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20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
It was my first cruise with Azamara, the first of two cruises booked with them. I didn't enjoy any single part of this cruise and feel "ripped off" as I did the last time we travelled with RCI. There were some points that ... Read More
It was my first cruise with Azamara, the first of two cruises booked with them. I didn't enjoy any single part of this cruise and feel "ripped off" as I did the last time we travelled with RCI. There were some points that were good, these being a nice cabin, nice ship, good service, good organisation at ports. Now for the bad points: The day time activities were beyond poor; a few trivia quizzes on sea days and two uninteresting lecturers, one talking about the past history of the ports being visited and one discussing whether China was defensive or aggressive. Certainly not topics that most women onboard would want to attend and not interesting to me. The entertainment by the visiting entertainers was reasonably good but the shows put on by Eric, the ships entertainment director and the ships singers and dancers was poor. I was fed up of seeing and listening to the narcissic Eric at every end and turn and the singers overall were far too loud and the words of unknown songs could not be distinguished. Overall, other than the visiting entertainers, the routines were amateurish. The guitar player was too monotonous and the ships pianist whilst good on the one night he played in the theatre but for the rest of the time was mundane. Few people attended the Living Room after 9:30 pm so dancing was none existent. It seemed to me that most people went to bed early. The ship in the evening was dead. However, what really upset me most was the poor quality of the food. My wife, daughter and daughter in law are all excellent cooks and we all enjoy quality food. My grandson is a trained chef and his chef uncle on the other side of the family has cooked not just for me but for Margaret Thatcher, The Queen, the late King Hussain of Jordan and Sir James Goldsmith. I know what represents good food and this didn't come anywhere near the mark. I don't believe the chefs are chefs, they are poor cooks. Breakfast was OK in the Windows restaurant although there was no Finnan Haddock and no Kippers. Lunchtime on sea days in Discoveries restaurant was uninspiring so most meals were taken in Windows Cafe. This was also disappointing as no meals were enjoyable. it was just food. Individual bowls of tomatoe, cucumber, onion, peppers and chicken served one day were in my opinion used the following day by turning them into a special salad using all of the same components. On several nights there was a theme, Indian, Morrocan and British. I decided to try the British night, my home country. Fish and chips were on the menu but I have to say that there isn't one British fish and chip shop who would offer the meagre portion of fish served by the server. There is more fish in a half a fish finger and the server then asked "Do you want one or two pieces". It was clear to me that the ships budget is limited in cost. Pasta and chicken dishes in Windows cafe and Discoveries restaurant predominate the menus. On the day of the barbecue it was held indoors. I asked why and they said it was the likelihood of rain but it was a sunny day and as we were only a few days into a long cruise it could have been postponed to another day but wasn't. There was not one single barbecue item, not a single sausage. Inferior chicken was offered wrapped in breadcrumbs to disguise the bone and gristle. A poor representation of a real barbecue. On another occasion in the cafe lamb hock was offered but since when has a lamb hock had a knee joint? After a few days of poor food I confronted the two Head waiters but it didn't make any difference. The menu in Discoveries restaurant is basically 75% the same every evening. So called specials make up the rest. Yet on one evening there was two chicken dishes and two broiled New York Steaks so limiting the choice further. One night I had the seafood soup. On the following night I had a different seafood soup but it was the same one as the day before: one prawn, one mussel and some clams. On the last night I had a lamb hock. I don't however believe it was lamb as the bones were far too big for a lamb and more likely to have been mutton. This was not five star food, I have been served better food in a works canteen. There was no sirloin steaks, no rump steaks, no steak Diane, no Tounedos Rossini, no cod loin, no chateaubriand. I have had those on other ships along with first class enrichment lectures and entertainment at less than half the price paid to Azamara. Since when has skirt from the bottom of a cow been served as a steak? The coffee in the Mosaic cafe was poor and several other people commented about this. Finally why do professional cocktail makers use measuring cups when dispensing the components of a cocktail when on Azamara the components are dispensed without regard to using the correct measures? Every drink served varies from the last one. All in all a thoroughly unenjoyable cruise. Whilst on the ship I contacted my travel agent and cancelled the second paid in full future cruise on Azamara. I will never travel with Azamara or RCI ever again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise for the itinerary - we wanted to see Vietnam and Thailand. The cruise starting in Hong Kong and ending in Singapore was a bonus. If you are looking for a cruise with lots to do onboard or for families with small ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary - we wanted to see Vietnam and Thailand. The cruise starting in Hong Kong and ending in Singapore was a bonus. If you are looking for a cruise with lots to do onboard or for families with small children - this may not be the ship for you. It's a quiet and classy ship with outstanding service, but not a lot of the activities the mega-ships have. As I said - we chose the cruise for cities it was going to And the ability to get closer to the main cities than larger ships was a big difference. As as example - larger ships are a few hours from Bangkok, where the Journey was maybe a half hour from the city (more with traffic) The entertainment (and cruise director) were first rate - I did not expect a ship with just over 600 passengers to have the quality of shows that they provided. The main dining room was better than any other main dining room we've been on (though Aqua Class on Celebrity may be a bit better), and many passengers chose to go to the dinner buffets - where a different country's food was offered each evening. The specialty restaurants were fine, with good service, but I'm not sure they are better than the main dining room. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We originally only planned one cruise this year, and chose Azamara for an August cruise from Venice, through Croatia and the Amalfi coast to Rome, because of it's wonderful itinerary. We had never heard of Azamara before that, and ... Read More
We originally only planned one cruise this year, and chose Azamara for an August cruise from Venice, through Croatia and the Amalfi coast to Rome, because of it's wonderful itinerary. We had never heard of Azamara before that, and loved the cruise and everything about it -- ship, room, food, service, ports, etc. One month later, my husband got an email from Azamara highlighting this Asian cruise and said "We have to go. It's the cruise of a lifetime!" I originally thought he was crazy since we already did our "big" vacation in August, but eventually, he talked me into it, and boy am I glad he did! Our August cruise was 7 ports in 7 days, and while wonderful, was tiring not to have time to rest before the next port. This cruise was 13 days, but it had 4 days at sea in between, and more overnight stops, so the pace was easier. We started in Hong Kong (loved it. It also reminded us a lot of NYC, where we live, but it had the best fried rice and bar-b-que pork we ever had.) Day 2 was at sea, which was great. Then we had 2 nights at Halong Bay -- the most beautiful bay area we've ever seen. On day 1 we did the ship's tour to Hanoi (it was a 12 hour tour, with 3+1/2 hours each way and 5 hours in Hanoi itself). We're glad we did it, but wouldn't go through it again -- too much travelling back and forth. On day 2, we did a ship's tour of Halong Bay. Magnificent! I skipped the cave, because it was 200 steps (too much for me), but my husband went and took great pictures. If you're physiclaly able, you should visit the cave. Day 5 - We got a private tour guide to visit Da Nang and Hoi An. Her name was Xuan Tu, and she was amazing. Her contact info is xuantu2111dn@gmail.com and I would highly recommend her. She was adorable and had a very bubbly personality, and was an excellent guide. She took us to a special tea room in Hoi An, run by people who could not speak, and it was an amazing experience. She found other unusual places to take us, like a Vietnamese sandwich place that Anthony Bourdain raved about. It was fantastic! Day 6 was at sea. Day 7 was Ho Chi Minh City (still called Saigon by the locals), and again we hired a private guide. Her name was Diem Kieu (charming_tourism@yahoo.com), and we got her through Bao Loc (privatevietnamtourguide@yahoo.com.vn). We opted to do the Meking Delta boat tour, rather than the Saigon city tour, but Diem Kieu managed to show us both places. She was excellent. Very warm, and friendly and kind, with a true love of her city and her people. Day 8 was at sea again -- a welcome day of relaxation! Days 9, 10, 11 we docked at Bangkok: Day 9 - we did the Azamara free "Azamazing Evening" - a free ship's tour, where we went to the ancient city at night, which was spectactularly lit up, saw a private show of Thai dancers and boxers, and then had a candle-lit ceremony where we lit candles and set them off on the water to "float away" our negative thoughts/experiences. The evening was truly amazing. Day 10 - we did a private tour of Bangkok with "Chob@thaitourguide.com" and chose Ms. Joy from their huge array of tour guides, based on past reviews. We chose well. Ms. Joy was a joy to work with, going above and beyond, when we asked if she could find us something for bug bites, and helping my husband print and scan and email something he needed to do for a client. And she bought us a souvenir "longtail boat", to remember our boat trip with her. Ms. Joy's contact info is enjoy_tick.tock@hotmail.com With Joy's help, we visited the Grand Palace and grounds -- with each building/setting more beautiful than the next, and the flower garden. Day 11 - we did another tour with Ms. Joy and saw the Railroad market, which I would highly recommend. This market existed for a long time. Then the railroad came and insisted that the train needed to go where the market was, and the market people refused to move. So the railroad built the tracks in the middle of the market. So 4x/day when the train comes through, the people get a warning signal, and must move the produce, etc. off the tracks, wait for the train to leave, and put it back. It was amazing to see. In the afternoon, we saw the floating market, which was really neat. Day 12 - was 1/2 day at Ko Samui, Thailand. We just walked around the port a bit and had a relaxing time. Day 13 was at sea -- a welcome, relaxing day (except for having to pack to leave the boat the next day. Day 14 we arrived at Singapore, and left the ship with 1/2 day ship's tour of Singapore, which I would highly recommend. In Singapore, we would recommend the Orchid Gardens in the Botanical Gardens, and the Zoo. We did the "Night Safari" at the zoo, which shows the nocturnal animals all lit up, and included the Asian buffet, which was excellent. So we chose this cruise, again because of the itinerary, but also because we already knew we loved the ship and the crew and everything else about Azamara. They are a first class company! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My friend and I booked this cruise as she wanted to go the Christmas market in Bruges, Cunards dates Friday to Monday worked best for us and I live in Dorset so Southampton is an ideal port for me and a free day at sea to make use of the ... Read More
My friend and I booked this cruise as she wanted to go the Christmas market in Bruges, Cunards dates Friday to Monday worked best for us and I live in Dorset so Southampton is an ideal port for me and a free day at sea to make use of the onboard facilities. We got a great price online and parking cost was reasonable. Car drop off with CPS and check-in were so easy and fast I was anxious as this was my first cruise and I'm used to airport parking, airport check in, 2/3 hours at the airport then boarding a transatlantic flight for 10 hours of movies. My anxiety was gone as soon as we stepped aboard, barely any time from arrival at the dock. We had a twin obstructed sea view on deck 4 which was perfect for us, slight view but we weren't planning on sitting by the window much and we were amazed how large the cabin was and how gorgeous with sofa, fridge, comfy bedding and our welcome wine. Reggie serviced our cabin multiple times a day, always had ice, our bedtime chocolates and all the information we needed for the next day. The Queen Victoria was stunning, so beautifully decorated, we went prepared for seasickness and didnt need our Kwells or Seabands. We were in the Britannia restaurant and the food was to die for. Never went hungry or ate too much, portion sizes were just right to enjoy the delicious food, with great service and menu choices at breakfast lunch and dinner and a fantastic sommelier who remembered we were diet coke drinkers. We used the Lido restaurant for buffet breakfast twice - once after a late night and the second time on disembarkation day. There was plenty on offer and our choice of cereals fruit and pastries with juice and coffee was just what we needed on those days. We chose to save money and get the free shuttle to Blankenberg and catch the train into Bruges for less that 5E return and do our own thing in Bruges. We saw the market, had a boat trip, a wander round the shops and some lunch, a fantastic day. Shuttle back to the ship was fine and we had enough time ashore. Next time we'd probably go for buffet breakfast on trip day ashore to save time and get out earlier but for first time cruisers you live and learn and we had a great full breakfast in the restaurant. Entertainment on board in the stunning theatre at sea was superb - Troubadour male vocal group, Roy Walker - legend of catchphrase and the ships dance company on our final night. We made use of the pub, casino slot machines, Queens room big band and dancing room, Hemispheres night club, the day spa and couldnt fault anything, we were so relaxed and switched off from life. We watched some of the dance lesson, played speed bingo, browsed the shops and art gallery went to the Masquerade ball and couldn't fit anymore in around sleeping and watching one of the great movies in our room on the TV. We could have stayed forever and were very sad to leave. Disembarkation was super smooth, after breakfast and a short wait in our waiting area, straight off, collected luggage and across the road to collect our car and keys. I was pleased we were on a mid to lower deck as you disembark later so would probably go for that again and our deck and cabin grade meant we were so close to all the ships facilities. We got a soft drinks package which worked out great value for us and after chatting to other passengers we heard that the service on cunard was the best they had ever experienced so we have experienced the best, how do we cruise with another company. I'm already looking at which mini cruise I can afford to go on next. Would highly recommend Cunard and this mini cruise. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was for us a "taster" cruise to see if we liked the whole concept of a cruise break/holiday - having become disillusioned with airports and the delays and waiting times. The experience could not have been smoother and more ... Read More
This was for us a "taster" cruise to see if we liked the whole concept of a cruise break/holiday - having become disillusioned with airports and the delays and waiting times. The experience could not have been smoother and more relaxing. Having stayed at a quayside hotel overnight, we waited there for our designated boarding time. The hotel concierge drove us over and twenty minutes later we had embarked, our luggage was whisked away right to our cabin (deck 8 starboard) and we had been issued with our boarding passes which gained entry to everything and covered all the expenses we needed while on board ship. The ship itself is fabulous - big but not daunting and all the public areas are beautifully kept. Fresh flowers everywhere: plus the whole place was tastefully decked out for Christmas. Our cabin steward (Bryan) was excellent and always helpful and attentive - leaving us in peace if we were in the cabin, but buzzing around and replacing towels etc. whenever we seemed to be away. The dining experience was equally excellent. The Brittania restaurant was fine: once we had sorted out that we preferred to dine alone rather than in a big group, The whole ambience of the ship was exciting and interesting (especially if you are a "people-watcher): whether it be the experience of teatime in the ballroom (with a tea dance on Sunday) or sitting in one of the bars or enjoying the entertainment in the theatre (we bagged a box for two of our nights away). The entertainment was good: a lively male singing quartet, a comedian and then the ship's singers and dancers on the last evening with a new show. We also attended a daytime lecture (on the RNLI in Suffolk) which was well done and interesting. Our overall impression (as first-timers) was excellent. We were on deck 8 (just below the aft pool deck). I suspect this might be noisy in the summertime - you could hear people walking about above us on the deck. But nothing was intrusive and people kept to themselves: it is a sedate experience and very enjoyable. We found all the staff (our steward, the waiters, the bar staff and the purser's office) all very helpful as we had a few issues with our card opening the cabin door (keep it away from your mobile phone was the answer!). Even disembarkation was smooth and painless. The system looked complicated (parting with our luggage by 11pm the night before). But it all worked out and we were off the ship earlier that timetabled as the luggage was ready and waiting for us after our last breakfast at 6.30am. The food - excellent throughout. The self-service restaurant (The Lido on the top floor) was well presented buffet-style food - but good - not that we needed it! But the restaurant food was always beautifully presented and the cuisine is a credit to the many staff who must work tirelessly behind the scenes. It would be hard to fault anything we experienced. My only comment would actually be about the fellow guests on board. We were informed well in advance of travelling what the dress code would be: certain evenings informal (jackets for the gentlemen but ties could be optional). Then one night was formal - (dinner suits or dark suits). If you wished to avoid this, you were urged to keep to the top floor buffet restaurant. Despite this, several gentlemen did not wear jackets when asked to and several of them removed their jackets (even on the formal night) and put them on the back of their chairs. I don't think this is on when the air of the whole experience was the create the right atmosphere to meet the occasion. Play the game chaps! I am surprised the maitre'd didn't tap them on the shoulder and ask them to put their jackets on again! The ladies did the occasions proud and many of them looked very elegant indeed. It made for a magical experience to see people looking smart on such an elegant ship such as the Queen Victoria. We had one day on shore and chose the trip to Ypres, Tyn Coyte war cemetery and Flanders Memorial Museum. We were a small group (suited us): but I have to comment that our guide was excellent. He delivered nothing short of a lecture on the nature, causes and details of WW1 as we made our way to the cemetery. He was well informed, communicative and very interesting. Thank you for that: we felt that although these trips ass to the cost of the cruise - on this occasion it was well worth it and we could not have undertaken this (and been so well informed) had we done it ourselves. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
It was my 4th cruise, and this is my first review. First time in a small ship and probably not going to a big one again! My impression of Windstar Cruises is that everyone was REALLY interested in make my vacations happier and my life ... Read More
It was my 4th cruise, and this is my first review. First time in a small ship and probably not going to a big one again! My impression of Windstar Cruises is that everyone was REALLY interested in make my vacations happier and my life easier. Really looked to me like the crew enjoy what they do. I never heard a "NO" for any request. We went to French Polynesia. The excursions was TOP. Never crowded. Never got lines. Me and my husband were called by our names all the time. We made great new friends, but that aren't many people at our age (37-44). Most of the passengers were older. The food was the best I ever had in a cruise ship, including special creations with local food. The chef, Darin Erp, tried all the food in every venue in every day. I would certainly back to a new cruise in Windstar. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
My wife and I went with another married couple and we can honestly say that we all thoroughly enjoyed our holiday with Silverseas. We were warmly greeted when we came on board the ship at Barbados, and that warmth was a feature of the ... Read More
My wife and I went with another married couple and we can honestly say that we all thoroughly enjoyed our holiday with Silverseas. We were warmly greeted when we came on board the ship at Barbados, and that warmth was a feature of the attention that we received while we were on the Silver Spirit. Our cabin was spacious, tastefully decorated and boasted numerous cupboards and shelves where you could store clothes and your personal belongings. The bathroom/shower room was luxurious, with a shower that was easy to operate as well as being effective for it delivered a torrent of instant warm/hot water. Our cabin was cleaned daily to the highest possible standards - in fact, the cleaning staff did an amazing job in this respect. There is a wide variety of restaurants on board the ship to suit everyones taste and once you're sitting down, the standard of food and service in all of them was excellent, indeed, nothing was too much trouble for the waiters. Every meal was a fine dining experience since the food was beautifully cooked and presented. The entertainment on board the ship was of the highest standard. The course director, Moss, was a brillliant host, entertainer and coordinator. We saw most of the evening shows performed by the team of resident entertainers and I can honestly say that the singing, dancing and costumes were fantastic. A special word for the reception staff. They were always, polite, friendly and very anxious to resolve any issue that you might have. I couldn't fault them. I would certainly recommend Silverseas for a great cruising holiday. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was our first expedition cruise after many years of cruising(Regent and Crystal). Our travel agent recommended Silversea and we thoroughly enjoyed the ship,crew,fellow passengers,guides,and the wonders of the Galápagos. This is not ... Read More
This was our first expedition cruise after many years of cruising(Regent and Crystal). Our travel agent recommended Silversea and we thoroughly enjoyed the ship,crew,fellow passengers,guides,and the wonders of the Galápagos. This is not the typical luxury cruise,but is the most pampered and comfortable way to experience the islands. Our suite was on the small side ,but well-appointed and comfortable. Our butler Jimmy was every bit as good as our Crystal butlers (and that,s saying a lot!). The crew is a bit rough around the edges but very eager to please and hardworking. The food was for the most part very good. It was obvious that great efforts were being made and we were often asked if we wanted or needed anything else. This is such an interesting destination and the guides enthusiasm for their subjects was infectious. Juan Carlos and Gilda were our favorites but all were good. When I fell out of the zodiac trying to get back in after a wet landing excursion our guide Jan kept apologizing for not being there to help me (believe me it was my own fault!). Every excursion was well briefed and well guided. This is an adventure everyone needs on their "bucket" list and Silverseas should be their choice. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Off season time in the Caribbean is a great price. Age of guests is pretty much the same as Regent and Oceania. Internet went out for a day and the captain gave everyone a $200 credit. Nice touch. The wine was exceptional ... Read More
Off season time in the Caribbean is a great price. Age of guests is pretty much the same as Regent and Oceania. Internet went out for a day and the captain gave everyone a $200 credit. Nice touch. The wine was exceptional throughout. Not super expensive wines but in the $15-20 range, far better than the cheap stuff on Regent in Alaska. The food did hit a few rough patches. The main dining room was always excellent, but we were disappointed in Stars supper club and the Hot Rocks. Hot Rocks is where you cook your food under the stars outdoors. It was super hot and humid so that made is uncomfortable. The steak was nothing special. But the prawns were delicious and the largest I’ve ever seen. The salad, potato and vegetable was disappointing. Stars club had a great pianist and singer but they tried to do too many things in their tapas and they weren’t all good. I would have preferred they let you order your own tapas rather than have things cool and made ahead of time. Le Champagne, the pay extra restaurant, and Seishin were both outstanding. Entertainment was a bit lacking. Due to the internet problem, the movies didn’t work, so we got half way through and had to quit watching. The only regular TV was news channels. The jazz singer was the best evening entertainment and you could go in there even if you weren’t having dinner. She was great for after dinner drinks and music. We had the beds made as twins, and since they are a queen when put together, they were very small. We did ok but I’d prefer a king bed, broken into twins. You don’t get that on very many lines though unless you are in a fancy suite. We did get upgraded 3 levels, although all that does is put you on a higher floor. Service was absolutely excellent everywhere. No one ever left our wine glass empty. We had trouble with that on Regent in Alaska. There were only two boutiques and they didn’t have anything casual - all high end jewelry, clothes and perfume. I like some simple tshirts and silver jewelry which was missing. Room - same size as Regent and Oceania. Larger shower which is nice, and a tub which we don't use. Bulgaria amenities but you can have Ferragamo or a non- allergenic option. Comfortable chairs that recline on the balcony. Room not as fancy interior as the others but they are redoing this ship next year. It's fine just not noticeably fancy. 2 tvs in the mirrors with over 300 movies for free (until it didn't work). No sports channels - just news and movies. Internet is free and not fast but ok for email. Beds comfortable but small (we have them made as twins). Choice of pillows and blankets or down quilt. AC works well. Great lighting for makeup. Extension cord readily available for c-pap machine. The ship is like a comfortable yacht. Only 2 shops. Expensive art work for sale on the walls but no dramatic staircases etc like other ships have. We like it fine but there isn't a wow factor other than art. Food is better than Regent and Oceania across the board. For example, the lobster is fresh Maine lobster, not frozen or Caribbean as it was on Regent. Foie gras on menus although I don't like it. Great sushi. And service is outstanding. The free wines are much better than Regent Alaska cruise. The markup on the special wines is not high at all but we've been happy with the wines provided and they don't try to push you to buy a more expensive one. Entertainment is a weak spot. The excursions are very fairly priced ($59 for a 3 hour snorkel trip) so they don't gouge on that like Oceania does. Spa is expensive as all the at sea ones are. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Friends had fortunate experiences and we were looking to see if Cunard could be a standard way of traveling from the US to Europe, South Africa, Australia, and through the Panama Canal. The answer was a definite NO! we now don't even ... Read More
Friends had fortunate experiences and we were looking to see if Cunard could be a standard way of traveling from the US to Europe, South Africa, Australia, and through the Panama Canal. The answer was a definite NO! we now don't even want Cunard literature through the internet or by mail. The basic aspects of the cruise consisting of stateroom, entertainment, dining, library, and their associated service were excellent as expected. Areas of the ship suffered from severe smoker's stench despite smoking being restricted to two specific areas, The vaunted Planetarium showed an aged tape on construction of the space station and the age showed in its clarity. One had a feeling of being nickle and dimed throughout the cruise. The photographing was ubiquitous and expensive. The shopping was primarily for the wealthy although a few cheaper things could be found. My wife suffered food poisoning and we both suffered a major respiratory ailment by the time we left the ship. Embarkation was easy, provided you arrived early although they lost our picture and credit card so we had to have them re-entered, then they lost the credit card again, and again. it is disturbing that they had such problems with a critical piece of information. The debarkation was a horrific debacle suggesting they had never done it before. We were supposed to have priority to meet our shuttle buses to the airport to make our Cunard scheduled flights but wound up stuck in the assembly area for two and a half hours without any information and no Cunard staff so that food, drink, or bathroom breaks were essentially unavailable as we could be called at any moment. The luggage pickup indicated that we were the last people off the ship and there was no information in debarkation documentation or Cunard people that indicated where the shuttle buses were. The Shuttle drivers did not appear to know what airlines were at which gates at the airport, which extended the delay. We missed our flight, which began the real inexcusable aspect of our cruise. We had purchased, by heavy recommendation, Cunard "Care" which was supposed to provide complete protection and handling of our vacation from the moment we arrived at our home airport until we returned. Understand that Cunard scheduled everything and we paid a lot of extra money as both flights were one-way on different airlines. Because of the debarkation debacle we missed our flight and discovered that Cunard had not provided a phone number for Cunard Care in the debarkation documentation. Fortunately we found a Customer "Service" number which eventually routed us to Cunard Care after a multitude of "Please Hold" delays. Once reaching Cunard Care we were initially told that it wasn't their problem, further delays, and a clear indication that these people had no interest or understanding of how to solve our travel problems. One Cunard Care person told us to save our food and drink receipts because they covered that, but that turns out to be a falsehood. We essentially got home with the assistance of American Airlines in spite of Cunard "Care". After getting home, we requested reimbursement from Cunard Care through their insurance company and were rejected for interrupted travel expenses because "Cunard delayed our disembarkation" rather than a common carrier! We then experienced Cunard Customer Service which was an unending series of fatuous platitudes about how wonderful Cunard Care is despite how worse than worthless our experience with it proved it to be. Needless to say, Cunard apparently has no interest in making this right despite the promises made by Cunard in their literature. Our recommendation is to: 1. Find reliable trip insurance and avoid Cunard Care. 2. Do not use Cunard scheduled shuttles as our experience showed they were totally unreliable, neither arriving on time or knowing where they were going. 3. Do not use Cunard scheduled air transportation. 4. Do not trust Cunard to make things right. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
Many staff friends and passenger friends from the Radisson / Regent recent past recommended Viking Ocean, then the Star came to the Caribbean and we jumped at the chance to be on her. We fell in love with the vessel and its entire staff - ... Read More
Many staff friends and passenger friends from the Radisson / Regent recent past recommended Viking Ocean, then the Star came to the Caribbean and we jumped at the chance to be on her. We fell in love with the vessel and its entire staff - top to bottom. Viking Ocean (and Viking River) focus on the destinations and the onboard experience. Nothing over the top. Nary a zipline, Karaoke, nor casino to be found. Instead an excellent small-ship experience without crossing the line to gaudy. Excellent food in all restaurants. And the SPA!!! Did I mention THE SPA????? The entertainment on board uses top notch talent in cabaret settings. No Broadway production numbers, just solid talent. And they support them with the most innovative use of LED screens you will have ever seen. Loved it. The passengers were a very congenial lot on this cruise. No grumps made themselves obvious. Lots of closely-spaced two-tops in the restaurants that almost always joined themselves in lively conversations. Absolutely superb in every way Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was our 4th trip on a Lindblad/National Geographic ship, and the 4th great experience we've had with them. Our journey started with a 3 day shore extension to the cloud forest in Costa Rica with a Lindblad Naturalist (Fico) ... Read More
This was our 4th trip on a Lindblad/National Geographic ship, and the 4th great experience we've had with them. Our journey started with a 3 day shore extension to the cloud forest in Costa Rica with a Lindblad Naturalist (Fico) and driver (German). Normally 10 to 20 guests participate in the extension but this time it was just the 4 people in our family. Not only did Fico and Herman take us to see everything on the itinerary but along the way we stopped to watch howler monkey in trees on the roadside, stopped at some road-side fruit stands to pick up some in-season treats, and others that made the drive to the Cloud Forest part of the adventure. At each destination Fico would talk about the animals or plants we were seeing or hearing which turned every stop from a sightseeing experience to a learning experience. Since there were only 4 of us, they allowed us to deviate from the planned destinations and activities because the smaller group size gave us more flexibility. For example guests normally had to pick between a zip-line through the forest canopy, and a walk through it on suspended bridges - but my daughter really wanted to do both so they made it happen. The accommodations were great (we saw an armadillo, parrots, and other wildlife on the grounds of the lodge we stayed without much effort). The restaurants for all good, and we generally at whatever German (the driver) suggested because he knew every restaurants specialties. After returning from the cloud forest we boarded ship in Costa Rica. We'd previously sailed on the Sea Lions sister ship, the Sea Bird, so we knew what to expect. The ship was in good shape. My wife, daughter, and I stayed in a triple and my brother had a single. The cabin was well maintained and clean with enough storage space for the 3 of us (largely because the bed was raised high enough we could stash our luggage under it easily). In our first trip on the Sea Bird we found the 'shoilet' (small toilet area that doubled as the shower) a bit disconcerting but time around it didn't seem as odd. With 3 of us cabin space was tight, but we spent so little time in the cabin it really didn't matter. Almost the entire day was spent on excursions, in the lounge debriefing with other guest or looking at the photos we got (or didn't) on the computers, or on the partially covered sun deck either enjoying sun, or shade, as we wanted. Food was served in the dining room. It's all 'open seating' and we tried to sit with different guests at each meal. Breakfast was a buffet and generally included fresh fruit, yogurt, cereals, breads, bacon and/or sausage, some type of egg, sometimes crepes, waffles, or pancakes. Lunch was similarly buffet with salad, soup, and fruit always there with different choices each day like burgers and dogs, tacos, thai chicken, and veggie medleys, Dinner was served with soup and fresh bread, with a choice between a meat dish (flank steak, rack of lamb, prime rib, etc.), a seafood dish (sea bass, etc.), and a vegetarian option (portabella risotto, etc.). If none of those sounded good a full size salad or chicken breast was also always offered. Dinner was followed by a desert like flan, fruit crisps, and the like. My daughter had a bit of motion sickness and the hospitality manager (Anna Marie) noticed her not eating and each morning would inquire if she wanted one of the items on the days menu or if she'd prefer some more kid-friendly fare like chicken tenders, pasta, a hot dog, or mac-and-cheese. Most of the time my daughter was good with the normal menu items but a few times she did take Anna Marie up on her offer and got a custom dish just for her. Most meals the natural history staff and some of the ships officers would join us at meals, and we'd learn about them and (since they were from the local area) we'd hear about the culture of the area and what it is like to live and have grown up there. As my review title says, the real high point of the trip was the activities - the shore excursions with the natural history staff. Every day had at least 1 multi-hour activity in the morning and a second in the afternoon. We'd generally take a zodiac from the ship to shore (most often making a wet landing, so shorts and shoes/footwear you are ok getting soaked is mandatory) followed by walk into the forest or along the coast with a naturalist and/or photo instructor. Those guys were amazing, With their naked eyes they spotted sloths in the trees (if you've never seen a sloth in a tree, from the ground it looks like a brown blob in the branches of a tree, and you don't have motion to draw attention to them), howler monkey, spider monkeys, white face monkeys, parrots, toucans, macaws, hummingbirds, alligators, tarantulas, bats, and mountains of other types of birds and animals. They pointed out plants and type of plants, talked about the life cycle of the forest and how gaps in the canopy result in pioneer plants which eventually end up with the forest terminal state foliage. They could identify birds by call alone, and in most cases then find the birds. The photo instructor (Jose) was great. In addition to being a naturalist and point out the animals and plants, walks with him always included hints and tips on how to photograph them more effectively, the right types of light, moving to better angles to capture the life better, camera settings so you could get the effect you wanted from stop-motion (real cool for birds in flight, or dolphins jumping from the bow or in the wake of the ship) to blurred (great for the some of the waterfalls we visited). A clear highlight was seeing a sloth in a tree on the start of a walk, and on the way back seeing that same sloth with it's new born baby. The videographer that accompanied us everywhere even got some real "National Geographic" quality video of the sloth eating the placenta after giving birth. A real 'once in a lifetime moment' even for our naturalists who spent decades in the rain forest! The last two days of the trip, when we traversed the Panama Canal, was a bit slower than the previous days but that was because we had to defer to the canal authority to decide when we could cross. We entered the canal in the evening (passenger ships as 2nd priority, the big cargo ships go first) which gave us a great chance to photograph the canal and operations at night. Jose, our trusty photo instructor, seemed to be everywhere helping guest capture the night canal night crossing in pictures the way they wanted. We spent the night in the canal itself (Lindblad is the only cruise that stops mid-way) and visited the Smithsonian Institutes tropical research center on Barro Colorado Island at first night, which included a talk from a long-time researcher from the island (I suppose spending 30 years as a researcher on that island counts as a long time). We were then lucky enough to traverse the 2nd set of locks in the day; so we could see lock operations both at night and in the say. As crazy as it sounds, another highlight for me was the last night which we spent in the container port on the Caribbean side of the canal. We were moored right along side some Panamax and post-Panamax contain ships and from the sun deck we could watch the loading and unloading of those ships up-close and personal. The Sea Lion seems like a little minnow tied-up along those mega-behemoths. The trip concluded with our Lindblad representatives taking us to the airport in Panama City for our flight how. Along the way we stopped at the Mira Flores Locks (the ones we traversed at night) so we could see them from the day from the visitors center; it really made us appreciate the experience of having crossed through the locks as well. We were sorry to see it end, and are already thinking about what Lindblad voyage to take next. If only I could wrangle a month off (and I could con Lindblad into giving me a break on the price!) it'd probably be Antarctic and South Georgia island. I'm not sure it could top the sloth giving birth but I'm willing to let them try! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We had done a Viking River Cruise and decided to try to Ocean Cruise. Pros: the ship is beautiful, the public spaces were NEVER crowded, there were chairs by the pools, there were areas with many books, games and even some museum ... Read More
We had done a Viking River Cruise and decided to try to Ocean Cruise. Pros: the ship is beautiful, the public spaces were NEVER crowded, there were chairs by the pools, there were areas with many books, games and even some museum pieces, The staff were always friendly. the dining rooms were never crowed. The organization for the excursions was extremely well done (a carryover from the River cruises?) the process of getting on and off was easy and fast. The two specialty dining rooms were AMAZING! The food at the Chef's table was incredibly interesting and really tasty. It is a set menu and on two of the occasions that we went there was one item that we were not crazy about, but the rest was really really good. The waitstaff was knowledgeable and very attentive. Making a revising reservation on board was easy. Cons: the staff need a lot more training. It took me three tries with three different waiters to get ice for my water on one occasion, They never did get the minibar in our cabin stocked with what we wanted (diet soda, half with caffeine and half non caffeinated). My husband liked eggs Benedict, unfortunately, the staff who was cooking were able to get it done and to him in a reasonable time on occasion and sometimes they were not. In the main dining room, people complained that they were completely neglected or that the orders were incorrect. The fitness center had equipment that had electronic options, HOWEVER, only the option that worked was gaming, the music, videos etc etc were not functional. In addition, the staff did not even know how to work what was there. The included tours simply do not work for the Caribbean. The model that works in Europe and Asia does not work in the islands. There are few historical items to be seen and for many of us, sitting on a bus or a minibus etc just was NOT what we went to the Caribbean to do. It is my suggestion that they give each person a ship board credit and let them chose what excursions they want to participate in. Those of us who were a little younger (the passengers were mostly older and many with mobility issues) would likely want more active excursions. We finally chose to pay additional money and took active excursions the last few days. After reflection, I decided that there was mostly positive on this cruise and I might consider another ocean cruise in the Baltic or Mediterranean, but not in the Caribbean. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We wanted to try a trans-Atlantic cruise just because.... It was wonderful. We took a southerly route and in spite of the season (December!) we spent each day at the pool or walking about the ship, or just sitting out on our balcony ... Read More
We wanted to try a trans-Atlantic cruise just because.... It was wonderful. We took a southerly route and in spite of the season (December!) we spent each day at the pool or walking about the ship, or just sitting out on our balcony reading. It took a little time to realize we could have what ever we wanted, when ever we wanted it! This kind of pampering is not normal. And it was all done with a smile. The staff are incredible. It very soon feels like everyone knows your name, your drink preferences, how you like your coffee. And they are unfailingly cheerful while maintaining a very professional demeanor. Also, our stateroom was spacious and very comfortable. The best it the industry, in my opinion. Finally, we were first attracted to a trans-Atlantic cruise because of the price. I believe we got what we paid for and more. We had a wonderful, very relaxing time, and would do it again in a heartbeat. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My wife and i cannot express our true pleasure sailing with seabourn again. in fact we sailed 5 previous weeks on the seabourn sun. now the princendam a member of holland america. Also on the spirit. we have one thing to say about ... Read More
My wife and i cannot express our true pleasure sailing with seabourn again. in fact we sailed 5 previous weeks on the seabourn sun. now the princendam a member of holland america. Also on the spirit. we have one thing to say about the odyssey-perfect. the highlight of our trip was shopping with the chef. Thomas was his name and seabourn needs to keep him forever. he has a outgoing personality and is truly a delight to be around. Food, what can i say terrific. service could have not been better. 6 stars+ in every aspect. Our cruise director david was a delight and we even had his assistant ross who was marvelous, funny and extremely talented. the trivia game at 12 noon everyday was a hoot. not serious which makes it fun. we met a lot of cruisers who will probably remain friends for a long time. seabourn again, yes sir without a doubt. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was our first Oceania cruise- and we're glad we did! I have been hearing about how great Oceania was from friends for several years, but we have become quite partial to our familiar Celebrity. We've also cruised with ... Read More
This was our first Oceania cruise- and we're glad we did! I have been hearing about how great Oceania was from friends for several years, but we have become quite partial to our familiar Celebrity. We've also cruised with Seabourne, and actually preferred Oceania in that it seemed a little less pretentious, and the specialty restaurants were wonderful. We chose this cruise because of the amazing deal- we ended up with internet, cabin credit, free gratuities, and a drink package, as well as free shore excursions for a very reasonable price. On Celebrity, we always upgrade our beverage package to the premium one, but were really glad that we did not on this cruise. Generally, we mainly drink wine with our dinner, and don't drink a lot that isn't around meal times. The basic beverage package covers all wines and beer with meals- with no price limit by the glass. This differs from Celebrity in that the better wines are only available on the premium package. Probably different if you wanted to drink several cocktails in the evenings. We flew into Rio de Janeiro, and elected to come three days early to go to the Iguazu Falls- so glad we did! It was very easy to arrange to just tag a one hour flight to Fos do Iguacu onto our incoming flight and carry on. We easily booked a hotel- the Viale towers- that was more than reasonable for the price and right in the middle of town, so that we had a choice of restaurants. Tip- go onto Trip Advisor- there were a few very good restaurants to choose from. Try The Mafia- lovely little Italian place- make a reservation- they will come and pick you up from the hotel. Also eat at Zaragoza- great old style elegant Spanish restaurant with wonderful paella. We found that the desk staff at the Viale were very helpful. The breakfast came with the room and it was very good, with lots of selection of hot and cold food, as well as a very good cup of coffee. From the Viale, we took the staff's recommendation and caught the local bus to the Brazilian side of the falls- for about 1.50$. The bus stopped right at the entrance, and we only walked about one block. It was very easy to spend 2-3 hours walking around the paths at the falls and we walked over to the bird sanctuary after- about 2-3 blocks away. A lovely day! The next day, the staff arranged a taxi to take us to the Argentinian side of the falls- for about 45.00$ he helped us through the border crossing and waited for us for four hours while we were at the falls. It was nice to see them from both sides- you do get closer to the falls from the Argentinian side, but you are above them, so it gave a great perspective of their size to have seen them from below the day before. We flew back to Rio easily, and checked onto the ship by 11 am. We just took a taxi from the airport to the ship for about 30 dollars. We were able to sit in the buffet restaurant, until our room was ready at about one. We had been offered and accepted an upgrade to a Penthouse suite so really enjoyed the extra space. The bed, as per reputation, was extremely comfortable. There was more than enough storage space, with a walk in closet, as well as many drawers in the room. We had a butler for the first time, Akshay- who was lovely, but underutilized as we didn't quite know what we were supposed to be asking him to do! He shone our shoes, ironed a few things, and helped us get reservations practically nightly for the specialty restaurants. The ship was not full, or I assume that would not have been possible. Despite our understanding that there was only one reservation at each of the restaurants per cruise, the reservation desk in the main lobby was very reasonable to work with to find reservations on a daily basis. Try all of the restaurants- Red Ginger was definitely our favourite- the duck confit and watermelon salad was so good! Because we had a penthouse suite we were also able to order off the specialty restaurant menus for room service and we did have a few of those salads along the way. The staff were amazing in the entire ship and called us by name, and remembered our favourite wines for dinner. We had breakfast daily in the Terrace restaurant- lovely to sit outside with a huge selection of foods, juices and coffee drinks. Even dinner was very good in the Terrace when you wanted a break from the two hour multi course dining experience. The Grand Dining room was great for dinner. All in all, the only trouble was figuring out how to ration out the places to eat so that you didn't feel overfull all of the time. We finally tried the 4 pm tea in Horizons on a rainy day in Buenos Aires, and it was lovely, with a four piece string band playing classical music. The only problem with the tea was that it was hard not to overindulge and ruin your dinner! The ship itself has many lovely quiet areas to hang out in- the library is exceptional, and adjoins the coffee shop- so you can sit and read in deep comfortable leather chairs while sipping cappuccino and munching on bakery treats. We had access to the area at the front of the spa for lounge chairs and hot tubs- also a great spot. We went daily to the trivia sessions- Peter, our cruise director was so funny- and he seemed to deal pretty well with the die hard, very serious, fight to the death teams that were really taking themselves way too seriously. We went to several of the entertainment shows- a British band called 5 O'Clock Somewhere were absolutely fantastic. The ships own crew were pretty good. The house band was also quite good. We enjoyed the educational lectures about the local area that were put on in the afternoons. There were no cooking classes due to some funny Brazilian laws. However, I must admit that we go on holidays to relax and love to spend a lot of time just chilling and reading our books, so I'm not really a good judge of quality of the shows- We loved the air of relaxation that the boat promoted. All in all, I'm very happy that we tried Oceania, and look forward to sailing with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
We had previously sailed on Viking River's Grand European cruise, a 130 passenger ship where all the crew knew your name. When we saw Viking Star was in the Caribbean, we decided to see how it compared. We were extremely impressed ... Read More
We had previously sailed on Viking River's Grand European cruise, a 130 passenger ship where all the crew knew your name. When we saw Viking Star was in the Caribbean, we decided to see how it compared. We were extremely impressed with the experience. The only difference was that you can't really compare the personal attention of a 130 passenger ship to a 900 passenger version - but they came very close. It was vastly better than our many other cruises on 2-3,000 passenger ships. We liked the included shore excursions, but did think that more scenic stops for photos and less for shopping might have been appropriate. The meals were excellent, we dined in the main restaurant each night save for one night in the Italian Specialty room. The wine flowed like a river! Again, we were very satisfied and we're looking forward to a future Viking Ocean in the Baltic and another Viking River cruise on the lower Danube. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
Just wanting to escape from the long Canadian winter it was the right length (10 days) just before Christmas so we thought we would give Viking a try. We are big fans of Silverseas and Seabourn as we tend to enjoy the "small ... Read More
Just wanting to escape from the long Canadian winter it was the right length (10 days) just before Christmas so we thought we would give Viking a try. We are big fans of Silverseas and Seabourn as we tend to enjoy the "small ship" experience more than the larger ships. Food was as good as the others, service not quite there yet, even though when I started tipping a little, service improved a lot! Entertainment was at best OK - nothing memorable at all, but I don't go for the entertainment. If you want to relax, eat and drink well (I recommend the Silver Spirits option for upscale wine etc.) you will have a good time. Nice new ship overall. The fitness and spa set up was great. We have never been big fans of the planned excursions on any ship and nothing we saw, heard, or did changed our minds. What good story ever started with "So, we all got on a bus...."? Bottom line? I am looking forward to my next cruise with Viking and would recommend it unless you want to bring children or are expecting "Vegas style" big ship entertainment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise line to compare with our experiences on Seabourn and Silverseas. We're trying to find our sweet spot of luxury and excellence balanced with a certain casualness. Viking Ocean did very well. There were a couple of ... Read More
We chose this cruise line to compare with our experiences on Seabourn and Silverseas. We're trying to find our sweet spot of luxury and excellence balanced with a certain casualness. Viking Ocean did very well. There were a couple of weak spots (for example, embarkation was not as user-friendly as either Seabourn or Silverseas; cigar/cigarette smoking area was extremely sub-par; ) and several high notes. Our suite (Explorer Suite) was really lovely - spacious, gracious, comfortable. Food was generally very good, with just a few blips. We thought that the Silver Spirits package was worth every penny. Maybe the wines weren't top of the line all the time, but they were enjoyable, as were our nightly cognacs. It was nice not having to dress up all the time for dinner, though some people took "casual" a little too far. The entertainment was on part with other experiences. Service was generally good, though not always to the standard of Seabourn/Silverseas. We didn't do any of the included tours, though we heard from many others that they were just the usual bus tour. The people we met on board were the highlight of the trip, as fellow travellers on Seabourn and Silverseas always were. We would definitely try another Viking Ocean cruise. I would like to say that Viking should provide a better smoking area. It only has the one space, on one side of the ship with no protection from rain and no shade. It could be extremely uncomfortable. It was also difficult to get served drinks up there. My husband smokes cigars and you can't just rush through one of those things! In addition, it was a very social area, where we spent a lot of time with other like-minded sailors. Viking really should be able to offer better. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise because we had not been to the West Indies and especially like travelling on a smaller, adult-oriented ocean vessel. Airport transfers to and from the ship could have been more organized. They were slow but overall ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had not been to the West Indies and especially like travelling on a smaller, adult-oriented ocean vessel. Airport transfers to and from the ship could have been more organized. They were slow but overall uneventful. Our cabin and the ship in general was beautiful and always clean and well-supplied. The staff was always friendly and accommodating. Most of the excursions we chose were informative and enjoyable. The one exception was noted to the ship's officer and was immediately dealt with in an acceptable manner. Although all of our meals were excellent, my one suggestion would be to have at least one or two low-salt entrees on the dinner menus. There were vegetarian options, but not low-salt. The weather in the West Indies in December was simply gorgeous! A very good time to be near the equator! Our overall experience on this cruise was most enjoyable and we would travel on Viking again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I have often repositioned from Europe where I live, to the United States to visit my family...I must say that the Seabourn Odyssey ranked tops in almost every category. I have only paid to cruise a few times as I normally am at work ... Read More
I have often repositioned from Europe where I live, to the United States to visit my family...I must say that the Seabourn Odyssey ranked tops in almost every category. I have only paid to cruise a few times as I normally am at work bringing guests onto the ships, and cruising as the Tour Manager, not as the Cruise Director.... I have heard reviews about 45 minute long deliveries of Coke Light, on every night of their cruise, and the entire dining room up in arms about slow, poor service....I am a Tour Manager, and have been one for the last 30 years...I know excellent service as I dine in restaurants breakfast, lunch, and dinner...every day, about 250 days a year, so figure I have eaten over 21,000 restaurant meals, free, for work...further, I eat out on my own 5 meals a week, in some of the very best restaurants in the world, JOEL ROBUCHON, GUY SAVOY, ENRICO DERFLINGHER, MICHAEL MINA, THOMAS KELLER, BRADLEY OGDEN, CRISTINA BOWERMAN, etc. , etc. So what restaurants were these people describing on the Odyssey???…no way, no how, can the service be described as anything less than excellent...yes, I had a forgotten ice tea, and a main course took a little time once or twice, BWTF are we in such a hurry for to begin with...for those that wrote such false things about the outstanding staff in the restaurants front and back of the house, please check out a movement called #SLOW-FOOD in Italy...the difference between eating and dining is about 1 1/2 hours...The buffet at the Colonnade was always an option! THE GOOD: AMAZING SHIP, awesome embarcation, debarcation, due mainly to having only 450 guests on board, amazing food, AWESOME FRENCH FRIES, and I loved the breadsticks, but the fries are world class, Thomas Keller every other night!, coffee and cakes at the Seabourn Square, amazing books in the library, the plethora of chaise lounges all over the ship, The SERVICE by all of the staff, the included quality of the wines, and included drinks, Hendricks anyone?… the lectures, the amazing television channels, the wifi when it worked, the FREE LAUNDRY ROOMS, with irons...the free and included, constantly revstocked mini bars in the cabins. Superb knowledge of wine by everyone in the dining rooms, and especially bynthe actual Sommeliers... Awesome bathrooms with full deep baths and seperate showers. THE BAD: calling the ship and experience 6 star( certainly the following should not have happened or been possible on a 6 star ship) as it is too subjective and builds expectations too high, the poor GYM, what one would find in a 3 star hotel, terrible not having the missing 10 machines, and thinking the Technogym Wall would suffice( hard to use if a stretching or Yoga Class is in that area, The poor areas for streching classes, a true let down in a large spa area, mens and womens change rooms had tiny saunas, for two or three people max, NOT SIX STARS! The damaged and stained windows in the gym area...The pay for extra quiet area in the spa, the infrared saunas would burn your butt big time, and the whole area should have been the gym to begin with...Not giving out a list of ALL THE WINES AVAILABLE by the glass, why should I have to ask for that list? Why was it delivered 2 days later? Terribly small T.V.'S mounted in a stupid way, so not fully viewable from the bed…really not 6 star....we should have 50" tvs, with sound bars....The mini golf was a joke, 6 star is on the Celebrity Equinox, on real grass, or any Royal Carribean ship, epically not 6 star, nor were the 60% selection of left handed putters and woods and irons...why was there not a golf simulator on board? The Ping Pong table was in a far too windy area...for such ultra limited recreation choices, this ship ranked a 1 star rating, beyond poor...SUITES? A suite must have a seperate bedroom, otherwise it is a Jr Suite...these CABINS were generous in size, but the Cruise Ship Industry deserves to get sued by every single passenger, when their cabins turn out to be just that, when they a buy SUITES.... THE UGLY: no wine lectures or iPad classes, or photo work shops...the one wine tasting offered was to drink 40 dollar glasses of wine....why so expensive? Why not use the wines included for free and discuss them? CONCLUSION: I loved this cruise ship, and Seabourn in general, however not 6 star, as that infers beyond perfect...I loved the inclusive nature of everything on board, and the CAN DO attitude of everyone on board...I thought the food was great, better than all my cruises so far, with strong competition from the French Chefs on Le Ponant, and the amazing chefs on the Mississippi Queen....EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THE SHIP SEEMED TO BE A REPEAT GUEST… incredible loyal following, and I can see why....Seabourn is a class act in every way....I cannot wait to book again!!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My wife and I finally retired and decided in 2014 to plan our first cruise. We had heard so many wonderful reviews of Viking River cruises from many of our friends who had retired also. When Viking announced they were going to do ocean ... Read More
My wife and I finally retired and decided in 2014 to plan our first cruise. We had heard so many wonderful reviews of Viking River cruises from many of our friends who had retired also. When Viking announced they were going to do ocean cruises, we decide to jump in on the first year of Viking Star. We did Venice to Barcelona, 13 days, in October 2015 and fell in love with the whole experience. 900 passengers was the right size for us. We loved our Veranda cabin with its outdoor seating and table. The whole cruise exceeded our expectations. In 2016 we got a notice that the Viking Star was doing a British West Indies 11 day cruise in and out of San Juan, so we booked it. We got the same ship and the same room as we had in 2015. It was another outstanding cruise! We are planning a River Cruise for 2018 and can't wait to enjoy the Viking hospitality and quality once again. We spent two days in our embarkation city on both cruises and highly recommend doing that. Old San Juan was a very pleasant surprise and an easy port for Customs if you are a US citizen. Food on board is outstanding at all venues. Viking does not nickel and dime you for anything. We did 50% of our excursions upgraded and the rest were provided at no charge. Be sure to use the facilities of the spa pool and facilities. 2 Retired from NJ to SC Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
Our state room was very nice, the staff was exceptional but the meat at the carving station was always dry. I also feel that the on board entertainment was good quality but not upbeat. The Oseas were very good & we enjoyed them a lot. ... Read More
Our state room was very nice, the staff was exceptional but the meat at the carving station was always dry. I also feel that the on board entertainment was good quality but not upbeat. The Oseas were very good & we enjoyed them a lot. Our shore excursion in St. Kitts was a waste of time and money, this stop should be taken off the itinerary. My wife celebrated her birthday and they provided a very nice cake.i feel that the security procedures are the best that I have ever seen. My wife and I had a message while onboard and it was one of the best that I have ever had & would strongly recommend. Do to an unexpected illness I had to visit the ships Dr., the doctor and his staff were very nice and professional I did not have to wait & received excellent care. Thank you Dr Peter Dragon. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
We have been cruising with Viking for many years -- five on the river and three on the ocean, with another holiday river cruise pending. The overall experience with Viking is consistent, caring and so outstanding. We also sailed the ... Read More
We have been cruising with Viking for many years -- five on the river and three on the ocean, with another holiday river cruise pending. The overall experience with Viking is consistent, caring and so outstanding. We also sailed the Mediterranean in the fall of the Star's maiden season, which was perfection in every way, including the weather. The Viking Star and crew were amazing, both times. On this most recent experience, the airlines delayed the arrival of our luggage on a non-stop flight. Both the hospitality staff and the cabin crew were on top of it by providing us with the necessary toiletries and free laundry service the first night. Next morning, we had a lovely walking tour of the port. In the afternoon, our cabin steward was waiting below deck in luggage for the second the luggage arrived, and immediately delivered it to our cabin long before the port departure that evening, thankfully. Even though we live very close to the tropics, we had not visited any of the West Indies before because we prefer to travel in cooler climates to escape from the heat and humidity. But now that Viking would be going there, we decided to go in comfort. And comfort we got. We love the third floor for the convenience to the open atrium, but in this instance, we were upgraded to a beautiful Explorer Suite on our preferred third floor. That was a nice treat in such a hot climate, as laundry service was included for that level cabin. We also enjoyed having our breakfast delivered to our dining table every morning. There was a huge living/dining area, pretty much like home. The views from the oversize balcony were consistently beautiful. The ship, dining and entertainment are superior, but it's the personal care that you receive above all else. As long as Viking keeps adding ships and itineraries where I haven’t visited, I would like to keep traveling with them, either on the river or the ocean. Try the Success Cake and the fabulous waffles in Mamsen's, forward deck 7. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise because of the value, the fact that there was no casino or small children, and on VIking's reputation. We were not disappointed. We were surprised to find that the other passengers were mostly of retirement ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the value, the fact that there was no casino or small children, and on VIking's reputation. We were not disappointed. We were surprised to find that the other passengers were mostly of retirement age. It could have been the timing of the cruise. Everything about the trip was first class, from the cabin to the food, to the daily excursions to the overall cleanliness of the ship. The staff was friendly and very helpful. We had two days where we had back to back excursions with little time for lunch. The first day we ate granola bars we brought from home, but mentioned in our daily review how a boxed lunch would have been appreciated. We received a personal note from the food service manager and were able to order a lunch the next time. We returned from our morning excursion to find a lovely boxed lunch waiting in our cabin. I don't think that would have happened on one of the behemoth ships. Viking goes above and beyond to accommodate their passengers. P.S. We recently returned from our second Viking cruise, the Grand European Tour river cruise. Read Less

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