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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
It was our second time with MSC. The first one was with MSC Fantasy and was very good. To start, embarkation lasted three hours, very stressful. We had to buy soap at the first port we arrived because the soap dispenser did not work. ... Read More
It was our second time with MSC. The first one was with MSC Fantasy and was very good. To start, embarkation lasted three hours, very stressful. We had to buy soap at the first port we arrived because the soap dispenser did not work. The menu at buffet and restaurants did not have many options, specially if you do not want to eat meat. They take a lot of time to refill food and coffee, when they do. Napkins at the buffet were dark blue fabric, dirty and smelly as well as the plastic glasses to drink water. Dining tables at the buffet were usually dirty, they did not remove the dirty dishes and stuff very fast. No enough tables at the buffet, it takes some time to find a place to seat. No shows at the theater for several days, even at sea days. However, one night there was the best show we ever enjoyed at cruises, with an Argentinian singer, Guillermo Guido. Great show. Instructions to connect to the Internet were not given to the rooms. After some time, we finally found the instructions on a blackboard near the Reception office. We wasted a lot of time with long lines everywhere because there were just a few officers to help you. It seems that they did not have bilingual crew. The library was very limited, not only the quantity of books available but also its schedule. The person in charge of the library did not speak or understand basic Spanish, in spite of most of the passengers were Argentinian. The crew looked very tense and did not smile at any moment, they just did the minimum required with a tired face. Finally, they charged for water and everything, even for the only scale they had at the gym, $9!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I think I should start with what I did like. The new (i had not seen these before) hand wash system in place and the covers over the dining selection in the Lido dining room. Its a pity that guests do not adhere to using these and it is ... Read More
I think I should start with what I did like. The new (i had not seen these before) hand wash system in place and the covers over the dining selection in the Lido dining room. Its a pity that guests do not adhere to using these and it is not monitored by staff. Only one sanitiser as you come out of the lift and again not many use this either before going to the food counters. I think the comedian on board hit the nail on the head when he said that these things are done to stop guests getting infected and ill. I saw guests drinking the juice from the breakfast selection and leave the now dirty glass on the counter in front. Another leaning on the glass covers on the section making the rolls up, Guests filling water bottles direct by placing bottle inside the dispenser instead of filling a glass and pouring into bottle. Bowls of apricots and nuts etc removed completely from the cabinet when there are spoons to use in each bowl. Guest could not work the tongs on the cold meats and sliced cheese counter so proceeded to hand pick her slices with her hands. The Café a guest took of his hat and placed it on the counter while waiting for his coffee. I think I will leave that there but every day at least once I witnessed something that made me question where are the staff as I challenged on 2 occasions only for the guests to flare up and get angry with me. I did get a stateroom change as 1962 was very noisy and I couldn't get decent sleep. Started usually around 4am to am due to engines and propellers side thrusts when docking. Not recommended. Too many trips down to guest services regarding laundry, I had paid for unlimited laundry package but still had this put this on my bill 3 times and I had to go to guest services to get it removed. Drinks put on my bill in the dining room that I did not have (although) this was removed before I saw it on my bill. Easter came and went with no recognition apart from hot cross bus offered in the bread roll selection in main dining room and 2 mini choc eggs left on the bed instead of squares. No entertainment in the theatre on Easter Saturday and very limited bars. I asked Michael the travel agent on board why no show etc and was told it was because we had 2 late departures and this very often happens? So we went out ashore in the evening but because it was Easter everything closed between 4pm and 8pm so we went back to the ship.We had 20 nights on boad and the Zaanda singers and dancers were only on 4 times? We are booked on the Westerdam in October (this was booked before we had cruised with Holland America) so I asked Michael for some information while we were on board as he said he had just joined Zaandam after 6 months on Westerdam. He told me couldn't help me as I did not have my booking reference with me. I am sure had I been going to book he would have been more helpful. Drinks are quite expensive. Ran out of IPA (bottled craft beer) 7. but not available.7.25 and 7.5 volume too strong for the average drinker. Hand pump for boddingtons . Rekordling cider ran out in Crowes nest. One day of rain and water was leaking through the ceilings into the Lido dining and through a light fitting outside the toilets and Crowes Nest bar. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Choose this cruise for the itinery and appeared good value. Cabin fine we choose interior and are happy lots of storage. The itinery was good and we saw lots the highlight was transitting the Panama canal AWESOME. Yes there were senior ... Read More
Choose this cruise for the itinery and appeared good value. Cabin fine we choose interior and are happy lots of storage. The itinery was good and we saw lots the highlight was transitting the Panama canal AWESOME. Yes there were senior passengers on board but we were treated as aged and any entertainment past 9.30 pm was considered to be a disturbance to those asleep in bed according to the entertainment Director Tino We asked for 50s 60s night party told NO we asked to change music on lido deck which was on a loop and told NO asked to have an announcement when crossing the Equator and told NO after going through Panama canal no cheers no horns no nothing. Even Easter Sunday passed without any acknowledgement. Easter Monday late bought round some trays of chocolate. All passengers I spoke to English some USA and Australians said they were bored had never read so many books on holiday or been in bed so early. The Captain sails the ship the engineer keeps the ship going the chef feeds the passengers. The Entertainment director and assistant should keep the passengers happy and entertained well it didn't happen 4 shows from cast in 21 days hardley ever saw the entertainment Director no people skills bad jokes telling us to take clothes from people's cases left in corridor night before departure !!!!!. Very inexperienced person did not know the passengers feelings never asked how things were? Deputy Erica needs to change her job not happy does not speak or acknowledge passengers is not part of the team that makes the ship work. Some people had been like us on many cruises 5 plus and could not believe the lack of entertainment on offer. No sail away parties and the disco should be closed and used for something else. Very sad to be writing this as had high hopes for this cruise the itinery saved the day. And finally the main entertainment areas were freezing main stage theatre wajang theatre, Dining room, people got colds coughs and All the throat sweets were sold out. We would sit in the main stage theatre with body warmers on. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have sailed mostly with RCL previously and was looking forward to sailing with a different cruise liner. This was our first time sailing with MSC. Embarkation process was alright. We embarked from Salvador (Cruise started in Santos, ... Read More
We have sailed mostly with RCL previously and was looking forward to sailing with a different cruise liner. This was our first time sailing with MSC. Embarkation process was alright. We embarked from Salvador (Cruise started in Santos, Brazil a couple of days before we embarked) and therefore they only had 2 staff at the check in desk which probably took longer than it should have. As soon as we got on the ship, my first impression was what a stunning ship! There is a lot of mirrors which makes the ship look even bigger. It looks very extravagant. It has a water slide, jungle pool, pools, jacuzzis, zipline, bowling alley, arcade, library, theatre, cinema etc. Our rooms were also ready unlike RCL where you have to wait until 2pm (we were in the ship around 12ish). We had a balcony room and it is very spacious and the bed is comfortable. Also the wardrobe space is adequate. They describe the ship as a smart ship. I recommend purchasing the wrist band (about $5) as you don’t have to worry about your cruise card at all. But you will need your cruise card when you get off the ship. You can use the wrist band to purchase things and for reserving theatre shows if you haven’t done it yet on your TV. There’s about 11 free movies and some of them are quite decent. Live TV channels are also available that caters to different language speakers (we’ll come to that in a moment). You can also check menu from the dining room on your TV and book spa/excursions. I would also recommend downloading the MSC for Me App as you can use it onboard to check for activities and book stuff without having to pay for the internet. You can connect to the ship WiFi and then use the Internet ID that you can find in your cruise card and cabin number to log in. This will not work unless you are connected to the ship WiFi, i.e. will not work outside the ship. Now for the not so good reviews. Food - If you are looking to go on a cruise and worried about gaining weight- this is the cruise for you. The food is not great in the dining room - with the exception of desserts, they’re pretty edible. The buffet isn’t great either. No comparison with RCL on this one - RCL’s food is definitely better! Service - In comparison with RCL, I missed the smiley faces of the crew regardless of who you are. In RCL, they greet you in the corridors with a big smile, everywhere in the ship. In MSC, you’ll be lucky to get one. The staff are pleasant but they don’t go that little bit extra which makes your cruise special. Entertainment - In terms of activities throughout the day - you’ll get bored. There’s nothing fun. This is what the ship lacked - a sense of fun! A waste of a beautiful ship! However, the in-house entertainment is definitely better than RCL. In fact RCL can learn from MSC in delivering a great show. Also the staging and costumes are phenomenal. However, the guest performers on some nights are quite so-so. Language issues - It gets a little bit exhausting when they had to repeat the same thing 7 times in different languages. It’s mostly a Brazilian cruise but dear God, apart from Portuguese, it was translated to English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Polish. So an announcement that should last 30 seconds, lasts about 10 minutes. They need to learn from RCL on this one on how they make it work. Disembarkation - the disembarkation is also an issue. We were delayed in our stop in Malaga due to three medical emergencies during the cruise (one was a pregnant woman who had to be taken off the ship using via an air ambulance). So when we disembarked in Malaga, we had to queue for about an hour before we were let out and there was no queuing system so people started overtaking us. It was a shamble! Overall, I think it’s a nice ship and I would go back only if it is destination heavy. Will never go back on a transatlantic cruise, it was a slow death! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We were on a combined visit to Easter Island (which was superb) and then a cruise from Chile to San Diego. We were very happy with our stateroom, which was spacious, very comfortable and had an excellent balcony and bathroom.The ship - ... Read More
We were on a combined visit to Easter Island (which was superb) and then a cruise from Chile to San Diego. We were very happy with our stateroom, which was spacious, very comfortable and had an excellent balcony and bathroom.The ship - Celebrity Eclipse - is a good size has an attractive range of amenities while never seeming too big. We always felt the ship had plenty of space. Embarkation was quite straightforward as we had stayed in Santiago the day before and it was a simple coach ride to the port at San Antonio. In the dining room we chose to dine with other guests and the eight of us got on really well. In fact we spent quite a bit of leisure time together. We just clicked as a group. The quality of of food in the main dining room was generally poor - much worse than on Princess ships we have used in the past. We had a very nice waiter, but he got used to saying :'If there is anything you don't like I will change it,' when bringing dishes to our table. The food was sometimes cold, often unappetisingly presented and just not what we expected. The others on our table - regulars on Celebrity - said the standard of food on their ships had declined markedly in recent years. In contrast, the Ocean Cafe food was usually very good, with a terrific selection to choose from. Lunch was especially good. We also had one lunch in the dining room, which was a pleasant experience. We always enjoyed a drink in the evenings before dinner and often a nightcap afterwards. We soon realised that service in the bars was very poor - everyone seemed to be going to the bar and getting drinks themselves. We resorted to this - again, not what we expected. We complained about paying an 18% service charge when drinks service was basically do-it-yourself but they refused to remove it. If anything, service round the pool was even worse, with seldom a waiter in sight. The grill bar and ice cream bar were very good. We did not try the speciality restaurants as they were very expensive. Someone came round on a couple of nights offering us $20 per head discount if six of us went to eat there, but we declined. We found the speciality restaurants and drinks very expensive compared with Princess. We took the very expensive trip to Machu Picchu which was brilliant. I think it was contracted to another firm who really knew what they were doing, even though it was a very tiring experience. We thought this might be our one chance to go there and it was well worth doing. Evening entertainment was par for the course on cruise ships. The cruise director (entertainments director) was especially aggravating, referring to the captain all the time as 'Super Capitan.' He wasn't that super as he twice told us we were in the South Atlantic when we were in the South Pacific. There was a brilliant speaker on all kinds of wild life topics - she was one of the best we had heard. Disembarkation was very smooth and hassle free. Would we travel with Celebrity again? Probably not, as other shipping lines we have tried in the same sector of the market are cheaper and much better. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The cruise was pleasant enough but when we returned home we found our MasterCard had been charged for an unidentified item. Contacting Celebrity they informed us the charge was for items used from the mini bar. We, in fact, had not used ... Read More
The cruise was pleasant enough but when we returned home we found our MasterCard had been charged for an unidentified item. Contacting Celebrity they informed us the charge was for items used from the mini bar. We, in fact, had not used any items from the mini bar during the entire cruise and, more to the point, had not authorised any payment. Very concerned that payment can be taken from your bank card without authorisation. The cleanliness on the ship was of a high standard, particularly in the Solarium, toilets and pool area. The one outstanding excursion on the cruise, was a visit to the Palamino Islands. Very memorable and worth the money. However, some of the other excursions during the cruise were expensive and not good value. Food in the Lido Cafe was often cold and much of the selection was repeated every day. Overall it was a pleasant cruise but left us dismayed at being charged for something we didn’t have.. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Cruise itinerary was a unique opportunity to sail from Buenos Aires to San Diego. We are Captain's Club Plus members and cruised the first half in concierge and the second half in Aqua Class. Our cabin in concierge class was vastly ... Read More
Cruise itinerary was a unique opportunity to sail from Buenos Aires to San Diego. We are Captain's Club Plus members and cruised the first half in concierge and the second half in Aqua Class. Our cabin in concierge class was vastly superior to our aqua class cabin (1608) which was terribly noisy both from pool furniture being banged around overhead to a huge ventilation outlet over our deck making it too loud to enjoy the deck. This was a coveted "bump" cabin very near the central elevators. Our concierge cabin was also on the bump but on the 10th floor so had none of the noise that the 11th floor had. We traveled the Eclipse last September and were surprised and disappointed at how much the food quality declined on this cruise. The cuts of meat in the dining room were largely braising meats. The regular NY steak was so thin that it had to be cut with a laser. It was counterproductive for Celebrity because they had to be sent back repeatedly because they were overcooked so easily. We saw a great deal of this. Most meats were terribly overcooked in main dining room and in Oceanview. Service in main dining room was stellar,as always. Blu was a huge disappointment. The meat/poultry quality was better than the main dining room but the menu was quite erratic and not well designed. We had repetative things seemingly ever other day and often the starters were not designed to go with the featured entrees. Choices seemed to decrease as the cruise went along. The service was shockingly poor--with breakfast being the worst. It was hard to get waited on, hard to get coffee, etc., sitting with dirty plates in front of you for far too long. coffee arriving long after dessert, etc. No real excuse for that when they handle those things with aplomb in the main diningroom (both breakfast and dinner). All in all, we won't book Aqua Class again because all cabins are noisy and Blu was such a disappointment. Celebrity is asking a fair amount more now for their experience and they need to step up their food quality to match. I heard repeated mention of it among passengers. It is probably a blessing but the desserts almost universally disappoint in taste. Again, I heard this over and over again among passengers. Captain was terrific and always enjoy the expert lectures. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We have sailed on the Summit, Reflection, Silhouette (x2) and Equinox (x2) prior to this sailing. Based upon our past experience we had a general expectation of the level of service and facilities. On the minus side. the restaurant ... Read More
We have sailed on the Summit, Reflection, Silhouette (x2) and Equinox (x2) prior to this sailing. Based upon our past experience we had a general expectation of the level of service and facilities. On the minus side. the restaurant staff were generally friendly and accommodating (with the exception of the Oceanview Cafe and Mast Grill cooks who couldn't be bothered). In Luminae, it was rare to get the orders right and it was often difficult to get anyone's attention for such simple things as coffee or water. The food in Luminae was not to the level of prior cruises, and we found ourselves getting better food in Blu. The suite butler was MIA for most of the trip, and when we could find her, it seemed like she wanted to push most duties to the cabin attendant. The ship is clean, but it is pretty tired (peeling paint, furniture and carpet that shows years of wear). On the plus side, the Captain and the Hotel Director were some of the most visible we have ever encountered. The Michael's Club Concierge was outstanding, and provided service we had never received on previous cruises. We had some excellent meals and service in the Tuscan Grille and Murano. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We just returned from our 14 day cruise leaving Santiago, Chile on 3/24 and arriving in San Diego on 4/8. We were in cabin 6230. Here's what we think about our experience: First of all let me say that the STAFF on the ship are the ... Read More
We just returned from our 14 day cruise leaving Santiago, Chile on 3/24 and arriving in San Diego on 4/8. We were in cabin 6230. Here's what we think about our experience: First of all let me say that the STAFF on the ship are the greatest! Everyone wanted to help us enjoy our (for us) expensive vacation. But I do have more than a few concerns about the overall condition of the ship. I feel that this ship really needs time in drydock for upkeep and repair. It wasn't so much the explosion that took out the electricity in part of the ship, which caused the air-conditioning to go down, the elevators to stop working, and the lights in that part of the ship to falter. It wasn't even that at least one of the main elevators were too often offline. Stuff happens. But I don't see why the automatic sliding doors that lead from the pool into the ship would be slow to open and close, or why the rubber weather stripping should be falling away. Also one of the two sinks in the Men's bathroom by the pool had a sign on it stating that it was "tired and resting." For the entire cruise? What's that about? Our cabin felt dingy. While our assigned steward was very pleasant, I had to point out places where fingerprints and smears weren't cleaned from previous guests. And I hate to seem picky, but the remote control to our television was held together by tape. One would think that something like that would be an easy fix. And while I'm on the subject of television, ours kept going down. Repeated calls resulted in various excuses. Someone did call back but I didn't want to spend anymore of our vacation sorting the problem out. What NEVER went down were the TV stations selling hideous art (beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder!) or future cruises. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The ship was badly affected by what can only be described as the Holland America cost cutting strategy. This was evident everywhere on the ship and throughout the 34 day cruise. The main restaurant should be the main attraction of any ... Read More
The ship was badly affected by what can only be described as the Holland America cost cutting strategy. This was evident everywhere on the ship and throughout the 34 day cruise. The main restaurant should be the main attraction of any cruise ship, this was our 22nd cruise on various cruise lines and ships and our worst possible main restaurant experience by far. The plates were very nice, but night after night no variation in the menus, "no taste", too often "rice" or mashed potato", mass catering vegetables, nearly always cold, very small portions. Service was always good, but what value is good service when dinner each evening and also gala evenings, was such a disappointment. We therefore moved to the Lido Buffet on deck 8, which was always much better and very often the same selection of food available as in the main restaurant. It was no surprise the main restaurant was often half empty. One niggle at the Lido Buffet, breakfast, lunch and dinner was the frequency of "crew and staff" sitting 1 or 2 persons for a table of 4 or 6, when passengers could not find tables which were free. Reduced service staff at the Lido also caused tables not to be cleared and cleaned, leaving passengers "waiting" for a clean table, Bar service was almost non-existent due to not enough Bar staff, again a result of cost cutting. Bars are normally a profit center so why not enough service staff? Bar and restaurant Service" was generally excellent and so very friendly, the service staff could not do enough for you. But in some areas and at certain time there were not enough service staff, again a clear indication of cost cutting. Entertainment - The main theater dancers and singers were an exceptionally good and very talented team, the theater band was also of the highest quantity. But outside the theater entertainment was also non-existent. The quality of music around the ship was poor, HAL get what they pay for, but why should cruise passengers who pay high prices have the quality of their vacation reduced because of cost cutting in the entertainment area. After about 21:00 hours each evening it seemed like HAL wanted passengers in bed so as to save money on entertainment. The Crow's Nest was almost empty every night, there was no dance band. The "singer" each evening in the Ocean Bar lounge was like a "sleeping tablet". Music at the Lido and Sear View bars was the same day after day. Excursions - Far too expensive and did not fully provide value for money. In future we will book in advance our own private tours, for a cost 60 - 70% lower. It was also very noticeable the HAL staff organizing the tour departures out of the theater and off the ship, were not in any way identified with the Holland America brand. We liked the Zaandam very much as a medium size, passenger friendly, easy to find your way around, very comfortable cruise ship, but we were very disappointed and disturbed by the effects of cost cutting, an awful main restaurant where only "the plates were nice", poor entertainment, over-priced excursions, and our biggest niggle, 15% service charges continually being added to our main cruise invoice. We objected very strongly to the Holland America policy of "15% service charges" being added to Beverage Packages purchased in the Internet. This was in effect an additional 15% "administration charge", because we were also expected to pay 14.50 USD per person per day, which is also stated to be a "service charge", so yes, passengers are being asked to pay double service charges. We went to the reception and insisted that our service charges be reduced to the absolute minimum. Partly because we wanted the 15% internet administration charges refunded and partly because cost cutting has created a quality of service which does not meet our cruise expectations, especially for the price we pay. This does also affect any future purchase decision when we book a future cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a tailor made holiday to Brazil and ended with the cruise from Bueno Aries to Santiago. The facilities were fine. Food in buffet was excellant but in restaurant I was underwhelmed. Tendering was a shambles. Missed my private ... Read More
This was a tailor made holiday to Brazil and ended with the cruise from Bueno Aries to Santiago. The facilities were fine. Food in buffet was excellant but in restaurant I was underwhelmed. Tendering was a shambles. Missed my private pre booked trip because the steward would not allow me off the ship although I explained I needed to leave to meet my tour. Even when I booked a ship tour I had to ask permission to leave to make tour. Also price of tours are now so expensive . Not good value. Entertainment on main stage was O.K. Some shows were excellant ,others were not suitable for the main entertainment. Staff were friendly but there was not many on dockside to help when going ashore for trips. This was my second cruise with Holland America , I chose them because last cruise I was very happy with them. This time I felt the standard had fallen slightly, However I would cruise with them again if cruise itinerary was what I required Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a 18 night South America Cruise from Santiago Chile to Miami, FL. We choose this cruise based on the itinerary. The ship is old...built in 2001 and refurbished in 2018. Our Cabin was a Vista View Junior Suite on Deck #10 ... Read More
This was a 18 night South America Cruise from Santiago Chile to Miami, FL. We choose this cruise based on the itinerary. The ship is old...built in 2001 and refurbished in 2018. Our Cabin was a Vista View Junior Suite on Deck #10 (0067)...on the very back of the ship. The size of the balcony was average. This balcony provided an excellent view for the Panama Canal crowding. The Junior Suite was average size...had a walk-in closet and a bath tub/shower. I was not impressed with the service from the room steward. The main dining room service and food is awful....we ate in specially restaurants 14 of the nights. The production shows in the theatre are excellent...other shows are average. The bar staff is excellent and they cocktails are also excellent. Of the specialty restaurants...we prefer Cagney's Steakhouse and LaBistro French Restaurant. There is no lobster served on this ship.....not even in the specialty restaurants (this is unacceptable). The only restaurant that serves shrimp cocktail is Cagney's Steakhouse....and they charge an extra $4.99 + specialty restaurant fee (this is unacceptable). Most of the shore excursions that we booked on the ship were good. Boarding the tours were not handled efficiently. The cruise director is a former "Miss Colombia"....we rarely saw her. We rarely saw the Captain. None of the fish at any of the restaurants are eatable....sent the fish back every time....never came back any better (this is unacceptable). The breakfast in the main dining room was good. Overall service was average. They never tell you when they are having a dress-up (elegant) night. We did like the entertainment in the Windjammer Bar (Keiffer Wiley). Disembarkation process was average. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise to see some of South America and cruise through the Panama Canal. We have traveled on the Norwegian Sun previously and had a good experience. The ship was upgraded last year and looks good. The staterooms are now ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see some of South America and cruise through the Panama Canal. We have traveled on the Norwegian Sun previously and had a good experience. The ship was upgraded last year and looks good. The staterooms are now elegant and other areas of the ship nice. This was a repositioning cruise, so there were seven sea days, which was a bit much for us, as we don't participate in bingo, karaoke, art auctions, knitting, etc, although I would have to say the ship did do a good job in offering all kinds of daily activities catered to the mostly older passengers. We are 60, but the average age is a bit older. The ship never felt crowded, except on sea days around the pool. Embarkation was easy, as we arrived late, so no crowds. Disembarkation in Miami was slow and bottlenecked through customs. Probably not NCL's fault. Service on the ship was generally good. Cabin, bar, restaurant, drills, excursions, port disembarkation, shows, lectures, etc. were all well organized. Only complaint was disembarkation for ship shore excursions, which was a joke. We were an hour late for every excursion due to a very poorly designed system. We did a combination of ship and third party shore excursions, all were pretty good. Some ports had limited attractions and things to do. For some reason the ship organized about a half dozen separate excursions under different names that ended up at the same place (rain forest, tram and zipline) and doing about the same activities. Ship excursions are a bit pricey compared to what is available from Viator and other companies, which get you off the ship quicker. NCL needs to fix this. Meals in the main dining room was surprisingly good. Cagney's and French Bistro meals were mediocre. Teppenyaki and Sushi restaurants were very, very good. Good drinks at Los Lobos. We had a complimentary NCL drink package, which we overused. Buffet inside was predictable, small, and generally crowded. The deserts on board were excellent just about everywhere. Drinks were easy to get and bartenders were some of the best on any cruise ship I have been on. The Great Outdoors buffet was better and convenient to the back seating are, where we spent a lot of time. South American ports are a bit rougher than other parts of the world. A lot of poverty and trash around. Still, many great sites. We did enjoy the extended time in Santiago. The couple we traveled with went to Machu Picchu and loved it. We enjoyed the Panama Canal experience and many of the Inca and other historical sites. Lima and Cartagena are overrun with Venezuelan refugees, which is sad but pretty much ruined most of the excursion. The ziplining experience in Costa Rica was a lot of fun. I would use NCL again and would cruise the Sun again for the right itinerary. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
South America Santiago, Chile March 14, 2019 to Los Angeles, March 30, 2019) appealed to my wife and I. We enjoyed Chile (Santiago and Coquimbo), Peru (San Martin and Lima) and Costa Rica (Puntarenas), less so Nicaragua (San Juan del Sur), ... Read More
South America Santiago, Chile March 14, 2019 to Los Angeles, March 30, 2019) appealed to my wife and I. We enjoyed Chile (Santiago and Coquimbo), Peru (San Martin and Lima) and Costa Rica (Puntarenas), less so Nicaragua (San Juan del Sur), that was rushed and felt a little unsafe, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, that was a free day to unwind. We chose eZAir for our flight (13 hours) from LA four days earlier and the only regret was not arranging our departure from Phoenix via LA/Santiago. The Star Princess was a welcome relief after a disastrous inaugural repositioning cruise with MSC Seaside. We have been on the Emerald Princess a number of times, so the Star Princess, a sister ship, was very familiar and a welcome relief. A few glitches arose such as the 5:15 PM supper start; 6:00 PM is much better and definitely preferred. Entertainment and food selection at Supper seemed to be slightly less diverse then previously but was vastly better than my previous encounter on the Seaside. Food would rate a 4/5. Dining, cabin, bar and general services were exemplary and would rate 4/5. The one exception was the staff member at the Captain's Circle Counter who was not courteous when I spoke to her rather somewhat short/rude. Entertainment was good (3.5/5), especially the stage productions, but overall slightly more muted (comedy, rock bands, classical music, etc.) than my last Princess cruise from Rome to Ft Lauderdale. Most of our shore excursions were private as there are no guarantees with Princess and we get, more for less. Most of these I will review through Trip Adviser. Overall this cruise provided some healing from past cruises and new friends. We will once again return in 2021 for a 31 day fall cruise via Vancouver to Sydney, Australia. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I can't understand why a big cruise line like Princess simply doesn't understand what is vegetarian and what is not, despite being advised repeatedly. Overall, not blown away by the cuisine. I'm afraid too that reception ... Read More
I can't understand why a big cruise line like Princess simply doesn't understand what is vegetarian and what is not, despite being advised repeatedly. Overall, not blown away by the cuisine. I'm afraid too that reception staff were not particularly knowledgeable about the port arrangements on one particular day, in fact giving me completely inaccurate information and causing a degree of stress re availability of our tour operator. Otherwise staff were very friendly (mostly) and helpful, ironically especially so in the dining rooms. As far as entertainment was concerned the Princess dancers were really good but other acts were a bit dated. Our balcony cabin was fine but maybe the level of service and overall standard of cleanliness were a bit short of what we've had in the past. Overall I think this cruise experience may have called time on our many years of cruising. It wasn't awful but it just wasn't special enough. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our 3rd cruise; the previous cruises were with Oceania and Seabourn on much smaller ships and apparently in a higher class of luxury. We had never been to South America before and were hoping for some spectacular scenery. We were ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise; the previous cruises were with Oceania and Seabourn on much smaller ships and apparently in a higher class of luxury. We had never been to South America before and were hoping for some spectacular scenery. We were disappointed. The itinerary featured a cruise through the Beagle Channel to Ushaia and later through the Straits of Magellan on the 500th anniversary of Magellan’s voyage. However those parts of the cruise occurred substantially at night and we saw very little. Glaciers? Nope. There were too many sea days for us and the ports visited apart from Buenos Aires (where we had spent 5 days before embarking) and Montevideo were of little interest. Ushaia is a pretty town and set below some beautiful snow covered peaks but that was it. Embarkation was impressively efficient. The dining was a let down. The food in the MDR was not much better than pub standard and sometimes unacceptably worse. The room was beautiful and the sommeliers and waiters provided quite excellent service but the food rarely bore much resemblance to the lavish descriptions on the menus. I had an allegedly Moroccan tagine in which none of the claimed ingredients could be identified. It was tasteless stew. Poor desserts. Cold vegetables. Tough meats. Steak Dianne which a waiter agreed was nothing like it purported to be. Dry tasteless cakes. The kitchen lets the front of house badly down. Those who write the menu descriptions have clearly not dined in the MDR. On the basis of the MDR standards we did not try the specialty restaurants assuming that the standards would not justify the cost. Perhaps we missed out. The wines available in the classic package were good especially the South African wines. We are Australians. The main cafe for breakfast and lunch had extensive options although the standard was cafe level. The room was nearly always crowded but that is a given with 2880 guests. The concierge balcony cabin was very good. Spacious and with a very good bathroom. I don’t see that paying for concierge is of any value. The entertainment was mainly good but not spectacular. Guest performers were good. The Liar Liar night featuring the Captain and the Entertainment MC was a disgrace. Pure filth. I walked out after 15 minutes but my wife made the mistake of staying as we were with friends. Celebrity should either get rid of this feature or clean it up. It was astounding to see the Captain taking part. The enclosed pool area was terrific and I enjoyed the pool size. The library was good. The cinema was appreciated although the films were recycled after a week. The ships facilities are extensive and to repeat it is a beautiful ship. Disembarkation at the not ideal port of San Antonio was again impressively efficient. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, which was Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, including sailing around Cape Horn and Straits of Magellan. It was a 14-night cruise. The Eclipse is a beautiful ship that is elegantly furnished. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, which was Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, including sailing around Cape Horn and Straits of Magellan. It was a 14-night cruise. The Eclipse is a beautiful ship that is elegantly furnished. The staff provided outstanding service, especially our room attendant and wait staff in the main dining room. We were really disappointed in the quality of the food in the main dining room and in the Oceanview Cafe. The presentation of the food was always very appealing, but flavor and options were severely lacking. In addition the Oceanview Cafe was extremely crowded. Twice, we were unable to find a seat and had to go elsewhere to eat! After about the 4th day, they started putting extra tables and chairs in the walkway through the cafe. The quality of entertainment in the Eclipse Theater was not what we've been accustomed to having on a cruise ship. We went to the theater nearly every night, but left early everytime with one exception. The talent just was not there. The one night we stayed all the way through the program was when they had a trio called, "Shades of Buble." They sang songs recorded by Michael Buble. They were talented, and we enjoyed them. We had 4 excursions scheduled. The one in Puerto Madryn was cancelled due to the rain the night before that has washed out the roads. I was really disappointed because we were going to see penguins, which I was looking forward to. The other excursions were all very good. We had one in Buenos Aries which was a tour of the City, a visit to San Telmo Market and a fabulous steak dinner in a restaurant. We also did an excursion in Montevideo, Uruguay which was a tour of the City and a visit to a ranch where we were treated to a hay ride, bar-b-que (not too good) and all the wine, beer or water we wanted to drink. We had an excursion in Santiago that was very nice. It took us to a nice historical plaza and a tour through the City, a lapis luzili shop and finally to a lovely park on San Cristobal Hill. After this tour, we were taken to the airport to pick up our luggage that had been transferred there and catch our flight. That process was well coordinated by the ship and the tour company and worked very smoothly! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Wanted to passage the Panama Canal again - to see the new larger locks that were being built the last time we passed this way - Holland America was recommended to us - we were disappointed at the poor meals - not much choice and constantly ... Read More
Wanted to passage the Panama Canal again - to see the new larger locks that were being built the last time we passed this way - Holland America was recommended to us - we were disappointed at the poor meals - not much choice and constantly had rice (which we are not keen on) - the expensive poor trips - some of which did not actually visit all the places listed. As the cruise went on - things that had really grated seemed less important - unlike many other cruise ships there were plenty of places to just sit and read. Thoughtful touches like snacks and drinks available outside the ship when on deck watching the entry and exit to the locks on the Panama Canal - a bit disappointed that the majority of our fellow guests did not seem to grasp that on 'Gala Nights' - you are supposed to dress up - many men wearing Beach shirts and shorts - amazing - very few men seemed to own jackets and certainly not ties ! The resident dancers and singers very good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Ports of call interesting.We havd never been to these countries on the Pacific side of South America.. Going this tome of year we expected, and received waem weather. Having sailed with Princess several times, with very positive results, ... Read More
Ports of call interesting.We havd never been to these countries on the Pacific side of South America.. Going this tome of year we expected, and received waem weather. Having sailed with Princess several times, with very positive results, we picked this itinerary. Being familiar with the Royal Princess, having sailed with her before, and having been told that she was refitted with new mattresses, new wi-fi, new Medallion sophistication our expectations were very high... We were given the wrong information.. With the exception of a few members of the crew, the staff was efficient but without personality. We seldom saw the ship's officers, common on most cruises. The captain was glib and amusing from the bridge. We laughed at his "rolly-poly to describe any rough weather. The entertainment was very good initially, but the last vocalists were not familiar with the passengers' preferences. Our biggest food problem was we found hair several times in our meals. Not what we expect from Princess Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. That part was very good. Ship was obviously very pretty at one point but looking a little shop worn now and the food dept need a total overhaul. Staff (outside of the front desk and a few ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. That part was very good. Ship was obviously very pretty at one point but looking a little shop worn now and the food dept need a total overhaul. Staff (outside of the front desk and a few waitstaff) were very friendly and helpful with smiles and greetings abounding. Captain was out and about every day and made it clear he was happy you chose his ship!. There was always something going on in the atrium and it was extremely loud. To the point that you could not find places to sit and read or converse. The entertainment and activities were well-thought out and varied, however evening shows often seemed to be trying to hard and did not have that "spark'. Small venues were the exception. Many good musicians to be found there. We chose anytime dining and sat with others. Were always seated promptly and usually had the table fill quickly. Service was good except for coffee or tea. That took forever to get and often needed several promptings to get it. They usually forgot the lemons etc. Food was mediocre at best. Steaks and roast seldom done to correct temps. Gristle and fat thru them. Sauces overdone and heavy. Menus rather limited and buffet had little variety. Some deserts were excellent, however, as a diabetic, I had no choices and the one sugar-free offering each day was usually not good. Our cabin steward was fabulous and knew our names by end of 1st day - impressive ! Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth as were excursion activities. Best I have ever seen. Efficient and effective. Liked the wash stations in buffet rather than the disinfectant, excellent idea. Front desk had a rather surly and poorly trained staff, who rather than say "I don't know" responded incorrectly or just said that it can't be done. Purser made crediting error within the two travelers in our cabin (we had fully seperate credit cards on file etc) and refused to fix it Claimed they could not and we should just write each other a personal check to fix it. Overall, we had a wonderful time as always, met some terrific people, saw new parts of the world and are very happy we took this trip. Next time, however, we will chose a different and less expensive line.. (everything is a la carte with charges on this line until you get to elite level) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Firstly, we are not cruisers and chose this cruise because we wanted to visit South America for the first time. On immediate embarkation we were met with a fairly hard sell with regard to drink and dining packages. A lot of people had ... Read More
Firstly, we are not cruisers and chose this cruise because we wanted to visit South America for the first time. On immediate embarkation we were met with a fairly hard sell with regard to drink and dining packages. A lot of people had been travelling for 20 + hours and we questioned whether this was really necessary at that time. It just seemed a money making exercise. Surely, it might be better to charge more for the cruise in the first instance. There are no tea and coffee making facilities in the cabin and people were going to the restaurant and returning to their cabin with cups of hot water/tea/coffee. In terms of safety, we couldn't see the logic of this. Our cabin on the Deck 8 was good - plenty of storage and an unrestricted view. Our cabin steward - Jon, was excellent. He couldn't help us enough. Unfortunately, on our last days at sea we both contracted a gastrointestinal illness. We had been ashore on an excursion earlier in the day but had eaten and drank very little indeed - only bottled water. We called the Medical Centre and despite mentioning it in the daily bulletin of Sunday, 3rd March that "a member of the medical staff will be seeing you in your stateroom" we were told that someone would collect us in a wheelchair. I visited the surgery twice and my husband once - I was in isolation for 24 hours and my husband for 48 hours. My experience of the surgery was poor. Admittedly, it was 1.30 am but all the staff really seemed interested in, was me signing a disclaimer having had an injection for repeated sickness. I was just left with little instruction re medication and wheeled back to my cabin. At 1.30 am you cannot remember how many times you have been ill and they seemed to insist on a number. The nurse, Bernadette, the next day was very abrupt and I really felt, I was just too much trouble. The Receptionist on duty at the surgery in the morning, was, however, helpful. Customer Relations were good but they sent a letter to my husband when his isolation was over to say they hoped he was better after suffering from the flu. The Medical Centre certainly needs to improve. A lot of the food is warm at best and some improvement needs to take place. The Ocean View restaurant is more like a canteen and not a good experience in my view. The staff in the main are excellent and very pleasant. We enjoyed the talks by the Captain and we thought the entertainment director was brilliant. The entertainment was good but could be improved. Certainly, the show re the tea cup was lost on a lot of people, including myself. We enjoyed the excursions but the PA system was not working for Christ Redeemer trip and this was a pity. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
It is inexplicable why Azamara, when they drydocked the new to them Pursuit, did not add a pool heater. Although the pools on all the Old Renaissance ships are small and oddly shaped with their two whirlpools “pinching” the pool in the ... Read More
It is inexplicable why Azamara, when they drydocked the new to them Pursuit, did not add a pool heater. Although the pools on all the Old Renaissance ships are small and oddly shaped with their two whirlpools “pinching” the pool in the middle, Oceania made sure to add pool heaters, Azamara apparently cheaper out leaving the pool only functional for most when it is in the tropics. When we were quite surprised and commented to the in service staff we got shrugs and told that is how all the Azamara ships are. So if swimming is important to you as it is to us, beware you probably should choose a different cruise line Having said this, the staff are generally good, the staff/guest ratio and cabins fine (although like all R class ships on the small side. ,. Although I have heard from others that the food on Oceania ships are better, having been on both, I would rate them about the same with the exception of the smaller specialty restaurants on Oceania are free whereas the specialty restaurants on Azamara cost $30 each.3 for $70. On the other hand they have one free outing on shore which Oceania lacks....so on balance....unless you are a swimmer, or like the more frequent activities scheduled regularly on Oceania cruises or simply want to stretch out in a properly heated pool I would rate the two lines about the same...at least in their R class ships...with an edge to Oceania’s slightly larger Marina/Riviera and an edge to them if you are on a longer voyage as the costs of specialty dining in Azamara would more than offset one night’s activity. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We flew from LA to Buenos Aires 12 hours direct, arriving at airport 7:20 am, tired and long line at immigration (1.5 hours), Anticipating check-in around 11 am, lunch at noon, nap right after; but it did not turn out that way ... Read More
We flew from LA to Buenos Aires 12 hours direct, arriving at airport 7:20 am, tired and long line at immigration (1.5 hours), Anticipating check-in around 11 am, lunch at noon, nap right after; but it did not turn out that way Embarkation: Major delay by Princess arriving after 2 pm, check-in 5:30 pm. Main reason: few passengers without proper documents having issues with Argentina immigration, delay led to late queuing to the port. Princess staffs at the port did not offer water or snacks during the wait after repeated requests by passengers until 4:30 pm, poor communication among Princess Disembarkation was smooth in Los Angeles Ship (built in 2013) is nice with about 3500 passengers with all amenities Cabin is average compared to other cruise lines, flat TV mounted on the wall to save space, TV menu or guide is easy to navigate Dining: Prefer buffet because it takes up to 2 hours to sit to be served, more Asian food and couple of days with lavish sea food at buffet (lobster, oyster ....), fried noodle available daily. Issue with fruits: Banana often needs to be requested, qiwi was almost as hard as stone Entertainment: Love Princess Production Show even have seen from other ships, some guest performers were excellent, some were average, Princess singers are not up the par to perform as guest performers, sorry Service is very good Excursions: Good Best: Fortunate to see 3 kinds of penguins at Stanley, Falklands Islands, day before and after were not able to due to bad weather Bad: Only one tender dock at Punta Arenas, Chile and not informed by the ship captain, it took 45-90 minutes one way between ship & port, had we been told, some of us would not have gone ashore to ease tender traffic. Worst: Princess does not credit or compensate delay, mistake by Princess check-in process to allow passengers without proper document to get on the ship Advice: Weather was unpredictable in February-March, if you want to see penguins, make sure you book several shore excursions to see penguins as you may not dock at that port if weather is bad Overall rating: 6/10 (Embarkation problem and weather) Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
The star princess is bit dated. I heard they are taking it of service next year. I wouldn’t recommend any ship in same class as star princess.Worst area was food, and particularly horizon court. Not much choice, and food some times over ... Read More
The star princess is bit dated. I heard they are taking it of service next year. I wouldn’t recommend any ship in same class as star princess.Worst area was food, and particularly horizon court. Not much choice, and food some times over cooked and sometimes undercooked. For example, avocado tomato sandwich was like a brick. Had to throw it away. Food was very bland. Ice cream and pizza were ok. Deserts were great. In house shows were ok. British Invasion was ok. Not great. Out side professional shows were very good. ( like violinist, Argentina tango show on last night, Las Vegas vocalist). Public facilities inside were kept up very well. Elevators were acting bizarre first day. Some of the machines in laundry facilities were not working Cabin was ok, and showing it’s age. Some rattle. There was hole underneath the balcony door. Staff were for the most part helpful and friendly. Itinerary was good. Went through most beautiful part of world. And some amazing scenery. Good choices in shore excursions. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose the cruise for the Antarctica cruise. It was definitely well worth it. The dining room staff was excellent. The ice cream was excellent. The cruise director Giuseppe was fantastic. Where does he find the ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the Antarctica cruise. It was definitely well worth it. The dining room staff was excellent. The ice cream was excellent. The cruise director Giuseppe was fantastic. Where does he find the energy? Captain Leo was superb. "Life is beautiful !" So, the shops said the cruise lines did not receive their shipment of 'Antarctica' items in time. Since Celebrity only had 2 Antarctica this year, what great planning on the part of their buyers! So, most of the enrichment programs are in the mornings. Many were standing room only. There was no possibility of watching any programs or ship entertainment in our cabins at more convenient times........this really has me puzzled. Not enough rest rooms.......and the ship is large. The cabins had cheaply 'homemade' types of cabinetry in open front night stand and 5 small drawers under the TV. The closet was a nice size. The velcro on curtains in the cabins are so old, tape is necessary to keep them closed. The excursions were outrageous in price. Also, after taking payment, Celebrity changes my tour: the tour will be much shorter and I would not be able to see an advertised waterfall on itinerary. BUT, the price was the same.????? Really? This is beginning to happen on some other cruise lines also...... No self laundry machines on board (I knew this in advance). This was a 14 night cruise and many clothing items should be packed in one suitcase. SO, the charges for laundry on board are insane. Other cruise lines have self laundry on every deck. I believe Celebrity could also do without one cabin on each deck. I thought Celebrity just nickeled and dimed a person to death. For example, I was very disappointed in the teeth whitening $ 199 (discounted to $ 169 + service charge of $ 30. When the 'Mega White' treatment was finished and before showing the color change in the teeth, the person wanted to sell you a 'take home' kit. I researched the product afterwards and the product could not even get a 1 star rating. Amazing sells package deals for less than $ 50.00. The entertainment was basically the cast & crew performing different shows.....each having a similar message. One entertainer, for example, won 2nd place in the Voice? in the UK. WOW. Staff overwhelmed many times. Just little things add up. I doubt I would take another Celebrity cruise. I believe Celebrity needs to hire a more capable & professional administrative staff...... Read Less

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