1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Transatlantic Cruises
  4. Transatlantic Cruise Reviews
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
It was our 50th anniversary and we thought a repositioning cruise would be a great experience. On previous cruises we have always eaten in the dining room for all our meals. We found the food to be cold. My omelets were incomplete, only ... Read More
It was our 50th anniversary and we thought a repositioning cruise would be a great experience. On previous cruises we have always eaten in the dining room for all our meals. We found the food to be cold. My omelets were incomplete, only half of my omelette had filling in it. We tried it again when we gave our review on the ship and they asked us to try breakfast again. The food was still cold. The windjammers breakfast was much better. We only ate dinner in the evening. We had great table mates and enjoyed there company. The food was just adequate. Some nights I couldn't find something to eat. When my husband ordered beef bourquinion he had 3 small chunks of beef. In the Centrum the chairs were ripped. My husband ordered an anniversary surprise for me and only half of what was supposed to come was missing. They did not have it aboard the ship. Our daily compass had incorrect information On the front it said casual dining and in the center it stated formal attire. Half the guests showed up formal and half casual. The activities schedule was the same activities at the same time. The activities were very one note. If you had early dining you missed activities. They also had last minute changes in the shows. Our tour guide on one of the cruises left passengers behind and we missed more than half of our tour Thank goodness one of the onboard next cruise employee was with us. She was appalled that we were left behind with the employee. They only refunded half of our tour money because they said we saw half of tour. The eating outside the windjammer was stained and dirty. Alot of chipped paint was noticed. We have been on Royal Caribbean ships before and enjoyed them. We did not enjoy the Brilliance of the Sea and would not recommend this ship and this experience left a bad impression for us to cruise again with Royal Caribbean. In the past we always enjoyed our experience. This cruise was for a special occasion and it spoiled our experience. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We love long cruises with lots of sea days and this cruise did not disappoint. We sailed from Tampa Bay to Amsterdam, seeing ports that we had yet to visit. The 8 sea days to begin the cruise were a wonderful way to really relax and kick ... Read More
We love long cruises with lots of sea days and this cruise did not disappoint. We sailed from Tampa Bay to Amsterdam, seeing ports that we had yet to visit. The 8 sea days to begin the cruise were a wonderful way to really relax and kick off our month long vacation. We have sailed a lot on RCI, have attained Diamond Plus status, and really do like the Radiance Class ships in Royal's fleet. There were LOTS of experienced cruises on this sailing as over 900 passengers of the 2000 on board were either Diamond or Diamond Plus level on RCI. Rather than wait until the cruise to deal with this large number of elite members, Royal communicated with us weeks before the cruise to let us know that they were going to use the Colony Club as their evening venue for the Diamond lounge event. Royal did a great job organizing and delivering the service that elite cruisers want. Cudos to RCI for making what could have been a difficult situation work smoothly. Our Balcony Cabin on Deck 9 was in great shape and our room steward was attentive, friendly and engaging in our many conversations with him. In fact, both my wife and I found the entire staff (our waiter Mary, our assistant waiter and most other staff we interacted with) went out of their way to be both friendly and accommodating to our needs. Service could not have been better throughout the 15 day cruise. The entertainment was also diverse and well presented. The RCI singers and dancers were as good as any group we have seen on our many cruises and the cruise director was engaged and seemed to really care about the quality of the performances. The food was varied, presented well and seemed a bit better than some of our other cruises. We went to Chops Grill twice on the cruise and it did not disappoint. RCI delivered a great experience over the two weeks of the cruise from embarkation to getting off the ship (It took us less than 1/2 hour to walk off, get our luggage and clear customs in Amsterdam!) Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our third crossing and thoroughly enjoyed the Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Sea conveniences as well as the fantastic attitude of the ship's staff. We sailed form Tampa to Ireland and Belgium and ended in Amsterdam. We ... Read More
This was our third crossing and thoroughly enjoyed the Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Sea conveniences as well as the fantastic attitude of the ship's staff. We sailed form Tampa to Ireland and Belgium and ended in Amsterdam. We stayed on the ship back to back on the Baltic cruise visiting Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Finland, Russia and Amsterdam. Total of 28 days. The Atlantic crossing was dampened by the overcast and cool weather however the Baltic region temperatures were comfortable for May. One of our daily favorite times is the My Time dining option sharing a table with others and having world topics as conversation. We bid on a Jr Suite for the second leg of the cruise which made that part very comfortable. Having a walk in closet and approx 300sf with chairs and a couch, the area was perfect for relaxing. We achieved our Dimond Plus status and are looking forward to our next cruise in March out of Dubai. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first trans-Atlantic cruise so we were very excited and a little nervous. We enjoyed every minute of the trip! The staff was attentive and very friendly. The food was way above average. The fellow passengers were lovely ... Read More
This was our first trans-Atlantic cruise so we were very excited and a little nervous. We enjoyed every minute of the trip! The staff was attentive and very friendly. The food was way above average. The fellow passengers were lovely people. And most important, the seas were calm throughout the journey! As vast majority of our fellow travelers were seasoned cruisers and I heard that about 80% had diamond status or above with RCCL. We have already signed up for another TA next May. The shows were just ok, but the bands were awesome! Kinetic band always entertained the audience and played great dance music. We had an interior cabin which was small as we expected, but we spent very little time there. The fitness center is also sort of small and limited. We selected my time dining for dinner and had wonderful service and great meals. It was a wonderful cruise across the deep blue sea! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We recently booked a back to back cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas. The first segment was transatlantic, Tampa FL to Barcelona. The second from Barcelona to Venice. In fact, these were really two separate cruises. Segment 1 - The ... Read More
We recently booked a back to back cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas. The first segment was transatlantic, Tampa FL to Barcelona. The second from Barcelona to Venice. In fact, these were really two separate cruises. Segment 1 - The Tampa-Barcelona leg of the cruise started out extremely well. Boarding in Tampa was a breeze and we were on board and having lunch in no time. The sea days were very pleasant. The food in the Windjammer cafeteria was varied and quite acceptable while the food in the main Dining Room was excellent. The menu included Prime Rib (more than once) and Rack of Lamb, Service was also excellent. RCCL had made a mistake, assigning us early dining time instead of late but that was easily corrected. Our cabin was quite small and, like the rest of the ship somewhat dated. It did not even have a mini-bar or refrigerator. Storage space was likewise quite limited but we made do. Our cabin steward was an old pro and handled every detail without having to be asked. In short, this first segment of the cruise went by too fast Segment 2 - This second part was so diffferent as to almost have been on another ship. Because RCCL had made a mistake with our dining time before I made a point of contacting them before the end of segment 1 to make sure that everything was as it should be for the second segment. I was assured that everything was taken care of. On the day of "checking in again" in Barcelona I discovered that the same error had been made in our dining arrangements. I immediately contacted Guest Services and was assured that the problem had been corrected. When we proceeded to the Dining Room that evening we found that the D.R. staff had no idea about the change. Finally the Head Waiter took us to an unoccupied table, where we sat and waited. And waited. And waited. Finally at 9:15 a waiter appeared, apologized for the delay, left us a glass of water and took our order. Then we waited. And waited. And waited. Finally at 10:00 we got up and left, explaining to the Maitre the problem with the service and requesting a new table. Finally the next night we started getting normal service. I can only assume that our first waiter felt 'put upon' by being assigned another (our) table and decided to let us know. In any event, this put a pall on the remainder of the cruise. Additionally,a few nights later the air conditioning in the ceiling decided to leak water on both our nightstands at 10:30 in the evening. Fortunately the crew was able to fix the problem in about an hour. During the entire second part of the cruise there seemed to be a marked tendency on the part of the crew to be less friendly and less helpful than during the transatlantic segment. I will not book on Rhapsody of the Seas again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first cruise on Royal Caribbean--having been on Holland America (3-star Mariners), NCL, Celebrity and Carnival. We liked the itinerary and the timing was right for us. We booked 21 nights which was sold as part of a package, ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Royal Caribbean--having been on Holland America (3-star Mariners), NCL, Celebrity and Carnival. We liked the itinerary and the timing was right for us. We booked 21 nights which was sold as part of a package, but turned out to be basically two cruises, back to back: A TransAtlantic out of Tampa, and then a week in the Mediterranean ending up in Venice. Another recent review called it "A Tale of Two Cruises" and I agree with that impression. We were interested to see that RCI treated it like two separate cruises although we've been on other b2b's before on other cruise lines that didn't do that. Anyway, I am aware that The Rhapsody is different from the mega ships in the RCI fleet, but it is similar in size to the other ships we've sailed with, and we basically liked the ship a lot. The public areas are beautiful, especially the "Centrum" and the theater. We really liked the layout of the Windjammer buffet (although it was often very crowded). But, O.K., here are my personal "complaints": Our ocean-view cabin was very small, with barely enough room to wedge our suitcases under the bed. We're used to small showers, having been on river cruises and traveling in an RV--but the shower is really, really small. And I missed having a nice place to relax and look out over the ocean. The best views are in the Windjammer at the front of the ship, but it isn't a place to "hang out". There are good views aft from the "Shall We Dance" lounge, but that space was underused except for the hundreds of "Diamond" level passengers who pretty much took it over. And I was really upset that the "Royal Crown Lounge" (a small but lovely venue overlooking the pool area) was pretty much off limits unless you were "Diamond Plus". In fact, the daily newsletter advertised a special price on Martinies in the Royal Crown Lounge, but we were informed that we were not allowed to sit down and enjoy our drinks there! Many activities were scheduled in the Schooner Bar which is a narrow, noisy hallway, basically. I just think there could be a better use of the various areas overall. We thought the food was very good, almost without exception. We didn't eat in any of the specialty restaurants, but enjoyed the bounty of the Windjammer and the choices in the main dining room. My husband had a New York Strip Steak that was tough, one night. But everything I ordered was delicious. They did a good job of providing a lot of interesting things to do during the TransAtlantic sea days--almost to the point that we had to make some time for ourselves to just sit and read. My only complaint about the activities was that I would have enjoyed a lecture or two about the history of the areas we were going to visit. The "port talks" they did have were mostly about ship excursions and/or shopping. In fact, there was very little advice or help forthcoming for those who just wanted to get off at the ports and explore. We attended all the evening entertainment in the theater and thought it was all outstanding. Unfortunately many of the shows were repeated in the third week, but it was so port intensive that we didn't really care. Everyone comments about how friendly and accommodating the staff and crew are, and I agree. How all those hardworking people stay so cheerful and nice is amazing. And they are so good about getting to know you and making everyone feel special. But (I guess I always have a "but") we did have a little problem with someone's inefficiency. As I said, the two portions of the cruise were treated as two different cruises. And at the end of the TransAtlantic in Barcelona we were required to get off the ship and be issued new "Seapass" cards. When we booked the cruises we had to pre-register for each one separately and give all the usual info about passport numbers, credit card numbers, etc. Well, as we got ready to disembark in Venice we got a call in our room informing us that we needed to come to the desk to settle our account!?? I was politely but firmly informed that security would not allow us off the ship until we paid our bill in cash! What!? The bill for the first two weeks had been taken care of automatically--this was just for the third week. So, we had to stand in line with all the disgruntled passengers complaining about overcharges, etc., until our turn when the guy at customers service poked the computer for about 10 minutes and then remarked casually that this had happened to a couple of other people who did back to backs. Someone just forgot to re-register our credit card. While I'm talking about money, I do need to mention that RCI obviously tries valiantly to offset the original low cost of the cruise with "nickle and diming" everything else. The "specialty restaurants" charge outrageously high prices, I think. And wine, and cocktails--crazy prices! They did have that happy hour martini special ($9) in the Viking Crown Lounge (Where the only place you could drink it was at the bar) and a 2-fer price on Margaritas in the Schooner bar. We had most fantastic weather. It was balmy and smooth sailing all across the Atlantic. The only rough seas were one night in the Mediterranean and we slept right through it. We enjoyed all the ports. We booked ship tours in both Canary Island stops and the one in La Palma was especially good ("North Shore") with an overview of the island including a stop in a beautiful interior rain forest, and a visit to a rum distillery that included a tasting. One of the highlights of the trip was sailing through the Straits of Gilbralter at dawn. Several hundred passengers stood on the upper decks looking at the lights of Africa on one side and the famous Rock of Gilbralter on the other with the beautiful sunrise behind it. We did our own thing in Malaga.We made our way through the historic old town center past the cathedral to the Alcazaba. We purchased tickets and wandered through the gardens and and rooms of that ancient Moorish fortress. It reminded me a lot of a smaller Alhambra. Then we walked up (and up) the hill behind it to see the "castle" behind it. By then it was hot and sunny, and we wore ourselves out climbing that path. When we got to the top we discovered that there was a bus stop there, and the "Hop On Hop Off" could have taken us to the top! Oh well. Beautiful views! In Barcelona we got a taxi to Sagrada Familia where we had bought tour tickets on line to see the inside. Then we taxied back to Los Ramblas where we strolled down with all the crowds, and then detoured off into the Gothic quarter we had a light lunch at at sidewalk cafe. After Barcelona the whole ship had a different feel after the leisurely trip across the ocean. A lot of the "retirees" disembarked, and there were many more young people and family groups. And we had a different port every day. In Cannes we once again "did our own thing". We jumped on the little tourist train loading up right at the pier and got a good look at the seaside boulevard and all the beautiful yachts on the one side and fancy hotels on the other. We've been to Rome before, so we opted to take the only ship tour doing something different out of Civitavecchia: a visit to an olive farm in Tuscany. It was a pleasant bus ride through the countryside with a visit to the sleep mountaintop village of Tuscania before a light snack of bruschetta with various flavored olive oils as well as a glass of wine at the olive farm. Our last ship tour was to the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum which was buried in the same volcanic eruption as nearby Pompeii. Fascinating. In Catania, Sicily we looked out our cabin window to see Mt. Etna all covered with snow! We later learned how unusual it is to have snow on Mt. Etna in May. Gorgeous! Unfortunately we didn't get pictures because clouds rolled in and Mt. Etna disappeared. We took a smaller group tour arranged through our Cruise Critic roll call. It was a beautiful day making our way up to the little resort town of Taormina after a harrowing drive up switch-backs to the mountain medieval village of Castelmola. Amazing views! And we also did a Cruise Critic tour to Krka National Park in Croatia. On the way back to the ship our guide gave us a quick visit to Zadar and their "sea organ". This review is getting too long to gush on and on about the beauty of Krka--all the waterfalls and rivers and emerald pools. Truly a beautiful spot. And I also don't want to do a whole separate review of our time in Venice where we disembarked and spend two wonderful (although rainy) days. All in all it was another great cruise--small criticisms notwithstanding. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Avoid at all costs. While 2 larger ships just hours ahead of us made it across the Atlantic to Lisbon, we sat for 3+ days in the Azores and then headed to Rotterdam for disembarkation. We traveled 15 days from Tampa, FL to Rotterdam to ... Read More
Avoid at all costs. While 2 larger ships just hours ahead of us made it across the Atlantic to Lisbon, we sat for 3+ days in the Azores and then headed to Rotterdam for disembarkation. We traveled 15 days from Tampa, FL to Rotterdam to spend 1 hr in Europe, and that was on the bus to the airport. There was nothing much interesting to do on board. We put lots of jigsaw puzzles together. Food all tasted alike after a few days...same gravy on all the meat dishes, desserts had no flavor....We found the chocolate mint ice cream they had occasionally the best dessert and we can get that at the local grocery store. Casino was smoky, entertainment stale, internet access was $25 for 1 day use, fitness classes area to small for more than 10 people...rust around faucets, overall worn out ship. After missing the entire Europe itinerary for this Normandy Expedition, we were give $100 compensation and 15% off a future (never to happen) cruise which was just a blatant promotion. When your gratuities are $30 per day, the $100 covered about 3 days of tips and that's all for wasting 15 days on this trip. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Outdated décor, but clean. Cabin was fine, except for several problems - a broken balcony door lock, missing remote control, and the granddaddy of them all - the shower. (a broken faucet with scalding water which couldn't be turn ... Read More
Outdated décor, but clean. Cabin was fine, except for several problems - a broken balcony door lock, missing remote control, and the granddaddy of them all - the shower. (a broken faucet with scalding water which couldn't be turn off - and alerted the fire department, who came pounding on the door). I made 2 attempts, with the same results - so went without for 2 weeks! They suggested I use the Spa shower. Food was usually bland or tough, and very repetative.. But the ice cream was the best. What entertainment they offered was fine, except there were no Shows. Highly unusual for a cruise of 2 weeks. Activities were repeats of the same old, same old. There were lots of movies, if you need to catch up on the oldies. Service was hit and miss. Some looked exhausted. Others were trying so hard, they soon would be too. My young cabin steward was friendly and cheerful. The older one seemed to have the need to bully me. Ports - missed 4!! - We saw the Azores, which are lovely. The rest of the time we bobbed around in the Atlantic. Other ships crossed to the English Channel, but we didn't. Reasons varied and weren't clarified. ( a death, waiting for people at the airport, and "other reasons") For me, that meant $4,000 down the drain - with little compensation. Would I travel with Holland America again? They'll have to pull up their socks! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Because the oasis got canceled. I still wanted a transatlantic cruse and this was still available last minute. It is a small ship with little to do. Entertainment is the worst at sea. The ship is clean, safe and comfortable. Average age ... Read More
Because the oasis got canceled. I still wanted a transatlantic cruse and this was still available last minute. It is a small ship with little to do. Entertainment is the worst at sea. The ship is clean, safe and comfortable. Average age is 70 plus. Embarkation was horrible as we were kept waiting at the airport so no porters at the port and were told to take all our luggage on board ourselves. Ship had an air maintenance issue that took several hours to resolve. Disembarkation was easy. Due to rough seas we had 3 days in the Azores. But we missed the two ports in France and then Belgium. Compensation was below other cruise lines. I know as I just got the RCCL credits. My room stewards were excellent. The food was repetitive and the fruit rotten more often then not. Most don’t go to the dining room so service is fast at dinner. Overall a boring cruise as I read 10 books. Dining overall was average, cabin old with a bathtub and kept clean by great room stewards. No library, no production shows, Astro physics ,history and port talks were repeatedly full as nothing else to do. The movie theatre small so you needed to get there twenty minutes early. If you want to sleep go on the Rotterdam. Given I now have a future cruise credit, I will go on holland America again just not this ship. Not much to say as there is not much to review on this ship Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
As we live in Florida and all ports are close to us, we selected this cruise for our second Transatlantic on Holland America. We loved the crossing last spring and wanted to repeat it with friends onboard this year. Also we had never been ... Read More
As we live in Florida and all ports are close to us, we selected this cruise for our second Transatlantic on Holland America. We loved the crossing last spring and wanted to repeat it with friends onboard this year. Also we had never been to the Baltic countries and this cruise continued on from Rotterdam, the Netherlands to several Baltic ports of call. This was a wonderful experience, our third cruise on HAL. We love the size of HAL ships and boarding was easy. After lunch we explored the ship and found it to be beautifully appointed. The only thing we found lacking was enough interesting books in the Library. We had some reading material with us and the ship provided lots of comfortable spaces to relax and enjoy it. Our inside Stateroom 3342 provided plenty of storage room and the bathroom was more than adequate. Our room Stewards did an amazing job keeping it in perfect order. Dining was as great as we expected. Whether meals at the Lido Buffet, Main Dining Room, a quick snack at New York Pizza or Room Service, we were always pleased. The enrichment programs onboard were wonderful. We attended many lectures on our ports of call, America's Test Kitchen and others. The programs presented by various members of the Staff & Crew were quite varied and interesting. The musical groups were top notch as well. The service on the ship was beyond 5 Star. We found every person on the ship eager to help and answer questions. We had a little rough weather on both cruise portions but the Captain and Staff worked out details for alternate routes and stops and gave us future credits as well. Ports and shore excursions booked through HAL were wonderful. We were pleased that the Hotel staff offered special in-room meal options in St. Petersburg, Russia as our tours ran back-to-back our first day. Returning from our second excursion, trays arrived in the room, a most appreciated bonus Planning the next cruise on Holland America now! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Love this ship. The fact that they haven't changed alot of the public spaces made me pick this ship. I like the crows nest as is....not a coffee shop.... The casino was smokey all the time e en tho they kept announcing it was a ... Read More
Love this ship. The fact that they haven't changed alot of the public spaces made me pick this ship. I like the crows nest as is....not a coffee shop.... The casino was smokey all the time e en tho they kept announcing it was a smoke free venue... except for one corner...that corner filled the place with smoke. I woulda stayed longer but for that. The food was good as usual...the service was better that we had on the statendam. The entertainment was adequate...not great,but not bad.... I met several people that had pretty bad cabin problems...I hope they were rectified...our cabin was awesome...I also noticed they were bigger than the larger ships.. I did also notice the staff was less stressed out on this ship than on the larger ships. The level of service in the Neptune lounge was incredible and quit helpful with any request that we had. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Just got back from a Holland America Cruise on the Rotterdam. One of the last from the Port of Tampa. Not sure if the staff onboard is starting to get tired or what but some of the services were less than favorable. Embarkation & ... Read More
Just got back from a Holland America Cruise on the Rotterdam. One of the last from the Port of Tampa. Not sure if the staff onboard is starting to get tired or what but some of the services were less than favorable. Embarkation & Disembarkation Very easy. They have this process down very well . Rotterdam ship: Very nice ship, Teak wood upkept very nice. You see the improvements they have done over the years and it looks very nice and clean. Cabin: We had an outside Cabin which seemed very roomie for what it was. Very supprised with all the closet space. nice Touch with the free safe in the room. Bed was very comfortable and the Stewards always kept the room clean and always supplying us with clean towels Dinning: Lido Deck food was very good. Nice that the HAL buffet is served by staff and not a bunch of people reaching in and grabbing food. Food was always fresh and hot. Never needed to add salt to anything we got from the line. Burgers & Hot dogs were good from the Dive Inn grill as long as you didn't get the burger well done.. There Pizza grill did a great job with the NY style pizza. They did keep strange hours on the burger and Pizza service, as neither was 24 hours. Pinnacle Grill- In my opinion, the Main dining room food was better than here. We spent over 2.5 Hours in the Grill. Appetizers were good and hot. Main course I got the Porterhouse and Wife got the Strip Steak. We both asked for Medium Rare and both came back very Rare. I ate mine, but we sent hers back. We cut a piece off right away to check the temp. They took her's back for about 15-20 minutes and brought back the same piece of meat still under cooked (but hot this time) All of the sides came out at room temp initially. When they brought back her steak, they never refreshed the sides for her. For Desert we decide to bring back to the room as we were already there for over 2.25 hours. so she got the lollipop desert cakes along with the chocolates from the table. The waiter put them in aluminum foil and twisted the top.. It looked like one of those weights used to hold down balloons. So when we got back to the cabin it was just a big ball of chocolate. We had a 4 top table come in when She got her second try and they were getting dessert at the same time we did.. Ship services did eventually refund us the up charge and the Pinnacle manager called us to apologize and offered another try on the last night, but we already planned the evening. Entertainment and Activities: Comedians were very good. My wife Participated in the Americas test Kitchen and had a blast!! She said she would do that over and over again... Also, did the bar hop with Jeremy and that was an awesome time. There was never a shortage of things to do. Services: Room Stewards - These guys are great, never needed anything... Spa Services: Very Disappointed with spa services. First, My wife got a manicure. Her nails were chipping after 1 day.. Spa did redo the color, but talked my wife out of the color she wanted and the top of her nails by the cuticle look as if they were 1 week growth and her skin was peeling. The Facial she received left her with bruising and a sore/scar on her nose. She received the facial on the 1st sea day, so had the embarrassment the rest of the cruise. When addressed with spa manager she gave her a discount on the facial. She then gave a third chance for a massage and the tech kept going to deep after she said something several times. This left bruises on her back. Then the spa manager accosted her after her massage, because I had brought these issues up with the Ship services counter. They eventually took off the price of the facial. But during dining one evening another guest complained about being under the kitchen and got a 150 on board credit, so needless to say that was more upsetting to me. Ports and Excursions: Guatemala - We only went thru the bazaar. Prepare your self as they do not take no easily. You must walk away and not feel you are hurting feelings. Honduras: We went with Victor Bordon's Sloth and Monkey Tour - This was a lot of fun getting to touch the animals and see all the birds.. Relaxing at the resort was a really nice addition. Costa Maya, very nice and very clean port.. We didn't do much here as it was really windy ( 7-10 foot waves) made getting back on the boat a real challenge. Summary: Loved the ship and would probably give them another try. Hopefully the managers get a little training so that they stop trying to explain why there staff was making their errors and just fix things.. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This was my first voyage on Rhapsody of the Seas and my first on Royal Caribbean. As someone who has sailed fairly extensively on Holland America Lines (HAL), this is my point of comparison. The positive aspects of Rhapsody of the Seas ... Read More
This was my first voyage on Rhapsody of the Seas and my first on Royal Caribbean. As someone who has sailed fairly extensively on Holland America Lines (HAL), this is my point of comparison. The positive aspects of Rhapsody of the Seas on this transatlantic crossing to Barcelona were the friendly, competent level of service and the food. The lunch buffet choices and quality were actually better than HAL. Kudos to the chef who creates such wonderful curries and other Indian food. The dinners in the dining room fell a wee bit short of HAL, but not by much; they were completely fine. The shore excursions on the Canary Islands were reasonable and had excellent guides and venues. Check-in was quick and easy in Tampa. The several lectures presented by a doctor speaker on medical/health history were top drawer. The negative aspects of Rhapsody of the Seas compared to Holland America are significant. First, the entertainment. Certainly, entertainment is a matter of personal taste, but for us a kid in a backwards ball cap doing wheelies on a BMX bike is not for us. Neither were the magician, the (rather embarrassingly talentless) guests’ talent show, and so on. As for music, I missed the classical music and the jazz I’ve experienced on HAL. (Yes, there’s a violinist and electrical guitarist playing modern movie themes and pop hits, but their playing, no matter how good, didn’t appeal to classical or jazz fans). Second, the noise. Almost everywhere you go on the ship, it’s noisy, either from the entertainment in the central atrium, or the top outdoor-pool deck, or the ubiquitous PA system, which is constantly playing Muzak-type noise. This was heard even in the hallways on the cabin levels. What’s wrong with allowing some quiet spaces without Muzak? Third, the amenities. Yes, I do like smaller ships, but certain amenities were lacking compared to HAL. No free New York Times online or in hard copy, no real library, no indoor movie theatre, no quiet indoor lounges, etc. We met some nice people on board, and enjoyed the voyage a lot. However, the hard-to-define characteristic of ambience – the vibe – was not as good on this voyage for the most part compared to HAL. I’d say that the HAL ambience is more relaxed and also more elevated. We’ll stick with HAL in future, when possible. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We like transatlantic cruises. This was one of the finest. We made new friends, and fully relaxed with the activities provided. We especially enjoyed Charlotte and her watercolor classes, and the lectures on medicine. Cigar/cigarette smoke ... Read More
We like transatlantic cruises. This was one of the finest. We made new friends, and fully relaxed with the activities provided. We especially enjoyed Charlotte and her watercolor classes, and the lectures on medicine. Cigar/cigarette smoke is highly offensive to me, and gives me migraines, and yet the casino was one of the freshest we ever experienced, as we occasionally passed through it. I did comment to guest relations about how much nicer it is. It was great that the Diamond Club area was expanded, due to the high number of Diamond, etc. guests on the ship. We really enjoyed the Happy Hour, the snacks and the fun with friends. On other ships we have been able to eat and enjoy the Pinnacle club, as well as top shelf dinners, because we had a Jr. Suite. This was not applicable on the cruise, which was a little disappointing. And I wish I had known how disappointing the internet would be, as I would not have purchased it. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
I decided to go on another transatlantic cruise with Royal Caribbean because I had such a great time on the 2017 transatlantic cruise on the Brilliance of the Sea. This year I decided to take the Rhapsody of the Seas from Tampa to ... Read More
I decided to go on another transatlantic cruise with Royal Caribbean because I had such a great time on the 2017 transatlantic cruise on the Brilliance of the Sea. This year I decided to take the Rhapsody of the Seas from Tampa to Barcelona. The ship is probably about 20 years old and could use a make-over but even though it's a little dated it is clean and a very nice ship. The cruise director Elvis and his assistants, Eric & Bernie, are fabulous. They are the best I have experienced and made every day fun. Their expertise at keeping the activities fun and the good entertainment made the cruise enjoyable. Most people hear about how great the food is on a cruise. Well, NOT ON THIS CRUISE! If this was my first cruise, I would probably call everyone who talked about delicious food on cruises a liar. This food looked fantastic but tasted the opposite. Out of 9 dinners in the dining room, there were 7 days that people at our table sent food back because it was so bad they couldn't eat it. Appetizers and desserts were left uneaten after taking one bite. The buffet wasn't any better. How can hard boiled eggs be so hot that you can't peel them and pizza be cold? Everything in the buffet was dried out. Pancakes were so hard they could be used as frisbees, toast would completely crumble when you picked it up and bacon always ended up as bacon bits. If you can live off boxed cereal & milk for 14 days then you would be happy. I on the other hand lost over 10 pounds. It's nice to lose weight but I didn't book this cruise to lose weight. This is only my second cruise with Royal Caribbean so I won't be recommending Royal Caribbean to friends. Hopefully, this is just a fluke and not normal. I have a couple more Royal Caribbean cruises booked this year and I'm hoping they are better, otherwise, it's bye-bye to Royal Caribbean. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This cruise was booked as part of our package holiday through Cruise 1st. The ship desperately needs refurbishment all round! When we sat having breakfast or lunch in the Windjammer, there was pools of water on some of the window sills ... Read More
This cruise was booked as part of our package holiday through Cruise 1st. The ship desperately needs refurbishment all round! When we sat having breakfast or lunch in the Windjammer, there was pools of water on some of the window sills that never seemed to be dealt with. Most of the food was inedible either in the windjammer or main dining. At the evening sitting. our service was very poor, very slow with long waits between courses. We would wait 10 mins plus after arriving before being greeted, and even if we were first to seat down, everyone else would be served first. Entertainment and activities very poor. Weather was not very good, but we never found any of the activities were to our taste. We felt this cruise was tapered for the Americans (were are from UK) and they always seemed to get priority treatment. We would never book with this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We did the trans Atlantic crossing. the ship was quite, not a lot of children on it maybe because it was a 14 night cruise and not school holidays in the USA. Meet some fantastic people on this cruise. the staff were wonderful and helpful ... Read More
We did the trans Atlantic crossing. the ship was quite, not a lot of children on it maybe because it was a 14 night cruise and not school holidays in the USA. Meet some fantastic people on this cruise. the staff were wonderful and helpful in many ways. We are diamond member with crown and anchor, so spend some time in the diamond lounge, JJ was a very good host and a very pleasant lady. the ship was clean and tidy, meals were had mostly in the dinning room at night, the wait staff were excellent. there was plenty of entertainment on the ship, from ship board activities to the shows in the main the theatre. The activity manger and there staff did a good job with all the activities they put on. We visited Key west and the canary islands. I would do the crossing again in a few years. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise because it provided a way to get to Europe fairly economically when you consider all room and board and good food and entertainment and excellent childcare and programs included! We got to see many beautiful places on ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it provided a way to get to Europe fairly economically when you consider all room and board and good food and entertainment and excellent childcare and programs included! We got to see many beautiful places on our cruise and had the option of taking paid for excursions or venturing out on our own. Excellent staff and service! We didn't want for anything! All of their staff are friendly and helpful and it was so fun to meet people from all over the world. Royal Carribean had a great mixture of staff from various places around the world and it was fun to talk with them and learn from them! Their programs for our children were excellent. Our children had so much fun and it provided my wife and I to have a true vacation. All the ports we stopped at were beautiful and fun to explore. It was also nice that at one of the ports they offered complimentary shuttle into town. The food was excellent and plentiful and they even had gluten free options. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Toronto airport was shutdown by ice- we had to fly out of Detroit, and missed our Cruise out of Tampa. As a result we had to get on 1 day late in Key West. We had made flight arrangements will HAL, and they were great! They put us in the ... Read More
Toronto airport was shutdown by ice- we had to fly out of Detroit, and missed our Cruise out of Tampa. As a result we had to get on 1 day late in Key West. We had made flight arrangements will HAL, and they were great! They put us in the Marriott at Tampa airport ($219 per night) and covered our flight to Key West. Food and Service was wonderful. Ship was a little tired- faded carpets (so what). TV service was intermittent and limited. DVDs were often scratched and unwatchable We were not informed that 4 ships would be docking in Punta Delgada so independent tours were not available. Main dining room open for breakfast only 8am to 9am. We were very satisfied, above comments are not intended to be overly critical, just to advise future travellers not to expect perfection. Holland America is our line of choice, after sampling most others ( no Carnival Line party atmosphere, no Cunard snootiness, just friendly excellent service). Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This was a great cruise. It was a smaller ship than what we are used to but we thoroughly enjoyed the whole cruise. We booked most of our excursions from SPB Tours and would highly recommend them. The groups were small and the guides ... Read More
This was a great cruise. It was a smaller ship than what we are used to but we thoroughly enjoyed the whole cruise. We booked most of our excursions from SPB Tours and would highly recommend them. The groups were small and the guides were very knowledgeable. In Normandy we booked thru Overload Tours and they were fantastic. What a great tour. Would also recommend them. The room was large and even had a bathtub. The ship was very clean and the crew were awesome. Food was fantastic and had not one complaint about the food. Both the dining room and the Lido Market got high marks. All the open spaces were very clean and I found that there were lots of places to sit and just read or relax. They had a cruise EXC on board who told quite a bit about each port that you were going to. She was not affliliated with the shore excursion desk so she was very informative and not pushing the cruise ship excursions. We enjoyed all the ports we went to. I'm glad we went at the beginning of the cruise season as I can see the ports getting very crowded and very busy at the different places. I would definitely recommend Holland America. All in All a Great Cruise!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
This cruise started out as a 15 day repositioning cruise from the Caribbean to Europe and we added a 12 day Baltic cruise. The Rotterdam handled the trip just fine and the crew was outstanding as you would expect a Holland America Lines ... Read More
This cruise started out as a 15 day repositioning cruise from the Caribbean to Europe and we added a 12 day Baltic cruise. The Rotterdam handled the trip just fine and the crew was outstanding as you would expect a Holland America Lines Crew to be. FYI - Just before we left, it came to our attention that the coin-operated laundry had been removed. :( As we were not at that time 4 Star Mariners [we are now], we used the Laundry-by-the-Bag option [$20]. The clothes came back the next day done well w/shirts & pants on hangers. For 4 & 5 Star Mariners, this service is complimentary. We enjoyed the food service on board. From the Dive-In, to the Lido, to the MDR. No complaints and I'm sure going to miss the fellow who served up such large portions of ice cream! Gals, don't forget the complimentary chocolates in the Explorer"s Café for after that leisurely fine dining meal. We rarely book non-HAL excuirsions w/the exception of Hop On-Hop Off buses. We booked 7 excusions including a 2 day in St. Petersburg, as did most of the folks on board. All were just fine if not a bit tiring for this 71 YO man. The evening entertainment in the Main Theatre was very good most nights [I'm not picky]. Some performances were good enough to watch twice. Be aware that it's a wise person who gets a seat about 20 minutes early. Embarcation was a nightmare as a storm delayed our plane by enough to miss the ship in Tampa [and yes I know that it's best to come a day early - but it's also expensive]. There were several folks on the plane going on the Rotterdam and we even had HAL's FlightEase option. No HAL people met that plane and we were left to our own devices as to how to get to the ship. Disembarcation was a dream! Fast and well planned. Just to clairify, we will be using HAL's FlightEase on each voyage. They just slipped up this time. Could I recomend the MS Rotterdam? Yes. Could I recommend Holland America Line for your next cruise? Yes, but remember it's not a booze cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Everything was great except for lack of gluten free food. The dining room waiters were the only ones to help me get food and allowed me to order a day in advance. The lido was a joke for gf food and offered one choice of pasta which was ... Read More
Everything was great except for lack of gluten free food. The dining room waiters were the only ones to help me get food and allowed me to order a day in advance. The lido was a joke for gf food and offered one choice of pasta which was the same everyday and that's it besides store bought gf bread. Supposedly the bacon was gf but was served in a dish with regular bread to absorb the fat. No labels and no desserts at all. I got sick often and went hungry every breakfast and lunch. Ports were amazing. Our favorite was Roatan Honduras. Go on the Jolly Roger Catamaran for a ride and the snorkeling trip of a lifetime. Great guys. Guatemala was okay. Nothing to see at the Port, a tour is a necessity. We didn't take a tour because the Canadian Government website warned about too many dangers with tourists and we chickened out. Key West was okay but very commercial like any US Port. Costa Maya was beautiful and had a nice area to go for a walk around outside the Port area. Went diving at Dream time dive shop for a discover scuba. It was really nice but the water was choppy that day. Great people there. Overall a nice cruise but a live band playing music by the pool would go a long way to improving the lack of entertainment. Not a cruise for people under 70. I am not a partyer but lack of music was a disappointment. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This was our first time on HAL. We bought the Elite Beverage Package knowing we would want to get premium wines by the glass (up to $15/glass) throughout the ship, but this was not the case. Each bar had it's own wine list and they ... Read More
This was our first time on HAL. We bought the Elite Beverage Package knowing we would want to get premium wines by the glass (up to $15/glass) throughout the ship, but this was not the case. Each bar had it's own wine list and they were all different. Using Sauvignon Blanc as an example, most bars had two from CA, Simi and Foundation, undrinkable IMO. The only place you could get a truly good SB was in the Main Dining Room (MDR) or Pinnacle Grill, Villa Maria NZ. This was a real disappointment based on the amount of money we spent on the package. I understand that HAL can charge what ever they want for the wine, my issue is with the non-availability of good wines in the various venues, Ocean Bar, Lido Bar and Sports Bar. The other disappointment was the dress code for the MDR where gentlemen cruisers wore baseball caps throughout the entire dinner and on what was considered "Gala Night" blue jeans, t-shirts, etc. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Originally we chose this cruise because of a crew member who was trying to get on it. He didn't... but we were booked. The plan was to disembark in Amsterdam, spend 17 days on the ground and sail back on Mariner of the Seas on May ... Read More
Originally we chose this cruise because of a crew member who was trying to get on it. He didn't... but we were booked. The plan was to disembark in Amsterdam, spend 17 days on the ground and sail back on Mariner of the Seas on May 7th. She was heading to drydock but the leg was canceled and she went to drydock early. So... we flew into Tampa the night before. Easily and efficiently boarded the ship. We were in our cabin by 1:30pm after eating lunch and having a cocktail. Our first order of business was to order our dinner wines. It was not as easy as in times past because ordinarily if you create your own package of over 6 wines, a discount is given. Not this time. Well... eventually but anyway. Our experience in the RCCL main dining rooms have not been the best but this ship was an absolute exception! We also usually eat just the two of us, but this time we joined another table. We had amazing food, spectacular service and great fun with new friends. Quite honestly, we missed every show. We got dressed up for dinner each night and with the late seating (8:30), we visited the Diamond Lounge first. Nights one and two we went upstairs but it was SO crowded we couldn't find a place to sit! The concierge helped to book our dinners so that was a great help. The next night or so, we tried the Colony Club for cocktail hour(s) but could not get served. We ended up at Schooner Bar with Mr. Wilson and Milica. Wow! Those two and the guests that gravitated toward the bar each night made the whole trip! Excellent service... friendly... made us feel like family! We had VERY rough seas and missed two ports (Waterford and Dublin). Though we were disapponted, we got an overnight in Cobh. That was FUN! The train is just off the ship and took us into Cork... the big city. The port town of Cobh is adorable! People friendly, pubs fun and we even did the Titanic Experience (not a great idea when doing a TransAtlantic). Our cabin steward was amazing. Took care of our every need. We didn't spend much time in the room but we couldn't always see he had been in to straighten up and provide us with information. We did the Chef's Table which was fun! Food great, presentation perfect and wine well paired. The only thing that was slightly sad was in the end, politics came up and that's not the best idea... it made for a quick ending to an otherwise special evening. This cruise went above and beyond the normal cruise. It is evident the crew consider each other family and have created quite a sense of teamwork. For me, even with the missed ports, it was a 10 out of 10 experience. We did not want to disembark today!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We had a wonderful time on board of The Brilliance of the Seas, crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Tampa to Amsterdam. Our cabin was really nice and more spacious as we would have thought and was kept tiptop by the crew. Dining was really ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on board of The Brilliance of the Seas, crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Tampa to Amsterdam. Our cabin was really nice and more spacious as we would have thought and was kept tiptop by the crew. Dining was really good (too good, according to the weight I gained.. and I did a daily work-out in The Gymnasium!!) Grace and Dmytro served swiftly, kind and patiently at our table and the menu was really superb, compliments to the Chef and his crew two. We had some meals at The Windjammer Café and that was really good too, but sometimes it is hard to find a nice table. We really enjoyed the entertainment on board. There was a 9 man band with 4 fabulous vocalists, lots of nice other live music during the day. Some shows, like the juggler, were not our cup of tea but other guests seem to have enjoyed these shows also. Because of the weather we had to change the route and two ports (Waterford and Dublin) had to be canceled. We went off the ship for a nice walk in Porta del Gado on the Azores. We have spend two days in Cork and we have visited the town on one and made a short bus tour across the island the other day. We had always thought a cruise was boring and we were scared to get seasick. We had a pretty rough ride according to the captain but except for a less steady walk, we really enjoyed our days at sea. After 15 days we have arrived in Amsterdam and...we have booked another transatlantic cruise in 2019 with Royal Caribbean from Barcelona to Miami. Traveling with a cruiseship to or from the US is so much relaxter than traveling by plane, no jet lag! Read Less

Find a Cruise

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