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Sail Date: July 2018
We chose the Paul Gaugin as it was a smaller vessel (only 300 passengers) and everything was included - so no paying for good and drinks. Embarkation/Disembarkation Extremely efficient Service Mainly Filipino crew - extremely ... Read More
We chose the Paul Gaugin as it was a smaller vessel (only 300 passengers) and everything was included - so no paying for good and drinks. Embarkation/Disembarkation Extremely efficient Service Mainly Filipino crew - extremely hard working and very friendly. Couldn’t do enough to help you out Cabin We chose a stateroom. It was actually quite nice to have an, albeit small, verandah. Meant we could fit outside in the morning in our bathrobes - no rush to get changed and go on deck! Cabins were very spacious with a lot of storage. Food There are 3 restaurants. Two of them required a reservation by lunch time that day. These had the same menu each night for dinner. The main dining room needed no reservation and the menu changed each night.The food was very good. Tours We definitely recommend the wave runner tour at Bora Bora. The do one at Moorea,but the lagoons at Bora Bora are more impressive- you also go right round the island. In Moorea we were unable to hire a car last minute, however it worked in our favour as we found the best taxi driver in the island with a wealth of knowledge - also a genuinely nice guy. He was bought up in Hawaii but has lived in Moorea for 20 years.I would definitely recommend booking him ahead before you arrive if you can. He recommended that we get a day pass st the Sofitel in Moorea. It was really reasonable and included lunch, coffee, snorkel equipment,towels and some of the best snorkelling in the trip. PG have contracts with certain hotels only ( it’s the inter continental in Moorea) so local knowledge us key.His name isTeva Wilkes 87764564The phone number is correct but not sure if this is the correct email - but give it a go!tevawilkes@yahoo.cpm All in all, we loved the PG cruise. We are thinking of doing a 10 day cruise next time! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We like ACL and this is our 3rd cruise with them. Pluses: We booked our next cruise with them while on board to get the 15% savings. and no port charges. We like the intimacy of a smaller ship with less hassles going on & off ship. ... Read More
We like ACL and this is our 3rd cruise with them. Pluses: We booked our next cruise with them while on board to get the 15% savings. and no port charges. We like the intimacy of a smaller ship with less hassles going on & off ship. For people with mobility issues the smaller ship is good as there is less walking around the ship.The ship being small could go to ports like Petersburg where the larger cruise ships cant go. An added surprise was overnighting in Glacier Bay and being able to go off ship at Barlett Cove and walk around. Again something that the big ships cant do. When we saw whales the Capt stopped for some time and then rotated the ship so everyone could see.. The ship is all inclusive with no shops, casino or spa. We like this as opposed to the big ships that can push sales constantly. There is no mail box or name on the cabin door so no worries about having to cull advertisements out constantly like on some ships PLUS & MINUS: The food is good but rich and the desserts are constantly pushed, cookies at 10 am, desserts at lunch & dinner. Happy hour with treats then dinner and for the night's program root beer floats & sundaes. For anyone struggling with a sweet tooth or watching sugar intake has a constant temptation. Snacks are kept out. ACL has started room service for breakfast which we didn't use. A highlight was our Tlingkat Native interpreters that came on board in Glacier Bay Barlett Cove with the Ranger for 24 hours. Captain, Capt Brown who was retired Coast Guard.Capt Brown was very pleasant and conscientious .Our hotel manager Nico was excellent always working and determined to please. MINUS: The vast majority of the staff are younger students.We found this to be true on the other 2 cruises we took with ACL. This was a problem that wait staff needed better training and meal service could be very chaotic. Even the Cruise Directors were young so we see ACL as a training ground for students going into the hospitality field. I would like ACL to include and pay higher wages to some seasoned waiters to mentor the young waiters. The waiters try but it can be frustrating to see the chaos and their stress. Internet was sporadic and we lost it in Glacier bay for several days which met that people could not check in with home or use their cell phones except for the 3 hour stop at Barlett Cove in Glacier Bay. When we cruised Tray Arm again the loss of internet & cell from about 3 am the last day until about 8 pm when we arrived back in Juneau..I think ACL needs to improve their WIFI which we found to be slow. People with health issues have on the larger ships access to medical clinic with doctors. On ACL there was a medic I believe but no medical clinic. I believe a heart attack in Glacier Bay could be a major issue for a medical evacuation. ACL does cater to the older crowd with a higher probability of health issues. There is no cable TV and some of the videos shown on the ACL channel were very dated at least 20-30 years old. there were movie videos but the lack of updated videos on the Alaska channel was disappointing. Excursions are mainly walking tours and the fishing, float and Kayak tours had limited space and sold out. I would like ACL to have more variety with their tours and increase the capacity for float, kayaking and fishing. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
It was selected by our travel agent as a way to relax after the World Crew Club Dragonboat Championships in Szeged HUNGARY. She done real good!! We explored PRAGUE before the sail and BUDAPEST after we docked on the final day. Both ... Read More
It was selected by our travel agent as a way to relax after the World Crew Club Dragonboat Championships in Szeged HUNGARY. She done real good!! We explored PRAGUE before the sail and BUDAPEST after we docked on the final day. Both cities are must sees, and the SCENIC guides were excellent (Martina in PRAGUE and Victoria in BUDAPEST). The SCENIC experience aboard was deluxe. Our Tour Director (Nikola) never missed a beat, and the remainder of the crew treated us like royalty....smiles, quick responses etc. We had to switch from the JADE to JASPER due to some very low river levels in Central Europe. No problem; Nikola aced it. If you have already seen REGENSBURG and VIENNA, the tours to the more remote locations of CENSKY and BRATSLAVA are worth it. Several of our teammates used the e-bikes and reported good things. Those who stayed aboard thought that at least one afternoon chilling on deck paid off. Make no mistake, the luxury cruise does not come cheaply, but in the end felt that we received decent value. The piano guy can make or break an evening. On the JADE we had Mark who was definitely in tune with our craziness. On JASPER, we had to work on Enos to bring him out of the '40s, but it can be done. We enjoyed SCENIC so much that we are looking into the RHONE cruise in a couple of years. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
No straws ! Bring your own if you like frozen drinks ! You cannot sip them til it melts Get the iconcierge app. You can communicate with others on board who have the app and give you their special number to add as a contact $9.99 total ... Read More
No straws ! Bring your own if you like frozen drinks ! You cannot sip them til it melts Get the iconcierge app. You can communicate with others on board who have the app and give you their special number to add as a contact $9.99 total for the week per phone, no other charges It will give you all the daily activities by time each day and the Deck # ! You can also check future days activities. ALSO you can check your charges and get problem charges resoled that day Last day the lines are VERY long with people paying cash and resolving issues 2 hrs at least ! I went 5 times to get prices resolved The pools are too crowded If you want to save seats get there by 7 AM on sea days . In port its much better at the pool. Many things cost money and can be charged to your room. Bingo 49.00 for 2, Deal or no deal 25.00 for 2games pp Some drinks are an upgrade like Gentleman Jack Daniels for 2.35 per drink Gambling , lotto.and more . Cagneys steak house was the BEST ! Great everything ! OSheehans is most popular because you can look down below to the Atrium where there is so much to see and participate in like Deal or no deal and battle of the sexes and Trivia. If bad weather outside you will not get near the atrium or Osheehans on the overlook My husband is phobic clean and he gave ths hip an A+ ! We had Ashok as our Steward and he was amazing Always took care of our room when we left never disturbed us There is pen and paper in the room to leave a note if you needed something from him . My 15 yr old grandaughter did not connect with the teen group, but heard from another father that his 2 girls did (15-16yrs old) and did not get in til 5AM one morning, then he gave them a curfew ! This ship is Beautiful, everywhere ! I would highly recommend it !! we sailed from NYV 7/22-7/30 We got to a close parking lot in NYC we got there around 8:30 There are only 400 spaces I think The next lot over was a walk So parking in this lot right at Port 88 we just took the terminal down to the port Leaving was easy too after we got our bags thru custome which went pretty fast Enjoy ! Its worth it Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise primarily by the ports of call and the reviews re the onboard food. We struggled after booking with understanding the extra costs-primarily alcohol, very expensive, and gratuity on the alcohol (18%) The ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily by the ports of call and the reviews re the onboard food. We struggled after booking with understanding the extra costs-primarily alcohol, very expensive, and gratuity on the alcohol (18%) The “extras” on our room were $16 per day each which we were told we could change without problem by visiting reception; I had researched about this beforehand. We had decided to reduce this and pay at the end to the staff in cash whom we had had excellent service from. Well we were looked at at reception like we were dirt on someone’s shoe to say the least. Maybe cruise lines need to understand that some people do a “once in a lifetime” trip and save up exhaustively and that they should be respected as much as their (in this case American) counterparts. On a positive, (perhaps I should have written this first but am still a bit sore) excellent, friendly staff who can’t do enough for you. You can also tell that they all have a good relationship too. Amazing food but difficult to get into their specialty restaurants . Pool a bit too small and just had passengers sitting around the edge drinking. Very good gym but some equipment out of order for whole trip. Smooth embarkation and disembarkation. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We fell in love with this itinerary, with the boat and with this crew. My husband and I are in our mid 40s, and have started to enjoy more luxurious cruise lines. We compare this experience to a Crystal cruise we took approximately 1 1/2 ... Read More
We fell in love with this itinerary, with the boat and with this crew. My husband and I are in our mid 40s, and have started to enjoy more luxurious cruise lines. We compare this experience to a Crystal cruise we took approximately 1 1/2 years ago. What we liked about our Viking experience is that there definitely seemed to be a wider mix of ages on the ship. We enjoyed visiting and meeting with peers closer to our own age as well as older couples travelling. Now onto the Viking Orion itself - by far the nicest cruise ship we have been on. It certainly helps that the ship is new - everything is modern and clean. Embarkation and debarkation were a synch - no waiting and no lines. CABIN: We stayed on the 5th floor - situated perfectly in the middle of the ship so you can easily reach 7th and 2nd floors for dining. We had a penthouse veranda room - PLENTY of storage, shower pressure was impressive. My only gripe is that the mattress was a tad hard for my taste. Use of self-service laundry was easy and convenient - located on every floor. DINING: Specialty restaurants on board are a MUST. Food in the world cafe was mostly great, similar experience in the main dining room. One tip we were glad once we figured out is that you can actually view the menus for each restaurant (which change daily) on your stateroom TV or on the Viking app. This can help you decide which restaurant you want to go to for a given meal! We did not do the silver spirits package and believe that it was better to mostly drink wines that came with dinner but occasionally purchased a bottle of wine and found prices to be extremely reasonable. FITNESS CENTER/SPA: Please do NOT miss the spa! It is simply outstanding. I was also impressed that you can use the facilities (hydrapool, steam room, jacuzzi) without a spa appointment. These facilities are open to you anytime. ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES: This is one area where we think Viking can improve. They had minimal entertainment in the evening, although sometimes they brought in local cultural talent which was wonderful to see. We wishes for the shows to be longer and for there to be more on board entertainment in general. They do have interactive game tables (computerized game board) you can play a variety of games on which was unique and cool. SERVICE: Outstanding and impeccable PORTS and EXCURSIONS: We enjoyed included tours included for Pisa, St Tropez, and Barcelona. We did mostly half day tours through Viking which allowed us time to explore the city on our own for the second half of the day since there was ample time at each port. We will be signing up for another Viking cruise. Despite the few negatives I noted, we would still rate this cruise as excellent. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
With a desire for an upmarket ship, which spent 3 days in St Petersburg, my husband and I chose the brand new Seabourn Ovation. At the time of booking, it had not yet hit the water. This 7 day cruise from Copenhagen to Stockholm, also had ... Read More
With a desire for an upmarket ship, which spent 3 days in St Petersburg, my husband and I chose the brand new Seabourn Ovation. At the time of booking, it had not yet hit the water. This 7 day cruise from Copenhagen to Stockholm, also had a day in Tallin ,Estonia and a half day in Helsinki, Finland, with one day at sea.Embarkation was easy at 2 pm, with a delicious buffet lunch waiting..We had a verandah suite on deck 7. On arrival, I noticed that the floor had not been vacuumed and they were hairs in the bathtub. When I contacted housekeeping this was quickly rectified. The suites are well thought out with lots of storage space, but if the bathroom door is open and you open the front door, they smash together. I had chosen to be in the middle of deck 7 as I wanted a quiet room away from any high traffic areas. However, the poor internal design of the ship meant the doors slammed, which could be heard at all hours, footsteps from above caused loud noise and strong vibrations in the room, and people could be heard in the next cabins. Several people I spoke to who,unfortunately were given rooms that interconnected with others had it even worse and made complaints. What a shame that the latest luxury liner did not use the latest technology for soundproofing. On the positive side, all the staff were exceptional in all areas. The food was of a very high quality, and I recommend the afternoon tea scones as well as the gelato. However, a lot of the food felt somewhat old fashioned, and I think they would benefit from some more modern cuisine, such as Asian fusion. The guest entertainers were excellent, including a mentalist and an award- winning pianist. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
The service on the cruise was outstanding. My waiter Ciprian or chip was amazing always made sure we had everything we needed. Everyone on the cruise was very welcoming handbags helpfu. Getting on and off the ship went very smoothly. There ... Read More
The service on the cruise was outstanding. My waiter Ciprian or chip was amazing always made sure we had everything we needed. Everyone on the cruise was very welcoming handbags helpfu. Getting on and off the ship went very smoothly. There was 8 of us that cruises on the splendor, they always made sure to give us all the space we needed. The cruise gave us options once you got off the ship such as excursions and restaurants to go eat at or see. Entertainment on the ship was amazing. The shows on the ship they would do we’re so much fun and you could even talk to the cast afterwards. They were so sweet and fun to be around. The comedy shows we’re hilarious and they had family shows too so everyone can watch them. Certain nights they would hold deck parties and play music and just dance all night. On other nights they would hold movies out on the deck where everyone could lay out and watch them it was awesome. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
5 STAR ASPIRATIONS - 3 STAR DELIVERY!! As a preamble I should say we are comparing the Scenic offer with Seabourn which is a true 5 Star product. This was our first river cruise and I appreciate that many of the downsides identified are ... Read More
5 STAR ASPIRATIONS - 3 STAR DELIVERY!! As a preamble I should say we are comparing the Scenic offer with Seabourn which is a true 5 Star product. This was our first river cruise and I appreciate that many of the downsides identified are typical of the river cruise experience and not unique to Scenic. First the good points 1 The staff were excellent and tried very hard. However due to the multi tasking required several promised facilities did not live up to the promise. How can your ‘butler’ be in attendance when she is waiting on tables. If the service cannot be efficiently delivered why offer? 2. The boat was very clean and tidy all the time 3. Our suite was fabulous. However looking in others they seemed small. I appreciate that small cabins are typical of most river cruise boats, not exclusive to Scenic 4. The excursions were very well organised. However on some occasions, such as in Vienna they started at 8.00am when they could very easily have started 1.00-1.50 hours later as we were in port to late evening. Consequently breakfast was served 6.30-8.00 which was not necessarily desired by those guests not participating in the tours. 5. The free laundry service is very useful 6. The unlimited drinks at any time is a generous facility and the quality of wine,spirits and champagne offered was good. 7. Good modern easily useable technology in the cabin and ample power points 8. Relaxed dress code. 9. Due to difficulties with low water levels making parts of the Danube unnavigable the cruise schedule had to be amended on several occasions. This was seamlessly managed by Scenic Downsides 1. Some aspects of the service did not live up to promises. For example whilst the mini bar was refreshed daily occasions the replacement champagne was left on the table not placed in the fridge. Dirty glasses were left on the desk for several days and half finished bottles of water were not refreshed. Three empty ice buckets accumulated on the small coffee table before being removed. In view of the excellent and hard working staff is this perhaps a reflection of poor management or being over worked? 2. Due to the size of the public areas at full occupancy they were not capable of accommodating all the passengers 3. The dinner is at a fixed time of 7.00 pm, which personally is to early for us on vacation. Whilst ‘open seating’ is advertised there are very limited tables for two. Whilst we are happy to dine with others we feel this should be at our discretion, not forced upon due to lack of alternative seating 4. Our particular boat (Scenic Pearl) could perhaps benefit from some additional bed chairs and deckchairs on deck. Observing other Scenic boats they appear to have more which are needed during sunny days. 5. Whilst understanding the need to dock boats side by side this is one feature in particular which will deter us from returning to river boats. If your boat is in the middle or your side abuts another boat it makes the cabin and common areas very dark as blinds and curtains are drawn for privacy. Not sure if multiple docking is essential or an economic benefit as I noted that in several locations boats were not multiply docked. 6. Being something of a foodie the food was perhaps the biggest disappointment. The buffet selections at breakfast and lunch were limited and fell well below 5 star standards. In the heart of the summer we would at least expect strawberries, raspberries, blueberries etc. The menu selection for dinner was also limited and only of average standard. Recognising the 5 star boast if a limited selection is offered it has to be of excellent quality which unfortunately it was not. At ‘Late Breakfast’ in Portobello one morning I was served my fruit and yogurt after cold poached eggs. Not acceptable. 7. The restaurant times seemed to be arranged at the convenience of the staff not the guests. In addition if a sitting ended at say 9.00am the food was cleared away by 9.05. Not very client friendly or conducive to guests who arrive at 8.55 Due to the downsides identified above we have concluded that river cruises are not for us. Potentially Scenic has a great product which on our cruise was let down by attention to detail and generally disappointing food. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Previously sailed on various P & O cruises but over the years their service and cut backs has put us off so we had heard from friends that Cunard was better. We love dressing up and the four formal evenings are what we wanted. They ... Read More
Previously sailed on various P & O cruises but over the years their service and cut backs has put us off so we had heard from friends that Cunard was better. We love dressing up and the four formal evenings are what we wanted. They insist on smart dress on all other nights, men wear jackets to dinner. Again we haven’t a problem with this. However, what we do object to is 15% surcharge on all drinks! The wine at dinner is unbelieveably expensive. Cheapest bottle of wine $29 plus the 15% surcharge! Bring your own wine and you pay a $20 corkage fee plus 15%! Did notice that quite a number of guests at dinner were not drinking. Meals are what you used to call ‘nouveau cuisine’ and although quite different, sometimes not very appetising. Coach from ship to port entry at Barcelona cost $6 each way per person. What they failed to tell you is that there is a local cruise bus which cost 4euro’s both ways and are regular. Shows on the whole are weak. On P & O we had celebrity guests. Not so on Cunard. Took trip to Pisa. Amazing place but..........no time to visit inside, Baptist, catherdral or the leaning tower. 50 mins all we had to look around outside. Far too many crowds to visit inside any of these attractions in the time allocated. Although entry to catherdral was free, you had to queue for a ticket to enter at a separate location, then queue to enter building. It could have been organised that tickets could have been obtained in advance so as guest could visit the catherdral directly. Would we use Cunard again, possibly not. The biggest bug bear is that they rip you off at every turn more so than P & O. Plus we still have to pay the service charge at the end of the cruise at $11.50 per person, per day. What the icing on the cake was that we paid nearly £6,000 for two. A couple on our table was on the same floor and with the same view & balcony who paid £2500 for the same cruise. If I had a cake, I would have dropped my head into it! (Purple Bricks ad - lol) Read Less

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