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412 Transpacific Cruise Reviews

The Sea Princess is now an average ship having aged poorly. There appears to be some outstanding maintenance required to get it back to a reasonable standard. Our cabin seemed to be smaller than previous cruises, along with the bedding ... Read More
The Sea Princess is now an average ship having aged poorly. There appears to be some outstanding maintenance required to get it back to a reasonable standard. Our cabin seemed to be smaller than previous cruises, along with the bedding feeling like it was also getting old. We predominantly ate in the Horizon Court dining facilities and must say that the food was far below standard with excess oil and/or spices being used, along with being overly repetitive. On some occasions we ate either fruit or bread rather than hot food. When we did eat in the Dining Room, you do notice the dramatic differences, with the quality of the food being equivalent to a good restaurant. The evening entertainment was generally good, with some shows being absolutely fantastic. However, as a contrast, the daytime activities were primarily aimed at the aged passengers and generally boring as hell. Most activities were conducted as time fillers or a mere distraction. Otherwise as you walk through the various areas of the ship all you see is old people sitting in one spot all day. The Front desk staff although friendly enough, lacked sufficient communication skills to fully grasp simple requests or explanations. I certainly was not happy with their customer service skills. The biggest issue or should I say issues, is the fact that other than the light entertainment provided, everything is about getting your money into their coffers. In regards to Ports, well from my perspective, if it is a Hawaii & Tahiti Cruise, then that is where you should spend the majority of your time, with overnight stays in these ports or at least the 2 biggest ports. The other issues is the excessive sea days, with Australia being so far from most locations, these travel days just added to the long days and increased their opportunity to get your money. The excursions are generally worthwhile to go on, other than the costs, which can be prohibitive. Princess Cruises add significant cost on top of these, due to their administration and co-ordination of each excursion. You can, if desirous organise your own on-shore trips, however, in some locations you leave yourself open to be either conned or just over-charged. Overall, you must make up your own mind, but I think, you really should consider whether or not this type of holiday is your thing. We will cruise again, but we enjoy getting on a ship, unpacking once and then just relaxing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Having done a number of Transatlantic cruises we opted for a Transpacific cruise to Tokyo, and the eight days at sea did not deter us. We flew from Toronto to Vancouver at 7:00am, arrived at 9:20am, took the Canada Line train from the ... Read More
Having done a number of Transatlantic cruises we opted for a Transpacific cruise to Tokyo, and the eight days at sea did not deter us. We flew from Toronto to Vancouver at 7:00am, arrived at 9:20am, took the Canada Line train from the airport to the port, and were ready to board the ship for the Concierge lunch in the dining room. While our cabin #8177 was not quite ready, the “touch” Seapass was on the door and we could drop off our carry-on bags. First impressions of the refurbished cabin were very positive. Fresh, clean décor, large TV screen, clear view from the balcony (with slight obstruction to the far left where the window cleaning ladder was stationed). Good number of wood hangers in the closet, soft closing drawers, ample lighting, USB ports. What we didn’t like: unable to regulate the fan speed, undersized sofabed for the available space, unable to angle the TV for viewing when sitting on the sofabed. As for the bathroom, while the shower stall has a nice door, it opens inwards, almost hitting the oversized grab bar leaving little space to maneuver. The grout on the tiled shower floor had many cracks which resulted in water leaking on to the floor. We asked to have this fixed, and we were given access to another cabin for half a day while the shower stall was re-grouted and re-caulked. Concierge Violetta Joson took charge of this case, sent us wine, strawberries and gave Future Cruise Credit for our inconvenience. This commitment to customer service in a friendly and honest manner was also demonstrated by many of the crew, including cabin steward Ronnie, assistant Maitre d’ Eric and waiter Limon to mention a few. The captain and senior officers were visible throughout and very approachable. The Elite breakfast, which was served in the Tuscan Grill on prior cruises, was moved to the MDR. In the new design, Tuscan Grill has shrunk in size, and access blocked off from the mid-ship lobby. In the first two days the breakfast was plated menu service and very disorganized. From the third day onwards it was a buffet service. Hot items were also included, which was a welcome addition to the Elite breakfast, but the pathetic so-called bagels need a new recipe. The Elite cocktail hour 5pm-7pm, allowed unlimited drinks in the Skylounge as well as the other bars. We had Select dining, and booked 6:45pm well in advance. Only once we had to wait with a buzzer, since we changed the reservation from 2 to 4 persons. The food and service in the MDR was up to Celebrity standard – good to very good. The Oceanview Café was nicely re-designed with a variety of seating options. Pizzas and fajitas bar were very good, but there is no stir-fry station, available on the Solstice class ships. Our days at sea were filled with many activities ably supplied by Cruise Director Steve Gayda. The guest speakers were excellent, the Asia Film Festival screened good quality movies. Evening entertainment was good to very good, with notable highlights of Tom Franek (piano acrobat and sing-along), aerialists Julia and Alan, and Scottish soprano Elaine Gray. Weather was pleasant on our port days. There were a couple of moderate seas and windy days on the crossing, being on the edges of a passing storm. Clock were set back one hour almost every night. After a few days it was difficult to stay awake past 9pm. We “skipped” Friday the 13th when crossing the International Date Line. Upon arrival to our first port in Japan we had to get through immigration process. Celebrity and Japanese officials were very efficient and quick. Lines were short and within minutes we were done and ready to go ashore. The ports of call offered a good variety. Sitka in Alaska with its wildlife and forests, and Japan’s destinations with the small town of Otaru, a larger city Hakedote, and metropolis Yokohama. Celebrity provided free shuttles at all the ports except for Otaru, where we docked within walking distance of town centre. Disembarkation was also well organized and efficient. We were off the ship, with the Captain and the senior officers lining up to bid us farewell. What a thoughtful and heart-warming gesture. How can you not want to sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I'm looking to be as honest and balanced as I can in this review so that it helps prospective cruisers who are considering Celebrity. I'll do this in 3 parts... Summary… the Good… the Bad. Summary My view is that ... Read More
I'm looking to be as honest and balanced as I can in this review so that it helps prospective cruisers who are considering Celebrity. I'll do this in 3 parts... Summary… the Good… the Bad. Summary My view is that Celebrity is living off its reputation (& messaging) of ‘premium’. My experience is that they are looking for ever 'sneaky' ways to drive up revenue (as any good business should), whilst minimising the product (which is cancerous). Sure push the envelope for a few dollars here and there, but don't reduce the product at the same time. We cruise Royal Caribbean and Celebrity a lot… and enjoy the loyalty reciprocity and we are finding the gap between the 2 becoming more and more insignificant. Royal are getting better, whilst Celebrity are slipping. So would I cruise Celebrity again? Yes. I’ve seen Celebrity really good, and quite average. Considering this cruise might have been an exception, I’ll go again… but that may be the last if it remains under-whelming. The Good: - Crew: The 'Worker bees' were all so generous and courteous... nothing but good things to say - Tuscan Grill: Personalised and accommodating… even modifying the menu upon request (The Maître d was brilliant) - Stateroom: Remodelled room (Balcony Concierge Class) was very good… décor was modern and warm, whilst storage space was plentiful and practical - Beds and pillows were so good… slept like a baby (despite some rough seas) - Ocean View Café – Lunch and Dinners were amazing in terms of quality & choice. And the pizza… the BEST on the open seas! (In contrast the Main Dining Room’s food was a complete let down) The Bad: So before looking like I’m just whining, I respect that everyone has different tastes so I’ve left entertainment, enrichment and excursion off the ‘bad’ list. Most of my ‘bad’ is centred around how I’ve seen Celebrity go from ‘WOW!’ to ‘’MEH!’. - Casino: I thought I was being a little too negative, until I heard many guests in there complaining. Apart from 2 to 3 dealers, the rest were inexperienced and most impersonal. There was a strong contingent of Texas Hold’em Poker players onboard, and the availability, service and games structures were amateurish at best. A 10% rake (yes..10%) should come with incredible dealers… instead we had trainees who did not know the rules, and continually exposed cards whilst dealing. - Outdoor hot tubs were lukewarm at best. I know many folk were requesting for the temperature to be increased. Each time was met with a shrug of the shoulders saying ‘it was just the way it is’. Considering the weather outside was cool, this was most disappointing. - Concierge Class: This is pretty much a bluff... (It is anything but personal, group phone messages, line up for 30 minutes, call the service desk and we could never get through). On sea days the concierge was ‘closed’ from Midday to 4:30pm every day. This is an absolute oversell... save your money!! The Concierge Class left me questioning why we did it… just couldn’t see the value. - Embarkation: 1.75 hours kerb to ship! - (And we were concierge class)… absolutely dreadful - 'Premium' Drinks Package - You can't get a glass of wine with your room service order (you can pay for it though). I think this is a nasty slap in the face and really lost Celebrity lot of points in my book. (Using the 'we must see your stateroom card upon ordering' is so condescending). - 'Premium' Drinks Package - Take a Coke from your mini bar - you'll get charged. Again just thoughtless. (So instead I go to the bar get a heap of unopened soft drinks and put them in the bard fridge). - 'Premium' Drinks Package - with a dreadfully limited selection by the glass of basic wines. If you are a wine drinker (primarily) I strongly urge you to give the drinks package a miss. The selection is very, very limited and anything but ‘premium’. - 'Premium' Drinks Package - in the specialty restaurants the wine by the glass choices are a contradiction (to align to 'specialty')... limited in terms of choice / country / region / variety / quality. - When I first cruised celebrity the wine experience was great. The Sommeliers were experienced and knowledgeable. They really should not use the term Sommelier for the wine crew on this cruise… can you believe we were served corked/off red wine in one of the specialty restaurants (because it had been left open for a few days), and the Sommelier just didn’t get it! - Main Dining room - Can't tell the difference between Celebrity and Royal Caribbean anymore. This has sadly been dumbed down to mass production without the culinary prowess the once defined the Celebrity difference. So the main dining experience is the centre of ‘Premium’ cruising. It’s where the nostalgia lives… Celebrity have absolutely dropped the ball here. The main dining room is pretty much sitting back in the industry pack now… so very disappointing!!! Bland, unseasoned, cold, huge variance from one guest plate to the next, lack of imagination (sides were pretty much boiled carrot, broccoli & a bit of mash with most meals). Also the dress standard Celebrity have held to all but disappeared… formal nights were really just neat casual. It’s not good when the buffet is way better than the main dining room. - Main Dining Room - can you imagine getting your 1st drinks order half way through your main course? (twice). - Constantly pushing up the prices on specialty dining (Tuscan now up to $45 US!!). But then at the bottom of the menu offering premium steaks for an additional $18... Really!! - Disembarkation… It’s amazing how much colder and unhospitable the crew became on disembarkation morning. We went to guest services to see if I could exchange some US for YEN... got an abrupt NO... with an immediate reminder that we had to get off the ship! In closing I was surprised at how aloof and closed off the managers and above were... almost like the guest were annoying them. But again the core crew were so great! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
About me: 7 prior cruises. Full-time wheelchair user. Somewhat active, wheeling several miles on a typical day. Middle-aged. I found the Millennium surprisingly UNaccommodating to passengers who, like me, need a wheelchair to get ... Read More
About me: 7 prior cruises. Full-time wheelchair user. Somewhat active, wheeling several miles on a typical day. Middle-aged. I found the Millennium surprisingly UNaccommodating to passengers who, like me, need a wheelchair to get around: 1) My wheelchair-accessible cabin had a ramp to get out to the balcony. Great. But NO ramp on the balcony side, just a 3.5" drop, making it unusable. I had to contact our cabin attendant, who then called engineering, who built a wooden ramp for me. Great, but shouldn't this have been done from the beginning? 2) Our table in the Metropolitan dining room was lovely. But didn't it occur to ANYONE that a table in the farthest corner from the entrance, with two heavy high-backed chairs (photo attached) might not be the best fit for someone requesting an accessible cabin?? 3) There was NO seating set aside in the Oceanview Buffet for wheelchair diners. Again, didn't it occur to ANYBODY on the dining staff that we might need tables that were easy to get to? (Again, after speaking to the maitre'd, by the end of the cruise there were heavy plastic "reserved for accessible seating" signs on 3 tables at the entrance, but I'm amazed I had to bring this to somebody's attention.) 4) We were invited to check out the Spa, but upon inspection I found the most (all?) of the therapy rooms had a 2 inch lip on the bottom of the doorway, blocking anyone with a wheelchair from getting in. Come on, guys, now you're actually BUILDING barriers preventing me from using your facilities. Deck 10, the pool deck, had automatic doors to the outside. But all the other doors on decks 4 and 11 were doorknob doors, making it challenging to get outside. And most of the hallway and large-room carpeting was like wheeling on velcro. I will say that the crew was extremely accommodating and more than willing to help out however they could, but my feeling was that Celebrity Corporate gave mere lip service to the concept of accessibility and couldn't care less about anyone actually needing accommodation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have to say that this was probably not the best Cruise Experience.. The specialty dining was not any better than going to the regular dining. I find it to be a waste of money. I did three specialty dining on this trip and did not find ... Read More
I have to say that this was probably not the best Cruise Experience.. The specialty dining was not any better than going to the regular dining. I find it to be a waste of money. I did three specialty dining on this trip and did not find them to be any better than going to the dining room. Also, the main dining room the service is poor. The guys are overworked and overwhelmed. Did have one experience that was not good with the Shores excursion department. Over an excursion purchased through them. The spa service is not very good when it comes to doing your nails. I find that they overcharge. The most positive thing that I enjoyed was having Captains Club Desk. Always very kind, helpful to take care of any issues. This trip on Millennium ship has made me think that I would consider now trying other cruise lines. We are elite members of Celebrity and have been very loyal to Celebrity. Through the years I’ve seen Celebrity changing and not for the good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
An outstanding cruise which combines a repositioning with multi country/culture adventure. Seeing Alaska, Russia and Japan all while gaining extra sleep every other day made this relaxing. This ship (like all the Viking cruise ship) is as ... Read More
An outstanding cruise which combines a repositioning with multi country/culture adventure. Seeing Alaska, Russia and Japan all while gaining extra sleep every other day made this relaxing. This ship (like all the Viking cruise ship) is as near perfect as you can get. Comfort, food, service, public spaces, what’s included and what’s not ( no casino, kids, photos, auctions, crowds, etc) makes it a top cruise line. The entertainment was very good and varied as they pick-up up new entertainers all along the 22 days. But the talks were the best. Especially the NASA mission specialist / astronaut who took 5 trips into earth orbit and worked on the Hubble telescope. The planetarium was a nice change but needs better shows. Specialty restaurants were outstanding. We ate there many times but also loved the dining room. There were many nationalities represented on the cruise with the majority being Australians the Americans. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We choose this cruise to visit Japan and Alaska and we liked that there were a lot of sea days when crossing the Bering Sea. The embarkation in Kobe was a little slow, but not bad. we were in cabin V705, on the same floor with Seabourn ... Read More
We choose this cruise to visit Japan and Alaska and we liked that there were a lot of sea days when crossing the Bering Sea. The embarkation in Kobe was a little slow, but not bad. we were in cabin V705, on the same floor with Seabourn Square, which was convenient for getting morning coffee and snacks. As one cruiser said in her review, the ship was clean, but the decor snd furnishings are a little tired and needs updating. we have been on Seabourn before, so we were familiar with the cabin layout and happy with it. We had a very good cabin attendant, Camila, and our refrigerator was stocked as we requested. Many of the staff knew our names within the first few days of the cruise. We felt that overall, the food was very good. we usually had breakfast in the colonnade, and other reviews have mentioned that more staff is needed, and they are right about that. one morning I waited 30 minutes for a bowl of oatmeal - on our last cruise, oatmeal was self-serve, but on this cruise, Congee was self serve, even though the number of non-Japanese far outnumbered the Japanese passengers. If the weather was nice, we ate at the Patio, but it was sometimes closed because of noxious chemicals being used on the pool re -do and also, some days it was closed because it was too windy and rainy. We ate at the Keller Grill several times - the best lobster I've had except in Maine, and the whole chicken dish is awesome, and the best Classic Iceberg Wedge Salad. The steaks, however, weren't that great. Also there are only one or two daily changes to the menu, so you can't eat there too many times. We had some fabulous dinners at the Patio, but we had to really bundle up there as it was extremely cold - coats, blankets, gloves, hats - the works. Some of the meals in the Main Dining room were excellent, some were ok, and a few were so bad that we got up without eating and went to the colonnade or the patio. We also noticed that more staff was needed there also. The selection of complimentary wines was quite nice. Heather Inggs, the guest service manager, is one of the best and most effective senior staff I've ever dealth with (more later) The spectacular: Alaska!!! the wildlife - the tons of eagles, sea otters with babies, seals, puffins, whales, grizzly bears, the vast wilderness areas, the glaciers, the wonderful wild salmon, the art of the Tlinget and other native Indians- it was all so very beautiful. Even Ketchikan was picturesque, once you got away from the pier area and the two huge cruise ships there at the same time. The bad: prior to the cruise, I had called Seabourn Customer service: I needed to get pillow protectors (allergies) so I called to ask what was the size of the pillows - I was told they were standard pillows so I bought those- NOT - they were the biggest pillows I've ever seen - much larger than king. I asked if the TV had a CD/DVD player- I was told it did - NOT. the hinges on the cabinet doors opposite the bed kept coming off we returned one night to find the large vent cover in the bathroom on the floor. The bath tub in a cabin on our floor overflowed and flooded the room and hallway - there were loud fans in the hallway for 2 or 3 days drying out the carpet and it didn't smell good. The internet access was mostly very, very slow and sporadic, and we used up many minutes just trying to connect The Ugly: On the 5 or 6 sea days, the crew decided to paint somewhere on the ship near our floor. The noxious, heavy smell of paint fumes was overpowering inside the cabins and the hallways - we opened the balcony doors wide open, but it didn't make any difference _ I have asthma, and it made me sick- Went to talk to Heather - she was very concerned and was very diligent in tracking it down. She thought the problem had been resolved. two days later it happened again. Heather was immediately there and worked out a solution to keep the smell out of the cabins. If she hadn't solved it, I thought I would be living and sleeping in Seabourn Square lounge chairs. Even if I didn't have asthma, this was an extremely noxious, overbearing smell that none of the passengers should have to tolerate - it shows a mentality of a total disregard for passengers. after we boarded the ship, we also found out that e cigarettes are allowed in the cabins - the "new smoking policy" on the 1 page agreement we signed doesn't mention this at all - it can only be found in the detailed online passenger agreement. This means that all the vapors, nicotine, and additives in e cigarettes that is now killing and severely injuring people, would be sucked into the ventilation system and spewed out into the nearby cabins. I'm just incredulous that Seabourn would adopt this policy! we spoke to at least 1/2 of the passengers on this ship since there were so many sea days, and only one person was aware of this policy, and the others were very surprised to learn this. PS we would never cross the Bering Sea again - days of very rocky seas, rain, wind, nothing to see except an occasional bird - never saw the sky or stars and didn't sleep well with all the rocking of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Great ship and great weather were the highlights, but too many boring sea days. It could have been much better with some more speakers and better entertainment on those long sea days. The best part of sea days was a geology professor ... Read More
Great ship and great weather were the highlights, but too many boring sea days. It could have been much better with some more speakers and better entertainment on those long sea days. The best part of sea days was a geology professor guest lecture. Embarkation was much slower than disembarkation. Nice cabin with reasonable bathroom. Too cool for pool and sunbathing on this route. Port in Japan and Russia were small, but interesting. Alaska ports were fine, but Icy Point Straight was a NCL-contrived port with little to see. Activities at sea included art auctions, specialty restaurants, expensive slow internet etc. that all seemed to create additional profit centers for the cruise line with a captive audience. Food was on par with Carnival and Royal Caribbean, but not necessarily themed for the ports visited. Service was on par. Hot chocolate served outside on a few cold port or glacier viewing days was a nice touch. Both food and service were better in the specialty restaurants, but then you pay for a meal that you have already included anyway with the cruise, so I count those as a port meal. Entertainment was sub-par, with the exception of one acrobatics show. Mostly Philippine bands doing their best with a wide range of western standards. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Loved the idea of a repositioning cruise and that part was great. Could sail forever. However, the service on board was indifferent, to say the least. The people who ran the "kid's club" were fabulous and my grandchildren ... Read More
Loved the idea of a repositioning cruise and that part was great. Could sail forever. However, the service on board was indifferent, to say the least. The people who ran the "kid's club" were fabulous and my grandchildren had a great time. This was the best part. Ebarkation and disembarkation were flawless. Food was another matter. It was, to say the least, somewhat strange. Clearly it was mostly frozen and then reheated and the descriptions didn't really match what was served. The only really good meal was in Teppanyaki. The rest of the food was indifferent--it would work if you were hungry but it wasn't a good experience. The Enrichment speaker was wonderful and very enlightening. Felt as if we were being "nickled and dimed" for everything. For example, after having bought the soda package, we were often told in restaurants that no diet pepsi was available (that there was no more on the ship) only to be able to get it later at a bar. This happened more than once. Would I sail on this ship again? Not really if I had another choice. We went on this ship because of the large stateroom (with a separate bedroom) that was available for my daughter's family. That is the only reason we would go again on this ship. I've sailed on Oceania, Windstar, Celebrity, Princess, and now Norwegian. Norwegian was, for me, my least favourite. On the other hand, it had a repositioning cruise, which is my favourite. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our third cruise with Viking ocean. We chose this trip for the itinerary. We had never been to Asia and liked the ports in both Asia and Alaska. Crossing the Int’l Dateline added to the attraction. We were in the Orion in ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Viking ocean. We chose this trip for the itinerary. We had never been to Asia and liked the ports in both Asia and Alaska. Crossing the Int’l Dateline added to the attraction. We were in the Orion in Jan-Feb visiting New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia. This crew was better trained and worked well together. We were pleased with most aspects of the ship. A few little things need work, but nothing major. You know what you get with Viking-it is an older crowd but activities/entertainment were sufficient for us. While some of the entertainment was the same, they did a good job at adding new entertainers. As Viking enters new parts of the world they are learning their way with shore excursions and local customs. Shore excursions were well managed. They do a good job at calling people at the right time and keep waiting times to a minimum. Checkin staff did a great job. Local guides were good. A sufficient level of activities were offered. EMBARKATION a breeze. You can arrive well before your checkin time. You are greeted with a glass of champagne and invited to use the open restaurants. Your luggage will be in your room by your assigned checkin time. DISEMBARKATION-we had a curve thrown as we could not stay in port because of too many ships in Vancouver. Luggage was offloaded in the middle of the night. We didn’t hear a thing. We disembarked via tender according to flight times. Full breakfast services available. You had to be out of your stateroom by 10am. Tenders left according to schedule with staff assisting everyone. Our luggage was waiting at our terminal at the airport. One of the most efficient operations we have experienced. CABINS Deck 3. Be careful of location. Torshavn noise is audible almost every night. Not late into the night, but it may bother some. A very convenient deck. DINING-Dining room and World Cafe offered a varied selection. Soups could use some improvement. Replenishment of eating utensils/napkins was too slow. Chef’s table-staff could use better training. One visit we had two wine pairings and no food. The French menu was too rich; not a good balance between first and main courses. Manfredi’s was very good, but don’t try to have pasta as a separate course-throws them off! SERVICE in general was excellent. Lounges and bar waiters were great. Most were very personable-not long before they know your name and cabin #! Room steward was wonderful-Edwin. SHIP-beautifully appointed. Always spotless. This ship has a dome. I don’t think this is a feature that will be included in the rest of the fleet. Makes the 8th floor area very hot. Eliminates a nice viewing/drinking area. Don’t know if that is the reason why the 7th floor area of the Explorers lounge tends to be cold. The skins on the sofas are starting to shed. Most people rolled them back to protect their clothing! PORTS/excursions. Viking’s first visits to ports can present problems. Most of our excursions were organized. In cases where we took local shuttles the scheduled were mixed. We ended up seeing what we wanted to see. ACTIVITIES-a little more variety on sea days would have been good as this was a long cruise. Lectures varied and sufficient. Like the ability to view the port talk in your cabin on the following day. Very good selection of shows/movies on the in-room system. Free internet a great feature-reception was generally good. Suggestions-have hot water in the World Cafe for hand-washing. There were some illness problems. The internet system in the room for onboard account, reservations, etc needs immediate help. The ship can not control or correct any errors. The dining for Chef’s Table had the wrong info for almost 8 days. The general website also had errors for our trip. The map wasn’t corrected until a few days before we sailed. On board future booking-a great offer that we used. However, you need to book a specific cruise that you know you won’t be using. Mucks up the booking system for other Viking customers and the whole reservation system. Viking needs to keep its attention to detail at a high level as they release the rest of the fleet! We will sail with them again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Well, here we are back on the Jewel (sailed Sydney - Singapore in February), but this time in the Haven. Why? We wanted to see Japan and we wanted to do Alaska and ‘transpacific’ helped complete our journey around the planet (although, ... Read More
Well, here we are back on the Jewel (sailed Sydney - Singapore in February), but this time in the Haven. Why? We wanted to see Japan and we wanted to do Alaska and ‘transpacific’ helped complete our journey around the planet (although, technically, the Bering Sea may not actually be the Pacific). Anyhow, this was a repositioning cruise and we decided to take advantage. Unlike our last cruise where we just showed up in Sydney, this time we came to Tokyo five days before the cruise to enjoy the city sights. Tokyo did not disappoint. It was very clear, fairly easy to navigate, many opportunities for dining... we stayed at the Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku-Ku and I would highly recommend it. The only downside was that it was Golden Week and there were more crowds than usual. We were unable to visit Mt Fuji due to crowds as well. I would definitely go back to Japan. There were an awful lot of people at that pier in Yokohama, but because we were in the Haven, we were among the first to be checked in and whisked aboard the ship. I cannot say how embarkation was for anyone else, but it did look like a very large crowd. Once aboard, we met some of the staff in the Haven. A truly great group of dedicated professionals who did not disappoint. They were great for the entire cruise. Our room guy was Giri and we were very fortunate to have him. One thing that surprised me, though, is that this ship has no dedicated Haven restaurant. Breakfast, though, was served in the Moderno restaurant and we were there each morning. Michelle was our server of choice and she was another example of the wonderful staff. Lunch was also served in Moderno for Havenites, but we ate there only once or twice. Unlike other ship, though, for dinner you’re on your own. Luckily, we had seven meals coming to us (5 were Free at Sea and 2 because of our Platinum status). On the other seven or eight nights, we split it up with either the Tsars Palace or Azura and, if we didn’t care for the menu on a particular night, we went to Chin Chin. About the food, overall it’s very good, but after a while it becomes quite repetitive. Having sailed for nearly three weeks on the same ship two months earlier and now another two weeks, we found ourselves wondering what the food on other cruise lines is like. By the way, the food in the Garden Cafe buffet wasn’t bad, but because this was basically a cold weather cruise, everyone was eating inside. So, table space was limited at peak hours. Luckily, they let you sit in La Cucina up until afternoon. Not a lot of kids on this cruise as you might imagine as this is school time. So, that made it the perfect time for an Alaskan cruise. Cruising in July - August is probably the last place you’d find me. The entertainment was just so-so to be honest, so many nights we just didn’t go. Ports and shore excursions were ok, but in Alaska you could easily double the cost of the entire cruise and more. We did just basic sightseeing, no helicopters or sea planes. Alaskan ports seemed like one trinket store after another. Would I go again? Maybe, but probably not. Still, Alaska is a trip everyone ought to make once in their lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I have always wanted to go to Alaska and my husband wanted to go to Japan, so on this cruise we got to do a bit of both! Boarded in Yokohama Japan. We stayed at Sotetsu Fresca Inn Sakuragi-cho in Yokohama. This was fine and we were able ... Read More
I have always wanted to go to Alaska and my husband wanted to go to Japan, so on this cruise we got to do a bit of both! Boarded in Yokohama Japan. We stayed at Sotetsu Fresca Inn Sakuragi-cho in Yokohama. This was fine and we were able to walk to the port from here - although was a good 25 minute walk. Embarkation was a little unorganised and long, but we were also quite early! Once on board, everything was easy. We mainly ate breakfast in buffet, and this was good. Sometimes had to walk around a bit to find a seat, but no major trouble. Plenty of selection and options, although it is amazing how after two weeks you still get a little bored with whats on offer! My bad! For lunch we ate in various restaurants, we gave all the complimentary ones a go! Menu didn't change much for lunch tho. Really enjoyed O'Sheehans for lunch - their fajitas and burgers were great, better than the ones at Tsars! Massive selection at buffet for lunch and options changed daily. Nice steaks out by the pool at Topsiders Grill - although this area was closed on cold wet days. For dinner we always went to either Tsars or Azura. Same menu in both, but just different atmosphere and decor. The waiters were amazing in these restaurants. Also loved Alvin who did the table allocation at Tsars, he was great with names and very welcoming. The food was very very good. Not amazing, but very very good considering the volume they are producing for. The ship production crew shows were amazing, especially the cirque inspired one!! Other shows were entertaining, some better than others. The nice guy giving the lectures each day was very good, but a little too indepth on certain things for me! We enjoyed all our cruise port stops. Alaska was amazing!! One bit of advice for cruises that go to Petropavlovsk in Russia. Although the ship berthed at 5am and some 30-40 russian immigration guys were expected to arrive soon after to do immigration checks for all passengers. It was 11.30 before our deck 5 was able to disembark. This meant that we missed our privately organised and prepaid tour. The various decks were allowed to retrieve their passports and depart according to deck, commencing from ship excursion passengers, haven passengers, deck 11, deck 10, deck 9 etc. down to deck 4, all with allocation times approx 30 mins apart. If we had been on deck 11 we would probably have got off about 9.30, but deck 5 was second last. If visiting this port would be better to do a ship excursion (something I rarely do!) or select a cabin on a high deck! Although we missed our excursion (the tour company did wait over an hour for us, but then had to go as had others with them), we were able to walk off the ship and into town ourselves for a look around. Was about a 10 minute walk. The ship had said that we would require to buy an $8 shuttle ticket, but this was not necessary. No one even checked us to see if we had a rebooked excursion or shuttle ticket. Spas were lovely and hot and the pools were heated too. We loved spending time upstairs in the Spinnaker Lounge. This was a lovely quiet spot with comfy lounges and great views!! There are also some little computer screens at front of some bars/restaurants that you can take a selfie photo of yourself and send a brief message via email back home - handy to let loved ones know how you are going! We had the free internet package and our 250 hours were rationed amongst the sea days and worked fine. We never did work out how to do the phone package to call our kids on their mobiles tho! Drinks package was great, it was included which was good, because we probably only drank 2 or 3 drinks a day which was more than normal!, but not enough to justify buying a package! Loved the manager, think his name was Steven Jacobson, very friendly and helpful. Also loved the cruise director Dan. There was enough entertainment around the ships, although there were still times where we didn't know what to do, but thats the time to grab a good book! Easy disembark, just did it ourselves and walked straight off! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Salty food EXPENSIVE excursions are the Jewels main features!!! Took a 15 day trip on this cruise ship from Yokohama Japan to Vancouver, Canada and my blood pressure went up 60 points in 15 days!!! Food on this ship is salty and ... Read More
Salty food EXPENSIVE excursions are the Jewels main features!!! Took a 15 day trip on this cruise ship from Yokohama Japan to Vancouver, Canada and my blood pressure went up 60 points in 15 days!!! Food on this ship is salty and terrible and rarely served hot in main dining room !!!! Beef I tasted were from the cheapest cuts from the cheapest vendor and tasted HORRIBLE!!! Norwegian is such a stingy cruise line they don't even allow you to bring water bottles on the ship cause they want to sell them to you at $4.00 a 20 ounce bottle plus a whopping 20% service charge to boot!!! Wine prices were also very steep for wine that costs $4.00 a bottle in California they charge $26 PLUS 20 % service on top of that!!!If wine you bring wine from home they confiscate it or demand $15 a bottle service charge even if you drink it in the privacy of your own room. Norwegian scans your luggage and if they find wine they make you pick up your luggage and pay service charge of $15 a bottle. EVERYTHING on the ship is expensive and the the excursions are outrageous. They price gouge their customers at every single opportunity!!!! There supplemental restaurants are substandard and there chefs are cooks NOT chefs!! Cagneys was steak was a HUGE grilled piece of fat with perhaps 35% meat on it!!! The french restaurant was also TERRIBLE!!! French soup tasted like salt soup and the four mushrooms soup also tasted extremely salty!!! I paid $1375 for a window including a single supplement not a bad price had the food been edible. I will say the room was nice and the gym was acceptable and opened till 11:00. I would NEVER cruise with this company again!!When you won a trivia game you got no prize. On another cruise ship the winning trivia group got a bottle of sparkling wine but this company is too cheap to do that. Also at breakfast the eggs Benedict was awful and the lox and bagels comes with yellow cream cheese that tastes like chemicals and grease!!!If you cruise alone they rarely ever seat you with other people at dinner and lunch so you either eat dinner with the single cruisers or you eat alone on this ship !!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The Jewel has been refurbished but not to the extent that it needed. I have never seen a harder working general manager (still hotel director to me) than Stephen. His problem is he can only deal with the staff he has been given. I ... Read More
The Jewel has been refurbished but not to the extent that it needed. I have never seen a harder working general manager (still hotel director to me) than Stephen. His problem is he can only deal with the staff he has been given. I certainly understand that all the employees from the Joy needed to be dispersed throughout the company but the lack of a clear understanding of English is a problem. The ship layout is difficult for someone used to the new Breakaway class. My last review of the Bliss was that it was "bliss". This was a long cruise and there were many sea days. It is hard to come up with enrichment activities that suit all. The lectures were wonderful. There was so much "trivia" that I had to retreat to my cabin to keep myself from going mad. The spa is certainly not up to par with the newer ships. It did not have a glass door so the door was kept open in order to help people find it. In keeping it open all the heat escaped. Even on a heated bed one needed a robe and towel covering to keep from being cold. The hot tub in the ladies only locker room had resting chairs by it. Those chairs had real fabric upholstery. Some regular deck chairs would make much more sense. I never felt that I could sit/lay on one of those chairs in a wet bathing suit. So many little things that one does not find lacking on a new ship. Too many to mention. I do still fully support NCL and intend to travel only on NCL. I write this review only as I feel it is necessary that all know the difference in the various ships. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise for the interesting ports and had a terrific time. The newly refurbished Jewel is beautiful and we much prefer the smaller ships. We had quite a few Sea days and Ncl had many activities scheduled. Trivia multiple ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the interesting ports and had a terrific time. The newly refurbished Jewel is beautiful and we much prefer the smaller ships. We had quite a few Sea days and Ncl had many activities scheduled. Trivia multiple times a day, dance classes, cake and cooking demonstrations, etc. One thing I found difficult to get information on before the cruise was how Ncl would handle crossing the international dateline. Basically, most nights we moved our clocks forward one hour to catch up with the current time for the port stops. Then, the night that we moved across the international dateline instead of moving forward we moved it 23 hours backwards. This gained us one extra day. It happens to be Mother’s Day, May 12, so we all celebrated twice. I also want to comment on our stop in Petropavlovsk Russia. Although technically no visa is needed to get a shower, and prior Crucis people have just been able to walk off the ship with no excursions scheduled. We had an independent excursion that we booked ourselves. Two days before we arrived in Russia, Ncl advised everyone that you had to have an excursion, either with Ncl or independent, to leave the ship. Fortunately we have paperwork from our tour guide and were able to provide them with that. As a last minute solutions, Ncl arranged for an eight dollar round-trip shuttle although technically no visa is needed to get a sure, and prior cruises people have just been able to walk off the ship with no excursions scheduled. We had an independent excursion that we booked ourselves. Two days before we arrived in Russia, Ncl advised everyone that you had to have an excursion, either with Ncl or independent, to leave the ship. Fortunately we have paperwork from our tour guide and were able to provide them with that. As a last minute solutions, Ncl arranged for an eight dollar round-trip shuttle to The small downtown area that would suffice and satisfy the Russian authorities. This had nothing to do with Ncl, it was merely a change from Russia. Another comment, small downtown that would suffice and satisfy the Russian authorities. This had nothing to do with NCL, it was merely a change from Russia. Another comment, they have now built a cruise port there and we did not tender ashore. It did take a long time to get our passports back and get a sure, we landed at 5 AM in the Russian immigration came right on and started checking everyone’s passports but the last ones were not cleared until 10:45 AM. You were able to get off in groups based on your passport being ready, excursions first, followed by Haven, then called by floor. Service at all the bars and restaurants was top-notch. Never a wait for anything, it was a very quiet, older and civilized crowd. Not sure what the average age was but since it was and I’m gonna cruise in the weather was chilly there wasn’t too much in the way of loud partying, but still plenty of fun to go around. One of the most fun afternoon so we had was on a cruise critic pub crawl. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was the first time on Norwegian Cruise line and was very impressed with the service, food and the entertainment. There was never any waiting for a table in any dining rooms, the staff were very attentive. I have cruised with a ... Read More
This was the first time on Norwegian Cruise line and was very impressed with the service, food and the entertainment. There was never any waiting for a table in any dining rooms, the staff were very attentive. I have cruised with a lot of other cruise lines and you always feel you are being push into a paying speciality restaurant in some form or another like serving crap food in main dining room to encourage you to go to the speciality restaurant and pay but not with Norwegian Cruise line on the Jewel the food was excellent no matter where you ate and to eat when you like and where you like was great even had breakfast till midday, now try that on any other line and you miss out on breakfast. The ship was full but there was no problems getting a seat anywhere on the ship for all meals. You can even eat at 2am in the morning which I did a couple of times as I felt a bit peckish after dancing to the brilliant music and then finishing at the casino I would go and have some fish and chips in O'sheehan's which is open 24hr now try and get that on any other cruise line. Other cruise lines once 9pm hits there is nothing other than room service which you have to pay for but on Norwegian cruise line there is no reason to use room service. There was even two soft serve ice cream machines open from lunch until late. The staff are amazing and were very attentive to your needs and very friendly and happy. I have noticed some ships are given 6 stars and I give Norwegian Cruise line 6 Stars and can justify my reasons. 1) Restaurants no waiting for a table at any restaurants Eat where you want and when you want and with who you want, unlike other ships where you are pushed onto large table groups. The Jewel you were give a table for two every time unless you requested a large table. Waiters very helpful and friendly and happy and a ratio of 1 crew to 2 passengers. Food available 24 hrs a day and this was not room service either. Breakfast was available till 12 noon, no other ship does that. Seating in lounge and theatre Seating in lounge areas were plenty and theatre there was always plenty of room. 2) Service I didn't need to get waiters attention as they would always be near your table and if you looked up as if you were about to ask for help they would be there and even when i dropped my napkin on the floor and before i could bend down to pick it up a waiter would already be picking it up and telling me he would get me a clean one. even in one of the other small main dining rooms we had a personal waiter who attended to what ever we needed. very impressed. 3)The Alcohol was included at all bars and restaurants and no limit. The only thing we didn't have was a butler but who needs one just to unpack. Would I go on this line again the answer is yes and I think now this line would be the only line for me. Would I recommend it to others and the answer is yes, go try it for yourself. Keep up the good work Norwegian Cruise Line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was meant to be an aniversary present for my husband. We expected to see some of Hawaii but the itinary was changed several times before the sailing. We sat in Oahu for a survey instead of cruising. They cancelled all our prebooked ... Read More
This was meant to be an aniversary present for my husband. We expected to see some of Hawaii but the itinary was changed several times before the sailing. We sat in Oahu for a survey instead of cruising. They cancelled all our prebooked shore excursions leaving us with a breif stop in Maui. If you wanted to shop great if not disapointing. It was just a really long boat trip from Hawaii to Vancouvre via Maui. Our time in Victoria was cut short due to the tide. We sat in Vancouvre overnight in port. Dissembarkation was a nightmare. Locating bags was like a really sick idea of a scavenger hunt. Close to 3 hours to get off, find your bag and wait in the longest line ever for a taxi. Of course the taxis were busy bringing people for embarkation so it was a mess. We were told when we complained that everyone received the same compensation. We received refunds for our shore excursions and refunds for 2 nights we spent in port instead of cruising. We received a credit to buy lunch because they couldnt one day. That certainly is not compensation its reimbursment! Royal Caribean do not care. They changed everything about our holiday, we did not get what we paid for or what we expected. If we had wanted to do a long boat ride from Hawaii to Vancouvre then we would have booked one. We didnt but thats what we got. Wouldnt travel with them again. The cruise was a comedy of errors and changes. Appauling customer service. MSC gave us a better cruising experience at a far better price. The activities onboard were sometimes hard to get onto and into. You certainly needed to be everywhere very early and not mind waiting in line at times. The artists were of a high standard. The food was nice in the restaurant but it did get a little boring after 10 Days as several meals were repeated. The buffet had a large range but again the choices got boring as they seemed to be the same each day. We dinned at Wonderland on one occasion and really enjoyed the quirky nature of the food. It was fun and a nice break from the main eating areas. The robot bar is fun the first time but the novelty soon wears off. Unfortunatley there were a large amount of people who had very small children in the bars even as late as midnight. We had the drinks package and found it was a good idea as the prices on board were expensive. There were multiple shopping events. Its such a shame that this cruise was spoilt by poor planning. We complained to our travel agent who passed our concerns onto Royal guest services who said that all passengers were given the same compensation. We were refunded the cost of shore excursions and 2 nights that we sat in port as well as the cost of lunch on a day they could not provide it. That certainly does not qualify as compensation. Perhaps they need a dictionary to understand the difference. At the end of the day they just did not care about our experience it was all about the money. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We tend to prefer longer cruises with sea days. Celebrity almost always has excellent speakers and this cruise was no exception. We tried to catch all the talks. This is our second cruise in Aqua. The ammenities make the trip so much ... Read More
We tend to prefer longer cruises with sea days. Celebrity almost always has excellent speakers and this cruise was no exception. We tried to catch all the talks. This is our second cruise in Aqua. The ammenities make the trip so much more enjoyable so thats what we look for now. Our cabin, an A1 was a long way from the spa and because of the weather we didn't use it. The room was very well done and the bed was very comfortable. By the time we finished breakfast our room was usually finished. Very clean.did n The buffett was usually crowded but never so much that we couldn't find a place to sit. I noticed, and reported, when a guest came back and dumped his leftover food back into the container. After that I only ate what was served. No more self serve. I feel that they should have someone at all the stations. I have no desire to eat a strangers leftovers. The lounge music venues were very nice. The service in Blu as always was excellent. Daniell and Jet, our waiters, Yudie(sp) the Maitre d' and the wonderful hostess were were so friendly and professional. Overall the shows we great with one notable exception. The music was so loud it overpowered the singers and the guest piano player. It was also.was damaging to our ears. Some of the performances we had to leave because of the music. I don't know why the music director thinks that louder is better. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
As the caption suggests, my main dissatisfaction with the cruise was the was overly-amplified "ambient" music everywhere, and it was always of the thump-thump variety. There was no escaping it. I will never cruise on ... Read More
As the caption suggests, my main dissatisfaction with the cruise was the was overly-amplified "ambient" music everywhere, and it was always of the thump-thump variety. There was no escaping it. I will never cruise on Celebrity again. For those who do not object to this terrible noise, I am adding a few comments on other aspects of the cruise. The promotional material said the port of embarkation would be Yokohama. With no explanation and no apology Celebrity sent out an e-mail saying the ship would leave from an freighter port about ten miles from Yokohama. I had to change my hotel reservations. Some people said they didn't get the e-mail, went to the wrong port, and had to scramble. Some poor souls probably failed to make it on board at all. Changes must sometimes be made, of course, but failing to acknowledge inconveniencing your customers and to apologize is a serious breach in good service. Regarding the cabin, the shower was roomy and functioned perfectly. It was the best cruise ship shower I've seen. The little lady who tended to my needs was sweet and responsive. Sheets were changed every three days, which was nice. The bed was over-burdened with huge pillows. I stowed them over the closet and under the bed. My cabin attendant got me a reasonably-sized pillow. The mirror had a big circle of light around it. If I sat on the sofa, the light reflected off my glasses, producing an image in the mirror of me with luminous circular eyes. I was amused. The TVs are bolted to the wall, so when the TV was playing next door, I could hear it. The food in the dining room was mediocre, meaning it wasn't very tasty. The emphasis seemed to be on what is called “presentation.” Typically, food is placed in a heap, rather than segregated on the plate. Maybe this is artistic, but the assemblage has to be taken apart before one eats it. As for the specialty restaurants, I didn't try them. Two [Luminae and Blu] were reserved for people higher up in Celebrity's caste system. As a peasant, I was not allowed in them. There was no library on board. A room called “The Retreat” looked like it served that purpose, but it was off-limits to serfs like me. The ship does not have a card room, but we were allowed to play in the upper dining room near the door into the service area, where there was an escalator in serious need of grease. The throbbing of the escalator, along with thumping ambient music, did not make for a relaxed card game. I imagine dining there would be less than ideal, too. Nearby were tables for two with seats enclosed in a cove of foam. That might help a little with sound abatement. One of the bars had two talented chanteuses and a dance floor. It was a pleasant and entertaining way to spend a little time in the evening. The shows in the auditorium were all grossly over-amplified. The grandest featured elaborately-costumed and energetic dancers wearing fake microphones and lip-syncking to recorded music. I don't expect an orchestra on a cruise ship, but at least the singing should be real. Enrichment included a man who talked interestingly about crime in Los Angeles. The other lecturer, while a dynamic speaker, did not have much of interest to say. His lecture on the Pacific Ocean basically said it is big. I like to go to the gym and use the treadmill. Who needs music playing at all or, if it is necessary, why at such high volume? Maybe you want to watch TV, listen to content on your phone, or just read. The loud music is an annoying distraction. All this noise is a deal-breaker for me. I'll never cruise on Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
While the overall cruise was very enjoyable, since we were with friends, we have for the first time, being Elite members, have found some issues with the food and/or the prep. This was the first time we sailed in Aqua Class, and while ... Read More
While the overall cruise was very enjoyable, since we were with friends, we have for the first time, being Elite members, have found some issues with the food and/or the prep. This was the first time we sailed in Aqua Class, and while the smaller dining room is nice & Blu, gave us access to two menus (Blu and Main), we do not feel the extra cost of Aqua class was merited. There were some instances where the entrees lacked flavor and were overcooked. One of our travelling companions made the remark that the crepe suzettes dessert tasted like "hockey pucks." Early on, we expressed our disappointment to Guest Relations. Subsequently the Head Chef came to our table and explained that the food comes frozen from the US. and that may alter the freshness factor and taste. Having been on numerous Celebrity cruises, Europe, Caribbean and the TransAtlantic, this was quite a unique explanation. On a positive note, service in Blu was excellent and the wait staff were always willing to exchange any food that was not to your liking. The Blu hostess was also extremely accommodating. As on all our Celebrity cruises the cabin attendant "Z" kept our room in excellent shape. Also we had fun with the Celebrity Life staff, particularly with Jaz and Tim. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We took this cruise as a gentle way to go home to Canada from Japan. (We had done an around Japan cruise with Windstar beforehand) It was very enjoyable, food great, staff lovely, entertainment good. There were alot of sea days ... Read More
We took this cruise as a gentle way to go home to Canada from Japan. (We had done an around Japan cruise with Windstar beforehand) It was very enjoyable, food great, staff lovely, entertainment good. There were alot of sea days together but we got a routine of trivias, podium talks, hot tubs and eating in the day as the weather was too cold to be out on deck much or in the swimming pool. The speakers were entertaining, one gave talks on major trials. Another did Buddhism history and meditation and a third did varied talks from Rasputin to dog behaviour. The afternoon progressive trivia was fun if you had got a team together. It wasnt too rough so seasickness wasnt an issue either. We did have to change our clocks forward about 6 separate times to be on Vancouver time by arrival butbetter than getting full jetlag. So repositioing was worth doing, although the stop in Russia was a waste of time except to stretch your legs! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have completed 13 Regent cruises (with 222 nights), and was surprised with a poor review on Cruise Critic from one couple. We were on that same Regent Mariner cruise and had none of the 'problems' described--we adapted ... Read More
We have completed 13 Regent cruises (with 222 nights), and was surprised with a poor review on Cruise Critic from one couple. We were on that same Regent Mariner cruise and had none of the 'problems' described--we adapted to changes that we could not control. Both Regent and we could not control the weather. First--If they did not like their multi-hour air-schedule, it can be changed. We were scheduled on an overnight flight from Vancouver to NYC but we changed it to an early afternoon flight that got us home. Regent’s initial late-day flight selection gave guests the opportunity to take a tour of Vancouver! Ask, and Regent changes the air flights--yes it cost a little money, but we are Platinum level, and one flight schedule change was allowed. Second—This was a relocation cruise--we expected multiple days at sea. We were scheduled to have 5-days-at-sea, and we had 6-days-at-sea, when we bypassed the Russian port. There were wonderful lectures by Hugh Neighbour and Karen Dodd. There were extra social events added to entertain the guests. If you were bored, that was your fault. Third--YES, we skipped the Russian port. Their comment that “ALL OF THE GUESTS WERE UPSET” is very unfair and UNTRUE. There were 50-knot winds over the deck--added to the forward speed of the Mariner, it gives a 75mph deck wind. The decks were closed for outside walking. My wife and I exercised by walking the interior walkways on various decks. There were 23 feet swells. We had very wet and salt encrusted balcony windows, which were cleaned at the next port. I enclosed two photos of the TV screen in our suite showing these numbers. The Mariner has stabilizers, I knew of no one who was sick from mal de mer. The captain/master changed the direction (and avoided the worst of the storm). I saw him at the Coffee Connection, and thanked him, for consideration of the safety of the guests. After his direction changes, we then had MUCH weaker winds, and less than six feet swell. [I BELIEVE that the Mariner was originally scheduled to use their tenders to transport the guests to and from shore at the Russian port. With a pitching sea, it could be a human disaster! On two previous Regent cruises (Amalfi coast, Italy and Galle, Sri Lanka), the Captain declared that the sea was too rough to have guests enter the tenders and we skipped the port!] Fourth--We had great weather on all Alaskan ports; but it rained at Ketchikan, as usual. We did not see the Hubbard Glacier because there was very dense fog. Many guests, including me, stood on the top deck and got wet from the weather. Regent did supply snacks and hot coffee for those awaiting a breeze to dissipate the fog. After about an hour of only seeing sea-ice, the Mariner left Yakutat Bay. The weather then was fine, at distance of about 10-miles where some wind, and a change in air-temperature resulted in no fog and a blue-sky. When the ship was docked in any Alaska port, we often sat outside in the sun on the pool deck for lunch and enjoyed the snow covered mountains, numerous playful otters, eagles, (once saw some orcas playing by our ship), and had another great meal. I know of no one who used the pool, but the hot tubs were used by some. I really cannot understand such a negative review--but it was from one couple. We have three more Regent cruises booked, and look forward to the ship, food, staff, and meeting other well-traveled guests. It is a pleasure to be take care of by Regent. I would highly recommend cruising with Regent for those people who enjoy “joie de vie”. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our 33rd cruise and our fifth time on HAL. We chose this itinerary as a means to return to North America after a long adventure in Australia. First the things we liked: The BB King All Star Band was terrific every time they ... Read More
This was our 33rd cruise and our fifth time on HAL. We chose this itinerary as a means to return to North America after a long adventure in Australia. First the things we liked: The BB King All Star Band was terrific every time they performed, playing excellent cover versions of classic pop, soul and funk songs The BB King club was a great place to relax and dance. Overall the food was good enough. HAL has the same dishes on all of their ships, the variety is good and the quality is good enough. Generally the service all over the ship was quite good. Unfortunately the ship itself was old and the interior design was dated, unpleasant and downright ugly. This was a shock to us as we have found other HAL ships to be attractive. But the Noordam was like a bad cheap hotel with almost no pleasing public spaces. The Noordam is in desperate need of a complete make-over. There were many sea days and unfortunately the activities on board were very down market. There was only one lecturer who was mediocre, leaning on video content from other sources. Otherwise just silly games and activities aimed at upsales like gem displays and beverage tastings. So we were quite bored and had to lean on the hobbies we brought on board. Shortly after leaving Sydney, the ship began to run out of all sorts of beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. At one point there was almost no beer available. Lots of passengers were commenting about it. I got fed up and wrote a letter to the Hotel Manager which resulted in a flurry of responses, including a face-to-face meeting with the Assistant Beverage Manager. He thanked me for my letter and explained that all of the items were indeed on board but the staff just failed to go get them from their sources. He promised that they would do better. But then the next morning when the room service waiter brought our breakfast juice and coffee, he apologized that the ship was out of orange juice. Of course there was plenty of OJ on board, just not in the room service kitchen. Crazy. I was pleasantly surprised by the very low price of this cruise, but then found out the truth in the cliche "You get what you pay for." This was just a budget cruise with the quality that one usually finds with low-cost budget products. We will probably return to HAL, but probably not to the Noordam. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruises from Sydney to Honolulu as we wanted to visit the islands and Hawaii. also to try out HAL for first time, we have done 27 other cruises mainly on Princess but also on Cunard, P&O, Celebrity, Carnival. Embarkation ... Read More
We chose this cruises from Sydney to Honolulu as we wanted to visit the islands and Hawaii. also to try out HAL for first time, we have done 27 other cruises mainly on Princess but also on Cunard, P&O, Celebrity, Carnival. Embarkation was ok. Had VD verandah cabin, aft near elevators, ok with cabin. Bed fine, settee a little hard. Shower ok. Ecko our steward was fine. Had various meals in MDR and Lido, all poor, mdr meals for dinner were poorly presented and poor quality ingredients, i.e. tough meat and fish, hardly any veggies. Worse food on any ship I have been on. Little assistance given to me as a Celiac, although I advised HAL well before cruise. Not once did the head waiter speak to us re food, service at our table. Only time we saw officers was in pinnacle bar having their drinks before dining in pinnacle restaurant, they don't eat in the mdr !! The Captain did not even appear at the gala night cocktail pary and I never saw him. Entertainment was ok. I was not impressed with our first taste of HAL and will not return. Overated. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Trans-Pacific cruise as ships relocated to US Northwest. Normal RCI quality, i.e. excellent food and quality staff. We we disappointed that Rita’s restaurant has been closed as we used to enjoy sitting out eating guacamole / chips and ... Read More
Trans-Pacific cruise as ships relocated to US Northwest. Normal RCI quality, i.e. excellent food and quality staff. We we disappointed that Rita’s restaurant has been closed as we used to enjoy sitting out eating guacamole / chips and sharing the grande margarita with friends (it would be nice to be able to get a pitcher of margaritas for sharing but bartender thought it was mitigate over-serving issues that have happened). The ports were only ok, generally a little on the boring side but guessing due to the last ship of the season. The ship was good shape although showing signs of external wear Horrible cabin location, it’s beneath the Windjammer and Izumi speciality restaurant. The room sounds like you’re in a bowling alley due to the carts in the restaurants above running over the stippled tile in the kitchen areas. It does subside around midnight until around 4:30 am, currently 4:21 am and the banging has started. Called several times and restaurant manager did state they would try to mitigate noise, unfortunately to no avail. Asked to be moved but was not accommodated although RCI did give coupon for small discount on future cruise. VOOM on this cruise was marginally above worthless. Using SpeedTest by Ookla, download speeds ranged from a high of 1.5 mbps down to a non-functional low but averaged at 0.55 mbps across the multiple occasions that I tested. Onboard Tech stated that it speeds is up to 4 mbps, subject to weather and sea conditions but even docked with clear skies the speeds were typically sub 1 mbps. Be warned, no refunds or recourse from RCI for poor VOOM service Read Less
Sail Date April 2019

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