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3 Edinburgh (South Queensferry) to Europe - All Cruise Reviews

I had Read so many reviews slating this ship - so decided see for myself. Big mistake! Should have avoided! Food stone cold. Restaurant rush you through your meals. 5 courses in 40 minutes! The only thing good is the drinks package ... Read More
I had Read so many reviews slating this ship - so decided see for myself. Big mistake! Should have avoided! Food stone cold. Restaurant rush you through your meals. 5 courses in 40 minutes! The only thing good is the drinks package because we wouldn't have got through this trip without it! Service appalling. No one around to serve if you want a drink in the pool area. Staff non existent in bars except behind it. Staff give the impression they really do not want to be working for this company. Thank God it was for only 4 nights. I feel sorry for people booked for two months! Cabins dated and awful. Nothing to do in the day. Disabled beware as very little facilities to get on and off at ports. Never again. Miles to civilisation once on shore. Complained but too late - they already had my money so they are not bothered. You have been warned! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Taste of Iceland (and Faroes). Third F.O cruise. We have gradually moved up decks each cruise and travelled paying near top-price for a suite this time. Four negative experiences took the edge of an otherwise excellent cruise. ... Read More
Taste of Iceland (and Faroes). Third F.O cruise. We have gradually moved up decks each cruise and travelled paying near top-price for a suite this time. Four negative experiences took the edge of an otherwise excellent cruise. They were: 1. F.O's paper map (and website) detailed the approach to the Rosyth port as via the town from the north. Like others including taxi drivers we found this was out of date - a barbed wire perimeter fence is erected across F.O's map! Actual port access is two miles to the east via a new flyover and roundabout (much closer to the M90/Forth bridge in fact). Should have trusted the car's GPS and ignored the cruise operator's information. Admittedly the basic nature of Rosyth as a cruise terminal was described in advance but the bomb site-like nature of the long stay car park was not. We unloaded our luggage like all the others in the open and left it there with a promise it would be collected. We hoped so. A bus to the terminal and another bus to the ship worked reasonably well though. It would have been soaked if it had been raining on embarkation or disembarkation. 2. Two examples of really snappy and rude catering staff this time, unlike before. We pad the extra for the Afternoon Tea but were greeted by someone in charge who clearly was rattled by not being ready for us/tea. We sat in an overcrowded lounge with other non-tea taking passengers who not unreasonably wanted to enjoy the views of leaving the Faroes. They/he was just not ready to serve tea. The scones are a minuscule mouthful by the way, someone saving half a penny per passenger? Second was a disbelieving steward in the Orchid Room restaurant (a rather pointless annex off the main dining room we thought) who demanded to see the paper proof we were entitled to eat in there in front of the guests and left us standing while he checked up on someone's error. We were right, settings had to then be provided. Did he say sorry? Fortunately our table partners were excellent company for the nine days. 3. Service in the Orchid Room came nowhere near the high standards we enjoyed on the previous two cruises: indifferent, error-prone, lacking any meaningful contact with the guests, what a difference. No extra tip this time. 4. Shore tours. In summary, these were rushed, time at advertised destinations minimal and in one case not as advertised. We booked for five, one at each port. The first one to the Skalanes Nature reserve (tour D), was advertised with a half page picture of running reindeer and a description including the 45 types of bird on the reserve. When we eventually got there after an unnecessary tour of the port town and a forced change of buses (to a fwd one), we saw ten domesticated ducks and a labrador dog. No host in sight, no wildlife, no information to hand - a case of riding the Icelandic tourism boom? Take the money and…The refreshments were pleasant but slight and it seemed somewhat comical having 35 people wandering around a domestic house and grounds looking for a toilet…Our local tour guide was otherwise very good though. (£88 each). Second tours fault - rushed - we had a bare 45 minutes in the hot volcanic spring pools at two locations, spent hours getting there on the coach and could easily have set off earlier with proper planning. A mere 45 minutes in the Blue Lagoon after allowing for the rigorous changing room procedures out of a port stay of over nine hours just isn't good enough. (£72 each). Similarly, a visit to an interesting botanical garden (not the oldest one as the F.O guide says, we discovered), was honed down to 20 minutes out of three hours, and eight of those minutes were taken up walking to/from the separate coach park. Pretty poor really. One cruise highlight. The captain stopping (near enough) in the fjord leaving Akureyri to watch for whales, who duly obliged, one Ridgeback surfacing right alongside the ship just below us on the open boat deck. Fantastic. Saved £70 each on a whale-watching boat trip. Of the elderly ship, all is spotless and one would be hard-pressed to find a single dent, scrape or paint blemish. Imagine having to mildly grumble about the smell of polish on the handrails. The ship's company show was again the best feature of the organised evening entertainment we thought. Unlike the previous two cruises, the photographer made noticeably less effort to be creative/take money off us! Not even one attempt to sell us some expensive picture frames! The coffee shop inserted into the library lounge on this and the other ships provided excellent coffees at not unreasonable prices with exquisite attention to detail from the staff. Good while it lasts. This ship had suffered a fire and lost a cruise earlier this summer. One wishes the F.O formula will go on forever but maybe the supply of retired Brits will diminish as the four old or ageing ships reach withdrawal dates? We booked another cruise while on board. Make the most of it while it lasts. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was the 6th cruise for my wife and me; our first was on Silversea (which was very good), and our next 4 were all on Seabourn which were all superb. We chose this WindStar cruise because of its itinerary -- starting in Scotland, with ... Read More
This was the 6th cruise for my wife and me; our first was on Silversea (which was very good), and our next 4 were all on Seabourn which were all superb. We chose this WindStar cruise because of its itinerary -- starting in Scotland, with stops in Norway, Denmark, Germany, and ending in Sweden. We'd been to Scandinavia before and looked forward to returning. Based on ratings and reviews of Windstar, we expected the ship and its meals and services to be close to what we experienced on Seabourn. The itinerary did not disappoint; the ship, service and meals did. I suppose that if we had never sailed on Seabourn (or even Silversea), we might not have noticed as much; we expected Windstar to be comparable in quality to those two cruise lines, and it was not. No ONE thing on Windstar was terrible; but it was a collection of countless "little things" (our list reached 40 items) that added up to a significantly lower level of service than the likes of Seabourn offered. Although a few of the meals on Windstar were very good, most were average and a more than a couple were far below average. There were issues with cleanliness, lack of communications (such as the captain failing to announce when we were able to disembark), and poor service. If you've never sailed with top lines such as Seabourn or Silversea, you might not notice or mind some of the Windstar issues that stood out to us. But if you have sailed on these other top-tier lines, our advice would be to prepare yourself for a significantly lower level of quality and of service when sailing with Windstar -- or, just make the decision to NOT run the risk of disappointment and stick with Seabourn. That's what we're going to do from now on. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016

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