bettina

bettina
Second Mate

Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
Joined: 06/13/2014
6
Cruises
2
Reviews
10
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bettina's Past Cruises

Caribbean Princess

August 2015 - Caribbean Princess to Europe - Northern Europe

"London pre-cruise tour"

Emerald Princess

February 2015 - Emerald Princess to Caribbean - Western

Very Nice Cruise, but don't go for the Entertainment or Activities onboard

The new port of Houston makes it very easy to embark and disembark.  We were in and out in 15 minutes or less.  The port building is also clean and new. The only problem is that it costs a lot to get there from either of the airports.  We took a cab from Hobby Airport and with tip it cost us around $75 one way. Next time we will check more closely into Princess transfers and hotels.

It appeared to us that this cruise employed many first-timers.  It made for some chaos the first day or two, and especially with dinner on Superbowl Sunday. Even the "supervisors" were confused.  But eventually things smoothed out.  All in all, the staff were very friendly and accomodating.

We enjoyed excursions on Roatan Island, especially the Garifuna Indians and the Mayan Ruins in Belize.  We traveled to Cozumel many times so just stayed on the ship soaking up the sun.  It was peaceful on board with so many passengers out and about.

The most disappointing part of the cruise was the entertainment and activities on board. The activities were old and outdated.  There was nothing exciting or new.  The evening "shows" were even worse.  The ship's productions were shows we had seen 5 years ago and they were poorly performed.  The costumes looked like something out of a no budget high school musical.

The only show that was innovative and fun was a short show with two young men who were comedians,dancers, and singers, all rolled into one, who used recorded music.  It was a low-budget show, but  they were creative, contemporary, and clean.

Even the "scholarship at sea" seminar was terrible.  They used to be focused on teaching the participants something.  My husband went to one on using light and shadow with cameras, thinking he could learn something, and all the presenter did was tell them how she uses special lighting to take photos for the ship's photo gallery.  Utterly useless! 

The winner for best staff person was the future cruise director, Amanda.  She was extremely helpful, customer friendly, and upbeat!  She worked overtime to help us and other passengers.  We have worked with other onboard future cruise directors who could care less about you and just took your future cruise deposit as if they were disinterested cashiers.  Amanda was awesome!

The food in the dining room was very good.  Horizon Court buffet was acceptable in a pinch.  We did not go to any specialty restaurants. Fruit in our cabin was a treat, don't forget to request it, as well as ice, and a bathrobe, all of which are complementary, but you have to request it.

All in all, we had a very good time.

My feedback to Princess is to re-invent your entertainment and activities.  You are not even close in comparison to Norwegian, Royal Caribbean or Disney. Most cruisers do not want to play trivia games any more and are bored by mediocre entertainment when they can now see spectacular entertainment (dancing, singing, comedy) on TV from "amateurs".

 

 

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Oasis of the Seas

December 2014 - Oasis of the Seas to Caribbean - Western

Norwegian Getaway

May 2014 - Norwegian Getaway to Caribbean - Eastern

New Ships Are Worth Trying

Nothing like a new ship!  Everything is fresh and clean. No dust bunnies in corners.

What was good: The balcony cabin - lots of storage, bigger shower than most; got the angled balcony which is a bit bigger. The food, except for O'Sheehan.  We didn't pay extra except for one night at the Brazilian restaurant which was great!  Every other meal was fine.  The service was uneven.  Many are still learning.  O'Sheehan's has the worst food I've ever tasted on any cruise ship - tasteless, watered down - go anywhere else but there!  Entertainment - Burn the Floor was fantastic!  The Illusionarium had great illusions - you'll find yourself saying, "how did they do that?  I was right here!"  Legally Blonde was fun, but not jaw dropping.  The night parties at Spice H2O were a lot of fun, if you can stay up late.  Ropes Course is not for the faint of heart; be careful especially on windy days at sea.  If you make it, it's an accomplishment!  The Solo Cabins with special lounge are a hit!  My girlfriend cruised with us and she loved this.  All in all, my husband did not think he would enjoy Norwegian, and now he is open to going on another cruise with them.

 

What was poor:  SMOKING, ESPECIALLY ON CABIN BALCONIES. It carries right into everyone else's cabins and there is no way to tell where the smokers are.  Our cabin was on the 14th floor - not so good.  Too much noise from the deck above as furniture is re-arranged late at night and early in the AM.  However, I called after first night's noise and it was quieter on subsequent nights.  Entertainment:  HOWL AT THE MOON - Maybe they have different teams playing these two pianos, but the two guys we had were just awful - vocally off pitch, droning borning patter, poor piano playing, etc. ONLY ONE SWIMMING POOL for 4000 people????  NICKEL AND DIMING GUESTS FOR EVERYTHING - more extra charges than I've experienced on other ships; THE VIBE CLUB - not worth the cost; no special catering to guests; just a bit softer lounge chairs and 2 hot tubs; nothing like The Sanctuary on Princess. No reason to pay extra for the THERMAL SPA - no time to use it, and again, no special catering to guests at all.  Apparently, paying extra does not mean better customer service to Norwegian.  It just means you get to go into a place that others do not get into, but then you have to fend for yourself anyway.

 

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Disney Wonder

November 2013 - Disney Wonder to Caribbean - Western

Coral Princess

April 2012 - Coral Princess to Caribbean - Eastern

bettina's Tips

Houston, Texas - Didn't do anything here except stay overnight at a hotel before cruise.
Emerald Princess Emerald Princess - Don't worry if you don't have a tuxedo for formal nights. Many men were wearing suits and ties. The soft drink package is worth the price if you are a moderate Coke, Sprite, Diet Coke drinker. The future cruise deposit is a must if you think you might be cruising again with Princess in 2 years.
Nassau, Bahamas - It was great only because most of the stores were closed and there was a big parade for their Labor Day. Otherwise, there isn't much to do there if you don't go to Paradise Island.
Norwegian Getaway Norwegian Getaway - Don't miss the candid photo machines where you can take a photo and post it to Facebook immediately.

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added Disney Cruise Line to their favorites on their profile.

added Aug 1, 2015 cruise on Caribbean Princess to their profile.

received a helpful vote on their Emerald Princess cruise review - Very Nice Cruise, but don't go for the Entertainment or Activities onboard

received a helpful vote on their Emerald Princess cruise review - Very Nice Cruise, but don't go for the Entertainment or Activities onboard

received a helpful vote on their Emerald Princess cruise review - Very Nice Cruise, but don't go for the Entertainment or Activities onboard

received a helpful vote on their Emerald Princess cruise review - Very Nice Cruise, but don't go for the Entertainment or Activities onboard

received a helpful vote on their Emerald Princess cruise review - Very Nice Cruise, but don't go for the Entertainment or Activities onboard

added Apr 7, 2012 cruise on Coral Princess to their profile.

added Nov 16, 2013 cruise on Disney Wonder to their profile.

added Dec 6, 2014 cruise on Oasis of the Seas to their profile.