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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
Positives: -Very few children on the Canal Crossing which meant the characters got to know the children by name. -Our room location, experience was great. -Although every room was sold, most rooms were only 2 pax, so the ship ... Read More
Positives: -Very few children on the Canal Crossing which meant the characters got to know the children by name. -Our room location, experience was great. -Although every room was sold, most rooms were only 2 pax, so the ship seemed less crowded -We were the first to experience Freeze the Night Away deck party. -Free BYOB! Not so goods: -A large majority of the cast was getting off the ship in San Diego as a new cast arrived in Miami to train...this lead to short timer syndrome resulting in horrible dining service as well as an inefficient room hostess. -Skipped a port due to "unrest" while many other cruise lines were still stopping there and people we knew were there on vacation and said all was well. -Food allergy NIGHTMARE! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
This was our first cruise on HAL. I had pretty high expectations and was not disappointed. Embarkation was late starting due to Coast Guard not having cleared the ship. We learned it was just returning from dry dock and required Coast ... Read More
This was our first cruise on HAL. I had pretty high expectations and was not disappointed. Embarkation was late starting due to Coast Guard not having cleared the ship. We learned it was just returning from dry dock and required Coast Guard inspection. There was not too much of a delay and embarkation went smoothly. Dry dock refurbishment updated the ship with brand new carpets, upholstery, decking, beds, and decor features. It was beautiful. First thing we noticed were fresh flower bouquets everywhere and orchids on all the tables. There was an air of elegance throughout. There were a few glitches and some took a couple of days to get fixed, but the crew was "on it" and even some of the dry dock crew remained on board to complete the last details. The plumbing in our room did not work - toilet or shower. Sink worked with low water pressure. A talk to maintenence officer in the hallway got the water on almost immediately. Water pressure in sink resolved after two days, but not a real problem. Air conditioning was sporatic for a couple of days, but not unbearable and it, too, got fixed. At least in our room and public rooms. Nice touches were apparent throughout the cruise. The food in the MDR and Lido exceeded expectations. The service really stood out as superb. The crew seemed happy and eager to please. The itinerary was just what we wanted, second time through the canal with visits for four new ports for us: Cartegena Colombia, Corinto Nicaragua, Puerto Quetzal Guatemala, and Puerto Chiapas MX. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
The rating of this ship is generous according to reviews. Service was awful to non existing. Out of 14 nights in dining room my husband only had one night where his iced tea or water was refilled. Gone are the days where customers ... Read More
The rating of this ship is generous according to reviews. Service was awful to non existing. Out of 14 nights in dining room my husband only had one night where his iced tea or water was refilled. Gone are the days where customers mattered. Asked for condiments when I ordered dinner so I would have them. Never came with dinner either. Again, ignored and didn't give a damn for their customers. Worse cruise I have been on. As a seasoned cruiser we know the difference. Every thing is a cost center and they don't work too well. Pinnacle specialty dinning was no different. Nothing special there!!! Lamb chops were too fatty to consume and Steak was way over cooked after ordering Rare came well done with no pink at all. Got two horrible meals with no reimbursements and they didn't even care if we ever came back. Should have offered a try again to "win" us over and satisfy their customer but did not bother! Still charged the $29.00 up charge. Went away hungry and dissatisfied. Not good if you want to keep clients coming back. One review is one thing, but every evening was the same. Food not prepared as ordered and server never did call backs or cared if we were satisfied. Many meals were delivered and thrown in front of us. I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly would not serve rotten fruit in an appetizer. I would not serve what I would not eat!!!! Waiter never bothered to even look at what he was serving and had many meals messed up between different people at the same table. This was a Wow moment for us. And we won't ever do that one again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Tips! 1. Book your shore excursions early. The closer your trip gets they will raise their rates and tell you that their is no more space left on the excursion...BUT once you get on board the ship then they will open more spots and ... Read More
Tips! 1. Book your shore excursions early. The closer your trip gets they will raise their rates and tell you that their is no more space left on the excursion...BUT once you get on board the ship then they will open more spots and raise the rates! Trust me you want to go you can go but you will be paying much more on board. 2. DO NOT pay for your beverage packages prior to getting on board, they charge you tax before you go BUT if you wait and pay on the ship, they cannot and will not charge you tax because you are at sea and it is duty free then! 3. They try to sell their specialty restaurants to you...these are not much different than what you will get in the main dining room over the course of the 15 day trip, we even had a choice of lobster in the main dinning room. Are they nice, sure but I already paid hundreds of dollars for food, I don't need to pay more for more food...just my thought, you be the judge on this. 4. Bingo - It is $45 a game the games are done on electronic game cards and play themselves and the staff drag the game on like they are talking to little children it is the most annoying thing in the world I couldn't wait to get out of there. Okay so the trip itself. Mostly there were people in there 70's-80's on board, the weather was nice but the people were selfish and rude. The staff overall were friendly with the exception of the manager in the dining room and an African lady with short hair behind the customer service desk, we avoided her whenever we could too. The power went out for several hours one morning I was in the shower and my hair was full of soap, not compensation was given for this. Very frustrating. There was no television to speak of, one channel...trutv There was mini golf but didn't look very good so we didn't play. There was somewhere a place you could work out but we never found it. You couldn't check your bill on tv, you had to request it whenever you wanted to look at it at customer service. One of our shore excursions was nothing like it stated so we received 50% refund...better than nothing :) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
This is our tenth cruise, all on Royal Caribbean, and this one really made me question our loyalty. First the good: 1- The ports of call, specifically Panama, the Canal and Costa Rica, were great. These were bucket list dreams finally ... Read More
This is our tenth cruise, all on Royal Caribbean, and this one really made me question our loyalty. First the good: 1- The ports of call, specifically Panama, the Canal and Costa Rica, were great. These were bucket list dreams finally fulfilled, and the memories will stay with us long after the problems of the ship, food and staff are forgotten. 2- Two members of the cruise director's staff, Billie and Orlando, did a wonderful job of making trivia fun and entertaining. Their enthusiasm should set the bar for the rest of the team on the Legend. Unfortunately, the Legend is a ship well past its prime and it shows it. (We learned on-board that after our cruise it was going on to Hawaii, Australia and Singapore, and then was to be sold off to a Chinese line). Rust and corrosion are everywhere. The wood railings on our balcony had absolutely no varnish on them (probably one of the things which could not be sanitized properly and could harbor the norovirus that plagued this ship on past sailings). We twice needed to have maintenance called to repair our cabin toilet. To their credit, we did not have a big problem with norovirus like the Legend had on its previous two sailings, but all of the sanitizing they were doing seemed to come at the expense of basic housekeeping as vacuum cleaners were not being used regularly, either in our cabin or the Windjammer. Even getting there right at opening time for dinner or lunch one could find crumbs all over the floor and chairs. It seemed the sanitizers served to make the crumbs stick to the chairs! Cruise director Keith, and his activities director sidekick Geremy, seemed not to notice that this cruise was 95% seniors (only 6 children on board) and the usual inane RC activities were not attracting as many participants as they would with a different itinerary. The noise from some of this stuff was truly disturbing. The food offered by RC in the dining room and Windjammer continues its decline, now to the point where on occasion we just did not feel like eating anything on the menu. Chops was excellent, but given the cost of this cruise why do I need to spend another $60 just to get a piece of beef that I could chew? Service in the dining room was poor (much better in Windjammer) with the waiter at our table unable to handle a simple request (like getting our coffee served before dessert). After bringing the problem to the attention of the head waiter our service improved, but this should not have been necessary. On past cruises our waiter addressed us by name on the second night, here they never got it. Once again, RC has reduced the staff and training and increased the workload to ruin what used to always be a good experience in the dining room. Ever since RC standardized gratuities this has gotten worse. Is there a connection? I think so! We did not go on any RC excursions, they did not suit us or were simply over priced. Through Cruise Critic we did connect with others on the Roll Call at 3 of the ports and this was a fabulous thing to do! One can find a much better value by connecting with others up front at this site. Perhaps those with Diamond Plus status are treated differently and would naturally have a better experience since they get special perks. This cruise put us over the diamond level but I'm not sure whether that benefit is worth booking again on RC. More upscale lines may charge more upfront but the nickle and dime game RC plays could make them a much better value in the end. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
I'm referring to the age of most guests onboard - the average is 60+. My wife, Marie, and I celebrated our 50th birthdays with this trip, and we were pretty much the youngsters on board (not including the staff). Not that this ... Read More
I'm referring to the age of most guests onboard - the average is 60+. My wife, Marie, and I celebrated our 50th birthdays with this trip, and we were pretty much the youngsters on board (not including the staff). Not that this was a huge problem for us, as most of the people we met were very nice. We had a good time regardless. Leaving out of Ft. Lauderdale, we were at sea for two days before reaching Cartagena, Columbia. This is about the longest you want to spend on a cruise ship without touching dry land, in my opinion. We booked the Chiva Bus Party tour through RCI. Rum, beer, Coke and entertainment were provided during our tour of the city. Somehow, drinking alcohol at 10 in the morning while riding with a live band in an open-air bus through dilapidated neighborhoods in 100 degree heat with 90% humidity wasn't as fun as we thought it would be. What really stuck with me is how little most of the people we saw have, and they weren't too thrilled to see a bus of loud visitors, drinking and carrying on. If you're looking for an informative tour of the city, this isn't it. We were in port for maybe a total of 6 hours - too short to do anything else. We booked three tours with RCI prior to our cruise. The aforementioned bus party tour, a tour of Panama and the locks (which we were really looking forward to) and a rainforest tour in Costa Rica. We were scheduled to dock the next day in Colon, Panama. We came back to our room after the bus party tour to find a note under our stateroom door that our Panama tour had been canceled. No explanation, and all other tours we were remotely interested in were already filled up. When I pressed the onboard shore excursion representative for an answer as to why, she seemed perturbed with me. We ended up hiring an independent driver to take us and another couple to see Colon & the locks. He charged 1/4 of the price. We hired independent guides for most other shore excursions and were very happy with their professionalism and willingness to cater the tour to our individual interests, even though RCI warns against doing so. We cruised through the canal the next day, and spent the following day at sea before arriving at Puntarenas, Costa Rica. The rainforest tour was nice, as was the lunch provided for us. Another day of cruising before Huatulco, Mexico. We were sorry that Guatemala was scratched from the tour itinerary, but the cruise director mentioned that most of the onboard GI cases seemed to originate with this port. Two more days of cruising before Cabo San Lucas. We visited here 5 years ago on a Mexican Riviera cruise and had a great time. For nostalgia sake, we went back to Cabo Wabo for lunch and relatively clean bathrooms. Perhaps our biggest mistake... The food was horrible!!! The tortilla soup tasted like seawater with some spices and two handfuls of tortilla strips. Marie's fish ceviche was raw. Not rare... RAW!!! She was sickened by it after the first bite. It took a lot of complaining to the manager to have it removed from our bill. My chicken burrito was also too salty. In fact, both of us experienced intestinal issues after visiting here. Stay away from Cabo Wabo! Enough about our shore excursions... Now about the ship & staff. Legend of the Seas is a 20 year old ship, and it's starting to show its age. It's smaller than most, so it can fit through the locks. It gets claustrophobic after a while. While the staff does their best to fill up the days at sea with fun activities, there's not a whole lot to do on the ship besides eat, sleep, drink, lay out by the pool, shop, eat & drink some more, see a show, gamble in the casino or maybe dance at night. The onboard entertainment was a step below Las Vegas quality, but the house band was amazing. The staff is the biggest reason I rated it very good. When Marie was seasick during one of the rocky days at sea, they took really good care of her. They actually do care about providing you with an unforgettable experience you'll remember for years to come. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
We are Diamond members with 15 cruises under our belt. We are loyal to RCI, at least until now. It seemed as if there were fewer crew members than warranted on this ship. With only one pool bar, I thought it would be better staffed. Always ... Read More
We are Diamond members with 15 cruises under our belt. We are loyal to RCI, at least until now. It seemed as if there were fewer crew members than warranted on this ship. With only one pool bar, I thought it would be better staffed. Always waited for service. The Windjammer is too small for this ship. It was difficult to find a table every time you went to breakfast or lunch. We use the gym on a regular basis. But this gym room was dirty and very dusty. It appeared as if the machines were never cleaned, the floor seldom vacuumed. And the towels provided had a musty odor to them. I thought it a waste the spin bicycles were not utilized. I would have loved to ride them without needing to pay for each hour. We went to book another cruise with the onboard Loyalty ambassador. We did not book with her because she treated us with indifference and didn't seem inclined to care if we traveled on RCI. On the brighter side, we loved our wait staff in the dining room, Frankie and Norbert. They took excellent care of us. Norbert was also in the windjammer and he went out of his way to cater to our needs. Also our room attendant,Anthony, was extremely helpful. And Zahide, the Diamond Ambassador was very helpful as well. Overall we think the ship could use a face lift. She seems a little run down. And the inside cabins are very small. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
Loved the itinerary of cruise which is why we went with Celebrity. We did have a wonderful holiday but have a few items I feel important to pass on. The staff on the cruise ship were wonderful. However I could not help but feel for them ... Read More
Loved the itinerary of cruise which is why we went with Celebrity. We did have a wonderful holiday but have a few items I feel important to pass on. The staff on the cruise ship were wonderful. However I could not help but feel for them as the long hours they seem to endure. What labor relations rules do the cruise companies follow? The Norwalk Virus struck around 5% of the passengers on this cruise. Lucky non in our party but heard this is a very nasty and fatal for elderly and younger generation. In my opinion, once passengers have disembarked, all staff should vacate ship whilst a separate cleaning company comes in to clean. New passengers will then board the following afternoon with a rested crew and a cleaner ship. Through out our cruise every member of staff/crew including officers on board, took turns in cleaning. We began to feel we were the Norwalk Virus as every time we touched something it was disinfected. Charge us the passengers more money for the extra night at port and clean ship properly. The staff were tired/exhausted and did not do a thorough cleaning job to eliminate the bug. I noted in previous comments that the Norwalk Virus was on board the Infinity in the past two cruises. Disembarkation in San Francisco was a joke. Not Celebrity's fault but they could have offered tea/coffee or even water to the passengers as they awaited for the ramps to be put in place but were more focused in disinfecting and cleaning everywhere quickly so it could load new passengers.. Don't think you can easily get a taxi from San Francisco port to your destination. That was an hour line up. It was very disorganized. A new system needs to be put in place San Francisco. Just so you have an idea from the we were suppose to unload and then get to our hotel which was a $10.00 taxi ride, it took five hours!! I will reiterate this was not Celebrities fault but the port and taxis. We did have a wonderful holiday. Again thank you to the staff and crew. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
This was our third cruise - first with Royal Caribbean and for the most part we were pleased. This was the last voyage through Panama for this ship as it is on its way to Australia and then to Asia where it apparently has been sold to a ... Read More
This was our third cruise - first with Royal Caribbean and for the most part we were pleased. This was the last voyage through Panama for this ship as it is on its way to Australia and then to Asia where it apparently has been sold to a new buyer. We are in our late fifties and were in the minority on this cruise - there were some younger than us but not very many so it meant that after 10 p.m. it was almost like a desert island onboard. First off - the food was very good and always with a lot of choice - if you went hungry that was your own fault. Most nights we ate in the Romeo and Juliette dining room and unlike other reviews here, our service from Joeseph and Hadi was outstanding - they attended to us above and beyond. If you treat them with respect and humour it is returned a hundredfold. The Windjammer offers so many choices to choose from that it was always a challenge not to make numerous trips back to the many buffet stations either for breakfast or lunches. Yes, seating could be difficult at times but we always found a seat, either by ourselves or sharing. The onboard entertainment in the show lounge could be hit or miss, but it always broke up the night or a movie during the daytime when at sea. The casino was - a casino - fun the first couple of days and then the machines tightened up to the point of "why bother going"?. Our biggest complaint and a good reason to really check out pricing on future cruises was the cost of the drink packages - expensive to the point that we could book a week in an all inclusive for the cost of daily alcohol and specialty drinks {airfare included}. Also they added an additional 18% on top of your drink orders and any spa services - we already were paying gratuities and this upcharge is just an insult - shame on RCI and any others that bend your customers over for even more money. There is much more that could be said both positive and some negative, but now that Legend is never coming back this way its a moot point for anyone from this side of the globe - other than it was what we expected - a good cruise through the canal with many sights to see but a little long at 14 days. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
We boarded the Infinity in Ft. Lauderdale on April 28 for a Panama Canal cruise. One of the first things we noticed as we explored the ship was that the solarium had a strong odor of sewage. This odor was very unpleasant and recurred ... Read More
We boarded the Infinity in Ft. Lauderdale on April 28 for a Panama Canal cruise. One of the first things we noticed as we explored the ship was that the solarium had a strong odor of sewage. This odor was very unpleasant and recurred often throughout the cruise. The food and service on the ship were mediocre. Our cabin steward didn't seem to get the hint of an empty shampoo tube on the counter or in the trash. We ended up helping ourselves to the shampoos from the cart in the hall. Food was served lukewarm and often overcooked in both the Oceanview Cafe and the Trellis dining room. Things like the eggs benedict station at breakfast and a different feature sandwich each day in the back of the Oceanview were gone. Every day the same thing was offered for breakfast and lunch. Some variety would have been very welcome. The activities staff was very personable and energetic. They did a nice job with the activities presented. Unfortunately, many of the activities were offered at the same time as other activities so that you had to choose between activities that you'd like to do. Better time management would have been appreciated. A movie in the afternoon of each sea day would have been another option for things to do on the ship. Apparently many became ill with the norovirus during this trip. The staff was sanitizing everything with a peroxide based disinfectant. Everything had puddles of disinfectant on it. We had no salt and pepper, butter, jelly, or sugar packets on the tables. But throughout the whole sanitization and norovirus protocol, we were still allowed to serve ourselves with spoons, tongs, and ladles in the Oceanview Cafe. No wonder everyone got sick. We've done quite a few cruises with Celebrity. We've always enjoyed the ship and our overall cruise experience. This trip was a great disappointment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
This was only our 4th Celebrity cruise (23 over all lines) so not as familiar with the ship classes. It so happened we had two Celebrity cruises booked, one in January of this year and again this April. Our January cruise was on the ... Read More
This was only our 4th Celebrity cruise (23 over all lines) so not as familiar with the ship classes. It so happened we had two Celebrity cruises booked, one in January of this year and again this April. Our January cruise was on the Equinox, so the Infinity was a bit of a let down. First of all our balcony cabin, 7200 overlooked the suite cabin awnings below, so our view down the side of the ship (we like to watch the port workers) was blocked. In looking at the ship from port, it appears that most balcony cabins have some sort of obstruction below. I would sail this class again, but in an outside cabin. I have to admit that I did very little research on this cruise, so the cabin issue was my fault. Of course, being a smaller ship, it wasn't as "Grand" as the Equinox, everything on a smaller scale though. The ship does show some wear and tear but it is not abused. There were many activities offered throughout the day, very few appealed to my husband and me so we read (four books each) and played Dominos and generally amused ourselves. I would also agree with another reviewer that showing a movie in the afternoon on sea days (we had a lot, one more than we expected by missing Puerto Vallarta). I only remember one movie playing which was Birdman, so only one movie with 9 sea days. The service overall was excellent even with the high sanitary requirements, the wait staff did an excellent job having to deal with it. In talking with one wait staff member in the dining room he said that there were eight people affected by Noro who were at two tables close to each other. About four or five days in no more ice on the Martini Bar, no books in the library, and you literally had to bump into a sanitizing station in order to enter the shopping areas. We took the sanitizing very seriously, two weeks back and my hands are still peeling. Peeling hands is a much better side effect. We upgraded our beverage package the first night, just so we did not have to think about it. I took advantage and now I am Martini Bar hooked :). Jennifer, in the Martini Bar is excellent and the "boys" behind the bar love to show off. We had open dining and snagged a great two top against the windows at the back of the ship and Maria in the dining room worked with us to have the same table each night. I can't complain about the food since I did not have to cook it, but all meals were enjoyed and appreciated. The bread sticks are wonderful! I think Celebrity has a superior everyday menu, better than HAL and Princess (IMO). Again, with the heightened sanitization, all bread was served (not a bad thing!), my salt intake went down with no salt shakers, maybe I came back more healthy than when I left? I wish... We only saw a few shows which were good, we prefer the more comedy venues than singing and dancing, most times we were just too tired after dinner (dang Martini Bar) and just went to the Casino for a few minutes of gambling. No complaints about the entertainment, just because very little appealed to us does not mean it was not good. There were also two speakers on board, one talking about the Panama Canal and another who would talk on the art of comedy (several types of comedy things). The only hiccup in the cruise was the last day. We were supposed to be out of our cabin by 8am, we left the cabin at 6:45 to get some coffee and told our cabin steward we would be out for good at 7:15 (walking off our own luggage). When we returned to our cabin the steward was in it having removed our unzipped luggage from the bed and stripped the bed. We believe my husbands extra set of eyeglasses and clip ons ($$$) were next to the luggage and got swooped up in the bed linens. Two unanswered emails to Celebrity's lost department and I finally had to call on Friday. In defense of the high sanitation he was just wanting to get a head start, hopefully the glasses were found, we just don't know yet because they don't know we've been asking about them! We were off the ship by 8:10, customs was VERY smooth and off to taxi to BART (taxi's were lined up). I did notice that NO luggage had been offloaded yet and felt bad for the passengers getting off and those who were coming aboard. We were home by 10:45, the best disembarkment we've experienced. Any cruise to me is a good one, some things go bad but never enough for me to say "insert cruise line" never again. The never again incidents do not reflect the entire cruise line or every ship in its fleet, just your experience on a particular sailing. Our cabin choice was my bad, I just know now that I can't be lazy when selecting cabins from now on, research, research, research and it's all good. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
We sailed this 17 night Panama Canal to San Francisco cruise, back to back with the next 11 night Alaska cruise. I'll review each cruise separately, but my overall impressions are based upon our total 28 night experience onboard the ... Read More
We sailed this 17 night Panama Canal to San Francisco cruise, back to back with the next 11 night Alaska cruise. I'll review each cruise separately, but my overall impressions are based upon our total 28 night experience onboard the Celebrity Infinity. We sailed with our adult daughter who has a physical disability, so one of our two cabins was an accessible cabin, 7137. Infinity is a Millennium Class ship, which from an accessibility standpoint, is not nearly as accessible as any of the Solstice Class ships. None of the public bathrooms have an accessible power door opener - so you have to wrangle the door open on your own which is very difficult to do if you're in a wheelchair. Whereas on Solstice Class ships, ALL of the public bathroom doors are equipped with an auto opener. On Infinity, very few of the doors that lead onto the decks are auto opening, whereas on Solstice Class ships, yes, you guessed it, all public deck doors are auto opening. Also on the Infinity as on all Millennium Class ships, there are innumerable metal stops or thresholds on the public deck floors, everywhere throughout the ship, including the cabin hallways - which are major barriers to those that have physical needs - you have to be constantly looking down, being aware, so as not to trip or get your wheels somehow stuck or impeded. The door to our cabin was also not auto opening, whereas, they are auto opening on the Solstice Class ships. And inside our cabin, the hinges on the bathroom door are on the opposite side of where they need to be to make access comfortable. My daughter uses a walker and she had to roll past the door, turn herself around, reach and swing open the door, then go in - it's hard to picture, but trust me, the planning was very bad - something that was rectified across the board, on the Solstice Class ships. For the ports of call, we primarily booked Celebrity sponsored shore excursions ahead of time. We are able to discern from our at home research, who the tour providers are that Celebrity contracts with to run the excursions, in the ports - we check prices and have always found Celebrity's prices to be in line with the prices the contractors charge, so there is no reason for us to not book with Celebrity. On the Infinity, as we have found in general on all of the ships, the Shore Excursion staff was exceptionally well informed and very helpful and sensitive regarding our daughter's physical needs. On this cruise, we were extremely disappointed that the port of Puerto Vallarta was cancelled. There was apparently a violent drug cartel uprising and it was deemed unsafe for our ship to dock, thus giving us an extra sea day. Since this itinerary was already sea day heavy, this was a disappointment, but the Captain's Club Hostess, Claudia, worked overtime to make sure passengers were happy - we for instance received an invitation to a tour of the Navigational Bridge, which we gratefully accepted. The Celebrity Life Activity Staff, led by the intrepid and uber talented Rachel Ball, also went into overdrive on this newly non-port day, coming up with lots of additional fun things to do. So, though Puerto Vallarta never happened for us, the crew worked hard to keep the passengers happy - as, in fact, they always do! The Panama Canal was the highlight of this cruise, no surprise! We docked in Colon for a full day, leaving the passengers free to explore the country on tours. Then, the next day, the ship made the transit through the canal. Bill Fall, a former Canal Zone resident and expert regarding the area and the Canal, gave several talks in the theater about the Canal, before and after transit day. And on transit day, he gave narration from time to time, along with a local Panamanian resident, about what we were seeing and experiencing. The Panama Canal is truly one of the 7 Engineering Wonders of the World, something not to be missed if you have the chance. We recommend reading David McCullough's book, "The Path Between the Seas" in order to fully appreciate this marvel. The Captain opened up the helicopter pad area at the bow of the ship to all passengers for the transit, which was terrific! We booked Select Dining, enjoying the flexibility you get with it. Our favorite actually is Aqua Class so we can eat in Blu, but there are NO handicapped accessible Aqua Class cabins on the Millennium Class ships so for us, Select was the next best thing. With Select, contrary to what some people say, you can always get a table in the server of your choice's station, if you want to, and request it when you book your table from night to night. You therefore develop a relationship with your server, they learn your preferences, etc. Our server in select, the wonderful Samson from India and his assistant server, Johnny, observed that our daughter needed help cutting her food - from that point on, Samson would serve her then immediately pick up her knife and fork and cut her meal for her - he was incredibly thoughtful and sweet. He also recognized that of the trio of hummus, butter and herbed cream cheese that is served with the nightly bread basket, that I had a strong preference for the hummus - so often, he would present me with my own personal ramekin of hummus! As far as the Oceanview Buffet goes, well, the food itself was pretty good, but, we do not enjoy the layout at all of the buffet on the Millennium Class ships. The lay out of the buffet on the Solstice Class ships is so much better - but, I know, it's because the ships themselves are bigger, allowing for a more spacious layout, a better traffic flow, less congestion. On the Millennium Class ships, we try to avoid the buffet at all costs as it gets crowded and frustrating - I find myself saying that I'm simply not that hungry, that the annoyance is simply not worth it. As far as specialty dining goes, we love Q-Sine, it is our favorite Celebrity specialty restaurant. Fleetwide, the absolute best lamb chops are to be found in the 'M Box' in Q-Sine - baby lamb chops, perfectly flavored, perfectly executed - moist, tasty, succulent! The service is excellent, we LOVE the side car cocktails, a great evening whenever we go. Lunch is now sometimes served in Q-Sine on sea days, but that doesn't work for us, as you are prone to eat more than you should, and to do that at lunch, meh, that ruins the whole day. Save this experience for dinner, enjoy! The SS United States, we find to be too traditional. There had been problems the past several cruises on the Infinity, with the norovirus. There were several passengers on board this sailing that supposedly had it, so measures were in place, of differing restriction levels, to control it. Sanitization measures were extreme, from staff placed strategically in high traffic areas on the ship with squirt containers of sanitizer, to days when there were no salt and pepper shakers on the tables, etc. It was clear to us that the real problem is the itinerary - ships which sail the South American and Central American itineraries often encounter noro problems - people get off the ship, eat or drink something they shouldn't, get sick and spread it due to not washing their hands properly. Don't get me started on how many people I see ROUTINELY coughing into their HANDS. I find this appalling and 'so yesterday'. Where have these people been living with their heads in the sand?? I wish Celebrity would get aggressive about teaching people that you must cough into your elbow or a napkin - NEVER into your hand. Onboard on the in-room TV, there was a health info spot about washing your hands so as to not spread germs, which was extremely cute and fun to watch, with a catchy tune - but it did not include the message about coughing into your elbow - plus, I guarantee you that the message was generally lost, as I'm not sure how many people even watch the in-room onboard channels, sadly. I do think that especially on the South and Central American itineraries, that Celebrity needs to get overtly aggressive about spreading the message about washing your hands and coughing into your elbow, so as to avoid the ship turning into the SS Dysentery. No one likes extreme sanitization measures - aggressive health messages are superior, better to prevent the situation in the first place. There was no Top Chef At Sea on this sailing due to the noro concerns. We were told that because it involves food prep, they had to cancel it. We enjoy this activity, my husband competed and won it on another Celebrity voyage. Like no cloth hand towels in the bathrooms, the removal of which we thought was odd, this too fell victim to the noro restrictions. The cruise director, Kyle, was excellent. We would often watch daily spots on the Cruise Director Channel a few times, as they were so funny! He was fast paced, informative, clever, and when he would speak in the theater after the shows, he got right to the point, knowing that people wanted to get on with their evenings. He would deliver the info about the night, and port info for the next day when applicable, quickly, humorously and succinctly. I know that Kyle is a cruise director who fills in for the regular cruise directors so that they can go on vacation, so we were very lucky to experience him at work. He filled in for the regular Infinity cruise director, Esperanza - who actually returned from her vacation for our 2nd cruise, remember this was back to back for us. I was able to see why Kyle has this job of filler-inner, because you have to be adept and flexible, able to step in and take over, no time for a learning curve. Kyle has those skills. As usual on Celebrity fleetwide, we very much enjoyed the big shows put on by the production staff in the theater, as well as the musical groups that played throughout the ship, such as Ear Candy and the house band, D'Revelations. We also enjoyed the comedy and magic acts in the theater, but the individual musical acts that were brought on board to play in the theater left us pretty cold, as we felt like we were watching individual acts from the Ed Sullivan Show - but, that's just us - many people seemed to enjoy them very much! Our two cabins were very well maintained. Besides the awkward bathroom door hinge placement in the handicapped accessible cabin, we also found the cabin less spacious and therefore harder to maneuver in, than the handicapped accessible cabins on the Solstice Class ships. You may be asking yourself by now why we sailed on the Infinity at all, being a Millennium Class ship, since we obviously prefer the Solstice Class ships - because of the itinerary. The Solstice Class ships are too big to fit in the Panama Canal, and the Panama Canal is what we wanted to experience. Throughout the ship, we often saw ongoing maintenance being done, painting, cleaning, etc, which is a good thing. Disembarkation at Pier 27 in San Francisco was quite a mess. Being back to back passengers, we were not effected too much as our plan was to leave the ship to spend the day in San Francisco, and reboard Infinity in the late afternoon for the next cruise, to Alaska - nevertheless, we were supposed to be able to get off at 7:30am, but it was 8:10am before we were allowed off, spurring several phone calls between me and our day tour provider, causing him to have to readjust his schedule for his other customers. The big issue was how passengers who were leaving the ship for good, were not able to retrieve their luggage! Rumors were rampant, I still never got the full story - but the luggage wasn't able to be offloaded from the Infinity, something about it being low tide and the dock equipment wasn't able to get the luggage off! Many people had to fly home WITHOUT their luggage! It was a slow painstaking process to get the luggage off, it having to be lifted UP out of the holds of the Infinity, onto the pier. The other issue facing the debarkation process was that the CDC was onsite to inspect the ship due to the noro outbreaks. The crew - even the entertainment crew had to join in - causing huge delays for the next passengers to get onboard. Boarding didn't begin until 3pm! May 15 was a bad day for Celebrity, due to the luggage not being able to get loaded off as it should causing disembarkation delays, and the CDC health inspection causing the entire crew to engage in extreme sanitization measures causing embarkation delays. The ship left for the next cruise, to Alaska, over two hours late! But, having been a passenger on both cruises, I can say that the passenger experience was still excellent, and the cruises were both greatly enjoyed. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
This ship is in need of a complete overhaul, it is getting a little tattered and looking old. Shore excursions were not up to snuff, too much political discussions by the guides. When will the cruise lines quit taking bribes from ... Read More
This ship is in need of a complete overhaul, it is getting a little tattered and looking old. Shore excursions were not up to snuff, too much political discussions by the guides. When will the cruise lines quit taking bribes from vendors so that the excursions stop at certain shops. If I want to shop I will pick my own shopping destinations. Food was average, service was very good. Why can't people learn to wash their hands. The captain announces ways to prevent virus transmission every day on the intercom. Their are countless notices everyday in regard to virus prevention. And you still see morons not washing their hands after they go to the bathroom. You still see these same type of people sidestep the hand sanitizers when going to the buffet or restaurant. Stupid is what stupid does I guess. Disembarkment was a bit of a nightmare but things happen and it was handled as well as could be expected. A bit more information would have helped as the delays were extended. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Our disappointments sailing with Celebrity Infinity. ‘Celebrity Infinity’ 2-pers. Inschepen: 28/04/2015 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA Ontschepen: 15/05/2015 San Francisco. A day before we were supposed to check in we ... Read More
Our disappointments sailing with Celebrity Infinity. ‘Celebrity Infinity’ 2-pers. Inschepen: 28/04/2015 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA Ontschepen: 15/05/2015 San Francisco. A day before we were supposed to check in we received an email with information that the ship would be expected and that boarding before 12.00 hrs was not possible. What was not mentioned is that the sky suites would not be ready before 13.30 hrs. We had to wait till 14.00 hrs before we could enter the sky suite. The Ocean View café was packed with people and no seat available at all. Our priority luggage was delivered at 16.15 hrs. Priority luggage????? We were not happy with the embarkation but disembarkation was even worse. We had to wait till 11.00 hrs before we received our luggage and after that we had to wait another hour for the transportation had we had booked at 09.45 hrs. We carried 4 suitcases, 2 of them had yellow paint on them and two of them were torned. These two were new suit cases , brand Princess, hard core with American lock and scale in the suit cases. They cost us € 245 each. We were shocked when we entered the sky suite. See photo. There were belongings from the previous passengers that had not been removed, dust bins were not emptied. What a poor show. After some investigation we are convinced that our sky suite for disabled passengers actually is an enlarged concierge stateroom. There is no bath tub, hardly any place for your toiletries, a plastic curtain 20 cm above the ground which causes a wet bathroom floor every morning. On the small balcony there was no table. If we had been provided with the right information we would not have accepted this stateroom as a sky suite. Not only did it not take three days before we got the bed curtains back, also three days before the end of the cruise all the pillows were taken away for health reasons. It is quite guest unfriendly to do this on one cruise. Why did they not remove the pillows after our leave of the ship and provide the next passengers with cleaned pillows 2 or 3 days after departure? Communication on board of the Infinity is insufficient and far below standard. When information is given, it was always after something happened and never before. The captain himself announced that we could not land at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. He also mentioned that the port taxes would be returned. Since the port taxes were not returned I went to guest relations. The officer on duty told me that there will be no port tax return because all the port taxes together were more than we paid. He also informed me that there will be no written communication to the passengers. After 36 cruises we experienced that sometimes we had to pay extra port taxes during the cruise and all the times we could not visit a port we got the port taxes back. We expect clear communication about the port taxes and an explanation why we did not get back the port taxes we payed for Puerto Vallarta. We are worried about the staff . In the dining room the waiters have too many tables to serve. Almost every day they were late or too late with sauces, salt, peper etc. The same goes for our wonderful and very kind wine waitress. She simply had to serve too many tables. If you like white wine for your appetizer and red wine for your main course, she simply couldn’t serve the wine in time. We were surprised by the increase in the prices of the drinks, especially of the wines. Are these prices increased to pay for the free drinking packages of the other passengers, or to convince guests to buy a drinking package next time? While on board of the ship we discovered that booking on board is more expensive than booking in The Netherlands. We also learned that if we booked a cruise in the Mediterranean in September2015 there is no 1,2,3 deal. The same cruise in September2016 has a 1,2,3, deal and you have to pay more than € 650 extra on that cruise. We don’t understand the meaning of the so called free 123 go package. When you check the bookings of our fellow passengers in concierge staterooms 8145 and 8169 you will find that 8145 has the 1,2,3 go packages and also that they paid € 1,000 more than 8169. Monday May 11th. No turn down service, no chocolate on the pillows and no change of towels. We called stateroom services and a young man answered us and told us that the chocolate was only on the formal night. This is the 14th night and only on the first night we did not get the chocolates. My advice: door card with do not disturb on the one side and please make room now on the other side. Wednesday May 13th This night all the pillows (6) from the sofa were removed and so was the ice bucket. Nothing is replaced. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Regatta through Panama Canal Apr 23, 2015. Ship — moderate size (650+) but both the main dining room and the entertainment room could not accommodate a full shipload of passengers. On one or two nights the line was very long at ... Read More
Regatta through Panama Canal Apr 23, 2015. Ship — moderate size (650+) but both the main dining room and the entertainment room could not accommodate a full shipload of passengers. On one or two nights the line was very long at 6:30 to get into the dining room. Several times the entertainment room was already full from a previous talk/show and so we could not find seats. We have been on a much larger ship on another line and they had two dinner sittings and two shows which eased seating at both. Cabin –We were on a lower deck with a window. This worked out fine when we hit choppy seas on our way from Cabo San Lucas to San Francisco. Some passengers on the upper levels complained of rocking. Bring your seasickness pills or patches.. Food — The food was great. Breakfast in the café had everything from bagels and lox to eggs to order to fruits and cereals. The café staff doled out portions so we didn’t get a lot but could always ask for more or come back for seconds. We didn’t gain weight! On the “fresh fish night” the café was a mad house at 6:30 so we easily got seated in the main dining room. The Polo Grill and Tuscana were very good but the portions were a bit large for us. Entertainment – not the best but the string quartet was very nice. The lectures on the history of the Panama Canal were excellent as were most to the talks on the ports of call. Staff—Very nice, polite and accommodating especially when we weren’t quite ready to have the room cleaned and straightened. Ports of call — Went through the Panama Canal. Macaw Sanctuary in Costa Rica and the Auto Safari in Puerto Questzal Guatemala were very nice. The Puerto Chiapas Izapa Archaeological Site & City Tour was a bit disappointing since the site is very small and the museum was closed for renovations. Went to San Jose de Cabo from Cabo San Lucas and enjoyed the arts and crafts shops. Very disappointed with the Nicaragua land excursion we chose. We were late getting into San Francisco. We were rebooked on a late afternoon flight back east and got home at 4am eastern time. Glad it wasnt a red eye. We've been to San Francisco several times before, but an overnight would have been nice. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
We had an amazing time on the Regatta going from Miami to San Francisco through the Panama Canal. Everything was much better than we had ever dreamed! The ship was beautiful, the food fantastic, the ports of call amazing, the staff of ... Read More
We had an amazing time on the Regatta going from Miami to San Francisco through the Panama Canal. Everything was much better than we had ever dreamed! The ship was beautiful, the food fantastic, the ports of call amazing, the staff of Oceania couldn't have been any better! There was plenty to do on board, or you could do nothing - which is pretty much what we did. I did donate $21 to the casino but I never win, so I wasn't expecting anything else! The entertainment was good! We enjoyed the magician, and the Regatta singers! The comedienne was good too! I really can't think of but one thing that could have been different - they didn't serve biscuits and gravy or grits at any of the breakfasts! As a southern gal, that was missed! This was our first Oceania Cruise, but it won't be our last! The cabin was nice, perhaps next time we will opt for a cabin with the veranda. But the "shelf" under the window was just perfect for putting my extra things on, or for sitting in and looking out at the beautiful sea! Our last couple of days at sea were a little rough, but the captain kept us well informed as to how things were going. The delay was a problem for them - but not for us passengers! Oceania took care of finding us a room in SF and re-booking our flight home! Staying at the Crown Plaza was a pleasant surprise ending to a fantastic vacation! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We thoroughly enjoyed our first Oceania Cruise on-board the Regatta! I had read some of the reviews, and to be honest, wondered if we had made a mistake. The answer to that is a resounding NO!!!! From the moment we boarded the ship ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our first Oceania Cruise on-board the Regatta! I had read some of the reviews, and to be honest, wondered if we had made a mistake. The answer to that is a resounding NO!!!! From the moment we boarded the ship in Miami, it was like we were somebody special! We were treated with the utmost respect by everyone on the staff! The food was excellent - and we especially liked the Terrace Cafe and the staff there! I don't understand what else people would have wanted...well, wait...they didn't have biscuits and gravy or grits! But, I can get those at most everywhere else! The entertainment was a nice variety from classical quartets to comediennes to magic acts. I would have liked a bit more "goldie oldie" music, but that's just me! There were things to do, if you wanted to do them...but we took the trip to enjoy going through the Panama Canal and seeing the countries of Central America. We were most content to just rest and relax! The ocean motion was a bit rough on the last two days, and the captain did an superb job of getting us through that. We were late getting into San Francisco, and Oceania did an excellent job of getting hotels and rescheduled flights for the passengers! This ship is more for the more mature age folks - so there is nothing for children to do. The shore excursions were wonderful! I just wish I could remember all the info that the guides told us! Food was usually included on those tours, and it was very good. If I had a complaint it would be that the cost of internet was too high...I didn't think I needed to pay $30 a day to check, so I didn't. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Our 3rd cruise aboard Marina. A beautifully decorated ship. Our penthouse suite 10039 was nicely appointed with more than enough storage (including walk in closet), large bathroom, writing desk and vanity. Thankfully I had my plug adapters ... Read More
Our 3rd cruise aboard Marina. A beautifully decorated ship. Our penthouse suite 10039 was nicely appointed with more than enough storage (including walk in closet), large bathroom, writing desk and vanity. Thankfully I had my plug adapters with me so I could use both the North American and European style plug outlets (I travel with dual voltage curling irons, computers etc). The cruise had a nice balance between ports of call and sea days. Although the crew were hard working and provided good service it was my impression the crew:passenger ratio had decreased and each crew member was serving more people. As a result we often had to wait longer during meal service in the dining rooms and often we would return to our suite and it would not have been made up. Service was good but certainly not over the top as we have been accustomed to on our 7 previous cruises with Oceania. We pay a premium for this service on O and this time not certain if we got that value. This was the longest cruise we have taken but the cruise where we ate the least number of times in a specialty restaurant. Made my bookings the morning the reservations opened and even then unable to get my preferred dates and time. When on board even the butler unable to get us reservations! Mind you at least half the tables were empty whenever in the restaurants. Food was good but not as outstanding as on previous cruises. Although I did not use the fitness center, my husband raved about the Finnish trainer and all the remarks I heard about her from others were superlative. Enrichment speaker was excellent. Entertainment not great but certainly improving. The comedians were amusing. Cruise Director not my favourite and she really shouldn't have been interacting with guests while she was still hacking away (even though must have been cleared by the doctor). I had onboard credits to use up and disappointed shops had almost nothing in my size - only teeny & huge and was virtually no restocking during entire cruise. Never use Destination Services - tours are a rip off. e.g. 1 tour was priced at 129/pp, I walked 2 blocks and got same tour for $25/pp - need I say any more. For most of the cruise the ship was operating under Code Red as over 2% aboard were suffering with gastro intestinal problems (Executive Lounge food removed, passenger laundries closed, certain items removed from menus etc). Although we were not sick it did impact some of our enjoyment as we were taking precautions, being less social and not interacting with others, removal of certain services, disembarkation delays, worry, etc. With exception of the obligatory onboard announcements, Oceania has not contacted passengers to offer any thanks or form of compensation for their cooperation and inconvenience. Don't know whether this degradation is a result of the NCL takeover but Oceania needs to refocus on their core repeat cruisers who are prepared to pay a premium price for that premium level of service. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We'd heard great things about the food on Oceania. Of course we'd also heard there was nothing to do on the ship(quite true). But let's get back to the selling point -- the food. Well maybe it would have been better if ... Read More
We'd heard great things about the food on Oceania. Of course we'd also heard there was nothing to do on the ship(quite true). But let's get back to the selling point -- the food. Well maybe it would have been better if they hadn't gotten to the Noro Virus, or as they preferred to describe it, a gastro-intestional virus stiking more than 2% of the passengers. Because once they got the sickness bye bye to snacks. Bye bye to carpaccio or raw fish. Bye bye to medium rare steak. But even before that, the food in the Grand Dining Room was certainly no better than the food on any other ship. And the specialty dining rooms never seemed to be available when we tried to book an additional night(you get four. Some people got another thirteen or so. We didn't). We didn't despite being in concierge and on that note, worst concierge ever. Don't spend the money for that. I found most of the crew pleasant and accommodating, but the conciergess, Tom and Javier, you know who you are, were a lot of talk and no follow-through. Also worst embarkation ever. Twenty-five minutes and the ship cards had the wrong photos on them: the credit card was wrong: the lunch arrived two hours after the ship sailed. And, oh, yes, because we were in concierge level we had priority delivery. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We have sailed with Oceania once before which was great, but it was 3 years ago and on Regatta before they were taken over by NCCL and what a difference. Marina is a beautiful ship, the cabins10062 was fine, bathroom excellent. ... Read More
We have sailed with Oceania once before which was great, but it was 3 years ago and on Regatta before they were taken over by NCCL and what a difference. Marina is a beautiful ship, the cabins10062 was fine, bathroom excellent. Originally we were in cabin 9012 . On arrival the toilet was full of sewage which we flushed and didn't think too much about. However for the next four days we had sewage coming up in the toilet! We complained on the second day and were sent the plumber who was from Eastern Europe. He proceeded to tell my husband that he did not know how to flush the toilet and proceeded to give him a lesson. We were furious. We then complained to reception who put us in touch with Javier Cortes who made all the right noises and eventually moved us to another cabin. Quite a horrible first few days. Other than that we were not offered any other kind of compensation. The ship also had Noro virus on board which completely altered everything. The concierge lounge didn't have anything to eat in it, only paper cups, the self service laundry was closed, various food was not available. The concierge level is a total waste of time. We did not get any benefit from this at all. In Lima there was no priority boarding, the lounge was a room on Deck 9 too small with not much in it. The concierge sitting area in Canyon Spa a to altar waste of time, no room for everyone, no shade and really useless. Certainly not worth the extra money. The speciality restaurants are quite good but the main dining room was poor. The menu is limited, one evening there was nothing on the menu we could eat. The food was all cold, the staff were disorganised, the wine waiters fairly useless, they know nothing about the wines they were selling. There were not enough waiters especially at breakfast so there was a long wait for food. The waves terrace cafe was shambolic. They ran out of food, there was nowhere to sit quite often, the service was poor and it seemed badly run. We play bridge and there was hosted bridge on sea days . This also was shambolic, the two directors were disorganised, rather rude and really poor directors. If you are going to have bridge make sure the people running it know what they are doing, these two did not. I went to a cooking class which was excellently run and well thought out. The entertainment is very mediocre. The shows put on by a company that had two lead singers who could not sing! Pretty grim to listen to. The dancing was ok and the best show was on the last day when a singer who impersonated great singers came on. He was fabulous. There was also a female singer early on who was great. I hated the juggler, really juvenile but the comedians were also very good. The enrichment lecturer was excellent, really knowledgable and her lectures well delivered and prepared. The stops were ok, the best being Salvery Peru, Panama Canal, Miami, Port Canaveral, Charleston. We did not do ships tours but those who did complained how expensive they were. We had a nice holiday but not our best and we don't think we would go on Oceania again as it just isn't good enough for us. We like 5 star and this definitely like isn't that any longer. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
My husband and I did this first cruise together and on HA. We stayed at the Best Western/Cruise Location in Fort Lauderdale the night before, it was super. They had a shuttle to the ship and got us there by 10:30 AM, great staff at ... Read More
My husband and I did this first cruise together and on HA. We stayed at the Best Western/Cruise Location in Fort Lauderdale the night before, it was super. They had a shuttle to the ship and got us there by 10:30 AM, great staff at the hotel, good location for a pub nearby for dinner and a supermarket to get our 2 bottles of wine for our cabin. You are entitled to take 2 onboard for no charge. Our room itself was fine, everything worked well. The TV was fine, we aren't on a cruise to watch TV. Temperature was good. The staff were beyond excellent. Room was kept in great condition, was so sad to get home and have to make my own bed!! Bed was comfy, no problem in getting extra blankets, loved the bathrobes. Lots of storage, and luggage fit under the bed no problem. No complaints at all. Loved the size of the ship, can't imagine going on one of those monster ships. 1900 folks is just right. Interesting decor.....very 1980s brass and light wood????? But fine. Loved the NY times being free, checked it fairly often in the cafe. Too many pieces of paper in your mailbox....the art gallery was handing out papers every day it seemed. Mark the cruise director was very good, personable and got the job done. Temperature in the common areas was fine, not cold at all. Appreciated in the Captain keeping us informed of delays and changes, he was super. We enjoyed the evening entertainment, went to most of it. Very good singers and dancers. Good variety of shows, sometimes a hit, sometimes a miss. But lots to do in the evening. We had a 6PM sitting for dining in the Vista room. Our staff there was super. Meals were all very good. Ate there most nights. Liked the formal nights, and we made the effort to 'look good' on the other nights. The Lido was good, breakfast was yummy. Always a variety of food, didn't see anyone going hungry! A few negatives......our cabin was directly below the aft pool/smoking area. Could hear chairs being dragged across the deck. There should be a warning when you book that you are directly below the bar. One night they moved what we think were stacks of chairs at 3 in the morning, we asked at the front desk for them to check on that. It never happened again. They were very nice and even offered to move us. Smoking.....time to make the WHOLE ship non-smoking, it's 2015 folks, stop!! Spent a good deal of time in the aft pool area, and the 'saving' of lounge chairs should be stopped. You aren't there for 30 minutes, and you lose it. People dump their stuff in the AM and don't show up for hours. Port Everglades was super, getting on board no problem. All ports were fine in arriving. In San Diego we were in the customs line for about 15 minutes, went very quick. US customs were great. Used the fitness club for yoga, which I enjoyed. In Cartagena we did our own tour, loved it. Claudia's tours it was. In the HA shore excursions we were often rushed. Antiqua was way too short, In Costa Rica, San Jose we were taken to a souvenir shop right off the ship, and stayed there for a whole hour of our 4 hour tour, BAD move on their part. In Nicaragua going to Leon, again, not enough time. Don't understand, you are in a port for so many hours, but the HA shore excursions are brief, when they could be extended/give you more time. And please stop ALL mandatory visits to stores for shopping. I am not in Leon, once in my life to go shopping!!! Since this was our first cruise we weren't sure how it all worked. Now we would never book a HA shore excursion again, each port had numerous people waiting to take you out. Others did this and we heard of no problems. San Diego, Huatulco, Cabo we did our own thing and had a great time. Really enjoyed the Panama day, with all to see and the information presented. Getting off in Vancouver was super easy as we filled out the customs forms early and Border Services checked them early. A great time, we were with 2 other couples and we all had a good time. Our cabins were side by side and we were able to have the barriers removed to have one big balcony. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Stateroom staff: best we have ever had, thank you to Rohman & Roni-they anticipated our needs and the first day we asked for something specific to be done every day and they never forgot. Great job! They always kept our fruit bowl ... Read More
Stateroom staff: best we have ever had, thank you to Rohman & Roni-they anticipated our needs and the first day we asked for something specific to be done every day and they never forgot. Great job! They always kept our fruit bowl stocked and ice in our cabin which was appreciated without asking. We also always had fresh flowers in our cabin that they replaced if they were dying. Food: We have never had a bad meal on HAL and love their food and presentation. We ate at all venues and enjoyed them all. Our preference is the main dining room and have never had a bad meal there. There was also an outdoor aft BBQ which was fantastic. I was not eager to do this but we did and they had salmon, ribs, pork, chicken, prawns and more. The prawns were my favorite. The Dive-in also has improved. Main Dining room: We had anytime dining. Seems the staffing level has diminished which puts much more pressure on the staff and they barely have time to breath let alone chat to guests which is a shame. We dined here for lunch a couple of times and for dinners often. Pinnacle Grill: we had breakfast here often since we were in a Neptune Suite and the service was top notch. Previous cruises we have found it very slow but not this time. We also dined one evening and we both had the filet mignon which was perfectly cooked and delicious. Again, staff were fantastic. $29 pp. Canaletto: A bit disappointed this time as they have changed it up. They suggest a lot of sharing. I would prefer smaller dishes and not be encouraged to share. You DO NOT have to share though. Food was good but not sure we would try it again. Miss the big antipasto plate they used to take around. $10 pp. Entertainment: BB Kings Club was very good but as others have said, very loud. Great band. Ocean Bar had good dancing music (and listening) and wish it was every night. Have to check the "On Location" to make sure the times there is entertainment as some evenings they don't and the time can vary. We did not go to Piano Bar so can't comment on that. In the Vista lounge when the Noordam Entertainers performed, I enjoy those shows but my husband not so much. I do think that HAL lacks in their entertainment in the evenings though. We have only been on Princess once before and found they have several venues at the same time and you could pick which you preferred. (for example either you like the music that you can ballroom dance to or if not there was another venue to choose from). We just felt HAL was lacking in this area. Entertainment guests on this cruise were: Bande Artistique; Comedian Buzz Sutherland; Count Dimas; Sephira; Sister Twist; Michael Menes; Matilda and Patrick Murray (ventriloquist); Salvtore Hasard; Kevin Jordan; Indy and Jeff Peterson. All were good but our favorites were comedian Kevin Jordan who was hilarious and Salvatore Hasard who could play numerous instruments and had a fabulous voice. Desserts: I have to comment on this because I think they have improved. I never liked their cheesecakes before but tried one this time and it was very good. I also tried the German cake (with coconut) and it was fabulous. Pools: We used both Lido pool and aft pool. The Lido pool I can stand up in and the lounge chairs are very comfy. We spent most of the time though in the non-smoking area of the aft pool, at a table in the shade as we play cards. Library, computers and Explorations Cafe: These are all located in the same spot. The library is huge and very impressive and used lot-the librarian/computer helper is kept very busy. Lots of computers to use but we were disappointed that they did not offer unlimited internet like they did for the Westerdam Panama cruise that left before us. It sounds like they are trying it out on various ships and I think would be a smart thing to do. We bought the 250 minute package for $100 but it is very frustrating with the amount of time wasted just trying to get connection at times. Other times it was quick. Loved getting my latte at the Cafe and the staff are very nice. Flowers: The flower arrangements around the ship are beautiful and I'm glad to still see them. Hope they don't cut back too much on those. We flew to Ft Lauderdale 2 days early (luckily we did because AA lost my luggage until the next day) and stayed at the Hyatt Pier 66 Tower King room. It was a beautiful room with a view of the cruise port. The grounds and pool were beautiful and having the marina there for my husband to drool over the yachts was worth it! Final thoughts: We loved going through the Panama Canal and spent the day outside. We enjoyed the whole cruise but did not take excursions in all ports. In Columbia we booked with other CC members with Dora Tours and had a very interesting excursion. Mercedes was our tour guide and she was excellent. In Costa Rica we also did another excursion with CC members and booked with Odyssey Tours who again were very good. In Huatulco we did a snorkel trip and had another one booked through HAL for Cabo but it was canceled due to rough seas. In San Diego we took the HAL trolley which was interesting. The other ports we either just wandered at the port or stayed on the ship to enjoy the quietness by the pool. Arriving back to our home port of Vancouver is always wonderful too and it was a picture perfect, beautiful day. It was a breeze getting off the ship because we had already done the customs forms at our stop in Victoria. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
The food was excellent and the entertainment was great. Got to score that as close as possible to 10 out of 10. The port and shore excursions could have also been 10 out of 10 if San Diego was not included on the list. What a dirty place. ... Read More
The food was excellent and the entertainment was great. Got to score that as close as possible to 10 out of 10. The port and shore excursions could have also been 10 out of 10 if San Diego was not included on the list. What a dirty place. Looked more like a 3rd world country and the US security was both an embarrassment and a huge inconvenience. Suggest they could take some tips from any of the other countries. Now here is why I would never go again. We just froze on the ship due to the air conditioning. Lucky the weather was fantastic outside, so one could take his or her food out and eat it in comfort. If you plan to use the eating and entertaining areas, bring a ski jacket and wool socks. At first we thought it was just us, but after complaining to others sharing a table we heard from more than a dozen people, who felt the same. Most of us come for a warm get away not a meat locker experience. We ended up with awful colds and later heard from others that told us they too had to go to their family doctors after returning home. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
It was a good cruise and being my first time really enjoy it will be taking other next year.Our Stewart was very nice room was always clean and if we needed anything he was willing to get it for us.almost every night it was show,dinner and ... Read More
It was a good cruise and being my first time really enjoy it will be taking other next year.Our Stewart was very nice room was always clean and if we needed anything he was willing to get it for us.almost every night it was show,dinner and dancing it was really nice to have different choose every day in what was happening at night.Most did private excursions on port days but we did one shore excursion with cruise and really enjoy that. There was so many different types of dining to choose from and it was good and you could eat where ever your heart was into that day. Enjoy the fact that it could be dress down or up depending on your mood. Could have not ask for better service from the cooks to the waiters who clean the tables and the messes that some people left. To me it was a good trip and being my first time really enjoy it was fun to meet different people from all over the world. But as always you get people who will complain about anything and sometimes it seems. That they enjoy hearing their own voice or just looking to complain about anything and if that is the case why not stay home than. p.s no curtain from shower goose me lol Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
"Another don't-miss is Norwegian's signature Chocoholic's Buffet, held once per cruise on each ship. It's a magnificent sight to behold. " This quote is simply untrue as there was never a chocolate buffet..on ... Read More
"Another don't-miss is Norwegian's signature Chocoholic's Buffet, held once per cruise on each ship. It's a magnificent sight to behold. " This quote is simply untrue as there was never a chocolate buffet..on two separate occasions we had water pouring from the ceiling in the hallway...4 to 5 buckets were placed on the floor to collect it...and when the weather turned cold our section of the ship had no working heat for one night and one day...our room steward offered us a one person coverup type blanket. The entertainment ranged from excellent to hastily improvised (an Elvis tribute with false starts and some onstage ego problems)... Read Less

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