Second Mate
Wheeling, IL
Joined 07/2015






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Past Cruises

Royal Princess

September 2015 - 15 Night Iberian Passage (Southampton To Ft. Lauderdale) Cruise on Royal Princess

First time on Princess

I have experience with several other cruise lines, but have never been on Princess. I was impressed with the innovative menus, seeing things I have never seen on other ships. The entertainment was the usual:  production shows, mentalists, instrumentalists, comedians. Not much improvement on other lines but competitive. This was a grey-hair cruise, with the majority of the passengers over fifty, so little harassment from children. Therefore the pool experience and hot-tubs were a joy to partake of. Movies under the stars, as well as in the various theatres, were also available in the rooms. One of the best parts was there weren't many nights with parades through the dining area, of staff, cabin-personnel, nor were there many photographers disturbing the evening's conversations. Although the daily schedule was amply filled with activities, there was little hype to 'buy this, purchase that' that one often gets. As a first-timer, I was not invited to 'loyalty' freebies, but there was also discretion about where they were held and what was offered, so I did not feel deprived of attention. I especially liked the ports of call - the two nights in Rotterdam, right in the city, with free transfers offered by the city, was a welcome bonus; Le Havre and Vigo offered a chance to visit major attractions, or an option to see the ports themselves. I only took one excursion  to Sintra and Cascais: the guide was well prepared with the history and points of interest and the outing gave ample time to discover the places for ourselves. Altogether, I am VERY pleased with the cruiseline and look forward to taking another cruise on a Princess. Despite being a large ship, and traversing the Bay of Biscay (usually rough seas), it was difficult to feel the ships movements and few people complained of sea-sickness. Oh, only one bad comment - too much waiting time for elevators. There were ample elevators, but they often stopped on every floor, without the floor being selected on the inside, nor having someone waiting outside for it!

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MSC Preziosa

July 2015 - 7 Night Western Mediterranean (Rome Roundtrip) Cruise on MSC Preziosa

Very disappointed

As a first time cruiser on MSC, with experience on Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, I was looking forward to learning about an Italian-based cruiseline. It was interesting to note that this line allows passengers to come aboard at each of its ports. That means there is a muster just about every day. Our request for extra towels and pillows (a standard request on the other lines) was met with an argument first, then a two-day delay in providing them. Dinner service was stilted, with the servers not understanding rudimentary English. Servers refused to provide plain tap water , insisting that we purchase water instead. Coffee/tea was also not offered - we were told to go to the cafe and purchase it there. At breakfast, service was poor to non-existent. Occasionally, but not always, we were offered juice and bread. Refills on coffee were available, if you could flag down a waitperson and ask for it. Except for breakfast, the food was either tasteless, or comparable to dishwater (soups) or cardboard (sauces). Only two dinners had portions that were acceptable. All the areas of the ship were invaded by unruly, unsupervised children. Despite signs saying that under-sixteens must be supervised by an adult, said adults were not in evidence. I was extremely disturbed to see toddlers in diapers (expressly forbidden in all pools) present, occasionally with parents, in all the pools. The health hazard of this seems not to disturb the management. Children were roughhousing - pulling or pushing each other into the water, running around the perimeters, generally being totally obnoxious. Needless to say, there was NO place on the ship to avoid these encounters. The crew seldom smiled or responded in a friendly manner, unlike my experiences with the other cruiselines. The ship generally docked far from the cruise terminal, then offered 'shuttles' to town or the terminal for 10 - 15 euros.  



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