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Sail Date: July 2019
Our Ideal Vacation: I think the first thing that I think everyone should state is what they're looking for in their cruise vacation. We were a group of four girls in our late 30's to early 50's who wanted to get away for ... Read More
Our Ideal Vacation: I think the first thing that I think everyone should state is what they're looking for in their cruise vacation. We were a group of four girls in our late 30's to early 50's who wanted to get away for a week's worth of extreme relaxing, reading, staring at the water, eating good food and just not having to do everything for ourselves for a week. We're not foodies, we're not super into all activities and we definitely did not want to feel busy. Three of us are seasoned cruisers, one was on her first cruise. So that established, the Equinox did NOT disappoint any of us in any way. Celebrity's Target Audience: Few notes on Celebrity if you're not familiar with the cruising world. They cater mostly to the 30-50 crowd who are not extreme partiers but enjoy great service, food and the ability to take in a wide range of activities from cooking classes and line dancing to evening Great Gatsby parties. There isn't an overabundance of kids on board but enough. I can't speak to the kids activities. You won't find raucous, loud partiers often which was just fine with us. Embarkation: The cruise embarked from Ft. Lauderdale Terminal 25 - which was newly built for the edge. Provided you have done your advance check-in as they advise you to do and have your credit card on file and all of the information provided - the check-in was smooth and we were on the boat by 11:30am (we arrived around 11am). Proceed right to your stateroom and pick up your key cards for your room right away and drop off your carry on. The rooms will all be ready by about 1pm. The Stateroom: We booked this cruise last year in order to get a room to accommodate 4 people with a larger balcony - in our case this was stateroom 9237 which is Concierge Class and in a perfect location just steps away from the main atrium elevators with a large balcony (must've been 13-15 feet deep and about 7 feet wide - it would fit two loungers and two chairs without issue - we had one lounger, 2 chairs and a table). The room was comfortable and had enough storage for the 4 of us to unpack. Unfortunately the Equinox revolutionizing was shortened due to a crane accident in Nassau that diverted them to dry dock in Spain, but the carpets, bedding and drapes are new, as is the TV (not that we turned it on the entire vacation, but looks lovely!). Our cabin steward was lovely and helpful. A young woman whose parents are taking care of her children back home as she works very hard to provide for them. She won't see them again until January. Having been part of many FB groups where the "is Concierge Class worth it?" debate constantly arises - to that I state that its less about being Concierge Class and any perks and more about what you want in your stateroom. We wanted a larger balcony - this just happened to be found in CC. We weren't interested in any of the other perks really. The Food: Having cruised for the past 5 cruises on NCL, I'd forgotten just how good the Celebrity food is. I'm not talking from the point of a foodie who wants fancy dishes I can't recognize. I was looking for variety, good taste and freshness - as were the other girls I was travelling with. We abundantly looked forward to every meal and did not encounter anything we didn't find tasty and fresh. We did not try any of the specialty restaurants since we were abundantly happy with what was provided in all of the complimentary dining venues. The Entertainment/Activities: Maarten/Martin (spelling?) our cruise director was funny and approachable. We didn't take in a whole lot of activities other than some trivia games. We mostly would go to the shows in the Equinox Theatre. The comedian the first night was quite funny, unfortunately the other shows involving the singers/dancers weren't as high quality as we've seen on other lines. Our main complaint being that certain singers were very pitchy and not really singing in a good vocal range for them. It made it a bit hard on the ears at times. The Crew: This is where the Equinox shines above and beyond. So rarely have I seen a crew that genuinely seems so cohesive as a group and happy to be interacting with guests. We had Celebrity Select dining (aka anytime dining), but they sit you in the same section each night. Our waiter and assistant waiter Rhys and Raul really made the week's suppers specials. They were absolutely lovely and we ended the week with a group photo as well as a group hug. Raul was excited to send a picture to his wife and kids back home to show them his "Queens" that week. I'm always very cognizant that many of the crew have families who they are far away from for a very long time. We were fortunate to have Captain Kate for most of the cruise (except the first couple days). She will be moving to the Edge in mid-August. She's regularly found around the ship and clearly enjoys her crew very much and they in return love her. As four women travelling together it was lovely to see a strong woman at the helm of the ship and as cat lovers - we thoroughly enjoyed that her cat lives with her on the ship. Check out Bug Naked on Instagram - makes me laugh. Disembarkation: This was perhaps the most smooth disembarkation I've ever experienced. We chose to leave our luggage out the night before and take a bus transfer arranged by Celebrity to the airport in Ft. Lauderdale. We disembarked at 8:20am and were at the airport just a little after 9:00am. Summary: Phenomenal. We loved every minute of it and would go again in an instant. We unplugged from the world for the week with no internet or cell service, we laughed, we read, we enjoyed eachother's company and the beautiful relaxing setting where our biggest concern was what of 10 entrees to eat and where to go read or nap. We definitely overheard many conversations from people who seemed determined to just complain about anything - from one gentleman who said that cake was atrocious and he had better recipes (I'm not sure which cake - I encountered at least 20 types during the week and thought them tasty), to the woman who bickered on about not being able to wear beachwear into the main dining room, to other really trivial complaints. We are already planning our next Celebrity Cruise and the Equinox is high on our list of ships we want to sail again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We took our adult kids and grand kids (19 in total) and chose this ship because we had done Oasis in the past and the kids liked it. Also, we live in central Florida so it was easy to get everyone to the ship. The Harmony was nothing ... Read More
We took our adult kids and grand kids (19 in total) and chose this ship because we had done Oasis in the past and the kids liked it. Also, we live in central Florida so it was easy to get everyone to the ship. The Harmony was nothing short of spectacular. We parked at Park Port Canaveral lot and got to the ship fairly early (noon) so check-in was a breeze. We were hesitant to do the buffet on embarkation day so we went to the Solarium buffet instead. It was much quieter and the food was fine. Dining: We had early dining for the group (2 tables of 10) and the only disappointment was that they have moved the dining to 5:00. That is very early, particularly on a port day. But we couldn't do my-time dining for a group of 19. The ages ranged from 5-up and all enjoyed the food immensely. We had 2 different waiters and asst. waiters and all were some of the best we have had on our 42 cruises. Nobody had a 'bad' meal any evening. Even the free steaks were quite good. Our teenaged grand kids are huge eaters and the waiters seemed to love trying to fill them up. We usually ate breakfast and lunch in the restaurant also and the food and service were great. We did have lunch at Jaimie's Italian in Central Park one day and it was fabulous. I highly recommend it. Ports: The revamped Coco Cay is beautiful with much better seating and more food options. Some of our group paid for the water park and were disappointed with the very long lines and crowds. They said that they would not do it again in the future. St. Thomas and St. Martin were simply standard Caribbean islands. Certainly nothing special. The kids all did water-related shore excursions and were happy with them. Entertainment: Here is where we had some disappointments. Usually we love the ice skating and aqua shows. The shows on the Harmony were terrible. They made no sense and were not well-choreographed. Neither show did a good job of showing off the talents of the young performers. Everyone leaving the Fine Line Aqua Show was saying 'what the heck was that all about?'. Really bad. 'Grease' was fine (singing, acting all ok) but we were surprised at the amount of sexual innuendo since we had 9 kids under age 18 there. The one bright spot was the group Mo5aic. We had seen them on the Oasis and they were fantastic. Activities: There seemed to be the standard activities and nobody seemed bored. We had good weather so the kids spent a lot of time on the water slides. We like to dance, though, and found there was basically no chance for ballroom/swing type of dancing. We were on the ship on the 4th of July and they did a great celebration. The running track was great as usual as was the gym. All the staff seemed happy and seemed to enjoy this ship. Complaints (gotta have a couple): This ship has the HOTTEST elevators we have ever experienced. No air conditioning and very crowded. Everyone was talking about it. Miserable when you were stopping at every floor. Prices of drinks. It used to be that drink prices were about half of what you would pay in a restaurant. Now they are more than you would pay. We paid $42 for a bottle of wine that we purchase regularly for $12. Our kids were glad that they had carried on wine and just had a glass in their room before dinner. Also, a glass of fresh orange juice at breakfast was $8. REALLY, $8?? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We're experienced Cruisers (Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, etc.) and we've done the "Caribbean" thing many times, so I wasn't expecting much more 'Pleasure' from this cruise other than ... Read More
We're experienced Cruisers (Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, etc.) and we've done the "Caribbean" thing many times, so I wasn't expecting much more 'Pleasure' from this cruise other than "watching my Wife enjoy the Cruise" (She can make "waking up every morning" into an event ;) I was wrong, WE - HAD - A - BLAST!!!! We like to "Get off the Tourist Track" whenever Possible... When we travel, We take the Train System while in Europe, Visit Friends in Europe and in the Caribbean, etc. We didn't see any Princess Excursions that looked "Like Us", So we did our Shore Excursions online, not through Princess... We booked a Scuba Diving Trip on St. Thomas from my favorite little Dive Shop there (Been hitting it for 20 years or so?), and it was AWESOME! The Reefs are making a comeback pretty quickly! Christine and Chris did an EXCELLENT job of herding the divers through the tour.. Being experienced Divers, We had a little over 2K PSI of air left in our tanks when the other members of the Excursion (Beginners without Dive Licenses) were pushing their tanks down around 800-500 PSI, so Christine just told us, "You know your way around, Come back to the beach when you're ready" In St. Maarten we had pre-booked the "ATV Island Tour" through "Blue Bubbles Dive Shop"... AWESOME Folks to deal with!!! Dwight and Joshua are FANTASTIC Tour Guides!!! Up Front, you really need to have "Some" experience with an ATV to take this tour, or at least have "An Adventurous Spirit".. They run UPHILL, Up STEEP, Rocky, Dirt Trails, and then suddenly you're running "Wide Open, Throttle To The Stops" FAST, out on the main paved roads, on BOTH sides of the Island! We had several people that obviously didn't know what they were getting into with this tour, and had never ridden an ATV. They immediately began lagging WAY behind... Dwight asked them if they'd be more comfortable going back to the ATV Shop, and those folks took the Van ride back to the shop. After that, the rest of the group was WIDE OPEN again. Joshua played "Tail End Charlie" on the group, then he sped ahead and blocked roundabouts and intersections so the group wouldn't get separated by other traffic, then he'd pull in behind the group again... Lots of great stops for Pictures and "Rest Breaks", Including watching the Jets Land and Take-Off at Maho Beach and from the Sunset Bar. Hit "Confidence Nude Beach" on the French Side after Dwight CAREFULLY got the OK from the ENTIRE group... Just "Lots of Cool Stuff"! Blue Bubble Dive Shop is HIGHLY recommended for their ATV Island Tour, and for Dive Excursions! About the Ship... Our Children are "grown and gone and Producing Grandchildren", so we didn't have them with us. We booked a "Near Aft, Port-Side, Balcony Stateroom" (Back near the last Aft Elevators near the Adult's Pool and Bar). The Room was CLEAN and Pretty Quiet. We spent most of our "Room Time" out on the Balcony. We LOVED the "Movies Under The Stars" HUGE TV Theater out by the pools, Restaurants ("Sabatini's": AWESOME with STARS! 'Nuff Said ;). Pools, etc. Children on the Ship musta been having fun SOMEWHERE, because we didn't see or hear very many, except while trying to Snorkel on Princess Cay... Princess Cay is Highly Sculpted, like a Theme Park, and just wasn't to our tastes. I could go ON AND ON AND ON... Suffice it to say, I'm an Electrical Engineer and Retired U.S. Army.. My Wife is a Doctor Of Regenerative Medicine.. We own a secluded Mountain-Top Ranch.. We can (and DO) go "Anywhere we want to go". We "ALMOST" just stayed on the Ship to do a Western Caribbean Cruise! We had *THAT MUCH* FUN! The Staff was AWESOME (Without "staying up in our faces all the time"), the Ship was GREAT, The Medallion Services functioned Flawlessly, Internet was ACTUALLY Broadband, etc etc... We've decided that this was our Favorite Cruise EVER, and *THAT* is saying something! Few last things: Princess treats Military Veterans *RIGHT*! That was unexpected and GREATLY appreciated! We signed up for Early Debarkation (We carry our own Baggage), We had "Mobile Passport" on our Phones for Customs, etc,.. We left the Stateroom PROMPTLY at 7;30AM, and we were SITTING IN A TAXI by 7:52AM!!! That was an UNUSUAL Experience for us, so don't book Air-Flights around that information, but it happened! FANTASTIC, MUCH NEEDED, Vacation! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
My husband and I decided to do a Caribbean cruise for our anniversary, and my son’s high school graduation. I was a little weary about sailing on a Princess Cruise because it seems to cater to an older crowd, and we had an 18 yr old, ... Read More
My husband and I decided to do a Caribbean cruise for our anniversary, and my son’s high school graduation. I was a little weary about sailing on a Princess Cruise because it seems to cater to an older crowd, and we had an 18 yr old, 16, and 11 yr old with us. Half the passengers were senior citizens, and the rest were families. All of my kids made friends on board and had a great time. The food was great, the weather was perfect, the islands were beautiful, the crew went out of there way to cater to everyone. There were plenty of lounge chairs, and rarely any lines. The newlywed game and Voice of the Ocean was great. The medallion system and WiFi was exceptional. Movies on deck were great. My kids can’t wait to do another cruise. I like that the atmosphere is low key, and laid back. A slide or two for the kids would be nice, but I would definitely Cruise Princess again. Princess Cays, St. Maarten (Maho beach) St. Thomas (excursion to Trunk Bay St. John’s USVI) Perfect. Getting on and off the ship was well organized too. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Cruised more than 65 times, Princess is one our favorites. We’ve traveled to 85 plus countries. The cabins are good, the food is above average . I’m not a fan of anytime dining but they have options. We did the specialty Resturant and ... Read More
Cruised more than 65 times, Princess is one our favorites. We’ve traveled to 85 plus countries. The cabins are good, the food is above average . I’m not a fan of anytime dining but they have options. We did the specialty Resturant and it doesn’t get any better than what they did. The food was excellent and the service was equal to it. The shows were very good and the performers were on the upper scale. I actually didn’t get the shows but it’s probably because I’m a bit older. The comedian was great. The magician was one of the worst most amateurish I’ve seen, probably why he’s on a cruise ship! Not good! The staff and crew were better than most. They cared. It’s important to me to see a happy crew and workers, the Captain must be doing a good job. Everyone wanted to help! I’ll continue to cruise and use Princess. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
There were many things we valued. 1) I was incredibly ill one evening and into the next morning. Patricia in the Medical Centre not only got me on my feet, but I was able to go on the shore excursion that we had been looking forward ... Read More
There were many things we valued. 1) I was incredibly ill one evening and into the next morning. Patricia in the Medical Centre not only got me on my feet, but I was able to go on the shore excursion that we had been looking forward to for months. 2) Ivan - Food and Beverage Supervisor in Planks was remarkable. We even celebrated our 16th anniversary there. He was thoughtful, attentive and funny. 3) When we discovered a false charge on our account, they investigated it and credited it within 24hrs. 4) We didn’t use the internet with the Medallion program. It could be as integrated or as minimally used. It’s up to you. 5) We totally enjoyed Movies Under The Stars. It was so relaxing. 6) The food was incredible both in the included restaurants and ones you paid for. We enjoyed both. We highly recommend Planks and Crown Grill. Both were superb. 7) We sat out on the balcony every night and just admired the stars. It was better than Yoga!! 8) EVERYONE MUST GO TO CORAL WORLD in St. Thomas. The staff and activities are incredible!! The staff is thoughtful, knowledgeable and sincere. Get a kiss from Rosy the sea lion. Be in awe of Fred. Go do Snuba. We can’t wait to go back. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Chocolate Journeys desserts were AMAZING! I enjoyed my balcony stateroom on the Aloha deck foreword starboard. The food was great throughout the ship with only a few dishes not to my liking. I was able to relax on this cruise with a ... Read More
Chocolate Journeys desserts were AMAZING! I enjoyed my balcony stateroom on the Aloha deck foreword starboard. The food was great throughout the ship with only a few dishes not to my liking. I was able to relax on this cruise with a nice balance of sea days and port stops. The guests were great to meet and get to know and there was a mix of ages and group sizes and celebratory occasions. I enjoy Princess Afternoon Tea, English Pub Lunch, the pizza bar, and the movies in the stateroom and at the pool. The gym was great and I should’ve used it more. I wish the salads were better in the dining room but I guess I could’ve made my own in the buffet. I wish Princess had an itinerary out of Jacksonville or Orlando so I didn’t have to drive to Ft Lauderdale. Overall I really enjoyed my vacation. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
With all the negative reviews we were scared, but did it anyway. The ship is amazing and beautiful. We saw so many reviews of the staff being horrible, but they were amazing. We never had a problem getting a drink at any of the bars. ... Read More
With all the negative reviews we were scared, but did it anyway. The ship is amazing and beautiful. We saw so many reviews of the staff being horrible, but they were amazing. We never had a problem getting a drink at any of the bars. My favorite was the Venchi bar. The drinks are amazing and so tasty. Our room was a typical balcony ship room. The bathroom is tight and 6 more inches would have done wonders, but very workable. We had 3 large suitcases that after being unpacked fit perfectly under the bed. No storage issues at all. Our waiter in the MDR, Melvin, was wonderful. He made wonderful suggestions and the one time that I did not like the dish, he got me a new meal very quickly. He was very attentive. The show's are amazing with the acrobats and singers. Just amazing. I love that they are short so that it keeps the attention of my little one. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Hi, I have received so much help from posts on Cruise Critic, I thought I would pay it forward with my own review of our seven-day cruise last week on Harmony of the Seas. First, a little info about us. I was traveling with my DH, ... Read More
Hi, I have received so much help from posts on Cruise Critic, I thought I would pay it forward with my own review of our seven-day cruise last week on Harmony of the Seas. First, a little info about us. I was traveling with my DH, his three siblings and their families. There were 11 of us (six cabins) and we were all on Deck 9, forward. My DH and I have cruised many times on RC, but none of the other folks had ever been on a cruise. Since our nieces are in college and our nephews in high school, we didn’t experience Adventure Ocean or the teen programs. We all arrived in Cocoa Beach the afternoon before and stayed at the Holiday Inn-Cocoa Beach, next to the Publix. We hit a slight snafu when the hotel decided to arbitrarily change our hotel rate ($40-per-room increase). We had a copy of our confirmation with the rate displayed, but we were told that they could change the rate at check-in. The desk staff was not very friendly and we had to call corporate to get it resolved. Not a great way to start a vacation, but we vowed not to let it damper our trip. Because of the way we were treated and spoken to, I can’t recommend this hotel to anyone. The next morning, we took a private shuttle, booked via Larry’s Limos, and arrived at the terminal at 10 a.m. since I like to get to the ship early! In fact, we also used Larry’s Limos for our shuttle from MCO to the hotel the night before and I highly recommend them. Very fair rates, and they were very prompt and friendly! Security and check-in were a breeze and we were walking on the ship around 11 a.m. Of all the embarkation ports we have used, Port Canaveral was the easiest and quickest that I have experienced. They have really figured it out! We headed to the Windjammer for lunch and then spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the ship. Muster went very smoothly and we set sail promptly at 4:30 p.m. The rest of the review, I will break down in categories. CABINS We were all on Deck 9 forward, near the elevators. Two of us had balconies and had the divider removed. The other four were inside cabins directly across the hall. My sister-in-law had connecting cabins with her two sons. All of us commented that there was plenty of storage room. I was impressed with how the bathrooms were laid out. Plenty of storage and the shower seemed bigger than smaller ships we have sailed on. Because there was so much to do on the ship, we really didn’t spend much time there other than to sleep and dress. DINING We did not eat at any specialty restaurants, so I can’t comment on them. We had breakfast each morning in the Solarium Bistro and loved the quiet atmosphere versus the Windjammer. It’s the same food, but less people and a more relaxing area. We also had lunch either in the Solarium Bistro or Windjammer, based on what part of the ship we were at once we realized we were hungry! I realize food is very subjective, but we enjoyed the breakfast and lunch offerings at both locations. For dinner, we had early Traditional Dining in Silk. Our oldest niece has severe food allergies and the staff was wonderful in addressing her concerns and providing her meals each night without the worry of an allergic reaction. In fact, the waiters and entire staff provided top-notch service to all of us each night. The food was very good, and my only “criticism” is that I have noticed over the years that the offerings tend to repeat more than they used to. SHOWS We had reserved all the shows prior to sailing, so we had no problems seeing them. The Fine Line was fabulous! By far the best show at sea I have ever seen, especially considering we were on a moving ship as they were performing their high-flying acrobatics. The second aqua show later in the week was fun, if not a little “campy.” We also enjoyed Columbus and the ice show, 1887. Again, Columbus was a little “campy,” but it was funny and enjoyable. The comedians on board were also very good and provided a lot of entertainment. I did not see Grease, but those in our group who did attend really liked it. The only show none of us made it to was the Headliner Show. GENERAL ENTERTAINMENT We saw a few entertainers at Dazzles. Very good singers and the variety of music offered something for everyone. Some of us participated in karaoke and we only wished it was offered earlier than 11 p.m. so we could have participated more often. CASINO The casino was a pretty good size and we never really had trouble finding a seat at the blackjack table. Half of the casino allows smoking and the ventilation system worked pretty well in keeping the air pretty good. I wish they didn’t allow smoking at all, but it didn’t bother us too much. The wait staff was a little slow at times bringing drinks. OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES We were lucky to have fabulous weather the entire week, so the pools and whirlpools were always crowded. That being said, our group never had trouble finding lounge chairs by the pools and we never had to deal with “chair hogs.” The kids enjoyed the water slides as well. We also played mini-golf and table tennis. None of us dared to try the flow riders, but enjoyed watching those who did. A couple of us experienced the Abyss and zip-line and enjoyed those as well. COCO CAY Since my husband and I aren’t really “beach people,” we decided to stay on the ship and explore. The rest of our family spent the day there and really enjoyed swimming and hanging out at Chill Island. They all said they would love to go back again. They did not use the water park or other “paid” options. ST. THOMAS We did not book an excursion, but took a taxi into Charlotte Amalie and went shopping for jewelry and other souvenirs. All the taxis have specific rates posted based on where you want to go, so no one needs to negotiate or worry about being taken advantage of. After shopping, we took another taxi from downtown to Magens Bay. We took a wild ride over the mountains to see this beautiful beach. The roads are very narrow and the locals seem to have no fear when navigating them! We really enjoyed Magens Bay before heading back to the ship. Our taxi driver also stopped at a couple of lookout points for us to take pictures. All in all, we all enjoyed St. Thomas. ST. MAARTEN This was my first time back to St. Maarten since the hurricane and you can still see restoration projects in process. Our group took the ship’s excursion to Maho Beach. Many in our family are aerospace enthusiasts, so we really enjoyed spending the day watching the planes land. This really isn’t a swimming beach (there was noticeably less sand than our previous visit before the hurricane), but our nieces and nephews did take a dip in the water. The adjacent restaurant, Sunset Beach, offers a great outdoor space to sit and have lunch while watching the planes land. We all enjoyed having a Guavaberry Daiquiri with our meal. The food was excellent and plentiful as well. Typically, I am not a big fan of large groups on a tour. However, this time, it worked well since we were only going to one location and no one on the bus was interested in stopping for optional photo ops or stopping in downtown for shopping. PORT CANAVERAL I have cruised out of many different ports over the years and this was by far the best experience I have had with a port. From baggage handling to check-in to customs and ground transportation, it was such a smooth experience. I look forward to many more cruises out of Port Canaveral! GENERAL OBSERVATIONS We booked this specific cruise because we knew Harmony would offer something for everyone. Harmony is a beautiful ship and in great shape! It was so smooth, it didn't feel like you were on a ship. Before the cruise, I was concerned about potential crowding problems. These concerns were unfounded as the layout of the ship and “neighborhoods” really spread folks around. The only time I really noticed the crowds was when the shows let out and at lunch at the Windjammer. Almost everyone on the ship seemed to be having fun and we only observed a couple of people who weren’t in the best of moods. This was a fabulous vacation for our entire family and are thrilled that our “cruise newbies” really loved the cruising experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We absolutely loved our RC cruise on Allure of the Seas. There were a total of 7 of us in 3 separate rooms on 2 different floors. We had an adjoining room with our teenage daughters(rooms 7151 and 7153), interior rooms. Room 7151 had ... Read More
We absolutely loved our RC cruise on Allure of the Seas. There were a total of 7 of us in 3 separate rooms on 2 different floors. We had an adjoining room with our teenage daughters(rooms 7151 and 7153), interior rooms. Room 7151 had the two twin beds pushed together and a sofa bed for our teenage son. The adjoining room(7153) just had two twin beds. The rooms were as expected with ample closet space with lots of hangers, storage shelves and storage cabinets. The luggage was easily stored under the bed. There is a dim light in the bathroom that stays on all the time as this was an interior room. No need for a night light which was nice. There was an outlet with 3 slots to plug things in though no USB slots. We brought our own. Our room steward Delroy was awesome and very helpful. He brought us anything we needed(extra towels and ice). There is a small refrigerator in the room which was empty when we got there. We used it to store water bottles. The room was very quiet, yet close to the stairs and elevators. I think for next time, we would like to be on level 3(American Icon) in about the same location(forward, port side), on the Allure. The ship itself is massive! There are two partial floors that are open to the sky(Central Park, which is just like it sounds...greenery, flowers, trees and bushes, which are expertly trimmed in the early morning hours). Central Park also has Park Cafe which has convenient and quick sandwiches, wraps and breakfast items in the morning. There are several other restaurants($) on this level that we did not go to. It was always very peaceful in this area. The other partially open level is The Boardwalk. Here you will find the carousel, the donut shop, Johnny Rockets(only ate the free breakfast here and not lunch$ or dinner$), the mexican restaurant Sabor$, and the Aqua Theater. I heard the margaritas at Sabor were really good, though I never tried one. The margarita I had at one of the other bars was awful! The other main area was the Promenade(level 5), which is where all the street parties and sales happen. There are several bars, Sorentos(pizza), Cafe Promenade(coffee shop with pastries) and several shops. I believe the Rising Tide bar runs between this floor and Central Park. We signed up for “my time dining” and we had reservations every night, though we still had to wait 10-15 minutes to get a table. We dined at tables 1 and 2 with Boney(head waiter), Clestain(assistant waiter), and Dilip(table bartender) for 4 of the 7 nights. We cannot say enough nice things about this group of men. They were friendly, outgoing, accommodating and just plain fun to be around! They made our cruise feel special! They even brought us extra food before we even had a chance to ask for it. The wait staff manager for our area Mariel was friendly as well. She made a point of checking on us every night we were seated in that section. June at the hostess station remembered us after the first night and tried to accommodate our seating requests each night. We were also seated twice at tables 139 & 140 with Eugenio(head waiter) and Javen(assistant waiter). They were so nice and friendly! The food was good for the most part. An item here or there may have been a little over cooked or dry, but overall the food was really good. We loved the many choices and the “classics” food items. We ate all dinners in the main dining room on level 5. We had breakfast in the main dining room(they had buffet and a la carte), Johnny Rockets, Park Cafe and the Solarium(buffet). The eggs benedict in the MDR were excellent, as was the corned beef hash! We had lunch once in the MDR, once in the Windjammer Cafe(buffet only), a few times in the Wipe Out Cafe, and the Solarium. Our favorite bartender was Komang at the Mast Bar. We met him when we first arrived on the ship and he was our favorite throughout the trip. He mentioned that he had only been working on Allure of the Seas for two weeks! I never would have guessed that! He was awesome! After the first day, he never even asked me for my set sail pass as he remembered our room number every time. He did a great job and never complained about the heat(and it was extremely hot where he was tending bar). We also loved the casino bartenders. We did zip lining and rock climbing and watched the action at both Flow Riders. All of the crew that helped with these activities(and others I’m sure) were very encouraging, helpful and kind, whether you were 10 years old or 56 years old. We went to 4 shows and all were excellent(Blue Planet, Aqua Show, comedy show and the head liner-comedy). Comedy shows were funny and stayed away from politics. Our daughters saw Mamma Mia and loved it. I believe the ship holds about 6500 guests and 2200 crew members. The only time that we ever felt crowded was disembarkation at Nassau and getting off the pier. No other time did it feel like there were that many people on the ship. We also loved the way the photos were set up in binders with numbers. They were easy to find and somewhat easy to order. Though several of our group photos were not in the binders. I thought that the public bathrooms should have been kept cleaner. Paper and water were always on the floor and around the sinks. Embarkation was the smoothest I've ever experienced and disembarkation was a breeze as well. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We have sailed on more than 40 cruises over the past 20 years. Carnival, NCL, Royal Caribbean and MSC. MSC has become our favorite. We are lucky and have stayed in the MSC Yacht club and NCL Haven. I have to say comparing NCL Haven and ... Read More
We have sailed on more than 40 cruises over the past 20 years. Carnival, NCL, Royal Caribbean and MSC. MSC has become our favorite. We are lucky and have stayed in the MSC Yacht club and NCL Haven. I have to say comparing NCL Haven and MSC Seaside Yacht club there is no comparison. MSC is head and shoulders above NCL. This cruise was possibility the best yet. Food amazing, service amazing, staff amazing. Everyday the executive staff greeted us. Met the Captain 4 times by the end of the cruise he knew our names. Restaurant staff top shelf made us feel like they were waiting for us to arrive every night. Butler and butler assistant were the best. We were fortunate enough to have the same butler and assistant as we had the last cruise. Another great experience. Can’t say enough about MSC they are our go to luxury vacation Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Disclaimer: This review is shaded a happy hue due to this vacation being an opportunity to celebrate our son's recent graduation from college. If you don't want to read the entire review I will begin with the summary. We had ... Read More
Disclaimer: This review is shaded a happy hue due to this vacation being an opportunity to celebrate our son's recent graduation from college. If you don't want to read the entire review I will begin with the summary. We had a very good time during our seven day cruise. This partially refurbished ship is still the Celebrity Equinox, the staff remain as friendly and hard working as ever, there are fun and interesting passengers to meet, and there are places throughout the Caribbean that are as beautiful as any place on Earth. We left for South Florida on Friday, on a plane that took off just minutes after the 2019 Summer Solstice occurred. We overnighted at the Comfort Suites, which is convenient to both the airport and Port Everglades. Embarkation was easy, and would have been easier if we hadn't missed the sign for priority check-in. Even with the extra few steps and the extra few minutes of time, we quickly boarded the Equinox and made our way to the recently re-imaged Retreat Lounge. Fortunately, Cruise Critic reviewers had provided pictures and observations regarding the makeover of this space. Sadly, we too found the decor and ambiance to be that of an nice, well maintained airport lounge. While this is utilitarian and attractive for a public space that is transient by definition, we found it uninviting, except for the bar which allowed interaction with the bartender. Gone too are the desks and chairs for the concierges, apparently guests think that having chairs in which to sit conveys an invitation to talk with the concierges, which has been viewed from the corporate level as an inefficient use of everyone's time. The kindergarten-sized chairs are actually laughable. Although there were children in the suite class, we didn't get to see them use the little furniture. I do not have any photos or videos of the rueful looks that passed across senior officers faces when we offered our first impressions feedback, nor did we bother taking photos of this typically empty area. For a contrast, one could see passengers using the Library, the Gaming area, the Atrium, and the Sky Lounge throughout the day, just like they have on every previous cruise we have been on while aboard an S class Celebrity ship. These areas are occupied, they are used for intended purposes and unintended purposes (napping), and help to make S Class ships attractive cruising options. Other than people leaving their glasses, cups, plates, usually with uneaten food on any flat surfaces throughout the ship, the public spaces were clean and well maintained. The new bedding is firm, which I liked, and we took advantage of the pillow menu. The veranda furniture was replaced during the cruise, which meant we lost the solid wood-and-metal table, and the wicker-style lounger. They were replaced with lightweight, and cheap feeling patio furniture that one might find at a Target Department store. The two high-back chairs do recline and came with separate extensions that work as ottomans. We dined primarily in Luminae, and the Maitre 'd Tanya and her assistant Victoria worked hard to insure a memorable dining experience. Once again, the restaurant staff were excellent. The food was good to excellent throughout, with the only complaint being we have become overly familiar with the menus. We also dined in Tuscan, Murano, and Sushi on Five. In each restaurant the service was very good; preparation very good, timely, and as ordered; and overall the dining experiences enhanced our cruise. The onboard entertainment was hit-and-miss. The bands Nu Image and Dancing Town were good, and the Drift duo were adequate. Other than the talented Jesse Hamilton Jr., the evening entertainment was less interesting to us than during any other Celebrity Cruise. Our young adult son went the The Gatsby Party that was apparently well attended and enjoyed by guests. The one excursion we took through Celebrity was the Discovery Dive which was done by Underwater Adventures was safe and educational. The scuba equipment was well maintained. Visibility at the dive sight was good, and although the coral appears degraded, the other undersea life was interesting and pretty. The free dive excursion was also conducted from the same boat, and the experienced divers all expressed satisfaction with the outing. We recommend Underwater Adventures. Disembarkation was quick and easy, and in this case the facial recognition system was functioning. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose celebrity because it had more of an adult theme than some of the others. It was perfect! From the moment my husband and I embarked, which went smoothly, we were blown away by the excellent service. The food was the best I have ... Read More
I chose celebrity because it had more of an adult theme than some of the others. It was perfect! From the moment my husband and I embarked, which went smoothly, we were blown away by the excellent service. The food was the best I have ever had, the ship was spotless, the shows were very good, and our aft room(1674)was very comfortable. I noticed our balcony was a little longer than most others. We had concierge class which was kind of nice. We didn’t eat in any specialty restaurants but dined in MDR for dinner and ate in buffet for lunch. The MDR was definitely like eating in a 5 star restaurant every night. Excellent service and food. We used the celebrity app to view menu ahead of time. The food in the buffet was also delicious! Try their pizza! We purchased premium non-alcoholics package and enjoyed the most delicious virgin pina coladas all week in addition to Perrier, Pellegrino, and coke. We also loved going to Bacios after dinner for lattes and espressos, which was included in our drink package. The pastries and desserts were great there, too. The ship wasn’t as crowded as the carnival cruises I have been on. I always found comfortable seating when I wanted it. Sea days were busy by the pool but not unbearable. The solarium was much quieter and cooler. No kids allowed in solarium which was nice. There were some whiny old people who complained about silly things, like wanting guacamole on the bottom of a poached egg instead of the top, or getting served 2 pieces of toast instead of one. But overall, everyone was very nice. Lots of countries represented amongst staff and guests. There were not as many onboard activities on this cruise as on the carnivals I have been on. The silent disco was really fun and the live music was great. Evening shows were really good. No ice sculptures by the pool, and exercise classes, like Zumba, required a fee, but this cruise was very relaxing, fun, and I felt pampered the whole week. Captain Kate and cruise director Maartin were very visible and made the trip even more fun. Because of the excellent and friendly staff, from the bussers to the captain, this cruise was amazing, Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We have sailed on Holland, Disney, Carnival, Norwegian and Royal. MSC by far out performs and outshines all of the previous cruises we have taken. We we nervous taking this trip after reading so many negative reviews online. After ... Read More
We have sailed on Holland, Disney, Carnival, Norwegian and Royal. MSC by far out performs and outshines all of the previous cruises we have taken. We we nervous taking this trip after reading so many negative reviews online. After sailing on the MSC Seaside, I don’t know what cruise the negative reviewers were on but they obviously weren’t on the same ship we were on. No cruise line is perfect so let’s start with the negatives: 1) The elevators- There isn’t enough of them, they are small and slow. You have to pack your patience pants and just wait for them. 2) The hot tubs aren’t very hot and they close when the pools close around 10. 3) The buffet on 16 is only open for breakfast and lunch. 4) The time in some of the ports is too short. We were in St. Martin for 5 short hours and we were the only ship in port. We should have stayed for at least 7 hours. 5) The in-cabin television choices weren’t the best. No movies on a loop like other lines. That’s it for the negatives. On to the positive 1) The ship is beautiful and clean. 2) MSC has the highest safety rating in the Caribbean. 3) Our room was taken care of twice a day by a fabulous room steward. 4) Marco is the guy in charge of the special events and drawings for the shops. He’s a great guy both fun and funny. 5) The MDR staff was fantastic. Two members of our party of four have pretty severe food allergies, one to coconut and one to tree nuts. We had a cross contamination coconut scare one night. He was fine but we kind of scared our head waiter. After that she personally checked with the chef to make sure our main dish and dessert choices were safe for us. Talk about going above and beyond the call of duty! She made sure that no one at the table had tree nuts or coconut on our dessert plates to keep us safe. 6) Bar Service: Yes, the bars are busy with 5,000 people on board expect to wait a bit. We had the easy drink package and the bartenders were VERY generous with their pours. The only bar that was stingy with their pours was the main bar on 5. The bartenders will let you know if what you ordered is or is not in your drink package. 7) The casino was small but very nice. The machines payed well and were awarded a free cruise based on the points accumulated. On other lines you have to pay port fees and taxes if you win a free cruise. Not on MSC, free means free. We were also invited to sail on the Meraviglia’s first cruises in the Caribbean as a casino VIP without cost to us. 8) We bought the 10 photo package before we left and that was worth the money. We were confused when we found our embarkation photos in the room and didn’t see the letter that told us we would be charged if we didn’t return them by Tuesday evening. We easily had those charges reversed. 9) It was so nice to see the rules for adult only areas being enforced. The pool on deck 7 is for 16 and up only. On several occasions the lifeguard told younger children to get out of the pool, much to the irritation of their parents. In the casino there was a family that allowed their 4 or 5 year old to play on a machine and the casino host quickly put the entire family out of the casino. Who lets their 5 year old to gamble in the casino? 10) Embarkation and Debarkation were the smoothest and easiest we have ever had. We were able to get our room keys and security photos taken quickly and onto the ship in a flash. I highly recommend traveling with a passport because they use facial recognition technology for going through customs. We carried off our luggage and were through customs and in our car in record time. We had a fantastic time and will definitely be back on a MSC ship in the future. Quick tip, if you have to sign for something you are being charged for it. While in St. Martin, go to the Lazy Lizard for drinks and lunch! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Wow, can't say enough about this trip. I've cruised with NCL, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney and Princess prior to this trip and this was by far the best cruise experience I've had. Embarkation took roughly 15 mins ... Read More
Wow, can't say enough about this trip. I've cruised with NCL, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney and Princess prior to this trip and this was by far the best cruise experience I've had. Embarkation took roughly 15 mins after arriving at pier and most of that time was walking to get on board. The ship was clean, easy to navigate and offered every type of shopping, eating, entertaining you can ask for. I've been on the big ships (Allure, Oasis) and the really old small ships (Mardi Gra, Oceanic) and this was just a great ship overall. I love the top deck with the natural grass, glass blowing , and movie screen. The bars were also great, from Craft Social to World Class and everything in between. The main dining and buffet experience we're top notch. I also tried Murano and La Petite chef. Murano was in my opinion equal to the main dining room so I could skip it. I did enjoy the show and experience at La Petite and the food was awesome. Cabin was clean and great for me, my wife and my 13 year old daughter. I loved the ship design and didn't miss the huge spaces on Oasis/Allure. My daughter never missed water slides or rock climbing walls. She actually loved the teen club and made friends and ran off their every night. SMOKE FREE Casino is epic! The captain was the most personable and everywhere at once. She was even at the gang plank on last day at 7am saying goodbye to folks. Cruise Director Maarten was funny and highly entertaining. Shows while not at Broadway level were beautiful, artful and entertaining. The comedian was even good. Definitely will be looking at Celebrity in the future. Feel free to send me questions. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We previously switched from another cruise line because of recommendations from friends plus we wanted to try it for ourselves. When we arrived to Bayonne, NJ, the entire process to get on ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We previously switched from another cruise line because of recommendations from friends plus we wanted to try it for ourselves. When we arrived to Bayonne, NJ, the entire process to get on the cruise was effortless. Where it took us over an hour the last cruise we went on, it took us roughly 15 minutes with Royal. Our cabin was great. We had the pleasure of getting a balcony this time. The interior is good for first-time cruisers or if you're on a budget. We actually utilized the balcony quite a bit, either during our sea days or when we arrived/departed our ports. Views were spectacular. It was spacious enough to fit all our belongings and had plenty of drawer space for both of our clothes. Food was good. We went to the Windjammer Cafe during breakfast/lunch and did the "My Time" dining at dinnertime. There were plenty of options to choose from outside these two options. Wife and I ate at Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant for our 3-year anniversary and the service was above and beyond. There was a sushi and steak restaurant I didn't get a chance to try but will keep it in mind for our next cruise. What impressed me was the cleanliness of the entire cruise ship. Prior to eating at the Windjammer Cafe, we were always instructed to wash our hands before serving ourselves. We were always greeted with "Washy Washy" which still stuck to me even after the cruise. Every time I went to the public restroom there was always someone in there either inspecting the restroom or cleaning it. As someone who is slightly germaphobic, I felt at ease the entire cruise. The service between housekeeping and the waiters/waitresses was fantastic. During the cruise our waitor Fuchao (I think that's how you spell it) knew us on a first name basis and catered to our every need. I really hope we run into him again on our next cruise. Our housekeeping could've used a little work but still did a great job. Our ports were the highlights of the entire cruise. Our favorite was probably San Juan, Puerto Rico where we did a Food and Culture tour. The tour guide gave us a taste of Puerto Rican cuisine and gave us a thorough history of San Jaun as well. Our second favorite was Labadee, Haiti. Apparently, Royal Caribbean owns part of the island which made it a great experience. There was anything from snorkeling excursions, a few beaches, floating bars, zipline excursions, and shopping available. Put plenty of sunscreen on because it gets HOT in Haiti. Only con was the price of everything. Drinks, without a drinks package, cost $10+ per drink which is more than the average drinks price in New York City. Be prepared to spend quite a bit on anything extra not included in your cruise package such as excursions, select restaurants, drinks etc. This was the best cruise we've experienced so far. We were considering giving their sister company, Celebrity Cruise, a shot but will be sticking with Royal going forward. If you're contemplating cruise, I highly recommend Royal Caribbean. You won't regret it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our first cruise, and we enjoyed our week on the Breakaway. Embarkation in Miami was very efficient. We went through the check in process quickly and the person assisting us was helpful and courteous. Getting onto the ship was ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and we enjoyed our week on the Breakaway. Embarkation in Miami was very efficient. We went through the check in process quickly and the person assisting us was helpful and courteous. Getting onto the ship was almost effortless—just a few drips to avoid since it was raining. Disembarkation was really the only negative (and not a game changer for us) as the line was REALLY long and weaved and twisted all around deck 7. We heard it was due to a new customs process. Our balcony cabin was fantastic. Cyril, the cabin steward, was great—friendly, courteous, and helpful. In the dining areas, we also experienced very friendly and courteous staff—not at all what some reviewers described. In fact, all of the staff that we encountered were pleasant. Our meals were all delicious—we mostly ate in the main dining rooms or specialty restaurants. We especially recommend Ocean Blue, Moderno, and Teppanyaki. For breakfast, be sure to check out the free buffet at Margaritaville for a quieter place with great views. We did the San Juan City Tour and the Island Beach Break (Tortola); those were our favorite excursions. While we enjoyed snorkeling in St Thomas and the Blue Lagoon Dolphin Encounter in Nassau, these were over-crowded and expensive. All of the shows that we attended—Velvet, Dueling Pianos, Rock of Ages, Burn the Floor—were very professionally performed. We would most definitely cruise on the Breakaway again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This is our third time on the Magic, and as always it was great. Honestly this has been one of the best cruises we have ever taken. We did miss Half Moon Cay due to the weather conditions, and that was a disappointment. But that's ... Read More
This is our third time on the Magic, and as always it was great. Honestly this has been one of the best cruises we have ever taken. We did miss Half Moon Cay due to the weather conditions, and that was a disappointment. But that's the risk you take when booking a cruise that goes there. We decided to make the best of it, and spent the day playing trivia and Bingo. We were upgraded to a spa cabin, which was nice. We especially enjoyed the heated pool in the spa. The only drawback to our cabin is lack of closet space. I didn't know when we upgraded that it is a handicapped cabin. So, our bathroom was huge, and very nice, but very little room for our clothes. The cabin itself is very roomy. The entertainment staff on this ship is wonderful. We had a great time at every activity. I played and won trivia so many times Maddie, the trivia lady, knew me by name. I can't say enough about our waitstaff. We had early dining in the Northern Lights dining room. On the first night, my husband didn't order dessert. When the waitress asked why, he told her that he doesn't eat very many sweets. And that they no longer serve the only cake he really likes in the dining room, Black Forest cake. A few minutes later, the hostess Daria comes to our table. She asks my husband about the Black Forest cake, and he told her its no big deal, just the cake that he always used to get. The next night, she comes to our table and tells us that on the last sea day she has a surprise in store for him. The last sea day, they bring him his very own Black Forest cake! I thought that was such a wonderful surprise, that definitely went above and beyond typical service. We hadn't book an excursion for Amber Cove yet. When we got off the ship, we walked through the gift shop and there is a shore excursion stand just outside of it. We talked to the man in charge and chose a short excursion that went to town, toured the church and town square, stopped by the beach for pictures, and then stopped at the fort for a few minutes. We also went to a gift shop, and watched a man make cigars. The guide had told us that the tour would be around 2.5 hours. We left at 10 and got back at exactly 12:30. We spent the rest of the day at the port, in pool. At Grand Turk, we walked to Jack's Shack and spent the day relaxing. Overall it was a nice, relaxing vacation. I am already planning the next one! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I just got off this cruise sailing (June 16th-23rd) and will start by saying WOW!! Where can I start. I booked this cruise as a Father’s Day and daughter cruise which not only blew me away, but made my daughter happier then ... Read More
I just got off this cruise sailing (June 16th-23rd) and will start by saying WOW!! Where can I start. I booked this cruise as a Father’s Day and daughter cruise which not only blew me away, but made my daughter happier then ever. From the food to entertainment, I couldn’t of asked for a better experience. The shows were beyond amazing. I did see their Aqua Theater show Ocean Aria three times out of the first three nights, I did see Mamma Mia but wish I saw it a second time, Blue Planet twice which was amazing. The Juggling Act of Charles Peachock which is a cant miss. Overall for entertainment, this in my opinion was far above suburb. The food on board was great, buffets were stocked and well organized, I didn’t really experience the sit down locations, since there is so much to do and my daughter was a picky eater. Everything from the burgers ya Wipe Out Cafe to the ice cream poolside was worth the “weight gain” on the ship. The service overall was excellent. Despite a(n) medical emergency which caused our experience to miss Labadee, Haïti where I was excited for our excursion, the crew/staff really held their ground and still made this trip standout. I was disappointed, but coming from a position where I work in hospitality/Guest Services, I understand safety is a priority and need to accept it. I wanted to personally mention The cruise Director, Jimmy Rhodes along with other members of the staff, for balancing out a great experience throughout the week we had. I also wanted to give Captain Ron a huge thank you for his professionalism during the issue that took place and still made this experience outstanding The pool/recreation was great, so many pools (about 4 along with 6-8 whirlpools) made the crowd spread out so it didn’t cause the pool deck to feel clogged. The activities poolside were fun and entertaining, the mini golf, ice skating, flow rider all are great for the kids. The weather was great so it made it worth it being poolside. Finally, the overall service was a solid 10/10. I’m not one to typically write a solid review, but this made me realize why this cruise line the only one I will sail with. The only flaw I experienced which honestly wasn’t a huge issue, was communication in the in-room phone was delayed and no one answered within an reasonable time. That didn’t stop my daughter who’s 6, and myself from having a great time. I hope to those who booked this cruise and are reading this, take this as an example of what you’ll experience. I promise you won’t be disappointed Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Embarkation was swift and easy as well as the disembarkation. A nice surprise was the addition of Carrot Juice for breakfast as well as different types of pizza including deep dish varieties at other times. The singers and dancers ... Read More
Embarkation was swift and easy as well as the disembarkation. A nice surprise was the addition of Carrot Juice for breakfast as well as different types of pizza including deep dish varieties at other times. The singers and dancers performances were superb. They were always in sync, graceful and elegant. Don’t miss “Bravo” & “Fantastic Journey” We had a large number of first time cruisers of varying ages and there was always an activity to cater to everyone. And the courteous decorum of everyone was apparent. The Caribbean Princess is a Medallion Class Ship. There are still a few kinks to iron out but overall it was a great experience especially being able to wear your Medallion instead of carrying your card. As you approach your cabin, the door automatically unlocks. You can play games, locate your shipmates, and order drinks with the apps. From the dining room menus to the exceptional service we hated for our cruise to end. We will be back! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I am a male in my mid-30s and this was my fourth cruise with Carnival (I've also been on the Splendor, Pride, and Horizon), along with two from Royal Caribbean and one from Princess. I will be providing an extensive review below, in ... Read More
I am a male in my mid-30s and this was my fourth cruise with Carnival (I've also been on the Splendor, Pride, and Horizon), along with two from Royal Caribbean and one from Princess. I will be providing an extensive review below, in the hopes it proves helpful to those reading (I know I appreciate detailed specifics of positives and negatives others give in their reviews, so I like to be equally thorough). While I'll be providing some slight criticisms, mainly related to the ship's layout of certain things, I gave this cruise a full five stars, because for all ten days of this trip, I witnessed what I felt to be virtually-perfect execution of all things within the control of the personnel on board, from dining, to entertainment, to service, to fostering an unrivaled fun atmosphere. Embarkation in Manhattan: Despite going through the same terminal last year at about the same arrival time and boarding the larger Horizon very quickly, this seemed to take a bit longer to get through security this time around. It appeared the line formed on a first come, first served basis, like an airport. No big deal, but it seemed not to make a difference what boarding time/group was arranged beforehand, despite Carnival asking passengers to indicate in advance such arrival times/preferences. Ship Layout: The Sunrise certainly looks nice enough following the refurbishment; however, in transforming the eateries and public spaces from its dry dock as the Triumph, two key issues seemed to have developed. One, the lines at the main buffet itself, regardless of if it's during breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even during the Midnight Buffet this itinerary had, were way too long to be considered normal (the lines at all the other surrounding lunch stations were at least reasonable and moved plenty quickly, like on other ships Carnival has). Two, the placement of the Limelight Lounge (an important venue to get to, since it hosts not only the nightly popular comedy shows and the nightclub it converts to after hours, but also random activities during the day), sandwiched between the two main dining rooms on deck 4, was problematic and even crew members admitted it's hard to find when you're looking for it. You're expected to take one specific set of elevators/stairwell to get to it from a different deck, but no one will blame you if you feel like walking right through the restaurant before, during, or after dinner to avoid the maze. Those two things aside, the ship in general is easy to navigate and they did a good job adding/subtracting venues based on current demands. It's much better that the Promenade Deck has a large RedFrog Pub for popular trivia and games/live music performances instead of separate smaller lounges and library space other ships have had that aren't a good use of real estate, and it's smart that the higher decks now have the Serenity areas, sport square, ropes course, and sizable water park replacing skylights and glass domes that offer less benefit. This helps manage the crowds and keeps adults and kids alike further entertained. Entertainment/Activities: This itinerary was unique in that it is considered a "Journeys" cruise, which means it's nine days or longer, and as a result includes some activities and entertainment options not normally found on shorter cruises Carnival does. Some examples of what this means is a designated 80's-themed day (they played throwback lido deck games that were popular back then, showed 80's movie classics on the poolside movie screen, and featured a lot of live 80's rock and pop music at the various venues at night, also encouraging people to wear costumes), more enrichment-type classes (including ones featuring different kinds of dance lessons for couples and larger groups), a quick walk-through of the galley for those interested in how the dining rooms run their operation, a Captain's Cocktail Party that included drinks and finger foods, and additional opportunities for guests to interact with cast and crew (there was an open Q&A with reps from different departments, a separate Q&A focused specifically on the Broadway-style performers, and most interactive of all, a special one-performance-only show in the main theatre that allows guests to sing and dance with the cast on stage). Without exception, the entertainment offerings were top-notch, not just what I mentioned above, but also each and every one of the musicians on board, all of whom were exceptional and versatile in their respective styles: the Black Diamonds electric violin trio, the Hip Stars and Have Mercy Horns bands, Piano Bar performer Scott, acoustic guitarist Tim, and Steel Drum player Keith. The music playlists were not tired and cliched; they were innovative, varied, and included something for everyone, regardless of age or preferred genre. I was actually having trouble deciding who I wanted to listen to each night, because they were all so good. Dining/Bars: The rebranding as the Sunrise resulted in some upgrades here, including getting the popular Alchemy Bar, RedFrog Pub, and newer eateries such as Guy's BBQ (not to be confused with Guy's Burgers, which it already had as part of the previous Fun Ships 2.0 upgrade that saw the cruise line uniformly put it in along with the build-your-burrito/taco bar, rum bar, and tequila bar across most of the company's main pool decks), Bonsai Sushi, and Cucina Del Capitano (free create-your-own pasta lunch by day, fee-based Italian dinner by night). The one surprise worth pointing out that didn't seem to be talked about much is that there's a new free asian bowl lunch option on the Lido Deck the opposite side of the deli, and it's really good. It's not as customizable as Mongolian Wok, so the line moves faster than ships with the Wok, but it's good quality and fresh. Dining room food was excellent each night, as I usually find it to be, and my lunches mainly consisted of the taco/burrito bar, Guy's BBQ, Guy's Burger's, the deli for hot dogs, and the pasta at Cucina on Embarkation Day (hard for me to pick a favorite). As far as the bars, I went to where the action was at a given moment, but I often found myself at the lobby bar (especially when the electric violins and atrium parties were happening) and the piano bar (the aforementioned Scott was brilliant and kept the room lively enough where I constantly chose him over the nightclub for my late-night destination). Staff/Service: This was, without a doubt, the best I've ever seen on any cruise I've ever been on. Every person, without exception, was fantastic, and it was like the stars aligned to bring this group of MVP-caliber cast and crew together. Here are just some of the things I witnessed during the time onboard: a member of the photography team volunteering to help a family of five complete a six-person "cheerleader pyramid" by getting on all fours herself for a photo op, a random crew member amusing a young kid on the elevator to keep him happy during the ride up, a bartender at Alchemy going all the way to the sous chef just to get more basil for a joke drink one passenger wanted to give someone, and the Playlist Productions cast singing "happy birthday" to a young boy during their Q&A. As far as how else the cast and crew went above and beyond: the electric violin players performed my dad's request (even though they had been sticking to a set playlist throughout), the Playlist Performers were constantly setting aside as much time as requested for passengers to speak to them, practice with them, and learn from them both randomly after performances in the atrium and related to the show that featured guest participation (shoutout to Jeremy and Paige for their work in teaching the singing and choreography to the larger group for the show, and especially to Jeremy for gladly arranging an impromptu backstage tour for me to see behind-the-scenes when he learned of my interest in such production details), and Scott at the piano bar was always up for chatting at the end of the night, no matter how late it was. I would be remiss if I didn't mention how great the dining room staff was, particularly my waiters Ferdinand, Landomar, and Dennis, as well as the personable and hardworking bar staff throughout the ship (though I want to specifically mention Neenee at the lobby bar, and Miguel at the piano bar, both of whom stood out to me, and in the case of Miguel, also doubled as a first-class Elvis impersonator for a contest during one of the shows and joined in sing-alongs at the piano bar). I cannot say enough about how great everyone was, and how much I wish I have the opportunity to see at least some of them again. *I'm giving a separate note here for the cruise director, Chris "The Flying Scotsman" Williams, who as far as I'm concerned, has revolutionized the concept of what a CD can, and should, be. Not only was he the best cruise director I've ever seen, he falls into a category all his own. He didn't simply "make appearances" at events or "hype up" an act before they came on, Chris WAS the event and WAS the act (coming from a strong musical performance background, he even headlined his own main theatre show one night, singing everything from rock hits from bands like Whitesnake to the operatic Nessun Dorma to a heartfelt rendition of a Scottish song to share his roots). He was always around, he always stopped to talk with guests and take pictures, and he brought a level of energy and passion to his work that made you wish Carnival execs were present to see what all their other cruise directors fleetwide should be doing to truly capture the "Fun Ships" experience. Ports: San Juan - Went here last year, and did the same thing: walked around the city and the nearby shops a bit, without doing an excursion. The port time was a bit odd, in that it got in late and left late, so I got some nice pics of the ship from the pier around sunset and after it got dark. Tortola - Did a beach/lunch excursion at nearby Jost Van Dyke. The beach over there was beautiful, somewhat secluded, and had a few bars nearby, including the Soggy Dollar (supposedly the place that created the Painkiller cocktail). Lunch was basic hot dog or hamburger and chips, but it is noteworthy that unlike other places that might give you one ticket or voucher to redeem, they didn't have any issue if you wanted a second hot dog or hamburger or more chips; they weren't being cheap or strict about that. St. Maarten - Did a beach/lunch excursion at a beach on the Dutch side near the airport (not the famous beach directly under where planes lanes, but adjacent). The beach was nice enough too, though I had hoped Orient Beach had recovered sooner from the hurricane so I could have also experienced the French side of the island (Carnival had apparently just started offering a similar excursion there again, but didn't really promote it leading up the cruise, and only a few passengers found out about it in time to book that one instead). Lunch was a little nicer than hot dogs/hamburgers (ex: ribs was an option) St. Thomas - Did the Kon Tiki beach excursion, which was the most fun during the trip to the beach, as they offered unlimited rum punch both to and from the beach, and the vessel included a glass bottom to briefly see marine life (plus they fed yellow snapper off the side to get them to surface). Additionally, they had a steel drum band, a dance lesson, and a limbo contest. The beach they took us to was Honeymoon Beach, very secluded, and even better than Magen's Bay. Grand Turk - Stayed at Margaritaville last year, went down the beach to Jack's Shack this year. The owner's daughter was cool and thanked us for adding a license plate to their collection. Had a couple drinks, some wings, and rented an umbrella for the free chairs out front. The dogs roaming the area were adorable and were living the dream. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
after getting off to a rocky start getting on the ship, cruise was great. I was on 2nd floor, thought room was nice. Food was good, many places to eat. I ate at burrito bar, guys burgers, the buffet, sit down dinners, pizza...and lots ... Read More
after getting off to a rocky start getting on the ship, cruise was great. I was on 2nd floor, thought room was nice. Food was good, many places to eat. I ate at burrito bar, guys burgers, the buffet, sit down dinners, pizza...and lots of ice cream !! Liked the shows, band was great, singers and dancers, just ok. comedians were very funny. Had the usual on board, trivia, bingo etc. Played in the casino, actually one a cruise on my last day !! so excited. went to St Thomas...loved it...grab a cab right off the ship, theres a whole list and lots of cabs. good shopping right near ship. Went to St Maartin...been there before..did the beach near the airport excursion (planes fly over you head). this time got off and walked around to beach ( first guy was 25$ for chair and umbrella...2nd guy 20 feet away was $20 for chairs and umbrella...and another 20 feet was 10$ chairs and umbrella) and did shopping. Puerto Rico we did rainforest last time. this time got off and walked around...In Tortola we did the Gorda Rock excursion..could of been much longer, felt rushed ..35 minutes on first beach. then climbed through the Gorda rocks, and then I think around 1 hour on next beach. Margaritaville. we love, but there was another cruise ship there for 6 hours before ours, so pool was very dirty. walk down the beach a little further for less rocks and people. Employees are very kind. A lot of people using scooters. Hey listen i'm not knocking the people that really need them, but some we saw strolling all around the excursions, all around town without them. I don't know..just so many of them. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was a family trip with my Dad and Sister. Every bit of it was perfect. I enjoyed the serenity pool and hot tub. My room steward was very nice and prompt. The room was clean and comfortable. Best sleep I've had in a very long ... Read More
This was a family trip with my Dad and Sister. Every bit of it was perfect. I enjoyed the serenity pool and hot tub. My room steward was very nice and prompt. The room was clean and comfortable. Best sleep I've had in a very long time. I wanted to take the mattress home. The shows were very good...we saw movies on the deck, comedy shows and variety shows. I was unable to book any excursions due to an injury prior to the cruise, but there was shopping and swimming right off the ship. I have to admit, I had all but given up on Carnival's food before this trip, but they did a fantastic job. It was definitely up to par this time. I would book on this ship again as the staff was very welcoming and attentive. The only complaint that I could muster is that the shower did not maintain temperature throughout. It would go from a little too hot to a little too cold. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
My family traveled on the Divina 5 years ago and enjoyed it immensely. We cruise a lot and wanted to try a different line so we chose MSC. This time we took 20 guests for our 60th wedding anniversary, 12 of them I paid for myself. We ... Read More
My family traveled on the Divina 5 years ago and enjoyed it immensely. We cruise a lot and wanted to try a different line so we chose MSC. This time we took 20 guests for our 60th wedding anniversary, 12 of them I paid for myself. We liked the new ship, free drink package, price was good as I booked early. Embarkation was very smooth. disembarkation was a chaos because of waiting on transportation but not the ship's fault. The ship is just beautiful and so many areas to choose from. Entertainment was awesome with aerialists, particularly the Michael Jackson show. Super! Food wasn't the best we have had on ships and varieties were limited and somewhat bland but we aren't ones to complain about things like that. Cheesecake and a nice fish would have been nice each night. The children's areas are fabulous and our two little ones loved it all, particularly Kids Club. We loved everything about the Seaside except the ship did not recognize our 60th anniversary and 20 people in any way.That disappointed me since we were returning guests from 5 years ago. We liked the bars to get your own drinks and not wait on a waiter. No tissues are in the rooms now, had to ask for them. Only 2 washcloths but we had a wonderful room steward. The best part was Melvin, Head Waiter, from Hungary? He was wonderful, funny and danced with me two nights. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We were in the Mac hatch club, so this experience is very different if you were not in the hatch club. It was a nice, quiet, and fun experience. We had a deluxe sweet on the 18 floor. It was good size and sleeps 5. The yatch club gets ... Read More
We were in the Mac hatch club, so this experience is very different if you were not in the hatch club. It was a nice, quiet, and fun experience. We had a deluxe sweet on the 18 floor. It was good size and sleeps 5. The yatch club gets butlers, unlimited food, and drink, and gets escorted to shows, dinner, and off the ship. You have a private deck, pool, lounge, restaurant, and bars. Only around 150 other people so it is nice and not crowded. You get a priority elevator which skips all other floors. Also you get priority boarding at each port. Our butler helped so much. And I would recommend getting a cabana on the top deck for 100$. It comes with a cooler filled with any drink, food delivered the whole day, and a nice shaded and private area. The shows are great. (Michael Jackson show is a must, tickets sell fast). For shows the hatch club has private seating in the theater and don’t need to book tickets. But tickets if you are not in yatch club sell fast. Awesome cruise and only way to cruise. Read Less

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