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10,566 Luxury Cruise Reviews

Liked itinerary but expected to spend more time in Bangkok and Bali. The ship was elegant and clean. Food was excellent but didn’t like the food in Chefs Table. This was our first Viking ocean cruise and may be our last if this is ... Read More
Liked itinerary but expected to spend more time in Bangkok and Bali. The ship was elegant and clean. Food was excellent but didn’t like the food in Chefs Table. This was our first Viking ocean cruise and may be our last if this is the way all their cruises are. No time to spend in Bangkok or Bali...misrepresented cruise. Some included tours were unsatisfactory, some were excellent. More interesting shipmates. No children, no pushing and shoving and noise. Very relaxing. Books everywhere. We expected a much better cruise than the one we got. I don’t know why this was rated as a top cruise line. Expected a much better travel experience for the money. I would look at the reviews first before booking another Viking Cruise. I didn’t do this before booking this one which was a big mistake. Learned a lot about what to expect and what we got. Would also have chosen better airline experience and learned it would have made a big difference to spend days before and after in the beginning and end of the cruise. Not worth the money we paid for this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We have sailed 2X with Pacific Aria and now did our second trip with the Dawn due to the kids section as we took our son and his family with us which made it their 1st cruise and our 4th cruise. Needless to say the kids play area was too ... Read More
We have sailed 2X with Pacific Aria and now did our second trip with the Dawn due to the kids section as we took our son and his family with us which made it their 1st cruise and our 4th cruise. Needless to say the kids play area was too cold for the kids so there were hardly any kids in there, the main pool was very dangerous as it just went down so he couldn't swim in there as hot tubs just too hot but you could have up to 12 kids in it at anytime.There was hardly any entertainment for the little kids. They only had 2 waiters on top so you had dirty plates and glasses sitting there for hours, no waiters to come and take your drink orders unlike the 1st time. The Aria was on top of their game on that one at all time. Plus the Aria has 3 free restaurants as to only 1 on the Dawn. The Aria Pantry also had more selection as oppose to the Dawn pantry. The waterfront restaurant, I will give our waiter Khaled for table 4 10 out of 10 as not only was he entertaining with my grandson, but alway very polite and helpful. The whole ship could have done with more of him. The entertainment fell down badly. I would rate 2 out of 10.Not good at all. I bought some inch of gold jewellery and when I got home, found that I was given a dodgy clasp that didn't open or close.Won't make that mistake again. The staff although tried to be happy, you could see they were very tired which was sad to see. Needless to say my son and family will never cruise again and we will never cruise the Dawn again. If I could get my money back I would as I paid for all 5 of us. We like to go every 6 month so it will be the Aria until the new port is open with more ships on offer. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
SUMMARY: It is very easy to recommend Azamara as their exceptionally attentive service will make any cruise a very pleasant experience. Their prices may be higher than RCCL, Celebrity, or Princess but the extra cost will be forgotten ... Read More
SUMMARY: It is very easy to recommend Azamara as their exceptionally attentive service will make any cruise a very pleasant experience. Their prices may be higher than RCCL, Celebrity, or Princess but the extra cost will be forgotten once you've enjoyed their exceptional service. People may ask how Azamara compares to Oceania. While both are Premium “Smaller Ship” Cruise lines, our choice would be Azamara given similar itineraries. HITS & OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT HITS: • Service on the Azamara Journey was exceptional throughout our cruise. George, our cabin attendant was very efficient as well as being very friendly. Our servers in the Main Dining Cabin (JR & Oliver) were also excellent. • The Captain was very visible and cordial. The cruise director was very personable plus was a featured entertainer in several shows. • The shows were all excellent an unrecognized value of any cruise. Live Entertainment was much better than might be expected for a small ship. The ship's band/orchestra was excellent and the on deck band was equally entertaining. The Cabaret Lounge had ample comfortable seating. • Living Room was our favorite place on the ship to hang out and relax or read. It is quiet, had ample comfortable chairs and couches. There is also a bar with finger foods in the afternoon. • Azamara’s complementary self serve laundry was very useful and convenient. • Embarkation and Disembarkation were both very quick & easy. This is understandable since there were less than 700 people to process. AREAS WHERE IMPROVEMENTS ARE NEEDED • Service in the Patio Café was not as attentive as in the Discovery Dining Cabin or the Windows Cafe. • The cabin had a curved large chair / very small love seat that. It was too small for 2 people and the curved shape was a poor use of space in the cabin • TV was disappointing because the content was quite limited. Pay movies were very overpriced at $11.95. • The refrigerator cabinet in the cabin needs venting in order to work efficiently. We had to keep the cabinet door open in order for the refrigerator to get cold. It would be better to simply remove the door to allow adequate airflow that allows the refrigerator to work properly than keeping the door open which was a tripping hazard. • Internet was $19.95 for 60 minutes or $24.95 per day. Logging on or off was same as other cruise lines which many guests found to be confusing and lost their precious few minutes as a result of not completing the process properly. Fortunately, Adriana at the Reception Desk understood this issue and cheerfully restored the forfeited minutes. DETAILED OBSERVATIONS Day 1 - EMBARKATION: Azamara check in was very fast because Azamara's Check In process was very quick and easy because we has pre registered our personal information and we arrived about 11:45 (which was well ahead of the crowd) Lunch was at the buffet with the usual first day confusion. Our baggage arrived just after we had walked around the ship exploring. The mandatory life boat drill to explain the safety procedures was held soon after sail away activities. Our first dinner onboard was excellent with very attentive service. Day 2 - AT SEA: We explored the ship. The weather was warm so many people were in the pool area. The Azamara Journey is not a large ship. We got more familiar with the public areas of the ship. These are named "Living Room, Cabaret Lounge, Den, Patio, etc. The Living Room was our favorite place to sit, view the ocean, read, and relax. They have a small band in the evenings. DAY 3 - LABADEE: The weather could not have been better. A few clouds and 80 degrees. I had pre booked a Kayak Tour of the bay. It was OK but nothing more than a guided Kayak Rental. I also had a nice lunch at the Labadee cafe and a great nap on a nearby beach lounge chair after the excursion. My wife has booked a harbor cruise tour. Regrettably, she felt unwell and did not go on her excursion. DAY 4 - AT SEA This was our second (and final ) at sea day. More rest and relaxation. The evening’s entertainment was fantastic. The 8:00 show featured pianist Peter Rossetti playing a fine rendition of Billy Joel and Elton John hits. The 9 15 show featured the Cruise Director, Eric who sang a medley of Broadway show songs. His voice is equal to Josh Grobin's! We then stayed up well past midnight chatting with new friends. DAY 5 – St Barts This is a small island just over 8 square miles in area. It is too small for many cruise ships so it remains relatively unspoiled. (Pictures attached) The Sea Dream Yacht Club (Sea Dream 2) was the only other small cruise ship in harbor. The weather was typical for the Caribbean during November, mid 80s with partly cloudy skies. I thought it was quite pleasant but it was a bit humid for My wife. We hadn't booked any shore excursions for this island because we didn't see anything that interested us. Since we had a very late night, we took the morning slow by relaxing on the veranda enjoying the view and catching up on this trip report. My wife did a load of laundry in the complementary self service laundry too. Later in the day, we took the ship's tender into the town of Gustavia. The town was named after the king of Sweden during the 1600s when St Barts was controlled by Sweden. The Swedish government gave St Barts back to France in exchange for some French territory during the late 1700s. DAY 6 - St Maarten Beautiful weather. My wife really enjoyed her island tour that visited the Dutch and French sides of the island. Her tour traveled to parts of St Maartin that had not been rebuilt after the devastating 2018 hurricane. She recommends this tour. I booked the Catamaran sail with snorkeling and beach excursion. The boat was well staffed with a friendly, attentive, and compete crew. The snorkeling stop was not the most interesting in the world but still adequate. The beach stop was enjoyable. One unexpected treat was a short stop at the St Maartin airport right under the famous low altitude airplane landing approach. (Picture attached) I would recommend this excursion for people looking for an active activity. Caribbean Nights show was onboard (in place of Azamara’s Azamazing Evening) was a good effort but not really to our liking. Day 8 St Kitts We booked the St. Kitts Scenic Railway excursion. This Narrow Gage train was built nearly a century ago to transport sugar cane from the fields to the sugar mill in Basseterre. We really enjoyed our trip in double deck rail cars that gave us a panoramic journey that circled the entire island of St Kitts. (Picture attached). DAY 8 St Johns Antigua Paraphrasing my Father in Law, "It's another beautiful day in the Caribbean" as Antigua is a beautiful island. My wife enjoyed her city tour of St John. I had booked a more active tour Hiking, snorkeling and kayak excursion that was located on an outer island in St John Bay. Needless to say, I was exhausted after my tour. We can recommend either tour depending on your desired activity level. The evening’s entertainment was the Cruise Director singing Broadway songs. He is a great entertainer. Day 9 Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands We didn’t see any excursions that we were interested in so we spent the day relaxing and the afternoon repacking our bags for the 11 PM Luggage pick-up. Day 10 DISEMBARKATION San Juan Puerto Rico: Azamara’s disembarkation process is similar to most other cruise lines, (instructions and luggage tags issued the night before with Luggage in the hall by 11). The main difference is that there were smaller groups of guests in the customs hall so we were able to find our luggage in under a minute. The Customs & Immigration officers in San Juan were very quick and efficient so we were through their process in under 5 minutes. We completed the entire process well before 9 am. We had booked a San Juan city tour with airport drop off. The 3-hour tour covered the "Old town" as well as "New Town" San Juan. Our driver/guide was very interesting and informative so it is easy to recommend this tour as a way to see the city sights before a late afternoon flight. Earlier flights (not recommended any earlier than 11am) should go directly to the airport which is a 30 minutes ride from the San Juan Cruise Terminal. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Most everyone, especially those who love the sea, has some familiarity with the story of the Panama Canal. David McCullough's marvelous book, The Path Between the Seas, is required reading for anyone making this trip. But no amount ... Read More
Most everyone, especially those who love the sea, has some familiarity with the story of the Panama Canal. David McCullough's marvelous book, The Path Between the Seas, is required reading for anyone making this trip. But no amount of reading or watching videos or documentaries prepares you adequately for the real thing. That's why we chose this trip. We began in Miami's Mandarin Oriental hotel, a splendid accommodation. As usual, the transfer arrangements were well-organized and efficient. We were able to occupy our suite at noon and it was ideal for the transit of the canal with a forward- and side-facing balcony. The stop at Georgetown was pleasant but unmemorable. Cartagena, with its Fort San Felipe, was excellent. Then came the Canal. Our transit began in the early morning, shortly after sunrise and continued until we finally exited into the Pacific at dusk. The narrator - making her 700th transit! - provided rich detail about many aspects of the canal itself, as well as the flora and fauna, along with anecdotes about both the French effort and the subsequent American success. We had room-service breakfast so as not to miss a moment. This one day made the entire trip entirely successful all by itself. Puntarenas, Costa Rica, was the next stop with a very enjoyable river cruise - numerous tropical birds and crocodiles. Other stops - Corinto, Puerto Queztal, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas - provide some interesting sites. All required boarding buses. What we missed on this cruise was the small group option we enjoyed on the two cruised we had on the Explorer. As with other Regent cruises, the cuisine was excellent in Sette Mare, Compass Rose and La Veranda. We weren't quite as impressed with Prime Seven. We found the enrichment lectures short on regional relevance. Many cruisers have commented on Navigator's vibration, particularly notable toward the stern of the ship. It is sometimes noticeable toward the bow, but we did not find it disturbing. Our cabin, a Grand Suite, was excellent. It was spacious and well-appointed. One note of caution for North American travelers: although there are 110 volt outlets, there are only two of them. We found it helpful to bring along converter plugs that allowed us to plug in electronics to the 220v outlets, which are numerous. As I mentioned above, the view from the balcony facing forward is a real treat, particularly if you are interested in watching the deck crew manage the bow and spring lines or deploy and weigh the anchor. One modification that would make the balcony really spectacular is to install a baffle between the forward and side areas. The wind across the deck makes sitting on the side area nearly impossible when the ship is underway. The ship itself is relatively small by today's cruise ship standards: only 490 passengers. But it is perfectly spacious and never feels crowded. The staff are all excellent and cheerful, particularly the stateroom butler and stewards. All-in-all, a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime trip! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Having sailed on Viking, Holland America, Oceania, Celebrity, Windstar this was the ideal opportunity to test drive Silversea on a short cruise between Singapore & Bali. Embarkation was very slow as two ships leaving the same ... Read More
Having sailed on Viking, Holland America, Oceania, Celebrity, Windstar this was the ideal opportunity to test drive Silversea on a short cruise between Singapore & Bali. Embarkation was very slow as two ships leaving the same evening & queues for immigration were very long Superior Veranda was a great size & you could easily enjoy this size of cabin for a cruise of 2-3 weeks. Butler introduce himself - but we didnt really use his services - felt a little gimmicky, but i guess some people like the ideal of 'staff' always on call. Decor was a little too bland - throughout the entire ship - beige & green - felt that due to the subdued nature of the guests some colour may have lightened up the atmosphere. Crowd generally 70+ - as ship was heading to Australia, equal balance of Australians & Americans. Food was good but not great - 2 good meals & surprisingly the Asian restaurant delivered a superb meal. Gym great size with all the facilities you could require Spa - i had one of the best massages on a ship ever....Ana the therapist fix the knots in my back. Small design fault: in how weather its nice to have a through breeze on the pool deck but none of the windows opened & it got very hot to eat a meal outside Didnt get off the ship in Smerang as didnt want a 11hr round trip journey to the temples. was a lovely quite day on board. Would i sail again - maybe if the itinerary and price were right but i wouldnt go out of my way. Would certainly try an expedition cruise as they have some amazing itineraries. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Windstar has only 6 ships so and they are small ships focused on going to areas the bigger ships cannot get to. While the ship itself is a little dated, it is slated for a big makeover this summer which is explained here: ... Read More
Windstar has only 6 ships so and they are small ships focused on going to areas the bigger ships cannot get to. While the ship itself is a little dated, it is slated for a big makeover this summer which is explained here: https://www.windstarcruises.com/starplus/. The cabins are suites with a sofa, chairs, a desk, a full bathtub and a walk-in closet – plenty of room for the 2 of us. There is a spa which we did not use and a decent fitness room, which I admit, I intended to use, but did not. I had too much fun doing the excursions. The best part about Windstar is the service. All the staff are friendly and really try to make the passengers have a good experience. There was a challenge with the first port so as we were boarding we learned we would not be going to an island off Puerto Rico but to St. Thomas instead. We were given new excursions to pick from. The last two days we were feeling the effects of a storm, so we couldn’t tender to Virgin Gorda. I was extremely bummed as I wanted to go back to The Baths, but the captain and team rallied and took us to Tortola where they quickly assembled 2 excursions for us. The food is decent. You have 3 choices for dinner – either the big dining room, the area where you have breakfast & lunch that they convert to a ‘romantic dining experience’ or room service. We did all 3 options. Yes, we got a little bored with the food selections but at least we didn’t overeat too much. We also bought the Package which included a full liquor selection, WiFi and Laundry Service. If you are looking for nightlife, this is NOT the ship for you. On our ship, they had 2 different 2-person bands playing during sunset and after dinner and I saw they had a small casino set up at night but we never went to see it. There was a show put on by the crew Thursday evening but we skipped it. Also, the only child we saw was the captain’s daughter. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise as it had an interesting itinerary and we were interested in hearing the on board speakers from Frontline America TV who were all excellent in every way We found the ship very dated and in need of an upgrade The ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it had an interesting itinerary and we were interested in hearing the on board speakers from Frontline America TV who were all excellent in every way We found the ship very dated and in need of an upgrade The food in all restaurants was of high quality The selection of wines was very good The entertainment was of normal standard on board The service was average certainly not five or six star as advertised The ports on our trip were interesting The shore excursions included in the passage fare., on the whole were repetitive and boring visiting temple after temple or church. They could have been more imaginative and we were not met by a representative from Regent at any time when we disembarked the shuttle bus at the port entrance to assist in directing us back to the ship and perhaps offer all guests a cool towel on re embarking the ship as done by other five star cruise lines . Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The anticipation of the unknown is my key motivator in traveling to places around the world. I have been fortunate enough to experience some 147 cities in 49 countries, went millions of miles, but amazingly have only covered about 20% of ... Read More
The anticipation of the unknown is my key motivator in traveling to places around the world. I have been fortunate enough to experience some 147 cities in 49 countries, went millions of miles, but amazingly have only covered about 20% of the globe. What lured me to this SeaDream mega yacht was only 112 guests and her crew of 98 - with their emphasis on extraordinary French-inspired gastronomy. Our itinerary had us visiting Virgin Gorda, Nevis, St Kits, Anguilla, St Barts (The Caribbean's French Rivera. Lunch at Resort Le Toiny with toes in the sand, sipping on a cold Chardonnay and nibbling on Truffle french fries smothered in Foie Gras & parmesan cheese - out of this world!). And Jost Van Dyke (the SeaDream decadent Caviar & Champagne Beach BBQ at White Bay and the obligatory 'Painkiller' at the Soggy Dollar Bar). You sail by night and explore by day. I knew we were going to be surrounded by azure blue water, ideal for unwinding the mind and dining in food heaven, the perfect palate teaser. Several years ago, we discovered going 'unplugged' down at our favorite Villa Rolandi on Isla Mujeres. It's now our way to go on vacation - no cell, computer, tv or newspapers, just your partner, a good book, and pampered service. It raises one's level of conciseness to what we call 'where nothingness begins.' RESORT PRE SAILING We arrived in San Juan Puerto Rico a day before and stayed at the majestic Condado Vanderbilt. This is where the old world meets modern luxury. They don't build hotels like this anymore. Back in 1919 is when she opened her doors to European nobility and Hollywood stars. Captained for the past ten years by veteran hotelier, General Manager Ben Tutt, who explained their recovery post-Maria. She has now completed her $260M renovation and is back to her revered beauty celebrating over 100 years as San Juan's grand dame. His gracious hospitality is being the consummate host, always at your service. Legendary Executive Chef, Juan Jose Cuevas, whose reputation precedes him, continues to knock out some truly amazing, inspired cuisines at "1919", possibly San Juan's best restaurant. LIFESTYLE & CUISINE For as many Five Star venues around the world, I've been privileged to enjoy; this onboard experience exceeded my expectations. Executive Chef Ali's attitude of catering to your every culinary wish is never-ending in his creative offerings of what he describes as 'Confluence Cuisine.' Just some examples; Veal Wellington, Dover Sole Lemon, perfectly steamed Mussells w/garlic toast, a fork-tender Osso Bucco, Artichoke-sundried tomato salad, Trout Almondine, fresh Lobster salad, Tuna Tartar and of course, a Grand Marnier souffle - why not? Cocktails and tasty hors d'oeuvres pre-dinner, another treat. Your choice of dining in the main salon or al fresco outside, either venue offers all you would expect and more. Paired with excellent wines provided by our French Sommelier Eric, coupled with outstanding service. The crew remembering your name from day one is truly impressive. All food, wine, spirits, gratuities, and the toys (kyacks, sailboats, and wave runners, even mountain bikes for land-based tours by the Captain and or crew. ) are all included. Our Stateroom 406 with our own Monogrammed Pj's, Bvlgari bath amenities, and nighly pillow gifts made up for it being a tad small. Not unlike perhaps being on a wealthy friend's boat. SDYC was truly sublime! YACHTING NOT CRUISING There is a difference. CEO & Chairman, Atle Brynestad was the original brainchild behind small boutique luxury mega-yachts, launching these two originally as Seabourn's Sea Goddess I & II That discovery is why we have given up the big body cruise lines in favor of smaller intimate ships, like Windstar, we've logged 49 days with them and their motorized yachts and sail ships. For the same sort of budget as a Presidential Suite on a ship carrying 5,000 passengers or more, you can be on ones with fewer than 350 people, versus being herded around with the masses. What you get onboard a SeaDream vessel, is a feeling of discreet sophistication, mixing with a guest list of diverse people, from around the world. United in one common goal to relax, explore leisurely at the same time wanting for nothing. Readers of Conde Nast Traveler ranked SeaDream Yacht Club as one of the 'Top 100 Travel Experiences Worldwide'. SeaDream was the only cruise company included in the listing. The other 99 winners were all hotels and resorts. What awaits is the next generation of SDYC, a new ship called "Innovation" who sets sail in Septemeber 2021 on her inaugural 70-day voyage. The flight out of St Thomas didn't depart till late afternoon, so we decided to enjoy the day poolside at The Ritz Carlton Club. Our host Kurt Ginter couldn't have been more welcoming. Note: After extensive renovations, the Ritz Carlton Resort is now back open. As someone recently reminded me, none of us are promised a tomorrow - you only live once. Sail with the SeaDream Yacht Club and indulge your Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams - why not? Seven glorious days and nights later - Special commendations must go to Captain Lund for his personal and gracious hospitality. Christophe, Executive Hotel Director of both SDYC I & II for his knowledge and high regard for perfection. Robin the ships Maitre d, Assistant Maitre d Mikee, Brenda & Roses Concierge, Lee Ann our Cabin Stewardess. Then our ever attentive restaurant crew; Doramas, Jose, Fransisco, Jonathan, Stephen, Dusan & mixologists Aurel & Leslie, always greeting you by name with a genuine smile. And last but not least the maestro, the incomparable Chef Ali from Cape Town South Africa, who dazzled all of us with his exciting cuisine d' confluence BRAVO! As the Greek philosopher, Epicurus believed, living an existence full of simplicity was the way to achieve all the pleasures and comforts in life. It lives today among the ships of SeaDream Yacht Club. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
It is 16 years since we last sailed on Seabourn - when the ships only carried 220 passengers so this was a new experience on a larger ship. We thought the ship size was actually better, with more restaurant space and better entertainment. ... Read More
It is 16 years since we last sailed on Seabourn - when the ships only carried 220 passengers so this was a new experience on a larger ship. We thought the ship size was actually better, with more restaurant space and better entertainment. The cabin was a perfect size with a good size bathroom, lounge area and balcony. The ship was lovely and clean and restaurants and all public rooms very comfortable and I would say recently refurbished. The shower was small but adequate although I feel they would have been better with a larger shower and no bath. The Hotel Director - Therasa - “old” Seabourn was amazing. We felt that some of the staff weren’t upto the usual Seabourn standard- but most were. No sure that Seabourn actually needs a Celebrity Chef collaboration, don’t think this addd to the experience as Thomas Keller appeared to have too much influence on the menus. Our stewardess Erika was fantastic. The Collonade Restaurant was great for Breakfast and lunch as there were lots to choose from. The restaurant was sometimes a bit limited on an evening. Seabourn do need to start and specify which wines are included as at times it was confusing. They also need to not fall totally under the Carnival Umbrella as we felt that would do them more harm than good especially with the number of Top End luxury cruises currently on the market. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Loved the cruise, the boat was just the right size not too big or too small. Great amenities from dining to stores to the spa. Rooms were spacious and had balcony. Most of the ports were good, only didn't care for Marseilles, but ... Read More
Loved the cruise, the boat was just the right size not too big or too small. Great amenities from dining to stores to the spa. Rooms were spacious and had balcony. Most of the ports were good, only didn't care for Marseilles, but loved the rest. The excursions were very good, interesting information and good stops. Our porters were awesome, cleaning up the room and turning down for the evening. The restaurant was great, plenty of choices. We did the Chef's table twice and the food was exceptional both times. Wine pairings with the food were great, they were generous with the wine pours too. Loved the no children on the ship! Plenty of places to go, inside and outside. We like to go to the Living Room and Explorer's Lounge. One day we made it for Tea in the Wintergarden, a definite experience not to miss. We had breakfast everyday in the World Cafe which had plenty of choices including make your own eggs any way. All the servers were very friendly and helpful. Would definitely go again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise because of the luxurious Scenic cruise spaceship and the wonderful Douro scenery. The Portuguese staff on board were wonderful, their service, knowledge, friendliness and professionalism were the best we have ever ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the luxurious Scenic cruise spaceship and the wonderful Douro scenery. The Portuguese staff on board were wonderful, their service, knowledge, friendliness and professionalism were the best we have ever had on a Scenic tour! We had a Balcony Suite which was very comfortable and so clean and well appointed it looked brand new! We had a superb Cruise Director and brilliant Tour Guides, Miguel and Inez, exceptional, friendly and knowledgeable. Our waiters and bar staff were great and our Butler, Miguel, so helpful and practical. The food in the Crystal Dining was superb for all meals and the special meal in the Portobello was fantastic. The weather was colder and wetter, than we expect. The excursions were well planned, very interesting and with high quality guides. The best ones were Lamego and Salamanca (don’t miss the Art DecoGallery, Casa Lis). The highlight of the entertainment was the classic concert, with a string quartet, and super quality baritone and soprano singers, in Porto and at the Church of St Francis. Overall we found Scenic to be high quality, relaxing, good value for money and we will definitely be booking with them again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
PROS: ENTERTAINMENT/ACTIVITIES: enough to cater to all tastes, from funny and wild dancing on the Lido Deck to calm, piano or violin music in the lobby and walking areas on Deck 5. The comedy club was great, loved the ambiance and ... Read More
PROS: ENTERTAINMENT/ACTIVITIES: enough to cater to all tastes, from funny and wild dancing on the Lido Deck to calm, piano or violin music in the lobby and walking areas on Deck 5. The comedy club was great, loved the ambiance and lounge atmosphere. The shows we saw were entertaining with the America Rocks show being our favorite. We missed the Love and Marriage Show, but we were told this was a must-see, as the passengers said they laughed and laughed. The Cruise Director (Donkey) was funny and seemed to really enjoy his job and interacting with the passengers at all of the events. CLEANLINESS: We never noticed any area as being dirty and staff were constantly cleaning everywhere. HUB APP: It is free and was very helpful in getting information about anything you needed. GUY’S BURGERS: very fresh and cooked within minutes of when you get it. This place really makes up for what the buffet lacks. You can go here and get exactly what you expect for taste, quality and convenience. PASSENGERS: All were on vacay mode and everyone was friendly and happy. Very relaxed dress code, but not so relaxed that you think you are in Walmart lol. DIVE IN MOVIES: located on the pool deck-volume was loud enough to hear but not too loud, they provided popcorn and blankets for each movie. The movies were current and good, clear screen. SMOKING: Smoking allowed on one side of Deck 10 overlooking the pool/movie area where you can still enjoy watching the activities and movies. Smoking area on Deck 3 just off the Lobby is perfect for a nice, quiet area to smoke and enjoy the ocean sounds and just relax. There is a smoking area in the casino also, on one side of the bar furthest from the open walking area. FOOD: buffet, Mexican, Mongolian grill, Pizza Pirate, steakhouse (upcharge of $30/person), main dining room, unlimited tea/coffee/juices/lemonade. STAFF: all very friendly, helpful and speak to you when you pass. They truly seem happy to be there and not just putting on an act. CABIN: we were on Deck 2 in an interior cabin with portholes. Not as small and cramped as we thought, the shampoo and body wash was surprisingly good quality and smelled really good. Cabin steward was always on time, kept the room very clean morning and night and delivered cute towel animals each day PORTS: The ports on this cruise were Nassau and Princess Cays. Nassau is definitely a tourist area with lots of shopping and Junkanoo beach is not far away (about a 15 minute walk from the ship). The beach was clean, water clear and blue, plenty of food and drink to choose from for a fee that wasn’t too outrageous. A little bit of selling at the entrance of the beach, but not annoying and we were pretty much left alone to enjoy a day on the beach. DRINKING/BARS: Lots of choices of drinks and very tasty. Bartenders were working their butts off the whole time, trying to get to each customer quickly. CONS (my very subjective review): ENTERTAINMENT/ACTIVITIES: So many to choose from! The ship does a great job of letting you know what is offered and times; however, you can’t possibly see them all, so choose wisely and get there at least 30 minutes early to ensure you have a seat. They fill up fast. The shows in the Venetian (Flick and America Rocks) were good. Don’t expect a full-on Broadway show with top, seasoned performers. They were good and put on a good show, but you can tell some still needed time to perfect their voices. I can’t carry a tune, so who am I to judge lol. CLEANLINESS: Not really a cleanliness issue per se, but there was a strong smell of sewage on the 2nd level hallway that just would not go away the whole trip. Seemed like the higher the floor, the less the smell. Choose a higher deck if you get sick on your stomach easily. We were in the very front of the ship and it was a VERY LONG walk from the elevator to get to the room. If we rode a bike down the hall, it would have taken us about 2 minutes to get there, it is THAT LONG! You can feel the ship rocking way more in the front. One night is was choppy waters and we could hear the waves hitting against the ship, which woke us up and sounded like really hard rocks hitting the ship hard. Scary if you aren’t expecting it. HUB APP: If they had a GPS on the app to help you find your way around this huge ship, that would save a lot of walking and sore muscles for us out of shape old folks with bad hips and feet! The ship is HUGE and there is a LOT of walking involved to get where you want to go. There are maps at the elevators that show you where things are located, but most of the time we didn’t know if we were near the front or back of the ship. PASSENGERS: We were entertained people-watching; however, if you are looking for a more calm, sophisticated crowd, you may want to consider another cruise line. There’s lots of drinking, loud dance music (we liked it, but some people don’t) and lots of younger women who liked to flaunt their bodies (fine for them, not so much for kids, etc if you are more conservative). CABIN: The only noticeable thing that could have been better was the mini fridge was not really cold. The sewage smell on Deck 2 where we stayed was very strong and was there the entire cruise. FOOD: Don’t expect to be able to eat what you want at all hours. The buffets, Guy’s Burgers and other food areas are NOT open 24 hours. Pizza Pirate is only good for a quick meal if you are hungry-it is open 24 hours but since the other areas aren’t open, there is a LONG line and the pizza is not what you’re used to when ordering from the name brand pizza places. The buffets will suffice when you are hungry, but they don’t have a huge amount of veggie choices and limited meat choices. Breakfast bar has the instant scrambled eggs, which I can usually eat at other restaurants, but I found these yucky, so I opted for omelettes made with the real eggs instead. The omelette outlet has a line, so be prepared to wait for it. Other food outlets looked to be better quality food/taste, but there is an upcharge for them (sushi, steakhouse, etc). The Blue Iguana Cantina looked yummy (tortillas, taco salads, salsa bar, etc), but every time we went they were either closed or closing. PORTS: Nassau is HEAVILY a tourist area and the people selling are VERY pushy, will get in your face at times trying to sell you this or that, following you as you walk. There were TONS of taxis lined up where you first enter the sidewalks and every other seller seemed to be yelling at us to either use their cab or buy their wares. If you aren’t firm with a “No, thank you” they will hound you a little bit. We walked to Junkanoo Beach, which was about 15 minutes from the ship. After a few minutes of walking and getting hounded, we got really annoyed by all of it. Princess Cays: we chose not to go because we heard it was very rocky and you can’t get to it unless you take a water taxi provided by the ship, so we chose not to go. Other passengers that went said they saw a lot of neat fish and sting rays when swimming and snorkeling, and all of them said it was really rocky to walk without water shoes. DRINKING/BARS: DO NOT BUY THE SIGNATURE DRINK THEY PASS AROUND AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CRUISE! We got two tumblers of Rum Punch and were charged $58 (our fault for not asking the price or looking at the receipt we signed)! The itemized cost was 1) the punch itself, 2) the tumbler, 3) the lid (yes, the lid!) and 4) a $7 fee for the tip for the little guy that gave it to us! We planned to get a little smashed on the trip but it never happened. I do not drink mixed drinks, but I decided to get some on this trip expecting to have one or two as my limit since I am a lightweight. I NEVER felt buzzed at all. I began suspecting the liquor was watered down somehow. I watched the bartenders as they poured the correct amount into each drink I ordered, too. Beers are $7 each and up and mixed drinks that we ordered were $9 and up. That is BEFORE the automatic tip (18%) is added to your bill, each time you order. PREPAID GRATUITIES: These are NOT including bar tips, so be prepared for that. CUSTOMER SERVICES: LONG lines and a wait each time we went, especially on embarkation day and disembarking to settle your account the night before or the day of. The staff did come around to the line and try to help the passengers in advance of reaching the desk, which was great. SELF SERVICE KIOSKS: Both kiosks on Deck 3 and Deck 5 were not working the first day. Usually there’s a line to use them, so be prepared to wait a bit. ATMS: $6 fee to get cash, so get your cash before you board if you don’t want to pay that fee. OVERALL IMPRESSION: We went to relax, escape and disconnect and weren’t disappointed. The cons served as a learning experience for us as new cruisers and were things we learned to expect when we cruise again. We will adjust our choices to allow for those, but none of the cons were so much that it would stop us from cruising on the Liberty again. We learned that the drink package is a must if you are a drinker, even if you don’t plan on drinking 15/day, the tips will get you even if you are buying less than 15/day and are on a budget. THINGS WE WILL DO DIFFERENTLY ON OUR NEXT CRUISE: 1) Pack lighter and only bring a few clothing changes. You really don’t need as many clothes as you think you will. I heard this advice many times before our trip but didn’t listen. I will next time. We will be bringing carry-on luggage only on our next trip just for the convenience and ease of moving around with it. 2) Bring a sweater, hoodie, or something to allow for the slightly windy evenings on the deck. 3) Buy the drink package 4) Get to shows about 15-30 minutes before they start to get a good seat and/or not be turned away because they are full (particularly true for the comedy show). 5) Bring a lanyard for the Sail and Sign card. You need it for practically everywhere you go and it saves you time digging it out. 6) Bring a power strip for the room so you have more plug ins for charging phones. 7) Book a room close to mid-ship/elevators to cut down on long walks and easier access to the action. Book a room on a higher deck to escape the sewage smell. 8) Learn the layout of the ship prior to boarding to save time wandering around looking for things. 9) Learn the open hours of each food station to avoid getting there and seeing they are closed. 10) Study the activity schedule more closely and plan ahead for what we want to do so that we don’t miss out on things we would have enjoyed. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We went on our second Oceania cruise two weeks ago on the Marina. We had taken an Oceania cruise to Cuba on the Sirina about a year ago. We had heard such wonderful things about the Marina, large cabins, great service and great food. We ... Read More
We went on our second Oceania cruise two weeks ago on the Marina. We had taken an Oceania cruise to Cuba on the Sirina about a year ago. We had heard such wonderful things about the Marina, large cabins, great service and great food. We have been consistent Crystal cruisers. (18 over the years) The Marina is a small ship, the type we like and the cabins are a bit larger than Crystals. Bathrooms are large with a shower and a bathtub. Quite nice. The embarkation onto the Marina in Rome (Civitavecchia) was awful. No longer can your driver pull up to the ship but one has to take a bus with all your luggage in hand from the port entrance to the ship’s dock. Quite a shlep and very uncomfortable. Once we checked in, we were greeted with a bottle of champagne ( which we never drank) You get the feeling that Oceania tries to be friendly and caring but they fall short in many areas. The cabin stewardess was excellent. If one is in an A cabin you get free wi-fi for the entire cruise which is very nice. The unfriendly crew member who sets up the wi-fi on your IPad and IPhone is another story. The Marina has 4 dining specialty restaurants, which are quite good. The main dining room is something else. Not having the same wait staff each nite does pose some problems. The food in the main dining room is mediocre, at best. We eat a bit late, around 8pm, and on two occasions when we went to the main for dinner for 2, the dining room was mostly empty, the head waiter put us at a table for 2 next to the waiters bus station. I pointed out that maybe there was not a two by the window but there was a 4 nearby. The supervisor’s answer was “if you don’t mind sharing this table with another couple if they come then it is yours”. At that point I was furious. I went to the maître d and not so quietly explained the situation and that we were not leaving the table for 4 nor will we agree to eat with another couple (Again the dining room was mostly empty at this point.) Of course the Maitre ‘d took care of this situation. This happened on two occasions. Inexcusable! The wait staff in the main dining room were fair, at best. Lunch in the main dining room takes forever and they explain that most of the waiters are upstairs at the buffet restaurant. Oh well. Breakfasts were more than fine. The entertainment, as before on the Sirina, was awful. The friendly Oceania concierge explained that they put most of their money in food and not entertainment. Well, it almost shows. The shore excursions were a ripoff. We used WithLocals to meet us at each major port and they gave us wonderful personal tours in each city, for ¼ of the Oceania prices. We took an Oceania shore excursion in Provence (to St Remy) and this was quite a ripoff. While, I admit, Oceania is not Crystal, there is quite a big difference in attitude of crew, dining room, quality of entertainment and front office personnel. It’s just a feeling I got. And, the costs are not that great a difference to save anything. This was a learning experience. I must say it was nice but next time, I would pay the difference and cruise with Crystal every time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I had already cruised once before, 30 years ago and loved it. My husband had never cruised and wanted to "give it a try". He was over the moon and thoroghly enjoyed it and so did I. Absolutely amazing! Beautiful ship with so ... Read More
I had already cruised once before, 30 years ago and loved it. My husband had never cruised and wanted to "give it a try". He was over the moon and thoroghly enjoyed it and so did I. Absolutely amazing! Beautiful ship with so much space everywhere. Wonderful food and so many restaurants to choose from. Great excursions, although a couple of them not quite what we had expected and not really for us. But you learn as you live. Cruising the Caribbean, excursions on the water including swimming and snorkeling are definitely to prefer to any land excursions; mainly due to the very humid and hot weather we had. We met many very nice people and have now made friends for life. Very much enjoyed the musical shows in the evenings, very good quality and so entertaining. If I can make one remark: the air-condioning inside the ship was too much and we found it very cold everywhere. Not ideal when it's very hot outside. A shawl or jacket was definitely needed in the evening in the restaurants, well as far as I was concerned. We got a cabin upgrade just before leaving so had a most wonderful cabin with so much space and beautiful balcony (we had an Explorer Suite at the front of the ship). The housekeeping staff were absolutely wonderful and so friendly and helpful. In fact all staff on the ship were great! We enjoyed this cruise so much we have already booked another one, with Viking! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
From the moment we arrived at San Juan airport- to be greeted with a champagne reception- the cruise, crew, rooms, facilities, excursions and food were fantastic. This was our first ever cruise, and now we are hooked. Loved the attention ... Read More
From the moment we arrived at San Juan airport- to be greeted with a champagne reception- the cruise, crew, rooms, facilities, excursions and food were fantastic. This was our first ever cruise, and now we are hooked. Loved the attention to detail with the rooms and lounges on the ship. The crew were so attentive- nothing was too much trouble. Loved the low key entertainment- pianists, violinists, guitarist in the lounge areas. The food in all the restaurants was amazing- but we especially loved the Chef’s Table for challenging our taste buds and ideas about food. We did all of the included excursions- which are designed to give you a taster of what the island has to offer. All were great- with good to excellent tour guides. We paid for the St Kitts railway experience- which was worth the money- and we all had a great time. Overall the cruise exceeded our expectations. We never felt crowded on the ship. There were always quiet lounge areas if you wanted peace and quiet. The spa is brilliant- loved the snow room and jacuzzi hot tubs. The only negative was the post-cruise stay at the Caribe Hilton. We were taken to the hotel at 8:30am and not given a room until 4pm. With no secure place to store handluggage we had no option but to sit in the hotel lobby for 8 hours. Once we were allocated our room it was dirty with a broken safe. Housekeeping and security were sent to resolve the problem- but I would not recommend the Hilton- and felt it didn’t mirror the values and quality of Viking. It made a disappointing end to a fantastic cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
First ever ocean cruise. Chose Viking because of an awesome French river cruise 2 years ago. The thought that went into this ship's design is amazing. The carpentry, the meeting coves and the spa additions are outstanding. Crew could ... Read More
First ever ocean cruise. Chose Viking because of an awesome French river cruise 2 years ago. The thought that went into this ship's design is amazing. The carpentry, the meeting coves and the spa additions are outstanding. Crew could not have been friendlier for the most part. Every time you passed someone it was "have a great day" or such. Room was excellent. The entire ship was kept spotless. Food in the Restaurant was very good except for day 1 - must have been opening cruise jitters. Buffet was always good with something for everybody. Our visit to The Chef's Table was a bomb out. Last seating of the night and I think the staff was shot. Basically we were ignored and the menu was more show than substance the night we went. Included beer and wine selections never disappointed. The included day tours (we went on all but one) were mostly being shoved on a crowded bus or van thing and driven around the islands with some decent lookout spots, but a lot of really lame stops as well. I didn't think Viking would dump you off at souvenir and ice cream stores as the main portion of a tour. Went on 2 optional tours which we liked, including a beach afternoon and a great train ride. You should be aware that the average age of guests is probably around 75 and on things like the walking tour in San Juan, we started out with 30 people and ended up with 4. Between the stairs and cobblestone streets a lot of folks couldn't handle it. I know most of the islands went through hurricane devastation 2 years ago, but sadly looking past that it was mostly ghetto tours - these folks are trapped in an economic nightmare and for no fault of their own, outside of the commercial resorts these are pretty depressing housing areas. When you get several huge ships in every port the tours are roadway bottlenecks.....you never have to feel alone. If this is ocean cruising it's not for me. The river cruise experience is a whole other world. Saw some of these other ships in port and they are just floating malls. Good job on the ship Viking, but a lot of work to do on the included tours. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The moment we stepped on board we were in awe. Lovely welcome champagne and greeting by staff. When we first arrived on board we had lunch in the lovely Azure Cafe. For us first impression is a lasting impression. The service was ... Read More
The moment we stepped on board we were in awe. Lovely welcome champagne and greeting by staff. When we first arrived on board we had lunch in the lovely Azure Cafe. For us first impression is a lasting impression. The service was amazing. Our cabin was amazing, and the veranda bigger than we’d experienced before. The ambience was beautiful with beautiful lighting. Our bathroom as well appointed with amazing lighting and large shower with the best shower we’ve ever had cruising and beautiful tapware. The walk in robe was amazing with plenty of storage. The cabins are so well equipped with binoculars, quietvox for excursions and umbrellas. Our cabin steward and butler were extraordinary and very helpful. Every crew member from Reception to Restaurants to expedition team to bar were excellent. The yacht is a discovery yacht and that’s exactly what we got. Being a small ship allows us to go to places the big ships can’t go and having zodiacs on board, submarine, helicopters and kayaks makes the adventure exciting. The Captain (Captain Ewan) and his officers were the best ever. Their care for passengers were second to none. My husband and I have cruised twice a year on all inclusive ships since 2012 and believe Scenic Eclipse have the best of everything. We were very impressed by the Chef’s Table with a gastronomical theatre of food. In fact every restaurant was 5 star. We loved the experience so much we booked two back to back cruises in 2021. Thanks Scenic Eclipse for a wonderful trip! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I am 29 and my wife is 27 years old. This was our 3rd cruise. The MSC Seaside is a ship built specifically for the US market. As an American, I figured I would try a ship that was supposedly built for me. The prices were very appealing, ... Read More
I am 29 and my wife is 27 years old. This was our 3rd cruise. The MSC Seaside is a ship built specifically for the US market. As an American, I figured I would try a ship that was supposedly built for me. The prices were very appealing, as well. I had previously only sailed on Royal Caribbean. Room: Balcony with Aurea Experience Overall impression: The MSC Seaside is a beautiful ship. I was proud to be sailing on her whenever we were in port, as she stood out next to all of the other cruise ships. Everything from the cabins, pool decks, theater, and every lounge/bar looked pristine and modern. This ship might be slightly understaffed compared to a Royal Caribbean counterpart, but my wife and I still felt like royalty. Our fellow cruisers on this ship seemed younger and more attractive than our other cruises. It seemed like most were from Europe and many of them did not speak English. Let me just stress the fact that there were A LOT OF GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE ON THIS CRUISE. **You don't have to buy a wifi package to be able to text on board with iMessage (iPhone). Just connect to the MSC Seaside Wifi Hotspot. This was a nice perk, but we had no idea it worked until we accidentally discovered it. Great on a ship this size to text for free.** AUREA EXPERIENCE **Main perks of this are room location, Easy Drinks package, free massages, and unlimited access to the thermal area. Also PRIORITY BOARDING worked like a charm. No lines. **The massages were top notch. Wife and I got a couples room so we could enjoy the massages next to each other. **The Thermal Area is exquisite. You forget you are on a ship when you are in there. Steam rooms, saunas, a jacuzzi, a SNOW ROOM. You can spend hours in there relaxing. HOWEVER, it did get crowded at times. I wouldn't be surprised if MSC adopted some sort of assigned time system for people to go at designated times to avoid overcrowding in the evenings (seemed most crowded then). In the morning (spa opens at 9am), it was usually pretty empty and you could have free reign over everything there. FOOD **There are 4 complimentary places to eat: 2 buffets (Deck 8 and 16), and 2 restaurants. The buffet on Deck 8 is HUGE and is the main buffet. Most options are the same between the 2 buffets, but Deck 8 had more options when we went. The 2 restaurants, Seashore and Ipanema, reportedly have identical menus. Since we were Aurea and had priority seating, we were told to go to the Seashore restaurant specifically. The buffet was excellent. It was clean, always stocked up, and there was enough variety to entertain the palate. We tried specialty dining at Butcher's Cut and the Asian restaurant. You are given a limited menu and allowed 1 item per section (starter, entree, dessert). Overall, I would say MSC's complimentary food is better than Royal Caribbean's, but Royal Caribbean has the better specialty restaurant experience. **The buffet is open 20 hours per day, but after 9:30-10pm there is limited food (pizza, burgers, hotdogs, etc), all of which was good. HOWEVER, there were NO FRENCH FRIES. It was just weird since there were always french fries during the day. This is not a huge deal but would have made all the people I hung out with happy for sure. MSC, if you're listening, GIVE US LATE NIGHT FRENCH FRIES PLEASE :) DRINKS **There are 3 tiers of drink packages, which is annoying. My Aurea Experience came with the Easy drinks package (lowest tier), but we upgraded to the next level up when we boarded. Easy drinks limits you to items that are $6 or less, which is pretty much nothing. We knew this going in, but here's the kicker: Say you have the Easy Drinks package and want something that costs $6.50. You pay $.50 to make up the difference, right? NOPE. You pay the whole $6.50. So we bought the premium drinks package, limiting us to drinks under $12.00. Guess what, a bunch of drinks are priced at $12.50. We still got pretty much whatever we wanted with the premium package, but the whole drinks system seems a little gimmicky. **Also, I felt like the bars were understaffed as I sometimes waited 10-15 minutes for drinks. However, the bartenders were very relaxed. Once I went to a given bartender once or twice for drinks, they did not ask for my card. They knew me, which was nice. I never had to sign anything. I just let them scan my bracelet if anything. SHOWS/ENTERTAINMENT **The shows get better as the cruise goes on. It's capped off with Starwalker, the Michael Jackson tribute, which is great entertainment with excellent dancing. The theater and stage look like no expense was spared. I just wish the chairs had cupholders so I could give the performers the applause they deserve! **There are EXCELLENT dancers. One couple salsa danced so fast it was breathtaking. **Formula 1 Racing Simulator: Do this if you like cars/racing. Very realistic. See if you can beat my time of 1:02.244 at the Aviano circuit in Italy. **Bowling, slides, ziplining. You shouldn't ever be bored on this ship. Once everybody was on board for departure in Miami, there was an announcement made that we would be going to Nassau instead of Ocean Cay for our last stop. Ocean Cay is MSC's private island, and we were supposed to be the first people to visit. The announcement stated that the island isn't ready. All cabins were given $100 onboard credit and 20% off a future cruise. We were a little disappointed to not go to the private island, but I think MSC handled it as best they could. Day 2 (At Sea): MSC hosted a lovely CruiseCritic Meet & Mingle. They reserved their Seaview Lounge just for us, and they served champagne, cocktails, and small snacks like chocolate dipped strawberries. The captain and other crew were there to chat, as well. My only issue with this was that it was at 10am. I was on my way to the gym and wasn't really in the mood for drinks and mingling. Would have loved for it to be later in the day. Day 3 (Ocho Rios, Jamaica): It was raining, so we hung out on the ship and claimed prime real estate at the South Beach Pool. This pool is part of what makes MSC Seaside unique. To be in a pool so low to the water gives a different feel than being on the top of the ship where you can't see the water. Day 4 (Gorgetown, Grand Cayman): It was a hot day once the rain stopped. We decided to walk back to the ship from 7 Mile Beach. We were exhausted when we got back. Our ship's crew was waiting for us at the dock with cold towels for our faces, cold water to drink, and fresh pool towels. They did this at every port, which made us feel like royalty. I believe this was the night of the All White party, as well. A lot of people participated and showed up to dance. Day 5 (Cozumel): We did the underground cave snorkeling excursion. It's an all-day affair as you take a ferry boat to Playa Del Carmen, then a short van ride to the caves. Pablo and Hugo were great tour guides. Highly recommend doing this activity if you are able to swim and don't have a fear of caves. It's a very unique opportunity to see this kind of ecosystem. Day 6 (At Sea): Silent Disco was this night. Crew handed out headphones and we all danced. Once again, lots of participation and lots of dancing. This ship was full of people who were willing to party, but the ship is big enough and designed in a way that you might not know there was such a party going on if you did not want to take part. Day 7 (Nassau): This was added to the itinerary last-minute, and we didn't have much time to spend. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Heard about quality of this cruise line and price was right. The food was as good as promised. The specialty restaurant (free) Toscana was simply outstanding. The grand dinning room and the buffet were also above average. The ship ... Read More
Heard about quality of this cruise line and price was right. The food was as good as promised. The specialty restaurant (free) Toscana was simply outstanding. The grand dinning room and the buffet were also above average. The ship was nicely appointed and the crew was very good. The small size (680 passangers) was both an advantage and disadvantage. More crew to passangers, but entertainment was limited and sometimes not good. The boarding and disembarkment were very smooth. Our Taxi was right in front of our exit and was available when we got off. The Balcony (Concierge) cabin was rather small (216 sq.ft.). The shower was incredibly small and I'm only 5'10". We had the absolutely best Cruise Director of the 15+ cruises, Carson Turner. He put on a show of his own about Broadway and he had a great voice and even better banter with the audience. It was the highlight of the cruise. The lecturer on Mayan and Aztec civilations was quite good ( Susan Cares) We toured a Mayan ruin when we were in Costa Maya. The guide was really good and the ruins were impressive. This culture has been an interest of mine. All in all I would cruise Oceania again if the price is right. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this as an add on cruise after going transatlantic on celebrity silhouette which was great. We had been on Crystal in February and had been highly recommended Oceania by friends so We thought Wed try it and compare. ... Read More
We chose this as an add on cruise after going transatlantic on celebrity silhouette which was great. We had been on Crystal in February and had been highly recommended Oceania by friends so We thought Wed try it and compare. Embarkation didn’t go smoothly as neither the travel agent or the cruise company let us know where they were leaving from and we were asking all up and down the docks and no one seemed to know. We booked an outside cabin and we felt it was tiny. Hard to get in and out of the shower. The entertainment was poor and they didn’t change the entertainers...citing, back by popular demand for the comedienne...we had already walked out of her first show. The best show was about the life and journey of the entertainment director. A member of staff in the little buffet beside the pool was extremely rude to us and we had missed breakfast so were a bit confused about getting something to eat. The food was our biggest complaint. One of us is dairy free , something most ships take in their stride, but this ship would wait till I was sitting at the table(and I filled in my menu 48 hours in advance) and tell me that almost everything I picked was not possible!!! Can’t be bothered more like. This ruined many mealtimes for me and I’ve never felt like that on Cunard celebrity or p and o...who will let me know way ahead if something can’t be done and recommend something else....finally I blew up but had to wait three hours before I could even speak to someone from pursers...not THE purser...who as I expected said sorry I’ll bring it up at the next meeting. I’ve had no written apology whatsoever or any further comments...not what you expect from this class of ship. Room service was great and 50% of restaurant staff okay...most don’t know basic things like checking if your food is okay and if it isn’t asking if they can get you something else...this happened when we both ordered lamb chops and couldn’t get them cut...so we went hungry.. Ports were caribean and the two tender days it took so long to get off we didn’t even bother. At night going for drinks the only music is in the piano bar but there are only about 30 seats so we could never get a seat so we would go upstairs and there was no music. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Originally scheduled for Cuban ports, Insignia had to change its itinerary. We were offered a big discount to sail to the Western Caribbean. Cozumel, Roatan, Belize and Costa Maya were substituted. None of these ports was very ... Read More
Originally scheduled for Cuban ports, Insignia had to change its itinerary. We were offered a big discount to sail to the Western Caribbean. Cozumel, Roatan, Belize and Costa Maya were substituted. None of these ports was very interesting. Because of the change each port of call was mobbed with 3 or 4 mega ships already docked. In two ports we had to tender. We chose to stay onboard several times. The ship has just refitted and looks beautiful. Our PH cabin was classified as “obstructed view”. A very small upper corner of our veranda was cut off. This was hardly noticeable and provided extra privacy since we abutted a suite and we had a solid wall separating our balconys. The cabin was quiet - almost no food traffic outside our door. Dining in Toscana and Polo was outstanding. The Terrace cafe was excellent, providing grilled lobster tails, shrimp and lamb chops every night. The Grand Dining room is lovely but the menus are just not thrilling. Sometimes we were at a loss as to what to order. For breakfast we had our butler serve in our cabin. It was great. He did a beautiful presentation and the food selection was good. Entertainment was what we anticipated for a small ship. The musical productions were very good. The cruise director, Carson, did an excellent musical show. We didn’t care for the comedian and left after 5 or 10 minutes as did many others. Since we usually sail on Riviera we missed the other two specialty restaurants and I missed the Culinary Center where I always take one of the fun classes. Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived at 11:00 and were dining at Waves grill by 11:20. Disembarkation was equally easy. Our bags were ready and a porter took them to our car in the lot across the street. Service throughout was polite and cheerful. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
i actually did not choose this cruise. we were joining friends, who had chosen this cruise for its cuba itinerary. we were quite reluctant to sign on because oceania charges SO much for their cruises, and the price was very very high! ... Read More
i actually did not choose this cruise. we were joining friends, who had chosen this cruise for its cuba itinerary. we were quite reluctant to sign on because oceania charges SO much for their cruises, and the price was very very high! when the itinerary was changed, and cuba was no longer included in the route, the price dropped significantly, and even though oceania would have given us a full refund had we chosen to cancel, we opted to stay on board. we had already booked a holland american cruise out of fort lauderdale to combine with the oceania cruise. so, we thought it would be interesting to compare a luxury line (as oceania claims it is) with a mainstream experience on holland america we got to the port around noon. even though we were told that boarding would not be till 3pm, we were quite surprised that we were able to walk right on (btw, there is no welcome glass of champagne upon boarding) because it was early we were surprised to see hosw crowded the ship was. staterooms were not yet ready, so we were told that we could sit in the terrace cafe and enjoy lunch. well, good luck with that! the buffet area was completely packed with people...there was not a seat to be had. for most of the cruise, the weather was often rainy. not having the outdoor areas available for seating, made public areas on the ship crowded. oceania includes some perks that other lines often do not. our cruise came with two free perks: free wifi is automatically given as one of the perks, and you can choose free shore excursions (many of the excursions do not qualify in the "free" excursions list) or free classic drink package or $200 shipboard credit. we chose the drink package as our second perk. the classic drink package has limited value, because only house wine/beer/spirits are included AND only at lunch or dinner. we upgraded to the premium package as soon as we boarded the ship ($20 per person per day extra). having self service laundry was very much appreciated. there is no charge for the specialty restaurants, but guests only can dine in these venues a set number of times depending on length of cruise. we had dinner in the polo grille the first night onboard. the food was somewhat better than average , however the service was rushed. i think that because every passenger has the opportunity to dine in the specialty restaurants, these restaurants are very full...it is actually quite difficult to get a reservation at a decent time. it felt like servers just wanted diners to get in and get out so they could reload, with one course not even being finished and the next being placed in front of you as well. there are not many places to have a drink before dinner. basically only two options. most nights we had to lurk a bit, waiting for someone to leave, so we could grab their seats. sandy cares was the enrichment speaker. she was full of life and we enjoyed her talks and her enthusiasm. the cruise director led a sweet and simple church service on sunday morning, and we thought it was great that this was available. food, overall, was pretty much the same quality as we experienced on holland america and other ships we've been on. oceania definitely could improve its options in the food department. the menu in dining room often repeated options day after day. and cookies in the coffee shop offered no variety, but were the same each day. the atmosphere on oceania is not festive, but quite sober. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We are die hard Crystal fans. After many cruises, 40+, we experienced issues on board. Frist the terrific 1. Embarkation and Disembarkation are a breeze 2. Entertainment was top notch. Any time Christine Andreas is on board you ... Read More
We are die hard Crystal fans. After many cruises, 40+, we experienced issues on board. Frist the terrific 1. Embarkation and Disembarkation are a breeze 2. Entertainment was top notch. Any time Christine Andreas is on board you will have a wonderful evening. 3. Enrichment was interesting. The timing of lectures was poor and interfered with other classes. 4. Service is always top notch and this cruise did not disappoint. The Lido staff is always working to make a great experience. Now onto the not so great 5. Cabins are in dire need of updating. Our 9th floor veranda experienced a flood due to pipe bursting in hall. I had to call the front desk before any assistance, and never did the hotel manager come to our room. We had noisy fans running for 2 days, and who knows if mold is growing. One other mention the movies available for viewing in the passenger rooms is awful, talk about dated, and the selection of TV channels is little better. We found the internet to be adequate. 6. Public spaces are showing their age with ragged carpet in Starlite Club. The renovations are an added benefit to many rooms but in the end this is an old ship and despite being very clean she is showing her age. 7. Ports are never spectacular in the Caribbean ; we did not leave the ship in Grand Turk or Tortola. I was lucky to experience the Volunteerism group and it was the highlight of the cruise. We do not use the Shore excursion desk as traveling in a large bus for hours is not attractive to us. 8. Dining was the spot that confused us as Crystal cuisine is usually a 6 star experience. Trident Grill, Bistro, Uma Uma and the best Italian restaurant, Prego, were spot on in every respect. Water side was a hit or miss. Broths and pastas were the same as always; it was the mains that were disappointing with little to no seasoning (maybe salt was omitted due to the age of passengers:), bizarre menus that many found difficult to choose an entree (king crab legs at black tie night tons of venison, duck and lamb), and a dessert menu that just needs a total update. Silk is better with each cruise, and the Brazilian steakhouse was nothing short of inedible. Tapas bar was the normal salad bar, and the vegetable area housed the same boring steamed veges, gummy cauliflower au gratin, and poorly executed roasted broccoli. We tried 4 mains and only the lamb was edible. My short rib oozed grease and the chicken was dry as a bone. In fact all the poultry on board was tough and dry. Another ? as crystals poultry is usually moist.Wish management would consider an American steak house to replace Churiscuria. The captain was the most inconspicuous captain ever. Expect for the Captain's reception he remained out of site. We heard many new passenger comment on the age of the majority of passengers. The average age was well into 80s and greater; many wheelchairs and assisted mobility devices were in halls. I also heard several passengers discuss the entitlement shown by some passengers especially to the staff who work tirelessly. Someone once wrote that some passengers leave their manners at home. I think they have no manners to leave. It will be interesting to see how Crystal moves ahead attracting a younger clientele. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were on what was actually the first ten days of a thirty day cruise. We embarked in Venice . We arrived in Venice three nights early on our own (infinitely cheaper than letting Oceania arrange it). There are two cruise terminals in ... Read More
We were on what was actually the first ten days of a thirty day cruise. We embarked in Venice . We arrived in Venice three nights early on our own (infinitely cheaper than letting Oceania arrange it). There are two cruise terminals in Venice, Martima and San Basilio. We hoped that the ship would be at Maritima since this would be close to our hotel (the excellent Hotel Moresco), but our cruise documents said San Basilio. The day before the cruise I called Oceania to find out where the ship was.and I was told by Oceania that ship was at San Basilio (we actually saw the ship from the Campanile).We met other passengers at our hotel so we arranged to go to the ship by (very expensive) water taxi. When the taxi dropped us off (and took off) we could see that the ship wasn't there. To make a long story short we walked over an hour dragging our luggage to find the ship. We couldn't reach anyone at Oceania by phone to get some help. Once we were on ship things seem to go smoothly under my wife found some pieces of bread under our bed when putting her suitcase away.We also had lousy service at dinner the first night. So our cruise didn't get off to a good start. After that, however things got much better. Our room steward Vincent provided for our every need.Non alcoholic beverages are included and are freely available in your in your stateroom fridge or at the many bars. The ship is the last of it's class that hasn't been gutted and refurbished. However it's very clean and well-maintained. It never felt crowded despite not being a large ship. There were about 680 passengers on board. We never had to wait for a table for any meal. The food was fabulous. At any meal there were numerous choices. There were always vegetarian, non-dairy and gluten-free options. The cleanliness and hygiene in the food areas exceptional. At the buffets, most food was out of reach and was handled by gloved staff. The only place I ever had to wait was at the grill where that made various meats, lobster tails and shrimp to order. The table service at the sit down restaurants was professional, attentive (usually). and friendly. Sommeliers take wine orders.and serve wine and other alcoholic drinks. Our cabin was a Concierge Level Veranda. It was a bit cramped. The bathroom is minuscule. A very large person would have a hard time with it.. It was kept quite clean except that after a maintenance guy came and fixed a cabinet magnet that we didn't know was broken and left a mess. Our itinerary got messed up due to weather. We missed one port (Messina) which were really looking forward to and instead of spending overnight in Livorno we left there after one night (so we missed Lucca) and spent overnight in Civitavecchia which gave us an unexpected day in Rome. We just went on our own by train and saw the overwhelming Vatican Museum including the Sistine Chapel. Was a long exhausting rainy day but well worth and we encountered some really interesting and nice people. We didn't take in much entertainmnt but we got into trivia contests and one points that we traded for t-shirts, a luggage tag, etc.. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Just got off the Seabourn Ovation, it is a beautifully designed ship which was the perfect base for discovering Malta and the Greek Islands. Our first cruise on Seabourn, although we’ve traveled on Silversea, in Queens Grill on Cunard ... Read More
Just got off the Seabourn Ovation, it is a beautifully designed ship which was the perfect base for discovering Malta and the Greek Islands. Our first cruise on Seabourn, although we’ve traveled on Silversea, in Queens Grill on Cunard and various suites on other premium and luxury cruise lines (over 20 cruises to date). I was slightly concerned that we might be a little “young” for Seabourn as we are very active travelers In our 50s, but did not find this to be the case at all- we met many people of all ages, and found the other passengers to be very engaged and friendly. The ship strikes a nice balance to being small enough that we got to know many of the other passengers, but big enough that we had everything we needed, and enough variation of cuisine, public spaces and entertainment to be happy. Loved the dark woods and overall design of the ship. Below I include our impressions of our first Seabourn cruise and the Ovation. The Good/great: 1. Wonderful cabin design, not a space was wasted- great closet (50+ hangers!) and bathroom, liked the makeup table and the curtains between the sitting and sleeping areas offered complete privacy- the table and chairs were perfect for breakfast for 2 or for my husband to spread out while working. Lots of storage. We have booked a 18 day cruise on the Encore, and I am not at all concerned about the size of the room for a much longer cruise. 2. The Range of dining venues was very nice. The food at The Restaurant was wonderful, great space and felt intimate even though it is the largest restaurant on the ship. Earth and Ocean had great service and very pleased with the food, we enjoyed the Sushi restaurant which may have had the best service on the ship and the casual dining option at night in the Colonnade was a very pleasant surprise (we went there for Chinese night). It was great to not have heavy dining every night, and we appreciated the range of choices. Dinner at Thomas Keller was a mixed experience- my Dover Sole was fantastic, whereas my husband and our friends steaks were not as good as they got elsewhere on the ship. 3. Shore Excursions- We usually organize private shore excursions while in Port, but decided to go on the ones offered by Seabourn. The pricing was much lower then I have seen on other ships, and they appeared to cap the size of the excursion, such that we never had more then 16-18 in a group, which made a tremendous difference. The guides were very knowledgeable, there were no annoying “shopping” stops. One of our excursions, a Greek cooking class, was one of the most memorable experiences of the trip. 4. Outdoor and indoor space use is extremely well thought out- We had beautiful weather on our sea day, but there were plenty of chairs for sunning or if you wished to be in the shade. Seabourn square was busy and lively (loved that they incorporated the library in this space), but you could almost always find a chair or couch. The bar areas were comfortable, loved Thomas Keller’s bar as well as the observation bar and both had live music in the evenings. 5. Entertainment- I am surprised to be writing this, but every show and entertainer we saw was quite good, as well as Katy who played the piano and sang in the Thomas Keller bar who was really wonderful. Did not expect this at all, but they appear to be putting effort into their evening programs and it shows. 6. Tenders ran quite often, we never had to wait long for one and made the whole process as easy as it could be. Made what is usually an often frustrating part of the cruise easy and painless. 7. “House” Wines and “House” Spirits, I was traveling with some folks very particular about wine and expected that we’d be buying bottles, as they wouldn’t be happy with the choices offered. In general the wines were quite good, they offered a new selection every night as well as some regularly available options which were good. We only bought a few bottles and generally found the quality of the spirits at the bar comparable to what we were used to at home. 8. Future cruise booking- we found Vincent to be extremely helpful and knowledgeable when it came to booking another cruise. He was informative and had some very helpful insight in deciding on what kind of cabin to choose. He seemed to be quite busy but always had time to explain things and understood the cruises and ships well. Information was passed through to our travel agent flawlessly for our next trip! 9. Exercise room- Very well equipped, took a class which was quite good- lots of different classes offered that would appeal to many on board. Was busy but never crowded, I went almost daily and was very happy with the facilities. Open from 6-10, kind of would have been nice to be open a bit earlier (5 maybe?) Could use a little improvement. 1. Our room Stewardess was extremely new (2 weeks on Seabourn) and although she couldn’t be nicer, she didn’t seem to completely have it figured out. The cabin was tidy, but she frequently wouldn’t do things we asked for and I think could have benefited from more training- I honestly don’t think she really understood. The traditional model where there is a room steward and an assistant probably is a better one, as the assistants thoroughly learn their job before doing it on their own. We have had butlers on most of the cruises we’ve been on the last few years, which adds another layer of care- I’m not sure it’s always necessary but on a cruise like this excellent room stewards would be an expectation. 2. Remembering people’s birthdays/anniversary- A small thing, but a number of people we ran into were celebrating special events. Seabourn had asked before hand if you were celebrating anything so the information had been passed along- but they seemed to have lost this information. I heard this from a few people, so I think they need a better system to track this information and pass it on to at least the room stewards to do something special (and possibly the restaurants as well, they do ask for your cabin number when you walk in). 3. Laundry room- Could get quite busy on the first and last days onboard. They either need a second (or 3rd) laundry room or could offer having free laundry (or greatly reduced cost) on these days. I think this would be greatly appreciated, kind of annoying to have to walk down 4 decks with laundry to find the washers full. All in all a fabulous cruise, in many ways far exceeded our expectations- look forward to cruising on Seabourn again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019

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