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600 Cuba Cruise Reviews

Cuba was the lure and Azamara offered the most intensive experience with 3 ports, Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. I won't talk about Cuba much here as I wrote a photo review on the Celebrity board with 1700 photos. This is ... Read More
Cuba was the lure and Azamara offered the most intensive experience with 3 ports, Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. I won't talk about Cuba much here as I wrote a photo review on the Celebrity board with 1700 photos. This is about the ship and the cruise line which was new to us. We sail medium size ships from the Princess and Celebrity lines and of course due to their size they have more variety to offer. Azamara excels in terms of providing an elegant and relaxing environment with less than 700 passengers. Even after 9 days on board we hadn't eaten in all their venues nor spent time in all the rooms on board. We adapted to the leisurely vibe on board and just a couple of days into the experience were already liking what we saw of Azamara. Would we sail with them again? Yes and have already booked a 7 day Rome to Venice in October 2020 which will include a 10 year Azamara anniversary meet up in Koper, Slovenia, with the other two ships in the fleet. We even booked the same aft cabin again. Cabins are small but well designed (back in the year 2000) and elegantly appointed. Elegant and tasteful are key words to describe the Journey. Soothing on the eye. We sailed with considerate adults who showed respect to each other. It's the staff that make a ship a home for a week and the staff are keen to be of service and represent the brand well. I had hoped they wouldn't be too formal or stiff and was delighted to find them loose and ready to laugh and smile without forcing. Very personable. The dining was the best we have enjoyed at sea, without the expense of a Specialty restaurant. Discoveries restaurant produced fine breakfasts lunches and dinners without fail. Surprises were two brunches, complete with live music and served by Officers. Highlights of the cruise! Even the pool cafe, the Patio, stood high above the deck fare on our other two lines of choice with expansive menus, table service and really well-prepared simple dishes. A good first impression was made on boarding- a glass of champagne, then relaxing on a pool deck without canned music and with thickly padded loungers with pillows, while waiters made sure your glass would not dry out. Only one announcement from the Captain and CD each day. Officers who greet you as they pass. Two unique Home Runs, apart from the Azamara trade-mark overnight port stays which first attracted us to the brand are the Azamazing Evening and White Night Party. Both smoothly executed considering 600 or more guests attended each event. In the case of Havana's Azamazing Evening we were all treated to an incredible performance by the Lizt Alfonso dancers which is one of the most passionate and moving performances we have seen outside of an Opera House or theater in the USA. Kudos Azamara! White Night, an on deck BBQ buffet with music and dancing was held on a warm evening tied up in Cienfuegos and we all got a chance to applaud the crew who were introduced in a parade. Azamara was pricy but included gratuities and basic beverages on board. I upgraded to an Ultimate Beverage package and had the choice of anything on the ship and that was a good move given my preferences. Entertainment is constrained somewhat in the evening shows by the showroom which is on one level so no tiered seating-get there early for the best views-but the artists and CD (Alicia Hill) give it their all. There are plenty of relaxing and cosy areas to sit with friends and enjoy coffee or a beverage aboard the ship , including a real library with books made from paper! Good first impressions continued day after day and there was no let-down. Just a great crew, steeped in the brand culture. They try to impress and with us succeeded and provided a very memorable experience. We have now added Azamara to our Princess and Celebrity roster of go-to cruise lines. Norris Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted an overnight in Cuba, and the price was very reasonable.. The Armonia is well maintained,and very clean.The decor / color palette on the ship is quieter and more soothing than other ships we've ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted an overnight in Cuba, and the price was very reasonable.. The Armonia is well maintained,and very clean.The decor / color palette on the ship is quieter and more soothing than other ships we've been on. We had an inside cabin on the Ninth floor, The room was more square than rectangular, which made it feel roomier. There was ample closet and drawer space. The bathroom was small, but adequate. The food in the Marco Polo dining room was great , Half of the Menu (5-6) main dishes were the same each day, a beef choice, a fish choice, a chicken choice, a vegetarian choice and one or two more. The other half of the menu varied by day, I liked the Italian Day best, I had chicken parmigiana, and my husband had lasagna. both were outstanding. The food in the buffet was very nice, but of course not the variety available at the main dining room. Our cabin steward was efficient and discreet. When we put the "do not disturb" sign out, he let us sleep. Other times, he kept the room tidy. Things I wish I knew beforehand. They had a "white-out" evening where everyone tried to wear a white shirt or blouse. They had a 2-3 minute show where the children sang a super hero song, before the professional show. Many kids wore a super hero T-shirt or cape that evening. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We just returned from circumnavigating Cuba, and the cruise was fantastic It was an older crowd, with no children on board. The ship was beautiful and the food was great, as were the entertainment and staff. We had superior educational ... Read More
We just returned from circumnavigating Cuba, and the cruise was fantastic It was an older crowd, with no children on board. The ship was beautiful and the food was great, as were the entertainment and staff. We had superior educational programs arranged by the faculty of the school we were traveling with. We don't tend to spend much time in our cabins other than to sleep, so the cabins were perfect for us. The shore excursions, especially in Cienfuegos and Trinidad, were a lot of fun. The Tropicana in Havana is not to be missed. The Cienfuegos and its nature excusion was a huge hit with everyone who went into the mountains to El Nicho. We had a terrible guide in Santiago de Cuba, and that really made the trip sour on our last day in Cuba. She was constantly rushing us, oppressively so. We had no opportunity to shop, other than at the trinket stalls by the port. No opportunity to eat. My wife wanted to buy a few gifts for our adult daughters back home, and if we had known the Santiago day would go the way it did, we would have done our shopping earlier in the trip. No such issues in Havana, Cienfuegos, or Trinidad. This was not the cruise lines fault, but I do hope they make passenger concerns known to the excursion operators. Also, customs is a bit of hit or a miss. One traveler bought art and tried to bring it on the ship after exchanging all his Cuban money into US dollars. It was his last chance to do so. The Cuban customs officer demanded payment in CUC's, and the passenger had to borrow some from a stranger. Again, not the cruise lines fault and no such issues in other ports, probably because all the Cuban money had not been converted back yet. Cuba is beautiful and the people are great. It is a unique experience. Pack some patience and understanding, and you will be enthralled. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
TBN hubby here: We are normally Celebrity loyalists -- Elite Plus and all that -- which means that we have spent $150,000, more or less, on cruises and now get a free coffee ;-). For this cruise we found the timing, ports of call, and ... Read More
TBN hubby here: We are normally Celebrity loyalists -- Elite Plus and all that -- which means that we have spent $150,000, more or less, on cruises and now get a free coffee ;-). For this cruise we found the timing, ports of call, and time in port to our liking, and we have friends who have raved about Viking Ocean Cruises based on their life total of two ocean cruises.So....why not? For a quick summary: we liked it! A Lot! Good food. Roomy cabin (penthouse veranda 5089). Restocked minibar daily -- no charge. A neat on-board cellphone app. Essentially unlimited soft drinks, wine, coffee, iced tea, hot chocolate. Ample sun deck area and minimal Chair hogging. A wonderful, included, warm pool, sauna, hot tub, snow-room area in the spa! Lots of open space. Guests must be 18 or older. No photographers, No casino. No formal nights. unlimited WiFi. Tasteful European-style decor with some nice historical touches. Did I mention good food! Entertainment choices in the theater were a bit thin but the cruise experience is geared toward folks that can entertain themselves and enjoy the many cultural enrichment offerings. There is nice, live music nearly all afternoon and evening in various venues and always a quiet place to relax. There was also evening dancing somewhere, but we didn't check it out. We didn't miss the lack of belly flop contests or officer/guest pool volleyball, egg drop, and so forth. And, if you are looking for a climbing wall, ice rink, or merry go round, you are in the wrong place. Trivia IS still available 'though. Price is bit of a downside because we can take nearly 2 cruises with Celebrity for the price of one on Viking, but that does not necessarily mean Viking is overpriced, just that being Elite Plus on Celebrity gives us some perks there. Many of those hose perks are available at no additional cost to the Viking guests, like we were, on the first cruise, This is based to some extent on the choice of cabin class. Unlimited WiFi, pressing service for our cabin class, guest laundry, essentially unlimited good quality house wines and soft drinks, and some other stuff I can't remember right now, are included in your first cruise with some discounts on booking on later cruises through the Explorers Club. Viking also offers an included tour of some type at every port.. Food was outstanding in the dining room, the buffet, and one of the (no additional cost) alternative dining restaurants. More on that later. The welcome aboard buffet set the tone with some of the best fish I have had anytime, anywhere, as well as delicious beef and excellent 'fixings' as we say here in the hills. For most of the cruise, the evening buffet area had king crab legs, rock shrimp, large shrimp, sushi,and varied "turf" dishes including prime rib, roast turkey, pork loin and more. Breakfast and lunch were equally impressive there. Dining room fare was also very good to excellent and service was good with a nice variety of daily menus and a standard everyday menu. We never had a long wait to be seated. For our taste the included house wine was very good and they offered refills almost instantly when your glass was low. I told my wife there must have been a large group of bird watchers in the dining room on our cruise, because several times the waiters gathered at a table with a cake and sang a rousing rendition of "Hoppy Bird Day". The ornithologists seemed appreciative, but DW only groaned at the bad joke. An evening, themed (Mexican, seafood, Cuban, etc.) buffet adjacent to the infinity pool was interesting and photogenic. Then there was Mamensen's Deli in the Explorer Lounge (gotta try the waffle), as well as the Living Room offering light fare such as snacks, deserts, and cookies depending on the time.. The pool grill offered burgers, pulled pork, and dogs and a selection of salads. Plenty of variety for our trip. The desserts in general were good but not outstanding in the buffet. better in the dining room, and spectacular in Manfretti's. Some of the cakes were unusual but were said to be Norwegian recipes from the owners grandmother (Mamensen). I liked them, wife not so much We liked the alternative dining restaurant called, I believe, Manfretti's. We used both our reservations there and the steak (I had) and the seafood (she had) dishes were very nice. The other, The Chef's Table, appeared to have the same menu most of our trip and a second menu for the weekend. Although I thought it was fine, my wife is more of a sprouts-and-twigs kind of girl and she did not like the menus for Chef's Table at all. I understand that it changes, so your experience may differ, In fairness, as we were waiting to cancel our reservations, two people exited and were raving about how delicious it was. Personal preferences at work here! A note: reviews on Cruise Critic and some friend's personal experiences indicate some cruise lines very strongly discourage independent exploration and lead people to believe that using independent tour companies or self guided tours are not allowed. We were concerned about this but it was NOT an issue. Viking clearly states in the port briefings and in their daily that independent tour guests are accommodated. They provide very nice city maps of the ports. The Viking tour participants do get priority. as they should, but we were on some of the earliest tender boats with no issues at all. Yea Viking! Viking has some great tours but we like to avoid buses of people and enjoy the flexibility to lengthen, cancel, add or shorten stops as we see fit. The itinerary is another personal preference type thing.. We liked this one. The two night stay in Cienfuegos allowed us to venture off on our own (sort of) with a very satisfying independent tour in a classic 1957 Chevy (excellent restored body and interior, highly modified drive train, and added AC). After a short preview of Cienfuegos and approximately 2-hour drive and some side trips we arrived for our visit. We stayed overnight in Trinidad, Cuba at an AirBnB lodging dating from the 1830's and were pleased with the very hospitable owners who lived there. They were the 5th generation of the family that built the lodging. The adequate and clean room was $30 and a wonderful breakfast was only $5 each. The lodging was called CASA COLONIAL and, while underwhelming from the outside, the lobby was a classic beauty. The arrangements were made online. Our tour guide, Alejandro, and Leo, our driver/taxi owner/builder and their company are fully licensed by the Cuban Government. Their company, FER TOURS was easy to deal with when we booked online with them and they did all they promised and more. We were treated to wonderful local restaurants and they customized their standard tour to include what my wife wanted to see. We stopped by the road on the drive in and purchased some local plantino manzanas (apple bananas) and some other exotic fruit. We particularly enjoyed these small apple flavored bananas that I have enjoyed in the past but wife had never tasted. A nice surprise was that our visit coincided with the 505th anniversary celebration of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was a real experience, with seemingly a hundred restaurants, live bands fireworks all in a celebratory atmosphere. It was something that wasn't planned but very much enjoyed. A decent sleep after turning in late, and our fine breakfast in the morning and then more touring in the Trinidad area and then the drive back. As the day wound down we spent short time touring Cienfuegos before the end of our second day and our return to the ship around 6pm. Next day we did a self guided walking tour of Cienfuegos. Our guides from the previous day had given us a quick tour of the route to the central square and we simply walked off the tinder and spent a few pleasant hours on our own. Pictures of classic cars and beautiful old buildings were the order of the day. The last stop was Santiago de Cuba. Again we had arranged another licensed independent tour and met our guide, driver, and the company owner of OUT OF THE BOX TOURS at the large CUBA sign, just a few minutes walk, and easily seen from the ships tender location. My wife had a couple of sights she wanted to see. The most important (to her) and beautiful was the Our Lady of Charity, which was 'a ways' out of town. We went there first and our Guide Alex an our driver Marion (sp?) were really on the ball for us. We arrived well before maybe two hundred of our closest friends (in Government-owned tour buses) from the ship's tours crowded into the parking lot of the cathedral. The alter and church is very beautiful. Ernest Hemingway's Nobel prize is among the many interesting and worth-a-photo displays. Lucky, our visit and the beautiful photos we took were complete because, as we were leaving, they were overwhelming the interior of the church. This was a short stay for this port and we did not stop for lunch, but we did visit the roof top bar of the Casa Grande Hotel beside the town square.. A very nice setting for a lovely drink and panoramic views of the city. This time our ride was a similar quality classic, but was a 1957 Ford Fairlane instead of the Chevy. Note: no shorts allowed for men or women and shoulders must be covered to enter the church so ladies take a wrap here or other churches just in case. Final thoughts. We had a great time. The Cuban people are friendly, even though they have a different view of many world events than those of us from the USA. Immigration was a non event but you do need to keep track of your visa. The classic cars are all over and make good photo opportunities. AMERICAN credit cards are not accepted although cards from other countries are accepted. There is a 13% penalty for changing US dollars. We had a bunch of Euros so changed them. Might be worth buying Euros to use on the trip depending on the exchange rate when you take your trip. This review is based on our unique combination of guides, weather, fellow cruisers and any number of other things that make up a individual journey. Your mileage may differ. Objects are closer than they appear. This review is not intended to treat,cure, or diagnose any disease....... Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I chose this cruise because I wanted to visit Cuba. I had done Viking River Cruises before, and wanted to try the Ocean ship. Also, they were running a special where we got an upgraded cabin for same price as a lower-grade cabin. The ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to visit Cuba. I had done Viking River Cruises before, and wanted to try the Ocean ship. Also, they were running a special where we got an upgraded cabin for same price as a lower-grade cabin. The food was great. The cabin was comfortable. I loved that they filled our tiny refrigerator with soft drinks of our choice each day. The service was wonderful. For meals, we especially liked the restaurant and the afternoon tea. We tried each speciality restaurant once -- and greatly enjoyed the Chef's Table. We tried the other eating places at least once, but kept returned to the main restaurant since the service was so good. The tours used brand new buses (made in China) and had Cuban guides, who were very informative about life in Cuba and its history. We went on one excursion each day that they were available, and saw four different areas of Cuba. The lectures on the ship had experts on Cuba who provided a slightly different view on interpreting the history. The bus rides were fairly long (especially the one to Havana), but did provide an opportunity to see a lot of the countryside. The ship is so spacious that it never felt crowded (except when we were all organizing to go on our excursions). The variety of cultural experiences in Cuba was good. Unfortunately, Americans can no longer go to Cuba via cruise ship. I enjoyed the Viking experience so much that I have booked another cruise for early 2020. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Celebrating my 25th Wedding anniversary we chose Viking because a year ago it was one of the only 5 star under 900 passenger cruise ships going to Cuba for less than 10 days and its high rating. Our last cruise was on a Crystal ship from ... Read More
Celebrating my 25th Wedding anniversary we chose Viking because a year ago it was one of the only 5 star under 900 passenger cruise ships going to Cuba for less than 10 days and its high rating. Our last cruise was on a Crystal ship from Singapore to Hong Kong so the bar was set high. I have to admit Viking was up to the challenge, outside of our room attendant the service was excellent especially at the piano area bar where we had sparkling wine included in the Silver package that was pretty good. and I took full advantage of opportunity throughout the ship pre dinner after dinner and during the shows. we met some great people on the ship and even ran into some co-workers that we had no idea were going we closed the piano bar area down several nights. The majority of the guests were well over 70 so bedtime was pretty early. but wake up time was early also. :) The ship is very modern with wi-fi throughout and touch screen directories through out the ship. all orders taken by staff were on cell phones which made things much faster. The afternoon tea was a daily occurrence as the sandwiches and deserts were delicious and the service top notch. I ordered coffee and expresso instead with a splash of Cuban rum I brought back from the Tropicana show. I would cruise Viking again the beds and suite amenities were great . No nickel and diming with photos and extras or artwork etc. The excursions were good especially the Havana one. Cuba is still a 3rd world country going there was like going into a B&W movie and returning to Miami was like returning to a Digital Film ! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Everything was top notch from the service to the food. Nice shore excursions and great staff. Loved the fact that there was no photo taking event when boarding, no casino on the ship and no kids allowed on the ship. Such a peaceful trip. ... Read More
Everything was top notch from the service to the food. Nice shore excursions and great staff. Loved the fact that there was no photo taking event when boarding, no casino on the ship and no kids allowed on the ship. Such a peaceful trip. The cabin was well laid out and comfortable, the bathroom was best we have experienced on any cruise. There is not a lot of drawer storage but the closet is large and there is plenty of space under the beds. We went to the World Cafe and had lunch and it was very pleasant. The layout and general look of the buffet is very nice. The food on the ship was excellent in both the buffet and dining room. We ate two nights at Manfredi's, the Italian restaurant, and were very satisfied. Beer and wine is served at lunch and dinner and as much as you wanted. The staff was uniformly friendly and helpful. My only grip would be the gym is too small and there was never any hot drawn butter for the cracked crab, you always had to ask for it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The food on the ship was excellent. i have never used the buffet in previous cruises but was very happy with the selections. things changed every day. Msc ships including the armonia was as clean as a ship can be. they were constantly ... Read More
The food on the ship was excellent. i have never used the buffet in previous cruises but was very happy with the selections. things changed every day. Msc ships including the armonia was as clean as a ship can be. they were constantly repainting areas and cleaning even the elevators. someone would be cleaning them as you used them. the shows were excellent. the cabin seemed to have plenty of room for 2 people. lots of storage areas in the cabin which was 02, oceanview room. customer service lines were not long because it was a smaller ship. the staff listened to every thing you might say to them and i received chocolate covered strawberries for just suggesting something to the matre d. the photo department was well run and all the areas of the ship always had things going on. the casino was a great place to hang out at the bar in the casino. this cuba sailing was a very good itenarary and we will be back on there in november of this year. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We picked this ship for 2 reasons: 1 - we like Azamara (this was our 4th cruise on Azamara) and 2 - we liked the itinerary, especially the 3 days in Havana. Unfortunately, the itinerary was changed prior to our sailing and we had only 1 ... Read More
We picked this ship for 2 reasons: 1 - we like Azamara (this was our 4th cruise on Azamara) and 2 - we liked the itinerary, especially the 3 days in Havana. Unfortunately, the itinerary was changed prior to our sailing and we had only 1 1/2 days in Havana and 2 days in Cienfuegos. One day in Cienfuegos would have been enough, and a second day in Santiago de Cuba would have been better. This was not Azamara's "fault" and we did not blame them. In Havana, Cienfuegos and Labadee (Haiti), we were docked; we tendered in Santiago de Cuba. The tenders ran frequently and was not a problem. We took only one Azamara excursion, a Jewish tour. We had very good presentations at the two synagogues we visited and a good appreciation of Jewish life in Cuba. Our tour guide tried, but was not well informed about Judaism, and got "defensive" when we pointed out mistakes in his presentation. The leaders at the synagogues were fantastic. At the other ports, we took private tours (Tours by Locals and Shoretrips). There were 4 of us traveling together and the private tours were the way to go; especially in Cuba! Our tour guides were well informed and deftly maneuvered us around crowded streets. Much to our delight, we were able to visit markets, historic sites and buildings, barber shops, 2 hair salons, a department store, etc. While most of the tour guides were "careful" in what they told us, I left Cuba with a much better sense of what day-to-day life is like for its citizens. Back on the ship, service was excellent. Servers even remembered what we liked to drink! There had been a G-I outbreak on the sailing previous to ours, so there were heightened precautions in effect (e.g. no self-serve at the buffet). The staff all took it in good stride. The Captain gave us a daily briefing on the number of cases reported, as well as a daily reminder to "wash our hands for 20 seconds." Fortunately, there was not a repeat outbreak on our sailing. The only negative about this cruise was the food. The food, even in the Aqualina specialty restaurant, was mediocre (Prime C was very good). In the Discoveries restaurant, I even had to send back a piece of meat that look like it had been run over by a car! Dinner buffets in the Windows Cafe were a disappointment. However, the food during White Night was good. Our last Azamara cruise was 2 years ago, and my recollection is that the food was much better on that sailing. Two months ago, we sailed on Windstar and that food was superior to Azamara's. We did not attend any of the shows. Lounge entertainment was okay. Announcements were kept to a minimum which we appreciated. The cruise director was available, but not a nuisance. We will sail Azamara again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I chose this cruise because it had a Cuba Intensive itinerary. That said, I did book most of my excursions through private companies. Places I wanted to go such as Vinales National Park were not on their Itineraries and I often dislike ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it had a Cuba Intensive itinerary. That said, I did book most of my excursions through private companies. Places I wanted to go such as Vinales National Park were not on their Itineraries and I often dislike being with the busload of people. Also, I have traveled many times on Celebrity and Royal and had never tried Azamara. The ship is a very easy to manage size in terms of getting from point A to B. The rooms (veranda) are considerably smaller than their sister ships, but adequately appointed. The whole ship is miniaturized in general. Things I really liked: Staying more than one night in Port. Azamazing evening was very well organized. They did a sensational White Night Party on the main deck. Labadee was wonderful arriving on a small ship and having the island to ourselves. The attention to detail and service was very good. It was very relaxing traveling on a small ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Of the 10 days only about 2 an a half were sea days. The itinerary changed from what was originally offered. We ended up with an overnight in Havana, Cienafuego, and Santiago de Cuba. Great tours in each. Also stopped in Haiti at Royal ... Read More
Of the 10 days only about 2 an a half were sea days. The itinerary changed from what was originally offered. We ended up with an overnight in Havana, Cienafuego, and Santiago de Cuba. Great tours in each. Also stopped in Haiti at Royal Caribbean 's island (Labadee) which was a fantastic beach especially since we were the only ship and less than 700 passengers. Standard alcoholic drinks free in the bars on ship and on Labadee. The drinks and bar service were great. Tips included but gave a few more to room and wait staff. Food and service on the ship were excellent. Shows on board decent but not great but better than river cruise boats. The smaller ship with 700 people made getting on and off easier than larger including tendering. Activities on board were normal cruise ship activities. Actually one of the best cruises ever. I would do Azamara again if the itinerary was unique. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I was in Havana in 1952, and I wanted to compare that Havana with the Havana of today. Returning to the "first world" of the ship was a welcome change after a day spent in "thirld world" Cuba. We had traveled throughout ... Read More
I was in Havana in 1952, and I wanted to compare that Havana with the Havana of today. Returning to the "first world" of the ship was a welcome change after a day spent in "thirld world" Cuba. We had traveled throughout the Soviet Union in the mid-1980's, and our Cuba experience resembled that. In contrast- Cuba was clean and the people were very friendly. The Cienfuegos city tour was adequate, and we did have time to shop... but there is very little to buy other than rum and cigars. Our city tour guide was very informative about most peoples' way of life. We had the same guide on our tour of the Botanical Garden and Laguna Guanaroca. We thought this tour to be a waste of time and money. We had expected to see birds and flowers on the Botanical Gardens tour, but the local tour guide rushed us through so fast that we saw very little. Tour buses from the ship were arriving there too close together, and he had to rush us through so he could get to his next tour group. The one-day trip to Havana was just what we had expected. The tour literature had advised that it was a 3½ hour trip each way; so we were prepared for that. The mid-way rest stops were just what we had expected, from having traveled in third world countries. Viking had pre-paid the tips to the restroom attendants. We had adequate time for a walking tour around the restored part of Old Havana. I stood on a street corner and took photos of each old American car that passed by... and there were many of them! Our tour bus took us east along the Malecón to a state-run restaurant, El Aljibe, along Embassy row. The roast chicken breast was tasty, but I fed my entire meal to six hungry feral cats begging at our table. The restaurant is open-air, and the cats appeared well-fed, going from table to table, begging. The local musicians were very good. After eating lunch, a caravan of old 1950's convertibles picked up our group. My wife and I and two ladies rode in a restored 1954 Chevy Bel-Air convertible. As we returned to the downtown area our young driver decided to show us more of Havana, and we circled around el Capitolio, and newer office buildings. Back on our tour bus, we stopped at a store selling all sorts of souvenirs. Leaving Havana we went to the eastern suburb of Cojimar where we walked along the waterfront, saw a memorial to Hemingway, and had a rum drink at a local bar that he used to frequent. Here a local music group broke into a cha-cha-cha song, inviting our group to join in the dance. My wife got to play a gourd instrument, and we had a really lively time. We got back aboard the Viking Star just before the evening dinner time ended... and my dinner there took the place of the Havana lunch that I fed to the cats. Our sailing into the harbor at Santiago de Cuba was uneventful. We took the city tour which went first to the Shrine of the Virgin of Charity at the nearby village of El Cobre. There were too many tour buses there. The crowds made it almost impossible to see inside the Sanctuary. Our city tour guide was quite informative, talking mainly about Fidel Castro and his life in and around the city. We thought it interesting that this city still reveres Fidel and his revolution. After departing the harbor at Santiago de Cuba we cruised east along the southeast coast of Cuba. Shortly after sunset we sailed by the harbor at Guantanamo Bay. We knew where we were, but almost no one else on our ship had any idea that we were sailing by GITMO, and there was no notice from the ship about our location. While we couldn't see the military community inside the Bay, we easily spotted the detention camp which faces the ocean. We had a memorable dinner on the aft deck at the Aquavit Terrace, with GITMO's lights disappearing in the distance. Both our pickup and drop-off at Miami airport were timely and went without a hitch. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We choose the Viking Star knowing that they would provide a quality cruise. The Cultural Cuba Itinerary would give us more time to explore several cities of Cuba and not just the one port of Havana. We were so impressed with the ... Read More
We choose the Viking Star knowing that they would provide a quality cruise. The Cultural Cuba Itinerary would give us more time to explore several cities of Cuba and not just the one port of Havana. We were so impressed with the friendliest of the staff, the design of the ship and the quality of the food. We were always greeted with a smile and a hello from every staff member each day. The ship invites one to relax. The decor is calming and peaceful yet elegant. The food in all the dining rooms was excellent. One of our favorite dinners was at Manfredini's. People we met were all friendly and eager to meet fellow cruisers. We never felt crowded on the ship, and never had to wait in any lines for dining. The only waits were for the tenders which were well organized and moved quickly. We took all our excursions through Viking and found them to be very good. The excursions provide People to People opportunities. We just wish the buses were for smaller group sizes. Trinidad was very interesting, and European like, with the old cobblestone streets. The privately owned restaurant they took us to was very good with a variety of menu choices for us that evening. It was great that we got to tour the city during the afternoon and the evening. We choose the day trip to Havana knowing this was a 3 hour drive, that we would also have the opportunity to see more of the Cuban way of life outside of the cities and away from the port. We also took the included excursions of Santiago and Cienfuegos. Both included some walking. Cuba has beautiful architecture, landscape and history and the Viking Speakers are onboard to Educate. We appreciated that there were no added charges for use of the spa facilities, which provided that extra level of relaxation. How pleasant to not have announcements all day being broadcast or photographers onboard. The singers and dancers were entertaining and the television choices were good. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The ship was phenomenal with good food, great cabin (Deck 2), wonderful stops, a two night stay in a 4 star hotel in Havana, and great talks with a person affiliated with National Geographic. The crew was very hospitable as well as the ... Read More
The ship was phenomenal with good food, great cabin (Deck 2), wonderful stops, a two night stay in a 4 star hotel in Havana, and great talks with a person affiliated with National Geographic. The crew was very hospitable as well as the cruise directors and met every need that was asked of them. There were 187 passengers. The meals were very good with multiple choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There was an open bar from 5 or so until late at night as well as beer and wine at lunch and dinner. The cabin was very large and had a small balcony. There were plenty of drawers and storage space and the bathroom was very adequate. The four port stops were outstanding and since our ship couldn't dock in Havana (only two slips for large ships) they bused us 3 1/2 hours across the island and put us up in a very modern Spanish hotel that provided breakfasts and dinners. The day tours included lunches at local restaurants in all the ports. The exercise equipment was old and in some cases not working. We were told that the ship was going into wet dock and the equipment was to be replaced. There were 2 bikes but not hooked up electronically. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this vessel and cruise company because of the size of the ship. We were not disappointed at all! The rooms were comfortable and sized well, as were the bathrooms. The crew was attentive, polite and always helpful. The meal choices ... Read More
We chose this vessel and cruise company because of the size of the ship. We were not disappointed at all! The rooms were comfortable and sized well, as were the bathrooms. The crew was attentive, polite and always helpful. The meal choices were varied and always terrific. Service in the dining room couldn't have been any better. Everything was included in the cruise price and we had 3 meals a day, The crew did laundry for me about 6 times while on the cruise, there was happy hour every day with a wide variety of drinks and eats. I couldn't say enough about this cruise experience! I have already booked another cruise with the same line on the same ship for 2020! If you are looking for a relaxing, educational, and fun cruise this would be the one. We were not interested in the gym at all. There was some equipment on one of the decks, but I cannot review it as I never used it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Let me begin this review by saying that anyone who travels to Cuba needs to be flexible or choose a different destination...the Cuban government imposes changes on cruise ship schedules, which is no fault of the cruise line and those ... Read More
Let me begin this review by saying that anyone who travels to Cuba needs to be flexible or choose a different destination...the Cuban government imposes changes on cruise ship schedules, which is no fault of the cruise line and those changes can/will happen to any cruise ship. Our Pearl Mist voyage had two major changes: 1) We sailed in a clockwise direction (the opposite of the planned schedule) which put us in Santiago de Cuba rather than in Havana for New Year's Eve. The cruise line arranged for us to attend a fabulous local outdoor party at a 5 star Melia hotel, with 2 bands, unlimited cocktails, and appetizers. It was all very upscale and festive. 2) Instead of the three days we were scheduled to be in Havana, our ship was allowed just 12 hours at one of the two cruise docks. So we were driven on a 31/2 hour bus ride through the countryside (that ride gave us the opportunity to see the Cuban interior rather than coastline) and the cruise line put us up at a lovely 5 star, centrally located, Havana hotel, the Parque Central. The cruise line had 15 days notice to arrange this alternate plan at an expense to them of $100,000! I call this going above and beyond! Our cabin was slightly smaller than we've had on other cruise lines, but very adequate including a balcony with a table and 2 chairs. We ordered room service breakfast one morning and had a delightful meal on our patio. We were on Deck 3 and found no need to use the elevator...most activities are on Deck 2 and 4; The dining room is on Deck 1. There is an elevator for those needing it, but we didn't see it getting a lot of use. We thoroughly enjoyed our meals...the food was expertly prepared and the service was the same as you would find at a 5 star restaurant. The meal choices were varied, 3 courses, and delicious. Breakfast offered both a buffet and table service. We were asked to order lunch and dinner at breakfast to allow the chef to prepare, but were told we certainly could change our choices at mealtimes. Half portions were also available. We had a cocktail hour from 5-10:30 each evening with top shelf liquor: Glenleviet, Grey Goose, etc., a pleasant surprise. Which brings me to additional charges...there are NONE! They don't even ask for a credit card at boarding because there is NOTHING to pay for, including laundry! The only exceptions are gratuities, which can be left on a credit card charge, dollars, or euros and tips for tour guides and bus drivers. All of our tour guides spoke very good English and were quite knowledgeable and friendly. Because this cruise is a people to people trip, our tours included artist co-operatives and studios, botanical gardens, etc. but these were mixed in with city and landmark tours, an evening at the Tropicana, and a fabulous tour in a classic car. Because we chose full day tours (half day options are available) we had lunch at a variety of local restaurants and paladores. Some, of course,, were better than others, but all included beer, wine, and cocktails, and provided another opportunity to see how Cubans live. The Cuban people are lovely, welcoming, and happy. We always felt very safe, so much so that we ventured out on our own in the evening. Entertainment consisted of 2 musicians who played music of the era of the guests aboard the ship. (50's and 60's rock and roll) For a small ship, the entertainment is exactly what we expected. There are lectures and classes (mojito making, salsa dancing) during the day. The guests ranged in age from 40s to 90s. Maybe this was just our cruise, but the guests were so friendly, well traveled, and so much fun and made our trip that much more memorable. The dance floor was crowded every night, maybe the top shelf liquor had something to do with that?? The cruise staff was great from the cruise directors to the waiters to the cabin stewards...They were all charming, accommodating, and professional. One note: Small ships are not as stabilized as massive ships. As were traveling around the tip of the island, the seas were a bit rough and were asked to stay off the outdoor decks for a few hours. My husband was not bothered at all, but I have a tendency to experience motion sickness. I had asked my physician for sea sick patches before we left home, and I am very happy that I did! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This ship has a great and comprehensive Cuba schedule.The cruise is all-inclusive of excursions and drinks.The staff is outstanding in their attitude and service. No nickel and diming of the passengers. Staterooms are roomy and ... Read More
This ship has a great and comprehensive Cuba schedule.The cruise is all-inclusive of excursions and drinks.The staff is outstanding in their attitude and service. No nickel and diming of the passengers. Staterooms are roomy and comfortable. Food is outstanding and varied choices. Entertainment is limited but very good for a ship that has 210 passengers. You will learn a lot and have some real fun on this ship. Getting on and off the ship is a breeze compared to the larger ships. Cabins all have accessible balconies with two chairs and a table. Showers are of good size, but there are no bathtubs in the cabins. Lounges are of good size and all have free refreshments and snacks as well as coffee and expresso. Captain's happy hour starts at 5 pm and continues to dinner time, where beer and wine is also included with your meal. In addition, the complimentary bar is open after dinner in the lounge where entertainment is provided. . Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
There were several things that made this an attractive cruise: circumnavigating Cuba, sailing over New Years Eve, but being home for Christmas, and a 7 day cruise. We have sailed with Oceania a number of times, and all of their ships are ... Read More
There were several things that made this an attractive cruise: circumnavigating Cuba, sailing over New Years Eve, but being home for Christmas, and a 7 day cruise. We have sailed with Oceania a number of times, and all of their ships are excellent. They are spotlessly clean, the staff is pleasant and welcoming, and the food is excellent. This cruise was no different. We ate in all the venues, from the casual Waves, to the specialty restaurants Tuscan Grill, and Red Ginger. Each had good choices and we enjoyed them immensely. We treated ourselves to a penthouse suite, which was not extensively large, but very comfortable with good storage space, a very nice shower, and a roomy sitting area. Housekeeping and butler service were excellent. We are quite independent so did not use the butler service that much, but when we needed something, it was immediately looked after. Cuba is fascinating. There was an overnight in Havana, and we also docked in Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. We definitely felt we had stepped back in time. While there were some crumbling buildings, others had been restored or maintained. Hopefully with an increase in tourism, there will be more funds to look after the beautiful architecture. We saw Spanish Colonial, Art Deco, and of course Soviet style buildings. The old American cars were wonderful to see around every corner in Havana. There was a very comprehensive choice of excursions. Ours included a walking tour of old Havana, a ride in a beautifully maintained 1950 turquoise Chevy, a cabaret at the Tropicana (not to be missed!), a tour of colonial Trinidad which left from Cienfuegos, and a tour of sites in Santiago de Cuba, related to the revolution. Each was interesting and enjoyable in its own way. The tour guides were intelligent, spoke English well, and gave excellent information. We did have some difficulty hearing our guide in Cienfuegos. On board, there were informative and entertaining lectures given by Sandy Cares which, combined with the information on the tours, provided an insightful overview of the country. Local residents were all friendly, and many spoke some English. Entertainment was not our main focus but we enjoyed a hilarious comedian, and a talented string quartet. We did find some of the other clientele a bit rude and entitled, but we are able to hold our own. It may have been a function of the cruise being over New Years, and should not stop anyone from either sailing with Oceania or seeing Cuba. It is not typical of Oceania. Our only suggestions are that there should have been more done for New Years Eve, as this was a very expensive sailing, and more time and guidance could be given for shopping. Overall, an excellent cruise with a great itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We were pleasantly surprised by the outstanding cabin! Renovations are outstanding! Service and food the entire cruise was excellent --- no matter where we ate. The eggs benedict was outstanding at the Terrace Cafe! Fresh muffin, Canadian ... Read More
We were pleasantly surprised by the outstanding cabin! Renovations are outstanding! Service and food the entire cruise was excellent --- no matter where we ate. The eggs benedict was outstanding at the Terrace Cafe! Fresh muffin, Canadian bacon with freshly poached egg and topped with outstanding Hollandaise sauce. Yum! In fact all the selections in the Terrace Cafe were excellent --- spoiled by all the servers who were there to please. My husband fell in love with the extra thick chocolate shake in Waves. Grand Dining room had excellent food and service, but at times could be slow and a bit frustrating. If you needed something "out of the ordinary" it was hard to get the item. Polo and Toscano Specialty restaurants were both excellent! Entertainment was varied and good. The singers were extremely talented and the Frank Sinatra impersonator was outstanding! The Martini Bar piano player and entertainer at one of the big shows was excellent. Martinis were outstanding! The enrichment lectures could have been better --- we expected to hear more about Cuba's history and politics. The presentations were limited and bland -- that was disappointing. Excursions on Cienfuegos were the best; though the one going to Colonial Trinidad in Santiago was very interesting and good. The buffet lunch in one of the local restaurants was delicious. Time was limited in Havana ... would have been good if we'd been able to see a Tropicana Show there and had more shopping time to get cigars & local crafts.. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our fifth cruise with the MSC company. We have done the MSC Divina and the MSC Poesia twice. We chose this cruise for the itinerary, especially the night in Cuba. The cruise is a smaller ship with about 2500 cruisers. We liked ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise with the MSC company. We have done the MSC Divina and the MSC Poesia twice. We chose this cruise for the itinerary, especially the night in Cuba. The cruise is a smaller ship with about 2500 cruisers. We liked that, because you would run into the same people over the week and it never felt crowded on the ship. Also, the embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze due to the size. We had no wait whatsoever. The ship is decorated very modern with many lounges and seating all over the ship. Since our cruise was a December cruise, every lounge, dining area, etc. had a beautiful Christmas tree. The ship was decorated very festive for the season. Because the ship is older, there is no large atrium in the middle of the ship with the glass elevators. Who needs that, anyway? One area that we really liked was the pool area. It was spread out with the pool, hot tubs, great splash area for younger ones that was enclosed. Plenty of pool seating around the outside decks and the entertainment crew always had something fun going on to get the crowd active. Our room was a balcony view located on the ninth floor (room 9143). The location was convenient to everything. We loved our cabin. My daughter (12 years old) had a bunk-bed at the end of our king bed. From the king bed, you could see the water easily. I loved being able to read in bed and see the water. It was very relaxing. Our cabin attendant (B) was very sweet, thorough and kept our room really clean. We had the anytime dining and usually arrived at our same table around 7:00. The food was excellent and our wait staff was very attentive and accommodating. We sat at the same table all week next to a really sweet couple from Switzerland. We ate a few times at the buffet, which had many options to chose from at breakfast and lunch. We also had lunch in the dining room a few days. The food was excellent! The shows were phenomenal! The entertainers were really talented and put on a great show. Due to the size of the ship, they do have you reserve the seats in advance. They have big screens located throughout the ship, you scan your ship card and reserve a spot. Two of our favorite shows was "The Adams Family" and "French Follies". Overall, great shows with singing, dancing, and various performers. The entertainment crew (Graham, Kaitlan, Gary) on this ship worked really hard to make sure that everyone had a great time. They have a flower power night, white night and many other events that were fantastic. We loved all of our ports (Grand Caymen, Conzumel, and Cuba), except for Montego Bay. We had been to Montego Bay on the MSC Poesia about 8 years earlier and it was vibrant and happening. The port now has all the shops closed and to do shopping you go on a shuttle a long way through the city that is littered with trash. The shopping is past the airport in the resort area that is cleaned up. We walked through the shopping area in a bout 10 minutes and chose to go back on the shuttle to our ship. One reason for this was because our driver was so entertaining on the way there, so we figured we should ride back with him. We picked up some people that had gone to the beach and they were not impressed. Maybe the people that went on the excursions had a different experience and a good time in Montego Bay. The highlight for us was Havana, Cuba. We did the walking/bus tour on the first day. Our tour took us through the four squares. Our guide was very knowledgeable and informative. He loved his city. One interesting highlight was an exact replica of Cuba in miniature that we were able to see. We also visited a cigar/ coffee store. The bus tour took us to Plaza de la Revolucion (Square of Revolution). Where we boarded the bus was also a spot where all the classic cars are parked. What a trip to see so many brightly painted cars from the 1950's. The tour was about seven hours. The next day, we did the classic car tour. WOW!!!! I would highly recommend this tour. We were in a 1952 Chevy with the original paint and many other car parts! Our driver was really personable and shared pictures of his daughter, wife, home, and dog. We went to a really cool artsy area with neat bars and restaurants. The ride ended with a visit to the Floridita Bar which included a free pina colada. What a great place! Crowded but fun and the absolute best pina colada ever. There is a nice statue of Hemingway at the end of the bar, apparently, that was one of his favorite bars. Also, one of the most art-deco buildings is located a block from the bar. The old Bacardi building is amazing. At the top, is the Bacardi bat, with such great architecture. The one tour that we really wanted to do was the dance/nightclub performance. Due to my daughter's age, we could not participate. The minimum age is 18. It actually worked out fine, because MSC brought on the ship a great Cuban band and a dance performance that was first rate and very entertaining. We loved the show! It was nice to be sitting on the ship in Cuba watching a Cuban band perform and then to see an amazing dance performance. Lastly, Captain Scala was amazing. He spoke about 15 different languages. He made sure to welcome all nationalities to the ship on the first night of the show. He also walks around the ship and talks to the cruisers. Both days when we returned from Cuba, he was there to greet the passengers and ask about their adventures in Cuba. We actually had the privilege to sail with him on the Divina both times. On the last night, he speaks to the guests and does a top ten that is really entertaining. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We enjoyed this cruise. We missed Roatan due to high winds. We ate in the Pinnacle one time on opening night when they offered a 25% discount. They combined it with our 15% discount we get for being 3 start mariners. Pinnacle on ... Read More
We enjoyed this cruise. We missed Roatan due to high winds. We ate in the Pinnacle one time on opening night when they offered a 25% discount. They combined it with our 15% discount we get for being 3 start mariners. Pinnacle on this ship has windows so you can have ocean-side dining. The restaurant was also good. My only comment would be that we have gone from formal night to gala night to come as you are. Old t-shirts and flip flops should not be part of gala night. Room service breakfast was excellent, always on time. Holland offered water color classes but they cancelled them as the person was transferred to Rotterdam. My understanding is that she will offer them there and if they concept takes off, it will go to other ships. I am told that the Ocean Trio is going away from this ship come mid-year. Adagio was also quite good. Stewards did a great keeping our cabin up, they are assigned around 30 to keep up with. Gym opened at 6 AM every day and they kept the music down, much appreciated. Captain was excellent and dealt with a couple of weather systems very professionally. Cuba Form - If you say you are going ashore Holland gives you a Cuban visa (tourist card) when you get on to fill out. It costs $75. Don't lose it or you will be charged $75 to replace it. Cienfuegos - I found the information provided in the Cuba orientations and lectures on board to be very biased. The usual phrases such as "100% literacy" without telling you that Cubans do not have free access to information or "free health care" without telling you that they don't even have Advil. Very disappointing. Sailing In - The approach is interesting, try to be out on deck to catch it. This is a tender port for Holland. It is a 15 minute ride in, two Holland tenders and one Cuban boat. Brochure time for the visit is 8 AM to 5 PM. We got there at 8 AM. People were able to go ashore without a tour. Holland typically was giving tender tickets when we cleared. For this port they did not give out tickets until 9 AM (this did not apply to the 4 and 5 star mariners.) The last tender for independent travelers was at 3:30 PM. I thought I could take a shorter tour and then have time to wander around. The ship's shorter tours left later in the morning (around 10 AM.) Irrespective of the ship tour, most did not have time to wander around outside of the tour. They might have some time to shop in Jose Marti Square in Cienfuegos at the end of the tour, but that was it. Our tour (Santa Clara) returned straight to the dock at which point where we were strongly urged to return to the ship. In my view there are a number of constraints that limit one's time here. The Cuban government says the ship can only clear the narrow part of the channel in day light. In mid-December that about 5:30 PM. The ship can't afford to be running late. The dock is a choke point as everyone has to go through Cuban immigration and customs coming and going. The officials were friendly and efficient, money-changing was quick, too, but they can only handle so many people at a time. They did not take our picture. Money - Change some and get some change. This is one of those places in which some of the rest rooms have an attendant you need to tip. Also some small bills for tipping guide and driver. Shopping - I am not much of one, but some folks were quite pleased with some of the hand crafted items they bought. Leather purses, wood domino sets, etc. But I also saw a lot of folks changing money back at the end of the day. Tours - The Cubans had new buses. Good ride, a/c, had bathroom inside. The guide spoke good English. The driver was good and careful. Roads are ok, not much traffic. Santa Clara Tour - The order may be reversed and if time is limited one won't do everything on the tour. Between the ride in and out of Cienfuegos, we saw the main square and the Passo del Prado. We did not drive through Punta Gorda. We stopped in the main square of Santa Clara and walked about a block to a new restroom facility they have built. They on about another block to "Grandparents Party." A senior center with folks who danced and shared their stories. They also had crafts for sale. I chose to go out on the street and look around. Next to the Armored Train, an event from the Cuban Revolution. More time to take in the street scene. Then a buffet-lunch at a hotel outside town. Not bad, like the Lido honestly. The last stop was Che Guevara's mausoleum. It wasn't listed, but it was worth seeing. The tour listed seeing a monument to John Paul II, but we didn't see that. Then back to the ship. Santa Clara is about an hour a way. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Three ports in Cuba - having been to all the major islands in the Caribbean we decide on something different. Cruise food and staff were wonderful! As soon as you sit down anywhere they ask if you want water, coffee, drinks. Very ... Read More
Three ports in Cuba - having been to all the major islands in the Caribbean we decide on something different. Cruise food and staff were wonderful! As soon as you sit down anywhere they ask if you want water, coffee, drinks. Very friendly staff but not pushy. All non-alcoholic beverages are included. Food quality was great - lobster in the dining room, specialty restaurants and even a lobster sandwich by the pool grill. Small ship had a much more intimate vibe to it and nothing was crowded - no lines anywhere. There were lectures on the ports and history of Cuba every day. The lecturer was excellent. It is quite a lot more expensive than Royal or Carnival. Also, if you want glitzy shows and entertainment then it is not for you. It is laid-back and classy. Cuban people are so friendly! Recommend doing something local like the Buena Vista social club in Havana. Our private guide in Cienfuegos took us to a very good private restaurant where we had small shrimps, rice and beans and plantains. Guide (tonycubavacations@gmail.com) was very knowledgable and spoke perfect English. The cost of the all day tour was reasonable compared to the ship tours. All in all it was an excellent trip for someone who likes to explore and relax. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We previously sailed on the Insignia. We have never been to Cuba before and the cruise stopped at three ports in Cuba. The embarkation was a little slow for a smaller ship. The dining was very good in all the restaurants on board. The Wi ... Read More
We previously sailed on the Insignia. We have never been to Cuba before and the cruise stopped at three ports in Cuba. The embarkation was a little slow for a smaller ship. The dining was very good in all the restaurants on board. The Wi Fi access is free one device per cabin. The speed was very slow at times and some websites would time out before I could login. The cabin size was okay with a veranda. There was limited desk space. There were cabinets and shelves all around to store clothes and personal items. The bathroom was small with a shower and limited shelves. The lightning in the cabin was very good. There were USB ports on both sides of the bed and on the desk. There was one 220 V and 110 V outlet on the desk. There are two banks of elevators on the ship one aft and one forward. The ship was was recently remodeled. The entertainment was very good one show per night. There were activities every day, There is a full casino and bars on different decks on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We wanted to go to Cuba and visit the smaller ports where big ships can't go. We also prefer the small boats where everyone eats together and you choose where you sit, etc. This ship is as close to a riverboat experience that you will ... Read More
We wanted to go to Cuba and visit the smaller ports where big ships can't go. We also prefer the small boats where everyone eats together and you choose where you sit, etc. This ship is as close to a riverboat experience that you will get outside Europe! It is not a glamorous boat - the furniture is a little dated and the carpets a little worn in places. The cabin is huge by cruise standards and we had a very comfortable king bed which all rooms have. What they do not do is "nickel and dime" you to death. Except for gratuities (which are completely voluntary) you should not pay an extra cent. From complimentary tote bags, hats, amenity bags to take ashore, etc. everything is included. The food is delicious and there are many choices. The staff is wonderful - especially the dining room and housekeeping. All tours are included and excellent. We enjoyed learning from various guides and seeing a variety of sights. To be honest, we didn't attend much of the evening entertainment - we were too tired from all the action during the day! There is wine and beer with lunch and dinner and there is an hour long cocktail event every night before dinner. All is included. Yes, the program and ship attract older people, but honestly, they were some of the most interesting to get to know. They had traveled the world and lived lives of adventure. The Cuba trip also attracts a much younger group than the American focused trips. If you want to go to Cuba we would recommend this ship and tour. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our first time on Oceania. We've done a bunch of Caribbean cruises over the years, and kinda got burnt out on it, but the lure of Cuba made this cruise of interest to me. I know Oceania makes a big deal about their food, ... Read More
This was our first time on Oceania. We've done a bunch of Caribbean cruises over the years, and kinda got burnt out on it, but the lure of Cuba made this cruise of interest to me. I know Oceania makes a big deal about their food, and for the most part I would say that they delivered. The dinners that we had in specialty restaurants Red Ginger, and Tuscan Steak were outstanding (5 star). The Grand dining room was excellent too, but just not quite on the same level as the specialty rooms. The only complaint my wife had was about the "lobster bisque" which she ordered both in the Tuscan Steak, and in the main dining room. She said it tasted like fish soup, not lobster bisque. Now I know I'm being a bit picky here, and if this was our only complaint, well then things weren't so bad. The stateroom was adequate, with the bathroom being very small. I was prepared for this though, as I had previously read comments online regarding this. Decor on the ship itself was very elegant, but unfortunately Oceania is intent on mucking this up next year by refurbishing their ships using some sort of boring, modern, monochromatic gray color scheme that came from a Marriott hotel somewhere in Newark, NJ. Too bad that they are going to do away with the elegance of this ship. But for me the best part of the cruise was the 4 o'clock High Tea in Horizons. Just a surreal experience looking out at the ocean while the string quartet was playing, eating finger sandwiches and miniature tarts. Just grand. Would I cruise on Oceania again? You bet I would, but this time probably with a European, or Asian itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018

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