GrahamGarson

GrahamGarson
Third Mate

Hometown: Key Largo
Joined: 01/10/2016
9
Cruises
2
Reviews
4
Helpful Votes

About GrahamGarson

As a travel agent who specializes in Cruising and a former Cruise Director, I love the opportunity to discover more details about ships and ports. I am also always ready to share my knowledge to help anyone's cruise experience so if you have a question, please ask.


Favorites


Following

Cruiseline: Norwegian Cruise Line

Cruiseline: Royal Caribbean

Cruiseline: Windstar Cruises

Ship: Wind Surf

GrahamGarson's Past Cruises

MSC Divina

May 2015 - MSC Divina to Europe - Western Mediterranean

MSC Divina - A bit diappointing

Having been on Divina already (See my other review) I was looking forward to another great trip.  My wife and I have spent a lot of time in the European ports and we were looking forward to sharing them with my In laws and our daughter.  We had inside stateroom and my father-in-law had an accessible room.  The staterooms were very good and I would highly recommend our, #9175 as it was a bit larger than the norm.  The service on board seemed to take a bit of a hit since our cruise in November.  While there were some excellent staff, there were some real disappointments.  My wife and I had thought of doing a Renewal of Vows on board.  The only program that MSC offers is a full wedding planner at the bargain price of over $600.  All we really wanted was maybe a small cake, some champagne and maybe an offer to join us.  We would have been willing to work with them but they had no interest in anything but the full package.Oh well.  I also was very disappointed with the fees for the shuttles in Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona.  In both ports we opted to take a cab and it was significantly less expensive.  At least a complimentary shuttle to the port entrance would have been nice as we were docked a long way from there. But, so be it.  The thing that really had me quite angry was the transfers that came along with our cruise.  While I realize that these were handled by a vendor, MSC is an Italian line and should have nothing but the best in their home country.  We waited an hour and fifteen minutes for the bus upon our arrival in Rome.  Having arranged transfers for a cruise line in the past, I know this can happen so I took it in stride.  When we disembarked at the end of the week, we were suppoosed to get off at 10:00am  We had a Vatican tour scheduled at 1:00pm so we figured that would give us plenty of time.  Well, the bus was a little late, understandable again.  but they sent one bus for 30 people who have been on a ship for 7 days.  The luggage compartment was full after 18 people.  Even if people had packed a little light, there was no way 30 people plus luggage were going to fit on one bus.  The six of us along with another party of six were left for another bus.  which too TWO hours to arrive!  We reached Rome an hour late for our tour.  Fortunately, I used one of my old port agents to arrange the tour and the fully accommodated us.  The final straw was the transfer to the airport where the bus arrived 15 minutes before the transfer time and left after waiting FIVE minuted and with only 6 out of the 30 people on the transfer list!  No room calls, no waiting until the appointed time, NOTHING.  Because there were six of us with luggage for 10 days of travel, we had to get a van and a taxi to take us to the airport.  Then they charged us double what was quoted, and dropped us at the wrong terminal.  We finally arrived at the Alitalia check in two hours before the flight left.  And there was a huge line.  I cannot say enough about how great Alitalia handled our problem.  They got us checked in and escorted us to the gate to make sure we made the flight.  They really came through.  In the end, MSC reimbursed our cab fare "as a gesture of goodwill."  Anyway, I am glad it happened to me and not to a client I had booked on this trip. 

Read Full Review »

Freedom of the Seas

January 2015 - Freedom of the Seas to Caribbean - Bahamas

Freedom of the Seas

January 2015 - Freedom of the Seas to Caribbean - Bahamas

MSC Divina

November 2014 - MSC Divina to Caribbean - Eastern

MSC Divina

MSC touts this ship as their "American" ship.  I have to say that while the ship is beautiful and I had a very good time onboard, They have not yet hit the mark on "American."  The ship itself probably deserves a four star rating but I feel I have to score them down a notch for missing the mark on their claimed target.  The staterooms are very nice and the balconies large enough to actually enjoy.  The entertainment was first class and the kids club got two thumbs up from my 5 year old.  The food was quite good in the dining rooms but the buffet was actually quite excellent.  So you may ask how they missed the mark?  This story probably best exemplifies the statement:  The daily program listed the NFL game would be on in the Sports Bar at 1:00pm.  My family was taking a nap on this sea day so I figured I would have a beer and watch some football.  I arrived at the bar at about 12:45 and there was soccer all on the TV's.  OK, I'm still early so I sit down for a beer.  1:00pm comes and goes without a change on the TV's.  A crowd is bveginning to filter in looking for the NFL.  We all start making comments about "where is the NFL game as advertised?"  Finally, the barman makes a call.  Having worked on ships, I know it is not always as easy as changing the channel so I am a bit more patient.  But the rest are getting a bit upset.  By 1:30pm, the game was still not on.  In the mean time, a gentleman has come up to the bar and asked for a Budweiser.  The barman responds "We are out of that."  Now I know the ship is not out, they have just not restocked this bar at that time.  But seriously, a Sunday during football season and you are not running the game you promised and did not restock the bar with Budweiser.  A little tough to say you cater to Americans.  The ship was still a beautiful experience and frankly, it did not matter to me.  But I feel it is only fair to set the correct expectations.  This is still a more European ship that is working on being more American.  All in all, we had a great time and I cannot fault MSC on the ship or its value.

Read Full Review »

Wind Star

November 2009 - Wind Star to Panama Canal, Central America

Wind Star

May 2009 - Wind Star to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

"Started 6 month contract as Cruise Director"

Wind Surf

March 2009 - Wind Surf to Caribbean - Southern

Wind Surf

March 2009 - Wind Surf to Caribbean - Southern

Wind Surf

March 2009 - Wind Surf to Caribbean - Southern

Wind Surf

March 2009 - Wind Surf to Caribbean - Southern

Wind Surf

March 2009 - Wind Surf to Caribbean - Southern

Wind Surf

February 2009 - Wind Surf to Caribbean - Southern

Wind Surf

February 2009 - Wind Surf to Caribbean - Southern

Wind Surf

February 2009 - Wind Surf to Caribbean - Southern

Wind Surf

February 2009 - Wind Surf to Caribbean - Southern

Wind Surf

January 2009 - Wind Surf to Caribbean - Southern

Wind Surf

January 2009 - Wind Surf to Caribbean - Southern

Wind Surf

January 2009 - Wind Surf to Caribbean - Southern

Wind Surf

December 2008 - Wind Surf to Caribbean - Southern

Wind Surf

December 2008 - Wind Surf to Caribbean - Southern

Wind Surf

December 2008 - Wind Surf to Caribbean - Southern

Wind Surf

November 2008 - Wind Surf to Caribbean - Southern

Wind Surf

November 2008 - Wind Surf to Caribbean - Southern

Wind Surf

November 2008 - Wind Surf to Transatlantic

Wind Surf

November 2008 - Wind Surf to Europe - Western Mediterranean

Wind Surf

October 2008 - Wind Surf to Europe - Western Mediterranean

Wind Surf

October 2008 - Wind Surf to Europe - Western Mediterranean

Wind Surf

October 2008 - Wind Surf to Europe - Western Mediterranean

Wind Surf

October 2008 - Wind Surf to Europe - Western Mediterranean

Wind Surf

September 2008 - Wind Surf to Europe - Mediterranean

Wind Surf

September 2008 - Wind Surf to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Surf

September 2008 - Wind Surf to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

"Start of 6 month cotract as Cruise Director"

Wind Spirit

November 2007 - Wind Spirit to Transatlantic

Wind Spirit

November 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Western Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

October 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Western Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

October 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

October 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

September 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

September 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

September 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

September 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

September 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

August 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

August 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

August 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

August 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

July 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

July 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

July 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

June 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

June 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

June 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

June 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

June 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

May 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Spirit

May 2007 - Wind Spirit to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

"Started 6 Month Contract as Cruise Director"

Badges (Learn More)


Points (View Leaderboard)

0
This Week
96
Total

Recent Activity

received a helpful vote on their MSC Divina cruise review - MSC Divina

received a helpful vote on their MSC Divina cruise review - MSC Divina

commented on the roll call for Feb 14, 2016 cruise on Navigator of the Seas - "Royal Caribbean has an excellent YouTube..."

received a helpful vote on their MSC Divina cruise review - MSC Divina - A bit diappointing

received a helpful vote on their MSC Divina cruise review - MSC Divina - A bit diappointing

reviewed their Europe - Western Mediterranean cruise on MSC Divina and gave it 3 stars!

reviewed their Caribbean - Eastern cruise on MSC Divina and gave it 3 stars!

added Nov 28, 2009 cruise on Wind Star to their profile.

added Nov 9, 2008 cruise on Wind Surf to their profile.

added Nov 10, 2007 cruise on Wind Spirit to their profile.