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Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 10th anniversary and as a way to see a large part of remote Norway in a somewhat short amount of time wherein both my husband and I could sit back, relax, do what we wished to each day and not have to ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 10th anniversary and as a way to see a large part of remote Norway in a somewhat short amount of time wherein both my husband and I could sit back, relax, do what we wished to each day and not have to worry about the planning, logistics or stress of getting from place to place, figuring out meals or finding places to stay along the way. We chose Hurtigruten because neither of us are a fan of very "touristy" types of planned activities and destinations (including all-inclusive vacations and huge cruise ships), and with the smaller boats and the fact that they go to many of the smaller ports and towns that one would never see on their own without a boat and lots of time, and the whole operation seems to have a lighter touch on the communities they visit versus the huge negative impact that larger cruise ships seem to have on cities and cultural sites. Despite the cost, we were honestly not expecting much since we had read that Hurtigruten also serves as a commercial transport ship, car transport and ferry in addition to the destination touring function they provide. And they do provide these services, but they are integrated so nicely into the seamless operation of the voyage that they only added to the experience for us, rather than detracting in any way. But from the moment we stepped on board, to the time we departed, we were absolutely delighted with the whole experience. The whole ship was immaculate! Our room was larger and more comfortable and nicer than we thought from the photos we saw on Hurtigruten's website. We were also conveniently located to the two very nice and clean and cozy outdoor hot tubs and the 7th floor deck, sun porch, cafe and bar. The staff were kind, helpful and informative; the excursions were well-planned and every one that we participated in went smoothly and without a single hiccup. The guides on both the excursions and the boat were knowledgeable about many things and made each evening fun with planned lectures and activities for all the guests. And the food! It was all spectacular! Everything was fresh, deliciously prepared, plentiful, thoughtful, relevant to the regions and their food heritage, and beautifully spread. Of our nearly 3-weeks in the country, we only had a couple of other meals that topped the food we ate while on-board the ship, and this is saying a lot as we orient every vacation we take around trying to find the best cuisine that any place we visit has to offer. Other than the cost of some of the excursions (they were all so expensive we were not able to participate in as many as we would have liked), and many of the other guests that were extremely pushy and rude - especially during mealtimes and queuing up to leave the boat whenever we docked - there really are no bad things to say about the voyage, the staff, the length of the trip (we wished we could have stayed longer), the route, or anything else and hope to be able to return again someday with others from our family to take part in a longer voyage or wintertime voyage when the country has other experiences to offer! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We have never been to Europe and my husband and I have been saving for a while to take a nice trip to celebrate our 10th anniversary. So we decided to do a 10 days Mediterranean cruise. Santorini was a must and we were looking for cruise ... Read More
We have never been to Europe and my husband and I have been saving for a while to take a nice trip to celebrate our 10th anniversary. So we decided to do a 10 days Mediterranean cruise. Santorini was a must and we were looking for cruise lines that had this destination in their itinerary. In our budget, I was able to find 2 cruise lines, NCL and Royal Caribbean. We went with NCL because the ship was refurbished recently and the promotions included the drink and specialty restaurant package also excursion credits and the internet package. Nice deal if you book a suite (that came with a concierge and butler services). So our itinerary included the Greek Islands, Malta and a few cities in Italy. We travelled with our 2 kids and we were treated like royalty form the moment of arrival to disembarkation. We arrived to the port at 10:30 am. Our concierge Bruno came and accompanied us to the ship. By 11:30 am we were on the boat sipping a glass of champagne and having lunch in one of the specialty restaurants. The ship was beautiful and our room was ready by 1:00 pm and what a room! We had a forward penthouse suite with large balcony (cabin 10000). A very large room that was perfect for us and our Kids (6 and 7 years old) in its category cabin 10000 and cabin 10500 were the largest. 2 cold bottles of champagne were waiting for us as well as chocolate treats… felt like royalty! Every morning with our coffee (from the Nespresso machine in our cabin) we saw the ship arrive at different ports. We had the best view on the ship and every evening with a glass of white wine, we said goodbye from our balcony to every city we visited. After reading some comments about not being able to use the balconies in the front of the ship due to strong winds, I was a little worried but their was no issue at all. We used our balcony every day (sea days and port days)... I guess we were lucky! We saw two amazing shows and enjoyed the entertainment in different bars on the ship. The ship is tailored more for adults than kids but still our kids enjoyed their time at the pool, basketball court and a few hours in the splash academy. Food was good. We ate at the main dinning restaurant The Grand Pacific and the buffet few times. We were mostly impressed by the Japanese restaurant, The Bistro and the Italian restaurant. One area that NCL can improve on is the Kids menu. 10 days of eating the same things (hot dogs, pizza, mac and cheese and chicken nuggets) becomes a little repetitive. They can add healthier choices. In the Grand Pacific, we ended up ordering for the kids from the regular menu. We booked all our excursions with NCL. Bruno our concierge made it so easy for us to disembark and accompanied us to our tour guide and bus. With 2 kids, we appreciated not waiting the long lines to disembark and we learned a lot about each port. We did not use our butler’s services but appreciated the snacks, the sweets and the fruit baskets that were delivered to our cabin every afternoon. Our steward did an amazing job keeping our room nice and clean no matter when we got back to it. Disembarkation was a smooth ride as well. Our concierge again accompanied us to our driver to go back to the airport. We loved the VIP treatment and the pampering. It will be difficult to go back to a regular balcony cabin (cannot afford suites every time! Lol) Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We had been on a cruise with 600 passengers and decided it wasn’t for us. Wind Spirit has only 130 passengers and 100 crew and our experience was so different - we loved it. The crew was charming, helpful, knowledgeable and attentive and ... Read More
We had been on a cruise with 600 passengers and decided it wasn’t for us. Wind Spirit has only 130 passengers and 100 crew and our experience was so different - we loved it. The crew was charming, helpful, knowledgeable and attentive and our cabin was very comfortable and kept spotless. We enjoyed the most delicious food with lots of fresh tropical fruit, an amazing variety of salads and superbly cooked meats with a large selection of desserts. For dinner there were two fine dining restaurants and a wide ranging and interesting menu. The shore excursions were well run - since this cruise was round Tahiti there was snorkelling, diving, picnics on beautiful little “motus” or tiny islands, tours with local historians around the islands and visits to pearl farms and vanilla plantations. But what made it for us was the charm of the Captain and his crew - they were all friendly, approachable and made everyone feel very much at home. We recommend this cruise so very warmly. There is nothing we didn’t love about it.... Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This cruise was to celebrate a special anniversary, our 50th and we wanted a very special cruise to a place we had never been. The 7 Night Iconic Western Mediterranean cruise did not disappoint. We felt pampered in every way. The ship is ... Read More
This cruise was to celebrate a special anniversary, our 50th and we wanted a very special cruise to a place we had never been. The 7 Night Iconic Western Mediterranean cruise did not disappoint. We felt pampered in every way. The ship is beautiful. The food was delicious and all of the Star's employees were always eager to please the passengers in every way. The entertainment on board was wonderful. The bathroom in the stateroom exceeded my expectation. It put a smile on my face every time I want in it and the heated floor was such a treat. All of the toiletries were high quality. I didn't have to use any that I brought, which I always do just to make sure. An especially nice perk is that every deck has three washer and dryers for guests to use free of charge, including detergent and an iron and ironing board. I was able to come on board with clean cloths and leave with clean cloths. I would highly recommend a Viking cruise. You will not be disappointed. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
My husband and I had been planning a wonderful birthday celebration for him, so we decided on Viking. We had heard from many friends on how superb and excellent it was to travel with Viking. This was not our first cruise as we have done ... Read More
My husband and I had been planning a wonderful birthday celebration for him, so we decided on Viking. We had heard from many friends on how superb and excellent it was to travel with Viking. This was not our first cruise as we have done several cruises at least 1 every 2 years, fortunately enough with other very high-end lines - Oceania and Regent Seven Seas. We are lucky enough that we can afford high-end cruise liners so we thought Viking would be in the same category as our past cruise experiences! We booked the Eastern European cruise from Bucharest to Budapest from Aug 21-28, 2019. Boy were we SO wrong!!! I am currently sitting in my hotel room on August 25, in Sofia, Bulgaria writing this review, we have been here since August 23. The reason I am writing this today and posting to all different websites instead of communicated directly with Viking is because we have already tried that. We had an extremely unsatisfying phone conversation with Viking customer service when we arrived in Sofia, Bulgaria after disembarking. The lady on the phone was quite rude and dismissive of our issues. She was unwilling to admit any fault with Viking Cruises or their services and told us that we “chose to leave” therefore, there was no compensation for our dissatisfaction and that we should of purchase travel insurance. Really? Based on how we have been treated so far, we would not consider another Viking Cruise. We are on the younger side of their demographic, are active on social media, and have a wide circle of friends. If this is how we are treated, I cannot imagine how they dealt with the very elder members of the cruise. This is how are travel story began: We literately got on the ship on August 21 and disembarked and left on August 23 (being my husband's birthday)- two days into our cruise! The last thing you want to do is pack again when you have only spent 1 night on a ship. But it was such an awful and uncomfortable experience and my husband was so unhappy, we made the decision to leave the ship and told the ship's hotel director that we were disembarking on the next port of call (Vidin, which by the way, the ship did not stop there, but instead we made it to Lum as the ship had some issues getting to Vidin! - not surprise, as we were late the day before arriving to the first port of call Russe, Bulgaria to pick up the majority of the passengers who got off for their tours in a different location). Just think to have to decide to either deal with this awful experience for another 5 nights or cut your losses and leave ship, we chose the latter. We had to at least close the day of his 60th birthday in a place we would be more comfortable at. To start, we arrived on Saturday, August 17 in Bucharest from the US as we wanted to spend a couple of days on our own touring the city. We are not big on group tours and prefer doing our own thing (this is another big problem if you travel with Viking but will fill you in on that part of the story later). We were told to speak to our local Viking contact at the Sheraton Bucharest hotel - where we were staying as part of their 1 day pre-cruise land offer (and at least it is a very nice hotel, and since I hold Platinum status with them, we were upgraded to a lovely suite). Pre-cruise meeting August 20th in the evening – Sheraton Hotel: The Viking person there told us to have our luggage out by 7:30 am on August 21 and to meet in the lobby by 9 am. She indicated that there would be a scenic tour through the city on our way to a location for lunch and then a bus ride to the ship. What we were not told or even offered, especially for those guests that had already been in the city for days prior to cruising, was given an option to go straight to the ship from the hotel. August 21, ship boarding day, what really happened: Stop 1 - they bused us around the city again and took us to Old town (our 5th time there, remember, we arrived on August 17th!), then wanted to give us a walking tour of Old town, why??? We told them we had already been there 5 other times, so instead my husband and I sat around some bank building steps for almost 2 hours while the rest of the guest did their so called "tour" what a waste! At this time of day (9 am) all of Old Town restaurants are closed and only some coffee shops were open, we just had breakfast at the hotel as instructed! We sat around from 9 to 11:30 am! I asked Diani (or Dina) our very confused tour guide on bus 14, if there was a better option for us that we could meet them at the restaurant, she actually threatened and said that if we did not arrive at the restaurant, we would have to take a private car to the ship and that was about 1 hour and 45 minutes ride, so my husband and I decided to tag along. Old town tour is done thankfully, and now they tell us we are going to the Parliament building for a 10-minute picture stop and finishing up at the Museum of the Villages before lunch. Stop 2 - We crossed through town again, and saw the same scenery, the arch, the revolution square, heard the same stories and finally arrived at the Parliament location again and after 10 minutes those that got off for “picture moments” got back on the bus, where the tour guide and her very valuable assistant proceeded to do a head count and appeared that they were short 1 person as she stated that we were originally 37 on our bus (#14) and now we were 36. She then told us that we could not leave until such person was found and asked us if we knew this person? How could we know such person as we just all boarded 2 hours ago, none of us have even met, let alone know all the passengers on board? She didn't even know if we were looking for a man or woman. After an almost 45-minute wait in the parking lot, they finally gave up and we headed to the Museum of the villages tour. Stop 3 – Museum of Villages - What a dump, The is and old, mosquito infested open air museum that has the different house structures of Romania within its compound, we were forced to be there for 2 hours, so again we tried to find a decent place to sit while we waited for our 2 pm departure. We sat in an un air-conditioning hut where they Come to find out, that during this tour, the tour guide's quiet head sets and microphone were not working so no one could hear her talking about this 'wonderful museum'. Again, my husband and I do not like group tours, and we made this clear to the agent when we booked our cruise directly with Viking, he told us we could also do our own thing, really? Stop 4 – LUNCH - So now we are down to lunch, oh boy, it was at Pescarus by a local lake (why not Hard Rock cafe next door, at least the building is nicer, and they have real a/c and great food). The tour guide made it sound that this was an exceptional high-end restaurant with wonderful local food. This restaurant reminded us of an old 70 diner in Vegas, the food was some type of composition of lots of onions with some 3 pieces of meat, potatoes and bread, with some side salad. Wine, water and if you only asked beer, as they didn't voluntarily offered beer or told us it was included in our meal. My husband had already gone to the bar and paid for his as we didn't know it was also included. This was lunch – nursing home cafeteria!!! Oh, and some local folkloric dancing was provided for entertainment. Guys this is what you call luxury travel and superb top of the line service, read your advertisement, it is a SCAM, total SCAM!!! Then finally we are off to the ship, almost 2 hours into the drive, the tour guide's information about Romania is focused on that people have their own gardens, grow their own vegetables and fruits, and have cows, chicken, and pigs in their lands, and indicates "to the left you will see some cows, to the right you will see how gypsies live. Coming to the right again are more cows and some chickens"? Really... ok so we finally arrive the ship.... Finally, on board - Room was quite small, but appeared comfortable at least, we had room 323 on the highest level with a Veranda (never got to use it). The ship has NO WOW factor, it is small, clean, but small. Our room had a mini bar but of course empty why would they want to even fill it up with sodas, juice and beer for you, like most "LUXURY" cruises do when you pay such a high-price, of course not, we are just cattle and their job is to hurry you up to the next port of call get you off the ship and put you on another awesome tour for the day, give you some petty lunch and bring you back for dinner. We could see this coming. We had a decent dinner and some drinks at the bar and called it a night, we could not get much sleep as people were walking above our room, since we were on the top floor above us was the walking track! There is a taped paper sign by the railing asking guest that as a "curtesy not to walk between the hours of 10 pm to 7 am" did they see, read or listen, no! So between toilet flushes (oh yes, they have some type of vacuum system that is so loud, you can hear everyone’s flushes all night long - remember, the majority of passengers on this ship were over 70, I think we were the youngest, so they go to the restroom a LOT! And the guest walking above our room, we probably got 4 hours of sleep, but we thought when they all get off the boat tomorrow, we can relax and enjoy the ship and sleep in -- not! We were told that for those that were not going on tours in Russe, Bulgaria the next morning, they could lower their room speaker’s volume so you would not be disturbed! Right!!! 7:45 am a loud speaker wakes us up, literately we both jumped out of bed, as they had to announce the departing time for tours!!! We tried to reduce the speaker volume, and were unsuccessful as it was broken, so we knew now that sleeping in would not be an option for the next days. We decided to try and go to bed once again after everyone got off the boat and this is where the real meal plan begins. You see they offer breakfast from 7-9, because they don't expect any one to remain on the ship, why would they bother to extend breakfast time to maybe 10:30 for those that do want to stay onboard. All luxury ships provide some type of meal service throughout and 24 hours. This ship does not offer ROOM SERVICE, so you are screwed. You must eat at hours told, if not, you will end up like us with no breakfast or lunch for our first full day on board. By the time I got up on the first day of cruising (Aug 22), we both missed out on breakfast, tough luck! They had some breads and cold cuts, but forget some nice eggs or omelet, bowl of cereal or warm toast. We decided to stay on board to see how the experience would be as we had decided not to join any of the "free tours" based on our pre-cruise tour experience we could see the quality and decided to just get off where we could at each port of call and do our own thing (of course we didn't get to do that as we permanently got off the next day!). 1st full and last day on board - here it goes, we have no real breakfast, for lunch we both napped again and by the time we woke up we had missed the light lunch they sat out for the maybe 12 passengers that stayed on board. So, we ate what was left before they picked up by 2 pm. My husband likes to smoke his cigars, and proceeded after lunch to go to the upper deck to have one and enjoy the river view, to his amazement, they had removed all shading in the designated "smoking" area at the back of the ship, he literately sat in the withering sun at 90 degrees F trying to enjoy his cigar, he could not and just got up and we ended up spending the remaining of the day in the a/c lounge area. There is absolutely no wait service in the upper deck. If you want to get a drink, you must go down to the bar and order one. You are on your own. By this time my husband was so fed up with how the services are on board and the limited staff that is available we were so disenchanted that I only wanted to be off this ship! So, this is how the meals program works, breakfast is 7-9 am, lunch 12-2 pm, however, the restaurant is not open for those days where everyone or the majority of passengers our off on tours. So, the only day that lunch would even be available in the restaurant is the 24th as it was the only "Sailing day" to "enjoy the luxuries of this ship" a joke. Dinner starts at 7 pm as per their program sent to us. Not true, on the ship we were told that if you did not make it past 7:20 pm in the restaurant, most likely you would miss out on your appetizer, and if you got there by 7:45 pm you would might not get your main course, so of course everyone like cattle, herd over to the restaurant right at 7 pm! What a joke, where is the luxury in this, the comfort, why work on your time vs. ours! We are paying for this service it is not a nursing home, but we sure felt like it! We were so disgusted with this that we didn't even put in our dinner order we went back to our room and discussed our options, we decided to cut this trip short and leave! Didn't care where, just leave! I spoke with the Hotel director on board and explained that we were so disenchanted with this whole experience we just wanted off the boat. We left August 23 at 9 am to never, ever turn back. We ended up having to pay for a driver to take us to Sofia, Bulgaria $200 Euros. Booked a room at the Hilton in Sofia for 5 nights and booked two one-way plane tickets $1500 K to take us from Sofia to Budapest on the 28th as we already have the 2 post days in Budapest booked with Viking. We don't head home until the 1st of Sept so it would of cost us a lot of money to change our first-class seats back to the US for an earlier departure, plus Budapest has been on our bucket list for a long time. So, to summarize our experience, if you are looking for true luxurious travel, with all the comforts of high-end cruising VIKING IS NOT, again NOT FOR YOU! Our advice, please do your research, I failed to do this, and we relied on what people we knew that travel like us had shared! I didn't bother to read reviews, or investigate further, since their pricing and advertising is similar to those true luxury lines, we didn't think twice on booking. However, lessons learned, from now on it does not matter how experience travelers we are, we will always check. I am so upset about this, this cost us over $15,000 K, we could have done a beautiful resort in Hawaii or a luxury pent-house cruise in the Caribbean for this price, but no, we chose Viking due to their misleading, false advertising. As I initially stated, I called their customer service number once we arrived at Sofia, Bulgaria to ensure that they would NOT cancel our hotel in Budapest as it was part of the package and to also request a partial refund for such an awful experience. They lady on the phone proceeded to tell me that we didn't buy trip insurance and therefore, we were not owned anything back! As we chose to leave, no lady, you gave us plenty of reasons to leave that is the big difference!! We didn't buy trip insurance, why would we, we are both healthy and had every intention to make this trip, it is my husband’s 60th. She told me that if we would have purchased it, there would have been a partial refund. NOT TRUE, their trip insurance does not refund you for dissatisfied services only for the following as per their brochures: CANCEL FOR ANY REASON WAIVER DETAILS What We Will Do: Under the “Cancel For Any Reason” Waiver, we will waive our cancellation penalties and reimburse you in cash or travel vouchers (depending on the reason for cancellation) for the nonrefundable portion of your Viking trip cost, provided that you cancel before your scheduled departure. We will also waive any additional fees you would otherwise incur for a change in your per person occupancy rate if a person booked to travel with you cancels his or her trip and you do not cancel your trip. How You Are Reimbursed: If you cancel for one of the “Specified Reasons” listed in the Protection Plan document, we will reimburse you in cash. If you cancel for any other reason, we will reimburse you with a travel voucher that can be used for future voyages with us. The maximum amount covered under this “Cancel For Any Reason” Waiver is the cost of the travel arrangements provided by Viking Cruises. TRIP INTERRUPTION AND DELAYED ARRIVAL - Provides You with a reimbursement for the unused prepaid, non-refundable Payments or Deposits for Your land or water Travel Arrangements for Your Trip, plus the additional airfare cost to return home, if Your Trip is interrupted for a covered reason. MISSED CONNECTION - Provides You with a reimbursement for the unused portions of Your land or water Travel Arrangements, plus the additional costs to join Your trip, if Your arrival at the Trip destination is delayed for 3 hours or more for a covered reason. TRAVEL DELAY - Assists with additional travel expenses incurred when You are delayed at least 12 hours due to a covered reason. In the event of a covered delay, You will be reimbursed for additional expenses for hotels, meals, and transportation. AIR FLIGHT ONLY ACCIDENTAL DEATH & DISMEMBERMENT - Provides coverage up to the maximum benefit payable for loss of life, limb or sight resulting from an Accidental Injury. MEDICAL EXPENSE/EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE - Provides Medical Expense benefits for a covered Sickness or Injury incurred while on Your Trip. When required, We will evacuate You to the nearest qualified hospital and will then return You home when You are safe to travel. POLITICAL OR SECURITY EVACUATION - Provides coverage for all reasonable evacuation expenses incurred for Your transportation to the nearest safe haven, if You must leave Your Trip for a covered Political or Security Event. Evacuation must occur within 10 days of any Political or Security Event. BAGGAGE & PERSONAL EFFECTS - Provides reimbursement when Your baggage or personal belongings are damaged, lost or stolen during Your Trip. Personal belongings include such things as loss of luggage, jewelry, passports or travel visas. Ms. Viking Customer service or better yet, Mr. Hagen (CEO and President of Viking) tell me where you would reimburse me if we were unsatisfied with your services if we would have even opted to buy your so called “travel Insurance” oh but yes, another scam. Things to know, the main drive of Viking is to sell you tours, to get you off their ships like cattle herding as they now don't have to entertain you with drinks and meals on board. They put you on buses and bus you around and give you nice bottles of “warm” water and some type of lunch meal, then bus you back to their ship and feed you again to put you back to sleep in your corral and do this all over the next day. I call Viking a low-class glamping service, that really is what they are. There is absolutely no way to reach out to those higher up in the Viking organization, but one wonders if they are possibly well aware of these selling methods and activities. It is all about driving profit. I feel that as a consumer is my right to advocate for us travelers, and if publishing my review throughout all travel sites will have my voice heard, I will do until I have someone in the Viking organization try and appease this situation with us and reimburse us partially for such a disappointing and disastrous experience. I will also be disputing this with my credit card company. Also, anyone would be so kind, please share this review. Again, thank you for taking the time to read my review and feel free in reaching out to us, united we have a bigger voice. August 25, 2019 Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We’ve done numerous cruises mostly with other companies, this was our 4th with MSC. We realise it was still school holidays but feel there should have been an adult only area to relax on sea days, and not the Top Sail area which is an ... Read More
We’ve done numerous cruises mostly with other companies, this was our 4th with MSC. We realise it was still school holidays but feel there should have been an adult only area to relax on sea days, and not the Top Sail area which is an extra cost. We found the food in the buffet lukewarm most of the time as was the water for teas etc. We only ate in the dining area one night as it took nearly thirty minutes to get any service, so opted for the buffet. Whilst we always found something to eat, the temperature of the food was lukewarm and there never seemed to be enough staff to clear the tables and when they were cleared, piles of left over food were visible everywhere, most unappetising. Lots of mess on the floor left for long periods of time. Guests continued to fill their own water bottles at the water dispensers even though there were signs to the contrary and staff did nothing to prevent this, surely this is a concern when viruses and germs can spread. A lot of our fellow passengers felt the need to avoid the handgel at the entrance and then proceeded to barge you out of the way to get their food. There was also the usual hogging of sun loungers for hours on end with no sign of the occupants and no staff to remove the towels. On embarkation, it took nearly 2 hours to get through due to reduced security staff and only a handful of staff checking your documents and handing out your cruise card. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Went on 4th cruise... chose Marella Explorer 2 for itinerary and port of Naples .... cruise and stay to encompass Sorrento and Amalfi Coast.. Travelled with friends to celebrate 30th wedding anniversaries. My opinion ( shared by husband ... Read More
Went on 4th cruise... chose Marella Explorer 2 for itinerary and port of Naples .... cruise and stay to encompass Sorrento and Amalfi Coast.. Travelled with friends to celebrate 30th wedding anniversaries. My opinion ( shared by husband and friends). Fabulous week had by all. Ship and cabins very comfortable and spotlessly clean. Service and staff all amazing . Bend over backwards to ensure passengers enjoy their time with them . Food brilliant standard. We tend to avoid the buffet type restaurants. Prefer to be waited on and finer dining offered in the other restaurants. Had one upgraded meal “Surf and Turf” which was an excellent experience all round. Food service all faultless Entertainment on board was very good. Shows ok to good. The musicians .... in a class all o their own. Just absolutely brilliant. Sooo talented. And something for everyone. Jazz/swing quartet to soul and rock sessions. Just amazing. Can honestly say the best we have EVER seen ( apart from famous band of course). Standard of hygiene, the decor and presentation of on board facilities all very good and o par with 4 and 5* all inclusive resorts we have stayed in many times previously across the Med, Caribbean and Australasia. I dot understand some of the bad reviews... beyond me how people have rated below 4*.....were we on same ship?? My advice.... if you are looking for all round fun, value for money, good food and service then Marella deliver on all . Do not listen to the moaners.... maybe they have 5* lifestyles every day. T Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
My wife and I chose this for our honeymoon. Having never cruised before we were apprehensive - there was no need for that. What a perfect holiday. Arrival at Naples was fine for us mid twenties couple, although there is a little 10 ... Read More
My wife and I chose this for our honeymoon. Having never cruised before we were apprehensive - there was no need for that. What a perfect holiday. Arrival at Naples was fine for us mid twenties couple, although there is a little 10 minute walk from the terminal to the bus so can't imagine it's great for everyone. Straight onto the boat and into our cabin, bags were delivered about 15 minutes after our arrival. We can't fault any member of staff on board the ship, and a special mention to our cabin steward Anastasiia and also Zaida in the perfume shop as their service went above and beyond. We were invited for dinner with the captain on our second week which was a great experience! Plenty of places to eat and the food is great for everyone, plenty going on in the day and at night, the shows were good - we both felt that the male singers weren't great. Went past Stromboli after leaving Sicily and WOW. As I said... Perfect holiday. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Our Second year on the Dream, I was a little worried about some of the previous reviews , all I can say is they must be quite fussy. First of all this is a 95% British ship, and you certainly see a complete cross section of British ... Read More
Our Second year on the Dream, I was a little worried about some of the previous reviews , all I can say is they must be quite fussy. First of all this is a 95% British ship, and you certainly see a complete cross section of British society, so expect a fair share of tattoos ( and that's just the ladies) there were more children this year , but also good to see more disabled on bored , I would have never recommended a cruise to someone with mobility issues but they were fine, so that's good to see. enough people have mentioned how hard the crew work and of course they do , the food was excellent, and the entertainment also top drawer, the comedian ( always a risk) was great and you could hardly get a seat in the Broadway lounge for his second show. Top Tip, if you are in a port where you aren't going on an excursion ( we only went on 2) then I recommend hitting the pool area straight after breakfast, most people head ashore straight away and you therefore get the pool , and hot tubs , to yourselves. It gets very busy in the afternoon . However there are quiet areas to go to ( deck 7 aft, you will get a lounger anytime ) also since Tui made the holiday " Proper" inclusive getting a drink is not an issue, they have Beer & wine carts where you can more or less help yourself. So in summery you are getting 7 days cruising , fully inclusive for under £1000, come on whats not to like.... Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
The following includes some activities/pitfalls to avoid or be aware of on P&O cruises overall the Pacific Explorer was a fun ship with some great people looking after you but P&O need to supplement their discounted fares so be ... Read More
The following includes some activities/pitfalls to avoid or be aware of on P&O cruises overall the Pacific Explorer was a fun ship with some great people looking after you but P&O need to supplement their discounted fares so be aware they are not happy just charging the cruise price they need to extract more to remain profitable. I’d estimate based upon prices and upsell pressure their looking at making $500 to $1000 per guest so add that to your cruise price when factoring in the cost. They also operate under a first and second class citizen model. Unless you book your tours with them or book a suite you’ll have to wait up to two hours longer to disembark at destinations which use tenders. That’s 10-20% less shore time if your a second class citizen. Then there’s the continual upsell it starts before you leave with about 20 messages in your cruise application about insurance and then they start abusing your personal email address with multiple messages even after you update your cruise app to reflect you do not need insurance. I got insurance for two people for less than what they charge for one. Before you jump in about it not being fit for purpose my wife is from overseas so we had to submit to the French embassy for a visa and they approved the visa with the level of travel insurance we had. The level of cover was not basic it was greater than the P&O offering in many areas. So only a rich fool would use the insurance offered by P&O. Then you get to your room and there’s two robes and an umbrella on your bed. Don’t break the seal on the plastic or you just incurred $75. All up there is close to $100 of “optional” up sell items in your cabin on arrival. Choosing your cabin. Deck 10 is probably the best others all have problem areas like deck 11 below pool deck, deck 9 above casino etc. remember level 7 has most of entertainment so avoid above and below. Now the departure process. If you don’t know you can drop your bags off at anytime so don’t drag them around as you visit the opera house or tackle the hills of the rocks area. They do have a lot of people assisting at checkin so it goes quite quick and usually you can get on before your allotted time just check when you drop your bags. Next the food I have seen posts ranging from its pigs slop to rave reviews. The range and preparation is good but there is a lot of lower grade cuts of meat so the food is just ok. It’s not top restaurant quality but it’s ok and you won’t go hungry. You also have to remember their catering for 2000 plus people and aim at the lowest common denominator so no strong flavors. Even if it’s Garlic Mushroom soup you’ll struggle to taste the garlic. We tried to eat dinner at the specialty and main restaurants as the taste was better but still some cheaper cuts and lack of strong flavors. We avoided the buffet for dinner but for a family it’s pretty good with kids with finicky tastes. You can go back as many times as you like no need to create a Mixed food mountain enjoy the taste of each separately and take your time. As soon as you get on board go down and book your restaurants for dinner on level 6 for the whole cruise you may miss one free drink but you’ll be better prepared for the rest of the trip. Dragon Lady and Angelos change menu about mid cruise so book one early and one late to sample the full range of their offerings. The entertainment is fantastic great musicians, shows. and entertainment but often too little of appeal is on at the same time so everyone is trying to get to the same thing. If you want to enjoy a show I recommend you get there 20 minutes early even for entertainment in the pubs as there won’t be a seat but one will open up in 15-30 minutes in the pubs if you can wait and stand for that long. Staff well there’s three categories and a specialist group. The people who look after your room are super friendly and happy to help with anything. The entertainers who on the whole are great professional and upbeat in the face of a number of rude and drunk people. Then there’s the general service people in the restaurants and shops. Most of them are very nice the rest rude arrogant, racist non service people. If you hate people that much change industries don’t continue in customer service. But the most annoying people of all are the photographers. Whether your trying to board the boat, relax on a deck chair, enjoying the departure party, your dinner or getting off at a departure point. They are there and get grumpy/disappointed if you say no thanks. They continually block passage ways, arriving piers, stairs, kick you out of chairs when listening to entertainment all so they can gouge money. Now 30 years ago before the iPhone, Samsung et al, I got the idea and need for a ship photographer but now I can take 100 snaps filter it down to 5-10 and get them made into prints wall hangings, coffee cups, plates, mouse Mats, T-shirt’s, a picture book, or even a glowing plastic replica of the moon with the photo etched in. I don’t need to be interrupted all the time by a predatory photographer who tries to sell me the print at a higher cost than the GDP of a small West Indies Island. $80 for three small 6x4 prints if you take advantage of the onboard discount. Ports of call if you are docking to a pier it’s busy for first 30 minutes but then it’s easy to get off the ship. If your stops involve using tenders you may as well give up for the first hour or more. Each tender takes about 15 to 20 minutes at least and cannot operate in rough waters. They use multiple tenders but are restricted by single point loading and unloading bottlenecks. Consequently they land about 6 boats each hour. Each holds about 100 people so with 2000 people on the boat that’s 3 hours to get them all transferred. No wonder so many stay on the boat. Next year they take on a bigger ship of 2500 capacity. Tenders are a 2000’s solution to a 2020’s world I’d cancel if I had a cruise with three tender stops again. The Shore Tours they do have a lot of them and the more popular ones book out very quickly so if you have your heart set on one book it early and suck up the high price tag. The sales pitch is all based on fear. “If you book a tour with us and your late we’ll hold the boat for you if you book with others you’ll miss the boat”, or my favorite which I think should be referred to consumer affairs “we have insurance so if something happens your covered if you book with the local providers they don’t so you won’t be covered”. So none of the local tour providers have insurance you know this for a fact? And it appears they are saying your travel insurance won’t cover you if you use a local tour provider. At the time of writing oxygen was still free but I’m sure P&O corporate are working on a way to charge you for that. I researched the price of food and drink before I left and it was probably a year old but most of the prices have gone up by about 10-15% some exceptions. CPI is running at 1-2% but in keeping with their pirate ancestors P&O can increase costs by 10-15% in a year or so. My wife forgot her conditioner so $8 for a small travel size bottle on board. 1st Lesson gentlemen the free shampoo conditioner is not the same so do not suggest that 2nd Lesson double check you have everything. Bottled water $5 a bottle with two bottles laying in wait in your room not for free but you guessed it upsell break the seal and your charged. Not all the food and drink is free and what is and what isn’t will surprise you. I had the premium drinks package and soft-drinks package which includes soft drinks and alcoholic drinks up to $13 but not tea or coffee and 600ml bottled water was free at the bars but I had to pay for water in my room. Now specialty ice cream you pay for but they don’t have any ice cream unless you buy the specialty ice creams so parents expect To pay $5-10 for an ice cream for your kids. No soft serve machine like all other buffets in the world. There is an Italian restaurant in the list of free restaurants but you can’t get pizza you have to buy that at a specialty pizza restaurant. You can’t bring water on board in your luggage but can bring 12 cans of soft drink each. Confused I think that’s the intent so you drop your guard and pay for something that’s not included in your package. Time to talk about the boat. It’s has seen better days despite this pig having a fresh coat of lipstick in about 2009 and a tidy up in 2017 it’s showing it’s original manufacture date of 1997. It sort of looks like they just paint over the rust and everything has this rough bubbly finish hiding the imperfections. TV’s and other appliances in rooms don’t work with quick turnarounds they don’t seem to have time to fix things. You will need a masters in Electrical Engineering to be able to work out how to switch on and off your lights in the cabin. On a positive note the public areas which have high traffic appear well maintained as with the deck chairs and cushions. There is a lot of things to do with most tastes catered for but with 2000 people all looking for privacy or a unique experience this isn’t going to happen. Repeat together “yes we are all individuals”. Finally check your bill. I had the drinks packages but still had charges for soft drinks on my bill totaling about $20 Luckily it was easy for me to get them removed but what if you didn’t have a drinks package how would you go trying to argue you didn’t incur those costs. I also had a charge where they over charged my wife $15 for a charge but couldn’t prove it so had to suck it up. Seemed a common complaint with many people saying they had additional items added to their bill. I think they make an extra $15-30,000 per cruise from these types of overcharges if you use my example and don’t get them rectified. In summary a cruise on the Pacific Explorer is overall a nice vacation nothing special. Adjust your thinking before you come even with drinks packages it’s not an all inclusive holiday. Also check if your happy to be second class or want to pay the extra for first class, also P&O don’t have any loyalty packages so you don’t loose anything by trying other providers so try the others next time. The use of tenders it’s past their use by date only use ports with pier facilities or have one tender stop maximum. Check your cruise and change accordingly. If P&O changed but one thing it would be free or at most cost price water in your cabin you shouldn’t profiteer from water and most importantly it would improve the demeanor of your customers who feel like P&O are breaching the Geneva Convention by charging so much for water. Positives Cabin and Entertainment Staff Good Adults Only Areas Boarding Process Rest and Relaxation Areas Food preparation Negatives Continual Habitual Up Sell Prices and Unregulated Increases Bland food not matching ambience and service Photographers Bottled water policy/price Deceptive tour sales Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This was myself and wife 15th cruise all with Marella and the 4th time on the Dream as it was !! Our favourite ship in the fleet. I’ll keep the review practical many frequent Marbella cruise travellers hopefully get the key points. ... Read More
This was myself and wife 15th cruise all with Marella and the 4th time on the Dream as it was !! Our favourite ship in the fleet. I’ll keep the review practical many frequent Marbella cruise travellers hopefully get the key points. The positives are its an older ship but has some great venues and bars which makes the personnel touches better than the bigger ships and it proved no different from our previous sailings. The services from the bars and restaurant staff were excellent. The professional entertainment was excellent although some of the best act were too late in the evening. We read on an informative letter in our cabin on arrival that they listen to the cruise feedback reviews. They had decided they would let children use the adult pools which I’m not sure was thought through. We like the lido pool on deck 9 it has a children’s pool but they all used the adult pool. Not supervised by staff and parents and just basic chaos all week. Jumping,pushing,shoving,inflatables the size of a person. Water guns the size of cannons firing all over the deck. We are not stick in the muds we have 3 children who don’t behave in this fashion. Three times we complained to reception and all we got back was they are the same throughout the ship. Ruined the holiday and experience. The sail away party the life and sole of these cruises was ruined by the life safety drill taking place at 10.00 in the evening which is unheard off. The food which was always the stalwart of the Dream has gone backwards!! Repetitive basis offering and the sweet selection was really poor. The Cruise Director spent more time trying to sell upgrades than actually information around the entertainment. The 2 hour flight delay coming and 5 hour delay going back didn’t help either. This is our 2nd Marella cruise this year which hasn’t come anywhere near expectations with delays and standards going backwards.one of the biggest frustrations is trying to get your voice heard. The Tui App on the ship is loaded with questions they want to hear rather than anything they don’t. The questionnaire they send you is just as frustrating and if you criticising too much will not let you complete. Prices going up and standards going down. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Hubby and I on our first cruise which was also our honeymoon. With a swollen ankle, this by far was heaven in paradise. The food was great with a big variety of different tastes. Alot of activities like Bingo, Dress up Attire for ... Read More
Hubby and I on our first cruise which was also our honeymoon. With a swollen ankle, this by far was heaven in paradise. The food was great with a big variety of different tastes. Alot of activities like Bingo, Dress up Attire for Dinner, art auctions and galore of different shops. It was great and I cant wait for the next one. The water was beautiful, the people where friendly and the drinks never ran out. The sunrise and sunsets were beautiful, and the clouds were so close it felt you could reach out and touch one. The stars were bright and we were able to see the big dipper. But what surprise me the most was how dark it was at night The whole experience was amazing, I will alawys dwell on this trip, and in my heart of hearts this trip will alawys remind me that I am finally living my best life. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We booked to go on the Norwegian Sun at the very last minute as the dates suited us. Although we have cruised over 50 times, we always stayed clear of Norwegian. Unfortunately, I read the ships reviews after booking and as a result our ... Read More
We booked to go on the Norwegian Sun at the very last minute as the dates suited us. Although we have cruised over 50 times, we always stayed clear of Norwegian. Unfortunately, I read the ships reviews after booking and as a result our expectations were not very high. However, our experience turned out to be absolutely excellent. From the clean rooms to the food and service; everything was first class. I am not sure where some of the negative reviews come from, but based upon our experience, they are false. Getting on the ship was a breeze, Dining in the main restaurant was very good. The premium beverage package was well worth it, we had two dinners in the fancy restaurants, one (French) was the highlight. We were so impressed, that we purchased some of Norwegians future deposits and are already looking forward to our next cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise as a replacement option. Our Cuba cruise was cancelled by presidential order and NCL offered us to take this cruise, instead. Although the itinerary wasn't our first choice, vacation time was set aside and this ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a replacement option. Our Cuba cruise was cancelled by presidential order and NCL offered us to take this cruise, instead. Although the itinerary wasn't our first choice, vacation time was set aside and this was our only alternative. NCL discounted our cruise 50% and gave us a 50% discount towards a future cruise. Therefore, the deal was right. The vessel looks beautiful inside. We learned it was recently refurbished. Other than difficulty finding public bathrooms (few and far between), and the A/C blasting far too much, particularly around the Stardust theater (trust me, way too cold), the cruise was fabulous. The attention to detail and the incredible high customer service made it even better. Our recent experience with NCL wasn't good. Customer service was lacking, and the little things missing. This time around everyone was very attentive to our every need. A couple of disappointments included learning that our Platinum standing was limited to on-board discounts. We did not receive our "usual" perks (water, champagne, free laundry, free specialty dining, etc.). NCL claims that said perks are reserved for cruises in excess of 5 days, which was news to us. We had never heard such thing before. We did two tours: Atlantis on our own and swimming with the pigs. Both were perfectly organized and fun. A final thought: NCL must realize that Royal Caribbean and others charge virtually the same, do the same itineraries, and have a better reputation. Every time NCL changes the rules, it turns us off. We have two more cruises coming. Afterwards, we are going back to Royal. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Essentially took this tour with another couple who where wanting to celebrate their 30th Wedding Anniversary. Despite the fact our airplane arrived well over an hour late in Prague the very approachable Scenic representative was their to ... Read More
Essentially took this tour with another couple who where wanting to celebrate their 30th Wedding Anniversary. Despite the fact our airplane arrived well over an hour late in Prague the very approachable Scenic representative was their to greet us and take us to the local hotel. Likewise for the balance of the trip all the services from presentations by the Cruise Director, departure for excursions to opening of the restaurants were completely on time and very timely. The Chef on our cruise provided an excellent array of culinary delights both on the buffet and a la carte services. The cut on everything from slices meats to vegetables and dessert items was flawless. I inquired with the Chef who frequently made table checks about the "secrets" about a "Clear Tomato" that was being served for lunch. Chef Broccoli was most generous and provided a recipe for this exceptional soup. The effort put in by the entire staff of our trip was 110%. They worked well as a team and professional ignored the occasional unthinking and too casual guest. My only concern would be that the dining room was a slight bit noisy and congested and that for "older" folks (70 +) might find it tiring after more than a week. Likewise the rooms will be a tad small for those on the "heavier or tall" side. The Tailormade Scenic software very innovative and highly effective. I only recently have been using a smart phone but found it enhanced the trip. The system was occasionally nonfunctional when listening to the tour guides in large congested areas. However the information and pictures while sailing down the picturesque Danube River very complementary. Did find the survey questionare at the end of the tour rather long and time consuming. I thought it might take 20 minutes to complete but it had so many questions that I ran out of time and had to omit the last quarter of the survey. Cabin balcony excellent. Really liked the size, the glass, even the comfortable chairs. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We received a Princess brochure which included Canadian Maritime Provinces and Greenland. It peaked our interest, particularly Greenland which is an unusual destination. We felt it would be an ideal place to visit before it shows up ... Read More
We received a Princess brochure which included Canadian Maritime Provinces and Greenland. It peaked our interest, particularly Greenland which is an unusual destination. We felt it would be an ideal place to visit before it shows up on more itineraries and gets overrun with "tourist" shops; jewelry stores and t shirt shops etc. The itinerary was 16 days, but only 6 ports, so a lot of sea days which are relaxing. We sailed on Caribbean Princess before and enjoyed the ship. Good weather and enjoyed the ports taking 2 Princess excursions in Canada (Halifax and Sydney). We opted for a Hop-on-off in St Johns which was excellent and inexpensive. Greenland tours were extremely expensive and limited so we decide to explore on our own and were pleased with that decision. Tendering at 2 Greenland ports was awful, taking over 2 hours or more. Princess did a dreadful job handling this and they have been to Greenland before so they should have planned better. Very interesting places and very glad we took the trip. Rustic. Almost like a glimpse into the past! Overall meals were very good but not great but we did opt for a few specialty restaurants and these were great. Princess buffet dining is OK for breakfast or lunch but not really as well organized as some other cruise lines. Entertainment was probably excellent however seating was far too limited because of the show times of 6:30 and 8:30pm wherein many people ate at 5pm and went to both shows. Really good music is lounges with something for everyone. Finally, this was a Medallion Class ship. Princess loves this concept but frankly it is much like the cruise card with more chances to buy drinks and gamble, and might be fun for kids. I didn't think much of it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Subject: SilverSea Cruise , Lisbon to Barcelona Unfortunately the little details were a negative. TV with a remote that has to be changed 1 channel at a time is prehistoric. 10 years past its time. also not a good list of channel ... Read More
Subject: SilverSea Cruise , Lisbon to Barcelona Unfortunately the little details were a negative. TV with a remote that has to be changed 1 channel at a time is prehistoric. 10 years past its time. also not a good list of channel offerings. 2 of 3 movie channels worked . channels 1-5 all about Silver sea. Yes they acknowledge it’s a problem. WI Fi also dated. i paid the extra $200. for premium and extra 50.00 to add 3 users. still very slow. not 21 st century. cruise advertises premium alcohol yet when we go to dinner and ask for a better wine than what is served it is an extra charge. Food was average at best. Also sorry that local fare foods were not offered. Closing invoice added $18.00 for a silver sea chosen donation. It’s not the money, It’s the fact that you added it without authorization. My first cruise and I was expecting 5 star everything. Unfortunately 3 star rating at best. The ship overall is a bit dated. Staff was hit and miss. some great, some not so accommodating. The web site pre boarding was great once logged in you could book dinners, spas, shore excursions. All this was great and easy to look at overall trip on any given day and get info and update, Problem is once you boarded this site was no longer available. said you can’t book once on board. OK but now overall schedule is gone with info. told me they know it’s a problem . Sorry. Now you must ask dress code for each day and it not only changes daily it also applies differently to each restaurant. Concierge service lacks any info for ports we stopped at. Also they were only open 2-3 hours in the am and 2-3 hours in the pm. Also not very accommodating. Overall a real disappointment for the money we paid. I in good faith could not recommend this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our very 1st cruise, and even though we got rained out in our ports of call and some on the ship,we had a blast! i don't think we were even in Half Moon Cay 2hrs when the Captain pulled the plug, we were thankful for a ... Read More
This was our very 1st cruise, and even though we got rained out in our ports of call and some on the ship,we had a blast! i don't think we were even in Half Moon Cay 2hrs when the Captain pulled the plug, we were thankful for a Captain looking out for our safety! i honestly can't say enough about the staff/crew, they were all amazing! ESPECIALLY when it came to the elderly & special needs on board. I'm one to watch people, and i observed over and over the special care & priority that they took with the elderly and special needs, i was highly impressed! even if you don't drink/party {we don't} you will have a great time on board! also, the cruise director, Adam Cornes, was awesome & SO funny... I would go again just to hear him! i've also got to say, i was very pleased with our room steward, Joel, a very nice man & very diligent! I'm already in the process of planning another Sunshine cruise with my sisters, for my 50th birthday next year! Lova Mull Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Everything about our cruise was great! We boarded very easily in NYC The ship, though older, is kept clean and well appointed. Restaurants: all were excellent! And I do consider myself a foodie! Have been on NCL, RCL, MSC, and way ... Read More
Everything about our cruise was great! We boarded very easily in NYC The ship, though older, is kept clean and well appointed. Restaurants: all were excellent! And I do consider myself a foodie! Have been on NCL, RCL, MSC, and way back on an Italian Line. Cunard was great in all areas; Buffet, Main Dining Room, and Verandah! Not a single line can cook a steak as well as Verandah! (Ships cannot use open flame so it’s difficult to cook a great steak without a flame!) The other point is cleanliness. Having been on all RCL mega ship crossings and each of their buffet rooms were not kept very clean when dining was going on. Waiters would wipe tables onto floor and often tables were hardly cleaned! So QM2 touché! Shows were ok. Not great but enjoyable. The walk/run deck was great! The Aqua Therapy was phenomenal and well worth the $$! Finally, as we enjoy the elegance of the QM2 the evenings, 3 of them formal, were great. The others require a jacket at dinner. (Tux are available and worth it!) The masquerade and roaring 20’s nights were a lot of fun. If you want casual go on a 7 day island cruise. If you enjoy great conversation, stimulating lectures, time to reflect and read great food, great drinks, formal evenings then go on QM2! And finally they do not beg for good reviews! PS our review for excursions says Excellent. But their weren’t any! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I have been on 85 cruises and I wanted to try a mega ship. What a mistake. From the moment I booked this cruise I felt like I was being hustled. I received emails informing me that I had to book my dinner reservations I had to book all ... Read More
I have been on 85 cruises and I wanted to try a mega ship. What a mistake. From the moment I booked this cruise I felt like I was being hustled. I received emails informing me that I had to book my dinner reservations I had to book all my shows and I was given very unpleasant times with no choice in the matter . I also received several emails asking me to upgrade buying dining packages eating at restaurants and buying beverage packages and they just kept coming. Even at this early stage if I wouldn’t of paid in full I would’ve canceled the ship as I did read reviews and they weren’t very good. First of all the food is cold and second rate food they do not have good quality meat, fish chicken or pork. Everything is overcooked dry and tough. Most of them hidden with batter. When eating your dinner they come along and try and sell you a package to eat in their 12 private restaurants with no regard whether you’re eating or not. They hustle drink packages all along the boardwalk and every entrance throughout the ship. This ship should be renamed hustler of the seas. We joined the spa to use the steam room and they even added an 18% tip on top of that just to use the steam room and only 4 lounge chairs for 6500 people ruin the spa. We have never witnessed so many unhappy and dissatisfied passengers on any ship as this one. This ship has zero security they all hide. This ship is geared for mainly miss behaved children. We were in room 10 612 and it was very small for a balcony room but we had a great room steward. The drinks on the ship cost more than any other ship we’ve been on. We purchased a martini and a Cosmo and that bill was $31 for those two drinks. We were not interested in the drink package as people were complaining there was no liquor in their drinks. The shows were OK. The wipeout café is the only restaurant where you can get a omelette made. The wind jammer has repetitive food every day and some of it’s left over from last nights dinner. The solarium restaurant was nice but repetitive food again also cold. There is hardly enough entertainment and when there is they have five things going on at the same time. We were told that between passengers and crew there over 9000 people on board. It did not feel like a cruise it felt like a floating mall full of used car salesman. The staff is friendly but they’re trying to sell on a nonstop basis. On formal night I was in my tuxedo and next to me was a man with his T-shirt shorts and flip-flops eating dinner and that was acceptable on that ship. If you like to cruise for the art of cruising stay away from this ship you will definitely regret it. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We came all the way from New Zealand to come on harmony of the seas. We were not disappointed. Ship is just amazing. We personally did not find it crowded. Staff were fantastic except 1 man at guest services. Besides that really could ... Read More
We came all the way from New Zealand to come on harmony of the seas. We were not disappointed. Ship is just amazing. We personally did not find it crowded. Staff were fantastic except 1 man at guest services. Besides that really could not fault anything. We had inside cabin as doing Alaskan cruise 2 weeks later. Saved balcony for that one. Inside we were actually impressed. Size was not to bad as had smaller. We enjoyed a cafe on deck 8 it was called park cafe located in central park. We are there for breakfast and some lunches. We went to chops and grill. That was our favorite. Wonderland was good and different. Worth a try. Central 150 good to. We were not totally impressed with Izimu hibachi as had better .also we would not rave about Jamie Oliver's. Shore Excursion were good. We just think it was a great experience. Shows and the entertainment were world class. Best we seen on a cruise ship and I've done 21 cruises. Best cruise Director ever I have seen on a cruise. Dennis I'm pretty sure his name was.we would go again if lived closer.we just loved it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Everything was ok until we started using our cabin. First the bedsheets had stains on them!!!! Then the cabin ceiling and walls started cracking at nigh... plus we could hear weird sounds coming from the deck above us very late at night ... Read More
Everything was ok until we started using our cabin. First the bedsheets had stains on them!!!! Then the cabin ceiling and walls started cracking at nigh... plus we could hear weird sounds coming from the deck above us very late at night (we were on deck 15 and heaven staterooms were above us). I’m talking about 1 am to 3 am. Who can sleep like that???? Our steward and a carpenter came a couple of times and couldn’t find where the noise was coming from. They gave us a cheap wine bottle and a $200 onboard credit for the “inconvenience” but I feel they were short, in reality I should’ve gotten a refund for the whole onboard expense account and for being so uncomfortable on our cabin, plus if things were not getting fixed, they should’ve moved us or upgraded our stateroom to a better one, as I explained to management we were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary and it wasn’t a cheap cruise to begin with so to have this kind of situation was very bad for our cruise experience. On the other hand we had booked our excursion with NCL way before our cruise started thinking our experience was going to be the best (even tho we could have gotten it cheaper with independent companies) and the truth is that at the end it was as bad as anywhere online because it just got cancelled just a few days before the cruise; when we called to cancel the cruise at that point they said there wasn’t any refund or exchanges available and they didn’t even give us a credit or anything towards a new excursion; so we had to pay even more money for the new one. Similar issue happened with one of the ports which by the way I must say they do stay very little time at (Ketchikan), you’ll be practically running the whole time when ashore (some even get you there at almost night time) and even when we missed that port (due to bad winds or weather) we didn’t stay longer at the next port. I’m don’t know about the rest of the world but I like things to go according to schedule or to be compensated for it; mind you this is the third “inconvenience” on this cruise so yeah so far not recommended to people like me who actually care about details on a cruise. Other than that food was great, service was ok (they don’t go out of their way to serve your needs), the ship is very stylish and updated for our times, doesn’t feel cramped (except when getting off to explore a new port, people are coming to the hallways from all sides, it’s crazy); they do have good shows (Broadway style I’d say), you can’t miss the Beatles and Jersey Boys, I’m not an art critic but I thought they were all very profesional and talented (didn’t feel cheap). The disembarkation process was very smooth (they use a camera system with face recognition, very sophisticated and fast, I liked that). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We have cruised 3 times with Royal Caribbean and decided we shall not ever travel again in their ships. Grubby worn and extremely lacking of any luxury fixtures or fittings. The chairs in the Stsr Lounge were extremely worn torn and shabby ... Read More
We have cruised 3 times with Royal Caribbean and decided we shall not ever travel again in their ships. Grubby worn and extremely lacking of any luxury fixtures or fittings. The chairs in the Stsr Lounge were extremely worn torn and shabby and some of the rest rooms left a lot to be desired..,. Broken door handles and fixtures missing....if you miss dinner and attempt to eat in the Winjammer it closed st 9pm do we were left to eat pizza at the small cafe on the promenade which was heaving with very loud teenagers. Great trip for families but some parents are oblivious to the antics of their offspring and we witnessed a good fight between some youngsters who were throwing ice cream at each other covering walls and floors on deck 11....bar staff were excellent as were the casino staff but the lack of quality isnd detail of cabins was very disappointing. we Are planning a cruise next spring and shall definitely be joining Celebrity again....maybe a little more expensive but extremely superior quality.... regards. Lynda Guy Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Friends told us a Baltic cruise would be good for us. It was. We really enjoyed this cruise. We were told that our cabin was ocean view or better. We were told that meant if there were better cabins available we would be upgraded. There ... Read More
Friends told us a Baltic cruise would be good for us. It was. We really enjoyed this cruise. We were told that our cabin was ocean view or better. We were told that meant if there were better cabins available we would be upgraded. There was better available, but no upgrade. We were on a low deck that was extremely noisy. Not a very romantic send off for our first ever cruise and our honeymoon. The service in many areas left a lot to be desired, however we encountered some staff that was over and above any expectations and really blew us away. Food in main dining areas was bland and very small portions. We had the drink package and the fine dining package. The restaurants in the fine dining were simply amazing. We loved NCL’s freestyle cruising and would love to cruise NCL again but to know that balcony cabins went unused and activities staff seemed unprepared or even uninterested in some of the games and such makes you wonder if NCL even cares that you are there. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
About us- cruise is our choice when traveling. Love to be on the sea and visit different destinations daily! We have been on 20+cruises. We like aft balconies, good food and wine. We do not really frequent shows. First and foremost ... Read More
About us- cruise is our choice when traveling. Love to be on the sea and visit different destinations daily! We have been on 20+cruises. We like aft balconies, good food and wine. We do not really frequent shows. First and foremost we had a wonderful trip- these are some details pros and cons. I read alot of reviews when i am planning a trip and i hope my details help you. We chose this trip because of the itinerary- how can you beat Rome and the Greek Islands. This was also our 35th wedding anniversary. We are platinum status on RCL. We flew TAP airline- love them used them 2 years ago to Barcelona as well !!! Car service to and from airport to hotel- Italy Private Excusions- prompt, polite- great job- they were recommend from Rome in Limo as they were already booked Pre and post hotel- Hotel Barocco -love this boutique hotel. Great service, lovely room, the best breakfast and sweet cappuccino. I could not wait to get back there post cruise for coffee. Upgraded our room and left beautiful wine and fruit. We were leaving at 3:30 am to come home and they offered a box breakfast to go- so sweet and great location. Ship- Ship is small, which is fine if you are not looking for all the bells and whistles of the larger ships. We had no issue with the size. Pool area- solarium pool had children in it. Staff- all super friendly working hard- great job Food- No please do not misunderstand- we did not go hungry. But the food in the dining room has declined. I requested a garden salad in the dining room and was told that Cesar salad was the only choice. Fish was over cooked and dry. Meats were over salted and tough. The hours of the dining room would change depending on port leaving long lines even for folks who had reservations- just not customer friendly. Bread and croutons were stale. Specialty dining was a step better- but not much. Scallop potatoes dry and over cooked- nothing seemed fresh. We went to both Chops and Giovanni's- Giovanni is lovely- i really wanted to like it but the food was so salty. The pasta was gummy. Deserts were mushy and tasteless. Windjammer was decent- liked the grab and go egg sandwiches on port days and the choices were plentiful. Sushi Class- What a great event! i had read a review of this before we left and decided to do it. 35.00 per person - but you get huge amounts of delicious sushi. This was not a demo you actually make the sushi and feel like you can do at home for family and friends. If you like sushi this is really fun. Bar service- we did have drink package- purchased on a special and found we probably lost money on it but enjoyed the freedom of not thinking about it. Bar service was good, drinks were good and the bartenders friendly and made suggestions to try new drinks. We particularly enjoyed the bartenders at Schooner bar after dinner. Vintages the wine bar was my favorite where Angeline the sommelier there was a delight to talk to about wine and travel. Ports- Santorini- Book the shore excursion Oia on your own!!!! I never book ship excursions but this gets you off the ship and to Santorini efficiently. Santorini is not easy to get in and out of. We used our SBC to buy it. We went to Oia and i got my photos (bucket list). We then went to Santos winery and did huge wine tasting with incredible views. left around 7:30 pm short line to the tram. I didn't even see donkeys. It is hot bring a hat! Mykonos- St James Beach Club-until 1:00 pm then back to town and walked around saw the windmills and had a late lunch right there overlooking the water. - Kazarma had wine and sandwiches and just relaxed. Very nice day. Athens- we hired Georges Taxi for the day- did this ahead of time and well worth 220 E for both for the day - we saw EVERYTHING. Ask for Kostas as your driver he is the best! He gave us so much information in the air conditioned car that we knew what we were looking at while out in hot sun. We saw Acropolis, changing of the guard, ancient agora, Olympic stadium, wonderful authentic lunch at a taverna, In the afternoon we visited the national museum- I asked Kostas for sweets and he brought us to a bakery with amazing baklava. Just a fantastic day- he wa the best. Katakolon- charming fishing village- walked around and shopped a little. Pre cruise- did a food tour with Rome Food Tours- wonderful guide, lots of walking and a nice selection of food. Post cruise- back to hotel Barocco and then toured the forum and coliseum. Feel free to ask me questions. Read Less

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