23 Cape Town Repositioning Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise as a relaxing way to get home from South Africa. The ship gave a grand impression with wood paneling a feature. It appeared well maintained. For those who get sea sick, there was quite a bit of movement, even in ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a relaxing way to get home from South Africa. The ship gave a grand impression with wood paneling a feature. It appeared well maintained. For those who get sea sick, there was quite a bit of movement, even in relatively calm seas. We had a balcony cabin, we started in 5137- midship. This cabin had a tender boat directly underneath it , which obstructed our view down to the water. After a few days sailing we were able to move to 5159 , nil obstructions and a bigger balcony. The shower is tiny however hot water plentiful and towels fluffy. The staff were unobtrusive yet attentive. They seemed happy and were all polite. The food was enjoyable. They catered very well for food intolerance. My friend was given the following days menu to choose from and they made were able to adapt most choices to gluten free for her, with notice. The day spa's prices were exorbitant- eyebrow tinting $44 US plus tip , manicure $88 US plus tip etc- staff were stationed at the door trying to entice passengers in- if prices were reasonable people would have been lined up ! The demographic was 80+ with the activities and entertainment to match. The entertainment team lacked presence. There was an annual staff tug of war organised, which surprisingly drew a crowd, otherwise, unless there was a two for one trunk sale on, it was difficult to find other passengers ! I enjoyed the promenade deck, which enabled a full lap of the ship - 3 laps = .9 miles. The only down side was that there is a smoking area on the port side, so coped a lung full of smoke on each lap when exercising. There a two pools, the front one more sheltered, getting a deck lounge was nil issue. We only had 2 ports on the way home. As usual the excursions were pricey. On Re union island I opted for a visit to the turtle sanctuary, which was unguided and information written in French..... Mauritius we did a catamaran trip to snorkel , this was magical. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Staff, Cruise Director, Chefs, food and service absolutely first rate, and not just for a few days...it was 35 days of pampering. FANTASTIC... keep it up Oceania. CONS: The drinks were pricey, but we could have picked a drink ... Read More
Staff, Cruise Director, Chefs, food and service absolutely first rate, and not just for a few days...it was 35 days of pampering. FANTASTIC... keep it up Oceania. CONS: The drinks were pricey, but we could have picked a drink package. Casino was very quiet slots extremely tight, but Manager explained Oceania has just taken contract back from previous independent operator and will be making improvements and changes... PROS: Superb food in all venues. Best shellfish and steaks at sea without question. Most nights a local or specialty offering available on top of regular menus. All desserts and home baked breads delicious. Service was tops. Bar, room, cabin, butlers, restaurants.... always a smile and a greeting, day after day... a happy and delightful team working connected by pride in their work. SUPERB Entertainment good, stand outs : the Bellissimo Quartet with classical strings, then did a wild rock show on strings too!! Cruise director, John E. With his own hilarious show, also extra crew shows such as Beat the Chef , party undet the stars in Seychelles. Clever, fun and innovative fresh ideas. Great team No more to say... back with Nautica, next we go! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We were not happy with this cruise. We have cruised dozens of times, but this was the first and last on Cunard. They cater to a group of loyal Cunard passengers, and do nothing for anyone else. The pro's: The cabin was nice. ... Read More
We were not happy with this cruise. We have cruised dozens of times, but this was the first and last on Cunard. They cater to a group of loyal Cunard passengers, and do nothing for anyone else. The pro's: The cabin was nice. For the most part, the entertainment was very good. The embarkation was excellent. We received excellent service from our cabin steward and the Britannia Restaurant staff. The con's: Ship is very dull looking inside. Food left a lot to be desired, low quality. There was a very limited menu in the dining room and in the buffet. The dress codes weren't being followed, and no one did anything about it. Many of the passengers were very pushy. Lecturers were boring, with uninteresting subjects. Port lecturer gave inaccurate information. Shops on board were limited and were overpriced. No real sales on board. The casino was very small, although I must admit, it was usually empty. The ship has a sliding covered pool. On the windiest day, it was left uncovered, WHY??Had it been closed, people could have enjoyed the pool area. Cunard really needs some help from Princess, Celebrity, and Royal Caribbean. Upon boarding, we noticed some items that needed to be addressed, such as dripping water in bathroom, only hot water in shower, cooler/'refrigerator that didn't work, and the safe did not work. The safe and the cooler were taken care of soon, but the others were left until the last day of the cruise. Some of the ports, such as Mauritius, and Reunion were worthless. Port Elizabeth was a good port with good tours. We went to Addo Elephant Park and found it wonderful. Prior to boarding the ship, we took a Safari in Kruger National Park, which made the trip worthwhile. Without that and Addo, this trip would have been a total waste of time. We would go to So. Africa again, but not with Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
destination good but wouldn't recommend this as ship needs to be replaced by o old. The whole experience of this cruise was as if I had been in an old people's home. The entertainment was geared for this and so we're the ... Read More
destination good but wouldn't recommend this as ship needs to be replaced by o old. The whole experience of this cruise was as if I had been in an old people's home. The entertainment was geared for this and so we're the activities. The destination was appealing but to be given a port that was a coal mining destination Port Richard and get covered in dust isn't my idea of interesting port even captain agreed and told us he had notified the company of this. Must have been a cheap port to go to. The overall staff really very good and helpful, food good, cabins not up to today standards. Entertainment needs to be updated though an older crowd they need to realise we are not one foot in the grave. Lovely table but also of the same opinion. Perference given to people who book Fred Olsen direct. Independence passages required to desembark no later than 10.00 a.m. But Fred Olsen passengers were allowed to stay on board as long as necessary before their flight departure. I hope Fred Olsen take note of these comments Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We had a nice vacation planned, fly from Germany to Capetown, spend a few days there and then go on a short cruise to Durban to meet our guide there for a Safaritour. Well, the first and third part worked out well, but the cruise,,, The ... Read More
We had a nice vacation planned, fly from Germany to Capetown, spend a few days there and then go on a short cruise to Durban to meet our guide there for a Safaritour. Well, the first and third part worked out well, but the cruise,,, The itinerary said embarkation starts at 12:30, so we decided to get there at around two pm in the hope of avoiding the biggest rush. When we got to the cruiseterminal, there were still people coming off the ship, so naturally embarkation hadn´t even started. There were already long lines out in the rather hot sun because the terminal is much too small to handle a "regular size" cruiseship. Some of those waiting in line didn´t make it on board before six pm. We were lucky, because we had priority embarkation through our having gained "black" status via the statustransfer-program MSC is running currently (we are Elite Plus at Celebrity Cruises). Even so we had to wait one and a half hours, before we got on board. I think Capetown Harbor and MSC are about equally to blame for this. Like I said, the Terminal is very small and there were only three or four counters( of a possible ten or twelve) open when embarkation finally began. Then ther was the rather stupid setup by MSC having the commercial photos (those you can later buy) taken right after the security check and the onboard photos taken one by one after entering the ship single file on two gangways. It would make more sense taking the necessary photos right after the security check and position the voluntary photos somewhere later. Well, when we finally had made it on board, the fun really started. At MSC the cabins are supposed to be open and you find your roomcard inside. Naturally our cabin was locked and it took another half hour until somebody came to open it for us The cabin itself was very nice,only the sofa is looking very old, but overall the cabin is nice and roomy. It even has a walkable closet. After some exploring in the cabin, we discovered that the safe was locked, so another trip to the reception and more time waiting in the cabin instead of exploring the ship. The ship was supposed to get on its way to Durban at six pm, but by then there were still people embarking and the first announcements were made that " due to the strong winds" our departure would be delayed by several hours. We spent a nice evening on board after a rather ho-hum dinner with several beer buckets (remember we´re Germans) and went to bed. Next morning we´re still in Capetown and the first lttle panic sets in with our companions if we can make it to Durban in timeto meet our guide. All morning announcements are made that we are still a little delayed due to the strong winds, although on the ship´s tv the winds are shown at 21 knots, which doesn´t seem too extraordinary- If a cruiseship can´t handle 20 knot winds, they might as well beach it somewhere or make it a hotelship in some port... By noon the reception had just reassured us, that we would still reach Durban on monday, when the announcement came that MSC couldn´t guarantee the hour or even the date of the arrival in Durban and everybody who wished to disembark could now do so. The process involved another long wait in line and in the early afternoon our shortest cruise ever thankfully ended... Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and as a convenient way of getting to Europe. The Sinfonia is not to the same standard as the Opera which we have cruised on, on two occasions. There is too much pork served at breakfast and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and as a convenient way of getting to Europe. The Sinfonia is not to the same standard as the Opera which we have cruised on, on two occasions. There is too much pork served at breakfast and lunch. Buffet in the main dining room with a full menu service is rather strang? If people want buffet, there is a whole restaurant dedicated to that style of eating. The evening meals were very good and the services was excellent, where one has a chance to get to know the waiter that serves the same table each night. The entertainment arranged for the cruise was very good. The cruise director was an excellent entertainer, singing, dancing, magic, mime and presenting enrichment shows. The captain was also seen on occasion walking the ship and acknowledging the passengers. When disembarking in Venice, he was present in the farewell party and was shaking hands with each passenger, which was a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We enjoy the repositioning cruises as gives one time to settle. However compared to previous Northbound cruises this cruise had minimal stops. Looking forward to the East Coast Northbound. The food both in the buffet and dining halls has ... Read More
We enjoy the repositioning cruises as gives one time to settle. However compared to previous Northbound cruises this cruise had minimal stops. Looking forward to the East Coast Northbound. The food both in the buffet and dining halls has deteriorated and very repetitive. Take breakfast in the dining hall as the choices are far better than the buffet offering. The shows and presentations have also been done at least 3 times before. Service in both dining halls and bar/entertainment areas excellent. Cabin steward not good, constantly had to request further toilet rolls, towels etc. Was the best embarkation and disembarkation of our 9 cruises so far, even though disembarkation in Venice is generally a nightmare! Rather get accommodation in Mestre or Tessera - much easier access and more reasonable. Good wine in the dining hall generally runs out after 2.5 weeks, so advise you order all your wine and put away early on during the cruise. We will continue to cruise on MSC as generally they offer good value for money. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The main reason for myself and My husband making this wonderful cruise was that we did the reverse trip from fabulous Venice to our home city Cape Town five years previously on the marvelous MSC Opera and had enjoyed it immensely. So when ... Read More
The main reason for myself and My husband making this wonderful cruise was that we did the reverse trip from fabulous Venice to our home city Cape Town five years previously on the marvelous MSC Opera and had enjoyed it immensely. So when the opportunity presented it itself to once again cruise with the same company but in the opposite direction we were very quick to reserve our berths on board. It was also also interesting to meet all the different nationalities of people on board especially when using the breakfast and lunch buffet with the table sharing procedure, another very interesting part of the cruise Was the many and varied shows and talks that were given which were always of a very high standard. We particularly enjoyed the Old trial murder trials that were given and also the talks by Stephen Cloete. The various ports of call were most intereting, and from the very start of the cruise to the final disembarkation we were extremely impressed and even at the very end having the captain saying goodbye with a handshake and a smile made a lasting impression we shall never forget! We would certainly recommend it to anybody who was interested in doing it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I am a marine engineer, worked on ships and tugs my whole life, for once I wanted to be a passenger. As I have spent my life in small cabins the size of the cabins on board did not bother me. The company that I work for have had new tugs ... Read More
I am a marine engineer, worked on ships and tugs my whole life, for once I wanted to be a passenger. As I have spent my life in small cabins the size of the cabins on board did not bother me. The company that I work for have had new tugs built, which also use passenger ship shower/ toilets and on these the shower curtain does not hug you as you turn. The ship was excellent, cabins I suppose, were normal size.Dining was as you wanted, dress up or not. Always something going on, entertainment laid on was pretty good, info at talks on ports of call were informative. Service, both in cabin and in the restaurants was excellent. The only complaint I had was with the vouchers purchased. Looking back,I will not buy them again, as each voucher was worth more than the item purchased. Would I travel by ship again, sure, but not on such a long voyage again. Seven to ten day maximum trips. It does not bother me, but then I have a wife who did not enjoy it, as for her the trip was definitely too long. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The return trip from Cape Town is a long cruise, but allows you to settle into cruise life and really relax, as opposed to the short cruises, where its go, go, go. One gets to know the crew a little better and also to meet and mix with ... Read More
The return trip from Cape Town is a long cruise, but allows you to settle into cruise life and really relax, as opposed to the short cruises, where its go, go, go. One gets to know the crew a little better and also to meet and mix with the other passengers, which greatly contributes to the experience. MSC shipboard life is extremely well organised, the ship is well maintained and expertly run. Add the excellent catering, professional shows and interesting excursions, which all add up to a very relaxing holiday. The excursion details were not clearly indicated by the travel agent before the cruise, as some options were termed "sold out" and yet were available on-board. The on-board excursion team were absolutely excellent, however our bookings were already made before the cruise. The Visa requirements were also not clearly indicated with some confusion regarding Dakar, when the Ship's card was acceptable and yet we were required to obtain visas. We are committed MSC cruisers and are thinking of the next one. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Drinks were ship, ship is great and we'll maintained, staff were brilliant and very helpful. However the food was terrible and I was embarrassed for the staff who had to serve this rubbish. Currently on Rhapsody Of The Seas and there ... Read More
Drinks were ship, ship is great and we'll maintained, staff were brilliant and very helpful. However the food was terrible and I was embarrassed for the staff who had to serve this rubbish. Currently on Rhapsody Of The Seas and there buffet is like fine dining compared to MSC. You need to live your game in this reason. Stephen Foster would have to be the best Cruise Director we have encountered in 30 Years of cruising. He is so wasted in that position and should be on the stage full time. Shore excursions were interesting and informative considering the history we encountered. Probably would cruise again but food would have to show a massive improvement to reach the level of other cruise lines we have travelled on over the years. Sinfonia is a nice ship and it's owners need to sharpen up their game to be competative in this industry. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We took advantage of a last minute special offer MSC were offering about 2 weeks prior to sailing. We received our Schengen visas the day before we set sail. I had decided beforehand not to set my expectations high, nor to sweat the small ... Read More
We took advantage of a last minute special offer MSC were offering about 2 weeks prior to sailing. We received our Schengen visas the day before we set sail. I had decided beforehand not to set my expectations high, nor to sweat the small stuff, things that typically irritate when on a budget type cruise. I had read some pretty poor reviews about the ship before sailing. Our cabin was on 9th deck, ocean view, Fantastica experience (although I honestly couldn't find anything to differentiate it from the Bella experience which is just below on the scale). The cabin was smallish but fine. The bed was comfortable but the bed linen had seen better days, sheets had holes in them, but they were clean. The shower was tiny! And the plastic curtain would cling to you while you showered away. Plenty hot water though. Dubious looking shampoo and shower gel in dispensers in the shower. We opted to use our own products. The cabins and bathrooms were cleaned daily and the cabin assistant was very pleasant and cheerful. (I did lose a pair of diamanté earings that I left on my bedside table but I have no idea who else was in our cabin, i.e.: staff, servicemen or whoever...) basically I blame myself for leaving them out of the safe. My husband became critically ill within the first 3 days on board. We suspected food poisoning, but the MSC doctors would not entertain that diagnosis...the treatment they offered was absolutely useless....at one point I thought I was going to lose my previously perfectly healthy and fit husband! We are both in our mid 50's, healthy and active. Without wanting to bore you with all the details of his illness and misdiagnosis, I will just say that he was critically ill and confined to cabin for 7 days. The doctors had arranged for him to get off the ship at our next port of call which was Senegal, Dakar, to seek treatment there! Fortunately I managed to find a South African medical practioner on board (a passenger) who offered immediate assistance to us on day 6, and we were saved the ordeal of having to go to hospital in Dakar! We are beyond grateful to that kind Doctor and his wife!! Week 2, we began to participate in the cruise and explore all her offerings. Better late then never! the dining room and bar staff offered excellent service, they always managed a smile and were polite and friendly. the food was seriously disappointing...there was lots of it but mostly everything started tasted the same. However, the freshly baked breads in the dining rooms were delicious and we had to ration ourselves to one small slice per meal because it can become very moreish! The dining rooms offered a better quality of food, but that also became very repetitive by week 2. This was not really a big deal for us, we were happy to just have a yogurt and fruit in the mornings, salad and soup for lunch and either having a snack in the buffet or choosing from the set menu in the dining room. There was a pizza station on deck 11 which offered freshly made slices of pizza which was very good. On the same deck, there was a "grill" station, which offered burgers, hotdogs and fries which all tasted like cardboard. The gelato ice cream that one could buy on deck 11 was not worth going back to...once was enough. We had purchased coffee, drinks, water and cocktail vouchers online before we sailed, as well as a wifi and laundry package. These were well worth it. We loved the speciality coffee shop on deck 6 which also served free mini pastries until 11.30am each morning. In fact I mostly skipped breakfast and just visited the coffee shop! We didn't attend a lot of nightly entertainment, but the few classical concerts and operettas we went to were of a very high quality and were excellent. The talks we went to were also excellent and we really enjoyed them. We enjoyed a couple of soaks in the jacuzzi which we always managed to find unoccupied which was great! a few exhilarating swims in the sea water pool when the weather was warm enough and lots of brisk walks around the decks. We visited some picturesque ports, such as Valetta in Malta, Gran Canaria, Dubrovnik and Venice, and some lesser attractive ports aswell, but all our stops where interesting and exciting. We didn't do any ship excursions preferring just to explore on our own by foot, bus or tram. The musicians, solo artists, duos and bands in the pubs and relaxation areas were all very good! Passengers where mostly 55+ age group, I think I only saw about 5 children during my whole time at sea. There was a nice mix of nationalities amongst passengers who as far as I could tell all seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely! It was also very nice to have such a large contingent of South Africans aboard, they really are friendly and relaxed, and so many of the crew that I spoke to, said how much they just love the SA passengers! I met lovely people and made friends from all walks of life. Would we go again? Sure, it's very good value in terms of what it costs. But we would make certain to travel with more emergency medical supplies next time and keep a wide berth from the medical center! I have previously cruised on MSC, Costa and Carnival lines. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our 5th cruise on the MSC Sinfonia which includes the South Bound, Genoa to Durban, Durban to Mauritius and back, as well as a few local Cruises and the North Bound from Cape Town To Venice. We actually prefer the longer cruises ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise on the MSC Sinfonia which includes the South Bound, Genoa to Durban, Durban to Mauritius and back, as well as a few local Cruises and the North Bound from Cape Town To Venice. We actually prefer the longer cruises (14 to 24 days), as this is more value for Money especially the Grand Voyages. The ship is a floating Hotel with 5 Star service. The Cabins offers all you need for a holiday including.: A safe, air-conditioning, bathroom with shower, TV and Bar Fridge, as well as Wireless Internet access (for a fee). Dining consist of a Buffet / Self Service restaurant and as well as a main restaurant. We preferred the Self Service Buffet for breakfast and lunch as it is more informal specially during the day when you are most of the time at the pool area. The Main restaurant for Dinner with your friends or the couples that were allocated to your table to recap on the days activities or excursions. Its also nice to dress up for the dinner, specially the Gala Evenings. Our waiter at table 526 by the name of ADI SANTIKA from INDONESIA was very professional and always friendly and helped full and always tried to make us feel at home. The onboard entertainment is of international standard, specially the Sinfonia dancers. Unfortunately we found that the female singer of the group did not fit in. We also enjoyed the activities presented by the entertainment team under the management of the Cruise Staff Manager CSABA PANUCZA at the Pool Deck and various lounges. The presentations by Alyson were at times a bit boring. Her tone of voice is not that of a speaker/presenter and she loses you within 5 Minutes. Steven Cloete and his assistant Alex was FANTASTIC. Zirk and Amanda Lourens Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I was a solo traveller. This cruise was a great opportunity to explore countries I would never get the opportunity to experience. Levels 5 and 6 need to be redesigned. There is not enough room for passengers to sit and relax. I will ... Read More
I was a solo traveller. This cruise was a great opportunity to explore countries I would never get the opportunity to experience. Levels 5 and 6 need to be redesigned. There is not enough room for passengers to sit and relax. I will not sit on the floor. There was some very popular entertainment evenings where it was standing room only or sitting on the floor. I had a balcony cabin but it was so small there was only room for the bed. A small stool was pushed under the dressing table. With so little room it was not possible to sit on it. The dining room food was a disgrace. For example I had ordered a chicken satay entrée. What came was three small cubes of chicken on a skewer. No satay sauce. Some main meals were only entrée size. The entertainment and activities were excellent. Service was also excellent. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The heading for this cruise was not listed - it was repositioning from Cape Town to Venice. For me this is another way to get from Australia to the UK to visit my father and sister - much better than just sitting on a long haul flight ... Read More
The heading for this cruise was not listed - it was repositioning from Cape Town to Venice. For me this is another way to get from Australia to the UK to visit my father and sister - much better than just sitting on a long haul flight plus added journeys both ends! I have a friend in Johannesburg so also a chance to visit her plus I've always wanted to visit South Africa. I've cruised with MSC as a solo traveller several times, but this time a friend joined me, having our own cabins. I've not sailed on MSC's smaller ships, although I have cruised on many ships the size of Sinfonia, which I really enjoy. The cruise didn't disappoint me - ports of call were all very interesting and the week at sea was a great resting point where I was able to just do as I like and chill out. A larger proportion of travellers were retired people but there certainly was a mix of ages. I always book an inside cabin as having to theoretically pay for a second person in the cabin with the single supplement, I want the best deal. I only use the cabin to sleep in so don't see the point in paying quite a lot more (for a solo traveller) for a balcony. The cabin I had was quite spacious although the shower could have been larger! It took me a while to find the safe - it's behind the mirror! The outdoor Cafe del Mare on deck 11 was the place we spent a lot of time - ideal to sit and chat, meet others, have a snack, coffee or a meal. Theres a snack bar one side that serves fries, hot dogs etc all day and a pizzeria on the opposite side, both very good and always freshly cooked. The weather was quite variable from moderate, to hot to positively chilly and some days it just wasn't possible to sit outdoors at all. Thankfully there are plenty of indoor areas! I think it's a good idea to take a wide selection of clothes particularly a puffer vest or jacket - something I didn't take! Many travellers were buying the MCS hoodies to keep warm. We had first sitting for dinner in the MDR - the menu was varied and very good. We had the drinks package included with our booking so had bottled water and wine with each meal at no extra cost. We normally had breakfast in the MDR and often had lunch there too as there was always a good choice of food plus no difficulty getting a seat as there often was in the buffet. For the theatre there is an electronic booking system set up in several areas of the ship where you can make reservations for the evening show. Not all shows require you to do this but you do need to check the board daily to find out if it's required. You will also be notified if it's required on the daily sheet delivered to your cabin. Ports of call - We didn't really like Walvis Bay, Namibia - the shore excursions were not very good. I don't really think the township is set up for visitors, and there didn't appear to be very much to see there. Dakar in Senegal was amazing. We did the Bandia Reserve safari tour which was about an hour out of the city. We saw a huge amount of animals - very different to the safari in Pilanesburg we did post cruise. The people are so friendly and the countryside extremely interesting. There were markets set up on the quayside so there was the option to do some shopping if you didn't have time to go into the city itself. Las Palmas, Gran Canaria was interesting - we took the Hop on Hop off bus tour and then walked back to the ship from the Old Town, which was much further than we were told it was. It's well worth going to the Old Town and also you can go to the top of the cathedral for an amazing view over the city. The ship docks right in the centre of town, so it's very handy. Unfortunately the weather didn't allow us to go to Tangier which was very disappointing. The ocean had been quite rough several days prior to our proposed arrival and we had all been keeping our fingers crossed we would get into port. We did however manage to get into Gibraltar and the excursion tickets we had for Tangier were refunded and we re-booked to do the tour of the Rock, city, and St. Michaels Cave which was wonderful. Gibraltar really surprised us! Malta was incredible - unfortunately not enough time there though. It's a place you need to have as a destination, not a day visit. We visited Rabat, Mdina where theres a fabulous glass foundry and Mosta to see the dome in the cathedral there. We had a late departure from Valletta where there was quite an amazing light show over the buildings across from the quay we were berthed at. Dubrovnik I have visited twice previously and I love it there. It was the only day it rained during the cruise but it was quite nice to see the medieval city in the rain. If you haven't visited this port, make sure you do as it's wonderful - walking the wall is a must! If you have time take the cable car to the top of the hill to see the entire walled city. Venice has always been my favourite city - it was my 7th visit. However I no longer want to return as the tourist situation there has got totally out of hand. Venetians have a love hate relationship with tourists - they provide added revenue to help save the city but they also destroy it......... Crossing the equator was a fun day with shellbacks and pollywogs resplendent in their "warpaint". I'm not sure they knew what they had got involved in when they signed up with though. It certainly caused a lot of laughs on one of the hottest days of the cruise. Sinfonia has made her last west coast cruise and will be replaced by MSC Musica in October 2018 I understand. I've cruised on Musica and this ship will also be great to cruise on. We were so impressed with the cruise that we've booked on the last voyage Sinfonia will make from Durban to Venice via the Suez Canal in 2018. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this cruise due to the fact that the departure port was Cape Town, our home. The route was not port intensive as it was up the West Coast of Africa and involved a lot of sea days. Not a bad thing as it was very relaxing. ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the fact that the departure port was Cape Town, our home. The route was not port intensive as it was up the West Coast of Africa and involved a lot of sea days. Not a bad thing as it was very relaxing. Final destination was Venice - a big plus as we had never been there before. The Pro factor - The entertainment was superb each evening. The best any of us had seen on board a ship. Kudos to Steven Cloete, Tour Director, for selecting such a great variety of talent. And on the many days at sea we had some really interesting talks in the theatre. A further lovely touch was young Stuart Lightbody, a master at card tricks. When not formally on stage he took great delight in just mixing with little groups of passengers and blowing us away with his dexterity and sleight of hand. The Cons. We had a balcony cabin and it was pathetically small. Just a bed in the main cabin area and a work surface for make up with a pull out footstool beneath it. No couch or easy chair on which to sit and even less space due to the fold up bunk bolted in closed position on the wall. Every night at around 2 am they would move furniture around on the deck above us. It would then be moved back again a couple of hours later. Complained several times and the best answer was 'You should have booked the 12th deck'. Very helpful - NOT. As mentioned earlier, the entertainment was of the highest order. The seating in the theatre was totally awful however. Due to increasing the size of the ship the theatre seating was inadequate. To solve this In between the normal rows of seats were rows of stand alone chairs which were higher than the seats. Consequently people in the normal seats had obstructed views. This situation resulted in long queues prior to each show so that folk could rush in and grab the higher seats. Bad, bad, bad. My sister and her husband were on the 7th deck - also in the new section. They had a little box of a cabin with a view obstructed by a very large net. Even worse was the fact that to get to the cabin they had to dodge a large number of concealed potholes in the passageway! Very dangerous as they were hidden beneath carpeting. Dining. We requested being seated at a table for 8 so that we could meet other folk. We were put at a table for 4. Getting moved, or requesting a late or early dining option, was monumental. I felt sorry for the staff as it was not of their making but was obviously due to the enlargement of the vessel without consideration for the comfort of the guests. The food for breakfasts and lunches was fine. The dinners left a lot to be desired. In the main we were offered veal, chicken breasts, non identifiable fish, and ... veal! None of which were particularly appetising. Sorry MSC but you could do better if you paid a bit more for your produce. We bought several wine packages in advance. First night we chose a wine that we really liked. Next night it was out of stock. This was one day out of Cape Town! And so it went on for the next 20 days with each wine list displaying cheaper and cheaper options regardless of the fact that we had paid up in advance for good wine. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We selected this cruise due to previous positive experience with MSC. While the weather was not great the onboard food, service was wonderful. Staff and crew were super and looked after us well. The entertainment was excellent. We could ... Read More
We selected this cruise due to previous positive experience with MSC. While the weather was not great the onboard food, service was wonderful. Staff and crew were super and looked after us well. The entertainment was excellent. We could not think about even one thing to complain about. One suggestion to passengers. The ships library was devoid of English language books after about a day. So take your own books or go to library immediately upon boarding. A Highly recommended shipping line and vessel. The disembarkation process in Walvis Bay was chaotic - but we put this down to the Namabian authorities having too few officials to handle the number of passengers on duty. Then some passengers were apparently robbed in Walvis Bay. So take care while visiting. We don't like the Dakar stopover thus stayed onboard. We had been to Dakar before and felt unsafe there. All other stopovers were great. The ships medical team had to deal with some health emergencies which were handled well by crew apparently. But expensive thus important to have health insurance. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
The cruise left from beautiful Cape Town - but then I'm biased as I live there. The embarkation process was smooth and quick. The ship has recently been refurbished and it was very clean. The staff were very nice - but were not very ... Read More
The cruise left from beautiful Cape Town - but then I'm biased as I live there. The embarkation process was smooth and quick. The ship has recently been refurbished and it was very clean. The staff were very nice - but were not very well informed about the ports and docking info - which I new more about by surfing the internet before leaving port. The cabin crew and the restaurant crew were very nice and I enjoyed them very much. This was actually a repositioning cruise and therefore we got it for a very cheap price. The evening entertainment on board was excellent. We had purchased drinks packages before sailing so got them at a good price, the same goes with the excursion that we wanted to go on in Urbino, Italy. The only real problem was the food. It was mediocre to say the least. Mostly the same stuff with a different name on the menu. Really not what I expected. Also as this was up the coast of Africa there is a real "dead spot" between Cape Town and Las Palmas where there were only two stops - both of which you can miss without a worry - which lasted for about 10 days. During this time things would have been fine if the weather was good but it was not. I went to Italian lessons, dance classes, gym, many talks (some of which were very good others boring) quiz competitions, reading etc and really tried to pass the time between meals if you know what I mean. If you choose this cruise be aware it is rather boring during this time. You had best go with a group of friends to entertain yourselves. To top it off the entire ship managed to catch the flu which circulated around with coughing and sneezing, that was really awful. After we hit Las Palmas and went onto Tangier things started to get more interesting - then it was beautiful Malta, stunning Dubrovnik and Ancona (Urbino) and finally the majestic entry into Venice which is probably the best thing you can do on a cruise liner. We did not have children - very few traveled with them as it was so long a cruise and I would not recommend taking them. Would I do it again? No not this cruise. Maybe I would consider the trip down the East Coast of Africa - but the food is really what would put me off. On a cruise like this it has to be good as it is the highlight of the day for about 14 days of the cruise!!! Oh I forgot the disembarkation in Venice was a disaster, totally unorganized. They had me running from pillar to post to get hold of my passport as my husband and I are different nationalities. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our third cruise on the Mariner, our second relocation crossing, and our first since the last refurbishment. Overall, we were highly impressed by the condition of the ship. The food was consistently excellent. Service levels were ... Read More
This was our third cruise on the Mariner, our second relocation crossing, and our first since the last refurbishment. Overall, we were highly impressed by the condition of the ship. The food was consistently excellent. Service levels were also extraordinary, and even a notch above past cruises. The staff was consistently friendly and helpful. One word of advice to would-be first time Regent cruisers. Do your research. There are no wave pools, climbing walls, trampolines, or ice bars on the Mariner. The clientele is decidedly older than average. The favourite activities seem to be bridge, tea time, and trivia contests. At times the ship seems as much a floating luxury retirement home as it is a floating luxury resort. The pace is generally slow; the evenings end relatively early. This is absolutely perfect for us; it may not be perfect for you. This itinerary was particularly heavy with sea days. Again, this is what we look for and enjoy, but if you want to hit a different port every day and seek out excursions, you might not have enjoyed this cruise as much as other itineraries. Cruise Director Jamie Logan did a great job hosting and organizing events and communicating information to the passengers. We stayed in a Seven Seas Aft stateroom for the first time instead of our usual Horizons View, and we fear the spacious and tasteful surroundings, and especially the expansive deck, might have ruined other choices for us in the future! The butler and stewards provided unparalleled service throughout. As part of this cruise, Regent offered a pre-cruise safari option at several game reserves in South Africa. We stayed at the Botlierkop Game Reserve near Mossel Bay in the Western Cape region. This was an unexpected highlight of the whole trip. Excellent food and accommodations (in an air-conditioned a luxury-appointed tent away from the main lodge), knowledgeable and friendly guides, and an up close chance to see many animals in the wild. We were fortunate to see African elephants, giraffes, rhinos, impalas and black impalas, lions, eland, nyala, wildebeest, water-buck, bontebok, Cape buffalo, springbok, crested guinea fowl, blue crane, jackal buzzards, Cape zebras, and many types of indigenous plants and insects. It was a busy and magical few days, and we’d love to go back and do it again. We only have a few small quibbles with this cruise, as explained below, but none of these things detracted from our overall extremely positive and enjoyable experience. We will continue to sail on the always-excellent Mariner! Some people we spoke to felt that some of the excursions were not adequately explained by Destination Services and, as is the custom with Regent, included some long bus rides to places where short stops occurred. My wife, in particular, did not enjoy an excursion to Swakopmund on a Sunday, because many attractions were closed that day. Destination Services came in for some criticism because of this. That said, some of the things we heard from other passengers, either directly or through ship scuttlebutt, in the nature about complaints concerning the lack of attractions and services in Namibia, suggested that these folks did not do much of a job researching their itinerary before embarking on the cruise. It is the rural west African desert, people! There is not much here, and what is here is always far from everything else. What did you reasonably expect? Soon after we left Namibia rumours began to swirl about the presence of several single male passengers, apparently paying guests, who were employed by jewellery stores in Rio, and who were approaching other passengers to sell them jewellery and tours in Rio. This is apparently against Regent policy, but as they were paying guests it seemed little was done to curtail this activity. Let me stress, we heard about this from others and did not experience it directly. One final matter deserves attention. We had to miss our stop at Saint Helena due to a mid-Atlantic medical emergency that required the Captain to get a critically-ill passenger to hospital. Rather than turn back to Namibia or even Cape Town, he chose instead to increase speed and make haste for Rio de Janeiro. All aboard were disappointed in missing Saint Helena, and some passengers even claimed that this port was the sole reason they took this trip. Some of the more cynical passengers even speculated about the real reasons for speeding to Rio, to the point that the Cruise Director had to explain publicly that the extra fuel costs and dockage fees to get the passenger to hospital in Rio was costing Regent upwards of $175,000 USD. This is the second time we have experienced the Mariner having to change schedule to address the needs of an ill passenger. In both cases we believe the Captain and crew acted professionally and responsibly with the best interest of the passenger in mind. We were totally comfortable with the actions taken by the Captain and crew in this difficult situation. We fully enjoyed this cruise on the Mariner and look forward to visiting her again soon. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Looking for a different place to visit on ship that I had been on before. Received an E-mail from Oceania Cruise Line on their cruise from Capetown to Rio 14 days. The cruise line included a three day land tour including hotel in South ... Read More
Looking for a different place to visit on ship that I had been on before. Received an E-mail from Oceania Cruise Line on their cruise from Capetown to Rio 14 days. The cruise line included a three day land tour including hotel in South Africa. The cabin was large the bathroom had a tub the counter top was small but there was additional room for personal items on the shelves on the sides of the mirror. The refrigerator was stocked with water, beer and soft drinks. The room was a good size for a ship with a sofa and desk with chair. The Internet service was poor. The TV had some of the major news and business channels. There are four specialty restaurants. The main dining room and the buffet dinning area. The food was always very good. The staff was outstanding. The Entertainment was very good. There were several activities during the day. The ship carries about eleven hundred passengers. There is no movie theatre aboard. There is a casino, library and several bar on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our first cruise and we were naturally a little apprehensive about how we would cope with such a long time on board. Our fears were allayed considerably by the friendliness, courtesy and efficiency of the staff. The ship was ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we were naturally a little apprehensive about how we would cope with such a long time on board. Our fears were allayed considerably by the friendliness, courtesy and efficiency of the staff. The ship was immaculate at all times and the hard work put in by the crew was unobtrusive. The accommodation was most acceptable. The food interesting and tasty as well as being abundant and pleasing to the eye. The quality of the entertainment was outstanding and well orchestrated by the very professional cruise director and his team. It was difficult to make choices about what to participate in from the diverse selection provided. Although embarkation and disembarkation were a little irritating for the long waiting sessions, it is appreciated that a large number of passengers have to be handled and the processes were fairly well handled and organisation evident. All in all, this was a very positive experience and one that we would like to repeat. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Previous reviewers made me wonder if we'd made a mistake booking this cruise again (we'd enjoyed it so much 2 years ago on the Melody) but we need not have worried. Also having paid a very low price we expected that there may ... Read More
Previous reviewers made me wonder if we'd made a mistake booking this cruise again (we'd enjoyed it so much 2 years ago on the Melody) but we need not have worried. Also having paid a very low price we expected that there may have been lots of cuts to the quality of the food, service and entertainment. Not so. The food in the restaurant was perfectly acceptable, at times really excellent, and even the buffet food was fine seeing that we eat only fruit for breakfast and salads for lunch. The theatre entertainment was good and varied, and the inclusion of 6 classical concerts made it for us, as well as the excellent performers in the La Caballa Piano Bar. Roberto's piano and singing ensured that we never had an early night! Derrick and his girls and boys were delightful. While we didn't take part in the deck games or dancing much, one had to pat the entertainment team on the back for their fun and enthusiasm. The ship is beautiful and perfectly maintained and clean - our cabin and the public rooms were spotless, and the service of the cabin attendant, waiters and bar people could not be faulted. Complaints: 1.Halfway across the Atlantic white wine ran out in the deck bars. However, a word sent to the Bar manager fixed this quickly. 2.Poolside loungers were all taken before 7am reserved by towels. A familiar problem and not policed. Irritating but not a train smash.3.Thankfully there were very few children on board, but a couple of them were unsupervised at the pool, and were using the hot tubs against regulation. Again, no policing, but thankfully this only happened a couple of times. 4.The pools have no shallow end, so it is not possible to do aquacises - a design fault, and no one could have put that right for me. We were a bit nervous about smoke as on other MSC and Costa cruises smoking has been a huge irritation - but we were grateful that this was not the case on this cruise and smoking was confined to one small space on the deck and to a 'smokers' pub' which we could avoid.So - so problem this time. We must give kudos to all the officers, crew and staff we came in contact with. Without exception they were friendly and helpful and went out of their way to make the cruise pleasant for the passengers. It was a truly relaxing, fun and memorable experience. Well done MSC. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Cruise from Cape Town to Fort Lauderdale   It started out with a price I could not turn down. It was an outside cabin on the lower promenade deck on a 22-day cruise from Capt Town, South Africa to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for less than ... Read More
Cruise from Cape Town to Fort Lauderdale   It started out with a price I could not turn down. It was an outside cabin on the lower promenade deck on a 22-day cruise from Capt Town, South Africa to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for less than $60 a day per person. Florida was still relatively cool and dry. That means that the daytime high is below 90 degrees and the humidity is around 80 per cent. I usually wait until the first of June before leaving Florida for most of the summer. That is why we had the time available for this "last minute" cruise.   Looking for more justification, I perused the ports of call. There were nine ports of call that would be new. In fact, the only place that I had been before was Fort Lauderdale. To be perfectly truthful, however, the only place that was really on my "to do" was Cape Town, South Africa. Most of the rest I had never even heard of.   Another motivation was that my last cruise four months ago on the Holland America, Veendam had been less than sterling. Don't get me wrong! It was a very good cruise but just a little to "Carnivalized" for my liking. I wanted to see if the Rotterdam was still in the tradition of the Holland America I had come to adore.   With all those sea days scheduled, I thought my wife and I needed another couple for cards etc. so I asked my brother and his wife to join us. They jumped at the chance so the decision was made to join the Rotterdam in Cape Town for the 22-day cruise to Fort Lauderdale, a leg of the Holland America 2009 World cruise.   We decided to schedule the flight to Cape Town a few days early to see some of the South African sights before embarking upon the cruise.  There was so much that we wanted to do that the few days turned into five. We stayed at the Clarendon in Bantry Bay and the guesthouse was fabulous. The people were great. The breakfasts and tea times were not to be missed and the view from the guest rooms was to die for. The five days were jammed packed with day trips to the wine country, Robben's Island, the Cape of Good Hope, table rock mountain, the Victoria and Alfred shopping malls and a one day photo safari to the Aquila animal preserve. We were so exhausted that by the time we boarded the Rotterdam, we were looking forward to that first sea day.   Embarkation was a dream. Since the cruise was part of a World Cruise, there were only about 300 people embarking in Cape Town. Twenty minutes after we got to the dock we were in our cabin unpacking our hand luggage before hitting the buffet line on the Lido deck. There, we had the preview of the quality and variety of great food we were going to receive for the entire voyage. This was our 38th cruise and by far we had the best dining experience ever as far as variety, quality and service is concerned. In fact, my advice to HAL is "you got it right, don't change".   We quickly got into our routine. We had early seating for dinner so we would go to the show lounge after dinner that was about one hour before the show started. This usually assured us of a good seat down front. My wife, Velma, would read and I would work my Sudoku while waiting for the show to begin. The first evening the routine went off like clockwork.   The next morning I got to the Lido deck for coffee at my usual six o'clock and went out to the pool deck to work Sudoku and people watch. My wife joined me at about seven o'clock and Dick and Mary (brother and sister-in-law) joined us about half passed seven. We met a few people that had been on the cruise since the beginning. This was day 93 of their cruise. Needless-to-say, we had a lot of questions about such a long cruise.   On sea days, after breakfast Velma would do her water aerobics and I would lounge around and before you knew it, it was time for lunch. On days that we were in port we would take shore tours or go ashore on our own in the morning getting back in time to get a snack and rest before dinner. On sea days the afternoons were spent taking in the many activities on board or playing cards with Dick and Mary. One of our favorites activities was the afternoon movie. For the most part the movies were good considering the number of movies needed for such a long cruise and the differing tastes people had. There was so much to do that I could not see how anyone could not find something to his or her liking.   It was the third day on board that the routine was interrupted. When we got to the show lounge at our usual time "our seats" were taken. There were only two people in the theater and they chose to sit in our usual place. No problem, we just sat a row back. The next night when we arrived at our usual time we found four people in the theater and the other two were sitting where we sat the night before. No problem, we found seats in the same spot but on the other side of the theater. Evidently, these seats were not worth the effort for those world cruisers who embarked before we did to get to the lounge early enough to get them. From then on we watched the seating drama that took place each evening. Some times it was even more fun than Sudoku.   We soon found out that there was a difference between the "newbies" and the veteran world cruisers. Many of them had over ninety days to form their cliques. However, most of the passengers accepted us and some even liked the new blood on board.   We had our favorite cabin on Holland America. It was 3388 near the center of the lower promenade deck and just ten steps from the lifeboat station and about the same distance to the elevators and staircase. This minimized our walking and swaying and I thought that we would get enough exercise walking from the dining room to the theater anyway.   The music on board was outstanding. From 4:30pm until dinner, the Station Band played dance music in the Ocean Bar while the Peacefulls played in the Crow's Nest. They were both very good. However, we had to choose since they played at the same time before dinner. We finally settled on the Station Band simply because they were closer to our cabin and the dining room. However, we did get to listen to the Peacefulls during lunch on the Lido deck. After the show it was up to the Explorer's Lounge to listen to the Rosario Strings. The group were outstanding musicians and could play just about any song you requested. Here again we had to choose between the Rosario Strings and the piano bar and the strings won out.   Our ports of call in Namibia were Luderitz and Walvis Bay. They were quiet laid back towns and we enjoyed just walking around the towns for a few hours and getting back on the ship to enjoy the on-board activities. Many of the passengers took tours and had nothing by good reports but we preferred our favorite pastime, relaxing in the lounge chairs on deck or the easy chairs in the library when the weather got warm.   After Namibia, we island hopped all the way to Fort Lauderdale. St Helena was noted for the place where Napoleon spent the last six years of his life in exile. We also found it to be the home of Jacob's ladder, 699 stair steps from the town to the top of the nearby mountain. I climbed the first five steps, took some pictures and called it quits. We walked up the main street to the post office for some stamps, rested awhile in chairs on the porch of the local hotel and chatted with some locals before retracing our steps back to the dock to tender back to the ship. It was hard to believe that people lived on such a small island 1200 miles from the nearest land but they seemed to enjoy it.   Two days later we anchored off the coast of Ascension island. The sea was a little rough so we decided not to try getting on the tenders for the ride to shore. Their main claim to fame was their postage stamps and the fact that they were once a down range tracking station for NASA in the 1960's. On-board activities were going strong. "Yes Man" was showing at the theater and it was Dutch night in the dining room. We all donned our Dutch hats and had a ball. It was the birthday of Queen Juliana, the mother of the current Queen Beatrix and is called "Koninginnedag".   After four sea days we arrived at Devil's Island. We had not been able to visit Devil's Island last year on a repositioning cruise to Rome because of high seas so we were looking forward to this visit. After all we had paid dearly for those yellow fever shots last years and wanted to get use out of those shot records that nobody even asked about or looked at. The island was a pleasant surprise. It was beautiful with lots of flowers, greenery and animals the likes of which I had never seen. No matter what they call them, they still looked like giant rats. After about an hour of walking around the island it was back to the ship and on to Trinidad.   There was a light rain in Trinidad, the only bad weather we encountered the entire cruise. We took a tour of the city, the botanical gardens and took in a show at the local playhouse. The city of port of Spain was much larger than I had expected and had the usual traffic jams of all large cities we had visited all over the world. The government was renovating much of the city but the going was slow and the money scarce. When the older buildings are restored and the new convention center is complete, it would be nice to go back and visit the city again.   Barbados was the next island we visited and it was like most Caribbean islands but showed more affluence. We enjoyed a walk through Bridgetown where we bought some souvenirs before taking a taxi back to the dock.   Our final island stop was in St. Barts and it was a surprise. It is the most affluent island that we had visited in the Caribbean. The harbor was full of million dollar yachts and the town was full of up-scale shops. St Barts is a collectivity of France and the currency is the Euro. When we walked around the harbor, I stopped to read the menu at an outdoor restaurant and a hamburger with fries went for 18 Euros or about $25. It was time to return to the ship where dining was good and free.   Two days later we disembarked in Ft Lauderdale in time for my brother and sister-in-law to make a 10:00 am flight to Atlanta. It was tight but he made it. Disembarkation was quick without any problems. I love those small ships.   In addition to comfortable cabins and common areas, outstanding service, exceptional food and great music, the entertainment was as good as we have seen, especially on a long cruise. From production shows that were fabulous to Folkloric shows that were both entertaining and educational the shows covered just about every aspect of the entertainment spectrum. There was something for everyone and I liked it all. Steel drums and flaming limbo dancers, singing and dancing with costumes by Mackie backed by a band that could play anything was a joy to behold. There was a ventriloquist, violinist, mind reader, pianist, classical guitar player and male and female comedians, male and female vocalists and several singing groups.   Chita Rivera showed that she could still sing and dance on the stage of a swaying cruise ship in high-heeled shoes at an age approaching that of the Holland America passengers. It was hard to believe that it had been 50 years since I had seen the "West Side Story".   However, my favorite show was the singing group, The Unexpected Boys. They were four exceptionally talented young men with energy to spare that put on two great shows plus a cameo appearance that brought down the house even though we had heard the songs before. They could do it all. Whether it was songs from Les Miserable or solos from Jekyll and Hyde, barbershop or modern, they did it with a flare.   If you want to cruise, I suggest you start with the best, Holland America, and the best of Holland America is their world cruises. If you are like me and are not ready for a 100+ days on a cruise select a leg of the world cruise you like and go for it. You will not be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date April 2009

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