HermanBarbara

HermanBarbara
Second Mate

Joined: 08/17/2013
7
Cruises
6
Reviews
49
Helpful Votes

About HermanBarbara



Following

HermanBarbara's Past Cruises

Norwegian Sun

February 2016 - 14 Night South America Eastbound (Santiago To Buenos Aires) Cruise on Norwegian Sun

Poorly managed and oriented to cheap.

The bathroom glasses were not changed for the entire trip. The attendant simply dried them with a towel and left them. I'm sure that wasn't the attendant's fault -- it's the ship policy. It wouldn’t surprise me if the same glasses are still there for the next cruise.

 

The shows were not particularly good. The showband was great, and was usually the best part of the show. The entertainers that had shows were not very high quality. A good guitar player is not necessarily a good entertainer.

 

Greg Sampson was the best piano bar player I've ever seen.  And the Amber strings were always good.  When Wes and the showband members had shows they were always good, although the individual members who had shows were not that great. I got the impression that they simply used band members as the entertainment because it was cheaper than having real entertainers.

 

Repeated requests to find out what the pounding noise in our cabin was were passed off -- customer relations said i needed to talk to housekeeping; housekeeping said it was probably some maintenance going on but they didn't know what. 4 telephone calls, one trip to housekeeping, one trip to atrium, and finally someone came to our room and said he'd try to find out.  Eventually the noise stopped. But hours, not minutes after complaining. After my first two calls they simply didn’t answer the phone for a while.

 

Internet service was the worst I've ever seen. The manager just explained that we couldn't expect to get internet in our room, or in the front or back of the ship, because the ship wasn't really set up for that. I bought the 24/7/14-day package and probably got 5% of that. If I moved from one spot to another on the ship, i lost connection.  I could tell that the "counter" was still saying I was connected; but i couldn't do anything.  If it had not been under a cruise ship terms, that would be fraud.

 

The Garden cafe had the lowest quality of food I've seen on a ship. Whatever we had for lunch was also there for dinner and then again tomorrow. Day after day, it was the same thing. And it's laid out and managed so poorly that it's really hard to get to the food. The lines of people trying to get one thing were in the way of people trying to get something else. And it seemed like the crew wasn't aware that people were not going to eat outside in the rain. There simply was no place to sit inside. They were really fast to take things while we were eating, but slow to clean tables for someone coming in.

 

I thought it was really strange that we were in an area with high quality wine and local fish, but we got Mondavi wine shipped from California, and generic fish chunks. Food was generally overcooked and dry.  We ate at a restaurant off the ship whenever we could.

 

I was also surprised that the "ultimate beverage package" no longer included water. That seems like a ridiculous penny-pinching game.

 

The captain decided not to go to the Falklands "because of hurricane winds". I was watching weather forecasts regularly and they showed maximum gusts of 30 MPH. But he went all the way around the islands and wasted another day. The winds weren't that bad when we got into the area; they weren't any different when we left.

Read Full Review »

Celebrity Equinox

October 2015 - 13 Night Spain & Portugal (Barcelona Roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Equinox

Beautiful places with great touring opportunities, but not so much with their tours

We enjoyed many aspects of the cruise. But the level of information we could get was pretty limited.  Crew seemed predominantly new. Sometimes we knew more about the ship than they did. 

Not impressed by the entertainment. Victor Cruz (acoustic guitar) was good, but seemed to play the same songs every day. Airband and the jazz group were good. But those were the only decent groups. And this is a long cruise.

The evening shows were some good/ some ok. 

The customer service group was also really spotty.  Some had no idea about the cities we were going to. They weren't sure where shuttles went. When I asked info about the material they passed out about the ports I got a lot of "I don't know" responses. 

Read Full Review »

Norwegian Sun

July 2015 - 7 Night Alaska Glacier Bay Northbound (Vancouver To Seward) Cruise on Norwegian Sun

Beautiful scenery; great entertainment

We were very lucky on the weather. Only a couple bad days. 

The stops themselves are not that great. Hoonah wasn't worth the trip into the city. But there was something to do at several locations. Because the trip hit the same cities in both directions, we had an easy time to make up our mind about what to do.

This ship had the best entertainment groups, and best planning of any ship I've been on. There was a cycle of groups in different parts of the ship, with something new starting every 15 minutes. So there was always at least three groups singing/ playing all the time.

"Into the Drift" was the best singing. "Amber Strings" was great instrumental. And the Cabaret event with Philip was great.  I would have been happy to have had him a couple nights.

Read Full Review »

Norwegian Sun

July 2015 - 14 Night Alaska Glacier Bay (Vancouver Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Sun

Beautiful scenery; great entertainment

We were very lucky on the weather. Only a couple bad days. 

The stops themselves are not that great. Hoonah wasn't worth the trip into the city. But there was something to do at several locations. Because the trip hit the same cities in both directions, we had an easy time to make up our mind about what to do.

This ship had the best entertainment groups, and best planning of any ship I've been on. There was a cycle of groups in different parts of the ship, with something new starting every 15 minutes. So there was always at least three groups singing/ playing all the time.

"Into the Drift" was the best singing. "Amber Strings" was great instrumental. And the Cabaret event with Philip was great.  I would have been happy to have had him a couple nights.

Read Full Review »

Noordam

April 2015 - 19 Night Panama Canal Westbound (Ft. Lauderdale To Vancouver) Cruise on Noordam

Poor selection of ports; limited entertainment on board; not well managed

Some of the ports were just industrial areas with no"tourist" facilities. Shore excursions involved long drives and short tours.The cruise passed several ports which are scenic and/or interesting. 

If you like knitting, cooking, bingo, art and purse sales, or gambling, this is it. They also had ping-pong. If you like pleasant quiet music outside at lunch, forget it. 

They seemed to have no idea that a lot of people would be looking for coffee in the morning. Long lines, and sometimes working coffee makers. Did you want ice in your drink at lunch -- well maybe... Staffing and food operations seemed to be designed around an idea that there would be an even flow of passengers over two or three hours. So when the crowds all show up in a short time, they were completely unprepared.

One day we had no hot water. The first response was "I'm sorry you're having a problem with your plumbing. I'll send you someone to explain how to turn it on". Later it became "We're already aware of a problem. You don't need to tell us". The third time it was "The problem was fixed some time ago. You must not be running the hot water long enough".

The balcony had rust on the metal, and white paint drippings scattered around from the last paint job. 

 

Read Full Review »

Celebrity Eclipse

December 2014 - 14 Night Exotic Southern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Eclipse

Good cruise but not up to our expectations

A lot of time on the ship, but not terribly good entertainment. One good lounge group; but the rest were very loud and obviously amateurs pulled from eastern Europe.

Production shows very good; but entertainers brought in for evening shows were not top class.

Food in Ocean View was the same thing every day, and got dryer by the day.

Service really bad on average. Seemed like few people really cared whether you were there or not.

This was a high cost trip with low amenities. It goes to some beautiful places which are worth seeing. And if you are OK with not worrying about the entertainment, and not trying to get drinks, that's worth it.

We were on the Celebrity Silhouette in June. That was an overwhelmingly better experience. Don't know why there was so much difference in quality on essentially the same ship, but it was dramatic!

Read Full Review »

Carnival Miracle

October 2013 - 7 Night Mexican Riviera (Los Angeles roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Miracle

Generally poorly managed with low variety of food and entertainment

Ship personnel generally nice but either not well informed or just all new. They gave conflicting directions on the ship; couldn't answer basic questions about procedures at ports; and just passed the buck.

 

Entertainment was really low-end:

-the one musical show was pretty decent High School. 

-they relied on the same things over and over

-one night of comedy was OK, but not significant

-a lot of what they called "entertainment" was kareoke and amatuer hour.

-when they actually had a variety of entertainment activities (once), they scheduled all of them at the same time.

-there was a piano bar, but it was used almost exclusively for their sales programs. They sold art works, jewelry and probably time sharing.

-I think they considered gambling their primary entertainment.

 

Food was essentially the same thing every day in the buffet. On two mornings they had one person making omelettes for the entire ship. Hard pancakes; hard, dry toast, overcooked potatoes.

 

There was one "customer service" desk. They either wouldn't answer key questions, or gave false answers. Their explanation of the transfers from the ship to Cabo were an outright lie. Their explanation of leaving the ship at Long Beach was completely off the wall.

 

They made it clear that if we made arrangements for shore excursions through the travel agent who booked the cruise it was our own problem that we wouldn't get off the ship in time to get there. Really obnoxious about that. 

 

On the last day, they described the final morning as "relaxation time", in which the entire ship had to vacate their rooms by 8:30, and had to wait on two decks while they set up for debarkation.  We didn't get off until 11:30, and we weren't nearly the last.  Their idea of "relaxation" is a lot different than mine. And there was no effort to make that time more pleasant. Nor was there any information about the status or what we had to go through. Nor was there any attempt to stage the debarkation so some people could sleep late. It was army-style:  everyone be there by 8:30, and we'll take care of you at our convenience in the next few hours.

 

I was not impressed!

Read Full Review »

HermanBarbara's Tips

Cruise Strait Of Magellan -
Cruise Cape Horn - We didn't see much
Cruise Chilean Fjords -
Cruise Beagle Channel -
Norwegian Sun Norwegian Sun - The ship might be fun again when the captain changes. It was good to get off the ship almost at any place.
Cruise Patagonic Channel -
Cruise Glacier Bay -
Cruise Hubbard Glacier -
Cruise Inside Passage, Alaska -
Norwegian Sun Norwegian Sun - Go to the cabaret show by Philip! Into the Drift and Amber Strings are the best regular groups.
Victoria, British Columbia - would have been nice if we would have had time to actually see anything. Seems like it's thrown in just say they stopped at the port.
Huatulco, Mexico - Don't do the land and sea tour. The boat captain said he wouldn't do it except that the Noordam wanted him to. Three people threw up.
Noordam Noordam - Definitely NOT the ship you want to be on in the open seas. Not stable in wind like the bigger ships.
Philipsburg, St. Maarten - More beautiful views in a tour. Catamaran tour not as nice as it might have been -- it was raining.
Basseterre, St. Kitts - Great place. Railway has great views, but a little bouncy; don't go if you get seasick. We also did the helicopter ride back. More great views.

Badges (Learn More)


Points (View Leaderboard)

0
This Week
202
Total

Recent Activity

received a helpful vote on their Celebrity Eclipse cruise review - Good cruise but not up to our expectations

received a helpful vote on their Celebrity Equinox cruise review - Beautiful places with great touring opportunities, but not so much with their tours

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Legend cruise review - Weather was great

received a helpful vote on their Noordam cruise review - Poor selection of ports; limited entertainment on board; not well managed

received a helpful vote on their Celebrity Eclipse cruise review - Good cruise but not up to our expectations

received a helpful vote on their Celebrity Equinox cruise review - Beautiful places with great touring opportunities, but not so much with their tours

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Miracle cruise review - Generally poorly managed with low variety of food and entertainment

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Sun cruise review - Beautiful scenery; great entertainment

received a helpful vote on their Noordam cruise review - Poor selection of ports; limited entertainment on board; not well managed

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Legend cruise review - Weather was great