian guy. Fair: Magician. Loved "movies under the stars". Nothing like floating along under a beautiful full moon, watching a movie on a giant screen, and the ship people come by offering (free) WARM cookies and milk. Unbelievable! They would also go around about 3:30 every afternoon with warm cookies and (cold) milk. We had anytime dining. Between 5:30 and 6:30, walked right in every time. When we walked out ~7:15 - 8:00pm, the wait looked to be 5-7 minutes or less. Excellent food, and lots of choices every night. I went hunting for more food at about 10 pm :) and they have a theme buffet near the stern of the ship every night. One night was German night, WOW. The pizza is excellent, and the grill is great (fries, hamburgers, brats). The buffet is great. We never had trouble on this cruise finding a seat. Last year in the Baltic, it was much more crowded at times. I guess that is because on this cruise it was warm enough to go outside, so many did. We don't drink. The drink people come by a lot, but we just politely shake our head no, and they quickly move on. It didn't bother us at all. We bought a soda card, 12 days of all-you-want for $50. Not bad. Our cabin was always clean. Steward was friendly, and we never ran into him in our cabin. He seemed to watch carefully for when you left, then swooped in to get it cleaned up before you came back. Ports were great. My experience is that Princess almost always docks early, and leaves the port pretty much right on time. It seems like they will wait about one hour if someone isn't back on board yet. (you can tell, because they start calling for them, just in case they made it on board with out checking in (but also to politely publicly shame them into being on time next port :))) We don't use the expensive stuff like the spa, so no comment there. We had a window cabin, and walked down one deck and sat on deck 7 outside every night in a deck chair. We joked that it was our balcony, we just had to share it with a few passers-by. Overall, if you remember this is a ~$200/night cruise, and not a $600/night cruise (crystal, yachts of S, etc), I think it is nearly impossible to beat! Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
NCL 'appears' to offer good value against the other more luxurious lines but, once on board, they will extract every cent from you bringing it in line with the likes of Royal Caribbean, etc. So whilst paying top quality prices ... Read More
NCL 'appears' to offer good value against the other more luxurious lines but, once on board, they will extract every cent from you bringing it in line with the likes of Royal Caribbean, etc. So whilst paying top quality prices you get shoddy service, absolutely appalling food and zilch entertainment. Our cabin was like the black hole of calcutta with constant sewerage/running water 24/7. There was one European socket hidden behind the ice bucket. Free-style dining was a farce as there are not enough tables in the only two silver service restaurants (not including the self service)that are included in the price - every night, if you had forgotten to book first thing in the morning, you had to wait unless you wanted to eat at 6.30 or 9.30. Pagers were issued and you were sent to the bar to have a drink. Apart from one waiter we were lucky enough to get one evening, the service was truly diabolical. The staff had ceased to care about whether the guests were happy as they had heard it all before. The food was absolutely dire - every cost that could be cut had been cut - this was bargain basement steerage fodder. All the other restuarants applied exhorbitant charges, given the poor quality of the food. We resorted to Le French bistro twice in desperation but portion sizes were miniscule so we wound up doubling or even trebling the order (which you can do). Also, Coquille St Jacques turned up as some scallop stew - when we complained we were told it was the chef's interpretation! In our book it is either Coquille St Jacques or not. We also ate at the Mexican which was ok; really we should have been able to eat at the restaurants included in the price and there should have been moer but what with the overcrowding, poor service and dreadful food it was not an appetising thought. Certain lagers ran out half way through the cruise with only beer being available by the end of it. Interestingly whilst oranges were available free, a freshly squeezed orange juice at breakfast would set you back $3.75 - the lone juicing machine must be making a handsome return for NCL against its purchase price! Entertainment - what entertainment? Unlike most lines who keep you entertained, the day seemed to consist of music blaring out at dangerously high decibels on the sun lounger decks. Night??? To add final insult to injury, the baggage handling mechanism squeezed one of our suitcases to an unrepairable wreck and they are denying any responsibility, just a continuance of the NCL customer care policy! Steer well clear of this bargain basement line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
This was my first cruise and I always wanted to see the Greek Isles. We booked our own flights to get good times and connections. This allowed a day in Venice a day before the cruise. Getting around Venice proved easy as long as you ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I always wanted to see the Greek Isles. We booked our own flights to get good times and connections. This allowed a day in Venice a day before the cruise. Getting around Venice proved easy as long as you remember Vaporetti (water bus)lines 1 or 2 travel the canal allowing for great views without paying exhorbitant water taxi charges. The stations are well marked unlike other reviews I've read. Cost was 13 euros round trip. The embarkation was a breeze, and while waiting for our boarding time to be called, we decided to purchase a beverage package. We opted for the "special" wine/water package which includes 5 bottles of better wine (red and white), a bottle of proseco and 10 liter bottles of water. The savings is over 40 euros by buying this way. You can always buy wine or water from Costa via their internet site or when you are on ship. We did this for the last night with an upscale Italian red wine. FYI, as you board they will offer the same beverage options in case you want to wait. We attended several of the theater shows and they were good. The piano bar (Rosso) and the atrium bar were nice settings for an after dinner drink or cappuccino. Our tablemates preferred the very quiet cigar bar (no music)and we joined them a couple of times. Don't waste your time at the captain's gala. It was mainly a PR event for Costa Cruises including the captain's canned speech. If you go to the midnight buffet gala during the week, don't rush to get there early. Wait and take time to photograph the ice sculptures and other decorations before making your way through the kitchen to pick-up some italian pasties (yum). We found out more often it pays to be patient and let the crowds subside when there are special events. The exception would be the theater where it pays to go early to get a good seat. Be sure to stop at the customer service desk a couple of times to get a pre-bill. You may find, like we did, a couple of errors. Better to take care of it right away as the last day will be crazy with others having issues with their bill. Disembarkation upon return was a snap. You wait in the Rex theater for your bag tag color to be called. Once you're off wade through the mass of bags with your color tags...this part is a bit chaotic. Remember you're in Europe so go with the flow! Read Less
Sail Date September 2008

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