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Sail Date: August 2019
The Star Legend will be in dry dock soon to completely refurbish it and add 100 staterooms. And it need it. Everything was from gently to quite worn. Seals were broken on three large windows in the Yacht Club lounge, obscuring the view. ... Read More
The Star Legend will be in dry dock soon to completely refurbish it and add 100 staterooms. And it need it. Everything was from gently to quite worn. Seals were broken on three large windows in the Yacht Club lounge, obscuring the view. That said, the staterooms were quite comfortable and the house staff attentive. Excursions are extremely expensive. Choose wisely. It’s much more fun to explore charming towns like Wrangell and Sitka on The zodiac tour of Tracey’s Arm glacier was worth it in every way. Food was hit and miss. The hits were lunch and breakfast, and dinner had some poor choices, like a seafood bisque with uncooked seafood in it. The Indian dishes, including a curry bar, were beautifully seasoned. Candles featured fresh salads and fish and meats grilled to order. Overall, for a luxury cruise, we thought Windstar could have done better with the condition of the ship furnishings, and attention to detail at Amphora Restaurant. The staff was gracious and the naturalists knowledgeable. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
GOOD - Nice Room with Butler/Concierge service, large bathroom and balcony, 24-hour room service. Main dining room and Toscana had excellent service staff and food was fantastic. Ship was nicely equipped and comfortable, albeit not very ... Read More
GOOD - Nice Room with Butler/Concierge service, large bathroom and balcony, 24-hour room service. Main dining room and Toscana had excellent service staff and food was fantastic. Ship was nicely equipped and comfortable, albeit not very large comparatively. BAD - Captain and officers were completely self-righteous and arrogant, to the point of being rude. The dining personnel in the "Polo Club" were incompetent and utterly unskilled in premier food service. We are not snobs and expect minor glitches in services, etc. However, the Polo Club is a "reservations only" establishment and one cannot simply enter at their leisure. The cruise was labeled "Gaelic Glory", but there was no glory about it. The theme was advertised as "Irish", but there wasn't an inkling of Irish theme aboard ship...no Irish food, music, or adornments...??? The entertainment was reminiscent of a theme park, with less than stellar performances. Shore excursions were offered by the cruise line at exorbitant prices, usually 3-4 times the amount charged by local companies at each port-of-call. If you did not book an excursion through the cruise line, you were not allowed to disembark the ship until all of those who purchased cruise line excursion packages had departed. This usually meant waiting 1-2 hours after arriving in port. The crew was extremely vigilant in enforcing this measure, to point of acting "Gestapo" like...very discourteous and unnecessary. I could list many more negative aspects about the cruise, but I think you get the picture. Overall...VERY DISAPPOINTED...!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our first sailing on the Victoria and it really is a most impressive ship . We had booked Balcony Club as we prefer the availability of dining when we choose . Shortly before leaving we upgraded to Princess Grill and considered ... Read More
This was our first sailing on the Victoria and it really is a most impressive ship . We had booked Balcony Club as we prefer the availability of dining when we choose . Shortly before leaving we upgraded to Princess Grill and considered the larger suite and good sized balcony well worth the extra cost . We were not , however, impressed by the Princess Grill dining room . It is large and caters for well over 100 people and is thus not an intimate venue . It compares unfavourably with the Club Balcony on the Elizabeth which ( on our earlier cruise) only catered for about 50 people . The waiters ( dedicated to a group of tables ) were polite and charming and very willing to please but on occasion did not notice when the plate was not as ordered. I could not fault the menus – 5 courses for Dinner and Lunch . We don’t have hearty appetites and never ate lunch there preferring to use the casual Lido restaurant where there was always a large range of different types of food where we could “graze” from the self service buffet . Even though we had the onboard spending allowance ( much of which was taken up by the automatic daily charging of staff gratuity charges of $27 ) I found the wine pricing exorbitant. In the restaurant a bottle of Cloudy Bay, Sauvignon Blanc had a basic price of $40 which was not too bad seeing that , tax free , in the UK it would be about £20 (c $26 ) . However a corkage charge of $25 was then added and ,on top of that , there was a service charge of 15% bringing the total up to $ 74.75 . I refrained from any further purchases there . Quite a number of people to whom we spoke also complained about drink pricing policy on the ship . The air conditioning throughout the ship was set low This was affecting the ladies, especially as they had to dress accordingly . A number complained that they had been unable to wear dresses which had been brought especially for gala nights . Perhaps this was a factor in the ship seeming deserted after 10pm . People were more comfortable in their suites. As regards the excursions we found these to be very well organised by Cunard staff as far as getting us off the ship was concerned but they varied in quality from place to place just as was mentioned in Cunard’s publications . They are dependent on local companies whose employees seem often to be students doing casual work . For example , in Mauritius , we had an early start one day and visited a charming old French colonial villa where we were given a bottle of water and offered a couple of very small deep fried battered vegetables . We then drove a long distance to an old sugar plantation factory which had been converted into a museum dedicated to the local spice industry. Here we were led around every section which , because of the time involved in slowly following other groups of visitors, we found intensely boring . It was over by around 2pm and there had been no allowance for lunch and we still had another town to visit . What was annoying was to find that the factory had a very pleasant outdoor café facility of which we were totally unaware and unable to use as we were then driven off for another 2 hours unfed, and with no opportunity of buying a snack anywhere , until we returned to the ship. Our cruise was part of the Victoria’s World Cruise and covered Singapore to CapeTown . When we boarded it was clear from the amount of coughing noted that there was a “bug” in situ . This was clearly recognised by the Medical Centre which had a prominent notice saying that they did not prescribe antibiotics for this bug which they said was a Cold/Flu infection . They admitted it was virulent and could take up to a month to clear completely . My wife caught this after a week aboard and was prescribed only basic cough medication and paracetamol. She saw the doctors twice and , it not improving , was then told that that was the only medication that they could/would prescribe . Her condition worsened and , when we disembarked in CapeTown , she immediately saw a doctor who diagnosed acute bronchitis and prescribed strong antibiotics and steroids and certified her unfit to fly ( we were due to leave 3 days later and this had to be extended by a further 3 days ) . We thus incurred considerable extra cost and had no opportunity of making the most of our time there . Regarding the entertainment (in the magnificent theatre) there were very good lectures during the day e.g. antiques , topical history and politics and regional cuisine but we found the evening shows and performances mediocre . All in all this was a rather like the proverbial curate’s egg – good in parts . For us however it was a disappointing cruise . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise to visit Vietnam and Hong Kong and finish with a stint in Singapore. this segment was 22 days. - we were medically disembarked on day 18. Please read on to the Cunard Cough Embarkation was so smooth and took just ... Read More
We chose this cruise to visit Vietnam and Hong Kong and finish with a stint in Singapore. this segment was 22 days. - we were medically disembarked on day 18. Please read on to the Cunard Cough Embarkation was so smooth and took just minutes. The Cabin 8114 was clean, comfortable and the steward wonderful. Dining in the Lido Buffet offered a wide variety of choices of excellent food. Unfortunately the furniture in the Lido needs a very good clean and the chairs were very grubby and the salt and pepper shakers were the main source of germs. The main restaurant was very disappointing. The offerings were average at best and the service was not up to the food and service standard that we experienced on the Queen Elizabeth a few years ago. Mock cream was offered with desserts. MOCK Cream!!!!! when you can get fresh whipped in the Lido buffet - that was not logical, fine dining Vs buffet and we got mock cream. Might sound picky, but the rest of the food followed suit. The entertainment nightly and offerings during the day were very good. Excursions were well managed, Tender ports took forever to get off, so get down early if you are doing a self-tour as these leave after the excursions. MEDICAL CENTRE - excellent service for all those who became sick, and those with the dreaded CUNARD COUGH. Yes, it has a name, This cough is a virus and was rampant on our cruise. It put too many passengers in sick bay and resulted with us getting pneumonia and having to leave the cruise early to get specialised hospitalisation and treatment. Many passengers didn't like getting treatment on the ship as their travel insurance was not top notch and they didn't want to pay, therefore they coughed and coughed and gave it to many others. The doctors and medical staff we give 1000%, we would not be here writing this without them. Yes our travel insurance paid up but we were very honest with them and took out extra and got their approval to cover pre-existing conditions. Would we go again - no, we felt the overall standard on this cruise was not what we enjoyed a few years ago, and on review we will not take the health risks. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Without a doubt, we had a great cruise on Sojourn Oct-Dec 2018, pretty much flawless, so we booked a 94 day cruise( Auckland to Cape Town). Total disappointment, the entire cruise was fraught with inconsistency in service and chaos in ... Read More
Without a doubt, we had a great cruise on Sojourn Oct-Dec 2018, pretty much flawless, so we booked a 94 day cruise( Auckland to Cape Town). Total disappointment, the entire cruise was fraught with inconsistency in service and chaos in dining rooms and bars. To say the least, we were disappointed in Seabourn Service standard not even 1 star. These are the highlights (tongue in cheek): Bar staff totally disorganized and inexperienced ( served gin/tonic with stick of olives) Terrace outside dining chaotic and inefficient, sometimes service other times not Main dining room food bland, monotonous,poorly prepared, service inexperienced Sometimes staff indifferent and other times friendly were not knowledgeable What was good: The itinerary and ports of call fabulous The ship itself and captain great The Ventures tours interesting with competent staff The emphasis on safety in tendering excellent The cabin a haven of refuge Summary Clearly, the cruise industry is struggling with high fuel-costs,labor costs and commissions to travel agencies. So revenues from passenger bookings are off set with cost cutting in services areas such as labor and food etc. to achieve operating margin and profitability curves, a sad commentary and unhappy experience for passengers. Seabourn did not meet. mission or vision for this cruise: What's so special about poor service and poor food?, Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The brand new Viking Sun, one of Viking’s many identical mid-sized ships to come, seemed ideal as it would be sparklingly new in every way. Then too, the itinerary sounded fantastic from Miami, Florida to London via the Panama Canal and ... Read More
The brand new Viking Sun, one of Viking’s many identical mid-sized ships to come, seemed ideal as it would be sparklingly new in every way. Then too, the itinerary sounded fantastic from Miami, Florida to London via the Panama Canal and Los Angeles, multiple south seas islands, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Manila, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia/IndoChina, Thailand, India, Arabian ports, Egypt, Malta, Algiers, southern Spanish ports, and Porto Spain. Many cruise ship features that are usually paid extra en route were included in the quoted cruise fares which made it feel richer and more convenient, but of course passengers are getting nothing for free. Wi-fi, for example, which has been a ripoff for many passengers for years, was “free” but very marginal and intermittent at best. For a very long cruise one was basically unable to carry on much of modern ordinary financial or communications needs with such inadequate service. Many ports were simply too far from sight-seeing and cultural destinations to make visiting them much more than very long round trip bus rides. Partly this was poor planning and port selection by Viking. Partly it was a low pecking order in port assignments for a firm new to many world ports. It also showed shallowness of knowledge about the most desirable places to visit. Many passengers were experienced and well educated and in some cases experienced comical day tours for quite a bit of extra cost. This was also true of on board entertainment, much of which was sophomoric. There was quite a bit of crew rotation which caused service of all kinds to be quite variable. About the time young crew members knew and performed their jobs well, they’d be off the ship and new ones joined. The younger crew themselves were wonderful and eager to please, so it was management’s newness to long cruising that was at fault. Cabins or staterooms were new, clean, cheerful, functional, and all had small verandas. Food service consisted of a breakfast and nearly day long buffet, three dinner restaurants, and several small bars and snack sites. One dinner restaurant was walk-in and the other two were reservation only. Good food was had, for the most part, but portions were rather meager in the reservation restaurants. The chefs in these two were quite creative, often too much so for some people. I would say food was one of the better aspects of Viking Sun. Senior crew who interfaced with the public seemed inexperienced and sometimes rather rude. Many were not very fluent in cruise languages, primarily English. There were quite a few excellent lecturers on board between many ports who added much to the amateurish shore excursions and on board entertainment. They were knowledgeable and fine teachers on many subjects. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We have done 4 world cruises previously and wanted to try their first World Cruise 141 days.The ship is lovely the food was like most ships we did not as a whole enjoy the specialty restaurants the food was not the higher quality we ... Read More
We have done 4 world cruises previously and wanted to try their first World Cruise 141 days.The ship is lovely the food was like most ships we did not as a whole enjoy the specialty restaurants the food was not the higher quality we expected. The portions were small and usually too salty or strange to our taste that even though they were offered to the world cruise set free we canceled our reservations after the 5th try! The Italian restaurant was good but did not offer spaghetti or angel hair pasta without previous arrangement. The room was lovely we had a Deluxe Veranda and the heated floors and large flat screen TV was the best we had seen, even in some of the ships highest end rooms! The service was excellent the restaurant staff and bar service was top notch. Because the ship was financed by the largest Chinese Bank the serving staff had to be a large portion of the staff was Chinese and they were well trained and excellent at their jobs! They went overboard with their on board cultural experiences! Entertainment was often local and the ship usually did only one show unfortunately there was no way to display the talent properly. Their theater seating could not seat everyone on board so many had to stand or dodge the person in front or get there early to get the front row. For some reason the ship refused to do 2 shows a night even though they know neither the pool area or theater could seat everyone on board. This was something we had never run into before so if you are going for entertainment you might pick another ship. All entertainment except for 1 night a week at the disco (the dance floor will only accommodate 6 or 8 couples) the bar was the only place they had real rock and role to dance to everything else was very cultural high brow. Guitar, Chamber Music,Opera ,Piano and Violinist were the order of the day every day!!!! If this is what you like this is your ship but if you were raised on Rock and Roll like most Americans seek another ship! A once in awhile comedian or magician was a treat. Believe me this can make a lonnnnnggg World cruise! If you like musical theater and dance this is not your ship. The ports of call were standard fare and as they were new at this some mistakes were made they did not have the money to pay for us to cruise Hulong Bay as we were promised we were not happy! One of the best things on board was the large outdoor seating for meals on the stern. When the weather was good they threw all the sliding doors back and it was wonderful. The Spa is spacious and the extras they offer are great fun. The Gym is well thought out and works very well. Only it does not open early so if you want to exercise early or late you will find that it is closed to the guests and opened for the crew only! Beware we were told Cruise insurance was included of 150% when my husband became ill but they paid us less than 100%. There was no asterisk or foot note to say up to etc. even on the contract but the insurance company refused to live up to the promises that Viking made to us in their brochures so you might want to get additional insurance. In essence she is a lovely ship but would be better on a shorter cruise. Also beware the promises that Viking makes they will not pay 150% they lied! When I booked the cruise they said they had Zumba on board and they did not! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I write this from the perspective of a 47 year old cruiser who has sailed with Oceania 7 times. My cabin experience has always been a PH2 or PH3 on deck 10 or 11 on Riviera/Marina and deck 8 on the R Class ships. For reference and point ... Read More
I write this from the perspective of a 47 year old cruiser who has sailed with Oceania 7 times. My cabin experience has always been a PH2 or PH3 on deck 10 or 11 on Riviera/Marina and deck 8 on the R Class ships. For reference and point of view purposes I have sailed on most major mass market lines. In recent years my taste has changed and strongly desire smaller ships with less passengers and a more inclusive experience where you are not nickel and dimed. Therefore, lines such as Oceania, Crystal, Seabourn, Azamara, Regent and Silversea have been strongly preferenced. The condition of the Marina is tip top shape - especially for a ship built in 2011. Food remains outstanding. Cruising on Oceania is more akin to staying in a really nice floating hotel as opposed to a true cruising experience. Highlights not only include the dining room and specialty restaurants, but also tea time and the strings. I also believe Oceania and Regent have the best pool areas at sea. Unfortunately, I feel strongly that Oceania has lost ground compared to the competition - so much so that we just booked our first Viking Ocean cruise as reviews seem to compare the two lines as apples to apples with Viking Ocean being the better apple. Unfortunately, Oceania's apple has become a bit rotten. Here's why: Despite a beautiful ship and producing excellent food something is missing on Oceania and has been progressively more noticeable. That "something" is service and absolute lack of personalization. I've noticed on my last few Oceania cruises that the crew does not engage with the passengers and it is clear they are there to do their job and that's it. There is frequent talk in front of guests about "when my contract is up". No similes, no being addressed by name, no remembering preferences. In fact, for the most part no warmth. For example, my wife and I kept bumping into a social hostess we met at a captain's function the second day of the cruise and we would always say hello and try to engage. She would not give us the time of day. A social hostess! Another example - this one from the top - the captain's cabin was just in front of ours and I would frequently see him in the corridor. It was painful for him to return a simple hello. Staff were regimented and inflexible. All decisions - no matter how minor - had to come from the top. There was no willingness or ability to even make small decisions to cater to guests on their own. For example, at the juice bar I asked for bananas, oranges and ice. The employee said he was only allowed to make what was on the preset menu despite all the ingredients and a blender sitting right in front of him. Sounds picky? Not really when every aspect of any small request is treated this way. The overall lack of flexibility and unfriendliness of the staff is unfortunate. Part of what makes cruising enjoyable is the staff. When the staff is miserable and stupidly rigid it impacts the overall experience. In summary - regarding the staff - they walked around like creatures from the Walking Dead and did not seem happy. Unless you bought a drink package getting an honest drink is impossible on Oceania. All drinks are measured pours and quite stingy. Even the "doubles" are weak. A double top shelf (i.e. Kettle One or Grey Goose) martini costs north of $22 before tip is included. Bartenders have zero flexibility to think on their own and actually some are worried about their pours because they are "scrutinized" according to one. Remarkably, Celebrity - a mass market line - makes much more honest and better drinks without the measured pour. Oceania shore excursions are consistently awful. I would not waste your money and instead visit sites such as tours by locals or Viator to arrange your own tours. Not only will you have a more customized experienced and skip out on painful bus journeys, but you will save a ton of money. As an aside, I think Oceania would benefit from increasing their prices slightly and making drinks all-inclusive. They should get rid of O Life promotions and just make every sailing with included WiFi, beverages, gratuities and lastly not insult guests by requiring tokens for the laundry. Those inclusions coupled with some serious Ritz Carlton style customer service training would potentially put Oceania back in the running. On all my previous Oceania cruises I booked future cruises. Not on this one. I am done with Oceania for the foreseeable future as I've tried other options and liked them better; hence the danger of trying other things as you might just like them better and change your spending habits. Sorry Oceania - what was once a fabulous product is just fair now when compared to the competition in the market. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
My wife and I cruised on Marina, from Southampton to Copenhagen, in August of 2017. We had originally booked on the Concierge level, but when offered an upgrade for an additional fee, we upgraded to a Penthouse Suite. We were not too ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on Marina, from Southampton to Copenhagen, in August of 2017. We had originally booked on the Concierge level, but when offered an upgrade for an additional fee, we upgraded to a Penthouse Suite. We were not too impressed with some of the issues we faced while on the cruise and the way some of the ship’s staff responded to these matters. Before getting into detail on the issues, we must stress that our butler, the housekeeping staff, and the restaurant and dining room staff did a fabulous job, were attentive and courteous, and are not related to the issues we encountered. Additionally, the Penthouse Suite itself was very well-appointed, a good size compared to the Concierge rooms, had lots of storage and a walk-in closet, and a sizeable washroom (the shower can feel a bit tight, however, when you’re over six-feet tall). Now for the issues we encountered. The first one concerned a bottle of 18-year-old Scotch ordered for our suite. The Oceania website indicated that this was a one litre bottle, but when we opened the box containing the Scotch, it was only a 750 ml bottle. When asked, our butler pursued the matter with other staff on the ship, but it took two days before I was informed that they did not have one litre bottles, at which time the original bottle was returned to me. During the two days that elapsed, there were a couple of differing stories about what was happening. In the end, I was offered four shots of the Scotch in any of the restaurants in addition to the smaller bottle, which still did not match the one litre quantity originally described on their website. I accepted this, only because I was getting tired of how long it was taking them to handle the matter. Given this is an error, I wonder if Oceania and their marketing folks will correct their website to reflect the fact that Glenmorangie 18 Year Scotch is not available in a 1 Litre bottle. Two other matters related to shore excursions. First, we had originally booked eight excursions each in March, choosing them to fit our schedule based on our preferences for dining on the ship. When we arrived on the ship, we received a letter indicating that one of our tours had been cancelled. After reviewing alternatives for this port, we could not find a suitable tour as a replacement. When I tried to get an answer from a supposedly higher level person, I was told that the excursion had been cancelled because “only 4 people had signed up” for the tour. If that were the case, why didn’t Oceania recognise this well in advance (say in July), and inform us at an earlier date, rather than after we arrived on the ship. For a supposedly premium cruise line, they should do better than last-minute advice. The other tour issue was related to an excursion where the time was arbitrarily changed from morning to afternoon. We didn’t notice this until the day before the excursion when we pulled the tickets out. Someone on the ship stated that the ticket pack included a warning that time could change, which may cover their posterior, but they should inform customers more actively when such changes occur. Perhaps Oceania needs to recognise that when people arrive on the ship, customers are actively trying to unpack while receiving communication about W-Fi, booze upselling, cruise details, etc., and may not check all details assuming that Oceania would be properly informed of such changes. The next problem was related to the canceled excursion. We advised the ‘Destinations’ people that we could not find a suitable alternative, and then asked the individual if the refund would be applied as a credit to my wife’s credit card. The individual responded in the affirmative. However, a few days before the end of the cruise, we checked with the ‘Reception’ people to confirm this, and were told that the refund was a shipboard credit that was required to be spent on board Marina. My wife and I told them in no uncertain terms that we had been advised differently, and it there was no way that we would be spending the amount onboard. At the point we checked, the credit and not even been applied to our shipboard account. I then asked to whom I should speak to escalate the issue, and was advised to return later to discuss with the assistant purser. When I returned to discuss with the assistant purser, she then agreed that they would refund the amount in US cash, but that she would need to talk to the “Destinations” people to have them process the refund. The assistant purser, then called me later to advise that a $100 per person amount would be applied as a ‘goodwill gesture’ – an amount less than what the excursions actually cost. So I pushed back again, and talked to the ‘Destinations’ people, who frankly were not very customer friendly, but who finally agreed to an amount that reflected the actual out-of-pocket cost for the excursion. I was then advised by the assistant purser that processing the refund would occur overnight, and we could see it on a preliminary statement the next day. When I went to check the account the next day, Oceania had added significant amounts for gratuities – gratuities which we had prepaid months before the cruise. We insisted that we had prepaid the gratuities, and the assistant purser agreed to check in the matter – the next day, the charges for gratuities were removed from the next preliminary statement. In the end, we finally received the amount in US cash. However, the lack of consistency and answers from various staff, the back and forth to resolve the issue, and the additional erroneous accounting charges were what I would call a classic ‘Gong Show’. The last item was related to our baggage upon disembarkation. The website description for the Penthouse suite specifically listed ”Last minute luggage collection” as one of the services exclusive to the suite. However, when we received our letter outlining luggage preparation, it stated. “Please place your luggage outside her sweeper statement by 10 PM the night” before disembarkation. Again, another visit to talk to the staff in ’Reception’ confirmed the 10 PM deadline – I showed them a printed copy of their webpage, and still got a deer in the headlights look. Obviously, Oceania links to upsell people to premium suites with promises that are blatantly misleading; the definition of last-minute to most reasonable people would be most couple of hours prior to disembarkation. Regarding the restaurants and the food, there were some items in Red Ginger that were ‘Wows’ (the Spicy Duck and Watermelon Salad, the Miso Glazed Seabass, and the Twice-cooked Crispy Chicken). Polo Grill was comparable in quality to most steak houses at which I’ve eaten, albeit not as good as higher end steakhouses. The Caesar Salad was definitely mediocre compared to most restaurants – while it’s prepared ‘tableside’, the dressing appeared to be prepared in advance, rather than the dressing ingredients being combined at tableside. Overall, I would rank the food as better than average, but not consistently as great as Oceania implies in their marketing materials. Additionally, in the Penthouse Suite, we were entitled to nightly canapes; however, there were a limited number of choices, and the choices never changed during the entire cruise. Oceania provides a survey for passengers to complete at the end of the cruise and I overheard one of the people in ‘Reception’ stated that they take these and customer feedback seriously. I did not complete the detailed survey as intended, as I was so frustrated with the above, but I did complete the free form section firmly requesting that someone with some authority contact me at home to discuss the several issues that we encountered on the cruise. To date (over fifteen business days since returning home), Oceania has not made contact, so it appears that they’re not interested in customer concerns or feedback, nor do they appear to be interested in making changes to avoid such problems in future. Perhaps Oceania should consider reducing the number of direct mail pieces trying to sell future cruises, and divert these funds so they can focus on responding properly to customer issues and improving communication and training to improve the customer experience. Given they purport to be a premium cruise line (and are often described as ‘upper premium’), our experience demonstrates that they seem to overpromise and under deliver. As someone who has spent several decades in the consumer and business-to-business marketing, communication, advertising, and web realm, dealing with customer issues is something that I was passionate about, and to which I responded extremely quickly. Oceania’s standards and resolution, or lack thereof, do not come close to the standards I would expect from a brand that purports to be a premium (or upper premium) cruise line. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
The food was mediocre on this cruise. The food we ate ashore and on our plane to and from was better, and I am not exaggerating. I almost laughed out loud when told the bread was made onboard. It is not and it is not good. Most things ... Read More
The food was mediocre on this cruise. The food we ate ashore and on our plane to and from was better, and I am not exaggerating. I almost laughed out loud when told the bread was made onboard. It is not and it is not good. Most things are frozen. For example, the lobster thermidor is made by boiling a plastic packet of lobster and other items and placing it on a hulled out shell. It is not baked or broiled in the shell. The room service menu is limited and the items are below par. The hamburger was the worst I have ever eaten---clearly a patty loaded with filler. There are two pools. The main pool is very crowded. The pool off Canyon Ranch spa and accessible to concierge and higher rooms does not have service of any kind. You must walk back and forth between the pools to get a glass of water, cocktail, etc. Really odd. The stewards and housekeepers were lovely, but that was the only highlight. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
First time on QM2...Arrived Dubai by air and spent 3 nights in JW Marriott (outstanding hotel)and had an "evening with Katherine Jenkins" which was excellent...did several private tours within Dubai...very good value. Overall ... Read More
First time on QM2...Arrived Dubai by air and spent 3 nights in JW Marriott (outstanding hotel)and had an "evening with Katherine Jenkins" which was excellent...did several private tours within Dubai...very good value. Overall impression of Dubai was Very good and would go again for a holiday. Boarding QM2 was not good and waited for over 6hrs for our luggage to come to our stateroom. As we were in the Queens stateroom on deck10, unable to attend our first lunch as we had no change of cloths.....shorts not accepted for lunch. Went ashore (privately) in Muscut. The trip round Yemen into Red sea was uneventful, thank goodness, although QM2 was well prepared.... Aquaba and Petra came next....outstanding trip and well worth going all this way for.... The 12 hrs though the Suez canal was another highlight of this trip...(think even better than the Panama canal)....Onto Limasul (Cyprus) and Messina and Naples, where we again went on a private trip to Sorrento, so had the day to ourselves...Then onto Lisbon and finally Southampton. Disembarking was another nightmare, created by Cunard. .Being on the Queen's suite, no priority given to us. They wanted to wait till ALL baggage we in hall before we could go down, this meant a huge jam in hall....top Suites should have been released much earlier..... Having done a World cruise on QE 2 yrs ago, we expected better from this cruise.... Entertainment was poor to very poor and we walk out twice.....only one lecture was of a high standard, John Peters....the others not so good. The Royal Theatre was not that good. No seats are bookable, so you had to rush your dinner to be seated 1 hr before the shows to get a good seat. The seats are like a 'big couch" with no arms.....not very comfortable either. The Pursers office seemed not to care about their jobs very much and on the 3 occasions I used them, found them rude....it was as though they were talking down to the older passengers.....ave. age must have been 65.....I found this attitude very concerning. Our Queen's stateroom was excellent, and made up for other short comings of this cruise. Very big with plenty of room and cupboards....Balcony was huge and excellent for sunbathing. The Grills dining couldn't be faulted either. Excellent choice of menu and service outstanding. This cruise left us with the impression , that Cunard were at the end of their World cruise and wanted to fill up the ship from Dubai with 900 people....that meant entertainment and ports of call suffered.....even the Captain, who was retiring, seemed to have lost interest. The QM2 has just been 're-mastered', unfortunately they should have looked beyond the new furnishings Value for money , this was a poor cruise and we would not travel on the QM2 again but stay with the QE instead....we have already cancelled our cruise on QM2 for 2018 and will go in 2019 on QE......speaking to our fellow passengers in the "Grills" they too had the same opinion, that QE was better. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We booked an excursion to Paphos in Cyprus. The description of the tour which appealed to us was 1. Taken to Paphos and have three hours free time to explore independently or 2. Visit the Villa and see the mosaics and the tombs of the ... Read More
We booked an excursion to Paphos in Cyprus. The description of the tour which appealed to us was 1. Taken to Paphos and have three hours free time to explore independently or 2. Visit the Villa and see the mosaics and the tombs of the kings and lastly 3. Take a stroll along the harbour. However, we were given no choices at all! We were dropped off at the harbour and left there. There was only a few restaurant and tacky gift shops. I was in a wheelchair and on 24/7 oxygen. We tried to find some shops but it was a long trek and we only found a very small mall and went back to the harbour and waited there for a coach to return. We put in an official complaint at this persons desk when we returned and received 10% refund which was an absolute joke we had wasted our money and our day in Cyprus. The literature is completely misleading and if we had known what was in store we still could of taken the free shuttle bus or gone to Limassol where apparently the guests had a fantastic time which made us even more fed up ..... I keep trying to get in touch with the excursions specialist team as we was advised to do once we got back to UK but I have had no luck getting through so needed to vent my feelings somewhere. As for the cleanliness of the newly refurbished Kings Court, we found it dirty, especially the walls next to the tables, the skirting, the windows. Infact, a lot of the communal areas needed TLC. They were cleaned but the staff were very lethargic and did everything at a snail's pace and didn't seem to take any pride in the fact that they were on a Cunard ship, although they cleaned they didn't clean the edges or the corners. This is where germs lie ......... Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
The itinerary was the attraction as well as the benefits conferred as a result of my cruise status (over 15 with Oceania in the last 5 years.) The service in the cafeteria was sub-par. many of the servers didn't speak adequate ... Read More
The itinerary was the attraction as well as the benefits conferred as a result of my cruise status (over 15 with Oceania in the last 5 years.) The service in the cafeteria was sub-par. many of the servers didn't speak adequate english to understand the request of the passenger. They made little effort to comprehend and would just stare awaiting the passenger's clarification of the english word for the food. The servers frequently slapped the food on the place with subtle hostility. Moving on to the entertainment, the musicians in the onboard band played without passion or emotion. Nice for a less than mediocre high school band fulfilling a requirement but surprising on a 5 star ship. The string quartet played out of tune and without enthusiasm. The visiting entertainers were spotty as to talent. Destination services was a disaster of disorganization. passengers were kept waiting until the ship was docked and ready for disembarkation and bus loading before tickets were issued thus delaying the departures and adding serious confusion and amazement at the lack of crowd and loading management. My gratuities were included for a month trip but the ship insisted they were included for only a portion of the trip. As I write my travel agent is attempting to correct that erroneous position and obtain return of the over charge. The general atmosphere has change as related to service during the time I have cruised but this trip was surprising in its lack of politeness toward the passengers. In light of the fact there is an increase of 5 star and better competition, I am surprised Oceania is seemingly unaware of their descent toward average. Perhaps it was just a string of 30 bad days for the staff. Or, perhaps it is a suggestion of future deterioration. I hope not. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
I have always liked the Whisper but will never take a segment of a world cruise again. In this segment, the majority of the passengers had been on this cruise since January and had established little groups to dine, drink and socialize ... Read More
I have always liked the Whisper but will never take a segment of a world cruise again. In this segment, the majority of the passengers had been on this cruise since January and had established little groups to dine, drink and socialize thus the new passengers had to find other new passengers in order to have a good time. This segment from Dubai to Athens had fewer new passengers due to the possible danger passing Yemen and other countries in the news but the tours to Luxor, Petra and Gisa were very worthwhile and Silversea takes precautions and has never had a threatening incident. The familiar crew on the Whisper helped make the trip more enjoyable. On the next segment from Athens to Monte Carlo, it was reported that 160 new passengers would board so I'm sure they outnumbered the tired world cruisers but we have cruised the Mediterranean many times and had seen many portsand we departed the Whisper in Athens. The food was wonderful in all dining venues and tasted better than I had remembered. The evening entertainment was professional and entertaining, Day lectures were educational and worthwhile and included a travel professional who highlighted the upcoming tours with a visual presentation describing history and cultural advice and additional sights. On days at sea, two speakers entertained passengers, one on British spies during World War 1 and two The other speaker told us his fascinating experience in Africa with camels. He actually rode by camel across the Gobi desert. Also on the British experience in Africa. The swimming pool was active with sun worshippers throughout the day as well as the hot tubs. Underwater exercises took place at 2 pm followed by water volleyball at 3. Read Less
36 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Just been on board for 10 days and was pleased to get off, personally I found the food not to be 5 star, the buffet area, although the food was better, I likened it to a motorway dining area, with the seating arranged so people were ... Read More
Just been on board for 10 days and was pleased to get off, personally I found the food not to be 5 star, the buffet area, although the food was better, I likened it to a motorway dining area, with the seating arranged so people were walking around you while eating. We wanted to do our own thing when we docked instead of organised tours, the tour people were not interested in the least in helping. I said at one time we wanted to go snorkelling and did they have any information, I was told in no uncertain terms I would have to ask when we went ashore. There were no information leaflets of the places we were visiting, it was organised tours at expensive rates or nothing. The last 2 days the ship was in lockdown as there was 120 crew members and a few passengers went down with norrovirus, an ambulance was called when we went into port, but this was all kept quiet to the oncoming passengers. The entertainment was pretty poor. This was by far the worst cruise I have been on, this was my first and last time with Cunard. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
My husband and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The embarkation process ran smoothly and we did not have to wait too long to board the ship in Singapore. We had a cabin near to mid-ship on Deck 4 with an obstructed view ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The embarkation process ran smoothly and we did not have to wait too long to board the ship in Singapore. We had a cabin near to mid-ship on Deck 4 with an obstructed view - i.e. there was a lifeboat right outside the window so we could only see the sky. The cabin itself was a nice size with two wardrobes and a few shelves. under the bed were two roll out storage boxes which were very useful and the bed were high enough to be able to store the suitcases underneath. There was also a sofa in cabin so you could at least sit and relax without having to sit or lie on the bed. The bathroom was the usual square box with a small shower in the corner and the inevitable plastic shower curtain. You have to step up and down to the bathroom which could be an issue for people with disabilities. We ate most nights in the Britannia Restaurant at the 8.30 sitting. We had a very pleasant group of people on our table and great fun was had but unfortunately, we did not feel that the food met with the standard we had expected. My husband has a good appetite and asked for extra vegetables and potatoes to be served each night but unfortunately these were the same practically every night, broccolli and cauliflower with chips - really, is that all they could find? The foods was ok but even on the "Gala" nights, there did not seem to be anything particularly special and there did not seem to be any themed nights in the main restaurant but there did in the Lido Buffet. As with all cruise ships, it is very difficult to get the food to be served hot. Our waiter and his assistant tried to help as much as they can and they were both friendly. The Maitre D made the odd appearance but did not really seem that interested. We did notice that when you walked into the restaurant there was a dreadful smell of gas, not sure what that was all about but no-one ever seemed to complain. The entertainment was on the whole quite good although there were a couple of acts that were not to our taste, but you can't please everyone all the time, however on the final night of the cruise, whilst the "world cruisers" were off the ship at a special dinner, the remainder of the passengers were treated to what can only be described as a "scraping from the bottom of the barrel" of entertainment. They had an amatuer "African music and dance troupe" followed by an elderly couple who played keyboard and sang which really was an insult to the intellegence of the guests left on board. What were Cunard thinking? The entertainment team were great fun to be around and they joined in with everything with such enthusiasm. The quizzes were of a good standard. The standard of lectures on board was really good with Jenny Bond, John Snow to name but two of the speakers. The ports of call were busy but unfortunately we felt that the tours offered by Cunard were very expensive and from what other people told us, they did not think that they were particularly good value for the money and that some of the guides were not very good. We tend to do our own thing but the information given for independent travellers is not very good and indeed at one port of call Cunard provided a map of the main town but their shuttle service took us in the opposite direction to a beach area. Not quite sure what that was about. Cunard do provide shuttle services at each port but these always take you to a shopping centre rather than to the centre of the town from where you can explore. Drinks on board are very expensive even for an average bottle of wine you are paying at least £ 40.00 and then you have to add 15% service charge. Overall, we felt that this was just a version of a P&O or Princess Cruises and that you are paying for snob value which is, in our opinion, no longer there. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
To put this review in perspective, here is some background. We cruise this segment almost every year at the same time for our wedding anniversary, using Royal Caribbean, Crystal and Cunard from Hong Kong back to Singapore. We also love ... Read More
To put this review in perspective, here is some background. We cruise this segment almost every year at the same time for our wedding anniversary, using Royal Caribbean, Crystal and Cunard from Hong Kong back to Singapore. We also love dancing and spend most of each evening on the dance floor. So the starting and ending ports are all that matter and the ports in between, we have been to more times than we care too. We went with pretty high expectations after wonderful experiences on the Queen Victoria and the Queen Mary, we were quite disappointed with the Queen Elizabeth. Embarkation in Hong Kong was a breeze, we arrived a few hours before the sated embarkation time ( at 1pm instead of 3:30pm) and encountered no queues anywhere. Our complaint was that the staff posted around the terminal building to direct people were not very proactive and maybe a bit racist. A couple dragging a carryon bag with Cunard tags and a sheaf of documents would obviously be looking for the Cunard check-in desk, no? They did not smile or point the way out to us but were quick to greet and direct any Caucasian walking past, even if they did not have a suitcase! We were able to go straight to our cabin which was ready, with a bottle of champagne chilling on the table. Our cabin was quite large(see cabin review) and close to all the things we wanted to get to however, very noisy on the last night as it was next to all the crew working areas. We booked early and so had early seating with a quiet table for 2, much in demand I heard, which was set well away from other tables- unlike another cruise where it was separated from the next table by 10cm. Our waiter was the 2nd worst we have had on any cruise. He was unsmiling, distracted and constantly facing away from his tables, fiddling with the silverware over and over instead of looking at his tables to see if we needed anything. He did not try to make any conversation not even to greet us on arrival! He never tried to make any food recommendations, never asked the standard " how is everything?", did not remember simple requests from the previous night (I asked for a slice of lemon in my water, the next night there was a small plate of sliced lemons on his service table but he never brought it to us). We had excellent service from other wait staff at lunch and breakfast so perhaps it was just the one person. Unfortunately the MDR waiter is the person we interact with the most on a cruise and so this gave a poor impression of the service levels. We had informed Cunard that we were celebrating our anniversary. We got a card in the room but not a whisper in the dining room. Food was disappointing but beautifully plated. All the fish was dry and over cooked. The only edible poultry was the duck and even that was just passable. Only the red meats were good. The side dishes did not complement the mains well. We went for the afternoon tea on the first day, white gloved service wasn't too happy we asked for Earl Grey instead of the generic tea they were serving. Sandwiches were dry and fillings were miserly. They only had dry raisin scones that were COLD! Cakes were poor quality ( we later found that they use Cadbury's cooking chocolate now - so brownies and chocolate cake did not taste of chocolate!).We did not bother to make it for subsequent teas. In previous cruises, this was one of the highlights of the afternoons. The best part of the cruise was the dance lessons - Sergey and Olga were amazing. They were able to teach more than 60 people, mostly beginners, in 45 minutes to dance quite complicated steps with good technique. Although we already dance well, we were still able to learn a thing or two from them. We spent most evenings on the dance floor in the Queens Room. It was large and a beautiful space to dance in when there was recorded music. The band spoilt it a little as they were not open to requests and there was a lot of down time between songs. They said they had a set of songs to play ( hence not keen to allow requests and yet did not seem to know which song it was they were going to play next and there was a lot of discussion between members before playing each song). The vocalist really ruined it. Everytime he appeared, you could almost hear the groans from the serious dancers. He was full of himself and used the same lame jokes every night that were very insulting and disrescpectful of his several ex-wives. Lots of talk before each song, called out the wrong dance ( could not tell the difference between a Viennese waltz and a Slow waltz) and switched tempos ( a big no-no in dance music) midway and always ended with a sudden stop which gave no time for any nice end to our dancing. The dance hosts on this cruise were all good dancers and all the single ladies seemed well catered to. We enjoyed having a matinee show in the Royal Theatre called La Danza - put up by the ships singers and dancers. They were not very good but certainly helped pass the time nicely. The magician/comedian on one of the nights was very entertaining. The rest of the programming was quite boring with hardly anything of interest to do in the afternoons. We did not join in the ship excursions as we had already visited both ports ( Nha Trang and Phu My) several times. Instead we took the free shuttle to Cho Dam ( market and bought lots of fish sauce - a specialty of Nha Trang and vietnamese coffee, followed by a very cheap and excellent massage at Sen Spa. We took a small group tour ( just 4 of us) with " Best Tours in Vung Tau" to visit the Long Phouc tunnels, local market and a fruit farm with an excellent home cooked lunch and accompanied by a very hospitable guide-owner. Both activities are highly recommended for people who have already done the usual tours in the 2 ports. Nha Trang was a tender port and it was a nightmare. While I totally understand the extra caution that QE was taking ( after the tragic incident they had on the same sector 2 years ago). Only 3 tenders were running and the waiting time to board one was almost 2 hours. We witnessed a poor family of 8 given tickets for tender number 22 who were told to go away for a coffee and come back in 45 minutes as the Queens Room was too full ( we were told the same thing as we were behind them and given the a number for 2 boats later). We remained in the Queens Room. No annoucements were made in the ship when the tender numbers were called, only in the Queens Room. When that family came back 35 minutes later, they were told they had missed their boat and given new tickets for 32! which meant another 1 and a half hour wait. Amazingly they remained cool! Perhaps there were safety constraints that prevented putting on more tenders so the wait may have been unavoidable BUT there were many ways they could have improved the experience like providing pastries and coffee while people waited, making ship wide annoucements if tender numbers came up before the expected time etc which they did not do. I was not impressed. As Gold members we had 2 hours of free internet each which was a nice perk. The connection was slow but good enough for confirming tours and quick checkins home. Part of the thing about cruising is getting away from computers anyway. It was the shortest cruise we had on Cunard ( previous ones were 8 and 9 days) but we were actually quite glad to get home in Singapore as the overall experience was not great. We did self help disembarkation in Singapore at 7am and it was quick and efficient as usual. There was a little glitch at immigration as they had not put up the guide ropes to allow Singaporean passengers to use the automated passports gates, soon rectified. Lots of taxis were waiting so we did not have to use Uber. We will probably cruise Cunard again but we will take the Queen Mary and never Queen Elizabeth. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
My first cruise as a solo traveller but part of an escorted tour. As a result, I cannot compare with other cruises. However, I am a seasoned luxury solo traveller (mainly SE Asia). I have to say that QE generally does not compare with ... Read More
My first cruise as a solo traveller but part of an escorted tour. As a result, I cannot compare with other cruises. However, I am a seasoned luxury solo traveller (mainly SE Asia). I have to say that QE generally does not compare with the 5 star hotels I have stayed in. It was more 4 star. Everything you need but not "plush". Embarkation was initially a bit of a disappointment after walking up the gang way and greeting by a empty deck, with no directions as to where to go. However, one passing staff member felt sorry for us and pointed us in the right direction. Not a great start. Once we were greeted you were pretty much left to your own devices. I wasn't sure what to do but I headed to my cabin (more on the cabin later). I am very independent but as it was my first cruise, Cunard should have had someone proactively greeting and helping passengers. There were a lot of crew there mainly promoting the spa and beauty services. This promoting continued through the cruise every time I entered the Lido deck and go very annoying after a while. I was very interested to do some enrichment lectures and selected a session in Acupunture. A complete waste of time because it was another promotion where the practitioner wouldn't answer questions without you making an appointment. Truly awful! After that I didn't attempt anymore enrichment. I liked the shows on board a comedian and a group of guy singers from the UK. Both very good, though the shows were short. The singers seemed to have a limited rehearsed list of songs as some were repeated the second time I saw them. In saying this I think the entertainment was pretty good. Food was generally good in the Brittania restaurant but lunch there on one day was lacklustre. The pub was fun for a meal. I did not like The Lido at all. I don't like buffets and I don't like the lack of hygiene factor. Cunard really try but so many passengers are not conscious of practising good hygiene. Consequently, people got sick and then there was some kind of red alert resulting in cling film being plastered over the serving areas and staff serving resulting in big queues. Looked like a large cafeteria in a 1960's department store. I was advised before boarding that we had to buy our drinking water on board. That is so not ok with me...this is Cunard, this was water (a basic to live) it should be free of at least very inexpensive. It was not! Wine was obscenely expensive. I bought two bottles of wine and they were $90 Aud each. I am not a cheapskate but I am not wealthy and I think that was an absolute rip-off. I paid it because I like a glass of wine with dinner but I detest being ripped off. I may be painting a bleaker picture than the reality, it was a good cruise and I really enjoyed myself but I guess I had loftier expectations than the actual reality. I have found a new interest in cruising and would still consider Cunard except they are not going to the destinations I am considering for my next trip. I think I am going to try Crystal next time as it might suit me more and they are going where I am interested. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We upgraded from a standard balcony to a Q4 penthouse suite as we had always wanted to try the Grill and a better price was offered so we decided why not! We embarked in Wellington and right from check in to arrival in our suite were we ... Read More
We upgraded from a standard balcony to a Q4 penthouse suite as we had always wanted to try the Grill and a better price was offered so we decided why not! We embarked in Wellington and right from check in to arrival in our suite were we once greeted with " welcome back or welcome aboard" as we are platinum members and also sailing in the grill. Upon entering the ship we went through the security in to the lobby and stood there for a few minutes and decided there was going to be no bell hop greeting and being escorted to our suite as advertised in the Grill brochure. We arrived in the suite and stayed there about 20 mins thinking the butler would be there to greet us but since no sign of them we went to lunch. On our return we were in the cabin about 30 mins before the butler turned up. The suite itself was nice though a little dated but a very comfortable haven for the 17 day cruise. The butler looked after us well after the slow start and the cabin steward kept the cabin clean and tidy though the balcony and glass was only cleaned once during the voyage when after a week we were having friends over for drinks and we asked for the balcony to be cleaned as everything was caked in salt and we had it over our clothes for most of the voyage. The Grill was ok with exceptional service from the waiting staff but the food was on the whole not a lot better than any 3 to 4 star cruise line. They pride themselves on offering the option to order food not on the menu and to try the chefs which we did but the outcome was not good with the order being wrong and badly cooked so after a lot of excuses with the maitre' d blaming the chef which we thought was unacceptable. We had breakfast in our room most days which was fantastic and always hot and on time and also afternoon tea which was presented beautifully. We tried the Lido for dinner a couple of nights and the food was cold and a very poor selection with no service from the waiting staff who never once offered to bring water or cutlery just avoided eye contact and carried on chatting. The ship is beautiful and apart from carpet in a few public rooms in need of replacement which will happen shortly in dry dock the ship was spotless and well presented. Maybe with the ship going in to dry dock soon the staff were very despondent and no greetings or friendly banter were had throughout most of the ship. The entertainment was great and the band synergy were fantastic with lots of energy and a sense of fun. We would definitely not pay the price for the Grill again when we can have Crystal, Seaborne or silverseas for a similar price with all inclusive fares and 6 star food and service throughout the ship . It is a shame as we have enjjoyed Cunard in the past but we spoke to a number of people in the Grill who have said the same that it is not what it used to be and felt disappointed. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
The itinerary was the most appealing factor.a chance to go to Okinowa,Egypt, Taiwan and Brunei very juicy UnfortunatelyCunard cancelled all four and a very short time before we sailed Christmas Eve we received the email This ... Read More
The itinerary was the most appealing factor.a chance to go to Okinowa,Egypt, Taiwan and Brunei very juicy UnfortunatelyCunard cancelled all four and a very short time before we sailed Christmas Eve we received the email This is one big con trick and there should be a fraud investigation Will send further reports as an update each month Long journey to board at. soon ,v.tired wrong keys given at check in --- not a great start Ship is living on it's very fine PR. Certainly nowhere near top quality. choice of dining is Britannia ( formal or semi formal.... jackets must be worn to respect other guests.. Cobblers people want to feel relaxed and it's never that in the dining room The only other free dining is the King's Court which offers 3 star buffet. Otherwise Cunard follow their policy of a great big hand in your pocket. Greedy,greedy company. Lidl wines at £5 sell at £32 on board after just 2 weeks menus are being repeated. Calibre of meats and fruit mediocre. One bright spark for us is a young Mauritius gent called Marco in Atlantic Room who has been great for us Bridge on ship has been as well organised as everything else, in other words -poor Lectures are superb. Tours seriously overpriced Cunard have been un contactable and unapproachable. eg we wrote to Cunard on 10th Dec 2016 and again 3rd jan 2017. We as Diamond Members (top category)have been totally ignored not even a short acknowledgement. So damned rude Entertainments Director is a pretty girl but quite honestly hopeless as ED Cunard have now lost Maril & myself as guests on their ships.the treatment of the elderly and informed is wicked and uncaring. Dr Mrs Brian Silverstone. London Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We came on the ship as basically first time Cruisers for the World Cruise 2017. Jan 6 to May 3, San Francisco to Monte Carlo. We had no complaints about the cabin or the ship, it is a little dated. Many of the repeat cruisers were ... Read More
We came on the ship as basically first time Cruisers for the World Cruise 2017. Jan 6 to May 3, San Francisco to Monte Carlo. We had no complaints about the cabin or the ship, it is a little dated. Many of the repeat cruisers were very unhappy with the condition of the ship as most were led to believe the ship had gone under renovation before the cruise. It turned out only some internal things were redone. New carpet was installed. Getting into the restaurants was not a problem. We thought La Terraza, morning and afternoon buffet was very good even though it was pretty much the same everyday. It was the best food of 3 in the evening. Food was very good, most of the time, but most of the menus were repeats. There was lots to do with many days at sea. Lots of lectures, classes and entertainment.. The service was way beyond our expectations. The crew was outstanding and worked very hard to anticipate your every need. There was a bit of a language barrier at times but their smiles and happy attitudes made up for it all. Some of the ports were redundant, and some we wondered why we went there at all, as there was nothing to do, or it would be Sunday and everything was closed. The biggest disappointment was the shore excursions. Many of the tours did not fit the descriptions. Many of the tour guides had their own agenda, or could not speak good English, so you were basically riding around in a bus wondering what you saw. Complains to the Excursion Desk fell on deaf ears. Hard to believe they had done some of these in previous cruises. Book with a Travel Agent company who has a representative on board and includes some of the land tour. Someone that hears you and advises you on board. Private cars were some of the worst unless you know where you want to go and a little something about the port. Don't be afraid to complain and fill in your reviews. We did not and that was a mistake, as we were basically ignored, I suppose assuming we were happy. We are not complainers. Final, this is not a cruise for children, not even any of the legs. Not a fit for the World Cruisers and nothing to do on board. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
The Sirena was the new addition to the fleet and having sailed on all the others we thought we would like to be on it's inaugural voyage. We took the section from Barcelona to Le Havre, 21 days. The SIrena is another of the old ... Read More
The Sirena was the new addition to the fleet and having sailed on all the others we thought we would like to be on it's inaugural voyage. We took the section from Barcelona to Le Havre, 21 days. The SIrena is another of the old Renaissance ships. It was sold twice before Oceania purchased it last year and "refurbished" it. We expected something new and different, we got something old and the same. Nothing really wrong with that, but it was EXACTLY the same as the other sister ships, down to the same pictures on the walls! They did renovate the suites and higher priced staterooms but everything else was the same. The main reason we wanted this ship was that they included Red Ginger as one of the specialty dining rooms. Unfortunately they tried to combine the Polo Grill with Toscana and failed. It was neither a steak house nor an Italian restaurant. They lost a lot of the key menu items from both venues and missed. The decor of both were terrific, the service great as always but lacking in identity. Red Ginger had all the menu items but on the larger ships they always offered a special. They said that because of the smaller kitchen they couldn't do it on the Sirena. The Main Dining room was superb as always. We had booked the cruise as a 21 day cruise. It actually was a "Back-to-Back" which we didn't find out about until we reached Lisbon. The downside was that the magician was on two nighrts before we reached Lisbon and then two more nights after we left. Also the production numbers that the Staff put on, they were great BTW, were repeated. We have been on longer cruises and never had that happen. We would check on any other B2B's before booking. Our cabin had some mechanical problems. The AC control didn't work. We had AC but it was freezing. The toilet didn't flush properly and the shower water temperature control was set to cool water. It took 3 days of complaining to get all the items repaired. We really love Oceania, have already booked another cruise for next year but I don't think we would revisit the Sirena unless they really do a lot of work on it. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We did the Beijing to Hong Kong cruise. Absolute chaos at the start when our ship could not dock in Tianjin and some 600 passengers had arrived at the port. There was no one from the shipping company or the port authority who could tell us ... Read More
We did the Beijing to Hong Kong cruise. Absolute chaos at the start when our ship could not dock in Tianjin and some 600 passengers had arrived at the port. There was no one from the shipping company or the port authority who could tell us what was going on. Had we been able to have some communication explaining that fog had delayed the docking of the vessel and we would board the following morning it would have made the situation much better. Food on board was excellent, the wait staff were outstanding and nothing was too much bother, As we were in cooler climes we were confined to indoors, with the exception of one sunny morning. Do not travel on this cruise ship if you are looking for great entertainment. Singers and dancers number four, the magician and the comedian we had were sub-standard. We chose a cabin without balcony as we knew that we would not be able to sit outside because of the cooler weather. Our cabin, although small had adequate storage for all our belongings. Cabins were clean and no shortage of towels. With two days before disembarkation my wife had a persistent cough. She went to the medical facility saw the nurse and doctor. In the opinion of two doctor friends of ours on board she was over-serviced, with totally unnecessary tests and unnecessary medication. In fact some of the medication was contra-indicated for her diabetes. Total cost USD$1781. We felt ripped off. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
When we first heard about a hundred eighty days world cruise we were both excited and almost incredulous that such a cruise did exist. My wife wanted an owners’ suite and even this was with more than one year in advance they were all ... Read More
When we first heard about a hundred eighty days world cruise we were both excited and almost incredulous that such a cruise did exist. My wife wanted an owners’ suite and even this was with more than one year in advance they were all booked. Nevertheless, we put ourselves on the waiting list and eventually we got the accommodation she wanted. We had never cruised on Oceania but we heard good things about the line. The rumors turned to be true, as we found everything that you would expect on a cruise ship, top notch. In our opinion the food was the best from any cruise line we sailed with (including Regent, Cristal, Holland America, Cunard). The staff was excellent – it was almost like they had the power to anticipate your wishes. Insignia is a smaller ship but it does not feel small. Nevertheless, the stage is not large enough to accommodate a cast and that was the only part of the entertainment that was missing. The shows were not different from any other cruise line - in the same tier - because after all the entertainers are taken from a common pool. But being a smaller ship Insignia had the advantage of going into several ports that would not accommodate larger ships. The tours were well organized. We were surprised not to find in the shore excursion brochure that we got before the cruise any overland tours. The tour existed as we found out only when we got on board. By then some were sold out but we did not encounter a problem with the overland tours we wanted. It is also worth mentioning that booking on the specialty restaurants is the first thing that you should do if you plan to have dinner there because it fills quite fast. During such a long cruise there is a chance that some ports might be skipped and we skipped about five. Some were skipped because of unforeseeable condition and others because of potential would be bad weather. Of course, any captain can play the trump card that he is doing so for the safety of the passengers, but when the predicted bad weather turned out to be clear sky and you have a chance in a lifetime to see a small port you may feel differently. On this ship and probably for the entire Oceania cruise line, the personnel contracts run for four months. Most likely nobody from Oceania anticipated the effect of that on a six month cruise. We changed the captain twice, the cruise director twice, the hotel manager twice and sometimes even more with the rest of the crew. That had the unfortunate effect that you have to get reacquainted with, and retrain your cabin steward, waiter, etc. So you would conclude that this is the perfect cruise line. It may be so if nothing **only** happens to you. We were about two weeks from the end of the cruise sailing from Hawaii to Los Angeles. Even if there was no storm the sea was relatively rough causing sways and jolts on the ship. It did not affect me as I was jogging on the deck but my wife was confined to the cabin. At some point a security personnel showed up on the deck and asked me to come back immediately to the suite. The suite door was open and the medical personnel were attending my wife. She was in tremendous pain: what had happen was that while she was trying to walk to the bathroom the ship lurched and she fell on her back. The following day we arrived in Los Angeles but the ship’s doctor could not find an orthopedist so we had to wait until the next day when we arrived in San Diego. We went to the emergency room in a hospital in San Diego where, following a CAT scan, they discovered that my wife had fractured two vertebrae in her back. That was a compressed fracture that just needs time to heal. The ER doctor communicated to the ship’s doctor the result and here comes the surprise: she was not allowed to return to the ship. Evidently, all our belonging and her jewelry were still on the ship. At least I heard of a similar medical emergency that happened during this cruise when a couple had to pack and leave the ship in one hour. That couple eventually returned and I found out that the unaffected spouse could have gone back and said that he was taking a “land tour”. I rushed back to the ship which was leaving in less than one hour to fit whatever I could in one suitcase and told the concierge that I was taking a land tour and I would rejoin the ship in another port. Eventually, I caught the ship in another port and was able to pack our belongings. But my wife was confined in San Diego in a nursing home for three months before she was able to return home. Of course, we could have come back to the ship where she could stay in bed for another ten days until we arrived in Miami – we live one hour away. So whatever you do, if you travel with Oceania just don’t get sick. Read Less

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