20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
I've taken over 20 cruises usually of 21 night duration on Cunard, Celebrity, MSC, Holland America, Carnival and Royal Caribbean.Solo (single) traveller thus usually paying a 75-100% surcharge. For what it's worth I'm a gold ... Read More
I've taken over 20 cruises usually of 21 night duration on Cunard, Celebrity, MSC, Holland America, Carnival and Royal Caribbean.Solo (single) traveller thus usually paying a 75-100% surcharge. For what it's worth I'm a gold level Cunard Club member. I returned on 09 April 2017 from an unpleasant and unenjoyable 3 weeks on Queen Mary 2 - Hong Kong to Singapore sector of the QM2 world voyage. I confidently booked this cruise having been delighted last year by a 21 night cruise on Queen Victoria from Cape Town to Southampton. The QV was sophisticated, gracious with passable food (buffet always better than dining room food), excellent speakers and entertainment and a stable compliment of sophisticated fellow passengers. Along with most cruise enthusiasts I was exposed over recent years to Cunard's “hype” and “propaganda” about the QM2. Thus I was looking forward to cruising on QM2. However, my experiences on QM2 sadly did not come close to my expectations. In fact I was bitterly disappointed and disillusioned. I found the ship poorly designed as a cruise ship with limited available deck space (especially in wet weather), public rooms inconveniently located, cramped and relatively small library (quite unlike the double storey, gracious QV library/internet cafe), uncomfortable theatre seating (were those Ikea discount barrel chairs and sofas designed to slip one on to the floor?) and endless narrow corridors and difficult layout especially forward on decks 2 and 3. The unattractively decorated Queens Room is tucked behind the Britannia Dining Room down a corridor which doubles as an "art" gallery. Some public rooms are tucked away inaccessibly and for the size of the ship they were small. The decor has suffered the unstylish, minimalist approach of tasteless designers leaving many spaces feeling more like a shopping mall than a supposed luxurious cruise/liner. As usual on cruise ships the food looks good but is usually tasteless and poor quality. Consequence of mass production? The QM2 Britannia Restaurant food was mostly unappetising/tasteless requiring a visit to the Kings Court buffet directly afterwards. Usually buffet food is more tasty and varied than dining room food. However, on QM2 the food seemed equally tasteless, lacking flavour and the salad selection worse than on any other ship on which I've travelled. The Kings Court Buffet must be one of the worst designed buffets afloat. I renamed it the Rabbit Warren due to the numerous narrow corridor seating areas, small inaccessible alcoves with often no table availability at peak eating times. The food display area was sterile, unattractive looking and user unfriendly. Food variety was very limited and ever changing in location resulting in passengers milling around looking for their food choices. The customer service from the Purser's Office was usually inefficient, non personalised and sometimes rude. The experience of the constantly changing passenger complement was akin to a mass transit ferry, rather than an elegant cruise liner. Furthermore the ship’s decor suffered from her recent refit looking more like a semi modern shopping mall than an elegant ship. “Liner” versus “cruise ship” propaganda from Cunard?! The Chart Room, Corinthia Lounge and Illuminations Cinema/Planetarium/Lecture Hall were however redeeming features of the ship. The itinerary was tedious and ports of call not conducive to independent sightseeing. This was exacerbated by miserable weather for 18 of the 21 days. Singapore, the port of disembarkation, was a notable exception with easy access along a 600m covered walkway to the MRT (underground) station. Transfer to/from Changi Airport is an easy 45 min ride in air-conditioned comfort costing S$2.50 each way. Access to sites such as the Botanic Gardens easy using the MRT Matters aboard were made worse by my 6th deck balcony cabin (6251) being relentlessly noisy from the promenade deck above and the laundrette across the corridor. Slamming deck, balcony and passenger doors ruined any chance of peace in my cabin or on the awful balcony. The sheltered balcony was so unpleasant with a 1,2m high balustrade and noisy that it was unusable other than letting fresh air into my cabin in-between noises from above and around my cabin. There was no view of the sea from inside the cabin. Rectification of some of the causes of my complaints took 2 weeks. Noises continued for the duration of the cruise. The Maitre ‘d took the liberty of moving a group of 5 friends (2 couples and their solo friend) on to my under sized table for 6 where two of us solo travellers were already seated. Thus 7 of us were cramped around a table. I thus withdrew from the table only after objecting to the unilateral, high handed attitude of the maitre 'd and happily sat alone at a table squeezed between several other tables for two. We may all just as well have sat at a large table as there was no privacy between tables for two guests! As it happens I spent little time in the Britannia dining room because within minutes of most meals I realised I’d need to retreat to the Kings Court “rabbit warren” to try to find a meal that had taste. For the first time in over 20 cruises, I instructed the QM2 Purser’s Office to remove all pre-paid gratuities from my on board account due to the tardy service and disappointments on QM2. My other woes were added to as the Finance Manager on board, sent three letters to me in the first week of the cruise instructing me to provide my credit card for on board payments. Of course presentation of my credit card and “reserving” funds on my credit card were done in the embarkation process in the Hong Kong Terminal but apparently had not correctly reflected on the ship’s system. However, charges reflected immediately on embarkation on my credit card and was advised me via SMS on my iPhone. This indicated poor and un-coordinated admin and non personalised service for which an apology was never forthcoming. Furthermore repeated account statements appeared OUTSIDE my cabin door ( for all passing passengers to view) for the duration of the cruise. The deck and balcony noise as well as slamming doors continued for the duration of the three week cruise. The quality of entertainment was disappointing. “Sing along” and audience participation sometimes started within minutes of a show commencing. Awful. Decent speakers and quality performers not needing “audience participation” appeared once we sailed from Hong Kong for the third week of the cruise. However, soloists such as Lara the Harpist and the pianists were excellent as were the string quartet, duo performers on stage and the speakers after the second Hong Kong call. The Theatre productions were mostly average to poor. "Class" distinctions on the QM2 have increased with the advent of Britannia Club. Amusingly, Queens and Princess Grill guests are delightfully "on view" through picture windows into their dining rooms and private lounge while us other guests are promenading on deck Embarkation in Hong Kong was chaos between 11:00 to 14:00 with almost unheard announcements, poor queue management and a very lengthy wait of three hours from time of transfer drop off at the terminal to boarding the ship. Ports of call, excluding only Singapore and Nagasaki, were mostly inaccessible for easy independent sightseeing or they required 1-2 hours in shuttle buses to get from the berth to centres for sight seeing. As usual Cunard Shore Excursions are over priced and often tedious. Clearly Cunard used the itinerary to promote QM2 to as many Oriental guests as possible for short duration cruises hence the shifting population of guests for the three weeks of my cruise. I shall never return to QM2 and may even revisit my previously held positive view of Cunard following my superb experience on Queen Victoria I had last year on the 3 week, last sector of the world cruise, between Cape Town and Southampton. I feel that I wasted my time and money on the QM2. I have cancelled a booking I had for a long cruise in September 2017 on QM2 from Southampton to Quebec/St Lawrence disembarking in NYC. I am now a disgruntled GOLD level Cunard guest. Read Less
37 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We always heard great things about regent so we decided to take a chance and do a cruise with them. The service was pitiful. The waiters at the restaurants seemed to be all very overworked and it took a long time to get noticed and to have ... Read More
We always heard great things about regent so we decided to take a chance and do a cruise with them. The service was pitiful. The waiters at the restaurants seemed to be all very overworked and it took a long time to get noticed and to have someone take your order (not even going to mention the time it took for food to arrive). Food was ok. but not Great. Some items tended to end during the buffet lunch and breakfast and not get refilled (had to ask more than once if there was anymore of this or that available to have it replaced). Complained about this issues with the General Manager personally and didn't get any kind of feedback. Also, horrible pre-cruise experience in my country, their office have an extremely unpolite and unhelpful team . Their website doesn't work for specialty restaurants or shore excursion reservation. Had to do everything through the travel agent which was a hassle. The gym is very small and they don't enforce the maximum time for the aerobics. It was always crowded and it always had a long wait to use treadmill or bicycle. All in all I don't recommend it.. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We have previously traveled on Oceania. Nautica is an ancient ship that should be retired. Bathrooms are horrific. Food and service were poor. Room service served rotten bananas, brown lettuce. Dress code not enforced in main ... Read More
We have previously traveled on Oceania. Nautica is an ancient ship that should be retired. Bathrooms are horrific. Food and service were poor. Room service served rotten bananas, brown lettuce. Dress code not enforced in main dinning room. Folks wore flip flops, torn/dirty sweatshirts. Dining room drapes were wrinkled and dusty.Mold on shower curtain in bathroom. Staff appeared to be poorly trained as compared to previous cruises with Oceania, bu tried very hard to be helpful. When a crew member was asked about staffing he commented that Oceania had "moved crew members around to newer and bigger ships." Spoke with high level management person, while on ship, and he agreed with me, regarding problems, and we did receive a credit of thousands of dollars toward next cruise. That demonstrates, to me, that management is acutely aware of the problems. Why else would the company compensate me for my observations? Oceania management either does not want to or cannot improve the situation. Our belief is that since being bought by NCL that the organization is "milking the cash cow." That is to say that management has cut back on services, quality of food, and ship maintenance, in terms of quality and comfort for passengers, Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2017
This cruise and Seabourn especially was chosen based on recommendations from friends who were spot on. The ship, the food and drinks, the cabin and the entertainment were all top class. The female cruise director must be a gem for this ... Read More
This cruise and Seabourn especially was chosen based on recommendations from friends who were spot on. The ship, the food and drinks, the cabin and the entertainment were all top class. The female cruise director must be a gem for this cruise line. We started our cruise in Hong Kong and visited Xiamen, China, several ports in the Philipines including Manila. Thereafter Borneo, Singapore, Bangkok and several other ports in Thailand, Kambodia and Vietnam before leaving the ship in Hong Kong.Four weeks of top class cruising. The highlight of this trip was Vietnam were Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City, which it is now called, was a big and positive surprise. The communists seem to have found the perfect blend of communism and capitalism; more or less like China. The food on the Seabourn Sojourn was excellent and varied. The top chef Henning made a very good impression, and we were lucky to be able to go with him when he went shopping for the freshest produce both in Saigon and in the Bangkok area. We are experienced cruisers and have tried 7-8 different ones. So far Seabourn are at the top of our priority list. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Now that I got my land legs back and over a chest cold,I will tell you about my or our experience ,Hong Kong to Singapore .the ports we a visited where a grad experience ,the cruise line Seabourn left a lot to be desired ,we had a cabin ... Read More
Now that I got my land legs back and over a chest cold,I will tell you about my or our experience ,Hong Kong to Singapore .the ports we a visited where a grad experience ,the cruise line Seabourn left a lot to be desired ,we had a cabin for disabled on deck nine,the bathroom which is very important for a disabled person was very functional ,the front door dit not stay open by it self,you need to put a wedge under the door to get in and out,,needs to be looked at,the cabin itself very plain,but again functional . the ship itself lacks warmth and class,the staff are passionate and very obliging ,but again there all talk like a Seabourn manua ,not natu ,the goog,glorious food,,in the main dining room we found had never had the wow effect,and the menus kept repeating it self,the wines served at dinner were far to young and need to be stored a few more years ,the dining room in it self is a no event,very boring,again nothing special,we liked the way ladies were escorted to there tables by staff,mabe even officers,we arrived in a wheelchair and no one gave us a second look,much less show as to our table ,,nice one Seabourn , the pool deck is fare to small for all the people,that brings me to the Seabourn Square,which is a reception ,a library ,and a meeting place plus a coffe shop,it looks like a business class lounge in an airport,,very boring,we had pre dinner drinks in the piano bar,again staff were excellent ,the piano player,played the same tunes night afer night ,and had a break every thirty minutes,looking back which I don't like to do,I just like to forget about is overrated cruise line,I wound go on Seabourn if they paid me. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This was our fourth cruise on Seabourn and we're planning our fifth for Alaska, so I think you can tell we are sold on the company. More on that later. This cruise starts in Hong Kong, touches china at Xiamen, goes down through the ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise on Seabourn and we're planning our fifth for Alaska, so I think you can tell we are sold on the company. More on that later. This cruise starts in Hong Kong, touches china at Xiamen, goes down through the Phillipines, Malaysia in Borneo, Turns at Singapore, Up to Thailand, Cambodia, then up through Vietnam including Halong Bay and then back to Hong Kong. As many people do, we got off in Sihanoukville to fly to Angkor Wat for two nights before rejoining the ship in Ho Chi Mihn City. Because my wife has substantial difficulty with stairs, we arranged private excursions for many of the ports and had our own guide and driver for Angkor Wat. So this time around, I have experience with only a few of the shore excursions. The Phillipine stops were largely Phillipine tourist locations. Hundred Islands is interesting geography with lousy snorkeling, Coron on the other hand was brilliant snorkeling, some of the best coral ever, not to be missed. Boracay was very touristed because of Chinese New Year, but pleasant if crowded. Singapore is a delightful stop and would have made a good place to start or stop. Cooking class in Hoi An (Danang) was excellent. Photos of Halong Bay is the way I finally convinced my wife of this cruise. It is beautiful, but all the tourist boats go (with some 6,000 people per day) to the same locations, so it's also a little packed. If you can afford Seabourn, you should. I can't actually speak to the peer cruise lines, since we chose Seabourn at the start and never left. But this one is great. Tips are "neither necessary or expected", but this is a staff that operates like one working for tips. They are constantly friendly, helpful, and engaging. We enjoy cruising in part because of the social aspect. It pays to be a little bit forward and not shy in introducing yourself to others, but we've always found it easy. With 450 passengers, we keep running into the people we've met, but we also arrange to meet folks for drinks and dinner. At dinner in the main restaurant you can ask to be seated with others and you will be put at a table for six, which makes for pretty good conversation. There are no assigned seats or times, just show up when you want between 7:00 and 9:00. We are quite found of Restaurant 2, which provides a fixed tasting menu each night. Some feel it's a little pretentious, but I think it's just pretentious enough. No extra charge, but you do need reservations and it tends to be fully booked by the middle of a cruise. So reserve early. We have room service breakfast each morning, in part to avoid the calorie menace of a breakfast buffet. Ordered the night before, it is almost always delivered right at the start of their 15 minute window. of 26 breakfasts, one was late, causing us to gulp it down in order to make our excursion. That evening, there was a plate of chocolate truffles and two glasses of champagne along with a nice note of apology for our inconvenience. The food on Seabourn is outstanding. We met friends on this cruise who are vegan, they felt very well served. Each night they discussed the menu for the next day with the staff and they got generally excellent meals. If you can make good food for vegans, how much better for we sensible carnivores. The house wines are good with alternative wines both for white and red. The only problem is the magic Seabourn wine glass which is always full. The demographic on Seabourn is American/British/Australian with a smattering of others. The ship runs in English, with a crew drawn from across the world. The passengers are older, the majority retired. On this cruise the age range included some middle aged folks, matching some of the photos in the brochures. There were no children, and this would not be the cruise for them. The bottom of the age range is about 40. One of the things we love about the Seabourn ships are the suite layouts. Large with both a tub and shower (didn't use the tub this time), two sinks, and a walk-in closet. We've always had a Veranda and appreciated it. The entertainment is solid. We like the staff singers and dancers. Seabourn has often brought a local group on board to perform, those are some of the best. The lectures on this cruise (Seabourn calls them "conversations" but they are lectures) were from good to great. Hong Kong is a fine place to start and end a cruise. We had 2 nights before the cruise and 4 after. If you're there, go to Sam's Tailor for a custom suit. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
I am 25 yr old, traveling alone, and on my first ever cruise. Couldn't have been more impressed with the Azamara Journey. There isn't one single category (crew, amenities, food, security, rooms, atmosphere, activities, land ... Read More
I am 25 yr old, traveling alone, and on my first ever cruise. Couldn't have been more impressed with the Azamara Journey. There isn't one single category (crew, amenities, food, security, rooms, atmosphere, activities, land excursions, etc.) that I can criticize. I was the youngest solo traveler on the ship but was far from forgotten! The crew took time to get to know me and it wasn't long before I was being called by name everywhere I went and they had my food/drink preferences down. There was a large variety of land excursions at each port, and a lot of activities put together by Taylor (activities manager) for those remaining on the ship. Entertainment on the ship was excellent! Eric (cruise director) is VERY GOOD at what he does. The ship's officers, including Captain Johannes, were out and about getting to know the guests which, to me, is very important. The food was outstanding on all levels, from snacks in the cafes, the buffet, and all the way up to fine dining in Prime C and Aqualina. Cleanliness and presentation of the facilities and staterooms was excellent. All in all, Azamara blew me away. I did zero research on the ship before booking this cruise, but from here on out Azamara is the only ship I will choose. Every guest I met on the ship were all experienced cruisers and said Azamara is by far the best. Already booked my next cruise for November on Azamara Journey! Cheers! :) Read Less
38 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Azamara Journey – Of Wet bottoms and other Adventures By Glyn May Five minutes after embarkation I'm squeezed into a tight space on the floor of Azamara Journey's stateroom 6052 trying to open the jammed safe which has ... Read More
Azamara Journey – Of Wet bottoms and other Adventures By Glyn May Five minutes after embarkation I'm squeezed into a tight space on the floor of Azamara Journey's stateroom 6052 trying to open the jammed safe which has instructions so small I can’t read them. After five attempts I give up and reach for the adjoining mini bar. I don't need to untangle myself. Inside, there's a lone can of Heineken, but it's warm. I figure the fridge hasn't been turned on. The TV is babbling Spanish, a luggage handler is at the door loudly insisting that a suitcase clearly tagged for two decks below, is mine. The room steward arrives and apologises for being late. A technician in white overalls, summoned to fix a thirsty Australian's potentially catastrophic refrigeration problem, joins the party. He makes a token inspection then, with a big toothy grin, confesses that there are no motors in any of the ship’s mini bars, only cool blowers. He agrees that he wouldn't drink warm beer if he was shipwrecked on a desert island, and kindly offers the use of a " real fridge" in a nearby pantry. The first visit to the bathroom is a culture shock -- a basin, shower and toilet crammed into two square metres. There’s not much room for dancing. Drop the soap in the shower, and I imagine that a wet bottom wrapped in a plastic shower curtain would protrude alarmingly – and I’m only referring to the (increasingly rare) standard variety rear end. Drop a face washer in the shower and you have wall-to-wall carpet. In the afternoon, we are encouraged by Captain Johannes Tysse's announcement over the public address system that the deck 9 evening buffet is …"the best place to eat tonight…..chef tells me he is cooking some of his grandmother's most wonderful recipes ". Captain Tysse didn't show up at dinner which is just as well, as there may have been a gentleman in a big white hat walking the plank next morning. At night, our beds (singles joined together as in most ships) split apart. It doesn’t really matter because a piercing blue light on the air-conditioning control makes sleep impossible. The next day a steward ties the bed together and covers the offending blue light with a piece of scrap paper and lots of sticky tape. The light is hidden, but the control knob is stuck on near freezing. The ship’s advertised “free” liquor (priced into the fare) included rough red wines from Chile, Argentina and California and an appalling O’Doul’s American beer guaranteed to choke a thirsty sheep dog. Welcome to Azamara Journey, trumpeted as “a boutique luxury hotel at sea”, on a 13-night cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore in January/February 2017. In the bright light of our first sea day, we grumble about the size of the balcony and its rusty door track, and note the stained and ripped fabric sun lounges on deck 11. We’re qualified to find fault -- this is our 40th cruise on 10 different ships (our first on Azamara) and we’re paying $1000 a night. However, strolling around the 690-passenger ship, built in 2003 as one of eight world-acclaimed five-star Renaissance ships, we're impressed -- rich wood paneling, fine art work, deep carpets, elegant bars and immaculate public areas. There is a lot to commend the Azamara Journey – world-class entertainers, the multi-talented Cruise Director Eric De Gray (easily the best we have encountered) splendid restaurants (save for pathetic attempts at Asian cooking) a generally friendly crew, and a captain with the salesmanship of Dale Carnegie and eloquence of Bill Clinton. As the days pass and we soak up the ambience and efficiency of a well-run ship, there was reason to ponder why, up there in the ivory towers of Azamara Club Cruises in Miami, they forgot that first impressions count. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We had a wonderful cruise again. we embarked in Hong Kong jan 19th and were a bit anxious about the weather enroute. We had heard that the previous cruise was hit by lots of bad weather coming up from Singapore to Hong Kong. First we ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise again. we embarked in Hong Kong jan 19th and were a bit anxious about the weather enroute. We had heard that the previous cruise was hit by lots of bad weather coming up from Singapore to Hong Kong. First we were pleasantly surprised by Hong Kong. A lovely place and we got around a lot during our two days pre-cruise. Weather was at it's best for january and we had temperatures around 20 degrees which is very acceptable. Embarkation at 11.30 was quick, and we got our stateroom (8010 within a few hours First leg to Halong Bay was calm and we even had a fair amount of sun. In Halong Bay we had a private tour to Bai Tu Long Bay with small junk for six people. It was an 8 hour cruise to a very calm and not-so-touristy area of Halong Bay. Next stop in Danang we did a ship's excursion and was very pleased with that. Moving on to Saigon we only had 8 hours in port and we just did a private tour with Zoom in the city itself. No time for anything more. We wish we could have stayed overnight in Saigon, and maybe Azamara should just do this itinerary a 14 days to accomplish that. Bangkok was a nice stay with two nights and almost three days in port. Azamazing evening was on the arrival day and was, as always, a spectacular experience. Sadly we missed the White Night on the next day.- Many people chose not to be on the ship that evening. When in Bangkok we want to see Bangkok, so IMHO this White Night should be moved to another evening. Koh Samui is just a short stop. We did no Land Discoveries and just had a short trip ashore. We tendered to Nathon on the west coast . Just a small town with a few shops. We thought it was obvious to tender into Bophut or Bangrak on the north shore as this is a more touristy area with lot of resorts and plenty of things to do shoreside. This is, however, probably a decision that lies with local port authoroties. Singapore was our last port and we bought a Land discovery with hotel drop-off. Perfect for us this time, as we got a nice sightseeing and got dropped off on the doorstep to the hotel afterwards. On board experience: We love it. The crew is fantastic and the food was fabulous in all venues. We bought the four table tour for Speciality restaurants and was more than content with that. We also had a fantastic Rijstaffel,- all set up un Sunset Bar. We didn't go to all the shows as we tend to dine late and stay long. We did see a few and the cast is really good. Max played in the casino Bar so we had most evenings there. Lectures were intersting and a lot of activities during the day. Being from near the north pole we chose to stay in the pool area when we could, and the weather was very nice,- almost all of time. Some chilly hours in Halong Bay, and a few showers one afternoon. Apart from that we had mostly sun, interupted by some high clouds. We were lucky compared to the previous cruise. We are always happy to come "home" on Azamara. The officers and crew of the Journey are always top notch. I cannot point out anything negative with this ship. Would we choose this cruise again? YES. We would do it tomorrow. We had a fantastic cruise. just give us a night in Saigon as well. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We are seasoned cruisers and after an extraordinary Silverseas Cruise to the Galapagos in March we wanted to try their more mainstream cruise style. CHECK-IN The check in was seamless, there were more than enough staff to process ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers and after an extraordinary Silverseas Cruise to the Galapagos in March we wanted to try their more mainstream cruise style. CHECK-IN The check in was seamless, there were more than enough staff to process everyone without delay. A great opening memory. BUTLER Since we had bulters on other cruises (Oceania) we were prepared on how to use their services and Albert lived up to our expectations. He was available within minutes of our request for service. He exceeded delivery for room service, made and cancelled reservations without hesitation and kept the refrigerator and ice bucket filled. It felt like he was our own private butler even though we knew that he served more than our suite. DINING The Restaurant (yes, that's the name of the main dining room is called the restaurant) delivered impeccable service. The menu selection was robust and regardless of breakfast, lunch or dinner the service levels remained high. FORMAL NIGHTS There were 2 formal nights during our trip and those of us who did not want to dress up had little choices as to where we could go and eat/drink. This was probably one of the negatives of Silversea. In addition to 2 formal nights, all but 2 evenings informal meaning that jackets were required for men and dresses/pantsuits for women. The average temperature in Asia was 90 degrees so dressing up seemed overkill and antiquated. This was a disappointment of the trip. LA TERRAZZA This venue was used during the day for lunch and breakfast with outside seating available BUT in the evening they shut off the outside deck, pulled the blinds and transformed the restaurant into an Italian Restaurant. I would have preferred to have the option to eat on the outside deck. Oceania Cruises does have that option which is a plus for Oceania. SHORE EXCURSIONS Many of the shore excursions were part of the price of the cruise. However, there were two paid evening excursions that included local entertainment and dinner. THEY WERE SPECTACULAR! LOGO WEAR A major disappointment was the lack of anything with a Silversea logo on it. No shirt, no baseball cap, no water bottles, nothing. When asked, we were told that others have also requested it but "Corporate didn't believe in it." To bad, a great marketing opportunity that they chose not to use. WOULD WE GO AGAIN? Possibly...I liked the small ship, the service but formal nights and no baseball cap has us looking at other options too. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
I would never have submitted this critique, but after writing a letter to Mark Conroy, Director of America's, and receiving no reply, I decided to write an online review. Let me begin by saying that my husband and I travel ... Read More
I would never have submitted this critique, but after writing a letter to Mark Conroy, Director of America's, and receiving no reply, I decided to write an online review. Let me begin by saying that my husband and I travel extensively both independently and with private guides. We have also enjoyed many cruises (Regency, Oceania, Holland, Princess) and have always returned home happy and looking forward to our next adventure. This trip to Southeast Asia was our first experience with Silversea, and we specifically chose the cruise for two reasons. First, the itinerary was appealing and fit our interests, and second, we wanted a luxury line with whom we could begin to establish a loyalty program. Based on our experience, it is highly unlikely that we will be doing so with Silversea. The cruise was average and surpising for a luxury cruise line. The absolute plus was the service we received from our butler, Mark, our cabin steward, Jesus, and one of the waiters in The Restaurant, Jessie. They could not have been more pleasant, professional and helpful. However, for such a small ship, the service from the rest of the staff could only be described as dysfunctional at best. Pool side service was non-existent. There were plenty of wait staff around, but it was beyond difficult to receive any type of service from them. One afternoon my husband asked for a glass of water twice, and he never received it. On a few other occasions, I tried to get the waiter’s attention to place a simple drink order, and until I stood up and waived, or called out, I was ignored. I observed other guests in the same situation. Our one and only meal at the Grill was so frustrating that we never went back. The wine steward informed us that she was completely out of white wine. It took the persistence of our waiter, and forty plus minutes before I was able to enjoy a glass of wine. Our entire experience on the ship felt like there was a complete disconnect in the overall service quality. Let me end by saying that the sites we visited along the way were incredible. The guests we met on board, and the people we met in the countries we visited were lovely. The food on the ship was good, the portions the perfect size. And again, we cannot say enough about the wonderful service and attention we received from Mark, Jesus, and Jessie. Other than that, there was a huge gap in service and attention to detail. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
So I chose EXCELLENT over VERY GOOD because it was in between. Here are a few of the highlights. Silver Shadow - Second time on the ship. We did Alaska in May. Yes, SS is a bit tired, but still ranked #14 in the world. Veranda ... Read More
So I chose EXCELLENT over VERY GOOD because it was in between. Here are a few of the highlights. Silver Shadow - Second time on the ship. We did Alaska in May. Yes, SS is a bit tired, but still ranked #14 in the world. Veranda cabins are spacious and have....verandas. Went to dry dock for two weeks when we got off at Singapore. Personally, I love the ship. Loyalty Program - My #1 beef with Silversea. You want me to give you $20,000 a year in advance for a 5% discount? What? I'm from Las Vegas where loyalty is REWARDED. 20% discount would have my interest, but there are far too many alternatives in the cruise industry to pay a year in advance for 5%. And what about my casino play? And $5,000 in shore excursions? No reward for that either. And the fact I have multiple cruises with you. I like Silversea, however I'll be shopping the next couple of trips to other providers. Shore Excursions - Silversea needs a system so customers can rate the shore excursions. All we have is the promo material provided by Silversea. And they need to be more selective with their Tour Guides. We had a couple that was supposed to be our Tour Guide one night. Instead of splitting up in the two vans, the rode together and left us on a busy street corner in Ho Chi Minh. Thanks. F&B - Read all the comments. I would agree. It's hit and miss. Liked "Restaurant" on level four for lunch, Le Champagne is consistent ($40 upcharge), La Terazza is just OK. Desserts were below par. Waited close to an hour for food at The Grill. Smoking and Drinking - Smoking is reserved for The Humidor and a couple specific areas on the boat, yet we saw people smoking on the deck of La Terazza. I smoke cigars, so no issues from me, but several customers were complaining. Drinking is fine if people don't turn it into a Carnival drunken cruise fight. We had a bad experience out by the pool. Some folks brought a radio and were blasting it as they got hammered on Tequila. And I do mean hammered. Silversea is lucky they did not fall on the pool deck and crack their heads. Boo! Kids - I have no issues with kids being on the boat, however they need to act appropriately and abide by the dress code. Several teenagers boarded at one of the ports. Guessing they were related to the crew. First they are running up and down the halls. I get it...they are happy to be here. Then they show up at the show later in beachwear. Heard several guests mumbling about it. Drunk Guests, Part 2 - Remember the fools above that got liquored and were disruptive at the pool? They showed up the next day for an early tour looking three shades of green. Ain't alcohol grand? Did I mention they were 15 minutes late, so 40 of us got to sit in the heat and humidity waiting for them. If guest are late...LEAVE THEM. Then they bailed on the tour halfway through and took a taxi back to the ship. For 12 days, every time I saw them, they were drinking. Hey, try the Carnival next time. Shore Excursions, Part 2 - Had one other issue with the tours. We took the Perfume River tour in Vietnam and it was non-stop soliciting. At the first rest stop and for the entire river cruise. It's one thing to have a merchandise table, it's something completely different to have a floating swap meet with people in your face the whole time trying to sell you t-shirts. Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore - We truly enjoyed the trip. Vietnam and Thailand are outstanding. Specifically, Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok. I'm posting this on TripAdvisor and CruiseCritic and sending it to the executives at Silversea as well. Not complaining or judging, just to help them enhance their service levels. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
It was my first cruise with Azamara, the first of two cruises booked with them. I didn't enjoy any single part of this cruise and feel "ripped off" as I did the last time we travelled with RCI. There were some points that ... Read More
It was my first cruise with Azamara, the first of two cruises booked with them. I didn't enjoy any single part of this cruise and feel "ripped off" as I did the last time we travelled with RCI. There were some points that were good, these being a nice cabin, nice ship, good service, good organisation at ports. Now for the bad points: The day time activities were beyond poor; a few trivia quizzes on sea days and two uninteresting lecturers, one talking about the past history of the ports being visited and one discussing whether China was defensive or aggressive. Certainly not topics that most women onboard would want to attend and not interesting to me. The entertainment by the visiting entertainers was reasonably good but the shows put on by Eric, the ships entertainment director and the ships singers and dancers was poor. I was fed up of seeing and listening to the narcissic Eric at every end and turn and the singers overall were far too loud and the words of unknown songs could not be distinguished. Overall, other than the visiting entertainers, the routines were amateurish. The guitar player was too monotonous and the ships pianist whilst good on the one night he played in the theatre but for the rest of the time was mundane. Few people attended the Living Room after 9:30 pm so dancing was none existent. It seemed to me that most people went to bed early. The ship in the evening was dead. However, what really upset me most was the poor quality of the food. My wife, daughter and daughter in law are all excellent cooks and we all enjoy quality food. My grandson is a trained chef and his chef uncle on the other side of the family has cooked not just for me but for Margaret Thatcher, The Queen, the late King Hussain of Jordan and Sir James Goldsmith. I know what represents good food and this didn't come anywhere near the mark. I don't believe the chefs are chefs, they are poor cooks. Breakfast was OK in the Windows restaurant although there was no Finnan Haddock and no Kippers. Lunchtime on sea days in Discoveries restaurant was uninspiring so most meals were taken in Windows Cafe. This was also disappointing as no meals were enjoyable. it was just food. Individual bowls of tomatoe, cucumber, onion, peppers and chicken served one day were in my opinion used the following day by turning them into a special salad using all of the same components. On several nights there was a theme, Indian, Morrocan and British. I decided to try the British night, my home country. Fish and chips were on the menu but I have to say that there isn't one British fish and chip shop who would offer the meagre portion of fish served by the server. There is more fish in a half a fish finger and the server then asked "Do you want one or two pieces". It was clear to me that the ships budget is limited in cost. Pasta and chicken dishes in Windows cafe and Discoveries restaurant predominate the menus. On the day of the barbecue it was held indoors. I asked why and they said it was the likelihood of rain but it was a sunny day and as we were only a few days into a long cruise it could have been postponed to another day but wasn't. There was not one single barbecue item, not a single sausage. Inferior chicken was offered wrapped in breadcrumbs to disguise the bone and gristle. A poor representation of a real barbecue. On another occasion in the cafe lamb hock was offered but since when has a lamb hock had a knee joint? After a few days of poor food I confronted the two Head waiters but it didn't make any difference. The menu in Discoveries restaurant is basically 75% the same every evening. So called specials make up the rest. Yet on one evening there was two chicken dishes and two broiled New York Steaks so limiting the choice further. One night I had the seafood soup. On the following night I had a different seafood soup but it was the same one as the day before: one prawn, one mussel and some clams. On the last night I had a lamb hock. I don't however believe it was lamb as the bones were far too big for a lamb and more likely to have been mutton. This was not five star food, I have been served better food in a works canteen. There was no sirloin steaks, no rump steaks, no steak Diane, no Tounedos Rossini, no cod loin, no chateaubriand. I have had those on other ships along with first class enrichment lectures and entertainment at less than half the price paid to Azamara. Since when has skirt from the bottom of a cow been served as a steak? The coffee in the Mosaic cafe was poor and several other people commented about this. Finally why do professional cocktail makers use measuring cups when dispensing the components of a cocktail when on Azamara the components are dispensed without regard to using the correct measures? Every drink served varies from the last one. All in all a thoroughly unenjoyable cruise. Whilst on the ship I contacted my travel agent and cancelled the second paid in full future cruise on Azamara. I will never travel with Azamara or RCI ever again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise for the itinerary - we wanted to see Vietnam and Thailand. The cruise starting in Hong Kong and ending in Singapore was a bonus. If you are looking for a cruise with lots to do onboard or for families with small ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary - we wanted to see Vietnam and Thailand. The cruise starting in Hong Kong and ending in Singapore was a bonus. If you are looking for a cruise with lots to do onboard or for families with small children - this may not be the ship for you. It's a quiet and classy ship with outstanding service, but not a lot of the activities the mega-ships have. As I said - we chose the cruise for cities it was going to And the ability to get closer to the main cities than larger ships was a big difference. As as example - larger ships are a few hours from Bangkok, where the Journey was maybe a half hour from the city (more with traffic) The entertainment (and cruise director) were first rate - I did not expect a ship with just over 600 passengers to have the quality of shows that they provided. The main dining room was better than any other main dining room we've been on (though Aqua Class on Celebrity may be a bit better), and many passengers chose to go to the dinner buffets - where a different country's food was offered each evening. The specialty restaurants were fine, with good service, but I'm not sure they are better than the main dining room. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We originally only planned one cruise this year, and chose Azamara for an August cruise from Venice, through Croatia and the Amalfi coast to Rome, because of it's wonderful itinerary. We had never heard of Azamara before that, and ... Read More
We originally only planned one cruise this year, and chose Azamara for an August cruise from Venice, through Croatia and the Amalfi coast to Rome, because of it's wonderful itinerary. We had never heard of Azamara before that, and loved the cruise and everything about it -- ship, room, food, service, ports, etc. One month later, my husband got an email from Azamara highlighting this Asian cruise and said "We have to go. It's the cruise of a lifetime!" I originally thought he was crazy since we already did our "big" vacation in August, but eventually, he talked me into it, and boy am I glad he did! Our August cruise was 7 ports in 7 days, and while wonderful, was tiring not to have time to rest before the next port. This cruise was 13 days, but it had 4 days at sea in between, and more overnight stops, so the pace was easier. We started in Hong Kong (loved it. It also reminded us a lot of NYC, where we live, but it had the best fried rice and bar-b-que pork we ever had.) Day 2 was at sea, which was great. Then we had 2 nights at Halong Bay -- the most beautiful bay area we've ever seen. On day 1 we did the ship's tour to Hanoi (it was a 12 hour tour, with 3+1/2 hours each way and 5 hours in Hanoi itself). We're glad we did it, but wouldn't go through it again -- too much travelling back and forth. On day 2, we did a ship's tour of Halong Bay. Magnificent! I skipped the cave, because it was 200 steps (too much for me), but my husband went and took great pictures. If you're physiclaly able, you should visit the cave. Day 5 - We got a private tour guide to visit Da Nang and Hoi An. Her name was Xuan Tu, and she was amazing. Her contact info is xuantu2111dn@gmail.com and I would highly recommend her. She was adorable and had a very bubbly personality, and was an excellent guide. She took us to a special tea room in Hoi An, run by people who could not speak, and it was an amazing experience. She found other unusual places to take us, like a Vietnamese sandwich place that Anthony Bourdain raved about. It was fantastic! Day 6 was at sea. Day 7 was Ho Chi Minh City (still called Saigon by the locals), and again we hired a private guide. Her name was Diem Kieu (charming_tourism@yahoo.com), and we got her through Bao Loc (privatevietnamtourguide@yahoo.com.vn). We opted to do the Meking Delta boat tour, rather than the Saigon city tour, but Diem Kieu managed to show us both places. She was excellent. Very warm, and friendly and kind, with a true love of her city and her people. Day 8 was at sea again -- a welcome day of relaxation! Days 9, 10, 11 we docked at Bangkok: Day 9 - we did the Azamara free "Azamazing Evening" - a free ship's tour, where we went to the ancient city at night, which was spectactularly lit up, saw a private show of Thai dancers and boxers, and then had a candle-lit ceremony where we lit candles and set them off on the water to "float away" our negative thoughts/experiences. The evening was truly amazing. Day 10 - we did a private tour of Bangkok with "Chob@thaitourguide.com" and chose Ms. Joy from their huge array of tour guides, based on past reviews. We chose well. Ms. Joy was a joy to work with, going above and beyond, when we asked if she could find us something for bug bites, and helping my husband print and scan and email something he needed to do for a client. And she bought us a souvenir "longtail boat", to remember our boat trip with her. Ms. Joy's contact info is enjoy_tick.tock@hotmail.com With Joy's help, we visited the Grand Palace and grounds -- with each building/setting more beautiful than the next, and the flower garden. Day 11 - we did another tour with Ms. Joy and saw the Railroad market, which I would highly recommend. This market existed for a long time. Then the railroad came and insisted that the train needed to go where the market was, and the market people refused to move. So the railroad built the tracks in the middle of the market. So 4x/day when the train comes through, the people get a warning signal, and must move the produce, etc. off the tracks, wait for the train to leave, and put it back. It was amazing to see. In the afternoon, we saw the floating market, which was really neat. Day 12 - was 1/2 day at Ko Samui, Thailand. We just walked around the port a bit and had a relaxing time. Day 13 was at sea -- a welcome, relaxing day (except for having to pack to leave the boat the next day. Day 14 we arrived at Singapore, and left the ship with 1/2 day ship's tour of Singapore, which I would highly recommend. In Singapore, we would recommend the Orchid Gardens in the Botanical Gardens, and the Zoo. We did the "Night Safari" at the zoo, which shows the nocturnal animals all lit up, and included the Asian buffet, which was excellent. So we chose this cruise, again because of the itinerary, but also because we already knew we loved the ship and the crew and everything else about Azamara. They are a first class company! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
It was a last minute decision to go on a cruise and this was the only one available. We booked two days before embarkation and arrived in Hong Kong the night before departure. The ship was beautiful and the staff very friendly. Although it ... Read More
It was a last minute decision to go on a cruise and this was the only one available. We booked two days before embarkation and arrived in Hong Kong the night before departure. The ship was beautiful and the staff very friendly. Although it is a French speaking ship, English was well catered for, with all crew bi-lingual. Announcements were made in French then repeated in English. This being our first cruise, we cant really make a comparison with other lines but we enjoyed the experience. There were other folk that seemed to be cruising experts and had been on many different boats; they had mixed reviews of our ship and line. One common complaint was that the food on board was not really up to standard for a 5 star cruise line; I agree. There were two restaurants, one buffet and one fine dining. The buffet was average and really only cafeteria standard, the choice was limited and food quite unappealing, with pretty much the same every day. The a la carte was naturally French cuisine and also limited. Quality in the fine dining restaurant was better than the buffet and the wine choice ok. The buffet wines were unacceptably poor quality. Entertainment on board was limited but pleasant, with singers and dancers and a piano player. Personally, I was happy with that level of entertainment and really, it was not a large ship, so one would not expect entertainment extravaganzas. Drinks and all food on board was included in the ticket, which was good. Excepting the wines in the buffet, the drinks selection was really good, with beers and quality spirits included; I like scotch and there was a very acceptable single malt in the choices. Any premium spirits or wines were charged for. Passenger demographic was mainly French with about 25 Americans and 15 Aussies on board. Everyone got on fine and we socialized with all groups. There were not many kids on board but they were very well behaved and the crew catered to and entertained them. I would guess the average age on board was around 45 - 50, hence, no disco....thank God. We have discovered that we like cruising, so we will go again soon and would very likely choose a Ponant cruise. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Itinerary and the reputation of SilverSea were our reasons for choosing this cruise. The itinerary was all we hoped for; the older ship and its management less so, based on flooded cabins. Embarkation in Hong Kong and debarkation in ... Read More
Itinerary and the reputation of SilverSea were our reasons for choosing this cruise. The itinerary was all we hoped for; the older ship and its management less so, based on flooded cabins. Embarkation in Hong Kong and debarkation in Tokyo were handled very well: easy, lots of direction and help, punctual. Our suite was sizable, with a walk-in closet that was very welcome. Staff service at all venues, and our butler, were outstanding. The food was good, though not as good as Oceania. Entertainment was good, but limited; the cruise director did double duty as a singer/comedian, and was actually not bad. One good lecturer, one mediocre. We noticed immediately, however, that the ship was in need of work: e.g., the deck railings were in serious need of varnish. Later we learned this ship is due to be "retired" next year, which may explain possible deferred maintenance. The problem arose on day 10 of the 16 day cruise, when we encountered high winds and heavy seas. That can happen. But this older ship was simply not "ship shape." Dozens of staterooms--our deck 5 starboard was the worst hit--were flooded by wind-swept rain and ocean spray that leaked through the veranda door seals, soaking the carpets (and some clothing and under-bed suitcases). That continued for at least 12 hours, with no solution offered to stop the leaks and no official communications from the captain. Inconceivably, very little, and nothing effective, was done over the remaining five days of the cruise as the soaked cabins became uninhabitable from the smell alone. We were offered downgraded accommodations (no balcony), but had to insist on getting some help moving. Even that cabin had a leaking window. No announcements by the captain, no meetings with ship officers, no remedial plans presented and no offers of help. Silversea, after several weeks, finally offered us (but apparently not others), a very modest and restricted credit toward a future cruise, hardly proportionate to the number of days we had no use of our suite. Amazing, and disappointing, for a high-end cruise line. My ratings below are for the first 10 days, before the ship and its crew were tested by stormy weather. For the last week of this cruise, most of these ratings would have been negative. I can only hope those sailing on the Silver Shadow this year enjoy good weather, and that at least the Deck 5 suites have been stripped and refurbished while in port. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
I read an article in Conde Nast magazine by an editor who had taken this tour in March 2015; she recommended it highly, so I decided to try it. I had never been to any of the countries/ports on the itinerary: Philippines, Borneo, Brunei, ... Read More
I read an article in Conde Nast magazine by an editor who had taken this tour in March 2015; she recommended it highly, so I decided to try it. I had never been to any of the countries/ports on the itinerary: Philippines, Borneo, Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia. Included in my Seabourn package was private transfer from the airport in Hong Kong to the Eaton Hotel for a breakfast buffet and a room in which to freshen up before being taken to the ship. My flight arrived too early in the morning for me to be taken directly to the ship. Embarkation was quick and efficient. Once on board, I was able to have a full lunch in the Colonnade. I had breakfast and lunch daily in the Colonnade, and dinner every evening in the Restaurant. I'm a solo traveler and received a daily invitation to have dinner at a table hosted by a Seabourn staff member or entertainer. I always accepted and thoroughly enjoyed dining with the Staff Captain one evening and Melissa Manchester another evening. All my meals were very good to excellent. Thomas Keller selections were on the menu every other night, but I am not a fan of his concoctions. The staff were very accommodating and friendly. Captain Hamish Elliot and Staff Captain Sigurd Darbakk were always present and approachable. My 5 shore excursions: 1) The Charms of Old Manila 2) Puerto Princessa Highlights, Philippines, which included a visit to the Iwahig Penal Colony. It is called a prison without walls because the inmates often live with their families, do farming to earn a living, and make hand carvings for tourists to buy. Also included was a visit to the Palawan Special Battalion World War II Memorial Museum, with well preserved profiles and artifacts of the USA, Japan, Germany, Great Britain, and Russia. 3) Highlights of Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. The guide, Arthur, was excellent and spoke and understood English very well. 4) Kuching City Highlights, Sarawak, Malaysia. Kuching means cat, I love cats, and so took lots of pictures of the huge white cat statue, symbol of the city. The guide, Margaret, was excellent and spoke and understood English very well. 5) Brunei Highlights, which was a disappointment because we either drove by or only peered through gates to see some of the sights. We did go into the Royal Regalia Museum, but we had to leave our cameras, all bags and purses, no matter how small, in big bins before being allowed to enter. We also had to remove our shoes, but what was hilarious was the availability of slippers from all sorts of hotel and cruise ships! Disembarkation was excellent. My package included a private transfer to the Conrad Centennial Hotel in Singapore, staying overnight because my flight to the USA was the next morning. Breakfast was included as well as private transfer to Singapore Airport, a 15 minute ride. From start to finish, this trip was smooth and problem free. I've been on the Odyssey and the Quest and preferred the Quest. This was my first Sojourn cruise and now I think it's better than the Quest. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We cruise for about six months each year and chose Seabourn for the itinerary. We are usually Silver Seas cruisers which sets a high standard. The ship was very nice, clean and extremely well maintained. We had a Penthouse cabin which was ... Read More
We cruise for about six months each year and chose Seabourn for the itinerary. We are usually Silver Seas cruisers which sets a high standard. The ship was very nice, clean and extremely well maintained. We had a Penthouse cabin which was nice and roomy and our Cabin attendant was very willing but seemed overworked. Room service was excellent and the food was always hot. First disappointment was when our approved visitors in Hong Kong were not on the approved ships list and were not allowed on board. As we had gone to great lengths to achieve visitors and the visitors had also employed baby sitters, this was not a good start and made our embarkation a very unhappy experience. Unacceptable administrative error. The Guest Relations Manager did his best to mollify us, a very nice man but was difficult for him to try and explain the inexplicable. Food was average in the dining room, undercooked or overlooked fish was frequent. The meats were beautifully cooked and vegetables when ordered were good. Deserts were quite splendid especially the soufflés. Wines offered were usually red or white, then you had to ask well what red and what white, not top of the range wine service. The Colonade Restaurant was much better and the service excellent until they changed the restaurant manager during the last leg. Restaurant 2 was very very good and we enjoyed it as much as possible. Some very good entertainers particularly Pete Neighbours a supreme musician. Tours were very good and Ben on the travel desk went out of his way to accommodate all requests. It was disappointing that there was a big change of staff half way through the last leg and all the rapport built up over almost 2 months went out the window, felt like a new cruise and of course the new staff, many of whom seemed to be straight out of the academy, did not know what you liked or did not like, somewhat frustrating for the long distance cruisers and indeed those who had been on a week or so. We had a medical emergency and were put off in Israel. We were taken to a very substandard public hospital, very little English spoken and my husband was severely burnt in a very delicate area by a caustic spray being used on him by mistake. He is back in his home city after very difficult long flights for 30 hours and in hospital for probably up to a month. Obviously Seabourn do not take any interest in what sort of hospital you are taken to. They should be very ashamed. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Just returned from the aforementioned cruise; our third on QM2. How service, food and entertainment have disintegrated in the last 9 months.Embarkation was a joke, nobody seemed able to do their job. They simply did not understand ... Read More
Just returned from the aforementioned cruise; our third on QM2. How service, food and entertainment have disintegrated in the last 9 months.Embarkation was a joke, nobody seemed able to do their job. They simply did not understand English. They looked pretty and professional, bu looks are certainly deceiving. Service in the dining room was so bad, I went to the Purser's desk to ask if this was a designated training cruise. I was assured it was not, yet orders @ breakfast and lunch were delivered haphazardly, and generally inaccurately. The staff did not understand what we were asking for. QM2 is one of the rare ships that has laundry (self service), but with broken machines and thousands of passengers, it was an impossibility to do a little wash. I am thankful we were only on for 9 days and not for anything more than that. Shops on board offered the same merchandise every day, how boring. Entertainment was mediocre at best, well this isn't Manhattan, so what should one expect? Activities on board, ha, ha; this was a giant infomercial for Canyon Ranch, trying to hawk it's services and products. Port talks and pictures looked great, when in reality they were expensive and useless. We didn't expect to go to SE Asia again, so we took excursions in each port. Sadly these ports were not ready for prime time. They were more than primitive and with few exception, polluted and dirty. This was especially true in Cambodia which I now call the bowels of Asia. Shame on Cunard for including this horrific port on it's itinerary. People who decided to self tour had the best option both in Hanoi and Cambodia-they could return to the ship. We were held captive for hours. Bangkok was a disaster. 6+ hours of travel and about 2 hours to tour, include in this was a lunch and shopping break, and soooooooooo expensive to boot. Dinner times were rigid and those of us on early seating had to rush from the bus to the dining room with nary 15 minutes to change. This was very poor planning on the part of Cunard. We have sailed 4x on Cunard to date, and I doubt there will be a fifth. What a major disappointment. Read Less
39 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We have cruised with Holland America Line on 14 of their cruises on various vessels. This was our first experience on the ms Volendam. First of all, the employees on the ms Volendam, like nearly all of their sister vessels' ... Read More
We have cruised with Holland America Line on 14 of their cruises on various vessels. This was our first experience on the ms Volendam. First of all, the employees on the ms Volendam, like nearly all of their sister vessels' employees, were superb and met our expectations for the most part, with some issues noted below. Our Suite Stewards were Excellent! A. The Pinnacle Grille personnel were all superb from top to bottom, as well as the food, though the menu needs to be tweaked. We ate there three times in the 16 days we were on the ship and would have liked a little more variety, but all the food we ate was outstanding, and worth the extra expense. B. Check in and Embarkation worked extremely well in Hong Kong. C. Disembarkation in Yokohama was also seamless. D. Front Desk personnel were also superb and very very helpful. E. The Canaletto was a nice experience at minimal extra cost though we only used it once during our cruise, this time. The portions are huge and could be cut back a bit in our estimation. Problem Areas on the ms Volendam.: 1. Maintenance on the ship was not up to par in our estimation, with many many rust areas on the outside decks, and the suite we were in had scratches and nicks in the desk area and around the wooden parts of the door frames, etc. 2. Reduced man power in the main Dining Room - the Rotterdam, caused extremely slow service for all breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that we ate there. 3. The lack of employees stretched those that were working in the Rotterdam to the point where 30 minutes was not unusal to get the first course or the main course, which were often luke warm by the time they were served. 4. Having so few personnel also meant it was difficult to get anyone's attention when you needed something extra or something simple like a cup of coffee. 5. Though most, but not all of the shore excursions that we took (costing over US$2500 in total for two people) were well done, the cattle car experiences of waiting in the Frans Hal theater for those excursions was very difficult with inadequate seating and the shore excursion staff in the Frans Hal were treating the guests as a bunch of children on a school outing rather than as paying adults. Repeating and being loud and "pushy" is not what should have been done. They need to break up the areas for assembling to more than this one venue, which could be done if they had adequate resources to man the Frans Hal and the Explorer's Lounge, or the theater as examples. 6. The Lido food and presentations need to be monitored better though we seldom use the Lido to avoid the buffet atmosphere and the "mobs" of people clamoring for food. This ship needs a dry docking to bring it back up to par with some of the other HAL ships. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We booked a Hong Kong to Cape Town cruise and WOW, what can I say... From the very start of our holiday being picked up from our front door by the Emirates chauffeur car service, to them dropping us back at our front door 33 days later, ... Read More
We booked a Hong Kong to Cape Town cruise and WOW, what can I say... From the very start of our holiday being picked up from our front door by the Emirates chauffeur car service, to them dropping us back at our front door 33 days later, everything was simply first class and stress free. Fantastic flights with Emirates (as always), great central hotels and an excellent cabin aboard the Cunard Queen Victoria. We have cruised for over 40 years aboard the various cruise lines but this ship truly stands out from the rest. We have done all the world cruise stages aboard P&O ships as well as sailing aboard the old QE2 and the Queen Mary. But The Victoria can only be described as truly superb. The food was excellent, The gala dinners, entertainment and the cabin fabulous. We will most certainly be sailing aboard her again in the near future. We did a 5 night stay in Hong Kong prior to boarding the ship and a 1 night stay in Cape Town before flying back to Manchester. Thank you Emirates, Cunard Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and one of the stops was Israel and wanted to see Jerusalem. I have sailed this similar cruise 2 years ago starting in Hong Kong but this time the embarkation was a nightmare. it was ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and one of the stops was Israel and wanted to see Jerusalem. I have sailed this similar cruise 2 years ago starting in Hong Kong but this time the embarkation was a nightmare. it was difficult to know who was in line for what. I think many of the 1,500 people thought the ship was going to leave without them the way they pushed and shoved to get in line to embark. Anyway we finally got on. Our cabin was ready and our stewardess, which was a pleasant change from having a man, was wonderful. She was like having a personal maid all to ourselves. The cabin although spotless was showing signs of wear and tear. The ship is going into dry dock this spring for a refit. It looks like they are making major changes for the better. The food in the main dining room was excellent as always. I think I only had one main course that was not up to par. Ditto the food in the Upstairs cafeteria, it was much improved, except for these darn steam table vegies. The waiters and waitresses all deserve a gold medal for putting up with some of the "Guests" . As I said to someone who was berating his steward for some minor detail," they are stewards not slaves". The entertainment, well what can I say, it was the same review shows I have seen several times on this ship. The first timers I am sure enjoyed the shows. Too many comedians for my taste but again that is a personal thing.. The ship set sail from New York at the beginning of January and everything was fine till we got to Dubai. A large contingent about 1, 500 got off and 1,500 new people got on and brought Nora virus with them. The people who were sick knew they had it before they got on but lied on the form you fill in before embarking hence it went through the ship like wild fire. This disrupted the whole itinerary as Oman would not allow us to dock nor would Jordan. My daughter who especially wanted and booked to go to Petra did not get there. There we are floating at sea waiting for our turn to go through the Suez canal, we were too early due to not stopping in Oman then too early again for the next port because we did not stop in Jordan. I think it was a good thing they did not say who the first people were that got sick as there might have been a massacre at sea. The tours in Vietnam were interesting and fun and the shopping is great at the large market in Ho Chi Minh , Ben Thanh market. If you don't like bargaining stay in the outer ring of the market where the prices are fixed. Then move in if you think you can bargain for a cheaper price. Bangkok is a must see as the palace is beautiful, but hope it is not too hot as there is not much shade. Cambodia, I did not take a tour just the Cunard bus into the town. It was interesting but the people although very friendly were living in poor conditions. The roads were unpaved in many places, the market although indoors lacked tables. Most of the goods were laid out on the floor. I think the area that the bus took us to was planned so that we would be forced to take a "TUK TUK" as we were inundated with them the minute the bus stopped. The drivers were so insistent to the point it was so unpleasant we got back on the bus to return to the ship. Malaysia is a shoppers paradise and Kuala Lumpur is easy to get around. Langkawi Island is beautiful. That is the island that the movie THE KING AND I was filmed.I did not take a tour this time as I had been there before but stayed at resort and enjoyed the day ashore. Colombo, Sri Lanka well what can I say. If you take the Cunard bus you will only be taken to three different tourist shopping traps with the same overpriced trinkets as all other tourist shops that are part of any tour be it Hong Kong, Bangkok, Israel, India, Egypt, or wherever you are. If the tour shows shopping you can bet it will be in a warehouse that is only for to sell to tourists. Locals do not shop there. The standard line of the tour guide will be that they know the best places and the other will only rip you off. As this was an extended tour with numerous stops I could go on but I am sure by now you will be bored reading this. I travelled with my adult daughter who had not been on a cruise before and she had a great time. We each did our own thing. In the evening we preferred the G37 nightclub rather than the staid Queens room where the dance floor was taken up with more professional type dancers rather than couples enjoying a twirl or shuffle around the dancefloor. There was lots of entertainment, small bands and piano players and singers in the evening, interesting lectures and speakers on numerous topics during the day. The ship was geared to a more mature group, I would say age 45 up to 95. Very few children on board although they have a very good children's programme. We disembarked in New York and almost everyone got off. There was the odd few that were returning to Southampton. It is a slow process as all the luggage has to be off first then we can go. A tip- if you are disembarking in New York, first, get in line for a porter and have him get your luggage. They have a fast track line through customs and immigration otherwise you will be struggling with you luggage in a very long line of people to clear immigration. It is ten dollars well spent. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We have completed 5 cruises, 3 on Nautica back to back and 2 on Marina back to back in the last 18 months. Chose to return to Nautica for our 6th cruise of 18 nights as we found Marina impersonal and lacking the atmosphere of Nautica. ... Read More
We have completed 5 cruises, 3 on Nautica back to back and 2 on Marina back to back in the last 18 months. Chose to return to Nautica for our 6th cruise of 18 nights as we found Marina impersonal and lacking the atmosphere of Nautica. We had immediate problems with Internet access and speed. We both run businesses so Internet access is very important consideration. We had free wifi access package for one device at a time which I think many many other passengers also had. We would have paid double the charged price if wifi to have slow but reliable connection. That apparently doesn't matter. No how much you are prepared to pay apparently you get nothing more. We accept the explanation that satellite internet is far slower than on shore but in he past Nautica and Marina offered speeds which were just tolerable. This last cruise on Nautica Internet access was unacceptable in this day and age. The explanation from the IT manager is simply 600 guests and crew using Internet make it slow. It is even slower and at times non existent when docked. I even tried setting my alarm and trying log in at 3.00am as most of the oldies would be in bed. It didn't help speed just as slow at this time also. We also had an issue with our Indian visa due to receiving an email with important information meaning I applied for one that was not valid for sea port arrival. Not the ships fault but their attitude when we asked for help was to say they would see what they could do perhaps a group visa. It turned out after having to ask twice again that they knew hey couldn't help but hadn't told us. There answer was for us to get off at either Phuket or Yangon the next stops after Singapore. The two issues both of which seemed were unsolvable, Internet access and visa, made us decide to disembark at Singapore after 6 nights. We could not afford for our businesses the hopelessness of the Internet. It was costing us more than we lost leaving early. When we appeared at Reception to say we were leaving they were nonplussed and after some ten minutes of radio class to the Chief Purser Second Purser and god knows who else we finalised our account and left. It seemed to be of little interest to management staff. One highlight not to be missed on Nautica the is the ability to watch the much revered Jacqueline Pepin,who Oceania puts much faith in for their food offering, age through threats from young man to middle aged to senior. The never ending loop is hilarious but not as hilarious as the extortionate liquor prices on board. Still they do let you bring your own alcohol on board which helps. So that's it for us and Oceania and their much touted food offering. Until they are able to upgrade and offer better connectivity for younger passengers which is required in this modern world I don't see any hope of us returning for our Big O points anytime soon. The one thing that makes Nautica, and my hat off to them, are the cabin attendants, food servers, wait people. You know, all the staff that are paid less that Management or Officers. They are great. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Oceania is our favourite cruise line, having completed 11 cruises. We have sailed on all their ships except the newest Sarina. Compared to some other cruise lines we have sailed with, Oceania is absolutely the best, and the crew on all ... Read More
Oceania is our favourite cruise line, having completed 11 cruises. We have sailed on all their ships except the newest Sarina. Compared to some other cruise lines we have sailed with, Oceania is absolutely the best, and the crew on all ships are the friendliest. This cruise was a highlight of South East Asia countries, ending in Athens Greece. We listen to some people complain about price, however we have compared prices to some other companies and they all are about equal when free air and some other perks are compared. Most however do not compare to the food onboard Oceania ship's. We used most of the ship excursions on this cruise, because of the area we were visiting. They were of a very high quality, with excellent guides and clean transportation. We have found the cabin cleaning staff excellent. The cabins are cleaned twice daily, and towels changed. The entertainment is very minimal, however a 45 minute show each evening is sufficient for us, especially after a busy day ashore on excursions. Read Less

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