5 Dover Luxury Cruise Reviews

Thought it would be the best cruise for us-upscale and all inclusive However, we told our travel agent that we needed a sound proof separation between the sleeping and sitting areas. He spoke to Seaborne and their person said the curtain ... Read More
Thought it would be the best cruise for us-upscale and all inclusive However, we told our travel agent that we needed a sound proof separation between the sleeping and sitting areas. He spoke to Seaborne and their person said the curtain was sound proof. He said that all he has ever been told is that these curtains are purposely made thick to keep the light and sound from coming in from the seating area . The curtain was NOT sound proof. I did not sleep for 2 weeks because of my husband's snoring. The head person did NOTHING to help us. He said he was not able to build a wall. That was not funny to us. We wrote to Seaborne and they responded that they would not do anything about what happened. They even played a taped conversation with our travel agent and heard us telling him what we needed to make this trip doable.-a noise separation curtain. Also, for such a high price, it was incredible that Wi-fi and excursions was not included! This is a nickel and diming operation, not for people who have paid top dollar The food was very disappointing-lackluster and no creativity. Bascially the same menu and so many items repurposed. How many times can you have shrimp and salmon!!! Also found The Grill wanting. Expected top notch dining and did not get it. We must say the service crew was wonderful The bartenders, housekeepers and other service personnel did their utmost . That being said the administrative crew from the captain on down, were totally oblivious of their passenger needs, complaints and desires. We skipped ports and anchored out too frequently , abusing out time and investment. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I must confess at the outset that I have never been a fan of "cruising" and that sentiment has been further confirmed as I have watched ever larger, slab-sided monstrosities blot out the vistas of some of the most beautiful bays ... Read More
I must confess at the outset that I have never been a fan of "cruising" and that sentiment has been further confirmed as I have watched ever larger, slab-sided monstrosities blot out the vistas of some of the most beautiful bays and harbors of the world. This feeling perhaps first began when I was invited to lunch on board the SS France when she visited Sydney, Australia on her final voyage before being cast into the role of a floating university, a venture that proved to be folly. Nonetheless, any vessel that could boast twenty three pastry chefs had to be a winner in my book and a testament to the fact that the French would allow a kitchen of any less proportion or caliber to cross an ocean under the Tri-color flag of France. Those are sadly bygone days and the commercial employment of the current-day behemoths to introduce the masses to the joys of travel are a mere shadow of the all but forgotten days of the great ships. However, over recent years I have become quite enamoured of the 100 to 600 passenger vessels of the SeaDream and Azamara brands that have brought new life to my hope for a better quality experience at sea. My exploration of these offerings has proven most satisfactory and the emphasis on melding a superb, all-inclusive on-board experience with longer stays in port and more overnights to allow the traveler to really enjoy local cuisine and culture without the rush on and off for what is often a dissapointing "tour" of the local town. Additionally, the shallower draft of these smaller vessels permits them to transport one to ports and river destinations denied their larger competitors. The true all-inclusive products these lines offer is a refreshing change from the need to always be reaching into your pocket for everything such as gratuities or a glass of wine. It was with this new appreciation for the call of the sea that I was promted to coax some friends to join me in sampling Windstar's newly acquired motor ship, the Windstar Legend for a "Culinary and Wine Delights" voyage from Dover down the coast of France and Spain to Portugal. "Legend" indeed! It might more appropriately be called "Myth" as it has proved to be about one and a half stars short of its perported five. Notwithstanding the comments to follow, I would not wish to take anything away from the largely Indonesian (non-officer) crew who were absolutely wonderful in creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere at every point of contact. The kitchen staff also produced a very satisfactory offering at every meal despite the fact that they and the wait staff were as frustrated as we passengers at the daily changes as to where breakfast or lunch would be served. The daily bulletin was invariably wrong and even junior officers, when found, had difficulty in directing us to the correct location! When an investment is made to re-fit a ship one has to bear in mind that the steel structure of the original designer's vision is unchangeable. Thus it is the exterior facade and the interior furnishings and other items of decore that are the focus of any expenditures. In this instance I found it difficult to see beyond the ovbviously new carpet, just where had the $millions been spent? My bathroom fixtures had been re-caulked, although to say it was a shoddy job would be generous. The missed piece around the basin faucet was evidence of the grunge that the new grout was to cover. Our friends found a three legged chair (one broken) propped up against the wall of their cabin and the table at which I sat in the Yacht Club had the surround veneer peeling way. Poor quality choice of furnishing or poor upkeep, take your pick! The steel edge of our balcony already was showing deeply encrusted rust which would indicate a lack of detail in cleaning and painting the exterior. In all, this lady shows her age and is not up to the standard befitting a five-star hotel at sea. All of this pales in comparisonm to the failure of the fresh water system at the start of our first at-sea day. Guests reported being caught in full lather as hot water turned brown and diminshed to a trickle. Toilets ceased to work and even ingenious efforts to flush with bottles of Perrier were thwarted due to the vacuum system also being turned off! Not what one had hoped for and again, perhaps evidence that the re-fit dollars were not fully deployed in support of the mechanical areas either. Hence we were diverted to the port of Brest to have the tanks flushed and repairs made. Disembarkation was not an option but then, Brest harbor did not appear inviting enough to venture out. The price point of our voyage was far from inexpensive which made the nickel and dime-ing plus constant efforts to up-sell (spa) more annoying. The partially inclusive price was certainly five star, the product not so. One clear point of differentiation from either Sea Dream or Azamara has been the officer corp. Aboard the Azamara Quest the officers were constanlty mingling and talking with guests, always ready to answer a question or engage them in a story about the next port of call. On no less that three occassions the captain or another officer would casually stop by and ask if they could join us for breakfast or lunch. Not so aboard the Legend where senior officers have rarely be seen. In speaking of officers, another detail involves the daily bulletin where in the header we are advised that our captain is one, whereas in the body copy another person is introduced as the captain (whom we later learned was the prior captain!). This gave rise to some discussion as to whether our captain might indeed be new to his rank. At every announcement he would commence with "Ah, good morning ladies and gentlemen, this is er (pause) your captain speaking..." He never sounds quite sure that he might only be the first officer, perhaps the most recent rank he occupied? With the notable difference between the Wind Star experience and that of Azamara where very officer from the captain down were constantly visible and mingling with the guests it was clear that the "servant/leader" model was in play as officers set the example in creating a unique on board sense of "family" from the top down. Not so with the WindStar executive team! With little desire to bash the efforts of this crew to work around the product they have been given, there is little point in mentioning the "World Class" gym that isn't, or the morning mystery of where breakfast is being served on any given day. Suffice it to say that this is an okay cruise, but not the five-star experience promised. It certainly is well below the price point charged. Come on Wind Star, take note of what Azamara And Sea Dream are doing and shape up. You can do better than this! If you are getting ready to book this Cruise, don't..... Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I have taken sometime to reflect on my recent cruise on the Star Legend, from 9/1 – 9/11. I took this time to ensure that I was being objective in my thoughts/opinions/perspectives on this 10 day long trip through France/Spain/Portugal. ... Read More
I have taken sometime to reflect on my recent cruise on the Star Legend, from 9/1 – 9/11. I took this time to ensure that I was being objective in my thoughts/opinions/perspectives on this 10 day long trip through France/Spain/Portugal. With that perspective I write you this letter. My wife is a travel agent and had made the decision to test out Windstar with one of her clients we were extremely excited to be traveling on the recently renovated Star Legend with its luxurious staterooms, state of the art gym, and 5 star experience. There are many things to speak about, but it comes down to one thing that you would expect from a "5 Star Experience" and that is; “it’s about attention to detail”. Here are the examples of “attention to detail” that made this cruise a less than exceptional event for her clients: “State of the art Gym”: 1 of the bikes is broken, and has been for over a month from what the staff told me. Im 6’4” I was not able to use the treadmill as my head hits the ceiling in the gym Water System: The fact that it broke is not the issue. The fact that not once after the system was fixed, and we had to make changes to the next day itineraries did the captain speak to the passengers and apologize by either having a free drink for the passengers, or any other kind of concession. Bordeaux Dinner Event: 1 choice for entrée…. Let me say that again, 1 choice for entrée for 250+ people.... Even more interesting is that it was Beef Wellington, and it was barely rare. 4 people at my table asked for it to be cooked more, and it came back burned on top and still raw/rare in the middle. The staff put the meat near a broiler to “warm it up”. Quite possibly the worst meal I have ever had. What is stunning to me is that there was not a choice of meat or fish, let alone the meal that was served. Again, no recognition by the leadership of the ship that this event was ruined. Excursions: I will not beat up on each of these, yet a few examples…. On both the St. Malo and Bordeaux excursion we drove around for a few hours and were pushed for time at the Crepe/Cider tasting and the actual wine tasting. The icing on the cake was Porto! A beautiful city, that we visited the Stock Exchange, and toured the city on the bus. We were given 18 minutes to “shop/look around” on our own. Really? The coordination here with the local tour groups has to be better, or explained in the brochures that you will not have time to tour these beautiful cities. My favorite: Day 4, a day at sea. We have had a tough start to the trip, but it is a gorgeous day. Sun is out, everyone is on the deck, the bar is jumping, and people are enjoying themselves and getting ready to put the past few days behind them. I go into the bathroom on Deck 7 and I come out laughing…. There are no hand towels to dry my hands after you wash them. I look at my wife and say “attention to detail”. Wine Tasting: The wine expert could not wait to get this event over every night, we would barely sit down and he would be saying that we need to get moving as we did not have much time. The best wine of the night on at least 3 occasions ran out. That’s right while eating dinner we were told that there was no more of that kind of wine. Scheduling: Everything was on top of each other. Wine tasting had to go quickly because the next day itinerary meeting was coming up. Trivia had to be done quickly as the room was needed for something else. Leadership: The captain has to take leadership here. While at the Bordeaux event he has to grab a microphone and say thank you to the customer. While walking the ship early in the morning to get coffee he should stop and say hi to me (since we saw each other 3 times), as this is what his role is. I have more examples and issues yet I think you get the point here. This cruise was far from the upscale experience that is advertised. I would think that Windstar has heard from others regarding this trip, along with a poor evaluation report from the survey given to the passengers. FYI We cancelled our cruise in April Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I don't even know where to begin. Let me say that the crew and service staff were excellent. That is the only good thing about this cruise line. 1) For the amount of money, WIFI should be included with the price. I took my husband ... Read More
I don't even know where to begin. Let me say that the crew and service staff were excellent. That is the only good thing about this cruise line. 1) For the amount of money, WIFI should be included with the price. I took my husband over 10 minutes to connect for his job, which ate up many of the minutes we purchased. 2) The cabins are small. You cannot both get ready at the same time, unless you dance around each other. The sofa was very uncomfortable. And the "queen" bed was actually two singles pushed together. The carpet is thread bare. The cleaning staff however, did a really good job. 3) If you don't care to visit the cities, this is the cruise for you. We, however, like to absorb what each city has to offer, and could not due to the time constraints. 4) Be prepared to NOT enter ports that require tender service. The 2 we wanted to see, Waterford Ireland and Iceland, became "days at sea" due to the captain and pilot thinking the seas were too rough, 5) Days at sea - if you are under 80 years of age, be prepared for total boredom. Substitute activities included scarf tying and dollar bill origami. REALLY? Where was the wine tasting? Only 1 tour of the galley? 6) Music and dancing - If you are under 80, be prepared not to dance, nor to hear any music created in the 21st century! 7) Shipboard shopping - Forget about it! 8) Crystal Cruise excursions - Use the internet to book your own. Our guide in Iceland spoke very poor English, told us nothing about the country, the people, and what we were seeing. Lobster feast? How about rock lobster parading as lobster. A waste of our short amount of time in Iceland. 9) Best tour - Booked a "FabFour Beatles Tour" in Liverpool. Do this! 10) Do not rely on the Crystal maps provided at the excursion desk. We ended up NEVER finding the shuttle stop and had to take taxis to and from the ports. 11) Food was good, however there was nothing regional, and we cannot remember what we had. 12) Wine list adequate for California wines (not much from other countries). 13) For 20K, this trip should have be fabulous. We could have purchased a SmartCar. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We had looked forward to this trip because we were waiting for Oceania to introduce a ship made to their own specs (not from the old Renaisance Line). We chose this particular cruise because of the Ports to be visited, although due to ... Read More
We had looked forward to this trip because we were waiting for Oceania to introduce a ship made to their own specs (not from the old Renaisance Line). We chose this particular cruise because of the Ports to be visited, although due to weather we missed two ports completely and were moved from Honfleur (a destination for some) to Le Havre. PLUSES This is a beautiful ship with a well-thought out layout. Specialty restaurants are free of charge and three of the four specialty restaurants are outstanding�we were not impressed with Jacques (although others were). Free cappucino and soft drinks. Open dining with no multiple seatings (first and second) or fixed tables. MINUSES Too many to name. But here are a few (not in any particular order): Limit of times to visit the specialty restaurants although we knew of many people in the same cabin category who were there more than their allotment. The food in the main dining room and the terrace no better than other cruise ships that charge much less. Several uncooperative and frankly surly staff members, particulary the restaurant reservations person. We met many staffers whose first response to a question was 'NO', not 'I will check into it'. The O tours were unreasonably priced. Our trips were 1/3 to � the price of O's offerings, including transfers from port to towns or airport. Showers are almost unusable�too small, hard-to-use controls, over-flows�we met nobody who didn't comment on this. Safe is so high in the room..anyone over 5'3 would be unable to see the contents. VERY poor value compared to other ships such as Celebrity (Aqua Class) which is almost half the price, or even Crystal which is better for the same price (or close). MANY U.S. People were extremely upset to discover that U.K. Residents paid at least ONE HALF what U.S. Residents paid plus they got $1,000 cruise credit (yes, they did not need airfare, but that does not account for the discrepency). There were some 'HIDDEN' pluses that we were not informed of..like asking for senior rates at ports for transfers, museum entries..getting cash back for cruise credits. We never did meet out stewardess, and had to point out that we had no soap left after 8 days..never have been on a ship before with this lack of interaction. Entertainment was not better than high school productions (and that comment probably insults a lot of high schools). Little concern that we missed two ports entirely and Honfleur was changed to Le Havre. No offer to contact our private tour companies for the changes or compensate for out missed opportunities. BOTTOM LINE: Oceania will not be seeing us again. There are too many other better options at sea. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011

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