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Sail Date: December 2014
The Good: 1. Good itinerary 2. Big window in Balcony Stateroom 3. Good Entertainment ( Cruise Director was great) The OK: 1. The food was bland and always the same. I was on a carnival Liberty before this and couldn't help but ... Read More
The Good: 1. Good itinerary 2. Big window in Balcony Stateroom 3. Good Entertainment ( Cruise Director was great) The OK: 1. The food was bland and always the same. I was on a carnival Liberty before this and couldn't help but compare. Carnival has a lot more free options and the food is 10 times better. Norwegian's food was bland and always the same. I did not try their restaurants that you had to pay extra for. The Bad 1. There was a smell coming from the aft stairs 2. The bartender in Ramblas bar was rude, never smiled and always looked away. No wonder it was always empty   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
I can't write any negative about this cruise and the cruise company or the ship. This ship is only 2 years old, so everything is new. A lots of activities for every ages, kindergarten with everything a kid needs. Beautiful interior ... Read More
I can't write any negative about this cruise and the cruise company or the ship. This ship is only 2 years old, so everything is new. A lots of activities for every ages, kindergarten with everything a kid needs. Beautiful interior and design, excellent Italian and international foods, endless choices in the buffet. Always-smiling and helpful staffs. Shows in the theatre were impressive and had a different show on every night. The only one negative thing was the early wake up on the last day. We had to leave the rooms no later than 7AM. only one restaurant was open, so everyone were there with big bags, was very hard to find a place to sit. But after that, de disembarkation was quick and smooth.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
We traveled with our adult daughter and teenage grand-daughter. We had next door balcony staterooms on the Lido deck.. Drove from the Atlanta GA area and overnighted at the Hampton Inn West in Port St. Lucie. Arrived at the Port of Miami ... Read More
We traveled with our adult daughter and teenage grand-daughter. We had next door balcony staterooms on the Lido deck.. Drove from the Atlanta GA area and overnighted at the Hampton Inn West in Port St. Lucie. Arrived at the Port of Miami on Saturday around 10:30am. We booked FFTF Fastest to the Fun for each stateroom. FFTF provided priority check-in and boarding (right after the Diamond and Platinum groups) and we were on board before 11:00am. FFTF, also, provided priority stateroom access and our staterooms were clean and ready when we boarded. We dropped our carry ons and went to the check out the food. We always check out all of the buffet lines (they usually offer some different items) and new restaurants/grills. Glory was refurbished in 2012 and we really like the changes - especially GUY's and the Burrito grill. The Steakhouse was our dinner choice. The food was excellent! Service had some minor issues - my medium rare steak was served to my wife and her medium steak was served to me. We just traded steaks and ate our merry way through dinner! Breakfast and lunch provide good variety. Choose wisely!! Have dessert first! Dinner - there seems to be fewer menu items (maybe it's my memory) than last time we cruised Carnival. Food was good and cooked as requested. Service was timely with some minor issues - orders presented to the right table, wrong person. We never had to wait for water re-fills or bread. By the way eat more that one appetizer and/or entrée. Or, it you don't like what you ordered get something else! We had to make appointments to visit with our grand-daughter. She joined Club O2 and made several new friends. The adults went to several of the productions, adult comedy shows, etc. Some were really fun and some were okay. We visited St. Maarten (Dutch side only), San Juan, and Grand Turk. Enjoyed each port and their unique cultures. FUN ALL OVER THE SHIP ON DECEMBER 31ST!!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Just got off the 11-day, Dec. 1st sailing. This was my 25th cruise, 2nd RCI. There's no doubt this ship is GORGEOUS, but leaves a lot to be desired. Carnival wins hands-down as the FUN ships, for sure! Here's my review by ... Read More
Just got off the 11-day, Dec. 1st sailing. This was my 25th cruise, 2nd RCI. There's no doubt this ship is GORGEOUS, but leaves a lot to be desired. Carnival wins hands-down as the FUN ships, for sure! Here's my review by category: FOOD was horrible, and I'm NOT a picky eater, by far. I truly couldn't find many enjoyable items in each restaurant. We did every pay restaurant, and there's not one I'd go back to, except Chops Grille, which was FANTASTIC (other than running out of veal chops one day.) I do love the idea of Dynamic Dining, but there should at least be an alternate menu or more options if you want to go back. Because we had a party of 8, it took over 3 hours to arrange all the dining and shows, which was a hassle. I was SHOCKED that they constantly ran out of BASIC foods. How's that possible for an established cruise line? That, to me, was inexcusable. Two70 HAD the best Chicken Caesar Salad I've ever had ... until they ran out of Romaine lettuce by Day 3. They also ran out of potato chips by Day 3. The ship ran out of bananas, hot dogs at the hot dog stand, no veal chops, no bass fish, no Jack Daniels. And creme brûlée was nowhere to be found on the whole ship ... and that's THE treat I look forward to on every cruise. ROOM SERVICE was pathetic. It's a main reason I won't go back. My favorite thing on a cruise is to wake up to bagels and lox brought to my room every morning. This had the smallest, worst choices of free delivery available. The first day, I decided to at least have tea and toast delivered, but they called AN HOUR LATE to say they were just now "on the way." ACTIVITIES were the best! I loved iFly, bumper cars, trapeze, ping pong, and air hockey, but the alloted times were VERY limited. For example, rollerskating was only scheduled during dinner, so we never made it there. The NorthStar kept breaking down, so we only got to see it in port, never over the ocean. SHOWS were great and professional, but I do miss going straight to a show every night after dinner. Mamma Mia was better than a Broadway performance! CABINS are roomy. Plenty of space and storage. Categories aren't accurate, though. "Large Interior" cabins aren't the same, as some had sofas and twice the size as the others. Our shipmates even had to waste some of their day to move their room. STAFF was friendly. Many waiters seemed overwhelmed. We often had to ask multiple times to get water or bread. They weren't very attentive. Staff is hard to find anywhere around the ship. PASSENGERS were old and crabby ... maybe because it was only the 2nd sailing, all the "regulars" came out. The average age was probably 68+. (Of course, there were VERY friendly older people, but sadly, that seemed to be the exception rather than the norm.) I've NEVER had a problem with anyone anywhere, and I had 5 confrontations with crotchety old people who had a sense of entitlement, pushing their way through to fronts of the lines. I've also (on vacation) never heard SO many people whining and complaining and criticizing in my life, as if they're professional cruise critics LOOKING for everything wrong to complain about. If you're looking for bad, you'll find it -- in ANY situation! That was so sad they couldn't just let go and feel blessed to have the opportunity to get to go on vacation at all, and on this amazing ship, to boot! I think these people sealed the deal that I never want to go on another RCI ship. My opinion is that RCI may be recognizing the age dynamic, too, as they're adding so many activities and themes for younger people. PORTS were a great selection, except for the Puerto Rico stop. What did they expect us to do at night? We were there 4-9:30, and it got dark at 5:30. That was just a total waste of time. We couldn't find a tour that had a full bus ready to go, so we just went to Starbucks to get on WiFi. Sad. St. Maarten has plenty to do. Martinique has plenty to do. Barbados is gorgeous, with a fantastic beach area called The Boatyard. St. Kitts is pretty, too, and Friars Beach is beautiful. DECOR is just breathtaking. Again, hands-down, Royal has class. The art was fantastic, beautiful, and whimsical. I love how they change the tiles in the elevators for each day of the week. The animal posters on the elevator walls were fun. Felicia, the big magenta bear was fun, especially as we've met her blue and orange brothers in person, too! The glass art was gorgeous. I especially LOVED all the different types of seating and cubby areas to just lounge around the ship. At the Schooner Bar, it was entertaining watch the art use wipe-off boards to erase their work. The yellow car at the Royal Theater was amusing, too, as I stood and watched the whole loop for about 20 minutes. The atrium's pastel art with all the animals was breathtaking, too, and I especially loved the butterfly theme throughout. ALL IN ALL, I think ANY vacation is a good time, but this was a great one, flaws and all. But I'm determined NOT to go Pinnacle anytime soon with Royal. Carnival is still my favorite that keeps me busy and having FUN at ALL TIMES.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
We took our first cruise aboard the Carnival Sunshine. Not only was it our first cruise experience, but it was our first holiday cruise. The staff aboard the Sunshine are amazing. Jamie our cruise director was the best ever, I have never ... Read More
We took our first cruise aboard the Carnival Sunshine. Not only was it our first cruise experience, but it was our first holiday cruise. The staff aboard the Sunshine are amazing. Jamie our cruise director was the best ever, I have never seen anyone with the energy and enthusiasm she has for her job. She did everything possible to make our first cruise one that we would never forget. We had the best service you could imagine. The staff were friendly and the ship was spotless. Dining in the Sunset Dining Room was perfect. The Matre De Ante was superb and made our dining experience fun, fun, fun. His staff provided great service and entertainment. The meals were delicious. Magdalena the dinner host was always working to make sure everything was perfect. Our bar waiter was Andres and he was so friendly and helpful. Our wait staff Darnico and Adrian always had a smile on their face and provided excellent service. The team head waiter Svetislv provided us with a smile everytime we saw him and excellent service. Slavika was so friendly and helpful too. The entertainment staff was also excellent. The shows were amazing and the entertainers were captivating. Lodaska was so friendly and helpful as our bar waiter during the eventing shows. Jimbo at Guy's Burgers had a smile waiting for us every time we got a burger, and by the way they were delicious. Throughout our cruise the photographers captured every moment. Adrian at the photo desk was so very helpful also. Morgan with the Sports Staff was the sweetest young lady and always offered her smile. We will choose Carnival Sunshine for our next cruise. We rate it A+++++++++++ in every category. Thank you Carnival Sunshine for make our first cruise memorable.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
My wife and I were married last year, at sea, by a RCCL captain of Adventure of the Seas. This was our honeymoon cruise. We had a wonderful time on this ship. Embarkation The port was designed to handle the large volume of people getting ... Read More
My wife and I were married last year, at sea, by a RCCL captain of Adventure of the Seas. This was our honeymoon cruise. We had a wonderful time on this ship. Embarkation The port was designed to handle the large volume of people getting on the ship. Everything moved fast. Accessibility The elevators ran faster than smaller ships, I have been on. The ship was stable, but weather was mostly calm. Amenities The layout is very interesting with the stern park and amphitheater having a carnival/fair like quality, to the mid-ship central park of extra charge restaurants. The promenade is loud and exciting. Prices in the shops are inflated. In my Opinion, best to just window shop and then buy when you get back to your home or, for jewelry, in the Caribbean. We had an issue that came to bite us. My wife bought me a watch on board. But the store did not get us the box and receipt, which I didn't think was too big a deal. However, we got flagged buy customs as they required the store to provide the receipt and serial number before we could leave. The customs officer was not upset with us, they were displeased with the ship. The store should have known about this and delivered our receipt or notified us that the receipt was ready. Caveat emptor. We took in Chicago at the theater. It was an abbreviated version, but it was well executed and hit the highlights of the longer Broadway play. The talent was exceptional. Service was always exceptional. RCCL does a fantastic job to keep 6000+ passengers happy. Dining RCCL has made changes to the main dining experience I do not like. I previous cruises, the staff participates in song and parade. This has been discontinued. I have always felt that was a great way to see all the folks that work so hard and gave us a chance to show we really appreciate them. The food was adequate and service was great. We also tried the specialty restaurants. We had tasting menus 3 nights. The first night was very good and we discovered some new flavored salt that we had to have when we got back home. I would only recommend ordering a tasting dinner from one restaurant one night only. Order al a carte after as they all seem to share the same food. Overall I was very impressed how a large ship could still deliver. The experience was great and I did not feel crowded, rushed or finding myself having to wait more than what I felt as reasonable. That said, I find personal touches on the smaller ships more interesting and the food better in quality. I will be cruising on Oasis in March and Navigator in August.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
We have cruised HAL many times. After this cruise we both noted that service and shipboard life have slipped. Embarkation was good....lines moved, on board and into our balcony cabin in no time. We had been on the Noordam once before and ... Read More
We have cruised HAL many times. After this cruise we both noted that service and shipboard life have slipped. Embarkation was good....lines moved, on board and into our balcony cabin in no time. We had been on the Noordam once before and she is in good shape. Learned that she is going into drydock in February for an update...wish i checked on that prior to booking. But the ship was clean. Things that broke were quickly fixed (dvd player in cabin, shower in cabin). Our cabin steward was attentive but we noticed that he had a lot of cabins to service....he looked exhausted but very friendly each time we met. Food on board was good. The variety in the main dining room was OK, wait staff seemed to have many tables and the service suffered. We had "as you wish" dining and as we expected, it took several days for us to get a time and table that was suitable. We like a table for two for many reasons....and after 4 days we selected a good time and were seated with reservations. Service is much better with smaller tables. After our first night at a table for 10 and a 2.5 hr meal we ate in the Lido as the maitre'd said we could not reserve a table for 2 at a specific time. Dinner in the lido has changed ! They close one side at 7:30 and then announce on the other side that at 8 they will also close. Lido was packed the times we ate there ! Lido staff in am and lunch were mixed...50% helpful and 50% not. Lido staff stood in front of beverage dispensers not helping passengers, almost surly when asked to clean tables. A change for us ! HAL has cheaped out with rewarding past mariners...they now have a lunch...which i attended....after 1.5 hrs our table never got food ! They send out RSVPs .... both floors on the dining room were almost full ...one would think they could have planned for the numbers coming ! I left. That was disappointing! Entertainment was interesting. Same production (usually expected) numbers (different costumes and singers but same frantic dancing and head shaking)....one evening it was passengers in the marriage game, another it was a blues group (they also had a nightly venue on the ship). The comedian was OK but the piano player was fabulous. Both entertainers were on board the entire 11 days, but only performed one night each. Using passengers for main entertainment is a...cheap-out ! IMO. Daily activities were lame....ex: bird watchers meet, aviators meet, etc really???....no crafts, captains talk, local info (except for shopping). Other topics were sales pitches for the spa etc. The best was the tech time...I took advantage of many classes on Windows 8.1 and they were great ! Only 12 computers in the "lab" and almost each session was full. Perhaps more computers or more interesting sea day activities?? The culinary events were good. The movies selections (during the day showings) were awful ! No one kept track of the quality and in one showing I went to the front desk to complain the sounds was too low ....guess other passengers would just sit there and lip read ! I was thanked when i got back to my seat. We enjoyed the intense port schedule....hitting 2 we had never been to before...St. Kitts and Martinique. We took 2 ship tours...one snorkel at the private island and a train ride in St. Kitts. Both were good but the organization on shore...awful ! I don't think we will be sailing HAL again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
This was our 10th cruise but only second on the Princess. Before we left I read many reviews that had me a bit worried. I decided to forget about the bad reviews and try it out for myself. I am so glad I did. I think this cruise was my ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise but only second on the Princess. Before we left I read many reviews that had me a bit worried. I decided to forget about the bad reviews and try it out for myself. I am so glad I did. I think this cruise was my most favorite one next to the cruise I took with mom and day in 1964 from England. The ship was clean and the staff was friendly. I noticed there were not any towel animals in the room and I was ok with that. The sea was smooth so I did not get nauseated one day which is very unusual. Our room was clean everyday. There were a few things I was not happy with. I slept in a top bunk and the bed was uncomfortable. The railings were rattling and it was hard to get off and on because of how it was positioned. I usually love sleeping in the top bunk and had a wonderful comfortable bed on a Royal Caribbean ship and hoped this one would be as good but it was not good at all. The bathroom was very, very small I was grateful that each member of my family was not over weight or else we would have hung out of the shower stall. My daughter is very slim and it was tight for her. All in all it was a great trip, I did not sleep as well because of the bunk and I was afraid I maybe a bit cranky but the staff was so genuinely nice that it all worked out well. The food was exceptional. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
• Background information I took this cruise with a single college friend of mine (I’m married, but I like to cruise more than my wife and she was tied up with work). We are both in our late 30s and have each been on many cruises. This ... Read More
• Background information I took this cruise with a single college friend of mine (I’m married, but I like to cruise more than my wife and she was tied up with work). We are both in our late 30s and have each been on many cruises. This is my 20th cruise and I’ve been on most of the major lines. • Ship information In short, the ship is outstanding. The crew has done a great job of keeping her in tip-top shape. There are many interesting areas of the ship which I will touch on later. There were more unique sitting areas on this ship than any other I’ve been on. For example, the Deck 5 Lanai area is unusual in that it has hot tubs. There is also the fee-free Serenity adult area complete with its own hot tubs, hammocks, and clam shell seating. The Sports Square area is also very cool with pool tables, foosball, ping pong, bean bag toss, ropes course, and mini-golf. • Activities In my opinion, Carnival does an excellent job with activities. Although they may not have the same investment into facilities as say Royal Caribbean with ice skating rinks and FlowRiders, they make up for it with exceptionally run activities. For example, Carnival had a social staff person running sports competitions like they were Olympic events. One social host (Regan – totally committed to his job and super nice), was doing play-by-play over a mic during a bean bag toss competition. Dodge ball was closely monitored by Regan or Cruz. As an active guest, I appreciate the organization and dedication. I’ve been on Princess cruises where the daily schedule shows something like “Volleyball with fellow guests”, and a staff member does not even show up. Not so on Carnival. If they advertise an activity, there will be a staff member there to keep it running smoothly. I should also mention that there is a lot of trivia on this ship, so if you like that sort of thing, you are in luck! • Service It would be really hard to ding Carnival on service. I could go on and on, but in an effort to keep it short, I’ll just say that I really have no complaints. Whenever I needed anything, I was taken care of. • Port & shore excursions We did not do any excursions planned through the ship, but we did do something at every port. Please see my port reviews for specifics. • Travel to embarkation Port I’m from the western part of the country, but traveled to Miami after visiting family in the northeast (where my friend also lives). We decided to fly in on the day of the cruise. While I was a little concerned about this given it was December, I just booked the earliest non-stop flight, and it was fine. We really liked the ability to check in for the cruise at the airport. Carnival runs two desks at different baggage claim areas of Miami Airport, and you can obtain your key card and check in there. Once you get to the port, you just show your card and stamped papers and then go through security. You will be able to board at the same time as Zone 1 (those who were earliest to check in at the port). Definitely check in at the airport if you are flying in on the day of sailing. • Cabin In an effort to save money, we booked a category 1A stateroom. I was careful to make sure that this was not a bunk bed room. Cabin 2207 has a regular bed and a sofa bed. The room is more or less square. It is the second room from the front of the ship. We noticed minimal noise, but there is some vibration when you come into port. Still, I’d book this room again vs. spending a couple hundred more for a regular room on Deck 1 or 2, or even a higher deck. I got plenty of exercise as I only took the elevator once (I had to for a photo scavenger hunt). I was trying to find some information about this specific room, because it is a unique 1A. So to satisfy the next guy who was as curious as I was, here is the room layout. The entry door wall of the room shares wall space with the bathroom. Going clockwise, the next wall has the regular bed. The next wall has the sofa bed. The final wall has the desk, tv, and closets. The sofa bed was not quite as comfortable as the regular bed, but with a foam pad it was pretty close. We liked the open space in the center of this room, and found it to be a great value. • Dining Dining on this ship was excellent. Try to find a ship with more free options at lunch. Guy’s Burgers were as advertised – outstanding! I had one seven out of eight days. They were heavenly! The Blue Iguana Cantina was also very good with fresh, tasty ingredients. My friend and I would generally order three appetizers, two entrees, and two desserts each at dinner. So over eight nights (we ate in the MDR every night), that makes 56 items that I ordered. I had minor issues with maybe two of those items. I think that is pretty darned good when considering they prepare food for up to 4,000 diners. • Entertainment I really enjoyed what the ship offered for entertainment. The production shows were very good. The comedy shows were exceptional. Other lines just give you one or two comedians who do a couple shows each. Carnival gives you four comedians who do about four shows each (both family and adult). Another outstanding value! Matt, the cruise director, was one of the best I’ve ever seen. He is very visible on the ship and very well received. We liked that he was dressed casually most of the time, but still very sharp. Some cruise directors are stuffy and wear suits every day. Matt is much more low key and the impression is that he cares more and is more relatable. Any of the shows he hosted were a hoot! We also really liked the 4D Theater. We paid the extra $15 for this option (unlimited shows), and it was so worth it! We saw all of the shows – and all were good – so we definitely got our money’s worth. We also really enjoyed the water slides. They were a blast for kids and adults alike. • Disembarkation I disembarked relatively early using self-assist. I was off the ship about five minutes after leaving my room, and through Customs after another ten minutes. Very easy! • Summary I read a number of reviews on this site before sailing (probably well over 100). Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but I will provide you with some of my reflections on where the reviews were right and where they were wrong. Food – The food was overall a great success. I recall one reviewer saying “the food has no taste”. I don’t know if this reviewer tragically lost his tongue to some especially hot soup or what, but I don’t know how you can make that blanket statement. I love food, and I loved the food on this ship. Lines – Many reviewers did say that were a lot of lines on this ship, and that is essentially true. I sometimes wondered if I’d encounter a line to get into my cabin at night. Yes there are lines, but it isn’t the end of the world. Carnival is able to offer great pricing because their passenger to space ratio is lower than most other lines. They offer a great product and I personally don’t mind the occasional wait. A lot of people said the comedy club had lines and you couldn’t get in. This is not true. We went to five shows and we only stood up once. Yes, you will need to be there 10-20 minutes early, but you can get a seat. Even if you can’t find a seat, you can still watch while standing in the back or on the side. Moving these shows to the main theater would not be possible due to other events in the theater. I also enjoyed the ambiance of the comedy club. Production shows – I thought these were pretty good, although a lot of people have negative comments. I thought the singing was generally very good. Yes, you now have eight singer/dancers instead of dedicated singers and dedicated dancers, but they obviously use the best singers to do the lead parts and the others as backup. The use of sets with the high resolution screens was amazing technology. See the Brits show especially, and you will know what I mean. I thought the screens were underused for the Motown show, but otherwise they did a really good job. If nixing the show orchestra and lavish sets/costumes saves us all a few bucks on our cruise fare, I’m all for it. Pools – Yes, the pools are small and can be crowded. I’m not much of a pool guy, so this didn’t affect me much. Still, I didn’t notice them to be horribly crowded. My friend even swam laps a couple times. There are plenty of hot tubs, and they were generally not full. As I mentioned, I’ve been on many lines and I’m not loyal to any one. I think they all do different things a little better than others. In short, no one does value better than Carnival. If you want a great product at a great price, the victor is Carnival! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
Just returned from the Christmas cruise aboard Ventura. I'll will try to summarise my thoughts .... The service from the steward and dining room staff (early sitting) was excellent. The dinning room food in the evening was largely ... Read More
Just returned from the Christmas cruise aboard Ventura. I'll will try to summarise my thoughts .... The service from the steward and dining room staff (early sitting) was excellent. The dinning room food in the evening was largely good with just a few disappointments but in nearly all cases the meat portion was too small. Our D deck cabin was very average with no internet access when the ship was moving, poor maintainance in the bathroom, a faded settee, questionable AC and ridiculous noise from the tender launching process at 7am (!) in Tortola . To add to this the balcony was not at all private with virtually every cabin above it having a birds eye view of us. The balcony was often littered with cigarette butts which I assume came from the rooms above . The guest entertainers were typically good but the production shows were over ambitious given the singers available and their lack of talent . It's takes a brave girl of any description to offer a "tribute" to Karen Carpenter but if they cannot sing well its just not practical and how 3 white guys can try to mimic the Drifters is beyond my comprehension - they must be able to both sing and dance and do both at the same time! The Calypso band that played in various venues was quite good but the rock band much worse. There was a constant problem with the lack of sun beds . This is down to bad deck design or even ship design and poor management - given though P&O can cure this but they have to want to do it. Similarly the show lounge is too small and requires a 3rd nightly show. P&O employ "minders" around the swimming pool whose sole purpose appears to be annoy the kids who are jumping in and out and enjoying themselves. These pool minders even kick out adults in the pool if the appear to jump in, even though they weren't. Making these people redundant would offer a serious cost saving . They could be re employed as traffic wardens where they could irritate a larger number of people and not damage the cruise's reputation. For some reason the hot tubs were often closed for cleaning - even on Christmas Day - is there no planning or consideration given to the days on which this happens? Ship maintenance, such as refreshing of paint, occurred during day hours. Why? Wouldn't it be easier to do this at 5am or when passengers are sleeping rather than make paying passengers move this lounge chair during the day to accommodate ship repairs? The kindergarten now operates a nonsensical process for signing the kids in and out and this needs to be looked at. As it stands a cruise card with a kids club sticker on it is "worth" a child and a signature the same as the one on that card is the only thing required to release the child. If there really is such a problem a picture of the parents maybe more worthwhile. I suspect the process was engineered by someone at a desk with a pen but little or no practical experience. The itinerary worked well except from Christmas Eve in Dominica. As you may know it rains there a lot so to organise Santa's arrival on the open deck as we left was frankly stupid, it was always going to rain and of course the entire event, witnessed by hundreds of families, was a complete wash out. Clearly a different port or venue or time was needed. At Tortola the dock is being rebuilt and is closed for the duration. The itinerary suggested it was a "possible tender" port. It's a definite tender and those on deck 9 should have been warned of the very loud noise and shuddering vibration a 7am when the tenders are launched. To be fair the tender process seemed to worked ok but there is no need to go there at all until the dock is built - there are lots of other islands. There were too many formal nights - 4 in total. This was way too many and should be re thought on family cruises. Given the fact we all had to fly in with the accompanying baggage problems, a clear dress code itinerary would have been useful ahead of the cruise, sadly it's not provided. The passengers were an eclectic mix of pensioners, couples and families with older and or younger children, some of whom were well heeled educated types and many others who could be described as "tattooed wonders", some of the later may perhaps be better served at a guest house in Blackpool or Butlins. I realise P&O is not going to conduct IQ tests on the passengers at the pier prior to boarding but I recommend they think of something before the entire cruise resembles a remand centre. There were too many smokers onboard and now may be the time to ban smoking completely. This would discourage those who need budget fares and relieve non smokers of ash, smell, and dirty ash trays which ruin otherwise useful deck areas. I noticed on a number of occasions that "housekeeping" was not as it could be with abandoned coffee cups left in halls for many hours and festering nappies in lifts. Some of this will be as result of the passenger mix but P&O should know who they sold the cruise to and prepare accordingly. Throughout the cruise the air conditioning did don't seem to work too well. Cruise ships in my experience are typically really quite cool inside but the Ventura was always warm. Even with the AC set to minimum in the cabin it was often too warm to sleep and other passengers who commented on the issue suggested it was a cost cutting measure..... P&O offer what amounts to late check out of the cabin to those who wish to pay for it. The process for this defies belief - as after paying £85 you have to leave the room you've had to the last fortnight together with your hand luggage at 9am and come back an hour later to room a few doors along the hall. If a good hotel offers late check out they let you have the room you are in - it saves preparing it again - and often they do not charge either. On this cruise all the passengers arrive on flights in the later afternoon and those going home need to leave before that. The only explanation for devising such a scheme is to collect cash and generate work for the stewards, it really is that silly. The additional cost restaurants are multiplying - and getting pricey. We went to the "Beach House" where even the burger is £2 extra - over and above the £6 you've just already agreed to. The place is ok but really you should stay with the dining room. Many of the other dining places are much more money and where often empty. Breakfast in the dining room was a slow a prescriptive saga and I see no reason to go there. The buffet arrangement upstairs seems better with plentiful if rather average food but often a shortage of tables unless you go out on the deck and sit in the cigarette smoke and ashtrays. P&O now serve Costa coffee which is big improvement on the liquid served in the buffet. Given their quest to charge for everything they can they should serve it at all the bars and for breakfast at a "nominal charge" of course. The buffet lunches were a bit tedious with the menu only changing a little each day and offering some bizarre choices for a Carribean cruise including faggots and a hotpot! On deck they serve burgers and hotdogs which are quite good but again the lack of tables either with or without smokers is an issue. The reception desk staff were typically polite but often could not answer many questions sensibly and they also had a habit of not answering the phone at all. P&O want you to buy a "wine" package for dinner but while this appears to offer some value the chosen wines are not good and the wine list selection is a better bet albeit at extra cost The beauty parlour prices where laughably high and it's hard to imagine anybody paying them. The return flights on Thomas Cook were only just about acceptable and only because we paid extra for Premium seats. The economy looked too cramped for an 8 hour flight and the food and drink are extra back there too. To add to this if you want to sit together as a family you have to pay another £15 each - each way - £90 for a family of 3!. This is a rip off and those concerned should be ashamed of such fees on families who have, in some cases, already paid £8000+. The gratuity policy appears now to involve charging every adult £55 (for the 2 week cruise) to there account and this covers the gratuities, however what is less clear is who gets the money, how much of it and what happens if you choose to opt out of the £55 deal. I asked for the money to be credited back to the account and it was and I gave cash to the room steward and dining room waiter and his assistant, but if more than those 3 were about to receive from me did they do without and in any event who were they and what is it they did for me? As with so many other silly fees in this world P&O should scrap the gratuity like they have with the one on the bar bill and pay their, largely excellent, service staff a sensible wage. As Ryan Air will tell you making people mad will not generate repeat passengers and P&O should take a good look at what they are doing before the policies get any worse..... I expect I will sail with P&O again - we are booked already but the Ventura will not be on my shortlist and P&O need to sort themselves out if I am to stay a loyal passenger. I am hoping the issues only relate to the Ventura but I am not hopeful.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
We have cruised the Carnival several times and have never been disappointed....until this time...We were on a New Years cruise and it didn't go as planned. First place, the kids totally took over the ship all the pools, hot tubs, ... Read More
We have cruised the Carnival several times and have never been disappointed....until this time...We were on a New Years cruise and it didn't go as planned. First place, the kids totally took over the ship all the pools, hot tubs, dining rooms, buffet. I love kids and Carnival has always had lots of them but not under foot 24/7...That was the first disappointment...We have cruised summers and holidays and have never seen it this bad. Evidently the kids activities were not being used. Second was the spa...We always get aleast one massage or service. Booked the couples massage..They were running 45 mines late which made us late to dinner. .The room was noisy, and the plumbing pipes were gurgling thru the whole time. Not a relaxing massage. And after we got home and checked the bill, they over charged us. Then went to get into a hot tubs, full of kids and water not circulating and was cold. We had convinced brother and sister in law to come too and this was their first cruise. We wanted to make cruisers out of them. We spent the whole time making excuses for how things were...... We had already booked the 12 day on this same ship in March and not looking forward to this ship...... Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
I don't consider us as experienced cruisers since this is our our 3rd cruise only. Please take this into consideration. We have previously cruised on Disney Dream and the Norwegian Epic. We were a group of 26 people in 7 staterooms ... Read More
I don't consider us as experienced cruisers since this is our our 3rd cruise only. Please take this into consideration. We have previously cruised on Disney Dream and the Norwegian Epic. We were a group of 26 people in 7 staterooms (all ocean view) . Ages are from 5 to 78. Few days before sailing, we received an email regarding a change in the itinerary due to problems with the ship. The ports stayed the same but the hours at each port were reduced. We decided to accept the fact rather than get upset about it and ruin the vacation. The Ship: is BEAUTIFUL! Much better looking than the Epic and more beautiful than Disney Dream. The interiors and the decorations were amazing. Deck 5 is where the cafes are and it is amazing. The ship never felt over crowded even though there were more than four thousand people on-board. Casino is nice. The gym is nice but small for the size of the ship. As you might see from the other reviews, there are problems with the plumbing on this ship. Out of the 7 staterooms we had, 4 of them experienced flooding. Rating: Freedom-Dream-Epic Food: Is not that good and very repetitive. The buffet was almost the same for breakfast, lunch and dinner all 7 days with very minor changes to it. The Main dinning room food was OK to Good at best. The food at the Epic was much much much better. The food on the Dream was also better. Rating: Epic-------------------Dream--Freedom Activities: are endless. There is something to do most of the time. from Broadway shows to family game shows, to competitions. We were impressed with the shows on the Epic but this ship had way more. The family game were also awesome. We really enjoyed the Battle of the sexes (10/10), the Quest (10/10), and the Love and Marriage (9/10). There were also mini games like Sudoku Challenges, Name This Song, Sports Trivia...etc. Rating: Freedom-Epic-Disney Ports: Labadee, Puerto Rico, and St Maarten are nice. Our favorite is St. Maarten but unfortunately we only managed to stay there for 4 hours.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
The ship and overall cruise was very good. We did have a few problems.......embarkation at ft Lauderdale terminal to start. We used a wheelchair and had to wait over 1 hour outside for an escort into the terminal . This was not the fault ... Read More
The ship and overall cruise was very good. We did have a few problems.......embarkation at ft Lauderdale terminal to start. We used a wheelchair and had to wait over 1 hour outside for an escort into the terminal . This was not the fault of the Celebrity, but the cruise terminal staff. Our biggest problem was with the shore excursions. Being handicapped, we called weeks before the cruise to make sure the "easy" shore excursions were just that. Our little go- go scooter would be no problem on the tours we picked. As it turned out, we had to cancel some tours because they did not have the ability to handle the scooter. We were given incorrect information before the cruise. They did refund our prepayment. We also had an issue with the fine dining in the Italian restaurant. The service and the meal were just ordinary and extremely slow. The matre'd did call us to apologize Also, there are no self laundry machines on this ship. We pack light and plan to wash once during the cruise. Even the Queen Victoria, an excellent Cunard ship, had a laundromat! So we sent our clothes to the ships laundry and they lost my husbands socks! Needless to say, we became fast friends with the concierge, and he made sure all problems were corrected. He called daily to check up on our satisfaction. We were impressed with their concern for our satisfaction and would have no problem cruising with Celebrity again. Overall it was a fun cruise!   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Just went on my second solo cruise. Found Norwegian Epic searching for ships with studio cabins. I was not disappointed at all. The cabin had enough room for one. Shower and toilet room were tight, but large enough for me. Favorite ... Read More
Just went on my second solo cruise. Found Norwegian Epic searching for ships with studio cabins. I was not disappointed at all. The cabin had enough room for one. Shower and toilet room were tight, but large enough for me. Favorite highlights from the trip. Embarkation was super fast, with friendly staff. Entertainment was top notch. I actually liked the entertainment around the ship as good or better than the "main" entertainment. Though Blue Men was great too. Highly recommend checking out Jim Capik (guitar), Howl at the Moon, and Fernando Vazquez (piano and vocals). I had no problem finding deck chairs but am not one to be right by the action. Plenty of seating in the cafe, just avoid the times of highest volume- 8 am, noon, and 5-6. Literally a half an hour earlier or later makes a huge difference. Nice gym with plenty of machines- treadmills, elipticals, and bikes (plenty of each) plus weight machines, classes, etc. Specialty restaurants were very good. I only ate once in a main dinning room, but heard others complain about them (only complaint I heard). Especially loved Cagneys and Moderno. Opportunities for various groups to get together and meet (singles, Lgbt, etc). I was most impressed about not feeling lonely as a solo cruiser. Staff was very friendly with me and engaged me in conversation. Also, I chose not to buy the drink package and was treated exactly like other cruisers who did, which was lovely. On another cruise line I tended to be ignored because I didn't have the "sticker" which means staff have to make extra effort to take my card and write up a receipt. Bravo! I will cruise with this line again just for this reason alone. I'm not a huge drinker, but when I want a drink, I want to be waited on and not ignored. I had an overall great experience. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
I mainly wanted to share some tips at the port of calls, which were St. Martin, St. Kitts, San Juan and Grand Turk. We are a retired couple and this was our 4th cruise. We sailed on the Freedom two years ago and liked it, plus the price ... Read More
I mainly wanted to share some tips at the port of calls, which were St. Martin, St. Kitts, San Juan and Grand Turk. We are a retired couple and this was our 4th cruise. We sailed on the Freedom two years ago and liked it, plus the price was good being the week before Christmas, so we signed up for this cruise. As for the ship, it seemed about the same, which was good. It had a recent update, but I was hard pressed to see any of the physical differences. I guess they were there, but again, no problem. This time, we had a balcony room instead of an ocean view and like it, although you should know the space for the balcony comes out of the space you would have had if you had an ocean view room. Still the space was ok. We thought the food selections were good, especially for dinner in the main dining room. The only negative there was the service. They have assigned seating and we were assigned to the lower level in the rear (Posh) dining room. We found from our previous cruise that in that dining room, the ship has this jerky shake and find it annoying, and it was present again on this cruise. So we asked to be seated in the midsection or Chic dining room. We got to move the next evening. We had early dining, and the service at our table was terribly slow. It took about 1.5 hours to get our entrees that second night. When the head waiter asked how we were doing, I told him, the service was too slow. He acted surprised, and I pointed out that by the time our entree arrived, they had dimmed the lights so the waiters could sing and dance, which is usually done when desert has been served. He promised to give us better service the next night. It improved slightly. I might note this was a table of 8 people. The first night we sat at a full table for 10 in the Posh dining room and had better service. Our waiter was a new head waiter and his helpers were new too. Another couple sitting on the opposite side said they also had really slow service and complained and ended up getting a new head waiter. The bragged that their service improved dramatically. We stayed with our waiter for 5 nights, and at that point it was too frustrating to continue at that table, so we were moved to the table that the other couple were at and found for the last 2 nights, a much more enjoyable experience, with desert finishing up in about 1 and 1/4 hours. The point here is that as early diners, we don't want to be rushed, but also don't want to sit with nothing except an empty plate in front of us for long periods between courses and we want to be finished in time so we can attend the early theater shows (by allowing some time to return to our cabin to freshen up). As far as the meal choices, they were fine. We had also heard of other people complaining about slow service, so we were not alone. If you have that problem, I suggest you talk directly to the maitre-d. Also of note, the lower level of the Chic dining room is for Anytime dining, and the upper level, where we sat is for assigned dining. We did get excellent service for our cabin steward. On the second day, I asked for ice, and from then on, he replaced the ice twice daily for us. The room was always cleaned and make up quickly each day and turn down was prompt too. We had a few minor problems in the room, one being the toilet didn't stop filling and he got that fixed quickly for us. We did find the main theater shows a bit less elaborate. Stage props are pretty minimal compared to when we sailed before. Now they primarily use projections onto screens on the stage. Two issues with us and others is that on some of the shows, they use lights such that they flash into the audience's eyes, and not just briefly, so its very annoying. This happens if you sit on the first level or the upper levels. And the amplification is sometimes over the top to cause distortion of voices. Finally, what use to be Death by Chocolate, where they would put out an elaborate display of chocolate desserts and ice carvings is no longer. What they had instead is on the last day, they had their normal dessert section focus on chocolate for lunch. Our embarkation port was Ft. Lauderdale, Port Everglades. When we sailed on this ship two years ago, the process was very quick but this time they held people in the terminal for a long time, got very congested. They implied the ship was late arriving, but when we asked the cabin crew, they said no, it was early and they had our cabin ready before the stated time. They didn't let us onto the ship till after 12:30, but had been boarding priority passengers since 11am, as they straggled in, so the ship seemed to be ready to accept passengers earlier. So it seems they are cutting back on things they use to do, but overall, it was still a good cruise on a ship we like. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
My husband and I have taken many cruises on Holland America, Carnival, and Royal Caribbean and we were a little hesitant to take a Christmas Cruise on an MSC ship because of mixed reviews we have read. Most of our concerns were put aside ... Read More
My husband and I have taken many cruises on Holland America, Carnival, and Royal Caribbean and we were a little hesitant to take a Christmas Cruise on an MSC ship because of mixed reviews we have read. Most of our concerns were put aside immediately upon arrival at the MSC cruise terminal in Miami. The Embarkation area was well laid out and the process went smoothly and quickly. The ship is very elegant and was decorated tastefully. Our balcony cabin was on the Aurora deck (12), and was comfortable and very clean. Below is a list of the pros and cons from my perspective. PROS: ~Beautiful, modern ship with well planned layout. Elegant lounges and bars. Very clean throughout ship. ~Excellent shows in theater. Some of the shows were almost Broadway quality. ~Daily entertainment such as games (trivia, pictonary, dance lessons, etc) were fun and organized. ~Formal dining room, The Black Crab, well laid out and tastefully decorated (see Con below about table location). ~Excellent room service. (See Con below about selection). ~All inclusive alcohol package completely worth the money. Mixed drinks used high end alcohol and wine selection was good. Specialty coffees included and were delicious. ~Wide selection of food at daily buffets and quality was better than average. ~Cruise director was funny and engaging. ~Spa and hair salon's were very well run with a large selection of services with reasonable pricing. Cons ~Lifeboat drill was a bit scary. Took an extremely long time to get to our muster station. Crew seemed a bit unmotivated and did not control the evacuation well. ~Room service menu for breakfast was limited. Offered only breads and cold cereal as food options. ~Our table in formal dining room (Black Crab) #585 was terrible. It was located next to the main wait staff service area and entrance to the kitchen. It was terribly noisy and the bright fluorescent light shined in my eyes so I could not see the table mate across the table. This could have been remedied if the staff closed the doors to the kitchen, but refused to do this after several requests. ~Servers in all Bar areas were few and service was slow ~Main dining room was very hot with inadequate air conditioning which made for uncomfortable dining. ~Rules regarding children using hot tubs and adult pool area was not enforced so it was difficult to find a spa not overrun with children. Overall we were pleased with the ship and staff and would definitely take MSC again.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Beautiful ship, nice inside cabin in great location. Live in Florida so drove down. The ports of call were some we hadn't been before. Very little information is provided to passengers. When you dock you have to go outside cabin to ... Read More
Beautiful ship, nice inside cabin in great location. Live in Florida so drove down. The ports of call were some we hadn't been before. Very little information is provided to passengers. When you dock you have to go outside cabin to find out when you get off. Two ports were tender ports and it was a zoo getting off. Very poor system was used. By the way, they did tell you about tendering until the day before. It really took a long time once we got to the destination to get off. Customers was slow. Samara Dominican republic was a waste. Should of stayed in the ship. Tortola is great , but didn't have enough time in port because of the tendering and short stay. Guadeloupe was disappointing, but you never know till you go. Bought an excursion to a beach. Got very little information from the ships excusion people. They have never been there so they don't know anything plus there rude. The long and short, the beach was covered with seaweed. So swimming was out and you couldn't use the resort pool so I went back to the ship and enjoyed the pool there. Forget about getting your money back. They have policy, the they show you after, that there are no refunds. It is amazing, costa is like a city bus, people get on and off though ghost the cruise. In Guadeloupe 400 got off and 600 got on. Entertainment not great. Food was interesting. Pasta is their go to meal choice. Pizza surprising bad. Dinner is main dining room every night, no dinner buffet. So, only choice after 6 is room service. Something's it was better than the dining room. Cabin Steward was great, waiters and dinner were good too. But, people at front desk and excusion people very rude. I guess they hate Americans. While embarkation was a breeze, the ship wasn't full - the disembarkation was really bad. Americans had to wait in line with everyone from other countries. If it wasn't for a nice policeman helping us move to the front of the line and it took us there 2 minutes to get through we might still be on he line. That was the port of miamis fault. Would think twice about going through Miami again. All in all, a very nice ship, ports some good some not so good. Probably would not sail on costa again. But we like MSC. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
I am a single professional in my 40's what went to cruise for a conference that was on this ship. Who knew it had to be the Dances of the Stars cruise. So my fellow cruisers of almost 2000 people were mostly seniors. Average age ... Read More
I am a single professional in my 40's what went to cruise for a conference that was on this ship. Who knew it had to be the Dances of the Stars cruise. So my fellow cruisers of almost 2000 people were mostly seniors. Average age about 70s- and couples. Nice people but ..older. So I tried to stay open minded and went with the flow. I had done a 3 day cruise to Ensenada before and that ship moved too much so I thought this was a perfect opportunity to give it another chance. First day, did ok and we went to Half Moon Cay Bahamas. This island was amazing! Beautiful and peaceful and isolated b/c it was owned by Holland America. Really enjoyed it. Our second stop was St Thomas which was also nice. I took the tour around the island and enjoyed that as well. I'm not much of a shopper but there was plenty of opportunities here for that. Our third stop was San Juan Puerto Rico. I was really looking to this stop , but we had 4 HOURS total in port. I was infuriated! I later heard it was because it's an expensive port to stop in. And finally we went to Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos. Once again disappointed the island was the smallest and least interesting island in the Caicos. I attempted to take a tour around the island but it was terrible. So ghetto.. Honestly just stay in Margaritaville. We couldn't snorkel b/c the water was too choppy. And on that choppy water segway.. if you're not a "cruiser" you'll be sick on this ship. Even though it was big it was STILL moving. My dramamine didn't cut it. So when we got to land I ran off the boat! Never again.. The food was also plentiful but NOT good. I really wanted to think it was going to taste as good as it looked but NOPE. Even the sit down dining in the evenings was very subpar. The alcohol is over-priced. But you can bring 2 bottles on your own so I highly recommend you do that. The only good meal were the burgers at the grill. I'm sure this was the case when Carnival bought out Holland America. Quality is not a concern. The service was ok. Most of the staff was from Malaysia and Bali. English was so -so . They never refilled our coffee cups. Asked us if we needed anything. Just cleaned up after us. The bare minimum. And something I didn't know they charge you tips daily on your bill. So don't worry about extra tipping unless you feel they deserve it. And the shows were meh... The dances with the stars was so conceited they forgot the reason they are famous is their fans. But I'm not a fan so I didn't care.. lol So never again for me.. I heard Celebrity is better so may try that. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
I have just returned from a P&O Christmas Cruise of the Caribbean, and also read a review by KevinML who appears to have cruised the same. I would concur with much of his comments but disagree with others. Briefly, the dining room ... Read More
I have just returned from a P&O Christmas Cruise of the Caribbean, and also read a review by KevinML who appears to have cruised the same. I would concur with much of his comments but disagree with others. Briefly, the dining room staff, as always, were excellent; the only problems I witnessed were rude guests who treat these hard working people very poorly. Dinner, I agree, now appears to be of a lower standard. Plate service rather than silver service. Portions are smaller, no doubt to save cost and waste, and they will also serve you more/extra if you so request. No one goes hungry on a cruise! Formal nights: for me 4 is not enough, I would do formal nearly every night. The number of formal/casual nights are disclosed well in advance and can be found on your own cruise personaliser Smoking: ban it, as simple as that. The smoking "area" I observed got larger everyday as the mobile chesty coffers simply moved the ash trays to different tabels. By the end of the cruise the "side area" had expanded to half way across the deck. Ban Smoking, full stop. Prior to my first cruise many years ago, I saw this event as a holiday for the elite. How wrong and naïve was I ? This latest cruise reflected it all the more. There were hundreds of "undesirables" aboard. But, that is a result of economies of scale. When a ship so large is put into service, it needs bums on seats, and so must charge a low enough cost to do so. You get what you pay for. If you want exclusivity you must pay for it. We have paid more than double the cost of this cruise in the past, and got the quality we expected. Entertainment: poor. Venues: they were good enough. Christmas Santa: P&O cant be blamed for the late shower, it was a bit of a shame but a good time was still had by all none the less. You can get rain at any time anywhere in the Caribbean. Islands: all great, but get a little repetitive. Tortola tenders, a bit of an inconvenience, but no major issue. Next time we will have the luxury of a brand new port. Tortola is a great island, lots to see and great beaches, why miss it? Many people criticised Dominica: what a shame it's a fantastic island with much to see and do. Just walking around the market was an eye opener and great entertainment in itself, and it was free!!! Flights: again you get what you pay for, on a chartered flight. If you want better service fly direct! If you must have a specific seat on a plane then you have to pay for that pleasure/luxury. This is 2015. If the cost of booking a seat was included in the initial price, ie the cost was £90 higher, you wouldn't bat an eye lid. My biggest gripe is the noise in the cabin. As with KevinML, I have experienced D level standard cabins previously, and again I got what I paid for, no complaints there. This time we had a suite. The benefits and luxury was fantastic, but it was noisy beyond belief. Never again. DO NOT GET A SUITE MIDSHIPS ON LEVEL 14. NOISE 24/7. That is not an exaggeration. Tips: well that is the same old chest nut, do you don't you. If you cancel the automatic deduction, my understanding is, the waiters and cabin staff who look after you miss out on a chunk from the "main pot". So you MUST tip them. Secondly, the automatic rate now charged is far more realistic than it once was and acceptable. Third: what is needed is for everyone to opt out of the American disease of tipping everything that moves. If no one tipped, which is used to supplement poor paid workers, then the cruise liners would be forced to pay a decent wage to these hard working people. Of course, then the cost of the cruise would increase. heyHo! That's it, great cruise, great ship, if somewhat too big, great holiday but extremely noisy suites. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
How disappointing to plan a cruise, book the flight, arrange the time off, make arrangements at home so you can leave for a week of sun and sail to get on a ship that doesn't work! Did Celebrity care about the 2000 passengers that ... Read More
How disappointing to plan a cruise, book the flight, arrange the time off, make arrangements at home so you can leave for a week of sun and sail to get on a ship that doesn't work! Did Celebrity care about the 2000 passengers that did this, who worked hard all year to be able to take this cruise? No I don't think so. Apparently this "propeller" problem has been going on since June. But we or rather I-I assume all other passengers received the same email I did-3 days prior to leaving that there are problems with the propellers and we won't be able to make all our ports. Huh-I should have looked at cruise critic prior to booking this sailing nightmare. Because in black and white on a number of reviews it shows this has been an ongoing problem and Celebrity was missing all kinds of ports. So this is problem number 1. This problem of course let to the ship being extremely rocky and a lot of people were suffering from the motion issue. Despite the propeller issues and let's say that never happened let's look at everything else. This was a Caribbean Cruse yet no Caribbean music. By the pool we listened to a man and woman who were tone deaf and definitely off tempo sing songs like "Ben" and "Afternoon Delight"!!! Where were we. People around the pool discussed this daily. ENTERTAINMENT: Not so good and not so much. The evening shows were like a high school musical. The late night comedy was OK. Nothing really to get excited about. The ship pretty well shut down by midnight. Other ships I have been on had some kind of disco or pub that went later. The first night in the sky lounge the group singing sang 2 songs and packed up. Apparently they were sick!!! Nice-the cruise line lets staff on board they know are sick. DINING: Without a doubt the worst food on any cruise line. Virtually no selection in the dining room and the food was bland at best. the first night was the best-prime rib. It went downhill from there. I think they do this so people will book the other restaurants. The buffet was ok. Same thing every day CONCIERGE ROOMS: ???????????? I am still trying to figure out what I paid for here. Express luggage delivery-NO-Got mine at 6:30 pm supposed to have no later than 2:30 pm, flowers in my room-NO-not that that alone would have changed my opinion of the cruise but when you put everything together and you finally see the deceipt of Celebrity-this is when one gets a bit upset, The only thing I know I got that the list gives is a bottle of wine that the room attendant never put in ice unless asked. DRINK PLAN: So Celebrity is owned by RCCL and I was recently on a RCL cruise in the spring. I was shocked at the difference in the price of the drink packages. I will lay it out here for you. RCL: Ultimate $55 per day USD includes 15% gratuity-this package gives the customer the combination of all the packages, includes special coffees, all bottled waters and sodas, freshly squeezed juice, cocktails and wines by glass and discount off bottled wine Premium $49 per day USD includes 15% gratuity-this package includes bottled still water, sodas, cocktails up to $12 and wine up to $12 CELEBRITY: Premium $59 per day USD PLUS 15% GRATUITY = $67.85 PER DAY USD. so this package is $12.85 per day more than on RCL. Classic $49 per day USD PLUS 15% GRATUITY = $56.35 PER DAY. this package includes cocktails up to only $8 (RCL package includes cocktails up to $12) and wine up to $9 This package is $7.35 per day more than RCL but includes much less I know that Celebrity is supposed to be a step up from RCL but I don't think I'm stupid enough to believe that a bottle of Gin or Wine or Rye or Vodka costs Celebrity more thank RCL. Also I don't believe that the mix costs any more. This is just a plain rip off. with RCL I was able to purchase the Premium Package at $49 per day and I was never charged extra for anything I ordered-therefore everything fell in the $12 category. On Celebrity you really have to get the Premium i you are going to have any cocktails. Don't mistake the Premium on RCL as being the same as Premium on Celebrity. OVERALL SHIP: BORING! NOT MUCH GOING ON. STAFF: wonderful and work hard. The week I was on board the staff took their share of complaints because of what Celebrity decided. They didn't deserve to work under those conditions. This is just a case again of Corporate Greed. I also blame my Travel Agent for booking this-they are a Travel Agent-If they are good at their job one would think they did their due diligence-after all this problem didn't start 3 days prior to our cruise. They booked people on this sailing piece of crap and collected their money. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
I went again this year because it was close, New York port, because my experience was fantastic and amazing last year. It was just ok this year,,, Facts: ! 1.The mini golf and rock climbing wall were closed due to repairs ( this during ... Read More
I went again this year because it was close, New York port, because my experience was fantastic and amazing last year. It was just ok this year,,, Facts: ! 1.The mini golf and rock climbing wall were closed due to repairs ( this during Christmas with families aboard not the best marketing or planning or warning till we got on the ship with an apology letter from the captain due to repairing future fuel immersions whatever ) I love to play mini golf,,, 2.The chocolate night was four or five cakes this year instead of the usual sculptures in chocolate and the whole cafeteria in all chocolate, with the fountain etc It was poorly done and not up to the same expectation I had last year on board.Norwegian you cheaped out on this one ,along with food. It was the same food in the cafeteria each day boring and I had to call food services to ask for dips like guacamole and hummus it was done but only in one place the open cafe in the back of the ship. The food was heavily salted and I asked someone to choose my menu each day they never came they forgot so each night some of the food had to be sent back it was awful not like last year at all. Lots of mayo on salads some of the things on menus not there like shredded wheat, and no peanut butter or jam just one selection out daily very boring... Norwegian cheapened the menu due to costs, I believe in August they changed the menu,,, they failed on this one. No seafood except tiny shrimp ,no lobster , cheap cuts of meat and fish. Many people complained on the food saying it was not up their expectations. It all tasted the same one of my friends got a tree of lettuce on her plate it was terrible . 3.The staff has changed the piano bar was boring compared to last year being more entertaining the guy just looked at his ipad while singing., reading the lyrics,,,so boring Barry the last year entertainer was amazing getting everyone up and dancing having fun etc. it was plain quiet and boring. I thought I was in a seniors home. There were other acts that were ok depends on what you like.Very different feeling than last year. something was lacking. 4. My room was filthy upon arrival drawers were not cleaned out, the shelve in the bathroom was dirty so were the sheets they had crumbs on them along with the drawers, and when I took a kleenex and wiped out a and showed the front desk they called the supervisor right away,,,I believe the room might have been made up weeks ago and no one occupied it for awhile,however who wants to complain when you arrive .after travelling 9 hours from Canada. I just wanted to unpack, painless complain less vacation without issues. yes thanks to Jenny (in charge of all service )who actually got it done and sent me a bottle of wine with chocolate covered fruit but doesn't she have better things to worry about, than a cleaned room? Thank you Jenny for your listening ear, and trying to be a problem solver she is amazing!! SO IF YOU HAVE AN ISSUE LET HER KNOW SO SHE CAN FIX IT ! Now for the entertainment well Dan Dan you have an amazing crew, guess it is the leadership, many thanks to Ash for his leading the singles and solos, and his wonderful personality of getting people together, and Dan Dan for the all the shows you put on some of them great some of them ok. The white party amazing so was New Years in spite of the rain there were many places to celebrate in and everyone left happy.! This is an older ship and it has a wonderful crew, however during xmas I expected the same as last year guess old habits die hard. I do not believe I would go on this ship again after this year, we did different ports than last year and I felt safe, I was traveling alone due to a room mate who got sick suddenly, however that being said there are things that Norweigen has to correct with salty food and not letting people down with repairs that are not done before the holidays. Many parents were complaining about things to do with their children there is so many times one can go on the slides and playing ping pong or using the arcade which became very expensive for most parents . In fact the arcade is play as you go no more gaming cards. One parent was very frustrated with this situation. I write reviews on everything that I do trip wise. I do not feel that I got the same value for my money this year as last. One more thing thanks to security for handling a situation for me and another person that had happened they really listen to your complaints, and react quickly. There is good and bad I will say I had a good time it was different than last year and I did not get upgraded like promised, my agent and I are dealing with, this now and hope to get a solution as it was sold out. Went to the Chanukah celebrations and the Shabbat service on Friday night on board very nice to do and met some wonderful people. Ports of call were ok , different but a day in Puerto Rico too long . Not much to do there. Tortola could of been longer. St Kitts ok tired looking and not much to shop there best shopping in St Thomas,fyi some of the tourist destinations closed on Saturdays like Bluebeards castle walked up 155 stairs to find it closed not good tourist signing.However went to the synagogue called The Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas..Rabbi Ron Herstik very welcoming, reform synagogue , it was built in 1833 very close in town.Historical landmark his email is rabbi@synagogue.vi than went to Magens bay by Taxi only $8 with a bunch of people.or $12 but worth it with your beach entrance at 4$ extra. beautiful beach rents chairs and has good food and beer cheap. St Martin alot of stores closed on Sunday...open only at 11pm. and the beach at Orient bay too much seaweed and rough the Dutch side expensive to rent a chair but closer to ship and better and cheaper to eat there than on French side. More to do and beach on Dutch side. BRING BUG SPRAY FOR ALL ISLANDS DUE TO CHICHENENGA VIRUS CARRIED BY MOSQUITO. as reported by major news . Deep woods off with deet is needed and cream for bites.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
For a background, we are cruisers with over a dozen trips on Celebrity, NCL, Holland and Carnival, but mostly Celebrity. We booked this trip primarily for the itinerary since it was stopping at St. Barts, St. Croix and Labadee which we ... Read More
For a background, we are cruisers with over a dozen trips on Celebrity, NCL, Holland and Carnival, but mostly Celebrity. We booked this trip primarily for the itinerary since it was stopping at St. Barts, St. Croix and Labadee which we had not yet been to. Having had good experiences in the past, we chose the Aqua class cabins due to the nice touches in the cabin and the Blu restaurant. The Constellation is a 2002 ship that has recently been "Solsticized" with mixed results in my opinion. The changes are beautiful and some of the features from the Solstice class ships work nicely, others not so much. We arrived at the port around noon and were quickly processed and on the ship, all in all very efficient. Once on the ship, the cabins were not ready and were sealed off. In the past we have been able to drop off our bags before they finished the room, but not this time. We proceeded to the buffet for lunch and to wait until our room was available. The buffet in general was very hit or miss. If you like curry, they make pretty good versions. The other hot food options, I found to be less than stellar. The sandwich meat was poor quality. They carved roast beef, and pork and those were generally ok. The pizza is open late and generally ok for a snack. A popular feature is the ice cream and there is generally a line that moves quickly. You will see a lot of repetitive items from one day to the next but even worse from lunch to dinner. Compared to other Celebrity ships the buffet needs improvement. The Blu restaurant is a nice feature for the Aqua cabins with usually a premium dining experience. Not so much this time. For the firs time ever, we experience waiting times in excess of 20 -30 minutes to be seated that only were improved after we complained to guest relations. Once in the restaurant, we found service to be generally much slower, most likely due to the fact that the kitchen(galley) was 2 decks down. On the true Solstice ships it is adjacent to the dining room. The food however was generally good to very good and the staff tried their best from the hostess to the waiters and somelier. We had a balcony cabin on deck nine. When we were unpacking we noticed that the sheets were dirty. I have never experienced this before when first coming into a cabin. I called that steward and he apologized and blamed it on the the laundry. That is not an excuse since he made the bed and should have seen that the linens were dirty. My overall impression of our stewards was that they were not trained well in the servicing Aqua cabins and were not familiar with Captains Club benefits. For instance, when I asked him to have my shoes shined, it seemed that that was the first he ever heard of that and admitted that he had no experience shining shoes. I asked him not to do it since last year on the Reflection my cabin steward used black polish on brown shoes and ruined a pair of Bally shoes. Adding insult to injury, Celebrity did nothing to fix or reimburse the ruined shoes after multiple attempts. Also missing were small touches that we usually had on other ships like towel animals or chocolate on the pillow at bedtime. Celebrity markets themselves as modern luxury and making people feel special and have a superior experience. In our opinion, they fell quite a bit short of that goal on this trip. I guess we will stick with the Solstice class ships since we had better experiences before if we go on another Celebrity ship.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Embark was very easy, nice getting text message so folks were well spaced out. My floor was nearly the last so did miss out on some onboard meeting though. I think that should be considered and nobody should miss out because they are told ... Read More
Embark was very easy, nice getting text message so folks were well spaced out. My floor was nearly the last so did miss out on some onboard meeting though. I think that should be considered and nobody should miss out because they are told to board at a certain time. The ship is older but a very nice size and nothing is every very crowded. The 3 pools great so the solarium pool/spa for adults, the midship for all and then the stern with slide for kids. Very deep and nice temp. Never very crowded. Two bars right there with great frozen drinks. Champagne bar never busy - probably because the bartender was not very friendly. Safari bar was the place to hang, great bartenders and lots of room with circular bar. Had trivia, nice piano and acoustic guitar music, and right outside Chops and Portofino if chilling before a nice dinner. My Chops dinner excellent, Portofino very good. The wine tasting class excellent but I wish was not the last day so could make use of my new found knowledge. Not enough enrichment stuff in general. The golf simulator was busted and nobody knew about it and was never mentioned when I picked the cruise. Music and activities in Atrium great idea. Disembark very easy and timed out best of all my cruises. The only downside of this ship is the late night - really was dead after 10:30pm. Casino fun and great people, just not many folks taking advantage. Same with clubs. Worst late night food options I have ever had. Maybe part of the dead late night problem. Pizza in Solarium was old, dry and apparently never refreshed, man was irritated you even stopped by (was dead there) and they also have stale turkey sandwiches. Man had to audacity to tell me they "don't have salt or pepper for the sandwich because they mainly serve pizza there". The only other late night choice is a sandwich place at the stern with average mediocre bar sandwiches. No late night ice cream (thank you Carnival). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
It a week or so to decide to kick an old friend in the teeth. However, thats how we felt after quickly realizing this was not going to be the cruise we'd been looking forward to for months. Getting on the ship was very easy as usual ... Read More
It a week or so to decide to kick an old friend in the teeth. However, thats how we felt after quickly realizing this was not going to be the cruise we'd been looking forward to for months. Getting on the ship was very easy as usual in Miami. Celebrity really does a great job getting you situated in your new environment. The ship was in great shape. Since we are Elite with Celebrity, we are very familiar with the program and had a high level of expectation...WHAT HAPPENED to our favorite cruise line?? The dining room was a total diaster...raw steaks, cold food, missing sides and they ran out of some main dishes. Food quality was marginal and sevice stretched. We finally gave up and spent the second week eating in the buffet which was very good. Spending 1.5 hours each evening feeling sorry and being sorry was NOT what we expected. With Celebrity's new desire to have EVERYONE on a beverage package, wine service is impossible. Hundreds of people ordering cheap wine by the glass could have you waiting 20-30 minutes. On that subject, they quickly ran out of premium and craft beer. NEVER saw a bottle of liquor opened in two weeks. Otherwise, the cruise was good. Celebrity offers a great on deck experience with padded loungers and plenty of towels. Rarely a crowd anywhere with many different types of venue. Overall, non showroom entertainment was very disjointed and confusing.due to scheduling. No venue had consistant music, you had to chase it around the ship. 40 minutes...and that was it for an hour or two. Pool entertainment was very lacking. Learn the schedule! Only burgers and pizza from 2:30 to 6. With so many stops, folks returning to the ship will put a strain on these two places. Celebrity has obviouly decided to cheap-out and cut-back. Moving to the middle makes it less likely we'll choose them in the future. NCL and Princess offer a better experience in that category.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
This was our 8th cruise and the 4th with RCI, the others with Princess and Celebrity. Our embarkation was very smooth and we were soon on the ship with our cases reaching our cabin swiftly, which is more that can be said for our taxi ride ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise and the 4th with RCI, the others with Princess and Celebrity. Our embarkation was very smooth and we were soon on the ship with our cases reaching our cabin swiftly, which is more that can be said for our taxi ride from our hotel from upper east Manhattan, this involved two cabs because the 1st cab wasn't allowed through the tunnel (or as the driver of the 2nd cab put it, he was too lazy to take us) I digress. Our first impression of the ship which is fairly typical whenever we get onboard a large ship is wow, but this ship had a little extra wow. We were quiet surprised to see so much repair work going on after we set sailed, this gave us a feeling that things were all a bit rushed when it came to finishing the ship off maybe it was down to how well Germany did in the world cup. Activities: These were important to us as we had a few days where the weather kept us inside. The Seaplex was a really impressive venue with a good range of interesting activities. Ripcord by ifly we loved this and managed to try it more than once! The North star was good but as you'd expect very popular so queuing was often involved, it also suffered from the sea conditions which at times were too rough for it to be in service, the best time to do it by far was at sea. This is the 1st cruise I tried the flow rider, I soon wondered why I hadn't done it before, I was kicking myself about all the times I'd watched others but not tried it, I got pretty good at the boogie board but struggled at the stand up, maybe if I'd tried on the earlier cruises I'd be surfing like the cool guys. Entertainment: We loved the shows, Mama Mia was great but our favourite was Starwater which took place in the Two 70, we was lucky enough to see it several times, it is a truly unique show that you must see. The other entertainers were good and seemed to go down well with the other cruisers which can be a tough crowd to please. The bionic bar didn't really do it for me, once I'd seen it make one drink that was the time to move on. Because it wasn't really in a bar room as such it was more like something you happened to glanced at on the way to something else, it lacked a bar atmosphere a bit like the robots, cold and lifeless. I saw this feature as a gimmick, I'd be interested how the robots would fare against a real person drinks per minute. The music hall was a good venue for live music where we really enjoyed the Beatlemanic's, however as good as they were, playing four nights in a row with virtually the same set was rather stretching the point too far. Dining: Because we could only book one show and one restaurant on line before we cruised, we were at a considerable disadvantage when it came to booking the restaurants and shows we wanted when we wanted them, we wasted too much time queuing to try and sort this out and then didn't get what we wanted because other cruisers that were allowed to book up to six months in advance had filled all the allocations ! We could only get one reservation for the Grande because of this situation so were restricted to one formal night and yet we talked to other cruisers that had five nights booked ! Not being able to book before we cruised really wasted a lot of our time at the beginning of our cruise, so for us dynamic dining started on the wrong foot. Dynamic dining seemed like an education and a steep learning curve for both for us and the crew, for us if we'd been able to book before, we could judge this new system but as we couldn't it has clouded our judgment, so I'm not going to comment on this further other than saying that we all knew about the new Dynamic dining before we got onboard. On past cruises we have enjoyed the Johnny Rockets experience, but what we now have on the Quantum is very different, if your not going to do Johnny Rockets properly then don't do it at all, it was nothing like the diner experience we'd come to love, very disappointing! Disembarkation: On the day of disembarkation we had booked a trip, so following the instructions on the ticket we went to the excursions lounge well before time only to find nobody there to greet and organise things, we then joined a line after hearing that one for excursions was now leaving the ship, this was hampered by other cruisers also trying to leave at the same exit. Whilst making our way off the ship we were told that we should have been given a number one sticker and that our suit cases should have had been tagged one to four, we had been given forty eight ! We were not the only cruisers that were given the wrong luggage tags. Our excursion tickets stated that we meet at 08:15 and our tour will start at 08:30, we didn't get on the tour bus until 10:00 after a great deal of stress and confusion that could have been avoided if we were informed as to what was going on, the problem was dumped in the lap of the warehouse personnel who were very helpful, but we were still 90 minutes short on our tour. Photos: I really liked what the've done with the photographic department however, I ordered a Digital copy of a photo and got a disc with a licence agreement and a small program but no photo ! ? Out of pocket and no photo ! Shopping: There seemed to be a lot of expensive high end shops on board which were nearly always empty, not really aimed at your average cruiser but pretty to look at. Some shops selling more useful products were missing. The Daily cruise planner was frequently wrong, if I read something on it, go to see it and it's not happening, I walk away disappointed. Overall we really liked the ship and as it is so new it will understandably have teething problems which I'm sure will be ironed out, but every now and then you felt like a Guinea pig. The crew were amazing and as always really worked hard to keep us all happy noticeably in the dining and activities. We would use this ship again but would approach the dining situation differently in a hope that we could get it to work for us. If your due to go on the Quantum don't worry I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself, with the help of the crew you'll have a good time. We hope the Anthem will learn from the Quantum's mistakes.   Read Less

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