9 Marseille Luxury Cruise Reviews

Having enjoyed a smaller canal cruise in Alsace, we were ready to try a cruise on the Rhone river. Reviews of various river cruise lines consistently pointed to Scenic as a quality choice. Although the Sapphire is not new, we found it to ... Read More
Having enjoyed a smaller canal cruise in Alsace, we were ready to try a cruise on the Rhone river. Reviews of various river cruise lines consistently pointed to Scenic as a quality choice. Although the Sapphire is not new, we found it to be sparkling in both design and maintenance. We were welcomed on board by the captain and his staff and assigned to a lovely balcony cabin, newly serviced and polished. When I found the young women in the hallway who I suspected had cleaned our room, she actually jumped and clapped her hands saying "Oh, that's one of my rooms", when I expressed my appreciation for her work. (That gesture of appreciation on my part was not wasted, since I think I got extra chocolates on turndown every evening.) However we found that degree of pride and ownership expressed uniformly throughout the cruise staff, no matter the occupation. The availability of friendly and accommodating staff and attention to detail was a hallmark of our cruise. The business of serving delicious and varied meals, as well as the chore of getting 130 people to and from land tours on schedule was handled efficiently and pleasantly. Although our final docking was unavailable due to water conditions in the river, that too was handled smoothly and in a friendly manner. From the lovely meals, the wine tasting and cooking demonstration to the afternoon cappuccinos in the lounge and the music and dancing in the evenings, to the time spent on our private balcony listening to music and watching the scenery go by, we considered our Rhone river cruise on the Scenic Sapphire a splendid success. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I choose this because it featured a seminar I wanted to participate in and because of its ports of call (especially Gibraltar). When we started planning our excursions about 3 months prior to departure, the expansive Gibraltar tour was ... Read More
I choose this because it featured a seminar I wanted to participate in and because of its ports of call (especially Gibraltar). When we started planning our excursions about 3 months prior to departure, the expansive Gibraltar tour was waitlisted and never re-opened. I find that to be unforgiveable and unforgettable. But we booked a private tour through Viator and it was the best tour of our trip, and less than half the cost of a lesser quality ship excursion. While many will like the food and dinner requirements (specific time reservations, more formal dressing and very formal on all sea days), we take cruises to experience the ports of call, not to have formal dining experience. So, for us, this is not a positive. Further, we thought the "Tastes" specialty restaurant was way over-rated: marginal food and served in a pool cabana setting which was not a very good atmosphere. Getting on and off were very good experiences. Same for access to excursions; and the free water bottles on the tour buses was very welcome and not standard with our cruises. So pick carefully....if you want to focus on dining, go for it; if you want to focus on ports of call, I would choose another, less expensive alternative. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Embarkation in Genoa started off as a nightmare. It was disorganised, none of the staff knew where we had to go and the signage was very confusing. No sign of the Yacht Club tent until we finally got directions from a staff member who ... Read More
Embarkation in Genoa started off as a nightmare. It was disorganised, none of the staff knew where we had to go and the signage was very confusing. No sign of the Yacht Club tent until we finally got directions from a staff member who actually knew where the Yacht Club check in was. With suitcases, this was very stressful not helped by the fact that 2 ships were in at the same time. Our new butler, Maksim, was amazing. He was there if you needed him but left you alone if you didnt want anything. He was friendly and professional and always had time for a chat. Butlers tend to provide room service but they also serve in the Top Sail lounge and the One Pool Deck this gives a continuity of service as they know how you like drinks, etc. There are 3 places in the Yacht Club where you could get food (apart from room service) the One Pool Deck, the Top Sail lounge and the restaurant. You could also book in to one of the speciality restaurants although we didnt do this as the food was so good in the Yacht Club. Main buffet: We ate in the main buffet twice and we had no problem getting a seat. The button on each table to ask for drinks was a really nice touch and the service was quick and friendly. Food here was nice although there were some strange combinations of food which made it difficult to have a complete meal. However, you could get burgers, hot dogs and pizza here. Yacht Club One Pool Deck: Here you could have casual breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks. We had roast beef, chicken parmigiana and salmon amongst others and the food was generally good but was sometimes a bit lukewarm. This place is great if the weather was good but you couldnt eat up here if it was cold. You also had a full range of drinks including some very nice wines such as Chablis and Pinot Grigio. Top Sail lounge: There was a small buffet of cold snacks such as sandwiches, cakes and nuts. You could also get sushi here and they had canapes before dinner. You could also take high tea here between 4-5pm where you had a 3 tier cake and sandwich stand with a selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones with jam and real clotted cream. If you wanted any other sandwiches, you only needed to ask and they would get you some. They also had a selection of loose leaf teas which were served from the trolley. A very civilised experience. Yacht Club Restaurant: This was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The first night was really good and Ajay was efficient. However, the second night started out as a disaster, so much so that we tried to walk out. It took an age for the menus to arrive, we didnt get any drinks and the waiter couldnt understand what we wanted. When we walked out, we were stopped by the Restaurant Supervisor Massimo who was very concerned and persuaded us to stay. He seated us in another section of the restaurant and our new waiter, Miljan, was amazing. He served us for the rest of our cruise and we didnt want for anything. He got to know what wines we liked and recommended some new ones which were good to try. He also tailored the dishes and had a really good sense of humour. He knew how to tailor the service based on our personality and attitude. We never had an issue getting a table bar one night (tables were available but not in Miljans section) so we were asked to go to the Top Sail lounge and Massimo came to collect us as soon as a table was ready. He generally got us the same table every night which was nice. Joyce, the Assistant Waiter, was also really good remembering that we liked still water and what type of bread we generally like. Miljan and Massimo really made our cruise special and we were quite emotional when we left the last night. Massimo also organised an anniversary meal for us with a specially cooked dish and a bottle of champagne. The entertainment on board ranged from dire to quite good. It seemed that MSC has spent all the money on Cirque du Soleil on board and not had much left for the other entertainment. We did not go to see Cirque du Soleil as it is not our cup of tea but there were spaces available every night for the shows for both the meal and drink options. Highlights: Yacht Club and the Meraviglia itself is amazing Always loungers available even on the main decks (never busy on the One Deck even on sea days) Service was impeccable Food was of a very good standard with some great wines recommended The butler service was amazing including getting on and off the ship The button on the buffet tables to get a drink worked really well Concierge and room service were excellent Loved the pillow menu. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My wife and I have had many cruises over the years, but never a river cruise. We have used a number of cruise lines, but the last 3 cruises have been with Oceania, which we dearly love and we have another booked for the 4th June this year ... Read More
My wife and I have had many cruises over the years, but never a river cruise. We have used a number of cruise lines, but the last 3 cruises have been with Oceania, which we dearly love and we have another booked for the 4th June this year in our favourite suite. Having extensivly covered the Med, we thought that a river cruise may give us another wide variety of places to see, but in a slightly lazier way along the banks of the rivers of Europe and perhaps further afield and as we are i our 75th year, we do like variety. At the Birmingham NEC Cruise show in 2016, we booked the cruise with Oceania, but then saw the stand of Scenic River Cruises. We had been told that they were one of the best, so we went along and chatted with Stacey Owen, who was very helpful and having explained that we had never had a river cruise before we explained that wanted spacious accomodation, as we usually have a suite aboard Oceania, so we elected to have the Royal Panorama Suite (337) which gave us that space. Flying from London Heathrow to Marselles was ok, but had a long wait on the coach when we arrived, as some passengers were on the next flight, so a 2 hour + wait on the coach was not really appreciated and there were several complaints made by others. Once aboard the ship, all looked good. Our suite was at the rear of the boat with a panoramic window and very comfortable. Food aboard was good, although if you happened to be at the back of the line, some dishes had gone, which seemed poor for the standards expected. However, we soon learned how to be thare early. Our greatest dissapointment was something totally unexpected and never explained to us when booking. We had hoped to be on deck as we sailed along the rivers, as shown in all the videos and in the printed brochures. Nice deck space with deck chairs etc to pass a relaxing few hours between stop-off points along the way and catch up on some sunshine. NO SUCH LUCK. Apparently, the top deck of the ship, where the sunchairs on the mock grass, is closed off during sailing times as the bridges are low. Now how silly is that. Sailing the rivers and not being able to use the top deck as you sail along because the bridges would be endangering passengers. One slightly lower deck did have some chairs and tables, but soon got filled up and no sunchairs for anyone. The top deck is only available when anchored at destinations, when for most of that time passengers were sight seeing and not on board. For a 7 night trip on a river cruise at £4,440 per person with no sunbathing facilities and no pool has put us off considering any future river cruises. A great pity that we will not see another side of cruising, but there are limits and these were not met by Scenic. We did not make any complaint, other than to let our travel agents that river cruises are not for us because of the facilities, as we felt it was our choice and perhaps our levels of expectation at those prices are higher than others. It may be worth others checking if the sunbathing and other facilities are fully available during the cruise, or closed down because of the low bridges. It should have been mentioed as a false impression is certainly given in video's and brochures that all facilities shown are available. Not for us, so be careful. Malcolm & Helen Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Extremely impressed with the feeling that Uniworld wants to provide you with personal attention. Excursions included points of interest as well as experiences that other cruise lines don't offer...visits to local shops, homes and even ... Read More
Extremely impressed with the feeling that Uniworld wants to provide you with personal attention. Excursions included points of interest as well as experiences that other cruise lines don't offer...visits to local shops, homes and even an olive farm that has been in one family for 10 generations. Staff from housekeeping, wait staff to tour guides helpful and attentive to your personal needs. The all inclusive pricing is a great value. On one excursion, Uniworld provided each person 20 euros for lunch on your on. Uniworld provided each traveler a reusable water bottle instead of plastic ones for use on excursions. Will definitely travel Uniworld again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Our tour director referred to our trip as the cruise from hell, so i am not exaggerating. The customer service aspects of how Viking dealt with a catastrophic A/C failure on its ship during a heatwave was telling. First deny the problem, ... Read More
Our tour director referred to our trip as the cruise from hell, so i am not exaggerating. The customer service aspects of how Viking dealt with a catastrophic A/C failure on its ship during a heatwave was telling. First deny the problem, than deflect the blame for the problem, then distract the passengers from the problem. Fixing the problem should have come first. An apology and acknowledgement would have gone a long way, too. First the Good: (1) The fellow travelers were great -- every made the best of a difficult situation. (2) The ships staff and crew - they were troopers and had to put up with the same discomfort that the passengers did, and they did so with charm and good humor. (3) the Itinerary - the towns we visited were well chosen, and the local guides were excellent. (4) The ship (Viking Delling) had everything one would want on a river cruise ship -- the staterooms are well designed, the bathroom is large as far as cruise ships go, and the showers were great (hot water and good pressure). The lounges and common areas were plentiful and well designed. (5) The chef was accommodating to the vegetarians and gluten-free diners in our group. The Mediocre: (1) the food was so-so. It was plentiful, but nothing to write home about. Avoid the soups at all costs. Their version of clam chowder and lobster bisque were watery soups--not a chowder or a bisque. (2) the women in our group complained there was not enough time to shop in the towns we visited. (3) The on board entertainment -- it was basically a Ricky Martin look alike, with a nice voice, at the piano, doing English as a Second Language Karaoke each night in the lounge. The Ugly: (1) the ships air conditioning did not work. The temperature on our trip exceeded 35 C, on some days it got up to 40. Because the ship's A/C didn't work, the temperature in our stateroom exceeded 80 at night, and there were no windows to open so it was impossible to cool down. During dinner, guests at our table took to wrapping ice cubes in napkins, and wrapping the rolled napkins around their necks -- for 3 nights in a row. (2) The Ship and Viking refused to acknowledge that the A/C wasn't working: for a couple days. They blamed the unusually hot weather and said since a ship is made of metal, it was unavoidable that the ship would get this warm. Then one night another Viking ship docked along side us, we were able to walk into their lobby and dining room, and their A/C worked perfectly fine. So instead of fixing the problem, they offered an open bar to distract us. If our crew or Viking had acknowledgment the A/C system failure earlier, it could have called for repairs earlier. Instead they put their head s in the sand and made the passengers suffer. It turns out that the A/C outage was caused by a plastic bag being sucked into a water intake valve. If Viking had sought a repair as soon as the problem was noted, rather than blaming the design of the ship's A/C system or the weather, the problem would have resolved days earlier. (3) The Viking booked air transfers required at least 25-30 passengers to depart the ship at 3 am (luggage out in the hall at 2:15 am) for a 2 hour bus ride to the airport on the last night of the 8 day / 7 night trip. So in effect, it was a 7 day / 6 night trip. Requiring your guests to set alarms at 2 am on the last night of the tour is not a good way to have people remember the trip fondly. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our second river cruise, and about our 30th cruise overall. The longship is new, well thought out overall, and the food excellent. The experience was much better than I expected and for our cabin (lowest price), pricing was much ... Read More
This was our second river cruise, and about our 30th cruise overall. The longship is new, well thought out overall, and the food excellent. The experience was much better than I expected and for our cabin (lowest price), pricing was much less than what we received. There are daily shore excursions included and with 1 exception the guides were excellent. The crew is exceptional, looking to make things better, not just waiting at the counter receiving requests: For example, we had a long trip from home to the ship, my wife was exhausted, and laid out on a sofa, head on my lap,until our room was ready. One of the crew saw this, and went and expedited the room availability. 10 minutes after she talked to us, she came back, insisted on carrying our carry-on bags, escorted us to the room with keys in hand. The only crew member who was not exceptional is the concierge. She was unreliable in following through when she said she would be available. She could offer only online web site information, and tickets she got for us in Paris required us to pick then up at a site 10 miles away from the museum, and at a different location. The Viking representative at the hotel, when shown our voucher tells us on arrival: "Why did she do that? The hotel concierge can sell tickets right here, at a lower price than that." When a discounted trip from Budapest becomes available, we will definitely use Viking. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
A wonderful cruise aboard S S Catherine. From embarkation to disembarkation everything went like clockwork. The excursions were varied and always interesting - our guides were excellent and the groups were kept small in numbers. ... Read More
A wonderful cruise aboard S S Catherine. From embarkation to disembarkation everything went like clockwork. The excursions were varied and always interesting - our guides were excellent and the groups were kept small in numbers. Our cabin was spacious - Category 2 Cabin 316 - a large bathroom - a large window to the outside world with enough space for the two of us to sit and read. It had easy access to the reception area and the dining room - no steps or lift needed and it was kept immaculate every day by our maid. The food was a highlight - fresh every day - dinner always had a local touch and the drinks choices were varied. We would definitely use Uniworld again- they certainly ticked all the boxes for us and did everything right for us Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Have just returned from 12 nights on the Riviera. This was our third cruise with Oceania and the second on the Riviera, the first having been on the sister ship Marina, both accommodating 1250 passengers. This is not a cruise line for ... Read More
Have just returned from 12 nights on the Riviera. This was our third cruise with Oceania and the second on the Riviera, the first having been on the sister ship Marina, both accommodating 1250 passengers. This is not a cruise line for children, there are no childrens clubs etc. Being our third cruise we knew what to expect - great service from all the waiting staff and state room attendants, fabulous food, good organisation and comfortable cabins and we were not disappointed. There are four speciality restaurants on board, for which you pay no additional charge, they cater for all tastes and cannot be faulted, however eating in the main dining room is just as good with service just as attentive, choice in all places is excellent. The terrace self service and waves are also excellent and we chose to eat here at breakfast and lunch time so we could chose a wide variety of things to eat. Speaking to other guests who have sailed with some of the more expensive lines, they all agreed that Oceania have the best food at sea. Where we were disappointed this time was in the entertainment. The Jean Ann Ryan company put on three fantastic production shows but normally on a 12 night cruise there would have been 4, we were told this was due to them being in the middle of a cast change. The other evening entertainment was a magician who was excellent but he was on for 3 nights. There was a guitarist for 2 nights who was pretty good and then there was a comedian 1 night and a tenor another. Both of these were well past their sell by date and several people walked out. I really feel that Oceania are being lazy in this area and need to up their game. Similarly the day time activities are sparse, there are golf, table tennis and deck game competitions, cookery classes (very expensive) trivia quizzes, bingo and little else, even on a sea day. I should also mention the artists loft where they were art classes. There was a session on how to tie a scarf 40 ways and again surely they can come up with something a bit more interesting than that! The other criticism is the cost of the shore excursions, this again has been fed back to Oceania and I doubt that anything will change. They are outrageous and certainly if we were looking to go to destinations where it would be recommended to take ship tours then I would not go with Oceania as it would be too expensive. Unfortunately our final port of call was to be an overnight in Monaco but had to be cancelled due to bad weather. This meant we were diverted to Marseilles. The change was dealt with very efficiently and must have been a logistical nightmare. So overall and despite my criticisms I still think Oceania are the best cruise line. Just get the entertainment sorted and it will be perfect. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013

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