40 Lisbon Senior Cruise Reviews

This was a 12-day Transatlantic Cruise from Lisbon to Boston. I was a little ambivalent about going on this smaller and older ship. I knew it had recently been in dry dock for some sprucing up, so I was curious what we would find. Well, it ... Read More
This was a 12-day Transatlantic Cruise from Lisbon to Boston. I was a little ambivalent about going on this smaller and older ship. I knew it had recently been in dry dock for some sprucing up, so I was curious what we would find. Well, it was wonderful. It looked as though all the carpet and furniture in all the public areas had been replaced. The furniture was comfortable and inviting. And, like all Holland America ships, they absorb people well - I never felt like I was in the middle of a huge crowd. It's a relaxing and very pleasant environment. The food, as with our every other HAL cruise, was really excellent. We had two occasions that were a disappointment, though. One evening in the Main Dining Room, I ordered lamb kabobs. They were terrible - cold, hard, dry. I immediately told our server that I wasn't happy with the dish and he very rapidly brought me something else I chose. So, it really was no problem at all. The replacement was paella, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The other less-than-lovely experience was in the Pinnacle Grill, which is HAL's premium added-cost dining venue. We usually go twice during a cruise because we really enjoy it. This time, however, we cancelled our second reservation. We waited 20 minutes for our appetizer, and about two-thirds of the way through my appetizer I found a 10" hair. The manager was mortified. Then we waited over and hour for our main dish. I was ready to walk out, but it was too late to go to the Main Dining Room. The manager was extremely apologetic, and confessed that they had been having difficulties in the kitchen. Needless to say, despite the excellent food, it was an unpleasant experience. The manager called our room a couple days later to apologize again and to say that he hoped we would come back so he could show us a better time. We didn't return. None of this should be taken as a review of all the Pinnacle Grills fleet-wide. Each restaurant is it's own, sort of like a franchise. Every other experience we've had in the Pinnacle Grill on other ships was top-notch. The embarkation in Lisbon wasn't what we expected. We stay in a Neptune Suite, and on every other cruise, as soon as we check in we're told "feel free to board any time". This didn't happen this time. It was a decent length wait. I don't mean this as a complaint, but as an observation that if they say priority boarding is one of the benefits of having a suite, then they should make sure that happens. One notable enrichment activity: on the sea days, they have America's Test Kitchen, which is a cooking instruction - just like there might be on t.v. Each of them were excellent. As a side note: we are a same-sex couple. We have never had one second of a negative encounter/service because of it. (In fact, for the cruise we took for our 25th anniversary, they decorated our door with balloons and streamer and a huge sign. They also brought a decorated cake to our table.) Our 12 days on Veendam were simply great. I would readily choose this ship to sail on again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I went on the "glories of Spain and Portugal" itinerary in August. This was my first cruise. The small ship size was great and I got to know the fellow passengers and crew very well. The crew and staff were excellent and very ... Read More
I went on the "glories of Spain and Portugal" itinerary in August. This was my first cruise. The small ship size was great and I got to know the fellow passengers and crew very well. The crew and staff were excellent and very attentive, and I also enjoyed the small group excursions. I really enjoyed the ports and the privileged locations we got to dock at each day. The ship was very clean and nice. If you are looking for high luxury, however, this is probably not the ship for you. Cabins are small and there are no balcony cabins. The ship had a nice family feeling and I felt right at home. The food was good and there were a lot of choices and the staff was accommodating of any dietary restrictions. Everything went smoothly on board. In short if you are looking for a nice ship with amazing staff and an intimate feeling, I would absolutely recommend Variety cruises and the Harmony V. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise on recommendation from our travel agent. We flew to lovely Lisbon a few days beforehand, the joined the ship,looking very tiny berthed near some very large cruise ships. The welcome was decidedly perfunctory, and we ... Read More
We chose this cruise on recommendation from our travel agent. We flew to lovely Lisbon a few days beforehand, the joined the ship,looking very tiny berthed near some very large cruise ships. The welcome was decidedly perfunctory, and we found our way to our deck 4 cabin. It was pleasantly large, but definitely needed a good spring clean. The bed seemed hard and sagging, not a good start we felt. We liked the white marble bathroom and noted approvingly that the toiletries were quality Occitan. We explored briefly then went for a buffet lunch in the stern Verandah. It was a very ordinary buffet choice and we were astounded at the cost of the drinks on offer. We learned that many passengers had bought a drinks package, but as the wines were fairly mediocre in our opinion, we decided not to take up the package offer. It was lovely to note the teak decks , a small outdoor pool and hot tub, and plenty of deck lounge seating. We looked through the daily program, but it lacked variety or imagination, so we decided that a comfortable spot with a good book might be a good way to relax. Much ceremony was made of the sail away flag raising to the music of Vangelis’ 1492, used on other cruise lines we recalled. There was a comfortable lounge with busy coffee bar and a tiny library, but little else of note. It was a port intensive cruise with only one sea day, but we had visited all the ports previously, so did not read the excursion offers. In each port the ship laid on a shuttle bus to the centre of town , a useful service for those who wished to be independent . We were happy to wander, sample the local cuisine and bars in each port. We were right in our estimation... the bed was horribly saggy and worn, leaving us both with aching backs! Entertainment was decidedly limited, with a singing duo , but little else, with the exception of a lecturer with a sole topic. Dining was open seating, with varied menus and good service from the friendly Asian servers. It was not gourmet dining, but perfectly adequate. It would not be a ship we’d choose on future occasions, but it was an interesting experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was the sixth cruise my wife and I have taken with Viking--four river cruises and, now, two ocean cruises. We purchased the pre-cruise extension in Lisbon because we wanted to see it on the trip. Overall, the trip was excellent. We ... Read More
This was the sixth cruise my wife and I have taken with Viking--four river cruises and, now, two ocean cruises. We purchased the pre-cruise extension in Lisbon because we wanted to see it on the trip. Overall, the trip was excellent. We are accustomed to a very high standard of performance from Viking and our expectations, for the most part were fulfilled. The ship was immaculate, well maintained and well operated. Most of the time in a crossing is devoted to sea days and rest. The entertainers on this ship were truly extraordinary. They presented music that stretched from classical opera repertoire to Motown. There are no dedicated "dancers" but the singers danced and sang and did so very professionally. They entertained! The crew were friendly as well as helpful and accommodating, including the members of the deck department. They all seemed dedicated to helping passengers enjoy a great vacation--and they succeeded. Stateroom attendants were amazingly thorough and helpful. Our air arrangements were horrible however. We were booked on a United flight that operated an old Continental 737-200. Even though we booked suite accommodations on the ship, we were given some of the least desireable seats on this very over-crowded, filthy and old aircraft. On our return, free-air flight from Miami to Jacksonville we were charged $30 per bag by American Airlines and, again, assigned the very least desireable seats on the very cramped Embaer RJ-45. We could have driven from Miami to Jacksonville and arrive sooner than we did using our Viking Air booked flight. Do not use Viking Air. Be prepared for very leisurely meals in the dining room. Plan for a couple of hours or more at dinner if you choose to take your dinner in the dining room. Service is very slow, even on this ship of only 900 passengers. Or hope that more servers are hired to provide better service. The problem is not the waiters:the problem is that there are too few of them. Afternoon tea in the Winter Garden is a highlight of each day for us. With Viking, you also can expect a robust enrichment program presented by a "Resident Historian" as well as various "Guest Lecturers." Watch the schedule carefully to plan your days in a way that permits you to take advantage of these opportunities. They are wonderful and varied. We were particularly attracted to the presentations of a flautist who talked about music and its relationships to our trip and ports of call. We also heard from an astronomer and had the opportunity to learn about ocean sailing and rowing adventures. Viking is a welcome newcomer to the ocean cruise market. It provides a superior experience and, knowing its careful attention to detail in all its operations, I expect the delays in dining service will be resolved before our next trip, which most likely will be on Viking (but without its air option). Incidentally, there were no children among the passengers and there is no children's program. This is not an experience for children. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We love the size of the Viking Sun class ships and find the Viking staff very helpful welcoming.The Sun is a 2 yr old ships, which like others (e.g Viking Star) is extremely comfortable. This reposition cruise was a last minute ... Read More
We love the size of the Viking Sun class ships and find the Viking staff very helpful welcoming.The Sun is a 2 yr old ships, which like others (e.g Viking Star) is extremely comfortable. This reposition cruise was a last minute decision to primarily to celebrate my spouse's recent retirement. Viking repositions this ship from Europe to MIA where Vikings starts its World cruise offering. Therefore, the crossing offers only two ports of call (Azores and Bermuda). While most people on board were seasoned travelers, a few people were surprised that even with all the greatest technical advances this ship could rock. While we had a variety of weather, the Atlantic is not a small pond and it can be quite rough. Although I heard some complaints, I was surprised about some very unrealistic expectations. Since, we actually treated the trip as an adventure we loved it and rod ecommend that you take some Dramamine with you on any cruise . We did not need ours and the medical center could provide some, if you got seasick. Based on our sailing history, we would not rate this past cruise as extremely rough. The cabins on board the Viking Ocean are very comfortable, clean and well layout. Plenty of space to move around in with many public nooks suitable for curling up with a good book! The Viking Staff is selected for their "yes, we can" attitude. Although each one us are very unique individuals, the Viking crew is overall very happy and proud to be working for a rapidly growing company which the staff likes with a 90% retention rate over any 10 yr period. Food as expected on a cruise, is abundant, diverse and always delicious. On Christmas Eve the SUN served large steamed lobsters and perfectly executed Osso Bucco in their regular dining room. There were a few caviar offerings at the bars with all daily events and menus for all meals posted on in-room tv monitors. A few times we needed to use room service and while it too was very tasty, it could have been delivered a bit hotter. Although this cruise had only two ports of call there was plenty of entrainment. We do like the fact that Viking does not have a casino onboard. There were some small poker games and Chinese Mahjong available for those so inclined. There are also video tables where you can enjoy playing a computer black jack dealer. In addition to excellent port of call talks, Viking has a number historians, technical experts (e.g driverless car engineering), and musicians discussing their expertise in very simple and interesting presentations. Viking requires that passengers be at 16 years or old, which we found the adults to be quite friendly and open to making new acquaintances. For us, most part we found tables for two available. Since our last cruise, the bars have a greatly expanded selection of quality brands. Since I favor Tanquary Ten, I was pleased that it was available at every bar. and covered by our drink package. There is a night club for dancing and a night cap, but we did not visit it this trip.The cruise director conducted a caroling sing along in the atrium on Christmas Eve, utilizing the classical pianists, the Viking band and even the on board acoustic guitarist. Unfortunately, I did scrap up my leg at the Lisbon Airport and I needed to used the medical staff to heal it. This inconvenience limited my ability to use the abundant spa fitness services on board. The Viking Norwegian spirt shines with very unique spa treatments and many pools located in the spa, in addition to the lap pools and hot tubs found on deck. On the SUN you can elect to start in a hot sauna and then cool down in an ice room with snow. If it is your thing, there are great gym machines exist and in the morning you are invited to yoga/pilates classes. Otherwise, weather permitting, you can take to the promenade and get your exercise by running or walking around the ship with instructions on how many laps constituted a mile. All in all we enjoyed ourselves and would consider going again. We find sailings of this duration suit our life styles very well and while we liked this crossing, there are so many other offers that we have not tried. For example we doing a Panama crossing this month. Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We had never taken a motorized yacht before and wanted to try the smaller cruise experience. Yes the food was very good, always fresh and served timely. And the crew was very pleasant and focused on customer service. But, the ship is ... Read More
We had never taken a motorized yacht before and wanted to try the smaller cruise experience. Yes the food was very good, always fresh and served timely. And the crew was very pleasant and focused on customer service. But, the ship is in disrepair. There are layers of peeling paint and rust everywhere. The entertainment is pretty lame and the specialty restaurants are nothing more than the main diningroom serves. We experienced two deck side barbecues and the second had few shrimp and no lobster. The bridge was supposed to be open to passengers when not in port and was closed half the time. So what did we like? The great waiters like Hari, Puji an amazing room steward and the Yacht Club where specialty coffees and snacks were served all day. The excursions were excellent although it took four frustrating visits to the excursion desk to get a refund. The guys working the tenders were great as were the crew in the marina. The port visits were on time and the tv offerings were nice. We found the room service to be excellent and very convenient during the 13 day mostly rough crossing. The embarkation was a disaster after sitting in a cold, dirty port in Lisbon six hours because a Windstar rep told us we could leave our luggage secured and there wasn’t anyone there from The ship to assist us. Disembarkay was leisurely and well organized. Despite the many pluses, we won’t be sailing Windstar again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We were traveling with a group of friends on a trip organized by a local vineyard wine club, of which we are members. This was our first European adventure and our first riverboat cruise, so we were very excited. Flying into Lisbon and ... Read More
We were traveling with a group of friends on a trip organized by a local vineyard wine club, of which we are members. This was our first European adventure and our first riverboat cruise, so we were very excited. Flying into Lisbon and having 3 days to explore the Portuguese capital city and acclimate to the time change was very well-planned. The Corinthia Hotel was outstanding and their included breakfast buffet was simply amazing. Our Uniworld hosts and tour guides were very impressive, experienced, friendly and helpful at every opportunity. Once we were transferred to Porto to board the Queen Isabel and embark on our tour of the Douro River Valley, we were once again very impressed with the ship and especially the staff members. Without exception, everyone we interacted with were overwhelmingly helpful and focused on quality guest service. Being on a small boutique cruise ship offered the opportunity to meet and interact with everyone onboard. We appreciated the personal interaction and familiarity we developed with the crew members. By the second day onboard, many were already greeting us by name! Simply amazing. Each day offered us different engaging adventures that were well-planned and enjoyable at every port of call. The onboard dining was simply outstanding and the entire dining room staff was always focused on providing great service to all guests. We also were amazed at the lounge staff, especially our favorite bartender, Alexandra. She was wonderful and by the end of the cruise, we felt as if we'd made a new friend! Ours was the final cruise of the 2018 season and we were consistently impressed with the pleasant interactions we experienced with everyone onboard and the friendly service we received, usually accompanied by a bright smile. Thanks to the entire staff and crew of the Queen Isabel for a relaxing and memorable vacation! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We prefer to cruise back from Europe rather than flying. We have been on Silversea for only four years, but it is our "go-to" cruise line. This trip fit in with our earlier plans: started with a week in Madrid in a rented ... Read More
We prefer to cruise back from Europe rather than flying. We have been on Silversea for only four years, but it is our "go-to" cruise line. This trip fit in with our earlier plans: started with a week in Madrid in a rented apartment; then fly to Porto for an Ama Waterways cruise up and down the Douro River; then the high-speed train to Lisbon for a few days waiting to board the Whisper fro the crossing. As usual, the ship met or exceeded our expectations. The staff is wonderful and as repeat cruisers, we re-acquainted ourselves with many of them. It is such fun to walk into a bar on board and not have to order a drink. It just appears before you! The crew and the wait staff were also a welcoming sight. We have recommended Silversea to many of our friends and the feedback we get is always positive. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I just took my first cruise on the Azamara Journey and was highly impressed with the ship, crew, food, and friendliness of the passengers. I had received an extremely good deal on an obstructed ocean view cabin and luckily was able to ... Read More
I just took my first cruise on the Azamara Journey and was highly impressed with the ship, crew, food, and friendliness of the passengers. I had received an extremely good deal on an obstructed ocean view cabin and luckily was able to select cabin 6036, which is between lifeboats and thus not very obstructed. I was pleasantly surprised how well laid out this cabin was and it was totally acceptible for one person with alot of closet space. The bed was extremely comfortable and the pillows were soft and easy to sleep on. I enjoyed the smaller ship experience and how friendly the passengers and crew were. The service was exceptional and the food was much better than other, larger ships I have been on. I liked the way the buffet was arranged at dinner with tablecloths and candles, so you felt like you were in a restaurant rather than a cafeteria setting. The ship tours were more expensive but they were much smaller than other ships, with an average participation of about 12-15 persons per tour. It was simple to get on and off the ship and particularly convenient to be docked closer to the ports. I booked several other cruises on Azamara because I felt the higher cost of the line was definitely worth the enhanced experience. It is especially good for solo travelers as Azamara seems to cater to those traveling alone, and the passengers are so friendly and welcoming to everyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We have cruised with Scenic Tours before and they have always paid a lot of attention to detail. Each shore excursion is planned out to the infinite detail, but if you want to do your own thing then that is fine as well. All the cabins ... Read More
We have cruised with Scenic Tours before and they have always paid a lot of attention to detail. Each shore excursion is planned out to the infinite detail, but if you want to do your own thing then that is fine as well. All the cabins are well appointed with the majority having their own balcony. The beds are like sleeping on a cloud. The room service is of a very high standard. Every member of the crew greet you and make you feel as if you were royalty. If something is not right it is fixed immediately. The meals are abundant leaving you with the need to expand your belt. Everyone is able to dine in the specialty restaurant on the cruise. The wines match the meal being served. But if you do not want wine there is the option of having another type of drink. This is not a cruise for children as there are no activities for children. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Some title? Well, some mirrors. I thought I would start with that. Mirrors in all the bathrooms, including the small public ones, positioned so you can see yourself on the toilet. Tell me that is not bizarre. That was about it for ... Read More
Some title? Well, some mirrors. I thought I would start with that. Mirrors in all the bathrooms, including the small public ones, positioned so you can see yourself on the toilet. Tell me that is not bizarre. That was about it for entertainment! Other than that, the bathrooms were the best part, especially for those of us with an ocean view cabin. We had double sinks and a huge (by ship's standards) walk in shower. The tubs in the French door cabins were dauntingly tall, in my view, particularly at sea. My main goal is to stay upright in a shower and, with a wet hand towel on the shower floor, I achieved that goal since I did not have to try to get into a bathtub. Great amenities, as well. There were two grab bars and plenty of storage. Helpfully, there was a cord for hanging your undies if you did hand wash. We eschewed the heavy duty laundry bill in favor of washing out a few things after each shower. Worked great. I will say that we only showered in port because of the rocking. The negative was that our inept and disinterested cabin boy forgot twice to give us a back up roll of toilet paper. When we ran out the second time, my husband was dispatched to reception. There, he met the captain who was so appalled that HE got us the toilet paper! Really, it was that kind of ship with only 200 passengers. Just how inept was that cabin boy? We were surprised at two things in the room when we arrived. One was that the beds are so low that you cannot put your luggage under them. We parked it on either side of the window. When we went to bed the first night, I found the mattress to be very uncomfortable, with some kind of metal support under my back. That and the rocking boat kept me from sleep most of the night. The next day, we examined the mattress to find that the cabin boy had flipped the mattress and we were sleeping on the supports. That got fixed very quickly. First time ever on a ship. At that, it was not the best mattress we have slept on at sea. However, we did not have issues with the thermostat as some did. The room was huge by our previous standards and having a window was normally just fine. It was quite large, the weather was too cool anyway to want to sit outside, so we were quite content with that kind of room. It would have been nice for someone to wash the window, however. The food. Where to begin? Both lunch and dinner were served up top. You had to cross over from the elevator to the outside to get to your meals. The highly touted bbq was on that deck and we about froze as we were not allowed inside the restaurant. That food was pretty good, however. The breakfasts and lunches were very ordinary for a ship that advertises that it is using James Beard recipes. It is bland, even for spicy ethnic dishes such as adobo. Bread pudding was available at every lunch along side ice cream. The rest of the desserts were mainly mousses as one guest mentioned. At dinner in AurorA, food portions were not only small but were mounded in the middle of the plates unattractively. The headwaiter had a hard time remembering if you asked to be seated with others so you could sit a while and have to send a waiter to remind him. The special Candles meal was in the buffet room so lacked any ambiance. My husband's veal chop was full of gristle, my filet was fine, but the bernaise came out of a can. The Caesar salad was very bland, like most of the food. AND, horror of horrors, we missed lobster night in AurourA! The negative of negatives was that exhaust fumes came into our room several times during the cruise with no way to blow the air out. We spoke to the captain about it and he said it happened all the time when the ship was bouncy. It bounced along the Portuguese coast both coming and going. One night we returned to our cabin after dinner to find it full of fumes which caused our eyes to burn. We ended up having to go to bed before the air cleared. That would keep me from sailing with Windstar until this issue is solved. It was one of the examples of the company not spending its money on things that matter. The ship clearly had been dressed up so the reputed $18 million spend on the 3 Seabourn ships went to superficial decorating, not to keeping its equipment repaired. We are supposed to sail on Legend and that ship had its tender fail. People were ferried by zodiacs with wet landings. That would have done me in as I only brought one pair of shoes. I read a report on Breeze that it also had tendering issues. When you arrive on the ship, there is a big hustle to sell you a laundry package (no self laundry), a booze package, and a wifi package. All very expensive. We did not buy any. I have no experience with the spa or the exercise room. Non- alcoholic beverages are included which I really liked. Fed my Coke addiction. Besides there being no entertainment and few port talks, there was a perfectly good room set up for movies but the equipment was missing or broken. We could set up a card game if we wanted but no one did. The library was pretty good for its size with a couple of shelves for passengers to exchange books. We really missed having something fun to do after dinner. There is a very small casino and a couple of bar areas but we do not drink much. A huge plus on this ship is the Yacht Club which not only provides expansive windows but also has a very nice mini breakfast and small sandwiches and desserts for lunch. We grabbed a couple of sandwiches sometime for our excursions. It shuts down the food at 6 pm when most people trot off to dinner. Excursions were the highlight of the islands. The Canaries and Madeira had amazing, wild mountains. The best excursion was a 4 wheel in the Algarve in Portugal. Because of the fabulous islands, we really were happy we went on this cruise. Most of the issues were not really so big.... Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Viking ocean’s great reviews were not overstated. The ship is beautiful with lots of lovely, quiet spaces. Our cabin (penthouse veranda) was spacious and had more storage space than we needed - a first for us. The well-equipped ... Read More
Viking ocean’s great reviews were not overstated. The ship is beautiful with lots of lovely, quiet spaces. Our cabin (penthouse veranda) was spacious and had more storage space than we needed - a first for us. The well-equipped self-serve laundry was a pleasant surprise. We are elite on other lines and get free laundry but this was better. Entertainment was terrific, a small ensemble of singers and dancers who did small shows that did not overextend them, as too many cruise lines do. Small, pre-dinner recitals by one or two of them were a special treat. Kudos to the cruise director who scheduled extra performances of one show when more passengers wanted to attend than could be accommodated in the theater - a pleasant change from so many lines where on board cruise staff have little discretion to deviate from schedules dictated by corporate staff. Shore excursions available for a fee were the usual array. The included excursion in each port was essentially a drive-by tour or, in Bermuda, a bus pass. The only real negative was the food service. The main dining room was only average and the included specialty dining options were disappointing. One had only so-so Italian cuisine and the other had a menu fixed menu that was unusual at best. We are not timid, meat-and-potatoes diners, but we found preparations odd, to put it kindly. Fortunately , our server offered the option of ordering from the main dining room menu. The other disappointment was the buffet. The quality and variety of the food and presentation (small serving dishes, frequently refreshed) were excellent BUT the hours were far too limited. The pluses were afternoon tea in the Wintergarden, a treat we allowed ourselves only once, and availability of espresso drinks at several bars and at the buffet. Embarkation was slick. We arrived at check-in to find a clerk waiting for us (no lines!!) and our bags arrived in our cabin not long after we did. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this cruise because we enjoy time on the ship, and this cruise had a lot of it. It was a very relaxing cruise. The ship was lovely, our cabin was comfortable and very well equipped, the dining was excellent. We thoroughly ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we enjoy time on the ship, and this cruise had a lot of it. It was a very relaxing cruise. The ship was lovely, our cabin was comfortable and very well equipped, the dining was excellent. We thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment & activities provided on the ship, as well as the shore excursions. The entertainers were a joy to get to know during our cruise. The staff was excellent, from the dining staff, to our room steward, to everyone else we came in contact with. Everyone was always more than willing to help & answer questions. We have now done one river cruise & two ocean cruises with Viking, and we will do more! Viking has spoiled us now, and we aren't interested in sailing with any other cruise line.They are building more ocean going ships now and that means we'll have more choices as to where we'll go next! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
After sailing with Viking on their river cruises, we were excited to try their ocean cruises. The ship is FANTASTIC!!! Clean, modern and beautiful. The service is superb and the food is amazing. Our cabin was large and we enjoyed the ... Read More
After sailing with Viking on their river cruises, we were excited to try their ocean cruises. The ship is FANTASTIC!!! Clean, modern and beautiful. The service is superb and the food is amazing. Our cabin was large and we enjoyed the balcony where we ate breakfast every day. Our steward was so nice; every time we left our cabin, he would clean and organize for us. We begged him to come home with us. The pools are great and we meet many new friends. We visited Cuba and we were very happy to learn about the country; the guides were very nice and very open in our discussion. And as usual many of the excursions were included. We have reserved another cruise with Viking this fall. The advantage of cruisng with Viking is that we know in advance that it will be amazing!!! We plan to cruise with Viking once a year from now on. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
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
Recommended by travel agent. Right sized ship - luxurious, excellent cuisine options, well trained, personable, from the cruise director to the dining staff and cabin stewards. We also enjoyed the shows, which were most entertaining. ... Read More
Recommended by travel agent. Right sized ship - luxurious, excellent cuisine options, well trained, personable, from the cruise director to the dining staff and cabin stewards. We also enjoyed the shows, which were most entertaining. Generally, very impressed with Oceania. Critical comments:(1) very few educational lectures, and some were merely designed to sell product (orthotics); (2) ports of call - could have eliminated Alicante and Sete, neither of which provide much interest and are similar to other ports of call, and substitute 1 day at sea and 1 port in Western Italy (Genoa, Rapallo?); (3) the cruise-sponsored "limited group" tours are extremely expensive and provide little value, when compared to small group or Viator and other private tour companies; a busload tour, even if included as part of a package, gives very little information due to the large number of attendees. Some tours involved traveling 2 hours for a 1 1/2 hour "explore on your own" before returning to the ship; that is a wasted tour. Finally, I object to having to choose between (i) 3 (large group) excursions, (ii) a drink package, or (iii) a purchase credit; we are either non- or social drinkers, do not make expensive purchases on-board, and find the large group ship sponsored tours to have little value. For the money, I would have preferred an upgrade to larger stateroom or reduced booking fare. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Picked the cruise up at Porto for our anniversary. The first 2 nights service and food was 5 star. After that things went downhill quickly, allegedly the chef was taken to hospital. This should not have made any difference. Service in the ... Read More
Picked the cruise up at Porto for our anniversary. The first 2 nights service and food was 5 star. After that things went downhill quickly, allegedly the chef was taken to hospital. This should not have made any difference. Service in the restaurant was slow, if you don't order a starter your main course can arrive an hour later! Plates were not cleared from the previous course or cutlery not replaced. Orders were mixed up or the wrong thing arrived. The staff kept smiling throughout but really was not 5 star. Free flowing wines and drinks available with the meal or from the café bar outside the restaurant. Loved the cakes on offer 24 hrs. Many guests entered the restaurant without sanitizing their hands or even changing from their day clothes ...surely a member of staff could be employed at the door. Hygiene should be a priority on a boat. Free water in cabin and able to bring wine bought ashore to the evening meal. The scenery was stunning the further we got up the river. The boat docked in remote places with no cafes or shops but added to the charm. BUT I did get left behind...serious breach of security. I was not going on the day trip and the boat moved upstream. It did not move far I was told once rescued, but I didn't know how far when I saw it moving up river. The staff should have warned me the boat was moving. Even if only just few meters. Something is wrong with their check out system, not aware where their guests were. I could have been miles away and on returning the boat had gone! Expect better for an expensive holiday. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Having taken only two previous cruises, one with Regent and one with Silver seas I don’t claim to be an expert on reviewing cruises. However, here is my opinion of the Windstar Barcelona to Lisbon cruise aboard the Star Breeze. The ... Read More
Having taken only two previous cruises, one with Regent and one with Silver seas I don’t claim to be an expert on reviewing cruises. However, here is my opinion of the Windstar Barcelona to Lisbon cruise aboard the Star Breeze. The appeal of a small ship like the Star Breeze is crowd avoidance. However, The Star breeze feels crowded at times especially when at sea. Most of the cabins have widows that don’t open so people want to be on the decks to get fresh air. Unfortunately, there are not enough lounge chairs on the two outside decks. Consequently, everyone tries to claim a chair early by putting stuff on it. Latecomers move the stuff which causes arguments. The lounge chairs have a one inch pad and are very hard. There are umbrellas over some chairs but usually can’t be open under way due to the wind. So, there is little shaded area on the upper deck when the ship is moving. The cabins that do have a sliding door have a tiny deck you can stand on if you have small feet. In effect, all you get is a window that opens. These cabins sell out early. The cabins with a window that doesn’t open are large enough but claustrophobic in my opinion. There is one pool which resembles an oversize bathtub and two small hot tubs. There is a constant roar from the smoke stacks even when the ship is docked. It is quite annoying on the outside decks including the Candles restaurant. I suggest you bring a noise cancelling headset if you want to read a book on the deck. Compared to the two previous cruise ships I was on the Star Breeze seemed dated and overcrowded. There are two restaurants. One is used for breakfast lunch and dinner. This restaurant at dinner time is called Candles and you can go there once during the 8-day cruise. The outside seating area is subject to the exhaust noise. The main dining room on the lower deck is used for dinner only. The food is quite good in both restaurants. Entertainment. Two musical duos played guitar and sang on and off all day. There was one free flamenco dance show on the ship one evening. The cabin crew sang some songs and danced. Sort of an amateur hour show. Amenities I'm not sure if all Windstar cruises are ala carte but this one was. You can buy drinks for $54/day per person or individually. You have to sign for each drink which is annoying. All tours are extra. Even laundry and WI Fi are extra. There are different Wi FI plans priced by the G bytes you use. Shore Excursions Tours were very good and well organized although none were free. Cost varied for $60 to 250/person Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise for the ports as there were quite a few we had not been to previously. We particularly wanted to go to Cinque Terre which we visited from Livorno. We also had the opportunity to have an overnight in Lisbon - a ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports as there were quite a few we had not been to previously. We particularly wanted to go to Cinque Terre which we visited from Livorno. We also had the opportunity to have an overnight in Lisbon - a fabulous city. We found both the food and the service outstanding. The buffet was so good that we never went to the main dining room in the evenings. However we tried all the speciality restaurants. Our favourite was Red Ginger which we booked twice. We also loved Jacques - the French restaurant. All these were included in the cruise fare but needed to be booked in advance. However we did have breakfast in the main dining room as the service was so good. One criticism of the food was the in room breakfast. We only had this once and did not really enjoy it. Overall this was a very enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose the cruise for its itinerary. Unfortunately, the "Bordeaux" stop was at an abandoned container dock 100 km from Bordeaux, so not having purchased a costly all-day shore excursion, we didn't see Bordeaux, so that was ... Read More
We chose the cruise for its itinerary. Unfortunately, the "Bordeaux" stop was at an abandoned container dock 100 km from Bordeaux, so not having purchased a costly all-day shore excursion, we didn't see Bordeaux, so that was disappointing. The rest of the itinerary was as stated, and we enjoyed the ports immensely. Eleven days without a sea day made for a very busy cruise. Service was generally very good to excellent, except the day of embarkation, we didn't see the butler until I finally called him 9 hours after boarding. So much for Silversea's advertisement of a butler for each suite who will help you unpack. Food and wine quality and restaurants were very good to excellent. We got to go to market with the chef at two ports, that evening the local products the chef purchased were served on the pool deck. It was a great way to experience local flavors. The first few days of the cruise we had record heat, then the weather became chilly as we sailed farther north, a welcome change. Free wifi was only available one hour each day, and purchasing wifi was quite expensive, so we only had a short amount of time to check our email for contact with friends and family online. But that's ok, it left more time to enjoy the cruise.which we did, very much. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We were looking for a Spring, nice weather river cruise, and an earlier cruise with Viking in Russia sold us on this line. We had never been to Portugal -- so their River of Gold seemed like a perfect fit, and it was. - Excellent ... Read More
We were looking for a Spring, nice weather river cruise, and an earlier cruise with Viking in Russia sold us on this line. We had never been to Portugal -- so their River of Gold seemed like a perfect fit, and it was. - Excellent pick-up at the Lisbon Airport at 9:30 AM Lisbon time, and 55 minutes after landing we were at the Hotel Tivoli Lisboa on Avendia da Liberdade, in the heart of the city. What a great hotel selection by Viking! The hotel staff was great, and the location is perfect. 2 blocks from the Metro, 2 blocks from outdoor restaurants and cafes. Even better, they were able to get us in a room by noon, in time for a power nap and then off to 6 hours of sight-seeing. - Lisbon is now my new "favorite" city in Europe, and we are very glad we opted for the extra 2 days upon arrival. It gave us the opportunity to see much of Lisbon, + we had 2 days for side trip to Sintra and Fatima on our own. Note: the Viking provided walking tours of the city were exceptional; their guides are true pros. - Next, we boarded our ship in Porto after an enjoyable bus ride via the University in Coimbra. - Up the Duro River: Castles, Cathedrals and Wineries. Each from a different perspective. Our favorite experiences: Dinner and Fado show at the Alpendurada Monastery and the tour of Mateus Palace and gardens. Also, the Douro Museum in Peso da Régua is a superb regional museum. I found it via my own research; I wish it had been recommended by Viking for all. On board, the dinners were superb -- and Port wine flowed each evening. I was very pleased to see the majority of the wines served were local from northern Portugal. Again, the staff went above and beyond. - Special note: On Day 9, my wife came down with a stomach aliment. Viking provided chicken noodle soup and Gator Aid delivered every 4 hours--in in 2 days she was up and running. - Post trip: we opted for the post-trip to Santiago de Compostela, and we were glad we did. The opportunity to see the Cathedral of St. James, mingle with the pilgrims and dine on Galacian cuisine were a perfect ending to a perfect trip. So much so, I am ready to do the Camino Pilgrimage myself. Read Less
Sail Date May 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
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
Excuse my english, I am German. We chose this cruise especially because of starting in Lisboa. Some new ports (Cadiz, Marseille, Portofino) but also known ports - but who can tell, "I know this city". We explored Lisboa for ... Read More
Excuse my english, I am German. We chose this cruise especially because of starting in Lisboa. Some new ports (Cadiz, Marseille, Portofino) but also known ports - but who can tell, "I know this city". We explored Lisboa for 3 days and Rome for 2 days - both much too short ! Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. It is better to order a taxi in Civitavecchia before you cruise. After we were lucky to catch a taxi we found two other couples (by shouting out !) who joined us to different hotels in Rome (65.-€ per person). Second cruise on the Marina. Ship is great, cabin (Veranda) too. Dining is excellent wherever you go, so you need not go to speciality-restaurants; even the buffet is great and comfortable. Service is perfect. We did not like all Entertainments. But we liked "5 o´clock or somewhere" and "Laszlo and Claudia" much. Shore excursions are very good and informative but much too expensive. We had 4 free. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016

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