10 Lisbon Entertainment Cruise Reviews

In August, 2018, we first cruised along the coast of Croatia on Le Lyrial. It was fabulous-great weather, beautiful scenery with clear bright skies and turquoise waters. Our choice to do the Laperouse cruise was in part due to coordinating ... Read More
In August, 2018, we first cruised along the coast of Croatia on Le Lyrial. It was fabulous-great weather, beautiful scenery with clear bright skies and turquoise waters. Our choice to do the Laperouse cruise was in part due to coordinating it with the end of the Croatian cruise on Le Lyrial. We had a wonderful week in between the two cruises in Portugal before embarking on Le Laperouse. The interesting feature of Le Laperouse was its attention to live Jazz during the cruise, the intimate size of the ship and the service we received. On both ships we were treated with a great deal of personal care. Our cabin stewards were attentive and thorough. The dining choices were quite varied and the menus were delicious. Our wine stewards were quite helpful with pairing delicious tastes to complement our meals. We very much enjoy meeting with other English speaking guests and having lively discussions with them. The Captain and the cruise directors are very good at organizing get together sessions-both formal and informal. We had a very informative group discussion with the French guest journalist on Le Laprouse, Ms. Christian Makarian. It was a much appreciated chance to listen to viewpoints from all over the world concerning global affairs. We only wish it could have been longer! Our dinners at the Captain's table are always the highlight of our cruises. Thank you for allowing us the priviilege to dine with them. It is wonderful to share conversation about informative and cultural experiences with the Captains and his guests. It is the best! We also enjoy the time the Captain's Bridge is available for touring. We are big fans of seeing the intricacies that it takes to operate your ships. In closing we would like to express our appreciation to all the ship's staff that complete the making of our trips with Ponant so enlightening. We look forward to many more to come. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Always wanted to cross the ocean and Lisbon was a bonus for us. Spent five days there before the crossing. Thoroughly enjoyed the cuisine in all venues. Such great food and superb service. Like that it is all inclusive including the ... Read More
Always wanted to cross the ocean and Lisbon was a bonus for us. Spent five days there before the crossing. Thoroughly enjoyed the cuisine in all venues. Such great food and superb service. Like that it is all inclusive including the spa which is lovely and relaxing. Only have rave revues for this beautiful ship, crew and amenities. The entertainment was great each night and often during the day. I like that it is so clean and I don't have to block my ears with dirty humor or words. The lectures during the day were interesting. We really liked the four talks by the man who rowed the Atlantic, and Pacific. Amazing and perfect as we crossed an ocean. I liked using the spa, hot tub, sauna and snow room as well as big pool which was a wave pool one day as we rolled with the sea. The two stops were great, seeing the Azores and Bermuda which we had never visited. Interesting tour in the Azores. included. A surprise which we enjoyed was the ability to watch tv In Our room and see the series of Downtin Abbey. You see, we liked the whole experience and the Viking Sun is a lovely new ship. Thank you for a perfect cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I did not like paying for all my excursions off the ship. Being charged additional for 2 of the 4 restaurants on board was very petty. I felt after saying all food was included was a lie. The food was excellent and so was the service. ... Read More
I did not like paying for all my excursions off the ship. Being charged additional for 2 of the 4 restaurants on board was very petty. I felt after saying all food was included was a lie. The food was excellent and so was the service. The pool was closed 2 days do to filter issues and the excersiize facility was too small. Two of the 4 machines were out of order! Not very appealing for a choice for a second cruise! I felt I was overcharged and underdelivered on my cruise package!!! I am a Colonel in a Bourbon Society in SC and the 2 Bourbon selection Jim Beam and Makers Mark were very poor A 2 star Bourbon for a 5 star cruise! You need Blantons and Woodford Reserve at a minimum! Wake up and smell the roses....we did meet 2 nice couples on board and the Artwork was excellent. You did not offer photos as a souvenir or an art show or auction.. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this cruise to compliment our Portugal vacation and Viking did not disappoint. After a start in Lisbon that provided great tours, the under construction Tivoli hotel had great breakfasts; but some rooms had no wifi and no hot ... Read More
We chose this cruise to compliment our Portugal vacation and Viking did not disappoint. After a start in Lisbon that provided great tours, the under construction Tivoli hotel had great breakfasts; but some rooms had no wifi and no hot water on the second day. The Viking hotel manager quickly provided shipboard credit that gave us a luxurious experience free from worries about any charges. The Viking Hemming is a smaller river ship river. Clean, comfortable, happy staff ready to say yes to your request and with terrific meals provided by the chef and restaurant staff. The Douro River has stunning vistas and is a photographers paradise. The tours are well organized, the buses near new and never crammed full. The tour guides were some of the best we have experienced. Very knowledgeable and their pace never rushed the small groups we were divided into. A 5 star cruise we would recommend to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We so much enjoyed our previous Viking cruise, Amsterdam to Budapest, that we were eager to try a second Viking cruise. We had never been to Portugal, and we had heard others praise its beauty. Also, this was at the perfect time, because ... Read More
We so much enjoyed our previous Viking cruise, Amsterdam to Budapest, that we were eager to try a second Viking cruise. We had never been to Portugal, and we had heard others praise its beauty. Also, this was at the perfect time, because it started just after we finished a convention elsewhere in Europe. The Duoro river is beautiful. Because the ship is small, we got to know our tour guide well. The first day in Lisbon was a highlight. Another other major highlight was the very old library, where they let bats live behind the stacks because the bats eat moths that would eat the books! The ancient college in Salamanca was another highlight, with a very informative guide. The only weak spot was that because this was the first cruise of the year, the kitchen had a little trouble getting organized for dinner... sometimes ran out of a popular food, or had slower than expected service. But Viking did everything they could to remedy the problems, including hiring some extra staff after a day or two. We learned much about Portugal and its history and culture. We are big fans of Viking, and we have already signed up for another cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We choose a uniworld cruise on Queen Isabel, which was a special offer in the Telegraph. Had a most enjoyable river cruise on the Douro. Cruise staff were helpful and friendly, very efficient cruise director. Interesting variety of ... Read More
We choose a uniworld cruise on Queen Isabel, which was a special offer in the Telegraph. Had a most enjoyable river cruise on the Douro. Cruise staff were helpful and friendly, very efficient cruise director. Interesting variety of visits, including two vineyards, and the Douro National Park. Food was excellent and all trips and tips included. Cabin very small but functional, could of done with more storage. Food breakfast choice of self service in main lounge and served breakfast in restaurant.Great choice of fruit, juices, cold meats, cereals, yoghurts, cooked breakfast, croissant and breads. Lunch again choice of venues, both help yourself. Main restruant choice of hot and cold main courses. Good choice of drinks 24 hrs a day, including cocktails in the evening. Mix of Brits, Americans and Canadians on board Would certainly consider Uniworld again, all inclusive river cruises to be recommended. Holiday also included two days in Lisbon, which was a interesting city Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Wonderful destination with a beautiful country and very friendly people. The itinerary and Vikings staff and accommodations were beyond prior cruises. Great optional tours and sights. The opportunity to be entertained on the ship with ... Read More
Wonderful destination with a beautiful country and very friendly people. The itinerary and Vikings staff and accommodations were beyond prior cruises. Great optional tours and sights. The opportunity to be entertained on the ship with specialists that entertained and educated us was very important. The social director was professional and provided a knowledgeable support to help us understand the people,country and customs. the menu varieties offered territorial foods, grains, cheeses and beverages that allowed us to enjoy the flavors and tastes of origin creativity. The staff were meticulous in their attention to our requests and keeping our cabin, dining areas and common use areas of the lounge, decks and atrium both clean and fresh. The bar and lounge area offered a local and very good selection of beverages. Evenings were enjoyed with alternative entertainment with local performances both on the ship and off in the local venues. The evening serenades of the piano and songs provided a chance for karaoke and professional song performances. Overall, the Osfrid's cruise was a satisfying delightful adventure that fulfilled our cultural and relaxing goals in what we wished to achieve. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
After 3 memorable experiences on MSC’s ships was not at all a surprise that I decided to comeback. This time I was cheating on my first MSC love “Preziosa” and choose, for a 9 day trip, her sister ship “Splendida” Since the ... Read More
After 3 memorable experiences on MSC’s ships was not at all a surprise that I decided to comeback. This time I was cheating on my first MSC love “Preziosa” and choose, for a 9 day trip, her sister ship “Splendida” Since the very first moment on board MSC Splendida I had the “back home” feeling; the ship has the exact layout of the Preziosa with some theme-lines changed slightly, just perfect to give me the comfortable balance between NEW and FAMILIAR. Splendida is big on bling, with an eye-popping golden Swarovski-crystal-inlaid staircase in the Yacht Club’s double-height foyer which pales into insignificance when compared with its larger sister in the main atrium. We start our voyage in Lisbon, an ideal embarkation port if you don’t like big airports and long taxi rides to the port. In the Portuguese capital is pointless to book a transfer when the taxi is always waiting for customer and a trip to the port will cost no more than 35 Euros. Even if was stated on our travel documents that the embarkation will start at 1.00PM, due to our early flight we arrived in port around 10.30AM. We decided to leave the luggage in the terminal and run for a coffee waiting for embarkation procedures to start. The staff in the terminal informed us that they will call the ship to let them know that we arrived already but, to be honest we didn’t expect to board the ship earlier than the official boarding time. Wrong assumption and great proof that MSC Yacht Club service is most of the time above any expectations: in less than 10 minutes the Assistant Head Butler Dani find us in the terminal and in less than another 10 minutes we were in our stateroom – 15016 which was …. READY! I checked my watch and it was 11.15AM…that’s a big WOW!!! Our cabin, 15016, was a YC1 grade, which doesn’t compete with similar cabins on other cruise liners; is not very generous from the space available point of view. A living area gives the cabin the “luxury air”, the walk-in closet – quite small if you care about your appearance on board – is a big plus taking in the account the limited storage space in the room and the balcony is the size of a normal balcony cabin. Maybe the only feature which doesn’t match the “exclusive” marketed image of the Yacht Club is the bathroom: a very small space trying to accommodate a normal size bathtub. A big plus for the deco and colour scheme of the room which creates an elegant, home like feeling. With no doubts the biggest asset of our journey in Splendida’s Yacht Club was our butler Edwin. This was the third time when we had the privilege to have him on board and I was more than happy and please to see that his standards hadn’t change at all. Originally from Honduras, Edwin has the perfect personality and knowledge for his position, recording with maximum care the likes and dislikes of guests and always add a sort of special touch for any requests that he received. Having Edwin for 9 days created a sense of calm. He quietly and discreetly thought ahead and ensured that every detail that makes the day go smoothly happened with maximum efficiency and minimum fuss. With his assistant butler Oleana, a charming girl from Ukraine, the kept our room in a perfect state, with everything being in the same place, the right one, all the time. Is interesting how during the entire voyage we didn’t need to ask for anything, and both Edwin and Oleana, were one step ahead us anticipating any type of requests, bringing a sense of security in our experience in an unnoticeable way. The Yacht Club offers to the guests the “Top Sail Lounge” a perfect multifunctional laid space for any moments of the day: an attentive Continental breakfast service in the morning, a high tea in the afternoon, a pre-dinner drink ambiance in the evening and even a late snack for those looking for a quiet night-cup. A small army of butlers and assistant butlers were always around ready not only to take orders but to suggest our next delicious choice. Anna, a lovely Ukrainian young lady, was an elegant and charming presence in the Top Sail lounge, always ready not only to serve but to have a smooth pleasant conversation with all the guests. The atmosphere was complimented with live music sometimes in the afternoon and evening. I must say that my previous suggestion regarding the diversity of musical acts was implemented and three different musical styles were rotated in the lounge during our cruise. Maybe something more lively will be a good idea, especially in the evenings when the audience was up for some fun. The perks for Yacht Club’s guests don’t end with a nice room and personalised service; even during the day when we were part of different shore excursion, the YC status gave us the chance to avoid long lines and wasting time in different areas waiting for the excursion to starts, like on Norwegian Cruise Line or Cunard. With our tickets, we received the time when we will meet our host in the lounge, relaxing with a cup of coffee, before the excursion starts. The host will escort you directly to the point where the guide will start the tour: no lines and waiting for the elevator, access to gangway or security checks. Smooth and very pleasurable! Another big asset for the MSC Splendida’s team was the Assistant Head Butler – Dani. More than once I was sure that he must have some clones in his cabin because he was always anytime everywhere if you will need any assistance. I mentioned our early embarkation in Lisbon, but Dani surpassed himself in Malaga when he appeared from … nowhere and escorted us straight to the shuttle bus avoiding the long and unnecessary queue. More than that his way to anticipate needs and wishes was more than a skill, it was a talent! One day, before a long tour he overhead myself talking about having a typical Italian pizza room delivery later that day. And what a surprise, at my return in the cabin, a lovely MSC Splendida Special fresh made pizza was waiting with all the toppings that you can dream about. What an amazing little special touch! And the pizza was delicious too! I do hope that, on my next MSC cruise, I will have the privilege to have Dani as a Head Butler, he deserves it 150%. This unashamedly elitist experience vanished when I left the YC and I was wondering the rest of Splendida trying to enhance my experience on-board. No difference with the other cruise ship: a feeling of mass produced cruise, with “must have fun” dictated by a, maybe too energetic, animation team and a service which seems to be rushed and tributary to a general routine and “whatever” attitude. Maybe I exaggerate a little bit, but the difference between YC experience and the rest of the ship is more than obvious. I discover a single “breath of fresh air” in the entire ship outside Yacht Club: Alex a bartender in the Aft Lounge. Originally from Romania, Alex didn’t stop to amaze us not only with his bartender and mixology knowledge but with his positive attitude, his high standard manners, his sense of humour and conversational abilities. Actually he was the only reason for which we were spending couple of hours every evening in quite a noisy and busy lounge filled up with low key entertainment. I was wondering couple of time why Alex was not a presence in the Yacht Club where his skills and talents will be well used and appreciated? What I do like about Splendida lay-out is that the designer manages to create a lot of different spaces with different personalities, able to attract different sub-populations of guests: a cosy piano-bar, a quite trendy disco-club, a bright light “piazzeta” style area, an elegant wine bar or the large glitzy atrium. No matter how fussy you are for sure you will find on-board your favourite spot. And nothing is too big or too much. An intrigue choice is the speciality restaurant; on Preziosa you can choose between an Italian and a trendy up-market Fusion restaurants, but here, on Splendida the only choice was a Tex-Mex! I was a little bit reluctant initially, but, after the first dinner there, the efficient service, delicious food and reasonable price made me to return before the end of the voyage. Moving to things that need to be change if MSC wants to be a strong competitor on the very busy cruise market I think the biggest disappointment is from far the on-board entertainment. On one hand, some acts are on expected cruise ship standards: the duos in the Purple Jazz Bar, Irina - the pianist in the Top Sail Lounge or the excellent Swarovski trio are filling the space and time with decent performances. On the other hand, what I don’t understand is the “talent competition” level of the big theatre shows! On a ship under a flag bearing a history of fantastic Italian entertainment (San Remo, Rai Uno or Canal 5) the dancers and especially the singers made any attempts to watch the shows painful. The lack of interest or personality of the Cruise Director Franco was maybe the reason for the performance of noisy and amateurish animation team, in line more with a cheap holiday all-inclusive resort than a famous cruise line. All the team parties were full of screaming and jumping with the same line dance routine no matter the music! Fortunately, the cocktails in the Aft Lounge manage to ease the pain created by a very annoying animation team. Who told them that good entertainment means screaming in a microphone and rolling on the dance floor? Don’t be surprised that I didn’t mention anything yet about the dining experience on board MSC Splendida. That was, I think, the only downside of our trip. L’Olivo, located at the back of the ship, is the restaurant dedicated to Yacht Club guests and is an elegant Mediterranean ambiance. Unfortunately, our experience on Preziosa was repeated this time on Splendida too: the quality of the dishes and variety of the menus seem to be results of a dramatic budget cuts. Nothing that will remind you of the fresh and simple Italian traditional cuisine. But as I eat to live and vice versa the over-processed and not at all inspired meal choices didn’t bother me at all. Most upsetting was the level of service. A Maitre D’ arrogant and with no manners, a complete absence of standards and consistency in service and a rush and “whatever” service style made me to avoid as much as possible (only 3 nights of 9 dining in the restaurant) the place. If MSC wants to impose the Yacht Club product on the luxury cruise market a lot of work must be done in the restaurant department, where the lack of efficient and professional middle management ruin the culinary experience on board placing the standards of the Yacht Club restaurant on the same level with P&O or Costa main dining room. And that’s not a compliment! What I would like MSC to change? Couple of small but important things: - A restaurant menu and service which match the level of service in the Yacht Club and expectations from an exclusive product - A Concierge Service more focused in finding solutions than using NO as a general answer - A real package to differentiate the different loyalty level of guests to the same standards as other cruise liners. - An entertainment more modern and flexible without the air of a cheap holiday resort. - The extension of the perks associated with the Yacht Club on the entire ship (beverage service for example) I know that nobody is perfect but being a great believer in MSC quality and future, I am sure that the company will start moving in the right direction in the Restaurant and Concierge/Front Desk department to support the amazing efforts and results of the rest of Yacht Club team. For me, MSC Yacht Club is for sure one of the choices when is time to book a new cruise. Is close to what exclusivity and luxury means when I am thinking about cruising. The almost perfect product, the amazing crew and the feeling that pampering is a lifestyle on board MSC ships make me hope that the company is on the right path. That’s way I can’t wait for our next MSC Yacht Club experience: a week on Fantasia in December and a return on Splendida in January. Thank you very much MSC Splendida, thank you amazing crew of Yacht Club team! See you soon! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise because of the big band and ballroom theme and we were not disappointed. The Tommy Dorsey orchestra under the direction of Terry Myer was superb. Y husband is a retired trombone player from the Pittsburgh Symphony ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the big band and ballroom theme and we were not disappointed. The Tommy Dorsey orchestra under the direction of Terry Myer was superb. Y husband is a retired trombone player from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and he was thrilled to here this ensemble every night.. our veranda suite on Deck nine was wonderful. The dining experience was memorable with creative, delicious choices every evening. We were always busy. My sea days incled 2 dance classes daily, Team Trivi! And a painting class with a wonderful teacher, Patty Jones.There were also excellent lectures on board and the evening shows were top notch. We have booked 2 more Crystal voyages for 2018! The cruise line has incentives for repeat cruisers, early booking while on board and early payment in full. I had no idea that thirteen days at sea with only a stop in St Thimas could be that much fun. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We choose Uniworld based on their reputation as a 5 or 6 star line. of the 13 day cruise from Lisbon to Madrid, we were on the ship 8 nights and the other nights in very nice hotels. The overall experience was good, worst part of the ... Read More
We choose Uniworld based on their reputation as a 5 or 6 star line. of the 13 day cruise from Lisbon to Madrid, we were on the ship 8 nights and the other nights in very nice hotels. The overall experience was good, worst part of the cruise was on the ship. They were VERY understaffed and they kept saying the air conditioning was being fixed, however it NEVR worked the entire time!! Extremely uncomfortable in the lounge and dining room!!! They had ONE waiter/bartender for 50 people on the sun deck. You could NOT ask for a drink at the bar! You were told the drink would be brought to you. Yes, a half hour later!! Again, One bartender, ONE waiter!! for 100 people!! I could go on but just say we were, and our friends that travelled with, were EXTREMELY Disappointed in Uniworld. We did find out that the Queen Isabel is not operated by Uniworld, but it is leased out?? Not on the ship, The tours and guides were very good Read Less
Sail Date August 2016

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