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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:One Stars
Reviewed by: Harold & Bonnie Walther
# previous cruises:4
Date of Trip: January 13, 2001
Itinerary: Caribbean - Southern

We have been on 4 cruises all together. Our first being on Regent Holidays mts Pegasus. Intimate atmosphere and attention of cruise staff on small ship made us want to sail on small ship again. However this trip was a great disappointment. Ship was overcrowded with 75% of passengers being French (European & Canadian). This made communication and socializing with fellow passengers almost impossible. We were not aware that Regent Holidays Cruises are no longer exclusively Canadian passengers. In fact at least 50% were European.

Public Areas
All public areas were very crowded and it was almost impossible to find a seat when you wanted one. Ventilation indoors was very poor. Our son spent as much time as possible on deck, as did I, as air inside was stale and tended to make one feel ill. Starlight lounge was cold at the rear of the room. Visibility was limited beyond the middle of the room. Railings and posts block the sight line to stage from many angles. Only those front and centre could see everything well. All shows were presented 75% french/25% english especially farewell show on last night. Even the MC doing english announcements could hardly speak english. Casino very small and lacking in slot machines. Computerized slots (75%) set to operate in french language. Sun decks were all packed with sunbathers in European style (topless), they saved their deck chairs all day and would not share.

Food and Service
Food was mediocre at best. We have eaten on 4 cruise ships and this was the worst food and service we have encountered. Steaks were tough and grissly. Portions of all courses were small. The buffet in the Signals Cafe was tasty but very limited in variety. There were no free non alcoholic beverages such as lemonade or iced tea, not even water! All water offered was bottled and charged to your bar account. We find having to buy bottled water to drink at dinner in a so called world class dinning room tacky at best. Wine was the only alcoholic beverage available at dinner. No cocktails available in dining room. Why Not? Last but not least it seemed as though if you were french the service was much better!

Cabin was small as expected. Closet space was adequate for three adults. No problem with the shower even for a larger person. The $100.00 saved over other cruise itineraries was not a bargain. Walls were very thin. You could listen to your neighbors discuss their activities and then in some cases listen to them doing it!

The entertainment on this cruise was very disappointing compared to the last Regent Cruise we were on. The language issue was very prevalent here. Two MC's - one for the french speaking passengers (fluent french), and one for the english speaking passengers (very heavy french accent). Farewell show had one medley of songs with a little english in it, that was all.

Itinerary itself was very beautiful. We would visit many of these islands again. Especially Trinidad and Tobago. Shore excursions were good and of a reasonable price. These to however were spoiled by having to cater to the french passengers. Very often they got buses and the english got only taxis. In San Juan the tour guide was taken from the english bus and put on the French Bus, in order to translate spanish to english, so that French tour guide could translate english to French. The english passengers were given a bus driver as our tour guide. To his credit he did a very good job and showed us a great time.

Who Goes
People of all ages. There were families, seniors, newly weds, and singles. Be aware if you are of english origin and unilingual that this is probably not the cruise for you. Also, if you are travelling with young children, there will be topless sunbathing everywhere with a total disregard for anyone elses feelings.

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