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424 World Cruise Reviews

The cruise line P&O Cruises is a British cruise line, a constituent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. P&O Cruises claim to be the oldest cruise line in the world. Its predecessor company operated ... Read More
The cruise line P&O Cruises is a British cruise line, a constituent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. P&O Cruises claim to be the oldest cruise line in the world. Its predecessor company operated pleasure trips since 1844, and the world's first dedicated cruise ship in 1881. It is the sister company of, and retains strong links with, P&O Cruises Australia. P&O Cruises was de-merged from the P&O group in 2000, becoming a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises plc, which subsequently merged with Carnival Corporation in 2003, to form Carnival Corporation & plc. P&O Cruises currently operate seven cruise ships and tailor their cruises to the British market. Why we chose P&O We have sailed with P&O on a number of occasions as they sail from Southampton. They offer much more of a British feel and use pound Stirling for currency. Having 3 pin plugs in all cabins is always good as it saves carrying all those extra travel adapters for those essential electronics. We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary as it stopped in Israel, and the fact that Arcadia is an adult only ship. We boarded the ship in Dubai and sailed home via the Suez Canal to Southampton on the ship as part of her 2019 world cruise. The ship Arcadia was ordered by Holland America Line in 2000 as their fifth Vista class vessel. In 2003 she was allocated to the Cunard Line to become their Queen Victoria. Shortly before her launch the decision was made to transfer the ship to the P&O Cruises fleet. As a result, Arcadia has a Cunard style mast similar to those found on the RMS Queen Mary 2. She also sports a modified QE2 style funnel, with cowling removed instead of the traditional P&O style funnel found on the other purpose built ships. Arcadia has a gross tonnage of 84,000tones with a passenger capacity of just over 2000 and is an adult only ship. Arcadia’s biggest disappointment is her lack of a usable atrium in the centre of the ship, although P&O have tried to lighten the space with coloured lighting etc in her last refit in 2017. Arcadia has been plagued with problems with her cabin waste system with blockages and leaks again something P&O have been working to resolve all of her working life. Arcadia’s signature features are her midship glass lifts and the retracting roof over the main swimming pool both of which are features from her being built for Holland America Line. She also boasts over 3000 pieces of art through the ship creating a sophisticated feel on board. Dining Options on Board Dining on Arcadia is as you would expect very well taken care of, from buffet dinning to several specialty restaurants. The main dining room is on 2 levels at the rear of the ship, on the lower level it is set dining times 18:30 and 21:00. The upper level is freedom dining where you can turn up for a table any time fro 18:00 to 21:30. This option has to be pre booked when booking the cruise as there are only a certain amount of spaces. Even then at peak times you will have to wait for a table for 2 or get to the restaurant when it opens. We had freedom dining on our cruise and would certainly have this style of dining again. The buffet restaurant ( The Lido) is open from 06:00 to 01:00 serving breakfast, lunch, afternoon Tea, dinner and evening light meals. The food is of good quality, complementary fruit juices are only available at breakfast in the buffet area. The 2 specialty restaurants, Sindhu and Ocean Grill both have an additional cover charge. They are both very good and they change menus several times during the voyages. While we were on Arcadia P&O were trailing a glass house style menu in intermezzo outside of ocean grill, this worked well and we hope that it becomes a permanent feature on board Arcadia. Eric lanyards afternoon tea is another specialty offer, it is served in ocean grill on selected sea days and is worth trying. During the day by the midship pool (Neptune’s) there is a grill serving burgers, fish and chips ,jacket potatoes etc there is also a small sandwich bar just to the side of this grill. This area can get busy during the day, especially when the sliding roof is open in warm climates. The Cabins Arcadia’s cabins come is 5 basic categories with a number of sub categories. The categories are inside, ocean view, balcony, mini suite and suite. There are also a number of single occupancy cabins both inside and ocean view. Most of the mini suites are midships. All cabins are well appointed as you would expect with all the normal cabin features. All cabins have UK 3 pin plugs as standard, also tea/coffee making facilities replenished throughout your stay. The cabins have a mini bar(chargeable to your on board account ) and fridge. Most of the mini suites and suites have a bath and shower. A few of the Balcony and Ocean View cabins have combined showers and baths. All grades of cabins have complementary shower gel, shampoo and body lotion. There is plenty of wardrobe space in all cabins. This is a feature on all Vista Class ships that make them great for longer cruises or round the world trips. All of the cabins following the refit in 2017 now have flat screen TVs with pay for view films but as yet, like other ships in the P&O fleet, you can not view your cabin bill or order room service / interactive services via the tv. Things to do on Board As with any UK main stream cruise company the daily entertainment is varied from guest speakers to deck quoits. There is always something going, and the good thing about the ship is that you can always find a quiet spot to read the book you have taken from the library onboard. On this cruise because it was the last leg of the world cruise there was daily art classes in one of the meeting rooms. There is a small onboard cinema seating around 30 in leather recliner chairs, they show current films that are on at the cinema at home, due to space restrictions it’s always best to book a seat. The gym also has a full daily program of both free and chargeable fitness classes all of which are good quality and the instructors know what they’re doing Swimming pools, sun decks and Spa There are 3 pools on board, the main one being in the centre of the ship. It is known as Neptune’s pool, this is where the sliding roof covers the pool in less favourable conditions. There are sun loungers around the pool. The pool has a bar area and a take way food place serving burgers and chips etc The second pool is on the aft deck behind the lido buffet, again there is a lot of space for loungers and has a large bar, this area is fully open to the elements all the time The 3rd pool in located in the spa area and is a pay for use pool, it is always heated to around 34’ and has whirlpool jets that can be turned on and off. You can pay a one off fee for the entire cruise or choose to pay daily providing there is space available, they only have 30 spaces per cruise for this area The sun decks through the ship are spacious even at peak times so you are always able to get a bed with space round it. The large well appointed gym and spa are right at the top and front of the ship above the navigation bridge. It has it’s own sauna in each changing room . If you want to use the steam room hot bed or sensual sauna then again they are chargeable with the use of the thermal suite. The gym offer daily fitness classes and talks. The spa has a full list of wellbeing and wellness courses / treatments again all as additional costs. Would we Recommend P&O We have sailed with P&O on a number of their ships, this is what lead us to book this cruise. If you are looking for a cruise that looks after the UK cruiser then P&O is definitely for you. Would we book another leg of a world cruise, definitely yes but there are a number of things to consider with this type of cruise. • Large amounts of sea days back to back, we had a 6 and 5 day run of sea days • Average age of the customers is generally higher than on normal cruises • Entertainment tailored to type of cruise and age of customers • Customer familiarity with the crew most noticeable in the buffet and main restaurants as they have been together for the last 3 months or so, it can make you feel left out. • Numerous special event for world cruisers only, so parts of the ship often restricted (bars and restaurants etc) This aside we did enjoy the trip home from Dubai especially sailing through the Suez canal and the trips in Israel ( the reason for booking the trip) We like the smaller ships ( around 2000 passengers) as they are usually more friendly. Our biggest dislike is P&Os Great British Sail Away, complete with Union Jack waving, but majority of the ship joins in so we go with the flow with it. So if you live in the UK and want a great British cruise with a main stream cruise line then P&O certainly deliver no matter what ship you travel on. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Booked cruise to come through the Suez which did not disappoint however on landing from flight from UK we were taken to a hotel for breakfast as we were told we cannot board ship til lunchtime. There were 1400 passengers boarding in ... Read More
Booked cruise to come through the Suez which did not disappoint however on landing from flight from UK we were taken to a hotel for breakfast as we were told we cannot board ship til lunchtime. There were 1400 passengers boarding in Dubai!! Approaching the ship is a fabulous sight but when you get on board it is evident it needs a refurb.Our balcony stateroom was ok but rusting pipes on balcony did not look nice,Found all staff to be efficient, helpful and understanding but had initial issue with Brittannia dining room getting a decent table for 2 but eventually got one.Used dining room for breakfast also and the maitre d’ had the annoying habit of giving us a table for 2 where we had to squeeze past another table to get to it when there other more suitable tables free.Food in dining room was excellent and all waiting staff were very helpful.For dinner you are allotted your table for the whole of the cruise which was fine.If you don’t like to be served food you can use the Kings Court self service restaurant but can be a bit of a bun fight trying to find a table and only the brits queue. Prices on board for drinks and speciality coffees horrendous with 15% surcharge.Evening entertainment was very good and the guest on board speakers had good attendance - particularly John McCarthy and the group called The Rewind Project.On board daytime activities very varied and found on deck 2 where there are games and puzzles for those who like a quieter place.Golden Lion pub too small for quizzes. We treated ourselves to a dinner in the specialist Verandah Restaurant at a cost of $39 each but what a rip off.We were told all about the type of steak on offer and had a choice of steak knives presented to us in a box- well what ever next.Food was fine but served on huge plates which made the quantity of food seem small and as the place was very underused we were constantly being asked is there anything else we needed and are we enjoying the food . It felt as though they needed the table for the next sitting.Needless to say we only went there once. Overall cruise was good with stop off points of interest but the cost of tours was high and when on board using their credit card system you seem to forget everything comes with a 15% surcharge and then the suggested tips . Be warned keep an eye on your daily spend. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our first sailing on the Victoria and it really is a most impressive ship . We had booked Balcony Club as we prefer the availability of dining when we choose . Shortly before leaving we upgraded to Princess Grill and considered ... Read More
This was our first sailing on the Victoria and it really is a most impressive ship . We had booked Balcony Club as we prefer the availability of dining when we choose . Shortly before leaving we upgraded to Princess Grill and considered the larger suite and good sized balcony well worth the extra cost . We were not , however, impressed by the Princess Grill dining room . It is large and caters for well over 100 people and is thus not an intimate venue . It compares unfavourably with the Club Balcony on the Elizabeth which ( on our earlier cruise) only catered for about 50 people . The waiters ( dedicated to a group of tables ) were polite and charming and very willing to please but on occasion did not notice when the plate was not as ordered. I could not fault the menus – 5 courses for Dinner and Lunch . We don’t have hearty appetites and never ate lunch there preferring to use the casual Lido restaurant where there was always a large range of different types of food where we could “graze” from the self service buffet . Even though we had the onboard spending allowance ( much of which was taken up by the automatic daily charging of staff gratuity charges of $27 ) I found the wine pricing exorbitant. In the restaurant a bottle of Cloudy Bay, Sauvignon Blanc had a basic price of $40 which was not too bad seeing that , tax free , in the UK it would be about £20 (c $26 ) . However a corkage charge of $25 was then added and ,on top of that , there was a service charge of 15% bringing the total up to $ 74.75 . I refrained from any further purchases there . Quite a number of people to whom we spoke also complained about drink pricing policy on the ship . The air conditioning throughout the ship was set low This was affecting the ladies, especially as they had to dress accordingly . A number complained that they had been unable to wear dresses which had been brought especially for gala nights . Perhaps this was a factor in the ship seeming deserted after 10pm . People were more comfortable in their suites. As regards the excursions we found these to be very well organised by Cunard staff as far as getting us off the ship was concerned but they varied in quality from place to place just as was mentioned in Cunard’s publications . They are dependent on local companies whose employees seem often to be students doing casual work . For example , in Mauritius , we had an early start one day and visited a charming old French colonial villa where we were given a bottle of water and offered a couple of very small deep fried battered vegetables . We then drove a long distance to an old sugar plantation factory which had been converted into a museum dedicated to the local spice industry. Here we were led around every section which , because of the time involved in slowly following other groups of visitors, we found intensely boring . It was over by around 2pm and there had been no allowance for lunch and we still had another town to visit . What was annoying was to find that the factory had a very pleasant outdoor café facility of which we were totally unaware and unable to use as we were then driven off for another 2 hours unfed, and with no opportunity of buying a snack anywhere , until we returned to the ship. Our cruise was part of the Victoria’s World Cruise and covered Singapore to CapeTown . When we boarded it was clear from the amount of coughing noted that there was a “bug” in situ . This was clearly recognised by the Medical Centre which had a prominent notice saying that they did not prescribe antibiotics for this bug which they said was a Cold/Flu infection . They admitted it was virulent and could take up to a month to clear completely . My wife caught this after a week aboard and was prescribed only basic cough medication and paracetamol. She saw the doctors twice and , it not improving , was then told that that was the only medication that they could/would prescribe . Her condition worsened and , when we disembarked in CapeTown , she immediately saw a doctor who diagnosed acute bronchitis and prescribed strong antibiotics and steroids and certified her unfit to fly ( we were due to leave 3 days later and this had to be extended by a further 3 days ) . We thus incurred considerable extra cost and had no opportunity of making the most of our time there . Regarding the entertainment (in the magnificent theatre) there were very good lectures during the day e.g. antiques , topical history and politics and regional cuisine but we found the evening shows and performances mediocre . All in all this was a rather like the proverbial curate’s egg – good in parts . For us however it was a disappointing cruise . Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We joined QM2 at Singapore on a section of her world voyage. Embarkcation was reasonable enough and were soon at the Kings Court for a light lunch. Our cabin was an obstructed balcony on deck 7 - a spacious cabin well turned out ... Read More
We joined QM2 at Singapore on a section of her world voyage. Embarkcation was reasonable enough and were soon at the Kings Court for a light lunch. Our cabin was an obstructed balcony on deck 7 - a spacious cabin well turned out although we did have a problem with a leaking toilet for 2 days at the start of the cruise. Our cabin stewardess from South Africa was excellent - nothing was too much trouble. Food in the Britannia Restaurant was very good ( much better than our Celebrity Cruise last year ) the waiters were attentive and catered for our likes. However, the price of drinks/wine on board was eyewateringly expensive so only glasses of wine were sometimes consumed at dinner. The food at the Kings Court self-service restaurant was very good but finding a table was like being in a motorway service café! The entertainment onboard was mixed but special mention of a guest speaker - Malcolm Nelson, a retired Senior Customs Officers at London Heathrow Airport. His seven talks were unmissable and this was evident by the number of people attending in the Royal Court Theatre. We booked five Cunard excursions pre cruise - generally good but some days tiring! Dress code was mostly adhered to but come on Cunard - surely a jacket every evening for dinner is a little outdated! compared to P & O, Princess & Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our fifth cruise on Oceania and our second on the Nautica. It is beginning to look a little worn, but that should be addressed with the scheduled makeover. The service and food remain impeccable. In every restaurant and bar you ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise on Oceania and our second on the Nautica. It is beginning to look a little worn, but that should be addressed with the scheduled makeover. The service and food remain impeccable. In every restaurant and bar you are greeted cordially and made to feel special. We never had a bad meal. Our cabin attendant and her assistant took great care of us. The cabins provide plenty of storage space and are well laid out. If the bed frame were just an inch higher it would make storage of suitcases much easier. The bathroom in anything but the suites, to put it mildly, is compact but functional. The shower is especially tiny and is our only major complaint. The guest lecturer was excellent giving insight into the history and attractions of the area and the ports we were visiting. We were disappointed that Nagasaki was substituted for Incheon on our itinerary but understand that this was something beyond the control of Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The crew were for the most part pleasant and accommodating. Food was above average and the pastry chef was particularly good. Themed dinners were okay but too much Thai. Food not always available but 24 room service was pretty good. The ... Read More
The crew were for the most part pleasant and accommodating. Food was above average and the pastry chef was particularly good. Themed dinners were okay but too much Thai. Food not always available but 24 room service was pretty good. The tours were conducted by good English speaking instructors (Dalian to Lushun prison and Beijing to Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square). Internet was spotty. Room 6004 was a good size, beds comfortable with lovely sheets but the whole ship needs renovation. Do not reserve this cabin if you have any issue with motion sickness. It is in the forward part of the ship and it was awful in rough seas. It was also very noisy when the entertainment in the lounge was going on. Overall a good trip. The port agent in Kobe did a good job helping us to get back to the ship on time on one precarious occasion. The age range though really is 65-80. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise to visit Vietnam and Hong Kong and finish with a stint in Singapore. this segment was 22 days. - we were medically disembarked on day 18. Please read on to the Cunard Cough Embarkation was so smooth and took just ... Read More
We chose this cruise to visit Vietnam and Hong Kong and finish with a stint in Singapore. this segment was 22 days. - we were medically disembarked on day 18. Please read on to the Cunard Cough Embarkation was so smooth and took just minutes. The Cabin 8114 was clean, comfortable and the steward wonderful. Dining in the Lido Buffet offered a wide variety of choices of excellent food. Unfortunately the furniture in the Lido needs a very good clean and the chairs were very grubby and the salt and pepper shakers were the main source of germs. The main restaurant was very disappointing. The offerings were average at best and the service was not up to the food and service standard that we experienced on the Queen Elizabeth a few years ago. Mock cream was offered with desserts. MOCK Cream!!!!! when you can get fresh whipped in the Lido buffet - that was not logical, fine dining Vs buffet and we got mock cream. Might sound picky, but the rest of the food followed suit. The entertainment nightly and offerings during the day were very good. Excursions were well managed, Tender ports took forever to get off, so get down early if you are doing a self-tour as these leave after the excursions. MEDICAL CENTRE - excellent service for all those who became sick, and those with the dreaded CUNARD COUGH. Yes, it has a name, This cough is a virus and was rampant on our cruise. It put too many passengers in sick bay and resulted with us getting pneumonia and having to leave the cruise early to get specialised hospitalisation and treatment. Many passengers didn't like getting treatment on the ship as their travel insurance was not top notch and they didn't want to pay, therefore they coughed and coughed and gave it to many others. The doctors and medical staff we give 1000%, we would not be here writing this without them. Yes our travel insurance paid up but we were very honest with them and took out extra and got their approval to cover pre-existing conditions. Would we go again - no, we felt the overall standard on this cruise was not what we enjoyed a few years ago, and on review we will not take the health risks. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Had been with Oceania in 2011 and thoroughly enjoyed it. That cruise was a comfortable, fairly sophisticated experience, and was always was keen to repeat the experience. The company brochure is now really misleading. It shows elegant ... Read More
Had been with Oceania in 2011 and thoroughly enjoyed it. That cruise was a comfortable, fairly sophisticated experience, and was always was keen to repeat the experience. The company brochure is now really misleading. It shows elegant well dressed people, where in actual fact on this trip the majority of people were dressed in baseball caps, T shirts and dad trainers. We are in out late 60's and were very much at younger end of the guest age range. There are good dining rooms and a very good choice of menus but most seemed to eat in the café. Picked this cruise because of the itinerary 16 days in the South Pacific. There was some attractive offers namely 400 dollars ship credit free internet and cabin upgrades. I now know why. The ship was about two thirds full and mainly elderly Americans, with a few Canadians and fewer Europeans. The ship itself is fairly shabby, stained and worn furnishings and carpet throughout The dining rooms are excellent although in a sort of Disney/ Las Vegas way. The Grand Dining room is an enormous space decorated in a sort of Las Vegas Baroque. On our cruise it was largely empty few people using it. The speciality dining rooms also serve excellent food, although in Red Ginger blonde east European waitress in a sort of oriental costume add to the Disneyesque experience. There is a degree of pretension in Red Ginger and Toscana. Being offered a choice of colour of chop sticks is surprising and have not see that in Asia. In Toscana being offered a huge choice of olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip your bread in is unlikely to be replicated in Tuscany. The Polo Grill and Jacques were a bit more realistic. However in Jacques there was a window in to the kitchen where you could see "Out of Order" notices on ovens. The window had a curtain but it was kept open. Why? Breakfast buffet was more or less standard, of course there was no back bacon only pork belly done to a crisp. Entertainment was not bad except that most of the shows were on in the late afternoon. Maybe because of the elderly clientele. It meant that there was not much in the way of things to do in the evening. Martinis should be a nice place to have a drink. However its use seems to be for party games such as quizzes and indoor putting. Happy hour is somewhat strange as in the main lounge the band don't start till after happy hour. Not many people actually came. The quietest place on the ship is the grand bar which usually had people sleeping or reading in it. A very good string quartet did play there though. The library has a lot of foot traffic going to the speciality coffee shop. There is good coffee although the place can be a hang out for ships staff in coveralls. Several times there was crew in boiler suits leaning against the bar. The library has a couple of once beautiful ship models now largely falling to pieces. The models are not encased and no doubt have been frequently prodded. It all sort of points to the general air of neglect. The free internet was also not much use as it was off for several consecutive days because of "local interference". In general however the staff are excellent. Except for Destination Services and Reception. They are supercilious bunch who don't listen. Only asked one thing from reception and was haughtily told that they could deal with it. They got it wrong. It took three visits to destination services to get my disembarkation correct. It would appear that they don't read the forms they ask you to fill in. All in all Oceania for all its pretentions seems to have become just a mass market cruiser albeit with very good food and mainly good service. However as a premium brand it seems have lost its way. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I have cruised on Oceania numerous times and never had an experience quite like this cruise. The captain has a reputation on the ship of only going to ports he wants to go to and not what is on the schedule and what is best for the ... Read More
I have cruised on Oceania numerous times and never had an experience quite like this cruise. The captain has a reputation on the ship of only going to ports he wants to go to and not what is on the schedule and what is best for the guests, under the auspice of weather or other conditions as an excuse. We ended up with 10 days at sea because of this. Over all the cruise was good (not great) and I still like Oceania. What I do like about Oceania are the speciality restaurants - Polo Lounge, Tuscano, Red Ginger and Jacques. These restaurants are really great especially Tuscano and Jacques!!! I also like the fact that room service is available 24/7, bottled water is provided and the in room refrigerator is available to guest without additional charges. Also that coffee, cookies, ice cream and soft drinks are available without additional charges - so many other cruises nickel and dime you once you are on the ship with upscales. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the fact that we had been on the Mariner before and had liked it. This time however we were sorely disappointed. The captain seemed to have difficulty communicating with the passengers and any ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the fact that we had been on the Mariner before and had liked it. This time however we were sorely disappointed. The captain seemed to have difficulty communicating with the passengers and any major announcements were handled by the cruise director. There was no warning that we would be without internet or communication the last half of the cruise. The itinerary was poorly planned and the Easter Island draw had been been promoted on the ship as being a pretty sure thing, was a great disappointment to all. Even though it wasn't the fault of the ship that we did not get to go to Easter Island, it was misrepresented as 80% chance by their enrichment speaker and the staff. The food was off and on with some excellent nights and some nights we couldn't find anything desirable to eat. This is amazing on a ship with so many nice restaurants. Surprisingly the buffet turn out to be our best option several days. The exit off the ship was extremely and unnecessarily chaotic. The disembarkation problems could have easily been avoided since the cruise line knew our flight time and the conditions at the airport and Cruise dock , but insisted on holding us back from leaving until after all of their tours left before us. Therefore those with flights from Lima had to wait too long and therefore get in last at the airport lines and almost missed flights. Even with all this time we had the buses were still not ready when they told us to leave. Combine this with the fact that they did not service their printers or computers to print boarding passes Etc the days before we had to disembark, seem to convey they we're focused on getting their excursions going to Lima rather than on the needs of the passengers who were still on board. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose the cruise for its itinerary. We wanted to got to French Polynesia and had never cruised across the South Pacific with such exotic locations as the Pitcarin Islands and Easter Island. The flight over allowed us to visit one ... Read More
We chose the cruise for its itinerary. We wanted to got to French Polynesia and had never cruised across the South Pacific with such exotic locations as the Pitcarin Islands and Easter Island. The flight over allowed us to visit one daughter & family in California out the way over and ended in New York where a second daughter lives. A bonus was a scheduled stop in Norfolk with even more family. Past cruises have shown us that Oceania really takes great care of its guests in the top suites. We were booked in a penthouse but wanted an Oceania Suite. About 3 months prior to sailing, an Owners Suite came available for leg one and in January the same cabin came available for leg 2. We call that cruise karma. From the moment we stepped on the ship we were treated with the best service available. We had the head butler at our disposal (he has only 3 cabins and supervises the other butlers). This gentleman made the cruise for us. He got us into the restaurants we wanted when we wanted and was always available for anything else. At 2000 square feet, the suite was larger than my wife's first house. We had a bedroom with a separate bath and his and her closets. The foyer was our favorite as it had a fully stocked bar, sofa and grand piano that was a modern day player piano. The living room had a desk, table for 6 and full sofa. Everything was Ralph Loren, right down to the drink coasters and candy trays. With the number of sea days and with poor weather in the first week after leaving French Polynesia, we found our suite even more enjoyable. Unfortunately everything did not stay perfect. First, we missed the port call at Easter Island. The weather was great but there were ocean swells entering the tender harbor. Many were mad but we understand that this was just bad luck and, having done our homework, we realized that this was a real possibility. We booked an independent shore excursion there and as a result lost half of our prepaid excursion cost. Lima was mid cruise change out day. All was well but unbeknownst to us, someone brought aboard the dreaded GI disease. This was not our first experience with GI and Oceania. It is not a pretty site. Within 2 days of leaving Lima we started to see items disappear like the sugar bowls in the coffee bar. Next comes the announcement that if you feel sick, see the doctor for a free consultation (buyer beware - they do not say free treatment - see one of my previous Oceania reviews to learn about how Oceania will completely empty your pockets if you visit the medical center. When they hit the high level - 20 -30 people sick, service stinks. When entering a restaurant, there is nothing but a bare table cloth. Anything you can touch that can be removed is. The putting green is closed, but interestingly, live goes on as normal in the casino and ad in any other retail or money activities. We retreated to our room and used room service a bit more than we had been. The really bad part of this is that they keep the ship at this "protocol" until the GI is eradicated. It was almost over in central america (after a week) but 2 more came down with the GI. The end result was that the ship went back to normal only 3 days prior to the end of the cruise, so the total time under the sad conditions was 12 days in total. I suspect that other reviews will point this out. On departure from Miami we were informed that we would skip Norfolk and put into Port Canaveral. Good call. A check of the internet indicated 26 foot seas around Cape Hatteras and we would not have enjoyed it. I missed seeing my sister in Norfolk, but such is life. Sail into New York was mid-day and was an event everyone should get to experience. We sat on our expansive back deck and enjoyed the arrival with a room service lunch. Our travel agent has always warned us that Oceania lacks in entertainment. It did. Lectures weren't great, save for the Easter Island resident historian who prepped us for the visit that did not occur. The on board cast and guest entertainers were mediocre at best with the exception of a Vegas entertainer aboard the last week who was heads and shoulders above anything we had seen the entire 34 days aboard. This is not a high priority for us as the show mainly keeps us from going to bed too early. Overall, I would rate the cruise at a 4.5 if I could. I have been very critical of Oceania in the past, we are not likely to go again on the older smaller ships, but this one was great save for the unavoidable missed ports and GI experience. We are likely to book the larger Oceania Ship again, but only if we can get one of the top suites. We normally travel with Regent, Crystal or Seabourn but this experience was equal to or better than those lines. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise based on itinerary, since we wanted to visit several islands. I had read rave reviews of the food, but that’s so subjective I didn’t have real expectations. The food was very inconsistent; great in day and not ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on itinerary, since we wanted to visit several islands. I had read rave reviews of the food, but that’s so subjective I didn’t have real expectations. The food was very inconsistent; great in day and not so great the next. The fish was awful - other than the tuna, I found bones in EVERY fish dish I ordered. We ignored the entertainment, as it just wasn’t for us. The staff are for the most part their bright spot - they learn your name immediately and make you feel very at home. I wish they didn’t try to sell you so many extras - one day we had 5 different staff members try to get us to sign up for a wine tasting within 30 minutes!!! Clearly there is a commission/bonus involved. Our butler was overworked and it showed - I think he had at least 10 staterooms he was attending to, if not far more. Our stewardess was an absolute gem!!! The cruise director, some guy named Shawn, needs improvement! Tendering was a mess - I’ll leave the details out but it was super disorganized. We were constantly late to port. I guess when they say “in port at 0800” they mean entering the harbor then. So when you see the times in port when booking your cruise, subtract at least 2 hours. Spa services were inconsistent, with one masseuse good and another terrible. We enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people, as the smaller size of the ship facilitates meeting and interacting with other guests. In a nutshell, Oceania isn’t for us. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Embarkation and disembarkation was relatively smooth. Don’t expect much hospitality. Employees are not excited about their jobs so don’t expect many smiles either. We spent much extra to stay in a (PHS) Penthouse Suite and was ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation was relatively smooth. Don’t expect much hospitality. Employees are not excited about their jobs so don’t expect many smiles either. We spent much extra to stay in a (PHS) Penthouse Suite and was advertised our own personal Butler, (which was shared by many other suites so personalized is the farthest from the truth.) He is given too many rooms to service. We also understood we would have preferred tendering, (which we were first to get tickets, but told we would be last. Yep, last to tender.) We almosted missed our excursion. Does the ship care? Nope! If you book through them then you are first to tender. *Know b4 you go! Next the food. Why does everyone rave about the food? Ugg! My wife got sick on the fish. It was not cooked though enough. The Caesar salad is soaked in dressing every time! It was gross! Our friends lobster was over cooked. The buffet breakfast is pretty good but basic. We ordered room service breakfast. The scrambled eggs were runny, boiled eggs inconsistent. The fruit was mushy & over ripe most of the time. If you wear a hat to dinner, be prepared to be kicked out!! We were late for almost every port with little time anyway. Then paying extra to be in a PHS and having to be last to tender. What a slap in the face. Bottom line: a PHS gives you nothing extra really! The laundry service is terrible it took four days to get 20 items back! Four tiny washer & dryers for the whole boat so get ready to stand in line!! Now Entertainment: (———.) that describes it. VERY limited, basically nothing. The butler &/or staff is always pressuring you to buy something like an excursion or wine tasting or martini tasting (they must be getting a commission!) It just sucks!!! The rooms are small and closets are too. We have sailed other cruise lines and not had such a terrible experience. Oceania is not for me. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We are in our early 60's and fit and healthy. The Cunard line represented to us elegance, fine dining and an association with the Grand Queens of the Sea. Though there were some good points to the ship including the Common Areas, ... Read More
We are in our early 60's and fit and healthy. The Cunard line represented to us elegance, fine dining and an association with the Grand Queens of the Sea. Though there were some good points to the ship including the Common Areas, the Afternoon Tea, Library and some entertainment, the rest of the experience left a lot to be desired. We were in Cabin 6123 Starboard with balcony. We were assigned Britannia early seating. The main food options available are the Britannia Restaurant on Decks 2 and 3 and the Lido Restaurant on Deck 9 which is the main outdoor activity Deck on the ship. The Lido has very poor quality food - think Cafeteria style - with little flavour and no fresh produce, only cold storage items. The Lido restaurant itself looks like an Aged Care Facility with boring pastel shades and Ikea style furniture. The Grill bar out near the pool area again has no decor - just a plain service counter with precooked burgers and battered fish, but mainly batter, available in hamburger buns - just awful. The Britannia Restaurant is the formal dining offering where jackets for men at Dinner are mandatory and where waiters and a Sommelier in attendance. The menu changes daily but hardly any of the dishes were recognisable as chef quality. Some of the dishes were a mystery with the most ridiculous additions that did nothing for the hero of the plate - either fish, lamb or beef. What is the Head Chef thinking? We brought on board our own wine from Australia as we had the foresight to check out the wine prior to boarding. This was a good move, and though we paid $20 US for every bottle opened, at least we got to drink good wine at a reasonable cost. Our sommelier, Roberto was excellent and had a thorough knowledge of wine and his service was impeccable - thank you Roberto. All drinks are expensive on board the ship and you pay in US dollars - add to that a 15% surcharge plus gratuities every day. We did eat at The Golden Lion a few times, and the pub meals were good and at a standard of most pubs in England. The Daily Programme was nothing short of tedious and repeats of the same thing every two or three days. Think trivia challenges. The Gala Evenings (7 in 24 days) were of no consequence. We all put on our finery, went to dinner, went to the show, then came back to the Queen's room and watched a dozen or so of people on the ship who could ball room dance - there was no allowance for any type of other dancing as the floor was taken with Fox Trot, Samba etc. with couples swirling around the whole dance floor. Why have a Ball? Nothing was done to include the 90% of guests in more modern dancing or being part of a 'ball atmosphere". There was dancing in the Yacht club. However, this venue was as dead as a door on the few occasions we visited. 'Under 30's' are scheduled for 10.30 pm (the only under 30's on board are crew) and there's a disco on from mid-night. A 'Beatles' band joined the ship for the remaining 4 nights with the band playing in the Queens Room on the last night and everyone got up and danced and had a great time - the only one night throughout the duration of the 24 days. The lectures - some were interesting and others were terrible - a right royal buffeting of Princess Anne, and World War II British lectures on how the war was won (don't mention the war!) with over 350 Germans on board - goodness know how well that went down with the Germans.... The ship has apparently had an upgrade, but you were hard pressed to tell. We spent a large amount of time on the back verandah near the swimming pool and the condition of the decks, pool surrounds, and rusty areas needs to be attended to immediately. At times, the belching of the smoke from the funnels created great piles of soot deposits which spoilt our clothes and left us covered in black spots - unhealthy to be inhaling too... The windows on the ship always seemed to be dirty so if you were sitting in the Britannia looking out to sea, there were rust and salt encrusted streaks in your vision. The Tender service process was terrible. We managed to finally get ashore at the Whitsundays at quarter to twelve after having milled about in the Queens room with hundreds of people waiting to be called for the Tender. People who had booked tours that day, ended up not doing a different tour because of time constraints. The same process for every Tender port ensued and although there was some improvement in the process, the queues and delays were very frustrating. Oh, and to top it off, and notwithstanding the crew's best efforts with hand sanitisers, a flu like bug went through the ship which had people coughing incessantly. Difficult to stop once it starts. Perhaps food handling in the kitchens needs tighter control given we observed on one occasion when the kitchen doors were open one of the 'chefs' coughing into his hands then handling food without washing and sanitising his hands. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
× I awarded my cruise of 2017 5 stars no problem × I struggled to award 3 stars on this cruise, just 2 years later. WHY Pre embarkation × met at Brisbane airport by a Princess Cruises representative! × taken, without P C ... Read More
× I awarded my cruise of 2017 5 stars no problem × I struggled to award 3 stars on this cruise, just 2 years later. WHY Pre embarkation × met at Brisbane airport by a Princess Cruises representative! × taken, without P C rep, to a local hotel who had no knowledge of us and were not expecting us × later driven to Cruise Terminal by an aggressive, unhelpful taxi driver. He even refused to lift our luggage into the boot Post embarkation and cabin × cabin as expected with helpful staff Dining x poor. Food never hot enough. Vegetables undercooked. Fancy menu not relecting what arrived on my plate x Lidl...sorry Lido, an horrendous dining experience. Gueste seen eating food from their plates on the way to their tables. Decor, plastic, pastel, ( un ) pleasant Entertainment etc x poor, particularly the ballroom catering for the minority not the majority x Service...excellent from x purser's desk x housekeeping x all maintenance crew Ports and Shore excursions x never leave anything to chance...book a private tour or research own Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
OK, the cost and value are pretty good (World Cruise 2019), but its let down by two key things. Firstly the food. It varies between average to terrible and tends to be stodgy, swimming in gravy or sauce and usually over cooked. (Our table ... Read More
OK, the cost and value are pretty good (World Cruise 2019), but its let down by two key things. Firstly the food. It varies between average to terrible and tends to be stodgy, swimming in gravy or sauce and usually over cooked. (Our table of 6 must have sent well over 30 meals back or not eaten in just 70 days.) Not forgetting that when avocado or anchovy appears on the menu! All you get is something from a tube or powdered anchovy??(Dont try and find it on the plate or in the flavour). Secondly the service many of the drinks waiters/waitresses are offhand and rude as were the shore crew. The dining staff are very friendly but lack support to help solve problems when they arise (Fusion restaurant being an exception and very good), the cabin staff are a shining light (along with the little contact you may get with engineering type staff. For the rest the cruise is comfortable with reasonable sized cabins and comfortable beds, not lush, but comfortable. The entertainment team are very good and put on a wide variety of shows that are choreographed on board. Lee Cooper, Holly and the team take a bow. I guess the frustrating thing about this cruise is that it easily could be better, without becoming an expensive overkill. The boat is as big as you need, just fix the food! It’s the only issue that holds me back from booking again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We booked a 50 day cruise with Cunard Queen Mary 2 primarily to visit Petra, Rome plus about 20 other countries. The cruise departed Feb 23 from Shanghai to April 14 in South Hampton. While boarding in Shanghai, I was bumped by a luggage ... Read More
We booked a 50 day cruise with Cunard Queen Mary 2 primarily to visit Petra, Rome plus about 20 other countries. The cruise departed Feb 23 from Shanghai to April 14 in South Hampton. While boarding in Shanghai, I was bumped by a luggage handler and my knee was scratched. The scratch became infected by Feb 27 and I had to take antibiotics for the whole cruise, so we never saw any of the sights we intended. After the cruise, we submitted our claim to a Cunard cruise claims adjuster because I needed to continue antibiotics April 15 to June 12. The Cunard claim adjuster gave us a runaround and distorted facts to avoid paying any fair compensation. I wrote the President of Cunard asking to be treated fairly in compensation, and were emailed in return indicating since we purchased our cruise in the USA he could do nothing! I wondered why they are marketing in the USA if they cannot treat folks that book in the USA fairly in compensation. I must say the Cunard medical staff is excellent, but their onboard antibiotic selection is limited. The exercise facilities are limited for a person with a knee infection caused by Cunard. The pools are beautiful and clean, but someone with a leg infection can not use the pools or hot tubs. From the stern from the 11th floor or above, one can see 3 pools on 3 different levels. Dining room food is limited quality but good variety; and deserts are for a European palate. With my leg infection we were forced to do things we normally would not do, viz. painting, read and gamble. The casino has really nice folks working there and the odds aren't bad as my wife and I bot one several times. The art classes or lessons was a fantastic experience. On level 2 at the pursers desk or level 3 at the shops the central foyer is a classic 0 the flowers display is the nicest we have ever seen on any ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The main idea of my post is that I strongly recommend you to refrain from taking Viking Cruises. I was dreaming of a round-the-world cruise and decided to a 3-month journey with Viking Cruises. It turned out into a total ... Read More
The main idea of my post is that I strongly recommend you to refrain from taking Viking Cruises. I was dreaming of a round-the-world cruise and decided to a 3-month journey with Viking Cruises. It turned out into a total disappointment. Beautiful website descriptions and vivid manager speeches have nothing to do with reality. I have huge experience in sea journeys and have traveled with almost all well-known companies, thus I have a lot to compare with. Personnel qualification level is very low and does not correspond with the one declared by the company. The crew is occasionally rude and careless. Throughout the whole journey I felt discriminated against basing on age and nationality. From my personal observations, the company focuses its services on aged clients but there is nothing to learn this information from and managers will not inform you about that. The quality and variety of meals is very poor: the menu barely differs from day to day and it’s not tasty at all. Meal courses are mean and thrifty, quality of service is very very low. Here’s an example, we were given an apple (a single one) and were constantly stared at, harassing us and signaling us to leave. Here’s my story: My acquaintance with company started with my personal manager almost ignoring me shortly after I purchased the voyage. Later on, he totally disappeared. It turned out occasionally that he quit the company and forgot to hand over me to another manager. It was almost impossible to verify the status of my special requests before the start of the journey. And that’s what they call and individual approach to every client. The first day on board ended up with room service team breaking all the buttons on my new suit, which was quite expensive and purchased exactly for the trip. My friend faced the same situation. The only thing offered to us as compensation was to attach black buttons used for the crew uniform. As soon as we boarded, we informed guest service about food allergy. Despite this, kitchen crew ignored this information and served dishes with products we are allergic to during 2 months of our journey. Guest service never intervened and helped us, we were able to fix the situation only after a huge argument. Soon after leaving South America, the entire ship was left without internet. Guest service managers made up various excuses: something broke down, no signal and many else. The connection was restored only at French Polynesia islands. This information was published in daily bulletin along with new excuses for the situation. Be aware that cafe waiters are very tardy and lazy. You may spend an hour or two waiting for your order to be cooked. The guest service explained the situation in a way that cruise focuses on elderly customers and thus everything is done slowly on purpose for the convenience of aged people. That is a real problem, instead of making the crew work faster the guest service justifies their lack of action. Moreover, the waiters behave themselves very unfriendly. Another serious problem faced throughout the whole journey - dirty dishes and cutlery, in all of the ship’s restaurants and room service as well. Dirty spots and leftovers from previous clients were noticed on a daily basis. Waiters never reacted to this situation! After contacting officers, the only answer received from them was an explanation of the factors that may lead to these leftovers not being completely washed off. This is not the information that I am willing to receive as a guest. I require proper service, not the explanation why the dishes are dirty. Sanitary conditions were a very serious issue, so keep this in mind while booking a cruise. Be extremely careful while ordering chicken eggs during trips on Viking ships. It was a common issue to receive dirty eggs for breakfast while ordering room service. There were several occasions when eggs were messed up in something black or had feathers stick to it and something else, supposedly feces. Multiple complaints to guest service ended up in nothing, Ana, the manager, set it off and stated that she doesn’t know whose fault it was. Fish dishes were of low quality, the fish itself was literally old and tough, absolutely impossible to eat. It felt like fish was frozen several times killing all the taste and flavor. I faced certain problems with Australian visa. Officer pretended he was helping me. I was made to pay for new visa with no guarantees for success, and I felt that Officer wanted me and my friend leave the ship. We got lucky that my friend found a way to solve the problem and Officer had nothing to say against us. Discrimination was also present during this journey. Me and my friend felt being discriminated against every time we went for dinner. Waiters were extremely friendly and gallant with Americans and blatantly ignored other guests. Furthermore, we faced negligent attitude as we were the youngest on board. Discrimination against nationality and age is present and it is unacceptable for international company! Shame on Viking company. The entire crew of Viking’s ship turned our journey into a nightmare with constant problems arising due to their actions or inaction, and nobody except us tried to solve those issues. Financial issues are not properly solved by the personnel. As the journey started, I was told that residuals on my on board account will be refunded at the end of the cruise. The day before the journey ends, I was told that residual funds will be sent to my credit card. Two weeks later I discovered the fact that residual money will be sent to me in check via mail services. This is a total incompetence of the crew and purposely misleading. I’d also like to pay your attention to the uniqueness of cruises declared by Viking company. Small ships used for Viking’s voyages should be able to visit unique ports as it’s claimed by the company. This is a trickery. During our 3-month trip the ship often made stops far from main city ports forcing the passengers to spend 50-60 minutes each way to reach the cities. There were several occasions when the stops were made in absolutely uninteresting and empty ports. The way Viking company contacts its clients after the trip requires special description. All my inquiries are being ignored and none of my e-mails were replied. Official complaint took very long time to be replied and in the end the only thing Mr Cohen could offer me was a 250$ refund for the spoilt 3 months or discount voucher for further cruise. This sounds like mocking rather than serious approach to problem management. I encourage all readers and those who traveled with Viking to write reviews and leave comments on things thaw went wrong during your trip! Currently, the company services are just overvalued and its ratings are absolutely unreasonable! I urge all those who suffered from the actions of the Viking company to unite! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The cabin D7017 is small and poorly appointed with a small dressing table, minimum storage facilities, particularly if a long voyage. The bathroom small but manageable however the shower cubicle is pokey! Television channels are ... Read More
The cabin D7017 is small and poorly appointed with a small dressing table, minimum storage facilities, particularly if a long voyage. The bathroom small but manageable however the shower cubicle is pokey! Television channels are extremely limited and there is no interactive channel. Frankly it looked rather 'tired'. Room service is available but our experience has been that nothing arrived 'hot'. Lukewarm seems to have been the best that could be managed. Public areas of Queen Victoria are comfortable and the waiter service excellent. Dining is tedious with a two seating arrangement at 18.00hrs and 20.00hrs. 18.00 rather too early especially if returning from shore excursions. The shopping on board was as appears to be the case with most cruise ships directed toward high end buying with selections of 'watches and jewellery' endlessly tedious. Bar prices are definitely high. Personally I wouldn't choose a Cunard ship again...there's far better value for my hard earned cash out there. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We were on the 21-day crossing of the Pacific from San Francisco to Sydney. We have been on 32 cruises on various lines and have sailed with Cunard many times before. We chose this crossing as a way to get us to our 2-month adventure in ... Read More
We were on the 21-day crossing of the Pacific from San Francisco to Sydney. We have been on 32 cruises on various lines and have sailed with Cunard many times before. We chose this crossing as a way to get us to our 2-month adventure in Australia. We were very happy with the transportation, but not too thrilled with the Queen Victoria nor the cruise ship features of this crossing. While we found the Victoria to have a lovely interior design, we couldn't help but compare her to the Queen Mary 2, which we prefer for her spaciousness and a couple of grand public rooms, like the Chart Room. The Victoria was very crowded with long waits for elevators and to disembark at ports. The activities and entertainment were aimed directly at most of the passengers who were very old retirees. There were almost no young people on board which is probably a good thing since they might have been quite bored. The most popular activities were ballroom dancing, dance lessons, and chair aerobics. Everyone was in bed by 11:00. Cunard, and especially the Queen Victoria, have defined their niche as nostalgia for the features of ocean-liner travel from decades ago. Thus lots of formal nights with a dress code strictly enforced, and very subdued entertainment. The food? Well it was cruise ship food with lots of dishes, like steak Diane, which pretty much don't exist on land anymore. We dined in the Princess Grill, which was OK, but I have a very hard time remembering any dinners in particular. Just dull. We tried the Lido buffet a few times but found the food like a school cafeteria. No complaints about the service. We were happy to reach Australia safely and without jet lag. But we were also happy to leave the ship and move on to our next adventure. We will return to Cunard and the Queen Mary in September for an Atlantic crossing, which will be fine since it's not a cruise, but I doubt if we will return to the Queen Victoria and the cruise ship style of Cunard. Finally I want to state that we did not get value for money. This cruise was very expensive, maybe because it was a segment of the popular World Cruise. We have traveled on a couple of luxury lines at much lower per person per day rates and received much more in various features. Still it was probably cheaper than flying first class to Australia. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and it did not disappoint. Check- in was a long process as those going on the World Cruise are mostly four and five star customers and the designated line for that was just as long for the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and it did not disappoint. Check- in was a long process as those going on the World Cruise are mostly four and five star customers and the designated line for that was just as long for the other guests that were new to the ship. There are a lot of seniors on this trip (who else could take off for 113 days) so don’t be in a hurry to get anywhere as that won’t happen. We had an Oceanview room on the second deck right in the middle. We would not choose this again for two reasons. The pilots that board to help the ship dock usually come in very early in the morning right below your window and then there is the cleaning of the deck (deck three is the walking deck) also very early in the morning. However if noise doesn’t bother you, the cabin was nice. It had a large picture window, plenty of drawers and closet space and ours had a renovated bathroom that had a large glass shower and a marble counter. Unfortunately the rest of the décor was aged and some of the wood on the dressers had chips out of it. The rooms on deck 6 and 7 were fully refurbished during the last dry dock, hopefully they do the same with deck two. The itinerary was the best. Top ports to us were: Easter Island, Komodo Island, all of New Zealand, Singapore, Oman, Jordan, Cadiz (Seville), Copenhagen, Oslo and Dublin. We learned a few things to pass on to others regarding ports. If you are going into a tender port and really, really want to explore that port book a shore excursion. Even though the price is double what a port excursion is, you are first off the ship. We had rough seas when visiting Easter Island and some people did not get on the tender to view this impressive place. However, we were lucky to get a couple of hours on the Island and were very disappointed in Holland America when we saw an awful lot of staff on the island before we got there. Some were helping out with the tours but most were either from the shops or officers, we assumed that guests would have first dibs on the tenders. Pros: - Itinerary was absolutely amazing. - The Microsoft Digital Workshop was a free service that had classes on how best to use Windows 10. We learned a lot - Gloeta was a biology lecturer we had on board that was fabulous. It was standing room only for her lectures on the Pacific Ocean and what was lurking below the water. - The staff was second-to-none. Big shout out to Captain Johnathan Mercer. He kept us informed about all that was going on and always had time to say hello or answer a question. Henk Mensink is the hotel director but you see him everywhere. Wishing you a pleasant day in port, helping you on to the tender, picking up after guest. Holland America is lucky to have him. The wait staff and kitchen help were happy and helpful. - The ship was amazing clean, down to staff polishing the hand rails everyday on every stairwell and even brushing the carpet. Rooms were also exceptionally clean. - The food was all you could hope for. No need to dress up for formal nights in the dining room as the same food is served at the Lido (sure saves on what you have to pack). No need to get to the speciality restaurants either as the food is just that good. I liked the fact that almost all the food is served to you from behind the sneeze guards. We assume that there would be a lot less waste and much more cleanly that way. Cons - The internet is stupid expensive and so unreliable. We paid $700 US for a plan for the whole cruise and had better luck at the ports and in McDonalds on land, than trying to get the internet either to work at all or was so slow you couldn’t connect with what sites you wanted. - Staff – the cruise director was invisible except when the captain was at an activity, otherwise you never saw him or he quickly passed you without even a nod. The shore specialist was more interested in telling you all about the history of the place or what his favourite items were (sailing and pubs) than giving you hints on what to buy, where to buy, how much to pay, etc. Very disappointing for both of these. - Library needs to either get updated books or become a digital library. Some of the books had been there an extended period of time and anything new was few and far between. - The entertainers on board were average at best. Some good, some bad. The average age looked to be around 75 so the entertainment was geared to that era. - There were two big back windows in the dining room that you could not see out of because they were shattered but were never changed out the whole trip. Also couldn’t see out of most of the windows by the end of the cruise as they were not cleaned. We had to complain in order to get our window in our cabin cleaned. Even though there were some cons (as I assume all ships have), this trip was a once in a lifetime experience and what was saw of the world was fabulous. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
A Grand World cruise is a bucket list thing. We loved every day of this. The trip from Aqabah out to Petra was breathtaking. Tahiti was a disappointment...just a big dirty city. Bantry , Ireland was a serendipitous stop...Bantry House ... Read More
A Grand World cruise is a bucket list thing. We loved every day of this. The trip from Aqabah out to Petra was breathtaking. Tahiti was a disappointment...just a big dirty city. Bantry , Ireland was a serendipitous stop...Bantry House was amazing, as well as the impromptu Irish dance and music at Ma Murphys Pub. Snorkeling at the Pink Beach in Komodo, Indonesia..outstanding! But the best of all was having the President of the cruise line treat us ALL to a private reception at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam! What an awesome privilege! Travelling around the world , from east to west means lots of extra hours as we turn our clocks back through all time zones! Music was wonderful, for easy listening or dancing. Captain Jonathon Mercer took us through some stormy seas, we were never nervous. Service was top notch. There’s just something incomparable with a Grand World on HAL! Class act all the way. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was a cruise in celebration of forthcoming Golden Wedding and a birthday on board. We had selected this cruise because of recommendations from our friends how helpful they had found the crew with respect to special meals. We had ... Read More
This was a cruise in celebration of forthcoming Golden Wedding and a birthday on board. We had selected this cruise because of recommendations from our friends how helpful they had found the crew with respect to special meals. We had sailed on one of the early voyages of the RSS Explorer in 2016 and found the service and cabin exceptional, catering for every need without any problems. On this cruise we experienced exactly the opposite. The special meals coordinator was not dedicated and had other duties that prevented him devoting detailed attention to our requirements compared to the one on the Explorer. The chef was laid back and whilst promised to make special exceptional dishes in addition to the prepacked meals to meet our dietary requirements did not check the food preparation and presentation so it lacked the finesse one would expect. It appeared it had been left to an apprentice chef to deal with our requirements. On several occasions we ate with friends we had made on the voyage, they being aware of our special Kosher diet. We always gave the special diets coordinate more than 24 hours notice of our requirements and where we would be taking our meals. Even so, when we "strayed" from the main dinning room we experienced major problems. Our table had been preordered and whilst the other guests made their selection of the dishes, ours had already been registered. Imagine having to sit at a table where the other guests had been served with their food and after a half hour our food had still not appeared. One of the other guests dinning with us summoned the head waiter and asked why our meal had not been served at the same time as theirs. There were apologies all round by the crew but the truth of the matter was as we were the only ones on the ship having Kosher food the buck was passed between the restaurant staff, the kitchen and the executive chef - the later could not even be bothered to express personal apologies nor did the Restaurant Manager. As to the prepacked Sterling Kosher meals they left a lot to be desired and were certainly not of gourmet standard one would expect, but more like economy airline meals. We had selected a dessert on several occasions and when it was presented in its prepacked package found that the packaging had changed, even though we had been assured that we would be served all of our pre cruise food selection - it was as if, as one of the waiters put it, the kitchen staff had found the same item that had come from previous voyages. When we requested to speak to the Provisions Manager to query this, the Executive Chef advised that they all work for him and it was his responsibility but he could not give us an assurance regarding this issue and did not consider it of any importance that old stock was being used. Of course the individual packages did not have the date they were prepared or a use by date and the Executive Chef claimed the date was on the outer packaging of the box. When we had booked the cruise in October, it was on the proviso that we could disembark in Singapore the day before the general disembarkation at that port. From the date of the booking till the night before our disembarkation nobody advised us that when early disembarkation takes place one is expected to take ones luggage off the ship and proceed to the port immigration. On the night before our disembarkation we received a letter in our state room advising that there would be nobody from Regent Seven Seas who would help us to disembark with our luggage. We immediately emailed the CEO of Regent pointing out this was not an acceptable way to handle disembarking passengers from a six star cruise but we received no reply. The distance from the ship on the elevated bridge to the immigration was 330 meters. We requested assistance from the front desk of the ship who refused as did all members of the crew who were going ashore. As such, since there were no trolleys available because the Port Authorities do not provide them for passenger use until after immigration, we were left to take 5 suitcases, including 2 carry-ons, with 4 hands, to the Customs & Immigration area. We had a schedule to meet after our disembarkation and we could not wait around even though we had advised the Front Desk 2 days earlier that we would be disembarking at a certain time.to meet our onward schedule. What a wonderful way to end an expensive superior luxury cruise. Certainly we would not recommend Regent after this experience. . . Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We selected this cruise initially because of the advertised stop at Papua New Guinea. Otherwise, we had previously visited almost all the other ports. The day before we boarded, we were advised by our travel agent that Regent had ... Read More
We selected this cruise initially because of the advertised stop at Papua New Guinea. Otherwise, we had previously visited almost all the other ports. The day before we boarded, we were advised by our travel agent that Regent had canceled the stop at Papua New Guinea. There were 3 or 4 different reasons going around among passengers as to why, although we never learned. The ship was very nice, the service generally excellent. The staterooms (they called them "suites") were a bit small when compared with other ships or cruise lines in this category. We were on for 36 days, and storage was a bit tight. There was no chair in the stateroom, but there was a somewhat uncomfortable two person couch, with a large high table in front. It just made things even tighter. The bed was moderately comfortable. We were offered a choice of either a firm mattress, which was like a board, or a too soft mattress with no edge support. If you sat at the edge of the bed while getting dressed or putting on shoes, you would slide right off. The cabin decor was pleasant, but neutral. The bathrooms were somewhat small, with a large walk-in shower with good water pressure, and a single sink, not a double as one might expect on a ship of this category. Re food, breakfast was most often on the Verandah deck with a large selection buffet and table service offering most anything you might want. The French restaurant had spotty food, excellent foie gras appetizer. Most of the dishes were French in name only. The service was excellent. Prime Seven was the steak restaurant, with lots of steak and non-steak choices. We thought it consistently had the best food on the ship. The main dining room, the Compass Rose had a relatively large rotating selection, changing every night, plus a large choice of "standards", always available. The service there was spotty, some waiters very attentive and quick, others not so. The food here was good to average. We felt the food of Oceania, owned by the same company, NCL, was quite a bit better. Overall, the food ranged from bland to the point of tasteless to very salty. I recall that the veal medallions were actually thick chunks of veal. The tours were average, no better than the standard tours offered by most other cruise lines. The few that were more interesting, were available at an extra charge. The entertainment was typical of mid-size ships. There was the standard group of shipboard singers and dancers, although there were more of them than on other ships. The "stars" which were brought on in various ports, performing twice in their visit, were not any better than other lesser-rated cruise lines. The cruise director was very good and an excellent entertainer in his own right. The enrichment lectures were topical and generally very good. One lecturer, who was only on the ship for the earlier segment, was the best I have ever heard, and could even make a laundry-list sound exciting. The ship's common areas where typical of ships in this category, with the usual number of cocktail lounges, a coffee-shop, and a nice theater was evening shows. Overall, it was nice, but not exceptional. Other than the few extra cost port excursions, and better grade wines, everything is included. It is very nice not to be nickel-dimed as on many other lines. Our big complaint was the price. It was considerably more than other cruises lines, but the product which was delivered was no better than many other less expensive lines, even if you include the cost of alcohol and tours. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We usually travel with P&O during the January - March period to escape the British winter but they had nothing new this year so we thought a return to Fred Olsen with a different itinerary would be different. We travelled on ... Read More
We usually travel with P&O during the January - March period to escape the British winter but they had nothing new this year so we thought a return to Fred Olsen with a different itinerary would be different. We travelled on Balmoral 10 years ago and she has been sympathetically updated since and is very well maintained. The problem we had last time still exists unfortunately - she is just not up to maintaining her itinerary in heavy weather. Whereas P&O ships maintain 18 - 20 knots, we were down to 11-15 most of the time. This adds to the length of any passage; 6 days on the Atlantic rather than five for example. We missed 2 ports owing to this and our time in many ports was often reduced to little more than a half day. As we actually visited 13 ports in 62 nights, it was lucky that we enjoyed sea days! Fortunately the Atlantic was kind to us both ways so we lost no time there. Unfortunately the ship picked up a fishing net in the Pacific (not anyone's fault despite popular opinion) and we were reduced to 10/11 knots maximum. Fortunately we were able to fix the problem in San Diego. All credit to the captain (and the excellent Cruise Director Elliot Taylor) who ran two forums for the passengers to explain the issue and its implications. He didn't have to do it and it was much appreciated. As a result, tours to Los Angeles had to run by coach from San Diego which was not viable for many. An unexpected side effect of the change to the itinerary was that in retrospect our days in the US ports co-incided with the few days of good weather during a cold wet period there. The original itinerary would have meant our visits would have quite bad weather. So it wasn't all bad luck! The crew, as always on Fred, were terrific. The Filipinos particularly appear to be a joyous and optimistic people and are so friendly and accommodating. On 'special' nights, the bar girls were often allowed to dress up in all their finery which made some of the passengers feel very old indeed! The crew shows are always a 'Must Do' on a Fred ship. The entertainment, particularly the Show Company was pretty good, as was the lecture programme (which included two submarine historians strangely). Violinist Michael Bacala was the star of the cruise for us - and it was good to see Captain Henrik Mattson keeping up the Fred tradition of getting involved by being thrown in the pool on one 'Pirate' event! One thing that did disappoint a little was the quality of the meals; the dinners in particular. They were often unimaginative and not very well done which was not usual in our Fred experience. On P&O the same meals are served up in different combinations to add a bit of variety but on Balmoral the menus were fixed - and appear to have been so for several years in some cases. The two Canal transits were well commentated, in good weather and full of interest. We actually did the transit four times - twice by ship, once by coach and once on the Panama Railway heritage train which is 'must do' tour. The ship had around 900 fellow passengers aboard - well below the ship's capacity. This was probably because we had many singles (who were well catered for) and nearly always good mixers. Inevitably the age profile was older but we found most people to be pretty friendly and they were nearly all frequent Fred travellers ; we were surprised by the loyalty everyone expressed. Fred really is a family concern. Whenever we encountered a big cruise ship in port, universal revulsion was expressed! Interesting since so few of our fellow passengers had ever sailed on a bigger ship! Fred does deservedly well to keep such a loyal following - hopefully they have a business strategy to cater for when we all die of old age! It was a good cruise that rolled happily along with lots to entertain us on the may sea days. Maybe people who are more interested in destinations would have been disappointed by our progress but we enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019

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