The positives abound: Great to leave out of Baltimore and have a "Goldilocks" cruise experience - Everything was "just right" - not too long/short at sea, in port, excursion times, bar prices, the lot. All the staff ... Read More
The positives abound: Great to leave out of Baltimore and have a "Goldilocks" cruise experience - Everything was "just right" - not too long/short at sea, in port, excursion times, bar prices, the lot. All the staff WITHOUT EXCEPTION were friendly and supportive. Amazingly, even the kids cruising were all well-behaved. Will not be our last cruise with this line.
Casino notes: Low-limit blackjack pays 6:5 vice 3:2 with no double down after split, cannot get even money on blackjack. More experienced players will play $25 tables with 3:2 blackjack payouts OR play single deck late at night if few are around. Good mix of slots, small area also exists for non smoking players. Roulette was great! $5 bet minimum on 1:1 and 2:1 outside spots, $5 minimum inside on numbers at $1 chip levels. Can play all day at $5 or $10 per spin. $2 mimosa specials at 10 AM. Next time I will play in a tournament.
The Bermuda Dollar is on par with the US Dollar. Great "tip" to become memorable: We had fun bringing $200 in crisp new $2 bills and spending them whenever possible, including tipping the staff and excursion driver.
Special need meals are more than just the obvious. I found I could have had Indian cuisine as a sit-down dinner option had I asked (no, I am not Indian but like the food). We even skipped a plated meal to take advantage of "Indian night". A wide variety of foods at Windjammer to meet the American, European and Asian palates. All rolls and donuts made fresh daily.
Only one "complaint" made to the staff: There was insufficient handicapped tables and seating in the Windjammer. We made the restaurant manager aware of this and hopefully this will be addressed, otherwise next time we will just take the meal on deck and sit at the outside table (weather permitting". Read Less
My husband wants to see all 50 states, so we added on LA and MS. The history was fascinating, great historian on board and on tours. Most beautiful plantation of all was Houmas House. Being a gardener, I was quite enchanted with all the ... Read More
My husband wants to see all 50 states, so we added on LA and MS. The history was fascinating, great historian on board and on tours. Most beautiful plantation of all was Houmas House. Being a gardener, I was quite enchanted with all the flowers, trees, statuary (and very unusual and quirky statues) swan pond, fountains, and the house was gorgeous as well. Oak Alley Plantation was beautiful as well, and on our swamp tour we saw some gators, one up close, and even had one of the flying fish land on our boat, a most unusual happening we are told! New Orleans was delightful. Loved the Cathedral and French Quarter, Cafe Monde has great beignets and chicory coffee. The food onboard was top drawer, amazing chef. I particularly loved the soups. I would highly recommend this tour. Also, my husband uses a cane and walks slowly, and he never felt like he had to hurry on this cruise to catch up. Read Less
We chose this cruise because we have been on four previous RCI cruises- on Freedom and Oasis and had exceptional experiences every time. We knew we wanted to go to Alaska, so RCI seemed like the obvious choice. However, since the moment we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have been on four previous RCI cruises- on Freedom and Oasis and had exceptional experiences every time. We knew we wanted to go to Alaska, so RCI seemed like the obvious choice. However, since the moment we got on the boat, the vibe was just... different. Staff does NOT seem to enjoy their jobs. The ship is smaller and older, which we knew already, but the problem is that it gets treated like a second class ship. Dinner in the main dining room took 70 minutes to come out the first night. Understandable, so that wasn’t a big deal. But then the annoyances started adding up. Dishes in the Solarium piled up. Loud construction in the solarium on the first sea day- again, maybe unavoidable but still annoying. Food was nothing to write home about- far below quality we had had on Freedom and Oasis class. Service was hit or miss. When we mentioned some of these issues, they were very nice and attentive, but outside of that, many staff members were very standoffish and seemingly annoyed at serving food, drinks, and counters. There was also not much to do on the ship. It was definitely geared towards an older crowd and lacking in activities and amenities. It was very disappointing overall for the quality we had come to expect. If you want to go to Alaska I highly recommend the Northbound itinerary- it was GORGEOUS! But if you can find it on a different cruise line, that would be a better choice than sailing Radiance of the Seas. Read Less
We sailed on the Carnival Ecstasy for our first cruise six years ago and decided to go on this ship again since the port is so close. While the ship is older and perhaps not as fancy as newer ships, it is very well maintained and clean. We ... Read More
We sailed on the Carnival Ecstasy for our first cruise six years ago and decided to go on this ship again since the port is so close. While the ship is older and perhaps not as fancy as newer ships, it is very well maintained and clean. We really enjoyed the addition of new restaurants, such as Guy's Burgers.
-By and large, service was excellent. There were a couple of issues (which I'll list below), but waitstaff in the restaurants was wonderful. We also always has fresh towels in our room, and anytime we needed anything, it was quickly handled.
-The food was very good compared to other Carnival ships I've been on recently.
-There were plenty of activities to do. We went on a different Carnival cruise in December, and there was hardly any trivia or other fun stuff to do during the day besides go to the casino. On the Ecstasy, there were fun activities to do around the clock.
-Even though the cruise was sold out, we seldom had to wait for anything. They had plenty of staff available, so even lines that seemed long at first went by extremely quickly. The ship is very well organized and nothing was super congested.
-The cleanness of this ship (well, all Carnival ships I've been on really) is so impressive! The bathrooms were always perfect, and with hundreds of people milling in and out of the public areas, it shows how hard they work to keep things clean.
-What happened to the twice-a-day room service, including turn-down, towel animals, and chocolates? We only had towel animals twice on our trip. This isn't a big deal, of course, but was definitely part of the charm on our first cruise.
-The excursions were disappointing. For the Princess Cays, we purchased a snorkel package that included 30 minutes on a water bike. When we tried to use the bike (an hour before we were told the activity would shut down), it was already closed. The people running it were napping on picnic tables. When we asked about a partial refund, Carnival refused to refund half of the package (and this was half of the price of the package), saying that the excursion was on sale when we bought it. We were only asking on a refund on part of the sale price, so that made no sense. We did the dolphin swim in Nassau, and while it was lots of fun, the photo package was so expensive that I didn't have enough cash on hand to get it. (It was $100 for a disc of 10 pictures, so be prepared...they won't let you bring a GoPro, camera, or phone to take a picture yourself.) While this wasn't Carnival's fault, of course, some warning on this would have been helpful.
-I fell down and badly hurt my leg. This was witnessed by one of the workers in the WaterWorks area. He said he would call for help, but no one ever came and brought so much as ice. An X-ray when I went to the urgent care after getting back showed showed that my leg was actually fractured. Read Less
My husband and I took all 15 members of our family on this cruise as a Christmas present! First it was originally supposed to be 2 days and one night in Cuba with somehow became 30 hours there . Had to pay full price for everyone including ... Read More
My husband and I took all 15 members of our family on this cruise as a Christmas present! First it was originally supposed to be 2 days and one night in Cuba with somehow became 30 hours there . Had to pay full price for everyone including a 1 and 3 year old. There were no discounts for 3rd or 4th person in cabin. Pre booked tours in Cuba because I trusted this cruise line, only later to find I was totally ripped off. I expect an upcharge of sorts but $100 more per person for the Tropicana show and did not get as much as the others that booked directly. When I complained hot strawberries in my room, big deal! The tour guide ,again through the boat also took us to a place for cigars that charged double of other places!!! Rooms were so small, but that is not my biggest complaint. Six out of 15 also got sick from the ship!Oh and also the embarkation was delayed over an hour and 1/2 and everyone was left standing who accompanied handicap guest!!! The disembarkation was worse my husbands wheel chair NEVER showed up and he had to painfully walk all the way of, ( yes it was confirmed prior to sailing) Read Less
This was our first Cekebrity cruise . Having done 35 cruises we heard how good Celbrity was. Service and food were great. But getting in to the resturant was a nightmare. we tried to make reservations each night to be told we could not.But ... Read More
This was our first Cekebrity cruise . Having done 35 cruises we heard how good Celbrity was. Service and food were great. But getting in to the resturant was a nightmare. we tried to make reservations each night to be told we could not.But yet waiting for a table every night people walked in saying they had reservations. How did they get them? Also during a show in the lounges, we were sitting with a couple who the wife was handicapped. When the show started some passengers were told to siit on a ledge right in front of us When we told the officers we couldn't see now they said too bad and the passengers can stay where they are. Entertainment was ok even though the sprouting shows made no sense. They service was still great despite the flaws already stated Cabin was good with a lot of storage available Read Less
Sailed out of NYC on the Escape to Bermuda on May 27, 2018. Check in and boarding was the smoothest of any cruise I have taken. Sailing was good, a very few minor moments of ship movement from the weather as a result of weather on the ... Read More
Sailed out of NYC on the Escape to Bermuda on May 27, 2018. Check in and boarding was the smoothest of any cruise I have taken. Sailing was good, a very few minor moments of ship movement from the weather as a result of weather on the way to Bermuda but none after that. The weather was a minor issue the first day in Bermuda as it rained off an on for the first ½ of the day. After that it was fine.
On the ship the spa is always a big plus for me but with the hot tub and stone recliners not being much past slightly warm, it was a bit of a let down. Still enjoyed it though.
Food was excellent EXCEPT the steak and service in la Cucina. The steak there was extremely tough and quite overcooked. The server failed to bring a requested soft drink even after several requests. Cagney's rocked. Taste and Savor were great for breakfast! The Ocean Blue menu at Bayamo was very tasty but not quite as good as it was on the Getaway. Moderno, Le Bistro, and O'Sheehan's weer all very good as well. I love those Thai chili wings!
Lastly I use a wheeled walked to get around. I never had a single issue with being able to get where I wanted to go!
We had four in an angled balcony cabin and we all did well. I did miss not having a light on the balcony though.
The crew was amazing as usual. Just look like you need help and someone is there to take care of you.
We had a lot of fun in Bermuda. Crystal Caves was a nice tour. Jumping into the cave pools from the 'cliff' walls at blue hole was a lot of fun. Snorkeling at Church beach was some of the best snorkeling we have ever done and swimming at Horseshoe Bay beach is a must do thing for everyone.
It was our first ever trip to Bermuda. We plan to do it again and hopefully have a bit warmer and less windy conditions.
Thanks NCL for another great cruise vacation! Read Less
We arrived in Southampton just after midday for our 7-day cruise around the Norwegian Fjords. Embarkation was very smooth and easy, which is important to us as our daughter is in a wheelchair. The cruise terminal (Ocean Terminal) was ... Read More
We arrived in Southampton just after midday for our 7-day cruise around the Norwegian Fjords. Embarkation was very smooth and easy, which is important to us as our daughter is in a wheelchair. The cruise terminal (Ocean Terminal) was extremely crowded, but we had no problems..
Once onboard, our main concern regarding Britannia, having read numerous reviews, was soon confirmed - the lifts on this ship are totally inadequate for its size. This is made worse by the fact that there are no midship stairs (except between decks 5 and 7), meaning everyone has to use the lifts to access their cabins unless they are located aft or forward, or they are willing to take a long walk - not good planning at all! Having a wheelchair, finding a lift that wasn't full proved extemely challenging at times.
Having been on approximately 30 cruises on almost as many different ships with various cruise lines, I can honestly say that the lift situation on Britannia was the worst we have experienced. For a ship with 4,000+ passengers, the lifts are just too small and there are not enough of them.
Other than the lifts, our experiences were mostly positive. The ship itself is very clean and the public areas are very spacious. Our cabin was comfortable (IE Grade Balcony - Obstructed View). We were lucky as the obstruction (lifeboats & tender boats) was small compared to some of the other similar cabins on deck 8, as ours was in the gap between two tender boats. The cabin was kept very clean by our cabin steward and our request for a shower seat for our daughter was actioned immediately (we had been unable to book an accessible cabin).
The food was generally excellent, both in the main restaurants and the Horizon Buffet. We were on the first dinner sitting in the Oriental Restaurant which was aft. Again, the only problem here was the accessibility, as the restaurant (on Deck 6) is only accessible by lift from the deck above due to the galley being between other areas of the ship on this deck and the restaurant. We generally found that the only way to access the lifts when going to dinner was to go up and then down again, as the lifts going down were always full. we avoided the Horizon Buffet on sea days as it was very crowded, but on other days it was fine, with a good selection of food.
Having cruised on Azura and Oceana, which had assigned priority lifts for wheelchairs, we were surprised that this was not the case on Britannia, being a newer ship (only one or two small easily-missed signs near lifts suggesting that priority be given to wheelchair users). At least two or three of the lifts were also out of service throughout the cruise, which made matters worse.
The food and service in the restaurant were very good, although we found the crew and staff to be generally less friendly and the service less personal than we had experienced on the Oceana, which could be to do with the size of the ship.
The shows in the theatre were all excellent, with a very high-quality cast and a good variety of guest artists. Accessibility was also good with a number of aisle seats being reserved for companions of wheelchair users with parking spaces for wheelchairs next to them.
The ports were all excellent and we were extemely lucky with the weather (smooth, almost calm seas throughout and warm, sunny weather in each port). The views in the Fjords were spectacular. We particuarly enjoyed the captain's daily informative and amusing briefings.
Our disembarkation was also very smooth and problem-free.
To summarise, Britannia is generally a nice ship but the layout in some areas, particularly the lifts and stairs, are badly planned. Unless modifications are made to these areas, we would not recommend this as the best ship to choose if you are travelling with someone who has mobility problems. Read Less
This was a lifetime bucket list for many in my family, and it was worth the wait! Absolutely everyone we encountered, from the ship staff to the excursion leaders and bus drivers, were so kind, informative, and engaging.
The ports were ... Read More
This was a lifetime bucket list for many in my family, and it was worth the wait! Absolutely everyone we encountered, from the ship staff to the excursion leaders and bus drivers, were so kind, informative, and engaging.
The ports were great (be prepared for the rapid-fire of 3 back-to-back port days, and take that into consideration with your choices), and the scenic cruising was also wonderful. If I were you, ask the staff early on in the cruise to find the navigation map/waypoint stuff first if you're interested in that so you can be ahead of the game in figuring out when you want to be outside on deck to look at things. Also, be sure to attend the important Naturalist talks that make timeline info available (such as what time approximately you will be in the area to see whales, etc.).
Show up early for the things on board you really want to do: if there is a show that you want to go to, get there early! They fill up, and there aren't enough seats for 20% of the passengers on board. They usually do two shows a night, but there were multi-day shows on our cruise. Read Less
This was our first cruise. I've always been told either you're a cruiser or you're not. Well, it turns out we're cruisers!! Thank you Royal Carribean and all of your extremely pleasant staff for our 1st but not last cruise experiece ... Read More
This was our first cruise. I've always been told either you're a cruiser or you're not. Well, it turns out we're cruisers!! Thank you Royal Carribean and all of your extremely pleasant staff for our 1st but not last cruise experiece with you. We weren't sure what to expect with the food and it really made all the difference in the world. Fantastic!! Every day we woke up looking forward to the meals. Our cabin was great! We had a handicapped balcony suite which was really nice. The room was clean. The bathroom was large and had a fold down bench built in. Everything we needed was provided to us. We had a very pleasant time. It basically rained the whole time, but there was enough going on that it didn't effect our trip. The entertainment was fun. There were always activities and things going on. Thanks to Royal Caribbean, Enchantment of the Seas staff for a wonderful weekend. Read Less
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