1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Western Mediterranean Cruises
  4. Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: September 2012
Let me start by saying we are loyal Crystal cruisers but Princess' itinerary attracted us, so we thought we'd give it a try. To compare Princess to Crystal would in no way be fair, so I'll try to be objective as possible. ... Read More
Let me start by saying we are loyal Crystal cruisers but Princess' itinerary attracted us, so we thought we'd give it a try. To compare Princess to Crystal would in no way be fair, so I'll try to be objective as possible. EMBARKATION: As easy as it gets. We got there early and once we checked in,we sat in a waiting area. Ruby Princess is a gigantic ship and with 3,080 passengers, we sailed full. Most of the nationalities were U.K., Spanish, Australian, Canadian and American along with a small contingent from the Phillipines. There were only 16 children on board and we hardly saw them. At 1:00 pm, we were allowed to board. CABIN: Our cabin was extremely small. One side of queen bed was pushed against the wall and we had a narrow L-shape to walk around. Cabin was divided by a long closet with shelf and hangers. Another narrow closet housed a cranky safe. Shower was very tiny. We shared one sink and a wide countertop. TV transmitted enough channels to satisfaction. Our steward, JORDAN, was really, really good. Although our requests were small, he made sure they were met and always wanted to do more. Great job, Jordan!!! FOOD: Food was good, not gourmet. We ate breakfast and lunch on top deck at Horizon court and we never felt cramped or crowded. On the days when excursions forced us to eat early, other couples at tables willingly let us share their table. We had anytime dining and I found that the desserts in the dining room were much better than Horizon Court. Horizon court offered many puddings, mousses (blech!), and always a fresh selection of fruits. Fabulous Fabbio is the maitre d' of the DaVinci dining room. He is very concerned about the quality of the service. If you have any complaints regarding DaVince, see Fabbio & he will resolve it right away. Trident Grill always served up hotdogs, hamburgers and fries. Pizza bar was pretty good. Soft serve ice cream was cold and tasteless. FORMAL NIGHTS: Ladies unless you already have formal eveningwear,don't go crazy for formal night. A nice pair of black slacks and pretty top will do the job and lighten your load. That's what most women wore, myself included. Most men wore a jacket and tie. I saw three tuxedos. SABITINI'S: Definately worth the cover charge. Husband & I had lobster 3 ways which was delicious and they also gave us a small portion of spaghetti with clams. Everything was good, the waiters were very attentive and the food was out of this world. ENTERTAINMENT: We both agree that Ruby has the best entertainment.I'd rather gamble than see shows so the first night he dragged me kicking and screaming. I was so impressed by the talent, I went almost every night. The dancers kicked and flipped and did things I didn't know were possible. Also the singers were very good. One night they had a second rate magician who was so lousy, I walked out. Don't miss the crew's talent show night. It was the best!!! Also, a salute to Broadway and Once Upon a Dream were beautiful. Each show is approx. 45 mins., so just as I was beginning to get antsy, it ended. Also DUO CLAUDIO perform mid-court around 8:00. They are acrobats that are so daring, you got to see them to believe it. Social director is Sam Hawkins from England. She bubbled over with cheeriness and enthusiasm. She did her job well.BEST THINGS: The Serenity Pool way up top prohibits children. It is a wonderful escape. I used it several times. Movies under the Stars is a delight. They give out blankets and we snuggled under the stars to watch the giant screen. Waiters come around with popcorn, pizza and ice cream. Another stroke of genius. If you go for a massage, ask for TASHA. She was absolutely amazing and did in one session what my chiropracter couldn't do in four. She's a petite woman with magic hands. I wanted to take her home with me. The Lotus Spa was beautiful. Unfortunately I didn't find that out until the trip was almost over. WORST THINGS: Didn't like the constant hawking of specialty drinks and photographers trying to get us to buy. One night our waiter asked us three times if we wanted the specialty drink! It became annoying. Also, next time I will do more research on cabins before I book. Now we realize that it would have been worth the extra $$$ to upgrade, but being first time Princess cruisers, we didn't know. Overall, I'd say Princess does a pretty good job of juggling 3,000 passengers and keeping things running smoothly. We didn't have any ugly situations or run-ins with rude passengers. The staff we encountered were courteous and friendly. They responded to our every request. In conclusion, we would definately sail Princess again if the itinerary were good. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
Liberty was an interesting ship. Everything felt clean, new, modern but somehow cheap as well. I didn't get a palpable sense of luxury here. Food options were disappointing. The Windjammer and Jade buffets were abysmally bad. Some of ... Read More
Liberty was an interesting ship. Everything felt clean, new, modern but somehow cheap as well. I didn't get a palpable sense of luxury here. Food options were disappointing. The Windjammer and Jade buffets were abysmally bad. Some of the worst food I've tasted, competing with hospitals and retirement homes. Chops, on the other hand, was excellent, on par with any Chicago steakhouse. The main dining room was hit or miss. A surf and turf (steak from Chops, lobster from Portofino) was one of the best I've ever had. A NY Strip from the dining room, was almost inedibly tough, full of connective tissue, and a low quality cut. Some entrees were quite bland. Other days were decent. Johnny Rockets was OK, the burgers are overcooked to the point of dryness, but everything else is great. See note below about billing though. We did not eat at the pub. The Ben and Jerries was good, but the cupcake shop was getting no love from anyone, it was empty the whole time. Drinks were strong at bars across the ship, which was nice. Room service took 75-90 minutes (they said 45-60) each time, but the food was decent. Prices seem wildly scattered. Stores on the ship, especially the duty free, had rather competitive pricing. But then some massages were USD 300 and up, and we sometimes had billing discrepancies. For example at Johnny Rockets, we were billed much more than the cover charge and cost of our shakes. Some places will charge you for drinks despite having a package. The jeweler neglected to give a discount that they told me they had included, to the tune of 150 Euro. I had to return my item and repurchase with the discount. Crew and Staff were all competent and very nice. Our stateroom attendent went out of her way to help us, and our waiter for dinner did the same. However, we for some reason had a 9:00 pm seating, while others were 8:30, 7:00, 6:30, or 6:00. And that was scheduled, not "my dining" times. Random, and very late. Entertainment: The shows were uninteresting sounding so we skipped them. Other than that, there wasn't much going on -- hot tubs and pools were great, but hot tubs were lukewarm and bubbles didn't work all the time. Pools should be heated if you're going to be on an open air deck with 50+ knot winds. Freshwater was very nice, but heavily chlorinated. Deck entertainment was quite good, some great bands (also good bands at the bars and elsewhere on the ship). Flowrider didn't seem to get much use, neither did the rock wall. Either they should be free, or should be replaced. Overall, the boat was nice, but more so for the crew and the experience we made out of it. It felt like a boat that was trying too hard to appear luxurious and modern, but didn't really live up to the hype. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
OK... This was our first cruise and this is also my first review. I'm writing this so that other first timers will know what they are getting into. My fiance and I embarked the Adventure of the Seas at Malaga and despite a little ... Read More
OK... This was our first cruise and this is also my first review. I'm writing this so that other first timers will know what they are getting into. My fiance and I embarked the Adventure of the Seas at Malaga and despite a little of "where do we go now", the process was smooth and quick. We got on board at midday, when we arrived, instead of the time printed on our tickets of 1pm. I wish we hadn't, none of the rooms were available, so it felt like everyone and their seadogs were sitting in the windjammer. We got a little stressed out since there were no seats and we were faced with the horrifying idea that every meal would be like this (it wasn't in the end). One upside was that we were given a seat next to a lovely Irish couple who we would see throughout the trip and enjoy some drinks with. However, once we got into the room, everything started going uphill... We had a balcony room (well worth getting, didn't cost us too much as it was a late deal cruise) which was very nicely presented, a little dated but comfortable and clean. Our stateroom attendant really was very good and comes in to clean at least a couple of times a day. Port 1: Valencia - I wont say too much about ports since I recommend you explore yourself. We got a shuttle transfer from the boat since the grand prix was on at the time and we were a little worried about traffic etc. We were also a little worried at the small print on the shuttle ticket which stated that everything closes in Valencia on a Sunday... As it happened we found a couple really nice little bars and didn't really notice things were closed. Port 2: Rome - We didn't get off... hoping that the boat would be a bit quieter, it wasn't. I wont start on the behaviour of some Spanish children on the boat (no fault of the cruise of course). Port 3: Livorno - This was by far the best port for us... We took the train to Florence and got back to Pisa for a photo op for about half the price it would have cost us to do an organised excursion... Port 4: Ajaccio - looked lovely but we spent most of the day in bed... and not in a good way! More on that in a minute, back to the boat, we were definitely impressed with the size although we're not big fans of people (probably shouldn't have gone on a cruise) and so thought it a little busy at times. We spent most of our time in the windjammer, the casino and the theatre and have to say had a good time in all. The only problem with the casino is that everything is in USD and since we only took euros, you can imagine the type of exchange rate we got in the casino... and also I don't think the rocking of the boat helped with the roulette (seriously, the boat is as steady as a rock). The Theatre was a bit of fun, mostly geared at kids but the male singing group were pretty good. We didn't go to the ice show in the end, because we slept in and missed the one day you can get tickets, our Irish friends said it was good, if only because they kept falling over...Apparently people were getting let in at the door without tickets anyway. The food was pretty good though got a little repetitive in the windjammer but that was because we tended to eat at odd times. We ate in the impressive formal dining room twice, the first occasion was during a formal evening... you really do need to dress up, some people didn't and I thought I wouldn't bother, but I would have felt uncomfortable and normally that kind of thing doesn't bother me. The second time we ate in the dinning room my paella didn't taste right so I didn't eat it... sure enough I got no sleep that night because my fiance was sick on the hour, every hour, until I called the nurse who told her she had a norovirus, gave her an injection and confined her to quarters for a day and a half... Needless to say this kind of ruined Corsica and the remainder of our holiday. Also, just as we got home and she was feeling 100% again, I got sick and had three days off work... Tipping - Everyone expects a tip even though a service charge is already auto added to the bill. I didn't mind actually because we don't drink much and everyone was really friendly... If you want the scoop on what to do in a port and the cheapest way to go about doing it, speak to the crew (particularly the croupiers who only work nights and can therefore get off at ports) these people (and they are people) spend 7 months on ship and you don't see any of them on the shuttle bus... at the end of the holiday you get envelopes where you can put tips. We gave the stateroom guy a decent tip but nobody else since we only went to the restaurant twice and the second time got sick... Some people might think that harsh, but you know what, cruises are expensive and i'm not giving money to my "head waiter" who I didn't even meet!! I'm getting bored now, so i'll sum up: Would I go on a cruise again, yes BUT only with a balcony room, an equal sized or bigger boat and preferably more stops where you can just walk out from the boat i.e. you don't have to get a shuttle or taxi. If you take one message from this review it's this: Cruises are good, expect to have to pay for drink, do as much excursions yourself at half the cost, wash your hands as much as you can and if it don't taste right, don't eat it!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
We sailed on the magic on sept 4 th from Barcelona, having done the carriibean the year before the first thing my husband and I noticed was---- the food wasn't up to our last cruise,so this time we ate in the dining room, we did find ... Read More
We sailed on the magic on sept 4 th from Barcelona, having done the carriibean the year before the first thing my husband and I noticed was---- the food wasn't up to our last cruise,so this time we ate in the dining room, we did find we got warmer food, as on our last cruise the food was cold every night Our balcony state room was fantastic-- We thought it was us expecting too much with the entertainment, we could not believe John the out standing cruise director ( so HE says) would have those kiddie shows, using the guests as entertainment, wow!! What a insult to our intelligence , and we were told by one of the " props" it was all a setup, Anyway we flew to Venice to do our grease cruise on the norwegian jade, we had been told by bored guests we met on the magic, we would love the entertainment on the jade, we thought yep right! Well we did love it, we could not keep up with the entertainment, and it was nearly as good as broadway. I just had to meet the entertainment officer, to congratulate her, I had the cruise staff in fits of laughter, on our experience with " big fat John,and his entertainment, especially his mornings with Calvin who we loved, and I might add every time Calvin said he was going to leave, because John was insulting him--- we wished he had-- I feel the big wigs-- like the bearded ones as John calls them-- never follow these critic views, if you do reply. Bearded ones We are Aussies, not Americans , so I agree with the London lady Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
Holland America 21day Mediterranean Treasures. We were with a group of 147 adventurers on an inclusive - air, hotel, transfers, some meals group. We flew over the pole from Seattle to Barcelona - only way to go. The ports were mostly ... Read More
Holland America 21day Mediterranean Treasures. We were with a group of 147 adventurers on an inclusive - air, hotel, transfers, some meals group. We flew over the pole from Seattle to Barcelona - only way to go. The ports were mostly islands and all UNESCO or World Heritage Sites. It was intense with a different port every day except two. We took private excursions at each port. My overall impression of the Ryndam was good. It was big, but not too big. The dining experience in the Rotterdam was inconsistent. We tried ordering fish - halibut - didn't look like any we had eaten before - sent it back. The lobster was too mushy for me. The salmon was sometimes overpowered by the sauces. Our stateroom was an outside window on the main or 5th deck. One of my personal favorite places to be. I like the robes provided - the choice of bath or shower. It took me some getting used to the water regulator vs faucets for the shower. Our room steward were attentive and greeted us by name. LIDO Dining experience was very uneven. I like the "eggs Florentine" when the spinach is heated a little bit and the egg is set but not hard. It was hit and miss if it was served this way. We had "any time" dining in the Rotterdam and liked to be at a table for six or less because my husband has difficulty hearing with more. Host was always very friendly and attempted to meet our requests cheerfully. The Captain was able to secure dock space for us at every port which was awesome - even at the ones marked as Tender Required. We liked the port talks the captain shared. Good sense of humor and friendly when he was out and about on the ship. The main disappointment we had was our experience at Canaletto's dining. The food wasn't as special as I had remembered from our previous experience. The wait staff was almost "too friendly". We were disappointed in the variety of entertainment. There were not very many outside entertainers. There were five singers (3 males and two females) and only two female dancers. The performances were good, but nothing spectacular and was repeated. We usually never miss a show, but made an exception on this tripl First port was Tripani, Sicily, Italy- Small port. We took a bus tour to the salt beds. Easy to walk from port to the city - right there. Small but nice port. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
My husband of thirty-six years and myself both aged in our mid fifties, medium health, non-smokers, and light drinkers. This is our third cruise and we live in Europe although we are American's. Unfortunately we had our flight ... Read More
My husband of thirty-six years and myself both aged in our mid fifties, medium health, non-smokers, and light drinkers. This is our third cruise and we live in Europe although we are American's. Unfortunately we had our flight arrangements with British Airways and they would not tell if they would be striking or not so we did not know until the last minute making us leave a day early using our leave days and spent $300 on a room by the Rome airport with only basic amenities. We rode their shuttle to the airport and with the help of another couple we finally found where Holland America was picking people up at the airport. They only had one paper sign taped to the back of a wide cement column. This was not a very warm welcoming committee let me tell you. Then the long bus ride to the ship on a very tight fitting bus so when the woman in front of me put her seat back it crushed my knees. I felt bad for her since she just got off the transatlantic flight. We had to wait in a line to board because all the Deluxe Suites were taken when we booked this cruise; you get head of the line privileges in a suite. We then had our photo taken with some showgirls then ID pass photo and moved right along to our prepared room. Room: This room was adequate with balcony but the sheet had a big brown stain on it so the first night being too tired to ask for it to be changed I put a towel over it and passed out. I left the sheet down so the steward could see it but he just remade the bed and did not remove the sheet. I let it go but on the third afternoon seeing it still there I requested it be removed. I felt the stewards on this cruise really lacked merit and that is the first time I did not tip them more than what the ship was already charging ($11 @ day each). They did not refill the soaps or shampoos which ticked me off. One person wrote if you go to Deluxe suite you can never go back down and they were 100% right! Dining: We love the Pinnacle Grill on this ship! "Sam the Man" was on here and we knew him from a previous cruise. He is fantastic and does showmanship to the extreme. He does the whole lighting things on fire and what a great presentation, and always cracking jokes. Also I had it arranged to have a bottle of champagne and a cake for our anniversary and the staff did a fabulous job! Sam is now on the Neiuw Amsterdam We tried the Tamarind Restaurant but limited selection mainly fish which I do not eat so we canceled our second reservation after the first. Nice presentation here also, with relaxing atmosphere. In room dining: We had lunch on our balcony since this ship had a dining table and we relaxed drinking wine in the port of Portofino. We didn't have any problems with our orders being taken. Canaletto-was a big let down. How do you make Italian food bland? Sometimes I think they are cooking for the aged. Excursions: Portofino: We had to use a tender and meet with our guide who took us on another boat. We hiked up a path to this church, then further to a point with what they called a "lookout" nah nothing there so we hiked back did a wee bit of shopping and went back to the ship. We had a very memorable lunch from room service and drank a bottle of wine looking at the pretty island with the sparkling water. Marseille, France: This port was very limited without an excursion and we took this rattletrap of a train to the huge church Notre-Dame De La Garde it was big! We did our postcards and returned to the ship the people were very unfriendly in this port. The Hop & Ride is right near where the ships shuttle lets you off but it was not reliable that day people were upset. Barcelona, Spain: Loved it! We did an Ipod tour which had a very slow start, one poor girl to handle the whole ship and the Ipods would not work most of the time. We had no problem and walked around on our own. We took our own ear plugs. Cadiz, Spain: This could have been a great port but the ships excursion was lousy! We took a bus to a point and walked from there. The guide was hard to understand and we did not see much. We did go to the famous church there and ended the tour with a Flamingo dance in this hole. I was livid, this is what I had been looking forward to and I was stuck in this corner where they had us all squeezed into. We received a paper thin slice of greasy ham, a harsh smelling paper thin slice of cheese, two tiny cokes and told to share the plate with our neighbor. I could not see so had to hold my camera up and take a movie over everyone's head to see the dance. One dancer didn't even fix her hair she just put it into a rubber band. It was hot and the place was just unsavory. Lisbon, Portugal: no tour, we walked on our own but got a bit lost which adds to the flavor. We walked in the early morning before the residents were up and moving. We saw the backstreets walking parallel to the coast until we found the major shopping area and the attractions. It rained lightly off and on and the sidewalks there are small squares of marble, it is extremely slippery and the streets steep. The piano player on the ship fell and broke his arm in two places so he was flown home. We enjoyed our time here but shopping the items did not interest us. St. Peter Port, Guernsey, UK: I loved this port! We tendered in and the place was closed I think it was a Sunday. We had a tour of Renoir it was walking along a trail and such beauty with clean air. The guide and older woman told us the history and included plants etc. This tour is about the scenes Renoir painted not the man himself like two guest thought it would be. We were supposed to go to a pottery shop but it was closed. We ended the tour with a proper English tea in an English garden at this restaurant. Oh it was so lovely and I don't normally get into stuff like that. Le Havre, France: Ship tour of D Day beaches and museum, with a visit to the cemetery there. We had lunch and this was the rudest staff I have encountered they did not speak to us nor smile. My husband said he really liked this tour. Dover, England: Well we opted for the ship transfer with a trip to Canterbury on the way, forgot we already visited there, getting old. We got to the airport to find our flight was cancelled and we had to stay in a hotel overnight to catch one tomorrow with Lufthansa. The hotel was scary!!! We had to lug our suitcases on and off the bus then again the next day. We finally got our flight but it was going to Frankfurt and then we were stranded again, all flights were filled to Stuttgart. We were told we had to take the train! That did it! NO I am not dragging this huge suitcase up and down stairs on those overcrowded trains. So they said they would ship them and when they arrived they were thoroughly abused. Turned out our seats on the train did not exist so the conductor gave us seats in the enclosed space with other people. I hate riding the long distance trains in Germany! We liked the Eurodam and would do another cruise on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
My wife and I were traveling with another couple. We stayed at the Confortel Barcelona Hotel the night before the 7 day cruise and also the night after the cruise ended. The room was clean but looked more like a dorm room than a hotel ... Read More
My wife and I were traveling with another couple. We stayed at the Confortel Barcelona Hotel the night before the 7 day cruise and also the night after the cruise ended. The room was clean but looked more like a dorm room than a hotel room - very austere. We took a taxi from the hotel to the dock on day of embarkation. The embarkation went smoothly accompanied by a glass of champagne upon entry into the lounge area on deck 7. Our luggage arrived earlier than some cruises we have been on. The staff and service was superb during the complete cruise. The food served was better than average and a wider selection than on other cruise lines. We especially liked the "freestyling" concept where you do not have to dress up for a formal night. The staff paid great attention to having cruisers use hand sanitizers upon re-entry to the ship and into food service areas - a big positive! The layout of the ship was very logical and easy to find your way around, which can't be said for some ships we have been on. We would highly recommend this cruise line if all the ships in their fleet (and staff) were like this ship. WE took advantage of NCL's shore excursion on 4 of the five ports. Our experiences were not bad but, in my opinion, a customized tour from reputable local guides at each of the ports would provide a more memorable and pleasant experience and for roughly the same price. Buses do not maneuver as easily as a van in some of the bigger cities and there is no waiting for stragglers to get on the bus. You can also take in more and spend more time at a particular location if desired, which is not an option on the cruise line's canned excursion. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
First and foremost I want to talk about the excursions. I would say don't book with the ship because it's overpriced and you'll sit on a bus with 100 other people and be on their schedule. Booking a private tour offers ... Read More
First and foremost I want to talk about the excursions. I would say don't book with the ship because it's overpriced and you'll sit on a bus with 100 other people and be on their schedule. Booking a private tour offers flexibility and convenience. I reviewed each port individually but I cannot say enough about Your Tour in Italy (www.yourtourinitaly.com). We booked all three days in Italy with Aldo (the owner) and were so very pleased with every aspect of his service. The cars were in great condition and very clean. Each driver was native to the area we visited that day which was key - they were able to provide personal accounts of each area we visited and recommend restaurants and shopping first hand. I read several reviews on this site looking for a tour company and Your Tour in Italy came up often. There were several companies with great reviews but Your Tour offered a tour in each Italian port. It was much more convenient to have 1 company to book with than 2 or 3. There were no hidden costs. We paid the driver at the end of the tour. We used travellers cheques so we wouldn't need cash but my conversion rate was different than theirs so I would recommend asking Aldo for the rate before you buy your cheques. Also we tipped our drivers/guides in cash (Euros). Please find the contact info below and see my specific port reviews for more details. Your Tour in Italy di Aldo Monti P.Iva n 02341610596 Via Ferrazza 986 04100 LT Rome Italy www.yourtourinitaly.com info@yourtourinitaly.com As far as the ship is concerned - it was very clean. We had a stateroom with a balcony and that was very nice. The bigger bathroom was worth it. The TV station selection is poor, there's about 5 options. The Internet was extremely slow and very expensive (you pay by the minute and it's about $1/minute). We never dressed up and enjoyed being casual the whole time. Restaurants: We tried the steak place our first night - Cagney's. It was $15 cover plus another $10 if you wanted seafood. The food was ok but not worth the additional cost. The king crab legs were not king crab legs and the lobster was a very small portion. We tried the Italian place our second night, it had a $10 cover. It was again - just ok. The food was not worth the cover. Our third night we tried the Mexican /Tapas place with a $10 cover and were again disappointed. We ate in the included restaurants from t hat point forward. The service in the restaurants was generally poor. We waited for a while for drinks and sometimes for anyone to even greet our table. You can get unlimited soda for a flat rate and if you drink a lot it's worth it. If you don't have that you will $2.50 for a can of soda. You can't bring any food or drinks on the ship so if you buy anything at a port they will hold it until you disembark in Barcelona (pretty standard for a cruise). There's a guy who gives "talks" about each port on a daily basis - he has good tips and knows a lot. It's worth your time for sure. Docking into Malta is beautiful, just make sure you're out there early enough. We asked the desk what time to be there and were given a time that was too late. We saw most of it but I would have liked to be on deck for the whole thing. They add a gratuity to your bill every day so DON'T TIP on every check. You'll be tipping twice. The conversion commission on the ship is horrible, change money before you go on your trip or in a port at a local bank. It will save you some money. You don't need Euros on the ship, everything is paid in USD. Read Less

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise