Sail Date: March 2019
Because we want the reviews and feedback below to reach the right staff, we start with the address of the highest in rank! Review: We wanted to cruise to India Not a tour in a group but an individual tour, so we could go our own ... Read More
Because we want the reviews and feedback below to reach the right staff, we start with the address of the highest in rank! Review: We wanted to cruise to India Not a tour in a group but an individual tour, so we could go our own way. And afterwards we could enter our clean cabin. We have booked our excursions in the Netherlands at info@fstravel.nl, which was perfectly arranged to perfection. Our thanks go to all the staff who do their very best to make it perfect for you as a guest, super hospitable and you are really central as a guest nothing is too much! The dinner in restaurant LIppocanpo was worth a Michellen star! Delicious. Our hosts Gusti Wiiaya and ASSORI are top in our experience! We give these men a big 10! This cruise has been put under quite unreasonable pressure by a number of fellow guests, but nothing was too much for them ... a big compliment! Of course we also want to thank our stuart Farizi Andi from Housekeeping services for all the work that Andi has done for us, Andi is ready for you day and night and our Cabin was clean and clean Andi ThanXX also a big 10 for Andi We also want to thank Helda Sinaga and Richar Saldon of the Coffee Corner (Bar Services) for their hospitality at the Coffee Corner, always a smile and friendly. Nothing too much !!! Also a big 10 for Helda and Richar! If I were the manager of the MSC Lirica I would immediately extend all of the above people to their contract !!!! Our thanks also go to Valentina Caiazzo Guest Relationship Manager for the delicious drink and snack !!! Valentina also a big 10 !! If these people above were in our immediate area hence our big thanks. Thanks in part to the staff, our Cruise has become unforgettable and a dream has come true. !!!!! We do expect a response by e-mail from the management of MSC Lirica to be sure that our sincere compliments have ended up with the right staff !!! Greetings ❤️❤️❤️ Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise because they offered good value with kids going 'free' (apart from the flights). My wife's parents decided to join us so we ended up with two adjoining cabins with balconies with Fantastica level. I ... Read More
We chose this cruise because they offered good value with kids going 'free' (apart from the flights). My wife's parents decided to join us so we ended up with two adjoining cabins with balconies with Fantastica level. I thought it would be a good chance to see a different place everyday rather than just sitting on a beach. We paid for the drinks package (which cost a lot) and a 100 photo package for 89 Euros, which sounded a lot but turned out to be amazing. I couldn't get the Fun Package which I read about on this forum (unlimited formula 1 simulator and 4D cinema) but got it easily on the ship (35 euros for our cabin for 1 week - also very good value). We had overnight flights from Vienna to Dubai (Emirates airlines so pretty comfortable) so arrived early in the morning. We were picked up and taken to the ship and quickly registered so we could go on the ship. We were told that room weren't ready yet (it was 8am so we weren't expecting them to be ready) but our bags were taken to the rooms and we went for breakfast. The buffet was excellent. It gets busy but we never had problems finding tables and had breakfast at the back looking out of the huge windows down from the 14th floor of the ship. The windows are angled so we were a bit worried when our 2 year old decided to lean on them to look down! After breakfast we went upstairs to sunbathe on the deck and I went to get the room keys. We had been told where to go and go the rooms sooner than expected. The luggage had been delivered to the room. (more in next post) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2013
Prior to the cruise I had linked up with others via the Roll Call. As a solo traveller this was a way of getting to know others prior to sailing. We met at the Sky Bar on sailaway and often met up during the cruise, either on various ... Read More
Prior to the cruise I had linked up with others via the Roll Call. As a solo traveller this was a way of getting to know others prior to sailing. We met at the Sky Bar on sailaway and often met up during the cruise, either on various excursions or around the ship. I had been staying with family who are based in Dubai so had already done a lot of sightseeing in Dubai. I made my own way to the port and embarkation went very smoothly. I was in my cabin by 1 pm and luggage arrived shortly afterwards. My cabin steward, Clinton, was there to greet me and throughout the cruise he kept the cabin spotless. He was efficient, friendly and always had a cheery greeting. The balcony cabin (D9062)on Deck 9 was spacious with plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. The shower was a good size and the water always hot. The balcony had two comfy chairs but the round table was a bit small. DINING - When I booked the trip I requested My Time Dining and this was confirmed and gratutities taken at the time. However, my SeaPass Card showed I had been put on 2nd sitting. Apparently My Time Dining was overbooked and a lot were not given the seating they had requested. I was unable to change to even the 1st sitting. Found the late dinner meant it was not always possible to see and do all I wanted to of an evening but I did manage to fill my evenings with an early show, pre-dinner drink and fun in one of the many bars afterwards. The food was very good with plenty of choice to suit all tastes. It was nicely cooked and well presented. My table waiters (Table 492) were efficient, curteous and made the dining experience most enjoyable. The Windjammer Buffet served good food but it got so crowded. I tended to have a relaxed breakfast in the Reflections Dining Room and did have Room Service on a couple of days. This was delivered at the requested time and is free of charge (plus a tip if you wish to the person who brings it). Lunch would be either in the Windjammer Buffet or at the Park Cafe which served delicious snacks and salads. I did eat at the Chops Grill one evening and this was such good value - the best steak I have ever tasted. BARS - Each Bar had something different to offer. The Centrum had a small dance floor and the group the Boogies certainly got your feet tapping. My favourites were the Schooner Bar, Safari Club and the Crown & Castle Pub. The bars around the pool areas were good and the staff very attentive. ENTERTAINMENT - This was not as good as on some cruise lines I have been on. However the YMCA NIght was superb; the Beatles - A Musical Celebration was fantastic with everyone singing along and even dancing in the aisles of the theatre. The Arabian Night around the pool was great fun. The highlight for me though was Jonathan Ansell (exG4)whose performance of classical, show music and rock could only be described as magical. He remained on board ship for a couple of days and even entered into the fun of the Belly Flop competition at the Main Pool. Needless to say when the judges realised who Jonathan From England was he scored perfect sixes and was awarded the Gold Medal. He was a very likeable person and did not fail to say hello if he met you around the ship. DRINKS - Prices were outrageous and I feel a 15% surcharge on all drinks is disgraceful. I am glad that I orderd a water package and the Soda Package. With the prices so high for wines and spirits I tended to stick with the cocktail of the day and was content with my Soda Package option. FACILITIES ON BOARD - The main pool could get crowded but the Solarium Pool (Adults Only) was much more relaxing. The water slide and children's pool area was nicely set out. I found no problem in finding a sun-lounger even on the day at sea. I did treat myself to a spa treatment (Seaweed Wrap with full body and head massage) This lasted 90 mins and was sheer bliss and I thought a reasonable price as spas at sea go. The rock climbing wall was impressive but having a problem with arthritis I was not tempted to try it. It was fun to watch others though. I instead had a leisurely game of golf and shuffleboard with some new friends - we had quite a few laughs going round the golf course - not as easy as it looks! I did visit the Casino and had a few goes on the 25c slot machines but did not win very much. Glad I made sure I had Dollars to hand because if you get dollars from the cashier and put it on your SeaPass, RCI will charge you 3%! There are some things I can give a miss - Can never understand the need for Art Auctions on board and the discount sessions in the ships shops did not impress and I found the photographer's prices far too high. I managed to get some good pictures taken by other passengers so saved a lot there. There was so much to see and do on board throughout the day with something to suit all preferences. It was often difficult to fit everything in. SHORE EXCURSIONS - I opted for the ships excursions because as a solo traveller I did not want to venture out alone and the prices I felt were very reasonable. In Abu Dhabi I took the City Tour and Grand Mosque tour - absolutely wonderful; in Fujairah I did the East Coast Tour which was enjoyable but not that wonderful - a lot of on and off the coach for short periods. In all a little rushed but it was interesting nontheless. In Muscat I did the Mystical Muscat and this was very good indeed. Excursions were well organised and the guides very knowledgeable. GRATUITIES - As mentioned earlier my tips were deducted from the beginning as I had requested My Time Dining. However as I did not get my requested dining option I decided to ask for a refund of my pre-paid tips and requested I be allowed to tip those of my own choosing . The Purser's Desk was very obliging, there was no hassle and the money is to be re-imbursed. I then handed out tips to those I considered had earned them e.g. cabin steward, dining room waiters and certain bar staff. Serenade of the Seas is a lovely ship.It is spotlessly clean and the decor is well thought out. I can understand why people keep returning to RCI as their standards are so high This was my first cruise with RCI and although I feel I had a good deal on this cruise I will have to carefully look at their prices on future cruises because the single supplements tend to be quite hefty. I would however recommend RCI. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Last minute decision to book this cruise as it was a bargain not to miss - included Emirates flight. Have only travelled with RCI once before, usually go with P and O. Flight and transfer good. Arrived around 7.30am so we were ... Read More
Last minute decision to book this cruise as it was a bargain not to miss - included Emirates flight. Have only travelled with RCI once before, usually go with P and O. Flight and transfer good. Arrived around 7.30am so we were transferred to a hotel for breakfast, then boarded ship around 11am, allowed into cabins around 1pm. First impressions on exterior of ship we thought it looked a bit 'tired' i.e. deck/sun beds etc. Didnt spoil our holiday though, interior was OK ...cabin a bit small but not a problem. Unfortunately no cabins in centre of ship available so we had to have one at the rear of the ship. Drinks VERY EXPENSIVE, i.e. small Chardonnay 8 USD PLUS 18 per cent service charge, Proscecco 10 Dollars plus service charge, practically all lager was bottled around 5 USD. Evian water 6 USD - disgraceful!! My partner forgot his Bow Tie so hired one for the evening 8 USD....!! Of course no chance of buying alcohol on shore so we drank very little during the week. On deck/Windjammer buffet area there is tea, coffee, water, flavoured waters available free of charge, also ice cream. There is no kettle in stateroom but another passenger mentioned you could ask for one to be delivered to the room. Food in general OK but nothing special....more in keeping with an average 3 star hotel. Staff everywhere VERY pleasant and willing to please. Found the constant 'plugging' of their excursions, trying to persuade us to buy wine, spa etc quite annoying, in fact we hadn't even boarded the ship when we were accosted. Personally prefer P and O overall but can't complain as it was very good value for money. Tip: take a wide neck plastic bottle to fill from the water fountain if you don't want to keep buying cold drinks. They don't 'advertise" the fact that Shuttle Buses are available as they want you to purchase excursions. in Dubai there are shuttles provided by a couple of Malls, Abu Dhabi - ships shuttle to a Mall in City, we then took a taxi to Mosque, Emirates Palace etc 3 hour trip for 6 persons was around £20 per person. Muscat you can walk to the Souk and/or walk along the Corniche FOC. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was our second Royal Caribbean experience the first being the Voyager of the Seas in November last year. The Splendour of the seas is smaller and older. Smaller need not an issue but there are signs of aging in parts of the ship. ... Read More
This was our second Royal Caribbean experience the first being the Voyager of the Seas in November last year. The Splendour of the seas is smaller and older. Smaller need not an issue but there are signs of aging in parts of the ship. The Stateroom was a little jaded as were some of the public areas. Having said that the service was excellent as was the food. The entertainment was just about OK but the speakers, who gave briefings on the destinations, need to be changed or given training in public speaking. The facts may have been interesting but the delivery was flat, monotone and dull. This seemed to suit many in the audience who soon fell into a restful sleep. The deck pool and wirlpools were fine but on sea days you had to be up early to get a sunbed and up very early to get one in full sunlight. The staff did try and impose the rule that "a sunbed could not be reserved (with a towl etc.) for more than half an hour" but they were fighting an uphill battle. There was also an indoor pool that was actually better for swimming. We mainly judge by comparison which is why this ship doesn’t score to highly. But is this was the first time that I had stepped onto a cruise ship I would have been very impressed. Especially considering the price we paid. Return BA flights from Heathrow, seven night’s full board accommodation with more food than anyone could eat with visits to some interesting and exotic locations and all this for just seven hundred quid. The only question is “how do they do it?” Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We start our cruise from Dubai. I called before it and checked when embarkation starts to Costa hot line. They confirmed at 8 om so we stayed in our hotel and arrived 7.30 pa. No lines, very quickly registration and we got our cabin ... Read More
We start our cruise from Dubai. I called before it and checked when embarkation starts to Costa hot line. They confirmed at 8 om so we stayed in our hotel and arrived 7.30 pa. No lines, very quickly registration and we got our cabin immediately. I was surprised as before with MSC or Royal Caribbean we had to wait for a while. Cabin not big but very comfortable and well organised. So we 2 adult and kid with 3 big languages felt of. I expected all bad from Costa as I read lots of negative reviews, and choose that cruise only of ports of call. And I was surprised in good way. Very good food at 11 deck restaurant. Very good bar service there. We went few times to 5 deck resturant but i was disappointed - too many time to wait dinner some days took near 3 hours. So we stopped to go there and visited only 11 floor. Food was same but more variety, better service and smiling su- chef Edgar always recommend what is better to try. Our kid is very bad in eating - there he ate all without any problem. Yes you can not have coffee or tea at lunch or dinner, but it's not very useful in the evening and was avaliable 4- 5 p. All staff was very friendly, smiling, saying hello and bye. Ready to help. Even busy managers played with my son and you feel like big friendly family all around. Quality of drinks very good, we ordered some cocktails sometime in the evening. We're served very quickly. Thank you Jose ))) I took cappuccino ever morning at pool bar - when it opened, and it was delicious - love illy. Thank you bar staff - still remember sun raise ))) I like animation team. Every morning - gymnastic, games, tournaments. We participated in most of activities and have great fun. Shows were good. Not the best I see, but not bad. Some of them are very nice. Even my son participate in one with muppets. Till today he is reminding that and laughing. Few times we went to disco and dance. But they were just few people there, so not too funny. Very clean everywhere. I made gymnastic very early and see how pool boys clean all. Same in the cabin, and all over the ship. Good music in bars. Only dancers from Grand bar were not very friendly, like doing hard boring job (only one minuse). And main- we have late flight in the evening and they let us stay!!!! Till 11.30 p.m. and that is great. As be very hard to stay so long in airport. And lots of people departure late. So main- I was ready for average cruise according review I read. But it was amazing. Friendly staff, good service, tasty food, fun animation team, not bad shows. Good music, bars and restaurant. It was amazing cruise, with very interesting ports of call. And I will try with Costa other cruises. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This was our 5th Cunard cruise and second on QM2. The cruise was 3 weeks from Dubai to Southampton transiting the Suez Canal which we had never done before, this and visitng Petra was the main reason we booked with Cunard as our travel ... Read More
This was our 5th Cunard cruise and second on QM2. The cruise was 3 weeks from Dubai to Southampton transiting the Suez Canal which we had never done before, this and visitng Petra was the main reason we booked with Cunard as our travel agent had a pre cruise offering of a South Africa trip 3 days 2 nights travelling on Rovos Rail from Petoria to Capetown and 2 nights in Cape Town before flying to Dubai for 2 nights so this was the main reason we booked with Cunard. There were just over 350 passengers doing the whole world cruise and we were told that's half the number there usually is, the remaining passengers like us were doing segments. Embarkation in Dubai was well organised and fairly quick, we were on board by 12:30pm and we made our way to the Kings Court for lunch which at that time was very busy but we did get a seat. Our cabin was available by 1pm, we got one suitcase quite quick and unpacked but the other didn't arrive until just before the boat drill however we managed to unpack in time for dinner. We were first seating in the Brittania Restuarant at 18:00, a bit early but the later sitting was too late for us. We had asked for a table for 2 which we got however these tables are so close together they are tables for 4, our table was 350 was not in a good position in the restaurant and I wouldn't recommend it. Food is always subjective and in my opinion the restaurant food was neither great or bad just mediocre , it was always presented well and was piping hot however not very inspiring. The waiters were always very busy but they were attentive and helpful. The food in the Kings Court was good, plenty of selection at breakfast and lunch, we had dinner a couple of times and we were surprised at the selection and the good quality of food available in the evening, it was very popular with guests who wanted casual dining. We had dinner in the Verandah Restaurant which was a nice change but not worth the $49 each to dine there, only 2 other tables were booked when we were in, I wonder why! There was alternative dining set in an area of the Kings Court and this had 5 different menus which changed every week there was American, Asian, Mexican, Italian and Indian, we ate there on one occasion and the food was very nice, there was an additional charge of $19.50 each for the privilege. Alcohol and mixers/soft drinks in the bars were very expensive especially when there is an 18% service charge on top, you also have to buy water, yoj an get it by the glass from a dispenser in the Kings Court, water is complimentary on a number of cruise lines and hotels bit not on Cunard. We purchased good wine ashore to drink in the restaurant and paid the corkage fee of $20 which was more cost effective. Service in the main was good and the majority of staff were friendly and helpful however there were some staff who were quite sullen and gave the impression that they didn't want to be there, this isn't White Star Service, in addition there was no interaction with the officers and passengers, we only saw the Captain on two occasions during the 3 weeks on board, at the welcome on board party and the loyalty club party. There are free laundries for passengers to use on each deck, there were always queues of people trying to get a machine, there were 4 each washing machines and dryers and they were constantly busy, this is not a nice place to be as people get quite annoyed and I witnessed a few arguments e.g the same passenger using 2 washing machines a 2 driers this tends to frustrate people. We had booked trips through Cunard to Petra, Herculaneum and Rome, although expensive they were good, well organised trips with excellent guides so felt they were good value for money. The celebrity speakers, Antony Horovitz, Sally Gunnell, a retired customs officer and forensic scientist which unfortunately I don't remember their names were all interesting The theatre company was okay and we enjoyed most of the guest entertainment especially the Barricade Boys, Mike Doyle and Kev Orkian Disembarking in Southampton was quick and easy. Would we travel with Cunard again, possibly if the price was right but there are other cruise lines out there who offer a superior service and are much better value for money. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
CHOSE THIS CRUISE FOR THE DESTINATIONS IT VISITED: SHORE EXCURSION ABORTED IN HAIFA (FIRST TIME THERE) DUE TO CREW OVER REACTING TO IMMIGRATION RULES: AQABA HIGHLIGHTS TOUR A WASTE OF MONEY: WATER POLICY IS CRIMINAL: WIFE WAS SICK AND WE ... Read More
CHOSE THIS CRUISE FOR THE DESTINATIONS IT VISITED: SHORE EXCURSION ABORTED IN HAIFA (FIRST TIME THERE) DUE TO CREW OVER REACTING TO IMMIGRATION RULES: AQABA HIGHLIGHTS TOUR A WASTE OF MONEY: WATER POLICY IS CRIMINAL: WIFE WAS SICK AND WE WANTED TO BUY A GLASS OR CAN OF SPARKLING WATER BUT WERE TOLD WE HAD TO BUY A BEVERAGE PACKAGE TO GET ONE: DR; SANTANA AND HIS STAFF WERE HIGHLY PROFESSIONAL: FOOD WAS NEUTRAL AT BEST: ONLY CAGNEYS EXCELLED: GUESTS ARE NOT TREATED LIKE PAYING CUSTOMERS BUT ONLY A NUMBER TO BE SQUEEZED FOR MONEY: THERE APPEARED TO BE NO COOPERATION OR COMMUNICATION BETWEEN SHIP SECURITY AND SHORE SECURITY AS WE WENT THROUGH X-RAY SECURITY CHECK ON LAND AND AGAIN 100 FEET LATER ON THE SHIP: FRONT DESK LACKING IN DETAILS OF THE CRUISE: WALK-OFF DISEMBARKATION REQUIRED BEFORE 7:30 AM SUPPOSEDLY REQUIRED BY IMMIGRATION: IMMIGRATION WAS NOT EVEN PRESENT WHEN WE GOT OFF: LAST TIME ON NCL; BUT THEN THEY PROBABLY DO NOT CARE: Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Have been on a few Thomson cruises which we have enjoyed, this was the first time on the Celebration. We had a disabled room , cabin 100, which was a double, we had ordered a twin, so the steward brought us a very low put me up bed which ... Read More
Have been on a few Thomson cruises which we have enjoyed, this was the first time on the Celebration. We had a disabled room , cabin 100, which was a double, we had ordered a twin, so the steward brought us a very low put me up bed which neither of could use so in the end shared the double, the disabled wet room was very good. We enjoyed the food in the Meridian most evenings meeting some lovely people to chat to, however the Lido buffet resembled a factory canteen with not much main course choice. The food in the Lido on formal night was very poor, surely the menu should be the same in both restaurants whether you want to dress up or not.. The entertainment was ok, nowhere near as good as the Dream last Summer, the show team were often out of tune and appeared to struggle. Enjoyed Dubai and Abu Dhabi, not keen on the other stops, Muscat was a no no with many people we spoke to. So all in all, it was ok, could have been better. The staff, as on all Thomsons ships were brilliant but as someone else said, its time this vibrating old ship got replaced. I believe the Discovery is wonderful, so the sooner they get the other Discoveries, the better. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2016
This just about scrapes an average but is more like a 2.5 star out of 5 as there is a big difference between poor & average. Boarding was very quick & straightforward which is not always the case when you start your holiday. ... Read More
This just about scrapes an average but is more like a 2.5 star out of 5 as there is a big difference between poor & average. Boarding was very quick & straightforward which is not always the case when you start your holiday. The ship is in my option looking a bit tired & jaded, the staff are very attentive & the food in the windjammer is very good as it always is on Royal Caribbean ships, staff are very friendly & attentive, but melamine plates past their sell by dates in the windjammer is a real no no in my book & all the cups for tea & coffee are in the main badly stained. The dining room itself did have atmosphere & the food was ok but food was rarely hot but that is something you often get in a busy main dining room, the staff here were excellent & very attentive The tables are constantly wiped but in the windjammer & solarium areas as well as poolside they are very tacky as in sticky & getting it re- wiped seems to make little difference, this also applies to many of the chairs round the tables & this was the view among many passengers that the whole ship needs a proper deep clean, something that will probably only happen when it gets a new owner. The ship certainly looks better from the outside than the inside, first time I have gone on a ship where no toiletries are provided in the cabin. The cabin itself was basic but clean & acceptable, people did enjoy themselves & many areas were still busy after midnight, problem is there is not too much of a choice of ship if you wish to do a Dubai cruise & they say you do get what you pay for. The first part of the holiday was a three night stay in a top hotel & from all accounts everyone was highly impressed by this part of the holiday which in a way highlights the misgivings of the cruise, but it does seem people are accepting that the cruise is " average " but they have paid a price that goes with that valuation I suspect the three nights in the five star Sheraton Grand would normally be the price I paid for the ten day holiday, if you don't expect a five star cruise then you probably wont walk away too disappointed. The excursion in Abu Dhabi was the highlight of the cruise for me, went to the Emirates Palace hotel for High tea, this amazing hotel is jaw dropping in every way & nothing I could say about it would be enough to do it justice. Be aware that the desert safari in Dubai literally has its ups & downs, your not exactly told how extreme the ride over the dunes is, if you like roller coasters you will love it if you don't then its definitely not for you, there is a lovely meal at the end of it in the desert if your stomach is still in a position to take it. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
We arrived on Sunday morning at 8am after a night flight. We could not embark on the ship till around 4.30pm. We sat in the terminal nodding off and walking around as we felt too tired to do anything else. We could have flown early on ... Read More
We arrived on Sunday morning at 8am after a night flight. We could not embark on the ship till around 4.30pm. We sat in the terminal nodding off and walking around as we felt too tired to do anything else. We could have flown early on Sunday morning and would not have had to sit around for hours. When we finally embarked we had to wait another two hours until our cabin was ready and a further 45 minutes until our luggage arrived.Drinks very expensive, beer 4.50 euros. Single spirit measure 6.25 euros and a mixer 2.50 euros + 15% surcharge on top of every drink purchased. Not allowed to purchase duty free spirits on board (you can on P & O at duty free prices). Ship design - very dazzling in places, bit glitzy. Not that many passengers follow the dress code - many wore casual wear on formal nights. We had a balcony cabin on deck 8 which was very comfortable - no complaints there. I had expected the food to be delicious as italian restaurants in England are always a favourite. Food was bland, most of the meat 'braised' and I'm afraid very bland. Despite the novovirus which can happen on ships, no one enforces the use of hand sanitizer on entering restaurants - although it is there! This was our fifth cruise and although I enjoyed Dubai and the other ports of call I was disappointed. The adult swimming pool at the rear of the ship says that children are not allowed to swim there but daily there were children using this pool and no one enforced the rule. I would not recommend this cruise line and have been advised to look at Princess Cruises next. I really fancied a grilled fillet steak for dinner but after a few days I was disenchanted with meat that was "braised". Also there were no vegetables served. If you had prawns they had not been cleaned, they still had their intestine tract! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
You’re not just paying for a trip,you’re paying for an experience and a lifetime of memories... I had the worst small room(7144)too small...can’t even move around..food was very bad...it’s like you’re eating at a convalescent ... Read More
You’re not just paying for a trip,you’re paying for an experience and a lifetime of memories... I had the worst small room(7144)too small...can’t even move around..food was very bad...it’s like you’re eating at a convalescent hospital (buffet)they need to create more varieties of food,if you take other cruise lines they have so much different variety of food to offer .. pizza n burgers were outside very cold,please provide warm n good food ....casino stuff was very friendly but they never offered any champagne or wine...they weren’t too pleasing ...entertainment was good...friendly waitress n staff...housing keeping was excellent ...excursion staff was very friendly helpful specially the guy who worked there...excellent service.......very friendly service in pharmacy shop...inside the ship (Lirica) it didn’t have much to do...less entertainment or activities to participate in..over all..all the staff was very friendly helpful..Dubai was very beautiful..for shopping I loved Qatar Doha..very reasonable prices..great for gold shopping Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
This cruise was part of a package whch seemed to good to be true at the price, We travelled as a group of 4 who are very experienced cruisers. The embarkation ran very smoothly and efficient, but we were some of the first to get on ... Read More
This cruise was part of a package whch seemed to good to be true at the price, We travelled as a group of 4 who are very experienced cruisers. The embarkation ran very smoothly and efficient, but we were some of the first to get on board. FOOD Whilst we were waiting for our luggage to arrive to our cabins we decided to go to the main restaurant to book our ANY TIME DINING as we had prepaid our gratuities to enable us to dine whenever we wanted. The receptionist advised us that the times we were looking for were not available due to all these times were apparently prebooked on line, we explained that we had prepaid our gratuities to be able to dine any time, she replied that the prepaid gratuities were her wages. No manager was available until the evening. We spoke to the manager that night who agreed that we should have priority for sittings but none were available and advised us to go to reception so that a refund could be arranged which we did but the refund took 25 days to arrive. The food at the restaurant was so dissapointing with reconstituted meat (ie. Chicken & Steak), the presentation was very poor and not very appetising and tasteless. LIVE SHOWS. There was only 3 glitsy shows during the week which was very disappointing. DRINKS PACKAGE We were advised by Royal Caribbean to take a drinks package as there was only tea & coffee available at breakfast and that all drinks (including water) would have to paid for, we concluded that it would be wise to have the basic non alcoholic package. When we got on board the ship there was plenty of free tea, coffee, fruit juices and water readily available to everyone. WHAT A CON WHEN THIS COST US £171.81 PER PERSON EXCURSIONS Very good with knowledgeable guides Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Passengers not allowed on observation deck; poor food quality, quantity and choice in Grills’ restaurants; fitness centre not up to UK safety standards; and rip-off prices for shore trips. All these on a cruise from Dubai to ... Read More
Passengers not allowed on observation deck; poor food quality, quantity and choice in Grills’ restaurants; fitness centre not up to UK safety standards; and rip-off prices for shore trips. All these on a cruise from Dubai to Southampton on Queen Elizabeth in April/May 2016. In the last four years my wife and I have completed 11 Cunard cruises including five on Queen Elizabeth. This one is likely to be the last we make on that ship. On the four previous cruises on QE there has always been access to the open observation area at the forward end of deck 9 for any passenger to take video and photos of entry into ports, etc. But on this entire cruise it was closed to passengers except for transiting Suez Canal. Three of the ship’s officers, including the captain, gave me different and contradictory excuses for it being closed. None of them were credible. The access to this viewing area - the only open forward-facing space for passengers - is from doors on the port and starboard sides of the fitness centre. Both were marked ‘Emergency Exit’ but both were locked. Asked why such doors were locked the fatuous excuse given by senior officers was that the doors were not an exit from the fitness centre onto the open deck, but were from the open deck into the fitness centre (as they could be opened manually from the outside). Asked how a person could get outside when the doors were locked produced silence or a quick change in conversation. No credible reason was given for the viewing area being denied to passengers or for the emergency exits being locked When I wrote to Cunard HQ with details of the matter - with names, dates and photos - the response from Customer Services was that if the captain decided to close that area that was his decision because he was in charge of the ship. They declined to reply in writing. Dissatisfied with being fobbed-off, I referred the matter to a director of Cunard. His response was that the area ‘is not an advertised passenger area’ and its opening is at the captain’s discretion. But no reason was given for it being closed and no comment was made on why emergency exits were locked. My request for an assurance that the deck would be open on future Queen Elizabeth cruises - and the identical Queen Victoria - were ignored. So passengers should be aware that if they sail on these ships their access to the deck in question is at the whim of the captain. My frequent visits to the fitness centre to check the doors showed that it did not meet UK safety standards. Bearing in mind almost all passengers were pensioners, no assessment was made of a person’s fitness to use the equipment, no training was given in its use and there was no continuous supervision. Anyone could walk in and use mechanical equipment or weights. One of the two trainers admitted they were not supervising all the time due to personal training commissions, taking classes and meal breaks. He accepted that a person could die if suffering a heart attack or stroke when using the gym on his/her own with no-one to call for assistance. The quality, quantity and choice of food served in the Princess Grill has deteriorated over the past year. The dining room staff said it was due to the menus being dictated by Southampton HQ instead of on-board ship and - like our cruise on QE at Christmas - said there was nothing they could do about it. Many items did not match the menu description; many descriptions were obscure; quality was often poor; and several meals were sent back. Vegetables seemed to be in short supply or pathetically small or both. Food in the Lido buffet was far better than in the expensive Princess Grill. As usual, all shore excursions were at a high price. For example, a day trip from Aqaba to Petra was $217 each. So for each 50-seat coach Cunard was raking in over $10,000. And, in Istanbul a private minibus (of unspecified seating capacity) could be had for $1,000 for a tour of some tourist sites for a day (8.30am to 5.0pm). Lastly, the ship’s itinerary listed Salalah, Oman as its second port of call. But QE did not go to Salalah but docked at the container port of Raysut over 20km to the south. Cunard provided a shuttle bus only from the ship to the dock gate. Getting to Salalah was a $100 taxi ride. And for the return journey the taxi drivers wanted even more cash. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Petra and the Dead Sea. However, from the minute we were picked up from the airport in Dubai, things went horribly wrong. We were a family of six adults. This was our 13 th cruise with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Petra and the Dead Sea. However, from the minute we were picked up from the airport in Dubai, things went horribly wrong. We were a family of six adults. This was our 13 th cruise with RC and will definitely be our last. We were supposed to have special needs assistance as arranged by Royal specialist services as I have mobility problems and my husband was recovering from a broken ankle 7 weeks previous. We were promised wheelchair assistance at the airport and pier, but as soon as we became under the jurisdiction of RC the assistance disappeared. There was no wheelchair assistance at the hotel where we were booked in for breakfast and when we got to the pier we did as instructed, found an RC person, asked about wheelchair assistance and were told we had to wait for two hours, outside sitting on a concrete floor in the midday sun with temperatures in excess of 40degrees. Family members went off and found two wheelchairs, not belonging to RC and took us into immigration and we were not allowed to go any further because they were not RC wheelchairs. Eventually 2 RC personnel came after a lot of hassling, took us on board, dumped us in the Windjammer and took away the wheelchairs so we could not access our stateroom. We were told that we would have to stay where we were wait until the ship sailed as they did not have enough wheelchairs. Again family members went off searching for staff to resolve the situation and after making a fuss which we really did not want to do, we eventually got a wheelchair and the family ferried us to our stateroom which was scruffy with paint on the carpet and the balcony was a disgrace, they had to come and clean it before we could go out on it. The automatic doors to some of the toilets did not work so unless someone was with you, you could not get in or out of the toilets. We are Diamond plus but it meant nothing. We asked for bath robes and were told there were none available. At each port the ship started discarding furniture and metal into skips lined up along the quayside as the ship was going to Cadiz for a refit and many crew members were finishing their contracts in Barcelona so they didn't' really care. Many were of Eastern origin and had difficulty understanding what we wanted or needed. The officers and guest relations were mostly absolute rubbish and guest relations were rude. We were so disappointed as we have recommended RC to friends and family but never again. I could write a lot more but am too disgusted. All they wanted was our money. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
Where do I start? After reading many terrible reviews of the Costa Serena after I had booked this cruise I should've learnt my lesson & cancelled it! Several times I tried to contact Costa by email prior to departing with some ... Read More
Where do I start? After reading many terrible reviews of the Costa Serena after I had booked this cruise I should've learnt my lesson & cancelled it! Several times I tried to contact Costa by email prior to departing with some requests but to no avail, they don't seem to acknowledge any sort of email enquiry. So why was I suprised that when I tried to call them they didn't answer the phone either? To my better judgement we decided to go ahead with the cruise, as we particularly wanted to see this side of the world & with only Costa available to this area we had no choice. We spent 3 wonderful days in Dubai staying in a lovely hotel before boarding the Costa Serena. (Wish we had stayed in Dubai now!) we wanted to board the ship during the day but all the information we had told us we could only board after 8pm. What utter rubbish!! We decided to go to the port early & try to get on board. Evidently people had been boarding since about 1pm, we got there about 4pm. My first impression was at the port, there was one girl doing the check in with a face like a fish and no courtesy what so ever. On other ships we had to leave a deposit on either on a card or cash, nothing was requested here? On arrival into the main atrium I found it dowdy and gloomy with not much light. The decor was appalling!! Then I noticed what sounded like drilling and chipping noises, LOUD!! When I looked up on the next deck there were maintenance men working on what would've been the shops? I just assumed that perhaps it was something they done when in port? How wrong was I, the work was continuous the whole duration of our cruise. The noise limits were endless. You couldn't sit to relax with a drink you couldn't hear the music being played for the horrendous sounds coming from the workforce above. We then ventured to other parts of the ship to find some areas divided where some areas were not accessible, workmen were walking around the ship carrying huge boards of plasterboards over guests heads?? What have we come to I asked myself?? As our cabin was not available until 8pm & we couldn't access our bags as all the doors to the cabins on each deck were not only shut but locked?? We had no choice but to arrive in the dining for our evening meal in the clothes we had travelled in.lucky for us we had a table of 6 & we were all English ( not many on board) the waiters were very attentive but we did seem to wait a while between each course. The choice was not very large (compared to other cruise ships) & the food was not very variable and tasteless. We were on the all inclusive drinks package & it was worth every penny as the drinks on board were expensive. Only trouble was you were not allowed a bottle of water it had to be a glass! The dining room was fine for the evening meal we ate in Vesta restaurant, but forget having breakfast or lunch there, it was a nightmare! We went twice to each then forgot it. The service was appalling & so was the food. Once I waited 20 minutes for a coffee?? So we went to the self service restaurant on deck 9. Although it was the same choice every day, breakfast was continental, cereals, fruit, pastries,anything that was suppose to be hot clearly was not & the waiters made no attempt to clear the tables until you walked away & had finished. At lunchtime there was pasta, carvery, salad, bread, soup & desserts of fruit, cakes of some description. It was not horrendous but the only trouble is after getting your food there were no tables available so by the time you found a table your food was cold!! The bar staff that continually parade around the restaurant conveniently chose to ignore the British guests unless you were lucky enough to grab one & ask them to serve you. The entertainment team were very amateurish & the shows were the worst I've ever witnessed. The first was a magician, we walked out half way through it was unbelievable! Most of the staff had a couldn't give a damn attitude & it became very stressful! The noise & dust from the continuous Maintenance going on around the ship really ruined our cruise along with the attitude of the staff, the dim gloomy cabins and dreadful decor on board, together with the awful entertainment and plain unimaginable food made this our worst cruise ever! The jacuzzi turned my new swimsuit brown (far too much chlorine in the water) when I complained to the guests services they were not interested & told me to claim on my insurance?! After a lengthy argument with them I demanded to see the Captain, who obviously doesn't deal with such trivialities!! I was told it will be dealt with & a letter will be with you within a few hours with a decision as to what can be done. After 8 hours I had heard nothing so returning to see them I demanded to see someone of higher authority. When speaking to her I was told nothing can be done on board & it has to be dealt with when I get home. With my previous experience of trying to contact Costa I don't hold out much hope?? There attitude was unbelievable & they really couldn't care less. The queue was so long when we had finished our meeting with her & everyone was complaining about one thing or another. There were several pools on board, we decided to use the "Adult Pool" at the Aft of the ship on deck 9. Unfortunately though this was not adhered to as plenty of European kids decided they would use it "bomb" every guest using it! The pool attendant asked them to use but as in the case of many situations they decided to ignore it!! The pool slide was out of action the whole duration due to maintenance but actually no work was seen to be done? The 4D Cinema was not in English & had no sound!!! Unfortunately for everyone on board on Thursday we experienced a sandstorm which meant that we couldn't really get off the ship back in Dubai. This meant it was another day we had to endure the ship! There was no additional entertainment to enjoy and soon the ship became very full with lots of disgruntled guests hanging around. im not convinced that the ports of call in Oman were of any interest, in particular Khasab! We thought as many guests did that they should forget Khasab and have 2 days in Abu Dhabi where there was so much more to see & do & not enough time for only having 1 day. Probably though knowing all the savings Costa was trying to make this was just another? So to sum it all up, would I do another Costa cruise? NO WAY NOT IF THEY PAID ME!!! Someone recently wrote saying this was the Ryanair of cruise ships, this is an understatement!! Read Less

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