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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this ship & cruise because of the great reviews & port locations. Originally we were scheduled to visit St. Kitts, St. Thomas, & Bahamas. Two months before our trip we were notified that one of the ships propulsion ... Read More
We chose this ship & cruise because of the great reviews & port locations. Originally we were scheduled to visit St. Kitts, St. Thomas, & Bahamas. Two months before our trip we were notified that one of the ships propulsion units was impaired and therefore the itinerary was changed. Instead of St Thomas, Puerto Rico. In addition, only 4 hours in Puerto Rico. And our day in the Bahamas was cut short to half a day as well. This was a huge hit, especially considering we paid over $11k ticket for the suite - to now find out we could make no changes and were stuck. Ugh!! SERVICE - not impressed. Aside from the suite lounge servers, this entire experience felt as though we were being shuttled like cattle. Most disappointing was the spa. On my birthday we scheduled couples massages - showed up and were shuttled into a “relaxation room” with 25 other people and no place to sit. We left immediately and cancelled our services, only to get a rude response from the desk attendant about why it was so crowded. In addition we were upsold constantly, phone calls about dinner packages, peddling in the shopping areas about drink packages. We received emails from our suite concierge ahead of our trip stating she could make reservations for us at restaurants or excursions. We asked ahead to schedule reservations on my birthday and never received a response from the concierge nor did our reservation get scheduled. ROOM- loved the room. Suite attendant was excellent. Plenty of space. Needs some updating though. SHIP- again, disappointment is the word. Although there’s a TON to do and my kids really enjoyed the activities, everything felt very enclosed and compartmentalized. We felt the ship rock through the entire trip even though the weather was perfect. Not sure if it’s because of the size? It was so crowded everywhere. The restaurants were insane. EXCURSIONS- good question. We didn’t book 6 months ahead and by 3 months out everything was sold out. We figured when we got on board more would open up... not the case. Again, major disappointment!! All in all, this is most likely our last RC cruise we will embark on. What a big ticket that was NOT worth the value. Celebrity hands down exceeds RC in every aspect. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Good Eastern 8 day trip itinerary , Great ports with off setting departure times . Ship was in Great Shape and crew/staff were terrific ,warm and friendly. Dinning was ok/good with no major flaw's, main dinning was accomplish in ... Read More
Good Eastern 8 day trip itinerary , Great ports with off setting departure times . Ship was in Great Shape and crew/staff were terrific ,warm and friendly. Dinning was ok/good with no major flaw's, main dinning was accomplish in less than an hour and a half . Buffet items were also ok and with the amount of passengers that ship ship holds, items seemed fresh and not picked over Wife and I attended 2 shows and found them good, Vintage Pop and Soulbound which was our favorite the best , interaction with the players and audience make the show even better , don't want to spoil it but get there earlier for added extra's We do have issue's with what Carnival Horizon has done with the theater and seating thou, depending on where you are seated the view from the 2nd level is limited to viewing the main level as now there are no more fixed row seating on the first level and the show has extended from the stage onto the main level area . So some of the acting is out of view with the current new design if you are seated on the 2nd level . Show last about a half hour Comedy show's where just ok as we did see all comedies that week both their PG and R rated versions . there were 4 total comedies on our cruise 4900 passengers this week with spring break and didn't find the lines terrible... 5-10 mins before a show and seating was pretty easy Up-Charge restaurants were good as usual We did Pig and anchor with live entertainment while dinning , J.J's Asian and Bonsai Teppanyaki with the chief show very funny as he prepared our meal . We also had reservation set for the Steakhouse and when they called to confirm our reservation they informed us that since it was formal night dress shorts would not be allowed but jeans were ok ? As we have always done formal night's on our previous cruises we decided to pass on this cruise and just be lazy and on vacation, we did find this to be very disappointing as we both were looking forward to the Steak house as we have dine there on several other cruises and they are normally very good and worth the charge and did have jeans also but as they made it an unannounced stipulation to dine prior to our reservation made 6 months earlier that just annoyed us as we were the patrons paying additional for this restaurant . so a tip , make sure that its not a formal night when you make your reservation, as this was the first time we encounter an issue if your not planning on bring formal wear. Casinos seem to be paying with several witnessed good jack pot pay outs also speaking with several people thru out the cruise said the tables were friendly also . So go have a great time if your planning a Horizon trip and don't let the small stuff bother you, as we found on this trip there weren't many at all !!! Good Sailing ! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Our first luxury cruise experience. Came well recommended, and after much research decided this would be good value for a luxury xperience. Even after all that research we were not prepared for the level of service, such a carefree 10 ... Read More
Our first luxury cruise experience. Came well recommended, and after much research decided this would be good value for a luxury xperience. Even after all that research we were not prepared for the level of service, such a carefree 10 days, surrounded by sunshine and smiling faces (crew and passengers alike). Excellent food experiences, though surprisingly slightly disappointed in Prime 7, but Chartreuse was a wonderful experience. Compass Rose, beautiful, and always delicious, . From breakfast to lunch to Teatime, to cocktails,to dinner, we were spoiled in every way. Our suite was lovely, spacious, and comfortable in every way. Very comfy chairs on the balcony. Ours was the lowest category cabin, but it did not feel like it, the bed was heaven, and it was kept spotless by our by our 2 very sweet attendants, as well as keeping us well stocked with champagne, and anything else we wanted. The fresh fruit in the room was of the best quality. The included excursions were also very good. We picked this itinerary to have a relaxing, luxury experience, and we were very happy, and would definitely consider more cruises with Regent. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We typically choose active, land-based travel but decided to do a cruise for a special anniversary. We chose the Star Breeze for its mixture of small luxury ship with casual attitude, small ports of call, and availability of water sports. ... Read More
We typically choose active, land-based travel but decided to do a cruise for a special anniversary. We chose the Star Breeze for its mixture of small luxury ship with casual attitude, small ports of call, and availability of water sports. We wanted to have fun, but we did not want the fussiness of formal dinner nights. We were not disappointed. The ports of call included a good mix of those with many tourists and those with very few tourists. (It was helpful to know some Spanish but not necessary). We booked one excursion with the cruise line in Puerto Jimenez, but explored on our own the other days. We were able to do water sports off the ship in one port of call and on the private island day. For some reason, they couldn't offer waterskiing, although the equipment was available. Not a big deal, but it was something we were looking forward to. Otherwise, the crew really worked hard to impress. The cabins were spacious, well appointed, and serviced several times a day. Service was phenomenal and always with a smile. The food was excellent. We liked that they sourced fresh seafood from locals and that the chef made all of his stock on board. No corners were cut! We dined most nights at Amphora, which was consistently excellent. We did take advantage of Candles, which is a romantic steak house offered for free once per voyage. The special BBQ night was a highlight and not to be missed. Breakfast and lunch offered the ability to order a la carte or dine from the buffet. One exception: the coffee at the Veranda had an odor. I typically took my coffee at the Yacht Club (which offered continental breakfasts, non-smelly coffees, and light lunch fare) and then went to the Veranda for a full breakfast. Late afternoon activities included cultural talks and/or performances, with a next day port briefing just before dinner. The ship has a "pool" (it's really just a large, warm bathtub) and 2 hot tubs. We never had a problem finding a poolside lounge chair. The 5th deck hot tub is a great place to stargaze at night (or look for porpoises), but carry a cellphone for the flashlight. We did go to the gym several times, which was better than I expected. The ceiling is low, so tall people would have a problem with the treadmill and one cannot do overhead weights without sitting down. The fitness classes are basic and nice for a good stretch. With the average guest age being in the 60-75 range, there was not a lot of night life. We enjoyed the guitarist, who sang a mix of contemporary slow pop, Latin music and oldies but goodies. He also played great dance music. The other couple, the Radio Stars, were fine for music while you sunbathed but really not good for evening entertainment. The crew also entertained us with a crew talent show one night and line dancing after the outdoor BBQ. A number of activities were offered on our day at sea, including a cooking demo, galley tour, and blackjack tournament. We were saddened to learn that Star Breeze will go into dry dock this year and its size will be increased by 50 suites. We think this will alter the small ship experience significantly. In summary, this ship is great for couples aged 45+ who want some interesting port adventures and some luxurious pampering without the stuffiness of a more formal cruise line. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I was on this cruise to celebrate my birthday. The ship was nicely decorated for the Holidays with even a small Christmas tree in our suite. We got lots of chocolate in the suite, at tea, and in the Princess Grill. Only 4 other ... Read More
I was on this cruise to celebrate my birthday. The ship was nicely decorated for the Holidays with even a small Christmas tree in our suite. We got lots of chocolate in the suite, at tea, and in the Princess Grill. Only 4 other people showed up for the Cruise Critic gathering on the first sea day. This lack of interest has happened on the past few cruises, no matter what line. They were setting up for a wedding where we met so I felt like I was in the way. One of the ladies told us about the books written by the bar waiter, so I bought them and look forward to reading them. He graciously signed them for me. We didn't stay up for NYE, so were interested in what was reported in a blog by one of the other passengers. We were in the Princess Grill which was wonderful. I booked the Veranda Steakhouse for my birthday, the last evening. Should have stayed in the Princess Grill, it is much nicer, less hectic and has better food, although we did have a couple of kids in PG who let loose once in awhile. Did not expect that. Cunard overbooked the PG and offered us and some others a free cruise if we would downgrade. We refused the offer. We had sailed on the QM2 once before in the sheltered balcony they offered us which was okay, but I wanted to see how the PG was in comparison with when we were upgraded to PG on the QE2. I am glad that we did it, but don't think we will do it again. Been there, done that. We had been to all of the ports before, so didn't take any excursions even though we had quite a bit of on board credit. Our port schedule was changed when it was too rough to go to Antigua and St. Kitts replaced it. This was on Boxing Day which is the start of their Carnival celebration. Stores were closed except the port shops and there was a big parade and crowds of people. We had to tender there and in St. Lucia. The weather was pretty good except for rain off and on in St. Maarten. The ship is very nice but sometimes difficult to navigate. The Queen's Room was very crowded at times. The entertainment was great but we had to get there early to get a decent seat. This happens on other ships though. Having some free internet time was nice but it was so slow that I couldn't do much. Missed seeing the American football games, particularly the Rose Bowl, only British soccer was shown. The water in the outdoor pool was cool even in the Caribbean, so I went to the hot tub on the Grill deck. They even served tea and scones up there which was very nice. I was surprised that even though the children seemed to have their own pool, they were still in the pool that said it was only for age 18 and over. The warmer indoor pool was full of kids, so I only went there once. We received two lovely cups and saucers with the Cunard ship logos on them, wondered if everyone else had. We had discarded some of the luggage tags that we put on prior to boarding and then found out we were supposed to use them again for disembarkation. Have never done this before on any of our cruises. I still had one on my larger bag, but it was placed in the wrong area in NY, as was my other bag with a new, handwritten tag they gave me. It took me awhile to find my bags and the people there didn't seem to know what was going on. Not sure if we will ever go on a World Cruise, but if we do, it will not be on this line. I am getting used to the other lines which don't make me dress up. We did like formals in our younger days. My number of cruises is about to pass my age, so I guess that's why my tastes are not what they used to be. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Background information-Avid single traveler, 27 cruises with Celebrity I’ve sailed 5x on Century class, 11x on Milleniun class, 11x Solstice Class, 1X Edge Class, and about 5x with other cruise lines Pre-Embarkation-Well , Well, ... Read More
Background information-Avid single traveler, 27 cruises with Celebrity I’ve sailed 5x on Century class, 11x on Milleniun class, 11x Solstice Class, 1X Edge Class, and about 5x with other cruise lines Pre-Embarkation-Well , Well, Well, they did they truly did reinvent the wheel with the new embarkation process. Two weeks before sailing I received a few reminders encouraging me to use the newly modified Celebrity Cruises App to check in. To be perfectly frank, I didn’t have high expectations for this as I tried it last year on Reflection and it really hadn’t been helpful. In fact it had been more frustrating than helpful. I downloaded a fresh copy on my Android phone, plugged in my data, uploaded a picture. After completion I printed out a copy of the completed Expedited Arrival form, and was set. Embarkation-It was the smoothest quickest embarkation ever. Terminal 25 is lovely architecturally. That being said it was more lovely is the fact that I didn’t spend much time in it at all. I arrived by Uber at the terminal ~1130, there were two other cars at the same time. Baggage guys were everywhere, so moved my bags all of 4 feet before there was a smiling face to take them away. I said thank you, tipped him, and walked the 50 feet to the terminal. I rode the escalator up to the main part of this sleek glass and steel/aluminum modern terminal. Gone are the long lines of work stations and laptops, and instead, smiling faces with I pads greeting you with the words “Welcome to Celebrity Edge” , as I heard that at least 4 times while in the terminal. Two folks scanned my expedited arrival form. I used the one on my phone once, and the printed one once, and it made no difference, and then was directed to the Xray scanners for security which moved quickly, and 5 minutes later, I was pointed to the boarding area. I was told I would find my key on my door, which I did. So from being dropped of curbside, to arrival at my cabin, was a period of about 10 minutes. The room key was waiting at my door, was able to drop my carry on items up there and then began to explore Celebrity Edge. Ship information- When I first started exploring Edge, I noticed many transformational changes, but also seeing my old mainstays. The main lobby is visually a masterpiece. It’s a very tasteful, bright, but not in an overload your senses casino way. It’s calming and welcoming, so figured I would take a look down by guest relations. I loved what they did with the main part of the lobby. Guest Relations, Shore Excursions, and the other stations down are kind of like islands/kiosks rather than traditional desks, which gives the area a much more open flow and floor space They also have some self help ipad stations than can answer questions, and roving concierges to help the flow. For example the first day I went to guest relations the first day, and noticed 4 people queued up, so asked the concierge my question, “Do I purchase a beverage package here?” He responded that I could go to any bar and have it added there. I think in 7 nights, I went to guest relations 3X, and never waited more than 10-15 minutes. Some areas I really thought to be exceptional, others more traditional. The 4 main dining rooms were traditional just on a smaller scale. Café El Baccio same thing. Some stunning changes to the Sunset bar. Its bigger with sweeping views, it feels much more open and grand than on other ships, has a small smoking area on the starboard side, but impressed with the design aspects that allows the smoking areas smells being somewhat isolated from the rest of the sunset. I admired to that they took the eco-friendly path too. Paper straws actually to me felt better than I expected them to, actually better than plastic ones. I appreciated that when they did activities that in the past they did with pen/paper/pencil, you can now participate just using your phone/tablet/ipad, and a HUGE plus to me was didn’t receive any Art Gallery flyers (or any other flyers) announcing their sales, promotions, etc. the entire cruise. I admire that they took these steps, and not just one of them. Like we used to say in the Navy, Walk the Walk, not just Talk the Talk. The only negative was a missed seeing the one page whos/who on the ship where it states who they key executive team members are (Captain/Staff Captain/Head Chef/ GRM), and never did find a cruise directors TV channel where they summarize the day ahead and introduce you to key events things.. I wish they would just have that information available on one of the television channels. Eden-FANTASTIC. First thing I noticed about Eden was as you walk in you go through a kind of dark maze of funky sculptures that I just didn’t get, It’s interesting, but just odd, looks like something from a James Cameron Sci Fi movie. As you approach you see multi-dimensional layout, and incorporating many, many, many nooks and crannies to hideaway as much or little as you like. I LOVED the colors and designs, plants and seating area on every level, both inside and outside. Also a great little cafe inside Eden where you can go for breakfast or lunch (no upcharge either), that’s generally uncrowded. The Edenites are a unique set of characters and you could see they threw some people off base a little. They stay in character, like you might find at disney, A renaissance fair, cirque de solei, so just go in with an open mind, as it’s a different type of performance. It’s not Edie Gorme on the love boat, but it’s a lot fun if you want it/allow it to be. Really thought the design and layout of the Rooftop Garden was exceptional. The area seems very expansive and very green. Super pleased to see the massive screen that they had for watching sports and or movies under the daylight/skylight. It’s a very well designed area, as you don’t get a lot of random traffic interfering with viewing. I was a bit under impressed by the offerings at the rooftop garden grill as it seemed to lack identity on its offering. I guess it’s supposed to be BBQ, but not really sure. Pool Area-Another grand slam design. It’s a new ship with new loungers, towels, and pools, and all are well thought through. The loungers are set up in a more tiered design which makes it feel a bit more private. In the 8 days on board I used the main pool area probably 4 days, and the retreat 3 days, and never found a time where I couldn’t find an open lounger. Pool seems massive and never seemed overly crowded or noisy even on sea days. I even tried the 3 story martini glass Jacuzzi, which gave beautiful high top views of the decks below One thing very important you notice about the Edge is design. Nothing seems like a last minute “lets squeeze in a ….”, everything is in a place where it makes sense it should be. The spaces generally seem well suited for their function both in size and flow. I found a lot less dead space on the ship (like Cellar Masters, Hot Glass, World Class Bar), and less emphasis of forcing your path through the shops, casino, art galleries. Now those are a little more discreetly placed rather than being in your face, and I really appreciated that. Activities-I didn’t see a whole lot of activities on this cruise other than “Deal or No Deal” and one or two game shows, Silent Disco, Silent Disco DJ, like activities. I did think it was cool that they had creative new things like drone races in “The Club” , so I’m sure as the Edge matures so will the activities. I was mostly there for R&R, so I probably of glossed over any of the activities they had scheduled. Bars-The Martini Bar itself has much less seating than on other ships, but there are a lot more adjacent areas for seating to compensate. Same holds true on the Pool Bar. Maybe 10 seats total, but another 12 stools about 10 feet away. Looked to me that the Sunset Bar is bigger and almost gives you about 120 degrees view of the aft end of the ship. I think The Club is the most traditional larger bar onboard behind the Sunset, and the biggest venue outside the theater for traditional seating Service-Service has is and always been Celebrity’s hallmark, and this cruise was no different, if anything service excellence was even more pronounced. This could be since they took the best of the best of Celebrity’s team to man the Edge. EVERY single Edge team member I met during the 8 days went out of there way t do anything possible to make my stay better, smoother, and happier. Port & shore excursions-Didn’t do any. I left the ship once in St Maarten when my earbuds broke Shopping-Onboard shopping was too rich for my taste, Tiffany, Cartier, Bulgari Etc, someone said one shop had Edge T shirts starting $50+ SPA-Nothing New, had a 75 minute massage on a port day and it was the special 50% off rate, so with mandatory gratuity, it was $248, was it a really good massage, no not really. Art Auctions-They are there and I’m sure they sell, but research before you buy, as always found them like the casino. Don’t consider it an investment; consider it fun money that you can afford to lose. There might be a rare winner but generally if you play/buy, it will be a losing financial decision. Cabin(s)-I had two cabins on this voyage. I book the ES (Edge Single w Infinite Veranda) , and stayed there two nights , and then heard about the availability to upgrade a SS1 so moved there Edge Single Infinite VerandaCabin(ES)- Cabin 6218 100% Excellent design. It’s a modified version of a normal Infinite balcony cabin. It’s as wide as a normal cabin just not as deep. I think the actual numbers are ES=131ft2 w 40 ft2 balcony, E1,2,3,4= 200ft2 w 40ft2. First thing you notice is the bathroom, such a HUGE improvement compared to ANY other Celebrity ship. Has kind of a marble looking tile and large farm type marble sink with plenty of storage under the sink. A discreet outlet/switch can be found by the shelving under the sink area. The shelving in the bathroom is plentiful. The shower is especially large by cruise ship standards, and is glass/polished chrome design, and even is tall enough for those over 6’ tall. Inside the shower you find dispensers for body cleaner, shampoo, and conditioner. Plenty of hot water and pressure and the shower design lets you adjust height and position of spray as needed. The bed, mattress, and bedding was the most comfortable and luxurious one I’ve ever slept on. The cabin although small was very comfortable, although storage is very limited. There is a 6’x2’x2’ closet with a higher and lower bar for hanging clothes, and two shelves under the safe(~16”x20”x8”), and three 8”x*’X8” cubbies and that’s really it for storage. I ended up using the shelving in the bathroom for shirts and pants, a foot rest that opens up at the top for socks and underwear, so you just need to be a bit creative. Two easy solutions Celebrity could do is put some shelving in bottom of closet in lieu of the second bar for hanging clothes,and/ or put storage bins under the beds, since under the beds you have about 18” height, so plenty of room for storage bins AND luggage The only other negatives about the ES are, I would consider a partially obstructed view as the lifeboats sit about 1 foot above the balcony area floor, so if you look straight out it’s fine, but if you look down at all, you see the tops of lifeboats below or to the left or right. I think they would be an attractive option if they priced them more realistically. Right now they sell at ~85% of a regular Infinite Vernada cabin which I think is high considering you are getting 70% of the floorspace/storage of a regular cabin, and getting a partially obstructed view of the sea Infinite Veranda-It’s a great design, as is the cabin itself. The view is outstanding, the whole end of your cabin is glass, adds light, view, space to your cabin. The drawbacks some, are occasionally the captain can exercise control over your balcony window, sometimes coming into port, or in cases of bad weather. This happened for a few hours on our 7 days voyage, with no impact on us whatsoever. I also liked the window shade that could make the room completely dark, when fully closed. I found you needed to balance the sun coming in with the AC as the AC was not up to cooling the additional space without some adjustment. Worked much better at night with the bifold doors closed, reducing the amount of space the AC needed to cool. Two three prong 115V, one 220V two prong outlet and two usb ports on desk area, there is also an additional outlet with a pair of USB ports by the night stand. One odd thing is the addition of many hard decorative pillows, which are completely unusable. When the bed is made there are four regular pillows, five hard decorative pillows, plus two more large and small on the sofa. They look nice but really take up a lot of space with not much purpose. However, I felt the Infinite Veranda was one of the best parts of the Edge Sky Suite-The Sky Suite (SS1) Cabin 9180 seemed much more balanced than similar ones on other ships. I’ve always thought the Sky Suites on the other classes looked like regular veranda rooms with dance floors as they just seem to have a lot of dead space rather than using it to enhance the room. With these sky suites, they take it to a new level. Storage is expansive. You have a ~6’x6’ closet for all your hanging needs, you also have a second closet that has shelving. Drawers, and a safe, it stands about 6’ tall and about 2’ wide and deep. If that’s not enough, you also have a dresser that’s attached to the desk area. This dresser I’m guessing is about 5’ wide by about 3’ tall, so really makes storage abundantly available, again a superb design compared to other designs. They have a nice discreet looking white box that has two three prong 115V, one 220V two prong outlet and two usb ports, there is also an additional outlet with a pair of USB ports by the night stand, and another outlet discreetly placed in the bathroom. Bed, TV and nightstands all pretty standard, but the new linens are nice. I liked the electronic keypad for temperature and room control (drapes, lighting, etc). You can also use the Celebrity Cruises app for this, but noticed maybe 10% of the time it wasn’t available. Wasn’t really able to get the electronic key to work, I ran into the digital manager the next to last night and she mentioned it was probably something to do with my email not being linked to the key, but it wasn’t worth the trip to guest relations to get it fixed, so just used the key card instead. I thought the redesign of the Sky Suite was exceptionally good. A major improvement is the tub/shower as it’s easily stepped into, rather than in other classes you literally had to climb into it. There is no shower curtain, but because the shower head is about 2 feet inside, one is not needed. The shower head height was adjustable, so even if you’re 6’ tall or greater it works fine. I read some people complaining about without a curtain they accumulated water outside the tub area. My personal opinion is it’s possible you could do that if you weren’t paying attention, but really don’t see how it would happen on any type of normal showering. Toilet is in a separate room in bath with a frosted door around it. Sink large with two faucets. There is plenty of shelving and storage in bathroom as well. I know they are trendy now, but bathroom mirrors also slide open to form a picture frame window above the bed allowing you to bring more light into the bathroom (or for people in main space to see the tub/shower area of bathroom. I’m not a big fan of that (window to the bath from the bed) as recently saw the same thing at both Mandarin Oriental in Miami, and Four Seasons in Buenos Aries , but I’m guessing it’s a popular feature right now. For me I’d rather just keep it closed and use the mirror. The only negative I could find is that because the tub/shower opens to the bath room, the mirror does fog up easy. I know on other classes they had heated mirrors to alleviate this, it would be a good idea down the road to modify these as well. It’s a minor tweak to an almost perfect design. It’s the finest cabin I’ve ever been in at sea in terms of smart design, functionality, pure opulence, and being well thought through from the moment you walk in and look at every feature and function. The couch, balcony were comfortable, and really enjoyed the rocking chair in the room as well. Dining-Tried a few different venues, so will touch on each • Cosmopolitan-Enjoyed it, reminded me of a mini me version of the MDR on any ship. Broiled scallops appetizer especially nice. Ate here 3X • Normandie-Enjoyed it, felt like a better design, and more open than Cosmopolitan. No real standouts, but no complaints either. Ate here 1X • Buffet-Really expansive and more epicurean themed than on other cruises. They really upped their game on this. The construction and efficiency of the design is noticeably better than other classes, and really like the hand washing sinks at the entrance. I just think the warm water and soap is a much better way than purel. It was never out of towels, soap etc. Food quality of the buffet was excellent as were the station setup. First ship ever where I have seen EXCELLENT food at a buffet including filet of beef cooked to order, rack of lamb. Etc. The breakfast seem better organized with the stations set up to streamline the order and deliveryprocess. Also the larger windows in the Oceaview make a big difference, You don’t feel like you’re in a typical buffet, instead you feel you are eating in a fine dining spot…..which you are. • Luminae-The new Luminae is superb. I like that it’s at the forward end of the ship, and its own lovely venue. The menu looked to be the same as any other Luminae, but it feels so more grand. Hats off to the designers as it feels far more spacious and open, and really like the details (linens silverware, etc) and the staff makes you feel like royalty on each visit. • Prime Cut Steakhouse-First the location of Prime Cuts is super special. It’s located on deck 5, One side of the steakhouse overlooks the Ocean, the other side overlooks the martini bar, grand foyer area The restaurant itself kind of reminded me of a blending of Tuscan Grille and Murano. The rich woods and leather of Tuscan, and a balanced menu of mostly steak, but also includes lamb, sea bass, lobster, etc.. The pan seared scallops with chorizo were spectacular as was my 9 0z filet. The sides (spinach w garlic, a five mushroom sauté, and a bacon infused mac n cheese were also excellent. The double brownie with ice cream was a great way to end the meal. Service was above par • Raw on Five-Raw on Five like Prime Cuts reminded me like mentioned above as a blending of two favorites. It was part sushi on 5, part silk harvest, menu itself was about 20% raw, and 80% cooked dishes. They had a page of sushi dishes for the sushi lover (I’m not a big sushi fan), but I listened to the waiter and tried the Green Leaf Tuna Roll which was awesome. I followed that with some beef carpaccio, and then thin slices of tenderloin served with some type of sauce that really enhanced an already spectacular dish. They also had some stir fry dishes in the menu. Generally I’m not a fan of places that try to a wide variety of palettes, but they really do it well at Raw on Five. • Le Grand Bistro-I thought this was one of the hidden gems of dining on Edge. Try it at least once for breakfast or lunch,. I think the surcharge was $20 for lunch, and less for breakfast, and the food was fantastic. The daily specials were out of this world delicious and included rack of lamb, seared sea bass, Coq Au Vin, Short Rib Bourguinon, etc. Food was fantastic all around, and it’s just a nice airy place for a snack or a fully meal. • Rooftop Grill-Le Petit Chef- I didn’t try either as loved Le Petit Chef twice on Reflection last year, and Rooftop Garden reminded me of Mast Grill, so I passed on both this time. • Eden Restaurant- It was great eating in Eden for breakfast or lunch, and no upcharge and never crowded, but alas dinner. How do I explain dinner, other than saying it was odd at worst, uncomfortable at best. There were 6 of us, and the menu seemed unique to put it nicely. The food was pretty good overall, but didn’t seem to carry any type of theme or reason to it. Just kind of a random amalgam of foodstuff. It was five courses, and all was ok (except what my friend call the asbestos biscuit, which really had an odd taste). The performance (or show) with the Edenites during dinner was uncomfortable though. I think part of the problem is you don’t have a perspective of what’s going on around you. I found watching the performance from different parts of the venue is really wonderful and enjoyable, but IMHO it doesn’t work while dining. I met a nice lady one day on the cruise who said she was dining alone in Eden, and just felt when the Edenites came by here, she felt like a display not a dining guest. I think like anything dining in Eden will evolve into a great experience, but right now it’s just awkward. That being said, try it for one of the performances. Children's clubs-The kids I saw onboard seem to be having fun, but no personal experience to relate to Entertainment-I was so happy to see that Celebrity was trying some new forms of entertainment. The Celebrity singers and dancers are still there, and went to one performance, and it was actually visually and artistically pleasing. First thing I noticed was the music. It wasn’t just music from the 30’s -50’s that had low royalty licensing fees. Instead it was a blend of old and new (Coldplay, Ed Sheeran), blended beautifully with music of the past. The show itself kept my interest, where during normal shows I leave after 15-20 minutes, so really happy they re-invented rather than repackaged. Especially liked the onboard talent, I think 4 performers and 2 DJ’s (2 singers with guitar, two bands, two DJ’s). The one band Impulse was fantastic , did flawless covers of Green Day and other bands in the Rock format and they did them well. Acoustics down around martini bar aren’t that great, much better in the club. Also loved that they were combining shows and bands, where one of the solo acts might join a band or the bands performers would join each other. The comedians and solo singing acts in the main theatre were forgettable, so I was so happy when the bands or DJ’s were performing Smart thing they did is made the theater a bit smaller on Edge. I think I was told it holds 900 people per seating now, and although I only went to one show, it wasn’t crowded for any performance they had. The Retreat-The suite only retreat lounge and outside area are a beautiful addition to the ship. All of these areas are located at the front of the ship, and are key card accessible. The lounge is nicely laid out, it reminds me of a business class lounge in an major Asian airport, with a couple of small glass refrigerators stocked with beer and soda. It also has a palette of hot and cold snacks all day, and generally two hosts are readily available to help with questions, reservations, guest relations issues, etc. I really liked that they also had copies of all the menus of the dining establishments onboard. There was two or more servers constantly roaming through to take drink orders as well. It was such a friendly cheery venue. Retreat Sundeck/PoolBar-I really found this area lovely. The very front area is more active with a small pool (suitable for cooling off, not really swimming), a hot tub that could sit 6-8 and loungers, pergolas, swings and chairs everywhere. Probably could easily seat 125+. Back a little towards the main pool is a quieter area that adjoins the main pool. And I found this area a bit quieter with less kids. It again is discreetly separated from main pool area with a key card access I think it sat about 100. Also a bar/food area that sat about 25, didn’t eat there but it looked good. There definitely was an overabundance of staffers in the Retreat Sundeck area to meet any needs or help you have. Disembarkation-Was simple and easy, I opted for the Luggage Valet program where if you are flying from SEA, FLL, or MIA for a $25 fee, you can do your airline checkin on Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, United or Southwest onboard, and have your bags picked up the last night of cruise, and transferred directly to the airline (you avoid claiming them at cruise terminal). This went off flawlessly as they arrived with my flight. Summary- When I first saw the drawings of Edge and followed its construction, I thought they went too neutral with the design. It seemed to be saturated with earth tones, and not much color. I was super pleasantly surprised to see it in person, as the colors and textures, really make it a standout in more ways than one. From the greens and browns of Eden to the grays with pops of crimson in the carpet in the hallways, all the spaces really have their own identity, but also have a cohesion to each other. Like all Celebrity ships, the art is everywhere which whether you like a particular piece or not, it still adds to the mood of the space. TRY IT TRY IT TRY IT. Make a decision for yourself. Yes it is something new, yes it may have a few nuances that need to be work out, but it is a spectacular ship. I love the new bells and whistles, and the outside the box thinking that created it. Happy that it’s not Love Boat 8.0 or a ship with an amusement park, it redefines elegance and fun at sea. I also admire that they have trust in their onboard team to modify and try new things, and change things that will be adjusted. You have the best of the best onboard this ship from a crew perspective, and each is anxious to make the experience beyond your imagination. On a scale of 1-100 I’d give it a 98. I had about 40 friends onboard ranging from 30ish to 80ish, inside cabins to suites, from US, Canada, Australia, UK, France and Germany and not one was disappointed with the experience, or felt it was a bad decision. I’m already booked for the November Transatlantic. I’m sure the 5% of the population will only be happy if they are miserable, another 15% finds happiness in any situation, and the rest of the lot are open to being WOW-ed. Celebrity Edge has the WOW factor, and it’s a well thought out adaptable ship and organization, that will only strengthen as it rolls into the waves near you. There will always be people that live to complain. I actually overheard a passenger at guest relations complaining that the towels were TOO SOFT for her taste. I hear the common complaint on message boards that Celebrity is trying to draw in Millennial’s, and a younger crowd. I would think of course they would since only 35-40% of their passenger base are returning Celebrity cruisers. My reaction to that is so what, do they do it at the expense of other passengers? , IMHO no they don’t. Being in single cabin or a suite, I was treated like an honored guest from the moment I entered terminal 25 till the moment I stepped off. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I have cruised NCL in the past and have always had an amazing time. The newest ship in their fleet was beginning to sail so i wanted to try it out as soon as possible. The Bliss did not disappoint. I had high expectation for this ship ... Read More
I have cruised NCL in the past and have always had an amazing time. The newest ship in their fleet was beginning to sail so i wanted to try it out as soon as possible. The Bliss did not disappoint. I had high expectation for this ship and it exceeded all of them. From the food, the entertainment, and the activities, this ship is superior to anything i have ever sailed. The dining was delicious on every level. Specialty dinning was everything you would expect it to be. Casual dining had a variety of menus and all prepared to perfection. The daily buffet was exactly what was needed at the time. The entertainment was incredible. The Beatles tribute band was amazing and The Jersey Boys was Broadway quality. The activities were also great fun. The racetrack was intense and competitive. The laser tag was fun for all ages. My favorite activity was the Silent Disco. This was my first time experiencing something like this, and it was a hysterical. The staff and service on the ship was superior. The waitstaff and bartenders were fun a attentive. The cabin crew were dedicated and efficient. The Cruise Director (Silas Cook) is really the person who mad the cruise special. He is the best cruise director I've ever seen. It seemed like there were five of him because he was everywhere on that ship. From early morning to late evening he was there to lead the events and to make sure that everyone had a great time. His energy was infectious. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
From the first of our 6 cruises with Cunard we have respected the dress,hand gel,guest conduct expected by Cunard that results in many guests returning,however!!! We wish to offer the following observations whilst on board for 26 nights ... Read More
From the first of our 6 cruises with Cunard we have respected the dress,hand gel,guest conduct expected by Cunard that results in many guests returning,however!!! We wish to offer the following observations whilst on board for 26 nights recently over Christmas and new year. 1. Some Guests refusing to use the hand gel on entrances to food areas giving the following excuses. I washed my hands earlier in the cabin I take vit C tablets each day It makes my hands sticky It has an affect on my skin I washed my hands earlier in the toilet All these excuses even though they all used hand rails,buttons in lifts and handles on doors on the route to the food halls and restaurants. When the staff are asked why they did not insist the guests to use the gel,the staff said they were accused of harassment and did not get backing from their supervisors. 2. Guests using the beautiful coffee tables in lounges as foot rests with and without shoes. Again when staff asked guests not to do this they refused,claiming they paid the bill not the staff. 3.Guest wearing baseball caps,sporty tee shirts,torn jeans some looking like they have just come off a building site,around the ship and in the restaurants on formal nights sitting amongst smartly dress guests who had followed the issued instruction on dress code. Again when staff tried to insist on the code they were accused of harassment not getting support from their supervisors. 4. A guest walking around the ship and through the kings hall carrying a dog. Nobody stopped and challenge this action 5. Male and female guests in the kings hall wearing only swim wear and bath robes Again when staff tried to challenged this they were accused of harassment. No support given by supervisors. 6. Guests laying full length along the beautiful settles in the lounges with and with shoes on. Again when challenged by the staff the offenders claimed harassment ,without support from supervisors. 7. More and more guests failing to attend the compulsory safety drill claiming they did not care and having to do it the next day in the lounge disturbing other guests comfort. When questioned about the guests conduct,the officer just shrugged his shoulders. All in all this made the cruise quite disappointing and we will question wether we would want to go on Cunard in the future. What was great was the captain and staff,so friendly and polite,the serving waiters,excellent as always. Cunard please take note!! Many of these offending guests were not British, give it some thought. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
As a critic, it becomes a nightmare to fulfil your dreams, as you are always on duty you never switch of. I choose Queen Mary2 because I still believe she is the most elegant ocean liner that’s sails, awaiting the new queen, many ... Read More
As a critic, it becomes a nightmare to fulfil your dreams, as you are always on duty you never switch of. I choose Queen Mary2 because I still believe she is the most elegant ocean liner that’s sails, awaiting the new queen, many whispers on what she will be called “Queen Anne” is my answer now to wait and see, the cruise set sail and began its magnificent voyage to New York seven sea days. I was disappointed to find the ginger bread village had been cut only a quarter of the village displayed and they didn’t bring it out until we continued onto the Caribbean. The Cunard guest choir was outstanding. The staff always serving at such high standards. The North Pole making connection to say Father Christmas arriving the children amazed .. perfect xmas voyage - finally I could switch off.. place my sun hat upon my head and relax as we headed towards the Caribbean feeling the warmth as my body began to tan. New Year’s Eve the 8 o’clock party to bring in the new year in the golden lion was absolutely one of the best parties I have been too for bringing everyone together. The veranda head waiter and his staff for me shone more than any one with exception to Clyde and Romas in the golden lion. The Britannia restaurant food was of a good standard Christmas Day was exceptional. The spa for once on a cruise ship had a hairdresser that actually could do your hair. Maya. The events planner deepsha was professional in organising my event to perfection. The itinerary packed with things to do what ever your day you desired to fill with. The water colour class was a great class as 35 dollars also the floristry class with mikey and jay lo absolutely outstanding 50 dollars for a two day course. You practiced with beautiful flowers and Cunard never cheated you to gain money , they gave an exceptional class to ensure you had a five star experience. I took myself off to the 9.am fencing club now able to use a sword beware this critic can now defend herself. Midge Ure was performing and also gave lectures this was received well with passengers, whilst I carried in the moves with his daughter Molly in the fabulous G32. Until Dawn broke. The queen Mary2 suffered a complete power failure through out the ship on New Year’s Eve late in the evening. Darkness hitting the ship no power for around 25 minutes. The ship drifting as the chief engineer and his colleagues desperately trying to find a solution, alongside the captain who took almost 10 mins to make his announcement try to get to grips with what was happening to the ship before trying to let passengers know the details, some passengers complained this was too long but for the captain safety being his first priority. Three times they tried and Queen was back under command. A ship where no panic hit due to the training given to ensure passengers were safe and not frightened at this time. Another negative the social hostess was the worst I have ever come across, dosnt interact with passengers is very off putting Thai I was shocked to see, but I didn’t downgrade a star because I know Cunard will deal with it . So yes Queen Mary2 as you as sail keep on making dreams a reality. Yes she is a little more pricey but if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. Cunard provide excellence I await to sail again Lady Kendal Jaggar Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Crew – 5 stars, Food – 4 to 5 stars, Ship – 4 stars EMBARKATION – in Aruba – a long walk from where the cab drops you off to the yacht, because only the big ships get front docking. They have a shuttle, but we elected to walk ... Read More
Crew – 5 stars, Food – 4 to 5 stars, Ship – 4 stars EMBARKATION – in Aruba – a long walk from where the cab drops you off to the yacht, because only the big ships get front docking. They have a shuttle, but we elected to walk our luggage, so that was a bit hot in the blazing sun. Covered tent at the gangway with someone to check off your name and label your bags that the crew will take to your room. Once up the gangway, you’re taken into the lounge to register, get your photo taken and your room key provided, as well as sign up for a beverage package if you haven’t already. There really wasn’t much of an orientation or anything, then you go to your room and wait for your bags (relatively quick). The process was average, but not difficult. There really didn’t seem to be much of an orientation – you could take tour of the common areas that was scheduled within an hour or so after you boarded – otherwise you were pretty much on your own. DISEMBARKATION at the end of the cruise – in Puerto Caldera Costa Rica – one of the worst things they did on this cruise. The good thing was that your bags didn’t have to be outside your room until 6am on disembarkation day (but you were welcome to put them out the night before). And you received colored tags depending on what time you were scheduled to disembark, and that schedule was provided with the program the evening before. Disembarkation morning, they were way behind schedule, and almost every passenger was in the lounge at 815 am (first group was supposed to be off by 7:30am) and no announcements had been made about what was causing the delay and there were no crew around to ask, and there was standing room only in the lounge (and everyone had their carry on bags). The gangway was down, and luggage was out on the pier, but folks weren’t allowed to get off. Finally, a group decided to leave the lounge anyway, which caused a herd mentality to exit into the lobby area, which only got more confusing and congested. When I asked a receptionist to at least make an announcement (because security had finally started letting people off because it was too crazy in the lobby now), she just said they would make one in a few minutes! Anyway, by the time they finally made an announcement (10 minutes after I’d requested), most of the first two groups had disembarked and were trying to find their luggage. Once it was our turn, we got off, identified our bags and they were swiftly put on the bus – we were about an hour behind, and our group was doing a city tour and then airport transfer. More on that when I mention excursions later. SMALL SHIP VS BIG SHIP – doubt we’ll ever do another big ship again. We don’t need an abundance of evening entertainment. We go onshore at every port, and almost always do an excursion. We love not having ridiculous crowds, the ease of getting on and off the yacht in port and by tender, the crew ratio, the personalized cooked to order meals. Liked that there’s an open bridge policy so you can almost always wander in and look at the equipment, see what’s going on (we never did). We felt more motion on this ship than other others in the past, and even had a slight queasiness the first few days; I’m not sure if it was the ship or the seas (weather was good). If you’re susceptible to motion sickness, you might want to be prepared with the bracelets or Dramamine, and make sure your room is in the center of the ship. All that being said, we’ve heard Star Breeze is about to undergo a major refurb where they cut the ship in half and insert another 50 rooms, more restaurants and deck space, all doing a refurb on the rest of the rooms at the same time. I’m sad about that – really loved that there were only 200 passengers on this yacht. Often when the yacht is anchored, they’ll open the back sports deck and put the pool/ocean toys out (noodles, SUP’s, mats, ocean raft/trampoline), so you can swim in the ocean just off the ship. If you're not used to cruising, read your daily program!! You'll find almost everything there; you're responsible for finding things out yourself! There aren't a ton of announcements. Love the Sail Away song and flag raisin on the deck when sailing away from certain locations. INTERNET – really really slow and spotty. The price you pay for an internet package is ridiculously expensive and then it’s too slow to upload anything, often don’t get or can’t see emails and can’t get to many websites. Forget about posting much to Facebook. There are many spots within the yacht that have no service. ROOMS - the room size is excellent! LOVE the big walk-in closet and the bathroom with two sinks. The rooms with the opening French windows have a step-in tub/shower combo, but you can get a walk in shower in rooms with stationary windows. We were SO HAPPY to have upgraded to a room with the opening doors/windows – there’s a tiny platform you can step out on, but the doors open so you have floor to ceiling opening (glass balcony too) that allows in fresh air day or night – well worth the extra spend! The room finishes and many of the common area finishes are dated, and you can tell the ship is old by the many layers of paint, chipped marble/floor tiles, missing/stained grout, etc. The room furniture was dated, sort of beat up and chipped – but the size of the room made it ok. Wish there were more power plugs – only two US ones in the room – one in the bathroom and one at the little desk in front of the bed. We were constantly alternating charging things. There’s a small fridge with stocked mini-bar and a DVD player for your small tv (big enough to see from the bed and the living area). The walk-in closet had shelves, a couple of drawers and plenty of space for hanging clothes (and they brought us extra hangars immediately upon request). There were a couple of drawers in the little desk opposite the bed. The room’s walls are metal, so you can bring your own magnets and put up your daily programs, excursion tickets, etc, and not clutter your desktop with them. There’s plenty of storage in the bathroom, too: open corner shelves on each side adjacent to the mirror, a long shelf under the sink, and a small cabinet where you can put other toiletries. We had more than enough room, and I bring lots of different lotions and sunscreen. There’s shelving in the shower with enough space for your goodies, and a small ledge along the tub. Their L’occitane products are good if you don’t want to bring your own shampoo, conditioner, body gel and soap. We were glad we brought our own air freshener (car-style, paper) for the restroom, though the vacuum system seemed to take a lot of any odor out. We kept our French windows open most of the time, too, so maybe that helped. When you’re choosing your room, think about what direction your yacht will be traveling, and what side you’ll be on so you can choose to see sunrise or sunset from your room. We prefer sunrise, since I’m always up early and don’t necessarily want to go right upstairs at 5:30am (especially since you can’t get fresh coffee/latte until 6am). And with French windows, you can just open the doors wide and see the most amazing sunrises!! For sunset, we’re happy to be on deck having a cocktail, so didn’t care if we could see from our room or not. CREW – the staff is absolutely outstanding! Our cabin steward (Hasan) knew our names the first day, and always used them, even out of context when we saw him around the ship or on a port tender. He was personable, always greeted you with a smile and asked how your day was, was always upbeat and always asked if there was anything he could do to make our trip special. We’re not high maintenance, so didn’t ask for much, but he was quick with ice when requested, provided a spectacularly clean room, and once, when I came back early from dinner to retrieve something, he gave me personal instruction on how to make a towel animal. The wait and bar staff were phenomenal, too! They got to know our names really quickly, and even what our preferred drinks were. Yogi in the Yacht Club coffee bar, knew my preferred drink style and every day when I was up there at 6am, he’d greet me by name and make my Americano just the way I liked it! I still miss his morning greeting and coffee. I had no idea he worked both the dinner service and the 6am coffee service until I saw him at dinner one day (he was usually at tables toward the back, and we were always at the front) – not sure how he managed to keep his amazing attitude with hours like that, but as the first person I saw every day (my husband was usually still asleep when I went for coffee), he really started every day out for me with sunshine! Some of our other stellar crew: Apple, both bartender/waiter in the deck bar and wine steward in the dining room. She’s also phenomenal, again greets you by name, and knows your preferred drinks within a day, and can recommend others based on what you seem to like. She went out of her way to make other things special, too, whether your food, dining table, just anything. And she’d come over and say hi and see how you were doing, even if you weren’t seated in her area. After our first dinner without her, we asked to be seated at one of her tables every other night. We also made that request, because then our waiter would be the same – Deva! He was fun, funny, helpful, entertaining, and always wanting us to enjoy our time. Again, he provided breakfast service on the Verandah and dinner service, and even if he didn’t have our table at breakfast he would come by to say hi and make sure we were being taken care of. Noel was also another of our favorite bartenders/waiters – we mostly saw him only in the deck bar, but he would also always go out of his way to make sure we had everything we needed, could suggest alternative drinks, etc. I must also mention that every other crew member we came across, from people-facing, to kitchen and laundry, to engineering/maintenance – they always greeted you with a smile and wished you a good day! Really, I don’t know how the crew knows your names so quickly (I do know they post the photos in the galley, but still!) and what you like, OR how they keep their amazing friendly and helpful attitudes when they work the hours/days they do – whatever Windstar does to train their staff really makes the trip the absolute best! The funny thing is, the few times we saw officers (pretty rare), they were the least friendly! FOOD – from good/very good to excellent! For dinner, your entrée is cooked when you order. And if everyone goes into the dining room at the same time, there may be a bit of wait. But well worth it. Most of our dinners were excellent! With good variety from meal to meal, plenty of options of different meat, fish and vegetarian. We often chose to split an entrée as a starter and that was never an issue. If you want to blend two entrees – no problem! Two starters – no problem! Portion sizes are good, too, so you can avoid overeating (unless you over-order ). Plenty of greens available. We wished there’d been a pizza place or pizza on the menu – never appeared once and I bet the kitchen could make a mean pizza! Breakfast doesn’t start til 7am, which seems late to me, is outside or inside at the Verandah – buffet eggs, pastries, fruit bar, cold cuts and cheese, with bacon/sausage and potatoes. Fruit smoothies, too. Made to order specials every day (several kinds of benedicts, fruit pancakes, waffles, etc) and you can also order eggs any way you want every day. Full coffee service (brewed, lattes, etc). Another breakfast option, though, is the Yacht Club, which opens at 6am with coffee any way, pastries, smoothies, fruit and yoghurt. Lunch is also in the Verandah, and is full buffet with a huge salad bar, several hot options, a carving station with one different meat/fish every day, dessert bar. Lunch was usually pretty good, you’ll find something there, or you can order the special hot sandwich of the day (reuben, monte cristo, etc) or a grilled chicken sandwich or hamburger. Any pasta on the buffet was usually overcooked, but that’s hard to do. Our least favorite food was usually desserts – the lunch desserts often seemed tastier than the dinner. The sorbets were good, and they would have different ice cream flavors, but the cakes, puddings, etc, usually fell flat. There is one specialty dining restaurant, where you’re guaranteed at least one seating – it’s actually in the breakfast/lunch spot on the verandah (outside, but covered) and they put out tablecloths and candles. Same menu all the time, but they have steak (no lobster), which you don’t get much of in the regular dining. The steak was very good, but nothing else was better than the regular dining room, other than eating outside. We liked the dining room selections better so didn’t go back. They actually offered on-deck dining twice on our cruise – grilled meats and a salad and dessert bar. Food was good, but offerings not as good as the dining room – and since there’s very little seating, you had to book a reservation as soon as it was announced! We loved being able to sit outside as the temperatures were perfect. One night, dinner was a barbeque on the deck – this was AMAZING! The salad bar, cold cuts /cheese and dessert bar were huge with a ton of variety. There was fresh grilled lobster tails and lamb chops (while you waited), chicken, paella, and probably so much more I’m forgetting. Thank goodness again for a small ship, where lines were short and there’s room for everyone to sit outside on deck, once they added more tables and chairs (removed lounge chairs). And, of course, both the single and duo musicians played while you ate – really lovely. And one day there’s a special beach barbeque where the crew moves everything to a private beach and freshly grills hamburgers & specialty hot dogs, and arroz con pollo in the big paella pan, along with providing a veggie/salad and dessert buffet. You can sit in your beach lounge chair, or at one of the dining tables they set up. They also bring along full bar service (pay according to your drink package, if any). BEVERAGE / LAUNDRY PACKAGE – about a week or two prior to the cruise we received a notice of a discount package that would include our tips (they will charge you $13.50/day each no matter what), laundry service, internet service and a premier beverage package (includes all cocktails, all wines by the glass, and full minibar). We chose to do this for each of us. It seemed to make sense if we had 4 alcoholic drinks per day each. Which didn’t seem so unreasonable if you thought you might have a beer at lunch, a cocktail at sunset and two glasses of wine at dinner. And that’s probably about what we averaged. We loved the convenience of turning our laundry over in the morning and having it back by 5pm every day! They handled it all perfectly, including the cold water wash. It allowed us to pack a bit less, and we liked that, too. I would be we about broke even on this discounted deal. ENTERTAINMENT – the crew does a talent show – do not miss it! It takes guts, folks, to get up in front of a crowd and sing, dance, play music, or put on a skit – kudos to them for making it so fun! They appreciated our encouragement and applause before during and after the show. We missed the line dancing they did on deck one night – we hadn’t realized it was the crew starting it off (for 20-30 minutes) and thought only it was music for passengers. The music duo played mostly older music that at least was good background for the lounge and bar, and there was a solo male who played a bit more current music at the bar. One of the at-sea events was a towel animal “seminar” – it was not a convenient time for us, so we missed it – wished they’d had more than just the one. Also, we’d heard their galley tours are fun, but they never did have one on our trip – wish they had! SPA - we didn’t use – prices seemed a bit high for massages, nails, etc. But they did have stretching and yoga classes almost every day, though I heard it was hard to do some with the ship’s movement! There’s basic gym equipment, but it’s older. DECK CHAIRS – there aren’t enough to go around. And unfortunately, people go up early and put stuff on the chairs to hold them, but don’t show up for hours – some seemed to be vacant all day. Windstar should not allow this and should either provide more chairs or move belongings if a chair has been vacant more than an hour. We could usually find a table and upright chair at the bar. SHORE EXCURSIONS – the good thing about going with Windstar’s is that if you’re late, or your port is canceled, etc, Windstar handles the logistics. For most of the ports, you’re a ways away, and not within walking distance of anything interesting, so you’d have to book a private tour or cab if you don’t go with Windstar. However, it always feels like you’re paying too much for Windstar’s, especially when you consider the number of people going (usually 20-30 on the ones we went on). Know that some ports are docked at a pier and some anchored and you’ll need to take a tender. Windstar sometimes uses a zodiac boat (like a blow-up/pontoon) and sometimes local boats and sometimes it can be challenging to get onto the boat and/or out of the water – you definitely want water shoes or sandals – good strong sandals might be best if you plan on leaving them on and hiking/walking in them. CARTAGENA City Highlights – the fort, the dungeons (now artisan craft shops), the cathedral and the old town. We enjoyed this. The amount of time allowed for shopping was plenty. Liked the goods and prices at the dungeons a bit better than in the old town. Old town was pretty and well maintained, with some cools shops and restaurants – we really didn’t need any more time than the extra 40 minutes provided. Our guide provided good narrative. You could always go out on your own ($20-$30 cab ride each way?) and just go to the old town (Bocagrande?), but going with an excursion PANAMA CITY - Best of Old & Modern Panama – they don’t tell you it’s an hour bus ride to get to the city. The first part of “Old” means some boring ruins and a museum with a quick run through – with how Panama City came into being. More boring. You barely see any of the current modern city as you ride through with the bus, just that it’s dirty and uninteresting. Our driver was unaware of the upcoming Christmas parade and we got detoured and delayed. Then to the colonial “old city” with is barely in a gentrification stage – some quaint façades of old homes and buildings, but no time to shop or browse in the few stores. Then on to a marina area and a restaurant for dry fish or pork and rice and overcooked veggies, before the one hour ride back to the yacht. Wouldn’t do this again, though we did figure out we would not come to Panama City if we ever returned to Panama (expats must be going to the countryside – this did not look enticing at all). Also heard the locks and boat tour was not very good. PANAMA CANAL TRANSIT itself (on the yacht, not an excursion) – phenomenal. We were lucky with sunshine and beautiful weather, and our original start was rescheduled from 4am to 8am. They brought a guide onboard to narrate what was happening all the way through, but the ship’s speaker system wasn’t working and you could only hear them in two locations (that didn’t have the best viewing) – so we went through without hearing the details. PEARL ISLANDS – we anchored, they lowered the back exit and discovered the seas were too rough to go out. So we waited another two hours to see if they would calm and they did not. So we raised anchor and headed off to Isla Parida a day early. Somehow the crew managed to pull off landing at Isla Parida a day early, and a new stop in Puerto Jimenez to replace this one! ISLA PARIDA – this is the private beach where the entire crew gets off to set up and pull off a beach barbeque. They did a phenomenal job! They also bring the yacht’s own beach toys and kayaks. And there are plenty of lounge chairs and dining tables. See the food section above for the food. The hike they offer as an excursion is not worth it. You can walk the loop trail yourself, having a guide didn’t offer much benefit; the trail is a bit strenuous in a few parts. If we had known they had the beach barbeque there when we booked our excursions, we might not have booked the hike. PUERTO JIMENEZ - Tropical Gardens & Beach Scape - we were not told before booking it was an hour local boat ride across the gulf to visit the gardens (and that some of us would get soaking wet), nor that we would not have an opportunity to go into town when we did this; based on the port talk we thought we would end up in town and be able to spend an hour there if we wanted. The boat took us over by a bunch of pelicans in trees over the water – really not that interesting. The gardens were interesting, but really no birds (two toucans you could barely see as they flew by, and two scarlet macaws so high you could only tell what they were by their shape) and we were much more interested in seeing birds than the few orchids we actually saw. They should not have included the beach time - it's not a good beach there, and only one person did while the rest of us sat around for over 30 minutes waiting! QUEPOS – Manuel Antonio National Park Nature Walk – this is a quick bus ride from the pier. There weren’t as many varieties of wildlife as we might have expected, but we probably saw 8 to 10 sloths! Several were moving, and the guides have little scopes so you can look through a telephoto lens and see them up close; otherwise they are quite high in the trees and hard to see, much less get a good photo. The guides are also good at spotting other rodents, lizards and crabs. We finally saw a group of capuchin monkeys as we were about to leave the park – and we felt like it’d been a pretty good trip. There’s a break for a beach/swim spot, but it’s a pain to carry your stuff around on the walk, so that was a bit of a waste of time. We left and walked on our own for that 30 minutes until we met back up with the guide again. It’s important this tour is early morning, as only a certain number of visitors are allowed daily and once they reach their limit, they close, only re-opening later once a certain number have left. It’s also nice to walk through when it’s a bit less crowded. The marina where you tender to is a nice little place with a variety of restaurants and bars and a few cute boutiques. We had sushi at the restaurant Sunrice, with fresh tuna from the local fishermen – a much appreciated change of pace from the cruise meals. Town is only a few blocks from the marina, also walkable, for your standard tourist shopping. SAN JOSE – city tour and aiport transfer. As noted above, disembarkation was poor and we were an hour late to start. There were only supposed to be folks with the airport transfer and one hotel transfer on our bus, but somehow a number of people were booked into other hotels and thought they could find their way from either the airport or the other hotel, not really checking to see how far their hotels were from those drop-offs. We had also picked up folks from the Wind Star sailing ship which had docked right next to us, and they had told passengers to get on our bus and they would be dropped off at a downtown hotel – and they weren’t supposed to be. It was all a cluster. The San Jose city tour was worthless. The city is ugly (1960’s/1970’s almost communist-era looking architecture) and crowded and a bit dirty, though there are pedestrian ways for shopping. We went to a gold/currency museum that was half closed (not that interesting) and the Opera House (where we could only get into the lobby), and mostly dealt with traffic. I would have no interest in seeing this city. Waiting at the airport for 4 extra hours would have been preferable. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
There is ONLY 1 Oceanliner in the world like it,and its not to be confused with a cruise ship. Every day was an Event and it wasnt the locations or destinations that made the cruise special it was the the cruise it self, even the crew ... Read More
There is ONLY 1 Oceanliner in the world like it,and its not to be confused with a cruise ship. Every day was an Event and it wasnt the locations or destinations that made the cruise special it was the the cruise it self, even the crew loved sea days . Its smooth even in the Atlantic, there is a sense of occasion and dining at the princess grill was nothing short of exceptional and with a cellar of over 400,000 bottles on board the choices are plentiful and and fruitful.Every dinner was a dinner party nobody could wait to talk about the day and enjoy the evening .The rooms are spacious the staff is exceptional. I was so impressed that i booked another cruise Now before you think this is a retired persons ship, you are almost correct most have retired in there 40s or semi retired. I have travelled on other lines however if you like a more serene cruise with a sense of occasion with out screaming children this is it .sailing out of New York Harbour has history and probably the most iconic entry/ departure port in the world. The rooms are great , I have say they are better insulated than other liners so you dont hear almost anyone, the downside of this insulation is internet, it is best used in public areas or leave the door ajar. I personally can't wait for the next one, for me and probably more 80% of the passengers on board the only question is "when can we do this again.?" Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The Star Pride, food service and crew met all of our expectations and are the reason we continually pick Windstar. On board services were first class. Now for the cons: Since space is not available for a large swimming pool, the Swim ... Read More
The Star Pride, food service and crew met all of our expectations and are the reason we continually pick Windstar. On board services were first class. Now for the cons: Since space is not available for a large swimming pool, the Swim Tub is a good idea; however, most passengers use it as a second jacuzzi and just sit there. This means that those of us wanting to swim, have no facility. Windstar needs to figure his out. We would like to see more reasonable priced ship sponsored tours that are comparable to local tours obtained through services like trip advisor. Our biggest grip and disappointment on this cruise was most port stops the first week did not met what I would call Windstar standards. We suggested to Windstar the following:(like they would listen to me.) No visits to St Thomas on Sunday , or better yet, none at all. Town completely closed down and a waste of time to visit. Folks in town that I spoke to said,” there is no way they will open on a Sunday to a 200 passenger ship”. Poor port choice. No stops in Montserrat, Little bay. Nothing, absolutely nothing to do but see the volcano.and exclusion zone. Waste of time. Roads are poorly maintained and dangerous to drive on. Taxis in poor condition. Why not cruise off shore from volcano, explain eruption and exclusion zone on speaker system and continue on to next destination. Very poor port choice Josh Van Dyke. worst port of all. Too devastated, a shanty town. White beach okay but figure out how to get tender there instead of docking on out skirts of town and then forced to take a taxi to beach. Virgin Gorda another do nothing stop. The chosen beach BBQ area was picturesque and fully functional but immediate surroundings were devastated by the hurricane. Due to rough seas we had an fabulous BBQ on the ship. Poor port choice. It feels Like no one from Windstar has really assessed the Montserrat, Jost Van Dyke or the Virgin Gorda environment. Very, very poor port choices Conclusion is Windstar must do a better job in selecting ports of call on the first week of the San Juan and Virgin Islands itinerary,especially for islands affected by Hurricane Irma. We were very displeased and disappointed. Our stops on the second week, Windward Island surf and Sunset cruise were far better than first week.In fact, if I would have known how badly devastated some areas were the first week, We would have only booked the Windward Islands segment.Shame on me, should of done my home work, I hate learning the hard way. I also feel more reasonable beverage prices would be appreciated . $7.99 for a mini bar beer is outrageous and gouging. I stopped drinking the second week. Beverage packages are not designed for those of us that have partners who do not drink or for those who have a couple drinks a day. Dress codes are hard to enforce but at times there are violations that should to be addressed. For instance every night at dinner either at Candles or Amphora, their are guests wearing shorts, or blue jeans, tee shirts and sandals. Windstar is a cut above the rest and dress code violations should not be permitted or Windstar should change the code. Overall we have graded this cruise experience as a 3 out of 5 due to the first week’s choice of ports. We have done four Windstar cruises this is our the first “3”, all the rest graded “5+”. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Having last sailed the TransAtlantic crossing on the Old Girl the QE2 in 1993, our trip to Europe from NYC coincided with the QM2's early November sailing date, so we decided to take the ship instead of flying. The Old Girl was just ... Read More
Having last sailed the TransAtlantic crossing on the Old Girl the QE2 in 1993, our trip to Europe from NYC coincided with the QM2's early November sailing date, so we decided to take the ship instead of flying. The Old Girl was just so amazing, and she was missed. And we decided that the only way to go was the Queen's Grill, as we had done before on our last Cunard cruise in 2008 just before the Old Girl went out of service and was packed off to Dubai. It mystifies me that the QM2 was designed with the lifeboats hanging from Deck 8, just below the Queens's Grill Deck 9 suites. So all the views from the most spacious and consequently expensive cabins on the ship have partially obstructed views of the ocean below from their windows and balconies. Not so bad in the winter when the balconies are too cold to be used, but for a sailing the rest of the year, this is just nuts. Partially obstructed cabins usually go for a large discount. Apparently Cunard learned from this huge design mistake, and the later built Victoria and Elizabeth do not have this problem for the Queens Grill cabins, nor for the QG or Princess Grill Dining Room, as discussed in the next paragraph.. Furthermore, the Queens Grill Dining Room is on Deck 7. The outdoor walking track that goes all round the ship is on the perimeter of Deck 7. So all day long the Queens's Grill diners, and the Princess Grill on the other side, get the pleasure of a constant stream of walkers and runners by, looking in often on the diners, and distracting to the fine dining experience. My wife and I found this most disconcerting. Again, why did they design the ship this way? The QG food is way above average, with caviar and foie gras on request at dinner all the time, with a little notice, plus special orders, but one does get tired of the featured standards like Orange Duckling, Beef Wellington, Tenderloin steak, Broiled Lobster and Dover Sole. More variation would be good. Appetizers need more creativity. Vegan selections boring. Sandwiches at lunch few and boring. Waiting staff excellent. Lunch menu choices could use a little sprucing up. The Maitre De takes very good care of his precious guests. Nice wine offerings. Staterooms in the Queens Grill category other than the view problem are very nice. Large bathrooms, although I would have preferred a stall shower rather than this tub/shower. Better in rocky seas for safety and just leaning against the shower walls when necessary for stability . Beds very comfortable. Large walk in closets and lots of storage space. At over 500 sq ft the Queens Grill stateroom is very nice and comfortable indeed. The last of the Ocean Liners is large at over 125,000 tons and sails very steady and mostly smoothly, even in strong winds and bad seas, but when strong winds slice across the ship's path, it is going to get rough, as for any ship. So it was on one day of the seven days crossing the pond from NYC to Southampton and a night or two. I am not a great sailor, not like my wife, but most days the rolling I can take. It is the combination of the rolling and pitching in the North Atlantic that does me in. As this one bad day proved, once again. The ship is large - 2600 passengers, although today there are the many 4,000- 5,000 passenger behemoths that have destroyed European ports such as Venice and most of the Caribbean Islands. We prefer the small Seabourn size ships, of 450 passengers and took this cruise mostly out of convenience to get to Europe. Three formal nights out of seven is just excessive to our way of thinking, but most of the Brits on board loved it that way. A really big dress deal for both men and women. Not at all the casual dress style growing so fashionable on so many other smaller ships today, such as Oceania, Seabourn, Silversea and Regent. Dress standards are very important to maintain, but so many other cruise lines have dropped standards and let people take advantage these days. It has gone in the other direction. No tuxedos for me however, so it was dark suit and tie these formal nights. Other nights it was a pleasure to wear a sports coat and tie, as were all the other gentlemen for the most part in the Grill dining rooms. A handsome crowd of men and women, elegantly attired. The main Theater has very bad seating, whereby people crowd in next to each other on long couch type seats. Not too many rows of seats have a separate seat for one person. Too many bodies get crammed in this way, but not to my liking. Just when one thinks he or she is settled in, along comes another person or two and they just push their way in. Very tight, and with coughing and sneezing, not good. The other large entertainment and lecturing room Illuminations, has very nice separate seating and is much more comfortable. Lectures and performances almost non stop all day long. Most very good. Whether about the Cold War and submarines in WW2, being kept captive in Lebanon or piano performances. The only planetarium at sea has some fantastic shows. The QM performers team put on at least one extraordinary production number. Fourteen dancers and singers, with many costume changes, and a fine orchestra. We enjoyed immensely the large collection of Hollywood and Broadway passenger celebrity photos on the old QM and QE displayed in many areas throughout the ship, and many photos of the old fleet itself. It will be a while before we take another Cunard cruise, and I do not think it will be on the QM2, although we enjoyed this one very much despite its shortcomings in QM category cabin and DR placement. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was my first cruise and I was not looking forward to it! However, the transatlantic crossing was high on my husband’s bucket list, so I booked a Princess Grill cabin for the 7 night cruise to New York. Embarkation from Southampton ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I was not looking forward to it! However, the transatlantic crossing was high on my husband’s bucket list, so I booked a Princess Grill cabin for the 7 night cruise to New York. Embarkation from Southampton was fast, greetings from the crew as we boarded were lacklustre and we could have had some help as we wandered around looking for our cabin. However, on entering our cabin we were spellbound! It was large, luxurious, inviting (champagne and chocolates awaiting) and the big wall of windows looking out onto the balcony was perfect. Our cabin was so nice we spent a lot of time in it with room service breakfast and occasional lunch and dinner. The Stewards and waiting staff were excellent. The Queens Grill lounge was lovely for afternoon tea and the the Princess Grill dining room was very elegant. The meals were small but very tasty, the service was unobtrusive but friendly. We sat at a table of six and the other four guests were fascinating. The art work around the ship was fabulous. The theatres were spectacular. We loved the lectures especially those on the Titanic and the Concord. We did not go to any of the musical shows or balls but they seemed popular. The Kings Court buffet restaurant we avoided as it always seemed impossibly crowded. The Verandah Restaurant was very nice but it was just a steakhouse and frankly a steak is rather ordinary fare and not a gourmet experience. We enjoyed the dress code I loved ‘checking out’ the other ladies! It was very cold as to be expected in November and it snowed one night. However, that was exciting to us, our cabin 1067 was very stable. My husband caught a cold, as did many others on board but this often happens when traveling. HINT the ship is run at a cool temperature so take a shawl for a little extra warmth. It was too cold to be out on deck for long so I didn’t use the pool, etc. Overall, very few complaints, it was an unforgettable experience. My first cruise will not be my last - we have already booked a six night cruise on Queen Elizabeth in March. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
While I can venture to say that I have been on better ships, it doesn't mean that this ship didn't serve the purpose of what was needed! First and foremost, I prefer a Guys Burger Joint Burger over a regular Lido deck burger! ... Read More
While I can venture to say that I have been on better ships, it doesn't mean that this ship didn't serve the purpose of what was needed! First and foremost, I prefer a Guys Burger Joint Burger over a regular Lido deck burger! This is included in your price which is great. Additionally, the Blue Iguana bar that serves "Chipotle Style" taco bowels and burritos are great! The Captain's Suite needs it's own review, which I will give, but for the most part I am happy with the investment we made to treat ourselves with this suite for our milestone. We are Gold members, but received a lot of Diamond and Platinum benefits as a result of the Port Side suite we stayed in! The islands were wonderful! The time of year we went and the porting times made the weather perfection to walk around and tour! I have been to San Juan, Puerto Rico a few times and really didn't think I'd appreciate any more the island had to offer and was surprised that I bypassed a BOATLOAD of fun with Senor Frogs! The ONLY thing I will say is I thought the Cruise Director wasn't as visible and a bit dry for my taste, however that is a totally subjective remark! Different Strokes for Different Folks and according to DISC Assessment, I'm an "I" personality, so Dustin needed a few more gestures, exclamation points, and overall extraness to win my affection! I didn't mind those things too much because of the nature of our trip and our desire to take in our Captain's Suite as much as possible! I didn't love the pastries or cookies, they are always seriously dry, but the other foods on the Lido and in the restaurants were amazing! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Could not say enough good things about our recent cruise on the Oasis of the Sea. Aug. 2018 Keion (stateroom attendant) made us feel welcomed on the first day. Asked us at least twice a day, “how are day is and is everything ok”. If ... Read More
Could not say enough good things about our recent cruise on the Oasis of the Sea. Aug. 2018 Keion (stateroom attendant) made us feel welcomed on the first day. Asked us at least twice a day, “how are day is and is everything ok”. If there was an issue, he addressed it immediately and got it resolved. Kenny (waiter at Chops) was amazing!!! Instantly made feel right at home and excelled at customer service while building relationships. Made such an impression, we came back an asked for him 4 different times we ate after. Recommend Chops and while your there, ask for Kenny to be your server!! Santosh( salesman at watch store) wasn’t over powering or presssure selling us. Had a great and long first conversation with him. He personalized the encounter by sending each of us a personalized note asking,”how are day was and excited to talk with us again”. On last day told us he had got some new merchandise to look at an found and got my wife her first watch. Ginny(spa attendant) fabulous!! Greatest experience I have had at a spa!! Good enough for my wife she went back 3 times for other treatments with Ginny!! If you can, indulge yourself. Thank you to all on our cruise for the personalized touches and superior service to make our cruise memorable!!! Recommend to all and we will be back!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I was expecting relaxation, good shopping and tropical paradise. What I got was sleep deprivation, a parasite, overpacked, rude people with screaming kids that were allowed everywhere. Shopping consisted of being pushed into jewelry stores ... Read More
I was expecting relaxation, good shopping and tropical paradise. What I got was sleep deprivation, a parasite, overpacked, rude people with screaming kids that were allowed everywhere. Shopping consisted of being pushed into jewelry stores and very few locals selling nothing more than the basic tye-dye apparel and poorly carved trinkets. St Thomas was not the tropical paradise I had envisioned. The shore excursion was changed last minute and was not a beginners adventure! Also we were told we were to be reimbursed $10 each for the change but actually got $2. Haiti was beautiful but we were pretty much left to figure out how things work on our own and we had to pay $20 ea for a floating mat. Also we were never explained the options for transportation to and from the airport to ship so that was a shit show. And I guess I will conclude with the information that I contracted a parasite by the end of day 1 and have had diarrhea for 12 days now :( Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Seadream II: Antigua - Antigua, March 31 - April 6, 2018. Anyway because of Hurricane Irma’s destruction of St. Maarten Seadream had moved their hub to St. Johns, Antigua for the whole season. A wierd choice because Antigua has no ... Read More
Seadream II: Antigua - Antigua, March 31 - April 6, 2018. Anyway because of Hurricane Irma’s destruction of St. Maarten Seadream had moved their hub to St. Johns, Antigua for the whole season. A wierd choice because Antigua has no Cruise Terminal - in fact no facilities whatsoever. We came in on an Island hopper from St Maarten during the morning, took a taxi to St. Johns and was actually dropped off at the top of the pedestrian street leading down to the pier. No Seadream staff. No sign. A minuscle public office (when we finally found it) served as combined customs and immigration. Still no Seadream staff. By questioning the local person at the office we found out where the boat was parked: 300 meters of south-facing boardwalk with no shadow but a lot of stairs from where we were. No Seadream staff. No Porters. Plenty of luggage. We hauled our 60 kilos over to the boat and happily but sweaty climed the gangway. On the otherwise empty deck finally we found a Seadream Officer. Without any greating he promptly denied us access. By then it was almost 1 pm. but apparently we were an hour too early. Could we please sit in the shadow somewhere? No. Get off the ship and return later. What about our luggage standing on the pier? Just leave it there! And from then it went downhill: Only 30 passengers of which 12 were invited agents. Inconsistent service. Arrogant Middle Managers. The “port” at Virgin Gorda (Leverick Bay) was completely destroyed by Irma. Not one building was left standing. Yet they insisted in tendering in the few braves that wanted to. For what? Instead they could be anchoring up at a nice beach somewhere in the neigborhood. After all that should be their strenght: Small size and few passengers equals flexibility. Not so on Seadream. In fact the only change in the itineray was to not go to White Beach, Joost Van Dyke which happens to be one of the most spectacular beaches on the Planet. Instead they went to a dark-grey uninviting beach on another island. Why? Because the shack they use for the beach BBQ on White Bay Beach had not been rebuilt yet and they wanted to show the agents what a beach BBQ was. Apparently there was a shack on Dark Grey Beach where they could feed the flock of agents (with severely burnt feet). Out of six dinners three were good. Dishes had to be sent out at the other three. Compared to the other 6* lines the cabins are small and uncomfortable. The bathroom is so small that I had to sit side-ways on the loo. The sink is barely above my knee caps. (I am 6,3). To take a shower was an acrobatic exercise. Since 1999 we have cruised upwards of 400 days always on small or medium sized 6* lines. The six days on board Seadream were the most expensive per diem - and the poorest value. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
When Regent announced the launching of a new ship several years ago, like most Regent cruisers, my wife and I were very excited, and had cruises booked on it for September of 2016 and March 2017. Life intervened, and we had to cancel ... Read More
When Regent announced the launching of a new ship several years ago, like most Regent cruisers, my wife and I were very excited, and had cruises booked on it for September of 2016 and March 2017. Life intervened, and we had to cancel both of these cruises. So when we were finally able to book another cruise on it, we were chomping at the bit to experience it, wondering whether our high expectations would be met. Clearly from the title of this review, they were... although with a bit of an asterisk. The ship- Regent hypes this ship as "World's Most Luxurious Ship". As I have not been on every cruise ship in the world, I cannot validate this statement, but if there is a more beautiful ship at sea, I would love to see it. The ship is, in a word, breathtakingly beautiful. OK, 2 words. But I cannot say enough about how impressive this ship is. Prior to this voyage, I thought the most elegant ships I have sailed on were Oceana's Riviera/ Marina, but I think the Explorer has them beat. From the stunning atrium, to each and every restaurant, lounge, theater..even the men's rooms were beautiful. (And I assume the same for the ladies' room, although I have no first hand knowledge of such and will take DW's word for it. ) The hallways of stateroom decks have lovely black and white photographs. The ship is a pleasure to walk around on. Cuisine- I have long been a fan of Regent cuisine, but I am now an even bigger fan. Every cruise line's main dining rooms offer "always available" items, usually steak, chicken, salmon, and perhaps a vegetarian dish. , The main dining room on Regent,, Compass Rose, now offers as always available: Meats: Black Angus New York Strip, Black Angus Rib Eye. Black Angus Filet Mignon, New Zealand Lamb Chops, Veal Medallions, Half Roast Chicken, Pork Chops Fish: Jumbo Shrimp, Maine Lobster Tail(!!) , King Sea Scallops, Norwegian Salmon, Whole Dover Sole(!!), Branzino. With a cornucopia of sauces and sides to mix and match with them. AND with a whole array of appetizers, soups, salads, such as crab salad, Norwegian gravilax, escargot....well, you get the idea. So in the unlikely event that there is nothing on the daily menu that sounds tempting, you can order something wonderful from the always available menu. For me, this is a game changer. No more checking the daily menu and having to try for a specialty restaurant reservation if there is nothing to your liking. The only problem- major difficult decisions need to be made every single night! Life is tough. Speaking of specialty restaurants, the Explorer has 4 of them, and IMHO, all are superb. Entertainment- Several years ago, Regent changed the company that managed the entertainment talent and production shows, and I must say that for us it is a change for the better. The talent of the singers and dancers has always been wonderful, but the production shows are at a new level. They are inventive, and creative, not typical cruise ship fare. And the LED backdrops and lighting in the Constellation Theater adds greatly to the enjoyment of the show. The only downside- it seems to me that the sightlines of the theater do not seem to be quite as good as I remember them being on the other Regent ships, but we never had any problem getting seats, provided that we got there at least 10 minutes ahead. There is nice entertainment in the lounges, the Regent Signature Orchestra for ballroom, a pianist, Deborah, who has a lovely voice, and our very favorite Regent talent, Boogie and Kasia, who played 2 or 3 sets every night in the Explorer lounge. Their later set provides great fast dancing music, and the delightful Kasia gets down on the dance floor and really gets the crowd dancing. Internet- The ship had the least horrible internet experience I have had on a cruise ship to date. I guess that's as good as one can expect at sea. Sure, it was still painfully slow, but the agony was far less than I have experienced in the past. Service much better in public areas than in my state room, where it was truly agonizing. Log in and out was a breeze, and my wife and I were both able to be on at the same time. Gym- best I have ever seen on a ship. When I first walked in, I did not see any treadmills in this rather large gym, only to find out that there was another room, separated by a hallway. Plenty of cardio machines, and strength- resistant machines. And now for the asterisk- Sadly, I think that the service has slipped a tad since my last Regent cruise. Not the stateroom attendants, nor the restaurant wait staff, they were still top notch. But in the lounges and pool deck, I frequently had a hard time getting service. I do not think that this is the fault of the staff- the crew is as hard working, friendly and accommodating as ever. I think the problem is in numbers- it seemed as if there was just less staff. I have no data to support this, it is just an impression. However, this was in no way shape or form anywhere near enough of a problem to put a damper on this wonderful cruise experience. One final word- these reviews are obviously very subjective matters, everyone's opinions are different and equally valid. But I always make it a point to ask people that I meet on board how they are enjoying their cruise, and for what it's worth, I did not get one response that was not ENTHUSIASTICALLY positive. The only grumbling I heard all cruise long was about chair hogs. So what else is new? Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We had the best experience on the Explorer. The food was spectacular, especially in Pacific Rim, the staff in Pacific Rim were excellent, experienced, humorous, knowledgeable, just plain classy. Every restaurants food was very good, Prime ... Read More
We had the best experience on the Explorer. The food was spectacular, especially in Pacific Rim, the staff in Pacific Rim were excellent, experienced, humorous, knowledgeable, just plain classy. Every restaurants food was very good, Prime 7, had the best steak, the chefs presentation was beautiful in every restaurant. The spa was beautiful, the staff there was also very polite, and knowledgeable. Love the steam room, ice room, & sauna, then into infinity pool was over the top classy. Housekeeping was excellent, always received what we asked for. Entertainment was as classy as ever, so much talent. We especially loved Kesha & Boogy. Bar staff was very pleasant always willing to get us any drink we asked for. Very satisfied with the ports and excursions. The art work on the ship made you feel like you were in a high scale hotel (beautiful). Only complaint (they ran out of Bud Light Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this because Lat November it was on a flash sale at 75% discount from the rack rate. It's at the end of winter, but rest assured, we are warming up. Compared to MSY Wind Star, the MV Star Breeze is huge. There are three ... Read More
We chose this because Lat November it was on a flash sale at 75% discount from the rack rate. It's at the end of winter, but rest assured, we are warming up. Compared to MSY Wind Star, the MV Star Breeze is huge. There are three different public spaces, we prefer the Yacht Club. It's the equivalent of a Flag Bridge on a naval vessel, sitting overtop the navigation bridge. The cabins are huge, at 270 sq ft! The photos are truth! The picture window is five feet by four feet. The main dining room and the ships galley are on deck 3. Decks one and two are engineering spaces and cargo. The crew has spaces forward and aft on deck 4, along with staterooms. Deck five is more staterooms, the hotel business office, and the lounge. Deck six is the larger suites, more staterooms, the inside bar, screening room, and library. Deck seven is the buffet(veranda), the pools, the outside bar, the spa, and the navigation bridge. Good food, great staff, flat seas, combine for a fantastic voyage! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
For us the best part of the Windstar experience is the crew! They are fantastic! We have been on all three of the sailing yachts and now this, our first motor yacht, and the crew has been the common stand out thing on all of them! Our ... Read More
For us the best part of the Windstar experience is the crew! They are fantastic! We have been on all three of the sailing yachts and now this, our first motor yacht, and the crew has been the common stand out thing on all of them! Our cabin was great, the food excellent. Friends with the French Balconies really liked them for the fresh air but our large picture window was just fine. We just popped out on to the deck when we wanted a better view. We prefer the smaller ships Wind Star and Wind Spirit, but we were very comfortable on the Star Breeze. We would gladly sail again on a motor yacht if the itinerary demanded it. Embarkation in Costa Rica was a breeze. Disembarkation in Barbados was a little confusing but sorted itself out once off the ship. Then went very smoothly. Just wish wi fi was a lot cheaper. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We selected the 7 day Windstar Costa Rica/Panama cruise because we wanted to visit these two countries and to transit the Panama Canal. First, the Star Breeze and her crew were one of the highlights of this experience. While the ... Read More
We selected the 7 day Windstar Costa Rica/Panama cruise because we wanted to visit these two countries and to transit the Panama Canal. First, the Star Breeze and her crew were one of the highlights of this experience. While the ship was built in 1989, and updated in 2015, it was in excellent condition and every one of the crew focused entirely on making our experience a memorable one 24/7. We enjoyed pulling into the small, out of the way ports of call and very much enjoyed getting to meet and greet the Costa Ricans and Panamanians away from the hustle and bustle of the larger tourist focused areas. The food on board was world class in every respect. I cannot conceive of finding fault with regard to the culinary offerings. They just blew us away! Our stateroom was well appointed and spacious (277 sq ft). Plenty of room for my wife and I to stretch out and enjoy the cruise. Two of our excursions focused on preparing typical Costa Rican and Panamanian foods, which included trips to the local grocery stores to purchase the necessary produce and other items needed. These were a lot of fun. A note to possible travelers: Windstar cruising requires at least a modest amount of physical ability to get on and off the ship, as many transfers are via a Zodiac (perfectly safe and fun, but not for immobile or wheel chair bound people). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
We had been lucky enough to sail on the Explorer on the second leg of her inaugural cruise in September 2016. We thought the service and facilities could not be improved upon but how wrong could we be. There has been some fine tuning such ... Read More
We had been lucky enough to sail on the Explorer on the second leg of her inaugural cruise in September 2016. We thought the service and facilities could not be improved upon but how wrong could we be. There has been some fine tuning such as changing the time of the evening shows to 9.30 which allows everyone to eat before seeing them and more use of The Cafe with permanent barristas in there - including Dragan who always smiled and was always very helpful. Most importantly the internet was so much better, so that if you want to stream anything you pay extra but for general emails and web browsing it was free and worked very well, particularly in the public areas. I was even able to continue with my French lessons on Duolingo sitting in the coffee shop with my head phones on. We stayed the first night in the Four Seasons Miami as part of the pre-cruise package - a lovely hotel but unfortunately the whole bar area and restaurant had been hired out privately which meant we had to go out. However, there were some lovely restaurants within walking distance - the concierge recommended a very good Italian. Embarkation was extremely smooth. The standard of the entertainment has also gone up another level with outstanding singers, dancers and musicians who seemed to be able to play every instrument. Firm favourites Boogie and Kasia got everyone up on the dance floor - no-one felt embarrassed making a fool of themselves. David Nevin, the excellent assistant cruise director is a first class singer and a great 'go to' person in the event of any difficult issues, as we discovered. He also did Karaoke which was really well attended and Deborah the pianist and singer did music trivia every other day as well -always good fun and the chance for more Regent Rewards! Andy the cruise director and his wife Tammy are a delight and truly lovely - they do a great trivia quiz every afternoon and Andy is firm but fair. They are also great entertainers, with a brilliant last night Beatles session with David which had everyone out dancing in the foyer and the professional dancers also joined us to indulge those of us who like to dance - none of them had any airs or graces, they gave every impression that they wanted to join in. We had not sailed with Captain Stanislas Mercier De Lacombe before and a ship always takes its lead from their Captain. He was friendly, funny, but authoritative and calm, which was very evident when the weather deteriorated and a huge wave hit the ship one evening, giving everyone great confidence that we were in safe hands. We did not find the content of the lectures to be of interest to us, but that just might be because we are huge Terry Bishop fans and so no-one else stands a chance! We had rather hoped for pirates, the rum trade and sugar cane story rather than politics - many of us go on holiday to get away from that! However, they do have the culinary kitchen which is an excellent addition. Although Regent had had to change the itinerary because of the devastation of the Caribbean, the excursions were great - swimming with dolphins in the Bahamas, and great general tours in St Kitts, St Lucia (great land and sea tour) and Antigua with three first class guides showing us a great range of both historical and panoramic sites with time for the beach as well in Antigua. In French speaking St Barts you could just walk around to browse the very expensive shops and have a spot of lunch - although everything on St Barts is expensive, be warned! The quality of the wines has also gone up a level. This might account for why 4300 bottles were drunk in 10 days! When the Captain joked on the last night that we should be ashamed of ourselves, we decided that as a Frenchman he thought perhaps we had not made maximum effort. The food has always been good but the chocoholics teatime was amazing. Pacific Rim remains our favourite restaurant with Prime 7 and Sette Mari coming a close second. Martina who works mainly in Sette Mari provides the best entertainment and is a great addition. The bar staff were equally brilliant, making you whatever you wanted, quickly and efficiently. They were under the watchful eye of Elena, promoted last year, and she was always everywhere. All in all, a great trip, with a first class ship and first class service. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
Introduced friend to Regent. She contacted me since her husband was out of town and she wanted to get away. I had been after them to try Regent, and this was the perfect opportunity. Regent certainly didn't disappoint. We had some ... Read More
Introduced friend to Regent. She contacted me since her husband was out of town and she wanted to get away. I had been after them to try Regent, and this was the perfect opportunity. Regent certainly didn't disappoint. We had some concerns about the activity scheduling and one of the speakers, but other than that, Regent provides an excellent vacation. Great choice. I normally do not room with anyone, but this time I did, and because of the room layout, it made sharing a lot easier. I could only suggest that another small chair be included as the couch is very small. Our room stewards were first class. Once we had told them our schedule and likes, there was never a moment when we needed to ask a second time. The restaurants are extremely well-run and have attentive staff. I did not attend the shows as I m a very early riser and the shows are very late. Read Less

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