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35 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 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
5 Helpful Votes
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
26 Helpful Votes
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
5 Helpful Votes
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
7 Helpful Votes
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
6 Helpful Votes
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
6 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
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
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 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
9 Helpful Votes
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
5 Helpful Votes
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
15 Helpful Votes
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
16 Helpful Votes
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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We are loyal Viking River cruisers (5 trips) and decided to give Viking Ocean a try. We have traveled on other ocean cruise lines. Generally, things went pretty well for us, though there were a few bumps during the first couple of days. ... Read More
We are loyal Viking River cruisers (5 trips) and decided to give Viking Ocean a try. We have traveled on other ocean cruise lines. Generally, things went pretty well for us, though there were a few bumps during the first couple of days. We love the Viking Orion. With only about 900 passengers, it is small and intimate but still has everything we wanted. If you are looking for casinos or large Vegas-style reviews - the Viking Orion is not for you. The good: wine and beer included with meals, free internet, free launderette, free excursion in each port, heated bathroom floors, comfortable beds, adequate sized cabins, alternate restaurants included, outstanding lecturers and speakers, friendly & efficient crew, good food selection and preparation, verandas on all cabins, the "Explorer Dome". Ample storage in cabins. Certain class cabins get free minibar and laundry. Awesome use of state of the art technology everywhere on board. Spa area. Many quiet comfortable spaces to read and relax. Infinity pool. Musicians and singers were all good. What we thought could be improved: Dining Room was crowded - seemed like there were too many tables for the space. Excursions - We usually take the "Easy or Leisurely" excursions due to some mobility issues - Choices were limited. Need magnifying makeup mirror in bathroom or elsewhere in cabin. Itinerary - Bali to Hong Kong - Sihanoukville, Cambodia is awful. Dirty, polluted - No reason for any passenger to go there. Singapore - Needed an overnight there - not just one day. Vietnam, Singapore, Kuala Lampur, Bangkok, Bali, Hong Kong were all very good . Indonesian ports other than Bali were just okay - not great. We'll cruise again with Viking Ocean, but will carefully select the itinerary based on Mobility-friendly excursions. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
First cruised onboard theSilver Cloud many, many years ago and we wanted to try another Silver Sea cruise. Silver Muse had the right itinerary and well, she did not disappoint. The entire experience was excellent, the accommodations ... Read More
First cruised onboard theSilver Cloud many, many years ago and we wanted to try another Silver Sea cruise. Silver Muse had the right itinerary and well, she did not disappoint. The entire experience was excellent, the accommodations spacious and understated elegance, the service was outstanding. We had multiple dining options and all were good in their own right. Most of the staff were personable and went out of their way to accommodate our needs- we were a large group, 14 adults and a baby. The entertainment was average, but we really wanted to do a relaxed cruise so we really did not mind that. embark/disembark- at Marina Bay Cruise Center (Singapore), from luggage drop off tot he welcome champagne in the lobby of the ship was 15 minutes at most. cabin- see below dining- we tried each of the restaurants at least twice and all were excellent. The service and attention was great. My favorites were Atlantide and the outdoor grilling were you prepare your own dish on hot rocks. The buffet area for breakfast and lunch was converted into an italian-themed restaurant at night. excursions- Silversea had several excursions that were complimentary, you get to reserve this in advance before the cruise. The more personalized options, you had to pay for. Would highly recommend this cruise. looking forward to the next SS cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose the Viking Ocean cruise because we had done two Viking river cruises which were exceptional. So we were expecting the same on an ocean cruise. Not to be, alas! The ship itself, Orion, about 8 months old , is very well decorated ... Read More
We chose the Viking Ocean cruise because we had done two Viking river cruises which were exceptional. So we were expecting the same on an ocean cruise. Not to be, alas! The ship itself, Orion, about 8 months old , is very well decorated and spacious. Our room , a penthouse suite with veranda, suited us perfectly: spacious and lots of drawers. The bed was not comfortable: hard as rock. But when I told our cabin steward about this, he offered a topper...which made it a bit softer. Another drawback was a head shower that kept on swirling around every way but the right way! Like taking a shower with an attacking cobra!!! My husband took care of the problem by putting a bandaid on the collar of the shower head and forcing it to stay in the right position. Food was average. Sometimes awful: we asked for a hamburger well done. Came back almost raw. Included excursions were very disappointing. We were expecting guided tours but the guide was the bus driver. So he would stop and let us out on our own to explore. He would stay with the bus. Entertainment was very good. The personnel is absolutely marvellous, solicitous and caring. They treat you like royalty! But they have trouble speaking and understanding english. I would do another Viking river cruise but never another Viking ocean cruise. Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I am writing this review after a 3 day pre-cruise itinerary in Hong Kong and first full day, while fresh in my mind. I will add further updates. The airport pickup and transfer well, even though they were not prepared for 4 people with ... Read More
I am writing this review after a 3 day pre-cruise itinerary in Hong Kong and first full day, while fresh in my mind. I will add further updates. The airport pickup and transfer well, even though they were not prepared for 4 people with 2 pieces of luggage with carryons each (although that is what we told them we would have). The Langham Hotel was excellent in all aspects - location, rooms, breakfast provided. The first day tour was just hotel transfer to the hotel, but we booked our own private tour which was great. Day 2 with Regent was really sub-par, made worse by rainy, cloudy weather. Nevertheless, we stuck to the itinerary of a train trip to the top of Victoria Peak for the (non)view (we went to the top to re-board our bus and spent no time there). Then on to our lunch at Stanley Market (which was a pretty poor example of a street market compared to the center of Kowloon). We ate at an authentic buffet lunch of —— German food in Hong Kong! Day 3 was a long trip to Po Lin Monastery (of course the cable car was closed) , a better than expected vegetarian lunch, then a visit to tourist trap Ngong Ping village. Pretty lame day - definitely best to explore on your own and set up private tours. The mid-cruise feedback form was filled with issues. We have not heard back from the crew - do not believe the “commitment to excellence.” They are committed to apologizing and being empathetic, as they have much practice from what I have heard from many other cruisers. More specifics: 1] The towels placed on the poolside chairs are changed once a day. If someone is lying on the towel and leaves, the towels are reused for the unsuspecting next poolside guest. 2] First day of the cruise (we paid plenty extra for alcohol included, but no Riesling wine (they did find one bottle for the 12 day cruise) and no Pina Colada mix ( after 9 days they did get off the ship to get more mix, but ran out after 1 day). 3] Salad poolside is served warm - not kept on ice or refrigerated. The salad plates are hot, also not kept in a cooler. Who really wants warm salad? 4] Same for the sodas. Warm Coke cans are opened - so they are not carbonated well. Poured over ice results in flat, diluted soda. I’ll stick to water, but it is warm if you want it from a bottle (or boxed water) - only water from the ship is cold (gee - wasn’t it brown water in my room)? Even refrigerator in room barely kept drinks cool. 5] Although I had expected great service due to a smaller ship with a high staff:passenger ratio, I felt that the service was really poor compared to Oceana. At the buffets, people were leaning over food and mis-handling the serving utensils (not very hygienic) similar to any Golden Corral in the U.S.)- as opposed to being served by gloved staff. It frequently took my asking servers multiple times to bring me drinks, bread, etc. Sometimes I just got up to do it myself. 6] The food menu is pretty extensive - which is good. The food is generally good (although I personally did not think it was uniformly good, but I did have alternative choices) - not as good as the restaurants I had experienced on Oceana but much better than Royal Carribean. Prime 7 is very good. The staff in the Italian buffet are understaffed and running around making it a hectic, not relaxing dinner, but better the second night. 7] When going on tours, only warm water is handed out when leaving the ship. Cold water is not routinely given out on the buses. Generally, the tour buses are good, the tours are pretty average to sub-par. 8] Now at day 10 after completing Bangkok “2 day“ visit. Rather than dock in Bangkok as was in the original itinerary, we docked 2.5 hours away in Laem Chabang. The excuse was low tide (we found out after boarding, others found out 1 week before). I am sure the real reason was it cheaper, as there were no other cruise ships in our port and other cruise ships were docked in Bangkok at the same time. The times of our docking did not change, so there was no way to reasonably go to Bangkok on day 1, with the “alternative offered was to go to Bangkok on day 1 (and at my own expense) book a hotel room and book my own tours to return on day 2 at 1:30 PM. On day 2 we left at 6 AM to have a very rushed visit to the Grand Palace, canal ride on the Chao Phraya river and a buffet lunch at a Sheraton hotel before returning at 1:30 PM - spent more time driving than touring - 2 days wasted in Thailand. I need to come back another time to actually visit the sites and see Bangkok! The entertainment has been better than expected. Staff are pleasant and very apologetic. When we explained our concerns personally to the ship General Manager, she was understanding and apologetic, offering a laughable $750 credit toward a future cruise, with no adjustment to the top dollar price of this cruise. With more protests, we were offered $750 each current cruise credit or $1500 eachfuture cruise credit. 9] The regular internet is very spotty, which I have found. To be fairly typical at sea. I paid for the upgrade to streaming internet, but became good friends with the internet guru with my daily visits due to inability to access the internet, and inability to stream (I tried to video stream a Peloton 45 minute exercise program, which worked for 12 minutes during my 45 minute exercise period). Other sites would not stream at all. Finally, I was told I would not be charged the $120 for the fast internet access I was not receiving). The good parts of this cruise: 1] The staff are friendly and try to be helpful, but are poorly trained (not their fault) and are limited with the ability to fix issues with a ship that should be taken out of service. The 10 day dry dock is not going to repair all the issues with the ship. They did try hard to address the many issues. 2] Bed is comfortable. The suite is comfortable (excluding the smell, toilet and brown sink water). High beds had plenty of storage underneath for big luggage. 3] Good quality entertainment. 4] Very good food and food choices. 5] We received a credit in order to book our own air travel, and were met in a timely fashion at the airport. Luggage transfers were seamless and done well. 6] Itinerary was good (better than the ports actually docked or the time allotted for touring). 7] Although it took great effort, we did receive $ credit. It did not make up for the lost time and aggravation of our vacation, but at least it was a token acknowledgement that there are major issues with the ship that were known beforehand but not publicized. We paid for a Ritz Carlton , and got a Motel 6 (sorry to Motel 6- as I am sure they have clean water in the bathroom Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Just completed a 12 day cruise on the Navigator and was very disappointed. We had sailed on Regent before (although 20 years ago); our most recent trips had been mostly on Crystal, and our expectations were very high. First of all, ... Read More
Just completed a 12 day cruise on the Navigator and was very disappointed. We had sailed on Regent before (although 20 years ago); our most recent trips had been mostly on Crystal, and our expectations were very high. First of all, the ship is very old....definitely at the end of its life in spite of a major refurbishment just three years ago. There is a musty/moldy smell in many areas of the ship (my wife is highly allergic to mold), and there are many signs of aging, including malfunctioning A/C in many of the cabins. Service was mostly perfunctory, at best. This may be, in part, due to the fact that this was a segment of their "World Cruise" (nearly half the ship as on for over 130 days), so non-World Cruisers were definitely second-class citizens. The staff would fawn over the World Travelers, but, other than our stewardess, no one seemed to know our names. Communication was extremely poor. The cruise director, Jamie, seemed to be mostly MIA. He was even absent for the opening meeting with all new guests...just a voice over the speaker. My experience on this ship has made me rethink ever cruising on Regent again. I don't know if was this ship, or whether Regent is in decline. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
As part of a HoA package from DRW to SIN. Embarkation in DRW was a fiasco as 3hours after boarding we had to disembark to retrieve our passports from immigration, only to be immediately taken off us by a member of crew in the terminal. The ... Read More
As part of a HoA package from DRW to SIN. Embarkation in DRW was a fiasco as 3hours after boarding we had to disembark to retrieve our passports from immigration, only to be immediately taken off us by a member of crew in the terminal. The terminal was also full of people wanting tax refunds with no clear delineation of which "queue" was which ! Mind you we never needed a Chinese visa, another smart move by NT politicians! Balcony cabin was quite good, 5124. although the tenders were directly below the balcony which obstructed the view a little. Half bottle of champers was appreciated, gave a false impression of what was to come such as paying for a nondescript bottle of Australian water. Samsung TV was a smart TV, however, nobody on board smart enough to fully use its technology, eg., no bill display, no menu displays, no details of going ashore, nada ! In fact the secretariat generated piles of expensive heavy glossy paper, must do wonders for fuel consumption. No welcome aboard at DRW or cocktail invitation, in fact the only welcome aboard was when we returned to the ship in HKG. HKG arrivals also received invites, we did not. Major interest appears to be "Dress code" when what you really want to know is where do we need a tender. There were several "Gala h" evenings for which I wore my Galah tie !!. Had to wear a jacket in the Britannia restaurant. Food, service was excellent although several spelling mistakes on the menus & the Sea Brass, aka Bass, provenance was always from the last port of call, amazing how these Bass get around. Bottle of house red, which was from a good vintners in London, ended up at US$40 a bottle ! We found the Lido cafeteria most acceptable, as always pick your times, avoid 1pm. If you have a "see food" allergy it could be a problem, I see food & eat it ! The answer is to use room service for breakfast at least. Amazingly no extra charge, always arrived on time but often with elements missing, no QC on the trays going out ? Saving grace was the pub which served excellent lunches (no extra charge) with Guinness at US$6.90 a pint. Never bothered with the so called "speciality" restaurant, especially when you see the cover charge. Was neither fish nor fowl & did not offer anything special. One day out the Royal Arcade liquor store had a special so eg 2litres of Famous Grouse for US$42, which kept us going to SIN. All this kerfuffle about taking alcohol onboard is rubbish. We took a bottle of champers in carry on & our bags contained 1 litre of Plax mouthwash which had changed colour, funny that. If your bags are correctly labelled they are whisked away through the x-ray by the handlers Excursions, aka a necessary evil in some places. Nha Trang return to ship was a catastrophe with all the tour buses returning at the same time with just one tender in operation. Enormous queue of people, mostly open to the elements, until someone at least told bus drivers to keep passengers on board with the AC on. Reason given that only facilities for one tender were available. Appears to be a normal problem otherwise how come there were staff distributing cold towels & water? Disembarkation in SIN was a breeze once you eventually got off as the port staff had bags clearly defined by tag & colour, beats BNE hands down. In conclusion, if you are loaded, don't mind spending hours for something to happen when going ashore & into all the social climbing bling then no problem. Otherwise we shall stay with P&O which has a much more egalitarian approach. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We are regular cruisers and have sailed on many different lines like Celebrity, RCCL, Princess, P&O, NCL and Carnival, however, this was our first cruise on a smaller ship. The combination of a good price for the cruise and an ... Read More
We are regular cruisers and have sailed on many different lines like Celebrity, RCCL, Princess, P&O, NCL and Carnival, however, this was our first cruise on a smaller ship. The combination of a good price for the cruise and an interesting itinerary made it attractive to book this holiday. We were certainly not disappointed with our first Silversea experience! The ship was immaculate and had generous public areas. The cabin (a Classic Veranda Suite) was luxuriously appointed with plenty of space. The walk in wardrobe was an excellent size and there was more than enough storage space for luggage. The bathroom was lovely with a full size bath and separate shower. The bed was comfy and the seating area spacious. The only minor criticism was there were no non smoked glass mirrors in the cabin. It would have been useful to have a normal mirror near the balcony door. The food in the restaurants was excellent quality as were the drinks.There were several very good restaurants to choose from and we enjoyed the ability to dine in different venues during the cruise. We particualry liked the Italian themed 'La Terrazza' which served delicious food and you could enjoy this al fresco on the deck. One thing we particularly liked was that because there were less passengers than on the larger ships, we were able to go to the buffets and not feel crowded, there was always a waiter to help you find a free table and offer to take your food for you. It was really lovely to always find a table outside to dine. The entertainment on the ship was not as 'full on' as on the larger ships we had been on but we were never bored. The shows in the Venetian Lounge involved the Silversea Singers, instrumentalists and when we were in Kota Kinabalu a local dance troupe and instrumentalists came on board and performed an excellent show. We also enjoyed dancing the night away in the Panorama Lounge and had fun at a karaoke night! The deck party was good fun and also during the day there was great food served at tables by the pool. In the evening the area around the pool became the 'Hot Rocks' restaurant where you could cook your own meat/fish on hot volcanic rocks. The staff were really friendly and helpful. We also met many friendly passengers, on several evenings we would arrange to meet up and go to dinner with new friends. We were so impressed with the Silversea brand that we decided to book a future cruise on the Silver Shadow. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
By Glyn May The waiter, sensing that our patience was wearing thin, dropped a bowl of hot chips (fries) and a bottle of tomato sauce at our table. “Chef’s compliments”, he said, “ dinner is going to be a bit late”. ... Read More
By Glyn May The waiter, sensing that our patience was wearing thin, dropped a bowl of hot chips (fries) and a bottle of tomato sauce at our table. “Chef’s compliments”, he said, “ dinner is going to be a bit late”. Classy cruising. Not. Two days earlier, a crewmember carrying a sharp-edged tray had accidentally slashed my wife’s arm badly when he bumped into her in the breakfast queue. And, as we approached our homeport, all power failed and the ship narrowly missed drifting into concrete bridge pylons. In 40-plus cruises over more than 35 years before and after that forgettable holiday, my wife and I in recent years have stepped up into the heady world of ultra luxury cruising –- a field that, despite the eye-watering cost, doesn’t always live up to its publicity. Until we joined the Seabourn Ovation on March 2, 2019 for a 14-night cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore. Our wallet took a AUD21,000 (USD15,000) hit, but for the first time on this new (launched in May 2O18) absolutely beautiful mid-sized 600- passenger all-suite ship, it was worth every dollar. Nothing is perfect, so give or take a couple of petty whinges (no self-serve steamed rice and very average congee (Asian soup) while sailing in Southeast Asia, and a frosty reception in The Grill restaurant) Seabourn Ovation went as close as ever we expect to get. As sometimes jaded, increasingly grumpy and always critical travellers, it was a joy for us to start our cruise by first running an eagle eye over suite 726 on our arrival Yes, you can assume that boarding was faultless. Not one photographer on the gangway, or anywhere for the entire cruise. These days we notice things that niggle experienced cruisers on: A wall safe comfortably at chest height (it beats sitting on the floor) in a spacious walk-in robe with three dozen clothes hangers. Plenty of mirrors, a seriously cold fridge stacked with soft drinks, beer and a real bottle of champagne; plus a list of ‘complimentary’ (paid for in the fare) good quality wines. If you can’t find anything to satisfy your taste buds from Chile, California, Australia, Spain or Italy, there’s a lonely bottle of Petrus 1995 Pomeroz Grand vin from Bordeaux waiting for you in the glass-walled wine rack in the elegant main dining room ‘The Restaurant’ for USD4,500.00 (AUD6,348.00). The label is a bit scruffy so maybe the Sommelier might do a deal. In our suite there’s a lounge long enough for a rack-stretched basketballer or a third guest, a generous, glass-topped round table for 24-hour room-service-with-a-flourish (starched linen and folded napkins) and a king-size bed with a choice of six pillows soft, firm, extra firm. The TV set is on a trolley for manoeuvrability and there are plenty of movies on demand. In-suite announcements from the bridge are restricted to an average two a day -- weather and brief entertainment updates, or shore excursion boarding. No electrical engineering degree is required to operate the lights. Just click and press for a range of illumination levels from dimmed romantic to the blinding glare in the interview/confession room down at my local police station. One of Seabourn Ovation’s most remarkable (unique?) assets is its ubiquitous South African Cruise Director Andre Potgieter who recently received the prestigious President’s Award for Leadership from Seabourn Cruise Line president Rick Meadows. Andre, a softy spoken, articulate young man, emerges like a breath of spring each day in a different tailored jacket and slacks and a new spectacular bow tie with matching pocket-handkerchief. Wherever he goes, goggle-eye grandmothers swamp him with cheek kisses and embarrassing hugs. Which probably explains why, when the ship is in port, Andre trains for his favourite sport, marathon running. Of the 575 passengers from 27 nationalities on board -- average age around 60 -- there were 266 from the U.S, 112 the U.K, 46 Autralians, 34 Canadians and 33 Germans. In two weeks they demolished 2,272 bottles of red wine, 1,435 white and 633 bottles of champagne. And although there were no children on board, 390 litres of ice cream. A total of 32,826 breadsticks mopped up 21lbs of caviar. Two popular spots on the ship are the Observation Bar on the deck 11 which features high tea for an hour from 4pm then a friendly circular bar open until midnight; and The Retreat on the top deck (12) an exclusive enclave with 15 private cabanas, lavish amenities and an oversized whirlpool spa. Evening entertainment in the Grand Salon, often starring one of the slickest teams of ships’ dancers and vocalists we have seen on a cruise ship and backed by Seabourn Ovation’s highly professional orchestra, featured a range of top-class acts from a comedian and to an opera singer. A tip: For an unobstructed view, find a seat away from the intrusive supporting pillars. A shore excursion with a difference on Seabourn’s Asian itineraries is the idyllic day spent on the company’s picture-postcard tree-fringed private beach, ‘The Den’ on the exclusive Thai island of Kood. On a clear sunny day more than 400 souls disembarked from Seabourn Ovation tenders to discover rows of deck chairs under shade trees, a feast of lobster, steaks and salads, champagne on ice and a full bar. All of this ferried ashore from daybreak and served by the ship’s crew and a group of local Thais. With only a few days left and most passengers staying on board for the cruise to Dubai, we were wondering whether they still threw stowaways in the brig. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
A great itinerary in Southeast Asia. This was my fifth Regent cruise, and found the overall experience very good, but slipped from past Regent Cruises. Ship recently refurbished and very attractive. Would have rated it excellent, but ... Read More
A great itinerary in Southeast Asia. This was my fifth Regent cruise, and found the overall experience very good, but slipped from past Regent Cruises. Ship recently refurbished and very attractive. Would have rated it excellent, but for the dining experience, which I found to have slipped compared to previous Regent cruises. Menu in the Compass Rose was adaquate, not particularly creative. Service was inconsistent for both food and wine. I understand that a major staff change was made in port, an explanation, not an excuse. Dinner in Prime 7 a big failure. Ordered a filet, medium. Received a filet well done on outside, red raw on the inside. Not certain how they did that, other than cooking meat not completely thawed.Other dining options Dining in Chartreuse a beautiful experience. An imaginative menu, perfect excecusion. Have always enjoyed Regent, bot there were enough stumbles to suggest looking at other cruise lines Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Silversea advertised a series of Asia cruises with their "Far More in the Far East" special, and wow, did it deliver. I chose this Singapore-to-Hong Kong voyage for several reasons: the timing worked for me, I liked the balance ... Read More
Silversea advertised a series of Asia cruises with their "Far More in the Far East" special, and wow, did it deliver. I chose this Singapore-to-Hong Kong voyage for several reasons: the timing worked for me, I liked the balance of ports and sea days, the itinerary would take me to so many places I've never been but have longed to visit, and the Silversea specials put this all-inclusive luxury voyage comfortably in my price range ($1000 air credit, $1000 onboard credit, most excursions included, 5% discount for previous SS travelers, 5% discount for booking onboard a previous cruise, and then a surprise 3-category upgrade just a few days before sailing -- it all added up to a reasonable price). The Shadow is one of the older ships in the fleet, but she is graceful and well maintained. After previously sailing on her smaller sibling, the Wind, the Shadow at first seemed so much larger. Within a day, that feeling diminished and she seemed perfect to me. My suite seemed bigger than I expected, although the pool seemed smaller than expected. On this particular voyage, we had spectacular weather until the final few days, and the pool deck was filled to capacity. There were short waits (under 5 minutes) for the morning buffet at popular times on port days, but generally passengers were well distributed throughout the ship. It was easy to find quiet places to sit, or more active places for company. Embarkation in Singapore is odd simply because you have to walk through a mall to reach the desk. Once in Silversea's hands, however, the process was easy and pleasant -- under 10 minutes from starting the process to sitting in the Panorama Lounge enjoying my 2nd glass of welcome bubbly. I dined at every possible venue, preferring La Terrazza for breakfast (waiters will bring you eggs to order and cappuccino, but everything else comes from the vast buffet). My meal in the upcharge La Dame was as extraordinary as advertised, while two dinners at the casual Hot Rocks were good fun with good company. The Restaurant does include a small selection of regional selections every night, and I found they were nicely done -- especially the lemongrass beef. Over the 2 weeks, I dined in La Tarrazza for dinner on 4 occasions, always enjoying the upscale Italian cuisine and handmade pastas. As others have said, luxury trappings are nice, but it is the warmth and professionalism of the crew that make Silversea so special. Without exception, every staff member on board was at the top of their game, remembering names and orders, anticipating wants or needs, offering a compliment or a steady arm, making conversation with real connections, sharing insights from their homelands. I found this to be true throughout the ranks: from the captain to the room attendant, from the wait staff to the officers, from the earnest care of the butlers to the often invisible work of the maintenance crew and accountants. Of everything on this near-perfect voyage, I think I will miss the crew the most. Would I go again? Yes. And I would enthusiastically recommend it to others. Read Less

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