Cruise Ship Reviews

We created this special category of reviews due to the special nature of cruise ships and their increasing popularity as a travel choice. Having been on a number of cruise ships/lines around the world, we have rated both the cruise line overall and each ship we have been on. We hope it is helpful to you. We encourage people to send their experiences to us so we can share them with our other readers.

Carnival Cruises

Carnival sometimes gets a bad rap for being a bit low frills. Well, the truth is, it is all about style. Carnival Cruises can be great if that is the style of vacation you want. Yes, the decor is a little loud and the food is average for those used to fine dining, but for those not used to such sophisticated things you will love it. Of all of the cruise lines, it is the most like Vegas at sea. The staff and crew on each ship really work hard to ensure that you have a great vacation. It is really an excellent travel bargain. Set your expectations low and you will be really surprised by how much Carnival will exceed them. We give it a rating of 3 rolls.


The Fascination is a ship sailing from Miami doing the 3 and 4-day run to the Bahamas. All of the public facilities are well maintained and clean. Pool deck facilities sometimes get crowded and messy due to overuse. But you can always go back to your cabin if need be. Have no fear here.

User Friendliness = 3
Cleanliness = 3
Privacy = 3.5
Facilities = 3
Overall Rating = 3

Celebrity Cruises

This upscale line owned by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, originated with Greek owners. The famous X on the stack is really the greek letter Chi which was the first letter of the originators, the Chandris family. Noted for its fine food and elegant service, this cruise line has fallen a bit into the mainstream from its original vision. However, that does not mean that they do not deliver an excellent product for an incredible price. This cruise line has a special place in our hearts and we can't recommend it enough. The ships are beautiful and tasteful and the staff are pleasant. However, being mostly Eastern European, don't expect them to be overly friendly. It just isn't their way. Because their food and decor are so exceptional for a mainstream priced line, we give Celebrity a 4 out of 5 rating.


Soaring atriums, dazzling combinations of wood, glass and marble and state-of-the-art amenities are just a few of the delights you'll find aboard Century. Recognized among the top ships in the world, Century's expansive floor-to-ceiling windows and sweeping staircases provide a visually intoxicating backdrop for unforgettable vacation memories. Having spent a few trips on this great ship, we know that all of the public facilities are kept clean and are convenient when needed.

User Friendliness = 5
Cleanliness = 4.5
Privacy = 4
Facilities = 4
Overall Rating = 4

Costa Cruises

This line owned by Carnival Cruises is noted for its Italian heritage and style and is distinguished by blue "C" on the distinctive triple yellow stacks. Costa's ships are graced with innovative architecture and design, as well as grace and style not found on many mainstream cruise lines today. Well worth considering for your next vacation. Note that on cruises in the Mediterranean, the line caters to locals so English may not be the first language used onboard. For their design and architecture, we give Costa and 4 roll rating.

Costa Romantica

The public rooms on this ship are incredible. If you like modern Italian mode or style you will be in heaven. If not, try something else.

User Friendliness = 3.5
Cleanliness = 3.5
Privacy = 3
Facilities = 4
Overall Rating = 3.5

Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises is noted for its luxury and it does not disappoint. But note, you will pay for it. This line is VERY expensive but does not cater to poor folks like us. Offers a more adventurous destinations as well. If you've got the dough, go for it. Four out of 5 rolls for providing all of the amenities of a big ship but with an upscale product.

Crystal Symphony

On this ship, as with all of the Crystal line, you get the advantages of a bigger ship with out the crowds. Food and service are tops if you like being waited on a lot. Public facilities are up to speed. Watch out for lots of old people.

User Friendliness = 4
Cleanliness = 5
Privacy = 5
Facilities = 4
Overall Rating = 4

Norwegian Cruise Line

Now owned by Star Cruises, this originator in the industry is making a nice comeback due to its innovative onboard product. This review is brought to you courtesy of our Middle Eastern correspondent Cheech.

Norwegian Sky - Cabin 0209

'Cramped but comfortable'. This toilet is your private throne for one week aboard the ship. The benefits included a daily cleaning by the hotel cleaning crew, and plenty of toilet paper. Additionally, this toilet held some extra flushing power as well as a new safety feature. The lid of the toilet must be closed in order to flush. Downside was the fact that the overall bathroom was very cramped, and if you think you can take a load off and have your significant other brush her teeth in the same bathroom, you are sorely mistaken. Outside of that, and no padded seat or Charmin, it was home away from home.

User Friendliness = 4
Cleanliness = 5
Privacy = 5
Facilities = 4
Overall Rating = 4

Royal Caribbean Cruises

Known as the "other" cruise line to Carnival, Royal Caribbean offers a good product at a good price. Their older ships are horribly dated looking but their new ships are super nice. Royal Caribbean's style is a bit vanilla compared to Carnival but it is hard to go wrong with this company. A good solid 3 rolls.

Majesty of the Seas

Having sailed on this ship a few times, we know it to be a bit dated compared to all of the new ships introduced by Royal Caribbean and other lines. That being said, the staff and crew were well trained and friendly. All of the public facilities are reasonably well kept and convenient.

User Friendliness = 3
Cleanliness = 3
Privacy = 3
Facilities = 3
Overall Rating = 3

Empress of the Seas

Formerly know as the Nordic Empress, this ship has (hopefully) undergone extensive renovations. When we sailed on it a few times it was doing the 3 and 4-day run out of Miami and was known (deservedly so) as a party ship for both the crew and passengers. Compared to other Royal Caribbean ships, the food really suffered here and the decor was right out of a 1970s vomit inducing acid trip. Lots of mauve paisley. We hope that it has been improved over the years.

User Friendliness = 3
Cleanliness = 2
Privacy = 3
Facilities = 3
Overall Rating = 3

Star Cruises

I was lucky enough to cruise a bit out of Singapore with this popular local line dubbed the Carnival of Asia. It was a strange experience compared to the cruising I was used to. For instance, these ships cater mostly to Chinese gamblers. This means that regular cabins get stuffed with eight or so people who will "hot bunk" meaning taking turns sleeping while the others are gambling. Also, there are many casinos throughout the ships, with escalating levels of exclusivity going all the way up to private rooms. The food had a distinctive Asian flare as well and replacing the all you can eat buffets we might be used to, they use a ticket system. Otherwise the Chinese would eat up all of the profits. To get a cabin that we would consider a normal one, you have to stay in their "club" level. However, despite all of the differences, this was still a cruise. And a good one at that. If you ever get the chance to go to Singapore, try a Star Cruise. A solid 3 rolls.

SuperStar Gemini

Like any other modern cruise ship, the facilities are convenient and well kept. Have no fear here.

User Friendliness = 3
Cleanliness = 3
Privacy = 3
Facilities = 3
Overall Rating = 3

SuperStar Pisces

Like any other moderen cruise ship, the facilities are convenient and well kept. Have no fear here.

User Friendliness = 3
Cleanliness = 3
Privacy = 3
Facilities = 3
Overall Rating = 3

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