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11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We were delayed going out to Barcelona with Titan Airways. When we eventually went through the gate there were buses to get us out to the plane. It was awful for the elderly - we were like sardines and had to wait over an hour on the ... Read More
We were delayed going out to Barcelona with Titan Airways. When we eventually went through the gate there were buses to get us out to the plane. It was awful for the elderly - we were like sardines and had to wait over an hour on the plane due to a technical fault with the baggage hold. Then the same at Barcelona, more buses from the plane to the terminal as the plane was way away and there were also lots of steps. To top the lot, the transfer coach from the airport to the ship would not let us take our bag with all our valuables onto the coach as they said the bag was too big. Surely Cunard should advise what size the bag needed to be. Nobody took it off us on the way back!! We had all our money, jewellery, computers, iPad, kindles and didn't want to leave them in the hold so we had to get a taxi - 39 euros !!!! Nice start. Wouldn't book the flight ever again with Cunard or any of them for that matter. First time we did and it is the last. We usually arrive the day before and get a hotel with the saving on a cruise only basis. We took 3 cases going - paperwork said 23kg in weight and NOT how many pieces. On the way back at check in - Titan tried to charge us for a 3rd piece of luggage. Nobody said anything on the onward journey. We refused and they said they would make an exception!! Be careful. Apart from that we had a lovely cruise. Food in the Britannia was good, (beef wellington was lovely), Verandah - need to check the menu, we didn't and wish we had. The lamb made up for it and was really good. The Lido Alternative 'Coriander Night' was a bit disappointing and the 'Prime' night was just ok. Entertainment was good but nothing amazing. Staff were really nice. We used the Spa for one day which cost 35 dollars each. That was lovely. Don't bother with the hairdressers. Rip off. I booked for a blow dry and the price is 'from' $35 depending on the length of your hair. She said mine was medium. When I got to the till I was charged for long hair and it was $56. A big difference. It was as flat as a fluke and washed it the next day anyway. Never seen such a hash of bingo in all my life. Not the usual bingo tickets and everyone was making false calls. Pillows and bed were very very comfortable. We had a balcony mid aft 6127 nice room. Drinks are very expensive - $12.95 dollars plus 15% service plus 10% spanish tax for a glass of wine. $40-50 for a bottle of wine at the dinner table. I did manage to find a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet (french dry white) which was nice for $35. Again plus 15% plus 10% tax as we went from Barcelona. They have to add Spanish tax. Lovely ship and lovely cruise. Would go again but not using their transfers. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
For our first cruise we selected SilverSea based on reviews we'd seen on a lot of sites, but specifically Cruise Critic, plus recommendations from friends who had sailed with Silversea before. We selected this 7 night cruise because ... Read More
For our first cruise we selected SilverSea based on reviews we'd seen on a lot of sites, but specifically Cruise Critic, plus recommendations from friends who had sailed with Silversea before. We selected this 7 night cruise because we were spending a few days in Tuscany prior to departure and Rome was a great embarkation point for us. In addition, we liked the idea of sailing north through the ports selected for this voyage, ending in Barcelona. We found our itinerary to be a little daunting, as we visited numerous Tuscan towns over 4 - 5 days and then spent a full day with a guide in Rome. Yet, the Rome Cavalieri hotel that SilverSea used was fantastic, in every way. Comfortable room, excellent dining, and a great location, not to mention their fantastic service attitude. Regarding the cruise itself, first we found SilverSea's organization to be incredible. Just the act of getting so many people organized and bused to and from the ship was a challenge that they've definitely figured out how to navigate. Onboarding was easy and even the initial muster drill was a bit of a lark. Onboard, the organization continued to be excellent with most questions a traveler would have being answered before you even asked. Our Veranda Suite was roomy and comfortable, and the service provided by our butler and the maid were timed perfectly and delivered with, again, great attitudes. Point in fact, we found the attitude of all staff members on the Silver Spirit to be enthusiastic and pleasant. Food in the restaurants was excellent. We visited all the normal, standard restaurants (La Terraza, The Restaurant, The Pool Grill), as well as Sheishin and La Champagne. One suggestion might help and that would be to expand the menu at the pool grill. It seemed a bit limited, although what was offered was normally very good. Ports of call were interesting. As this was our first cruise we only chose to use the "included" excursions and realize now that we might have enjoyed being off ship better if we had chosen some more select outings. The standard excursions began rather early in the day for us and were really dependent on the quality of the local guides and some mediocre listening devices. In our case, several were mainly average and one, at Porto Mahon, was outstanding. A suggestion for Silver Sea might be to schedule one or two of the included excursions a bit later in the day. One other comment on the excursions. In one instance we had chosen "Medieval Lucca" as our excursion. Unfortunately, on the day we visited the annual Comics & Games Festival was being held in Lucca, which caused the city to be overrun by costumed characters and limited our ability to see the town. I do know that one tour group was given the option of leaving and visiting Pisa instead. In another instance, we visited Monaco and Monte Carlo on a day that the Banks were closed, as were many of the local shops. I'm sure SilverSea was aware of these two situations and might have offered options in advance. Overall, however, we still think this was an outstanding experience for us and we will certainly consider sailing with SilverSea again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I love photography and choose my destinations based upon the best opportunities to practice my hobby. Having recently lost my husband I needed an easy way to travel to a variety of locations on my own. Silversea was offering a ... Read More
I love photography and choose my destinations based upon the best opportunities to practice my hobby. Having recently lost my husband I needed an easy way to travel to a variety of locations on my own. Silversea was offering a sensational single supplement and I always wanted to visit Rome and Barcelona, so it was the perfect solution. I was a little worried I would stick out like a sore thumb. At the last minute a friend decided to join me, so I wasn't alone after all. During the cruise there were so many friendly people I realized that it would have been fine even on my own. My main reason for going was to see the two cities, Rome and Barcelona. Neither of them were included in the tours from the ship, so I opted to stay three nights at either end. On the recommendation of a friend who is a travel agent, we booked the Rose Garden Palace in Rome and the Majestic in Barcelona, both excellent choices. In both cities we did the Hop-on/Hop-off busses, which were extremely helpful in getting an overview of both cities. Of course, we have only barely scratched the surface of all the places we visited. I especially fell in love with Barcelona. Back home now, I have plans to stay there for a month as soon as I retire. This is my third cruise. The previous two were with my husband, also on small luxury, all inclusive lines: Renaissance (before they went out of business), Athens to Istanbul and Regent, Sydney to Auckland. How does Silversea compare? I'll break it down: Embarkation was extremely fast. We did arrive at the ship quite early so we missed the crowd. Disembarkation took longer. They called luggage tag colors by groups and we were one of the last groups called. Decor: It was a little too "brown" and traditional for my taste. I am drawn more to a cleaner, more modern look. But it was really very nice overall. Food: We started out with lunch on the pool deck waiting for our room on the first day and had to send our food back. My "steak" was raw (I asked for med rare) and when they brought it back it was well done. My roommate's meatball sliders had a really odd taste to them and she didn't eat them. I was a little worried by that first experience, but it definitely improved as dinner that night was sensational at Seishin. Dinners at the Supper Club and La Terazza were not as good. But we ate twice at Hot Rocks and loved it! The food on Regent was better. Tours: We only did the included tours, which mainly consisted of a bus racing through the countryside with a nonstop narration by the tour guide. Many people I talked to said there was too much talking. It because exhausting over a several hour bus ride. They really should stop once in a while to let us enjoy the scenery, instead of plying us with the minutiae of historical facts. As a photographer I found it frustrating because we were driving so fast it's amazing I got any photos at all. There were very few stops along the way for photos. In Monaco, my roommate got nauseated because of all the twists and turns in the hills. Once at our destinations I didn't join the group, I wandered around on my own to take pictures. Service: Exemplary. Our butler, Kerley, was willing to do anything and helped us to get reservations at Hot Rocks when they were full. She cleaned the outside of our luggage the day before disembarcation. She served us breakfast in our room every morning. She kept asking us to use her for anything. When we asked for vodka and wine in our room she made sure it was stocked with whatever we asked. Tips were included in the package, but we gave her an envelope on the last day. She was trying to refuse, but we insisted. Everyone else on the ship was very nice and helpful. Passengers: At first I was worried I would be surrounded by "rich" people, lol, which I am not. At our hotel in Rome we met two women, a mother and grown daughter traveling together, who were also coming on our same cruise. We hit it off right away and all the other passengers we met were extremely friendly and just like us. Entertainment: We were too tired at night to go to any of the productions except one: a lone singer who was really bad. In fact, we were embarrassed because our eyes kept falling shut. We decided if we came back we'd sit in the back so we could slip out, but that opportunity didn't arise. Would I recommend the cruise to others? It depends on who I am talking to. I didn't recommend it to my younger brother and his wife because I felt it was too quiet and almost deserted much of the time. Even I would have liked it to be a bit more lively. There were many empty chairs at the pool area and other common areas were almost deserted. The theater was less than 1/4 full. It definitely would appeal more to the older crowd. That said, we did have an absolutely wonderful time and will enjoy reliving the trip through my photos. I posted these on another thread, but if you with to see a condensed version of them, they are here: https://goo.gl/photos/tuZNEK5FGxHZLQy77 Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
The best way to know Seychelles Islands. First class service, first class cabin, first class food, first class tours. Variety Cruises has excellent yatch options to cruise, this one was great. The personnel on board Pegasus is ... Read More
The best way to know Seychelles Islands. First class service, first class cabin, first class food, first class tours. Variety Cruises has excellent yatch options to cruise, this one was great. The personnel on board Pegasus is excellent, always trying to serve you at their best. The out shore excursions are very well planned and coordinated. The tour guides excellent. Hotel manager and activities coordinator very well prepared, they communicated in several languages. The food on board excellent and the barbecues at the beach were great. Snorkling perfect. The cleaness at the entire yatch was everyday attention. Small group of people that allows to know them. Time of cruise (7 nights / 8days) is the perfect time to know the islands. Time on each island was very well calculated, so you can know the islands and go around afterwards. On board activities and entertainment are great: bingo, dancing, karaoke, etc. Recommended 100%. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Rome to Barcelona with stops in Corsica, Sardinia, Elba, Majorica - each island magical with history, ruins, great food, and friendly people. Our cabin was large with efficient storage and bed was very comfortable. We were mid-ship ... Read More
Rome to Barcelona with stops in Corsica, Sardinia, Elba, Majorica - each island magical with history, ruins, great food, and friendly people. Our cabin was large with efficient storage and bed was very comfortable. We were mid-ship on lower level and felt no rocking at night. High recommend lower and mid-ship room. The food was delightful and customized as per diet restrictions. Seafood buffet was amazing with plenty of lobster, shrimp, and salads. Breakfast on deck in a new port with new views was special. We booked special dinner on back deck, but it was a bit windy and chilly to stay long. The sails were up as much as they could be and was beautiful to see them wave. Weather was ideal and seas calm (except for one evening) and the sea was so calm the stars were a perfect reflection in the water. Romantic to be at the bow watching the island lights and stars. Crew knew our names almost immediately which is impressive. The breakfast crew brought me my cappuccino without asking - perfect. Morning yoga on deck was great. Instructor was knowledgable but was not teaching to the target audience (i.e., no one on our cruise should be doing shoulder stands ON A MOVING SHIP!). I suggest they focus on stretching legs and backs to allow ease of daytime walking. Would definitely travel on Wind Star again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
An excellent cruise. The Viking staff was excellent. They were friendly, helpful, and provided service with a smile. THe service was outstanding and the entire staff worked hard to provide a great experience for the folks onboard. The ... Read More
An excellent cruise. The Viking staff was excellent. They were friendly, helpful, and provided service with a smile. THe service was outstanding and the entire staff worked hard to provide a great experience for the folks onboard. The shore excursions were well done and enjoyable. The food was the best I have ever had on any cruise. This cruise exceeded my expectations. The variety of food and the food quality were really good. The was a nice variety of dining options available on the ship. The service in the dining areas was the best I ever experienced on a cruise. There were more than an adequate number of activities available on the cruise. In fact, there were so many options available that I had to prioritize which I would do on this cruise and and which I would do on my next Viking Ocean Cruise. This cruise was so good that we are now looking forward to booking our next cruise on Viking Ocean Cruises. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our first time on Viking Ocean cruise on the Viking Sea. We bought a larger penthouse stateroom and were very happy with the size and room to put away clothes. The ship, cabin, dining and stateroom steward were great. The ... Read More
This was our first time on Viking Ocean cruise on the Viking Sea. We bought a larger penthouse stateroom and were very happy with the size and room to put away clothes. The ship, cabin, dining and stateroom steward were great. The entertainment was just OK. The ports and included excursions were great. We enjoyed ourselves! Here are the shortcomings: Luggage check (at the ship) was a 1/2 mile from the terminal. Our stateroom had a very musty smell and when we brought this to the attention of the General Manager he ignored us. Our steward tried his best but he had not tools to help with the problem. We were out of our stateroom many hours during the day but when we came back we had to endure the slight odor. Prior to our cruise, I called to ask about disembarkation and was told that we can stay on the ship until 2PM, out of stateroom 10AM. We made arrangements in accordance to that information. 2 days prior to the cruise end, we were told that disembarkation is 9:45AM and we must vacate the stateroom by 8AM. So forget about sleeping in and having a leisurely breakfast. We also made changes to our pick-up driver/car. I wrote a letter to the general manager, Mr. Gademan but he never answered my letter. He had one of "his people" call me. There were many apologies but nothing was ever done to correct the odor. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our first cruise and our first visit to the Caribbean -- we chose it to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary and were not disappointed. The ship is amazing -- very luxurious and very spacious, and it didn't appear busy ... Read More
This was our first cruise and our first visit to the Caribbean -- we chose it to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary and were not disappointed. The ship is amazing -- very luxurious and very spacious, and it didn't appear busy at all. Often we were the only people in the pool.There was always a quiet corner to escape to, or entertainment if that's what you preferred. The ship truly was understated Scandinavian elegance at its best. We had a Premium Verandah stateroom, and we could't fault anything, from the acres of storage space, to top quality toiletries and a mini-bar replenished daily free of charge. The restaurants were superb, particularly Manfredi's and the Chef's Table. The food at both was delicious and varied. At breakfast and lunch there was so much choice at the buffets, and it was great to have complimentary drinks with lunch and dinner. The main restaurant offered a wide range of food, and we had no problem choosing to sit at a table on our own or with people. On one evening we had to wait ten minutes for a table and were brought glasses of champagne to have whilst we waited. One niggle, we had booked Manfredi's in advance for the evening of our anniversary. Despite checking the booking we were told on the day that we had cancelled it and there was no space available. A big shout out to the Restaurant Manager (Jon) who sorted this out for us and made sure we had a table as originally planned. Suzanne, the cruise director was fabulous and extremely professional (and has a great voice too), and on the whole the entertainment was good (apart from the Abba tribute which was very poor). We didn't chose the ship because of its entertainment, and were pleased with what was on offer. As someone whose business is delivering customer service training I can be very picky and critical about levels of service. I'm pleased to say I couldn't fault the service at all -- it was excellent at all times. The only that didn't live up to our expectations were the included excursions which were quite superficial and short. I'd have liked something more in-depth that wasn't 'jump on a coach, drive to a viewpoint, take pictures at viewpoint, drive to somewhere to spend your money on tatty souvenirs, drive back to the ship'. We were a bit 'islanded' out by the end of the trip and it would have been good to have more variety on the inclusive excursions. The passenger profile was generally older than us (54 and 57 year old Brits), and the majority were American (and, dare I say, Trump supporters). We met some great and interesting people though. On a logistical point (and not Viking's fault) our air routing through Philadelphia fro Heathrow was very tight and we had to run to catch our flight to San Juan. We had also chosen to go to San Juan a couple of days earlier and had booked the two-day extension originally through Viking. When the hotel details came through we were very disappointed to find that it was a standard Hilton, and we were being charged twice the rack rate for the privilege. This needs to be sorted out -- l complained and Viking refunded this element of our trip and we booked the excellent Hotel el Convento in the centre of Old San Juan for half the price. It was easy to get a taxi from the airport to the hotel, and we could walk from the hotel to the ship to board. And much cheaper than what Viking was charging for an airport transfer. Would definitely book with Viking again, thank you for a great trip. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise because the Amazon river was on our bucket list and because of the cuisine aboard Oceania. We were a little bit hesitant because of initial reviews of Sirena suggested that the refit from Princess left something to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the Amazon river was on our bucket list and because of the cuisine aboard Oceania. We were a little bit hesitant because of initial reviews of Sirena suggested that the refit from Princess left something to be desired. However by the time of our embarkation (oct 28th) these problems had been ironed out and the ship was in superb condition, easily as nice as the other R ships. Possibly as a result of the initial reviews and the expense of Brazilian visas (and zika virus worries) the ship was not sold out and had only 402 passengers out of a capacity of 680. As the captain pointed out there were more crew (403) than passengers. Service aboard was excellent and by the second or third day we were usually greeted by name by staff. Food aboard was possibly even better than we had previously experienced with Oceania. Our favorite was Red Ginger where the calamari, sea bass, and lobster pad thai were great. We enjoyed our 4 visits to both Red Ginger and the Tuscan steak house. As has been pointed out by previous reviewers the cabins and bathrooms are smaller than usual. This is typical of R ships and if this is a problem you should probably stick with the Marina or Riviera. Television channels are limiited (as with most ships). The one complaint I had in regard to this was the only sports channel was skysports (british). If your favorite sports are cricket and soccer you will be happy. There was no coverage of U.S. sports, despite the vast majority of passengers being from the U.S. Hello Oceania-ESPN? Entertainment aboard was typical of smaller upscale ships-no extravagant productions, singers, comedians, etc. The library was a highlight of the ship-very beautiful (in old english manor style) and had a terrific selection of recent best sellers. We had no children aboard ( a 28 day cruise during the school year so no surprise there) Average age was probably about 70. Embarkation and disembarkation were both seamless and took about 5 minutes. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We very much enjoyed our 28 day cruise on the Sirena. This was our 18th sea cruise and one of the best for entertainment, cuisine, enrichment and the lovely people on board. It is evident everywhere that Oceania have thoroughly refurbished ... Read More
We very much enjoyed our 28 day cruise on the Sirena. This was our 18th sea cruise and one of the best for entertainment, cuisine, enrichment and the lovely people on board. It is evident everywhere that Oceania have thoroughly refurbished the ship and it is certainly up to a 5 star rating. Our suite on the 8th deck was spacious and well maintained. Whilst the wardrobes and the dressing table had not been replaced or refurbished they were perfectly serviceable and in good working order. In the penthouse suites the bath -with a shower within it - has been replaced by a shower so large 3 people could shower together! This is a pity as the shower size does now greatly restrict movement in the bathroom. Many guests do prefer a bath and Oceania might be wise to offer passengers alternative layouts to accommodate this. The food in the restaurants was outstanding, The 2 speciality restaurants - Tuscan and Red Ginger where superb as was the Grand Dining Room. Many guests regretted the demise of Toscana the Italian restaurant which has been replaced by Red Ginger. The young entertainment team were a delight and their performances were the best we have seen on a cruise to date. The enrichment lecturers on a range of subjects from within the Caribbean and the Amazon were informative, interesting an well presented. Most days we used the facilities in the gym which were excellent and we had 3 massages in the spa. Whilst the spa is excellent the costs are very high. The thing that struck us the most was the quality and courtesy of the staff. They came from over 40 different nationalities spoke English very well and were please to help in any way. It is a credit to Oceania to train and turnout such an impressive crew from so many different parts of the world. We did have 1 or 2 niggles on board. For example the 2 hot tubs on the pool deck were so so hot very few guests used them. Despite many requests for the heat to be turned down to a sensible temperature no action was taken. Oceania need to think about the risk of elderly people going in over heated hot tubs. We were so impressed with Oceania and in particular Sirena that we are undertaking another cruise on the ship around Australia. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
Have heard so much about Viking river so decided to try ocean and were more than pleased and booked two more cruises with them. Everything was absolutely perfect, tours were exceptional as was the service everywhere on the ship.. Also ... Read More
Have heard so much about Viking river so decided to try ocean and were more than pleased and booked two more cruises with them. Everything was absolutely perfect, tours were exceptional as was the service everywhere on the ship.. Also loved the wonderful cabins, entertainment. There was absolutely nothing that I didn't love about this trip. We loved every stop that we made and the excursions were easy and very informative. The entertainment on the ship was so much more than I expected and was not disappointed. The food was exceptional and happy with every meal that we had throughout the ship. Everyone who worked there was extra friendly and helpful. We cannot wait to go on our next two planned ocean cruises with Viking and thinking of a river cruise in the future. We loved all the ports and the tour guides were so knowledgeable and consequently we learned alot about each stop. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
Having recently enjoyed the Viking Homelands" cruise on the Viking Star, we easily persuaded ourselves to explore the Caribbean on the same ship. We do not regret this, but the Caribbean is simply not as interesting as the Baltic! ... Read More
Having recently enjoyed the Viking Homelands" cruise on the Viking Star, we easily persuaded ourselves to explore the Caribbean on the same ship. We do not regret this, but the Caribbean is simply not as interesting as the Baltic! This should be no surprise to anyone! Returning to the Star, we were greeted warmly by the staff, many of whom recognized us from the previous cruise and even remembered who we were. We were pleasantly surprised by a cabin upgrade, to a balcony cabin even larger than our standard balcony cabin. Dining throughout the Star is extraordinary, with Manfredi's, the Italian restaurant, immediately becoming our favorite. Despite being "guaranteed" only one evening meal at Manfredi's, a little schedule flexibility allowed us to enjoy four evenings in that fine restaurant. The shore excursions were OK... but there is only so much history and architecture to appreciate on the smaller Caribbean islands. Although my wife and I loved Puerto Rico, one visit to each of the other islands is enough. We cannot adequately praise the ship and the attentive crew... in fact we have reserved another cruise,"Passage Through Western Europe," on the same ship in April of this year, one month from now. I would urge everyone to consider cruising with Viking, particularly on the Star or one of their Longships. The West Indies proved interesting and worth a visit, but consider the Baltic or Western Europe if the time is available. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our third cruise with Viking but the first on the ocean side, the cruise was actually picked by our friends but I had never been to this part of the Mediterranean before so it was a great chance to see it. Before we left the ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Viking but the first on the ocean side, the cruise was actually picked by our friends but I had never been to this part of the Mediterranean before so it was a great chance to see it. Before we left the cruise itinerary was changed no more Turkey which was a relief to most of us. We were in Venice for a couple of days before the cruise and while out sight seeing we got to see our ship coming into port very impressive. From the moment we stepped on board to the trip to the airport everything was taken care of, our meals were excellent and the sea food buffet on day one set the mood for great dinning for the rest of the cruise. I found that this area of the Mediterranean has very similar history so we learned how it was all connected. Some of the shore excursions were new because of the change of the itinerary and still needed some work.. My biggest disappointment was not the tours of Greece mainland but with the country itself as I found it to be very dirty, all other places we visited took great pride in their country but not Greece, garbage and graffiti everywhere. We have already booked our next cruise with Viking, Into The Midnight Sun and we are going to be on the same Ship so I guess that can tell you how much we enjoyed the first ocean cruise with Viking. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
The cruise was suggested by friends and we arrived in Venice with reasonable expectations of Viking's usual efficiency. This was our third experience with the company. At the airport we we told we had no transfer arrangements and I ... Read More
The cruise was suggested by friends and we arrived in Venice with reasonable expectations of Viking's usual efficiency. This was our third experience with the company. At the airport we we told we had no transfer arrangements and I had to dig through luggage to prove it had indeed been prepaid. We arrived at our cabin which was filled with paint fumes. we thought they would disperse and opened the door. By the second day we could taste paint, the fumes were so bad and after whining an air purifier arrived and we were notified the problem was "solved". That was more or less true by the fifth day and after one of us became ill. Our dinner pre-booked reservations were completely erased, but the services manager found a way to get us back in the system. One massage appointment had been booked before the cruise and the time had been confirmed upon arrival. That was switched to the same time as a dinner reservation with no explanation or notice. It was just luck that I was checking what time we were to meet our friends that I noticed it. When I called to ask why and that I couldn't do it then, I was told it was because I had booked online. When I said I had confirmed upon arriving, the appointment was put back to the original scheduled time. I tried to have tea one day and was told there was no room and to sit elsewhere, which I did. Foolishly I assumed I would be served the full tea there. What I got was a cup and a scone. The closest I got to the fantasy of watercress sandwiches on three tiered servers was through the window of the overcrowded room. The reason I am not giving the cruise a" terrible" rating is the land guides were good to excellent, though they were not Vilking employees and our cabin steward did his best, and even defended our need to solve the paint fume problem. So why was all this so bad? Because it ate up a huge amount of time standing in line trying to solve issues. If I was a solo traveller I would expect to invest time in logistical trials, but "traveling the world in comfort" did not happen for us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
Seabourn an excellent small ship line, had become dissatisfied with Cunard so tried the Seabourn Odyssey in the summer and were very pleased. On Seabourn, service is excellent, standard of ship facilities is very good too. Cuisine on the ... Read More
Seabourn an excellent small ship line, had become dissatisfied with Cunard so tried the Seabourn Odyssey in the summer and were very pleased. On Seabourn, service is excellent, standard of ship facilities is very good too. Cuisine on the whole good although more healthy options would suit us better and some of the complimentary wines offered not that great. Enjoyed dining in both the Colonade and the Main restaurant. Booked the new Penthouse Spa suites which were superb, Very roomy and had great views over the Balcony of the ship. Staff on the cruise were very professional and friendly. Entertainment was the best that we had see on any of the 26 cruises that we had been on. Even though we were only on for 7 days were very impressed as to how staff picked up on menu and drinks preferences in the dining areas and social areas. Booked a couple of tours and although pricey they were well organised and it is great they made sure that coaches were not packed and there was always space and time to see and do things at the destinations. Have already booked a couple more on the Seabourn Encore next year and will be interested to see how the new larger ship compares with the two that we have been on. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My Wife and I just returned from Budapest, Hungary where we finished our 10 day river cruise on the River Beatrice. This was a Uniworld trip which included virtually everything, from all meals, excursions, entertainment and beer and wines. ... Read More
My Wife and I just returned from Budapest, Hungary where we finished our 10 day river cruise on the River Beatrice. This was a Uniworld trip which included virtually everything, from all meals, excursions, entertainment and beer and wines. The wines were from each area we visited and the servers kept the glasses full until we said enough. The ship was nicely furnished and well maintained as expected on a luxury cruise. The food was excellent with many, many selections for each meal. Even the foods I normally do not like (being picky) was prepared in a manner that was delicious. The table layouts were either 4 or 6 chairs to a table so you could pick a desired layout. At each port they provided a selection of activities (or tours) for each city with experienced local guides who provided personal descriptions of each area which provided very interesting topics. Samples of local foods, wines, candies, coffees etc. were provided so we could taste and sample the local tastes. A sign-up was required for each excursion so they could provide guides with small groups. We selected the tour "Do as the locals do" at each port and were never disappointed. They provided both active and easy tours for each body type and even had bicycle tours for the very active. Each evening excellent entertainment in the lounge was provided and a enjoyable description of each days activities was provided. I know this review is getting long but I could go on and on because it was so enjoyable. We all felt so pampered we did not want the cruise to end. My recommendation is "the best trip ever" so do not pass this up, Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
From the moment we embarked at the port, we felt very welcomed. All of the crew we encountered at the restaurants, bars, pool deck, housekeeping,and security were wonderful. They all bent over backwards to make sure we had a positive ... Read More
From the moment we embarked at the port, we felt very welcomed. All of the crew we encountered at the restaurants, bars, pool deck, housekeeping,and security were wonderful. They all bent over backwards to make sure we had a positive cruise experience. Without a doubt, the food was delicious and the variety more than adequate. The daily tea was something we did not want to miss. Wonderful presentation of tea sandwiches and pastries and a string quartet to serenade us in a beautiful environment. We especially enjoyed dining at Red Ginger, a specialty restaurant. The cuisine was outstanding and the service even more so--a most memorable experience. This was our second cruise with Oceania and it was even more enjoyable than our first. We chose this particular cruise for the port itinerary and were not disappointed. The disembarkation process was well organized. This was a very memorable cruise experience and we look forward to sailing with Oceania soon. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Our travel agent suggested Oceania's Riviera for a sister's cruise, and we are so very happy she did! We didn't have cruising experience to which to compare, but we DO know quality and service. The Riviera provided these at ... Read More
Our travel agent suggested Oceania's Riviera for a sister's cruise, and we are so very happy she did! We didn't have cruising experience to which to compare, but we DO know quality and service. The Riviera provided these at every turn. The ship is beautiful, food was very good, service was outstanding! We did not have any problems with embarkation or disembarkation, but we have no comparisons. However, we were greeted with smiles, and they never stopped! The tour guides for excursions were knowledgeable and friendly. Julia on Bus 50 to Florence & Pisa (Tues, Nov 1) was outstanding! Having grown up in Florence, she gave great insight, and restaurant recommendations :) There was no problem with getting to buses or tenders. Oceania had a covered water/lemonade station at the tender in Portofino, which was so nice with the unseasonably warm temperatures. Nightly entertainment was enjoyable; Trivia every day was a blast! The Captain's Reception provided free champagne :) , and introduced us to a lovely couple, with whom we spent a lot of time. We also rocked out karaoke, and danced every night at Horizons. The cruise director, Nolan D, was fantastic! He was funny and charming, and knew everything :) Emmanuelle A, a beautiful and talented singer and director, was so sweet, I want to adopt her. Ismael, Destination Services, graciously helped us change an excursion. Agnes from Poland was professional and efficient, both at Terrace Cafe and the Grand dining room, and turned out to be hilarious! And, she was immediately by my side, ready to perform the Heimlich, when I started to choke from laughing at our great dinner companions. The whole cruise experience was smooth and lovely, while also being opulent and elegant. Although I've commented on our room in the "Cabin review" section, I would like to again thank our steward, Rosario, for his warmth and attention. Again, this was our first cruise, but neither of us can imagine a better experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We have enjoyed our previous Azamara cruises. The crew are the warmest people who genuinely aspire to provide great service. The entertainment is very good, the Azamazing evenings have been delightful, the food is quite varied and good. ... Read More
We have enjoyed our previous Azamara cruises. The crew are the warmest people who genuinely aspire to provide great service. The entertainment is very good, the Azamazing evenings have been delightful, the food is quite varied and good. There is a courtesy laundry onboard for guests. (I bring fabric softener sheets). The ships have been refurbished most attractively. A sad but reassuring situation arose this recent sailing. After we sailed out of the Dominican Republic a man onboard needed hospitalization. The couple were packed up, arrangements were made, and an appropriate crew member who speaks Spanish stayed on with them so they would not have a language barrier at such a stressful time. Azamara rises to the best with genuine efforts to care for their guests. Among the others onboard there was a wish Azamara would get around to providing free wifi. That would be a huge attraction to their guests. Also, they have an array of news networks, one rerun tv station, a movie channel, and we had ESPN. It was during the election. We all were tapped out on drama and stress and wished for more upbeat choices to view in our cabins. While onboard we, like many others, booked a future cruise. It gives us pleasure to look forward to returning to Azamara. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
Stayed two nights at the Royal Sonesta on Bourbon St. NOLA. Booked King sized room six months before cruise. When we got there we were told that all the rooms were sold out. They tried to give us a room that was used as a meeting room ... Read More
Stayed two nights at the Royal Sonesta on Bourbon St. NOLA. Booked King sized room six months before cruise. When we got there we were told that all the rooms were sold out. They tried to give us a room that was used as a meeting room with a pullout sofa bed at half price. It was wasn't until we demanded to see the manager that we received a bedroom/bath from a suite. The refurbishing presented a ship that is brighter and more cheerful. The Living Room on deck 10 is now a destination. At 5P tapas and drinks. Later some entertainment. The crew, as always is friendly and accomadating. Captain Carl however does not mingle with guests like Captain Johannes on the Journey. The Chefs Specials in main dining room each night added to the dining experience. They also offer two different wines for white and red each day. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
Forgot the other lines. Azamara tries hard and delivers. Everything is great--especially the shows if you keep in mind there are only 600 passengers on the ship. Have sailed five times on Azamara and I just think it's the best ... Read More
Forgot the other lines. Azamara tries hard and delivers. Everything is great--especially the shows if you keep in mind there are only 600 passengers on the ship. Have sailed five times on Azamara and I just think it's the best line. I've sailed Oceania, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Star Clipper, Viking River and Viking Ocean. All are good but Azamara just has that extra something special. Just don't go if you are looking for problems. Whiners can always find something but this line always goes the extra mile. The staff are incomparable. They always have time for you, time to answer a question, time to fix something, get you something you need, whatever. And, always with a smile. Don't know how people can work so hard and still be eager to please. Love the fact that alcohol and gratuities are included. You don't feel that people have their hands out all the time. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our fourth Azamara cruise. We chose it specifically because it started in New Orleans, a city we had always wanted to visit. We stayed in New Orleans, at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel on Iberville Street, for 5 nights and loved ... Read More
This was our fourth Azamara cruise. We chose it specifically because it started in New Orleans, a city we had always wanted to visit. We stayed in New Orleans, at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel on Iberville Street, for 5 nights and loved the city. Our hotel was extremely well located on the edge of the French Quarter and we were pleased with it. Embarkation was, as usual, quick and easy and we were soon on board drinking our welcome glass of bubbly. Our stateroom on deck 6 was a verandah stateroom. There was plenty of storage space in the cabin, and the bed was very comfy. The large TV opposite the bed was great and there is a reasonable selection of channels to watch. The bathroom was small, with a small shower with a curtain, but it was fine and we liked the new shelves for storage as well as the cupboard under the sink. I always take a couple of sets of cloth pockets to hang on the hooks on the inside of the bathroom door so that I can find a home for everything. We mainly used Discoveries (MDR) for our evening meal. We felt that the food had regained its Wow factor (missing on our last cruise). We loved the fact that although you can see the menu on the TV and outside the dining room each day, there are two main course dishes (Chefs Special and World Destination special) that are a surprise until your waiter tells you about them. The menu always had a great choice, with some dishes, such as Escargots in garlic butter, Prawns with Marie Rose sauce, New York strip steak, Salmon repeated every day alongside all the dishes of the day and the specials. Dining on Azamara is free time dining and most days we were able to be seated when we were ready (usually between 7:30 and 8:00pm). Sometimes we shared with others and sometimes had a table for two. We also bought a good value package for the two speciality restaurants - Prime C and Aqualina. The cover charge is normally $30 for each, but for $70 you can make 3 bookings. Meals there are exceptional, even better than the excellent quality in the MDR. We had breakfast and lunch in Windows - there were always plenty of choices and the food was lovely. You could have Bucks Fizz ( Mimosa) or Bloody Mary for breakfast if you wanted! I particularly enjoyed the ginger based 'Energiser' smoothie every morning. Most of the entertainment was very good. There was a pianist and guitarist who played in various venues and there were shows in the cabaret lounge. All the shows were good except one comedian who failed to get a laugh! We also enjoyed joining a trivia quiz team and taking part in the daily quizzes. We went ashore in all but one of the Caribbean islands the ship visited. We did not use any of the ship's excursions on the islands but did our own thing. In Grand Cayman we just had a walk around the town. In Port Antonio, Jamaica we got a taxi to give us a tour of the area, including the Blue Lagoon - not cheap at $40 a head for a couple of hours. In Curaçao we just had a wander around Wilhemstadt - very pretty little town with plenty of shops and restaurants and an interesting market along the canal. In St Barts we just had a look around - very expensive place, window shopping was the order of the day, as well as walk to Shell Beach which was nice. At St Maarten we took a taxi to Mahoe Beach ($20 a head) right next to the airport runway. Good fun standing right under the flight path as jets come in close over your head. At Nevis we took a taxi ($20 a head) to the Botanic Gardens and the Montpelier Plantation (Princess Di's favourite Hotel). The gardens are beautiful - well worth visiting. As we had a few hours before our plane home from Miami, we took a ship's excursion on the Hop On Hop Off bus. This was excellent - the bus picked us up at the dockside, including our luggage. Our luggage was then stored for us at Bayside Marketplace whilst we took the bus on the Blue, Miami Beach, route which we loved. Then we had an hour or so wandering around Baysie Marketplace which had a good range of shops, cafes and restaurants. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose Azamara because rumours said it is a pleasant ship for seniors. Only 600 very friendly and social pax. A wonderful crew spoilt us rotten, food was excellent and allthough we love our grandkids, we do appreciate a cruise with ... Read More
We chose Azamara because rumours said it is a pleasant ship for seniors. Only 600 very friendly and social pax. A wonderful crew spoilt us rotten, food was excellent and allthough we love our grandkids, we do appreciate a cruise with no kids. It is also nice not to have to sign or show your key-card every time you have a drink, a glass of wine or a cappuccino. Entertainment was OK - but the star of the show was the on board lecturer Prof. John Johnson's 5 lectures on 'The great American Songbook'! He lectured, played the piano and sung - Gerswin, Berlin and others. Wonderful! Hope we will meet him again on another cruiseship. Ports were interesting! Port Antonio, La Romana and Nevis gave us a colourful and good reminder goods in this world is not evenly distributed, and Willemstad, Gustavia, Philipsburg and Virgin Gorda gave good retail therapy. Beautiful nature throughout. The only 'cloud' on this cruise was all the soot from the funnel that landed on our aft cabin... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our first with Azamara, a repo from New Orleans to Miami. Part of our promotion was a overnite in NO with a dinner cruise on the Natchez Queen which was lovely. We stayed at the Doubletree Inn in the French Quarter -- good ... Read More
This was our first with Azamara, a repo from New Orleans to Miami. Part of our promotion was a overnite in NO with a dinner cruise on the Natchez Queen which was lovely. We stayed at the Doubletree Inn in the French Quarter -- good location, clean room. We had a handicapped accessible room due to DH use of a scooter which was on the 7th floor. First morning there -- a power failure (30 sec.) caused ALL elevators to stop working and we were stuck in our room for 5 hours. Why the designers of this hotel had all elevators on one system was extremely poor planning not to mention dangerous for safety reasons. After complimentary room service --- manager was finally able to get us on one of the service elevators so we could catch our Gray Line tour --- only for the elevator to quit between the second and first floor !! As the manager was with us --- staff on the other side of the door were finally able to get us out --- really funny when we talked about it later but not at that moment. The Big Easy is "OK" -- we really didn't get too see very much -- would have liked to see a plantation or two and more of the country. Bourbon Street is just a dark, dirty,narrow alley IMO. Didn't impress us at all. The Quest is a lovely ship -- the smallest we have cruised on to date. The service is OUTSTANDING. You couldn't ask for a more happy and accommodating crew !! Our Club Continental suite was wonderful -- so much more room than the original V 2 balcony I had booked. Actually was able to look into one and I have never seen such a small, cramped room and balcony. Of course, the CC came with a much higher price tag but we would have been very uncomfortable in the first one not to mention no space for DH's scooter ! Only drawback to Suite 8063 were the loud noises during the night from the deck above (Windows Cafe) from rolling carts and furniture. Islands: Were "ok" --- poor planning on Azamara's Itinerary Dept. to schedule Jamaica and St. Bart on Sundays when everything is closed -- not even a mini mart to grab a snack or two. Would choose the Quest again but i will look for better prices in the future. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
It was a last minute decision to go on a cruise and this was the only one available. We booked two days before embarkation and arrived in Hong Kong the night before departure. The ship was beautiful and the staff very friendly. Although it ... Read More
It was a last minute decision to go on a cruise and this was the only one available. We booked two days before embarkation and arrived in Hong Kong the night before departure. The ship was beautiful and the staff very friendly. Although it is a French speaking ship, English was well catered for, with all crew bi-lingual. Announcements were made in French then repeated in English. This being our first cruise, we cant really make a comparison with other lines but we enjoyed the experience. There were other folk that seemed to be cruising experts and had been on many different boats; they had mixed reviews of our ship and line. One common complaint was that the food on board was not really up to standard for a 5 star cruise line; I agree. There were two restaurants, one buffet and one fine dining. The buffet was average and really only cafeteria standard, the choice was limited and food quite unappealing, with pretty much the same every day. The a la carte was naturally French cuisine and also limited. Quality in the fine dining restaurant was better than the buffet and the wine choice ok. The buffet wines were unacceptably poor quality. Entertainment on board was limited but pleasant, with singers and dancers and a piano player. Personally, I was happy with that level of entertainment and really, it was not a large ship, so one would not expect entertainment extravaganzas. Drinks and all food on board was included in the ticket, which was good. Excepting the wines in the buffet, the drinks selection was really good, with beers and quality spirits included; I like scotch and there was a very acceptable single malt in the choices. Any premium spirits or wines were charged for. Passenger demographic was mainly French with about 25 Americans and 15 Aussies on board. Everyone got on fine and we socialized with all groups. There were not many kids on board but they were very well behaved and the crew catered to and entertained them. I would guess the average age on board was around 45 - 50, hence, no disco....thank God. We have discovered that we like cruising, so we will go again soon and would very likely choose a Ponant cruise. Read Less

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