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167 Italy Cruise Reviews

The Grand Voyage concept is a brilliant idea - spending three weeks at sea travelling to numerous countries / destinations unpacking once! Travelling from Cape Town to Venice on the MSC Opera was a lifetime experience. The entertainment on ... Read More
The Grand Voyage concept is a brilliant idea - spending three weeks at sea travelling to numerous countries / destinations unpacking once! Travelling from Cape Town to Venice on the MSC Opera was a lifetime experience. The entertainment on board was absolutely outstanding - catering for a more mature (in years!) audience with basically no children on board. We were basically entertained from 10h00 - 23h00 daily with a variety of activities resulting in 21 days just flying by. A variety of shore excursions served everyone's needs and tastes, very well planned to optimize time, getting so many guests on and off the ship. The MSC has served many people well over many years. This was The Opera's last journey before it's major extension and revamp - thus the cabins were not in optimal condition - but no major issue. Dining was great - food was awesome! - variety - with country themes - made dining a memorable experience. An excellent gym assisted in keeping the weight issue at bay - especially with all the great food. Disembarkation in Venice was a long process - mainly because most didn't want to leave what has become a way of life and home for the past three weeks. Highly recommended and a must on your 'bucket list'! Already planning the next mini - retirement on another MSC Grand Voyage!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
I always have given credit where credit is due but will also give my condemnation when I have received services that are well below what was expected particularly from such a world renowned organisation as the Royal Caribbean Cruise ... Read More
I always have given credit where credit is due but will also give my condemnation when I have received services that are well below what was expected particularly from such a world renowned organisation as the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.My wife and I first experienced the services of Royal Caribbean when we sailed from Sydney on the 5th April, 2012 for an 18 night cruise to Hawaii aboard the Radiance of the Seas. All aspects of this ship were absolutely superb and faultless. From the cleanliness and service of our cabins, the entertainment and the food in both the buffet and the main dining, we had absolutely no complaints. Even with my wife suffering Coeliac Disease, her gluten free diet was taken care of magnificently. It was this experience of the wonderful association we had with Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas that we chose to book two cruises, back to back for 2013. We chose a relocation cruise of the Legend of the Seas departing Singapore on the 5th April, 2013 for a 14 night cruise to Dubai which was followed by a 15 night cruise departing Dubai on the 19th April, 2013 for Rome.Again, the ship was wonderfully presented. Everything fresh and clean especially after a recent refit. We were very happy with our cabin and our cabin steward was a delight and would help us with anything we needed. We were more than happy with the layout of this ship except maybe the Schooner Bar was too close to the Centrum when music was being played in both venues.Our one and only complaint is with the food offered to us in the Romeo and Juliet Restaurant. To put it bluntly, it was absolutely disgusting. Firstly, let me say, that for us, fine dining is a major component of enjoyment on a cruise. We enjoy the social aspect of meeting and dining with new people and we especially enjoy the dining experience itself. My wife and I are good cooks at home and we expect that qualified chefs would be able to prepare meals better than us. Unfortunately this was not the case with the Romeo and Juliet Restaurant on the Legend of the Seas.  The menus totally lacked imagination. The menus were duplicated extensively for the second cruise. The meat, Black Angus Sirloin steak was of very poor quality. Totally inedible. The vegetables were presented raw and difficult to eat. The same vegetables were repeated every night. The Salmon was presented dry, overcooked and inedible. Both nights that the lobster tail was presented it was overcooked and tough. They did not understand and cater for my wife's Coeliac diet as well as the Radiance of the Seas had. The food was always presented either tepid or completely cold.We were totally disgusted with the quality of the dining experience and after just a few days into the cruise we had come to wish that we had not chosen to book the two cruises back to back. I might add that we had spoken to many of the other passengers and they also had the same view. I would be interested to know how many made comments in their critiques at the end of the cruise.We complained to our Head Waiter and also at the Guest Services station and as a result we had a face to face consultation with the Maitre D. We were informed by the Maitre D that he had received many complaints concerning the quality of the food and he was taking measures to correct the issues. Unfortunately, the only amendment that we noticed was that the food was actually presented hotter than on previous occasions. All other negative aspects of the dining experience remained the same throughout the whole two cruises. My wife and I sampled the offerings at the Izumi Restaurant and this was by far a much better culinary experience. It is a real pity that we had to pay for a specialized restaurant to be able to enjoy a meal on board this ship.I find it totally extraordinary that two different ships within the same cruise line supply meals in their fine dining restaurants at completely opposite ends of the quality scale. We knew that this was a repositioning cruise and we also came to learn that many of the passengers, mainly from the USA, were given extraordinary good fare discounts particularly for the second cruise and maybe this is why Royal Caribbean chose to save dollars by reducing the food quality, but ourselves and many others, paid full fare for our cruise but were given a second rate dining experience.The Legend of the Seas dining is nowhere near up to the standard we are used to from the Royal Caribbean line.Very disappointed and will have to think twice before deciding to utilise Royal Caribbean again. After returning home I have sent the above complaints to Royal Caribbean via their web site and I was going to post their response here, BUT unfortunately after now waiting over three weeks for their response they have chosen to just ignore me. Funny about that as I thought that they might.Seriously though, if a wonderful dining experience is an integral part of your cruise expectations then stay well clear of the Legend of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Let me start by saying that I was part of a large group and had no choice in selecting this ship or cruise line. The port of calls is what held our interest. At our first day get-together (about 3 hours on board) I soon learned how bad ... Read More
Let me start by saying that I was part of a large group and had no choice in selecting this ship or cruise line. The port of calls is what held our interest. At our first day get-together (about 3 hours on board) I soon learned how bad service was going to be. I decided not to have a drink (that was being passed around as part of our org's welcome party) but a simple glass of water. I was told by the bar tender that I would have to buy a ½ or 1 ltr. Bottle of water. From there on, it goes downhill. At dinner the wait staff will only take your order if you order all courses up front. You better know what dessert you want before you have your appetizer as that is what the waiter 'insists' upon. Now, you finish dinner and ask for coffee with that desert; they don't serve it. You are told to go to another deck and buy a cup at the coffee bar! Meanwhile, coffee and water are free and available at the buffet. Oh, and if you want water at dinner, you have to buy it too. I don't suggest the water package as it is too many liter bottles and the savings is insignificant and you won't use it up if you tried! Overall the food in the dining room was awful. One of their 'always available' items is a steak that is on par with the quality of a steak served at a mall food court. When I didn't eat mine past one bite, instead of the waiter asking if he could get me something else, he just took it away and said nothing. The buffet, where we had breakfast and dinner offered the same items every day. Only one very small area labeled as Ethnic changed their lunch offerings. The pastries were okay but nothing exceptional. And, here too you had to eat what they wanted to serve you. For example, my wife wanted tuna salad one day. Well, it was only offered on a roll as a sandwich. The person serving it would not put plain tuna on a plate. So, we ordered the sandwich with the intention of removing the tuna from the bread except the server kept mashing it into the bread. It wasn't a language barrier, he was doing what he was told and that is to do as instructed by management, not the customer! The Divina is a huge ship that is not designed well in my opinion. If you are at the bow on level 6 and need to go to the stern where the dining rooms are, be prepared to go up and down stairs. The Villa Rossa dining room is also on 6 but there is no straight path to it. At mid ship you must go up to 7 and then back down to 6 ridiculous. If you are a jogger, be prepared to push people out of your way as the 'jogging' deck is packed with deck chairs and people milling all around. When taking elevators, be prepared to run. Why? There are usually 4-5 elevators per bank but the door close button works great so most times when a crowded elevator reaches your floor someone on the elevator immediately hits the door close button and you usually miss it unless it opens right in front of you. If you hate cigarette smoke, this cruise line is not for you. It's everywhere. Instead of having totally separate rooms for smokers, they split the rooms but their venting system cannot keep the smoke out of the non-smoker's side. As for bar snacks, potato chips anyone? We pre-booked our excursion on-line while in Dubrovnik to receive the discounted rate. Well, we were informed the night before that it had been cancelled (not the ships fault as there were warnings that this could happen). However, when we went to the ship excursion desk to book a replacement we were told we would have to pay the on-board price which was about 25% more. Housekeeping was terrible. After a few days we realized that our water glasses left on the desk next to the ice bucket were not being replaced. They were just putting paper covers back over the used glasses. The bath robes they give you to use (which are never changed) are removed from your cabin on the last night. This cruise line is in for a rude awakening when they bring the Divina to Miami this fall. Expect to read about coffee riots in the news (oh, by the way, they don't offer decaf). Management runs the ship for the benefit of the cruise line not the cruisers. They have no idea about service. Now, I am only speaking for the regular side of the ship where we booked the top price cabin. I did not book in the Yacht Club level. However, we met someone who booked the YC as we were embarking. We actually met up with her at disembarking. We asked how her side was and all she could say was that she was headed to Barcelona for another cruise with MSC and she dreaded it. We found being on an international ship intriguing with all of the different languages. Europeans can be very pushy and rude. People will cut in front of you and push you out of the way. Don't worry about being an 'ugly American', just push right back and stand your ground while saying 'esscusa'. Thank goodness we ended our vacation back in Venice at a wonderful bed & breakfast where the owners understood service. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
This will be a review of the ship and pertinent comments about the itinerary and ports but is not meant to be a travelogue of our journey. This was our 3rd sailing with Celebrity, 16th cruise overall covering 9 different cruise lines, so ... Read More
This will be a review of the ship and pertinent comments about the itinerary and ports but is not meant to be a travelogue of our journey. This was our 3rd sailing with Celebrity, 16th cruise overall covering 9 different cruise lines, so we have a good basis for comparisons.Embarkation The itinerary included an overnight in Venice. We had come in early to tour Venice so we boarded on the 3rd day in the city. We took the Alilaguna boat from near San Marco where our hotel was located to the port, arriving around 12:30. Unlike most ports we have sailed from, the place where one drops off their luggage is a separate building from the cruise terminal itself. This involved a bit of a walk from the local boat drop off point with all our bags, then another walk with our carry on luggage to the terminal itself. Check in took about 30 minutes, not too bad but there are some opportunities for efficiency improvements. First, rather than fill out the standard health questionnaire prior to entering the queue Celebrity had us fill it out at the counter, which holds up the line. Also, the process of getting one's photo taken for the boarding card was slow, while other lines take it as you board the first time. Finally, my credit card used for charges had expired and been renewed, same number but just a new expiration date. Rather than making a note or marking up the original online form, they made me fill out a whole new form. Bottom line, not a bad check in but could have been even better. By the time we boarded our cabin was ready, which was very convenient.The Silhouette is one of Celebrity's newest ships. It takes advantage of state of the art technology and its furnishings are modern and Art Deco. The public areas are laid out so we never felt crowded wherever we went on the ship.Our CabinWe were in stateroom 9266, a starboard side verandah mid ships. The location was excellent except we learned port side would be better for this itinerary as we faced away from town at all ports where we docked . Because our cabin was in the "bump out" we had a larger balcony, which was appreciated. The stateroom was large enough and well appointed. There is a large closet and extra storage over the bed. The beds were high enough to fit our 2 large suitcases and 2 carry-ons under the bed. The only downside is there are 3 fairly small drawers to put away clothes so we had to access our suitcases regularly. The bathroom had lots of room to move around and loads of storage for toiletries, so much that we did not come close to using it all. The shower is also roomy. We were very pleased with the in-room entertainment as there are a large number of first run movies available on demand as well as the largest number of TV channels available we have experienced to date.DiningWe elected Celebrity Select for dinner, which means we can eat any time between 5:45 and 9:30. You can make reservations earlier that day or one day in advance. We quickly discovered that whenever we went down without reservations there was very little wait, the dining room was incredibly efficient. We were always happy with the food quality and wide variety of selections and the service was excellent. We never dined in the speciality restaurants as we were happy with main dining room. We did eat at the Oceanview Cafe twice for dinner when we came back tired from a long day of touring, but found the food at dinner less than satisfactory.For breakfast we either ate in the Oceanview Cafe buffet or had room service. The selection of food at the buffet for breakfast was staggering and generally good quality. Some of my favorites like smoked salmon and herring were available every day, as well as eggs to order and so much more. Room service can be ordered through the TV the night before. The selection was much more limited but the convenience was appreciated, especially on days when we had early tours. Since the itinerary was so port intensive, many days we just grabbed a snack while we were out, had tea in the Oceanview Cafe and then had a late dinner. A few days we had lunch in the Oceanview Cafe where there was a large selection which always included Indian, Chinese and Mexican food, pasta, sandwiches and a variety of hot entrees as well as a large salad bar and a build your own sandwich station.EntertainmentWe caught about 1/3 of the main shows. This included a few musical productions, a young violinist and a comedian. Enjoyable but nothing above standard cruise fare. The lounge acts we enjoyed were the party band Sipra, an A Capella group that was very talented and a pianist in the atrium lobby. All made for a relaxing interlude but were not on a level with some other cruises we have been on, including our Celebrity cruise to Norway. A special treat were the 5 lectures on the space program by Ed Buckbee, who co-founded Space Camp and was in public relations for NASA and knew many of the astronauts personally.Pool and SpaThere are 2 main pools, each with a number of hot tubs, the outdoor pool and an indoor solarium. Except for the one day at sea, neither looked like it was overwhelmed. I primarily swam and relaxed in the solarium. Even on the rainiest days I never had trouble finding a place to lay down. The pool water temperature was perfect, comfortable but not warm. The hot tub was not as warm as I prefer but understandable since it has to appeal to a broad range of tastes.Other Ship ServicesOur Cruise Critic Roll Call group approached 200 people. Celebrity scheduled our Connections get together the first night in Venice, which was a bit unfortunate since many in our group were still out touring as we were docked overnight. On the plus side, they gave over most of the Sky Lounge to us and the free champagne was available for the entire time we were there. For the Venice sail away we took over the Sky Bar and Celebrity put on extra staff to handle our large group. This was representative of the attentive service throughout the cruise.The Internet service was excellent. Except on rare occasions it was able to handle e-mail and browser searches rapidly. We did not use it for streaming music or video as the cost would be prohibitive for usage time. We bought a package for around $98 that gave us over 200 minutes which was more than adequate for our needs.The guest services desk staff were friendly and knowledgeable on the few occasions when I used them. We arranged all our shore tours privately or simply walked the ports on our own, so the only time we used the Shore Excursions desk were for shuttles in Ravenna and Dubrovnik.PortsThe intent here is not to discuss what to do in each port as there is ample information on Cruise Critic and elsewhere, but rather to describe access to the ports and the relevant facilities and transportation.Koper, Slovenia The small city center is right across the street from the port. There were a few tour operators at the port selling shore excursions and a small number of taxis. There is no big terminal building so other services must be accessed in town.Ravenna, Italy The town is a 20-30 minute ride by taxi or bus. Celebrity offered a shuttle that for 2 people was about the same as the cost of a taxi. There were many taxis waiting at the port. The terminal is very small with minimal facilities that included a Wi-Fi hot spot. In town there is a hop on hop off bus.Split, Croatia This was a tender port. This turned out to be the only day where there was a disembarkation issue through no fault of Celebrity. Due to rough weather the number of places around the ship where tenders could tie up were limited so the tender operation ran about 30 minutes late. Kudos to Celebrity for placing paramount focus on safety. We had the cell number of our tour guide so we could keep him appraised of our progress. Once you reach Split you are right in town, including the massive Diocletian Palace. Taxis were everywhere as we're folks offering shore excursions.Dubrovnik, Croatia The old town is about a 5 minute ride by taxi or bus. Celebrity offers a shuttle that for 2 people was cost competitive with the cost of a taxi. You can take a city bus into town at a much lower price but you need Kuna to pay the driver. Taxis were abundant, and they also offered area tours as well as transport to town. There is a fairly large port terminal in Dubrovnik. This was the one port where popularity as a cruise and tourist destination was painfully obvious. The old town was a crush of tourists and the wall looked like a sea of humanity. Here I will offer one tip, if you want to walk the wall, go to the far side of the city to access it where there was a small line.Kotor, Montenegro This was the other tender port and here the disembarkation was fast and easy. We got our tender tickets at 8:00 for group 1 and by the time I went back to the room to meet my wife and head back down they were already calling group 3. Where the tender docks is at the foot of the old town. I saw a lot of boat tours offered but did not see taxis, although I assume they were available as the town was quite busy. There was no big port terminal but all manner of services were available in town.Bari, Italy Celebrity offered a shuttle but the walk in to town was no more than 10 minutes at an easy pace. Where we docked was just down from the huge port facility. There were taxis available as one disembarked as well as at the port terminal and in town. There were also local tour operators at the port terminal as well Amy's a hop on hop off bus.Valletta, Malta The city overlooks the dock area. A short walk takes you to an elevator which brings you up to the old city. There is a large terminal with an abundance of services and access to taxis and tour operators.Catania, Sicily The entrance to the old city is a 5 minute walk from the dock. Where we docked there was a full service port terminal and just outside is a taxi stand. Naples, Italy The Naples cruise terminal is one of the largest we saw and has a multitude of shops and services. Once you exit you are by Castle Nuovo and the foot of the old city. Taxis are plentiful as are all manner of tour operators. There is a hop on hop off bus as well.Disembarkation in Civitavecchia for RomeThis was by far the simplest disembarkation we have ever experienced. We walked off the ship with our carry on bags, had our luggage in 2 minutes and there was no passport control, only a token customs officer. We met our transportation and 90 minutes later were at our hotel in Rome.One final note, Captain Dimitrios Kafetzis was the most entertaining ship's captain we have ever encountered. He is clearly a frustrated stand up comedian and he would be very good at it. He is a consummate professional and takes his duties very seriously. We always looked forward to his announcements and seeing him around the ship.In closing, the cruise lived up to our expectations of Celebrity and we would not hesitate to sail with them again and recommend them to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Our trip started on Mother's Day and ended on our Anniversary (great way to not have to think up gifts). It was a "sandwich" trip with a land portion, the cruise and then more land travel. I should also mention my wife is ... Read More
Our trip started on Mother's Day and ended on our Anniversary (great way to not have to think up gifts). It was a "sandwich" trip with a land portion, the cruise and then more land travel. I should also mention my wife is totally blind since birth. Also, you should know we've cruised 19 times with 7 different cruise lines. We are mellow and don't get excited because something minor went wrong. To begin, I regret it is with a "bad". Since our very 1st cruise we've asked for Braille menus, not received one and wrote the cruise line afterward. We've suggested everytime we'd be happy to Braille their menu for other blind folk. We talked with a Carnival rep this time who sent us printed menus ahead of time but said "No" when we offered to Braille them. We've suggested putting the menu on a dedicated phone # onboard, same with the Daily Activity newsletter on our bed every night. Nope. Sadly, Carnival seem uninterested in meeting this need. Okay, the cruise itself was very nice. Food was good, service good, room steward good. Movie offerings were better than most ruises BUT good luck finding what time they started -nothing in the daily schedule. Opening show was the usual Cruise Director welcome but that was the only similarity to introdction night. Instead of introducing the Captain, Food Director, etc. John Heard, Cruise Director, was as good a stand up comedian as I've seen. He basically did a show while giving info. Later he did port talks in a comedic waythat was great. Great job BUT never saw John except at the theater. He did a TV show each day that was not impressive at all. The rest of the shows were the usual mixed - some god, some bad but one night it was just a movie! Tour organization was pretty good getting us off the ship. Tours were normal and good except our Venice "Gondola, Murano Island, etc." The boat captain that picked us up at the ship couldn't find a place to park his boat, wasted time looking for one, then we had to walk 25 minutes to get to the gondola. We were late and instead of 1st class gondolas with singers, we got 2nd class ones. It wasn't a good tour and felt like rookies all around. The boat itself is way too gaudy with a Roman urn theme repeated way too much. Cruise excursion staff helpful but hours are poor, Automatic tips - bad idea. Cabin service seems unaffected but all the rest, in general, has slipped. Waiters have too many tables now and it just isn't as good. The buffet is mixed good and not so good. Food is fine except desserts were ho-hum. The problem is pizza had one guy working, very slow going. Wrap/sandwich station great sandwiches but took too long. Design of the drink/dessert/pizza/salad area threw too many people in one area. Salads were very good. Ice cream machine is well hidden! First cruise we've been on that seemed to understand people like Trivia Games a lot. Several versions every day. Very good idea. Self-serve laundry is a great idea. Very clean and nice. $3 a pop is a bit much but easy to use with ship card instead of quarters -great idea. Small jogging track with miniture golphers constantly stepping in front of us. Best disembarkation ever in Venice. Great way to do it Carnival. Overal a good cruise that went smoothly except for power outage of about 40 minutes. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
I am a little late writing this review but we sailed summer on Windsurf's Classic Itlay and the Dalmation Coast cruise. It was fantastic from start to finish. This was my second time sailing Windstar and I loved it again. The surf is ... Read More
I am a little late writing this review but we sailed summer on Windsurf's Classic Itlay and the Dalmation Coast cruise. It was fantastic from start to finish. This was my second time sailing Windstar and I loved it again. The surf is bigger than the Windstar and for me the largest ship I'd sailed on. This was my third cruise - al on small ships - which I love. I'm not a big entertainment fan - just a few drinks some nice copmany and conversation after a long day of touring is just fine by me. The best things about this cruise: - Small ship like this means you know almost everyone by the end ofthe week. The staff around the ship all know you by name. - Great food, laid back resort casual atmosphere - Swimming off the back of the ship and also other water sports - No lines for anything ever Honestly the only thing I think could be done better on Windstar Cruises - I wish they would incorportae more local food specialties and local wines each day to reflect the areas where we're stopping. I can't wait for my next Windstar Cruise... the question is when :) Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Well what can I say other than DON'T GO ON AN MSC CRUISE. Kids running everywhere all day and most of the night, shouting, yelling and totally out of control. Running around the restaurant whilst the waiters were trying to serve ... Read More
Well what can I say other than DON'T GO ON AN MSC CRUISE. Kids running everywhere all day and most of the night, shouting, yelling and totally out of control. Running around the restaurant whilst the waiters were trying to serve food. Buggies and prams cluttering up the aisles when trying to get food in the buffet. One child even rode his bike into a crowded lift!!! We were woken up at 4am one morning with children running and shouting in the corridor outside our cabin. The passengers were extremely rude and pushed and shoved the whole time and whilst waiting for the lifts which were erratic to say the least, the passengers (mostly Italian) barged to the front and would not let people get out of the lift before they got in. The lifts, the kids pressed every button on every floor so it took us half an hour to get from Deck 5 (Restaurant for dinner) to Deck 12 ( our cabin) every evening. These lifts dominated our cruise experience because this was not a small boat and you had to use them. In most situations you would say that this was a major design fault in this boat but this (perhaps) may not be the case if they were not constantly abused. This was the most stressful holiday my husband and I have ever had. The food was not good either, there was far too much salt used in the cooking and the food was very poorly presented, it reminded us both of school dinners. The food was also nearly always cold by the time it was served. My husband bent his metal fork whilst trying to cut a piece of stale bread when eating Eggs Benedict for breakfast. There was no toast supplied at breakfast and the rolls and bread were stale by the end of the week. The juice drinks machines more often that not where out of order or not switched on. Not good when you want a cold drink. Also the juice when you could get it was watered down and had sugar added to it. Also there were no glasses at the juice machines and we had to use warm teacups to get a drink when the machines were working. There was no fruit that was fresh in the buffet either and mmost of the fruit supplied at breakfast was tinned. The departure from the boat at Majorca and Villefranche was totally disorganised to say the least with the usual pushing and shoving from the Italian families. But the worst situation by far was on the Wednesday 10th July. My husband and I went to the pool on the 13th deck, got our towels and found two sun beds. This was at 9.20, we sat down for a while and put on sun cream, at 9.40 my husband said "I think I'll go for a swim now" so I said "OK I'll join you". We went down to the pool and were only gone for 20 minutes, when we decided to go back I went up the steps first whilst my husband had a shower near the pool, when I got to our sun beds there were other people there arranging their towels and belongings and all our belongings had gone. We went down to the attendants who had given the towels out to find all our property including phones, watches, cameras, shoes and our towels had been thrown into a plastic sack. The attendant started being very rude and aggressive and shouting at us and quoting that in the contract you are only allowed to leave the sun bed for 30 minutes, we had been gone for 20 minutes. I spoke to a Security Guard who was standing nearby but he could not help me, the attendant who I originally spoke to stood there watching me and smirking at the fact that I could not get anywhere with any of them. There were other people leaving their beds for 2 hours and more, also children who had beds who were never on them. We could not get anywhere with this rude and aggressive man so we had to go inside down seven decks to the desk, barefoot and dripping water, me in my bikini and my husband in his trunks because everthing had been taken, we did not even have a towel to dry ourselves with. We spoke to someone at the desk who again, was not very helpful but we demanded a meeting with the manager and this was eventually arranged after two put offs for the evening. We finally met Shameem (sp) who I must say, did handle the situation very well as we were both furious at this unfriendly and discourtesious way of being treated. Shemeem said she would report it back to the management, as they did not want passengers to be unhappy. The trouble was the damage had been done and we had to spend the rest of the day in our cabin as there was nothing else to do and all the sun beds had gone by this time. I am sure that we were targeted because we were English, it would not have been done to an Italian family. There were very few English people on this trip, Im not surprised!! We did however go to some lovely places such as Rome, Majorca, Monaco and Palermo and we also met some very nice Australian people who sat on our table at dinner each evening and who incidentally did not like the cruise either and had said they would never travel with MSC again. They were horrified when they heard what had happened to us at the pool on Wednesday and thought it was a disgusting way to treat people. If they are going to take one set of people's belongings because they have been away from their bed for a short while then they must treat everyone else the same and not target individuals. We will never go on another MSC cruise again and shall make sure that everyone we know hears about this.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
A year ago, 4 couples decided to cruise the Ionian and Adriatic Seas from Athens to Venice on the Star Pride. The purpose of the trip was to celebrate the 60th birthday of one of ladies. The Birthday Girl was familiar with the Wind Star ... Read More
A year ago, 4 couples decided to cruise the Ionian and Adriatic Seas from Athens to Venice on the Star Pride. The purpose of the trip was to celebrate the 60th birthday of one of ladies. The Birthday Girl was familiar with the Wind Star Line, so the rest of us joined in. We arrived in Athens on July 3rd, checking into the St. George Lycabettus Hotel (recommended by Wind Star) at around 3pm. The hotel was in a beautiful neighborhood on the side of Lycabettus Hill. The hotel staff was very accommodating, and without much difficulty we made our way to our rooms. Our room was a little dated, but comfortable. The shower was absolutely horrible, but we managed. Our friends had good showers, so it appeared that we were just unlucky. Any disappointment vanished when we looked out of our window. There is all its glory was the city of Athens including a front row seat of the Acropolis. Wow! The same goes for the restaurant at the top of the hotel. Wind Star was fully represented at the hotel. We registered with one of their representatives, and we simply had to have our luggage ready to go by 9 am on July 6th. Two buses arrived at around noon, picked us up and along with our bags, we headed to the ship. We arrived at the port after a short drive through Athens. When we arrived, we went through a security check and boarded the Star Pride. We turned over our passports, credit card info, received room keys and made our way to Cabin 219 on Deck 5. Our friends were close by. We had a Balcony Suite. It was absolutely wonderful with King bed, large bathroom with double sinks and full shower/bath, and a very comfortable sitting area with TV. DVD, Boise sound system, and minibar. The cabin had a walk-in closet with plenty of space for clothes. Our suitcases fit under the bed. We toured the ship on our own after a mandatory life boat muster in order to check things out. Before we knew it, we were at sea! The Good (Great included): 1. Without a doubt, our Cabin 219 was wonderful in every way imaginable. Our Steward, Rusi, exceeded our expectations. We selected the laundry package ($140 for the cabin) and it was exceptional. Everyday we had things either pressed or laundered, without a single problem. I needed cold gel packs each day for an ankle injury, and Rusi asked me to dial 0 and request them. Once again, expectations were exceeded. The Cabin was organized and spotless the entire cruise. 2. We dined in the Veranda for breakfast each day. The selections were over the top. I had some fun with it to see how far I could go without a problem. I never had one, as they came up with everything! 3. We dined either in The Amphora Room or Candles for dinner each evening. The drinks, wine, menu selections were fabulous. 4. Our waitstaff at all meals were exceptional. Harry served our table as the primary waiter. He became family on the cruise. Marcus and Raphael were our bar stewards. They met every request from cocktails (Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, Martinis) to wine and after dinner liquors. The dining room Officers watched over the entire process making their presence known. 5. The onshore excursions were all great. We toured Delphi, Butrint, and Dubrovnik including a wine tasting. Other days, we simply enjoyed the cities we visited. 6. The Gift Shop was very nice. 7. The nightly entertainment was also fine. We sang, danced, and one of our party, joined the band as a drummer. 8. The Deck BBQ was over the top! 9. The Executive Chef and Soux Chef were both very visible. I joined the EC on a visit to the market to purchase fish, vegetables, olives and cheeses. The SC held a cooking class. 10. We passed on the drink package and were glad we did. We spent less money and had a better selection. The Bad: 1. The internet was just plain bad. I spent $150 for three separate packages and was very disappointed. We had to rely on shore visits in order to have reliable wifi. 2. The swimming pool looked pretty bad. I never saw anyone in it. The Ugly: 1. By far, the most disappointing experience involved the tender returning from the Butrint National Park in Albania. The shore staff lost control, as there were people breaking in line, it was hot, and we just sat around the dock waiting for the tenders which came about every half hour or so. Some of our group waited 2 hours to get back to the ship. The Captain made a personal apology to the entire ship and refunded each participant 20% of the fee for the excursion. In summary, we were very pleased with our cruise. It was expensive, but to a person, we would return to the Star Pride and Wind Star cruises for the crew, the food, the drinks, and the Cabin.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
The entire Noordam staff were graduates of smile school, and were very accommodating to any need that we expressed. - The Maitre 'd made a point of soliciting our comments about the Vista Dining Room ("tepid soup, slower service ... Read More
The entire Noordam staff were graduates of smile school, and were very accommodating to any need that we expressed. - The Maitre 'd made a point of soliciting our comments about the Vista Dining Room ("tepid soup, slower service between courses than expected"- which he remedied). Portions seemed smaller than I remember from previous cruises, so we often visited the Lido deck later to get a bite. - The Excursion Director, KK, provided an informative overview of the destinations and had scheduled hours at her Main Deck desk to respond to individual questions; she had unlimited patience in dealing with people who did absolutely nothing on their own to become informed (and who also wasted everyone else's time). We took one HAL excursion and explored other destinations on our own- I find that privately arranged tours are about half the charge of HAL's and you can alter them as you'd like. Hop On-Hop Off buses are also a fairly quick and inexpensive way to get the lay of the land. - The crew was especially attentive to passenger safety during tendering operations at ports where the ship couldn't dock. Our single significant disappointment was that complimentary wifi wasn't available- not in the cabins nor in a central location such as the library. Cruisers get pumped about their activities and increasingly want to share their excitement through email and facebook (generating some buzz for potential HAL cruisers?). While Motel 6 provides it free, HAL gouges passengers 75c a minute, or lesser amounts if you shell out for a package of minutes, starting at $55 for 100 minutes ($.55 a minute). If capacity was a significant factor, I'd suggest providing some basic minutes free and charging for usage over that amount. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
This was our first Azamara Cruise, having heard good things from former passengers. This cruise did not disappoint! Previously, we've taken cruises on Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and Princess. We also really like river cruises and ... Read More
This was our first Azamara Cruise, having heard good things from former passengers. This cruise did not disappoint! Previously, we've taken cruises on Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and Princess. We also really like river cruises and we've done Viking and AMA Waterways. The Azamara Quest is a great size! It has all the amenities of a larger ship (e.g. spa, specialty restaurants, and fitness center), but is cozy and easy to get around. And after a few days, passengers begin to recognize each other. This was our first trip to Croatia. What beautiful landscape! Our favorite excursion was the Hvar Off-Road Adventure. It is not to be missed! In a couple of places, we did self-guided tours. The Azamara-provided tour of Kotor was a disappointment. We were disappointed that we spent too little time at some of the ports (but too long at others, such as Kotor). We would have liked to have spent more time in Dubrovnik. Getting on and off the ship at each port was a breeze! Very similar to disembarking on a River Cruise. We were tendered at one of the ports, but that was painless too. We did not attend any of the shows or go to the casino; not "our thing." The food was abundant and very good. We did the Windows Café for each lunch and one dinner (we sat outside when we were docked in Venice; it was lovely!), and had dinners at both specialty restaurants. Service was impeccable at the specialty restaurants. The "Azamazing Evening" - an outdoor concert by a Croatian cellist - was a disappointment. The venue was pretty, but the concert went on for too long. The only negative that I can report is the miserable experience we had with Choice Air. Our reservations were screwed up both on the outbound and return flights, and Choice Air was not responsive to our travel agent, even when the error was theirs. Never again! We will definitely do another Azamara cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We loved the cruise of the Adriatic with stops in Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro and Italy. They have mastered the 'how to' of cruising (in our opinion..even tho we are newbies to large ship cruising). The food is wonderful, lots ... Read More
We loved the cruise of the Adriatic with stops in Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro and Italy. They have mastered the 'how to' of cruising (in our opinion..even tho we are newbies to large ship cruising). The food is wonderful, lots of venues for entertainment and music, places to exercise, quiet spots and a great room and bathroom with lots of nooks and crannies for storage. Only caveat was with the pre cruise reservation person….told that we could have a partially obstructed view room on the 6th level and our veranda view would not be marred by lifeboats 'UNLESS WE LEANED OVER THE RAILING AND LOOKED DOWN'. This was totally false and, when sitting on our veranda, we always were looking at the orange lifeboats. Our room was $1000. less which was a great deal IF WE HAD BEEN TOLD THE TRUTH AND COULD HAVE MADE AN INFORMED DECISION. So be wary of discounts and know what you're getting…but the Silhouette is one gorgeous ship and the Adriatic cruise has fabulous destinations. Go for it!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We are a couple in our sixties and have cruised many times, This was our 2nd cruise with Celebrity. We chose this ship because of the itinerary which included the Adriatic coast. Most people chose this cruise for the same reason. Ship: ... Read More
We are a couple in our sixties and have cruised many times, This was our 2nd cruise with Celebrity. We chose this ship because of the itinerary which included the Adriatic coast. Most people chose this cruise for the same reason. Ship: The ship is gorgeous with impressive public areas. We were pleasantly surprised with our balcony stateroom. The room was quite spacious but the biggest surprise was the bathroom. Usually you can hardly move in this room and the shower is tiny. This bathroom was so big that my husband had plenty of room to shave while I had my shower. The shower was large and you could actually move around in it with no problem. Restaurants: We ate only in the main dining room. The staff was attentive but not the friendliest we have ever had. The meals were good but we have had better meals on other ships. We would have liked more variety in the desserts. But we had a good group at our table and enjoyed the dinner hour. Entertainment: The entertainment was comparable to other cruise ships. We enjoyed the shows and comedians. Ports: This was a port intensive cruise with only 1 day at sea. It would have been nice to have another day at sea to relax. Koper: We went on a tour to Lake Bled with a group formed on cruise critic. Our tour guide was Tina, recommended by Rick Steves Lake Bled is beautiful. The tour guide was very knowledgeable. Ravenna: Toured the mosaics by ourselves and had a more relaxing day. Split, Crotia: Another DIY day touring the palace area. We did buy a ticket for 3 sites. Dubrovnik: Walked the wall which was very scenic. There are lots of stairs. Took the cable car to the top of the mountain for another scenic view. Kotor: Took a private taxi with another couple with a guide recommended on cruise critic, Milo.. We toured the countryside and visited a seaside resort. It was a 1/2 day tour which left us time to walk around the port city. Valletta: Took bus to Mdina and toured Valletta. Catania: Went on a tour, Sicily Limousine, which I arranged on cruise critic. There were 8 of us. The tour was to Taormina and the surrounding area. Everyone loved the tour. The guide was informative and very likeable. Naples: Another tour I arranged for the Amalfi coast for 8 people, AP tours. We went to 4 cities and enjoyed every one. I would definitely recommend this ship and the itinerary.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
This Uniworld cruise was supposed to start in Venice and then cruise the lower part of the Po river. Because of low water levels on the Po (a chronic problem), our riverboat spent more time in Venice and cruised the Venice lagoon - this ... Read More
This Uniworld cruise was supposed to start in Venice and then cruise the lower part of the Po river. Because of low water levels on the Po (a chronic problem), our riverboat spent more time in Venice and cruised the Venice lagoon - this was better in most respects then cruising the Po. The lagoon is a very large body of water with fascinating towns and construction of the inlet barriers. Spending evenings and afternoons topside viewing Venice and the lagoon was wonderful. The Ship The River Countess can carry about 120 passengers (we had 96) in three levels, mainly differing in window size. The rooms are small but very well organized and furnished with high quality materials and fixtures. The common rooms are spacious for the passenger size and include an ornate dining room, cocktail lounge/multipurpose room, library, laundry, fitness room, topside snack bar (limited breakfast, lunch, and dinner), and two topside areas with chairs, umbrellas, and awnings. The fitness room had five high quality machines and a TV - can't ask for more on a riverboat. In our room on the 300 level, we had a super AC system that was easy to control, three 110V outlets, plenty of storage areas, very comfortable bed (two twins into a queen), fresh water every day, two metal water bottles for day trips, nice lighting, small marble bathroom but with a good sized shower (easily controlled water), Plan on dressing at different times to avoid collisions. The Staff You always got a Hello or How Are You from every staff member you passed. Very friendly staff and very competent. The star was Gyongyi, the Cruise Manager - she put together the daily excursions, was always around to answer questions, and would do special favors if you asked. She went on every tour to ensure it went well. Meanwhile, the Captain was pleasant and seen very often. When cruising, a number of us asked to join him in the pilot bridge and were welcomed. The maitre d was super efficient and his staff was competent if not always friendly. The front desk personnel were awesome - distributing maps, answering questions, and exchanging dollars for Euros (an making change for the E50 bills you got out of the ATMs). Several folks really liked the massur. Nicola. Dining Breakfast in the dining room was buffet with a good selection of eggs, meats, waffles, fruit, yogurt, breads, and extras. Always, there was a special area, like an omlette chef. Lunch in the dining room was again a buffet, but with a mix of dinner style entres (like beefsteak and potatoes), salads, pastas, olives etc, sandwiches, breads, and a nice selection of deserts with gelato. Dinners were more formal (wear long pants for the men) with a two sided menu with healthy dishes and traditional dinners, with a meat, fish, and veggie options always available. Portions were right-sized, good but not overwhelming. The pastas at lunch and dinner were awesome - I had the best lasagna I have ever had the last night. Specialties like osobuco were first rate. Wine and beer at lunch and dinner were free - the wines were excellent and the beer was Moretti. The topside dining area had limited menus but fit many cruisers just right. On the second floor is a coffee machine that makes coffee, capacino, hot chocolate, etc. And cookies too! The Tours First rate. No glitches. First day, we walked (yep, a river boat can be parked 10 min from St. Marks square) through Venice with Suzzane (Venice native) and saw some of the major Venice areas and background, then to the Doge's palace (right in with special tickets - awesome), then we were on our own. St. Mark's square is awesome but CROWDED. You are better off walking some of the other areas. That night, we had a water taxi tour of the Grand Canal, then a private night time visit to St. Mark's. There, they did a special illumination of the church and Suzzane gave us a splendid history of the church. The other tours were by large coaches - comfortable, each with a guide and driver, water and a bathroom. The destinations were Padua, Ravenna, Bologna, and Verona. We had wireless headphones on each tour so the local guide (yep, another guide) could reach everyone. On a couple of tours, we had lunch - best one was in Bologna with a pasta making demo. Awesome. Another one was outside in a patio. The wine flowed freely! Be prepared to do some walking. This is not for handicapped. Also, be prepared to tip the guides and drivers. This is how they make a living. One negative was that the drive time to the tour areas was longer because we were not on the Po. But, the sailings on the lagoon make up for it... Lagoon Sailing We repositioned our boat several times and did a couple of other lagoon sailings. These were delightful. By all means, go topside during these sailings. To see Venice from the water is a special treat. And, to see the different areas of the lagoon was inspiring. We docked in Chioggia (a fishing village on the south side of the lagoon) a couple of nights. Some of the passengers skipped the tours and toured Chioggia, which they found to be a great mix of working class folks and some tourist areas. Sorry I missed that. We also went to the north side and saw where the Venitians first settled to escape the barbarians. Great history. And, we passed the construction where Italy is building movable barriers to stop water entering the lagoon during storms. Venice is sinking. On one afternoon, the ship had a PHD talk about the history of Venice and the environmental problems the city now faces. Excellent! Overall This was a professional organization that was dedicated to your happiness.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Went on Majesty mid September and do not understand the bad reviews I read prior. Yes, it's a small ship but you know that when you book and we found this to be an advantage as you get to know other cruisers. The service was great ... Read More
Went on Majesty mid September and do not understand the bad reviews I read prior. Yes, it's a small ship but you know that when you book and we found this to be an advantage as you get to know other cruisers. The service was great from everyone and the food was very good with plenty of choices (could have been hotter in buffet area) and there were two 'any time' dining restaurants to go to. We two had a Standard cabin (924) which could have been for 4 people(would be very cramped) and the maid service was excellent. We had the '£69 pp drinks package' which I would advise everyone to get, if possible - saved us a fortune. The entertainment was the best we have ever seen on a cruise - absolutely superb singers and dancing group and singer/comedian. The only thing we found disappointing were the excursions which we think were very expensive for what we got. Rome -£79 We know you have to queue for The Vatican (2hrs.) but our coach kept us waiting for 45mins. after, so we only got a very short time at the Colosseum then on to Pantheon where we were for far too long. Also trip to Capri (£54) wasn't too good - once there we walked for 15-20 mins to look at the view, we were then left for 4hrs. with nothing very much to do until returning on boat. I did get a 20% refund for this trip. The sail back to Corfu was good and for disembarkation we were given 11.45 timeslot where we lazed on a sunbed on deck waiting to get the coach to our hotel in Corfu for a further week at the superb Louis Corcyra Hotel. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We did not know what to expect. We have been frustrated over the last few cruises with other cruise lines. We were SOOO happy with Azamara. The food was very good. Top quality and even when we tried things that we never ate before, they ... Read More
We did not know what to expect. We have been frustrated over the last few cruises with other cruise lines. We were SOOO happy with Azamara. The food was very good. Top quality and even when we tried things that we never ate before, they all tasted so good. Service was top notch. Given that tips were included in the price, the staff worked extremely hard as if every action was so important. The ship was always clean. Buffet items were always hot and tasty. The amazing evening was a real treat. First class all the way. Beds were soft and comfortable. Since the ship was small…..getting on and off was a breeze. We took mostly ship tours and they were ALL very nice. Not much need for independent travel. The ports were all good. This is the first for us and we will definitely cruise with Azamara again Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Note: I was on this cruise from Athens to Tampa which was known as the 29-Day Antiquities & Spanish Passage Collector, however the Ryndam broke it down to Athens Rome, Rome Barcelona, & Barcelona to Tampa. This is the 7 day Athens ... Read More
Note: I was on this cruise from Athens to Tampa which was known as the 29-Day Antiquities & Spanish Passage Collector, however the Ryndam broke it down to Athens Rome, Rome Barcelona, & Barcelona to Tampa. This is the 7 day Athens to Rome portion. Pre-Cruise: I spent several days in Athens, should have spent more & stayed at a cheaper hotel around less expensive restaurants. Background information: In Jan. 2013 I cruised the Caribbean & on that voyage was the Mt. Laurel Autoharp Group. I overheard them say that their next cruise was going to be transatlantic. Well it was but for some reason they like the Noordam. Activities: I was used to larger ships, also this was in the Mediterranean; I thought there could have been more but we had a port for each day; some passengers thought this too much. Cabin: I had cabin 030 on the Navigation Deck giving me use of the Neptune Lounge and breakfast at the Pinnacle Grill. Captain: Werner Timmers kept us updated with navigational highlights & was often seen around the ship on special events & for lunch at the Lido. He was the first Captain I have seen not wearing a jacket; fellow officer were the same. Maybe this is what you get with smaller ships. The Captain’s humor, wit & knowledge were well appreciated. The fact that we had nice weather throughout the cruise probably had some affect. Cell Phone: Best bet here is to contact your local cell phone carrier. I was told to have airplane mode on, data off & fetch new data off. Of course turning your phone off is probably the best bet. I called my provider (AT&T) & asked for international calling for a month just in case of emergency. Children’s Clubs: Not used Cruise Director: Michael Langley; it took getting used to him for this was my first cruise to the Med. He was very knowledgeable of the different ports. Dining: There was plenty of food but for me the selection was bad as I am a fussy eater. I have yet to have a tender HAL steak. This was the first cruise I chose anytime dining & I found it better than fixed for one is seated with different people each night. E Reader: There are various types, basically they are all the same. Either take a bunch of books or you can put them on an E Reader. In addition the E reader I took a Microsoft Surface tablet. A lot of people had IPads. Embarkation & Disembarkation: Embarkation was pretty swift. Disembarkation did not apply as I was going to Tampa. Entertainment: The Ryndam singers & dancers were terrific as were comedian’s Kevin Devane & Scotty McLean. The volume in the Showroom at Sea was loud, always has been no matter what ship I’ve been on. Others agreed with me. Fitness & Recreation: Did not use Formal Nights: There were 2 formal nights. There were few tuxedos Gratuity: For me the gratuity was $12 per day; for most people it was $11.50. This is deducted automatically & charged to your account. Laundry: There were washers & dryers on decks 9, 6, & 5; washing was $2, dryers $1, soap was provided free. What I did while the laundry was being washed was to sit in the one seat available & read my E-reader. Navigational Sights & Scenery: Breathtaking. Passengers: We had a somewhat younger crowd than the older over 60’s that one would expect, most of the children were from European countries. Perks: I was in a Neptune Suite so took advantage of the free laundry & Pinnacle Grill for breakfast which I used only once since breakfast in the Pinnacle was at 8am & breakfast in the Lido began about 6-7 depending on the port visited. Public Rooms: DECK 8: Lido Restaurant: Here was breakfast, the advantage of eating here was it opened early. DECK 8: Gym: Went here once at the beginning to the cruise to weigh myself. DECKS 8-7: Rotterdam Dining Room: This is where I took evening meals on Deck 7 & Deck 8 for hi-tea at 3PM. DECK 8: Explorer’s Lounge, Library, Internet, Puzzle’s & Game’s: I spent my time here while waiting for the dining room to open, using the internet, or just reading. DECK 8: Pinnacle Grill: I had breakfast here once, but breakfast is reserved for Neptune Suite guests. DECKS 8-7: Showroom at Sea: Where the shows are. DECK 8: Shops: Purchased a pair of shorts here. DECK 7: Wajang Theater: There were movies about 12 noon most evry day. DECK 7: Front Office: Open 24/7 & I visited here a few times; Shore Excursions is beside it. DECK 3: Tenders: decks B or 5. Rates: Reasonable. Service: HAL is known for their service. Everyone was very helpful. Ship: The ship was relatively small & there are 2 banks of elevators 4 each or 8 in total. I found walking from bow to stern rather easy plus you really do not have any choice. Smoking: About the only place you notice this is in the Casino & here 1 side is reserved for smokers, the other side non-smoking. But a sign in the casino says "Smoking is permitted at designated slots & tables while playing only”. Outside the ship smoking is allowed. At the Sea View Pool on Deck 10, smoking is allowed on the starboard side only. Stewards: My stewards were Ari & Putu who were responsible for 17 Neptune Suite cabins. Tours  Private: For independent tours check reviews on Cruise Critic and Tripadvistor. Independent Tours are less expensive than ship’s tours. Taking a ships tour means that the ship will not leave without you; you lack that advantage with independent tours. Olympia (Katakolon) Greece: tours available at the pier. Kerkira (Corfu) Greece: tours available at the pier. Kotor, Montenegro: available are taxi tours, tour of Walled City, walk to Kalemija mall. Dubrovnik, Croatia: available at the pier taxi tours. Naples, Italy: taxi tours available. Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy: available Wi-Fi: Olympia (Katakolon), Greece: available at various places. Kerkira (Corfu), Greece: available in the terminal as you exit for the city. Kotor, Montenegro: at Kalemija Mall, a short walk from the pier. Dubrovnik, Croatia: Wi-Fi available at the pier. Naples, Italy: Wi-Fi available at the terminal where the ship docks Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy: available outside the terminal at restaurants Value for Money: Very good. Overall: I was very satisfied as I did not take this cruise for activities, but for the ports of call. It was an interesting cruise. Athens: there are many tours in this marvelous city among them a HoHo (Hop On Hop Off) bus. Katakolon (Olympia), Greece: I took the ships tour "Ancient Olympia & the Village” but there is also the HoHo bus plus independent tours you can book; do a search on cruise critic or tripadvisor. Some people just walked around the city. Kerkira (Corfu), Greece: Here you can also do an independent tour or walk around the city. I took the "Achillion, Kanoni & Corfu” ships tour. Kotor, Montenegro: Here I took the HoHo bus then walked to Kamelija which is the large shopping center, large according to Kotor standings. Montenegro was one of the best ports visited. There are also private taxis. Dubrovnik, Croatia: Here I took the "Panoramic & Traditional Konavle” ships tour. There are also independent taxis available. Naples, Italy: I took the ships tour "Panoramic Naples” but there are taxi tours independent tours. Rome, Italy: Ship tours are available as are independent tours. Dairy: Tuesday Oct. 15: Pre-Cruise: Boston, p/c I took a taxi to Lufthansa terminal, checked in then went to the Business Class lounge. We boarded 1 hour late (the captain said it was a medical emergency). An hour after taking off we were served a sumptuous supper followed by lights out but I did not sleep a wink. Then a few hours later, before landing, we were served breakfast. Mind you the flight was only 7 hours long; how much food does one person need and the airlines are complaining about expenses? Wednesday Oct. 16: Pre-Cruise: Athens, overcast, 70’s After arriving in Frankfurt I went to the gate A18 for the Athens flight only to be told by an attendant that the Lounge was at gate 26. So I backtracked to 26, spent an hour in the lounge & returned to gate A 18 where we were bussed to the plane which seemed like 15 minutes. After boarding, Business Class was served yet another breakfast, & this was far better than the one from Boston to Frankfurt; Lufthansa outdid themselves. We arrived at Athens Airport (about a 3 hour flight) & I was surprised to see someone waiting for me after the fiasco with Princess Cruise Lines in Sept. 2012. When we got to the Ledra Marriott there was a long check-in line. The attendant could not find my reservation; to make a long story short everything turned out ok when the HAL rep finally cleared things up. I was told to have my luggage outside my door at 8am Saturday morning. Thursday Oct. 17: Pre-Cruise: Athens, sunny in morning, showers in afternoon; 60’s, windy. Caught up on sleep today with an occasional break for meals. The flight may be short but it takes a lot out of you. At supper tonight met Michele who works as an inspector for RCCL, Azmara and Celebrity cruise lines. She travels a lot and we talked about various things. She said the reason embarkation & debarkation is so good is that a terminal was specially built for the 6000+ passenger ships however she prefers the smaller ships. Friday Oct. 18: Pre-Cruise: Athens, 60-70, clear, sunny, slight breeze. Today I caught the 10:09 HOHO blue bus to the Acropolis; there the bus was emptied, I believe it was going out of service, & we were put on a red bus. There are two tours, the red which covers Athens and blue which covers Piraeus. On the red route we went to Syntagma Sq., Melina Merkouri / Plaka, New Acropolis Museum, The Acropolis and Parthernon, Temple of Zeus, National Gardens, The 4 Museums, Panathenaic Stadium, National Gardens / Attica Dept Store, National Library, Archaeological Museum, Omonia Square, Karaiskaki Square, Monastiraki / Thession station, Kotzia Square. At stop 8 I got off then took the Blue Bus to Marriott & Intercontinental, Planetarium, Municipal Theatre, Cruise Terminal, Lions Gate, Archaeological Museum of Piraeus, Votsalakia Beach, Mikrolimano Harbour, Planetarium, and Marriott & Intercontinental. You will notice that the bus stops at Marriott 2 times. (Note) Piraeus is a nice port area. We leave from there tomorrow. For lunch I went to Maeina, about a 2 minute walk from the hotel walking towards Piraeus on the same side as the hotel. I had a beef souvlaki wrap and bottled water for 2.20 Euro. There are 3 eateries all next to each other & very near the hotel. Back at the hotel I met Kris & Sheila, we went to the outside rooftop restaurant but it was rather windy with a good view of the Acropolis. About the tour, they give you these small headsets that fit in your ears & for the life of me I could not get them to fit in my ears. Saturday Oct. 19: Athens, leave 4:30: 68F, sunny, Smart Casual. After breakfast, with my bags packed I turned on the tube; the only channel of interest was the Japan one which seemed devoted to nature programming. I went to the lobby at 11am, did not see my luggage asked the HAL rep who said "well I hope not as it should be on the truck”. On the ride from the Marriott to Piraeus I noticed near the hotel walking towards the city on the same side of the hotel was a cinema. The ride took about 20 minutes & I was in my cabin by 12:30, unpacked then went to the Neptune Lounge for snacks also changed my dining from fixed to anytime. After you check-in at the dock & before you board the ship was a duty-free shop. There was not a desk in the cabin, so I ended up using the makeup table. Then I walked to the Drill & from there to the Sea View pool & the Sail-a-way party. The Halcats were playing & Kris and Sheila showed up, we ended to my cabin then to supper. After we had finished, I went back to have my zippered pants, jacket, and shirt laundered. Formal night is Monday but I will get the laundry back Sunday night. Tom & Shondra met me in the Neptune Lounge as I stopped in to have some sandwiches. Between that & herring I’m probably going to gain a few pounds. Entertainment tonight was "Listen to the Music” with Cruise Director Michael Langley & the entertainers of the Ryndam. Sunday Oct. 20: Katakalon, Greece, 8am-6pm: 75F, mostly sunny; Smart Casual. Calm seas from Athens to Katakalon. In port today with Quest for Adventure. Set a Wake-up call for 6am but also used the wakeup app on my iphone. Shaved, then went to breakfast, after which I returned to the cabin & finished getting ready for the day. I took a tour & we saw the site of ancient Olympia & the remains of temples, treasuries, porticoes and statues. We briefly stopped in an Olympia village then we walked to a renovated museum. Back to the ship, I walked around town. There are cars for hire at 35 Euro & various places have Wi-Fi. There is a duty free shop a stone’s throw from where the ship docks and many crew members go there for water. Entertainment tonight was "Rock Legends” with the Ryndam Singers & Dancers. Monday Oct. 21: Kerkira, Greece, 8am-4pm: 68F, mostly clear, Formal. Calm seas from Katakalon to Kerkira. In port today with Splendor of the Seas and MSC Armonia. Took a tour to Achillion, Kanoni & Corfu seeing the village of Gastouri, Achillion Place & the mansion built by Empress Elisabeth of Austria. At Kononi we saw the convent of Vlacherna & Mouse Island; followed by a guided walk through the narrow streets of Old Town Corfu with a stop at St. Spiridon Church. Tonight was comedian Kevin Devan, A few people left because some of his material was a bit risqué. Tuesday Oct. 22: Kotor, Montenegro, 8am-11pm; 64F, clear, Smart Casual. Calm seas from Kerkira to Kotor. Ryndam was the only cruise ship in port; There are taxi tours available, a HoHo bus tour & a guided tour of the Old Town. It’s about a 10 minute walk to Kamelija which is a large shopping center, It really is picturesque & (for me) the best stop so far. Took the HoHo bus & saw Bajova kula, Perast, & Risan. Then I walked to Kamelija which is touted to be a large shopping center & probably is by Montenegro standards; there is also Wi-Fi available. Entertainment tonight was "Going Global” with the Ryndam Singers & Dancers. Wednesday Oct. 23: Dubrovnik, Croatia, 8am-5pm; 69F, clear, Smart Casual. Calm seas from Kotor to Dubrovnik. In port with Thompson Majesty; I had a tour "Panoramic & Traditional Konavie” & saw Dubrovnik at a relaxed pace, drove through the Konavle Region to the old water mill, viewed the fully functional river-powered flourmill & had a local snack. Wi-Fi is available at the pier. Tonight was comedian Scotty McLean & he was good. Tonight was also the Filipino Crew Show; the Filipino & Indonesian crew shows are always good but the disadvantage is that they are usually at a late hour. Thursday Oct. 24: At Sea; p/c, 73F, sunny, Formal Calm seas. Decided to have breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill (Neptune Suites have that "Perk” for breakfast only). Then went back to cabin to get ready for the Mariner Luncheon which really was nothing to write home about. Next spent 28 minutes on the computer cleaning up email then went to the Lido Deck & purchased 2 T-shirts that were on sale (believe that & I have a bridge to sell you). Friday Oct. 25: Naples, Italy; 8am-6pm: sunny, 70F, smart casual Calm Seas from Dubrovnik to Naples. In port with Norwegian Jade, Liberty of Sea & Mein Schiff. I took the Panoramic Naples (through HAL) including the Royal Palace façade adorned with Greek, Roman, Gothic, Byzantine, Norman, Spanish, Bourbon & Italian statues. Saw San Carlo, one of the most famous opera houses in the world, the Mashie Angelino castle, Mt. Vesuvius, & Naples Bay. The tour was advertised as easy; some people disagreed with that. There was Wi-Fi at the terminal. Entertainment tonight was "Dancing with the Stars at Sea” starring some of our fellow guests who won various dancing contests during the preceding week. Saturday Oct. 26: Rome (Cititavecchia), Italy, arrive 7am; 70F, sunny. Calm Seas from Naples to Rome. In port with Norwegian Jade, W Spirit, Lirica, Mein Schiff. For this cruise we have had excellent weather & calm seas. Captain: Werner Timmers Hotel Director: Kees Van Santen Cruise Director: Michael Langley Chief Engineer: Pieter Engels Purser: Moesa Djoemena Guest Relations Manager: Christine Lubaton Dining Room Manager: Pulung Baskoro Executive Chef: Antonia Tudla Staff Captain: Paul Adams Culinary Operations Manager: Ruben Kooiman Security Officer: Mark Miranda Executive Housekeeper: Rita Lynch Event Manager: Kristy Berlin   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Second cruise on Windstar. The positives are the sleek semi-sailing yachts, the small number of passengers and the attention from the service staff. The not-so-positives on this cruise were the "weak" ports we visited and the ... Read More
Second cruise on Windstar. The positives are the sleek semi-sailing yachts, the small number of passengers and the attention from the service staff. The not-so-positives on this cruise were the "weak" ports we visited and the shore excursions. Monamvasia is ok, Gythian was nondescript , Taormina was very touristy, as well as Capri, Lipari should have been skipped. Our first cruise with Windstar included the Greek Islands and Turkey and had much better port stops and shore excursions. Calling this cruise an Amalfi Coast cruise is a stretch. Cabin was comfortable and had adequate room considering size of boat. Minimal noise. Food is slightly above average and that commentary would probably be related to what your dining experience is. I would certainly not call it extravagant . With a small passenger group and considering the expense of this type of cruise, you expect an assortment of attitudes. I found it interesting that a "peck" order developed on this cruise that was orchestrated by a Texas "big shot." Also found no one really went out of their way to be friendly with us. I would recommend you look for other Windstar itineraries before considering this one. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We had an overall nice experience with Oceania Marina , although we did find there were certain areas fell below our expectations. .Embarkation and Disembarkation were much quicker and smoother than our previous experience with the larger ... Read More
We had an overall nice experience with Oceania Marina , although we did find there were certain areas fell below our expectations. .Embarkation and Disembarkation were much quicker and smoother than our previous experience with the larger cruiseships. Upon checking at noon we were told our cabin number as we booked a guaranteed cabin verandah) and it wouldnt be ready until 3 pm , this was a bit late compared to our last experience with Celebrity and Princess. Also since no stateroom number was printed on the luggage tag provided by Oceania , it turned out that our luggage only arrived in full by 430pm , whereas it were sitting outside our cabin with Celebrity and Princess after we had checked in in noon time. Also normally you will get to meet your maid on embarkation day who would show up to greet you, but not on Oceania. Nevertheless we understood it was extremely busy hours for housekeeping staff. Our stateroom was generally better than the other two cruise lines we tried before , given all were balcony cabin.Facilities in the room were same as what we learned in Oceania website such as heavenly plush bedding , spacious bathroom and mini bar filled with free soft drinks and soda water Prior to joining this cruise my expectation is service level from Oceania will be higher than my previous experience with the larger cruiseship , however this was not the case from our encounter with personnels on Reception Desk , Destination Desk or Dining Reservation Desk. Somehow the staff were simply there to answer your question but you wouldnt feel their willngness to help at all. For example when we tried to make reservation on specialty dining , it was a totally frustrating experience as like many other fellow passengers we tried to book a few times and everytime we were turned down ,the reason given by the Dining Reservation Desk was some others guests had not signed up to try ,however throughout the cruise I also overheard many fellow passenger were not happy with this booking system, I actually had sympathy with the Dining Reservation Desk fellow as it was not easy to deal with so many upset faces everyday. While in Grand Dining Room and Terrace Cafe food quality was definitely the best we had so far, nevertheless except a few , most servicing staff failed to show their passion and barely had smile on their faces, this fell short of the kind of sevice standard one expect in any other 4.5 star or above cruiseship . Also while most review had a high rating for Jacques and Red Ginger, we found both the ambience /decor of restaurant and food presentation not quite as good as the other specailty restaurants in our previous cruises. Polo Grill was good , Tuscany was okay. One particular criticism I had on this cruise was the shuttle arrangement in Dubronik. We went back to the pick up point to line up 3 hours before boarding time, however unlike another cruise line no designated person were there to maintain the order. Meanwhile shuttle buses from other cruiseship (Cunard)arrrived one after another, their fellow passengers were assisted by designated person to board the bus. we had waited for over 30 minutes and still no bus arrived , the line was not a line anymore as more fellow passengers arrived and joined the queue randomly, finally when bus arrived after 40 minutes or so, people started to rush in front and it became a complete chaos, pushing and yelling were seen and it was not nice. We thought this could be avoided if Oceania had been more proactive in maintaining a good shuttle service. A lot of comments on Oceania excursion fare had been published, We didnt know how well those excursion got sold as we did most excursion on our own ,most cruise line made money on excursion so if one wanted to save money he had to do his homework. Nevertheless quite a few fellow passengers we talked to expressed the excursion fares were too expensive. Similary ,last cruise we disembarked in Venice we compared the coach transfer charges to airport between the two cruse lines, there was a significant difference in which one would have to pay a lot more on Oceania term. Once again one had to do his homework. Finally ,We were particularly pleased with disembarkation as Oceania had deployed quite a few staff to assist guests in the luggage area as well as outside the cruise terminal.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We sailed on Oct 13. The ship is lovely and our cabin was more than adequate. High end linens and toiletries in a well configured room. Can't fault the staff for anything. They were absolutely flawless. Meals were high quality and the ... Read More
We sailed on Oct 13. The ship is lovely and our cabin was more than adequate. High end linens and toiletries in a well configured room. Can't fault the staff for anything. They were absolutely flawless. Meals were high quality and the variety was endless. If you didn't see what you wanted and the chef had time, he would try to accommodate you and make it. The two times they brought in entertainment ( a jazz trio and then two opera singers) were very high quality. The tours in Venice were amazing. The walking tour that led into the Doges Palace was great. Seeing St. Marks go from darkness to light that evening was incredible. We were very impressed, thinking this is a terrific cruise.. Then we started on the bus tours. We couldn't sail the Po just like most of the other cruises this year. So we sat for a minimum of 1 1/2 hours (Paduva) and often much longer ( Bologna 4 hours) on a bus to get to a somewhat interesting city. The walking tours were well done and we saw some great sights. The Vox system of broadcasting worked really well. The lunch in Ravena and Bologna were very nice and the pasta making workshop was terrific. The last two reviews have done a great job in describing their experiences. We just felt somewhat disappointed that we didn't sail on any river. I wonder if in their haste to offer a river cruise in Italy and beat the competition, that they didn't do due diligence on whether Italy is a place that should offer a river cruise. The ports of call are okay and would be much more attractive if they were a stop on a river that you were sailing on. We may try another river cruise down the road, maybe the lower Danube, but this is a very expensive bus tour the way the Po river cruise stands at the moment. We had a good time because we always have a good time, but it just fell a little short of what we were expecting. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We combined a 12 day land tour with an excellent tour company. Our TA coordinated everything with Regent and tour company so that our Regent Air brought us into Milan on 10/18 and we were driven to Lake Como for 3 days -- group was just ... Read More
We combined a 12 day land tour with an excellent tour company. Our TA coordinated everything with Regent and tour company so that our Regent Air brought us into Milan on 10/18 and we were driven to Lake Como for 3 days -- group was just one other couple, with whom we got along fabulously. Our tour captain was great, so it was a wonderful prelude to Mariner Cruise. In land tour we spent 3 nightsn Lake Como, 2 nights in Lake Maggiore, 3 Nights in Cinque Terra/Portofino/Santa Margherita area, and finished with 3 wonderful nights at a vineyard resort outside Siena in Tuscany. We then took high speed train from Florence to Vienna -- great experience but difficult with two suitcases apiece!. We then were met at Venice train station and tranferred to Hilton Stuckey Molino Hotel -- and it was a wonderful hotel and location. The 2nd morning we were there we watched the Mariner go past our hotel window at 7am, which was special. The embarkation should have gone easily since the Mariner was visible from our hotel, but the water taxi firm that was used made numerous bad choices and it took us about 45 minutes - and should have ben 15 minutes. Once aboard, all was smooth and fast -- got in rooms by 330 and luggage by 5 Throughout the trip we had wonderful evening meals at Comp[ass Rose as well as Prime 7 and Signatures. We made no effort to get more evenings there -- Compass Rose was great for dinner and a few lunches when we were on board. Veranda was always nice and easy to get tables. Had several opportunities to swim in the pool (in November) so pool service was good (and so was the ice cream) Special meals on pool deck were OK, but we bypassed two of them. The block party was great and we made some good friends that we are staying in touch with. Excursions were never crowded, guides were good, and Destination did a good job of adjusting as we had to by pass three ports - Sicily became a Sea Day, Sorrento was switched to Naples, and Portofino was switched to Genoa. Most excursions were maintained except Sicily - we really wanted to see Mt Aetna., but saftey first,.Had a mix of great weeather and rough weather. ABsolutely worst was last night with waves crashing at 15-18 feet as vessel travelled from Genoa to Rome. Had to cancel Cerq show and many people got very sick -- very hard to pack that last night. New experience. Pompei was the most interesting excursion. Dubrovnik was still interesting the 2nd time around. Got to see the countryside. Entertainment was not as good as on past cruises -- dancers were good but lead singers were below par. We have always enjoyed them in the past. The boutique had good selection for its size and surprisingly had items that were 2XL -- my size. Our room team -- butler and roomsteward were just great!! S=Disembarkation went very smoothly and we were taken to Sheraton Golf Resort for overnight. Not fancy but convenient to airport the next day and Regent handled it well. Those that wanted to could take a shuttle into Rome. We had been to Rome before and just wanted to relax before our flight back to Tulsa. All in all a wonderful cruise and we have bought our $2000 certificate for a future cruise so that we retain on-board booking discounts Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
My husband surprised me with a week cruise on Crystal. I only had a couple weeks notice that we were going, and usually I prefer to plan more in advance but Crystal had everything so well in hand and well organized that this wasn't a ... Read More
My husband surprised me with a week cruise on Crystal. I only had a couple weeks notice that we were going, and usually I prefer to plan more in advance but Crystal had everything so well in hand and well organized that this wasn't a problem at all. I really don't know what to say in this review except to say that I adored this ship, mainly for the staff's attentiveness and the fellow passengers' civility. The ship never seemed crowded, there was never an issue finding a seat to have lunch at and there was absolutely no lining up like sheep, waiting, for anything. Check-in was smooth and despite a fairly significant line, fairly painless. I know others go on and on about the fact that the staff learns you name with in the first day and this is true but what impressed me more is that every single staff person seemed genuinely happy to be there. Probably the very best part, for me, was my fellow passengers. The others on this ship were well-mannered and civil. There was none of the pushy-ness that I have experienced on Celebrity or RC, probably because there was none of the crowding. The crowd was mainly mid-30s to late 60s-ish with a few older people as well. But mainly the passengers were well-travelled, mannerly, active adults. There was only one child on the ship and he was a teenager with his Grandmother. Yes, the cabin was quite small, but the ship was such a delight that I rarely stayed in it so it didn't matter to me. The cabin was impeccably clean, well appointed, and exceedingly comfortable. Our steward was terrific. The entertainment on board was small but were good. The Cruise Director (I think his last name was Spath?) was outstanding and very personable. Really, all the senior staff was quite nice. The food was excellent. I didn't have a single bad or even mediocre meal. We planned our own excursions, so I can't comment on those. Really, the entire experience was top-notch and I can't wait to book another Crystal cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We sailed on the Flavours of Italy cruise on 25 October. The boarding was qucik and simple and contary to another report we were able to use our boarding card immediatley and enjoyed a much needed beer after being shown to our cabin. We ... Read More
We sailed on the Flavours of Italy cruise on 25 October. The boarding was qucik and simple and contary to another report we were able to use our boarding card immediatley and enjoyed a much needed beer after being shown to our cabin. We had never cruised before and were very excited, the ship although dwarfed by the much larger ones in port was big enough to still get lost on even after a week. The staff were excellent from the waiters in the restaurant, the cabin stewards, waiters and everyone else. They work extremly hard and are only too happy to help. Would we cruise again yes but not as a main holida, not quite my type of holiday, I prefer lounging on a sunbed as other reviews state this is not possible. Beds are reserved all day with no one coming back to them and no one policing this. We stayed on board when the ship docked in Malta got two excellent beds but left them to go for lunch. When we returned we had to look for two more although not as good as the first they were ok. What happened then, someone came and put their bed directly at the foot of mine so that I could not lay full lenghth and also meant that I was now in the gangway. Despite waiters and staff having to step over they never asked the person in front to move!!! All though the food was excellent, the cabin accomadation is basic pretty much like being in a caravan. So when everyone had advised us that cruising was luxurious and we wouldn't go back to hotel holidaying I have to say this is not the case for us. I know you only sleep in your accomadation but a luxurious room adds to your holiday enjoyment. We had a cabin on the deck below the sun deck which was very noisy when they had the party nights. There does not appear to be any sound proofing. The staff in the Seven Seas Restaurant and the Royal Observatory bar deserve a special mention as they were excellent. Nothing was too much trouble for them. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
My family of 10 took this cruise . Ages ranged from 31 to 90 and we all had a wonderful time. We embarked in Venice and the process was very easy. The check in went smoothly. My mother is able to walk short distances so we had a wheelchair ... Read More
My family of 10 took this cruise . Ages ranged from 31 to 90 and we all had a wonderful time. We embarked in Venice and the process was very easy. The check in went smoothly. My mother is able to walk short distances so we had a wheelchair for her and the porters and attendants were very courteous. The cabins were well appointed and we loved the verandas. dining was a treat each night, whether it was the main dining room or one of the specialty restaurants. One of our favorites was the lawn grill. Making the flatbreads was lots of fun and the service and view was terrific. Each port we stopped at was very different. Ravenna was my least favorite, because the map was not very accurate and we couldn't tell which were the highlighted buildings. Loved Croatia, split was easy to get around and Dubrovnik was very nice. we took a cab from the ship to the cable car and road it to the top. That was wonderful. then road it down to the bottom and walked into the old town. our time aboard ship was very relaxing. the pools were good with lots of lounging areas. Sicily was very different from the other places, Mt Etna was really interesting. the Amalfi coast was a favorite. Then in Rome we stayed an extra day to see some of the sights. All the excursions we booked on our own because of the size of our group and the different abilities of each member. I would do this cruise again, because there is so much to see. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We have just returned from a Regent cruise on the Voyager starting in Rome, around Italy to Croatia finishing in Venice. This is our 3rd cruise, the first two have been with Azamara which we thoroughly enjoyed and had no complaints at all. ... Read More
We have just returned from a Regent cruise on the Voyager starting in Rome, around Italy to Croatia finishing in Venice. This is our 3rd cruise, the first two have been with Azamara which we thoroughly enjoyed and had no complaints at all. We decided to try a different cruise line as a comparison and paid more as we had read good reports about Regent. It’s difficult to know where to start with the disappointments. We were aware that the Voyager had been having a refit prior to this cruise and we took the 4 hour delay in our transfer from the Rome Sheraton to the port in good faith as these delays can happen, an apology for the delay would have been nice instead we encountered stressed staff with strained smiles and at the dock, cues out of the reception tent door. Firstly I would not recommend the Sheraton, a mistake on Regents part with sullen staff apart from a few lovely bar staff, poor and expensive food and drink, but we looked forward to an elegant, clean ship, which it was. We had expected excellent service, we ordered drinks for our suite from our steward, we had to ring reception on 3 occasions to remind them and waited two days for the requests to be fulfilled and excuses were made about the telephone system having a problem, even though we had asked the steward in person for the items, we even had to ask for the bottled water to be replaced in the cabin. We found most of the food to be boring, lacking in flavour and very often cold, particularly in the pool bar, we had to return cold tuna burgers (this could have been a health issue) and when we questioned any of the poor quality food, we were given an excuse not an apology and no offer to improve the situation. The desserts in most restaurants and snacks in Coffee Connections were tasteless and of poor quality. One night in Compass Rose we spent 30 minutes trying to get a glass of wine, staff seemed to be in a particular area and forgot about us. Breakfast in our room was uninspiring with water too cold to make tea and as it was often necessary to have breakfast in the rooms, more than we would have liked, as the trips were organised far too early. The only half decent meal we experienced was in Signatures on our last night but no better than a regular meal experienced on Azamara Journey in the general restaurant. In addition, the opening times in all restaurants was too limiting which put pressure on guests to plan their day around activities trips etc. Regent seems to have forgotten that a holiday should be relaxing as well as having stimulating trips. We often found that food was being taken away in the Veranda restaurant without being replaced well before the official closing time. We had expected themes in the food linked to each place we visited, there was no connection with the cruise and its ports of call, and it was reminiscent of canteen food. In addition staff tended to rush the eating experience, giving the impression that they wanted to clear away to encourage guests to leave. There were a few attentive members of staff but only a handful, a very inconsistent regime. One striking thing, which seemed to prevent guests from socialising in communal areas, was due to the temperature, it was really cold, and left these areas as a barren wasteland, particularly in the evenings when you would expect more interaction between people as they made their way to restaurants and theatre etc, this was mentioned to staff by many guests but the temperature never improved. This takes me to the entertainment; this was uninspiring apart from guest entertainers Soprano Rachael Russell and Comedian John Martin, both from Liverpool, who were excellent. The theatre seemed under used and was mainly a venue to congregate for the trips early mornings. We did have some unexpected humour with other guests due to the ‘lift music’ loop piped constantly in the pool area; it was so poor that we all commented on it and a bit of fun. If we heard ‘Two Lovely Black Eyes’ once while sitting there we heard it 6 times. We did catch Paul the Cruise Director on a fleeting pass in the atrium early in the cruise and mentioned this poor musical entertainment, he abruptly, without empathy, said it was on a 24 hr loop and must have a problem, nothing changed throughout the cruise and many people complained. The Spontaneous duo were good and could have been utilised up on the pool deck more often, the only time we saw them we couldn’t hear their music. As you will see from the comments, we felt this cruise was poor value for money and not a pleasurable experience, we are not naturally the type of people who give this level of criticism and when you are on holiday it is an unwelcome impression to leave with. We found we were constantly commenting to each other about problems which did spoil the holiday. To generalise we found the staff on this ship to be too serious, they did not interact with staff and gave the impression that guests were an inconvenience (remember we are their salary source). This holiday was low on fun, lacked exciting flavours in food and offered boring entertainment. There seems to be a great deficiency of pride with the staff on this ship. I must add other guests agreed with our findings, some had cruised with Regent on many occasions and were surprised at the poor quality of this cruise experience compared to previous trips. We are so disappointed that we waited until Regent lowered their standards but not their prices. However, some of these poor experiences have nothing to do with money its more to do with a poor positive attitude from Regent. On a final note on return I have logged onto my account on Regent’s website to discover they have removed the history of passed cruises, maybe the just hope we will forget about this disappointing cruise! Before posting this review I asked Regent’s guest services for their comments, after a week I received a two page letter giving feeble excuses for some of the points raised. We will not be cruising with Regent again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This was billed as 7 days of river cruising and 6 nights of land travel to visit Florence and Rome with stops on the way to both. Unfortunately as seen from other reviews, there was little cruising to be had other than in the lagoon. ... Read More
This was billed as 7 days of river cruising and 6 nights of land travel to visit Florence and Rome with stops on the way to both. Unfortunately as seen from other reviews, there was little cruising to be had other than in the lagoon. While the captain attempted to give us some of that, it really didn't live up to it's billing. The ship was wonderful and well as her crew, food outstanding and our fellow travelers made our trip. The long bus rides for 4 days need to be evaluated and made more comfortable given the amount of time spent on this mode of transportation. Guides in local areas were outstanding, very knowledgeable and accommodating to questions and clarification. Wifi was billed as free and it was a real frustration, never really worked but wasted a tremendous amount fo time for those of us that needed to keep an eye on our business communications. Coffee machine didn't work for the first few days and that as well meant frustration for many. Entertainment in the lounge was weak to non-existent and I would suggest strongly given the other glitches it would have been a PR gesture to offer free drinks/snacks to help ease the frustration of the things that didn't work. Land part of this trip was wonderful. Much better bus and excellent side trips. Two wine trips were above expectation in all areas, fun, hospitality, food and wine. Our cruise manager was very knowledgeable plus brought the tour to a down to earth experience with personal stories of his living in Italy. Would certainly cruise with Uniglobe again, but would really like a true river experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013

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