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Sail Date: April 2019
As part of my aim to cruise with as many different cruise companies as possible in 2019 it came to the turn of Costa. I will have to say my expectations were low in advance of the cruise, mainly for three reasons. My previous ... Read More
As part of my aim to cruise with as many different cruise companies as possible in 2019 it came to the turn of Costa. I will have to say my expectations were low in advance of the cruise, mainly for three reasons. My previous experience with an Italian based cruise line, MSC, had been appalling. Secondly the cruise was cheap - did that mean I would be getting what I paid for and, thirdly, there have been some very mixed reviews about the ship on here. Embarkation was typical Mediterranean chaos but it was reasonably quick. Registering payment card for onboard spend was easy at the self-service terminals on board. As we were planning to spend most days ashore we opted for a seaview cabin and it was satisfactory with a nice large porthole style window. The cabin was a reasonable size with plenty of space to walk around. Both the bed and pillows were very comfortable and that is praise indeed from me as I'm incredibly difficult to please when it comes to pillows. Initially we only had one pillow each but a quick chat with the cabin steward soon resulted in a couple of extra pillows. The steward was very good, almost OCD when it came to tidying - charging cables left on the desk were always neatly arranged on our return. Paperwork was also neatly stacked etc. and most days the valance across the bed had been arranged in some neat sculpture. The bathroom was good and although very small the shower head was detachable. Water temperature was just about hot enough. There is no night time turn down service but that's more a luxury than necessity. Food fell into two categories. The main dining room was good with five courses available for the main evening meal. Food was hot and of a good standard. Service, on the whole, was good although one night there was a problem with the tablet used for ordering and they had to resort to paper, which slowed things down a bit. The final night of the cruise they played Italian opera with some audience participation - not normally my scene but it was actually good fun. Most days we had breakfast in the main restaurant, although the first morning we diod regret our decision. There are breakfasts from around the world available and we made the mistake of ordering the "full English" The only edible part was the scrambled egg, the rest was inedible as everything else had clearly been deep fried and it was like eating an oil slick. Plus the "bacon" was the appalling streaky variety, cooked to within seconds of cremation. The other days we stuck to the extensive cold buffet which was good with plenty of variety. By contrast the buffet was disappointing. relatively small with limited choice and many items appearing every day, so not a huge amount of variety. Also, in contrast to the main dining room, the food quality was variable. Minute steaks for example were very chewy with a lot of gristle. Buffet opening hours were more limited than other cruise lines. What was exceptionally good was the use of ropes to funnel passengers through the serving areas, greatly reducing the amount of pushing in which can occur. Other cruise lines take note. We had the Pranzo and Cena mealtime drinks package included in our fare but upgraded to the Brindiamo package for €10 a day each. We are not great drinkers by any means but the package also included tea and coffee so it was worth the extra cost. Dress codes are optional. On the "Gala night" probably no more than a dozen men wore dinner jackets. It's a shame but that's the way it is with some cruise lines Three of the four shows in the theatre were from the in-house entertainment team with two lead singers to the fore. The female singer was superbe and the male singer had a good voice as well, however many of the songs he was given to sing were not suited to his voice, which did not do him justice. The other show was an exceptional acrobatic show - the standard of which would give Cirque du Soleil a run for its money. There were plenty of activities throughout the day with an enthusiastic entertainments team - although having to use half a dozen languages all the time did slow things down. Costa Victoria is a smaller cruise ship, around 2,000 passengers but for me that is a major plus - I prefer the smaller ships to the new mega-ships which are, sadly, becoming the norm. Built in 1996 she is also a little dated but that, also adds to its charm. The staff were generally friendly and attentive, without being in your face. The captain was conspicuous by his absence, appearing only for the obligatory photo call - something I still cannot get my head around. Why do people queue to have their photograph taken with the Captain then pay an extortionate amount for the photograph. If I catch a bus or train I don't queue to be photographed with the driver, so why do it on board a ship. I'm happy to admit my initial concerns about Costa were wholly unfounded. Would I sail with them again - absolutely. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise as it was stopping at ports we wanted to visit on dates when we wished to be away. The Bellissima is a stunning looking ship and has something for everyone. Our cabin was on deck 10 midship and was lovely with a ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was stopping at ports we wanted to visit on dates when we wished to be away. The Bellissima is a stunning looking ship and has something for everyone. Our cabin was on deck 10 midship and was lovely with a balcony, reasonable space and being a new ship did not show any signs of wear and tear. Our cabin steward Genesis was attentive, friendly and always happy to see us. He maintained our cabin beautifully and recognised a particularly special date that we celebrated whilst on board ship. At this location on the ship it was difficult to know whether the ship was moving it was so quiet with no noise from adjoining cabins or fromthe engines. Our allocated restaurant was The Lighthouse on deck 6 excellent choice for us as we had a table for 2. The menu was varied and offered something different every day to suit most requirements. Meals were well presented and of good quality. Service was excellent and the staff who served us each day at table 479 were Carissa and Abdul and are worth a special mention for their professionalism and attention nothing was too much trouble and again went out of their way to celebrate our Ruby Wedding Anniversary. Breakfast and lunch served in the Marketplace was a challenge. There was plenty of choice and something for everyone but the shear numbers of diners at any one time made the experience quite stressful. The staff were as efficient and patient as they could be given the logistics of numbers and seats available at any one time. There were good shows on board and plenty of entertainment for all ages. The musicians who played in all of the areas were first class with music choices to suit all tastes we particularly liked the Jazz trio who played each evening on Deck 16. We purchased the Cirque Soleil show and dinner at 40 euros each which was very good value for money . The show was excellent, food very good and Alwyn and his team served everything beautifully so that dinner was served before the show commenced. We have scored food at 3 because of the breakfast and lunch experience. Weather whilst on board ship was not particularly good so consequently much of the outdoors facilities were not in use. They were however very clean and well presented with water facilities to suit all tastes the water park on deck 18 would be great fun for families. We enjoyed our holiday we would cruise again but not for cruising sake but to see particular places that are included in the itinerary. We did not book MSC excursions but instead booked with local providers in Naples we did a tour if Naples and went to Pompei in a small group of 6 with a very knowledgeable guide. In Messina we did the same and rode the cable car to the top of Etna and visited Tourmina. Again an excellent excursion with small numbers and a local guide. Every other port we did our own thing and really enjoyed. This cruise met our expectations and we would consider MSC in the future provided the itinerary met our requirements. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We traveled on Anthem with our two sons (4 and 6) and my mom (71). We purchased The Key, and the original reason is because although my son has autism, RCI does not offer priority disembarking for ports of call. It was completely worth it ... Read More
We traveled on Anthem with our two sons (4 and 6) and my mom (71). We purchased The Key, and the original reason is because although my son has autism, RCI does not offer priority disembarking for ports of call. It was completely worth it to skip the lines getting on and off the ship. We had a special lunch at Jamie Oliver’s Italian which was just okay. Occasionally RCI would leave us treats like fruit or cookies in our stateroom, which was pleasant. And the day we disembarked, we had a fabulous special breakfast in the dining room. The VOOM internet service is the fastest at sea, which makes me feel sad for anyone using slower internet. Streaming was near impossible. I downloaded iQ app which took at least 15 minutes. If we didn’t get it with The Key I wouldn’t have paid for it. The Royal iQ app left quite a lot to be desired. It would have been nice to actually see menus for restaurants, give shop opening hours, and allow you to chat with guest services. The service set the experience apart from other vacations. Almost everyone was helpful and nice. Our dining room hostess, Elizabeth, was amazing. She really took the initiative to get to know us and our children. Every morning the boys looked forward to seeing her. Our housekeeper, Daisy, was also great. She set up the impossible pull out bed every afternoon. Adorable towel animals always accompanied our turn down service. And she always wanted to know how she could help make our stay great. We sent the boys to Adventure Ocean kids’ club, which they liked. At first they split the boys up according to age, but that made my older son with ASD uncomfortable, so the next time we asked if they could stay together and they said okay - and after that they had a wonderful time. The pools were nice and of course on a nice day you’d need to fight for a chair or encounter some children being wild or jerks. Nothing atypical. They were clean and of average size. I liked how they offer life vests for babies and little kids. The food was generally okay. Windjammer was basically cafeteria quality. Dining room was good - breakfast excellent, dinner just okay. You can get anything customized which was good for our picky children. We ate at Chops which was a disappointment, unfortunately. My steak was over cooked and the lobster bisque too salty. We were there 90 minutes and decided to skip dessert because it was taking so long. Izumi was really great, yummy ramen. The Dog House had excellent hot dogs. Jamie’s featured gummy calamari and only 4 shrimp in my pasta. The bread was good though. Everything is expensive if you want something more than what you get with your ticket. Shop prices exorbitant. $10-13 for alcoholic drinks, which were just okay. Cococay was beautiful. It’ll be better once they finish the new water park. We loved the pool. The lunch was better than on the ship. The only drawback was the super long walk, and once you get on the island there are very few paved paths, making it take forever to get anywhere, especially with little kids. The on board activities were fun. My husband and son did the iFly and enjoyed it. They liked the bumper cars and the games like table tennis and corn hole toss. We skipped roller skating after we met someone who broke her leg after someone crashed into her. We went to see “We Will Rock You” and the sound was mixed so badly our chests hurt from the bass. Combine that with rough waters and my seasickness was so bad we left 30 minutes in. The story was disappointing anyhow (not RCI’s fault) so we didn’t feel like we missed much. My younger son got a fever and we had to take him to the infirmary. It turned out to be an ear infection. What a smooth experience - I wish urgent care on land was so efficient. They saw us in triage, we waited 5 minutes more, saw the doctor, he checked our son out, and we had antibiotics. The entire encounter was less than 45 minutes. Unfortunately even with an ear infection, my son had to be quarantined to our cabin for 24 hours so we missed our excursion to Nassau. No problem, though. Our money was refunded. All in all, we had a very nice time. I’m not sure I’ll go again, just because of my seasickness. RCI runs a class act, fabulous service. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Wanted to visit the Dutch "ABCs" Did resort for a day passes in Aruba and Curacao and sailing/snorkeling cruise in Bonaire. The underwater marine life in Bonaire is incredible. Bring a twenty dollar underwater camera! Also ... Read More
Wanted to visit the Dutch "ABCs" Did resort for a day passes in Aruba and Curacao and sailing/snorkeling cruise in Bonaire. The underwater marine life in Bonaire is incredible. Bring a twenty dollar underwater camera! Also thrilled to visit, pet, and feed sting rays in Grand Cayman again! She's a lovely ship with a devoted crew. She's clean as a whistle and the crew is friendly and provides excellent service. The food has somewhat degraded over the years but still very good in "Blu". Ship shows some signs of wear but due for refurb in 2020. The main theatre is worst with sagging chairs and threadbare carpeting. Hanging overhead window gaskets in aquaspa pool tacky. Most of the ship is meticulously maintained however. Sorry the cabanas have taken over the pool area too. Overall I'd give the Silhouette 4 out of 5 stars and will enjoy sailing again after the refurb. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We picked this cruise because DW, niece and nephew had never been on a cruise and we wanted to make sure everyone would be ok locked in on the water. Embarkation went very smooth in spite of us being late (or maybe because of it, the ... Read More
We picked this cruise because DW, niece and nephew had never been on a cruise and we wanted to make sure everyone would be ok locked in on the water. Embarkation went very smooth in spite of us being late (or maybe because of it, the world may never know) we had 11:30-12:00 check in but didn't arrive till about 1:00 and walked right on. Well after going through security and all of course. Guy's burgers were real good and the kids liked the hotdogs from the deli. Lido buffet seemed to be lacking in my opinion. Oh the food was good just seemed to be less verity than what I remember from my last Carnival Fantasy cruise. This could be from 1) my failing memory, 2) there really is less verity or 3) a combination of the two. We had anytime dining in the Golden Olympian and it was great. No lines, no waiting either night. Sorry if I offended anyone wearing my jeans on elegant night but we had decided while we were packing that we would eat on Lido that night but DW decided otherwise on the night of. Good thing it was cool the morning we left home or I wouldn't have had any long pants. DW did keep saying "I just don't understand the allure and all the hype of cruising" but as we were sitting discussing what we were having for dinner last night she said "too bad we can't just go to lido and pick up something, I miss that ship" so I think she is hooked. I see more cruises in our future! We only saw the America Rocks show which was pretty good, but if you go to the Venetian Palace to see a show, try to avoid the back seats on deck 3. The overhang from deck 4 will block part of your view and you may not be able to see the entire performance. Not sure about deck 4. The kids, 5 and 13, loved the kids clubs and didn't want to leave. Even the very shy 13 year old made friends. Now the 5 yo can make friends with a signpost so we knew that wasn't going to be a problem. Most people say not to take a 3 day weekend cruise, it's just a party cruise with a bunch of rowdy drunks, but I didn't see a lot of that, just pax having a good time and mostly respectful and polite to each other. Overall great cruise I just don't think I will do another short one. Just to much work (packing, driving, unpacking, etc) for the amount of relaxation time. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We booked this cruise for Our 16th anniversary. We have never taken “real” vacation with just the two of us as most of our time off has been camping with our kids. Overall I would not be opposed to taking another cruise maybe in a ... Read More
We booked this cruise for Our 16th anniversary. We have never taken “real” vacation with just the two of us as most of our time off has been camping with our kids. Overall I would not be opposed to taking another cruise maybe in a couple years. Good: 1. The staff on board was excellent. Our room steward Arthar. Corina served us at both the pool and in the main dining hall on several occasions and she was awesome. Oscar and Mark at Alchemy bar were great 2. La Cocina Italian restaurant 3. Gigi’s Asian restaurant Bad: 1. The sushi bar was edible but I would not go back. We did have a cooked sea bass that my wife raved about. 2. Most of the mixed drinks at the bars were supper sweet, weak, not very good. Go to Alchemy 3. The dinning hall was ok but nothing to rave about Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
My daughter & I traveled with a few other families for a Senior Spring Break trip & had a great time. Attended Cirque show which was fun. Dined in Tropicana a few times which was good too & loved being able to eat whatever ... Read More
My daughter & I traveled with a few other families for a Senior Spring Break trip & had a great time. Attended Cirque show which was fun. Dined in Tropicana a few times which was good too & loved being able to eat whatever time we wanted w/ freestyle. We used our other SPD's at Tappenyaki & La Cucina and were pleased. Wish we could have gotten into Ocean Blue but they were full towards the end of the week. Our group enjoyed H2O Spice adult deck during the day. (be sure to get a chair early anywhere on sea days). Loved having the drink pkg and enjoyed Margaritaville drinks. The whole ship was clean and had a huge variety of things to do. Elevators worked great even though it was a full ship it didn't seem too crowded overall. Not a fan of O'Sheehan food but the Garden buffet was great for quick breakfast & lunch with lots of variety. Most team members were friendly but the bartenders were really flat. Roatan was fun as we had a full day excursion that we booked outside of Norwegian. The private island at Belize was beautiful. We got there early and had some great seats near the pool where we spent the whole day. Wish they had more variety for beer bucket (only had 8oz Heiniken cans or draft to pick from) A little pricey but glad the locals get to benefit from all the passengers. We found a great little beach club (Pez Quadro/40 Canons boutique hotel) at Costa Maya to spend the day and the port shops were plentiful and even a pool in the middle. The girls saw a mexican wrestling show which was hilarious. Not a fan of Cozumel but the girls wanted to experience the rite of passage at Senor Frogs. We also enjoyed the deck parties with themes: 80's, Glow & Farewell. I would definitely use Norwegian again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our family's second cruise on Majesty of the Seas. What we enjoy most about this smaller ship is despite its size there are many places to escape the crowds We always book two interior staterooms. On this trip we were on ... Read More
This was our family's second cruise on Majesty of the Seas. What we enjoy most about this smaller ship is despite its size there are many places to escape the crowds We always book two interior staterooms. On this trip we were on the second deck (2641 and 2135) The rooms were very clean and the attends did an excellent job. The rooms are small, (as to be expected) but we spend so little time in them this does not matter to us. Typically for breakfast and lunch we eat in the Windjammer Cafe. The staff and food is always good and there is plenty of seating. We recommend eating in the forward dinning area it is always less crowded. For dinner we book the 8:00 dinning time. The food was excellent, but the sevice was spotty. The head waiter Charlie was fine, but hard to understand. His second only came around a couple times the entire cruise. The excursions were great. In Cozumel we did the glass bottom kayak and snorkeling adventure. Our host Pedro did an excellent job explaining the importance of the reefs and was passionate about them. In Costa Maya we went on the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins and Blue Lagoon adventure. Would highly recommend this tour for any family looking for a full day excursion. Our guide Jay was very informative and did an excellent job answering all of our questions. The food was great. It consisted of fish, chicken, and pork tacos, grilled vegetables and potatoes and choice of drinks.This was our family's second cruise on Majesty of the Seas. What we enjoy most about this smaller ship is despite its size there are many places to escape the crowds We always book two interior staterooms. On this trip we were on the second deck (2641 and 2135) The rooms were very clean and the attends did an excellent job. The rooms are small, (as to be expected) but we spend so little time in them this does not matter to us. Typically for breakfast and lunch we eat in the Windjammer Cafe. The staff and food is always good and there is plenty of seating. We recommend eating in the forward dinning area it is always less crowded. For dinner we book the 8:00 dinning time. The food was excellent, but the sevice was spotty. The head waiter Charlie was fine, but hard to understand. His second only came around a couple times the entire cruise. The excursions were great. In Cozumel we did the glass bottom kayak and snorkeling adventure. Our host Pedro did an excellent job explaining the importance of the reefs and was passionate about them. In Costa Maya we went on the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins and Blue Lagoon adventure. Would highly recommend this tour for any family looking for a full day excursion. Our guide Jay was very informative and did an excellent job answering all of our questions. The food was great. It consisted of fish, chicken, and pork tacos, grilled vegetables and potatoes and choice of drinks. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was my second Celebrity cruise after sailing on Equinox in Mediterranean 2 years ago. This ship went through total overhaul and it did not feel like an old ship, but sadly, the staff training was not there. Cabin was well appointed, ... Read More
This was my second Celebrity cruise after sailing on Equinox in Mediterranean 2 years ago. This ship went through total overhaul and it did not feel like an old ship, but sadly, the staff training was not there. Cabin was well appointed, and kept immaculate by our attendant, but our Aqua suite was extremely small. I have never been in a shower as small as this before. I was frustrated with the dining and bar staff. Obviously, they are understaffed. Our dinner at Blu lasted more than 2 and half hours every day. Everyone in my party of 6 agreed that their bar staff are not accommodating and extremely inefficient. There is nobody going around taking orders in the lounge, and usually the line at every bar is 5 to 10 minutes. Food quality at the main dining room and Blu were ok, but the buffet and specialty dining was worse than my experience at Equinox. I used private shore excursions so I cannot comment on them, but the night time entertainment was better than ever. We used Go Best package which includes premium liquor; prepaid gratuity, and free internet and some shipboard credit. Overall, this cruise was a great value for the money we paid, however, I am not sure if I’ll sail with Celebrity again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My family of 4 (ages 12 and 13) took a Spring Break cruise with a few other families and would definitely recommend the Seaside from MSC. The embarkation was a breeze and despite being told the check in time was 1:30pm, they allowed us in ... Read More
My family of 4 (ages 12 and 13) took a Spring Break cruise with a few other families and would definitely recommend the Seaside from MSC. The embarkation was a breeze and despite being told the check in time was 1:30pm, they allowed us in the terminal right when the doors opened at 10:30am. We checked in immediately, but when we sat down, I didn’t know we needed a Boarding Card. Luckily I made friends with someone who had a “4” card and he got an upgrade to a “1” card and gave me his “4” card. It only took about 10 minutes to be called to board the ship. As all the reviews have stated, the ship is absolutely beautiful. The Atrium was gorgeous and turned out to be a popular hangout for many of us. I am very glad we checked the best cruise hacks to be prepared with thebitems to bring aboard like the magnets, towel clips, over the door shoe rack, magnet night light, and shower curtain. The room was great for a family of 4 as the couch turned into a bunk bed. ***A word of caution. The top bunk has a metal piece that covers the light and could easily cause a nasty cut if you say up in the middle of the night and hit your head*** The food: we had the early seating (5:15pm) and it was a bit early, especially with some excursions, but the staff was great, the food was good (not a WOW, but good.). We did the 3 specialty restaurants (Ocean Cay for lunch and Asian Fusion and Butcher’s Cut for 2 dinners). They were very good, but thought it was weird we couldn’t get a glass of wine, but could only get a bottle and had to pay regardless of having the premium package. I would get this again as the main dining room’s food, as I said, was just “good” and have a little differentiation. The lunch was very repetitive and is my only negative comment for the entire cruise. Breakfast was good as they always had fresh fruits, veggies and pastries. We ate at the sit down (Seaside restaurant) restaurant a few times as they had “fresher” foods and different items than at the buffets. Onboard Activities: we hung out on deck 16 as much as we could, our son hung out at the sports bar and the arcade and our daughter explored all aspects of the ship without reservations. The slides were awesome, the zip line was fun (not worth doing more than 2x though) and the shows were fun. Definitely do the comedy shows (Beer Improv and the kids version) as they were awesome. The casino was fun, but very smoky, so if you are allergic to smoke or it bothers you in the slightest, it will definitely be a problem for you. There was always enough to do on the ship, but I wish there was better communication prior to boarding regarding when the formal night was going to be, when the white Party was, and what other specialty events (20’s party etc.) Ports of call: St Maarten and St Thomas were awesome. The excursions we took (Magen’s Bay swim and tour of the island) and (Golden eagle Catamaran) were tremendous. The catamaran trip was our second best excursion of all time, second only to a wall dive in Hawaii for our honeymoon. We docked into Puerto Rico at 5pm so only had an opportunity to have dinner and explore the night life a bit. You couldn’t see the Fort if you wanted to so don’t be too disappointed, but luckily we’ve already seen it so it wasn’t a big deal for us. For Nassau, we took a Jitney (line 10) to Cable Beach for $1.25 per person each way and spent the day at the beach for $200 less than we would have paid on an excursion. The beers and hot dogs were also half the price. Read Less

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