59 Dubai Luxury Cruise Reviews

We booked 3 back-to-back cruises from Dubai to Capetown, and, in spite of concern that it would be too long a time on the ship, it was just the opposite. We easily settled into a routine and the days flew by. TheVista is the smallest of ... Read More
We booked 3 back-to-back cruises from Dubai to Capetown, and, in spite of concern that it would be too long a time on the ship, it was just the opposite. We easily settled into a routine and the days flew by. TheVista is the smallest of the accommodations, it was roomy enough and we never felt cramped. While we didn't have a veranda, there was always deck space available on decks 8 and 9. The first cruise was designated an "Ecole du Chef" with Chef David Bilsland. This provided a focus with cooking demonstrations, market visits, a special luncheon and a knife skills class. The demonstrations were very well done and we came home with some wonderful recipes. Food throughout the cruise was consistently excellent with Chef Ramon very visible and accessible and very amenable to preparing special requests. While most of our meals were in the Restaurant, we also dined in La Terrazza and on deck with Hot Rocks, all of which were enjoyable. We were impressed with the quality of the complimentary wines which have improved markedly in recent years. We enjoyed the new entertainment concept and saw each of the shows 3 times without getting tired of them. Each cruise, the shows seemed to get better as the entertainers had more experience with being on the ship and with each other. The ship was beautifully decorated for the holidays and the chefs outdid themselves with menus for Christmas and New Years. Our only complaint, which was also expected, was the children onboard for the Xmas cruise, who were not always well-behaved. The ports were interesting and not places that would otherwise be easy to get to. We chose to do the combined cruises because of the time in the Seychelles which we appreciated. One comment to the previous post regarding this cruise: the drapes were drawn as a safety precaution as we traveled through some areas frequented by pirates. The captain and crew took security very seriously as was explained at the beginning of each cruise, and that is why there were limits on veranda use and lighting after dark. Overall, it was a wonderful experience, and we were actually sorry to get off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Boarding ship in Dubai was fast and easy. Luggage delivered to cabin quickly. As we were platinum members of cunard we did receive a few perks that helped out.The QM2 was a grand attractive elegant first moment of truth. We loved the ... Read More
Boarding ship in Dubai was fast and easy. Luggage delivered to cabin quickly. As we were platinum members of cunard we did receive a few perks that helped out.The QM2 was a grand attractive elegant first moment of truth. We loved the decor, carpeting, winding staircases, music playing lightly in various lounges during the day and pre dinner. It was very Titanic in its looks. Elegant old world. Our dining experiences were very good on the whole. Better on the Dubai to Southampton than the Southampton to New York sector. Our travel agent asked several times if the balcony chairs fully reclined...she was told yes, on arrival they were chairs only and had to take the time to switch them out to nylon deck chairs with no cushions and shoddy. We were told due to safety reasons, these chairs did not recline.Dining room had rowdy loud children adjacent to our prime table next to the gorgeous two level decor in the Britania Restaurant. The Maitre D was complacent in responding to this disruption every night. Could not understand how the kids were not placed in a quiet corner of the dining room amongst other kids instead of this prime spot. We loved our table so we sure weren't going to change!After about 10 days we started to see failures that discouraged us to ever join the QM2 again. Cigarette smoke permeated several areas of the ship. Smokers discreetly lit up during evening performances and nothing was done about it. This ship is for SMOKERS unless it doesn't bother you. If you are allergic, stay away. They intend for this ship to continue with smoking.Deck 7 near the Kings court and the gym both reeked of smoke. Waifs of smoke were in the corridors of the ship. Also a continuous odor of urine from the ladies room outside the Britania restaurant, the full cruise.the lectures and performances were mediocre and Holland America Line far surpasses the quality we had on the ship. It was like left over performers for the end of the world cruise.Jacuzzis were broken down often during the 23 days. It didn't seem important for anyone to fix them. Illuminations broke down several times during the last few days of the cruise. It felt like the ship was worn down after the first few sectors of the world cruise.The spa had broken tile and a section of the pool was cordoned of with "caution" yellow tape, that was not a very well being vision for me! Also they had not replaced the aromatherapy steam room with scent, so you smelled severe chlorine instead. They were waiting for New York to get more....and why could the Canyon Ranch not have had a Fed Ex supply sent to a port? Complacency. You were charged the same price to enter the day spa even with these failures.When reading through the brochure while at sea, there were several photos advertised in it that made me want to take this ship. Tea served while in lounge chairs outdoors on deck, fencing demos or lessons, RADA at sea for lessons. Another picture of being served tea in the spa area in your bathrobe...well I wanted to experience that..it didn't happen. After receiving a call from Cunard, they said these were for Queens and Princes grill or on other ships. The brochure,however, does not tell you the conditions of these photos tantalizing your travel dreams. This line overpromises and underdelivers. Holland America Overdelivers and underpromises.We just felt an overall disappointment and felt we were taken with the price and the bargain for the Dubai to New York sector. We felt like we were the left overs of the world cruise as they cannot keep the ship filled for the full 103 days.What was really annoying was hearing people bragging of their deep discounts to travel on the ship and we paid a good price for our cabin. Several commented on the deep discount advertising in the UK papers. One travel writer on board told us he paid $900. for the transatlantic and $100 more for a balcony on deck 10...we were in a balcony on deck 4 for 23 days.The ports of call were fabulous, the tour desk and shore excursions were all outstanding. We had 21 buses to Luxor and it went off without a hitch and we were the only people at Karnak and the tombs. Food on the tour was great and trouble free. All the ports were worthwhile although we'd been to all of them before, it was nice to return to them.On a scale of 1 to 10..........."4" for us Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Just back from above. Had a really nice time. Met some lovely people. The itinery was very good. Jordan (Petra) and Dubai were really interesting. Positives first:       Ship very easy to get around. I never got lost once in three ... Read More
Just back from above. Had a really nice time. Met some lovely people. The itinery was very good. Jordan (Petra) and Dubai were really interesting. Positives first:       Ship very easy to get around. I never got lost once in three weeks!   Balconies fairly large compared to some other cruises weve been on.   Food quality in the Britannia good to very good on most nights.   Daily dancing classes were fun.       Negatives:       Flaws in the basic design of the ship (IMHO). The aft desk area with pool just seems unfinished. There is a small pool with a massive area for loungers but its totally soulless.       Flooding occurred quite regularly on various floors and in public places (table tennis table was constantly soaking!)       Rooms were fairly large but again the dEcor meant they seemed totally bare and emotionless places.       The aircon was a major complaint from everyone we met; Out of our group of about 16 people at least half came down with respiratory problems within the three weeks. We had engineers to switch down ours to no avail. We ended up sleeping on the floor beside the open balcony door one night! The pursers office refused to do anything but move our bed to the balcony end (which helped a bit). There was a but going about and it was spreading in the aircon. It needs to be investigated urgently (we sent a letter in the last few days to Tanya (Guest relations) stating that).       Staff were a lot more 'aloof' than on any other cruise line. Our stateroom attendant hardly spoke to us the whole time on board. Apart from perhaps one or two bar staff and Gemma and the rest of the Spa, the rest were totally stand offish. I realise that this is perhaps how Cunard train their staff but to have to run after them to try and get a drink after sitting in the bar for half an hour is excessive.       Food in Lido average at best. We have cruised with Celebrity on four occasions in last two years and they are miles ahead in their buffet service.       Big negative was Entertainment. In 20 nights there were two major shows. The rest were either average comics, instrumentalists or tribute acts (Beatles/El Divo). This is not acceptable and was clearly down to 'penny pinching' by Cunard. In their defence the two shows (especially La Danza) were fantastic.       In conclusion we wont be going with Cunard again (certainly not the Elizabeth anyway). If we had paid full price (not booked two weeks before sailing) we would have been a lot more critical. It is not 5 star. The hotel we stayed in Dubai was. Overall we ghave rated it 4 and this is mostly for the fun we had with new friends (not the actual cruise ship!)Celebrity remains our choice of lines and I look forward to August on Equinox!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
What a cruise of excitement, disappointment and finally enjoyment.This was our second cruise with Seabourn, after the wonderful Odyssey Aegean and Dalmatian Delights we first cruised on in 2009, which I previously posted a review on. As ... Read More
What a cruise of excitement, disappointment and finally enjoyment.This was our second cruise with Seabourn, after the wonderful Odyssey Aegean and Dalmatian Delights we first cruised on in 2009, which I previously posted a review on. As many have stated, the hardest decision to make, is to decide to go on your first cruise, the easiest decision is to book your second.Our second cruise was on the newly released Sojourn, World Cruise segment 5 from Dubai to Rome starting on 26th March 2011 where destinations included Egypt, Oman, Jordan, Israel, Greece and Italy. Of particular interest to us, were the "bucket list" locations of Luxor, the Pyramids and Petra.Accordingly, our excitement when we first booked this cruise. As we steadily approached our departure date, our excitement turned to concern when the Egyptian crisis started, wondering if we would still be going. After continually being told by Seabourn that the cruise was going to continue unaltered, our excitement continued until 13 days before departure, where Seabourn altered the itinerary on their web page.Disappointment set upon us with the cruise, without prior warning or notice being provided to our travel agent or us directly, the key ports of Safaga (Luxor), Sharm el Sheik and Alexandria (Cairo) were cancelled. What disappointment and frustration we experienced, with the timing advice and response to our enquires and emails from Seabourn. Very disappointing indeed which is evidenced within a series of posts with the Seabourn forum posts within Cruisecritic.So with this in mind, we commenced our transit onto our cruise.I wondered, how would the Sojourn and its crew perform, given our wonderful experience on the Odyssey. What has changed and was it for the better ?As soon as we arrived at the Dubai port we were welcome by the crew again in a manner, that gave you the feeling that they have known you for some time. A glass of refreshing juice in a champagne glass is handed to you whilst you check in which was again quick, professional and painless.We quickly arrived in our suite, this time a V6 suite number 827 on the eighth level. As I travelled through the ship to our suite, it felt like coming home, as the Sojourn was exactly like the Odyssey in build configuration. God, it felt good to be back on board.The features of the suite were exactly the same as the Odyssey. Every need is provided, from the opening of a bottle of champagne when you first arrive to the soap in the bathroom. After a quick embrace of happiness we ventured out to look around.We quickly noticed that this ship was a far better build quality than the Odyssey, (Again my engineering background is coming through here). The ship was far more polished and complete, no doubt due to the fact that this ship was ahead of construction program. No bubbling of internal wall panels, no visible rust spots and replacement of those silly automatic opening doors on level 8 with a traditional turn of the lever and pull the door open and shut. We also sensed the harmony amongst the crew, well organized, efficient, balanced, friendly and happy. They displayed far more familiarity with the ship, its needs and daily operations. It was clear, the lessons of the Odyssey were noted and enacted upon on the Sojourn.The ship may have a value of $ 350 Million, but it is nothing in comparison to its wonderful crew lead by their hotel manager Vitor. The crew is young, enthusiast and truly wonderful team of individual personnel.At times, the crew endured clients that well, are simply rude and difficult to deal with. We witnessed an occasion in the Restaurant when a client split a container of milk all over the place. Immediately, 3 crew members went onto their knees and quickly cleaned up the spillage without hesitation. This particular client amazingly ignored them, did not offer assistance, even attempt to move out of their way or apologize in anyway. We couldn't believe the arrogance of this person and found it so sad that the crew have to serve clients of this nature. There was also another occasion, when my wife overheard a fellow cruiser over breakfast on our last cruise day, when a member of the crew expressed sadness over that person leaving and he replied, "what do you care, there will be another traveller after I leave". Professionally, the crew member simply smiled and wished him well in the future. I personally would have told him to "go and jump".Whilst these occasions are few and far in between, we offer them as examples of how temperament this crew is and how they have been trained to serve. They genuinely do care and openly display affection to our needs and health. If you happen to be suffering in health, they caringly ask if there is something they can do, arrange for the doctor, etc. There is no doubt they we viewed them as an extension of our family whilst on the cruise and were quiet saddened to leave them, but look forward to returning to embrace them again in the future.As per the Odyssey, there are 4 Restaurants on the ship starting with "The Restaurant" with a "al carte" rotating menu choice. This restaurant requires no booking and at no time, were we not able to be seated. Food was equally as refined and excellent on every single occasion.Restaurant 2 remains with a menu set with a variety of degustation with 24 hour booking notice. On this occasion I found the eating experience just a little too rich for my liking. The restaurant wasn't as full as it was on the Odyssey and I wondered whether Seabourn were best served, to possibly alter the theme of this restaurant to something that cruisers would be accustomed to, such as a specialized seafood or a steak restaurant.The Colonnade has altered its previous need to book, which was very pleasing given the last frustrations we experienced on the Odyssey. This restaurant also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Of the three, it remains as the most casual restaurant and has a menu with two choices per course plus a traditional classic choice menu.Finally the Patio Grill, is a restaurant in the open air adjacent to the swimming pool on deck 8. Again, Seabourn altered the previous booking requirement for this restaurant during dinner times. A good change indeed which I frequented on numerous occasions.Overall whilst the food was of high quality, I felt it was slightly below the standard we experienced on the Odyssey. I put this down to the fact, that as we travelled through the Middle East in lieu of the Mediterranean, where the food availability in terms of freshness and quality was probably not as good.Unlike the Odyssey which was a new and larger ship at the time, the crew during meal times was calm and well organized. No running, dropping of plates and mistaken orders. The efficiency teething problems I experienced on the Odyssey, were well and truly ironed out.Being a wine buff, I regretfully found the wines to be below par to what I was used to. Some familiar Australian wines were offered which frankly, were not of a standard in keeping with the ships standing. On this occasion, we once with other guests, decided to resort to the "exclusive" and additional wine choices available. This was a little disappointing and I hope this will be considered by Seabourn into the future.During the day, there were lots of activities within the ship to keep guests entertained, which was beneficial, given that we had a lot of days at sea. I was told by many die hard bridge players that the bridge masters were simply fantastic, with all guests rushing in for their daily bridge games. Quiet amusing actually, seeing everyone rushing their breakfast, to venture to the card room. The only complaint I heard was that the air conditioning in the room was too cold. Night entertainment at the Club on Deck 5, the Lounge on Deck 6 and the Observation Bar of Deck 10 with piano music was excellent. The highlight of the cruise was when we had an Arabian night pool party night. The pool area was transformed with props, decorations, Pyramids, camels, etc. All guests become part of the party dressing up in Arabian outfits. Even Captain Karlo suitably donned an Arabian Head piece. It truly was a magnificent night with all guests reflecting on it over the next 2 to 3 days.Then after slowly removing our initial disappointment of our altered itinerary, it was announced that we would in fact, be returning back to our original itinerary due to a change in the US issued travel alert (mind you, Britain and Australia had altered it sometime before them). Egypt, here we come !. What a joyous occasion for all on the ship when Captain Karlo announced this over the ship's speaker system. At an instant, the cruise feeling went from very good to excellent. Smiles all round. We couldn't help but feel some regret for the passengers of Spirit, many of which we communicated with before departure, which was doing a similar leg, ahead of us by some 4 to 5 days. We haven't spoken to anyone from the Spirit, since returning, but we believe the change in travel alert was too late for them to alter their itinerary back.We did however have an experience where the Sojourn and the Spirit crossed paths in the ocean and circled each other like romancing doves. What an experience it was to see each other, cruisers waving away and happily snapping photos of each other. On this cruise, we noted the higher presence of the Captain and his crew. We frequently saw them in the gym, sitting next to us during dinner or simply undertaking periodical walk through and wishing everyone well. Whilst always serious and level headed, the captain too was a highlight with his slow, deep voice over the speaker system. I wouldn't have anyone else at the wheel through the dangerous waters of the Middle East than Captain Karlo.The Cruise Director Jan, was also far more enjoyable and energetic to the cruise director we had on the Odyssey. How she maintained that level of energy, after a long world cruise was a credit to her indeed.Of the wonderful services we experienced, what negatives were there ?.One thing that did frustrate me and other cruisers was the speed of the internet, it was slow as a snail. Surely they could do something to speed this up, which was quickly chewing away the time allotted to internet packages we purchased. The other was the choice of channels on the TV, for 20 days we viewed no sports channel and frankly, I had enough of the CNN, Fox news and BBC view of what was happening in the world. I would have killed for a sports channel to provide something other than the depressing news of Libya, The American economy and the Ivory Coast crisis. We're on holidays !, please show us a few games of golf, football and baseball. We hope next time we are on a cruise, ESPN or foxsports is also on the TV and the internet bandwidth is dramatically increased. We noted within some cruisecritic posts the issue of discoloured water. I actually ventured down to the laundry on level 5 and noted its compact, yet sufficient service. We encountered similar problems with some stains being left on white clothing due to the water discoloration. Some cruisers had then chosen to use the in house laundry. We decided to try it again and the stains went away. Finally, we cannot hide our disappointment with the office personnel of Seabourn. We find it so hard to comprehend the vast difference between them and the wonderful team on board the ships. If the office personnel could be 50 % as attentive, caring and compassionate to the ship's crew, well simply, this would be an absolutely perfect cruise line.Would these issues stop me from returning to Seabourn ? Of course not. We have become part of the loyal team that exists within the Seabourn family after only two cruises. Would we be courageous enough to try other cruise lines like Silverseas, Regent or Celebrity cruisers ? Possibly,,,, but not now, as we have placed another on board discount deposit for our next cruise.As I recover from my jetlag, I have tried to reflect on what my thoughts are on this ship and its crew during a totally different cruise destination to that previously I enjoyed, being the Mediterranean. I cannot overstate the wonderful crew, we both love them and look forward to seeing them again and very soon we hope.Yes it was a roller coaster of emotion from booking to actually travelling. I can however happily report, that at the end of the day, we were not disappointed. We ticked off our "bucket list" items, enjoyed the ship, it's crew and again gained another 5 kilos of weight !. The ship has improved in numerous areas, with a slight and I mean slight, decrease in wine quality and food freshness. If they can attend to this and have some improvement in the internet service, well why would choose any other cruise line ?.My wife of now 27 years now believes she has two yachts. That is of course, until we venture onto the Quest, where I imagine it will expand to three. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
Silver Wind is a small ship whose Tardis like properties make it feel far from small. The cabins are spacious if not cavernous, and it misses few of the traditional cruise ship facilities despite its meagre 17,400 tons. It doesn't ... Read More
Silver Wind is a small ship whose Tardis like properties make it feel far from small. The cabins are spacious if not cavernous, and it misses few of the traditional cruise ship facilities despite its meagre 17,400 tons. It doesn't provide the stylish drop-down stern and marina of some boutique competitors, nor romantic double chaise longue - if you are so inclined, however as the majority of passengers were retired if not exactly octogenarians these facilities might be interpreted as somewhat superfluous if not dangerous! The ship aspires to traditional excellence in a relaxed / Italian (via Miami) style - with a 'Country Club' atmosphere. The open-sitting dining is conducive to meeting new friends and I have never been with friendlier, nor more generally open passengers. Similarly the crew were largely dedicated and highly attentive, if a little too numerous at times. Unfortunately there were occasions, for example at embarkation, when it was necessary to ask for help and supervision might be a weakness. There were other times when I felt the ship was over-staffed and the crew were looking for things to do - most noticeably breakfast in the main dining room as when I visited the number of other passengers fluctuated between eight and none! There was, however, an overly motivated and very thorough future sales co-ordinator! The product is good if not perfect and there are clear areas of weakness. However, whilst I have cruised many times I have still yet to sail on a perfect ship. This ship similarly fails to achieve perfection and I agree with the 2009 Berlitz rating of 4 Star Plus - and indeed with most of the narrative. One disembarking passenger much experienced of cruising remarked whilst they awaited their airport transfer that their cruise had been good, very good, but they were not certain it had been good enough to justify a return visit. The line seems to be conscious of what its competitors provide and are keen to provide similar, even if it is not always appropriate to the ship. All cabins have Butlers, and whilst they were all charming and delightful I am not sure what their duties involved, except perhaps serving in-cabin breakfasts, cleaning the exterior of suitcases prior to passengers re-packing them, and greeting passengers by name as they walk to their cabins. They do not pack and un-pack for passengers - a fact that I found reassuring. It is, however, the crew's determination to greet passengers by name and to know things about them that I found unnerving at times and somewhat reminiscent of Big Brother. As I surfaced from my cabin the first morning disorientated from a long flight I was greeted by name by a member of the crew that I had not previously met - who wished me an 'Excellent morning' and enquired if my Mother (who had a cabin elsewhere on the ship and I am sure they had not previously met either - or any reason to know we were travelling together) was comfortably settled. It seems the crew are issued with pictures and possibly even short biographies of passengers and required to learn them. I find this form of forced familiarity unwelcome and intrusive. The sip was built in 1995 and last re-furbished in 2008. It is generally in very good condition with a good level of ongoing maintenance. For example and marks left of the hull from mooring are quickly painted over. It is difficult to find fault with the maintenance except perhaps for the caulking. I question why the slightly older Silver Cloud has still not been similarly refurbished and wonder whether this indicative of a limited future. There is an excellent amount of space per passenger even during this full cruise and with the exception of one tea-time, no hint of a queue or over-crowding anywhere. Indeed in the evening it can be difficult to find co-passengers in some parts of the ship. The shore excursions I took were well thought out and reasonably priced and a real strength. However, I don't know if this is representative of the line's other excursions, or merely the nor, for the geographic area. Prior to the cruise I was frightened by pre-cruise literature that included the option to take some remarkable, if extremely highly priced excursions. I assumed all excursions would be in this price league and was relieved by the reality. The excursion office were also extremely helpful with alternative arrangements that we could make for ourselves and their service was supplemented by visiting local tourist representatives - a delightfully useful service for those who like to go off and explore on their own. The food is OK if not exactly sparkling. Breakfast was excellent wherever taken, lunch was good, except for the pool-side service and dinner even less so - especially the deserts. The ingredient spend was quite good, although gallons of good caviar was certainly not flowing (unless you paid for it) and it seemed to lack a certain sparkle. I enjoyed the informal lunch in La Terrazza, where a traditional buffet was supplemented with pasta cooked to order and even pizzas cooked to order. Dinner wasn't bad and indeed I preferred dinner in the alternative zero cost La Terrazza to the main dining room. In the latter I felt the food lacked sparkle and the crockery a strange choice, especially the coffee cups which were a long way removed from demitasse and more serviceable for sturdy on-deck service. There was, however, a good mix of choices with an additional range of staples and very reasonable accompanying wines (or whatever else you might want to drink) gratis and a good wine list if you wanted connoisseur wines. There was similarly a connoisseur restaurant, but I failed to try this. The ship was certainly very generous with free alcohol, but the novelty of it for me had faded by the end of the cruise. I was surprised to see how large the delightful tiered show-room was. It was used for talks, films and unfortunately the inevitable dance shows. I have never really enjoyed the shows of most ships, but the dancers here really hit a new low. They were lovely people who at times assisted as hosts and were lovely to talk to, but for me dancing and entertaining was not their skill - nor do I think this type of show appropriate to the ambience of the ship. Personally I would have preferred more intelligent entertainment or Western band / Jazz pianist. There were some good musicians on the ship, but they were not Western and were perhaps thus handicapped in their rappour. For children there was little entertainment except a reasonable video library and whilst the line indicated it would try to accommodate children I question what they can achieve - and whether this enthusiasm for children would be shared by the other passengers. There is a choice of local television channels, international news channels, ship sourced enrichment shows and ship shown films. I generally found everything that was ship sourced to be of little interest and was grateful for the international news and in-cabin DVD player - although I did seem to have seen most of the DVDs in the library. The ship was very comfortable and followed a seemingly well planned itinerary. It is, however, not cheap - especially at peak times - and the jury is still out as to whether I will return. The crew (largely Philippino and Indian) try hard to provide a good service, but there is a cultural gap and I suggest the ship should work harder at projecting its own image, rather than what seemed to be forever looking over their shoulder at what their competitors delivered and replicating it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
I have skimmed the prior review of this cruise and by odd coincidence, my daughters and I had staterooms that were nearly adjacent to that of the reviewer. We have very different observations. Be that as it may, I chose the Silverseas ... Read More
I have skimmed the prior review of this cruise and by odd coincidence, my daughters and I had staterooms that were nearly adjacent to that of the reviewer. We have very different observations. Be that as it may, I chose the Silverseas line because I had been on most itineraries that Seabourne travels. I also was attracted by the low single supplement fee charged for a second suite. As mentioned, I traveled with my daughters are college students. The elder is a senior at Cornell University Hotel School and is a very exacting critic. Plus we are from San Francisco and have ample opportunity for fine dining, albeit modern Californian cuisine. We were impressed by the warmth and attentiveness of the service. The staff was alert and personal, but not fawning. We found the menu to be at the level of a five star hotel. In short if a passenger seeks the service and cuisine of the Ritz Carleton Hotels, then they will have a similar experience with Silverseas. The prior reviewer stated that the ship was overstaffed at times. He or she must understand that the kitchen provides punctual room service from the dining room and breakfast buffet. Wait staff must linger to fulfill various orders as most passengers prefer breakfast en suite. At any rate, I would state that the service and cuisine were excellent. The lines sommalier found great unknown wines and champagne that compared to far better known wine labels. I am very particular. I think that there were a few weak spots. The ship was recently refurbished and is pristine; however, the interior design is awful. The carpeting, "artwork," upholstery fabrics, wallcoverings, etc, evoke a 1980's midprice Hilton. What were they thinking of??? It is no more expensive to have good taste and look at some "cool" traditional interior design. Go to the W Hotel. Also, I would have liked more depth in the ship's library or TV station regarding our destinations. It would be nice to have videos and researched reports about where we were going. The dance shows were indescribably, excructiatintly, terrible. The pianist was very good. Some one at Silverseas needs to hire an entertainment consultant. To sum up, we were positively impressed by Silverseas. The pluses were great service and food, a low single supplement fee, and a creative itinerary. The negatives were banal interior design, shallow research, and awful live shows. All in all, I was very pleasantly surprised versus Seabourne. Hastily, AGW Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Arrived at 1700 after 4hr(from London!)journey to T5 to find No reps( all gone home at 1500!) Nothing! 120 elderly passengers in a daze.....apparently abandoned. So home we went. 3 days later, SH contacted us preening themselves,they ... Read More
Arrived at 1700 after 4hr(from London!)journey to T5 to find No reps( all gone home at 1500!) Nothing! 120 elderly passengers in a daze.....apparently abandoned. So home we went. 3 days later, SH contacted us preening themselves,they had found plane from STN. Great flight TITAN Thank you. Arrived 2400 in Dubai ushered on, and away we sailed. Following day Captain announced 3 ports will NOT be visited in order that he can keep to "schedule". Consequently spent DAYS drifting at 8 knots! to waste time so the schedule could be resumed. Captains welcome "party" consisted mainly of him telling of his childhood days... of being sick.. Is this really a superior cruising company? Ship comfortable, Catering and hotel staff wonderful, Food very good. Ship management? dreadful.and organisation seemed to be a "dark art" to them. Passengers,some quite amazing for their years. Mostly a jolly good crowd. Ports we did visit were very interesting. Sad we had to berth in coal docks, on account of cheapness. Immigration formalities: almost as bad as Russia. After 50yrs in the business you would have thought they had built up some port/agents relationships, as they were all repeat ports. What a thoroughly depressing way to spend Christmas and New Year!! Highlights were the spirit of the passengers and our lecturers. Not at all what we were expecting from a company of quality and stature! If you can remember Katy Boyle: Swan Hellenic Nil pointes !! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
This was our first time on Seabourn after being on Silversea twice and several other lines. We never wanted to be on their smaller "yachts" and were very excited when the larger and brand new Odyssey came online + an itinerary ... Read More
This was our first time on Seabourn after being on Silversea twice and several other lines. We never wanted to be on their smaller "yachts" and were very excited when the larger and brand new Odyssey came online + an itinerary that took us to all new places...some on our "bucket list" ie, Dubai, Luxor, Petra, and the pyramids. Itineraries are a very personal thing so I won't elaborate on our ports or shore excursions (except one below). I will say that it's the ONLY way we would have wanted to see this part of the world! We felt safe on the water even in pirate territory and on every bus; some with armed police, as all the excursions make for long bus rides. The razor/constantine wire along the sides upon embarkation in Dubai was a little daunting at first but our captain explained they do anything and everything to ensure the safety of the ship and it's passengers/crew. Our captain, Mark Dexter, was a delightfully cheery man despite this being the last segment of the inaugural World Cruise of 104 days. THE SHIP: She is beautiful, very easy to navigate, with the staterooms being very spacious (much like Silversea) with loads of storage, comfy beds, nice baths, and big enough walk-in closets. Suffice it to say, the suites ARE as advertised. We didn't have any problems except with our safe 2 days in, which got promptly replaced the next a.m. Avoid a room w/a connecting door as you will hear your neighbors music, TV, every cough, sneeze, and most conversations louder than pillow talk. We heard not a peep from the other side of the room; it was the door that leaked. This ship does have vibration problems as other's have mentioned; it's supposedly going into dry dock in Nov. It really never bothered me but it was the talk of the ship amongst others. Someone else mentioned the poor layout of the Grand Salon with the large columns blocking views of the stage. We ditto that! It was as if no one gave these a thought when putting them in and I can't believe they are structural. Take them out!! I'll say also that we LOVE to dress for dinner and so appreciate that Seabourn is sticking to Black Tie Optional nights. It gripes me that several men blatantly chose to disregard the dress code w/out so much as a coat in the Restaurant on Casual Elegant nights. The staff was always gracious about bringing a coat to the guest...some just hung it on the back of the chair. Some people just have no class and feel they are above it. There are other dining options that allow casual dress any night of the week. Those men were simply rude! The pool area was well used but always had lounges open. They NEED cushions however, as they are very hard. Four towels almost did the trick. We have had cushions on much lesser ships. FOOD + SERVICE: We found it pretty darn fantastic on all levels! The Restaurant has a large menu that changes daily; in 16 days we never saw the same menu twice. The "standards" are always available and the vegetarian entrees kept me very pleased. The bartenders anticipated your every wish, our cabin stewards were prompt with cleaning and turn down service, you never needed to look for a drink around the pool, the cooks at the Pool Grill even made me a grilled cheese sandwich which isn't on the menu. They will try to accommodate your every wish. The same goes in the Colonnade for breakfast and lunch...incredible selections there! We ate in Restaurant 2 only once; it was delightful. We never ate dinner in the Colonnade. Each night is "country themed" and we just never hit the right night/country combination. The Seabourn Square, Deck 7 is a one-stop area for great coffee drinks, more computers than I've ever seen, a wonderful library, and 4 staffed desks for anything you need from shore excursions to future cruises to rectifying a problem. ENTERTAINMENT + SPA: The one show I saw (hubby went to bed) was very good and the Seabourn Singers are excellent. Here is my biggest complaint about the entire cruise: There is simply nothing to do between 7:45-9:30pm except eat. If you like to eat early and be entertained after dinner, forget it on this ship. No music, no dancing, no entertainment of any kind and the main show of the night doesn't start until 10:00pm, which is late to get started when there isn't anything giving you a reason to stay up. Hence, we were in bed watching a movie most nights by 9pm. I feel badly for the entertainers who work hard to put on a great show to a quarter or half filled room. Any ship of any size or quality should have some kind of entertainment ALL evening without 2 hr gaps. The spa is nice but nothing special. My massage was weak and not what I wanted and the treatment rooms are too bright. I used the gym a lot and never found it overly crowded but I avoided 8-10am. My husband said the men's locker room was barely adequate and only 2 would fit into the sauna or steam at a time. I think it's poorly laid out with a lot of room wasted for their private cabanas & whirlpool. I doubt those are in high demand as they are expensive, but don't know for sure. You had to walk through the spa entrance to get to the salon and gym, making it not feel very exclusive or private. Embark/Disembark was a breeze and overall I give the ship, staff, food, service very high marks. One shore excursion was a flop and after many complaints were voiced, they offered us all 1/2 refund. Maybe they will improve "Snorkeling in the Ros Mohammad Natl Park" for future cruises; if not don't waste the time because the coral reefs and fish were most non-existent. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
This cruise was very disappointing. The ship is lovely - new, attractive, spotlessly clean. The cabin staff were excellent. Sadly, the food wa extremely poor. Lufthansa did better on the flight home, as did Costa Coffee at the airport. ... Read More
This cruise was very disappointing. The ship is lovely - new, attractive, spotlessly clean. The cabin staff were excellent. Sadly, the food wa extremely poor. Lufthansa did better on the flight home, as did Costa Coffee at the airport. I did not have a single hot dish actually served hot - the best they could muster was lukewarm. Not only the food but the food service was poor - knives and forks placed next to you for the next course while you were still eating - - - The fitness and leisure facilities on board were pitiful - 1 sauna with 2 showers in the immediate vicinity for each gender when there were approximately 2500 people on board. The gym was small and the equally small studio was shut on at least 2 occasions for 'private consultations'. Equally sadly, I: 1) bothered to queue to complain at customer services 2) bothered to fill in numerous complaints which i was assured would be dealt with by the cruise line upon disembarkation 3) wrote several emails to Costa. I have not heard a word from the company. To my mind, this is not customer service. The cruise was NOT luxurious. The customer service was even less so. Put simply, if this was my first experience of cruising, I would NEVER do it again. Not all cruises are the same and I urge you to think hard before booking with Costa - try Princess, Royal Caribbean or even Thompson. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009

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