So we had to do another visa run for our 90 days and I decided we need to do something a little fun and make it a really good trip. I’m tired of these stupid border runs that are long days and where you just feel so exhausted and drained when it is done and its just stupid in my opinion. Our paperwork is in and yet when we got back the border official only gave us 60 days and the only reason she gave us that was because we are leaving again in May. I have a feeling she would have given us less time. Which is really stupid as she looked over our residency paperwork so she knew we put in our papers almost a year ago! Not my fault it hasn’t been completed yet! Hello? I digress from the real reason of this post.
OK, the title kind of says it all. If it wasn’t for the company of my wonder wife and two female friends this trip would have been called, “The Cruise from HELL”. So because of the company I kept it is just the worst cruise ever. Let me tell you it was. So lets take this point by point shall we.
Arrival at the dock we got here very early. Everything went pretty well the person who took our luggage was very nice, funny, and just started us off on the right foot. So I thought, “OK cool this is going to be a good trip.” So we get inside and we get checked in. Again bright, cheerful, funny and happy people. I’m feeling good about this trip. Then we get to the waiting area.
They have a lot of drink for you some water and what I think was orange juice and coffee. OH the coffee was horrible! We drink some water while we wait, and wait, and wait. Yes we did get there early and so did so many others. Its time and they start to call group numbers. When you come in they give you a plastic card with a number. We were number 13! Hey I am cool with that. I have no superstitions about 13. We watch as the 1st group is called and the people hand the nice gentleman their cards and pass on though. Now the guy calling the group numbers off either didn’t have a command of the English language or just was very confused as a couple of times he either forgot number or called off the wrong ones. Since they were going in order not sure how that could happen. Here is my biggest issue. People would go up to the man collecting the numbers and hand him theirs. Theirs were not yet called. He only turned on couple away. Its not like the people he let in had disabilities or were older or anything like that. I would not have cared if someone who was disabled or who was much older got in ahead of me. He allowed people with group numbers higher than our to enter both at the time a number was called and in between numbers being called. That did not make me happy as I sit in the hard chairs waiting like a good person for my number to be called.
We arrive and it was not clear as to where to go. So we headed to our cabin. Nope that was not what we were suppose to do. Again was not clearly stated nor was there any guidance once you got on the ship as to where to go.
So we hit the cafe while we wait to be told we can go to our rooms which we had already done and dropped off our carry on luggage. So the cafe was ok. My only issue with the Cafe was it didn’t really change. Breakfast and lunch was always the exact same food. No variation to it at all. No special events or themes. Just same stuff over and over and over. So I age the same stuff every morning and for every lunch. We would meet our friends there for Breakfast and our conversations would take us well into lunch time. So we would eat lunch there as well. The food was ok. Nothing great and nothing amazing about it. So as you can see not the best looking food an it really had no flavor to it at all. We never saw the lobster or shrimp back at all on the cruise. So it was just for the 1st lunch. We ate lunch every day in the Cafe.
So lets talk a little about the rooms. We had a family mini suite. I am so glad I got that! It was small enough and I couldn’t image if we had 1 or two kids with us, as I would have killed them both by the end of the cruise had we been in that confined space. Overall the room was nice. We got it as it had a balcony and boy was that tiny as well. You had two chairs and you had to sit facing each other as the chairs really would not have fit side by side. Here are some pictures of the room and as you can see it is a nice room other than size no complaints and for two people the size was fine. I also didn’t know that there was drawers under the bed and under the sofa to store you clothing. So we lived out of our suite cases the entire time. Someone should have mentioned that to us. 🙂
Now our room steward was a pleasure to have! He was friendly and nice and greeted us and wished us well and left us little notes on our towel animals. I loved that he tore up paper and made eyes on them for us. Gave them such a nice touch. I can’t rave about him more. Now our traveling companions had a horrible steward. They had to ask for things, he never smiled and never really did anything and tried to stay out of sight. Not really good in my opinion. Now look at these lovely little creatures our wonderful steward made for us! I liked the sexy bunny and the dog the best! You know why I liked the dog. 😉
The design of the ship was ok. We were lucky and our rooms were right near the elevator. Here is my problem with the design of the the ship. There was no center elevator! There were only two one aft and one forward so if you had to get anywhere you had to go to one end or the other end of the ship. So there was lots of walking going on. God forbid you confused your aft and forward it was double the walk. I did mix them up as in thought something was after and it was really forward so walked from forward to aft, got on elevator got off and had to walk all the way forward again. I know I need the exercise, but really? We couldn’t put something in the center of the ship? There was a stairway from deck 6 to 7 I believe but that was it. I did use them a couple of times, but some of the companions I was traveling with could not take the steps. Here are just a few random shots of the ship and nothing to get excited about.
Lets get to the meat and potatoes of why we all cruise. THE FOOD!!!!!!! If you love food on a cruise you may want to take another cruise as this one is not for you! We not only ate at the Cafe, but many but not all of the specialty restaurants. I was not impressed by any of them at all. One or two were good, but not for the additional fee you had to pay which ranged from $10 to $20 a person to eat in them. I already paid a hefty price to be on this ship and now you are going to charge me more to eat in a restaurant with sub standard food and sub standard service? Yep not a good experience. If you know me you know I like taking pictures of the food I eat. I have very few food pictures to show you. 😦 It just was not that impressive and it was not that good. So here is what I took.
Yep other than the ones a the top of this post that is all the food pictures I too. Sorry my foodie friends it just wasn’t impressive. Its not like I forgot my camera or something as it was tied to my wrist the entire trip. Most trips I have min 300 pictures of the places and food this trip I did like 100. So lets talk about the specialty restaurants we went to.
Cagney’s: Steak house Price $30 per person adults and $15 per child.
Here is a link to the PDF for the restaurant: Cagneys_Getaway_04032014
Our table had the following:
Wagyu Beef Sliders* CARAMELIZED RED ONIONS | APPLE & CELERY SLAW was my appetizer and it was not wagyu that I could tell. I have had some amazing $60 an ounce stuff. This may have been the lowest of the low quality, but did not have much taste and it was not as tender as it should have been.
Shrimp Cocktail JACK DANIEL’STM COCKTAIL SAUCE was the appetizer of my companions and they said it was nothing to really write home about.
Arugula Salad SHAVED PEAR | RED BELL PEPPER | RED ONIONS | SPRING ONIONS | RASPBERRY VINAIGRETTE it was a salad. Nothing special really.
New York Strip* – 14oz Cajun Seasoned (spicy) was my dinner. It was cooked the way I liked it medium rare. I had a line of gristle down one side that I couldn’t cut with a steak knife. I had to trim it away myself. You would have thought the chef would have done that before serving it. The seasoning was not spicy at all! I like things very hot, but this had no real heat at all. I’m not 100% sure it was a 14oz steak either. It was rather small if you ask me.
Filet Mignon* – 8oz Simply Grilled is what my wife had and it was good she said.
Double Cut Lamb Chops* EGGPLANT & ZUCCHINI LAYERS | BAKED GARLIC | LAMB JUS our friend really did rave much about this said it was OK.
I think this is what our other friend had, but not sure. Grilled Garlic Shrimp ORZO PILAF | GARLIC & BLACK PEPPER BUTTER | LEMON ZEST Again I’m not sure as she didn’t really say anything about her dish.
My wife did get with hers a head of roasted garlic and it was pretty good so I ordered two of those. 🙂 Yes I ate two heads of roasted garlic! I love Garlic. That was nice of them to bring that out for me.
The service in this restaurant was good. Our waitress was attentive and she was nice. I’m sorry you think about the price of the cruise and you add $30 per person and its not worth eating at.
Illusionarium: Price was $40 per person (I not sure it may have been $45) for adults and not sure what the kids price was.
This has a set menu so there were no choices to be had. It started with a plate of prosciutto and tomatoes with mozzarella cheese and balsamic vinegar. It was than followed up by a filet with shrimp and a dessert with a mix of items on it. I ate the shrimp and I picked at the steak as it was over cooked because she didn’t bother to ask me how I wanted it. She just brought out the food. There were not asking of question or of what I would like to have. Nothing was impressive at all about the food. Service was ok seemed a bit of a performance as well so it was timed. Could have filled my glass of soda more, but it was OK.
Now the show on the other hand if you like magic this is the place to go. I loved the show. It wasn’t just 5 magicians performing, but a story they were telling from beginning to end and the wrote in the magician acts. You will be amazed and excited. You will love the show. Go for that, but not the food! Would I do it again? Yes for the show, but again the price not so sure about. Oh and no one wanted to see the show so I went alone. 🙂 Seated me at a table for 8 all by myself!
La Cucina: Cuisine: Italian Price per Guest: $15 Adults | $7.5 Children
Here is the link for the PDF of the menu LaCucina_Getaway_04032014
So that table had the following as a meal:
Fried Calamari — Garlic Aioli, Crisp Italian Parsley was nice and had a good taste to it and it wasn’t rubbery! Always a plus!
Beef Carpaccio* — Arugula, Mustard Vinaigrette was very nice had a good flavor
Insalata Fresca — F risèe, Spinach, Arugula, Shaved Pear, Red Bell Pepper, Parmigiano Reggiano, Mustard and Lime Vinaigrette was actually a salad to write home about.
Meatballs — Rigatoni, Housemade Meatballs, Tomato and Basil Sauce this was a meal, but I wanted to taste the meatballs so they brought me a small bowl of this. It was really good. The meatballs were tasty, the sauce was nice and the pasta was cooked to perfection.
Ossobuco Gremolata — Veal Shank, Creamy Polenta was had by my wife and our friend. Again it was just OK nothing to write home about.
Ribeye Steak* 14oz — Polenta Al Formaggio, Garlic Butter is what I think our other friend had, but again don’t remember as she really didn’t say much about it.
Tiramisù — Lady Fingers, Espresso, Mascarpone Cream was what our friends ordered and they said it was OK and they didn’t eat much of it.
Affogato — Vanilla, Chocolate or Macadamia Nut Ice Cream, topped with Espresso yes I got this and I was not impressed at all and if you do get it don’t put the Espresso on it. The coffee and espresso on this ship is horrible.
We had OK service in this restaurant and we were placed at a table way in the back in a corner. Didn’t really like that, but we had a view of the ocean so it was OK. I’m not sure why we got that table as we ate early about 6pm and there was hardly anyone in the restaurant. Would I go back? Yes and I think the food was of a quality that it was worth the additional price. I hate paying additional when I am on a cruise but it seems they all are doing this now.
La Bistro: Cuisine: French Price per Guest: $20 Adults | $10 Children
Not even going to try and explain what we had here. The food was horrible. The service was terrible an so bad we had to talk to the manager. It took 1/2 hour before someone come over to take our drink orders, than another 1/2 hour for our food order and than 45 min to get our 1st dish. He never came by and filled our drinks unless we pulled him over. Again it was not busy. We ate dinners at 6 pm. Seemed like a lot of people on the ship were eating a lot later. Not worth the price, not worth the trouble just really don’t go to this one at all!!!!!!!!!!!!
Teppanyaki: Cuisine: Teppanyaki Price per Guest: $25 Adults | $12.5 Children
So this was your typical hibachi type place. Pretty standard food. You had your shrimp, steak, fish, rice, veggies, soup, etc. Nothing amazing about this place so I would not spend the extra money to eat here if you have already been to a hibachi type place. This is very loud place. Each table has two chef’s that work it at the same time! Not my favorite setup. The food was good. Here is a video of what our Chef did.
O’Sheehans Bar and Grill: Cuisine: Irish Cost: Complimentary
This was the place we ate dinner at the 1st night on the ship. It was ok. We came because they advertised Prime Rib. So we had to go. No we didn’t. They do it pretty much every night. Its their thing. Wasn’t good. The service was ok not great so really don’t even bother. We did have lunch here one day and it was not worth it either. Salad was lousy and their wings they say is spicy, but it wasn’t. Really not worth going to even if it is included in the price of the cruise.
That is pretty much were we ate. After eating at these places we didn’t want to spend more money on food and service we were not going to like. So we never even bothered to try the other places on the ship. Just wasn’t worth the price of admission and especially not worth the up charge you will have to pay!
So I am not going to list and go into all the various clubs and bars on the ship. None of them are really worth going to. You really do not want to go to the Bliss bar! Stay away especially if you are prone to seizures! It is horrible.
The ice bar may have been something cool and interesting to do once. See what I did there I made a funny. OK so I think I made a funny. Whatever! 🙂 It cost $20 to go in and you only get 2 drinks and since none of us were really drinkers we didn’t go in. Not sure how I would have looked in the poncho they put you in. 🙂
Entertainment was horrible on the ship as well. We went to a number of the trivia games and they were a joke, the bingo was a joke.
The shows were a joke with the exception of the Illusionarium and the Comedy show was pretty good. I did enjoy the comedy from the professionals! The crew on the other hand and mainly the cruise director was horrible!!!!!!!!!!!!! Joey was Ok, but the rest was just bad!!!!!!
So they did do a fireworks show one night. It was short and sweet, but it was enjoyable. Do not expect some huge show. You are on a cruise ship people. The finally was not that spectacular, but it was a nice touch and we enjoyed it. Here is some video I took of that.
So lets wrap this one up. The steward we had was amazing, only 1 of the 29 restaurants did I really enjoy, service was crappy, crew was very unhappy and just an overall bad experience for the price of admission and all the up charges.