170 Istanbul Luxury Cruise Reviews

Everything I read indicated this was the Best, for starters, the food was not as good as Carnival Cruise line, Expected much better quality for the cost of the Cruise. WIFI was free for only 1 hour total the entire cruise. Speciality ... Read More
Everything I read indicated this was the Best, for starters, the food was not as good as Carnival Cruise line, Expected much better quality for the cost of the Cruise. WIFI was free for only 1 hour total the entire cruise. Speciality Dinning was inpossible to get, even when the dinning rooms were half empty (we checked, looked in at all hours listed). Tried to book reservations on line months prior to cruise, was only able to get standby for Seishin restaurant, on nite we dined there the restaurant was not even half full, we stayed till 9:45 pm. Food was very good at the Seishin. La Terrazza restaurant was the best, again you need reservations, when denied, restaurant is not full, what's up with this? Length of time at the best ports was too short, if you take excursions, you miss the old town areas. Cabin was Great, always clean, wait staff the best, drinks were fast in comming and very good. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth, water taxis in Venice, if scheduled on ship is twice as much as what is charge if you walk up to the Taxis stand. Enterainment was average, Ship was very clean and easy to get around, with only 500 guest it is very social. Not the bang for the Bucks I expected, so said many of the guest we met on the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was our third cruise in as many years on Silversea, and our first time on the Silver Spirit. Our two previous Silversea experiences were on smaller ships, where we were delighted by high level of service at every turn. On those two ... Read More
This was our third cruise in as many years on Silversea, and our first time on the Silver Spirit. Our two previous Silversea experiences were on smaller ships, where we were delighted by high level of service at every turn. On those two cruises, we felt like the staff read our minds, anticipating and meeting our needs before we asked. We couldn’t imagine a better experience on a cruise ship. With the exception of multiple service problems, our third cruise met our basic expectations. The Silver Spirit appeared to be in fine shape, well maintained, and clean. We were pleased with the selection and availability of food and beverages throughout the ship. We made restaurant reservations on line as soon as booking opened, and all were honored on board the ship. Our favorite restaurant for dinner was La Terrazza, where we always had very good food and service. The itinerary – Lisbon to Venice, with stops in Portimao, Cadiz, Malaga, Cartagena, Trapani, Malta, and Corfu -- was interesting, with plenty to do and see. The only suggestion we would make would be to extend the in-port times in Trapani and Malta, which were too short. We walked around most of the ports on our own, which was extremely easy to do, and hired a driver in Trapani because we needed help squeezing everything we wanted to see into the six hours we were docked. We did not take any Silversea tours. We were astonished by the weird service problems on board, some of which we are still laughing about (after all, it was vacation!), and some of which are inexcusable for a luxury experience. For example, on our two previous Silversea cruises, we were welcomed aboard by smiling staff members and waiters offering glasses of Prosecco. This time, not a single staff member smiled at us or welcomed us on board; we had to ask a glum waiter, standing in a corner near reception and holding a tray of glasses of sparkling wine, if we might have one. The waiter did not respond, so we took glasses to drink while waiting in line at the reception desk. No one came around to collect empty glasses. After we handed over our credit card and had our pictures taken by another glum uncommunicative staff member, we headed to the main dining room, weighed down by hand luggage, to have lunch while we waited for our rooms to be available. Upon arrival at the main dining room, the person at the podium, without smiling or greeting us, simply said, Wouldn’t you be happier at the buffet? We said no, we preferred to eat in the main dining room. The person reluctantly directed a waiter to seat us, but stopped the fourth person in our party, who was wearing a fedora, telling him hats were not allowed in the dining room. Our friend said he understood and he would remove his hat as soon as he put down his hand luggage. The person at the service station glared at him and told him to put his luggage down immediately and remove his hat if he wanted to eat. It was an extraordinary start to the cruise, leaving us to wonder if we were on the right ship or if something terrible happened before we boarded. Unfortunately, the indifferent dining room service continued throughout the cruise. Each time we entered the main dining room for breakfast or lunch, a person at the podium attempted to direct us to the buffet and seated us only after we insisted we wanted to eat in the dining room. We began to feel that eating breakfast and lunch in the dining room was a tremendous imposition on the staff. Service was painfully slow and uneven; sometimes we’d be offered breakfast pastries or bread, sometimes not. Sometimes butter, salt, and pepper would appear on the table; sometimes not. Perhaps this explains why there were so few passengers in the dining room at breakfast and lunch. On three occasions, we were served coffee in cups and water in glasses with obvious lipstick marks. The cups and glasses were replaced immediately when we pointed out the problem, but those cups and glasses should never have reached the table. (Lipstick marks seemed to be a problem for housekeeping, too. When our room was available, we noticed obvious lipstick marks on the pillowcases as soon as we entered and asked to have the linen changed.) Several waiters in the dining room had problems speaking and understanding English. Typically, we had to repeat our order two or three times while pointing to the item in the menu, before the waiters appeared to understand. Even then, we were served things we hadn’t ordered and not served things we had ordered. Waiters also argued with us. One morning, when we ordered a bagel with cream cheese at breakfast, which we had successfully ordered the previous morning, the waiter insisted a bagel with cream cheese had never been available on the ship and but that we could order a bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon. One evening, when I told a waiter that there was no cheese in the Caesar salad I ordered, the waiter picked up my fork from my plate and dug through the salad insisting I must have overlooked cheese at the bottom of the salad. To Silversea's credit, after we reported the problems to management, we noticed improvement in the dining room service. While I hope our third Silversea experience was just a one-off thing, perhaps some combination of over-worked staff, poorly trained staff, customer-facing staff with poor English skills, and the phase of the moon, it’s often the little things that form long-lasting memories. If we take a fourth Silversea cruise, it will be on one of the smaller ships. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This cruise really spoiled us! Other cruise lines just don't measure up. We especially enjoyed the all-inclusiveness: a high quality free excursion at each port, complimentary wine and beer during meal times, no cost speciality ... Read More
This cruise really spoiled us! Other cruise lines just don't measure up. We especially enjoyed the all-inclusiveness: a high quality free excursion at each port, complimentary wine and beer during meal times, no cost speciality restaurants, free internet - even free self-service laundry, complete with detergent. If you're willing to go off-season as we did, you can also get free airfare. All cabins have balconies, which we enjoyed very much. The cabins were spacious and beautifully furnished. We especially appreciated having a real King bed rather than the arrangement of two twins pushed together. The commons areas, especially the lounges, were stunning. The Explorer's Lounge was one of our favorite spots on the ship. The menu featured a lot of options and the food was superb. Service throughout the ship was excellent. This cruise was just about perfect, until the very end. We were not able to dock in Venice due to fog (not their fault), so we had to be bussed. They just dropped us off at the cruise port without any guidance or assistance whatsoever (definitely their fault.) If you want Las Vegas-style entertainment and casinos, this is not the cruise for you. If, however, you prefer an itinerary rich experience, you will love this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Size and best price for a luxury cruise. The staff went above and beyond to make sure we were having a great time. Although we have done several cruises in the past, including a transatlantic cruise, this was our first cruise on a small ... Read More
Size and best price for a luxury cruise. The staff went above and beyond to make sure we were having a great time. Although we have done several cruises in the past, including a transatlantic cruise, this was our first cruise on a small luxury class ship. We could not have been more pleased. We were not surprised to learn that Viking has received the best in class rating for 2016. They have done their homework and it showed. The entertainment and activities were about what we expected on a ship of this caliber and the service was excellent. The staff could not have been more friendly or accommodating. The meals were excellent and the speciality restaurants were just that, special. The only thing that might be considered a complaint is that we wish on this trip the ship would have entered some of our destinations during daylight hours so we would have had a chance to view some of them. We have already booked our second cruise with Viking for this December and they will undoubtedly become our small luxury cruise line of choice. We will tell anyone who is interested in this type of cruise, to look into Viking first. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
All cabins have balconies and the shower was one of the biggest we have seen on a ship. Main reason we took this cruise was for the 3 days in Israel. Stayed longer in most ports than other ships do - gave us time to explore on our own ... Read More
All cabins have balconies and the shower was one of the biggest we have seen on a ship. Main reason we took this cruise was for the 3 days in Israel. Stayed longer in most ports than other ships do - gave us time to explore on our own after going on ship excursion. Many of the free excursions are just overview of the location. Chef's Table specialty restaurant rotates the menu every three days - we went on Asian night and the food was excellent. At the buffet at lunch and dinner, they will grill some items (tiger prawns, chicken breast) for you. Our room steward was excellent. Breakfast menu in the Restaurant offers some unique items like "breakfast lamb chops" as well as the usual food items. Fitness area was smaller than other ships, but never crowded - also opened at 6am. Great entertainment. Many quiet places to relax. Free wifi was faster than most other ships we have been on. Several different lecturers gave about 12 lectures on varying topics. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise for a number of reasons. The price was right and the cruise included ports of interest to my wife and myself. We both like cruises and the amenities that were described about the cruise was different that other cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a number of reasons. The price was right and the cruise included ports of interest to my wife and myself. We both like cruises and the amenities that were described about the cruise was different that other cruise lines. When we arrived we were greeted as friends and not like a customer. The ports we visited were great and the excursions were well organized and interesting. Evening entertainment was very good. For us dining was best in the buffet line. We did do the Restaurant and the specialty restaurants, but we liked the buffet best, because it was quicker. Service for the cabin was excellent. Most days the cabin steward greeted us when we left in the morning and again when we returned from the days activities. The cruise is designed for adults. I would not recommend taking any children on the cruise. All the entertainment and activities are geared towards adults. There is no casino on board - a plus in our opinion. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This is our second Viking cruise. My wife and I had suite 7000 (Penhouse junior) about 400 square feet of space. Our first Viking cruise was China (16 days or so). The ambience throughout Viking Sea our ship provided joy, peace and ... Read More
This is our second Viking cruise. My wife and I had suite 7000 (Penhouse junior) about 400 square feet of space. Our first Viking cruise was China (16 days or so). The ambience throughout Viking Sea our ship provided joy, peace and tranquility. Nighttime entertainment was very enjoyable. Lectures by experts provided good insights and new knowledge. Fellow passengers were kind and easy to get along. Food choices range from sushi to steaks. Seafood choices were abundant. Restaurant service was excellent. Reserving special dinner was easy. Cabin attendants were quick and courteous. All the appliances and bathroom facilities worked. Ports and shore excursions were organized and not hurried. We visited Athens (3 days, visited Parthenon, Museums, a Greek dinner with dancing, Mycenae and old Roman ruins), Rhodes and its wonderful views and grand palaces, Lindos with breathtaking views on top of its medieval castles, Mykonos with its windmills and beautiful coastlines, Cyprus, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Masada, resort at the Dead Sea, Naples, Pompei and Rome among others. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I have been on dozens of cruises and this was the most beautiful ship that I've been on. The food was very good and the service was too. Embarkation and debarkation are run very smoothly. The ship's common areas are so classy. ... Read More
I have been on dozens of cruises and this was the most beautiful ship that I've been on. The food was very good and the service was too. Embarkation and debarkation are run very smoothly. The ship's common areas are so classy. The pools and spa were very nice. Our room was decorated very tastefully. Our bathroom was beyond expectations. It was huge. I enjoyed the tub with the tv in it. We were on the front of the ship and it did get a little rough while sailing. I wish that our balcony went all the way around. There was an area that was closed off to us. Although. It didn't show that in the pictures. The cruise was very expensive, but I like that everything is included. I traveled with my friend and no kids. We have been on Viking before and will hopefully go again very soon. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Liked it so much we signed up for next year -- same ship, same cabin, different destination. Luxurious cabin, excellent food and service. In fact, we became fast friends with our dining room servers who looked out for us each night. The ... Read More
Liked it so much we signed up for next year -- same ship, same cabin, different destination. Luxurious cabin, excellent food and service. In fact, we became fast friends with our dining room servers who looked out for us each night. The ship was new and spotless. Breakfast room service every morning. Shore excursions just about perfect, especially the guides and transportation. We selected from a wide array of excursions and found them easy to handle -- generally returning to ship by midway for a leisurely lunch and shipboard activities. Lots of information was provided, and we especially liked the portable ear phones for hearing the guides even at a distance. The process of boarding and departing was handled seamlessly. We have never been more comfortable on a ship. My wife loved the spa. One tip: We used the big pool at the start of the dinner hour when we had it all to ourselves. One minor complaint: The club band seemed to play only contemporary dance music. How about some oldies -- even swing -- for us old timers? Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My husband and I took the Grand European River Cruise in May 2014 and loved it. When Viking announced they would be offering ocean cruises we knew we would book one soon! We explored Venice on our own before disembarkation. It was very ... Read More
My husband and I took the Grand European River Cruise in May 2014 and loved it. When Viking announced they would be offering ocean cruises we knew we would book one soon! We explored Venice on our own before disembarkation. It was very simple to access the ship via water taxi from the Hotel Metropole steps from St. Mark's Square. The cabin was spacey and always meticulous cleaned. Our stewards were attentive and accommodated our every request. Dining was superb. The choice of specialty restaurants was very impressive. Viking was able to accommodate our restaurant reservations and even able to adjust a reservation when we met another couple we wanted to dine with. Every evening there was live entertainment on board. The variety was excellent and there was ample seating. The entertainers also interacted with passengers when they were not on stage. I can't say enough about the service. We felt like we were the only passengers aboard the way we were treated. Excellent, excellent, excellent servers. Personable, knowledgeable, educated and very helpful with advice on different ports! Everything is organized and there is no confusion about shore excursions, departure times, return times, meeting places and guides. Guides were knowledgeable and English was never an issue. We did not travel with children and we will be taking more Viking Tours in the future. I recently was on a trip to South Africa and met a number of people who have taken Viking Tours with similar reviews and people who I will be referring to Viking through the referral program!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This ship is in need of some TLC particularly to the outside public space. The pool had such a dark brown ring around it it just looked uninviting, even during the hot weather. Management appeared disorganised, for example, when 1 of ... Read More
This ship is in need of some TLC particularly to the outside public space. The pool had such a dark brown ring around it it just looked uninviting, even during the hot weather. Management appeared disorganised, for example, when 1 of the 2 tenders went out of service, passengers had to wait for long periods to disembark, there was no contingency plan for such an occurance. Due to very bad weather on a sea day many passengers spent 36 hours in their cabins - only one public announcement was made. It would not have been too much effort on the part of management to make periodic announcements to reassure those passengers stuck in their cabins. On a positive note, the cabin and restaurant staff were great and the food was quite good and it was definitely a plus to be on a small vessel. Hope that Windstar can fix the issues because this, small ship concept is needed in the cruise industry. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Having previously cruised on Viking River, I knew roughly what to expect. We were blown away not only with the amenities on the ship, but the quality of food and the professionalism of the staff. Let me start with the crew. What ... Read More
Having previously cruised on Viking River, I knew roughly what to expect. We were blown away not only with the amenities on the ship, but the quality of food and the professionalism of the staff. Let me start with the crew. What makes a good cruise an excellent cruise is the quality of the staff. These guys & gals were brilliant .... Always happy and smiling, many greet you by your name and no request is too great. 10 out of 10 here. Embarkation/Disembarkation was a breeze. Just swipe your Viking Card and you're away. We were in a DV Cabin on the 5th level. The kingside bed was very very comfortable and the linen 1st class. We had enough room to move around freely .... And hanging space was adequate for a couple with suitcases being able to be placed under the bed. The bathroom was superb with top notch accessories.... And the heated floor was a real bonus. The only minor issue was that sometimes the shower head had a mind of its own! The laundry comprised of 3 washers (dispensing their own washing powder) & dryers and 2 irons/ironing boards and usage is available free of charge. This was a great inclusion. We used them 3 times and didn't have to wait. Generally we used at 0630 or 2100 .... Not sure what it was like during the day. We tried all the restaurants. Preference for breakfast was the World Cafe but we did try room service on one occasion. Oodles of choices. Although the majority of passengers ate indoors, we preferred the Aquavit Terrace. Lunch was either at the Pool Grill, Mamsens or the World Cafe. We preferred to have waiter service for dinner. Tried The Restaurant (5 times), Manfredis (3) & Chefs Table (1). All meals were excellent, helped of course by the friendliness of the staff. The Chefs Table is a set menu and may not suit all tastes. The wines supplied for lunch & dinner were fine (and did not stop at 1 glass!) Fortunately the menu for the day at each venue can be viewed on the TV in your room, so you will know in advance. The split pea soup at Mamsens was really yummy as well (only available between 10pm & midnight). Give it a try. One thing that was noticeable, or perhaps not noticeable was the passengers on board. Very rarely did the ship ever seem crowded. This ship is an excellent design with lots of nooks and crannies to sneak yourself away should you wish to do so. The age group was primarily 55+, but there were a number in their 40s. We attended 5 of the live shows and thoroughly recommend the Abba show (main theatre & our favourite!), Rat Pack Revisited (Torshavn Lounge) & The Beatles revival out by the Man Pool. These are not huge productions that you'd see on other cruise lines, so don't expect any over-the-top musicals etc ... Just appreciate how professional this troupe is. We felt the water in the main pool wasn't cold enough for our liking although this venue was most popular. We preferred the Infinity Pool at the stern. Make sure you visit the Spa room .... Brilliant. We both used the Spa, Steam Room & Snow Room. (I also did the cold bucket thing!) Included excursions were a bit hit and miss. We believe it comes down to the quality of the guide. Some were brilliant, others not so. Also remember that because of the age group of the greater number of passengers, guided tours could take a little longer. In the smaller ports such as Kotor ( ....and by the way, make sure you're on deck by 7am for the sail in .... Magnificent!), Zadar & Koper, the walking tours may only be 90 mins + free time so this may not satisfy some. For these 3 ports we used outside companies (private tours) to visit other areas around these towns. Finally, not having a casino or children (and photographers for that matter on board, helped make this a most memorable cruise. Yes, you pay a little more, but for us it was well worth it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We have had many opportunities to sail with Viking on their river cruises where we daily experienced their professionalism of putting the passenger first in comfortable accommodations, over the top meals, cultural entertainment, enjoyable ... Read More
We have had many opportunities to sail with Viking on their river cruises where we daily experienced their professionalism of putting the passenger first in comfortable accommodations, over the top meals, cultural entertainment, enjoyable fact learning tours, etc. We then decided we wanted to try their new ocean cruise ships, so we chose the Empires of the Mediterranian cruise. Prepare to be 'blown away'...Viking did NOT disappoint. The ship itself is a work of art. Even with 900 guests, we never ever felt a crowded feeling in any area or venue. We started our day early with an hour fast walk around the top deck...what beautiful views and the experience of coming into port. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all culinary experiences. Every staff member was professional, friendly and courteous every day....we were pampered. The small group excursions each day were well planned and all led by very knowledgeable guides. Viking provided many opportunities to experience a variety of tours in each port. I really liked the staff greeting us with drinks, when we returned to the ship. There were many onboard activities from pools to spas, areas to sit and have drinks, listen to live music or lectures, high tea each afternoon or stay in your well appointed rooms and read on your balcony. After dinner each evening we were entertained by professional singers and dancers...loved the tribute to ABBA and the Beatles different evenings. We were NOT disappointed with this Viking experience and have already signed up for two more trips with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose Viking because of all the recent awards and reviews as best cruise ship. The ship did not disappoint! Probably the most impressive feature on this beauty is the SPA. Its crazy nice. A perfect place to start or end the ... Read More
We chose Viking because of all the recent awards and reviews as best cruise ship. The ship did not disappoint! Probably the most impressive feature on this beauty is the SPA. Its crazy nice. A perfect place to start or end the day. My husband and I used it everyday for about an hour or two. The next best fabulous feature is the heated bathroom floors in your cabin. They feel just wonderful on your feet. The staterooms are as nice as any first class hotel and stocked with all kinds of little goodies. We really thought the food was exceptional, comparable to any Top rated restaurant in any Big City. The Service was outstanding in all the restaurants and decks but We must make special mention in particular to the Manager at Manfredi's. He always managed to get us a table with a smile. The entertainment was very enjoyable. There were several good shows but i think our favorite was held outside with dancing on deck. so much fun! The destinations speak for themselves and we will forever keep the memories close in our heart. The only problem we had was on the last night when Viking used our $400 onboard ship credit and subtracted the gratuities from it. Because Viking did that we could not spend the remaining of our OnBoard Ship Credit on the ship. When we got home they also charged our credit card for the gratuities. We called Viking to dispute the charges on our credit card and they would not credit our charge card. This could be a deal breaker for future travel with Viking for us. Its very unfortunate because we love to travel. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Everything was excellent--Ship,cabin dining, service, ports, I will be spoiled to ever take any other ship. That said, we were very surprised about our shipmates--(approximately 940)or shall I l say the lack of seeing them. We had ... Read More
Everything was excellent--Ship,cabin dining, service, ports, I will be spoiled to ever take any other ship. That said, we were very surprised about our shipmates--(approximately 940)or shall I l say the lack of seeing them. We had very little interaction- maybe an active core of about 50 total. Most of my pictures on the ship showed very few people in public areas...even the pool (30-40 people at most, one time). Only meals and afternoon teas brought people out. Very little activity (10-15 people) in main cocktail lounges. Did not attend the evening entertainment so I can't comment on attendance or quality. I have never experienced this lack of interaction on other ships and I am wondering about Viking's marketing plan and exactly what type of cruiser they are attracting. Considering how lovely and inviting the ship's public areas were, we were intrigued by this lack of use. If anyone else noticed this on the August 14 cruise from Athens-Venice? Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Our first Seabourn cruise. Istanbul/Venice 4 June 2016 14 days.(Other cruises Matson's Monterey, Avalon, Regent). Short summary - top class, giving us the relaxed and comfortable, quiet holiday we expected. Staff prior to ... Read More
Our first Seabourn cruise. Istanbul/Venice 4 June 2016 14 days.(Other cruises Matson's Monterey, Avalon, Regent). Short summary - top class, giving us the relaxed and comfortable, quiet holiday we expected. Staff prior to departure in Seabourn's Sydney office pleasant and helpful and, importantly, extremely efficient. Boarding in Istanbul so fast and smooth I can't remember the detail. Out of taxi, handed over luggage, passports, and on board in what seemed like five minutes. Relaxed lunch in Colonnade, moved then to excellent, spotless cabin, welcomed there with champagne and canapés. Bathroom good..shower adequate in size despite what some others have said. Staff throughout always pleasant and helpful. Food always excellent, with good variety at all venues. More than adequate servings. Soufflé ..yes,yes,yes! Wines OK to good. Premium wines were over priced in my opinion. Thomas Keller didn't impress us as much as the excellent MDR. We were very impressed with the Town Square setup and used its comfortable facilities a lot. WiFi arrangements were adequate in speed and pricing for us as we needed only email and a few other resources. Staff quickly and competently fixed a problem one day (and gave credit for the lost period). Two lady expert speakers on the region were excellent each evening. They deserved a larger audience. Very accessible throughout the cruise. Smokers, few, were no problem at all. Why do so many cruisers get their knickers in a knot over this issue? (Neither of us has ever smoked and prefer to avoid them, but, leaving aside the adjacent balcony issues, complaints seem to us to be over done). Tendering was efficient and comfortable. Disembarkation ditto. Two key destinations - Santorini and Dubrovnic - less enjoyable because of the thousands disgorged from multiple cruise ships at the same time. But, what to do...... It's not a perfect world! Shopping with the Chef was a highlight. Overall, hard to find any faults. So much so that we rebooked for Quest ex Barcelona in April 2017. PS. If I had to find a fault, even a minor one. .......In the Sky Bar I was served a Scotch on the Rocks, in a wine glass! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Despite some "uneven" reviews, our travel agent assured us that Silversea would deliver the kind of luxury experience that we were looking for on this trip. She was right, the other reviewers were wrong. The ship - and ... Read More
Despite some "uneven" reviews, our travel agent assured us that Silversea would deliver the kind of luxury experience that we were looking for on this trip. She was right, the other reviewers were wrong. The ship - and especially the service staff - was totally focused on pampering the guests. The suite was comfortably appointed ... we had our choice of toiletries and amenities. Upon arrival, the butler asked what kind of pillows we preferred and stocked our mini-fridge with champagne (our request ... we could have had anything we wanted). The bed was very comfortable ... turndown service was perfect ... air conditioning (when we figured it out) provided a perfect climate. We had a suite with a veranda .. which I highly recommend. We thoroughly enjoyed the observation lounge for a cocktail before dinner. Dinner options were the dining room (no reservations required) La Terrazza (reservations required Italian) and the pool deck, which featured steaks and seafood provided to cook on hot rocks. The itinerary was one important reason for choosing this cruise. We embarked in Istanbul and stopped to see the ancient cities/ruins in Turkey (Kusudasi and Marmara), Santorini Greece, Kotor Montegro, and Dubrovnik and Hvar in Corsica before ending the cruise in Venice. The shore excursions were universally good. Another reason for choosing Silversea and Silver Cloud was the size of the ships. We definitely didn't want the experience of a ship with 5,000 or 6,000 passengers. Silver Cloud carried less than 300, which gave the experience an intimate feel - and we got to know many of our fellow passengers. Pulling into places like Kotor and Venice, the deck stewards were up early passing out mimosas and pastries to the guests on deck. The evening entertainment was not a big show but rather a cabaret type of experience featuring four or five talented singers. We were skeptical at first, but after experience one show, we made it a point to stay up to enjoy the shows for the balance of the cruise. I suppose some jaded cruisers have a jaundiced view of luxury cruises, but we found Silversea to be a brand that was totally focused on guest satisfaction. Silver Cloud will be taken out of service to be refitted for "expedition" voyages, but I would definitely recommend its sister ship or the others in the line for an exceptionally sybaritic cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Do not even consider a Silversea cruise. It is a totally regrettable experience not to mention the added pain of the exorbitant cost. The representations in Silversea's literature and website couldn't be further from the ... Read More
Do not even consider a Silversea cruise. It is a totally regrettable experience not to mention the added pain of the exorbitant cost. The representations in Silversea's literature and website couldn't be further from the reality. We also relied on the agent's endorsement of its small ship cruising luxury and service etc and did not do our own research much to our cost and disappointment. Three couples we met endured burst water pipes in their rooms during the night which flooded their floors. The entire ship had only freezing cold water for over 24 hours with absolutely no updates or communication from staff. We paid extra for a veranda suite on level 7 and were glad of the small extra space and air. The corridors on the lower levels smell damp and dirty. The laundry facilities are 4 washing machines, 2 of which were out of order for the entire cruise. Overall, the decor is very dated, sad and shabby. There are a selection of mediocre dining options. However, we were told by staff that you needed to book and couldn't just turn up even though they were mostly empty when we arrived in the evenings. So, we would call the restaurant late morning/lunchtime to book a table for 7.00pm. We then without fail received a telephone call in our room at between 6.00pm – 6.30pm to advise that unfortunately the restaurant was now fully booked and there was no table available! The third time this happened we went straight down to the restaurant and absolutely insisted on a table. The restaurant was at no stage busy when we arrived or during our short visit. Overall the food quality is very ordinary, the food is frozen not fresh, which we can live with, but customer service is non-existent. We ate where possible off the ship. The so called "butler service" is good to bring an early breakfast to your room if you leave a completed menu card on your door but don't try to locate him at any other time. Not so important to us but worth a mention- the entertainment options are embarrassing old-school, repetitive and cater for an age group 70+. We cannot stress to you enough - do not waste your money or your time, the marketing material and all their representation to induce you to book an extremely expensive holiday are a total con. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Having been a Crystal Serenity devotee for four years, we chose the Silversea Silver Cloud since the Serenity was sailing the NW passage. Didn't want to do that. Silver Cloud priced about the same as the Serenity, so figured the ... Read More
Having been a Crystal Serenity devotee for four years, we chose the Silversea Silver Cloud since the Serenity was sailing the NW passage. Didn't want to do that. Silver Cloud priced about the same as the Serenity, so figured the experience would be the same. As is spoken in one of the AFLAC commercials: "A big, fat noooo." Dated decor, dirty hull, chipped paint, laughable table on veranda, limited menu, limited buffet selection, substandard food, testy wait staff, crumpled/creased table linens, crumpled crew uniforms, very low head height (bugged me - I'm 6' 5"). Took a couple of days to get the AC to operate properly. Coup de gras: No hot water for 24 hours and no intervening guess as to when it would be available....... So, what's not to like? If there was a 2.5 star, I'd given it that rating. Not a "experience," but certainly below average given pricing and expectations. I'm not thrilled with my agent letting us get on this boat. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose Viking because we had a great experience with Viking three years ago on a Rhine cruise. The cabin was beautiful, but there was nightly work being done on the deck above our cabin that woke us up almost every night. We complained, ... Read More
We chose Viking because we had a great experience with Viking three years ago on a Rhine cruise. The cabin was beautiful, but there was nightly work being done on the deck above our cabin that woke us up almost every night. We complained, but it still happened. Also, upon boarding we had difficulty finding our cabin. When we boarded the river cruise, there was a crew member escorting every guest to their cabin. On the cruise ship, we were on our own and it was more difficult to find. Our cabin was in the front on the upper deck where only one set of elevators actually went to our floor. The restaurants were good, but choices were limited in some places. For example at the pool, it was the same menu every day. It would have been nice to have the restaurants feature foods from the area we were traveling. The only restaurant that did this was the World Cafe and that food was like cafeteria food. The staff, just like on the river cruise, was outstanding, the only difference was that they seemed over worked, and they talked about it. They were working long hours with short down time and they mentioned this to the passengers. We had two problems with shore excursions. In Santorino Viking should not have allowed "leisure walkers" to go on the shore excursions. The hills were too severe and the sidewalks too uneven. The guide did her best, but a few people on our tour and a person we ate dinner with basically sat on the bus the whole time. When we were on the river cruise cruise, Viking had a modified versions of the daily tours for "leisure walkers" which were the over 55 and had difficulty walking, had walkers ,etc. In Dubrovnik we had a tour guide who was not sensitive to the over 55 crowd. In Dubrovnik they have their own currency and all of the public rest rooms required exact change with that currency. Having arrived just that morning and not knowing this several people on out tour needed to use the rest room and had no where to go. They ended up walking back to the ship and missing out on the rest of the tour. Sounds crazy, but it's a problem for the over 55 group. I would love to do more cruising with Viking, but it is too expensive. It's a special occasion cruise company for us. i'd like to see you stop mailing me so many catalogs. I'm in the direct mail business, so I know how expensive these are. I get a piece of Viking mail almost daily; some days multiple pieces, plus getting emails a couple days a week. Perhaps if you saved money with the mailings you could reduce the price of your cruises. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Viking is a great cruise line, Embarkation was simple and efficient. Elegant, great service. No kids which is a bonus. All about the ports and the people. Great ports and excursions. Food and service were excellent. We were on the maiden ... Read More
Viking is a great cruise line, Embarkation was simple and efficient. Elegant, great service. No kids which is a bonus. All about the ports and the people. Great ports and excursions. Food and service were excellent. We were on the maiden voyage of the Viking Sea. Cabins were spacious with first rate amenities. Heated floors in the bathroom. Lots of storage space. Loved the veranda. Had coffee out there each morning. Each port had wonderful excursions. Learned a lot about the history of Turkey, Greece and Croatia. Service was first rate. Meals were wonderful. Lots of choices. Shows and entertainment were first rate. Loved the Abba and Beatles tributes. Wonderful food was available any time you wanted it, Afternoon tea sitting in the explorer's lounge was relaxing. Loved the infinity pool. Ship was just the right size. The self service laundry was a real plus. Will definitely go on another viking cruise in the future Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
The Viking Ocean Cruise "Nordic Explorer" was in a word fantastic! Every destination tour was very informative and fun. The restaurants on board were delightful with a gourmet dinner with wine every night. The destinations ... Read More
The Viking Ocean Cruise "Nordic Explorer" was in a word fantastic! Every destination tour was very informative and fun. The restaurants on board were delightful with a gourmet dinner with wine every night. The destinations included all the major cities of the continent, all with local guides that where adept with local history and color. The entire staff were very personable and knowledgeable. It seemed they could not do enough to make every day special. The on-board entertainment was exceptional. All performers were very entertaining including the local performances along the way. The spa was excellent including a large pool for relaxing plus steam and snow rooms for the total experience. On board activities educational immersion lectures from experts as well as movies relative to the areas visited. During the 35 days of our cruise I never once felt that the cruise was too long or uninteresting. I would highly recommend this excursion as a cruise of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We were on the maiden voyage of the Voking Sea...it was our first ocean cruise ...tho we did a river cruise on Viking several years ago. It was exciting to be on this maiden voyage and all the staff seemed happy and excited as well...the ... Read More
We were on the maiden voyage of the Voking Sea...it was our first ocean cruise ...tho we did a river cruise on Viking several years ago. It was exciting to be on this maiden voyage and all the staff seemed happy and excited as well...the could not have been more welcoming / friendly/ helpful...every last one of them! Both embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth...we were greeted with LOTS of champagne during this voyage! Our cabin was comfortable and we loved the room refrigerator and coffeemaker. The bedding was very luxurious and the mattress soooo comfortable. We loved sitting out on our veranda as well. The bathroom was spacious and the shower worked well...even for my 6 '3" husband! The food was excellent and we enjoyed eating at the 2 special venues...the Chef's Kitchen and Manfredi's. It was fun to try out all the various places to eat onboard..high tea in the Winter Garden was especially notable! We ate many meals at the World Cafe...which had so much to choose from...plus wine served with both lunch and dinner. We also tried both swimming pools and were really impressed with the infinity pool with the glass back and the retractable roof on the main pool. The shore excursions were wonderful. The local guides were all very good and knowledgeable. Shore talks and speakers onboard were interesting and we enjoyed shows by the Viking singers and dancers. One of our favorite places was the Explorer Lounge...with its beautiful view and ourtdoor deck. We were probably spoiled by the trip as I can't imagine how another ocean cruise could top this one! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
The maiden voyage of the Viking Sea likely spoiled us for anything else in the world of cruises. It was our first cruise, and from talking to other passengers, we have no where to go but down if we cruise with another line. We chose ... Read More
The maiden voyage of the Viking Sea likely spoiled us for anything else in the world of cruises. It was our first cruise, and from talking to other passengers, we have no where to go but down if we cruise with another line. We chose this itinerary for the ports of call, many were places we had never visited in our European travels. The ship was stunning, we felt we were on a 5 star floating hotel / art gallery. The staff could not have been any better, kinder, more responsive, or helpful throughout all the activities and events. We enjoyed the shore excursions, which were "just the right size". I was afraid we would be herded around in large groups, but most tours were less than 25 people. The food was just wonderful at each restaurant and cafe we tried. I don't think we were able to sample all of them, but did our best. The meal preparation was delicious. We especially enjoyed Manfredi's and ate there three evenings. The World Cafe was our favorite for breakfast, and the croissants and pain au chocolate tasted like they do in France. Several of our friends have cruised (river) on Viking and had told us their wonderful experiences, so we had high expectations. This experience far exceeded our expectations. As frequent travelers throughout Europe, we were delighted by this experience, the fellow passengers, the quality of the excursions, the food, the ship's design. I can't say enough great things about it all, to be honest. I'm already looking forward to our next adventure with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We were on Viking Rurik river cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg in 2013. Despite a major hiccup--a bad storm that delayed us 12+ hours--we were extremely impressed with how the Viking and its crew made up for a missed port and delayed ... Read More
We were on Viking Rurik river cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg in 2013. Despite a major hiccup--a bad storm that delayed us 12+ hours--we were extremely impressed with how the Viking and its crew made up for a missed port and delayed arrival to St. Petersburg. As far as I'm concerned, they exceeded expectations. So, when I read about the ocean cruises starting, it seemed like an opportune time to visit some places we've never been. The superlatives I can think of are inadequate to describe our experience on the maiden voyage of Viking Sea, April 3-12, 2016, Empires of the Mediterranean. Again, Viking just knows how to take passengers on an enjoyable, educational, entertaining cruise. The Sea was a revelation. Gorgeous small ship with impressive amenities all the way down to heated bathroom floors. Also a mini fridge stocked with sodas, sparkling water and some candy that is free within reason. Free washers and dryers and ironing boards, as well. They also provide a free excursion for each port. Food was very good. We prefer more generously seasoned food as a rule, but the food onboard was fresh and tasty in all dining rooms from the Cafe to the Restaurant right into the specialty restaurants (for which there is no extra charge) Man Freddi's Italian and The Chef's Table. We travel when school is in session to avoid exposing ourselves to rowdy teens and shrieking toddlers, and Viking doesn't really provide anything other than a pool that youngsters might enjoy. Service as impeccable, which was not surprising. The river cruise staff impressed us immediately. While there were far more people onboard the Sea so that the staff didn't know our names within 24 hours like they did on the Rurik, we could not have asked for better service in the restaurants or from our room stewards. I do wonder at why Viking advertised that Venice was a stop, which to me implied that we would get an excursion when, in fact, it was just the end of the cruise, and if passengers wanted to see Venice, they had to book an extension. This was never mentioned to me when booking. A headsup about there being no time in Venice when booking 18 months in advance, would have been very helpful. St. Petersburg was our final stop on the Russian river cruise and we spent a couple of nights there and went on several excursions. My mistake for thinking when a port is advertised as such that it's included in the price of the cruise. As it turned out, we got a day in Venice. See below: There was one major CON and it had nothing to do with the sailing experience itself. The flight booking experience with Viking air department was a nightmare and, should we cruise again (and if we do it will be with Viking), we will most definitely arrange our own flights. I will never deal with their air department again. I booked our Premium Economy flights with them as soon as it was possible, which was 10 months in advance for the April cruise. In February 2016, I was planning our excursions and noticed on our Viking online trip calendar that we would dock in Venice at 6 a.m. Our flight was scheduled at 6:55 a.m. with 6:15 being the last check-in. No way we'd make that. I called and was told by a very prissy young woman after putting me on hold for almost 10 minutes that, yes, that was a problem and that they would be putting us on a flight that would have us making *three* stops instead of *one.* Unacceptable. Finally, I demanded they put us on the same flight the next day and was told that 1) We would have to pay a $200 penalty for that change, 2) We would have to pay for our own hotel, and 3) We would be responsible for our own transfers. I refused to pay the $200 for THEIR mistake and they finally conceded. I booked the hotel and got the cab from the ship. While in Athens, we sat at a table with a very nice couple from Australia and they told us of their wonderful experience with the Viking air department and how well they had been taken care of with proactive help which included contacting them and offering to pick them up at the Dubai airport and putting them up in a hotel for their 8-hour layover, as well as flying them in to Istanbul a day early and putting them up at a hotel overnight so they wouldn't be arriving in the evening and have a 4+ hour drive to Gallipoli for the Anzac observance prior to the cruise. I was quite surprised that Viking in Australia bent over backward for this couple while Viking U.S. tried to hold us responsible for their mistake. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016

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