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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We have always said we wouldn’t cruise with Costa, but when this deal came up we decided to try it. Thankfully, this was a short cruise and therefore the suffering was limited. The pros were that the cabin we were assigned was nice ... Read More
We have always said we wouldn’t cruise with Costa, but when this deal came up we decided to try it. Thankfully, this was a short cruise and therefore the suffering was limited. The pros were that the cabin we were assigned was nice and quiet and the crew were very nice. Also, embarkation and debarkation were relatively quick. The cons are too numerous to list but they include an aggressive attempt to upsell everything, a 6 a.m. beer delivered to our cabin (and a couple of others), and the food in general. Costa has very little for vegetarians other than pity and disdain. I asked for the vegetarian menu and was promised one for the next evening. The next evening the waiter, a good man, gave me the vegetarian menu before being called away. When he returned, he took the menu away and told me it was only for people with allergies. It may have been a language problem, but I was not allowed to see the vegetarian menu again. One evening there was literally only one dish that was marked vegetarian and it was not a main, but a side of sauteed mushrooms. The buffet was not better, as the food was always lukewarm, including the salad bar. Our cabin, though the decor was dated, was comfortable and roomy, with plenty of storage including space for the suitcase under the bed. We had booked a balcony guarantee and received a premium cabin, 5192. We usually use a nightlight in the cabin, but the helpful gap between the door and the floor kept the room comfortably lit throughout the night. Fortunately, the head of the bed was not in a direct line with the door, so we were able to sleep. The incident with the beer came back to haunt us, as we noticed a spurious charge on our final bill marked “mini-bar”. We never, ever use the mini-bar, so we challenged this right away. At first we were told that a beer had been taken from the mini-bar, which we said was ridiculous since we had a drinks package and could get all the beer they would serve us. Then, after a 20-minute wait, we were told we had ordered a beer from room service. We mentioned the mystery beer delivery at 6 a.m. and after another 10 minute discussion, we were finally told it would be removed from our final bill. I asked for a copy of the new final bill but was told that it could not be done because Corporate had to approve it. We’ll see when the credit card bill arrives. The ship shows signs of age, and every trip to the public restrooms resulted in at least one unpleasant confrontation with a clearly non-functioning toilet. Which points out the greatest problem with this ship in my opinion, and that is the fact that 853 crew is not enough to create a comfortable and pleasant cruise experience for 2600+ passengers. We were happy we didn’t pay full price for this cruise, with our costs coming to just about 100 a day per person, but we felt really sorry for a couple we met who had paid 200+ a day per person. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Embarked in Warnemunde, embarkation was fine. Went to the rooms, was room 10241,aft balcony. Large balcony however the engines shook so much, I couldn’t sleep half of the 10 nights. Then, the food. Half of it was inedible, the other ... Read More
Embarked in Warnemunde, embarkation was fine. Went to the rooms, was room 10241,aft balcony. Large balcony however the engines shook so much, I couldn’t sleep half of the 10 nights. Then, the food. Half of it was inedible, the other half was disgusting. I ate salad and salad the whole cruise. There was lack of diversity in food. No prepared sandwich, no omelet station, the burgers were stale, all the food was so gross, I was popping tums and zantac the whole time. The staff, came out with a roast beef that they couldn’t even cut into with a chef knife. Everyone on the ship was complaining on how hard it was, and then i found the same meat cut up in the dining room. NO one speaks English, no one helps, the shows are laughable and the rooms are tiny. We booked a excursion for handicap and they showed up 1 hour late. One of the ports they didn't put a ramp for wheelchair and it was impossible for handicaps. I would never go on this cruise line again. I cruised on here 8 years ago on a Caribbean itinerary and it was great. I don’t know what happened but it took a turn to the worse. Heed the warnings in this review, this cruise is for EURO traveler, unless you are VERY adventurous traveler and don’t care about customer focus. I have been on over 50 cruises this one ranks number #50 on worse. No sympathy or compassion towards their customer Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
The cruise itinerary is very good. Got an opportunity to visit many countries. One set back is this cruise does not provide no charge sauna and steam room :( Staff is very friendly except the one from English Pub (not so good experience ... Read More
The cruise itinerary is very good. Got an opportunity to visit many countries. One set back is this cruise does not provide no charge sauna and steam room :( Staff is very friendly except the one from English Pub (not so good experience with the staff there). The excursion in St Petersburg,, Russia is excellent; very nice tour guides. Wish we could have another sea day to relax after Oslo instead of a sea day earlier. About the entertainment, the shows is so so compared to other cruise. The stand up comedian is so lame... not much to laugh off and enjoyment. Embarkation and Disembarkation are very easy, fast and nice service staff. Wish I can access steam room at no charge as the same as many other cruises that I have taken just like the last one on Ruby Princess. Overall, the cruise is just as good as I expected it to be. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The ship. It had been two years since we sailed ms Rotterdam and the ship's inside public places were extensively done over in a very nice way. New carpets, new upholstery and a general new feel when walking around deck 4 and 5. ... Read More
The ship. It had been two years since we sailed ms Rotterdam and the ship's inside public places were extensively done over in a very nice way. New carpets, new upholstery and a general new feel when walking around deck 4 and 5. Inside our verandah cabin the couch was new, not leathery this time, and the cabin was clean with no defects. Airconditioning worked fine the whole two weeks. The washroom however was not updated. Everything worked, hot/cold water, flush, but the general condition of the bath, although clean, was bad. Apparently the area around the bath faucets was and had been leaking with a lot of rust as a result. This was painted over, but rust was already apparent again. This fortunately did not lesson the enjoyment of the cruise, but is something HAL should attend to as they will keep ships like Rotterdam for another ten years as told by the hotel director on the ship. Dining. Admittedly a subjective subject, we think the choice and quality of the meals in the mdr has improved greatly. I liked every course I selected, which has not always been the case, and it was never a problem to order seconds. There is no charge for a second main course. The lido was used for breakfast and lunch. Quality is good with lots of choices, italian corner, far lands (asian) corner, sushi corner, salad bar, fixed sandwiches etc. On the aft deck you can get made to order pizza, we did that once and it was good and in the covered pool was a snackbar with hamburgers and fries, also good. I sometime read about bad attendance by lido waiters but that is not the case here. Tables were cleaned in record time and they came around for water/koffie etc very often. It seemed like a full house and that reflected in a very busy lido, so to have a table of choice you would have to come early. We did not do pinnacle or canalletto. Crew. They were fabulous as ever. From cabin stewards, dining stewards, in fact everybody you met, it was all smiles and helpfullness. Itinerary. Due to strong winds the harbour of Warnemunde closed and it was not safe anyway to dock there. This was to be the start of Berlin tours and was a great dissapointment for passengers who had embarked on the previous cuise and had stayed on for this one, they had already missed two ports and this would be the third. So another seaday, but the captain announced already at noon that the next day's scheduled sea day would be replaced with an impromptu port stop at Riga and that turned out to be a great one! Rotterdam had never been there before, in fact only Prinsendam had. Every other, scheduled, stop was in general early to arrive and on time to leave. Overall. It was a great cruise, despite the unusual cold weather for the baltic. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Crusing the Baltic area. Visiting Russia, Estonia ... Have never been to these locations before. Cabin is fine. Balcony with no obstructed view. Staff were courteous, nice and friendly. Cafeteria food was fine, various menu ... Read More
Crusing the Baltic area. Visiting Russia, Estonia ... Have never been to these locations before. Cabin is fine. Balcony with no obstructed view. Staff were courteous, nice and friendly. Cafeteria food was fine, various menu items and relaxing atmosphere, staff serving drinks as needed. Dining was average, nothing to crow about. Entertainment could be better, limited choice, and not much variety. Princess wants extra money for sauna usage, where it should be included, for a long cruise. Port-calls were nice, enough with the variety of places and cultures; and different peoples. Highlight was the Princess excursion, 2 days in St Petersburg. Nice and enjoyed it very much. If nothing else, this excursion is a must; especially the visits to Catherine's Palace and Hemitage Museum. We would do Princess cruise again, but more selective with sauna availability at no extra cost, better entertainment, better shows, and better variety of bands music. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Been with Fred before and loved the friendliness of the staff, the food, the service and the Balmoral is not too massive and plenty of room to sit and relax. The excursions were very disappointing. This is not a cruise for wheel chair ... Read More
Been with Fred before and loved the friendliness of the staff, the food, the service and the Balmoral is not too massive and plenty of room to sit and relax. The excursions were very disappointing. This is not a cruise for wheel chair users. Malmo had many cobbled streets which make it very hard for the pusher and very uncomfortable for the sitter. It was a bank holiday so 90% of the shops were closed and the town is dull and uninteresting. Visby was even worse and almost impossible for wheelchair users to get around. Stockholm was OK and visits to the Abba museum and the Varsa museum well worth it. \but yet again, the city is nothing to write home about. We went on the evening city tour and the guide really struggled to tell us anything of interest and the cost 04 £48 per person was ridiculous for a 2 hour coach ride. And so to Gothenberg where all museums and the fish market close on Mondays. We took a hop on hop off bus ride around the city and stayed on the whole tour as there were absolutely no places of interest. So the itiniery was very poorly arranged given the closure of shops, museums etc. The staff on the Balmoral are just brilliant. They are mainly from the Phillipines, Thailand and India. They remember your names and what you normally drink, how you like it etc within a few hours. They are always smiling and so helpful. The embarkation was quick and efficient but the disembarkation was a shambles. There were a few good evening shows and some good entertainment in and around the bars. All in all, a disappointing experience not helped by awful weather but we will sail with Fred again Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise due to the destinations offered and we immediately disappointed when we weren't able to stop at our first port due to a 7-hour late departure due to wind at Southampton. My question about this is why didn't ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the destinations offered and we immediately disappointed when we weren't able to stop at our first port due to a 7-hour late departure due to wind at Southampton. My question about this is why didn't the captain dock aft end first, like the other 4 cruise ships in the harbor who were all able to leave on time? The afternoon wind was well reported and a known issue. The second problem was the Horizon Buffet. We like casual dining but were quite disappointed in the quality of the food as the week progressed. Powdered eggs, frozen hashbrown patties, rubbery fried eggs from sitting under the heat lamp way too long are NOT my idea of quality food. The lack of variety was another issue. They served virtually the same menu every day of the week. Also, they frequently closed half of the buffet which caused us to have to sit out by the pool which reduced our enjoyment. We did enjoy dinner in the larger dining rooms. The food was well prepared and flavorful. All of the main dining rooms serve off of the same menu. There were a limited number of excursions available. The excursions we took went to interesting places, but most of the stops were too rushed and crowded to enjoy. When they say photo stop, plan on spending most of the time walking to and from the site, with a few brief moments to snap a shot or two if you can get them through the crowds since all of the buses seem to arrive and depart at the same time. One of our tour guides said the tour we took was designed to be 8 hours but was condensed into 4.5. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We’ve tried quite a few cruise lines and had heard that Celebrity were excellent so thought we’d give them a go as they were doing the Norwegian Fjords, which we wanted to see as our next cruise. Checking in was fine and our balcony ... Read More
We’ve tried quite a few cruise lines and had heard that Celebrity were excellent so thought we’d give them a go as they were doing the Norwegian Fjords, which we wanted to see as our next cruise. Checking in was fine and our balcony cabin was lovely and clean and had a nice big bathroom/shower. Out cabin steward Anthony was lovely. There were no major complaints as such, just lots of little things every day which didn’t sit well. Firstly, the MDR. The food choices weren’t great and a couple of days our meals were stone cold. Some days the food was good though and hot. Our wine waiter was very miserable and didn’t seem to want to be there - and wasn’t a lot of the time! We were lucky to get a glass of wine before our starter. Often you would get dips and butter, but no bread. One night they pulled my chair out for me and there were 2 dirty napkins and breadcrumbs all over my seat. My other half likes an espresso after his dinner and every night it was served in a mug! Little things I know, but not what we expected. There seemed to be quite a few complaints about the food and service and there were people in suits watching the waiters and then asking the diners around the complainers if they had heard and were they happy (us a couple of nights). I just want to eat my dinner in a relaxed, peaceful environment, which this certainly wasn’t. To cap it off the suits and waiters come around the last night and tell you how important it is we give them a 9 or 10 on the survey!!!!! Food in the buffet was good, but we could never find a seat straightaway, but I think that’s the norm on most cruise ships. The entertainment in the theatre and waiter service was good, but we had to wait until 10.30pm because of our dinner time, which is quite late. We Had to wait until 11.30pm for the comedian one night. The entertainment around the lounges was average and very samey. A couple of groups and a duo. Some nights we’d be sat in the Passport/foyer bar and there’d be no music for an hour, which seems a bit strange. Loved the layout of the ship, one of the easiest to navigate around only having 2 sets of lifts in the middle and back. Everywhere was also spotless all the time, especially the toilets. We were given the classic drinks package as part of the deal, but once onboard there isn’t a lot you can have with, it’s very limited. A decent cocktail or glass of wine was 14/15 dollars, so we had to upgrade to the premium package. Just be aware of this. Lastly, our main disappointment was the lack of friendly service in the bars. I would say 80% of our drinks we had to get ourselves as waiter service was severely lacking. A lot of the staff behind the bar weren’t at all friendly we found too, we tried to chat to them, but they really weren’t interested. They all work hard I know, but you usually get a bit of banter. This is just my opinion and many may disagree, but this is just what we found. Perhaps we were expecting too much or perhaps we were just unlucky. The Norwegian Fjords were stunning and we enjoyed our cruise, but not sure we would sail with Celebrity again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
I am going to keep this short and to the point. The sapphire princess is a beautiful ship (slightly older and less gimmicks than other ships) but what an amazing time we had. A little background:- my wife, son and I mostly cruise ... Read More
I am going to keep this short and to the point. The sapphire princess is a beautiful ship (slightly older and less gimmicks than other ships) but what an amazing time we had. A little background:- my wife, son and I mostly cruise with Celebrity, princess and rcl. What stood out for me on this cruise was the standard of service princess cruises provide. The staff honestly couldn’t do any more - vs P&O where they need to do a lot more. We cruised on the Azura the week before this cruise and the quality is night and day. It was my first P&O cruise and a major shock to my system. Anyway, onto the Highlights:- 1. Main dinning room food was fantastic. Varied and excellent with the most excellent service. 2. The singers on the ship were 10/10. Best I have seen and they have really moved away from some of the tacky cruise shows they provided previously. 3. Never seen so many pools on a ship - great variety and always a hot tub to myself. 4. Movies under the stars - it was rather cold some nights, but I love this concept and enjoyed it immensely. Popcorn and ice cream is a great touch. 5. Alfredo’s Pizza - complementary pizza restaurant onboard - excellent. 6. Sky walkers viewing lounge - what amazing views up there. Beautiful. 7. Table service during breakfast at the buffet restaurant was always excellent. What they could do differently: 1. Keep painting. Seems never ending work but passengers appreciate a fresh looking ship so keep up the maintenance. 2. Bathrooms in cabins look little tired. Need a refresh. 3. The platinum and elite drinks reception in sky walkers is a bit rubbish. Instead of the food (served between 5-7pm) if they enhanced the range of lower price drinks from 1 to say 5 they would bet a much larger crowd and sell far more. Also, they should keep that bar open during sea days - they would make money from drinks. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because we had been on this ship before and wanted to visit the Norwegian Fjords. Overall we were pleased with the cruise and the destination didn't disappoint. The areas of disappointment for us were the quality ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had been on this ship before and wanted to visit the Norwegian Fjords. Overall we were pleased with the cruise and the destination didn't disappoint. The areas of disappointment for us were the quality and choice of food in the restaurant. After just a couple of days it became apparent that the menu doesn't really change that much, particularly the starters and sweets. Boring would be the only word to describe them. If this was a restaurant in my local town, I would not be visiting it! If we're to travel on this ship again, we would consider eating in the café where the choice of food on offer is far better, particularly the sweets. The other area of disappointment was the entertainment, specifically the shows put on by the ships own staff. This is not a criticism of their skills, which were very good but more the fact that the shows were the same or very similar to those we had seen on a cruise on this ship approximately 9 months earlier. Celebrity should also review their presentation of the emergency drill given on the first day. The cartoon/film is both puerile and childish. You could visibly watch people being turned off and not paying attention, and you certainly don't want to watch this in "Michael's Bar" which was overcrowded with far too many people in a small area. This resulted in people overheating and wanting to leave the presentation early. This was the same on the previous cruise on this ship. Its clear that Celebrity take no notice off feedback, as this same criticism was made to the ships crew last year. It's a shame to bring up these criticisms, as overall its a lovely ship with a good crew. Are you listening Celebrity? Read Less

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