4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
As part of my aim to cruise with as many different cruise companies as possible in 2019 it came to the turn of Costa. I will have to say my expectations were low in advance of the cruise, mainly for three reasons. My previous ... Read More
As part of my aim to cruise with as many different cruise companies as possible in 2019 it came to the turn of Costa. I will have to say my expectations were low in advance of the cruise, mainly for three reasons. My previous experience with an Italian based cruise line, MSC, had been appalling. Secondly the cruise was cheap - did that mean I would be getting what I paid for and, thirdly, there have been some very mixed reviews about the ship on here. Embarkation was typical Mediterranean chaos but it was reasonably quick. Registering payment card for onboard spend was easy at the self-service terminals on board. As we were planning to spend most days ashore we opted for a seaview cabin and it was satisfactory with a nice large porthole style window. The cabin was a reasonable size with plenty of space to walk around. Both the bed and pillows were very comfortable and that is praise indeed from me as I'm incredibly difficult to please when it comes to pillows. Initially we only had one pillow each but a quick chat with the cabin steward soon resulted in a couple of extra pillows. The steward was very good, almost OCD when it came to tidying - charging cables left on the desk were always neatly arranged on our return. Paperwork was also neatly stacked etc. and most days the valance across the bed had been arranged in some neat sculpture. The bathroom was good and although very small the shower head was detachable. Water temperature was just about hot enough. There is no night time turn down service but that's more a luxury than necessity. Food fell into two categories. The main dining room was good with five courses available for the main evening meal. Food was hot and of a good standard. Service, on the whole, was good although one night there was a problem with the tablet used for ordering and they had to resort to paper, which slowed things down a bit. The final night of the cruise they played Italian opera with some audience participation - not normally my scene but it was actually good fun. Most days we had breakfast in the main restaurant, although the first morning we diod regret our decision. There are breakfasts from around the world available and we made the mistake of ordering the "full English" The only edible part was the scrambled egg, the rest was inedible as everything else had clearly been deep fried and it was like eating an oil slick. Plus the "bacon" was the appalling streaky variety, cooked to within seconds of cremation. The other days we stuck to the extensive cold buffet which was good with plenty of variety. By contrast the buffet was disappointing. relatively small with limited choice and many items appearing every day, so not a huge amount of variety. Also, in contrast to the main dining room, the food quality was variable. Minute steaks for example were very chewy with a lot of gristle. Buffet opening hours were more limited than other cruise lines. What was exceptionally good was the use of ropes to funnel passengers through the serving areas, greatly reducing the amount of pushing in which can occur. Other cruise lines take note. We had the Pranzo and Cena mealtime drinks package included in our fare but upgraded to the Brindiamo package for €10 a day each. We are not great drinkers by any means but the package also included tea and coffee so it was worth the extra cost. Dress codes are optional. On the "Gala night" probably no more than a dozen men wore dinner jackets. It's a shame but that's the way it is with some cruise lines Three of the four shows in the theatre were from the in-house entertainment team with two lead singers to the fore. The female singer was superbe and the male singer had a good voice as well, however many of the songs he was given to sing were not suited to his voice, which did not do him justice. The other show was an exceptional acrobatic show - the standard of which would give Cirque du Soleil a run for its money. There were plenty of activities throughout the day with an enthusiastic entertainments team - although having to use half a dozen languages all the time did slow things down. Costa Victoria is a smaller cruise ship, around 2,000 passengers but for me that is a major plus - I prefer the smaller ships to the new mega-ships which are, sadly, becoming the norm. Built in 1996 she is also a little dated but that, also adds to its charm. The staff were generally friendly and attentive, without being in your face. The captain was conspicuous by his absence, appearing only for the obligatory photo call - something I still cannot get my head around. Why do people queue to have their photograph taken with the Captain then pay an extortionate amount for the photograph. If I catch a bus or train I don't queue to be photographed with the driver, so why do it on board a ship. I'm happy to admit my initial concerns about Costa were wholly unfounded. Would I sail with them again - absolutely. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
I chose Norwegian star for its itinerary: Venice, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Athens, Santorini, Naples, Rome. I was my first time visiting these ports except Rome, loved all the ports we visited ! Comparing to 2 previous cruise with MSC and RCL, ... Read More
I chose Norwegian star for its itinerary: Venice, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Athens, Santorini, Naples, Rome. I was my first time visiting these ports except Rome, loved all the ports we visited ! Comparing to 2 previous cruise with MSC and RCL, Norwegian star is the best. Staff is very friendly and attentive, service is excellent. When we return from excursion at each port, they were waiting for us with towel and water outside the ship. Food is very good at the complementary restaurants: the buffet, Versaille, aqua, and Ginza. Staff is always very quick picking up the dirty dishes. It could get busy at buffet at peak hours, sometimes hard to find a table. On the sea day, I enjoyed time on the sundeck, listen to the Latin music. Cabin is clean. But I feel the size is a bit smaller than other cruise lines. Entertainment is good, but has room to improve. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I chose this cruise because it would have been my third with MSC. I was very impressed with the two previous cruises therefore I invited family with me on this Cruise. I was very very disappointed. It was by far the least impressive and ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it would have been my third with MSC. I was very impressed with the two previous cruises therefore I invited family with me on this Cruise. I was very very disappointed. It was by far the least impressive and the itenary was misleading. It stated ONE day at sea but when we boarded we realised it was two. The days at sea the Coffee bar only opened at 18h00 and only one coffee bar was not enough for all those people. The service at the Coffee bar was also very slow as there was only one guy behind the counter doing all the coffees. The service was very friendly though. The time for excursions at Mykonos was far too short and two excursions at two different places were just too much!The family who accompanied me on the trip don’t want to do another cruise ever again. My previous experiences still gives me the benefit of the doubt therefore maybe in future I will try it again? Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Tried smaller ship to visit unknown places which is impossible with bigger. Visited new for us post communist country Montenegro and been surprised how people trying to build a new economic and society/ We have seen lovely Greek Islands ... Read More
Tried smaller ship to visit unknown places which is impossible with bigger. Visited new for us post communist country Montenegro and been surprised how people trying to build a new economic and society/ We have seen lovely Greek Islands as per route/ Only Corfu was disappointing- lots of smelly rubbish and dirty roads and pavements.Not the best presentation of Greece/ But on the other hand Kefalonia was amazing I would recomend to have excursion when you bee there. Had lovely rest on upper deck and enjoyed weather. Excellent and very helpful staff. Food is great.Always find what to do. Rooms with dated decorum but it's OK/ In room 2626 problem with shower. Inconvenient setting of snack bar - we should prefer on mid deck/ Disappointed gym - very small at the aft/ Obviously no promenade bcs of size of ship/ Shopping is no-no/Very loud , extremely loud entertainment at pool area / last day was torture - entertainment team had break on 30min only - the rest of the day we have been listening unbearable noise. We like Royal Caribbeans but in the future we will choose newer and bigger ships. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I had read a lot on line about cruises so wasn't sure what we'd let ourselves in for. But we had an amazing time form start to finish. We did go for the Ausea package which gave us priority boarding, all inclusive drinks ... Read More
I had read a lot on line about cruises so wasn't sure what we'd let ourselves in for. But we had an amazing time form start to finish. We did go for the Ausea package which gave us priority boarding, all inclusive drinks package, upper deck sun lounge, and more. The only thing we did find was that the MSC excussions were very exspenvise for what you got. There were plenty of good companies at each of the ports offering bus tours or hop 0n - hop off buses. We used these and found them really helpful and enjoyable. The evening entertainment was great family enjoyment none of this smut you see so much of these todays. Well done MSC. Everything was spotlessly clean, staff were very polity but there wasn't enough staff on the bars around the pool area and you did have to wait a while to get served. Would we do it again - yes we would. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This was our 2nd time on MSC and the first was bad. So why did we go again? The destinations.... Embarkation - This was too many people in too small an area being "assisted" by too few staff. I am disabled, and both myself ... Read More
This was our 2nd time on MSC and the first was bad. So why did we go again? The destinations.... Embarkation - This was too many people in too small an area being "assisted" by too few staff. I am disabled, and both myself and my wife (who also has a stick to help walking) were left in a long queue for nearly half an hour before we even got into the cruise terminal. This soured even the start of the cruise, as to then be bombarded by people selling packages was just adding insult to injury. Cabin - was good with a small balcony that directly overlooked the lifeboats, this would have been called an obstructed view on all other lines. Still it was comfortable, apart from the very nasty rust stain under the shower. Dining - The food did occasionally come warm, but only hot after we complained (quite seriously) and then our waiter ensured ours were bought first on the very last day. The choices for my wife being a vegetarian were only single items for most of the meals and for one man course all she had was 2 small pieces of pitta bread and two dollops of sauces with a few bits of salad, this was really a starter! I had a lamb and chicken stew where the lamb was inedible (I had to remove 2 pieces from my mouth as I couldn't eat it) - so I left the rest and when we said something to the waiter (not our usual one) he just laughed and walked off. The wine and water package we had bought was really good and ideal for is (7 water and 4 wine). The wine was excellent. Breakfast and lunch were a scrum and what they pass for bacon has more fat on it than a tub of lard and as for the eggs....! Don't try the cornflakes (they are not) and the rice crispies are reasonable on room service. The best things are the pastries and the fruit (not the fruit juices unless you have a really sweet tooth). Not being terribly mobile meant people pushed passed us to get to everything, tables, food, exits, lifts... Service - apart from our main waiter and one or two others the service was dour at best, with some being just plain rude. On deck 4 they have a smile campaign where each letter spells out how they should be for customer service - well it doesn't work. You get 10 euros added to your bill per person every day as a service charge we had it removed and said we'd state an amount on the last evening. Entertainment and Activities - there were some reasonable singers and musicians dotted in the many bars and some were pretty good, however having walked through the same area with one singer on a couple of occasions, he was singing exactly the same song, so maybe his repertoire was limited. Other entertainment for us (not wanting to baste under the sun) was non-existent, no quizzes, no lectures. just stay by the pools and roast. Port/Shore Excursions - Brindisi/Lecce was no as we'd hoped and the guide was not good. Olympia and the Magna Grecia food was absolutely superb, Santorini was a mixed bag, with the Akrotiri excavations being wonderful and we had a brilliant guide (as he was an archaeologist who had worked there for years), the blue domed houses at the other end of the isle were OK, but to get there was a nightmare as two coaches couldn't pass at certain points thus chaos rained.Also went to the wine co-op where the views were spectacular however we were just a number in a coach. The shuttle bus into Corfu old town took 15 minutes to drop us a mile away from the centre at a cost of 9.90 euro's each (which we were a mile and a half away from at the port). By the time we had walked through the main parts of the old town we were equidistant from the meeting point and the port, so we made our way slowly back. The number 16 bus goes to/from the port and costs a lot less and drops you right by the centre of town. Cleanliness - there were poorly washed knives forks etc. the tablecloths were dirty, on occasion. Disembarkation - we had a flight at 17:15 and were told twice that we could get off the ship, explore Venice and come back for 15:00 to be transferred to the airport. When we tried to get off, there was chaos and there was no way we could, so we retreated back up to deck 13. Tried to get food and drink (supposed to be open until 11:30) but all virtually gone by 10:00 (including toilet roll in the ladies). Went down to see what was happening at 11:00 and were told to get off the ship immediately.So we queued with all the others and arrived at the airport nearly 6 hours before our flight was due. If we had managed to get off and find the place to hold our luggage (which wasn't apparent when getting off) all the coaches would have been long gone by lunchtime. They had just dumped us and really just wanted us out of the way for the next herd. We talked to a representative of MSC - who did listen and our 9.90 euros was taken off (so we did put 70 euros back on as a reasonable service charge). Also we had a bottle of fizz and strawberries in chocolate in our room on the last night - which was very nice. But they told the wrong waiter off, the one we liked (despite us stating he was one of the few good ones) and the only way we god hot/warm food was by being served first - which missed the entire point. Everyone's food should be hot, like on Celebrity or Cunard. The Musica was even worse than the Armonia and was just not suitable for us. Their promotional video say they are the envy of other cruise lines, from our two experiences they are the worst of the 5 lines we have been with, by quite some way. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the price. Itinerary was great, and we had many wonderful experiences and memories from the various ports. Especially loved Kator, Montenegro and Corfu. The ship, however, was full to ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the price. Itinerary was great, and we had many wonderful experiences and memories from the various ports. Especially loved Kator, Montenegro and Corfu. The ship, however, was full to overcrowded, and there were long lines for food at the buffet almost always. The layout of the buffet areas was horrible, and contributed to the long lines for food. Should have served more on deck and in other locations as found on other cruise ships in order to avoid everyone crowding in the same place at the same times. The food itself was marginal, uninteresting, and almost never hot or fresh on the buffet. Food in the dining rooms was also lacking in variety and often served barely warm. Most of the staff were friendly and very accommodating. We had the Aurea experience, which was well worth the upgrade for the drinks, shakes, ice cream, etc. which were all included. Overall, the ship was overcrowded and understaffed, and did not live up to our expectations in terms of the on-board experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I travelled with daughter, son in law and granddaughter and flew from Dublin to Venice. A private transfer from the airport to the ship had been arranged by our travel agent. Embarkation went very smoothly and quickly, helped by the fact ... Read More
I travelled with daughter, son in law and granddaughter and flew from Dublin to Venice. A private transfer from the airport to the ship had been arranged by our travel agent. Embarkation went very smoothly and quickly, helped by the fact I had requested assistance due to mobility problems. We had two adjoining cabins on deck 9 with the Fantastica Package. The cabins were very spacious with plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. The beds were very comfortable. The shower was very efficient and the shower gel and shampoo, although not the best, were OK. Our cabin steward kept the cabins spotless throughout the cruise and he was always very polite and very cheerful. The ship itself was spotlessly clean and staff would be seen keeping it so. We were assigned 1st sitting for dinner at 7 pm (second sitting was 9.15pm - too late for us). The tables were very close together and at times we felt we were actually sitting with the adjoining tables. Luckily we had some very nice fellow passengers each side of us! Service in the dining room was very slow - one evening it took until 9pm before we had completed our meal. Both the waiter and the wine water were on their first contracts and it was evident they had had insufficient training for taking orders, processing them and in table etiquette. It seems a lot of staff had left the ship in Venice and although new staff had been taken on numbers were considerably down on what they should have been. More staff were taken on in Athens but I cannot say whether they were more fully trained. We were kept waiting for drink orders and had to keep asking to them to be brought to us and food orders were very very slow in coming. My son in law had made a request for Gluten Free - all the paperwork had been completed for this on the Special Request Form but the staff were unaware of this request which led to even more waiting whilst the special menu was found. After complaining to the Maitre'D things did improve and the service was a little better but was not up to the standard I have experienced on my other MSC cruises over the years. Menus were varied and on the whole the food was good but was not always hot. Eating in the Buffet was a nightmare with everyone trying to find seats and with some people just not knowing how to queue. We decided to have breakfast in the dining room which was a much more leisurely option where there was a buffet laid out but one could also choose from a menu for special items like omelettes, poached eggs, smoked salmon etc and the food was cooked to order. When asking for tea/coffee with cold milk we had to ask more than once for the cold milk and when it did arrive it was brought in a teacup or drinking glass - do MSC no longer have milk jugs?? We are pleased we pre-purchased the All Inclusive Drinks Package which certainly proved to be good value for money and we saved by buying this in advance rather than once on board. In many of my previous reviews I have raised the subject of hand sanitizers and MSC UK have always said they would look into this. However, yet again staff were failing to encourage people to use the hand sanitizers on entering the buffet/dining room. Sometimes the sanitizers were empty - not just in the dining room but at the gangways too. Staff should ensure these are full at all times and people should be asked to use them. MSC could learn a lot from NCL who have members of staff at the entrances to dining areas and at the gangways, encouraging passengers to "Washy Washy" - a good way to avoid germs on board There were a lot of different bars and lounges to choose from, each having their own form of entertainment and it was sometimes difficult to decide where to go each evening. We particularly like the Wine Bar where Albert and Leticia looked after us so well - they excelled in Customer Service. Albert left the ship at Athens as his contract had ended - just hope MSC will give him another post as he would be an asset to any of their ships. The evening dance venues were good and the staff interacted with the passengers so well. The dancers and singers produced excellent shows and the animation team worked very hard all around the ship and always had something organised each day. We did not go to play in the Casino but walked through it - it was very smoky, one place on the ship where smoking is permitted. We noticed several families in there with young children/teens so it was obvious the staff were certainly not imposing the NO UNDER 18's rule! Son in law used the gym for their morning stretching exercises and was happy with the facilities there. I had a very nice pedicure at the Spa but it was quite expensive. The pool areas were kept very clean and there were plenty of sunbeds. However, the pool water was too cold for us at just 17C. PORTS OF CALL Brindisi - We wandered around here and found some interesting places. There is a little train which for Euros 20 takes you around the main places of interest or there is a walking tour at Euros 15. We came across a lovely place for lunch (Betty Café) where we had the most mouthwatering pizzas and we could not resist taking some of the delicious cakes back to the ship. Katakolon - We took the ships tour Olympia and Shopping. Our guide was excellent and we very much enjoyed seeing the ancient sites and learning the history of the Olympic Games. We had free time later for shopping and I bought an owl charm for my Pandora bracelet - the owl is the symbol of wisdom and knowledge in Greece apparently. Santorini - We took the Oia and Shopping tour. The tender boat took us to the far side of the island where we boarded a coach which took us along a mountainous road to Fira. The views en route were spectacular. We had free time to wander the narrow streets in FIra and the views were stunning. Everywhere was so clean and picturesque. Daughter and I took the cable car back to the quayside but son in law and granddaughter took the steps down. Piraeus (for Athens) - I visited Athens many years ago when I was more mobile so I stayed on board whilst the others ventured out on their own. They took the Hop On Hop Off bus and toured the city at their own pace. They did not climb the Acropolis where it was very crowded but enjoyed the view. Corfu - This was probably the highlight of the cruise. We had organised a private tour of the island with Corfu Taxis. Our driver, Vangelis, met us at the port gates and we knew straight away we were in for a good time. Vangelis is naturally very proud of his homeland, very knowledgeable and had a great sense of humour. We travelled in a very comfortable car, driving along the west coast, going through quaint tiny villages, through which no MSC tour coach would be able to navigate. The views were stunning and we particularly liked Paleokastritsa. On arrival in Lakones we stopped at George's Cellar and were shown where the owners press their own olive oil and their wine making centre. Vangelis disappeared for a while but came back with baguettes, feta cheese, tomatoes and olives and he prepared a delicious lunch for us which we washed down with samples of the wines. We made some purchases in the shop and then drove on to Corfu Town where we had free time to wander the narrow cobbled streets. The tour lasted 5 hours and was such good value at Euros 180 for the four of us. One failing at this port was that it was quite a long walk from the quay to the port gates (especially for someone like myself with mobility problems) Passengers were not advised that there is a free shuttle bus in operation. It was Vangelis who pointed this out when we returned from the tour with him. Kotor - Sailing into Kotor in the early hours of the morning was breathtaking - very similar to be in the Norwegian Fjords (do get up early so as not to miss this experience). We had very little time in this port but managed to see round the walled city which is full of charm and history. Would have loved longer here. Venice - Disembarkation went very well - we were some of the first off the ship as we had no flight that day. The wheelchair assistance for me was much appreciated. Our private transfer from the port took us to the Hotel Delfino at Venice Mestre. The rooms were large with all mod cons. We purchased the 24hour ticket for the buses and water taxis - Euros 20 each. The A4 bus into the centre of Venice stopped right outside the hotel and we were in the throng of the city within 20mins. We spent a hectic day sightseeing and the atmosphere for Easter Sunday was wonderful even with so many people gathered in St Mark's Square. We took the water taxis from place to place. We returned to the hotel hoping to eat in the restaurant that evening but it was closed for dinners. We were told we could dine in the sister hotel next door but there it was just a set menu for the Easter period - very limited choices for Euros 35 per person. We looked for somewhere else and just a few doors away we found Wilmer's Bar - they even had a Gluten Free menu so son in law was happy. The food was excellent. We had a buffet breakfast in the Delfino which was very good, plenty of choice and the food was hot and nicely presented. Our private transfer picked us up at 8.30a.m and we arrived in good time at the airport for our return flight. I really feel MSC should provide passengers with information on the ports of call - not everyone can participate in the tours if they are unsuitable for those with mobility problems, so they need to find things to do independently and information would help. Others do not like being on organised tours and prefer to do things on their own. Overall we enjoyed the cruise but if I am honest it was not the best MSC cruise I have been on and I have sailed with MSC regularly since 2001. I have a booking on Seaview for July which I hope will prove to be a better experience. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinery and largely because it was incredible value at £380 pp. Having read some reviews here we approached with an open mind (first time with Costa) but were very pleasantly surprised. The ship is ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinery and largely because it was incredible value at £380 pp. Having read some reviews here we approached with an open mind (first time with Costa) but were very pleasantly surprised. The ship is very stylishly fitted out, we loved all the detail. All is spotlessly clean and doesn't look the 8 years old that it is. We were upgraded from an inside to a premier balcony cabin and given a lunch and dinner drinks package for free, both were very welcome and made it even better value. We really can't fault anything at that price and it would be hard to even if we had paid twice as much. Food was superb. Service and staff without exception were extremely friendly, helpful and courteous. The only dining criticisms are that buffet hours are limited compared to our previous cruises with nothing available mid morning or after 9pm. Even breakfast and lunch are limited to less than two hours. Also, breakfast and lunch service in the dining room can be slow. Evenings were fine. Coffee and tea were only available from the machines during buffet hours. Water was always available (and was served at the dining table free). Of course everything is available if you pay for it. Entertainment was good with musicians around the ship. The evening shows were of a high standard though not quite the P & O west end style productions. It is of course difficult on such an international ship to provide entertainment to suit all with the language issues. Outside areas are good. Plenty of quiet or noisy areas to choice. We particularly like the 'stacked' rear decks where you can sit out in some shelter and enjoy the rearward view. Many modern ships lack this. We always managed to find a sunbed on sea days eventually but they need to clamp down on people reserving beds. We are not pool people but there are only two pools and the large one with the retractable roof was always enclosed, even on hot days. This made it noisy and steamy. This is probably the only area of the ship that shows it's age and not as stylish as the rest of the ship. It is also used for evening parties and lacks atmosphere. We had a look at the spa and it looked superb if that's your thing. We don't do excursions so can't comment on these. It irked somewhat to be told it was a 4m walk to Corfu and Dubrovnik when it was 2km. This was just trying to sell the expensive shuttle tickets. The local buses, and even taxis if you share, are cheaper an 2km is a reasonable walk. Some have commented about certain nationalities pushing in and jumping queues. We rarely experienced this (there are always a few rude individuals). We found all nationalities mixed very well and the atmosphere on board was lively yet well behaved. All in all it is hard to believe we were on the same ship as some who have reviewed here. The above really is nitpicking but Costa need to know where they can improve an already top notch experience which genuinely is what it was. We had a fantastic time. Read Less
57 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I am just back from a week on the MSC Poesia and thought I would share some highlights of the week’s activities and port excursions. We cruised round trip out of Venice to the Eastern Mediterranean. Keep in mind when you read my comments ... Read More
I am just back from a week on the MSC Poesia and thought I would share some highlights of the week’s activities and port excursions. We cruised round trip out of Venice to the Eastern Mediterranean. Keep in mind when you read my comments that my comparisons to other cruises are based on this being my 30th cruise and have been on many of the other major cruise lines. This was my first MSC cruise. Ship comments (in no particular order): 1) The ship is beautifully decorated. All common areas were clean and well maintained. 2) The service and friendliness of the staff onboard were fantastic. We did find that the dining room service for the “My Choice Dining” tended to be a bit slower than having an assigned dining time. 3) Unlike the other cruises we have been on, the late seating for dinner is 9:00pm! 4) Unfortunately, the food onboard was not good at all. We tried both dining rooms and the buffet for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. The food was never hot and was just not up to par with any of the other cruises we have been on. 5) The boarding process at each port stop is quite slow. Some days there was only one gangway with one security line opened. Allow enough time to get back on board! 6) Although there is a lot of live music at night in just about every lounge, there are too many dance lessons by the cruise staff that interfered too long with the singers/musicians performing. 7) The shows in the main theater were just okay. 8) There are MANY common drinks/beers/wines that are listed on the bar menus that are NOT part of the beverage packages. Excursions (all were done when we got into each port independent of the cruise line): I should point out that every stop on this cruise is in cities that have many streets and alleyways filled with shops/restaurants/cafes/etc. Some are pedestrian only, while some allow cars and mopeds. At no time in any of the cities did we feel the least bit unsafe,and we covered as much area as possible at each stop! Most of the fun was wandering through the cities with no map or agenda! All amounts referenced below are in Euros. 1) Venice – We flew in a day and night early to spend time here. We stayed at the Il Moro Di Venezia Hotel which is a short walk from the Piazzale Roma. That is the location where the airport buses and taxis will drop you off downtown. After checking in, we took the ACTV #1 Vaporetto for $7.50 through the Grand Canal from the hotel to St. Mark's Square. We then leisurely walked back shopping and stopping in a couple cafes for drinks. The next day we walked back to the Piazzale Roma and took the People Mover for$1.50 to the cruise terminal. Note that you will still have quite a walk to the ship after you get off the People Mover. However, at the end of the week when you get off the ship, there will be plenty of taxis waiting to take you to the airport. The fee is $50 per taxi even for the larger minivans. 2) Bari – Of all the stops on the cruise, this seemed to be everyone’s least favorite that I talked to. However, I enjoyed it.We actually walked into town and back (about 20-25 minutes each way). Once in town, do not miss going down by the water to the seafood market where the local fishermen bring their daily catches in. There is a bar at the end of the market that sells $1 beers while you stroll the market and talk to the locals. 3) Katakolon – Once off the ship, look for the light blue building toward the right. They offer $10 round trips to Olympia. Once in Olympia, the entrance fee into the Olympics site is $12 each. You walk around at your own pace, and all the buildings have markers that explain what they are. The museum is also included in your ticket price. It takes about 30 minutes to get there, and they allow you two hours to spend at the site. We found that to be the perfect amount of time. Once back in port, you will have time to shop in Katakolon, grab a beer, or just walk the streets before boarding the ship. 4) Mykonos – The ship sells transfers into the city for $7 via boat or $10 via bus round trip. It did appear that it was too far to walk. The entire town is white buildings. We did the same walking around as the last two stops and then headed to the beach. The bus stop for the beaches is not far from the windmills and costs $1.80 each way. The bus schedule there and back is posted on a board. You pay the driver when you get on board. We went to Paradise Beach, and I would recommend it. They have a beautiful beach area, no charge for lounge chairs, and offer a restaurant, bar and smoothie store. Once back in Mykonos, we stopped at a local restaurant for a Gyro, calamari, and drinks along the water looking over at our ship. It was the best meal we had all week! 5) Athens - We opted for the Hop On Hop Off bus. They are located as soon as you walk out of the port area. The cost is $16 each (keep your receipt from the bus in Katakolon and you get $1 off each). Our first stop was the Acropolis. Tickets to get into the site are $20 each. It is quite a walk to the top, but so worth it when you get there. We got back on the bus for one more stop, and that was the Temple of Zeus and the Plaka area. This is the oldest section of Athens and has more shops/restaurants/cafes/etc. We spent a few hours there, and by then, it was time to get back on the bus and head back to the ship. The HOHO bus full route around Athens takes about 90 minutes, but there is just not enough time to see everything unless you just want to ride the route without getting off the bus. Traffic gets pretty busy by the middle of the afternoon. 6) Corfu – This stop was to have been in Sarande, Albania, but the weather was too bad to tender in. So, we docked in Corfu instead. It was a $10 taxi ride each way into town for four people. We spent a few hours walking around town and stopped in a café for drinks before heading back to the ship. 7) Dubrovnik – This was a tender port, and the advantage was that the tender dropped us off right at the entrance to the walled city. We walked the city walls. Tickets were $22 each, but you must pay in Kuna. There is an exchange store a few doors down from the entrance to the walls. The entire trip around the walls took a little more than an hour at a leisurely pace. There are great photo opportunities along the way. We then wandered the streets shopping, looking around the open market in one of the squares, and stopping in a couple cafes for drinks. Hope this review helps in some way with your planning. Enjoy your travels! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
We just returned early this morning from Venice, and an 11 day Holy Land cruise with Norwegian. Amazing itinerary: Israel, Crete, Cyprus, Rhodes, Split, Montenegro. Trip of a lifetime. We loved the ship food. I especially loved the ... Read More
We just returned early this morning from Venice, and an 11 day Holy Land cruise with Norwegian. Amazing itinerary: Israel, Crete, Cyprus, Rhodes, Split, Montenegro. Trip of a lifetime. We loved the ship food. I especially loved the Southern biscuits and wings in one of the eateries, plus the buffet always had something for everyone. Our favorite was the dining room food, for lunch and dinner. The entertainment is top notch. The group Acora is West End experienced. I was amazed at their professional performance. My favorite is the ship dancers. They are AWESOME, young, incredibly talented. There is only one (big) gripe we have. For one of the first times, we splashed out big for the excursions into Jerusalem, Israel, Crete, Cyprus. We usually do things ourselves to save money. Anyway, we were EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED how they rounded us up EARLY to be there. And wait. Our leaving times came and went. This wouldn't have been so bad IF they added these times back on, but of course they didn't. On average we left 1/2 hr. late, sometimes later. One day: 3 hours drive to Jerusalem. 2.5 hours in the city, touring. ONLY 1/2 HR. SHOPPING AND ALONE TIME!!! Not enough! Then 3 hrs back. Returning way before we needed to be. Very disappointing. On the Cyprus cruise, bus 1, the guide, a petite, mature woman who said she had been a guide for years, spoke very rapidly, non stop, and put the accent on the wrong syllables in her heavy accent. Consequently, we couldn't understand half or more of what she said. She also NEVER seemed to draw a breath. Or take a pause, which she sorely needed to do. Talking non stop for over an hour to our destination was overwhelming because we couldn't understand her. P-LEASE GET GUIDES WHO DON'T HAVE HEAVY ACCENTS. I asked another woman on the cruise if she could understand the guide. She diplomatically said, "I don't do good with accents". She was from CA. We are American expats living overseas and do ok with accents. But this tour guide spoke like a kamikaze. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
The ship is small, but enjoyed the Ports of calls to Greece, Croatia, and Turkey. The food was very good. There are only 2 complaints that I have, breakfast in the dinning room, was extremely slow... Long time to get order taken, and ... Read More
The ship is small, but enjoyed the Ports of calls to Greece, Croatia, and Turkey. The food was very good. There are only 2 complaints that I have, breakfast in the dinning room, was extremely slow... Long time to get order taken, and long time to get food. However, dinner was not an issue. The other complaint was there was not a whole lot of activities on the ship. For those who like Bingo, they only had 1 game of Bingo on each of the at sea days. Otherwise the crew was great. For those who like to endeavor on specialty restaurants, Chops and Giavonnies was extremely good. 2 Items I would recommend, If you love to drink beer or mixed drinks, the drinking package is well worth it. Even if you not a drinker, take the soda package. And if your on a later flight, you can pay for and take the stay-a-while option, which allows you to stay on the ship longer, (lay by the pool, and have lunch). For those who want to stay in touch, the internet service was upgraded. The surf with stream, had a decent connection, though at times did lag, which is due to satellite connection, but the speed was enough, that I was able to stream videos, and use my VOIP service through my phone app to make phone calls. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I read many reviews of Rhapsody of the Seas and to be honest was a little apprehensive about booking this cruise. We have considerable cruising experience and I can honestly say that my misgivings were unfounded. I can only conclude that ... Read More
I read many reviews of Rhapsody of the Seas and to be honest was a little apprehensive about booking this cruise. We have considerable cruising experience and I can honestly say that my misgivings were unfounded. I can only conclude that those who bemoan this vessel must have phenomenally higher standards than mine! Sure it's a bit dated in parts but the bits that matter are perfectly OK - the state rooms are a decent size, well appointed and clean and the balcony is probably bigger than most. The dining rooms are without exception excellent - and that goes for the food as well although I have to say that we were somewhat disappointed with the Chops Grill and the Italian restaurant but this was probably due to our overwhelming satisfaction with the standards of service and food in the Eidelweis main restaurant. I don't think that any of our party of six had cause to complain about a single meal in this restaurant. The buffet restaurant was also very good - a vast array of food to suit all tastes and always well presented and piping hot. We did however tend to avoid breakfast times there as we preferred to be served in Eidelweis. The theatre is superb but we only went to a couple of shows, the bars on the whole were very good with good service and the Captain takes enormous pride in referring to the "super friendly" Rhapsody of the Seas in every announcement and it sums it up perfectly - everyone goes out of their way to be pleasant and helpful. The major issue is the main swimming pool - it really should have benefitted from a refurbishment when everything else was updated. It is too small and is only suitable as a plunge pool! Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our 10 day trip and would recommend the vessel to anyone seeking a good value cruise. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was our first ever cruise and after reading reviews about the ship we were more than apprehensive about our trip.......well all that apprehension was unfounded......we had the most brilliant time, the ship is absolutely fine, bearing ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and after reading reviews about the ship we were more than apprehensive about our trip.......well all that apprehension was unfounded......we had the most brilliant time, the ship is absolutely fine, bearing in mind that she is an older ship so bound to be tired in places but that is outshone by the wonderful attentive staff, the fabulous food and the great entertainment......the ship is spotlessly clean with staff working around the clock. What a great way to see the world, waking up to a new port almost everyday, on sea days there was more than enough going on to keep everyone entertained from the very young to the more mature passengers on board. Our cabin was and outside cabin on deck D at the back of the boat directly above the Starlight theatre, we were worried that there would be noise etc.......absolutely nothing, the theatre closed at 11.30pm each evening and we had no noise disturbance at all including from neighbours either side of us during the whole fortnight. I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending the Oceana and this particular cruise to anyone. Well done P&O you surpassed all our expectations. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We sailed on Vision of the Seas on 7th to 14th May and had the most wonderful holiday. Having sailed on RCS larger ships previously, the size of the Vision took some getting used to and the choice of food and entertainment was somewhat ... Read More
We sailed on Vision of the Seas on 7th to 14th May and had the most wonderful holiday. Having sailed on RCS larger ships previously, the size of the Vision took some getting used to and the choice of food and entertainment was somewhat limited in comparison however that said Captain Merek and his team ensured that we all had a great time. Nothing was too much trouble ......everyone on board was very friendly and I think the smaller ship felt more intimate easy to get around. We are vegetarian and found that there was plenty of choice of fresh food, salads and fruit, also delicious hot dishes. The entertainment team were tireless and the shows they put on were very entertaining. Sailing out of Venice and later into Montenegro was an experience I will not forget. It was just beautiful. Embarkation at Venice was a lengthy process but after that getting on and off the ship was very well organised. Captain Merek was very involved with the passengers, attending some of the shows, giving daily reports on weather and birthdays and even singing! I can thoroughly recommend sailing on the Vision. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
First time here and mostly I liked destinations. I think the food was fine there is large choice especially pasta and cakes. Water, tea, coffee included at the buffet. Juice included for breakfast. Workers were cleaning often the buffet ... Read More
First time here and mostly I liked destinations. I think the food was fine there is large choice especially pasta and cakes. Water, tea, coffee included at the buffet. Juice included for breakfast. Workers were cleaning often the buffet and it must be a good thing. Good service at buffet. I could complain about the service at the reception some of the Italian women working there seemed arrogant to me and also one Russian lady working at the perfume shop she was arrogant. First about good things. I liked food, sea views and the destinations also cabin was fine until the renovation noise. Why I tell you now. At the reception nobody didn't tell nothing about the renovation going near the balcony cabins and suites! Yes what kind of poor service! I woke up 2 times eatly in the Morning because of the Bang renovation noise and after that reception wanted to put loud music on. I guess something was broken in some cabin but they could at least tell about this renovation before it started! Very arrogant attitude without telling nothing. I got headache from the noises. At the reception woman only pretend that she didn't understand English or Italian and she said she don't know what was the Bang renovation voice. I'm very sure she knew about the renovation because I saw one couple who complaint about the same thing. How they can keep worker who doesn't want to speak English or Italian on this ship sailing from Venice? Terrible attitude I hope they will find new better workers and send off arrogant worker who doesn't like tourists at all. Second thing was that I gone to perfume shop and there was offer on the Cruise magazine 3 perfumes 100e and when I asked perfumes the Russian lady told me the price is only for 2 perfumes not for 3. She said I could buy 4 perfumes but that was not the right deal I felt like it was only a lie. I notice she throw perfume bottles angrily from the box to the floor and this thing I also wonder! does she sell then those perfumes to customers and she did that when people saw. Why they write other thing to the magazine about offer of 3 perfumes and then it is only 2 perfumes it is same price than in the shops elsewhere. Anyway no matter I didn't buy. The taxfree was not as cheap as expected and I couldn't buy nothing because I don't buy often luxury brands. The Cruise was cheap but taxfree not but that was what I expected. The swimming pool was all the time full of people and it was not easy to go to swimming because there was about 20-30 children jumping and kicking around without their parents. Pool cleaner seemed to work as nanny because parents were not there. There was rule that parents should watch their children and stay there but they didn't. When I gone swimming there was also angry adults and they behave weirdly looking at me like I was some shit and then they gone off from the pool like it was my fault. It left me feeling that some people wanted to keep the pool and jacuzzi only for themselves but they couldn't because pools are public to everyone. It could have been a better swimming experience if there was more rules. I don't hate all and I could return to this ship but now I think it's not easy to communicate with the reception and it's not easy to go to swimming because pool is always full and then people are angry to each others because pool is full. Cabin cleaners were polite and they cleaned the cabin at least 2 times a day and that's good. Workers at the buffet had a lot of to do and they are hard working. I don't complain about the buffet. Disembarkation was not very clear and much waiting and then some children's show at the theater it was very boring and annoying for adults. There was just howling show for children. I didn't get it why adults had to watch the "show" before disembarkation. Embarkation was better because there was no show or at least I didn't watch it I was just watching Venice from the ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Friend chose it as it was a cheap offer but I would never go on Orchestra again. On embarkation we had to wait for 2 1/2 hours to board ship. When we got on board our room hadn't been cleaned, that was our first complaint of many. ... Read More
Friend chose it as it was a cheap offer but I would never go on Orchestra again. On embarkation we had to wait for 2 1/2 hours to board ship. When we got on board our room hadn't been cleaned, that was our first complaint of many. The ship itself is nice and clean and beds comfy. The shower in room is very small. Our dining experience on our first day was awful. We had booked a first sitting in the restaurant but when we went to the restaurant we were told it was full and we could have the 9pm sitting or use the buffet restaurant, that was our second complaint. We went to the buffet restaurant as 9pm is to late for us to eat. What an experience the buffet was ! Children running around unsupervised while people had food on their plates, food was only lukewarm and not what I had expected on a cruise as had been told by friends that food on cruise ships is superb, this definitely wasn't in the buffet. The next night we made sure we were booked in on early sitting in the restaurant. The food in the restaurant was very good but no water on the table you had to pay for every drink and no coffee after meal, you had to go to a lounge and pay for your coffee. Entertainment had strobe lighting most nights.bad service in Casino bar. Our steward was excellent, twice our toilet wouldn't flush and he sorted it quickly. We couldn't visit Katakolon as there was a storm so had to stay in Bari overnight so missed seeing there. Internet on ship was useless even when we paid for premium. It was my first cruise so very disappointed but friends have told me not to be put off as other cruise lines are excellent but never got with MSC again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
After a fabulous 2015 Christmas and New Year trip on Oceana scoring top marks in review categories we decided to go back to what was our favourite ship so far, however too much refit work going on around the ship, too many areas blocked ... Read More
After a fabulous 2015 Christmas and New Year trip on Oceana scoring top marks in review categories we decided to go back to what was our favourite ship so far, however too much refit work going on around the ship, too many areas blocked off for maintenance and deck area loungers were squashed too close together as the group of floorers started to replace all blue deck carpet throughout the ship. Lots of complaints about deck hammers, noise and inconvenience. Had to move cabin after 5 nights of blockages and foul sewerage smells, avoid all cabins around B231 as there is some serious problems here. Big disaster with the return flights which were a total mess, tickets missing, baggage lost and long queues as a result of Genoa systems crashing repeatedly. P&O flight rep and the captain of Oceana could not help. Give fly cruises a miss from now on too stressful. BUT a great cruise again not as good as the last cruise trying MSC next. Food was ok, again but not as good as Christmas, staff still very helpful more so in Café Jarden, The Beach House and surprisingly the Grill. Food choice not too good on some nights. Main dinning rooms still suffer the same issues as before (slow service) but the food was hot ! We know what to expect on the entertainment front and all was ok but special treat The Blue Jays 50s band was first class. Comedian a bit old hat. The headliners doing their same routines but still entertaining. I know we booked late and choice of cabins was greatly reduced but some basic qualities were missing with health and hygiene issues playing a big part in our moans as drains were regularly (5 days) blocked with sewage smells coming into the cabin so much that we had to wedge the cabin door open, leading us to complain after 5 nights of blockages and sewage smells. However we were moved to a new cabin but ended up next to the crew door which on disembarkation day was noisy all night as luggage was dragged around the ship and banged against the walls and door frame until the early hours. Staff service, no problems here, special thanks to the senior officers who we met on the last Oceana cruise who looked after us. 1st cabin steward a bit of a day dreamer, 2nd was ok but didn't see much of him. A little moan about the customer services desk staff who tend to apply the blame culture before listening and resolving any issues, perhaps a bit more training here? The Captain listen to our complaint about only one of us having a flight boarding card, no real explanation was given and instead of just walking through to the plane we had to queue at the British Airways desk for at least an hour with other passengers who had similar problems. One couple was so upset as they wanted a four year old child to sit on his own at the back of the plane due to the seat allocation mess which eventually delayed the flight. Having previously had a disappointing 2015 cruises on Arcadia and Britannia favouring Oceana as the flag ship following a fabulous 2015 Christmas & New Year cruise we have to say that we now understand why the reviews are so varied as we now will not be sailing on her until her refit is completed and are now off in June 2016 with MSC to Miami. Oceana is our favourite P&O ship and we are disappointed that we had to give her a poor review as we know what she and her crew are really capable of and perhaps she and the crew need a break. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
When I booked this "cruise", I knew there would not be much cruising involved. However, if I'd known the boat would be completely stationery except for 8 hours during our whole stay, I would not have booked! When did ... Read More
When I booked this "cruise", I knew there would not be much cruising involved. However, if I'd known the boat would be completely stationery except for 8 hours during our whole stay, I would not have booked! When did the Michelangelo move? Once, for a short hop between our initial mooring at San Basilio and our main mooring at the Giardini Bienniale; once for a two hour meander around the North Lagoon (no stops, no commentary); and a short cruise down to Chiogga and back (two and a half hours each way). When we booked, the brochure said the ship sailed to Murano and Burano but apparently larger ships are no longer permitted to moor there. DINING AND BEVERAGES The Michelangelo is fully inclusive - all meals including unlimited beer, wine, spirits, soft drinks and water (including bottles of water to take on excursions). The bar is open most of the day and very late into the night. The meals are all a set menu with no choices. Helpings were generous but there was a weird disconnect between the published menus and what was served - for instance: - "orecchiette" on the menu became plain penne on the plate; - "roman piccata" was pork schnitzel with spaghetti and the wrong sauce; - "caprese" salad was made with mozzarella instead of bocconcini; ..and so on. It felt as though Head Office had created an Italian menu to suit the ship's Venetian location, but the chef had never tasted Italian cuisine and just made it up (I recommend he spends some time with Google to find the recipes, and eats a few meals at real Italian restaurants!). The British guests seemed happy with the food but the French passengers were critical and said it was well below what they expected from Croisieurope. We were disappointed with the standard but felt it must've been difficult for a kitchen of four people to cater for so many passengers, so if there was a tendency towards institutional cooking perhaps it was unavoidable. EXCURSIONS Some passengers had booked inclusive of all excursions - we had not. The Doge's Palace is walking distance from the ship's mooring at Giardini and the queue is short, so apart from the commentary (which was good), we felt we had wasted our money on this excursion and should have done it ourselves. The trip to Murano and Burano seemed expensive, considering that local excursion operators do a similar trip for 20 euros which includes Torcello (which is more interesting than Burano). The ship goes to Chioggia on the last full day, from where there's an excursion to Padua. Chioggia itself is a large town with a few old buildings on its main street, and is not worth a visit (the Michelangelo staff recommended the fish market "with lots of interesting fish" as the highlight of the town...). We chose not to go to Padua as the excursion sounded rushed. The cruise back along the edge of the lagoon was pleasant on a spectacularly sunny day, but it would've been far better with some basic commentary telling us what islands we were passing. ENTERTAINMENT We were concerned that the entertainment consisted of ONE local musician on two of the evenings, but we need not have worried as she was a brilliant clarinetist who also sang, played the piano and acted as DJ. The large lounge had ample space for all including a good dance floor. SUMMARY This is not a cruise! To be fair, it is not Croisieurope's fault - the Venetian authories have severely limited where larger ships can go in the Lagoon. However, perhaps that means it's time for Croisieurope to reconsider whether it's worth offering this "cruise" at all, or be more imaginative about the way they run it. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
I chose this cruise because I wanted to see Venice, and visit Greece. There were company reps all guiding us to the pick up coaches, which would take us to the ship. My package was supposed to be an all inclusive deal, but as soon as you ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to see Venice, and visit Greece. There were company reps all guiding us to the pick up coaches, which would take us to the ship. My package was supposed to be an all inclusive deal, but as soon as you get on board you have to leave a two hundred and fifty euro deposit, with your credit card. There seemed to be a language barrier as well. I was shown to my cabin on the top deck, there were bottles of water in my small cabin which stung me for three euro's a bottle. My first nights sleep was disturbed by vibrations from some nearby machinery, and the thin walls where you could hear others down the corridor. There was only one American news channel to watch, and in the morning, I noticed my English clock radio was showing the wrong time, I kept having to reset it due to the voltage difference. There are no deck plans of the ship anywhere apart from by the lifts which just show what's on each deck. It took me about half an hour to find my way back to the reception desk, where I had to wait in a long queue to be seen. I asked the lady for another cabin and explained why, I was told that the ship was full in a very cold and blunt way, two days later more people came on board, where they were informed that they must attend the fire safety drill. My first restaurant meal came with a service charge, and if I hadn't paid for a wine and water package in advance, then a bottle of wine would have cost me be about twenty euro's. We sat at the same table each evening, so you could chat to others. I was stuck in my noisy cabin for three nights, there was a standard letter posted under my door thanking me for raising these issues which were being investigated. I was dozing on my bed trying to work out what the correct time was by switching the tv on, when the bedside telephone rang, with someone from reception, inviting me along to see my new cabin. My second cabin on the eight deck, was an outside cabin with a little balcony, and it came with an arm chair and table and sliding patio doors, it was ten times better and much quieter than the other one, plus there was no water slopping around the shower room floor. Every day there was an information sheet posted under the door with the expected arrival time at the next port of call. I had paid for two excursions one was to visit Athens and the other to visit Corfu. There was nothing much to do on board, apart from fry in the Sun, use the gym, or spend lots of money on cold drinks. The ship was so full of people and there was noise everywhere, even in the lounge areas where they had giant port hole windows where you could watch the scenery, they still had music pumped through the speakers. I did make one visit to the casino to watch friends play a slot machine, and this seemed to be the smokers area, my clothes stank for a couple of days. The excursions seemed to be rushed as well, its not easy taking photo's from a moving coach in a traffic jam. It felt like there was only about half an hour free time in Athens otherwise it was a long journey back to the ship if you missed your coach. There were many who just got off the ship and went sight seeing, I didn't have the courage to do that. The views from my balcony were very good for taking photographs. On the morning of disembarkation my credit card payment invoice was posted under my door, which showed that the restaurant service charge was eight euro's fifty each time, the Athens visit cost 52.90 euro's and the Corfu visit cost 39.90 euro's, so at the end of an all inclusive cruise which had already cost me on thousand five hundred pounds, I had a bill for for an additional two hundred and thirty pounds which included the excursion and wine package. No sooner had we boarded the coaches, we were soon at Venice airport ready for the one and a half hour flight back to the UK. When I got home, I emailed MSC with a complaint about my holiday, where I detailed my experiences on board, where I felt I had been used like a slot machine, hoping that they would refund the money I had paid, they reluctantly offered me a seventy pound credit towards my next MSC cruise. The company were collecting thousands of euro's in service charges which I stated should have come out of the cost of the cruise. I also emailed the travel agent, but got no response. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
My daughter and I recently enjoyed an Adriatic Greece and Turkey cruise. We had a comfortable cabin with a balcony. It was lovely to sit out and watch the sun go down and in the early morning sit and read with a cup of coffee. It is an ... Read More
My daughter and I recently enjoyed an Adriatic Greece and Turkey cruise. We had a comfortable cabin with a balcony. It was lovely to sit out and watch the sun go down and in the early morning sit and read with a cup of coffee. It is an American ship so coffee easier to make than tea no tea pot or boiling water. All the staff were smiling and helpful and the service was very good. We enjoyed dining out in one of the restaurants in the evening then going to the spa which was very relaxing and peaceful. Meet some very friendly people. Went to the Art auction which was interesting. We took advantage of the port stops to explore Places, Ephesus was my favourite. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Wonderful experience overall. We loved our cruise from the moment of embarkation. Our room was perfect with all we needed. Our steward kept our room meticulous. Dinner was a fabulous experience where we met lovely people to share our ... Read More
Wonderful experience overall. We loved our cruise from the moment of embarkation. Our room was perfect with all we needed. Our steward kept our room meticulous. Dinner was a fabulous experience where we met lovely people to share our meal. Our waiter at dinner was first class (Budi) and he couldn't do enough for us. Evening entertainment was first class with spectacular shows and acts. Facilities were excellent on board ship. Our destinations were spectacular and extremely well organised. We can't wait to do another MSC cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
Everyone aboard the Norwegian Jade was so nice and accommodating. Both cruise directors - Rodrigo and Archie, were so fun and helpful.The party crew - Alex, Andre, Wesley, Fabio, and Alice really made sure that everyone around them was ... Read More
Everyone aboard the Norwegian Jade was so nice and accommodating. Both cruise directors - Rodrigo and Archie, were so fun and helpful.The party crew - Alex, Andre, Wesley, Fabio, and Alice really made sure that everyone around them was having a good time. My steward Ricon was so concerned about our well being and was so kind and genuine. Overall, I am floored by how excellent I was treated by the staff. Everyone seemed to go out of their way to make sure the passengers were having the vacation of a life time. After working in customer service for many years, I know how much work goes into making sure the customer is always happy. I appreciate all the cruise staff has done to make that possible. The shows were also excellent -- Soul Duo was simply amazing and beautiful. Thanks Norwegian for an unforgettable vacation! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Just finished a superb cruise aboard Oceana and was once again delighted with all round standard. Cruised on Ventura last year on same itinery but must state that the food on board Oceans was much much better. Nothing wrong with ... Read More
Just finished a superb cruise aboard Oceana and was once again delighted with all round standard. Cruised on Ventura last year on same itinery but must state that the food on board Oceans was much much better. Nothing wrong with Ventura's but Oceana provided an excellent choice of menus and standard. Beautiful public areas although cabins starting to show age. We had cabin C406 mid ships and was very clean. Balcony was smaller than Ventura's and was in need of lick of paint. Entertainment was excellent with the Tenor Boys who we saw twice and julian Smith the alto sax player who came third on Britain's got talent. Headliners quite good as well long with female vocalist Giselle Summers . this provided good variety in both ships theatres which were very comfortable. Itinery was fabulous as we had a full day in Venice before a 10 pm sailing. Kotor beautiful despite rain. Corfu as beautiful and friendly as ever . Trip to Rome canceled as we were unable to dock due to high winds. Disappointing as our first time cruising companions were looking forward to Rome. Monte Carlo is Monte Carlo. Fab. All in all a great trip with boarding and embarking very efficient. Staff friendly and helpful and table staff excellent. All In all brilliant cruise and thanks to P&O once again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
We treated ourselves to a 7 day cruise from 8th April to 15th in the Med. We sailed from Venice and visited Kotor, Corfu, sailed through the Messina Straits, Rome and Monte Carlo. How would we sum up the week in one word? BRILLIANT. ... Read More
We treated ourselves to a 7 day cruise from 8th April to 15th in the Med. We sailed from Venice and visited Kotor, Corfu, sailed through the Messina Straits, Rome and Monte Carlo. How would we sum up the week in one word? BRILLIANT. Infact, it has to be one of the best cruise breaks we’ve ever had. The pros and cons are as follows: Pros: • Having never done a fly / cruise with P&O we were extremely impressed with the flight (well done Thomas Cook) and the organisation with the cases. I.e. we left them at Manchester and the next time we saw them they were sitting outside our cabin early afternoon. • The cabin was ready as soon as we boarded – 12 noon. • The cabin steward was super – a lovely lady named Mardolyn who was a credit to P&O. Thanks for a lovely cruise and clean cabin. • The cabin was B227 – a balcony cabin on the starboard side. First impressions were good and having sailed on Oceana before we knew what to expect. Ok they are on the small side, as are the balconies, but if you do your homework then you should know what to expect. It was comfortable and very quiet – we did wonder if there was anyone else on the cruise at times! Great views of the Bridge and a haven of peace on sea days when you could sit with your feet up, glass in hand as the sea went by. • Tip: For this week of the cruise we found that starboard is the side to be on as we had the sun most days and great sunsets. • The timing re the sailaway from Venice was great. We arrived at noon, had the chance to visit St Mark’s Square for 2 hours or so, return, unpack, attend muster drill, change for our meal and the hit the open decks for the 10 pm sailaway. Brilliant. In effect we felt like we gained an extra day’s holiday. • Freedom Dining works well for us and the Ligurian Restaurant was our assigned dining room. I have to admit that this was hit and miss – see below – but at its best it was great. Thanks to Peter and David who served us most night at our special request – true stars – our wine waitress and Restaurant Manager. Yes we had to wait on occasions, but we expected this as we tend to go down at about 7.30pm. We just take the pager and enjoy a cocktail in Tiffany’s. • The food was hit and miss at times to be honest – not sure if we put this in a pro or a con! I found the starters to be good and the desserts – some of the main courses lacked flavour. • As others note there is no more silver service but our Peter / David sometimes gave us additional vegetables or 2 / 3 desserts to make up for it. They made sure that hubby was well looked after and he always came away from the dining room smiling! • We enjoy the formal nights and the vast majority of passengers joined in. To be honest we thought those in shorts and t shirts wandering through looked really awkward, but their choice I suppose. • I have to say that the weather was perfect – we couldn’t believe our good fortune! It was in the late teens / mid 20s every day of the cruise and the sea was like a mill pond. The ports of call were very special – the sailaway in Kotor was excellent and one we will always remember. • Our fellow passengers were a real mix from babes in arms to elderly passengers in wheelchairs. It made for a nice mix • The toiletries in the bathroom are provided and very good • There are tea and coffee making facilities with great biscuits replenished twice a day and a nightly turndown service with pillow chocolate. • The photographers were very good. Normally we don’t buy photos, but these were particularly good and very tempting. • Disembarkation was handled well. We were allowed to stay in the cabin until 9am which is a good time and we were off and in our coaches quickly. We were home by about 2.30pm. • The transfer back to Genoa Airport was good, though the airport itself isn’t great. We didn’t have to wait long though for the flight home and P&O looked after us throughout. Very different from a fly / cruise with Celebrity when, on each occasion we have been left at Rome airport with as much as 5 hours before check in has opened….. • The excursion to Kotor and the Mountain area was excellent. The excursion - a day in Corfu was excellent value. It was lovely visiting the northern part of Corfu and the meal at the farm house midday was superb – real home cooking. • We were pleased that they did the Parade of the Chefs, but a shame that there was no napkin waving. We love the tradition • The waiter service around the pools and decks was excellent. Drinks are a decent price, not like the American cruise lines. • The staff were extremely friendly. Last year we felt they were quite miserable and it was nice to see them back at their best as on our first P&O cruise. • Finally, we have to mention the service at Tiffany’s – it was great – thank you. Cons: • Sadly the service from all waiters during Freedom Dining was not as good as Peter and David. This made the meal slow; bread was missed; they forgot to return to give hubby some wine despite us asking someone twice - third time was lucky, but he had more or less finished his meal by then. If we’d had that service all week we wouldn’t have been as happy – hence the fact that we found 2 great people and asked for them every night and were prepared to wait for the table as a result. • The selection in the buffet restaurant is limited and tends to get repetitive. Breakfast is a bit manic when busy and service for drinks in there was often very slow. • I felt that the balcony needed cleaning more. It looked worn due to rust (which I can understand) but the floor had flaky paint on it. Looking back perhaps we should have asked them to give it a clean. I do think it needs a lick of paint as well. • There don’t seem to be enough select dining options, but I suppose we could have tried Café Jardin. On our first cruise we enjoyed the meal here, but last year it was terrible so that’s put us off slightly. • It is sad that they no longer do the Champagne Fountain – a great tradition that you had to see to understand why it is a sad loss. • I do wish that P&O would have fly / cruises to the Eastern Med in the future to complement this cruise. To end, just to say that we enjoyed the week so much that once we had returned home we booked the 2 week version of the fly / cruise on Oceana next August 2016. (This was rather than do Britannia for 2 weeks or the Celebrity Reflection so she was up against tough competition). Oceana may not be the newest ship, but we are more than happy to return again as part of a fly / cruise. We did meet some ‘moaners’ at the airport, but I do find that people have unrealistic expectations and need to do their homework before they book a holiday. We had a fabulous time – thank you P&O. Read Less

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