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Sail Date: January 2019
We previously heard that Princess was Highest standard of cruise line; we were very excited to be cruising with them~ We were very disappointed with the poor customer communication, you were made to feel very unimportant and having no ... Read More
We previously heard that Princess was Highest standard of cruise line; we were very excited to be cruising with them~ We were very disappointed with the poor customer communication, you were made to feel very unimportant and having no family pools bopen on a cruise is a disgrace! We were unable to even be given a reason why by the front counter when questioned, just ignored and told that they did not know why? It was really sad seeing all the children dressed in their bathers waiting for pool to open that never did. The food was fantastic and the kitchen do a great job to create the Meals and so efficiently but the waiters and bar staff had no personality or entertaining value. We were just served. The Entertainment around the boat was minimal and often quiet boring However the Comedy show and Dolly Parton show was very entertaining thankfully. Overall we were very disappointed and will be only cruising with other liners Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
As always easy embarkation in Melbourne. Have not cruised Princess before and was pleasantly surprised (did not enjoy Carnival Legend last month) at the Golden Princess. Passengers were all well behaved and very friendly and we enjoyed the ... Read More
As always easy embarkation in Melbourne. Have not cruised Princess before and was pleasantly surprised (did not enjoy Carnival Legend last month) at the Golden Princess. Passengers were all well behaved and very friendly and we enjoyed the interactions we had with them and the wonderful crew. The ship itself has many lounges and bars to accommodate the large number of passengers and because of this it never seems crowded (our cruise was full) and the ship copes and flows well. Food was great in both the Horizon Food Court or Donatello’s anytime dining. We recieved a room upgrade the week before from an inside to a window. Room was small but with a dressing area. The bed was one of the best we had ever slept in - soft and comfy. The Cruise Director on the Golden Princess is PJ and he and his team are wonderful. Lots of things to do and great entertainment. Apart from the GP band and entertainers we had George Kalombaris from “Acropolypse Now” doing a comedy routine and the next night Donna Campbell presenting her Dolly Parton show. Both were great. The crew did a wonderful Jonas for the first 24 hours we had terrible weather and many people were unwell - the cleaning staff were put to the test. Overall we enjoyed this cruise very much and look forward to traveling on Princess again or on the GP when it goes over to P&O. Also particularly enjoyed the safety videos presented by the original Love Boat crew. Nice touch! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We had chosen this cruise because our son loves Mickey and the characters. All I can say is they go above and beyond. We chose the shorter trip because my wife has major motion sickness (she took a patch). Everything was so clean, ... Read More
We had chosen this cruise because our son loves Mickey and the characters. All I can say is they go above and beyond. We chose the shorter trip because my wife has major motion sickness (she took a patch). Everything was so clean, events were well organized, so much to do, food was very good for all ages. There was a hiccup our first night dining as we were the late group. The second night and on we were Wow'd. Then they seated us in our private table and wow, the staff was so good. One of the best staff's I have ever had the pleasure to deal with. Very interactive with our son and us and you can tell they were in sync as a team. They knew how, what, and when we liked in our orders to a T. We expected good service and received the best, as in the gourmet restaurants we had been to. The staff was excellent, they personalized everything, Bahama excursion to Atlantis is a must. 99% of the trip you had barely noticed that you were on the ship, moving. Bahama excursion was well laid out and organized. We were able to enjoy the aquarium, beaches, casino (no), and food that was located there. Food and beverage to purchase but wow, you can spend a whole day there. We felt safe and secure as the staff at Atlantis welcomed you also. Pirates theme night was awesome as my son enjoyed the live shows, movies while he swam, and of course the all you can eat ice cream (he took advantage of that). If you have younger children, it is a must for Oceanaire's club. We were kind of wary to let him go by himself at first..but boy..it was pulling teeth to get him to come out. He always wanted to go back. He loved Star Wars, how to draw, and Toy Story theme areas. He made many friends there. Disney Castaway..what can you say. Bring your snorkel gear, find hidden treasures, swim, sunbathe, and enjoy such a relaxing time. Food is good. My son loved it. "Best time of his life." Cabin was nice, ok in size. We did a Veranda...we had spent only 10 minutes using it. Probably will skip out next time as we had spent 99% of our time exploring, in the pool, activities, and eating. You will almost never be in your room. We are not big cruise folks, we prefer hotels and site seeing but wow, we will definitely go back. We may go again this year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Wanted a holiday cruise to be with family and began a new tradition. The ship was beautiful and well maintained. Had no issues with maintenance. Really enjoyed all the food offerings regardless of where we chose to eat. The main dining ... Read More
Wanted a holiday cruise to be with family and began a new tradition. The ship was beautiful and well maintained. Had no issues with maintenance. Really enjoyed all the food offerings regardless of where we chose to eat. The main dining room was nice and the food and service were superb. The buffet had a lot of varied choices that were good. I chose the main dining room often to avoid having to deal with hustling through the people at the buffet and finding a table. Sometimes a single person would take a table for six. During busier times, it was a hassle to deal with too many people, some with less manners than others, and finding a place to sit and eat. We also had a person with a wheelchair so we had to consider her ability to get around. There was no way she could go through the buffet so we had to get her food for her. The pizza was good. The "free" ice cream was ok. Better ice cream was offered in the main dining in the dessert options. Even room service was nice. Too bad there was a charge for hot chocolate though. The staff was always friendly and helpful. Embarkation went very smoothly as did disembarkation. They were organized and we didn't have long wait lines. There was too little time in the ports so we didn't get to do as much as we would have preferred to do, making us feel we only got a glimpse of the ports before having to rush back to the ship. Will consider how long a ship is in port in the future. Having to use tenders in Lahaina was a nightmare coming back. The lines were half a block long, and it was hot. Staff finally resorted to passing out water and cool cloths. The line moved, but it was not a good experience. We didn't do any excursions, preferring to rent a car in advance and explore on our own. Didn't care for the offerings in the onboard shops and refused to go to the 3 hour sales. My opinion is the purpose of those sales were to create a frenzy and have passengers act like fools to get a discount. There were plenty of activities, lectures, and entertainment options including lessons. I would have liked to learn to play the ukulele but that was a progressive class and if you didn't attend the first one, you missed out. The lei making class was so full you had to go at a specific time and place to get a ticket to a class. Well, I missed out on that. When I went, the ticket folks were gone. Too much trouble to participate in the worthwhile lessons so I unfortunately missed out. Also, regarding entertainment, if you didn't show up at least 45 minutes early for a production show, then forget about it, seats were full. There were too many people trying to see shows and not enough seats. This was a problem in the piazza also. People would arrive and start arranging and saving the few seats so attending those entertainment offerings became an uncomfortable hassle too. It also interfered with the ability to just go to International Café or Vines for coffee or wine because all the seats had been taken or occupied to view the entertainment. I think it defeated the ideal of a piazza. The entertainment should not be scheduled on th3e patter. and instead seem more impromptu so if you happen to be in the piazza, you can catch the entertainment without fighting for seating. The ship simply has inadequate seating for entertainment and this distracts from the ability to relax and enjoy yourself. We did not travel with children and frankly had issues with parents who let their children run wild all the time. The ship became an enclosed baby sitting trap for children of all ages, including teenagers, who were inconsiderate of others. There was running down the halls at night time, groups of unruly kids pushing ahead in lines when the older people were more mannerly, and therefore, at a disadvantage. In the future, I will look for more time at ports, and I will read reviews for adequate opportunities to participate in entertainment and activities, including seating and crowd control. Overall, however, the experience was positive and enjoyable and very much worth the value. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
The Bad: Let me start with the biggest problem of the Norwegian Sky - the odor of the ship. In some areas, you will most likely be hit with the strong odor of raw sewage (similar to what you may smell in any restroom at a gas station). ... Read More
The Bad: Let me start with the biggest problem of the Norwegian Sky - the odor of the ship. In some areas, you will most likely be hit with the strong odor of raw sewage (similar to what you may smell in any restroom at a gas station). In other places however, the odor will be much stronger and much more unpleasant. Take the Dazzles Night Club for example. When walking in there, you will only be greeted with the smell of a musty locker room. I cannot properly describe the foulness of Dazzles Night Club’s odor. It was to the point where my family could not go in there to watch the fun games and activities it had to offer throughout the night. Please keep in mind that Dazzles is Norwegian Sky’s equivalent of the Atrium on the Breakaway and Breakaway Plus class ships. For those who have been on one of Norwegian’s newer ships, imagine the Atrium smelling like a gym locker room! We eventually discovered that this more than unpleasant odor was coming from Dazzles chairs, which were the nastiest chairs that I have ever seen! I wouldn’t even want those chairs in my basement storage room, much less on a cruise ship! Another major issue that we had was the odor we were greeted with when arriving in our cabin. Once again raw sewage overtook our tiny ocean view room. We quickly alerted guest services, who attempted to pour bleach down the sink where the odor was coming from. Eventually the issue was solved, but not without having to call down to guest services about 15 times. I will give guest services the credit they deserve and say that they handled this situation professionally and properly. For a lot of people, the biggest draw of this cruise is the free open bar, as Norwegian advertises this heavily. The problem is that the only good free drinks you will find that are the kid’s mock tails. All the beer and wine is cheap and/or extremely watered down. The shardina in particular was foul and practically undrikable. So, the open bar really isn’t a good value at all. Don’t expect the same quality of drinks as the other ships’ drink packages offer. The pool was almost unusable most of the day because new are paces over the swimming pool to prevent swimming. That’s right, it’s not an uncommon sight to see the pool covered at 3:00 pm! Also, they love to blare their music so loud that you can’t hear the person six inches from you. Not what I would call relaxing or fun! Also, the ship looks very dated in some places. Take Captain Cook’s for example. This bar should have been renovated 15 years ago. The decore looks like something out of 1975. Other places on the ship such as Placae and Crossings main dining rooms looked nearly as good as Norwegian’s newest ships. Also, the second of 3 stops on this cruise, which is Freeport in the Bahamas is by far the worst port I have ever cruised to! If the Sky has more to offer, I would have just stayed on the ship. The port was run down and chaotic and the ship docked very far from any fun places to see. THE GOOD: Norwegian Sky had exceptional service. We went on the Norwegian Getaway in 2018 and I have to say that Norwegian Sky’s service was much better. Our room steward was great. He was friendly, helpful, and always was more than happy to get us what we needed when we called. What else can you ask for? Also, the food was much better than expected. The New York strip steak in the main dining room was so good that I would have been satisfied if I had been served it at Cagney’s Steak House. The desserts however, were hit or miss. Embarkation was the fastest we’d ever experienced . We were on the ship in 15 minutes form arriving at the port. Disembarkation was equally quick. No compaints here. In conclusion, if you want a sort getaway that visits 3 ports in 4 days, don’t mind drinking cheap alcoholic beverages, or the datedness and odor of the ship don’t bother you, this cruise is for you. I still had a lot of fun and I don’t regret this cruise, let’s just hope that most of Norwegian Sky’s issues are fixed in its upcoming dry dock. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our second sailing on the Magic and the service level continues to be excellent. We were in 2620 which was a bit noisier on port days due to being over one of the entrances to port, although it was not intolerable, I would ... Read More
This was our second sailing on the Magic and the service level continues to be excellent. We were in 2620 which was a bit noisier on port days due to being over one of the entrances to port, although it was not intolerable, I would probably pick a different cabin on 2 next time. We loved the Rapunzel's Royal Table update which was new since our last sailing (although we also loved Carioca's). The Adult Entertainment leader, Matt, was hilarious and made us want to return every evening! Our dining team of Anthony and Stilyan was phenomenal and made us feel special every evening (as well as delivering excellent food!) One change that I didn't love in dining was that they included only 3 of the featured breads every evening (we had 4 people at the table). The servers got us an additional one when asked, but it seems odd that the bundles the kitchen made up would have 4 dinner rolls and 3 special breads. In previous sailings it was all specialty bread and no rolls, which we preferred. We can have dinner rolls anywhere. Again, the servers made it right, but they should not have had to go to the extra effort every night. Our boys, 12 and 14, enjoyed their time in Edge and Vibe and met several friends that they hung out with when not with us. We visited Key West and Castaway Cay. Key West was very accessible, lots of fun things to do in walking distance (we did not book excursions, but explored on our own), and Castaway Cay was beautiful although weather prevented us from doing our booked excursion of parasailing (this can't be done if winds are too high, which seems to be fairly common to be cancelled at this location due to wind, just to manage expectations. If it is cancelled, Disney does not charge you for it at their island...just be aware its probably 50/50 on being able to do it, at least in January when we usually go). Our only issue on the trip this time was that they assigned our kids' photos to the wrong key to the world cards which caused an issue on embarkation (and would have also caused issues on the ship) which ended up causing us a delay getting on the ship. the check-in team really should ask which kid is which instead of assigning them without asking. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our first cruise - a three day holiday cruise to Freeport and Coco Cay. This ship is clearly older and in need of renovations but not terrible by any means. Ever crew member was friendly and responsive. I found the food ... Read More
This was our first cruise - a three day holiday cruise to Freeport and Coco Cay. This ship is clearly older and in need of renovations but not terrible by any means. Ever crew member was friendly and responsive. I found the food excellent at all times and well exceeded expectations - My Fair Lady, Chop Grill and Windjammer. Susie and Nicola as cruise directors brought a lot of energy to the entertainment and Paul Boland was the highlight. The bike tour on Freeport was average at best despite a very nice tour guide - I wish we were able to visit Nassau and had an excursion to Atlantis. Coco Cay was great - highly recommend you take the first tender off the ship as the lines get very long mid-morning and the lines are also long to get back to the boat - kills a lot of time. Definitely try the wave jet tour on Coco Cay - a blast! I heard we lucky to get to Coco Cay as the last 2 or 3 cruises could not because of the weather - caution to future travelers in December 2019. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this cruise because I wanted to sail on a cruise for New Years (which I do often with my husband) plus, this year I wanted to go somewhere I’ve never been-Cuba. So, we chose the Empress. Warning: if you are a modern cruiser ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to sail on a cruise for New Years (which I do often with my husband) plus, this year I wanted to go somewhere I’ve never been-Cuba. So, we chose the Empress. Warning: if you are a modern cruiser where you expect to experience a Disney type of ship with rides, slides or roller skating rinks, don’t go on the Empress. If you are someone who loves the ocean, loves sailing and enjoys classic style cruising, this cruise is for you. I’ve been on over 50 cruises. I’m an avid cruiser. First, I booked an ocean view cabin and about 4 weeks before sailing, I received an e-mail from RCCL about an auction for an upgrade to a junior suite. So I did it, I bid $1000 and got a great junior suite 9126. The best thing about this cruise was our cabin. It had a spacious balcony, a lot of space, a great bed, a small walk in closet, a small couch area and a roomy bathroom. It was well worth it. We slept well and truly relaxed. Also, our cabin steward was superb. The next best thing about this cruise is the staff. Bobby, the cruise director is great. Our waiters were wonderful-Melvin and Ma. The enfire staff is professional, warm and friendly. The ship is clean and inviting. The food was delicious. NOW CUBA- it is not for everyone. We were 2 days in Havana. Food and basic nutrition in Cuba is non-existent. Best tip for you- eat on the ship. My first day in Havana I was afraid. I was lost and did not know what to do so we set off walking into Old Havana. Some streets are breathtaking but other streets look like a war zone. My best advice for Havana is hire the prettiest old car right when you get out of the port. For $40 an hour they will give you the most amazing tour of the REAL Havana and you will not regret it. About 4 people fit in the car and 3-4 hours is more than enough for an all encompassing and thorough tour of the real Havana. Do not be afraid. The people are friendly. Everyone on cruise was complaining that the cruise excursions were not worth the price. We ended up having a splendid and unforgettable day 2 in Havana. In Grand Cayman, there’s no need to splurge. The swimming area right by the tender / dock (walking distance) shopping area and is a nice swimming, snorkel area. Don’t go to Calico Jacks or anywhere else. Those areas are overcrowded and not worth it. Grand Cayman is clean and pretty. Back on the Empress, I recommend the sushi making class BUT here is my TIP: buy one class which is enough for two or even three people and they let you share. The class makes so much sushi enough to share with 2 other people. A couple can take turns making the different types of rolls and so on. What I didn’t like about the Empress was that there is an odor on the port side of the ship like ballast water. The bon voyage party was exactly like the white hot party-boring. They need new activities. They have the same ole love n marriage show, Quest. The bingo was lame as well. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
In a word....FANTASTIC! I would like to thank the Captain and the Crew for taking us safely from home port to home port....Thank You A special thanks to the Cruise Director, NONO, she was amazing.....Thank You The staff was ... Read More
In a word....FANTASTIC! I would like to thank the Captain and the Crew for taking us safely from home port to home port....Thank You A special thanks to the Cruise Director, NONO, she was amazing.....Thank You The staff was amazing, from the Chefs to the wait staff to the clean up crews, all were very accommodating and courteous at ALL TIMES. The food was good and plentiful. Was it excellent, no, but you could always find something to your liking. Except the Sea Food Shack...don't waste your money, food is terrible. So just relax and have a good time. Thank You Carnival for a wonderful and memorable NEW YEAR. Constructive criticism. Easier boarding for Handicapped/ disabled passengers. Easier de-boarding for handicapped/disabled passengers. Better Signage on board the ship and at the Florida Port for handicapped/ disabled passengers. Better luggage handling for the handicapped/ disabled. More compliance with the ADA. NO SMOKING in the Casino. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Let me start by saying we had an awesome time On the cruise. Our ports and the weather were amazing. We chose this cruise because the dates were what we needed and the leaving port. This was our second cruise, we first sailed on Royal ... Read More
Let me start by saying we had an awesome time On the cruise. Our ports and the weather were amazing. We chose this cruise because the dates were what we needed and the leaving port. This was our second cruise, we first sailed on Royal Caribbean. FOOD Cons: food was a joke in the dining room. Example: chicken and side of broccoli. You literally get two small PIECES of broccoli. It was almost funny. Shrimp cocktail, you get 3 small shrimps. The lido deck was edible but would not say good. Comparing to Royals, Royal was 10times better. No one is helpful like they were in Royal Caribbean in the dining room filling your drinks, etc. which doesn’t really bother me, just a nice touch I noticed was missing. They do not encourage any hand washing as they do at Royal which I appreciated Royal doing to avoid sickness. FOOD pro: Guys burger joint was excellent as well as the burritos and pizza. Thank goodness for those!! All food areas were kept clean. ACTIVITIES: The sky ride, ropes course and slides were hardly ever open and when it was the line was so long you didn’t get to ride before it closed again. Without these there is not mich to do for older (12-15) kids. The outside deck with pool tables and shuffle board was a mess, shuffle board didn’t have all the pieces, most of mini golf was torn up and holes didn’t work. You can do the movies but they all cost extra. SHIP: the ship was crowded. There was always a fight for chairs and lines. Only two small hot tubs, On the last day, if you wanted to sit by the pool you had to listen to football on the big screen the entire day. Great if like football but not what I wanted to hear all day especially when they could have put them on in one of the bars. Just wanted to relax and hear some music on the last day. One of my biggest problem with the ship was with the waiters trying to serve my child alcohol. Multiple times. My son clearly looks like a child and I watched as he asked for a virgin drink and they went to pour alcohol and he said no no! The lady was like, “you can have it!” I stepped up and told her a very stern no. This was at the bar deck on 3. They walked around with champagne and kept trying to give him one also with me standing right there?! Not cool. This is really the deal breaker for me as far and positive reviews. I can deal with most of the others small issues but this one made me feel untrusting. Our ports were awesome and we enjoyed all three of them. The ports and the weather made the trip very enjoyable. There are more rants I could go on about but overall, it just does not give the same feel as our Royal Trip and we paid a lot more for this one. If I had to choose I probably would not pick Carnival again unless it was a good deal and for sure not the Vista. Read Less

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