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Ambience Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
26 reviews

An Excellent Itinerary, but a Poor Quality Cruise

Review for Ambience to the British Isles & Western Europe
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tring
10+ Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

Cabin
Value for Money
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Dining
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Additional details

Sail Date: Jun 2022
Cabin:

We decided to try this cruise line as the itinerary was excellent, visiting some very unusual ports in Greenland over a 21 night cruise. We embarked from Tilbury and booked the official car park. As we were told by head office, we went to the terminal and dropped off luggage (and me with hand luggage, cameras, binoculars etc.) whilst DH followed signs to the car park from there. and returned by shuttle bus. I waited 45 mins, most of the time being his wait for the shuttle bus to depart from the car park. At least once we did enter the terminal it only took about another half hour to embark.

This ship only has set sittings for dinner, but our dining time was not given. The restaurant told us it was all open seating that night, but neither they, nor reception, nor a senior officer had any idea what would happen other nights, causing a lot of confusion and time spent trying to find those details. Later that night we were told in the restaurant that all evenings would be open dining, since the ship was only about half full. The open sitting meant we could turn up anytime between 6pm and 8pm and we could also get a table for two, which was a great advantage to us, though sadly something that does not normally happen on this ship. As the cruise progressed it became obvious that information is not something considered important by Ambassador and similar confusion happened with other matters at times.

The food was very good, particularly the soups and all food was cooked just right and well flavoured. There was also a good selection of fresh fruit and salad items, particularly in the self-service, though it was at times necessary to ask for certain fruit e.g. bananas towards the end of the cruise as they were not on display. The self-service restaurant was quite crowded at times and had a fair amount of seating on high tables or ledges with stools as you would see in some coffee bars, so not really suitable for the average age of the passengers on board, which did not help as few people wanted to sit there. The service counters there were split into different sections as well, so it was sometimes necessary to go to two serveries to get a full meal. We took to going into the MDR for a relaxed lunch most sea days and sometimes eating in the self-service at night, when each restaurant was at the quietest. That worked well for us.

Cabin Review

We were moved to this cabin as our initial cabin was unbearably hot. This cabin was actually fine, but I gave a low rating as our previous cabin was unbearable, so averaged the two experiences. Some people may well have considered this cabin too cold, but knowing what our alternative was, we were very happy there. There was plenty of storage and everything in the cabin worked fine.

Port Reviews

Ilulissat

This was an excellent port and we would strongly advise the small boat trip to the Ice Fjord, which sailed very close to the icebergs, so we could see them really well and even down into the water. An Amazing experience.

Reykjavik

This was a first port which we have visited a number of times previously, so we went to the Cathedral and just strolled around the city.

Kirkwall

This is a lovely Old city and I found this port particularly interesting as my father had been stationed here during the war as an anti-aircraft gunner. Sadly the main museum was closed, but we did visit the Wireless Museum where I was able to get some information and purchase a map of the gunning locations. We also went into The Earl's Palace and The Bishop's Palace which have a charge to enter, but there is a reciprocal arrangement with English Heritage, so as English Heritage members we were able to enter without charge and even got a discount on a booklet we purchased there. Not many tea rooms available and sadly they closed early as it was a Sunday.

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