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5 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Since we were so happy with our Viking River Cruise we figured that we could expect the same overall quality and amount of personal attention if we elected to do an ocean cruise with them. This was not necessarily correct. While ... Read More
Since we were so happy with our Viking River Cruise we figured that we could expect the same overall quality and amount of personal attention if we elected to do an ocean cruise with them. This was not necessarily correct. While Viking's amenities, food, housekeeping, etc., etc were as good as other cruise lines, there was nothing on this cruise that made it any better than say a Norwegian or Holland America cruise. An exception to the above is that Viking does offer an "included" excursion at every port. We were very impressed with the "Pre-Cruise" stay at the Maya Hotel in Ubud (Bali) and with the Shangri-La in Bangkok. The hotels and tours (especially the floating market) were outstanding. I think everyone agreed that the 2 days at Jakarta should be dropped. Singapore would be an excellent 2 day port. Jakarta's air quality was about as good as the burn pits we experienced in Iraq. As for on-board dining , I for one would like to see a Pasta Station and a Stir-Fry station where one would be able to interact more with the preparation of the dish. Essentially, at those stations, the chef simply plates the food after warming it in a skillet. There are few choices in what gets plated. Also, I was not impressed with the supervisor in the World Cafe who verbally abused one of the young ladies about her job performance right in front of us. Definitely bad for business! And last of all, Viking cheated us out of $250.00 on-board credit. We were supposed to have $250 each - I checked with our travel agent just today to make sure- but only had $250 total. That alone makes me think that my future sailings will be with other lines. 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We spent two days in Bali before embarking. We chose this cruise for the remote expedition excursions, and we were not disappointed. Mick, the expedition director, created some wonderful and unusual experiences on fairly isolated ... Read More
We spent two days in Bali before embarking. We chose this cruise for the remote expedition excursions, and we were not disappointed. Mick, the expedition director, created some wonderful and unusual experiences on fairly isolated Indonesian islands. Expedition staff was excellent. Lectures were excellent. Weather was hot and muggy, but we expected that. Two of our excursions had to be dropped because of bad weather. Cabin service was fine, no complaints. We are Ponant "Yacht Club" members and receive free laundry service which is an exceptional benefit, especially on a trip this long. Restaurant staff was friendly and helpful, but service was slow and uneven. The food was excellent. Reception staff was snooty, but got things done when asked. Ship was about 30% English speaking (American, Australian, English-speaking Europeans), the rest were French. We did not attend any of the entertainment activities. Fitness room was fine, but small. Embarkation was chaotic. Everyone crowded the entrance at one time and got a little pushy on the way onto the ship. We were surprised they didn't create lines or some better system. Luggage arrived reasonably promptly. Debarkation was smooth and easy. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and small ship size and we were not disappointed! We were aboard for 3 segments: Comprehensive Indonesia, Borneo and Philippines and Icons of S.E. Asia (Vietnam), all of which gave us an insight into ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and small ship size and we were not disappointed! We were aboard for 3 segments: Comprehensive Indonesia, Borneo and Philippines and Icons of S.E. Asia (Vietnam), all of which gave us an insight into the culture and beauty of the various ports and countries. We were fortunate to be in Vietnam during Tet (Chinese New Year) so we got to partake in many festivities, including the most amazing fireworks display in Saigon, where Star Legend was docked in the perfect location. We enjoyed all of our 37 nights, with the exception of crossing the South China Sea from Philippines to Hong Kong, which was very bumpy, but other than that we hardly felt any motion. We did a mixture of shore excursions, some with Windstar, but most booked independently after making connections through Cruise Critic, which significantly less costly. Our cabin 124 was perfect, low deck and mid ship and very comfortable. The housekeeping staff took care of us very well and the service from the wait staff and bar staff was great. Kudos to all the crew. Food was excellent in Amphora Reataurant and Candles as well as the deck BBQ, and room service was quick and hot when it arrived. The evenings were sometimes quiet as a lot of the guests retired early, but we enjoyed dancing on the Star Deck and trivia at Compass Rose most nights. The ship is in great shape for its age, well maintained and soft furnishings are very nice. We definitely recommend Windstar and plan to sail on Star Legend again after it had been refurbished and stretched to accommodate 300 guests. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Never been on tall ship cruise before. Chosen as it coincided with end of a conference in Bali. Embarkation and disembarkation easy and smooth. Smaller than traditional large cruise ships - about 70 passengers on board, but at ... Read More
Never been on tall ship cruise before. Chosen as it coincided with end of a conference in Bali. Embarkation and disembarkation easy and smooth. Smaller than traditional large cruise ships - about 70 passengers on board, but at full capacity the ship can take about double that number. Most of passengers from UK, Germany, and a few from USA. English, German and French spoken by the crew for passengers. The food on board was outstanding and really superb (too good for the waist!), the only exception being a shore BBQ one lunch time, which was fine but inevitably not up to the gourmet cuisine on board. Service was professional, competent and friendly throughout, with a multinational crew of about 70, all immaculately clad in seafaring uniform. Opportunity to do a good amount of exercise - morning class, mile round deck, climbing the rope rigging up the mast (I climbed at the age of 75), snorkling, scuba, and more; shore excursions such as Mount Bromo volcano, trek to Mata Jitu waterfalls - all suitable for older people. A wide variety of evening entertainment - quizzes, talent show, karaoke... only problem being a bit loud for those who wanted to sleep earlier, tired out by exercise activities. Very interesting talks given about the ship, from the Hotel Manager to Chief Engineer, and a knot tying class. Massages were available on sheltered deck, with wind and sound of the sea. Lovely old-style library with books; DVDs available from Purser for cabins with DVD player. TV channels only showed information on Clipper ships origin and building. No other channels. There were no children on the boat, although some cabins had bunk beds up against the wall that could be lowered over the main bed if anyone wanted children to sleep in the same room. Felt it a very special trip. Perhaps coming from a seafaring nation, having lived by the sea, and with a father a master mariner, made it even more special and memorable for me. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
First time on a clipper ship after about 20 other cruise ships from silver seas to celebrity. Exceeded our expectations with excellent food both quality and choice and the drinks were not expensive. Itinerary changed due to the earth ... Read More
First time on a clipper ship after about 20 other cruise ships from silver seas to celebrity. Exceeded our expectations with excellent food both quality and choice and the drinks were not expensive. Itinerary changed due to the earth quakes, but did not affect cruise as we still got to see the Komodo dragons highlight of the cruise and other different islands. Crew and service was some of the best we have experienced. In particular the Russian captain who was always around the ship and joined in dancing with the passengers, a nice touch was him shaking hands with us as we left the ship at the end. Passengers were a good mix of ages 30 to 80 which was a relief as fitted in with us being in our 70s. The nationalities was also a good mix about 8 in all and helped give the ship a party atmosphere in the evenings. We knew not to expect big ship entertainment, but although low key (almost home made) we found very good from crew shows, to a film about Clippers under the stars and an excellent musician Jerby playing keyboard and guitar who got everyone joining in after dinner. Of note should be the German cruise director with a good sense of humour who made a point of saying he was Bavarian not German. If you are in to water activities the 3 staff offered wind surfing, kayaks, paddle boards snorkling and water skiing at all our beach stops, with an on board diving instructor for the enthusiasts. Always enough sun loungers on deck, but obviously you had to move around for shade because of the sails. HIGHLIGHT of the ship was seeing her with all full sails specially rigged up for us to see from the tenders. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
I worked 2-man fishing boats in my teens. Sailing ship (4 masts) lacks stabilizers and i was seasick all eleven days. Don't take opiate pills they offer. Food is excellent and plentiful. Soups and Indonesian food outstanding, ... Read More
I worked 2-man fishing boats in my teens. Sailing ship (4 masts) lacks stabilizers and i was seasick all eleven days. Don't take opiate pills they offer. Food is excellent and plentiful. Soups and Indonesian food outstanding, cheeses served at their best. Wet landings ashore. We skipped the ones that required transfer to tender followed by second transfer to zodiac. Passengers need be physically fit, agile. Our cabin was on same deck as dining room but five short sets of stairs intervened. Wife here now, my only issue was with the drinking fountain, the only source of water other than with the dining room meals, or you could buy expensive bottled water. I was told the tap water was not drinkable and shown to the water fountain. It also had a bottle filling pipe. On day two through the rest of the trip the water from it was BROWN and had a bad taste. I asked if it was distilled or filtered and was told it is filtered. So bring your own personal filter- Brita or something like that. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I took the 10 day Gems of the Java Sea cruise on the Seabourn Encore on March 12, 2018 with a group of friends. We selected Seabourn as two of our group have cruised many times with Seabourn and raved about their service and quality. ... Read More
I took the 10 day Gems of the Java Sea cruise on the Seabourn Encore on March 12, 2018 with a group of friends. We selected Seabourn as two of our group have cruised many times with Seabourn and raved about their service and quality. Unfortunately, I had a very uneven experience with Seabourn both on the cruise, in the pre-cruise interaction with land based staff and the Seabourn website, and in the after cruise dealing with Guest Relations. Some things were really good as follows: 1. The boarding process was a breeze. There were lots of staff to handle the process and we were on board in minutes after arriving at the cruise port terminal. Our luggage was also delivered to our cabins very quickly. However this may have been due to the fact that we were very late boarders at around 4 pm in the afternoon after most guests have boarded already and we understand from staff that the turnaround for this cruise was particularly easy as a large number of passengers had chosen to do back to back cruises having done an 18 days cruise from Australia to Benoa, Bali and then continuing on with the 10 day cruise to Singapore. 2. The Cabins are very impressive. They look like luxury hotel rooms. Very bright, very modern, spacious, lots of storage cabinets everywhere, a bathroom with bathtub and shower (though the shower did have an awkward location in a corner of the bathroom that resulted in you exiting almost bumping into the toilet with not much room to manoeuvre) and double sink. There is a large walk in closet with mini safe, lots of hanging space and wood drawers and shelves, a large flat screen TV with lots of programming, a separate seating area with glass table and a good size verandah. The only complaint I have, besides the awkward shower location noted above, is that the light switches were a bit difficult to figure out but I had no more problems after asking the cabin steward (we were told to call them stewardesses) to show me how they worked. 3. We had some serious issues in the early part of the cruise and when it was finally reported to the Guest Relations Manager Tiaan Visser, he took extraordinary steps to make sure we had a great time the rest of the cruise including telling us to contact him for all further matters so that he could ensure proper communication and quality control, arranging to waive the charges on an additional private van excursion we requested, and sending some kind of notice to all staff that resulted suddenly in everyone in the restaurants and elsewhere knowing our names the next day and giving us extra attention to make sure we were well taken care of. He also sent each of us a personal letter apologizing for the shortcoming accompanied by a bag of gifts from Seabourn. 4. After a rough first night dinner in the main restaurant where service was chaotic and we seemed to be served by 4 or more different people who did not seem to have communicated with each other about what we ordered or wanted and a drinks server roughly telling one of my friends that it is the food waiter's job to get the hot water we requested but that she would go ask about it just this once, as if it was a special favour never to be repeated, we asked to be moved to another table and then had great service from Jose our waiter and Csaba his assistant for the rest of the cruise. Food quality was great except for a couple of cases of over-cooked fish (one was a swordfish filet that was really tough) in the lunch buffet restaurant and at the dinner restaurant. Soft fleshed fish seemed to do better on the cruise and meats were great. Particularly memorable were the Chefs dinner where the entire set menu impressed with its quality and the beef Wellington was asked to share as an extra main which made us very glad indeed we had asked to share a small slice each of the additional main. Jose and Csaba were particularly thoughtful when we asked to share things such as the beef Wellington by slicing up the meat into smaller slices and presenting each of us with a side dish with our share rather than forcing us to divide ourselves doubtless with less skill. Wines served each evening were good quality and liberally offered as well as pre-dinner cocktails and aperitifs (the special 30th anniversary drink with passion fruit flavour was a favourite, as was champagne before dinner). I must also mention the excellent service and always with a smile that we received from Ruslan in the buffet restaurant at breakfast and at lunch. 5. We tried the Japanese specialty restaurant for the bento box and ramen noodle lunches and they were great. We also had one dinner at the Thomas Keller Grill and it was truly a highlight dining experience on the cruise. Everything was very elegant and the food, spectacular. 6. The actual excursions we booked with Seabourn were very good quality. We loved the Pink Beach snorkel on Komodo Island and our private van tours of Candi Jabung at Probolinggo with Rudi, for shopping around town in Surabaya with Sherly, and to Borobudur from Semarang with Took were all very well arranged and our guides were all very good. I particularly loved Sherly in Surabaya because not only was her English very fluent but she was efficient and decisive and always pointed out to us better ways to do something or a better order of seeing things so as to be efficient and to avoid crowds. 7. The final night celebrations in the pool area was great. Not only were great finger food on offering at various stations in a special Epicurean event, but most of the crew came out on the upper deck above the pool to wish us well in a photo-friendly finish to the party. Well done and classy. 8. The entertainment and guest speakers were great. Dr. Lawrence Blair was fascinating as an authority on Bali and its culture. The 4 singers and 2 additional dancers put on three shows that were very high quality and impressive given the limited space and resource that a smaller ship such as the Encore has. The world champion harmonica player was a different kind of entertainment that was unexpectedly impressive with fireworks like technical dexterity display with a harmonica comparable to a top violinist. 9. I had a soft spot for the afternoon tea and was hooked from about mid cruise and went every afternoon I could. Food offerings were great and there were interesting organic tea offerings. I was also fond of the scone trolley wheeled about by Joao and enjoyed the warm raisin scones with clotted cream and jam. What makes this review an average (at least for a premium cruise line) rather than excellent were the off-setting bads, which I thought were really bad but also the more frustrating because they were incomprehensible as follows: 1. Prior to the cruise, we pre-booked two private van excursions one for $745 total and one for $945 total and shore side Seabourn excursions agreed it could split the charges for each private van excursion into 5 and charge to the on-board account of each of the 5 travellers in our group so we can use up some on-board credits that we received with our booking. Imagine my shock when a few days into the cruise and before any of the private van excursion tickets were delivered to us, I found out that for the $745 van Seabourn had carefully split the total into five charges of $149 but charged all of them to my account but more astoundingly that for the $945 van Seabourn had made it into 5 charges of $945 which were all charged to my account and then refunded $945 to the on board account of each of my friends. I ended up being charged $5,470 instead of my share of $338 and my friends were very happy as they each received a credit of $945 without having paid anything! The most surprising thing was none of the shore excursions staff we dealt with on-board seemed to be shocked at this and simply weakly offered that it was head office and they could not do anything about it. I took up the matter with front desk reception and Angeliki quickly worked her magic and wiped out the 4 excess $945 charges from my account but said dividing the remaining $945 charge into 5 would need a bit more work. I asked to speak to a manager about my unhappy experience and she also suggested I speak with the Guest Relations Manager Tiaan Visser. Tiaan promptly met with me the next day for over half an hour as I recounted my troubles dealing with shore excursion and other matters and he then took the actions that I mentioned in "good" above that righted the course of our cruise experience. 2. Billing was not the only issue for shore excursions as we also had problems arranging a third private van tour as a result of a change of itinerary where we would have an extra day in Surabaya. Notwithstanding our speaking with the shore excursions head Murat who was also responsible for private van bookings and then my carefully writing him a note detailing what we wanted, another excursions staff then asked me to fill in a form with the same information when I was following up with her about the wrong billing so I felt I wasted time dealing with shore excursions because they did not coordinate internally at all. The third member of the excursion team met me to say he could explain the wrong billing but when I did stop talking and let him talk, he did not explain anything as to what happened and in fact was not even clear on the nature of the error. All this is most perplexing as I had previously given the excursion staff photocopies of the private van confirmations sent to me by shore based Seabourn staff that detailed the cost of each van and how the charges were to be split into 5 and billed to the individual traveller's on-board account. 3. Shore excursions was not the only accounting problem on board. A few days before the end of the cruise, I noticed I received a credit of about $90 which when I asked, was told was a refund of port taxes as Seabourn had cancelled the port call on Celukan Bawang. However, none of my 4 fellow travellers received the same credit. Two of them finally got the credit in their final invoice after they vigorously protested on the final evening and the other two never got the credit and are following up with Seabourn post cruise. It is a mystery to our group how we can all take the same cruise with the same cancelled port, and yet some will have a refund for port taxes and others will not. 4. When we boarded the cruise on Day 1, two of my friends received a notice in their cabin that the itinerary had been altered, the port call on Celukan Bawang had been cancelled, the port call on Probolinggo was moved up a day in order to avoid a Hindu religious quiet day which would have resulted in no tours to Mount Bromo being possible had the ship called on Probolinggo as originally scheduled, and an additional day added in Surabaya to take up the day for the cancelled port call on Celukan Bawang. The other two of my friends received the same notice in their mail slot on Day 2 and I did not receive the notice in my mail slot until Day 3. It goes without saying that a notice of change in itinerary delivered on the third day of a cruise is completely unacceptable and while Tiaan agreed with me, no explanation as to how this happened has been offered. As an additional issue, all of us thought the handling of the change of itinerary was suspect. The Hindu religious quiet day is a well known fact that any internet search would have easily revealed and in fact, we knew about it from our pre-cruise preparations searching on the internet. Therefore it seemed less than competent for Seabourn to arrange a cruise where they would call on a port on a day that they should reasonably have known would result in issues arranging excursions but more confusingly, Seabourn's inability to arrange excursions to Mount Bromo (the volcano which is the top attraction near Probolinggo) would have been known to Seabourn months or at least weeks before the cruise as they went about arranging the excursions so we are at a loss as to why Seabourn failed to notify all booked guests of the change to their itinerary before the cruise so that for example, any guest who made private arrangements for tours for Celukan Bawang can cancel before cancellation penalties were applicable and guests would have time to consider what else they might want to do in Surabaya given the cruise was adding an overnight in Surabaya. The change did not affect us too badly as we had only planned to go on the bird watching and snorkelling excursion at Celukan Bawang with Seabourn and we did have another snorkelling excursion already at Komodo Island but other guests who may have chosen not to snorkel at Komodo Island thinking there was another opportunity at Celukan Bawang might have been more affected (there were no other ports that offered snorkelling in this cruise). 5. I was also disappointed with post-cruise dealings with Seabourn. In addition to the on-line survey, I chose to e-mail Seabourn both to make sure staff like Tiaan Visser received full recognition for their excellent service and also to raise concerns and questions about some of the things that went wrong, if nothing else in order just to get an explanation and an understanding why. I was surprised that I received a reply from someone with the title of special advisor office of the president who then meticulously referred to each of the things I complimented or complained about, offered apologies of course, but then offered no explanations or comments about actions taken to ensure some of the mis-happenings I mentioned would not be repeated. In fact, I expressly followed up with a question about how the billing error came about on shore excursions where I ended up being billed $5,470 instead of $338 and my friends all received refunds of $945. The reply indicates accounting staff mistook the $945 as a per person charge instead of a per van charge but the night audit manager caught this but mysteriously decided to refund $945 to each of my 4 friends instead of making 4 refunds of $945 to me. The reply indicates they have no idea why he did that and gave no indication of what, if any, steps will be taken to ensure this does not happen again. I also received no explanation or response to my question as to why Seabourn did not notify passengers of the change to itinerary when the decision was made months or weeks ahead of the cruise, instead of by notice given to the passengers after they had boarded the cruise. 6. Not having cruised with Seabourn before, I thought the ceilings on all decks were noticeably low. Several other passengers I spoke with had the same impression. I am not tall at about 5 ft 9 and could easily reach up and touch the ceiling in the buffet restaurant without fully extending my arm. 7. The Encore, with 600 passengers, is significantly larger than previous Seabourn ships which maxed out at 450 passengers. It was evident Seabourn was still figuring out how to handle a larger ship with more passengers. Tendering was an issue. Passengers were told to meet in the theatre to take tenders for their tours but there was no system of tracking who arrived first or not and instead, when it was time to board the tenders, the shore excursions staff in charge simply arbitrarily counted off people in one side of the room causing others on the other side of the room who had waited longer to complain. Also more confusingly, we had booked a private van excursion for Probolinggo and should be able to get off quickly since we were a complete group already but instead, when we were sent down to the gangway by the shore excursions staff, we and others were then held back on the stairs by the entertainment director who said he had been told to only allow those on large bus tours to board the tenders. This created an unsafe situation lining up on stairs and again frustration as it made no sense not to board the private van tour with the complete group which clearly did not need to wait to be filled, and instead board large bus passengers who may have to wait for more passengers anyway to fill a bus. Tender back was also a problem as our tour ended around 2 pm but it was about 2:40 pm before we were back on the board the ship as there was a long wait for a tender to finally arrive. This was perplexing as the tender ride was only 10 min so if two or three tenders were operating, there should not be more than a 10 min wait for a tender. Back on board, again the failure to plan for larger crowds showed as most tours were delayed due to the tender inefficiency and large groups of passengers arrived back on the ship after all lunch venues had closed for lunch except for the patio bar and there was insufficient seating in the patio to accommodate all. I ended up grabbing food and taking it back to my cabin rather than wait for room service, which was available but again might be impacted by the large crowd returning after lunch service had closed. We had problems even when the ship was docked and not anchored off shore as there are two stairways at the front and middle of the ship and once again the entertainment director, acting as traffic controller, chose to let only those from the middle elevators/stairs file out the gangway holding back those waiting in the foyer and up the stairs of the front stairwell until I finally had to shout to someone in the front to let him know that he was creating a dangerous pile up with people lining up on the stairs in the front stair foyer area. Again, on other larger and more experienced ships, there was always an alternation between letting passengers from the front and from the middle out the gangway, and some system would be in place to assign places in the tender according to arrival at the meeting place. 8. There were some curious lapses in service throughout the cruise. On a couple of days, the face towels place in my room had unsightly brown spots on them. On another day, there was a noticeable hole right in the middle of my napkin at afternoon tea service and on the third day of the cruise, when we asked for one of the special organic teas that was listed in the tea menu and in fact displayed in a sample vile in a box containing examples of each of the organic tea blends, we were told they were out of that tea. It surprised us that they would run out of a particular tea on only the third day of a 10 day cruise. In fact, they kept listing that tea on the tea menu throughout the cruise notwithstanding it not being available. In summary, I found the cruise to have some really nice premium cruise qualities but then also some shocking and glaring lapses in service and response. While the Guest Relations Manager really made a difference for us after hearing our complaints, I do wonder though whether what we experienced for the rest of the cruise was the true Seabourn experience since he apparently tagged us for special notice such that I could then no longer tell what "normal" service would be like. (I knew he tagged us as I had never given my name or cabin number at the breakfast buffet each day but one day after meeting with Tiaan, the manager for the breakfast restaurant came by at breakfast, addressed me by name and asked if there was anything he could do). Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We had last sailed on an Azamara ship approximately 6 -7 years ago and due to a combination of circumstances,destinations and dissatisfaction with Azamara we had not booked again until we found this cruise going from Bali and around ... Read More
We had last sailed on an Azamara ship approximately 6 -7 years ago and due to a combination of circumstances,destinations and dissatisfaction with Azamara we had not booked again until we found this cruise going from Bali and around Australia beginning on its west coast. At the outset we were delighted with the incredible changes that have been made to the journey. The refurbishment of the ship was good, but the cabin redo's were excellent. Space was much better utilized, especially in the suites. for the first time we actually had room to spare for our belongings on this longish, 18 day cruise. The bathroom set up was a great improvement, over past years and other comparable accommodations on other cruise lines, having a much larger amount of space for our toiletries. The staff was wonderful, knowledgeable and friendly and all had the Ritz Carlton mentality/mantra of being empowered, or so it seemed, to solve problems, both large and small.Highlights of the trip included a great White Nights evening, a wonderful breakfast for Le Voyage Club, Azamara loyalty program, members and a simply superb rijsttafel dinner one evening, at a small extra charge. Gratuities included as is most alcohol, other than very high end premium brands of liquors and wines. With all of that "booze" it was interesting that we never saw a single passenger the slightest bit tipsy other than when the waves were high. Of course some things were not great. Included in that was the differences in the taste and quality of coffee depending on the venue in which it was served. some of the tours that we attended were fair or less at best including the Azmazing night in port at Freemantle. The singers/musicians and songwriters were good, but the native dancers performed off the stage and on a level with the chairs so that unless one sat up front it was difficult to see them. The food was plentiful and quite good at this event but the venue was overcrowded and very hot. Entertainment on the boat is what one would expect with a smallish ship-not terrific, but in some instances quite passable. The enrichment lectures were quite good. In sum, I would rate them tops for value and would not hesitate to return to Azamara for other cruises in the near future. Read Less

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