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3,835 Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We read all the reviews. We have a balcony cabin it is great, yes the shower is small but really it is good. The staff have been fantastic The food is good, really good. The buffers have everything thing you could need The beds ... Read More
We read all the reviews. We have a balcony cabin it is great, yes the shower is small but really it is good. The staff have been fantastic The food is good, really good. The buffers have everything thing you could need The beds are comfortable and bangs fit under the beds This is our second msc cruise and it is just plain good Value When we read the reviews we were suspicious, but on board we have been pleasantly surprised We are not looking for a party cruise we are looking for relaxation and good food. We had the fantastica package, this gave us a basic range of drinks, but the wines are good Overall we are very happy. The breads are great as are the snacks, pizza etc The restaurant meals were well presented and there was a range of seating so you could have an intimate meal with your spouse or sit with a group of people The buffets were busy and the normal push and shove by the Italians and the poms but this is normal. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Before I say anything else, I must say how friendly and helpful all the staff we encountered were. They all had a smile and friendly greeting. They made the whole cruise so much more enjoyable and despite anything you may perceive ... Read More
Before I say anything else, I must say how friendly and helpful all the staff we encountered were. They all had a smile and friendly greeting. They made the whole cruise so much more enjoyable and despite anything you may perceive as negative you read below, we had a fabulous time and intend to cruise with Marella/Tui again. We went on the Christmas Day departure cruise to Turkey and Israel but this is a review of the ship not the destinations, having said that we berthed within walking distance of the towns (except in Cyprus) and so had hassle free visits. Basic ship facts that you need to know which unfortunately seem lacking on the Tui website or brochures: The currency on board is £ Sterling. The power sockets in the cabins are 2 pin / 240v so bring adapters. There were 2 USB ports by the bed and 2 in our lounge but don’t know if the other cabins had them. Room service food is chargeable (unlike many other cruise ships we have been on where it is free). Wifi is NOT free, you can get a 7 day pass, limited to a miserly maximum of only 1200 mb overall, for the princely sum of £ 50.00 Not all drinks are included in your basic price but that’s not really an issue as the prices are not expensive. They do not give out any paper deck plans so if you have a brochure with them in at home bring it with you. Having said that most facilities were all in deck 8 or 11 and after the first evening we knew where everything was as we explored everywhere. Room safes which are big enough for iPads or small lap tops are now free. Yes there is a nightly bed turndown service with a chocolate on your pillow. Your onboard ID card does not open your cabin, you have a separate plastic card with holes punched in it. Embarkation was swift but we did get off the transfer coach promptly. We should have had priority check in but I forgot to ask about it and the nobody asked me either. (This is part of the Premiere Service pack) Our cabin: There are only a handful of balcony cabins on this ship, unfortunately we booked too late to get one. We had cabin 7062 which is a suite with a separate bedroom and lounge. A fruit basket, chocolate covered strawberries and 2 bottles of fizz awaited us which was a nice welcome. It had a walk in wardrobe with masses of storage everywhere and more than sufficient cost hangers. If fact there was so much storage I forgot where I had put some things. The irony was that the one place a drawer would have been useful, ie: the bedside table there was not. The bed was made up of two single mattresses but with a double duvet. I liked that there was no profusion of useless cushions which seem to annoyingly appear on many hotel and cruise ship beds nowadays. The lounge area had a couple of hidden fold down berths, so the suite could sleep 4 guests. Two big sofas, a coffee table, a flat screen tv, DVD player and a generous sliding desk area which could double as a dining table for two made the lounge very practical and comfortable. The bathroom actually had a large walk in shower where originally the bath had been. I like relaxing in a bath, so was a little disappointed as our travel agent stated there was a bath with shower over it. There was plenty of hot water and the cosmetics were better than I was expecting. The towels were rather on the small size. 2 x bathrobes but no slippers. The shower water is not heavily chlorinated like on some ships (Cunard for example) so no itchy dry skin. Our steward named Gusti, very unobtrusively, made up our bed and cleaned up the suite almost as if by magic when we were ashore or having breakfast etc. If you wanted to get to bed before midnight this was not a good cabin position as the music and singing from the Medusa bar on the deck above was often excessive. It must have been ear damaging in the bar itself. However on the stroke of midnight silence prevailed apart from the crying baby we could hear through the thin cabin walls. Food: We had dinner in the Orion main restaurant on our first evening. The table layout was good and the way the tableware was presented plus an attractive looking menu choice increased our expectations. Unfortunately although the staff were hard working, service was slow and the food mediocre at best. My partner’s scallop linguine was sweet & virtually inedible. My roast beef although tasty was only lukewarm. To their credit the staff were concerned and in record time produced another main course of salmon to replace the pasta. Breakfast orange juice was better than I was expecting, the toast was wrapped in a napkin in a basket to keep it warm, however coffee took ages to arrive. My eggs benedict were acceptable but again not particularly hot and the portions of bacon and hollandaise sauce minuscule. We didn’t have breakfast there again. Lunch on several other occasions was better but they seem to have a problem getting the main courses out hot and not just warm. Although some of the waiters are really hard working, others need a little more direction and this can only come from better supervision and training. However on New Years’s Eve everything seemed to come together, service food and the table decoration made it a memorable evening. We tried the Hot Stone (extra charge) restaurant one evening. We were really made to feel welcome and special. The novelty here is that you cook the meat yourself on a hot rock bought to your table. I recommend the surf and turf (steak and lobster tail). Marko, Joel and Juliet were a superb team and the food amazing. We promptly booked again. Mistrals (extra charge) restaurant was also very enjoyable and the dessert was made very memorable - but I won’t spoil the surprise. We ate here twice so it must have made a good impression but some of the service could do with a bit more finesse to complete the fine dining experience such as a teapot rather than a cup of hot water and a teabag, not having to order dessert when ordering mains etc and better quality coffee. Kora La, the Asian themed (extra charge) restaurant looked lovely but we didn’t eat there so can’t really say anything. We look forward to trying it next time. The other inclusive restaurants such as The Lido or Sirens were great for breakfast with a view. Explorers Lounge for coffee anytime and alcoholic beverages after 6 pm was friendly and cosy with a piano player too. The staff were lovely and remembered our preferences and cabin number. It was our favourite watering hole. Try the hot chocolate, it really is the best! Premium drinks package: This costs approx £50 per person per week. You get excellent ‘Lavazza’ brand coffee and fabulous hot chocolate at no extra charge in the Explorers Lounge (otherwise approx £1.20 ish) and a better range of alcoholic cocktails, spirits and beers. Plus a bootle of water per day in your cabin. To make it pay you would really need to have at least a couple of these cocktails and coffees a day as the already inclusive range is pretty good anyway. We would not go for it on our next cruise. Premier Service: This really is all about marketing as the benefits are not great yet Tui staff are told to mention it as something special and worthwhile, I think even they are embarrassed about it. Good job they don’t try and make an extra charge for it. Marella brand: It would appear that Tui can’t quite let go and allow Marella be an independent brand. Staff would look a lot smarter in dark blue uniforms than the yucky, not quite sky blue they are currently attired in. Entertainment: There is a fair amount going on each day and the cruise director liked to make a point of telling everyone very loudly on the ship’s public announcement at noon, right after the very quiet (almost a whisper in comparison) daily report from the Bridge. Having said that he really is a great guy when you meet him and impossible not to like. The pianist Keith, is excellent and on New Year’s Eve he surprised with a fabulous singing voice. We sat in only briefly to a couple of the singing acts in the bars and thought they were good and certainly well appreciated by the audiences. We especially liked the duo Tom & Maris, who are unfortunately moving to a different ship. The resident singer and instrumentalists who were in the Medusa bar were far too loud for us to stay for more than a couple of songs. We watched two shows in the Broadway Theatre and were impressed by the energy, talent and professionalism of the show team. The theatre itself is one two levels and they have not sacrificed quality and comfort of the the seating for quantity like some ships. Most of the seats have excellent site lines and are comfortable, some have tables too, just watch out for the odd pillar. Marella really went to town for their New Year party with great music, ice sculpture, party poppers etc and of course lots of complimentary fizz. The only thing missing was the traditional count down. Anyway everyone had an amazing time with no one over doing the drinking etc. Decks: Deck 9 is great for walking around the ship and felt very ocean liner like. The ship has 2 swimming pools both filled with salt water - not heated and some lovely warm jacuzzis. They main pool has a retractable roof which is a fabulous idea. The sun deck and sun bar hidden away near the funnel look very classy and have some great seating plus a couple of hammocks too. Final Bill: This was cheap, detailed and most importantly accurate. No problems. Disembarkation: I was not looking forward to this as usually you need to put your suitcases outside your cabin the night before and vacate your cabins early and our flight was not until early evening. As usual any information about this before the cruise or even until the day before from Tui or the ship was unobtainable. As it happened the ship was going off for a 2 month refit and no more passengers were coming aboard so we could keep our cabin until we departed and all the restaurants were open as usual. I doubt things would always work out so well! Conclusion: Forewarned is to be forearmed they say, so if you know what to expect beforehand you won’t be disappointed. Despite reading several favourable reviews of the ship, I still had doubts but I am very pleased to say my expectations were vastly exceeded. We had a very comfortable, enjoyable, relaxing and even maybe describable as dreamy cruise. It was excellent value for money. The wonderful staff made a huge positive impact on the experience as did all the guests we interacted with. Inclusive drinks helped too, it took away the hassle of having to sign for everything and the concern of a big bar bill - it will be the future of cruising - take note Cunard! As the ship is now having a refit some things may change. We are looking forward to cruising with Marella/Tui again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We joined the Dream 4/1219 in Limassol. The itenarary originally included 2 stops in Egypt, but these were switched to Rhodes and Kusadasi instead. We were a bit disappointed but both the replacement ports were great, so no worries there. ... Read More
We joined the Dream 4/1219 in Limassol. The itenarary originally included 2 stops in Egypt, but these were switched to Rhodes and Kusadasi instead. We were a bit disappointed but both the replacement ports were great, so no worries there. TUI had also credited our onboard accounts with 100 pounds each, so that was very welcome compensation. We had a great time every day on the Dream, everyone on the crew were as happy, hardworking and helpful as always. The Medusa lounge team were great fun. David, Charlotte and Kerry ran the quizes, games and those were always good fun. The resident band in Medusa are called Luna, and they were very good. Philip the Jamaican waiter in the medusa has to be the best dancer on the ship. Amazing dance moves, plus a great guy too. He brought a big smile to everyone onboard with his sense of humour and warmth, what a guy.. Beep beep, Spread the love :-) If anyone from TUI reads this review, please reward Philip for the laughs he brings to passengers in the medusa, and also on deck 11 during daytime. We go back onto the Dream for another cruise in March, and can't wait. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Usually use Cunard, P&O royal Caribbean. Chose this as it was doing Holy Land. Never done all inclusive before but was pleasantly surprised by the whole experience. Cleanliness, food, entertainment and service all of a good ... Read More
Usually use Cunard, P&O royal Caribbean. Chose this as it was doing Holy Land. Never done all inclusive before but was pleasantly surprised by the whole experience. Cleanliness, food, entertainment and service all of a good standard. The jewel in the crown was the staff, nothing too much trouble, everything done with a smile. Impressed by the water stations on each floor to refill water bottles, no need to purchase one use drinking water bottles. Couldn’t fault any of it. Lifts a bit slow found it difficult to get one Good ports of call and the excursions in Israel were hectic but informative Didn’t bother with the drinks upgrade for an extra £50 per person as we found the all inclusive adequate. The food in the main dining room was some of the hottest we have had on any cruise. The full English breakfast was the best my husband had ever had Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
A brand new ship, 150 other guests, many from France and Belgium as it was a a Opera Cruise. Us Australians were adopted by all and again we could not fault Ponant. The destinations visited, the tours, the food, the wines, the cruise ... Read More
A brand new ship, 150 other guests, many from France and Belgium as it was a a Opera Cruise. Us Australians were adopted by all and again we could not fault Ponant. The destinations visited, the tours, the food, the wines, the cruise companions, the crew..... you name it, all lends for a perfect cruise. We visited Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Jordon. Add that to our Antarctic cruise in late 2017. We are now ready for Patagonia in March 2021 and the Kimberley in 2022. We found the cabins of a good size and the balconies on the new ships perfectly adequate. Very clean and room service, along with alcohol, all included. On this trip the 12 non French speaking people ( although our French is fairly good) were give their own tour coach along with English speaking guide. We have travelled Silversea in the past also however Ponant seems to be more relaxed. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
From the moment we arrived we were made to feel special. The embarkation process was simple and easy. Our room was ready as requested and our cabin steward was personable, attentive and learned our habits and likes. Our room was always ... Read More
From the moment we arrived we were made to feel special. The embarkation process was simple and easy. Our room was ready as requested and our cabin steward was personable, attentive and learned our habits and likes. Our room was always returned to impeccable. The MaîtreD, Alberto, was beyond amazing and welcoming to everyone in the dining room. He was attentive and ensured the dining staff was as well. He made us feel special. Jude, the Casino Bar bartender, was amazing. He looked at my card once, memorized my name, billing code and drink preference and remembered for the entire 12 days. He was amazing. The staff on board were so pleasant and kind and paid a lot of attention to the passengers. There was a significant contingency present at the disembarking wishing us well. I have cruised with a lot of lines but Princess is my first choice. I must return to enjoy it more but leave with great memories. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My wife & I booked this Greek Islands cruise while we were holidaying in the u.k. We actually booked it online from Australia thru Iglu Cruises. It was a fly/cruise starting at Luton airport then to Limassol, Cyprus (4.5 hrs) where we ... Read More
My wife & I booked this Greek Islands cruise while we were holidaying in the u.k. We actually booked it online from Australia thru Iglu Cruises. It was a fly/cruise starting at Luton airport then to Limassol, Cyprus (4.5 hrs) where we joined the cruise ship for our 7 day Aegean Titans cruise. Cruise went to Heraklion Crete, Athens,Mykonos,Kusadasi & Rhodes. The ship was old but comfortable & everything was well maintained. Food was good like all cruises & cabin was fine. Entertainment was as good as any other cruise line.Apart from the amazing destinations we visited the best part of the cruise was the fact that we did not have to pay for any gratuities or alcohol. All totally free!!!! Add to this the fantastic crew & the cheap price of the fly/cruise this was easily the best cruise I have ever taken & I have been on 6 cruises on 4 different cruise lines. Everything from airport to airport & on board ship was expertly arranged. It helps that Tui have their own airline. One would wonder why other cruise lines do not offer free drinks & gratuities without having to pay a fortune for these. I think a mark up of over 700% on drinks for what you would pay locally is a disgrace. Why then do cruise lines charge so much for drinks? Easy - because they can. It only takes one cruise line to offer this sort of deal & customers would come swarming.Let's see if any of the greats take up the challenge without hiking cruise prices. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Just got off the Seabourn Ovation, it is a beautifully designed ship which was the perfect base for discovering Malta and the Greek Islands. Our first cruise on Seabourn, although we’ve traveled on Silversea, in Queens Grill on Cunard ... Read More
Just got off the Seabourn Ovation, it is a beautifully designed ship which was the perfect base for discovering Malta and the Greek Islands. Our first cruise on Seabourn, although we’ve traveled on Silversea, in Queens Grill on Cunard and various suites on other premium and luxury cruise lines (over 20 cruises to date). I was slightly concerned that we might be a little “young” for Seabourn as we are very active travelers In our 50s, but did not find this to be the case at all- we met many people of all ages, and found the other passengers to be very engaged and friendly. The ship strikes a nice balance to being small enough that we got to know many of the other passengers, but big enough that we had everything we needed, and enough variation of cuisine, public spaces and entertainment to be happy. Loved the dark woods and overall design of the ship. Below I include our impressions of our first Seabourn cruise and the Ovation. The Good/great: 1. Wonderful cabin design, not a space was wasted- great closet (50+ hangers!) and bathroom, liked the makeup table and the curtains between the sitting and sleeping areas offered complete privacy- the table and chairs were perfect for breakfast for 2 or for my husband to spread out while working. Lots of storage. We have booked a 18 day cruise on the Encore, and I am not at all concerned about the size of the room for a much longer cruise. 2. The Range of dining venues was very nice. The food at The Restaurant was wonderful, great space and felt intimate even though it is the largest restaurant on the ship. Earth and Ocean had great service and very pleased with the food, we enjoyed the Sushi restaurant which may have had the best service on the ship and the casual dining option at night in the Colonnade was a very pleasant surprise (we went there for Chinese night). It was great to not have heavy dining every night, and we appreciated the range of choices. Dinner at Thomas Keller was a mixed experience- my Dover Sole was fantastic, whereas my husband and our friends steaks were not as good as they got elsewhere on the ship. 3. Shore Excursions- We usually organize private shore excursions while in Port, but decided to go on the ones offered by Seabourn. The pricing was much lower then I have seen on other ships, and they appeared to cap the size of the excursion, such that we never had more then 16-18 in a group, which made a tremendous difference. The guides were very knowledgeable, there were no annoying “shopping” stops. One of our excursions, a Greek cooking class, was one of the most memorable experiences of the trip. 4. Outdoor and indoor space use is extremely well thought out- We had beautiful weather on our sea day, but there were plenty of chairs for sunning or if you wished to be in the shade. Seabourn square was busy and lively (loved that they incorporated the library in this space), but you could almost always find a chair or couch. The bar areas were comfortable, loved Thomas Keller’s bar as well as the observation bar and both had live music in the evenings. 5. Entertainment- I am surprised to be writing this, but every show and entertainer we saw was quite good, as well as Katy who played the piano and sang in the Thomas Keller bar who was really wonderful. Did not expect this at all, but they appear to be putting effort into their evening programs and it shows. 6. Tenders ran quite often, we never had to wait long for one and made the whole process as easy as it could be. Made what is usually an often frustrating part of the cruise easy and painless. 7. “House” Wines and “House” Spirits, I was traveling with some folks very particular about wine and expected that we’d be buying bottles, as they wouldn’t be happy with the choices offered. In general the wines were quite good, they offered a new selection every night as well as some regularly available options which were good. We only bought a few bottles and generally found the quality of the spirits at the bar comparable to what we were used to at home. 8. Future cruise booking- we found Vincent to be extremely helpful and knowledgeable when it came to booking another cruise. He was informative and had some very helpful insight in deciding on what kind of cabin to choose. He seemed to be quite busy but always had time to explain things and understood the cruises and ships well. Information was passed through to our travel agent flawlessly for our next trip! 9. Exercise room- Very well equipped, took a class which was quite good- lots of different classes offered that would appeal to many on board. Was busy but never crowded, I went almost daily and was very happy with the facilities. Open from 6-10, kind of would have been nice to be open a bit earlier (5 maybe?) Could use a little improvement. 1. Our room Stewardess was extremely new (2 weeks on Seabourn) and although she couldn’t be nicer, she didn’t seem to completely have it figured out. The cabin was tidy, but she frequently wouldn’t do things we asked for and I think could have benefited from more training- I honestly don’t think she really understood. The traditional model where there is a room steward and an assistant probably is a better one, as the assistants thoroughly learn their job before doing it on their own. We have had butlers on most of the cruises we’ve been on the last few years, which adds another layer of care- I’m not sure it’s always necessary but on a cruise like this excellent room stewards would be an expectation. 2. Remembering people’s birthdays/anniversary- A small thing, but a number of people we ran into were celebrating special events. Seabourn had asked before hand if you were celebrating anything so the information had been passed along- but they seemed to have lost this information. I heard this from a few people, so I think they need a better system to track this information and pass it on to at least the room stewards to do something special (and possibly the restaurants as well, they do ask for your cabin number when you walk in). 3. Laundry room- Could get quite busy on the first and last days onboard. They either need a second (or 3rd) laundry room or could offer having free laundry (or greatly reduced cost) on these days. I think this would be greatly appreciated, kind of annoying to have to walk down 4 decks with laundry to find the washers full. All in all a fabulous cruise, in many ways far exceeded our expectations- look forward to cruising on Seabourn again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I had never been on a cruise and I wanted to get that experience under my belt. When my daughter took a first cruise to the Mediterranean with friends, I decided I would book a cruise. Visiting Venice had also been on my list of things ... Read More
I had never been on a cruise and I wanted to get that experience under my belt. When my daughter took a first cruise to the Mediterranean with friends, I decided I would book a cruise. Visiting Venice had also been on my list of things to do and this cruise helped me kill 2 birds with one stone. My DH, our son and his girlfriend completed the group. Getting on was a breeze because we waited until around 2 p.m. to go board the ship and there were no lines. Disembarkation was just as easy as we did not have our luggage brought up for us and were able to get off quickly. I found the cruise to be everything I hoped it would be! The ports were beautiful and the cruise ship experience was excellent as well. I booked the thermal suite pass and used it everyday except one. It was well worth the price and helped to rejuvenate my body after our port visits. The fitness center was very well appointed. Great cardio machines, weight machines and free weights. The food was adequate in the complimentary offerings. It wasn't great but it wasn't bad. I think I spent most of my time at the Garden Buffet because it was the closest to get to and they did change up the menu somewhat each day. Their staples, like omelets, sandwiches, Indian cuisine, fruit and salad offerings were all very good everyday. The juice offerings were watered down which is a practice that needs to be discontinued. I don't know how I feel about the flavored water offerings either. Aqua's flounder offering was very good to me but my DH's steak was less than Applebee's quality. Ginza's food offering was very small and you will leave hungry but it was pretty good. I did not do the sushi. I also did not do Versailles at any time while on the ship. O'Sheehan's was great all of the time. I thoroughly enjoyed the 3 specialty restaurants that we went to - Cagney's, Moderno and Teppanyaki. They were all excellent. Service throughout the duration of the cruise was well above par. Everyone smiled and my steward was wonderful and thorough with the cleaning. He remembered our names and addressed us by name whenever he saw us. I only had one experience with a 'not so nice' guest services attendant. No smile - no hello - just blah. There was too much to do on the ship for my group. Because we got off and did quite a bit in ever port, we were usually too exhausted to make it to too many of the activities being offered; however we did make it to some of the shows and a few things as listed: - Band on the Run - I personally did not see this but my son and his girlfriend did not like this too much. They mainly complained about the dancers. -Paradis - I loved this show! Great energy, great singers and dancers. I loved this even though it may be a little risque for some. -Vegas! the Show - Everyone in my group enjoyed this. The others more so than me. I thought it was repetitive and they didn't really pull off The Rat Pack impersonations. They tried though :-) -Duo Yalba - AWESOME! I thought this duo and the band were the best. Very talented musicians playing a variety of insturments. I loved the pan flute and the bag pipes. -Attended Karaoke and enjoyed it. They had a Karaoke contest that everyone wanted me to join but I did not have a full voice and declined. I did enjoy the Karaoke finale where a teen aged young lady tied with another man. It was a lot of fun and plenty of people came to the Karaoke finale! -They had parties every night, a wonderful pool side band and a great jazz piano player at Gatsby's bar. -There was an art exhibit and auction that I was surprised was being held on the cruise ship. Beautiful art was on display and I only wish I would have been able to buy some of the art. - They had bingo games where the top prize was 3000, 4000, and also a free cruise. It was a lot of fun to participate in those as well. Like I said before, the ports were excellent! We missed Dubrovnik due to a blown engine but I enjoyed every other port so much that it didn't matter if we missed the last one. I did want to go there of course but I was happy with what I had already experienced. I did not book one excursion through the ship even though that was the suggestion by most everyone. I saved so much money and everything proceeded without incident. If you do this cruise itinerary, I would suggest renting a car in Corfu, Greece. That was probably the highlight for me of the cruise because so many unanticipated things happened - we swam at Glifada beach because the water there was 6 degrees warmer than the other beaches on the island and talked with a wonderful British family that was vacationing on the beach; we ended up taking a wonderful boat excursion when we got to Palaiokastritsa which only cost 60 euro for the 4 of us for a 90 minute ride - we did the typical visit of the Achilleion palace which is beautiful and just drove around and shopped. We did a speedboat tour in Kotor and bought pear and cranberry wine from the locals. Perast was beautiful and our guide was entertaining and knowledgeable. We hired a driver when we got to Argostoli and had another beautiful experience. I will say the mountain roads were a little scary but oh so beautiful. Our driver took us near where his village was and to all of the usual stops. He was great and got a kick out of us nicknaming him 'Pauly D'. I had already booked a half-day tour for Santorini and that driver turned out to be just as wonderful as everyone else. He was very accommodating and was really eager to share the knowledge about his island. It was such a beautiful tour and island. We were part of a rare rain shower occurrence while there as well. That happened at the end of our tour when we were supposed to be viewing the sunset. It was a heavy torrential downpour that lasted for about 10 minutes. I loved it! We stayed in a min-suite and none of the four of us was uncomfortable. We had the divider that provided privacy and enough room to maneuver around. I loved the min-suite with the balcony and don't think I could do anything less than a balcony going forward. All in all, this was an unforgettable trip that ranks right up there with my dream trip to Hawaii. Actually, it may surpass it. I would go back in a heartbeat but I got other places to see and be before that! Can't wait until my next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
As I much prefer the smaller ships, this was a perfect fit. The Brilliance is in good shape overall. We were in a Grand Suite. Our room was clean and in wonderful condition. Our cabin steward, Luis, was attentive to all and any of our ... Read More
As I much prefer the smaller ships, this was a perfect fit. The Brilliance is in good shape overall. We were in a Grand Suite. Our room was clean and in wonderful condition. Our cabin steward, Luis, was attentive to all and any of our needs. The concierge, Amit, was very helpful in all facets especially with getting off the ship quickly at the ports of call and disembarkation. As for the food. Having been on many RCCI cruises, I feel the quality of the food has slipped considerably. While the service in the main dining rooms is superb, the food is below standard. The Windjammer is same old same old. The rest of the crew was awesome. Good entertainment, happy staff overall. The ports of call were great, however too much in a short period of time. A bit exhausting if you have never been to Europe and want to see as much as possible. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This cruise was part of a stay & cruise on Marella Celebration departing from Dubrovnik. This was our second cruise on the Celebration this year, the first was a repositioning cruise from the Caribbean in April, on that Cruise the ... Read More
This cruise was part of a stay & cruise on Marella Celebration departing from Dubrovnik. This was our second cruise on the Celebration this year, the first was a repositioning cruise from the Caribbean in April, on that Cruise the meals in the Meridian Restaurant were terrible the worst we have ever encountered on a Marella (Thomson) cruise, and the most complaints and returned food we have ever seen on a cruise. We were not looking forward to another weeks cruise with food which had been totally destroyed, but we should not have worried the standard of food and service in the Meridian Restaurant were back to normal, 100% better than in April. Our cruise was Adriatic Affair from Dubrovnik on 24 October 2019. The first port was Hvar Croatia (a tender port) it is a lovely old town with beautiful buildings and has relatively flat but uneven walking areas, also the town centre area is car free making it easy to explore. The second port was Ancona Italy, there it is an industrial area with a ship building/repair yard to the left of the cruise port area, this contrasts with the Greek and Roman buildings of the town which can be easily accessed from the cruise terminal on foot, there are many older buildings to visit and plenty of pavement cafes to rest your feet. The third port was Koper Slovenia, Koper a medieval town is set on a horseshoe shaped bay with lots of historical sights. One thing to try on your visit is their wine, especially the desert wines they are delicious. Until now the weather had been un-seasonally warm in the lower to mid 20's, but that was to change on our fourth port of Venice. Our approach to the cruise port in Venice was delayed until 12.30 due to a heavy mist, which resulted in all trips to be cancelled, and the walk from the ship through the terminal to gain access to the city was considerable and resulted in many cruisers staying onboard. I felt very sorry for the cruisers who had picked this cruise especially to have a clear view cruise through Venice up to the cruise port, spoilt by a mist haze, then being unable to take their booked trips. As by next year Venice is stopping cruise ships of any size from sailing up through Venice past St Mark's Square to the cruise port. Our fifth port was Rijeka Croatia with a colder temperature of 16-18C, Rijeka is a working port, but there is plenty to see in the traffic free streets of the Korzo district as you seek out a pavement café to do a bit of people watching. The last port was Split Croatia, Split is one of my favourite ports being easily reached by foot from the cruise terminal, it is also flat with very good walking areas, especially along the sea front where there are many cafes to sit and people watch. A must is to try some authentic Croatian cooked food, a starter of bean soup and the main course from under the Bell, it is usually a mixture of beef, chicken and potatoes cooked in a large round metal casserole dish covered by a metal dome, it is placed on glowing embers of a wood fire then the dome is also covered in embers and allowed to cook slowly until the meat is soft and tender, it then placed on the table to help your self. The Celebration though an older ship is kept very clean with hand sanitizers placed at the door ways to all eating areas and bars to assist in the prevention of norovirus. All the ships staff encountered were pleasant and eager to help make your cruise a memorable one for the best reasons. Two staff who stood above the rest, firstly was Wilbur our cabin steward deck 6 who kept our cabin spick and span despite our efforts to make it otherwise, Wilbur always met you with a smile and showed interest in how you were, and where you were going and what you had done the day before. The second was waiter Gemmar in Hemingways, he always remembered your drink and cabin No, every drink was quickly served with a smile, he also showed interest in your day and would make time to exchange pleasantries. The efforts of these two staff made all the difference to our cruise to make it a pleasurable memorable one, as you were not just a number but a person to whom they could help and assist. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Visiting Eastern Europe and Germany was a bucket list vacation for my husband and I. The entire 23 day experience was amazing. The cuisine on board was top notch which often featured local dishes where we visited that day. Tours ... Read More
Visiting Eastern Europe and Germany was a bucket list vacation for my husband and I. The entire 23 day experience was amazing. The cuisine on board was top notch which often featured local dishes where we visited that day. Tours were led by informative tour guides. Quiet boxes were provided to each guest daily which proved very useful in a noisy tour setting. We enjoyed various kinds of entertainment every evening. Whether it be the 2 person combo whom provided songs that were easy to dance to or sing along to; or we experienced local dance troupes (Bavarian, Serbian, Croatian, and Romanian dancers). In Vienna we were treated to an opera aria, a new and delightful experience. The personnel on ship were very efficient and always cheerful. Excellent service. We looked forward daily to our tour director (Viola) giving us a slide show in the ships lounge where we learned the history of the next days tour in advance. The staterooms were cleaned daily and often my clothes were neatened and folded on those busy tour days that we didn’t have time to tend to. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our 25 th cruise and It might have been our best. We used to love Celebrity but kind of soured on it after being on the Solstice when it first came out and not having a very good experience. We started experimenting with other ... Read More
This was our 25 th cruise and It might have been our best. We used to love Celebrity but kind of soured on it after being on the Solstice when it first came out and not having a very good experience. We started experimenting with other lines. The Edge was very impressive. Beautiful ship. Unique spaces. Staff was excellent. Service was top notch. Food was wonderful Loved the way they broke up the MDR into more intimate and themed venues. Even the buffet was excellent. In fact on an 11 night cruise we ate three times for dinner in the buffet because the food and presentation were so well done. We have never eaten dinner in the buffet before on any ship. We were on a Mediterranean itinerary which just made it even better. You can’t be unhappy when you are visiting Italy and Greece. We did do specialty dining in Eden and Le Petite Chef which were both wonderful and very innovative. Really enjoyed the wine tasting event in Eden on one of the Sea days. Had a great time at the silent disco. The bartenders at the martini bar were very entertaining as well. The ONLY thing that we didn’t like were the pillows on the bed. They were flat and hard and very uncomfortable. Hopefully they will change them out. We can’t wait for more of the Edge class ships to come out. We will definitely be booking again Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Pre-cruise: My wife and I had reserved a room at the Hotel San Giorgio in Civitavecchia, Italy. In addition, we had also purchased the hotel's Gold Package. The package included among other things, a shuttle service from Funcimo ... Read More
Pre-cruise: My wife and I had reserved a room at the Hotel San Giorgio in Civitavecchia, Italy. In addition, we had also purchased the hotel's Gold Package. The package included among other things, a shuttle service from Funcimo Airport, Rome and to the hotel. Unfortunately, the hotel shuttle from the airport was obviously overbooked, and we had to wait an extra four hours at the airport, beyond the previously agreed pickup time, for a new shuttle to arrive from the hotel. In the future, we would rather book hotel accommodation in Rome, and take a shuttle from the hotel to the cruise port in Civitavecchia, the day of departure. Embarkation: Went smoothly. The Ship: We found Jewel of the Seas too bee mostly well maintained. Stateroom info: We had booked a Veranda Stateroom aft. on deck eight. It was very comfortable, and with a large balcony. We were very satisfied with our always smiling stateroom attendant, A.S. Pradipta. Dining: We had the second seating on deck four in the MDR. Unfortunately, we were disappointed that the dinner menu had changed since our last cruise with Jewel of the Seas in April last year. The menu map had no longer a separate section for the previous, every day classic dining choices. We also thought that the selection of dishes were no longer as extensive and varied as before. We also missed that cold soups now were very rarely offered. But we were mostly pleased with the quality of the food we selected. We were very satisfied with the excellent and professional service we received on our table no. 216 from Waiter, Francis and Assistant Waiter, Sarah - both from the Philippines! They took really very good care of the two of us! We had all our breakfasts in the Windjammer, and lunches too, if we got back on time, after being ashore. Regarding breakfast, we were disappointed that they did not have ordinary ham among the cold cuts, but only a cheap variant. We also experienced several times they ran out of fruit yoghurt. Fortunately, we had never any problems finding an unoccupied table, even during “peak hours”. And we think the staff did a good job of clearing the tables. We were not satisfied with the Café Latte-Tudes on deck five. What a negative contrast to Celebrity’s excellent Café al Bacio! Café Latte-Tudes for instance use paper cups, not proper cups. There is insufficient seating, and we also missed a nice waiter service. Bars: The service in the bars were varying. We got the best service from the Pool Bar. Entertainment: We thought both the singer, Gary Williams, and the Tenors Unlimited, made good performances in the Theater. The Crown & Anchor Society: As Diamond Plus members we used the nice Concierge Lounge on deck 13 for the nightly Diamond Event. The lounge was never to crowed, and the bar service was very good. Shore excursions: We had only pre-booked one excursion with the ship, from Naples - “Sorrento on your own”. Unfortunately, we were a little disappointed with this excursion. Part of the bus ride went through tunnels, and we also thought the guide was talking too low. Itinerary – The six ports of call were all good. And we were particularly pleased when we arrived in Santorini, that it turned out that Jewel of the Seas was the only cruise ship that had anchored in Santorini that day. There was, therefore among other things, just a relatively short wait for the cable car back and forth to the city of Fira. Internet: It was sometimes slow. Disembarkation in Civitavecchia - smooth. Easy to find baggage. We bought a bus transfer to Funcimo Airport at Guest Services. For one hour's bus ride from the port, the transfer price was far too high-priced!! Overall – A very pleasant cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Hi all , first of all I am not a good writer . Me and my wife booked a late deal with tui , we have never been on a cruise before ! But recently we have talked a lot about going on a short trip to test the waters as they say , we ... Read More
Hi all , first of all I am not a good writer . Me and my wife booked a late deal with tui , we have never been on a cruise before ! But recently we have talked a lot about going on a short trip to test the waters as they say , we decided to book our holiday at Meadowhall shopping centre tui travel agent , luckily we had a very well informed sales woman who knew everything to know , she was fabulous , our holiday was booked for the 18 /10 /19 sailing on the marrella discovery , around the Mediterranean Our holiday day arrived , our flight was from Doncaster to Corfu where we boarded the stunning marrella discovery ship , ok she’s not massive or even brand new , but she is beautiful , once we had boarded ship we was shown to our inside cabin , our cabin was very clean , ample storage with many draws , sufficient hanging rails , clean bathroom with shower , nice firm comfortable bed with pristine clean ironed sheets , and nice bedside lighting , it’s not the most modern of cabin , but it was a pleasure to be in there , Moving on to the all inclusive package, The food is excellent in all the restaurants on the ship , and overall we thought restaurant 47 was the best for dinner , but if you like a good slap up English breakfast restaurant islands to front was buffet style which me and my wife preferred because English breakfast isn’t meant to be perfectly placed on your plate.? As it was in 47 ? , the drinks also have a huge variety of all the top brands either at the bar or there’s waiters everywhere near the bar areas taking orders Entertainment All the entertainment thrown at you day and night was for all age groups in numerous places scattered around the ship , never a dull moment , the acts was very professional , The days outings All the ports of calls that the ship stopped off at in many different countries was a good choice of diversity All in all it takes a lot for me to Wright something as long as above , but I needed to express how much of a fabulous holiday tui holiday gave me and my wife , thanks for reading Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I have to reply to a previous poor review I sailed for first time with Tui having previously sailed with many other cruise lines.The professionalism and dedication of the crew was excellent.The embarking procedure was quick and ... Read More
I have to reply to a previous poor review I sailed for first time with Tui having previously sailed with many other cruise lines.The professionalism and dedication of the crew was excellent.The embarking procedure was quick and efficient.The boat and cabin very good we had and inside cabin 6591 .The food in all sections was good the staff very helpful .Entertainment was varied and of a good standard.I believe this cruise line offers good value for money and we will sail with them again.Well done to Katy the cruise director who kept up a lively commentary on events and the ports of call .The ship is in good order and the cruise kept to timetable.Malta was our highlight for the trip and would have liked more time in port.We often followed the large MSC ship to port which made travel around Naples and Messina difficult .This cruise offered great value for money. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have returned from our cruise around the end and we honestly could not fault the marella celebration in any way. Will start by saying the food in the speciality restaurants is far superior to the food in the main buffet and dining ... Read More
We have returned from our cruise around the end and we honestly could not fault the marella celebration in any way. Will start by saying the food in the speciality restaurants is far superior to the food in the main buffet and dining restaurant and couldn’t recommend the experiences enough so would definitely encourage people to book. The ship was immaculate and the cabins were also very nice. The ship does not have the same glitz and glam as perhaps other ships however it has such a wonderful ambiance made by the people the work there. The entertainment was absolutely fantastic and my partner and I could not fault the effort that the cast made in and out of the theatre. The productions were out of this world and they were a west end worthy cast. Special mention to Dan and Beth for taking the time to make our cruise extra special. Also a big thank you to Jay our cabin steward for going the extra mile. Can’t wait for the next one. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had an absolutely amazing vacation on Magnifica Was really nervous based on the mixed reviews but the cabin was spacious and well cleaned. The main dining room had good selection and great service. Didn’t use the buffet for meals ... Read More
We had an absolutely amazing vacation on Magnifica Was really nervous based on the mixed reviews but the cabin was spacious and well cleaned. The main dining room had good selection and great service. Didn’t use the buffet for meals but it was definitely adequate for an afternoon/late evening snack (pizza, pasta, deserts) We met so many wonders people from around the world and spent most of our week socializing and exploring ports with our new friends. Due to the heavy fog, Venice closed the port so we ended up docking 3 hours late and many of us missed our flights but that wasn’t MSC’s fault. 3 other cruise ships also had the same issue. We ended up renting rooms at Hotel Altieri in Meistre with 2 other couples we met on-board and had a great final evening in Venice. I previously only cruised once before on the Grand Princess our of Florida and much preferred MSC. Found the average age of cruisers on this ship was 35-55 and they wanted more of a social, fun, relaxed atmosphere rather than the Princess who had an older clientele looking for a more upscale, refined experience Already looking for our next MSC adventure If you want to meet people and make amazing friendships- deck 13 on Magnifica is the place to be. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I may not be a cruising connoisseur, this was my 4th, but i found it hard to complain about anything on this Greek Isle cruise out of Venice. Our traveling companions all agreed. The ship was late leaving Venice (6 ships were leaving ... Read More
I may not be a cruising connoisseur, this was my 4th, but i found it hard to complain about anything on this Greek Isle cruise out of Venice. Our traveling companions all agreed. The ship was late leaving Venice (6 ships were leaving that night), but I don't blame the cruise line for that. It did make our 1st stop (Kotor Montenegro) VERY short. I had read that Rhapsody was really needing a makeover due to it's age.We found everything furnished nicely & clean. The crew were all friendly & helpful. The food in the Windjammer & DR was very good.I really liked the size of this ship for older couples (65-69). There was a comedy/string quartet show that was very unique & entertaining & we also liked the magician! My sister commented on how she had forgotten that all crew members on the ship really just want all passengers to be happy & have fun! Lots of live music. Our Jr. suites were very spacious. Much larger than our hotel room in Venice! We had 8538 & 8540. Right past the elevators & through the atrium. Loved the location of our hotel in Venice - Hotel Arlecchino. Rooms were tiny, but quaint. The 5 euro breakfast was amazing! The return hotel - The AC Marriott was more modern, but way overpriced (in my opinion). This cruise definitely made me want to book another ASAP!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Cruised the Greek Islands for the first time. Loved being on the Jewel as we had sailed the Panama Canal on her in Feb. Pleased to see some of the same crew and felt like family! Food was great, as usual. Wait staff friendly and ... Read More
Cruised the Greek Islands for the first time. Loved being on the Jewel as we had sailed the Panama Canal on her in Feb. Pleased to see some of the same crew and felt like family! Food was great, as usual. Wait staff friendly and attentive. Decided to stay on board in Naples as we had been off the ship everyday to that point! Loved seeing the ports but needed down time! Suggest you not try to do EVERYTHING at each port so you don;t wear yourself out. Did not do many of the shows as preferred to relax with a drink and music in the evening, but the juggler was amazing! If you fly in a day early, suggest you stay in the port city rather than Rome. Much quainter and pretty. If your first time to Rome, then, yes, see a few sites in Rome, but our night in Civitacecchia was amazing! Cabin gal was amazing and we loved Solarium be so available. Our favorite bar tender was there as well so an extra perk. We only did two shore excursions thru the ship and the last port, Capri, Sorrento, Pompeii tour was fantastic, but LONG. Be prepared to walk. The Ship may be older and ready for upfit but was very clean and was constantly being maintained and looked after. Our favorite ports were Crete and Rhodes. The Taste of Crete tour was very good. We did NOT like MyTime Dinning so changed for the third night to a shared table. They were very accomodating to do this. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Food was as expected from RCI and of high quality and variety. The ship, though older, is extremely comfortable, clean, and has amenities that are on par with a ship of her size. Staff was great--smiles all around and a sincere desire to ... Read More
Food was as expected from RCI and of high quality and variety. The ship, though older, is extremely comfortable, clean, and has amenities that are on par with a ship of her size. Staff was great--smiles all around and a sincere desire to be helpful and friendly. Itinerary was 7 night Greek islands, and Kotor, Montenegro out of Venice. We were scheduled to leave at 5pm, which was rescheduled to 9pm. Actual departure from Venice was just before 11pm. This was due to City restrictions on ship movement through the Giudecca Canal and a very busy port that day. Because of this, we cruised at full speed to the first two ports. Though it was a bit uncomfortable, I feel the crew of the ship did everything within their power to compensate for a situation beyond their control, including added time in the first port call, Kotor. RCI did right by me by spending the extra money to move her at full 22+ kts for 2 nights and extending the first port time as much as possible. I used a vendor through my travel agent for excursions, and I highly recommend them. You can see their offerings at shoreexcursionsgroup.com Their groups are smaller than the usual massive ship excursions, and I found the guides to be engaging, enthusiastic, very well-informed, and professional. Prices are very competitive, compared to the crazy-expensive RCI offerings for similar excursions. Check them out! I will definitely use them again. The night before we stayed at the Hilton Molino Stucky which is across the Giudecca Canal from the cruise port. The hotel is not in the central core of the city, but they offer shuttle boat service across the canal for a nominal fee. The hotel is a renovated pasta factory, so it's interesting in that respect, big, and up to the Hilton standard of comfort. There's a complimentary full hot breakfast buffet , which was far better than most of the free breakfasts I've encountered in Italian hotels.There are several food options within walking distance of the hotel, each one offering million dollar views across the canal. Retrospective pro tip-shell out the money for a water taxi from the airport. It's 130 Euros (up to 4 people) and money well spent for a 40 minute trip. We used the Alilaguna service (Blue line) for a very loooong 2 hour voyage to the hotel but it's inexpensive at 18 Euros, and it drops you at the front door of the hotel. The ACTV (aka city water bus) involves a bus ride to Venice then a walk to the water and it drops you about a 20 minute walk to the hotel involving navigating 2 bridges with your luggage. My opinion--this is not the time to save money! When it's time for the port transfer, it's 8 Euros to cross the canal on the Alilaguna Blue line, which stops at the front door of the hotel and drops you at the Marittima terminal. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had never cruised because the thought of a floating city with 1000s of people sounded like a nightmare. We liked the idea of a smaller ship and the longer times on shore really appealed to us. We also liked the ports of call. We were ... Read More
We had never cruised because the thought of a floating city with 1000s of people sounded like a nightmare. We liked the idea of a smaller ship and the longer times on shore really appealed to us. We also liked the ports of call. We were pleased beyond our wildest expectations! From our cabin steward to the captain, including the hotel director, Cruise director and Assistant cruise director, the singer/dancers, the amazing gentlemen who ensured we always had a cappuccino or coke zero in hand, every single person greeted us with big smiles, kind words and excellent service. The food was heavenly. I dont metabolize sugar well, so I was thrilled to find no sugar added treats at every meal. Cheesecake. Cookies. Cream-filled pastries. Fruit-topped custards. And, of course, gelato. We originally thought we would skip the onboard entertainment. I'm so glad we didn't! The music and dancing were lively and very well done. The entertainers seemed to love what they were doing. The cello concert in Old Dubrovnik was complementary. It was beautiful. Very well organized, as well, considering our ship was using a public town square cordoned off for our entertainment. We loved the White Night Party. The hotel director and food/beverage director were making crepes while dancing to the live music. The energy and fun were contagious.A huge MSC ship was moored next to us and many passengers were watching our party. I will never forget our Italian captain announcing, " We have made jealous the ship next door"! Bottom line: we are going on a 2nd Azamara cruise 9 months after our 1st. As our daughter said, we have become "people who cruise." Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was the first cruise I had ever been on as I had always been resistant to cruising. We picked the ship and itinerary carefully and I liked the idea of travelling on a fairly new ship. As hoped the Nieuw Statendam was a stunning ... Read More
This was the first cruise I had ever been on as I had always been resistant to cruising. We picked the ship and itinerary carefully and I liked the idea of travelling on a fairly new ship. As hoped the Nieuw Statendam was a stunning looking ship and the public areas all looked luxurious. The cabin was a little smaller than I expected, but was well layed out and very modern. The shower again felt quite small but was very clean and modern. We enjoyed all the dining options on board especially Tamarind which we visited several times. At first booking via the restaurant desk seemed confusing but once we had downloaded the Navigator app it was much simpler to book via the app. We dined in the main restaurant only once which was very nice, but much preferred the more intimate speciality dining options. We booked a retreat cabana for the whole trip which we loved!! We usually had breakfast there and often lunch as well. Marlon and Domingo the 2 guys looking after us up there were great bringing us drinks, champagne and strawberries every afternoon. The Retreat is next to the exc lounge which is another area we loved on the ship. We thought the evening entertainment especially BB Kings was amazing we also enjoyed the performers at the Rolling stone rock room. On a long cruise the performances may become a little repetitive as we noticed that the set list was repeated approx. every 3 days. Staff everywhere on board were amazing but especially at the Retreat, Exc and Tamarind Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This new adventure started last October 8th in Civitavecchia (Rome) and ended eight days later in Athens (Greece). Indeed it was too short a time to be able to experience fully all the many amazing things you find and see in each visited ... Read More
This new adventure started last October 8th in Civitavecchia (Rome) and ended eight days later in Athens (Greece). Indeed it was too short a time to be able to experience fully all the many amazing things you find and see in each visited port but also there is not enough time to properly get to know and fully enjoy this fantastic vessel, the Regent Seven Seas Voyager! We left our home country Canada on Oct.6th from Ottawa via Toronto to Rome. A very long leg for sure but we did so one day early to compensate. Our choice of hotel in Civitavecchia was a complete flop! The San Giorgio regardless its impressive entrance, the two level room had the bedroom upstairs and the bathroom downstairs!!! With a miserable and dangerous staircase – very disappointing as it all looked so wonderful on the website. We ended up sleeping on the lower level in a very unusual sofa bed in very poor shape. The staff at the reception were not very helpful and the included breakfast was more than complete but poorly staffed, as a matter of fact only one person going from one end to other and not even saying good morning. Local room tax was only 1 euro each, a ridiculous amount but appreciated when compared to our last European stay in Amsterdam where they charged 20 euros per person per day. The best aspect of the hotel was the shuttle @ 10 euros each, right up to the ship; first time this happened to us because with previous cruise lines the shuttle would leave you on a corner where you had to switch over to another bus to get to the ship. * Embarkation Flawless and the welcoming glass of champagne was a very nice touch something that some cruise lines used to do but not anymore, what a pity! Surprisingly all suites were not ready till 2 pm, except (of course), the top two ones (ready at noon); luggage at suite by 4 pm. Regardless, our first impression of the Voyager was excellent and it’s impossible to deny that she is indeed a luxury ship. Was a sunny and warm day, weather that followed us during the whole cruise! We want you to know that we are frequent cruisers with Oceania (mainly on Riviera and Marina), so our minds were naturally making comparisons. Who’s the winner? You have to wait. Because we were on board quite early, having to wait for our suite till 2 pm, gave us the chance to get a fast look around the ship and afterwards we went up to Deck 11 to have an al fresco lunch at La Veranda buffet (comparisons started!!), Huge amount of choices (self-serve….hmmmm), great quality and flavour and to top it up, fantastic attention from all the staff something that never ever wavered during the whole cruise. To the contrary! * Lunch time meals We tried several times to have another al fresco lunch at La Veranda but the area is quite narrow not been able to hold many tables and when those were taken, the people were there to stay, so we started to frequent the Polo Grill located at the aft end of the pool area (very tranquil by the way) and we enjoyed it tremendously having delicious salads, burgers and hotdogs or from the on deck grill your choice of fish, beef, pork or chicken. You help yourself for the salads, then you order the main meal that comes with good fries and is brought to your table. The serving of wine was constant (no need to ask) and the sun was ever present! I don’t think I have to tell you how fantastic we were feeling during all this, right? * Coffee Connection (D 5) It runs from 6:30am till 6pm and is a very peaceful place where whether it’s morning or afternoon, you won’t have people moving back and forth around you. Breakfast buffet options include cereal, rolls, breads, pastries, etc. and the ship’s best espresso. Midday snacks include cold meats, cheeses, small desserts, etc. and in the afternoon sandwiches, cakes and fruit are available. Besides the excellent espresso you get the usual barista concoctions plus spiked versions such as Irish coffee and Russian hot chocolate with vodka. It is a place you can indeed have a very enjoyable and tranquil time. * Dinning We tried all three specialty dinning venues which, except for the Italian restaurant, require advanced table reservations. If you wish to sit at a table for two you will have to plan well ahead and do so as soon as the website is opened for that cruise’s specialty dining reservations. * Sette Mari (Italian D 11, part of La Veranda); Maître d’ Simone, waiters Janine and John and the rest of the staff were excellent as the food itself, temperature, flavour and timing and of course! The wines that were selected by them (and varied during the cruise) were great and plentiful. With dessert, the Maître d’ brought to us two very welcome glasses of Limoncello. Great experience! * Prime 7 (Steak house D 5 Aft); Maitre d’ was seasoned but strange (although from Belgium he was unfamiliar with Jacques Pepin) but the rest of the staff, as usual, magnificent. The décor was on the dark side with a lot of varnished wood paneling, leather covered columns, etc. Now let’s talk about the main reason why we went there, the food! Shall we? No complaints from the start to the end; excellent lump crab cakes, filet mignon cooked to perfection, great side dishes ending with a shared Chicago cheesecake. The selection of wines were perfect for each dish and with a never ending pouring! One more time, it was an excellent experience. * Chartreuse (French D 5 Aft); It’s getting a bit boring repeating always the same thing “super” “excellent” “sensational” but what else can I say when what we were experiencing was just all that? Chartreuse was another hit, the décor was super elegant being the beige and gold quite predominant. Food was perfect (I won’t get into details) as much as desserts. The chosen wines were extremely good (the best of all other restaurants) specially the red Chateauneff-du-Pape. Left feeling great! * Compass Rose (Main Dining Room D 4) – One more time, nothing but nothing at all to complain about. Staff, menu, table setting with colorful plates by Versace, ambience, food and…wine! We had dinner there twice and both times were very gratifying in all aspects. * Lounges We’ve been in two of them and each has its own characteristic and personality, * Horizon Lounge (D 5 Midship) A very good spot to meet fellow passengers, a lot of dancing, singing and of course drinking! The Far East ethnic band was a bit off tune but could play any request. On a longer cruise we would have spent more time there. * Observation Lounge (11) A completely different experience, being at the front of the ship the views (if you go during the day) were great plus the whole atmosphere exudes tranquility and that makes you relax! Highly recommended for after dinner drinks or just listening to whoever is playing the piano or singing. The bar is very modern and a bit too white-light bright. Enough about food and drink, so let’s now talk about ports visited and tours. Many of the visited ports were already known to us so there was no need to overdo the tours. We find touring is a lot of unnecessary pressure most of the time, from the other guests as much as from often weird tour guides. Let’s start with the port after leaving Civitavecchia. Boscaada, an Island, where we had a planned tour but we cancelled it dreaming about enjoying the last day on the ship meanwhile many were off touring the island. Unfortunately that last night before leaving Istanbul a ship announcement told us that technical problems required us to sail at a slower speed and so that for us to arrive in Athens on time, the Boscaada stop had to be cancelled; that meant to us the ship would be brimming with people that sea day! And it really was. Later on we got a note in our suite telling us that to compensate for having to skip Boscaada they were giving each of us a US$ 500.- next cruise credit. That worked out fine for us because we had already booked a 10 day Regent cruise on their newest ship, the Splendor. * Disembarkation went off very smoothly and was well planned. But before I get into that, I would like to give you our comparison between Regent SS Voyager (700 passengers) and Oceania’s two largest ships (1200 passengers each), the Riviera and the Marina. Oceania by far has a better al fresco lunch or dinner at La Terrace, very ample and comfortable that holds a large number of very well-spaced tables with adjustable umbrellas. La Veranda buffet on Voyager is a winner on all counts, for selection, quality, presentation, etc. though we disliked having to serve ourselves with utensils touched by many, something that doesn’t happen on any of the Oceania ships; it’s up to the staff behind the counter to provide the desired serving. * The Riviera and Marina have more restaurants to choose for dinner, 6 including 4 specialty (reservations needed), La Terrace and Grand Dining Room, against a total of 4 on Voyager, that besides the three specialty ones (two with reservations needed) and the main dining room, the Compass Rose. * About food. As I am not a foodie person there is not much I can say about it but it is impossible not to mention the staff of the SS Voyager because without any hesitation I considered them the best of the whole Cruise Industry and we all know very well that the Staff of a ship are able to make or destroy your cruise. The Oceania Staff are not consistent and from time to time that means you might not enjoy yourself to the fullest. * The Penthouses on both lines are of a good size but Voyager is bigger with a wonderfully sized dining table and a more ample bathroom especially the shower stall compared to Oceania. On Voyager it is also worth mentioning that you can separate the bed from the living/dining area with a heavy drape so the Butler can come in, do his job meanwhile you are still are resting privately in the bedroom area. The perks, again are by far superior on SS Voyager for example providing the choice of 2 large bottles of liquor in the suite was an incredible surprise. * Tours - In general we are more often than not trying to avoid them because it doesn’t matter which line you are on, by taking a tour or excursion you are opening yourself to all kinds of chaos and a lot of time and social pressures. There are two things we really liked on the SS Voyager, the quality of the passengers and not having to show your Suite card every time you ordered a glass of wine or spirits. The most important aspects were already compared so it’s better to leave it at that and stop here. You might be asking yourself, “So how about giving us your choice?” Very simple, both of them because both have a lot to offer and it is up to us to adjust ourselves when we are on board and to try to make the best of it! We really hope that our comparisons and conclusions will be helpful in some way for many if not all of the readers. Are you still there? Ha, ha, ha; on looking over this review it seems that it turned out to be a very long one …… but there was so much to say about our experiences. Keep in mind that thru other’s experiences one is able to learn what to do or not to do, etc. That is our goal every time we write a review. Did we accomplish that for you? We certainly hope so! Happy cruising and enjoy life as much as you can! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I’m a frequent cruiser (widow-60s), most often with RCL in the Caribbean. This was a bucket-list & 1st European cruise to celebrate my retirement. I was joined by one of my kids. We spent 4 days in Rome first, which was useful to ... Read More
I’m a frequent cruiser (widow-60s), most often with RCL in the Caribbean. This was a bucket-list & 1st European cruise to celebrate my retirement. I was joined by one of my kids. We spent 4 days in Rome first, which was useful to adjust to the time difference. Ship: Service was fine, and ship was maintained well. Food: We really loved the Chef's Table, and our dinners at Giovanni's and Chops. We also had a Chops lunch on embarkation (note: The Key lunch was in the dining room not in Chops itself -- very few people were in the restaurant itself for lunh, and it was a nice way to kick off the cruise). Kid took advantage of coffee-card and enjoyed specialty coffees all week. The Mystery Theatre dinner show was lame, but we really enjoyed meeting our tablemates and the dinner. We ate breakfasts in the Windjammer, which were good. We tried both the Windjammer & MyTime dining (always seated quickly) for other dinners. RCL food has definitely gone downhill, but we enjoyed some very good and some not-so-good meals at both venues. There are two soda machines at the back of the Windjammer for use with the soda-card cups. One didn't work for a few days, but it did not appear that many people used them anyway. Entertainment: We skipped the shows (really -- a Celine Dion impersonator and a couple that makes shadow figures?). Maybe the shows were great, but after days of tours we were simply too tired to go. Lots of trivia and Karaoke, and some good music in the lounges and in atrium. The 2 Billiard tables were always in use. My Kid noted the basketball tournaments were canceled, but few people had showed up anyway. Ship condition: We thought the ship was in very good condition for its age. It had been a few years since I cruised on a small RCL ship, and it felt very cozy. I won $150 on two spins in the small casino (and stopped while I was ahead LOL), so I think the casino was fun. As someone else noted, the ship doesn't get washed down often and we observed dirty/salt-encrusted windows. Not surprising though, in view of the scarcity of water in many of the ports. Excursions: We took all RCL excursions, and only had 1 bad & 1 mediocre tour guide. Our guide for the bus tour of Naples only pointed out sites on the right side of the bus so people on the left side missed 90% of the things he pointed out. In Santorini, our guide for the Oia/Fia tou walked quickly before everyone was even off the bus and often talked to people who were immediately next to her. At one point she described the Santorini volcanos and said that the govenment could stop the above-ground volcano but not the one that was under the ocean. Okaaaaay. I didn't know that Greece is able to stop a volcano!!! By the end of the cruise, I had ended up skipping the excursions in Rhodes & Athens to stay on-board to rest due to strenuous walking tours the previous day (I did not ask for refunds). Santorini was a particular fitness-challenge whether passengers climbed down the 600+ steps to the port or waited in the sun for 1-1/2 hour for the cable car. Quite a few passengers stayed onboad the next day to recover. Overall, very satisfied - the fault was not RCL's, but my own for under-estimating how strenuous the trip would be. Passengers: A mix. Many retirees due to length & month of cruise, but there were also families incl. some young children. Primarily seemed to be Canadians & Americans, but we met a few other nationalities as well. Everyone was very friendly. Biggest take-away from this cruise is NOT about RCL, but the itinerary. I was totally clueless about the reality of the physical challenges of touring countries with so much history (and without America's ADA laws, which we take for granted). Descriptions of excursions disclosed fitness levels but I felt they underestimated how much walking would actually be necessary. I had bought a Fitbit, and routinely found I had walked 8,000-10,000 steps and climbed the equivalent of 10+ staircases on tours -- all in hot sun/80's temps over very uneven and hilly terrain. Tour guides seemed to race ahead. Archeological sites, picturesque villages built on the side of volcanos and historical buildings don't have elevators, benches to rest, etc. I found a folding cane to be useful as a walking stick. Despite the challenges, I'm thrilled that I went on this adventure and believe RCL made it a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019

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