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568 Caribbean - All Luxury Cruise Reviews

A few weeks ago, we cruised aboard MS Insignia. It has been several years since we have been on Oceania (due to retirement plans). We were looking forward to two things: The voyage to Cuba and how the line has fared in the years since ... Read More
A few weeks ago, we cruised aboard MS Insignia. It has been several years since we have been on Oceania (due to retirement plans). We were looking forward to two things: The voyage to Cuba and how the line has fared in the years since we last travelled with them. First things first, the trip to Cuba was cancelled. Not Oceania’s fault, as it hit all the cruise lines hard. We had originally booked a low deck porthole cabin for this trip. Once the Cuba trip was cancelled, Oceania came back to us with a very nice package of monies returned AND possible upgrades. We chose an upgrade (which we paid for), to Concierge level. We spent a few days in South Beach, pre cruise, and then boarded Insignia. We were very pleased with the refurb that the ship had just finished. Beautiful and elegant in all aspects of this small ship. This was our 65th cruise and have been on many lines, but must say that the small ship feel was really nice. Our cabin was a nice size with lots of storage space, very nice balcony and great amenities. We spent more time on this balcony than many other ships from our past. The bathrooms are very small; particularly the shower, but we are not large people, so it did not affect us. Our cabin stewards were excellent, exceeding our expectations. Bottled water was placed in our cabin each day and always kept full. Bottled water is filtered aboard ship and replaced each day in your cabin (included). You can walk the entire length of this ship within two-three minutes. We were on Deck seven, so we were always two decks up to the Terrace Café and Pool, or two decks down to the Main Dining Room. There are two shops, a very tiny lobby and several areas to enjoy drinks or relaxation. The library on Deck 10 was a beautiful place to relax and read. The days of libraries like this on most ships are gone. The Show room area was very spacious and was used for several different events during the voyage. This ship has very limited entertainment. A pianist in the evening, along with a quintet of strings. The main show was always at 9:45 p.m., when most of the ship had gone to bed. The entertainment was okay, but we did not go to more than one show. There is also a stunning view lounge on the upper decks with wonderful views of the ocean. The times we went there to enjoy an after dinner drink, it was usually empty! The FOOD is what we were most anxious to try as we had remembered it being outstanding from a previous cruise. We were not disappointed in any of the venues on board. The two specialty restaurants are included in the price, but you only get one shot at each of them (unless you are a Suite guest). Both Toscana and the Polo Grill were outstanding, each in their own way. The quality of the food, presentation and service were all excellent. The Main Dining Room was excellent too, with a wonderfully diverse menu each evening and great service. Very nice wine lists in all outlets also helped. We enjoyed breakfast in the MDR several times, and again, was top notch. The Terrace Café is the buffet. It is not very big, nor is there a large selection. We did feel, however, that the food offered was very nice quality and we enjoyed it. We especially enjoyed the great cheeses each day (which were not the processed goo that you get on most ships). Sitting outside on the ship’s fantail, was really nice, especially in the Caribbean setting. The pool restaurant served very nice sandwiches and grilled items cooked to order. Also, it had a daily fruit and salad bar, along with some of the best ice cream and shakes at sea. Our ports of call were not the reason we stayed with this cruise after Cuba was cancelled. Key West, Roatan, Belize and Costa Maya (which had to be skipped due to high winds) were all okay. We had been to most of them, so we didn’t do any excursions. I could write many pages about this ship, but need to conclude by saying we look forward to travelling with Oceania again in our cruising future. IF you like the small ship experience, you will love this ship!! Thanks again to all members of the crew that made our week go by way too fast! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
A friend told us of a "bargain" cruise on the Silver Wind sailing from San Juan. Therefore, we signed up for the cruise. The Silver Wind is an older ship which apparently is due for a makeover in 2020. Also, it is supposed to ... Read More
A friend told us of a "bargain" cruise on the Silver Wind sailing from San Juan. Therefore, we signed up for the cruise. The Silver Wind is an older ship which apparently is due for a makeover in 2020. Also, it is supposed to outfitted to sail to Norway and even the Arctic. In any event, I had read reviews online about how it is an older ship. Indeed it is. There are a number of pluses about the Silver Wind. It is a small ship with not too many decks. Thus, it is easy to get around without thousands of people being on board. The ship still has a nice design, and we were always able to find seating in the theater, unlike some larger ships on which we have traveled. There are basically 3 restaurants: the main restaurant, with open, anytime seating; La Dame, in which it is hard to get a reservation, and The Grill/Hot Rocks on deck 8 by the pool bar. For the most part, the food was good. The dinner at La Dame was excellent, as was the service. Dinner at Hot Rocks was also good; I like to choose the meat and cook it on the hot stone. Of course, others chose to have the chef cook their entrees. Lunch at The Grill, however, was hit or miss. My wife ordered a reuben. Anybody who knows what a real reuben sandwich is would be appalled. The sandwich had a few very thin slices of some processed meat, nothing like what a reuben is supposed to be. Even though my wife complained, the chef either didn't care or couldn't change it since the same lame sandwich was offered the whole cruise. Service in the dining rooms was usually quite good. The sommeliers are excellent, and the ship has a decent wine list, although some of the wines are a little overpriced. The serving staff was quite friendly as well. Generally, the bar drinks were good, though some were a little off. The pool had a number of lounges. Usually some were available, at least in the morning, since the cruise had no sea days. The pool was closed once for "sanitation". It is a small pool not conducive to swimming. The cruise director Colin is engaging and an extremely talented pianist. The singers were quite good; 2 of them had operatic voices. The shows were entertaining. The lecturer was John Pennycate, who gave several interesting historical lectures, although he was not allowed to talk about the controversial subject of the use of nuclear bombs during World War II. Our butler Ranni was hit or miss. For example, once we asked Ranni for a bottle of white wine, 2 diet Cokes and extra glasses. He didn't bring any of them. Other times, he brought ice as needed for me to ice my knee post surgery. Our room steward Karin was good, although she forgot to leave us wash clothes once. The ports of call were often lesser known Caribbean islands. The most well known was St. Barths. The only ship shore excursion we took was to Belle Mont Farms for lunch and an island tour of St. Kitts. The lunch was good with many ingredients grown on the site, and there was more than enough to eat. The tour was all right, but not outstanding. Also, the tour seemed a little pricey for what we got. On Antigua we had booked a tour through Costco which was much cheaper, although the lunch there could not hold a candle to the one on St. Kitts. For the most part the excursions were for snorkeling, sailing, etc. The one to the Baths apparently was somewhat risky since some people slipped going down around or through the rocks. The Silver Wind is not designed for children travelers, but several families brought children. There are not child activities on board. That having been said, this was our last Silversea cruise. The people on our deck were notified that the hot water would be turned off from 2:30 PM to approximately 3:30 PM for maintenance. Nothing else was said, and no warnings were given. When my wife took a shower later that afternoon, she noticed that her white wash cloth turned rust colored. When she dried off, rust-colored spots dotted her bath towel. Obviously, there was a lot of rust in the line, but the ship's personnel did not warn anyone of that possibility. My wife called the butler, who said that he was sorry. Then he ran the cold water. After he left, I turned the temperature to all hot water and let it run a long time. The bathtub floor was filled with dirt, sand, rocks and rust. I went to the reception desk and complained that they could have waited until the ship docked at the end of the cruise to do the work. The receptionist claimed that it was an "emergency". If it was an emergency, the work should have been done immediately, not hours later. I told the receptionist that at least the ship should have warned passengers about the possibility of dirt, rust, etc coming out of the shower and faucet and told them to run the hot water for a long time. The receptionist claimed that rust and dirt had never come out of any faucets or showers before. I told her that was extremely difficult to believe given how old the ship was, the maintenance problems and the likely result. After all, a hot water line broke earlier in the cruise, requiring the ship to move the occupants of two suites to other accommodations. Furthermore, outside of a perfunctory "I'm sorry" initially from the reception, there was never any apology from the hotel manager or anyone from the cruise line. Apparently, they felt that it was not a problem. We have sailed many cruises. While maintenance issues can pop up from time to time, we have never experienced anything close to what occurred on this cruise. The water coming out of the tub faucet at times looked like sewer water, and it left enough residue for us to start our own dirt lot. To cover my wife in rusty, dirty water was truly appalling. Not to apologize formally for such a horrible incident, however, is inexcusable for any cruise line, much less a so-called luxury cruise line. So I hope that Silversea enjoyed our dollars. They won't be getting any more from us ever again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Well, we are back from our first Viking Ocean cruise – 10 days West Indies Explorer on the Viking Sea March 2019. We arranged our own flights, so we got to San Juan PR and made our way to the ship. Check in was easy-peasy and so ... Read More
Well, we are back from our first Viking Ocean cruise – 10 days West Indies Explorer on the Viking Sea March 2019. We arranged our own flights, so we got to San Juan PR and made our way to the ship. Check in was easy-peasy and so different than what happens on other lines. I’ve sailed Carnival (platinum), Royal Caribbean, and NCL in the past, so this was not my first check-in. Of course 930 passengers vice 3000-5000 makes quite a difference. Our room stewards Teddy and Emm were great and met us when we arrived and explained features of our room. They always greeted us if they were about and ensured we had everything we needed. Even though it was about 3:30PM, we found the pool grill had wonderful and we got our first wine and beer (free with lunch and dinner). Waiters were available and checked on us often. This continued throughout the entire cruise in all dining venues! Great job. On the second night onboard, just as we were getting ready to leave San Juan behind, we had our Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle – an invitation was left in our room with the Viking Daily the day before. The Captain and his command staff were busy, but every available senior staff officer attended. We had a very nice chat with Tom Aberg (Hotel General Manager), Edgar de Jaspi (Beverage Manager) and John Cunningham (Restaurant Manager) while enjoying free drinks and finger foods. From that evening on, we were always greeted by these senior officers. Surprisingly, a few days later we got another invitation to another Meet and Mingle. We went and when we asked, we were told by another Cruise Critic member, that they missed the first one – apparently they didn’t realize they had to sign up for the M&M on CC prior to arriving onboard, so they didn’t receive an invitation. But the staff wanted to ensure that they were not left out, so we had a second get together with all the trimmings and all the senior staff. (Now what other cruise line would do that???) At this meeting, in addition to Edgar and John, I had a nice talk with Jenn Beaudoin (Cruise Director) and Mara Buga (Guest Services Manager). I had a special request of Jenn and she made some calls had made arrangements. Thank you Jenn and thanks for Fredrik Svensson for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to another Engineer! I’m not going to do a day to day accounting of my experiences, but I will make a few comments. First, the food and drink onboard is outstanding. All venues were excellent, but we always like the Restaurant and had wonderful meals in Manfredi’s and at the Chef’s Table. Service was impeccable regardless of where we ate. Secondly, I was so impressed by the Senior Staff. On most lines, one does not even see the Hotel Manager, Restaurant Manager, Financial Officer or Beverage Manager, but on this ship/line, they were highly visible and jumped in anytime there was need. For example, Tom, John or Edgar often were escorting guests in the Restaurant or in the Theater. (Again, where else have you ever seen this happen?) Third, I was somewhat concerned about taking the included excursions thinking they would be boring. Not so. The guides were obviously well vetted and could answer any question thrown at them. In many of the ports, the tour at a specific time was broken into smaller groups which worked well and kept wait time to a minimum. I learned something at every port! We also did a 3 optional tours and they were wonderful! Only thing I questioned was at all these wonderful Caribbean ports, there were no Scuba diving tours… hmmm. Fourth, was the general ‘we want you to learn something’ on this cruise vibe on the ship. There was a resident historian onboard who had some wonderful lectures and round table discussions. There was also a Geologist who gave talks on how the islands were formed and such. Really interesting! If you happened to miss the talk, don’t fear, it was recorded for on-demand broadcast on the in cabin TV along with lots of other great informative programs, news stations and movies. Fifth, the entertainment onboard was wonderful – singers and musicians were top notch. Shows were excellent. A steel pan group was brought onboard at one port to play by the pool for an afternoon show. We also had Line Dance lessons. Unfortunately, I have 2 left feet when it comes to this! But it was enjoyable! Overall, it was a GREAT Experience and it will not be our last Viking Ocean cruise! Great Job by everyone onboard! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We have used Viking several times now and have rarely been disappointed. Everything is planned to the last detail, and because the ships are relatively small there are no queues when coming or going ashore. There is always somewhere to ... Read More
We have used Viking several times now and have rarely been disappointed. Everything is planned to the last detail, and because the ships are relatively small there are no queues when coming or going ashore. There is always somewhere to sit and relax with a coffee or an alcoholic drink without too many people around. If a problem does occur it is dealt with quickly. Everything on board is maintained to a very high standard, and staff are always ready to help if there is a problem. The food is better than any restaurant we have been to in the UK, and there is a huge choice at every meal. Everything is served fresh, and hot food is really hot! Staff even remember what you like to eat at breakfast and your favourite tipple in the evening, which is amazing. The shore excursions and entertainment in the evenings were the only things which we were not so impressed with. We paid for different excursions to the ones which were included, but didn't feel they were worth the extra cost, and they were a little boring, which was not what we had hoped for. Entertainment tends to just be a singer or piano player, and there's no dancing, which is slightly disappointing. However, we're not sure any Cruise Company would match Viking now that we have enjoyed the experience a few times, and there are many more positives than negatives. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
A lot of cruises claim to be be all inclusive but Viking actually is! A shore excursion in every port- included. Access to a great spa- included. Mini bar (snacks and soft drinks) replenished daily- included. Bottled water (in cabin and ... Read More
A lot of cruises claim to be be all inclusive but Viking actually is! A shore excursion in every port- included. Access to a great spa- included. Mini bar (snacks and soft drinks) replenished daily- included. Bottled water (in cabin and for shore excursion)- included. Specialty dinning- included. Beer, wine and soft drinks with meals- included. There are first run movies, enrichment lectures, daily trivia and stage shows. And high tea served daily. The public areas are spacious so it never seems crowded. The atmosphere is casual and relaxing. No children on board- mostly baby boomers and up. And of course, Viking service is exceptional! Additional shore excursions are available for purchase as is a spirits package. Note: Specialty dinning, although included, requires advance reservations. Make your reservations before you sail (depending on your cabin level, at least one reservation is guaranteed at each of 2 restaurants). Be sure to reserve The Chef's Table- set 5 course menu features themed regional fare paired with wine. Exceptional! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I'm platinum on NCL and Carnival. I prefer not to fly so I generally cruise out of NY or Baltimore. I chose this cruise as it was my 50th bday and didn't want to do the usual 7 day cruise to the Bahamas. I took my entire ... Read More
I'm platinum on NCL and Carnival. I prefer not to fly so I generally cruise out of NY or Baltimore. I chose this cruise as it was my 50th bday and didn't want to do the usual 7 day cruise to the Bahamas. I took my entire family on this trip (8 of us) and 3 friends came as well. I upgraded to a 2 bedroom suite on the private Haven floor, room 14006. My family, friends, and I had an excellent time. The food was great. Service in the Grand Pacific dining room the 1st night didn't go so well, but we'll chuck it up to our large group and 1st cruise night issues. My only 2 complaints are: 1. They skipped the last port of St Thomas Mon 3/25/19 because they were expecting a storm on Wednesday and wanted to get ahead of it. Other passengers stated they were on this same cruise before and the same thing supposedly happened. 2. We were supposed to arrive back in NY at 10am. I had hired a limo service to pick us up at 11am. We arrived in NY at 6am and they MADE us get off the ship BY 10am (the time we were SUPPOSED to arrive) so my family and friends had to stand outside for over an hour in 40 degree cold waiting for our ride from PA because NCL didn't stick to their own itinerary & because the inside terminal was closed due to the ship not picking up any new passengers as the ship was repositioning to Boston. This was my 7th time on the NCL Gem. I enjoy this ship. I truly enjoy the Haven and have sailed in that type of room often. I did have an excellent 50th birthday, my family truly enjoyed themselves. However an otherwise perfect cruise was tainted by an inconvenient, avoidable, and frustrating debarkation. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I would like to highlight the positives first for this trip on Marina, from Lima to NYC. I am gluten-free. I told Roger, the Specialty Diet Coordinator that I pick cruises based on food and desserts. He introduced me to Pastry Chef ... Read More
I would like to highlight the positives first for this trip on Marina, from Lima to NYC. I am gluten-free. I told Roger, the Specialty Diet Coordinator that I pick cruises based on food and desserts. He introduced me to Pastry Chef Bruno, who then made sure I got a different dessert every day, to my liking. Everyone one of them was an art of work. Felt very pampered. The Terrace Cafe chef Viktor was also super nice and patient. He walked me through the food, and made me special dishes when asked. Yes, I am looking for Marina future cruises, see if I can enjoy the service of those 3 again. On a whole. (1) They seem to have centralized the operation so one gets same stuff in the Cafe and the Main Dining Room. A lot of people now prefer the Cafe (more choices, less time). (2) They changed some of the Specialty Restaurants’ menu. Red Ginger used to be the draw to sail on Marina. Now Favorite dishes are gone. The same with Jacques. No more incentive. (3) Wave Grill is still a major draw! Ate their food a lot. Very nice and accommodating staff. Deeno, who cleaned our room, was super too. Did everything we asked for, even chasing down our missing survey last minute. Now, he knew how to use persuasion and gentle touch. We stayed in a Concierge Veranda. No butler service, only gave us access to the Lounge. Concierge service was only available 8am-12, 4-8 pm, when we were mostly out or having dinner. How about longer hours? “The Concierge got to sleep some time!” was the answer. For a company bragging about service, that is down right bad. Add another person is my answer. As usual, the lectures were great! Loved those on Panama Canal. Oceania was known for their land tours, nice sites, classy, buses only 60-70% full, etc. But on this cruise, not sure if it was because the towns were just developing their tourism, or because of security concerns, some of the tours were down right terrible or lame. Cancelling Norfolk due to weather was really disappointing too. The Destination Staff, instead of being apologetic and accommodating, were pretty defensive in their attitudes. The sanitation lock down did not help either. Some of the staff members were down right hostile as though we brought them the disaster. Highly recommend that the management teach their staff how to gain the passengers’ cooperation with persuasion rather than enforcement. That is, if the Management knows how themselves. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The ship is in excellent condition. The cabins are very nice and very clean and the bed was comfortable. The food was excellent and high quality. Filippo Bulgarini the Maître D is very good at insuring everything is perfect. All staff ... Read More
The ship is in excellent condition. The cabins are very nice and very clean and the bed was comfortable. The food was excellent and high quality. Filippo Bulgarini the Maître D is very good at insuring everything is perfect. All staff members have a excellent attitude and really care about insuring you have all your needs and wants met. Lots of area's on the ship to relax and enjoy the beautiful views. The on board credit was very easy to use and the store on the ship had a great selection of watches and clothing. We have travelled on many cruises. This was our first cruise with Silversea and we will return very soon because the overall experience was better than advertised. The ports of call were excellent and the extended stay in some of the ports was great because you did not feel rushed. The ship arrived on time to the ports of call everyday. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We like the cruise it was small ship i was shock about the jogging track it didn't look like the picture . Emergency drill was get but when the crew did there they barge in room 422 that where they keep the crew life jacket . . They ... Read More
We like the cruise it was small ship i was shock about the jogging track it didn't look like the picture . Emergency drill was get but when the crew did there they barge in room 422 that where they keep the crew life jacket . . They block with rope between 429-431 & 433-435 other than that it was fine so you step over to get to the main dinner restaurant and elevator . For people confusion there was no 430 or 434 . The newspaper was a day behind unfortunately the sad part it was on the tv & in your itinerary . Free movie, free tv show episode , menu , live tv with 20 channel. The fitness centre was great so there were 2 separate and new machine call scale runner for kid to understand it like the the dog walker treadmill in Jetson . There no elevator to deck 9 . You can tour other sliver sea ship and eat for a day but be back on your original boat by 6pm. Not lot of kids around 6 with 2 babies what hear about the sliver spirt there was about 6-8 on that boat. Show room and card room was master so was the library and panorama lounge. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I have been cruising with Silversea since 2002, when it was one of the top luxury lines in the world. Since RCL bought Silversea last year, things have certainly declined (if my recent cruise on the Silver Wind is any indication). ... Read More
I have been cruising with Silversea since 2002, when it was one of the top luxury lines in the world. Since RCL bought Silversea last year, things have certainly declined (if my recent cruise on the Silver Wind is any indication). Cruising from San Juan to Barbados (3/3-3/10/2019), I was dismayed at the difference in quality. Staff caught in blatant lies regarding poor tender schedule, with no apology; inadequate staffing poolside; failure to inform me of a day pass I could have purchased at the end of the cruise at a local hotel to pass the day until my Silversea-arranged flights home; water bottles in our room filled with tap water and reused by the butler every day, instead of fresh bottled water; lack of on-board activities; very late- opening casino with only one black jack table and no players (due to the late hour); room service and concierge desk staff not fluent in English; I could go on. The main dining room had a decent menu, but the portions were miniscule. Terrazza food was good, but the Grill was not. The cabin bathroom was only big enough for one person to use at a time. There was no fan to vent odors. Shower was inside tub with very high side, making it inaccessible to those with disabilities. A fellow cruiser said Regent cruise lines has enormous bathrooms with separate stall shower and tub; perhaps when the Silver Wind is refitted AGAIN (2020) this will be done. Best part of the cruise: Our wonderful butler, Raj, and our very hard-working and always smiling cabin attendant, Neal (?). Although tips were included in the fare, I tipped both of them extra for extra-ordinary service. Sad to say, with 6 Silversea cruises under my belt, there will not be a 7th. I will be switching to Ponant and SeaDream. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Silversea was a new cruise line for us and reading some of the reports on here you would think it was a cross between old Fred Olsen and new Costa ships! Nonsense - it was quite simply one of the best cruise ship experiences we have ... Read More
Silversea was a new cruise line for us and reading some of the reports on here you would think it was a cross between old Fred Olsen and new Costa ships! Nonsense - it was quite simply one of the best cruise ship experiences we have ever had. Seven days of small islands in the Caribbean - 300 guests, super service and some of the best food and wine we have ever had on a cruise, and that was without sampling the delights of La Dame which was an $50 per head. Excellent entertainment, smaller scale and more personal excursions - what is there not to like? We got a great deal and interestingly 70% of our fellow cruise passengers were also new to the company. Would we sail with Silversea again? Like a shot, particularly if we got the price and on board credit that our travel agent negotiated. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our first ever cruise and we were celebrating a big birthday. Having heard about the ship, expectations were very high and it did not disappoint. We flew in to San Juan late in the evening and so just went to bed the first ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and we were celebrating a big birthday. Having heard about the ship, expectations were very high and it did not disappoint. We flew in to San Juan late in the evening and so just went to bed the first night, but the embarkation was smooth and luggage was delivered quickly. As we arrived late, they put some sandwiches and fruit out for us along with a bottle of champagne and some red wine, and reminded us that we could order room service as well. As it was gone 1am and we had been up for 24 hours we passed! We were in a Deluxe Veranda cabin. We can't understand why anyone would complain about the size of these - it was very comfortably big enough for us. The bed was large and comfortable, the sitting area was ok, the bathroom was superb and it was great to be able to sit out on the balcony. On the first day we explored the ship which was all light and airy, not at all busy and just nicely laid back. We were always able to find places to sit and service was generally attentive. We ate mainly in the World Cafe as it was more casual and did not require us to dress up. The food was always nice there, usually a good choice of mains and some divine little desserts (as well as cookies and ice cream). We also sampled the Pool Grill where they did some delicious burgers and grilled tuna. We managed to have two meals at Manfredi's, the speciality Italian restaurant. The food was delicious and the plates were huge! We also had a special birthday meal at the Chef's Table which was a five course tasting menu, where every dish was exceptional, each of them paired with wines. We really enjoyed the entertainment on the ship. The main entertainment was from four young, energetic and very talented performers who put on three main shows - an ABBA show, a showcase of famous song writers and a Beatles show. One of them also did a solo show Divas through the Decades, and another did a jazz set Beyond the Sea - both of these were top quality. They were supported by a four piece band and two lounge singers who were ok. Other entertainment included a guitarist, a classical duo and a piantist, all of whom were ok. One of the real positives about the cruise was how friendly everyone was. It was impossible to pass any crew member without them greeting you, and it always seemed natural. The cabin service was exceptional with rooms serviced twice a day. We were surprised to read any negative reviews about this ship. Perhaps it does not have quite as much going on as some mega cruise ships, but for us this was close to perfect. A nice size of ship, never crowded, very attentive staff, good food and enjoyable entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Our first Windstar cruise, based on a recommendation from a friend who knows that we like smart and engaging people, don't like rowdy drunk crowds, and want a genuine experience. We learned a lot and immediately signed back up for ... Read More
Our first Windstar cruise, based on a recommendation from a friend who knows that we like smart and engaging people, don't like rowdy drunk crowds, and want a genuine experience. We learned a lot and immediately signed back up for more Windstar! What can I say other than "amazing!". While the large ship experiences bring their own attributes, this ship size, itinerary, and staff have us sold on Windstar, since they brought so many terrific benefits. I could go on forever, but I'll limit it to a few key topics, and a story of special coverage by the crew that was exceptional. SHIP: small, as cruise ships go, but never felt crowded, never waited in lines (except for the topside cookout in which everyone rushed the line but ten minutes later was cleared). There are plenty of places to get alone by yourself, do morning stretches, have a quiet moment with a loved one, etc. BARS: the outdoor topside bar was by far the most popular given weather, ability to spread out, but also to meet nice and interesting folks. FOOD: Terrific all around! Main dining Amphora was stellar every night. Candles night was intimate, delicious, and fantastic! Breakfast and lunch buffets are great, fresh, and the staff is totally focused on making your meal ideal, so just ask for anything special. All-day breakfast and sandwich counter made a great fill-in when we got back from sightseeing. OFFICERS, CREW, & STAFF: This is where I have to focus most. Incredibly nice, friendly, accommodating, and professional from top to bottom. Every individual we met was terrific. But the real story was about a bad situation that they made infinitely better. Just prior to the cruise, a family friend passed away, who was not only my godfather but also as much a father to me as my own, and in recent decades more so, and a dear friend. Our families consider each other extended family. The funeral had to occur during our cruise, on Day 8 of 10, so we worked with Windstar to allow us to disembark in Grenada, fly home to make the funeral, of which i was to officiate and sing. Needless to say, a very emotional situation. We had shared the fact that we were leaving early with staff that would be affected or those that simply asked and expressed condolences. We disembarked, went to the airport, and long story short, found that our flight was cancelled, and at 5pm found out that we would NOT be able to leave the island until the following afternoon, thereby missing the funeral we worked so hard to coordinate to make. With literally NO time to spare, we called the ship, asked if we could reboard, sailed through customs with the help of American Airlines staff, had a cab fly through town, and we made it to the pier with just minutes before Sail Away. Although devastated by the events so far, the next 24 hours were incredible. The Chief Pursor, front desk staff, Hotel Manager all met us and assured a smooth process, even to the extent of them asking if there was anything at all they could do to help. They were amazingly empathetic, and genuinely worked that day and the next to give us every assistance we could want, including calls, Internet, etc. The Dining staff gave us special attention, delivered us a wonderful in-room meal, and the bar staff brought us wine as we "licked our wounds". The next day, every staff member we came into contact expressed genuine concern, and went out of their way to help us enjoy this day at sea with tons of kindnesses and support. We were incredibly moved at the empathy and wonderfulness of the entire crew including officers, the bar team, the dining team, the breakfast cooks, and so on. While they may have forgotten us as they move forward to accommodate every guest every day, we will never forget them. Thank you Windstar! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We went on this cruise to celebrate my 70th birthday and to return to the Caribbean,visiting some islands we had not visited before.I received an unexpected surprise when, on my birthday and seeing my cards , our cabin steward produced a ... Read More
We went on this cruise to celebrate my 70th birthday and to return to the Caribbean,visiting some islands we had not visited before.I received an unexpected surprise when, on my birthday and seeing my cards , our cabin steward produced a birthday cake and bottle of champagne! This was a lovely gesture and went down very well. Everything from embarkation to departure was well organised and ran smoothly. The staff were very helpful and friendly,very polite and attentive. Our cabin had a decent sized balcony , the room was also a good size and all were kept spotlessly clean. The food was excellent and although we didn't go to any of the different restaurants we didn't feel it necessary as the food in the main restaurant was first class with a good choice every day. We liked the calm and quiet atmosphere in the evenings and found it very relaxing - any shows were to a high standard. It was a change from the hustle and bustle of some of the other cruises we have been on. I would definitely go again on a Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The ship was beautiful and well maintained. The pool deck furniture was a little tired, particularly in the spa area, but that's a nit pick. Otherwise, the Riviera is a beautiful ship! The crew, almost to a person, was ... Read More
The ship was beautiful and well maintained. The pool deck furniture was a little tired, particularly in the spa area, but that's a nit pick. Otherwise, the Riviera is a beautiful ship! The crew, almost to a person, was friendly, outgoing, and helpful. This cruise, for us, was for relaxation and to get away from the cold weather up north. We did not participate in any of the ships excursions so we can't evaluate them. Due to "strong winds" we had to skip the stop in Belize. So instead , we spent the day cruising around the Gulf of Mexico. The on-board entertainment, particularly the evening shows in the theater ("lounge"), was as expected. Not to the same level or quality that we have enjoyed on Celebrity or Princess but not bad. The comedians and magicians were very good. It was nice to be on this size ship. No problem getting a deck chair, no waiting in line to embark or dis-embark, no problem finding a table in the "buffet". But, "buffet" probably isn't the best way to describe this venue. Yes, you do go to various counters to pick what you would like to eat but the staff plates it for you, no 500 hands on each serving utensil. At the grill you can order rib-eye, lobster tail, LARGE shrimp, lamb chops, etc. What surprised me was the standard question, "how many lobster would you like?". In any case, the food was excellent. Not perfect, but I don't know how Oceania could have catered to the varied tastes of 1250 passengers in a better way. All the specialty restaurants, particularly the Polo Grill and Toscano, were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
MSC Preziosa - Yacht Club - 5-19 March 2019. Caribbean from Barbados via Cruise Club UK. The cruise consultant, Ian Lazarus, delivered on every promise and commitment made. He has been superb throughout the whole process and I would ... Read More
MSC Preziosa - Yacht Club - 5-19 March 2019. Caribbean from Barbados via Cruise Club UK. The cruise consultant, Ian Lazarus, delivered on every promise and commitment made. He has been superb throughout the whole process and I would strongly recommend using his services if booking a cruise package. Our second Yacht Club experience having been on board Fantasia last year. We were a party of 6 taking up 3 cabins but this assessment is largely confined to mine, my wife’s and our friend’s experiences. All in all, not as positive on this occasion compared to the near faultless holiday of last year’s transatlantic. FLIGHTS We prefer to travel Premium Economy. This time on Virgin but these were chartered flights by MSC. The experience outbound was very good but inbound less so in a 23 year old jumbo with limited staff to look after 450 passengers. However, since this provision was directly by Virgin, it would be inappropriate to criticise MSC. TRANSFERS Once again, airport to ship was very good but in reverse, the coach arrived earlier than we were advised; was an elderly conveyance with poor (almost non-existent) air conditioning. EMBARKATION & DISEMBARKATION MSC (for Yacht Club) do this better than anyone (we have travelled in Suites with P&O, Celebrity & RCI). Escorted onto and off ship. SUITE No different - perfectly adequate “de-luxe type” cabin - small balcony but the huge “exclusive” top deck area more than compensates. I say “exclusive” but this year it wasn’t. Non Yacht Club passengers accessed this space easily as the two entrance doors were not secure enough. Staff never challenge (not allowed to) and I found myself escorting 5 passengers out of this private area during our 2 week cruise with others unchallenged. Small babies of an age to still be in nappies accessing the jacuzzis with their parents; young teenagers diving in the no diving pool and cigars being smoked in a smoking area next to a sign “no cigars.” TOP SAIL LOUNGE First class facilities & service. BUTLER After the faultless experience courtesy of Putra last year, we struggled with Olivier this year, mainly because of his poor English. La PALMERAIE (Yacht Club Restaurant). One word. PEPÉ There are not enough superlatives to describe this amazing man. The Restaurant Maître Di (officially the Supervisor). He misses nothing. His staff love him. The passengers revere him - in truth, they adore him. Not only is he in complete control of all that happens, he never loses focus on his customers. He is the ultimate professional but is so personable that he is never less than entertaining. The personal service we received was beyond first class as his team aspire to his own very high standards. MSC MUST retain his services because on the strength of this experience, our next cruise would be assured. Thankfully, the Yacht Club Restaurant in the new ships is an integral part of Yacht Club rather than at the opposite end of the ship. YACHT CLUB STAFF It seems unfair to single out anyone but there MUST be special mentions for our lovely waiters, Anna, Nayara (unfortunate to fall sick - hope she is OK), Durian, Zaheem, Luis and Reina (day time concierge). However, I was much less impressed with the night Concierge. Mr. Simone Piletto very much needs some guidance on the provision and delivery of effective customer service and the avoidance of the attitude he displayed toward me on two occasions. Perhaps he was annoyed I had disturbed his Facebook access. SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS Despite a complimentary visit being included for black card guests (4 of us are) we declined offers to the Sushi and Italian eateries. They simply had no appeal since the lay-out was in no way inviting. In any event, why would we miss the chance to be looked after by Pepé and his excellent staff? However, our daughter & son-in-law did pay for a visit to the Galaxy (Sushi Restaurant) and described the food as excellent. LIFTS Strange as it may seem, this was an irritating regular occurrence, even for butlers. Yacht Club cards rarely delivered the exclusive provision to decks 15-18 and we very regularly found ourselves travelling randomly up and down or the cards simply didn’t work. TO SUM UP We do enjoy Yacht Club very much, despite these frustrating instances. However, with us usually travelling as a 4 (we took our daughter & son-in-law with us on this occasion), our deposits for trips on Seaview (Yacht Club) in November 2019 (Barcelona to South America) and on the same ship in December 2020 (Dubai) are now in some doubt. These deposits are, of course, via Mr. Lazarus at Cruise Club UK. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We stayed 3 nights at the Radisson Aquatica in Bridgetown before we boarded the Royal Clipper. This was a good way to acclimatized to the lovely warn weather as we have had a long cold winter in southern Ontario. The hotel was old and in ... Read More
We stayed 3 nights at the Radisson Aquatica in Bridgetown before we boarded the Royal Clipper. This was a good way to acclimatized to the lovely warn weather as we have had a long cold winter in southern Ontario. The hotel was old and in need of some updates but the staff was wonderful. On Mar 2nd we boarded the Royal Clipper and were amazed by the efficient and quick check in procedure. we took a walk around the vessel and discovered that the ship is in pristine condition, extensive use of brass and teak really gives it the old sailing vessel aura. We found even the deckhands polite and friendly. The best part is that the ship actually sails without engine for most of the voyage. The raising of the sails is a spectacle not to be missed. It never got old. The cabins were roomy and spotless. Our cabin steward Diana was discreet, yet attentive and the room was always tidy. The food was at a five star hotel level. There was always a good choice of entrees for dinner and the breakfast and lunch buffets were excellent. The service on board was second to none. The servers in the elegant dining room were also first class. Our server Marko was always friendly and very efficient. The bar staff was equally as good and Leandre the Tropical Bar tender always had a ready smile and knew my name after the first day. (Could be a bad sign??). The shore excursions were primarily by the ships tender. This ship had a very nice pair of tenders with open sides to let the ocean breeze in, not like the enclosed life boats on other vessels. That was a nice addition. There were never large lines and crowds to deal with as there wee only 200 passengers on the ship. The only criticism was a major mix up with pre ordered wine. It took the head bartender 3 days to sort that out. Our problem did not seem to be a priority to him. Despite that glitch I would not only go again but highly recommend this ship to anyone who appreciates sailing vessels. This one is the ultimate. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
As a first time cruiser I was not sure what to expect however with excellent accommodation, excellent food, attentive, competent and friendly staff, there was little that could or did go wrong. Dining...Didn't need to upgrade to ... Read More
As a first time cruiser I was not sure what to expect however with excellent accommodation, excellent food, attentive, competent and friendly staff, there was little that could or did go wrong. Dining...Didn't need to upgrade to any of the packages on offer and ate mostly in the Windows and Patio areas. a delight. Booze....Didn't need to upgrade to any kind of premium package, the wines on offer were excellent as was the rum punch and beer. The Spa...Young lady insisted that I needed a haircut and I did, received and excellent haircut and not overpriced. Entertainment...The house band were excellent, the singers could sing and the dancers could dance. They all came together on the White Night event and were terrific. The set shows however were more high camp and cheesy than anything else, , although 70 this year I was brought up on the Stones and Beatles and Genesis, Pink Floyd etc If anyone plays Sweet Caroline to me again I will probably hit them. We were treated to terrific reggae with Third World and some chap from a West End Show who knew his stuff. In saying all that no one goes on a cruise for the entertainment. Excursions...Didn't go on any of the ships as found them overpriced, It was easy to get a local taxi in most of the Islands to take us round for an hour and cheaper. Everyone worked hard to ensure a good time was had by all. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My friend and I had both lost our husbands and wanted a relaxing holiday in the sun. I had previously cruised with Celebrity and when an offer came for Azamara Journey we booked immediately. From start to finish it was brilliant. We ... Read More
My friend and I had both lost our husbands and wanted a relaxing holiday in the sun. I had previously cruised with Celebrity and when an offer came for Azamara Journey we booked immediately. From start to finish it was brilliant. We loved the outside eating areas, the friendly service,the food ,the staff (especially our cabin staff of 7022 and bartenders Paul and Jestin) Embarkation was easy. The Captain and the Cruise Director had brilliant repartee. The ship is great. We loved it because it was small. Our cabin was excellent and breakfast on the balcony was a real treat . The food was superb and we felt no need to eat in the specialty restaurants. The all inclusive drinks package gave us all we wanted. We didn’t organise shore excursions by choice and just wandered around the ports where we were docked or tendered. We arranged a shore excursion on the last day to the Everglades before transportation to the airport and that worked well .It was lovely that the Captain wished us a safe journey at the end of the trip . We could find nothing to fault . The reggae concert was an experience as was the white night party . Value for money -what can I say? I don’t know how they made a profit . Would we go again ? Try stopping us!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I was looking forward to this so much and first time trying Viking, thought the Caribbean would be a good choice as it was one of their less expensive cruises and I wanted to see what the Viking experience would be like without spending ... Read More
I was looking forward to this so much and first time trying Viking, thought the Caribbean would be a good choice as it was one of their less expensive cruises and I wanted to see what the Viking experience would be like without spending too much money. Weather was mixed, some of the Islands are still recovering from various hurricanes so be prepared for infrastructure and transport that may not be what you’re used to. No sea days, in a different port each day ( except San Juan at the beginning ) Let’s start with the good things: Beautiful contemporary classy ship with gorgeous public spaces. Staff good in the main but quite a few seemed to struggle with our British accents and some were surly and on automatic pilot. They didn’t listen. Good cabin stewards. Nice cabin but on the small side. Fantastic bathroom. Top end and stunning spa suite. Expensive for treatments though. Included excursions were ok but given itinerary it was to be expected. Optional excursions expensive. Silver beverage package good at a decent price but all drinks reasonably priced in any event. Other cruise lines should note. Good included WiFi And the not so good: Food and wine Layout of buffet and indeed main restaurant not great. Small ship so narrow down each side. In the main restaurant, you felt at times if you were sitting in a corridor. Service very spotty, wine waiters, difficult to get a hold of, serving staff were different all the time. Seemed a bit chaotic and it took on average around two hours each night for a 3 course dinner to be served. Not always asked if you wanted tea or coffee. Food itself ranged from very good to indifferent and we had over cooked fish and lukewarm food on more than a few occasions. The speciality restaurants offered better service but food didn’t live up to the hype. They take themselves far too seriously in The Chefs Table. The staff need to lighten up a bit and let their personalities come through. Having said that, there was one waiter who was particularly bumptious, condescending and aggressive. After we complained, the restaurant manager sorted it out but it was quite an upsetting experience. Mentioned the overcooked fish in mid cruise survey and was gobsmacked when the head chef called, came to see us in Manfredis that night, got the main chef to come to our table too and arranged for beautiful petit fours to be sent to our cabin. It was impressive how Viking wanted to sort things out. We had upgraded wines as on the package- seemed to confuse staff but in the main the upgraded versions were decent enough. However, the included wines were pretty poor with very limited choice. It wasn’t exactly free flowing either way. Mamsens good, coffee and pastries in the downstairs bar good. Lovely Gelato and desserts in the buffet. You get much better food and wine on Oceania though. No comparison. Room service- we gave up after a few days. Missing items. Wrong items. Entertainment- A real weak point. Good band, four great young singers with 4/5 shows over a 10 day cruise. Couple of movies shown in the evening. No guest artistes. Classical duo. Nice up to a point and then begins to grate. Good pianist but no vocals.Not looking for high impact stuff but it was a bit too sedate. Better than Oceania though where the Tumbleweed roams freely. Atrium bar and Explorers bar very nice places for a pre dinner cocktail. Toshaven - lovely little venue for dancing but not well attended. Good fun though and the band/ singers very good. Didn’t go to any enrichment lectures so can’t comment. Others said they were interesting. No casino but in my book, not missed. We are a couple in our late 50’s so we were at the lower end of the age spectrum. Fellow guests were in the main very nice, polite and courteous. So, summary- there is much to like about Viking BUT at this price point, there are other options that may suit better. It depends what you’re looking for. If only I could combine a bit of Oceania, a bit of Celebrity, Regent and Azamara with Viking, I think I’d have found the perfect cruise line. I thought I had found it, but I wouldn’t rush to book another cruise with them unless the itinerary sang to me. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Small ship with under 100 guests and adult only. Booking through to leaving the ship was extremely well organised. We had a penthouse balcony cabin which gave excellent space for clothes as well as a sofa and chair, fridge, large tv etc ... Read More
Small ship with under 100 guests and adult only. Booking through to leaving the ship was extremely well organised. We had a penthouse balcony cabin which gave excellent space for clothes as well as a sofa and chair, fridge, large tv etc .The staff,[ particularly our cabin steward Alvin] couldn't have been better. The ship is not for people who want glitz and chandeliers, it has a comfortable elegance. The entertainment was good but not a lot of it and we would have liked it to be a little more varied. All of the restaurants were excellent far better than other cruise lines we have been with and afternoon tea was lovely. A free trip was offered on each island and the ones we went on were okay but not outstanding, the free trip we took on St Thomas should have come with a warning for back pain sufferers. The vehicles were open buses with it felt like no springs on very rough bumpy roads. We took taxis to the beach on a few occasions on different Islands with no problems until St Thomas when I wanted a nostalgic trip to Magens Bay which is unchanged and beautiful the water is so clear it is not neccesary to snorkel to see the fish they swim around your feet. unfortunately the taxi driver didn't return for us, luckily for us another couple shared their taxi with us. We would cruise with Viking again but we were very cross that we had to disembark at 7.45 for a flight at 1pm which meant a long wait at San Juan airport and another of 4 hours in New York. we would look more closely at travel arrangements made by Viking in future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We had been on the ocean ships before so knew what to expect. The boat is not that old the décor the same as other of the ocean ships. The layout virtually identical. So that makes a great experience or does it? The main plus is that you ... Read More
We had been on the ocean ships before so knew what to expect. The boat is not that old the décor the same as other of the ocean ships. The layout virtually identical. So that makes a great experience or does it? The main plus is that you get what you expect if you have been with them before. Much is the same, like the speciality restaurants and the casual dining venue and the general layout .The continuous growth of the company raises interesting possible concerns. Staff training needs to be good and standards maintained. It feel at times they are on the edge with inconsistent service levels at restaurants and dining venues. Casual eating at breakfast and lunch saw staff being moved around often to "cover" an area then be countermanded by another staff member which left gaps in cover. Food was not consistently hot, when advised the answer was not really acceptable as they said you could ask for hot plates. This was something of a challenge when you asked for hot plates, staff consistently looked surprised and often had to search around. The trips were in the main quite good for the places visited. They were of reasonable length and the party sizes good. The worst was the delay we had to an already Viking scheduled late arrival of 9 pm. We eventually reached our cabin at 1 in the morning. The staffing level was small on arrival and transfer to the ship was slow. It was clearly not unexpected. Departure was equally disappointing off the ship by 8 for a flight in the afternoon at 2 pm. 6 hours and not even a cup of coffee provided. Basically you lose a day travelling at each end not great value Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose Viking Sea because it is a small cruise ship compared to the Mega cruisers. We have used Viking in the past for river cruising and have also been very satisfied. This cruise ship is beautiful. Lots of open area, really nice ... Read More
We chose Viking Sea because it is a small cruise ship compared to the Mega cruisers. We have used Viking in the past for river cruising and have also been very satisfied. This cruise ship is beautiful. Lots of open area, really nice amenities, and wonderful staff. Dining is great with the buffets to the dining rooms. Love the breakfasts. The port docking was always close to the shore excursions. We booked a suite cabin which had an extra sitting area which gave us more room and could be closed off from the sleeping area. The bathrooms are very spacious with a nice shower. Getting around on the ship was really nice. I used a wheel chair and all area's were very accessible. We said we would never do an ocean cruise but this cruise surely changed our minds. Thanks to Viking! Viking has always been first class on their river cruises and now we can had their ocean cruise to the list. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Our third Viking cruise. The ship is their standard format which is very stylish though as this is one of oldest it is showing signs of some wear. The food is good except in Chefs Table. Entertainment low key but that’s what we want and ... Read More
Our third Viking cruise. The ship is their standard format which is very stylish though as this is one of oldest it is showing signs of some wear. The food is good except in Chefs Table. Entertainment low key but that’s what we want and the on board steel band at one location was good. A last minute decision to have a hair restyle/cut in the saloon was very good! The hotel at our extension on Puerto Rico was an expensive taxi ride from the capital and not as billed as the original one has not been rebuilt after the hurricanes nearly 2 years ago and really except for 3 untouched islands this was the story all along. The places visited were struggling with terrible debris and resultant awful living conditions for many. Very very sad. Antigua excellent stop, St Lucia and St Maarten enjoyable. Whale watching off Dominica excellent local boat and crew. Barbados now sadly not hurricane damaged but over developed and Tortola struggling dreadfully. Principal disappointment was that yet again the Excursions Director is following what must be Viking policy - namely once they have your money they don’t care! We typically spend another £1000 plus on excursions but they can be cancelled or time changed on board without any care for the impact. Some on board changes caused massive disruption to the point many of us queued to complain as we were going to miss the whale watching. All we got was off hand rudeness and blaming on shore admin/pre cruise errors! Very stressful and distorts how relaxed and well served you feel the rest of the time. Deal with this Viking it’s been the same with 3 cruises so we can only imagine your view is ‘We have your money so tough’ Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This is our 12th cruise on Oceania. We have been on Rivera a total of 3 times and have just disembarked the ship on March 6. The food, service, and and attention to detail were excellent! I noticed a slight "wear and tear" ... Read More
This is our 12th cruise on Oceania. We have been on Rivera a total of 3 times and have just disembarked the ship on March 6. The food, service, and and attention to detail were excellent! I noticed a slight "wear and tear" on the ship and was informed that the ship will receive an update this April. We had been on Riviera when it was a new ship so I was able to notice any changes. We had a Penthouse 3 cabin which was huge with plenty of storage. There was a separate shower and bathtub, two vanities,and also a huge walk in closet. The room stewardess and butler were also excellent. The cabin was kept spotless and they were very accommodating. Oceania asks for a Mid-cruise evaluation. They really pay attention to your comments. If there is a negative comment, the appropriate department follows up concerning your comment and tries to make you happy. The entire staff is friendly and professional. We love Oceania and now only cruise with this company. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019

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