Traveled through Panama Canal because it was on our bucket list. Got on ship in LA and that went smooth and fast, no lines but dock porters were not part of NCL and were very rude. First stop Cabo San Lucas and very pretty, sea lions were ... Read More
Traveled through Panama Canal because it was on our bucket list. Got on ship in LA and that went smooth and fast, no lines but dock porters were not part of NCL and were very rude. First stop Cabo San Lucas and very pretty, sea lions were plentiful and tendering was very difficult and not organized. Next stop Acapulco and Do Not Get Off the boat, very dirty and people rude. Next stop Guatemala and very nice excursions and people friendly. Next stop Nicaragua and we saw volcano on this stop, bus ride very very long and not enough time set for excursions, people very friendly and sides of roads were very dirty. Next stop Costa Rica and beautiful countryside and nice excursions did train ride but too short and not much to see besides poverty and crocodile excursion down Tarcoles River and wished it was longer. Weather very hot everywhere we went and hats and sunblock very necessary. Next was the canal transit and took all day and absolutely beautiful and so much to see from any location on the ship. The captain did a wonderful job of opening the crew deck in front for passengers and also brought a narrator on board from Panama and she was wonderful. Next stop was Columbia and we did not feel very safe here at all, probarly should not have gone on excursion. Street people were so rude and begging and in our face that we couldn't enjoy ourselves.
Ship was very nice and staff was exceptionally nice. Restaurant staff was highly efficient and food was Excellant. Buffet staff in the morning went above and beyond everyday. Thank you for a wonderful and relaxing vacation. As others have stated we also would like to see the towel animals reinstated and ship pins brought back. Also would like to see Latitudes Platinum members benefits reviewed. We were not able to use all our benefits including disembarkation, this process was terrible and took too long to get to our excursions. Read Less
I had previously done a partial Panama Canal cruise which means the ship went from Ft. Lauderdale through one set of locks and then turned around in Gatun Lake and went back out through the same set of locks with a return to Ft. ... Read More
I had previously done a partial Panama Canal cruise which means the ship went from Ft. Lauderdale through one set of locks and then turned around in Gatun Lake and went back out through the same set of locks with a return to Ft. Lauderdale. When a friend suggested going on a Panama Canal cruise I instantly agreed to go with her. We chose to go on the Norwegian Bliss since there would be so many activities and things to do on this longer than normal cruise. We were not disappointed! Everything was awesome - the ship, the entertainment, food, bars, and service. There was an abundance of free activities as well as the ones that cost extra. The entertainment was first class! The small groups that played in various venues around the ship were excellent. There were many choices for food. The weather was great and we did not encounter any difficulties. The port stops in Mexico changed several times from the time we booked the cruise until we actually went but it was okay. I especially like sea days so this was a great cruise for me - 6 ports in 15 days with 9 sea days. The whole day transit of the Panama Canal was fabulous! The age of the cruisers on this trip was slightly older than normal since it is longer and more expensive and there were fewer children on board. Those who were on board seemed to thoroughly enjoy the extra time they got on some of the amenities. Read Less
We are health conscious vegans and one of us has a gluten allergy. In January 2019 we sailed aboard the Princess Regal on a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise. We went with relatives which didn’t give us much time for us to enjoy being on ... Read More
We are health conscious vegans and one of us has a gluten allergy. In January 2019 we sailed aboard the Princess Regal on a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise. We went with relatives which didn’t give us much time for us to enjoy being on the boat or for relaxing. We needed another cruise and fast! However, we had limited funds having just cruised. We choose a 14 day repositioning cruise on the Norwegian Star which departed Los Angeles and sailed through the Panama Canal with Miami being it’s destination. We went on “the cheap” getting an interior cabin which we do not mind because the darkness helps us sleep longer and better. To save money we used the "Let Us Choose" option where Norwegian selects a cabin for you. The ports of call ranged down the Western Mexican coast, with stops in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, passage through the Canal and last stop in Columbia before heading to Miami. We did not take any tours since we had seen Mexico on other cruises and enjoy having the ship to ourselves when others are ashore. The Star had a historian give several lectures on the Panama Canal history and someone narrated during our passage through the Canal. Both were very nice.
Traveling as vegans (avoid foods containing meat or products from animals), always poses a challenge. On the Princess Regal the Main Dining Room offered a vegan menu each night and gladly adjusted for gluten intolerance. The Princess had assigned seating and dinner times which worked well for us. Our waiter became familiar with our special needs and things flowed very smoothly. The Princess morning buffet had mixed greens as well as beans and several types of breakfast grains. They also had non-dairy options on the buffet. The labels above each buffet item had a “V” if it contained no animal products and /or a “GF“ if not made with wheat gluten.
On the Norwegian Star, the buffet selection was more limited and we frequently went to the main dining room if we wanted something “green” in the morning. No dish on the buffet had identification as to whether it was vegan or gluten free. Non-dairy and/or gluten free items were available upon request but often took a while to get from the buffet staff.
The Norwegian Star has a Free Style approach to dinner. We explained our special dietary needs to the restaurant manager and he introduced us to their special diet coordinator. He was great! At first, we would tell him what we desired for dinner but later just gave him the freedom to create meals with the chefs. The meals were very good and exciting to see what we would get that evening. However, with Free Style dining, you never knew how crowded the restaurant would be at any given time and most of the time we had a new waiter who was unfamiliar with us and our diet. English was not spoken well by some waiters so explaining each night that we had a special meal became tedious. Some nights meals took a very long time to prepare particularly if the restaurant was unexpectedly crowded. The Princess approach with an assigned waiter, assigned dinner time and vegan menu was much more efficient and pleasant for us.
The entertainment on the Norwegian Star in our opinion was not as good as some other ships we have been on, however, one show by the ship's production cast was outstanding and among the best I have seen. The Star’s exercise room and decks for walking were superior to many other ships. We enjoyed the Star’s indoor movie theaters rather than the Princess ship design which features an outdoor screen for that “drive-in theater” experience.
Overall we achieved our goal of being able to enjoy leisure time at sea and remain healthy. It was a good cruise but from our perspective it could have been better with a few simple changes by Norwegian. It was our first experience with Norwegian so we do not know if our experience is representative of other Norwegian ships or cruises. Read Less
We really really wanted to sail on the Bliss. The ship exceeded our expectations. The food was great, but what was needed was more time, perhaps another week or two to continue our good time aboard the Bliss. We enjoyed all the ... Read More
We really really wanted to sail on the Bliss. The ship exceeded our expectations. The food was great, but what was needed was more time, perhaps another week or two to continue our good time aboard the Bliss. We enjoyed all the entertainment, the hypnotist, the juggler, the magician, the Jersey Boys, Havana and the dancers. All made the evenings more to look forward to and daily meeting new friends. The fun show Deal or No Deal was a favorite. We enjoyed the atmosphere of happy faces all around the ship. On the way home we realized we could easily turnaround and go back for more happy times on the BLISS. We enjoyed the Garden Buffet, the Local Restaurant and the Observation Lounge on deck 15.
There was great Country Music in the Steakhouse and Ribs restaurant. My wife had fun in the Casino and the shops had some nice Panama Canal tee shirts. So overall we have many good memories of this Cruise. Thanks to the people of Norwegian Cruise Line. Read Less
Bakery at Noon is a joke that a group of us that met on the ship came up with - long story
Overall the cruise leaving Miami to LA thru the Panama Canal was very nice. We met some extremely great people and the Panama Canal was ... Read More
Bakery at Noon is a joke that a group of us that met on the ship came up with - long story
Overall the cruise leaving Miami to LA thru the Panama Canal was very nice. We met some extremely great people and the Panama Canal was amazing. The ship is beautiful and is kept extremely clean. Our cabin steward Nollie was very good. Thank you to Rommel - Michael - Carlos (bartenders) for doing a great job and making the trip fun.
1) Jersey Boys - this show is excellent
2) Garden Buffet - thank you NCL for changing the layout to make it less crowded and the food selection was pretty good for a buffet
3) Race Track - it was a lot of fun - something that just about anyone can do
4) "Q" - plenty of food and the meats are very good
5) Los Labos - great food and plenty of it
6) Pool - thank you NCL for making this area larger and getting rid of the smoking area by the pool
7) Casino - again good job NCL enclosing the smoking area to help reduce the smoke smell from being all over the ship
8) Ship staff - overall the vast majority are very good but NCL needs to work on the staff being able to speak English and more attentive to the customer. Sorry but I felt many were just going through the motions.
9) Observation Lounge - beautful area and great for lunch
1) Bartenders - I know most of the people have the beverage package but at least act like you care - except for the 3 bartenders I metioned before. The worst bartenders are in the Observation Lounge and the bar between Cagneys and Los Labos.
2) Cagneys - this was my favorite restaurant on the Escape and Getaway but on the Bliss the service was terrible and the steaks are tough and tasteless. We dined there twice on this crusie and it was the same both times. The service staff is guilty of just going through the motions and could care less about you as a customer.
3) La Cucina - I love Italian Food - they should try serving it there. Italian food has garlic in it and La Cucina must have not gotten that memo.
4) Havana (the show) - one word "terrible" - don't waste your time.
We were on this ship for for 15 days and were never bored. I went on this cruise with concerns about having so many at sea days but I have to admit it really was enjoyable. Speciality Restaurants are not really that special - NCL you need to kick it up a notch. Read Less
Had the most amazing 15 days on Bliss through the Panama Canal. Ship is beautiful and the staff went over and above to make our trip the best yet. Specialty restaurants certainly worth it with the exception of "Q", not worthy of ... Read More
Had the most amazing 15 days on Bliss through the Panama Canal. Ship is beautiful and the staff went over and above to make our trip the best yet. Specialty restaurants certainly worth it with the exception of "Q", not worthy of the "specialty restaurant" label. Majority of the excursions were as advertised but Acapulco was a bust, walking tour was not worth the money or the time. Old Mazatlan walking tour with amazing definitely undersold in the description.Deck 15 cabins can be noisy as they are under the Pool Deck. Observation Lounge was great but way too many people sleeping all day on the loungers. Shopping on board is below par compared to other cruises we have been on, very little choice and the same items came out almost every night. Looking to book our next cruise on the Bliss really soon. A visit to the A List Bar is a must, the bartenders are awesome, lots of fun. Read Less
I booked this adventure as it has been at the top of my vacation priorities for a long time. This 15 day transit of the new Panama Canal exceeded even my lofty expectations (I am a seasoned cruiser). The crew and staff of NCL`s Bliss made ... Read More
I booked this adventure as it has been at the top of my vacation priorities for a long time. This 15 day transit of the new Panama Canal exceeded even my lofty expectations (I am a seasoned cruiser). The crew and staff of NCL`s Bliss made every effort to ensure that the transit and the whole experience was exhilarating - and it was! The entire fifth day of the cruise was spent going through the canal - which took from about 7:00 A.M till close to 9:00 P.M. ; the weather was perfect and the excitement was shared by many of my fellow cruisers (most of which were transiting the new canal for the first time). There was even a guest lecturer on board who gave two lectures; one on the history of the canal and another on the conquering of yellow fever in Panama. This guest expert also narrated the crossing throughout the day. His anecdotes and color commentary greatly added to my enjoyment of the experience and appreciation of the new Panama Canal (opened in 2016). To commemorate the canal transit, the officers of the Bliss issued every guest a beautiful color certificate memorializing the trip, signed by the captain and included a glossy color certificate documenting the cruise and ports of call. These are genuine souvenirs worth framing and a very fitting commemoration of the adventure.
One thing worth noting: during the time spent on the crossing, NCL facilitated guest access to the bow area (not usually accessible to guests) for viewing the canal locks and the tug. They also furnished refreshments and set up canopies to protect guests from the intense sun. A very nice touch. This viewing area at the bow on deck 8 allowed a great up close view of the tug guiding the ship and the operation of the locks that we could not have gotten from the observation area on deck 15 (a great area to view but deck 8`s observation area was much closer to “the action”). This special access was greatly appreciated and allowed me to get some great photos and video of the entire canal crossing
Oh, I speculate that NCL booked this time slot so as to facilitate the best viewing (daylight) of the Panama Canal - again, my heartfelt thanks, NCL! You made the trip truly memorable !!!
While the crossing was the highlight of my cruise, the rest of the trip was also magnificent. Sea days with first class entertainment and shore excursions that offered a sampling of the best that the port had to offer. Fandamtastic experience! Thanks to all on NCL Bliss! Read Less
We chose this criuse to celebrate our 50th anniversery and had a wonderful time. We chose the beverage and dining packages and could not have been happier with the choice. We are not big drinkers but it was nice to feel free to try new ... Read More
We chose this criuse to celebrate our 50th anniversery and had a wonderful time. We chose the beverage and dining packages and could not have been happier with the choice. We are not big drinkers but it was nice to feel free to try new ones that we would not have if we didn't have that package. The dining package gave use many great chioces. We chose Cagneys for our anniversery diner and loved it. The only negitves where the soup and potatoes where lukewarm. The service was great and, as it happened, our waiter was also our waiter when we sailed on the Star. We also ate at Le Bistro and Los Lobos. Le Bistro was above average and Los Lobos was so good we eat there two more times. Yessina at Los Lobos is a treasure. On our second night there she made my wife a napkin rose that she kept and admiered for the rest of the cruise. We ate at Savor and The Local alot and they were always top notch. Service on the ship was excellent with only a couple of grumpy grew members. I have a great deal of respect for the crew members. They work 12 hour days for up to 9 months without a day off and still show great attitudes. As far as the ships entertainment and activities go the entertainment was great! We mostly liked to just relax and read a good book, so I can't really review the activies, although there seemed to be something going on all the time. Embarkation was a breeze but disembarkation could be termed organized chaos. We only took one Norwiegian excursion and it was just OK. We took a Thumbs Up 10 in 1 excursion in Costa Rica and it was awsome. If you ever get to Costa Rica you should check this out and request Allie as your guide. Overall we were very happy with the Bliss and would cruise on it again. Read Less
Considering it's age the ship was in good condition.I always wanted to see the Panama Canal .We did the boat tour of the lake and saw monkeys and birds.In Columbia we went to the bird sanctuary and saw the countryside. Saw the same ... Read More
Considering it's age the ship was in good condition.I always wanted to see the Panama Canal .We did the boat tour of the lake and saw monkeys and birds.In Columbia we went to the bird sanctuary and saw the countryside. Saw the same birds and monkeys at the boat dock in their sales area up closer. Did swim with stingrays and the Hell tour, always loved the Cayman Islands. Limon we did the Rain forest walk,I do not recommend this for anyone with walking problems. You go up a steep hill and it's loaded with rocks to see a couple of frogs,it had a great view of the Caribbean sea .Saw a lot of poor and trashy cities that you should not go into un-escorted in Colon and Limon.
The ship's crew was efficient and treated us well. The food was above par. Wife liked the lobster but not the rice it was served on. Maybe its just me but I feel that now that they have all these specialty restaurants on the ships the great food is served there at a cost. Here is a thought for Cruise lines . Offer menu items to be served off the specialty menu in the regular dining room. One partner may want a great steak and is willing to pay the price while others in same party are not willing. Read Less
Just got off of our 15 night Norwegian Bliss vacation yesterday. We departed Miami on 03/30/2019 and arrived back on 04/14/2019. I have been on a total of seven cruises, and this is my first NCL cruise. This review will be very detailed, ... Read More
Just got off of our 15 night Norwegian Bliss vacation yesterday. We departed Miami on 03/30/2019 and arrived back on 04/14/2019. I have been on a total of seven cruises, and this is my first NCL cruise. This review will be very detailed, for all of those who enjoy details; however, it will not include any pictures. This is also our longest cruise to date.
Please feel free to ask any questions! My cruise history is as follows:
2007 - Carnival Triumph
2008 - Ruby Princess
2010 - Caribbean Princess
2011 - Carnival Miracle
2015 - Carnival Breeze
2017 - Carnival Vista
2019 - Norwegian Bliss
My name is Ryan, and I am currently 39 years old. I was traveling with my Husband, AndyMike who is 33 years old. We reside in Southern California. This is my seventh cruise and his third cruise
Our outgoing flight was a red-eye on 03/26/2019 from LAX to FLL on Jetblue, which arrived early in the morning on 03/27/2019.
THE DAYS BEFORE THE CRUISE:
I arrived in FLL early in the morning on 03/27/2019. I rented a car from Enterprise, which it is quite easy to get to the car rental center from the terminals at FLL. Renting with Enterprise was painless and very quick. The Car Rental Center at FLL is very organized and you shouldn't have a very difficult experience.
We got married in Fort Lauderdale before our cruise. Our wedding was on the sand in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and our wedding reception was at the Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park, FL. Everything exceeded our expectations and it was a wonderful experience. We got married with 50 members of our family and friends. The day after our wedding, but before the cruise 15 of us took a pedal boat by a company called Lagerhead Cycleboats on the waterways of Fort Lauderdale which was awesome.
We stayed at the Doubletree Hollywood Resort which is in Hollywood, FL not too far south of the Fort Lauderdale airport. I recommend this hotel for friendly service, a great hotel pool and a good view if you are on the north rooms of the property.
TRANSPORTATION TO THE PORT:
Although we picked up our Enterprise rental at FLL, we dropped it off at the Doubletree Grand Hotel in Miami, FL at 9am on cruise embarkation morning. We then took an Uber, which was only about $8.00 from that hotel to the port.
This was the easiest and most painless embarkation I have ever experienced. We chose a check-in time of between 9:30AM and 10:00am. We arrived at exactly 9:30am. We queued up and the security lines opened up at about 9:45AM. I would say that we were probably number 20 in the security line. We received boarding group 1 cards and after getting our key cards sat in the terminal to await boarding. We were called to board by 11am.
WHAT WE DID FIRST:
It is important to book some of your most important reservations immediately once you board. The current process is to go to the Social on Deck Six to board those. You can also book from one of the many, many kiosks on almost every deck of the ship. Now, please note --- the kiosks may or may not be working immediately upon boarding, so we did end up going to the social. The lines were really not that bad and everything was booked in about 45 minutes. We booked Go Karts, Laser Tag, Comedy Shows, Happy Hour Prohibition, and got the Vibe Beach Pass all in the social. Please note that we booked the Wifi Package, Thermal Spa, Photo Package, Jersey Boys, Havana and Specialty Restaurant Reservations before we boarded the ship online.
Our perks that came with our reservation was the premium beverage package for two, prepaid gratuities and $50 per port (per stateroom) shore excursion credit).
This was a sold out cruise! Overall, it did not seem that crowded to us. Yes, there were some crowded areas, which I will go into detail with later on in the review; however, overall it did not seem that crowded. I credit the excellent design of the ship.
The ship is beautiful. The ship has only been in service since the second quarter of 2018. The ship is in GREAT CONDITION, as all of our cruises have been.
One of the things that impressed me the most is was the artwork around the ship. There is high quality artwork everywhere on every wall of the ship. This includes all public areas and all guest room hallways. It is beautiful and amazing.
The staff of this ship is simply amazing. Remember, treat people the way you want to be treated. That was our motto and is always our motto. The staff overall was very friendly. I rate them at a 9 out of 10. I would say there were maybe a handful of less than 10 that were pretty miserable. Not bad for over 1700 cruise members. I will talk about some individual staff members in other parts of my review; however, I will talk about the Cruise Director, Silas here. Silas is a wonderful cruise director. He is a very organized cruise director and has a pretty good cruise activities staff. He is very visible on the ship and we usually saw him three of four times a day. He is energetic and has a great personality. Now, as you probably know if you are a frequent cruiser on NCL, most people have the premium beverage package as a perk. Since most people have that, I will point out that there are plenty of bar servers in almost every venue; however, you have to usually ask them for a drink. They are always walking around; however, you should ask them as they will not be asking you. (They don't have to ask since it is included for most people). Of course, if you can't find a server, you just walk up to one of the many bars anywhere on the ship.
Tipping is a personal thing; however, let me take time to remind you that this wonderful hard working staff on these ships work very hard and many of the staff members do not get paid a lot. I encourage you to celebrate and applaud the hard work that they do by tipping appropriately. My personal way of tipping is that I leave the suggested gratuities of Norwegian on my Onboard Account (which I believe is currently about $15.00 per person per day), and I give additional cash gratuities to individual staff members during the middle of my cruise, if I feel that there service is excellent (which this time it was with everyone I gave additional gratuity to). I gave additional gratuities to my favorite restaurant hostess, favorite restaurant server, stateroom steward, and favorite bartenders. 2
Our room was available by 1:15PM which was before the promised time. We went to our room at about 1:45pm, which was after we finished lunch. We were also pleasantly surprised that our luggage was delivered by 4pm. We had room 8116 which was a mini-suite with large balcony on the port side forward. We never heard any noise from above or below our stateroom and it is a very quiet hallway. There are limited rooms on Deck 8 and usually the only people that use this hallway are crew members. The Mini Suites on this ship are essentially the same as the regular balcony staterooms with the exception of the bathroom which is larger. The shower is an improvement from other cruise lines I have been on. It is a glass enclosed shower that is about two times the size of other cruise line showers and it has multiple jets and great water pressure. It also has a double faucet sink. The room itself is a little smaller that other cruise lines I have been on; however, still had ample closet and storage space. The bed was comfortable and the USB ports beside are very nice. The lighting in the room is great. The TV has multiple movie channels available and ship specific channels available. Our balcony was HUGE, almost about 60% of the size of our room. These balconies are completely open to all the rooms above you; however, we did not find this be a problem. These balconies have two small chairs with one small table and two large lounge chairs with a larger table. My only complaint is that the safe was really small and would not fit a laptop or even an Ipad.
Our stateroom steward, Aaron was very nice and kept everything very tidy throughout the stay. There is an electronic do not disturb or make up room indicator outside your door. Your lock is controlled by your keycard. Service is twice daily and towel animals are usually every other day.
The room is so well designed for space and efficiently considering the somewhat small size of cruise cabins. I liked the fact that the doors open outward when you are coming in or exiting the room. The balcony doors are also slide instead of push/pull, which is a great improvement. Just remember, slide your empty luggage under the bed after putting everything away!
We did excursions in each of the ports. On this trip, we booked all excursions on NCL. All of our excursions were of high quality and operated by local tour operators. Debarkation and embarkation at the cruise ports is painless and easy. I couldn't believe how easy it was.
Cartagena, Colombia - Here we did a four hour tour of Cartagena including the walled city which is beautiful. We had about 40 people on this tour and I would rate it is a 8 out of 10.
Panama Canal Day - It is always amazing to cruise the Panama Canal. This was our first time and it is simply an engineering marvel. We went through the new locks, since this is a very large cruise ship. The Norwegian Bliss also opens up the front of Deck 8 (usually only reserved for crew members) on Panama Canal Day for viewing.
Costa Rica - Here we took an excursion which involved ziplining. It was a very fun day; however, we enjoyed ziplining in Dominican Republic a little bit better.
Guatemala - We took an excursion to Antigua in Guatemala, which is a beautiful city in the higher elevations of the country.
Acapulco - Although this was our least favorite port for things to see and do, we still had a beautiful time. The views from the higher elevations of Acapulco rival any of the views we saw during our trip. It was cool to see the Cliff Divers.
Mazatlan - Our second favorite port. This is a beautiful Mexico port and we had a fun excursion of Salsa and Salsa, which included a Salsa Making and a Salsa Dance Class. We had an excellent tour guide and awesome instructors and it was a super fun tour.
Cabo San Lucas - Our favorite port and our favorite excursion. We did the electric bikes which we did a tour on the beach and in the desert. Our tour guide was so much fun. After the bike ride, we got to make our own margaritas (unlimited) and they also provided us with a quesadilla lunch.
I'm going to rate each venue that we ate it, and give my comments. I feel that everyone can find something good to eat on this ship. There are so many great options.
MAIN DINING ROOM: (Taste, Savor and Manhattan Room)
Food 9/10 and Service 9/10.
We ate in the main dining room for dinner 5 of our 15 nights plus lunch on embarkation day and breakfast on debarkation morning. We usually ate in Savor; however, ate once in Taste and once in the Manhattan room. All dining rooms have the same menu.
We never made reservations for the main dining room. We always showed up and got seated immediately or with less than a 5 minute wait.
The service was almost always fantastic and the food was always delicious. We usually ordered two appetizers, one main entree and one dessert and were stuffed. One of my favorite apps was the lobster ravioli.
We found the buffet food to be some of the best buffet food we have ever had on a cruise ship. The buffet is huge and you could always easily find a seat except on some port mornings and at ports where almost everyone came back at the same time. For breakfast, the food is the same most mornings, as breakfast food should be. There are so many omelette and egg stations that you will never wait long in line for these. I believe I counted 9 operating at the same time. Lunch in the buffet had some of the same daily stations and some rotating stations daily. Dinner also rotated. We usually had breakfast and/or lunch in the buffet and then we ate one dinner in the buffet. The buffet has limited stations open during certain periods and after 9:30PM. It closes down at 11:30PM. Juices are available during breakfast, coffee and hot chocolate anytime, and iced tea and lemonade during non-breakfast hours. Also, there is now homemade ice cream available during lunch hours with rotating daily flavors.
Food 10/10 Service 10/10
We had dinner on our first night at the Steakhouse. We had the 7 night ultimate dining package, which we pre-purchased. That means that we got to go to 7 specialty dining restaurants and the only upcharge beyond was a minimal upcharge for Ocean Blue. We had excellent meals at all of the dining venues. I recall having jumbo shrimp and a crab cake here, along with an amazing steak for dinner and a variety of sides. The overall experience was awesome. There are so many amazing choices, that we left very happy.
Food 10/10 Service 8/10
It is possible our server here may have been having a slightly off night, as this is one of the crew members we ran into that didn't provide an over the top wonderful experience. However, the food was amazing.
We had tableside guacamole which we shared. My appetizer was the shrimp quesadilla. I also had a shrimp platter for dinner and a delicious Tres Leches cake for dessert.
Food 10/10 Service 9/10
Tucked away behind a wine bar, this intimate restaurant has excellent food in a casual and classy setting. I don't even recall what I had at this restaurant, but I recall it being excellent.
Q TEXAS SMOKEHOUSE
Food 10/10 Service 10/10
This new concept to NCL was awesome. There was a live band playing during our meal, and the food was amazing. I had a crab cake. I also shared the loaded fries with my hubby and I had the Pitmaster Platter which was a sampling of all of the meats on the menu. The banana pudding was also an excellent dessert choice.
Food 10/10 Service 10/10
This restaurant is on one of the upper decks of the ship. The service at this restaurant is great, and I had an amazing French Onion Soup, a delicious shrimp platter and an amazing cheesecake for dessert.
Food 10/10 Service 10/10
My favorite specialty restaurant. Our server Hazel was one of the best servers we had on the entire trip. She was the most pleasant, kind and sweet person ever. Our meal was just fabulous. I recall that everything I had at this restaurant was simply stunning and full of flavor.
Food 10/10 Service 10/10
What an awesome and entertaining experience. Our chef was spectacular and the food was very filling and so much of it. The garlic rice was superb and I had the shrimp and scallop combo.
Food 8/10 Service 8/10
The Local is the restaurant that is open almost all day every day including late into the night. We had one breakfast, two lunches, and two dinners here. Almost every meal had excellent service, and most of the food was quite delicious. I had prime rib here one night, some good burgers, some good wings and some excellent french toast.
We did not try Food Republic, Margaritaville, Dolce Gelato or Coco's.
Service and Drinks 10/10
There are so many bars on this ship. Some of our favorites included the Sugarcane Mojito Bar, A List Bar, Maltings Whiskey Bar, District Brewhouse and the Observation Lounge Bar. One of the few rather rude crew members we encountered on this ship was in the interior portion of the Sugarcane. I do not recall his name (It was not Bong)
ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES
Seriously...if you cannot find something to do on this ship, it is your own dam fault! Read your Freestyle Daily. There is so much to do each day. There is an awesome activities staff onboard this ship, that is always present everywhere you go. Wow! Get involved people!
MAIN POOL DECK and WATERSLIDES:
The Main Pool Deck on Deck 16 can get a little crowded on days of beautiful weather; however, you may have trouble finding a chair right by the pool. Don't believe the people who tell you that you cannot find a deck chair. There are plenty of deck chairs, if you expand your horizons a iittle bit. Try Deck 17, 18 and 19 where there are almost always plenty of pool chairs.
I tried one of the two waterslides (the calmer one). You ride down in a tube and it was so much fun. I did not try the Ocean Loops which is the one that swings out on the side of the ship. Yes, a lot of people do get stuck; however, there is always a staff member to get you out where you end up getting stuck, if it happens.
Make reservations. We tried it twice, once in the daytime and once at night. We had an amazing time. You usually get a generous 5 to 7 minutes of riding time on each race. There are usually up to 10 people at one time. There were a few annoying people during our second time (usually the unlimited pass people); however, it was still a blast. The go karts go quite fast, and some of the turns are fun and difficult to navigate. They will slow everyone down if you start bumping or running into people.
Wow! This was awesome. We wish we did it more than once. It is up on Deck 19 near the front of the ship and open in the evening. I believe the charge was about $10.00. Each time you get two rounds of 5 minutes, and you play on a team against one other team. It is a fun time had by all.
SPA AND GYM
We had the thermal spa pass, which can be purchased online prior to your cruise. The thermal spa on this ship is great. There are some relaxing loungers, ceramic heated beds, a thalassotherapy pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room, salt room and snow room. It is so relaxing and you could usually find a place during most hours to relax. It is open only to the people who purchase the pass or are located in spa rooms.
We only tried the gym once, and it is well equipped with all of the latest machines and weights.
The casino is lovely and large on this ship. It takes up a good portion of the center of Deck 7. The entire casino is non-smoking, except for a small enclosed room near the aft/center of the casino which is reserved for smoking players. We had a great time and spent some money on this ship. No big wins; however, we had a great time and don't expect to win in casinos; however, it is a pleasure when we do.
MAIN PRODUCTION SHOWS:
On this cruise, there were three main production shows. I attended the shows called Havana, Jersey Boys and Uptown. We rated Havana as a 7/10. We thought the wardrobe/costumes were amazing; however, we didn't necessarily enjoy the lack of a story line. Jersey Boys was a 10/10. Just such a great production. It is the full length of nearly full length show at 1 hour and 45 minutes. For this longer cruise, they also had a group called Uptown, which was a group that we gave a 10/10.
In the main theater, we also found that they had shows from a hypnotist (we rated as 6/10), a comedy juggler (we rated as a 10/10) and a comedy magician (which we missed)
We watched three comedy shows, all of which we had reservations for. Two of the in the social which were the 10pm adult shows, both excellent. We also watched one the second to last night with three comedians in the main theater. We thought one of the two comedians was awesome in that show.
A lot of activities and events occurred in the atrium. Yes, the atrium can get crowded and I do wish it was bigger or there was an alternative venue for many of the events in this area. I truly do believe that the criticism of this area is deserved and I wish there was a better way of handling this. The activities including Trivia, Newlywed/Not so Newlywed Game, and so much more took place here.
ART GALLERY AND AUCTIONS:
The art crew on this ship is excellent, and we attended about three of the art auctions. We ended up purchasing three pieces of art on this ship, and we thoroughly enjoyed all of the events.
There are plenty of events that happen (usually nightly) in this area. Unfortunately, we only got to attend one event in this area, which was the 80's party and that was very fun.
This is fun and reservations will fill up fast; however, it is complimentary. If you never experienced this, it is fun and you should try it.
The excellent job with live music continues throughout this ship. There are top quality options almost all day long. During the day, the music is primarily centered on the pool deck area; however, by late afternoon and late into the night you got live music in the main atrium, Observation Lounge, Sugarcane Mojito Bar and the District Brewhouse.
What a beautiful place. This takes up a large portion of Deck 15 and is simply beautiful. There is always a seat for everyone, and there are light snack options available through the breakfast and lunch hours. Don't miss the sunsets in the O Lounge.
THINGS THAT WE MISS:
Being that all of my prior cruises have been on Carnival or Princess, there is one thing that I miss more than anything else. Piano Bar. I understand that some NCL ships have them; however, I missed having a piano bar on the Bliss. There was some piano players; however, not the same as having a sing along piano bar.
I'm sure I missed some things; however, I hope this gives you a starting point about some of the options available on this great ship.
PLEASE ASK QUESTIONS if you would like to know anything else. Read Less
Loved this cruise, the ship was awesome so many things to see and do, the entertainment was varied and terrific. We especially enjoyed the comedians. Jersey Boys was fantastic, what a great show . We enjoyed all our meals,especially ... Read More
Loved this cruise, the ship was awesome so many things to see and do, the entertainment was varied and terrific. We especially enjoyed the comedians. Jersey Boys was fantastic, what a great show . We enjoyed all our meals,especially the steak at Cagneys. The sea bass at Oxean Blue was perfectly cooked. All our meals at the buffet were so tasty and enjoyed the ethnic variety. Met some terrific ladies at the stichers group, we got together every morning on sea days, shared ideas, crafts and stories We plan to start our own facebook group, and have promused to schedule a stitch group on every cruise we go on
We were a bit disappointed when disembarking, it was crazy busy,understandable Our transfer bus to the airport was a mess as we ended up having to get off 2 different buses and then told to wait for a third bus. (Arrival time unknown )We felt time pressured so found an alternate form of transportation. Hope to get refunded Last words, wow a fantastic cruise and want to biard the Bliss again for another cruise soon Read Less
We had a great time on Bliss. We were back to back for three weeks. It was mostly great; a few things could improve. First, NCL's business model seems to be to jam as many people onto a ship as possible and have passengers sort out ... Read More
We had a great time on Bliss. We were back to back for three weeks. It was mostly great; a few things could improve. First, NCL's business model seems to be to jam as many people onto a ship as possible and have passengers sort out how to manage the crowds. The pool deck is chaotic. Noisy. Chairs all gone by 9 AM by hogs who put towels down and leave for hours. NCL should enforce its stated rules and remove belongings left unattended for long periods of time. The sam can be said for the observation deck and the waterfront. Very crowded and filled with hogs who leave. This dynamic leave passengers with no place to find peace -- even a little quiet to read and reflect in the nice areas of the ship. The MDR's are similarly busy until 8:30 PM, meaning that if you can wait, you will have a great, peaceful meal, which we did most nights.
Having said that, the crew is amazing. Our steward, Andy was awesome. Bartenders at A-Lost (Rowena, and two fellows from India, and Rakesh (wine Steward) made us feel like we were most important), Maltings (Salavatore) and the Cavern Club equally wonderful. The ladies in the Spa (Emear and Tanya and others who kept the thermal suite safe) were great. Likewise, we enjoyed virtually every waiter at MDR for the most part.
Entertainment. This was the highlight of the cruise. Siglo, Familiar Strangers, the Beatles band the first week (March 23), Jersey Boys, and all the comedy acts were fantastic. We constantly listened ti music and lauged at the comedy. Havana was not so good and Uptown was pretty good.
Specialty restaurants. Cagneys, Ocean Blue and Teppanyaki were absolutely fantastic. Le Bistro was one of the worst meals we had the whole time (extremely rushed and disjointed service) and La Cucina (food was cold and tasteless). I wrote comment cards and even spoke to someone who said he'd have the restaurant manager call me -- but the call never came. I have spent 43 days on NCL and will not go back to Bistro or Cucina, even though I have had great meals there on the Epic and Getaway.
The ship is gorgeous; the nerve center on the 6-8 level is great, and the spa was terrific. If they fix some of the crowding and chai hogging and improve meals in those 2 restaurants, this would be a 5 star experience Read Less
We had great weather with calm seas. The only rougher part was leaving Cartagena Columbia till we got to the islands in the Caribbean. The cruise was just enough at sea days and port days. Skip the "Easy Antigua in Guatemala" ... Read More
We had great weather with calm seas. The only rougher part was leaving Cartagena Columbia till we got to the islands in the Caribbean. The cruise was just enough at sea days and port days. Skip the "Easy Antigua in Guatemala" Nothing easy about it. Long drive and the assault of street vendors is trying! We learned to take the shorter tours as more than 3 hours on a tour bus is too much. Did breakfast and most lunches at O'Sheehans and dinner in the Aqua Restaurant. Do not recommend the buffet for dinner unless it's the Seafood Night. Lunches at the buffet was plentiful, more than we wanted to eat. Did O'Sheehan for burgers and wings mostly. Staff are very friendly, helpful and accommodating. Premium Drink Package is worth it. High quality alcohol and wine (no bar liquor like at the all-inclusive resorts) Great choice of bottled beers. Internet is slow and expensive. Best to catch a cafe on shore with free wifi, or just go dark for two weeks! Was an enjoyable , relaxing cruise. Read Less
I chose this cruise because I had heard they were a notch over Royal Carribbean. The Island Princess is an older ship. No wow factor. A lot of elderly people some in wheelchairs and walkers. Activities were few. Music was very good. I ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had heard they were a notch over Royal Carribbean. The Island Princess is an older ship. No wow factor. A lot of elderly people some in wheelchairs and walkers. Activities were few. Music was very good. I loved the cleanliness of the ship and the stateroom. BUT hated the very small shower stall. However the water was hot and strong. The food was good. but a lot of repetition. Great deserts. Great lattes on fifth deck, but not included,. The first evening I felt like I had boarded a shopping mall . They pushed selling everything from jewelry to pictures and wine. The pictures that were taken were over priced and we were not allowed to take our own pictures when disembarking everything had a price.That was really sad.
I took one Princess tour to see the Indians that was very nice. However the trip to the area was gross. Lots of garbage everywhere. On the return to the ship we passed Colon city.What a horrible place. looked war torn and garbage dumped everywhere; knocked down buildings everywhere. Panama is not taking care of the people. And I would never return..
I was totally bored by the pool it was too deep for me, 7.5 feet. and they seemed to show movies half the morning.. and I did not go on this vacation to watch movies. No rules were applied as passengers bogarted the best lounge chairs with towels for hours at a time,even in the theatre people held chairs.
The grill by the pool served decent hamburgers but their hot dogs and knockwurst and pizza were not of good quality .We had to stand on line to get grill food. The shows were good.
we chose anytime dining but the lines were long and they actually let people ahead of others who had made reservations which I felt was kind of unfair. The people who served the food were very nice, but seemed stressed and tired at times. Same with the activity staff. Not enough activities. In summary it was nice. but I would not go on princess again. Unless its a new ship. Read Less
Choose for the Panama Canal crossing. The entertainment was good overall. The meals were medium good but not noteworthy. We ate in buffet, both main dining rooms and 3 specialty restaurants. Only Cagney's was worth the money. ... Read More
Choose for the Panama Canal crossing. The entertainment was good overall. The meals were medium good but not noteworthy. We ate in buffet, both main dining rooms and 3 specialty restaurants. Only Cagney's was worth the money. Desserts with the exception of ice cream were uniformly disappointing.
The shops devoted too much space to high end jewelry and perfume (money makers?) and nothing to makeup or sundries or candy.
Liked the shore excursions we took and fond them very enjoyable.
Staff was very friendly. Enjoyed cruise director Dave and the Captain too.
the hypnotist/comedian was not anyone I would want to see again. Jennifer Fair was delightful once again. the production band and cast did a very good job.
Atrium music bounced up to the internet cafe and was deafening! acoustic issue.
Although recently refurbished, The Star seemed drab and and the decor old.
Overall we had a good time but are unlikely to choose another NCL cruise unless family or friends invite us to sail with them. Read Less
Princess really does it right - effortless embarkation and disembarkation, comfortable cabin, great ports. The cruise was a round trip from Ft. Lauderdale - a really easy port in terms of getting from the airport to the ship. Stops were ... Read More
Princess really does it right - effortless embarkation and disembarkation, comfortable cabin, great ports. The cruise was a round trip from Ft. Lauderdale - a really easy port in terms of getting from the airport to the ship. Stops were Grand Cayman (visited the turtle farm and Stingray City), Columbia, Panama (tendered excursion on Lake Gatun); Limon, Costa Rica; Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Food was good and the staff was excellent. We enjoyed dining at Sabatini's and in the main dining room.
They had a really fascinating lecturer on board - he had grown up in the Canal Zone so he had a lot of insight on the area.
If you don't like the noise in the main pool area, there's another adults-only pool nearby. We got to see some great recent movies with their Movies Under the Stars.
We paid extra to have our bags sent directly to our destination airport at the end of the trip - best $25 I've ever spent! Because we didn't have to stop to get our luggage, time from the ship to the curb was about 5 minutes. Read Less
I wanted to go thru Panama Canal and I had a previous good experience with the Princess Cruise line. I was disappointed on this ship. The food was sometimes below what I expected and the activities on board weren't as fun as my 11 ... Read More
I wanted to go thru Panama Canal and I had a previous good experience with the Princess Cruise line. I was disappointed on this ship. The food was sometimes below what I expected and the activities on board weren't as fun as my 11 other cruises on various cruise line ships. The musicians were good but there weren't any magic shows or acrobatics on this cruise. The back of the boat view was taken over by the Lotus Spa area that you had to pay extra to be in. The fitness center was in a lower deck with no windows. The shower stalls were so small you couldn't bend over in them. Our waiter was the best thing on the ship. He was friendly and brought out the food fast. Most of the tours were good, but one of the tours on Grand Cayman had so many waiting to touch the Stingray that we only got to touch it once for the hour we were waiting in the water. We liked the chocolates left on the pillow each night. Read Less
My husband and I chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Panama Canal. I had taken this cruise 5 years ago with a friend and I knew my husband would enjoy the itinerary and seeing the Canal. And I knew Princess was a reliable ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Panama Canal. I had taken this cruise 5 years ago with a friend and I knew my husband would enjoy the itinerary and seeing the Canal. And I knew Princess was a reliable company. We did not explore Ft. Lauderdale since we are Florida residents and have been there many times. My husband prefers cruises that we can drive to and from, so this itinerary was suitable.
The ship was nice and not overdone and gaudy. It was a bit shop worn in places, but it did not affect our enjoyment. All the staff we encountered throughout the cruise were friendly and helpful.
We upgraded to a Club Class mini suite with a balcony and we are now totally spoiled. The Club Class dining was great. We never had to wait in line to get a great seat in the restaurant and the waiters were excellent, remembering our names and preferences. The extra menu choices for the Club Class were always great.
The extra room in the mini suite was perfect for a 10 day cruise. There was LOTS of storage available and the cabin location was very convenient. The only disappointment in the Club Class Mini Suite was the promised daily afternoon hors d'oeuvres. They were mostly tasteless and dry. After 2 days we didn't order them anymore.
We enjoyed the "movies under the stars", seeing many Oscar nominated movies we had missed last year. It was nice to also be able to see the movies in our room the next day if we missed in on deck in the evening. Because we saw a lot of the movies, we missed the shows in the Princess Theater, except the last night. It was an excellent show and we were sorry we missed the others. The orchestra was fabulous and the singers were sensational.
We were disappointed that we could not stop in Grand Cayman. The seas were too rough for the tenders to get us to the island. But some extra activities were added for the additional day at sea.
The passage through the Panama Canal was awesome. We had our breakfast on the balcony as we watched the intricate process unfold before us.
We bought jewelry in the EFFY store on board. Unfortunately, when we disembarked, it triggered an alert and we had to be escorted to a "special" customs agent to see if we needed to pay any duty. This seemed totally unnecessary since EFFY emphasized that their jewelry was made in the USA and was duty free and duty exempt. Our "special" customs agent was not at her station when we got there. We were delayed about 45 minutes by this process and much annoyed. (This wasn't the fault of the cruise line, though) Another annoyance was that we sailed from Terminal 2 and returned to terminal 19. Shuttles were provided, but the drivers and vans were not efficient. We got on and off 3 shuttles before we were on our way to our car. (again not the fault of Princess) Read Less
Experiencing the Panama Canal was on my "Bucket List" especially since my Grandfather was one of the many electricians that helped build the original one. The partial-transit worked well for my time restraints. I will say my ... Read More
Experiencing the Panama Canal was on my "Bucket List" especially since my Grandfather was one of the many electricians that helped build the original one. The partial-transit worked well for my time restraints. I will say my friend and myself were some of the youngest cruisers at 61! The majority of the fellow passengers seemed to be well over that and limited mobility abound by many - scooters and walkers! Some younger families with only a handful of kids onboard. Don't know if was off-season or just before spring break.
Boarding was a breeze and the cabins were ready before 2 p.m. Our mini-suite was standard but a bit smaller than some of the larger ships I've ben on The beds were comfy and the room décor is basic and the colors are dull. Our Cabin Steward/Housekeeper was outstanding. Liezal was always friendly and warm. She did a great job on keeping our room clean and comfortable. She always inquired how our day was and how we were doing.
We had the "anytime" dining which was o.k. My recommendation is to arrive before any of the evening production shows get out or you will wait for 45 minutes in a very long line to be seated. I found the service to be professional but slow at times. The food was good.
We mainly ate at the buffet. The selection changed every night and enjoyed the specialties. Indian dishes seemed to be offered as a regularly featured evening optional fare Lemonade is on the drink menu but you have to ask for it.
Sabatint's Italian Restaurant was good and the service was excellent. The selections were somewhat limited but the meal was tasty. Reservations were readily available and we had no problem getting in
I thought the ship's entertainment productions were just o.k. The song and dance routines were boring along with the magic show. They did have a pianist that was exceptional.
We didn't get the opportunity to go to Grand Caymans since the seas were too rough and tenders could not operate safely. It was a disappointment for many of my fellow travelers. The ship went ahead to Cartegena early. This particular port was my least favorite due to the pushy street vendors who will follow you and knock on the tour bus window! I will say once we were on the actual horse carriage tour ti was a beautiful ride through the old city.
Going through the Panama Canal was fascinating. You can watch it from your room balcony and live stream on your cabin t.v. You don't have go to the bow of the ship.
Limon, Costa Rica is beautiful. We took a tour of La Hacienda. The bus ride was 2 hours each way! It is long and windy, so take care if you get motion sickness. The Hacienda was interesting but felt the drive was too long for the short time we were in port.
Jamaica is always one of my favorites. Took the tour of the Raft Ride on the Martha Brea. Again the bus ride was over an hour each way. The gentle bamboo raft ride was relaxing with view of the lush vegetation. The "captain" will try and sell you some carvings that he did and there are vendors along the river that will try an sell you trinkets. My complaint is on the way back te bus stopped at a funky trinket mall for a half hour.
There are several sea days during this cruise which were enjoyable. Time to catch up on much needed rest and relaxation. I took line dancing lessons that were fun, and watched several of the "Movies Under the Stars". If you want to do a Arts & Crafts project plan on showing up at least a half hour early because the class filled up fast and people were turned away,
Finally, disembarkation was a breeze since we took a excursion at the Everglades Airboat and Airport Transfer. I think we were some of the first people off the ship. The tour was short but fun and got us to the airport by noon or so. Read Less
Panama Canal was the reason we chose this cruise....I found it very acceptable for an older ship....We stayed in an outside cabin...of course, smaller cabin but was sufficient...room stewards were very good as were our dining room ... Read More
Panama Canal was the reason we chose this cruise....I found it very acceptable for an older ship....We stayed in an outside cabin...of course, smaller cabin but was sufficient...room stewards were very good as were our dining room waiters...Food was very good..the entertainment in BB Kings lounge and Billboard Lounge was absolutely wonderful...Now the negative .....we took a shore excursion in Panama..Aqua Clara locks and area tour....it was terrible...They drove around old housing of former base(about 20 mins) then they took us to Aqua Clara locks and left us there 2-21/2 hours....it was interesting to see ships go through these locks...it is about a 1 hr tops stop....the food at the concession stand was out of food only chips, ice cream and drinks were available....then we were driven to port in Colon to sit until ship arrived.....Definitely not worth the money......In Cartegena, we took the gem stone making tour..it was an acceptable tour until you had to go through the jewelry store to exit...Pretty high pressure to buy emeralds...Maybe they should have paid for the tour so they could get the chance to sell us their emeralds? Read Less
We chose this cruise because of destinations. Unfortunately we did not go to Cayman Isl. Because of rough seas.the entertainment on this ship was exceptional! My wife and I have done 39 cruises and I have never seen this quality of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of destinations. Unfortunately we did not go to Cayman Isl. Because of rough seas.the entertainment on this ship was exceptional! My wife and I have done 39 cruises and I have never seen this quality of entertainment. The food is good the average age of passengers around 60. The ship is in great shape considering its age. We sailed on this ship many years ago and would do it again. The weather was great and we did not have a hard time finding a deck chair. The casino is small and has only 1 roulette table. The only complaint on food was the ice cream bar. The ice cream was very grainy and not enjoyable. We had a balcony which was very nice sitting outside enjoying the views. Our fridge was stocked with drinks and booze.we enjoyed the chocolate covered strawberries brought to us and the dry cleaning . If you like cruising I would definitely suggest the Island princess. Read Less
We chose this cruise to see the Panama Canal, which was great in itself, so you could say the objective was met. I do have to say though that the excursions were not always as good as the write up, a lot of money for not a great ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see the Panama Canal, which was great in itself, so you could say the objective was met. I do have to say though that the excursions were not always as good as the write up, a lot of money for not a great experience. We complained about one excursion in particular and received a refund, by doing a little bit of research beforehand we could have booked excursions for ourselves at half the price. There is a lot of waiting about, you are told to meet at set time but could still be there for another hour waiting on others or just for staff to get organised with so many people going off on different excursions.
The dining experience onboard was also not good standard, you never received a hot meal, it is always served lukewarm, in the dining room the main meals came out with food covers, however if someone had two starters or took a long time to eat the main meals sat by the waiters desk until everybody was done, one night our meals sat for ten minutes before being served. If you have dietary requirements then you struggle, no food labels to advise of ingredients if you are intolerant to anything, when you ask they are unable to inform you without going to find out. Very limited choice if vegetarian (no fish and eggs), ends up being repetitive. They need to bring this area of service more up to date, it is crucial to some people if they are intolerant to particular ingredients, could ruin their cruise. Read Less
I chose the Coral Princess because of its LA to LA itinerary and because it was doing a Panama Canal transit, even if a partial one. A bonus was many ports I'd never been to before.
I have zero complaints about anything. I am ... Read More
I chose the Coral Princess because of its LA to LA itinerary and because it was doing a Panama Canal transit, even if a partial one. A bonus was many ports I'd never been to before.
I have zero complaints about anything. I am pretty laid back and easy to please; there were no glaring faux pas on the part of the ship or trip. Yes the ship has bumps and bruises, but the way ships get turned around (and thus keep cruising costs reasonable) I expect them. I don't expect perfection, I just want it to be enjoyable without any glaring problems and there weren't any.
We ate a lot of meals at the Horizon because I like fast and simple, but the nights we ate the anytime dining room and steakhouse were very good and a nice change of pace. My method at the buffet was to try very small bites of what looked interesting and what turned out to be great, I'd go back for more of. Not everything I tried was great, so it worked out well to go small rather than load up and be disappointed.
The entertainment was good to great. There were more activities on board than one could manage and a little something for everyone. I was happy with pool time at the indoor pool and reading time.
Ports that I especially enjoyed were Huatulco, Chiapas, Puntarenas and Puerto Quetzal. We visited a colonial city (Tapachula), coffee plantation and Mayan ruins; all of which were very worthwhile. In Puntarenas, I just made it a beach day and local food, both of which were great. Read Less
Entertainment was terrible. Movies were for teenagers. Activities were for 3 year olds. Cabins are clean. Couldn’t get off in Nicaragua because of wind. Smoking area on 15 is uncovered, and I got hit 3 times with chairs sliding in the ... Read More
Entertainment was terrible. Movies were for teenagers. Activities were for 3 year olds. Cabins are clean. Couldn’t get off in Nicaragua because of wind. Smoking area on 15 is uncovered, and I got hit 3 times with chairs sliding in the wind..and it’s also a walking deck. People were complaining we were smoking up there. The indoor lounge was packed with smokers, and the ventilation was poor. No sports bar. You had to be in your room to watch sports on T.V. Food was good in the buffet and had great staff. Anytime dinning you were given a beeper to be called when a table was ready. It took about an hour, so we ended up eating in the buffet everyday. The Coral Princess is one of the Princess fleet that I will never go on again. Felt like I was steerage. Bought cigarettes on ship 3times and each time, they were a different price. Check your receipts Read Less