1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Eastern Caribbean Cruises
  4. Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Xmas/New Year Getaway: Was Wonderful. This is our 16th cruise & my spouse claims it as the BEST. We were familiar with NYC because we live in Montreal & had been there many times so we simply flew down, stayed in a nice ... Read More
Xmas/New Year Getaway: Was Wonderful. This is our 16th cruise & my spouse claims it as the BEST. We were familiar with NYC because we live in Montreal & had been there many times so we simply flew down, stayed in a nice inexpensive Ramada eastside hotel that included breakfast. Our cabin was nicely presented, the sheltered balcony was way better than expected and, while I do want to travel again on this ship, I do not feel I need upgrade next time (& there will be one) from the "sheltered". The customers were a mix of nice and very nice. Our late dining table was assigned & the upper outboard reaches of deck 3 & couldn't have been better. Service "white glove" throughout. The 4 Balls were so enjoyed & our advice is get there early because the biggest dance floor @ sea still isn't enough if you like to dance. We tried to steer a couple of our widowed table mates to the excellent dance hosts but failed there. A word on the ship's bands/orchestras/ singers/dancers: Best we have seen yet @ sea. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We departed from Brookyn. We live in CT so it was only a couple hours drive. We went straight on board when we arrived. Checkin was smooth, and before we knew it we were settling in. This is the second time we have been on the QM2 and it ... Read More
We departed from Brookyn. We live in CT so it was only a couple hours drive. We went straight on board when we arrived. Checkin was smooth, and before we knew it we were settling in. This is the second time we have been on the QM2 and it was just remastered earlier in 2016. I went with my parents and brother and we met some of the best people on board. We became friends from day one, so there was no time wasted. Dining was ok. THe main dining room, The Britannia, served modest meals, but there were issues with taste and presentation. The service was great, but the menu was lacking. I only attended three of the evenings entertainment, and each night was awesome. The islands were absolutely beautiful (St Maarten, Tortola, Dominica, St Kitts, and St Thomas). We will most definitely be going again either this year or next. Already missing the Cunard White Start Service! Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I primarily chose this cruise because of its reputation for ballroom dancing. It was also a great convenience to sail from Brooklyn. I enjoyed the interior of the ship. It was a pleasure to walk through. I enjoyed hearing the variety ... Read More
I primarily chose this cruise because of its reputation for ballroom dancing. It was also a great convenience to sail from Brooklyn. I enjoyed the interior of the ship. It was a pleasure to walk through. I enjoyed hearing the variety of music performed (well) throughout the ship. The people on the ship dressed more formally than on most other ships. Daytime, passengers were casual, but proper. (There were fewer baseball caps and t-shirts than you might see on other ships.) At night, especially formal nights, passengers were dressed with sophistication and elegance. I enjoyed the more formal atmosphere, but it might not be for everyone. The real highlight was that there was ballroom and Latin dancing in the Queens Room for several hours every night. A good portion of this was with a live orchestra and an excellent vocalist named Brad Reynolds. The dance floor is very large, and there were many other dancers taking advantage of this excellent venue. I did not attend the shows, as I usually have other interests. At Illuminations, I did attend one of the planetarium presentations, during which I had a very pleasant nap. While conscious, I enjoyed some of the visual display but found little of interest in the narration. I also took advantage on sea days of the excellent contract bridge classes. Dining was perfectly adequate, although most of the food fell short of extraordinary. I would have liked to see more imaginative and varied appetizers/first courses. Food in the Kings Court (buffet) was also adequate, but it lacked the astonishing variety often found on other cruise lines. Overall, this holiday cruise met, and even exceeded my expectations. I plan to do it again! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Carnival has now succeeded in transforming the QM2 into a typical Carnival Cruise Ship. First and most importantly the food in the Brittania Restaurant is not even edible. It's served either luke warm or cold. Remember the days ... Read More
Carnival has now succeeded in transforming the QM2 into a typical Carnival Cruise Ship. First and most importantly the food in the Brittania Restaurant is not even edible. It's served either luke warm or cold. Remember the days when the food was cooked right in front of you? Forget it. The food sits in the kitchen. By the time it gets to your table it's cold. The restaurant staff is completely understaffed. Our waiter was responsible for 3 tables of 8 with only one assistant. Steaks come from Europe and lack the quality taste of steaks from the mid-west. Lobster is from the Caribbean and lack the quality of Maine lobsters. Chicken is always overcooked and dry. The food was so bad I got up and left twice. My companion spit two meals out. One lecturer got very political which wasn't appreciated by the audience. He was booed. I don't think he'll be back. The new refurbished Carinthian Lounge & Kings Court were a delight. Yes the Queen does have some of its original charm, but the old Cunard is out and Carnival is in. They cut down to the bare bones for profit. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Beautiful ship-Wonderful to have Roger/Jim McGuinn on board for some great sit downs!!!!(Founder of the Byrds) But the nightly entertainment leave a lot to be desired. Same people night after night but in a new costume!! Very boring!! The ... Read More
Beautiful ship-Wonderful to have Roger/Jim McGuinn on board for some great sit downs!!!!(Founder of the Byrds) But the nightly entertainment leave a lot to be desired. Same people night after night but in a new costume!! Very boring!! The food was fine, lots of lamb, which I love!! Had late sitting (8:30) which I love. Portions were rather skimpy, so we just asked for more!! Not a problem. The price of drinks was just stupid. All were $10 or more with gratuity. When ordering a glass of wine you are asked if you want the"full measure:" which is $5 more than the puny lesser choice- Just a rip off. The so called full measure was less than what you would be served at dinner at any restaurant. The service out on the deck was ok, but the servers all looked very sad, never seemed to smile. I have never in my life been on a cruise that did not have a drink of the day. But no such thing on Cunard!! You are squeezed for every penny!!! But my reward was the lowest final bill charged to my account after I got home!!! I just did not drink much, because of the highway robbery price of drinks!!! My outside cabin was wonderful and spotless and spacious. I do not take the shore trips from the ship. I have been to all the islands many times before, so just took my time getting off and got a taxi to the beach. $4- in Tortola and St Martin St Thomas- Embarkation was a snap- I choose to self walk off the ship and was in a taxi to Grand Central Station at 7:30 am--Could not be smoother!! Ballrooom dancing each night in The Queens Room is a hoot to watch!!! And High Tea each day at 3:30 in the Queens Room was flawless. Tons of deck chairs at pool and prom deck Lunch buffet was great with lots of great choices and self serve ice cream machine. I would go again only if it was an offer I couldn't refuse!!! I brought on a bottle of wine in my checked suitcase and also one in my carry on bag-No questions asked!! And there was a corkscrew in the mini bar. Read Less
QM2
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
The Queen Mary 2 was all I expected it to be. The ship was clean, the crew friendly, the evening activities were plentiful as well as were the daytime activities. Our cabin was kept spotless by our room steward Dennis. It was 5106, ... Read More
The Queen Mary 2 was all I expected it to be. The ship was clean, the crew friendly, the evening activities were plentiful as well as were the daytime activities. Our cabin was kept spotless by our room steward Dennis. It was 5106, mid-ships with a balcony. My wife and I had the late dining sitting which was a little difficult if you wanted to see the shows. We did attend a few shows but were a bit disappointed. We live in NYC and are use to Broadway productions. However the theater was crowded and the passengers seemed to be enjoying themselves. The bars wait staff was good. They were friendly and always available. A shout out to Sheldon Stevens who was exceptional as a wait person in the Chart room. We only attended a few lectures but many were available. The ship also has an impressive lending library for those who wish to use it. Maintance and cleanliness which is very important to my wife and I was impeccable. The ship was constantly being cleaned and scrubbed. There was Purell by every dining room and eating area. We went on three shore excursions. Two were excellent one was not. The "America's Cup and Sky Safari Ziplining" were excellent. However the "Volcano Snorkel and Sulphur Pools" excursion was not. It promised a "fascinating and unique snorkel adventure". It was not. We snorkeled over dead Coral with few if any fish. The "Sulphur Pools" were a pool about twelve feet long, ten feet wide and maybe two feet deep. The tour stated "discover what it is like to touch a live volcano and take the pulse of the volcano as sulphur gasses as volcanic heat radiate from below the surface". The tour did not live up to its description. When my wife and I notified the ships excursion office about our dissatisfaction we were offered an unacceptable resolution. The food was good but not great. Our best meal was in the Veranda restaurant and that was an extra $100. In the evenings the ballroom dancing was a pleasure to watch. However if you don't know how to ballroom dance don't get on the floor as you are only in the way. My wife and I found out that by trying. LoL. The DJ needs to spin better tunes and accommodate the guest that are in the lounge. The casino is small but adequate with a few blackjack tables, slot machines, roulate wheel. Helpful Hints: Bring a surge protected extension cord as outlet space is limited Bring over the door hooks to make it easier to hang your suits and dresses on Bring magnetic hooks to put around cabin for extra clothing space for drying bathing suits, etc.... All in all it was a good vacation. Be sure you adhere to the dress codes at dinner time. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This is our second cruise, first one was on Liberty of the Seas (from Bayonne . This ship expirience is definitely nicer in terms of embarkation and disembarkation. It was faster and more organized in general, almost never a wait. I ... Read More
This is our second cruise, first one was on Liberty of the Seas (from Bayonne . This ship expirience is definitely nicer in terms of embarkation and disembarkation. It was faster and more organized in general, almost never a wait. I don't understand complaints about staff on the ship in some reviews - I personally loved the staff. Everyone was welcoming, not overly intrusive, and very nice. My 5-year old loved the Camp Ocean staff and was crying on the last day because she didn't want to leave! Our cove cabin was simply amazing, I feel like we'll never book anyother cabin anymore, this is the best experience ever. The activities were nice, too, although on sea days I wish they started life music earlier in the day. I loved the traditional tea party with string band! The string band was great as well as the guitar duet and the brass band. The Dr.Seuss parade was a little messy and disorganized IMO but the kids liked it. I wish I knew about Behind the Scenes show - I didn't realized it even exists. Never saw a notice about it but apparently other people booked it. Also I didn't know you can change your time dining to a certain time dining. We'd prefer that because my time dining was inconvenient for us - there was always a line to get checked in and then you had to wait for 30 min on sea days to eat! It was a little crazy with 2 little kids so we only used the MDR twice.But it's ok - the buffet was good (albeit crowded at times),the pizza guy Daniel and his colleague (Forgot the name) are THE BEST! We love and miss them!!! Say hi to them from us :) We also liked the burgers and sushi, but didn't try any other special dining. We're simple :) WE used IMAX and saw 3 movies about nature there for only $5 each. Amazing experience! We did the sky ride, rope course, mini-golf, mini-bowling, The pools never seemed too crowded. Free abs and strech class in the morning was great. There was an art lecture every day, I loved that idea! But would be nice to have a port lecture too, like it was on RCI. We loved the entertainment, Matth the director was awesome, the night with the captain (and free drinks ) were fantastic and the captain himself was soooo nice! And all the shows in Liquid lounge were really good too although a little R-rated, I'd say. We didn't see comedy or magic shows, only the production. The only HUGE no-no that I absolutely hated is that there were way too many outside smoking areas and moreover - a smoking area was right next to the children playground. The smoke was literally ALWAYS on the playground. It's ridicuouls! Who could have thought of such stupid idea???? I tried to talk to the management and also complained on Carnival website. We never used the playground because of that. This is pretty much the reason I'm giving this ship a 4instead of 5. As a nurse Ican never approve of creating more smoking areas especially when children are nearby. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
Actually, we just wanted peace and quiet. We only had three stops and it was a nice change, not having to get up early and get off the boat to have a day full of go go go. It was very relaxing. If you just need time to totally unwind, this ... Read More
Actually, we just wanted peace and quiet. We only had three stops and it was a nice change, not having to get up early and get off the boat to have a day full of go go go. It was very relaxing. If you just need time to totally unwind, this is a great way to do it. We had no set plans, entertainment was good, dining was good (our waiters were very attentive to our needs), we ate at the buffet most of our lunches (food was good there too). Our evenings were spent playing table games in the casino after we went to the show. There was always something to do during the day if we wanted to be busy. We traveled with another couple that were looking for the same kind of "down time". Three ports were plenty for us, and each port was pleasant. Bonaire was the most friendly. There was plenty of nice shopping there as well. The only disappointment of the ship...no saunas unless you paid extra for that package. Very bad for the new Regal ship. We will probably not book on this ship again because of that. The fitness room is on one end and the spa is on the other end of the ship. Definite error on the design of this beautiful ship. We enjoy working out, then relaxing in the sauna. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
We booked the Caribbean Islander cruise from New York to enjoy several relaxing days at sea followed by visits to 3 islands before disembarking in Fort Lauderdale. The Regal is an unforgettable ship - the crew, the food, the shows, the ... Read More
We booked the Caribbean Islander cruise from New York to enjoy several relaxing days at sea followed by visits to 3 islands before disembarking in Fort Lauderdale. The Regal is an unforgettable ship - the crew, the food, the shows, the activities, everything about it is top-notch and most enjoyable. Our reason for sailing was to relax and enjoy shipboard life. This we did daily. While the weather did not cooperate enough to enjoy our balcony until we actually got to the Caribbean, our mini suite was a haven. The food options were incredible. We dined few times in the dining room, but also took in the Alfredo's pizzeria, the BBQ, and the fabulous buffet. The Pastry shop is indescribably delicious. We also spent countless hours walking the ship, watching the entertainers and just immersing ourselves in the sheer luxury of the ship and its many treasurer troves - boutiques, art gallery, and the like. An amazing holiday and we did come back renewed. We chose not to take shore excursions in the islands because we have been there so many times. We did take the Fort Lauderdale debark tour of the inland waterways aboard a paddle wheeler. Amazing views of the harbour, the many, many majestic mansions along with an informative dialogue by the crew. Since my return, I have booked to go on another 10 day Caribbean cruise on the Regal December 29th, with my neice, her husband and two great-nieces. I look forward to sharing this amazing ship with them on their first cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Repositioning from NYC to the Caribbean aboard the wonderful Regal Princess Summation – • We had a wonderful repositioning, 10-night cruise from NYC to Ft Lauderdale. Details will be included after the Summation We used: ... Read More
Repositioning from NYC to the Caribbean aboard the wonderful Regal Princess Summation – • We had a wonderful repositioning, 10-night cruise from NYC to Ft Lauderdale. Details will be included after the Summation We used: • Princess EzAir (recommended) • Princess transfer from LaGuardia to the Brooklyn Pier (recommended) • Sailed on the Regal (Stunningly gorgeous) • Our first Repositioning Cruise (awesome) • Booked a bit later (got a great price) • Had a Balcony on the Lido deck (very nice) • Buffet laid out much better than the Ruby Class Ships • Used the gym (very good) • Pools were great (used the Retreat pool mostly) • Didn’t use the Spa • Did go to the Crown Grille (OMG) • Princess EzCheck (disembarkation Air & Luggage service OUTSTANDING!) • Took a taxi from Ft Lauderdale to FLL (no luggage to worry about, - see above - cost $18 w/ tip) Detailed Review – I am 57 and my wife is 55. We are Princess Platinum cruisers and have been on RCCL as well, but like Princess better. We booked the 10 repositioning from NYC to Ft Lauderdale around the beginning of September and got a balcony stateroom for $729 per. I did see prices for $699 but decided not to push things ($73 per person per night for a balcony? Really!) We are from Boston, so I was toying with the idea of saving a few bucks and taking Amtrak to NYC, then flying back from FLL. I checked Kayak and one way was going to be about $530 each. On the advice of my wife, I checked roundtrip using Princess EzAir. We got a round-trip (Bos – LaGuardia, FLL – Bos) for about $350 each (AA, with a connection in DC – Reagan airport). Not knowing the airport, NYC or traffic we got the Princess transfers ($30 each, money well spent). There were Princess representatives at the luggage area awaiting our arrival. After we got our luggage, we were led to the bus. Painless and carefree. There was a bunch of traffic and it took us about 90 minutes to get to the pier. If we got a taxi it would have been much more expensive. Once at the pier, folks were loading our luggage quickly. I found it much better than Port Everglades. The longshoremen in FL seem to be more interested in getting tips than tending to your luggage. In NYC, the guy seemed surprised that when I gave him a few bucks and was thankful rather than entitled (again, these are my impressions). Embarkation – As a point of reference, it was about 1:00 PM. In Port Everglades, this is usually the busiest time. In NYC, the only way to get aboard faster is to stand on a catapult and be launched over the side of the ship. Princess has this down to a science. As Platinum members, we get priority, but the regular line was non-existent as well. We got our cards quickly and were on our way to explore the ship. Cabin – We were on the Lido deck – cabin L119, forward. This was a smaller stateroom in comparison to the Ruby class Balconies. The balcony was shorter as well. There are Deluxe Balconies, maybe those would be a bit bigger. The bed was VERY comfortable. My wife wanted to pack it and bring it home. Our steward was Melissa from the Philippines. She was nice, but seemed to be new. We had an issue with the balcony door, it would stick, when it was closed, I had to lift it and slide it to open it. I told Melissa and she had the repair team there the next day. Another thing about the room was that if you left the balcony door open there was an insane whistle that forced you to shut the door. Walking through the hall, you could easily tell who left their doors open. We love the sound of the ocean at night, but didn’t do so on this cruise. The Lido deck was nice as we were one deck below the Retreat Pool and on the same deck as the main pool. We were also right near the buffet and the elevators down to the International Café. I recommend this location. We hardly had any movement even coming from NYC during the last days of October. Weather – Out of NYC it was drizzling, then it rained for the next 6 days. It didn’t matter, the cruise staff kept us entertained, the cooks kept us full and the ship was amazing. Food – The Regal did this right. Our usual game-plan for food is, we have breakfast in the buffet, lunch is where ever (maybe grab a slice of pizza at the pizzeria if we are at the pool or buffet) and dinner depends upon what they have in the dining room. This cruise was no different, except we had ½ of our dinners in the buffet. Odd for us as we usually like being served and relaxing a bit. The buffet was that good. We’d see what they were having in the dining room, take a look at what was in the buffet and say what the heck this looks good. This gave us plenty of time to make a show, moves-under-the-stars or to get my usual beat down in rummy from my wife. We also stayed in casual dress. My usual routine was to go down for coffee at the International Café before heading down for breakfast, as my wife was getting ready. We get the coffee card and use about ½ the punches during a cruise, so it lasts us two cruises and we get fresh brewed coffee. I’d walk through the pastry line after getting coffee for a pre-breakfast treat. The pastry chef Vladimir would smile and say “Come on I know you want it.” I dropped a $10 in his hand at the end of the cruise, he was awesome. Yup, I fell for his charms each day. Some days the other coffee-fetching husbands and I would enjoy a coffee, then head back to listen to the hum of the blow dryer, others I’d bring my treats back to the room and enjoy the balcony. Breakfast - (the real one, not the pre-breakfast) was at the buffet. There are omelet stations if that’s your thing, but it’s the usual breakfast fare. Also, the layout of the buffet is better on the Regal. We never looked for a seat, walk a bit either way and you’ll find one. Service was always great. These waiters work so hard. Lunch – When it wasn’t raining, we had lunch at the buffet. The Trident Grill and Pizzeria were great options when we were at the pool. Also, Alfredo’s on the 6th deck is outstanding. My wife loved the eggplant rolled up with cheese and angel hair pasta then baked with mozzarella. The pizza was great. Dinner – We had ½ of our dinners at the buffet, we usually have only 1 or 2 there on usual cruises. We had anytime dining and of the dinners we had in the dining room, we never waited for a table. My wife loves lamb. She had various lamb selections at the buffet on 4 occasions. The one night she opted out of lamb was for prime rib, which I stole a taste of (yum). We had the Crown Grille one night. It was great. The service is excellent; the food was even better. It does come with a $29 surcharge but our meal would have cost $200 easy at Morton’s or Capital Grille. My wife got the lamb chops, I had the filet mignon and I added a pair of lobster tails (no extra cost). The Black & Blue soup is so good, it’s sinful. Get the dessert sampler, your belly says “no more”, but your taste buds say “go for it”, then say “ahhh, thanks”. Entertainment – All of the shows we attended were at the very least fun and at the very best great. As I mentioned there were 6 rainy days. The cruise staff went above & beyond to keep us entertained. The Princess Live shows are fun. The Theater has production shows, which were very good. The bars have different folks each night (sometimes steel drums, piano or singers). There are happy-hour specials two times per night (Crooners at 4 and Club 6 at 10). The piazza has something throughout the day. On one night, the Cruise Director Martyn Moss organized a World Symphony, which was nothing short of fantastic. At the end of the performance, he sang a song, then proposed to his girlfriend (a violinist). Any guy who was thinking of proposing on the cruise had to rethink his scheme, Martyn raised the bar so high with that. Not a dry eye in attendance. Internet – we are Platinum so each of us got 120 minutes of free time so we never came close to using them. Keep in mind that the internet goes through a satellite hook up, so it is slower (in some cases much slower) than your land-based internet speed. The gym – I hit the gym on most days. The equipment is good. I spin at home, so I took a chance and brought my spin shoes. All of the spin bikes has the usual spin clips, so it was a good choice. The spin classes are OK, that said I have two excellent spin instructors at home, so anyone else who at least gets me to sweat is OK. They have a couple of Spinning Bikes (with clips) and a couple of cool simulation spin bikes where you can set up a scenario to challenge yourself against other virtual riders. There are the usual weights and a smith machine along with some usual other leg & arm equipment. The Casino – We hit the casino every night, not crazy money, but for fun. Overall we broke even, maybe a couple bucks to the good. Also, we played bingo and we hit for $300, so it was fun. Ports – St Maartin – It was rainy, so we did some shopping. I got a really good price on a watch at Kay’s Jewelers and they replaced a tanzanite stone on my wife’s ring for free (we bought it there 15 years ago). Antigua – It was a holiday, due to their Independence Day, which was exciting. It didn’t rain until later in the day, but it looked like it was going to pour at any moment all day. We shopped and had a few drinks at a local bar. Bonaire - We loved the island, but never did too much sightseeing. We did some shopping, but didn’t book an excursion because they were calling for rain. We got back to the ship early and went to the retreat pool and had an awesome day there. Disembarkation – We received a pamphlet on Princess’s new EzCheck service. For $25 each, they would take our luggage and bring it to FLL, print our boarding passes and if our bags were overweight, we wouldn’t be charged. Not seeing a downside, we opted for it. It was the best $50 I spent. They took our luggage the last night (just be aware that you’ll not see your luggage again until your home airport) and bring it to the airport. We had our carry-ons and that was it. We had a nice breakfast, and then got off the ship. We didn’t have to search for our luggage and breezed through customs, then caught a taxi to FLL. We skipped checking on our luggage and went right to security. Did I say this was the best $50 I spent? All in all, it was the best cruise we’ve had and are thinking of this itinerary aboard the Regal in the future. If anyone has any questions about this itinerary or review, please feel free to send me an email (ditomsween@gmail.com), please ensure to say Princess review in the subject so I won’t think it’s spam and I’ll do what I can to answer your questions. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We took this re positioning cruise from 10/27-11/6. The Experience was great. From the time we got on until we got off the Princess Company kept the standards high and they did everything they could to give you a great cruise experience. ... Read More
We took this re positioning cruise from 10/27-11/6. The Experience was great. From the time we got on until we got off the Princess Company kept the standards high and they did everything they could to give you a great cruise experience. From the Dining room Matre d to the guy that sweeps the Pool deck, everyone takes pride in what they do, and to make your experience exceptional. We had a balcony B511 on the Baja Deck and we were centrally located on the ship. We heard nothing, We were close to the elevator and the Laundry. The Shows were good but short, 30-35 min. The down side is to get a seat in the theater you needed to be there 40 minutes before the show. They need to fix that. We saw really good shows though. We did not do any shore excursions because of the cost. They are extremely expensive. There is a casino that we do not use the odds are with the house and they win all the time! It is easier not to gamble and shop the Islands. We stopped at St. Martin a great port with great shopping, Bonaire, a beautiful port, and if you are a diver I hear it is a place to go. We loved this small dutch Caribbean town. Friendly , nice people and they want our business. Then we went to Antigua. The town is a toilet! You get harassed by the cab drivers as soon as you clear the gate. They have a lot of stores, but you have to fight your way through the cab drivers to get there. I did not get a very warm or safe feeling in this port. If I were Princess and any other Cruise ships, since I have had this same experience in Antigua before, I would seriously consider changing that port to Aruba or Curacao. I understand they have no control over what goes on in the port but a discussion with the officials may be useful. That is the only negative I had about this wonderful ship and its great Crew. Take a cruise on the Royal princess it is excellent. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose this cruise because of the destinations that it was going to. We stopped at Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and Bermuda. The destinations were beautiful, the boat was beautiful and the staff was wonderful. We have been on two ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the destinations that it was going to. We stopped at Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and Bermuda. The destinations were beautiful, the boat was beautiful and the staff was wonderful. We have been on two other cruise lines and would recommend Princess over our other two experiences. We went on our Honeymoon and were treated very well. The Excursions that they offer are great, our favorite was the snorkeling in Grand Turk as well as the bus tours in Puerto Rico. We would love to go on another Princess Cruise to experience other locations and their other boats. They had entertaining themed parties and the live band played great music. The food and room service was also very good. I had notified them that this was our honeymoon and they surprised us with balloons as well as chocolate covered strawberries. If you would like to see our experience on this trip please click on the link to see for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8ANESBJcko Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
My husband and I have just completed a 12 night cruise from New York to the Caribbean and we had a truly delightful time. Our cabin on level 12 was quite spacious with a balcony. Greg, the man who serviced our cabin was extremely pleasant, ... Read More
My husband and I have just completed a 12 night cruise from New York to the Caribbean and we had a truly delightful time. Our cabin on level 12 was quite spacious with a balcony. Greg, the man who serviced our cabin was extremely pleasant, always greeting us with a smile and our accommodation was always immaculate. Our level of accommodation allowed us to dine in the Britania Club Restaurant which meant we were not restricted to an early or late sitting but were free to dine at any time between 6pm and 9pm. Our meals were all first class. There was quite an extensive menu from which to choose and we were not disappointed with any of our choices. On one occasion we did eat at the Todd English Restaurant (an extra cost) but once again the food and service was second to none. An exceptional way to celebrate our anniversary. I would like to make a special mention of three people who made our dining experiences so enjoyable. From the very first meal to our last Jana, Wendy and Shekhar took special care of us. They were so professional and yet so natural displaying their friendly personalities. Thank you to the three of you, we have very fond memories of you all. We visited five different islands in the Caribbean and all of our tours were excellent. Everything ran smoothly and we had the chance to be introduced to this wonderful part of the world. We experienced bus rides, train rides, catamaran rides and two refreshing swims in the Caribbean. There was plenty of entertainment and activities on the 'sea' days. We thoroughly enjoyed the forensic talks given by Dr Hal Tinberg and two young singers, The Opera Boys. As we have just retired it was just lovely wandering around, having coffee and relaxing on our verandah. The embarkation was extemely well organised and we were in our cabin very quickly. As we were disembarking ourselves, we thought there may be some hick ups, but that too went so smoothly. This was our first experience of an ocean cruise. We were so pleased we chose the Queen Mary 2. I highly recommend this ship and hopefully will one day sail on her again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This was my wife and I's 3rd Cunard cruise, and 2nd time on the QM2 (first time eastbound transatlantic crossing in May 2015). We are probably the youngest independent (of our own accord AKA no family history) "Cunarders" ... Read More
This was my wife and I's 3rd Cunard cruise, and 2nd time on the QM2 (first time eastbound transatlantic crossing in May 2015). We are probably the youngest independent (of our own accord AKA no family history) "Cunarders" ever at age 24 and 22. We like the more mature atmosphere in general, especially dressing up for dinner and having a quieter vacation/holiday. We truthfully were hoping our 3rd cruise would be on a different line, but we wanted to go away for Christmas, not have to deal with planes (living in CT), and go somewhere warm at a decent price, and behold the Caribbean Celebration on QM2 offered everything we wanted. I'll try to be concise in my breakdown then add a couple points of feedback. Embarkation in NY - A BREEZE. Phenomenal. No problems. The only thing is that Brooklyn Cruise terminal is a pain to get to from where we live in CT. Room - Sheltered Balcony on Deck 5 near Stairway D. Never had any noise issues (especially being near stairway). Room was always clean. Great steward; fulfilled all of our requests and even got our deck chair/replaced fixed when it broke (corrosion on one of the joints). Balcony showing signs of wear but still nice. No odd vibrations or odors. Loved going in "the back way" to dinner as it avoided the crowds. Main Dining - 2nd Sitting Britannia was overall very good aside for a couple of things. We noticed the food wasn't as fancy as previous voyages. Filet Mignon/Beef Tenderloin never showed up on the menu and the other steaks were marginal at best. Poultry dishes were excellent as were lamb dishes. My wife and one of our table mates sent back a couple of dishes over the course of the voyage and opted for the fish options those nights, which ended up being phenomenal. Service was as great as ever. Buffet/Pub Dining/Room Service - Kings Court was solid. Some disappointments. Pub service was SLOW but the food was worth the wait; some of my favorite lunches were in the pub this voyage. Amazing Fish&Chips and Cottage Pie. Room service was excellent this time and notably better than previous voyages. Public Spaces - Impeccably clean and still very nice but showing signs of wear. Corridors have some ceiling leaks. Floors were uneven in some spots. Sometimes odd odors, sometimes not. Daily Programme - Usual Cunard stuff: Pretty much music, dancing, lectures, deals on shopping/gambling, pub quiz, darts competition, movies, planetarium, food, food, more food, wine tasting, technology lectures etc. etc. Stephen Payne, designer of QM2 was supposed to be a guest lecturer but was a no-show. The Royal Cunard Singers and Dancers were incredible as ever and no entertainer at the evening show disappointed. Canyon Ranch Spa - Per usual purchased the Aquatherapy and Sauna pass. It was crowded this time though. The aquatherapy pool was very overcrowded and some people were obnoxious with the noise levels of talking. The Relaxation Lounge wasn't very relaxing at times either with people talking very loud and having very little regard for others. Christmas/New Years - VERY WELL DONE. Loved the amount of holiday-related activities (non-religious and otherwise). Very festive everywhere you went. Was truly a unique experience. On New Years's Eve the QM2 really came alive like we had never seen a Cunard ship come alive before. So much activity; so many people partying, it was REALLY quite awesome. Ports of Call & Shore Excursions - St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Tortola. All really great places. Snorkeled in St. Thomas, Ziplined in St. Kitts, Did a Distillery Tour in St. Lucia, did our own excursion to Maho Beach in St. Maarten, and did our own car rental in Tortola. We ended up banding up with our dinner-mates for St. Maarten and Tortola and saved a ton of cash together and had a much better time. The excursions they had been on in the first two locations were okay but the bus drivers/guides just pointed out the obvious and to them it had honestly seemed like a tour of the gift shops. We noticed that in our St. Lucia tour; it was a tour of the gift shops aside for the distillery (which was awesome). This was unlike our Mediterranean Shore Excursions off Queen Elizabeth which were much better. The Duty Free Shops were okay, but we noticed a lot of prices (even discounted) were still higher than what we could get things for here in New England. Disembarkation in NY - We opted for self-serve disembark because finding your bags is a pain, and because we could get home quicker only being a 2 hour drive away. The most annoying part of this is that we were in the aft end of the ship, and to join the line disembarking in the grand lobby we had to go through the loads of people in line to disembark then join the back of the line with all of our bags. The people waiting in the line had no mercy or no desire to be courteous with a 'merge' strategy. The karma was we beat them to customs anyways. Seriously Cunard should have two lines to disembark in the Grand Lobby, one from each side of the ship (one from Stairway B and one from Stairway C). Overall we had a great trip and made some new great friends along the way. We were routinely the last ones out of the Britannia Restaurant on 2nd seating because we were having such a great time with our dinner mates. QM2 is ready for a refit, however. The exterior is majestic in its own right but does not sparkle like the other ships it was berthed next to. The other problems inside really need a period without passengers to address so as not to disturb them. The cabins all need updating and a renovation to make her have a new feel. She has been in the water for over 4 years without any major work. It's time. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
this is the third year that I've traveled on the QM2 with my mother for Christmas and the second year that my teenage daughters have joined us. It's a low key, pleasant way to avoid the hassles of the holiday season. I write ... Read More
this is the third year that I've traveled on the QM2 with my mother for Christmas and the second year that my teenage daughters have joined us. It's a low key, pleasant way to avoid the hassles of the holiday season. I write this review from the perspective of a 50something sandwich generation member who is simply thrilled to not be cooking, chaffeuring and cleaning the litter boxes. my kids and I live in Ohio, and flew to NYC a day early, which is our habit, to avoid the stress of flight delays on the day of sailing. I usually make a last minute hotel reservation, with good success finding a reasonable rate, this year we stayed at the Martha Washington on 29th street. good location. we took an Uber to the cruise terminal. yellow cabs aren't keen to go to Red Hook as they won't be likely to get a fare back to Manhattan. Check in was fairly smooth, there was some credit card mixup that needed to be resolved on board, and somehow Cunard had my daughters ages and birthdays mixed up which was a recurring issue throughout the cruise. Cabins were clean, and our steward very promptly opened the balcony divider so we could go back and forth. Suitcases fit under the beds. The beds were comfortable. There are never enough hangers and Ive taken to bringing sturdy plastic ones from home. I appreciate that the photographers weren't terribly pushy. I'm not very interested in taking many photos, just a few on dressy nights, and printing all those photos that I've no intention of buying is incredibly wasteful. We had the early seating which is probably what I'd most like to change. 6 is too early. 830 is too late. i prefer a setup where one can wander into dinner when one is hungry. Our dinner service was polite, prompt and accommodating. Our wine steward, Octavian, in particular was quite charming and efficient. I do not eat meat or fowl and was quite pleased with the fish and vegetarian options. The fish was always cooked perfectly, never overdone. Often my daughter and I would have a cheese plate for dessert and these were always excellent. We did not try a specialty restaurant as the ethnic choices were not of interest to my mother. The entertainment was just OK. I only went to accompany my mother, otherwise I would have skipped it. The one show I was interested in, aerialists a lá Cirque de Soleil, had to cancel their show due to lost luggage. My kids only used the ship programming for a few days to meet other passengers their age. Once they established their peer group, they tended to be more independent which I support. The staff was understanding and accommodating. The lecturers on Cunard are always varied and interesting, especially the ones who speak about Broadway. Roger McGuinn, of the Byrds, was a speaker on this voyage and was quite engaging. In the past, Ive enjoyed the movie selection but this cruise, there were too many sappy Christmas films! Put the Christmas films on the TV and save the big screen for newer releases. The planetarium was non-functional for most of this cruise which was a disappointment. Which brings me to my final point, the QM2 is a lovely ship and it is showing some wear and tear. Carpets in many hallways are threadbare and stained. The Kings' Court in particular is in need of an upgrade. The hydrothermal suite is lovely but again, needs some upgrading. The pools also showing wear and tear, missing tiles and a lot of rust. We did decide to book again for the 2016 Christmas cruise and am looking forward to the scheduled improvements. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
A bit painful to pen this, since QM2 deserves much better care than she is getting from her owners. First, the positive: we still found many things to love as we did on our very first cruise in May last year. Many public spaces still ... Read More
A bit painful to pen this, since QM2 deserves much better care than she is getting from her owners. First, the positive: we still found many things to love as we did on our very first cruise in May last year. Many public spaces still sparkling, excellent service from her crew and the magnificence of the ship itself. We had fantastic weather and many fun people on board. Also paid a maiden call to Amber Cove which was a very enjoyable stop. The port area is nice. There is also a well organized taxi line where you can get a driver for a short period or all day. We went into Puerto Plata to the Amber Museum and Fortelezza San Pedro with a fantastic driver/guide. For us, the best stop on the trip! Sadly, a number of things were out of order: planetarium not working; broken fixtures in the spa (including the steam room, at least one day); a foul sewage smell on Deck 9 permeating into the Commodore Club the entire two weeks. This last point for us was especially unfortunate as the CC had been our favorite spot on the prior voyage. Also - very disturbing - quite a number of the public restrooms were filthy (bits of paper on the floor; water all over the floor; urine smell in one case). Especially bad were those near the Britannia DR, Queens Room and G32. She also had a steering pod issue/fault which kept us overnight in Tortola. To be fair, Captain Oprey kept us very well informed. Still, it left us with a feeling that this beautiful ship is not being cared for by the suits in charge at Head Office. They also need to address the cleanliness issue pronto! We will not rebook on QM2 until after reading reports post her one-month dry dock. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
This cruise was a repo cruise from new York to fort Lauderdale. We booked our own air (lga). We purchased the princess transfers. They were waiting for us right at the baggage claim. I was very happy with the transfer . no stress. we got ... Read More
This cruise was a repo cruise from new York to fort Lauderdale. We booked our own air (lga). We purchased the princess transfers. They were waiting for us right at the baggage claim. I was very happy with the transfer . no stress. we got to the port around 1pm . we are platinum so we got in that line wait was maybe 10 to 15 min. we prepaid for every thing but we wished we had not prepaid for the pop cup. we had to fight to get our cups . its a long story but a day and a half of talking to and calling and almost begging I cancelled and got my money back and my husband finally got a cup. we weren't the only ones. I guess they ran out of the prepaid cups . they still had some but they wanted to save them to sell to new customers. so next time we will buy them from a bartender (ive been told you get better service by that bartender) . the deal with having a cup is if you don't they give you a small glass and you cant carry a glass around the pool. so we booked the lowest cabin and was offered a upsell for 178 more per person, we refused but we got upgraded to a balony cabin anyway but it was under the bridge at first I worried about the walk because this is a very big ship. but it was fine. the room was very nice the ship is beautiful, the buffet is huge the food very good . try alfredo {its free} try the stuffed pasta. the ocean terrace is elicart but they do have some seafood free with purchase of wine. international café is shrimp, salads. desert ect. if you love coffee and gelato get the coffee punch card [34$] . we went to the crown grill . very nice. they have cut back their entertainment. the piazza has mostly classical music [violins] the show were packed and they added a show so 3 showing a night but unless you wanted to watch the mets game not much else. reg karoke once in ten days , really. they had that lame voice contest. they had it the first 2 day then on the last day. at least with pop star the had the contest 5 nights in a 7 day. that is what my husband likes to do on his vacation. and although we had a good time. we will try to find a ship with a karoke bar or better program. getting off the ship was easy and they do have ez baggage if you have a late flight and want to enjoy fort lasuderdale Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
The Regal Princess is a beautiful ship; however, its design and amenities leave much to be desired. This was our 22nd cruise and it was just okay. First, the embarkation in NY was the worst we have ever experienced: poor signage, long ... Read More
The Regal Princess is a beautiful ship; however, its design and amenities leave much to be desired. This was our 22nd cruise and it was just okay. First, the embarkation in NY was the worst we have ever experienced: poor signage, long lines, staff providing wrong information (we waited in the wrong line for 42 mins), masses of people just huddled with staff yelling at customers to step aside and move against the wall- YELLING! The ship was ready much later than is customary so the crowds had swelled by the time boarding had commenced. Secondly, we were booked into an owner's suite (which we highly recommend as the balcony is HUGE). However, the cabin steward was almost non-existent. While he cleaned our room adequately, he never asked if we needed anything. As an elite members, other cruise lines offer many more amenities than Princess. All we got was access to a really tiny concierge lounge with little more than cheese, crackers, stale brownies, and soggy cookies- no free drinks like Celebrity or Royal. We did receive free laundry which is a good benefit. Our dining room staff was extremely professional, friendly, and knowledgable. The food, while presented nicely, is good but not great. The public bathrooms are small and very often overflowed on our cruise- kind of scary when you think about it. The spa is beautiful- one of the largest we have experienced. However, the spa locker rooms are about the worst we have experienced on land or sea- very tiny (10 people changing is a crowd)- limited lockers, including some on floor level. Apparently, people sticking their bums in the air to lock up their belongings is acceptable. For some reason, the spa and the exercise room are on opposite sides of the boat about ten floors apart. Summary: while I wouldn't forego a cruise on the Regal, I would definitely consider all other options beforehand. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
First the positive, check in at Cape Liberty (that location was not available above in port of embarkation) was smooth and efficient. The improved design in the cabin for increased storage is great. Mama Mia was excellent!! The ... Read More
First the positive, check in at Cape Liberty (that location was not available above in port of embarkation) was smooth and efficient. The improved design in the cabin for increased storage is great. Mama Mia was excellent!! The negatives: 1. The staff on Quantum is the worst I have ever encountered. The staff seemed very unhappy, and I witnessed rude unhelpful behavior on several occasions. Also, the staff would argue and complain in front of guests. 2. The restaurant areas were dirty. Windjammer staff was very slow to bus tables, and at speciality restaurant Devinely Decadence we sat halfway through our dinner with the tables around us filled with dirty dishes while the wait staff argued in front of us about who should clean the tables. 3. Public rest rooms were dirty and rarely had seat covers for the toilets. 4. Long lines throughout the ship. The Windjammer took 20 minutes to get a table and then there were long lines at every food station and drink station. Food was cold before you could get to your table to eat. Getting on the bumper cars was easily an hour wait. Getting in restaurants with reservations was a 30 minute wait. The line at customer service was a 45 minute wait. When they had the tshirt sale, they held it in a 10 x 10 area so the line went our the door of the shop. The organization on this ship was poor, and the lack of urgency was horrendous!! 5. Officer or management involvement to improve conditions was nonexistent. 6. When ever I was in a line or open space guests were complaining about lone lines, how much they disliked dynamic dining, the dirty conditions of the ship, and the poor staff service. 7. Soda packages went up 40% and drink prices almost doubled. I go on a cruise to relax and enjoy my vacation, this cruise ship and staff was a hugh disappointment. Royal Caribbean has a lot to fix on this ship or they will be losing loyal guests. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
Just returned from the Caribbean Fiesta aboard the Queen Mary 2, a 12 night excursion from New York visiting 5 Caribbean ports. To describe this in a word, AWESOME! We first sailed QM2 in 2009 on a Transatlantic voyage, it was a wonderful ... Read More
Just returned from the Caribbean Fiesta aboard the Queen Mary 2, a 12 night excursion from New York visiting 5 Caribbean ports. To describe this in a word, AWESOME! We first sailed QM2 in 2009 on a Transatlantic voyage, it was a wonderful time and decided to try it again this Christmas. It completely exceeded our expectations. We treated ourselves to the Grill Suites this time as opposed to the BC. It is the only way to go. I'll break it down as follows: Our Suite 9042 was mid-ship. Two doors down from the Concierge Lounge. We got to know the Concierge 'Ophia' quite well during the cruise. Interestingly, we never saw our Butler the first two days of the cruise. Our steward Grace, seem to be doing all the work from delivering luggage to attending our cabin. Late in the second day, Andres rang our bell and introduced himself. He apologized saying he was ill and not able to perform his duties until now. Oddly, he seem a little terse in the beginning and began to warm up towards the end. We just assumed he was still recuperating. On the other hand Grace was very warm and friendly until the last 2 nights of the cruise where she was downright icy. This didn't hamper our experience. The Suite was spacious to say the least with a Bar and Refrigerator fully stocked, a very comfortable King-Size Bed and we couldn't quite believe it a walk-in closet. The Balcony was long, but narrow the lounges couldn't be placed side by side. The Royal Court was organized and well maintained. There were many different food offerings up there. We mainly used it for Breakfast and mid-day snacks. We choose not to go to the Dining Room for every meal. There was an abundance of Breakfast cereals, Fresh Fruits, and Hot dishes. The only caveat is trying to locate a glass of milk. Unlike other ships where they have containers of milk, Cunard only has a milk dispenser for cereal that's not available all day. We would just take an extra glass and put it in our refrigerator for later. Lunch and Snacks were available, a fine selection of meats and cheeses and a sushi station that was very appealing. The chef's galley served Burgers and Sandwiches. On a previous cruise they used to o a cooking demonstration, but it was not available on this cruise. The Queen's Grill was a culinary masterpiece. Each meal we ate there was even more perfect then the last. Our servers Clarence and Satia were attentive and professional. We saw Satia off ship in some ports and he was just as polite when in the Dining Room. He was leaving the ship when they return to Southampton to go home. Our sommelier, Nick was prepared for us every night. We gave him our food order and he produced the exact wine to complement it. As for the food, we had Prime Rib our first night out that was excellent. During the course of our 12 nights, we tried the Dover Sole, that Bobbi prepared tableside and there was not a single bone in it. We had Beef Wellington for Christmas and Chateaubriand and Lobster for New Years. The Lobster Newburg was a hit as well as the King Scallops. I could continue to rave about the menu, but you get the idea. Todd English was a bit of a disappointment, we dined there once. The service was excellent, but the food was lacking pizzazz. The Grill was better. The Entertainment was just average. We skipped many of the shows as they didn't appeal to us. The ones we did see weren't exciting. The Flyrights were about the best with their Motown style of entertainment. The show Crazy in Love was dreadful. We skipped Incanto as we saw them on another ship. The Common areas were neat and tidy, you can see some wear in the carpeting especially near the entrances and exits. We purchased a Spa Pass for the cruise duration and was well worth it. The Spa pool area was quiet, but it's also small for a ship this size. All in all this will go down as one of the best trips we've ever taken.   Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
Having read a number of negative reviews of the QM2 on this site, I wanted to provide a different view. My husband and I took the QM2 Christmas Cruise the Caribbean this December and enjoyed it thoroughly. Embarkation at Brooklyn was a ... Read More
Having read a number of negative reviews of the QM2 on this site, I wanted to provide a different view. My husband and I took the QM2 Christmas Cruise the Caribbean this December and enjoyed it thoroughly. Embarkation at Brooklyn was a dream. We made better time out of Manhattan than we expected and arrive 45 minutes ahead of our assigned 2:30 arrival, but there was no waiting and almost no line. By 2:00 we were in our cabin! As first-time cruisers we choice the most economical choice of an inside cabin--if this trip turned out to be a mistake, we didn't want to feel like we had spent too much money. We were very pleased with accommodations. With so much to do on board, we spent little time in the stateroom, and the weather was warm enough by the end of the first full day to be on deck. We really appreciated the storage space--clothing, books, toiletries all had a space and without "cabin clutter" the limited size of the room was not a problem. The two chairs (side and desk) were comfortable and were more than fine for our nightcap. We didn't watch TV, but I can see that TV watchers might want a bit more room, but I can't imagine spending all day watching TV with miles of ocean and sun just outside. Overall, the QM2 seemed to us to be in good shape. Our room was not worn in any way, and the public spaces were clean. Really clean. In places the decor could be updated a bit, and I"m sure will be with the refit next year, but this in no way detracted from the overall experience. We dined in the Britannia and our one mistake was choosing the first seating. We normally eat earlier at home and we had thought this would leave us more energy for evening activities. Unfortunately, most of the activities we really enjoyed were during the daytime (lectures, reading on deck, daytime concerts) and having to get ready for dinner by 4:30 cut into this time. On the other hand, the evening shows were at best okay and at worst lame. So an early dinner can leave a lot of time to fill in the evening. Dinner IS the major activity for the evening and should be seen as such. The second seating allows for more time, and if a 10:30 show seems too late, you won't miss much if you decide instead to take a turn around the deck and head off to bed. I was pleased with the portions--many people complain about them being too small, but the point of fine dining is not to get single huge plate of something. The first two nights we had three courses, but then quickly followed the pattern of the couple at the next table and had four. I never left the restaurant feeling hungry, although we did have late night room service several times, but why not? It's free, it's a vacation and it's fun! My husband as several food allergies and the staff in the restaurant did an incredible job of working around his diet. He had to pre-order but then the chefs made incredible adjustments to the preparation for him. He's on a gluten-free diet and even the Queen's Court was able to assemble gluten-free tea! For the most part the service was really outstanding. If you want to be best friends with your waiters and stewards, then this probably isn't the cruise for you, but they were all polite, gave great service and were personable. In my 50s, I respect other people's privacy and consideration and don't expect to be pals with staff members. The one exception was lunch in the Britannia. Although the hours posted are until 1:30, anytime we got there after 1:00 was a nightmare. I'm not sure why but service was slow, slow, slow. Get there at 12:45 and everything is fine. Go figure. Although lots of people seem to like the King's Court, it seemed like a big food mall to me. Confusing, and the decor was like a cheap buffet restaurant, or the cafeteria at my university. But then I don't like buffets and for me the point of traveling is getting the service I don't get at home. But I was less than impressed. There should be some way to make this space more inviting and not feel like you're eating in the hallway. But it was easy to avoid--just don't eat there if you don't like it! Which is what we did. The lectures were good to excellent, none were disappointing. The musicians--really made the ship special. Walking through deck 2 & 3 I would have to remind myself that's not piped in, it's real live music I'm hearing. As I mentioned above, the evening shows weren't great and I think Cunard could do a better job, but next time we'll just eat later and not make the show the evening event. Another thing we would change next time are registering for the off-shore excursions. I did four of these and really was only happy with one, in Dominica. They were overpriced and mediocre. When doing this again, I would do a bit more homework, explore the port towns a bit more (which costs nothing) and then consider one or two places I really wanted to investigate outside of town and pre-arrange a private tour that would cater more to my interests. For the almost $700.00 we spent on group tours, we could have had really special private tours in one or two of the ports. I guess the best sign of how much we enjoyed the trip is that we've signed up to go again next year!!!   Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
this is the second year that I've been fortunate enough to spend the holidays on the QM2. My mother does not like to fly to get on a cruise ship so we are limited to ships that sail out of New York in the winter. Our cruise was ... Read More
this is the second year that I've been fortunate enough to spend the holidays on the QM2. My mother does not like to fly to get on a cruise ship so we are limited to ships that sail out of New York in the winter. Our cruise was relaxed and low key, plenty to do if one wishes. The entertainment was a mixed bag. I particularly enjoyed a group of soul/swing/Motown singers~the Flywrights~who were terrific~and the juggler. Beyond that the acts were just OK. The enrichment speakers were excellent, in particular, Dr. Jon Bailey, who presented four fabulous lectures analyzing Broadway musicals and Angela Schneider who spoke about different aspects of the Caribbean,including the devastating effects of the sugar trade. Having Ms. Schneider speak was important, I felt, giving travelers a more nuanced understanding of the history of the islands they'd be visiting beyond shopping and beaches. I enjoyed the food for the most part, especially considering the number of people they feed around the clock. I'm a pescetarian, and there were always plenty of options beyond meat and poultry dishes. That said I am not a picky eater and simply feel blessed when someone else is doing the cooking. The coffee leaves something to be desired. I love the Brits but they just don't know how to make good coffee. High tea in The Queens Room is a lovely indulgence. I'm already having scone withdrawal. The pools on the QM2 are a tad odd, probably because it's an ocean liner, not a cruise ship. For an older or less mobile person, they are very hard to get in and out of, having only ladders. I did indulge in a full pass to the aqua therapy center and used it to full advantage. It's not very large and it definitely needs some updating but I enjoyed the hydrotherapy pool, two saunas and steam room. We had cabins with protected balconies which I've heard some folks don't like because they "can't lie in bed and look at the ocean" pffft, get your butt up and quit complaining. Worked fine for us and our steward very promptly opened the partition so that my mother and I could go back and forth between our cabins on the balcony. The ports were great! St.Thomas which is well, St. Thomas. I don't bother, I just take a ferry over to St John for a much better USVI experience. Dominica, which I've visited before, and just love. They are stepping up their emphasis on eco-tourism and it's really a lovely island. St. Lucia was new to me and I visited the rainforest and did an aerial tram ride and a short hike. Gorgeous. Next on to Barbados which I'm lukewarm on. At the last minute I joined a snorkeling with turtles excursion which was rather lame, we did see plenty of turtles but also saw way too many people. The last port was St. Kitts which I also love, I did a great sail and snorkel excursion. Most snorkeling excursions don't allow enough time in the water for me but this one was long enough I was just starting to get cold when they blew the "come back" signal. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, plenty of porters, and as I was using a Cunard transfer to La Guardia, was off the ship very early. NO line at customs. All in all, it was delightful. I spent many hours in a chaise lounge reading and gazing at the ocean, Some folks might want more from a cruise but if relaxing is what you are after, the QM2 provides. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
As always, I’ll try to make my review as comprehensive to help as many readers as possible. Embarkation – very smooth. We arrived in Brooklyn by 1:00 and lines were short and personal efficient. Cabins – space is efficient, as on ... Read More
As always, I’ll try to make my review as comprehensive to help as many readers as possible. Embarkation – very smooth. We arrived in Brooklyn by 1:00 and lines were short and personal efficient. Cabins – space is efficient, as on most cruise ships. I appreciate the fact that you can remove the hangers, (something Cunard doesn’t have). The cabins have a large flat-screen TV hung on a wall opposite the bed (great idea). They offered a wealth of movies and TV shows, which you could stop and restart like a DVR. Our cabin steward, Isidro, was extremely professional and a gentleman. Some downsides include the fact that the shower has pumps used for shampoo and body soap. The ship is missing drawer space above the bed, which is found on many other ships. The balconies are extremely small, barely big enough for two chairs. We used the balconies mainly to dry clothing. Dining – Food was well prepared throughout, although on very bland side. Desserts were colorful, but not particularly imaginative. In fact, because our MDR table was near the exit, several nights I walked over to the gelato parlor and (with one punch of my coffee card) got a decent sundae. While we had anytime dining, we settled into one table and time after the 2nd night. Although it was obvious that the dining room wait staff was shorthanded, our waiter and assistant remembered our names and preferences – and they were always friendly, upbeat and professional. The Royal Princess has an attractive and comfortable space for the buffet with a user-friendly design that makes dining a pleasure. It’s far less crowded than other Princess ships. Kudos to Princess for having waiters who quickly and consistently brought drinks to diners at their tables AND the omelets station provided delivery of omelets to tables – a welcome difference vs. the consistently inconsistent beverage service that I experienced in the buffets on several Celebrity ships. Also, Cunard’s royal QM2 does not provide that service. Unfortunately, the Royal Princess still has two sets of menus for each side of the buffet (Horizon Court and Garden Café). This frustrates passengers, who have to navigate both to see what choices are available. As always, the International Café in the Piazza is popular, with a nice selection of salads and sweets – and in the morning, one can find a selection of delicious continental-breakfast items in that should please most palates. Public Rooms/Areas – This ship has one of the largest (maybe the largest) outdoor movie screen at sea, which was popular, though, in the evening, seemed relatively quiet. One of the best design features of this ship is the 2-lane running and walking track. It is located on a high deck with limited accessibility, so runners and walkers weren’t disturbed by those not exercising. The ship has many places for sunbathing on fully-reclining chaise loungers. On the very small Promenade Deck (should be called the Not-For-Promenading Deck) there were cushioned chairs and lounges that don’t recline. In fact, unless one went to the smoking area on deck 17 (something, in 2014, cruise lines shouldn’t have), you couldn’t find a fully reclining lounge in a quiet area. Activities – On this 10-night sailing with 6 sea days, there were numerous dance lessons and trivia contests – also, guest lecturers gave presentations on most days at sea (navigation at sea, pilot training in the military, etc). The evening shows included an excellent Nat King Cole impersonator and good Elton John impersonator. Princess still has some of the best production shows at sea; though, like other cruise lines, these shows never seem to have a storyline that ties them together. The casino was very busy most times of day, as was the gym. The latter, however, is in a place where it acts as a passageway from one sunbathing area to another. Another downside is the fact that the spa is located 12 decks away from the gym, thus preventing guests from using a steam room or spa unless they paid for the spa. The Stairway Problem- On embarkation day, the crew opened the crew-only stairs so passengers could get to their muster stations. No one thought much about it until we got underway and realized the center bank of elevators had no nearby stairway. This has been mentioned many, many times in previous CC reviews…….and for a good reason. Mid-ship elevators (which were mostly small) were always crowded and stopped on nearly every deck. Our cabin was on mid-ship Deck 14, with the buffet on Deck 16. On other ships we would take the stairs; on this one we had to either take the elevator or walk forward or aft to find stairs. It was the topic of complaints daily on nearly every elevator ride. Also, some of the elevators had up/down arrows which, instead of facing outward, faced sideways. In other words, you couldn’t detect which elevator was arriving. Ports of Call St Thomas—We’ve been there many times, so we opted for a ride to Sapphire Beach, one of the prettiest and least crowded. It’s far less busy than Magen’s Bay or Coki Beach. St. Thomas still has the biggest racket on open-air trucks (cabs). They still charge per person, which makes a round trip anywhere expensive. Antigua - We had day passes to Sandals, which is a wonderful way to spend a day on at a large and beautifully landscaped property that sports an impressive beach that is not crowded and a huge pool. The property is gorgeous – the non-motorized water sports, drinks, and food are free – the staff is professional and friendly. Aruba- We spent the day at the beach snorkeling. We’ve been there before – so, we took off on our own and headed for the public beaches via public buses for a day of snorkeling. Other notes - As Elite passengers, we came onboard with the expectation of 24-hour laundry. However, on this sailing, we were informed that laundry turnaround would be 72 hours. The reason we were given is that there were too many Elites onboard. Unfortunately, for me and many passengers, this became a problem because of the amount of clothes we brought. We also had ongoing problems with Internet service. We realized it would be slow, but it kept crashing in our cabin. We had to resort to keeping our cabin door open to get a signal….not good. Luckily the Internet café manager gave us credit for our problems. Alternate Dining: Regarding Sabatini’s, the atmosphere, appetizers and service were excellent. However, four of the seven guests at our table received entrees that were bland tasting and lukewarm – the manager of the restaurant apologized, but took no action regarding the bill. I mentioned my disappointment at the purser’s desk and was refunded my upcharge. Disembarkation- Smooth. Just a hint—for the first time, we hired a porter to carry our luggage – we were surprised that he was able to escort us past the lengthy immigration lines – we had no wait! We are not sure if bypassing the immigration lines is officially permitted or if the porter did something improper. Unfortunately the ship construction issues, (particularly the stairways and tiny balconies) and the laundry problems have reduced my rating of the ship to 3 stars.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
My husband and I are very experienced travelers on both land and sea. We’re Platinum members on Princess, and have traveled on the Golden, Star, Crown, Caribbean, and most recently on the Royal. I don’t plan to rehash all the ... Read More
My husband and I are very experienced travelers on both land and sea. We’re Platinum members on Princess, and have traveled on the Golden, Star, Crown, Caribbean, and most recently on the Royal. I don’t plan to rehash all the negatives written about this ship, because I really do not think they are all that significant. Yes, the balconies are smaller….yes, there are no mid ship elevators, yes, shady areas are on the scarce side (unless you are willing to pay about $40 per person per day for the Sanctuary), etc. But it’s still a lovely, new, ship with an efficient, friendly and welcoming staff and I wouldn’t hesitate to sail on the Royal again. I will agree that where the Crown Grill was excellent, Sabatini’s was lacking and just OK on this ship, and that the comedy and illusionist artists left something to be desired, but, as far as ship entertainment is concerned, the Princess vocalist and dance productions were very good. While the fact that we met a wonderful group of people from right here on Cruise Critic helped to enhance this cruise experience on the Royal, my overall opinion is that she is a beautiful ship….but different from the ships I have listed above. As a postscript…..during this cruise I experienced a potentially serious health issue which required immediate attention. I could not have been more pleased with the professional care and attention that I received from Dr. Dillon Belton, as well as from Tim and Telma of the Royal’s nursing staff. I felt secure knowing I was in good hands, and I’m happy to report the problem was taken care of so the vacation could continue. So go........you'll like a lot about her....but keep your mind open to change. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
The Royal Princess is certainly beautiful, but she missed the mark in a few places. The Enclave--was essentially a room with a hugh hot tub, 2 steam rooms and a sauna. The loungers weren't heated and the price was $$$ expensive. On ... Read More
The Royal Princess is certainly beautiful, but she missed the mark in a few places. The Enclave--was essentially a room with a hugh hot tub, 2 steam rooms and a sauna. The loungers weren't heated and the price was $$$ expensive. On most other Princess ships these things are FREE. In the men's locker room, there was no seating. Amazing. When an older gentleman nearly hurt himself trying to dress, 2 plastic chairs were put into the locker room. The Swirls Ice Cream booth on deck 15 was no more than an afterthought. No refrigeration with a tin of sugar free ice cream stored in a WINE bucket with ice. No sugar free in Gelato's at all. This might not seem a big deal, unless you are diabetic like I am. The Horizon Court--is just too big. You would settle for items with the belief that this was all....only to discover 75 feet further were completely different choices. Very frustrating. Always seemed crowded. The Piazza--Very beautiful and very large....always seemed noisy. Dance classes and other practice classes were out of place there and should be relocated. Whether eating, having a drink or just trying to relax, music, song or noise could be heard---always. The Internet Cafe--was always crowded. ...at times 10-15 people waiting. ...too small for this ship. The Princess Theatre--certain seats had no way to exit without climbing over a long row of people. On land this arrangement would not be allowed. Theatre is too small. Shows were 30 minutes long and only ok. ELITE--Laundry service took 3 days for laundry and plain pressing.....Ridiculous. .some items sent out on Monday were returned Friday...... on my following cruise--returned in 24 hours. The Retreat Pool--was nice, but you had to be there by 7am in order to claim a seat......the missing pools were greatly missed. The platform for the water show needs to be replaced with a large pool. The Seawalk--Interesting, but you'd be hard pressed to find someone who walked on it more than twice. Room--movies are a nice touch, but no regular TV to speak of. My mid-aft balcony was small and always found black soot on the floor and seats. I enjoyed the Halloween party and the long time friends who also sailed......I will sail this cruise again next year. Would I jump in line to sail this ship again? No way!!! The CB right after this cruise just made its short Cummings more glaring. Princess missed it with this design---I wont even comment on the missing Promenade deck or the MISSING center staircase. Great cruise, great people......just a bad ship with the cut everything, charge for everything policy princess seems to have adopted. Read Less

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise