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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our second cruise on the Riviera. The food quality and service quality have fallen significantly over the past year. We went on our first Oceania cruise in 2014 on the sister ship, Marina, for a Baltic cruise. We could not ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Riviera. The food quality and service quality have fallen significantly over the past year. We went on our first Oceania cruise in 2014 on the sister ship, Marina, for a Baltic cruise. We could not believe how wonderful and attentive the staff was. The shore excursions were great and fairly priced. The food and drink service was outstanding. Last year we took Riviera for the Greek Island cruise. The food quality in the main dining room had dropped. The service had lessened. The shore excursions were much more crowded and over priced. The entertainment offerings were poor at best. This year we decided to try the ship again with some friends we met on the last cruise. Had it not been for the passengers we engaged with and a few outstanding staff members, the cruise would have been a disaster. This was the Northern Allure cruise from Southampton to Reykjavik. The first night we found shards of a broken glass on the bathroom floor. We brought this to the attention of the staff and insisted they re clean the bathroom floor. After that the cabin attendants never acknowledged us. Never greeted us and made an effort to turn away as we passed by. Our bathrobes were taken, but not replaced. Our bath mat was taken, but not replaced. These incidents required us the call the supervisor. The cabin had dust on the glass shelves - never cleaned in 2 weeks. The bathroom vanity handles were loose. The in room safe had a taped on piece of paper for a door handle, the plastic on the buttons was worn off and several numbers would not work, and the inside battery cover was held in place with a band aide. One evening in Toscana, the Italian specialty restaurant, my desert glass was cracked through 2 sides. I spoke with the restaurant manager. I never received a formal apology, and offer to return to try them again - you could only book the 4 specialty restaurants once each on a 14 day cruise, or a free bottle of wine as an apology. In another specialty restaurant, the Polo Grill - the cocktail I ordered was not good. Instead of offering me another or something else, I was still charged for this. At the Waves outdoor grill, I asked for a simple smoothie of yogurt with milk and fruit. The staff informed me that they could only make the 3 combinations that were posted on the board. None of these were to my liking. One evening my wife requested pasta with only olive oil and cheese. She was told she could only have pasta with the sauces listed. How easy is this to make, especially since the pasta was in front of her and did not have sauce on it yet. The evening entertainment was hit or miss. Other less expensive cruise had far better shows, such as the Greek Crystal cruise from Montego Bay around Cuba. This time we booked our own shore excursions, except for the free included ones. They were less than half price and much less frenetic. Since NCL has taken over there appears to have been a precipitous decline in the care and attention to details. For over $7500.00/person for the cruise portion only, this is not inexpensive. At this price there are numerous other cruise lines. All of the above was written on the on line end of cruise review. We were informed that every review was to be read and considered for future enhancements?????? I seriously doubt we will every cruise with Oceania again. I would advise those reading this review to carefully consider other options before booking. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This is our first Ocean cruise experience and it was absolutely wonderful! Our cabin was roomy and I was impressed about how the storage space was designed. The bed was really comfy and the bathroom was large for a stateroom. Although ... Read More
This is our first Ocean cruise experience and it was absolutely wonderful! Our cabin was roomy and I was impressed about how the storage space was designed. The bed was really comfy and the bathroom was large for a stateroom. Although electrical outlets in the bathroom were only for razors or toothbrushes, there were ample 220 and 110 outlets in the main cabin. I really enjoyed having a port to charge my phone and IPad near our bed. Our cabin Stewart's were also wonderful and serviced our cabin twice daily. The goodies in the refrigerator were a real treat! I can't say enough about the dining options. There were so many choices and varieties of food. On several occasions , they offered special buffets specializing in foods of the regions. Although the specialty Italian and Chefs table Restuarant were a great, we really enjoyed the open dining of the World Cafe. We visited the Explorers lounge several times to enjoy the music but we loved watching the scenery off the bow. Lastly, we want to thank Viking for arraigning the unique welcoming at some of the Ports. In Scotland, bagpipes greeted us on 2 stops and the crew welcomed us home with music and dancing. OUR CRUISE was the British Isle Explorer. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Pacific Princess is the smallest of the Princess fleet, with a capacity of only 670 passengers. When I booked, all the suites were sold out, so I booked a mini-suite, which was later upgraded to Club Class. Right after I paid the fare, we ... Read More
Pacific Princess is the smallest of the Princess fleet, with a capacity of only 670 passengers. When I booked, all the suites were sold out, so I booked a mini-suite, which was later upgraded to Club Class. Right after I paid the fare, we were upsold a forward suite (#7005, Marquesas Suite). I'm always aft, but I love those suite perks, so I jumped on it. This was the largest suite I've ever seen and had a bath and a half, with a wall of closet space, along with all the usual suite perks like that sumptuous Sabatini breakfast. Interestingly enough even though she is very tiny, Pacific Princess never felt crowded, but because she is so small, it was easier for my elderly mother to get around. The food and staff on this ship are amazing, and the maitre d' came by our table at every meal to make sure everything was going well. Chef Giuseppe was the brains behind the original Chefs Table Experience years ago, and we were thrilled to experience Chef's Table with him. This was a great cruise with a great itinerary that we would absolutely do again, no questions asked! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Just wanted to experience a (mini)cruise to see what it would be like and if it would suit us (myself and my wife) for a future trip. We found the Queen Elizabeth a great fun experience! The meals were excellent quality, not oversized, ... Read More
Just wanted to experience a (mini)cruise to see what it would be like and if it would suit us (myself and my wife) for a future trip. We found the Queen Elizabeth a great fun experience! The meals were excellent quality, not oversized, and appeared to be nutritious (ie not rubbish American style food - fruit and veggies were included). We travel (sometimes up to 3 months per year) and eat out a lot and to us the service was excellent. The only other cruise we have done is a Ponant Antarctica cruise with 200 passengers and I found it interesting/amazing that it didn’t appear to be to different (ie. overcrowded) on this ship with 2000 passengers. The entertainment varied from having some excellent musicians (ex Moody Blues, Cliff Richard backing band members, etc ( they were great!) to having terrible dancer/Caberet acts (same as on the Ponant cruise!) but that’s just our preferences. The ship couldn’t stop at Guernsey because it was to rough to disembark passengers (disappointing) but they went to LeHavre instead and we went to HonFleur nearby which was lovely. For us we did conclude that touring by cruise ship was probably not for us as you could not get to really know a place you visited (like we would want to) because of lack of time but as a self contained experience a mini cruise was a fun experience and we would be happy doing a transatlantic crossing on one of these Cunard ships which is what we tried to do in the first place but we couldn’t fit it into our timetable. We would recommend a mini cruise as a fun experience. Whether you would want to tour on cruise ship (ie use a cruise to visit different places) depends on how you want to travel. We had fun on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth . Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose the British Isles due to our longtime interest in our ethnic heritage, our love of the literature, and our desire to see with our own eyes the places we’ve been reading about for years. We were delighted with the ship and ... Read More
We chose the British Isles due to our longtime interest in our ethnic heritage, our love of the literature, and our desire to see with our own eyes the places we’ve been reading about for years. We were delighted with the ship and crew, the added academic and entertainment opportunities and each port. What a thrill watching the docking procedures, entering new cities and towns, discovering special nooks and crannies through the guided tours. An unexpected need due to a wardrobe malfunction was for sewing. There was a tailer on board!! He saved my wardrobe by adjusting the waist bands in two pairs of pants - thus increasing my pant options by 50%. Who knew? Well, our steward Nengah knew. Our steward was such a support and help. I think we will miss him for quite a while. We learned so much and discovered so much. We were living large the whole time and had to pinch ourselves off and on. Plus the dining options were perfect - casual when we were tired, white table cloths when we were leisurely. Beautiful presented and tasty as well, home cooking is suffering in comparison. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Our first Viking Ocean cruise followed a very enjoyable Viking River cruise two years ago. We chose the British Isles tour because it was of Moderat late, 14 days, and although it covered a lot of ground it was focused on the Great ... Read More
Our first Viking Ocean cruise followed a very enjoyable Viking River cruise two years ago. We chose the British Isles tour because it was of Moderat late, 14 days, and although it covered a lot of ground it was focused on the Great Britain experience, Our high expectations were completely met by the ship’s fine physical condition, high level of service and quality cruise amenities. Everything expected was as promised. Accommodations were more than satisfactory, with the stateroom bathrooms exceeding expectations.The sitdown restaurants were excellent, and the other dining choices varied and tasty. A wide variety of shore activities were offered to suit many activity and interest levels. (The logistics of the tourist was pretty good, given the small group focus and the variety of shore experiences available.) Spa, Gym, and shopping were high-quality and immaculate.(The absence of gaming was refreshing.) Especially impressive was the onboard education. A group of lectures offered deep insights throughout our voyage, including history, culture, and present day conditions. We will patronize Viking again! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I are in our late 60's and still quite active and like to travel with friends. This will be our second Ocean cruise and we have done two other Viking River Cruises. I like the cruise idea since you pack and unpack only ... Read More
My wife and I are in our late 60's and still quite active and like to travel with friends. This will be our second Ocean cruise and we have done two other Viking River Cruises. I like the cruise idea since you pack and unpack only once and you travel at night to a new port. On this cruise we were able to see the diversity in the different countries in the British Isles and go to many places where we would probably not go to, all of which were interesting to us. Usually I would have extended the trip on the front end in London, because it is such an amazing city, but we had been there for a week at Christmas with our daughter and had seen a lot of the sights. We did fly in early Sunday and had a full day, although a bit tired to explore the city. We are pretty good getting around ourselves and booked the inside Buckingham Palace and garden tour at 12:15. We LOVED getting to see inside the Palace and the grounds. Definitely try to do that if you go. I will now try to summarize the different parts of the cruise. The Jupiter was stunning. It was just like our first boat with probably very minor tweeks for improvement that we would not even notice. There was a great diversity of places to be on the boat and be a quiet or active as you want. The boat was big, but not too big. It never seemed crowded to me. The Spa area was very well done with a nice changing areaa and indoor pool with a very cool Nordic experience cold room onboard. Their was also a pool in a large atrium area that have plenty of seats near the windows on the outside. Finally there was a great small infinity pool and hot tub on the aft on level 7. Our room was a deluxe veranda which was fine for us. The bed was very comfortable and a king size bed. I am 6'4" and slept well. The bathroom was a good size but crowded for 2 people. We loved our veranda but honestly did not use it much. The Crew----We found the crew on the Jupiter excellent and very hardworking. From the General Manager to all areas of operation- we thought the crew was outstanding. We were able to interact with many crew members and the one theme that came out was that they loved Viking better than others they had been on. The crew was very happy. We have been to nice resorts like Sea Island and found the level of service on par with that experience. Food-We found the food very good to excellent . I thought the best food was at Manfredis (the Italian option) but that is also my favorite food. When you get your first opportunity go ahead and book reservations at either this restaurant or the Chef's Table, both of which was good. The Dining Room option was great also and usually had a wide variety of meal options. Since we ate at different areas in the dining room, we did not have the same server every night. We usually ate at the buffet for breakfast which had GREAT fresh fruit, about any breakfast option you could imagine, and omelet stations. Bottom line-The food ranges from good to excellent. You will not go hungry. Oh, I almost forgot, Mamsen's was a grill option on level 7 toward the pool area. They have great grill options and salads which were delicious. Entertainment-We found this area to be good to excellent. The four young singers were quite good and gave a variety of performances whcih we loved. There were also several times when local talent was brought in which was fun. The band on the ship was EXCELLENT and were the male and female vocalists. They performed both in the theater as back up to the singers and by themselves in Torshavn, a small lounge . We found the music excellent, but do not expect a carnival type atmosphere on this boat. Speakers- The speakers were good not great, but still very imformative. We have had better speakers on other boats, but thought they were good and discussed some tough topics like BREXIT and the Ireland-Northern Island issue. Cruise Director-Heather. I saved the best for last. WE have been on 5 other cruises and Heather was the best BY FAR cruise director we have ever experienced. She was a great speaker, funny, on topic and talented. In a previous life she was an opera singer and had to put together a show at the last minute (5 PM for a 9:00 pm show) due to a sore throat of one of the singers. Her performance was outstanding!!! But, I loved just her daily talks and her general interaction. She had the ability to make mundane things interesting. Excursions--We found the excursions to be good and gave a lot of options. Since we booked this trip very late-in June, we could not sign early, but found that most of tours opened uo that we wanted. The only negative is getting on and off buses and is a process which they handled quite well. I would give the tour leaders high marks in each area!! We usually did the included tour and then did things on our own at the other parts of the day. I did talk to other that did some of the options and they all seemed to like them. One tip is when you are in Invergorton and you play golf, there is a Top Ten golf course in the WORLD about 30 minutes away called Royal Dornoch. You can book you own times and but you will need a morning time, as you must be back on the boat by 4:30. I did this on my own and rented a car from Ken's for the day. Amazing course -it is my favorite course ever and I have played all the Open courses. Finally, on the Bergen stop I booked the Norway in a Nutshell trip. It is a series of trains, buses and ships which shows you fiords and beautiful country. It is about 10 hours but well worth it. There is no hand holding or person, just tickets but it works quite well if you can get around and feel comfortable travelling on your own. We loved the trip and I guess the only negative was trying to book a future trip. We met with the future trip person and just did not enjoy the experience. I liked the option, just not the experience and we chose not to book. In summary, Viking ships, crew and experiences are great!!! we plan to come back in the future. One final note- if both you and your wife drink, the drink option is a good deal for part of your trip. We did not do it, but some of our friends did and loved it. Also, since we were travelling just with us, it allowed us to meet some amazing new friends we hope to see in the future! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This was a fantastic vacation. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. We visited all of the countries in the United Kingdom and finished in Bergen, Norway. We always felt so comfortable on board and welcomed by the Viking ... Read More
This was a fantastic vacation. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. We visited all of the countries in the United Kingdom and finished in Bergen, Norway. We always felt so comfortable on board and welcomed by the Viking Staff. This was the longest cruise we have ever undertaken and we were more than pleased. Heather Clancy, the Cruise Director, and her crew were fantastic. They entertained us with at different show every night. Elvis even made an appearance on board. The Viking Band was great. Dancing under the stars provided a great memory. The Restaurants provide excellent food and service. The specialty restaurants are not to be missed. Wine and Beer were provided at all lunch and dinners at no charge. I would highly recommend the purchase of Silver Drink package (Upgrade). The Buffet is one the best I have experienced. Viking provided excellent exclusions at every port, at no charge. Shuttles were also provided at most ports, free of charge. At Edinburgh, because of windy weather conditions, the ship could not tender the passengers to Edinburgh. The Captain and crew decided to dock further upstream. The crew jumped through hoops to provide transportation (free) into the heart of the city. Other cruise lines, in port, just anchored and the passengers lost the opportunity to visit Edinburgh. All in all we had a great time and thank the Viking Crew and staff for a great vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise, first, for the destination. We have always wanted to visit the British Isles. This cruise allowed us to get a taste of several countries, and multiple cities all in one vacation. We chose Viking because they offered ... Read More
We chose this cruise, first, for the destination. We have always wanted to visit the British Isles. This cruise allowed us to get a taste of several countries, and multiple cities all in one vacation. We chose Viking because they offered this trip, it also because the value of the cruise was well worth it. It is not the least expensive one out there, but we agree that it is of the best value. Some of the reasons to travel Viking are: no kids under 18, no casinos, no umbrella drinks, no upselling of products in the spa, no additional charges for excursions, no additional charges for specialty restaurants, no nickel and diming with pictures of you with the captain etc. This is an ADULT cruise for those who want to LEARN. Of course we also had a ton of fun, but this is not a party cruise. The ship itself was a floating palace. Beautiful, clean, simple Scandinavian decor, lovely colors mixed with creams, and the lighting was spectacular. Destination artwork and pictures decked the walls and seating areas. Food was amazing. Cleanest public restrooms I’ve ever seen! The entire ship was immaculate. They worked so hard at keeping things clean! Daily tea was served in the Wintergarden complete with loose leaf tea in pots, delicious scones and finger sandwiches. We took advantage of that as much as we could. Service was outstanding. We simply could not have asked for better. Anything we needed or wanted was ours. The destinations were incredible. Excursions were good. Most tour guides were very knowledgeable and helpful, with a few exceptions, but those guides didn’t work directly for Viking, and the ones we were disappointed in, we let Viking know. In addition, there were port talks given in advance to inform you about the port, and any last minute changes that were taking place. And the lectures by the resident historians were not only informative, but entertaining as well! Embarkation and Disembarkation went very smoothly. No troubles at all. I just can’t recommend Viking enough. You will NOT be disappointed! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
After 26 cruises this was our first on Viking; surely, not our last. I'll get over our one gripe first and move on to the positives. On the evening sail from Bergen, we visited the ship's apparel shop in search Viking's red ... Read More
After 26 cruises this was our first on Viking; surely, not our last. I'll get over our one gripe first and move on to the positives. On the evening sail from Bergen, we visited the ship's apparel shop in search Viking's red and white signature Dale of Norway sweater. My wife resisted buying other attractive sweaters in Bergen's shops with Viking's signature sweater in mind. The shop had no stock of size medium. The excuse was that they sold out on the last voyage. That is lame excuse since we just sailed from the cruise line's home port and the Dale of Norway production center. The salesman offered no recourse, eg. a special order that could be shipped home, and assumed a rather indignant, huffy attitude. The message. "Clients from the Bergen cruise origin aren't as worthy as those from the Greenwich start of the same cruise itinerary." That said, now to to the cruise. Despite scheduling 13 excursions in 11 ports over 13 days, we felt that this was one of our more relaxing cruises. The casual, unbustled on-board environment undoubtedly contributed to that feeling. We used Viking Air for flight arragements and arrived in Bergen around noon after a short connecting flight from Oslo. There were at least half a dozen Viking representatives at the airport to assist passengers and get us on the way to the ship. This exemplifies a typical pattern that we experienced on the whole cruise. Ample Viking staff are readily available where needed to assist customers. A seamless check-in at the port had us in our stateroom before the scheduled time. Our luggage had already been delivered, a first time experience on any cruise. The Atrium serves as the core public area from deck 1 to 3. Above The Viking Living Room on deck 1 with its nooks of lounge furniture, book collections and artwork, deck 2 has a perimeter balcony with lounge and table game areas and deck 3 features sitting areas along with exhibits of Norwegan traditional ceremonial dress; deck 2 has a nook with Viking cultural artifacts. My wife, a serious fiber spinner, delighted in the spinning artifacts. Stateroom corridors and public areas abound with artwork. Explanatory narratives are available through an on-board dedicated phone app. At the head of the grand staircase in The Atrium is a 2-deck electronic panel with changing images of Norwegan and Viking culture and the voyage's port areas. Beneath the staircase is a garden of multi-colored visual delights. At the deck 1 staricase base performance space features daily soothing classical performances on the Steinway by Olga, resident pianist, and the Viking classsical duo on violin and cello. Other performances included well chosen port-based ensembles providing local cultural programs and the ship's staff who shared diverse talents. Deck 7 offers other retreats at Mamsen's, where light fare is available, and in the Explorer's Lounge with its bow views and bar. A mezanine extension of the Explorer's Lounge on Deck 8 privised additional views and seating nooks. Midship on Deck 7 is The Wintergarden, a quiet retreat where most afternoons feature Afternoon Tea at 4:00 with the accompaniement of the ships classical artists. The pool area expands lounging and eating space, all or part of which can be covered by the retractable roof. Special buffets and entertainment are features. And for the always exposed to the elements, there is the infinity pool on the stern outside The World Cafe. And, back to deck 1 for Torshaven, a cozy club like venue for seminars and evening dancing from 9:00 to Midnight. The Star Theater's informal lounge atmosphere is a relaxing place for tour meet-up and for guest lecturer presentations. Sofa pillows with images of Norwegan performance and artistic celebraties on one side and the autograph on the other typify the Viking touch. Four lecturers on our voyage informed and entertained us. To celebrate the July 20, 1969, moon landing, retired USAF pilot and astronaut Karol Bobko shared experiences and related the technoogy of space exploration. He also gave presentations in the shipboard planetariumn on deck 8. Ship passengers celebrated the moon landing at 8:17pm on July 20th with pastries in the Atrium that included a chocolate replica of Apollo 11. William Thayer's lectures offered insight into the energy production technologies that are active in he North Sea. Other topics included the British pursuit and sinking of the Bismarck in WWII and the "Breaking if the Enigma Machine," a step in the development of today's digital computers. Dr.Michael Fuller combined archaeological artifacts with historical evidence in lectures about Viking and Northern European history. (Without historical documentation, archaelogy is speculation.) Particularly interesting was his presentation on the Hanseatic League. He met with passengers in nooks around the ship to pursue a variety of individual interests. Notable is Russell Lee, who synthasized complex topics from history and current events into connections that are often missed among the detail of events. He was literally up-to-date, including his visuals, with his Brexit presentation on the day that Boris Johnson became the UK's PM. Outstanding was Lee's presentation "Baa, Baa Black Sheep - How Wool Transformed Medieval Europe." He included his wife demonstating a centuries old spindle technique that persists today in spinning yarn. The only tidbit he omitted, according to my wife, was how the word "sabotage" became part of our vocabulary because of the industrialization of weaving. If you miss the lecture theater presentation, it's available 3 hours later on the ship's TV, not just an fuzzy video of the stage presentation, but with the presenter in a quarter panel and sharp graphics taking up the rest of the screen. Great Viking Jupiter production team! While on technology, kudos to the full-time internet service included in the cruise fare. Wi-fi access is throughout the ship, and there are desk top PCs located in a "nook" of The Living Room. Most passengers used their own devices. An on-board "trechie" can assist. Viking Jupiter's internet service is the fastest, most reliable that we have experienced on a cruise ship. Also, amenities include wine (red and white) and beer (light and dark). Menu beverages have a modest charge, eg., $7.50 (including gratuity) for a Manhattan. No charge for all the bottled water you want. And, no charge for the daily refrigerator set up of soft drings, snacks, and Toblerone chocolates. Spa facilities have no surcharge.. Unwind in a sauna, a cold tub, the Snow Room, a hot whirlpool or churning pool. An ample variety of standard fitness equipment is also available.Spa treatments are available at fees comparable to other cruise lines. While I was pleased with a massage, my wife was less so with her facial. She noted a harsh abrasive material used on the skin that she hasn't experienced before. And, after leaving the spa, she discovered unpleasant blotches of a greasy cream on her skin. And, let me not forget the included excellent self-serve laundry facilities on 4 of the 6 cabin decks (soap is included). So nice not to be nickeled and dimed. One can opt for individual paid launtry at reasonable rates. Repeat: So nice not to be nickeled and dimed. For us a genuine surprise was a bottle of sparkling wine and cake delivered to our stateroom. Viking graciously added to celebrating our 50 years of marriage. And, the on-board dining; overall - excellent. Several individual dishes were too salty (some chefs know only that "spice"). We didn't eat at Mamsens, noted for light fare, but enjoyed the no-surcharge specialty venues. First night out was The Chef's table featuring regional Nordic cuisine. International cuisines rotate avery few days. We chose the Nordic which was excellently prepared and plated for full enjoyment. We also enjoyed an evening in Manfredi's Italian Restaurant, where portions easily contribute to expected weight gain on a cruise. One can book as many meals in these restaurants as there is availability. The Restaurant is the main dinner venue with multiple sections that avoid the "heard feeling" on other cruise lines; one can actually enjoy conversation without straining. Overall excellent well plated dishes with reasonable portions served by attentive staff who remember us when we repeat at their tables. Thank you, Henry for your songs and attentive service. For a snack, on the pool deck, light fare is available, including what may be the best hamburger at sea. Vegans can also indulge. And, The World Cafe serves for a breakfast buffet as well as lunch and dinner. Customized omlets are worth the few minutes' wait. Sometimes staff were overwhelmed by passenger needs, but they were attentive and (with few exceptions) handle the demands well. Buffet food is among the best we have had. Do no pass on the ice cream and pastry selections. Seek out the daily pizza options that go well with a Viking beer at lunch. As related above, Viking clientele are learners. Each port includes one tour. Additional, paid tours are available. Most included tours are city drive throughs with a couple of stops. Our Dublin 3 hour city tour had an excellent guide. He related neighborhood histories along with those of major monuments. He summarized economic conditions in the city and country as well as the possible Brexit impacts. Included was a 45 minute stop at Jubilee Gardens. We were able to hop off the bus to explore Temple Bar on our own. On the Orkney Islands the included tour got out of the port of Kirkwall into the countryside, and included a too brief stop in the seaside village of Stromners. My bride found a shop with her favorite roving from the native North Ronaldsay sheep - a breed that cannot be exported elsewhere in the world because of its particular seaweed diet. Plenty of time was allowed for a stop at the neolithic Ring of Brodgar, a predecessor of Britian's more famous henge. Port Ulapool's included walking tour was perfect for getting a sense of a western Highlands Scottish seaside community, and included a pub stop with adult and bakery refreshments along with lively local music. We felt that the guide gave a reasonable overview of life in the community. Comments do not include all of out complimentary tours. Among the paid tours we enjoyed The Beatles Experience tour in Liverpool, except for the hot, stuffy museum at the end. Otherwise the ecellent guide and typically cramped bus seating are worth the effort for "Fab Four" fans. In Edinburgh the Rosslyn Chapel and Glenkinche Distillery tour were well done. One has to suffer an excessive crowd at the chapel. So, it takes effort to appreciate the complexity of the architectural gem. Do leave a few coins to support the chapel cat. The distillery tour with guide Willie was excellent; that's from a Kentucky resident bourbon enthusiast. Very disappointing for a train enthusiast was the Ffestiniog Railway and Lunch tour at the Holyhead port. We arrived at the train depot with barely enough time to board - no time for photos. Photo opps were "promised" at the terminus. By the time most of the photogs in our group got to the head of the train the engine was decoupled and on its way through the rail yard. Then, we had to rush to a bus to get to the next stop, lunch in a hotel in Betws-y-Coed with provided meal and time to wander the community that reminded me of Aspen, CO, without the opulence.We traveled through the Sodonia highlands, Wales slate producing region, distinct part of the UK. A positive with the Viking tours is that the limit seems to be around 25. So, one doesn't feel like part of ther herd. We took 7 included and 6 paid tours over the two weeks. So these comments offer only highlights. Preparing us for each port was a presentation by the cruise director and the shore excursion manager. Special kudos to Vicki, the cruise director. She was genuinely engaging and totally professional; and very unlike cruise directors on most prior non-Viking cruises, did not act like a clownish buffoon. I do fault the tour director, however, Javier, for a demonstrably lack of personal knowledge about some port tours. Debarkation, not a welcome 5:00am rise to be ready for our 6:15 group to end this Viking experience. In The Living Room we had fruit, breakfast pastry, and beverage options as we awaited our group call for airport transport. Friendly Viking staff were at every turn, literally as we left the ship. On the 90 minute bus ride to London-Heathrow Airport, a Viking representive gave us a guided narration through the London neighborhoods and assisted at our airport arrival. As my wife said, "This is one cruise that we return from without needing a vacation." Thanks Viking staff and Viking Jupiter crew. We'll be back! Lecturer quality is one reason for booking an Inside Passage Alaska cruise for 2020. It will be our fifth in the region. We look forward to the Viking difference. Finally, I have kept a spreadsheet for costs on prior 26 cruises and on this Viking cruise. For comparable 2 week cruises our Viking costs were only $300.00 more. I attribute this to the longer air distance to Norway. By comparison to US carriers, SAS to Norway and BA from London to the US provided FAR SUPERIOR comfort, food, service, and amenities in the same passenger class, Economy Comfort/Economy Plus or equivalent level. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The cruise exceeded our expectations in every way. • The ship and our room were gorgeous. Every aspect of the ship was lovely and we never felt like we were crowed. • The ports were well chosen.It was a wonderful way to see ... Read More
The cruise exceeded our expectations in every way. • The ship and our room were gorgeous. Every aspect of the ship was lovely and we never felt like we were crowed. • The ports were well chosen.It was a wonderful way to see lots of different ports some of them quite remote--Shetland Islands and Orkney. • There were many available excursions.There were excursions form every interest and plenty of information if you wished to do things on your own. The included excursions were always enjoyable. • The on-board food was very good, if not often exceptional. It was great to eat when/where you liked. Again, the dinning areas never felt crowded. Having wine and beer included at meals was a treat.. • The on-board washer and dryer were very helpful. Soap was included and we brought laundry sheets so we were all set. We will definitely look at Viking for our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose Viking Cruises because of its' reputation as being the best cruise line in the industry. The British Isles Explorer cruise allowed us to see ports we had not visited before in Norway, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, ... Read More
We chose Viking Cruises because of its' reputation as being the best cruise line in the industry. The British Isles Explorer cruise allowed us to see ports we had not visited before in Norway, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Ireland and England. The included tours were excellent. In fact' we added 4 tours (total 18) to insure we saw all the things we wanted to see during our 14 day cruise. The ship was fastidious, the crew was efficient, friendly and accommodating. Food was very good and plentiful. Complimentary wine and beer with lunch and dinner a definite plus. Stocked minirefrigerator with free soft drinks and snacks unheard of. On board entertainment exceptional. Everything about the cruise was beyond our expectations. Even warm wash cloths handed to us when we returned from our tours. Talk about being pampered!! In our minds, Viking set the benchmark for excellence and we would be hard pressed to choose another cruise line in the future. What a wonderful time we had! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We wanted to see the British Isles and this seemed to be the best way to do so. The Sun is a beautiful ship. The service was fantastic. The on board experience with Viking Ocean rivals the other top of the line cruise lines. However, ... Read More
We wanted to see the British Isles and this seemed to be the best way to do so. The Sun is a beautiful ship. The service was fantastic. The on board experience with Viking Ocean rivals the other top of the line cruise lines. However, unless you book in one of the most expensive cabins, by the time you are allowed to book shore excursions, which are booked on a priority basis, the best times for included excursions (that were nothing more than a bus ride around town) and the best optional excursions were already booked and not available. As a result we will never use Viking Ocean again. We paid over $15,000 for the cruise and were only able to book 2 optional excursions of our choice. An example, the Beatles Experience in Liverpool was completely booked but the excursion was only a bus ride around town stopping at various places. Why not add a couple of additional buses? Same thing with a neat hike that entailed a bus ride and then a 1-2 hour hike. Why not just add additional buses? Viking is notorious for not listening to their passengers. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
After reading a review posted here, I want to post my own review of this same cruise. On our 8th Oceania cruise, our second on Nautica, this cruise was one of our best cruises for the total ship experience with the additional charm of the ... Read More
After reading a review posted here, I want to post my own review of this same cruise. On our 8th Oceania cruise, our second on Nautica, this cruise was one of our best cruises for the total ship experience with the additional charm of the Irish ports of call. If I get obvious out of the way, Nautica is way overdue for an interior refit. In no way did the condition of the ship detract from our onboard experience. If I compare our Nautica experience with our cruise to Cuba on Sirena, this cruise better organized, and, the crew had a better focus on the total customer experience. The food service, the quality in Polo, Toscana and the GDR was very good, at times our dishes were the best we have ever had on an Oceania cruise. It’s true that ship excursions board tenders before independent travelers. We booked all of our excursions with our Cruise Critic members on our Roll Call board. At no time did we find that this delay was a problem on this cruise. Yes, the Oceania excursion product is way overpriced. Oceania needs to do better in this regard. We prefer the Oceanis cruise product, and, we have booked another cruise for next year. I believe the Nautica is one of Oceania’s best ships for the overall management and for the total cruise experience for the passenger. Once the refit is complete, I expect the Nautica will continue as a top choice for Oceania travelers old and new. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this expedition because of its’ interesting ports of call and its departure under the Tower Bridge. (Magic!) A bonus was finding ourselves in the Channel on the eve of D Day and in Guernsey on D Day. Unfortunately a big storm ... Read More
I chose this expedition because of its’ interesting ports of call and its departure under the Tower Bridge. (Magic!) A bonus was finding ourselves in the Channel on the eve of D Day and in Guernsey on D Day. Unfortunately a big storm came in that night and we had to miss 3 or 4 of the next ports. It was an expedition cruise and this is to be expected. The ship has been updated beautifully - great showers in the bathrooms, even with seats. Deluxe cabins are very comfortable. Public areas attractive and as comfortable as when I first sailed her in 2002. Terrific. The reception, butler/housekeeping staff, bar and dining room staff are as wonderful as Silversea has always produced. They’re great. On this cruise their line let them down. The expedition staff, not so much! As a now solo traveller (widowed) I commend Silversea for making solo travellers comfortable and included in their voyages. There were plumbing/sewage issues from boarding time onwards which affected a number of decks and many passengers. The cruise was brought into Reykjavik a day early (which it seems to have done on other cruises, I see). Disappointingly, Silversea has not responded to my comments and complaints. Very disappointing for a formerly very loyal Silversea cruiser. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Just returned from an absolutely wonderful 11 night cruise on the Spirit. We had not sailed Siversea in 10 years and will definitely be returning. Our past experience with this line had not been very positive and we switched to Seabourn ... Read More
Just returned from an absolutely wonderful 11 night cruise on the Spirit. We had not sailed Siversea in 10 years and will definitely be returning. Our past experience with this line had not been very positive and we switched to Seabourn but decided to try again based on the itinerary and timing near our anniversary. We embarked in Barcelona, it was qiuick and efficient but not as wrm as Seabourn. Our first impression of the ship was “dated”- perhaps it was the color scheme but the furniture style reminded me of an assisted living facility. We then reviewed the buffet in La Terrazza but opted to have lunch in the Atlantide restaurant where we enjoyed a tasty Mahi and drank a french chardonnay. The room was less frenetic than La Terrazza and the service excellent.We finished lunch and went to our Deluxe veranda suite on the 8th floor and found our luggage had been delivered-always good to get the unpacking squared away. Once again we had the impression that the suite had a bit of a dated feel to it but the space was similar to the Seabourn line and felt familiar. The shower was larger and the tub deeper but there was only a single sink.the ame/nities were very similar and we were very happy to have a jewelry box in the safe for our items. Our butler showed up shortly after and took care of several requests including a mattress topper for the bed which was on the firm side. After unpacking and attending the muster drill we showered, dressed for dinner and went to the Panorama lounge for a predinner cocktail. The ambience is different than the Observation bar on Seabourn and both have positives. We always enjoyed a seat at the beautiful bar on Seabourn where we could enjoy the bartender’s company as well as conversation with other passengers. The bar area on Silversea is small and not a focal point of the room so we chose to sit in the comfy chairs.The Silversea lounge was just that- very comfortable chairs and a very nice dance floor. I loved having a cocktail list on the Spirit and the drinks were well crafted and presented. Our reservation the first evening was in La Dame because we could only waitlist this venue for the rest of the cruise when we tried to book our reservations back in Feb. The dinner was just perfect- excellent food with delicious options and very attentive service - the only negative was that many of the tables were set so closely together that we felt as if we were joining others rather than dining as a twosome. The other restaurants on the ship were similar with many of the tables for two placed very closely together which could be positive or negative depending upon one’s table-mates. A couple next to us was forced to engage in political banter with two people on their other side told us after the other couple departed that they did not enjoy the discussion. All of the dining rooms seem to fill up each evening and everyone seemed to make an effort to dress nicely which added a touch of elegance. On Seabourn there were fewer jackets and almost no ties. We dined in La Terrazza most mornings and the selections for breakfast were quite varied and the food delivered hot and very quickly which we appreciated when we had an early excursion. We also enjoyed room service a few mornings and one evening when we were too tired too move! and our butler brought the tray-the presentation was lovely, the orders correct, and the food hot. The food in Seishin and Indoshine were nice options and we enjoyed the ambience of each restaurant. The only dinner we did not enjoy was in La Terrazza- service was on point but the food just wasn’t appealing- we only tried it once. The Arts cafe was another plus-it offered all day snacking items and we loved the option of bringing some things to the room-particularly as it was right down the hall. Our suite was very accessible to the elevators, the lauderette (which I used once,) the Arts Cafe and the pool. The only negative was the sound of furniture scraping across the deck above us- not a gigantic nuisance but I would probably go for deck 7 instead of 8. The ship’s excursions were very interesting and not overly crowded- there was always space on the bus to move around. Overall I would say that Silversea had better food and service and we really enjoyed having the services of a butler. Seabourn has prettier and more up to date venues and better entertainment. We liked the glamour of dressing for dinner on Silversea but did not like the surcharges for some of the restaurants. The welcome on Seabourn is more vibrant while Silversea is more subdued. Many of the guests on Silversea have sailed numerous times with the line and we are pleased to say that we shall be repeatIng with another cruise in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I just returned from my first, but not last, Seabourn cruise aboard Quest. The ship itself was wonderful, but it was the staff and crew that impressed me the most. From the first moment I arrived on board, I was made to feel as if I ... Read More
I just returned from my first, but not last, Seabourn cruise aboard Quest. The ship itself was wonderful, but it was the staff and crew that impressed me the most. From the first moment I arrived on board, I was made to feel as if I were the most important person in the world. Almost from the moment I boarded, all of those with whom I came in contact knew and called me by my name! (I realize that seems to be a relatively minor thing, but it meant a great deal to me!) I am a solo traveler, and I really appreciated the nightly invitations to dine in The Restaurant with a volunteer host. I met some extremely interesting people, both host and guest, whom I might otherwise have not. I particularly enjoyed dining with the entertainers--both ship and guest. The excellent Cruise Director Team of Handre and Luke, not only knew my name, they seemed to be genuinely concerned that my Quest experience be the best possible. They also seemed to have a hand in everything involving passenger entertainment and happiness. The only complaint I have is that dreadful "single supplement." I understand the financial rationale behind it, but I still resent paying, on a per-person basis, more for my suite than those fortunate enough to have someone with whom they can travel--but I guess I don't resent it that much since I've already reserved a suite on Encore's Holiday Cruise! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
While not experienced cruisers, we have been on five previous cruises over the past 25 - 30 years with Carnival, Norwegian, and Holland America. We chose this cruise due to an invitation from my sister to join her and her husband on what ... Read More
While not experienced cruisers, we have been on five previous cruises over the past 25 - 30 years with Carnival, Norwegian, and Holland America. We chose this cruise due to an invitation from my sister to join her and her husband on what would be their sixth Regent cruise (they booked their seventh while onboard). We found the itinerary interesting which included Spanish, Portuguese, French, and British ports and loved the departure port (Barcelona) having spent a week there last year. Our journey began with a flawless and on-time flight on Delta through Atlanta to Barcelona. Delta One (their version of business class) was comfortable, the food was delicious, and I was able to sleep a few hours during the flight. We arrived in Barcelona Sunday morning before a Monday cruise departure day to an expectedly chaotic airport where we discovered Barcelona is second to Miami as the busiest cruise port in the world. Our bags were retrieved and turned over to representatives available at the airport and we were on a bus headed for the Fairmont hotel an hour after landing. Our hotel, the included pre-cruise selection by Regent, was very nice and located within a large garden-like area with beautiful grounds. Very quiet and relaxing. Regent representatives were onsite to assist with tours or cruise inquiries although we didn't require their assistance. The provided breakfast Monday morning, the day of the cruise, was high quality with plenty of choices to satisfy everyone. We had a couple of hours to relax prior to boarding our assigned bus to the pier. Bags were retrieved from our room the morning of departure. After a relatively short (45 minute) bus ride to the pier, we were ready to board. The embarkation process was efficient, easy, and relaxed. We experienced our first memorable interaction with a Regent employee during this process. A gentleman from the entertainment team greeted us with a smile, checked us in, invited us to the show that night, and sent us on our way. A great first impression even before we boarded the ship. Once onboard, we immediately noticed the quality, beauty, opulence, and luxury of the décor, design, furnishings, and atmosphere on the ship. Also, a wide variety of artwork could be found throughout the ship, some of which matched my taste, while some did not. We were aware of the hype surrounding this ship and reality matched the hype. Undeniably, the ship itself is beautiful in every imaginable way. Our cabin, a Concierge D on deck 10, was located steps away from the elevators and stairs and beneath the library above. The efficiency of the cabin design was impressive by being able to face the very comfortable king size bed toward to balcony so that from the bed we could see the sea or port. An abundance of drawer space (we didn't use half of them) could be found throughout the cabin. The closet was very large in relation to the cabin size and fully accommodated what ended up being our exaggerated over packing. The bathroom was impressive as well with two sinks, a separate tub and shower, and beautiful marble finishing throughout. Pre-cruise, we were attracted to a separate tub and shower, however; after a 12 night cruise, we never used the tub. Similarly, pre-cruise we appreciated that an illy coffeemaker would be located in our cabin yet we never used it. Our balcony was large, approximately 115 sq. ft., and had high quality furnishings including two large wicker reclining chairs, full size chaise lounge, and a table large enough for two people to enjoy a meal. The balcony angled toward the front of the ship which provided an unobstructed view forward without the need to lean over the railing. Furnishings, fixtures, and finishes inside the cabin were consistent with what would be found in four or five star hotel junior suite. Contrary to certain reviews, we found the dining onboard to be excellent without exception. Every meal was high quality, well presented, without lengthy wait times, and flavored deliciously. We dined at each specialty restaurant twice, ordered room service breakfast six times, and tried all other dining venues except the pool grill multiple times. I had seafood, veal, beef, and pasta main course dishes and all were great. Service was outstanding. Wines offered were very good and our glasses were never empty. Desserts were, unfortunately, too tempting to avoid. Frankly, absolutely no complaints related to food whatsoever. We experienced none of the issues to be found in reviews critical of dining venues located on the ship. We were left assuming we were either very fortunate or simply easy to please. Notably, the design, décor and atmosphere in the three specialty dining venues is truly unique and beautiful. The entertainment we found enjoyable and, well..............entertaining. Other reviews indicate entertainment leaves something to be desired yet we attended three stage productions, the cruise director John Barron's show, his assistant's show, and every performance by the two guest performers with Will Martin's shows being the best. The shows were an hour in length which we found to be perfect. We didn't expect Lady GaGa, Adelle, Elton John, or a Broadway theater production of Phantom of the Opera or Les Miserables to be performing on the cruise and therefore we appreciated the quality of the entertainment available. Additionally, we were always able to find comfortable seats available in the theater without obstructed sightlines. We also scheduled two cooking classes in the Culinary Arts Kitchen and thoroughly enjoyed both. The instructing chef made it fun with her energy and enthusiasm and by playing music and serving wine while teaching. Both classes were full (I believe 18 is capacity) which further added to the fun atmosphere. The facility itself is state of the art. Finally, we scheduled five appointments in the Canyon Ranch spa and were pleased with their services and facility. I had a massage that I would rank as good as any I have ever received. Service on the cruise is where the separation occurred between great and extraordinary. The meaningful difference maker for us. Nice ship, itinerary, tours, food, and entertainment - otherworldly service. One example: 6:30 am I go to the coffee shop to get a latte for my wife which Andre gladly prepares and a green tea for me. I then head to the pool deck where the fresh juice bar is located and pick up a celery and orange juice for my wife and head back to the cabin with my hands full. As I walk through the pool area the attendants who are changing the terry cloth covers on all the pool loungers smile and wish me a good morning. As I approach the door, one stops what he is doing and runs to open the door for me and asks if I need further assistance. As I near the door to our cabin, from behind me appears one of the captain's staff members from the bridge and he asks me if he can open my cabin door for me with his master key. This is only one example of many other incredibly positive interactions with Regent staff members on the ship. The training program must be world class because we never encountered anyone who wasn't pleasant, wasn't eager to serve, and who wasn't genuinely kind. The crew seemed happy. At dinner in Prime 7, our excellent server Ruth's assistant, who I would guess to be 21 or 22 years old, engaged in conversation with us and twice said how much she loved her job. How many 21 or 22 year olds in the U.S. would say how much they love their jobs? From beginning to end, we had no complaints whatsoever regarding the service we received and we compliment Regent for their very effective hiring and training practices. We experienced eleven ports while on our cruise and found many points of interest, cultural experiences, historical significance, and beauty at every one. All tours with the exception of Lisbon met or exceeded our expectations. Most notable tours included a D Day Landing Beach tour in Normandy and a wonderful dinner at Chateau Du Tertre in Bordeaux. We had high quality guides who were knowledgeable and understandable. Each bus would depart about half full. Very efficient system for organizing tour departures on the ship. We never waited more than ten minutes before being directed to our bus. The one complaint I have from the entire cruise experience is related to the tours and, unfortunately, I believe the issue is beyond Regent's control: passengers go on tours they should not take due to physical limitations. We were provided tour descriptions online before the cruise, after we boarded, and each day with the newsletter; all of which made abundantly clear the physical requirements of each tour and the physical limitations that should prevent someone from taking certain tours. On every tour, in my opinion, people were present who should not have been. Certain participants placed unreasonable expectations on the guides due to their limitations. A man fell down stepping off the curb in Lisbon and somehow the guide was implicated? Another guide was rudely told to slow down because a couple couldn't keep up. One guide was told to slow down by a woman who said her back hurts when she climbs stairs. And lastly, a guide was asked to be available at the port to help a couple back to the ship. Very frustrating and my heart goes out to the guides and what they must endure. Regent can't be placed into a position of evaluating each passenger's physical ability before every tour. Passengers need to read the information, readily available via multiple sources, regarding the tours, and be honest about their ability to take the, clearly stated, more physically demanding tours. Again, my only complaint during the entire cruise. Disembarkation was difficult only because we didn't want to leave. The process itself was easy as long as your luggage was outside your door on time and you were listening for your number to be called indicating it was time to disembark. In summary, we had a wonderful and memorable trip and thanks to Regent for performing so incredibly well every step of the way. To perform so well requires outstanding organization, training, quality control, accountability, and teamwork. It was fascinating to watch the team work so well together and deliver so well time and time again. Partly attributable to my sister telling me to prepare to be spoiled and partly because of the price, our expectations were very high yet Regent consistently met or exceeded our expectations. Consequently, we are now hooked and booked an Alaska cruise in 2020 while onboard. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We had not sailed in the Baltic and this cruise sailed to all the ports that we wanted to visit. Boarded in Southampton on Sunday 28 April 2019 and were in our cabin by 1.31pm. Suitcases were outside the cabin, quickly unpacked making ... Read More
We had not sailed in the Baltic and this cruise sailed to all the ports that we wanted to visit. Boarded in Southampton on Sunday 28 April 2019 and were in our cabin by 1.31pm. Suitcases were outside the cabin, quickly unpacked making our cabin home for the next 2 weeks. We had lunch in the Lido (self service restaurant), I had pork escalopes and salad vegetables - lovely. The Emergency life jacket and muster drill at 4pm was uneventful and hopefully will never need this equipment. Walked around deck and went to the sailaway party on the bow deck 9 around the Lido pool. Queen Mary 2 was in dock embarking passengers and both ships blew horns in respect to each other. Food - we eat in the Lido buffet restaurant, we can take our time eating with plenty of choice for breakfast (cold cuts of meat, fish, cooked breakfast items and cereals), lunch menu was varied and always good. Dinner ranged from roast meats, vegetables, cold meats and fish, salad vegetables, various soups especially New England clam chowder and roasted pepper and tomato - superb. Some evenings the food was presented from different countries e.g. Germany, India, China, America and celebratory e.g. turkey. The Italian cooking area (manned by a chef) was always busy and people seemed happy with the food being cooked live. The ship Queen Victoria is beautiful inside and out, and it is well cared for by the crew. My wife attended the water colour art class, including the live painting demonstration by Lynn Rodgie sponsored by the on board art gallery. We saw a live unveiling of a new picture by Lynn, unveiled jointly by Lynn and the Captain in the Clarendon Fine Art Gallery. I attended the lectures in the Royal Court theatre - including lectures on NASA, Princess Diana, Carl Faberge (useful as he lived in St Petersburg one of our cruise ports), various cruise ports and various artist lectures e.g. L S Lowery and Sherree Valentine -Daines. I used the gym on aft deck 9 - dumbells, benches, weights machines and aerobic machines, fine for keeping fit. The weather - late April to mid May, sun shine, wind, rain at sea but not on the excursions, and cold. Snow overnight early hours of saturday 4 May 2019 sailing from Copenhagen to Stockholm. People wore fleeces, padded jackets and goretex outer layers. We had a terrorist alert for Stockholm requesting that nobody bring packages from unknown people on board. Security whilst embarking in Stockholm was tighter. We would visit the Baltic again on a cruise but maybe not for a few years as we want to see different areas of the World. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We heard others talk of the exceptional service on Viking cruises and we had sailed on Norwegian and Princess in the past. Viking is definitely at the top of our list. There was no waiting to embark. We were given a timeframe for our ... Read More
We heard others talk of the exceptional service on Viking cruises and we had sailed on Norwegian and Princess in the past. Viking is definitely at the top of our list. There was no waiting to embark. We were given a timeframe for our cabin type and went right onto the ship after checking in. Though we couldn't access the cabin immediately, we were offerred a glass of champagne and invited to dine in one of the many restaurants.Our bags were delivered within hours and our cabin attendants introduced themselves and asked if there was anything we needed. The employees were the friendliest we had encountered on any of our cruises. We enjoyed the lectures on various topics as well as the beautiful common spaces where one could sit and read or visit with others. We especially liked the included tours in every port though we did pay extra to visit Monet's Giverney and it was magical. It was such a wonderful experience that we've decided to book another Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This is a very Beautiful Ship. If you like formalities this is the ship for you. There is a sense of traditional cruising about it. All in all it was a very enjoyable cruise. We ate in the Britannia Club Restaurant. The food was of a very ... Read More
This is a very Beautiful Ship. If you like formalities this is the ship for you. There is a sense of traditional cruising about it. All in all it was a very enjoyable cruise. We ate in the Britannia Club Restaurant. The food was of a very high standard and the service was impeccable. The only down side was the cost of drinks which were very high. Out cabin was well appointed and well looked after by our steward. The public areas were beautiful, with a lot of dark wood. At night there was plenty of room for sitting but not many people seemed to be drinking. Having commenting on the high cost of drinks it must be said that once we said we did not want one we were not bothered again. We bought drinks off the ship and drank them in our cabin (no corkage charge in your stateroom). There was no problem bringing your own drink onto the ship. The entertainment was good. All in all a good relaxing cruise Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I need to preface my remarks by saying that I have travelled extensively on Silversea and Regent Seven Seas - both are ALL Inclusive cruise-lines. So whilst I was quite prepared to have to pay for my drinks - wow - I was not prepared for ... Read More
I need to preface my remarks by saying that I have travelled extensively on Silversea and Regent Seven Seas - both are ALL Inclusive cruise-lines. So whilst I was quite prepared to have to pay for my drinks - wow - I was not prepared for the totally outrageous prices Cunard was charging - they have managed to take greed to a whole new level - for example - I can buy a bottle of Mateus Rose in Sainsbury's for £5 duty and tax paid - I paid $10.60 for a 250 mls glass of Mateus - roughly £8 - and with 3 measures to a bottle that equates to £24 per bottle and I am assuming that the bottle is tax and duty free????? Come on surely that tearing the arse out of it a bit but then they have the temerity of charging a 15% service charge on top. What is the justification? I have no idea other than "Pure Greed"? Do not know about you but long haul flights are becoming a major bore, so instead of a couple of weeks in Las Vegas or Macau, decided to seek a luxury cruise out of UK and the Queen Victoria provided the answer. I travelled Queens Grill and that was well worth it although I would have like to moved tables and met new people? The food and service were quite excellent. There was a Grill lounge which a true haven of peace and quiet. Due to being mobility challenged - I have artificial knees - I do not do a lot shore excursions as I used to, but I did do one on the cruise - tour staff were rude and very unhelpful - but our tour guide was fantastic and the tour itself was a lot of fun. Given that I was a Queen's Grill customer - the embarkation process was appalling and disembarkation process was a total and utter farce - I do mean a total farce - and this is meant to be an up-market cruise-line - sorry it is not - I was mown down by wheel-chair - basically 2000 passengers were trying to get off at the same through a single disembarkation terminal - it was utter chaos - just to add to pain - no-one told me that "Aqua" tags (Queen's Grill) were laid out separately????? Most depressing of all, is no-one from Cunard it prepared to talk about this? Have fun but if you want to go cruising try another cruise-line? Read Less

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