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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I am a former cancer patient. I entered remission just a few months ago and had my leg amputated. This was my first cruise. I want to start off with the musicians. There was music for everybody’s taste. But I enjoyed ALL of them. Luisa, ... Read More
I am a former cancer patient. I entered remission just a few months ago and had my leg amputated. This was my first cruise. I want to start off with the musicians. There was music for everybody’s taste. But I enjoyed ALL of them. Luisa, Juliana and Juan in the Accidental String Trio were just...the only word to describe it was beautiful. Neil was singing and Jammin’ the reggae hits on the steel drums. And Rob was rocking it on the guitar. DJ JD with the hits. The Brassaholics with the amazing Maroon 5 medley. And the Latin Band covering latin hits. Emma, Layla and Francois brought so much energy throughout the whole ship. Vargus Mason with the jokes! T.A. Williams at the Piano Bar. Diana and other bartenders tending the bar at the Lobby very well, including the bartenders on Lido who also bring their energy to the ship. I tipped what I could. Next I want to say how much I really appreciate how kind, thoughtful, and caring the staff was. They always offered help. I don’t usually accept help but I made some exceptions. I also made some friends on the cruise. The whole experience is one to remember. They always had smiles on their faces, and always greeted as we cross paths. And as you’re reading this to all of the staff, I just want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. I hope I get to meet you all again. Cheers "Let your smile change the world, don't let the world change your smile..." - unknown "My cup is full to the brim, I could go on and on, the full has never been told" - Buju Banton Side Note: Im looking for a job also (galvancromeo@gmail.com) all photos are unedited Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I've just returned from a 7 night cruise to the beautiful Norwegian Fjords on the Britannia. After reading some of the reviews, I must admit I was a little apprehensive about my upcoming trip, but I had no need to worry. I've ... Read More
I've just returned from a 7 night cruise to the beautiful Norwegian Fjords on the Britannia. After reading some of the reviews, I must admit I was a little apprehensive about my upcoming trip, but I had no need to worry. I've decided to stay in Southampton the night before, so was a couple of hours early for my designated embarkation time. I was able to go onboard an hour earlier and the whole process was seamless. Our cabins wasn't ready yet, so I used the opportunity to have a look around the ship and had some lunch. The Britannia is a beautiful ship and the atrium did take my breath away the first time I saw it. I opted for a single balcony cabin on Deck 16 so that I can make the most of the scenary travelling through the fjords. It was worth every penny and early mornings and late evenings was spend on the balcony watching the world go by. My cabin was very spacious for a single and had everything I needed for a very comfortable stay including plenty of wardrobe space and spacious shower cubicle. Patrick, the Cabin Steward was very helpful and friendly. I've mainly opted to eat in the Horizon buffet and there were always plenty of choice and variety. The food is replenished very often, so I never had to worry about getting cold or slightly soggy food. I thought the quality of the food was really good. I used Freedom Dining on two occassions in the Peninsular Restaurant and again the food was of a very high standard. Although the entertainment was quite varied, I only really enjoyed the group "Pulse" and thought their "Tribute Night" was brilliant. We were very lucky to have good weather so on the 2 sea days the pool area were quite busy. I opted to go one deck up that overlooks the pool area and always had plenty of sun loungers to choose from. Despite the amount of passengers that were on the cruise, it never felt claustrophobic...I never had to wait more than a couple of minutes to be served at the bar, I always managed to get a table in the buffet by the window (my preference) and I could always find a little quite corner (on deck or inside in one of the many communal areas) to read a book and just find some peace and quite. I've booked 2 shore excursions with P&O and did 2 on my own. I must admit, the excursions were a bit over priced in my view, but I still had a very enjoyable time. All the crew I've encountered were very helpful, friendly and professional. Disembarkation was well organised and I thought the letter we've received the day before to explain the disembarkation process and arrangements was a really good idea. Seeing the Norwegian fjords has been on my "must see list" for a very long time and doing it on the Britannia was brilliant. I'm looking forward to returning to her next year for a 14 night Mediterranean cruise. Our cruise was the one that unfortunately made the headlines due to the actions of a very small group of passengers. However, all credit to Captain Paul Brown and his crew for dealing with this incident so professionally and discreetly. Other than the tannoy announcement I had no idea what happened and it didn't spoil my last day onboard. I only saw it on the news after I got home on Saturday. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Starting in Kirkenes on the lovely MS Lofoten. Wonderfull euthentic ship! Beautifull cabin and friendly (hard working) staff. Breakfast, lunch and diner where also good and tasty. I did the excursions: breakfast at the Artic ... Read More
Starting in Kirkenes on the lovely MS Lofoten. Wonderfull euthentic ship! Beautifull cabin and friendly (hard working) staff. Breakfast, lunch and diner where also good and tasty. I did the excursions: breakfast at the Artic Circle, horseriding at the Lofoten and the RIB boat with the midnightson :-) Very nice!!! Also I was very lucky with the wether. 6 days, beautiful, most of the time blue sky. I definitely come back again and do this trip in winter. It's such a shame that this boat is only sailing for 1,5 year......... Most of the passengers selected this euthentic ship, the same for me! And.... I was a single traveler => I met so many other people (different ages). And have wonderfull evenings with them! So book this trip when it's possible. I'm very happy I make this trip and want to do it again. ps. I have more photo's if you want :-) Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Cruised many times on RC and NCL has away to go to compare! First time on NCL! First day my friend/roommate was hurt due to hole in ships floor! Spent time in infirmary! No one on the ship did anything to try to appolige or make up for ... Read More
Cruised many times on RC and NCL has away to go to compare! First time on NCL! First day my friend/roommate was hurt due to hole in ships floor! Spent time in infirmary! No one on the ship did anything to try to appolige or make up for their negligence! I ran two flights of stairs & found room where incident occurred before any medical where on scene! With the exception of the Irish pub, the food in the dining room had no flavor nd non creative options! There was no activity by the pool until the very last day! No one even knew who cruise director was! I met more people than he did! Funny enough we called the asst director to our table at 5 o’clock somewhere and expressed the disappointment without ant activity by pool! Coincidence the next day, last day on ship they did a little something by pool! Everyone enjoyed so doesn’t make sense all other days there was nothing! Other than Lesther at sky bar, Reenan the waiter in Aqua and my room steward Lunni, who were exceptional, no staff on this ship made an effort to get to know you, remember your name or display a personality! Such a shame! Even the officers were no mingling omboard until the last day! Excursions def had some wasted time organizing, days in port were short enough yet time was still wasted! Santorini was a disaster! Four ships in port with over a two hour line for cable car as the tour just drops you off and doesn’t tell you about cable car until end when you started on a bus! We did not get any time to shop or enjoy Santorini as we had to wait in this line, people were fighting not enjoyable & stole two hours of my time and a missed sunset! UGH. On that same day a women on the bus picked a fight shouting curse words across the bus the entire day! The tour guide should have thrown her off yet said nothing allowing her to taint that part of the day! I paid good money for this excursion from the ship on an island I wanted to enjoy to have it ruined! Oh and let’s point out the alternative of walking down the cliff on the donkey trail for 20 minutes in donkey poop, which was not an option to save time due to my friend being hurt on day one due to ships negligence! Last day in Croatia was cut early forcing everyone to change a schedule just to hurry up and wait causing us to get back into port in Venice over an hour late! Added stress! I feel there is a long way to go and some considerable customer service courses needed here! Almost forgot the two days my toilet in the room would not flush! Reported it, was kept up till 3 am while a man worked in closet next to room to wake up with only 2 hours sleep and still not have a toilet that works! July 2019 Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was not my first cruise and not my first RCI cruise. I have cruised a few times at different price points and therefore different standards. For me, this was the best cruise I have ever taken... But let's break it down... I am ... Read More
This was not my first cruise and not my first RCI cruise. I have cruised a few times at different price points and therefore different standards. For me, this was the best cruise I have ever taken... But let's break it down... I am a solo, female traveler - I am also an Australian expat currently living in South Korea (so this will identify me to my fellow travelers haha) but I have also lived in other Asian countries including a year in China Embarkation. Arrived at the terminal exactly 12 noon and it was busy, not overly crowded, but lots of people moving efficiently with their luggage. Checking the luggage in was a quick, easy and painless process and I was shuffled to the check in queues. There was a distinct differentiation between western travelers and our Chinese counterparts - westerners were given a much quicker run through the check in - but we couldn't see any reason for splitting the groups other than to maybe appease the impatient westerners... So, all in all checkin took less than 45 mins and I was on board and in the dining room for lunch - as a solo traveler, this was the only meal I spent alone. In summary, embarkation was very quick and very painless, there was queuing but it moved rapidly and if you were western it was even quicker. Cabin I was in 7250 a studio balcony cabin. Note: this cabin has a much larger balcony then others due to the way the ship is shaped... so it was wonderful to have so much room. The cabin itself was small but that's what I expected - there were enough cupboards and drawers and a stool instead of a chair - plenty of mirrors and a decent enough bar fridge. The bathroom was the same size as other rooms. As a solo I cannot fault the room, the space was adequate - and importantly I could put empty cases under the bed. I was very happy with this cabin and in the same circumstances would choose it again. Dining I chose to eat mainly in the main dining room, I found the service to be excellent and the quality of food (in most cases) very good. I had no problem with the portion sizes and the temperature was always appropriate. On one day I didn't like the options but that was my palate and my friends on the other hand had no problem with their choices - so I guess it is a personal decision whether you like the food or not. I also ate at Chops Grille and that was a wonderful choice. The meal was excellent and I couldn't fault the service. I also dined in Teppanyaki - there was a hiccup with my reservation that was superbly dealt with by the Maitre D (Leslie) and I couldn't have been happier with the outcome - (this hiccup was the ONLY thing on the cruise that wasn't perfect - but the resolution exceded my expectations). The meal at Teppanyaki was one of the highlights of the cruise. It has to be seen to be believed - a great meal that I will remember for a very long time. I never ate in Windjammers - whenever I was in the vicinity it was always super busy and tables were hard to come by, but on the other hand, the Cafe 270 was almost empty as were the seats and tables - this became a very popular hiding spot to grab a snack or drink away from the crowds (and the food served was very nice too) I had a room service breakfast once and it was adequate - I was given exactly what I asked for... Formal nights are not received by the guests like you may have experienced elsewhere - very few people out of the 5100 dressed up for dinner - these were not published by RCI before the cruise so it is possible that many first time cruisers did not know what to expect. Drinks I was fortunate to get a free deluxe drinks package when I booked so that was a real bonus. I loved the Bionic Bar and would often use it to just grab a juice and soda mixed any time during the day. As I didn't pay for a drink I can't comment on prices and as I didn't really drink that much alcohol, I can't complain about the drinks at all. I also don't drink coffee so didn't sample any of those either. Entertainment and Activities I have to admit when I saw the schedule I was a bit disappointed - very few traditional cruise activities like trivia (it was there though but no where near what I am used to) and no bingo. I love to read on board so I packed books. However, I didn't even finish one book and I was never bored, I don't exactly know what I was doing but I managed to keep busy and have an amazing time during the cruise days. The shore excursions were also a little light on... In Osaka you could have paid $80 to go to the castle and Dotonbori Street on the tour bus - however we walked to the local metro, bought a day ticket with ease and did exactly the same destinations for $8 (we messed up on the way back and overshot the station so needed to catch a taxi back to the ship - but that was our fault). Kobe offered a shuttle bus to the main shopping area and there were several places that offered Kobe beef - which was a main reason for people wanting to visit . However when docked at Yokahama it was an hour from Tokyo so I had to catch the shore independent tour just to get to the city centre. But worth it at $69. The evening entertainment was also exceptional - I loved the Ukrainian acrobats Gold Art Duo and The SIlk Road was absolutely amazing. The flamenco guitar guy was extremely talented as were the Beatles Tribute band (I can't mention the moving piano and player as he said he smuggled himself on board - but he was awesome too). Service CAN NOT FAULT THE SERVICE From the Financial Controller to the Maitre D to the Head Waiters to the Room Attendants and Waiters - I was made to feel like I was the only one who mattered, nothing was ever too much trouble and they did everything with grace and style. I would come back just for the quality of service I experienced. Overall I loved this trip. It wasn't what I expected but it was better. I made so many friends (and as a solo traveler that is important) and had such a fun time. I would not hesitate to book again - due to my personal circumstances I couldn't book again on board but I am already looking at January dates for a replay. Well done Spectrum of the Seas and well done Royal Caribbean. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Positive: Everything was perfect. Embarking and disembarking was very smooth. I was expecting crowded places especially in restaurants where you can't find table. But nothing happened, there are always free tables. They always ... Read More
Positive: Everything was perfect. Embarking and disembarking was very smooth. I was expecting crowded places especially in restaurants where you can't find table. But nothing happened, there are always free tables. They always refill the food before finish. You can take the food with you in your cabin.free Drinking water all the time is available. Remember free fruit juices are only available in breakfast . The show in theatre is amazing. You won't miss any show. You will see all people excited with show and no one leaves before the end. The decoration is amazing and modern. The shopping in the ship are not too much expensive. sometimes they make big sales. They clean the cabin twice a day. Nigative: The worst thing in the ship you don't like it is elevators. You will wait longtime. I suggest to use stairs for those they don't have kids. The elevators in the ship have different system. You have to choose which floor you want to go befor coming. It will shows in the screen which elevator you have to take otherwise you don't find any press inside the elevators. Services charge will add during your stay. Sometimes they add something more like photos gallery although you don't ask for it. One thing personally happened to me. I am telling that to warn others Tow sunglasses was disappeared In my cabin. One for me and the other for my wife. I am sure we don't loose them somewhere else. And small amount of local money that I don't put it in safety box. I discovered about my money when I arrived home. I don't expect anyone interested of local money. So be careful with your stuff. I am very sad about my sunglasses. Both of them was a new. One of them worth 400$ (tiffany & co). One of them disappeared the second day of my stay. The other maybe fifth or sixth. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The cruise was amazing! The food was fantastic, especially the specialty dining! The service was great, very hard working people that always went above and beyond. Thr entertainment was amazing! I saw Burn the Floor twice, rock of ages ... Read More
The cruise was amazing! The food was fantastic, especially the specialty dining! The service was great, very hard working people that always went above and beyond. Thr entertainment was amazing! I saw Burn the Floor twice, rock of ages was playing and Deuling pianos was super fun to watch! There is always something to do on the ship. The main pool was always packed with people and great entertainment on the stage. It took me a little bit of time to get use to the ship because it's so big.  The excursion were great! I did zip lining, a resort but that didnt cost anything, visit a Mayan family and dolphin encounter.  I see why people cruise all the time. I would do it again with NCL Breakaway! This time I traveled solo, but next time I would travel with friends and family! Its definately something to experience with others. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My parents booked this cruise as a gift to me for my 22nd birthday , (07/14) . From the second I got there , I was treated far better than any all inclusive resort in Cancun or Punta Cana . I had a studio room , the studio is small but ... Read More
My parents booked this cruise as a gift to me for my 22nd birthday , (07/14) . From the second I got there , I was treated far better than any all inclusive resort in Cancun or Punta Cana . I had a studio room , the studio is small but full of everything u need . Shower , toilet , sink , very comfortable bed , closet , tv , and these party lights installed all throughout our he room which really changed the mood of the whole trip . The buffet food at the restaurant was okay , however the exclusive restaurant were out of this world . Le bistro, was superb , the Manhattan was great , moderno had amazing meats . The drinks were made to perfection . Nothing watered down, all drinks premium and perfect with the alcohol . The amount of friends I made on this cruise is unreal . Norwegian does everything they can to make it as easy as possible to have a good time . If you are early 20s or late teens , definitely book a cruise with Norwegian because they give you everything you need , full of activities , you just have to make the best and most fun of it . Which is fairy easy Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. This cruise was very interesting and informative. The crew could not have been better. To say they were wonderful would be an understatement. Our waiters were amazing and attentive. The front desk was helpful and ... Read More
Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. This cruise was very interesting and informative. The crew could not have been better. To say they were wonderful would be an understatement. Our waiters were amazing and attentive. The front desk was helpful and informative. Our cruise director was very genuine and knowledgeable, and always made an effort to talk to everyone. The ship is beautiful. There is a lovely pool and in the evening the floor goes over it and it is turned into a cinema! Our rooms were always kept neat and it was truly refreshing coming back to the room after a full day of activities! After dinner, it was always a joy coming back to a pillow chocolate! We even had adorable towel bunnies which were quite impressive! The activities were great for people of all ages, children to the elderly, and I could rave about the service forever, but I am about to go sit atop the lovely sun deck on the ship!:) (We are on the Emerald Star traveling from Bucharest to Budapest. It wouldn’t allow me to properly click which destination or date! We boarded 07/13/19 and disembark 07/21/19! We are on the Danube additionally not the Rhine, this website wouldn’t allow me to properly click my cruise but I just had to fill this out because my experience was unforgettable.) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
As travel agent, we wanted to try out the Emerald service, and we are convinced, that the service is fabulous and excellent. We sailed from Nuremberg to Amsterdam, in July 2019. After arriving from the airport we got on board in minutes. ... Read More
As travel agent, we wanted to try out the Emerald service, and we are convinced, that the service is fabulous and excellent. We sailed from Nuremberg to Amsterdam, in July 2019. After arriving from the airport we got on board in minutes. The staff is extremely polite, and nice at the reception, in the restaurant, in the bar etc.. The pool has a relaxing atmosphere. The city tours have been well organized with professional guides, comfortable couches. We had great opportunity to visit the most important places, monuments, castles and churches. During our free time we have been good advised to explore the cities in an independent way. Every evening we had various entertaining programs with a lot of fun and laughing moments. The whole crew made our trip enjoyable, comfortable and memorable. We enjoyed our breakfast buffet every morning and 4 courses dinner each evening as well as our lunch combining buffet and menu. Additionally we had joyful teatime and late night snack. All food was fresh and well prepared. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The ship it was built in 2012 and it still looked brand new, our cabin was spacious and well equipped. We arrived on 12 July 2019 and checked into the Movenpick Hotel, Amsterdam City Center, the next morning to Breakfast and finally ... Read More
The ship it was built in 2012 and it still looked brand new, our cabin was spacious and well equipped. We arrived on 12 July 2019 and checked into the Movenpick Hotel, Amsterdam City Center, the next morning to Breakfast and finally closed up all our bags ready to board the Avalon Vista to get settled. We had breakfast and prep for our Amsterdam Canal Cruse plus a walking tour, every day there was tours to a lot of the sights. The meals that were provided were very delicious, for those that didn't want a large meal there was a small were served in the Panorama Lounge, it was also the location for all the briefings for the next day’s activities and music/dancing. Each day was filled with tours provided by the cruise lines or optional fee. There were never wants for service because what you might want it was provided. The ports and shore excursions were very well arranged and informative. We know that it takes a lot of planning but the only disappointment was the day of disembarkment from the ship would we would like a mini tour of Basel. This was our first trip on a long ship but it won't be our last because we truly enjoyed it. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The staff were mostly lovely, helpful and willing. Though it was difficult to communicate with some as their English was poor. The trips were reasonably well organised, pity that the Scilly isles had to be omitted, sea too rough to use ... Read More
The staff were mostly lovely, helpful and willing. Though it was difficult to communicate with some as their English was poor. The trips were reasonably well organised, pity that the Scilly isles had to be omitted, sea too rough to use the tender. Food at dinner in the Waterfront restaurant was sometimes tepid, sometimes it was very difficult to find a seat in the upstairs buffet, I think most of us enjoyed the food most of the time. Wide choice in the buffet. There were few lectures can't comment as I only went to one, fell asleep during it. The talks on our destinations were mostly concerned with their excursions rather than the place itself. The public rooms were comfy and pleasant, pity the library was closed much of the time. I personally found nothing of interest in the on board shops. And the duty free was expensive. Cabins had a fridge plus tea and coffee making facilities, which was very nice. The ship appeared very clean' Evening entertainment was patchy. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Booked this cruise months in advance, all inclusive was a standard but we decided to pay £50 for a premium all inclusive which was well worth it. From the beginning our embarkation was quick and easy, obviously had to queue but nothing ... Read More
Booked this cruise months in advance, all inclusive was a standard but we decided to pay £50 for a premium all inclusive which was well worth it. From the beginning our embarkation was quick and easy, obviously had to queue but nothing unreasonable. We immediately got settled into our cabin on Deck 7, which was a nice size, with two comfortable single beds, a small sofa and table, a desk with chair and mirror, two wardrobes with a full body mirror on one of the doors and a bathroom with toilet and shower. The bathroom includes a hairdryer which is decent but not very powerful. Our rooms got cleaned every day, with towels changed if needed, staff kindly fold up your clothes and make animals out of the towels which was a very nice gesture. There was a great choice of restaurants, breakfast buffet at either Sirens or Lido is the kind you would expect from any all inclusive package holiday, nice but nothing special. Orien restaurant is the only fancy restaurant which is part of the all inclusive package but the a la carte restaurants only cost about £18 for a three course meal. There is food available throughout the whole day at different restaurants, so if you are ever hungry you can eat either from the buffet or the terrace grill. There was even a late night buffet from 11.30 - 1am. Many different activities to get involved in throughout the ship, including the casino, bingo, late night disco, card games or the broadway lounge and even if you don't fancy any of those things you can always listen to the live music at the Tides Bar or Waters Edge. Every single member of staff on the ship was an absolute sweetheart. Ports are very lovely, but don't feel pressured to book your excursions in advance because you get way more options once you are actually on the ship and you end up meeting people which you would like to go on excursions with anyway. Some of the excursions are not worth the money, so make sure you research carefully what they actually provide for you on the excursion and whether you have any alternative cheaper options. Me and my bestfriend went alone, we are both 18, despite everyone saying that it's a holiday for older people and that we were better of going to a villa in somewhere like Greece like the majority of people our age, we chose to come on the cruise anyway and had an absolutely amazing time. You definitely get your money's worth with the drinks package and the bartenders are always so nice and friendly. We never had a boring moment on that ship and got to meet amazing people, we are already looking to book our next one for next year. We highly recommend a cruise with Marella Dream, no matter what age you are. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Chose this cruise for (1) all inclusive and no nickel and diming us; (2) biking excursions to offset the awesome French food, and (3) size of ship with 174 passengers. A+ on all 3 reasons for going with CroisiEurope, and specifically ... Read More
Chose this cruise for (1) all inclusive and no nickel and diming us; (2) biking excursions to offset the awesome French food, and (3) size of ship with 174 passengers. A+ on all 3 reasons for going with CroisiEurope, and specifically the biking excursion alternative. Cabin and services were good, finding more room than I anticipated. Also appreciated that our window fully opened to watch as we traveled the rivers. Food was divine for lunch and dinner - 3 and 4 courses for each of these meals. Their ability to adapt and provide alternatives to dislikes was immediate! We got to really know almost all the servers! Breakfast croissants and pain au chocolat were deadly good! French eggs and bacon would be considered uncooked, but asked them for "well done". Biking excursions with Dig N Go was the only way to see this region. We were biking through quintessential French country roads and in between vineyards!!! Bikes accommodated us short people, which was a worry. Started out too fast-paced for what we expected, but the group pace slowed down significantly toward the end, accommodating our desire for photos of everything. Our guides Martin, Sam and Philippe were very helpful and knowledgeable about where we were. Highlight for us - St. Emilion and Arcachon/Cap Ferrat rides! Everything was included! Apero as we waited for dinner to start! Wine and oyster tasting - all included. I absolutely loved that fact! Would pick a CroisiEurope trip again! I can't find enough superlatives! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was the worse cruise I have ever been on. The food was horrible. The service is horrible. The housekeeping was mediocre. The only good part was the kids club. My son was treated well and he met so many other children from different ... Read More
This was the worse cruise I have ever been on. The food was horrible. The service is horrible. The housekeeping was mediocre. The only good part was the kids club. My son was treated well and he met so many other children from different countries. The cruise was just like it was not organized. Several people had things stolen out of their luggage and no one was responsible. Customer service was really nasty and demeaning. one couple paid for an excursion and they are not from the US. The customer service told them that they did not pay for it. After a few days after we left that island they found out that they did pay for it and they were not accommodating. They wanted to pay the couple in US dollars and they were from Britain.It was just ridiculous The ship shook like the engine was going out. I could feel the vibration of the engine. It sounded like the carburetor was going out. I will never ever use this cruise line and I am going to tell everyone else not to use it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
The quality of the crew, their attentiveness and professionalism was far lacking. It was apparent they did not care to be on the ship. From boarding to disboarding the overall attitude toward passengers made me wish I was not there. The ... Read More
The quality of the crew, their attentiveness and professionalism was far lacking. It was apparent they did not care to be on the ship. From boarding to disboarding the overall attitude toward passengers made me wish I was not there. The quality of the food was horrendous, soups had no whole ingredients and were clearly powdered. I myself was sick the entire trip! The setup on ship was a detriment to anyone not there with a whole family as they corralled guests into areas such as Skyline for evening parties (an area much too small for all guests) and then closed the only place to get a drink when passengers engaged in fighting due to the cramped conditions. The adult only pools/ hot tubs were nearly never enforced! I never got to enjoy the pool/ hot tub areas due to an excess of children present at all times splashing and screaming. When I put forth the money to get a spa experience in hopes of some kind of relaxation I was shorted the whole service (tip to toe) including a collagen eye treatment I never received even after asking about completing the service. It was nearly impossible to find a quiet space or other singles on the ship. I spent more money on this cruise than my last and am utterly shocked by my experience with Norwegian as a whole. No kind of vacation I would choose for myself again. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
NORWEGIAN EPIC REVIEW Some background on me to begin. I’m a 32 year old male bachelor. Norwegian Epic was my 17th cruise overall, and the 2nd that I’ve taken with NCL. Others include 9 with Celebrity, 5 with MSC, and 1 with ... Read More
NORWEGIAN EPIC REVIEW Some background on me to begin. I’m a 32 year old male bachelor. Norwegian Epic was my 17th cruise overall, and the 2nd that I’ve taken with NCL. Others include 9 with Celebrity, 5 with MSC, and 1 with Carnival. Like many of my cruises, I sailed with my 76 yr old father who has some health issues. —And although, it’s a cruise to spend some father/son time together as we live in different states, he usually goes to bed quite early, and I enjoy the night life well into the wee hours of the morning… So, inevitably It ends up becoming a “singles” cruise for me. Before I describe the ship and everything else about this amazing cruise, I think it’s important to point out a Difference with Norwegian as I see them.... First off, this is not going to be a doom and gloom review... As I do view this cruise, and ship very favorably.... But I’ll start out with a fundamental disagreement that I have overall with NCL. As Compared to the other lines that I’ve sailed with....(Twice now with NCL), they are the Kings and Queens of overly casual. Very few people dress up. I guess that I’m a rare traditionalist millennial when it comes to this opinion....I wear a sport coat often to work, and that’s in south Louisiana where it’s needless to say, quite warm for most of the year. I also, as a bachelor enjoy when women take the time dress up. Cruising is the last romantic way to vacation. There’s something about going to sleep at 2AM with a bottle in your hand in the middle of a beautiful ocean and awaking in an exotic location somewhere in the Caribbean or Mediterranean. Buuuuttt, in a nutshell, I guess that I’m not the world’s biggest fan of “Freestyle Cruising”. —It’s not so much the dress attire that turns me off, it’s the fact that very little if anything is structured at all. For instance, virtually every other cruise line particularly my 2 favorites (Celebrity and MSC) have two main entrainment shows per night. —You organize your dinners(whether it’s a specialty restaurant, or one of the main dinning rooms around whichever show that you choose to attend.) —It’s a real simplistic way to cruise. There’s no overthinking it...It comes a little more natural. Freestyle cruising is more like trying to decide most of your shows, dinners, and evening hour activities on the first day of the cruise or even pre-cruise. Nothing is actually “freestyle” about it... You’re forced to decide your show times, or speciality restaurant times or even dinning room times in some cases by the end of the first evening unless you want your dinner at 11pm. I get what Norwegian is trying to do with freestyle cruising. —I understand that they want to give passengers options...And I truly see why they’ve had so much success doing this... **But I also see why other lines have been reluctant to head in their direction. And I get it now. ON TO THE POSITIVES: The EPIC might be the perfect cruise ship for the Mediterranean. It’s not quite Norwegian’s best or biggest ship. As I thought that the ESCAPE(which I sailed in 2017 was nicer and much more updated and had better social gathering points and creature comforts and cabins). But it has all of the things that modern cruisers want(including me). Plus your itinerary, and getting to see some of the cradles’ of civilization(especially those in Europe) is something to greatly credit. Although the ship holds over 4000 passengers, you rarely ever feel crowded. That’s a small advantage to a ship that was built 10 years ago, as opposed to some of the newer ships that are only a few years old that I’ve taken recently. The ship was also refitted 5 years ago... So you hardly notice any wear and tear at all. The ship also flows very well. Unlike some of the newest ships, there’s very few instances to where you can’t walk from one end of a deck to the other. —It really helps with getting around. EMBARKATION: A+ If you’re reading this about to take a Mediterranean cruise out of Barcelona or Civitavecchia, do yourself a favor and opt-in on the transfer from the airport to the cruise port. —You can do this directly on the NCL website. Well worth the $50(round trip) per person. So $100 total for two people. We were sailing out of Barcelona and took the transfer charter bus from the Barcelona Airport to the cruise port(which took around 20-25 mins or so with traffic). —It’s only about 10 miles apart. It really is the easiest route to go. The cruise port check-in was a breeze. Maybe 20-25 mins from entering the port to stepping on the ship. Barcelona only has 3 cruise ships on a Sunday, so it doesn’t seem to back up with people quite as much as Miami, or Lauderdale. Also, we arrived pretty early at the port as our flight was a red-eye into Barcelona. (We were on one of the first transfer buses from the airport to cruise port)....And credit to Norwegian for allowing you into your stateroom by noon. It was great to set down cary-on bags and get a view of the stateroom before exploring the ship. THE SHIP ITSELF OVERALL: A- I found the ship pretty easily navigable. My advice would be to take the time to really explore the ship on the first day, and you should be pretty good to go by day two. I tend to explore any ship that I sail as much as I can on the first day and make it a point to have a drink at every bar. —That usually gets you around pretty well ;) My advice, if you’re sailing the Mediterranean, and flying in that day from the U.S., make sure to do a little exploring around the ship before you pass out for your cat nap before the vacation begins. STARTING FROM THE TOP The Pool Deck(s): A+ The Pool Deck is spacious, and really has A TON of deck chairs that they’ve found every nook and cranny to put in. Like most cruises, deck chairs fill up quickly with towel clips, bags, and magazines holding chairs for sometimes hours before they’re actually occupied. But, I legitimately found very little overcrowding on any of the pool decks(including the actual pool deck 15). There was always available lounge chairs at any time of day(including sea days). Like the majority of newer NCL ships, slides and kiddo pool areas take up a large portion of the deck, but they really weren’t a nuisance(even if you’re looking for less kids and more relaxation).... If somehow the slides or kid areas near the main pool do bother you, EPIC smartly made “Spice H20” which is a smaller pool deck towards the back of the ship also on deck 15. —It’s an adult only pool. But I seriously found plenty of relaxing areas in the main pool area. Spice H2O also has several nighttime parties throughout the cruise. There’s also a Pool deck up high(even if you’re not a Haven passenger) on Deck 18. You access this via the main pool deck right near the outdoor part of the Buffett. Not much on 18 except deck chairs. The Bars/Lounges/Clubs: A- EPIC really does have a solid variety of bars to satisfy most tastes. I really enjoyed “Shakers Martini Bar” as the best overall bar itself. VERY VERY good drinks. It’s also near several of the speciality restaurants on Deck 7, and is right above the casino and near the theater. “Shakers” also has several pianists who play sing along music in a subtle non-annoying way. My other favorite drinking spot on the ship was “Bliss Ultra Lounge”. It typically starts off in the evening as a karaoke bar, and transcends later in the night to a full night club. Trust me, if you’re young and single, this is most likely where you’ll find your cruise romance lol. There were other honorable mention bars as well. The main pool deck bar(name escapes me as I write) is one of the largest pool deck bars at sea. Although it’s probably one of the most crowded on the ship, again you rarely have to wait more than a min or two before your drink order is taken. Also, if you’re a big craft beer person, O’Sheeans Irish Pub is very popular. O’Sheeans also has bar food like wings, cheese sticks ETC... Casino, Shops, and General Areas B+  As it’s well published, NCL EPIC has one of, if not THE largest casinos at sea. It seems to go on over half of the entire Deck 6. Stretching from Manhattan Main Dinning Restaurant(rear of the ship) all the way to O’Sheeans Irish Pub(which is mid-to-forward of the ship) If you like the tables, slots, or simply watching the action like me, It’s truly a massive entertainment center of the ship. If you’re a player, this is YOUR SHIP. SHOPS: Some of you might not care much about the shopping of the ship considering the destinations within your itinerary. I found the shops decent. (Not great/not bad)… The best store in terms of variety on the ship is the cosmetics and fragrance store(don’t remember the name). The watch store also has a pretty good variety. Other than that, nothing really comes to mind. Seems to have fewer shops and duty free alcohol stores or much smaller than ships equal of Epic’s size. —Not a big deal as like me, I’m sure very few of you choose a ship for the shopping. GENERAL AREAS: The general areas on Epic are pretty good minus one glaring exception…The vast majority of newer ships have main promenades(which serve as the central gathering points of the interior of the ship). —You’ll typically have bars, a dance floor, restaurants nearby, and a view of either 3 or 4 decks at one time. --Those of you who like Celebrity know that that area of the boat is near the martini bar on Solstice Class ships, and the Edge. Those who like MSC know that that area is around the Swarovski Staircases. NCL EPIC doesn’t seem to know where to send people in the interior, and it almost spreads people out too thin, limiting the action and interaction between passengers. Again, seeming to cater to the “Freestyle” cruising idea. In other words, “you choose wherever you wanna go”....Even Norwegian’s newer ships like the ESCAPE do a better job having a true main promenade. Again, some of you might roll your eyes at that, or think that I’m knit-picking on that one. But, if you cruise often like me, and aren’t necessarily entirely loyal to one line, you might get what I’m trying to say. The interior of the ship is very very nice though with lot’s of variety. No complaints at all about the condition of the ship, or the décor. All very nice! –I’m sure that this was improved during the refitting in 2014-2015. THE FAMED AND CONTROVERSIAL EPIC STATEROOM LAYOUT DEBATE: B+ Like pretty much all cruise ship cabins, it was small and served it’s purpose. Like I said earlier, I am a 32 year old bachelor... and although I always get a balcony room on any ship that I sail on, I can’t tell you that I ever spend much time in my state room other than to sleep and get dressed. But, for what it’s worth, the state room was very nice, and modern. You are on a cruise ship to have a good time, and be around other people, and get some sun. —You can’t do any of those things by staying in your room. One huge plus is the closet/drawer space. —Amazing for your sized stateroom. On to the big debate about the bathroom lol... I’m sure that most of you have read the controversy over the bathroom set up. There is no doubt that many others have nailed the fact that it is definitely unconventional....The toilet is on one side of the entrance of the stateroom with a sliding fogged glass door for privacy. And the shower is virtually a twin copy of that on the other side. Then, the sink is just outside of the shower openly in the stateroom. —I really think people overly pan this situation unfairly. —It’s really not that bad. One big argument to play the devils advocate for those hatters of this situation is that if you’re a married couple, one spouse can shower while the other is using the sink to get ready without being on top of each other like you’d be in a regular cruise bathroom. Also throw a kid into the room with that couple, and it’s logical and realistic that a wife can be doing her makeup at the sink, the husband is showering, and the kid can still use the bathroom all at the same time without stepping on each other. What other conventional stateroom can you do that in??? It’s really NOT THAT BAD. Buuuuutttt, strange layout nonetheless. THE PASSENGERS AND CREW: A+ This cruise had a very fun crowd! I was absolutely shocked at how many millennials and Gen-“X”ers were on this cruise considering the expense for American’s to take a Mediterranean cruise, and the added costs associated with traveling to get to Europe in the first place. But, there were many young professionals on the ship. Norwegian seems to do a great job at attracting younger passengers without stooping to the spring break Carnival college kid crowd. Although there were lots of younger people on the ship, NOT ONE AGE GROUP seemed to dominate the masses. One of the most balanced cruise crowds that I’ve ever seen. I was shocked at how balanced the crowd was. Also, tons of single millennials on the ship to hang out/flirt with. I’m not saying that I was necessarily looking for a “target rich” environment… But It certainly makes things more interesting if you catch my drift haha. ***Although, I have no data to back up my numbers…. I would guess that the age of passengers on the ship was: 30% Gen X, 25 % Millennials, 20% Baby Boomers, 15% Seniors, 10% Gen Z/Children Nationalities on board were: 45% of passengers were American, 40% European, 10% Latin-American, 5% from other parts of the world. Crew: I cannot say enough great things about the EPIC staff! These people, no matter whether they’re a stateroom attendant, buffet bus person, or an officer were simply perfect. They’ve mastered the art of service. I would give you specific examples, but we’d be here all day. One thing that I’ll point out was the bartenders were great! All were friendly, fast, and after a few days would remember your drink. —Truly remarkable for thousands of people circulating in and out week after week. SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS, MAIN DINING ROOMS, AND BUFFET My father and I ate at 5 of the 7 speciality restaurants on board. This isn’t super typical of everyone who adds speciality dinning to their cruise, as most people will eat at between 2 or 3 restaurants. In no particular order, opinions/grades on the 5 that we ate at: * Le Bistro (French) B+ The food at Le Bistro was pretty good. Not great. I heard several others sitting around us that they were really enjoying the cuisine but there’s a huge caveat for me with the fact that I’m from Louisiana and live in New Orleans. Please understand that I have access to some of the best French food available in the US on a daily basis. * La Cucina (Italian) A+ The food at La Cucina was excellent! Great starter salads, beautiful charcuterie board/antipasto and ton’s of Italian favorites. I had the veal and it was excellent! * Shanghai's Chinese Restaurant B- The meal was decent. But Not nearly the best Chinese food that I’ve had at sea. Much better Chinese on Celebrity Equinox....Called “Silk Harvest”. Their biggest problem is that they are missing some of the American favorites of Chinese. No General Tso Chicken and many other thing’s that Americans would expect from a Chinese restaurant. * Cagney’s Steakhouse D+ Unfortunately one of the worst meals that I’ve ever had at sea. I ordered my ribeye “medium”, and it came out still mooing. Also, the ribeye was 50% fat. I love ribeyes and cook steak often at home, and understand that that cut of meat will have extra marbling, but this was absurd. My father ordered his steak medium-well, and it came like a piece of leather. We both ended up just eating our salads and sides(which were fair at best), and cast aside the steaks. —The staff tried to make it right though. (Plain and simple, Cagney’s just sucks. Tried it on the NCL Escape as well, and thought the exact same thing). —You’d think a steakhouse would be one of the easiest to operate. * Teppanyaki (Japanese hibachi) A+ This was the second best meal that we had behind La Cucina. The food was excellent, as was the enjoyment of the hibachi experience. And the hibachi chef’s were entertaining and hilarious. The food was excellent. Great variety of Steak, chicken, shrimp, muscles, veggies, and rice. ***As you can see from above, 4 of the 5 were good, with 2 being great. Very disappointed in Cagneys on both the Escape and the Epic. MAIN DINNING ROOMS: A+ There are two main dinning rooms on EPIC. “Manhattan” and “Taste”. Manhattan is a little dressier with a little bit more formal setting. Whereas Taste is a little more laid back with more of a traditional menu. We only ate at Manhattan once, and both really liked it. —Very similar menus and atmosphere to other comparable ships. BUFFET: A+ Good choices for breakfast and lots of variety. Pretty typical for a mega ship buffet, but added variety. They seem to a little better job on breakfast than other lines (particularly with omelette stations)... They have omelette stations and other quick to order stations all over to try and get it to you fast. Although we only ate lunch once at the buffet, again there was a good variety of American favorites and various salad bars, and other ethnic cuisine. One thing that we loved was the burger/grilled items outside near the pool deck. Easy to grab lunch and to get back to your deck chair. ENTERTAINMENT: B+ If you remember my opening, you know that I don’t particularly care for “freestyle cruising” because of having to schedule everything so early... Nothing is more prevalent of that than the main theater shows on EPIC. THE SHOWS: “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" and "Burn the Floor," are the Two main headliner shows in the theater. Both were entertaining and high energy. Really liked “Burn The Floor”. Drag isn’t necessarily my thing, but still thought Priscilla was hilarious. Unlike most cruise lines, I do give NCL a lot of credit for their (what I call) “sub-shows”. —Which are smaller venues with comedians, or other shows within smaller venues around the ship. The best show on the ship hands down was called “Cirque Dreams Epicurean” Held in the “Spiegel Tent”. —Which a smaller dinner theater near the main theater. Given the small theater and the rapid changing of the various stages, you feel like the actors and acrobats are right on top of you! It’s interactive as well! There is a charge for this show as they serve dinner as well. It was about the price of a specialty restaurant. Book early! The shows fill up rapidly and were sold out for most of the cruise. Another “sub-show” was “Howl At The Moon” located in Headliners Comedy Club —Free and open to anyone, three musicians play various instruments and take requests from the audience for hours... They were AWESOME! Plus, you can come and go as you please. They typically play for about 4 hours. 8-11PM is clean in case kids are there. After 11PM is uncensored(which is more enjoyable) Speaking of Comedy....One MASSIVE negative which robbed my ENTERTAINMENT GRADE OF BEING AN “A” was no comedy show at all! —Not Even in the comedy club! —I’m not sure if this was just for this cruise, or whether NCL plans on ceasing comedy shows or what the deal was??? MISCELLANEOUS POSITIVES: -I found a lot less nickel & diming on EPIC. -One of the biggest varieties of speciality dinning, along with free speciality dinning options. -The ship really does well with excursions which is important when you’re in Europe given the language differences. -NCL Might have the best premium drink package on earth! Way less expensive than Celebrity and MSC, and you can order virtually anything. They also don’t “drink count” as I call it. In other words, if I ordered two drinks at a time, I didn’t need two cruise cards. They just did it(Believe me my friends, that is rare) MISCELLANEOUS NEGATIVES: -The WiFi was the worst I’ve ever had at sea. Mind you that both my father and I bought the premium unlimited packages on that. Had to constantly re-boot and try for sometimes 7 to 8 times to just to sign on. I get it, I was on vacation and some of you will say that I should’ve unplugged. But, I’m in management with a media company and have to check my email once a day during weekdays for emergencies even when on vacation. -No free bottled water. —Seriously. With a premium drink package, you can order all the Patron, Grey Goose, or Johnny Walker Blue Label you want, BUT NOT bottled water unless you want to pay out of pocket. Otherwise, you get a glass of tap water. Never seen that on 17 cruises except this. IN CLOSING: This cruise was amazing because of the three main factors. 1.) The itinerary, 2.) the people on the ship 3.) the crew. Yes, the ship is nice. But you’d be dazzled by some of the newer ships that other lines have come out with recently. I give the overall grade of B+ to the entire cruise. Inconsistencies in the food, the WiFi, freestyle cruising and a few lesser things narrowly cost EPIC an “A”. —Still a great cruise. Cheers to you on your next voyage! -Matthew from New Orleans, Louisiana Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I'd heard that NCL was similar in quality of food and service as Celebrity, but I quickly found this not to be true. The timing was right and I wanted to visit Iceland and Norway, so I booked a guaranteed outside cabin. ... Read More
I'd heard that NCL was similar in quality of food and service as Celebrity, but I quickly found this not to be true. The timing was right and I wanted to visit Iceland and Norway, so I booked a guaranteed outside cabin. Southampton was not easy to get to from Scotland by public transport, and it wasn't my first choice for starting a cruise, now I've done it once, I'll avoid it in future. Embarkation was smooth for me, I did need a wheelchair to avoid standing in line, something which has become a challenge for me. The staff were really kind and helpful, so I was feeling very positive about the cruise. I enjoyed a nice lunch with wine in Windows, but I never saw this pair of waiters again. It was freestyle dining, so you could sit with different people every day. That was a nice touch, but the dishes on the menu were repeated almost every day. The flavours weren't strong and there were some odd combinations. If you like bland food, a rib eye steak option and bruschetta every day for dinner, then Windows or Garden are the place to be, but some of the desserts were very sweet and also lacking in flavour. I also like vegetarian food from time to time, but the dishes I chose were usually overcooked and not balanced. The vegetable sides were usually good, but my prime rib, although huge, was undercooked and cold and I needed horseradish to bring out the light flavour. I found out that the food is sourced from USA for this European cruise, so I guess the meat and fish were frozen. I missed the wonderful range of fresh berries, but I can recommend the pineapple and melon in Raffles! My cabin was close to the elevators and I had a direct line to Raffles, the buffet where I went for most breakfasts and lunches. I had to walk to the next set of lifts, go up 2 floors, then walk back and down 1 flight if stairs to reach Windows, so I didn't want to go to Windows often (I had the option to call for a wheelchair, but I was trying to get fitter without exhausting myself). I did try a speciality restaurant, Shogun. I was told the sushi was good - it was certainly a big portion! I'd been warned about the menu already, so selected the orange beef which was chewy and I couldn't taste or see any orange. The TV didn't always work in my cabin, I had problems with the WC too, but the shower was lovely. The bedroom was big for one person and it was kept clean by my steward, but I missed the cute towelling animals I'd seen on other cruises every night before bed. Spa usually a highlight, but disappointing on this ship, but I did appreciate the facial and the hot stones massage! The entertainment scheduling was bad, with most of the 'best' shows scheduled on days when we were late leaving port, so if you wanted to eat first, you missed the show. Being a morning person, I cannot comment on the late night entertainment. Some of the shows were fantastic, others mediocre. Something for most tastes and all family shows. I attended a Martini tasting which was excellent and a few of us guests wondered if this was the main focus of the cruise - alcohol - I did buy a basic drinks package, and enjoyed a few cocktails - the bar staff were always chatty, no matter which bar; my favourite was the Cafe because she was generous with the nutmeg on my Painkiller! I didn't visit the casino, but it seemed adequate. We only had 1 day suitable for swimming, (most days fine, but we did cruise north, so it wasnt warm enough for me) and I went for a look after the shore excursion. Of course, it was packed, so I missed out. Others enjoyed the pool regularly, or huddled close by in thick sweaters and coats on the colder days. We were very lucky with the weather on most of our shore excursions. It rained in Belfast, but the trip to the Antrim coast and Giants Causeway was beautiful and the rain did stop a few times. I also enjoyed Blarney Castle, but regret not spending some time in Cobh, so I will go back again. I had to pace myself due to recent illness, so I didn't take excursions every day. NCL does charge a lot for the excursions, but the guides are good and on one, we got a Gaelic coffee, on the Golden Circle tour, we got soup and salmon - I can recommend this beautiful tour with so much geology and history, but I'd advise to search for a local tour, it may be better value. I liked Njordfjord, but others didn't. It's a new cruise stop, so not too touristy compared to Geiranger. I enjoyed my walk to the replica Viking Ship. The views at both Norway locations are outstanding! I have a great video of the geyser! For Amsterdam, the journey by local bus and train was almost an hour in each direction. There were tours available either by bus or canal. For Bruges, the port is another ferry port, so very busy and quite a distance by public transport - I was tired that day, and the weather was overcast, so I stayed on board, along with a few people, but the entertainment offered didn't appeal to me so I read another book. I was travelling alone and joined the Solo group. It was quite well attended, and we were invited to join activities other than eating together. You could join in as much as you wanted. It was fun to meet people from other countries. I was surprised at how many countries we represented. Spanish is always helpful on a cruise, especially with the staff, but a lot of passengers also spoke that language and we had different European countries represented as well as Australians and Americans. I'd visit these areas again, but not with NCL. Spirit is being refurbished in January 2020, but until their staff are better trained, I wont be joining a NCL cruise. Most of the staff I met were new. I met one person who'd been with other cruise lines and had 10 years+ experience compared with most of the others with 1-3 months on their first cruise ship. His customer service was excellent, but some of the staff ignored you or pushed past to get into the elevators. I was not the only one disappointed in the food and service. I also know that other passengers enjoyed the cruise a lot more than me, and they will go back. Different people with different tastes - this one just didn't suit me. I also missed the formal nights. I'd been told there was a white party, so I had packed accordingly, but it was only on once, and began during the second show, a late night event, so I could have saved the space in my bag! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because it stopped in Mackinac Island and provided a chance to see all five Great Lakes. We stayed in the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee prior to the cruise rather than the recommended hotel only because it was our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it stopped in Mackinac Island and provided a chance to see all five Great Lakes. We stayed in the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee prior to the cruise rather than the recommended hotel only because it was our anniversary and we wanted something special. Milwaukee has plenty to do within walking distance of the dock and is safe and clean. The Pearl Mist is a small ship which enables all cruisers the chance to get to know each other. Our room was comfortable and provided everything we needed. Plenty of hangars in the closet though I bought extra as I like to hang all my clothes. There is a safe in the desk to store your passport and other valuables. We enjoyed the chairs and table on the balcony as we sailed through the Welland Canal and its locks and several times as we sailed away. There are two lounges to choose from for happy hour (all drinks free!) as well as lots of seating area on the top deck to enjoy the scenery as we sail before dinner. Our evening entertainment was two singers on guitar (same ones each night) who were adequate. The music was great - the singing not so much - but nice to dance to. There is also an open bar (more free drinks!) after dinner in the lounge with the entertainment. We enjoyed many meals on the ship where there were also options for vegetarians and gluten-free. Plenty to choose from and the desserts were absolutely yummy. The majority of excursions were included and those that were not were reasonably priced. I compared the prices to what we would pay if we did them on our own and the ship's prices were the same or less. Most of the towns we docked in were right in the town allowing us to walk around on our own. When it was not, the ship provided a free shuttle to the points of interest even if you didn't book an excursion. Maps and local infomation were supplied ahead of time in each port. All excursions were well planned and organized. We went on each included excursion and bought an optional excursion whenever we could. Well worth it. Each day there was a lecture we could attend onboard to learn about the area we were sailing through or some point of interest. There was also a movie or documentary playing on the TV all day pertaining to our next port. I am so glad I overlooked some of the negative reviews that were posted. Some people are always looking to point out that bad. This was a wonderful cruise. The staff and crew were excellent and we enjoyed the highlights of Mackinac and Niagara as well as the smaller towns on the Georgian Bay. Each stop had something to offer and lots of beauty. My husband and I are in our early 60's and good health. We would definitely go again. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our 5th cruise with Viking (2 river and 2 ocean cruises) and made us realised once again why we like cruising so much with them. Was the ideal way to celebrate our 50th anniversary and Grand European Tour on Viking LIF was the ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise with Viking (2 river and 2 ocean cruises) and made us realised once again why we like cruising so much with them. Was the ideal way to celebrate our 50th anniversary and Grand European Tour on Viking LIF was the perfect option. Based on our previous experience with Viking we saw how they started to cut corners especially with the quality of the food. But Chef Michael was a magician and every breakfast, lunch and dinner were kind of gastronomic events. And the service in the restaurant was simply sublime: Christian our server was very attentive, taking care of my wife medical requests, suggesting all the time the best from the menu and smiling every moment when serving our meals. What I would love to see on our next cruise is that Viking ban shorts and t-shirt during the dinner. It is a cruise ship not a fast food restaurant! I always thought that the lounge is a little bit small, especially when all the events (presentation, demonstration or shows) were very good and attracted a lot of people. On Lif one of the TV screen didn’t work and the sound was terrible sometimes which made quite hard to follow all the interesting information presented during the evening. The musicians were not our cup of tea, repeating every night the same songs and in a very amateurish style but all the other artists invited by the cruise director on board were excellent. A special mention to the bartender Ivan; we loved his knowledge and cynical sense of humour. Capitan Ana was the best we ever had. A gentle giant always talking with the passengers and keen to answer to all type of questions. His nautical presentation was a real treat, a fantastic double act with the cruise director. We never saw a captain so close to the passengers on board ever! The reception was another strong point of Viking Lif. Suzanna and Peter were knowledgeable, polite and efficient despite the fact that sometimes the place was very busy. We were impressed with the fact that if they didn’t have an answer the were asking the cruise director and come back to us in no time! A staff manning the reception night time was a little bit out of his league, forgetting couple of times our wakeup calls (we missed the wall on the Main) and spending to much time listening to his music than solving passengers issues. What a asset the Hotel Director Ionuts was for our trip! Very polite with excellent manners and extremely professional, Ionuts had always a genuine smile, being almost everywhere and leading the entire staff in a very efficient manner. He knows how to balance his skills with his age (he was 20 something). And my wife loved his hair! Viking excursions are always amazing but, this time was more than that. The guides were very informative without going over the top with historical information, mixing always personal stories with facts. Our top favourites: Rothenburg, War tour in Nuremberg, Jewish excursion in Wertheim and the cooking class in Regensburg. I save the best for last! If Lif is the crown of Viking, our cruise director Leo was the Hope Diamond. What a personality, what a passion and what a pleasure to have him. Leo was working non stop for 2 weeks at least 20 hours a day: coordinating and supervising the excursion in the morning, helping the reception during the busy lunch, answering questions in the afternoon, giving excellent briefings before dinner and organising parties or giving presentations in the evening. Somebody was joking about the possibility of having at least 3 clones of Leo on-board because he was everywhere when needed, always smiling and ready to help 24 hours a day for 2 weeks. His presentation during the sailing days were amazing: history, culture, legends everything mixed with an excellent narrative style, a war voice and a fantastic sense of humour. Leo had an answer for almost any questions, knowing all the cities as his own pocket and, at least for us, his recommendations were 100% perfect. He was a real one man show with a fantastic personality, a genuine care for the others (passengers and staff) and an encyclopaedic amount of knowledge. What can I say, and I heard other passengers saying the same, without Leo the trip will be very good but not excellent. It will be a privilege to have him as a cruise director on our next Viking cruise! Viking rules the river’s waves, Lif rules Viking and Leo ruled the excellence in our cruise in Europe. What an amazing experience. Thank you all! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I joined Norweigan cruise 7 night Hawaii Islands. I joined single and I paid good amount of money. But I don't think it worths the money I paid. The good things first Hawaii is great. Bad things, everything except food is ... Read More
I joined Norweigan cruise 7 night Hawaii Islands. I joined single and I paid good amount of money. But I don't think it worths the money I paid. The good things first Hawaii is great. Bad things, everything except food is payable. I have to pay 9.98 if I want to watch a movie in the tv in my room. I don't even listen the music. There isn't much thing to do in the ship. The entertainment is very poor. Before I joined two cruises with Princess and they were much more better than Norweigan. The food was better, the entertainment were far more better. Also Princess gives you beach tote, so if you foreget to bring your beach tote you can use it. But Norweigan didn't give anything. I could watch tv free in Princess but I have to pay in Norweigan. Princess cruises had big screen top of the cruise, so you could watch film or any sports activity there, Norweigan doesn't have screen on the top of the ship. The food area in Princess were bigger than Norweigan. Here is a little bit narrow, because of that there is a chaos in breakfast lunch and dinner time in self service area. The one other small thing, in Princess the staff left chocolate on your bed after clean the room. There isn't anything like in Norweigan cruise Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this cruise because I always wanted to go to the Bahamas and it was a reasonable price with reasonable package prices as well. I’m so glad I decided to go. Everyone on the ship was very polite and a joy to be around. We had tons ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I always wanted to go to the Bahamas and it was a reasonable price with reasonable package prices as well. I’m so glad I decided to go. Everyone on the ship was very polite and a joy to be around. We had tons of activities and things to do. Richard was a great director and the activity staff was awesome as well. Also, the bar tenders in bliss lounge were so caring and understanding. They knew when we needed drinks and when we didn’t. We all were a family. They all were great!! The staff and everyone on the ship were very diverse and we got along just fine. I’m not sure if I would want to be on a different ship for my next cruise. Can’t wait to plan another sail and see all my favorite staff members. I can’t thank the house keeping enough, they were awesome. And they kept our cabins near and tidy. They understood we were on vacation and needed to be pampered!! Such a wonderful ship to be on! I had a blast!! Until next time Norwegian Dawn Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
There is no doubt Celebrity Edge looks good. All those Kelly Hoppen greys and beiges. But does it feel good? Well not to this seasoned traveller. Celebrity have made a great effort to lower the age demographic of their passengers. They ... Read More
There is no doubt Celebrity Edge looks good. All those Kelly Hoppen greys and beiges. But does it feel good? Well not to this seasoned traveller. Celebrity have made a great effort to lower the age demographic of their passengers. They have succeeded - but I think at the expense of the older guest. Take the bars: I want a comfortable lounge to enjoy a drink. The biggest bar is the Martini Bar on Deck 3 but the seating is on the edge of a three-deck high atrium. Yes it looks impressive. But it feels cold and impersonal. The nicest space is the Al Bacio coffee bar lounge on Deck Four. I took to getting a drink from the casino bar (also on deck four) and carryimng it through to the Al Bacio lounge. So I noticed did others. In fact Al Bacio does serve some limited drinks in the evenings and the solution would be to open it as a full bar plus coffee after say 6 o'clock. I and many others in my age group like to hear a pianist or a classical duo. Alas - Edge is an almost non-stop diet of over amplified pop music. Even worse there are designer muzak tapes on a loop in the restaurants - designed presumably by someone who didn't try listening to them every day. The atmosphere on the Magic Carpet - the bit that hangs over the side- was much better. For one thing -- being outside you couldn't hear the music. It is an idyllic place for those balmy evenings in the Med. I got that "all fur coat and no knickers" feel about the Speciality restaurants - especially Eden. It is approached via a dark mirror glass room, negotiating a series of twisted floor-to-ceiling columns and lit only by twinkling ceilng lights. What's that all about? And Aquaclass passengers dining in Blu have to pass through this for every meal. The food itself was good though not exceptional and it certainly wasn't helped by being served by a girl dressed in rags and a man, also in rags, wielding a stick. Adam and Eve? Caliban? Le Petit Chef and friends features overhead projections of animated figures dancing on your plates as they prepare each course. Entertaining - certainly. But sadly the animation food looked a sight better than the food we actually received. Neither restaurant was worth the extra money. On the plus side - the three main non-paying restaurants were all excellent. Great friendly service, a wide choice of dishes all very well presented and tasty. And no gimmicks.The a la carte breakfast in the Cosmopolitan (I think) was particularly enjoyable and a better choice for me than the scrum at the buffet! The cabins are very well designed in general. But I was in a single cabin (and God Bless Celebrity for thinking positively about we solo travellers), Again the Hoppen influence looked good- but there was enough hanging space for clothes but only one shelf (under the safe) and no drawers. What to do with the smalls? And the plus side: The best shower I've ever found on any ship - proper walk-in, no clingy curtains and a powerful spray. Bliss. The single-panel control for everything including the excellent air conditioning, the window and the blinds, was a definite plus and the ability to transform the cabin into an infinity balcony was fun. Other pluses: Embarkation at Civitaveccia was a dream. Almost straight aboard and keys waiting outside the cabins. Disembarkation was equally smooth with lots of staff on hand to guide us all to the correct buses. And as always the biggest plus of all - the cheerful, efficient , friendly staff who are keeping this ship spotlessly clean and who do put the customer first. Especially the younger customer! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I selected a farewell cruise on the Oriana, before she slips away to China. I was not disappointed with the ship, she still felt very special, it will be a shame to see her go. The cruise was an adults only, touring France, Spain and ... Read More
I selected a farewell cruise on the Oriana, before she slips away to China. I was not disappointed with the ship, she still felt very special, it will be a shame to see her go. The cruise was an adults only, touring France, Spain and Guernsey in June 2019. Well worth visiting the destinations, plenty to see and do , either using the tour excursions, or being an independent traveller as I did. It was all very safe. I enjoyed the cruise, but wished there had been a few more younger passengers, it seemed to be overrun with the "more mature aged" travellers. Zimmers all around the boat, a shame really. I guess that must be due to the time of year and maybe the smaller boat. The staff were lovely, as always on P&O working so hard and making the cruise a special one. I loved the sail away, great turnout, flags everywhere! Cabin good, inside one, with plenty of room. ~Great bathroom with bath and shower. Entertainment mediocre could do with changing the repertoire, P&O getting a bit boring and predictable with the headliners. Films and screenings, couldn't fault - excellent. Meals and restaurants - very high standard. Enjoyed the entertainments with music in the Crows Nest, some nice acts playing relaxed music - very nice indeed. So all in all an excellent cruise - thank you P& O. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Beware of what you think you are paying for!! Most likely it is NOT SO!! So I chose this cruise being that I had the Forth of July week off from my job. This fit great in to my plans, and I didn't have to rush back to work on ... Read More
Beware of what you think you are paying for!! Most likely it is NOT SO!! So I chose this cruise being that I had the Forth of July week off from my job. This fit great in to my plans, and I didn't have to rush back to work on Tuesday...Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth! That being said..... I didn't have big expectations for the ship, although the Norwegian Sun was refurbished in 2018 and the public rooms and cabins had the refreshed look, the feel of the ship was still old and out dated. Also, I wasn't aware that every passenger on the ship had the free drink package...so really, this is a "drunk" cruise. Beware! It felt like a half step up from a Carnival party cruise. On that note, one thing I was disappointed in was that there were no enrichment activities available during the day, such as classes or tastings, etc., that I have always enjoyed on other cruises. I believe that that this is due to the open bar policy, and Norwegian doesn't expect that a bunch of drunk cruisers would have the need for learning anything. They did have PLENY of BINGO though! yay :( I upgraded to a balcony cabin so that we could receive the "Take all" package offered to balcony guests. This is where I had the most problems with this cruise. BEWARE BEWARE!!! This offer included the top shelf drinks package, 100 minutes of WIFI and specialty dining for all nights of our cruise. There was also a $50 credit for a shore excursion for ONLY 1 passenger per cabin, but because most of the excursions cost a lot more than needed to be, we opted to not book one. The only package to be worth this upgrade was the drink package. We did enjoy top shelf alcohol (Grey Goose and Hendricks martinis, and a very nice bottle of champagne at dinner. at no additional charge!) very enjoyable! As far as the specialty dining, I made reservations for the Cagney's steak house the first night, followed by the Italian restaurant the 2nd night, and the French place on the 3rd night. After reserving these dining options, I was prompted to add them to a shopping cart, and then 'check out'. So, if you don't have the dining package like I was offered, you would see the cost of the restaurants in your cart, and have the option to pay the upgrade as these specialty places are not included in the included cost of the cruise. In my cart, however, the extra cost for my reservations came out $0.00, so no extra charge for the 3 nights dinners. Or so I thought! On the first night we had an outstanding dinner at Cagney's complete with a fantastic bottle of wine and absolutely exceptional service from our waitress Rhoda! We couldn't wait for the next specialty dinner. However, When we arrived for our table the next night at the Italian restaurant, we were informed that we had been entitled to 1 specialty dining experience for the length of the cruise and we had used that the last night, and it would cost us each $40 additional to eat there. I brought my printed payment proof document down the customer service desk to find out what was up and was told that according to my cruise card we were only assigned 1 specialty experience. I then showed the annoyed rep that I had made the 3 reservations and that the payment came out to $0. This is where I really feel that Norwegian has lost my business forever...back and forth the reps went with each other for over 20 minutes, only to conclude that they didn't feel that we had the bookings according to the "Ultimate Dining Package" that I had upgraded to receive, only reservations. Anyway, I got the same response as many other passengers I had talked to, that they would send a message to the Miami headquarters, and hopefully receive a response the next day, or later. This made me really confused as I asked how was that going allow me to eat at the specialty restaurants without having to pay for them as my package entitled me to? Needless to say, we never heard one word from customer service, or from the Miami office since and it left me with a very disappointed feeling overall for the cruise experience! Also, the "free" WIFI was useless, as neither me nor my roommate was ever able to get a web page on our phones or my tablet...just kept loading, while using up the free minutes! Very inadequate system. In conclusion, I know that this is a way too long review, but I am just trying to warn folks to beware of the so called 'free perks', as they may not be as expected. This cruise cost us over $800. each for 3 nights. I feel that we could have saved a lot by booking on Carnival for a similar, but much cheaper experience! Thanks for listening. Read Less

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