1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Italy Cruises
  4. Italy Cruise Reviews

20 Italy Luxury Cruise Reviews

9 days "Sicily Splendors" was purchased in June 2016. We cruised on Windstar (Windsurf) before and knew about the warm crew approach, amazing food, long staying in the ports and all the other things smaller ships can offer. We ... Read More
9 days "Sicily Splendors" was purchased in June 2016. We cruised on Windstar (Windsurf) before and knew about the warm crew approach, amazing food, long staying in the ports and all the other things smaller ships can offer. We were in the different parts of Italy many times but not in Sicily. So the decision was easy. Embarkation was smooth and easy. We were upgraded to a higher deck - which was a nice surprise. Cabin was clean and kept clean all the voyage. The dining on Windstar ships is the one of the best you can get on a cruise ship. All the time 5* - breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, BBQ event - everything! The ports were interesting for us as I've mentioned. All around Sicily plus Malta and Gozo (small island next to Malta). Unfortunately due to the weather conditions in Gozo captain decided to stay one more night in Valletta so we couldn't see Gozo. But safety first and we spent a wonderful one more day in Malta - which was nice :) Special event was very well organized. Additional point to the Team. Miss the ship already and dream to come again! :) Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Trip of a lifetime. Uniworld does everything first class. I can't wait to book my next river cruise with them! The cabin was elegantly furnished, the food was local and gourmet. The shore excursions were led by the most ... Read More
Trip of a lifetime. Uniworld does everything first class. I can't wait to book my next river cruise with them! The cabin was elegantly furnished, the food was local and gourmet. The shore excursions were led by the most knowledgeable local tour guides available. From the moment you step onboard, the company's signature style of fabulous elegance is presented in full force. A large chandelier and leopard-skin circular sofa dominate the lobby, and natural light, fresh flowers and two parallel staircases combine to give passengers a warm welcome. River Countess might be elegant in style, but the dress code is resort casual. It caters to a predominantly English-speaking, retired clientele. After 10 years of service, River Countess underwent a total transformation in 2012, with more than $5 million worth of refurbishments. Immediately prior to its Italian debut, the ship received a few extra touches, including a pizza oven and a new tapestry behind the reception area. One of the most impressive spaces is the Sienna Salon Sky Lounge, a glass-walled conservatory-like cafe decked out with plants and outdoor furniture. On a blue-sky day, the cozy room lights up with sunshine. The main restaurant is also a sight to behold, with white leather booths, white tablecloths and white-tuxedoed waiters. Seven-night sailings are offered between April and November, with four nights spent in Venice, using the ship as a base. Other shore excursions -- to the historic and cultural delights of Verona, Bologna, Padua and Ravenna -- require coach trips of one to two hours. For these reasons, the itinerary may suit couples who can't decide whether to see Italy by road or river, as there is less sailing time than on the average cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Wanted to try a short cruise and the destinations of Sicily and Malta were places that we had not been to before. The ship is classed in todays world as small ( 600 passengers) but this made it easy to find your way round and meet the same ... Read More
Wanted to try a short cruise and the destinations of Sicily and Malta were places that we had not been to before. The ship is classed in todays world as small ( 600 passengers) but this made it easy to find your way round and meet the same people.We spent 3 days in Rome before the start of the cruise which was well worth doing. Everything about the cruise was very good, dining, entertainment and service. We had a Veranda stateroom which was furnished very well although slightly small. The shore excursions were very well organised but slightly expensive. The wifi and internet were expensive on board ship so used the wifi at the ports we stopped at. The crew and staff were very attentive with nothing being too much trouble for them. The captain was very approachable and was often around when we were leaving the ship for excursions and during part of the evenings entertainment. He would often make suggestion about when was a good time to be on deck ie. when entering Valletta in Malta for the views from the ship. We would definitely travel with this company again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We had travelled with Regent before and wanted to experience their new ship. Although quite different in decor to the other ships - the wood is slightly darker, it is a stunning looking vessel with lovely touches such as beautiful glass ... Read More
We had travelled with Regent before and wanted to experience their new ship. Although quite different in decor to the other ships - the wood is slightly darker, it is a stunning looking vessel with lovely touches such as beautiful glass and works of art scattered around the ship. The internet needs work - it seemed to be switched off in port which, as we were in port most days, meant that it had limited availability. The staff were amazing - so friendly and kind at every single level and always smiling. The entertainment was brilliant - I know there are those who still think they should have Celine Dion every night but that is not going to happen. Those seeking such high levels of entertainment should perhaps go to Las Vegas? The singers and dancers were really good and thoroughly charming both on and off the stage.They did some great shows. The acts they fly in were all tremendous Paul Soha the violinist was exceptional. The cruise director is first class - John Barron. He is funny, unflappable and a great entertainer and a complete asset to Regent. His sense of humour might not be to everyone's taste but he was popular with 99% of those on the ship and his own shows were packed out. His assistant David was also excellent. They have added a new restaurant called the Pacific Rim which was just fantastic - Asian fusion and a real stand out service from start to finish. The French restaurant actually got our vote for the best food - yes it is French food, which may be a little refined for some travellers who like their food in larger quantities. Prime 7 is probably the most popular with US travellers as it is home from home and it is always fantastic. That said, the Compass Rose which is the general restaurant has also really upped its game in terms of the variety and quality of food. We did not manage to eat in Sette Marie this time as we ran out of time but as were were travelling round Italy we had quite a bit of Italian food anyway. The excursions were all excellent. More detailed guidance on how strenuous they were and how long meant that there were fewer occasions when someone was on the wrong excursion or we have a petition to go back early because those who like to eat at 6pm had dinner reservations. There was something for everyone. A standout person in the Explorer lounge was Magdelena - a fantastic coctail maker, totally calm and collected and always remembers your drink. Any downside? Well, as the age profile of the travellers starts to go down, perhaps a bit more nightlife would be good as most things closed at 11.30. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was our fifth Windstar Cruise, but the first on the Sea Breeze. Overall it was very good value for the money. Some observations : 1. The logistics at the Port of Civitavecchia (Rome) necessitated two(2) coach transfers - no easy ... Read More
This was our fifth Windstar Cruise, but the first on the Sea Breeze. Overall it was very good value for the money. Some observations : 1. The logistics at the Port of Civitavecchia (Rome) necessitated two(2) coach transfers - no easy task when you are 80 years old, the temperature is in the low 30C's, and you have handle your own luggage....................However, both embarkation and disembarkation went extremely smoothly. 2. Customer service was excellent, and left a big impression that the satisfaction of the client was a number one priority. Some examples: - on two (2) separate occasions my Wife had issues with her meal. On both occasions the Head Chef was at our table within 5 minutes. - By the third evening it was becoming very obvious that the initial high standard of service in the Main Dining Room was starting to deteriorate (getting sloppy- I am still waiting for my dessert.............). Having informed the Dining Room Manager that it was not acceptable, the service the next evening, and for the balance of the cruise, was back to it's initial high standard. - The shore excursion to Gozo was abandoned due to a heavy swell - a full refund was given without asking. - The boat excursion to Positano had to be changed to a visit to Positano by Coach - again due to a heavy swell. A partial refund was given - again without asking. - My Birthday was celebrated twice - once at breakfast with a croissant adorned by two (2) candles, and again in the evening with a more formal birthday cake. 3. The Laundry Package/Service was excellent and good value for the money. 4. The Wine and Beverage Package was, in my opinion, overpriced. You would have to be a confirmed alcoholic to get full value............. 5. A nice touch was the offering of local wine and locally sourced food - especially the Branzino (European Sea Bass) which was cooked to perfection. 6. Candles Restaurant was superb, as was the on-deck BBQ. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We had actually done the Viking River Cruise and heard of the new ocean vessels and wanted to experience a smaller ship on a ocean cruise. We were not disappointed as the Viking Sea was a beautiful ship with excellent cabins, restaurants, ... Read More
We had actually done the Viking River Cruise and heard of the new ocean vessels and wanted to experience a smaller ship on a ocean cruise. We were not disappointed as the Viking Sea was a beautiful ship with excellent cabins, restaurants, activities and an amazing crew. We were treated first class from start to finish and would certainly return to Viking for future cruises. Embarking was effortless as was the disembark as it was superbly well organized. What truly impressed us was that Viking had many optional excursions from each port that you could take as a part of your package or add any other excursions that peaked your interest at reasonable prices. The meals were exceptional and afforded many taste and optional locations for your convenience. The entertainment on the Sea was absolutely amazing from day one to the end. What a fantastic group of entertainers for all likes. We are looking at other Viking sea cruises now and would highly recommend them. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Even though everything didn't go perfectly on this cruise, the staff on Wind Surf did everything in their power to make it memorable and special. There's just a feeling on Windstar cruises--the crew seem genuinely happy to be ... Read More
Even though everything didn't go perfectly on this cruise, the staff on Wind Surf did everything in their power to make it memorable and special. There's just a feeling on Windstar cruises--the crew seem genuinely happy to be there, the views are so gorgeous, the other passengers so pleasant. There's no fighting over deck chairs, no scrambling to get the best seats, no worry you'll get reservations to the restaurant of your choice. There's a feeling like, "Relax. Chill. There's enough of everything and they have it all planned out." From the time I arrived at the airport at Venice and a Windstar agent was waiting to take us to our hotel, I just feel relaxed and taken care of. The food on t his cruise was even better than the food on Windstar, the last ship on this line I cruised, and that's really saying something! There was more variety, I think, more food from local markets featured in all three meals. I honestly couldn't have imagined fresher, more appealing meals than all of those that were offered--I can't think of one that wasn't really delicious. In the city where I live, I can't get food anywhere this good! Yes, the entertainment isn't great (although I liked the duo Splash). But really, the entertainment is in the vistas all around you and the conversations with other passengers. We didn't get to have our signature event, which was supposed to be a cocktail party with folk dancing in Dubrovnik. The lead dancer died that day, so you couldn't fault Windstar for that. And they brought in some folk singers on to the ship instead (not the same, though; I didn't care for them much). Our deck barbeque had to be moved indoors because of weather, but it was delicious and brilliant all the same--they work so hard on this! And we missed one of our ports, Capri, one of the ones I was most looking forward to, because it wasn't safe to tender (seas were too rough). The usual captain of Wind Surf was on vacation, and the substitute captain had an emergency, so the first officer became captain for his first time ever. Even with all of this, though, there was such sincere desire to please the passengers and make their vacations memorable that I think the crew cared more about the things we missed than we did. The ports of call were great, the available tours were outstanding, our cabin was comfortable and so well taken care of during our voyage (thanks, Azhar!) that it was just overall a really great vacation. Windstar, you've spoiled me! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We have sailed with Viking on 5 different cruises and will do more in the future but the itenerary offered by Uniworld was one we could not pass up. We did the Splendors of Italy tour which was a combination land and boat tour. We ... Read More
We have sailed with Viking on 5 different cruises and will do more in the future but the itenerary offered by Uniworld was one we could not pass up. We did the Splendors of Italy tour which was a combination land and boat tour. We understood that it wasn't really a river tour but a floating hotel in the Venice lagoon. The land portion of the tour was excellent. The quality of the hotels was better then anything we experienced with Viking. The only negative was the food service at the hotel in Florence. One meal was so bad that everyone in our group complained and we joked about it during the rest of the trip since everything else was superb. The really great meals were on the tours at the wineries and small restaurants we visited. The guides were excellent, informative and easy to understand. From Mylan to Rome we couldn't have aske for a better experience. The experience in Venice was also very good but the service on the River Countess did not measure up to what one would expect from Uniworld. The dining room staff did not appear to be ready for a full boat. We had two meals where we waited over an hour for our food. The air conditioning could not adequately cool the dining room so the wait was a hot one. At the captains diner those who dresses up regretted the choice, shedding jackets etc. to try and be comfortable. This problem was also true in the lounge as it was difficult to get a drink in a timely fashion. We noted that more staff were in the lounge as the week went on. We were told that they only had about 60 people on the previous cruise and may have not been prepared for a full boat. It was noted that there was a large contingent of people on board that had booked the trip with a discounter who sold a big block of rooms at a huge discount. You would think that Uniworld would upgrade those who paid full price before giving rooms to a discounter. But for the problems mentioned above the tours and guides were great. The evening at St. Marks was special and the quality of the guides, especially Susan, the art historian was top notch. The boat docked 7 bridges from St Mark's square so it was great for touring Veniice. All in all, this was a wonderful trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Loved Viking River Cruises and couldn't wait to experience a Viking Ocean Cruise. This was a surprise trip given to my husband for his birthday and retirement to finally go visit his Italian family roots. Viking Ocean Cruise was ... Read More
Loved Viking River Cruises and couldn't wait to experience a Viking Ocean Cruise. This was a surprise trip given to my husband for his birthday and retirement to finally go visit his Italian family roots. Viking Ocean Cruise was spectacular and perfection in every way. Boarding and departure was very smooth, amenities aboard ship were the best, crew was extremely friendly and always there to offer anything you needed, and entertainment was wonderful. Without a doubt, we will do another Viking Ocean cruise. The arrangements in all ports were flawless and the tour guides were from the area so they could really give you the true history and worth points of interests to see and know. Coaches used in each port were very clean. The process for departing the ship each day for your daily excursion was very smooth considering the number of people they needed to move off the ship. Well worth it in every way. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Below the neck line, creature comforts are good. The cabin was spacious, well furnished and with an excellent bathroom, all extremely comfortable. The food was also some of the best cruise food we have experienced; there is a main ... Read More
Below the neck line, creature comforts are good. The cabin was spacious, well furnished and with an excellent bathroom, all extremely comfortable. The food was also some of the best cruise food we have experienced; there is a main restaurant, a buffet restaurant, plus 4 other speciality restaurants (no extra charge) and all of them had excellent offerings. The ship is very quiet and vibration-free. There is a very good gymnasium and a nice library, and there is a variety of pleasant bars and other spaces. So the basic needs of food and shelter are attended to in luxury. Above the neck line, I started to think that various issues contained a common thread about how the ship treats its customers. The Cruise Director made PA announcements in a formal monotone which has something of the estate agent and station announcer about it. Doubtless well-intentioned, but a far cry from the chatty, witty and informal announcements of the English Captain on our first cruise quite some years ago. The restaurant service was plentiful (lots of waiters) but seemed to be scripted, too many formulaic comments of the “have a nice day” variety. And the service can become intrusive, with waiters repeatedly interrupting table conversations. We arrived (by prior arrangement) on the second day of docking at Venice. The Reception gave us a room key and a number. No directions, no offer to carry cases. We discovered the ship had brought forward its departure time by 2 hours: no attempt had been made to contact us. In fact, reception denied that the departure had been changed, although several couples we met had booked trips ashore with local companies and had been seriously inconvenienced. The ship's excursions set new levels of stratospheric pricing. For example, docked at Livorno, “Pisa on your Own' was priced at $ 129 – basically a coach trip to drop you in a car park in central Pisa. The actual cost of a return journey to Pisa is 1.20 Euros each way bus fare to Livorno station, plus 7.50 Euros return train fare. So less than 10 Euros return or 9 dollars. The ship thus charges 14 times the public transport cost. The “Historic Pisa” excursion is the coach trip, plus a ticket to 3 monuments (not including the campanile) and costs $ 179. That's an extra 50 dollars for a ticket which anyone can buy for 8 Euros at the ticket office just behind the campanile. There is little real service for the 'independent” traveller who is not buying the ship's excursions. On two occasions, the ship announced that landings by Tender would not be possible, and docked 30 miles up the coast. Although it was easily possible to get to the original destinations in under an hour, no-one at “Destination Services” took the trouble to spend 10 minutes on the internet and post up the train times....... let alone organise a shuttle bus to the train station. Local Tourist representatives came on board with some photocopy maps of the town, but perhaps it would have undermined the ships trips to give out any information indicating that passengers could travel around on shore by other means !! The ship's disembarkation information at Monte Carlo made very heavy weather about taxi prices and waiting times for transfer to Nice airport. It recommended the ship's own transfer bus for 100 dollars each. But it failed to mention that an easy 10 to 15 minutes walk from the ship, there is an express bus direct to the airport for 20 Euros. Prices for beer, wine etc were about double normal UK prices. There was no draught ale on the ship. Bottled beer cost £7.70 per pint. (ie a 355 ml bottle for 7.67 dollars). The cheapest wine was 47 dollars per bottle. (£30.60). These prices are expressed as 6.50 dollars and 40 dollars plus a compulsory 18% service charge. As the charge is compulsory, I found it irritating:- is the intention to lull the customer with the lower “headline” figure ? Or do they think that I am not adept enough to work it out ? The best solution was often to buy wine ashore and pay the corkage charge. This was stated to be $20 per bottle in the cabin handbook, However the restaurant staff insisted on charging $25 even with the printed word in front of them. This ability to flatly contradict a customer against your own printed literature was certainly a novelty. Most people we spoke to thought that entertainments on the ship were lacklustre across the range. The “dance” group had a completely inadequate vocalist and should not have been selected for this role. There were many fewer crew “shows” than on other ships. On the last night of the cruise, there was no event, and no party......... merely a showing of “Jurassic Park”. One might be forgiven for musing “We've had your on-board spend, so now just go to bed whilst we unload the suitcases” So overall, the ship's relations with its customers appeared to lack enthusiasm or transparency, and any sense of espirit. In summary, if you require good food and a comfortable environment, this ship provides it. And if you simply want to take photographs of foreign places without getting outside the bubble and you are happy to pay maybe 1500 dollars for a collection of tours which could be achieved for 200 dollars you will have no problem. On the other hand, if you hope for more from a cruise than merely good towels and posh food, if you cannot put aside your basic sense of value for money, and if you think that a ship has some duty to “play straight” and assist its travellers (albeit with a reasonable mark-up) then there are aspects of this experience which you may find profoundly irritating. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My husband and I just returned from the taking the Star Breeze, Sicilian Splendors cruise (Sept.17-27) and I wanted to provide you with first-hand feedback and many thanks to the crew. We had a great time and Windstar is to be ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from the taking the Star Breeze, Sicilian Splendors cruise (Sept.17-27) and I wanted to provide you with first-hand feedback and many thanks to the crew. We had a great time and Windstar is to be congratulated for providing us an excellent experience. The food was top quality and Chef Rohit showed his skill and innovation in procuring and preparing local products meeting and exceeding our every request. The dining room service was great and Dining Manager Allen made sure that all of our needs were promptly met making every dining experience memorable. Lastly, Hotel Manager Stephane’s skilled staff ensured that the rooms were clean and ready. What a treat to have a new towel animal to greet us as we returned from our tours which were very organized and fun filled. The special luncheon and stops for a snack/drinks were welcoming and elegantly executed. It is hard not to complement every member of crew for their excellent customer service, wonderful attitudes and providing every guest with personalized care. Last year, we cruised on the Wind Surf from Dublin to Lisbon and while that cruise was fantastic, this most recent cruise on the Star Breeze was even better, hard to imagine but it was! We also enjoyed the staff's dance night and talent night, and it's clear they enjoy their jobs and working with each other, therefore providing great customer service. We look forward to taking another Windstar cruise in 2016. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We had extremely high expectations for this cruise, and rightfully so given our previous excellent experience on the Wind Surf along the Croatian Coast. Let's begin with the ship. The Star Breeze is a different type of vessel from ... Read More
We had extremely high expectations for this cruise, and rightfully so given our previous excellent experience on the Wind Surf along the Croatian Coast. Let's begin with the ship. The Star Breeze is a different type of vessel from those who are accustomed to the Windstar sailing ships, but we knew that going in. Having acquired the ship from Seabourn, and recently completed a much touted multi-million dollar renovation, our expectations for the ship were higher than what was delivered. The staterooms are more spacious than on the sailing ships -- a big positive. The public areas are ok, but a bit underwhelming. The main dining room is the nicest area on the ship, as far as the public areas go, and they certainly did much to make it elegant. The "Candles" restaurant really is not a step up in food quality from the main dining area, and other than the fact that you are seated outdoors, there is nothing special about the ambiance. It is the same area used for serving breakfast every morning. With that said, we certainly did enjoy the outside seating and the wait staff did an excellent job with their service. Larry is the ship's officer responsible for the dining room staff, and he is truly committed to service excellence and to making sure that the client experience is very positive. We found him to be very personable and engaging. One of the most frustrating aspects of the ship was the horrible internet infrastructure onboard. I have an extensive background in technology and am well aware that satellite-based internet service is inherently slow. That's not the issue. The issue was the ongoing outages and continual dropped connections to the ship's router that occurred throughout the duration of our cruise. There were times that I got dropped 10-12 times over an attempted 1 hour session -- finally giving up in frustration. One morning, I got up almost 2 hours early to take care of some time-sensitive business matters back home, only to find that the internet connection was down completely. I politely complained about all of the above to the nice young woman at the reception desk, only to be told, "I'm sorry sir... our officers have been made aware of the problems..." I'm now in Day 9 of our trip and I feel like there should be some adjustment made to the outrageous $250 fee I paid for "unlimited" internet use. It has not been offered yet, although I intend to ask for one at the end of the cruise. Today, our port of call was Capri. Knowing it was a "short" day with the last tender returning to the ship at 3:45pm, we were up waiting for the first tender at approximately 8am. Nothing happened. The number of people started to build in the waiting area, and clearly there was frustration. No communications. Finally, the Captain made an announcement over the ship's PA system at around 9:30am, explaining that they had been negotiating with the Port for a place to anchor and regarding the use of the ship's tenders, versus the port's. This made no sense to me since it is well known that Capri requires the use of their own tenders. We watched the "comedy" as the Italian tenders from Capri were sent out to the ship, as they bobbed and rolled in the fairly mild seas, yet posing great difficulty for people to safely board from the ship. Ultimately, only one of their tenders was useable, and it needed to be shared with the larger ship anchored next to us. We ended up waiting until about 11 am to finally board and head to shore. We also observed the crew staff tell one of the other passengers that he and his family needed to wait because first priority boarding was being given to passengers who booked shore excursions through the ship. He politely told the crew staff that he had his own excursion and was going to board the tender with the same priority as those who purchased theirs through the ship. Unexpected things happen in every business, and how you handle matters with your customers differentiates the best businesses from the others. This matter was very poorly handled by the Windstar crew, and ultimately the responsibility resides with the Captain who was nowhere to be seen. Frankly, he should have left his ivory tower and explained the situation to the multitude of very upset passengers... personally, and not via the PA system. People should have been offered refreshments to keep them comfortable, and there should have been ongoing communications about the problem, what was being done to resolve it, and when people should expect to make it onshore. Instead, there was very little communication, and the ship's staff appeared to be confused and ill-prepared to handle the problem. The finger of responsibility was pointed at the Italian's at Capri's port, but this issue was totally foreseeable. Instead, many of us felt that there was a lot more to the "story" than was being communicated to the passengers. Even though the shore time was extended by almost 2 hours to "make up" for the delay, many passengers lost confidence in the system that would supposedly get us back to the ship, and ended up cutting the afternoon short in order to return early and avoid the chaos we had witnessed in the morning. After missing one of our earlier ports of call due to heavy seas, our final port of call in Capri was substantially compromised. It was not a positive way to conclude our cruise experience on the Star Breeze. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We went on the 7-night Star Breeze cruise, Rome to Nice, based upon the belief that this would be a 6-star experience, docked in each port because this was a"yacht," and could go to ports where the big ships could not go. THE ... Read More
We went on the 7-night Star Breeze cruise, Rome to Nice, based upon the belief that this would be a 6-star experience, docked in each port because this was a"yacht," and could go to ports where the big ships could not go. THE GOOD: The ride was really smooth. We were concerned that the yacht, being small, might not be comfortable in not-so-calm waters. The ride was a pleasure. The cabin was large and beautiful. It was about the length of a Princess mini-suite, bet about 1-1/3 wider. The decor was tasteful, and the bathroom large and beautiful (double sinks!) The food was excellent and plentiful, particularly the baked goods. The croissants were about the best I've had. A small thing, but do not miss the orange juice. I appreciated it as I enjoyed it on board, but, now at home, I miss it. The service was super, except for a few hiccups. The ports were beautiful. Portofino, in particular, lived up to its hype. Cinque Terra should not be missed. THE BAD: Do not go if you want entertainment. They had 2 duos, who were good, but offered only sporadically. The free "Glitterazzi" excursion to the Monte Carlo Casino was a bust. We only took 1 of their offered tours, the boat trip to Cinque Terra. It ww q bit pricy, but we were glad we did it. Otherwise don't bother. They offered a walking tour of Monaco for $115 each. 30 yards away was a hop-on-hop-off bus for 19 Euros. These are good values for an overview, and then use it to return to those sites which interest you. THE UGLY The promised ability to dock in the smaller ports was not true. We had to tender in half of the ports. And the tender was awful. Most cruise ships use their life boats, relatively stable catamarans. Windstar, however, used a couple of old 1930-era speed boats, which bounced terribly. When at the ship (er, "yacht"), they only used one rope, and you had to jump on and off the tender. Several people were bruised, and one lady had a rather nasty injury to her arm. All in all, I give this cruise a C+. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
My wife and I have now sailed on Windstar 4 times, the last being the Classic Italy/Dalmatian Coast cruise on Wind Surf that May 3 -11. Sadly, because we really have loved the small ship, casual and comfortable style of Windstar in the ... Read More
My wife and I have now sailed on Windstar 4 times, the last being the Classic Italy/Dalmatian Coast cruise on Wind Surf that May 3 -11. Sadly, because we really have loved the small ship, casual and comfortable style of Windstar in the past, I think this is likely our last Windstar sail. I have some specific comments but I must say that the Windstar feeling seems to have changed. The marketing is slicker but the service actually seems a little more rote and less personal. I was surprised that the meals in the dining room were not better - I had heard they had improved but I did not find that. Not that they were bad, they certainly were acceptable - but one comes to expect more of Windstar. As a point of comparison, the food in Amphora and breakfasts at the Verandah were consistently excellent - so the company can do it. The excursion and tour selections were extremely disappointing - you could get 1/2 day or full day private cars or vans or book ordinary walking or bus tours for twice the price that you have to pay if you book directly. And, there was, at least to me, a significant overemphasis on food and wine experiences. The Sicily private event was a waste of a day. But the most unpleasant experience was disembarkation in Venice. The actual point where we leave the ship was a long walk from the terminal - a long long walk. We were staying at an apartment in Venice so did not need Windstar transfers. But we did need directions, etc. to get started. The Windstar staffer at the terminal had little time for us - after all we were past customers and not paying for a transfer so she just pointed out the door and said get a taxi over there. We walked - there was no taxi stand - we ended up walking 30 minutes from the terminal to Piazza Roma for vaparetto connections (and it turned out if she had helped there was a vaparetto stop not 5 minutes from the terminal in the other direction). This was not just a lack of service; it was specifically disservice. Summary - ship is still fun, food good but not great, cabin comfortable, ports good, shore excursions mediocre. All in all, not the world's best small ship line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Background We were certainly looking forward to a wonderful adventure. We have previously cruised in Pacific and Inside passage with other cruise lines. Our first time with MSC. Cabin We went for top level 15. Cabin was OK but ... Read More
Background We were certainly looking forward to a wonderful adventure. We have previously cruised in Pacific and Inside passage with other cruise lines. Our first time with MSC. Cabin We went for top level 15. Cabin was OK but smaller than premium cabins on other lines that provide a suite. This cabin was one room with couch and separate toilet. Overall ok. Dining on Board A bit disappointing all round with bland food. Service in restaurants was very good. Casino A highlight. Great staff, great ambience, good selection of games. Gym and Spa A highlight. Great instructors and daily pilates prior to catching the flu was excellent. Staff very friendly. Excursions Logistics were amazing and smooth. Lot of waiting but that's what happens when there are 2500 others to join you. Egypt was particularly well handled given the state the country tourism is in. Sri Lanka golf excursion was overpriced and poorly handled. Entertainment The aussie entertainment were great and a real treat. The European entertainment was ho hum. Illness I caught a flu like respiratory virus causing a rasping cough in the first few days of this cruise. The medical treatment on board medical centre was ineffectual and expensive. After I returned I spent nearly three weeks in bed, and after two more lots of double antibiotics I had tests indicating I had an antibiotic resistant infection known as pseudo mons aeruginosa. Many others had a similar rasping cough and were ill. In reading reviews of passengers on the prior leg from Dubai many of the passengers were ill, so it seems the infection was on the boat prior to our embarkation. I reported my concern to MSC who simply maintain there was no outbreak and they maintain the highest standards. Very frustrating as many other critiques also estimate 80% to 90% of passengers caught the cough. Disembarkation Bit of a long wait but understand there was a medical emergency. Overall was handled OK. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We were on 10 cruises before this one, and with this one we experienced the most unfriendly passengers. No kids were seen. Most were OLD people. The reviews said the food was the best but compared with Princess Cruises, Norwegian, Disney, ... Read More
We were on 10 cruises before this one, and with this one we experienced the most unfriendly passengers. No kids were seen. Most were OLD people. The reviews said the food was the best but compared with Princess Cruises, Norwegian, Disney, Msc it is definitely the worst for selection and variety. After the third day we knew what would be on the menu again. Cunard also got our reward for the only cruise line to totally ignore passengers e-mail questions. Guess we would have had better results to write to the real queen instead. We have send several e-mail questions regarding tours, time of arrivals, airport transfers etc. months before departure and we are still waiting for answers. The décor inside the QE is so dull and boring browns and that terrible British green. Very depressing compared with the other cruise lines today. NO WoW factor when you enter this ship. Norwegian way on top of this scale. Entertainment also got our reward for the worst compared to all other cruise liners. The others really had top Las Vegas acts and the best musicians in the world. The others all had a entertainment team of youngsters encouraging the passengers to participate in various activities they arranged. We were never introduced to such a team on Cunard. This was the first time we were glad when the cruise was over. Will NEVER cruise Cunard again. The opposition has MUCH MORE to offer for the same price.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was our first (and no doubt last) cruise with SilverSeas, on the recommendation of 2 friends who were taking the same journey & had sailed with them before. This is a beautiful ship & our Silver Suite was lovely, nice size, ... Read More
This was our first (and no doubt last) cruise with SilverSeas, on the recommendation of 2 friends who were taking the same journey & had sailed with them before. This is a beautiful ship & our Silver Suite was lovely, nice size, separate bedroom with a comfortable huge bed & great amenities. However, the staff are either not trained well and/or no longer care. There were a lot of small problems from each bar and restaurant and then a rather large problem with in suite dining & the movies. The movies never worked & despite 3 complaints it was never fixed. They would stutter and pixelate about every 2 minutes for 30 seconds to a minute, so you would have to rewind to catch the bits you missed. This didn't occur on the normal television channels so was something to do with their digital streaming on-board. As far as we are concerned it was an advertised service which was not delivered. We know of at least 2 other suites which were having the same problem, so not just us. Most amusing was the reaction from reception when we complained the first time, she said "Oh really? I was able to watch that movie without any problem.". Wow, isn't that nice for her! She didn't seem to have an equally unprofessional response when we told her it was EVERY movie ALL the time. They never worked despite being told that it was fixed. Observation lounge - the waitress got one out of 4 drinks wrong 3 times in a row. Once ok, but every night for 3 nights in a row? Also they don't bring napkins with finger food (nibbles & canapes), we had to ask for them every evening. Come on folks, this is really basic stuff. The Restaurant - we were sat at the same table being served by the same waiter 2 nights in a row. Not a flicker of recognition passed his face, no big deal really. Until 5 minutes after telling us his name & that he would be our waiter for the evening, he returned to our table & recited the same script again! So not only could he not remember that he had been our waiter for the previous evening, just 24 hours ago, he couldn't even recall that he had already introduced himself 5 minutes previous. This is not luxury service, but more akin to a fast food restaurant where staff are taught to read from a script. They need to stop looking at those tablet PCs they use & try engaging with the customers in front of them! Le Champagne - you pay extra for this one. We were left for more than 5 minutes after receiving menus, no offer of a drink or even water. During the meal at one point we resorted to pouring our own wine, so not terribly attentive service & they didn't refold napkins when you left the table. Keeping in mind that this is supposedly "Relais & Châteaux, an association of the world’s finest hoteliers, chefs and restaurateurs that has set the standard for excellence in hospitality". Excellence only if you redefine the word. There was however one waitress that evening who was very pleasant & engaging & have to say the food was good. Stars - good service, but the best thing I can say about the food is that is was mediocre & utterly forgettable. La Terrazza - tried to sit outside for breakfast one day, "Certainly", they said. Then marched us around the terrace, pointing at 2 empty tables we couldn't sit at & then back in the other door. "Sorry, you can't sit outside as there are no tables available.". Hmm.... maybe you should have ascertained that before you marched us in one door & out the other, telling us in front of all the other guests where we couldn't sit? Just a thought. La Terrazza again - tried to go there for dinner on our last night. Maitre'd asked if we had reservations (we didn't) & initially refused us because she was expecting 80 guests in 30 minutes. When I pointed out that I was looking at an empty restaurant with an empty terrace that had much more than 80 covers she then decided that she was, in her words, "willing to accommodate us". We weren't comfortable dining somewhere we were obviously not welcome so declined her "generous" offer. Here's something good: Seishin - after we decided not to be "accommodated" at La Terrazza we ended up here (another one you pay extra for), no problem not having a reservation. Best meal, food & service of the trip, so we lucked out on our last night! In suite dining - we tried, they failed. We had guests for dinner, canapes & champagne on the balcony, followed by a 3 course meal in the suite. The mains arrived & then nothing. 30 minutes after finishing our main courses our guests had to leave because they had an early start (rather embarrassing). Eventually we called room service & said as they clearly weren't going to bring the desserts could they at least come & clear away the dirty dishes? They seemed surprised & had either completely forgotten about us or our Butler didn't pass on the order when he went off shift while we were still having dinner. The next day we did receive an apology from our Butler & his supervisor, but no explanation as to what went wrong. Then later we received a bottle of champagne in our suite. On their own each of these things would have been just a little hiccup & easily forgiveable, but this many hiccups in 6 days? This was a very expensive one week holiday & we did have high expectations, after all according to them, "And in the ultra-luxury travel market — there’s the polished perfection of Silversea.". Polished perfection? Maybe they need to be clear that they're talking about the woodwork & not the service. I can only conclude that there is something seriously going wrong with the recruitment & the service management aboard this ship. An aside: Beware - the transportation costs to & from the ship in Venice as arranged by the company take on a whole new level of gouging. Having been to Venice many times we knew the prices being quoted were beyond crazy. For example, we arranged our own car to pick us up at the port & take us to the airport, our cost for a private Mercedes people mover plus luggage - USD 63.00. What they would have charged to make the same arrangements - USD 312.00. Water taxi - their cost USD 410.00, if you made your own arrangements - USD 150.00. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
My husband and I just returned from the Uniworld River Countess cruise in Venice and Northern Italy. This was not a traditional river cruise, since the Po river is not always accessible, but we sailed on the beautiful lagoon and traveled ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from the Uniworld River Countess cruise in Venice and Northern Italy. This was not a traditional river cruise, since the Po river is not always accessible, but we sailed on the beautiful lagoon and traveled by bus to the many cities we visited. Some days the bus rides were a bit long but not a problem. We visited Padova, Verona, Ravenna, Bologna, Venice, . We had a pasta making demo and lunch in Bologna. The cruise line provides a group for slower walkers when touring which is admirable. The River Countess was lovely. The all inclusive Uniworld tradition is marvelous. Everything about the cruise was top notch. The staff was fabulous, always ready to meet your needs. The food and dining room was excellent......the presentation and quality always terrific. The evenings could have had a bit more entertainment....a musician was on board and they brought a singer on for one night. Embarkation and debarkation was handles with ease. Once you've gone with Uniworld you are spoiled for anything else. This was a fabulous experience and we can't wait to go with Uniworld again in the future.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our first cruise on Azamara and only our second cruise having done a Windstar cruise in the Caribbean a year ago on the Windsurf. My concerns about crowds, lines and impersonal treatment on the much larger Azamara Journey were ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Azamara and only our second cruise having done a Windstar cruise in the Caribbean a year ago on the Windsurf. My concerns about crowds, lines and impersonal treatment on the much larger Azamara Journey were quickly laid to rest by the friendly and efficient Azamara crew. Our stateroom attendant, Wayan, had our names down pat on the first day of the cruise. We never had any problem finding a seat in the restaurants or a place to stretch out and relax on deck. We were traveling in a group of 8. We arrived in Athens a couple of days before our embarkation date in order to have time to do some exploring in Athens. Our hotel, the O&B arranged for our transfers from the Athens Airport to the hotel and from the hotel to Piraeus. This is an excellent small hotel and I would highly recommend it. I have reviewed the hotel on Trip Advisor. The embarkation in Piraeus was handled smoothly and efficiently with only a short wait in line. We got on board early enough to spend some time exploring the ship. Our first stop was in Santorini. We chose to go on the shore excursion to Akrotiri. This was a fascinating site to visit which was made all the better by our well-informed professional tour guide. This was also supplemented by an excellent, on-board lecture given by Dr. Patrick Goodness the following day. We attended all of his lectures which tied in nicely with our shore excursions. It was great to know what the tour guides were talking about. Our next stop was Malta. We chose the Valletta City of the Knights shore excursion. This was primarily a walking tour that visited St. Pauls Co Cathedral and the military museum. Again our tour guide was an expert and well informed on the history of Malta. I personally found the military museum very interesting. The AzAmazing Evening in Malta was a bit of a letdown. The facility that the evening was held in was like a tunnel. It became very crowded and noisy. We ended up standing the entire time as there weren't enough seats to go around. The entertainment was good but it was next to impossible to move through the hall. We found out later from our friends that there had been a sword swallower but they missed seeing the balancing act that we managed to watch. The next stop was Taormina Sicily. We chose the Mt. Etna shore excursion. This was a long bus ride up the side of the mountain but our guide, also very knowledgeable, pointed out things along the way. We did get an opportunity to hike around once we got to the lodge on the side of the mountain. We also sampled some of the local food and drink. The unscheduled evening stop to watch Stromboli erupting was a lot of fun. It was great that the Captain had the flexibility that he could do things like this. Our next stop was Sorrento for two days. My wife and I set out on our own to visit Pompeii. With the help of some other Azamara passengers we were able to figure out the local train system and successfully make the round trip. Pompeii was amazing and too big to see in one day. We may have to come back. It also happened that this was our wedding anniversary. On returning to our stateroom, we found our bed decorated with flower petals and kissing swans done in folded towels. Nice touch Wayan! Our second day in Sorrento was spent wandering around and exploring this beautiful city. Our disembarkation in Rome was handled as smoothly as the Embarkation. We were told that hiring a taxi or a van to take us from the port to our hotel in the Barberini District in Rome would be very expensive and that the availability of taxis at Civitaveccia would be very limited. In fact, this was not the case. We founds many vans for hire and they competed with each other for your business. We hired a van that was able to accommodate our entire group of 8 plus luggage for a price of 20 euros per person. This was about what we were expecting to pay to take the train and right to the front door of our hotel. (Actually a monastery) Overall, my impression of the Azamara Journey was very good. Good food, fun on-board entertainment, and a beautiful ship. We are already working on planning our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We combined a 12 day land tour with an excellent tour company. Our TA coordinated everything with Regent and tour company so that our Regent Air brought us into Milan on 10/18 and we were driven to Lake Como for 3 days -- group was just ... Read More
We combined a 12 day land tour with an excellent tour company. Our TA coordinated everything with Regent and tour company so that our Regent Air brought us into Milan on 10/18 and we were driven to Lake Como for 3 days -- group was just one other couple, with whom we got along fabulously. Our tour captain was great, so it was a wonderful prelude to Mariner Cruise. In land tour we spent 3 nightsn Lake Como, 2 nights in Lake Maggiore, 3 Nights in Cinque Terra/Portofino/Santa Margherita area, and finished with 3 wonderful nights at a vineyard resort outside Siena in Tuscany. We then took high speed train from Florence to Vienna -- great experience but difficult with two suitcases apiece!. We then were met at Venice train station and tranferred to Hilton Stuckey Molino Hotel -- and it was a wonderful hotel and location. The 2nd morning we were there we watched the Mariner go past our hotel window at 7am, which was special. The embarkation should have gone easily since the Mariner was visible from our hotel, but the water taxi firm that was used made numerous bad choices and it took us about 45 minutes - and should have ben 15 minutes. Once aboard, all was smooth and fast -- got in rooms by 330 and luggage by 5 Throughout the trip we had wonderful evening meals at Comp[ass Rose as well as Prime 7 and Signatures. We made no effort to get more evenings there -- Compass Rose was great for dinner and a few lunches when we were on board. Veranda was always nice and easy to get tables. Had several opportunities to swim in the pool (in November) so pool service was good (and so was the ice cream) Special meals on pool deck were OK, but we bypassed two of them. The block party was great and we made some good friends that we are staying in touch with. Excursions were never crowded, guides were good, and Destination did a good job of adjusting as we had to by pass three ports - Sicily became a Sea Day, Sorrento was switched to Naples, and Portofino was switched to Genoa. Most excursions were maintained except Sicily - we really wanted to see Mt Aetna., but saftey first,.Had a mix of great weeather and rough weather. ABsolutely worst was last night with waves crashing at 15-18 feet as vessel travelled from Genoa to Rome. Had to cancel Cerq show and many people got very sick -- very hard to pack that last night. New experience. Pompei was the most interesting excursion. Dubrovnik was still interesting the 2nd time around. Got to see the countryside. Entertainment was not as good as on past cruises -- dancers were good but lead singers were below par. We have always enjoyed them in the past. The boutique had good selection for its size and surprisingly had items that were 2XL -- my size. Our room team -- butler and roomsteward were just great!! S=Disembarkation went very smoothly and we were taken to Sheraton Golf Resort for overnight. Not fancy but convenient to airport the next day and Regent handled it well. Those that wanted to could take a shuttle into Rome. We had been to Rome before and just wanted to relax before our flight back to Tulsa. All in all a wonderful cruise and we have bought our $2000 certificate for a future cruise so that we retain on-board booking discounts Read Less
Sail Date October 2013

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click