The Quark expedition staff onboard the Ocean Endeavor were all very good with one exception. The exception seemed popular with the other staff members, but she was horrible with the clients. For the rest of the expedition staff, it was amazing how many went beyond merely conscientious and seemed sincerely interested that all clients had a wonderful experience. After many expeditions over many seasons, the commitment to client service was outstanding and remarkable. Some passengers complained some of the expedition staff were not very knowledgeable. But if staff did not know the answer to a question, they tended to make the remark, “that is a good question” and suggest who might be able to answer the question or find out the answer themselves and report back.
I booked this expedition/cruise through a third party. I contacted Quark for a quote directly and Quark quoted me a price of approximately $6000 more in American dollars than they were selling the expedition/cruise through the third party. This is hard to understand. Either the Quark sales staff didn’t know the expedition/cruise was being offered through a third party at a substantially lower price, information they should have known. Or the Quark sales staff knew the expedition/cruise was being offered at a lower price and was trying to make an exorbitant profit from me.
As mentioned by one of the other reviewers, sometimes there was difficulty with climate control on the ship. My cabin was the temperature of a refrigerator for a few nights at the same time other passengers were complaining their cabins were so hot they had to keep their cabin doors open at night for cooling in order to be able to sleep. The passengers who could not sleep because it was so hot were cranky and it was not fun to be around them. After a few nights of an extremely cold cabin, my cabin got too hot for a few nights, then the problem was solved. Quark put $25 in everyone’s shipboard accounts as compensation for the problem.
As mentioned in another review, Quark subcontracts out housekeeping and food service on the ship. While reaching under the bed to retrieve a pill bottle top I had dropped, I found two pieces of evidence of previous occupants on the cabin before I found my pill bottle top. My cabin steward was conscientious, but seemed to have more cabins to care for than was the case on other cruises I have been on. My cabin steward told me the beds were too heavy to move. Except for under the bed, my cabin was not filthy, but it was not as clean as on other cruises I have been on. I attribute this to the housekeeping staff being stretched to thin, not to the quality of the staff.
The food on the ship was very good. There were a lot of choices. Besides the fine quality of the food, the food and drink service was excellent. Some of the other passengers complained the wine was not superb. It’s fair to say the wine was not superb, but it was all agreeable and drinkable.
Quark doesn’t seem to be particularly interested in client feedback. There was an onboard survey at the end of the expedition/cruise that was only available to be filled out on the ship and had to be filled out online. It was aggravating to fill out the survey as the capacity of the intranet on the ship was inadequate. It took five attempts to log on before I was successful. No survey was sent out after the cruise.