106 Southampton Luxury Cruise Reviews

We booked this cruise 18 months ago as it was an excellent price and it was booked as our first ever cruise (we actually managed to fit in two before we went in the end) The ship was beautiful. Lots of wood and Art Deco style, very ... Read More
We booked this cruise 18 months ago as it was an excellent price and it was booked as our first ever cruise (we actually managed to fit in two before we went in the end) The ship was beautiful. Lots of wood and Art Deco style, very classic as you would expect. Our stateroom was nice but no nicer than what we had experienced with Princess or P&O earlier this year. The food was nice but I had expected Cunard to be a cut above the rest. It wasn’t any better than P&O. The service wasn’t any better although the food was as nice. The waitress asked if anyone wanted wine with their dinner and if we said no, we weren’t asked if there was anything else we wanted. 10 minutes later I had to ask for a gin and tonic and it seemed like it wasn’t normal to have anything else but wine or water with dinner. Drinks and other items on board are priced in dollars. We were extremely shocked at the price of the drinks on board. A glass of Shiraz at dinner was $17! You have to be very careful when ordering drinks as most of the time you aren’t asked if you want single or double spirits. 4 gin and tonics cost $62! We had to be out of our stateroom by 0800 on disembarkation morning. This isn’t out of the ordinary but the main restaurant closed at 0800. Thinking we would have time to have a nice breakfast before our disembarkation time of 0915, we arrived at the buffet restaurant extremely shocked to see that we couldn’t find anywhere to sit. Upon finding some seats outside by the pool area, we returned to the buffet only to find that the queue was out the door. People walking round the buffet with extremely large suitcases didn’t help either. We ended up leaving the ship and stopping for breakfast on the way back home. This did leave a somewhat sour taste as we had had, a lovely weekend away The evening entertainment in the theatre was excellent. The 4 Tunes on the Friday were exceptional. The Top Hat production on the Saturday wasn’t really my cup of tea, however I understand that it was of excellent quality We went to the golden lion pub for the trivia which we enjoyed but unfortunately there was a large group of people very drunk and about to fight . There seemed to be lots of groups and I’m not sure if you would get this on a standard 7 night Cunard Voyage? I would only go back on a Cunard voyage if it was an excellent deal. The drinks were unbelievably expensive and it would make things very unaffordable. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our 3 rd cruise aboard a Cunard ship. Booking was made through Cunard/Hamburg. Service here is in need of getting used to it. Very impersonal for the class we booked. A mere call center processing. Never beforehave I ... Read More
This was our 3 rd cruise aboard a Cunard ship. Booking was made through Cunard/Hamburg. Service here is in need of getting used to it. Very impersonal for the class we booked. A mere call center processing. Never beforehave I received such poor service in this section. We were even forced to print out our own luggage tags. I am willing to spend the money - but I am not willing to accept the lousy Cunard travel agency service. ( asserted Service ??? ) Also I am fed up with wasting my time on the phone trying to get connected for what they call service. Cheap Internet attitude. I was very disappointed and upset. Cunard Southampton did not even bother answering my letter regarding this issue. The service in the Queens Grill was very good again. Very attentive. Quality of food and beverage also very good. The whole atmosphere in the restaurant is inviting. The sameapplies for the Afternoon Tea Service. Laundry service also very good. Excursion service aboard the ship also lacks an attitude. Personally I do not like guided tours. Take a taxi instead and speak to the locals. Shops here are not very inviting. Variety very small. Many items are of very poor quality -sold at premium prices. After returning to Southampton again we were invited to a Windsor tour. Here we have to emphasize the very good support given by the bus driver and our tour guide. Thank you Port service was fast and effective. Most members ofthe staff are well trained. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I’ll keep this short as I find I stop reading if people write to much. In bullet point fashion. Embarkation: great Cabin steward: absolutely marvellous and they always are. Ship: a bit tired looking, could do with new carpets ... Read More
I’ll keep this short as I find I stop reading if people write to much. In bullet point fashion. Embarkation: great Cabin steward: absolutely marvellous and they always are. Ship: a bit tired looking, could do with new carpets and paint etc. Staff: reception: awful. If a smile is all your after, that’s all you will get. They really are dreadful. Waiting staff: at breakfast they are miserable and slow even though we were all extremely polite and patient. The evening the attitude is slightly better. Other guests: Rude, arrogant and miserable. Honestly why come on holiday if your going to be like that. I’ve found this to be true on Victoria as well. I think this contributes to the mood of the staff. Food: very good. Kids club: great Pools: dirty (all of them) I went in with my son wearing goggles and wished I hadn’t! Perhaps I’ve gone on too much but really I don’t expect anything to change and if Your only interest is to tell people you’ve been on Cunard you’ll probably continue to put up with it. Holland America beats them hands down (I’m English btw). Enough droning as I’ve definitely gone on too long. Happy cruising Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We (2 couples) chose this cruise to return from a European vacation rather than fly back to the US. We knew the cruise would be very formal but as one English passenger said when I queried him about his experience on the 2nd day of the ... Read More
We (2 couples) chose this cruise to return from a European vacation rather than fly back to the US. We knew the cruise would be very formal but as one English passenger said when I queried him about his experience on the 2nd day of the cruise, "They are quite serious". LIkes: We booked the Brittania Club, therefore we had our own private dining table for four each night with the same servers. The food was truly excellent, on par with Oceania Cruise line, which is noted for it's food. (Kudos to our servers, Brendo and Orsulah). We ended up eating breakfast, lunch and dinner in the restaurant. We only gained an average of 2 pounds per person for a 7 day cruise and we believe that is because we mostly avoided the Kings Grill, which is very chopped up, located in several separated rooms with a limited selection of food. We understand it had been upgraded in 2016 from the original design. I cant see how it could have been much worse then. Also, the brewed coffee in the restaurant is very good, unlike the machine coffee in the Kings Grill. We had dinner one night in the Verandah steakhouse restaurant for a small upcharge of $39 per person and it was the best steak we have ever had. 35 day aged beef. The Enrichment and Art seminars, Tea Time and Gala Evenings were spot on great! We didn't mind the tuxedo and formal dress evenings and enjoyed the Masquerade Ball. The planetarium and Queen's Theatre were great venues also. Dislikes: Probably because we have been spoiled by cruises on Oceania Marina, Rivera, & Insignia and Holland Statendam and Koningsdam, we didn't appreciate the QM2 as much as we should. Even with the retrofit in 2016, she looks a bit tired. Very chopped up, no flow to the design. What's with the Churchill and Chart room locations? You have to go through the Brittania Dining room to access the Queens Ball room or go through the Art Gallery up and down stairs to access. Also, the aforementioned non functional Queen's Grill area. The Library boasts 8 thousand books and a room the size of an average family dining room and each passenger is restricted to 2 books at a time with the shelves locked during night hours? That's when most insomniacs need to find a book. We found this very unusual as Oceania ships boast great libraries with a barrista next door. Their libraries are unlocked and open to all cruise passengers 24/7. Finally, what ever you do don't buy the liquor package!!! Very limited pours (50 ml) which makes no sense, as it requires the staff to service you more often. (However, once they see you have a drink sticker on your card, they avoid you like the plague, and you practically have to tackle them to get service). This occurred in every lounge but was particularly acute in the Golden Lion Pub! The wine steward in the Brittania Club restaurant also was put off by our asking for wine refills at dinner, until 3 days before the cruise ended, when he finally increased the pours, which saved him extra trips. (We were not heavy drinkers, drinking no more than 2-3 50 ml pours at dinner) or any other sitting. The package was very restrictive, nothing over $11. If you want to purchase a $20 cocktail, you have to pay $16 (purchase price less 20%), which begs the ? why purchase the liquor package? Also, our traveling companions, (one who drinks and one who cannot drink because of medical reasons), cleared with Cunard corporate that if she brought a Doctor's excuse that he could by the package but she wouldn't have to. We spent the better part of the first afternoon being shuffled between the Purser's office, the G. L Pub and were even sent to the spa, because no one could or would make a decision on allowing our friend to purchase the liquor package alone. Finally, a bartender in the G.L. Pub told us in great whisper (I am not exaggerating) that he would allow it if our non drinking friend would purchase the $30 per day beverage package (water, soft drinks and coffee). You could not purchase wine by the bottle at dinner like on Oceania or HAL only by the 50 ml glass because of the liquor package restriction. The ship was good in the water, you never really felt any motion. However, it felt as if It was designed more for sailors than passengers and the staff was not there to serve you as much as ensure that all rules and regulations would be followed and not be infringed on! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We were booked in a concierge level cabin and it was kind of a disappointment. The bathroom was quite small and was tight on storage. Our cabin steward was not the friendliest and hardly spoke to us. The only benefit we had of the ... Read More
We were booked in a concierge level cabin and it was kind of a disappointment. The bathroom was quite small and was tight on storage. Our cabin steward was not the friendliest and hardly spoke to us. The only benefit we had of the concierge level was the use of laundry facilities. Internet was sketchy much of the time and we had even purchased a $299 internet package. We found a lot of the staff to be not always considerate of the passengers - frequently we had them walk across right in front of us, without as much as an excuse me. Breakfast and lunch were like on any cruise we’ve been on and dinners were very good, especially in the speciality restaurants. The Grand dining room was also good, but some nights the menu was hard to find something appealing. We did shore excursions in every port and most were very good. A couple of them made us very aware that the guide can make or break a tour. Sometimes the departures seemed a bit unorganized. Overall the ship seemed a bit tired and could use some updating. The passengers overall weren’t as friendly as on other cruises. The alcohol packages were ridiculously expensive. A cooking class was a highlight of the cruise. Our disembarkation experience was less than stellar. We left the ship with our assigned group and when we went to get our luggage, one piece was missing. We asked for help and they didn’t seem to know what to do. After a frantic 45 minutes of looking a lady came in with the luggage that she had taken without verifying that it was hers. It seems like there could be some way to prevent this from happening. Overall, I doubt we sail with Oceania again. For the money we had a much, much better experience with Viking Ocean. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Husband's Big 80 birthday - chose Oceania as previous experience on Riviera was very good. Love our food. Very nice itinerary, so we thought, out of Southampton finishing up in Barcelona. Ship - very similar to Riviera. ... Read More
Husband's Big 80 birthday - chose Oceania as previous experience on Riviera was very good. Love our food. Very nice itinerary, so we thought, out of Southampton finishing up in Barcelona. Ship - very similar to Riviera. Beautifully decorated and spotlessly clean. We had Penthouse Suite which was excellent. Very good design. Everything worked except WiFi which was dreadful and you could only have one device working (if it did!) at any one time. Cabin staff were excellent - always cleaned and ready for when we returned. Butler was helpful but we don't really use the Butler. Concierge was awful, rude, arrogant, ignorant both to me and about other guests. Overall the food was good as you would expect from the Cruise line that advertises "The best food at sea..." However........service was slow and seemed disorganised in the Grand Dining Room, the buffet area you had to have everything served to you, often not what you really wanted, which slowed down the process. Often plates were taken away before you finished your last mouthful which I hate! It was over busy at times - I think because the Grand Dining Room was certainly not up to standard. When we did go to the GDR for breakfast there were issues. The worst kipper and smoked haddock I have ever seen - so awful we walked out! Speciality restaurants were good but we were not keen on the Italian Restaurant. Polo Grill, Red Ginger and the French restaurant were all good. There was little coordination between the booking systems and the actual restaurants. Wine was very expensive. The added on gratuities plus another Spanish tax made it a ridiculous price. Entertainment was mixed - some excellent and some awful. Art loft..... well I've never seen such awful examples of a tutors work. The sessions were ok but overcrowded and chaotic. The Culinary Centre was good. Fun and informative . The Special Dining in Prive was an experience, interesting and the food delicious. There were some booking issues for other guests though - they were not happy! Gym was good, classes limited. Front Spa area not serviced, loungers uncomfortable, jacuzzi far too hot on one occasion and outside shower not working. Ports were very interesting - we do not do Ships excursions as we prefer to be independent. Transfers to the ship however were poor in a number of the ports and trying to get accurate info difficult. This did cause us issues as often long waits for buses without any seated waiting areas - my husband cannot stand for long. Some very long unnecessary walks off the ship into the port - little consideration for anyone with any disability. Other Cruise lines seem to have far better in port service. We had a number of Public Holiday days in ports which meant access to attractions was limited and shops closed. The 2 nights in Bordeaux was not 2 nights as they moved the ship on the second day making any independent excursions very difficult especially as it was a public holiday. We saw the Captain once during the whole cruise. He did not attend his drinks party nor did he attend the Thank you parade for the staff. Poor! Would we travel with Oceania again?. Sadly I very much doubt it. I think if we go 6 star again we will try another company. The rudeness of the Concierge was unacceptable. Oh and they got our final account wrong... so beware - we have never had that on a cruise before they are normally spot on! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This cruise was a fun way to get to our holiday in South Africa as it went from Southampton to Cape Town. The cabin, public rooms, lectures and art gallery were all great. We were travelling in Queens Grill and were presented with ... Read More
This cruise was a fun way to get to our holiday in South Africa as it went from Southampton to Cape Town. The cabin, public rooms, lectures and art gallery were all great. We were travelling in Queens Grill and were presented with wonderful menus but the food that came from the kitchen (as opposed to being cooked at the table) arrived dry. We complained twice but nothing changed, I suspect that the chef did a good job but the food was left too long on the pass. We like wine and had been assured that we could do WSET Course Level 2 on the trip. That was not available. We attended a wine pairing lunch which was hugely disappointing because of the poor presentation by the head sommelier. We were irritated by how little was included in the price and that we were constantly signing chits to pay for things. The coffee available free was poor quality so one had to pay for premium coffee. Even when going on excursions small bottles of water were sold for $3.90. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My wife & I have done many cruises over the last 10 years,And this has to be the the lower end of all we have done,If this had been our 1st it would have been our last,1 With CMV, 1 with Tui/Marella/Thomson,2 with Cunard & about 16 ... Read More
My wife & I have done many cruises over the last 10 years,And this has to be the the lower end of all we have done,If this had been our 1st it would have been our last,1 With CMV, 1 with Tui/Marella/Thomson,2 with Cunard & about 16 with P&O,The check in at Southampton was amazingly quick,15 mins from pulling up to cabin is the fastest we have ever experienced,After that it was nothing special,We were experiencing a banging noise outside our cabin,we did contact the pursers desk,the head deck steward did respond very quick,after 30 minutes or so,The desk phoned and said it was a faulty part on the deck above,deck 9 lido,and was required for operational purposes from 07:00 to 23:00 hrs.,They did give some compensation & ear plugs.We were hoping that the faulty part was going to be repaired or replaced at our 1st. stop,Madeira,but no it wasn't and we had to endure this noise for the whole of the Voyage.The there's the entertainment,Or lack of it,There was an illness with 1 of the theatre group,OK I can understand that the show had to be rearranged,so accepted that,but the rest was poor,Pat Patton the the Golden Lion EVERY night,not that good either,A Juggler on the theatre,Come on,we are not 10 year olds,There was 1 night they had a pianist in 3 different bars/venues at the same time,John Martin "comedian" seriously needs new material,He's been on cruise ships for years & is still using the sames gags,Keeps going on about being from Bootle,I thought Liverpool was full of comedians,John not one of them.Entertainments teams didn't mix with the passengers,Cunard like to call us guests,Equinox were good stuck up in the club,but that was empty,with no atmosphere,They did the Golden Lion one night & the Queens room on the last,both were rocking when they were there,I did tick the poor box on the feed back,And the Entertainment Director phoned my cabin & asked if I/We could have a talk about my poor comment,I felt like a naughty child being summonsed to the head teacher,But he was OK,Don't know the average age,We are both in our late 50s.,were very young compered to others,We mention this to the director that Cunard need to move with the times.and start looking after today's generation of cruisers and not who are in the latter years of life,He did seem a little shocked at that comment,But when he thought about it,knew what we meant,they need to rotate the entertainers,We were asked about a cigarette stump/butt on our balcony & we don't smoke, Everything else was great. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
1st Cunard experience and sad to say we have B2B booked with them in Aug/Sept 2019, 1st time ever I'm only half hearted about an upcoming cruise !!!!!! I'm sure the locations will cover any Cunard shortcoming. Let me start by ... Read More
1st Cunard experience and sad to say we have B2B booked with them in Aug/Sept 2019, 1st time ever I'm only half hearted about an upcoming cruise !!!!!! I'm sure the locations will cover any Cunard shortcoming. Let me start by saying that while nothing was really wrong it's just that there was nothing that stood out or made the cruise an unforgettable 5 (or even 4) star experience. We cruise to relax and unwind, enjoy new locations and enjoy the company of cruisers from different parts of the world .... being a Luxury category cruise line with a bit of nostalgia thrown in we expected to be treated to something special, we dressed the part, as Cunard expect/insist, but were totally disappointed with the level of service provided. Perhaps suite guests get to experience this sense of "luxury" in their dedicated dining room ..... for others it appears non existent (cattle making up the numbers providing a bit of profit to Cunard ?). Embarkation went smoothly enough, there was an initial problem with the gangway but once this was resolved, no problem, guests were quickly able to board. Had read that a few previous QE guests indicated the ship was looking a bit tired and dated, apart from from minor carpet issues on a couple of decks we saw, and had no issue with the ships condition .. ours was the last cruise before a scheduled refurbishment. We almost always travel in oceanview and our cabin (1076) was as expected, about average size and fit out compared to previous (non Cunard) cruises. Our Steward (Mario) was overly quiet and shy but always offered a greeting when we met, no problem or issue there. Having left London early a quick snack for lunch was enjoyed in the buffet, all tastes were provided for and we never really had an issue with quick meals that we had there after shore excursions and such. Same can't be said for the Lido Grill on the pool deck where the 'chef' seemed to think that cooking was a chore. The only thing that kept us sane during dinner was the company of fellow cruisers, we're asked to dress to a 5 star standard but service was at a 2 star level ..... the meals were unimaginative, bland, small, lacking in variety and very below par for a 5 star cruise liner .... this was the 1st time ever that an incorrect meal was provided, not once but twice !! Initially they indicated a 'wine package' would be available, no details were ever offered or suggested/recommended (yes we could have asked for it but should that really be necessary?). perhaps being the 2nd sitting was a little too strenuous for staff. After dinner most cruise lines offer a reasonable show ..... we sat through about 5 minutes of 2 offerings and quickly departed, extremely poor, worst offering we've ever experienced. One or 2 of the 'enrichment' talks' apparently were quite good, but may have meant little for non British guests. Shore excursions/tours were about average in cost (they're all on the pricey side) but were well managed with minimal hassles. One of the issues many people have is being hassled for drinks every 5 minutes .... let me assure you this will NOT happen .... indeed drink service was extremely hard to obtain, always quicker to walk up and order yourself rather than wait for service staff to ask (5 star prices with 2 star service). After a day or 2 we established a rapport with the wait staff in the midship bar and had no problems there, initially. Being on a late dinner sitting we always made our way there before changing for dinner .... after 5 or 6 days of sitting there between 5 - 7 pm enjoying a martini I was asked to leave "sorry sir, no jacket, no service after 6pm" .... was OK for at least 5 days but must have got someones nose out of joint ???? Being scheduled for refurbishment resulted in most "shops" shutting down 2 or 3 days before the end of the cruise ... not a great experience for guests to have staff moving bits and bobs into storage while the cruise is still underway. Disembarkation could have been as efficient as boarding if it wasn't for the fact that workmen were crowed around waiting to board as guests were being offloaded. In closing the QE will be doing sailings out of Australia from Feb 2019 ..... I wish them luck, cruising tropical waters during an Australian summer is about daytime shorts and evenings with light, neat casual clothes to match the conditions (forgot the jacket) ..... not sure the Cunard dress standards will be appreciated by Aussie cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our second Oceania cruise. We were on the Nautica cruising the Baltic. We thought food was nothing special. It was good quality, but it lacked any special flavours. It was nowhere as good as we experienced on our previous ... Read More
This was our second Oceania cruise. We were on the Nautica cruising the Baltic. We thought food was nothing special. It was good quality, but it lacked any special flavours. It was nowhere as good as we experienced on our previous Oceania cruise. The service was fine but the last few days the service in the Terrace Café fell away significantly. The entertainment was outstanding for relatively small cruise ship. The berths at the ports were varied with some close to the city and others some quite a distance from the city. The excursions were just okay. We found them to be rushed and not very informative. They charged the equivalent of $150 USD for a walking tour that you can pick up at the local tourist office for $10 USD. There was too much free time, wasted time, long toilet breaks and waiting for people who get lost. I am aware that some other cruise lines have two guides, one at the front and one at the rear. Good idea. Wine prices were nothing short of extortion. French village wines which would retail in France for 20 Euro per bottle were about 15 Euro per glass plus 18% gratuities. They would charge 80 Euro for a reasonable quality bottle plus 18%. The enrichment talks were okay but they were fairly shallow for those of us interested in history. There was only limited time spent on the history of cities on our itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Firstly the good points: Super speedy embarkation , fantastic food on board, two spectacular stops in Flaam & Gerainger. Bergen was Ok but Haugesaund was dreary. We travelled for the first time with Cunard last Fall to the Canaries ... Read More
Firstly the good points: Super speedy embarkation , fantastic food on board, two spectacular stops in Flaam & Gerainger. Bergen was Ok but Haugesaund was dreary. We travelled for the first time with Cunard last Fall to the Canaries and it was wonderful, 10/10. (Queen Elizabeth). This time there didn’t seem to be the same number of staff around. Longer waits to be served with drinks seemed the norm. The food as before was excellent both in the Brittania and the Lido Buffett. The Oriental night and the Indian night in the Lido were exceptional. Drinks are in my opinion pretty reasonable on both the Q.V. & QE , around the same price as you would expect to pay in a London hotel. (And of course you get on board spend which dilutes the cost) To be honest we will look to travel on the QE again next time as this cruise was a slight let down. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
As a solo traveler I had hoped that this cruise would be enjoyable, it wasn’t. A lot of the time I felt that the ship was too crowded and it could be difficult to enjoy everything it had to offer. For instance, the sun loungers. Plenty ... Read More
As a solo traveler I had hoped that this cruise would be enjoyable, it wasn’t. A lot of the time I felt that the ship was too crowded and it could be difficult to enjoy everything it had to offer. For instance, the sun loungers. Plenty of them, but most draped with towels even though no one was using them. Obviously people would bag their lounger and keep it all day. The lido restaurant, often I had to eat later than I wanted to as there were no free tables. The staff were efficient at clearing the tables but the layout of the food areas was confusing. It would be better if the service area was more thoughtfully laid out. Lots of people seemed to be walking around looking for things. The cost of drinks on board was very high, not unlike London hotel prices. Fair enough, however, I was charged an exorbitant £25 for a large glass of Cloudy Bay wine in the restaurant! Plus all drinks carry an extra 15% service charge, and then they leave space for another gratuity. All this when you are also paying a “one off” service charge of $161 per person for the fortnight. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
First RSSC cruise, chose the ship because it’s supposed to be the newest & best of their fleet. Beautiful ship, good layout of public spaces, lots of dining options (food so-so at Sette Mari & Pacific Rim; liked Prime 7 & ... Read More
First RSSC cruise, chose the ship because it’s supposed to be the newest & best of their fleet. Beautiful ship, good layout of public spaces, lots of dining options (food so-so at Sette Mari & Pacific Rim; liked Prime 7 & Chartreuse; La Veranda ok, Pool Grill good). Enjoyed Pré dinner drinks at the various lounges. Embarkation & disembarkation were a breeze (did our own private transfers to/from, also booked hotels of our choice Pre & Post cruise, so avoided chaos at Regent selected hotels). Loved our Grand Suite 1015 (can hear pool deck chairs & running every now & then; though not enough to really bother us)! Majority of staff were friendly & helpful. There were quite a number of crew members who ignored us walking by, no greeting, no eye contact. We’re they afraid we were going to ask them to do something? Our room attendants & Butler were great fortunately. Service outside our Suite fell short. Are they understaffed or undertrained or inefficient? After embarking, tried to have lunch at La Veranda. Absolute mayhem! Ended up at the Pool Grill. Going to La Veranda for breakfast was always an ordeal. Empty tables but none ready. Have to stand & wait several minutes for someone to come over & help us find a table. Coffee refills slow. We mostly ate dinner in the Specialty restaurants to avoid the bedlam at La Veranda, Sette Mari & Compass Rose. Half the time, we’d show up at Pacific Rim or Prime 7 or Chartreuse and no one will be at the reception podium. Have to stand and wait. Same at the Constellation theater, have to wait for drinks server to take our order. We finally got smart & would stop at the Explorer Lounge to get our drinks & would take them into the theater. A lot of waiting for service, not good. Entertainment was ok. Lounge music quite boring. Didn’t go to any lectures since topics were not interesting to us. Shore excursions were well run. Tour guides were mostly ok. Very nice spa. They messed up my husband’s massage appointment which we booked 3 weeks in advance - he was not on the schedule. He had to take a different day; no attempt on Canyon Ranch’s part to give us any remuneration for the inconvenience. The manager did apologize profusely. We are loyal Crystal cruisers so we’re always comparing our Regent experience to Crystal’s. Explorer being a new ship wins on facilities hands-down. Crystal’s service & entertainment are so much better. Food quality are comparable but I thought Crystal had better buffets. We do have a RSSC Navigator cruise booked for January 2020 just because we were looking for a cruise that circumnavigated Australia. Having second thoughts about it now. They better have excellent service because Navigator certainly will not have facilities like Explorer’s. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Been on 7 Cunard cruises now and enjoyed them greatly with a couple of minor exceptions. This was our first on QM2 and we were excited as she is Cunard's Flagship. However, we did not feel the on board experience was up to the usual ... Read More
Been on 7 Cunard cruises now and enjoyed them greatly with a couple of minor exceptions. This was our first on QM2 and we were excited as she is Cunard's Flagship. However, we did not feel the on board experience was up to the usual Cunard standard. Good points, the cabin (12001) was lovely, seemed a little larger than same grade on the other ships. General ship interior is very nice, light and bright and clean everywhere. Ship layout is somewhat erratic, takes a while to get used to it, there are some quite long walks between venues. But then she is larger than the other two. The bad points, well, we did not like the Kings Court Buffet compared to the LIdo Buffet on QE and QV. This one is very very noisy, no sound proofing, ie carpet anywhere, horrible seating layout (straight rows with little separation - like a canteen) and the food was not up to the usual high standards we have had before. its a bunfight at best. We tried for Planetarium tickets - notice says they are available from 09:00 on first come first served. I arrived at 09:00 to find 6 other people waiting. No-one came with tickets. So one passenger called the front desk. A very curt female arrived to tell us the tickets had all gone. I asked how could that be since it was now only 09:05 and we had been there since 09:00 and some of the group before that - and no tickets had been handed out - whereupon she told me very rudely: " Well I don't know, ask your fellow passengers!" - I took exception to that and told her no - that does not answer my question as to why there are no tickets - and that I did not believe her. Clearly these had already been given to a group in advance. I returned some 20 minutes later to find another set of people eagerly waiting at the Connexions desk - and so I advised them all tickets had gone - as no-one from Cunard was anywhere to be seen to let them know. This was disgusting. At least be honest !! The staff do lack in many areas. Our cabin attendant never introduced himself on embarkation as is usual, nor did he advise us of the muster drill time, etc. In fact we only ever saw him once when he delivered a bowl of fruit. Bar staff, I ordered a diet coke, she opened a regular coke then gave me the evils when I told her I asked for a diet coke. As for the MDR - well once again Cunard assigned us a table in a dark corner by a service station - heaven knows how you get a good table - if anyone knows the secret please tell me - 7 cruises and not a decent table yet. And now we will be platinum! In general the mini-cruise itself was good and it's a great way to try out a different ship. We love it that Cunard has wrap-round promenade decks on all ships. Really like to walk around the decks both day and evening. The Cunard tour we took to Rouen was excellent, lovely town, even on a very foggy day. This was a taster of the QM2 for us as we have a 14 night one booked next year. This trip was the "decider" as to whether or not we would still go. We will. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
QM2 Southampton to Cape Town January 2018 was our 25th cruise but first on Cunard. We normally choose inclusive cruise lines such as Regent, Silversea, Crystal or Seabourn but have also cruised with Princess, Celebrity, Oceania and ... Read More
QM2 Southampton to Cape Town January 2018 was our 25th cruise but first on Cunard. We normally choose inclusive cruise lines such as Regent, Silversea, Crystal or Seabourn but have also cruised with Princess, Celebrity, Oceania and Azamara. We decided on Queen's Grill because we imagined this would be the epitome of cruise life. It wasn't. Biggest disappointment was the Queen's Grill restaurant. Not the staff, who were excellent, but the meals did not live-up to expectation. For instance breakfast and lunch menus are the same as the Britannia restaurant and dinner choices were neither extensive nor that good. Cunard should look at the choice offered all passengers by Regent. The only good part of the Grills experience was that when I pre-ordered something not on the menu it was always delicious, often cooked table-side. Of course having food cooked table-side depended where your table was located. We were fortunate enough to have space; most others did not in the narrow and rather crowded restaurant. Apparently standards have deteriorated, at least according to guests at an adjacent table. This was their 42nd - and last - Cunard cruise, they said. Bars and restaurants even ran out of some wines on the first leg of a world cruise! Very poor planning. It does seem that for suite / grill guests Cunard has been left behind. You are not made to feel special (and you've spent a lot of money to be special) at Southampton check-in or at any other time. Quite frankly suite-class on Celebrity is much better value for money than Cunard Queen's Grill as are all the inclusive lines. All this said, the ship itself is in quite good condition considering its age. However it has a strange layout with a constant need to change decks as you work your way from one end of the vessel to another. Staff were generally very pleasant and helpful though I did overhear a conversation between two crew members that suggested staff in Britannia were not happy but "It will get better after Cape Town". I wonder why it would and if it did? I understand the entertainment was quite good, but shows are not why we cruise. Some lecturers were outstanding, others passable. But quite a good selection of topics. I would say never again, but we have another cruise booked on QM2 in a year's time. It will be interesting to see if standards have fallen even further - or returned to a level one might reasonably expect with such a famous "British" cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
just done transatlantic on Queen Elizabeth, first time on Cunard bought new suit and my wife bought new evening wear, we needn't have bothered people where dressed in all sorts, even saw one man go in to restaurant in jeans (not a ... Read More
just done transatlantic on Queen Elizabeth, first time on Cunard bought new suit and my wife bought new evening wear, we needn't have bothered people where dressed in all sorts, even saw one man go in to restaurant in jeans (not a formal night) we had afternoon tea, was poor a waiter arrived with a serving dish that only had 3 sandwich"s on it , never got offered a cake, did get a scone but when i asked for extra clothed cream he complained said no one asks for that, well i did entertainment on a night was poor, how a guy playing a vacuum machine can be top main theatre entertainment on any ship i will never know tv showed very old films most of the time would have expected better bar was soul less one gentleman said to us i didn't pay $20,000 to listen to a pub quiz every night on the plus side food was very good and so where all the staff and restaurant staff good and quick would we go again yes Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
The 26-night Christmas/New Year cruise on Queen Mary 2 from Southampton to New York, the Caribbean and return to Southampton revealed the on-going cost cutting, rip-off prices and declining restaurant food provided by Cunard. It failed ... Read More
The 26-night Christmas/New Year cruise on Queen Mary 2 from Southampton to New York, the Caribbean and return to Southampton revealed the on-going cost cutting, rip-off prices and declining restaurant food provided by Cunard. It failed to provide shuttle buses when berthing some distance from a town; the ship’s toilet system failed on four occasions; and the entire water supply failed on another day. I can safely comment on the decline of Cunard after many cruises on the company’s ships. The first problem was the check-in at Ocean Terminal. Cunard says my World Club Diamond membership gives me priority boarding but it is a second-class priority. On arrival I was told to sit and wait to be called even though the ‘priority’ check-in was open and was checking-in the occasional passenger. These, I was told, were ‘Grills passengers’ who had priority over my priority - even if they were first-time Cunarders with no loyalty to the brand. In the cabin I was pleased to see a bottle of water available but not pleased to see its price label. The 1.5 litre bottle was $3.95 and, in very small print, a note that 15 per cent ‘service charge’ would be added. In Sterling that comes to about £3.40. At Waitrose a 2 litre bottle of comparable water costs 47p. An ice bucket in the cabin contained the usual bottle of Pol Acker blanc-de-blanc sparkling wine. But the accompanying compliments’ slip wrongly described it as Champagne. At subsequent receptions, a flute containing what was referred to as champagne would be offered but it was merely sparkling wine. Perhaps the Commité Champagne - who control use of the Champagne name - are unaware of this misuse of the protected name. An invitation to a ‘Complimentary wine tasting event’ ended with the words “A charge of $30.50 will apply”. My Oxford dictionary refers to complimentary as ‘given free of charge’. Wine in the bars and restaurants continues to be outrageously priced - a mark-up of double or treble shore prices. Not only is the 15% ‘service charge’ added, but the voucher a passenger signs has space for a gratuity. Why should this 15% be charged at all when Cunard makes a charge of $11.50 per person per cabin per day for gratuities ? The Cunard brochure - which dwells on standards of an era long-since gone and not present-day reality - says of the Britannia restaurant “the pace is unhurried, the service impeccable and the food superb”. But it is far from that accolade. For “unhurried” read long delays of up to an hour between ordering and receiving anything on a plate; poor service due to staff cuts; and food continuing to decline in both quality and quantity. It was often unappetising and bland. Food in the Kings Court self-service was often better but repetitive. Arrival at New York on December 22 was at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal - a collection of depressing, converted old buildings surrounded by industrial premises and far from the Christmas lights of Times Square and Fifth Avenue. Whilst the ship’s Daily Programme listed numerous places to visit in Manhattan, no shuttle bus was provided to take passengers to Manhattan and no information was given on how to get there. Berthing at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal - as QM2 and Queen Victoria did in 2015 when I was on board - would have been far more convenient. However, with a return-to-ship time of 4.30pm there was little time to do much in Manhattan, especially after the excessive time it took to get through US immigration. All passengers had to leave the ship to go through immigration including those not wishing to set foot in the US. Queuing to get through took at least an hour. Those wanting to re-board the ship had then to wait in the embarkation hall for up to two hours before being allowed back on board. A big waste of passengers’ holiday time. At Brooklyn, hundreds of passengers, including children of all ages, boarded the ship. From then until they left the ship on January 3 the vacuum-type toilets ceased to function on four separate occasions. There were no such problems on the Atlantic crossings. From the early hours of January 5 until late morning, no running water was available in the cabins and hot water was not restored until the afternoon. Not what you expect on Cunard’s flagship ! The first Caribbean stop was at Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands. The ship’s information sheet about the town said its Main Street was “one of the best shopping streets in the Caribbean” and was 2.5 miles from the ship’s berth. No shuttle bus was provided. At Antigua the ship was to anchor away from the land and passengers taken ashore by tender. The captain decided the sea-swell was too high for safe use of the tenders so the visit was abandoned. At Bridgetown, Barbados the berth was some distance from the terminal building and buses were provided by the Port Authority - not Cunard - to take passengers from the ship to the terminal. Unfortunately, they were mini buses of about 20 seats and difficult for old and infirm passengers to board. The final Caribbean stop was at Amber Cove, Dominica. This development, on the otherwise unspoilt coast, was created by Carnival Corporation, owners of Cunard and several other cruise lines. No shuttle buses were provided to visit the nearest town, Puerto Plata, about 10kms away. A taxi to the town cost $35 for two people but there were no taxis for two people - they had to travel in an SUV with at least two other people. A passenger who had been resident in Dominica told me the fare for that distance would be about $10 anywhere else on the island. As usual, there were a number of high-priced tours from the ship, so unless passengers paid for these or a high-priced taxi they were confined to Amber Cove and the high-priced shops owned by Carnival. Not a place I would wish to visit again. On return to New York all passengers had to leave the ship again at Brooklyn and go through immigration. Those not wanting to visit the city had to wait over an hour before being allowed to re-board. Sail-away was planned for 5pm but soon after that time the captain told everyone that the oil tanker due to fill the ship’s tanks had only just arrived - no reason was given - and would take until 9pm to top-up. He then went on to say that due to a storm at sea the ship would stay overnight at its berth. The ship left about 7am next day just as the heavy snow was starting to fall on the US east coast and we sailed straight into another storm. High winds and seas for the next two days slowed progress but, in that weather, QM2 was the ship to be on. Regarding Cunard’s failure to provide shuttle buses. A large proportion of the passengers on Cunard ships are elderly, disabled or inform and rely on the shuttle buses to get them into a nearby town centre. Cunard receives many hundreds of thousands of pounds on each cruise from them and should re-instate the buses or advise such passengers, before taking their money, that there will be no transport from ship to towns. The cost to Cunard would be far less than the revenue it would lose from loss of passengers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I decided to try QM2 again after sailing on a transatlantic in 2012. I had heard about the fabulous re-mastering and wanted to see if the ship had been changed. I'm afraid that I was not impressed. Obviously the accountants had the ... Read More
I decided to try QM2 again after sailing on a transatlantic in 2012. I had heard about the fabulous re-mastering and wanted to see if the ship had been changed. I'm afraid that I was not impressed. Obviously the accountants had the whip hand in deciding what to do with the ship. QM2 always had an ergonomic problem. It is the worst vessel at sea to get around; so many blind alleys, blocked off areas, exclusion zones and without doubt the worst use of space ever. What they have done is increased the spaces available to make money, though curiously they have turned a wonderful casino into little more than a slot parlour. I was amazed to see that Queens grill and Princess grill dining rooms are located n a non-descript part of the ship with wonderful views of the super-structure, providing they don't mind being stared at by lesser mortals promenading outside their dining room windows. A poor substitute for QV and QE where premium guests have the views of Olympian gods from their dining room, unobserved by lesser mortals. I was most unimpressed by the huge waste of space in and around the Queens Room and other areas of the ship. so much more could be done in these spaces with very little effort. As for the Kings Court, OMG it is like dining in a tunnel on the London Underground. It was cold outside so everyone uses it as a thoroughfare from one end of the ship to the other, a nightmare at busy times negotiating your way to a table through the throng. The service, rooms, food, entertainment were all wonderful as you would expect. I will avoids this ship like the plague, I hate the general layout and find it to be the biggest waste of space on the high seas. One last thing, don't book a cruise on this ship id you are a smoker. Cunard considers smokers as lesser mortals who must be punished for their nasty habit and will confine them to the most uncomfortable out of the way parts of the ship with plenty of wind and rain to cleanse them of their filthy habit. If you smoke you may want to find a another cruise line because the only thing Cunard will help you with is purchasing smokes, god forbid you want to light up. Maybe during the next re-fit they will find a corner of the bilge tanks for the smokers to use. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
As to be expected the itinerary was changed due to the weather although we did make 3 ports as planned but Rotterdam instead of Amsterdam Zeebrugge on a different day and Cherbourg. I had decided to go into a Q5 and there is no ... Read More
As to be expected the itinerary was changed due to the weather although we did make 3 ports as planned but Rotterdam instead of Amsterdam Zeebrugge on a different day and Cherbourg. I had decided to go into a Q5 and there is no mistaking the cabin is a move up from the standard cabin. The fact the bathroom has his and her sinks a shower and a bath tells you all. 4189 is an aft corner balcony so in warmer climes you could fit 30 people on it if so inclined! You get a butler and complimentary drinks, but only for use within the cabin. Otherwise this is still a pay as you go ship. The Queens Grill was a bit of a disappointment. The menu and choice is amazing but recent changes means it's not what is once was. The A La Carte menu has shrunk and the number of items that need to be ordered by lunchtime has grown. However my big gripe is how they operate the Grill. As in Britania you have an allocated table, it works for dinner but otherwise you end up, as in my case, as a one on a table for 9! Breakfast and lunch with no thought about maybe offering open sitting so not leaving solo guests, or indeed a couple stranded on a table. The other challenge is guests arriving as they wish. On more than one occasion the cast of Ben Hur poured in at 8pm the table ordered by 8.10 and food arrived 40 mins later. I raised it with the maitre d and he apologised and had my food expedited, which was nice but left the rest of the table waiting. The Grill is supposed to be the pinnicle of culinary experience at sea, it wasn't and for me there was a creeping in of this becoming a bit of a banquet experience. My other complaint is the price of being on board the bar prices and wine list are very expensive and it was obvious that a lot of passengers were voting with their feet and not purchasing. The packages are badly thought out which doesn't help. So would I go back to the Grills, no. For the price you're expected to pay they're not worth it. Yes you get a fab suite with all the trimmings but the Food experience blighted the trip and the Britania, whilst it has its issues, is on balance much better value. My overall 3star may be a tad harsh but based on expectation and £400 a day it's not a 4star experience Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Cabin was too warm on embarkation. Technician came in and made adjustments. Cooled off considerably, too much. Had difficulty adjusting it (I like it around 68-70) so kept it on the cold side rather than warm, never right though. ... Read More
Cabin was too warm on embarkation. Technician came in and made adjustments. Cooled off considerably, too much. Had difficulty adjusting it (I like it around 68-70) so kept it on the cold side rather than warm, never right though. Thermostat does not allow you to set temp at precise temperature - you can only turn knob to adjust it. Public areas were warm for me. Britannia restaurant on the first two nights was hot. Waiter suggested men could remove their jackets. In general lounges were kept a bit on the warm side. Food varied. Room service breakfast was a disappointment compared to Queen Mary. Quality of eggs and sausage not good. After first breakfast switched to continental breakfast. Meals in Britannia ranged from good to average. Beef on two occasions was inedible. Missed Queen Mary Chart Room. Found nothing comparable on Queen Elizabeth. Overall did not like design of the ship compared to Queen Mary. Enrichment programme was limited with many gaps that should have been filled. Lectures about ports of call were nothing more than advertising for excursions. There should have been information on history and culture of destinations. Crew were generally efficient. Wine stewards knowledgeable. Not a bad experience but neither was it brilliant. Food needs improvement and public area temps need adjustment - I suspect some people will disagree with the latter as many passengers are quite elderly and may want warmer temps. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
A brand new ship. Cost cutting everywhere, from the plastic decor and "modern" drawerless cabin (really? there's no storage!) to the half a pattypan squash and two potato balls accompanying your dinner every single night ... Read More
A brand new ship. Cost cutting everywhere, from the plastic decor and "modern" drawerless cabin (really? there's no storage!) to the half a pattypan squash and two potato balls accompanying your dinner every single night from the same menu. They put it on fancy plates and call it luxury or nouvelle cuisine, but we can't help but call it cutting corners. Flawed concepts ruin your experience, like reservation-only specialty restaurants with no main dining room that leaves hundreds of people to eat at 9:30 or eat outside, covered in blankets, eating pizza or DIY grill while crossing the Atlantic ocean in October. Either that or room service since you can't get a reservation anywhere else. Did they even talk to guests before making this catastrophic change? They did not encourage us to give feedback. Surprisingly, they asked us to leave a review here, on CruiseCritic. Service is still in training, so it's a real mixed bag. While they've taken management off other ships, many others are new to their jobs. Cruise the fjord for a few hours beginning at 9am and not offer coffee and biscuits in the observation lounge? Leave port into the sunset at 5:45 and don't serve drinks at 5:55 because it's not 6:00 yet? No lunch buffets on deck on at-sea days? No regional cuisine? Onions and peppers the only vegetables in many dishes? These examples show the complete lack of flexibility from the set rules, which give the impression of cost-cutting at every opportunity. You can't expect guests on a 2-week+ cruise, even if they do plan months ahead and get reservations, to eat from the same menu every single night and every single day, 3 meals a day. And yet, the Silver Muse tries to make you happy about it. We met others who had booked back-to-back legs and were still eating from the same exact menus a month later. Silversea says they're planning on fixing the food and restaurant issues, but until we hear that actually happen, there's no way we'd cruise this ship again. We just got an email this week that said they were planning to do the same thing on the other ships. On the positive side, the Silver Muse is stable and the basic food quality is good. But give us the old Shadow, the Wind and the Whisper any day. Even the expedition ships are a better value. But maybe Silversea is moving away from the grand days of luxury cruising now, trying to be "modern." There are plenty of low- and mid-market "modern" cruise ships that offer better value. Silversea should be careful not to lose their loyal passengers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this particular cruise for several reasons. Firstly the Excitement of travel on a new ship. The route was of special interest since we have always wanted to do a transatlantic sail. Finally visiting Ireland was a top priority ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise for several reasons. Firstly the Excitement of travel on a new ship. The route was of special interest since we have always wanted to do a transatlantic sail. Finally visiting Ireland was a top priority It had been a number of years since we had sailed with Silversea and we wanted to try there service again. This cruise was our fourth with the company. The average rating is almost completely because of the restaurant and food service. The 8 venue dining concept sounds intriguing but does not work well. The restaurant reservation system precludes the ability to meet and dine with new friends you may make aboard. The menus are static and do not jot change. In general the food was well prepared but ordinary. Two exceptions, the up scale La Dame, for which a Preimum charge is required, was a disaster. Poorly thought out and execution was not good at all. Service was good however. The other exception was La Terraza the Italian restaurant. This was excellent. Food very well prepared and the venue on deck 7 aft was perfect. Public space is no nice but the color scheme a bit on the gray side. Cabin are large and nicely appointed. Butler service was outstanding. We had sailed earlier this year on the new Seaborne Encore and found it to be a better overall design. The vibrant Seaborne Square concept was in stark contrast to the ordinary La Dolce Vita of the Muse. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This cruise on Silver Whisper was from Southampton to Montreal. I live in the UK near Southampton so I was really looking forward to the sail away. Traditionally Silversea used to have Sailaway parties on the pool deck so I was very ... Read More
This cruise on Silver Whisper was from Southampton to Montreal. I live in the UK near Southampton so I was really looking forward to the sail away. Traditionally Silversea used to have Sailaway parties on the pool deck so I was very disappointed on boarding to see that a lot of the deck was under repair (large tent covering one side of the pool deck, under which repairs took place). There was no Sailaway party as such, instead just a gathering in the Venetian Lounge (indoor theatre with no windows). This cruise was very expensive and definitely not a repositioning cruise (well over a US$1000 per night) but the deck maintenance continued every single day of the trip and was combined with balcony sanding and varnishing, there was absolutely nothing relaxing about sitting around the pool area! There were some highlights of the trip such as a beautiful day in Greenland but the excursions were overpriced and widely varied in quality. 2 ports were cancelled, 1 ostensibly for bad weather but it was extremely difficult to see why as there was a light swell only, the other was cancelled because of the speed restriction imposed on the St Lawrence sea way. Reasonably this could have been anticipated since there have been speed restrictions for many months and the cancelled port would have given plenty of time but Silversea are impervious to criticism and the trip turned into sea day after sea day. I was doing a back to back trip which then went on to New York (a lot of people were also doing the back to back trip of 28 days) but in lieu of the cancelled port we were just taken to spend longer in Quebec. Quebec is a fascinating City but we ended up spending nearly 3 days there instead of some of the parts of Newfoundland where we should have visited. For the second part of the cruise the food and entertainment were complete repeats of the previous voyage. Nothing different at all and there was little variety even on the first cruise. La Terrazza is the buffet service for breakfast and lunch and is the most popular venue but really it is more like a canteen than a 6 star restaurant. Part way through the voyage they decided to discontinue offering a hot dessert at lunchtime and all of the deserts were sub standard. Cheese choice was good and there is a cheese menu in both restaurants. The dining room is okay but if you don't get there for the start of dinner then you wont get a decent table so it all turns into a bit of a scrum. A well dressed scrum mind you......nearly every night was 'informal' which means a jacket for men so that gets a bit wearing night after night, even when in Port. The wifi onboard is supposed to be better but honestly is dreadful, really slow and disconnects you all of the time. There is now an 'on demand' small movie selection but it is very small. Lots of problems with lack of hot water in the state room. Only 'excellent' for us was that we had a good Butler. He was the Senior Butler brought on to train other Butlers as many experienced butlers have been moved onto the larger Silversea ships. In summary, I think that Silversea are trying to grow too quickly and are not paying enough attention to their loyal guests. The prices are ever higher, the portions of food in the restaurants ever smaller, no canapés before dinner on any evening without asking for them and having had them we wouldn't bother asking again! Drink choice very limited and drink service generally slow. Entertainment very repetitive. The same shows exactly as we saw 3 years ago! The staff are generally as charming and warm as they have always been. The gym had a lot of cardio machines that were not connected to the entertainment system (broken) or other equipment that was out of use. Overall we were disappointed and will consider other cruise lines for our next trip. A shame as I have nearly 700 Venetian days so I do get a discount with Silversea! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Chose this cruise because of ports visited, seas were rough and we found out they were always rough on this cruise. We were not advised of this and we spent several days in our cabin sea sick. Not fun,big disappointment. We could not visit ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of ports visited, seas were rough and we found out they were always rough on this cruise. We were not advised of this and we spent several days in our cabin sea sick. Not fun,big disappointment. We could not visit several ports because of rough seas. The Whisper is an older ship and frankly some areas of the ship our out dated and in need of repair. Example deck around swimming pool was under repair the whole 17 days we were aboard, A big plus was the ships staff who always were of great service. We stayed an extra day in London and had a great time at St. James. We were picked up on time and delivered to ship in a timely fashion. We did not have anything to eat until our butler asked us about lunch. No one told us about lunch being available. Thankfully our butler brought us some cold stuff,which carried us till dinner time. We stayed over in Montreal at St. James. Besides getting our room at 3 PM the hotel was good. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I write this from the perspective of a 47 year old cruiser who has sailed with Oceania 7 times. My cabin experience has always been a PH2 or PH3 on deck 10 or 11 on Riviera/Marina and deck 8 on the R Class ships. For reference and point ... Read More
I write this from the perspective of a 47 year old cruiser who has sailed with Oceania 7 times. My cabin experience has always been a PH2 or PH3 on deck 10 or 11 on Riviera/Marina and deck 8 on the R Class ships. For reference and point of view purposes I have sailed on most major mass market lines. In recent years my taste has changed and strongly desire smaller ships with less passengers and a more inclusive experience where you are not nickel and dimed. Therefore, lines such as Oceania, Crystal, Seabourn, Azamara, Regent and Silversea have been strongly preferenced. The condition of the Marina is tip top shape - especially for a ship built in 2011. Food remains outstanding. Cruising on Oceania is more akin to staying in a really nice floating hotel as opposed to a true cruising experience. Highlights not only include the dining room and specialty restaurants, but also tea time and the strings. I also believe Oceania and Regent have the best pool areas at sea. Unfortunately, I feel strongly that Oceania has lost ground compared to the competition - so much so that we just booked our first Viking Ocean cruise as reviews seem to compare the two lines as apples to apples with Viking Ocean being the better apple. Unfortunately, Oceania's apple has become a bit rotten. Here's why: Despite a beautiful ship and producing excellent food something is missing on Oceania and has been progressively more noticeable. That "something" is service and absolute lack of personalization. I've noticed on my last few Oceania cruises that the crew does not engage with the passengers and it is clear they are there to do their job and that's it. There is frequent talk in front of guests about "when my contract is up". No similes, no being addressed by name, no remembering preferences. In fact, for the most part no warmth. For example, my wife and I kept bumping into a social hostess we met at a captain's function the second day of the cruise and we would always say hello and try to engage. She would not give us the time of day. A social hostess! Another example - this one from the top - the captain's cabin was just in front of ours and I would frequently see him in the corridor. It was painful for him to return a simple hello. Staff were regimented and inflexible. All decisions - no matter how minor - had to come from the top. There was no willingness or ability to even make small decisions to cater to guests on their own. For example, at the juice bar I asked for bananas, oranges and ice. The employee said he was only allowed to make what was on the preset menu despite all the ingredients and a blender sitting right in front of him. Sounds picky? Not really when every aspect of any small request is treated this way. The overall lack of flexibility and unfriendliness of the staff is unfortunate. Part of what makes cruising enjoyable is the staff. When the staff is miserable and stupidly rigid it impacts the overall experience. In summary - regarding the staff - they walked around like creatures from the Walking Dead and did not seem happy. Unless you bought a drink package getting an honest drink is impossible on Oceania. All drinks are measured pours and quite stingy. Even the "doubles" are weak. A double top shelf (i.e. Kettle One or Grey Goose) martini costs north of $22 before tip is included. Bartenders have zero flexibility to think on their own and actually some are worried about their pours because they are "scrutinized" according to one. Remarkably, Celebrity - a mass market line - makes much more honest and better drinks without the measured pour. Oceania shore excursions are consistently awful. I would not waste your money and instead visit sites such as tours by locals or Viator to arrange your own tours. Not only will you have a more customized experienced and skip out on painful bus journeys, but you will save a ton of money. As an aside, I think Oceania would benefit from increasing their prices slightly and making drinks all-inclusive. They should get rid of O Life promotions and just make every sailing with included WiFi, beverages, gratuities and lastly not insult guests by requiring tokens for the laundry. Those inclusions coupled with some serious Ritz Carlton style customer service training would potentially put Oceania back in the running. On all my previous Oceania cruises I booked future cruises. Not on this one. I am done with Oceania for the foreseeable future as I've tried other options and liked them better; hence the danger of trying other things as you might just like them better and change your spending habits. Sorry Oceania - what was once a fabulous product is just fair now when compared to the competition in the market. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017

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