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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I’ll keep this short as I find I stop reading if people write to much. In bullet point fashion. Embarkation: great Cabin steward: absolutely marvellous and they always are. Ship: a bit tired looking, could do with new carpets ... Read More
I’ll keep this short as I find I stop reading if people write to much. In bullet point fashion. Embarkation: great Cabin steward: absolutely marvellous and they always are. Ship: a bit tired looking, could do with new carpets and paint etc. Staff: reception: awful. If a smile is all your after, that’s all you will get. They really are dreadful. Waiting staff: at breakfast they are miserable and slow even though we were all extremely polite and patient. The evening the attitude is slightly better. Other guests: Rude, arrogant and miserable. Honestly why come on holiday if your going to be like that. I’ve found this to be true on Victoria as well. I think this contributes to the mood of the staff. Food: very good. Kids club: great Pools: dirty (all of them) I went in with my son wearing goggles and wished I hadn’t! Perhaps I’ve gone on too much but really I don’t expect anything to change and if Your only interest is to tell people you’ve been on Cunard you’ll probably continue to put up with it. Holland America beats them hands down (I’m English btw). Enough droning as I’ve definitely gone on too long. Happy cruising Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
My husband and I sailed on the 8/3/19 cruise on the Ovation out of Copenhagen. This was our first time on Seabourn but I have been on over 30 cruises at the ripe age of 31, with the last 15 on the Oceania line. I am an avid traveler and ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on the 8/3/19 cruise on the Ovation out of Copenhagen. This was our first time on Seabourn but I have been on over 30 cruises at the ripe age of 31, with the last 15 on the Oceania line. I am an avid traveler and feel I have a critical but fair eye. I had high expectations of this line and particular ship from word of mouth recommendations and other favorable reviews. I was quite disappointed and will list out all of my reasons while still making sure to give credit where credit is due. I will start with the positives first. My overall summary of the below is at the bottom of this review. Cabin: Our cabin was very nice and spacious. Bed and pillows are comfortable, ample room with a nice walk in closet and separate seating area. Bathroom has a double sink which is very nice, shower is marble and still small but pressure very good. Bathtub a waste of space in my opinion. Balcony nice size and overall room very spacious. We were in cabin 651 on the 6th floor located toward the center of the ship which was great. Molton Brown products in the bathroom and a selection of body soap offered on the first day. Room stewardess was attentive and did a very good job. Only complaint on the first day is that the room wasn’t cleaned well. The soap in our bathroom which was a body wash had been used and there was a lot of dust and finger prints on the table in the room. Otherwise, cabin was excellent and gets high marks from me. I believe we were in category V5. Ship: the ship is beautiful. Modern, clean, more yacht-like than cruise ship. A lot of wood paneling. 600 people but still felt very quiet even on sea days. Our favorite place to relax was the cappuccino lounge on floor 7 where they had tons of seating and recliners. Decor of the ship was very simple yet elegant. WIFI: very good! Much better WIFI than any other ship I’ve been on - in room technology good. Service: this is where our experience goes down the tubes. The service on this ship was HORRIBLE!! The staff do you a major favor and if asked for something that requires them to go out at all of their way, they are rude. We had some staff that were nice (mainly in cappuccino lounge and main dining room - except for maitre de) but all and all, the service sucked. Management lacks tremendously, customer service is non existent and the staff seem poorly trained, disingenuous and disinterested. I’ve really never experienced anything like this before - had we not met several other couples who also shared the same sentiment, I would have thought I was going crazy!! A few examples - almost every meal without fail we waited 10 minutes before getting anything to drink. If we needed a sauce to accompany a meal, we waited 10 minutes. In fact, we stopped ordering sauces because it was such a lost cause & by the time it arrived our meal was over. I asked for cream with my coffee - by the time the cream came, my coffee was cold. We were almost always at a meal with an empty drink that needed refilling. No accommodating what so ever. My husband likes the salmon in the colonnade - we asked if it could be served on the patio 20 feet away and they said no, they prefer not to. At dinner in the main, I asked if i could have a croquette that came with a different entree than what I ordered and was told no, they only had a certain amount and could not accommodate me. I mean, come on! I tried to move my Thomas Keller reservation because my husband wasn’t feeling well and was told with 11 days left on the trip that they couldn’t accommodate us. Finally, after getting the guest services manager involved, we got one at an undesirable time on a different day but at this point, we took what we could get. These may seem Iike minor gripes but we encountered them several times per day and was a major turnoff and took a lot away from the experience. The overall staff attitude was rude and requests of them felt like inconveniences. This in itself was bad enough to never return to this ship. As I said previously, several other couples experienced the same rude service. My husbands Camera was lost day 1 and finally arrived at our cabin with a cracked and dented lens. We requested compensation for the lens. Seabourn asked us to provide the link to the lens - which we did directly from the website - to prove it was $500. They tried to tell us it was a $200 lens (they had the wrong lens) and refused to refund us. We have yet to resolve this issue with them. Food - We are major foodies and we’re quite disappointed in the food on this ship. I will say that the quality is there in a lot of areas (not all) but the execution is not. Breakfast was good but the same every day. Not a bad thing, but boring after a while. A decent selection and probably the best meal. Lunch was a mixed bag. Salad bar always had nice items and the grill items - fish, burgers, hot dog, etc always very tasty and fresh. Meat quality good, fish quality good. My only complaint on the fish was it never had any seasoning or flavor - this was a major theme for most items on board - but I would still prefer to add salt vs. having the sodium and preservative packed food a lot of ships have, so this wasn’t a major complaint. All lunch hot food served in the chaffing dishes were slop and never hot. We almost never ate any of the prepared food served at lunch because it was room temperature and unappealing. Dinner : main dining room was respectable but not great. We didn’t have one meal there that was really delicious. Temperature was an issue and seasoning was non existent. I’ve never put so much salt on my food in my life. Service mixed. Our first night there we waited about 15 minutes before anyone came to our table. Finally the waitress comes over with an iPad looking down and says “what can i get you” - no greeting, no introduction. Very impersonal feeling. Sushi was nothing to write home about. A lot of rice and uninspired. I actually overheard someone say “it’s not as bad as gas station sushi” - I’ll leave it at that. The colonnade was OK - probably our least favorite. They do special nights like rib night or clam bake night and they look beautiful but just don’t quite execute it well. For example : rib night - the ribs came out in a beautiful Staub cast iron pan presented family style and looked delicious. Unfortunately, the ribs were dry, cold and had clearly been sitting on a heat lamp for an hour +. We sent it back and got a new rack that was the same dry and Luke warm ribs this time with some bbq sauce slathered on top. To put the icing on the cake, the assistant maitre de came over and instead of apologizing that the food came out lacking temperature and dry, explained that the ribs weren’t Texas style but st.louis style and weren’t supposed to fall off the bone..I mean ..really ? I’m not expecting anything more than a simple apology or some sort of follow up to see if the second round was better. Instead, I was blamed for expecting them to fall off the bone and they didn’t. I didn’t need ribs that fell off the bone, just didn’t want to eat something as dry as wood. The Patio by the pool in our opinion offered the best most innovative meals but even those fell short on flavor and execution. We also had a Northern Europe itinerary with a lot of rain and cool weather and found ourselves eating outside in the windy cold weather because the patio was the best choice. Thomas Keller which is the specialty restaurant was very good for a steakhouse on a cruise ship. I would say this is likely the best option on board. Food delicious but once again, service lacking. Not attentive and seemed to do you a big favor. We found in all restaurants that the deserts were mediocre and most didn’t taste cooked on board. I don’t think I had one desert I loved. I also found the breads were uninspired. In summary : good quality ingredients (for the most part ) that aren’t executed well. Oceania food trumps Seabourn by a landslide. A few other items to note: Older crowd, no children. Except for us (in our early 30s), most people were 65+. Not good or bad, just our cruise demographic. Free laundry was a nice feature with Miele commercial washers and dryers and complimentary detergent. Gym was small but clean, coffee on board was very good. Entertainment was respectable. Nice job at including different daily activities. Excursions - expensive but well organized. I read the ship docs at ports further away from the destinations to save on docking fees. Not sure if this is true. We did a few excursions - food provided on them was mediocre and limited and tours very pricey. Spa - didn’t use but quite expensive. Very few discounts offered throughout cruise. They had a “promotion” that if you do 3 treatments from a select number of services you get 10% off first, 20% off second and 30% off third. Note this is per cabin and not per stateroom. I know all cruise spas are expensive but this was more than canyon ranch on Oceania. I may have left stuff out but to summarize my overall impressions: cabin and ship top notch and classy, food better than the celebrity level lines but nothing special. Service was so bad it border-lined on offensive and as a result, I will likely not return to Seabourn. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I travelled with family and they recommended this cruise line having sailed with them before. The ship is smaller than what I have previously cruised on so I was concerned about motion - turned out to be a non-issue (not sure if it was ... Read More
I travelled with family and they recommended this cruise line having sailed with them before. The ship is smaller than what I have previously cruised on so I was concerned about motion - turned out to be a non-issue (not sure if it was just the ship or the calmer waters we sailed mostly in Alaska). We were traveling with my senior citizen mother so the smaller ship was a great size for her to easily navigate. Although the ship was at capacity we never felt crowded, never waited in any line, and service was impeccable. Cabin was spacious (Verandah Suite Deck 8) and we had 3 in the room with no issues. Bathroom was very spacious and the shower was wonderful with great water pressure. Loved the towels and bath amenities. Our butler was excellent, and it was a nice service. We booked tours in all our ports independent of the ship so I cannot comment on this aspect. Entertainment was basic and we did not do much during the day other than bingo while at sea, which was fun. The evening entertainment was just OK. The best show was the tribute to Queen. Casino is small but not overly crowded. One table each for blackjack, poker and roulette and there were some slot machines. The ship was beautiful and well kept, service outstanding as I mentioned. A few blips to be aware of: 1. Embarkation timing could be seriously improved. We arrived in Anchorage the day before the sailing and took the scenic railway to the ship with the cruise line the next day. Our bus to the train did not depart until 1230pm, so the morning was quiet and sort of boring with not much we could do. The train ride was pleasant, scenery was beautiful, but the ride was long and we arrived at the boat close to 6pm. We were on the last car of the train so last to exit and get on board. As soon as we got on board it was muster drill time, we did not even have time to walk around the ship and get acclimated. After muster we had to get ready for dinner and felt very rushed to unpack and get organized. Rather than keep us in Anchorage, it would have been better to have us depart and arrive at the ship an hour or so earlier to allow passengers to get their bearings. I know most passengers arrive on the train so it gives the crew max time to prepare the ship, but there should be a happier medium. 2. Remember to bring converters. The USB ports did not work and there were not enough USA outlets. There were no converters available to us when we asked our butler and we did not read that converters were recommended to bring- our fault for not asking I guess. 3. Restaurants were overall pretty good. Some blips in service and food quality during dinners in both Atlantide and La Terrazza. I thought the food was good but I think I expected better given the luxury level of the line- it was not much better than I have experienced on other 'less luxurious' ships. What was nice - service was outstanding all over the ship, maitre d's addressed you by name within 24 hours of being onboard, staff was friendly everywhere, and the available wine and any beverage you want anytime were certainly nice! So overall we had a wonderful cruise on the Muse and for our Alaska trip but I am not sure I would book again with them at this time. I reserve the right to reconsider my comment though if I cruise again and see significant advantages to Silver Sea. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Having never heard of Ponant, we chose this cruise because it did a circumnavigation of Iceland which is what we wanted. The ship was extremely clean, comfortable, and well laid-out. Embarkation from a small port outside of Reykjavik was ... Read More
Having never heard of Ponant, we chose this cruise because it did a circumnavigation of Iceland which is what we wanted. The ship was extremely clean, comfortable, and well laid-out. Embarkation from a small port outside of Reykjavik was a breeze (as was disembarkation). Captain Etienne Garcia was terrific - his enthusiasm for the immense beauty of Iceland came through in every message from him and he made sure no one on board missed a whale sighting or any other special event. Food service was in one of two rooms - on Deck 6 was a buffet-at-all-meals room that opened on to the deck which had additional seating. Weather during our cruise was wonderful so we could often eat on the deck which was delightful. Food was good and daily choices varied enough to keep us interested. The drinks-included selections were excellent and the pouring wine was very good. Other food option was a white-tablecloth dining room on Deck 2 with no outdoor access. We learned that it served the same food but with dinner served (not buffet). We did not choose that option. Excursions were very good and organization of everything on the ship was perfect. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We sailed in July with Azamara for the second time. Our first cruise with Azamarawas on the Pursuit in the Autumn of last year. The only real difference we could see between the ships was the Casino, when that is removed and the Lounge ... Read More
We sailed in July with Azamara for the second time. Our first cruise with Azamarawas on the Pursuit in the Autumn of last year. The only real difference we could see between the ships was the Casino, when that is removed and the Lounge becomes bigger it is a definite improvement. However The Journey is a lovely ship, we did not notice any shabby areas, she gleamed! Add to the experience the wonderful crew, a Captain who was so personable and who made in scheduled ‘stops’ so the chef could source local Norwegian berries and cheese and you have a recipe for a fun time. We even did an oil rig safari! Not many can say that! The food, service and overall holiday was first class. We are already booking two back to back cruises with Journey in November, can’t wait. Caribbean here we come! Thank you Azamara for Azamazing holidays Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I are in our late 60's and still quite active and like to travel with friends. This will be our second Ocean cruise and we have done two other Viking River Cruises. I like the cruise idea since you pack and unpack only ... Read More
My wife and I are in our late 60's and still quite active and like to travel with friends. This will be our second Ocean cruise and we have done two other Viking River Cruises. I like the cruise idea since you pack and unpack only once and you travel at night to a new port. On this cruise we were able to see the diversity in the different countries in the British Isles and go to many places where we would probably not go to, all of which were interesting to us. Usually I would have extended the trip on the front end in London, because it is such an amazing city, but we had been there for a week at Christmas with our daughter and had seen a lot of the sights. We did fly in early Sunday and had a full day, although a bit tired to explore the city. We are pretty good getting around ourselves and booked the inside Buckingham Palace and garden tour at 12:15. We LOVED getting to see inside the Palace and the grounds. Definitely try to do that if you go. I will now try to summarize the different parts of the cruise. The Jupiter was stunning. It was just like our first boat with probably very minor tweeks for improvement that we would not even notice. There was a great diversity of places to be on the boat and be a quiet or active as you want. The boat was big, but not too big. It never seemed crowded to me. The Spa area was very well done with a nice changing areaa and indoor pool with a very cool Nordic experience cold room onboard. Their was also a pool in a large atrium area that have plenty of seats near the windows on the outside. Finally there was a great small infinity pool and hot tub on the aft on level 7. Our room was a deluxe veranda which was fine for us. The bed was very comfortable and a king size bed. I am 6'4" and slept well. The bathroom was a good size but crowded for 2 people. We loved our veranda but honestly did not use it much. The Crew----We found the crew on the Jupiter excellent and very hardworking. From the General Manager to all areas of operation- we thought the crew was outstanding. We were able to interact with many crew members and the one theme that came out was that they loved Viking better than others they had been on. The crew was very happy. We have been to nice resorts like Sea Island and found the level of service on par with that experience. Food-We found the food very good to excellent . I thought the best food was at Manfredis (the Italian option) but that is also my favorite food. When you get your first opportunity go ahead and book reservations at either this restaurant or the Chef's Table, both of which was good. The Dining Room option was great also and usually had a wide variety of meal options. Since we ate at different areas in the dining room, we did not have the same server every night. We usually ate at the buffet for breakfast which had GREAT fresh fruit, about any breakfast option you could imagine, and omelet stations. Bottom line-The food ranges from good to excellent. You will not go hungry. Oh, I almost forgot, Mamsen's was a grill option on level 7 toward the pool area. They have great grill options and salads which were delicious. Entertainment-We found this area to be good to excellent. The four young singers were quite good and gave a variety of performances whcih we loved. There were also several times when local talent was brought in which was fun. The band on the ship was EXCELLENT and were the male and female vocalists. They performed both in the theater as back up to the singers and by themselves in Torshavn, a small lounge . We found the music excellent, but do not expect a carnival type atmosphere on this boat. Speakers- The speakers were good not great, but still very imformative. We have had better speakers on other boats, but thought they were good and discussed some tough topics like BREXIT and the Ireland-Northern Island issue. Cruise Director-Heather. I saved the best for last. WE have been on 5 other cruises and Heather was the best BY FAR cruise director we have ever experienced. She was a great speaker, funny, on topic and talented. In a previous life she was an opera singer and had to put together a show at the last minute (5 PM for a 9:00 pm show) due to a sore throat of one of the singers. Her performance was outstanding!!! But, I loved just her daily talks and her general interaction. She had the ability to make mundane things interesting. Excursions--We found the excursions to be good and gave a lot of options. Since we booked this trip very late-in June, we could not sign early, but found that most of tours opened uo that we wanted. The only negative is getting on and off buses and is a process which they handled quite well. I would give the tour leaders high marks in each area!! We usually did the included tour and then did things on our own at the other parts of the day. I did talk to other that did some of the options and they all seemed to like them. One tip is when you are in Invergorton and you play golf, there is a Top Ten golf course in the WORLD about 30 minutes away called Royal Dornoch. You can book you own times and but you will need a morning time, as you must be back on the boat by 4:30. I did this on my own and rented a car from Ken's for the day. Amazing course -it is my favorite course ever and I have played all the Open courses. Finally, on the Bergen stop I booked the Norway in a Nutshell trip. It is a series of trains, buses and ships which shows you fiords and beautiful country. It is about 10 hours but well worth it. There is no hand holding or person, just tickets but it works quite well if you can get around and feel comfortable travelling on your own. We loved the trip and I guess the only negative was trying to book a future trip. We met with the future trip person and just did not enjoy the experience. I liked the option, just not the experience and we chose not to book. In summary, Viking ships, crew and experiences are great!!! we plan to come back in the future. One final note- if both you and your wife drink, the drink option is a good deal for part of your trip. We did not do it, but some of our friends did and loved it. Also, since we were travelling just with us, it allowed us to meet some amazing new friends we hope to see in the future! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was a fantastic vacation. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. We visited all of the countries in the United Kingdom and finished in Bergen, Norway. We always felt so comfortable on board and welcomed by the Viking ... Read More
This was a fantastic vacation. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. We visited all of the countries in the United Kingdom and finished in Bergen, Norway. We always felt so comfortable on board and welcomed by the Viking Staff. This was the longest cruise we have ever undertaken and we were more than pleased. Heather Clancy, the Cruise Director, and her crew were fantastic. They entertained us with at different show every night. Elvis even made an appearance on board. The Viking Band was great. Dancing under the stars provided a great memory. The Restaurants provide excellent food and service. The specialty restaurants are not to be missed. Wine and Beer were provided at all lunch and dinners at no charge. I would highly recommend the purchase of Silver Drink package (Upgrade). The Buffet is one the best I have experienced. Viking provided excellent exclusions at every port, at no charge. Shuttles were also provided at most ports, free of charge. At Edinburgh, because of windy weather conditions, the ship could not tender the passengers to Edinburgh. The Captain and crew decided to dock further upstream. The crew jumped through hoops to provide transportation (free) into the heart of the city. Other cruise lines, in port, just anchored and the passengers lost the opportunity to visit Edinburgh. All in all we had a great time and thank the Viking Crew and staff for a great vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our 5th cruise with Azamara and our first time on Pursuit since she was taken over by Azamara, we had sailed with her previously as P&O Adonia so it was interesting to see the refurbishment. Emarkation was not good; when we ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise with Azamara and our first time on Pursuit since she was taken over by Azamara, we had sailed with her previously as P&O Adonia so it was interesting to see the refurbishment. Emarkation was not good; when we arrived at the port at the Trade Centre in Barcelona we were told we could board immediately however it was clear when we had gone through security we were going to have a wait as we were given numbers and asked to take seat. There were no facilities in the area for tea/coffee etc., and no announcements or information from Azamara staff to let us know why we were delayed boarding so not a good start. After sitting for about an hour our number was called and we were taken to mini buses, it was fairly heavy rain and I think Azamara were waiting on the buses to come and transport us to the ship which was about 100 yards away, however we still weren't given a reason for the delay in boarding. Once onboard we were quickly checked in and our photo taken again, I had uploaded a photo online but this wasn't used, seems a waste of time doing it before hand so wouldn't do it again.There was a table for upgrading to the Ultimate Drinks Package and we had planned to do this anyway as it gave us more options, the selection of wines in the package were good and suited us. The Complimentary Drinks remain the same 2 whites, 2 reds which change daily, rose and a sparkling wine which are the same everyday. The ship has an identical layout to Journey and Quest with the exception of the Casino, which is now accommodating the Future Cruise Desk and The Den, it's actually a better use of the space. The ship was in good order and well looked after, staff were constantly cleaning which is understandable. Food in Discoveries Restaurant was a bit of a hit or miss, sometimes it was good other times bland, the service was also good in the restaurant but if you were on a large table there was a longer wait. The food in Aqualina and Prime C were excellent we had the 3 restaurant package and it was worth the additional payment, it was a nice atmosphere and a lot quieter. Service was also first class in these restaurants. Windows food was good but never stayed hot for very long, this was something I did raise at the time and it was acknowledged, but there was always a good selection. The Patio had a good choice of food, the baked potatoes and Chilli were excellent, again service from Vishal 1 and Vishal 2 was excellent, very attentive and helpful. Entertainment, Paul Martell an impressionist and Jane Scali singer were in the show lounge and were very good, Signature singers again in the show lounge were good. Vasi Katina a pianist who played in Den was good. White Sand Trio who played in The Living Room were not good, the young lady who was singing was good enough however there were 2 elderly gentlemen, 1 played drums and the other key boards and sang but they were not good, they didn't gel as a trio. We like The Living Room however we only went there once and never went back as this trio were on every night. The White Night was well attended and everyone enjoyed the Signature Singers and Tony Markey the cruise director singing. We didn't attend the Azamazing Evening which was advertised as an opera but I believe it was 3 Sopranos who sang a mixture of song types. We enjoyed pre-dinner drinks in the Prime C cocktail bar, Ruby was in charge and she was very efficient and knowledgeable about the drinks and made a mean French Martini. The included drinks remain the same 2 whites, 2 reds which change daily, rose and a sparkling wine which stay the same. One of the reasons we enjoy Azamara is the smaller ships usually get the good berths which means being close to the town, also the early arrival and late or overnight stays. We enjoyed all the ports, Port Vendres was cancelled due to rough seas and this was substituted by a stop in Sete which was very nice, Marseilles, Monte Carlo and Livorno were the other ports. We didn't book any excursions. The Captain and crew were noticeable around the ship and all the staff we had dealings with were very helpful, friendly and efficient. Overall this was a very good cruise and we met some lovely people, the passengers were mainly from USA, Australia and Canada and some from GB. The reason for the 4 star review was due to poor embarkation and the entertainment, however this would not put us off booking again as we very much enjoyed our time onboard Pursuit. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose Princess because we had friends who suggested them. Princess exceeded our expectations. No problems with embarkation or disembarkation. The cabin, a deluxe balcony room, had all the space and amenities we needed, it was easy to ... Read More
We chose Princess because we had friends who suggested them. Princess exceeded our expectations. No problems with embarkation or disembarkation. The cabin, a deluxe balcony room, had all the space and amenities we needed, it was easy to manage getting around the ship and the entertainment was very good with a very good house band, Evolution, playing different music styles. Danced many nights and especially enjoyed Rock Night-great! Food was good to excellent in open seating dinning room where we ate every night. Never had a bad meal. The buffet, which we only used for breakfast and lunch when on ship, was huge and good. Really like eggs/omelets made to order every morning on buffet. The shows were great with a huge theatre so never a problem getting a seat. Booked all shore excursions with Princess. Just wanted to keep it easy and price was reasonable to third parties. Booked the small group tours in Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Oslo. Just went on our own in Tallinn and Warnemunde. All equal or better guides then we have had with European tours in the past. Really pleased we did it this way and the groups were always less number of people than allowed. Service on the ship was excellent!! Room always very clean and Princess people just very hard working and nice. My wife and I have been to Europe 8 times in the last 13 years and recently retired. We use the internet very little and no cell phone when we travel but internet and TV sometimes do not work well in the Baltic Sea or places like Russia. I always felt it was foolish to work on European vacations anyway so never did in any of my previous trips. We will cruise again and Princess will be the company we will use. It was a great experience and look forward to more. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We Carefully Choose viking Orion for our Alaska cruise when first available in 2016 because of ships open vista views and as a small ship also very importantly the itinerary and full package details . As our first Viking voyage we have ... Read More
We Carefully Choose viking Orion for our Alaska cruise when first available in 2016 because of ships open vista views and as a small ship also very importantly the itinerary and full package details . As our first Viking voyage we have been very satisfied and loved the ship it’s ambience decor space and lovely staff. With the amazing Alaskan scenery and fantastic wildlife and wilderness al around us we had one of our best ever holidays thank you viking, We started with a pre cruise in Vancouver lovely city, wonderful hotel by the bay , the pre cruise tour and lunch alfresco after boarding and sail out was lovely with seaplanes landing and taking off around us , and boats of all descriptions paddle steamers , sailing and small pleasure cruising craft to other ships then the cruise up the inside passage humpbacks sighting wonderful scenery sunsets and all enhanced by the ship! Really very good food right through the voyage onboard Orion majority of our meals we ate seafood,. Enjoyed all of the restaurants onboard, open seating only waited the once for a table but seated in restaurant reception with offers of drinks! There’s also a bar in the restaurant where you can have a pre dinner drinks . We enjoyed all our ports of calls and trips with only one complaint about the lunch on our Haines bear search and wildlife tour which was dealt with with a small refund to compensate however no bears seen but then that’s wildlife although we were probably not going to see any as Haines had hosted the state fair a few days earlier, trip highlights amazing Juneau glacier helicopter and dogsledding and glacier and whales trips , Valdez sail out amazing beautiful weather swimming in the infinity pool and hot tub and escorted out by high speed coast guard rigid inflatable with machine gun mounted and manned past all the Valdez salmon fishing fleets which were laying nets ! A James Bond moment! Dinner that evening a favourite with to start soft shell crab , lobster Thermidor and desert a lovely soufflé , with lovely wines and all made exceptional by Alaska delivering with beautiful scenery and Orca’s seen alongside during dinner !!! A Most memorable evening I must also thank the staff on Orion Nearly all were fantastic except for the future cruise lady? The shows on board such a small ship were all delivered by the Orion team and were excellent thank you to Jade And Karine and speedy and the viking band also bar waiters stewards Ivan and Corrinia ? Overall a fantastic holiday experience one of our very best highly recommend this voyage and ship if viking can keep price correct Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Recently completed a 7 day Alaske cruise on Regent's Seven Seas Mariner. My wife and I had planned this trip for several years and finally decided to travel this past July (2019). We chose Regent at the suggestion of our Agent. On ... Read More
Recently completed a 7 day Alaske cruise on Regent's Seven Seas Mariner. My wife and I had planned this trip for several years and finally decided to travel this past July (2019). We chose Regent at the suggestion of our Agent. On receipt of their sales brochure we "poured" over the information and decided it was time to "treat" ourselves to a high end cruise. We purchase the cruise for $17,000.00 dollars for a balcony room on the 9th level. NOT A SUITE. We have cruised many times in the past with our children and our friends. We have booked on Royal Caribbean and Carnival ships with travel throughout the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas. What sold us on the Regent cruise was the "promise" of a "top of the line" all inclusive experience. Boy were we disappointed. As I will enumerate below. 1) The embarkation process in Vancouver was rudimentary at best. We arrived with plenty of time to spare and recieved our documents in a timely fashion. After a very long walk with carry on luggage we boarded the ship to a glass of sparkling wine. 2). Our room was ready to occupy. It was clean with a bowl of "aging" fruit available for consumption. The small refridgerator was stocked with 4 cans of soda pop and one water. I asked the room attendant about wine and spirits availablity (which we thought would in the refridgerator) and was told that individual servings were available through "room service". Who wants to wait 45 minutes for a glass of wine? My wife odered a bottle of wine (California Chardonnay). 25 bucks at Costco and was charge $60.00 on the cruise. Premium Wine and Spirits were to be included onboard as part of the "package". At the lounges we were offerd mixed drinks....mostly of a lower quality range of spirits. You had to request "top shelf" spirits. I'm not a big drinker but for $17,000.00 bucks I would expect top quality. 3) We met our room steward ONCE during the cruise. Never once were we asked if anything additional was needed to improve our cruise experience....BY ANYBODY.... Our friends who stayed down the hall had money stolen from a wallet during the day, they spoke to Guest Relations and recieved an inadequate response. Lesson learned.... lock your stuff in the safe. 3). The ship was in "good condition" and the maintenence crew kept it clean. It was quite clear that the Cruise Ship Operators" poured a great deal of their resources to its upkeep. 4) The entertainment was ok. Some good, some not so good. The Cruise director "Andy" was slightly overbearing constantly trying to "shill" the products both on the ship and at each port. I overheard several guests stating that the shops at the ports paid for this service. If I want to buy something I really don't need a strangers input. 5) There were plenty of "shore excursions" available at no charge, but.....If you wanted to partcipate in "upscale" excursions there was a charge We purchased 4 days of excursions for 2 people at a additional cost of $1900.00. Getting near $20 grand now. 6) The FOOD. Very disappointed. We were ALLOWED to dine at the upscale restaraunt only once during our cruise. We were told at the main reservation desk on deck 5 to inquire daily about cancellations then were told there that we needed to go to the individual resaurants and inquire. How embarassing, that we receievd poor treatment from ALL the maitre d's at the specialty restaurants. We dined a Prime 7 and had a wonderful dinner the crab legs served were what you expect from Alaska. Other than that evening the food and the service was subpar in the main dining room. My wife order lobster one evening and got somthing that resembled several large shrimp. I had Dover sole and had to remove pinbones fron the filets. Being that we were on an Alaskan cruise I would assume that Shrimp, Salmon and Crab Legs would be highlighted. Not on this cruise. The shrimp cocktails contained shrimp that were meally/old and the crab legs when available in the main dining room were that of "Red Lobster" quality. 7) Disembarkation. Now here is where Regent gets 2 stars. Smooth transition. I thought that this process was the only thing that Regent did properly. Probably to get the passengers off the ship and get the next "goats" onboard. All in all, quite a disappointing experience for what was billed as the cruise of a lifetime. Never again with Regent! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose Scenic in part due to the all inclusive price, no tipping, no added fees. We also received a recommendation from our travel agent. We arrived in Amsterdam 1 day early, primarily to help with jet lag. In hind site it would have ... Read More
We chose Scenic in part due to the all inclusive price, no tipping, no added fees. We also received a recommendation from our travel agent. We arrived in Amsterdam 1 day early, primarily to help with jet lag. In hind site it would have been better to have come 2 days early to enjoy Amsterdam more before the cruise started. Embarkation was much easier than initially described. We were told that we would be boarding at 15:00, however we were able to board the ship at 12:30 and enjoy the lounge while rooms were readied and to start to get a feel for the ship. Disembarkation in Budapest was equally smooth and relaxed. From the very first interaction the care and training of the staff was obvious, everyone was friendly and helpful. The ship (Jade) appeared to be recently refurbished and everything was in top condition. The cabin was well laid out and easy to use. The dining experience was excellent, breakfast and lunch were primarily buffet, however a menu was available if a passenger wanted a meal with more than buffet preparation. The dinners were we very delicious and well presented. The entertainment (a quartet, a zither musician, a waltz couple and lessons and Hungarian dancing) were timed with the ports and shore excursions and provided a inspiration during time in the lounge. The service on the ship, at all levels was top flight and everyone was both friendly and helpful. The shorE excursions were also first class with lots of information and pace geared to various levels of needs. In addition the medieval dinner, sound of music show and the concert left us with very happy memories. We did face a ship shift, that is we started on the Jade but at Nuremberg we had a bus ride to change to the Jewel. We had been cautioned that this happens. On the positive side it went like clockwork. We were told what we needed when we needed it. For example we were 1.5 days ahead that this was coming, then the next evening we needed to pack then on the day of the shift, we did our normal shore tours and then after lunch boarded the buses and were in our new cabin in time for supper. For the most part the ships were identical. The jewel had not been updated and the lounge furniture was older and the shower faucet was older but worked well. The only problem was with the WIFI. On the Jade we had great service in our cabin, however on the Jewel we had no service in our cabin. Passengers on one side of us had service while the passengers on the other side of us did not have service. Despite asking reception for help (and they in turn asking engineering to look into the matter), there appeared to be nothing to be done about this, We did not have any children on the trip with us and we are both quite mobile. Would we go again, definitely. In fact we are already dreaming of future trips with Scenic. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Extremely high level of food, wine and service capped off this excellent cruise through such a pretty area of France. Really enjoyed excursions to Vaux Le Vicomte Palace, Chantilly Castle, Giverny and Monet's garden, Fecamp with the ... Read More
Extremely high level of food, wine and service capped off this excellent cruise through such a pretty area of France. Really enjoyed excursions to Vaux Le Vicomte Palace, Chantilly Castle, Giverny and Monet's garden, Fecamp with the Palais Benedictine visit, the beautiful coast and cliffs of Etretat, Rouen and the Fine Arts Museum and Deauville. We are experienced travellers who have travelled with Scenic Tours before. This cruise did not disappoint. The crew were so happy even though they worked extremely hard. A really good team. The ship is spotless, well maintained. The cabins are comfortable and spacious With lots of storage space, Windows, balconies etc. The beds are very comfortable and there is a pillow menu for added comfort. Each cabin has Internet, TVs, radio, music and movies. The bathroom is not squeezy with a good size shower 2 can fit in and lovely toiletries. Rooms are serviced twice a day Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We have been ocean cruising for over thirty years, taking at least 2-3 cruises a year, but never been on a river cruise. Looking back over the whole trip I doubt I would do it again. The ship was nice, we had a Royal Suite on the ... Read More
We have been ocean cruising for over thirty years, taking at least 2-3 cruises a year, but never been on a river cruise. Looking back over the whole trip I doubt I would do it again. The ship was nice, we had a Royal Suite on the top deck which was ‘compact’ , you couldn’t sit on the toilet without hitting your knees on the toilet roll holder. The dining was excellent, the food variable, well cooked and stylishly presented. The Head Chef and Dining Room Manager where always available to us and extraordinary helpful and the Hotel Manager, Mr Mauricio ( I think) even shared his private supply of Piri Piri oil with me. Richard, our cruise director , was amazing. He is definitely the best cruise director I have come across in over 30 years. Always pleasant, unflappable and very amusing as well as highly efficient. He made our trip. The bar service was generally good. If I had a criticism it was that there was insufficient waiter service on the pool deck when we were sailing. Regarding the tours the concert in the Liechtenstein Palace was definitely the highlight. Some of the other were just too long. When we stayed onboard the day we had to make an unscheduled stop because of low water levels, it was unfortunate that the pool was out of action for cleaning on a day when the temperatures were 38=40C surely that could have been changed to accommodate the circumstances My main complaint was about the hairdresser who had never heard of a hot brush, didn’t have any rollers and unbelievably ran out of hairspray. I asked her why she didn’t tell me before I went, or even give me chance to go to my cabin and collect my own but she had no answer for that. As we had been moored up all day, on an unscheduled stop, I asked her why she hadn’t gone off the ship to the Aldi supermarket just across from the gangway but she told me she hadn’t had time. Firstly, I can’t believe that as I had been able to change my appointment as she had spaces, and because of the unscheduled stop and the adjusted tour timings other people had cancelled their appointments, and secondly i’m sure if she had asked Richard or the hotel manager they could have arranged for someone to fetch some. Surely she must have been aware several days before that she was running out or down to her last can? Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our second Windstar cruise following last summer’s Norway/Iceland voyage which was marvelous. Sufficiently marvelous that we invited three friends from NYC to join us this time. We previously sailed once on Regent which was but ... Read More
This was our second Windstar cruise following last summer’s Norway/Iceland voyage which was marvelous. Sufficiently marvelous that we invited three friends from NYC to join us this time. We previously sailed once on Regent which was but decent and once on Silversea which was slightly better than decent. Windstar ran rings around them on both our sailings aboard Legend and Pride. See our cabin review below, it was very good and comfortable but also most expensive suite available. You get what you pay for. My friends had regular cabins (following luxury marketing rules, these are referred to as suites, haha) which they thought sumptuous, comfortable and well designed. This cruise had half-a-dozen naturalists on board, fully credentialed for all things Alaska including flora, fauna — birds, orcas, whales, otters, seals, sea lions, glaciers, earthquakes, volcanos, weather, cultures, and more. Plus, they led many of the zodiac and other excursions so could narrate in real time. This was a case where having an onboard marina on deck 3 made a qualitative difference and enhanced the cruise for many. Because this ship carries only 212 passengers max, we were small potatoes when it comes to the gargantuan vessels you may be imagining. And that’s exactly how we like it! When it comes to Alaska, we were able to cruise where larger vessels (Regent, Crystal, Disney, Princess, etc.) cannot go — right up lengthy fjords to glacier front (Tracy Arms Fjord and Kenai Fjord). Not to mention some of the sweet smaller villages. On a twelve-day voyage we had only two sea days. Food was very good and better than that. Room service meals very good. Coffee uniformly very good. Cappuccino in the Yacht Club was marvelous. Our “crew” of five were mostly delighted and sometimes wowed. Wines — we eschewed drink package and opted for two bottles of wine at dinner every night: the Sokol pinot noir and a sancerre or pouilly fume. The lectures were relevant, excellent, informative and fun. Great delivery with enthusiasm. As for entertainment, we did not go there, we are classical music sorts. Staff was amazingly kind, efficient and on top of their game. Not a snooty nose to be seen. An occasional incompetent in the dining room but that happens. The Captain stood at top of gangway to greet and farewell passengers when boarding and disembarking. He is quite the gentleman with a lovely British accent. Ship environs are comfortably chic, no godawful “art.” Plenty spacious. Yacht club crowded only on the two glacier days and then, only in the mornings. Furniture very comfortable with nary a bulky vulgar barrel chair to be seen. Fellow passengers trended to the fit middle aged, less-fit middle aged and older, some younger folk, and a few in recovery including me (broken leg/ankle four months gone). Plus my beloved Jim the Demented. Meanwhile Alaska is drop-dead gorgeous and fascinating; just exactly the sort of place that lends itself to cruising. We now are motivated to look into a train tour and a Denali expedition. Can’t say how wonderful was Alaska, disvover it for yourself. No, I do not (yet) work for the Alaska Tourist Board. It was a grand voyage, and lovely to travel with our own comfy crowd who like to scrabble and puzzle. For us, Windstar is perfect, the motor “yachts” that is. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Having sailed three times previously with Seabourn,we are used to being wowed by their fabulous standards. However this time we noticed straight away that things were different. The cabin balcony had a dirty towel on the balcony, and ... Read More
Having sailed three times previously with Seabourn,we are used to being wowed by their fabulous standards. However this time we noticed straight away that things were different. The cabin balcony had a dirty towel on the balcony, and when I leaned over the handrail my arms were the covered in wet varnish.. The vase had no flower in and the fridge did not have our requested drinks, it was empty .The water bottle was half full and looked cloudy as if it had not been clean and refreshed. I went to Seabourn Square to speak to the someone about my problem, and was given an apology. On returning back to my cabin, I was informed by my husband that there was hair in the bath and the top of a razor on the shelf!! I went back to Seabourn Square and spoke to the head of housek,who apologised and said they would ensure that from now on she would ensure the rest of our cruise would be stress free. Restaurant Day one had to seek out a waiter and ask for a drink at lunch. Dinner asked if they had Pinot Noir and received a blank look? When my husband said he did not like the red, the waiter proceeded to put new wine in the same glass despite a small amount of the old wine still being in the glass. We had to ask for re fills. My lobster Thermidor was full of a brown mushroom sauce, with only a tiny bit of lobster Having made this dish numerous times I have never used mushrooms! We found the menu slightly repetitive and not their usual standard Extra Mile No Seabourn experience All in all very disappointed therefore I will be trying a new luxury cruise line Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was advertised as a luxury, all inclusive cruise. It was a stunning ship. The cabin was a great size with lots of storage areas. Really enjoyed the balcony when there wasn't another ship parked along side of us. This happened a ... Read More
This was advertised as a luxury, all inclusive cruise. It was a stunning ship. The cabin was a great size with lots of storage areas. Really enjoyed the balcony when there wasn't another ship parked along side of us. This happened a couple of times and it prevented us from using the balcony because of the lack of privacy. It certainly curtailed your view. The staff worked very hard and treated you royally. The excursions were the highlight of the cruise. We saw so many interesting things at each stop. They were organized well. Kudos to the Cruise Director, Alex. The dinner dining experience was disappointing. We expected more considering it was a luxury cruise and the price we paid. The servers work very hard but they need more of them. As soon as a passenger sits down he/she should be acknowledged and served. Sometimes we had to wait for a while for the server to give us water/menu/wine, etc. We shouldn't have to wait and certainly not ask for anything. The food variety was disappointing for a luxury cruise. The portions were small as well. The server would ask if you wanted bread and you would be given a small piece from a basket. The bread basket should be put on the table when you arrive. This would alleviate some extra work for the server as well. Are they rationing the bread? Lunch and breakfast were generally buffet style with a good variety of food items. There should be more interactive activities in the evening for the passengers who wish to participate. On the second last night of the cruise we had a music trivia game along with a Disco night, all on the same evening. I personally think people were starved from the lack of entertaining activities. River cruising is becoming popular with a variety of age groups. It's not just tor the 50+. Scenic should modify their evening entertainment programs. We will not travel Scenic again. But saying that I did enjoy the trip as it was a different experience for us. However, it didn't meet our expectations. I hope Scenic looks seriously at these reviews because many people are giving the same suggestions for improvement. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this ship mostly due to the itinery. Having sailed numerous times with Celebrity, Holland America, RC and carnival I decided to upgrade to a luxury cruise. I brought along my husband who isn't crazy about cruising but, but ... Read More
I chose this ship mostly due to the itinery. Having sailed numerous times with Celebrity, Holland America, RC and carnival I decided to upgrade to a luxury cruise. I brought along my husband who isn't crazy about cruising but, but since it was close to our 30th anniversary he did it for me. I also brought along a couple who have never cruised before. So Ill start with the good....Staff was wonderful!! Food was very good (with the exception of my husbands New York Strip in Prime C that wasnt good at all...everyone else loved theirs) Other than that food was good. Buffett could stand to be hotter. Now comes the bad...and there was plenty of it. Starting with the toilets not working on and off ALL WEEK. Its pretty bad when you use the toilet to not be able to flush it and the fan doesn't work work so our cabin smelled bad a lot. Day two they told us they were sorry, but no other cabins available. Day three they told us and our guests to pack our bags, come after our 9pm dinner and they will move us. They move our friends first while we wait patiently...around 12:30 am they tell us they have no other rooms...!?!? Finally one magically appears and we get into our room about 1:30am. Around 3am after listening to a jet engine noise coming out of the ac unit (which did I mention wasn't working anyway and the room was unbearably hot?) we could not sleep..called and they told us to go back to original room... basically we did not sleep that nite which totally ruined our day since we were exhausted. Now we tried to make the best of a bad situation, but the ac never really got cold in our room, in fact the whole ship wasn't very comfortable. BUT there was one day getting ready for a private tour in Italy..my husband had excited the shower I was going to brush my teeth and shower when …..I HAD NO WATER!!! They had decided that 8am was a good time to address a plumbing issue (their words not mine...) on would have thought that maybe noon after everyone left for the day? My friends toilet didn't work more than it did despite changing rooms. I was beyond embarrassed since I talked up Azamara, being the one who arranged all this and this is what I bring them on for a luxury cruise that we spent ALOT on? So I have been told by my husband and my friends husband THEY WILL NEVER CRUISE AGAIN....and I blame that on Azamara. This was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime and it was anything but. And the insult was after telling management the men would never cruise again ...they offered us a $400 future cruse credit!!!! I will leave my reviews all over so all will know to beware the pursuit. We wanted to love it.....wanted to but they made it impossible. Please remember the beginning of my review the staff were awesome and itinery phenomenal BUT it was the problems with the ship. It has plumbing and ac issues and cannot imagine it will resolved between the time I left the ship and the new passengers come onto it hours later. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I had never taken a river cruise before and were somewhat apprehensive. We need not have been. From start to finish our Rhine Highlights cruise on the Scenic Opal from Amsterdam to Basel was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. ... Read More
My wife and I had never taken a river cruise before and were somewhat apprehensive. We need not have been. From start to finish our Rhine Highlights cruise on the Scenic Opal from Amsterdam to Basel was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Our cabin was spacious and very comfortable. The shore excursions were well planned generally taking up the morning while in the afternoons we cruised the Rhine. The shore excursion options catered to a range of interests and capabilities and we were disappointed only once. On board, the meals were excellent (and especially the two special invite dinners). I ate fish most nights for dinner and the fish was delicious and invariably cooked perfectly. One of the reasons we chose Scenic over Viking were recommendations based on the quality of the food and wine and the all-inclusive nature of the fare. On all counts, Scenic would be difficult to beat. The wine and liquor choices were varied and of high quality. Our butler, Sirjan was exemplary and we were very pleased with the attention that we received form Robert at the bar and Milan in the dining room. As for Andreea the Tour manager, Liz and I cannot say enough; she was superb. We are already looking at another Scenic cruise for next year, 2020. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Queen Victoria is a wonderful ship offering excellent entertainment options and an amazing dining experience. It does have some problems, as does every ship I've sailed on, but overall I think you'll enjoy your experience. ... Read More
Queen Victoria is a wonderful ship offering excellent entertainment options and an amazing dining experience. It does have some problems, as does every ship I've sailed on, but overall I think you'll enjoy your experience. First of all, it is not a young person's cruise. The average passenger on my cruise was 70+ years old. If you have trouble with elderly people walking very slowly in front of you and stopping suddenly for no apparent reason, you may be frustrated at times. At the height of the summer cruise season for families, there were hardly any children on board. Secondly, It is largely a British clientele, which I found charming. The average cruiser was well educated and well mannered. No line jumpers of chair hogs, which was refreshing. I could strike up a conversation with almost anyone I met and found most of them interesting. However, if you want to shoot the breeze about NASCAR, baseball and the NFL, you may be disappointed. Check-in was smooth on the dock, but scattered and unprofessional on board. No one met us in the lobby. There was no sign telling us where to go. We were boarded on the open deck three and had to find our own way inside. Even inside, no one greeted us or offered to help us find our cabin, lunch, etc.. We had to ask! Talk about a bad first impression. It got better after that. We had a suite and were dining in the Queens Grill. Our butler met us at the door (Suite 7050), took our alcohol orders for the in-room bar, showed us how to work everything in the room and walked us to the elevators to show us how to access the private Queen's Grill dining room. She was amazing throughout the cruise. She set up a cocktail reception in our room for a half dozen guests (the complimentary appetizer platter was huge and delicious). Lourdes took care of last minute laundry requests and kept our suite spotless. She also restocked the bar any time we were running low. The suite has a boxy crowded configuration which made the room seem much smaller than it was. There were plenty of electrical outlets with both American and British sockets. We had no problem keeping two cell phones, two tablets and two fitbits charged. The love seat is fine. There is adequate storage space and the butler stowed our empty luggage so we wouldn't have to worry about it. TIP: Don't remove your stateroom luggage tags. You'll need them to find your luggage at disembarkation! The balcony was large enough for a table and three chairs plus two loungers. The bed was very comfortable, however they do not use typical American sheets, on board, but rather European duvets. Very comfortable, but not what I'm used to. The bathroom was functional, with a private toilet room and a private room for showering and bathing, The tub was jetted and offered a very relaxing bath with bubbles. The towels were not soft at all, The teri cloth material made for the worst towels I've experienced in 25 cruises. The suite's bar was stocked with loads of teas, coffee and cookies. My wife and I each chose a brand of alcohol. I requested Crown Royal, even though it was not on the list offered by Cunard. The butler made it happen! The fridge was stocked with Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, 7-Up, tonic nd soda water, Carlsberg Beer and plenty of water, Again, our butler replenished our bar twice a day! We dined in the Queen's Grill, which is the best dining experience on the seas, in my opinion. The menus are very similar to those in the Princess Grill and Britania Dining Room. The difference is we were invited to order off the menu at every meal, and the dining staff did their best to accommodate us. Among the items I ordered off the menu were: Caviar, shrimp cocktail, Dover sole, chateaubriand, lobster, veal parmasean, fettuccine Alfredo, pistaccio ice cream, french onion soup and several different salads. Basically, the sky's the limit, if they have the ingredients on board, The tables are close together. My wife and I were seated at a table for two, but conversed easily and often with diners at nearby tables. When we wanted privcy, we were left alone. However, we all became instant friends. Here's a tip: Be the first to say hello to someone and do it early in the cruise! Coincidentally, one gentleman, at a six-top next to us, turned out to be a Cruise Critic member I had conversed with on line! He and his wife were positively charming! I found the entertainment on board to be excellent. The big production shows were good, but not amazing, Headliners like the magician and acrobatic dance team were marvelous. And it seemed on any given night there were six or more venues offering music and fun. I've never experienced such a wide variey of musical enterrtainment on any ship I've sailed. It truly was a highlight of th cruise.And it meant fewer crowds. We never had a problem finding a table or a seat in the showroom for the late shows. The only bummer was the Grills Lounge never had live entertainment. The enrichment activities were a disappointment. Cunard offers wine tasting seminars on its web site. High end wine seminars. However, after pre-booking a very expensive tasting, we got on board to learn the wine seminars were canceled. In fact our sommelier told us they han't done the high end wine tastings in six months. Cunard refused to credit the money from my canceled wine tasting to my shipboard account and told me I'd have to try to get refunded when I returned home. VERY POOR CUSTOMER SEVICE on that! Tip: Do NOT PRE-ORDER WINE TASTINGS! There were 3 speakers on board. One was a retired fighter pilot, who offered some fun anecdotes about his flying career. The other two sounded so boring, I cannot even remember them. I believe one woman was discussing the film career of an actor I've never heard of. We did not use Cunard for shore excursions. We booked everything independently. I suggest you consider private independent shore excursions as well. Remember, every group tour moves as fast as its slowest member. Everyone else has to wait on the slow poke. You may only have one shot to visit some of these ports. Do you relly want to wait on that last person? Additionally, Cunard builds profit into its excursions. The independent tours are almost always cheaper. Cruise Critic has an excellent section devoted to independent tours. Disembarkation for this cruise was difficult, because we got off in Kiel. It is an hour+ drive to Hamburg from there. It's pricey and difficult to reach the airport in time to make flights to the USA. Many people opted to spend an extra day in Hamburg. Don't take the negative aspects of my review as an indication I was disappointed. I was not. I will definitely cruise Cunard again if I can find the right itinerary. And I will definitely book Queens Grille for the dining experience. These reviews are supposed to help future cruisers prepare, I hope I have! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Most people on the ship were fairly elderly. I would guess that the average age was 68 and scewed a bit toward the higher side than the lower. I think that it is because of this that my experience was not that great. Don't take ... Read More
Most people on the ship were fairly elderly. I would guess that the average age was 68 and scewed a bit toward the higher side than the lower. I think that it is because of this that my experience was not that great. Don't take this the wrong way, the other guess were quite nice people and I did have some nice conversations with many of them. However, everything is geared toward that age group. Let me give some examples. Please note that I am far from young, 50's. I use the term "elderly folks" only in the most respectful way. Very nice people and, to me, seem like the vast majority were in pretty good shape. I have the feeling that this will come across as pejorative, but I couldn't think of a better term. The Dining: I went absolutely nuts. Every supper is a many course mean that take hours to get through. In my opinion, the food wasn't that great either. I had to wait just for these lengthy ordeals just to be able to get some food. I could order room service, but the there wasn't much of a selection. I could get a burger, but it was awful. It was obviously a frozen patty, overcooked and some nauseating sauce that neither me nor my wife could stomach. The breakfasts buffet was awesome and we ate as much as we could to hold us over. Lunch was also a buffet, but we mostly struggled to find something that appealed to us. They also have two special meals; I skipped the one that was supposed to be a degustation experience. I am glad that I did as I would have probably hated the food and it would have taken even longer to eat. The other was supposed to be an Italian restaurant experience. Well, nothing like an Italian restaurant that I have experienced. I didn't recognize one thing from the menu. What I did order didn't appeal to me. I am not sure that this food is gear toward someone from the US. The dining experience seems to be geared at more elderly folks. The best meals we had were the one German lunch and the couple meals that we had off-ship. The Excursions: I was very happy with the quality of the excursions and the guides pretty good. However, they were extremely short. In the neighborhood of an hour and a half and sometime not even that. I had at least one that was well short of the 1.5 hours it was supposed to take. Although there were multiple excursion choices on any day, you could only pick one. What do you do with the rest of your day? I didn't expect that the excursion would be so short. Sometimes we were able to ad-lib and find something else to do, but it was hard without being prepared for this situation. It would have been nice to be prepared for this so that I could have planned better. I am just guessing, but assume they do this because this is what appeals to the elderly folks. Entertainment: On almost every night there was guy playing the piano. I don't think I heard any song played that was newer than 40 years old. This was mostly the only entertainment on the ship at any time. There is pretty much nothing to do, but sit around. That can be relaxing, but there is only so much of that to one can take. There was a trivia game on one night. Many/most of the questions were geared toward an older generation. I know that a couple of the music answers were Tom Jones and Englebert Humperdink. I don't really know who they are, but know they were someone my mom listened to when she was alive. I was a little uncomfortable in my room. The AC would work sometimes and not others. Unfortunately, it would often not be working in the first part of then night, when I was trying to get to sleep. It would start working again in the early morning hours. It didn't seem to be much they could do about it. They gave me a fan. That actually did help a bit to get able to get to sleep. One thing that really irritated me was to rush back to the ship for the last port talk only to discover that the whole talk was just an advertisement we had to sit through for their Scenic ocean ship. I know I have mentioned quite a few negative things. I was very happy to be able to go on this trip. This is an area of the world that I had really wanted to see and am glad I was able to do this with my wife. Although some of the things I mentioned about made me grumpy, at times, the crew on the boat are a 10 out of 10. I really cannot imaging having a nicer crew. If I was every down in my mind about something, just their friendlies would snap me right out of it. Would I do it again, knowing what I know now. Probably not. I very much like the concept. I would probably search a bit more for another line that might address some of the things that I mentioned above. I don't know if that exists. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This might be a lengthy review, but I feel it needs to be because when booking with Ponant, I found little to no reviews on this company, especially for people who were bringing children. We traveled with our kids 8 and 10 and just got ... Read More
This might be a lengthy review, but I feel it needs to be because when booking with Ponant, I found little to no reviews on this company, especially for people who were bringing children. We traveled with our kids 8 and 10 and just got home from an 8 night Mediterranean cruise onboard the Le Lyrial. We LOVED this ship. The staff were amazing, there was a kids club that I couldn't pull my kids from (more on that), and we were very pleased with the food. Cabins: Cabins are adequate in size. We have been on Royal Caribbean and Disney boats and the Deluxe Balcony stateroom was just as big, with a decent sized balcony. We had cabins 323 and 325, both rooms were perfect for 2 ppl per cabin with plenty of storage. They took out the balcony divider between out staterooms so we could come and go between the cabins. These staterooms do not connect from the inside. Kids Club: There was a kids club on this cruise, which I don't think is offered on all the itineraries. If there's a kids club, it will be listed. My kids loved kids club. The activities they provided for the children were entertaining. No there is not a basketball court, or all the other kids stuff you find on the Disney and RC boats, but my kids never complained about not having that. In fact, they told us this was the best kids club they've been too. Port stops: Because this is a smaller boat, you port in smaller ports and getting off the boat is so much less stressful. Ponant organizes everything to a "T" and we were very impressed with the tours they provided. We generally do not book cruise ship tours, but these tours never had any more than 20 ppl in a group, again a BONUS being on a smaller boat. Food and Dining: Food was great! There are 2 restaurants and we never had a problem getting seating at either of them. I do wish they had a couple more options for the included house wines. With this being a french boat, I was looking forward to tasting some good french wines. They do have them, but they come at a cost. Pool Deck: Never crowed. On a Mediterranean cruise one would have thought you would have problems finding a chair. We never did. Also, ppl do not reserve chairs with towels, which was nice! There were 122 people onboard our ship. Amazing! I can't imagine we will ever be able to go back to a bigger boat after being on the Le Lyrial. I would also like to add that our tour manager, Nina was phenomenal. She organized all our excursions, and they went above and beyond to make sure we had the best experience possible. For example, we booked an excursion that was not offered as an inclusion to the US passengers, and was given only in French. My husband and I knew this going into it. We fully expected that we were going on a French speaking excursion and were OK with that. To our surprise, Nina had organized an English speaking guide to accommodate us that day. It was like we had our on personal guide. We did not expect this at all! But again, this is Ponant, and Nina was just exceptional. All in all we will book again with Ponant. Not having to deal with the crowds on embarking and disembarking is so worth the extra cost! Plus the attention you get on the cruise is priceless. Sail Date: July 2019 Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We had done a river cruise 2 years ago with another company. We were completely disappointed in everything about the cruise, except for the ports of call. The tour director was detached, never around, they said all inclusive, that was ... Read More
We had done a river cruise 2 years ago with another company. We were completely disappointed in everything about the cruise, except for the ports of call. The tour director was detached, never around, they said all inclusive, that was the biggest lie ever. After that experience we were very reluctant to do another river cruise again. I had voiced my concerns with friends in Perth Australia, they said try Scenic, they had tried it and loved it. So here we were ready to get on board, nervous, a little weary and very anxious Getting picked up at the airport in a private transfer was excellent. No waiting, no fuss. The driver was friendly and helpful. Arriving at the ship, well, let;s just say we gave a sigh of relief. They actually had security, the other ship did not. We were greeted at the desk like we were old friends. The desk staff, kind courteous and efficient.. The tour director, Darinka, she is awesome, I would cruise with scenic just to have her on board again! We were told go have a snack and a drink and they will collect us and bring us to our cabin shortly. Indeed shortly was correct! Our cabin #316, was excellent, loads of storage space, huge adjustable bed, sofa, chairs, a full bathroom with a bathtub and a balcony. A chilled bottle of Champagne awaiting our arrival, fresh fruit and a wonderful butler. Our butler gave us a run down of everything in the room, how to lower the window... The cabin,clean, a mini bar well stocked and we could order room service anytime. Every day there was a daily briefing on the next port of call, dinner, drinks and any info you needed. The dining was excellent, as professionals that we are we always like to dine alone since we see so many people in everyday , here we could. It was so nice to be able to do that. The food was excellent, great choices for vegetarians, great quality, great wine choices. Every evening there was some entertainment, we danced the night away a few evenings. The excursions well planned and executed, the welcome back home with a cool towel is always welcoming. Overall, we were very happy with Scenic, we will book another cruise for 2021 with them without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because of our previous experience with the luxury of Scenic cruises and because it fit very well the busy schedules of six adults. We could not have been more pleased with our cruise. The ship and the cruise exceeded ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of our previous experience with the luxury of Scenic cruises and because it fit very well the busy schedules of six adults. We could not have been more pleased with our cruise. The ship and the cruise exceeded our expectations in every respect from the quality of the ship to the service, dining, and activities. The service could not have been better, as good as our last cruise with Scenic two years ago, and better than any other we have experienced on 6 cruises to date. Our adult children (51 and 49) and their spouses experienced their first cruise and were completely in awe of the experience. There was a wide variety of activities and entertainment. The availability of the e-bikes was a special treat of which we all took advantage. The ports along the Saone and Rhone Rivers offer much to see and experience. We felt that we got the luxury promised and outstanding value for the money expended. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The ship was beautiful, clean and staff / crew were wonderful. Our cabin was large and we were on deck 5 which has smaller cabins than the other decks. It was roomy and laid out well. We were in 514 and it was noisy when they dropped the ... Read More
The ship was beautiful, clean and staff / crew were wonderful. Our cabin was large and we were on deck 5 which has smaller cabins than the other decks. It was roomy and laid out well. We were in 514 and it was noisy when they dropped the anchor. Actually the whole room vibrated. Entertainment was fair. Lectures were very good. Excursions were great, but pricey. The food was a bit of a disappointment, and we were hoping for better. Alaska was beautiful but there were quite a number of older people on board and they had a difficult time getting on and off the ship for excursions. In Alaska you need to do the excursions to get the full picture. I would recommend this cruise. The Sojourn is really the perfect size ship. Not too big and not typo small. It. Was easy to get around the ship because of its size. Read Less

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