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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:Two Stars
Reviewed by: V & T Vaarre
# previous cruises: 10+
Date of Trip: March 31, 2002
Itinerary: Caribbean - Eastern

Four star ship but cruise experience marred with overall two and a half star service and with only one and a half star awarded for meals. Just about everything is high cost extra on the ship. Buyer be aware. This ship could be fine for entry level cruises if at least the food was improved. As it is now, other better choices for the money exist.

Public Areas
The ship itself is new, clean, nice, quiet and smooth sailing. There were some sewage odors at times in several locations around the ship - surprising for a new ship. Otherwise most public areas appeared attractive on the surface. Caffe San Marco was a bright spot with top quality extra cost espresso, capuccino and regular coffees.

Food and Service
The food ingredients, selection, quality, storage and preparation resulted in the lowest grade meals we have experienced during any of our 15+ ocean cruises and passenger ships. The female half of us got three apparent mild food poisonings and up and out came the meals. The male experienced odd stomach and constipation patterns during the entire cruise, never experienced before during a cruise. Enemas resolved those problems.

All cabins appear to be of adequate size, comfortable and relatively quiet and vibration-free. We managed to get just what we had not wished, a lowest level cabin at the rear of the ship. As soon as possible we bought a verandah suite and La Pergola restaurant upgrade, also to get away from the high density and very noisy Marco Polo main restaurant.

Be prepared for 5 official languages on the ship, effecting services, announcements, shore excursions and most of the entertainment which left a lot to be desired. For example, in a lounge, when the band left for a break, we ended up hearing 40 minutes of what seemed to be Italian language dirty jokes and stories with no band returning. We left.

With the entertainment and casino what they were, we ended spending more time on the verandah and outdoors, and some quality coffee time in the cafe. Itinerary was that of low budget ships with a new port every day without sea days. We have always enjoyed free sauna or steam bath on our cruises but not on this ship which charges USD11 per hour for these services.

Who Goes
About 90% of guests were from Italy, Spain, France, Germany and U.K. with about 7% Canadians. The Europeans came with an unusually high percentage of families with children and young adults and there were lots of what appeared to be small groups of extended families or friends. Many of the continentals were rude even if you mastered their language, reinforcing our previous experiences in the Mediterranean.

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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.
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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.
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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.