Sail Date: July 2019
We enjoyed Oceania on past cruises, especially the specialty restaurants, the smaller ship sizes and the service. Other cruise lines are cheaper, but the crowds are larger and the food is not as good as Oceania. Our cruise was 19 days ... Read More
We enjoyed Oceania on past cruises, especially the specialty restaurants, the smaller ship sizes and the service. Other cruise lines are cheaper, but the crowds are larger and the food is not as good as Oceania. Our cruise was 19 days and covered a number of ports we had previously been to, but we wished to visit Turkey, Israel and Cyprus. Embarkation at Port Piraeus, Athens ran smoothly. It took less than 30 minutes and we were on the ship. We find the ship is always clean in the public areas, the staff are extremely helpful and pleasant and enjoy a bit of banter. We found this time there were a number of passengers travelling with children. Sadly they are unsupervised around the dining areas and like to run up and down the halls during the day. I realise it is not the staffs responsibility to control them, but this can ruin it for others. We used the ship's excursions a couple of times which were quite good. I think next time we will organise our own excursions. It is most frustrating when people wonder off and forget the time, whilst everyone else is waiting at the bus. The onboard entertainment is not something we go to see. The band at the pool were playing a couple of times, and I thought they were pretty useless. Would have been better with just come music playing rather than a band. Disembarkation at Barcelona, Spain was super easy. We walked off the ship and all the bag were waiting downstairs. Plenty of taxis waiting to take departing passengers to hotels, airports etc. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We had never cruised previously because we did not like the idea of a floating city, so the smaller tall ship made sense, especially when it had a cruise that included our bucket list of places to see in Greece. We did our research and ... Read More
We had never cruised previously because we did not like the idea of a floating city, so the smaller tall ship made sense, especially when it had a cruise that included our bucket list of places to see in Greece. We did our research and knew what to expect, and the Star Flyer exceeded in most regards, especially the food! If tons of activity and entertainment is your goal, this isn't your best bet. If peaceful evenings on deck with no sounds but the wind thru the sales, and an intimate, yet casual setting for meals is what you like, this is for you. The group on board is small enough that mutual respect wins out over fighting for the best deck chairs or tables at dinner. The majority seemed to be seasoned travelers that know how to act in this setting and very friendly when sharing a table or space at the bar. So nice when the cruise director can address EVERYONE at the same time regarding excursions and ship-board fun. I don't think we'll ever take a trip on a large mega-ship! This setting was too perfect for us Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
After our 21 day cruise in April on the Seabourn Ovation (our first with Seabourn) we had been impressed. When we noticed the itinerary of the Odyssey for the Greek Odyssey Cruise we got all excited. For us, the Mediterranean is our ... Read More
After our 21 day cruise in April on the Seabourn Ovation (our first with Seabourn) we had been impressed. When we noticed the itinerary of the Odyssey for the Greek Odyssey Cruise we got all excited. For us, the Mediterranean is our favorite cruising destination. There were some islands on the itinerary that were new to us, while others we already knew but were keen on seeing again. We were curious too, how the smaller and older Odyssey would compare with the newer Ovation. Both have a similar layout and they have about the same number of crew. We were pleasantly surprised that our cabin on the Odyssey was more comfortable, our veranda suite on the Ovation had been very narrow and the fake wood paneling too dark. The beds on the Odyssey seemed also wider and there was no hazard of rolling off the bed during sleep. Both ships interiors didn't impress us as luxurious, the used materials simple and inexpensive. But, the service of the crews was truly remarkable and memorable. The service on the Ovation was even better, despite the higher number of guests; on the Ovation each one of the crew knew our names after only a few days, we couldn't believe it. Maybe it had to do with the exceptional leadership of the cruise director Handre; he was absolutely wonderful, a role model and he made every guest feel welcome and especially cared for. The ambience on the Ovation was very personal and familiar, we had never before experienced anything quite like it and felt genuinely at home. On the Odyssey it was a little less personal but still very good. We did find the quality of the food on the Odyssey even better; we loved the fresh fruits plus nuts, chia and linseeds at the breakfast buffet. The "Earth and Ocean" on the pool deck we had avoided at first from our negative experiences on the Ovation but found out on the Odyssey the food there was often excellent. It probably comes down to the actual crew and cooks on your cruise. This was our 10th cruise in the past 3 years. We had started out with Silversea, Regent, Oceania and now Seabourn. Regent is still our favorite, they are more expensive but everything is included including wifi and excursions. We rate Seabourn second and can't wait to sail with them again if an itinerary catches our fancy. Oceania had the most luxurious ship, the Marina, our penthouse suite was superb but their cuisine is the best for overweight and obese passengers only. Oceania offers long and fantastic itineraries, if only the cuisine could be more healthy. We had been very happy with Silversea as it was our first cruise line, now that we have sailed on other lines, Silversea seems no longer attractive for us; their ships were old and tired, always in need of renovation; the much too frequent formal evenings exaggerated considering the conditions of the vessels; plus we find Silversea too expensive. The Odyssey is the perfect choice for itineraries with as few days at sea as possible. It is a small ship with all the advantages of small vessels, but for sea days we missed a jogging or at least a walking trail, the gym was too small where a few bikes were just facing a wall; I personally choose to run up and down the stairs for an hour during our sea day. But for a transatlantic cruise f.e., we would choose another ship. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My husband and I, and 2 other couples, chose this ship because we wanted a small ship. It was perfect in size...getting on and off ship was easy and quick. We were in cabin 240 which is at the very end of the hall. It proved to be a ... Read More
My husband and I, and 2 other couples, chose this ship because we wanted a small ship. It was perfect in size...getting on and off ship was easy and quick. We were in cabin 240 which is at the very end of the hall. It proved to be a great room in the sense that there wasn't much foot traffic outside our door. The cabin had more than enough storage cabinets and plenty of under bed storage for suitcases. Bathroom had a great shower and all amenities were good. My complaint about this ship is the last night before disembarking, they seemed to shut off all A/C. It wasn't just our cabin, but everyone else's, too. Don't know what the deal was, but our final night on board was sleepless...very hot. The gym was small, but adequate with a couple tread mills, 1 elliptical machine, 1 stationary bike and lots of free weights. None of us had a bad meal and all dinners exceeded our expectation. Cabin attendants were very good and all the staff was very helpful and kind. ENTERTAINMENT: Windstar needs to work on this aspect. Most of the music played outside around the bar and deck area was so old and tired...Jackson 5 genre. It seemed like our party ages 55-60 were the youngsters, and maybe the majority who appeared to be 70's and 80's enjoy that era of music. We would've enjoyed more current music. Our cruise had a pianist and singer that performed most evenings, but the room was small with low ceilings so the music was too loud. We always left for areas that we could converse. Our party of 6 did not go on any Windstar excursions because we found better value by booking private tours on our own. All in all, we loved the ship and would consider going again based on the service we received and the small ship size. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Wanted a smaller ship for the Greek Isles. The crew was great. The bar service was slow. They needed more bar staff. Meals were adequate. Went to the Crystal Restaurant our last night and my husband and I enjoyed a delicious meal on ... Read More
Wanted a smaller ship for the Greek Isles. The crew was great. The bar service was slow. They needed more bar staff. Meals were adequate. Went to the Crystal Restaurant our last night and my husband and I enjoyed a delicious meal on the deck. Also, the dinner seafood bar b que on deck was excellent. All excursions and guides were good, well organized and informative. Our room 211 was noisy from engine. More then a hum. The room was well organized and suitcases were stored under bed. I would not choose this ship again because the engine noise at night was too loud. See cabin review below for more details. Motor Coaches were comfortable. Enjoyed the Acropolis and Museum Tour when we disembarked. Athens was fun and Hotel Grand Bretagne was excellent. Enjoyed walking from hotel, view from our balcony of Parliament, the Square, the Acropolis. Weather was perfect. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We selected the short May 4-11 cruise from Athens to Rome to have the opportunity of trying the Crystal experience. We have cruised in Silversea and Seabourn exclusively, and are happy with both lines. We found Serenity to be a solid ... Read More
We selected the short May 4-11 cruise from Athens to Rome to have the opportunity of trying the Crystal experience. We have cruised in Silversea and Seabourn exclusively, and are happy with both lines. We found Serenity to be a solid vessel...good bones, as is often said. We opted for a Penthouse with Verandah and were very pleased with its layout and features. I especially liked the back-to-back desk, one prepared to serve as a vanity. The lighting was very good in the suite and especially in the vanity area. The bathroom included two basins and a very comfortable shower enclosure. There was a jetted tub, which we did not use. I was pleased to see the many drawers, shelves and nooks to organize our belongings. However, the best feature of the suite was Rao, our wonderful butler, and the two housekeeping attendants. We are have had butler in Silversea (which provides butlers for any suite level) and they have been very good, but Rao was so pleasantly effective! The best of the lot. We were pleased with all dining venues, especially Waterside and Prego, except for The Marketplace. This venue acts as the breakfast and lunch buffet style cafeteria. The offerings were good, but not as good as in Colonnade and Trerraza (SB and SS respectively). We did not like it mainly for its layout. The table/chairs are set in a very narrow space, galley like, and most times the waiters' stations were almost besides us. We very much preferred Waterside. We had unusually cold weather and could not use the pool. However, we found the pool to be small, narrow and with less depth that those in SS and SB. Also, there is no food/bar service at the pool. Overall level of service was very good...except for one incident, reported and corrected. I rate the gym the best. I especially enjoyed the cardio-disco classes offered; they were a lot of fun and quite challenging. We never had any problems accessing the treadmills for our daily routines. Entertainment and daily activities offerings were so much better than in SS and SB!! The dance classes led by Beverly and Curtis were very popular, and all the participants enjoyed them very much. The shows were varied and included a comedian, as well as a magician from the well known Magic Castle in Los Angeles. In summary, we plan on booking Crystal in the future, especially longer trips, in order to enjoy all the daily offerings on sea days. However...if weather is very good, other pools may beckon us. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Selected this cruise because of the amazing places it went that I never thought I would see—Athens, Croatia, Montenegro, and ending up in Venice. The Acropolis in Athens was a hard climb but so worth it in the end. The views from the ... Read More
Selected this cruise because of the amazing places it went that I never thought I would see—Athens, Croatia, Montenegro, and ending up in Venice. The Acropolis in Athens was a hard climb but so worth it in the end. The views from the top are wonderful. Visit to Olympia to see original site of first Olympic Games was interesting to see. Corfu was a very pretty coastal town. Dubrovnik and Split Croatia were great places to see and explore. But they were not as beautiful as Kotor Montenegro. That is such a gorgeous entrance into port and still a quaint town. Did an excursion up out of town, and even with a cloudy day, the views of town and harbor were wonderful. And stopped at small family run restaurant for included typical lunch with a sample shot or Grappa, which if very strong liquor. Then it was my dream stop of Venice! The sail into the city is very cool. The city itself with no cars and all travel by boat or on foot was as amazing as I had hoped for. St Mark’s Square and the Doge Palace are beautiful, but crowded. My favorite thing to do in Venice was to just wander the n narrow streets and visiting little shops, enjoying a coffee and hot chocolate sitting in a quaint square, and having lunch at a small family restaurant. Viking once again did a great job. Penthouse Veranda cabin very nice with lots of storage. Fridge in room with included minibar drinks is nice when you want to relax on Veranda and have a drink. Included excursions are really good, especially since ship pulls right up to cities to visit, much like a river cruise does. Loved that because I could explore on my own and then walk back to ship. Plenty of great food, especially the king crab legs each night, and varied entertainment venues. Loved the 3D Explorer Dome show. What a dream vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
The cruise had a fabulous itinerary and we chose it for that. We were not disappointed. The cruise was amazing and the ports were phenomenal. Everything was interesting and easily explored. Sometimes we had to travel a distance from port ... Read More
The cruise had a fabulous itinerary and we chose it for that. We were not disappointed. The cruise was amazing and the ports were phenomenal. Everything was interesting and easily explored. Sometimes we had to travel a distance from port to the points of interest but that is often to be expected with a cruise. We could not have been more pleased with the choice of ports. We arranged for private shore excursions and were so happy we did. In 2 ports we took ship tours because there were no private tours available. In Limassol, Cyprus, the tour was OK - not great, but interesting. In Salalah, Oman, the tour was absolutely terrible. The ship should have given everyone a refund of the money they charged. The tour was to be 4 hours and it ended up being 2 1/2 hours because of immigration problems. However, the tour was terrible, uninteresting and not worth even $25. Just horrible. We complained, as did many other people. My recommendation is to stay away from ship tours if at all possible. The ship was lovely and it was kept very clean. We had a problem, however, with service in the Grand Dining Room and in Waves Grill. Both seemed to be short-staffed. Many times there were tables that needed to be bussed at Waves. Since this is an outdoor venue and the weather was lovely, many people wanted to sit outside but we had to bus our own tables sometimes. The staff just couldn't keep up with it. The service in the GDR was excruciatingly slow most nights. We didn't find the wait staff overly friendly - certainly not as it had been on other Oceania sailings. Something was off on this sailing and it was noticeable to many. The menu in the GDR was unspectacular and often plain boring. Several nights there was nothing that any of us wanted. The Jaques Pepin menu never changed and was very tired by the end of the cruise. The specialty restaurants were much better, with better service and food. We found Toscana a bit more to our liking than Polo Grill because the wait staff was better. The food was more inconsistent in Polo Grill, too, but both were FAR better than the GDR. We were able to eat 6 times in the specialty restaurants and we were very glad we could b/c the GDR was just not up to Oceania's normal standards. Add poor service to that on some nights - a 15 minute wait for a waiter to even come to the table!! - and it was a recipe for dissatisfaction. We always went to Happy Hour in Horizons and had one server who was outstanding, Beverly. She was attentive, knew our drink selections after the 2nd day and was always cheerful. If we didn't sit in her section, she would come to us and ask us why we weren't sitting in her section. She really cared about us and proved that good service is still possible on Oceania. She made our evenings so very enjoyable. Our cabin was always kept clean, however, when we first arrived, we did not see our cabin steward until the next day! This is unheard of. We knew the name of our attendant but we never saw him. I called for extra hangers and they took forever to arrive. Poor service there on the first day. When we finally saw our cabin steward the next morning, we found out it was not the one who had been assigned to us. The steward originally assigned to us had left the ship in the embarkation port. We figured that there had been some personnel problems b/c surely they would not have assigned him to our cabins had they known he was leaving. Still, no word of explanation nor was there an apology for the replacement. And we still would not have met our new steward if it hadn't been for the fact that he was in the hall when we left the cabin the next morning. Another "off" thing about this sailing. The Cruise Director, Julie James, is a bit tired and long in the tooth. She was our Cruise Director once before and we didn't think she was all that great. She is friendly and bubbly but that's about it. She doesn't expend a lot of energy getting to know her crowd. We have had CDs who are much more engaged with the passengers. The production entertainment staff was engaging and the kids worked really hard but they were not all that good. They were as cute as they could be but they didn't seem to be that skilled. Sometimes off key in the singing. The dancers were very good and far more skilled. The hired entertainers (magician, musician, flautist) were excellent. They could not have been better and we enjoyed them tremendously. The professional lecturers were outstanding and we enjoyed their presentations. Since we were seeing so many foreign ports, their input and information was extremely valuable and helpful. All in all, we have loved Oceania and are willing to give this cruise experience in the cabin and dining room areas a pass. Perhaps something was going on that we were not aware of as passengers. Certainly, we have experienced a much better Oceania in the past. We hope that this is not becoming the standard because if it is, we will be turning our allegiance elsewhere. An outstanding itinerary cannot make up for some of the issues we found. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Fellow Cruisers, It has now been a further three weeks of cruising on the Seabourn Ovation for my wife and I and I have begun to like this ship quite a bit. Cruising on a relatively small ship (600 or less passengers) means that the ... Read More
Fellow Cruisers, It has now been a further three weeks of cruising on the Seabourn Ovation for my wife and I and I have begun to like this ship quite a bit. Cruising on a relatively small ship (600 or less passengers) means that the staff and fellow guests get to know you and vice versa in a short period of time. This makes for a more congenial and friendly family type atmosphere. Since my last review, it seems that the service on board still remains a challenge in some areas of the main restaurant and for a couple of waiters in the various bars. But in general I am much happier with the Seabourn Ovation now. The Cruise Director, Handré is perhaps the best that I have come across in my 40 or so cruises. He is extremely hard working and can be heard making the safety and shore announcements from the bridge, overseeing the trivia, announcing the entertainment and generally coordinating all the various events. He then still has time to perform (he is a gifted pianist and composer) and conduct personalised small group enrichment programs such as “how to tie bowties” and “how to fold a pocket square correctly”. Another shipboard star is the Executive Chef, Jes Paskins, who is a true talent both as a chef and as a fun loving foodie. His caviar in the surf (and pool) as well as his many theme nights are delightful fun. For a small ship, the Seabourn Ovation makes use of all of its spaces. The deck parties are amazing and the shows are very well done by the resident entertainment team and the guest artists. Of course, once in a while, there are some duds such as the quartet of ladies known as “Ida” who perform in the style of the Three Tenors or El Divo. Sadly they miss the mark. Did I mention the trivia? Handré and his team bring this iconic cruise staple event to a new level of entertainment with fun twists and prizes galore (sometimes for every participant and not just the winners). The cabins are amazing and the housekeeping staff a pleasure. In the “old days” Seabourn only hired pretty young Scandinavian room stewardesses but today they hire from around the world and I am pleased to confirm that they are still pretty, young and charming. But, lest you get the wrong impression, nobody is flirtatious, just pleasant and friendly. This is definitely not a Frat ship. It is a 5 star floating luxury hotel. Keep this ship in mind and on your short list if its itinerary suits. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This Viking Ocean Cruise, Cities of Antiquity & Holy Land, went to the Greek Islands, Israel and Italy. We departed from Athens where we also toured Corinth. We stopped in Rhodes, Mykonos, Limassol, Cypress before heading to Haifa ... Read More
This Viking Ocean Cruise, Cities of Antiquity & Holy Land, went to the Greek Islands, Israel and Italy. We departed from Athens where we also toured Corinth. We stopped in Rhodes, Mykonos, Limassol, Cypress before heading to Haifa and Ashdod in Israel. This was truly a highlight of the trip, visiting the Wailing Wall, Old Jerusalem, getting to sail on the Sea of Galilee, float in the Dead Sea and be baptized in the Jordan River. In Italy we stopped at Naples and Rome where we enjoyed spending the day on the Isle of Capri, and we had a private tour of Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel followed by dinner at a local restaurant. All of the staff and crew onboard were fantastic. We had the best waiters, Ronald and Pumulani at the Restaurant and our Cabin steward, Clark, was beyond belief. Everyone on board greets the guests with a smile and courteous response. While there is not a Broadway production, the singers and others put on an evening of enjoyment. Spa, fitness center, evening trios, piano players were all fantastic. Food in all the restaurants is very good and service is excellent. I booked our trip through a Travel Agent so that we could be assured of getting a cabin because this particular destination sells out fast. We booked the day that it opened for booking which was 17 months before sailing. Three months later it was completely sold out. We were booked in the lowest price cabin a V2 which was concerning to me because we had previously sailed in a Delux Veranda cabin. Advantages are a lower price, which we applied to our excursions and what we missed out on from our DV cabin was no coffee maker, but used 24 hour room service for coffee when desired, mini frig was not refilled daily, which we didn't need, and no binoculars - again we did not use on our previous cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and no problems. Can hardly wait to book our next cruise with Viking Ocean. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
There were many factors on why we chose this cruise. Two of the main factors were that this was a fantastic itinerary that visited the Holy Land and secondly, this was an adult cruise ship that did not have a casino. Many of our ... Read More
There were many factors on why we chose this cruise. Two of the main factors were that this was a fantastic itinerary that visited the Holy Land and secondly, this was an adult cruise ship that did not have a casino. Many of our expectations were surpassed. The crew were just fantastic! From the moment we boarded, we could tell that the crew just loved working for Viking. This positive attitude permeated throughout the entire ship. Special mention goes out to Vikesh from Manfredi's. He was very accommodating to all our requests. Even though we sometimes wanted dishes from different restaurants, Vikesh would go out of his way to make it happen. Towards the end of the cruise, my wife mentioned to Vikesh that although the food on the cruise was fantastic, she just felt like having some basic Indian curry. We didn't expect it but he came back 5 minutes later and told us that he had spoken to the chef and all had been arranged. The curry would be served for dinner in our suite at 8pm that evening. Vikesh did not just arrange it, he personally delivered it to our suite. Just outside our suite was the Explorers Lounge. We spent every evening there chatting with the bar staff. We especially enjoyed the company of Eriona, Cecy and Stoyam. They were just so witty and a really pleasure to be around. On one of the evenings on the cruise, the waters were rather rough and we were feeling a little seasick. Erin concocted her special anti seasick drink which really did make us feel a lot better. Yovitza and Matthew always made sure that our wine fridge was well stocked up with our favourite wines. Having said that, I must say that the entertainment was lacking. Especially the four young singers that really couldn't sing. They were screeching and were very off key. Thankfully our Cruise Director Heather sang so beautifully. Additionally, the sound system in the theatre wasn't great either. It lacked power and clarity and didn't do justice to Heather's immense talent. It would probably benefit from a tuneup from a really good sound engineer. We liked that there were always port talks that were given by highly qualified speakers. Shore excursions were also very well organised and guides were very professional. Buses were comfortable and were never filled to the brim. In fact, most of the time, the buses were only about half-full, which made it very comfortable. It also meant that the guides had quality time with us and that we never had to wait too long for anyone. Overall, it was a very positive experience. The only thing that keeps me from giving a 5 star rating was the rather poor entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Itinerary primarily but also great reputation. Preferred smaller size and passenger capacity. We really wanted to spend time in Israel especially. Wish there were more options to visit both Jerusalem and Masada but both were the same ... Read More
Itinerary primarily but also great reputation. Preferred smaller size and passenger capacity. We really wanted to spend time in Israel especially. Wish there were more options to visit both Jerusalem and Masada but both were the same day. Liked the restaurant options that were available each day. Really enjoyed the two specialty restaurant options and visited them multiple times during the cruise. Not terribly impressed with the entertainment choices although that is never a priority for us when choosing a cruise. The performers were enthusiastic at least but the music choices were not what we prefer. We are a bit younger than the majority of your customers so that likely contributed to the end result. However after all is said and done we truly enjoyed our 2 weeks on board. Not only would we recommend to other people to consider Viking Ocean cruises but we have booked a second cruise for November 2019. That one is in the Caribbean and hits several islands we have not seen yet. Excited for that trip Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Picked the Cruise because of our many Viking River cruises and their fantastic service - and the itinerary that gets you to the Holy Land. Our first Viking Ocean was the Baltic in Summer of 2017 and Needless to say we were unimpressed with ... Read More
Picked the Cruise because of our many Viking River cruises and their fantastic service - and the itinerary that gets you to the Holy Land. Our first Viking Ocean was the Baltic in Summer of 2017 and Needless to say we were unimpressed with the service as we expected it to be equal to the River cruises - It is not - Many times had to get our own drinks, utensil etc - Food was spectacular, but restaurant serve slow at best and mediocre. It was exactly the same on this cruise 18 months later - So no improvement to speak of. More Comments - Room service for breakfast was punctual but quite often food was barely warm, but always a problem when so many to deliver in a small amount of time. Actually the fact that you could get room service though is a plus. As for their free wine/beer lat lunch/dinner has improved. Baltic one beer one wine - At least this time you had choice of beers - However having only a single wine at a meal - one white one red, if you did not like it you are paying then on for each glass. You should have all the wines available each night and let diners choose - OH and with the Crystal/Regent/Silver Seas/Seaborne providing most all drinks free and no mandatory tipping (30 per day per pax), certainly makes those four more attractive even in price. On Crystal, by the second visit to our favorite bar she remembered our drinks and on the third visit she was following us to a table with our drinks - You did have one male waiter do his best and eventually knew what we wanted but always had to ask first before bribing them. ON the PLUS PLUS side - Ship spectacular, crew very helpful, on/off as good as you can expect with 900 people, Staff taking care of rooms at the top of my list - Helpful and attentive. check in check out fantastic. Excursions - The freebies are just drive byes and a waste of time - We did were trying to fit two good ones in each day, but some were so long we could just not do it. The spa prices were ridiculous, more than the Crystal trip I went on and 3 times Holland America. The thermal pool reeked of chlorine so bad, (being chlorine sensitive) I could not even use the steam room, snow room, or thermal lounges. Huge disappointment. Will I go on another Viking Ocean, not sure. Right now they are a slight cut above Holland America but Holland is about 25% cheaper so their you have it - I have done 8 river cruises and will river cruise with Viking again. I feel like royalty on their River Cruises Next Ocean might be Seaborne or other top 4 or maybe go cheaper and hit Holland but book a suite and still be 1/2 of Vikings cheapest room. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I have been on different cruise lines but Viking Star and Viking Sky that I have experienced has offered a near perfect experience. The staff are very friendly and eager to please. They treat you like royalty no matter the time of the ... Read More
I have been on different cruise lines but Viking Star and Viking Sky that I have experienced has offered a near perfect experience. The staff are very friendly and eager to please. They treat you like royalty no matter the time of the day. The food in all restaurants is excellent and the fine dining experience is out of this world. The intineries were very well organized and ship staff were always around stationed at airports, cruise terminals and other areas to ensure no passenger felt tense that he/she were headed in a wrong direction. In Haifa we were disappointed that no excursion was offered for entering the Baha’i Gardens. That is why I have rated this tour as near perfect but not fully there. If there was a reason that the Gardens was not offered ought to have been made known to the guests. But barring this small disappointment, we had a most glorious 14 days on one of the finest there is on the seas. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We did our first cruise with Azamara Club Cruises with Azamara Journey from Sydney to Signapore (18 days) in March this year (2018) and was very satisfied with ship, itinieries, food, service and ambiance on board. When we found a good ... Read More
We did our first cruise with Azamara Club Cruises with Azamara Journey from Sydney to Signapore (18 days) in March this year (2018) and was very satisfied with ship, itinieries, food, service and ambiance on board. When we found a good deal on the newly refurbished Azamara Pursuit we booked this cruise from Athen to Rome. We were exicited and a bit anxious in advance as some reviews have been on the negative side in addition to the fact that we also had booked a 16 days cruise in february 2019 from Santiago Chile to Buenos Aires. We are happy to report that we were pleasantly supprised and very satisfied with our cruise and can sum up as follows: * ship is old but well refurbished and in better condition than Journey * embarkation and disembarkation was smoot despite a delay on disembarkment. This delay was however due to bad weather * cabin was fine and to expectations * food and service in discovery was already up to speed and prime C was better than Journey. * Windows cafe can be better on pastas and pizzas which is something both Azamara Journey and Azamara Pursuit are not as good at making Italien food. I think they have to hire some good Italien chef who can take all cooks on a special Italien cooking course. * entertainment was on average in the cabaret except from the cruisedirector Amanda Poulsson and one other english perfomer at the end of the ship. Pianist and group playing in bar areas was good and far better than on Journey *Interesting cruise with many fine places to visit * compared to Journey I must admit that captain Johannes from Norway together with cruisedirector Eric was special and was extremely good at informing and walking the floor among the guests. Antonio and Amanda should benefit from getting tips from Journey. To sum up it seems that Pursuit has managed in a short time to get the crew up to a very good standard and we are looking forward to joining Pursuit on the Santiago-Buenos Aires cruise in February. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
7 Night Greek and Italian Jewels on Seabourn Odyssey Perspective: This was our 30th cruise. We were first time cruisers with Seabourn and received the first time OBC of $400, thanks to the Cruise Critic Seabourn Board. This cruise ... Read More
7 Night Greek and Italian Jewels on Seabourn Odyssey Perspective: This was our 30th cruise. We were first time cruisers with Seabourn and received the first time OBC of $400, thanks to the Cruise Critic Seabourn Board. This cruise had a port of call each day so we did not get to enjoy all that Seabourn offers. But they did take very good care of us.  Pre-Cruise: We booked airfare through Seabourn. They are a Carnival Corp line, so there was significant savings doing cruise air. We were booked on Delta with flights operated by Air France and Alitalia. The Air France flight used a Boeing 767, which had the least space of any economy seat we have ever experienced. Later, the Alitalia Boeing 777 economy class was fine, but the Air France 767 was miserably cramped. Will avoid the 767 in the future, just to be sure. On a positive note, there was no air deviation fee to book additional days before or after the cruise. We arrived in Athens 3 days before our cruise. Used a taxi to hotel because of luggage. Enjoyed sightseeing and dining in Athens. Started early and ended at about dusk. Fall is less crowded, so was able to keep a distance for safety. Never felt unsafe, but as in all tourist cities, DH always kept a death grip on his wallet and phone. Purchased the Unified Ticket to visit Acropolis and additional sites. Embarkation; We again used a taxi to the port to help with luggage. Arrived at port around 11:30. Seabourn waiting area was not open to passengers. Waited in the port area. At about 12, we were allowed into the Seabourn area where there was cold water available. Check-in started shortly before 1:00 and went quickly. Went onboard to the back area of the Colonnade for lunch. Rooms available at 2. Cabin: Cabin was an ocean view suite. Was setup with one requested liquor and cold Champagne. Was missing one liquor and sodas requested. Since we never drank any alcohol in cabin, we did not note the problem. We only drank bottled water in cabin. On arrival to cabin, safe was not working and there was leak under one sink in the bathroom. Both fixed by dinner. Cabin service was excellent. Even on short port intensive cruise the extra space in the suite was very nice. Room service breakfast was setup nicely with plenty of room to enjoy. Room to dress for dinner was excellent – makeup area, large closet, and room for two to sit, walk or stand throughout suite. Food: Beverages - We never purchased a beverage because the included options were excellent. We normally carry on wine to insure our favorites. Research on Cruise Critic revealed that the included wines by the glass would meet our needs, which they did. Wine service was prompt and thoughtful including finding our favorites and opening new bottles of the included wines from previous nights. Never had to wait on wine service. Enjoyed the cocktail service in the bars and on deck. Staff made sure to offer Thomas Keller cocktail the night we dined there. Observation Lounge seemed to be place for those who really are into mixed drinks. Bartender even visited tables to get feedback about drinks. Specially prepared cocktails were brought to the Patio and pool area in the afternoon, which were very hard to resist. Even had beverage service at the hot tub on the front of the ship. Coffee was excellent. Enjoyed espressos and cappuccinos in dining areas. The Seabourn Square provided barista prepared specialties as good as any coffee house. Also served light bites. For Breakfast, we used room service most days since we needed to be off the ship around 8. The Restaurant and Colonnade opened at 8am and 7am. Used door hanger to order. All our choices were present. Food delivered on time, warm, and setup nicely. Best room service ever experienced. Did one breakfast in The Restaurant which was perfect. Two breakfasts in the outdoor area of the Colonnade, used a mix of ordering from wait staff and buffet, perfect as well. For lunch, we were never back on ship by 2 so the choice was the Patio or room service. We ate every lunch at The Patio, always freshly grilled fish and comfort treat like slice of pizza or burger. Excellent table service for wine and food ordering. When they were crowded, they setup more tables. Dinners were elegant affairs for us. We dressed elegant to formal each night. We had Thomas Keller reservations the first night as it was the only reservation available ahead of time before 9pm. It was a good choice for the first night. Best meal on the cruise for our tastes. An officer had recommended the lamb and was correct. Lobster as the appetizer followed by lamb was one meal. Salad and New York Strip for the other meal. Cocktail and wine service was thoughtful and encouraged. Food was paced nicely. Waiter recommended the Coconut Cake and the Chocolate Cake, was served half a slice of each presented on two plates. Another night a couple tried to add us to their reservation and were told the restaurant was totally booked; so reservations can be tight. Two dinners at Earth and Ocean. – Quiet and casual. Portions are small and options are creative. Great choice for a lighter meal. Remaining meals at The Restaurant. – Ate 4 meals here. All were excellent. Service was slow one night; staff team seemed a bit new. Went to one hosted dinner which was very enjoyable. The only drawback was that the area in the middle of the dining room made it difficult to hear at this large table of 8. Table was hosted by two of the entertainers who were very social and made the evening special. Regarding the menu in The Restaurant, the descriptions and choices as read on the menu do not do justice to the wonderful food. The actual items served were very well prepared and presented. Entertainment: We did not participate in many activities since we were in port each day. Can not comment on any of the daily items such as lectures and trivia. We did go two shows, one was a fairly typical cruise ship style show and the Tim Rice show was fantastic. The lounges at night had very good music. The deck dance party had to be moved indoors to The Club. We enjoyed the music and dancing with the entertainment staff. Volume of the music was at a nice level for dancing and yet one could get farther away and converse over the music. Staff and officers were very friendly and mingled. The gym is nice. Good variety of equipment. On the Odyssey there is no charge for the locker/changing room, showers, steam room and sauna. They were very nice and clean. My one visit, I was the only one in the area. The hot tubs and pool usually only had a few users. Did not use the internet or casino. The one blackjack table was 6/5 BJ, even though multi-deck. Seabourn Square is very nice with the library and sitting areas. Middle area for excursion staff offices. Disembarkation; Prepaid for a shared shuttle to hotel in Rome, approx. 38 euros each. Left ship at 8:45, shuttle arrived at the exact time agreed 9am. Arrived at hotel at 10:45am. Lunch then Vatican Museum tour at 1pm. Stayed an extra day for the Borghese Gallery. Heavy rain in the AM kept us from touring the Borghese gardens. In the evening, we used the Rome metro to tour sites at night. Very nice to see the Coliseum, Trevi Fountain, and Piazza Navona fountains at night. Summary: Seabourn is all that the marketing claims. We enjoyed their cruise experience so much that it now changes what we look for in a cruise. Having never to think about costs onboard was much more enjoyable than imagined. Small ship with great space ratio was a big plus. The Seabourn Service is incredible; the staff is professional and caring. Their service is based on training and pride; they have no expectation of compensation from passengers because the gratuity is truly included. In the future we will evaluate what cruise we book to get close to our Seabourn experience if the itinerary and value are there; otherwise we will book Seabourn. Can’t give a higher rating than that! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Having recently returned from our second Seabourn cruise, we debarked the ship after 19 days wanting to stay on board. Alas, "duty calls", including back to work. Now, after settling in at home, herewith, in no particular, order, ... Read More
Having recently returned from our second Seabourn cruise, we debarked the ship after 19 days wanting to stay on board. Alas, "duty calls", including back to work. Now, after settling in at home, herewith, in no particular, order, are my impressions of our trip. Last year (December 2017) we tried Seabourn for the very first time, on the Odyssey for a Caribbean cruise. Interested readers can find my review for that trip. Suffice to say, we were by no means overwhelmed by Seabourn on that trip. Yet this most recent cruise met and in many ways exceeded our expectations. As a result, we indeed look forward to returning to Seabourn in the future. We sailed October 20, 2018 from Athens to Dubai, including a day on the Suez canal. When we booked this trip way back earlier this year, we knew that we were most interested in Greece before-hand, and Israel as ports of call. For the rest of the trip, for the most part for us "the ship was the destination", with the goal to relax, enjoy excellent food and service on a fine floating resort, and recharge. In that way, the Encore did not disappoint. A few comments first on Athens and the Ports: we very much enjoyed our three days prior to the cruise exploring Athens. People were friendly, the food was very good, and the museums and tours we did fascinating (Acropolis, Parthenon, etc.). Athens is a great place to begin a cruise! We did get off the ship in Israel. The first port of Haifa was a long port day, thankfully, so we used that day to go to Jerusalem, with a private car and guide our travel agent arranged. The next day (Ashdod) we were supposed to be in port until 3PM, with a back-on-board time of 2:30. Yet that changed to back-on-board of 1:30 due to a directive from the Suez authorities. That in our view made things very tight, so we remained on board and treated this as a sea day. Hopefully Seabourn can in future confirm a longer stay there, as there is much to see in a less rushed fashion. Unlike many, we did not venture to Petra. Due to arthritis issues, I did not want to try it. We were not alone as I was told those remaining on board numbered 150 people. Thankfully, Seabourn continues to make all facilities available, including not closing the dining room for lunch on port days. Those who went to Petra with whom we spoke told us they enjoyed it very much so, if you can do it, by all means, go for it! Yet they also confirmed that it was a lot of difficult walking on a hot day. We did get off in Oman (Muskat) and took the "hop-on/off" bus...ok, "been there, done that, got the t-shirt". We thereafter remained on board other than for the beach party at Sir Bany Yas island in the UAE. That was our last stop before disembarkation, and it was a lovely day ashore. A BBQ lunch served in a beautiful setting, after the famous "caviar in the surf". Ah, bliss! Our shipboard experiences: We had a regular verandah cabin on deck 8. Before sailing upgrades were offered to the PH category yet,for us, these were too expensive. While the regular verandah cabins on the Encore are a touch narrower than are the regular verandahs on the Odyssey, we still found the space to be quite adequate. Keep in mind that we are used to the larger "Neptune Suites" on Holland America ships. So, if we can be content for 19 days in a regular verandah cabin on the Encore, I suspect that most people can. Part of the reason for our satisfaction is in how well, ergonomically, the suites are laid out. There is little wasted space. A few things we did not realize until near the end of our trip: the main dining or multi-purpose table in the suite moves! It can be pulled out from the wall for much easier access (unlike, if I recall correctly, on the Odyssey sized ships where it is fixed in place). It is not obvious, or at least was not to us (and, we know, a few others too), that the table can be moved. The chairs are otherwise a tad tight in the space. Yet they are comfortable. The sofa and bed were also quite comfortable, as was the verandah. Our cabin was quite far forward, yet even when there was some "motion of the ocean", we just took the pills freely available at Seabourn Square (ask the guest relations staff) and were fine. On arrival on day one, our in-room preferences were not all present, but were quickly arranged by the stewardess. Unfortunately, our stewardess was otherwise not as capable as the one we had last year. At the evening turn-down, towels were several times forgotten, leading me to call for these to be delivered when we returned from the show, and her cleaning was slap-dash in some respects. I addressed this in my survey. Yet this was really only the one area where we had a few issues. Hardly a deal-breaker! We found the ship itself to be beautiful. It has an elegant look and feel. Even on the many sea days that we had, I did not find difficulty in getting space at one of the pools. My preference was the small plunge pool on deck 5, which offers many shady spots. Alas, as the sun moved, so must those seeking shade, but so be it. The one problematic issue with that area is that smoking is allowed on one side of deck 5--unfortunately, the smoke from those indulging did not know enough to stay on its own side, so would waft across, making it less than pleasant (there was a lady who almost chain-smoked in the afternoons). While I acknowledge that there must be one spot for smokers to indulge (or else folks will likely break the rules and light up anywhere), it should be limited to the upper deck sky bar, in my opinion, not by either pool. Bar service at the pool was excellent--staff were regularly swinging by with trays of "pool drinks" (Pina coladas, etc). Yet one could order anything one wanted and it would be promptly delivered, with a smile. Indeed, bar service generally was very good indeed. In the evenings, my "Rob Roy" was made as I liked it, with the Scotch I prefer (or I could try it with a single malt, etc.). My wife also got her cocktail as she preferred. We particularly enjoyed hanging out in the Thomas Keller ("TK") bar, enjoying the stylings of the pianist while having a pre-dinner cocktail. It was a very pleasant venue, not found on the smaller ships, and a nice addition to this class of ships. We found the dining experiences to be varied and well done for the most part. Were there a few glitches? Of course, as after all, in 19 days things can go a little wrong once in a while. Yet overall, it was excellent and, when there was an issue, it was quickly addressed and rectified. One advantage to having a drink in the TK bar was that, as late diners (usually after 8PM) when venturing into the bar around 7:30, we would ask the hostess to let us know if there was pending availability for a table for two. Often, there was. So, in addition to our one reservation at TK, we in total dined there five times, working our way through the menu. Overall, we found TK to be a nice venue for dinner--the food was well prepared and elegantly served in nice surroundings. It made a change for dinner. Yet we also enjoyed the dining room. With the larger atrium, it has a more airy and open feel than on the smaller ships. We enjoyed one theme dinner at the Colonnade (TK rib night, naturally!) and also dined there the first night for the lovely roast beef. We often had lunch in the dining room--a nice and quiet venue, although we tried the buffet at the Colonnade a few times too. Breakfast was via room service (for the most part prompt and well done) or a light snack at Seabourn Square. The caviar was often a tasty treat while getting ready for dinner. The best coffee was found at the Square! Other drinks such as brewed ice tea (meaning, not from a mix) were also available. Service overall was warm and welcoming. While we never met the hotel director, clearly, he runs a tight operation. We enjoyed meeting Jovan, the F & B director, and a few other managers. Everyone, from officers to servers at the pool bar, were always smiling and willing to do whatever they could to enhance your holiday. It was very cosseting and made returning to reality (starting with the airport!) that much harder! Entertainment was well done. The cast of singers were truly talented. In addition to the usual evening shows after dinner, two 6PM performances during the cruise were offered. One featured opera singing by the singers. The Seabourn band was also very good in the Grand Salon. Pianist John in the TK bar was excellent, as were the duo in the Observation bar. We found the "techno-pop" music in the Club to be far too loud, making conversation impossible. The young foursome were not bad per se, just too loud for us. So we did not hang out there. Guest entertainers were also for the most part quite talented. The Barricade Boys in particular were great. Also great was the Cruise Director Chelsea, and her assistant Henri. Both had a very engaging way with their passengers, making us all feel special. Some of the "conversations", referring to the guest lecturers, were better than others. Some were not to my taste--reminiscent of the university undergrad lectures which I often slept through. After doing that again once or twice, I decided to "cut class" and head directly to the pool. Yet others seemed to enjoy some of the lectures. A word on embarkation, which was a sore point last year for us. This time on the Encore it was truly "easy-peasy". We left our hotel in Athens at noon and were having lunch at the Colonnade by 1:20 PM. The rooms were announced as ready shortly before 2PM. Luggage arrived promptly. In other words, this was as it should be, and virtually stress-free. It was the sign of a well-run operation, so kudos to them! Disembarkation, on the other hand, was less stellar. Our stewardess banged on our door precisely at 8AM, when we were making our final checks in drawers, etc., to ensure that nothing was left behind. She had other rooms to clean and, if we were not gone by say, 8:15, then a gentle knock would be appropriate to check up on us. Yet we found her brusque approach disconcerting, to say the least. We also hope that Seabourn could emulate other lines (such as its sister company Holland America) which allow a later departure from the rooms. As the rooms are not available for new guests until 2PM, a 9 AM cut off to exit the suites for debarking guests instead of 8AM ought to allow enough time (a five hour window) to prepare the rooms, I would think. In any case, our plan was to leave our room at 8AM, and go to the dining room for a last breakfast, which we did. Fortified by a hearty breakfast, well served by the usual team, we easily left the ship (a very short and orderly exit line), claimed our bags, and found the Seabourn-arranged driver who was waiting for us with my last name on a card (very reassuring). Our post-cruise stay, also booked via Seabourn, was fine too. I will review the hotels we enjoyed in Athens and Dubai on the sister web-site, TripAdvisor, in due course. All in all, this was a great cruise, on a lovely ship, with a great crew. Fellow passengers were also most pleasant, and we enjoyed meeting a number of nice people. Hopefully next year, we can do it again on Seabourn. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Have enjoyed some great cruises with Celebrity many times, including one to the Galapagos, and one not so good with Oceania, but happily discovered Azamara a couple of years ago and this was our third sailing with them. Pleased to say the ... Read More
Have enjoyed some great cruises with Celebrity many times, including one to the Galapagos, and one not so good with Oceania, but happily discovered Azamara a couple of years ago and this was our third sailing with them. Pleased to say the cruise did not disappoint in any way. Azamara Officers and Staff are very personable and welcoming, the Master of the Vessel (Jose) is a real star/treasure and we enjoyed his input tremendously. The itinerary was great and, by utilising the ship’s own tours, we’ve now put more pins on our world map having been able to visit Jerusalem and Bethlehem, Petra, Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, plus two ports in the country of Oman. The cruise ended in Dubai and we flew home the following day, and delighted to report that Dubai had the cleanest airport we’d ever seen. Well done, Dubai! Suffice to say Egypt itself was none too clean and, one tip, you need to pack some hand sanitising wipes should you decide to do a tour. After what we saw floating in a tributary, we’ll never book a river cruise on the Nile - Ever! Azamara’s AzAmazing evening was held in Israel (Ashdod) and was well worth going to despite having been on the very tiring trip to Jerusalem and Bethlehem that same day. Also had a great time at the White Night Party, which displayed a wonderful variety of food, with excellent entertainment provided by the ship’s band,’Smooth Sensations’. The secret is to get seated in advance of the start time, oh heck, have I now given it away??? And, as for the Chocolate Buffet? So very gorgeous- and artistic! What’s not to like? Message to the Quest: See you again next Feb! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first Silversea cruise. We chose this cruise because of their unique destinations and excursions. Being a smaller ship was a plus too. First... the food was incredible; well seasoned, flavorful and well presented. So many ... Read More
This was our first Silversea cruise. We chose this cruise because of their unique destinations and excursions. Being a smaller ship was a plus too. First... the food was incredible; well seasoned, flavorful and well presented. So many choices and so many dining options that you never have to repeat yourself. Our butler was always on top of things and went the extra mile for us in locating non-alcoholic beverages for our suite or anything else we would enjoy. Our cabin was spacious, bright and airy. We never felt like we were on top of each other. The closet space was refreshingly large with ample hangars and drawers. The lectures were very interesting and there was something for everybody. Nice mix. We did not partake of many of the offered activities this time and the late night entertainment was too late night for us. We did attend the 6:15 opera and would like to see more entertainment during the matinee timeframe. Ports were fascinating and our tour guides were very knowledgeable and engaging. This was a very relaxing cruise for us where we could come away refreshed. I thoroughly appreciated the library on the 11th deck. My secret place. Professional staff from the cruise director to the room attendant. 6 stars. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our fifth Silversea cruise, our second on the Muse but our first repositioning voyage. As always, we flew to our embarkation city the day beforehand and had a fun 24 hours in Athens. We didn’t feel it necessary to book our ... Read More
This was our fifth Silversea cruise, our second on the Muse but our first repositioning voyage. As always, we flew to our embarkation city the day beforehand and had a fun 24 hours in Athens. We didn’t feel it necessary to book our accommodation through Silversea as it’s a major European city with good transport links. When you just need a relatively central location, a comfortable bed and a good shower, why pay over the odds? Silversea waived the “deviation fee” on this occasion so we booked a simple hotel 10 minutes on the metro from the Acropolis. We enjoyed exploring the city on the Sunday and spent Monday morning in the magnificent Acropolis Museum before taking an inexpensive taxi to Piraeus and boarding the ship with minimum fuss. We were sat outside La Terrazza having lunch within 15 minutes. We previously sailed on the Muse on her inaugural voyage in April 2017 and had a great time, despite the dining chaos complained of by some. It definitely felt like a home-coming, with some familiar faces amongst the crew and we easily slipped into the warm embrace of luxury provided onboard. The ship looked good and well-kept. For us, the public spaces achieve the balance between muted luxury and comfort - we are not interested in being surrounded by “bling”. Our suite, although on a lower deck than we have previously sailed on, was in all other respects exactly the same and very convenient for the “big beige lounge” (the Dolce Vita) and Team Trivia every afternoon. Over the course of the cruise, we ate in all the restaurants with the exception of La Dame. This was a conscious choice on our part as on our previous voyage we didn’t feel La Dame merited the extra charge when the food in Atlantide is particularly good. We dined in Kaiseki to celebrate a birthday and the chefs and staff gave us a memorable evening. We also enjoyed the sushi and sashimi for lunch at Kaiseki, which sometimes provided a quieter alternative to the buffet or the pool deck. The food at all restaurants ranged from very good to excellent. It was pleasing to see that the menu at Silver Note (previously our lest favourite option) had improved. The flavours at Indochine were spot-on and the bar there was one of the nicest on the ship. Not all guests appreciate Asian fusion, but it was heartening to see the Indochine dining room busier than previously. Where we had previously sailed on port-intensive itineraries with relatively few sea days, we had to make an adjustment on this cruise where it was roughly half port and half sea days. This was made easier with plenty to keep us busy. There were three guest lecturers on board, two of whom - Mark Elowitz and Tom Jones - were particularly popular. Team Trivia became increasingly popular as the cruise progressed. Cruise Director Vikki conducted matters with elan and confidence. We used the gym regularly and my husband attended a number of classes with the fitness instructor, who he rated highly. The jogging track was busy with walkers and runners first thing in the morning. We had a bridge tour, various cooking demonstrations in different parts of the snip, a galley tour and many other diversions. The Voices of Silversea did a really good job on this voyage and all the various musicians worked hard to support each other and devise new combinations of musical entertainment to offer guests. Charlie the guitarist was a particular star. In addition, there were two other artists brought in for different parts of the cruise - a singer/pianist and a flamenco guitarist. Both were very skilled. We took a number of excursions in the ports we visited. The desert jeep safari in Sharm El Sheikh was more fun and interesting than we had originally expected. The landscapes through which we drove were remarkable and the visit to the Bedouin camp was enlivened by both a whirling dervish and a belly dancer. The full day excursion to Petra was tiring but very well worth it. Again, the desert landscape we passed through to get there was quite spectacular. Everybody will say that there isn’t enough time to do more than skim the surface in Petra and I think that is true. Once we had passed through the Siq, we left the tour group behind and wandered on our own. There was enough flexibility in the lunch arrangements for us to maximise the time in the old city and just grab something quick back at the Movenpick Hotel. After all, there didn’t see a lot of point in going all that way to spend half of it sitting in the dining room of a hotel, however nice. In Safaga, we took the overnight excursion to Luxor. This gave us the best chance to see as much as we could in the time available. For us, the Valley of the Kings was the highlight and more time there rather than at a couple of the photo stops on the way back to Luxor would have been welcome. The evening buffet dinner at the Sonesta Hotel on the banks of the Nile was very relaxed and enjoyable. Having sailed through Pirate Alley and reached Salalah, we cancelled the excursion we had booked and took a taxi with another couple. This gave us the chance to see what the city had to offer at our own pace. It’s not a big place but there are still points of interest - the vegetable and fish markets were amazing. It always surprises us when we hear and read complaints of poor service on Silversea. We have never experienced anything less than exemplary service and this cruise was no different. Our butler and room attendant were efficient and friendly and did a beautiful job of decorating the suite for my husband’s birthday. The staff definitely deserved the applause at the crew parade on our penultimate evening on board. Disembarkation at Muscat was a little slower than on previous occasions, but that was more to do with the local immigration officials than with Silversea staff. All the arrangements for our transfers within Muscat went smoothly. We are looking forward to our next Silversea cruise - we have an open booking and are still pondering which itinerary to try next. Based on our previous experience, we are confident that Silversea will deliver the cruise we want. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My husband loves Hawaii, however the hotel where we always stay was being renovated in 2018 so i took the opportunity to find a suitable cruise - the requirements were : warm weather, ocean (naturally - no river cruise), interesting ... Read More
My husband loves Hawaii, however the hotel where we always stay was being renovated in 2018 so i took the opportunity to find a suitable cruise - the requirements were : warm weather, ocean (naturally - no river cruise), interesting area(s) and a "nice" ship (with a king-size bed - very important). We have done a few cruises and so far liked the QM2-Grill best (we enjoy ballroom dancing). This was a long introduction ... The SilverSea / SIlver Muse had a very good itinerary - from Athens through the Suez Canal to Oman, via stops in Cyprus and multiple stops in Egypt, particularly Luxor. This schedule was well suited for finishing our trip - on our own - in Dubai. As soon as SilverSea / SIlver Muse (or similar, i.e Spirit) has an itinerary we like we'll book again. We loved the experience. The ship is just lovely - the perfect size in our opinion - big enough to have nice facilities yet small enough to provide an intimate and cozy feeling. No photographer to bug you all the time. We did have a "suite" which was very comfortable (and had the required king-size bed). It also had a Bose sound system but the guest(s) have to provide the music which we could not since we don't have "smart phones" (this was really a shame because we are used to excellent sound; there was music available via the TV but very poor sound quality even though they did have some classical music. On that subject - sound quality - the theatre has a terrbile sound system, we were not the only ones complaining. Also - why does everything have to be so loud ?!? It's ok to amplify a Trio or individual Guitar player on the deck around the pool but in a small and cozy room this simply becomes deafening noise !! The food was excellent and the service superb - there are basically 2 dining venues, the relatively formal Atlantide and the more relaxed Italian La Terrazza - there are several more smaller places (Chinese, Japanese and totally informal pool-side restaurants as well as one super-fancy venue where you have to pay a cover charge - we tried it but were not impressed). One real complaint is that the last breakfast seating is at 9:30 and closes at 10 ! We are on holiday - vacation ! So we had breakfast in our room and our butler tried to bring it as late as possible, typically 9:50 and then 10 min later the eggs and bacon so they don't get cold while we have fruit/juice/cereal - this was acceptable since we could sit in our house coats. (We prefer to have a very late breakfast, typically 11:30 and no lunch - don't know why this seems to be such a problem except on the QM2). Regardless of dress codes, most people were very well dressed - a pleasant surprise, we like it. I can't say much about excursions since we made mostly our own arrangements but one "Beach break" which we had booked was cancelled, not enough interest, but then the office agreed to organize it privately for us and this worked out well. All in all a most wonderful experience - we are looking forward to cruise with SilverSea again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Dining service has slipped, evening entertainment in lounge is not very entertaining for a late night crowd. Butler service, Rommel and his assistant Vipen, were exceptional. No binoculars in room and no lectures on board ship prior to ... Read More
Dining service has slipped, evening entertainment in lounge is not very entertaining for a late night crowd. Butler service, Rommel and his assistant Vipen, were exceptional. No binoculars in room and no lectures on board ship prior to ports. Also not much communication regarding visa help for next cruise to Oman. I personally asked the chief accountant to keep me updated with what became a difficult process. He NEVER communicated until the visa was completed. The ship IT guy tried to help me switch the online application but he could not figure out how to shrink my passport photo tonfit the application. They got it done but it was very stressful and it took four working days after they told me it was usually done in one to three. Would not have been an issue if the. Communication would have been there. Great restaurants to select from and food was very good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We were interested in visiting the ancient ruins in Athens, Petra, and Luxor. The Silversea pre and post cruise Hotels were were excellent. We enjoyed the Muse. There were things we really liked and a couple of things that need ... Read More
We were interested in visiting the ancient ruins in Athens, Petra, and Luxor. The Silversea pre and post cruise Hotels were were excellent. We enjoyed the Muse. There were things we really liked and a couple of things that need attention.We liked the room design. We did not like the black oily soot that came out of the smokestacks and covered the deck and furniture on the back outdoor seating. Soiled lots of cloths before we discovered it. I thought it strange that when my wife and I arrived to eat at the Indochine restaurant I was asked to go get a jacket before I could enter, I went back to room and returned to enter when I noticed eight men in the restaurant who hung their jackets on the chair and were wearing bluejeans and sneakers. Jason told me I only need the jacket to enter but then I could remove it. Quite a poor policy and not consistently applied. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, the destinations were mostly good apart from a change to Nauplion instead of Spetses. Mykonos was supposed to be docked instead we were taken ashore on tenders. Igoumenitsa was a waste of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, the destinations were mostly good apart from a change to Nauplion instead of Spetses. Mykonos was supposed to be docked instead we were taken ashore on tenders. Igoumenitsa was a waste of time nothing of note here .We had more tenders than was on itinerary which was disappointing. Training some of the staff to steer the tenders when passengers were on board was a bit worrying. The food on board was excellent in the Discoveries restaurant and lunch times in Windows. The entertainment on board was a bit disappointing and not up to the Quests. The decor in all the public rooms was tasteful and relaxing. The ship has been refurbished new carpets etc. The waiters in the restaurants were attentive and friendly. The living room was a comfortable relaxing place to be with attentive waiters and various snacks during the day. We had a balcony bedroom which had a table and chairs on the balcony. The bathroom was small and the only complaint from most travellers was the shower curtain clinging to their bodies when showering. We did not take any of the shore excursions as we felt they were very expensive and we could make our own arrangements. We had a group of Greek dancers onboard during an evening buffet who were excellent. The Azamazing evening was in Dubrovnik and Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment a rock Cellist Ana Rucnar, we had the central square cordoned off and it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Taken back to the ship by local boats which was interesting. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our first cruise with Azamara and hopefully not our last. Azamara Pursuit was almost brand new when we sailed, so everything was shiny and new, but the senior officers and crew already seemed like one big family, who were ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Azamara and hopefully not our last. Azamara Pursuit was almost brand new when we sailed, so everything was shiny and new, but the senior officers and crew already seemed like one big family, who were genuinely happy to be aboard. We felt like we were coming home every time we re-boarded the ship. It is the perfect blend of sophisticated luxury and welcoming warmth. We departed from Athens at the same time as 'the Medicane' struck - a Mediterranean hurricane! This was a very rare event and the weather was very unpredictable. Our captain Antonio and his team handled it beautifully, and with a very quick rescheduling of our first port of call we managed to avoid rough seas almost completely. All of the ports on this cruise were excellent, particularly Paros, Rhodes and Dubrovnik. The only downside was that we only had one sea-day and it was the very last day! Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly almost without exception, including when we had tenders. We did a combination of Azamara shore tours and private tours. All of the Azamara tours were very good to excellent with the exception of Chania, when we were mostly on the bus and probably could have just spent the day in town. Entertainment on the ship is a group of four entertainers, who would provide two evening shows most days, plus a guest entertainer - a very funny comedian - who did two shows during the 11 night cruise. There was a band who performed in The Living Room most nights - they were pretty good but quite loud, which made conversation tricky. This was a good place to relax during the day too. The entertainer in The Den was a decent piano player but should have stuck to that (not so good with the singing!). We tried the specialty dining, Aqualina and Prime C. Aqualina was brilliant, attentive service, great menu and amazing food - worth the extra. Prime C was also enjoyable but the service was not quite as good and not as much variety, though granted it is a steak specialty restaurant so it's only reasonable to expect lots of meat on the menu! Having said that, the main dining room was also exceptional food and great service. We had a verandah stateroom on Deck 8 and were very happy with it overall. It was very quiet and clean, and our room attendant was awesome. Plenty of storage and lots of hangers provided. Best of all, the bed was so comfortable! I think you can tell we enjoyed this cruise immensely. We can't wait to fist-bump the crew on our next Azamara cruise! Read Less

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