30 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I was attracted by the destinations and the hype surrounding Viking Ocean Cruises. The ship is beautifully equipped with all modern facilities. Like a beautiful woman until the true character is exposed. The Ship lacked Soul. ... Read More
I was attracted by the destinations and the hype surrounding Viking Ocean Cruises. The ship is beautifully equipped with all modern facilities. Like a beautiful woman until the true character is exposed. The Ship lacked Soul. Furnishings were like Ikea on steroids. There were few activities apart from some excellent speakers and an outstanding performance by 4 dancers and singers. appearing only 3 times in 15 days. Another evening a Kabuki dance by locals was fascinating. People just hung out in corners of the ship reading and relaxing. They were entertained by 2 violinists and at other times by a pianist. Some passengers looked like they had passed away. Nothing much else to do. Excursions were disappointing. The one we looked so forward to going on was cancelled due to low support and the others didn't flow particularly smoothly. Food was the redeeming feature. It was excellent. Service was friendly and almost efficient. Our cabin attendant was very good. Embarkation was smooth and well organised. It would appear that Viking may be growing too quickly since there was what appeared to be inefficient administration processes. On one of our excursions we were instructed in the Newsletter to present in the Theatre for re-direction to our Buses. We had to meet by 1.45pm. Some 50 passengers turned up. But at 2pm when our Bus was due to leave, no staff appeared. A passenger then rang Guest Services to see what was going on and was then told we were supposed to meet on the Pier. No one told us!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have cruised on numerous ocean cruises over the past ten years including Princess, Regent, Oceania, and National Geographic. Viking Ocean will now be our "go to" cruise line unless we are seeking an expedition cruise. ... Read More
We have cruised on numerous ocean cruises over the past ten years including Princess, Regent, Oceania, and National Geographic. Viking Ocean will now be our "go to" cruise line unless we are seeking an expedition cruise. Everyone's cruising style is different, but Viking is perfect for us. Our reasons include what they don't have, no children, no casino, no Vegas style shows, no butlers, and no formal nights, to what they do have - sleek, Scandinavian design with room for everyone, focus on educational lectures, focus on classical music, the most amazing spa and fitness center at sea, fabulous food with no charge speciality restaurants, and wine and beer with lunch and dinner. We had a penthouse veranda and it was wonderful. Maybe a bit more closet space would have been nice. The bathroom was our favorite ever with it's roomy shower and heated floor. I would chose the same cabin when we cruise with them again. As mentioned by others, Viking needs to work on their shore excursions. We were on a new itinerary so maybe that was part of the problem. They definitely need to invest in new listening devices. But overall, we have found our new favorite cruise line and can't wait to sail with Viking again. Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I am writing this review after a 3 day pre-cruise itinerary in Hong Kong and first full day, while fresh in my mind. I will add further updates. The airport pickup and transfer well, even though they were not prepared for 4 people with ... Read More
I am writing this review after a 3 day pre-cruise itinerary in Hong Kong and first full day, while fresh in my mind. I will add further updates. The airport pickup and transfer well, even though they were not prepared for 4 people with 2 pieces of luggage with carryons each (although that is what we told them we would have). The Langham Hotel was excellent in all aspects - location, rooms, breakfast provided. The first day tour was just hotel transfer to the hotel, but we booked our own private tour which was great. Day 2 with Regent was really sub-par, made worse by rainy, cloudy weather. Nevertheless, we stuck to the itinerary of a train trip to the top of Victoria Peak for the (non)view (we went to the top to re-board our bus and spent no time there). Then on to our lunch at Stanley Market (which was a pretty poor example of a street market compared to the center of Kowloon). We ate at an authentic buffet lunch of —— German food in Hong Kong! Day 3 was a long trip to Po Lin Monastery (of course the cable car was closed) , a better than expected vegetarian lunch, then a visit to tourist trap Ngong Ping village. Pretty lame day - definitely best to explore on your own and set up private tours. The mid-cruise feedback form was filled with issues. We have not heard back from the crew - do not believe the “commitment to excellence.” They are committed to apologizing and being empathetic, as they have much practice from what I have heard from many other cruisers. More specifics: 1] The towels placed on the poolside chairs are changed once a day. If someone is lying on the towel and leaves, the towels are reused for the unsuspecting next poolside guest. 2] First day of the cruise (we paid plenty extra for alcohol included, but no Riesling wine (they did find one bottle for the 12 day cruise) and no Pina Colada mix ( after 9 days they did get off the ship to get more mix, but ran out after 1 day). 3] Salad poolside is served warm - not kept on ice or refrigerated. The salad plates are hot, also not kept in a cooler. Who really wants warm salad? 4] Same for the sodas. Warm Coke cans are opened - so they are not carbonated well. Poured over ice results in flat, diluted soda. I’ll stick to water, but it is warm if you want it from a bottle (or boxed water) - only water from the ship is cold (gee - wasn’t it brown water in my room)? Even refrigerator in room barely kept drinks cool. 5] Although I had expected great service due to a smaller ship with a high staff:passenger ratio, I felt that the service was really poor compared to Oceana. At the buffets, people were leaning over food and mis-handling the serving utensils (not very hygienic) similar to any Golden Corral in the U.S.)- as opposed to being served by gloved staff. It frequently took my asking servers multiple times to bring me drinks, bread, etc. Sometimes I just got up to do it myself. 6] The food menu is pretty extensive - which is good. The food is generally good (although I personally did not think it was uniformly good, but I did have alternative choices) - not as good as the restaurants I had experienced on Oceana but much better than Royal Carribean. Prime 7 is very good. The staff in the Italian buffet are understaffed and running around making it a hectic, not relaxing dinner, but better the second night. 7] When going on tours, only warm water is handed out when leaving the ship. Cold water is not routinely given out on the buses. Generally, the tour buses are good, the tours are pretty average to sub-par. 8] Now at day 10 after completing Bangkok “2 day“ visit. Rather than dock in Bangkok as was in the original itinerary, we docked 2.5 hours away in Laem Chabang. The excuse was low tide (we found out after boarding, others found out 1 week before). I am sure the real reason was it cheaper, as there were no other cruise ships in our port and other cruise ships were docked in Bangkok at the same time. The times of our docking did not change, so there was no way to reasonably go to Bangkok on day 1, with the “alternative offered was to go to Bangkok on day 1 (and at my own expense) book a hotel room and book my own tours to return on day 2 at 1:30 PM. On day 2 we left at 6 AM to have a very rushed visit to the Grand Palace, canal ride on the Chao Phraya river and a buffet lunch at a Sheraton hotel before returning at 1:30 PM - spent more time driving than touring - 2 days wasted in Thailand. I need to come back another time to actually visit the sites and see Bangkok! The entertainment has been better than expected. Staff are pleasant and very apologetic. When we explained our concerns personally to the ship General Manager, she was understanding and apologetic, offering a laughable $750 credit toward a future cruise, with no adjustment to the top dollar price of this cruise. With more protests, we were offered $750 each current cruise credit or $1500 eachfuture cruise credit. 9] The regular internet is very spotty, which I have found. To be fairly typical at sea. I paid for the upgrade to streaming internet, but became good friends with the internet guru with my daily visits due to inability to access the internet, and inability to stream (I tried to video stream a Peloton 45 minute exercise program, which worked for 12 minutes during my 45 minute exercise period). Other sites would not stream at all. Finally, I was told I would not be charged the $120 for the fast internet access I was not receiving). The good parts of this cruise: 1] The staff are friendly and try to be helpful, but are poorly trained (not their fault) and are limited with the ability to fix issues with a ship that should be taken out of service. The 10 day dry dock is not going to repair all the issues with the ship. They did try hard to address the many issues. 2] Bed is comfortable. The suite is comfortable (excluding the smell, toilet and brown sink water). High beds had plenty of storage underneath for big luggage. 3] Good quality entertainment. 4] Very good food and food choices. 5] We received a credit in order to book our own air travel, and were met in a timely fashion at the airport. Luggage transfers were seamless and done well. 6] Itinerary was good (better than the ports actually docked or the time allotted for touring). 7] Although it took great effort, we did receive $ credit. It did not make up for the lost time and aggravation of our vacation, but at least it was a token acknowledgement that there are major issues with the ship that were known beforehand but not publicized. We paid for a Ritz Carlton , and got a Motel 6 (sorry to Motel 6- as I am sure they have clean water in the bathroom Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Just completed a 12 day cruise on the Navigator and was very disappointed. We had sailed on Regent before (although 20 years ago); our most recent trips had been mostly on Crystal, and our expectations were very high. First of all, ... Read More
Just completed a 12 day cruise on the Navigator and was very disappointed. We had sailed on Regent before (although 20 years ago); our most recent trips had been mostly on Crystal, and our expectations were very high. First of all, the ship is very old....definitely at the end of its life in spite of a major refurbishment just three years ago. There is a musty/moldy smell in many areas of the ship (my wife is highly allergic to mold), and there are many signs of aging, including malfunctioning A/C in many of the cabins. Service was mostly perfunctory, at best. This may be, in part, due to the fact that this was a segment of their "World Cruise" (nearly half the ship as on for over 130 days), so non-World Cruisers were definitely second-class citizens. The staff would fawn over the World Travelers, but, other than our stewardess, no one seemed to know our names. Communication was extremely poor. The cruise director, Jamie, seemed to be mostly MIA. He was even absent for the opening meeting with all new guests...just a voice over the speaker. My experience on this ship has made me rethink ever cruising on Regent again. I don't know if was this ship, or whether Regent is in decline. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
By Glyn May The waiter, sensing that our patience was wearing thin, dropped a bowl of hot chips (fries) and a bottle of tomato sauce at our table. “Chef’s compliments”, he said, “ dinner is going to be a bit late”. ... Read More
By Glyn May The waiter, sensing that our patience was wearing thin, dropped a bowl of hot chips (fries) and a bottle of tomato sauce at our table. “Chef’s compliments”, he said, “ dinner is going to be a bit late”. Classy cruising. Not. Two days earlier, a crewmember carrying a sharp-edged tray had accidentally slashed my wife’s arm badly when he bumped into her in the breakfast queue. And, as we approached our homeport, all power failed and the ship narrowly missed drifting into concrete bridge pylons. In 40-plus cruises over more than 35 years before and after that forgettable holiday, my wife and I in recent years have stepped up into the heady world of ultra luxury cruising –- a field that, despite the eye-watering cost, doesn’t always live up to its publicity. Until we joined the Seabourn Ovation on March 2, 2019 for a 14-night cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore. Our wallet took a AUD21,000 (USD15,000) hit, but for the first time on this new (launched in May 2O18) absolutely beautiful mid-sized 600- passenger all-suite ship, it was worth every dollar. Nothing is perfect, so give or take a couple of petty whinges (no self-serve steamed rice and very average congee (Asian soup) while sailing in Southeast Asia, and a frosty reception in The Grill restaurant) Seabourn Ovation went as close as ever we expect to get. As sometimes jaded, increasingly grumpy and always critical travellers, it was a joy for us to start our cruise by first running an eagle eye over suite 726 on our arrival Yes, you can assume that boarding was faultless. Not one photographer on the gangway, or anywhere for the entire cruise. These days we notice things that niggle experienced cruisers on: A wall safe comfortably at chest height (it beats sitting on the floor) in a spacious walk-in robe with three dozen clothes hangers. Plenty of mirrors, a seriously cold fridge stacked with soft drinks, beer and a real bottle of champagne; plus a list of ‘complimentary’ (paid for in the fare) good quality wines. If you can’t find anything to satisfy your taste buds from Chile, California, Australia, Spain or Italy, there’s a lonely bottle of Petrus 1995 Pomeroz Grand vin from Bordeaux waiting for you in the glass-walled wine rack in the elegant main dining room ‘The Restaurant’ for USD4,500.00 (AUD6,348.00). The label is a bit scruffy so maybe the Sommelier might do a deal. In our suite there’s a lounge long enough for a rack-stretched basketballer or a third guest, a generous, glass-topped round table for 24-hour room-service-with-a-flourish (starched linen and folded napkins) and a king-size bed with a choice of six pillows soft, firm, extra firm. The TV set is on a trolley for manoeuvrability and there are plenty of movies on demand. In-suite announcements from the bridge are restricted to an average two a day -- weather and brief entertainment updates, or shore excursion boarding. No electrical engineering degree is required to operate the lights. Just click and press for a range of illumination levels from dimmed romantic to the blinding glare in the interview/confession room down at my local police station. One of Seabourn Ovation’s most remarkable (unique?) assets is its ubiquitous South African Cruise Director Andre Potgieter who recently received the prestigious President’s Award for Leadership from Seabourn Cruise Line president Rick Meadows. Andre, a softy spoken, articulate young man, emerges like a breath of spring each day in a different tailored jacket and slacks and a new spectacular bow tie with matching pocket-handkerchief. Wherever he goes, goggle-eye grandmothers swamp him with cheek kisses and embarrassing hugs. Which probably explains why, when the ship is in port, Andre trains for his favourite sport, marathon running. Of the 575 passengers from 27 nationalities on board -- average age around 60 -- there were 266 from the U.S, 112 the U.K, 46 Autralians, 34 Canadians and 33 Germans. In two weeks they demolished 2,272 bottles of red wine, 1,435 white and 633 bottles of champagne. And although there were no children on board, 390 litres of ice cream. A total of 32,826 breadsticks mopped up 21lbs of caviar. Two popular spots on the ship are the Observation Bar on the deck 11 which features high tea for an hour from 4pm then a friendly circular bar open until midnight; and The Retreat on the top deck (12) an exclusive enclave with 15 private cabanas, lavish amenities and an oversized whirlpool spa. Evening entertainment in the Grand Salon, often starring one of the slickest teams of ships’ dancers and vocalists we have seen on a cruise ship and backed by Seabourn Ovation’s highly professional orchestra, featured a range of top-class acts from a comedian and to an opera singer. A tip: For an unobstructed view, find a seat away from the intrusive supporting pillars. A shore excursion with a difference on Seabourn’s Asian itineraries is the idyllic day spent on the company’s picture-postcard tree-fringed private beach, ‘The Den’ on the exclusive Thai island of Kood. On a clear sunny day more than 400 souls disembarked from Seabourn Ovation tenders to discover rows of deck chairs under shade trees, a feast of lobster, steaks and salads, champagne on ice and a full bar. All of this ferried ashore from daybreak and served by the ship’s crew and a group of local Thais. With only a few days left and most passengers staying on board for the cruise to Dubai, we were wondering whether they still threw stowaways in the brig. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We started as a cruise of a lifetime and ended as a demotivated disaster. This once great international liner is now a British floating holiday park, There is a ghost like senior management team only ever to be seen fraternising ... Read More
We started as a cruise of a lifetime and ended as a demotivated disaster. This once great international liner is now a British floating holiday park, There is a ghost like senior management team only ever to be seen fraternising with Grills guests and drinking wine. With the distinct exception of Captain Wells who seems now to do the job of Cruise Director and Hotel Manager as well as his own. In 34 Nights I only saw 4 Shows and 2 bumpers involving the singers and dancers. The rest of the evenings were guest entertainers of which only 3 were of a standard expected of QM2 ,the rest were not even suitable for my local village hall. I suppose not surprising as the whole feel of the entertainment was that of a holiday park. Who is booking this holiday park drivvle. No entertainment outside the sailaway party was more of a wake than a party with the so called band finishing their set before the ship had gone anywhere. The cruise staff who were not even upto holiday park standard spent most of their time chatting to each other and photographers rather than guests.Once again no senior management to be seen ALL SAID THIS IS THE WORST CRUISE I HAVE EVER BEEN ON. This once great elegant liner is now Haven holidays at sea. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Chose this cruise as we had never been to the Asian region by ship. The Ovation was wonderful, the Staff and Crew were the best we have encountered on any cruise line .The food was beautifully presented and top quality. Handre is ... Read More
Chose this cruise as we had never been to the Asian region by ship. The Ovation was wonderful, the Staff and Crew were the best we have encountered on any cruise line .The food was beautifully presented and top quality. Handre is certainly the number 1 Cruise director.The Hotel Manager was Helmut Huber top guy and turned out to be a very funny man, actually hilarious!The Food and Beverage Manager was Ali who we have experienced previously he is just amazing he works very hard to please everyone. Our room attendant again was the best we have experienced Hayley was 1st Class. We have done many cruises on Seabourn and many other lines but Seabourn is outstanding, The special event on Ko Kood island was just an amazing experience we were so thrilled The Band know as Musical Society are fantastic and very personable, The deck parties are again outstanding and the ,say good bye ,to the crew on the deck is an emotional event most of the crew and Staff turn out to wave good bye while we drink and eat and have fun . Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We are Platinum members and our last Seabourn Cruise was 2 years ago. We wanted to try their new larger ship and booked Hong Kong to Hong Kong, a BTB 28 day cruise. The ship is beautifully decorated. Our cabin was the same size as on ... Read More
We are Platinum members and our last Seabourn Cruise was 2 years ago. We wanted to try their new larger ship and booked Hong Kong to Hong Kong, a BTB 28 day cruise. The ship is beautifully decorated. Our cabin was the same size as on the Sojourn and Odyssey. One problem was that the drawers in the furniture across from the bed were very hard to access and the space there has only enough room for one person to stand. The pool area was the same as the smaller ships and getting a place on sea days was difficult. The chairs are the same and not comfortable. Our one peeve was that now bartenders are instructed to measure out the amount of liquor for each drink. This on a ship that touts itself as all inclusive. We would have to tell them to pour doubles so we wouldn't have to come back. In the lounge outside The Keller Grill there was only one waitress and one bartender and it took 25 minutes for our drink to come. The comedians were all from Wales or UK and as Americans we could not understand them. Most of the musical shows were good and the singers and dancers were exceptionally good. The even sang opera at the pool and that was a real treat. We had a problem on one of the ship's excursions and it was not handled well. We were only told it would be reported and then never heard back. We agree with others that Seabourn, now having staff hired by Holland America, has gone downhill in service. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this particular cruise because on my bucket list was SE Asia...Everyone spoke so highly of Viking we took a chance. This particular trip included air fare, a bonus for us. Viking made the arrangements and as we started ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because on my bucket list was SE Asia...Everyone spoke so highly of Viking we took a chance. This particular trip included air fare, a bonus for us. Viking made the arrangements and as we started to realize that we were losing two days of the trip (as of that time) we tried to change well ahead of the sail date. We were told it was too late unless we wanted to spend another $2000. That I could have done on my own. We get into port after having an extremely long flights to get to Hong Kong. The trip to the port got us on the ship about midnight. We had made an excursion for the next day. With jet lag, sleep was impossible so I was up all night and went on the excursion. BTW, if you are in a port more than one day...the so called included excursions are the same for all the days. Of course you can pay for another excursion. Trying to keep this as short as possible... The next night we went to our reserved Dine that had to be made way before we traveled. Our reservation was for 9:00 ...My boyfriend got a call at 8:15 if we had cancelled our reservation ..He said no and they told us they could take us earlier. This restaurant was supposed to highlight foods from the area visiting. That was so untrue. We were seated and immediately served the first couse. As an aside it was awful..We were served wine...Before we had an opportunity to "savor" the wine a second glass of a red was served, must breathe...We were so rushed through what was supposed to be fine dining experience, we actually asked them to slow down. They did not. They served dinner as if we were holding them up. Apparently we were as they started to clean up all the tables around us as we are trying to ascertain exactly what we were being served. I being very tired and frustrated started to cry and ran out. It was an experience...I give them that. I could go on forever, but every port was hours from towns that were not worth seeing and tours that were highly inflated in interest. We could not go to places we wanted to see as the drive time between the port distances and places of real interest would take more time to go and come than spend any time. Haikou and HaLong Bay were at best boring and out of range with travel to go to other places of interest. Of course these are our assessments, but reflect many of the other travelers we met. So on day three/four, I asked for the Viking guanantee as I could not make arrangements to get to where I wanted to go on the cruise. ...We spoke with General Manager who worked at finding us a way to take an excursion we found on Trip Advisor as opposed to another Viking tour. Of course he talked me out of taking the Viking Guanantee, knowing I would pay for my way as the guarantee spells out. I really could go on forever, but aside from losing two days of the actual trip, we also lost another day in Bangkok as the ship needed some repairs and we could not get back on in time to make our flights. Some of the tour guides went out of their way to make what was truly boring more enjoyable. I really could go on forever, but if you are not interested how the Chinese are making Sihanoukville, Cambodia into the next Macau for 2 days as they are exploiting the Cambodians...Do not take this trip...and I really could go on...and on...Oh one last thing, for those of us who needed to make flights they arranged a day room at the LeMeridan...and printed out the wrong address. We had to pay to make it to the right address..LeMeridian personel went out of their way to accoummodate us in Bangkok and for that we give them 5 Stars, LeMeridian that is! We had a total of 6 hours in Bankok...Also our trip was not 26 days..but theoretically..we spent a great deal of time going to no where places...I may not sit in the sun...So finding shaded areas was excruciating. I do have a letter of apology and/or disappointment from Viking. I will share that with them. Thanks for listening. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Pros: We chose Viking Ocean Cruises for their excellent rating and they did not disappoint. We chose the itinerary from Hong Kong to Bangkok due to the ability to really get to see that part of the world over the course of two weeks. Orion ... Read More
Pros: We chose Viking Ocean Cruises for their excellent rating and they did not disappoint. We chose the itinerary from Hong Kong to Bangkok due to the ability to really get to see that part of the world over the course of two weeks. Orion is a spectacular ship and the shore excursions provided us with an in-depth look at the real cities and real people. A perfect two weeks. Truly, everything was top notch. Rooms were spacious and beautiful and every single staff member was friendly and helpful. We felt very safe and taken care of on the excursions. Cons: Air travel. We used Viking Air to book the flights and mistakenly trusted their advice on connections and connection times. We flew from Newark, NJ to Beijing with a connecting flight to Hong Kong. Just as we feared, our incoming flight times were changed and the flight was late thus we missed the connection to Hong Kong. We were extremely tired and frustrated by the time we actually got on board the ship. Lesson learned. No connections unless absolutely necessary. And arrive 2 days before cruise departure! But would do a Viking Ocean Cruise again in a heartbeat. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I chose Viking for a cruise around New Zealand ending at Sydney, Australia because I wanted the experience that Viking provided. Viking caters to adults, does not have a casino and includes a number of things in the price of the cruise ... Read More
I chose Viking for a cruise around New Zealand ending at Sydney, Australia because I wanted the experience that Viking provided. Viking caters to adults, does not have a casino and includes a number of things in the price of the cruise that are ala cartel on other cruise lines. Wi-fi, drinks with meals and one excursion in each port are all included. Unfortunately, the included excursions could not always be booked. There was some real confusion as to booking included excursions. In addition , many of the included excursions conflicted with other excursions or were simply not available. We were only able to actually book two "included " excursions. There were 7 port calls. Several of the other tours offered as alternative tours, for which Viking charged, were not of good quality. I did like a number of things about the cruise. First, Viking spends a reasonable amount of time in each port. Second, the staff is extremely helpful and nice. Service was excellent except in the dinning room on one or two occasions. Our cabin was also lovely. Viking is a very different experience from Princess and Norwegian. Much more upscale and not crowded. The enrichment lectures were also excellent. I am still trying to decide whether the extra money spent on the cruise with Viking was worth it. Princess has a similar cruise for about half the cost but it is a large ship. Overall, I am happy with the cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
After reading a number of mixed reviews, I had lowered my expectations going in, but was pleasantly surprised. Everything was clean and comfortable and relatively efficient. Although we had slight concern initially that the linens ... Read More
After reading a number of mixed reviews, I had lowered my expectations going in, but was pleasantly surprised. Everything was clean and comfortable and relatively efficient. Although we had slight concern initially that the linens appeared to not have been changed after a few days, since I noticed the same blood stain from my husband’s-cut on his finger. Although the linens did not smell, I assumed it was the same stain. I asked the front desk how often they changed them( I certainly didn’t want them changed everyday) , they said every other day, that seemed unlikely. However after my inquiry, they seemed to change them every other day, which was unnecessary, every 3 days would have been sufficient. I was a little upset that our cabin attendant notified us he was leaving the ship in Hiroshima and a new attendant would be taking his place. I asked him if he was leaving because of my inquiry, he said no , he was scheduled to leave for 2 weeks before we arrived, but his replacement was delayed due to obtaining visa, so he stayed on until his replacement arrived. He said his next assignment was on the Whisper, so no worries. I just hope that was the truth, because if he was in trouble because of my inquiry that would have upset me to no end. He was very good, our room was always cleaned well and early. After he left, our room always seemed to be the last one done on sea days , even though my parents room right next to ours was done long before ours. Oh well I don’t understand the negative comments about the food. I thought the food was very good and on par with Oceania which had been our go to cruise line prior to Silverseas. I wa not thrilled with the hamburgers at the grill at lunch, but overall I thought the food , selection and presentation were well done. The steaks especially were very good, note we like medium well and were not disappointed. We preferred the main dining room, la terrazza was also very good, but menu did not change that often. The room was comfortable and loved the walk in closet. I would say the suite (vista) was better than Oceania’s concierge level. The tv worked better than expected even out at sea, however the selection of movies was limited. although there is a DVD player, you can bring your own since their library collection may not be to your liking, at least it was not for us. They did have most cable news stations, even MSNBC( since Fox News for 15 days was not an option for us! ) and ESPN . I liked the separate workout room with free weights and a good area to do my own aerobic workout. The overall condition of the ship was good, although there were areas of the ship that may have needed some light maintenance, it was in areas that most people would not be traversing on routine basis. I would definitely recommend Silverseas although not sure if we will travel with them unless there is a good price, like we received on this one, and the itinerary is of interest. We were ok with the formal policy, but prefer not to drag that extra luggage with us. A great trip overall. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I returned to Silversea after four years (having been unable to travel in that time) and as a solo traveller for the first time - it was like coming home, from the initial warm welcome, the brilliant service, superb food (much improved ... Read More
I returned to Silversea after four years (having been unable to travel in that time) and as a solo traveller for the first time - it was like coming home, from the initial warm welcome, the brilliant service, superb food (much improved since last time), lovely butler service (thank you Gideon), as much champagne as I could drink - yes Silver Shadow is a little tired in places but it is still very much a five star experience. With only once exception the on shore tours were well organised and good value. I didn't bother with the solo travellers get together after the first night as it was so easy to get to know people and I didn't have a single evening where I needed to eat on my own. The joy of small ship cruising! It was good to see some old faces on board like Kirk the Cruise Director and Anita Labs on the shore concierge desk - and lots of passengers were booking future cruises which proves to me that Silversea are still doing things right for their discerning customer base. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We have cruised with HAL. Celebrity, Princess, RCL, Costa, MSC, Carnival. Azamara, and Oceana. This was our third Viking Cruise, second Viking Ocean Cruise. We had a very good experience on our previous Viking Ocean cruise, including the ... Read More
We have cruised with HAL. Celebrity, Princess, RCL, Costa, MSC, Carnival. Azamara, and Oceana. This was our third Viking Cruise, second Viking Ocean Cruise. We had a very good experience on our previous Viking Ocean cruise, including the quality of the excursions, so we were disappointed in the very poor quality of the excursions in China. Viking claims that China was not experienced in handling American visitors at most of their ports. However, when we booked a private tour with a reputable Chinese travel agency for the port for Beijing, we received excellent and knowledgeable service, were taken to a clean and high quality restaurant, had a guide who spoke good English and took care of us. The excursions that Viking provided were low quality, with make believe tour guides who could not speak English and who did not know what they were doing. The "restaurant" that we were taken to was a overcrowded "banquet hall" with dirty rest rooms that lacked soap and the food was not good. On our private tour in Beijing, the guide sat with us and made sure that people with special diet concerns got what they needed. With the Viking tour, my wife told the guide that she must have a vegetarian meal and she was assured by the guide that she would get that. What happened was that the guide totally disappeared for the whole meal. We tried to communicate with the wait staff but they did not understand English. Therefore, since the food was served family style with no explanation of what we were getting, my wife could only have tea for her lunch. Certainly not a 5 star experience. The included tours were far from being a luxury experience from a luxury ship. They were quite miserable, especially on the 6 hour round trip on a bus to the great wall. The guide barely spoke and we were left to stare out the window with no narration. When we arrived at the wall we asked if the guide was going to accompany us to the wall to provide some guidance or narration. Her answer was that she had been there before and that she had no interest in seeing it again and that we were on our own to see it. Is that what the Viking excursion department considers to be a guided tour? Since there were a number of days at sea, entertainment is important. Viking decided to have 4 singers and no dancers on this ship Viking decided to schedule only 2 shows with this limited staff which worked out to one major show per week. Some nights just a movie was shown as the "entertainment". Again, not a 5 star experience. The ship is beautiful and the food is good, especially in the specialty restaurants. The historians on board gave high quality lectures. On a 14 day cruise, Viking should provide better excursions and more entertainment. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our third Viking experience, previously a 15 day river and 15 day ocean. I guess I should start out by saying the the Viking ships are beautiful, well laid out it never feels congested. The cabin attendants are first class and ... Read More
This was our third Viking experience, previously a 15 day river and 15 day ocean. I guess I should start out by saying the the Viking ships are beautiful, well laid out it never feels congested. The cabin attendants are first class and the dining is excellent. Entertainment is limited but, we already new that. The singers and dancers on board did a very good job with what they were given. The cruises director and staff seemed to only work about half the time. Compared with our previous Viking cruise, the entertainment was almost non-existent. The guest services group ranged from very good to just another body filling up space. My wife and I flew into Hong Kong from LA two days early. it was a tough 15 HR flight and my wife experienced some issues. The Viking host at our hotel was very helpful but, it was evident that many staffers were not adequately trained to Viking standards. This would turn out to to be the overriding theme for the rest of our trip. Transportation to the Orion was uneventful and embarkation was smooth. Our luggage was delivered to our cabin within a half hour followed by the attendants. We enjoyed the ship for two days but upon arriving in Xiamen my wife was still not feeling well so we visited the medical center. Before I proceed, I just want to say that the doctor and med staff were caring, thorough and extremely professional. They had a doctor and two nurses with quite a lot of equipment. After much testing the doctor decided to send her to the hospital for further tests. We were advised to take it easy for the rest of the cruise. We cancelled our post cruise extension and were advised that we would need to file a claim with the trip insurance company(we are still working on that). Three days before disembarkation, we received the details for our four day extension for the first time(the one that we cancelled). It included baggage restrictions...we had four bags and each one was over sized according to their list. We also had medical equipment which was not allowed. For the morning flight returning to Beijing we had to leave our hotel in the early am. Bus rides and planes made up most of the time during the four day trip. The day before our final port my wife was feeling worse. We went to the med center and they kept her over night. The next morning she was transported to the hospital in Tianjin where she stayed for five days before flying back home. The reason for this long story is that the cruise had many high points and of course many lows. In the future, I would definitely travel with Viking again. I will always find out who the cruise director is before booking, and will not travel with this one. I will purchase travel insurance on my own and not use TripMate. If traveling to Asia I will fly, train, drive, book hotels on my own and hire my own guides. It is difficult to separate our personal problems with our feelings about THIS Viking cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise for several reasons: The reputation of Regent, the itinerary (Hong Kong, coast of Vietnam, Singapore and ended in (70 miles away) near Bangkok, and a chance to travel with good friends. We found almost every aspect of ... Read More
We chose this cruise for several reasons: The reputation of Regent, the itinerary (Hong Kong, coast of Vietnam, Singapore and ended in (70 miles away) near Bangkok, and a chance to travel with good friends. We found almost every aspect of this voyage to be outstanding. The staff, from Captain Felice, to the other 400+ officers and employees, was friendly, efficient, and service-oriented. The ship was spotless and embarkation and debarkation both ran like clockwork. The food on board was outstanding. When we ate in Compass Rose, the main dining room (spacious and very attractive), or either of the speciality restaurants (Prime 7 and Chartreuse), we felt like we were dining in five-star restaurants. The wine choices were varied and of high quality. We never ordered premium wines and didn't regret making this decision. The pool grill and La Veranda, the informal dining options, and offered good variety, wonderful salads and barbecued items. We especially appreciated the barbecue night on the pool deck where the crew worked in very hot conditions to transform this space into an elegant buffet with broiled lobster as one of the choices. Another option is the Coffee Connection, which although it doesn't have a view location, offered excellent speciality coffees and light breakfast, lunch and tea options so we often had breakfast there on days when the excursions left quite early. We had a special offer of three nights pre-cruise in Hong Kong at the Shangri-La and upgraded to a harbor view room there. Well worth it! We found the excursions (only took one extra one - a small group van to the Mekong Delta) to be of good value although some made for a very long day with 2-3 hour bus rides each way. We especially enjoyed the tours in Hong Kong, Halong Bay, Hoi An and the Mekong Delta. The only disappointment were the entertainment/enrichment activities, which varied substantially in quality from excellent to barely acceptable. The lecturer on board, who we had hoped would be a southeast Asia expert, wasn't, and offered lectured on topics that had little to do with our itinerary, reading from his notes. On the other had, the photography expert on board, was very informative and had excellent handouts to refer to later. The onboard entertainment team was very strong but only does 4 shows (one brief) per voyage and the others were less than strong overall. Know that at this time of year, it is HOT and HUMID. Temperatures were well into the 90's every day after Hong Kong, with high humidity, making it feel even hotter. This did affect our experience on some of the excursions and even the sun lovers sought shade on the pool deck much of the time. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Every meal was a challenge Relais & Chateau should be embarrassed. The bagels and croissants at breakfast were worse than the lowest grade . Maybe you could find similar at the Dollar Store. The pancakes in la Terasse were served ... Read More
Every meal was a challenge Relais & Chateau should be embarrassed. The bagels and croissants at breakfast were worse than the lowest grade . Maybe you could find similar at the Dollar Store. The pancakes in la Terasse were served with fake maple syrup. Room service had small bottles of real maple syrup, but the pancakes were like rubber and thick. The waffles were also 3/4 of an inch thick and tough! It was like a comedy..You could have thrown the pancakes like a frisbee. The vacuumed packed individual portions of various fishes had been left in the brine solution so long they were inedible. Even the dining room manager who finally tasted it agreed. The lamb chops were so tough it was like sawing wood. This was true even in Le Dame. The smoked salmon was of poor quality.All fish except the Dover Sole was either extremely salty or mushy.. The texture was completely missing or both. One lunch there was a beautiful whole salmon cooked with the skin on. When it was cut the insides were just like a very wet sponge or mush! The gnocchi was fine if made fresh by the chef to order, but what was served to everyone was a pasty , glob. The bread sticks were not crisp. The only good food on the ship was in the movie on the television. The meat also seemed to be pre seasoned in a vacuum pack. It was impossible to read the labels on these prepackaged portions since they were de boxed down below the kitchen.. The staff was wonderful and responsive....but they had no quality ingredients to work with!!!!!! The itinerary was the inducement, but we had to charter a helicopter for $1900.00 to go to Corregidor because the ship could not dock in time to connect toa boat that makes the trip from Manilla. This was just poor planning not an accident. The ship was supposed to have arranged a special schedule with the boat. They did not inform us of the problem until the day before the scheduled tour. The orangutan visit at Sabah was a disappointment. It was a very poor zoo with 400 onlookers in a limited space. At the very least the ship ought to go there in the afternoon when it is not so crowded. On the other hand the orangutan viewing at Sarawak was much better, The whole operation was more professional and geared to preservation of this endangered species. There were more animals in a more natural habitat and many fewer tourists. The thermostat in the room has no control..You have to turn it to heat to get it to cool. It has no fan control. They finally opened the ceiling and closed off the vent that blew like wind in the ceiling over the head of the bed. The shower also had no control over temperature. It changed every 30 seconds unpredictably hotter or colder. Could never get the doors to the veranda to open without two people pulling on it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
Our overall impression of the Silver Whisper was amazing. The services were excellent. We had a wonderful butler and maid. The attention to every detail made us feel very special. The food was amazing and all our waiters were quite ... Read More
Our overall impression of the Silver Whisper was amazing. The services were excellent. We had a wonderful butler and maid. The attention to every detail made us feel very special. The food was amazing and all our waiters were quite efficient as well as entertaining. The ports were places we never dreamed of seeing and experiencing. We would definitely recommend the Silver Seas. The only comment on the negative side would be that our ship did not have a gift shop for sundry items and logo wear from Silver Seas. The gifts shop on board carried lovely specialized gifts and apparell. We particularly enjoyed the two shows that were scheduled earlier in the evening (6:45 pm). We found it difficult to stay up for show at 10pm after having such wonderful dinners. Our excursions took us to the places we really wanted to see. Some had extensive travel in the vans but could not be helped. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Pick the finest hotel and place it on a boat. You are welcomed and within a day the entire crew addresses you by name. Clean, outstanding food choices, wonderful products and towels, outstanding crew and the facilities are beyond first ... Read More
Pick the finest hotel and place it on a boat. You are welcomed and within a day the entire crew addresses you by name. Clean, outstanding food choices, wonderful products and towels, outstanding crew and the facilities are beyond first class. There is so much to do on a "sea day." You can relax or stay as busy as you desire. Everything is included so that you do not need to worry about extra costs or tipping except if you take an excursion. Embarkation and disembarkation is smooth and seamless. What a wonderful experience. We have experienced Silverseas prior to this one that went to Southeast Asia. Already we are planning to take the entire family away next year. i want my family to experience luxury on the sea, while staying in shape, eating with great options and experiencing the world with excursions. Nothing could be better! I cannot see trying another line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
For us, Hong Kong is always worth a visit and starting a cruise there seemed a good idea. Departing from the Ocean Terminal in Hong Kong was a fantastic and unforgettable experience. The itinerary of this cruise through the South China Sea ... Read More
For us, Hong Kong is always worth a visit and starting a cruise there seemed a good idea. Departing from the Ocean Terminal in Hong Kong was a fantastic and unforgettable experience. The itinerary of this cruise through the South China Sea was very attractive. Manila, Coron, Porto Princessa, Sandakan, Kota Kinabalu, Brunei and Singapore. Only Manila we found disappointing, despite its beautiful location; but all the other landfalls were amazing and worth the visit. The Silver Shadow could use some renovation, but the crew makes up for this in providing an outstanding service. Butler service couldn't be better and the food in the different restaurants was really good. The french food and beverage manager, Nicolas Longin, was very much present and it showed. We both are vegetarian and had no problems finding something delicious. One advantage of the Shadow being an older ship, its bathrooms still have two sinks and handy single lever mixers for comfortable control over dosing and tempering the water. The furniture in the suites look worn and the old flat tv's should be replaced; for us personally, this is not a problem, as we always turn the tv off. We rate this cruise excellent for its crew, the food and most importantly for the small number of passengers. This is getting more difficult, even Silver Sea ships get bigger; more and bigger doesn't sound better to us. We prefer and love the smaller vessels with fewer passengers. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Recently back from this 14 night cruise via Phillipines, Borneo and Brunei. Overall a very good trip. This is our second cruise with Windstar, and they certainly run a quality operation. The whole crew are friendly and helpful, and ... Read More
Recently back from this 14 night cruise via Phillipines, Borneo and Brunei. Overall a very good trip. This is our second cruise with Windstar, and they certainly run a quality operation. The whole crew are friendly and helpful, and you are greeted by name within few days. Lovely cabins, we had a balcony suite, which was spacious, and well appointed, and it was lovely to be able to see the sea from our bed, or our bath! Our cabin was midships, which I would recommend. Some passengers at the lower front of the ship reported bad seasickness, and lots of noise, particularly on the first night which was rough. We found the food excellent, with plenty of choice and variety. The one thing lacking is decent evening atmosphere. Two singing duos were playing each night in two separate venues- one indoor and one on deck. Trouble is the older passengers go to bed early, so the smallish number of people looking for entertainment are spread between the two venues, which means both lack any real atmosphere. Not sure why you would want to be inside when you could be outside in the balmy weather - makes more sense to me to have one venue open at a time dependent on the weather. Compared to other small cruise lines, there was little opportunity to dance apart from at one of the deck bbqs which was very near the end of the cruise. Would have liked this opportunity sooner, as it made for a great atmosphere. The excursions are pretty pricey. We held back from the visit to a beach including lunch for $129 US each! You can usually organise your own excursion, or just take the tender, or shuttle bus into the town and have a mosey round yourself. The Philippines are pretty new to the cruise circuit, we did not see any other cruise ships after the first couple of days. Bear in mind that this country is poor, and Manila in particular is pretty grim, but there are some lovely small islands, lagoons, and beaches too. Overall would recommend. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Traveling with our dear friends, one of whom is a Veteran that served in Vietnam 50 years ago and wanted to finally go back to see it again, we originally selected this cruise because the itinerary matched with what we were interested in ... Read More
Traveling with our dear friends, one of whom is a Veteran that served in Vietnam 50 years ago and wanted to finally go back to see it again, we originally selected this cruise because the itinerary matched with what we were interested in seeing. Now, having completed the journey and enjoying every minute of it, I'm compelled to let others know how pleased we were for choosing Oceania's Nautica as our home for 15 days. Not only was the ship clean and beautiful, the Crew and Staff were so warm and welcoming every single day. The food was excellent, the entertainment top notch, the almost-daily disembarkation and embarkation process for excursions went smoothly and quickly, and all arrangements made on our behalf were very nicely taken care of. Another word about the entertainment....the 6 performers (singers and dancers) were so polished and so talented....and friendly!! We'd see them all over the ship at different times of day, and they felt like friends!! The Cruise Director too...he made every day so enjoyable!! We are looking forward to booking another cruise in the near future with Oceania. Our experience was so positive and memorable....Loved it!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Maybe it's a matter of expectations and what you consider expensive. With an average verandah room and the cost of $16,000 for a 15 day cruise, we had high expectations. This was by far the most expensive cruise we have ever taken. ... Read More
Maybe it's a matter of expectations and what you consider expensive. With an average verandah room and the cost of $16,000 for a 15 day cruise, we had high expectations. This was by far the most expensive cruise we have ever taken. It was a stretch for our finances. The room was smaller than those we have had in the past on other cruise lines and the bathroom space rivaled that on an airplane. For the cost, we could have had a suite on HAL, Celebrity, or Princess. But we chose Oceania because of the itinerary and loved that most stops in Vietnam were overnight. Plus, being on a small ship it could dock up the rivers and be centrally located in Saigon and Bangkok, where the larger ships would be 2 hours away on the coast. The dining room had a few missteps as far as proper cooking of steaks and eggs. They were very slow, no matter which meal, to get the courses out. I found a two hour dinner just too long. The specialty restaurants were no better than the main dining room. I would not recommend the O Life. We could not get a custom air route that we wanted, so Oceania made the flight arrangements, which were beyond awful. We took only 1 "free" excursion, which my husband then told me "never again". The group tour was 5 or 6 buses going to Hue together and the bathroom situation was so bad, I couldn't drink water until we got back aboard the ship. I booked last minute private tours for the other ports. We did not care for the entertainment and the fact that there was no theater but a lounge instead. I kept thinking, "Is this worth three times the amount of Celebrity?" and the answer is, no. Overall, it was a disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
Hongkong and Bangkok as start and ending point. Seeing a new country (Vietnam) and a beach day in Thailand. A little bit of everything. Ship hat fabulous locations for ports, in HK one could walk to Kowloon. In Saigon one could walk to ... Read More
Hongkong and Bangkok as start and ending point. Seeing a new country (Vietnam) and a beach day in Thailand. A little bit of everything. Ship hat fabulous locations for ports, in HK one could walk to Kowloon. In Saigon one could walk to the center of town. In Bangkok it was 15 min by cab. Just make sure to leave the harbor and get a normal taxi. The once in the Harbor are a ripoff. Only the Hanoi stopp was awfully far from the city so we did the Halong Bay instead. Very impressive landscape. As it is a small ship, embarkation/disembarkartion was smoth. Even wenn tendering. Always room in the restaurants, seldom a line at the ones with buffet. Sevice as extremely nice, from the Stateroom attendants to the waiters. Food is good but a bit old-fashioned. Missed Red Ginger from the other ships where one can get some spicy Asian food. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I chose this cruise to join a family group. It was my 6th cruise but first on Silversea. It was the best cruise ever. The service,crew and entertainment was outstanding. I loved the smaller venue which allowed us to get to know the other ... Read More
I chose this cruise to join a family group. It was my 6th cruise but first on Silversea. It was the best cruise ever. The service,crew and entertainment was outstanding. I loved the smaller venue which allowed us to get to know the other guests and staff. This made the time on board very friendly and personable. I felt so welcomed and special from the time we boarded until we disembarked. The prepaid tours were excellent giving us an excellent insight at all sites. Sue the excursion director was helpful in last minute changes which allowed us to see the super bowl and not miss a tour that was top on our list. The cruise director Mr Moss went out of his way to advise us on the availability of watching the super bowl. His personal show was one of the best performances. However it should be presented on a night at sea so you can’t miss it. We came in at the end after attending a fabulous on ground evening excursion. Kennan our butler went above and beyond to serve us. I miss him so much!!!! The entertainment had something for everyone. There were activities I missed only because of enjoying the spa or pool or just laughing with new found friends. I can’t wait to sail again on Silversea!!,, Read Less

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