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Sail Date: January 2014
We had never been on a lengthy cruise before and were somewhat apprehensive about a four month journey. However, the moment we stepped aboard the Silver Whisper for our World Cruise our fears melted away and we were thrilled, excited and ... Read More
We had never been on a lengthy cruise before and were somewhat apprehensive about a four month journey. However, the moment we stepped aboard the Silver Whisper for our World Cruise our fears melted away and we were thrilled, excited and grateful to have the opportunity for such an incredible experience. We are a retired couple who have been on many cruises and cruise lines and Silversea far exceeds any other line on which we have sailed. The embarkation process was so quick and easy, particularly since the luggage valet service ships your bags from home directly to your cabin. The cabins are spacious, comfortable, and kept immaculate by the amazing housekeeping staff. The food in the dining room and specialty restaurants was absolutely delicious. We were always able to ask for a special item for dinner on any night and they would have it prepared for us the following evening. No matter which activity we found ourselves involved, we were greeted by a warm and sincere smile by the crew. The excursions were informative, interesting, creative, and FUN! Even in extremely remote places we always felt safe. Silversea always sends a crew representative with each group, just in case something doesn't go as planned. They are prepared for any contingency. Also, they usually only fill the buses about half full, which makes it very comfortable for travel. Disembarkation went very smoothly, and we were made very comfortable until we exited the ship. We are extremely excited to be signed up for the 2019 World Cruise on Silversea. The itinerary is incredible, with lots of time in the beautiful South Pacific Islands and Africa. We are so excited about our upcoming cruise and would love to hear from anyone who is booked or considering taking this incredible journey with us. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
Please note that we were on board for 162 days but the number of nights we could show in the summary has a maximum of 100 days. We sailed Crystal Cruises and remained on board the same ship for 162 consecutive days. We boarded ... Read More
Please note that we were on board for 162 days but the number of nights we could show in the summary has a maximum of 100 days. We sailed Crystal Cruises and remained on board the same ship for 162 consecutive days. We boarded Crystal Serenity on 12/21/14, remaining on board until 05/31/15, representing our longest cruise ever. Our first voyage began with a Holiday Cruise, continued with a Caribbean cruise, until the start of the 2015 World Cruise in mid-January of 2015. At the conclusion of the World Cruise, in Miami on May 4, we stayed on-board for two final voyages; Miami to Lisbon and Lisbon to Rome. Summary ======== We had an amazing time. Highlights included the places we visited and circumnavigating the Globe on World Cruise 2015, the cuisine, service, enrichment, entertainment and some very special shore excursions, most notably a Safari Overland in South Africa and attending the Grand Prix in Monte Carlo. In the end, it was the people who made it most special for us including the extraordinary crew and so many nice people we sailed with. This was our seventh full and overall eighth World Cruise and for us it was wonderful. One of the main reasons we keep returning year after year is the people including the crew and the guests who in many ways have become our extended family. On this year’s World Cruise we not only sailed with friends from previous cruises but made many new ones several of whom were on their first World Cruise. The World Cruise on board events, which were created exclusively for the 2015 World Cruise, was the best yet in my opinion. To me this says a lot since the challenge was having 600+ full World Cruisers on board instead of an average year which is about half of that number, making logistics the more challenging and planning even more important. Some highlights included the on board World Cruise Gala which was the best yet and much nicer than what can be done at a Hotel, and then all of the on board shows created just for the World Cruise and the two themed on board dinners. I want to note that there were more on board shows created and performed on board Crystal Serenity just for the World Cruise than ever before on a World Cruise.. We also enjoyed a good deal of the other entertainment such as the Beatles Celebration Group. With very few exceptions, most of the events were for everyone whether on the full world cruise or one or more segments which we applaud. We appreciated the added diversity of food offerings in the Crystal Dining Room, which is a hallmark for the World Cruise given the overall duration and time spent on board by those taking the full World Cruise. The Modern Cuisine menus, which rolled out in May of 2014, added more choices than ever before. We were unable to attend the first of the two Shore-Side Events due to an illness, but heard that it was a lot of fun. We thoroughly enjoyed the second event held in Montevideo, Uruguay. The events were more challenging given that they were attended by close to 600 people. Crystal was very wise to make most of the on board events available for everyone even if they were not booked on the full world cruise including those who remained on for the start of the World Cruise from the previous voyage and attended the Gala, to the various themed dinners and on board shows created just for the World Cruise. I used a one to five * rating with five being the highest and one the lowest for my ratings and a plus sign (+) to go above the rating. Overall Experience ***** =============== Itinerary ****+ ======= The World Cruise itinerary was the first time a Crystal Cruises World Cruise has ever circumnavigated the globe, which we thought was extraordinary. We especially enjoyed visiting Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and the diversity of ports on this World Cruise. The reason I didn’t give the itinerary five stars is because of the timing of some of the ports which had Noon or later arrival times for some ports that only had a one day visit as well as a few ports which had overnights, but the arrival time the first day was around noon. I thought this limited the time in port and the selection of shore excursions and think that even if it means skipping a few ports it is better to arrive in the early morning than midday. I realize that sometimes timing has to do with issues such as the tides and how to put an entire itinerary together but if it was possible to eliminate a few ports to have created more full days in ports to me that would have been desirable. Post World Cruise we enjoyed Bermuda and especially the Mediterranean. Cuisine ****** ====== Recognizing that two thirds of the passengers for the world cruise would be on board for at least 108 days, the Crystal Dining Room menu continually offered new items in addition to those that one would expect when coming on board for one voyage. The Modern Cuisine Menu introduced on Serenity last year coupled with the Traditional Menu offers more options than ever before. In addition, menus in Tastes and Prego were changed from time-to-time and the menu in Silk Road was changed once. Although we don’t eat at the Grand Gala and other Special Buffets, we were very impressed with their offerings and they were offered one time on each World Cruise segment and on a couple of other voyages. Entertainment ***** ============ We were very pleased with the diversity of the entertainment knowing that we all have different tastes when it comes to this area. There was a wide range of offerings and something for everyone. Show times were adjusted based on where we were sailing. On the World Cruise there were more special performances than ever before, which were created just for one night that were absolutely amazing. As was the case with last year’s World Cruise, the on board entertainment team was augmented with two vocalists who performed in all of the shows created on board the ship and performed from time to time in other venues. The talent of the Entertainment Team is amazing and I am reminded of all of the hard work that they must put into creating these special one-time shows for all of us to enjoy. The preparation is more challenging that people realize. Other items related to entertainment-included movies, the pre-dinner magician shows along with the Strings Quartet and the Pianists. We thought that the movies that were available this year for viewing in the Crystal Cinema were quite diversified and included many highly rated movies. On the two voyages we were on before the start of the World Cruise we had the opportunity to see Pianist Mark Farris perform. Mark is one of the pianists who regularly perform on the Crystal Symphony and we thought he was amazing. Our only disappointment was the departure of pianists John Mentis and Colin Salter during the World Cruise. I also wanted to note that the crossing had terrific entertainment with no only the evening shows but some performances held before main dining. Enrichment ***** ========= Crystal offers more enrichment than any cruise line we have ever sailed and on the World Cruise this is augmented several-fold. There are so many programs offered on sea days that each day represents several days of activities. My wife participated regularly in the Odyssey at Sea Knitting Class and the Gentle Yoga Class, and I participated regularly in the Indoor Cycling Classes. We enjoyed many of the lectures with three lectures or more available on each and every sea day. We wish we had time for Memoir Writing and the Apple Computer Classes and hope to do this on a future World Cruise. Fifty+ enrichment programs are offered each and every sea day. I would say that 50% of the lecturers were exceptional, 40% strong, and about 10% weak. The ones that I rated weak are ones that either essentially read word for word from slides or from a prepared speech sounding more like a college professor from one of those introduction courses or ones where I simply had no takeaways from the talk or left without learning anything new. Because on a World Cruise, Crystal makes an extra effort to bring on first time lecturers you will see some being weak but to me that is fine because by bringing on new people you often find outstanding lectures who are asked to return on future voyages with some becoming part of the Crystal Family. I especially enjoyed Ocean Views, which is a panel discussion, and was hosted by Ken Rees and allows audience participation via hand held electronic devices. There were actually more activities offered during the World Cruise than ever before with additional courses offered on devices such as the iPad, a Book Club and a Zumba class offered on many sea days in addition to so many activities that have become a hallmark of World Cruises such as the College Computer Class, Memoir Writing, Language, and Piano Classes just to name a few of the programs. Similar to the entertainment, there was a tremendous amount of entertainment on the themed Miami to Lisbon Cruise, which followed the World Cruise. Shore Excursions/Land Programs ***** ========================== The Shore Excursion and Overland Programs offered not only increase in volume each and every year but also with the addition of many unique program offerings. Some of the start times were adjusted to later in the morning for those who are late risers. For us the highlights were private cars arranged through the land program department for some selected places including Bermuda, Colombia and Peru and attending the Grand Prix and also the three-night four-day overland program at the Phinda Private Reserve in South Africa. I also wanted to note that to me each year the on-board Shore Excursion Department gets stronger and stronger in terms of the personnel. We find them to be very knowledgeable and helpful and they do their utmost best to deal with any problems that come up and they were terrific in adjusting shore excursions when we missed a couple of ports and when our arrival was delayed to a couple of ports. Internet *** ======= Overall, the Internet was more reliable and faster than in 2014, which is positive given that overall occupancy was quite high with some voyages sold out and the one-hour per day of complimentary Internet for all guests who have previously sailed with Crystal Cruises. There were a couple of issues. One occurred on one of the World Cruise Segments when there was an equipment failure while we were sailing several days at sea which could not be rectified until we were in port. The other one happened on a couple of other crossings when there were times when we were moving from one satellite to another and encountered very slow connections or dropped connections and some outages. The latter is part of the challenge when sailing on a World Cruise or on a crossing. The bottom line is that there were days when the internet was very reliable and rather fast given the limitations of satellite technology, other days when speed was average, and other days when the internet was either down or very slow. As I mentioned, one of the challenges of the Internet this time around unlike in prior years that we sailed was that one hour of complimentary internet per day is now offered to each guest who has previously sailed with Crystal Cruises. This was even more challenging given that most of the voyages we were on were at full occupancy and the fact that more people come on board with more devices than ever before. Overall, the internet was the best we have ever experienced on board either Crystal Ship. The enhancements made not only in infrastructure, and augmented Satellite bandwidth but in the area of monitoring and control has really added to improved service. With that said, the speed and reliability of the Internet will never be the same as at home. The challenges include a sailing like the World Cruise where you are sailing in areas where access to a satellite is difficult and where you go from one satellite to another requiring manual intervention. On top of this there is the potential for equipment failures, interference caused in port or when sailing near land and the fact that Satellite technology in no way compares to fiber optics. There were a few times with durations lasting a few days at a time when the Internet was very slow or even not available. Because the Internet experience is just not going to always be the same depending on where one is sailing or if there is an equipment or some other issues, this is why depending on where or when you are sailing that you may have different experiences with one person saying how wonderful the internet is and another person saying it was not good. We also appreciated that FaceTime was often available which was not our experience in 2014. The investments made in 2013 to upgrade the internet infrastructure, the fine tuning that was made in 2014 before the rollout of the complimentary 1 hour per day of Internet for Crystal Society Members along with some other changes that were made did pay off in my opinion. Finally, the device one uses can make a big difference. For example, I find that the MacBook will provide a better experience than say an iPad. Even the type of Internet Browser that one might use can make a difference Finally, other techniques that one might use such as reducing the number of pixels in a photo before attaching it to an e-mail or including it in a blog will make a world of a difference in speed. Planning *****+ =========== I touched on this earlier but wanted to give the Crystal Cruises Senior Executives and the Senior Officers of Crystal Serenity excellent marks for all of the effort that went into planning the 2015 World Cruise. Changes were required based on the record number of full World Cruisers on board and the overall occupancy rate when most segments were 100 full. A wide range of items had to be addressed including: WORLD CRUISE GALA. Unlike in previous years when the kickoff to the World Cruise was held at a hotel on land, this was not possible given the significant number of World Cruisers. As a result the voyage began one day in advance and the Gala was held on Serenity. The Serenity was transformed for this as the Crystal Plaza was made over with lots of cocktail like tables with table cloths and lights providing a wonderful spot for the kickoff and the welcome by President and COO of Crystal Cruises Edie Rodriquez, a cocktail party and a balloon drop all in one. Following this, we enjoyed a sit down dinner in one of three dining venues with an assigned table and seating. There was lots of entertainment and by far this was the best World Cruise Gala we ever attended. All of the planning and coordination of this event was truly amazing. MEDICAL NEEDS. With so many full World Cruisers a very wise decision was made to have more than one physician on board for the World Cruise. As it turned out there were three Physicians as when the second person was hired he asked if his spouse who is also a Physician could share his contract and that is exactly what happened. All of this was a very wise decision because in addition to a couple of months of various upper respiratory viruses going around the ship, there were more major medical issues given the number of World Cruisers on board Serenity and the ages of some of the guests. DIVERSITY AND QUANITY OF ENTERTAINERS. Getting entertainers on and off the ship to make way for other entertainers and towards the end of the cruise getting additional land based musicians onto the ship when sailing full for the Crystal Serenity Pops Concert was amazing. SAFETY DEMONSTRATIONS. With two-thirds of the guests on board for the entire World Cruise Captain Giske thought it would be a great idea to offer a safety demonstration that gave passengers an opportunity to gain a more detailed insight into safety on board Crystal Serenity. This program was repeated twice during the World Cruise and provided us with a lot of information relate to safety. This included seeing a safety movie that was developed for each crew member, seeing one of the crew rafts which was deployed in the outdoor pool, seeing a life boat with all of the equipment that is on the life boat, seeing one of the fire fighter teams and also walking up a smoke filled corridor (smoke was simulated) when the safety lights were on. We thought it was superb and provided us with a wealth of information related to safety. The crew was on hand at each location to answer questions. WORLD CRIUSE SHORE SIDE EVENTS. Creating shore-side events that would work for 600 World Cruisers plus the Crystal escorts. This is no easy task and congratulations to the vice President of Crystal Land Programs and Port Operations, the on board team and the respective tour operators from the two ports of call for all of the efforts that went into these events. Service *****++ ====== I’ve listed service last so that we could save the best for last. For us service is one of the main reasons that we sail on Crystal Cruises. We find that the Service is the finest of any other cruise line we have sailed and any place we have dined or stayed at on land. The on-board crew is absolutely amazing. They have become our extended Crystal Family. There are many members of the crew that we have known since we first started sailing with Crystal Cruises as well as other members of the crew whom we have known for one or more years who just make each of our voyages the best it can be. On top of this even members of the crew who are on their first contracts quickly learned the Crystal Culture which stresses a high service level. The key for us is that the high level of service can be provided in not only a professional manner but in a manner that is highly personal. Rather than walking around like robots if you will, as they do on some cruise lines, the crew performs their responsibilities with caring and warmth for the guests they take care of. This culture is evident at all levels both on board each ship but also at the Crystal Headquarters. In the end, it is my belief that any successful enterprise is successful because of the people. You could take the most modern ship afloat and with the wrong people it will be a disaster. Crystal has mastered this area and it continued to be evident throughout the time we were sailing on board Serenity. There were certainly different ways to provide feedback on issues and that included comment cards that were provided to the full World Cruisers on two different occasions which could be filled out and submitted to the Hotel Director, and/or using the on-line form to submit comments to President of Crystal Cruises President, Edie Rodriquez, a conversation with a Senior Officer, or a conversation when Edie Rodriquez and Senior Vice President, Thomas Mazloum were on board. At the same time on the other voyages, there was a letter sent to the room from the Hotel Director providing his phone number in the event that there was some issue that needed to be resolved. While resolution cannot be realized for each and every comment I can point to numerous examples of items that were identified by people we know that were resolved expeditiously. In the end, this is my experience. At times I have used the word “we” rather than "I" as my wife also felt the same way that I did. I realize that we all have different opinions and see things in different ways. What one person enjoys another person might not and what one person does not care for, someone else might like. If we all saw things in the same manner, this would be a boring world. As I have said often, the only experience that matters the most is our very own. I am grateful that my wife and I had the opportunity to sail on Serenity for this extended period of time and have been humbled by all that we experienced on and off the ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
Our experience with QM2 world voyage from Southampton to Southampton 2015. "Welcome to our gracious Queen Mary 2 for her 2015 World Voyage" we read in the presentation letter we received from our exclusive World Voyage ... Read More
Our experience with QM2 world voyage from Southampton to Southampton 2015. "Welcome to our gracious Queen Mary 2 for her 2015 World Voyage" we read in the presentation letter we received from our exclusive World Voyage Concierge first day on board together with a champagne bottle. Gracious? Not anymore! Every people have different reasons to join a world cruise, but many enjoy visit different places without having to pack and unpack meanwhile you can: eat delicious and international dishes, made new friends , know new cultures, visit interesting places, workout in the gym, take a bath in the hot tub with sea views, swim in the pool with warm water, practice tennis in open deck court surrounded by the sea, enjoy different shows in the theatre , go to disco to listen or dancing with music from the 80's or watch a new movie in the cinema every night. So, as cruise lovers we have some expectations when we board QM2 and it was very disappointing to find out that few things fell shorter than we expected. As Spanish couple, we were not sure what will be exactly a ship with British style. We assume that a company with that reputation will have high quality world cruises that will be memorable. So, let’s evaluate our experience with usual criteria: the ship, the accommodation, cuisine, service and entertainment. SHIP Maintenance: The ship needs many maintenance and upgrading. Many washing machines out of service, few fitness machines out of service. Exterior paint reflect the age of the ship, hot tub with large and abundant brown stains, open deck water taps roasted, public areas windows very dirty ( they doesn’t clean in all cruise long…100 days ), access area to indoor pool very dirty, several parts shows lack of maintenance Facilities: Theatre with a lot of blocked views and only second seat row have good views Decor: interior decoration brown colors. CUISINE The physical structure of display units in buffet are disappointing. You need extra-long arms to get the second line trays. QM2 have poor fresh ingredients and menus in buffets only varied in the way to cooking potatoes, other food it’s very basic…dry fish or not tender meat. The food and the service is quite decent in the Britannia Restaurant for dinner, although decidedly not as gourmet and fanciful that the brochures show. You may notice that lot of things cost extra, like orange juice, expresso café... I' m sure nobody who want to make the world voyage will chose the QM2 by the food. Quality of coffee is very bad, at least you have a huge selection of teas. There are not hot hord d' oevres in the bars, and the quality of the complimentary wine in the parties cocktails is almost undrinkable. SERVICE Crew on board have not a positive attitude with regard to hospitality and with little or not at all attention to details, well organized but impersonal and smile less. It is very hard to get “good morning” while you cross somebody. We have been cruising from Barcelona many times, and this is the first time nobody helps us with our baggage in the Port and we had not welcome party. We had to put the 4 suitcases on the security machine and then go up to the ship with everything. First we thought we maybe confuse the terminal, but not, there it is, if you want to embark you have to do it by yourself until the gangway. For embarkation nobody escort us to our cabin. First day we couldn't understand this embarking procedure, but as long the days where on and new embarkation ports comes we find the answer, we are going to start our world voyage in a Hop ON Hop OF cruise, where many passenger will have the same procedure than us almost in every single port. Dining room: professional maître D, steward manager and waiters. ACCOMODATION Beware of cabins next to Poultry Galley because the noise from room service waiters won’t let you rest. The interior cabin is small. There is a lack of space in a cabin supposed for two persons. Our backs tell us there are NOT premium mattresses. Small table where you only have space for the ice basket and a book. Air conditioning flow directly over bed . No interactive TV. Other extra cost: internet or computer classes, yoga or fitness classes, sauna and bubbles hot tub, ENTERTAINMENT The entertainment is good for the first 2 weeks, but successive weeks expect to have repetitions of shows, in every leg: Passionata, Crazy in Love , Viva Italia and Singers in Concert, tribute to Sting, they performed all of them 8 times !!! The only “special “ party is the evening with in vivo music and balloons dropping from above. They repeat it every 2 weeks. The Royal Academy of Dramatic Act didn’t supply company actors , so NO more Shakespearean performances. Very nice planetarium, but only 4 different movies to display, really poor for a 100 days cruise! Practice of sports in QM2 is very limited as there are only one tennis court, very small, and unattended from time ago, ground is in lamentable conditions. And another multipurpose court, same size, where some games are occasionally proposed like badminton, volley or cricket. After left our baggage in the smallest cabin we have never being, we went to the buffet for lunch. We walk around all the 3 courts but we couldn’t find any of the expected selected meals in a glamorous ship like that. OK, we think, maybe the ports day the meals are not so good. But, unfortunately that didn’t change in all the cruise long. All days we have the same poor buffet with: rice, potatoes, carrots and cauliflower, vegetables soup, and some dry meat or chicken or fish. To made friends is no so easy in QM2 that it’s supposed. There are only 250 world cruisers mixed with 2500 passengers, who are changing every segment. There are just 4 Cocktails Parties where world cruisers can meet together. OVERVIEW QM2 is extremely uncomfortable. The quality of food and service is poor and there is a lack of understanding of what is really takes to make a luxury cruise experience, despite is touted in Cunard brochures. After first week onboard we felt very disappointed and we wrote a letter to the purser office (annex). Nobody answer until we resend the letter to the central Carnival management. Then we had a meeting with our concierge cruise director and Maître D. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
We have sailed on 30 Crystal cruises, the longest cruise prior to the World Cruise was 21 days. This was our first World Cruise. Transfers The included Carey Limo SUV transfers from home-airport-ship-airport-home were seamless. ... Read More
We have sailed on 30 Crystal cruises, the longest cruise prior to the World Cruise was 21 days. This was our first World Cruise. Transfers The included Carey Limo SUV transfers from home-airport-ship-airport-home were seamless. Drivers there to meet us on time, assistance at the luggage carousels in FL and back in Houston, and strong enough to hoist all the luggage into the SUV. So nice to see a friendly, smiling face in the midst of airport and port commotion. Ports We sailed to 44 ports (47 ports if we count the missed/sail-by ports of Rarotonga, Port Elizabeth and Alter do Chao). Best ports: Cape Town, Wellington, Napier, Tauranga, Auckland, Dunedin, Akaroa, Milford Sound. Ports we can say we’ve been to, and don’t need to return: Maputo, Manta Most unique and exotic ports: Easter Island and both ports in Madagascar Onboard Observations Dining: Main dinner sitting in the dining room was full capacity during all segments. We always opt for the late dinner sitting, and the dining room was never more than 2/3 full, often it was ½ full or less at the 8:30pm sitting. Service was unrushed, extraordinarily attentive, and the ambient noise level of the room very quiet. The menu choices, between the Modern Cuisine selections, the Crystal Classic selections, and our occasional off-menu special requests, were varied to suit everyone’s palate. Many appetizer and entrée selections did repeat during each segment, but we always found at least two courses (and often more) every evening. We were generally pleased with the all-inclusive wine selections; however, as we were sailing through some of the world’s best wine regions, we did purchase wines while ashore in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa and thoroughly enjoyed them onboard during several dinners. (Whenever we chose to enjoy our own wines, I would bring the bottle to our sommelier in the dining room about 6:00pm, and it was then already decanted and on our table when we came to dinner at 8:30pm). Specialty Restaurants: Since so many guests chose to dine early, with the exception of the last segment, it was never a problem to eat at Silk Road, Prego or Tastes after 8:00pm. Especially for a table for 2. We often made reservations the same afternoon for dining that evening. And even during the last segment of the WC, Antonio and the specialty restaurants’ staff made every effort to accommodate everyone who wanted to dine. Again, reservations for smaller tables (i.e. 2-4 people) were much easier to reserve than tables for the larger 6+ groups. Cabin Comfort: We have sailed Crystal before, so we are very familiar with the amenities and idiosyncrasies of the standard verandah staterooms onboard. All of our luggage nested within each other and fit under the beds with no problem. We used the space under the sofa for storage of snorkeling gear and new purchases from ashore. We brought 25 extra hangers (the dry-cleaning type) which were very handy, supplemented the ship’s hangers and took up less space in the closet than the wood hangers. The cabinets under the bathroom sinks easily absorbed 4 months’ worth of toiletries. We brought a collapsible mesh clothes hamper from the Dollar Store, which was stored under the desk; we knew when it was time to do laundry when the mesh hamper was full! We raised the cocktail/dining table to its highest position and it stayed at that height for the entire cruise. Since most of the desk surface was occupied with electronics (PC, I-phones, Kindle, camera), the table became the only multi-purpose “flat space” in the room. We needed more magnets! The walls are metal and become a giant bulletin board. There are so many pieces of paper to keep track of! (Invitations, shore excursion tickets, restaurant reservations, WC newsletter, etc.). Entertainment and Special Events: We were wowed and our expectations exceeded the minute we arrived onboard. We were welcomed by name on the gangway by both Crystal CEO Edie Rodriguez and Captain Giske. Our checked luggage was delivered to the stateroom within an hour. The onboard gala (dinner, bands, and entertainment) just blew us away. And it only got better during the next 108 days. We have sailed many Crystal repositioning transatlantic voyages because we enjoy the multiple sea days with all the activities. Well, the World Cruise was like a transatlantic crossing on steroids. With the exception of the Billy Joel “My Life” production show which was repeated on all segments (and we attended all 6 performances, btw), the variety of guest entertainers and large production shows were incredible. There were a few “misses”, but overall, the entertainment was truly world class. The lecture series offered so many options and so many differing views, there was something to suit most everyone’s interest. On some sea days there were 4 speakers scheduled: 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. The World Cruise special event in New Zealand at Hobbiton was jaw dropping. The laser light show, followed by the fireworks was an amazing production. And to be served and entertained by an entire village of costumed Hobbits, was something very special. The special event at the private estancia in Montevideo was a miracle of logistics. The weather more than cooperated, and it was like a massive, huge, gigantic picnic with about 550 of your best friends, with wine, beer, food and lots of entertainment. Lessons Learned: We brought about 1/3 too many toiletries; better to bring too much rather than too little, but we won’t haul as much the next time. We brought too many clothes, especially casualwear and underwear. The self-service laundries are so convenient, and the ship’s laundry & dry cleaning so efficient, we did laundry more often than we had anticipated and will cut down the amount for future long cruises. We will take an extra suitcase with us, even if it is under-filled on the outbound. Based on how much we bought during port calls, as well as the bulkiness on the special WC segment gifts, we could have used the extra space for the return home. We ate smart, exercised often, rarely used the ship’s elevators, and “only” gained 10 lbs. I got on the scale this morning and I’m “only” 4 lbs. heavier than when we left. We are so fortunate, lucky and blessed to be able to have experienced such a journey. So few people on the planet can even imagine an adventure such as this, especially after seeing places like Madagascar, Mozambique, and the less affluent areas of South America. Every day I look at the Crystal brochures and our upcoming booked adventures with a great sigh. I still tear up describing this adventure to people. This was not a cruise. It was a life changing experience. We are so glad we were there. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
This is my fourth world voyage on the Queen Vic. Each time I've noticed a slight lowering of service standards. First, the fresh free daily bottle of water disappeared, then the room service Hors d'oevres, then the after ... Read More
This is my fourth world voyage on the Queen Vic. Each time I've noticed a slight lowering of service standards. First, the fresh free daily bottle of water disappeared, then the room service Hors d'oevres, then the after dinner bonbons were downgraded (Jello squares and rice krispy treats! Really!) Then the World Voyage status was re-defined to exclude Ft. Lauderdale-Sydney roundtrips. But the final straw was that the caring, effiicient, effective ship's administration was replaced by a cadre of young, fresh, new (inexperienced) imperious bumpkins who know nothing about how to handle people- much less cater to high-paying passengers on a luxury liner! Carnival Corporation doubletalk has replaced any sincere effort to solve complaints that made Cunard such an easy way to travel. I'm a Diamond level passenger and I won't be back! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
This was a first Oceania cruise for after more than 10 on other lines. We enjoyed the upscale lounging and gathering areas, but found the guest entertainment mediocre for the most part. The staff entertainment was always good. Enjoyed ... Read More
This was a first Oceania cruise for after more than 10 on other lines. We enjoyed the upscale lounging and gathering areas, but found the guest entertainment mediocre for the most part. The staff entertainment was always good. Enjoyed the lectures related to the various cultures and history of the places we were going. We were not particularly interested in the lectures on the flora of the places, but guess others were more enthralled. Enjoyed most of the ports. We arranged private small group excursions that were all good and less expensive. We thought that the deck plan that had only a bathroom for one outside the Regatta lounge was inadequate and the Horizon lounge bathroom was located on the deck below. The food was excellent for the most part in the dining room. The buffet in the upper deck was much slower than others we have been to as the staff serves you rather than you serving yourself. The specialty restaurants were excellent in both food quality and service. We would have enjoyed more ship activities, but there were relatively few sea days. The afternoon trivia game had tougher questions than others we have been to, however we scored enough points to get a T shirt at the end of the cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
We had just retired and decided a world cruise was a great way to transition from our work lifestyle to finally having the fun we always dreamed of in retirement. What a great decision! We boarded in Los Angeles for the LA/Sydney/LA leg ... Read More
We had just retired and decided a world cruise was a great way to transition from our work lifestyle to finally having the fun we always dreamed of in retirement. What a great decision! We boarded in Los Angeles for the LA/Sydney/LA leg of the QV's world cruise with many ports in the South Pacific...Hawaii, Fiji, French Polynesia, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Milford Sound/Picton and Wellington, NZ, Bora Bora and many more. Our balcony cabin was very clean, convenient, comfortable and had lots of storage. Service aboard from our cabin steward to all the various restaurant/dining room staff was absolutely excellent in every way possible. The quality of the food was very good. I have critical diet restrictions which were unhesitatingly accommodated, always with a smile and kind words. Having the option of room service if we weren't feeling up to going to the dining room was much appreciated. We particularly enjoyed the paddle tennis and exercise facilities as well as the many interesting guest speakers and most of the entertainment. Wrangling laundry was challenging until we discovered when the machines were most likely to be available (first thing in the morning, around dinner time, in ports). The only disappointment was the mediocre salon (why do they not do gel nails??!!) but operation of the salon is sub-contracted out and not a Cunard service. We met many wonderful people and have new friends from all over the world we are still in touch with and look forward to cruising with again......QM2 world cruise 2017 anyone?! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
Marina is a beautiful ship with fabulous food, a really nice salt water pool, a nice fitness center/spa, library and Internet cafe next to coffee shop, enrichment, visual art and culinary classes, putting, ping pong, needlepoint, line ... Read More
Marina is a beautiful ship with fabulous food, a really nice salt water pool, a nice fitness center/spa, library and Internet cafe next to coffee shop, enrichment, visual art and culinary classes, putting, ping pong, needlepoint, line dancing, evening dancing with Big band or the Sligo band and late night theatre. There was Bridge and other card/board games and a Casino. The itinerary was an excellent one on our Papette FP to Charleston SC last month. Each area unique in history! It would take pages to describe the beauty, culture and great people we met along our journey! Would definitely recommend French Polynesia as a destination! We had upgraded last minute to penthouse from veranda. Both are very nice, however the PH closet is really walk in and fabulous. I liked the spacious design of the room as well. Didn't really use Butler for much. He took laundry for pressing and cleaning which any of other stewards do as well. I suppose if you wanted to dine in he would be more helpful as when I ordered breakfast to the room one morning, he set table with tablecloth, glasses and silver and served food like a waiter in the dining room. I enjoyed onboard, the pool, sauna/steam room, art classes, enrichment series, and line dancing. I heard from others the culinary classes were great. I loved the music, from the string quartet to piano bar and the two bands, each different in their own way! Overall the staff was excellent. We had a few quality improvement issues which were addressed with GM. I would like to have seen more daytime music on sea days otherwise all the music venues were great! We changed to handicap room second leg of b2b to one of 4 Veranda HC which was great as we had more room for mobility scooter and other medical equipment. The bathroom gets soaked when you take a shower. It was great for my husband as there was a shower seat. I usually took my showers in the spa! Javier, an excellent Chief Concierge arranged assistance for our departure which made it much easier for my husband, a handicap man on a mobility scooter and many others. We have 2 more upcoming cruises with Oceania. Ships we've been on and love. Sail on! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
The Silver Whisper is currently home of the World Cruise and we enjoyed the first three segments (hence segmentarians). 180 of the 380 guests on board are doing the whole cruise, Ft Lauderdale to Venice, finishing at the beginning of ... Read More
The Silver Whisper is currently home of the World Cruise and we enjoyed the first three segments (hence segmentarians). 180 of the 380 guests on board are doing the whole cruise, Ft Lauderdale to Venice, finishing at the beginning of May. The ship is in excellent condition and we noticed our suite and the public spaces were immaculate. The restaurants all served excellent food and we had no trouble obtaining reservations for hot rocks on deck or La Terrazza. Le Champagne was very under used and we enjoyed our two visits there. Wines were also good. The crew are what make Silversea and we feel that their very best are saved for the World Cruise. The entertainment programme under the leadership of Colin Brown was very good particularly the speakers. The singers are also up a notch compared with previous Silversea experience. The international hostesses were terrific. Friendly, outgoing and visible all over the ship. The shore concierge desk was efficient if, sometimes, a little tardy with information. The destination consultant and his wife, Jon and Tracy Fleming are well informed and very goodmatntheir jobs. TRacy gives photography and iPad classes which started very basic but soon moved on. Just what was required for the varied abilities at her classes. After a slow start the free (an hour a day each) wi fi was sorted out and worked well. The IT engineer was poor and reception much more helpful and efficient. We had many, many sea days crossing the southern Pacific which we enjoy very much. The choice of excursions was good and in most places, reasonably priced. We enjoyed the three day overland trip to Machu Picchu, which apart from a cancelled flight Lima to Cuzco because of bad weather, went like clockwork. The guides and hotels were excellent as was the luxury Hiram Bigham (ex Orient Express) train with brunch. When it came to disembarking in Sydney, we were docked at White Bay Terminal, which did not please the World Cruisers as it is a journey to Circular Quay and attractions from there. We needed to be first off and this was easily arranged and our three cases were waiting for us in the terminal, already on a trolley. That is service! Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
“Around the world in 80 days…” goes the song. However, it took Holland America’s (HAL) ms. Amsterdam 115 glorious days to circumnavigate the globe on our Grand World Voyage 2016. What an amazing voyage it was! We visited 24 ... Read More
“Around the world in 80 days…” goes the song. However, it took Holland America’s (HAL) ms. Amsterdam 115 glorious days to circumnavigate the globe on our Grand World Voyage 2016. What an amazing voyage it was! We visited 24 countries and 41 ports; some were overnight stays. People ask us how we could stay on a ship that long. I reply that we loved every minute and that we hope to do it again soon. We were never bored or sea sick and learned so much about the history and culture of the places visited. It many ways, the cruise changed our thinking on a variety of subjects. For most passengers, this was their fourth or fifth+ HAL Grand World Cruise. For us, it was our first Grand World Cruise. The staff told us that this particular Grand World Cruise sailing had the youngest-aged passengers. One tyke celebrated his first birthday while on board the entire voyage. One thousand fifty passengers including 10 children boarded the ship in Fort Lauderdale. Seven hundred fifty passengers took the entire voyage. Other passengers joined the voyage for segments. Most passengers were Americans, many were Floridians but there were plenty of Canadians and Australians onboard plus other nationalities. Our exciting cruise began January 5, returning April 29, 2016 to and from Fort Lauderdale. Friends of ours encouraged us to go on this cruise with them. Unfortunately, they were unable to go. Right from embarkation, things went well. Within 20 minutes, from the time of our arrival at the pier, we were on the ship. Near the gangway, Pande our Assistant Maitre ’D from our HAL Grand Asia Pacific 2014 Cruise greeted passengers and recognized us. He instructed a steward to carry our hand luggage and escort us to our cabin. Wow! It made us feel like family. Our former Cruise Director, Gene Young from HAL Grand Voyage ’14 was also stationed at the gangway. He, also, recognized us immediately. It was wonderful to have him as our Cruise Director for this cruise, too. I wonder when the man sleeps. He was involved on board in so many ways. Our mid-ship ocean-view stateroom, # 2598 was in a very stable position on the ship. The cabin itself was bright, comfortable and contained sufficient storage space for all our belongings. The A/C and plumbing worked well throughout the entire cruise. Unfortunately, stateroom TVs were still not interactive so we often had to visit the Front Desk to get our statements printed. For my husband, though, the lack of a mini-fridge in our cabin was a big problem. He needed to visit the medical office often to retrieve his medication that needed refrigeration. Another problem was early morning (5-5:30 AM) noise from a crew member working on open deck 3 that frequently disturbed our sleep. Many other guests on our deck complained about this noise. All the stateroom passageways are bright and lined with Dutch maritime art; Deck 1 has Dutch floral art works gracing its walls. The public areas of the ship were all well appointed and quite attractive. The floral arrangements are stunning. However, the very comfortable couches in the Queen’s Lounge (theater) are lower than the upholstered chairs making it difficult viewing the performers on stage while sitting on the couches. Uneven temperatures in certain areas of the ship especially in the Queen’s Lounge made carrying a sweater a necessity. Still another concern was the slow speed of the internet connection. We waited until we reached shore to access thee Internet. The ship does need some updating and perhaps will go in for refurbishment soon. This in no way detracted from our enjoyment. The ship was well maintained and always clean. Everyone was comfortable navigating this mid-sized ship, which was the perfect size for entering smaller foreign ports. The food and service in the Main Dining Room were wonderful. We had fabulous meals nightly especially on Gala Nights. On the off chance that nothing on the menu was appealing, we could choose Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, steak, chicken or salmon as alternatives. Although I always am pleased with food and service on HAL ships, on Grand & Grand World Cruises they are superior. Our Early Seating MDR servers Gede & Berry were professional, personable and efficient, anticipating our needs and checking to see that everything was fine with our meals. My husband received all his Special Request Meals in a timely fashion. Gede made a point of bringing the next day’s menus to him as soon as they became available. In fact, the entire MDR staff did a terrific job daily getting his Special Request Meals correct. Nestor Malsi, our wine steward, brought our glasses of red wine at our table usually before we even arrived. He always had time to chat with us nightly. After dinner, I enjoyed stopping by the cheerful door attendant, Woko’s station. He always remembered my name and knew which after dinner treat I wanted before exiting the MDR. I cannot say enough about how helpful the HAL staff was in general. All the crew on board Grand & World Voyages are hand picked by HAL. We did dine several times in the two specialty restaurants, The Canaletto & the Pinnacle Grill. The levels of service there were always excellent as were the food. The Lido Café food was good, too and we always ate at least breakfast there. In the Lido, wait staff members Imam and Supraman would often assist us in locating a table, brought us the Times Digest daily and remembered our preference for beverages. They were so professional, friendly and efficient. We always looked forward to our daily conversations with them. Many times, I enjoyed the Lido Restaurant’s wonderful sushi station at lunchtime. Another fun place to eat is poolside at the Dive In. The fries there are extra delicious; so are the several choices of hot dogs and burgers. Many other things made the voyage so special. On Gala Nights, the MDR was festooned with colorful balloons, London-themed umbrellas, paper lanterns, banners, flags or other festive decorations. On some themed nights depending on the theme, we received Panama or Bowler hats, beautiful masks or leis to wear and keep. On other Gala evenings, we received Valentine chocolates, long stemmed roses or maracas. The servers dressed in festive attire for the theme nights, as did many of the passengers. On many Gala nights, passengers received gifts in their staterooms such as: a nylon travel bag, a canvas boat bag with matching toiletry bag filled with travel essentials, a moleskin travel journal, a signed paperback travel book, Tiffany & Co HAL ceramic box, HAL Crystal Candle Holder, a Royal Goedewaagen Plate highlighting the itinerary and a travel wallet. Plus, at the Dinners with the Captain in the Pinnacle Grill, each passenger sailing the entire cruise received distinctive salt & pepper shakers reminiscent of those given on HAL very first World Voyage. On our night, we were kindly invited to sit at the Captain’s Table along with his lovely wife, Karen and two Senior Officers. The ms. Amsterdam is an older ship but quite seaworthy and is especially stable for the type of cruising that she does. Most days I forgot that I was even on a ship since the seas were so calm. Our “Storm Dodger” Captain Jonathan was expert at avoiding high winds and storms thus earning his nickname. I always felt completely safe under his leadership. Captain Jonathan & his wife were most charming, affable and professional as were all the Senior Officers. On Grand and Grand World Voyages, Grand Dollars can be earned by participating in on board activities. By the end of the cruise, we had earned over 800 dollars to spend on various items. Activities on board were varied. Daily Tai Chi classes kept us busy. Trivia was also quite popular as was Arts & Crafts, computer classes, bridge and pool games. We attended most of the lecture series on Sea Days. I specially enjoyed the talks on space, various cultures and photography. We were invited to attend several wine tasting events throughout the voyage. We loved the many Culinary Arts Demonstrations and Tasting classes, too. I hope that we can duplicate the dishes served using the many recipe cards we received. The movies on board were up to date and I watched a few of them. On Location Guide Barbara Heanni and Nyron Peters, from the Shore Excursion Staff gave detailed talks about Things to See & Do in port. These ship talks on the ports of call were current and quite useful. How nice that HAL has someone on board to help passengers who wish to go sightseeing independently. At many ports, there was a complimentary shuttle service to the center of town or to a nearby mall. Several times, we used this service. The main reason I took this cruise was the itinerary. It was so exciting to transit the Suez Canal for the first time. We have cruised through the Panama Canal several times previously and always enjoy the experience. One personal highlight for us was our one night’s stay in an idyllic over water thatched-roofed bungalow in Tahiti at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa. A Welcome drink at reception, plus a bottle of champagne and wine along with fruit and snacks awaited us in our bungalow. We had a wonderful day swimming in the clear, aquamarine shallow waters of the lagoon, enjoying the beautiful views of the stunning mountains, strolling the white coral sandy beach and relaxing in the hammocks. An extravagant dinner buffet with a complimentary bottle of wine followed by a spectacular floorshow ending with an outdoor fire-eaters performance completed the magical day for us. At night, we viewed the lighted lagoon beneath us through the cutout window in the floor of our bungalow. After a sumptuous breakfast buffet with live entertainment the next morning, we took a walking tour of the facility and enjoyed the beautiful pool before we rejoined our ship at its next port, Moorea. It was a dream come true for both of us. Equally special were our visit to Petra and Wadi Rum in Aqaba, Jordan, Chinqua Terra in Livorno, Italy and Dubai, UAE. Muscat and Salalah, Oman were other new ports for us and quite interesting. Everyone asks which our favorite port was and we reply whichever port we are visiting at the time. However, while we were in Israel, we were especially moved while exploring all the biblical sights in Haifa and Ashdod. Almost all of our shore excursions were sponsored by the ship and they were worthwhile, enjoyable and educational. We did independent sightseeing in Sydney and in Jakarta since we had previously explored those ports extensively. There were so many memorable highlights during our World Cruise onboard the ms. Amsterdam. One was the very elaborate fun-under-the-setting-sun Australia Beach Party where sand covered the Lido Magrodome pool area. Bondi Beach lifeguards came on board along with Australia‘s most sort after 6-piece band, Hipnosis. There were huge beach balls, surfboards, beach chairs, water games and complimentary tropical drinks and food to add to the beach theme. What Fun! The extra-special décor of the 1001 Arabian Sights themed pool deck party set the tone for another wonderful evening. The Zany April Fool’s Day Costume Party in the Crow’s Nest was hilarious, while the elaborate Black & Silver Ball in the Queen’s Lounge was quite elegant. The champagne Valentine’s Day Ball in the Queen’s Lounge was oh so romantic. It was fun guessing who was under the beautiful masks provided for the Masked Ball in the Queen’s Lounge, the final Gala Night of the cruise. I was looking forward to the St. Patrick’s Day Party but was surprised that no Irish music was played although there were plenty of pots of gold and other Irish decor to be found. I especially enjoyed the extravagantly presented monthly High Teas - Royal Dutch, Polynesian, Indonesian and Middle Eastern. I photographed each of the lavish displays. I wished that there were more of them. My husband especially enjoyed the Super Bowl 50 Festivities in the Queen’s Lounge. Entertainment in general was wonderful and quite diverse. The Bon Voyage Sail-Away Fest was a great way to begin the voyage. We had complimentary drinks, snacks and live music with the wonderful HAL orchestra. A similar Sail Away Party occurred on our departure from Sydney. After dinner each night, we enjoyed listening to the very personable Debby Bacon in the Piano Bar. One night, her husband, Ron joined her for a performance and it was such fun for everyone. Whenever we could, we also found time to listen to the beautiful music in the Exploration Lounge performed by Adagio, Attila and David from Hungary. The talented HAL Singers and Dancers performed ten different shows and all were well paced and entertaining. One of my favorite Queen’s Lounge performances was the steel drum group from Trinidad, the sensational Island Magic. I even purchased their CDs. The cultural Queen’s Lounge shows in Hong Kong, Tahiti, Dubai and Spain were all colorful and memorable. Often times we had an extra theater performance, Spotlight before the main Showtime Show. The two well rehearsed Crew Indonesian and Filipino Matinee Shows were standing room only. Who knew that Nestor Malsi, our wine steward and Filipino Crew Show Organizer had such a marvelous voice? We attended and thoroughly enjoyed both shows. After so many days on the ship, we knew the entire cast of both shows, which made the shows even more entertaining. During ports of call, we had the opportunity: to ride a camel, an elephant, a mule and horse, swim with stingrays and dolphins and see penguins in their enclosure. We had close encounters with wild monkeys, kangaroos, emus & koalas. In Singapore, we went on a Night Safari and saw many nocturnal animals in their natural habitats. On board, there were dance lessons, cultural emergence activities plus didgeridoo, ukulele and belly dancing lessons. I learned enough foreign phrases to get along in the various countries visited. I tasted exotic foods from many different countries. It is an experience that I will never forget. Yes, it took plenty of preparation and planning before a cruise of this length. Imagine, though, touring the world and only unpacking once! No air flights even were involved since we live in Florida. How wonderful that our price included the shipping of our four large suitcases ahead of time! Gratuities were also included. We received excellent complimentary laundry service since we are Four Star Mariners. We made some wonderful new friends that we hope to see again on future HAL cruises. A cruise of this length may not be for everyone but it was a dream of a lifetime for us. We are still enjoying our memories when we watch our ship videos and look through our candid ship photos and photo albums. We were so pleased with the itinerary, the food, the accommodations and the service. Our next HAL cruise will be on the new ms. Koningsdam later this year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
I chose the full world cruise because of its long duration and the ports of call, and this ship because it is just the right size for me, and I know its crew and amenities from my previous 600+ days on board. It was indeed like coming ... Read More
I chose the full world cruise because of its long duration and the ports of call, and this ship because it is just the right size for me, and I know its crew and amenities from my previous 600+ days on board. It was indeed like coming home, and the staff said, "Welcome back." At the ports where I had visited before, I either took different land excursions, or revisited some to see the changes over the years. I enjoyed all the benefits of the owner's suite, and my daughters took turn occupying the adjacent cabin for different segments. Joined together, these two accommodations provided a lot of space to enjoy on sea days. We all attended and learned much from the lecturers. Special events such as the dine-around, crew games, and boat-building were lots of fun. Our butler was exceptional, anticipating our preferences or desires before we even thought of them, and efficiently organized the unpacking and repacking. The captain and officers were always visible and very accessible, and the head chef was extremely obliging with special requests. 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We thoroughly enjoyed our World Voyage. Hamburg-Hamburg from 8th January - 12 May 2016. The cruise lasted 125 days, The service was excellent.. The crew were fantastic and we would definitely repeat a cruise with Cunard. We planned this ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our World Voyage. Hamburg-Hamburg from 8th January - 12 May 2016. The cruise lasted 125 days, The service was excellent.. The crew were fantastic and we would definitely repeat a cruise with Cunard. We planned this cruise 12 months in advance and did 5 overland tours plus the normal stops. A voyage like this is really what you personally put into it. We did a lot of research on the destinations we would be visiting. We have cruised many times before so yes, we are experienced travelers. We both joined in a lot of sport activities on the ship and really enjoyed the possibilities offered. Our Cabin was most comfortable. We travelled as a retired couple (65). This voyage gave us the possibility of visiting many destinations that were still on our bucket list and get a good impression of whether we wanted to return. Which was our highlight? There were many highlights:. Namibia, Africa, Australia, China, Japan, The Lost city of Petra in Jordan, Malta. So many wonderful destinations. Thank you Cunard and thank you to all members to the Queen Elizabeth for making this an unforgettable "One in a Lifetime Experience" Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Reading other reviews, it seems that cruisers can be very tribal, “we love P & O, nothing else compares” or “RC is the best by far”. We have written this review with a totally open mind and reported on what was both our ... Read More
Reading other reviews, it seems that cruisers can be very tribal, “we love P & O, nothing else compares” or “RC is the best by far”. We have written this review with a totally open mind and reported on what was both our personal feelings and what we observed. If people want to either criticise or praise Cunard that is fine with us, as we are all different and have varying expectations from cruise companies. We booked our QM2 World Cruise about 18 months ago, as allocation of cabins for ‘all the way rounders’ is limited and having saved for many years we wanted to secure the best we could afford and enjoy the anticipation of the lead in period and what was before us. We booked a balcony on deck 11 well away from laundries, service doors etc (please bear this in mind when you make a booking, as these essential facilities can be noisy at times!). Cunard offered a very good early booking incentive, including a huge on board credit and free gratuities, this generosity has not been repeated in the 2017 and 2018 World Cruises! Unfortunately, after booking the cruise we found out the QM2 was due for a refit almost immediately after our return, which obviously made us very anxious (would they let it deteriorate below the standard reasonably expected). Therefore, we manged our expectations and were pleasantly surprised with the overall ambiance and condition we found. For those who are considering a long cruise there are additional issues and expenditure to consider not least the cost of Visa’s (cost us over £800.00) and insurance, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition, which I think would cover a large percentage of 60’s. Not only was visiting countries with a high cost of health care a problem but the length of the journey was an issue with all polices I could find only going to a 90 day maximum, while this cruise like other world cruises are 120 days ! Boarding at Southampton Very easy to drop off luggage (15 items !!) but the queuing and booking in was unnecessarily chaotic but compared to an airport just about acceptable. Cabin and facilities Very spacious with adequate wardrobe space, WC and shower area a reasonable and adequate size, usual facilities some would expect (fridge, safe etc) but the TV was poor and very dated. The large double bed and linen were superb and extremely comfortable. Restaurants and general catering We used the Britannia Restaurant most but not all nights and found the food to be to a good standard, obviously some nights were better than others but overall we found it acceptable, as was the Kings Court Buffett once you got used to its challenging layout! We used Room Service quite a bit as we did not want to go out every night, again the speed and standard of service was great along with the quality of the food we ordered. Ports of call As there were so many and almost every one being unique and special in their own way, it would be difficult to do justice to the huge variation of cultures and experiences we were fortunate enough to encounter. So it would be easier and more informative if we said what we did not enjoy or ever intend to experience again. 1) Salvador South America, a robber’s paradise. Not only was there a underlying tension / apprehension walking around but at least 6 passengers, we know of were mugged by way of grabbing neck chains and other jewellery (I know they were warned not to wear such items) but the ones I came across were not ostentatious but seemed to be small and of personal significance. Anyway, putting that to aside, one instance I was witness to was a large (and very nice) American who was set upon by 3 in a public area very close to several police officers. After the incident the chap went up to the police to enquire why they did not help him and was told they did not seen anything! When he wished to make a crime report for insurance purpose, he was asked when the ship sailed, when they were told 4.30, they said it would not be possible to complete the crime report until 5.30. Now you know why crime statistics can be misleading! 2) Ushuaia Argentina. While a unique place (similar to Alaska in many respects) it was made clear that the Brits were not welcome. The captain had a hard time from the Port Authorities making his life as difficult as possible particularly with regard to tender space. While many (but not all) bars and restaurants would not serve Brits. Clearly the Falklands is still a big issue with these folks. My advice if you go there, is to stay on board you are not missing much and clearly they do not want our tourist dollars ! Shore Excursions. As ever we did not use the on-board offerings as they were poor value for money with many people returning from various trips complaining about duration, places visited and time available for sightseeing. We always suggested that they do the same as us and team up with another couple and get a local taxi (the ones outside the port gates are in our experience better value), it depends on the country but it will average about a $75 per couple. Our best and most memorable experiences were the Tut Tuts in Colombo (Sri Lanka) and Cochin (India). With Cochin being particularly amazing as we were shown numerous temples (from a local perspective), Meat and Fish markets, Elephants used for the religious festivals, eating with locals and observing how they fish and a commercial Dhobi (Indian laundry using stone troughs and bashing the washing against the trough and finishing with a charcoal heated iron) we have never seen such white laundry. We spent about 5 hrs on this Tut Tut for $30, everyone was very happy. So our message to those who are frightened about sightseeing other than using any ships poor value excursions, go for it, it is easier than you think, perfectly safe and timely for the ship if common sense is applied. Ships stability and overall sea journey As you would expect with the world’s only ocean liner, it was stable and a superb experience even in the rougher seas we experience in the North Atlantic and emerging into the Pacific Ocean after rounding the cape. Before we departed there was degree of hesitancy on our part with regard to the length of the cruise (120 days), as the longest we had previous undertaken was 27 days. Those fears of boredom and isolation were soon dispelled as we found the on-board activities, lectures and special interest groups filling our day. Learning to play Bridge and basic Mandarin are just 2 small examples along with plenty of opportunities for real down time either in the fantastic on-board Spa or reading via books from the exceptional good library or our Kindle. While the ship was full or just about full on every segment there was always a feeling of space and never being crowded, Steamers and Sun Loungers always available with plenty of room for personal relaxation (Dubai to UK excepted when the Brits got on, more about that later). While I know Cunard like many others add a 15% service charge, I have to say their generosity towards guests at the many and varied receptions we attended was second to none. Unlike another sister cruise company P & O who think a single glass of second rate wine and coloured cordial will suffice for such occasions (getting my tin hat on ready for the misguided P & O er’s to batter me !). While on board, we had a small emergency at 5am when a window on our cabin balcony shattered with a loud bang. The Purser’s office were up within minutes, we were quickly moved to a temporary cabin while the area was made safe and repaired (about 6 hours). Cause unknown but they suspect because it was so hot outside (about 98 degree’s) and relatively cold inside (we run AC, close to max chill) the uneven expansion of the glass caused the shattering! Cunard could not have done more to resolve this unexpected and rare occurrence. Overall the ambiance on board was very special with each segment / sector attracting different nationalities, so at different times we would have a high ratio of either American, Australian, Chinese, Asians etc. according to the segment we either sailed from or were heading for, all very friendly, well mannered (well almost all) and a joy to be with. But that all changed in Dubai when the Brits boarded bringing with them Norvo virus and general disruption on what had been a very pleasant and relaxing cruise. Reflecting upon this change, as it felt like we were on another cruise line / ship. I came to the conclusion that living here and experiencing the rudeness and selfishness on a day to day basis you tend to become immune to the un-pleasantries of life, it is only after having such a long and enjoyable break from such behaviour do you realise, as a county just how bad we are. Some small examples, to the best of my knowledge there was no Norvo Virus or other sickness that is passed by poor hygiene on board before Dubai. From Dubai I witnessed several examples of people (invariably a more mature age group) using the toilet and leaving without washing their hands (so did my wife) when challenged in a polite manner, we were either ignored or treated to some strong Anglo Saxon phrases ! This was compounded by many ignoring the long suffering staff offering sanitising liquid when entering the buffet area, again almost all the same age group. Many who had the virus would not stay in their room as instructed by the ships doctors thus the contamination continued a lot longer than it should have, spoiling the holiday for many innocent people, which had a knock on impact on the ports that would allow us in ( two did not). Again on the Brit theme, previous to Dubai you could sit on steamer or sunbed any time and where you wished. Then along comes the towel and book brigade who seem to take delight in spreading their belongings on these facilities and then wandering off for the best part of the day again spoiling things for others. While it was not a problem for the more experienced cruisers or those with some gumption who removed the items, if they wanted to rest, others understandably avoided such confrontations (as did the deck staff) ! To conclude, would we recommend Cunard, most certainly as this cruise not only met our expectations but far surpassed them. The QM2 is undoubtedly a special ship, although I accept it is not every ones cup of tea. As we stated at the beginning, this is what we found on that occasion and we have no ‘axe to grind’ or flag to fly as we have used about 7 cruise lines over recent years and they are all different, as we all are, Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We had a superb trip, nice people aboard. I have mobility issues so we booked the handicap cabin with Balcony . Oceania have only 6 handicap cabins aboard....for that I fault them. On most cruise line you can book a handicap cabin at ... Read More
We had a superb trip, nice people aboard. I have mobility issues so we booked the handicap cabin with Balcony . Oceania have only 6 handicap cabins aboard....for that I fault them. On most cruise line you can book a handicap cabin at everylevel, but on Oceania there is not much choice. the service from staff is excellent. Grab bars in all public washrooms. Staff carry your food to your table if you eat in Wave or Grill terrace on the 12 th floor. We loved eating on the deck outside in the back of the ship. Internet access was good, very fast early in the morbid or late at night, very slow for obvious reasons during the day. Food was excellent everywhere but our personal favorite was red ginger. Jacques being second. The room was spacious, pool area usually not incredibly busy. In destinations Bora Bora and Moorea were by far our favourites. Embarkation was not great and disembarkation was better. One nice thing is that they allow you to bring your wine (great in Australia and New Zealand) aboard. There is a 25$ corkage fee and if you do bring liquor you can only drink it in your room . All in all a very nice experience Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We booked this World Cruise segment from Sydney to Hong Kong the day Cunard opened up the books a year and a half prior to departure. Having cruised on QE and also on QV before we knew what to expect but Cunard makes their World Cruises ... Read More
We booked this World Cruise segment from Sydney to Hong Kong the day Cunard opened up the books a year and a half prior to departure. Having cruised on QE and also on QV before we knew what to expect but Cunard makes their World Cruises always more special. The guests on this segment were overwhelmingly Australians with Brits, Germans and Americans also strongly represented. A port call scheduled for Cebu (Philippines) was cancelled prior to departure with an unclear explanation that suggested some security issue. Puerto Princesa was substituted and turned out to be quite acceptable. We were lucky with the smooth seas throughout and generally sunny and warm weather. There were about nine days at sea which nicely augmented the port days. Shore excursions were a mixed bag as is usual on most cruises, some very good others not so much. We took most of our dinners in the Queens Grill and were rewarded with uniformly excellent food and service as were the two dinners we enjoyed at the Verandah Restaurant. Most of our other meals we ate at the Lido and they were quite adequate. Having the Grills upper deck available to us for lounging and sunbathing was a nice bonus. Disembarkation at Hong Kong's Ocean Terminal was confusing but we did manage to make our way through the shopping mall to baggage claim. The only fly in the ointment was the disappointing quality of the ship's dancing troupe which has not improved since we last saw them three years ago. Over all, however this was a wonderful experience. 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
50 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
After many cruises we decided to try a Cunard luxury cruise (from their advertising blurb) on Queen Vic. First impression Arrive up the gangway & be security checked. Find your own way to your cabin (you have been given a ships ... Read More
After many cruises we decided to try a Cunard luxury cruise (from their advertising blurb) on Queen Vic. First impression Arrive up the gangway & be security checked. Find your own way to your cabin (you have been given a ships map) Other ships at least have staff to direct you to your cabin, not Cunard 2nd impression 1st night in dining room. No breads on table, waiter serves you one bread roll & one portion of butter. Other ships have plates of ass. rolls on table & plenty of butter, you don't have to ask for a second roll. Hardly a luxury approach to dining. 3rd impression When ordering the main meal (entrée) I asked for a Caesar salad & told it was not available I could only have that which is on the menu. A little off-putting when Cunard tell you that you may have anything. It was available upstairs in the Lido bistro not in the dining room. At this time my idea of luxury travel has suffered a major set back. 3rd impression 1st morning breakfast in Lido, asked for grapefruit & told it was only available in the dining room, asked for smoked salmon, "sorry it is only available in dining room" So next day we ventured to the dining room for breakfast & had grapefruit & smoked salmon with an omelette which had been in a Bain maree for a considerable time, underdone toast & one portion of butter with cold coffee. So much for the luxury breakfast experience. Upstairs, hot coffee, stale bread rolls & yesterdays croissants but made to order omelettes, whoopee. The sad food experience goes on with a very poor selection in the bistro compared to Princess or Celebrity. Entertainment in my opinion was one step short of a disaster with English "comedians juggler, magician" & other guest entertainers of very ordinary talent performing 9 nights with the exception of the ship's singers & dancers; they were great but after 4 night in 18 they got a bit boring. You would see better shows at the local hall not on a 5 star luxury ship. Credit where credit is due; the ship was beautifully maintained, bar staff were top class, wait staff did a good but not spectacular job. Segregation of world cruisers & the hop on hop off crowd (1000 Aussies) was annoying; if Cunard want to segregate them & us they should go back to the 30'es & not run a hop on hop off boat The dress code didn't seem to be enforced very well as there were people around the ship in the evening not dressed according to the ship's rules. Many people ignored the hand sanitizers in the Lido & I'm surprised that there wasn't an outbreak of norovirus. On the health issue the ship was full of people with a cold or flu, we avoided the dreaded lurg by keeping clear of the cougher crowd & spray disinfecting our room every time we went in after a theatre or lounge visit. Another evergreen is the criticism of ship's tours & transfers, Cunard didn't let us down with their overpricing, e.g Hong Kong airport transfer US$35 (HK $ 280 pp) local taxi HK $ 230 for 2 pax incl luggage & a 34 minute ride door to door with no waiting for Cunard to fill the bus before departing. In Bali we hired a car with driver for the day cost was A$76 for 6 pax not A$ 75 per person on Cunard bus I wouldn't consider going on another hop on hop off cruise if it was free. The Cunard experience was not what I expected compared Princess, Celebrity or Holland America Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and one of the stops was Israel and wanted to see Jerusalem. I have sailed this similar cruise 2 years ago starting in Hong Kong but this time the embarkation was a nightmare. it was ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and one of the stops was Israel and wanted to see Jerusalem. I have sailed this similar cruise 2 years ago starting in Hong Kong but this time the embarkation was a nightmare. it was difficult to know who was in line for what. I think many of the 1,500 people thought the ship was going to leave without them the way they pushed and shoved to get in line to embark. Anyway we finally got on. Our cabin was ready and our stewardess, which was a pleasant change from having a man, was wonderful. She was like having a personal maid all to ourselves. The cabin although spotless was showing signs of wear and tear. The ship is going into dry dock this spring for a refit. It looks like they are making major changes for the better. The food in the main dining room was excellent as always. I think I only had one main course that was not up to par. Ditto the food in the Upstairs cafeteria, it was much improved, except for these darn steam table vegies. The waiters and waitresses all deserve a gold medal for putting up with some of the "Guests" . As I said to someone who was berating his steward for some minor detail," they are stewards not slaves". The entertainment, well what can I say, it was the same review shows I have seen several times on this ship. The first timers I am sure enjoyed the shows. Too many comedians for my taste but again that is a personal thing.. The ship set sail from New York at the beginning of January and everything was fine till we got to Dubai. A large contingent about 1, 500 got off and 1,500 new people got on and brought Nora virus with them. The people who were sick knew they had it before they got on but lied on the form you fill in before embarking hence it went through the ship like wild fire. This disrupted the whole itinerary as Oman would not allow us to dock nor would Jordan. My daughter who especially wanted and booked to go to Petra did not get there. There we are floating at sea waiting for our turn to go through the Suez canal, we were too early due to not stopping in Oman then too early again for the next port because we did not stop in Jordan. I think it was a good thing they did not say who the first people were that got sick as there might have been a massacre at sea. The tours in Vietnam were interesting and fun and the shopping is great at the large market in Ho Chi Minh , Ben Thanh market. If you don't like bargaining stay in the outer ring of the market where the prices are fixed. Then move in if you think you can bargain for a cheaper price. Bangkok is a must see as the palace is beautiful, but hope it is not too hot as there is not much shade. Cambodia, I did not take a tour just the Cunard bus into the town. It was interesting but the people although very friendly were living in poor conditions. The roads were unpaved in many places, the market although indoors lacked tables. Most of the goods were laid out on the floor. I think the area that the bus took us to was planned so that we would be forced to take a "TUK TUK" as we were inundated with them the minute the bus stopped. The drivers were so insistent to the point it was so unpleasant we got back on the bus to return to the ship. Malaysia is a shoppers paradise and Kuala Lumpur is easy to get around. Langkawi Island is beautiful. That is the island that the movie THE KING AND I was filmed.I did not take a tour this time as I had been there before but stayed at resort and enjoyed the day ashore. Colombo, Sri Lanka well what can I say. If you take the Cunard bus you will only be taken to three different tourist shopping traps with the same overpriced trinkets as all other tourist shops that are part of any tour be it Hong Kong, Bangkok, Israel, India, Egypt, or wherever you are. If the tour shows shopping you can bet it will be in a warehouse that is only for to sell to tourists. Locals do not shop there. The standard line of the tour guide will be that they know the best places and the other will only rip you off. As this was an extended tour with numerous stops I could go on but I am sure by now you will be bored reading this. I travelled with my adult daughter who had not been on a cruise before and she had a great time. We each did our own thing. In the evening we preferred the G37 nightclub rather than the staid Queens room where the dance floor was taken up with more professional type dancers rather than couples enjoying a twirl or shuffle around the dancefloor. There was lots of entertainment, small bands and piano players and singers in the evening, interesting lectures and speakers on numerous topics during the day. The ship was geared to a more mature group, I would say age 45 up to 95. Very few children on board although they have a very good children's programme. We disembarked in New York and almost everyone got off. There was the odd few that were returning to Southampton. It is a slow process as all the luggage has to be off first then we can go. A tip- if you are disembarking in New York, first, get in line for a porter and have him get your luggage. They have a fast track line through customs and immigration otherwise you will be struggling with you luggage in a very long line of people to clear immigration. It is ten dollars well spent. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was our 7th Oceania cruise and 5th time on the Regatta. It was quite wonderful, as always and most of the ports were interesting. The entertainment seems better now that NCL has taken over and the service is what we have come to ... Read More
This was our 7th Oceania cruise and 5th time on the Regatta. It was quite wonderful, as always and most of the ports were interesting. The entertainment seems better now that NCL has taken over and the service is what we have come to expect with Oceania. We always take a taxi from the airport to the ship, as it is much less expensive. We did an independent tour in Guatemala using 'Go With Gus' and it was great. We used Viator for the tour in Costa Maya and enjoyed it also. We always enjoy the specialty restaurants and the food in all the venues was of the same quality we have enjoyed in the past. Since airfare was included we were disappointed that Oceania booked us on the 'red eye' from PHX to MIA and we were extremely tired beginning the cruise, so that was the only negative. We were in a penthouse suite this time and it was roomy and fun to have a butler. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Embarkation & disembarkation went smoothly, however the ship was so disappointing. Cunard market the Queen Mary 2 as the Flag Ship of their fleet. It was shabby and showing its age. In the Britannia Restaurant, The Golden Lion Pub ... Read More
Embarkation & disembarkation went smoothly, however the ship was so disappointing. Cunard market the Queen Mary 2 as the Flag Ship of their fleet. It was shabby and showing its age. In the Britannia Restaurant, The Golden Lion Pub and some heavy traffic thoroughfares their were holes in the floor which were carpeted over. If wearing high heels the shoe heel often would bury itself in the hole resulting in either walking out of your shoes or stumbling and almost falling over, surely this is a health & safety issue. The Kings Court Buffet felt grubby, the paint work was worn, marked and old fashion and the tables and chairs were cheap and nasty looking. It was also poorly designed, a long corridor with small eating areas duplicated on the port and starboard side with two self service buffets. After selecting your food the search was then on for a table which involved walking up and down the corridor in search for a table balancing a plate of food. Tea & Coffee was not served at your table as on other cruises we have been on. Again it involved walking back along the corridor to the self service coffee/tea station and retracing your steps to your table, quite often against the flow of the traffic. The food in the Kings Court was the virtually the same as the dinning room but tended to be hotter. In the Restaurants, generally, meals were not delivered on trays to a workstation in order to serve the whole table together. Meals were bought out individually and served, quite often with extraordinarily long delays resulting in guests either waiting for the whole table to received their meal or commencing when they received their meal so it would be hot, either way it didn't create a pleasant dining experience. It is widely expected wine will be more expensive than at home but the mark up was excessive. A cost of $47US was not unusual for a fairly ordinary bottle of wine. We had a Balcony Cabin. The furniture on the balcony was old & chipped, the paint work was patchy and peeling off. The Cabin was kept very clean & tidy by our lovely & cheerful Cabin Steward. The furniture was old and worn, the TV was old fashioned and small and reception and selection of programs poor. The hair dryer was pathetic, about a 1960s vintage, screwed into a draw restricting its use with extreme heat settings. The Cunard dancers and singers didn't seem to put on many shows compared to other cruises and certainly not spectacular or memorable. The comedians, magicians and guest singers were funny, entertaining and enjoyable. The Shore excursions were variable, generally good although a bit pricey. It was noticeable a lot of guest had coughs (dubbed the "Cunard Cough"), also during the cruise a Gastro Virus effected approximately half the guests. Average age of Cruisers about 80. We didn't experience the Speciality Restaurants as they didn't appear to be very special. A first for us, we usually enjoy trying these and have always enjoyed them on previous cruises. We have sailed on the Queen Elizabeth and enjoyed it however we felt so let down we will never sail Cunard again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
The cruise went to specific countries we wanted to visit. The trivia team games were fun! The lecturer from UCLA, Dr. Teofilo Ruiz, was superb and the best historian I have ever heard on a cruise and I have been on 30 cruises. The ... Read More
The cruise went to specific countries we wanted to visit. The trivia team games were fun! The lecturer from UCLA, Dr. Teofilo Ruiz, was superb and the best historian I have ever heard on a cruise and I have been on 30 cruises. The food was excellent and with free soft drinks, we could drink sodas as much as we wished. The Oceania cruise staff was very efficient and organized. The collection and later return of passports was fast and very well organized.The organization of tour groups at each port was fast, efficient and the best I have ever seen. The tour guides at all the ports were very knowledgeable in their subjects and spoke English very fluently. I felt I was back in grad school taking history courses. The only suggestion I would make is for Oceania to improve their internet connections on their cruise ships. There is a need that the wifi and Internet access be constant and not off most of the time. For a cruise almost a month long, the constant intermittent reception of wifi internet access was a problem. Also, it would have been nice if movies could have been shown that went with some of our ports. For example, in Jordan the cruise line could have shown the old film, Lawrence of Arabia, which took place in Jordan and was filmed in Jordan in 1917 during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turkish Empire. When we were in Egypt, there are many films that could have been shown about ancient Egypt. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Sailed from Papeete, French Polynesia to Lima Peru. Cuisine on ship was unbelievable. Top quality food. No charge for specialty restaurant dining in the four specialty restaurants on board. Main dining room was excellent also. ... Read More
Sailed from Papeete, French Polynesia to Lima Peru. Cuisine on ship was unbelievable. Top quality food. No charge for specialty restaurant dining in the four specialty restaurants on board. Main dining room was excellent also. Specialty restaurants require reservations, but the main dining room did not and we never had to wait. For lunch the Dining Room featured different areas of the world each day and a food sampling plate was available of special delicacies. Don't normally eat in the buffet for evening meal but couldn't pass up, steak and lobster tails on two occasions. Higher staff to passenger ratio and it showed. Prompt attention to all details, whether dining or cabin. Staff was extremely friendly and efficient and frequently remembered our last name. Ship never felt crowded. Afternoon tea was special and sweets served often changed, accompanied by a string quartet. Only disappointment was not being able to tender in at Easter Island due to weather on both scheduled days. Rest of the ports were special and we enjoyed each one. You do pay more on Oceania but the money was well worth it. There is no charge for soda or specialty coffees. Have a variety of Coke products along with bottled water in stateroom refrigerator at no charge with daily replenishment was nice. Also encouraged to take readily available bottled water (free of charge) when going off the ship. Some of the meals like all those in Red Ginger Restaurant, ate there three times, equaled or exceeded some of the top restaurants around. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose this cruise of Polynesia solely because it was going to Easter Island - a port that few ships go to, and they are usually on a world cruise. We also were interested in going to the Pitcairn Islands, another port which is very ... Read More
We chose this cruise of Polynesia solely because it was going to Easter Island - a port that few ships go to, and they are usually on a world cruise. We also were interested in going to the Pitcairn Islands, another port which is very hard to visit. Because of these two ports, we were willing to pay two to three times what other highly rated ships charge for tours of Polynesia, but without Easter Island or the Pitcairn Islands. Months after booking, we were informed that we would not dock in the Pitcairn Islands, but only have a "Pitcairn Island Experience." Well, ok, we still were willing to pay the premium to see Easter Island. Unfortunately, even though Easter Island was a two day (ovenight) stop, the Captain decided once we arrived there that the ocean waves were too large to use the tender, and then, to our amazement, he later announced that the weather forecast for the next day was also for high waves so he just left. We had nowhere to go, as Lima was our next, and last, stop, and it was a four day cruise away. Passengers were outraged that he did not stay there to see if we could land the next day. We ended up getting to Lima a day before embarkation so we just spent the day sitting in the harbor. Even though the Captain was not willing to use the tenders in Easter Island, and not willing to wait for the next day to see how it looked (remember we were scheduled to spend two days there and we all know how accurate weather forecasts are), he was able to board the new entertainers, as well as food and a large group of government officials. So, we wasted all that money and never saw Easter Island (other than from a distance). The food was pretty good, and the service was very good. The ship was ok, but nothing special. In fact the ship seemed seemed very jerky when you were on the upper decks. Entertainment was ok, but not as good as on Celebrity or Royal Caribbean. Two final points: 1) Most of the ship tours were booked and unavailable to us, even though we tried booking them months in advance. When we complained to Oceania, they seemed not to care. 2) Embarkation was horrible - flights from the US arrive at 6:00 am and you could not board until something like 1:00 pm. Oceania made only very minimal arrangements for the passengers to spend those 7 hours (essentially sitting in a conference room). We ended up walking around in the heat, after flying all night. So, overall, I would rate Oceania very low - the food and service were fine, but much else about them was very poor. Clearly not worth the premium they charge. 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

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