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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
Chose cruise because of its excellent value in spite of the fact that it involved a return plane trip to NJ. There is room for improvement however. Often printed information was conflicting. For example, it was suggested that bags be ... Read More
Chose cruise because of its excellent value in spite of the fact that it involved a return plane trip to NJ. There is room for improvement however. Often printed information was conflicting. For example, it was suggested that bags be put out before dinner on last evening. We did not get luggage tags for EZ Exit until late in the evening. I was charged for my United baggage total $50 in spite of the information given to the front desk detailing why our baggage with United was free. Also, my boarding pass printed by Princess indicated an aisle and middle seat. Original reservation called for two aisle seats. Whose fault? Princess or United? Only two people were at Guest Services on the last evening. Long line of folks with problems and the line simply did not move so I left. We left a wake up call for 5:00 AM for the morning of departure and got the call at midnight. Perhaps something to do with daylight savings time? Should not have happened. Never received 5 AM call. Food in the MDR never really hot. The best hot food was at the poolside grill. Delivery of wine from our silver wine package always seem to be confusing. First night we did not get wine until they were clearing away main course plates. Never happened in the past. Finally, I would like to see face recognition in the photo department. Other lines have had this for years and it makes selection of photos for purchase so much easier. Princess' greatest asset is her personnel. They are extremely pleasant and try very hard to please. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Our trip: Houston to NYC: We left IAH (Houston’s larger International Airport… on the northeast side) October 24th, VERY late. Our 8:45am flight became a 2:07PM flight because of the weather in NYC! We arrived at La Guardia via ... Read More
Our trip: Houston to NYC: We left IAH (Houston’s larger International Airport… on the northeast side) October 24th, VERY late. Our 8:45am flight became a 2:07PM flight because of the weather in NYC! We arrived at La Guardia via United, around 6:05PM. We had checked bags, but by the time we got to the carouse, our luggage awaited us. NYC Airporter: Cost for our one-way ride was $30.00/2 people (Pre-booked and paid). We looked for the NYC Airporter but had some trouble with that, until we asked for some help. So, for anyone else who has never done this, from the United luggage area; exit the doors to the pick-up area, cross the street and go to 12B (at least, that’s where we got our NYC AIRPORTER bus!) We got off the bus at the second stop and transferred to the Complimentary Shuttle, to the Homewood Suites (actually, we asked to be dropped at the Courtyard by Marriott… across the street at 207 W37th)… took about 45 total minutes. Homewood Suites by Hilton: We reached our drop-off at 312 West 37th St. (Times Square South), New York, NY 10018. Check-in was pleasant and quick. We were told that breakfast is 6am to 10:30am, that there is an outside courtyard on Floor 1, a terrace on floor 22, Laundry, Fitness Center, and Business Center are on Floor “C” (bottom level). Location: Close to Times Square and easy access to the buses/subways, or walking, to nearby attractions. Room: We had a 1 King Bed Efficiency Studio room on the 11th floor. Nice! Quiet! We found the beds comfortable and the room well equipped, although small at 385 sq ft. Staff: All were extremely pleasant and professional. Amenities: NO “Evening Social” with food and drinks available (unlike most Homewood Suites locations). The Fitness Center is more than adequate. The Business Center seems to be smaller than we are used to, but I gather that is because most people utilize mobile phones for everything that we used to do on computers. The laundry has 2 washers and 2 dryers. Breakfast offered had a nice assortment of food and beverages, both hot and cold. First night in New York, NY: We got settled late in the evening, and it was raining outside, so we decided to stay put in our room. Sight-seeing Day: On Wednesday, October 25, breakfast offerings included small cheese omelets, potatoes, sausage patties, assorted breads and pastries, assorted cereals, yogurt, juices, coffees, teas etc. After breakfast, we walked East on 37th street to 7th Ave, then turned south for .3 mile to get to the subway station @ 7th Ave and 34th St (near Macy’s). We took the 1 south to … and walked to Battery Park. The walk took us about 10 minutes to Penn Station, the subway ride took about 20 minutes, and the rest of the walk took about 7 minutes. Transit: It cost us $2.75 and (senior) $1.35 for each direction. We purchased round-trip fares with cash. Battery Park: is quite pleasant with some fantastic sculptures, memorial walls (WWII), lovely plants and trees, and of course the Hudson River views. We got on our ferry around 9:10, which loaded quickly, and we were on our way to Lady Liberty. The Statue of Liberty: I had booked this on-line in early May. My ADULT ticket cost $18.50 and his SENIOR ticket cost $14.00 for grounds tour only. The day was a bit cloudy and windy, so we did not enjoy walking around outside as much as we would have liked. Still, it’s a sight well worth the time to see up close and walking the grounds would be fantastic on a better day! Ellis Island: Catching a second ferry, we headed to Ellis Island. It is a short ride. We entered the building, but having missed the start of the film shown on the first floor, we proceeded to tour the building. DH and I strongly recommend seeing the film first if possible! There are many great displays of memorabilia, equipment, and personal stories of many who passed through Ellis Island. One can spend a whole day reading about the immigrants and how things worked there. We caught the ferry returning to Battery Park and decided to walk to the 9/11 Memorial. The two water falls with the listed names takes one’s breath away. Return trip: We continued walking further northbound on West Broadway , around Washington Square, and turned west on until 10th Street, where we turned west @ W 23rd Ave. Northbound through the “Flower District” and the “Garment District” on 7th Ave. We stopped at our room to offload some stuff and get some water. We then headed west on 37th Ave to 10th St, which we took west to 12th Ave. We strolled north to 52 Ave, turned East and walked to 8th Ave. In the “Theater District,” we stopped at Patron (@ the corner of 43rd Ave and 9th St) and sat down at the bar. DH ordered a Frozen Margarita and I had three glasses of water. We tipped our bartender with cash and then asked him if he would like to use the “return” portion of my transit ticket that remained from earlier today, as we weren’t going to use it after all. We stopped at Mamamoo @ 350 W 37th St, where we ordered 2 salads to take back to our room for dinner (they were very good). On Thursday, October 26: Breakfast offerings today included scrambled eggs, sausage patties, and roasted potatoes, and pretty much the same offerings, otherwise, as the day before. After breakfast, we gathered our luggage, checked-out, and headed out toward the port. Because the weather was clear and cool, we left the Homewood Suites and walked Eastbound on 37th Avenue. We figured we would catch a taxi around 8th (northbound traffic) at approximately 39th to 40th. But, pedestrian traffic was moving well, and vehicles were not, (NOTE: along the way, we encountered lots of construction areas) so we continued north on 8th until we turned left at 45th St, which we followed to 10th St. At 10th we crossed to the west side and (mistakenly) continued north to 50th St, which took us straight to 12th Ave (the port). We had to turn south and walk back to 48th St area to check our bags and enter the terminal. Manhattan Cruise Terminal: We arrived at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal around 9:35am. We turned our luggage over to the porter, tipped, and proceeded to the cruise terminal. We waited about an hour to get through security, entered the Platinum line and sat for well over an hour. (Side note… the port NCL folks did not seem to know what they were doing, because they were handing boarding number 1 to people who were not in the top Latitudes categories: Ambassador, Platinum Plus, Platinum. Guests needing assistance: wheel chairs, etc. had a separate area. The Haven and Suites guest had a separate area, but they probably had to really question someone to be sent to the right place! Embarkation: Finally, after many “delay” announcements, Number 1 card holders were called. As we headed toward the gang-way, there was a ship’s photographer offering to take pictures. (It did not appear that any special screen was set-up... just “green screens” so they could insert their chosen background) NCL JADE: We had been on the Jade in January 2016, and had enjoyed it. Thanks to the refurbishment earlier this year, we found the décor to be subtle and pleasant. NCL employees were available upon entering deck 7. Some did say “Garden Café is open.” We headed to Grand Palace. Afterwards, we walked around a bit and headed to deck ten where we waited a LONG time for “the rooms are available” announcement to be made. It was getting close to the Safety Drill, before we got into to the room to drop our luggage and head to Jade Garden for our Drill Station. Stateroom: We went to our Balcony stateroom 10588 at approximately 2:45 pm. Room Steward, Dedy Suardi. Dedy was very friendly, but not exactly the most efficient room steward we’ve ever had. No ice the first two days, so we left him a note, and we kept leaving him notes for typical items throughout the cruise! Location: Deck 10, Port-side (left), Mid-ship, just a very short walk from the middle stairwell. Easy and quiet. I cannot comment much about elevators, since I almost always take stairs. Bed: Our room had the bed near the bathroom area. We both found the bed to be rather comfortable. The size (78” L x 72” W) was not an issue for us, but we are not tall. The 6 pillows we were given worked just fine for us. Shower: No complaints, measured 44” x 27”, love the adjustable height, adjustable pressure, and adjustable temperature! Toilet area = 29.5” x 44” at widest point: Same basic toilet as on every NCL ship we’ve been on. Sink: Standard sized cruise ship basin. Storage: DH hung everything he wanted, I could have used (but did not “need”) 3-5 more hangers. Balcony: Nice-size (4’ 6”x 9’4”), with a small table and two chairs…loved it! We enjoyed some spectacular views during our week and a half. Restaurants: Alizar (Main Dining): We ate dinner here on the second evening: We selected the North and South Red Blend for him and the N&S Sauvignon Blanc for me. The spinach with beets salad was subtle and good. Fried Brie was great, and Yankee pot roast was delicious (well done and tender, with gratin potatoes and crisp/tender green beans). Dh had Cream of Mushroom soup, mixed green salad and linguini with clams. He, too, was happy with his meal. We shared a slice of pecan pie. (So, here’s where he and I truly differ: he really liked id it, I prefer a nice gooey, buttery, Southern Pecan pie!) They did not have any raspberry sherbet. Cagney’s Steakhouse: … Saturday evening, we enjoyed our Platinum Plus meals at Le Bistro. Our reservation was for 5:30. Garden Café (Buffet): We got our standard breakfasts here most mornings. DH usually get mushroom omelets, bacon/sausage and toast. I usually get oatmeal with nuts and fruit or muesli. Plus, coffee for each of us. Grand Pacific (Main Dining): We ate lunch here on Embarkation Day. I enjoyed a peaceful and delicious lunch of Nachos and an order of crab salad, for me. DH had Calamari friti and a shrimp Caesar salad. No desserts! We had lunch, again, on second day. DH and I both enjoyed a Greek salad with feta. He then had Penne Arrabiata with Shrimp, while I enjoyed a double order (as my main dish) of Scallops Gratin w/garlic toast (which DH ate). Each of us enjoyed watermelon with Feta and balsamic vinaigrette for our desserts. For our third day’s lunch we had salads and Fish and Chips – quite good! Great Outdoors (Buffet): We did not get food here, but we did enjoy tables in the area, and we love the Bar for the view! Jasmin Garden: On the first evening, we had Fried pork pot stickers, sweet and sour chicken, and DH ate Shrimp …….. La Cucina: One of least favorite meals of the trip… maybe just one of the rare flukes! O’Sheehan’s: We had lunch after we returned from Punta Canna. The Rueben was good for me and DH enjoyed his Fish and Chips. Since we enjoyed this lunch once, we did it again after returning from Willemstad, Curacao. Food overall: DH and I constantly say that we just don’t understand why there are so many complaints about food! With that said, while some of the food could look “tired” at some buffet tables, overall, we found the Garden Café, The Palace, Cagney’s and O’Sheehan’s to serve sufficient variety for the main-stream palate. We appreciate the wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh and varied breads/pastries, and multiple varieties of meats, pastas, rice dishes, etc. We found ourselves returning to the Garden Buffet for breakfast most days. Bars: I had a plan to follow regarding the UBP, which meant I would try every “Drink of the Day” and also try drinks I ordinarily would not think of ordering! With that in mind, on Thursday, I ordered: Friday was Signature Mai Tai. Saturday was Daydreamer’s Daiquiri, Sunday was a Long Island Iced Tea. Monday was Rebellious Fish. Tuesday was The Painkiller. Wednesday was Bahama Mama. Thursday was Moscow Mule. Friday was Signature Mai Tai… repeat pattern through Sunday, November 5th. Sugar Cane Mojito bar became a mission for me to try most of the mojitos on their menu. I wasn’t too happy when encountering four drunk guys (seriously… stumbling, slurring, argumentative, etc.) and an overly sweet Passion Fruit Mojito that tasted nothing like I was hoping for. I never did make it back during their open hours. Other drinks included in UBP (that I also tried): Basil Cucumber Twist (Yum!), Bushwhacker, Emperor’s Nectar (YUM!), Mango Meltdown (A favorite!), Matador, Mudslide, Dark and Stormy, and Miami Vice. DH mostly stuck to Gin and tonic, Negroni, Perfect Margarita, red wines, and a Johnny Walker Black/Rocks. I talked him into trying d a Manhattan (can’t believe he’s never had one before now!), and a French Manhattan (He’s still loyal to his old standards). Shows: – I loved the costumes, the set, and the performers. Everything was well-done and done remarkably well! – Once again, the set and costumes are phenomenal!!! The performances are pulse-setting… awesome! Other entertainment: The comedians … quite funny and enjoyable. The music and entertainment on the pool deck was nice, although, we did not hang-out there much. We played BINGO in the afternoons during sea days. Although pricey, BINGO provides a fun diversion for us onboard, occasionally. We watched parts of other activities, but didn’t hang around long. The more crowded and noisy those events were, the less I enjoyed them. Especially when I got shoved, bumped, and/or had my feet stepped on. The Pit Stop: Each afternoon we visited, it was crowded and smoky: The bar was always hopping, but we did not eat or get drinks here even once. Unfortunately for us, the bar area is also a SMOKING section. The pool was busy, busy, busy on most days… Neither of us went in the water. Noteworthy on the JADE: The fitness center offers a wide variety of equipment (timing to use them is everything). The Casino was okay, smoky to me, but tolerable if we used a quick pace to get through it. Overall, we had a wonderful vacation, consumed some fabulous food and drinks, met some great people (special greetings to Buffalo Bob and Mary, and to Moodyll!!) We saw some fantastic shows and performers, and enjoyed plenty with each of the lovely islands. Our 5 Ports of call: San Juan, Puerto Rico: We very much wanted to see San Juan! No thanks to hurricanes Irma and Maria, this port became “No GO!” So instead, we tendered into (Cap Cana) Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: ... We decided to make a self-guided tour (we call our self-guided tours “On-Our-Own” …OoO, for short). We got on one of the first available tenders and headed to Cap Cana. We briefly walked around, found that the shuttle bus was even more per person than we were told onboard, and decided we really did not care that much if we saw Punta Cana, after all. We got back on the same tender and returned to the ship, giving us a chance to enjoy a very quiet afternoon. What we did see was lovely, and maybe one day we’ll return for a land-based AI. Kralendijk, Netherland Antilles (Bonaire): Today we enjoyed our pre-booked NCL excursion DOUBLE DIP SNORKEL. Carrying our day-bag, we headed to the Stardust Theater. Once our excursion was called, we walked down to deck 4, check-out of the ship and walked down the pier to where “Sea Cow” awaited us. We were greeted by Gea and Henk (Owners/operators) and crew (almost all were Dutch-born) welcomed about 2 dozen of us aboard, passed-out snorkel gear, and took us over to Klein Bonaire. We enjoyed two beautiful stops of about 40 minutes each. At our first stop we were greeted by a wonderful sea turtle. The crew were fun, professional, and very helpful if assistance was needed. The coral, fish and other sea-life are beautiful. Things we might have otherwise missed, were pointed-out to us: Trumpet fish, “Dory”, Sergeants Majors, and barracuda… Once we returned to the boat (the first time), we were offered soft drinks, juice, or water. After we finished both snorkels, we were offered rum punch or soft drinks as we were returned to the port, very near the Jade. Willemstad, Netherland Antilles (Curacao): We had cancelled (more than 48 hours in advance) our pre-booked NCL excursion for today “COASTAL KAYAK & SNORKELING. Instead, we decided to go exploring OoO for the day. So, we walked off the ship heading to the right and managed our way to the old fort (now shops and restaurants) and then through to the pontoon bridge. We got across before the alarm sounded for opening to allow boat crossings… interesting to watch! We strolled up and down the streets to visit various shops, the park where there is a large colorful CURACAO, and we also saw various sculptures, including huge iguanas. From there we visited the area I referred to as “the Farmer’s Market” (Produce stands). It was getting quite warm when we returned to the ship, and headed to O’Sheahan’s for a small lunch and LOTS of water. Oranjestad, Aruba: For this day, we went on our pre-booked ANTILLA WRECK SNORKEL & BEACH GETAWAY. Carrying our day bag filled with our snorkel gear, we headed to the Stardust Theater. Once our excursion number was called, we walked down to deck 4, disembarked, walked straight to the catamaran at the pier. Ocho Rios, Jamaica: After the encounter we’d had here while on our EPIC cruise in January ’17, we decided to keep things “simple” for this day, so we had pre-booked/prepaid NCL REGGAE PARTY SAIL & DUNN'S RIVER FALLS. We had a great time on the boat, a fantastic walk up the stairs along the Falls (Yes, we’d already gotten that experience out of our systems), enjoyed the beach for a while, and returned to the boat for rum drinks and dancing… all the way back to the port!!! Final evening on Jade: We were saddened as we packed on Sunday afternoon and then enjoyed a quiet dinner at Alizar. We walked around a bit, and then decided to just go back to the room early. We set our two big bags with Yellow tags out in the hallway. Disembarkation: We were in the Port of Miami at the Cruise Terminal by 5:30 am. Our Final Bill looked “right.” Easy Walk Off started early 7:30ish. Our Platinum status tags allowed us to leave around 8:15 am. We were off the ship, gathered our 2 suitcases, and had cleared Customs by 8:35 am! Taxi to Miami: We exited the building and walked across the street to the taxi stands. We quickly walked to the forward loading spot and took the second taxi in line. Before 9:00 am were dropped at the Hilton. Cost $15 with his tip. Hilton (Downtown): We reached our drop-off at 1601 Biscayne Blvd, Miami FL 33132. Check-in was pleasant and quick. The hotel is lovely. (Too bad there are lots of pan-handlers across the street!) Location: Close to almost everything we wanted to see, with easy access to nearby attractions, whether walking or seeking one of several transportation methods. Room: We were “upgraded” to a 2 Queen Bed standard room on the 11th floor, with a “water view”. Happily, we could see the six ships in port (including the Sky)! Nice! quiet! We found the beds comfortable and the room well equipped. We were given 2 bottles of water and a voucher for Continental Breakfast for Two. Staff: Everyone we encountered was pleasant and professional. Amenities: The pool area is beautiful. The Business Center seems to be well equipped with 8 computers and 2 printers. Taxi to MIA: Cost $28.00 with tip. Ride took about 15 minutes or so. MIA Airport: We were dropped in front of the United Airlines ticketing area. Since our flight was scheduled for 11:47 am, we had time to kill. With TSA Pre-Check, we got through line without removing shoes. Once we headed to the appropriate gate area, we found plenty of food options from which to choose (if someone needs to fill up.) Conclusion: Safely back to George Bush International (IAH) airport, we got our checked bags about 35 minutes after departure from the plane. Next, we caught a SPOT shuttle to our car. We provided our “PREPAID” voucher at a booth, and headed north towards home. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
This was a very relaxing cruise and I highly recommend the Princess cruise line. The main negative was the internet was very slow and the IT person in charge was nasty and not a pleasant person to deal with. He acted like you were an ... Read More
This was a very relaxing cruise and I highly recommend the Princess cruise line. The main negative was the internet was very slow and the IT person in charge was nasty and not a pleasant person to deal with. He acted like you were an idiot and trying to steal minutes from princess internet when you explained that it told 12 minutes each time to connect to optonline.net or that you could not log out on your smart phone because you would get an error message. Besides this rude person everyone else was a joy and alway smiling. We lost TV for two days but was given $100 each for the outage. I will definitely sail with Princess again. The food was excellent and the service of our cabin stewart was excellent as well. Love the fact you could see first rate movies in the room on your schedule. The TV were large screens as well. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
The title is misleading but here are the first time items, First time on a re positioning cruise – loved it, more planning is involved but opens up new ports to travel to. First time on the Jade. Was similar to the Gem but they ... Read More
The title is misleading but here are the first time items, First time on a re positioning cruise – loved it, more planning is involved but opens up new ports to travel to. First time on the Jade. Was similar to the Gem but they swapped the shopping area and the Bliss lounge. Loved where the Bliss is on the Jade but they had reduced the liquor area in the store. First time as a Platinum – more perks !!! free laundry ( first time ), free meals, inside ship tour ( first time ) and free internet ( thought I heard a modem in the back round – reallll slow ). First time to the ABC islands. Bonaire – small island, beaches are rocky, flamingos but if into diving this is the place to go. Aruba – shopping and casino's ( found half of the ships crew inside one ), really didn't feel safe outside the shopping area. Curacao – nice beaches, felt safe to walk into town but don't get caught on the floating bridge when a ship approaches the harbor, you may be there for awhile. First time on independent tours – Bonaire, Bonaire Vista tours excellent. Curacao, Irie tours will work with you and will give a group discount. They are both listed on TripAdvisor. First time with a resort day pass, Jamaica – Jewel Dunn's River resort in Ocho Rios excellent but watch your glass, seems like they needed more and if they found one laying around it was gone. First time writing a review. We had a great time on the Jade, crew was happy about getting away from the cold and being back in Caribbean. The ship itself was in great shape, although there was toilet issues. Was surprised that O'Sheehan's didn't have a special night and that you couldn't have snacks at the bar. Punta Cana stop was a nightmare for some. Tendering process was slow, seas real rough. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I had won a place in the $75,000 slot tournament. 140 people either won a place or bought in for $500. I lost in the first round. and was eliminated but at least 15 people won nice amounts of money. It was exciting. The casino was hopping ... Read More
I had won a place in the $75,000 slot tournament. 140 people either won a place or bought in for $500. I lost in the first round. and was eliminated but at least 15 people won nice amounts of money. It was exciting. The casino was hopping all cruise. It was open 24 hours and even in Bonaire. This was a repositioning cruise from Brooklyn to Fort Lauderdale with only three ports. Two had been changed for the worse because of the Hurricanes. I wish Princess had ships from New York all winter but this was the last won until spring. It was a lively crowd. The entertainment was uneven. Two of the shows Bravo and Born to Dance were terrific and not to be missed. Fieri was just awful. Carlos Oskar the comic was very funny. The theater filled up 45 minutes before the first show. You had to plan ahead. Four of the young assistant cruise directors (Gary, Mikey, Aaron and Ramon were fabulous. They did trivia and game shows like Liars Club and Newlywed game. I never laughed so hard in my life. They were over the top. We took a club class mini-suite. The Regal cabins are small but this one had an angled balcony which really helped. The extra money was worth it. Coupled with our Elite status we had all the perks the suites got and the dining room situation was great. We had a private area with our own chef ( chocolate crepes for breakfast YUMMM) and could waltz in any time between 5:30 and 9:00. We were treated like royalty. We took the Ultimate ship's tour. It was a pricey $150 each but lasted over 3 hours. The charming Captain Tim spent 45 minutes with us on the bridge talking and drawing maps . I felt I was in the Navy. We got all sorts of presents and it was worth it. Because Princess is converting to Ocean Medallion they were mucking about with the software and half the ship's televisions went out in the second inning of the seventh game of the World Series. You could only see it in the Casino. Surprise! They refunded us $300 to make up for it. Very nice. Service throughout the ship was fabulous. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
BRICKS, BOUQUETS and LAUGHS Regal NYC to FLL October 2017 I suppose every cruise has its highs and lows. This one had a lot of highs! Of course Regal IS a beautiful ship with the best staff in the fleet, What could go wrong? ... Read More
BRICKS, BOUQUETS and LAUGHS Regal NYC to FLL October 2017 I suppose every cruise has its highs and lows. This one had a lot of highs! Of course Regal IS a beautiful ship with the best staff in the fleet, What could go wrong? BOUQUETS: The crowd in the ELITE lounge for embarkation was enormous, however Port Staff were great and there was a most orderly embarkation! Clearly Black is the new Ruby! Food was exceptionally tasty. There is always a night or two when I can’t see anything on the menu that I love. Then I remember if I was home I’d be having peanut butter toast!! SERVICE in Symphony Anytime Dining Room was impeccable, and food came out SO quick. Waiter Ziverod and his partner Dragana are feathers in the Princess cap. Any lineup for this dining room, moved QUICKLY. We indulged in Sabatini's twice this cruise and enjoyed impeccable service from Jalenna (Yalaaayna!). If rack of veal is your taste, you’ll never find better. Alfredo’s, which is expertly managed by the incredible Alexandru, and his helpers Inna and Bagus, was our go-to spot for lunch. And a huge bouquet to Aleksandra who helped us with dining arrangements. In the past I’ve felt awkward about using the soda card. Seemed no one was thrilled to run for a “free” soda. RCL has this figured out with their passenger soda machines. This cruise however was ENTIRELY different. I think the IC staff would have walked on broken glass to get me a soda water. I fear naming them lest I miss one, but Joanna, Nelly, Rebecca, and Dewan come to immediate mind. Lucy in Wheelhouse - service with a huge smile always. Feng Shu in Horizon would walk a mile to get your soda! Thank you ladies and gentlemen , I’m STILL well hydrated 2 weeks later. Our ship had the misfortune of TV being off for several days. It wasn’t a big deal at all to us so we REALLY appreciate the $100 per person room credit. Thank you Princess. Born to Dance is a fantastic production show! Best I’ve ever seen. BRICKS: admittedly, these are all FIRST WORLD problems! Entertainment is VERY old n tired on this ship. I had high hopes with a new cruise director there might be some fresh entertainment..... not so. First time cruisers might enjoy the old jokes, the old “how are you? louder I can’t hear you” .... the amazing egg drop and super thrilling guess the weight of....and the ring toss woohoo. Vocalist Mary Simon is a nice addition though. Old favourite Trevor Cole Steel Drum Player and shows Bravo and Fiera are still playing. The five star production Born To Dance is one I could see again for sure. The Elite benefit of FREE laundry is not a benefit if you don’t get your stuff back for four days! In fact with THREE full days to go they would no longer accept laundry. I certainly don’t mind doing a load or two in the laundry room, but they were always in use. If Princess wants to brag about having Broadway Style shows, they need to have Broadway Style Ushers. People wandering in loooong after the show has started is crazy. Letting people walk up n down the stairs of the theatre in the dark looking for seats THAT AREN'T TO BE FOUND, is both stupid and dangerous. It’s also very distracting when an enormous old man in khaki shorts stands obliviously in front of you. What’s wrong with ushers saying I’m sorry the show is FULL. Or I’m sorry the show has BEGUN? I remember when the gorgeous Piazza was a wonderful place to relax in the afternoon and enjoy a trio or quartet in the evening. The house music was always pleasant too. Now it’s used for dance classes or Zumba and trivia over a microphone. Could they not use the highly underused and lovely Vista Lounge for such invasive events? It has a dance floor that is as large as the piazza. Disembarkation is painful enough, without making it worse with disorganization. Group A and Group B meet in the Dining room. No one directs which group to go where. Result : chaos. B’s get off before A’s. A’s are mad. Could be so simple. REALLY? You’re kidding me.... Big laugh from the patter! No electric kettles or rice-cookers in staterooms. Hello? WHO brought rice AND a rice cooker on board? There is tea all over the ship people, you don’t need a kettle either! “Don’t flush paper towel” notices in washrooms. Tell me who is doing this? Do they flush paper towels at home? You know you’re on a cruise ship when you overhear a couple ARGUING over what day it is! 50 years of marriage out the window because it’s Wednesday! I’ll post my Port reviews separately. In conclusion, the highs outweigh the lows and health permitting, I’ll likely be back. Thank you for the upgrade from balcony to delux balcony Princess. Cheers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We initially chose this cruise as the lead in a back to back. The hurricanes in the fall changed the itinerary on us and it ends up being almost the same cruise twice. Not to much problem there as we had never been to the ABC islands ... Read More
We initially chose this cruise as the lead in a back to back. The hurricanes in the fall changed the itinerary on us and it ends up being almost the same cruise twice. Not to much problem there as we had never been to the ABC islands before. The sail away from NYC was OK but to tell the truth there are better ports to sail out of. The embarkation went smoothly for us, probably better than most as I have been forced to use a cane because of a bad knee. Lets talk about the ports. The first was Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic about a hour away from Punta Cana. This is a new port and you are tendered in. The port itself has many exclusive resorts and upper end stores there. We did a tour that took us to many place, like a cigar making factory, a chocolate factory and many other sites. If you didn't do a tour from here there is little to do. The other thing was we were the first ship there and tour operators usually do things from Punta Cana. If more ships come the service will improve. On to Bonaire. We hired a cab to drive us around for half of the day. A good way to see the island. It is small enough that you could easily rent a golf cart, car, or motorcycle and see it all. The islands main thing though is scuba diving and snorkeling, that is what you should do here. On to Curacao, where we booked a tour that included the Hato caves. 49 steep stairs, so be warned. In the main port city there is a floating bridge that divides the city and the shopping districts. A beautiful city. In Aruba once again we hired a cab for half the day for a tour around to see the island. The island is only populated on one half of it as the other is in its natural state. The water sports can only be done on the populated side as the other side is to rough. Back to Miami. As we were doing a B to B we sailed though customs and went on shore for a few hours. The ship itself was remodelled in the spring and NCL did a pretty good job of it. They are still doing some upgrades and improvements such as changing chairs and art work. As I said before getting on was easy but the rooms were not ready until after supper as they were doing a major disinfection of the rooms (Flu on previous cruise). Glad they did that. Most of our meals were in the Grand Pacific dining room and happy with them. They have a standing menu every day and a menu that changes with the day. Portion size was perfect. Service was generally very good. If you want a rushed diner then do not go here. Expect a 1 1/2 hour or more meal, but what is the rush??? Sheehans is on deck 8 and a good place for some comfort food or a quick breakfast. On a cruise the pool is were to be. My only complaint is to those of you who "reserve deck chairs". Why come down at 6 in the morning then show up for 30 minutes 5 hours later?? We saw one couple who saved 6 chairs by the pool, 3 chairs on either side, plus a table. How ignorant (I am saving them for my friend she said). On the last day they started tagging chairs and removing towels. NCL start doing this on day 1 please. The shows were all very good, but do not miss Elements. Our cabin was on deck 5. I am not sure if it was a new refurbished room but it is tight but very functional. Nice bathroom with a larger shower and a separate toilet. Lots of USB plugs in the room. It was a good room for 2 but not much. One last thing. NCL is very good at having the Ships Officers wondering the ship, Good to them, ask them questions. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
BACKGROUND: DW and I wanted one more chance to enjoy a bit more warm weather and utilize our new Platinum rewards so we booked the 11 day NCL Jade repo from NYC to MIA. NYC: We flew into LGA on the day of the cruise from Syracuse (45 ... Read More
BACKGROUND: DW and I wanted one more chance to enjoy a bit more warm weather and utilize our new Platinum rewards so we booked the 11 day NCL Jade repo from NYC to MIA. NYC: We flew into LGA on the day of the cruise from Syracuse (45 minute flight) and met the cruise reps to board the shuttle to the pier. The shuttle ride was a tad expensive BUT since there was extensive construction, we decided it was better to have NCL worry about getting us to the pier than try to do it ourselves. We arrived at the pier about 2:00 PM. Hey,.at least we got there. EMBARKATION: By the time we got to the ship and dropped off our bags, the lines were non existent. The actual check in at the counter was no problem and no one checked for booze or water or anything else. The photogs were packing up their gear so there were no pictures taken…. No great loss for us! There was some sort of Noro outbreak on the previous cruise so the cabins were being “deep cleaned” and not ready so we waited on the steps of our deck. Around 3:00 when the cabins were ready, we dropped off our bags, went to the muster drill and then had lunch at O’sheehan’s. Embarkation was not enjoyable but it could have been worse. Embarkation = Neutral THE CABIN: We were on Deck 10 aft cabin 10150 – just a few doors away from the elevators/stairs. The balcony cabin was a good size, the bed was relatively comfortable and the TV was large enough BUT the choice of channels was pretty meager. The saving grace was the movie channels. At least DW brought her NOOK to read and I had a tablet with a load of card games. You could notice the enhancements made during the drydock as the colors were muted, the balcony paint was new and there was a sense of renovation. The bathroom was quite small although the shower had a shower door which kept water from splashing on the floor. The actual toilet area was really small – but adequate. We had no noise or cigarette smoke problems and surprisingly, there was no heavy foot traffic even though we were close to the elevators. Our room steward Ashok was superb. He was very pleasant and helpful we gave him extra money on the first and last days and our only request was that he fill our ice bucket when he cleaned the cabin and supply extra wine glasses. He is from India and spoke English well so there were no communication issues PLUS he made the best towel “animals” some of which I had not seen before. Cabin = Thumbs up, attendant = Two thumbs up THE FOOD: We ate most meals at the Garden Café, had some light lunches at O’Sheehans, one dinner at Alizar, one dinner at Cagney’s and one at La Cucina. For breakfast, we usually chose offerings from the Great Outdoors and ate in the outdoor area at the stern of the ship. Buffet: We ate most dinners there. Once we found the best times to eat, things were fine although it was often difficult to find a seat. Some offerings on the buffet weren’t that good but seafood, veggies, salads & fruit were my mainstay anyway and I never walked away hungry. I did like the Asian food station and the crepes for dessert. Made to order eggs/omelets in the morning from The Great Outdoors were among my favorites and we thought it was a great place to eat breakfast. Thumbs up O’sheehan’s: We often had green salads and snacks here. The choices were limited but the service was good and never crowded at the times we went. Thumbs up Alizar: We went for dinner once. The service was good, the food quality and choices were what you would expect. It was an enjoyable experience without being rushed. Thumbs up Cagney’s: We went there for dinner once thanks to our Platinum rewards. The service was great, the food quality and choices were very good and overall it was a very enjoyable experience. Thumbs up La Cucina: Another “free” dinner once thanks to our Platinum status. The service was very good, the food quality and choices were good and overall it was an enjoyable experience. That being said, I’m glad it was a “freebie” and would probably not pay extra to eat there. Still rates a Thumbs up Bar service: We received two bottles of wine (Platinum rewards again) and our bar bill for the cruise was about $150. Bar service was good and when I presented my sea-pass card along with a dollar bill (tip) for a mixed drink, I seemed to get a “better” pour. Thumbs up Room service: Never used it. No rating Soda/drink packages: Never used them. No rating SHORE EXCURSIONS: We had $150 in OBC so we booked all of them through the ship. More info for each is in the Shore Excursion Reviews Punta Cana: Snorkeling excursion. More info in the excursion section. Thumbs up Bonaire: Cruise and Snorkel. More info in the excursion section. Two thumbs up Curacao: No excursion. But a great place to walk around town and buy souvenirs. Aruba: No excursion. We walked around the area and bought some souvenirs Ocho Rios, Jamaica: No excursion. Stayed on the ship OTHER SERVICES/MISC: Internet: We had the “250 minutes free” booking option and got another 60 as Platinum rewards. As usual, the service is S-L-O-W especially on the last day when everyone is working on confirming flights and the Internet Café terminals are in high demand. The terminals are in the art gallery so it gets noisy at times. I don’t know how well the available Wi-Fi works in the cabins or around the ship although many people complained about the service to the internet staff. Neutral We used the freebie for the bag of laundry and were surprised that the shirts were hung up for us in the closet when they were returned. The other items were folded, wrapped in soft paper and left in a “basket” on the bed. Thumbs up We didn’t use the Spa although I used the gym in the early afternoons so I had no issues with finding an open T-mill, or life cycle. The treadmills and pedal machines were in great shape and the weight machines were primo. Thumbs up We didn’t spend much time at/near the pool(s) – the area was too crowded and the chair hogs were out in force. Neutral We didn’t buy any photo packages and ignored most photographers who tried to snap our pix. No rating We didn’t go to the casino. No rating Cruise Directors (Paquito & Sid) were often seen before shows in the theater and around the ship. Sometimes we found them annoying and unfunny. Neutral When we used Passengers’ Service & Shore excursion desk the staff was courteous and professional. Thumbs up We did attend quite a few “shows” at the theater – comedians, magicians and the like. We saw only 2 evenings of song/dance performances. The cutbacks in entertainment were evident but what we did see was enjoyable. Thumbs up DEBARKATION: We ate a breakfast of yogurt & cookies in our room and then waited in the atrium until they called our tag color. Customs was a breeze considering there were no customs forms to fill out. We pre-booked an SAS shuttle to take us to FLL airport where we called the for the Ramada Inn Oakland Park shuttle to pick us up. We spent 2 days in Fort Lauderdale soaking in a last bit for warmth before catching a flight back home. Thumbs up OVERALL: You could tell that the ship’s décor and color schemes had been completely redone. It was almost like being on a new ship. We enjoyed our cruise very much and considering the excellent weather, comfortable cabin, superb room steward, calm seas, lots of food and good value for the price, we’d do this type of itinerary again. Unfortunately, the Jade isn’t scheduled to repeat this itinerary and neither is any other NCL ship (at least for two years). Thumbs up (for sure) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We booked this repositioning cruise - all 11 nights - beginning in NYC and ending in Miami. We enjoyed the cruise very much. The staff was generally friendly and attentive. The cruise director Paquito and assistant Sin were energetic ... Read More
We booked this repositioning cruise - all 11 nights - beginning in NYC and ending in Miami. We enjoyed the cruise very much. The staff was generally friendly and attentive. The cruise director Paquito and assistant Sin were energetic and pleasant. If you go to trivia or other games, be warned that with the exception of "Handsome Rob", the staff running the games were absolute boobs. The ports we were interested in - Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao - were outstanding. Great weather, sunny days, good excursion opportunities. Apparently the measure of wealth in these island is the number of KFCs. And the tour took us past Denny's in Curacao. it would not be an exaggeration to say that I would never care to set foot in Punta Cana or Ocho Rios again; these were forgettable, to be diplomatic. Punta Cana is simply not set up for one day tourism, and the tendering was not for the weak of stomach. There is a small expensive shopping area constructed by the tender dock, and that was about it unless you wanted to pay for excursions (which NCL didn't advertise until we were already on board - yes, they changed the itinerary from the damaged San Juan port, but they could have done better). Ocho Rios is in Jamaica with all of the hustling and nonsense that is unavoidable. "Are you cool, man?" "Hey, boss lady." No, I don't want your weed or your overpriced garbage, leave me alone. We had the beverage package and had no problem with either service or quality. NCL allows you to get two drinks per person at one time. Entertainment was better than I expected, maybe my expectations were low... typical cheesy song-and-dance - the crew performers were enjoyable, some aerial acrobats, a good illusionist, a funny comedian (Julie Barr), a not funny comedian who did sleight of hand (think 1960s level material), and a three woman "divas" show. Dinner was not something we looked forward to. Bland menus and entrees. S L O W service. Waiters were friendly. O'Sheehan's was ridiculous. Whether crowded or empty, you waited and waited for your food order. The Garden Cafe was overrun by people who apparently had never seen food before, typical of cruise passengers. Beware of the oncoming scooters and mobs of Chinese passengers; they aren't looking out for you. Poolside would be "reserved" by towel placements by early in the morning on sea days. Eventually everyone does it. The pools were not too cold, and one of the hot tubs was not hot at all (a plus for me). We were unfortunately subjected to "entertainment" from the stereotypical overweight 50+ male passenger (or as one comedian called him, "Vinny with the single inside cabin") who seemed to think his obnoxious behavior and overbearing personality were actually positive character traits. Embarkation was typical Manhattan. There is little reason to get there early. We arrived about 1:00 and were on board in about 40 minutes. Disembarkation in Miami went very quickly (Customs asked us nothing) but a little chaotic outside. Rental car transfers are very poorly run. Avis came about every 40 minutes. Hertz used a plain white unmarked van. Taxis were plentiful. In summary, itinerary was great overall (we'll pretend we didn't stop at Jamaica and DR), the staff on board was friendly, and dinners were, as another person mentioned earlier, underwhelming. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Seventh time on the New York to Ft Lauderdale repositioning cruise, We couldn't have asked for better weather. The staff and passengers were a joy to sail with. We literally had no problems at all. We had a replacement port of ... Read More
Seventh time on the New York to Ft Lauderdale repositioning cruise, We couldn't have asked for better weather. The staff and passengers were a joy to sail with. We literally had no problems at all. We had a replacement port of St Kitts for St Martin. We had a private tour which was very enjoyable. Saw a lot of the island, our guide was very informative. Antigua, we always stay around the port area, as with Princess, it seems to aways be a port of call, and being there so many times, we are bored with it. And Bonaire is always nice, we did a ships beach tour, which if by hindsight, we could have booked at a cheaper rate on our own. We had a car rental in Ft Lauderdale, so for us there was no rush to get off, however, given our time, we disembarked earlier than the time, went right through customs and were at the airport 15 minutes after we left the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Chosen for smaller ship size and excellent port agenda. Exploring the ABC Island on your own is the best way to see these Islands. We rented golf carts from Bonaire Cruisers (HIGHLY RECOMMEND THESE GREAT PEOPLE) and toured and snorkeled ... Read More
Chosen for smaller ship size and excellent port agenda. Exploring the ABC Island on your own is the best way to see these Islands. We rented golf carts from Bonaire Cruisers (HIGHLY RECOMMEND THESE GREAT PEOPLE) and toured and snorkeled around the island at our own pace for over 8 hours. Aruba, we just shopped and had a good day there also. Had been to Aruba may times before... Irie tours in Curacao is also recommended, a group via cruise critic roll call chartered the tour which ended at the beach. They were VERY accommodating as to when each couple wanted to return to the ship or town! Again, VERY good people. Highly recommend both of these company's. Also joined a group, via cruise critic, for Jewel, Dunn's River Falls all inclusive in Echos Rios Jamaica, again great people, value and day! Cap Cana, Dominican Republic, first port and last minute by NCL due to hurricanes. Very Poor stop. NCL had no clue of what was there and the port obviously was not ready for us either since we were their first ship for the year and probably of this size ever. Only a hand full of shops open, little information and transportation available. Had to tender in in rough seas. No maps available on board or on land available. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this cruise because we liked the itinerary, the repositioning aspect, fit well into dates we could travel, and we already loved the ship. It was our first time in a mini-suite and I think we are spoiled now. We will go back to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we liked the itinerary, the repositioning aspect, fit well into dates we could travel, and we already loved the ship. It was our first time in a mini-suite and I think we are spoiled now. We will go back to other cabins, but I will try to find deals on mini-suites with more fervor than before. The food was great. Alfredo's is probably my favorite dining spot on the ship. Mongolian BBQ in the buffet one night was one of my favorite meals of the cruise. I'm grateful for the salmon being on the menu all the time because I tend to go for it a few times every cruise. It's really well done. The people are the best. Our room steward too fantastic care of us and seemed to be always around. The room steward from Last December was around and she told us if we needed anything at all to feel free to ask her, too. The Maitre D' on the starboard side of Symphony was great. He always made everyone feel so welcome. He knows exactly how to make everyone feel special without being too much. The ship itself is fantastic! The only thing I would change about it is maybe even more hot tubs. There is plenty to see and do every single day. When we cruised last December the whole ship was decorated for Christmas. This was a Halloween cruise and I was pleased to see it wasn't full of Halloween decor. There was major Halloween fun on Halloween itself, but it did not overshadow the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Had a terrific time, probably the best time in 10 cruises but this review is about the ship, crew and culture to help you decide if Regal Princess is where you want to be. I was impressed with the captain's professionalism ... Read More
Had a terrific time, probably the best time in 10 cruises but this review is about the ship, crew and culture to help you decide if Regal Princess is where you want to be. I was impressed with the captain's professionalism conveyed in his announcements but never met as the ship is just too big. Likewise, our cabin attendant was great! He seemed to have our timing down perfect and the room was always cleaned when we returned. The ship was beautifully decorated conveying luxury. We tried both of the upcharge restaurants as well as the main dining rooms and were mostly satisfied with the level of service and attention. The entertainment was pretty average and I guess designed for short attention spans as it included bursts of fireworks and one show was only 30 minutes. The big screen outside was quite a nice feature. Issues were: miscommunication about the drink package, constant handing over the room key for charges, and inappropriate sales pitches. I was hounded by waiter after waiter to buy the wine tasting events, once while I was trying to eat lunch. I lost my appetite from the anger boiling up. We went to one of the tastings and were disappointed as the hosts were the head waiters who knew "something" about wine but were not sommeliers and tried to joke their way through it, versus pass any real knowledge. The wines were not very good quality and the pours were small. Don't waste your time on that. Beverage pricing and access was tricky and frustrating. We bought the premium drink packages yet still dealt with issue after issue regarding it. Everything from bottles of sparkling water being charged, to the water set up in the room not included, to diet tonic not covered by the package! A Belvedere martini is not included in the package but a Grey Goose is. I could go on with all the problems with the drink package but suffice it to say it is so bad that I will avoid Princess for that reason alone! In the end, I concluded that a luxury, all inclusive brand is so worth the extra money. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We were a party of eight traveling with our three grandchildren.We took our first cruise on our honeymoon on the Oceanic over forty years ago. Although there is no longer a midnight buffet or large ice sculptures every night in the dining ... Read More
We were a party of eight traveling with our three grandchildren.We took our first cruise on our honeymoon on the Oceanic over forty years ago. Although there is no longer a midnight buffet or large ice sculptures every night in the dining room and the shrimp cocktail and lobster are smaller than they were over forty years ago I would have to say this was our best cruise ever.We had two mini suites and an inside cabin that Princess gave us after the hurricanes when prices dropped. The grandchildren loved the ship, the kids club,the beaches,the pools, the shows, and the food. I took the Ultimate Ships Tour ($150) and felt it was worth the money to visit Medical, the kitchen back stage theater,the operating control room, photo lab, laundry, and the bridge to meet Captain Stringer. This tour lasts three hours and one must sign up immediately. We are all looking forward to the next cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
Loved our cruise from New York to the Southern Caribbean. We visited Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba & Jamaica. Loved the NCL Jade. The cruise ship was on the smaller side compared to the Breakaway or Getaway but I liked it because it was ... Read More
Loved our cruise from New York to the Southern Caribbean. We visited Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba & Jamaica. Loved the NCL Jade. The cruise ship was on the smaller side compared to the Breakaway or Getaway but I liked it because it was easy to get around. We were also traveling with an individual in a wheelchair so we were glad for the smaller size. My only complaint is the excursion to Shaw Park in Jamaica. I have to say it was the worst excursion I have ever been on. For $49 we got a bus ride. When we arrived they tried to charge us more money for a dirty, broken lounge chair. There were no umbrellas, just a few shaded trees that we all had to huddle under. Bathrooms were old and dirty. There was soda and beer for sale and food if you wanted. I would never go back to Shaw Park!. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
Embarkation in Brooklyn was smooth and quick. Same can be said for the Disembarkation in Ft. Lauderdale. First time on the Regal Princess. It is a big beautiful ship. The Sail away was lovely with the sun setting, temperature was cool ... Read More
Embarkation in Brooklyn was smooth and quick. Same can be said for the Disembarkation in Ft. Lauderdale. First time on the Regal Princess. It is a big beautiful ship. The Sail away was lovely with the sun setting, temperature was cool but not too bad. Weather throughout the trip was fantastic! Internet was incredibly sssssllllooooowwwww. We hear the internet speed will be increasing with the new O.C.E.A.N. Medallion that is being installed. Service was wonderful, attentive and friendly, as we have come to expect on Princess ships. The shows Bravo, Fiera & Born to Dance were amazing!! We have always enjoyed the Princess shows, this cruise they were even better than ever. Such incredible talent! Lots of activities/entertainment throughout the ship. Sometimes it was very difficult to make it to everything I wanted to participate in. This was my first time cruising since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I was so pleased with how well Princess took care of my dietary needs. One of the chefs took me around the Horizon Court to explain all the options that I had for Gluten free. Throughout the 10 days in the Horizon Court (we had breakfast and most lunches here), anytime I asked whether an item contained gluten the person manning that station was only to happy to check with the chef to find out. It would be nice if they could include that information on the cards they have listing the food item, like they do for the desserts. In the main dining room (anytime dining) I just had to notify the head waiter of my special diet and they took very good care of me. I was able to select my dinner the night before. I was impressed when we went for afternoon tea and the server I had the night before remembered that I was gluten free and they had many gluten free selections for me to choose from. We also enjoyed Alfredos for lunch several times, just walking past the restaurant made my mouth water with the lovely aromas. We also enjoyed Sabatini's one evening, food was very good and service was excellent! Yes they were all able to accommodate a gluten free diet. The cruise director was Dan Falconer, he was fun and entertaining, he gave a behind the scenes Q&A that was very interesting. Captain Stringer was wonderful, we saw him everyday out and about stopping to talk with passengers. Was so nice to have a Captain that was so approachable and friendly, it really adds to the overall experience. Ports of call were Antigua, St. Kitts (replacing St. Maarten due to the hurricane damage) and Bonaire. We walked around the town in Antigua, it was in dire need of maintenance, would be very challenging for someone with walking disabilities. If we go again I would do an excursion to somewhere. Everyone we spoke with who did an excursion enjoyed it. St.Kitts we did an island tour ending at a beach for the afternoon. Vistas that we stopped at were beautiful, beach was nice and water was warm. At Bonaire in the morning we got off the ship to walk around the town, we were pleasantly surprised with how lovely, clean and well maintained it was. In the afternoon we went on a glass bottom boat ride to look at the coral reefs, very nice. I missed the promenade that is on the Grand Class ships that allows you to walk all the way around the ship. Regal has a walking track up top but it is not the same. That along with the itty bitty balconies would be my only negative comments about this ship. We met so many wonderful people on this cruise, had such a great time. We can hardly wait to go on another cruise. We won't wait as long between cruises this time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this cruise because we have family in the northeast and we are from Florida. We booked it last year and were previously on the Regal Princess and truly enjoyed it. It is a beautiful ship. We embarked in Brooklyn and it was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have family in the northeast and we are from Florida. We booked it last year and were previously on the Regal Princess and truly enjoyed it. It is a beautiful ship. We embarked in Brooklyn and it was the fastes easiest embarkation we every experienced. Our rooms were ready and and the ship as we remembered it. Our cabin E110, which i fought to keep, rejecting a upgrade due to the size of the balcony. While the balcony was indeed huge the walk to our cabin and the extended walls surrounding it made it less convent than we expected. All and all the sailing was smooth, the entertainment was not quite what it should be and the cabin tv and internet were quite a problem. The internet is extremely slow and sporadic, the tv went out and we were disappointed with the lacking entertainment during the day, no tv in the cabin and extremely slow internet.... However the dining room and bar service was great. The acoustics on the ship seemed to be a problem. With the center plaza echoed thru three decks and made it hard to communicate with our group anywhere on 5,6,or 7. It seemed to echo. We spent many nights at the wheelhouse and the entertainment was great the noise was also a problem. The dining room staff were extremely accommodating and the food was good. I feel that if they were able to control the acoustics it would be great. Disembarkation was extremely smooth we had a 7:30am disembarkation and were off. The ship and thru customs within 10 minutes... Great cruiise Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
Entire cruise was excellant. The ship is beautiful and the crew and officers are all very friendly.. The Horizon court is the buffet dining area on deck 16 and although it is very big ,and fairly busy, I never had trouble finding a seat to ... Read More
Entire cruise was excellant. The ship is beautiful and the crew and officers are all very friendly.. The Horizon court is the buffet dining area on deck 16 and although it is very big ,and fairly busy, I never had trouble finding a seat to eat at. The International cafe is on deck 5 and it serves up sandwiches and desserts 24 hrs a day. Very good spot to sit and enjoy a bite to eat after closing down the bar called Club 6. The international cafe is located right near the main atrium called the Piazza where many shows. and events happen dailly.. the Piazza is the centre point of the ship located on all 3 decks 5,6, and 7 and the casino comes off this. The shops and stores and Alfredos Italian restaurant alond with a sushi bar and multiple drinking bars are zll located atound the Piazza. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
Husband & I have been on 2 Viking River cruises and this was our 1st Ocean cruise...and it wont be the last! This was our 50th cruise, with the other 47 being on "big boys". We traveled with 2 couples from our ... Read More
Husband & I have been on 2 Viking River cruises and this was our 1st Ocean cruise...and it wont be the last! This was our 50th cruise, with the other 47 being on "big boys". We traveled with 2 couples from our neighborhood. We chose to book our own air, because 2 couples had AA Miles to use & 3rd couple had money in SW to use. We flew to NYC a day early and stayed near Times Square. Boarding the ship was so easy. All of us had been upgraded to Penthouse Verandas on Deck 5,which was so spacious. We enjoyed having the bottle of champagne waiting for us and we loved that the mini-bar was refilled daily! Many people had cancelled due to the hurricane damage in the Caribbean & likely because of disembarking at San Juan, and as a result the ship was only about half full, and we had a Wonderful Experience! We really enjoyed having overnights onboard at NYC, Bermuda, San Juan and an unplanned overnight at Barbados (our ship had to wait for a container-load of supplies that had not arrived in Barbados the day we were there). All of us really liked all the food everywhere on the ship. We only ate in Manfredi's once because the 6 of us always found items on the dinner menu we wanted to eat. Due to the small number of passengers, it was not necessary to make reservations for Manfredi's more than a few hours in advance. We were very happy with the complimentary wine & beer at lunch & dinner. Food was for my group a Wonderful Experience. Although my husband & I had been to all the islands several times previously, we still really enjoyed the included tours. Our friends had not been to these islands, and they thoroughly enjoyed the tours! We found the tour guides & drivers to be easy to understand and very knowledgeable, It is obvious that Viking's staff does a thorough job of seeking out the best vendors for their tours. We thoroughly enjoyed Cruise Director Gene Young, who was also on his 1st Viking cruise. Mike & I had met him some 10 years ago on Holland Veendam when he was the lead singer and in charge of all the singers & dancers on that ship. Viking is lucky to have such a personable & talented man! We were very impressed how friendly all of the crew was and that they always smiled & spoke to us, even in passing in a corridor. Disembarkation from Viking Sea was the smoothest & the most pleasant one we have ever experienced....a Wonderful Experience!! Less than 10 minutes from ship to getting luggage, going through customs and walking out the terminal to the bus at the end of the pier! Although my husband & I have cruised out of San Juan 5 times previously & knew we could get our own taxi to airport, but due to the destructive hurricane, we decided to use Viking's transfer to the San Juan Airport. It was a wise choice as it was so efficient and comfortable. We left the ship on the last possible departure time because we all had mid-late afternoon flights. Our group is still discussing what, where & when will be our next Viking cruise, and if it will be on Viking Ocean or Viking River, but one thing is certain, we will be on Viking again for another Wonderful Experience!! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
A cruise departing from NYC was appealing. This was our third Viking ocean cruise on the same ship. The cruise was extremely enjoyable and the ship 1/2 full due to port changes and apprehension of the possible of post hurricaine ... Read More
A cruise departing from NYC was appealing. This was our third Viking ocean cruise on the same ship. The cruise was extremely enjoyable and the ship 1/2 full due to port changes and apprehension of the possible of post hurricaine ramifications. Overall most things were fine. The crab claws availability was not as prevalent as med cruises. As always on a cruise ship, the pizza is not worth eating. Wine service at lunch was slow. Plenty of servers but they need more training as to being observant and speedy. The Italian restaurant is wonderful. Mamsens is a great space for sea days. Hamburgers by the pool are too thick. Tea time at 4 is a real treat. It would be nice to have definitive up front rules on where and for what hours the wine is included at dinner time as in "only at an eating table" in Mamsens, "anywhere in the buffet as long as they are serving food", what area around the pool as long as food is served. Overall a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
When we got to the ship we were told that our planned route had to be altered due to the hurricane damage at a number of our ports of call. That was not a problem for us since we've been to the islands we were going to skip. The ... Read More
When we got to the ship we were told that our planned route had to be altered due to the hurricane damage at a number of our ports of call. That was not a problem for us since we've been to the islands we were going to skip. The nice thing about it was that Viking gave each of us a $250 room credit. Then, when we got to out stateroom, we found that they had also given us another $250 room credit. And to top that off, they gave us each a 25% credit off our next scheduled trip. What great customer relations. Apparently there were a lot of cancellations because there were only 400 passengers on board, which was great for us since we felt like we had the ship to ourselves. Both our cabin stewards were excellent. If you asked for something, you got it fast. Food was excellent, I still rave about the ribeye steak I got at Manfredies. The ship was spotlessly clean. The crew worked endlessly keeping the ship immaculate. The nightly entertainment was excellent. I also appreciated that they offered bridge games on days at sea. We had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this cruise because Bermuda was on the itinerary and the flight to NYC was included. We were picked up by limo at JFK and taken to the ship, which was docked at a Manhattan pier. All included. The included excursions were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because Bermuda was on the itinerary and the flight to NYC was included. We were picked up by limo at JFK and taken to the ship, which was docked at a Manhattan pier. All included. The included excursions were great. I also very much like the food onboard. The buffet includes shrimp, crab, and sushi every night. Desserts are ok, but the ice cream is really good. Every afternoon on sea days there is high tea. The tea and canapés are very good. This is our 3rd Viking ocean cruise and entertainment has improved. Cabin storage is limited, but we made it work! Bed and linens are very comfortable. The bathroom is large and the shower is roomy!! Cabin service staff are timely, personable, and efficient. I appreciate the lack of photographers everywhere, a casino, and art auctions. I got an intestinal bug and fever 5 days into the cruise. The medical office was great and there was no charge for the doctor visit or for medication! Customer service by Viking is exceptional. We have booked 3 Viking cruises for 2018. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this cruise as an introduction to Viking as a cruise provider. We were delighted and would recommend Viking (we already have) to anyone as a cruise line, The ship is beautifully designed with many areas where you can spend some ... Read More
We chose this cruise as an introduction to Viking as a cruise provider. We were delighted and would recommend Viking (we already have) to anyone as a cruise line, The ship is beautifully designed with many areas where you can spend some quiet time and well as others meant for activities and socializing (your choice). We also chose this trip because the ship holds a smaller number of passengers. This allows you to meet new people and get to know them. We have no desire to cruise with 3000 or 4000 other passengers. The food service provided allowed convenient times and styles to choose from so you can dine when and where you like. We never experienced any wait times at the restarurants nor any feelings of being crowded in. The inclusive beverage service is excellent. The cruising itself was smooth and seemed effortless. We enjoyed the stops in Boston, and the stops in Canada (new places for us) This was an ocean cruise, we have already signed up for a river cruise in 2018 on the Rhine with Viking. We are looking forward to that. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Have taken most of Viking River Cruises and wanted to see if Ocean cruise would be as great as what we have experienced on river. Did not expect it to be better, but found that everything was great, with choices for dinning, entertainment, ... Read More
Have taken most of Viking River Cruises and wanted to see if Ocean cruise would be as great as what we have experienced on river. Did not expect it to be better, but found that everything was great, with choices for dinning, entertainment, and great staff. Already looking forward to next Ocean cruise on the Sky. One of the real pleasures on this cruise, " No photographers, No children, No casinos" Just a great time to relax, enjoy the ship, take tours, and have great service.... The tours that are included with the ship are great and provide a great overview of the areas where the ship stays in port. They are well organized with no rushing or lining up to get out or long waits. Lots of choices as to what you want to choose, but always room. The spa on the ship is fantastic, not crowded, options for heat, sauna, hot tube and pool. Highlight is going into the ice room, and then jumping into the hot bath... A real waker upper!!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose the Viking Sky because of the itinerary. I have always wanted to do the Northeastern seaboard and Canada in the fall.Also it was our 40th wedding anniversary and we splurged on what was described as a "luxury" cruise ... Read More
We chose the Viking Sky because of the itinerary. I have always wanted to do the Northeastern seaboard and Canada in the fall.Also it was our 40th wedding anniversary and we splurged on what was described as a "luxury" cruise with an included tour at every port. The tour department on the Sky needs a big overhaul. When we boarded the Sky in New York we immediately went to the tour desk to ask about the included tour in New York. We were soon joined by several couples with the same question. We were told in no uncertain terms that none of us would be allowed on the tour as it was full. We all explained that we had been talking with Viking agents for months and were all assured that we would have a place on the tour.The very vocal young lady told us repeatedly that we would not be included on this tour. Very bad beginning to the cruise.So we didn't get to see New York. Arrived in Boston, where there was supposed to be a shuttle bus from the pier to the town. Hundreds of people waiting in the pier terminal for busses that never came. Another bad day for the tour office. Badly managed. New port, Gaspe,the included tour was a bus ride out to look at a stone cliff for 45 minutes.That was the extent of it. The rest of the staff was wonderful. The food was average, BIG disappointment. The included wine and beer were free flowing and good.The spa thermal pool, with snow room were great. The entertainment was low key but very good.Our cabin was adequate with very little storage space but a nice closet and bathroom. Loved the glass door on shower. Over all we were very disappointed with our cruise for the amount of money we paid for it. Read Less

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