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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We did the Norwegian Epic cruise out of Barcelona, Spain on July 14 - July 21, 2019. To be honest, I was very apprehensive about the cruise after reading so many negative reviews on cruise critic BUT it was WONDERFUL!!! In fact, I joined ... Read More
We did the Norwegian Epic cruise out of Barcelona, Spain on July 14 - July 21, 2019. To be honest, I was very apprehensive about the cruise after reading so many negative reviews on cruise critic BUT it was WONDERFUL!!! In fact, I joined cruise critics roll call and was able to gain a lot of insight from other travelers on what to do and things that others had learned. We are avid cruisers and Disney is one of our favorite cruise lines but we decided to do Norwegian because of the price. I will attempt to give an overview. We boarded in Barcelona. We took a cab from the airport to the port. It was a fixed price of 36 or 39 euros. Check in was so smooth and fast! I did the on-line check in prior to us leaving and it was one of the fastest check-ins that I have experienced. The ship was very well maintained. I did not see dirty or stained areas. We were on floor 8 in a balcony cabin. I did not care for the lay out of the room but we only got ready and slept in the room. There were 3 of us in our cabin. I did not like the frosted shower-like doors for the toilet area but we lived with it. Once again, we just got ready and slept in the room. The dining was amazing. We had 3 free specialty dinings (for the first 2 of us) and we paid for my daughter. We ate at La Cucina, Le Bistro, and Cagney's. The food and service was superb. This was our first time to ever do any extra charge restaurants because I think you already have so much on a cruise, but since it was free, we tried it. I will say we loved it!! You felt so special, at ease and relaxed and knew you had one-on-one service. BUT, there free dining is also amazing. There is such a variety of foods. The buffet had a different them each night. (Mexican, Mediterranean, Grilled, Italian and I don't remember the others.) Also, there was a person making fresh, made to order crepes at the buffet. That may have been all nights but I used it Tuesday - Thursday for sure. Everyone in the dining rooms and dining areas were very attentive. The dining rooms and buffet areas were beautiful. They all had windows where you could look out and view the water. The front dining room at The Garden Cafe buffet was beautiful and all windows. LOVELY VIEWS!! The food reminded me of when we first started cruising 20+ years ago and that was what you looked forward to. I cannot give an honest opinion of the activities because we were off the ship each day in port and by the time we came back, got ready, and ate, we were ready to crash for the night. We did go to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, but left. I knew it would have drag queens but there were too many other things that I felt were inappropriate and were not for me nor my family. We did see a comedian and he was funny but they really needed to use a larger venue because we were packed into one of the areas and there was standing room only. We missed Burn the Floor and we choose not to do Cirque Dreams because we did not want to pay for a show. We saw the Beatles Mania show and it was enjoyable. Our cabin steward was very nice and always checking on us. He checked with us each day to see if everything was OK and if there was anything that we needed. I did want extra blankets and when we got back to the room, they were on our bed. Everyone on the ship, from guest services to the gift shops, seemed pleasant and friendly. I know some people asked about laundry and ironing of clothes. They have a laundry service on the boat but of course it is high. On Wednesday, there was a flyer in the room that advertised that you could fill a bag with clothes and they would be washed and returned to you by Friday. The cost was $19.95. We did fill a bag with our underclothes and tshirts and they were washed and back in the room by Friday evening--all for $19.95 You do have to write the special or promotion on the bag of laundry in order to receive it. I will try to give a run down of what we did each day. We did not book any excursions through Norwegian. We used outside tour companies that were less expensive and fewer people. I gave them a poor on shore excursions because of the prices. I learned this a few years ago when we did a cruise around the Greek Isles. Day 1, we embarked on Sunday in Barcelona and Day 2, Monday was a day at sea. Thank goodness for that!! We were exhausted after our flight from the US. We slept in and just roamed around a little on Monday. Every other day, you are at a port. The day of rest helped us--- I don't know if I could have gotten on in Civitavecchia and then had to do ports with no rest, if I could have made it! Day 3 - Tuesday was Naples Italy. We used Italy Tours and booked Pompeii, Sorrento, and the Amalfi Coast. There were 14 people in our van and it was wonderful. Our driver met us at the port, we loaded into the van and started our tour. We got back to Naples about 1 1/2 hours before we had to be on board, so there was time to go into Naples if you wanted. Day 4 - Civitavecchia (Rome)--We did not book a tour because we visited Rome for several days in 2016 so we did our own thing. We got off the ship and there were many people at the port where you could book tours or take a bus to Rome. We got on one of the Smart Tours buses and once the bus was full, they brought you to Rome. You were dropped off at a point near the Vatican and then they gave you a time to be back and the bus picked you back up at the same spot and brought you back to Civitavecchia to board the ship. The cost was 23 or 25 euros per person and you had to pay cash. They did not accept credit cards. When we got on the bus, it was almost full so we only had to sit about 15 minutes before leaving. From what I heard, some people sat on the bus almost 1 hour waiting for others to get off the ship and board. You may want to keep that in mind. Italy Tours had some small group tours for Rome but since we had spent several days here a few years ago, we just walked and revisited some of our favorite things and took our own tour. :) We stayed far away from the Vatican that day because it was Wednesday and the Pope was doing mass so it was VERY CROWDED. Make sure to get gelato. This will help cool you off and Rome gelato is so very good. Day 5 - Livorno - We did a small group tour with Italy Tours. There were 7 of us in our group plus the driver. We did the tour called the Best of Florence and Pisa. Our driver met us at the small port (it was very easy to find him) and we went to Pisa first and then to Florence. We got to Pisa by 8:15 and the first group allowed to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa is not until 9:00 so we were able to get our tickets and be in the first group to climb the tower. Walking and viewing the grounds was great! It was a highlight for us to be able to climb to the top of the tower. After doing this, I would suggest being in the beginning groups. The lines get longer as the day goes on and it gets HOTTER!! Also, you could not bring any bags in the tower. You had to lock purses and backpacks up in a secure area before climbing the tower. We then went to Florence and met up with a guide and were put with some other group for this guide. Florence was beautiful and even with the other group, we were still only 15 and our guide. Our tour company offered to add the skip the line tickets, which we purchased, and went to the academia to see the original David. The additional group of people that we joined up with in Florence did have an elderly lady who had trouble walking and keeping up and those persons eventually left the tour and said they would go on their own. Florence is an amazing city--the bridge with the shops on it is just amazing. Day 6 - Cannes - We did not do a tour with an outside company (but if you start early enough, you should be able to). You have to tender into Cannes. Make sure to book your tender early and don't waste 1/2 day on the ship waiting to catch a tender to get off. Once in Cannes, we went to Monaco. You can take a train from Cannes to Monaco and it is about a 50 minute ride. If you decide to do this on your own, here are a few tips that we learned the hard way! :) To get to the train station, once you walk out of the port area and get to the main road, take a right. When you get to the Cannes tourism office (it is a big mirrored building on the right), take a left onto the street that is across from the tourism office. You will walk several blocks down that road and then you will see the train/bus station. If in doubt, ASK. Once inside, DO NOT try to use the kiosk to buy your own tickets. Go in the station and go to the ticket office to the left (it is inside more glass doors and it has a working AC). Once inside, pull a number ticket and wait for your number to come up and then ask the agent to help you buy a ticket to Monaco. It was 36 euros for all 3 of us. BEFORE you board the train to Monaco/Nice, make sure you find the yellow VALIDATION machine and validate your ticket. I think you get in major trouble if you do not validate your ticket before boarding. If you don't see a machine, ask someone where to validate the ticket and they will show you. Take the train to Monaco and then follow the signs (brown, historical) to the palace. There are lots of things to see and quaint little shops near that area. We did not go to the casino but that is also available. When you are ready to leave Monaco, you can get off the train in Nice on the way back to Cannes and do some wandering there. We did not do this because we lost time trying to find the train station and getting the wrong kind of ticket and having to switch out. If you have plenty of time, others say this is wonderful to do. We spent all of our time looking around Monaco and then we were having to sprint to make it back to the ship!! Day 7 - Palma De Mallorca - To be honest, when we booked this trip, I had never even heard of this place. I was thinking in my mind that we would probably be so tired from our other tours and adventures, we could just stay on the ship. DON'T STAY ON THE SHIP!!! This place is beautiful. It is the largest island in all of Spain. Once again, we did not book any tour. There are shuttle buses that take you from the port to the town center. BOOK YOUR SHUTTLE RIDE BEFORE SATURDAY MORNING. The shuttle ride from the ship to town is $15 per person. Book your shuttle Thursday night or Friday. If not, you will spend a long time in line on Saturday morning to buy a shuttle ticket. For those who do book their shuttle ticket prior to Saturday morning--when you get off the ship and you see a LONG line of people that look like they are waiting to get on a shuttle, do not go to the end of the line and get in line. These are the people who are waiting to purchase their shuttle ride. Let someone know that you already purchased your shuttle ticket, and they will tell you to go straight to the shuttle bus. Meaning, you will by-pass this long line of people who did not pre-purchase. Once you ride the shuttle, it will bring you into town near the church. There is a hop-on hop off bus tour you can buy here that will bring you around the entire island. I think the HOHO bus tour was 18 euros per person. This island has many sights to see and some amazing shopping. It is beautiful and I think it would be a great place to visit on a future vacation. Once again, this was an AMAZING CRUISE, with amazing food and ports of call. For all of those who are concerned because of the negative reviews, my advice would be to ignore them and go expecting a great time and have an awesome vacation. We loved it and will definitely be trying more Norwegian cruises. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
NORWEGIAN EPIC REVIEW Some background on me to begin. I’m a 32 year old male bachelor. Norwegian Epic was my 17th cruise overall, and the 2nd that I’ve taken with NCL. Others include 9 with Celebrity, 5 with MSC, and 1 with ... Read More
NORWEGIAN EPIC REVIEW Some background on me to begin. I’m a 32 year old male bachelor. Norwegian Epic was my 17th cruise overall, and the 2nd that I’ve taken with NCL. Others include 9 with Celebrity, 5 with MSC, and 1 with Carnival. Like many of my cruises, I sailed with my 76 yr old father who has some health issues. —And although, it’s a cruise to spend some father/son time together as we live in different states, he usually goes to bed quite early, and I enjoy the night life well into the wee hours of the morning… So, inevitably It ends up becoming a “singles” cruise for me. Before I describe the ship and everything else about this amazing cruise, I think it’s important to point out a Difference with Norwegian as I see them.... First off, this is not going to be a doom and gloom review... As I do view this cruise, and ship very favorably.... But I’ll start out with a fundamental disagreement that I have overall with NCL. As Compared to the other lines that I’ve sailed with....(Twice now with NCL), they are the Kings and Queens of overly casual. Very few people dress up. I guess that I’m a rare traditionalist millennial when it comes to this opinion....I wear a sport coat often to work, and that’s in south Louisiana where it’s needless to say, quite warm for most of the year. I also, as a bachelor enjoy when women take the time dress up. Cruising is the last romantic way to vacation. There’s something about going to sleep at 2AM with a bottle in your hand in the middle of a beautiful ocean and awaking in an exotic location somewhere in the Caribbean or Mediterranean. Buuuuttt, in a nutshell, I guess that I’m not the world’s biggest fan of “Freestyle Cruising”. —It’s not so much the dress attire that turns me off, it’s the fact that very little if anything is structured at all. For instance, virtually every other cruise line particularly my 2 favorites (Celebrity and MSC) have two main entrainment shows per night. —You organize your dinners(whether it’s a specialty restaurant, or one of the main dinning rooms around whichever show that you choose to attend.) —It’s a real simplistic way to cruise. There’s no overthinking it...It comes a little more natural. Freestyle cruising is more like trying to decide most of your shows, dinners, and evening hour activities on the first day of the cruise or even pre-cruise. Nothing is actually “freestyle” about it... You’re forced to decide your show times, or speciality restaurant times or even dinning room times in some cases by the end of the first evening unless you want your dinner at 11pm. I get what Norwegian is trying to do with freestyle cruising. —I understand that they want to give passengers options...And I truly see why they’ve had so much success doing this... **But I also see why other lines have been reluctant to head in their direction. And I get it now. ON TO THE POSITIVES: The EPIC might be the perfect cruise ship for the Mediterranean. It’s not quite Norwegian’s best or biggest ship. As I thought that the ESCAPE(which I sailed in 2017 was nicer and much more updated and had better social gathering points and creature comforts and cabins). But it has all of the things that modern cruisers want(including me). Plus your itinerary, and getting to see some of the cradles’ of civilization(especially those in Europe) is something to greatly credit. Although the ship holds over 4000 passengers, you rarely ever feel crowded. That’s a small advantage to a ship that was built 10 years ago, as opposed to some of the newer ships that are only a few years old that I’ve taken recently. The ship was also refitted 5 years ago... So you hardly notice any wear and tear at all. The ship also flows very well. Unlike some of the newest ships, there’s very few instances to where you can’t walk from one end of a deck to the other. —It really helps with getting around. EMBARKATION: A+ If you’re reading this about to take a Mediterranean cruise out of Barcelona or Civitavecchia, do yourself a favor and opt-in on the transfer from the airport to the cruise port. —You can do this directly on the NCL website. Well worth the $50(round trip) per person. So $100 total for two people. We were sailing out of Barcelona and took the transfer charter bus from the Barcelona Airport to the cruise port(which took around 20-25 mins or so with traffic). —It’s only about 10 miles apart. It really is the easiest route to go. The cruise port check-in was a breeze. Maybe 20-25 mins from entering the port to stepping on the ship. Barcelona only has 3 cruise ships on a Sunday, so it doesn’t seem to back up with people quite as much as Miami, or Lauderdale. Also, we arrived pretty early at the port as our flight was a red-eye into Barcelona. (We were on one of the first transfer buses from the airport to cruise port)....And credit to Norwegian for allowing you into your stateroom by noon. It was great to set down cary-on bags and get a view of the stateroom before exploring the ship. THE SHIP ITSELF OVERALL: A- I found the ship pretty easily navigable. My advice would be to take the time to really explore the ship on the first day, and you should be pretty good to go by day two. I tend to explore any ship that I sail as much as I can on the first day and make it a point to have a drink at every bar. —That usually gets you around pretty well ;) My advice, if you’re sailing the Mediterranean, and flying in that day from the U.S., make sure to do a little exploring around the ship before you pass out for your cat nap before the vacation begins. STARTING FROM THE TOP The Pool Deck(s): A+ The Pool Deck is spacious, and really has A TON of deck chairs that they’ve found every nook and cranny to put in. Like most cruises, deck chairs fill up quickly with towel clips, bags, and magazines holding chairs for sometimes hours before they’re actually occupied. But, I legitimately found very little overcrowding on any of the pool decks(including the actual pool deck 15). There was always available lounge chairs at any time of day(including sea days). Like the majority of newer NCL ships, slides and kiddo pool areas take up a large portion of the deck, but they really weren’t a nuisance(even if you’re looking for less kids and more relaxation).... If somehow the slides or kid areas near the main pool do bother you, EPIC smartly made “Spice H20” which is a smaller pool deck towards the back of the ship also on deck 15. —It’s an adult only pool. But I seriously found plenty of relaxing areas in the main pool area. Spice H2O also has several nighttime parties throughout the cruise. There’s also a Pool deck up high(even if you’re not a Haven passenger) on Deck 18. You access this via the main pool deck right near the outdoor part of the Buffett. Not much on 18 except deck chairs. The Bars/Lounges/Clubs: A- EPIC really does have a solid variety of bars to satisfy most tastes. I really enjoyed “Shakers Martini Bar” as the best overall bar itself. VERY VERY good drinks. It’s also near several of the speciality restaurants on Deck 7, and is right above the casino and near the theater. “Shakers” also has several pianists who play sing along music in a subtle non-annoying way. My other favorite drinking spot on the ship was “Bliss Ultra Lounge”. It typically starts off in the evening as a karaoke bar, and transcends later in the night to a full night club. Trust me, if you’re young and single, this is most likely where you’ll find your cruise romance lol. There were other honorable mention bars as well. The main pool deck bar(name escapes me as I write) is one of the largest pool deck bars at sea. Although it’s probably one of the most crowded on the ship, again you rarely have to wait more than a min or two before your drink order is taken. Also, if you’re a big craft beer person, O’Sheeans Irish Pub is very popular. O’Sheeans also has bar food like wings, cheese sticks ETC... Casino, Shops, and General Areas B+  As it’s well published, NCL EPIC has one of, if not THE largest casinos at sea. It seems to go on over half of the entire Deck 6. Stretching from Manhattan Main Dinning Restaurant(rear of the ship) all the way to O’Sheeans Irish Pub(which is mid-to-forward of the ship) If you like the tables, slots, or simply watching the action like me, It’s truly a massive entertainment center of the ship. If you’re a player, this is YOUR SHIP. SHOPS: Some of you might not care much about the shopping of the ship considering the destinations within your itinerary. I found the shops decent. (Not great/not bad)… The best store in terms of variety on the ship is the cosmetics and fragrance store(don’t remember the name). The watch store also has a pretty good variety. Other than that, nothing really comes to mind. Seems to have fewer shops and duty free alcohol stores or much smaller than ships equal of Epic’s size. —Not a big deal as like me, I’m sure very few of you choose a ship for the shopping. GENERAL AREAS: The general areas on Epic are pretty good minus one glaring exception…The vast majority of newer ships have main promenades(which serve as the central gathering points of the interior of the ship). —You’ll typically have bars, a dance floor, restaurants nearby, and a view of either 3 or 4 decks at one time. --Those of you who like Celebrity know that that area of the boat is near the martini bar on Solstice Class ships, and the Edge. Those who like MSC know that that area is around the Swarovski Staircases. NCL EPIC doesn’t seem to know where to send people in the interior, and it almost spreads people out too thin, limiting the action and interaction between passengers. Again, seeming to cater to the “Freestyle” cruising idea. In other words, “you choose wherever you wanna go”....Even Norwegian’s newer ships like the ESCAPE do a better job having a true main promenade. Again, some of you might roll your eyes at that, or think that I’m knit-picking on that one. But, if you cruise often like me, and aren’t necessarily entirely loyal to one line, you might get what I’m trying to say. The interior of the ship is very very nice though with lot’s of variety. No complaints at all about the condition of the ship, or the décor. All very nice! –I’m sure that this was improved during the refitting in 2014-2015. THE FAMED AND CONTROVERSIAL EPIC STATEROOM LAYOUT DEBATE: B+ Like pretty much all cruise ship cabins, it was small and served it’s purpose. Like I said earlier, I am a 32 year old bachelor... and although I always get a balcony room on any ship that I sail on, I can’t tell you that I ever spend much time in my state room other than to sleep and get dressed. But, for what it’s worth, the state room was very nice, and modern. You are on a cruise ship to have a good time, and be around other people, and get some sun. —You can’t do any of those things by staying in your room. One huge plus is the closet/drawer space. —Amazing for your sized stateroom. On to the big debate about the bathroom lol... I’m sure that most of you have read the controversy over the bathroom set up. There is no doubt that many others have nailed the fact that it is definitely unconventional....The toilet is on one side of the entrance of the stateroom with a sliding fogged glass door for privacy. And the shower is virtually a twin copy of that on the other side. Then, the sink is just outside of the shower openly in the stateroom. —I really think people overly pan this situation unfairly. —It’s really not that bad. One big argument to play the devils advocate for those hatters of this situation is that if you’re a married couple, one spouse can shower while the other is using the sink to get ready without being on top of each other like you’d be in a regular cruise bathroom. Also throw a kid into the room with that couple, and it’s logical and realistic that a wife can be doing her makeup at the sink, the husband is showering, and the kid can still use the bathroom all at the same time without stepping on each other. What other conventional stateroom can you do that in??? It’s really NOT THAT BAD. Buuuuutttt, strange layout nonetheless. THE PASSENGERS AND CREW: A+ This cruise had a very fun crowd! I was absolutely shocked at how many millennials and Gen-“X”ers were on this cruise considering the expense for American’s to take a Mediterranean cruise, and the added costs associated with traveling to get to Europe in the first place. But, there were many young professionals on the ship. Norwegian seems to do a great job at attracting younger passengers without stooping to the spring break Carnival college kid crowd. Although there were lots of younger people on the ship, NOT ONE AGE GROUP seemed to dominate the masses. One of the most balanced cruise crowds that I’ve ever seen. I was shocked at how balanced the crowd was. Also, tons of single millennials on the ship to hang out/flirt with. I’m not saying that I was necessarily looking for a “target rich” environment… But It certainly makes things more interesting if you catch my drift haha. ***Although, I have no data to back up my numbers…. I would guess that the age of passengers on the ship was: 30% Gen X, 25 % Millennials, 20% Baby Boomers, 15% Seniors, 10% Gen Z/Children Nationalities on board were: 45% of passengers were American, 40% European, 10% Latin-American, 5% from other parts of the world. Crew: I cannot say enough great things about the EPIC staff! These people, no matter whether they’re a stateroom attendant, buffet bus person, or an officer were simply perfect. They’ve mastered the art of service. I would give you specific examples, but we’d be here all day. One thing that I’ll point out was the bartenders were great! All were friendly, fast, and after a few days would remember your drink. —Truly remarkable for thousands of people circulating in and out week after week. SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS, MAIN DINING ROOMS, AND BUFFET My father and I ate at 5 of the 7 speciality restaurants on board. This isn’t super typical of everyone who adds speciality dinning to their cruise, as most people will eat at between 2 or 3 restaurants. In no particular order, opinions/grades on the 5 that we ate at: * Le Bistro (French) B+ The food at Le Bistro was pretty good. Not great. I heard several others sitting around us that they were really enjoying the cuisine but there’s a huge caveat for me with the fact that I’m from Louisiana and live in New Orleans. Please understand that I have access to some of the best French food available in the US on a daily basis. * La Cucina (Italian) A+ The food at La Cucina was excellent! Great starter salads, beautiful charcuterie board/antipasto and ton’s of Italian favorites. I had the veal and it was excellent! * Shanghai's Chinese Restaurant B- The meal was decent. But Not nearly the best Chinese food that I’ve had at sea. Much better Chinese on Celebrity Equinox....Called “Silk Harvest”. Their biggest problem is that they are missing some of the American favorites of Chinese. No General Tso Chicken and many other thing’s that Americans would expect from a Chinese restaurant. * Cagney’s Steakhouse D+ Unfortunately one of the worst meals that I’ve ever had at sea. I ordered my ribeye “medium”, and it came out still mooing. Also, the ribeye was 50% fat. I love ribeyes and cook steak often at home, and understand that that cut of meat will have extra marbling, but this was absurd. My father ordered his steak medium-well, and it came like a piece of leather. We both ended up just eating our salads and sides(which were fair at best), and cast aside the steaks. —The staff tried to make it right though. (Plain and simple, Cagney’s just sucks. Tried it on the NCL Escape as well, and thought the exact same thing). —You’d think a steakhouse would be one of the easiest to operate. * Teppanyaki (Japanese hibachi) A+ This was the second best meal that we had behind La Cucina. The food was excellent, as was the enjoyment of the hibachi experience. And the hibachi chef’s were entertaining and hilarious. The food was excellent. Great variety of Steak, chicken, shrimp, muscles, veggies, and rice. ***As you can see from above, 4 of the 5 were good, with 2 being great. Very disappointed in Cagneys on both the Escape and the Epic. MAIN DINNING ROOMS: A+ There are two main dinning rooms on EPIC. “Manhattan” and “Taste”. Manhattan is a little dressier with a little bit more formal setting. Whereas Taste is a little more laid back with more of a traditional menu. We only ate at Manhattan once, and both really liked it. —Very similar menus and atmosphere to other comparable ships. BUFFET: A+ Good choices for breakfast and lots of variety. Pretty typical for a mega ship buffet, but added variety. They seem to a little better job on breakfast than other lines (particularly with omelette stations)... They have omelette stations and other quick to order stations all over to try and get it to you fast. Although we only ate lunch once at the buffet, again there was a good variety of American favorites and various salad bars, and other ethnic cuisine. One thing that we loved was the burger/grilled items outside near the pool deck. Easy to grab lunch and to get back to your deck chair. ENTERTAINMENT: B+ If you remember my opening, you know that I don’t particularly care for “freestyle cruising” because of having to schedule everything so early... Nothing is more prevalent of that than the main theater shows on EPIC. THE SHOWS: “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" and "Burn the Floor," are the Two main headliner shows in the theater. Both were entertaining and high energy. Really liked “Burn The Floor”. Drag isn’t necessarily my thing, but still thought Priscilla was hilarious. Unlike most cruise lines, I do give NCL a lot of credit for their (what I call) “sub-shows”. —Which are smaller venues with comedians, or other shows within smaller venues around the ship. The best show on the ship hands down was called “Cirque Dreams Epicurean” Held in the “Spiegel Tent”. —Which a smaller dinner theater near the main theater. Given the small theater and the rapid changing of the various stages, you feel like the actors and acrobats are right on top of you! It’s interactive as well! There is a charge for this show as they serve dinner as well. It was about the price of a specialty restaurant. Book early! The shows fill up rapidly and were sold out for most of the cruise. Another “sub-show” was “Howl At The Moon” located in Headliners Comedy Club —Free and open to anyone, three musicians play various instruments and take requests from the audience for hours... They were AWESOME! Plus, you can come and go as you please. They typically play for about 4 hours. 8-11PM is clean in case kids are there. After 11PM is uncensored(which is more enjoyable) Speaking of Comedy....One MASSIVE negative which robbed my ENTERTAINMENT GRADE OF BEING AN “A” was no comedy show at all! —Not Even in the comedy club! —I’m not sure if this was just for this cruise, or whether NCL plans on ceasing comedy shows or what the deal was??? MISCELLANEOUS POSITIVES: -I found a lot less nickel & diming on EPIC. -One of the biggest varieties of speciality dinning, along with free speciality dinning options. -The ship really does well with excursions which is important when you’re in Europe given the language differences. -NCL Might have the best premium drink package on earth! Way less expensive than Celebrity and MSC, and you can order virtually anything. They also don’t “drink count” as I call it. In other words, if I ordered two drinks at a time, I didn’t need two cruise cards. They just did it(Believe me my friends, that is rare) MISCELLANEOUS NEGATIVES: -The WiFi was the worst I’ve ever had at sea. Mind you that both my father and I bought the premium unlimited packages on that. Had to constantly re-boot and try for sometimes 7 to 8 times to just to sign on. I get it, I was on vacation and some of you will say that I should’ve unplugged. But, I’m in management with a media company and have to check my email once a day during weekdays for emergencies even when on vacation. -No free bottled water. —Seriously. With a premium drink package, you can order all the Patron, Grey Goose, or Johnny Walker Blue Label you want, BUT NOT bottled water unless you want to pay out of pocket. Otherwise, you get a glass of tap water. Never seen that on 17 cruises except this. IN CLOSING: This cruise was amazing because of the three main factors. 1.) The itinerary, 2.) the people on the ship 3.) the crew. Yes, the ship is nice. But you’d be dazzled by some of the newer ships that other lines have come out with recently. I give the overall grade of B+ to the entire cruise. Inconsistencies in the food, the WiFi, freestyle cruising and a few lesser things narrowly cost EPIC an “A”. —Still a great cruise. Cheers to you on your next voyage! -Matthew from New Orleans, Louisiana Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Our first Oceania Cruise was on the Marina and we were so “wowed” we booked the Sirena to sail 5 months later. We did not come back from this one overwhelmed with a sense to book the next one ASAP. First, the things that were a ... Read More
Our first Oceania Cruise was on the Marina and we were so “wowed” we booked the Sirena to sail 5 months later. We did not come back from this one overwhelmed with a sense to book the next one ASAP. First, the things that were a little less than fantastic The spa deck was very small and hard to find a seat on some days. So, the concierge upgrade was not really worth the money. The bathrooms were very tiny and, we knew going in it was a smaller ship but, if you are on the toilet with the door closed it was sideways sitting. The room stewards were not as intuitive as to what we needed. For example- on day one we had champagne in a bucket that we didn’t drink on boarding as in it was more fun after sail away. When we came back to the room to drink- the bucket was gone and the champagne on the counter. We had to call to get the bucket back. The buffet restaurant was not quick with water, tea or coffee. Most breakfasts we had to flag someone down to get us more. There was link flexibility in changing restaurant dinner times even with empty tables. The good- heck it is still a fantastic line! The food is fantastic and who doesn’t like grilled lobsters. Honestly, the best food you can have at sea. The main dining room and speciality restaurants had great service. The ship is very clean. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Cons - Buffet area was way too crowded for breakfast and lunch and it was hard to walk without bumping into people nearly everyday. Dining in Silhouette was also very crowded and dinner took a full 2 hours and staff seemed like it was ... Read More
Cons - Buffet area was way too crowded for breakfast and lunch and it was hard to walk without bumping into people nearly everyday. Dining in Silhouette was also very crowded and dinner took a full 2 hours and staff seemed like it was struggling to keep up. Outside pool also extremely crowded. Also, 4 and 5 year old kids at the bars 11pm at night. And lastly, the cost for internet was really high, they were asking $28.00 just to buy 5 minutes of internet time to print out my plane tickets. Oh, and no towel animals. What the heck. Pros - Embarkation and debarkation were incredibly fast. Staff was very friendly. Service was Spectacular / Excellent overall and the staff worked really hard and deserve a lot of credit. Ship was also absolutely stunning - the furniture, the decor, the art gallery, everything was just so beautifully done. I had the standard balcony cabin on the 7th floor and it was also Amazing. Also noticed new changes this year - beach towels in cabin, new pillows, bath robes, and the mattress was so comfortable it was like sleeping on a cloud! We were also lucky in that we had nice weather, smooth seas, and the ocean breeze / Caribbean air at night was just perfect. In addition, the ship was incredibly clean - you saw a lot of staff cleaning / up-keeping the ship which was good. Our cabin was cleaned twice a day and our room attendant did an amazing job. The public bathrooms were also the cleanest I've ever seen in my entire life and I've been on a lot of cruises. Also, the hand towels in the public restrooms is a great idea. In addition, the entertainment was really excellent. Comedian Billy Garan and Jimmy Carol were a 10 out of 10. And the show "Topper" was great with the dancers in the artistic costumes and beautiful set design. The music throughout the ship was also good and there was LOTS of it - lots of musical shows in the theater, bands / singers at the pool and bars often and singers / band in the grand foyer every night and for the 4th of July party and the Great Gatsby party. There were also a lot more activities on the ship from when I went last year. Also,our cruise director Martin, was the BEST EVER - funny, entertaining, great party host, and he explained things very well. He was an A++ In addition, his dancing elevator scheme was very funny in how he caught passengers off guard in the elevator during the Great Gatsby party, and made them dance to get to their floor. The Food was u n b e l i e v a b l e. The quality and variety of food at the buffet was Astounding. Ribeye steak cooked to order one night. . as well as calamari, oxtail, chicken pot pie, and all kinds of fancy fish, pork, chicken and beef dishes. Many times the meat was so tender you could cut it with a spoon. Buffet desserts were also epic especially the german chocolate cake, the vanilla cannolis, and the butter cakes. And in the main dining room Silhouette, Superb new york sirloin steak, rack of lamb, shrimp scampi, creme brulee, strawberry cheesecake, and baked alaska. The mixed drinks were also made to perfection and the specialty coffee / espresso at Cafe Al Bacio was really good. Ports - ALL FABULOUS - Costa Maya was my favorite - took the short tram / taxi ride to Mahahaul beach which is the most beautiful beach I've ever been too - crystal clear warm water and no waves and palm trees that come right up to the water. Plus a great boardwalk with shops and cute cafes. However, did not like seeing all the homeless dogs not being cared for by locals and I had to buy them food / clean water for them. Wish I could have took them home with me. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Beware of what you think you are paying for!! Most likely it is NOT SO!! So I chose this cruise being that I had the Forth of July week off from my job. This fit great in to my plans, and I didn't have to rush back to work on ... Read More
Beware of what you think you are paying for!! Most likely it is NOT SO!! So I chose this cruise being that I had the Forth of July week off from my job. This fit great in to my plans, and I didn't have to rush back to work on Tuesday...Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth! That being said..... I didn't have big expectations for the ship, although the Norwegian Sun was refurbished in 2018 and the public rooms and cabins had the refreshed look, the feel of the ship was still old and out dated. Also, I wasn't aware that every passenger on the ship had the free drink package...so really, this is a "drunk" cruise. Beware! It felt like a half step up from a Carnival party cruise. On that note, one thing I was disappointed in was that there were no enrichment activities available during the day, such as classes or tastings, etc., that I have always enjoyed on other cruises. I believe that that this is due to the open bar policy, and Norwegian doesn't expect that a bunch of drunk cruisers would have the need for learning anything. They did have PLENY of BINGO though! yay :( I upgraded to a balcony cabin so that we could receive the "Take all" package offered to balcony guests. This is where I had the most problems with this cruise. BEWARE BEWARE!!! This offer included the top shelf drinks package, 100 minutes of WIFI and specialty dining for all nights of our cruise. There was also a $50 credit for a shore excursion for ONLY 1 passenger per cabin, but because most of the excursions cost a lot more than needed to be, we opted to not book one. The only package to be worth this upgrade was the drink package. We did enjoy top shelf alcohol (Grey Goose and Hendricks martinis, and a very nice bottle of champagne at dinner. at no additional charge!) very enjoyable! As far as the specialty dining, I made reservations for the Cagney's steak house the first night, followed by the Italian restaurant the 2nd night, and the French place on the 3rd night. After reserving these dining options, I was prompted to add them to a shopping cart, and then 'check out'. So, if you don't have the dining package like I was offered, you would see the cost of the restaurants in your cart, and have the option to pay the upgrade as these specialty places are not included in the included cost of the cruise. In my cart, however, the extra cost for my reservations came out $0.00, so no extra charge for the 3 nights dinners. Or so I thought! On the first night we had an outstanding dinner at Cagney's complete with a fantastic bottle of wine and absolutely exceptional service from our waitress Rhoda! We couldn't wait for the next specialty dinner. However, When we arrived for our table the next night at the Italian restaurant, we were informed that we had been entitled to 1 specialty dining experience for the length of the cruise and we had used that the last night, and it would cost us each $40 additional to eat there. I brought my printed payment proof document down the customer service desk to find out what was up and was told that according to my cruise card we were only assigned 1 specialty experience. I then showed the annoyed rep that I had made the 3 reservations and that the payment came out to $0. This is where I really feel that Norwegian has lost my business forever...back and forth the reps went with each other for over 20 minutes, only to conclude that they didn't feel that we had the bookings according to the "Ultimate Dining Package" that I had upgraded to receive, only reservations. Anyway, I got the same response as many other passengers I had talked to, that they would send a message to the Miami headquarters, and hopefully receive a response the next day, or later. This made me really confused as I asked how was that going allow me to eat at the specialty restaurants without having to pay for them as my package entitled me to? Needless to say, we never heard one word from customer service, or from the Miami office since and it left me with a very disappointed feeling overall for the cruise experience! Also, the "free" WIFI was useless, as neither me nor my roommate was ever able to get a web page on our phones or my tablet...just kept loading, while using up the free minutes! Very inadequate system. In conclusion, I know that this is a way too long review, but I am just trying to warn folks to beware of the so called 'free perks', as they may not be as expected. This cruise cost us over $800. each for 3 nights. I feel that we could have saved a lot by booking on Carnival for a similar, but much cheaper experience! Thanks for listening. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because we had not been to Spain (except for Barcelona which we love), Lisbon or Porto, Gibralter or Morocco. The ports of call and shore excursions were fantastic. We saw many beautiful sights and learned a lot. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had not been to Spain (except for Barcelona which we love), Lisbon or Porto, Gibralter or Morocco. The ports of call and shore excursions were fantastic. We saw many beautiful sights and learned a lot. The ship itself was truly wonderful. The captain and officers were friendly and affable (not to mention very competent), the Executive Chef talented and sooooo personable, the Cruise Director (Handre) phenomenal and the cabin stewards perfect. All the wait staff in the restaurants were professional and at the same time welcoming. The entertainment was over-the-top wonderful. Seabourn does things right, and makes every trip a special adventure. One of the reasons that we love Seabourn is that the all-inclusive program makes the voyage so relaxing. The food is quality over quantity, and every meal was terrific. The deck parties were very enjoyable (lobster on the grill, dancing, champagne and caviar in the pool), and we were impressed by the "specialty restaurant," the Grill by Thomas Keller. One of our favorite activities was shopping in the market in Malaga with Chef Jes; the fish and produce were as fresh as they could be. The excursions were expensive, but the quality of the guides was excellent. The only negative on the excursions was the "hard sell" venues we were forced into in Casablanca and Tangier. They should offer a shopping excursion for passengers that are interested in buying rugs. One of our pet peeves, however, is that the internet service is ridiculously expensive. Since Oceana is offering free internet to its passengers, all other cruise lines should follow suit. We would highly recommend the Ovation for your next trip! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Husband's Big 80 birthday - chose Oceania as previous experience on Riviera was very good. Love our food. Very nice itinerary, so we thought, out of Southampton finishing up in Barcelona. Ship - very similar to Riviera. ... Read More
Husband's Big 80 birthday - chose Oceania as previous experience on Riviera was very good. Love our food. Very nice itinerary, so we thought, out of Southampton finishing up in Barcelona. Ship - very similar to Riviera. Beautifully decorated and spotlessly clean. We had Penthouse Suite which was excellent. Very good design. Everything worked except WiFi which was dreadful and you could only have one device working (if it did!) at any one time. Cabin staff were excellent - always cleaned and ready for when we returned. Butler was helpful but we don't really use the Butler. Concierge was awful, rude, arrogant, ignorant both to me and about other guests. Overall the food was good as you would expect from the Cruise line that advertises "The best food at sea..." However........service was slow and seemed disorganised in the Grand Dining Room, the buffet area you had to have everything served to you, often not what you really wanted, which slowed down the process. Often plates were taken away before you finished your last mouthful which I hate! It was over busy at times - I think because the Grand Dining Room was certainly not up to standard. When we did go to the GDR for breakfast there were issues. The worst kipper and smoked haddock I have ever seen - so awful we walked out! Speciality restaurants were good but we were not keen on the Italian Restaurant. Polo Grill, Red Ginger and the French restaurant were all good. There was little coordination between the booking systems and the actual restaurants. Wine was very expensive. The added on gratuities plus another Spanish tax made it a ridiculous price. Entertainment was mixed - some excellent and some awful. Art loft..... well I've never seen such awful examples of a tutors work. The sessions were ok but overcrowded and chaotic. The Culinary Centre was good. Fun and informative . The Special Dining in Prive was an experience, interesting and the food delicious. There were some booking issues for other guests though - they were not happy! Gym was good, classes limited. Front Spa area not serviced, loungers uncomfortable, jacuzzi far too hot on one occasion and outside shower not working. Ports were very interesting - we do not do Ships excursions as we prefer to be independent. Transfers to the ship however were poor in a number of the ports and trying to get accurate info difficult. This did cause us issues as often long waits for buses without any seated waiting areas - my husband cannot stand for long. Some very long unnecessary walks off the ship into the port - little consideration for anyone with any disability. Other Cruise lines seem to have far better in port service. We had a number of Public Holiday days in ports which meant access to attractions was limited and shops closed. The 2 nights in Bordeaux was not 2 nights as they moved the ship on the second day making any independent excursions very difficult especially as it was a public holiday. We saw the Captain once during the whole cruise. He did not attend his drinks party nor did he attend the Thank you parade for the staff. Poor! Would we travel with Oceania again?. Sadly I very much doubt it. I think if we go 6 star again we will try another company. The rudeness of the Concierge was unacceptable. Oh and they got our final account wrong... so beware - we have never had that on a cruise before they are normally spot on! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I don’t want to make this a long winded review but I’m so unhappy with this cruise that I feel I have to share my experience with everyone. I’ll try to make it short. Food: The buffet was extremely disappointing, especially ... Read More
I don’t want to make this a long winded review but I’m so unhappy with this cruise that I feel I have to share my experience with everyone. I’ll try to make it short. Food: The buffet was extremely disappointing, especially breakfast. The buffet was very predictable. Every day for breakfast they would have the same basic breakfast items. No variety, no additions. Only the same basic breakfast items you would get for breakfast at your standard hotel. No steak with your eggs. The only meats they offered, every day, was sausage and bacon, period. No specialty pancakes, if they had them at all. Just basic breakfast food. Anyone that’s been on other cruise lines knows they usually mix it up in the buffet to give the passenger variety, but not on Norwegian. The food was extremely predictable and simple. They tried to insert some variety into the dinner buffet but it was just the same food with a different name. Main Dining Room: We ate at Savor on our first night. The receptionist didn’t even look up at us when assigning our table. The service was extremely slow. Our entire dinner took 2 hour and 37 minutes (yes, we started timing it because it was so slow). We needed refills on our drinks and our waiter had to do the refills after we asked 3 times, then he apologized because his assistant just “disappeared.” It took exactly 18 minutes to serve our kids deserts from the time they picked up our dinner plates, they had jello for desert. We tried the Tropicana room next and the service was a little improved. Specialty Dining: We tried Moderno, the Brazilian Churrascaria. The room was very nice. The waiters were also pleasant but the food, the meat, was mostly very bland, very little flavor. We decided to try Teppanyaki next, the hibachi restaurant. Teppanyaki was fantastic. The food was worth every penny and the chefs were great. We ate at Teppanyaki twice during this cruise. Buffet Issues: The staff at the buffet appeared unengaged and unmotivated. There was no sense of urgency with anything with this staff. After passengers would finish their meals, the tables would not be cleaned off for a while. Several times we had to sit at a dirty table, with the previous passengers dishes, because there were no available tables to sit at. We would be halfway through our meal before anyone came to clean the table off. Also, throughout the entire cruise, food would go empty at the buffet and there was no one there to restock the food items. This occurred with the pizza and the specialty food every day. I started taking videos and pictures of empty buffet areas with passengers waiting for food in order to send to Norwegian. I also complained to one of the crew managers in the buffet and he stated he was in charge of the seating areas in the buffet and the chef is in charge of the food, and this is a common problem with the chef’s staff that also frustrates him. Also, the buffet food is routinely cold. Kids Splash Academy: Every night the kids Splash Academy would hit capacity and no additional kids would allowed in. Here’s my issue with this. Number 1, this was a Florida spring break cruise with a lot of kids. Number 2, Norwegian knew it was a spring break cruise and knew exactly how many kids would be on the cruise. Number 3, using historical data, Norwegian knows the percentage of passengers with kids that typically use the Splash Academy. And Number 4, Norwegian booked several adult only shows on the cruise. Taking all this information into account, Norwegian failed to adequately plan for a high number of kids on their cruise during times when they were showing adult only shows. This was a clear failure on Norwegian’s part to take their passengers’ needs into considering. Norwegian should have had a backup plan for overcapacity in the Splash Academy, especially on adult only show nights. This was a clear failure on Norwegian’s part to anticipate. Definitely not a family friendly cruise line. Norovirus: And to top it all off, my son was running a fever towards the end of the cruise. I called the front desk and ask for someone to take my son’s temperature or provide a thermometer so we could take his temperature. We were told it would be $150 to have my son’s temperature taken. I thought this was completely ridiculous. Once we returned home we found out my son had the Norovirus and Adrenal Virus. I can’t believe Norwegian would want to charge $150 just to take someone’s temperature. I can guarantee you that certain other cruise lines do not charge you for something this routine and simple as taking temperature. I can honestly go on and on but I won’t. Put simply, this cruise line is not worth the time or money. This is my first Norwegian cruise, but my 12th cruise overall and I can tell you, this cruise line is at the bottom of my list. Prior to my cruise I read a lot of great Norwegian reviews and I just can’t figure it out. Maybe they were first time cruisers or maybe these are folks that just don’t get out much and didn’t have anything to compare it to. Don’t get me wrong, the ship is beautiful, where I believe Norwegian fell short is with its people, its staff. The human factor made this a horrible cruise for us. Cruise are your own risk with Norwegian. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I'll start this review as I have started all of my previous ones, with a bit of an introduction: My wife and I do 2-3 cruises a year, nearly all of them with Celebrity. We are 30 & 26 years old respectively, and have sailed the ... Read More
I'll start this review as I have started all of my previous ones, with a bit of an introduction: My wife and I do 2-3 cruises a year, nearly all of them with Celebrity. We are 30 & 26 years old respectively, and have sailed the Caribbean a half-dozen times. I will be writing this with the target audience of "First Timers" and will hope to shed some light on what we enjoy, and don't enjoy about cruising with Celebrity, and on the beautiful Equinox. Why this cruise? My wife is a school teacher, so we take a 7 day cruise every year on her Spring Break. We don't have bitter winters here in Central Alabama, but the end of March is the perfect time to hop down into the beautiful weather that the Caribbean offers year-round. We started off cruising Carnival years ago, but ultimately made the jump to Celebrity as we wanted something more sophisticated and relaxing. We don't like to be charged for every single item on a cruise, so we love that Celebrity allows us to go for the "all inclusive" package. We book through a wonderful Travel Agent who only does cruises. We went on board with a drink package, prepaid tips (paid by TA), and $450 on board credit. With Celebrity, the OBC can be used to book excursions, specialty restaurants, on board shopping, or virtually anything else you buy on board. Frankly, its one of the main reasons we sail with Celebrity. All in all, we got a beautiful Concierge Class Balcony and all the perks for well under $3000 for the entire trip. We brought about $500 US in cash for port spending and tipping on board.We have found that, with all of the inclusions, its really hard to beat Celebrity on price. Add in the service and the wonderful food, and its a no-brainer for us. We also have been fortunate enough to have my parents join us for each of the last three spring break cruises. Its wonderful to be on any cruise ship, but even better when you can spend the time with family. My parents being older, do not want a "party cruise". Celebrity offers a wonderful atmosphere that allows everyone to have a great time but not at the expense of others. The Equinox: After having sailed on her twice, it comes as zero surprise that the Equinox wins "Best Overall" on CruiseCritic every year. Its a beautiful ship with a very user friendly layout. At 121k GT, it sits right in the happy medium of cruise ships in terms of size. There is plenty to do, plenty of room, and yet still small enough to be able to get comfortable with the entire ship over the course of 7 short days. Our two favorite areas of the ship are the sundeck and the main atrium. Both are absolutely stunning whether it is day or night. Decks 3-6 are where all the magic happens. Bars surround the atrium on all sides but they are presented in a way that is very classy and doesn't ever feel crowded. The four main bars that we frequent are all very different in design and styles, and they are spread out in a way that no place ever feels particularly crowded. The martini bar and the Gastropub are opposite each other from the atrium. One serves decadent martinis in dozens of flavors and all is served in a beautiful lounge and a solid ice bar top. The Gastropub has the feel of a rustic craft beer bar that has an awesome selection of beers from around the world. This bar has ESPN running on TVs so it was crowded while the NCAA basketball tournament was going. The World Class bar is a really cool bar near the art gallery and shops. This bar has two "mixologist" that are expert beverage makers. I go here to experiment and try new drinks that I may not have tried otherwise. This requires the premium drink package, but you can literally tell them you like whisky, citrus, and sweet drinks and they will come up with something you've never tried before. Its a wonderful place to hang out before dinner or after shows, especially if your wife enjoys shopping as much as mine does! This last bar is my personal favorite: The Sunset Bar. Its an outdoor bar that is open from morning til late at night. It is at the top of the boat and at the aft, so the breeze and views are breathtaking. The Equinox, like all Solstice class ships, are covered in real grass on the aft 1/3 of the top deck. Its something extremely unique about Celebrity and its really neat to be in the middle of the ocean and have grass between your toes. All in all, its a wonderfully balanced ship. Its large enough for there to be plenty of options in how you spend your days, but small enough to still feel intimate. Captain Kate Mccue: Oh Captain, My Captain! I'll admit I was a skeptic at first. Not that I thought she was a bad Captain, but I didn't believe a Captain could have a significant impact on a cruise vacation. Most Captains that I have sailed with are only worried about doing their jobs, getting us to and from our destinations safely, and they allow the entertainers and the service staff to provide us a good time. And while that is completely fine, Captain Kate is amazing! Her personality infects the entire ship and everyone stops what they are doing when she speaks over the PA. She is an awesome Captain, and every single bit as good as she is advertised. I cannot say enough how impressed I am with her, other than it would be a mistake for Celebrity to ever let her go! Stateroom: Concierge Cabin (C2) Room 1249. The stateroom is the same as any veranda on the ship outside of Suites, but this cabin does offer a unique feature that only a few cabins on the entire ship offer... a larger balcony. The Equinox has a few "bump outs" or "humps" in her design that cause a few of the cabins on each floor "bulge" out a few feet. At the angles of these "bumps" you get a slanted balcony. From the nearest corner, it is no smaller than any other balcony on the ship, but at its widest, its nearly twice as long. Our deck chairs came with ottomans and the chairs reclined enough that we effectively had loungers on our balconies. We didn't get quite the breeze off the balcony due to where we were, but the extra balcony space will be missed on the cruises that we dont have it. Room layout is spacious enough for a cruise cabin, our bed was near the balcony compared to others that are near the bathroom. Speaking of the bathroom, its about average in size if you are used to balcony rooms. The shower has simple but elegant sliding glass door that doesn't waste any space. In concierge class we had access to slightly better bathroom toiletries and cosmetics. My wife didn't seem particularly impressed with the shampoo, but there could have been other factors that led to that. Dining: In this section is where we found the best and worst that our particular vacation had to offer. We went into this cruise knowing we would be doing a night or two in specialty dining, specifically Murano. I'll dive into the specialty restaurants in a bit, but lets get the not-so-pleasant out of the way. Please understand that we have never had an issue in the Main Dining Room. Celebrity does dining very well, and I'd even argue that it is one of their strengths. This time, we just weren't impressed. My wife, myself, and my parents got sat at a very nice four top. The MDR is crowded as it is on all ships, so that didn't bother us. We had a very nice and attentive head waiter, and the food both nights that we dined there was excellent. The bar/drink service however, was severely lacking. My father and I managed to get our wine quickly enough usually, but my wife and mother waited 15-30 minutes for their bar drinks every time they ordered. It became such an issue that our poor head waiter would go off running to get the drinks himself. This isn't a major issue, I am aware of that, but I expect more from Celebrity. After two identical services with the identical problems we called our Concierge (perk of concierge class) and told her about the issue and she asked if she could inform the Maitre'D. Literally 5 minutes later the Maitre'D had ran up to our rooms to apologize, hear our feedback, and promised to improve the service going forward. People, this is what makes Celebrity different. There are 3000 people eating dinner in his beautiful dining room, and he stopped mid-service to run up to our room to personally apologize and ask how to fix it. The next day we got back from a day at port and my parents and I each had a bottle of nice champagne from the Maitre'D, it was a wonderful gesture and we were impressed. Now as it turned out, we had a reservation at the famous Murano that evening. When we left Murano we were so blown away that we called our Concierge and asked her to book us in specialty dining for the remainder of the cruise. These restaurants are not free, nor cheap, but our concierge got us 20-40% off the listed price each night we dined in a specialty restaurant. So, in the end we never got to go back in the MDR, but I am convinced that the issues would have been fixed. Murano If you do one thing on a Celebrity Cruise, eat dinner at Murano. The first night of the cruise they offer it at a discount if you book ahead of time. My father and I are "foodies" and love fine dining. We both agreed that the Murano dinner service and quality of food is an experience that would be incredible even if it weren't on a cruise ship. Every single aspect, from the bread to the Grand Marnier Souffle is perfect. Lobster Murano is a top 5 dish that I have ever experiences and is cooked table side with everything from bacon, to lobster cooked in a cognac mustard creme sauce. We were so impressed that we booked it for every remaining night of the cruise that we could. One night they were fully booked, so we tried Tuscan Grille. It was very good, but with it being a for-fee Italian steakhouse, we left miserably full compared to the lighter and more elegant Murano. Entertainment & Activities This will be rather short as we did not attend any of the main productions in the theater. Celebrity keeps the same shows for 3-5 years before cycling them out, with us sailing on the Equinox as frequently as we do, there weren't any that we hadn't already seen. We did however attend the comedy shows and watch a lot of live music. The comedian was great and the house band was excellent as well. Celebrity offers other activities like bingo, concerts, seminars, and workshops that many find to be fantastic. Admittedly we mainly go find somewhere quiet near a bar, as we are both young and always seem to be around crowds on land, we enjoy a more laid back experience on the boat. Service With the exception of the MDR, which I consider a fluke rather than a flaw, service is impeccable on Celebrity. Tipping is a hot topic on any cruise forum, but I can definitively say that when I hand a bartender or my room steward a $10/$20 bill on the first day, they take care of my wife and I the rest of the voyage. I personally try to find a specific bartender in my most regular bars and tip heavy on days 1/2. I tip $1 a drink the remainder of the time and I am having another drink brought to me before the first one is finished. Celebrity has a wonderful staff and an underappreciated staff/guest ratio. I think the reason they named it "Celebrity Cruises" is because of how they want each and every guest to feel. It really is what makes them so special. Cafe Al Bacio: I couldn't figure out the best place to include this place in any of my previous sections, so I ultimately decided that it needed its own. Bacio is arguably the most loved place on the ship. They are a full service coffee & dessert bar that is open all day. In the morning people are getting their day started with anything from a cappuccino to a cup of decaf, and late at night every table is full with people winding down in the low light setting of an old city jazz bar. The live music from the atrium fills the bar and its just a super unique place to relax and enjoy yourselves. It sounds so simple and quaint, but I am amazed that every cruise ship in the world doesn't mimic this place into their own. Ports & Excursions: We loved every port we stopped at. We are very familiar with the Western Caribbean so only Key West was a first time port for us. Everyone has different interests at respective ports, so I will just tell you what we do every time and you look for more information if you wish. Key West: We wandered on our own, Key West isnt a large town and most of the cool stuff is near the ship. There are tours galore and a really neat aquarium nearby. Grab you a piece of Key Lime Pie and a Conch Fritter and enjoy your first stop of the cruise! Grand Cayman: 7 Mile Beach at Calico Jacks. You go to this beach for the water as it is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. CJ's is great, but very crowded. Costa Maya: New favorite port in the Western Caribbean. The port itself is a maze, but very very beautiful. We find our way out and go to Maya Chan Beach Resort every chance we get. Check it out, its the epitome of a relaxing beach day. Cozumel: I have an answer to the famous Sancho's vs Nochi debate... Sancho's is the best! All inclusive, wonderful service, and a beautiful (safe) beach. We go every time we are in Cozumel and have no plans of changing! In Conclusion: My wife and I fell in love with cruising on our honeymoon and have been blessed to go one more than most our age. Celebrity is a perfect fit for what we want to do and how we want to spend our time on the boat. Its generally an older crowd, but we cruise like "older people". We have 2 more cruises currently booked with Celebrity, and 81 days cannot get here soon enough! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We had already booked a 12 day Galápagos Adventure with another company. Our travel agent suggested the Aria post cruise as we were already in South America! The Aria is state of the art, gourmet food, 4 enthusiastic knowlegable guides, ... Read More
We had already booked a 12 day Galápagos Adventure with another company. Our travel agent suggested the Aria post cruise as we were already in South America! The Aria is state of the art, gourmet food, 4 enthusiastic knowlegable guides, and adventures galore. Imagine breakfast floating on the Amazon, paddling a dugout canoe with a tarantula swimming alongside, Mimosas in a skiff at sunset and nighttime searches for anacondas! I kid you not! It is worth every cent and memories will remain forever! Please do not buy Jaguar handbags from the locals. You cannot bring them back through customs! But do buy their silver jewellery, fruits, nuts and beaded earrings. Customs also confiscated spices, seed necklaces and bracelets. The Aria Amazon had a great little gift shop with a tasteful selection of both costume and expensive jewellery at fair prices. Meant to have a massage but no time! Be sure to attend cooking class and a Pisco Sour workshop! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our third Seabourn cruise, second on the Quest and we chose this one because we wanted to see Antarctica. Once again, we entered a world of comfort, luxury and plenty, all delivered with kindness and good humour by the hard ... Read More
This was our third Seabourn cruise, second on the Quest and we chose this one because we wanted to see Antarctica. Once again, we entered a world of comfort, luxury and plenty, all delivered with kindness and good humour by the hard working staff and crew. However unlike our previous two Seabourn cruises, we were quite disappointed by the vegetarian food on offer. Cabin Our cabin was on Deck 6,and right up the front of the ship. We had a beautiful big room with a verandah, a separate lounge room, a big comfortable bed and a big bathroom with a bath, with high quality and plentiful bath products and big, soft towels. There was plenty of storage and the view from the verandah was uninterrupted. However on the rare occasions we sailed through rough seas, we certainly rocked a lot. We will book a cabin mid ships on our next cruise. We like good air flow when we are sleeping and once again, the air conditioner did not meet our needs. The cabin was too stuffy and we had the same problem last year and on the Encore the year before. We solved this by bringing our own fan and we were very comfortable. A couple of times throughout the cruise, we had a "meet your neighbours" party. This is a great idea. Dining My husband and I are vegetarian and although there was plenty for us to eat, a lot of the dishes were mediocre. They were very bland and often stodgy and we seemed to have those bland and stodgy dishes over and over again. However we often dined with passengers who chose the meat dishes and they reported that their steaks were succulent and their chicken and pork were cooked to perfection. It's as if Seabourn are ticking a box to say they cater to vegetarians but then fail to produce fine food. However the vegetarian options on the two occasions they held a Galley Market and the special Indian buffet dinner they held one night in the Colonnade were outstanding. We also placed a special breakfast order for vegetarian congee and this dish was also outstanding. The chefs can clearly prepare beautifully spiced dishes when necessary and I only wish they could do it all the time. Vegetarians on all cruise ships seem to be treated with the same contempt as someone who asks for an overcooked steak and I don't think we deserve that. There's a whole market of cashed up vegetarians Seabourn could attract if they really tried to cater to our needs. The waiters on Seabourn are the best of the best. Incredibly inspiring people, I may be in the minority here, but I don't like or understand Seabourn's practice of having the staff offer an arm to a woman, which the woman is then under some pressure to grab while they are escorted to their table in the Restaurant. It is not a custom I am used to and the feminist in me really objects. I always feel uncomfortable and I'm sure these busy young people have better things to do. We have dined in upmarket restaurants all over the world and have not experienced this practice anywhere else. Perhaps they could have an opt in policy for those who enjoy this experience and leave the rest of us alone. Drink The wine ranged from good to acceptable and there was always plenty to choose from. There was a huge variety of cocktails and they were plentiful. The bar staff were wonderful. Public Spaces Even at full capacity, Seabourn ships never feel crowded. We could always find a quiet spot to read or simply watch the world go by. On the other hand, if we wanted company or entertainment, there was always somewhere to go. The whirlpool on deck 6 was a haven for us and we usually had it to ourselves. It was the place to be when sailing away. . Fitness Centre My husband attended the complimentary stretch and exercise classes each day and found them excellent. The instructor was very capable and he gave my husband lots of advice on how to continue the program once he came home. Entertainment We were on the Quest last year, so this time when we went to the shows put on by the extremely talented Seabourn singers and dancers, we were surprised to find that the shows were exactly the same as last year. Even some of the costumes were the same. Seabourn encourages us to be repeat cruisers and we are very happy to oblige, but it would be nice to see something different. The entertainment on the whole was very good but tended to be middle of the road and designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Seabourn's passengers are generally well educated and sophisticated, but most of the music would have appealed to our long deceased parents. For heaven's sake, we were alive in the sixties and went through one of the most profound musical revolutions in history. We can handle entertainment which is current and inspiring and multi-dimensional and I'm sure the talented entertainers onboard would have loved performing this type of material. On the other hand, we were huge fans of Josie and the trio in the Club and we usually ended up there every night. Now they really can handle modern music. We also enjoyed the various parties on the pool deck and in the Club. Jess, the Assistant Cruise Director is an outstanding entertainer. Staff and Crew Iggy and the expedition team were outstanding and I can't thank them enough for the wonderful experience they arranged for us in Antarctica. We always knew exactly what we had to do and when we had to do it and all the time they shared their incredible knowledge with us. They were always true professionals while being kind and warm and funny. The Captain was also a true professional and a wonderful communicator and we always knew we were in good hands. The weather is volatile going to and from Antarctica and each day he told us what the weather was doing and how he was going to deal with it. We were very impressed. The staff in every Department were well trained and incredibly good at their jobs. Seabourn only employs the best of the best and it shows. Excursions Antarctica was the highlight of this cruise and Neko Harbour was the highlight of Antarctica. It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. We were fortunate that the weather was perfect for the 6 days we were there, so we saw everything we set out to see. Only 100 people are allowed on shore at any one time and Seabourn's expedition team organised us like a military operation. We knew exactly what we had to do and when we had to do it. They helped us on and off zodiacs, even those passengers with disabilities, and helped us once we were on shore. They laid out trails for us and kept us away from the seals basking on the beaches and the penguins' walking trails, but we were close enough to see them. The penguins were lovely. The expedition team also made sure we cleaned our boots before we returned to the ship so we didn't cross contaminate the next place we went to. Otherwise we covered a large area of the continent of South America and the excursions were really well organised and great value. The outstanding sights were the fjords in Chile, the Falkland Islands, Buenos Aires, Montevideo and everywhere in Brazil. Passengers Mostly American with a few Australians and English but quite a few other nationalities as well. Age range 60 and upwards. Mostly well educated, well travelled, lovely people who were thrilled to be on board such a lovely ship, living in the lap of luxury and having such a wonderful experience. They were a pleasure to spend time with. However it always amazes me how a small minority are constantly complaining about anything and everything and thought nothing of being very rude to the staff. They seem to get off on it. Internet Very patchy and as other reviewers have said, it should be part of the package. In summary, this was a wonderful experience and going to Antarctica was life changing. Seabourn Quest is one of only a handful of small ships that can go there and we were very fortunate to be able to take this journey. I'm sure we will now all be ambassadors to make sure this remarkable place stays as pristine as it now is. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Needed a two bedroom to travel with a snorer. The ship is huge. Food in the Haven was excellent. The Manhattan room was very good but didn’t return because the band was very very loud. The Burn the Floor show was great but didn’t ... Read More
Needed a two bedroom to travel with a snorer. The ship is huge. Food in the Haven was excellent. The Manhattan room was very good but didn’t return because the band was very very loud. The Burn the Floor show was great but didn’t see others. I have been on many cruise lines and never experienced one before this one that charges for the better shows and charges for cocktails and umbrellas on their private island. REALLY?? With our drink package on their island we were offered beer but all alcohol otherwise you had to pay for. Fortunately we did find some shade so didn’t have to rent the umbrella. The biggest disappointment was at St Thomas. We had to be back on the ship at 1:30. So after taking an excursion we had to get right back to the ship. I did really enjoy everything about the Haven’s cabin, dining room, clubs and bar but the only criticism is when the band starts playing on deck 15 the piped in music at the Posh club should be turned down so you don’t have to listen to two songs at the same time. We would have enjoyed hearing the live music only. Also the service in the Haven was top notch. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our fourth cruise and it was very disappointing. We went on the Sinfonia in 2011 and it was awesome, not crowded, no queue's, there was always place to relax on the top deck. This time it was over crowded and loud and the ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise and it was very disappointing. We went on the Sinfonia in 2011 and it was awesome, not crowded, no queue's, there was always place to relax on the top deck. This time it was over crowded and loud and the buffet restaurant was a disaster. There were never place to sit and the dirty dishes was all over the place, not to talk about the food quantity. I think MSC is now focusing on quantities and not quality. the bar's and lounges was good, the music was okay, was hoping to have at least an Italian band like the time on the Sinfonia. The theatre shows was medium and also very short. I would really not recommend this to my family and friends as it felt that we were in an South African Hotel where its over crowded and people are dishing as if there is no tomorrow. The fine dining in the evenings was okay, not like it used to be. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
No matter what nationality you are, when you travel with Costa Cruise you will become Italian and live in an atmosphere full of love and human warmth. Italians are different from everyone, they are unique in the way they live their ... Read More
No matter what nationality you are, when you travel with Costa Cruise you will become Italian and live in an atmosphere full of love and human warmth. Italians are different from everyone, they are unique in the way they live their lives with others. The secret is in human contact, in the way they make you feel comfortable and important at same time , they know that everyone has a weakness for good food, pizza, pasta. wine, sweets and the beautiful Italian and Neapolitan melodic songs, I have had experiences with other Cruise Companies as: Carnival, Princess and Royal Caribbean but with Costa I reserve indelible memories, I do not exaggerate but the cleanliness that I have always found on Costa Cruise ships I have not found them from any others Cruises Ship For this and more if you decide to take a cruise I recommend Costa Cruise My next cruise will be with Costa Cruise again Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was my first cruise on aboard a Celebrity ship. And I love it. The quality of the instalations, decoration, services and food on Silhouette is excellent. Many islands of this itinerary are very poor so I recommend a celebrity ... Read More
This was my first cruise on aboard a Celebrity ship. And I love it. The quality of the instalations, decoration, services and food on Silhouette is excellent. Many islands of this itinerary are very poor so I recommend a celebrity excursion to enjoy the trip. There are good excursion offered aboard. We stayed at a corner aft suite on deck 12. It was fantastic. The suite is very large, comfortable and the varanda looking backwards great. The suite class has services, like Michaels Club and Luminae restaurant that worth the extra money. suite class can also go to Blue, the Acqua Class restaurant. Suite class also provide priority embarkation and debarkation. Everything you need abroad you can use the Michaels Club Concierge. The specialty restaurants are great - worth a visit to all of them. We went to Murano - super elegant, Qsine - amazing Petit Chef show before each course, Porch was delicious - I recommend to go for lunch to enjoy the view. Sushi on Five we loved it and is a very good option for lunch as it stays open longer than the Main Restaurant. The Lawn Club Grill is an experience, specially if you are invited to cook your own food with the chefs. The entertainment is very good also - many options all the time. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
I really enjoyed the cruise, overall. It felt a bit like a summer camp for adults, which I'm still deciding whether or not I liked. Two of the dining room staff even sang "wash your hands" songs with their guitar as we ... Read More
I really enjoyed the cruise, overall. It felt a bit like a summer camp for adults, which I'm still deciding whether or not I liked. Two of the dining room staff even sang "wash your hands" songs with their guitar as we walked into the breakfast buffet each morning. The ship itself was a bit older, so there were some rooms that smelled a bit like feet, Dazzles, in particular. Completely understandable, but I might consider a newer ship if I decide to continue cruising in the future. The staff was very friendly, and the service was truly excellent. We chose to purchase the special dining package. If you are a foodie, I highly recommend this!! It was SO well worth the extra money. The Bistro was my absolute favorite of the three, but we truly did enjoy each of the special restaurants on the ship. We had one night in the main dining hall - it was significantly lower quality! It felt more like standard catering at a mediocre wedding. I may have made the mistake of ordering pork belly, because it was pretty hard and crunchy, and tasted absolutely nothing like pork belly. I should have stuck with a simple pasta or chicken dish. I will say that the house cabernet on the ship was really quite good - this was a really pleasant surprise! We didn't take advantage of the shows as much as we probably should have. I'm a performer myself, and have spent so much of my life in that arena, so it can sometimes feel like I'm judging the performance more than relaxing and enjoying the show. That being said, the performances were very good, and the performers were very talented! My favorite excursion was our stop at Nassau. We chose to spend the day on Paradise Island, and purchase the passes for the waterpark at Altantis. It was pricey, but it was definitely worth the cost. Side note - TAKE THE TAXI from Nassau to Paradise Island!!! Do NOT take the water taxi. It will take up an hour of your day (at least), because they wait until the entire boat is filled before leaving. It's also really rocky, so when you're packed in there like sardines, it gets pretty uncomfortable pretty quickly. Other than our poor decision on that, we had an amazing time on the island. I actually want to take a trip to Paradise Island and spend the week there with my whole family. The Atlantis water experience really did feel a bit like walking through paradise. The multiple pools (beautiful) and water rides were maintained incredibly well. Everything was very clean, and didn't have that typical waterpark smell. The grounds were impeccable. We wanted to spend a little time at the casino, but that fell flat when we discovered that they don't have poker tables! This was a bit sad for my me and my husband, as we love to play Texas Hold Em. Maybe I'll put a little bug in Atlantis' ear about that one. :) Overall, a nice experience on Norwegian Sky. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We are Canadian couple over 60s and took a back-to-back cruise on the Celebrity Edge from Dec 20, 2018 to Jan 13, 2019. We were on Aqua Class, deck 9. We have cruised on Celebrity’s Solstice & Millennium, Crystal’s Mozart & ... Read More
We are Canadian couple over 60s and took a back-to-back cruise on the Celebrity Edge from Dec 20, 2018 to Jan 13, 2019. We were on Aqua Class, deck 9. We have cruised on Celebrity’s Solstice & Millennium, Crystal’s Mozart & Symphony, Princess’s Dawn, Sea, Caribbean, Royal, Diamond, Emerald & Viking’s Emerald & Rhinda. This is our first ever NYE cruise and we were very disappointed with our experience on board. The main reason for our disappointment was that we were on a wrong ship for our age and we are not at fault. This ship, while marketed as a technologically advanced ship, was never imaged as a ship for young people ONLY. In fact, half of the ship’s passengers were over 60s and 70s, but this age group were practically ignored in all planned activities, programs and shows. Music broadcasted in public area were music we were not familiar with. To me they were just noise that I had to tune out of. Here is a summary of our experience: Embarkation: Quite smooth and painless. The person who handled our embarkation is a trainee and ours didn’t go as quick as others but still OK. Since we uploaded our pictures already before the cruise, we got on very quickly once we passed the check-in point. (A+) Disembarkation & Embarkation for back-to-back passengers: The process was quite organized. The day before disembarkation, there was a meeting briefing us what to do and to expect. Still, one misinformed staff sent some passengers to the ground floor of the boarding building on disembarkation day, causing them to have to check-in again. We were gathered in one area of the ship around 9:30 am, escorted off the ship to an area where we picked up our new ship cards, then escorted back on the ship. Since we have checked-in for the second cruise before we left home and had uploaded our pictures, we passed through the check point quickly. Others who didn’t upload their pictures would have to have their pictures taken on the spot. They should have an express lane for people like us, who had done all the work beforehand. (A) Ship appearance: I found this ship not very attractive. It looks like a cargo ship with the so-called Magic Carpet painted in ugly orange colour. The front of the ship looks like the back of the ship. Interior decors are all in grey, taupe with a bit of burgundy. Everything bland together and not very cheerful. Furnishings are on the cheap side, and chairs in public area are not comfortable at all due to lack of back support. The deep seats are designed for very tall people with long legs. There are some chairs with high backs but they are in short supply. (D) The Magic Carpet: No magic there. It was marketed as a “cantilevered, floating platform that transforms into new venues at each deck” and can easily transform into a launching pad for ship’s tender. Well, for the 14 days while we were on board, this “Magic Carpet” never moved. There was one port that needs tendering (Grand Cayman), and we got on land just the same old way, using local tender on deck 3. What a disappointment. This Magic Carpet is an eye sore and is totally useless. (F) Holiday Festive Decorations: Minimal. Just a tall lighted Christmas tree with no decoration in the Grand Plaza, and a garland lining a railing on deck 5, overlooking the Grand Plaza. That was it. There was another lighted Christmas tree somewhere else, forgot where. They should take a look at Princess Cruises on their Christmas Sailings, where there are such lavish decorations for the holiday, it made me happy just looking at them. (E) WiFi: Strong signal with decent speed, but costly, about $297/week for Select members with 2 devices. You can actually stream movies with your Chromecast or Apple. (A) Art around ship: Modern Arts, mostly pictures enlarged, and sculptures that are senseless and have no aesthetic appeal to me. Not a fan. Movie on Demand: On our first week, only one Free movie (Alpha) available, other movies costs $7.99 - $14.99 to watch. I think this is outrageous. I’ve never been on a cruise when we had to pay to see a movie in our room. We complained to Guest Relations after one week. They rebooted our TV and we had more free movies available. I think all in-room movies should be free, and we shouldn’t have to complain to get more movie. (E) Entertainment, show production: Only one comedian worth watching – Troy Thirdgill. Show productions were too loud, too chaotic, with poor choreography and weak story. All I saw were arms and legs sticking out here and there like I was watching an aerobic class in action. It seems all those young dancers just picked out whatever they wanted to wear, high boots, short boots, mid-calf boots, side-split skirts, mid-split skirts, random colours, any hairdos, etc. There was no coordination at any level. Lots of people walk out within the first 15 minutes of these shows, every night. I walked out on Ashlie Amber-Harris in “The Purpose”. Somehow, I couldn’t register what she was singing, and I have never heard any of the songs she sang, none of them were melodic enough for me to stay. It was also deafening. (F for the effort) Theatre: Great sound system but the Sound Master cranked it up too loud. Good sight line except for those back rows. In those rows, the mezzanine blocked the top part of the stage. (B) Pool Area: Enough deck chairs, both in sunny and shady area. Two Whirlpools in an elevated area, each with an adjoining shower station. I think they should be located on the same level of the pool, enabling one to get into the pool quickly. Some people were upset that the pool and whirlpool area do not have a chair lift. I support the Celebrity’s decision not to install one. It would be a big turn off for me. A cruise ship is not a long-term care facility. (B) Grand Plaza: Always too noisy for me. There was a baby grand piano there, but no pianist ever to play some soothing background music at anytime. Would be nice to have a pianist playing at tea time on a sea day. What a waste! (D) Casino: This area is a big pleasant surprise, quieter than the Grand Plaza and other public area, not too crowded and is smoke-free! Great place to spend some time there. (A) Card Room, Library and i-Lounge: There is no card/game room or library. Some people just played their cards inside the Oceanview Café, at a time when it was quite crowded. One family played mah-jong there. Celebrity should have put a game room in that dead space with the eerie statures, between the shops and the Blu Restaurant. I-lounge has no privacy panel. Eden: Bright and restful in the daytime, eerie and creepy at night. I don’t get it. The Spa & Thermal Suites: I like this area. There are Aroma Mist Room, Turkish Room, Sauna, Salt Room and an Aromatherapy Room. Although I found the “floats” (thermal heat beds) not warm enough. I barely felt the heat. Unfortunately, on the first week of our cruise, a very sick woman with a very bad cough kept using these rooms as her “therapy” rooms, which really turned us off. She especially loved using the “float”. They should at least post a sign asking people who are sick not to use this facility. (B) Roof Top Garden: A beautiful area but unfortunately often too windy during sailing to enjoy. Smoking area is also right next to it. (B) Excursions: Because we had travelled to most ports in previous cruises, we did not join any Celebrity’s excursion. So, I cannot offer any advice or comment. In Grand Cayman, there is a very nice restaurant called Paradise, about 8 minutes walk from the pier (turn right from the pier). They have a lobster & prawn lunch, for CI$24 (equivalent to US$29) and it was delicious. Clienteles on board: I would estimate over 60% were over 60’s, and 30% gay. Most clients were well mannered, well-groomed and well dressed. Shopping on Board: Very limited, and targeting well-heeled class. Shops found on board are Tiffany, Coach, Cartier, a watch store and a jewelry store. Dining on Board: Because we were in Aqua Class, we have the exclusive use of the Blu Restaurant. This is the saving grace of this otherwise disappointing cruise. Service there was excellent. The maître d’ Erdal Sakar and his staff made us feel special and food there were very good most nights. On the first week of our cruise, we tried to book a table in one of the Specialty Restaurants called French Cut on the second week, but the only seating available were at 9:45 pm on the last sailing day. So, we saved ourselves US$110. Food in Oceanview was OK, not great, except for the Roast Beef which were always very tender. Unfortunately, the gravy served with it were not au jus, but those gooey type made from powder. Salad bar had limited choice and they hid the honey mustard dressing after the first night. I have to ask for it afterwards, then they took it out from the cupboard underneath the counter and served it by the spoonful. In Summary, a back-to-back cruise on the Edge was a mistake. All on board programs and production was repeated on the second week, making the second week boring for back-to-back cruisers. Since all programs and activities were planned for younger generation, we felt left out. We also found the ship poorly designed with lots of dead space. We would not cruise on the Edge again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We have sailed on 100+ cruises with 4 other cruises on Costa. We sailed on Costa Deliziosa on 12/19/18. This was a 7 nt cruise to Nassau, Gtand Turk, Amber Cove & Key West. Deliziosa is a beautiful ship, extremely clean and well ... Read More
We have sailed on 100+ cruises with 4 other cruises on Costa. We sailed on Costa Deliziosa on 12/19/18. This was a 7 nt cruise to Nassau, Gtand Turk, Amber Cove & Key West. Deliziosa is a beautiful ship, extremely clean and well organized. The staff provided excellent service. The food was generally very good. As on any ship, some nights were better than others. Very good pasta and pizza. Christmas Eve special dinner served in Albatross was excellent. Staff seemed happy to be of service. I had some special requests which were always accommodated. Music in most bars nightly. The Animation Team provided fun games, competitions and lots of laughs. They kept the cruise interesting for all ages. What impressed me most was the staff’s willingness to help and to go the extra step to make everyone happy. Something lacking in lots of other ships. I would recommend Deliziosa as a great cruise with an Italian flair. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
The reason my family and I decided upon Princess was the length of the cruise. All other lines failed to offer a 14 day cruise. We researched the ship, it was about 14 years old, it had undergone a maintenance a couple of years ago.. ... Read More
The reason my family and I decided upon Princess was the length of the cruise. All other lines failed to offer a 14 day cruise. We researched the ship, it was about 14 years old, it had undergone a maintenance a couple of years ago.. The ship looked very nice from the outside, The inside looked clean, the state rooms were in good shape. The only two items I found with the ship was the lower railings on the balcony. They were heavily rusted, and the fan system in the elevators did not cycle air very well and when entering a full elevator the air quality was very poor. My family and I had never cruised before, we learned much about the how cruises work, Embarkation and debarkation was an experience we can now understand better. Our flight out was set for around 6pm EST, The ship had us out of our cabins at 8am we ended up waiting for our flight for 7 hours. It would have been nice if we could have remained aboard until later in the day and then transferred to our flight. The dining experience was enjoyable, We tried all of the food options and were satisfied, We switched our scheduled dining from 3 nights at crown grill, and 3 nights at Sabatini's to 5 nights at Crown Grill and 1 night at Sabatini's. We found that the meals were more to our liking at Crown Grill. We had multiple shore excursions and the activities aboard the ship were enjoyable, The shows were good and the times shown were spaced just right so that we could eat and get to one of the shows. Service aboard the ship was always good, with one minor exception at the Salty Dog. my son ran into an unfriendly staff problem. But the staff other than this was always helpful. The shore excursions were enjoyed by all. My wife and I are older and cannot do the things that are sons are capable of,The only area that would have helped would have been to have steps going into the excursions. The helmet dive in Aruba was great. The steps lead into the activity. The Sea Lion in St. Thomas and the Sting Ray in Antigua all had ladders to go into the pool or sea. If they could add a set of steps this would make it easier for older folks to enjoy the activities. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Our first Caribbean cruise went very well. The Vision of the Seas isn't a new ship but it is very well maintained. The food was superb, the service excellent, lots of entertaining. We faced a very stormy weather for one entire day and ... Read More
Our first Caribbean cruise went very well. The Vision of the Seas isn't a new ship but it is very well maintained. The food was superb, the service excellent, lots of entertaining. We faced a very stormy weather for one entire day and the ship swayed a lot. My wife got motion sick and crew member gave us a miraculous pill that helped us to heal faster. Two issues they can easily get fixed: 1. The cigarrete smell at the casino should be controled by installing glass slidind doors both edges. 2. Mold smell in the steam sauna. Otherwise, a great ship, a great crew and a wonderful itinerary. Ports of call at Cozumel, Costa Maya and Roatan are excellent choices. This was a family-oriented cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and fast. The Captain is accessible, absolutely knowlegeable and participates in a lot of cruise activities and dinners. Restaurants are excellent. Great food and an unique gourmet experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this ship because of its Spa. The spa is well worth the charge for the week. We. wanted a relaxing cruise for the week before Christmas. This was a big ship with anything you could want. We ate at a few of the specialty ... Read More
We chose this ship because of its Spa. The spa is well worth the charge for the week. We. wanted a relaxing cruise for the week before Christmas. This was a big ship with anything you could want. We ate at a few of the specialty restaurants which were all good. Eat outside on the Boardwalk for a special dinner. We planned the sunset for our Italian night dinner at La Cuisine. Very good meal. The best was the Steak House with a great steak and wonderful deserts. Teppanyaki was fun and food good. We enjoyed the race cars one day. There is a $10 charge for this. There is mini golf and 2 fun slides for all ages. One slide uses tubes and one is a body slide. The one show we really enjoyed was Jersey boys, the rest were ok.. The crew on the ship were very nice but seemed a bit unexperienced. The up-charge restaurants had the experienced staff. Cabin had lots of storage space. We were mid ship deck 15 and I don't recommend this area. At about 1 AM to 2 AM there was a constant sound banging coming from above us. Choose deck 13 I heard from others they did not hear this banging. We were in cabin 15830 which had lots of storage and a nice deck. The two ports we stopped at were Tortilla with beautiful beaches and St Thomas with shopping for us. Too windy to stop at Nassau and we just cruised home from there. We enjoyed our week aboard this ship and would recommend this cruise for a great cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
From all cruises my wife and I have taken in the past, none of them hold a candle to the accommodations and friendly staff that we experienced on this cruise with Viking. I was extremely impressed with Viking Air and the staff members ... Read More
From all cruises my wife and I have taken in the past, none of them hold a candle to the accommodations and friendly staff that we experienced on this cruise with Viking. I was extremely impressed with Viking Air and the staff members that met us when we arrived and those who stayed with us till we left. The 3 day precruise visit to Prague was also impressive, with the 5 star hotel acommodations and Viking concierge. The excursions preselected by the cruise line were extremely informative and fun, even though temperatures remained in the 30s F. The food was outstanding in every way with specialized foods from regions we visited. I was concerned about sailing without the many venues and activities seen on larger boats, but my concerned was quickly suppressed in that the staff keeps you extremely busy every hour of each day. Most everyone on the boat were like us. A little apprehensive, but willing to make the best of our cruise. We watched out for one another and helped each other whenever we could. This was the winning solution of friendships made. Our dinner table started at 4, it quickly grew to 12, and still was not big enough to gather and share all our adventures. My wife keeps telling everyone that the cruise with Viking was the best vacation she has ever been on. We developed friendships with many new people, and still connecting online since the cruise. We have already booked another cruise with Viking for November 2020 Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Heard from friends of Marella Discovery 2, especially the ' all inclusive' feature. My wife and I have done 8 cruises before and we were impressed with the service, the politeness of the whole crew of Marella Discovery 2. ... Read More
Heard from friends of Marella Discovery 2, especially the ' all inclusive' feature. My wife and I have done 8 cruises before and we were impressed with the service, the politeness of the whole crew of Marella Discovery 2. Never seen in any of the ships before the amount of drinks ( free ) available on that ship ... Anywhere on any floor you are greeted with carts of drinks. On the deck, almost every 15-20 minutes, you are approached by servers with always a smile on their face to offer you with drinks. Service is impeccable anywhere on the ship , in any department. Very clean ship. Entertainment was out of this world . Food ... no need for reservation in ' fine dining'. First come first. The only area which , I believe , needs improvement is the buffet . Breakfast is the same every day . If Marella improves in area of food , I won't hesitate to give the ship a 10/10. As it stands I give it a 9. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I had an amazing Vacation this time of the year was perfect the weather was just right and not humid or too hot. The service was outstanding. The Only reason I am not giving 5's for everything is my shore excursion in Cozumel was not ... Read More
I had an amazing Vacation this time of the year was perfect the weather was just right and not humid or too hot. The service was outstanding. The Only reason I am not giving 5's for everything is my shore excursion in Cozumel was not the best. I was kinda disappointed as I didn't realize how long it was going to take to get to the destination and we ended up only having three hours instead of 6 hours at the location plus it was so packed as their were 6 ships in Cozumel when we were their. My cabin 2346 was wonderful. Very close to the water and when on the balcony we were able to watch the Pilot boat captain jump on and off the ship to Pilot the ship into the harbors and Mississippi river (Takes 7 hours to get through the river to the Gulf of Mexico). Also were able to see 10 dolphins and 1 whale from our room. Weather was around 85'F every day. Sunny and water was great. Jamaica was my favorite place to visit. Would defiantly recommend doing a snorkeling tour when here we saw so many tropical colored fish in the bay. Next time I go to Cayman Islands I am going to do Stingray bay and snorkeling tour as the water was crystal clear the further out you got. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I have been on different cruise lines but Viking Star and Viking Sky that I have experienced has offered a near perfect experience. The staff are very friendly and eager to please. They treat you like royalty no matter the time of the ... Read More
I have been on different cruise lines but Viking Star and Viking Sky that I have experienced has offered a near perfect experience. The staff are very friendly and eager to please. They treat you like royalty no matter the time of the day. The food in all restaurants is excellent and the fine dining experience is out of this world. The intineries were very well organized and ship staff were always around stationed at airports, cruise terminals and other areas to ensure no passenger felt tense that he/she were headed in a wrong direction. In Haifa we were disappointed that no excursion was offered for entering the Baha’i Gardens. That is why I have rated this tour as near perfect but not fully there. If there was a reason that the Gardens was not offered ought to have been made known to the guests. But barring this small disappointment, we had a most glorious 14 days on one of the finest there is on the seas. Read Less

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