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Old April 26th, 2009, 07:20 PM
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Default Review your last cruise here!

Hi Cruisers!

I thought it would be good for us to have our own review forum. Cruisemates has a good and informative review section penned by CM staff and Cruisemates and this sticky is not meant to take away from that readership, but many of us enjoy hanging out on the G/L board and look for answers right here! Why shouldn't we?

Your reviews can be related to the cruise line, ship, itinerary, service, food, FOD meetings...whatever you like!

A couple of things I ask, for consistency-sake:

1) Please try to rate your experience on a scale from 1-10.
1 Lowest and 10 Highest.

2) Please remember that each person's opinion or feedback is regarding their experience. While one cruiser may have had an amazing experience, another cruiser on the same cruise, may not have. Please do not take someone's negative experience personally. If you have feedback regarding a similar line, vessel, etc., then please share your thoughts.

3) Please put a subject matter (i.e. what you are reviewing) in the "Subject" line of this post.

I had the pleasure of speaking with other Cruisemate passengers on my last cruise, and they thought something of this nature would be beneficial to the G/L Cruisemate family. I think it's a great idea.

So, let's get started!
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Old May 4th, 2009, 02:51 PM
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Default Celebrity Millennium

Celebrity Millennium
October 29-November 10
Barcelona to Venice

We booked this cruise that would take us from Barcelona to Venice, May 2005 with an Embarkation date of October 29, 2006.

We reserved stateroom 9160 upon Celebrity's Millennium. This is a Concierge Class aft cabin, which is approximately 251 square foot and a large 200 square foot veranda.

Boarding this ship had never been easier, once our taxis dropped us off at the Pier in Barcelona, a porter was very eager to accept our luggage and guide us to the entrance to the embarkation lobby.

We were immediately asked to sanitize our hands before entering a ship controlled area and would later discover that this is now SOP aboard Celebrity, we were also offered a cool fruit punch while we stood in the proper line.

The line moved quickly and was thru security and champagne in hand by 12:00noon. As with so many cruises that allow early embarkation our Cabin was not "ready" until 1:00 by we just could not resist stopping by and "dropping " off things. Once there we met Gregorio and Tailer our stateroom tag team that did a pretty good one two punch in Stateroom cleanliness and attentiveness. Any concern we had through out the cruise was always met quickly and efficiently.

October 29 Night one shortly after our sailing from Barcelona while getting ready for dinner I became aware of Mediterranean Fruit Flies that had infested our cabin. I was distraught and after expressing our displeasure firmly, with the staff at guest relations we were moved to another cabin while they attempted to correct the problem.

After expressing my displeasure to The Guest Relations Office.
The entire staff of the Millennium did their best to turn a negative into a positive the Lead Guest relations Officer Ms. Jann Ramos could not have been more understanding of the situation and her performance in this situation reminded me of just why we chose Celebrity.

It took a little over 36 hours before we could get back into the cabin we had purchased for this adventure. When things at the start of an Adventure begin to turn negative, and you see all of you dreams go up in a mist. It can become very scary and disappointing to say the least.

Ms. Ramos not only coordinated the cleanup effort between the various departments, she made an effort to keep in touch with us every step of the way! I must applaud the entire staff for a Job well done!
AND we are back in our stateroom where on David's Birthday October 31, we were able to wake up and have breakfast on the veranda. SUCESS!

The Millennium as a whole is in fine condition, all carpets appear to be in good repair, and it show little signs of age. The support staffs have done a wonderful job with maintenance.

We opted for late dining a table for two we received table 552, which is at the top of the staircase in the Dining Room located adjacent to the Jan Martini Quartet so our meals were always filled with music. Nice touch.
Our Wait Staff, the team of (Glenn) Joseph and Richard; a nice combination that did their best to please. However At times, they seemed to be a bit overwhelmed.

Sebastian our Sommelier was attentive and supportive. He accepted our boycott of first night no wine sales with real grace and on night two made an effort to find a specific vintage that we asked for... He was outstanding and very personable.

The food was Just as we remembered the cold soups were just as remarkable while the roast beef was just as tender and the Escargot which are now part of the regular standby menu were outstanding.

With this being a very port intensive cruise, we did not see much of the late night activities…. So the entertainment; we really cannot comment on.
The exception was for a review for a fantasy type show that the "Singers and Dancers" "entertained" for the passengers … ( I personally didn’t care for it.)

On November 4th a formal night we had reservations for the Olympic Restaurant. Once again, a table for two and this time a great duce by the Harpist. The meal was outstanding and the service exceptional Thumbs up to Stanislaw Stoyanov, Maitre D'Hotel he runs a fine restaurant, Our only exception was for the Sommelier who was unhappy that we chose not to buy wine and refused our request to purchase a second sparkling water.

We were planning a small gathering in our stateroom to samples some wines Gregorio had anticipated the tasting and offered to provide cheese, crackers, and things before we had to ask.
He was amazing.

The Casino when open had a nice selection of slots and our favorites Little Green men , Texas Tea, where I was able to pick up a few hundred on this cruise so that’s a nice feeling.

Over all we felt we did in fact receive our moneys worth! Got our Bang for the buck as they say.
The Millennium is a fine ship with an outstanding crew, and would not hesitate to sail it again if the Itinerary would present itself.

Respectfully submitted by JoeyandDavid

Now to Rate the Cruise line:
Scale 1 to 10 (1 needs improvement - 10 Excellent)

Guest Relations 10
Accommodations 8
On Board Activities 6
Entertainment 4
Food 8
Specialty Restaurant 8
Overall Cruise Experience 9
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Old May 4th, 2009, 04:00 PM
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Default Pacific Princess: Our Experience / April 2009

Warning: This is a long one!!!

Hi Cruisers:

Well, my partner and I returned from our 2-week Amazon cruise ten days ago. I read many reviews about the Tahitian and Pacific Princess, as well as other Princess ships and was not ready for the experience we had. As the moderator alluded to, I know we all have our own "subjective" experiences, which makes them ours, not anyone else’s. I certainly don't want to step on toes and offend anyone, but on the other hand, feel the need to share our own personal experience...I will only share some of our issues, not all.

We arrived in Manaus, Brazil after a wonderful stay at the Conrad in Miami and a nice flight into Manaus. It was pouring down rain when we arrived, muggy and wet, but it was wonderful. Gathered our luggage and met the Princess man and followed him to the bus.

Our bus was delayed, as we had to wait almost 2 hours for another passenger to try and "prove" he was on our list, and was supposed to take the bus (only a 25-minute ride).

The bus ride was fairly uneventful. My other half and I sat in the front of the bus. There was a driver and a "guide". The guide tried to break the ice, I guess. He began telling jokes...he slammed Christians, Muslims, Catholics and Mormons...then he attacked women and last but not least...yep, gays. He was laughing and rolling his eyes telling the audience on the bus about two Asian men who had to "push their beds together" and he referred to one of them as a "mam" instead of a "man", he never used the word "gay" but didn't need to! His disrespect and lack of tolerance for gay men / women was apparent. It was awful. He was attempting to work up the riders and get a reaction out of them. I finally, very loudly said, "SO, WHAT? THEY'RE GAY. WHAT'S YOUR POINT?" He looked down at me and said, "Well...anyway," and went on to something else, later shooting me a nasty look. I heard a couple of passengers behind us agree with me.

Got off the bus and went through the terminal, checking in. The process was smooth and efficient. Left the terminal and walked down the pier to the ship. There were no signs pointing us in the right direction. We stopped, and looked- nothing. It was pouring rain, so we followed the folks in front of us, not knowing they were Princess Employees and boarding in the Employee Only section. Of course we were then scolded for trying to board where they board! Walked back out, and looked around and there were no indicators. It wasn’t' our first cruise, so we walked forward to the other entrance, which was the correct one. I turned around and said to my partner, "This isn't Celebrity...” I couldn't have been more right.

On Celebrity, we're always greeted with welcome champagne or juice. The staff is up there, and they offer a warm welcome or "Welcome Back!", always asking how many cruises we've been on, who are we, where are we from, etc. There was nothing there- no welcome, no smiles...nothing. We found the elevator and then our cabin. This was around 2 PM. There was no "sanitation station" either. On Celebrity, staff is always walking around with hand sanitizers and even monitoring staff who walk into the food venues, insisting it be done. Not so on Princess. Not one staff member saw to this. There were limited hand sanitizers and at one point, I noticed the one I was attempting to use was empty. I mentioned this to a staffer walking by, she shrugged her shoulders and kept on walking.

You know how your cabin attendant is always there on Celebrity? Always? You can't come or go without a cheerful, "Hello, Sir!" He was nowhere to be seen, until a few hours later. Throughout out stay, he was always friendly; however, he did forget a morning clean and an evening clean / turn-down. No worries, he was still pleasant and tried hard.

After dropping off our carry-on bags, went to the Maitre'D to check on our table for 2. We reserved this cruise 6-months prior and were on a waitlist for an early seating, table for 2. We walked into the lounge to see the Maitre'D. The woman at the front did not offer us a number, but said to come back at 3:30. We left to check out the ship, and buy our Spa Pass for the duration. We came back at 3 PM and looked around. There were more people in the lounge. I saw people holding cards with numbers and then realized we should have been given one. No big deal...got our number (#27) so we waited about 2-hours to see the man.

We were talking with other passengers ahead and behind us, still excited of course. We saw the Maitre'D "bump" (the new urban hand shake) other passengers, and they walked away smiling and laughing, thanking him. We walked up there and his countenance was grim, almost intimidating. I was respectful and tried to compliment him, the ship, etc. and he broke in with, "What can I do for you?" I asked about our table and waitlist. We were waitlisted as number 10 before the cruise. He just shook his head, and said, "No, I'm sorry. We have a table for you at the late dining." I asked once more and shared with him our wait list number, my low blood sugar, short of pleading with him... and asked nicely. He said, "No-but I'll put you on my list and let you know if something comes up." We waited - He never did.

Interestingly, both couples before us were higher on the waitlist (one was 15 and one was 22) and BOTH heterosexual couples received their tables for 2. We later learned that there were empty tables in the early dining...ran into the Maitre'D several days later and he said we could show up every night and wait / see if a table was available, but he wouldn't guarantee anything. I guess it was his attitude and the fact two other couples got what they wanted, and we were lower on the wait list. The Maitre'D told us that over half the ship on our cruise had also sailed on the cruise prior, which was the same itinerary as ours, but in reverse; although the cruise was not sold, solicited as or booked as a 4-week, but as 2 separate or back-to-back cruises, those who sailed the 2-week's prior had preference in dining over us! How is that fair?

As a result, we did not eat any dinners in the Club Restaurant. First time ever, that we did not eat in the main dining, and were very disappointed. We ended up eating at the two specialty restaurants, Panorama Buffet or on shore every night. We did have a couple of lunches in the dining room. The wait staff and Maitre'D, as a result, received $0 gratuity from us. We gave it to the staff in the specialty dining. The Panorama Buffet only offers plastic plates, very limited drink station and no trays! Celebrity offered more refreshments, trays and glass / ceramic plates and bowls. Celebrity staff is always there to assist you in bringing your tray to your table, without asking! Also, Princess does not brew fresh coffee ("urn coffee" lol). Their coffee is syrup, but not bad for concentrate. Brewed coffee is a charge.

We found Princess to have nickel and dimed us. Others have seen that on Celebrity...perhaps all ships are doing this now.

Room service menu? Laughable. They only offer cold sandwiches and chips, chocolate cookie or fruit. Breakfast was only Continental. Juice after 11 AM? That's a $3 charge. Pizza (the only hot item delivered to your cabin)? That's a $3 charge. Ice cream? $3. We stayed in a Mini-Suite too (very similar to a Sky Suite on Celebrity). We thought there would be an enhanced room service menu and amenities, not so. No flowers, champagne, stationary, nice robes, pillow choices, canapés...so we just bit the bullet. I found it odd, that one could pay a couple to three thousand more and not receive anything additional (besides square footage). Again, not the case on Celebrity. In the comparable Sky Suite on Celebrity, one formal night we enjoyed filet mignon and lobster, wine (and all the courses) in our Suite! There was no charge for this. In a standard Concierge Class stateroom on Celebrity, one can order cheeseburgers, pizza or other good hot meals, at no charge.

The first night we were pretty amazed, as we saw the Captain come down to the Panorama Buffet and what looked to us, unashamedly flirt and try to make a pass at one of the female food workers. Hmmm, does Quid Pro Quo apply to Maritime Law? Incidentally, on our last night we were eating in the Steakhouse and the Captain walked by with the trampy woman who worked in the sundry gift shop (yes, my partner had a run-in with her attitude and lack of service and I witnessed her talking to another passenger about how a certain, famous man could “share her pillow”). We became close with a few employees (as most of us all do) and when we asked our waitress, she told us the Captain was "always trying to sleep with the female employees." Nice, huh? He was married she said. Of course that's not the point...While I'm digressing about the Captain, three times on the cruise, while he would make his morning and noon announcements, he said, "This is Captain ____from the Command Bridge. The time is 9 AM (or 12-noon) according to my very expensive Cartier Watch!" Tacky....

The food in the Panorama Buffet was good. Breakfast never changed, it was the same every day. The dinner buffet was generally the same food items they were serving in the Club Dining Room (main). In our opinion, the food on Celebrity was 100% better in the specialty restaurants, as well as the service, ambiance and presentation. The lunches we had in the dining room were not as good as Celebrity. The buffet was not nearly as extensive as Celebrity, BUT the food was good, sans the desserts. Celebrity gets the nod there. Also, Celebrity does not charge for pizza, ice cream / dessert, juices, etc., as their room service menu is extensive; and they offer hot cooked to order, breakfast / lunch and dinner.

Our mini suite was large. On the surface it looked beautiful, but the closer we got, it was very tired and worn (sagging and rips in the wallpaper, three doors were not level on the hinge, one drawer was off). I don't believe there has been any restoration since Princess purchased this ship. The bed was actually very comfortable. The antiquated TV needed to go (circa 1988). No clock in the room! We don't have to have one, but it's nice to look at the phone and see if you're running late for dinner, etc. Who wants to wear a watch on vaca?

The Pacific Princess is a nice-looking ship. Dark woods and deep blues, reds and greens throughout. We really didn't have any complaints with the ship itself, we were pleased. My partner commented that it looked as if it was decorated by Bombay.

On Celebrity, the staff is always cleaning. Man, we see them running the vacuums and polishing / sanitizing the rails ALL the time. Not so on Princess. We witnessed that once.

On Celebrity, we return from an excursion and they have hot or cold towels and water / lemonade / hot chocolate. Not so on Princess. Nothing...and they don't even ask, "How was your tour?" "How was your time on shore?" etc. Hell, there wasn't even a "Hello! Welcome back!” We felt like we were just being herded. We continued to get the feeling that it was "all about them", not us, the passengers.

We really enjoyed the tours on Princess. Another cool thing is they have a naturalist or a lecturer (Hutch was his name) who provided daily lectures on the ports. He was also televised, so we could watch him from our cabin, which was nice. Of course, they play old re-runs of "The Love Boat", which was fun, especially as the original Love Boat was the "Pacific Princess" (but of course a different ship). Didn't watch too much TV, but what little we did, the programming was good with decent movies, etc.

The mini fridge worked! ! I liked that they kept the ice bucket in the fridge (no water in the room either, unlike Celebrity). The fridge was empty so we could put our juice and booze in there-that was nice.

We purchased 2 spa passes at $140 each, which was a good deal. There is a section at the bow of the ship which held a small Thallossotherapy pool and 16 padded chaise lounges. This private sun deck / spa area was only for passengers who forked out the dough, it was supposed to be private, and I think for the most part it was. It was great to come out here, as we never had to haggle or "reserve" a chaise. It was quiet and private. Adjacent to this private deck is the men's and women's locker rooms. The men's locker room was very nice. There were lockers, a changing area, deluxe showers and a 'men’s only' steam room. I guess what bothered us the most was the male entertainers would come in and use this area as their own personal dressing room! Several times we witnessed two or three of the staff coming in to: shower, shave, steam, etc. and LEFT A MESS!! One time, I found myself cleaning up after one of the "stars", I think his name was “Luke”. He was a pig. My guess was they got ready in there, so they wouldn't have to clean their own stateroom / bathroom? Makes sense, but still wasn't appropriate in my opinion.

On one particular morning, we were almost run over in the buffet line by a crew member's family who came on board for the day (to eat and visit). We heard them introducing his family to other staffers on the ship. This was in St. Lucia I believe. Later in the day, around 3 PM, the ship getting ready to sail at 5 or so, and we were in the men's locker room showering from our deck time and steam. The staffer and his male friend (or brother) came in. The staffer introduced him to one of the entertainers (the "pig") and they exit to the private deck! We were getting dressed and could hear one of the men yelling off the ship to someone way down below on the dock. He did this three times...he was yelling to get someone's attention down below. I finally walked out to the deck, and sure enough-it was the family member of the staffer. Nice. Good impression too. There just didn't seem to be any boundaries with some of the Princess staff.

We both purchased spa treatments, and they were very good. Interestingly, Princess uses the same vendor as Celebrity for their Spa staff and treatments. All were very nice and the prices reasonable. The products were by Elemis.

Pacific Princess doesn't have the huge theater, it's a Cabaret Lounge. So the performances are up close and personal, which would be fine if they were better. We walked out of 4 shows, attending only 6. The numbers which were not lip-synced were off, just not that good in my opinion. The view was cut off because it wasn't stadium seating. It was hard to see anything. Waaay too much make up, most of them looked like clowns, and very animated for a close, intimate theater. We stood up in the back on two of the shows, so we could see. The comedian was excellent in my opinion.

The gaming was OK. We scored at slots and the 2 or 3 times we went in there, only witnessed one smoker. It wasn't that bad otherwise. Friendly staff in the Casino.


We had a disagreement with Ronnie at the Excursion Desk. Without going into detail, he lied to me. After walking up to our cabin, I called back down there to share with him feedback. He would not budge. I asked for his supervisor, he told me he had none, and that he was the "highest we could go." Of course this was not the truth, and we were given a partial credit. My point is, WHY did we have to escalate? Par for the course I guess.

I could go on, but won't. I think in all honesty, we would have put this into perspective much easier, if the service was on par with what we are used to. I remember being on the roll call board (on another site) for Princess before the cruise and saying good things about Celebrity and the other Princess people getting pissed off. I remember one person saying, "Celebrity is Stuffy-stuffy-stuffy!" . Well after this past cruise, I guess I am stuffy and I like stuffy, lol. Never really considered that.

Our experience was very negative, but primarily because of the service. A provider of hospitality doesn't have to offer the same menu, agenda or novelties that the next one does, but without the extra level of quality *service*, it's very difficult to get past what you feel is lacking. I felt like the staff just didn't care, in all honesty. We were confident in our opinion that Princess was doing us a favor, by letting us on their ship. They seem to only look out for themselves. To them, "it's just a job." Our experience with this cruise line / ship was the last we will have. They say, "The old dog only bites once." Well, once was enough for us. I know this is not everyone's opinion, but sadly it was ours - from the beginning to the end.

We disembarked the ship on Friday and were sitting in the Miami airport. Both whipped our hand-held phones and started surfing for cruises on Celebrity, and we just booked a Celebrity Infinity cruise for this September. Hoping this re-affirms our faith in cruising, and so relieved to be going back to the =X=.

I think if we started out with Princess years ago, we either would not expect anything different....or we wouldn't see the value, and would have stopped cruising. With the exception of one Carnival cruise in my former life, we have always sailed with Celebrity and it is such a different and wonderful experience to us. I'm sure they're not for everyone, but we absolutely love the Celebrity service, amenities, venues...everything!

Thanks for reading...sorry for the length, but I hope this provides insight to anyone who is interested. To those who have sailed Princess and love them? I mean you no argument or discord. Enjoy!

Scale from 1-10....Pacific Princess, line and ship-

Service Overall: 1
Food: 5
Entertainment: 3
Venues: 4
Cabin Attendant and Housekeeping: 7
Food service staff (sans Maitre'D): 4
Excursion Staff(desk): 1
Tours / Excursions: 9
Purser(s): 5
Spa services: 8
Overall: Won't be back

Happy Sailing everyone-
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Old May 4th, 2009, 05:46 PM
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Default Thank you both-

Joey, David and Mermen:

Thank you all for your feedback and reviews.

I have been on Celebrity's Millennium as well as the Pacific Princess. Having been on both ships, I understand first-hand your praise, compliments and criticism / feedback.

Mermen, sorry you experienced such poor service. I was also on your cruise and have to say, felt the same way! I ran into other Cruisemates and met other non-Cruisemate passengers who are not on a cruise board, and it was interesting to hear their feedback as well.

Joey and David, I was on the Mille a year ago, last February and it was a wonderful experience...but then again, every cruise on the X has been a pleasant one.

Thanks again for your time in helping our Gay / Lesbian readers understand your concerns and highlights.

Remember my motto, "Vote with your dollars!".
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Old May 4th, 2009, 05:49 PM
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and mine .. just because im gay doesnt mean i am willing to pay retail!
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Old June 18th, 2009, 04:17 PM
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Default NCL Dawn out of NYC June 7th to the 14th

Hello Everyone!

I wanted to post a few notes about my experience on the NCL Dawn out of NYC to Bermuda. My partner and I have been on about a dozen cruises each and have always Chosen Royal Caribbean with the exception of two Carnival cruises and the most recent trip on NCL. Leaving from NYC was amazing as we live in Tribeca and were only a 10 min cab ride away from the pier, something we had never experienced before always having left from Florida or Puerto Rico.

I must admit that I thought the Dawn was a little cheesy looking at first sight with the brightly colored painted hull. Upon arriving we were greeted on the ship with a glass of champagne which I thought was a nice touch. The only problem is I later found out they serve free drinks when you arrive so that you wont care how worn out and tired your stateroom is. We had a balcony stateroom on Deck 10. The carpet was worn out and stained and the front of one of the 3 drawers provided litteraly came off in my hands when I went to open it. the bathroom was divided into 3 compartments, the shower (obviously) the sink was in the middle and the toilet was in its own smaller room (if that can be imagined) the extra wall put up could have been used to provide more shelf space since there was one tiny shelf above the sink and not enough space (esp for a gay man with alot of skin care products, lol) joking aside it made an already small space seem even more cramped.

We were traveling with friends of ours and one of the couples were put in a room that smelled so strongly of smoke that it was not inhaitable at all. We found out upon speaking with the hotel director that ALL of the staterooms on the ship are smoking optional!! We were extremely disapointed about that to say the least. Smoking up on deck is one thing but in a cramped space like a cruise ship cabin just seems stupid to me. They were moved to another room but it seemed to be in the same condition as ours.

I am not sure what I was expecting in regards to Freestyle cruising but it was not what I had hoped it would be. They make it sound like there are going to be plenty of options for dining but not so much. The only two dining options that did not cost more money served the SAME food every night. The buffet food at the cafe was also the same every day and aside from breakfast where they actually served breakfast foods lunch and dinner were a strange mix of foods that didnt include anything to make a sandwich and the dinner foods were oily at best. The staff maintaining the cafe were slow at best and you had to pretty much beg for clean silverware and napkins.

The staff that is in charge of taking photos and running the photo gallery were rude and challenged us several times when we declined to purchase the overly priced prints wanting to know why we didnt want them!!! I feel bad complaining but we have never been so disapointed by the overal service and condition on board a cruise ship. All of this and price wise, was not that big of a difference from Royal Caribbean where we have always been impressed by the service and condition of the ships and staterooms.

We did have fun overal but I think that it was mostly due to the company of my friends. We were pretty much all on the same page as far as the service goes and I was sorry that my friend Jill took her first cruise and didnt get to experience how good it CAN be when things are done right.

Next time we will def be back on Royal Caribbean or Celebrity

Happy Cruising!!!

-Jim
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Old July 18th, 2009, 01:06 PM
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HI My partner and I recently sailed on the NCCL Sky because of unreal low fares.... boy its true what they say "you get what you pay for". The ship is a dump, the service is awful with the exception of the room steward how could not do enough for us. Having sailed on Celebrity many times and last summer on a wonder Azmara cruise I will never stray. We are book on Infinity for a S. America cruise this coming January and can't wait to be back aboard X.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 03:28 PM
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Default Cannot resist: Millenium - again

Hi all,
I was on Millenium Sep-12,08 from Seward to Vancouver. Total cruise experience was great. The ship was full, but never, ever felt it crowded. The service was very good, had absolutely no complaints about the food. entertainement in the main theater was ok (production show very good, the rest ok). So far, all in line with what everybody else felt. Let me therefore say a few words about FOD:
we sailed at 9pm from Seward and that night the daily programm mentioned an FOD meeting at Michael's Club (where else?) the next afternoon. Went there and met a nice group of guys and gals (total about 10 of us). we did have a wonderful time together, even managed to dine at the same table! After dinner we would always end up at the Martini Bar for a great time. The FOD meeting was anounced for the next day as well, but nobody showed up because we would be in Martini Bar. The day after that, somebody must have realized and they changed the venue and time of the daily FOD gathering to the Martini Bar: very, very thoughtful and attentive! we all felt very welcome on bord this ship!

Service: 9
accommodation: 9
food: 8
overall cruise experience: 10


Happysailing
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Old August 20th, 2009, 04:31 PM
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David and I have been on two cruises this year and on over 30 cruises each to date. Here are our two most recent experiences.


March 28-Sapphire Princess to Mexican Riviera

Cabin....................................9
Cabin Steward......................10
Buffet Food............................4
Dining Rooms Food.................7
Dining Room Service...............5 to 10 (very mercurial and uneven)
Upscale Dining........................6
Entertainment..........................4
Activities.................................7
Overall service.........................8
Embarkation/Debarkation.........10
Overall Avg. ...........................7.2


June 27...Golden Princess-Alaska RT from Seattle

Cabin..........................................8
Cabin Steward...........................10
buffet food..................................3
Dining Room Food........................4
Upscale Dining.............................6
Dining Room Service....................6
Entertainment..............................4
Activities......................................7
Overall service..............................6
Embarkation/Debarkation.............10
Overall avg. ................................6.4

Although we do enjoy Princess cruises generally. Food and service seems to have slipped a notch. Generally we will only sail Celebrity, H.A.L., Princess or R.C.C.L.

Our only three cruises on NCL have been between lackluster and awful and/or disgusting, never again!
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Old August 25th, 2009, 05:27 PM
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Default Thank you!

Wow, thanks for the postings guys! I really appreciate the time you take to share with everyone your feedback.

Please keep them coming!
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 11:42 AM
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Default Celebrity Infinity Panama September 25-Oct 11

Happy Friday everyone!

We just returned from a TransCanal cruise on the GTS Infinity; had a wonderful time. Met a lot of happy passengers, and a good amount of gay and lesbian couples. Any who may be reading, please be sure to drop me a PM, would love to catch up.

Here is my review of this cruise. Another great Celebrity adventure!

http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/...infinity51.cfm
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 11:38 AM
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Default Island Princess

We flew from Eastern Canada to Vancouver to catch the Island Princess on its repositioning route south in October. Although we booked the entire trip to Fort Lauderdale, it was considered two cruises, one VancouverSan Francisco and SF-Fort Lauderdale, (2 nights+15 nights). A FOD get together was scheduled the first evening and we met congenial passengers booked on both cruises. Those disembarking at SF were of course permitted to purchase their duty free the day before doing so and consequently voluntarily became our emissaries for bar preparation for the following 15 days Something to consider when booking a two part cruise.

We have been with Princess for about 175 sailing days so know the company fairly well. Budget cuts are evident for sure and not necessarily in the best areas. Cuisine quality to us should remain paramount and unfortunately that was one area of noted targets. We were pleased to find that some of the dinning room staff, members of the fraternity, remembered us, and that certainly enhanced our anytime dinning pleasure. Primarily the cruise was more a pre winter prep for us and, as we had the larger size balcony, we enjoyed the sea air to the fullest. Room service was adequate but harried, as obviously the staff workload has been increased. Our FOD group met each evening for pre dinner drinks having the bar almost to ourselves. There were other occasions when the staff outnumbered the bar patrons. We were pleased to see bar prices at or in some cases lower than on previous sailings. The ship itself was about the right size for us (les than 2,000 passengers) considering the humongous floating resorts that are being launched these days. As to the itinerary, choosing our cruise with dj vuports of call allowed us to have entire areas of the ship all to ourselves, at times the entire solarium and pool.

It is in the area of entertainment that we feel economies could well be made, sparing those made to our menus. It becomes obvious that there are fewer and fewer first time cruisers to be impressed with the stage extravaganza sort of entertainment. We have not been to an after dinner show in ages finding them repetitive and tedious. If economies are to be made, far better in our view to simply have single artists or small cabaret style venues about the ship to entertain us.

While not pleased about the economies being forced upon us, especially in dinning, and not experiencing any financial advantage in fares due to stringent market conditions, we have nevertheless again booked the Island Princess for mid February, Fort Lauderdale to Acapulco b2b return as our post winter thaw.
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Old June 20th, 2010, 10:39 AM
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Default The Upgrade Fairy Strikes



While aboard the Island Princess for our b2b, FLL-Acapulco in February we heard that the Star Princess was scheduled for a TA, FLL to Copenhagen in March. We enquired of the price structure and thought wed give that one a pass. But we received a call from the Future Cruise Desk advising us of a Flash Price which was almost half of the original. Like a fish observing a worm on a hook, we thought that perhaps we were by then cruised out and headed for home. As we all know, such feeling passes quickly. We waited a few weeks and then took the bait. The problem being of course was that we would want nothing less than a balcony, and preferably on Caribe deck. However, by that time everything in that category had been booked.

We accepted a guaranteed balcony and hoped for the best. Each day we checked in to see what might have been assigned us and each day it was blank. Visions of being placed in a cabin just under the anchor chain bothered us somewhat but we held in. It was only about a week before sailing that we were advised of our assigned accommodations a FULL SUITE. We could hardly believe our luck.

The spring repositioning TA is not the best of cruises taking into consideration the weather and the number of days at sea, like five consecutive. So it is not considered a popular cruise. But just being aboard a ship is what it is all about for us. We knew a couple of FODs aboard and met several others. It was interesting to hear that one couple booked a guaranteed Mini Suite, that category also being fully booked, but ended being assigned only exactly that, a Mini. Another couple booked a guaranteed Mini and was assigned a Full Suite. So go figure, the Upgrade Fairy does discriminate.

You can imagine the feeling of How Ya Gona Keepem Down On The Farm After They Seen Pareee The Suite was awesome, the marble walled walk in shower, the whirlpool bath, a full wet bar, walk in closet, fresh flowers, welcoming champagne plus oodles of other perks. The balcony with its teak wood furniture was massive. Well attach a photo of that. But what now? Can we now go back to a simple balcony? There is method to this upgrade madness for sure, and that worm looks more and more appetizing each day

http://i999.photobucket.com/albums/a...rope2010-1.jpg
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Old February 24th, 2011, 01:54 PM
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Default Golden Princess to Hawaii

Our choice for a mid-winter cruise was LA-Hawaii return, 15 days, primarily sea days, aboard the Golden Princess, early February. We chose a balcony on the Port side knowing that whatever sun was available would be with us most of the day. A wise choice, for although the temperatures were certainly not tropical, the sun was warm and refreshing. A touch of sunburn made the return on Port side also a wise move. The itinerary was more for the winter break than anything for we have been to the islands before and have seem most of what there is to see.

From the gay perspective, we felt that we were the only family members aboard. We attended the GLBT (Great Lettuce Bacon & Tomato) meeting the second evening. Gad but we dislike that identification. Friends Of Dorothy may be camp but we are sure that it generates a more fun gathering instead of the GLBT Lodge Meeting ;-) But Princess used the former definition at least on this ship. Six other members were in the room seated in locations preventing further gathering so it was assumed they preferred to be alone. To each his own. Thank goodness we were meeting friends (of Dorothy) who winter in Honolulu or we would have been in total gay withdrawal. Had a wonderful full day with them before sail away at 11:00pm

As some of you may know we wear the Rainbow colours in our tux breast pocket so to many savvy travelers we are so identified. And that is what it meant in the manner of service we received in the dinning room. We were afforded the best table the best waiters and the occasional specialty and favor. The staff in Anytime Dinning was wonderful to us, perhaps due to the sparseness of our membership who is known to be great conversationalists and gratuitists (our word). We were true to this reputation

The whole cruise was very laid back as were the more senior passengers of caducity of which we are fast becoming two. Perhaps another ship would have been different and are pleased to hear that the Star Princess will be making this run next year. Now, that we know will be a cruise to think about.
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Old February 7th, 2012, 11:44 AM
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Default Celebrity Eclipse

I just submitted a review of the =X= Eclipse. We took a 16 night cruise from Southampton through the W. Med last October and had a great time. Hopefully the review will be published this week.

Cheers!
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Old February 8th, 2012, 03:53 AM
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Default

Thank you for your post. We are in hawaii and are thinking of taking the 7day inter-Island tour. I luv cruising and my partner is warming up to the idea. We have done some extensive travel otherwise - to some 65 countries between us - He more than I. My mother took the 15 day cruise with carnival in Dec with 2 other couples.
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