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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 European Vision

Your Rating:One Stars
Reviewed by: Lillian Nowicki
# previous cruises: 10+
Date of Trip: January 6, 2002
Itinerary: Caribbean - Southern

Ship is new, but not as superb as the brochures mention, but it is a nice clean ship. It has a great layout for the swimming pool area. There was no pool activities, only the women of all sizes sunbathing topless in all areas. This was amusing to the gentlemen especially when it was time for the sun screen. There was no calypso band, only a few days when we were sailing away to the next port. No shortage of lounge chairs either in the sun or shade. A few days they gave dance lessons with recorded music.

I have to rate this ship a 1 because of poor food quality (we were in the Marco Polo restaurant, and in the La Pergola there was a 25 euro charge for non suite passengers). Ship currency is all in euro, so I will stick with that.

Entertainment was on an amateur level No orchestra, no headline acts. Staff was young, and inexperienced, and seemed to be unhappy, We could see that at times they were trying to please.

Worst Cruise Director I have experienced in my 21 cruises, but he did have a talent of speaking about 5 languages, one sentence at a time.

Public Areas
We spent most of our time in the Chez Georges Lounge. It was adequate. The had a Picnic 3 piece band, and they played contemporary music. It was nice to listen to them. Also at times they had an accordion player, who would play tunes that you requested. Ashtrays on all tables, and very heavy smoke. Actually people walked around with their ashtrays from area to area carrying them. The band played also very late at night.

No walk around promenade.

Casino was small and never too active. Something like 3 people playing the tables, and 15 watching. Slots were in euros, and if you won, you got your winnings in US currency.

Pool was nice, and had a net for water ball.

Food and Service
Food in the dinning room was terrible and plain and not very appetizing. There was no shrimp, lobster, prime rib, and decaf coffee was the instant kind with the packet. Also no catch of the day fish. There were 3 desserts listed, but not shown to you. I made a request for ice cream, and they said they would try, and they did. So every evening I had the standard 3 scoops, which was good. On deck you could buy ice cream for 2.30 euros for a soft cone, but it was not all that great, but a bit on the watery side.

Some food examples: Ordered the meatball entree. It came with 4 small 1-1/2 inch balls with a small tower of rice. That was enough, because it was tasteless. Another time had fettucini, with they said was 4 small pieces of squid at the side. Another was spaghetti which came with 4 small pieces of pepperoni. These were served in a soup bowl. They had a good tornadoes of beef, but I forget to mention, and he forget to ask, that I wanted well done. So my husband ate part of my portion. They had pork roast, which was tough, some chicken that looked grey and was served also in the soup bowl.

There was a lot of waste on our table, and also I noticed on the adjoining tables. But the french fries and pizza were good in the grill. Had a hamburg patty with onions, which was good because it was lean. No cheeseburgers though.Service was poor with inexperienced staff. They got the orders mixed up, and at times got the cutlery wrong. Example, one evening only our table mates arrived 15 minutes late, and I had placed my order in already. When they arrived he took their order. We all ordered the same appetizer. Everyone got their appetizer and ate it and 15 minutes later mine came, saying that they had not forgotten, but it was the preparation.

Took a long time to finish dinner. Main seating was at 6:45, and we nearly always finished just before 9. On the open sitting night, it took 2-1/2 hours. People were annoyed, and refused to wait in the long line, and went to the 24 hour grill for pizza, hamburg, and fries, etc.

On deck food was mainly a stew, pasta, and one carved meat generally. They had soup on some days. At lunch time there was only water, no punch or iced tea. You can buy a pop, juice, beer, wine, etc. after you got your tray and cutlery. If the person in front of the line requested a beer, or whatever, they had to stop and fill out the charge card. Glasses for the water were the small kind, and teaspoons were almost non existent, had to use tablespoons. They also had the usual cold salads, cold cuts, fruit, but I did not see even one banana.

Dessert was good as you could pick your own, and get as much as you wanted. Some were very good.

Breakfast in the dinning room was open sitting, and they had the usual breakfast food. Can get your eggs anyway you want. Did not have egg beaters, but then everyone is not familiar with it. They did offer to make an omelette using egg whites only. Only ate here on a few occasions as there were people that did not speak English, and they just sat you where it was next.

On deck breakfast was the usual eggs, bacon, etc. You could get orange juice as much as you wanted, and a person was walking up and down with the cart for tea and coffee.

Cabin was an outside one on Kiel deck. It was adequate. Had lots of closet space, and we did not need all that they had. Cabin was quiet. They only announced the fire drill announcement, and not all the others. Shower was small, but okay. The cabin had some molding that was coming out, and also the trim on the washroom glass trays kept falling off. Had a good safe that was easy to operate, and worked all the time. There was a small mini fridge that had some place for your personal beverages.

They claim to have satellite, but it was down. You could only get the ship channel that played the 7 songs over and over again. And you could view the tour to the Baths over and over again. There was pay TV for 9.99 euros for 24 hour viewing of the selected movie. Did not check this out as after 3 minutes, it is charged to your room.

There was an ice bucket, but the cabin steward did not fill ever. You got 2 small pieces of soap on the first night. Shampoo on the first and last night, and chocolate on the last night. I am sure if we needed more we could have gotten from the cabin steward, if we could find her. The evening news sheet often came with a different language.

Entertainment was very poor and very amateur. They need a lot of improvement here. Only had the magician, and singing and dancing groups. Show room was not always full, actually some nights it was embarrassing, as there were so few people. Show time was 9:15, and if you came 1 minute before there was also good seats. You could see everyone in the showroom.

No entertainment on deck, just a few times they had dance lessons, and in the lounges some music very late in the evening.

Ports of call were excellent. Did not have any port meetings or shopping talks. If you had a question, the shore excursion desk would answer. Maps were at a minimum, and were not available for all islands. Virgin Baths, Carbet Falls, and the beach by taxi were all enjoyable days.

The health club had a lot of modern equipment, and a nice view, but no participants. A few young people mentioned that there was a teens club, and disco, but again no participants. Ship was 70% full.

Who Goes
Yes, I would invite my table mates, and the ones at the adjoining tables, but we were all Canadians. Some of the other passengers were rude.

Canadians, Germans boarded on Sunday at Santo Domingo. The French and Italians boarded on Friday in Guadeloupe.

Would only recommend this cruise to first timers, from France, Italy and Germany.

In summary, the one star is for inefficiency in food, entertainment, and staff.

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