Sail Date: August 2019
18 of my family and friends sailed on 8/4/19 to 5 different islands to celebrate my mother’s and 2 of my Aunts 60th birthday. 14 people were first time cruisers. The entertainments, the food and the staff were amazing. We were all ... Read More
18 of my family and friends sailed on 8/4/19 to 5 different islands to celebrate my mother’s and 2 of my Aunts 60th birthday. 14 people were first time cruisers. The entertainments, the food and the staff were amazing. We were all pleasantly satisfied with everything and looking forward to future cruise with Royal Caribbean. We missed our tour in San Juan, I contacted the executive office after Customer relations tried to give me a hard time for my refund. The office responded immediately and set up my refund. Excellent customer service on and off the ship. After the kids were in bed, we went out passed midnight almost every night enjoying the night life. The pizza restaurant was delicious, myself and kids enjoyed every slice. Our Waiter Florentina and her assistant went out of their way to take care of us. She found us sits in the crowded Windjammer for breakfast. I would recommend more varieties on the menu in the main dinning room. Also, more entertainment for the kids, we attended the kids disco on the 14th floor which started at 7:15 during dinner time. By the time we finished dinner and went up, it was almost over. The lady on the first day was interactive with the kids however, the guy on the other day just played music with couple of hula hoops and ballon laying on the floor. Both ended at 8:00 pm and 7:45 respectively. I will recommend this cruise line and ship to anyone looking for a great vacation. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I cruised on this ship during our honeymoon 7 years ago and were excited to be back on board! We did Carnival cruises the last two years, so it was interesting to go back to RCCL for comparison sake. We flew to San Juan a ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on this ship during our honeymoon 7 years ago and were excited to be back on board! We did Carnival cruises the last two years, so it was interesting to go back to RCCL for comparison sake. We flew to San Juan a few days early and stayed at a cool boutique hotel on Isla Verde Beach. We toured the forts and old city and got to eat some great food. We were blown away how hospitable everyone we encountered acted. From taxi drivers, police, shop owners, local beach-goers...they all were so kind and take a lot of pride in their island, especially in the wake of a couple of really difficult years. To the cruise. Embarkation was very fast and organized. It was interesting boarding around 12:30, but not leaving port until 8:30. Turned out to be cool. It was like a sea day and gave us time to get reacclimatized with the ship without feeling like we were missing anything. First day at sea was fun by the pool. Lots of music and dancing! There was an instance during the afternoon where it had started raining, but quite a few people stayed in and around the pools. Out of nowhere, a squall hit and had violent winds complete with flying deck chairs. It was very scary. To the staff’s credit, they immediately cleared everyone in as orderly manner as possible despite the chaos caused by Mother Nature. They are to be commended. Ports were all good, with Curacao and St. Martin being our faves. We chose a poor excursion in Bonaire which we regret because it ended up wasting our day. If you are able bodied, definitely get in the water at all of these islands Ship was in good shape for its age, food was good in buffet (also in Chops and Giovanni’s), service was good overall. Entertainment was good. They had an Adele impersonator singer her songs one night in the main theater - extremely good and nice break from the musical numbers they usually put together. My only gripes: Hard bed - difficult to sleep as a result. Casino was hot!!! We spend lots of time on slots and it was very uncomfortable. Smoking areas were weird. As a smoker, it was odd that non-smokers had to walk through smoke. We felt guilty. Other ships have this figured out better. That’s it though. Otherwise, things were at or above expectations. Finally, I’d like to touch on some of the other reviews I read on here prior to our trip relating to ‘too many Puerto Ricans’ or complaining about announcements in Spanish. This was hands down the best group of fellow passengers we have encountered so far. People were overall very respectful of each other, pleasant, and fun. We witnessed two encounters of inter-family squabbling. Both were not Hispanic. If you are expecting anything other than a Hispanic or Caribbean feel, this is not the trip for you. Maybe consider a riverboat cruise up the Mississippi or something? We choose to embrace being out of our normal confines and seeing and learning how other people live. Isn’t that kind of the point of traveling??? Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose cruise due to itinerary, great experience on Cuba cruise and large screen movies. First main dining room servers were exceptional. Stateroom above average not great. All customer service people on ship really nice and ... Read More
We chose cruise due to itinerary, great experience on Cuba cruise and large screen movies. First main dining room servers were exceptional. Stateroom above average not great. All customer service people on ship really nice and friendly. Itinerary was fun. Activities, like golf, ice skating and many more fun. Now letdowns. Jade is not Sushi anymore. One night only and awful. just plain rolls, no fish, except smoke Salmon and 90 percent rice. We had a few pieces and just said no more. TV in room still advertises nightly sushi but a lie. They have a sushi express for a fee. Now we know why they have played games with Jade. No real Caribbean food. Weak attempt for jerk chicken / pork. Just some off attempt on outside of pork / Chicken, no real Jamaican type. Sorrento's on Cuba had many self serve type Pizza's with tons of cheese. The ship had three same options with one different one daily, hardly any cheese. We went once and never again. It seems goal is to avoid people getting free food. Cafe another letdown. Cuba has Cuban sandwiches throughout day. Makes sense since Cuba cruise. Evenings soup, guacamole etc, wonderful. This ship lousy wraps, grocery store nonsense. Once again ruining experience for bottom line. Disgusting, we never went to cafe, mission accomplished for them. Big screen movie. My 11 year old son and i travel alone. Such a great father / son time on Cuba trip for us to sit in hot tub chit chat and watch movie. This ship my son wanted to watch from pool due to location. After half hour of movie they close pool, maybe 10:30pm. We move to hot tub. At 11 we are told that too is now closed. We leave to stateroom, no more movies rest of trip. Big waste. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We were on this ship on July 2008, the ship was pretty new since it was built on 2006. At that time it was the largest cruise ship, and had some unique features, like the flow rider. We decided on taking another cruise on the Freedom ... Read More
We were on this ship on July 2008, the ship was pretty new since it was built on 2006. At that time it was the largest cruise ship, and had some unique features, like the flow rider. We decided on taking another cruise on the Freedom because of the ports it was visiting, and didn't expect to find that this time the ship was even better than when it was new. It is very clean and you can't see many signs of aging, even though it is going to be renewed in 2020. The crew was wonderful and made us feel like royalty even more than on other ships. Room service was excellent and very quick. The quality of the food is excellent. There is a greater variety of dishes. This chefs are highly qualified in a grand variety of international cooking. Both the Main restaurant and the Windjammer were excellent. I did miss the Solarium for breakfast and dinner. Our cabin was a junior suite and had more closet and living space than the same cabin category on other ships. Very comfortable cabin and impeccably clean. There were many activities and the entertainment were great. As usual in most cruises the trivias were always full of enthusiasts. Bolero lounge had a trio that kept everyone dancing until late hours. I recommend the Freedom of the Seas for first timers and experienced cruisers, it's worth the experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We were on the first Summit sailing after the “Revolution” for a 5 night Dutch Antilles cruise from San Juan. This was our first cruise on Celebrity. We did a lot of research before our cruise, so there were no surprises and we were ... Read More
We were on the first Summit sailing after the “Revolution” for a 5 night Dutch Antilles cruise from San Juan. This was our first cruise on Celebrity. We did a lot of research before our cruise, so there were no surprises and we were overall very pleased with our cruise. I am going to break it down into segments. Pre-Cruise – Best Western Plus Condado Palm Inn & Suites, Condado San Juan This hotel was adequate for a 1 night stay. Our room was clean. The breakfast was edible and it was free, so we didn’t expect too much. The price was right as it was high season and we didn’t want to pay in excess of $250. This was our first time in Condado. It reminded me of a kitschy beach town – lots of souvenir shops. We did eat at Orozco’s and I would highly recommend them. Great service and we tried the Trifongo (as recommended by our taxi driver from the airport) – which was fantastic. We went into the lobbies of La Concha – stunning! and the Marriott Stelaris, which was also beautiful. We asked the concierge to get a van for us when we were ready to leave for the ship. We left the hotel around 10:30am and we were all checked in and on the ship by 11:00am. We took a little tour around the ship and ate the concierge luncheon in the dining room. The menu was limited, but the food was very good – the choices were short rib, salmon and chicken. Our Room - We had a concierge balcony – room 8169 towards the rear of the ship. Our room steward was okay to sub-standard. Our travel partners had many issues with him, including a missing bowl of chocolate they had put out to entertain on their cabin crawl. He suggested that maybe they put it on the breakfast tray by accident. They were not too happy with that or him at all. He didn’t know that there was a pillow menu – which there was as confirmed by our concierge. As for the room itself, we were pleased with the overall size and the amount of storage. Also there were plenty of outlets and places to recharge our electronics. I also liked the light strip at the bathroom door, so no nightlight was needed. We did get the late afternoon tray of appetizers. Some were good, others pretty strange. Sometimes we could have used a utensil or some sort of cracker or chip to taste the appetizer, but were not provided with such. For instance there was a lovely beet salad, however, nothing to eat it with and I did not want to eat beets with my hands, lol. Also there was a lovely shrimp salad, same thing. However, I did pick out the shrimp and then washed my hands. The Ship – We thought overall very beautiful. However, we though some of it is going to be very hard to keep clean. Some furry chairs at the martini bar were already looking a little used where one would put their hands to get on and off. We loved the solarium and the bubbling pipes! Food – We loved the layout of the Oceanview Café and the stations were well placed and there was a good flow. The only stations that had lines were the pasta station, the omelets and waffles – the maker only made 4 waffles at a time. There was a nice variety of food and it was very good. As for dinner, we only ate at the main dining room –The Cosmopolitan Restaurant at the 6pm seating. Our server, Xiomarra, was very nice and prompt. On the first evening, we were already at our main entrée by the time the beverage person came around. We complained, and it was rectified for the remainder of the week. Our sommelier was lovely. The food was very good. I was expecting over the top amazing from all I had read about Celebrity, but I wouldn’t say that it was. Overall we were very happy with it and the selections except on our last evening. The deserts were sometimes were lacking flavor. We were seated by the rear big window on the 2nd floor and had those funky tall coffin-like chairs. I hated them – so very, very hard and heavy to move and impossible to get in and out of. Also, it was very uncomfortable and my server found me an extra pillow and at times I added my airplane pillow! Ship-wise, the bar staff seemed to be overworked and not enough of them. I waited many times just for a bottle of water, which often was at room temperature and not chilled. Cruise Director – We had Patrick. We saw him only pre-shows on the stage, but never walking around on the ship. He did teach and demonstrate Salsa dancing at the Salsa deck party. Boy can he move! He was not that personable, but got the job done. Shows/Entertainment – We did not know what to expect, so we brought cards just in case. I am happy to report that we didn’t touch them. Monday – Comedian Phil Tag, only one show at 9:45. He was pretty good. There was also a Salsa party on the deck and the CD Patrick showed us how to dance. His dancing was amazing and we had a great time! Tuesday – the show by the ship’s entertainment staff was “Soundtrack”. It was a great show and the singers were really, really good. We also attending the Silent Disco which was a real hoot. There was also a late night adult show with Phil Tag. Wednesday – Was a performance by 2 members of the American Ballet theatre – they did the piece White Swan. Then there was a violinist, Katarina Rosse who was simply amazing. Then there was another modern ballet performance from the 2 stars. A beautiful, wonderful night. Thursday – the production show December ’63. Again, it was fabulous. This entertainment crew is probably the most talented we have ever seen on a ship. Friday – Production show “Life”. This was the best of all. Somewhere in here was a comedy show with Brian Bradley which I liked better than the other one. There were also several Trivia games throughout the day and evening which we joined in on. Bingo was only done once, on our last day. That was disappointing. There were no electronic packages – the cards were the tear the flap kind. Excursions – We only booked 1 excursion – Old and New San Juan with airport drop-off – from the ship. We booked independent operators for the islands. St. Kitts – We booked the Grand Tour of St. Kitts with Thenford Gray. We were 6 of us in a lovely air conditioned van. Our driver and tour guide was Sackville Gray. He was very knowledgeable of his island and we loved his tour. We went to Carambola Batik at the beautiful Romney Manor and grounds, Brimstone Fort and the amazing outlook on Timothy Hill of where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean. We also went to a black sand beach for approximately 40 minutes. My first black sand beach and boy is the sand hot! I would highly recommend this tour. St. Croix – Sadly, this island has barely recovered from hurricane Maria. We did an island tour with Prince Taxi. He was very knowledgeable and personable. However, we ended up in an open air vehicle – website advertised air conditioned van. Also we waited at the port while he tried to fill up 2 vehicles. Unfortunately, we ended up in the vehicle with a different driver. He knew nothing about the island and made no commentary. However, at times Jaylen (the owner) would stop his vehicle and come over to ours to point out something of interest. The part I did not like of this tour was a stop by a bar in the country which had pigs that the tourists feed O’Douls to. I felt uncomfortable with this and our time would have been better spend seeing a more beautiful part of the island such as the tide pools. Basically it was a ploy to share some tourist dollars to his friends at the bar. We went to the Cruzan Rum factory – interesting tour and the Pina Colada’s were wonderful. We spend about 40 minutes in Christianstaad. Wish we had more time there. It was very quaint and lots of nice shops and restaurants. We were supposed to have time at the end of the tour for a beach visit, but there was no time due to the late start. Antigua – The gem of these 3 islands. We took a tour with Scenic Tours Antigua with our tour guide Ray. Again we were 6 of us in a very well maintained air conditioned van. Ray was wonderful – full of energy and very knowledgeable. He took us to all the spots that had amazing vistas. We went to Nelson’s Dockyard, Shirley Heights and ended with a trip to Jolly Beach (which was stunningly beautiful). We had a great day and I would highly recommend this tour. Service Comments – Spotty, especially bar service. But I wanted to again complement our dining room server Xiomarra. Our excursion in Puerto Rico - Bacardi rum factory with airport drop off was cancelled. We went to the excursion desk, and even though it was during their closed hours, the girl Alina saw us and helped us rebook our excursion to the tour Old and New San Juan and printed out new luggage embarkation tags for us. She was very helpful. On our first day on the ship we learned our flight had been cancelled and we had to call Southwest to change it. The day before disembarkment, Roberto in the Innovations (Apple) store was not too busy, so he helped us log into our flights the day before and sent the boarding passes to the new computer area printer. Very helpful! Conclusion – The ship was beautiful. My husband and I liked the size of the ship - we are small ship people. My younger brother and his wife prefer the Oasis size ships of Royal. We tried not to expect too much going into this knowing we were the first cruise after the refurbishment. I would say it went pretty seamlessly. One thing we did feel, however, is that Celebrity is very class driven. Dining venues and lounges for upper reward levels took a disproportionate area of the ship, especially for one this size. Overall we enjoyed our first Celebrity cruise and I am pretty certain it will not be the last. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Well, we are back from our first Viking Ocean cruise – 10 days West Indies Explorer on the Viking Sea March 2019. We arranged our own flights, so we got to San Juan PR and made our way to the ship. Check in was easy-peasy and so ... Read More
Well, we are back from our first Viking Ocean cruise – 10 days West Indies Explorer on the Viking Sea March 2019. We arranged our own flights, so we got to San Juan PR and made our way to the ship. Check in was easy-peasy and so different than what happens on other lines. I’ve sailed Carnival (platinum), Royal Caribbean, and NCL in the past, so this was not my first check-in. Of course 930 passengers vice 3000-5000 makes quite a difference. Our room stewards Teddy and Emm were great and met us when we arrived and explained features of our room. They always greeted us if they were about and ensured we had everything we needed. Even though it was about 3:30PM, we found the pool grill had wonderful and we got our first wine and beer (free with lunch and dinner). Waiters were available and checked on us often. This continued throughout the entire cruise in all dining venues! Great job. On the second night onboard, just as we were getting ready to leave San Juan behind, we had our Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle – an invitation was left in our room with the Viking Daily the day before. The Captain and his command staff were busy, but every available senior staff officer attended. We had a very nice chat with Tom Aberg (Hotel General Manager), Edgar de Jaspi (Beverage Manager) and John Cunningham (Restaurant Manager) while enjoying free drinks and finger foods. From that evening on, we were always greeted by these senior officers. Surprisingly, a few days later we got another invitation to another Meet and Mingle. We went and when we asked, we were told by another Cruise Critic member, that they missed the first one – apparently they didn’t realize they had to sign up for the M&M on CC prior to arriving onboard, so they didn’t receive an invitation. But the staff wanted to ensure that they were not left out, so we had a second get together with all the trimmings and all the senior staff. (Now what other cruise line would do that???) At this meeting, in addition to Edgar and John, I had a nice talk with Jenn Beaudoin (Cruise Director) and Mara Buga (Guest Services Manager). I had a special request of Jenn and she made some calls had made arrangements. Thank you Jenn and thanks for Fredrik Svensson for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to another Engineer! I’m not going to do a day to day accounting of my experiences, but I will make a few comments. First, the food and drink onboard is outstanding. All venues were excellent, but we always like the Restaurant and had wonderful meals in Manfredi’s and at the Chef’s Table. Service was impeccable regardless of where we ate. Secondly, I was so impressed by the Senior Staff. On most lines, one does not even see the Hotel Manager, Restaurant Manager, Financial Officer or Beverage Manager, but on this ship/line, they were highly visible and jumped in anytime there was need. For example, Tom, John or Edgar often were escorting guests in the Restaurant or in the Theater. (Again, where else have you ever seen this happen?) Third, I was somewhat concerned about taking the included excursions thinking they would be boring. Not so. The guides were obviously well vetted and could answer any question thrown at them. In many of the ports, the tour at a specific time was broken into smaller groups which worked well and kept wait time to a minimum. I learned something at every port! We also did a 3 optional tours and they were wonderful! Only thing I questioned was at all these wonderful Caribbean ports, there were no Scuba diving tours… hmmm. Fourth, was the general ‘we want you to learn something’ on this cruise vibe on the ship. There was a resident historian onboard who had some wonderful lectures and round table discussions. There was also a Geologist who gave talks on how the islands were formed and such. Really interesting! If you happened to miss the talk, don’t fear, it was recorded for on-demand broadcast on the in cabin TV along with lots of other great informative programs, news stations and movies. Fifth, the entertainment onboard was wonderful – singers and musicians were top notch. Shows were excellent. A steel pan group was brought onboard at one port to play by the pool for an afternoon show. We also had Line Dance lessons. Unfortunately, I have 2 left feet when it comes to this! But it was enjoyable! Overall, it was a GREAT Experience and it will not be our last Viking Ocean cruise! Great Job by everyone onboard! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We had a wonderful cruise vacation on Carnival Fascination sailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico. The number of island destinations was the main reason we chose this cruise (Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise vacation on Carnival Fascination sailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico. The number of island destinations was the main reason we chose this cruise (Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; Basseterre, St Kitts; and Phillipsburg, St. Maarten). We were happy we selected the FTTF (Faster To The Fun) as we were able to board the ship near noon on our sailing day and disembark early. As well as obtaining the early seating for dinner and priority service at Guest Services. Boarding at San Juan, was the worst part. People stood all around the outside of the dock area in no real discernable order. Thinking we were in a line for early boarding, we were stopped from entry when the people in front of us had a 2 pm board time. We kept trying every employee and finally gained admittance around 12:30. Later, we found out that this cruise also boards people at St. Maartens and (we think) St Thomas-which adds to the confusion in Puerto Rico. It seems that ALL passengers must be off the ship for 4 hours in San Juan for customs-including those who are not boarding at San Juan. So those people-who have valid sea passes are also waiting around trying to re-board. There should be a better way to allow those with sea passes and noon boarding unfettered access to entry. The ship is smaller and originally put into service in 1994, but they continue to update as recently as 2013. What our balcony cabin E249 lacked in a more modern bath area, was made up in the automated floor lighting when you got up at night, as well as the window beside the door to the balcony. We Love Guys Burgers (and fries) and had them continually! Plus we enjoyed the Blue Iguana for great Mexican food out by the pool. Also we Love that the ice cream is available 24/7! We enjoy dining in the main dining room and were not disappointed with the food, the service, the presentation or Lobster Night! Our main waiter, Elmer, is wonderful anddeserves recognition. As well as Ronnie and Yasa who assisted with our fine diningexperience. And finally, our cabin steward, Marlon, was one of the best we have ever had among allour 30 years of cruising. In St Thomas, we chose to walk around the town and stopped into "Pirates TreasureMuseum" for $16 per person and spent several hours learning about the shipwrecks,seeing items found below the sea, reading diary entries, and even speaking withCaptain Jack Sparrow's little brother. We recommend this adventure. At Barbados, we didn't take a cruise tour either, choosing instead to take a taxi to the George Washington House and Garrison Tunnels. This is only about a mile or so from the dock. The tour guides are knowledgeable and pleasant for both the restored home as well as the newly found Garrison Tunnels. Again we recommend. At St Lucia, we opted for the Carnival excursion of the Catamaran Cruise to the Pitons and were very pleased. The catamaran crew was wonderful, the scenery from the shoreline was amazing and we were able to stop for about a half an hour to walk along a little beach. For St Kitts, we chose the Highlights & Brimstone Hill Fortress sold by Carnival. Here our bus driver allowed a woman at the entrance to Brimstone (a Brimstone employee?) onto our van who pressured us to rent a device to tell us about the Fortress. However, the device repeatedly tells you to find "stop # blank on your map"-but there is no map! You have no way to know when to listen to your information at what location. Do NOT purchase this scam at the Fortress. Finally, we chose the new Rainforest Adventures St Maarten for the Sky Ride. The viewsare incredible and the Flying Dutchman looked like a wild ride! This is a definite GO. The only glitch we had was with our return flight, which we chose. The Boeing 737 Max 8's were downed days before our cruise. We called our airline, Southwest Air, and wereinformed that since neither nonstop flight to or from San Juan|Baltimore MD were onthe Max 8, there would be no problems. The flight to our cruise had no issues. However, when we got off the cruise at the end of our vacation, we found that Southwest had cancelled our return flight while we were at sea and then failed to notify us. Later we were informed that the Carnival system must not interact well with the Southwest system and that is why Southwest did not notify us of the change in our return flight cancellation. Instead of taking our confirmed nonstop flight at 2:50pm to Baltimore, we waited at the airport with ALL our luggage until 4 hours before an 8 pm flight to Orlando Florida. Southwest did give us a lunch ($10) and dinner ($14) voucher, but did nothing to help us with a room overnight in Orlando where they stranded us. We called Southwest following our trip and found that Southwest will only hollowly apologize. The $130 we paid to have a room to sleep was an additional expense that is our problem. We used to think Southwest was a premier airlines. It was disappointing to see how they reacted when a problem arose. At the very least, we now know. Again, Carnival has given us a wonderful vacation. You really should go on this one. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We had a Mini-Suite underneath the Garden Cafe. Fortunately the noise was not too intrusive. The food in the Garden Cafe was inedible. The coffee was gut renching. The concept of "Freestyle Dining" was misunderstood by me. ... Read More
We had a Mini-Suite underneath the Garden Cafe. Fortunately the noise was not too intrusive. The food in the Garden Cafe was inedible. The coffee was gut renching. The concept of "Freestyle Dining" was misunderstood by me. We did not realize that we had to "plan out our dining choices for the week". I was under the impression that "freestyle dining" meant that we could choose a specialty restaurant on the same day or on the fly. which we found out was totally not true. All of the specialty restaurants were Booked prior to the ship setting sail! What a huge disappointment! The food in the main dining rooms were average. Overall, the service was superb. The staff in the restaurants, cabin steward Jefferson Dulay, was exceptional. Our favorite shore excursion, Dancing Dolphin catamaran trip from St. Thomas to St. John was excellent. Val, Jason and Brandon were absolutely wonderful. The best shore excursion by far. We hired a taxi in St. Johns Antigua. Derrick was fantastic. The 2 hour tour was awesome. He took his time with each site and it did not feel as though you were sitting in a van looking out the windows. He made numerous stops and we got out to explore each stop. The taxi broke down on the way back and he made sure we were well taken care of in very little down time. Would hire him again for sure. Richard, the Cruise Director made each event we attended very enjoyable. He has a lot of energy! Ian, the dining manager made sure the dining room staff were efficient and kept things running smoothly. He was excellent! In spite of the things mentioned above, it was an overall enjoyable and relaxing trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Went with a group, nice price....took us to the airport, then to port. Upon entering my room, aboard ship....my balcony, table an chairs were so dirty, we washed them so we wouldn;t get dirt on our white clothing.....then I spent the ... Read More
Went with a group, nice price....took us to the airport, then to port. Upon entering my room, aboard ship....my balcony, table an chairs were so dirty, we washed them so we wouldn;t get dirt on our white clothing.....then I spent the entire day waiting for luggage...I couldn;t swim...I didn"t get to the main dining room because my suitcase didnt never arrived....so there was day one ruined. Next we found under the bed toms of garbage???? Our sink did not have hot water....a little mold hidden in the shower. I never had a ship that was dirty. I have been on many RC cruises plus other brands. The entertainment was always good as was the food was great.......I am done crusing...what do u do in the middle of the ocean wwwith lousy food...dirty ship??? WASH HANDS OFTEN.....VERY LOUSLY entertainment.....Use to be a crusier NO MORE...This ship has a lousy casino...very old machines...not many slots,,,this is another thing I enjoy, it stunk Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
NCL Dawn, March 3 to March 10. Mini-Suite Rm 11676 I’ll preface my critique noting that this was my first NCL cruise, but I’ll also add that I’ve cruised on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. First, boarding (mainly cause our ... Read More
NCL Dawn, March 3 to March 10. Mini-Suite Rm 11676 I’ll preface my critique noting that this was my first NCL cruise, but I’ll also add that I’ve cruised on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. First, boarding (mainly cause our departure was at 9:00pm) was very quick and easy - as I boarded at 1:00pm. Food in the Garden Cafe was available, and our room became available at approximately 3:00pm. We also booked three specialty dinning options, and our reservation times were all met. Teppanyaki: By far was my favorite. Great service, outstanding food from the edamame, fried rice and sea food selection was all worth it. Cagney’s: Was a close second on favorites. Great porterhouse steak. Le Bistro: Although the least favorite, it was worth the up charge. As for other food options, the Garden Cafe was OK - but not bad. The Venetian, Aqua and Bamboo were all good options if not at the specialty dinning location. Also, classy touch to provide appetizers at the casino later in the evening. We booked a few excursions, however the one that stood out was ANUD1011 Kayak & Snorkel Adventure on Antiqua. At $70.00 per person, we believe this excursion gave the most bang for the buck. Besides a ride thru the countryside, we kayaked thru the man grooves, hiked to a mountain top to view the Atlantic Ocean, then snorkeled. After our boat back to catch a bus back to the ship, water, rum punch and snacks we available. What really stood out was the professionalism and work ethic of the staff. Never a let down throughout the cruise - always courteous, and providing great service. The other thing that stood out was the ship never felt over crowded, and lines were minimal and always moved. If there was any negatives, general announcements were very hard to hear. The smoking room which was located on the sixth floor, sometimes leaked smoke into the bar area - and can be a bit overwhelming for non-smokers. Lastly, our Cabin Steward was very good, and besides the normal gratuities, I gave him an additional tip in person - but he didn’t seem happy. Not sure if I’m reading him wrong, or he was insulted. Overall, an oddly laid out ship really became its strength and appeal. And I took advantage of almost all of the ship, from sunning and swimming, sitting on my personal deck, multiple dinning locations, bars and gambling too - With my experience being excellent. I miss it, and would book another NCL cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary + price that included some great extras. While we had a 4th FL room w/ only a porthole, we found it quite advantageous to avoid crowds and exit/enter very easily from the ports - they were on ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary + price that included some great extras. While we had a 4th FL room w/ only a porthole, we found it quite advantageous to avoid crowds and exit/enter very easily from the ports - they were on our floor. However, get an inside room, being right next to the exits can be quite noisy early in the morning. Overall we had a great cruise. While I wouldn't consider myself a cruiser, it is great for last minute planning if the ports are good. However, since we had the prepaid beverage/dining plan, we felt it was gluttonous and would likely not take those options again. While it was of course our own decisions, we really felt obligated to eat/drink even when we weren't hungry. It's hard to return from an excursion then wait until 8:00 to dine, so of course we had a bite in the buffet, bad idea! The steakhouse and French restaurants were the best, in line w/ the reviews. We also enjoyed the Asian restaurant, the churrascaria could be passed on. The staff was great, appreciated the focus on cleanliness and service. Our room was fine, helped to get so many extras with our package. So here are my 2 beefs. 1) I read all my materials so thought I was sure that we had most costs covered. Surprise - they now have a daily per person service charge to cover ship employees who do not receive tips. I am glad they pay good wages, but I am still very sore that this was not included upfront, very sore. 2) I feel like I was up-sold to fill an excursion that was only mediocre. The gentleman told me the Golden Eagle Sail & Snorkel was the best snorkeling on the trip. It was a great catamaran but sad, sad snorkeling. When I complained about the parts I did not enjoy, nothing was done. Had I known that St Thomas was THE place to snorkel, I would have gladly bought that excursion. Next time I'll do my research and likely book elsewhere for a more reasonable price. At every port, we found better options for full or half day tours of the island highlights. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Chose it for the itinerary. This was my first cruise and I could not have been happier! Each and every ship employee I came in contact with went out of their way to make sure I had what I needed. I was impressed with how the crew would ... Read More
Chose it for the itinerary. This was my first cruise and I could not have been happier! Each and every ship employee I came in contact with went out of their way to make sure I had what I needed. I was impressed with how the crew would remember our names. Our cabin attendant (Reynaldo G) was the highlight!! He was always so happy eager to help in any way he could. The ONLY rude people I came in contact with were some of the passengers, never a crew member. I read reviews of people budging in line during the bag drop off but with that in mind our group was willing to "redirect" these people back to the end of the line. The check-in and check-out process was very well organized and went smoothly. The shows were amazing. We attended a comedian show and the ice show. The shore excursions reserved through the ship were very well organized. In two ports we didn't go through the ship and had no problems with the excursions we chose in port. The ship was immaculate but some areas were dated. I did hear that Freedom of the Seas was going into dry dock at the end of the year for an overhaul. The only "complaint" I had was the information meeting for St. Maarten. It was advertised as a 30 minute show to introduce us to things to do in St. Maarten but ended up being a 1 hour "show" talking about jewelry stores on the island. Granted, some of the deals were amazing but nowhere did the advertising mention this and again, it said 30 minutes, not 1 hour. All in all, I would certainly book through Royal Caribbean for my next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise based on the ports of call rather than the cruise line. No disappointments with the islands we visited, all were very enjoyable. We did excursions at each port and they were as advertised for the most part. The crew on ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the ports of call rather than the cruise line. No disappointments with the islands we visited, all were very enjoyable. We did excursions at each port and they were as advertised for the most part. The crew on the ship was anything but Norwegian but were friendly and we had no complaints. We had a basic cabin with a veranda which was “cozy” but comfortable. The bathroom was tiny but functional. The restaurants were good, not exceptional, highly recommend the specialty restaurants although the costs add up fast. No shortage of bars but if you’re a bourbon drinker like me you will have very limited options and be prepared for “resort” liquor (very low proof). A special shout out to one bartender in particular, Leila, in the Gatsby. She’s not only the best on the ship but may be the best bartender we’ve ever met on a cruise vacation. We are not big on evening entertainment but if you are, it was very (sub)average. Despite the ships shortcomings, I would recommend this cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Itinerary was perfect. Aruba, Bonaire, Curaceo and Antigua were our favorites. Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Lucia and St. Thomas were beautiful. Didn’t explore San Juan because we had been there before. Embarkation and disembarkation went ... Read More
Itinerary was perfect. Aruba, Bonaire, Curaceo and Antigua were our favorites. Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Lucia and St. Thomas were beautiful. Didn’t explore San Juan because we had been there before. Embarkation and disembarkation went very quickly and smoothly. Like older and smaller ships. Entertainment was great. Loved Jose and Patty and the big production numbers. The wine bar needs to be changed to a Five O’clock Sonewhere Sports Bar. No one ever in the wine bar. Liked no smoking around pool area and the main atrium bar serving drinks as well as coffee. Loved Ruby in the Aqua Restaurant. She was the best we’ve had in six cruises with NCL. We were very pleased with the itinerary on this cruise. All the islands were gorgeous but we really loved Antigua. Absolutely gorgeous. The Aqua Restaurant staff was especially great. We ate there every night and never ate in the main dining room. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
The trip from the islands to visit was all interesting, but we were disappointed by the restaurants. The only restaurant interressant on this boat was Le Bistro and the Cagney steak house, it seems that the employees are poorly trained one ... Read More
The trip from the islands to visit was all interesting, but we were disappointed by the restaurants. The only restaurant interressant on this boat was Le Bistro and the Cagney steak house, it seems that the employees are poorly trained one evening at the restaurant they brought me the wrong order I warned the server he told me not to understand. In the evening impossible to sleep during the shows at the pool because were was banging on the head because the cabin was under the pool (11566) during the stay a smell of sewer in the corridor of our cabin. At the twelve floor buffet the fabric chair was stained and uninviting, the food was very ordinary even though we were not picky I expected better. When we went to eat at Cagney my girlfriend fell to the ground when she walked on food, no harm but what a nuisance. Cruise to forget !!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We always cruise with Carnival for the value and convenience. We chose this cruise specifically for the ports. This cruise stopped at five ports (St Thomas, Barbados, St Lucia, St Kitts, St Maarten) and since the cruise originated in San ... Read More
We always cruise with Carnival for the value and convenience. We chose this cruise specifically for the ports. This cruise stopped at five ports (St Thomas, Barbados, St Lucia, St Kitts, St Maarten) and since the cruise originated in San Juan, it really became a six port cruise. The Carnival Fascination is an older, smaller, Fantasy class ship but is in very good condition and has the 2.0 upgrades (Guy’s Burger, Blue Iguana, etc). The ship was clean and we had no complaints. We stayed in an interior cabin on Deck 6 (Upper). We chose that deck because it is sandwiched between two decks that were all cabins, thus eliminating potential noise from public spaces. We had no issues with our cabin at all. Very comfortable! Entertainment in the main theatre (The Palace) was well done but was pretty standard Carnival style shows. All of the shows are relatively similar with different themes, like Motown, on different nights. This cruise did feature a juggler, who was very good, and that was different. They also had the HASBRO game show. We didn’t attend that since we had seen it a couple of times previously. The ongoing “Clue” game was a real let down. Rather than giving real clues so you could solve the mystery, they gave the answers at different times and then simply drew from everyone who had attended all of the clue reveals. No skill or deduction involved whatsoever. Four different comedians were on this cruise and were funny, as was the piano bar entertainer. Service throughout the ship was top notch. Carnival employees are always very friend and go out of their way to make you comfortable and welcome. Shore excursions were fun and generally as advertised. I booked two excursions outside Carnival, the rest were through Carnival. I especially appreciate Carnival’s promise not to leave a passenger in the event an excursion is delayed. That’s why I usually book with Carnival. Great cruise! Can’t wait until next year! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our 2nd cruise on the Dawn. My fiancé and I are ages 30 & 35. We were told that the average age of cruisers on this trip was 55 years old, however ages probably ranged from 6 months to 90 years! I loved the ports the ship ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise on the Dawn. My fiancé and I are ages 30 & 35. We were told that the average age of cruisers on this trip was 55 years old, however ages probably ranged from 6 months to 90 years! I loved the ports the ship visited, which is the main reason why we chose this ship. It's a busy itinerary with only 2 sea days but I enjoy that. The value is also good compared to other cruises. Embarkation went ok. We arrived around 11:30 AM and were onboard about an hour later. The food is fine at the buffet and dining rooms. I loved the omelette and the crepe stations! The drinks were yummy too! I especially liked the mango meltdown, rebellious fish and daydreamer's daiquiri. Entertainment was wonderful. There was something different every night and multiple options. We saw dancers and singers, musicians, a ventriloquist, comedian, juggler, magician, and aerialists from around the world! I really enjoyed the gameshows that involved audience members, so funny! I love the Norwegian Elements show, featuring dancers, singers, and a magician. I really liked listening to pianist Nathaniel Reid at Gatsby's bar! Service was great! Staff were friendly and helpful. The room stewards we have had were awesome! During the days when we weren't in port, I preferred to spend time lounging by the pool, listening to the band or dj. Overall, I really enjoyed this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
This is the first time cruiseing with NCL and our experience was great. My only down side was the age range of the cruisers since we are a younger couple. My big plus was how great our room was and how clean and how the turn down ... Read More
This is the first time cruiseing with NCL and our experience was great. My only down side was the age range of the cruisers since we are a younger couple. My big plus was how great our room was and how clean and how the turn down service was amazing. Our stateroom steward was Eko Miftakhul Najib he made our cruise experience great. Also the cruise director was amazing and keeping the party going and I loved his jokes. The dinning was very good but desert options where not my favorite. The excursions where diverse and every since excursion was memorable and good experience. The ship was updated and the staff was friendly. The photo center was great we enjoyed the photos that where purchased. We enjoyed taking photos from one paticular photographer I can’t remember her name exacts but she was a younger girl from South Africa. She was great and she made our trip memorable. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because of the ports. The itinerary was fantastic. We were located on deck 10 aft. Definitely wouldn’t recommend this location. All you hear from 6am til after midnight is chairs sliding a cross the floor. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports. The itinerary was fantastic. We were located on deck 10 aft. Definitely wouldn’t recommend this location. All you hear from 6am til after midnight is chairs sliding a cross the floor. The food was very disappointing compared to other NCL ships we have been on, The specialty restaurants are the best. Checking in an leaving the Ship was the best we’ve seen. Entertainment was ok nothing to write about. Hot tubes were always crowded. Buffet food was the same thing EVERYDAY No seafood night like other NCL lines we’ve been on. Also couldn’t hear the loud speakers from our room. The staff was definitely friendly an helpful. It would have been nice to have longer days at the ports. Leaving one island at 1:30 was pushing it if you had an Excursion. We enjoyed ourselves but would like to let others know what we experienced . Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We decided to sail out of San Juan because of the iitenerary. It did not disappoint. Barbados and St. Lucia were great ports. The Virgin Islands were good as well. I like NCLfreestyle ways. Everyone on board was friendly and went out of ... Read More
We decided to sail out of San Juan because of the iitenerary. It did not disappoint. Barbados and St. Lucia were great ports. The Virgin Islands were good as well. I like NCLfreestyle ways. Everyone on board was friendly and went out of their way to make your experience a good one. The room stewards are on point Adrian was ours and he was great. Pedro the entertainment director does a good job. The not so newlywed game had me in tears literally. I advise booking some speciality restaurants and booking early. They fill up fast. The complimentary restaurants get old after a while. The Dawn is an older smaller ship. It wears its age well. The ship is well cleaned. The staff is great. The dock party was a blast. NCL entertain better than carnival in my opinion. Moving the white party indoors because of weather was premature. Ended up being beautiful outside. Overall, it was a great trip. There are a lot of free giveaways in port. Check the insert of you daily entertainment publishing. Oh to my surprise, the drinks on NCL were poten. Not cheap, 10-15 each. But strong and tasty. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Third time out of San Juan. Like it because we see new islands. Never been on this ship but have cruised RC 12 other times out of Rome Miami Galveston New Orleans and Fort Lauderdale. Got off to a good start with check in. Room and ... Read More
Third time out of San Juan. Like it because we see new islands. Never been on this ship but have cruised RC 12 other times out of Rome Miami Galveston New Orleans and Fort Lauderdale. Got off to a good start with check in. Room and baggage was timely but diner was a mess. Did My time but seating was disorganize. Many trying to be seated without reservations. New Year’s Eve was worse plus service timing was horribly offand kitchen backed up. It improved as we went thru the week but quality and selection was average at best. Formal night, particularly NYE was laughable. Those of us who chose to dress up found ourselves surrounded by jacket less open collars, some in jeans Entertainment was subpar in most venues. This was a disappointment because we were always told RC went out of their way for high quality shows on New Years cruises What really surprised us with the percentage of Puerto Rican guest, over half. Kinda overwhelmed us. We been out of San Juan many times and other foreign ports but the Freedom did a poor job of balancing the music and activities to everyone. Top desk was a Puerto Rican party with Spanish music most of the time. Cruise director and staff was for the most part mia. Cabin service was good, support staff helpful and rooms well maintained. Saw some great islands but in the end for the cost of a new years cruise and travel it was missing the mark Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Cruise sailed from San Juan. There was a surprising diversity among the passengers - English speaking, Spanish speaking; young, old; families, and couples. The highlight was the New Year's celebration. We have been on 17 Celebrity ... Read More
Cruise sailed from San Juan. There was a surprising diversity among the passengers - English speaking, Spanish speaking; young, old; families, and couples. The highlight was the New Year's celebration. We have been on 17 Celebrity cruises and have always found the food and service to be excellent. But, this time the food, particularly the beef, wasn't up to par - two different dinners, the beef was tough. I also became annoyed by being constantly reminded how I was expected to fill out the end of cruise survey. I know the waiter didn't cook the food, but I do know how well he/she resolves dissatisfaction with the food. Overall, ship was clean and we'll maintained. Service was very good, and the entertainment was about as good as I've seen. Small things, like usable shelves in the bathroom we're appreciated. We have sailed on the once Summit before, and would again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
The Norwegian Dawn embarkation and disembarkation were very quick and well organized. The transfer from the airport to ship was very well done but disappointed the ship was docked at the cargo port instead of near old town. One of the ... Read More
The Norwegian Dawn embarkation and disembarkation were very quick and well organized. The transfer from the airport to ship was very well done but disappointed the ship was docked at the cargo port instead of near old town. One of the highlights of the trip was our pass to the sauna used every day of the trip-very relaxing.Room was mid ship balcony on deck ten and very quiet. Meals were fine in the free dining and buffet- lots of salad and fresh fruit. Didn't see any shows except the comedian and he was funny and clean jokes.Went on snorkeling excursions every day and enjoyed each one. Saw turtles, lots of different fish and a blue spotted moral eel. As usual some excursions were better than others. Our cabin attendant, Adrian. was terrific and very helpful. In fact all of the staff on the Dawn were friendly and courteous. Relaxing trip and would recommend for all ages. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Just got back from the December 22 Southern Caribbean cruise aboard the Jewel of the Seas. The cruise was awesome with a perfect itinerary. This was our second recent cruise on RCI. Our last one was on the Serenade of the Seas which ... Read More
Just got back from the December 22 Southern Caribbean cruise aboard the Jewel of the Seas. The cruise was awesome with a perfect itinerary. This was our second recent cruise on RCI. Our last one was on the Serenade of the Seas which is the same class as the Jewel of the Seas. While basically the same ship, the Jewel lacked the Pub which we loved on the Serenade. Other than that the ships were identical. This cruise was over Christmas and the RCI did a great job decorating the ship for the holidays. They also had holiday themed events (singing Christmas carols in the Centrum). This trip we ended up in the specialty restaurants as we couldn’t get seating in the main dining room. That was annoying but we loved Chops and Giovanni’s. We had a terrible experience in Izumi with very poor service. The food was great though. It just took an hour to get it. I highly recommend doing room service for breakfast. It’s about $10 and is a good value for not having to rush to the buffet prior to your excursions. Also note that breakfasts seems to be very busy in the buffet. Beer selection was very lacking on the Jewel with no IPA type beer offered. While the drinks of the day were good, I like a good pale ale to drink. Cleanliness on the cruise was excellent and Dadi did a great job on helping in our cabin. We really liked a cabin on the “hump” and it’s hard to choose now between an aft cabin and a “hump” cabin. Aft gives you more privacy but I like watching docking, departures as well as the pilot boats. The pools were great and service in the pool area was superb. Solarium pool was our favorite. Overall the cruise was amazing. The issues mentioned were far outweighed by the positive experiences on our cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We've sailed on two other Viking ocean ships, so we expected to enjoy ourselves. We did. The route through Caribbean islands and up the Amazon was new territory for us. Because of air schedule we didn't have time to see ... Read More
We've sailed on two other Viking ocean ships, so we expected to enjoy ourselves. We did. The route through Caribbean islands and up the Amazon was new territory for us. Because of air schedule we didn't have time to see San Juan, but had a good excursion into El Junque rain forest. Viking Sea is a splendid ship. All public areas are beautiful, open and light, comfortable to hang out at all times. There were 930 people on this "small ship," but you would never know it from the onboard experience; it was never crowded. We were in a smaller cabin but it was extremely comfortable, room for everything, well designed, great bathroom. And, of course, like every other cabin on the ship, it had a private balcony. We ate in all the dining venues; they were all good. To call the World Cafe a "buffet" gives a wrong impression. The food was always great, with a huge selection from crab legs and sushi on one end, through a choice of meats and fish, to the gelato station at the other end. Two scoops, twice a day, was my chosen prescription at the gelato station. The breads, pastries, and gelato are made fresh on the ship. The very best dining is in the Restaurant, while Manfredi's, Chef's Table, and Mamsen's were nice changes of pace from time to time. And if you can possibly stuff in a little more, we recommend the afternoon tea with special sandwiches and pastries in the Wintergarden. I like to eat, and I was always happy. There were many sea days on this itinerary. We were constantly entertained by Viking's selection of lecturers. Time simply didn't permit seeing every single lecture I would have liked to see. Others will have to discuss evening entertainment; we are early-to-bed folks and didn't see any of the evening shows. But the musicians playing around the boat during the day (string ensemble, pianist, guitarist) were just wonderful. What Viking does best is service. Every crew member smiled at all times and continuously offered to do anything we could imagine. It's uncanny for a bartender to remember your name on the second encounter, before you have ordered or mentioned cabin number. The captain greeted us daily over the intercom, and sometimes several times a day, with an incredibly cheerful and friendly account of what was happening and what was about to happen on "the friendliest and happiest ship on the seas, the Viking Sea." The first time I thought he was way over-the-top, but he always left people smiling. You just couldn't help it. His greetings added a lot to the enjoyment of the trip. Would I go with Viking again? You bet! Read Less

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