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468 Asia Luxury Cruise Reviews

First of all, this idiot company planned an itinerary which would have brought us to a Korean port on a national Korean Holliday, something that should have been known well in advance. Then after paying for the voyage and the refund ... Read More
First of all, this idiot company planned an itinerary which would have brought us to a Korean port on a national Korean Holliday, something that should have been known well in advance. Then after paying for the voyage and the refund deadline passing, they tell the paid up passengers that the only Korean port is cancelled because it falls on a Korean National Holliday. How was this not known in advance? Why wait till everyone is paid up and then announce the itinerary change? Next, the food is the worst I’ve ever had at sea. Everything is unseasoned and cooked to death, ostensibly to please the many Australian/British passengers. The blandest food I have ever tasted - we’re talking “home-for-the-aged quality”. No herbs, no spice, no salt. It’s like they have a flavor extractor in the kitchen. Canned cat food would probably have more flavor. Deserts are hideous gelatin and cornstarch monstrosities - for example: we’re talking custard that is so rubbery you can take a spoonful, bang it facedown on a plate, and the custard bounces back without a dent — total over-gelatined rubber. Towels in the bathroom on this new ship are like sandpaper. How do you even find towels like that? The room is nicely appointed and modern. The staff seems nice enough, but are forgetful and disorganized. I would be asked 4 times by 4 different people if I’d like something to drink then watch all the tables seated after me get served while I’m ignored and have to get up ad go to the service area to get my own coke or water. Need silverware! Plan on getting that for yourself too. This happened multiple times during the first 5 days. I’ve got over a week to go with this terrible food and bad service. Worst cruise decision in 30 years of cruising. Carnival would have even been better. How did viking make the best cruise line list? Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Having been on several river cruises with Viking which we love doing, we thought we’d book an Ocean cruise with Viking for our ruby wedding anniversaries. . We were a bit frustrated before going on the cruise owing to the system in place ... Read More
Having been on several river cruises with Viking which we love doing, we thought we’d book an Ocean cruise with Viking for our ruby wedding anniversaries. . We were a bit frustrated before going on the cruise owing to the system in place for booking trips. Seemed to be class driven. I.e. the more you paid the better the choice. We couldn’t book a morning trip on all the included trips and some of the paid trips. In fact some of the trips we had booked paid or otherwise were changed by the time we got on board. We had to faff about getting them organised to suit. Wasn’t too much of a problem but we felt the poor girl on guest services must have dreaded seeing us coming towards her. The excursions were good but the qv’s were a disaster. The guides were knowledgeable and fun on the coach but unless you were on their shoulders you couldn’t hear anything, too much static. The excursions were extremely busy too. Had a wonderful cruise on board the Orion. Great cabin, crew, and entertainment. Captain made a good choice by sailing to our second port of call to miss the typhoon that hit Tokyo. All the ports of call were superb but must say Taipei and Hong Kong were favourites. The food was good too but I felt this was the only thing that let you down. The temperature for me was warm as opposed to being hot. Some of the dishes in the world buffet for example the main roast of the day was served very rare. Not good. Some of the meals in the pool area were cooked to order but it was so hot in there that the “sides” were sitting out in all that heat so not too appetising at all. I had a chicken tikka and it was literally skin and bones. Yuk. Don’t get me wrong the chefs would cook you anything asked for which was great and hot but the sides were cool. The seafood dishes and sushi were all fantastic, they were served cold just as they should’ve. The restaurant was disappointing too it was cold in some of the areas and the food was served lukewarm at breakfast and dinner. Service was good at breakfast but a lot slower at dinner. We asked for a Sauvignon Blanc only to be told there wasn’t any so had a different wine which was nice too as is all the wines on offer but disappointed with not getting what we asked for especially when we got it later on in the bar. Enjoyed movies under the stars. The waiter guys up in explorers lounge were fabulous. Robin the whale and dolphin man was lovely. Even though we didn’t see too many whales or dolphins. The doctor was a fun chap. Something else!! This was a special cruise for our ruby wedding anniversaries and overall we did enjoy ourselves but would have to think again before booking a Viking ocean cruise. I don’t feel the experience we’ve had on the river boats have carried well on to the Ocean cruise ships. We maybe expected too much. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had one of the best cabin attendants ever on Viking cruises. Lectures were not as good as previous cruises. Limited activities during sea days. Ongoing ship information by the captain very good considering typhoon in area. Embark ... Read More
We had one of the best cabin attendants ever on Viking cruises. Lectures were not as good as previous cruises. Limited activities during sea days. Ongoing ship information by the captain very good considering typhoon in area. Embark and disembark very organized and quick. Music by individual piano, violin, and guitar very enjoyable late day and evening. Selected night entertainers very good. . . . .don't need the large group stage shows. Excursions guides very good, well organized leaving and return on time. Site visits excellent and informative even with limited time frame. Would like to have more time in Nagasaki. Speaker at the library was excellent even with interpreters assisting. Hong Kong excursion to Aberdeen was outstanding and a great guide for information provided, managing the group, time at each stop, and general fun to be with on bus. Departure to Hong Kong airport managed very well considering possible protestor problems Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our holiday was for myself, my husband and my three sons (17, 22 and 25) in two parts booked through cruise.co.uk. The first part was a 10 day, all inclusive tour around China. Our second part of the holiday was a seven day cruise ... Read More
Our holiday was for myself, my husband and my three sons (17, 22 and 25) in two parts booked through cruise.co.uk. The first part was a 10 day, all inclusive tour around China. Our second part of the holiday was a seven day cruise aboard the Voyager of the Seas which we boarded at Hong Kong. I have cruised many times with Royal Caribbean and have, in fact, been on this actual ship. All previous cruises have been excellent and of an equally great standard that I have come to expect from Royal Caribbean. On this part of the holiday we were joined by my parents who had travelled separately to Hong Kong in order to enjoy the cruise with my family. At no time were we informed that this ship was about to go into dry dock for a major refurbishment and serious repairs STATE ROOMS When booking this holiday with cruise.co.uk, we explained that while we were happy for my three sons to share a room, they were adults and, putting it bluntly, quite large! Adam understood our requirements and sold us a balcony grade cabin for myself and my husband and a panoramic suite that could sleep 6 for my three sons to share. At the time of booking Adam explained that he could not get a room number for the panoramic suite although he guided us to the ‘deck plans’ and explained it would either be state room number 1804 or 1814 on deck 12, just a few doors down from our state room. He explained that although room 1814 was officially a disabled cabin, it had much larger floor space so would accommodate my three sons. On our invoice, we were never provided with a room number for this room. We paid more for this room as it was so much larger. Upon arrival on the ship, my sons were allocated room 1852 which while panoramic, was not a suite that slept 6. The staff told me it could sleep 4 although we soon found out that with only two beds and one small sofa that could only be converted into a single bed, it only could sleep 3. The floor space was exactly the same size as our balcony grade cabin. The staff were very unhelpful explaining that there were no other rooms available as the ship was full to capacity. We later found out that there were actually 400 rooms unallocated on that ship that week. We believe we were miss sold this room under the pretence it was bigger than the balcony grade cabin and could sleep 6 people. We most definitely paid more money than our balcony grade cabin which was the same size. We expect to be reimbursed for this. LIFTS We were on the 12th deck so obviously lifts were a necessity. On day one, all of the panoramic central view lifts were suddenly covered in a green netting that stretched from the top deck to the bottom. We were informed that they were being repaired. We established, by talking to the engineers and taking photos and videos that these lifts were NOT under repair but were actually being ripped out in readiness for the ship to go into dry dock in a week’s time. Two of the other lifts didn’t work at all and one of those broke down completely within a couple of days. One lift wouldn’t go passed deck 10. Being on deck 12, I’m sure you can understand the inconvenience this caused not to mention the sight and noise of workmen carrying out a complete rip out right in the middle of your holiday FOOD - Windjammer There are many areas where food can be obtained and the Windjammer Restaurant is the self service restaurant on deck 11. The food looked plentiful and nicely presented however, it was nearly all cold and on occasions, undercooked. We were told that hot plates were no longer working and some of the ovens were soon to be replaced. This response did not help us in any way at all. My husband was continually frustrated to get a plate full of food, find a seat to sit and eat it, only to find it cold and disgusting. It was then that we noticed the lack of staff in the restaurant. Plates were not getting cleared away from tables, spillages were having warning signs placed over them but not getting cleared up and the water/tea station was continually unmanned. FOOD - Johnny Rockets We decided the only way to get a decent hot meal would be to pay the additional price in order to visit one of the 4 speciality restaurants on board. Unfortunately, this was also a disaster! We visited Johnny Rockets - a burger bar restaurant with a $10 surcharge. The place had few customers, the waitress spoke very little English and the chef was busy fussing over one beef burger when we walked in. We sat at the counter and tried to order - the waitress could not understand why we would want our fries WITH our burger - surely we would want them as a starter? We looked around and could see other guests munching on just chips and overheard them all complaining about when their burger was going to be served. This restaurant was advertised as an authentic, American burger joint yet the staff had absolutely no idea how burger and fries were meant to be served and consumed! We waited 25 minutes for the chef to cook the burger - we watched as he used his spatular to scoop up a raw chicken breast, slap it on the griddle next to our burger and then proceed to turn our burger with the same spatular. I don’t think any more needs to be said about Johnny Rockets other than it was a total let down. Again, staffing seemed to be the issue. FOOD - Sapphire Restaurant We had booked my time dining. This means that you can reserve a table the day before. This is a practice that I have often used and has always worked efficiently in the passed. On this cruise however, the queues of guests outside the restaurant all waiting to be taken to their pre-booked table was ridiculous!. You expect queues outside the other restaurants when there are allotted seated times - often a hundred or more guests would be waiting for the 6pm sitting and would then all be let in at once. But you do not expect this in the ‘my time’ dining room. Yet again, lack of staff was the issue. Once shown to our table we again experienced a lack of staff - no wine waiter or water waiter. I got up twice to get my own water. The one waiter we had was very over worked. When food arrived after a long wait it was often cold and inedible. We complained several times and eventually the restaurant manager, Ellen came to our table and listened carefully to our grievances. We told her we would be unable to risk eating in the restaurant again and would have to purchase the food package which enabled us to eat at the speciality restaurants at an additional surcharge. Ellen almost begged us to give her another chance to prove the restaurant was worth another visit so two days later we tried again. Firstly, the seven of us were showed to a table that could only sit five people comfortably yet they had squeezed seven place settings on. We complained and were moved to a table that could comfortably seat 12 guests although was only partially laid up for eight. Again, we had to serve ourselves water and again the wine waiter had to be called and called and when he finally arrived asked US to write what we wanted on his pad as he couldn’t understand English!!! Our meal was late and the starters were cold. We complained again but was told this time there was a severe shortage of staff and that everyone was doing their best. This was really not acceptable and made our complete dining experience on the ship appalling. FOOD - CHOPS GRILLE As the food and service was so appalling on the ship, we had no option other than to pay (at a considerable cost of £380 - invoice enclosed) for a ‘food package’. This entitled us to eat at the three main speciality restaurants over three nights. Unfortunately it appeared that most guests had the same idea so Chops restaurant was so busy we were only able to book the whole family in for one of the nights. We wanted to book for our last night but they had already filled their books by day two of the cruise!. Our experience in Chops was what we would expect from Royal Caribbean - food was beautiful, staff attentive and service fast. What a shame the rest of the ship couldn’t be like this and what a shame they were so booked up that we couldn’t enjoy good food on our last night FOOD - IZUMI Another of the three specialist restaurants was Izumi, a Japanese restaurant. Food here was very good - we noticed most of the staff from the Captain’s Bridge were in there. Unfortunately service was appalling. It took ages to get a drink and even longer to get the food. We wouldn’t have eaten in there at all had we been able to get a table at Chops FOOD - GIOVANNI’S TABLE The last on the list of the three specialist restaurants. Menu seemed limited and again service was far too slow. Our booking was for 8.30pm but we were left standing for 15minutes while the maitre d took someone’s order. Again, short staffed. STAFFING After realising that most problems encountered on our ship were due to staffing, we decided to complain at the main desk. Queues here were always long but after a 30 minute wait we were finally seen. It was established that the ship was seriously understaffed due to another cruise liner enlisting the more experienced staff in order to ensure their maiden voyage did not receive any criticism! We were assured that the staffon board were qualified although some were new to their positions. When we started speaking to staff, it came to light that a large proportion of staff had originally been ‘cleaning staff’ who had been bumped up recently to fill in for the short fall in serving staff. This would account for the amount of staff unable to communicate with us due to their lack of English. It would also account for the poor service being received in every area of the ship. In the spa area there was only one hairdresser working and he informed us that he had originally been contracted to work until December but had only recently been told that the ship was going into dry dock so would be leaving his position then. He said that the other hairdressers and spa consultants (there was only one who could give pedicures) had all left the ship back in Hong Kong SHORE EXCURSIONS One of the most important aspects of a cruise is the shore excursions. These excursions are advertised a few weeks prior to the cruise departing via an online brochure. The information available is fairly minimal. It should be noted that most excursions were marked as ‘booked’ before we even boarded the ship. It was established, once on board, that this wasn’t the case but unfortunately led to unreasonably long queues of guests trying to book tours at the tour desk. As it was unclear which tours would be the best to choose, we decided to attend the one hour meeting held on the first day in the ship’s theatre. This meeting is normally held by the cruise director where they explain in detail the different tours available, show a video of passed tours and generally help sell the excursions. If you are unable to attend this meeting, there is always a video on loop on your state room television. Ufnfortuanlaty, our tv didn’t work at first and once it did there was absolutely no mention of any of the tours on any of the channels - we complained at guest services but they were unsure what we were talking about. I assumed that possibly cruising to Vietnam was quite a new thing for Royal Caribbean and they were yet to produce a promotional video (?). Whilst still unsure what tours to book, we decided to attend the meeting in the theatre - this was a total waste of time as the cruise director was not on board. As a replacement, we were presented on a stage with a gentleman that spoke very little English. He embarrassingly read through the information brochure we had been given and showed some photographs that were also already in the brochure. He could provide no additional information and was unable to sell any tours. We complained to guest services who explained that the main tour manager was not on board the ship. All of the tours were very expensive so we wanted to choose the right ones. There were five of us (seven including my parents) so this could prove to be a costly mistake. We queued at the ‘shore excursions desk’ but was greeted with another member of staff, who while friendly, really didn’t have a clue about the difference between the excursions. It was quite apparent that Royal Caribbean were also using the cheap option when it came to docking the ship and rather than dock at the more expensive ports, were docking at the cheaper more industrial sites. This in turn pushed the price of the tours up as buses had to be taken with at least a two hour journey to get to any destination. To add salt to the wound, on our final day at sea, once we had sailed well away from Vietnam, the tv in our state room started to show videos of the trips we could have gone on! It was such unnecessary incompetence and due totally to a lack of staff CLEANLINESS OF THE SHIP When a ship docks and guests disembark for a day’s tour, it is normal practise to clean the boat and carry out necessary repairs whilst all is fairly quiet on board. This did not happen once during our whole cruise. It became quite obvious that no one gave a damn about the condition the boat was in or the cleanliness of the boat. Windows were left filthy and rust was evident everywhere. The ceilings in the main dining room were damp and stained and gave a general impression of a very unhygienic area to eat. Plates, cups and old food was constantly being left lying around and tables were rarely wiped. As well as the lifts being out of action there was also a problem with the air conditioning and constantly we would be tripping over portable air conditioning units placed around the ship. The outside of the ship was a total mess too and not once was the pully system lowered to clean the outside windows or ship. It was also very noticeable, as a previous guest with Royal Caribbean, that no effort was being made on the ship. No speciality events were on offer or any of the little extras that are normally available to guests. Small things like changing the ‘day of the week’ plate within the lifts was never done - each lift had a different day in it! It was made so very apparent that all the staff just couldn’t wait to get off the ship as they were feeling very overworked and harassed. We frequently heard guests being rude to bar staff simply out of frustration at not getting served. We had purchased the drinks package at a total cost of £1200 but it was useless trying to get a drink within half an hour. Where a bar would normally have at least four or five working, there would be only one. All the above is understandable for a ship about to go into dry dock but totally unacceptable to guests on board who have paid full price and expect the best attention, top quality food and comfortable and beautiful surroundings. What was most certainly not expected nor acceptable was shabby, poorly maintained surroundings, substandard food and poorly trained, inattentive staff. I ensured that I followed the complaints procedure and at every chance made my grievances known. A member of Royal Caribbean staff, on my very last day of cruising, offered to send me and my family a voucher off a future cruise. This offer was declined as I felt it was insufficient compensation. Regardless, the vouchers have been sent through to my email address and I, in turn, have returned the email rejecting these vouchers. I find the offer of the vouchers particularly insulting as one of them was for £1. I believe I did not receive the holiday I paid for so I have made an official complaint. I am seeking full compensation for loss of enjoyment, inconvenience, disappointment, loss of value and out of pocket expenses. I included photographic and video evidence in support of my claim and also some of the receipts for out of pocket expenses. I am hoping they respond within 7 days....we shall see Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The itinerary was the reason for this cruise, even in this time of the year without cherry blossoms or Indian summer colors (too late, too early). It was a time of intense activity as there was another port every day and the climate which ... Read More
The itinerary was the reason for this cruise, even in this time of the year without cherry blossoms or Indian summer colors (too late, too early). It was a time of intense activity as there was another port every day and the climate which was hot and humid made it streneous as well. We knew the Quest from one other cruise, our other 18 cruises with Azamara we have had with Journey and Pursuit. This time the food was awsome, Chef Colin surprised us every day with local cuisine dishes which led us not to book the speciality restaurants but use the Discovery restaurant every evening. Service in the restaurant and bars was very good, we only found one person which was not smiling at all the entire cruise. In regard to entertainment we went to the Living Room every night and found the live band "The Smooth Sensations" as the best we ever had on an Azamara ship, hope to see them again soon. The sound volume of the pianist and singer in The Den we found disturbing loud and unpleasant. We enjoyed the live music of traditional Japanese koto. In general the temperature on deck 5 was by far to low, lots of people caught colds and asking to increase the temperature brought no result during the entire cruise. So bring a lot of sweaters and jackets and ask for blankets in the restaurant. The Azamazing evening took place in Busan/South Korea with stunning performances of music and taek won do. Also the white night party was a success. We had booked shore excursions privately with local english speaking guides and were very satisfied with the results. We found an American couple to take part so the costs were reasonable compared to excursions the ship offered and we could take influence on what to see or not. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because it was next on our bucket list. We really wanted to know Japan, not just from Tokyo, but from the aspect of the people in the smaller towns and ports. We have also had great experiences with the Intensive ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was next on our bucket list. We really wanted to know Japan, not just from Tokyo, but from the aspect of the people in the smaller towns and ports. We have also had great experiences with the Intensive cruise on Azamara in the past. We hold Azamara to a very high standard based on past sailings. This cruise met and exceeded our expectations. The high points are as follows 1. The food in Discoveries has greatly improved with Azamaras new policy of giving the executive chefs free reign. Chef Colin and his crew executed imaginative menus. The food and service in prime C and Aquafina was as expected....flawless and delicious! 2. White night was a blast! The captain delayed it twice due to weather concerns. He was right and the weather was perfect. Again, freedom to act. 3. The azamazing evening in Busan combined unusual and imaginative Korean traditional music and dance with a truly amazing performance by the Korean university Tae Kwan Do team. 4.Shore excursions were executed flawlessly. My Daised and Kyoto were 2 of the many highlights. 5. The visibility of the officers of the ship makes the Quest different from all other cruise lines. They are always there to give a helping hand or just to talk. A perfect example was clearing Korean customs. I could go on but I think you all get the message. Go for the adventure. If you expect shows and glitz and the other trapping of superficiality, choose another cruise line. If you really want to have great food, great service and immersion into culture, this is your ship! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Had always wanted to visit Vietnam / Cambodia but wanted to do it guided. had never been on a Scenic Cruise before but the “all inclusive” Scenic package really appealed. To be truthful I had no idea how all inclusive it would be ... Read More
Had always wanted to visit Vietnam / Cambodia but wanted to do it guided. had never been on a Scenic Cruise before but the “all inclusive” Scenic package really appealed. To be truthful I had no idea how all inclusive it would be but if you chose not to buy souvenirs or a drink in a bar when off ship then there was very little need to take cash. We budgeted for some spending but returned home spending very little at all. They say inclusive but I did not expect top shelf drinks including a gin menu, yes a menu there were that many to choose from. Food allergies were no problem either with a super attentive and highly skilled chef ensuring wonderful food. The level of service from all staff was exceptional, every cabin has its own butler, unpacking and room service drinks ....you don’t have to lift a finger. Great excursions and truly caring and memorable guides. In one word.....FAULTLESS......highly recommend Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
NEVER AGAIN!! Completed a segment of the Oceania Around the World 2019 cruise. Treated like a second class citizen by ATW Travelers who were given special privileges while the rest of us treated as if we did not belong despite the ... Read More
NEVER AGAIN!! Completed a segment of the Oceania Around the World 2019 cruise. Treated like a second class citizen by ATW Travelers who were given special privileges while the rest of us treated as if we did not belong despite the dollars paid being very high.(The ATW cruisers made up nearly 3/4 of the cruisers onboard) . Atmosphere onboard - us and them - it was dreadful. Crew extremely nervous of upsetting any ATW cruisers. Specialty restaurants completely empty by 9pm - no atmosphere with most ATW cruisers in bed by this time. Menus at Oceania Toscana restaurant not overhauled in 14 years. Food offering very “yesterday” very heavy. ATW given priority for all sittings at specialty restaurants before 8pm. Constantly asked by other cruisers and crew if we were “Seggies” the name given by ATW cruisers to the perceived “second class” i.e.those who were NOT on the ATW Cruise. Made very clear we should - stick together and not bother the ATW’s. At least there were many wonderful “Seggies” but all of us felt we were treated - differently -in all aspects of the day to day cruise life compared to our past crushing experiences. Shore excursions were outrageously overpriced and slow. Those with permanent injury and unable to walk unaided, taking excursions they could not complete without assistance. Ship encouraged it -simply money making. Entertainment onboard was very ordinary and if there were acts that invoked fun they were quickly told off by the ATW travelers via the Crusie Director making most entertainment bland and boring compared to other luxury cruises we have experienced. MOST DISGUSTING OF ALL was witnessing the BAD BEHAVIORS of grown Women to each other and the crew over OF ALL THINGS - NEEDLEPOINT. Crowd control became necessary after physical fighting and crying broke out over not getting their desired Needlepoint pattern. Ship made daily announcements about the need to obey security at the morning Needlepoint distribution. Very large groups of ATW women joining together- physically fighting, lying, pushing and shoving to gain advantage over others. Ongoing ridiculous abhorrent behavior that would seem funny BUT it was ugly to watch and unfortunately very TRUE!!! We also sadly paid handsomely for the privilege to witness this - ship could not control them. Clothes were stolen out of ships dryers and worn by other ATW passengers and when challenged they answered “ prove it’s yours “. ATW cruisers organized their own exclusive sessions onboard for various things taking over the use of public space and telling Seggies they must leave the area. Crew would tell us to move or the ATW people would make their lives hard. Yoga sessions were conducted by a passenger who was NOT a trained, sanctioned employee of Oceania. She and her ATW students demanded and were given exclusive use of the gym while not allowing Seggies to attend their sessions or access portion of the gyms common area during her sessions. Again we were told not to question it - they had priority. The list goes on -It was absolutely horrible !! More like traveling with a very self indulged group of Aged Care Retirement people. Never again!!. This was NOT - repeat NOT - a Luxury Cruise it was the Cruise from HELL! Travel on a segment of any ATW cruise with Oceania at your own risk. If you still have life in you and you wish to enjoy your hard earned vacation dollars in a good environment explore other cruise options. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The itinerary matched exactly the route (North Pacific) we desired especially Tokyo embarkation and Vancouver disembarkation ports. We had sailed on many Viking River cruises and we were confident that Viking Ocean would not disappoint. ... Read More
The itinerary matched exactly the route (North Pacific) we desired especially Tokyo embarkation and Vancouver disembarkation ports. We had sailed on many Viking River cruises and we were confident that Viking Ocean would not disappoint. We were not disappointed! The ships are beautiful, well appointed and with only 900 passengers they are a proper size for us. We love children but it was very nice and relaxing to have ALL passengers in the adult category. The mix of passengers were well traveled and so very nice to share dinners with strangers whom became friends before the evening was finished, The lectures were enjoyable and educational. Some of the best lecture programs on any cruise line we have been on. The entertainment was simple and extremely professional. The singing/dance performers were only 4 but gave us a better performance than big over the top huge groups on other luxury cruise lines. No photo taking....no casinos, no bingo, great lounge areas for relaxing are all pluses. A retractable roof over the pool and outdoor entertainment area is surely a plus. We were very pleased with all the food and eating venues on the Viking Orion but believe all Regent ships and on some Oceania ships the overall food is a small touch better. Since the completion of our first Viking Ocean cruise we have voted our approval by booking our next 2 Viking ocean cruises namely in January 2020 to the Caribbean and another cruise in May 2021 "Into the Midnight Sun". Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Japan, Eastern Russia and the Behring Sea. The ship was second to none, and I've sailed on many ocean cruises: 4 times on Princess (reasonably good for the money, but certainly not ... Read More
Chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Japan, Eastern Russia and the Behring Sea. The ship was second to none, and I've sailed on many ocean cruises: 4 times on Princess (reasonably good for the money, but certainly not great), 1 time on Celebrity (very good cruise line!), 1 time on Orient (now out of business - and with good reason), and 3 times on Oceania (also a very good cruise line -- but with several negatives which makes me wonder if I'll ever sail with Oceania again). But the best, by far, was Viking's Ocean ship - the Orion. Here's why: OLDER TRAVELERS. I'm a senior citizen (age 67 at the time) and this ship was great for older folks -- which is not to say that it's not also great for folks from about 35 years and older. But no children are permitted, so there was no crying children to cope with. My wife and I interacted with many others on this cruise and everyone was pleasant or nicer. I can't, of course, control who can sail on this cruise line, and one small group bothered me. I overheard them in the buffet restaurant complaining about a long delay to sail away from an Alaskan port -- and they were correct; it was a long delay. But they unanimously and loudly decided it was those "lazy union workers" at the port who were responsible even though there was no way for them to know. I've never been a union worker but to accuse anyone of something without evidence is just ignorant. I guess it takes all types to make a passenger list. SHIP. The ship is very well laid out. I love libraries on ships and on Viking there were little libraries all over the ship -- all with comfortable chairs and loungers, and friendly, attentive, unobtrusive drink service. Besides great libraries the décor was expensive but very tasteful. So many interesting pieces of art all over the ship, and great photos too. The interior of the ship was done in very warm, cozy colors. The gym was fantastic with just about any kind of machine you can want -- European style. I loved the fact that there was NEVER a line at the elevators! The stairs are right there, but if you want the ride, the elevators are fast and readily available -- even at meal time. FOOD. This is always of interest to travelers. I found that the food in the main dining room ranged from superb to rotten. Of course if you don't like your menu choice you can always get something else from that menu -- so you always have something at least "pretty good" to eat if not superb. The specialty restaurants were superb every time we went, and they don't cost extra to get in. But you do need reservations and at least BEORE the cruise you are limited in the number of reservations you can make in those specialty restaurants. After you're on the trip you can get extra reservations if available at the time you want. Another thing I liked about Viking Ocean cruises is the fact that in the restaurants (but not the buffet) if you're an anti-social sort (like me) you can always get a table for just you and your traveling companion. You can always opt to dine as part of a larger group, and if you want to dine with specific friends, that's always possible (if your friends like you enough). One other thing about the main dining room: it is NOT one large room; it is divided into five (or was it seven?) separate seating areas, so you never felt like you are eating in an airplane hangar or, ugh, a barn. The main dining rooms always felt cozy and service was great. CABIN: This was our first cruise with Viking, so I can't say much about the other cabins on the ship, but ours was enormous. Wasn't quite big enough for a full basketball game with referees and such, but very spacious and well-appointed. Of course the cabin steward and helper were so very pleasant, respectful (he wouldn't call me by my first name even though I insisted) and efficient. However, since my wife and I were in a large suite it was strange (after cruising on Oceania) that there was no "butler" service. I'm not a butler-type guy; I'm sweet and gentle and never demanding. But butler service on Oceania was so wonderful, and I missed it on Viking -- especially in our pricey cabin suite. But the cabin steward and his helper were great, and when we had laundry to do -- it always came back within 24 hours even though the schedule said it would take 48 hours. Go figure. POOL. I never went in the pool, but I loved the fact that the pool had a retractable roof so that when it was closed it was comfortable for swimming even in cold climates. As always on this ship, a library was right nearby and I did sit at poolside very content to read in peace and quiet. (Yes, fellow travelers did use the pool in every climate we visited.) ENTERTAINMENT. I can't say enough about the entertainment! I tend to choose lectures and science-oriented movies and there were 3 (count 'em, THREE) auditoriums (auditoria?). One very large one and there were always seats available for whatever was going on there, and two smaller ones for movies and lectures. Again, never a problem getting seats in these smaller places. The two smaller ones were closed off from the very large auditorium by a moveable wall - so during very popular entertainment presentations the seats in the small auditoriums became part of the already-large largest auditorium. FUTURE CRUISES. There is a "future cruises" office available (on a rather limited time schedule, unfortunately), and the discounts for those wanting to book future Viking cruises (both Ocean and River, I think) while on a current cruise are great! My wife and I were so impressed with Viking Ocean cruises that we booked another cruise at this "future cruises" office. The fellow who worked there could have been a little better informed on certain matters, but he was knowledgeable enough. Maybe he was filling-in for somebody else. But, as I said, his schedule in that office was very limited and you really needed to make a reservation in advance. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We were on the Seabourn Sojourn with friends who were in suite 737. Their cruise was ruined by the constant loud noises from the patio bar on deck 8 above their suite. It ruined our cruise as well since our traveling companies were so ... Read More
We were on the Seabourn Sojourn with friends who were in suite 737. Their cruise was ruined by the constant loud noises from the patio bar on deck 8 above their suite. It ruined our cruise as well since our traveling companies were so upset. We visited their room to hear for ourselves. If it were my room I would have considered jumping overboard. Otherwise a very nice cruise. Seabourn does a great job in most areas so this room situation was a shock. The crew did manage to move them mid-way thru the cruise. I would not go on a cruise for free if I had to stay in Suite 737 on the Sojourn or sister ships Odyssey and Quest. Our suite, in contrast, was on deck 8 and was quiet and comfortable. The biggest issue we had on this trip was the last minute cancellation of a shore excursion due to the low number of people who signed up. We had no resources to research other options and were disappointed that Seabourn couldn't find a way to conduct the tour using a mini-van or car instead of the originally assigned bus. As expected, the food on Seabourn ranges from very good to excellent. Our dinners in the Grill by Thomas Keller were exceptional with professional, gracious service and superb food. We also noticed service improvements in the main restaurant and Colonnade. On our previous Seabourn cruise we noticed some service issues as many experienced staff were transferred to the two new and larger ships. We disappointed that the Patio Grill has been renamed Earth and Ocean which tries to offer a more upscale dining option. We much prefer the relaxed style and basic grilled foods of the Old Patio. There's only so much elegant food and service you can eat! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This cruise visited 12 ports around Japan. There was only 1 Sea Day which makes it a very active cruise. We docked at all ports so there was no need to tender. This was our first visit to Japan so we were able to add a pre cruise land ... Read More
This cruise visited 12 ports around Japan. There was only 1 Sea Day which makes it a very active cruise. We docked at all ports so there was no need to tender. This was our first visit to Japan so we were able to add a pre cruise land tour of or own. With the back to back option we were able to go by ship from Japan to Alaska. They return to Japan in late July so that re positioning cruise would be attractive as well. The retrofit of the Quest is great. They removed the Casino and now call the area The Den. The bar is still there and the piano has been moved from the corner to the wall in the middle of the room. There is also and extensive of collection of travel books to all destinations. Great for guests to research destinations for future cruises. There were no children on this cruise. But beware, Azamara does allow children on their cruises. Unlike Viking which allows only children over the age of 18. Most guests were over the age of 55. Very few wheel chairs or those with walking issues. Entertainment by 54 Below at Sea was very good. This is affiliated with Studio 54 in NY which is famous for their small venue entertainment. Azamara's enrichment lectures were fantastic. Charles Richardson spoke about the history of some of the destinations - was not talking about tours available. One topic was Japan: Land of Culture & Tradition. Another was Korea: Two Nations, One Peninsula. Very interesting. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our first Oceania Cruise. We chose this ship for the itinerary. This ship is the smallest I have ever sailed on and at first I was a bit concerned but I found it to be a wonderful ship. It is a bit worn but it is being updated ... Read More
This was our first Oceania Cruise. We chose this ship for the itinerary. This ship is the smallest I have ever sailed on and at first I was a bit concerned but I found it to be a wonderful ship. It is a bit worn but it is being updated soon. The staff is excellent. They knew our names after a few days. Service was great. Food was wonderful. Our favorite was Tuscano. This was a 21 day cruise and we did have quite a few sea days. Loved them. There were plenty of activities for us. We were with another couple and played a lot of cards. Our cabin was concierge level and this gave us free wifi for one item but we learned how to use multiple phones/ipads without too much trouble. We didn't do a lot of the entertainment in the evening but the ship's crew were very good the little we did see. We did use the casino, however not many people seem to enjoy the gaming. Did not really enjoy our cruise director but that is just a personal point. Our ports were fabulous. We booked all private tours so can not speak to the ship's excursions. It is an older crowd and there were no children on board. We met some very lovely people on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I was attracted by the destinations and the hype surrounding Viking Ocean Cruises. The ship is beautifully equipped with all modern facilities. Like a beautiful woman until the true character is exposed. The Ship lacked Soul. ... Read More
I was attracted by the destinations and the hype surrounding Viking Ocean Cruises. The ship is beautifully equipped with all modern facilities. Like a beautiful woman until the true character is exposed. The Ship lacked Soul. Furnishings were like Ikea on steroids. There were few activities apart from some excellent speakers and an outstanding performance by 4 dancers and singers. appearing only 3 times in 15 days. Another evening a Kabuki dance by locals was fascinating. People just hung out in corners of the ship reading and relaxing. They were entertained by 2 violinists and at other times by a pianist. Some passengers looked like they had passed away. Nothing much else to do. Excursions were disappointing. The one we looked so forward to going on was cancelled due to low support and the others didn't flow particularly smoothly. Food was the redeeming feature. It was excellent. Service was friendly and almost efficient. Our cabin attendant was very good. Embarkation was smooth and well organised. It would appear that Viking may be growing too quickly since there was what appeared to be inefficient administration processes. On one of our excursions we were instructed in the Newsletter to present in the Theatre for re-direction to our Buses. We had to meet by 1.45pm. Some 50 passengers turned up. But at 2pm when our Bus was due to leave, no staff appeared. A passenger then rang Guest Services to see what was going on and was then told we were supposed to meet on the Pier. No one told us!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have cruised on numerous ocean cruises over the past ten years including Princess, Regent, Oceania, and National Geographic. Viking Ocean will now be our "go to" cruise line unless we are seeking an expedition cruise. ... Read More
We have cruised on numerous ocean cruises over the past ten years including Princess, Regent, Oceania, and National Geographic. Viking Ocean will now be our "go to" cruise line unless we are seeking an expedition cruise. Everyone's cruising style is different, but Viking is perfect for us. Our reasons include what they don't have, no children, no casino, no Vegas style shows, no butlers, and no formal nights, to what they do have - sleek, Scandinavian design with room for everyone, focus on educational lectures, focus on classical music, the most amazing spa and fitness center at sea, fabulous food with no charge speciality restaurants, and wine and beer with lunch and dinner. We had a penthouse veranda and it was wonderful. Maybe a bit more closet space would have been nice. The bathroom was our favorite ever with it's roomy shower and heated floor. I would chose the same cabin when we cruise with them again. As mentioned by others, Viking needs to work on their shore excursions. We were on a new itinerary so maybe that was part of the problem. They definitely need to invest in new listening devices. But overall, we have found our new favorite cruise line and can't wait to sail with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Special birthday, new destinations, somewhere we have wanted to go for many years, a cruise seemed a good way to do it. Orion is a fabulous ship, the crew, facilities and comfort are first class. Travel arrangements were well ... Read More
Special birthday, new destinations, somewhere we have wanted to go for many years, a cruise seemed a good way to do it. Orion is a fabulous ship, the crew, facilities and comfort are first class. Travel arrangements were well organised and transfers were good. Stateroom is well appointed and very comfortable and has everything you could possibly want. All restaurants are exceptional, good choice and superb quality. House wines very good. Entertainment and enrichment talks very good. Unfortunately our cruise dates clashed with golden week/installation of the new Emperor, the whole of Japan was on holiday for the duration of time there. This did cause problems with a number of shore excursions and curtailed some time in port. This was the first time Viking had done this itinerary, we felt we were guinea pigs, and we were dissapointed with some of the content of the tours offered. The quiet boxes did not work very well, the guides difficult to understand. Some of the additional excursions are very expensive for what is offered, whilst we would definitely do another cruise (and are) with Viking we would be more cautious on how we spent our money. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We enjoyed the cruise around Japan with the view to visit Hirosaki Castle Park for Sakura or Cherry Blossom which usually peak between 22Apr to 1May. It was our main highlight and we cherished the beautiful sakura. Short 15min walk from ... Read More
We enjoyed the cruise around Japan with the view to visit Hirosaki Castle Park for Sakura or Cherry Blossom which usually peak between 22Apr to 1May. It was our main highlight and we cherished the beautiful sakura. Short 15min walk from port, 40 min direct train trip from JR Aomori to JR Hirosaki and 20 min walk to Castle. Park entry was free. Views were fantastic. Public holiday due to Emperor Hirohito abdication and Emperor Naruhito ascending to throne, meant the place had lots of food stalls, crowd and festive ambience. Feel very safe and pleasant throughout. Cruise overall was alright. Weather and food was good, generally. Enjoyed the Princess production shows like To Be Born Wild ( rock n roll ) and Secret Silk ( great display of props but audio vocals were muffled eventhough seated in centre of thearte ...needs imporvement). Other guests entertainers were a bit dull but I give credit to Dominic Duo at the Wheelhouse Bar. We danced to their tunes. Food quality and service in the main dining room were alright but not always in the Horizon Court as it is very busy with people and lacks the ambience. Food quality can be unappealing sometimes. Same goes with breakfast room service. Did not use the pizzaria but enoyed the matcha ice cream from the parlour. Port visits were not that attractive but there were farewell local dance and Samurai performances in Sakata and Aomori. People were very welcoming and taxi drivers were very polite and very fair in their fares and please take back any small change and receipt given out of politeness to them. No need for tips. Service with a smile. We did a bit of shopping in downtown Busan after we figured how to use their Metro. Get entry to right train platform as you can't walk over to the correct platform if wrong like other city metros. We wasted our ticket but it is alright. A small price to pay for the adventure. Busan was lively downtown in Art Street. 1 USD to 1000 Won ans 1 Aud to 800 Won. Prices are in their 000s. A small drink at a street vendor cost me 3500Won or 3.5USD. Views across Kanmon Straits between Kyushu and Honshu, was interesting if you happen to know about the great sea battles fought here that created the Kamakura Shogunate in 11th Century. However, I much prefer the nightime view of Busan Bridge which changed colours every 30 seconds. Our ship sailed under it at about 10.30pm. on its way to Sakata. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We're long time Seabourn cruisers who hadn't totally enjoyed our trip on Encore summer of 2018, finding the new larger ships lovely, but lacking the Seabourn service we'd come to love. This trip was on Sojourn, the only ... Read More
We're long time Seabourn cruisers who hadn't totally enjoyed our trip on Encore summer of 2018, finding the new larger ships lovely, but lacking the Seabourn service we'd come to love. This trip was on Sojourn, the only one of the Odyssey ships we hadn't sailed before. The ship is in fine condition, 450 people roam around it daily but it's constantly maintained and that keeps it looking fresh. Embarkation was the usual smooth process, met at the aircon end of the gangway by the cruise director Ross Roberts, we've sailed with him before, we knew entertainment was going to be .. entertaining. Ross is a Seabourn asset and we were very happy to sail with him again. Our Seabourn highlight has always been the service and they didn't disappoint on this cruise. Staff learned your name and your preferences within a day or two and literally nothing was too much trouble. Food is important on a cruise, the food on this one was top notch. The head chef, Lindsay, really had the kitchen humming and it didn't matter whether you ate at the main dining room, the colonnade or the new Earth and Ocean outdoor concept restaurant, which was superb; it was hard to pick a dining venue sometimes, they were all excellent. We're not great fans of the Thomas Keller tie-up and feel Seabourn's chef's offerings are just as good, if not better. We went to the TK grill twice, it was great service and wonderful ingredients, quite rich, and twice was enough. Our favourite venue was probably Earth and Ocean which served up a varied menu on deck each night. For a hot weather cruise as this it was nice to sit outside. Entertainment was fun. You're not getting a cast of 50 on a Seabourn ship but the singers and dancers were excellent. We've seen a lot of the shows before, however this time "An Evening With Tim Rice" actually had .. Sir Tim Rice who was on board and also performed in another show about his music. That was just luck and Sir Tim is a very nice man whom I wish had been on our trivia team. Best ports on this trip were Ho Chi Minh and Hong Kong, each of which were overnights. The small Seabourn ships can dock in the centre of HCM and at Ocean Terminal in HK and that was huge in terms of just getting off and getting around. There were other good ports on the itinerary, but those two made the whole trip. There were also a couple of .. hmm .. ports. Sianoukville was really a dropping off point for people taking two overland days to visit Ankor Wat, Sanya may be a lovely place to holiday but the cruise terminal abuts nothing exciting. Cruises in Asia tend to have a mixture of good and not-quite-so-good ports. We did no ship excursions on this trip. The places we really wanted to do something, either the ship wasn't doing it or it was very easy to fix ourselves. It seems Seabourn is trying to attract a younger crowd but the excursions still tend towards 'church,ruin,UNESCO'; they have started to add cooking and cycling tours but they're still mostly pitching the type of tours where you get on a bus at 9am and return at 4pm having seen a lot of not much. And the tours tend to be expensive, variety and cost of tours is something Seabourn could perhaps look at. We passed 100 days on Seabourn this trip, if they keep these standards up we'll pass another 100, although it may take us another 12 years to do it. Seabourn is still our favourite line, the Odyssey class still our favourite ships, this cruise it was very hard to find a fault with, we loved it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We really loved our Viking cruise and as Viking regulars appreciated the familiarity and excellent service from the very friendly staff. I will get the negatives out of the way straight away - there are administrative shortfalls on board. ... Read More
We really loved our Viking cruise and as Viking regulars appreciated the familiarity and excellent service from the very friendly staff. I will get the negatives out of the way straight away - there are administrative shortfalls on board. These may be common to all the ships - there are many minor administrative errors between finance, guest relations and excursions. There has been some reorganisation since the early days and things have definitely gone backwards in this area. We had several finance errors on our account which needed resolution. On the other hand we do love Viking - the food on board was very good indeed - I don't think we had a bad meal in a month, We enjoyed all the restaurants several times. There were a few issues with room service breakfast on the first sector, and also the bar staff could be "variable". There were a lot of crew changes during the month we were on board and this could make things difficult I am sure. Our cabin stewards were amazing for the full four weeks. The entertainment is low key which we like but there is always something to do if that is what you want or a nice corner in which to read and chill. We went from Bangkok to Tokyo and enjoyed the schedule very much indeed. It can be a challenging programme and those with limited mobility should think twice before heading out into Asia . Overall we were very pleased and have no hesitation in booking with Viking again. We think the value for money equation compared to the competitors is excellent and are very satisfied. It could be really excellent if the problems are properly addressed. There is no point in expanding fast if the standards cannot be maintained. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I was very displeased with the cruise we boarded on April 2 from Singapore to Mumbai. To our dismay upon boarding the ship was old and tired as many of the staff were. When we checked into our room I had to summon housekeeping to change ... Read More
I was very displeased with the cruise we boarded on April 2 from Singapore to Mumbai. To our dismay upon boarding the ship was old and tired as many of the staff were. When we checked into our room I had to summon housekeeping to change the bathmat as it was frayed and extremely tired as some of the towels.The only saving grace was that the room was a decent size. The food was not first class as its reputation. La Dame was supposed to be their top of the line restaurant which charged $60. pp extra. Definitely not worth it. Stated in their literature is that premium wines are included. This is false as the Chardonnay served was the cheapest reserve of Wente, Morning Fog, when Riva Ranch is only a few dollars more. On several occasions the raspberries at the morning buffet were moldy. The avocado was shockingly served to us when it was overripe and black. Regular yogurt was at the buffet when Greek style was available but we had to ask for it. Why are there items available but not on the menu? This is not what I expected for the money spent. I have sailed on many other high-end ships and this did not measure up. Furthermore, I have received no email regarding my negative comments that I painstakingly wrote before leaving the ship. 4 of our group were so dissatisfied they left the ship after only a few days on board. And to add insult to injury, my travel partner and I had jewelry stolen from our room. When I reported this to the customer relations dept. (Dionel Castillo), the answer was very unsatisfactory. Needless to say, I am not left with a fond memory and doubt that I will return on Silversea as there are many other cruise ships that are a dream like Oceania, Crystal, Viking and Regent who offer much superior service. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Just returned from the Tokyo to Singapore (25day)segment of the World Cruise on Insignia. (We were not advised at time of booking with Oceania that we were joining a world cruise)Spent a lot of money on this trip and have never had such a ... Read More
Just returned from the Tokyo to Singapore (25day)segment of the World Cruise on Insignia. (We were not advised at time of booking with Oceania that we were joining a world cruise)Spent a lot of money on this trip and have never had such a bad experience on Oceania. We were not aware we were joining aprox 360 world cruisers (w.c’s.) but found out right away that cliques had already been established and it was almost impossible to penetrate the barrier between the segment guests and the w.c’s. Getting a large table for dinner was near impossible (never experienced that). Several events were organized for the w.c’s (special events and private parties)while the rest of the segment guests were left behind with little and sometimes no entertainment at all. We also realized the segment guests were paying US$100 pp.pd more than the wc’s we assume to subsidize the world cruise. Never been on an Oceania Cruise where there were NO extra activities. Especially on sea days. It was the usual bag o beans, trivia, mini putt and table tennis. It was sooo... boring. We made our displeasure known to the concierge on two occasions and promises were made that our concerns would be escalated but of course we heard nothing. We have sailed many times with Oceania but won’t will be sailing with them again. Perhaps the new owners (NCL) are making their presence known. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My first time on this ship and with this cruise line, we picked this because of its itinerary and its smaller size. It didn't start off smoothly but the cruise line fixed the problem and everyone was compensated very well. We did ... Read More
My first time on this ship and with this cruise line, we picked this because of its itinerary and its smaller size. It didn't start off smoothly but the cruise line fixed the problem and everyone was compensated very well. We did explore the embarkation port which was Singapore stayed 5 days and loved it a most beautiful city with so much history. The Quest ship is still being updated, there was some construction going on during the voyage, not too intrusive. I was in a suite club continental, everything was new and updated huge bathroom, king bed, new carpets, large balcony and many more perks that come with the suite cabin. There are unlimited dining options in the specialty restaurants all included and wonderful we ate in both Aqualina and Prime C excellent service! Also, all international buffets were outstanding. Entertainment was fantastic loved all of the local shows, Ports and excursions were good the only thing, I found it very hard to understand and hear the local guides speak, especially when in a group of 25 or more, they should provide headsets on all the tours. Overall we did enjoy this trip and all the beautiful ports, service by the cruise is outstanding and they really go out of their way to make you feel at home. I would consider another cruise in the future for sure! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
TOTAL DECEPTION !!! We have just experienced our worst cruise for life !!! We are a couple with more than 15 cruises of experience. The AZAMARA QUEST is too old and poorly maintained, they have done renovations and repairs throughout ... Read More
TOTAL DECEPTION !!! We have just experienced our worst cruise for life !!! We are a couple with more than 15 cruises of experience. The AZAMARA QUEST is too old and poorly maintained, they have done renovations and repairs throughout the cruise. And the worst happened: with outside temperatures of 34c, we ran out of air conditioning for 36 hours, because there is only one compressor for the whole boat and it broke. Our outside patio room was dirty as I have never seen any of the last 15 cruises I did, I put on my shoes to walk on (pictures), there was a metal bar on the floor that had to hold the window that separates the patio of our neighbor, the bar was laid 5 days later, after several reminders. The 3 Jacuzzis on the boat had no water and did not work during the first 10 days of the cruise. The 2 shops of the boat were closed and under renovation, they opened after half of the cruise. This is the first and last time I chose Azamara, yet this company has the reputation of being the cruises Mercedes ... it's the utmost disappointment. We had the announcement, after the problem of air conditioning, that we were credited with 50% of the price of the cruise, I confirm that we did not even celebrate the credit of several thousand dollars because this boat is not worth more!! Our last cruise a few weeks before the QUEST was on the Celebrity EDGE, the average daily price was 40% cheaper than on the '' Quest '' and we had a brand new boat with tons of restaurants and shops, and all and all ... I do not understand how Azamara can charge us such exorbitant prices for a comparable service with other extremely inexpensive boats. This is outright abuse !!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This is our 3rd Regent cruise, and 2nd on the Mariner. Happy on the 1st & 2nd cruises, but not so on this one. Let's start with the good points: * Excursions: Wide choice and well executed. * Drinks: Good variety, and ... Read More
This is our 3rd Regent cruise, and 2nd on the Mariner. Happy on the 1st & 2nd cruises, but not so on this one. Let's start with the good points: * Excursions: Wide choice and well executed. * Drinks: Good variety, and quality. Wines range is excellent. Bar staff are great, and very flexible. Shout-out to Maya in Observation lounge for her great mixing skills. * Rooms/Ship: Nothing to complain about here. Very quiet (no noise from corridor or rooms next door). Matched expectations and the brochure promises. * Entertainment: Standard fare. Not what we come on a cruise for. * Lecturers: Up there with the best we have seen. * Main Dining Room (MDR): Never denied a table. Good food & varied nightly, but a bit unimaginative. A few small hiccups with a lunch that took 90 mins to arrive, but not a show stopper. But the elephant in the room is the fiasco that is the congested La Veranda/Sette Mare. BREAKFAST (La Veranda) * The congestion is horrible. One example: Toast is made by 1 staff member, and the numerous guests waiting for their toast block the already narrow passage. * The limited space makes some guests pushy and rude; especially if time is short before an excursion. * Saw one guest served under-cooked fried eggs; she did not eat them. * Never went a 2nd time. LUNCH (La Veranda) * Best described as an unpleasant bun-fight on busy days. Continuously running out of things (Main dishes, butter, cheese, etc). When asked, staff would replenish but it just adds to the crazy congestion, frustration, and delays. * Staff will take orders and deliver - which is great is you want your food cold. DINNER (Sette Mare) * 4 nights in a row: Denied a table for 4 between 19:30 ~ 20:15. Usually told the wait was 45 mins. Or told: "Suggest you come at 18:30 tomorrow". So we went to MDR each time. * 5th time lucky, but underwhelming food. So what is the problem? As we were on the same ship just 3 months ago, and did not have the same issues, I concluded it is simply that when full (as it is on this cruise) the La Veranda/Sette Mare simply can not cater properly for the guests on board. This is especially acute if the weather means the pool grill is unpopular that day/night. Once we realised all our frustrations centred on La Veranda/Sette Mare, we simply stopped going there. The little frustrations vanished and we really enjoyed the rest of the ship & cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I would like to give a bit of back ground info on myself so that when reading this review you can judge if it is relevant to what you deem important in your cruise experience.  My husband and I are in our late 50's early 60's we ... Read More
I would like to give a bit of back ground info on myself so that when reading this review you can judge if it is relevant to what you deem important in your cruise experience.  My husband and I are in our late 50's early 60's we have over 250 days on Seabourn, 150 days on Silversea and 60 days on Regent.  We sailed the Navigator for a month and loved that ship (even though I felt it was a little crowded at times).  We sailed on the Mariner in Nov/Dec 2018 and enjoyed the cruise experience very much.  We would sail on either of the three lines mentioned but the itinerary comes first for us.  In fact we have a Silversea cruise booked in June 2019, I will be taking my mother on the Voyager in August and we have a Seabourn cruise booked in February 2020.  In this review I won't go into the ports because there have been live blogs done of this cruise so I feel that is redundant.  What I will do is talk about the on board cruise experience.  I'm a positive person and I'm aware how fortunate we are to be able to vacation in such a luxurious way but want to give both the positive and negative views of our latest cruise so it may help others in selecting a cruise line that suits their needs whilst also giving a realistic view of what to expect and not what the glossy brochures portray. The good: Cruise director: John Baron is probably my favourite cruise director.  We sailed with him on Seabourn (his first actually) and then again on both Mariner cruises we have taken.  He is friendly, approachable a good entertainer (his show was really enjoyable) and a great trivia host.  We have also sailed with Marla (his assistant) on Seabourn many times and it is always nice to catch up with her. Compass Rose and both specialty restaurants.  Food was very good at all three of these restaurants. Wine: I feel Regent along with Silversea offer the best wines on any cruise line we have been on.  I also really appreciate the wine tasting of non revenue wines that Regent does.  I wish other cruise lines did this.  The selection of beer and spirits is very good. Cocktails:  The best of all three lines as mentioned above.  Yes, Seabourn has this new mixology cocktail menu.  Very trendy but honestly IMO not as good as Regents offerings.   Shore excursions:  I know a lot of guest really enjoy having the all included shore excursions.  I'm not a fan really as I like to do a bit of both and I know I could do that on Regent but I feel in some way I have already paid for these so I may as well take them.  I find I'm far more adventurous when sailing Seabourn or Silversea as I do a bit of both the cruise lines excursions an independent excursions.  Having said that I can not fault both the organization and the tours themselves.  They are as good as anything that you would pay for on either Silversea or Seabourn.   We did two tours that included lunch and both were a highlight of the trip. Room Service:  I really like the way Regent handles room service.  You place your order and then they call you just before it arrives to your room.  We often have breakfast in our room and it is so nice to get this call and be ready for when it arrives.  Seabourn and Silversea call you after to ask how your food was and inform you that they are going to pick up the tray.  Every time! This gets annoying and feels somewhat disingenuous.  Also when you ask for a glass of Champagne from room service they bring you a bottle.  Seabourn will bring you a glass.  So kudos to Regent for that. Quietness and stability of the Mariner:  This ship rides so smoothly in rough seas and we had a couple of days of those.  The noise insulation is very good.  Never heard our neighbour or any guests in the passage ways.  No vibration that we felt. Breads:  My husband loves bread (french bread in particular) and I will agree with him that Regent has the best bread of the three cruise lines.  Crusty French bread and great artisan breads. Internet: My husband is Tech person and he finds it very important to have good internet access so he can keep in touch with his business.  He appreciates that you can have multiple devices connected in your room.  The not so good: Waiting two hours to be served lunch in Compass Rose.  I later spoke with Ricky (Food and Beverage Manager) and he explained they were implementing a new ordering system and had some teething  problems. This did get better as the cruise went along.  We did get numerous apologies for the wait. He also let know that on our last cruise there were only 500 passengers on board and that this cruise they was at capacity with a full ship. La Veranda:  I can not tell you how disappointed we were in this venue.  Crowded beyond acceptable.  Extra tables were put in the walkway on both side of the buffet and whilst this was appreciated by guests trying to find a table it made the buffet even more crowded.  A full ship with early spring weather (some sunshine but mostly cool) and the Veranda could not handle the passenger numbers.  Management needs to have a good look at this problem.  Perhaps offering a special menu in Compass Rose for lunch to entice more passengers to dine there at lunch would help.  We just avoided going there as it was a disaster.  People bumping into one another.  Dishes running out (seafood platter) and people waiting in queues for 10 minutes to get a portion.  They just did not cope with the amount of guests trying to dine here.  People couldn't find a table, food running out, long waits for it to be replenished.  I also found the food here to be unimaginative.  This is where Regent falls down.  Seabourn's buffet is so much better in variety and quality.  I will say the pizza was good but honestly that was about it. Regent makes the best burger as sea I have ever tasted.  That is where the good ends.  Look at what Seabourn and Silversea do at night on their pool deck.  A real alternative dinning option.  The buffet on the Mariner for lunch is not great at the pool deck.  They had a Mexican buffet and Greek one day and that was just okay but they could really improve on the food offerings here. Afternoon Tea:  Again this is an area where Regent falls behind the other two lines.  Chocolate afternoon tea.  Same tea bags that you can get in any venue and a couple of the cakes were still frozen.  If it is not a special afternoon tea event, you get a small buffet and an offering of tea bags.  Both Seabourn and Silversea have a tea selection which is served at your table and on Silversea a tower of afternoon tea snacks.  Some times we like to skip lunch and just do afternoon tea but we did not do this on Regent. Entertainment:   Some good and some not so good.  The pianist Nicky was fantastic.  The Duo at the bar at the back of the ship are great in the disco but not really suited to pre- evening dance music.  An example of this is that we had a full ship and only 4 or 5 couples dancing.  They are not great and we had them on the last Mariner cruise as well.  Seabourn wins out in this regard as they have a trio and a guitarist and also a pianist so you have much more choice.  Silversea is about the same as Regent.  The guests entertainers were also a mixed bag.  The Australian entertainer was very good.  The Filipino vocalist who won The Voice (or something similar) was good the first night but not so good the second night.  The entertainment is not the most important part of a cruise for me but I do like to dance before and after dinner and we did not do much of this on this cruise as the Duo was really not good.  Summary: As you can see there are more positives than negatives and we really did enjoy this cruise.  Having said that we have never experienced so many little hiccups on one cruise before.  Yes, no cruise is ever going to be perfect or perfect for every guest on board but there were a lot of little hiccups that I have not mentioned. These hiccups happen on all cruise lines but on this cruise there were more than usual.  I have tried to be honest and balanced in my review as I think this helps perspective guests set their expectations and helps them to select a cruise lines that works for them.  I usually like to end my review with would I cruise on this ship again.  Well, yes and no.  I would not cruise Mariner on a cold weather cruise where there was a possibility of a full ship.  I would probably cruise Mariner again a hot weather cruise if the itinerary was right but it may not be my first choice. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019

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