We had a great time, but there could /should have been more for the teen age group to do. For example there was a dodgeball tournament , but for adults. Kids ran around the ship a lot, unsupervised. There were several fights in the ... Read More
We had a great time, but there could /should have been more for the teen age group to do. For example there was a dodgeball tournament , but for adults. Kids ran around the ship a lot, unsupervised. There were several fights in the arcade that lasted long enough for my son to video and security knew nothing about it. There were tons if activities for adults and they were all great. The staff is excellent, very helpful, friendly and accommodating. The room was nice, clean and our steward Mudi, was great! At night, the room temp was warm and the air did not seem to be working at its fullest, but not terrible. Getting on and off was very easy for the cruise as well as for the excursions. Food was good and there was plenty of options and choices. Our cruise director marQ was awesome and heand many of the cruise staff learned and remembered many of the guests names. This made it very personal and fun as well.
Excursions: amber cove- we did the horseback riding at Seahorse ranch and it was great. Horses are beautiful and Fausto, our guide was very informative on our way there.
San Juan: the rainforest and Old SanJuan, very nice and interesting
St. Thomas: snorkeling sea turtle cove, this was beautiful and we wish it would have lasted longer
Grand Turks: the beach had a lot to do for everyone the water was beautiful. Read Less
I have sailed on Norwegian, Carnival and Royal Caribbean. By far RCCL is my favorite. Excellent service, great food, activities and entertainment. On this cruise we booked a balcony (#8572) and was able to book all our meals, activities ... Read More
I have sailed on Norwegian, Carnival and Royal Caribbean. By far RCCL is my favorite. Excellent service, great food, activities and entertainment. On this cruise we booked a balcony (#8572) and was able to book all our meals, activities and shows (The Gift, Spectra, We Will Rock You) ahead of time on the cruise planner. We were also able to book another viewing of We Will Rock You while on board through the app.
Entertainment: All the shows were fantastic and started on time. Although I really did not know the story line to The Gift, I really found the performers to be quite talented. Spectra’s Cabaret did not disappoint and we saw We Wil Rock you twice! Schooners Bar also provided great piano/vocals and acoustic guitar. Comedians were very enjoyable and age appropriate. We also had a surprise performance by ReVoiced (acapella group). All in all, we enjoyed live entertainment every day.
Food: We enjoyed most our meals in the Windjammer and especially liked all the options! Regional meals were exceptional. We also had dinner in the main dining rooms and found those meals just as good as at the Windjammer.
Beverages: We chose the refreshment package and enjoyed frozen mocktails, soft drinks, juices, bottled water and Starbucks coffee and lattes the entire cruise. Not all the refill stations were up and running, so we just went to a nearby bar for refills.
Room: We booked an ocean view balcony (#8572) with Josie as our steward. Josie was absolutely wonderful. I requested a contour pillow (which she provided) and she always kept our ice bucket full. She also made sure we had clean wine glasses each day. Our bathroom was immaculate and our room always tidy and clean. She respected our privacy and always seemed to be right there when we needed her. Josie you rock!
Activities: We participated in a scheduled wine tasting (5 samples, but I found the samples to be small) and we had scheduled the All Access Tour of the ship, but cancelled a couple days ahead of time due to one of us not having long pants. Make sure you have long pants or at least pants that go past your knees! It was no problem to cancel and we were given a credit.
Embarkation/Disembarkation: We traveled from New Haven, Connecticut via Amtrak to Penn Station Newark and then an Uber (Uber XL $17) to port. Embarkation was a breeze. Dropped off our bags, checked in and was on board within 30 minutes. We headed to the Windjammer and had lunch at 11:30. Our room was not ready until 1:30 after lunch we relaxed in Two70’s with a frozen mocktail and got to know the IQ App. Disembarkation was not has short as embarkation. We had the mindset to expect lines so we were not surprised that it took longer. It was about 45 minutes to disembark and go through US Customs. It was another 30 minutes to wait for an Uber (Uber XL $19 due to traffic) and then another 20 minute ride to Penn Station Newark.
Fitness: Walked on the outdoor track nearly every morning with the exception of 2 mornings when it was too windy. I also went to the fitness center each day. Very clean facility and no wait on any equipment. Read Less
We chose this cruise first because it was to cruise out of Cape Liberty. The second reason we chose it was because it was a 9-day trip. We had cruised on a 7-day and a 9-day before having children. Last year, we cruised on the Adventure ... Read More
We chose this cruise first because it was to cruise out of Cape Liberty. The second reason we chose it was because it was a 9-day trip. We had cruised on a 7-day and a 9-day before having children. Last year, we cruised on the Adventure of the Seas with the children (for the first time) and they loved it, so we thought a few extra days would be great.
We had a really great trip and the children (ages 7 and 9) enjoyed it, too. Their favorite part was going to Adventure Ocean. We did not take advantage of the specialty dining, spa, or similar opportunities, due to our budget. In order for us to travel every year, we have to be conscious of our spending.
The only stressful part of our vacation was the pool area. It is a much smaller area than other ships we have been on. It was difficult to find chairs in safe proximity to the children's location, so my husband and I took turns staying at the chairs (that were very far from the pools). The chairs were reserved from early morning with towels and unless we watched the people like hawks, it was hard to find any in the pool areas. Other than that, we can't complain about the trip. The food was great, there were lots of opportunities to attend events on the ship. In regards to the Seaplex, in order to be able to attend the events there, it was important to arrive before the start time. We learned that early on.
We thoroughly enjoyed our dining experiences. We went to the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch daily. There were many options, including salads, soups, and desserts. The food was of great quality. We chose the 5:30pm dining option. We would begin each night with an appetizer and our children would eat dinner. At 6:40pm, our children would go to Adventure Ocean and we would complete our meal in the dining room. Our waiters were amazing. They were not only very particular with all their tasks, they were also very friendly!
After dinner, we would either see a show or watch a movie by the pool. The shows were all very good, especially the comedy shows. We also attended The Gift and We Will Rock You. The Gift is hard to follow without any background information. We Will Rock You was great. We love anything involving music. We also thoroughly enjoyed the farewell performance.
We didn't shop much. The Anthem has a different shopping concept compared to other ships. It felt very crammed and quite frankly many items were not affordable. We tried to purchase some t-shirts; however, there wasn't much of a selection in the sizes we were looking for (Youth Small, Youth Medium, Adult Small, Adult 3X).
Overall, we enjoyed our vacation on the Anthem of the Seas. Read Less
We chose Carnival Pride because the departure city of Baltimore is about an hour away, so no airfare required. Drove to the harbor and had to wait maybe 20 minutes for luggage drop-off and parking. Check-in went quickly at our appointed ... Read More
We chose Carnival Pride because the departure city of Baltimore is about an hour away, so no airfare required. Drove to the harbor and had to wait maybe 20 minutes for luggage drop-off and parking. Check-in went quickly at our appointed time. The walk up the gangplank is a bit of a hike if you're out of shape and lugging much carry-on.
We splurged on this cruise because we were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary, and were really happy with our Grand Suite, except the lack of outlets. See below for cabin review. But I will add that we LOVED having a nice big balcony, so there was no need to compete for space around the pools, all of which were extremely crowded, including the Serenity area. If I had wanted to be in the pools, I would have found that very annoying.
Dinner every night was in the main dining room, where we took the late seating. Initially assigned to a table for 4, our dining partners moved to a table with a window, so we had the table to ourselves all week - yay! Wait staff was friendly and efficient, and brought us a special little dessert for our anniversary. Once hubby found out he could pick and choose entrees and sides, have dessert as an appetizer and take another dessert back to the cabin to eat later, he was a happy camper! I enjoyed sampling the more adventurous options - but overdid it at the start of the week and by the end of the week was keeping it simpler.
I was a little disappointed that a number of guests did not comply with the dining room dress codes at all, even on the formal nights (a few wearing shorts, t-shirt, and baseball cap). I appreciate that the ship doesn't want to be clothing police, but it would be nice if people understand that it brings the experience down for other diners if they're dressed like they went to McDonalds. At least a polo shirt and slacks would have been a decent compromise (even though that's technically what's expected the rest of the week at dinner, right?)
We mostly enjoyed our cabin, balcony, and casino. Line dancing on Lido deck was fun. Dr. Dre was outstanding as cruise director - so much energy and humor! But we didn't really partake of other entertainment or activities this time around - just wanted relaxation.
Port #1 - Grand Turk: Excursion Deep Sea/Reef Fishing - We had a blast. Six cruisers on the boat, and we caught 3 baracuda! Had the option to stop trolling and go bottom fishing to catch more, but we were all having fun so we kept trolling for the big guys!
Port #2 - Half Moon Cay: No excursion. Rented snorkel and enjoyed a little self-guided exploration.
Port #3 - Freeport: Excursion - Ocean Swim with Dolphins! YES! This was so much fun - I highly recommend, even though it's pricey. It was a bucket list item. Swimming in the lagoon would be better for people not comfortable swimming in deep ocean with fins.
Back on the ship - our steward Farry was really nice, and did a great job taking care of us. We asked for ice twice a day, and there it was! We blew up an extension cord (oops) and he got a replacement. Very efficient and thoughtful. Read Less
We chose this cruise specifically because it had childcare service for our two year old toddler. We are a family of four with 2 kids a nine year old and the toddler. The itinerary was ok as we have been to the Caribbean many times but ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically because it had childcare service for our two year old toddler. We are a family of four with 2 kids a nine year old and the toddler. The itinerary was ok as we have been to the Caribbean many times but not to Labadee and we’re eager to explore San Juan.
The ship is beautiful and embarkation was a breeze. The ship is tastefully decorated and a welcome relief from the garish decor of the Carnival ships. There is lots to do and we took advantage of all of it - the pools, slides, carousel and the zip line.
We chose a boardwalk view cabin to save on cost. The room was small but had good storage. The bathroom was small but adequate. The balcony is teensy. There was a partial ocean view.
We did not partake in much of the entertainment but what we did see was top notch. The bars were all very good but beware of high drink prices - think $13 Mojitos. Basic beers are $8 plus the high tips just makes the drinks even more expensive. We did not buy the drink packages and our final tab confirms we did not drink enough to justify it.
We like to stay in shape and the fitness center was well equipped but sometimes very crowded. There is access to a very nice jogging track. I like to use the sauna to detox and relax but there is none - except in the spa for a fee. :-(
The food was hit or miss. I had high expectations with RCL but was frankly disappointed. The Windjammer was fine good choices and mostly tasty but the food in the main dining room consisted of over cooked seafood or grisly steaks. My wife, a vegetarian was lacking in choice as there we nearly none. Desserts were blah.
Service was spotty as well. The cabin steward was ok but we received towel animals only two nights where on Carnival it’s every night. My kids get a kick out of it. In the main dining room we chose my time dining due to the lack of information on the babysitting service prior to sailing.. I didn’t realize My Time meant waiting 30-45 minutes for a table! All this while paying for child care. :-(
We loved Labadee so many activities and very nice. Wish we were provided a list of activities or a map beforehand we could have planned it better. The zip line looked real fun.
We didn’t go due to protesters in San Juan. i understand the reasons for safety sake, but no alternative ports offered as well as no credits. Not good customer care if you ask me.
We took an independent excursion to the beach it was just ok. The island is very dry right now and recovering from the hurricane.
Our kids loved the ship my toddler especially loved the carousel. The camps and baby services were excellent. The pools and amenities were really good, lots to do. Entertainment was top notch. Good and varied bars.
Average food especially in the MDR. High drink prices, and the TIPS. Oh my you are now paying $58 per cabin for a family of 4 PER DAY! Plus drink tips! Yikes. I also felt that RCL should have offered something for the loss of one port. We got nothing. Wait times in the MDR were ridiculous.
Would I sail RCL again? Probably not, at least for a while. They charge a premium over the other lines such as Carnival and NCL, presumably for better food and service. But the gap is closed and I don’t see the need to spend the extra $$. Read Less
We spent 3 nights in Fort Lauderdale at a beach hotel prior to the cruise, and on the morning of departure we took a quick taxi to Port Everglades. The terminal was very busy but the lineups moved quickly and check in was fast and ... Read More
We spent 3 nights in Fort Lauderdale at a beach hotel prior to the cruise, and on the morning of departure we took a quick taxi to Port Everglades. The terminal was very busy but the lineups moved quickly and check in was fast and efficient. Our room was ready when we boarded the ship around 1:00 PM.
The Caribbean Princess has been modernized, and we noticed the newer rugs, new pictures in our stateroom, and newer look to the ship in general. There is a new splash pad zone on the upper deck for kids, with several lounge chairs (some with clamshell type covers) nearby.
We went ashore in Princess Cays, Bahamas, which is a busy beach with lots of room to spread out. We booked a cabana for the day, and it was nice to have a spot to regroup, cool down, or just take a break either indoor with the ac or outside on the shaded lounge chairs.
We also went ashore in St. Thomas and took a bus tour & beach break. In St. Maarten we took a similar tour but spent more time on a beach with an included lunch.
The weather cooperated the entire week and it was sunny and hot each and every day.
Overall, we enjoyed our cruise very much. Our room steward did a good job, the wait staff in the restaurant (Club Class Dining) were very attentive, the front desk and shop staff were also very friendly and helpful.
The ship is easy to navigate, and we found using the aft elevators very handy because they were less busy as compared to the midship elevators. The pool areas were a bit crowded on sea days but there was often a few chairs available in which to sit.
We didn’t eat in the Marketplace cafeteria more than a few times; the sit down dining rooms provided a table, wait service, and less of a rush so it was more relaxing for us to eat in those venues when we could. For breakfast we generally ordered room service - one of our favourite ways to start the day!
Our room was well laid out and spacious, with two windows & close to the water with very little noise or movement from the ship. The location couldn’t be beat: close to the Piazza, front desk, shops, and Coral Dining Room.
Overall, a great week on the Caribbean Princess! Read Less
We overall enjoyed our cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. Our two interior cabins were clean and well kept. (It would have been nice for Princess to choose a floorplan that sacrificed a bit of closet space in order to expand the size of the ... Read More
We overall enjoyed our cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. Our two interior cabins were clean and well kept. (It would have been nice for Princess to choose a floorplan that sacrificed a bit of closet space in order to expand the size of the shower, though. At 6'1", my "wingspan" in the shower was much more important than having six superfluous feet of closet space in which to hang a handful of dressy clothes.) The food was amazing and we very much enjoyed the shows and activities offered on the ship. Our excursions were top notch. Our girls spent most of their onboard time in the teen room, and had a blast with the planned activities.
However, we had major problems with the Medallion system from the moment of embarkation. For some reason, my daughters and I were issued Medallions, but my husband was issued a key card. I still have no idea why ... I did nothing unusual with his booking process. We were told at embarkation that his Medallion would be ready by dinnertime. At dinnertime, no Medallion. Then we were told that it would be ready first thing in the morning. In the morning, no Medallion.
We grew increasingly frustrated as we fell into a pattern of checking in at the service desk every 6-8 hours to be repeatedly told that his Medallion was still being processed. At one point, he asked what would happen if one of our girls lost her Medallion; he was told that a new one would be issued immediately. When he asked why such service couldn't be granted for him, we discovered that the key-card and Medallion databases were entirely separate entities, and he would have to be "created" as a new passenger in order to receive a Medallion. This finally did occur; he received his Medallion ... halfway through the cruise.
Once his Medallion was activated, both he and our older daughter were able to track all of us, but my younger daughter and I could not track him. Ever.
In addition, for a period of 36 hours, our younger daughter's Medallion dropped off the system and she was un-trackable as she moved about the ship. She was unable to do anything without being accompanied by her sister, with a properly working Medallion, as that was the only way we could ensure that we were able to keep tabs on where she was. When we raised this issue at the service desk, the clerk logged in to his iPad and showed us where she was at that moment. "See? She's perfectly safe!" he told us. We walked him over to the nearest public kiosk and showed him that his information was useless to us, as we couldn't see it ourselves. We felt like we weren't being heard. Not being able to verify her safety was only part of the problem; the larger issue was a faulty tracking system, completely out of our control.
I had a scary moment, once both girls' Medallions were back online, when I went to track them and discovered that they were on different floors. The younger one was on a floor which contained only private cabins. She had no business being on such a floor. I raced down to her tracking location to discover that she wasn't there. I climbed six flights of stairs in a panic to find my older daughter in the teen room and ask where her sister was; I found both of them sitting together. I walked to the closest kiosk and logged in; my younger girl, sitting 15 feet away from me, was still registering as being on a cabin-only floor six levels below. Her Medallion location only reset when she logged herself into the kiosk.
The Medallion system definitely gives great benefits ... when it works. Obviously the system has a lot of kinks to be worked out. Read Less
We live in Florida and Port Lauderdale in convenient for a quick getaway. We chose Princess because we have always had overall positive experiences on Princess Ships and this cruise was no exception. Because we have cruised the Caribbean ... Read More
We live in Florida and Port Lauderdale in convenient for a quick getaway. We chose Princess because we have always had overall positive experiences on Princess Ships and this cruise was no exception. Because we have cruised the Caribbean on numerous previous occassions we booked this crusie primarily for the on board experience so shore excursions and ports of call did not have much enfluence on our choice of cruises. We picked this sailing because it met our schedule and was convenient in that it sailed form Lauderdale.
On our last several crusies we have opted for the Suite level cabins and in all honesty have become spoiled. The additional ammenities while costly make for a much more enjoyable experience. The suite (L106) was pretty spacious but a little dated in decor especially in the bathroom. The balcony was especially specious and included 2 chaise lounge chairs which allowed us to escape the crowds on the pool deck and have some real solitude.
The food on the cruise was very good with the exception of the World Market Buffet. We noticed that the quality of the buffet offerings was significantly reduced from our experiences on previous Princess cruises. We ate there for lunch on 4 occassions but only because it was convenient to the pool deck and allowed us to dine without changing out of our swim wear. Noticibly from the buffet absent was the steam ship round (roast beef) sea food i.e., boiled shrimp, oysters, clams, and other upgraded fare we have enjoyed from the buffet on other Princess cruises. With the exception of the buffet the food was very very good boardering on excellent the other exception being the Crown Grill again the quality of the food there was not nearly as good as we've had from the Grown Grill on other Princess ships.
The service was outstanding across the board especially in the Club Class dining venues. Over all we enjoyed the cruise a great deal and would describe it as better that what we experiened on other cruise lines but a little short of what we have come to expect from Princess. If you visit Princess Cay don't waste your money on the $225 bungalow we made that mistake while there in January 2019 and felt ripped off even at a lower cost of $199. Read Less
I chose this cruise because it was a time my family could come (9 people in 3 cabins) and Ft Lauderdale was convenient to get to for all. I had heard the Allure was a great ship but I was a bit disappointed that there were no water slides ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was a time my family could come (9 people in 3 cabins) and Ft Lauderdale was convenient to get to for all. I had heard the Allure was a great ship but I was a bit disappointed that there were no water slides and that RCL no longer had the Dreamworks characters or any substitution. Also, there was no parade on this cruise though they were rehearsing one for the future. Still, everyone had loads of fun with the activities on board.
We landed in Ft Lauderdale on the day before (which we usually do) and got on board at 11:15 AM. There were plenty of people to help us learn about the ship and there even was a talk about the ship on embarkation day- though it could have been better. Our luggage was delivered on time though we went to the dining room in shorts and our "special" family t-shirts.
The ship is due for changes (retrofitting) and it needs it. There were places where it was showing it's age. Also, as stated before, there were no water slides which almost all ships now seem to have. The service was excellent throughout. We had some issues (like a toilet that stopped working) that were resolved quickly. There were many venues and choices of entertainment and fun that were easy to get into- even without a reservation- and the quality of the entertainment throughout the ship was excellent- especially the orchestra. My wife got sick while on board and had to see the doctor. They took good care of her, allowed her to access movies and room service without charge and even gave us something special at the end of the cruise.
Our cruise critic meet and mingle was not attended by as many as should have come. The crew accommodated us and provided a couple of bottles of champaigne for prizes
The food was excellent though somewhat salty at times. The menu had enough choices though only 3-4 change daily while 4-5 are served every day. I was not happy to see that you could pay more for a "premiere" steak or full lobster but understand that it would save $40-50 from going to a specialty restaurant- which we never do and don't recommend. Only Chops Grill is actually worth it if you decide to partake.
Service throughout was excellent as all of our wants and needs were quickly met and our waiters and cabin personnel were very attentive.
The shore excursions were a bit disappointing though the Yunke rainforest tour in Puerto Rico was excellent. The tour of St Martin could have had 1-2 more stops rather than spending 30 minutes at a shopping area. In Labadee, there were not enough trams to handle the crowd at the end of the day and my daughter-in-law and family had to hustle to get back to the ship on time.
Most of my family were never on a cruise before and they had a great time. One even booked an open cruise that she can use within one year. The kids enjoyed the mini-golf, trivias, sports court and, of course the food though my 5 year old grandson chose to spend time with his parents rather than go to Adventure Ocean. He was very close to 6 but had to stay with the 3-5 year olds and was not crazy about that. The teens did not spend much time in the lounge but explored other things like the zipline and rock climbing. I always enjoy karaoke and they had that daily.
It will be interesting to see the Allure after she is retrofitted and cleaned up. She is a fun ship and there wasn't as much "selling" as I was led to believe. Oh, they do sell but it wasn't pushy- at least to me. Read Less
We choose this cruise because it was stoping at the Bahamas and Keywest.
First lets start by saying that this is one of Carnival older ships. The decor is outdated and the colors are dark. However, the ship was clean, the staff was ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was stoping at the Bahamas and Keywest.
First lets start by saying that this is one of Carnival older ships. The decor is outdated and the colors are dark. However, the ship was clean, the staff was friendly, and there was plenty to do.
Out of all of the cruises Ive taken this one has had the best food so far I really enjoyed Guy's Burgers, deli, BBQ, and the 24 hour ice cream. The dining hall food was really great as well. Every drink I had was great!
They keep the entertainment live on this ship. Emma the cruise director kept the energy alive the whole 7 days. She is awesome.
The first stop was Keywest. There is really nothing to do here in my opinion. All we did was walk Duval St. We ended up renting a golf cart to get around the island but that was a waste of money. We only did it to make it easir on my parents so they wouldn't have to walk around.
The second stop was Freeport Bahamas. We booked an excursion off the boat. Which is much cheaper than booking with Carnival. I suggest booking with tour guide Brice. He was very informative while taking us around Freeport. Then he took us to a really nice beach where the water was beautiful and not too crowded. The weather was hot but beautiful. We visited a candle factory and also sampled rum cake. Brice took us to a local market where you can buy homemade souvenirs that the local made themselves.
Our last stop was Nassau Bahamas. It was cloudy and scattered showers. We booked tour around the city once we got off the boat. We visited the Queens staircase which is beautiful and historic. It was also a marketplace there where you can buy souvenirs that the locals made themselves. We also visited hotel Atlantis. Which all we did there was walk around the lobby and they have an aquarium along the perimeter off thr lobby. If you want to visit the aquarium you will have to pay an additional cost for that. We didnt bother to go to the beach this day due to the weather conditions. We also went to a rum cake factory and tasted samples of rum cake. And we went to a tea factory and sampled tea, which was really tasty.
The shows were okay. The comedians at the comedy club was really funny.
Everything was a blast and smooth sailing up until the last day and half of the cruise. We got caught up in Hurricane Barry. And the boat was rocking so bad you could hardly walk. People were getting sick everywhere due to the motion. It was not a fun day or night. Most of my family were 1st time cruisers and that pretty much ruined any chance of them getting on a ship again.
Overall we had a blast. It would have been perfect if it was not for the hurricane.
I would definitely cruise with Carnival again. Read Less
We are not new to cruising, but this was our first Celebrity cruise. We are sold on the brand. Despite the fact that we can't wait to sail with Celebrity again, five stars would be an indication that there is no room for improvement ... Read More
We are not new to cruising, but this was our first Celebrity cruise. We are sold on the brand. Despite the fact that we can't wait to sail with Celebrity again, five stars would be an indication that there is no room for improvement or growth. If I could, I would rate our overall experience 4.5. We enjoyed three aft concierge class balcony cabins on the ninth deck. The adjoining/connecting cabin feature on the Equinox is refreshing and has a cool factor. You cannot enter or exit through the interior of the rooms. Instead, there are double doors that serve as a foyer of sorts. When the double doors are closed, you are the "connecting" cabins are encased. If you leave the door to each connecting cabins propped open or unlocked, occupants can freely move between each cabin. You access the double doors with your stateroom key. Aft balconies that "connect" to a sky suite enjoy access to their cabins through a single door that open into a spacious hallway. You control your level of privacy. We also loved how swiftly our request to unlock the partisans of our balconies was honored. It was like we had one huge, extended balcony all to ourselves. We received five-star cabin and room service. Our cabin steward was marvelous and ready to accommodate. Every dining experience, whether in the main dining room, in the cafe or at specialty restaurants, was also five-star. The staff you encounter daily understand the concepts of professionalism and customer-centered service. Everyone went out of their way to make us feel like we were genuinely on vacation. Celebrity deserves an A+ in those areas.
However, Celebrity ranks poorly when it came to a customs matter. Unlike previous sailings with other cruise lines, we were led to believe that we did not need to complete any customs forms or declare purchases in writing. The day before we returned to Ft. Lauderdale, my husband -- to my own pleasant surprise and initial shock -- bought our college sophomore a pair of chocolate diamond earrings. It is not the first time he has paid thousands of dollars on a cruise ship for diamonds, so questions were asked upfront. The manner in which my husband was approached as we disembarked was disturbing. (Hence, the less than five stars). A member of the Equinox staff approached my husband in a covert way and asked him to come with her --- no explanation or clue as to why. It all happened quickly and in the confusion, he ended up getting separated from our group. My husband says he expressed his concerns and received an apology for the manner that he was escorted to customs. Nevertheless, it should not have happened.
Much has been written about expansive renovations that will take place among the Celebrity fleet. The Equinox was fresh off a dry dock, but it is my understanding that some areas of the ship benefited more than others. There are beautifully appointed restaurants, sitting areas and other public spots throughout the ship. I specifically asked a veteran member of the staff about the staterooms. The Equinox did not get the major "revolutionized" renovation many expected. Based on previous pictures, however, I could tell that the new beige and blue color schemes for the drapes, bedding and carpet was an improvement for the cabins, giving ours a relaxing feel.
We booked about 60 days until sailing, which I consider last minute. I considered it a blessing to find three concierge class balcony staterooms next to each other. The perks -- especially the expanded room service menu -- were wonderful. I am thankful for the fast and reliable Internet service. We selected the complimentary Internet package as one of our promotional offerings. I had no issues completing some graduate course assignments by deadline. I also appreciated the ability to make reservations for any-time dining in the upstairs main dining room. The food was delicious, the service was consistently outstanding and the atmosphere was pleasing. Our servers were professional and personable, but never intrusive. Tuscan Grille allowed us to break the monotony of our evenings. Everything about Tuscan Grille fits the definition of fine dining at its best.
An overview of our port experiences: I have given up on shore excursion offerings in the Caribbean. Celebrity partners with Private Journeys, which was no help. After an initial response from an agent and my follow-up question, I did not get another email until just days before sailing. The agent's email stated that a lead did not work out and she was unable to help after all. It turns out that we were a million times better off researching and planning day trips on our own. We had an amazing time at a resort in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. For $30 a person plus taxi fare for the four of us, I was able to book one of the most memorable and fun day trips of my life. A The scenic BVI, followed by St. Thomas, was the highlight of our port experiences.
Magen's Beach in St. Thomas was crowded with guests from the Equinox and two other cruise ships, but we found a spot to set up beach chairs and umbrellas, which must be rented from the gift shop.
We have been to Nassau, Bahamas countless times. We did not leave the ship. As for Puerto Rico, this was my second and last time giving it a chance. We went there about a week before the protests. We had no idea a political uprising was brewing, but we knew something was way off and talked about it. The atmosphere was tense. With the exception of a hostess standing outside a bar, no one seemed friendly or helpful. You know something is off when cabs are lined up along the port but you have to initiate conversations to get a ride. I observed many fellow cruisers returning to the ship after a brief venture out. We walked to Walgreens and made our way back to the ship.
We did not make it to any of the shows or participate in enrichment activities. I enjoyed the solitude of the library, however. Read Less
I chose this cruise for the Ports. We first stopped over in St. Maarten, which was a very nice Port and the people were very friendly. They seem to be a little more "layed back" than some other Caribbean places. Second stop was ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the Ports. We first stopped over in St. Maarten, which was a very nice Port and the people were very friendly. They seem to be a little more "layed back" than some other Caribbean places. Second stop was St. Kitts, same atmosphere with a little more "hustle and bustle" but not to the point of being "annoying". And thirdly was Grand Turk, we always love this port. It has gotten alot of tourism. The Beaches at all of these places were just beautiful; relaxing; comfortable and calm.
The Magic itself, is a big ship with room enough for everyone. It is a very "plain" looking ship. Some nice decour. The food either on the Lido Deck or one of the ship's (free)restaurants, was just Delicious. Also, we went to the Italian Restaurant(De Capitana), the service was xcellent; waiter was great and the food was "bellissimo". The Entertainment should've been much better, it lacked MotorCity; Bway shows and other Musical show. I've seen better shows on other Carnival Ships and this was the worst. But "all in all" we had a GREAT Cruise and beautiful weather all around. But the Parents should talk to their Teens before Cruising, about how to Cruise because alot of people don't know how to Cruise with other people. I will Cruise again, and I will enjoy the Cruise again. Read Less
Having read many reviews about this ship I felt I should also write a review. Embarkment quick however the safety drill chaotic notifications received advising we failed to attend plus reminders when we did undertake this briefing staff ... Read More
Having read many reviews about this ship I felt I should also write a review. Embarkment quick however the safety drill chaotic notifications received advising we failed to attend plus reminders when we did undertake this briefing staff just forgot to scan our cards.
Food average buffets the same most days and evening dining plus getting a drink from your drinks package slow. No separate fast food areas besides going into main buffet areas.
Entertainment in the day and evening great. Shows incredible, silent disco, white party, nightclub etc. We felt the ship catered for all ages including my 21 year old son and daughter of 19 years.
Since we smoke decks 19, 7 and 8 catered for our needs and I thought the easy drinks package which we purchased was fantastic. Two drinks at a time, could then straight away reorder the staff were more than helpful and no big queues.
Easy to get sunbeds , staff generally helpful, ship clean. I agree elevators a little slow but you could use the stairs. Room made up twice a day.
On occasion, staff seemed overworked , were not overly enthusiastic except a guy called happy on 19th deck.
We all thoroughly enjoyed the ports and the excursions I booked myself.
Value for money and photography excellent. Read Less
Just finished up a week on the Celebrity Equinox- Eastern Caribbean Itinerary and it was, overall, a great experience. However, I would be less than honest if I didn't also state that the cruise fell a bit short of expectations. ... Read More
Just finished up a week on the Celebrity Equinox- Eastern Caribbean Itinerary and it was, overall, a great experience. However, I would be less than honest if I didn't also state that the cruise fell a bit short of expectations. Following is my effort to provide an honest and fair assessment of the Equinox and our experience on her.
For reference- my wife and I are 50's/60's and have sailed on Carnival, Norwegian, Princess and one previous Celebrity Cruise (Mediterranean). Wife is from Scotland, I'm American, but have lived in UK and traveled a fair bit, mostly in Europe.
The Equinox Itself is a beautiful ship that is generally well laid out and easy to navigate. Cabins are very nice- Ours was an aft balcony which we really enjoyed. It was a pretty long walk to the elevators & stairs, but we didn't mind. For those who may have health or mobility issues, a more mid-ship location would probably be advisable. Although we generally try to use the stairs to help burn off calories, there were ample elevators and although the ship was full, the wait times were never long. The ship was well maintained and clean, and there were plenty of hand sanitizer stations throughout the ship which we appreciated.
THE CREW/STAFF & ENTERTAINMENT
We found the crew to be very friendly and helpful. Bartenders were often busy, but worked hard to accommodate everyone. The Celebrity Song & Dance crew were quite good and we enjoyed their presentations, particularly 'Topper'. The House Band was excellent and the other entertainers did a good job, as well. We also felt Maartin (Cruise Director) did an outstanding job. Overall, I'd rate the entertainment at an 8 out of 10.
This is one of the areas where we felt Celebrity has 'fallen off' a bit. While the Silhouette Main Dining was Good, it wasn't Great. The service was excellent, but Celebrity has clearly elected to decrease it's food costs somewhat as compared to our last cruise with them. In fairness to the company and as a restaurant owner, I can understand the huge challenges they must face when attempting to feed so many people with varying tastes and still maintain profitability. However, I really hate the fact that Celebrity, as well as most of the other cruise lines have elected to push the extra-cost specialty restaurants so heavily. It's quite obvious they are using a lower grade of beef and seafood in the main dining room and only serving 'Prime' or upper-level 'Choice' in the specialty venues. That would be easier to accept if the cost of dining in the specialty venues didn't run $50+ per person per meal. I just believe that is a bit excessive for most cruisers.
The Oceanview Buffet food was very good and equalled or exceeded that of buffets on our past cruises with a myriad of choices MOST of the time. Unfortunately, this venue was more or less shut down during the afternoons and after around 9 to 9:30 in the evening; offering only pasta and pizza at those times. Late-night dining options were very limited, although free room service was available until midnight. Apparently, the 'Midnight Buffets' are a thing of the past?
Burgers, fries, hot dogs, etc were available at the Mast Grill, but I'm not sure on the hours of operation.
We chose not to eat at any of the specialty restaurants, but heard generally positive things about them.
PORTS of CALL
This was really our biggest disappointment with the Equinox's Eastern Caribbean itinerary- Not so much the Ports-of-Call themselves, but more the timing. The stops (in order) are San Juan, St Thomas (USVI), Tortola (BVI) & Nassau. We elected to take this cruise primarily because we wanted to see San Juan and Tortola. Unfortunately, these were the two ports in which we had the least time (basically, only a half-day). I've been to St Thomas a few times and am not a big fan (although it does offer one of the best beaches in the Caribbean). Given its close proximity to San Juan & Tortola, I would much prefer to have concentrated more on those ports.
As is the case with every cruise I've been on, Celebrity 'pushes' those activities which provide them with extra profit- Art auctions, shore excursions, shopping in certain stores, etc. To their credit, their promotion of these things is not in the least obtrusive (as it sometimes is on Norwegian and Princess). My only complaint here is with their "Shopping Programs". The 'Shopping Guide (Michael) and probably the cruise line itself obviously has some sort of 'arrangement' with certain stores in each of the ports. It's fine that they offer recommendations for shops that sell 'genuine' & legitimate merchandise; however, these 'shows' are a bit misleading in that the great deals they go on & on about are not really that great. I priced some rather expensive watches that were supposedly 'Duty and Tax Free' making them a great bargain, only to discover I can buy them just as cheaply back home.
But, my real complaint here is that maps they give you of each port, show ONLY the shops they are promoting.
I will definitely sail with Celebrity again. In spite of the areas above where I have outlined a few issues, I still believe they are one of the best, if not 'the best' of the mid/upper-level cruise lines. I've read some pretty negative stuff another reviews and have a hard time believing these people were being objective. For example, one reviewer of a March, 2019 cruise made the comment that the smoking areas around all of the bars bothered he and his wife. Hogwash! There ARE NOT smoking areas around all of the bars. Equinox has 4 designated smoking areas, 2 of which are locate on the starboard-side of bars- One completely aft and the other on the top deck forward. All one has to do at either of these, is sit on the port side where it's smoke free. None of the other bars allow smoking.
Another cruiser complained about embarkation, I honestly do not see how it could have gone any smoother. I thought Celebrity did an outstanding job of getting everyone on and off the ship smoothly. Read Less
This was our first cruise with MSC, having previously cruised with Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. The Seaside is a beautiful ship and we had a great cruise, but MSC do fall short in some critical areas.
Embarkation and disembarkation in ... Read More
This was our first cruise with MSC, having previously cruised with Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. The Seaside is a beautiful ship and we had a great cruise, but MSC do fall short in some critical areas.
Embarkation and disembarkation in Miami was fast and easy. Our bags were delivered on and off the ship very quickly - leave it to the porters. It’s baffling to me how many people drag huge luggage around with them on the first and last day.
The Seaside is beautiful. The Bridge of Sighs is very popular on the first day, go up at sunset for some great photos whether you’re in port or not. We liked dropping into the Sports Bar (the most inviting of any we’ve found on a ship) before or after an evening meal. There’s also a nice spot to relax on Deck 8, outside between the Sports Bar and La Boheme bistro. You’ll also find yourself taking a lot of pictures of the Atrium.
The balcony stateroom, 14240, was an alright fit for three people. The bathroom was a little small but the balcony was a good size.
Dining - This was our first experience with having a formal dining time on a cruise and we were more okay with it than we thought we would be. 7:30pm meant we had enough time in the late afternoon by the pool but still time to catch an evening show afterwards. Yudi & Karen in the Seashore restaurant were fantastic throughout. The one night we got to try Ipanema (the other complimentary restaurant) we found it a much nicer room. We were seated with other diners (most people weren’t, it seems), but thankfully this was fine because, well, they were fine, however we would always prefer to dine by ourselves. The food every night was good, nothing particularly outstanding. If you normally order steak medium, get it medium-rare. They really push the speciality dining but none of it tempted us. Would be nice to see some clear allergen information at the buffet as there isn’t enough of it.
Entertainment - MSC falls short here. We only really experienced the evening ‘showtime’ shows. You can skip most of these because the vast majority are near-identical shows every night. Traditional European/Italian variety shows - opening number, dance, circus acrobatics, maybe a magic trick or two and a big closing number. The shows are billed as being vastly different in their synopsis, they’re not. Timeless, The Wizard, The Dream, Fly… you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all with different costumes. A bit of research finds they are all productions by the same company. My advice would be to see The Wizard, Peter Punk (as it’s slightly different) and Starwalker, the Michael Jackson tribute, which is (thankfully) a different sort of show and the best of the lot. Starwalker is the only show which reaches the standard of entertainment we’ve come to expect from other cruises with NCL & RCI. The line-up of shows is disappointing and, quite honestly, lazy on the part of the entertainment commissioners. It contrasts their performers who clearly work hard every night. BeerProv and the opera didn’t tempt us. Would’ve been nice to see some stand-up. MasterChef at Sea was a fun way to kill an hour during a Sea Day.
Ports of Call - We stopped at San Juan, Charlotte Amalie, Philipsburg, and Nassau. All of these are worth getting off for, however the time we were in all bar Charlotte Amalie felt way too short. It felt like the cruise should’ve been done in a different order (so we had longer in each port) as we were only in San Juan in the evening and had to leave Philipsburg at 2pm. My top recommendations are Magens Bay in Charlotte Amalie and Maho Beach in Philipsburg (you can either Google this beach or be surprised at its USP).
Some miscellaneous notes - I’m not big on shopping but grab the port shopping maps for some free souvenir coupons (largely no purchase necessary). The MSC for Me app & wristband are really useful and worked with no issues. The ship map & ability to book shows through it are handy (on that note, book all your shows on the first day of the cruise). Bistro la Boheme is not really used for anything and the bar next to it didn’t seem to be open much, I expect it to be revamped come refit time. I do appreciate the number of tannoy announcements being small compared to other ships - not being bothered by the casino, excursions, shopping, future cruise team etc. We were surprised at the things that cost extra such as billiards and the zip wire, and how ludicrously expensive most of these extra activities were. The casino is also on the small side.
A rather important note - of all the ships I’ve been on, this is the one I’ve felt the ship’s movement on the most by far. On all the others you’d feel it for a few seconds every once in a while, on this ship it’s frequent, more or less constant whilst sailing, and particularly noticeable when you’re lying in bed (on deck 14, at least). It doesn’t bother me so much but I know it has bothered other passengers, and it does put me off travelling on this ship again in case we face choppier waters. At one point during MasterChef at Sea, the host remarked “your spaghetti is vibrating”. Our coat hangers also crashed about in the night, and we’re fairly sure it’s not paranormal activity.
Overall - our Eastern Caribbean cruise on the MSC Seaside was enjoyable. The ports of call were great but I wish we’d had more time in them. The ship is, again, beautiful but unfortunately MSC do lack in some areas - speciality dining didn’t appeal to us (but we have done this with other cruise lines), the cuisine and price weren’t attractive, and the entertainment needs dramatic improvement. We won’t be hurrying back to MSC, but if you want a change from the likes of NCL & RCI, certainly consider getting on board the Seaside (though maybe not if you get seasick). Read Less
I had a great time and enjoyed being with my friends but there were pros and cons to the ship. I’ve been on six RCL cruises over the past 30 years so compared to my first cruise 30 years ago some things have gone downhill. My first ... Read More
I had a great time and enjoyed being with my friends but there were pros and cons to the ship. I’ve been on six RCL cruises over the past 30 years so compared to my first cruise 30 years ago some things have gone downhill. My first cruise years ago was amazing. Every bite of food was absolutely delicious. The ship was gorgeous and the guests were treated like kings and queens. The staff was overly friendly and accommodating and would practically knock you down to say hello with a big smile on their face.
I understand that with over 6000 passengers it’s a different experience but even The Majesty of the Seas, that I went on several years ago, the quality of the food had gone down.
The entertainment was amazing! I loved the ice skating shows and the comedians were great.
I was so glad they celebrated the 4th of July with the National Anthem and 2000 balloons.
The ship was beautiful, especially Central Park.
The food- Some things were good . I enjoyed the seafood and desserts but the meat and chicken were not good .
They basically had the same menu each night except for one or two entrees and one or two desserts would be different
There was no midnight buffet with the beautiful ice sculptures. That used to be one of the highlights of a cruise.
There was no where to sit inside to enjoy the ocean view. All the bars and public places were in the center of the ship with no views.
They charge you for a lot of things that used to be included. Also, they add on high gratuities on everything.
We have always tipped well but now they automatically make you tip. Probably because some people didn’t tip well.
I think for families it’s a fun ship but if you are looking for something a little more upscale for couples another cruise line might be a better choice. Read Less
Best Family Vacation we could have asked for. 2 early 50s adults with 18 and 22 y/o. Had two rooms (not together - decided late in process to get the 18 and 22 a separate inside room - best decision ever.) We had room 9594 - with large ... Read More
Best Family Vacation we could have asked for. 2 early 50s adults with 18 and 22 y/o. Had two rooms (not together - decided late in process to get the 18 and 22 a separate inside room - best decision ever.) We had room 9594 - with large balcony.
Food - we ate in MDR each night. Loved our waitstaff and was generally pleased with dinner options. The staff was very accommodating if our food wasn't exactly what we wanted. Breakfast and Lunch were mainly in the Windjammer or Solarium. LOVED Park Cafe in the morning - they had breakfast sandwiches/burritos - which broke the "buffet" style offerings. We had to change from My Time Dining to Second Session dining (b/c we made the room switch and ALL my reservations - dinner and shows were cancelled - DUMB way of doing it). But 2nd session worked great with our schedule. Stayed late at the pool or didn't have to rush when we were in port. Doors open at 7:45 and stay open until 8:15. Mini Bites was awesome if we wanted late snack to hold us until dinner.
Room - Was awesome. We had balcony/ocean view. We had the larger balcony which gave us lots of room. Before dinner was heaven just sitting there watching the ocean go by. Our room steward was Ricardo - and he was a pleasure to work with. He even went out of his way for our kids room - b/c they were in the inside rooms and we couldn't find their steward. RC had them as one King bed and he called down and got it separated into 2 twin beds.
Excursions - we hit a home run in both St. Thomas & St. Martin. CoCo Cay - we just went to beach, snorkeled on our own, visited the Oasis Pool, played in the Sand VB tournament, and ate at the Chill Island Grill. CHAIRS are everywhere. No need to worry about that. St. Thomas - we did the Champagne Snorkel Tour. TOP NOTCH! Staff was awesome, takes you to National Park on St. John - great snorkeling, ride back was super relaxing. A bit of traffic getting to and from so not much time to do anything else, but there are great little shops right at the dock, so easy to grab a few t-shirts before getting back on boat. St. Martin - we did the Rhino Rider tour. Again - excellent staff, FUN boats, they take you to a beach, let you snorkel for about 30 mins (snorkel are okay - nothing too exciting) and then you head back. Heading back they allow you to go rouge a little bit so was fun racing through the waters). After the excursion, the original bus driver had asked if anyone wanted to go to Maho Beach (were the planes fly over) and had a small bus ready to take us and another family over, leave us for a couple of hours and then came back to take us to the boat. We ate lunch and watched the planes. 2 hours there was too much time - but a fun experience. It is super crowded there.
Ship - so much to do. We found the shows a little long and repetitive, but was glad we had made reservations. There were always seats for those that didn't make reservations, so don't stress on that part. The planned activities (i.e. - Pool VB, Belly Flop contest, Cannonball contest, etc. were a hoot and made our kids trip). The Bionic Bar was so fun...the drinks we made were hilarious and often tasted like cough syrup but is worth spending time there. Enjoyed Dazzles - was late to the talent show - but heard it was awesome. Casino seemed hopping. Didn't spend a lot of time there. And all the different little bars with music playing was very enjoyable. Really liked the Solarium when you wanted down time...soft jazz music played here (I read a complaint that there was no music here - but we had music every time I went in)
Pools - pool for everyone. 2 middle pools were for everyone. 1 adult pool (16+ and life guards stick to that policy), 1 kiddie pool. And again - always found a chair. Sometimes not exactly where I wanted to be - but usually one would open and I could move. And lots of chairs in the shade too. (Never made any of the hot tubs - but SEVERAL on the pool deck)
Drink Package - we did the Deluxe package with alcohol and felt like we got our money's worth. Always grabbed bottled waters on way to room. Great way to try new drinks, had wine at dinner, also includes milk shakes at Johnny Rockets...so a little of everything. Bartenders and Pool Runners were always around and never had to wait long.
Check in/check out was a breeze. We did send our luggage down the night before and it was right where they said it would be. Customs looked like long line but went fast.
What I would change: Bring back plastic straws (or at least give you that option) - and yes I understand the environmental aspect...but the paper straws fell apart before you could get a drink down. I bought a "special" cup that had lid and straw at CoCo Cay and poured my drinks in it all week. Highly advise. Photos - give more details on checking out your picture package. LAST NIGHT was disaster in this area. Pictures were supposed to all be picked by 11 PM. At 9 PM all the computers were going offline and people were getting frustrated. I think if they would let you look at them in your own room, this area would not get crazy. Make the store near Mini Bites - open at better times. If in port it was closed, and during sea day it was only open for 2 hours. Always crowded. And you might want to add a few more "phone" accessories. As one child needed ear phones and other charger - and no where to get either (that we found).
All in all - GREAT vacation. Read Less
This was the third multi generational family cruise for our family which included three staterooms for my family, my inlaws, and my sister in law and her family.. Perfect stateroom location on lido deck 10290, 10286, and 10282. Literally ... Read More
This was the third multi generational family cruise for our family which included three staterooms for my family, my inlaws, and my sister in law and her family.. Perfect stateroom location on lido deck 10290, 10286, and 10282. Literally could not get any closer to the lido deck if you tried! This was the second time I've stayed in a balcony on lido deck, (last time starboard, this time port) and it is so incredibly convenient in the mornings for breakfast, and all day on sea days. My father in law has mobility issues so that made this and even better location for him.
This completed my "grand slam" on the Dream class and honestly, I'm done with Dream class for awhile. I do believe Breeze was the prettiest of the Dream class ships, the lido restaurant with its "trees" and "cabanas" was very nice. But we love ships. We cruise because of the ships first, ports second, and once you've done a ship three times, its time to move on. lol
Again, cabin location GREAT, but 10290 was right behind where the windows at Blue Iguana jut out so you had a bit of a blockage looking forward. Not a big deal though.
Food: same old same old. It's time for Carnival to update menu. The dining room menus have not changed and quite frankly there were some preparation issues. Our dining room waiter told us first night, "please be patient" and for the rest of the week we were the last table almost every night. The head waiter personally served our table all week so I believe someone was either let go, or quit, right before our cruise began. Amit was as attentive as he could be though and very friendly. Gede, the head waiter did what he could but it was just one of those things.
We treated my inlaws to Chef's Table on this cruise for their anniversary. We did this last summer on the Dream and i do believe the food was prepared better on Dream. Of course we still loved Chef's Table.
Entertainment: I thought there was no way we could top the Dream entertainment and i was 100% correct. Sadly, the entertainment on Breeze was VERY disappointing. I was talking up all the shows to our family, and nobody was impressed. I know that Dream has the best entertainment staff in the fleet, but Breeze was not even close.
Schwartz. LOVED Schwartz! The first day, during muster I though, ugh this guy is boooooring, but he turned it up the next day during his morning show with Kimbo. Those two have such a chemistry and for the first time in 9 cruises I watched the morning show EVERY single day!!!! Love Schwartz and Kimbo!!!!
New ebarkation at port canaveral super easy. We arrived at port by 1030am, we all had Faster to the Fun, got my father in law a wheel chair, and as soon as priority began boarding, we were on our way. On ship by about 10:50. Debarkation super easy too, we choose self debarkation. Read Less
I wanted to go bak to St. Thomas cause it's my home. We were celebrating our 28th anniversary so wanted to try a new cruise line. Well, we were very pleased. The check in was speedy thx to the medallion class ship. The staff, the ... Read More
I wanted to go bak to St. Thomas cause it's my home. We were celebrating our 28th anniversary so wanted to try a new cruise line. Well, we were very pleased. The check in was speedy thx to the medallion class ship. The staff, the food and the entertainment was wonderful. I truly enjoyed myself. Plus princess were so nice to us giving us freebies to make our celebration more special. I'll b bac(in the terminator voice) lol. The ocean now app didn't work for me, idk if it's bcause I didn't have internet but they said u didn't need it. It would have been great if it worked. The shore excursions were great, we bought them at the port cause the price was pretty darn good. One thing I didn't like at Princess Cays was that they had us pay for the clam shells bomber, jus plain wrong yep. Read Less
This was not the first time on the ship. No children. "Almost 50 couple" Highest level of Princess Cruiser, Elite. Don't like structure. Never do excursions. Don't do traditional dining. Yes, that type of couple. ... Read More
This was not the first time on the ship. No children. "Almost 50 couple" Highest level of Princess Cruiser, Elite. Don't like structure. Never do excursions. Don't do traditional dining. Yes, that type of couple. Dual Income, No Kids (DINK)
First, Fort Lauderdale with embarkation and disembarkation is just flawless. We know what to do as experienced cruisers, and they are just structured, easy to deal with, and very efficient.
This cruise was HOT HOT HOT ... no, I mean temperature it was scorching! The cold water pool was even warm and the cold water in the shower was warm. So know, this cruise was not weather perfect, but it is July in the Carribean!
The medallion process forward on the ship has gotten much better, but they are still inconsistent. The worse is when someone has to exchange their rooms. The last two times, including this one, the people could get into the rooms they were supposed to be one but retained their ability in getting into the old rooms too. So know, this is a major issue for them to resolve, but I don't think it affects many on the cruise thankfully.
Overall, the medallion experience DOES make cruising easier as a whole, and I think Princess has something going on correct here. The games on the boards, etc., are really great for adults as well as the kids.
In addition not having to unlock your room with a card is great especially when you have to go to the bathroom. The door is just open .... saying GO GO GO! That is service!
Overall, the Caribbean Princess ship was well maintained and definitely has a great captain with details and order. I usually look at the flooring on the stairs for dust, and there was none. Where I also look was the air intake duct in the back of the ship and was dirty. I would think if there was more of a demand for the cleaning of these outside air ducts as routine the air quality would increase. To me, that is the biggest part that is missed on ANY CRUISE LINE.
We did the Princess's ULTIMATE SHIP'S TOUR, and it was great. The captain was very attentive, talkative, and well "a great host" in the final part of the tour. It is a 3-hour tour (no jokes please), but you get to see the entire ship from the galley, dry cleaning, washing, printing, etc., usually on the last day. It is $150, but what you get 1 robe, 3 photos or more, frame or display casing, apron, name printed stationary, and more ... it is well worth the $150. However, there is only 1 tour per cruise and I have seen only 15 people at most. So, if you are going to get this tour, as soon as you get on the ship, RUN TO CUSTOMER SERVICE and get on the list. If you forget, check later and get on the waiting list, but you are likely not to get called.
The new kids' areas and adult seating areas on the 17th floor is a great addition onto the ship. The add ons for the kids and the adults are just top notch. As a DINK, would like to see more adult seating and spacing like overhang, etc. Would like to see more adult fun nights in comedy, games (like drag queen BINGO), etc. to add something from the same old same old. We are adults. It is ok. Let the kids say on Deck 17.
The food has gotten so much better with the variety and "mixing it up" so you don't feel you are not getting the same old same old in the buffet. But the buffet they have down. The traditional dining areas are always great but it is the service, and the service was spot on for this cruise.
Buffet Secrets: Make your omelet first on the back of the buffet. Ask someone to help you the first day, then you can do it thereafter. Also, ask for REAL EGGS otherwise, you get the ones that are out of the box.
We enjoyed the Go-Pro seminars and would go back for more advanced. FOR ALL CRUISE PEOPLE THAT EFFECT CHANGE: You sell Go Pros on board. It would be great if you could have an excursion that shows us the practical application of the Go-Pro in a variety of ways like running off a wharf into the water ... swimming underwater ... photographing a sunset. Then after all that is over, have a post-seminar in how to download it to a computer, the cloud, Instagram, etc. Team up with Go-Pro / whomever and show us how to use it more effectively. The sales will go up and satisfaction will go up. Maybe charge something but give it back to us in unique Go-Pro specific items. That is an excursion an elite person would enroll in!
I missed the "animals" education seminar on board part of the cruise and wish that was still on board this cruise. From parrots, Husky puppies, and more this is an opportunity for those that did not grow up around animals (and maybe don't want the responsibility of an animal) to see and appreciate animals more. The parrot show in the Carribean was always a great winner. I hope to see it later in the year.
With the specialty restaurants, they changed the menu with less risky and more for those whose pallets are not adventurous. There should be a couple of "adventurous" dishes so that those who enjoyed some of the old menus could maybe get that back. Just do it as first come first serve limited selection and do a small preparation. We Americans are used of that kind of eating out scenarios.
By the way, if you are a suite taker with any of the Princess ships, MAKE SURE you get the breakfast in Sabatini's. Just one of the best perks on the ship. Skip the buffet. Go enjoy your spouse/kids for breakfast. Eating breakfast (and coffee) will make it easier to live with the spouse/family the rest of the day.
Service was great. Seems the selection of crew overall was great. Spot on this cruise.
The quality of onboard souvenier items seems to be taking a little dip down. If I wanted cheap, I could get off the ship. Don't compete with off ship items, you will lose. Do a more quality motto from a better class of nicer cards (people play cards a lot on a cruise ship) to shirts that don't scratch your skin (or burn) when you put it on like off ship.
Entertainment was really good. I think sometimes people think they should get Broadway, but the acts are great. The magician was great. The comedy has been consistently great. Just I wish there was more of an ADULT night on a 7-day cruise. The kids don't have to see everything, and the fuddy-duddies can go to the earlier show.
Anyway, great above average experience. Looking forward to setting sailing with Princess Cruises again. And glad to see the effort they are putting into trying to update the expectations with the implementation of new things on their cruise ships. Read Less
Great trip! We were worried about sailing on a mega ship but we were pleasantly surprised. The only time we had issues with crowds were during evening dinner hours. The elevators were extremely busy during this time but we had to wait ... Read More
Great trip! We were worried about sailing on a mega ship but we were pleasantly surprised. The only time we had issues with crowds were during evening dinner hours. The elevators were extremely busy during this time but we had to wait due to one member of our party using a scooter.
We enjoyed the food in Windjammer, American Icon dining room, Small Bites, and Johnny Rockets.
There were plenty of activities for children on board. My 6 year old had lots of fun on the abyss, mini-golf course, rock climbing wall, and carousel. He was disappointed that he was not talk enough for the water slides.
Cocay was a fun stop for the kids. The water park was great and we also had fun snorkeling. We took a private handicapped accessible island tour on St. Thomas and a snorkeling excursion on St. Martin. Harmony of the Seas is a great ship and we can't wait until we can cruise again. Read Less
Sailing on the Harmony is like sailing on a mini-City. There’s always something to do and always something new to explore.
Embarkation- well-organized. The parking lot is a little crazy, but once you’re out of your car it’s ... Read More
Sailing on the Harmony is like sailing on a mini-City. There’s always something to do and always something new to explore.
Embarkation- well-organized. The parking lot is a little crazy, but once you’re out of your car it’s smooth sailing to the ship.
Cabin- the cabin is a cabin. Go for the balcony room. There are inside balconies that overlook the central area of the ship, but the outside balconies offer much more privacy. Luggage fits nicely under the bed and out of the way. Closets and drawers offer more space than I expected. Our attendant was outstanding.
Fitness- The fitness center is quite large. Many cardio machines and many weight machines. Free weight area could use an upgrade. The running track is extremely nice (although it has only one running and one walking lane). I ran 4-5 miles every day. My only complaint here is that there is no free sauna and steam room. No excuse for that.
Outdoor activities- the Solarium is the quiet place to hide out! Designed for 16+ guests, it offers plentiful seating, a bistro, and several hot tubs. It would be nice if there were a pool here, but it’s a minor drawback. The main pool deck is pretty routine with salt and fresh water pools. The biggest problem here is that no ship with 6500 passengers is ever going to have enough pool space for sea days. It’s just super-crowded. Other activities include water slides (OK), zipline (pretty lame), rock climbing (definitely fun), flow rider (super fun), scuba lessons in the pool (we didn’t try that), and ice skating (my family enjoyed it but each session is only 20 minutes and the ice gets pretty rough). I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but you get the idea - LOTS of stuff to do.
Entertainment- our sailing offered some of the best entertainment I’ve encountered on a cruise. You have to be early to get a good seat and be sure to reserve a seat online before the cruise. Tip for first time cruisers - if you go to nothing else, go to the Love and Marriage game show. It’s a must.
WiFi- They advertise the fastest internet on the Seas. Fastest speed test I ran was 3.76 down/2.01 up. It was also a little spotty and downright awful at times. It’s the most overpriced choice on the ship, but they know people will still buy it. At least you can stream shows and the picture is decent.
Main Dining Room- We ate in the American Icon for My Time Dining. They were totally disorganized the first few nights. The lines to get in looked like Wal-Mart lines for Black Friday. It got better as the week went on. We ate there 6 nights with 3 different wait staffs. Service was good only twice. The menu was pretty repetitive and I thought the food was rather bland. My family’s favorites were the spaghetti (offered 3 nights), chicken bread (offered most nights), and chicken parmigiana (offered only once). The biggest disappointments were the turkey and the ahi tuna. Desserts were very ordinary. On the bright side, breakfast in the American Icon was very very good. The offer a buffet as well as a la carte dining. I highly recommend the American Icon for breakfast - but check the hours.
Windjammer- the main cafeteria gets pretty crowded, so seating can be a problem. Lots of variety in the food and, if you don’t like something, just get something else.
Upgraded dining- with tons of free food available every moment of the day, we’ve never felt the need to pay in one of the specialty restaurants, but on this trip we had vouchers for one lunch and one dinner. For lunch we tried the Mexican restaurant on the Boardwalk. My wife thought the guacamole was the best she’d ever tasted. Otherwise, nothing special. For dinner, we visited Chop’s Grille. The steaks were very good and the sides were a little better than what is available in the main dining room. Desserts were very good - definitely better than the main dining room. It’s also much quieter. Overall, Chop’s Grille is a nice choice if you don’t mind spending a lot of extra money. My family won’t be.
Best other choices- Solarium for breakfast. Park Cafe in Central Park, and Sorrento’s Pizza all day long. Those 3 are always good.
Cleanliness- the crew do an amazing job. The ship is very well maintained.
Route- the Eastern Caribbean isn’t a very good route. Our cruise had 3 stops and, while RCs waterpark at CocoCay is fun, none of the ports are the kind you’ll remember the rest of your life. While I would gladly sail on the Harmony again, I would never sail this route again.
Excursions- CocoCay was fun. We spent the extra money for the water slide area and it was worth it. On St. Thomas we chose the BOSS undersea adventure. You get 30 minutes to snorkel and 30 minutes on your underwater jet ski-like rider. It was a fun day although there weren’t as many fish to see as I expected. We did the horseback ride on St. Maarten. It was maybe a 45 minute walk along the coast with a short plunge into the water. Maybe a little boring for most, but we liked it. Read Less
went on this cruise as a family of 4 2 adults a 15year old and a 4 year old. Embarktion was quick and easy on within 20 minutes. Ship was stunning.Everything was new and sparkly, very modern. Our cabin was 10262 deck 10rightat the back ... Read More
went on this cruise as a family of 4 2 adults a 15year old and a 4 year old. Embarktion was quick and easy on within 20 minutes. Ship was stunning.Everything was new and sparkly, very modern. Our cabin was 10262 deck 10rightat the back with a metal railing. We found this location great very quiet and right next to the glas elevators which where always empty unlike elsewhere on the ship which could take a while.
Dining was good buffet had great pizza and burgers aswell as the usual salads, breads, pasta. Think there could of been a bit better selection for people not wanting pasta and pizza every night maybe another meat dish.
The main dining room was nice portions were quite small but service was quick although it seemed to be a problem if you wanted anything to drink other than beer or wine.They had to go to another bar for that and sometimes we had finished 2 courses before the drinks showed up.Food was nice enough but nothing particularly stood out as amazing.
The only shows we seen were peter punk which was good my 4 year old really liked it because there was a dinosaur in it and michael jackson on the last evening which was amazing!
All the staff we encountered over the week were lovely very friendly and helpful. We didnt find anyone rude or unhelful in the slightest.
Our son only visited the kids club once which seemed ok the kids seemed to just play with the toys rather than have any activities arranged.
Overall we had a fab time on this cruise and think for what we paid it was excellent value with good ports and we would definately sail with MSC again. Read Less
MSC offers a lot of value for a family cruise. We choose the Fantastica Experience. Our cabin was perfect, and our steward did an amazing job. MSC's main dining was not what we expected. Drinks were not served as expected; service was ... Read More
MSC offers a lot of value for a family cruise. We choose the Fantastica Experience. Our cabin was perfect, and our steward did an amazing job. MSC's main dining was not what we expected. Drinks were not served as expected; service was slow. The main waiter was quick to take our orders, but everyone's meal did not come out at the same time. We ordered coffee with desert and only received it on one of our nights. The game room had odd hours. The 5D theater did not open until 10:30 on most days. This was frustrating, and made it difficult to use our game pass. The daily activities were plentiful. We love doing trivia on our cruise, but unfortunately we could not understand the host. We did go to one "game show" , it was fun. Seating was limited. They had it backed up to another event, so if you did not go to the first event, your seating was limited to the following event. Beer Prov was funny, but they did not need repeats. Out of the evening shows, I really enjoyed the Michael Jackson show. The Michael Jackson show was fantastic. The evening shows were all similar. My one 15 year old son enjoyed the teen club. But if your child is not into video games or sports, bring something for them to do. MSC has a really nice outdoor screen. They only showed movies during dinner. It was under used.
The coffee was amazing. The bar staff was pleasant, and would remember my son. We had a great time, it was a good experience. This was their first mega ship. It was beautiful, and had plenty of seating by the pools. Read Less
Well just returned from a 7 day on the Celebrity Equinox. Let’s talk about the positive notes first. Nice ship. Excellent crew, unbelievable Captain. She was at all the major functions and saying bye to everyone when we all left. The ... Read More
Well just returned from a 7 day on the Celebrity Equinox. Let’s talk about the positive notes first. Nice ship. Excellent crew, unbelievable Captain. She was at all the major functions and saying bye to everyone when we all left. The very first captain I ever saw at all the shows and around the ship greeting everyone. Our OV cabin was better than the one we had on the Reflection. This time the bed was next to the window. Giving plenty of room at the closet. 5 dresser drawers verses 3. Bed was comfortable. Most of the food was very good. Excellent waiters. Bar tenders were fast and very friendly. Received offers of 30% off of specialty dining twice during the cruise. The Café al Bacio had excellent pastries and excellent coffee. The manager, Nelson Gonzales could not do enough for everyone. Such a super person. All Theater shows were very good. Even the ones we did not care for. Comedians were boring, old jokes. The young 28 year old cruise director Maarten was awesome. A perfect job for him. He was born to be a Cruise Director.
Now for the not so great. Only a few that really were nothing to get upset about at all. The first day they might have had a problem with the A/C. It was hot all over the ship. My wife could not get the wine she liked without buying the bottle. Same on the Reflection. The buffet had only two problems. The mashed potatoes were never hot, the meat balls in sauce were actually cold. Otherwise, excellent variety and taste. Let’s talk steak. Usually we only eat the steak once. This time we ended up having it three times. First the Tuscan Grill. We had the Filet. It was very good, however not excellent as I would have thought. MDR we had NY Strip steak. Very good not excellent but served on a super hot plate. No hot plate in the Tuscan grill where it should have been. Now for a total surprise. The last day in the buffet for dinner they had NY Strip or Ribeye, your choice done on a flame grill. The steak was cooked perfect, excellent taste, very tender. A few to many times for tomato soup. They had a party called ”Party Like Gatsby” To give you an idea how loud the DJ music was. They had to close the fire doors to the halls with the state rooms. It was in the Atrium deck 3 and also loud you could barely hear one another when you screamed to talk.
It was loud on deck 14. Only one Slot Tournament. For some reason, the ship was always crowded. Unlike the Reflection. Shows and other gatherings were timed over the top of one another. Too many things started at the same time. Last of all. I guess clothes that are too small for a person is the new style or something. Plus no socks with dress shoes even patent leather shoes and a tux that is several sizes two small. The cruise director being 6 ft 5” his pants were always about 4 inches above his shoes and no socks, his long sleeve shirt was above his watch and the suit jacket was very tight on him and the sleeves were about 3 inches above the shirt sleeve. The bottom of the jacket was way too high. It was as if he was just wearing a lot smaller size than he should. This was not just once. But every day. It really looked bad. One day he even rolled up the pants to be short. He was not the only employee that wore no socks with dress shoes and high water pants. So like I said. Must be a new fad. I hope not. All in all a fine cruise. Enjoy. Read Less