9 Lima Senior Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because Oceania has smaller ships and their food is excellent. This was a South America cruise going from Lima Peru to Buenos Aires Argentina. Being the month of March in the Southern Hemisphere, we expected and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because Oceania has smaller ships and their food is excellent. This was a South America cruise going from Lima Peru to Buenos Aires Argentina. Being the month of March in the Southern Hemisphere, we expected and received September type temperatures like the Northern Hemisphere. Sirena is very well kept still clean and attractive though it will be renovated soon. I like all the colors and schemes she has now but that will disappear with the addition of gray interior decor. My only issue with the ship was the aggressiveness and interruptions of the wine stewards and waiters in the main dining room. Those personnel need to be trained to present themselves and be recognized. So many times they would interrupt the table guests which to me is rude. On the last bus tour in BA, there was a passenger that was coughing incessantly. I caught his cold and am still suffering from it. I wrote a separate letter to Oceania suggesting that their ship chaperon(s) on the tours provide disposable masks on those busses for the "coughers" and on the vessel too. There are sick people who come on the ship even though they are given a questionnaire prior to boarding. Passengers do not have to divulge that they have a cold. Anyhow, I would recommend the Sirena and Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Finishing the Trip – Lima to San Diego – February 15 to March 4 , 2019 Why this cruise? We had sailed from San Diego to Callao/Lima 5 years ago on the “old” Statendam and wanted to do the return trip. This time we would be on ... Read More
Finishing the Trip – Lima to San Diego – February 15 to March 4 , 2019 Why this cruise? We had sailed from San Diego to Callao/Lima 5 years ago on the “old” Statendam and wanted to do the return trip. This time we would be on Volendam, and there were fewer port stops and more sea days, but we were looking for a relaxing experience which we found. Holland America is not our most favorite cruise line; but deserves a 4 star rating for its efforts and wide ranging itinerary selections. Getting there. We flew American Airlines to LAX, and then boarded a LATAM Airlines plane. This company was formed by a merger of a Chilean airline and a Brazilian airline, and they bought some Boeing 987 Dreamliners, one of which we flew. It was a very nice plane with excellent service, although I can never sleep on planes, even when stretched out in Business class as on this flight. Lima. We arrived on Saturday, and stayed at a hotel in Lima that night since we could not board the ship until Sunday. We also contacted our tour guide from our prior trip – Monica of Monica Tours Peru, for tours on Saturday and Monday. We booked transportation from the airport to our hotel on line before we left and would highly recommend the company – taxidatum@gmail.com. The cost was $18.00 with a senior discount, although I paid the driver $20.00. We stayed at the BTH Hotel which we found on both Trip Advisor and Trivago. It was very reasonable, and a fairly nice place with an extremely helpful desk staff that spoke excellent English. The restaurant was quite nice, with a decent dinner and excellent breakfast. The breakfast was included in the $108.00 hotel price! Getting on board can be a problem in Lima/Callao. One must have a pass to get on the dock. The cruise lines pick up passengers who have purchased air through them at the airport and drive them to the ship. All others must go to a hotel site to catch a cruise bus. We were able to get hold of taxidatum and they picked us up at the BTH hotel on Sunday and drove us to the Marriot Hotel in Miraflores for $15.00where we caught the shuttle bus to the ship. Boarding was actually on board the ship since there were few of us, so we made it to our stateroom and unpacked quickly. We stayed on board the rest of the day, and met Monica for another tour of Lima on Monday before we did our own little muster drill and sailed away that afternoon The Volendam Our ship was constructed in 1999 and had been refurbished a few years ago. Its normal passenger complement is 1400 in a 60,000 gross tonnage craft which makes for a decent space ratio of 42.85 cubic feet per passenger. The public spaces have lots of seating and tend to have dark wood with old fashioned prints and decorative pieces. There are three elevator/stair banks which allow very decent passenger flow. It is easy to get around and the only crowds are in the theater for shows. There are two pools, one midships and the other aft – both on the Lido deck. The library is part of the computer room, but was never crowded. There is a separate Digital Workshop room. Our Stateroom We had a standard verandah cabin on Deck 6. Volendam shows its age in its offering of cabins. Only the upper two stateroom decks, 6 and 7 have verandahs. Decks 3, 4 and 5 staterooms have only windows. Our layout had a fair amount of room with a full length leather couch opposite a nice desk with 6 full drawers. The closets were opposite the bath which had a tub/ shower. The lighting was good, and we managed to get the temperature to a decent level. The verandah had a lounge chair as well as a side chair. We were only a few steps from the mid ships elevators, two decks below the Lido deck, and two above the main dining room and theater. Entertainment The production shows, with four singers and six dancers were not bad, although quite loud as is common. There was one other musician playing a variety of instruments, with a comic patter. There were three comedians, which we skipped. There was a trio of lady singers who were not bad. The classical music was provided by a violinist with a piano accompanist. They played 4 sets on most nights, but did not play at all on a few nights. We gave the whole entertainment panoply a 5 out of 10 rating. On Board Information Presentations. These were fairly extensive and well done. There was a Digital Workshop host – Frank – who did from one to four presentations every day and was quite knowledgeable. There were regular talks about the places we would visit. The ship has a large demonstration kitchen with a presentation cook doing at least one cooking show each morning and afternoon. In addition there were the usual bridge and mah jong games, along with arts and crafts, and the Wajang Theater showed movies three three times a day. All told, there was plenty to do on board. Food Holland America does a pretty good job with food, although it does not come close to Crystal or Oceania. The main dining room is on Decks 4 and 5, with 4 being for open seating and 5 for set seating. Service for dinner starts at 5:15 and is busy immediately sine the evening shows start at 8:00 and people start arriving at the theater at 7:00. In addition to the dining room, there is the Pinnacle Room with a charge of $50.00 per person. We ate there one night as the guest of our travel agent, and it was quite good. We also were guests at Canaletto, which is an Italian Restaurant set up each night at a section of the Lido buffet. For $15.00 extra per person it was quite good. The Lido buffet itself has good selections and keeps the food hot, but the service is somewhat short handed, both on the serving line and in the restaurant portion. Getting coffee in the morning was often a struggle. There was only one soup for lunch, but sushi was always available. The pastries were quite fine. My wife is a vegetarian and was almost always able to obtain a decent selection. I would rate the food experience at 8.5 out of 10, below the 9.4 and 9.5 of Oceania and Crystal; and in the same range as Princess and Celebrity. Fellow Passengers Holland America does not cater much to children, and there were only 3 on board. The overwhelming number of us were in the Medicare set, and mostly American and Canadian, with a few Germans. The clothing style was very casual, with only a slight improvement on the “formal” nights. This seems to be the way cruising is headed these days. Many had extensive cruising experience, and we had lots of pleasant conversations. The Crew As always, the crew was friendly and generally helpful. Most of the dining room and buffet staff, and all of the cabin workers were Indonesian, a practice this line has followed dating back to when Indonesia was the Dutch East Indies. They are uniformly friendly and smiling. The Captain, a German, was often seen about the ship. Holland America has a long sea faring history, and knows how to sail a ship quite well, thank you. Ports of Call. The first stop was 130 miles south of Callao at a place called General San Martin. It is only a pier and the town of Paracas is about 10 miles away. The area is the most barren desert we have ever seen. It probably could be called the Peruvian extension of Chile’s Atacama Desert, just about the driest place on earth. But, here was an excellent tour available to the off shore Ballestas Islands. I had found this tour on line and we paid $15.75 apiece. The ship’s tour cost $164.95 per person! That was a nice savings of $300.00 indeed. The tour was in an open boat holding about 40 people. There were several such boats and ours did not have any cruise passengers because we boarded through the company (Paracas Explorer – bookings@findlocaltrips.com) that sold us the tickets. The Ballestas Islands contain a variety of birds such as boobies, cormorants, pelicans and penguins as well as seals and dolphins. The birds provide a huge amount of guano, which is carefully guarded until it is removed and sold at a high price. The birds are evidently undisturbed by the removal process. On the way out we saw a huge carving on the side of a hill in the style of the ancient Nazca tribe. The boat trip took about two + hours and was well worth it, especially at $30.00 for both of us. All the rest of our tour were HAL tours. A very nice guide book showing all the tours was provided, and there was a wide selection in most ports. After three sea, days we arrived at Punta Arenas, Costa Rica where we took a ships bus tour and enjoyed a local dance show and later a stop at a souvenir shop. Costa Rica is a very nice country with a stable democratic government, no army and one of the highest literacy rates in the world. We did not get off the ship in Nicaragua, the next stop. The following day we toured the city of Antigua in Guatemala. This city is a UNESCO World Heritage site which means a real effort has been made at preservation. The first stop was the Jade Museum, where the presenter was a lady from Yorkshire. The individuals who discovered the jade were from Texas and the wife was present in the museum and store. The collection was quite beautiful. We also drove around town with a guide who was quite frank about the poor state of affairs in her country due to corruption and a concentration of wealth in 20 families. The literacy rate here is one of the worst in the world. But the cost of living is quite low. After two sea days we arrived at Manzanillo, Mexico, which is a pleasant town, where we did a typical tour which was hardly memorable. The next day was spent in Puerto Vallarta, where we have spent some time in the past. The tour was fairly short and again, not exciting, but pleasant. After two sea days we arrived in San Diego. Disembarkation went smoothly. Overall Rating We took this cruise for two reasons. The first was to finish the Inca Empire cruise which we had started five years ago. The second attraction was the number of sea days, and the way they were spaced. We find these days most relaxing. I was able to enjoy exercising in the pools, do a lot of reading, staring at the ocean, and of course, eat. So, while this was not our most exciting trip, it provided just what we wanted, 15 days at ease. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Thought this would be a journey of a lifetime Positives Cabin Good cabin staff Harold & Joycelen excellent room sevice good Guest entertainers Good Guest Lecturer Dr. Ron Orenstein excellent The Patio service ... Read More
Thought this would be a journey of a lifetime Positives Cabin Good cabin staff Harold & Joycelen excellent room sevice good Guest entertainers Good Guest Lecturer Dr. Ron Orenstein excellent The Patio service excellent Waiter in cabaret lounge Armadeo excellent Negatives Check in not very good. Azamara badly damaged suitcase in transit Food and service in discoveries not very good most of menu same for 21 days you areassigned a different table each night. Problem with ships evaporators shortage of waterfor engines, reduced speed miss a port. Norovirus on ship a few days. Pianist left shipweek to replace. Karioke machine packed up. Top & swirl machine not working 10 days Destinations lecturer very poor in fact removed from ship next lectures not much better. Misinformation given several times by cruise director. White night outside cancelledbecause to cold. Cancelled Falklands said because of high seas & winds. White nightevent outside cancelled because to cold. Azamazing evening in Montevideo auditoriumunsuitable floor flat sitting on wooden folding chairs made it extremely difficult to seeentertainers the crew had the best view standing in the aisles and on raised area at back Azamara said they do not now give out customer feedback forms they will E.mail you Still waiting Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Lima is the worst embarkation experience ever. Our transfer dropped us off a Oceania pickup point filled with hucksters trying to help us with our bags. We were lucky when we got on the Oceania coach to take us to the ship. There were ... Read More
Lima is the worst embarkation experience ever. Our transfer dropped us off a Oceania pickup point filled with hucksters trying to help us with our bags. We were lucky when we got on the Oceania coach to take us to the ship. There were only two of us. The competition with shipping trucks was chaos. The backup for the port security guard to check our passport and sift through disorganized paperwork to find our name took and inordinate amount of time. Imagine the later coaches FILLED with passenger. The back up was horrible. My wife has special dietary restrictions. It took a third of the cruise before the came close to meeting her needs. The ship is tired and outdated. We went on the Basic City Tour Excursion in Iquique in the Atacama Desert. Oceania put 25 elderly passengers coming from winter in North America on an UNAIRCONDITIONED bus with temps in the high 80 in the . By the time we got to town, I was soaked with sweat. I told the tour guide he needed to get the bus fixed. We did a walk around and a tour of a museum and palace. When we met up with the bus, it was not fixed. I bailed on the excursion and walked back to take the shuttle back to the ship. I complained at the excursion desk. After a non-committal initial response, Oceania sent a second written reply giving us a 25% refund. HOW GENEROUS, he said facetiously. There was so much right and wrong about the cruise. When you can't use the toilet in your cabin and they can't get your wife's food correct, it spoils the whole cruise experience. Our previous experience on the Oceania Marina was entirely different. My final word for Oceania is this. Viking Ocean cruises is coming for you with a fleet a brand new ships and a base cabin that is better than this ship's veranda cabin. The days with you can compete with an outdated ship and an inferior cabin (bathroom) design ARE NUMBERED. The word is going to get out. A 'luxury cruiseline'. Not on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We had a choice of Regent or their sister line, Oceania for the same itinerary. We decided to give Regent a try and we were very happy we did. We had sailed Oceania before and we found Regent ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We had a choice of Regent or their sister line, Oceania for the same itinerary. We decided to give Regent a try and we were very happy we did. We had sailed Oceania before and we found Regent and Oceania comparable in most ways. We also found the cost to be about the same when you add the things that are included on Regent to similar things at extra cost on Oceania. We also liked that business class air was available. The things that we found better on Regent than Oceania: Embarkation was smooth and simple. We disembarked independently and that went smoothly as well. Our Category G cabin was larger and the bathroom much nicer than the similar category on Oceania's small ships. The included excursions were not nearly as crowded as similar excursion either included or at cost on Oceania. Fewer people made for a more intimate and comfortable excursion experience. Also, the excursions seemed to be paced better for the audience. Food is comparable on both lines. Launderettes are free and busy but we never had a serious problem using them when they were open. The shore excursion organization on the Regent Mariner was much better organized and operated more smoothly than our last cruise on the Oceania Insignia last April/May. The one complaint many people had came during the time the ship was dealing with a gastroenteritis outbreak. The quarantine process was well run and the staff worked hard and contained the outbreak but the outbreak required the closing of the free launderettes for over a week. That made it difficult for those onboard that needed to wash clothes. A larger group of the passengers felt like the ship should have offered free laundry during that period of time. All in all, we really enjoyed the experience enough to book another cruise on Regent. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Chose this cruise for itinerary. That was the only good thing. Embarkation in Lima was disgraceful. We arrived at port in taxi dropped off outside the port to be faced with a very large queue no shelter from the blistering heat, no staff ... Read More
Chose this cruise for itinerary. That was the only good thing. Embarkation in Lima was disgraceful. We arrived at port in taxi dropped off outside the port to be faced with a very large queue no shelter from the blistering heat, no staff present. We were then transferred to the ship by bus to be met with an even longer queue, waiting to embark,we even had to unload our own cases from the bus, no porters, no Oceania representatives,no organisation. From time we arrived at port to getting on board took us 3 hours no kidding. General manager eventually appeared claiming to lay blame on port of Lima for not having terminal building. Tendering service was another major issue .Easter island took us 4.30 hrs to get off ship, never experienced a tender service so slow,if you are not doing an excursion with the company you are treat like a second class citizen. After visiting the island and returned to the tender point we were faced with another long queue to get back on board 2.30 hours we waited to get on board. Once again general manager blamed conditions of sea and the clientele , not many spring chickens and various disabilities. Staff behind buffet counters in terrace cafe were very unenthusiastic ,didn't seem to be able to use initiative. Many times in waves grill we appeared invisible, took so long to have table set. Presentation of the food wasn't like it used to be. After rainfall, promenade decks were deadly, deckhands didn't seem to be programmed to clear the large pools of water they preferred to place a sign up warning you the decks were slippery when wet. Outbreak of gastroenteritis did not help matters either. Many of the facilities were closed, staff were also affected, restaurants appeared like staff canteens , paper table cloths, menus etc. TV and Movie channels were poor throughout the cruise. Speciality restaurants were excellent waiting staff there couldn't do enough for you. To sum up ,having cruised with Oceania a few year ago, the quality of the service has gone a long way down hill,does not warrant the premium price of the cruise. Will be very surprised if I am the only one with negative reviews. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Started in Lima den 16.01.2018 We booked the trip mostly because of the destinationstrip sounded good and free internet, :-( - The ship said it's on their website that the internet is bad??? That almost never worked, and ... Read More
Started in Lima den 16.01.2018 We booked the trip mostly because of the destinationstrip sounded good and free internet, :-( - The ship said it's on their website that the internet is bad??? That almost never worked, and it took so long to come across that I most often gave up The telephone connection was also a very very big problem..... Date 16.03.2018 in Lima It was not fun to stand in the strong sun and wait for access to the ship, which turned out to be a bus that carried us on to the ship, where we also had to stand and wait in the sun, no water etc. -........................ NOT WORTH a 5 * SHIP In our suite the waiter was okay, -but service at the buffet and at the bars could be better. Our suite lounge closed when the ship thought there were bacteria on board, I think it was closed 8 days In the buffet we had to beg for salt and pepper (often more than once) :-( There was just "closed down" for many things in a large part of the trip. Because the ship tried to "freeze me" by entry and exit of the ship + in the dining room, theater, waiting for tickets etc. (due to bacteria) I got sick (not bacteria) and got in treatment (like many others I could look at elastic bands as many used to the drops to needles in the arm) the medications were good and nice. BUT: My Insurance company wanted to pay to the ship or to the head office, but was not allowed for the ship to pay $: 9657- as it cost, for my visit 7 times at the medical department on the ship - The ship closed for my 2 payment cards because they could not withdraw the money, they said... I think it was UNFORGIVABLE of them. but anyway I said that was fine, because then I could not pay! :-) ......Unfortunately, ;-/ they opened my cards again within 2 days, without excuse, - and of course they've also pulled the money from my account So they could take the money anyway ... We arrived at Tahiti on Feb. 3 -2018 Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
The itinerary was boring. There was one lecturer;she was excellent, but she was solo. he food was ok,butt the big problem was that many passengers became ill, including my husband, who happens to be a physician. A trip to the ship's ... Read More
The itinerary was boring. There was one lecturer;she was excellent, but she was solo. he food was ok,butt the big problem was that many passengers became ill, including my husband, who happens to be a physician. A trip to the ship's doctor cost $750 for the doctor's services and another $700 for medication which cost 3 times less in the states. My husband contracted the flu although both of us were vaccinated prior to boarding. The doctor prescribed Tamaflu for each of us; preventively for me and as a treatment for my husband. At $300 per packet, it was almost 3 times the cost in the U.S. as a local pharmacy. I can't imagine a fine cruise line which charges for an upscale experience needing to overcharge their passengers who have no choice but to use their service. Be sure to take every conceivable medication with you on your next cruise...you may need it!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We have sailed with Oceania once before which was great, but it was 3 years ago and on Regatta before they were taken over by NCCL and what a difference. Marina is a beautiful ship, the cabins10062 was fine, bathroom excellent. ... Read More
We have sailed with Oceania once before which was great, but it was 3 years ago and on Regatta before they were taken over by NCCL and what a difference. Marina is a beautiful ship, the cabins10062 was fine, bathroom excellent. Originally we were in cabin 9012 . On arrival the toilet was full of sewage which we flushed and didn't think too much about. However for the next four days we had sewage coming up in the toilet! We complained on the second day and were sent the plumber who was from Eastern Europe. He proceeded to tell my husband that he did not know how to flush the toilet and proceeded to give him a lesson. We were furious. We then complained to reception who put us in touch with Javier Cortes who made all the right noises and eventually moved us to another cabin. Quite a horrible first few days. Other than that we were not offered any other kind of compensation. The ship also had Noro virus on board which completely altered everything. The concierge lounge didn't have anything to eat in it, only paper cups, the self service laundry was closed, various food was not available. The concierge level is a total waste of time. We did not get any benefit from this at all. In Lima there was no priority boarding, the lounge was a room on Deck 9 too small with not much in it. The concierge sitting area in Canyon Spa a to altar waste of time, no room for everyone, no shade and really useless. Certainly not worth the extra money. The speciality restaurants are quite good but the main dining room was poor. The menu is limited, one evening there was nothing on the menu we could eat. The food was all cold, the staff were disorganised, the wine waiters fairly useless, they know nothing about the wines they were selling. There were not enough waiters especially at breakfast so there was a long wait for food. The waves terrace cafe was shambolic. They ran out of food, there was nowhere to sit quite often, the service was poor and it seemed badly run. We play bridge and there was hosted bridge on sea days . This also was shambolic, the two directors were disorganised, rather rude and really poor directors. If you are going to have bridge make sure the people running it know what they are doing, these two did not. I went to a cooking class which was excellently run and well thought out. The entertainment is very mediocre. The shows put on by a company that had two lead singers who could not sing! Pretty grim to listen to. The dancing was ok and the best show was on the last day when a singer who impersonated great singers came on. He was fabulous. There was also a female singer early on who was great. I hated the juggler, really juvenile but the comedians were also very good. The enrichment lecturer was excellent, really knowledgable and her lectures well delivered and prepared. The stops were ok, the best being Salvery Peru, Panama Canal, Miami, Port Canaveral, Charleston. We did not do ships tours but those who did complained how expensive they were. We had a nice holiday but not our best and we don't think we would go on Oceania again as it just isn't good enough for us. We like 5 star and this definitely like isn't that any longer. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015

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