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   Cruise Travel - Reader Reviews

Welcome to Your Favorites, where you have the opportunity to share your travel experiences with fellow Internet Travelers around the world.

Festival Cruises

MS Azur

Your Rating:Four Stars
Reviewed by: Carlton Dale
# previous cruises: 5
Date of Trip: August 12, 2001
Itinerary: Mediterranean

Great value cruise - booked only 2 weeks before and not sure what to expect! Always had the view "you get what you pay for". This cruise was great value for money. The ship had some negatives i.e. very small and cramped when full to capacity but this shouldn't spoil your cruise as the itinerary was very port intense with not a single day "at sea."

Public Areas
Public areas were well maintained and always spotlessly clean. The main lounge where the entertainment took place could be crowded. The ceiling was very low which made visibility from the back restricted. When this lounge was filled to capacity it made service from the cocktail waiters near impossible.

Food and Service
There were 2 sittings for diner (breakfast and lunch open sittings). As the ship was full to capacity the dining room was very cramped. This was more than compensated for by the quality of the food. Always superb. The menu offered an excellent choice and the service from the waiters bus boys and Maitre D' was fantastic. Most people for lunch preferred the buffet served on the Tahiti Deck. Unfortunately there was not sufficient seating, most people had to sit with a tray on their knees in the main cabaret room

Our cabin (outside on Information Deck) was more than adequate. Plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. Cabin steward was fantastic. Very attentive and friendly. The only criticism was that the decor was looking a little tatty. We didn't spend a great deal of time in our cabin so this did not detract from the enjoyment of our cruise.

We didn't attend any of the shows, however, our dining companions were very pleased with the quality of the entertainment and gave us a comprehensive review the next day of what a fabulous evening they had the previous night.

The itinerary was fabulous Rome, Malta, Tunisia, Menorca, Barcelona and Marseille. The excursions were a little expensive and the staff in the excursion office not helpful.

Who Goes
Festival let themselves down with "lack of attention to detail." There were numerous examples of small "niggly" problems. An example of this was on our itinerary (from Festival's brochure,) we were due to arrive in Bizerte Tunisia on day 3 at 10.00 we actually arrived at La Goulette (50KMs away) at 14.30. We paid 44 Euros for a full days excursion and ended up in Tunisia for less than 3 Hours! The excursion office offered us a "refund." When the final bill arrived (just before departure)they refunded us 20%.

We expected the majority of passengers to be English. In fact out of over 800 passengers just 22 were English. The nationalities represented came from Italy, Spain, France, Russia, Germany, Hungary, Malta. Our dining companions were great company and certainly made our cruise more enjoyable.

The age of passengers ranged from a baby of 9 months to the most wonderful couple aged 85 and 90 everyone got on so well - one advantage of a small ship.

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Royal Caribbean - Bahamas Getaway from $129 per person
Description: Experience the beautiful ports of Nassau and Royal Caribbean's private island - CocoCay on a 3-night Weekend Getaway to the Bahamas. Absorb everything island life has to offer as you snorkel with the stingrays, parasail above the serene blue waters and walk the endless white sand beaches. From Miami.
Carnival - 4-Day Bahamas  from $229 per person
Description: Enjoy a wonderful 3 Day cruise to the fun-loving playground of Nassau, Bahamas. Discover Nassau, the capital city as well as the cultural, commercial and financial heart of the Bahamas. Meet the Atlantic Southern Stingrays, the guardians of Blackbeard's treasure.
NCL - Bermuda - 7 Day from $499 per person
Description: What a charming little chain of islands. Walk on pink sand beaches. Swim and snorkel in turquoise seas. Take in the historical sights. They're stoically British and very quaint. Or explore the coral reefs. You can get to them by boat or propelled by fins. You pick. Freestyle Cruising doesn't tell you where to go or what to do. Sure, you can plan ahead, or decide once onboard. After all, it's your vacation. There are no deadlines or must do's.
Holland America - Eastern Caribbean from From $599 per person
Description: White sand, black sand, talcum soft or shell strewn, the beaches of the Eastern Caribbean invite you to swim, snorkel or simply relax. For shoppers, there's duty-free St. Thomas, the Straw Market in Nassau, French perfume and Dutch chocolates on St. Maarten. For history buffs, the fascinating fusion of Caribbean, Latin and European cultures. For everyone, a day spent on HAL's award winning private island Half Moon Cay.
Celebrity - 7-Night Western Mediterranean  from $549 per person
Description: For centuries people have traveled to Europe to see magnificent ruins, art treasures and natural wonders. And the best way to do so is by cruise ship. Think of it - you pack and unpack only once. No wasted time searching for hotels and negotiating train stations. Instead, you arrive at romantic ports of call relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on the world.
Holland America - Alaska from From $499 per person
Description: Sail between Vancouver and Seward, departing Sundays on the ms Statendam or ms Volendam and enjoy towering mountains, actively calving glaciers and pristine wildlife habitat. Glacier Bay and College Fjord offer two completely different glacier-viewing experiences.