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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
This was our family’s first cruise on MSC, and having read both positive and negative reviews, we went into this cruise with fairly low expectations. We are a family of easy going travelers who enjoy both sea and land based vacations, ... Read More
This was our family’s first cruise on MSC, and having read both positive and negative reviews, we went into this cruise with fairly low expectations. We are a family of easy going travelers who enjoy both sea and land based vacations, and I do most of the vacation planning. I figured how bad could it be if I didn’t have to cook or clean for a week, and we were going to be entertained ? Just to preface this review, I booked this cruise in February ( 9 months in advance), with a balcony and an inside for the kids. We upgraded the kids to a balcony on a 4th of July flash sale, and paid in full at that time. This was all done through our TA and all MSC paperwork emailed to me. Then, 3 weeks before the cruise, I called MSC to prebook packages, but they wouldn’t speak to me as I had booked with a TA. I had our TA contact MSC to prebook AND prepay all our drink packages and excursions, as I didn’t want a hefty bill at the end of the cruise. It took them a while to get it all figured out, but it finally got done, credit card charged and receipt from MSC emailed to me outlining what I paid for. Then I went online and did online check-in for all of us, and printed out the Web Check-in document MSC provides. Day of Embarkation we arrived at the terminal around 1:30 pm, and waited in line about 30 mins. Not terribly long, but it was fairly chilly in there with the AC being very strong at some points in the line. Once we got to the front, DH split off with DS and I took DD. We were both notified that they could not locate our reservation, and they were going to have to contact a supervisor. 25 minutes later, and no updates in between at all, we are told “we have you on the manifest, but no other record of you.” 15 minutes after that, they were able to print us cruise cards, and we boarded the ship. At this point we knew we needed to switch room cards to put the kids in their own room, so we headed down to guest services to take care of this. This was actually handled fairly smoothly. Then off to the casino to pick up my prepaid packages (which I wasn’t feeling very confident about, considering my lost reservation). I was right to be concerned, as they had no record of them, and sent me back to deal with guest services. This is where my whole cruise was soured, as I had to spend the next 5 days, and 15 encounters with the desk to finally get resolution to my problem. Apparently MSC has a “process” that they MUST follow if a guest has a problem onboard, which involves them emailing the problem to the home office, then waiting for a reply back. I understand that this would be more efficient for an international traveler, but I was booked through the US office, and a quick phone call would have cleared my problem up immediately. I had printed documentation outlining exactly what I had booked and paid for, including copies of my credit card charge, as I had previously read of others having problems. So I figured it should be a quick matter to clear up, and be on my way. NOPE… The desk informed me that it could be up to 2 days before I received a resolution. They sent off an email, and told me to check back with them that evening. At this point, I needed to also go see the Maitre ‘D as we had no dining assignment either, due to them losing our reservation. This had to be the longest line I waited in all cruise. After waiting 45 minutes we were finally assigned a table for 4 for early dining. But after all this running around on board, we were just too tired to get ready for dinner, so skipped first night. I went back to our room, called my TA and let her know what was going on. She called me back in 20 mins, said a supervisor at MSC was working on it, and it would be cleared up within the hour. At this point I figured let it go, and check back with the desk later. Checked back 3 times that night, no resolution. And apparently I wasn’t the only unhappy passenger, as the lines on both sides of guest services was long, and people were yelling!! Yikes! The next day, I checked in with the desk 4 times, and was finally told they would contact me if they heard anything. That afternoon they called and said they finally heard back, everything is ok and paid for( like I already said and had proof of) and to come down in 3 hours and my packages would be ready. So I show up 3 hours later, but they’re not ready yet. But come back in 15 minutes, and they’ll have it ready!! At this point, it’s time for the GALA dinner, so I say we’ll be back later. We go to dinner, and tell them our assigned table, and get seated. The waiter asks to see my card, as he says we’re not the guests who sat there the evening prior. No problem, I show it to him, and on with our dinner. Then back to the desk to pick up packages. Ask about my prepaid excursions, and told to check in with the excursion desk the next day. Also I need to clear up all beverages already purchased one by one with drink tickets….. one receipt at a time…. 30 minutes later… Show up to the excursion desk the next morning, and SURPRISE! they have no record of my booking. I explain to the gentleman all the issues with my prepaid bookings, and he has to go straighten it out with the desk. 30 minutes later I finally have my excursion tickets in hand. Then back to desk to see if prior drink charges are cleared up yet. Nope… told to give them time to take care of it. Show up for dinner on 3rd night, get seated, then told we’re sitting at someone else’s table. WHAT?!? Mario the asst. Maitre D explains to us that he doesn’t know how we got assigned that table, as it isn’t logged in the system. He tells us that he has a table for us, but we need to move. At this point the other people decide to let it go for the night, but we need to move the next night. On the 5th day of the cruise they finally cleared up all the previous drink charges, but I realized that the 2 bottles of Asti Spumante I prepaid to have for sailaway on our balcony had never arrived. So another call to the desk to ask if they would please credit these back to our account, as we didn’t want or need them this late in the cruise. NOPE… no credit allowed, but we could get them delivered to the cabin. Fine…. Get back to cabin, and we have 2 bottles of Brut. Now I know that this isn’t a big deal, and I could have called to have it swapped, but after everything else, this was a real you-know-what moment. I can say with all certainty that we will NEVER sail MSC again. Was the cruise a total bust? No… we had a good time despite all the hassles…. We enjoyed most of the food, and the ports. The evening shows were for the most part good, although the acts toward the end were just repetitions of the earlier shows. And we ended up with some amazing family portraits I will always cherish. BUT… the dinner buffet was severely lacking in options which was surprising, as the lunch buffet was amazing in variety, there was no evening entertainment other than music or the main production, and there is nothing for older teens past kids club age to do onboard. The lounges used for entertainment are too small for the amount of people who want to participate, and the pass through on deck 7 is amazingly congested for a main thoroughfare of the ship with the photo gallery.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
If you are looking for luxury caribbean cruising Carnival Valour isnt for you. The ship is in need of a refit as it is 10 years old and it doesnt appear to have had anything done recently, it is tired and in need of an update. The cabins ... Read More
If you are looking for luxury caribbean cruising Carnival Valour isnt for you. The ship is in need of a refit as it is 10 years old and it doesnt appear to have had anything done recently, it is tired and in need of an update. The cabins are adequate, we had a balcony grade 8a which was ok but again in need of a facelift. The tip policy is a total joke, everything you buy including drinks has an automatic gratuity added without any permission from us, ie automatically added to the bill, I feel this is a great shame as many of the staff do deserve tipping as they are all just so lovely. However, I would like to decide how much and who I decide to tip, not an option i'm afraid as Carnival decide on your behalf how much is taken and automatically added to your bill!! when I requested the tips be removed from our bill I was told by a UK cruise worker called Rachel that the bar and restaurant staff rely on tips as Carnival do not pay them any wages!! Beyond belief, a) How very unprofessional she should try to make me feel guilty for the appalling Carnival policy of not paying wages b) How disgraceful that Carnival choses to exploit the fantastic people who work on the ship. We decided to remove all gratuities as we actually tipped our choice of staff much more than the recommended amount added to our bill. The staff were wonderful…all except bolshy Rachel who was so unprofessional and antagonistic towards the guests, I was ashamed to acknowledge she is from the UK!! Our waiter was woinderful as was our cabin steward, we rewarded them generously. The food was amazing, we used the formal dining late sitting @ 8.15, better than any four star restaurant I have been to and I love fine dining. AVOID THE BUFFET, OH MY WORD HOW THE AMERICANS LOVE TO EAT, WITHOUT SOUNDING DISRESPECTFUL one man had 4 cheeseburgers on his plate with jelly and ice cream!! Joking apart overall an ok experience, Carnival Valor needs revamping Amazing food Amazing staff Amazing ports of call. Very very cheesy cruise director, he needs replacing his name is Felipo, he was just plain chessy and annoying. Well done staff of Carnival Valor, you are so special. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
I sailed over Thanksgiving with my wife and two sons, ages 6 and 4. This was my 16th cruise and second with NCL. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised and satisfied with this cruise for what I paid for it. Initially it was priced at $749 pp, ... Read More
I sailed over Thanksgiving with my wife and two sons, ages 6 and 4. This was my 16th cruise and second with NCL. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised and satisfied with this cruise for what I paid for it. Initially it was priced at $749 pp, but I paid $429pp. for inside cabins. I loved the design of this ship. Maybe the most hip and modern ship I've ever sailed on. The waterfront is just awesome. Great idea. We spent numerous nights watching the sunset, hanging out and grabbing a cocktail. The best part; no one seemed to know about it until later in the week! Never felt crowded. Speciality restaurants were really good. Main dining room was just ok. Service was fast and efficient. The kids program rocks and gives Disney cruise line a run for the money. No issues here whatsoever, my kids loved it, staff were always pleasant. Debarkation, quick and easy. The negatives: Buffet gets old really fast. The same breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. The pool deck just plain SUCKS! There are only two pools and the kids pool is squeezed between the slides and the splash park with no real place for parents to sit. The other pool is adults only, it's never overly crowded and the kicker is they have nickelodeon shows by that pool. The same pool where kids aren't allowed. Makes no sense! Room steward was unattentative and never took away the empty glasses in the room. Nightly entertainment is dull, the same as every other cruise line. The Sunset Bar is a Key West themed bar. And anyone who's ever been to Key West knows there's a guy playing a guitar singing songs in almost every bar. I think NCL dropped the ball here. Overall: Wait till prices drop. If traveling with family, I would highly recommend getting connected staterooms. NCL has the smallest room I've ever sailed in. But with two rooms , it was manageable. Otherwise, I enjoyed this cruise for what I paid. It's a gorgeous ship and I would recommend it for any age group and families Happy sailing people!   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
We came onto this ship Nov 1 after having sailed to San Juan on Carnival Splendor from NY with a smaller but great cabin and everything on board the ship that worked. In San Juan we transferred to the Summit. and had quite a different ... Read More
We came onto this ship Nov 1 after having sailed to San Juan on Carnival Splendor from NY with a smaller but great cabin and everything on board the ship that worked. In San Juan we transferred to the Summit. and had quite a different experience. Total lack of ac in buffet. No cold water in cabin Toilet that world not work (no water). No ac in central elevators, they are glass enclosed sweat boxes most of the time. Elevators in central bank out of service for most this cruise (and the next one) therefore there were very long waits and they stopped on most floors since only two of the four were working. Beverage stations in buffet always had water, ice or coffee not working. If the buffet says it's open to 2:30 why is it almost completely closed at 2:15? We had late dining so we tried to eat a late lunch. A cabin steward who lied to us the first time we saw him and refused to remove the items from our refrigerator. How can you design a cabin where the luggage does not fit under the bed? Cabin had almost no shelf space and very little counter space. We could not take a shower the first day because the water was scalding hot, no cold water. Trivia game truncated in a packed Rendezvous lounge so 8 people could watch a football game. PA system that could not be heard on port side of the buffet, good thing there was no emergency. What did work perfectly (as it should). We entered the Cosmopolitan and everything was perfect, good food and excellent service. Shows in Theater were very, very good. Richard Spacy was very good cruise director. This is the way the entire ship should have been.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
I have been reading so many negative reviews for the Oasis, so I felt compelled to give a review from my perspective. Sorry if this is a bit long. I sailed on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary for the Oasis from November 29-December 6. I am ... Read More
I have been reading so many negative reviews for the Oasis, so I felt compelled to give a review from my perspective. Sorry if this is a bit long. I sailed on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary for the Oasis from November 29-December 6. I am a 36 year-old female traveling with my mother. We were in a Crown Loft suite on deck 17. After reading a lot of feedback on the dry dock changes for the ship, I really came into the experience feeling pretty anxious. We have sailed the Oasis before and had a pretty good experience, so I was not sure how the changes would impact us directly. I will start by saying that Oasis surpassed my expectations in almost every regard. We were delighted with the ship and service. Even a couple of days of crazy weather didn’t damper our experience. I only have one piece of negative feedback that I will provide up front: our show reservations were changed several times throughout the trip without notification. I made all of my reservations ahead of time and several were adjusted by Royal in the week or two before the sailing. I received an email about the changes, so it was fine. We got on the boat, went to our reservation page on the RCTV system and confirmed all of the shows. Everything looked good. Well, many of them changed throughout the week without notification. I know that weather caused a cascading impact on the show schedule. You had to stay on top of it. However, when I checked the RCTV system the day of our comedy show, I noticed that our reservation was no longer listed. I took my confirmation down to Guest Services, but they weren’t able to help. Since I have access to a concierge, I went to him next and he fixed the problem immediately. If I didn’t have the concierge, I probably would’ve had to use the stand by line for a show that I booked. Even the printed confirmation didn’t help with Guest Services. When we arrived at the comedy show, at least 6 other people had the same problem and were asked to move to the side to allow folks with reservations to enter. That was our only issue. Everything else was great. Weather was an issue for a day and a half, but we used that time to relax and read. Since we were in a CL suite, we had access to the new suite lounge and Coastal Kitchen restaurant on deck 17. The lounge was great! The fancy coffee machine, tea, continental breakfast, afternoon snacks, and happy hour hot snacks and desserts. And for those who enjoy a cocktail, drinks were served from 11:30am-11pm. Coastal Kitchen served breakfast, lunch, and dinner from a new menu. We ate in the lounge or CK most mornings for breakfast. Breakfast in CK would get pretty crowded, so I believe that the restaurant was restricted to gold card only for all meals except dinner. You could invite non-gold card guests to dinner, but they had to be linked to your reservation and it had to be through a formal reservation made through the restaurant host or concierge. We had dinner in CK on three nights, but I would’ve eaten there every night. The menu was on the limited side and I am sure Royal will continue to tweak options based on feedback, but I think they have a very good thing going. Service in CK and the lounge was amazing. By the third day, every member of the staff knew us by name and were so great. Our suite concierge, Rami, was great. He helped us with dining reservations and helped fix our comedy club ticket issue. I have sailed Oasis before in a CL suite and never was really able to use the CL lounge on Deck 11. The room was always very crowded, service was slow when we could find a seat, and the concierge was always busy. So, the suite lounge experience was so completely different that I was blown away by the changes to deck 17 after dry dock. Our suite attendant, Seepaul, was great. We have sailed with him before and once again he did not disappoint. He was attentive, conscientious, and so very thorough. Outside of CK, we ate at Chops one night, had room service one night, and just ate on the fly for the remaining dinners. We had a great experience at Chops. Food and service was excellent. Room service was also great...we ordered it on the first formal night and had the beef tenderloin. I thought it was delicious and prepared perfectly. We have seen most of the shows before, so we only cared about Cats and the comedy show. The comedy show was great. Very funny and worth all of the hassle with tickets. I had no desire to see Cats, but my mom begged me to see it with her. We stayed through the entire show, but were amazed that most people left at intermission. The second half of the show was so good that I even had to admit that it was well worth it! Amazing performances! Just stick it out and stay for the entire show. The second half has a lot more of a story that you can follow and has all of the songs that you know. Add that to the performances, I was completely blown away. I gave a standing ovation. We did venture down to the promenade a few times to witness the flash sales. Amazing to see the excitement! Most of our remaining time was spent exercising or relaxing. I used the running track every morning and the gym on several nights. I go to the gym at night to avoid the crowds. The running track can get a little crowded in the morning, so you have to be aware of people crossing the track or walking in the running lane on corners. I love it though….having a nice track on the Oasis is a huge selling point for me. It is .43 mile round. I can get in an early run, set my day off right, and not worry about dessert later (as the sign on the track reminds me). I saw a lot of folks exercising on a regular basis….so great to see! I only saw crowding at the windjammer or the promenade. I take the stairs everywhere, so I didn’t deal with the elevators. Everything else felt pretty calm and spread out nicely. I didn’t get to Sabor, which was a bummer. I wanted to get there and to the Hot Dog place. We just ran out of time and the CK restaurant was just too good and too convenient. Ports of call were great. We stayed on the boat in Nassau and just hit the sun deck and pools. St Thomas was gorgeous and we did a snorkel/beach sailing trip. We went to Orient Beach in St Marten. There was seaweed, but we were able to enjoy the gorgeous setting. Lunch was amazing at the beachfront restaurant. Embarkation and debarkation were easy and simple. We arrived at Port Everglades at 1pm and were on the boat in 15 minutes and in our room by 1:30pm. We used the express/walk off option and left the ship at 7:30am. We had a bit of a wait for Customs and Border Control, but were in a cab within 45 seconds and at the airport within 10 minutes. We were three hours early for our flight home. 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Sail Date: November 2014
It's my first time cruising with Royal Caribbean & like most cruisers did, I looked up info on CC-made my little notes. The ship is very beautiful-certain areas do need a fresh coat of paint. Not as large as some of the other ... Read More
It's my first time cruising with Royal Caribbean & like most cruisers did, I looked up info on CC-made my little notes. The ship is very beautiful-certain areas do need a fresh coat of paint. Not as large as some of the other ships I'd been on. It was a last minute decisions. A deal I cannot refuse. Booked an inside cabin since I already have a future European cruise booked. It was a port intensive cruise & I did not have any expectations other than a floating hotel. Only 1 day at sea & I found the entertainment sufficient enough. Our group was made up of 13 ppl from old to young. Each found their own entertainment - casino, the shows at night, listening to music, trivia, etc. There was always something to do as long as you looked at the schedule. 1 disappointment was after 9 pm, looking for munchies was harder. I know the seaview cafe was always available. It just seemed 9 pm was a bit early! A group of us likes to sit around w/ some fruit/tea/dessert & chit chat, etc. We tend to try to run up to the windjammer before it closes & grab all these. At least they don't kick us out & clean up around us. For the younger folks.. seems a bit dead after midnight. Only place seems to be the disco or casino. I like hanging out at the atrium listening to live music. The bands that play there were great. They should move some of the chairs further out so more people can dance. Food - I'm not a picky eater. It was fine. There's a variety of options. We did not try any of the specialty restaurants. The waitstaff in the MDR was good. Quick & efficient. After the 2nd night, they knew that a couple of us drink only hot water & those are prepared every night. Otherwise.. no real complaints. Little misc opinions. Great time. Favorite place was the solarium/pool! If another bargain comes along, I will definitely do this again -- new itinerary!   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Background: We are married, ages 50 and 58, and experienced NCL cruisers (28 and 18 NCL cruises respectively) Getting there: This cruise was booked as a celebration of my parents 60th wedding anniversary. Due to some last minute medical ... Read More
Background: We are married, ages 50 and 58, and experienced NCL cruisers (28 and 18 NCL cruises respectively) Getting there: This cruise was booked as a celebration of my parents 60th wedding anniversary. Due to some last minute medical issues, air travel for my parents was not allowed, so we decided to drive ourselves (and my parents) from North Carolina to Miami, Florida. We booked a couple of rooms at the Red Roof Inn +Plus at Miami International because they have a good Park-and-Cruise option there. We left Statesville, NC at about 4 AM on the day before the cruise, and arrived at the hotel at approximately 5 PM with a few quick stops along the way. There were absolutely zero traffic issues. The hotel was adequate, although very very close to the airport so planes coming and going can be an issue for some people. The parking situation, however, is a little tricky. The lot fills up very quickly, and if you arrive late to the hotel you may find yourself waiting for people to arrive and leave so you can claim a coveted spot behind the locked gate. We were fortunate and got one of the last ones available on Friday evening. The hotel does offer a shuttle service for free to the pier, but the catch is it leaves at 1 PM ... so if you are like us and want to get on the ship early, arrange for your own cab. We arrived at the pier a little before 11 and were checked in and on board by 11:45 or so. No line at the platinum and gold latitudes line. We had brought six bottles of wine and paid the corkage fee on the pier as expected. Embarkation day: Once on board, we headed down one deck to visit Savor for lunch. It was actually quite a fine lunch, one of the better ones we've ever had in the main dining rooms. The fried calamari starter in savor for lunch was out of this world. By the time we finished our lunch, cabins were ready and we were able to deposit our carry on materials and continue to explore this new ship. Not having been on the newest and largest NCL ships before, it was a new experience for us. First thing we noted was the Miami styling, and the relatively muted tones of the decor as compared with the pre-Breakaway classes of NCL ships. The decor is much more understated and in some cases darker toned than all previous NCL ships we have been on. The layout of the ship is interesting and different from previous classes as well. On the Breakaway class ships there are only two banks of elevators... forward and aft. There are no mid ship elevators, and no glass elevator in atrium etc... Considering that people pay more for a mid-ship balcony, you may actually end up with a significant amount of walking to and from your cabin to an elevator bank depending on where your cabin is located. Our cabin was located directly near the AFT bank of elevators, so we ended up using those elevators more frequently. A few notes on the cabin: although I'm sure the balcony cabin square footage is similar to other ships in the fleet, this cabin (13274) seemed a bit smaller to us. Could be that we were mistaken since our last cruise was in a suite, but it just seemed a bit tight. The balcony itself IS definitely smaller than we have ever experienced, but we were still able to enjoy it. We found it interesting that the casino was placed on deck 7 above the atrium and beneath deck 8 containing popular bars and venues and shopping. Passing through the casino as much as we did coming from the AFT elevators you could detect the typical casino smoky odor. It also seemed to permeate deck 8 as well as the smoke would rise when it was busy. O'Sheehan's is located just past the casino on deck 7 but there did not seem to be any smoke odor from the casino there. Passing through, we noticed that there was a Prime Rib special for the first night in O'Sheehan's so we decided to try that out. Turns out it was a great decision. The Prime Rib served was at least a 14 - 16 oz cut and it was prepared to exactly the correct desired temperature. I think it was perhaps the best prime rib I have had on a ship (excluding specialty restaurants). Past experiences in complimentary dining venues with prime rib have been a little less than exciting, but this was delicious and very enjoyable in the O'Sheehan's setting with absolutely no wait for a table and quick service. The rest of the day was spent exploring, some casino time, and music in the atrium with the band Groove International from Jamaica. They were gracious enough to allow me to sing a couple of songs with them the first night and I had a fun time. First Day At Sea: After a good night's sleep, we headed to O'Sheehans to try breakfast there. We enjoyed it very much. The menu has many options including a design your own omelet, so we quickly chose to have our breakfasts there each day as the service was quick, and efficiient. The manager there, Via, was quite good and took good care of us. The weather was a bit choppy and rainy off and on, so for the daytime we managed to find other inside activities. Attended the cruise critic meeting and met a nice couple from Ireland. Various officers circulated nicely and asked us if any of us were celebrating, and of course we told them about my parents 60th, and our other friends who were celebrating their honeymoon. This would turn out to be very advantageous as we later found out. For the evening, after a fine dinner at Taste, we attended our first show "Burn The Floor" in the theater. A word about the theater: I like the reservation system, it is very easy. The seats in the theater however, do not lend themselves to comfort. In fact, after about 20 minutes you will find yourself fidgeting to try to stay comfortable. Given that you are suggested to arrive 45 minutes early to have a good choice for seats, you can get uncomfortable fast. "Burn The Floor" was a great show, highly recommended! Second Day At Sea: Slightly better day weather wise, so had some pool time in the afternoon... Didn't seem difficult to find a place near the adult only pool to sit. No obvious sign of chair hogging. Pleasant day capped with a nice dinner for all seven of us in our traveling group at Tropicana.... This is a great venue with good music and a big dance floor. And the food was great as well! I have begun to notice a gradual improvement in the food quality in the complimentary dining facilities across NCL's ships. St. Maarten - third day - After a nice breakfast, we eventually made our way down to deck 4 after the rush to go ashore. We engaged a taxi to Dawn Beach, and spent a relaxing day there. Buckets of beer for only $6 - including 7 beers! Very nice day, and we managed to skirt the rain shower that deluged downtown. After a few hours on the beach it was back to port and back on the ship for a later lunch and hang out poolside again. It rained a little on and off while we were in the pool, but no worries as we were already wet. Had a bit of difficulty with our platinum benefits. As you may know as platinum latitudes level you get a nice perk of a free dinner for two for Le Bistro. Problem with the Getaway is that Le Bistro is "booked" all week due to the large numbers of passengers. Not usually an issue, because if you ask the concierge (another platinum benefit) you can usually get in with no problem. So, I looked at my package from the latitudes consultant and sure enough, there was the phone number for the concierge... only it was a non-working number! OK, down to the front desk I go and ask them for the concierge number. Maybe it's policy, but apparently this is top secret information and they can't give it to me directly. OK... so maintaining a level of composure, I go back to the room and call the assistant hotel director Errol (great guy!) and he says that he will have the concierge call me. Adrian does call 2 minutes later, and just like that, we have our reservations for Thursday night. The Latitudes consultant really needs to fix this on his paperwork he sends to the cabins. St. Thomas - fourth day - Docked at Havensight, and hit downtown Charlotte Amalie at about 9 AM or so. Shopped for about 90 minutes and engaged our friend from last year's Gem trip, Raymond the firefighter , to give us a tour of the island again with our first timer friends. If you ever want to take an island tour of St. Thomas - go look for Raymond downtown at the flea market where all the taxis park. You can't miss his taxi as it is a bright fire engine red with fire fighting graphics on the back and sides and "Raymond" on the cab roof. he is the best tour guide. Not only does he drive you to all the sights he explains everything in great detail, so much so that other drivers' passengers are often crowding around him also because their drivers don't tell them anything! He is a straight up guy and will treat you like family. Back on the ship, we get a little more pool time before going to dinner and then to "Legally Blonde". "Legally Blonde" is a great show as well. However, it is hard to endure those seats for nearly two hours without being able to stand and stretch. I was honestly hoping for an intermission half way through, but there wasn't one. Afterwards, more casino, more Bong the bartender at the Mojito bar, and more music in Grammy Experience and atrium. If you have some time to spend, make sure you go out of your way to meet Bong at the Mojito bar... he will have you in stitches! Great guy and very entertaining. Nassau - fifth day - After breakfast, went out to do a little shopping and some more Senor Frogs (hilarious) and walk down to the beach. Great fun! - Went back aboard and had a bite for lunch, and then got ready for Le Bistro. Had a great meal at Le Bistro and then had a nice time again in the evening. Day six - At Sea - Good pool day today, still no sign of chair hogging really. There were a few kids that had to be shown where the kids pool and hot tubs were, but the staff was right on top of that situation. Packed our belongings and put the checked bags outside our room. Proceeded to have a nice dinner, and then off to party away the evneing, first with some music at the atrium, the THIS OR THAT game show, and then the "Bandaoke" with Groove International. Had a great time! Day 7 - disembarkation - Easy as can be. Was off and in a cab back to the truck by 8:30 AM. Overall impressions: The crew does a fantastic job to take care of you. We had a wonderful time with them. The shopping areas on deck 8 leave a lot to be desired. They really have a minimal selection of NCL logo wear... especially for men's t shirts or polo shirts. Food was excellent in all venues we tried. My final impression is I like the Getaway and would definitely sail her again, but I'm not 100 percent sold on the Breakaway class ships yet. I think I still prefer the Jewel Class...   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
I have been on many cruises and usually go with Celebrrity. Getting on the ship was surprisingly quite fast and at first glance, was very impressed with the ship, but that quickly changed. The dining room is dark and claustrophobic. The ... Read More
I have been on many cruises and usually go with Celebrrity. Getting on the ship was surprisingly quite fast and at first glance, was very impressed with the ship, but that quickly changed. The dining room is dark and claustrophobic. The buffet is poorly laid out with no room to pass.There is no outdoor dining area. By the pool, there are no facilities for water etc. The crystal staircases are beautiful, but treacherous for walking. There are photographers all over the place(from MSC) always in the way.The steps into the theater are also difficult to navigate. The cabin waas small, but decorated nicely- though cleanliness was a problem. I had the steward come back and clean the bathroom . When packing and looking under the bed to see if anything was missing, I found the book which should have been on the dressing table.... T he service was basically non-existent. The waiters are poorly trained and their English skills are poor- or they just don't want to listen. There is no such thing as a 30 minute express lunch. I was laughed at. Plates are scraped as the plates are picked up.The waiters reach across the table. Coffee is served only if asked for. They have no idea of your name or preferences. I went to customer relations to ask about conditioner and moisturizer. I was told, "This is not a hotel." I could go on and on about how cold this staff is. You could fall down and they would walk over you.(Actually, they just ignore you as happened)We also missed the private island, though the ship anchorede by us was able to tender in. No port fees were refunded. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Service was excellent everywhere. The crew goes out of their way to be friendly ad accommodating. The ship itself is amazing and beautifully maintained. If you are a drinker, make sure and buy "UP" - the Ultimate Package. All ... Read More
Service was excellent everywhere. The crew goes out of their way to be friendly ad accommodating. The ship itself is amazing and beautifully maintained. If you are a drinker, make sure and buy "UP" - the Ultimate Package. All premium alcohol is included, as is Starbucks coffee. At $9-11 USD per drink, you don't have to be a lush to get value from this package. Now the weaknesses: 1. Internet. Horribly slow and grotesquely expensive. If you need Internet, buy the unlimited package. I bought two one hour packages and wasted my money. It can take 15 minutes to log on ad just download some email. 2. Restrooms. They didn't build enough in the public areas. Usually lines in both men's and woemn's. 3. Food in the dining rooms. It is just "OK," nothing special, and feels mass-produced as it is. I actualy found the food in the coffee shop (next to Starbucks) to be the most consistent. The sushi bar is also excellent (but it is a la carte.) 4. Itinerary. I have been on many cruises and generally stay on the ship now. That is especially true in Roatan, Belize and Cozumel -- all not worth the time unless you are going on a tour to do something you like. Otherwise, nothing worth seeing in these places. Overall, I would rate the experience "good," but always leave cruises wondering why I didn't just find a 4 or 5-star all-inclusive and spend less time traveling and more time relaxing. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
RUBY PRINCESS REVIEW NOV 8, 2014 We had a great cruise and I was writing I realized a lot of it was what went wrong. Yes a lot went wrong but I hope it will help other not to fall into the same traps we did. We stayed at the River side ... Read More
RUBY PRINCESS REVIEW NOV 8, 2014 We had a great cruise and I was writing I realized a lot of it was what went wrong. Yes a lot went wrong but I hope it will help other not to fall into the same traps we did. We stayed at the River side Hotel in FLL the night before. It is not too close to the port but on the foodie street. Loved the location would definitely stay again. It is right on the water taxi route and we could just see the port from our room. The lobby was gorgeous. The staff was super. The room was clean large and more than we needed. Las Olas Blvd is just one restaurant after another we finally decided on American Social and outside table. The food was good the beer even better. We took Riverside Hotel shuttle to the port and since we shared-- it was $7pp good deal. Checkin-After drop off it was easy to just walk and start the process. We had to do Ebola forms and the Reps actual made us look at the to prove we didn’t look sick. Then upstairs and check in and waited to board. And before we knew it we were in our cabin! Cabin we were in C628 Extended balcony. Now the only thing is there lots of room on the balcony but the furniture was only to chairs and tall table. NO Lounger No way to put up your feet. And the it was floor was hard- So not happy to have paid a lot for a balcony that we could stretch out on. I tried to put a towel down but the flooring is hard and bumpy. My DH was so kind and “stole” a small table form the lido deck cause with my bum knee I can’t dangle- it needs to be propped up. The other thing about the extended balcony is you can see down into the suites below. On our sailing there was a large group of Adventure Bears, who had some or the suites below us. And well.. there were times it was not PG down there to say the least. Ship- she is a beauty-loved going to piazza and see what was going on from singers to paper plane contest. We just never knew what we would stubble on. The food—all good. Entrainment- Shows on board were varied. The first one “Once a upon a dream” was the best. Love it. Cabaret showtime Broadway Ballroom was just sad and worn Jim Colliton comedy was OK Colors of the world-well lets said we can’t get back that hour of lives. The piano entertainer Tommy McPhee used way too much prerecorded music that drowned him out which in hind sight was a good thing. Pastime Duo in the Wheelhouse bar were really good spent a lot of time there. We enjoyed all the guest dancers you can really see dancing with the stars influence. Islands Princess Cays- we order a clamshell and once we tendered off to the snorkeling side of the beach. Very enjoyable until we had some folks decide they like were we had our clam shell and parked there towels right in front of us. Then were very loud. I really thought if we brought a clam shell we could get our own little piece of beach, guess not. I didn’t enjoy the looking at their backs. I think they were just rude! St Maartin-Well we hit a holiday again so the shops were all closed. We booked Capt Bob Soualiga for day snorkeling. After a short walk we found him and were led to our fast boat. I had email before I booked explaining we were seniors and needed a good study ladder and help getting in and out of the water -we were assured this was not a problem. Well the boat had basically no platform and it was a small metal ladder. I almost said this not going to work but I really wanted to snorkel. First We toured the lagoon which we had never seen before. At the first stop --Matt (our capt for the day) said I will help you down (after I asked) and half way down he let go and down I went under water, just catching my RX mask . My DH watched in horror and didn’t even want to try. He stayed on the boat. Second stop was nice beach, shallow water and we both got into the water very nice. Next to eat lunch. We dock in the water and had to swim/walk to shore. Matt said it is not deep I will help you down. Well again he let go, down I went, the water was over my head so I was soaked and had to swim to shore. Yes I’m short but the water was over 5feet. Lunch was OK drinks not included. The next snorkel stop we need flippers because of the strong current. When I asked for a pair the only ones he had left were mismatched. There were none for DH! He suggested I just fall in backwards from the boat since you could not use the stairs with flippers. Needless to say my DH and I just watched everyone snorkel from the boat. .I almost cried that I couldn’t get into the water. On the way back we stop near the airport watched the planes come in, very cool. I would never use this operator again. Too many falsehoods-not enough equipment on board for all guests. No helping getting in and out of the water. St Thomas-We took ship tour St Johns Champagne tour. This was the best thing we did. The crew was great. The snorkeling was great. The rum punch was great. Saw lots of fish great sail back into port. We had hope to get back in time to do some shopping (since we couldn’t in St Marrtin) and maybe go up to Paradise point for a bushwaker. Well we off loaded went to the place to pick up the ship transportation. There were already 2 groups there. Since it was a ship tour I wasn’t too worried when our crew took off with another group. We were out in the open with no shade, no water, and no bus! Had anyone taken a cell phone we could called the ship. We waited a long time ---how long OVER AN HOUR! Can you imagine-- hot sun-no water-no shade and maybe a a few rum punches! Well by the time we got back we had to shower to cool off. Then there was no time for shopping or Paradise point. We went to front desk to complain they said go to shore tour desk. The shore tours desk said fill out a form. Really all I wanted was apologize,. And little sympathy. We did get a form letter in our cabin on the last day say there were taking off 20% off the tour. Again just a person saying sorry would have better and all I really wanted.. Grand Turk- We walked off the ship and spent the day playing in the water and lounging what could have been better. Things I learned – the self-operator laundry is by tokens. So no need to bring quarters form home. $3 a load. If you have internet package you are on your own tracking the time. DH thought he would get a message or out time. But it just kept running and he went over 3 minutes checking our flight the last night and yes they did caught put to us on the final bill once we were home. Extra large extended balcony and the furniture was awful. NO lounger no foot stool all that room and could lay out NEVER again will I pay for a expensive cabin with no lounger! FCS-love the program-you get an email when processed, and NOT a statement to the cabin. States that on the form you turn in and we didn’t read that far I guess. Movies under the stars never are at a time you can see them if you do anytime dinning. And want to see the production shows Tendering was never a problem-very easy If you are fugal and have lots of OBC you can have a final bill of $8.08 Last day we did Easy off luggage program. Best $20 you can spend. Debarkation was very organized and easy. Walked off the ship went thu custom caught a cab and our vacation was over. Boo-hoo   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
We are experienced cruise travelers with over 40 voyages across many different lines and all sizes of ships. While the majority of our travels have been with Princess, this was our 5th cruise with HAL. After our last HAL experience in ... Read More
We are experienced cruise travelers with over 40 voyages across many different lines and all sizes of ships. While the majority of our travels have been with Princess, this was our 5th cruise with HAL. After our last HAL experience in 2012, we were not sure we would return. That trip, a transatlantic voyage, left us wondering what had happened to the quality one expects from HAL. We were sorely disappointed with several things, but most notable was the very poor quality of food and service in the main dining room. This was not just us being picky, many reviews at the time expressed the same experiences we had. None-the-less, we like the "smaller" size of HAL ships, and the walk around promenade, so when the price was so reasonable for the Eurodam, we went for it. We are pleased to say, it turned out to be one of the best voyages we have ever taken. Embarkation at Port Everglades was very quick and efficient- I've often said no one does logistics like HAL, and this was no exception. Just before noon, we were onboard, our cabin was ready, and we were on our way to the Mariners' luncheon. We were struck, almost immediately, by a very positive vibe on this ship. The crew members all seemed very happy and not one, in a week, walked by us without smiling and saying hello. We walked into the main dining room with a bit of trepidation after our last HAL experience. I must say that someone must have listened to the complaints because from our first lunch until our last breakfast, every meal was wonderful. The food was tasty, it was hot if it was supposed to be and cold if it was supposed to be, and the wait staff could not do enough for us. A very positive change was many more tables for two (our preference) and not only did we have a lovely table at fixed main seating, this carried over to breakfast and lunch. Another nice change was the evening entertainment with something for everyone. The main gathering place, the Ocean Bar, always had live music- the HAL Cats or a guitarist/singer "George" who knew his audience and played so many favorites, everyone was tapping their feet and singing along. Cruise Director Dave Shea did a great job guiding folks along their vacation with efficiency and a good sense of humor. Another big positive was the cleanliness of the ship- someone was always wiping things down and there was never a speck of dirt or a piece of trash anywhere! After experiencing a "Code Red" situation once before, this was a welcome sight, and kudos to the staff for their efforts. A few other positives to mention- The thermal suite was nice as always, we purchased the full cruise package and used it everyday. Morning room service for coffee was on time to the minute, the addition of the Dive In burgers and hotdogs made my mouth water each time I walked by, and cabin service was topnotch. We joked about our "stealth cabin steward" who serviced our room seemingly the minute we left even though we did not see him! We told as many officers as we could about the fabulous service we were receiving throughout the cruise. Stops were the standard Eastern Caribbean, for us the ship was the destination. We could not stop at Half Moon Key due to the high winds- no big deal for us but I'm sure others will grumble about this. Contrary to a statement from another reviewer, we did receive a refund for the port charges at this stop- it was clearly marked on our last invoice. All too soon, the last day was upon us and it was time to disembark. A very nice touch was the cruise director and staff lined up in the port building to thank us for our business. I have only seen this on a river cruise, never from a major line. A small touch that goes a long way. All-in-all, for a cruise I didn't really want to take, I was blown away by the return of HAL to the standards that we knew them by. We are very hot on river cruises now and are booked for next year but it is with eager eyes that we are perusing the HAL 2016 schedule and figuring out how soon we can get back!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
This is our 5th Celebrity Cruise and 24th cruise overall. I won't talk about the Eastern Caribbean because we have done that many times and it is uneventful for us. I will describe the ship and Celebrity in general. Embarkation in ... Read More
This is our 5th Celebrity Cruise and 24th cruise overall. I won't talk about the Eastern Caribbean because we have done that many times and it is uneventful for us. I will describe the ship and Celebrity in general. Embarkation in Miami was as organized as I think they had room to be organized, but it was long and crowded. We arrived at 1pm and waited about 1 hour in total to board. They let my brother and sister-in-law (first time Celebrity cruisers) come along with us in the Captain's Club line as the general boarding line was so very long. Do not attempt to take wine in a bottle bigger than 750 ml. Ours was confiscated and returned the last day of the cruise. The muster drill was very, very long. A bit silly, really because it was repeated in about 5 languages followed by a movie. The ship is beautiful and very well laid out. I love the entertainment in the atrium. It is easily viewable from many, many decks which allowed more people to casually enjoy whatever was happening. There was karaoke, bands, line dancing, dance lessons.... Something for everybody. Our room was on deck 8 right by the elevators and we could not hear any noise from the atrium or the Hideaway. We sailed over Thanksgiving so we did hear some kids running in the halls, but for the most part the kids were well behaved and just having fun. The food was exceptional. We only ate in the MDR once for lunch and once for dinner as I am fluffy and the chairs are very uncomfortable if you are fluffy. I thought there were some strange choices on the menu. I felt as if they were trying to encourage the pay restaurants. We did eat dinner one night in the Tuscan Grill and it was totally enjoyable but food quality and service. We ate lunch in the Bistro on 5 and really enjoyed the salad and a crepe. Also, we ordered from the dinner menu one night and had it delivered to our stateroom. We ate on the balcony and that was really, really nice. The sirloin steak available every night is juicy and so tender I could almost cut it with a fork. Not much to say about the entertainment. There were some groups that played in the atrium and on deck 15 for sail away. We did not really seek out the music so I can't help much but I do miss the steel band playing by the pool. There was plenty of storage space in the bathroom but limited storage in the stateroom. The storage over the bed was difficult to access without climbing on the bed and there were no other shelves in the room Every employee we came across was happy and helpful. The service was fantastic and every Celebrity cruise has ever been. We needed and wanted for nothing. The bad weather would be my only complaint but that of course is not Celebrity's fault. The seas were rough, the ship rolled side to side, and we had very limited sunshine. Fortunately, we live in Florida and get plenty of sunshine. Will definitely sail Celebrity again. Hopefully in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
To start with the embarkation experience in the warehouse at Barbados was not good. it was very hot and very slow, it took the best part of an hour. And then to have no Heineken or coffee cooler is ridiculous from start of or throughout a ... Read More
To start with the embarkation experience in the warehouse at Barbados was not good. it was very hot and very slow, it took the best part of an hour. And then to have no Heineken or coffee cooler is ridiculous from start of or throughout a 14 day cruise not encouraging especially as promoting both as offers !!!! there were bluebottle flys in the Meridian restaurant x3 and Java x1, Venitia x1 times Food was very good in quality Staff all over the ship polite but not as friendly as Princess staff Water and wine order waiters poor also trying to gain cheese order from plate whilst eating dessert x3 occasions!!! Not changing table covers between customers is poor and pepper salt breadcrumbs still present and drink/ sauce marks Not very competent nor speed of delivery of order in Java Not as much commercialism as Princes which is a good thing Italian - ridiculous as no booking possible but then you have to wait 45-60 mins even at 6:30-7:00 time. Again water serving poor. It is further poor that white shirt officers take precedence over fare paying customers/passengers re table sitting and food delivery. Great food beef fillet on larva slab and lasagne and all food excellent. Service again average and not as good as Princess Sindu service by Maritess excellent 1st to regularly replenish the water. Attentive etc Glass House superb wine tasting and taster menu with Olphy Ferrriera. Attentive, knowledgeable and friendly and helpful. Cabin steward Hilda excellent Ship already a little tired after only 4 years, decor very 70’s other than Glass House and Sindhu Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
This was our 9th X cruise, 6 on S-class, 2 on M-class, and one on the Century. Although the ship was nice and had some improvements over it's sister ships, we probably still prefer the Eclipse. The staff was good, but not as good as ... Read More
This was our 9th X cruise, 6 on S-class, 2 on M-class, and one on the Century. Although the ship was nice and had some improvements over it's sister ships, we probably still prefer the Eclipse. The staff was good, but not as good as the Eclipse. The captain was probably better, but in a very low-key way. He kind of grew on me as the voyage progressed. Our biggest disappointment was the entertainment, particularly in the lounges. We really feel X is cutting back on this, perhaps due to the amount of money they are putting into their troup shows (which continue to be great). Those shows are fantastic, but they need to be supplemented with strong entertainment elsewhere on the ship. It doesn't have to be expensive - X had a DJ on the eclipse playing ABBA songs in the Quasar lounge and the crowd was so great you could not find a seat! Unfortunately the Quasar does not exist on the Reflection because X chose to add more staterooms. More $$ for them, less entertainment for their customers. We're still waiting to see a lounge entertainer that can match or beat the female hypnotist we saw on the Crown Princess on a 7 day Carib cruise in 2006. Does any remember seeing her?? I love to know her name and where she is performing these days. May be in Vegas -she was that good! We have come to expect great entertainment from the Beyond the Podium speakers on X. This one did not measure up well with any we have seen before. Maybe because it was a short 7 day cruise? X took away half of the Sky Lounge - again for more cabins. But they did improve the Fitness Center by taking the exercise room and separating it from the rest of the Center. Also added The Hideaway on deck 7 mid-ship as a great reading area, and improved the game room significantly. Food was excellent, both in the MDR and the buffet, which we have come to expect from X. The décor of the ship left something to be desired for our tastes, which is again why we like the Eclipse and the Equinox better. We took this cruise primarily to experience the Reflection, and were obviously not as overwhelmed as we were perhaps expecting to be. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Sailed on the Carnival Liberty for the second time in 2014,was disappointed the first time but decided to give them a second chance since the excuse on the first was they had a new crew. We arrived and boarded the ship with no problems ... Read More
Sailed on the Carnival Liberty for the second time in 2014,was disappointed the first time but decided to give them a second chance since the excuse on the first was they had a new crew. We arrived and boarded the ship with no problems being VIP. on getting to our cabin we found the bedside table behind the curtain and the bed up against the window which made it impossible for my wife to get into our bed without climbing over since there was no room steward in sight I went to guest services and they sent someone up from housekeeping. The young lady told us the problem would be fixed , five hours later I found our room steward and got the problem fixed or so I thought !All week long the bed was made so badly that we had to remake it ourselves and I promise it is not because we are hard to please.During the week we found buffet food that was cold and sometimes spoiled we also had food in the dining room that was served quickly but was cold.My wife became ill after eating in the dining room one of these nights Smoking is no longer allowed on balconies so they put smokers outside on decks 3 and 10 where the the wind blows 40mph which confuses me since they give talks about concerns of fire blowing back into the ship [On deck 10 they put smokers by the air intake vents]. My mother-in-law needs wheelchair assistance on checking with guest services they were told on the last day to wait in the Persian card room .When I double checked being that they are on in years I was told no that was for diamond VIPs only, that they should wait in the Venetian theater twice then on my third trip was told no it was the Golden Olympian restaurant . We never received our pins for the Liberty showing the year of our trip [They said they ran out but would mail them to us on request]. on the last night of our trip all the card and slot machines in the casino went down at 3:00 PM .People were told the sat. was down and the problem would be fixed shortly. It never was. All in all our trip was a joke.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
Background My wife and I have been on 12 cruises over the past 14 years. We are very active and for the most part are loyal to Royal “RCCL” but like to try new cruise lines when we can . Since it was Thanksgiving we asked our parents ... Read More
Background My wife and I have been on 12 cruises over the past 14 years. We are very active and for the most part are loyal to Royal “RCCL” but like to try new cruise lines when we can . Since it was Thanksgiving we asked our parents from both sides to join us. They are a little less active but still like to have fun. So the 6 of us all flew into Fort Lauderdale the night prior to our cruise to save a few dollars on airfare. Fort Lauderdale is only a 30 minute drive to Miami. We stayed at the brand new Residence Inn – FLL Airport & Cruise. Very nice all suite hotel located next to the airport, free parking, and free breakfast. I would recommend it to anyone. Day 1 Woke up to rain. Oh well a little ran is still better than the cold weather back at home. We picked up some last minute items at Target (water, Red Bull, and Wine) then off to the Port of Miami. NOTE: NCL has only Pepsi Products, if you are Coke drinker you may want bring it with you. We unloaded all of the checked luggage with the curbside porters then drove over to the Miami airport to drop off the rental cars. NOTE: Alamo has a free shuttle to and from the Port of Miami and Miami Airport. Once on the shuttle it only took 15 minutes to get back to the Port of Miami. Check-in was very easy and fast. If you have wine they will ask you to remove it from your bag and the security officer will take it over to the “cork fee desk” to have them place stickers on your bottles. Note: It takes about 2 -3 days for the $15 per bottle cork fees to show up on your account. It will not state it’s a cork fee instead ours came over as a charge for The Tropicana Room. Confusing! Our staterooms were ready once we boarded at 12:30 PM. So we dropped our carry-on’s then made our way to O’Sheehans for lunch. I find the first day on any ship to be insane, especially at the buffet, so it was nice to be able to sit down at O’Sheehans before everyone else discovers it. O’Sheehans has a limited menu but the food was very good. After lunch we went back to our staterooms to see if our luggage arrived safely, which it did. We had 3 aft staterooms on deck 11. Cabin #’s 11912, 11314, & 11310. The deck plans online make you think each cabin may be a different size or shape. They are not. All the cabins were the same size and layout of any balcony cabin on the ship. Cabins 11912 & 11314 had the bed next to the closet. Cabin 11310 had the bed next to the balcony. Now for the best part of an aft cabin, the balcony. They are LARGE. About 10 feet deep. Each aft balcony had 2 loungers, 2 chairs, and a small table. Nice and private too. You could only see up or down to the balcony above or below you if you came out to the rail otherwise no one could see you sitting down. They provide a great view of both sides of the ship and the wake behind. Plus the Captain backed into every dock which gave you a great view of the islands at port. NOTE: if you like to hear the ocean at night but want your AC to stay on just unlock the balcony door and keep it closed. Not sure if I can go back to a regular balcony again! It was so nice to be able to make a cup of coffee and layout on the balcony every morning. Yes I said make coffee. The balcony cabins each had its own small coffee maker. A first for me on a cruise. RCCL and DCL do not have in room coffee makers. Nice benefit NCL! Tonight we made an online reservation for Moderno at 6:30. We wanted 7:30 but it was unavailable online. I called NCL and they advised once onboard I could change it since NCL only allows 15% of the reservations to be made online. Once I got onboard they would only give me 7:00 PM. Now here is the crazy part. Once we got to Moderno the restaurant was empty except for 1 table. We basically he had the restaurant to ourselves. Why could they not give use a 7:30 reservation??? This seemed to be the theme for most of the venues thought-out the week. Reservations would tell you the restaurant is full but you would arrive and many tables would be empty, except for Cagney’s. Moderno was just OK. It has a nice salad bar and a lot of different meats. I found several selections to be too salty for me but it was still good and a fun experience. Just remember to turn your card over to red, otherwise they will keep coming and coming. After dinner we attended the welcome aboard show at 9:45. It was a peak at all the entertainment that would be offered for the week. Day 2 – Sea Day I woke up early this morning to a sunny day. I did not sleep that well due to the excessive rocking. Rant 2… Again , We have been on 12 cruises. 8 on RCCL, 2 on DCL, & 2 on NCL. A few of our past cruises have even been during hurricanes. However, I have never been on a large ship that rocked so much until the Getaway. The Getaway rocked from the minute we pulled away from the dock to the minute we got back. The day we left Miami it was raining with rough seas, which is understandable but the other 6 days it was mostly sunny, some wind, with fairly calm seas. We woke up several nights to the closet doors slamming open and closed. After the cruise, I even spoke to couple who sailed another ship with a similar itinerary at the airport. They stated their ship had almost no rocking after the first day. I am not sure if the Getaway was designed poorly or the Captain refuses to use the stabilizers. Whichever, we hope NCL corrects the issue in the future. This morning we had breakfast at the Flamingo Grill. This is a Cuban inspired “buffet” . They also have eggs or omelets made to order. Again the food here was very good. I hate to say but I think the food is slightly better than RCCL for the most part. I just love being able to sit outside with a sea view for breakfast. Plus the Flamingo Grill is a lot less chaotic than the main Garden Café Buffet. We spent most of the day just sitting by the pool. Rant 3… The main pool is tiny. The smallest pool and area around the pool of any ship we have been on. Not sure why NCL put the Market Place and the 2 bars in the middle as they take up a lot of space that could of made the pool area larger and more usable. However, there are more than enough chairs on the upper decks, if you like sun, just not near the activity and music of the main pool. Tonight we had reservations for Illusionarium. Best show on the ship and worth the extra charge! However, this was the worst meal we had all week. It tasted like they used a microwave to overcook the steaks and shrimp then poured some sort of brown sauce over it to mask the taste. I recommend your eat before or after. Also, make sure you get in line 30 minutes before the doors open. So that is 1 hour before the show starts to get the best seats. The show story line is about one man’s belief that magic no longer exists and his journey back in time to see the great magicians of the past. But it’s all about the magic. I still cannot figure out how they did it. Again, excellent show and a must do! Day 3 – Sea Day Today we spent most of the day on the best water slides at sea and the tiny pool. Tonight we had a reservation at Cagney’s. This was our best meal all week. The steaks were cooked perfectly and the cheesecake was oh so delicious. I wish I had booked it twice. After dinner we attended Burn the Floor at 10 PM. This was a great show and another must do. I also wanted to note it was my Mothers B-Day. Their Stateroom attendant, Renaldo, surprised them with a “cake” about 2 feet tall made from towels with a cupcake on top. How nice is that!! Day 4 – St Maarten Today we shared a van taxi to Orient Beach. $7 per person each way. About a 30 minute drive. $10 per chair rental. WARNING – Orient Beach was damaged during the last hurricane. It had very little beach and tons of seaweed everywhere. I wish I knew this before going but we made the most of it. I remember Orient Beach to as being one of the best beaches, but not anymore. I would recommend saving your money and time and just take the water taxi over to Great Bay Beach its only $7 round trip and much nicer at this time. Tonight we had a reservation at Teppanyaki. Our chef must have been new. It took him 3 tries to do most of the “tricks” , an hour just to cook the rice, and he made everyone’s entry separately so no one was eating together. But, he was still very entertaining, the food tasted great, and everyone had a wonderful time. Dinner took longer than expected so we missed the comedy show in the main theater at 9:30. Not a problem we just went up to Spice H2O early to claim our spot for the 80’s party and fireworks. This is a must do. We have seen fireworks on the Disney Cruise Ships before but I like the NCL 80’s theme better. Again another great benefit of NCL! Day 5 – St Thomas We decided to venture into the Garden Café Buffet this morning since we had to be off the ship early for our excursion. It’s always crazy in there but if you go to the back of the buffet there are less people and more tables available with the same selections of food. We booked the Mini Boat Adventure at 8:00 AM. They take you by safari bus to their dock. Then a quick overview on how to drive your small boat. Then you are off. We had about 30 to 45 minutes at the snorkel site. Then they take you back to the cruise ship dock around 12:00 . Tonight we had dinner at Taste. The food lacked spice but still ok for a main cruise dining room. It’s on the level of a Olive Garden or Applebee’s. We attended the 9 PM Comedy Show at Headliners. Both acts were hilarious. After the show we stayed for the Howl at the Moon dueling pianos. At first it was a man and a woman. She was really good but after 2 songs she got replaced by another man. Neither guy could sing well. Half the room left after a few songs and so did we. Too bad my family really likes live music. Day 6 – Sea Day “Thanksgiving” This morning we had breakfast at Savor. Our waitress was Vine. She was so happy and friendly. She made our morning. Again the food was very good. After breakfast we finally decided to try the rope course and putt putt golf. It’s much higher than it looks but so much fun. The putt putt course is also really nice. Tonight we had Thanksgiving dinner at The Tropicana Room. At first it started out to be a disaster. The band came on and starting playing 70’s type party disco music very very very loud. We and most of the room were confused if this was a dinner venue or a club. It was only 7:30. I think some may have complained since the band just stopped suddenly in the middle of a song then started playing some softer Cuban music. They had a special Thanksgiving menu which was very good. Thank You NCL! After dinner we attended Legally Blonde. I hate to admit I liked the movie but this musical was just bad. The singers and dancers did their best but the songs and production is just lacking. I looked around the theater and most people’s faces looked puzzled. Not much clapping. I guess if you never saw the movie this musical would be really hard to follow. Day 7 – Nassau My wife and I have been to Nassau several times before and have done almost everything it has to offer. It was to cool today to do the Atlantis water park so we decided to do a walking tour and show my parents some of the sites. You can pull a tour online or just grab a map at the pier. If you are able, I strongly recommend to walk versus a bus tour. You just see more and it’s really and easy walk from site to site. Many of the sites such as the Queens Stair Case , The Forts, and John Watling’s Distillery have someone available that will provide you a tour and overview of the site for free or a small tip. We ended our walking tour at the Fish Fry Twin Brothers. I just love the conch fritters and baked macaroni. Yum! Tonight we had a reservation at La Cucina at 8:30 PM. We asked if they could change it to 7 PM so we could make the farewell show at 9:30 PM but reservations again said no. So we just showed up at 7. The restaurant was only half full at best, mostly empty, and we got seated right away . All was good. Nope! They took 30 minutes just to take our drink order. It took another 30 minutes to bring us our drinks. And another 30 minutes before they would take our food order. This dinner took 3 ½ hours. We were there until 10:30. Was the food good? Yes very good. Was it 3 ½ hours good? Maybe not. Oh well, no show tonight. But we found our way to the Mojito Bar and the famous bartender Bong. I am glad I did not find this guy earlier in the cruise otherwise my bar tab may have been double. He is very entraining and makes great mojito’s. A must do. But one warning there is a strong smoke smell at this bar.. Rant 4…All of deck 7 smells like smoke due to the open casino design. This is an issue because the Noodle Bar, O ‘Sheehan’s, The Tropicana Room, and Theatre are all on the same deck. Not to mention the smoke finds its way up the atrium to deck 8. We decided to not eat at the Sushi Bar or the Noodle Bar just because of the strong smoke smell. I do not mine smelling smoke in the casino area or a bar, it just hard to stomach while you are eating. After several mojito’s and breaking even at the casino we decided to call it a night and the end to a wonderful cruise. Day 8 – Miami Woke up at 7 to watch the ship pull into Miami. Met up at Savor at 8 AM for our last breakfast onboard. Then made it back to our stateroom just before 9 AM to pick-up our bags and depart the ship. It was as quick and easy as getting on. Final Thoughts The Getaway is a beautiful ship. A happy medium between modern and classical. I found most of the crew to be very friendly and welling to go the extra mile to make everyone’s vacation memorable. Would I sail her again, maybe not anytime soon, because there are still so many ships that we need to explore and some of her design flaws such has the excessive rocking, smoke smell from the open casino, and small main pool area. I think NCL has come a long way since we last sailed with them but Royal Caribbean is still our favorite for now. RCCL just feels like home to us and excels in ship design & entertainment. But please try the Getaway as she is still a very nice ship.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
My husband and I (both 62 years old) have cruised with NCL on the Gem, Epic, Pearl and Dawn. I have been on the Gem and Epic twice. We have always preferred NCL because of the Freestyle Cruising idea since neither of us are interested in ... Read More
My husband and I (both 62 years old) have cruised with NCL on the Gem, Epic, Pearl and Dawn. I have been on the Gem and Epic twice. We have always preferred NCL because of the Freestyle Cruising idea since neither of us are interested in getting dressed up when we are on vacation. However we have also cruised on Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Carnival so we can do some comparisons. We left on November 7th from NS and stayed overnight in Miami at the Airport Hilton. We arrived at the port at around 10 AM and we were on the ship by around 11:30. The embarkation went very smoothly which may have partially been due to our early arrival. Naturally we headed up to the Garden Café to have lunch. I was very impressed with the layout of the whole area especially the idea of having different colour schemes on each side which made it easier to find where you were sitting. Lunch was rather disappointing in the buffet as I did not see many alternates to hamburgers, hotdogs and French fries. Breakfast was a much better meal in the buffet and we only had supper there once and it was OK. Once we had lunch we headed down to our cabin (#10976) a mid-ship mini-suite. This seems to be where the ship designers have gone off the tracks. Apparently some (idiot) thought that the cruise passengers would be spending most of their time in the bathroom and none of their time out on their balcony! Seriously?? A huge, totally unnecessary bathroom with a double sink (why?) and a shower that could hold three people! So we have all that wasted space and then a balcony that is 4 feet by 8 feet. Very, very bad idea. This is one of the first cruises where we hardly spent any time out relaxing on our balcony. Perhaps that was the idea? We aren’t down in the bars buying drinks? But not having a decent sized balcony is such a turn-off for most cruisers that I am sure it will affect a lot of future cruisers especially if they have been on other ships. I remember watching the TV show about the Breakaway and one of the things they mentioned was that our luggage would get to our room before we did. Afraid not; I was very surprised that our luggage didn’t arrive until after supper. But, when I did start to unpack I discovered another design problem: no DRAWERS! I can only think this was some type of cost-cutting measure when building the ship but it was another big mistake. Where, exactly are we supposed to store our pills, jewelry, watches, hair accessories, etc? Most people these days have prescriptions, etc and the ONLY drawer in the whole cabin was a tiny one at the bottom of the bathroom vanity. Not easily accessible and with all the humidity, not a good place to store pills. Then there is the non-existent table. I realize that the vanity stool is multi-use but I was hardly going to switch it back and forth every time I wanted to sit down. Our cabin was arranged with the bed next to the balcony doors and the space between the wall and the bed might have been one foot! Not much fun if you are getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom! The table on that side of the bed was very tiny. The bedside lights are too high on the wall so that if you are already lying in bed, you have to get up to turn them off. Moving on... Only ONE swimming pool for over 3,000 guests (not counting the pool in Haven and the kids’ pool). What happened to the pool in Spice H2O? The seats in the main theater are poorly constructed and not comfortable. If you sit up straight you are hitting what feels like a “2 X 4” under your bum. To avoid this you have to slouch in your chair. Headliner’s Comedy Club – we only went here once at 9 PM and the featured comedienne was not good at all. Don’t remember his name but he is supposed to be going on some TV shows. Very slow and poor performance. But the other problem, again, was the seating: solid, HARD wooden chairs! After 20 minutes my back started to bother me. Then there are the elevators; I thought I was entering a dungeon or a tomb: dark, dark and dark. We did try the bowling several times. The first time we were on the right-hand lane and discovered that the “#10 pin” did not register when it was knocked down. I realize that this is all just for fun but my husband is an avid bowler and was NOT impressed when he got a strike and a spare and BOTH of them did not show up because of this problem. We noticed later on that the strings on the pins had tangled and there was no one around to fix the problem. Considering that it was costing us $10.00 to play, this would have been an issue and we would probably had to go down to customer service to get our money back. The mini-golf was rather interesting. We went to play twice but the first time there were no “adult-sized” clubs available. There were only about 10 people on the course so it was rather surprising. The second time there was only one club available so we had to share it. FOOD – We ate in Taste and Savor at least three times. The only time it was “OK” was for breakfast. Supper was pathetic. Waiters never placed our napkins in our laps, service was slow and poor. My water glass was empty for over 5 minutes. My tea came with no milk and by the time the waiter came back (15 minutes) it was cold and had to be replaced. Main course was lukewarm. At least 15 minutes before our (finished) salads were removed and during our second meal the waiter never came back to ask how we were enjoying our meal or if we needed anything. I especially enjoy the “chocolate Volcano cake” for desert but both times that I had it, it was not nearly hot enough. It almost goes without saying that everything on the ship was TOO LOUD. The announcements were especially annoying and extremely loud. We always have to wear earplugs for all the shows in the theaters. The only place on the ship that was quiet was the card room and the library. I used to enjoy the Spinnaker Lounge but apparently it is also gone and there is only ONE lounge on the ship now and I am hardly going to go to Bliss to sit and read a book. I will end this on a happy note and tell you what we did enjoy on the ship. First of all, she is beautiful and the central chandelier is amazing. Our room steward was very good and the whole ship was kept very clean. The shuffleboard courts were great and I was very pleased to see so many of them. Once we discovered O’Sheenhan’s Pub we hardly ate anywhere else. Food was fantastic and so was the service. Prime rib was excellent. We would order our food and it was in front of us within five minutes. The waiters in Taste and Savor should take notes. The shows, Burn the Floor and Legally Blonde were excellent. Disembarkation was very well managed and we were off the ship and in a taxi within 25 minutes. I did try the Spa for a day and unfortunately (again) the designers missed the mark. The hydrotherapy pool is wonderful but because it is so loud and noisy it is not enjoyable to lay on the heated tile beds or the loungers for any length of time. I presumed the idea of a “spa” is peaceful relaxation. We will be going back to Carnival and RCCL next year and may never return to NCL unless we return to the older ships.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Unpacked, final load of laundry drying, so time to write the review. Overall a great Thanksgiving week in the Eastern Caribbean. I have written this based on my opinions and comments made by my wife and two others traveling in our party. ... Read More
Unpacked, final load of laundry drying, so time to write the review. Overall a great Thanksgiving week in the Eastern Caribbean. I have written this based on my opinions and comments made by my wife and two others traveling in our party. This was our 6th Thanksgiving Cruise the four of us have taken together, previous five on Carnival, so our first with Celebrity. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday and spent the day seeing family and just relaxing. Since we a had a rental car I returned it on Sunday morning and took the free shuttle to the port. That was a mistake. The bus was really full, we dropped off after the Allure and had to pick up people getting off the Allure and going to the airport. The shuttle to almost an hour for a 10 minute ride. Next time 10 bucks and straight to the ship. Lots of construction in the port area so give yourself plenty of time. Embarkation: A breeze for us. My wife had brought the luggage to the ship (road with family and new grandbaby) and the luggage was unloaded from the car and she never saw the bags again until they arrived in our room around 230 that afternoon. I arrived a little later and at approx. 12:35 we entered the bldg to start the process and by 12:45 we were on the ship upgrading our drink packages. No problems, no issues, friendly staff members, a great way to start the vacation. The Ship: The ship is beautiful, that sums it up. We walked around and got our bearings and waited for our room to be ready. They said 1 and at 1:02 the doors opened and we were inside our room and standing on the balcony. Our room attendant introduced himself and his assistant and we could not have been happier. All week, everything we asked for was delivered by the room staff. From there we met family in the buffet dining room for a quick snack. The food was plentiful and very good. I made my wife a cheese and cracker tray and she raved about the cheese and how peaceful everything was. We were not seated with our two family members at the early dining so I made a trip to see the dining room staff. We were placed together immediately and given a very nice table for 4. Leaving port is always exciting, and this time was as well. Someone got proposed to in large letters being held up at a condo as we left port and the vacation had begun. Dining: We had early dining and ate in the main dining room 6 out of 7 nights. We were very happy with the food, service, and the overall dining experience. My brother in law has diet restrictions and they filled his every wish to include low carb cheesecake every night. The glasses stayed full of wine and bottled water and just a very pleasant experience. We ate in the same dining room most breakfasts and lunches. Also very good and very relaxing. Monday and Friday were formal nights and we just did Friday. Monday night we ate in the Tuscun Italian Grill. Can not say enough great things about the Tuscun. Great food and the service was wonderful. Everyone felt the 45 dollars was a fair price and much better than the fine dining on Carnival for 35. The spa dining (smoothies and healthy foods) was very good and as named, located just outside the spa. We had breakfast there a few times and it was very good. The burger and dog grill was excellent. You have to be a little patient, but worth the wait. The hot dogs are delicious and the service was very good. It is located right above the main pool and it does get a little busy around noon so you must be a little patient or wait until the line goes down before heading that way. The only time we ate in the buffet was shortly after getting on the ship and I had lunch there on Saturday at the Grand Buffet with the ice carvings and huge food and desserts selections. The dessert section looked like some of the crimes scenes that I have investigated. People, not worth the verbal assaults and rudeness over cheesecake. Saw several examples of the "Angry American" in this area. Somewhat disturbing but sadly to say, not shocking. Bars and Package: We upgraded our including drink package to the premium package. Best decision made all week. The free bottled water and the smoothies easily paid for the upgrade. Unlimited Evian waters and sparkling water at dinner was nice. I spent every afternoon at the Sunset Bar (cigar smoker). The bar was very nice and the drinks and service was very good. The wind really blows in the area on sea days and you had to pick your cigar spot carefully. No issues, all great. The martini bar was also a great experience. Good drinks, fun bartenders, and one of the dance and party crowd gathering points during the cruise. My evening home was the Molecular Bar. Heaven on the ship. I can not say enough about the three working behind the bar and how wonderful they truly were. All the drinks are included in the upgraded package or I would giving plasma today to pay my bar bill. A must visit for those who enjoy a wonderful cocktail and loads of fun. Entertainment: We did several shows and they were very good. I did not make the late night comedian act but was told by cigars buddies that it was very good. Seemed to always be a band playing or a game around the pool going on. Enjoy what you want and walk by what you don't, you're on vacation. Pool and Spa: I enjoyed the pool area and my wife really enjoyed her two spa treatments. The indoor adult pool was very nice and very relaxing. The main pool was more alive with kids and louder music and was also enjoyed. Never felt overcrowded and chairs were plentiful and while a few were saved it was not a problem like it was on Carnival. Missing San Juan: This was our first disappointment of the cruise. The Captain came on the PA around 10 on Monday and stated that we were going to be a little late getting into San Juan but he would not commit to a time. He stated this was due to unexpected strong headwinds. I told my wife that since we were going 17 knots and from what we had left to get to San Juan, it just wasn't happening. The Capt came on around 1 and stated that he had made the decision to bypass San Juan and head straight to St. Kitts. While I understand the strong winds (they were strong) I also blame the propulsion problems that this ship is having and will continue to have until Jan when it gets dry docked for repairs. When I first read about these problems several months ago I called my TA to discuss cancelling this cruise. She called the Celebrity rep who emphatically stated this was a known problem and in no way would effect the cruise or the ports visited. Well IT did. Strong winds, full power and we enjoy a evening in Old San Juan. Strong winds, less power to one engine, no Old Town. Sad but dealing with Celebrity on this now. Doggie Lunch: This was a first and somewhat troubling in a few regards. There were two service dogs on the cruise and were very well behaved. One of the dogs was a small dog that was pushed around all week inside a stroller and wore diamond studded collars and hair bows. On Friday afternoon as we entered the main dining room for lunch we observed the dog's owner, could not miss very very large red hat, sitting at her table and next to her, in a chair was the dog. I thought WOW, a dog in the dining room, in a person chair, at the table having lunch. In front of the dog on the table was a large silver doggie water dish in which the dog seemed to be having a post lunch drink. I know dogs are a clean animal and I understand the ADA laws but come on Celebrity, you squirted my hands three times a day before dining with hand sanitizer but yet you let a dog eat and drink from a a dining room table while sitting in a chair. The next a we asked the Maitre D about he dog and he stated he saw nothing and it would not have occurred if he had seen it. Well he was lying, he walked by the table several times and did nothing. Very sad. We Are Out of That: Also disturbing was the amount of times in which we were told the ship was out of items. Towards the end of the week there was no cream cheese, milk for morning for morning cereal, many mixes for the drinks, certain sodas, and other items. This should not happen and the staff seemed somewhat embarrassed to have to tell the customers they could not get what they ordered or wanted. Debarkation: What a mess. You would think this was the very first time they ever did this. We self carried off the ship from the 10th deck. After a 15 minute wait and no elevators, at the time we were told to use the elevators (7-7:30), we just humped the six bags down the stairs. Once off the ship it is a long walk to customs and while we are not in great shape, I am sure others had a difficult time on the walk to customs. Customs went great. Follow directions, have your paperwork out and don't be funny. They have a serious job and lots of folks to get through. Overall: We had a great time. Sorry for such a long post but I know I read several post before cruising and I hope it helps someone like others helped me. This is not a Carnival cruise. The age and demeanor of the passengers was much more in-lined with what we were looking for and for that reason we will be back on Celebrity. I wish everyone a wonderful Holiday Season, God Bless, and Safe Travels. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
I took this cruise out of New Orleans with a group of lady friends. I didn't expect a lot so was not disappointed. The ship is obviously older but has very recently been refurbished. It was clean and well maintained.. I had a Junior ... Read More
I took this cruise out of New Orleans with a group of lady friends. I didn't expect a lot so was not disappointed. The ship is obviously older but has very recently been refurbished. It was clean and well maintained.. I had a Junior Suite which was very nice. The sitting area had a small sofa and a very nice good sized chair plus a table big enough for room service breakfast. Storage was fantastic--many drawers plus a walk-in closet. The bathroom was also nice--good lighting and mirrors and plenty of hot water. However no electrical outlets and the shower curtain was too short and a shower created a minor flood. Also the supplied shampoo and conditioner were terrible. Warning--bring your own. Friends had balcony cabins which had obviously been created from Ocean View. They were very small, had minimal storage, and were poorly arranged with the "sitting area" on the inside. My cabin attendant was great but I think that was not the usual level. Some of the hospitality staff were not as proficient in English as they might have been. For example the director of the trivia game could not pronounce the clues. Service in the main dining room was poor--very slow, mixed up orders, food not cooked as ordered. Room service selection was very limited but breakfast was delivered very promptly. The elevators were ridiculous-not nearly enough of them, very slow, would not stop even though totally empty. They became the joke of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
This is our 6th cruise and our 3rd with Celebrity. Overall, we had a great vacation and would cruise again with Celebrity and on the Reflection. Here is what we thought were the pros and cons and our experience at the ports: Pros - The ... Read More
This is our 6th cruise and our 3rd with Celebrity. Overall, we had a great vacation and would cruise again with Celebrity and on the Reflection. Here is what we thought were the pros and cons and our experience at the ports: Pros - The Reflection is a beautiful ship. It is very clean and we liked the layout for the most part. The food in the Main Dining room (Opus) and the buffets in the Oceanview Cafe were all above average to excellent. We ate at the Qsine restaurant on the first night (30% off) and the food was EXCELLENT - would highly recommend. The other couple that we travelled with ate at the Tuscan Grille and thought the steak there was AWESOME. We had a balcony room which had a good layout, ample storage, and the room attendants always kept it clean w/o being under our feet. Loved the martini bar and the drinks at the Molecular Bar were awesome. We were also regulars at the coffee bar which had a great selection of coffees and teas. Btw, embarkation was a dream compared to other cruise lines/ports! Ports - Had a wonderful time at Cozumel. Took a taxi for $14 each way to Paradise Beach and paid a $3 admission to a gorgeous beach, pool, tiki bars, bathrooms, etc. Glad we went based on online recommendations. In Grand Cayman we did the Turtle Farm and Stingray excursion which was great. Loved the Stingray part but I think I would do a similar excursion which included 7-mile beach and lunch. Our tour was fun but we were taken to 2 tourist traps along the way which we didn't appreciate. Didn't get off the ship for Jamaica and glad we didn't. We spoke to a lot of people and almost everyone that did get off regretted it (shop owners downtown were barricading people and intimidating them into buying). Labadee, Haiti has beautiful beaches and they've done some major upgrades since we were there 6 years ago including putting a dock in so you don't have to take tender boats. Although we call it "Disney Haiti" they've really done a nice job. We paid one of the workers $5 and he cleaned off 2 chairs for us and set them up right on the water for us. Just be careful of some of the shop owners - they tell you that they don't want to pressure you but they do just that in order for you to come into their store. Cons - Our number one complaint is definitely the spotty bar service in the pool area and the Sunset Bar. No exaggeration, there were times when we stood at the pool bars for 30 minutes trying to get a drink. We tried all 3 of them but you have to get lucky or run to the bar when you only see a few people at them and then you will still wait at least 10 minutes because often there is only 1 bartender. It seemed that a majority of the people had beverage packages (due to the Pick Your Perk promotions) and maybe there was little motivation for the bartenders to move quickly or to give good service at all. Don't know, don't care - they need to fix this asap. We've been on other cruises with beverage packages and never had an issue getting a drink and there were servers coming up to you while we were laying by the pool or in the hot tub. We thought the service for the other bars were very good though but we think it's also partially because the Martini Bar and the Molecular Bar were only free if you had the premium bar package (which we had - it was worth it!). We like most of the entertainment but we were only wowed a couple of times compared to other cruises. The service in the dining rooms and the buffet was very good overall but we did have a waiter on the last night who was totally incompetent. Ship is beautiful but wish they still had the Michael's bar with the craft beers. Also, some of the space seemed to not be well-utilized. The grassy areas were cool to see at first until you realize how much space it takes up and that we never saw anyone there. Also, never saw anyone in the wine room which seemed to be very pricey.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
All 26 of us arrived at the residence inn, in Port Canaveral the day before. This hotel was an amazing place to start the vacation. After a wonderful free breakfast we boarded the shuttle to the ship at 10:45. That was the last time we saw ... Read More
All 26 of us arrived at the residence inn, in Port Canaveral the day before. This hotel was an amazing place to start the vacation. After a wonderful free breakfast we boarded the shuttle to the ship at 10:45. That was the last time we saw our luggage until it arrived a our room, on board. The lines in the terminal move quickly and we were on the ship at 11:45. From the time we got on the ship to when we got off the ship, it was almost perfection. Fantastic entertainment for all ages from 11 months to 70 years old. No one can do as good a job as Disney We never heard the word, NO from any crew members on the ship. Nothing is perfect. The food was good, not great. The waiters were great and they made up for the food. Don't be afraid to ask for something different. They will do it. Castaway Cay I'd amazing. A great way to end the cruise If you cannot book something like the spa before you get on board, you can get times when you get on board Getting off the ship was the easiest time of any cruise I have been on. Plenty of porters at the bottom of the escalator. Easy time getting luggage and then through customs Could not have asked for a better cruise. Worth the money.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
My husband and I sailed on the Regal Princess in November and loved her. We have sailed Princess several times before and found a lot of similarities between the Regal and other Princess ships, and some differences. The ship is beautiful. ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on the Regal Princess in November and loved her. We have sailed Princess several times before and found a lot of similarities between the Regal and other Princess ships, and some differences. The ship is beautiful. Her decor is lots of creams, beige, gold - light and airy feeling. The Piaza is impressive. It is the hub of the ship - IC, Alfredo's, the Gelato place etc are all in the Piaza. There is entertainment off and on all day here. It is a great place to sit and people watch. I was prepared to dislike to fact that there was no full promenade deck, but we were pleasantly surprised by the sitting areas on the promenade deck - nice deck furniture made for pleasant times watching the waves, reading etc. We honestly didn't miss a full wrap around deck. The service on board was excellent, provided by smiling and friendly staff. We loved the Horizin court/bistro. It is huge, has tons of seating and the food areas are well laid out and give lots of options. This area is the best of any ship we have sailed on. The main dining rooms are nice, similar to the other Princess ships we have been on. Over all, the food on the Regal was very good. Our cabin, a balcony on Baja deck was lovely. Bathroom was small, but the shower seemed a bit bigger than on previous Princess ships. Bed was very comforetable, unlike previous rock hard mattresses on Princess. Pillows were nice. The balcony was small, just enough room for 2 chairs and a small table. We knew that going in so it wasn't a surprise. It was fine. Entertainment was quite good. Two things that annoyed us: seeing men in the MDR in ratty shorts, even on a formal night. Granted, it was only one or two, but why have rules if you don't enforce them. Secondly, I had to complain twice to the passenger services desk about a man on the balcony below us smoking. First off, smoking is not allowed on balconies. Secondly, he was flicking his ashes over the balcony onto the top of the lifeboat below us which could be a huge fire risk. After the second call, which was I think day three of the cruise, I never saw him smoking again, so maybe the staff got it through his head that smoking really isn't allowed on balconies. Over all we had a wonderful cruise. We loved the Regal and would sail on her again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
this new ship was redone very poorly it add two deck and didn,t add a places to feed all the extra people.they took away a pool in the back of ship and add a slide. now they only have a small pool in the center for 3000 . they had two hot ... Read More
this new ship was redone very poorly it add two deck and didn,t add a places to feed all the extra people.they took away a pool in the back of ship and add a slide. now they only have a small pool in the center for 3000 . they had two hot tubs for all the quest and one:for 18 and older witch held 6 people. you couldn,t get even closes to the hot tube. the staff was not very good they couldn,t get a hole meal right. not just at night but in the morning to. staff did help when you had problem they made you feel like it was my first time sailing .this is my 20th time.they did tell me when i got my drink card that was and extra charges when your in port. that is sumthing new and they should have told you when you get the card. over all was not pleased with the servies we got Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
This was the cruise from hell. We were not informed that there would be over 1600 bikers on the cruise. The previous cruise was late getting in so we had to wait 1-1/2 hours before being allowed to board. The shower was moldy, the glass ... Read More
This was the cruise from hell. We were not informed that there would be over 1600 bikers on the cruise. The previous cruise was late getting in so we had to wait 1-1/2 hours before being allowed to board. The shower was moldy, the glass was cracked and the drain was clogged causing water to overflow into the cabin. The drawers were dirty and a pair of ladies pink panties were left there. The Wine package we pre-ordered online was not documented so we had to reorder the package in the dining room. There was no early or late seating available so we were forced to do My Time dining which had limited seating times available. The phone didn't work and took 3 days to fix it. There was excessive smoking and vulgarity throughout the ship making the entire cruise uncomfortable. The bikers were rowdy and vulgar. In fact some were thrown off the ship. The ship had to return to Port Canaveral because one of the bikers became ill. We lost 4 hours. We had to skip Coco Cay because of the weather so we were at sea for 3 consecutive days. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
This was an elopement/Thanksgiving/birthday cruise for my new hubby and myself. We had a wonderful time. What a great time to cruise on the "Love Boat!" :) Embarkation was a breeze. We were in our cabin by 1:00 and by the time ... Read More
This was an elopement/Thanksgiving/birthday cruise for my new hubby and myself. We had a wonderful time. What a great time to cruise on the "Love Boat!" :) Embarkation was a breeze. We were in our cabin by 1:00 and by the time we got back from a short self-guided tour and lunch in the Horizon Court, our bags had already been delivered. The Horizon food was your typical buffet . . . lots and lots of choices (too many, in fact) which were very spread out. The Bistro portion of the Horizon serves healthier options, which we enjoyed. We laughed when we asked an attendant what the difference was and received this reply: "The Bistro food isn't as greasy." LOL. Our first night in the MDR (Allegro) was a bit of a disaster and worried us. It seemed like they were TOTALLY unprepared for the late seating. Service crawled. The soup was so incredibly hot you couldn't eat it whereas my main meal was lukewarm at best. Thankfully, this was the only night we had a bad experience. From then out (perhaps because we expressed our concerns to the head waiter immediately), I'd have to say everything was fantastic. We did eat at the Crown Grill on two nights (once for our wedding meal and once for hubby's birthday). Steaks were on the rare side, which I don't mind, but DH sent his back . . . and it didn't improve much. Lamb chops were excellent. Formal nights in the MDR were also good; however, I didn't appreciate passengers coming in in shorts/flip-flops. Again, straight to the head waiter I went. Not sure anything was done. But, come on people, there are plenty of other options for casual dining. The dress code is clearly outlined in the daily Princess Patter. Unfortunate. The ship itself was beautiful. We didn't mind the lack of central stairs, although waiting for an elevator was a bit of a hassle. Seems as though you were on a "local" every trip. We never felt crowded at all. Plenty of chairs near the pool and all sun decks. I'll make another gripe here though in saying that what seemed to be the quietest area (for reading, sunning, etc.) was allocated as the only smoking area. YUCK! Total turnoff. Pools were small but adequate. We had a "sideways" interior cabin which was awsome! So much room. Very well laid out and quiet. Monday was the Princess Cays stop. Very choppy water tendering to the shore. No one could believe the snorkeling excursion actually left the beach. It was overcast and rough . . . not the best trip. But by the time we got back, the afternoon was nice on the beach. Lunch provided; standard picnic food, but tasty. Take note: if you have a soft-drink card, it is not accepted on the beach as there are no "fountain" drinks, only canned. Tuesday sea day very nice, albeit windy. We were forced to head aft to get out of the wind, but alas needed our gas masks. Wednesday we disembarked in St. Thomas and tied the knot. Back on board by 1:30 and had nice afternoon relaxing by the pool. I headed to the spa for a Port-Day-Special. So-so massage but nice just the same. Thursday in St. Maarten we took the Orient Beach excursion. Would not recommend it. I felt like I was part of a cattle herd. And the "hawkers" on the beach were awful. We should have either stayed on the ship or took another excursion. Last two sea days were about the same as the first. Plenty of open space on deck. Typical sea-day activities ---- Bingo, etc. Entertainment crew was very good. Cruise director . . . meh. Not much pizzazz. Shows very good. Comedian that was picked up on St. Thomas funny, but I believe he was on our Celebrity cruise last Thanksgiving. Casino allowed smoking. Another big YUCK. Disembarkation back in Fort Lauderdale a breeze. Read Less

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