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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Cons - Buffet area was way too crowded for breakfast and lunch and it was hard to walk without bumping into people nearly everyday. Dining in Silhouette was also very crowded and dinner took a full 2 hours and staff seemed like it was ... Read More
Cons - Buffet area was way too crowded for breakfast and lunch and it was hard to walk without bumping into people nearly everyday. Dining in Silhouette was also very crowded and dinner took a full 2 hours and staff seemed like it was struggling to keep up. Outside pool also extremely crowded. Also, 4 and 5 year old kids at the bars 11pm at night. And lastly, the cost for internet was really high, they were asking $28.00 just to buy 5 minutes of internet time to print out my plane tickets. Oh, and no towel animals. What the heck. Pros - Embarkation and debarkation were incredibly fast. Staff was very friendly. Service was Spectacular / Excellent overall and the staff worked really hard and deserve a lot of credit. Ship was also absolutely stunning - the furniture, the decor, the art gallery, everything was just so beautifully done. I had the standard balcony cabin on the 7th floor and it was also Amazing. Also noticed new changes this year - beach towels in cabin, new pillows, bath robes, and the mattress was so comfortable it was like sleeping on a cloud! We were also lucky in that we had nice weather, smooth seas, and the ocean breeze / Caribbean air at night was just perfect. In addition, the ship was incredibly clean - you saw a lot of staff cleaning / up-keeping the ship which was good. Our cabin was cleaned twice a day and our room attendant did an amazing job. The public bathrooms were also the cleanest I've ever seen in my entire life and I've been on a lot of cruises. Also, the hand towels in the public restrooms is a great idea. In addition, the entertainment was really excellent. Comedian Billy Garan and Jimmy Carol were a 10 out of 10. And the show "Topper" was great with the dancers in the artistic costumes and beautiful set design. The music throughout the ship was also good and there was LOTS of it - lots of musical shows in the theater, bands / singers at the pool and bars often and singers / band in the grand foyer every night and for the 4th of July party and the Great Gatsby party. There were also a lot more activities on the ship from when I went last year. Also,our cruise director Martin, was the BEST EVER - funny, entertaining, great party host, and he explained things very well. He was an A++ In addition, his dancing elevator scheme was very funny in how he caught passengers off guard in the elevator during the Great Gatsby party, and made them dance to get to their floor. The Food was u n b e l i e v a b l e. The quality and variety of food at the buffet was Astounding. Ribeye steak cooked to order one night. . as well as calamari, oxtail, chicken pot pie, and all kinds of fancy fish, pork, chicken and beef dishes. Many times the meat was so tender you could cut it with a spoon. Buffet desserts were also epic especially the german chocolate cake, the vanilla cannolis, and the butter cakes. And in the main dining room Silhouette, Superb new york sirloin steak, rack of lamb, shrimp scampi, creme brulee, strawberry cheesecake, and baked alaska. The mixed drinks were also made to perfection and the specialty coffee / espresso at Cafe Al Bacio was really good. Ports - ALL FABULOUS - Costa Maya was my favorite - took the short tram / taxi ride to Mahahaul beach which is the most beautiful beach I've ever been too - crystal clear warm water and no waves and palm trees that come right up to the water. Plus a great boardwalk with shops and cute cafes. However, did not like seeing all the homeless dogs not being cared for by locals and I had to buy them food / clean water for them. Wish I could have took them home with me. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because we had not been to Spain (except for Barcelona which we love), Lisbon or Porto, Gibralter or Morocco. The ports of call and shore excursions were fantastic. We saw many beautiful sights and learned a lot. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had not been to Spain (except for Barcelona which we love), Lisbon or Porto, Gibralter or Morocco. The ports of call and shore excursions were fantastic. We saw many beautiful sights and learned a lot. The ship itself was truly wonderful. The captain and officers were friendly and affable (not to mention very competent), the Executive Chef talented and sooooo personable, the Cruise Director (Handre) phenomenal and the cabin stewards perfect. All the wait staff in the restaurants were professional and at the same time welcoming. The entertainment was over-the-top wonderful. Seabourn does things right, and makes every trip a special adventure. One of the reasons that we love Seabourn is that the all-inclusive program makes the voyage so relaxing. The food is quality over quantity, and every meal was terrific. The deck parties were very enjoyable (lobster on the grill, dancing, champagne and caviar in the pool), and we were impressed by the "specialty restaurant," the Grill by Thomas Keller. One of our favorite activities was shopping in the market in Malaga with Chef Jes; the fish and produce were as fresh as they could be. The excursions were expensive, but the quality of the guides was excellent. The only negative on the excursions was the "hard sell" venues we were forced into in Casablanca and Tangier. They should offer a shopping excursion for passengers that are interested in buying rugs. One of our pet peeves, however, is that the internet service is ridiculously expensive. Since Oceana is offering free internet to its passengers, all other cruise lines should follow suit. We would highly recommend the Ovation for your next trip! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I don’t want to make this a long winded review but I’m so unhappy with this cruise that I feel I have to share my experience with everyone. I’ll try to make it short. Food: The buffet was extremely disappointing, especially ... Read More
I don’t want to make this a long winded review but I’m so unhappy with this cruise that I feel I have to share my experience with everyone. I’ll try to make it short. Food: The buffet was extremely disappointing, especially breakfast. The buffet was very predictable. Every day for breakfast they would have the same basic breakfast items. No variety, no additions. Only the same basic breakfast items you would get for breakfast at your standard hotel. No steak with your eggs. The only meats they offered, every day, was sausage and bacon, period. No specialty pancakes, if they had them at all. Just basic breakfast food. Anyone that’s been on other cruise lines knows they usually mix it up in the buffet to give the passenger variety, but not on Norwegian. The food was extremely predictable and simple. They tried to insert some variety into the dinner buffet but it was just the same food with a different name. Main Dining Room: We ate at Savor on our first night. The receptionist didn’t even look up at us when assigning our table. The service was extremely slow. Our entire dinner took 2 hour and 37 minutes (yes, we started timing it because it was so slow). We needed refills on our drinks and our waiter had to do the refills after we asked 3 times, then he apologized because his assistant just “disappeared.” It took exactly 18 minutes to serve our kids deserts from the time they picked up our dinner plates, they had jello for desert. We tried the Tropicana room next and the service was a little improved. Specialty Dining: We tried Moderno, the Brazilian Churrascaria. The room was very nice. The waiters were also pleasant but the food, the meat, was mostly very bland, very little flavor. We decided to try Teppanyaki next, the hibachi restaurant. Teppanyaki was fantastic. The food was worth every penny and the chefs were great. We ate at Teppanyaki twice during this cruise. Buffet Issues: The staff at the buffet appeared unengaged and unmotivated. There was no sense of urgency with anything with this staff. After passengers would finish their meals, the tables would not be cleaned off for a while. Several times we had to sit at a dirty table, with the previous passengers dishes, because there were no available tables to sit at. We would be halfway through our meal before anyone came to clean the table off. Also, throughout the entire cruise, food would go empty at the buffet and there was no one there to restock the food items. This occurred with the pizza and the specialty food every day. I started taking videos and pictures of empty buffet areas with passengers waiting for food in order to send to Norwegian. I also complained to one of the crew managers in the buffet and he stated he was in charge of the seating areas in the buffet and the chef is in charge of the food, and this is a common problem with the chef’s staff that also frustrates him. Also, the buffet food is routinely cold. Kids Splash Academy: Every night the kids Splash Academy would hit capacity and no additional kids would allowed in. Here’s my issue with this. Number 1, this was a Florida spring break cruise with a lot of kids. Number 2, Norwegian knew it was a spring break cruise and knew exactly how many kids would be on the cruise. Number 3, using historical data, Norwegian knows the percentage of passengers with kids that typically use the Splash Academy. And Number 4, Norwegian booked several adult only shows on the cruise. Taking all this information into account, Norwegian failed to adequately plan for a high number of kids on their cruise during times when they were showing adult only shows. This was a clear failure on Norwegian’s part to take their passengers’ needs into considering. Norwegian should have had a backup plan for overcapacity in the Splash Academy, especially on adult only show nights. This was a clear failure on Norwegian’s part to anticipate. Definitely not a family friendly cruise line. Norovirus: And to top it all off, my son was running a fever towards the end of the cruise. I called the front desk and ask for someone to take my son’s temperature or provide a thermometer so we could take his temperature. We were told it would be $150 to have my son’s temperature taken. I thought this was completely ridiculous. Once we returned home we found out my son had the Norovirus and Adrenal Virus. I can’t believe Norwegian would want to charge $150 just to take someone’s temperature. I can guarantee you that certain other cruise lines do not charge you for something this routine and simple as taking temperature. I can honestly go on and on but I won’t. Put simply, this cruise line is not worth the time or money. This is my first Norwegian cruise, but my 12th cruise overall and I can tell you, this cruise line is at the bottom of my list. Prior to my cruise I read a lot of great Norwegian reviews and I just can’t figure it out. Maybe they were first time cruisers or maybe these are folks that just don’t get out much and didn’t have anything to compare it to. Don’t get me wrong, the ship is beautiful, where I believe Norwegian fell short is with its people, its staff. The human factor made this a horrible cruise for us. Cruise are your own risk with Norwegian. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I'll start this review as I have started all of my previous ones, with a bit of an introduction: My wife and I do 2-3 cruises a year, nearly all of them with Celebrity. We are 30 & 26 years old respectively, and have sailed the ... Read More
I'll start this review as I have started all of my previous ones, with a bit of an introduction: My wife and I do 2-3 cruises a year, nearly all of them with Celebrity. We are 30 & 26 years old respectively, and have sailed the Caribbean a half-dozen times. I will be writing this with the target audience of "First Timers" and will hope to shed some light on what we enjoy, and don't enjoy about cruising with Celebrity, and on the beautiful Equinox. Why this cruise? My wife is a school teacher, so we take a 7 day cruise every year on her Spring Break. We don't have bitter winters here in Central Alabama, but the end of March is the perfect time to hop down into the beautiful weather that the Caribbean offers year-round. We started off cruising Carnival years ago, but ultimately made the jump to Celebrity as we wanted something more sophisticated and relaxing. We don't like to be charged for every single item on a cruise, so we love that Celebrity allows us to go for the "all inclusive" package. We book through a wonderful Travel Agent who only does cruises. We went on board with a drink package, prepaid tips (paid by TA), and $450 on board credit. With Celebrity, the OBC can be used to book excursions, specialty restaurants, on board shopping, or virtually anything else you buy on board. Frankly, its one of the main reasons we sail with Celebrity. All in all, we got a beautiful Concierge Class Balcony and all the perks for well under $3000 for the entire trip. We brought about $500 US in cash for port spending and tipping on board.We have found that, with all of the inclusions, its really hard to beat Celebrity on price. Add in the service and the wonderful food, and its a no-brainer for us. We also have been fortunate enough to have my parents join us for each of the last three spring break cruises. Its wonderful to be on any cruise ship, but even better when you can spend the time with family. My parents being older, do not want a "party cruise". Celebrity offers a wonderful atmosphere that allows everyone to have a great time but not at the expense of others. The Equinox: After having sailed on her twice, it comes as zero surprise that the Equinox wins "Best Overall" on CruiseCritic every year. Its a beautiful ship with a very user friendly layout. At 121k GT, it sits right in the happy medium of cruise ships in terms of size. There is plenty to do, plenty of room, and yet still small enough to be able to get comfortable with the entire ship over the course of 7 short days. Our two favorite areas of the ship are the sundeck and the main atrium. Both are absolutely stunning whether it is day or night. Decks 3-6 are where all the magic happens. Bars surround the atrium on all sides but they are presented in a way that is very classy and doesn't ever feel crowded. The four main bars that we frequent are all very different in design and styles, and they are spread out in a way that no place ever feels particularly crowded. The martini bar and the Gastropub are opposite each other from the atrium. One serves decadent martinis in dozens of flavors and all is served in a beautiful lounge and a solid ice bar top. The Gastropub has the feel of a rustic craft beer bar that has an awesome selection of beers from around the world. This bar has ESPN running on TVs so it was crowded while the NCAA basketball tournament was going. The World Class bar is a really cool bar near the art gallery and shops. This bar has two "mixologist" that are expert beverage makers. I go here to experiment and try new drinks that I may not have tried otherwise. This requires the premium drink package, but you can literally tell them you like whisky, citrus, and sweet drinks and they will come up with something you've never tried before. Its a wonderful place to hang out before dinner or after shows, especially if your wife enjoys shopping as much as mine does! This last bar is my personal favorite: The Sunset Bar. Its an outdoor bar that is open from morning til late at night. It is at the top of the boat and at the aft, so the breeze and views are breathtaking. The Equinox, like all Solstice class ships, are covered in real grass on the aft 1/3 of the top deck. Its something extremely unique about Celebrity and its really neat to be in the middle of the ocean and have grass between your toes. All in all, its a wonderfully balanced ship. Its large enough for there to be plenty of options in how you spend your days, but small enough to still feel intimate. Captain Kate Mccue: Oh Captain, My Captain! I'll admit I was a skeptic at first. Not that I thought she was a bad Captain, but I didn't believe a Captain could have a significant impact on a cruise vacation. Most Captains that I have sailed with are only worried about doing their jobs, getting us to and from our destinations safely, and they allow the entertainers and the service staff to provide us a good time. And while that is completely fine, Captain Kate is amazing! Her personality infects the entire ship and everyone stops what they are doing when she speaks over the PA. She is an awesome Captain, and every single bit as good as she is advertised. I cannot say enough how impressed I am with her, other than it would be a mistake for Celebrity to ever let her go! Stateroom: Concierge Cabin (C2) Room 1249. The stateroom is the same as any veranda on the ship outside of Suites, but this cabin does offer a unique feature that only a few cabins on the entire ship offer... a larger balcony. The Equinox has a few "bump outs" or "humps" in her design that cause a few of the cabins on each floor "bulge" out a few feet. At the angles of these "bumps" you get a slanted balcony. From the nearest corner, it is no smaller than any other balcony on the ship, but at its widest, its nearly twice as long. Our deck chairs came with ottomans and the chairs reclined enough that we effectively had loungers on our balconies. We didn't get quite the breeze off the balcony due to where we were, but the extra balcony space will be missed on the cruises that we dont have it. Room layout is spacious enough for a cruise cabin, our bed was near the balcony compared to others that are near the bathroom. Speaking of the bathroom, its about average in size if you are used to balcony rooms. The shower has simple but elegant sliding glass door that doesn't waste any space. In concierge class we had access to slightly better bathroom toiletries and cosmetics. My wife didn't seem particularly impressed with the shampoo, but there could have been other factors that led to that. Dining: In this section is where we found the best and worst that our particular vacation had to offer. We went into this cruise knowing we would be doing a night or two in specialty dining, specifically Murano. I'll dive into the specialty restaurants in a bit, but lets get the not-so-pleasant out of the way. Please understand that we have never had an issue in the Main Dining Room. Celebrity does dining very well, and I'd even argue that it is one of their strengths. This time, we just weren't impressed. My wife, myself, and my parents got sat at a very nice four top. The MDR is crowded as it is on all ships, so that didn't bother us. We had a very nice and attentive head waiter, and the food both nights that we dined there was excellent. The bar/drink service however, was severely lacking. My father and I managed to get our wine quickly enough usually, but my wife and mother waited 15-30 minutes for their bar drinks every time they ordered. It became such an issue that our poor head waiter would go off running to get the drinks himself. This isn't a major issue, I am aware of that, but I expect more from Celebrity. After two identical services with the identical problems we called our Concierge (perk of concierge class) and told her about the issue and she asked if she could inform the Maitre'D. Literally 5 minutes later the Maitre'D had ran up to our rooms to apologize, hear our feedback, and promised to improve the service going forward. People, this is what makes Celebrity different. There are 3000 people eating dinner in his beautiful dining room, and he stopped mid-service to run up to our room to personally apologize and ask how to fix it. The next day we got back from a day at port and my parents and I each had a bottle of nice champagne from the Maitre'D, it was a wonderful gesture and we were impressed. Now as it turned out, we had a reservation at the famous Murano that evening. When we left Murano we were so blown away that we called our Concierge and asked her to book us in specialty dining for the remainder of the cruise. These restaurants are not free, nor cheap, but our concierge got us 20-40% off the listed price each night we dined in a specialty restaurant. So, in the end we never got to go back in the MDR, but I am convinced that the issues would have been fixed. Murano If you do one thing on a Celebrity Cruise, eat dinner at Murano. The first night of the cruise they offer it at a discount if you book ahead of time. My father and I are "foodies" and love fine dining. We both agreed that the Murano dinner service and quality of food is an experience that would be incredible even if it weren't on a cruise ship. Every single aspect, from the bread to the Grand Marnier Souffle is perfect. Lobster Murano is a top 5 dish that I have ever experiences and is cooked table side with everything from bacon, to lobster cooked in a cognac mustard creme sauce. We were so impressed that we booked it for every remaining night of the cruise that we could. One night they were fully booked, so we tried Tuscan Grille. It was very good, but with it being a for-fee Italian steakhouse, we left miserably full compared to the lighter and more elegant Murano. Entertainment & Activities This will be rather short as we did not attend any of the main productions in the theater. Celebrity keeps the same shows for 3-5 years before cycling them out, with us sailing on the Equinox as frequently as we do, there weren't any that we hadn't already seen. We did however attend the comedy shows and watch a lot of live music. The comedian was great and the house band was excellent as well. Celebrity offers other activities like bingo, concerts, seminars, and workshops that many find to be fantastic. Admittedly we mainly go find somewhere quiet near a bar, as we are both young and always seem to be around crowds on land, we enjoy a more laid back experience on the boat. Service With the exception of the MDR, which I consider a fluke rather than a flaw, service is impeccable on Celebrity. Tipping is a hot topic on any cruise forum, but I can definitively say that when I hand a bartender or my room steward a $10/$20 bill on the first day, they take care of my wife and I the rest of the voyage. I personally try to find a specific bartender in my most regular bars and tip heavy on days 1/2. I tip $1 a drink the remainder of the time and I am having another drink brought to me before the first one is finished. Celebrity has a wonderful staff and an underappreciated staff/guest ratio. I think the reason they named it "Celebrity Cruises" is because of how they want each and every guest to feel. It really is what makes them so special. Cafe Al Bacio: I couldn't figure out the best place to include this place in any of my previous sections, so I ultimately decided that it needed its own. Bacio is arguably the most loved place on the ship. They are a full service coffee & dessert bar that is open all day. In the morning people are getting their day started with anything from a cappuccino to a cup of decaf, and late at night every table is full with people winding down in the low light setting of an old city jazz bar. The live music from the atrium fills the bar and its just a super unique place to relax and enjoy yourselves. It sounds so simple and quaint, but I am amazed that every cruise ship in the world doesn't mimic this place into their own. Ports & Excursions: We loved every port we stopped at. We are very familiar with the Western Caribbean so only Key West was a first time port for us. Everyone has different interests at respective ports, so I will just tell you what we do every time and you look for more information if you wish. Key West: We wandered on our own, Key West isnt a large town and most of the cool stuff is near the ship. There are tours galore and a really neat aquarium nearby. Grab you a piece of Key Lime Pie and a Conch Fritter and enjoy your first stop of the cruise! Grand Cayman: 7 Mile Beach at Calico Jacks. You go to this beach for the water as it is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. CJ's is great, but very crowded. Costa Maya: New favorite port in the Western Caribbean. The port itself is a maze, but very very beautiful. We find our way out and go to Maya Chan Beach Resort every chance we get. Check it out, its the epitome of a relaxing beach day. Cozumel: I have an answer to the famous Sancho's vs Nochi debate... Sancho's is the best! All inclusive, wonderful service, and a beautiful (safe) beach. We go every time we are in Cozumel and have no plans of changing! In Conclusion: My wife and I fell in love with cruising on our honeymoon and have been blessed to go one more than most our age. Celebrity is a perfect fit for what we want to do and how we want to spend our time on the boat. Its generally an older crowd, but we cruise like "older people". We have 2 more cruises currently booked with Celebrity, and 81 days cannot get here soon enough! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We had already booked a 12 day Galápagos Adventure with another company. Our travel agent suggested the Aria post cruise as we were already in South America! The Aria is state of the art, gourmet food, 4 enthusiastic knowlegable guides, ... Read More
We had already booked a 12 day Galápagos Adventure with another company. Our travel agent suggested the Aria post cruise as we were already in South America! The Aria is state of the art, gourmet food, 4 enthusiastic knowlegable guides, and adventures galore. Imagine breakfast floating on the Amazon, paddling a dugout canoe with a tarantula swimming alongside, Mimosas in a skiff at sunset and nighttime searches for anacondas! I kid you not! It is worth every cent and memories will remain forever! Please do not buy Jaguar handbags from the locals. You cannot bring them back through customs! But do buy their silver jewellery, fruits, nuts and beaded earrings. Customs also confiscated spices, seed necklaces and bracelets. The Aria Amazon had a great little gift shop with a tasteful selection of both costume and expensive jewellery at fair prices. Meant to have a massage but no time! Be sure to attend cooking class and a Pisco Sour workshop! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our third Seabourn cruise, second on the Quest and we chose this one because we wanted to see Antarctica. Once again, we entered a world of comfort, luxury and plenty, all delivered with kindness and good humour by the hard ... Read More
This was our third Seabourn cruise, second on the Quest and we chose this one because we wanted to see Antarctica. Once again, we entered a world of comfort, luxury and plenty, all delivered with kindness and good humour by the hard working staff and crew. However unlike our previous two Seabourn cruises, we were quite disappointed by the vegetarian food on offer. Cabin Our cabin was on Deck 6,and right up the front of the ship. We had a beautiful big room with a verandah, a separate lounge room, a big comfortable bed and a big bathroom with a bath, with high quality and plentiful bath products and big, soft towels. There was plenty of storage and the view from the verandah was uninterrupted. However on the rare occasions we sailed through rough seas, we certainly rocked a lot. We will book a cabin mid ships on our next cruise. We like good air flow when we are sleeping and once again, the air conditioner did not meet our needs. The cabin was too stuffy and we had the same problem last year and on the Encore the year before. We solved this by bringing our own fan and we were very comfortable. A couple of times throughout the cruise, we had a "meet your neighbours" party. This is a great idea. Dining My husband and I are vegetarian and although there was plenty for us to eat, a lot of the dishes were mediocre. They were very bland and often stodgy and we seemed to have those bland and stodgy dishes over and over again. However we often dined with passengers who chose the meat dishes and they reported that their steaks were succulent and their chicken and pork were cooked to perfection. It's as if Seabourn are ticking a box to say they cater to vegetarians but then fail to produce fine food. However the vegetarian options on the two occasions they held a Galley Market and the special Indian buffet dinner they held one night in the Colonnade were outstanding. We also placed a special breakfast order for vegetarian congee and this dish was also outstanding. The chefs can clearly prepare beautifully spiced dishes when necessary and I only wish they could do it all the time. Vegetarians on all cruise ships seem to be treated with the same contempt as someone who asks for an overcooked steak and I don't think we deserve that. There's a whole market of cashed up vegetarians Seabourn could attract if they really tried to cater to our needs. The waiters on Seabourn are the best of the best. Incredibly inspiring people, I may be in the minority here, but I don't like or understand Seabourn's practice of having the staff offer an arm to a woman, which the woman is then under some pressure to grab while they are escorted to their table in the Restaurant. It is not a custom I am used to and the feminist in me really objects. I always feel uncomfortable and I'm sure these busy young people have better things to do. We have dined in upmarket restaurants all over the world and have not experienced this practice anywhere else. Perhaps they could have an opt in policy for those who enjoy this experience and leave the rest of us alone. Drink The wine ranged from good to acceptable and there was always plenty to choose from. There was a huge variety of cocktails and they were plentiful. The bar staff were wonderful. Public Spaces Even at full capacity, Seabourn ships never feel crowded. We could always find a quiet spot to read or simply watch the world go by. On the other hand, if we wanted company or entertainment, there was always somewhere to go. The whirlpool on deck 6 was a haven for us and we usually had it to ourselves. It was the place to be when sailing away. . Fitness Centre My husband attended the complimentary stretch and exercise classes each day and found them excellent. The instructor was very capable and he gave my husband lots of advice on how to continue the program once he came home. Entertainment We were on the Quest last year, so this time when we went to the shows put on by the extremely talented Seabourn singers and dancers, we were surprised to find that the shows were exactly the same as last year. Even some of the costumes were the same. Seabourn encourages us to be repeat cruisers and we are very happy to oblige, but it would be nice to see something different. The entertainment on the whole was very good but tended to be middle of the road and designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Seabourn's passengers are generally well educated and sophisticated, but most of the music would have appealed to our long deceased parents. For heaven's sake, we were alive in the sixties and went through one of the most profound musical revolutions in history. We can handle entertainment which is current and inspiring and multi-dimensional and I'm sure the talented entertainers onboard would have loved performing this type of material. On the other hand, we were huge fans of Josie and the trio in the Club and we usually ended up there every night. Now they really can handle modern music. We also enjoyed the various parties on the pool deck and in the Club. Jess, the Assistant Cruise Director is an outstanding entertainer. Staff and Crew Iggy and the expedition team were outstanding and I can't thank them enough for the wonderful experience they arranged for us in Antarctica. We always knew exactly what we had to do and when we had to do it and all the time they shared their incredible knowledge with us. They were always true professionals while being kind and warm and funny. The Captain was also a true professional and a wonderful communicator and we always knew we were in good hands. The weather is volatile going to and from Antarctica and each day he told us what the weather was doing and how he was going to deal with it. We were very impressed. The staff in every Department were well trained and incredibly good at their jobs. Seabourn only employs the best of the best and it shows. Excursions Antarctica was the highlight of this cruise and Neko Harbour was the highlight of Antarctica. It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. We were fortunate that the weather was perfect for the 6 days we were there, so we saw everything we set out to see. Only 100 people are allowed on shore at any one time and Seabourn's expedition team organised us like a military operation. We knew exactly what we had to do and when we had to do it. They helped us on and off zodiacs, even those passengers with disabilities, and helped us once we were on shore. They laid out trails for us and kept us away from the seals basking on the beaches and the penguins' walking trails, but we were close enough to see them. The penguins were lovely. The expedition team also made sure we cleaned our boots before we returned to the ship so we didn't cross contaminate the next place we went to. Otherwise we covered a large area of the continent of South America and the excursions were really well organised and great value. The outstanding sights were the fjords in Chile, the Falkland Islands, Buenos Aires, Montevideo and everywhere in Brazil. Passengers Mostly American with a few Australians and English but quite a few other nationalities as well. Age range 60 and upwards. Mostly well educated, well travelled, lovely people who were thrilled to be on board such a lovely ship, living in the lap of luxury and having such a wonderful experience. They were a pleasure to spend time with. However it always amazes me how a small minority are constantly complaining about anything and everything and thought nothing of being very rude to the staff. They seem to get off on it. Internet Very patchy and as other reviewers have said, it should be part of the package. In summary, this was a wonderful experience and going to Antarctica was life changing. Seabourn Quest is one of only a handful of small ships that can go there and we were very fortunate to be able to take this journey. I'm sure we will now all be ambassadors to make sure this remarkable place stays as pristine as it now is. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Needed a two bedroom to travel with a snorer. The ship is huge. Food in the Haven was excellent. The Manhattan room was very good but didn’t return because the band was very very loud. The Burn the Floor show was great but didn’t ... Read More
Needed a two bedroom to travel with a snorer. The ship is huge. Food in the Haven was excellent. The Manhattan room was very good but didn’t return because the band was very very loud. The Burn the Floor show was great but didn’t see others. I have been on many cruise lines and never experienced one before this one that charges for the better shows and charges for cocktails and umbrellas on their private island. REALLY?? With our drink package on their island we were offered beer but all alcohol otherwise you had to pay for. Fortunately we did find some shade so didn’t have to rent the umbrella. The biggest disappointment was at St Thomas. We had to be back on the ship at 1:30. So after taking an excursion we had to get right back to the ship. I did really enjoy everything about the Haven’s cabin, dining room, clubs and bar but the only criticism is when the band starts playing on deck 15 the piped in music at the Posh club should be turned down so you don’t have to listen to two songs at the same time. We would have enjoyed hearing the live music only. Also the service in the Haven was top notch. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our fourth cruise and it was very disappointing. We went on the Sinfonia in 2011 and it was awesome, not crowded, no queue's, there was always place to relax on the top deck. This time it was over crowded and loud and the ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise and it was very disappointing. We went on the Sinfonia in 2011 and it was awesome, not crowded, no queue's, there was always place to relax on the top deck. This time it was over crowded and loud and the buffet restaurant was a disaster. There were never place to sit and the dirty dishes was all over the place, not to talk about the food quantity. I think MSC is now focusing on quantities and not quality. the bar's and lounges was good, the music was okay, was hoping to have at least an Italian band like the time on the Sinfonia. The theatre shows was medium and also very short. I would really not recommend this to my family and friends as it felt that we were in an South African Hotel where its over crowded and people are dishing as if there is no tomorrow. The fine dining in the evenings was okay, not like it used to be. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
No matter what nationality you are, when you travel with Costa Cruise you will become Italian and live in an atmosphere full of love and human warmth. Italians are different from everyone, they are unique in the way they live their ... Read More
No matter what nationality you are, when you travel with Costa Cruise you will become Italian and live in an atmosphere full of love and human warmth. Italians are different from everyone, they are unique in the way they live their lives with others. The secret is in human contact, in the way they make you feel comfortable and important at same time , they know that everyone has a weakness for good food, pizza, pasta. wine, sweets and the beautiful Italian and Neapolitan melodic songs, I have had experiences with other Cruise Companies as: Carnival, Princess and Royal Caribbean but with Costa I reserve indelible memories, I do not exaggerate but the cleanliness that I have always found on Costa Cruise ships I have not found them from any others Cruises Ship For this and more if you decide to take a cruise I recommend Costa Cruise My next cruise will be with Costa Cruise again Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was my first cruise on aboard a Celebrity ship. And I love it. The quality of the instalations, decoration, services and food on Silhouette is excellent. Many islands of this itinerary are very poor so I recommend a celebrity ... Read More
This was my first cruise on aboard a Celebrity ship. And I love it. The quality of the instalations, decoration, services and food on Silhouette is excellent. Many islands of this itinerary are very poor so I recommend a celebrity excursion to enjoy the trip. There are good excursion offered aboard. We stayed at a corner aft suite on deck 12. It was fantastic. The suite is very large, comfortable and the varanda looking backwards great. The suite class has services, like Michaels Club and Luminae restaurant that worth the extra money. suite class can also go to Blue, the Acqua Class restaurant. Suite class also provide priority embarkation and debarkation. Everything you need abroad you can use the Michaels Club Concierge. The specialty restaurants are great - worth a visit to all of them. We went to Murano - super elegant, Qsine - amazing Petit Chef show before each course, Porch was delicious - I recommend to go for lunch to enjoy the view. Sushi on Five we loved it and is a very good option for lunch as it stays open longer than the Main Restaurant. The Lawn Club Grill is an experience, specially if you are invited to cook your own food with the chefs. The entertainment is very good also - many options all the time. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
I really enjoyed the cruise, overall. It felt a bit like a summer camp for adults, which I'm still deciding whether or not I liked. Two of the dining room staff even sang "wash your hands" songs with their guitar as we ... Read More
I really enjoyed the cruise, overall. It felt a bit like a summer camp for adults, which I'm still deciding whether or not I liked. Two of the dining room staff even sang "wash your hands" songs with their guitar as we walked into the breakfast buffet each morning. The ship itself was a bit older, so there were some rooms that smelled a bit like feet, Dazzles, in particular. Completely understandable, but I might consider a newer ship if I decide to continue cruising in the future. The staff was very friendly, and the service was truly excellent. We chose to purchase the special dining package. If you are a foodie, I highly recommend this!! It was SO well worth the extra money. The Bistro was my absolute favorite of the three, but we truly did enjoy each of the special restaurants on the ship. We had one night in the main dining hall - it was significantly lower quality! It felt more like standard catering at a mediocre wedding. I may have made the mistake of ordering pork belly, because it was pretty hard and crunchy, and tasted absolutely nothing like pork belly. I should have stuck with a simple pasta or chicken dish. I will say that the house cabernet on the ship was really quite good - this was a really pleasant surprise! We didn't take advantage of the shows as much as we probably should have. I'm a performer myself, and have spent so much of my life in that arena, so it can sometimes feel like I'm judging the performance more than relaxing and enjoying the show. That being said, the performances were very good, and the performers were very talented! My favorite excursion was our stop at Nassau. We chose to spend the day on Paradise Island, and purchase the passes for the waterpark at Altantis. It was pricey, but it was definitely worth the cost. Side note - TAKE THE TAXI from Nassau to Paradise Island!!! Do NOT take the water taxi. It will take up an hour of your day (at least), because they wait until the entire boat is filled before leaving. It's also really rocky, so when you're packed in there like sardines, it gets pretty uncomfortable pretty quickly. Other than our poor decision on that, we had an amazing time on the island. I actually want to take a trip to Paradise Island and spend the week there with my whole family. The Atlantis water experience really did feel a bit like walking through paradise. The multiple pools (beautiful) and water rides were maintained incredibly well. Everything was very clean, and didn't have that typical waterpark smell. The grounds were impeccable. We wanted to spend a little time at the casino, but that fell flat when we discovered that they don't have poker tables! This was a bit sad for my me and my husband, as we love to play Texas Hold Em. Maybe I'll put a little bug in Atlantis' ear about that one. :) Overall, a nice experience on Norwegian Sky. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We are Canadian couple over 60s and took a back-to-back cruise on the Celebrity Edge from Dec 20, 2018 to Jan 13, 2019. We were on Aqua Class, deck 9. We have cruised on Celebrity’s Solstice & Millennium, Crystal’s Mozart & ... Read More
We are Canadian couple over 60s and took a back-to-back cruise on the Celebrity Edge from Dec 20, 2018 to Jan 13, 2019. We were on Aqua Class, deck 9. We have cruised on Celebrity’s Solstice & Millennium, Crystal’s Mozart & Symphony, Princess’s Dawn, Sea, Caribbean, Royal, Diamond, Emerald & Viking’s Emerald & Rhinda. This is our first ever NYE cruise and we were very disappointed with our experience on board. The main reason for our disappointment was that we were on a wrong ship for our age and we are not at fault. This ship, while marketed as a technologically advanced ship, was never imaged as a ship for young people ONLY. In fact, half of the ship’s passengers were over 60s and 70s, but this age group were practically ignored in all planned activities, programs and shows. Music broadcasted in public area were music we were not familiar with. To me they were just noise that I had to tune out of. Here is a summary of our experience: Embarkation: Quite smooth and painless. The person who handled our embarkation is a trainee and ours didn’t go as quick as others but still OK. Since we uploaded our pictures already before the cruise, we got on very quickly once we passed the check-in point. (A+) Disembarkation & Embarkation for back-to-back passengers: The process was quite organized. The day before disembarkation, there was a meeting briefing us what to do and to expect. Still, one misinformed staff sent some passengers to the ground floor of the boarding building on disembarkation day, causing them to have to check-in again. We were gathered in one area of the ship around 9:30 am, escorted off the ship to an area where we picked up our new ship cards, then escorted back on the ship. Since we have checked-in for the second cruise before we left home and had uploaded our pictures, we passed through the check point quickly. Others who didn’t upload their pictures would have to have their pictures taken on the spot. They should have an express lane for people like us, who had done all the work beforehand. (A) Ship appearance: I found this ship not very attractive. It looks like a cargo ship with the so-called Magic Carpet painted in ugly orange colour. The front of the ship looks like the back of the ship. Interior decors are all in grey, taupe with a bit of burgundy. Everything bland together and not very cheerful. Furnishings are on the cheap side, and chairs in public area are not comfortable at all due to lack of back support. The deep seats are designed for very tall people with long legs. There are some chairs with high backs but they are in short supply. (D) The Magic Carpet: No magic there. It was marketed as a “cantilevered, floating platform that transforms into new venues at each deck” and can easily transform into a launching pad for ship’s tender. Well, for the 14 days while we were on board, this “Magic Carpet” never moved. There was one port that needs tendering (Grand Cayman), and we got on land just the same old way, using local tender on deck 3. What a disappointment. This Magic Carpet is an eye sore and is totally useless. (F) Holiday Festive Decorations: Minimal. Just a tall lighted Christmas tree with no decoration in the Grand Plaza, and a garland lining a railing on deck 5, overlooking the Grand Plaza. That was it. There was another lighted Christmas tree somewhere else, forgot where. They should take a look at Princess Cruises on their Christmas Sailings, where there are such lavish decorations for the holiday, it made me happy just looking at them. (E) WiFi: Strong signal with decent speed, but costly, about $297/week for Select members with 2 devices. You can actually stream movies with your Chromecast or Apple. (A) Art around ship: Modern Arts, mostly pictures enlarged, and sculptures that are senseless and have no aesthetic appeal to me. Not a fan. Movie on Demand: On our first week, only one Free movie (Alpha) available, other movies costs $7.99 - $14.99 to watch. I think this is outrageous. I’ve never been on a cruise when we had to pay to see a movie in our room. We complained to Guest Relations after one week. They rebooted our TV and we had more free movies available. I think all in-room movies should be free, and we shouldn’t have to complain to get more movie. (E) Entertainment, show production: Only one comedian worth watching – Troy Thirdgill. Show productions were too loud, too chaotic, with poor choreography and weak story. All I saw were arms and legs sticking out here and there like I was watching an aerobic class in action. It seems all those young dancers just picked out whatever they wanted to wear, high boots, short boots, mid-calf boots, side-split skirts, mid-split skirts, random colours, any hairdos, etc. There was no coordination at any level. Lots of people walk out within the first 15 minutes of these shows, every night. I walked out on Ashlie Amber-Harris in “The Purpose”. Somehow, I couldn’t register what she was singing, and I have never heard any of the songs she sang, none of them were melodic enough for me to stay. It was also deafening. (F for the effort) Theatre: Great sound system but the Sound Master cranked it up too loud. Good sight line except for those back rows. In those rows, the mezzanine blocked the top part of the stage. (B) Pool Area: Enough deck chairs, both in sunny and shady area. Two Whirlpools in an elevated area, each with an adjoining shower station. I think they should be located on the same level of the pool, enabling one to get into the pool quickly. Some people were upset that the pool and whirlpool area do not have a chair lift. I support the Celebrity’s decision not to install one. It would be a big turn off for me. A cruise ship is not a long-term care facility. (B) Grand Plaza: Always too noisy for me. There was a baby grand piano there, but no pianist ever to play some soothing background music at anytime. Would be nice to have a pianist playing at tea time on a sea day. What a waste! (D) Casino: This area is a big pleasant surprise, quieter than the Grand Plaza and other public area, not too crowded and is smoke-free! Great place to spend some time there. (A) Card Room, Library and i-Lounge: There is no card/game room or library. Some people just played their cards inside the Oceanview Café, at a time when it was quite crowded. One family played mah-jong there. Celebrity should have put a game room in that dead space with the eerie statures, between the shops and the Blu Restaurant. I-lounge has no privacy panel. Eden: Bright and restful in the daytime, eerie and creepy at night. I don’t get it. The Spa & Thermal Suites: I like this area. There are Aroma Mist Room, Turkish Room, Sauna, Salt Room and an Aromatherapy Room. Although I found the “floats” (thermal heat beds) not warm enough. I barely felt the heat. Unfortunately, on the first week of our cruise, a very sick woman with a very bad cough kept using these rooms as her “therapy” rooms, which really turned us off. She especially loved using the “float”. They should at least post a sign asking people who are sick not to use this facility. (B) Roof Top Garden: A beautiful area but unfortunately often too windy during sailing to enjoy. Smoking area is also right next to it. (B) Excursions: Because we had travelled to most ports in previous cruises, we did not join any Celebrity’s excursion. So, I cannot offer any advice or comment. In Grand Cayman, there is a very nice restaurant called Paradise, about 8 minutes walk from the pier (turn right from the pier). They have a lobster & prawn lunch, for CI$24 (equivalent to US$29) and it was delicious. Clienteles on board: I would estimate over 60% were over 60’s, and 30% gay. Most clients were well mannered, well-groomed and well dressed. Shopping on Board: Very limited, and targeting well-heeled class. Shops found on board are Tiffany, Coach, Cartier, a watch store and a jewelry store. Dining on Board: Because we were in Aqua Class, we have the exclusive use of the Blu Restaurant. This is the saving grace of this otherwise disappointing cruise. Service there was excellent. The maître d’ Erdal Sakar and his staff made us feel special and food there were very good most nights. On the first week of our cruise, we tried to book a table in one of the Specialty Restaurants called French Cut on the second week, but the only seating available were at 9:45 pm on the last sailing day. So, we saved ourselves US$110. Food in Oceanview was OK, not great, except for the Roast Beef which were always very tender. Unfortunately, the gravy served with it were not au jus, but those gooey type made from powder. Salad bar had limited choice and they hid the honey mustard dressing after the first night. I have to ask for it afterwards, then they took it out from the cupboard underneath the counter and served it by the spoonful. In Summary, a back-to-back cruise on the Edge was a mistake. All on board programs and production was repeated on the second week, making the second week boring for back-to-back cruisers. Since all programs and activities were planned for younger generation, we felt left out. We also found the ship poorly designed with lots of dead space. We would not cruise on the Edge again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We have sailed on 100+ cruises with 4 other cruises on Costa. We sailed on Costa Deliziosa on 12/19/18. This was a 7 nt cruise to Nassau, Gtand Turk, Amber Cove & Key West. Deliziosa is a beautiful ship, extremely clean and well ... Read More
We have sailed on 100+ cruises with 4 other cruises on Costa. We sailed on Costa Deliziosa on 12/19/18. This was a 7 nt cruise to Nassau, Gtand Turk, Amber Cove & Key West. Deliziosa is a beautiful ship, extremely clean and well organized. The staff provided excellent service. The food was generally very good. As on any ship, some nights were better than others. Very good pasta and pizza. Christmas Eve special dinner served in Albatross was excellent. Staff seemed happy to be of service. I had some special requests which were always accommodated. Music in most bars nightly. The Animation Team provided fun games, competitions and lots of laughs. They kept the cruise interesting for all ages. What impressed me most was the staff’s willingness to help and to go the extra step to make everyone happy. Something lacking in lots of other ships. I would recommend Deliziosa as a great cruise with an Italian flair. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
The reason my family and I decided upon Princess was the length of the cruise. All other lines failed to offer a 14 day cruise. We researched the ship, it was about 14 years old, it had undergone a maintenance a couple of years ago.. ... Read More
The reason my family and I decided upon Princess was the length of the cruise. All other lines failed to offer a 14 day cruise. We researched the ship, it was about 14 years old, it had undergone a maintenance a couple of years ago.. The ship looked very nice from the outside, The inside looked clean, the state rooms were in good shape. The only two items I found with the ship was the lower railings on the balcony. They were heavily rusted, and the fan system in the elevators did not cycle air very well and when entering a full elevator the air quality was very poor. My family and I had never cruised before, we learned much about the how cruises work, Embarkation and debarkation was an experience we can now understand better. Our flight out was set for around 6pm EST, The ship had us out of our cabins at 8am we ended up waiting for our flight for 7 hours. It would have been nice if we could have remained aboard until later in the day and then transferred to our flight. The dining experience was enjoyable, We tried all of the food options and were satisfied, We switched our scheduled dining from 3 nights at crown grill, and 3 nights at Sabatini's to 5 nights at Crown Grill and 1 night at Sabatini's. We found that the meals were more to our liking at Crown Grill. We had multiple shore excursions and the activities aboard the ship were enjoyable, The shows were good and the times shown were spaced just right so that we could eat and get to one of the shows. Service aboard the ship was always good, with one minor exception at the Salty Dog. my son ran into an unfriendly staff problem. But the staff other than this was always helpful. The shore excursions were enjoyed by all. My wife and I are older and cannot do the things that are sons are capable of,The only area that would have helped would have been to have steps going into the excursions. The helmet dive in Aruba was great. The steps lead into the activity. The Sea Lion in St. Thomas and the Sting Ray in Antigua all had ladders to go into the pool or sea. If they could add a set of steps this would make it easier for older folks to enjoy the activities. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Our first Caribbean cruise went very well. The Vision of the Seas isn't a new ship but it is very well maintained. The food was superb, the service excellent, lots of entertaining. We faced a very stormy weather for one entire day and ... Read More
Our first Caribbean cruise went very well. The Vision of the Seas isn't a new ship but it is very well maintained. The food was superb, the service excellent, lots of entertaining. We faced a very stormy weather for one entire day and the ship swayed a lot. My wife got motion sick and crew member gave us a miraculous pill that helped us to heal faster. Two issues they can easily get fixed: 1. The cigarrete smell at the casino should be controled by installing glass slidind doors both edges. 2. Mold smell in the steam sauna. Otherwise, a great ship, a great crew and a wonderful itinerary. Ports of call at Cozumel, Costa Maya and Roatan are excellent choices. This was a family-oriented cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and fast. The Captain is accessible, absolutely knowlegeable and participates in a lot of cruise activities and dinners. Restaurants are excellent. Great food and an unique gourmet experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this ship because of its Spa. The spa is well worth the charge for the week. We. wanted a relaxing cruise for the week before Christmas. This was a big ship with anything you could want. We ate at a few of the specialty ... Read More
We chose this ship because of its Spa. The spa is well worth the charge for the week. We. wanted a relaxing cruise for the week before Christmas. This was a big ship with anything you could want. We ate at a few of the specialty restaurants which were all good. Eat outside on the Boardwalk for a special dinner. We planned the sunset for our Italian night dinner at La Cuisine. Very good meal. The best was the Steak House with a great steak and wonderful deserts. Teppanyaki was fun and food good. We enjoyed the race cars one day. There is a $10 charge for this. There is mini golf and 2 fun slides for all ages. One slide uses tubes and one is a body slide. The one show we really enjoyed was Jersey boys, the rest were ok.. The crew on the ship were very nice but seemed a bit unexperienced. The up-charge restaurants had the experienced staff. Cabin had lots of storage space. We were mid ship deck 15 and I don't recommend this area. At about 1 AM to 2 AM there was a constant sound banging coming from above us. Choose deck 13 I heard from others they did not hear this banging. We were in cabin 15830 which had lots of storage and a nice deck. The two ports we stopped at were Tortilla with beautiful beaches and St Thomas with shopping for us. Too windy to stop at Nassau and we just cruised home from there. We enjoyed our week aboard this ship and would recommend this cruise for a great cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
From all cruises my wife and I have taken in the past, none of them hold a candle to the accommodations and friendly staff that we experienced on this cruise with Viking. I was extremely impressed with Viking Air and the staff members ... Read More
From all cruises my wife and I have taken in the past, none of them hold a candle to the accommodations and friendly staff that we experienced on this cruise with Viking. I was extremely impressed with Viking Air and the staff members that met us when we arrived and those who stayed with us till we left. The 3 day precruise visit to Prague was also impressive, with the 5 star hotel acommodations and Viking concierge. The excursions preselected by the cruise line were extremely informative and fun, even though temperatures remained in the 30s F. The food was outstanding in every way with specialized foods from regions we visited. I was concerned about sailing without the many venues and activities seen on larger boats, but my concerned was quickly suppressed in that the staff keeps you extremely busy every hour of each day. Most everyone on the boat were like us. A little apprehensive, but willing to make the best of our cruise. We watched out for one another and helped each other whenever we could. This was the winning solution of friendships made. Our dinner table started at 4, it quickly grew to 12, and still was not big enough to gather and share all our adventures. My wife keeps telling everyone that the cruise with Viking was the best vacation she has ever been on. We developed friendships with many new people, and still connecting online since the cruise. We have already booked another cruise with Viking for November 2020 Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Heard from friends of Marella Discovery 2, especially the ' all inclusive' feature. My wife and I have done 8 cruises before and we were impressed with the service, the politeness of the whole crew of Marella Discovery 2. ... Read More
Heard from friends of Marella Discovery 2, especially the ' all inclusive' feature. My wife and I have done 8 cruises before and we were impressed with the service, the politeness of the whole crew of Marella Discovery 2. Never seen in any of the ships before the amount of drinks ( free ) available on that ship ... Anywhere on any floor you are greeted with carts of drinks. On the deck, almost every 15-20 minutes, you are approached by servers with always a smile on their face to offer you with drinks. Service is impeccable anywhere on the ship , in any department. Very clean ship. Entertainment was out of this world . Food ... no need for reservation in ' fine dining'. First come first. The only area which , I believe , needs improvement is the buffet . Breakfast is the same every day . If Marella improves in area of food , I won't hesitate to give the ship a 10/10. As it stands I give it a 9. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I had an amazing Vacation this time of the year was perfect the weather was just right and not humid or too hot. The service was outstanding. The Only reason I am not giving 5's for everything is my shore excursion in Cozumel was not ... Read More
I had an amazing Vacation this time of the year was perfect the weather was just right and not humid or too hot. The service was outstanding. The Only reason I am not giving 5's for everything is my shore excursion in Cozumel was not the best. I was kinda disappointed as I didn't realize how long it was going to take to get to the destination and we ended up only having three hours instead of 6 hours at the location plus it was so packed as their were 6 ships in Cozumel when we were their. My cabin 2346 was wonderful. Very close to the water and when on the balcony we were able to watch the Pilot boat captain jump on and off the ship to Pilot the ship into the harbors and Mississippi river (Takes 7 hours to get through the river to the Gulf of Mexico). Also were able to see 10 dolphins and 1 whale from our room. Weather was around 85'F every day. Sunny and water was great. Jamaica was my favorite place to visit. Would defiantly recommend doing a snorkeling tour when here we saw so many tropical colored fish in the bay. Next time I go to Cayman Islands I am going to do Stingray bay and snorkeling tour as the water was crystal clear the further out you got. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I have been on different cruise lines but Viking Star and Viking Sky that I have experienced has offered a near perfect experience. The staff are very friendly and eager to please. They treat you like royalty no matter the time of the ... Read More
I have been on different cruise lines but Viking Star and Viking Sky that I have experienced has offered a near perfect experience. The staff are very friendly and eager to please. They treat you like royalty no matter the time of the day. The food in all restaurants is excellent and the fine dining experience is out of this world. The intineries were very well organized and ship staff were always around stationed at airports, cruise terminals and other areas to ensure no passenger felt tense that he/she were headed in a wrong direction. In Haifa we were disappointed that no excursion was offered for entering the Baha’i Gardens. That is why I have rated this tour as near perfect but not fully there. If there was a reason that the Gardens was not offered ought to have been made known to the guests. But barring this small disappointment, we had a most glorious 14 days on one of the finest there is on the seas. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
There were many factors on why we chose this cruise. Two of the main factors were that this was a fantastic itinerary that visited the Holy Land and secondly, this was an adult cruise ship that did not have a casino. Many of our ... Read More
There were many factors on why we chose this cruise. Two of the main factors were that this was a fantastic itinerary that visited the Holy Land and secondly, this was an adult cruise ship that did not have a casino. Many of our expectations were surpassed. The crew were just fantastic! From the moment we boarded, we could tell that the crew just loved working for Viking. This positive attitude permeated throughout the entire ship. Special mention goes out to Vikesh from Manfredi's. He was very accommodating to all our requests. Even though we sometimes wanted dishes from different restaurants, Vikesh would go out of his way to make it happen. Towards the end of the cruise, my wife mentioned to Vikesh that although the food on the cruise was fantastic, she just felt like having some basic Indian curry. We didn't expect it but he came back 5 minutes later and told us that he had spoken to the chef and all had been arranged. The curry would be served for dinner in our suite at 8pm that evening. Vikesh did not just arrange it, he personally delivered it to our suite. Just outside our suite was the Explorers Lounge. We spent every evening there chatting with the bar staff. We especially enjoyed the company of Eriona, Cecy and Stoyam. They were just so witty and a really pleasure to be around. On one of the evenings on the cruise, the waters were rather rough and we were feeling a little seasick. Erin concocted her special anti seasick drink which really did make us feel a lot better. Yovitza and Matthew always made sure that our wine fridge was well stocked up with our favourite wines. Having said that, I must say that the entertainment was lacking. Especially the four young singers that really couldn't sing. They were screeching and were very off key. Thankfully our Cruise Director Heather sang so beautifully. Additionally, the sound system in the theatre wasn't great either. It lacked power and clarity and didn't do justice to Heather's immense talent. It would probably benefit from a tuneup from a really good sound engineer. We liked that there were always port talks that were given by highly qualified speakers. Shore excursions were also very well organised and guides were very professional. Buses were comfortable and were never filled to the brim. In fact, most of the time, the buses were only about half-full, which made it very comfortable. It also meant that the guides had quality time with us and that we never had to wait too long for anyone. Overall, it was a very positive experience. The only thing that keeps me from giving a 5 star rating was the rather poor entertainment. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We, husband (75) and wife (62), have completed three Viking River cruises; Bordeaux (16), Rhine (17) and lastly Rhone (18). Our latest Viking cruise was up the Rhone River in France, from Avignon to Lyon, 28 October - December 4, 2018. ... Read More
We, husband (75) and wife (62), have completed three Viking River cruises; Bordeaux (16), Rhine (17) and lastly Rhone (18). Our latest Viking cruise was up the Rhone River in France, from Avignon to Lyon, 28 October - December 4, 2018. Our ship was the Buri, and as far as we could tell, it was virtually identical to our previous ships, the Forseti and the Hlin; all relatively new, extremely nice ships. In 2016 and again this year, we had one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest, cabins on the lowest level, with the small, elevated windows because the cabins were half-underwater. Last year we had a cabin on the top deck with a balcony, but since we almost did not use the balcony, and primarily only used our cabin for sleeping, we think our Category E, 150 square feet cabin was sufficient. Our cabin number was #150, the most forward of the cabins. This was an advantage, since it was close to the dining room and lounge, and everything else, and we did not have to walk down a long hall to get to our cabin. Unless we get some super deal on a "better" cabin in the future, I will book a Standard cabin as far forward as possible. We extended three days in Dijon; a wonderful city. Last year we did a pre-extension in Amsterdam. The year before in Bordeaux, we did not extend; and we regretted it. I highly recommend one extends (always three days I think) pre or post cruise, if not both. Why not extend to enjoy some interesting city/town once you have flown all the way to your destination, and then take a relatively short seven-day cruise? If at the end of a cruise, you will otherwise be rushed off the ship to a bus after arriving, and will be directly transferred to the airport for your flight home without giving you the chance of visiting your departure port. At the initial departure port, you will usually have the opportunity to see something of your departure city. Adding a pre or post extension adds three days to your seven-day cruise, so your vacation will last at least ten days if not 13 days for both. Another suggestion is to sign up for at least one, if not two, excursions every day. Viking usually offers included (aka free) walking tours at every docking site. We usually take these excursions except when they conflict with a more interesting Optional (aka expensive) excursion. Yes, the Optional tours can be expensive, but they are usually great experiences. Not once have we regretted paying for Optional tours. In fact, our best memories, and most spoken experiences to others have been these Optional excursions. Most of the Optional excursions include nice bus rides in very nice buses to get you to desired sites. On our last trip, they always had a "Leisure" walking group, among the 2-3 total groups for the Included excursion, which I took because of my age/arthritis. My younger, healthier wife always went with the other walking groups that walked faster, and climbed more stairs. We still had breakfast and lunch together; it just meant that for two hours we were separated in different walking groups. We really enjoyed all the towns/cities we visited. My favorite was the very pretty, interesting, completely walled medieval city of Perouges. We also liked Avignon, Lyon and especially Dijon, and actually all points between. On the negative side, I would suggest not going in late October as we did, even though the cruise/cabins are cheaper at that time (that is why we did it). It rained at least half the time, but was not too cold. The ship has enough large umbrellas for all. We took umbrellas with us on the bus, as well as our walking tours, and if not needed simply left them on the bus when we were out of the bus. To add to the sometimes bad or marginal weather, there is the famous "Mistral" wind. Look it up on the internet. In southern France, it blows 120-160 days a year, from 54 mph to 90 mph, averaging 65 mph. I can attest that it can be a challenge walking in the rain when the Mistral is blowing. However, we survived, and were not significantly bummed-out by the weather during our trip. Some passengers sometimes stayed on-board rather than brave the bad weather, but they missed a lot. In conclusion, we once-again enjoyed our cruise + extension, and hope to book another cruise in 2019, this time on Portugal's Douro River with extension in Lisbon or possibly Spain if we can find a real sale (it always 2 for 1, so that is not a sale) price that includes free air from the West Coast. If you have not already figured it out, probably every other River cruise company is cheaper, and many have very high ratings. We will wait a couple of months for Viking to offer a good deal on the internet on a Portugal cruise, and if not forthcoming, will start investigating with Tauck, AmaWaterways, Crystal, Uniworld, and Scenic River Cruises as well as Overseas Adventure Travel and Grand Circle travel. These all provide quality River cruises, and likely at more reasonable prices than Viking. I really like Viking so I just hope I can find a Portugal trip that I can afford. There is only thing about Viking that I do not like. It is their automated flight scheduling computer program. When you book with Viking, and get the discounted or free flights, unless you pay $100 extra for each passenger for Viking's Air Plus, their computer will do all the scheduling, and it could be horrible! This is what happened to us this year. As I have written, we paid for the three-day Dijon extension. This required a two-hour bus/car transfer from Lyon to Dijon and then three days later back to Lyon where the airport is. Their computer system booked us on an early morning flight out of Lyon, so in order to make that flight; we would have had to get up in the middle of the night (actually very early morning!) in our Dijon hotel to take a bus/car to Lyon airport in time to make our flight. This was ridiculous. We paid for a three-night extension in Dijon, not a 2-1/2 night extension. I complained loudly, received no relief, paid the $200 for the Air Plus, got my flight schedules revised to be reasonable, wrote some negative reviews on line, and ended up with Viking reimbursing me for the Air Plus charges; thank you Viking. There were 14 of us from the cruise that booked the Dijon extension. Everyone but us had the same or similar problem, but had not complained and got it corrected. Therefore, 12 of them had to leave our nice Dijon 5-star hotel in the middle of the night to get to Lyon in time for their flights. I will definitely gladly pay the $100/passenger for Air Plus next time to either initially get a reasonable schedule, or perhaps only pay if they screw it up again. I guess I know what to expect now; and so should you. Well, I hope you have a good cruise. I hope Viking will allow us to make a fourth cruise with them, next year to Portugal. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Absolutely lovely cruise.... staff from room cleaners through to management were excellent... bar staff fab.. Anthony in the squid and anchor and lllian in the whisky and gin bar were fantastic.. Clifford our brilliant house keeper was ... Read More
Absolutely lovely cruise.... staff from room cleaners through to management were excellent... bar staff fab.. Anthony in the squid and anchor and lllian in the whisky and gin bar were fantastic.. Clifford our brilliant house keeper was tops never a problem to do anything for u... food choices galore restaurants staff amazing... these guys work long hours but are always polite and give u the time of day... would 100% book with marella explorer again... had a problem with our room nothing major.. but the ship manager got us moved straight away.... fabulous time couple of days a bit wet but hey 15 nights without cooking makes up for that... entertainment good.. broadway show room is like going to London except in London u don’t get complementary drinks... ship was very clean literally inside and out were kept clean daily and more than once a day... couldn’t ask for a better first time cruise The 6 days going across to the Caribbean were long but hey we knew wen we booked... oh and the guys at the Lavizza coffee port loved seeing me at 7am every morning Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
I wanted to sail on one of the new big ships and the Escape fit this bill. With outside dining and beautifully designed rooms it was wonderful. The food is a big improvement over some of the smaller ships. This trip went to Bermuda and ... Read More
I wanted to sail on one of the new big ships and the Escape fit this bill. With outside dining and beautifully designed rooms it was wonderful. The food is a big improvement over some of the smaller ships. This trip went to Bermuda and we were there for parts of three days. So it was a more restful itinerary than others where you are in a different port every day. Bermuda was beautiful with pink sand beaches and lovely people. No hustle no hassle compared to some Caribbean Islands. You can rent scooters and travel the island. St Georges is a UNESCO site and is a charming seaside village that you can walk around and see forts and visit lovely beaches. The weather rained a little but cleared up most of the time. I would visit Bermuda again and spend more time. Hats off to NCL for a great ship and a wonderful itinerary. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our first time sailing with Norwegian. I did have some concerns leading up to the sailing after having read some of the reviews, but I had nothing to worry about. Embarkation and Disembarkation were easy. Consider doing the ... Read More
This was our first time sailing with Norwegian. I did have some concerns leading up to the sailing after having read some of the reviews, but I had nothing to worry about. Embarkation and Disembarkation were easy. Consider doing the self-assist disembarakation if you can manage it. Self-assist is the first group off the ship. We were off the ship and cleared immigration in minutes. We had a balcony stateroom on the starboard side. Our steward Nelson was excellent. The room was clean, quiet, spacious with lots of storage. There were two minor issues with the room, but they were dealt with promptly by Housekeeping and Guest Services. As part of our booking, we had two free promos: Ultimate Beverage Package and 3 specialty dining options. My boyfriend loved the mango daiquiris. For the specialty restaurants, we chose Cagney's steakhouse, Le Bistro and Moderno. Each was a different dining experience which is what we were looking for. Highlights: Cagney - the grilled sea bass and bison steak. Make sure you get the bison steak medium rare, as recommended by our server. Le Bistro - the duck and chocolate napoleon dessert Moderno - the Brazilian cocktails were tasty, but strong. Meats were delicious, but I was impressed with the salad bar selection. MDRs were great too. We had breakfast most days in Seven Seas. We had dinner our first night on the ship at Seven Seas and had a wonderful server, Betina, look after us. Thank you Betina. The buffet was the wink link for me. There were some good options, but I found it mediocre at best. Itinerary changed just before we boarded. Instead of Great Stirrup Caye in Bahamas, the port became Key West and that suited me fine. Ports: Key West - we went out on our own and walked and walked and walked all the way to the southernmost point and back. Lunch was enjoyed at a local restaurant. Havana - went out on our own and walked and walked and walked. We ended up at the waterfront and old fort. Not touristy in that area at all. We enjoyed lunch at a local restaurant. As a Canadian, I was always told that Cuba was great, but the food was lousy. Our lunch was delicious. We had a seafood platter and roasted chicken dinner. The sangria was outstanding. The owner and staff couldn't be more accommodating. Remember to visit the Artisan Marketplace in Havana. I picked up some nice pictures for framing. Harvest Caye - Took a shore excursion to a chocolate factory. The shore excursion description is deceptive. The chocolate factory is a cacao family run farm. They showed us how they made chocolate and took us on a tour amongst the cacao trees. Please note there is steep climbing involved so wear proper footwear and it's not a good tour for anyone with mobility issues. We had a traditional belize lunch at a restaurant. Delish. Picked up a few gifts. Marie Sharp hot sauce is outstanding. Final stop was a Mayan village to see how they lived and we learned how to make corn tortillas. Lovely people, very welcoming. Costa Maya - shore excursion to the Cacchoben mayan ruins. Arturo was our guide and the tour was Informative and interesting. All in all a wonderful holiday. Just remember to bring a hat, lots of sunscreen and maybe a few extra pieces of clothing because it was Sunny and HOT. Read Less

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