6 Istanbul Repositioning Cruise Reviews

Many of the ports such as Athens, Aqaba, Luxor, Haifam, Suez Canal are all bucket list destinations and that's why we picked this cruise. At the main dining room they asked if we wanted to share dinner tables and we met a lot of ... Read More
Many of the ports such as Athens, Aqaba, Luxor, Haifam, Suez Canal are all bucket list destinations and that's why we picked this cruise. At the main dining room they asked if we wanted to share dinner tables and we met a lot of interesting people that way. The main dining room menu is extensive with more than 10 entree selections and the food especially the fish was always well cooked although I am not as fond of the desserts. The breakfast buffet always had lots of fruit and nuts and the egg/omelet line manageable. The crew is always helpful and cheerful. The entertainment for 21 nights and I missed only 2 was varied and good. Norwegian always had good dance productions. The library has a pretty good selection. The only drawback is deck chairs on deck 7, people put their towels or stuff on the chairs in the morning and they are seldom available and yet seldom used at the same time. They need a system of reservations or something. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
It is difficult to give an objective critique because my husband and I lucked out and spent 21 days in a gorgeous penthouse suite with butler and all the perks. (We usually stay in a regular balcony cabin). That being said, we were very ... Read More
It is difficult to give an objective critique because my husband and I lucked out and spent 21 days in a gorgeous penthouse suite with butler and all the perks. (We usually stay in a regular balcony cabin). That being said, we were very impressed with the friendliness and helpfulness of all of the crew and staff. We have taken more than ten cruises on many different cruise lines and I don't think I have come across better and friendlier service. My husband particularly liked not having to get dressed up for dinner; I liked the pool which was long enough to swim laps. Overall the entertainment was good. The food is above average and there are so many restaurants from which to choose that we decided not to pay extra for the four a la carte restaurants. We only signed up for one excursion with the Ship, preferring to go independently or on one of the Roll Call excursions which were more fairly priced. The interior design is more Scandinavian/modern than traditional/warm but that's a matter of personal taste. I would certainly recommend NCL--we had a fabulous time! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
A week before departing for our cruise a bomb went off targeting tourists in Istanbul, our port of embarkation. Following the incident Viking notified us of a change in itinerary, that we would not be staying overnight in Istanbul but ... Read More
A week before departing for our cruise a bomb went off targeting tourists in Istanbul, our port of embarkation. Following the incident Viking notified us of a change in itinerary, that we would not be staying overnight in Istanbul but would instead be sailing that evening to Canakkale (Troy). After we cleared customs at the Istanbul airport, Viking staff were at hand the moment we exited and immediately guided us to our coach. There were only six of us but they did not wait to fill up the coach which usually seats between 30 to 40 passengers and quickly whisked us away. A few months later after we returned from a fantastic trip, we heard on the news that a bomb went off at the Istanbul airport. It goes to show that Viking was extremely vigilant about getting their guests out of harms way by taking the extra precautionary measures to ensuring their safety. Once on board the Viking Sea, the ship, our stateroom, the ambience, the food and shore excursions were exceptional. Viking has set its bar high so why would we expect anything less than what is being advertised. Viking's values and how the staff work with their guests and with each other are some of the elements that distinguish them as a company and form the bedrock where Viking's reputation and business sit upon. Their competitors can attempt to copy and undertake work in a similar fashion, but they may not come close to copying their values and the Viking culture. We have been on their river cruise and experienced their ocean cruise, they excel in both lines. Our next cruise is to the West Indies in December on Viking Star and we are eagerly looking forward to having another phenomenal time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Although we had a wonderful time on board due to the great people we met from our Cruise Critic contacts, we felt the ship's atmosphere and entertainment were sorely lacking. Having travelled on the Infinity twice, we expected the ... Read More
Although we had a wonderful time on board due to the great people we met from our Cruise Critic contacts, we felt the ship's atmosphere and entertainment were sorely lacking. Having travelled on the Infinity twice, we expected the same experience or better in the Constellation. We were very disappointed. The crew and Maitre "D" in the dining room went out of their way to please us. We didn't like being nickeled and dimed for every little thing. A small bottle of water was $ 3:50, on shore . 50 cents! Food improved after the first two days which were sub-par. The changes made from past cruises were not appreciated. Unless you were in a suite, you could not use Michael's club and there was a separate dining room for suite travelers. The worst was canceling the stop in Israel that was supposed to be for three days. Most people booked the cruise because of the Israel stop. While we understood the reason, we didn't appreciate the replacements chosen as we had been there before, so we spent 5 days more in places we had already been and less time at sea to relax in the first 12 days of the cruise we had only two sea days. Very hectic. The crossing was great! The South American cruise on the infinity( 2014 ) had a very lively guitar player who entertained in the bar every night with such enthusiasm that you couldn't help wanting to dance and have a good time. The feeling when you left the dining room and heard his music was so upbeat that we looked forward to something similar on the Connie.....we didn't get it. All in all we enjoyed ourselves but it wasn't due to the cruise director or the entertainment...very disappointing. We made our own fun with our cruise critic group. The best lectures were those given by the traveling astronomer, Mr. Sink. He was wonderful! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Our boarding experience in Istanbul was excellent, priority boarding and no delays. The penthouse cabin was clean and extremely comfortable with ample room and a well furnished balcony.Janus our butler was swiftly at our side to introduce ... Read More
Our boarding experience in Istanbul was excellent, priority boarding and no delays. The penthouse cabin was clean and extremely comfortable with ample room and a well furnished balcony.Janus our butler was swiftly at our side to introduce himself and accommodated our requests with speed and a smile. During our two back to back cruises he proved to be an exceptional butler and nothing was any trouble, with many little extra touches. The food and service was very good in the main restaurant and excellent in the specialty restaurants. The Restaurant managers deserve special mention for excellance. However, the cost of wines was outrageous. We cruise a great deal and Oceania were charging more for average wines than higher rated ships charge for their fine wines! Not acceptable. Luckily we only booked one tour with Oceania, most of which consisted of being taken to places where we could shop! Total waste of time. Many passengers stopped doing overpriced ships tours and got together and organised their own. The standard of the lecturerers was excellent and the cooking demonstrations wasworth attending. Oceania are letting themselves down in their costings and of course everything is plus eighteen percent service charge. They run a good ship but many people felt they were being overcharged for all the extras. including the internet which again was more expensive than most other lines. Will we return? No. We will return to all inclusive cruising which is not much more expensive when you take into account all the overpriced extras. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
After 10 years of travelling on 4 star cruise ships and last year on Silversea, we decided to splurge and try the "yet to be built Seabourn Odessey". Travelling from Australia to start your cruise from an overseas port can be a ... Read More
After 10 years of travelling on 4 star cruise ships and last year on Silversea, we decided to splurge and try the "yet to be built Seabourn Odessey". Travelling from Australia to start your cruise from an overseas port can be a very expensive exercise, but almost 2 years before the Odessey was built we booked our cruise on the inaugural Transatlantic crossing as we thought it would be a special 6 star experience with some added highlights as it was the first time it crossed the Atlantic. To say the cruise was a disappointment is an understatement. Whilst the staterooms were spacious and comfortable and offered decent facilities, the rest of the ship was a let down. Corridors were often lined with laundry trolleys for most of the day, carpets throughout the corridors and public areas were badly stained (looked like the cleaning product bleached the stains), carpets had been patched in many places (badly and this is in a ship that was barely about 4 months old. How could this happen? We also felt that the ship lacked artwork throughout, furnishings were dull and there was a mish mash of different carpets in areas that didn't blend in well with the colour scheme. It is always nice to see scuptures and paintings around and we missed this. There was also a distinct lack of sofas/chairs scattered around that offered a quiet place to sit or wait for friends. The theatre was badly planned. What could have been prime seating next to the aisle centre to the stage was blocked by large columns, and the timber stage floor was a dark brown flat stain finish that was scuffed and looked grubby. During the second half of the cruise we booked the exclusive and supposedly very upmarket private spa area for a cost of $300. No one informed us that the pool was initially freezing then emptied, the day beds and all outdoor facilities were covered with soot and some facilites were not in operation. We asked for a refund as did 4 others that we knew of. This was a huge disappointment as we had planned to use the spa on the Crossing. The rear of deck 4 had no ambience. Cushions on the outdoor furniture were stained and most days were missing altogether. Much more could have been done to brighten it up. A photo shoot was being conducted on board for the first 10 days of the cruise and paying guests of Seabourn had to watch from the sidelines whist the main pool and whirlpool was taken over by photographers/models etc. Various other locations around the ship were also out of bounds on various days. This was not acceptable and we should have told this was going on as the shoots went on and on for hours and hours each day. Hello -----we were paying guests who couldn't use the facilities. We also found out that the photo crew/models/hangers-on had been allocated much better staterooms than we had and we felt that in the interests of good customer service, this shouldn't be so. Our stateroom was located next to a service area and after the first couple of days of not being able to rest due to metal grinding through to 7 pm we asked to be moved to a quieter cabin. To cut a long protracted story short, our request was denied. Apparently there was no spare rooms. 4 days later and by this time the noise was driving us crazy and we continued to request a quieter room. Then whilst we were at breakfast on the 5th day, our belongings were moved to a disabled room without our knowledge. The disabled room was awful. Our things were moved back to our noisy cabin. Then after we let management know that we were unhappy with the way they were handling things, they "found" an empty cabin. We were shown an identical room on the next floor up, same location, same everything. The cabin was full of the models/photographers baggage and had been empty of guests for the whole 5 days we were requesting a move. NO SPARE ROOMS !!!Meanwhile another couple on deck 4 were upgraded to a quieter room due to similar noise we were experiencing. NO SPARE ROOMS!! The day after we changed cabins, we were preparing to go on tour when a huge noise rumbled through our room and water started pouring into our bathroom and under the door. Outside, the roof had caved in after a water pipe had burst. We missed our tour, we were soaking wet and very unhappy. It was beginning to be a nightmare. Our room had a mouldy smell for the rest of the cruise, carpets were lifted up outside in the corridor, noisy fans were working most of the day to dry out the carpets, the roof was being repaired and pieces of carpet were being cut out and patched with old carpet pieces that didn't match. It was, and looked dreadful. Nice relaxing cruise so far !!!! We felt that senior management treated us poorly and were lacking any compassion. The rest of the cruise was uneventful but the Hotel Manager ignored us for the rest of the cruise and seemed unconcerned about what had happened. Our friends who travelled with us were very unimpressed and will not sail Seabourn again. After returning home we have corresponded to Head Office and we have been given a discount on a next cruise, but to be honest, we would have rather been treated like valued guests on the cruise we were on at the time. Seabourn needs to lift their game. We probably will not be able to use the discount so we have ended up with nothing but a bad experience and a depleted bank account. Shame on you Seabourn. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009

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