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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Although I rated this cruise a 4, I would really give it a 4.5 as it was a great week aboard the Harmony of the Seas, but not perfect. This was also my first time booking a suite and I will never book anything other than a suite for any ... Read More
Although I rated this cruise a 4, I would really give it a 4.5 as it was a great week aboard the Harmony of the Seas, but not perfect. This was also my first time booking a suite and I will never book anything other than a suite for any future cruises. If you have the money for a suite, it is 100% worth it. EMBARKATION- Being a suite guest, you have your own entrance and get escorted to your own personal attendant. My family and I were checked in via a tablet, had our pictures taken, and were on the boat in under 10 minutes. Fantastic. I was also carrying a bit of an injury and was limping about, but was very delighted that I was offered assistance by at least 6 people making my way to the ship. MUSTER DRILL- A note on everyone's favorite muster drill. I have been on 6 cruises all on different ships and the muster drill on the Harmony of the Seas was by far the worst of all. Most of the muster stations are located on the promenade level and not even in actual locations (i.e. the Casino or MDR). They are just located in "areas" of the promenade (mine was near the bionic bar), and they cram so many people in these "areas" and they want you to watch an instructional video on 40" TVs. The video also was made to "entertain" as you are following a spy across the ship and on the mission, the spy comes across "tips" to follow in the event of an emergency. I would assume it was not very easy to follow for most and due to the noise level of all the guests around you crammed into these stations, it is not easy to hear. Knock on wood that there is never an emergency on the Harmony, because I have the feeling it would be a disorganized mess. DEBARKATION- Another suite guest perk is that you meet in the fabulous coastal kitchen at 3 pre-determined meeting times. There was breakfast or hors d'oeuvre being served by 7am and then groups are personally escorted by the concierge all the way down in a priority elevator which makes no stops to the luggage pick-up location. Probably took us 10 minutes to get off the ship. SHIP - I have also sailed on the Oasis of the Seas and if you have been on that ship, you have been on the Harmony. Sure the Harmony has a few more amenities and entertainment, but it honestly didn't feel like I was on a completely different ship. Elevators can be a problem on Embarkation and Debarkation (if not a suite guest) and immediately after shows or events as all guests filter out of them. I didn't ever feel like the ship was crowded at all, even in the pool areas on sea days (the pools are another story). I also mentioned to my wife that I didn't think the boat was anywhere near capacity either, so that could have been why. There need to be more pools or the pools need to be bigger. On sea days the pools are packed, so basically you are just standing in the water. My son likes to move around in the pool, so he didn't enjoy them as much and spent most of his time in the kids water area. I stayed away from the pools because I don't need to be in a pool with 50 people all with drinks in their hand which they are probably spilling. I'll pass. Another perk of being a suite member is that you can get towels without scanning your seapass card. Other guests must scan their seapass to get a towel and if not returned, you get charged $25. Suite gets get as many towels as needed and don't need to worry about returns (although we always returned ours). ENTERTAINMENT - Only caught two shows as we chose to relax on sea days. Did see the ice skating show 1887 which I liked, but wasn't very interesting according to the wife and son. The Line water show was great and we even ran into some of the performers on the non-performance days. KIDS CLUB - Hours are 9-12, 2-5, 7-10, and after hours which you pay $7 an hour for. My son who is 6 enjoyed the activities and was even asking us to take him on sea days! Must be good! FOOD - Suite guests get access to the coastal kitchen and to my family the Coastal Kitchen was the star of the cruise. They serve Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and hors d'oeuvre and there is a happy hour between 4:30 and 8 where select alcohol is free. Let me repeat this for all my alcohol consumers, there is FREE alcohol on a cruise ship. To me, that alone was worth having access to the Coastal Kitchen and my family had dinner there every night. It is also a more relaxing environment as there are 100x less people dining there as in the MDR. Breakfast and Lunch are your standard fare and the selection is the same everyday. But the dinner menu changes nightly and the food was very good. There was lamb, filet mignon, lobster, duck, salmon, you name it. There really was no need for us to eat in the MDR. The Coastal Kitchen was also were we met the service star of the cruise Rico. Wow, Rico was one of the best servers I have had the pleasure to meet anywhere. Knew everyone's name and beverage of choice on Day 2. Never let your glass hit empty before the next drink was on your table, gave excellent recommendations to eat. Rico is a treasure on this ship. Sorrento's - Decent "fast food" pizza. Johnny Rockets - Breakfast is free and the food is good. Serve omelettes, breakfast sandwiches, and pancakes. Windjammer - Horrible. Cold, Bland, Tough, all adjectives you don't want associated with your food. STAY AWAY! Park Cafe - Decent selection of "healthier" options like panini's, salads, pre-made sandwiches and salads. Nice eating area in Central Park Boardwalk Dog House - Pretty good dogs, that tasted fresh. I went with the Coney Island Dog with onions and sauerkraut. EXCURSIONS- Perfect Day at CocoCay was great. We were the only ship in port and as I stated earlier, I don't even think our ship was at capacity, so the island did not feel crowded at all. My family rented a cabana in the Water Park, which was very nice and convenient with a personal waiter, locker, and plenty of water as it was HOT. I was able to get on all the water slides (note that two of them get long lines the slingshot and the daredevil's peak (the tallest slide). My advice is to hit these slides right when you get off the ship or right at the end of the day or else you will be waiting in a long line. There was a storm off the island that caused the park to shutdown for about an hour, so many guests left back to the ship as Royal was refunding half day passes. My family also went up in the Hot Air Balloon which was cool, but not worth the money for the 10-15 minutes you are up there. Note for those with kids that 48" is the magic number to get on most of the slides. My son is 44" so he was limited on the slides he could get on, but he LOVED the wave pool. It was HOT, but being in the water felt great. San Juan - We did the El Yunque Natural Rainforest walking tour from El Yunque Tours which is a bit a ways from the ship. There is a 45 minute narrated bus ride to the site, where the guide gives you background on the history of Puerto Rico, the impact of the hurricane, and the El Yunque site. When you get to El Yunque, you have four stops. A brief 15 minute stop at an observation tower, which gives you great views and picture taking opportunities, a 5 minute stop at a waterfall on the side of the road to take a group photo, a stop to gear up where you are provided with backpacks, bug spray, water, snacks, umbrellas, and towels. Very high marks for the tour company for providing all these items. They say they are the "one stop shop" operation. Last stop is a good walk to a natural river pool to swim swim for about 20 minutes before heading back to the ship. High marks for Angel, Jorge, Michelle, and the owner Mike who are very knowledgeable and informed about the island. Returned to do a bit of shopping around the port. Shopping is better in Saint Maarten. St. Maarten- I did the Snuba Adventure through Snuba SXM. Great team of 3 (Sheldon, Mitch, Jonas (captain), are very laid back, but very knowledgeable. They stated that the hurricane had damaged 90% of the coral on the island and you could tell. I have done Snuba on 3 other occasions in different locations and I saw the least amount of fish in Saint Maarten. The water is nice and clear though and they have the staged helicopter and shipwreck underwater you can see. Still fun. My wife and son did the Pinel Island excursion and said they had a great time on the white sand beach. Iguanas everywhere that you can feed, my son loved that!. Did some shopping at the shops in the port area and found great deals on souvenirs, alcohol, and jewelry. Better deals than seen in San Juan for sure. Overall, the family had a great time and my son was asking if we could stay on the ship for a few more days. I have always been a fan of Royal Caribbean and we are looking to do a Mediterranean cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Don’t know where to start. Entertainment director was very disorganized. No one could understand him. He did not set up good activities. It was a total chaos on the ship. People were boarding on and off whenever they want. They initially ... Read More
Don’t know where to start. Entertainment director was very disorganized. No one could understand him. He did not set up good activities. It was a total chaos on the ship. People were boarding on and off whenever they want. They initially provided the time to each deck but people were getting off whenever they want to. Staff was extremely rude and impolite. Food was horrible, lines were extremely long. Room services lost our bottle of wines which we bought at the port and then they were ignorant about that. Very bad experience with carnival. No help for people who were using walkers. It was major mess, no organization . Staff was the worst , no manners to talk to people. I felt like I was in military ship and staff was talking down. We were supposed to be in king size bed ( they joined two twin size beds and there was significant gap between beds). Very disappointing . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
My husband and I cruised royal Caribbean in the past and after finding their staff rude and condescending Carnival seemed like the logical choice when we were looking for a cruise line to take our kids on for our family vacation. So ... Read More
My husband and I cruised royal Caribbean in the past and after finding their staff rude and condescending Carnival seemed like the logical choice when we were looking for a cruise line to take our kids on for our family vacation. So first let down was during embarkation, going through security my husband who is a former active marine gets stopped because he has an hollow bullet bottle opener on his keys. A gift I bought him because it was a bullet fired in Iraq during a former tour that had been custom made. Keep in mind this is hollow with a tip so dull even if it was fired it would bounce off its Target. I might be able to overlook this if we had not made it through security with a wine bottle opener that not only had a stainless steel corkscrew on it but also a 2 inch straight blade. So please tell me what the more dangerous thing ? So thanks for the appreciation for your veterans service. The towel policy is completely assanine , while most ships have crates of white towels for you to take from, Carnival makes you sign out every towel you take with your folio number , which is yet another 4 digit number for you to remember on top of your room number. AND ! If you are in a room that is ajoined to another room don't think you can check out and return towels to your ajoining room account where say your husband and 2 kids are assigned , no no no , your folio number only , doesn't matter your one big happy family , keep track of everything you sign out or prepare to be harrassed . But THE CHERRY ON TOP of everything had to be ..... Carnival makes it super nice and convenient to pre pay for things. Which we did with everything we possibly could ! Paid for the rooms in full ... Obviously that's required but we also paid our gratuities in full , paid for our excursions in full , all 4 of our kids bubbles packages as well as my husband's cheers package . We also placed a $15 limit on each of our children's sign and sail cards to visit the arcade or the candy shop or whatever they chose to do while enjoying their time on the ship. So the kids go to the arcade and spend their money and two days later my husband and I go to the arcade with them to play and everyone's cards are declined , so we proceed to guest services to see what's going on and much to our surprise our children have racked up somewhere around $600 worth of an arcade tab. So we ask what happened to the $15 limits and carnivals guest service response ? Why didn't you come to the service counter to verify the limits were properly set on the first day on board ? Well I don't know , how about the fact that the first 2 days on board the line for guest services was 2 miles long wrapping around the boat with a 2 hour minimum wait . And considering I took care of everything BEFORE I got on the boat my idea of vacation is not starting it off verifying that you did your job ! Everything else was taken care of , we had the tickets for our excursions , our kids were able to get their hearts desire of soda and my husband his fill of alcohol why would this not also be taken care of ? So what else did Carnival do or say ? Nothing and we got stuck with a $600 arcade bill , a pretty hearty mistake for us to have to cover , so thanks for that treat Carnival. The one good thing I have to say is about the dining team. We had a crew from the Philippines, the primary guy serving us was GERENE and he is fantastic ! Day 1 he had our kids drinks memorized as well as my husband's preferred drink beverage. He was always on top of everything , interacted with our kids so well , catered to our picky eater without batting an eye and knew everyone's names at the table by the second night. Truly the only people on board that made the cruise enjoyable and worth the money we spent. In the end I would rather pay Royal more money to have rude service people who do their jobs than pay carnival to have them completely fall short of impressive customer service or even mediocre service . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This ship is new and beautiful. There are a few things that I would recommend them adding and changing such as, the soda package comes with a refillable plastic cup which is nice and eco friendly but the problem I am having is there is ... Read More
This ship is new and beautiful. There are a few things that I would recommend them adding and changing such as, the soda package comes with a refillable plastic cup which is nice and eco friendly but the problem I am having is there is only about two soda machines accessible and most of the time one is closed your forced to go to the one at the pizza restaurant. Also, I would recommend longer hours for things such as food places etc. if you don't make it to dinner your stuck eating the same thing late night m, your two options are pizza or this small sandwich spot across from the pizza place thats all... on a cruise you expect there to be things like food places open for a much later time with much more options. Also, ice cream spots are very limited as well at close at 7pm so if you want some later on in the evening its not open. Now on to other things the ship itself is very nice and new we loved the ship. I do recommend more pools as it gets very packed on sea days. Staff all around has been amazing. Our house keeping lady Nancy is truly the kindest person ever!!! She always checks in with us and greets us at all times & helps us with anything we need she is amazing!!! Thank you Nancy! Your hard work is truly appreciated. For entertainment we saw the Greece show which was awesome! We also saw the Aqua show that was one awesome show as well very talented actors. Over all it was an amazing cruise with a few changes it would be the best cruise. I do recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We had seen this ship while we were on another cruise, and were amazed by the size. We booked a stateroom, knowing we would pay a premium because it is so we. The nightly entertainment is incredible. The full production of Hairspray is ... Read More
We had seen this ship while we were on another cruise, and were amazed by the size. We booked a stateroom, knowing we would pay a premium because it is so we. The nightly entertainment is incredible. The full production of Hairspray is amazing, and the Hiro Show was spectacular. Pros: Gorgeous ship, like a Miami hotel. Very friendly staff. Lots of specialty restaurants. Very nice app that allows you to see your schedule. AmIng entertainment in the evening. They are VERY serious about hand washing, and everyone Moves through a handwashing station before they go in to the food area. During the day there are a lot of options for food that is included in the price of the cruise. Great adults on the area at the front of the ship. Cons: Room 14-723 is under the Flowrider attraction. At night the water that is stored for the attraction sloshes loudly, dampening an otherwise great stateroom experience. There is barely anything to eat after 11:00pm. If you are used to the open buffets and little food places on Carnival, you won’t find that here. Although there are a number of restaurants, most of them close after 10 or 11 PM, leaving one small place on the main deck. It has a very limited selection of sandwiches and some desserts. We always enjoyed the option of having ice cream and pizza or hotdogs on carnival, the ship does not have any of that available late night. We also enjoyed trivia, but the place where they have the trivia is called the honor bar, it has very limited seating, probably less than 50 people can fit in there. This does not work for a ship that contains over 7000 passengers. So we often find ourselves with nothing to do on the ship, and we head back to the room and just read. It seems like the smaller ships have a lot more options for food and activities during the day, I simply don’t wanna look at overpriced diamonds and watches all day, I want other things to do. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We sailed on the Carnival Sunrise as part of a large 40+ group of friends, so we did not choose this particular ship or itinerary. We have sailed with Carnival before and are Gold level members. Embarkation: We were pre-assigned a ... Read More
We sailed on the Carnival Sunrise as part of a large 40+ group of friends, so we did not choose this particular ship or itinerary. We have sailed with Carnival before and are Gold level members. Embarkation: We were pre-assigned a time to show up to check in for boarding. That was excellent and went very smoothly. Hats off to Carnival and the NYC port for making what used to be a nightmare, a pleasant experience. Cabin. We had a balcony cabin on level 6. We were near the Atrium. The room was quiet despite the loud night-time parties in the Atrium. The room location was ok for most areas of the ship we frequented. Our cabin steward and staff were extremely friendly and efficient. Our plumbing worked fine! Balconies were cleaned during our cruise, which was nice. Plenty of USB & AC outlets for our electronics. Air conditioning was sufficient. Public areas: The pool areas were crowded as usual on a ship, especially on sea days as you would expect, however, the pools are too small for the number of guests on board. We did not even want to go in as there were shoulder to shoulder people in the pool most of the time. NOT INVITING!. The lack of staff to clean the dishes from the pool area made for a messy area much of the time. Poor ship design between the Guy's Burger joint and the Lido Marketplace made a narrow passageway that caused traffic jams constantly. I was always afraid my food would be knocked into and spilled moving from outside to inside. The coffee/tea area, ice cream machine and the pillar/railings make for a very narrow 2 way passage. The air conditioning in some areas either did not work or was poorly designed. We found "hot spots" all over the ship. Food: The dining room food was fine, wait staff worked very hard. Most of the time I received what I ordered. The Lido marketplace buffet was overcrowded most times, It seemed to run past the stated closing each day as there were still people waiting in line to get food at the closing hour. Buffet food was ok, not exceptional. We ate there only twice. Guys burger joint was fast and good, the Blue Iguana Cantina was OK but fast to get food, Pig & Anchor was excellent! Highly recommend if you like southern BBQ! Lucky Bowl was excellent! No lines to speak of most of the time. we ate there frequently. Did not try the 24 hour pizza but we heard it was good. Did not try Bonsi Sushi (extra charge), it was empty most of the time. The Red Frog pub was a large area, not crowded, beers were ok. Personally I did not like the Red Frog "red ale", but the Toasted Amber was good. The ship seems to have only 4 flavors of ice cream (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry & butter pecan). Only the first 3 are available soft serve, butter pecan is available in the dining room with the other 3 flavors. Personally I wanted more choices in the dining room as Ice cream ins my choice of dessert. Not a fan of cakes, etc. Lido buffet was also one of the poorly air conditioned areas of the ship, it was hot most of the time, which made eating uncomfortable. Staff was good cleaning the tables. Ports of call: Grand Turk: The ship dock at Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville. Just a pool/beach stop, nothing to see there. Food & drink is for purchase only, not free. We took a private trolley tour with Island Trolley Tours (not a ship excursion). the were excellent. If you want to see the island, this is the only way ($30/pp) Ship tour is twice that. Buy tickets on beach or online prior. San Juan: Ship docks right in town, El Morro is a long walk but do able with the time allowed. Amber Cove: Another pool stop. Pools are very crowded both in Margaritavile & Amber Cove. Nothing to do there other than shop & swim in the waist high water. We did not swim in the pools as we dislike over crowded pools with no shade opportunity other than hiding under a foot bridge. Disembarkation: Handled well. we lined up around 0830 to get tags. we had tag # 8. This got us off the ship around 1030. We waited in the Liquid Lounge. The only complaint I had was I did not have any idea when our number would be called. We had someone picking us up and I was not sure when to tell him to be at the dock. Geting off the ship and getting our luggage was excellent, and efficient. Customs was a breeze! Final thoughts: Level 3 was the best serenity area on the ship. Forget the official Serenity deck as it was also overcrowded and no shade. Deck 3 off the Atrium was quiet, had a panoramic ocean view, a nice breeze, and was near the Atrium bar. Plenty of deck chairs also! If you like crowds, loud parties, so so ports of call and long lines...this is the cruise for you! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This was my platinum cruise and was very convenient choice for us but I absolutely do not want to ever go on this ship again and will def rethink ships remodeled! This ship was old and had a negative history. ( fire,arrest and even a ... Read More
This was my platinum cruise and was very convenient choice for us but I absolutely do not want to ever go on this ship again and will def rethink ships remodeled! This ship was old and had a negative history. ( fire,arrest and even a death ) So in order to save the ship they had to change the name and redo. Big problem was they didn't think it all through or just didnt care) It was a smaller older ship. The corrections made them more money and passengers more annoyed They did away with laundry rooms on most floors and added more rooms. They made everything we like smaller! They added more dining choices BUT many are for a price! They took away much of the dining space ( free) and left people waiting in ridiculousy long lines for food... The pools were literally standing room only ! Serenity did not have their own pool either. SMOKING!!!!!!!!!!!! I smelt smoke pretty much everywhere. I know this is huge issue for many but one would think remodeling would help things but it certainly did not. Carnival ships are set up the worst of all ships when it comes to avoiding second hand smoke,, In order to get to certain areas you have to walk through the casino which is ALWAYS disgustingly full of smoke! Not only that but the area is open to all the floors of the atrium so the smoke hits everyone! Constantly seeing people walking around with their faces covered. They have very very little food for kids and it was an issue just to get milks and juices. unless the go to the camp carnival, there is nothing for them to do. They took away most of the free room service . It now only goes to 6p . After 6 you pay! To sum it up. They added more rooms to make more money . More people with less room to play ( except casino) less free dining, Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We normally do Celebrity cruises, but this time was all about my 13 year old son and making sure there was enough fun for him. So we went on Royal Caribbean and were very pleased. Here is a comprehensive review: Cabin - we were two ... Read More
We normally do Celebrity cruises, but this time was all about my 13 year old son and making sure there was enough fun for him. So we went on Royal Caribbean and were very pleased. Here is a comprehensive review: Cabin - we were two people in a balcony cabin - plenty of storage space, shower was great, no signs of wear, bed was very comfortable. We had another cabin with a balcony facing the inside boardwalk which was a refreshing change of pace. Beware though, because it does get loud. Dining - dinner in the dining room was consistently good. I am vegan and the options were wonderful and delicious. People who had the lobster and steak raved. We had breakfast in the dining room a few times as well and were pleased with the choices. Yes breakfast is what you get at Windjammer, but you can customize and get made to order omelets so that's nice. Pastries are not great, but that's a good thing because I didn't need a daily tempting of a bread basket. Waffles are a winner. Embarkation and Disembarkation - both easy peasy with no complaints.They have it down to a science Activities and Entertainment: varied and really fun - you can't be bored here - kids loved the flow rider and the sushi making class. Something for everyone. Just walking around and meeting people is exciting. Casino though is lackluster. Not a lot of activity, but that might be the makeup of the people of the ship. It wasn't lively at all. Other than that, lots of fun things to do. One thing to remember: there are no water slides on this ship. That's important to some families, so please take note. Fitness: the fitness center had plenty of machines and things to do. The running track is in a great location. On Celebrity the track is up high and very windy so this was a nice change having it on Deck 5 (I think Deck 5). Public rooms: All the public areas are lovely and we enjoyed the many different bars and dance areas. Everything was well kept. We never felt we were stepping into someone else's mess or anything. Shore excursions - we didn't do any. Service - This I will say overall is meh. On Celebrity the service is stellar. You never felt like people were tired otherwise put upon. On Royal Caribbean, many of the crew seemed overwhelmed and impatient. I chalked it up to taking a step down in service, so I understood. Value for the Money - Here is what Royal Caribbean does: everything is extra. It's not a good feeling. I might be paying more on Celebrity, but I don't want to feel like I am. I feel like there are gimmes and gotchas everywhere. We had beverage packages, which make you feel less like that, but if I still really noticed it, then Royal Caribbean has to step up and start including some things in the price, even if they increase the cost just so you aren't constantly taking out your charge card. Side Note: People were complaining on Cruise Critic that there were too many people. Our ship was sold out, and I didn''t feel there were too many people. We are usually on Celebrity which are much smaller ships, but we didn't feel bombarded at all when there was nearly twice the people aboard. Also, regarding feel of the ship, my daughter usually requires dramamine for her experience, but because the ship is so big and well designed, there was minimal swaying and she didn't need dramamine at all. Overall: We would sail Royal Caribbean again. It was a different experience than we were accustomed, but it was a different kind of trip. If you want lots to do, do the Allure. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I find all Celebrity ships are excellent in almost every way. This was a back to back cruise from Fort Lauderdale to the Eastern Caribbean and then the next week to the Western Caribbean. I remained in the same balcony cabin, so there ... Read More
I find all Celebrity ships are excellent in almost every way. This was a back to back cruise from Fort Lauderdale to the Eastern Caribbean and then the next week to the Western Caribbean. I remained in the same balcony cabin, so there was no shifting needed. All b2b passengers are required to leave the ship and go through USA customs as the first week ends. It took only a few minutes, and we were back on board. The Equinox had just been through a refit, so everything was new and shiny. The ship is kept in spotless condition for the entire cruise. Room service is outstanding. Your steward knows your name and addresses you that way - how they can remember all of their passengers amazes me. Rooms are tidied immediately after you leave for breakfast. and prepared for the night while you are at dinner. Towels and sheets are changed frequently. The cabins are large and nicely furnished. The shower is good sized, and solid - no floppy shower curtain to contend with. The television is large, and the remote is fairly easy to manage. Your steward will explain it to you if you need help finding programs or your account on line. Dining in the main restaurant offers early and late settings on deck 3, and "any time" dining on deck 4. The menu offers something for everyone, and notes things such as gluten free or sugar free. The "always available" portion of the dinner menu offers my favorite French onion soup, Escargot, and salmon. Enough said! Theater entertainment is shifting toward acrobatics and production numbers several times during a cruise. Other nights feature a comedian or musician or singer. Two shows allow you to enjoy your dinner hour and take in the show either preceding or following. My only bit of concern was the library. The room itself is beautiful and has great lounge chairs and a large number of shelves. The missing part was books! Very few new novels in English could be found. The majority of books were in foreign languages, and had apparently been donated by past passengers. There was no filing system, so you just had to pick up a book and look at a few pages to determine if it was in a language you could read. All lines seem to be letting the idea of a library fade away. And yet you see many passengers reading as they enjoy the pool area or one of the lounges. Bring your own paperbacks if you want to be sure of having something to read. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Background: this was our 6th cruise. 3rd on Celebrity (and 3rd on Equinox). We also sailed Royal Caribbean and Princess. We are a couple in our late 40s. Overall: we always had a preference for Celebrity. We like their "simple ... Read More
Background: this was our 6th cruise. 3rd on Celebrity (and 3rd on Equinox). We also sailed Royal Caribbean and Princess. We are a couple in our late 40s. Overall: we always had a preference for Celebrity. We like their "simple chic" atmosphere and the efforts to offer high quality service. We know there is not as much activities and features as other cruise lines and ships, but this is what we are looking for. A quiet high quality vacation. And this is what the Equinox has always delivered for us. This 3rd cruise on that ship was the best. The service, the food and the overall vibe were perfect for us. We were on the Equinox last December. To be totally honest, the "Revolution" is barely visible. The hull was painted blue (find it nice), a few public venues have been updated, the stateroom locks are now RFID based and the signage font has been modified. A small evolution is more representative of the changes, not a revolution. But it did not matter to us as the Equinox was still in good shape last December and they keep maintaining it very well. Stateroom Attendant : Iis was our room attendant. She was wonderful. So efficient, polite and genuinely caring. We would always see her smiling. She quickly understood our preferences, our little requests and our activity patterns. Such that the room was always in grate shape when we came back and stocked to our liking. We really appreciated the fact that Iis was so efficient, but not always roaming around our room. One of the best attendant we had. Food : We dined 6 nights at the MDR. We had gone for Anytime Dining. Never waited more than 3 min (but we had made reservations before hand in the Celebrity App prior to departure). We always appreciated the MDR and this cruise was no different. Actually we found that the food was a notch above what we had in December (and we thought that the December food was great). We were super lucky as we were assigned the same waiter we had in December: Duarte. He is THE best waiter we ever had. He is so attentive, efficient, polite, knowledgeable and always with a smile. He quickly understood our taste and proposed great combinations. His service makes the MDR experience even better. Even though the menu was essentially the same as our December cruise we had some of the same choices and also tried some new items. It did not feel like a repeat to us and we fully enjoyed the meals. Martinez was our assistant waiter. He made a great team with Duarte. He was also always smiling and he worked almost like a ninja. Fast in filling up glasses before we would ask and almost working in the shadows. The MDR hostess was Mariana. Such a lovely hostess. Some nights were very busy and you she would managed to still treat you like royalty as if there was no one else around. Always keeping her cool laughing and smiling. We also tried for the first time Murano. It was a very nice experience. We had a combination of Chateaubriand and Lobster. The lobster is table side prepared and was soooooo good. The Chateaubriand was also delicious, but I found my wife’s beef Wellington at the MDR to be even more perfect. It was nice to have a meal in a setting that seemed more like a restaurant (a bit quieter and more upscale). Would we do Murano again? Maybe, but not on our next cruise. We would likely try Tuscan Grill, just to get some variety. At Murano we had the honour of having Aurore as our sommelier, She is great. Her passion for wine is contagious. Her suggestions were very good and she convinced us to participate in the « around the world » wine tasting event that occurred the next day (at sea). What a fun activity. For 30$/person you get to taste 12 different wines and a few types of cheese. Very nice experience and Aurore definitely stood out as the best sommelier. Her explanations and suggestions made the experience even better. We also tried the 8 course japanese meal at « Sushi on 5 » with Sake pairing. This was lunch on the late arrival day (ship arrived in San Juan at 3h30 pm). The food was so good. Very plentiful and very varied (not just sushi). Tried very unusual (and tasty) types of Sake. A very unique experience. For breakfast and lunch we mostly did the Oceanview Café. Breakfast selection is mostly constant through the whole week, but good selection and quite good. Lunch selection varies a bit more during the week. My only complain is that the lunch buffet stops at 2h30 pm and they really do remove all of it super fast. So if you had a late breakfast or are coming back from an excursion you better get there before 2h30 pm. They do still put out some food between 2h30 - 6h00 pm, but selection is much more limited (pizza, pasta, cold cuts, salads and desert). On RCCL they had the full lunch buffet going until 4 pm or even later. But food was good and plentiful. We love having breakfast and lunch on the outside terrasse at the back of the ship. Entertainment : As we had cruised on the Equinox last December, we had already seen the big ticket shows. We had really enjoyed them at the time so this time elected not to see them again and enjoy more the rest of the ship in the evening. We did go to the 3 standup comedian shows. We found them quite funny. A lot of improv and interaction with the crowd. The house band and various singers were very good. Especially Sashi who was the solo singer. She would be seen at various locations throughout the week. Ports of call : We did appreciate that we had two sea days on this cruise (but this is very personal. some may disagree). San Juan : We were weary of the late arrival to San Juan (3h30 pm). But we actually enjoyed it. It allowed us to wakeup late, take our time and enjoy the 8 course sushi meal. And THEN go tour San Juan. We walked by ourselves old San Juan and did a thorough visit of the Castillo del Morro. Ship leaving at 11h00 pm gave us plenty of time to visit and be back on time. Hint: there is a Walgreen and a CSV right there by the dock. Perfect to buy last minute items, bottled water, etc. US Virgin Islands : We had booked an excursion to Turtle Bay / Buck Island with Celebrity (Caribbean Fast Cat Island Snorkelling and Beach). The tour was very well organized. All the staff was positive, energetic, very service oriented. Departed and arrived on time. The transit to Buck Island was a bit bumpy due to windy and choppy conditions. A few folks got sea sick (my wife included), but staff onboard were really caring about them. The snorkelling area had nice clear water. Not too deep. Unfortunately we saw no turtle, just a few small colourful fishes. The corals were ok. Nothing spectacular. We then went to Honeymoon Beach. Nice little beach actually very close to Charlotte Amalie (but you feel much farther). Very nice clear water. Restrooms available and two small restaurants. British Virgin Islands : This was the highlight of our cruise. We had booked the « Tour to Virgin Gorda Baths » excursion with Celebrity. This included a fast ferry ride to Virgin Gorda Island followed by a 5-10 min open-air bus ride to the Baths. Ferry was clean and both rides were nice and efficient. Likewise for the bus rides. Once arrived we walked 10-15 min to first beach. The walk was quite beautiful. The scenery is very desert like. Quite surprising. Cactus and desert vegetation. Very beautiful. And then the beach Wow! That was a nice beach. The sand and water really resemble Pacific islands (Tahiti). The beach was surrounded by beautiful rocks and boulders. Stead there 30-40 min. Then we slowly walked our way to a second beach. This walk was through the world famous rocks and grottos. Very unique experience! These rocks have been shaped by thousand of years of water current. So beautiful! You do not get water above your waist (hardly above your knees actually). You have to step some stairs and ladders. All very well laid out. The second beach was also splendid! Rocks and perfect water. Very well worth it! Other excursions were coming directly to the baths by catamaran. Then the folks had to swim from their anchor point all the way to the beach. And you do not get to do the nice walk from the parking to the beach. There are washrooms at the second beach and a small restaurant that also sells drinks (and bottled water). Nassau : We booked a beach break at Blue Lagoon with Celebrity. It started not so good. The ship arrived at 12h30 a few minutes after a large MSC ship and a smaller Royal Caribbean vessel. So a flood of passengers just got of those ships almost simultaneously. As we shared the same dock with the MSC ship, the area was very busy and chaotic. It took about 45 minutes before we boarded the ferry to Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon staff did their best but there was many people everywhere and little space. But once we got onboard the ferry things became fine. On the island we headed straight for the North Beach. This beach is on the Caribbean Ocean (not the internal Lagoon). Very pristine beautiful water (a good number of large rocks at the bottom though) and there were just 10-20 people there. Very quiet and calm. We had lunch at their buffet. Had a choice between burger, chicken burger, BBQ chicken and foot long hot-dog with a choice of sides (fries, rice & peas, fried plantain, salad, veggies). We had the hot dog that was quite good. Loved the plantain! The restaurant area was al-fresco, looked brand new and very clean (staff always cleaning up). Good lunch ! They also included iced tea or lemonade. A bit too sweet, but this is quite personal :-) All in all a nice beach break. There seemed to be a lot of activities offered for families and kids, but we just wanted quiet time by the water and that is what we got. The ferry back was also uneventful. Could catch nice views of fancy houses and Atlantis. Embarkation : we had done the online checkin using the Celebrity App. We had also taken our photos using the App. I was a bit apprehensive of privacy, but they take our photos over at the port anyway. But it turned great. By the time we were dropped off the taxi to the time we were at the Oceanview Cafe looking at the buffet, there was maybe only 10 minutes! Most of it spent walking up the stairs to the buffet. Our stateroom keys/cads were waiting for us at our room. The face recognition worked great and allowed us to bypass any lineup. BTW, Terminal 25 is brand new and very beautiful… but we only spent 2 min there. Disembarkation : similar experience for disembarkation. Once off the ship we went through facial recognition check with Customs (super fast) and the preceded to pick up our luggage that was waiting in a huge room, grouped by sections. Once we had our luggage we just walked off the terminal. No extra customs line up. Again an affair of just a few minutes. Celebrity as embarkation nd disembarkation really down to a science. Captain Kate : Much has been written about Captain Kate. I have to admit that my wife and I are now part of the fan club. Her daily announcement were fun and educational and you could see her all over the ship. She seemed to genuinely care about the guests and also her staff. She was also very keen in acknowledging her officers and their achievements. A nice touch! And the icing on the cake: she does really shake every passenger hands (if they want to) when you disembark! Not required, but very appreciated. It was a real pleasure sailing with her. By the way: YES ! they did remove the foot rests on the balconies. Is it that bad? Not really. The balcony table is also smaller! A real disaster? No, we managed with the smaller table and still had breakfast overlooking the ocean. I agree those are not the best decisions, but hey! nothing to really influence our cruise and experience. All in all a very good cruise on the Equinox. Looking forward to another Celebrity cruise in the Future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
I’m a travel agent and this trip was a personal trip although used it to meet captain, cruise director crew, and experience the ship it first hand After reading & watching al sorts of pro & con reviews of this ship,I walked ... Read More
I’m a travel agent and this trip was a personal trip although used it to meet captain, cruise director crew, and experience the ship it first hand After reading & watching al sorts of pro & con reviews of this ship,I walked in with an open mind. I was truly impressed. The Haven Lounge nightly activities & music was the best! The family night delish spread of snacks & deserts. Main dining meals were a hit & miss - my waiter wasn’t as attentive as if he was bothered to serve us Room steward Christian was very courteous & attentive Need More varied teens activities Italian night after tasting food in the MD went to buffet better pasta & seafood ; noticed that people were eating more at the buffet Overall my son & I enjoyed ourselves ; I would recommend it to my clients & we would go again but we’ll wait for newer ships The cruise critic meet & mingle was super! viva Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We usually cruise in the fall or winter, but were joining friends who wanted to go on this particular date. We are platinum cruisers, so embarkation was quick and our room was ready when we boarded at 11:30a.m. I won't repeat what ... Read More
We usually cruise in the fall or winter, but were joining friends who wanted to go on this particular date. We are platinum cruisers, so embarkation was quick and our room was ready when we boarded at 11:30a.m. I won't repeat what most others have said about the ship itself, but will comment on our experience this cruise. It was very hot and humid, as to be expected, everywhere. The chair hogs were out again in full force which is disappointing especially those in the shade. Chairs were empty for hours with towels. This also happened in Grand Turk with the free chairs. We went to St. Maarten, we didn't take a tour, just hung out at the port this trip. The shop keepers were annoying, we really didn't shop here because of that. A young couple with a child were stung by a jelly fish at the beach in port. All were ok. Next stop was St. Kitts. We took a tour with the ship which was great (10 Best of St. Kitts). I would recommend this tour. San Juan, we didn't tour here, just stayed at the port (tstorms hit shortly after we got off ship). Last stop was Grand Turk. We went to the beach at the port and enjoyed our day there. We've been to all of these ports numerous times, so we didn't do much mostly because of the heat and humidity. We ate in the dining room most nights (6pm). Service and food was amazing. We did have lunch on the Lido, was ok. The Deli was a bust...hard to get service, long lines. Breakfast on the Lido had long lines as well. I don't think I've seen so many long lines, maybe the time of year as we don't usually cruise when school is out. Dress code in the dining room was not enforced, not that I cared, but lots of shorts and tshirts, flip flops...not cruise casual and formal night many wore shorts and tshirts into the dining room. We didn't attend too many shows, they were just ok. We liked the Red Frog Pub, the Sea Monkeys Band on Deck 5 and the Lobby Bar. The entertainment there was pretty good. Simon London was the cruise director, very entertaining for sure. There was always lots to do if you wanted to be busy or entertained. We had a cabin on the Riviera Deck, Inside. It was good, clean and our room steward was great. No complaints except for the late night doors slamming and kids running in the hall and yelling. The cruise was nice, but there were alot of rude people, kids running through the halls late at night and long lines for food. I don't think I would cruise again in the summer and especially not when school is out. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We booked this cruise about a week after getting off the Equinox last year. Last year was an 11 out of 10 starts. This year, maybe an 8. The refurbishment is not anything that anyone can see really. We noticed some new paint and new ... Read More
We booked this cruise about a week after getting off the Equinox last year. Last year was an 11 out of 10 starts. This year, maybe an 8. The refurbishment is not anything that anyone can see really. We noticed some new paint and new carpet but that was it. The furniture in the common areas was exactly the same and needed some updating. The staff wasn't as happy as last year either. The BIGGEST disappointment was our cabin. We booked cabin 9366 because the deck plan shows that it has an angled out (larger) balcony. It doesn't. I just spoke with customer service and they said you can't rely on the picture of the deck plan. WHAT?! How can you show a picture of the deck plan and then say it isn't the right plan? FIX IT!!! Per usual, the food was great. The ship was clean. Getting on and off the boat was an ease both in the US and in our ports. Well done. The timing of some of the ports was odd though. In Puerto Rico we got to port at 3:30 in the afternoon which is too late to do any type of excursion when traveling with a child. If you have been on other cruises, you will probably be disappointed in the entertainment on Celebrity. Also, considering that we were on this ship a year ago it was VERY disappointing to have the exact same shows (topper, and life) occupy 3 of the show nights. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
My husband and I sailed on Seaside 8/3/19 for our 20 year anniversary.  It was our first time cruising so we weren't sure what to expect.  I scoured the message boards here to prepare myself the best I could prior to the cruise.  I ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on Seaside 8/3/19 for our 20 year anniversary.  It was our first time cruising so we weren't sure what to expect.  I scoured the message boards here to prepare myself the best I could prior to the cruise.  I was able to get a lot of helpful hints that came in handy.   Our boarding time wasn't until 2 pm but after reading the boards, we decided to show up at 10;30 am and we were on the ship before noon.  We immediately went and got our wristbands, registered our credit card and found the maitre d' to request a table for 2 in the dining room (which was granted) to avoid the lines later.  We then went and had lunch at the buffet and then found a cozy spot in the Seaview lounge and had a drink.   I"m so glad I found those recommendations here because they really saved us time later.   One thing I have read on cc from many people is how rude the staff is.  That was not our experience at all.  We felt the staff went above and beyond for us.  We had the easy drink package and my favorite wine wasn't on it.  No biggie, I made due with what was available to me.  However, when we showed up for dinner on the night of our anniversary, a bottle of my favorite wine was chilling at the table and we weren't charged for it.  At the end of our meal, about 10 waiters showed up and they all sang "I swear" by All for one.  The entire song.  It was embarrassing and amazing at the same time.  lol   This is just one example and there are so many more.   We did encounter 2 staff members that were a little rude but we just avoided them after that.   We paid for the 1 day pass for the thermal spa and felt that it was really overrated.  We ended up spending 2 hours there before leaving. There just wasn't enough to do to spend the whole day there.  We each got a massage as well.  My husband said his was amazing while I felt mine was just ok.   Even before getting off the massage table my therapist was trying to sell me other services.  It was very annoying.  After telling her no about 5 times, she gave up.  There are staff walking around the ship trying to sell different services and dinner add-ons but saying no once does the trick.   We saw 3 shows while on board.  The Beer comedy one for families, Butterfly and the starwalker (the Michael Jackson one in case I didn't get the name correct).  The comedy was hilarious, the Michael Jackson one was phenomenal and Butterfly wasn't for us (just not opera fans I guess).  We had the Bella package and upgraded our stateroom to a balcony room.  The balcony really made the room in my opinion.  We enjoyed sitting out on it in the evening with a drink before bed.   We felt there were enough hangers for our clothes and enough space for all of our other items.   The pool areas were very loud and crowded.  People would sit around the edge of the pool making it very difficult to even get in.  It wasn't for us so we would find a lounge chair in another part of the ship and relax in peace .   We only scheduled one excursion with the ship and that was in St. Thomas. It was ok but not worth the money. All in all, we had a good time. The service was exceptional and if we were to ever sail with MSC again, that would be the reason. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We picked this cruise because the price is reasonable/cheaper than Carnival. 1. The embarkation and disembarkation were smoothly. 2. Ship is new and clean 3. Cabin is small just like any cruise ship cabin. The shower area seems ... Read More
We picked this cruise because the price is reasonable/cheaper than Carnival. 1. The embarkation and disembarkation were smoothly. 2. Ship is new and clean 3. Cabin is small just like any cruise ship cabin. The shower area seems small. 4. Breakfast/ lunch is good. Formal dining at night is good (way better than Chili’s, TGI Friday’s, Applebee’s . Comparable to Red Lobster but fewer selection. 5. Entertainment is great. Quality of shows is excellent. 5 stars to Steve Young (director of entertainment). All of the family shows are great, Peter Punk, Butterfly, Michael Jackson. But all adults shows perform by a group of 4 person is just ok. Would like to have few standup comedians shows. 6. Service is good. 7. Port and shore excursions have good timing. Except Saint Martin 7am to 2pm. We would like to go again. MSC going to have new ships in 2022, definitely looking forward to this one Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We booked a guarantee balcony only a few months before sailing and were very pleased with the cabin we were assigned, under a quiet part of Windjammer buffet. This was my first time on a Quantum class ship and wondered how it would ... Read More
We booked a guarantee balcony only a few months before sailing and were very pleased with the cabin we were assigned, under a quiet part of Windjammer buffet. This was my first time on a Quantum class ship and wondered how it would compare to my favorite Oasis class ships. Here is what I found: Some things I really loved, and a few things I really missed. Typically I spend 90% of my at sea days in the Solarium, but because these ships are designed to sail out of northern climes in the winter, the Solarium is an entirely glassed in space, unlike its Oasis counterparts, where the glass is staggered with open air spaces. I can imagine that if you were embarking in January, it would be lovely to walk into a tropical space right away, but in the middle of summer, I really missed the fresh air. I found the promenade area more crowded as it was much narrower than Oasis class ships. But those are really the only negatives - this is really great ship with some very fun activities! We missed the pre-cruise online booking window when Ifly and NorthStar were offered, but did book all the shows ahead of time. Thanks to Cruise Critic community members, I knew that I could book Ifly and NorthStar as soon as we had checked in and had access to the Royal IQ wifi. We literally boarded the ship, rounded the corner, and stopped and made our bookings! I cannot tell you how much I loved Ifly! We even dropped by towards the end of the cruise and managed to snag a second fly, even though no time slots were being offered in the app. Worth mentioning is the fact that like Harmony, there is a hole in the firewall on Anthem, which allows IPhone users to IMessage throughout the cruise - even photos and videos worked! Bumper Cars, Roller skating and NorthStar were very fun. Get there early to sign up for roller skating, as they assign time slots and the spaces go quickly. Once again, Royal Caribbean outdid itself in the entertainment department. The Gift and We Will Rock You were incredible and the headliners were amazing. Particularly loved the U2 tribute band along with the Tribute Shmibute entertainer. Spectras Cabaret was the only show that I didn’t particularly enjoy, but there are always so many other options. We had great meals, both in the main dining room, the Solarium, and Windjammer. We diid not go to any specialty restaurants this time - Wonderland is such a spectacular venue on Oasis class ships and a must-go for me, but the physical venue on this ship was underwhelming so we didn’t bother. We did have a Chops steak in the main dining room and it was like butter. The staff for the most part were great - and the ports delightful. I also loved sailing in and out of New York harbour as that was a first for me. This is the first time in a few cruises that I didn’t purchase the drink package (which, if you want to buy one, get the Buy One Get one 50% off in the pre-cruise sales). I have to say, I really missed it. At $49 / day plus the insane 18% gratuity, it doesn’t take much to justify. I missed my smoothies, specialty coffees, specialty iced coffees, San Pelligrinos, waters and oh yes, martini’s! Even as a Diamond member, the non-alcoholic drinks can get you to $49 a day pretty easily so in future, that will always be my first choice. You know, there are always problems on any cruise. Life is never perfect and neither is cruising, so set realistic expectations. Overall, I would recommend this ship and itinerary highly to a friend, and would do it all over again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
A group of 21 family members ranging in ages from 7-69 just got back from a 9 night cruise on the Anthem of the Seas. While the trip was an overall success, we had issues on board throughout the trip. Our group had balcony rooms, most ... Read More
A group of 21 family members ranging in ages from 7-69 just got back from a 9 night cruise on the Anthem of the Seas. While the trip was an overall success, we had issues on board throughout the trip. Our group had balcony rooms, most were connecting, and an inside room across the hall from my room. Next to them were two rooms comprised of college aged boys that were loud, ran through the hall (sometimes in only their underwear), banged on the walls, and slammed their doors. The first night my husband stuck his head out and asked them to quiet down. These behaviors persisted, each night with multiple family members asking the kids to quiet down. We had spoken to customer service who said to just call security the next time. We did, but security took awhile to respond and the kids never took anything seriously. The worst was the last morning, they had left a condom on a plate with some left over food in the hallway. I was horrified when my 7 year daughter saw it before the poor room steward had to clean it up. Another night, one of our rooms had been woken up by what they speculated was a domestic dispute around 2:30 in the morning. They tried to call multiple numbers for security and no one ever answered any of the lines. The food on the boat was great and servers were for the most part friendly, but it seemed like they could really use more staff to provide the attention that we had previously received on cruises. Especially in the dining room, the bar server regularly mixed up and would forget orders. My daughter had a great time in the kids club and doing all the activities on board. All the activity people were awesome. They were encouraging, especially with the rock wall and trapeze. We had rented two over the water cabins in Labardee. There were nice, but for the amount we paid, it would had really be great if we could had have lunch brought to us. The attendant was running around, but at times appeared annoyed that we asked him for drinks. I'm not really sure it is worth the splurge to get the cabin. Overall, we had a great time, but the lack of response from security is concerning. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
So we chose this cruise because I liked the idea that it was refurbished and it looked beautiful with lots to do. We are 5 people in an oceanview room. First, embarkation was fantastic! We parked in the manhattan terminal parking and from ... Read More
So we chose this cruise because I liked the idea that it was refurbished and it looked beautiful with lots to do. We are 5 people in an oceanview room. First, embarkation was fantastic! We parked in the manhattan terminal parking and from the time we parked to the time we got on the ship was maybe 20 minutes all together. Easy! Our room wasn’t ready yet since it was only around 12:15 so they tell you to go hang out near the buffet they are serving lunch. First of all I’m glad we check our luggage and didn’t bring it with us while we waited because the buffet area was PACKED! I mean really bad and my first thought was this is going to be a miserable 8 days with all these people here. We finally found a seat but didn’t bother getting food because the lines were outrageous. Finally our room was done around 1:30. We get to our room after waiting for the excruciatingly slow elevators and we are on deck 2 aft. First thing I notice is our room is very very warm! I like a nice cool/cold room in the summer and this wasn’t even close. We met our room steward and immediately tell him about it thinking he would see if I didn’t have the ac on the proper setting (we did, it was as cool as the ac would go). Ok so I’m thinking once the ship actually starts and we leave it will get cooler in the room and the ac will actually kick in. So we decide to go exploring. The ship is beautiful. But yes extremely crowded. The pool area is WAYYYY too small for the amount of people, that the only times we were able to go and enjoy it was after dinner (we had early 6pm dining) so it wasn’t too crowded at that point. I guess most people were at the later dining or your time dining or at shows. Our youngest loves the pool and was what she looked forward to the most and we didn’t want to disappoint by not going so it was the only time we could really go. Any earlier and there were no seats at all and no room in the pool. The dining room was great our wait staff was fabulous, we thought the food most of the time was wonderful and the chocolate melting cake was insane!! We looked forward to going there every night. Guys pig and anchor located on deck 10 was fabulous as well and barely ever a line. Also guys burgers was great and the line moved fast, the deli always had a long line but worth the wait and also moved pretty fast. Never had too long of a wait. Overall we were pretty happy with most of the food even the room service which always said 45 minutes to an hour wait but it never took that long. We never ate at the buffet the lines were just ridiculous. I mean really bad except for one afternoon right after we got back on the ship from one of the ports we went right up to get lunch and there was hardly a line. The entertainment was great, the casino was fun, the kids enjoyed the game room although expensive and they spent too much money in there. The Dr Suess breakfast was adorable and worth the extra $5 a person. If you have little ones with you def take them to it. Back to the two worst parts of this cruise for us...the ac in the room never got better. It was always warm in the room. They came in twice to to check, had some little device that checked the temp of the room. The first guy just said he will fix it but never did so we complained again. The second time a woman came and said that the device was reading higher than 74 degrees and that she herself felt warm just standing there so she was going to have maintenance fix it and she was going to come Back the next day to check again. She never did. The ac never worked properly the whole cruise. She gave us a fan which I can’t stand but had no choice and used it anyway. After a long hot day of sitting on the beach at the ports or walking around shopping or just about anything, we like to come back to a nice cool comfortable room to unwind and relax before dinner but we couldn’t even do that since it was too warm. My next complaint is the rocking of the ship. I’m sure this is not the fault of carnival since there’s not much they can do if it’s rough waters but man oh man did I feel every single movement on this ship. Constantly feeling like I was swaying or rocking all day and night no matter which deck we were on. Those were the two worst parts for us on this cruise otherwise we had a great time and I would’ve given it a higher rating. We would sail it again if they could guarantee the rooms were cooler and there was less lines especially by the pool areas. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
If I could do two and a half stars, I would. We decided to do a cruise, which was not something we had ever done before. We decided on this ship because it was well priced, out of NYC (which is where we live), recently refurbished, and ... Read More
If I could do two and a half stars, I would. We decided to do a cruise, which was not something we had ever done before. We decided on this ship because it was well priced, out of NYC (which is where we live), recently refurbished, and Carnival has a good reputation as being a family friendly cruise line with great kids amenities. The Good: The stewards and other staff were lovely. Very nice and friendly. The Bonsai Sushi Restaurant was very good and well priced. Lucky Bowl was a terrific lunch time option if you didn't mind eating soup for lunch when it was 90 degrees out. The lobster rolls were good at the seafood shack, but also had an additional up-charge. The fries were consistently excellent. Chris Williams (the cruise director) was a lot of fun. Puerto Rico was an excellent port and we had a terrific time there. The kids really enjoyed putting on their bathing suits and watching movies while in the pool on the Lido deck. The Average: I was in one of the Port Hole rooms and one of the beds is obviously a sofa that is converted into a bed. It was very hard. My husband slept in the other bed which was far too soft for me. In room entertainment is very limited. Our snorkel excursion at Grand Turk was fine. Trivia contents we mostly esoteric and not real competitive trivia. The Bad: Honestly, where to begin? There were lines for everything. The ship is very poorly laid out and very cramped. They said the anytime dining and the set time dining had the same menus, but they did not. My kids (7/9/10) HATED the kids club. After the first day they referred to it as "baby jail" and refused to go. The reason for this cruise was the great amenities for kids. While they liked the water slides and the ropes course, that was about it. For a ship that was recently refurbished, it was very run down. Sewage smells in the hallways, the sprinkler head in our cabin was held on with duct tape, doors did not close, things had already fallen off the walls and elevators consistently did not work. Restaurants: (in order of appreciation): Bonsai Sushi (mentioned above) -- up-charge Fahrenheit 555 -- up-charge. The Waygu beef was excellent, the lobster bisque excellent, and that was about it. It was as good as any third tier steakhouse. The service was OK. Seafood Shack -- up-charge Excellent lobster rolls and fries. The crab was meh. Avoid the oysters. Lucky Bowl -- Included VERY good, as long as you are okay with soup on a hot day. Cucina de Capitano -- Up-charge. Pretty consistent pasta place. Not sure why there needs to be more than a $5 up charge on this. Hit or miss at lunch (when it is free). Meat Lasagna was odd. Felt like it was made with brisket. The Pizza place (I can not remember the name) - Included. It's good. Sunrise Restaurant -- Included. VERY hit or miss. The service is slow. The waiters mostly didn't understand special requests and you would have to ask multiple times. The food went from absolutely awful (salmon my first night...sad shrimp cocktail) to delicious (my kids loved the pork chop. The chicken breast was very good). Avoid the fruit "soups". They taste like melted ice cream. Brunch here was surprisingly good, however, and I highly recommend the brunch spaghetti. It was delicious. Guys Burger Joint (burgers) -- Fine for burgers. Tastes like fast food, which is is. Blue Iguana (Mexican) - Not great. BBQ Place -- never tried. Deli - (hit or miss) Lido Marketplace - AWFUL. Badly laid out. No concept of line management. We did this as infrequently as possible, but it made all the other restaurants around it feel cramped and uninviting. The food was truly awful with the exception of the Indian buffet day for some reason.(I tried it that day as a joke and was pleasantly surprised). I will not do a carnival cruise again. avoid. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This ship does not live-up to the hype. Fool me once, shame on you..etc.. Too crowded, no one goes there anymore..as Yogi might say. Rub a dub...shoulder to shoulder, elbow to elbow in the pools. Never, in all our years of crusing (i.e. ... Read More
This ship does not live-up to the hype. Fool me once, shame on you..etc.. Too crowded, no one goes there anymore..as Yogi might say. Rub a dub...shoulder to shoulder, elbow to elbow in the pools. Never, in all our years of crusing (i.e. living in So. FL) like the Army have we hurried up and wait(ed) on line to get into the Windjammer buffet. Never before have we experienced a main cruise cafe to find it closed. Ah yes, the food, mediocre at best. Sorry as hell to write this, but too many fails. Casino and arcade, a joke, machines that don't work, except to take your money. Happily we had a wonderful dinner wait staff..waiter, pleasant, amiable man from India, head waiter from DR was friendly and gracious, assistant waiter as well...helped to save the day. Then again, the bar menu on our table listed a cocktail (Viking Crown) at one price but we were charged double the price because "It was an old menu." Of all the cruises we have taken, I'm sorry to say that this one is at the bottom of the list. I can list many more fails but at the risk of sounding like an old biddy, I'll stop here. Great ship for rock climbing, zip lining and Flow Rider surfing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My family and I typically sail with Princess or Carnival and I had been on one RC cruise to the Bahamas several years ago but my husband and I decided to try Allure of the Seas based on its reputation, destination (eastern Caribbean), and ... Read More
My family and I typically sail with Princess or Carnival and I had been on one RC cruise to the Bahamas several years ago but my husband and I decided to try Allure of the Seas based on its reputation, destination (eastern Caribbean), and that our friends were planning to join us. The ship itself lives up to expectations. Simply stated, she's a magnificent vessel. This was my 10th cruise and I have never have seen anything like Allure. Her sheer scope took my breath away - and it never got old. The ship's neighborhood feel provided a sense of community - I saw familiar faces in my neck of the woods (deck 8), which included the glorious Central Park, outdoor bar, and Dazzles (a favorite evening hangout). Bartenders and servers knew our names, our orders, and consistently greeted us with a warm heart. The service all over the ship was superior. Dwayne (Deck 8 Starboard) our room steward, was exceptional. He addressed a several concerns on our first day aboard (see my critiques below) and did so with good humor and grace. We just loved him! Also a big shout out to Shaka at the Solarium Bar - dude can make a mean drink. Honestly, I could shower all of the staff with compliments and gratuities. They were simply the best. The specialty restaurants, including Giovanni's Table, 150 Central Park, and Izumi's (ate at all three) were genuinely superb and highly recommend trying at least Izumi - a hibachi grill and sushi bar that was not only scrumptious (the steak was butter) but the entertainment is hilarious and memorable. Speaking of entertainment, the ice skating show was my favorite. I couldn't stop smiling and walked out feeling so much joy. The outdoor water show is amazing - you can't see anything like it at sea - so I recommend checking it out. I screamed out loud - it's that thrilling. Lastly, the stateroom was generally clean, the dining and buffet food was generally good (I especially enjoyed the international options) and I'll give a small shout out to the Park Cafe, which is where we had our coffee and breakfast most mornings. They have excellent little breakfast burritos that our whole party craved and enjoyed. Now for our critiques. First and foremost, we paid an additional fee for a "larger" balcony (50 sq feet). It's not worth the extra fee. Honestly, it felt like a rip off. I was expecting extra chairs on our balcony to at least receive our friends for a champagne toast. Our steward Dwayne went the EXTRA mile and not only did he find us two more chairs, he brought 2 loungers, which from my perspective, should be part of the larger balcony package. As a result, I felt a little less peeved that I had been sold a clunker. The room also was not clean upon our arrival. The mini fridge contained the previous guests' food and drinks, the vanity and tables were sticky, and the balcony ledge had not been wiped down. The initial experience was not up to standard. The anytime dining experience in the American Icon dining room was mediocre. The service was outstanding, food decent, but the noise everywhere and lack of organization in the lobby left much to be desired. And would it be too hard to not dance and play loud music during dinner time? Isn't that what the other venues are for? Maybe I'm a bit old fashioned but the dinner "entertainment" bordered on obnoxious. A conga line and and dancing waiters throughout the dining room while you're in the middle of dessert? No thank you very much indeed. As a general note, the entire cruise director's staff were not funny and not much fun. Jame - Z was the one exception. The lines during peak times at the Windjammer and to board the ship in San Juan were also obnoxious. Opening more entrances on the gangway would have been very helpful. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, our strongest critique is of the itinerary. Several weeks prior to embarkation, we received notice from Royal Caribbean that our call in San Juan would be shortened several hours due to an engine issue. We would have likely cancelled at that time if we hadn't made the final payment. Sadly, we were only in San Juan from 8a - 1p, which did not allow for much of any sight seeing, shopping, or a sharing a meal. With the truncated call to San Juan, we essentially had 4 sea days. Three planned days, part of day one and part of day 5 (San Juan). The ship is great and all but really too much time on board and not enough time experiencing the cultures of the region. And to add salt to the wound, on the 7th day (sea day) we were moving at about 12 mph up the coast of Cuba to the home port of Ft. Lauderdale. If you happened to be awake at 1am, as my husband was, you would see the ship docking for its final time prior to disembarkation several hours later. I'm sorry, but I would vote for those precious hours being returned to us in San Juan. To sum this all up, we enjoyed the ship, especially the service and food at the specialty restaurants, but felt like Royal Caribbean sold us a few duds. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This is our second trip on the Allure and our 3rd trip on the Oasis class. As a point of reference, we have also cruised on Carnival, NCL(Haven and nonHaven), and Celebrity within the last 10 years. This was a family cruise with 17 total ... Read More
This is our second trip on the Allure and our 3rd trip on the Oasis class. As a point of reference, we have also cruised on Carnival, NCL(Haven and nonHaven), and Celebrity within the last 10 years. This was a family cruise with 17 total passenger, a 21st and 13th birthday celebration, and 2 25 year anniversaries to celebrate. Let me start by saying we had a great time. Nothing negative below prevented us from enjoying the cruise and the family time. We were in a boardwalk view balcony which we had enjoyed in the past and enjoyed this time. The ship was sold out and the population was mostly families. The Good - We had the key package and embarkation and disembarkation were extremely easy and efficient. Outside of the snacks and private room the embarkation was just as easy as the Haven on NCL. The service on board was overall outstanding. Our cabin steward, waiters, bartenders, etc all seemed to be very dedicated to their jobs and worked to make our cruise easy and enjoyable. The shows were very good. I somebody in our group attended every show and there were no complaints. Mama Mia seemed to be even better than the main show on my last RCCL cruise. The aqua show is always amazing. There was a solo guitarist in the park named Will and he was fantastic with everything from classical to classic rock. We went on the Snuba shore excursion in Saint Maarten and our guide was amazing. The Bad - The itinerary was modified due to propulsion issues on the Allure(more on that later) so we had 3 full days at sea and we were only in San Juan from 7:30-1 so it was really 3.5 days at sea. The Allure is a big ship but 3.5 days is still a lot of time on the boat. The food varied from inedible to mediocre. This was the most surprising thing. The last time we sailed on RCCL was on the Oasis about 4 years ago and the food was well above average cruise food. We sent back several dishes and I don't think we ever said "wow this is really good." We ate all dinners in the MDR except one night in the Windjammer. Some family did go to Chops one night and were pleased with the quality there. The constant sales pitches are just too much now. I get the economics of a cruise but we were constantly being sold specialty dining, photos, excursions, art, etc, etc. This happened everywhere. We even got a sales pitch at the key lunch after embarkation. Our waiter tried to get us to sign up for a specialty dining offer while eating lunch. The Ugly - the Allure is well past it's rehab date. The furnishings are literally falling apart. We sat in the schooner bar and laughed because no 2 chairs had the same number of buttons. The fake leather rubbed off on your hands and shirt sleeves while sitting in the chair. The couch in our room was so stained it was hard to tell what the original color was. There was carpet peeling back from the wall in the Windjammer. The list goes on and on. The Allure is going in to dry dock next year and it seems like they are just delaying any and all maintenance until then. I don't know if it was due to the propulsion issue but all of our rooms shook and creaked more than any other room on any other ship I have been on. Our sliding glass door vibrated all night and the walls creaked like old wooden stairs. We have been in almost the same exact cabin on the same ship 6 years ago and I dont remember anything like that. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was a great ship for the entire family, young and old . Lots to do on the ship for all ages. The grandchildren were always busy with activities. They climbed the rock wall, saw Mamma Mia, enjoyed the RC parade, arcade, Adventure ... Read More
This was a great ship for the entire family, young and old . Lots to do on the ship for all ages. The grandchildren were always busy with activities. They climbed the rock wall, saw Mamma Mia, enjoyed the RC parade, arcade, Adventure Ocean, etc. Royal Caribbean had lots of activities for everyone. Our head waiter was excellent. She was very good with the children and their needs and requests. Food was good. The ports were ok. We just walked around San Juan and bought some items and in St Maarten we shopped first then went to the beach. We rented six chairs and three umbrellas for $30.00. We have cruised a lot and I really believe this is a ship for families especially during the summer time. I suggest if you go to Labadee and have a family with you, you might like to rent a beach bungalow at Columbus Cove. We did and it was well worth the price. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Usually good. Limited choices Poor quality, poor service in main dining room. Buffet cut choices by more than 1/2. Afternoon is a burger or pizza. Not a whole lot more. Long lines at buffet, pizza took forever to make. Long line as well ... Read More
Usually good. Limited choices Poor quality, poor service in main dining room. Buffet cut choices by more than 1/2. Afternoon is a burger or pizza. Not a whole lot more. Long lines at buffet, pizza took forever to make. Long line as well there. Deli: forget it. One person helping long line, and selections have changed. Found many areas dirty. Public bathrooms not cleaned enough. Ship showing its age. Rust around doors. Shows: well boring. Not the best. Not great for kids. Same show we saw on another Carnival cruise. Oh, but if you want to have stuff sold to you every minute, well then come on board. That they excel at. Will sell you anything and everything, and pushy to make you buy. Drinks were good, but some bars took quite a while to serve you. Hey not every Carnival cruise can be the best. This one did let me down in many ways. Hopefully we’ll give them a try again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
As Diamond Members needless to say we've been on a few cruises with Royal Caribbean. The Symphony of the Seas while an incredible piece of engineering and shipbuilding cannot be recommended for 50+ couples. There's simply no ... Read More
As Diamond Members needless to say we've been on a few cruises with Royal Caribbean. The Symphony of the Seas while an incredible piece of engineering and shipbuilding cannot be recommended for 50+ couples. There's simply no place to have a quiet romantic drink or relaxed meal with perhaps the exception of 150 Park. Everything else is loud, energetic and of mediocre quality. All full disclosure however is in order. We more recently have sailed 14+ on Celebrity and Cunard with 8 crossings in past 10 years including Seabourn; these have all been suites. so we are a bit jaded. Ship - new huge and amazing...and overwhelming Cabin - a Junior Suite was excellent size but bathroom showerless except in the tub; not worth the money. Dining - very mediocre to poos in Main Dinning Room; food served tepid or cold. Some dishes were misrepresented. E.g. Steak Dianne. Wonderland more hype than quality. Izumi average at best and over priced. 150 Park nice prepared and real value; don't offer non-ordered items-makes it seem you are begging for compliments. Good wine lists. p Entertainment - this is where the Symphony excels be it musicals, ice shows, or aquatics. Lounge acts were fair with the roving pianist the best. Service - Excellent except in the bars....slow and slower. Ports - St. Maarten, San Juan, and Labadee---dont leave the beaches. Labadee was a disappointment. Poor signage and food options. The "local" market was an aggressive Valley of the Vendors. Cabanas at Nellie's Beach were great with awesome service. Read Less

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