We wanted to go between Singapore and Hong Kong on the southern route, having 'done' the northern on other lines. We were only interested in a true luxury cruise and while we read Silversea's blurb on "ultra luxury" we thought ... Read More
We wanted to go between Singapore and Hong Kong on the southern route, having 'done' the northern on other lines. We were only interested in a true luxury cruise and while we read Silversea's blurb on "ultra luxury" we thought that perhaps half was true and the other half publicity hype, but it would be better than average. Wrong!!! It was 3/4 hype and 1/4 reality, so of the three lines on the route, this was the poorest - and the most expensive.. First the good bits. ALL the restaurant and housekeeping staff - with one minor exception, a sour-faced girl behind the food counter in the Terrace, - were great and as Silversea have a wonderful no tipping policy, they are not doing it for immediate reward. The food was edible but a bit boring, but edible is a plus. The so-called 'La Dame' restaurant, (with a $60 entry fee) was ok, but FAR from Haute Cuisine. The other issue with La Dame was that they had changed the name of the restaurant and failed to change the signs. Silversea boast of their tie to Relais et Chateaux, but why? R et C are just a glorified hotel booking agency, they own no hotels, no restaurants and while a great booking system are nothing to do with "good food". The restaurants in the R et C guide have all paid to be in there and as such R & C cannot be impartial. The main restaurant is in the bowels of the earth on deck 4 and we only visited it once when we were invited to a staff table. The food in the terrace on deck 7 was fair but very boring. They had a different "fish of the day", but as they cooked every fish the same way, it was hard to identify them. Room service was fine, but did not live up to the hype with all courses brought together as most lines do, so all except the first course was cold and any ice cream melted. The wine list was good and very drinkable wine was included at every meal, except breakfast of course; this was very definite plus!.
The Captain was not a native English speaker and coupled with a dreadful sound system, his broadcasts were mainly unintelligible. Even worse was the Australian tour person who described each coming port. It soon became a competition to see how many times she described each place using the exact same words and the exact same flat tone. We were promised "Opera" selections as entertainment by the singers. They started off well with La Traviata and Don Giovanni but soon went back into pop type music, but at least it was Italian pop. Knowing the issue of poor shows, we take a selection of opera and ballet DVD's, but the TV sound was so bad that even this was not an easy escape for us..
We had two lecturers aboard, one was wonderful being an ex-BBC newsreader, but the other while being a clear expert had poor presentational skills, but there were so few 'talks' that even a poorly presented one was better than nothing.
Silversea seem to forget that most people who can afford their prices are OLD or VERY OLD and tours or excursions that require lots if walking should be balanced by ones that have little strenuous activity. There were 4 hour private car trips available at a couple of places, but at eye-watering prices, for the other places we simply stayed on the boat.
While we were in one of the most expensive suites, it was not a good choice as being right at the front, any poor seas were magnified in pitch by the length of the boat turning about its centre of mass - a silver suite in the midship section would have been more comfortable- and a lot cheaper.
All-in-all, it was not a great experience and one we will not be repeating! Read Less
Was excited to travel on this new cruise ship. As usual, great service. But there are some issues. Indochine is a worthless restaurant and not worth the time. Atlantine is wonderful and the best of all options, although one night we ... Read More
Was excited to travel on this new cruise ship. As usual, great service. But there are some issues. Indochine is a worthless restaurant and not worth the time. Atlantine is wonderful and the best of all options, although one night we were turned away because no tables available for a group of 6--even if we were willing to split up. None of the restaurants that charge more are worth it. La Dame is good and so is Keiseki but we opted out since they certainly weren't worth the extra cost. Best choice is Keiseki for lunch. Incredible sushi. Love breakfast at La Terraza and dinner there is pretty good. The Grill for dinner is predictable, but given weather was an issue (cold) so not a good option. Rooms are great.
Butlers were very helpful. Tours in ports were mediocre to poor. But the ports themselves were kind of boring. Loved the Falkland Islands but arranged our own tour which was the same as the cruise tour and $100 cheaper per person (plus it was only for us--no bus!). Entertainment was incredible. The singers are wonderful. The lectures were also great. Worth attending. Cruise director was fun. So on board experience was good. Fitness center is too small and needs more bikes! Read Less
This was our 5th Cruise with Azamara and cruising down the West Coast of Australia is the wrong time of year as it is Cyclone season. Although we didn’t come across one there were a few in area both before and after our sailing down ... Read More
This was our 5th Cruise with Azamara and cruising down the West Coast of Australia is the wrong time of year as it is Cyclone season. Although we didn’t come across one there were a few in area both before and after our sailing down the coast.
Embarkation was a little longer then we have previously experienced as there were torrential rain in Bali and I think everyone wanted just to get onboard and stay dry.
It was great to see familiar faces as we boarded handing us a glass of champagne Read Less
This was the third cruise we have had on le Boreal and L'Austral. All have been excellent, This cruise was to the Sub antarcic Islands from Dunedin via the sounds and ending in Wellington NZ. As the ship was being repositioned from ... Read More
This was the third cruise we have had on le Boreal and L'Austral. All have been excellent, This cruise was to the Sub antarcic Islands from Dunedin via the sounds and ending in Wellington NZ. As the ship was being repositioned from Wellington to Sydney we were offered a free cruise to Sydney. The expedition could not be faulted as the weather and the seas allowed us to land on all the Islands where it is permitted. This we were told was exceptional. Even the cruise across the Tasman was akin to a Manly Ferry trip.
We actually landed on both days as per the itinerary at Macquarie Island. Many of the expedition guides visited many times and had never achieved both landings. Some years were impossible to land at all. We also landed on Campbell Is and Enderby Is which were amazing. The entire operation was exceptionally managed and organised and minor tweaks were necessary to avoid some bad weather ahead of us. The Itinerary was completed with only one Zodiac outing cancelled due to unsafe waters over the loading deck at the Antipodese Is. Landing was not allowed there by NZNP's anyhow and it was a Zodiac inspection anyhow. The ship spent some time circumnavigating the islands so we could see the abundant bird life but missed the close up experience penguins and seals which we seen everywhere else. We had seen so many of these previously we didn't really miss much.
All in all the entire expedition was amazing.Bio security was adhered to so nothing was conveyed to the Islands that would affect the ecology. Even no fresh food was allowed ashore.
Things changed at Wellinton where many passengers left the ship to be replaced by people taking the 4 day cruise to Sydney. Is was to be a no frills cruise but developed into a big swill cruise with many of the new passengers overindulging in the open bar. They were not typical of the many passengers we have met and enjoyed on previous cruises who are mainly interested in the theme of the cruise - expeditions not boozing to excess.
The cabins were comfortable and well serviced. As we were repeat passengers laundry was included.
Dining was excellent at all meals. We preferred the more casual dining on Deck 6 which is buffet. The staff there were so accomodating and friendly where we found the dining in the formal dining room more formal and patronised by the more affluent wishing to be waited upon. The food is identical. Service is also more formal. There are no set dining periods or allocated seating. It is as you wish during the opening hours. On deck 6 bookings are often required due to popularity particularly if weather permits and as out-door dining is possible it is often extended to poolside.
Each day there was a specially prepared dish available on deck 6 prepared by an exceptional chef (Jerome). Roast suckling pig,roast beef and lamb as well as a steak tartar to die for as well as prawns and scallops and many others. These meals are prepared for both lunch and dinner. Soups are always amazing.Wines are provided, red,white and rose at lunch and dinner which are reasonable but the more exclusive wines which are also available are expensive.
Entertainment is restricted to 4 females and a male dancer and their performance is excellent.and if weather permits is performed on the pool deck. Otherwise it's in the theatre.
For the more physical active a small gym is available to work off the extra weight that is so easy to put on.. Spa and massages are available.
The lounges are comfortable and have singers or pianists playing at set times which are always advised in the daily schedule. Lectures are provided most days by one or other of the on-board guides, naturalists and scientists and are always most interesting and appropriate according to the areas being visited. Briefings and weather forecasts (if appropriate) are held before dinner regarding the next day's activities. In the sub-Antarctic they were were more than interesting and always gave us an appreciation of what we may expect be it good or bad.
We have always found the cruise/expedition more than good value for money. The fact passenger size is limited to according to the size of the expedition and guides. Generally around 200 plus or minus a few depending upon how many people are permitted ashore which is dictated by the authorities managing the sites.
Zodiac transfers are a breeze and access to/from the ship excellently achieved with ships crew amazing.
Announcents are in French and English as there are usually more than a few French passengers on board (and they rule). It is after all a French owned ship.
We have Been there and done that now three times and we will not travel with any other company based on ship size and passenger service. Many of the passengers and expedition staff formerly travelled or worked on the Orion which has now left Australian shores. Read Less
My wife and I wanted to see Chile and Argentina. We had actually previously scheduled a trip on another cruise line a few years ago but a serious illness of a family member caused us to cancel. Subsequently, several friends recommended ... Read More
My wife and I wanted to see Chile and Argentina. We had actually previously scheduled a trip on another cruise line a few years ago but a serious illness of a family member caused us to cancel. Subsequently, several friends recommended SilverSea. They are absolutely correct. The Silver Muse is as good as it gets. Our cabin [suite] was beautiful, very good size, had a walk in closet, a great bathroom with a stall shower and soaking tub. There are two TVs built into large mirrors, a nice sitting area and a large veranda. Service was outstanding with an excellent Butler and an excellent maid.
Dining is great with nine restaurants, most of which were superb. My only complaint is why there is an extra fee for two of them when those two are no better than the others. Liquors and wines were uniformly excellent. Bar service again excellent. In Dolce Vita, Anwar, a server was amazing. The pool area is fine and very comfortable. Night entertainment is quite good. I do think the lectures should be more oriented to the ports and what is notable about them.
Our only negative is that sometimes leaving the ship for a tour was total chaos. Most excursions were fun and quite good. The exceptions being horrendous food service in Coyhaique City and initially in the hotel in Santiago. Our additional complaint is the Check In at the Park Tower in Buenos Aires. In every other way the hotel is fine though it could use some renovation. Read Less
We chose this cruise because we were kind of "burnt out" on the big ship cruises. The idea of sailing - really sailing - as well as a smaller group of passengers (175) was really appealing to us. The food was fantastic. The crew ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were kind of "burnt out" on the big ship cruises. The idea of sailing - really sailing - as well as a smaller group of passengers (175) was really appealing to us. The food was fantastic. The crew members were attentive without being smothering and the service was impeccable. I was amazed that the crew knew us by face/name by the second day. We were not constantly hounded to purchase something which was our experience on the big ships. There was definitely more of a family feel to this trip. There are no elevators so this is not a ship for those with mobility issues. The public rooms are beautifully appointed and comfortable. It was so easy to lose track of time and really disconnect from the world. WiFi onboard is a bit spotty but that was OK with us. When we were in port, there was generally free WiFi available to send quick updates to families and friends. The evening meal is an opportunity to get together with new friends and also to be placed at a table with people you haven't met yet. There were several "singles" taking the cruise and because this is such a small group of passengers, they didn't seem to feel left out or lonely at all. Just about all of the tables are 6-8 seats so this makes for nice mixing of new people. If you need a casino or lots of shopping on board, this is not the cruise for you. The last day almost felt like the last day of a really fun summer camp, everyone exchanging emails with new friends, many people taking the same cruises each year and meeting up. This was without a doubt the most fun I've ever had on a vacation. We will be back! Read Less
Positive: The crew is outstanding: skilled, caring and very good at their jobs.
The guide for the "Splendors of Egypt and the Nile" cruise, Mohammed Atilla Abdullah was knowledgeable and personable and gave us a great sense ... Read More
Positive: The crew is outstanding: skilled, caring and very good at their jobs.
The guide for the "Splendors of Egypt and the Nile" cruise, Mohammed Atilla Abdullah was knowledgeable and personable and gave us a great sense of the country and its history. He spent a great deal more time on the meaning of the hieroglyphic symbols and not as much on the architecture and function of the temple buildings as we would have liked, but he was very knowledgeable.
The size of the cabin was great. However, the shower could have been larger and safer; we would have happily given up the tub to have had a larger shower.
The itinerary included most of the important places one would hope to see on such a trip.
The Four Seasons was a lovely hotel to stay in while in Cairo.
Thank you for allowing the cruise to take place even with the diminished number of passengers.
These are challenges that need to be addressed:
Docking places for the ship. There were often 40-50 steps that were extremely uneven, without any lighting at all and without railings. In Luxor the danger was compounded by our having to navigate between multiple ships of different heights in total darkness – which happened. There were originally no staff to assist and no plank to make this a slightly less dangerous situation; that improved slightly toward the end of the cruise when one or two people were at the stairs, but it was still dangerous.
There was no elevator on the ship – something of which we were not aware until well after we had booked. There were many stairs to be navigated between our cabin on the 3d floor and the dining room in the basement of the ship – and this meant that we often just dragged our belongings with us rather than go back to the room to get them before leaving for the day. One of us is recovering from a broken ankle and frankly, we would not have done this trip if we had realized there was no elevator.
Schedule: extremely early mornings, often for no apparent reason. The worst situation was on the last day when we were called at 3:30 in the morning to fly on an early-morning flight to Cairo, only to sit for hours in a smoke-filled lounge at the Hotel while awaiting word that our rooms were finally ready. There was nothing scheduled until the Sound and Light Show that night and it was a total waste of one full day of our time. It would be appropriate for Uniworld to refund of one day of the cost of the cruise to the passengers.
Food: the food was just not very good. The soups had their moments and so did the desserts (particularly the apple sorbet, that people ate when they were not feeling well) – but breakfast, the main courses, even the salads, lacked taste and were not appealingly presented. At least not by the standards Uniworld claims.
It was a special cruise for us to take and, given the small number of passengers booked on it, we were happy it was not cancelled Read Less
Was on Regent last year for Eastern Caribbean and luckily did not repeat(tired of it been doing for too many winters now ) as the hurricane had ruined all the eastern ports. Interesting ports...still like the eastern itinerary ..better, ... Read More
Was on Regent last year for Eastern Caribbean and luckily did not repeat(tired of it been doing for too many winters now ) as the hurricane had ruined all the eastern ports. Interesting ports...still like the eastern itinerary ..better, Too old to go snorkling and do water sports.
Weather was terrible except for 2 days. So unusual. Have been traveling in the Caribbean for many years and never encounter this bad weather.
Ship's food is outstanding!!!! I liked Chartreuse the best but Compass Rose is not to be sneezed out . They could compete with the best restaurants any place in the world. The service in all the restaurants is without fault. Entertainment for a small ship with a small cast was equally exceptional.
Crew members were the friendliest. Working for your pleasure and not for tips. They went out of their way to accommodate any wishes you may have had. Read Less
Very worthwhile cruise to see new and exciting ports on a first class ship. Although staterooms are.a bit compact and we prefer the “O” class ships, the smaller ship allowed us to dock close to city centers in Bangkok, Ho Chi ... Read More
Very worthwhile cruise to see new and exciting ports on a first class ship. Although staterooms are.a bit compact and we prefer the “O” class ships, the smaller ship allowed us to dock close to city centers in Bangkok, Ho Chi Min City, Denang and Hong Kong.
Entertainment was as expected for this size of ship with some good guest singers although a poor chice in a juggling duo. They did show 2 Academy Award nominated films on board, which was nice.
Of course, tea time with the string quartet was always elegant and enjoyable. For some production shows, the quartet would supplement the band giving a much fuller musical experience.
Cruise director seemed a bit worn down as he was departing after t months at sea.
Food was excellent in all venues as we have come to expect from Oceania..
Enrichment lecturers we good although we have had more interesting topics on other cruises. They showed Read Less
Great ship. First time on the smaller Oceania ships and it was cute. Still great service and good from Oceania. As a small ship, we were able to get to the best piers closer into the towns which was great. Also, we had 3 ports with a ... Read More
Great ship. First time on the smaller Oceania ships and it was cute. Still great service and good from Oceania. As a small ship, we were able to get to the best piers closer into the towns which was great. Also, we had 3 ports with a night stay (15 day cruise) so that was great too. We love Oceania.
Cabins very small especially the shower but you get used to it.
2 speciality restaurants that were very good..same menu and service as the larger Oceania ships. No Red Ginger or Jaques so if you are on a long cruise, the food options (although very good) may become repetitive.
Internet, like all ships was glacial speed and very expensive $27.99 per day (need to buy remaining days package) or $160/200 mins or 99cents per minute. This is one thing that Oceania need to improve on..
Also, information on ports is a little light on if you are doing your own thing in port. Read Less
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