127 Hong Kong Luxury Cruise Reviews

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
Sail Date January 2017
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
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
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
Sail Date December 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
Sail Date October 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
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
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
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
Sail Date April 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
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
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
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
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
Sail Date March 2016
We close this itinerary because although we have been to Asia on many occasions we had not been to most of these ports. The ship had many highlights specifically the rooms were great as was the staff. There was a difference of opinion on ... Read More
We close this itinerary because although we have been to Asia on many occasions we had not been to most of these ports. The ship had many highlights specifically the rooms were great as was the staff. There was a difference of opinion on food,I enjoyed more than my wife. Every night you could special order a different appetizer or entree including lobster tails as many as you want,steaks caviar etc. one negative were the structural poles in the entertainment center where the shows were. Some of the ship excursions were not up to par but overall they allowed us to visit the area. Some of the snorkeling in the Philipines was great and others were awful. Would I recommend this ship,yes. We have been on Crystal,Regent , Silversea all have their good and bad points. Anyone of theses cruise lines are great. Seabourn charges for Internet $400 for unlimited whether 3weeks or more thus being on 5 weeks did not cost more. Regent includes a lot but when you compare prices I believe they are all the same. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I will begin by echoing previous reviewers and say that the Shadow really needs attention. It is past time for refurbishment in most areas. This review, however is mostly a comparison of small ship cruising versus larger ship cruising. ... Read More
I will begin by echoing previous reviewers and say that the Shadow really needs attention. It is past time for refurbishment in most areas. This review, however is mostly a comparison of small ship cruising versus larger ship cruising. For those of you considering a cruise on an upscale small cruise line like Silversea, this review might interest you. There are many things to be said in favor of a smaller ship, ease of embarkation, everything onboard is closer, and excellent cabin service to name a few. Our cabin was spacious and the butler and her assistant were suburb. Our pre and post cruise hotel accommodations at the Shangri La hotels in Hong Kong and Singapore were outstanding. The choice of excursions was good and mostly the excursion experience was enjoyable with the exception of being taken to a "jewelry factory" in Hong Kong that was mostly a captive selling opportunity, making everyone feel like sheep being led to slaughter. What we did not enjoy about the cruise when compared to our 10 or so previous cruises was the limited choices of dining and entertainment. There was no place on the ship, as with every other ship on which we have sailed, that you could simply go and have a meal in the evening other than room service. All the dining choices which were somewhat casual in the daytime became something else at night. Even the buffet at lunch time required your being seated, going through the whole wine or not thing, having glasses and silverware removed and replaced and dealing with a person standing outside the actual buffet area wanting to carry your plate back to the table for you. To some this might sound like excellent service, to others like my wife and me it seemed overly intrusive, having to say no thank I can carry my own every time you wanted to go back for a cookie. In the evening at any of the dining venues we tried, we never had a meal in less than 2 hours, not counting a pre dinner cocktail which was never offered by the waiter, or coffee after dessert. (If you wanted a drink before dinner you had to ask for it, unlike wine which was always offered). Sometimes after rising early to exercise and doing excursions all day, it would be nice to just go and have a quick casual meal, without making a 2 hour production of it. If this is the case with you, then the Shadow is not the ship for you. Also regarding the food, I could not say that the food was not good, but what I can say is that Silversea goes out of their way to make their meal choices, for my taste, needlessly complicated. One evenings entrée choices in the main restaurant were duck and rabbit. Most entrees which might start out sounding like a regular entrée came with some kind of sauce or topping with ingredients most people had never heard of. I am not strictly a meat and potatoes kind of a guy, but (you would find polenta strips instead of potatoes with most choices), again, if you wanted a steak or chicken or a burger, it was room service for you. All other cruises which we have been on had a restaurant menu which included a selection of "we have these items every night" along with the changing menu choices for the night. Not Silversea. If you want one of the "we always have" items, it again would be from the room service menu. Our enrichment lectures were first rate, but the entertainment was mostly not available. There was a quartet on some nights and a dance music DJ on other nights. Unlike other cruises which had 2 show times or real entertainment, the quartet and DJ started at 10pm. Anyway, if you are looking for a cruise with many dining choices, some casual some not, where you can eat a meal without having it be a grand dining experience whether you want that or not, and you want shops, casinos, lounges with entertainment and real production type main entertainment shows at a reasonable time, choose a larger ship, and get all those things for far less money. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
First the good - cabin was nicely appointed and extremely comfortable. We booked last minute and had to take a deluxe ocean view cabin on deck 4. We were pleasantly surprised! It was quiet, conveniently located just below the coffee bar ... Read More
First the good - cabin was nicely appointed and extremely comfortable. We booked last minute and had to take a deluxe ocean view cabin on deck 4. We were pleasantly surprised! It was quiet, conveniently located just below the coffee bar which made it so easy to get my early morning cappuccino, dining room, nightly entertainment (walk one floor down when it was over and in our cabin in about 3 minutes while others waited for an elevator), and disembarking at ports. We won't bother to spend the extra money for veranda or above in the future as it just isn't necessary. Most people we met never even went out on their balconies -it was just too hot. Food was excellent!! We were on the ship for 20 days and never got tired of the food. While the specialty restaurants are impressive, the Grand Dining Room is really good too. The sandwiches at the poolside Waves Grill are not to be missed. Entertainment was surprisingly good -we liked that the nightly show didn't begin until 9:30 (giving us time to enjoy a leisurely dinner) and it was over at 10:15 -perfect timing for us!! Martinis and Horizons bars are great -easy to meet people (if you'd like) or just sit and enjoy a cocktail and some good music. The view from Horizons is spectacular and worth going to for Happy Hour (2 for 1) and watching the sunset. The not so good - shore excursions are WAY overpriced and fall short on what's promised -book your own private tours or just hire a taxi to take you around for 4 or 5 hrs. This can be done very easily and you can always find another couple willing to share the expense. We used Filipino Travel in Manila for a Tagatay Ridge and Intramuoros tour, Borneo Trekker for a city tour in Brunei, Ann Tours in Saigon, and BKK tours for Bangkok -all were very good. We didn't get to stop in Cambodia due to high winds and so didn't get to do the Don Bosco tour, but I've heard it's excellent as well. Other ports we either just took the shuttle (provided by the city, not Oceania) or hired a taxi with another couple, or did a hop on hop off bus (Singapore -their MRT serve is another good option). Note that there is heavy traffic in Manila, Saigon, and Bangkok, so you need to factor that in when planning your day. Destination Services desk was not very helpful with information on ports for independents (those not signed up for a ship's excursion). We got to some ports later than expected (12:00 instead of 9:00 in Saigon and Bangkok, which made it impossible to see all that we'd planned) with no explanation as to why. Shuttle schedules weren't available until last minute, and money exchange as listed in brochures was only available in Thailand. Some stops take USD but that information doesn't come to you until last minute also. Overall, we loved this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This review is for the Nautica cruise to South East Asia departing from Hong Kong on 24 January 2016. Overall we had an absolutely fabulous cruise with a varied and interesting itinerary, the highlights being Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), ... Read More
This review is for the Nautica cruise to South East Asia departing from Hong Kong on 24 January 2016. Overall we had an absolutely fabulous cruise with a varied and interesting itinerary, the highlights being Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Brunei and Singapore. We also took a privately arranged add on from Bangkok to Siem Reap for Angkor Wat which was the icing on the cake. Travelling on a smaller ship is a definite advantage over the bigger ships as we were able to navigate the Mekong Delta right in to the heart of Saigon this journey being a highlight in itself. The same was true for getting close to Bangkok at the end of the itinerary. We did not take any of the ships tours having pre arranged a number via Cruise Critic roll call, a couple on our own and a couple when we arrived in Port. It was our first cruise on Nautica having previously cruised on Marina. We love the country club ambience of Oceania, classy but not stuffy, and if anything it was better on Nautica being a smaller ship. The ship is well designed with lots of outdoor space and always easy to get a sun lounger, the staff DO remove towels/belongings if people reserve and then disappear. As with Marina a fantastic choice of restaurants, our favourite being the Grand Dining room for dinner even though there was often a wait for tables if you want to eat as a couple rather than join an open table, the way round this is to turn up with new found friends who you want to spend dinner with and usually this meant we were whisked straight through. The food was superb, I selected the Canyon Ranch menu whenever it was available which I found was always tasty, plentiful and suitably filling. We opted to take the drinks package which allows wine and beer with lunch and dinner, a big plus being that champagne, port and after dinner liqueurs are also included, if you drink c3-4 glasses per day (including a glass of champagne pre dinner in th Grand Dining room bar) the package represents excellent value as it includes the (extortionate!) 18% service charge. Entertainment was low key but we enjoyed some of the "shows", the onboard entertainment team were very good with guest artists joining and leaving the cruise as we went along. It was a shame that a lot of the other guests disappeared after the show finished (10.15pm!) there is music until nearly midnight and happy hour in Horizens from 10.30 until 11.30 each evening. Daytime activities were well organised and well attended and we met some lovely interesting people ranging in age from late forties to early eighties. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
I don't like to write a bad review as I am lucky enough in this world to be able to cruise and find new and exciting places. I had heard a lot of good things about Azamara, were my expectations too high? No. Am I the brands ... Read More
I don't like to write a bad review as I am lucky enough in this world to be able to cruise and find new and exciting places. I had heard a lot of good things about Azamara, were my expectations too high? No. Am I the brands clientèle? Yes. What would have made this cruise better? Lots. Why did this cruise not work for me? It did rain for the first 5 days but that is not the fault of the cruise. I feel it lacked on all accounts. Food was my biggest problem if you can't make eggs properly then its a problem. Coffee was another problem it was not made with fresh milk, if you want fresh milk you must order 2 months in advance. The food in the dinning room only 2 nights out of 10 we said that was a nice dinner. The hash browns like cardboard. To be honest there was too much to criticise so lets say way below expectations. The crew were friendly but no one stood out. The announcements by cruise director though friendly too long and too much. Entertainment ok seemed dated from the guitarist to piano guy no show stoppers. I guess I was just expecting more bang for my dollar. I can't say i will cruise with Azamara again as I can't see the value. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We just returned from a cruise on the Quest to Viet Nam and were very disappointed. This was our 4th cruise with Azamara and we booked a suite. The room and the staff were excellent and the ship was clean and well maintained. That is where ... Read More
We just returned from a cruise on the Quest to Viet Nam and were very disappointed. This was our 4th cruise with Azamara and we booked a suite. The room and the staff were excellent and the ship was clean and well maintained. That is where the good ends and the disappointing begins. The food was way below what we experienced on previous Azamara cruises. The quality and variety were below par to say the least. There were obvious cutbacks in the selections offered and the quality of what was offered was substandard. The choices in the Main Dining room were greatly reduced and we were forced to eat in the Specialty Dining room all but 2 nights. In the Specialty Dining room the food was still not what we experienced on past cruises with Lobster that was DRY and Tough! Steak that was of lower quality than in the past and reduced selections on the menu. It was a good thing that we had a suite so we were able to eat in the Specialty Dining room as often as we would like as the Main Dining room rarely had anything I would eat. The menu was reduced to a choice of 3 main courses, one meat, one fish and one vegetarian. If you expect to keep your customers coming back, something must be done to reverse these cutbacks. As for us our next cruise is booked on Oceania where the food is far better than what we just experienced. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
M y wife and I have been cruising for twenty five years so I guess that qualifies us as experienced. We arranged with Oceania for a pre cruise stay in Hong Kong and a post cruise stay in Bangkok. We were cruising on the Nautica one of ... Read More
M y wife and I have been cruising for twenty five years so I guess that qualifies us as experienced. We arranged with Oceania for a pre cruise stay in Hong Kong and a post cruise stay in Bangkok. We were cruising on the Nautica one of Oceania's older (but restored) ships. I could write pages of information about this cruise but I am not really inclined to do that. In total, the ship was fantastic. The cabin was spacious, the service great and the crew exceptional. The perfection of the crew was only surpassed by the quality and selection of the food. It ranged from good to fabulous. Port excursions were variable depending where you were . They were quite expensive and not all that great for the money however, the choices were varied in each port and the selections good. The ship maintened a friendly and extremely welcoming atmosphere. Oceania took care of you from the moment you showed until the last second of disembarkation They left no stone unturned to try to insure your comfort, safety and good time. Have already booked a future cruise with Oceania and that says it all. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This is a review about the newer ships, not the old, and specifically a magical 30 days cruise we took from Hong Kong to Mumbai late last winter. This was our 6th Seabourn cruise, and nearly 30 cruises overall on Silversea, Crystal, ... Read More
This is a review about the newer ships, not the old, and specifically a magical 30 days cruise we took from Hong Kong to Mumbai late last winter. This was our 6th Seabourn cruise, and nearly 30 cruises overall on Silversea, Crystal, Oceania, Cunard, HA, Celebrity and Regent. The three, soon to be five, Seabourn ships continue to be the best at sea today. Yes they are not the very intimate size of the old, now sold ships, but at 450 they are still small and just right, and the crew gets to know you by name after a few days just like in the old ships. The crew people are the best there can be, and particularly if you have sailed Seabourn before, you return as part of the family. Old faces of crew members circulated around the fleet quickly remember you and make one very welcome. Always a smile and kind word on Seabourn. Never a scowl we have experienced on other ships. Seabourn hires only the best, and we simply do not know how they manage to do this on every cruise we have ever taken with them. The food and service in the main dining venue called The Restaurant remains the best on any luxury line, easily beating the old standard bearer Silversea, Oceania and on a par if not better than Crystal, which is nearly triple the passenger size. The food and presentation in The Restaurant is really the equivalent of any Michelin starred restaurant we have dined in around the world. Of course the 24/7 caviar makes Seabourn stand out uniquely among the top tier because no one else serves it any longer. Add to that the unlimited champagne, wines, and cocktails available at all restaurants and bars, and open swimming deck. The welcome addition of chef Thomas Keller as a partner will make it more varied and even better. Some prefer the buffet dining room the Colonade, which is good for breakfast for us, and the outdoor grill, excellent for a burger and other fine treats at lunch, but we prefer whenever we can to dine in the Main Restaurant. The alternative fine dining choice Restaurant 2 is not to our liking. And we are pleased to learn that soon it will get a major motif, menu and directional makeover in the hands of consultant Thomas Keller. The basic staterooms called suites are just lovely, mostly all with spacious verandas, and at 365 SF, with large walk in closet, much more than adequate. The baths all have double sinks and separate showers. Nicely furnished and comfortable staterooms and well maintained by the excellent service staff. Air conditioning works perfectly. Lovely linens and toiletries. The public areas of the ship are very large, inviting and attractive, and the bars are magnets for people looking for new friends, just as it was on the old, smaller ships where intimacy prevailed. There is now no smoking permitted in the staterooms, and only at a few designated areas around the ship. This is a vast improvement from the old days and bravo Seabourn for finally coming into the 21st Century. The ship sails extremely well even in rough and semi rough weather. In our thirty days of cruising Asian waters, we only had one day I would consider rough, and this quickly passed with the normal ginger and crackers the restaurant managers gave me. The doctors on board were very capable and are there for harder cases, such as when my wife became ill. they did a great job treating her back to good health. The Captain and Cruise Director, and the entire crew, do a very nice job. They are very friendly and always have the time to stop and speak to the passengers. Dining with them on the rare occasions at their tables is a real treat. The Executive Chef is very apparent, and the Dining Room Managers and Assistants always so helpful for special requests. The ports of call in Asia were for the most part very interesting. The excursions the ship offers are just about what one would expect on any cruiseline and subject to all the normal criticism of being too expensive and not always so interesting, particularly in ports that themselves are not so interesting. We learn to work with, and around this issue. The ships's excursion people are very helpful. The pervasive and very apparent people poverty throughout much of the Asian emerging and third world countries visited is also something passengers have to learn to deal with, along with all the glitter of the pagodas and temples. Embarkation and the reverse are a breeze. Getting off in Mumbai with luggage, however, is a real challenge, considering the very outdated port facilities there that Seabourn has to deal with. Maybe this will improve in the India of the future. The average age of the passengers is, I would say late sixties and seventies, with some older. The passengers are upper end people, many retirees, and very interesting to talk to and associate with. Many Aussies and Brits. The entertainment is very good for this size cruise ship, and the band of performers young, very likable, talented and fun to hang around with in the bars in the evenings. The few production shows were very entertaining. Excellent comedian Jeff Stephenson. Excellent pianists. The outstanding Ukrainian dance team is incomparable among all the nearly 30 cruises we have taken and dance teams we have seen, and deserve to be star billed one day on Broadway or in London. All in all, the cruise on Seabourn was a real joy. And my wife and I look forward to our future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
The ship is majestic in every way - it is like stepping back 100 years with all the modern trimmings! The staterooms have ample room and are maintained immaculately by the stewards - you fell that nothing is a problem to them and pamper ... Read More
The ship is majestic in every way - it is like stepping back 100 years with all the modern trimmings! The staterooms have ample room and are maintained immaculately by the stewards - you fell that nothing is a problem to them and pamper you incredibly (you could say the same for all of the crew). The set and buffet meal are available throughout the day / night and quality is excellent. You can be kept busy every day from early morning to late (or early next morning!) attending the lectures, getting involved in exercise (the gym is excellent) or walking around the ship (deck 7) and taking in fresh sea air, shopping at the ships shops (great variety and not overly expensive), visiting the ships library, attending the cabaret evenings which are top-class entertainment, visiting the NiteClub til the early morning! - the list goes on but there is something for everyone. Visiting Bitung in Sulawesi was a first for the ship and crew and shore excursions were interesting and exciting to say the least! The Sail Away from ports visited is exhilarating and sailing into Sydney Harbour was a buzz. We will be back :-) Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
we were told we had accommodation in Hong Kong which happened to be new years eve which never happened and were lucky to have any accommodation at all. even though we had an email saying we had they would not cover our accommodation. So we ... Read More
we were told we had accommodation in Hong Kong which happened to be new years eve which never happened and were lucky to have any accommodation at all. even though we had an email saying we had they would not cover our accommodation. So we cannot trust what they say. One may have enjoyed the trip if they did not pick up the worst disease for 25 years one has ever had. The Ship is a floating incubator. Poor hygiene on the ship did not. we applied alcohol gel twice every time we ate and still got sick. I was off work for 3 weeks after the cruise thanks very much. The staff were very nice especially in the dinning room. The most enjoyable thing I did on board was the watercolor classes but once I got ill I could not get out of bed to do anything for 3 days. I agree it is the smoothest ship on the ocean but the ship is aging and is looking tired. Entertainment was generally good with some exceptional entertainers and some ok ones. Our second and last trip on this vessel. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Background information: My partner and I are both from Melbourne Australia and are what most consider "too young" for Cunard, my partner having just turned 30 and I 26. I am what you would call an "ocean liner buff", I ... Read More
Background information: My partner and I are both from Melbourne Australia and are what most consider "too young" for Cunard, my partner having just turned 30 and I 26. I am what you would call an "ocean liner buff", I love passenger ships and anything to do with them, I have a major collection of books, documentaries, models, posters and all kinds of memorabilia, obviously a lot of it relating to Cunard as it is such a historical line, my favourite historical line to research in fact! We are experienced cruises having sailed on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Cunard and Holland America in the past, I decided that it was time for my partner and I to take another trip on the QM2, our last being in 2012 (Maiden Royal circumnavigation of Australia). As it was my partners 30th birthday this year, we decided to spend some time in Singapore and Hong Kong (2 places he has always wanted to experience) before boarding the QM2 in Hong Kong during her world voyage and returning the Darwin over 10 nights, stopping at Kota Kinabalo and Bitung along the way. I booked the cruise through an Australian cruise travel agency during a Cunard sale and originally booked a BB Britannia Balcony stateroom at a great price (previously we sailed in a P1 Princess Grill). I later upgraded our booking to a P2 Princess Grill suite during another sale as they were asking for Princess Grill what we had paid for Britannia and on all previous cruises we have taken on other ships, we have always travelled in a suite as we enjoy the larger a larger stateroom and the usual perks that come with having a suite on a cruise. Two week's before boarding we received a complementary upgrade to a Q5 Queens Grill Suite which was extremely exciting for us as you could imagine. For an ocean liner buff, naturally Cunard is that last tie to the old world experince of the golden age of ocean liners. Unfortunately I was too young to be able to have travelled on the QE2, but I never missed the opportunity to go see her whenever she docked in Melbourne when I was a child/teenager. We enjoy cruising and have enjoyed the other cruise lines for what they are and the experience they have to offer but obviously when we decide to travel with Cunard, we are looking for that certain type of experience, that old world sophisticated charm that the line represents and still uses as a major selling point when advertising their fleet. Dressing for dinner, sophisticated and eccentric fellow passengers, afternoon teas, pre/post dinner drinks, late night conversations over cigars and cognacs, the overall look and feel of being onboard a true ocean liner is what draws us to Cunard. As i mentioned, to me, it is that last link to the golden age of liners. One week before departure we received our pre voyage documentation and luggage labels, although the luggage labels were of no use as the stateroom number reflected our original Britannia Balcony stateroom not our Queens Grill suite we had received, so I had to print the labels off myself which were showing the correct stateroom number. Boarding the ship: After spending the first few days of our holiday in Singapore and Hong Kong which was a fantastic, most enjoyable experience (we will be back), the day arrived to board what I have come to affectionately call after our last experience onboard her, "our old friend". The morning of embarkation we stood at the edge of Victoria Harbour peering across to the Kai Tak cruise ship terminal in the distance, QM2's profile and bright Cunard red funnel just slightly visible through that morning Hong Kong haze. It is at that point you can truly appreciate and grasp the size of Hong Kong, the city dwarfs the normally Gigantic ocean liner as if she was nothing more than little ferry. The first time I ever saw her in person was when we were about to embark on her for the first time, in the city of Fremantle Australia, she was the largest thing in town that day, there was no missing the QM2 in Fremantle. Priority boarding time for the Queens Grill and platinum/diamond world club guests was 12pm so at about 11:30am we checked out of our hotel and took a cab to the terminal (a short 10-15 minute journey through Hong Kong), once we arrived at Kai Tak cruise terminal, it was still hard to truly grasp just how big the QM2 really is as the terminal itself is so large (probably one of the worlds greatest ocean liner terminals) that it too, dwarfed the ship! you could probably fit 3 QM2's lined up along that terminal all at once, it truly is massive. We made our way upstairs following the signs directing us where to board the ship, I believe the terminal is 4 or 5 stories high and would be rather easy to get lost in. Luckily as well as the signs, there was also quite a few terminal employees positioned around directing guests and pointing which way to go. We finally got to where we needed to be to check in and were rather shocked to say the least.. The amount of people already lined up was amazing, as if everyone had all come at once regardless of what time Cunard told them to arrive, "oh god, hear we go..." was first thing that came to my mind. We joined the queue of guests as there did not seem to be any sort of "priority" or "grills guest" line. Immediately we realised that the crowed was already quite annoyed as everyone around us was already complaining about this so called priority boarding time allocation. One lady in front of us in a wheelchair (being pushed by a terminal staff member) was furious that she had to wait in the queue and demanded to be taken to the front as she was meant to have priority boarding, we actually felt sorry for the guy pushing her wheelchair as you could clearly tell that he was in no position to be making such decisions. The overall tension and frustration of the crowed was already a bit of a dampener on the start of the trip as it should have been an exciting moment leading up to boarding the ship, none the less we waited patiently, we had done this many times and to be honest had probably expected to wait in a long queue even though we were supposed to be given priority boarding, the reality is (in our past experience) that you are never going to just arrive and be boarded in under 15 minutes. Looking around us, I noticed that other guest were holding health check forms so I peered around to see where they got these from, luckily enough there was an employee standing close by holding them (not offering them out to people who had just arrived) so I went and asked for the forms. Lucky I also had a pen on me to fill them out whilst we waited in line. After about 10 minutes of slowly but surely shuffling along we noticed that the queue did seem to fork into two separate lines. One shorter and one much longer. We were then confronted by an employee asking guests if they were in the grills and if they were could they please join the shorter queue. she came near us but didn't say anything so we asked her if that shorter line was for grills guest to which she responded "Yes, but are you even in the grills?" we responded "yes, Queens Grill" she then asked to see our boarding passes which we had to point out where exactly on it, it stated Queens Grill, she then directed us to the shorter queue and then we noticed her telling her other staff to check the boarding passes, she asked to use my boarding pass as a quick reference to show them where exactly to look to see if the guest was a Grill guest. I must admit I did feel a little deflated as it did seem at first that she didn't believe that us two young blokes would be the Grills, but again we are used to that kind reaction as we are young for Cunard guests let alone Queens Grill Guests. It probably took another 20 minutes to reach the check in desk, Im not sure how long the other queue would have taken, it was much larger than ours. Whilst waiting we spotted another Australian couple we had made great friends with on our last trip on QM2 which really added to the overall enjoyment of that trip so we were excited to seem them boarding again on the same trip as us! Check in involved all the usual things they do, but they had a problem when the check in girl assumed we would have both our accounts linked to the one credit card we then had to tell her that we would each have a separate card linked to our accounts, she then had to call a supervisor over to help her correct it. They then could not seem to get my partners credit card linked to his account, it just wasn't working every time they swiped his credit card (which was worrying as by this stage we had been standing at the check in desk for about 15 minutes) they ended up telling us to sort it out onboard. Finally we were ready to board the ship! Crossing the gangway and approaching the giant door that allowed guests to enter the giant liner, I immediately could smell something.. It was the smell of the QM2, the very same smell I could remember from last time we were onboard, a smell memory. I must admit that at this stage the long queue and check in issues were now a distant memory and excitement had again taken over. We were about to board the Queen Mary 2! Up ahead just through the giant square hole in that thick black hull i could see the warm lighting, red carpet and marble columns of the Grand Lobby, the sound of the harp softly playing started to grow louder as we approached the entrance to the ship. The first point of contact onboard is always the person who swipes your card when you embark/disembark the ship, these people are just grim to be honest, always stern and usually wearing sunglasses, every now and then they may grunt hello or something, I feel they would usually be more suited to welcoming you to prison rather than a luxury ocean liner. Once past "the guards" you are greeted by the warmth and welcome of the QM2, what a truly stunning space to enter, the Grand Lobby really is something special, more luxury old world hotel than "cruise ship" in decor, it is designed to impress and as we all know, first impressions count! You are greeted by suited staff, who ask for your stateroom number and give you directions of how to get there. At least this time we were acknowledged, as last time I remember them ignoring us and letting us just walk straight past them to find our own way. Still, I could tell that they almost seemed unsure of us as we are young and should they take us seriously, the look and vibe we get is almost like "are you crew?”, you shouldn't be up here!", this would not be the last time the crew made us feel awkward. Guests are guests as far as I am concerned; we've all paid to be onboard regardless of age and should be treated all with the same respect. The Suite/Butler service: We arrived in our Q5 Queens Grill suite 11130, the very last stateroom aft of deck 11 on the port side (right beside the grills terrace) There are only 4 Queens Grill suites on this deck, all aft and I must say the location is fantastic, much better than deck 9 (the Queens Grill suite deck), the view is high and unobstructed. We find the suites on deck 9 rather silly as they are only one level above the lifeboats, which really take away from the view. The layout of the suite is much like that of a Princess Grill suite, but larger with more room to move around, a larger bar area, larger balcony, larger seating area and an extra area with a dressing table just outside the walk in wardrobe before entering the bathroom. The bathroom itself features a shower over Jacuzzi bath set up with one basin. I believe for the extra price Queens Grill guests are charged, the bathroom really should feature a separate bath and shower and also feature two basins. The suite is large enough to accommodate a bathroom layout like that so I'm unsure as to why they didn't design it that way. The suite is lovely but I cannot really justify paying the extra for a Queens Grill Q7,6 or 5 over a Princess Grill P2&1 in terms of the suite itself, Princess Grill suites are just as adequate and come with a much more reasonable price tag. Q4,3,2 & 1 suites are completely different and are much larger suites so those I can justify the higher price. We received our Queens Grill suite as a complementary upgrade so we certainly weren't complaining. There was a bottle of Champagne on Ice as well as an extra bottle of sparkling wine and some divine looking chocolates awaiting us on the table. On closer inspection, the suite was a little tired. A few globes were out, some scuffs on the walls here and there, down lights not fixed into the ceiling properly, rust on the balcony, a dripping pipe above the balcony which dripped down onto one of the deck chairs (duct tape had been used to try stop the dripping pipe) and two cushions on the bed which smelt as if they hadn't been washed in years. Nothing too major, but keep in mind the premium price Cunard charges for this type of suite, from my knowledge they wanted over $10000 AUD per person for this suite on this trip. Had we paid that full price, I would have been outraged. note that the TV stations are boring and really need to be overhauled, also WIFI didn't work in the room. Our bags were left outside the suite in the hall when usually they are brought into the room. After an hour and the Butler (a Queens Grill feature) /steward both being a no show, I decided to unpack our bags. I was aware that part of the Butler service was to help you unpack and really I wouldn't have accepted the help, but I did want to see if the butler would actually offer to help as Cunard advertise this feature as a Queens Grill perk. After unpacking, drinking our bottle of champagne, eating our chocolates and taking a brief tour of the ship, say 4 hours after embarking, the Butler (David) and Steward (Joel) arrived at the suite to say hello. They were friendly enough and did offer to help with the bags but I had already unpacked them. We informed David of the blown light globes and he had them replaced that night. He also asked us to choose 2 bottles of spirits to have supplied in the suite and also informed us the mini bar was free in Queens Grill and would be replenished as would the 2 bottles of spirits! This was a great perk! I also asked him to change all the sodas in the mini bar to sugar free sodas, which he did. The mini bar also had beers in it. Tired and not wanting to miss the sail away party we opted for our first dinner onboard to be taken in the suite (another QG feature), David the butler gave us the menus from the QG dinning room and gave us some recommendations. He then set the table and delivered and served each coarse as if we were dinning in the restaurant, this was a great service and the food came quickly and was hot! The butler will always deliver your room service/breakfast if they are on duty and will set the table properly for it. They will also serve you afternoon tea in the suite if you request, again the table is set and all the scones, sandwiches and tea provided. The butler will also help you cater a party in your suite if you wish to have guests. We went to a pre dinner drink party in a fellow QG guests suite and the butler served canapés, hot/cold nibbles as well as drinks whilst we all chatted and had a laugh. Note that also every evening around 5pm the butler will bring pre dinner canapés to your suite, these were often hit and miss as far as taste/quality and they usually featured seafood. So all in all the butler device in QG suites is quite good and really the butler can do as much or as little for you as you wish. They do tend to just ring the door bell and let themselves in though which isn't very good for privacy I guess. The Ship itself: There is no denying the ship needs to be dry docked and overhauled! It seems to be a constant topic that has been arising of late on the Cruise Critic forums and I can confirm that yes, she does need it! Her last dry docking was for 2 weeks in late 2011 a few months before our last trip on her and even after that it seemed that not everything was attended too, well it is really showing now which is sad and frankly un acceptable really for the prices this "premium" line charges. It is hard to explain but I think I can, its as if at face value she look fine, her interiors are fine, but after a few days onboard and settling in, getting to know the ship, you can really notice all the issues. Externally, she needs to be completely repainted. EVERYTHING! the black hull is rusty and scratched, faded her and there and the red colour of the keel is no longer red at the water liner but a slimy, rusty green, the white stripe dividing the black and red is now hardly visible and is hardly a line or even white for that matter anymore. Now lets keep in mind that the ship itself is an advertisement for Cunard, she makes the news wherever she goes and people always come out to see her in the flesh when she visits ports all over the world, some ports are maiden calls so the ship has never been seen by the people of those ports. If you watch your local news when she arrives in your town, you will be bombarded with images of luxury and wealth, stories of her high fares and impressive passenger lists, but then to see her in person you are confronted with this poorly presented and maintained vessel which up close (one of our ports was tendered so we got a very close look) could pass for the hull of a container ship! a very disappointing sight indeed. Her outdoor areas look tired and old, deck chairs with miss matching cousins, some royal blue with the Cunard symbol, others beige and white stripped, some plain beige, some no cushions at all. The pools and Jacuzzis are all worn and torn, the grills Jacuzzi on the grills terrace we often used needs to be completely replaced as it is no longer pure white, with damaged chipped paint showing the brown material that it is made of and is quite rough to touch...the outdoor pool tiles are faded, damaged and hardly look appealing especially when you think of these luxury oasis like pools on offer onboard other ships which truly do look inviting on a hot day at sea. QM2 pools and Jacuzzis look dirty and old. WIFI onboard is a disgrace, it is 2015, its no longer a gimmick to have internet at sea, the technology to do so has been around for years and it is just expected by guests now and should/can run perfectly, update your systems and sort it out otherwise don't charge people as the service is so poor! Stateroom Corridors (the worst of all the deck 9 Queens Grill suites corridor) are in terrible condition. Deck 9 corridor has damaged ceilings and actually drips water in many spots long the corridor, often into a light fixture below (safety hazard?), the smell of dampness in the air, doors and door frames are dented and scratched. There are random pot holes all over the ship under the carpets which is weird as you will just be walking along then you randomly step into one, again safety hazard. In the day spa, as you lay back relaxed in the therapy pool you can't help but notice the missing lights, mold and damage on the ceiling or the chipped tiles around the pool, the broke showers that don't work properly, the overall dirty look of the tiles and it costs money to use this day spa? Most of the seats in the planetarium are broken so cross your fingers you get a good one. Overall the ship just isn't up to standard not only for a ship which people pay to travel on but for a Cunard ship, the line, which charges more than most lines because of its "premium" reputation. Why do I point out all these faults? Its not because I'm picky or a snob or have un realistic expectations, it is simply that based on what Cunard advertises, charges and claims to offer simply does reflect in the quality of the product they are truly offering and you are kidding yourself if you think otherwise! It truly is sad to have to view the ship in this way and yes it is disappointing after some people pay fortunes to be onboard for the trip of a lifetime, the last ocean liner and this is what is presented to them, it just isn't right and its time Cunard/Carnival understand that you simply cannot hide behind a "good name", you must deliver, you cannot continue to charge premium prices and deliver guest a low budget product. I take this hard stance with Cunard because I believe that if people do not speak up, they will continue to let the ship go down hill and I do not want to see that happen, I want the line to continue on successfully and offer ships that truly live up to the historical Cunard reputation and inspire new generations to keep the old liner traditions alive not to mention retain their loyal client base, many of which have been with them since the original Queen Mary was in service. They deserve better. Food: Food and service in the Queens Grill was top notch! we truly had a lovely time whenever we dined in there and the waiters were fabulous. The food is not really that much different from Britannia, but it is presented better I feel and there is also dishes on offer that are finished tableside and are truly amazing and tasty! Please try every one if you can but you do need to let them know you wish to order it not later than lunch time that day. Note that those dishes are large servings! They really were fantastic dinners. The staff in the QG are lovely and remember everything you like, couldn't fault them. Many lovely nights were had in that dinning room and the other guests seated around us were lovely to meet. The only negative I will say is that the breakfast hours need to be revised, currently it is served between 8am-9:30am, we feel that 7am-10/10:30am would work better and give you a bigger window as after a few days we started sleeping in until 9 and it was often to late to make it to breakfast. 9am isn't exactly a late sleep in in our books. Kings Court, as most people who have travelled on the QM2 will confirm, is terrible. School cafeteria is probably the best way to describe it, confusing and not worthy of such a ship. The layout is shocking and the food is just sad looking. It’s a shame because on other ships we always enjoy the buffets and find them exciting. Not on QM2. It also feels like they often pack up areas well before the finish times listed, we often would arrive just to grab something and next minute they starting packing up shop, with plenty of food and at 1:50pm, we really couldn't understand why. Todd English, fabulous! You must try it! Probably some of the best food/service onboard and for such reasonable cover chargers, you will not be disappointed. Although i had pre booked a table for two before boarding on the night of my partners 30th birthday and then changed it to a table of four once we realised friends were onboard and wanted them to dine with us that night, I went the restaurant to make the change and was assured all was fine. Well on the night our extra guests arrived before us and were told there was no booking for four just two which was highly embarrassing but was addressed quickly upon our arrival and we were all easily seated. Afternoon tea, we often had in the QG lounge, couldn't fault it, food and service, Devine. Room service, pretty good for ship standards, they often took a while to deliver 30+ mins but it was always pretty good. Boardwalk cafe, much like king’s court but worse, we walked in, took one look at the sad food and walked away. Disappointing, as the idea of an outdoor cafe is great, but Cunard have it all wrong. Golden Lion, a great place to try some English inspired food at no extra cost! Very tasty pies! but get in quick as seats fill fast! its a shame about the music in their though during lunch hours, relaxation spa music? we were expecting some British classics for a British pub! Sir Samuel's, One night I said "we must try the coffee there" as we had never done it and I do like good coffee, so we gave it a shot. I ordered a large iced mocha! (it was after dinner) the picture and description in the menu grabbed me! It did look wonderful, tall glass, ice cold mocha coffee with lashing of whipped cream on top! What arrived was a tall glass, filled with Mocha and ice. I looked at the waiter and said "no cream?" he responded, "only if you ask for it.." and walked away. Another glance at the menu told me that cream was included. Do they not no their own drinks? so I drank my watery semi boring mocha and never returned. We were disappointed that during the whole 10 nights not once was there an open air buffet on deck or dessert buffet at night which most ships seem to do these days just for a bit of extra excitement. The weather was fantastic the whole voyage so we found it unusual to not have any on deck buffets. Entertainment: Shocking seemed to be the general review from most guests. Paul the cruise director needs to go, he's tired, outdated a has been, in my opinion. The ship has no atmosphere to it, even on the open decks on a beautiful day or sailing away from a beautiful port, they seem to have some music and drinks for a minute then just as soon as its started they pack it all up and finish. Spas & pools also covered over by 7pm so don't even think about a night swim. Service: In all Grill areas (dinning room, Concierge lounge & Grills lounge) service was great and as expected! In all other areas, service was good (in some areas) and poor in most others. Most bar staff were average and dull. If they asked you the first time if you wanted a drink and you replied no, they certainly would never ask again (even after 3hrs of sitting there). The retail shop staff were too casual; they were probably the youngest staff on the ship and seemed more interested in gossiping loudly amongst themselves rather than providing a helpful service. My overall vibe from the staff (outside of the Grill areas) were that they truly didn't understand what Cunard stands for, what the line is all about and the historical value of the line. My guess is most of them a just moved around the carnival fleet and don't really care to be honest, just after some cash and free travel for a few months. The worst service of all I have ever seen in my life (at sea or ashore) would have to have been from the hotel manager. One night on deck 7 aft (smoking area) we were seated and a cigarette as most the other smokers were and out there with us were two staff members in white uniform (male and female) having a glass of wine and a smoke. I'm not sure why but they were. An elderly couple (veteran Cunarders we late learned) must have started a conversation with the staff members about the smoking policy and lack of smoking areas onboard, which turned a bit heated. Next minute the guest were arguing with the staff and the staff were arguing back. One of the guests asked who this lady staff member was and what she did onboard? Her response was "I’m the hotel manager and it is my job to make you lot spend more money!" which I think is a hideous thing to say to the guests. The argument about smoking continued to and at one stage the hotel manager told the guest that they shouldn't be smoking anyway as its bad for them. This is not how you deal with guests, you do not get into a silly argument with them, nor do you judge that way. You simply just take onboard what they are saying and let them know you will pass it on. it was truly a sight to behold, this hotel manager arguing with these guests with a glass of wine in her hand. The guest involved were furious afterwards and in their own words "had had it with the Cunard line and never again!". It is my belief that this hotel manager should loose her job, as it truly was a rude embarrassment to behold. Churchill's/Smoking policy: We enjoy a Cigar in Churchill's with a drink at the night time, every night it was always the exact same 4 or 5 people in there and we all became very familiar with each other. it was a great little "crew" to be apart of and we really enjoyed our nights in there. The only problem was that the ship was lacking most cigar brands they had on the menu and also many of the expensive Cognacs. The attendant in Churchill's also was not educated in the topic of cigars and cognacs as opposed to when we last sailed onboard the attendant in Churchill’s knew everything there was to know about the matter! The attendant on this trip, didn't even have a cigar cutter at the start so everyone had to bite their cigars before lighting them. On average we all probably spent $200+ each per night, every night in Churchill's. Most people who frequent Churchill's are not short of money to be honest. so you would think that Cunard would value these particular guests. Some in our group often enjoyed a glass or more of Cognac worth $120 per glass. Money was hardly an issue. But still even in Churchill's Cunard's slipping standards were taking over. we had issue we not being able to smoke cigarettes in there, last time the policy was "if you ask all other cigar smokers in the room first and they give the ok you can smoke in there" this time it was "no smoking cigarettes" full stop. It got so bad that even the captain told a lady at one stage, she could smoke in there as long as the cigar smokers said they didn't mind. well can they just please make that the policy again? our group were the only cigar smokers and we didn't mind if each other smoked in there! On QM2 there is 3 smoking areas all aft of the ship, an area on deck 8/7 and in G32 upper level. All smokers are irritated by this policy as for example if you are situated at the front of the ship, say in Churchill’s or even your cabin, you need to walk all that distance in order to have smoke. Furthermore, even in the smoking areas there were always non-smokers sitting at the smoking tables that asked you not to smoke or had something rude to say about it! The none-smokers have 90% of the ship, please be kind enough to let the smokers enjoy their small smoking spaces. I laugh as most none smokers call smoker selfish.. Well this shows a different side. Smoking is also not permitted on the stateroom balconies. This apparently does not include the Grand Duplex suites aft of the ship as we often saw this guests smoking on their balconies with a Cunard supplied ash tray. I would rather G32 be none smoking, and another outdoor area be made smoking. also Cunard need to update their stateroom books as they do not state the current smoking policy correctly. Our book said we could smoke on the grills terrace on the starboard side but the current policy is no smoking on the grills deck not even on one side which is ridiculous because it then meant I had to go smoke on deck 8, why should I when I’ve paid to have my own private terrace? but anyway times are changing in regards to smoking, it will be interesting to see how the policy further changes in the years to come especially as every smoker is un happy with the current policy. On a final note I will say that the night we ate in Todd English, we engaged in an interesting conversation with the head waiting about the slipping standards onboard and received quite a surprising response.. He couldn't agree more! He stated that Carnival was now running Cunard on a Carnival style budget and that staff like him were so frustrated that they are receiving less and less to work with! he stated that he keeps ordering cognac and expensive alcohol to service in Todd English and his orders keep getting denied by shore based management. he confirmed that the line was running on more of a budget than it ever has before and yes that was affecting the service onboard and the products offered. He actually got somewhat emotional about it to be honest as you could tell he was one who truly enjoyed his job but could see the standards slipping. This is sad to see this happen to Cunard and I hope that with enough complaints they turn it back around, but in the meantime, I really cannot justify the premium pricing they charge, as it is not a premium line anymore. Next time we want to try QE/QV just to see how they compare as many fellow passengers told us those two ships are in much better condition than the QM2. Lift your game Cunard; you cannot continue providing your loyal guests with this type of inferior product. I’ve been told that if you truly want luxury, only Seaborne & Crystal are the way to go. So what is Cunard going to do about that?   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015

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