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Sail Date: August 2019
Although this was our 40th cruise, it was the first on Marco Polo and the smallest ship we have been on in 25 years of cruising and at 2 nights, the shortest. This is also my first review of a cruise ship. Having booked the cruise ... Read More
Although this was our 40th cruise, it was the first on Marco Polo and the smallest ship we have been on in 25 years of cruising and at 2 nights, the shortest. This is also my first review of a cruise ship. Having booked the cruise recently I looked up the reviews just before going and was quite alarmed by the number of negative reviews. I was not therefore expecting much. However, having enjoyed a very pleasant couple of days I thought that I should review it. I can only think that those negative reviews have come from people that only generally sail on the big modern ships with over 6000 guests and the staff to perform West End style shows. Whilst the exterior and steel around windows etc shows the signs of a 50 year old ship, the carpets and furniture and internal woodwork is kept spotless and clean. The beds are not modern but are comfortable enough and the bedding was clean. The inside cabins were larger than I expected with much more cupboard and drawer room than on many larger ships. With the exception of the lady leaving the duty free shop 4 hours before docking on the final morning who rather rudely announced that they 'were shut as we are always shut in port' when they clearly weren't, everyone else was very pleasant and friendly. I would say that it is a very happy ship.The food was as good as any of the ships we have been on and better than many. Still offering afternoon tea and late night snacks.The entertainment was not brilliant but the singers were good and did provide good entertainment. Let down a bit by the quality of the backing music but nothing to complain about. If you really want everything you get with the big ships, the Marco Polo is not for you. But for great value for money, friendly staff, good food and drinks at less than pub prices in the UK you can't beat this. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose the Dream because we enjoyed sailing on her out of New Orleans and got a casino offer at a pretty good rate out of Galveston which is where we live. Embarkation was simple and quick. It was really nice that the muster was ... Read More
We chose the Dream because we enjoyed sailing on her out of New Orleans and got a casino offer at a pretty good rate out of Galveston which is where we live. Embarkation was simple and quick. It was really nice that the muster was indoors since it was mid August. Our stateroom was on Lido forward. This meant a lot of walking (I had a knee injury and had to use a cane), but we chose this stateroom so that's on us. The room was clean and tidy, but we didn't see much of our steward. Room was cleaned once per day during dinner hour. This is a far cry from the service Carnival provided in the past, though it's no fault of the steward. He did his best. Smoking areas on 5 and 11 received no bar service. They were very small areas with no access to pool nor whirlpools. Smokers were confined to the very small areas and not allowed to use sun loungers. Deck 5 smoking area was blocked off about half the cruise. Deck 11 smoking was right behind the stack and black oil spots were all over our clothes. Casino area was of course full of smokers. Where else could they go? Carnival makes a good bit of money off of smokers. STOP TREATING THEM LIKE TRASH!! One other thing about the casino...there was a drawing held one night and we were to receive an entry for every 100 points we had. We each had around 1300 points. We realized as we watched the names roll around on the screen that neither of our names were there. That didn't give us a very good feeling. Steakhouse. What happened here? This used to be a very nice experience with yummy food and beautiful composed plates. Now you get a piece of meat and roasted tomato dropped on your plate. Why this change??? Terrible. Raise the price if you need to, but don't just ruin it by destroying the ambience! Main dining Food mediocre as usual, but the service was impeccable. Yaco and his assistants were awesome. Yaco served drinks at the back pool on shore days and was the only server to come up to no man's land (smoking area). Thanks Yaco! Crew They were as awesome as they could be. They are overworked and treated like crap by many cruisers. We always treat them well, enjoy talking with them and tip extra. They are the only really enjoyable part of this cruise. Entertainment Violinists were good. Otherwise really lacking. I know you can get better entertainment. Finally We've all seen the carnival experience go downhill over the years. I understand keeping costs down to allow more people the opportunity to cruise. I've never cuised another line so have nothing to compare it to. I've always loved the cruising experience til now. It was the first time I've wanted to go home from a cruise. If you smoke, be warned you'll be treated by the cruise line as a lower class citizen. I won't say that I'll never cruise again, but right now I sure don't want to. Sad. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose Scenic as we had travelled with them once before. We were not disappointed. The whole time we felt cared for and nurtured. The cabin was beautifully appointed with an airy balcony and plenty of space. Dining options were numerous ... Read More
We chose Scenic as we had travelled with them once before. We were not disappointed. The whole time we felt cared for and nurtured. The cabin was beautifully appointed with an airy balcony and plenty of space. Dining options were numerous and all food and drink was fantastic quality. Entertainment included an onboard pianist, in addition to performers being brought aboard from various ports. We were even treated to a recital by a classical quartet in a Château, where Scenic docked just for the evening performance, then sailed on. Very special! Most of all, the staff were welcoming, attentive, competent and caring, which always makes a trip. There was always a personal touch. The cruise director was amazing - a French national who was full of wonderful insights into her native country. Hotel Manager ensured all F&B ran seamlessly. Food and drink choices were incredibly varied and top quality. Highly recommend! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
As an all inclusive cruise we liked knowing what we paid up front was the bottom line, no hidden extras. We have travelled with Scenic before so not a difficult decision. Lovely comfortable beds light airy and clean cabins. This time ... Read More
As an all inclusive cruise we liked knowing what we paid up front was the bottom line, no hidden extras. We have travelled with Scenic before so not a difficult decision. Lovely comfortable beds light airy and clean cabins. This time travelling to a region of France we have not seen before and wanted to learn more about. On board attentive staff, great food , friendly fellow passengers made the ten days most enjoyable and we learned a lot about wine, the grape varieties and wine making. Starting and finishing in Bordeaux which we found to be a delightful city and had adequate time for exploring. Other ports of call included Libourne, Pauilliac, Fort Medoc, Cadillac, Bourg sur Garrone and Blaye, we also took a side excursion to Cognac, a lovely town and of course we just had to see how its namesake spirit is made and tasted at Remy Martin. Recommend to anyone not just wine enthusiasts. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Holland America was recommended but we chose Princess instead, never again. Horizon buffet had mediocre food at times, other times it was very good. Staff ignored our needs much of our dining time, had to bus our table, find silverware and ... Read More
Holland America was recommended but we chose Princess instead, never again. Horizon buffet had mediocre food at times, other times it was very good. Staff ignored our needs much of our dining time, had to bus our table, find silverware and drinks. Other times they were ok. Anytime dining in the Da Vinci and Michelangelo was fantastic. Food was great. Excursions were OK, Ketchikan was very short. White Pass Railway was great! Fishing in Juneau was great also. Room service was great and timely every morning. Most of the on board staff had poor English speech and understanding of what we would say. Shipboard announcements were mostly not understandable and couldn’t be heard in our cabin. Our only other cruise was with Carnival in the Caribbean and we had virtually none of these issues. Our next cruise will be investigated more closely. While your experience with Princess may vary I will certainly not chose this line for another cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
My husband and I sailed on the 8/3/19 cruise on the Ovation out of Copenhagen. This was our first time on Seabourn but I have been on over 30 cruises at the ripe age of 31, with the last 15 on the Oceania line. I am an avid traveler and ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on the 8/3/19 cruise on the Ovation out of Copenhagen. This was our first time on Seabourn but I have been on over 30 cruises at the ripe age of 31, with the last 15 on the Oceania line. I am an avid traveler and feel I have a critical but fair eye. I had high expectations of this line and particular ship from word of mouth recommendations and other favorable reviews. I was quite disappointed and will list out all of my reasons while still making sure to give credit where credit is due. I will start with the positives first. My overall summary of the below is at the bottom of this review. Cabin: Our cabin was very nice and spacious. Bed and pillows are comfortable, ample room with a nice walk in closet and separate seating area. Bathroom has a double sink which is very nice, shower is marble and still small but pressure very good. Bathtub a waste of space in my opinion. Balcony nice size and overall room very spacious. We were in cabin 651 on the 6th floor located toward the center of the ship which was great. Molton Brown products in the bathroom and a selection of body soap offered on the first day. Room stewardess was attentive and did a very good job. Only complaint on the first day is that the room wasn’t cleaned well. The soap in our bathroom which was a body wash had been used and there was a lot of dust and finger prints on the table in the room. Otherwise, cabin was excellent and gets high marks from me. I believe we were in category V5. Ship: the ship is beautiful. Modern, clean, more yacht-like than cruise ship. A lot of wood paneling. 600 people but still felt very quiet even on sea days. Our favorite place to relax was the cappuccino lounge on floor 7 where they had tons of seating and recliners. Decor of the ship was very simple yet elegant. WIFI: very good! Much better WIFI than any other ship I’ve been on - in room technology good. Service: this is where our experience goes down the tubes. The service on this ship was HORRIBLE!! The staff do you a major favor and if asked for something that requires them to go out at all of their way, they are rude. We had some staff that were nice (mainly in cappuccino lounge and main dining room - except for maitre de) but all and all, the service sucked. Management lacks tremendously, customer service is non existent and the staff seem poorly trained, disingenuous and disinterested. I’ve really never experienced anything like this before - had we not met several other couples who also shared the same sentiment, I would have thought I was going crazy!! A few examples - almost every meal without fail we waited 10 minutes before getting anything to drink. If we needed a sauce to accompany a meal, we waited 10 minutes. In fact, we stopped ordering sauces because it was such a lost cause & by the time it arrived our meal was over. I asked for cream with my coffee - by the time the cream came, my coffee was cold. We were almost always at a meal with an empty drink that needed refilling. No accommodating what so ever. My husband likes the salmon in the colonnade - we asked if it could be served on the patio 20 feet away and they said no, they prefer not to. At dinner in the main, I asked if i could have a croquette that came with a different entree than what I ordered and was told no, they only had a certain amount and could not accommodate me. I mean, come on! I tried to move my Thomas Keller reservation because my husband wasn’t feeling well and was told with 11 days left on the trip that they couldn’t accommodate us. Finally, after getting the guest services manager involved, we got one at an undesirable time on a different day but at this point, we took what we could get. These may seem Iike minor gripes but we encountered them several times per day and was a major turnoff and took a lot away from the experience. The overall staff attitude was rude and requests of them felt like inconveniences. This in itself was bad enough to never return to this ship. As I said previously, several other couples experienced the same rude service. My husbands Camera was lost day 1 and finally arrived at our cabin with a cracked and dented lens. We requested compensation for the lens. Seabourn asked us to provide the link to the lens - which we did directly from the website - to prove it was $500. They tried to tell us it was a $200 lens (they had the wrong lens) and refused to refund us. We have yet to resolve this issue with them. Food - We are major foodies and we’re quite disappointed in the food on this ship. I will say that the quality is there in a lot of areas (not all) but the execution is not. Breakfast was good but the same every day. Not a bad thing, but boring after a while. A decent selection and probably the best meal. Lunch was a mixed bag. Salad bar always had nice items and the grill items - fish, burgers, hot dog, etc always very tasty and fresh. Meat quality good, fish quality good. My only complaint on the fish was it never had any seasoning or flavor - this was a major theme for most items on board - but I would still prefer to add salt vs. having the sodium and preservative packed food a lot of ships have, so this wasn’t a major complaint. All lunch hot food served in the chaffing dishes were slop and never hot. We almost never ate any of the prepared food served at lunch because it was room temperature and unappealing. Dinner : main dining room was respectable but not great. We didn’t have one meal there that was really delicious. Temperature was an issue and seasoning was non existent. I’ve never put so much salt on my food in my life. Service mixed. Our first night there we waited about 15 minutes before anyone came to our table. Finally the waitress comes over with an iPad looking down and says “what can i get you” - no greeting, no introduction. Very impersonal feeling. Sushi was nothing to write home about. A lot of rice and uninspired. I actually overheard someone say “it’s not as bad as gas station sushi” - I’ll leave it at that. The colonnade was OK - probably our least favorite. They do special nights like rib night or clam bake night and they look beautiful but just don’t quite execute it well. For example : rib night - the ribs came out in a beautiful Staub cast iron pan presented family style and looked delicious. Unfortunately, the ribs were dry, cold and had clearly been sitting on a heat lamp for an hour +. We sent it back and got a new rack that was the same dry and Luke warm ribs this time with some bbq sauce slathered on top. To put the icing on the cake, the assistant maitre de came over and instead of apologizing that the food came out lacking temperature and dry, explained that the ribs weren’t Texas style but st.louis style and weren’t supposed to fall off the bone..I mean ..really ? I’m not expecting anything more than a simple apology or some sort of follow up to see if the second round was better. Instead, I was blamed for expecting them to fall off the bone and they didn’t. I didn’t need ribs that fell off the bone, just didn’t want to eat something as dry as wood. The Patio by the pool in our opinion offered the best most innovative meals but even those fell short on flavor and execution. We also had a Northern Europe itinerary with a lot of rain and cool weather and found ourselves eating outside in the windy cold weather because the patio was the best choice. Thomas Keller which is the specialty restaurant was very good for a steakhouse on a cruise ship. I would say this is likely the best option on board. Food delicious but once again, service lacking. Not attentive and seemed to do you a big favor. We found in all restaurants that the deserts were mediocre and most didn’t taste cooked on board. I don’t think I had one desert I loved. I also found the breads were uninspired. In summary : good quality ingredients (for the most part ) that aren’t executed well. Oceania food trumps Seabourn by a landslide. A few other items to note: Older crowd, no children. Except for us (in our early 30s), most people were 65+. Not good or bad, just our cruise demographic. Free laundry was a nice feature with Miele commercial washers and dryers and complimentary detergent. Gym was small but clean, coffee on board was very good. Entertainment was respectable. Nice job at including different daily activities. Excursions - expensive but well organized. I read the ship docs at ports further away from the destinations to save on docking fees. Not sure if this is true. We did a few excursions - food provided on them was mediocre and limited and tours very pricey. Spa - didn’t use but quite expensive. Very few discounts offered throughout cruise. They had a “promotion” that if you do 3 treatments from a select number of services you get 10% off first, 20% off second and 30% off third. Note this is per cabin and not per stateroom. I know all cruise spas are expensive but this was more than canyon ranch on Oceania. I may have left stuff out but to summarize my overall impressions: cabin and ship top notch and classy, food better than the celebrity level lines but nothing special. Service was so bad it border-lined on offensive and as a result, I will likely not return to Seabourn. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
First time sailing Holland America. We a frequent Celebrity and RCCL cruisers, but liked the HA Alaska itinerary, plus there were some pricing specials that made this cruise very affordable. We booked a category VD balcony cabin ... Read More
First time sailing Holland America. We a frequent Celebrity and RCCL cruisers, but liked the HA Alaska itinerary, plus there were some pricing specials that made this cruise very affordable. We booked a category VD balcony cabin (guarantee), and we were assigned our cabin 10 days before sailing. Location was pretty good....all of the VD cabins are either in the front or towards the rear of the ship. We had a cabin towards the front of the ship. Long walk to the dining venues (as they were on the other end of the ship), but we got used to it. The pros.....spacious cabin, quiet, large shower/bathtub combo, nice balcony. Service was first class and very friendly. Embarkation and disembarkation was so incredibly fast....HA blew away their competition on this aspect of the cruise. A nice choice of shore excursions, but pricey (as all Alaskan shore excursions tend to be). The highlight for us was the Tracy Arm Fjord/Sawyer Glacier excursion in Juneau. A long day (7 hour excursion), but well worth the time and money (tour is run by Allen Marine...wonderful tour folks). The one day we were cruising Glacier bay was an experience Holland America does best. This was the main reason we chose this cruise and HA did not disappoint. Had several other shore excursions which were ok....fortunately we got into Victoria before nightfall and got to Bourchart Gardens while it was still light. Had about 2 hours to visit and by the second hour it was nighttime. You cannot get the beauty of these gardens if you only have the night time to visit...so if you can't see the gardens during some daylight time, it is not worth going to (in my opinion, if you are a first time visitor). The not so good stuff had to do with the food and entertainment. The Lido restaurant is where the buffet is and we found the food selection and quality adequate, but nothing compared to the quality and selection you find on RCCL and Celebrity. We ate in the main dining room twice and the good was good in that venue (the gala night surf and turf was excellent.....probably the best we have had on any cruise ship). Service was fine. No quick way to get a slice of pizza or a quick hamburger/hotdog. HA does not do this part of their food routine very well. Also deserts were so so; cookies were lousy. Not much in the way of entertainment, but HA is not known for their big productions that RCCL and Celebrity have. We booked the premium wifi package ahead of time, as it was priced attractively but it was somewhat slow (but expected), and stopped working completely on our Apple devices that had IOS software under 10.0 (because of an HA wifi upgrade while we were at sea). So if your IOS software is not 10.0 or higher, their wifi will not work on those devices (primarily older Ipads). Very easy to catch a taxi from the cruise terminal back to the airport. They all charge a flat fee of $42. Lots of taxi's available despite two large cruise ships arriving at about the same time. Hope this info is helpful to any of you taking the Alaska inside passage cruise on HA. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Disappointed with MSC and state of cabin. Asked steward to bleach shower floor as covered in mould but he said it was a problem with the grout. Looked and smelled like mould and needed a good scrub. They also definitely need more staff ... Read More
Disappointed with MSC and state of cabin. Asked steward to bleach shower floor as covered in mould but he said it was a problem with the grout. Looked and smelled like mould and needed a good scrub. They also definitely need more staff to serve in bars and to clear tables. Tables are always left with plates and food and you have to call the staff over to clean your table. Was told in one bar that I needed to buy drinks to get food. Aren't they supposed to feed us whilst onboard? Drink prices are way too high. My gold card got me no benefits when disembarking and had to wait for all the lower cabins to disembark first. Was told if I booked Aurea class I would have been given priority. So the number of cruises you have done does not matter. Would prefer other cruise lines next time. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Summary over a cruise on the Haute Seine and Yonne on a barge. As seasoned cruisers, knowing well all aspects of cruising on seas and rivers, we had no experience about traveling on a barge in a canal. It was also time to overcome this ... Read More
Summary over a cruise on the Haute Seine and Yonne on a barge. As seasoned cruisers, knowing well all aspects of cruising on seas and rivers, we had no experience about traveling on a barge in a canal. It was also time to overcome this lack. A number of companies offer this kind of cruising on barge with 8 to 16 passengers, however very often at exorbitant prices. Luckily, we discovered that the company CroisiEurope offers one week cruise on various canals in Europe, at very decent price, especially considering that all is inclusive (full board, all alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and all excursions) on modern barges with a maximum of 22 passengers. We opted for the barge Ms Deborah, which cruises on the canal de la Loire, with the Briare to Nevers’ route. We were looking forward to this itinerary because the proposed excursions particularly suited us. Unfortunately, only a few days before departure, we were informed that due of a lack of water in the Loire canal the Ms Deborah was switched over to the Haute Seine and Yonne for a new itinerary from Paris to Sens. Despites the fact that this new itinerary didn’t really meet our desires, especially the excursions, we decided to accept the change. Our group of 6 persons from Switzerland was very warmly greeted by all members of the crew when arriving on the quai de Grenelle in Paris where we see the MS DEBORAH for the first time, our floating home for the week. With its two dominating colours blue and white, it is difficult not to fall in love with this beautiful small ship. We were invited immediately for the welcome cocktail during which we met officially the crew and the other six individual passengers originating from New Zealand, England and the USA. With less time than it needs to tell, the relation between us was created, so that everyone felt part of a bunch of friends knowing each other for long time. There is no need to present here the MS Deborah itself, as this is already thoroughly done on the Cruise Critic page. The crew of 6 persons is composed of a captain, a sailor, a cruise director, a chef, a waitress and a cabin hostess who put all their efforts to satisfy the passengers and offer them the best possible service. The captain as well as the sailor are always trying to make passengers at ease, answer questions or even bring a drink. The lady cruise director is omnipresent, taking care of the passengers better than a mother hen would do. The talented young French chef aims to produce dishes which please everybody. His outstanding sauces and excellent desserts should be particularly praised. However, referring to comments we made during a cruise on the Seine Princess two years ago, we cannot understand that why today it is not possible to offer the choice of a light buffet at lunch instead a three or even four course menu! The always smiling and friendly Hungarian waitress was very caring and attentive, without forgetting the cabin hostess doing a great job in the cabins, the public spaces and even the kitchen. It wouldn’t be fair to name a single person as all members of the crew, without any exception, do all they can to make the cruise unforgettable. Our one-week cruise on the barge Ms Deborah enables us today to make the following comments: ~ a cruise on a barge cannot be compared to any other kind of cruise ~ despite all the comfort offered on modern barge, one must be very aware that life on board happens at a restraint space, requiring therefore much flexibility and understanding in all aspects from all passengers ~ in our case, being only 12 passengers, we had the opportunity to take our meals on the terrace. We also never had the feeling that the boat was overcrowded. This can be different when the ship is full, especially by bad weather ~ the state of mind between the passengers who are mostly of foreign nationalities, who don’t know each other and don’t speak French, must function well right from the beginning ~ if the interrelation works, it is difficult to find a more relaxing and enjoyable way of travelling ~ the success on a barge is mainly due on the quality of its crew. Ms Deborah’s crew members have quickly created a family spirit on board, showing also that they genuinely like what they do ~ excursions can play a major role in choosing an itinerary. Not speaking French or English can be a handicap Do we recommend to do a cruise on a barge? Yes, definitively! It’s affordable, the atmosphere on board is unique, the routes can be very interesting. In our case, this second try with CroisiEurope gives them a better note. We would also consider again if some improvements are made in a certain sector Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
My wife and I love the fact the ACL ship has 100 passengers max. The ship is cozy, casual and very well run. The crew, top to bottom, are friendly, responsive and efficient. The cabins are roomy with private balconies. The food and ... Read More
My wife and I love the fact the ACL ship has 100 passengers max. The ship is cozy, casual and very well run. The crew, top to bottom, are friendly, responsive and efficient. The cabins are roomy with private balconies. The food and service is excellent. We have done the big ship cruises (3000+ + passengers, and swore we will never do another big ship again!) We discovered ACL last summer when we did their New England Island cruise, and loved it. We have already signed up for our third cruise with ACL for Nov. 2020. It was fun to be able to mix and mingle and sit with different people at every meal. Since many passengers, like us, were older, retired people, and from a variety of states, cities, businesses and professions, mealtimes were always interesting and entertaining. American Cruise Lines have smaller ships so they can visit more of the coastal and river ports than the big ships, so we you get to see more of the country up close and personal. Landing in port, there are at most only 100 passengers who disembark or go on shore hikes and excursions vs. 3000 people descending on a port at the same time. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
A relative told us about it and asked if we wanted to join him and his wife on the trip. After examining the brochure and and talking to a travel agent about it we decided to go. We were not disappointed. Just about everything we ... Read More
A relative told us about it and asked if we wanted to join him and his wife on the trip. After examining the brochure and and talking to a travel agent about it we decided to go. We were not disappointed. Just about everything we experienced on the trip was wonderful. All the staff were fantastic, including the bus drivers with a special mention for the driver on the overland section through Switzerland and Austria by the name of Milos. By the time we joined the ship in Budapest we had got to know a great many of our fellow passengers. This enhanced the whole experience. The cruise itself was fabulous in all respects. All the staff on the ship were extremely friendly and helpful. There was some doubt initially about whether the water in the Danube was going to be deep enough. However our captain did a sterling job navigating us safely through the waterways. The ports we visited were many and varied with interesting excursions being available at all ports of call. Alternatively you could do your own excursion and wander through the town or village. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We were celebrating our honeymoon, the moment we set foot on the ship, we were transported into a world of utter luxury. We were doted upon and treated like royalty. George, the cruise manager, always greeted everyone with a friendly smile ... Read More
We were celebrating our honeymoon, the moment we set foot on the ship, we were transported into a world of utter luxury. We were doted upon and treated like royalty. George, the cruise manager, always greeted everyone with a friendly smile and answered all our questions. I am sure he would have also been quick to solve any issues but there were none. He was on top of everything. Everything was done effortlessly, or so it seemed, from my perspective. The staff was friendly, upbeat and Costi our restaurant server made me laugh, a discreet comedian, suggested food and drink, made me a toddy in the evening. He was a true delight. Vlad our attentive and intuitive butler knew or seemed to know what we wanted before we even expressed our thoughts. We was extremely professional and incredibly helpful. The food was stupendous! The chef came around and wanted our feedback. No wonder! The baked goods are to die for. The lamb, wow. The soups yummy. We loved everything about our trip! What a grand adventure. Sylvia the tour organizers took very good care of us. She took great pains to explain and plan the wonderful outings we enjoyed. Our suite was wonderful, ours was the Royal Panorama. It was spacious, kept spotless and generously supplied with anything one could possibly need. Our laundry was taken care of and returned promptly. The salt room felt wonderful after our massage. I could go on, but will stop here before I write a book. I am still suffering from Vlad ( our butler) withdrawal. If you enjoy a phenomenal adventure and want to feel coddled in luxury, then sign up. You will love it! Guaranteed. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because we always wanted to visit Bermuda. My wife had just completed another Norwegian cruise on the "Sky" to Cuba. The Norwegian Escape is a much larger ship. Too many passengers for the ships facilities - ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we always wanted to visit Bermuda. My wife had just completed another Norwegian cruise on the "Sky" to Cuba. The Norwegian Escape is a much larger ship. Too many passengers for the ships facilities - specifically the pool area(s) and the buffet area and the outdoor bars. I do NOT recommend this cruise or cruise line! The ship had over 4200 passengers and the pool could only hold maybe 50! Add to that, there were signs posted around the pool area ADULTS ONLY. These were routinely ignored by "parents" who let their little ones fill up the two (count them, two) hot tubs. The food , especially at the "Upscale" restaurants was mediocre at best. All side dishes were served cold in temperature. The dining service was terrible. Long long waits (in excess of 20 minutes) between courses. Beyond that there were tons of OUT OF CONTROL kids and teenagers. No cruise personnel did a single thing to correct these problems. I will NEVER cruise on a "Mega Ship" again, especially Norwegian cruise line which has evidently become the "Carnival" of cruise lines. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise for a family vacation and it did not disappoint! What an amazing ship and the staff was wonderful. It never felt overly crowded and we hardly ever had to wait in lines except for my time dining and that was not bad ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a family vacation and it did not disappoint! What an amazing ship and the staff was wonderful. It never felt overly crowded and we hardly ever had to wait in lines except for my time dining and that was not bad at all. We had 7:45pm reservations every night and we waited maybe 15 to 20 mins tops. We sailed from Port Canaveral. Embarkation and Disembarkation were a breeze! We drove and tipped a porter on the sidewalk to take our bags. We then practically walked right onto the ship with no lines or problems whatsoever! The ship was amazing. It was so clean and there was plenty to do as far as entertainment and activities. We did see Grease and the Fine Line Aqua show. Both were wonderful although Grease was a bit long. My only complaint is that they charged for popcorn for the show. I thought that was a bit cheap but the entertainment was excellent. We also caught the Love and Marriage show, which was quite funny and a couple of pool contests like sexy man and belly flop. These are always fun and entertaining. Our children are 18 and 20 so we really enjoyed the solarium in the late afternoons. It would have been nice to have a pool in the solarium but the hot tubs were wonderful and plentiful with cooling stations. There always seemed to be plenty of pool chairs and we never felt like the ship was over the top crowded. For dining, we did the my time dining because there were no reservations left. This was our first time doing that. It was nice to be able to go whenever if we didn’t show up right on time for our reservation but we missed not getting to know a specific group of servers. We had a different set of servers every night. The service was good but not as good as what we have experienced when we had regular times and the same set of servers. We did not choose any specialty dining as we have done this on past cruises and do not find the food to be that much better. The windjammer was the best windjammer we have eaten at so far with a large variety of quality good food available. The solarium restaurant had a nice salad bar. The park cafe had a wonderful selection of paninis for lunch and breakfast. Sorrentos Pizza was good. There was always a nice selection of pizza. Small bites was the only place to get chips and cheese unless you pay at Sabor, which we did not. They were just ok. We had nice chips and salsa off the boat but it would be nice if they would bring this back in the windjammer with Guacomole and some chunk cheese and crackers. We did not get a chance to try the dog house. We did order coffee and basic fruit as room service but the options are limited for breakfast and we enjoyed main dining and park cafe for our breakfast options. Overall the food was very good. The bars were great! We really enjoyed the Mimosas and Bloody Mary bar in the pub. The schooner bar is always a fav and their lavender daquari is amazing! Boleros has a coconut mojito that is wonderful. Wonderland is fun to pop into for a nice drink and to check out the scenery. Vintages had a nice wine selection. All the pool bars were great with very little wait time and the solarium was the best. All staff were polite and quick. The customer service on this ship is top notch! Our cabin was on the 7th floor. We had an extended balcony. It was wonderful. The rooms on this ship are laid out so nice with lots of storage space and drawers for clothes. We each had our own closet on either side of the room. The bathroom was roomier than any of the other royal ships we have been on. Our stateroom attendant was our favorite so far. She went out of her way to make sure we had a wonderful experience. The excursions were great. Coco Cay is wonderful and it is so nice that Royal honors your drink package and food on the island. The lunch was wonderful. We stayed on Chill Island for most of the day and did go to the pool with swim up bar for a bit. It was busy but so fun. We ended up spending $40 on 2 lounge mats for the day for the beach. I’m not sure that was worth it. I noticed some people brought their own small blow up loungers with netting and I would probably pack something easy like that for next time but the loungers were nice. Next we went to Cozumel and ended up booking an excursion at Mr. Sanchos all Inclusive. It was awesome and we cant wait to go back. I reviewed that on Trip Advisor and that is where I found them. Next, we went to Honduras. I booked Little French Key all island access pass. This was amazing!!! I booked directly online and have also reviewed them on Trip Advisor as this is where I found this excursion. Last we went to Costa Maya. We just got off the ship and shopped around the port. It was a lot of aggressive vendors on the inside that were willing to cut the prices if you started to walk away and a lot of expensive vendors in stores surrounding this. I probably would not get off the ship next time. They did have a pool and swim up bar people seemed to be enjoying. Overall this is our 7th cruise and the best yet! We would love to go back on Harmony of the Seas! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Theis ship is horrible, the service is so bad there is no excuse for it. It takes ages for a waiter to come to you for drinks in the main buffet even tho you have a bell for colling them, one time the waiter came to the table canceled ... Read More
Theis ship is horrible, the service is so bad there is no excuse for it. It takes ages for a waiter to come to you for drinks in the main buffet even tho you have a bell for colling them, one time the waiter came to the table canceled the call and just walked away without takeing our order, when we asked him why he did that he came with such a dumb excuse, and thats is all the staff have for you is excuses. When you want to go to shore there are harbors with only steps as gang walks so disabled people cant disimbark, on the ports that disabled people can disimbark you will go thru hell when you imbark, first of all they will make sure that you know that they doing the disable people a big favor if they let 1 person to acompany the disable thru security, we had 1 person with an oxigen mask on her and security made her stand in line for 10 mins for security, they made me choose betwin my disabled father and my child ( who didnt speak english) so i had no choice but to wait for my child, so my father had to wait for me and my child and they put him near a trashcan so god forbid he will interfere the other guests, when we whent to complain about it, the costomer service made me feel like I was the one to blame, he didnt wrote my complain right and ofcourse the complaint was nulled with the excuse that you cant expect them to let 3 people cut the securety line (and I remind you 1 person is disabled and one is a child) and leting the other guest wait. The dishes in the buffet was dirty we got glasses with lipstick marks on them, plates with pasta still on it. On other ships at the evenibg of your first imbarkation the person in charge of cleaning your room comes and introduce him/her self to you and tells you that every thing you needs room wise to come to him/her, on this ship we saw him only on the last night of the cruise. The one bright light on the ship is the food, it was tasty and good and you had a large choice of dishes to choose from in the buffet, and every day was diffrent dishes, too bad you couldn't had plates to put those delicious dishes. We took an excurtion in kiel and asked the woman who booked us the excurtion if it takes us to see the city itself including the city center because they had 1 tour only for the harbor and the tour we took, at the end both of the excurtions was only for the harbor and we didnt saw the city at all. Pass these ship there are other ship lines that are much better with the same prices as this one. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We have cruised on Norwegian Breakaway two years ago, also out of NYC. The ship is almost exactly same layout and same size, but on Escape was much more people. It’s to crowd. We went on this cruise with 6 people. In our opinion, ... Read More
We have cruised on Norwegian Breakaway two years ago, also out of NYC. The ship is almost exactly same layout and same size, but on Escape was much more people. It’s to crowd. We went on this cruise with 6 people. In our opinion, the pool aria is way to small for the size of the ship. We were not happy to get up early in the morning just to be able to save six seats together. About embarkation processes: We are PA residents and we are never experienced so many rude people. They were screaming, cutting of lines, pushing, and embarkation staff was NOT care at all. Regarding the ship staff: Extremely hard workers, it’s obvious. The shows were an outstanding, spectacular. Choir of man is an excellent performance. These guys are hugely talented. “After Midnight” show is also extremely good. The dancing, the singing, the band were amazing. Overall, we had a good experience on this cruse, but NOT grate. Bigger ship it is not always better. It just means more people on board. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I are in our late 60's and still quite active and like to travel with friends. This will be our second Ocean cruise and we have done two other Viking River Cruises. I like the cruise idea since you pack and unpack only ... Read More
My wife and I are in our late 60's and still quite active and like to travel with friends. This will be our second Ocean cruise and we have done two other Viking River Cruises. I like the cruise idea since you pack and unpack only once and you travel at night to a new port. On this cruise we were able to see the diversity in the different countries in the British Isles and go to many places where we would probably not go to, all of which were interesting to us. Usually I would have extended the trip on the front end in London, because it is such an amazing city, but we had been there for a week at Christmas with our daughter and had seen a lot of the sights. We did fly in early Sunday and had a full day, although a bit tired to explore the city. We are pretty good getting around ourselves and booked the inside Buckingham Palace and garden tour at 12:15. We LOVED getting to see inside the Palace and the grounds. Definitely try to do that if you go. I will now try to summarize the different parts of the cruise. The Jupiter was stunning. It was just like our first boat with probably very minor tweeks for improvement that we would not even notice. There was a great diversity of places to be on the boat and be a quiet or active as you want. The boat was big, but not too big. It never seemed crowded to me. The Spa area was very well done with a nice changing areaa and indoor pool with a very cool Nordic experience cold room onboard. Their was also a pool in a large atrium area that have plenty of seats near the windows on the outside. Finally there was a great small infinity pool and hot tub on the aft on level 7. Our room was a deluxe veranda which was fine for us. The bed was very comfortable and a king size bed. I am 6'4" and slept well. The bathroom was a good size but crowded for 2 people. We loved our veranda but honestly did not use it much. The Crew----We found the crew on the Jupiter excellent and very hardworking. From the General Manager to all areas of operation- we thought the crew was outstanding. We were able to interact with many crew members and the one theme that came out was that they loved Viking better than others they had been on. The crew was very happy. We have been to nice resorts like Sea Island and found the level of service on par with that experience. Food-We found the food very good to excellent . I thought the best food was at Manfredis (the Italian option) but that is also my favorite food. When you get your first opportunity go ahead and book reservations at either this restaurant or the Chef's Table, both of which was good. The Dining Room option was great also and usually had a wide variety of meal options. Since we ate at different areas in the dining room, we did not have the same server every night. We usually ate at the buffet for breakfast which had GREAT fresh fruit, about any breakfast option you could imagine, and omelet stations. Bottom line-The food ranges from good to excellent. You will not go hungry. Oh, I almost forgot, Mamsen's was a grill option on level 7 toward the pool area. They have great grill options and salads which were delicious. Entertainment-We found this area to be good to excellent. The four young singers were quite good and gave a variety of performances whcih we loved. There were also several times when local talent was brought in which was fun. The band on the ship was EXCELLENT and were the male and female vocalists. They performed both in the theater as back up to the singers and by themselves in Torshavn, a small lounge . We found the music excellent, but do not expect a carnival type atmosphere on this boat. Speakers- The speakers were good not great, but still very imformative. We have had better speakers on other boats, but thought they were good and discussed some tough topics like BREXIT and the Ireland-Northern Island issue. Cruise Director-Heather. I saved the best for last. WE have been on 5 other cruises and Heather was the best BY FAR cruise director we have ever experienced. She was a great speaker, funny, on topic and talented. In a previous life she was an opera singer and had to put together a show at the last minute (5 PM for a 9:00 pm show) due to a sore throat of one of the singers. Her performance was outstanding!!! But, I loved just her daily talks and her general interaction. She had the ability to make mundane things interesting. Excursions--We found the excursions to be good and gave a lot of options. Since we booked this trip very late-in June, we could not sign early, but found that most of tours opened uo that we wanted. The only negative is getting on and off buses and is a process which they handled quite well. I would give the tour leaders high marks in each area!! We usually did the included tour and then did things on our own at the other parts of the day. I did talk to other that did some of the options and they all seemed to like them. One tip is when you are in Invergorton and you play golf, there is a Top Ten golf course in the WORLD about 30 minutes away called Royal Dornoch. You can book you own times and but you will need a morning time, as you must be back on the boat by 4:30. I did this on my own and rented a car from Ken's for the day. Amazing course -it is my favorite course ever and I have played all the Open courses. Finally, on the Bergen stop I booked the Norway in a Nutshell trip. It is a series of trains, buses and ships which shows you fiords and beautiful country. It is about 10 hours but well worth it. There is no hand holding or person, just tickets but it works quite well if you can get around and feel comfortable travelling on your own. We loved the trip and I guess the only negative was trying to book a future trip. We met with the future trip person and just did not enjoy the experience. I liked the option, just not the experience and we chose not to book. In summary, Viking ships, crew and experiences are great!!! we plan to come back in the future. One final note- if both you and your wife drink, the drink option is a good deal for part of your trip. We did not do it, but some of our friends did and loved it. Also, since we were travelling just with us, it allowed us to meet some amazing new friends we hope to see in the future! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
My first impressions began with late lunch on embarkation day in Kings Court. Dodging employees with food carts, they didn’t give way for guests - to the point of being dangerous. Good food selections available, although meat over cooked ... Read More
My first impressions began with late lunch on embarkation day in Kings Court. Dodging employees with food carts, they didn’t give way for guests - to the point of being dangerous. Good food selections available, although meat over cooked to toughness. First day party impressive poolside and music was excellent as we watched NYC fade away. Our eight-person seating companions at dinner each evening were excellent and we promised to stay in touch. Disappointed in repeated shows in planetarium. Was hoping for something other than dark matter and meteorites. Arson lecture was really good. As was lecture on British history. Live shows excellent in theater but very short. My very favorite restaurant was the Golden Lion. Trivia contests and space sharing brought us in contact with so many fine people for the fun competitions. My biggest concern was uneven flooring that felt like rotting wood under carpets, especially in the casino. With all the alleged grandeur, this seemed dodgy. Would not opt for balcony cabin again. North Atlantic, even in dead summer, is not conducive to enjoying outdoors. We didn’t use it. Food good in Britannia but as I don’t drink much alcohol, waiter acted as if I was less than when I ordered a soft drink with my dinner. Public spaces are beautiful. I might do it again, but looking at nothing but water for seven straight days was trying. I was excited on day six when I saw actually spied a bird as we approached land. All in all, I wasn’t all that impressed after reading all the glorious reviews about this glamorous ocean liner. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise simply because of the Itinary. Been on many cruises with rcl and po.(why do people insist of asking how many cruises you’ve been on as soon as you start a conversation only to take over the conversation telling you ... Read More
We chose this cruise simply because of the Itinary. Been on many cruises with rcl and po.(why do people insist of asking how many cruises you’ve been on as soon as you start a conversation only to take over the conversation telling you all about THEIR cruises )..... Only room we could get was inside so decided we would try and upgrade on board, so straight to guest services as soon as onboard to be met with signs “cruise fully booked “ Went to room as we left Venice to be met with a thunderous sound in cabin. Phoned guest services they said we will send a supervisor , as I put phone down cabin boy knocked and during our chat said the noise will leave now as we enter open water. As we spoke it stopped ...I phone guest services and cancelled complaint (that was a mistake). All good for a few days then three day in at 6am we were awoken with a crashing and banging noise from next door (store room) phoned gs and ll went quiet after 10 mins.no reply to complaint was sent by phone message or letter to room.. The following morning at 6.15 the thunderous noise started again !! I put bow cam on and noticed that we were going into terminal and that side thrusters were working , phoned gs and complained and they sent a supervisor. He came and said nothing to do with him as he was housekeeping !, what a waste of time !, back to gs and lodged a complaint they said they will look into it and get back to me. Later that day we returned spoke to another person who said well we left you a message yesterday and you never came back to us ??? At this point I asked for the gs supervisor who came and listened as I told her there had been no communication either by phone or letter and that if there had we would not be wasting our holiday time. At this point without explanation as to what happened she offered us a change of room (as there was a medical emergency) $100 added to our account and Chocs and wine in room. We took that and on return to our room to pack there were 2 phone messages asking us to contact gs plus two letters doing the same (covering their backsides I think). Apparently they are were still investigating where the noise comes from !!!! With dozens of highly trained engineers on that ship a two minute phone call would give them the answer they need (side thrusters ) but something tells me they already know what the issue is and realise they should not be letting that room out EVER !!! The rest of cruise was great apart from entertainment which in comparison to other cruises was poor. Oh and if you go to Santorini do not walk up or down to the town from cruise terminal as you’ll experience poor donkeys climbing and descending that steep incline in terrible conditions you’ll also have to avoid them if you walk as they push you up against the wall !!! And ladies don’t wear open toe shoes if you choose to walk, it’s not nice between your toes if you know what I mean........... Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We have been on the Equinox 4 other times, and dearly love this ship! This was a wonderful cruise from the very start to the very end. Embarkation was easy and quick....you had to download the app and do the pre cruise check in, and ... Read More
We have been on the Equinox 4 other times, and dearly love this ship! This was a wonderful cruise from the very start to the very end. Embarkation was easy and quick....you had to download the app and do the pre cruise check in, and print out the boarding pass. After you go thru the initial security, you will be greeted by a person with a tablet, and she/he scans your bar code from your app, and you are set! When they do the actual boarding, they are going to ask to see your boarding pass that you have printed out and you are well on your way to enter the ship. We went to Key West for our first stop and that was fun. We were docked at the Naval Base and could not walk around the pier, so free shuttles were offered to us to the downtown area. They also commissioned the SSBillings, while we were there as well. We also visited Costa Mayo, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman, as well. We have been on so many cruises that we no longer take excursions. We just walk around the area. The weather couldn't have been better for the whole cruise. The only rain that we had was the night before we docked back into Ft Lauderdale, and by the time we actually docked, the rain had stopped. We noticed a lot of the improvements that they have done to the ship during it's refurbishment. The ship looks great!!!! The entertainment on the ship was superb. The production shows were wonderful. If you were bored, it was your own fault. My favorite place on the ship is the Solarium. People actually go in there and claim a chair at 7am and not return till later in the day. The deckhands are finally doing something about it. They were policing them and freeing up the chairs after a certain amount of time. I was very impressed to see this being done. The food was wonderful. They had a variety of selections and loved both in the MDR and the Oceanview Cafe. The service was impeccable!!!! I heard a few people complaining about the service, but honestly, I thought it was outstanding!!!! Chris Pickard, the Capt's Club Host was fantastic. He was always visible and was around if you had any questions. We would see him at least 2 or 3 times a day at different places. He made sure that his Elites and Elite Plus' were well taken care of. This was one of the few remaining sailings for Capt. Kate McCue, before she goes to the Celebrity Edge. I have to say, she is probably one of the friendliest Captain I have ever met. She was at the Meet and Greet and also on Deck 4 for the big sale at the end of the cruise. She was always free to have a picture made with you. She was on the gangway as the everyone left the ship and shook hands and hugged each and every person that came off the ship, thanking them for sailing Celebrity!!!!!!! I have to say, this cruise was probably one of the best cruises that we have taken and we have done over 40 cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise was an award to employees of my wife's healthcare facility. I had to pay my own way... We don't have any frame of reference. As a man, I know this may sound strange but I don't like large, tight crowds or high ... Read More
This cruise was an award to employees of my wife's healthcare facility. I had to pay my own way... We don't have any frame of reference. As a man, I know this may sound strange but I don't like large, tight crowds or high stress/high anxiety situations. Initially, I was kind of reluctant about going on a cruise and having to deal with wall-to-wall people. We drove to Long Beach from Phoenix and spent the night on the Queen Mary. As a first time cruiser, I thought it would be more stressful than bording an airplane. It wasn't! We got to the terminal early, they had a convienient parking garage nearby. We walked over to the exit of the parking garage and there was a gentleman collecting luggage for the cruise. I had pre-printed my luggage tags and attached them so I just left my bags with him! Easy peasy! We hung out in the sparse terminal for about 30-45 minutes. They started bording early, (we were in the 1:00-1:30 bording group) and we borded around 11:30. We relaxed until our bording group was called and we went up the ramp and borded the ship. Again, low stress! We borded the ship, were directed to the Lido deck for lunch and only had to kill time until our room would be ready at 1:30. We grabbed lunch, a drink and explored the ship. When we got to our room, our ID cards were tucked in behind our room # badge. We grabbed them, stuck it in the door and it opened. All we needed was luggage. I had noticed luggage carts near one of the elevators on our floor so I went down there and found our luggage, (they would have brought it to our room but we wanted our bathing suits!). From there on, it was smooth sailing! (No pun intended). We didn't have any expectations since we'd never been on a cruise but, I have to say, it was a riot! The party in the atrium every night was a lot of fun! I enjoyed seeing so many people having fun together. We saw a 70's and 80's show, a Motown show, two atrium parties, had an nice dinner, went to a, "Tase of Mexico" excursion in Ensenata to learn a couple of Mexican culinary staples as well as some tequila! (Margarita's while making food then 6 shots of tequila when learning about tequila). There were other excursions but we live near Mexico and the the towns don't vary much so we weren't interested in shopping. Our excursion was within walking distance of the ship so we walked back after our excursion. All in all, I only have a couple complaints. For first-time cruisers, you have to get to know the schedule for on-ship events. Also, there is a new schedule that is put out for each day of your cruise. Some are duplicates, some are different. We'll know to get a new schedule every day on our next cruise. Second, I never received any tickets to the excursion we paid for. I only had the receipt that I paid for it. They asked me for my tickets and I didn't have any! I figured they could get it off my "cruise card". No bueno. We got around it and they wrote a, "duplicate" pass but I didn't know I needed tickets. We're both 60-ish and like to relax in a kid-free environment. Don't get me wrong; we knew there would be kids on the cruise. They have an, "adult" area with two small hot tubs and a bunch of lounge chairs. That's fine. Except, they NEED MORE hot tubs and chairs! The chairs were always full and so were the hot tubs. This adult retreat needs to be bigger. On the Lindo deck, the hot tubs were always full of kids, surlely pissing them. I also thought the pool was quite small considering the ship holds 2000 people. These are minor complaints... Lastly, my wife and I like comedy shows. They had comedy shows every night. The problem was, the early shows, (9:30) were PG rated to accomodate kids! We would have to wait until at least 10:30 or later to see the adult shows. I think, if you have adult comedy, they shouldn't' have to dumb down their act to accomodate kids under 12. Give them their own show in a different room with, oh I don't know, Mickey Mouse telling Minnie Mouse jokes. What I'm saying is, when you're 60 and get up for work everyday at 3:45 AM, trying to stay up until 10:30 to accomodate children is not what I've worked for, for 45 years! I'm still giving the Inspiration 4 stars overall. We've already booked an October cruise, hoping there will be fewer kids.The whole experience was fun, enlightening, easy and memorable! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Ovation of the Sea JULY 26 2019 7 Days 3 Ports No glacier (see comment below) Very little inside Passage. Big Ship over 1000 kids. Lots for kids to try and do. Big lines. Crowded slow elevators. Great shows, Main Dining ... Read More
Ovation of the Sea JULY 26 2019 7 Days 3 Ports No glacier (see comment below) Very little inside Passage. Big Ship over 1000 kids. Lots for kids to try and do. Big lines. Crowded slow elevators. Great shows, Main Dining service great, Food a bit down in my humble estimation but lots of it. (unfortunately for the waist line) Buffet crowded while at sea. (Actually asked to leave the buffet via pa broadcast if you were finished on sea days) Not cool. Too many people. That’s the lowdown. Still had a PRETTY GOOD cruise with friends family but the experience was not what I would call a holiday anymore. I won't be on this vessel again unless the new Flow Rider King my grandson pays at least half. lol Bit of a grind and RCI has got themselves in a bit of a pickle with the size of the ship and the staff they wish to pay number wise in scheduling activities on their Flow rider/Bumper car/Wall climbing/North Star etc. etc. Same guys do all of these sites and more as activities staff, and they can not be at all locations at once obviously. Two banks of elevators times two sides just not enough and the walking from one end to other seemed longer this year. But of course I’m getting on too. So it may not be an issue for you. The elevator frequency is another issue however. I do not remember coming to an elevator so often and found them all UP or All down from where I was at. I was roomed on deck 7 and all the restaurants as usual down several floors or the buffet on 14/topish. Pools on top and the shops and guest services on 4 and 5. They just seemed out of sync and or not enough for the mass of people on board. Wait times were long compared to any ship I have been on. Passengers... 5 G I was told .... and 1000 kids..did I mention that. The lines to activities of course can be defeated with a pay extra benefit called “The Key”. My teenage GS was not impressed by the privileged kids that budged. He learned another life lesson. Rooms on this ship really workable. I didn’t manage a suite but if the space in the regular rooms out side/window and Balcony … Inside with Virtual window any indication I’m sure they would be fine. Storage is better than the M and S class on Celebrity for sure. (No life jackets in the room helps). Although I think maybe the showers are a bit smaller. Or was it me again. Somebody else thought that too so I think I’m right. Room attendant very pleasant and did her job really really well. (Thanks Mardol.) Note: Do not pay extra for a virtual Balcony. I asked them to check mine and it was no better after they did. Lots of breakup and the picture was just OK when in bright sunlight and close to objects. Shore and dock area’s only and not great at that. Pretty useless at sea. The fake balcony rail on screen was nice and bright though. Just not worth it at all as far as I’m concerned. The ship is big and beautiful for sure. Dining was early for us and main seating was early//Seated by 5:15. We did this because we wanted to be with kids and friends who had kids as we thought that it would be better to feed the bears and then turn them loose. In hind-site it may have been better to go anytime somewhere and book a fixed time a bit later with a maitre D. for all week. Early dining conflicted with a lot of open times for activities. Late would have also. Avoided upcharged restaurants. No charge items at Fish and Ships. were great for lunch. Believe it or not didn't get to the doghouse . Saw it but I was never ready for lunch when I was there. 270 Lunch was sad. (although the roast beef on embarkation day was great). Solarium Breakfast and Lunch OK. Windjammer was and always is the Windjammer. As I mentioned the shows were great. Pixels … Is a great show in 270, with dancers etc. Interacting with great music and 4 robotic screens with pixels and the entire back half of the stern viewing windows that also turn into screens. Separate venue from the main theatre. You need reservations and you can get them online before you cruise sometime. Main shows were very Vegas Like and better than I remember onboard as I have not been doing shows for a while on X as they tended to be all the same. Maybe the girls just looked better. Juggler and Comedian (not the same guy) were super. Juggler was a comic too. Had no problem getting great seats by arriving 10-20 mins early . A Mountie was aboard and gave three great lectures about "The Force." The Old, New and training. Young fellow…. trained 10 yrs after me. Made a few rookie mistakes lol. There was a Wildlife guy too..missed him. Oh and they had a “Real” Orchestra/Band onboard and THEY COULD PLAY. Seattle : Embarkation was a zoo . Two things. One we had been assured that we could use our Nexus cards to board. But this was not going to work so as we did have our passports with us we were only held up for a bit while we fished them out. Friends who had checked on this and had sent their passports in to be renewed were shunted around until the shore people actually had a Ship’s Person come down and put them straight. Believe it or not. The shore staff didn’t know they could use a Nexus card. There was another issue with friends that had actually paid for two parties when the paid for party checked in and claimed the credit card on account and then the Person that actually paid arrived and were told their card had been compromised as it was used already. Really this SHIP happens. But by far was the zoo on the pre-board floor. I understand that departure and ship clearing was held up. Really not all that unusual right, it happens all the time. But when there was no (not enough) seating, organization or persons that cared about telling us what was happening you can imagine the mess. Not enough area for us all. Announcements could not be heard over the crowd and the announcements for the other ship in port going on for half the same floor we were all on. I think/hope that this was unusual and that normally the flow worked. But it sure didn’t for us and when the doors opened in was a minor, Plus ok ok major stampede . They needed to have some plan to keep control with temp barricades. Not a great way to meet your 4998 other guests. Ok not that many but there were lots cause we all want to be there a bit early..right? Go later if you board this big vessel. But you will find getting a place to be comfortable and get food a bit hard to find. Getting off went smoothly for everyone as far as I could see. We were at our shuttle a half hour earlier than we were timed for. Bet that didn’t happen the week before when we boarded. Now the glacier...Dawes was on the schedule. Some folks had paid for a special view from the “North Star” a observation pod hoisted high up on an imitation Nasa like Canada Arm. I had been there before and it’s quite a sight. We didn’t make it for an ice issue and I understand that this ship hasn’t made it all season. I have been disappointed in this area before but still charging folks to see no glacier seemed harsh. The issue with the glacier is the narrowness of the “Arm” and there is little flow to take the ice away from the front of the glacier. Want to see a glacier with way better odds take a ship that goes to Hubbard or Glacier Bay. But understand it’s no guarantee either. Ports: Juneau has all the tourista stuff right at your gangway. You can stumble to the Red Dog saloon right across the street. Lots of tours to be had and a gondola right up the dock a bit. City bus... the best priced tour of the valley. Even get to see the State prison. Victoria : Some nice tours of the city. Whale watching usually for the 3 local Orca pods (which this year have gone outside (out west of Vancouver Island) a lot looking for food warming is an issue. And of course Butchart Gardens . A must see for any gardener at least once..... even I have done it twice and I’m no gardener. Because of the Ovation’s schedule (two ports) you get a full day stop here vs. the few hours normal on a return 7 day from Seattle.... a stop needed to comply with US law to eliminate steep tax issues and way higher cruise fares. Skagway: The White Pass and Yukon Railway. There are other tours of course but this is the reason to go to Alaska beside the obvious scenery and glaciers. More than a few ways to do the ride but it’s a must for history and the sites. Those gold rushers did some wild things. The town itself has kept to an old school feel and the locals rule the stores mostly and the “Park” regulations keep the buildings in check also. The diamonds and Caribbean stuff is there but not so noticeable. Lol. I even found a shop where the resident artist owner winters in South Eastern BC as she paints while hubby ski’s So I think that’s it. For this ship and my whatever # cruise to Alaska. The key to this ship is…. got kids or grandkids over the age of say 10-13 this ship is for you but do your homework in what they can and can’t do without paying extra. There is a great area called the solarium with a restaurant for Adults only. It also has big relaxing hot tubs and quite a bit of viewing area with lounges. Small pools actually. Open Buffet for breakfast and Lunch but need reservations for supper. Contact me at BSeaBob at gmail com if you have comments, suggestions or any question you may have. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
As you can see with the grades I gave in most categories, performance by crew and ship were above average. Allowing for some gaffes in food preparation, and "tendering", I still stand by my ratings---but--and of course their are ... Read More
As you can see with the grades I gave in most categories, performance by crew and ship were above average. Allowing for some gaffes in food preparation, and "tendering", I still stand by my ratings---but--and of course their are some "buts"-- TENDERING: What was baffling to me was how terrifically competent the embarcation and disembarcation process was, yet when it came to the tendering process, the resulting confusion exhibited by large numbers of staff gave me the impression of a crew that was going through the process for the VERY FIRST TIME! It is not that the process took a long time,and yes it did, but that in the process, staff appeared confused, causing frustration to passengers.On this trip, our ship docked on time at 2:00PM-our group's tender landed on the dock at 4:45PM. It was a lesson on the danger of booking a tour with anyone other than Princess. Fortunately, our tour vendor in Juneau(MARV & HARVE) gave us a full refund which of course did not reverse the fact that we lost out on a port experience. I will continue to use shore based vendors but never where tenders are involved. DINING LOCATIONS: We dined almost 90% of the time in the dining rooms, including breakfast & lunch: as for the few times we ate in the buffet, we found the quality and preparation very good using buffet standards. As pointed out by others, there just aren't enough seating in the buffet. I appreciated making gluten free toast available in the buffet as well as the dining rooms. Main dining rooms are DA VINCI AND MICHAELANGELO, STACKED ON TOP OF ONE ANOTHER ON DECKS 5&6. We had evening meals on the "anytime" basis: a word of caution--there were 2-3 nights where there long lines to get into the"anytime" dining room. QUALITY AND PREPARATION OF FOOD: I give high marks for the most part in this category: beef in the form of prime rib and beef filets, as well as roasts were available and nicely done, with lobster and their version of baked alaska served. Same for seafood. I felt the quality of the lunches was extraordinary-two of the best meals we had were at lunch-a wonderful, tasty, thinly sliced london broil, and a few days later, beef bourguignone, tender and reeking of the red wine used in its preparation. Also lots of interesting,difficult to prepare appetizers at both lunch and dinner. Not to be missed are deserts in the evening designated "CHOCOLATE JOURNEYS"-the best I have ever tasted. This is my only criticism---why jeopardize your rep by offering dishes so far from what it should be, as to be laughable-do what you can do and do that well. Two dishes fit this category and were flops, both involve stews or soups. The first flop was CIOPPINO: a dish invented by Sicilian fishermen in San Francisco, it is a fish stew rich in tomato flavors, Italian seasonings, and with whatever seafood you have in your refrig, like white fish, shrimp, crab legs, clams, muscles. Princess' version of Cioppino was a few pieces of dried seafood, sitting in the middle of a few ounces of thin, watery broth. A few nights later came another soupy disaster-Alaska Fish Stew-same criticism-a few ounces of thin broth that hardly covered the bottom of the bowl and a scattering of wilted seafood. INCREDIBLE! One final observation: Princess has done an outstanding job of providng prompt, friendly service at the information desk-I never saw the long lines as I have seen on other ships-this shows a real commitment to passenger convenience. We chose a $ 229 wine package for the 10 night cruise that gave us each night a bottle of wine with menu price of up to $ 45-we thought that was a bargain and highly recommend that if you like wine or sparking wine with dinner. A final comment about dining room service, which overall was good: waiters will happily serve you tea or coffee after dinner, but you may have to flag them down to get a 2nd cup, which I really enjoy at the end of a good meal. RICHARD HURLEY WALNUT CREEK, CA Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate my partner's birthday with a transatlantic crossing that included many destinations on our bucket list. We have been on other cruises in the Mediterranean and also South America - they were fabulous ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate my partner's birthday with a transatlantic crossing that included many destinations on our bucket list. We have been on other cruises in the Mediterranean and also South America - they were fabulous experiences that cemented our enjoyment of cruising. What we didn't know was that Cunard really only cater for people over 70. For people in this age category the cruise would have been a wonderful experience. All activities, meals, shows, events, excursions cater for this group. Even the entertainment coordinator was bland. The comedy shows were by people from the 60's and 70's where racist and sexist jokes were the norm. Sadly these acts hadn't changed their material. The only activities appeared to be quizzes or card games or ballroom dancing. There were no live bands playing popular music, sing alongs around the piano bar, live music and comedy shows around the pool. Frankly it was boring. The internet is also the slowest that we have ever experienced on a cruise ship. When on board we also found that for people who booked in Australia the cruise was for 15 days, whereas those from the UK had 18 days which included the Guernsey. Both were the same price! Not sure why Australians were given a different deal. Cunard also doesn't seem to care if people complain as they do not respond promptly if at all. Very disappointed. Perhaps when I am 80 I may consider another cruise with Cunard. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Went on Discovery 2 last year - Eastern Med and loved it so tried Western Med this year. No complaints. Food excellent, staff superb. Relaxed cruise and would recommend. Entertainment hit and miss. Loved the comedian but didn't like ... Read More
Went on Discovery 2 last year - Eastern Med and loved it so tried Western Med this year. No complaints. Food excellent, staff superb. Relaxed cruise and would recommend. Entertainment hit and miss. Loved the comedian but didn't like the crew's musical. Squid and Anchor pub was a popular venue, got quite busy. Personally would only cruise for a week. We did cruise and stay and stayed in Sorrento after the cruise which was fab. Had an outside cabin with a window and it was more than adequate, not luxurious but you don't spend much time in your cabin. Discovery and Explorer quite similar. More restaurants on Explorer but missing the lovely Atrium on the Discovery. Swings and roundabouts really. If I had to pick a negative it would only be in relation to the ports on this cruise. They were all commercial ports and if you didn't choose to do the excursions on offer which were quite expensive you had to get a bus or taxi to get off the port. The ports of call we visited in the eastern med, we could just walk off the ship into town. Everyone - guests and crew were so friendly and if you had a problem they would sort it out for you. Wouldn't hesitate to book another Marella cruise. If you want a 'posh' cruise and wear your evening gowns and tuxedos every night this is probably not for you. We loved it! Read Less

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