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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:Three Stars
Reviewed by: Lisa B.
# previous cruises: 1
Date of Trip: March 10, 2002
Itinerary: Caribbean - Southern

The ship was appropriate for first time cruisers such as ourselves, but we probably wouldn't go on it again, knowing that not many activities or extras were included. The ship was brand new which was an added bonus for us, and it had a direct flight. Overall, it was enjoyable and has set us on a path to more cruising. The staff, especially animators were excellent. At times, though you could tell some were unhappy to be there, and were forcing to smile, which made you feel kind of bad.

Public Areas
The pools were kept clean, but were closed quite early and drained. On days where we were at sea, it was impossible to find a free lounge chair. I feel it was inappropriate to allow people to sunbathe nude. There was way too much smoking in public areas, especially by the elevators. We waited for 5 minutes in that smoke until we decided we had to walk the four floors to our cabin. The Picnic Band in Chez George lounge was good, but unfortunately only played the same 7 songs every single night, same goes for the Tropicale band.

Food and Service
The food did not seem as plentiful as we thought it would be, a friend of ours was told that she wasn't allowed to take a plate of french fries, and when she said it was to be shared amongst five people, the man still gave her a dirty look. The food in the Marco Polo dining room was quite good. Our waiter and his assistant were very kind and quick to clear our table. We were lucky, the other tables he was supposed to serve did not show up, so we had them all to ourselves. They were also kind enough to show us how to fold napkins. I did however, not like the maitre d, he interrupted our dinner and our conversations. It was an extra $35 euros to eat in La Pergola, but one night they did have a free buffet at midnight which was okay. We did find it absolutely marvelous how they served you. Even if all you had was an orange, they would take it to your table. The buffet wasn't very good, but the french fried on deck 13 were to die for!!! Also, food wasn't available all day, at one point in the afternoon, everything was shut down.

The cabin, to our astonishment, was quite roomy. We expected it to be much smaller. It was able to accommodate the three of us quite well. There was ample closet space. The bathroom was kept clean, but there was a horrible smell coming from the drain. The man who cleaned our cabin said that it was because it was dry and it would go away, it did not! The room smelled for the whole week. The shower was small, and on top of it all, the curtain always managed to wrap itself around you. Also, it was usually quite hard to get hot water in the shower. Surprisingly, it was very quite in the room, except for the occasional passer by, and we were located between the elevators and closet, which proved to be quite.

We did attend the evening shows in La Gondola theatre. They were mediocre. Some of the dancing and singing was good, but there were some nights, we were bored out of our minds. Unfortunately, we had no place else to go for that kind of entertainment, so we stayed. The magician was very good, but only performed one night. We also did not like to be bothered for drinks every few minutes. They did have two deck parties which were a lot of fun. We only wish they had them every night. The animators were kind enough to teach me a few dance steps. The staff was exceptional! Especially the animators. One night they did have a staff talent show, which was probably one of my favourite parts of the whole trip! Unfortunately, we did not spend the days on the ship because we were ashore, and that was when a lot of on board activities took place. They should have had more things to do in the night time with the animators. They were a lot of fun and made much of the trip very enjoyable. I did not like the fact that you had to pay extra for rock climbing, ice cream, and games in the arcade. There were never any teenagers in the teens club. I did get a personal invitation to the club one night which was nice, but i guess they didn't use too much paper or effort, seeing as how there were only about 6 teens on the ship. Also, would the cruise line have gone bankrupt if the games were free? There was no one there to play with them anyway.

One important thing when going ashore, we found it was okay if we did not go on any excursions with the ship. They were over priced, and we saw the exact same places, and it was all in english, none of that 6 different languages you got with the ship. Also, you were able to ask questions and take as much time as you wanted in certain areas. It was also much cheaper. We often only payed about $10 -$15 american for our tours each. We had a really good itinerary, we stopped at Aruba, Curacao, Isla de Margarita, St. Barts, Mayreau, Santo Domingo and Guadeloupe, which we hated the most, The people were very rude there. Mayreau was really nice, but the tender back onto the ship was a nightmare, we didn't think we'd make it back, we tried over and over again but we couldn't get close enough. I guess that's why they've eliminated it from their itinerary this year :).

Who Goes
We were seated with people from near by our town, so we got along with them quite well. As for the others on the ship, many were older and quite rude. Many spoke different languages and walked around as though they owned the ship. You couldn't play basketball or tennis because the courts were always occupied by the same people who refused to leave. We have talked with our dinner companions, and would definitely meet up with them again sometime, as for the others, I hope never to be on vacation with people as rude as that again!

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