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3,241 Europe - All Cruise Reviews

We've cruised the Mediterranean twice before and have been on many other cruises. We chose this trip because friends were going and we had loved visiting Spain, France and Italy in the past. We had never been to Gibraltar and really ... Read More
We've cruised the Mediterranean twice before and have been on many other cruises. We chose this trip because friends were going and we had loved visiting Spain, France and Italy in the past. We had never been to Gibraltar and really knew very little about it - yet it turned out to be our favorite port! We upgraded to a Balcony room so we could enjoy quiet time to ourselves - turned out to be a waste of money. The Pacific Princess is a very small ship - easy to get around, however, not much to get around too. The staterooms were typical, however, no special touches or service from the staff. The entertainment was VERY limited and honestly poor quality talent. Cruise director staff was the poorest and most boring we have ever experienced. There was no energy or enthusiasm on the ship - no dancing, no "playing". Even in the casino the staff was not engaging. If you are looking for a very quiet ship, basically in bed by 10 - this may not have been the disappointment it was to us. We found the quality of the food to be below average as well as the service. This was our first Princess experience, so I don't know if this is typical of Princess, however, when we get together with our friends and/or family to decide what our cruise will be next year, we will make a pretty strong case that we would prefer not to sail again on the Princess line. No special touches or special care in ANY of the aspects. Poorly scheduled and planned activities, excursions were very generic and the tour guides for the excursions spoke very poor and accented English so it made it very hard to follow. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Crystal met us at the airport, helped us with luggage to their coach (bus), and had our cabin ready early. The staff (with only a few exceptions) were overwhelmingly helpful and friendly. We had put the provided tags on our luggage, so ... Read More
Crystal met us at the airport, helped us with luggage to their coach (bus), and had our cabin ready early. The staff (with only a few exceptions) were overwhelmingly helpful and friendly. We had put the provided tags on our luggage, so once we left the airport we didn't have to worry with it until it showed up in our cabin--and pretty quickly at that. The Butler service would have unpacked for us but we preferred to do that ourselves. My husband asked for several shirts to be pressed (complimentary service) and they were done well. There was always some type of food and beverage available. Meals were very good. The dining room wait staff was always nice and didn't show stress, although it is the one area where I thought they might be slightly understaffed. Service was still very good. Shore excursions were mostly great, with included choices as well as "pay extra" choices. Guides were all good, and the majority were Excellent. One of us did a couple of bike tours and those were great as well. The only excursion I wish we would have skipped was a horse show near Budapest. It was fine, but had we known more about it we would have preferred to spend more free time in Budapest instead. Tours travel on Crystal's buses which seem brand new and are very nice. Loved the Listening Devices as I have always struggled to hear tour guides. Popular tours sometimes had a few more people in each group than I would have preferred but the listening devices made it feel more intimate. I had a relaxing massage on board, and a friend had a more deep tissue massage. Masseuse rating: 5 stars. There were a few entertainment "extras" which were excellent. And the adorable couple who entertained nightly on board the ship were each talented and fun. Loved them! We loved the low number of passengers (106 max) and high staff ration. Most passengers were in the 50-70 age range. Never seemed crowded; never had to wait in line. We are already thinking of which Crystal River Cruise to do next! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We stayed overnight in a hotel in Southampton then got a taxi to the city terminal for 11am. As D+ loyalty we got priority security and check in and were on the ship within 20 minutes. We called into the Diamond Lounge for snacks and ... Read More
We stayed overnight in a hotel in Southampton then got a taxi to the city terminal for 11am. As D+ loyalty we got priority security and check in and were on the ship within 20 minutes. We called into the Diamond Lounge for snacks and a hot drink as windjammer wasn't open. Our balcony cabin was ready by 1pm and 30 minutes later our cases turned up so we unpacked and went for lunch. We used our D+ BOGO and went to Chops Grill first night and Giovanni's the second night. The other 4 nights we went to MTD and our waiters Russel and Bradey were excellent. Pre-dinner most nights we went to the Concierge Lounge where the service was excellent. We visited 3 ports. Vigo- Spain.Nice port 10 minutes walk up a hill got us to a long pedestrian street of shops including Zara and Mango. Gijon-Spain.This was a 20 minutes free shuttle ride into town.There was a nice promenade plus a long street of shops including Zara and Mango Le-Havre-France.There was a massive queue for the €5 return shuttle with estimated 45 minutes wait. We got a taxi instead to the docks shopping centre for only €8 which took around 10 minutes. We enjoyed our cruise and the ship looked in excellent condition. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We found the staff very helpful polite and couldn’t do enough for you. The food was remarkable quality Choice was outstanding. Restaurant staff couldn’t do enough for you. We found that our cabin attendant was absolutely ... Read More
We found the staff very helpful polite and couldn’t do enough for you. The food was remarkable quality Choice was outstanding. Restaurant staff couldn’t do enough for you. We found that our cabin attendant was absolutely fabulous outstanding in all aspects of offers and help and suggestions he made.Entertainment we found enjoyable some nights were absolutely outstanding still couldn’t fault it. We were on the ship on the 2019/10/05 for 6 days. It was our first cruise and we thoroughly had a fantastic time we sailed from Southampton we had two stops in Spain one in France back to Southampton thoroughly enjoyed ourselves to the point is we have booked another cruise with Royal Caribbean on the jewel of the sea in Dubai in March next year. We just like to say well done Royal Caribbean explorer of the sea for all your hard work in making our cruise special Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This cruise carried on for a second week with approx. 25 guests staying on for the second week. The trip started in Nuremberg and ended in Budapest. We're not regular cruisers and joined friends for their 40th wedding anniversary ... Read More
This cruise carried on for a second week with approx. 25 guests staying on for the second week. The trip started in Nuremberg and ended in Budapest. We're not regular cruisers and joined friends for their 40th wedding anniversary and his 60th birthday. We were in suite 330, category C and the room was fine (small but manageable). The shower was great (much better than our Azamara experience). We brought our work out clothes but the gym is so small and limited, we only used the bikes/treadmill/rowing machines a couple of times. There's a small number of hand weights available. Perhaps the hair dressing salon could be converted for the addition of a universal gym. There is a wellness person on board and he has stretching, yoga, pilates sessions. We thought the food was good (better than I expected), it's worth booking the chef's table for one night. Service on the ship was good. As with our other cruising experience, we don't find there's enough time at any of the stops to see much. We were disappointed by the size of the groups when we were on tours (had hoped for smaller groups). As with all river cruises you are subject to itin changes due to water levels. We had one afternoon of excursions cancelled as the ship had to move due to water levels. One other excursion was cut short & we had a longer bus ride due to the ship moving. Overall our itin was minimally impacted by water levels. The companies are not that forthcoming about this - it's interesting to experience. The cruise director Kata was excellent. AMA is not the least expensive option on the river, we felt all beverages should be included, at an absolute minimum non-alcoholic drinks should be complimentary. This was our third cruise and this trip confirmed for us that we are unlikely to cruise again (at least until we're much older and less inclined to be DIY travelers). Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our second cruise on Oceana, and we were not disappointed. However, there were some inconsistencies by comparison with 2018. Firstly, a positive - the Headliners last year were beyond terrible, this year? It was difficult to believe that ... Read More
Our second cruise on Oceana, and we were not disappointed. However, there were some inconsistencies by comparison with 2018. Firstly, a positive - the Headliners last year were beyond terrible, this year? It was difficult to believe that these performers carried the same name, well-rehearsed, well danced and well sung routines in great costumes. The show “Astonishing” was exceptional, perhaps not so astonishing illusions performed with song and dance in an exceptional mix. The Stephen Mulhern video card trick had most people gaping in amazement. Top marks!! In 2018 we attended a singing workshop with entertainment host Andy Jones. Andy whipped up his audience with an excellent warm up followed by some good singing, the sound of this small group ending the session singing “Can you hear the people sing” from Les Miserables was memorable. This year the workshop was hosted by “Taff” (the onboard musical director). Taff clearly wanted to be somewhere else directing professional singers. We walked out as it was too dreary for words. There were a couple of problems. Having returned from a shore excursion in Olbia there was a huge queue for the scanners only half of which were in operation, this was made even worse by the port officials instructing the passengers from the Marella Explorer II to walk past the queue to the front! No explanation was given and a lot of people including me were very angry. When the Captain made the sailing announcement later that afternoon, he apologised for this and explained that as soon as the ship was made aware the port was requested to open more lanes. Excellent public relations! We had cause to complain regarding the service in Café Jardin and we were not the only ones who were unhappy. However, when my wife complained on the following morning she received a fulsome apology and we were offered the opportunity to dine at Café Jardin that evening without the usual surcharge and would be served by a waitress who has served us so well on three previous occasions. Once again excellent public relations! We noted that the ridiculous flag waving sing song party “Land of Hope and Glory” “Jerusalem” etc was at the end of the final sea day and not within earshot of a country which had been our host which we felt more appropriate than as we sailed out of Rhodes last year. However, we stayed on our balcony! We had booked the ferry from Naples to Sorrento in advance. We found it difficult to believe that Sorrento has not changed at all since we last visited 28 years ago! We travelled by Circumvesuviana train to Torre Annunziata to visit the Villa Poppea (Oplontis) which was virtually deserted. These remains are totally astonishing given that they are nearer to Vesuvius than Pompei. We also travelled independently in Rome where we visited Ostia Antica. We went by taxi which was expensive but returned by train. Ostia Antica is huge, and we will be returning to take in more of this exceptional site. In Corsica we took the Mountains and Maquis coach tour which given the narrow and precarious roads is not for the faint hearted! What we saw of Corsica was nothing less than fabulous. In Sardinia we took the Ancient and Modern tour. The Ancient Nuraghe were very interesting, and the architecture of the 1960’s Porto Cervo was striking in its’s use of Historic Sardinian style. However, unless you are interested in very expensive shops Dior, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari etc etc. many of which had already closed for the season and looking at the outside of five-star hotels also closed for the season, this is one to avoid. All in all an excellent cruise and doubtless we will return to Oceana in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The itinerary interested us. Malta,Naples,Rome,Corsica,Sardinia,Athens, Crete and Rhodes. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth and professional. The Oceana is a medium sized very friendly ship. This is our 3rd time on this ... Read More
The itinerary interested us. Malta,Naples,Rome,Corsica,Sardinia,Athens, Crete and Rhodes. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth and professional. The Oceana is a medium sized very friendly ship. This is our 3rd time on this ship. Dining staff excellent and cannot fault. Lots of menu variety and beautifully presented.Food very good. The restaurant manager went out of his way to ensure we were happy with our seating arrangements. . Entertainment variety is great and Headliners in particular are very professional and high standard. Elias Hendricks sang Classical Soul and was excellent. Cabin steward attentive and kept our cabin spotless.. The excursions we chose were led by very knowledgable agents, we did five organized by the cruise line, the rest of the destinations we did our own thing. We were in Crete twice and Malta on first day, middle of the cruise and the last day. A very good talk by a marine conservationist Alexander Sanchez Jones. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Independence of the Seas is a very large vessel but its facilities are not themselves large enough or well-staffed enough to accommodate the passenger population. Windjammer, the popular buffet restaurant, frequently becomes so full that ... Read More
Independence of the Seas is a very large vessel but its facilities are not themselves large enough or well-staffed enough to accommodate the passenger population. Windjammer, the popular buffet restaurant, frequently becomes so full that finding seats for groups of 2 or 3 becomes testing; for bigger groups often impossible. The food though is excellent & the staff, insufficient in number to cope with these events, are very good. The drink situation onboard is risible. Again, function rooms & bars often become filled for events because of the excessive passenger population, & only 1 or 2 waiters are left to cope with their demands. The selling of drinks on board is poor. Individual drinks bought effectively for cash are about twice as much as in U.K. bars; a glass of rose costing about $8 (£6.50). The onboard drinks package offered to my wife & me, both retired & living on pensions, cost £140 per day; really. The only time we bought alcohol on this cruise was during a port call at Cannes. We bought a bottle of Gin for our daughter principally because of the attractive bottle & its’ labelling. We declared this bottle on boarding the ship & handed it for safe keeping to security staff clearly explaining the reason for its purchase. When returned the labelling had tape stuck over it. The room service on this ship is the best I have ever experienced & is worthy of commendation. Hard working staff are the salvation of many rather cavalier management decisions on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
For our 5th cruise with Viking (after Portugal, France, China and Med) we decided for our anniversary to explore the Central Europe on Viking LIF. Our expectations were very high, but the recent 2 weeks experience was absolutely ... Read More
For our 5th cruise with Viking (after Portugal, France, China and Med) we decided for our anniversary to explore the Central Europe on Viking LIF. Our expectations were very high, but the recent 2 weeks experience was absolutely terrific, far above all our previous cruises with Viking. The on board meals were wonderful but I will suggest the possibility to order half portion I hate food waste. All the staff in the restaurant they were above any expectations: outstanding service, especially Pol, George, Bogdan, Andri. The food was delicious and fresh, very well prepared and the lead Chef Michael was top notch. PERFECT! Kudos to Kristian, the restaurant manager for his attention, friendly attitude and the way how he manage my quite complicated dietary requests. The reception team was excellent. Sometimes we found the Hotel Director Josip a little bit arrogant, but maybe is a cultural thing. Susana, Johnny and Bart were very professional, efficient and gracious. Their smiles were contagious true sunshine between the raindrops One little glitch about our Silver package being in force mid-way through cruise. Great services remedied the problem of our enrollment post haste and all is well. Add more hook for clothing in state rooms both River and Ocean I am disappointed how some guests dressed for dinner in the dining room: shorts, flip flops, sweatshirts And finally, our cruise Director. What can I say? Sometimes I had the feeling the we have 4 or 5 of them on board because he was everywhere: in the morning on the sundeck explaining the scenery, during the tours popping out at every corner, in the afternoon with amazing infotainment type of lectures and after dinner organizing fantastic parties and game shows. Leonard was unbelievable, he made this trip so memorable, lovely person. Energetic, wealth of knowledge. He is a great addition to Viking. He is a gem and handled challenging issues (low water levels, changing in program, difficult guests) with professionalism and a sense of humor. Looking back to our experience on Viking LIF is clear that Leonard was the best thing on the cruise so much information, friendly, helpful. These people deserve a hand. Leonard made this trip awesome All the staff was exceptional. Leonard is worth his weight in gold I really enjoy the relaxed friendly atmosphere your staff are the best I have met after 10 years travelling, I only hope I stay well enough to travel with you again. Viking staff is the key to a wonderful experience Lif has Leonard and an outstanding crew from the top down. We felt well cared for, pampered and safe. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my first river cruise and won’t be my last. Had a wonderful experience on the Scenic Crystal. Wonderful staff, great excursions, food was outstanding. We came with a group of 18. Couldn’t have been a better way to travel with ... Read More
This was my first river cruise and won’t be my last. Had a wonderful experience on the Scenic Crystal. Wonderful staff, great excursions, food was outstanding. We came with a group of 18. Couldn’t have been a better way to travel with this many people. We had 160 people on our boat but never felt crowded. Plenty of space to accommodate our group.They had such a nice variety of excursions. Always something for all interests. The staff saw to our every need. They all seemed to work together as a team . The food was very good. Loved that we had 2 nights with different dining experience’s outside of the normal dining room. Nice variety of entertainment . Also very happy with the way they timed everything. Never felt rushed or over scheduled but yet we saw and did so much. Very well organized and run operation. Loved that everything was included. No upgrades required. Thank You Scenic Crystal for a wonderful first River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was the second of back to back cruises on this ship. The first was around the British Isles and this one was to Scandinavia. Both cruises started and ended in Dover. Transit arrangements were seamless, there were no custom ... Read More
This was the second of back to back cruises on this ship. The first was around the British Isles and this one was to Scandinavia. Both cruises started and ended in Dover. Transit arrangements were seamless, there were no custom clearance requirements at Dover. We could stay on the ship or walk on and off anytime we pleased. As I reported on my British Isles cruise review, the ship is great. The small ship means everything is close, the crew seem less stressed than on the larger ships, and the food is also just that little bit better than on the larger ships. The highlight of the cruise was St Petersburg. We were right near the end of the tourist season, which meant less crowds at the popular attractions. The weather was cold, but there was no rain. We did a private tour through Viator, which used local company SPB tours. We had a small group of 14 which made it easy to get around to all the attractions Other places, which surprised us were Riga and Tallinn. The old town areas in these ports were well preserved and very interesting to visit. Copenhagen and Stockholm were other interesting ports. Helsinki did not have much going for it, but that could have been that it was the first port after spectacular St Petersburg. Disembarkation was a straight forward process. A lot of people were staying on the ship for the next cruise, which meant it took less than 15 minutes to clear the ship, pick up luggage and head out of the terminal. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The ship was beautiful, well put together, clean and not overcrowded. The staff and crew was Amazing, Helpful, kind, thoughtful and just plain awesome. The staff knew our names on sight and offered what we needed before we had to ask. ... Read More
The ship was beautiful, well put together, clean and not overcrowded. The staff and crew was Amazing, Helpful, kind, thoughtful and just plain awesome. The staff knew our names on sight and offered what we needed before we had to ask. We had a wonderful time and never felt overcrowded or pressed. The shore excursions were well organized but too short. On our own in Paris was spent in traffic and I would recommend getting into the heart of the city and dropping off the passengers so they can maximize their short time. Instead we got a bus tour in traffic. I would also recommend more time in ports to allow for exploration of destinations. Further some of the guides (Porto) were not great and our time the brought us to very rundown areas and not to the beautiful city. It was disappointing and the guide was not great. The Cartagena guide was amazing and was the guide for our Barcelona tour who, due to a bus issue, took a few of us on a walking tour through the old town. She was amazing.. Overall we enjoyed the ship, missed a port due to weather and we completely understand why and were not upset. Would have liked to have more time in London, Paris, Porto, Amsterdam and Barcelona. I also thought it would have been a nice idea to go through the Straight of Gibraltar during the day so we could see it. Maybe making an event out of would have been nice. The food was amazing and diverse and there was always enough choices to eat and enjoy. The wine and dark beer were plentiful and very good. The afternoon tea was also delightful! We never found it crowded in the restaurant, by the pool, or in the amazing Nordic Spa and that made the trip more amazing. Overall a wonderful experience, some areas for improvement, but we will definitely be booking a future Cruise with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Everyone on the ships crew was amazingly helpful and friendly. Excursion/ cruise services people were really friendly, but not helpful. Everyone I asked them a question they couldn’t seem to help me - the answer was often ‘no’. I ... Read More
Everyone on the ships crew was amazingly helpful and friendly. Excursion/ cruise services people were really friendly, but not helpful. Everyone I asked them a question they couldn’t seem to help me - the answer was often ‘no’. I know they have a lot of people to move on excursions, but process was often confusing and people at the desk just didn’t seem helpful. That was the only (only) negative factor of the whole ship. Everyone else was about ‘yes’. The cabin Steward was excellent, Food was excellent. Nice touches all along the way: popcorn at the movie, blankets on the pool deck. Entertainment was good. Liked the classical musicians. Food was great and buffets were always stocked up until closing point. Embarkation was well organized and friendly. We have taken 12 cruises on RCCL. They became cattle cars where most everyone tells you No. we plan to stay with Viking now because of crew friendliness and helpfulness . Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Having had a brilliant cruise on Navigator last year, we booked to do the same itinerary with friends from Scotland. Our 19th cruise - and 8th with R.C. but what a huge disappointment - so much has changed. The admin staff were ... Read More
Having had a brilliant cruise on Navigator last year, we booked to do the same itinerary with friends from Scotland. Our 19th cruise - and 8th with R.C. but what a huge disappointment - so much has changed. The admin staff were 'polite' to the point of rudeness. The ship was tired and dull - downright grubby in places. Mirrors in dining room had a film of grease over them. No real sparkle to this ship. It may be going in for refit - but there was no excuse for poor cleaning. All the luxury elements were missing, no flowers on dining room table - in fact no diners!! Our complete section had empty tables around us - the food was tepid, insipid and uninspiring. Waiting staff were excellent - doing their best under the circumstances. The head chef spent more time apologising to guests than he did in the kitchen. Conclusion - they were trying to get you to spend more in the speciality dining ! Forget the windjammer - crammed to capacity due to guests not using dining room. Our jnr suite - excellent space - but we had to ask for the floor to be cleaned in the second week - no sign of a hoover and carpet getting thicker every day. Glass tables in bars were grubby. Drinks waiters friendly - but then they were getting regular tips to remember us. The changed the itinerary dropping Genoa before we even sailed - due to overcrowding - did they not book their slot over a year ago?? the replacement port was skipped due to the non-appearing Hurricane. Lisbon was skipped - and they substituted it with an overnight stay in Le Havre. Of all the ports they could have gone to why this ferry port with nothing of interest?? They did not even lay on shuttle buses to get to town. Over 3,000 people on board, many old and challenged - the queue for the port bus was over one hour long. the 25 minute walk - was more like 40 mins. They did manage however to book coaches for an overpriced trip into Paris. They even took coaches to Rouen for a trip - WHY French health official had declared the place an health issue due to huge chemical fire. Toxic soot on everything, questions over air quality and a ban on eating fruit and veg grown there and the milk had to be thrown away - yet RC thought it would be a great idea to take people to visit it. How desperate for profit was that. Very poor entertainment Cleary they are floundering in the expanding cruise market and have lost their edge. Our worst cruise out of 19 others !! Very poor value for money and disappointing to say the least -- Royal Caribbean dont even bother responding to correspondence outlining issues. Staff refused to provide a letter for insurance company stating port missed and the reason. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Petroni on Azura - Embarkation and Cabin - Azura cruise A925 sailing 21st Sept 2019 Also Search for Petroni for info on food, wine and our adventures - rescuing migrants, Monte Carlo 'disaster' trapping 1400 ashore and ... Read More
Petroni on Azura - Embarkation and Cabin - Azura cruise A925 sailing 21st Sept 2019 Also Search for Petroni for info on food, wine and our adventures - rescuing migrants, Monte Carlo 'disaster' trapping 1400 ashore and a bunch of funny (and some not so funny) incidents Embarkation – brilliant! Slick and well organised. It would be hard to think of any way to improve on it. Well done! Cabin – gave it a ‘once over’ with an ultraviolet torch and it was pretty good, clean and tidy The usual over priced water offering (5 x 1.5l bottles for £10.50 with a 6th one thrown in for free). For the same price my local Lidl would give me 66 x 2l bottles, but hey, this isn’t Lidl. Bathroom functional and clean but not much else to say. Needed extra clothes hangers which were readily provided from the steward Television frequently not working as the satellite signal keeps getting lost as you rock when at sea but tends to work pretty well when in port. Could do with a larger selection of films as I had seen pretty much everything there was. No music on offer. These days you cannot get access to your account from your room and have to ask for a printout from reception instead. So much for progress with technology. Safe works easily. Storage space is adequate. Suitcases fit under the bed or on the shelf above the hanging wardrobe. Breakfast in bed is available (free) and many room service options (chargeable) are available. There is a phone in the cabin. Each deck is numbered and lettered so, for example, if you want to phone cabin A123 (deck no.4) you would dial 4123, cabin B123 would be 5123 and so on. Beach towels are provided (two per cabin) but, you should ask for extras if you intend sunbathing. You will need two per lounger. The smoke stacks/funnels spit out a fair bit of soot and any loungers down wind of the stacks can get dirty. So pop to Poundland, and get yourself a couple (each) of the big plastic clips that hold the towels on the loungers (as it can get very windy) and never sit on a lounger without a protective towel if you value whatever you are wearing. If you do end up with soot marks on your clothes, go to reception and they will give you a FOC (Free of charge) laundry clean but the item will be gone for 2-3 days. There are two 500ml bottles of water free when you arrive. To augment the water supply, you can either bring back a glass with you when you return to your cabin from any food area or, you can boil water in your cabin and when cool, refill the 500ml water bottles. Or you can pay the £10.50 (but I am too mean to). The mirror in the bathroom tends to get very misted up if you have a shower. Quick tip – rub a bar of soap onto the mirror and then clean it off with a small hand towel. The soap will clean the mirror up nicely as it dries leaving you a better chance of doing your hair, gel, wig etc. The tea coffee tray has the basics but if you need fresh milk, gluten free, skimmed etc you can ask the steward for some. Similarly, if you prefer a fruity tea, peppermint tea etc you can grab a couple from the self service buffet deck 15 and use them in your cabin. We take a bottle of gin and a couple of bottles of tonic and have a G&T as we get ready for dinner each night. Don’t forget to bring a little bottle of lemon or lime with you if you do the same. Avoids the need for knives, fruit etc. You can ask the steward for extra glasses for your cabin so you have some for the G&Ts and others for your water. There are laundries on every deck with washing machines and driers. We have never used them but they appear to be free. There are ironing boards and irons available there too. Washing powder/tablets/capsules are available on deck 5 (I was told) so you do not need to bring anything yourself. I hope this helps Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
For this review, I have compiled the facts and written them in an easy, logical way to read, however, as will become clear, the information from the Captain was given after the acute crisis event, during a Q & A session, with a ... Read More
For this review, I have compiled the facts and written them in an easy, logical way to read, however, as will become clear, the information from the Captain was given after the acute crisis event, during a Q & A session, with a proportion of the affected passengers. This is a factual description of our experiences. Facts: 1. The Captain had warned P&O 3 years ago not to include Monaco in any itinerary during the annual 4 day Monaco mega yacht show (which this year was 25 -28 September 2019). This is because all hotels in and around the area are completely booked, areas are closed, the Monte Carlo pier and tendering is not available, taxis are not available, buses are limited, it is packed and you have to pre pay 280 Euros to walk in the harbour promenade; 2. The Captain informed us that 2 weeks before our sailing, they tried to change the port to Villefranche, but 2 other ships were already there; 3. The Monte Carlo tender port is notoriously choppy and unpredictable and a quick scan of the forums shows how frequently the tender port is cancelled or has to be suspended; 4. Google states that in 2003 a modern cruise ship pier was opened to prevent the need for tendering in the known unpredictable swells. So why do some cruise companies still not pay to use it and instead choose to tender? 5. Upon questioning by the passengers the Captain revealed there is a written P&O protocol and procedure for exactly what to do when tendering has to be suspended and passengers are stranded – the 1st thing is to acquire hotel accommodation. This was never going to be available during the yacht show. A simple, common sense, uncomplicated risk assessment by a layperson would reveal that no ships should ever tender during the yacht show and the P&O protocol could never be accomplished; 6. Monaco offered P&O a tender area adjacent to Monte Carlo called Fontvieille and P&O / Carnival took the risk, that despite there never being hotel availability and P&O not being able to fulfil step 1 of their emergency protocol, that they would tender there; 7. The Captain’s weather forecast was for “good boating” that day. We got on the tender at around 9.10am. We have always loved tender ports and are excellent sailors. We noticed how many passengers could never have fulfilled the compulsory “step” test and were being lifted into the tenders. There were many wheelchairs and scooters. Our tender was choppy and many passengers were bumping their heads and being thrown around in their seats. Other passengers said how later this became progressively worse and the tender operation was extremely slow and interrupted; 8. When we joined the enormous, return tender queue at 14.15, passengers told us that the tender operation was suspended and apparently had been for some time, hence the vast queue. We considered going back into town, but it is a long, hilly walk into Monaco Ville from Fontvieille and I could not physically repeat it. We opted to wait…..and wait……and wait. The queue must have had 400-500 passengers by 15.00hrs and then the excursion coaches arrived at around 17.00. I overheard the Intercontinental excursion man, upon meeting the guests, informing them not to join the queue and to go to the nearest shopping centre to use the toilets, get refreshments and rest. The queue had not been told to do this. Information was extremely minimal i.e. it was passed down the line that they were still trying to resume tendering. Meanwhile, the water canisters ran dry and there were no toilet facilities that were open and we all remained standing in the Monaco sun. In the Q&A meeting the hotel manager claimed, as per protocol, that there was plentiful water at the tenders. She had clearly not been informed that this had long ran out. And anyway, the exceedingly patient, compliant queue did not move from their spots to walk the 100-200 meters to where the water containers would have been. At one stage, as the queue was right in the sun, the excursions department manager and a colleague carried what was left of the water along the queue until it was empty. After the risk of heat stroke and dehydration, the sun went behind the buildings and the wind whipped up. It quickly became very cold and of course we were all in strappy T shirts and shorts; 9. At 18.00hrs, all the staff in the queue were gathered together and debriefed. At 18.10, these various staff members went along the enormous queue. We realised something was up, because suddenly the previously unmoving queue all moved to the right and into 2 tiny restaurants / pizzeria and a bar. Eventually we were told we could spend up to 20 Euros per person for food / drinks, which would be refunded. By the time we got this information, the small eateries were full. The 18.10hrs message also stated that there would be a further announcement at 18.30. There was no way we could get food anywhere within that time, so we stuck with the queue as did some others. There never was a further announcement, but staff did go along the line at approximately 19.30 hrs asking if anyone had any priority needs, e.g. medications. I have a brain tumour, which I volunteered and was invited to go to the front of the queue. As I look relatively young, fit and well, I knew (as indeed happened) I would get dagger stares for moving to the front and so I declined, but the staff member escorted me; 10. At the front the brilliantly assertive senior nurse, who happened to be on shore leave, was organising the immediate priority group 1 and the 2nd priority group, where I was put. We waited and waited and we then boarded 1 of these 2 tenders. It was extremely rough. Again, many passengers who could barely walk and certainly not unaided, were being lifted into the tender. There is no way that they would have been able to fulfil the “step” test. 70 passengers were in our tender, but then the exits of the tenders were completely blocked by numerous wheelchairs, scooters and buggies. The 2 tender crew had to keep climbing over them. The voyage to the ship began at approximately 20.30hrs in the pitch black of night. We have never experienced such a rough tender ride. Passengers were having panic attacks, some screaming, crying and virtually all were vomiting. We have never seen so much vomit and we are hospital / medical professionals. Our tender was unable to get up alongside the ship, as tender priority 1 had to abandon unloading half way through, as it was far too dangerous. Passengers on the ship watched in horror and disbelief at the extreme rolling and pitching of the tenders. After approximately 45 minutes of these awful conditions we got back to the quayside, but we could not go alongside, as there were 3 empty tenders parked alongside. We, as passengers, had to tell the crew to move the empty tenders, so we could dock and be unloaded. It appeared that the entire tender crews and officers on the jetty had no control and were floundering. Eventually we unloaded and stood right on the jetty water’s edge, in the pitch black, back at the front of the enormous queue. We stood there for some time and then the safety officer in a quiet, sheepish voice, barely heard by most said “the police and authorities have taken over”. We were all led for a 15 – 20 minute walk to a sports centre, attached to the football stadium; 11. This whole time we had no information and no clue what was going on. It was now approximately 22.15 hrs and we had queued for 8 hours without seats, toilets, food, water, or shelter. We were all exhausted; 12. Most passengers were led into the basketball arena with had massive, steep, concrete steps to climb, without rails, to the plastic arena chairs. 1 elderly lady face planted down these steep steps and was taken away to hospital. We found 2 chairs in the hall. Some wonderful, off duty, non-officer staff were sharing the foods they had purchased for their personal use; 13. Eventually, the tender crews managed to collect some boxes of biscuits, dry crackers, nuts, tortilla chips, bottles of water, towels and blankets – anything that could be thrown from the ship into the tender. We later found out this food supplies mission had to be abandoned at 23.30hrs as a crew member fell from the tender pontoon, into the sea, between the ship and the tender, sustaining multiple head bangs. Clearly, any food transit had to be abandoned. Thankfully, we can now tell you, that the crew member survived, but the Captain told us that as it was a near fatality, the entire ship’s crew were naturally very shaken; 14. At the point when the snacks, towels / blankets arrived the calm, pleasant, courteous P&O passenger characteristics changed into 2 groups……- the considerate, selfless, carers group and the self-centered, just look after yourself group. Whereas I took 1 biscuit, others were seen hoarding entire, large, wholesale packets; 15. The senior nurse demonstrated strong leadership skills, effectively prioritising those with life threatening needs. There was still no information; 16. At approximately 22.45hrs, a policeman, of which there were loads, asked us if we needed a bed? Of course, we did need one, but we thought others showed greater need, so we declined; 17. At around 23.45hrs, a sudden surge of police and Red Cross staff arrived. A policeman came to us and instructed us “follow me, bed”. We were led into the basketball stadium, down the extremely steep stairs and into a further hall that had been set up with 100s of stretchers as makeshift “beds”. The majority were barely off the floor, narrow and metal and were of the type seen on TV news during earthquake / person evacuation / disaster zones. It was at this point we realised we were there for the night. There was still no P&O information. It was a complete disgrace and a total failure of communication; 18. The influx of police and Red Cross volunteers formed a human chain, passing more stretchers into the hall, which they then assembled. We were given a “couverture de survie” – a life saving foil cover. In a way we were lucky to get 1 of these orange evacuation metal stretchers, as we found out from passengers the next day, that they had to rest on the cold floor, on tables, or on broken up boxes, or sit all night in the arena plastic bucket seats, which must have been even more truly awful. However, these passengers told us that they had seen many passengers hoarding 5 towels as pillows or multiple blankets. 1 passenger at 3am saw an empty blue camp bed with a neatly folded blanket on it. As she took the blanket, the nearby man shot up and shouted at her to leave it, as it was “taken”. A few hours later she returned and saw the same empty camp bed and neatly folded blanket. In our hall there were many Red Cross workers who gave out the tin foil covers, some table cloth type covers and some duvet type sleeping bags, which we used to soften the hard, metal of the evacuation stretchers. The Red Cross went around the hall all night, checking on people and covering them with the tin foil, however all passengers will relay how exquisitely irritating the noise of this foil was – it became a torture noise in our sleep deprived state. Some passengers managed to sleep, but the extreme snoring, was for most, a further noise torture. For me, the worst torture was the bright overhead fluorescent lights that were left on, so any rest was futile and broken by foil / snoring / fluorescent light and the hardness / narrowness of the stretchers; 19. At no time were any hot drinks available from the Red Cross, which was a surprise to us, as hot drinks are commonly used in any emergency first aid crisis. However, there was now plentiful water obtained from the ship and at 3am we found some other snacks in the main basketball arena. During this time we spoke to a shore side food and beverage man that happened to be visiting the ship. We asked him if there was any information and were told that we were going to be got up at 5am, to leave by bus at 6am, to go to the Monaco train station to get a train to Villefranche, to join the ship. This information had not been communicated to anyone outside the basketball arena, so at 5am we asked the officer in charge – the customer service manager to announce it to our hall and other areas where passengers were. My husband also asked him if the ship was actually in Villefranche, as it would be ridiculous for us to leave shelter with toilets, snacks and water to be left stranded in the outside, without any facilities. He replied “that’s the plan from above”. My husband suggested to him that he should confirm with the ship that they were in a position to sail to Villefranche, before any of us left the sports centre. He remained silent and did not move, so my husband went upstairs to the basketball arena and found the food and beverage man from before and explained that there were whole areas that had not been made aware of the plan and announcements needed to be made. The ship’s food and beverage manager officer then came to our area, but no one could hear him, but, as before, passengers followed other passengers’ lead. We tried to stay, but were told to leave. We now know, that at this stage, as we predicted, it was still not possible for the tenders stranded at the quayside to be loaded back onto the ship. A ship is legally not allowed to move without the tenders in place and yet the passengers still had to be moved from the shelter of the sports centre; 20. We were put in queue groups for public buses, which did not have many seats and were taken by police escort to the train station. We personally got the 7am train which arrived at Villefranche at 7.15 (there were 3 trains 6.30, 7 and 7.30). A further 15 minute walk took us to the newly reassembled, enormous queue, which we personally arrived at, at 7.30. We saw the ship sailing towards us in the distance, but by the time it arrived, anchored and dispatched the tenders, we had had to stand for another 2 hours, without seats or toilets, in a totally sleep deprived state, before getting on a tender; 21. At 7.07, whilst on the train to Villefranche, some passengers received a text from P&O, but most phone batteries were now dead. The text read “Good morning. We have now started the bus operation from the stadium to get you back to Azura. If you are not at the stadium, please make your way to Villefranche cruise terminal without delay”. A further text arrived at 7.45 “Good morning and thank you for your patience. Azura will shortly be at anchor and we plan to start the tender embarkation as soon as possible. Thank you once again”. When this arrived all 1000+ passengers were standing in the queue. It was noted by passengers how P&O had failed to send any texts of information until this point; 22. Whilst we were in this final 2 hour queue, we came across the Events Manager and I sarcastically asked him how this event had gone. Unforgivably, he replied “very well”!!! 23. We arrived back at the ship at 10.00hrs and were told to go to a particular restaurant for breakfast. We went via our cabin to wash our hands and found a letter of apology from the Captain, which included a statement “we will be refunding you a full day of your cruise (on a pro rata basis). Also, a gesture of £50 per person will be automatically placed in your onboard account today, for you to enjoy”. The letter stated that there would be a 16.00 hrs Q&A session and that we would be contacted to confirm the venue. Notification of the venue came in a letter around 14.00hrs, when most of the affected passengers were asleep and therefore did not know! 24. We attended the 16-17.00hrs meeting and the general, overwhelming themes were: a) complete failure of communication, b) failure of senior staff to manage, control, or lead the situation, c) the 1 day offer was insulting, as we were already on day 2 of impact and for the majority, it would take additional days to physically recover and a lot longer emotionally and d) the £50 “gesture” is empty if it is on board credit, as the money goes straight back to the company. Already flown in from shore side and present at the Q&A session, were a representative from guest experience and a representative from guest relations. It is interesting that despite the passengers having been given no information that P&O managed to coordinate 2 shore side staff members to be flown in to meet the ship. There was positive recognition and thanks of some P&O staff who were fantastic, particularly the non officer junior staff, who showed the greatest empathy and kindness, when they were also stranded in their off time. Summary P&O blame this event on a force majeure, however as outlined, we strongly feel this was a completely avoidable crisis. We should never have tendered during the yacht show as a risk assessment would clearly have demonstrated that there would never have been an ability to execute their emergency protocol (for hotel accommodation) in the event of tender difficulties, in an area of proven track record for unpredictable sea conditions and aborted / delayed tender operations. This was a foolhardy gamble that went wrong and could easily have resulted in crew and passenger fatalities or serious injuries. In this regard P&O were extremely lucky. Goodwill Gesture / Refund and Financial Remuneration: 1. The promised refund of maximum 20 Euros per person was applied as on board credit at an exchange rate of 1.25, giving £16 non-refundable OBC, therefore the money went straight back into the pockets of P&O. The Bank of England rate on the day was 1.12 = £17.86. Monaco is one of the most expensive places to eat and drink, so 20 Euros would not adequately cover a meal; 2. The one day refund was never increased, despite the shore side guest experience representative saying that they would reconsider it, so we personally got £117 per person simply for the loss of 1 day on the ship. There was never any recognition for the extreme suffering, physical and emotional distress, sleep deprivation, stress and disappointment and for us, the ruination of the entire 2nd week of the cruise and therefore half of the holiday; 3. A letter was received in the cabin to claim on insurance for the loss of the port in Corsica. As an additional point of note, this incident happened after the major news event of day 5, when the ship rescued 17 migrants floating on a dinghy. This 10 hour rescue meant that we could not reach Barcelona as planned; 4. A few days after the incident a bottle of Prosecco was brought to the cabin; 5. On arrival home an unimpressive, small hamper was delivered with a message “A warm welcome home for all to enjoy. From P&O cruises”. Lessons learnt for tender ports: 1. Before the cruise, research on forums the specific tender ports to establish if they have a history or strong likelihood of being aborted, delayed or cancelled; 2. Do your own risk assessment and assess the sea conditions before and on the tender out and immediately return if it feels unusually choppy; 3. Take emergency provisions for that and the next day – food, water, warm clothing, sun protection, inflatable pillow and mattress, spare phone batteries and chargers and most importantly any medications for that and the next day. Consider the need to carry all this in a carry-on luggage wheelie suitcase; 4. Captains’ weather forecasts can be seriously flawed – supposedly calm, good conditions can adversely and extremely change. Are you prepared to take the risk? 5. Beware that P&O itineraries still have tender ports at Monte Carlo during yacht shows in future years. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
P&O has done a Marks and Spencers act. It has ignored customer demand and gone for max profit. This cruise proved it. We ate onshore as often as possible. We are tired of the same corporate menu, cruise after cruise. No ... Read More
P&O has done a Marks and Spencers act. It has ignored customer demand and gone for max profit. This cruise proved it. We ate onshore as often as possible. We are tired of the same corporate menu, cruise after cruise. No imagination, no food uploaded along the route - so no local produce.(To ensure quality - we are told.) To ensure max profit is probably fact. We chose the cruise to visit Corsica - it never happened but for acceptable reasons. However P&O food gets worse each cruise. Every turn demands money - the only smiling staff for the 1st two days were those demanding money! The music has got louder and less appropriate to each venue. Azura appears to have no quiet area for relaxing. The staff are great but corners are being cut everywhere. If you like massive loads of average food, loud music everywhere and family movies like Dumbo - you will love P&O Azura. It is not for us - we do not go on holiday for endless loads of poor quality food, for over loud music and below average entertainment. Aurora was ok but even so, did not match RCI for food quality or entertainment. RCI per day was half the price too! Maybe we got a good deal but - 50% cheaper - that is something to consider even at full price! Better food by far, better entertainment and a more caring company. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The whole week on Emerald Liberté was wonderful. The staff were all very friendly and attentive and made us feel at home. The food was fresh, plentiful and really delicious , cooked by the award winning chef. One night we had a guest chef ... Read More
The whole week on Emerald Liberté was wonderful. The staff were all very friendly and attentive and made us feel at home. The food was fresh, plentiful and really delicious , cooked by the award winning chef. One night we had a guest chef who cooked an amazing regional menu. We visited some beautiful places including Arles, Avignon, , Tournon, Lyon and Beaune, the highlight of these being Avignon. The local guides were all very knowledgable and interesting, keeping us entertained as we walked around the beautiful places. On board there was always plenty to do, with quizzes, game shows, golf and Boules. There were also local presentations on wine, silk scarves and cheese, which were very interesting. There was a lovely mix of people to meet on board with several nationalities represented including Australian,Canadian, American, South African and British. I would highly recommend this trip and look forward to our next river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise because it included everything. We feel we are now spoiled for any other company.Low water levels meant we couldn't cruise between Regensburg and Passau so we were stuck in Passau for a few days. Scenic handled it ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it included everything. We feel we are now spoiled for any other company.Low water levels meant we couldn't cruise between Regensburg and Passau so we were stuck in Passau for a few days. Scenic handled it brilliantly and bussed those who wanted to see Nuremberg .We chose to do the extra trip to Passau which is beautiful. The ship was very modern and stable .Didn't feel any movement . Only heard noise going through the locks . Excellent showers in the cabins,wonderful beds. I thought my bed at home was soft until last night when the mattress felt hard in comparison. The food and wine plentiful. I put on six pounds in weight. Brilliant pianist,Mark, every night.. The classical concert at the Palace Liechtenstein in Vienna is memorable. Hungarian dancers on our last night. Great fun. Loved the great mix of people on board everyone was so friendly. I have left the best to last. The marvellous crew. They couldn't do enough for you. Always smiling,always friendly. We have been cruising many years,Twenty five in all, mostly ocean cruises and all the different companies . This was our first with Scenic .Hubby has now stated any future ones will be with Scenic. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our first river cruise, Passau to Budapest aboard the Hermod. Overall very pleased with the cruise. We did the pre-cruise in Prague, everything was well organized by Viking. The tree days gave us time to adjust to the time change before ... Read More
Our first river cruise, Passau to Budapest aboard the Hermod. Overall very pleased with the cruise. We did the pre-cruise in Prague, everything was well organized by Viking. The tree days gave us time to adjust to the time change before boarding the boat. The Viking included excursions in Prague and on the boat were top-notch, their fleet of buses were noteworthy for cleanliness and comfort. Our embarkation was about as simple as could be...walk on the boat, our bags where at the room within minutes. Unlike Ocean cruising I didn’t see any security, no photo ID’s, no scanners of bags, all which led to a little uneasiness. The first organized event was the welcome to the ship by our cruise director, Sonia. She was tops in her communication and organizational skills. Kept us well informed and herded us to our various excursions. The biggest disappointment with the cruise for me was the evening meal. Once the pre-brief for the next day was complete at 7:00 PM it was a mass rush to dinner. There is only one dining room, and it was a scramble for the tables, no assigned seating, no escort by the Matre D, or staff...just grab a seat. Kind of throwback to College dining facility. “Smart Casual” was largely ignored given the preponderance of jeans, jeans in my book is not smart casual. The food was tasty, the choices descent, the service good. The included tours by Viking were well done and varied, walking tours, organ concerts, excursions to sites out of town. A lot of history, was a bit tired of history by the end of the cruise for my liking but the area we cruised is history so it should be expected. A few sections of the river were very beautiful and the timing was such that they were done in the daylight. Enjoyed the Mozart concert in Vienna. Onboard entertainment was slim, only one venue. They brought some area entertainers onboard that were a nice break from the resident piano player. Overall well done for Viking. Most of the travelers were in their 60’s and 70’s, not quite as old as I feared, the walking tours were slow paced. I would do another Viking but prefer the amenities offered on an ocean cruise over the river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Saw an add, took a chance. Did not regret it! Yes, there is probably more luxurious etc., but this was absolutely wonderful for my husband and I. The Freestyle model is great. The staff detail on cleanliness was very appreciated. ... Read More
Saw an add, took a chance. Did not regret it! Yes, there is probably more luxurious etc., but this was absolutely wonderful for my husband and I. The Freestyle model is great. The staff detail on cleanliness was very appreciated. They watched, just like they should, over patrons and ensured that everything met expectations. I would probably ask for a Wi-Fi package next time but it is really expensive. I would recommend that soft drinks be available at the Raffles buffet. Having to visit the bar for a Pepsi or Ginger Ale is not necessary. We were disappointed by the lack of recycling facilities for plastic, paper. Nowadays, it should be standard. It probably is hard onboard a ship, but still, a little effort would go a long ways. Perhaps public places where people could drop the recycling. The ship is not new but has a warm, inviting atmosphere. Again, the cleanliness is worth mentioning. It is not one of the larger cruise ships but I liked it that way, not too intimidating for a first time cruiser. We went to a couple of entertainment shows, quite enjoyable, very professional looking. We went to the Japanese restaurant, and the Windows restaurant. Very good food, no complaint there. The service was very good in these restaurants, and exceptional throughout the rest of the ship. We had three excursions with Norwegian: Belfast, Liverpool, Dublin. Extremely knowledgeable guides and nice buses. In Kirkwall, we disembarked through the use of tenders (small covered boats housing about 100 persons). This is an interesting experience even though one of the tenders (ours) experienced a technical problem. We were brought to the boat safely, though. We had a great time, we fully intend to use Norwegian Cruises again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is something my husband and myself have talked about doing for sometime but have always felt it was a little expensive , however, having had a recent bereavement in the family and deciding life is too short we booked our trip just a ... Read More
This is something my husband and myself have talked about doing for sometime but have always felt it was a little expensive , however, having had a recent bereavement in the family and deciding life is too short we booked our trip just a few weeks before sailing . We have no regrets , the trip was wonderful . We were made to feel at ease as soon as we boarded , the ship was gorgeous and the staff so welcoming , nothing was too much trouble . Our Cruise Manager ( Rachel) superb x but all the crew have to be complimented . Everything was so well organised , the catering and various options for dining were superb . We have met some lovely people on board , the Rhine is stunning and we were blessed with beautiful weather . As for value for money that is provided on this cruise , you certainly get a lot for your money and believe me that’s something coming from. Yorkshire girl !! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Always wanted to visit Saint Petersburg and Moscow. From the moment Slava met us at the Moscow airport we knew we were in good hands. The transfer from the airport to the boat went smoothly. Our cabin was very comfortable and always clean ... Read More
Always wanted to visit Saint Petersburg and Moscow. From the moment Slava met us at the Moscow airport we knew we were in good hands. The transfer from the airport to the boat went smoothly. Our cabin was very comfortable and always clean and tidy. The food was wonderful and every meal we had the opportunity to try Russian regional specialties. The service in the main dining room was always great, our favorite waiter was Mark :) Our tour guides in Moscow really made the visits to the Kremlin informative and interesting. I also enjoyed visit to Ulgich and other small towns on our cruise to St. Petersburg. Our first tour was of The Hermitage and my husband and I broke off from our group to explore other areas of the museum on our own. We visited the Catherine Palace in Pushkin and our tour guide was excellent. We took the optional tour to Peterhof and our guide was Phillip. He was very informative and we were able to tour both the palace and the gardens. I highly recommend taking a tour of Peterhof. Finally, we visited the Faberge Museum with Slava as our tour guide. He knows the history of the museum and the Imperial Eggs in-depth. I was very glade he lead our tour. Sasha from Russia who is the Cruise Coordinator is enthusiastic and kept my husband and I laughing most of the cruise. This cruise met all our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It was recommended by a friend and it did not disappoint. The staff were all brilliant, especially the restaurant staff. Everyone aimed to please with smiling faces. The cabins were well maintained, the food was excellent. We ... Read More
It was recommended by a friend and it did not disappoint. The staff were all brilliant, especially the restaurant staff. Everyone aimed to please with smiling faces. The cabins were well maintained, the food was excellent. We celebrated a birthday while on board and we were treated very special and met our request. The food was excellent with good choices daily. There was more alcohol than I could ever manage and the wines especially the rose was superb. On the evening of my friend’s birthday a local Michelin star chef prepared the dinner, which made it very special for her. It was a perfect evening. The tours were well planned and the tour guides were very knowledgeable. I had a shared cabin and there was enough space for both of our stuff. The cabin was very well appointed. It was also very nice when the staff participated in the evenings activities - it made us feel special. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We took the cruise “From the Châteaux of Chambord and Chenonceau to the Loire Valley” Sep/12 - Sep/18 Just some dry stats Time spent sailing: 16 hours Time spent on excursions: 20 hours Time spent in the bus: 24 hours ... Read More
We took the cruise “From the Châteaux of Chambord and Chenonceau to the Loire Valley” Sep/12 - Sep/18 Just some dry stats Time spent sailing: 16 hours Time spent on excursions: 20 hours Time spent in the bus: 24 hours Time spent on a boat at the dock: 61 hours The planning department of the company could have done a much better job. So little time sailing and so much time on a bus can not be attributed just to the river conditions. Many times while we were bussed to the excursion the boat was simply following us on the river. In summary it felt more like a bus tour, with docked boat used as a hotel. While the corporation certainly messed up, the crew and the boat must be commended. The boat architect did a nice job designing the cabin layout. Despite the obvious size limitations there is plenty of compartments to put your stuff in. The suitcases can be nicely hidden under the bed. The bathroom is very convenient to use. The shower cabin is quite spacious. The crew was extremely attentive and courteous. The kitchen did outstanding job, very delicious French food was served every day. We truly enjoyed every single meal on board. All announcements were done subsequently in French, English and Spanish, so sometimes it didn't help the clarity of the message. Probably the corporation could have invested more into printed booklets and more detailed information shown on TV. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019

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