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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:Four Stars
Reviewed by: Terry Offen
# previous cruises:5
Date of Trip: April 19, 2000
Itinerary: Transatlantic

A very comfortable affordable cruise with just enough excitement from rising seas in mid-Atlantic to give the illusion of daring; cabin staff were friendly and most were eager to please; dining staff was very attentive, professional; food was delicious, except for one mediocre breaded-chicken; cabins small, adequate. Our eastbound cruise had a "Tips already included" advantage. Entertainment was good though movie projector broke down. Thoroughly enjoyable. My favourite facet: I prefer the smaller passenger loads.

Public Areas
My favourite area was on open promenade deck. I would have preferred lounges and many many more chairs available in this section. Pool side was okay (sometimes entertaining). Those using the casino seemed happy. The non-smoking in the dining room and the Lounge was very very very appreciated.

Food and Service
Evening meals were best. Service was five star at our table. The dining room was my preference for most meals. My food allergies were noted and modifications were made cheerfully. Our Dinner Waiter and the Maitre'D were particularly attentive. A couple of lunches were lack lustre - no matter what choices were offered. The afternoon tea was quite substantial. The Midnight Buffet Extravaganza was spectacular!!!

One male and two female adults shared our outside cabin. We made use of the fourth bunk as additional storage space. There was a problem with the a/c for the first 28 hours but it was corrected when engineering accepted there really was a problem. One of the adults tipped the scales at 290 pounds and was able to shower without a problem. We had no problem with noise between cabins. Being an outside cabin, claustrophobia was NOT an issue.

All of the evening gala shows were attended -- sometimes (on slow nights) twice. All were entertaining -- evoking laughter, tears, etc. Musical talent was good. Ballroom training was entertaining even if you weren't participating. Cruise staff entertainment: Bingo, games, etc. added to the experience.

We departed from Santo Domingo stopping at St. Thomas, Dominica, Barbados before six days at sea. Then, Tenerife, Malaga, Ibiza and Barcelona before leaving the ship at Genoa. We toured St. Thomas, went whale watching at Dominica and submerged in a mini-sub at Barbados. We walked around Tenerife, took an excursion into the mountains at Malaga, walked around Ibiza, toured Barcelona by bus. At sea we enjoyed Bingo, Party games, resting, reading, doing crafts, relaxing, dancing, listening to the entertainers. The pool was almost always in use as was the health club and the basketball court. Child care was not an issue for us.

Who Goes
Our fellow passengers were primarily Canadian, American and British who emigrated to North America. There were two parties of German speaking passengers (12 persons). Most of the passengers were down to earth. The only complaint I heard was from a couple used to travelling on ships carrying 1500-2000 passengers. They sneered at what they considered the lack of quality. About one third of the passengers were repeat passengers -- some on their 10th and 12th transatlantic cruises with the travel company. Some of them I would invite to dinner. Some have kept in touch.

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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.