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271 South America Cruise Reviews

The Galapagos cruise aboard the Flora is Celebrity's attempt to break into the all-inclusive luxury market. As of the August 4th sailing, Celebrity is failing in epic fashion. The Flora is an incredible ship to be sure. However, ... Read More
The Galapagos cruise aboard the Flora is Celebrity's attempt to break into the all-inclusive luxury market. As of the August 4th sailing, Celebrity is failing in epic fashion. The Flora is an incredible ship to be sure. However, the service aboard the Flora is well below the service I have received as a suite class passenger on other Celebrity ships, and it is far below the service one expects from a luxury vacation. For the price, you can find far better service aboard an actual luxury vessel. And if you're willing to accept the poor service you'll receive onboard the Flora, you can take a much cheaper vacation. I have a lot to say about this "once-in-a-lifetime" trip, so I'll try to be concise: Booking: Proof that Celebrity is not ready to enter this market is the fact that the Flora is treated as an afterthought or an entirely different ship while booking. For example, the Guest Ticket Booklet (which you are expected to print off yourself because Celebrity can't be bothered to mail you a copy of this 42 page document) doesn't even list the Flora among Celebrity's ships. I had to wait for 45 minutes on a phone call to Celebrity to find out what number family members should call in case of emergency because the Guest Ticket Booklet didn't even list the Flora. This is just one of many examples of Celebrity and its Galapagos desk not being ready to debut this ship. Arrival: Arrival in Quito was one of the few good examples of Celebrity service. Someone met us right outside customs and took us to the JW Marriott where we had the King size room we had requested. (We are currently on the land extension of our trip and none of our rooms have been booked correctly and Celebrity has yet to address the issue.) Quito: Our one day in Quito was filling with amazing food and adventure. Celebrity has a really good group of people running the ground operations here and it was probably one of the top three parts of this trip. We always had bottled water, access to restrooms, and were given an lovely introduction to and education about Quito. Galapagos arrival: We flew on a chartered flight from Quito to Baltra and were served a nice breakfast on the plane. We had to wait in a lengthy customs line, but I don't think Celebrity could have done anything about that. However, they could have provided us WiFi access while waiting, in addition to bottled water because it was quite hot. Celebrity's "VIP lounge" is a terribly small room with a soda fountain. This was the beginning of the realization that there was nothing luxury about this trip. Ship check in: You would think that on a luxury cruise of only 98 passengers, the crew would know everyone's names. However, the crew never even learned our names (or standing drink orders) by the end of the trip. We were not offered any kind of unpacking service. Key cards didn't work for half of the ship upon arrival and we had to trouble the attendants to gain access to our own rooms. (For the inconvenience, which lasted nearly half a day, we were provided a chocolate bar.) Ship and rooms: Outstanding. The Flora is a beautiful ship, meticulously appointed and breathtaking. We went with the standard balcony and weren't disappointed. The beds were comfortable; the rain shower was awesome, as was the constant ocean view; and we always had hot water. The dining room and Discovery Lounge are beautiful and it never felt like there wasn't enough room for the 98 passengers onboard. I could say more, but a ship like this is only worth it if the quality of the food and service matches the quality of the ship itself, and it does not. No ship is nice enough to justify a poor service experience. Food Service: The food is mediocre. Not terrible, but certainly not great. There's one wonky toaster, the eggs are always cold at breakfast, and some of the desserts were the most stale and bland items I've ever eaten. For being in a country that prides itself on its chocolate (and for being on a ship that only uses local foods), we had surprisingly few chocolate desserts. More importantly, food is not always available! There is a gap between breakfast and the beginning of room service where you can't find anything to eat unless you manage to catch a bartender and ask him for chips or peanuts. If you appreciate that one of the hallmarks of cruising is the free-flowing food and drink, don't book this trip! It's quite easy for Celebrity to call this an "all-inclusive" experience when very little is actually available. For the better part of our cruise, there was only one working soda machine on the ship. And no one ever took my drink order in under five minutes, so getting a Diet Coke was a 15 minute experience. After a particularly long hunt for a bartender one day, we took to fixing our own drinks. None of this may not seem like too much of a problem to you now, but when you realize that you have to start every single day early to make the excursions, you'll wish you could get into and out of the dining room in a reasonable amount of time. Instead, we found ourselves having to wake up an additional half hour earlier (WARNING: You will NOT sleep in on this vacation unless you want to miss an excursion. So don't think of it as a vacation--think of it as an adventure.) to compensate for the slow food and beverage service. Laundry: Celebrity provides laundry twice, but only for four days of a seven night cruise. Thursday is the last day for laundry even though you don't leave the ship until Sunday. For folks like us that had a land extension, this was particularly inconvenient, and Celebrity doesn't offer laundry once on the land extension. Otherwise, the laundry service was great. Excursions: Once you understand how the Galapagos works, you'll realize that Celebrity has very little input on this part of the cruise, so it seems unfair to comment. However, I'll note for anyone considering a Galapagos cruise that you should realize how little freedom you have to explore the Galapagos. You'll always be accompanied by a naturalist. You'll never be able to stray off on your own. You won't be able to interact with wildlife (outside of blowing bubbles at sea lions while snorkeling). Ships have to go to particular places at set times so that there are never too many people in one place. It's the most heavily regulated "adventure" you'll ever take. The fact that excursions are so rigid--and the fact that the first ones of the day are so early--are what make it SO important that your time aboard the ship be particularly enjoyable. That's where Celebrity is falling short here. There's really nothing to do on board the ship between excursions--you can't even eat. Sure, you can order some incredibly mediocre room service. But what you'd really like to do is go up top to the Ocean Bar and sit outside with a drink and a snack. But the crew is unable to handle that, so you have to wait until lunch. It also doesn't help that no matter how many times your husband orders coffee and you order Diet Coke, no one will remember. You can't even get WATER in a timely fashion. I took to sneaking behind the crew section in the dining room to get my own. I'll admit that my review is somewhat biased by the fact that we are still on our "vacation" with Celebrity doing a land extension. This portion of the trip has been equally marred by incompetence and indifference on Celebrity's part. Today they left me on hold for 30 minutes only to tell me to call back tomorrow because the person who could help me had gone home. Keep in mind that they know I'm in a foreign country on a vacation WITH CELEBRITY. I'll update my review later when my rage subsides to see if I want to up the ratings at all. But I don't think that'll be the case... Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Celebrity Eclipse Trip San Antonio Chile to San Diego California March 24 2019 Embarkation poor. Had people lined up for hours waiting to be processed. There was no place for anyone to sit. Other cruise lines issue a number and have ... Read More
Celebrity Eclipse Trip San Antonio Chile to San Diego California March 24 2019 Embarkation poor. Had people lined up for hours waiting to be processed. There was no place for anyone to sit. Other cruise lines issue a number and have passengers sit to wait for their number to be called. The gangplank to the ship was very steep so the staff had to strain to push wheelchair passengers on the ship. Room 9402 very nice and good location, efficient room design with the exception of no electric plug next to or near bed. I called Crucon prior to sailing and requested distilled water for a piece of medical equipment. It was not there. I am sure that there are many people who use a CPAP machine at this present time. Our room attendant Kam, came and introduced himself. He was pleasant and carried out requests. There were no extra special touches in the room, ie cotton buds, shower caps, razors or emery boards in fact you could not even purchase an emery board aboard the ship. There was only soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion. We were not served a complimentary bottle of champagne as we were served on prior cruises,We had to ask for ice to be present in our room in the evening. There is no folder in the room to describe anything about the ship or contain a list of room service foods. I still don't know if room service is available for meals other than breakfast. There was a sheet for us to fill out every evening for breakfast. We had coffee in our room every day and twice they delivered without cups and milk. The towels and sheets had a funky unpleasant odor, perhaps it was their detergent or not enough detergent. The air conditioner/heat control was not predictable, one time it would be very cold on a setting and the next time it would be uncomfortable at that same setting. The room would become warm while we were in port. The bed was not wonderful, there was no pillow top softness but I am like the princess and the pea. The pillows were OK. Trip route- It was a relocation cruise and the stops were not earth shaking. The prices for ship trips to essentially nothing locations were very expensive. We only did two trips, one to Lima and the other in Punta Arenas Costa Rica. Both were interesting. The other ports did not have anything that looked like we needed to explore further or sounded uninteresting. Entertainment- Stale and according to passengers who previously sailed on the ship it was a repeat of the same performances. The songs were dull and uninspiring. The entertainment was aimed at old people and I am older than god. They need to update their performances. The Eclipse Orchestra was the highlight of the performances. They need to continue with “Live Orchestras” not a digital replacement that is being contemplate by the company. All of our table mates refused to attend the performances because of them being so boring and repetitive. Service-The staff were very positive, smiling and caring throughout the ship. The Captain was a pseudo comedian. Alejandro the master of ceremony was great. Jose P and Edwin our staff in the dining room were caring and attentive they get a 10 out of 10! Food- Terrible!! On previous trips the many tasty main courses offered were wonderful, one had to make a decision of choosing from all the very appealing meals offered most every evening. On this cruise trying to find even one was a difficult task, in fact there were many nights we only had appetizers for our meal because the selection was so poor. On the dress up nights there was nothing special offered except on the last dress up night and another regular evening soft shell lobster not New England lobster. The breakfast and lunch buffets were OK. The salad dressing were horrible. There were people stationed at the entry of cafeteria dispensing hand sanitizing solution but there are no hand washing places there. Hand washing is the only way to truly prevent novovirus. Passengers complained that there was a respiratory illness spreading aboard the ship toward the end of the cruise. Disembarkation-A nightmare! Directions printed for passengers to follow were not written by an English speaking person and were very confusing. Other passengers stated the same regarding the poorly written directions. No one knew where they were to go or wait. There were lines all over the ship. Exiting from the ship was down a very steep gangplank. If I had my luggage I would have been propelled down the gangplank. Being in a wheelchair would have been very scary. Summary We are not gung-ho cruisers but have enjoyed our previous 7 cruises because the food was outstanding, the entertainment fun, but this trip left a bad taste in our mouth. I am not sure we will cruise again anytime soon. Is Celebrity trying to drive people do the specialty dining?? I refuse to pay additional money that probably amount to $100+ for each night to get a decent meal. If this is their object the staff will be shortchanged and service will suffer. The staff in the dining room depend on their tips to supplement their income. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My wife and I typically don't leave reviews on review sites (particularly negative reviews) but we felt obligated to share with anyone considering Australis Cruises so you can best plan your trip. WARNING! :) If you are under 35 ... Read More
My wife and I typically don't leave reviews on review sites (particularly negative reviews) but we felt obligated to share with anyone considering Australis Cruises so you can best plan your trip. WARNING! :) If you are under 35 this is not the cruise for you and the way to spend your time in Patagonia/Tierra del Fuego! Other resorts (like Remota or Explora) would be a MUCH better option. 1) Age: The average age of the cruise was 50-60+ and you only spend an hour or two off the boat per day! So for younger people seeking adventure you will go stir crazy. We don't have anything against older people (there stories are the best!) and we made some great relationships. The company tried (somewhat) to give easy, medium, and difficult hike options for the short excursions each day but even the "most difficult" hike would be 1-2 miles max and incredibly slow. A lot of the hikes were through normal looking terrain you could easily see not on a cruise. You can also see plenty of glaciers by land in Patagonia. 2) Food: Disclaimer. We live in New York City and are snobby foodie types. The food was buffet style and you can get MUCH better food and service for the same price or lower at other resorts. We were not too impressed with the dining experience (although our waiter was very nice). 3) Guides/General Service/Customer Service: For the price of the cruise, we felt customer service fell far short of our other experiences in Patagonia. Starting with the check in process - the check in lady was very rude, short and it felt like we were checking in to get on a $25 Greyhound bus. Not a cruise. We then waited in a very cheesy souvenir shop for over an hour to wait to get on the boat. In terms of service on the boat it was pretty good - nice bartender and servers. The guises however were so-so. We had much nicer, knowledgeable, personable and less condescending guides in other areas of Patagonia. They also did a very odd auction at the end of the cruise where all the proceeds went to the guides and staff. In America this is big Faux Pas or bad etiquette. Typically auctions are for charity and better entertainment should be provided than for asking for more money the last night of the cruise. Just our two cents though! I would note the presentations on the cruise to kill down time were interesting. In summary, do Mendoza, other areas of Patagonia at nicer resorts instead of this cruise. If you really want to do Cape Horn and Teirra Del Fuego just take a quick flight to Ushuaia (dine at Kaupe a great restaurant) and take a day trip out to Cape Horn or the soprrounding areas. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
1.Excursions were poor: a. One poor English-speaking guide without a microphone for 40 people If your in the back of the bus you hear nothing. b. Excursions were not as advertised. I paid over $260 to go to an island to get ... Read More
1.Excursions were poor: a. One poor English-speaking guide without a microphone for 40 people If your in the back of the bus you hear nothing. b. Excursions were not as advertised. I paid over $260 to go to an island to get pictures of South American birds but we never got on the island we were to go to and I feel very cheated. c. The setup for boarding excursions is poorly organized.They tell you to meet in the ship's auditorium at a certain time and then have wait for almost a hour before your tour is called for disembarking. I was the first to show up but was often the last to get out of the room for lack of tour directors organization skills. 2.Overall,the entertainment was good. The best entertainment on the ship was the three classical string players yet they were never given a space to handle the crowds who wanted to hear them. Furthermore, they were put next a bar with loud speaking and sometimes intoxicated people which totally destroyed the listening experience even if you could find a seat. 3. The food was mediocre at best! The head chef should be fired. He provided the the worst entree choices I have ever had on a cruse ( I have been on 15). The onion soup was little more than hot water ( I found no onions nor cheese). Thank goodness, the bred and desert chefs were excellent. 4. You need to have a setup for (equipment, lines and nets) for pickle ball. It is the fastest growing sport for seniors. 5.The cabin and dinning room service was excellent! 6. Bridge instruction and play was enjoyable, however, we were assigned to a play in an area with only small tables. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My mother's friend chose the cruise. My husband and I came along to help my 89-yr-old mother. The cruise started in San Antonio, Chile and ended in Miami. We had two additional stops in Chile, two in Peru, one in Ecuador, one in Costa ... Read More
My mother's friend chose the cruise. My husband and I came along to help my 89-yr-old mother. The cruise started in San Antonio, Chile and ended in Miami. We had two additional stops in Chile, two in Peru, one in Ecuador, one in Costa Rica and one in Columbia. There were shore excursions available in all the ports, but we prefer to walk around and go geocaching. Often there were locals selling wonderful crafted items from little tents right on the pier. They want cash in US dollars, but most items only cost a few dollars. Take along a bunch of ones and fives. The guest services desk will also break a twenty for you. There is and ATM at the casino if you need more cash. The ship provided a free shuttle to get us out of the port area, but in Peru ports they dropped us off in an unsafe location. We could either pay a taxi to take us to a safe location for walking or biking or get back on the shuttle and go to the ship. There were police to make sure we did not wander off on our own. At the second Peru port we did paid extra to take a bus to Trujillo. We could not use our shore excursion credits for this shuttle, however! It was the same thing in Columbia. We were disappointed that we paid to be able to see the ports and Norwegian wouldn't deliver us to a safe place onshore. One of our shore excursions was overbooked and they ran out of food by the time they got to our table. We were offered 50% off that tour. In Costa Rica, there was a very steep ramp and several stairs to get back on the ship. That was a problem as three of our party of seven were physically challenged. The staff will come help you, but you need to ask. They don't volunteer. The food was great, as usual. We used both main dining rooms and the buffet. The waiters were mostly attentive. We found you can request a particular waiter (ask for Mac) and he will remember your preferences. There did not seem to be a lot of folks who wanted to share tables although that was available if you ask when you arrive at the dining room. We liked the anytime dining as we are early eaters. Our cabin was a handicap cabin for my mother. It was a little crowded for three people. Our steward, Juevan, was excellent! Even though Norwegian is discontinuing the towel animals, he made a new one for us every night. He also brought ice to the room when requested. Having had a more pleasant experience on Princess, I suspect we'll be sailing with them in the future. We've been to Alaska and the Caribbean with Princess. They were more attentive during the pre-cruise phase and the shore excursions were better planned. The ports were safer and the ramps to and from the ship was handicap accessible. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The good: The captain and all staff except Guest Relations staff had a great attitude. We had wonderful weather and our fellow cruisers were a good group. The beds are comfortable and the ship was very clean The bad: Worst ... Read More
The good: The captain and all staff except Guest Relations staff had a great attitude. We had wonderful weather and our fellow cruisers were a good group. The beds are comfortable and the ship was very clean The bad: Worst food, bar none, I have ever had on my approx 20 cruises. Extremely limited menu, gristly meat and over-rich sauces. The Guest Relations staff gave incorrect information with amazing regularity - they need additional training and to learn to say "I don't know" instead of giving misinformation. The theater entertainment was mediocre, as was most of the bar and piazza entertainment. The volume of all music throughout the ship was many, many times too loud for enjoyment, as were the mid-ship movies, which I could hear from my aft balcony. I felt sorry for the performers at Crooners because they were completely drowned out by the performances in the Piazza. I am used to pricey shore excursions, but these were way out of line for the value received. We were appalled at the many totally incorrect Trivia answers (yes, we looked them up after) given with absolutely no room for discussion. The moderators were also super quick and allowed no question repeats before the checking process. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise, our 11th with Celebrity, because we had never visited South America and it seemed a good opportunity to visit three countries. We had previously booked the Rio Carnival cruise for the previous year, but postponed it ... Read More
We chose this cruise, our 11th with Celebrity, because we had never visited South America and it seemed a good opportunity to visit three countries. We had previously booked the Rio Carnival cruise for the previous year, but postponed it for personal reasons. We changed to this cruise because it was slightly longer being 14 days rather than 10, it was a terribly long way to fly and so we wanted as long there as possible. We also chose this cruise because it was on the Solstice class Eclipse rather than the Millenium class Infinity. We had previously been on a cruise on Celebrity Millenium and prefer the Solstice class ships. The Celebrity Eclipse is lovely, its the second time we have sailed on her and the staff were all excellent. However, every time we travel with Celebrity we notice cost cutting, there is always something missing or costing extra since the previous cruise we did although the prices of their cruises are rising rapidly. The food in the main dining room is not as good as it used to be, the variety is more limited and food is often not very hot. The sommelier's have more tables to look after too. The problem with this cruise was the ports visited. Embarkation day was chaotic, it was done through a convention centre rather than the cruise terminal. The actual check-in was perfectly ok, but then we had to wait for around an hour to be taken to the ship by bus - there was way too much hanging around. Having left home at 2.30pm on the Friday afternoon for Heathrow and flown at 10pm that evening, we landed at 9am Saturday morning and we were not onboard the ship until around 2pm on the Sunday (we had been put up in a hotel in Buenos Aries on the Saturday night). We went on an excellent trip to Mimosa Estancia near Buenos Aries on Monday and had a great time. After that it was all downhill, some of this was because the weather was bad for the entire cruise, which was nobody's fault of course. Our next stop was Monevideo where we did a highlights tour, basically there were no highlights, we had never visited such a dump of a place before. We could not visit the next port, Punto del Este as the captain announced at 7am that morning that the sea was too rough for the tendering operation so we would not be stopping there. At the next port, Puerto Madryn, it was announced the night before that all the shore excursions would be cancelled as recent rain had left the roads in such a poor condition. We were desperate to get off the ship having spent two cold, wet days at sea so we walked around the port town, but there was nothing to see! The other ports were ok, Ushuaia, Punta Arenas and Puerto Montt. We just about glimpsed Cape Horn through the fog but at least the sea was calm. All in all there were way too many sea days on this cruise, in fact half the 14 day cruise was spent at sea, it was an awfully long way to go to just see the sea. It has put us off long haul cruising, we had previously done Asian and Central American cruises. There is too much hanging around, too many sea days with not much to do on the ship when its not warm enough to sit on the deck. Celebrity cruises are not the best for entertainment. Some of the shows were good, we saw a funny comedian and a fantastic acrobatic show (Euphoria) but some awful guest entertainers including an overly flamboyant pianist and an awful singer who had a very high opinion of himself and very little talent. Also their show 'Topper' has been running for years and gets tedius when you have seen it several times! We enjoyed the ship experience as always but would not recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our seventh Azamara cruise. Rio was on our bucket list. We chose this cruise because we liked Azamara and we had never been to Brazil. Our last Azamara cruise was to the Baltic last August on the Journey. The Pursuit does not ... Read More
This was our seventh Azamara cruise. Rio was on our bucket list. We chose this cruise because we liked Azamara and we had never been to Brazil. Our last Azamara cruise was to the Baltic last August on the Journey. The Pursuit does not live up to the Azamara brand. The food was, at best, mediocre. Windows Cafe served mostly highly spiced Asian and Mexican food at lunch and dinner. The breakfasts were the same every day. Often, the pancakes and waffles were stuck to the serving pan, so they were dried out and inedible. Breakfasts in the main restaurant were better, but you had to ask for things like eggs over medium or poached eggs. The breakfast menu contained a lot of Asian and Indian items, along with some French items, not normal breakfast fare. Service in both Windows and the main dining room was great. On the second day of the cruise, the cruise ship ran out of diet decaffeinated soda. Didn’t matter what brand, they had none. Just Diet Coke. This is supposed to be an upscale cruise line. Almost every day, the vegetables were broccoli and cauliflower. No green beans, no peas, no carrots, just broccoli and cauliflower. Again, this is supposed to be an upscale cruise line. Except for the four singers and the orchestra, the entertainment was pitiful - a tango show that was more slide show than dancing, a mentalist (two times), and the cruise director and his wife singing old standards off key. The Azamazing evening in Montevideo consisted of a 30 minute bus ride to an old theater, where they handed you a glass of wine as you walked in, then took it away four steps and two minutes later when you entered the theater. Waste of wine, although it wasn’t that good anyway. The show consisted of about 40 performers in very colorful costumes in a Carnival type celebration. There was some singing, but mostly it was very loud drumming. Along with flashing lights. Then back to the ship to wait in line for 20 minutes to reboard. We did get nice Carnival masks as souvenirs. The White Night celebration was held despite a forecast of rain. The food was very good. It started raining about 10 minutes into the show, so everyone left. Some folks went to the bar on Deck 10, many others just left. Many times, the entire ship smelled like sewage. I believe they were having problems with the plumbing system. The smell permeated the ship. Three days in a row, late afternoon, there was very loud banging next to our room, where there was an access panel. It lasted almost an hour each time. We took three shore excursions from Azamara. All three were overpriced, probably double what a similar excursion from a dockside purveyor would have cost. At Paraty, the tender ride was 40 minutes. The town, a UNESCO site has very uneven cobblestone streets, and walking was difficult. Many people went back to the ship after a few minutes trying to negotiate the ship. Several of the ports were tendered. The crew did an excellent job getting passengers on and off the tenders. The Le Club Voyage Representative never even bothered to welcome us on board, although it was our seventh Azamara cruise and we are also Celebrity Elite Plus. Azamara did nothing to recognize brand loyalty. The Guest Relations staff was not very helpful and took their time accommodating passengers. We waited five minutes for two Guest Relations Representatives to help us, because they were trying to align a printout on special paper. Apparently, the printer had more priority than the paying passengers. If the Pursuit represents the future of Azamara, we are finished with the cruise line. Both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity treat their guests better. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My husband and I had recently a 13 days cruise from San Antonio ,Chile ,crossing Chelian Patagonia,Falkland islands, Montevideo and finally ended in Buenos Aires. The ship was tired and needs to be refubrished, all furnishing equipment ... Read More
My husband and I had recently a 13 days cruise from San Antonio ,Chile ,crossing Chelian Patagonia,Falkland islands, Montevideo and finally ended in Buenos Aires. The ship was tired and needs to be refubrished, all furnishing equipment also. Food in the self service ,Lido deck was monotonous and with limited variety.The quality of food was medium. The same quality was in the Dine In restaurant since the chef and kitchen was the same. During all cruise long we had the sense that everything was under economic restrictions Eg. During our stay we had only one hand soap(!) and only one shower cap(!)The personnel in Lido deck was serving you the quantity of the main course probably for the same reason. Entertainment was very cheap and childish (!) All TV sets in the staterooms were very old fashioned and the programme was limited i.e Only 3 movies per day ,and 3 news stations. Of course there was a video player in the stateroom and you could borrow movies if the player was not out of order!! The Wi Fi was very expensive. We tried to purchase 1 day for 15 $ but with this amount you could be able to see only your facebook and therefore you have to upgrade the quality by adding 10 more US$ ie. totally 25 US$ per day. Last but not least were the alcoholic prices(more expensive) which differed from the price list that we have found in the internet. Finally we have to admit that the whole ship was very clean, also the state rooms,and the public toilets.Embarkation was easy and disembarkation also Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The cruise was chosen as part of travel package. I have cruises before, but this was the worst for the following reasons: - Lack of food choices and repetitive. They serve pasta and spaghetti with light sauce, lack of flavouring - ... Read More
The cruise was chosen as part of travel package. I have cruises before, but this was the worst for the following reasons: - Lack of food choices and repetitive. They serve pasta and spaghetti with light sauce, lack of flavouring - Entertainment all in Spanish (good for South American passengers) - Day of departure (must leave room by 8am) - Restaurants- can not chose where to sit and you get half hour slot to attend restaurant otherwise you will not enter. For instance, number 312 must attend dinner by 7-7:30pm. Furthermore, lido desk 9 all 5 restaurants serve same food - No English Channel on TV - You must pay tips at the end in American dollars, and must be on credit card. Coming from UK we only had debit card -Orange juice is waterly, and jo hot drink throughout the day apart from breakfast and afternoon tea at 4pm - Desk 2 is noisy and you hear music playing. It is annoying to hear at 11pm! Good: -Some islands were beautiful -We had nice guy who did the room -Gym - interior nice Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Last minute cruise with interesting itinerary; however travellers beware, you get what you pay for. The ship has limited facilities for pleasure on sea days; the entertainment was poor at the best of times. The excursions were not great ... Read More
Last minute cruise with interesting itinerary; however travellers beware, you get what you pay for. The ship has limited facilities for pleasure on sea days; the entertainment was poor at the best of times. The excursions were not great value for money and were limited. Excursion staff had limited knowledge and did not understand you as their English was limited. This also applies to the reception crew. If you wanted to lose weight on a cruise this is the one to go on; the food was extremely poor with limited choice and odd combinations of food were put together. What the chef described as a cheese and onion tart was in fact a slice of quiche served with parsley sauce. The chef obviously lacked imagination and flair and did not have an educated palette for flavours. I am well aware of food recycling to ensure budgets are met; however I think bread and butter pudding or a combination of different egg custards everyday can get boring especially when lacking flavour. The best meal of the day was breakfast; however even a microwave technician can cook an egg. On a positive note the superior outside cabin was comfortable and clean. Cabin boys diligent in their work ethic. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
La ville de départ était Buenos Aires. Il était très difficile de visiter cette ville en taxi car la circulation est toujours arrêtée et le temps pour le faire est trop court. L'embarquement se passe bien, mais ... Read More
La ville de départ était Buenos Aires. Il était très difficile de visiter cette ville en taxi car la circulation est toujours arrêtée et le temps pour le faire est trop court. L'embarquement se passe bien, mais l'atterrissage est pour moi en fauteuil roulant. Je frappe un accroc. Le personnel du bateau n'a pas compris qu'avec mes sacs à dos je voulais débarquer. Passant ensuite à la douane de San Antonio, le transfert du port que j’avais payé très cher n’était pas présent. Ce fut difficile et long de négocier un transport pour moi. Le navire est généralement accessible en fauteuil roulant, la cabine aussi. La nourriture, 3 étoiles. Les animations et spectacles sont nombreux mais certains sont médiocres. Pour les ports et les excursions pour une personne en fauteuil roulant, sont très difficiles et parfois impossibles. Je m'interroge sur les transferts en petit bateau du Star Princess au quai. Que croyez vous qu'il va se passer? Est-ce que je coule avec le capitaine? Je ne retournerai jamais à bord de ce navire. The departure city was Buenos Aires. It was very difficult to visit this city by taxi since the traffic is always stopped and the time to do it before the departure is too short. The boarding is all well, but landing for me who is in a wheelchair. I hit some snag. The boat staff did not understand that with my backpacks I wanted to disembark. Then after passing through the San Antonio Customs, the transfer from the port to the airport that I had paid at a high price was not present. It was difficult and long to negotiate a transport for me. The ship in general is well accessible in wheelchairs, the cabin too. The food, 3 stars. Entertainment activities and shows are plentiful but some are mediocre. For ports and excursions for a person in a wheelchair, are very difficult and sometimes impossible. I wonder about the small boat transfers from the Star Princess to the dock. If a person like me who can not stand does not have the right to board these tenders, what happens if a storm forces the evacuation of the ship, I sink with the captain? I will never go back on board this ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The outside of this ship is well designed. Not so the inside. First the good stuff. If you like to walk a ship's promenade deck, this one is very nice. It's wide and goes all the way around the ship if you climb a few stairs, ... Read More
The outside of this ship is well designed. Not so the inside. First the good stuff. If you like to walk a ship's promenade deck, this one is very nice. It's wide and goes all the way around the ship if you climb a few stairs, giving you great 360 views of the sea and sky. You can do the same on deck 16, also with a few stairs. The inside is different story. The design is flawed, mainly because of the way the spaces are chopped up, especially in the buffet area. Many activities occur in the atrium, but only about 100 people (out of 3000) can actually see what's going on. Deck six is chopped in a way that makes you go up, and then down a flight of stairs to the dining room. But the biggest fiasco is the poorly designed buffet. If you TRIED to design the most inconvenient buffet possible, you might not come close to this one. You just have to see for yourself. I have been on maybe 20 ships, and have never seen such a poor layout of food service and seating areas. We missed both seafood buffet and the big dessert buffet because it was held in the back portion of the buffet, and no info was posted or announced anywhere. It is a mystery to me that anyone would have ever approved such a poor design. One very positive thing that deserves mention is the sound levels of music and background noise on the ship. The crew and sound people seemed to be very professional and kept volumes at an appropriate level everywhere. In the theater, sound levels always seemed loud enough and without distortion. I mention this because many ships just don't pay attention to this and I have seen poor sound engineers ruin a perfectly good talented performance with distorted volume levels and background music. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I have sailed on Norwegian, Holland America, Princess, Viking, Cunard, Celebrity and this was the most disappointing cruise of those listed. The pricepoint was similar to Viking but the overall experience was not up to that stand The ... Read More
I have sailed on Norwegian, Holland America, Princess, Viking, Cunard, Celebrity and this was the most disappointing cruise of those listed. The pricepoint was similar to Viking but the overall experience was not up to that stand The embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. We were separated from the masses joining the other ship in port and were ushered onto the ship with little delay. Cabin: Rather small, 2 people cannot navigate around the bed at the same time. Balcony also narrow and small. Bathroom very small and shower is very tiny & uncomfortable. Difficult to get cold water. Service: Staff are very friendly but service is spotty. Service in the Discovery Restaurant is very good, as was our cabin steward. It was difficult to get service in the Living Room between 4 and 5 p.m. The servers are trained to pick up empty dishes but are not trained to keep an eye out for passengers when they arrive in their area. Dining: Food and service was excellent. However, hours were inadequate. Breakfast ended at 10 a.m. Lunch did not start until 11:30 a.m. and ended at 1:30 p.m. We complained about the hours and an officer found me on the ship to address my concerns, which was impressive. Excursions: The shore excursion to Montevideo, Uruguay was a disappointment. The guide had little command of English, and she was ill prepared. We asked her for the itinerary and she said that she didn’t know. The lunch we were given was disgusting – the filet mignon was a thin breaded strip of beef. Not much effort was put into explaining all the sites. We were left to our own devices at the art museum. Entertainment: Entertainment was very good. The Azmazing night at the Solis Theater in Montevideo was excellent but very short. The Azmazing Night and the Officers' Barbeque were excellent. Enrichment lecture with Dr. Palmer was dull and boring. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise to extend our warm weather holiday and because the dates worked. We had just come off a 19 night Ft.Lauderdale - B.A. cruise on the Royal Princess plus a 2 day visit to Iguazu Falls. Your first ... Read More
We chose this cruise to extend our warm weather holiday and because the dates worked. We had just come off a 19 night Ft.Lauderdale - B.A. cruise on the Royal Princess plus a 2 day visit to Iguazu Falls. Your first impression starts at the cruise terminal check in which is disorganized. Once on the ship we were pleasantly surprised at the size of our premium balcony stateroom, but the balcony itself is small and the furniture is old,uncomfortable and soiled looking. We found out the next morning that the bathroom shower is poorly designed and the water leaks all over the floor because the shower curtain is too short. We pointed this out to our harried room steward who said he would have it replaced, but it never was. We used towels to soak up the leaking water every day for our 7 day cruise...how is this more efficient than fixing the shower? Our next disappointment was a the buffet restaurant which was chaos for breakfast and lunch. It is so poorly laid out that each meal turns into a free for all just to get your meal then another free for all to find a table.There seems to be a chronic shortage of seating which made us dread going up to the buffet. On sea days, when everyone is onboard the buffet situation is even worse, so we resorted to the dining room where it was marginally less chaotic for breakfast, but still unpleasant. We chose the early assigned seating for dinner in the dining room because they don’t offer open seating. Dinner was a relief because it was calm and collected and our waiter”Dino” was a Pro. The dinner menu’s were good as was the food quality, but beware that water is not included with dinner unless paid for i.e. bottled water. The wine prices on Costa are slightly less that other Cruise Lines i.e. a bottle of Chianti was $25 whereas the cheapest red wine on a Princess was $32. Aside from our balcony, which was never cleaned, the general condition of the ship was good. The decor could be described as “gaudy” The fitness centre had an adequate number of machines (some defective) but disinfecting wipes were not provided. There is a good sauna in the fitness center’s change room which was a welcome inclusion We usually cruise on Celebrity,Holland America and Princess, so if you are used to any of these lines you will be in for a culture shock. If you can get over it (as we did) you willappreciate the diversity of entertainment which is quite good on Costa, with many lounges,a very large theatre with excellent shows and a nightclub with good bands and dancing every night. Our itinerary along the Brazilian coast involved 3 stops in small ports that requiredtendering for each (one being 1/2 hour in each direction) English is not common on shoreso our general routine was walking around town,a bit of shopping then wifi and a drink allaccomplished with sign language. We both agreed that we would not sail on Costa again, which is a shame, because we felt the staff all worked hard,and the entertainment was good,but they could not make up for the buffet chaos,understaffing,poor ship design, and poor management. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Very disappointing treatment of someone sustaining a serious injury on the ship due to their negligence. Poor medical treatment. Poor follow up from Guest relations until I conveyed my concerns to them that I felt dismissed. My holiday was ... Read More
Very disappointing treatment of someone sustaining a serious injury on the ship due to their negligence. Poor medical treatment. Poor follow up from Guest relations until I conveyed my concerns to them that I felt dismissed. My holiday was ruined for myself and my partner and ship's response was more 'out of sight, out of mind'. The ship is beautiful, restaurants are good. The ship certainly has style decoratively and never feels overwhelmingly large or oppressive. Delightful cosy corners and cafes can be discovered everywhere around the ship which is generally well appointed for most things you need. Cellar bar terribly under utlised and such a shame as it's a delightful space. Packages are worthwhile. However we had a luxury drinks package and there was no Evian water available as this wasn't stocked in error at the port therefore we were only supplied with the usual bottled water. In addition every time I asked for grapefruit juice I was given orange on our cabin breakfast order. I was advised there was none? This was untrue, I discovered different food / beverage outlets don't share, possibly due to their accounting and stock management, none the less it is frustrating. General treatment of anyone injured in my experience disgusting, of course this has negatively influenced my entire experience which for me was very sad. I now look forward to surgery to repair my hand having returned home. Shame on Celebrity also for not advising passengers when they have a concierge class cabin in the corridor under the cafe that there is noise and obstructed views from the balcony, including poor maintenance and peeling paint onto it. Of course my cruise was tainted due to the fractures I sustained and a badly bruised bottom, both of which effected and still effect all my activities of daily living. However, I also believe it exposed some huge deficits in their service delivery, professionalism and ability to know how to effectively deal with challenging circumstances. In the words of a guest relations team member "most of the crew are young and inexperienced, they just don't know how to behave" and in the words of the concierge representative "there is a hierarchy on board the ship and you can't just talk to anybody" . Our dining experiences were good, all food and beverage outlets provided great service and friendly, attentive staff. Cabin once we relocated was a good size and well provisioned, cabin steward was excellent, Imade thankyou. I used the gym once prior to my injury and it is well equipped. Theatre shows were average by comparison to other cruise ships we have been on. Around the ship there was as usual plenty of activities available and something for everyone throughout the day, although almost non existent on port days, which if you remained on the ship could be a bit boring, although there is always the spa. I had a couple of treatments in the spa and visited the salon for a barber shave and haircut as due to my injury I couldn't shave and needed all my hair cut off. Both experiences were very good. Rio shore excursions were excellent, the remainder advertised appeared less so. We visited Buzios and Santos also. Shore excursions were well organised however. Cabin breakfast was generally served incorrectly and / or tepid, also around 20 minutes earlier on average than the time booked (because it suited them to do so I suspect based on the volume of orders, not satisfactory though). Laundry service was poor, always came back later than should have and we had to chase this up with cabin steward, also items should have been ironed and were apparently but quality was abismal. In fact we had them all done again at the hotel we booked into post cruise. I wouldn't recommend laundry use. This ship is more crew centric than customer centric, be warned, I wish I had been. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I took the Seabourn Quest for a trip to the Antarctica on Feb 3 from Buenos Aires. I was terribly unpleasant on board the Seabourn Quest. We boarded the ship at noon on Feb 3, but I started having throw-up & diarrhea at ~11 p.m. ... Read More
I took the Seabourn Quest for a trip to the Antarctica on Feb 3 from Buenos Aires. I was terribly unpleasant on board the Seabourn Quest. We boarded the ship at noon on Feb 3, but I started having throw-up & diarrhea at ~11 p.m. on Feb 4. Throughout the night, I had at least 6 times of diarrhea. I was too weak to get to the medical room, so a nurse was asked to come up to tend to my case in the morning. She took my temperature & said I had a fever. I was told to take Loperamide to ease off the diarrhea and Panadol to lower my temperature . The Loperamide didn’t seem to work as I continued to have 6x of diarrhea throughout the day. I was also told to be quarantined for 3 days. She came back at around 4 p.m. & told me the fever had come down a little bit. I said the diarrhea was terrible & the waste that came out was greenish. She only said she would come back the next day. On the morning of the 6th, she told me that the fever had gone, but since the diarrhea still persisted, she said I needed to take antibiotics. She didn’t come back in the afternoon. I was still having diarrhea for about 6x a day even I had no food intake. The nurse didn’t bring any antibiotics on the morning of the 7th as apparently, she had forgotten about it. The antibiotic medicine, Ciprofloxacin, was finally brought to me in the afternoon which means it was a full 2-day delay for medication. On the 8th, I finally exerted some energy to go down & visited the doctor. I told him the antibiotics didn’t seem to be effective on me & that I continuously had at least 6x of diarrhea every day. I had no food intake except a few slices of orange when I felt dry in the mouth. He changed to another kind of antibiotics, but my 6x-diarrhea-a-day & the greenish color of waste still persisted for 2 more days. It was not until on the 10th that I could start to go to the canteen to have my meals. But then, I have already missed two of the possible five Zodiac excursions, the main reason why we took this Antarctica cruise. I also missed to see the King Penquins in Falkland Islands, a tour I had paid for in full. Even though I got refunded for this excursion, but missing to see the King Penquins in close encounter was surely a regret which money alone could not compensate for it. None of the managerial staff admitted that it was food contamination as their food was rated excellent when examined in the port. Even the doctor said it shouldn’t have happened to me solely if it were food contamination. But I would not buy this explanation as my experience on board another cruise ship could definitely prove the point. I chewed some sand in my mushroom, but all my 5 other friends who ordered the same dish didn’t find any. I told the restaurant manager & he took the excuse of examining the food by taking the whole plate back to the kitchen. Then I was told there was indeed some sand in the mushroom. My immediate response was, your kitchen staff didn’t clean the food thoroughly. He denied, “No, it’s only the mushrooms that had sand in them!” What a joke!!! Another observation on board could also illustrate my point. It was a real shock to see that canteen staff never tried to clean the placemats on the dining tables. They only cleaned the space in between the 2 placemats & tended to ignore the food residue on top of the placemats, or the salt or pepper remains under the condiment containers. I was also astounded to see that staff, when cleaning the tables, swept all food remains onto the floor. Shouldn’t this only be happened to a low-class café? I would never have expected to see this on a 6-star cruise ship. This observation was written down on the survey & the situation seemed to have improved slightly. Rome was not built in one day. The lack-of-training would never have made the staff to improve their cleaning style within several days. In this case, how can I not be suspicious about contracting any bacteria from the placemats? Further, we had been continuously disturbed by the noise from above our room. Our room was right under the kitchen of the Observation Deck. I had not the slightest idea why the staff started to move the trolley at midnight. For the first few nights, I was too weak to make any complaints. But I could not stand it any more when one night, there was the rolling of trolley at midnight, then the opening & closing of the drawers at ~2 a.m., & the moving of trolley cart at ~ 4 a.m., & finally the banging sound at ~ 6 a.m. I was glad that my case was resolved to & there was no noise for 2 consecutive nights. Unfortunately, the noise came back again at ~ 12 a.m. on the night after. I called & the noise stopped. There was no noise on the following night, but it came back again at the same hour the next night. I was really mad & blasted at the front desk. The problem seemed to have resolved, but on the night before departure, there was again a continuous noise of bouncing a solid ball on a counter. I was simply puzzled by the way how the personnel trained the staff. Last but not least, I was told by a managerial staff to write to Nic Botha, the Guest Services Manager about my grievance after I got back home. I did, but I have been waiting for almost 2 months now & never received a reply. The service was a total disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this 49 day cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles because of the itinerary and because we would only have to fly once from Los Angeles to FL and only drive from Los Angeles back home. We chose Princess because we thought we ... Read More
We chose this 49 day cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles because of the itinerary and because we would only have to fly once from Los Angeles to FL and only drive from Los Angeles back home. We chose Princess because we thought we would have an above average experience. Princess failed to impress us and although we are close to elite status, will have to rethink going on our next cruise on Princess. We were happy with our balcony room, room stewart and the ship in general. The library was sad as it is very small and there are not many books or reading material. Dining: We tried our assigned table and early dining three times but found the food subpar, lacking taste and options limited. After that we ate our meals in the Horizon Court which offered more variety, but not taste. Most foods were on the salty side. I did not like the soup stations as I found the soup ladel too small for the huge pots and found people trying to fish for the dropped spoon with their hands in the soup. I eat fish or vegan/vegetarian dishes and found that the fish offerings were poor. The cheapest fish was offered and it is mostly freshwater tilapia, trout or on occasion sole. You never know what type of fish you are eating because the dishes were just labeled baked fish, fried fish, fish in sauce..etc. with no details as to the type of fish being served. Personally I don't care for freshwater fish, and tilapia seemed to be the only fish available. If you like mahi mahi, swordfish yellotail, etc....you won;t find it here. Shrimp was always offered, but I have a thing with farmed shrimp or fish and stayed away from shrimp. I prefer the larger wild caught shrimp. Chocolate Journeys/Desserts: Poor in my opinion. I have a sweet tooth and enjoy good desserts or baked goods. I found the cakes very dry as if they had been baked weeks before and then decorated on the day they were served. There was not one dessert that I found that left an impression. Grandma's chocolate cake gave me an upset stomach the two times I ate it and I think it's because the cakes are left at room temperature in the Horizon - this partifular cake's frosting always seemed melted due to the lights and room temperature. Entertainment: I expected better and only saw two shows they were that bad to us. Also not enough seats for everyone in the theater. Cruise Director: Some people loved him - we did not! He was a little bit too much for us and not so professional. Guest Service Desk: Tired. No hello or thank you. No enthusiasm. Tour Excursions Desk: Tired. Attitudes. Excuses. Staff in public areas, Horizon Court: Like others have mentioned, the staff on the ship were tired looking, like they are on their last days before their breaks. No smiles, enthusiasm, or eagerness to help or do their job. Their supervisors not doing their jobs, but rather conversing in small groups. Port Destination Presentation: Sorry, but we did not like Vicki the destination"expert". She had trouble reading her notes and mispronounced people and places a LOT. I would remove "expert" from her title. Again, some people liked her, others including us did not and think Princess could have done better with presentations. Ports: We had many late arrival/departures from ports and given excuses from ship staff. Buenos Aires turned out to be a mess and all excursions were cancelled as we arrived too late into port. Loading of supplies at ports took too long making our departures late. Princess again? I don't know. Will have to be a really good deal, as this cruise did not meet our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
There are really two parts to this review. The first is about the awful virus that spread unchecked that ruined our trip. The second part is about what the ship is like if I don't factor in how sick so many of us were. My husband ... Read More
There are really two parts to this review. The first is about the awful virus that spread unchecked that ruined our trip. The second part is about what the ship is like if I don't factor in how sick so many of us were. My husband and I both became extremely ill on exactly the same evening about ten days into our trip-- we are both in excellent health and among the very youngest on the ship. We went from feeling fine to minutes later having fever, chills, nauseated, extreme disorientation, dizziness, terrible hacking cough. We were in our room for three days, I literally was so ill I didn't have the energy to order room service. When we finally were well enough to leave our room, we heard that half the ship had the same virus, there were lines at the doctor's office, you could hear the same hacking cough everywhere. I tried twice to see the doctor to see what the virus was and if we needed antibiotics-- the first time office hours were cancelled because "he had been up for 36 hours straight" and the second because during his office hours there was an emergency medical evacuation. It was getting to the end of the cruise and I thought we would be feeling better soon. Everyone we talked to had a story about either being sick themselves or listing all the people onboard who had the same virus, and people in our trivia group dropped out due to the virus. When I found out the virus had been going around the ship the whole time we were there with people onboard from the previous segment, I was so bothered that it had not been communicated sooner and that precautions had not been taken by the ship-- they were shaking hands with passengers regularly! Had I known I would have disinfected the room, never shaken hands, avoided the buffet, taken the immune building supplements I carry for travel whenever there is sickness spreading, etc. After we left the ship, whenever I tried to do anything for the remainder of our trip I became ill all over again, I couldn't eat, etc. Once we returned and I wasn't getting well (I was so dizzy I couldn't drive, could only eat soup and bread, couldn't concentrate on work, etc.) I called my doctor who wanted any background information on the Virus. I contacted Viking who said they didn't have to tell me because there were far fewer than 20 cases reported! Now, I literally spoke with more than 20 people who had had the virus. The customer service person was belligerent and accusatory, implying I wasn't really sick and said in a sarcastic tone that if I was sick he was sure I would have reported it. I told him we told the housekeepers we were too sick to leave the room and he said that didn't count. I also told him about trying to see the doctor twice and being prevented one time because of the emergency medical evacuation-- and he told me in a triumphant tone that there was no emergency medical evacuation during my cruise. I replied that it was pretty frightening that hundreds of people onboard were ill with the same severe virus and there was an emergency medical evacuation that hundreds of people watched since it was by the coast guard in open ocean and lasted hours-- yet Viking had a record of neither. I finally told him that since they have no record of this illness I was reporting it now, and he said that didn't count. After spending a fortune on this cruise, being so ill and trying to get information for my doctor, it was so dispiriting to be treated this way. I contracted this virus about a month and a half ago and not only have only started getting completely well in the last two weeks (after taking powerful antibiotics), but I'm still having all kinds of medical tests because of concerns that it was so severe it might have caused a mini stroke and other permanent damage. Now, if I had not gotten a horrible virus that I think could have been prevented, and not been treated so dismissively by Viking customer service? On the positive side, I would say the food was the best I've ever had on a cruise ship (and we are foodies used to high end cruises). As one example, they serve a full traditional tea daily, complete with tiered plates of mini sandwiches and sweets, plus scones every afternoon, just like a fancy tea you might pay for. On Oceania, the tea is from teabags with paper napkins with a few things passed around. Most notably, the general restaurant was as good as specialty restaurants on other ships. I'll compare again to Oceania where the general restaurant was so bad we couldn't eat there and you had to fight for reservations in the specialty restaurants. Another Viking plus was that you could get as many reservations in the free specialty restaurants as you wanted. Service overall was the best we've ever experienced on a ship. Loved that there is no corkage fee in the restaurants and they are delighted to open and pour what you bring-- while basic wine was free, we loved to pick up special bottles as we traveled and really appreciated this benefit. The cafe and main restaurant are also really well designed so that you can often get a window seat, and never get the sense of an overwhelming sea of people. They also did a lot of special things that were nice-- bringing local specialty foods aboard, etc. We enjoyed the trivia everyday in port (vs. bingo on some ships), loved not listening to announcements all day and no junky art shows, and the hairdresser was fantastic and very reasonably priced. Generally, a very high quality, lovely experience vs. some of the constant upgrading and rules on other ships-- they seemed super flexible and customer service oriented. On the negative side, be very weary of this boat, I would try the other Viking Ocean boats because this boat does two World Cruise Trips a year and if you do a segment as we did (unbeknownst to most people booking who didn't realize they were taking part of a world cruise) there are disadvantages. First, even with an upgraded room and the paid for perk of being able to get first choice on excursions etc. what this means when you travel with world cruisers is that you get to pick AFTER that half of the boat, so no real perk for upgraded rooms and many segment people were unhappy to see the excursion they wanted sold out on the very first day they were available to book. They were also unhappy to see the world cruisers at events they were not invited to and felt like second class citizens. However, depending on your age and health, the biggest disadvantage is that the average age on the boat seemed to be 70-90. I have never been on a cruise with so many old people and they were not healthy, active old people-- it was a sea of 4 prong canes and a very slow walk down any corridor. For many world cruisers this is a bucket list item, and they frequently didn't even get off the boat, kind of like a last hurrah. We didn't take any of the included excursions because they are basically all 3 hour motor coach rides, but segment people who did said half the time was spent with the old folks getting on and off the huge busses. To be honest, I felt like I was in a nursing home at times. The rooms were a mixed bag. They functioned beautifully and were very comfortable with a nice shower, but they just weren't special, they were very plain. We got the upgraded penthouse balcony for many thousands more and it was maybe a couple of feet wider but that's it, it looked like a very standard ship room-- this was not a worthwhile upgrade. For example, with Oceania the penthouse balcony for about the same amount to upgrade is luxurious and beautiful with special touches like a dining table for two and a huge closet-- I would call it romantic. Viking just isn't romantic. One issue my husband had was that many events were held in the pool area. However, when the roof was closed the chlorine gas was overwhelming and you simply could not be in that room-- yet this is where they were serving all kinds of specialty foods, like when they went ashore for local king crab legs, you could only get them in this area. My husband had to leave the superbowl get together because he couldn't breath the fumes anymore. Finally, I will say that many seemed to like the entertainment but we were disappointed. Too many of the shows were with their in house group and in house band which were both weak-- the vocals and instrumentalists were painful at times. The few shows they brought in from the outside were generally strong. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We’ve cruised a number of times with Princess and this one kinda puts the seal on not wanting to continue which is sad. We took the principle to pay up into a suite every couple of years and get pampered as VIP’s. I know it sounds ... Read More
We’ve cruised a number of times with Princess and this one kinda puts the seal on not wanting to continue which is sad. We took the principle to pay up into a suite every couple of years and get pampered as VIP’s. I know it sounds obnoxious but it’s pay4play and the level of attention and detail proved out to be worth forfeiting vacations to get spoilt. This time we took B751 being the owners suite, the trip incl. flights worked out over 25k so you would expect good things. The reality was that the actual cruise, ports and tours all turned out well (except for one port miss from bad weather). The team in Sabatini's and club class were excellent, there was an abundance of Brits that made it fun and the Zumba proved highly entertaining. Where this trip fell over was the attention to detail and the total lack of ‘extra mile’ service. On top of this we filled in a survey and I even wrote to Princess to discuss a good few days ago and they haven’t bothered to respond. So my summary is the cruise was good and worthwhile but the premium price for the suits is a waste of time and left and extremely sour taste in our mouths. to elaborate I have attached photos from our room.. If this were a $50/night hotel room I would be ok but it wasn’t and the premium price we pay is for the upgrade in service and amenities. We’ve had some wonderful suite experiences, we’ve had spot checks by the captain, we’ve had drop ins from the MaitreD but in this cruise the captain was invisible and so were his staff which I am guessing is a large part of the tardy and shabby execution. To elaborate .... 1. Wifey had to wash the handles and light switches as they all were stained and smeared when we arrived 2. Dust and dirt across cabin which remained there through the cruise 3. Paint chips across entire deck that fell from the deck above being power washed apparently 4. Cabin squeaking /creaking where it should not (metal on metal rubbing noise keeping us awake 5. Safe worked sporadically 6. Orchid in room dead aka no flowers just a stalk 7. Mirror and TV’s all had fingers prints on them and smudges 8. Hair behind toilet door present when we arrived and still there when we left 9. Fruit bowl never refreshed, moldy fruit left for us to throw away 10. Chocolates left to pile up in room 11. Wardrobe door almost impossible to open 12. 1/2 the carpet changed leaving old parts tatty and dirty 13. Dirty head mark on wall behind sofa 14. Ceiling light fitting not installed correctly 15. Heating vent in ceiling not installed correctly 16. Patio door would not stay open 17. Balcony rail poorly installed (wobbled) 18. The lounge TV’s had garbled sound so we could not hear the captain announcements or scenic commentary 19. Larger flat screen TV’s installed over built in shelves so they protruded into walkway making them dangerous at head height between the bathroom and bedroom 20. Vanish tarnished on the cabinets These were a few I could remember.. On top of this 1. Reception were awful and dismissive I had at least 3 experiences where they either didn’t bother calling people from the elite line or they made stuff up on the phone to get rid of you. 2. Senior staff were entirely absent ( highest person we met for the whole cruise was a head waiter 3. Art director was self absorbed, looked through us when we booked a 1-1, doubled booked, didn’t tell us and just pretended we didn’t exist then expected us to do the running 4. Library was unbelievably bad.. I honestly thought they forgot to stock it.. if there were 50 books in it I would be surprised ! So as you can see, the core trip was fine but the fringe benefits of pay4play were all missed. We hoped to resolve this with princess but it seems they would rather read the review on CruiseCritic so here it is and here’s some pictures for their embarrassment. So much for an Elite guest in the owners suite !.. I hope you don’t get back off a relaxing holiday and feel robbed #comebacknew ‘I don’t think so ! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We picked this cruise in 2017, and booked on last cruise as we had been to Antarctica and thought the Chilean fjords and around the Horn sounded great. Picked our tours on line, had our special C1 stateroom, over wake, and looking ... Read More
We picked this cruise in 2017, and booked on last cruise as we had been to Antarctica and thought the Chilean fjords and around the Horn sounded great. Picked our tours on line, had our special C1 stateroom, over wake, and looking forward to cruise. Found out after final payment--our stateroom cost dropped almost to 1/2 our price--Celebrity was not easy to deal with-got a couple perks??? Then the "looking forward to" tours were cancelled for one reason or another?? The fjords were a waste --what we could see--the time of day--the weather--the Captains choices--same for going around the Horn (did not have to be early early morn)--soooo many things spoiled this expensive cruise. Food poising from the Murano restaurant, with nothing from hotel manager after being informed!! The entertainment was so poor---captive in the theater!!! The very last gift from Celebrity--the terrible cough many of us brought home with us--and still have. Think the new CEO is a bean pusher as the cost of everything has gone up-the quality is down--want the Celebrity Line from past 20 years??? GONE! The staff who is there to be of service to the clients are, as always, the top of the cruise lines---but hate to hear them beg for 10s on survey!! We will have to really think about returning to Celebrity---there are other lines to try--Elite Plus does not mean quite what it did. Unhappy with this cruise--can you tell?! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
e have just returned from an Azamara Pursuit cruise to Antartica. The customer serviceon the ship is appalling. We had problems with our hot water going cold over two days. After various attempts to fix it (it would go cold again within ... Read More
e have just returned from an Azamara Pursuit cruise to Antartica. The customer serviceon the ship is appalling. We had problems with our hot water going cold over two days. After various attempts to fix it (it would go cold again within a couple of hours) and much debate we were offered another stateroom but no apology, upgrade or any comprnsation for the inconvenience.The guest relations manager (Sasha) hid behind his staff and after meeting with us once never got back to us although we left messages for him to contact us. Also the stateroom had the smallest shower and least storage of any that we have ever experienced in 21 cruises with 8 cruise lines. The ship was also compromised in many areas as altough it has been refurbished it is quite old. For the price we paid and the reputation of Azamara (boutique cruise line 4.5 stars) we expected far more but sadly found them worse than 3 star cruise lines such as Princess and Holland America. To say we were disappointed would be an umderstatment and we will never travel on Azamara again. No port information was given out apart from maps from port staff. Food quality was quite variablee, sometimes good, sometimes not. Selection was reasonable except for breakfast with only four cereals on offer. Entertainment was OK. Unfortunately the floor of the theatre didn’t slope so it was difficult to see. The enrichment lectures were great. Embarkation and disimbarkation was well organised and very smooth. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Wanted to see S America, a Gold Member and travel with 4 other couples 5th cruise! NCL this was the worst cruise, our toilet would not flush on demand, button pushed nothing ... middle of night it flushed reported numerous times! ... Read More
Wanted to see S America, a Gold Member and travel with 4 other couples 5th cruise! NCL this was the worst cruise, our toilet would not flush on demand, button pushed nothing ... middle of night it flushed reported numerous times! Restroom stall doors held on with electrical wire ties(casino men's room). Mens room at The Windjammer had a hole in the wall covered by cardboard and duct tape. Every other NCL cruise we have been on while in port they cleaned the windows not on the Sun! Water spots on most of our pictures. The windows were either dirty or there were numerous window fogged from loss of vacuum! We made reservations for ten in different resteraunts and many times they sitted us at different tables when there were large settings available and were not used while we were there! Shame on NCL! We are looking to cruise Australia and New Zealand later this year and we( all 5 couples) are not sure we will chose NCL this time! One bright spot was Freddie the Bartender at the Champayne Bar! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We recently completed our first cruise on Celebrity Eclipse in a Royal Suite on the South America Holiday cruise. This will be a long and detailed review for those who might be curious about how RCCL suite experience compare to Celebrity. ... Read More
We recently completed our first cruise on Celebrity Eclipse in a Royal Suite on the South America Holiday cruise. This will be a long and detailed review for those who might be curious about how RCCL suite experience compare to Celebrity. We are a couple with an elementary school aged child and have cruised on Disney, Princess and Royal Caribbean suites in the past. We had high expectations from the Celebrity suite experience based on online reviews. Our most recent cruise prior to Eclipse was in a Star class suite on RCCL Ovation of the Seas where we had fabulous service and loved our Genie. Our cruise journey started on the wrong foot with a very poor embarkation experience. We arrived at the Buenos Aires port around 4 pm and was greeted by port employee who checked in our luggage. Then she told us to go upstairs in the port building to the priority check in line for suite guests. However, when we went upstairs, we couldn’t see any line marked as the priority line and the employee in charge there told us we needed to go through the main line which was very long. Finally after waiting in the main line for what seemed like forever with, we bit the bullet and made an expensive international call to the Celebrity Shoreside concierge in Miami and was able to expedite our embarkation. After all this embarkation hassle, we were relieved to be finally on board but our relief was short lived. When we got to our room, we found that one of our hard shell suitcases was badly cracked during delivery. Our butler and the onboard concierge said the suitcase could be fixed on board but our suitcase came back with what appeared to be a superficial hot glue application which didn’t look sturdy. When we expressed concern that the suitcase fix was unlikely to hold together on the way back, our concierge offered to either give us $50 credit or send a new suitcase. We didn’t want to waste our port days shopping for a new suitcase so we asked for their replacement which turned out to be a fairly cheap, soft sided suitcase. On RCCL, we did not experience any of these embarkation issues. On the service front, the Luminae and other restaurant employees were wonderful but we were deeply disappointed with our butler. Though he did a decent job keeping the cabin tidy and clean, he was very poor at other aspects of his job. He didn’t bring us evening appetizers unless we asked for them and one time when we asked for tea sandwiches to be delivered he told us “ you can also get them at Michael’s yourself”. Another time when he was late delivering our room service breakfast on a port day where we had an early tour, he said he had too many room service orders and didn’t seem apologetic. In addition, we have requested a cake to be delivered to our room via shoreside concierge on New Year’s Eve which never showed up. Overall the butler service fell very short of the Genie service we received on Royal Caribbean. Another very disappointing aspect of our cruise was the poor communication from the captain about the Cape Horn itinerary. The main reason why we were on this cruise was to sail Straits of Magellan and Cape Horn. Though the Cape Horn navigation was nicely narrated, the Straits of Magellan cruising took place on January 1st, a day earlier than announced in the Celebrity dailies and cruise itinerary. We understand that itinerary changes can occur during a cruise but in this case there was no announcement by captain or his officers so we passed the Strait of Magellan without knowing where we were and without any narration of the historic sites we were sailing by. The navigation channel on the TV was also no help and didn’t have any updates. To add insult to injury, a similar itinerary changed happened without any communication for the Chilean Fjords portion of the cruise and we didn’t see the glaciers or the fjords as they were described in the Celebrity Dailies. On RCCL, there were digital screens everywhere that provided updates from the captain and showed the ship’s position in great detail so we always knew where we were. Celebrity Eclipse did live up to our expectations in a few areas. We really enjoyed the quality of food across all outlets and especially the quality of baked goods were exceptional. This is one area Celebrity definitely surpassed RCCL. Our kudos to to all the chefs on board! Theatre entertainment was great and appropriate for all ages. We also thought the photographers on board did an outstanding job. Will we sail Celebrity again ? Possibly, but it certainly won’t be at the top of our list. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
What a disappointment We just got back from our first and most likely last Azamara cruise – a 15-night NYE in Rio voyage. We traveled in a Club Continent Suite. My experience on Azamara was so disappointing, that I’m compelled to ... Read More
What a disappointment We just got back from our first and most likely last Azamara cruise – a 15-night NYE in Rio voyage. We traveled in a Club Continent Suite. My experience on Azamara was so disappointing, that I’m compelled to write this review. This is my first review on cruisecritic, though I’ve read hundreds of reviews to help with the dozen or so cruises we’ve been on in the past few years on Celebrity, Oceania, and Viking. I’m going to take each main experience area in turn, starting with the positive. Embarkation Overall experience was smooth for the most part. Though we were surprised there wasn’t a line dedicated for Suite guests, as is the case with other cruise lines we’ve traveled on. Cabin We were fortunate enough to be able to travel in a Club Continent Suite. The room itself is roomy, with over 300 sq feet. The décor is modern and inviting. Lots of closet space. The bathroom and walk-in shower were great. Lots of room and storage. The veranda was as long as the room, but fairly narrow. Just enough width for the 2-seater table and a little leg room once you’ve sat on the individual seater situated on the veranda. Food This was one of the most disappointing of the elements. We ate at the buffet for most breakfasts and lunches. The food served were the basics ( egg station, cheese and charcuterie station, one carving option, sandwiches etc..). No imagination, no creativity, and for the first few days, very little was seasoned. For dinner, we ate the specialty restaurants since we had that as a benefit for being in a Suite. The menu never changed, and after the first few dinners, there was little left on the menu that we wanted to try. What we ate was fine. But nothing to write home about. And, somewhat meager and plain for a specialty restaurant compared to what we ate on Oceania, Viking, and even Celebrity. Entertainment This was another major downer. Tony Markey, the Cruise Director, and his wife were the headliners for several of the shows. Overshadowing, in our opinion, the four very talented “Signature Singers” who only got to perform 4 or 5 of the 15 nights. The same for the Vegas performer, Tony Arias, who was relegated to only performing 2 out of his 10-night stay on the boat. So odd. So much talent on the boat, and yet we were relegated to Tony, his wife and a string trio that sang the same 10 songs 2x a day for 15 days. The other odd experience was NYE night itself. It seems they combined the “White Party” and NYE celebration, instead of two sperate parties on two separate nights. The party itself was very well organized, and finally some good, higher quality food. However, the moment the clock struck midnight the party ended. No Auld lang syen. Nothing. Everyone looked around wondering if, in fact, the party was over at precisely midnight. Especially since the cruise was billed as an NYE celebratory cruise! Suite Value for Money We paid a handsome sum to travel in a Club Continent Suite. The room itself was lovely. However, apart from the ability to eat at the two specialty restaurants, that for all intents and purposes served up basic food, there were few other standout benefits. In fact, even with a Suite stay and an upgraded Premium drinks package, we were still only served the very basic brand of bottled water given free to every passenger, plus no additional or premium wine selections beyond what every other guest gets. We found that incredible that even the combo of a Suite plus Premium drinks package couldn’t get us a glass of Evian water or a better choice of wine beyond the sub $10 bottles they were serving. The other Suite benefit that seems interesting on paper, but not in reality, was a Tea service provided each day at around 3 pm. The trouble with this benefit is that they were basically serving the same mini sandwiches and scones found at the café, and only provided a cup of tea. Staff We found the higher the ranking, the less friendly or approachable they were. This not only included Tony and his assistant Cruise Director Lee, who had a hard time pronounces many of the ports we visited and proudly stated on one of the awkwardly embarrassing mornings shows that he’d prefer to spend time at the “London Zoo” than visit the wildlife found in the South Atlantic, but the other senior staff that many times just looked stern and not very friendly. On the opposite spectrum were our incredible Butler, Padem, and the other attendants on the 8th floor. As well as the staff in all the restaurants and cafés, particularly Vadym who managed to remember our names after only just a few days. True gem. Feedback We were sent a questionnaire about 4 days into the cruise to provide any feedback that could be addressed during the cruise. We shared detailed feedback regarding several areas where there was an opportunity for improvement. The first was the Entertainment. A few hours later, Tony, to his credit, called my husband to let him know that he wasn’t monopolizing the entertainment, the exact word my husband used in the feedback form and that we’d see improved entertainment. This never happened. We also lamented the fact that even though the Sanctum, in the Spa, was billed as 16 years old plus only environment, on every day we visited there were a few pre-teens in attendance. They were also in the adults only gym, and sauna/steam room. And you could even find infants on the dance floor post 10 pm at night. We realize this was a holiday cruise, but there was no regard to what is stated policy. Disembarkation We were so disappointed with the cruise and all the various elements that when we got to our final port, Punta del Este, we were so depressed at the thought of spending the last two nights on the boat that we decided to give up our Suite and leave the boat early so we could at least explore a town that seemed very interesting. This forced us to spend additional money on a hotel room for two nights and a flight from Punta back to Buenos Aires, where the cruise originated and where we had already paid for a flight back home. Despite the additional expense, we were happy to have thoroughly enjoyed the last two night of our vacation, and off the Pursuit. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018

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