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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 Bolero

Your Rating:Three Stars
Reviewed by:Renee Harrold
# previous cruises:10+
Date of Trip: February 3, 2001
Itinerary: Caribbean - Southern

A reasonably priced cruise with overall very good food, service and entertainment - good value.Travel arrangements were good,we checked our bags at the airport in Toronto and they were delivered to our cabin within an hour of boarding the ship.We especially liked the 'no-fuss' check in at Santo Domingo. The ship was very clean and well-maintained.

Public Areas
The small casino had a good atmosphere with friendly dealers. Although the two pools were small they were adequate for the size of ship -the 'Topsiders'bar and sun deck pool area being especially attractive. As 'Bolero' is a small ship it's very easy to find one's way around. The 'Windows on the Sea' dining room is lovely and very bright.

Food and Service
We used the dining room only at night but found the food to be good to very good with a fairly extensive menu. Service was excellent - comparable to any of the other 5 lines on which I've sailed.We ate buffet breakfasts & lunches in the 'Signals' cafe on boat deck. Good choice of both hot and cold foods including juices,cheese,salads and pastries. I especially enjoyed the warm breakfast croissants. A very good selection of sandwiches,cookies and pastries as well as an excellent bread pudding was provided at tea time.A nice touch was the doorman a la Holland America. We were on this ship 3 years ago and the improvement in food and service is marked. Drinks were reasonably priced, averaging about $3 compared with the $6 now charged by many of the other lines.

The cabin was small,but no smaller than most of the others we've had. It was very clean and bright and looked as if it may have been recently refurbished. Closet and drawer space was adequate for 2 full-size people and the shower was of the usual compact size but perfectly acceptable.Soap is provided but no lotions,shampoo or shower caps.We received an upgrade and our cabin was located immediately below the Starlight lounge.Sometimes it was a little noisy until about midnight but not unbearable.

The first show was as professional as we've seen on any ship.Dancers,musicians and singers were all excellent. We saw 5 shows :-3 musicals,1 a sort of mime show and the other a one-woman show featuring a singer who had an incredible voice singing in a variety of musical styles. I was impressed with the way the bilingual (English and French) aspect of the entertainment was handled - very slickly done with 2 emcees. Cruise staff were mainly friendly and helpful, with the exception of the information desk who at times just couldn't be bothered.

There did not seem to be as much entertainment as on most other ships.We spent the days on board reading and relaxing and the evenings at the show, the casino and on deck enjoying the night sky. Itinerary was excellent:- Santo Domingo,Curacao,Marguerita Island,Grenada,Guadeloupe and San Juan. I wouldn't recommend this ship for children as there is really not too much for them.

Who Goes
About 65% of the passengers were from France the remainder from Canada(French and English speaking). Unfortunately the groups don't mix very well,the French from France seemed very rude and disrespectful of other people. However some of the English speaking Canadians came across as 'rednecks'- it's such a pity that language can be so divisive. The majority of Canadians were very friendly and the atmosphere in the dining room for example, where French and English appeared to be seated in separate areas,was relaxed and fun. We shared a cab with a French couple for a sightseeing trip however and got on very well, all of us trying to speak the other's language.

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