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427 World Cruise Reviews

Once in a lifetime Expedition itinerary. Aldabra ... Zodiacs to fabulous beaches ... Drift Snorkeling from the ocean into the Aldabra Lagoon ... Expedition crew is the only thing that kept this from becoming a very bad cruise. ... Read More
Once in a lifetime Expedition itinerary. Aldabra ... Zodiacs to fabulous beaches ... Drift Snorkeling from the ocean into the Aldabra Lagoon ... Expedition crew is the only thing that kept this from becoming a very bad cruise. Stateroom was a bit small but thoughtfully designed and we found ample space for our 4 very big bags with drone equipment and lots of camera gear. Personal Butler from Bangladesh is a joke. He can never be reached and has at least 10 to 15 suites to attend to. He is really just part of Room Service ... or a Stateroom Attendant that is marketed as a butler. We never could reach him directly ... Only way was to go through the front desk. Could not get a haircut or shave on board at the spa. Ship did not have bottled water on board. You were forced to drink the on board water, which had a mineral or odd taste as it is produced using Reverse Osmosis. I complained so they made an exception to me and got bottled water at the next port of call. Dining room attendants would cover up the "Evian" Label for me to make sure that other guests were less likely to notice that I was served bottled water. Executive Chef and staff in the main dining room are TOP CLASS. Silversea Shined here. Food prep was fantastic. People on Deck 7, which was one of the only places to sun bathe (as near the pool on Deck 5 only 5 chairs and people eating around you) .... NO SERVICE ON DECK 7 ... No one to take your drink order ... Have to go yourself to set up a sun lounge chair ... or go down to Deck 5 to get someone to help ... No towels available without going down. Some of the Fillipina Staff on Deck 5 were rude and very resistant to help ... Some were attentive and conscientious. Me: "Would like a cocktail.. what do you like to make?" Them: "Anything you like" ... Me: "What do you suggest?" Bartender: "Tell me what you want I will make it." .. on and on .. and on .. it goes ... Some of the Dumbest bartenders EVER. Certainly this is about 2 stars for service ... Never (except on a formal night) did I see anyone wearing white gloves and coming to offer something to guests on Deck 7. Misleading marketing. Risk of becoming unhygenic ship, in my mind. No plastic liners in trash bags in the staterooms. Toilets need to be flushed multiple times because of the poor quality of the toilet. Showers are good and crew was responsive to requests so this mitigated the risks. Many lectures on plastic use ... ridiculous ... we come to vacation to get away from radical plastic nazis and here they are on a SilverSea cruise with their propaganda and stupidity. I enjoyed nature hikes, but don't enjoy the hysteria about a bird or a leemar or a turtle. Much prefer to listen to the sounds of nature rather than the chatter of a tour guide or a bunch of guests talking about "snowfall" in Boston. The lectures are a good place to listen to the professional naturalists who truly were TOP CLASS. If you see Scotti or Roddy in your SilverSea Travels, you will know how extraordinary some of their staff are. Ships Doc is #1. Brazil food attendent is #1! We had fantastic Main Dining Room table waiter and attendent from Phillipines. This ship is great for expeditions but, in my opinion, the service truly is far from achieving a standard consistent with the Brand SilverSea. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Embarkation was great & smooth (vs. disembarkation which was a rotten experience; later). Rio de Janeiro was interesting to see with beaches, Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf. The city is a typical Latin city that is overcrowded ... Read More
Embarkation was great & smooth (vs. disembarkation which was a rotten experience; later). Rio de Janeiro was interesting to see with beaches, Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf. The city is a typical Latin city that is overcrowded and dirty. Spent a lot of time in traffic. Food however was excellent; fast, tasty & uniquely served. The next port was a non+, pretty much a repeat of Rio without the great attraction. Two cities in Uruguay were like the Riviera, clean very safe. Buenos Aires was more of Rio. Walk with the penguins was good but a long drive from port & a lot more walking to the ocean. Great welcome center but the bathrooms at the park were HORRIBLE; 3 of 5 toilets were broken, stalls had no paper and toilets were barely usable with no flush water (TP was on ONE roll outside the stalls). For the money that goes into that park, they need to do a better job! Rode a great train in Ushuaia, a new, replica of a 0*1*1*0 Garratt. The first port in Chile was a nice walk in the Antarctic rain forest, along a river to a great water fall, + a wine tasting at the end. Disembarked in Chile at San Antonio and traveled to Santiago. We had to CLEAR the ship by 0900. There was one gang-way for entrance of new crew and departing passenger. There was no order and no one controlling exiting passenger; it was a group, screwed-up mess (Viet Nam vets have an expression that I cannot use here - like cluster...). Groups were called before there was room to accommodate them for disembarkation. Long walk to buses (& I mean long). We took a shore excursion since our flight did not leave until 950 PM. Drive into Santiago was nice, stopped for snack on the way a cute little restaurant. In the city, typical traffic & inability to stop to & see points of interest. One local craft market that was overpriced and then a fancy mall for lunch (on our own). We at seafood of Abalone, potato salad and greens; delicious! Then on to the airport. WE STOOD for two hours before we could even check in, THOUSANDS of disembarked ship's passengers. This was INEXCUSABLE! I will never depart from Santiago, Chile again!!! Worse than De Gaul in Paris. Overall life on ship was great, great staff, great food & VERY comfortable accommodations. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
So far we have always cruised on Oceania’s Riviera but decided to “pay a visit” to her older sister, the M/S Marina. The Transatlantic Passage from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro began on November 28th and ended on December 14th. We flew ... Read More
So far we have always cruised on Oceania’s Riviera but decided to “pay a visit” to her older sister, the M/S Marina. The Transatlantic Passage from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro began on November 28th and ended on December 14th. We flew into Lisbon a day early and stayed over at a hotel close to the port. On the embarkation day the departure from the cruise terminal was very disorganized and chaotic; no special area for suites guests to wait, in fact Regent was embarking their guests in the same hall at the same time with no clear separation. As we arrived without luggage tags (not our fault), we worried for a while that our luggage may end up on the wrong ship. Eventually, we were sent off to do the registration on board but it was not clear how to get there. All of a sudden an agent showed up and indicated which door to exit to board the ship. We had to follow others hoping it was the right way. It turned out that the ship was located at about ¼ of a mile away and we all walked off into strong, cold winds. All the usual procedures (info, Credit Cards, photos, etc.) were done at the Marina’s reception desk. It was indeed, a very unusual and surprising way to embark. It is impossible not to compare the two ships; the layouts are the same, locations of restaurants, lounges, spa, exercise room, etc. are located exactly on the same decks and area. The clearest differences (for our taste) were in general, the art work; by far Riviera is much superior and Marina looks/feels older though it’s quite well maintained. The staff were as usual, excellent, coming from different parts of the world: many from Ukraine, quite a number from Honduras, Serbia, a surprisingly good number of Italians and French, from India (mainly being Butlers), etc. The food…..well, there are some issues here. I will start where we had our first meal. *The Terrace (Lunch on day of embarkation) - Choices were very good in all the categories and the servers, excellent as usual. The difference and number in choices were starting to be felt, day after day of sailing, so imagine after 16 days; happy to say that the staff kept being as friendly and helpful as from day one. A note on breads and bread sticks. All are fantastic and always fresh. Especially good were the sliced baguettes and a new bread for me called ‘Normandy’ which was perfect in sandwiches and it toasted extremely well. It can be recognized as a wider than tall domed loaf with three slots or grooves on the top border of each slice. Normandy bread was only available in The Terrace and Waves Grill. On the first night of the cruise we were able to get a table in *Toscana and we were impressed not only with the food but the spaciousness of the place and the excellent Maître d’ and servers and being able to speak Italian with the staff was another big plus. So far so good. *The Grand Restaurant - Everything clicked perfectly: choices, food temperature, taste, service (Maître’d, brothers Julio Cesar & Geovanni/Honduras) ambience, etc. This excellence didn’t change at all being dinner, lunch or breakfast, during the whole cruise. *Waves Grill– I was looking forward to have lunch there but, unfortunately it was a big disappointment; the staff were great but the quality of the food was not so good; e.g. the surf and turf was a big flop though the Kobe Burger was quite good. It is possible that the weather, very strong cold winds, played a big part in making those visits not so enjoyable. Warning: the regular coffee that is served in all the restaurants is very weak so if you like stronger coffee, ask for a cappuccino or a double espresso or simply go to Barristers, one deck up from Waves, and have some great cookies with it! *Red Ginger – We went twice and both times we were satisfied with the food (not to be missed the Miso Sea Bass or the Tuna Tataki) and the great staff (Katerina and Khrystyna/Ukraine, Maria/Serbia) but I found the place a bit narrow, with tables too close to each other and the low chairs and lighting didn’t help. *Jacques – I think that this will be the last time in Jacques regardless it was possible to speak French with a few of them. The food in general is just okay but nothing to rave about it, what I found with every one of my visits was that everybody (diners and staff) behaved in a very pretentious, affected and arrogant manner. It doesn’t make you feel at ease nor able to enjoy the special food or elegant surroundings. *Polo – All the way, another winner! Roasted beet root and goat cheese as an entrée was excellent and the 7 oz. Filet Mignon was cooked to perfection with excellent side dishes. The mashed potatoes were excellent and the string beans superbly steamed. On the last day at sea, we went again to *Toscana and if the first time was very good this one was exceptional! And the night before arriving in Rio we had dinner at *The Terrace hoping to take advantage of such a hot night to dine al fresco while sampling the so much praised lobster. Both were a disappointment; for dinner the tables are set with table clothes but that is only done inside the restaurant. We did not like the al fresco ambiance of no lighting and no table clothes so we opted to eat inside. The “famous” lobster (1/2 a tail, grilled to order) was dry and almost meatless. Regardless and thanks to a beautiful Chardonnay white and the fantastic staff we had a great and tranquil evening much needed after packing at full speed for the three hours before dinner time. Our Ratings for the various specialty restaurants: 1) Toscana 2) Polo very close 3) Ginger 4) Jacques *Entertainment – Lackluster to say the least. Too much screaming (singing??!) and their dancing moves although quite sophisticated and well performed, were the same over and over again; that’s why we went only a couple of times and just for half of the show. The real star of the cruise shows was a singer and his name is Jamie Michael Stewart; his second show titled “Sinatra and friends” was superb!! If you have him on any of your future cruises do not miss going to hear him sing!!! And about the Cruise Director, the only thing I am allowed to say about him personally is that he tried to be funny but he only accomplished being completely pathetic. Oceania management needs to realize how important the Cruise Director’s role is. First and foremost he is a host for each and every guest and considering that Oceania is an upscale cruise line, he should have more in common with the guests. That means an older and more sophisticated person than is the industry norm, i.e. young comical entertainers. **Cooking demonstrations – They were given in the Marina Lounge (Theater) by the Senior Executive Chef Laurent Trias and they were all very instructive and many times very funny. Although considering the present “# Me Too era”, this top chef was quite a bully with his underlings. On Dec. 7th, at the second Captain’s cocktail Reception I met the very curt and polite Captain Leo Strazicic and his very friendly and welcoming GM Marck Warmenhoven. Both took the time for meaningful conversations. *Canyon Ranch Terrace an excellent place to enjoy the sun, soaking yourself in the hot tub, taking a shower or simply relaxing in peace with no hoopla around you. Excellent place. *Fitness Center located close by, is ample with a lot of machines with great views thru the surrounding floor to ceiling windows. Very busy especially on sea days. This was our second long (more than 10/12 days) cruise and for sure that will never happen again; after the first one (different Cruise Line) I swore that I would not do it again but the opportunity to cruise past the Equator on board Oceania Marina, took over but it won’t happen again! Simply what goes wrong is that after a while everything starts to get too repetitious and that leads to boredom with both food and staff. *Tours – We only took one of the ship’s tours and that was in Salvador da Bahia (Brazil) the rest of the ports we were on our own. Unfortunately, Viator did not have anything to offer on any of the transatlantic ports on this passage so for all the other ports we had to do it on our own. The reason we do this, is because we find the way our fellow passengers behave is completely unacceptable; e.g. waiting in the Marina Lounge for your tour number to be called and when that happens there is an stampede of “grown-ups” rushing to the exit, bumping into everybody just to be first to the bus and get the seats they want; and the same happens at every stop, they are all rushing to be the first to get off. Sorry, but for me and in the way I was educated (and have taught my children) that is not civilized and shows a complete lack of respect for your fellow travellers. At any rate that’s how we generally feel about ship sponsored tours but I am sure you won’t mind if I give some pointers on what we found and how we approached the various ports visited on this cruise. *Cadiz – Although this was our second time there we visited a different and unknown area; from the pier you have quite a long but enjoyable walk to an area where we read you could find numerous tapas bars; the weather was not good (cold, windy and little sun) and all those bars were located on shady streets so we ended up in a bar in the sunny main plaza (under construction with lots of noise); the food wasn’t what we expected, the wine was so-so but we met a beautiful girl (Vanessa) with whom we talked and laughed a lot which made up for the lack of authentic tapas. You know, you go on your own so you take your chances. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Anyway it is a beautiful city that deserves to be visited and explored on a longer stay. *Arrecife – There is nothing worthwhile to see on your own so if you don’t mind to go thru the ‘tour hassle’ I mentioned above, better to take any of the ship’s guided tours. *Tenerife – Walked to the center of town (long walk and not as nice as it was in Cadiz). We got there on a Sunday, meaning that ALL the outdoor bars and restaurants were taken over by big families with a lot of kids (running and screaming around tables). We walked around trying to find some nice and tranquil place but this was not possible so we went right back to the ship. Advice: again take a ship tour, especially if you arrive on a Sunday! *Praia (Cape Verde) – We had a tour booked but after reading info given by the ship that the busses they use are not comfortable and without A/C we cancelled it. We took the offered shuttle that leaves you not far from the main square where you can visit a very nice and simple church, visited the Market extremely busy, cramped and strong fish smell etc., back to the main plaza/park where there is a modern building with a covered bar and had a couple of local beers (good) while watching the city crew install Christmas decorations around the park. For payment they accepted US$ (paper no coins) but the change returned was in their currency and only in coins. Walked back down the hill suffering the very hot and heavy weather to take the return shuttle to the ship. As we approached the dock we saw one of the returning tour busses and we got very upset because we could see that the tour bus was a regular van, quite ample and I am sure had A/C. So now you know and we strongly recommending the ship tour instead of wandering around a quiet town with but one spot to enjoy a drink and people watching. Here is the best time to point out that the first part of the cruise the weather wasn’t good (cold, strong winds, etc.) but starting in Praia the whole thing changed completely and in a way, for the worse! Having high temperatures and exceedingly high humidity is not much fun, especially if walking around on your own! *Cruising the Equator – This was quite an experience! It happened on the third sea day’ December 8th prior to arriving in Recife. The day was perfect; very hot and humid with a soft breeze. So it was a lot of fun seeing how all the participants and onlookers were enjoying the colourful ceremony. We enjoyed all this with our ever present topped up white wine glasses in hand. Thus expectations were fully met. *Recife (Brazil) – On our own again (after yesterday’s revelation about better busses etc. we tried to book a tour but all were filled up) and taking the shuttle into town; they left us in a big building not getting any idea were to go next or what to do. Decided to take a taxi to Mercado Central located in the old part of the city. Warnings! Unless you are fluent in Portuguese DO NOT take a taxi because they will fool you as much as they can/want and second warning, DO NOT go around the Old City because it is quite depressing to see so much poverty, chaos and dirt besides trying to walk along very crowded, boisterous, treacherous streets where if you missed one step you would end up on the ground or in a gutter. Take a tour and go to the modern Recife that for the skyline we saw from the ship, at least it looks more orderly and is very expansive. In fact, on leaving Recife, the skyline continued for what seemed like 5 or ten miles, so this place is much more developed that was apparent in the old downtown quarter. *San Salvador da Bahia – Had an overnight there so the first day we left the ship early (remembering the h&h!) and walked to the two story Mercado Central that was full of souvenir shops on the ground level and a very nice restaurant with an encircling terrace on the second floor. After eating and drinking lightly, we went to the Lacerda Elevator that quickly brings you up about 200 feet to the upper part of the city were unfortunately large areas were boarded up due to repairs in progress. Advice: The price of the Elevator was 15 real p/p (coins only) each way, that’s only 3 cents US but they won’t accept any other currencies. A local food cart operator gave us the change and would not take even one US dollar, so if it had not been up to his generosity/kindness we would have missed the top of the town visit. Afterwards, we learnt that the trip was free for all over 65 years (Brazil offers many such seniors benefits). The following day we took a ship’s tour (all the same hassle as previously described); the tour guide was very knowledgeable and the highlight was walking the steep hill to the Bon Fin Church. Quite a trek but it was worth it. Great views from up there and lots of photos of the thousands and thousands of coloured ribbons tied to the metal fencing/gates all around the church. The relics/photos of all whose prayers were answered was interesting and reminded us of another such chamber at St. Joseph’s Oratory atop Mount Royal in Montreal, Canada. The Carnival in Salvador is as famous as the Rio one and our tour bus covered much of the seaside route that the procession follows every February. Also along the route are an amazing number of architectural splendors. The facades are multi-coloured and with a wide variety of design and materials. They seem to have captured the market for needle condo’s that have but one or two apartments per floor, quite amazing. *Cabo Frio – After one day at sea, we arrived at this beautiful place and after all we’ve seen so far in Brazil this is the one place I would love to come back to and spent days visiting the so many beautiful beaches full of beautiful youth. We made the effort as it was at least 1 kilometer to the main beach! But we left longing for more. Here is an opportunity for Oceania or the city of Cabo Frio to set up a shuttle service. With more time at or near the beach rather than walking, more passengers would spend on drinks, food or shopping. Arrival and Disembarkation Day Disembarkation in Rio went smoothly (amazingly no passport nor customs check nor personnel were around). And once again another very long walk from the ship to where the luggage was; once inside that area things went well. Happy to say that all this happened in the early morning before the heat and humidity took over Rio. Rio is a city that we’ve been to many times (including the crazy and amazing “Carnaval”) so we skipped and sightseeing and headed straight to the airport to catch our flight back home!! At that moment, I/we were very much looking forward to being back in our beautiful and cold Canada! All in all, it was a great trip with a lot of new experiences (one of the reasons you travel, eh?) and although this will be our last long cruise it won’t be our last; we are still in love with Oceania! We already booked our next one on Insignia, it will be the first time on the smaller ships. We are very curious to see what Insignia’s new look will be after the upcoming and soon to be finished major refurbishment. We know that the suites are much smaller than on Marina and Riviera, with 500 or so fewer passengers (and lower ceilings!) That’s a personal concern of mine as I’m 6+ feet tall so we’ll see if it fits me. I will be sure to let all of you know, okay? Till my next one and have all of you a very Happy New Year!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This is cruise 18 with Oceania on all ships but Serena. I am not sure if i have been unlucky but the service level was less than “normal”. For example at the Sunday brunch my wife and i finished before any staff member asked us if we ... Read More
This is cruise 18 with Oceania on all ships but Serena. I am not sure if i have been unlucky but the service level was less than “normal”. For example at the Sunday brunch my wife and i finished before any staff member asked us if we wanted water, juice or anything else except cocktails. At dinner in the dining room the opposite, cant find a drink waiter and have to ask. It seems there is a staff shortage. The other annoying thing is the berths, there was a German ship “AIDA’ shadowing us and in every common port it had the in town berth when one was available and we got the container terminal. This happened even when the advertised Oceania berth was in town. Is all this Norwegian cost cutting a little at a time? I also note that the level benefits are being downgraded next year. In a way that is good news for me because the loyalty program did have me captive to an extent so I now feel less trapped. About to try Viking for the first time and maybe not the last. Have already tried Ponant and although it is a very different product being “expedition” yachts of 200 pax it has overcome finding new places to cruise given i have exhausted the Oceania network. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
In late October 2018 my wife and I embarked on a 38-day Princess cruise from Southampton to Singapore via the Suez Canal, the choice of cruise was largely influenced by three of the ports of call. Highlight number one was Malta and ... Read More
In late October 2018 my wife and I embarked on a 38-day Princess cruise from Southampton to Singapore via the Suez Canal, the choice of cruise was largely influenced by three of the ports of call. Highlight number one was Malta and Valletta the capital, steeped in history and grand historic buildings this was a truly magnificent location and I would certainly like to return there one day. Highlight number two was the Suez Canal transit, while strictly not a port of call this amazing feat of engineering continually amazed with its everchanging vistas and was so unexpectedly different from what I had envisaged. Alas due to flash flooding and unfortunate death of a dozen lives we were unable to visit Petra in Jordan and the third highlight on our list, but at least we were safe and able to continue with our holiday. Sapphire Princess lived up to the usual excellent Princess standards of food and service, but it was the steam room and sauna that stood out as being properly hot with the facilities designated their own proper area and not out in the public arena, much better than on many other ships. One down side (my hair grows fast) being that I was starting to look scruffy and needing a haircut. I decided I couldn’t wait and would have to check out the salon and see if they do men’s haircuts. No problem and I was soon looking much neater and was pleasantly surprised at the price I was charged. Another great feature we have found on Princess ships is the self-service laundrettes (necessary on cruises of seven or more days) as we like to do our own laundry, maybe this is an Australasian thing? only trust this is a feature that is still being designed for and included on all new ships. Ps I have plenty of photos. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because it sailed from Liverpool. Fed up of travelling from the north to Southampton. Food was generally good and as a vegetarian I had a good choice. Cabins were fresh and clean. beds and bedding were very ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it sailed from Liverpool. Fed up of travelling from the north to Southampton. Food was generally good and as a vegetarian I had a good choice. Cabins were fresh and clean. beds and bedding were very good. Entertainment was mediocre and so we didn’t go to the Neptune each night. Some of the entertainers had been on previous cruises. Ports of call In Canada were interesting but tours expensive. One walking tour cost £80. We had to be in The Neptune st 11.15 so we missed lunch. We were told we would be given a snack. This turned out to be a cereal bar and a bottle of water. There was nowhere on the walk to buy a sandwich. We returned to the ship around 5.30. Most people on the 11km walk were not pleased. After so many complaints we were given a 50% refund. Well done Fred. Unfortunately half way round our trip (26 days) we had a serious outbreak of Noro virus. This lasted until our return to Liverpool. We couldn’t use the pools, jacuzzis. Launderette etc. Salt and pepper was taken off the tables and food in the buffet had to be served by staff. We were constantly having our hands sanitized. The black watch is an old ship and there is constant noise of chip chip, grind grind, bang bang, drill drill. This reverberates into the cabin and is very annoying. Major rewiring was taking place during our cruise so ceiling panels were removed. The cabins are very creaky and I would advise taking ear plugs if you want a good nights sleep. Staff were very pleasant and friendly but I wouldn’t go on this ship again due to its age and the need for constant serious maintenance. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We recently returned from an eleven day cruise from Rome to Venice on the Oceania's Sirena. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. The Oceania did an excellent job of getting to every port as scheduled so we had ample time ... Read More
We recently returned from an eleven day cruise from Rome to Venice on the Oceania's Sirena. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. The Oceania did an excellent job of getting to every port as scheduled so we had ample time at each port to explore. My only complaint is that we tendered twice, and the tender boats were very uncomfortable with no fans and very hot. We have been on four cruises, twice with the Princess, once with the Azamara and now the Oceania. In comparing the cruise lines, we found the rooms very similar. We did not have a balcony on the Oceania since the additional cost seemed very high but the porthole was a very nice size. The Princess does not charge nearly as much for a balcony. I think the bathroom/shower was best planned on the Oceania and the staff cleaned the room promptly. The Oceania advertises that they are famous for their food. I actually found the food disappointing. Buffet breakfast was fine although I did not like their orange juice. We did not have lunch since we were touring. However, based upon our room status we were only entitled to make reservations for two nights at the specialty restaurants. Red Ginger is indeed special. From the moment we were seated, we were treated royally. The menu was quite interesting, and it was truly a delightful dinner. We also enjoyed the Tuscan Grill but the overall experience was just not as special as Red Ginger. We were lucky to be seated at the front of the ship in that restaurant and had a stunning view as we left the port. My disappointment was with the main dining room. I found the portions very small, and I did not find the overall quality exceptional. Once I ordered sea bass and it was not very good. Another night I ordered steak which was not a good cut. You could order as many sides as you wanted but I would have preferred a better overall meal. On the Azamara they would serve free interesting wines with dinner and that certainly helped the overall atmosphere. I just did not find the staff all that engaging on the Oceania. The Sirena offered less entertainment than the other cruise lines. There was an evening show but the problem was it was a small stage without any slope in the theater so unless you were up front viewing was difficult. We had a singer twice(he was fine), a comedian twice(better the first night) and a mime /magician (poor). The troupe of eight also performed and they were enjoyable. The Princess being a larger boat had a much more professional theater and show. The only sports offered was one outdoor ping pong table, a shuffleboard court on a rubber surface making it unplayable, and a small putting green. There was also a small running/walking track. The pool was tiny but there were two Jacuzzis. Since every day was sunny and over 90 degrees the pool was used. The card room was very small and there were no organized games. The Sirena did have an excellent lending library. I found the gym to up to date modern equipment. Children are not encouraged on the Oceania and there were no organized activities for them. Some of the other cruise lines hire guest lecturers to talk about the upcoming ports. I think the Sirena was very weak in this area. There was trivia every afternoon and this was popular. I probably would not go on the Oceania again unless the itinerary was one I could not find elsewhere. I think other lines give you more value for less money. Finally, since I prefer modern , I found the décor of the Sirena not that attractive and tired looking. However, since I picked this line for the itinerary of the cruise I was not disappointed by the cruise since I enjoyed our ports of call. I find that part of the fun of travelling is planning the trip so I do a lot of research. I never sign up for excursions provided by the cruise line since they are over-priced. My travel agent suggested using Shore excursions but I also found this company to be too expensive. A third alternative is to use Viator which partners with local tour companies and offers more value for your dollar and more variety of tours. However, we made the decision to find private tour guides where possible. This can be expensive if it is just one couple because usually the cost of adding two more people is nominal. We mentioned our planned tours on our cruise line blog and were lucky to find another couple to join us and the four of us thoroughly enjoyed the tours. Day 1 Amalfi- I had always wanted to visit Pompeii. Unfortunately, I did not find any tours leaving from Amalfi going there. I found a company called Benvenutolimos.com that would arrange to give us a driver for eight hours who would take us to Pompeii and Positano and tour the Amalfi Coast. They arranged for a private tour guide inside Pompeii. Giovanni was an excellent driver. He first took us to the scenic town of Rafello for a short stop. His English was excellent and we learned about the Amalfi Coast and its history and culture as he made hairpin turns through breathtaking terrain. He then took us to Pompeii where we met our tour guide Salvatore. As we strolled along ancient Roman streets, Salvatore described what is was like to live in Pompeii 2000 years ago. Pompeii is amazingly preserved. After this tour, we drove to Positano to get a brief glimpse of this upscale beach town. It was a full 8 hours of touring, and I compliment Benvenuto tours for planning a very enjoyable day. Day 2-Sicily- we docked in Taormina for our tour of Sicily. We arranged to be met by Luca from info@sicilylife.com. and again our driver was very professional. We first stopped at a local honey farm, and then we drove to Mt. Etna. Cars are limited to about 7000 feet and from there you can plan hiking excursions. We took a small hike and admired the incredible landscape where gorges were cut into the mountain from lava flows. After Etna, Luca took us to a local winery where we spent a very pleasant afternoon tasting local dishes and sampling wine. We enjoyed our day with Luca and would recommend his company. Day 3-Malta- we docked in Valletta, Malta and were met by Karl from Karlito's Way, and by the end of the day we felt we had a great understanding of Malta. Karl wanted to show us traditional Malta whether it was taking us to traditional neighborhoods, restaurants, or vistas. During the course of the day we circled the entire island seeing all of its most beautiful areas while we talked politics and philosophy. By the end of the day we felt Karl had become a friend as well as a tour guide. We consider our time in Malta very special and would highly recommend using Karl. Day 4-at sea. Day 5 Argostoli-Greece-we could not find a private tour guide so opted to use Viator. Although we were in a bus and the tour was not nearly as personal, the tour was a successful. We visited a monastery, a cave which was actually used for concerts, a fishing village, and the most impressive stop was a rowboat ride in an underground lake/cave. The island was quite picturesque so this port was well worth a visit. Day 6 Durres, Albania. We used a Hong Kong company called tour HQ which has a lot of host tour guides throughout the world. Basically, HQ gives you a list of potential local guides and their biography and then you select one. Although I selected a guide months before and had the trip confirmed, he cancelled just prior to my trip. Luckily, HQ did assist in finding me a replacement guide. Durres was probably the only port we visited which was not scenic especially where we docked. Since I knew very little about Albania I was hoping to get a well planned itinerary from our guide. We went to Kruje which was an interesting medieval city. There, we visited an historical museum. We also visited a bazaar. Then, we had a terrible lunch. The countryside we saw was not that pretty and our guide Marjen was quiet so the touring was not as interesting as our other stops. After Kruja we went back to Durres to see some Roman ruins and a Venetian tower. This did not take too long to view. We ended the tour early, because there did not seem to be much to see or do. I would suggest that our guide should revise the tour to see more sights in the future. Day 7- Kotor, Montenegro. We used a company called M Tours which was highly rated on Trip Advisor. We had met another couple on the cruise who joined us so that Aleksander our tour guide led 6 of us through the enchanting countryside of Montenegro. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of Montenegro history and culture. It was a full day of touring-we went to Budva, then drove to Cetinje, and then went to Njegusi village for lunch at an old, local and a tour of their smokehouse. All of these places had both religious and historical significance. I never realized what a beautiful country Montenegro is, and it certainly is a country I would love to see again. I would highly recommend using M Tours. Day 8-Split Croatia. We used Viator and were lucky because only the four of us signed up for the tour so we had a private tour. We were very happy to have Sandra as our tour guide. She was vivacious and loved showing us Trogir, a medieval city. After Trogir, Sandra led us on a walking tour of Split where we marveled at the ancient Roman Palace. Sandra made the day enjoyable and I would recommend her company Croatian Trails. Day 9 and 10-Venice. We decided to do Venice on our own. In the morning we walked the whole city until we reached St. Marks Square. We then took a water taxi to Murano to do shopping. We really enjoyed Murano since it was much less crowded and the shops had beautiful glass items perfect for gifts. We also found a terrific place for lunch called Cicchetteria Pizzeria with a large courtyard where we had a delicious pizza and prosecco. Afterwards, we returned to Venice to take a 45 minute gondola ride. If you do not mind sharing, the cost is reasonable since you are paying for the ride which seats up to six. Although touristy, we enjoyed it. All in all it was a great trip with many memories. One final note, we had arranged our transfers prior to the trip and they worked out and were much more reasonable than cruise rates. I recommend both venutoinside.com(Venice Port to airport) and civitavecchiatoroma@gmail.com(Rome airport to Port). Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I chose this cruise based on the destinations and more importantly on the recommendation of previous Oceania cruisers. The ship was fine although it seemed to be ready for refurbishing. The food was okay, but not as special as I had ... Read More
I chose this cruise based on the destinations and more importantly on the recommendation of previous Oceania cruisers. The ship was fine although it seemed to be ready for refurbishing. The food was okay, but not as special as I had anticipated. Desserts were the most disappointing aspect of the food train. They seemed bland and unimaginative. I heard several complaints about the lack of or taste of the "chocolate" desserts. The behind the counter servers in the buffet area were attentive and accommodating, but the wait staff (coffee and incidentals) in that area were somewhat less so. Service and accommodation in the main dinning room was first rate. Food and service in both of the specialty restaurants was first rate. The entertainment on board was very good. We greatly enjoyed the young performers. Interacting with the cruise director, Julie, was a treat. Room attendants and their service was excellent. The entire ship's company with exceptions noted were very responsive. Midway through the cruise we filled out a questionnaire critiquing our experience. Almost all issues we noted were addressed within 24 hours. Once the response was simply an explanation of why things were as they were, but they did get back to us on the issues. Largest single disappointment in the cruise was the inconsistency of the shore excursions. Some were good to excellent and others were not so much. This seemed to result from lack of proper planning on the tour operator's (management) part and perhaps not so much on the individual tour guides. Overall I considered the cruise a success and would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. My wife's sister lives and works in Dubai and the opportunity to see her and locations we had not been to before made this choice irresitable. We spent a few days in Dubai, we had been there ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. My wife's sister lives and works in Dubai and the opportunity to see her and locations we had not been to before made this choice irresitable. We spent a few days in Dubai, we had been there before, but really enjoyed it as well as a day trip we took to Abu Dhabi. We chose an early boarding 1100 AM, which was a good idea. We were on board in no time and had a cocktail in hand immediately. We decided to check our cabin 1232 on the off chance it was ready, perfect, it was. We dropped our carry-on and proceeded to our usual tasks which include, specialty restaurant dinner reservations, hair appointments, and checking our dining room seating, We then went to Johnny Rockets for lunch which we enjoyed, just something about a greasy burger and french fries chased down by a cold beer. For us boarding was easy and uneventful, and we were able to get our primary objectives done and now it was all about enjoying the cruise. The cruise on the whole we enjoyed, we did feel however, that some crew members were not engaged. I think part of that could be the length of the cruise (it started in Singapore we picked it up in Dubai) as well as that the ship was going into dry-dock for refurbishment. These ladies and gentlemen work extremely hard with no days off and long hours, so a lot of it I get. We enjoy eating in the specialty restaurants, however the menus need some change. The Chops and Giovannis Table menu have not seen a change in many a cruise, we enjoy these venues but we will re-think the amount of times we patronize these establishments going forward. We usually get the five night dining package plus a couple of additional dinners, but being faced with the same menu all the time becomes boring. The dining room was okay, nothing really special on that front, we do however enjoy breakfast in the dining room. We enjoy going to the Schooner Bar after dinner each evening and this cruise was no exception. Yanus and Stanislav (bartenders) could not have been nicer and more efficient. They went above and beyond especially when they ran out of grapefruit juice. We enjoy vodka and grapefruit juice and for some reason when you travel to that part of the world they always seem to never have enough and mid-way through the cruise they run out. Yanus and Stanislav would actually run to another bar in an attempt to find us grapefruit juice. Hope you guys can get off the ship in Miami. Why is having enough grapefruit juice on a cruise an issue? Best RCCL bartenders!!!! Our stateroom attendant was Li, a nicer gentlemen I have never met. I enjoyed speaking with him at length will hopefully run into him again on another cruise. We booked our 2019 and 2020 cruise with Carinha Duarte. Bon Dia Carinha!!! See you in the north!!! She did a fabulous job working with us for our next cruises as well. very informative and helpful with the different ships and venues. We only took the tour of Petra with RCCL, we are finding their tours are over priced and you can usually do better with a private tour company or venture off on your own. We enjoyed Crete (Chania) very much and of course Jerusalem, Dead Sea and Barcelona. We did Jerusalem and the Dead Sea with a private tour operator because it afforded us to see both in the one day we were in port. RCCL offered one or the other. Barcelona is one of our favorite port cities we have been there many times and so we go off on our own and seek out the obscure tapas and wine bars always the best. Going through the Suez Canal was an adventure, so glad we got to experience that. On the whole an excellent vacation with just the few thing we mentioned that hopefully RCCL can address Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise to sail among the small islands of the Sea of Cortez with abundance of marine, birds, and reptiles. Professional team with Kit Masters leading. She made every effort to insure that everyone needs were met. There were ... Read More
We chose this cruise to sail among the small islands of the Sea of Cortez with abundance of marine, birds, and reptiles. Professional team with Kit Masters leading. She made every effort to insure that everyone needs were met. There were many opportunities to snorkel, hike and view birds/landscapes from Zodiacs. Our cabin was very comfortable with Butler/attendant on call. The food could be better, Particularly the fish - not fresh. Lack of fresh vegetables, lots of salad greens instead. Lots of desserts. The wait staff were friendly and attentive. Travel to Copper Canyon was too long 16 hours there and back. The landscape was beautiful from our balcony view of the can tonight. Shipboard credit $1000 per person only if you ask.. other couples which we met told us so, you had to ask. As first timers, this is a ridiculous offer. To get with Silverseas again is questionable. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We recently returned from half world QM2 cruise Singapore to Southampton. Many good things about this 35 day cruise which, overall, we greatly enjoyed and for which the basic price (excluding on-board extras) was excellent value . Unlike ... Read More
We recently returned from half world QM2 cruise Singapore to Southampton. Many good things about this 35 day cruise which, overall, we greatly enjoyed and for which the basic price (excluding on-board extras) was excellent value . Unlike some recent reviewers, we were very impressed with quality of food and staff attitudes in Kings Court buffet, which generally also catered well for vegetarians like me – better than the Britannia formal restaurant though food and service there were good too. We didn’t see any need to use the over-expensive specialist restaurants. Staff service and attitude very good apart from the odd misery-guts in the bars, the coffee bar and the tours office – interesting to note that these are particular venues for the perhaps excessively high prices that we found charged for on-board extras (our main moan on this cruise), so maybe they’re fed up with complaints! That didn’t seem to embitter the equally expensive but reliably cheerful photography staff though... Pool and games facilities are very good – though of course there’s always the danger that some selfish people will dominate them, as happened on this trip with the table tennis. As for venues, Kochi was a wash-out, due partly, apparently, to the Indian authorities’ cussedness regarding visas, but many of the others were brilliant – especially Langkawi island, Aqaba (where the Jordanian air force display team did a brilliant and moving display and fly-past) Sorrento (a late substitute for Naples) and Cadiz. We’d rather have had an overnight stay at any of these harbours rather than at flashy less impressive and very, very busy Dubai ( a series of traffic jams linking building sites and designer shopping malls...) Evening shows too dependent on musicals but some of the acts – Kev Orkian, the Barricade Boys, David Copperfield, the acrobats - were outstanding. House band too loud, though! The celebrity speakers were alright (despite a tendency to not show too much of the human being behind the celebrity), but the enrichment speakers – especially history and astronomy - were very good and, at times, quite stretching! Disappointed no drama workshops as on a previous QM2 trip, but very impressed that two of the Ents staff put on an enjoyable poetry show. Other extras – the ship choir, the summer fayre – were enjoyable and imaginative. Selection of movies patchy but again some were very good, even if the daily programme provided details for the wrong movie on a couple of nights! Nightclub facility and house band (Purple Haze) very good indeed, though see entry below re cabin. Afternoon Classical music concerts absolutely fantastic with a brilliant selection of artistes. The house string quartet also very good and fully deserved their award of an evening show in the main theatre. The library on QM2 remains a wonderful facility – excellent choice of reading matter and a lovely and restful place to sit and read or work even when not open on evenings and early mornings. We had occasion to use the medical service and were very impressed by its professionalism and efficiency. There seemed to be a lot of tension and conflict on board regarding use of the limited self-service laundry facilities on certain decks. Is this always the case on cruises, we wondered, or is it something about Cunard customers?! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
It was a short 4-sea day transit from Hong Kong to Singapore rather than a proper cruise, a short segment of the World Cruise. It falls on the Easter long weekend, and several hundred people embark from Hong Kong for the short ride without ... Read More
It was a short 4-sea day transit from Hong Kong to Singapore rather than a proper cruise, a short segment of the World Cruise. It falls on the Easter long weekend, and several hundred people embark from Hong Kong for the short ride without a shore day. Cunard operates the most formal type of cruise, of all cruise lines. Every dinner is dressy, one night formal and three nights informal (jacket required) without a casual night. This appeals to some cruisers, as the experience is akin to Titanic days. Cunard aims to provide the old 'white star' service and on Cunard if this is not perfectly achieved it does convey the good old time atmosphere. This is the first time I cruised on Queen Elizabeth (having cruise twice and 33 days on QM2 the last two years) and I like the ship almost as much. It is a beautiful ship in Art Deco style. The simple Britannia cabin was not bad, having tea making facility not found on most ships. The dinner service is formal and the food is good for a big ship (though Cunard price is higher than other big ships). Restaurant service is professional. The buffet is very good and there was a great display of Easter eggs on the Sunday night. The buffet lasts until 2am. If not luxury (if not on Grill) it is premium. Activities include the acclaimed Queens Room high tea in the traditional manner, and its ballroom dances...all these you do not find in other ships. It is a very civilized ship that even has a book shop on it. It was a good short transit, and while I took only a small segment, it gives me the impression that if I were to take a full world cruise Cunard would be my choice. The ship somewhat achieve a combination of big ship facility with an air of intimacy. Staff courtesy was good except my chamber maid evicted me from my cabin at exactly 8:30, and I note that she evicted everyone in my row of cabins while not working on the rooms...the next embarkation is the next day. Another hiccup was that it took 2 hours to embark a mere few hundred from Hong Kong, probably due to the land agent. Overall I was happy on this shortest cruise I have ever taken. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Wanted to try an Ocean crossing. Dates worked heard good things about Oceania. The ship was lovely and very manageable in size. Food top rate service top rate. Accommodations in s penthouse suite very nice but not a large suite Bathroom ... Read More
Wanted to try an Ocean crossing. Dates worked heard good things about Oceania. The ship was lovely and very manageable in size. Food top rate service top rate. Accommodations in s penthouse suite very nice but not a large suite Bathroom was nice but shower a bit on the small side I felt considering the amount of days at sea activities were limited i did enjoy the cooking classes but did have a per session charge. They could have been more creative in the activity schedule Many activities repeated themselves and there seemed to be days at sea where I just wandered. The crowd was on the elderly side and as a result Most were in bed by 10 pm. Not much more than 5% of the ship were up and out after 10pm People were very friendly and we made new friends which was the highlight of the cruise. I would recommend the Riviera but make sure it is offering the type of vacation you are looking for Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
xcellent staff was very efficient service spotty in Terrace cafe getting a drink of teat took forever Service every else was excellent The entertainment on the front part of the trip was mediocre to terrible It improved substantially from ... Read More
xcellent staff was very efficient service spotty in Terrace cafe getting a drink of teat took forever Service every else was excellent The entertainment on the front part of the trip was mediocre to terrible It improved substantially from the Hawaaian Islands to LA.Entertainment has never been this lines strong point cuisine however is fantastic anywhere on the ship The line even provided a Passover dinner and Haggadahs which was a plus This cruise director was new to us but he was excellent and very professional My wife who is an avid bingo player indicated that this bingo game was one of the best ever The flight from LAX to Papeete was not bad considering it was coach .Better than any of the US based airlines we fly on cruises We are loyal to Oceania as this was our 12th cruise and we have booked 13,14 ,15 and 16 to date Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Have cruised Royal Caribbean HAL and Princess. This was our first Cunard experience. Ship was elegant but not glitzy. Service was excellent but very much “this is Cunard and this is how it’s done”. We thought the food was the best we ... Read More
Have cruised Royal Caribbean HAL and Princess. This was our first Cunard experience. Ship was elegant but not glitzy. Service was excellent but very much “this is Cunard and this is how it’s done”. We thought the food was the best we have ever had on a cruise. Cabin was good but think it may have been slightly smaller than the other ships we have been on. Enjoyed the shows in the Royal Court. We were not a fan of the set dining times. We had 6:00 pm dining and missed dinner if you got back late from shore excursions or wanted to attend the sail away party. Synergy were very good but noticed that a lot of people left the pool area as soon as they finished. The pool area lacked atmosphere without music so think they could use the DJ when the band finishes. Overall we really enjoyed the cruise but felt they catered for the elderly guests Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We have voyaged on the Pacific Princess for almost two months. Our first on this vessel was in November and December 2016. I posted an excellent review back then and this ship still remains one of our favorites. However, since then on this ... Read More
We have voyaged on the Pacific Princess for almost two months. Our first on this vessel was in November and December 2016. I posted an excellent review back then and this ship still remains one of our favorites. However, since then on this ship, there has been a little improvement here and there and some degradation. Which has resulted in my dropping the previous rating. Let me begin with the positives: Terrific---- --We really like the ship and the crew, from the Captain on down. The main dining room (MDR) folks are exceptional. The high point for us is that the main dining room service and cuisine has restored our faith in the MDRs, at least on this vessel. Maitre d'hotel, Oscar Perego, has to be one of the best if not the best in the business. We originally intended to do a few dinners in the two speciality restaurants but the staff and service was so great in the MDR the only speciality we bothered to use was a Ultimate Balcony Dinner, which was exquisite. --Our cabin was super just like the other deck eight mini-suite we had one year ago. We really like the size along with the balcony which represents a large picture window facing the sea when you pull the drapes all the way back. The bathroom was typical, not very large and the closets are not walk ins but the closet space was much larger than one realizes at first glance. The bathroom medicine and toiletry cabinets have doors like they used to have in the old days so stuff doesn't spell out in rough seas. The temperature in the cabin can be regulated perfectly, cold outdoors and comfy inside or 95 F outside and cool inside. --This was the third time we have been on a cruise that coincided with the Super Bowl. This was the best bowl coverage yet, excellent, and outstanding too was because it was offered in the Cabaret Lounge, where three huge screens were used to display the action with the crew outdoing themselves by having a huge tasty buffet line of goodies and eats available throughout the entire game. Good--- --We certainly appreciate the loyalty perk(s) for free internet and laundry. The internet speed for me is satisfactory and reliable and wife loves the care, reliability and quality of the laundry and cleaning service. --The two main hot tubes on the pool deck were great and I used them some times twice a day. The pool deck on this ship doesn't have chair hogs and I never ran into a time when there wasn't ample fresh towels awaiting at three different locations. The only complaint I had was they got the hot tubs way too hot at times, one time they were at 107 F for two days. --The vessel is very well maintained and the crew is constantly scrapping, painting and keeping the ship in tip-top condition. --Love the balcony railings as well as the railings around the vessel where three horizontal bars are below a teak top railing allowing for clear views of the ocean instead of solid steel or Plexiglas which is almost always fogged up. --Often I'm not certain what the pre and post cruise hotels cost as we like to use the cruise line transfers and hotel package(s) which are lumped together price wise. Normally I believe the entire package is reasonable----this arrangement has really come in handy in the past when things got confused the day before embarkation due lost airline luggage or other problems. Nothing more comforting than to have an agent at a strange airport with a sign and your name. --The ship's library is the best and largest we have seen. Truly a library designed for exploration cruises. --The buffet is very good, food wise, service wise and table wise. They even change things around in part of it in the late afternoon making a more formal section with table cloths, flowers and wine glasses. This buffet has ample seating which gets constrained only when inclement weather forces everybody off the outdoor seating areas, which has even a larger number of tables than inside. During the entire cruise we never ran out of cantaloupe, not once, first time I recall that ever happening. --Cabin T.V.s work great and programming good. Certainly appreciate my favorite news channel MSNBC being available with a good signal all the time. I recall the days when we had no other choice for news but-----LOL. Sure wish they could figure a way to place larger TVs in the mini-suites though, --No complaints over embarkations and disembarkations. All handled well and luggage arrived in the cabins timely. --Although our segment involved mostly sea days, the shore excursions we did take were good, typically we never go the independent route on shore excursions but use those provided by the cruise line. One in particular illustrates how Princess stands out here----"We were confused about meet times one morning, so when we showed up for our muster time they told us our excursion had already left. Anyway, bummer, but then, the shore rep said you can get on "this one" if you want instead, which was leaving just then. We took it. We were supposed to be on a rain forest type hike and glow worm cave visit, which we were regretting due to all the rain. As it turned out, the alternative was much better and dryer, plus the one we were to be on they didn't even get into the caves as they flooded and during the rain forest hike portion everybody got soaked. Mistakes sometimes turn out for the better. --The cruise director on this voyage was a gal from Juneau, Sammi Baker, she managed the Red Dog saloon in Juneau back in the 1980s and had her own band there "Moondance". She got a job with the Italian cruise line "Sitmar" who merged with Princess in the late 1980s. We never ran across her before in our travels with Princess, she is retiring after this voyage. Too bad, she is well liked. Needs improvement--- --We never personally experienced much of a problem here, however, something is amiss. We did witness the considerable confusion which apparently exists within the cruise line fleet at large, this is over room service liquor order policy and even water bottle orders, as pre-orders prior to initial embarkation get tangled with room service liquor order requests due contradictions emanating from staff and company both orally and written. It might well be that the line is determined to eventually eliminate service to cabins where spirits or wine can be ordered for consumption within. If not, I suggest Princess better start attempting to squelch rumors and altercations that suggest otherwise, bring forth a consistent written policy/procedure, since a practice like that if it materializes, will be a real downer for cruisers like ourselves. --I do miss the enrichment lecturers that Princess used to provide, like naturalists, biologists, area historians and geography experts, I thought they would bring someone on board at Honolulu but didn't. However, at Pago Pago they brought on two New Zealanders who were pretty good, too bad for us though, as this occurred two thirds of the way through the cruise. --I'm not big on the production shows anymore where you got a bunch of young folk jumping around singing, dancing and doing hand stands. But on this voyage I guess they should be given credit since I attended most performances and thought they were okay, most guests appeared to really like them. I also don't care much for ventriloquists, comedians or jugglers, what I like is the individual singers, violinists, etc but only if they stay away from attempting to articulate political jokes, most of which are tired and ancient and usually irritate more than amuse. In fact, on the larger vessels I quit going to the overcrowded theatres with too few isles all-together, it wasn't until on this ship, a year ago, I became interested again due the comfort and convenience of the Cabaret Lounge. Here is my opinion of the entertainment list --- Good---(1) The Lions Den (2) Dave Klinberg (violinist and enrichment lecture--ancient cultures) (3)The Stevie B. Show, (5) Monty Cotton-- "Johnny Cash" (4) Production Shows, Jennifer Andres and Charlie Vose with the Belinda King Dancers. (5) Diane Cousins, singing and jokes. (6) Russell Harrison So-So--- louie Shelton, Bad----(1) Bayne Bacon, mediocre piano man and right wing sick joke critic of the Clinton family----(3) Domenick Allen, disorganized music performances---(2) Ventriloquist, Mark Merchant, good ventriloquist but that is where his talent ends; he also should stay away from right wing leaning ignorant jokes. Not so good---- --The gym is in an excellent location but too small for the number of guests wanting to use it. Only two ellipticals and five treadmills, that doesn't cut it in the morning. The gym doors open at 7:00 PM and often if you aren't in line at least 20 to 30 minutes before you better plan on waiting at least an hour. I have to admit though, we were on the Prinsendam for almost three months, a larger exploration type vessel than the Pacific Princess carrying 200 more guests, but their gym was almost half the size of that on this ship. Watch out for the "Man Killer"---Normally I would go out onto the circular track on deck 10 and walk or jog if the gym equipment was busy on this ship, however, this is a dangerous track early in the morning, as water collects on the track and it is very slick even after they mop it. I almost fell completely down four times and witnessed others crashing down, it is a wonder there hasn't been serious injuries. Apparently they tried to remedy this recently by painting the primary center running and walking area with a red substance which was actually slicker than the old surface which most runners or joggers tried to favor due better traction. Terrible--- --Platinum & Elite Lounge, Princess has changed their format here from what they used to provide. Now they offer a selection of eight different alcohol drinks which they apparently came up with as substitutes for the more traditional drinks they used to offer for $5.00 per. They now charge $6.50 for these new concoctions. We gave them a chance. Went three times and tried three different drinks each, most of the time we didn't finish the drinks due to not liking them. Their hors d'oeuvre offerings were still pretty good but the only way we would want to take time to attend is by purchasing their old traditional drinks for the full price. Thus, we say goodbye to this once great loyalty perk. ---This cruise involved one sement of a world cruise, 47 ports, five segments, 111 days. We originally purchased the second and third segments, 49 days. The third ended in Dubai. I had arranged and paid for air transport back home from Dubai when I first booked, about 11 months before embarkation. Our flight left at 9:30 AM in the morning of our second day in port at Dubai. That turned out to be a bad assumption and mistake. Unfortunately, Princess said we couldn't get off the ship that day that early since our flight left before 11:30 AM. After much discussion, Princess allowed us a "cruise deviation" under which we could get off early. They provided us no help or advice as to how to get off but did offer a lot of worrisome suggestions, like: "You are on your own" and "It is up to you to arrange with immigrations at that country when you get off our ship". Thanks but no thanks, we decided to cancel the entire voyage, both segments. At the last minute we decided to stay with the first segment only. It seems to me that for $34,000 to $37,000, which the second segment alone was going to cost us or in the neighborhood of $57,000 for the entire two segments, they could have given us just a little encouragement and assistance for our disembarkation. Recommendation------ Since we were on part of a world cruise it gave me an opportunity to evaluate the merits of these since this got me to focusing on the merits and dismerits of booking the entire package if we had chosen to do so. We have never booked a "world cruise". Our longest cruise was one just shy of three months, which was 95% Africa ports. Most likely the reason we haven't booked longer voyages is that by now we have visited just about every port offered on those, many, multiple times. My advice to those just beginning cruising careers, if they can make it work, take a world cruise as soon as you can, that way most ports on the itinerary will involve first visits making the voyage that much more enjoyable. I did note on this voyage over 80% of the guests were taking the entire 111 day world voyage and out of those there were a lot who love to do this time and time again regardless of the number of visits they may have had at the same ports. We met couples that have been on more than five and often they were friends with others that had been on the same voyages. Camaraderie was a big inducement factor. Obviously, cruising is not the same for all, there are many types and variations. However, we see now the world cruise probably isn't for us. We do love sea days and you do get a lot of those on world cruises, which is a plus for us. But It seems to me that the industry is rather coy in describing "world cruises" or "world voyages" as these are somewhat misnomers. The one we were just involved in was indeed a cruise that went all the way around the globe, beginning and ending in Florida. However, to call this a "world cruise" is rather disingenuous. 20 of the 47 ports are all in the Mediterranean, there is no Africa, no South America, no---Indonesia, Asia, Malaysia, Baltic, British Isles, Holy Land, Antarctica or Arctic or much more, most all of it is confined to traditional tourist haunts within the Northern Hemisphere, with the exception of a jaunt down the Pacific to Australia and then back north. One fellow, on his 5th world cruise, told me he was "bored". My preference now would be to get more bang for my buck by booking separate cruises of four or five week durations each, maybe lumping two together as a back to back (B2B). Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was our first cruise on Riviera, our second on Oceania. Our previous Oceania was the Nautica, and our cabin had been a disappointment. Our apprehensions were dismissed the moment we entered our cabin on Riviera. It was a very good ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Riviera, our second on Oceania. Our previous Oceania was the Nautica, and our cabin had been a disappointment. Our apprehensions were dismissed the moment we entered our cabin on Riviera. It was a very good size, and most importantly, the bathroom was much much better than the airplane-size bathroom on Nautica. No 'Psycho' shower but a full bathtub and separate shower. Yay! The ship is beautiful, I spent some time going through the ship to view all the beautiful artwork. Most amazing is how quiet the ship is; our cabin was on deck 8 midship and we never heard a sound ; we had to look out to check if we had docked or sailed away. The only reason I didn't give full marks is the entertainment and sound system in the cabins. I had the same complaint on Nautica and I was given the same lame excuse that Oceania buys its entertainment system from a provider and this is what they provide (!). The TV is old non-hd technology. The sound is terrible and the picture is so blurred you can't read the credits at the end of a film. There is no docking station for your phone, or bluetooth that would allow you to listen to your music. Unlike in most hotels nowadays, you can't access your account information. There was a Grand Slam tennis tournament going on, but no station to view it. There are only 3 news channels: MSNBC and FOX, and, thankfully, BBC World, a welcome relief from 24-hour US-centered news. It is time Oceania followed the competition into the 21st century, all the rest of the cruise is such a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Cruise January 13-23, 2018 - Fourth time cruising with Oceania; second on Riviera. Beautiful ship, wonderful staff/crew, unbelievably excellent food, very talented string quartet who played at Oceania's enjoyable afternoon tea - as ... Read More
Cruise January 13-23, 2018 - Fourth time cruising with Oceania; second on Riviera. Beautiful ship, wonderful staff/crew, unbelievably excellent food, very talented string quartet who played at Oceania's enjoyable afternoon tea - as well as at other times around the ship. Really enjoyed the fact that the ship isn't constantly trying to shake every nickel from your pocket for art auctions, half-price sales of bargain bin items, or photographers following you at every turn. Very refreshing. Such a laid-back, quiet atmosphere that you sometimes wonder whether there is anyone else onboard. Was impressed that the ship is able to print a variety of local newspapers - even the Toronto National Post - so that we don't miss out on news from home. However, it is time that Oceania updated its onboard television system. It isn't interactive. You can't check your account or book reservations as you can through Celebrity's Solstice class ships. The channel that showed the map of the cruise, and the course of the ship, wasn't updated. It was often two days old, with day old weather forecasts, giving distances to ports that we had already visited. The captain's announcements were difficult to hear and there wasn't specific information on where we were (latitudes and longitudes don't help me much!); the weather; the depth of the ocean; condition of the seas, etc. If you are in your cabin and want to hear the announcements by the captain or cruise director, you have a second or two, after a short bell, to turn on your tv to channel 3 or run out into a public area. By the time you do so, the announcement is over! Really, really frustrating. Did not enjoy the ports. The Oceania excursions were very pricey and many entailed spending long blocks of time on buses. Also, the advertised port shuttles were available in only 2 out of 7 ports and docking locations seemed to take a back seat to larger ships in each port. We booked this cruise recently to get out of the cold. Unfortunately the weather was barely warm and it rained most days. We saw sunshine on the last day in Key West. This is the first cruise in years where I had to take Bonine to avoid being sea-sick from the rough seas. We had an extended balcony cabin near the stern of the 7th deck and we could feel really rough vibrations from the engine/propellers/thrusters(?) particularly when docking. Obviously the weather is beyond Oceania's control. However, the onboard activities were limited and rather lack-lustre. The cruise director needs to kick it into high gear and come up with some interesting activities, especially when the weather closes the pools and limits passengers to inside activities. I only found out the last night at dinner that the ship set up several tables for bridge players in the Polo diningroom each day. These were not advertised. Scarf tying was advertised, but that didn't interest me. I took that course on Oceania years ago. The beautiful, well-stocked library was full most days with passengers sitting inside reading in easy chairs. Very relaxing, but I can do that at home. There is one show each evening, but it is quite late. Considering the advanced age of most passengers, a 9:30 pm start is pushing it. Also in 10 days, it should be possible to avoid repeats of the same performers during the cruise. Aside from these irritations, if you want to sail on a beautiful ship, with outstanding food, interesting fellow passengers, and well-trained staff - and you have the dollars to pay for this premium experience - Oceania is an excellent choice. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
My wife and I generally travel on the luxury lines and decided to try Oceania for the first time in 9 years. We booked well in advance and chose the 100 square foot Oceania suite which was on the stern of the ship on deck 11. In over ... Read More
My wife and I generally travel on the luxury lines and decided to try Oceania for the first time in 9 years. We booked well in advance and chose the 100 square foot Oceania suite which was on the stern of the ship on deck 11. In over 20 cruises in the past 10 years, this was far and away the best cabin that we have had. Service by the butler and stewardess was excellent. Booking the large suite came with lots of perks such as double the number of specialty restaurants, meaning that we only ate dinner in the main dining room 2 or 3 times. We did eat many breakfast and lunches there and found that the staff quickly knew us by name and gave us excellent service. Oceania provides guests with a key card indicating the room category and we felt that much of the service was recognizing us from the suite listed on the gold key card. Bar service was excellent as well and the specialty restaurants would have been enjoyed much more if I hadn't gotten sick ...... On the 2nd day I developed a chest cough accompanied by some minor gastric problems. In all my time cruising I had never darkened the door of the medical center and did not know what to expect. I went to the medical center and was honest about my symptoms, indicating that I was sick but not deathly sick. I did sign the release for treatment so from here on I should have no complaint, but I'll relate so others might be warned. I was given tests for everything from the flue to mono. The doctor decided I needed an IV and I was given multiple IVs over the course of the next 3 hours. I received urine and blood tests as well. The process took about 4 hours and I never inquired as to cost. My fault. I was informed to return at 6 PM for a follow up. All this made me feel better and I asked to have the IV needle removed which they had left inserted in my hand. The doctor said to leave it in in case I needed another IV - this was my warning sign that I did not heed. The next morning I returned to the medical center saying I was feeling even better. The doctor prescribed more IVs. After these, they took the IV needle out and told me to drink Gatorade, giving me 3 packs to mix. The bill was presented at the final follow up and I almost fainted. Charges for day 1 were around $3500 and day 2 was over $1400 making the charges come in just a hair under $5000. All this for a 57 year old male with slight discomfort. Medical insurance won't pay and we have never taken trip insurance which might have paid some or all of the cost. (with all our cruises we have never taken insurance and even with this bill I'm still money ahead over having taken insurance and not made claims). Lesson learned - I'll be very sick before I ever again go to the medical center. If I do have to go I'll get out my cell phone and call my personal doctor in the United States for consultation with the on board doctor. From the next trip forward we'll have a medical kit including a thermometer, some basic antibiotics, Pepto-Bismal, and perhaps some Imodium. I jokingly told my wife that I would want to take my own AED as well. In 4 or 5 days I was back to normal. The rest of the cruise brought lots of rain and bad weather, which is just bad luck. The only great day we had was the last port of Key West, perfect weather and we had returned to full health. We'll be on Oceania again, due to great service, food and room, but we'll be prepared to treat our own minor ailments. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Holiday of a lifetime planned for early in our retirement. Negatives - health and safety issues. 1) We question the practice of the same member of staff responsible for cleaning the cabin also being responsible for bringing ... Read More
Holiday of a lifetime planned for early in our retirement. Negatives - health and safety issues. 1) We question the practice of the same member of staff responsible for cleaning the cabin also being responsible for bringing coffee/milk new cups etc to the stateroom.i.e. the steward comes straight from cleaning the bathroom/toilet to delivering new cups/coffee/milk etc. This is not the fault of our steward who was friendly, helpful and attentive. More it is an organizational fault instigated by management and should be rectifed by them. 2) Many of the tables in King's Court are unstable. Not only does this make eating a meal somewhat unpleasant, but one table we sat at was so unstable that we spilt a cup of scalding hot coffee. Given the status and calibre of QM2 it seems unbelievable that this easy to solve problem had not been rectified by the end of the voyage despite a number of complaints from passengers. 3) The facilities at the guest laundrettes are woefully inadequate for the number of passengers -18 washing machines (when they are all working) for over 2,500 passengers. The numbers tell the story. The situation was exacerbated because the cost of having the laundry done by the ship was so high - at the cheapest it was two dollars per item. This situation bought out the worst in some passengers with angry outbursts and aggressive behaviour. Our suggestion that the cost (of having the laundry done by the ship) be brought down to alleviate the situation was rejected. Positives - 1) Stateroom was large, comfortable, well decorated and on a day to day basis worked very well. We loved the balcony which was spacious enough to sit out in comfort and afforded us some spectcular sights. 2) Ship was spectacular with a wide range of activities although we did find that many started too late in the evening for us at 9.45 p.m. Day time activities during days at sea were good - regular bridge, art lessons, craft activities etc. and some one off events including a passenger choir, line dancing and even a class where you could learn how to juggle. There were lots of famous and informative speakers giving talks and presentations. The swimming pools, games room, library, gym etc. meant there was plenty to do on board ship and most of these facilities were well run. However some of the teachers were not up to scratch - notebly the first bridge teacher we had at the start of the cruise, and the art teacher who was very knowleageable, but had a poor approach to her students and who could not actually paint very well. This opinion is based on the paintings done by her that she showed us to demonstrate techniques. 3) The staff on board ship were smart, attentive and generally efficient. Many went out of their way to help - the deck hand who climbed the ship's railing to retrieve my husbands hat, the World Voyage conceierge who was so much help when we had to go home early because of illness. Her assistance was of real value and we cannot thank her enough. The disembarkation was as effiicient, fast and as comfortable as it was possible to be given the circumstances. 4) The ship's shore excursions were varied and well organized given the very real constraints experienced in some ports, but we did find the cost of these to be high. We ended up using other cruise excursion operators and found these to be less expensive and more geared to our individual wishes. 5) Food was generally good, varied and there were a wide range of venues although some incurred additional charges.The Brittania Restaurant served lovely food - I can reccommend the ice cream!. We also took advantage of the free room service - breakfast on our balcony was particularly welcome on the days we went ashore on excursions. Overall we had a fabulous time, and were particularly impressed with the care taken by Cunard staff in difficult circumstances. Nothing was too much trouble when there was a problem,evident in the care taken of us when I was ill, which was second to none. The ship is magnificent, lots of stylish and attractive areas with the WOW factor. It attracted a lot of attention in virtually every port we visited. A trip to remember. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
First experience of cruising for more than 17 nights. This cruise was. 44 nights with 4 night stay in Sydney. The cruise was great. A few days of rough weather over bay of biscay (as expected). Sea sickness tablets worked a treat, ... Read More
First experience of cruising for more than 17 nights. This cruise was. 44 nights with 4 night stay in Sydney. The cruise was great. A few days of rough weather over bay of biscay (as expected). Sea sickness tablets worked a treat, There were two ports we had to abort because of bad weather: bay of islands and Tonga. This is something you have to expect when cruising which us beyond the control of the captain. Headliner shows always excellent and always generates a full house. Some of the other not always great. Lots of activities during the day to keep you busy during sea days. Spa very expensive. Gym facilities great and free. Food a little disappointing but plenty of it - you won't go hungry! We went on most excursions but a lot of the time you can do your own thing a lot cheaper. Highlights were: Alcatraze, Panama Canal, Pearl Harbour. We enjoyed all the ports on this cruise. Absolutely fab. Best ports San Francisco, Auckland and Sydney. Left luggage - a case on ship which we will collect in April when Arcadia returns to Southampton. We were concerned about the long haul flight for our return journey which turned out great. We flew with Singapore Airlines from Sydney to Singapore and then Singapore to Heathrow. Time just flew. Great current movies on flight, constant drinks and food/meals coming round. Would definitely fly again with them the same journey. 10 out of 10 flight. I think this length of cruise was enough for us but alot of other cruisers were staying on for the full 99 nights. If you are considering this cruise next year I would say go for it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We travelled before with CMV on the Marco Polo and now we did make the trip for 75 days from Amsterdam to Hong Kong and where very satisfied over all again. The cleaning was excellent. Also the food was good most of the time. The main ... Read More
We travelled before with CMV on the Marco Polo and now we did make the trip for 75 days from Amsterdam to Hong Kong and where very satisfied over all again. The cleaning was excellent. Also the food was good most of the time. The main dishes were unfortunately often very fat. The buffet was a good alternative. There was a good choice of drinks. The information about the packages could be better. Only the all include drinking package was offered. I did find out that there were also wine beer and coffee packages. Most of the staff was very kind and help full . Also the girls at reception were very kind but they were not helpful at all. One day I asked them to find a dentist for me in the next harbour, because the internet was out again. There answer was that I had to make the phone call myself from the cabin for £7 a minute. But who should I call? A lady from the tourist office in Auckland was very helpful to find it out for me. Me be CMV can hire here. Also to other questions they were friendly and smiled all the time but did not anything to solve the problem. And this was confirmed be other passengers as well. The excursions were far overpriced. But most of them were ok. If you did complain about an excursion they tried to tell you that you were the only one who had complained, but if one insists and could prove that the whole bus was not satisfied and even the host wrote a negative report, one gets a small reduction. So look very carefully if you can make the tour on your own before booking, because cancelling is no option. The two pools are very nice to swim, and one could always find an place to sit. The gym was open very early. Most of the passengers were over 65 , but the choice of music was for teenagers and far too loud . Also in the bars in the evening the life music was too loud also , so one could not make any conversation. The cabin was ok and the service from the cabin boy was excellent. Also the air condition in the cabin was adjustable. Unfortunately the air condition in the rest of the ship was very bad. In the gym far too hot. In the theatre also too hot. In Capucino’s and the atrium freezing cold ! Disembarkation was not always very efficient. Normally excursions go first by call on a tender number, but at some places everybody was cueing to go on shore at the same time. A bloody shame was the medical centre. People were forced to have an infusion for a simple cold. If one refused to take it, they threatened that you have to leave the ship. They charged more than £ 1000 for such in infusion. Some passengers got a bill for over £ 10.000 and to pay it immediately by credit card . CMV should change this service. It looks like mafia. Never the less we go again on a long cruise with CMV next year Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We traveled with Viking before and liked the way they did things The food was great the staff and crew weee wonderful attentive Although overworked! The crew and staff did their best to ensure everyone’s safety Some of the ... Read More
We traveled with Viking before and liked the way they did things The food was great the staff and crew weee wonderful attentive Although overworked! The crew and staff did their best to ensure everyone’s safety Some of the passengers were obnoxious demanding and very rude to the crew and staff More disciplinary actions should have been taken towards those obnoxious passengers though The ports of call were fantastic and there was so much to see We felt safe at all times Some of the passengers came on board sick and their coughs and colds spread like wild fire The medical staff was excellent and caring ensuring the health and stability of the passengers I wish though that some of the staff would not have been so negatively chatty with the passengers One in particular was the female singer who talked about the passengers in a very negative way She was the opera singer and thought she was the “star” of the Viking Sun She was very negative Unfortunately she is on the new around the world cruise this year 2019 that left early January Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was my second expedition cruise with Silver Seas; the first having been on the Prince Albert II in Svalbard. Therefore I had high expectations, most of which were met. I agree with other reviewers that the ship is old and needs to ... Read More
This was my second expedition cruise with Silver Seas; the first having been on the Prince Albert II in Svalbard. Therefore I had high expectations, most of which were met. I agree with other reviewers that the ship is old and needs to be replaced. There is only so much cosmetic refurbishing that can be done. That said, the rooms were small, but very clean and comfortable. The public areas had also been refurbished. The food was excellent and up to Silverseas standards. The dinner portions were small enough so that you could eat all four courses if desired. Wait staff were excellent and identified me by name soon after we commenced our voyage. My maid and butler were both charming. The maid kept my room looking "together" throughout the voyage. I was pleased to have the butler service so I could have a meal in my room, which I did several times since I returned to the ship after very hot and humid weather excursions and didn't feel like eating in the dining room. I only did "hot rocks" once, but it was a lot of fun and had no problem whatsoever in reserving this. The bar/kitchen near the pool was too small and the wait staff did a super job in trying to cope with inadequate space. Overall I thought the staff was excellent and we had some very interesting lectures, although not the quantity that I experienced on the Arctic cruise. The first lecture was generally at 9:15AM, which was a bit early, esp. on days at sea. Unfortunately, a cyclone off the coast of Madagascar affected our time at Aldabra Atoll. The crew should be commended for being able to land us for a late afternoon walk to the ranger station; at least we were able to see a large number of the Aldabra giant tortoise. Due to the weather, we could not do the lagoon tour or any snorkeling/diving the next day. Most of the coral in the Maldives had been bleached out due to an El Nino in 2016. However, we did see a lot of beautifully colored fish. Snorkelling in the Seychelles was not good due to weather complications. Great great shore excursions in Zanzibar and Victoria. Poor scheduling though because we landed in both on Sundays! Thank you to Jamie again for fixing my mask and getting to my "taxi" on shore in Dar es Salaam. I'm not sure who was at fault for this but there was NO information for pre or post-embarkation/disembarkation or hotels given to me prior to the cruise. I made my own arrangements in Colombo and used the ship's way-overpriced $89 ride from the port in Dar to my centrally-located hotel, which I arranged on my own. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Enjoying immensely our 141 day world cruise, which is Vikings first. First class in every way except the included shore excursions - so don't consider that shore excursions are included when weighing up if this is the cruise for you. ... Read More
Enjoying immensely our 141 day world cruise, which is Vikings first. First class in every way except the included shore excursions - so don't consider that shore excursions are included when weighing up if this is the cruise for you. You have to buy your port excursions through Viking or independently online unless you want crap and don't mind wasting your time. They may look great in print, but this has been our experience port after port. We have sprung for some of Vikings upgraded tours and they have been adequate. We have also booked online through Viator and had wonderful experiences. Amazing cruise director Heather Clancy. Far more things to do on board than we ever expected. Most not needed in our opinion. More wheelchairs and scooters onboard than we ever expected too, since you read in Vikings info that they are not allowed. People who are not able bodied, but who still attempt shore excursions beyond their ability have added to our frustration as large groups are slowed to the speed of the least able bodied. Food is wonderful. Staff fantastic! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017

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