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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Everything was amazing from the long-stemmed rose that they handed me as we stepped aboard to the last evening when we sailed up & down the Danube to take in the city lights of Budapest.....truly magical. One of the highlights was the ... Read More
Everything was amazing from the long-stemmed rose that they handed me as we stepped aboard to the last evening when we sailed up & down the Danube to take in the city lights of Budapest.....truly magical. One of the highlights was the bike tour from Melk to Durnstein through small villages & vineyards -well organized and so much fun! The add-on in Prague was wonderful, too. We loved the Sound of Music venues in Salsburg and the private piano concert in Budapest, also a musical medley in Vienna at the Liechtenstein Palace was stunning! The service was outstanding, as was the food and our room was comfortable. The tours were well planned and the guides were interesting, our favorites being Eva, in Vienna and Martin in Prague. Both went out of their way to make their respective cities come alive for us. We have already recommended Scenic to our friends! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We booked the Galapagos cruise to fulfil a long term dream for our fortieth wedding anniversary. Our assessment of the standards offered on this cruise are affected by our expectations and the price we paid, over £5,500 per person for ... Read More
We booked the Galapagos cruise to fulfil a long term dream for our fortieth wedding anniversary. Our assessment of the standards offered on this cruise are affected by our expectations and the price we paid, over £5,500 per person for seven days. We were expecting high standards of service and cuisine equivalent to 5* hotels, limited maybe by the availability of some supplies. However, the success of the cruise depended almost entirely on the unique natural quality of the wildlife, and the amazing access to beautiful locations. But we felt short changed by the provision of relatively poor service and food. We had been recommended Silversea by relatives who had enjoyed a cruise to Easter Island and praised the food extremely highly. The food we had was often overcooked which was a great shame and often quite dull, certainly not five star. Breakfasts were overcooked and nondescript, and the wait staff were well meaning but poorly trained. Shame they are restricted to Ecuadorian only staff. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
I far prefer smaller ships to the "floating cities"! There were NO kids on this cruise, and that's a major plus! Ship is laid out well, and easy to get around all decks. Actually ended up eating more dinners in the ... Read More
I far prefer smaller ships to the "floating cities"! There were NO kids on this cruise, and that's a major plus! Ship is laid out well, and easy to get around all decks. Actually ended up eating more dinners in the café/buffet than in the specialty restaurants. Food in the café was great, and a nice selection. Our cabin was a junior penthouse suite on the 8th deck. Only 20 cabins on that deck. The cabin was 405 sq ft, so nice size. Most port in the Caribbean aren't the greatest spots on earth, but unique and enjoyable! Service on board was top notch. They should bump up pricing and bit, and make it "all inclusive" rather than having all the damn "add ons"............ The vast majority of the passengers were "senior citizens" which is our age group. So a lot of common interest and easy to get to know other guests. FUN trip! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
.Overall the best trip we have ever done! Our Butler Emre was so great and then every one else on the ship too. From Moet with breakfast to the concert in a Palace everything was terrific. Would def only go Scenic again. Ship ... Read More
.Overall the best trip we have ever done! Our Butler Emre was so great and then every one else on the ship too. From Moet with breakfast to the concert in a Palace everything was terrific. Would def only go Scenic again. Ship was so great lots of people must have stayed in their suites because we never felt like there was too many people around even at meal times, yet the cruise was fully booked. We had the lower level cabin and it was perfect, plenty of room and suit cases went under the bed out of the way. Never got our view blocked we were on the right side of the boat. I probably would not do as many excursions as I just loved the life of staying on board, but not sure that I would't get off at all the fabulous ports when you actually stop. Excellent in all ways Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
went with Emerald last year and found them superb as they were this year. The food, staff,facilities are outstanding. The attention to detail is everywhere from superb maps to complimentary drinks etc. The balance of passengers is ... Read More
went with Emerald last year and found them superb as they were this year. The food, staff,facilities are outstanding. The attention to detail is everywhere from superb maps to complimentary drinks etc. The balance of passengers is excellent with Australians,Brits and Canadians mainly. The pool, as last year was spotless and superb and the entertainment in the evening well thought out. The main on-board tour organiser was of the very highest calibre which is very important-she dealt with every situation with humour and aplomb. The standard of included trips was high-all the guides spoke good English and were prepared to have feedback and discussion. We had a trip to a family home in Slovakia which was a new and interesting idea to allow us to experience something of the local lifestyle. The standard of the coaches used for trips was high. We would have no hesitation in recommending Emerald and would choose no other for ourselves. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Greek ISLES 6/10/16 - 26/10/16 Itinerary: excellent. There were two itinerary changes in the weeks before departure, with Mykonos and Kusadasi being exchanged for Heraklion, Crete and Sarande, Albania. THE SHIP: exceptionally well ... Read More
Greek ISLES 6/10/16 - 26/10/16 Itinerary: excellent. There were two itinerary changes in the weeks before departure, with Mykonos and Kusadasi being exchanged for Heraklion, Crete and Sarande, Albania. THE SHIP: exceptionally well maintained with an attention to detail ensure quick repairs. Art Deco style throughout the public areas from the carpet design to the lights on the wall which grew on me, despite the markedly wood, brown and green colour scheme which is not normally my preference. Pulled altogether it worked. My cabin (5042) was sparkling, cared for by an exceptional room steward, Allan. I saw him vacuum the curtains more than once during the 17 night voyage. Even under the bed was spotless. The beds are very comfortable with good pillows. I have a dustmite allergy so poor beds and cleaning can make me suffer. I have never slept better. The location is good. A couple of decks down to upper level Britannia restaurant and two or three decks down to the lower public areas. 4 decks up to the Lido and 5 or 6 to the Commodore Club, Yacht Club and sports areas. I rarely use the lift, climbing the stairs being my way of trying to keep fit and some of those pounds off. I was surprised to see how much my legs had toned up whilst away due to this and plenty of walking in the port areas. FOOD Generally a very high standard particularly considering they are feeding about 2,000 passengers a day. Only twice did I think the main course was a bit 'blah'. Mostly everyone commented how delicious their dinners were and how very well presented. All credit to Trevor Connolly, the executive chef, and his excellent, hard working team. The head waiter in the Britannia, Brian Fernandez, was meticulous in checking for my single allergy. The waiters (Ronel and Visvanathan) were both charming and efficient bringing a delightful sense of humour to the job. The food in the Lido was to a good standard for a buffet catering for a range of tastes. I loved my Bircher muesli at breakfast, with plenty of options for fruit, nuts and seeds for personalising it. If I were to be picky I would have liked a better DIY salad selection such as they provided on the Princess ship I sailed on last year, but given that the overall food on the QE was of a markedly higher standard than the Princess ship it is a tiny preference. I'm fussy about ice cream so was delighted to discover the standard vanilla from the machine in the Lido (chocolate also on offer) was really good. (More stairs to climb to work off!). The alternative dining option in the Lido, Coriander, was very good indeed, altho' quite gently spiced. The charging was a bit confusing as, it seems, the change in charge from c.14.50 $ to 17.40$ could not go through the till. The receipt showed a charge of 14.50$ for each meal and a cover charge of 3 $ to make up the difference. As I had not realised the alternative dining charge had risen I thought the cover charge was a service charge.. I suspect the waiters will be a bit short on tips as a result. Oh, how I would love a decent coffee in the Lido! It really is not good. The coffee in the Britannia used to be good but tasted a bit sour and burnt on this voyage.It is possible to get a decent OiLilly coffee (pay extra) in the Cafe Corinthia, Commodore Club & Garden Terrace. However, given that in every single port, no matter how simple the café we managed to have really excellent coffee with thick and creamy foam on the cappuccino, even in Sarande, Albania which is still in the early days of opening outwards for tourism. In fact Sarande won our prize for a combination of excellent coffee, warm, delightful service all for 4.5€ total for three coffees! WINE I am afraid that I thought that, overall, the reasonably priced wine selection was poorer than on previous cruises and the sommelier service and knowledge less good than I had experienced on the Queen Victoria and Queen Mary previously. That said I only had experience of four sommeliers and, in many ways they did me a favour. There were a small number of pretty decent wines around 35$ a bottle (plus 15% automatic service charge..making them about 40$ a bottle). The first bottle of wine (a Portuguese white) we (my sister) ordered to accompany fish was not delivered. Instead a quite robust Portuguese red arrived and when questioned he insisted it was what was ordered even tho' both the name and the number were quite different. We double checked both on the wine list and I am certain the correct number was given. It was not worth arguing over as I would have ordered a red. However a more skilled operator would have politely checked his understanding and read the signals that the wrong wine was delivered. Beyond expressing surprise at the red wine delivered, given his response it was not worth making a fuss about. However those early mistakes mean that passengers are less likely to ask for advice freely or order wine. The combination of price, selection and sommelier service hardened my determination to keep alcohol intake very moderate. I suspect I was one of many as I saw more water being drunk on dining tables than ever before, at least on the first sitting. If it were possible to knock off half a star for this on the review I would. THE CAPTAIN I don't normally mention the captain but this Captain, Aseem Hashmi, deserves a special mention all to himself for the warmth and humour he brought to customer contact. He delivered one lecture that was very interesting and full of laughs. Not surprisingly the second talk, interview style, led to a full auditorium. We really enjoyed his daily noon time story about how nautical terms came to be used in every day speech. I love watching the ship dock and sail away and saw some skilful manoeuvres during this voyage, in limited space, relatively shallow waters and some boisterous seas. SPEAKERS AND ENTERTAINMENT There was a good range of speakers covering a range of subjects, from aircraft, to architecture, 'modern' music history, terror suspect chasing, and a modern spy story. I only went to the ones on architecture (John Sherlock) & the modern spy story (Margaret Gilmore). Both were excellent speakers but it was SUCH a shame that John Sherlock talks succeeded the relevant visits to many ports. I would have preferred them prior or the visits so we could look out for the pointers he gave. So his talks about the Acropolis & Delphi were in sea days after the visit. There were some good evening shows including a very entertaining flautist playing arrangements of both classical and more modern music. Allan Steward was his usual entertaining self. The magician was, for me, not of the sort that works well in large venues such as the theatre. The Troubadours, an all male group, went down very well indeed with some well chosen songs and good harmonies (altho' I would have chosen different first and finishing songs). Zach Winningham is young Country and Western singer from the American mid-west. I was surprised how much I enjoyed him given that is not my chosen sort of music. He has a laid back charm and delivered a heartfelt programme. Much laughter accompanied a version of a song written by a member of the RC Orchestra for him. It was brilliant. On that note: the Royal Court Orchestra really are exceptional adapting to such a wide range of music bit for the RC shows and to support a range of styles from other entertainers. I'm afraid that I did not think the singers generally melded particularly well together, but recognise that this may be influenced by personal style preferences. The sound seemed a bit shouty and shrill at points and the sound very loud indeed. The dancing was OK but the standard seemed variable across the troupe. It must be tough delivering quite a number of different shows throughout a voyage. However the sets and many of the costumes were striking and excellent. PURSER'S OFFICE I thought this had improved over previous voyages. The service as received was polite and helpful. I did hear a couple of passengers raise their voices as staff members in a way I regarded as quite bullying and rude, altho' I cannot know the facts in dispute. BOOKING, EMBARKATION AND DISEMBARKATION I mention booking on this occasion as I realised when I booked my previous cruise (Princess Royal through Imagine) that one's holiday starts at the advice and booking stage. I really did not enjoy the process with my previous cruise and thought I'd be unlikely to use either again. However it was MUCH better booking for is one through Cunard direct and Laura Davies who was a personal cruise specialist. She was knowledgable, helpful, understood out preferences and constraints so gave accurate advice and follow up booking. She has moved full time to P & O (sob) but Rochelle has been helpful too. THE on-board specialist this time, Charlotte, was also very helpful and, as I result, I booked two further cruises and my sister and her husband booked three. Embarkation was swift and efficient, with polite and smiling check-in staff. One female member of the security team left something to be desired, when my metal belt set off the alarm resulting in a search so careful I could feel the run of a hand, albeit lightly, between my buttocks! Good job I'm not too shy, but as did feel slightly embarrassed as this was just to the side of the queue and in public. I'm not sure if these are Cunard or port personnel. Disembarkation was OK, in fact clearing the ship and the baggage area sooner than the time estimated (one person complaining loudly nevertheless). I think it could be improved a bit as they called several decks at once resulting in quite a long and slow moving queue which is hard on those not so steady on their pins. PORTS AND PORT ARRANGEMENTS. We really enjoyed this itinerary and every port brought its own pleasures. It really pays to do some decent advance research to make the most of the ports. However, again comparing it to Princess, the port arrangements by Cunard were much smoother and more efficient. For instance, on the Princess cruise, we sometimes did not know until the night before whether or not there would be shuttle buses which made planning particularly difficult especially when added to inconvenient docks and timings. That was one of the factors that made me think 'never again'. Getting reliable docking information prior to the cruise was like pulling teeth. We already know that we like to walk much more (and faster) than most onboard tours permit so tend to do our own thing. However we did book a ship's tour to Olympus (from KATAKOLON) and a ship's transfer from MESSINA to Taormina. Both were pretty efficient. See below for individual port information 1. PALMA MALLORCA. We walked, and walked and walked and enjoyed every minute. As the ship had docked (with v little margin for error! What fun watching the manoeuvre!) at the furthest dock from town it took us about 45 mins to reach the walled part of the city. All very enjoyable. The city itself is very attractive but the queues for the gorgeous cathedral were long so I bypassed the interior having seen it early morning delightfully empty on a longer previous February stay 2. PIREUS (for Athens). We had been to Athens and the Acropolis before so walked from the ship (conveniently docked) through the town and over to the Zeas Marina. It can be quite easy to get disorientated so it is worth taking your time with the map before you set out. If you choose to do the same try and aim for the pathway right down by the Marina itself, where those who wish to access their boats go. It is quieter and, right at the beginning of the curve, there are a row of pleasant cafés to stop for a restorative (and good) coffee. It is fun looking at the how he yachts...then the small working fishing boats & just watching the world go by. The lower walkway is much quieter than the pavement by the road. We then walked on to a little fishing village over the hill then down a steep and narrow road to Microlimane. There we had an absolutely fantastic lunch. Sea fresh tuna simply grilled, sweet soft prawns in a tomato, ouzo, Basil and feta sauce that was surprisingly good. The deserts were spectacular. Try the Baklava. Deconstructed, delicious, served over dry ice giving off waves of spices piney scents. Varoulko is the name of the restaurant ..but we have also eaten at one nearby previously that was good. Other passengers who went on a ship's tour to Corinth seemed to enjoy it, found the canal really interesting and said the choice of lunch venue was so good they'd' even happily stayed on. 3. HERAKLION (Crete). The tour office on board gave Heraklion itself a rather tepid review but we jumped on the HOHO from the port as it went to Knossos. We enjoyed the city...maybe not so beautiful but full of interest, with lots of good restoration work underway on the Venetian walls and infrastructure. THe archeological museum (often not my thing: to dry) is terrific. I think it helped that when we got to Knossos we decided on the spur of the moment to share the cost of a private guide (80€) and it was well worth it as the place is amarvel particularly given it was built c1700 BC...on 4 floors, complete with water carrying systems, separate ones for sewage, and hip baths so beautifully decorated. Much has been moved to the Museum and well worth a look. A joint ticket for Knossos and the Museum was 16€ and the HOHO also stops by the Museum. Those who took the ship's transfer to Agios Nikolias seemed to really enjoy their visit. 4. KATAKOLON (for Olympus). This port is a small, pretty fishing village. I understand that, in recent years, quite a bit of work has gone on to improve the cafe and shopping are by the port. As a consequence there were plentiful shops and restaurants. Olympia is a beautiful, green calm place: very atmospheric and well worth a visit. Again the scale and thinking behind the site so long BC makes one stop and think about the progress we have really made. 5. Sarande (Alabania). We tendered at this port in the Adriatic coast of Albania, about 30 minutes boat ride from Corfu port. We loved it and would happily return. It IS still early in its development but had such a pretty sea front, plentiful cafés and restaurants, warm, friendly service and a sense of entrepreneurship on show. I think some pre port research paid off as we saw quite a few people getting back on board ship whilst we were still queuing to leave, complaining about the town. It seems that, having disembarked from the tender, they walked straight up the hill out of town towards some abandoned or incomplete buildings. Then turned back and walked down the same hill to the tender. If they had just turned right at the sign marked 'Centre' they would have been able to walk along a delightful seaside promenade, lined with palms and cafés, and could have basked in the sunshine whilst eating fresh grilled fish. I litre of white wine in a restaurant we saw on sale for 6.5 Euros and the people on the table across from us said it was perfectly decent. Some people brought their snorkelling gear and had a fine time snorkelling in the waters. I'd love to see this town, again, once it has had a few more years to develop further...and hope it does not spoil in the process. Pack some Deet as there were some biting bugs around..but I escaped with just one. Perhaps not so good for those with mobility issues as there were quite a few steps. 6. MESSINA, Sicily. Really lovely sail in through the MESSINA Straits and watching the docking was fun. We'd booked the ship's transfer to Taormina and enjoyed both the drive and the town despite it being so busy. We'd have greatly appreciated longer in the town as we arrived about 11 am & had to be back in the bus station by 1.45 pm so lunch, instead of being a leisurely affair in a delightful (and blissfully quiet) backstreet was very rushed. Well worth the climb to the Greek theatre with it terrific panoramic views over the nearby stunning scenery and coast. Another time I'd spend more time exploring the local market in MESSINA, walking up to what looked like a really interesting cathedral and to see the clock that sends out all sorts of figures for the amusement of those watching at noon each day. 7. CADIZ. Oh! Lovely LOVELY Cadiz! I'd happily call in there each voyage. What a wonderful walk around the city walls (good marked up maps avaialable from the rather brusque tourist information point)... a cornucopia of gorgeous gardens on the way with little detours, topiary in the botanical gardens that made me laugh, and excellent tapas outside in a busy square from bar near the cathedral..accompanied by the sound of flamenco guitar music from the other side of the square. Lots of charming old side streets and cobbled alleys to explore. It feels vibrant and lived in. The cathedral, that had been crumbling, has been restored at considerable cost and a nearby yellow sign pointing the way to the Camino de Santiago, via Augusta reminds one of all the pilgrims over the centuries that must have walked wearily towards the cathedral, glad to rest their sore feet. We were really blessed with the weather ..25-30C and sunny most days. It was, overall, a terrific cruise with much to savour and with many happy memories. Well done Cunard. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
Have just returned from a cruise on Le Soleal from Tahiti to Easter Island. We chose this cruise as it visited remote islands, particularly the difficult to access Pitcairn Island. Having seen some quite negative reviews from Australians ... Read More
Have just returned from a cruise on Le Soleal from Tahiti to Easter Island. We chose this cruise as it visited remote islands, particularly the difficult to access Pitcairn Island. Having seen some quite negative reviews from Australians on this site about this cruiseline I was a bit concerned before we left. Having travelled on a few cruise lines I found Ponant friendly, professional, staff catered well to non French speaking passengers and the food and service were excellent. There was a balance of fun, comfort and adventure. The Captain was frequently accessible and the cruise director one of the best. The cabins were comfortable and always clean. With such difficult to access islands it was sometimes unclear whether we would be able to land until the last minute, but we were always kept informed by the Captain about the conditions. So some flexibility is needed when undertaking this type of cruise but it all adds up to an unforgettable holiday. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
The embarkation was delayed because the ship had to relocate due to a imminent cyclone. We had to stay overnight in Kanazawa and travelled by bus to the new port of departure and were welcomed by the Captain and officers, taken to our ... Read More
The embarkation was delayed because the ship had to relocate due to a imminent cyclone. We had to stay overnight in Kanazawa and travelled by bus to the new port of departure and were welcomed by the Captain and officers, taken to our cabin and as we departed, invited to an excellent brunch in the buffet. L'Austral is a small luxury cruise ship which has been designed with beautiful interiors, colours and furnishings both in the general areas and the cabins. The Gastronomic Restaurant was outstanding with wonderful meals and wines and the Grill the place to go for breakfast and lunch. The Main Lounge apart from an excellent bar service, provided evening entertainment, music, and later in the night, dancing after the show. The shows were terrific, with excellent dance, sound and stage performances. Three out of the six excursions we took were well organised, but the others left a lot to be desired. The entertainment provided by locals on the wharf in two of the small ports where L'Austral docked and meeting the ship in Osaka, were outstanding. The service by the cabin boy Christy, the bar staff, the restaurant staff and the Hotel Manager, and the support crew as well as the Captain and officers was excellent. We met some wonderful fellow passengers with whom will maintain contact in the future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
The itinerary was for a few days on Pitcairn and Easter Island, which is not possible with large ships. So small ships are the way to go. the food was divine and the entertainment excellent. the cruise director made cry non french ... Read More
The itinerary was for a few days on Pitcairn and Easter Island, which is not possible with large ships. So small ships are the way to go. the food was divine and the entertainment excellent. the cruise director made cry non french speaking traveller part of the cruise. The provided history and cultural videos of our cruise and ports were excellent and added to ur experiences. It was a memorable time for family and friends to finally reach Easter Island and put a big tick off our bucket list. Spending 3 days on Easter Island was just the best highlight of the cruise as there was so much to see the than the few Moi's that you see on the postcards. ti be up close and personal especially the moi's from the quarry was just an amazing experience. If you want o see Easter Island, you need seen some solid days exploring the Island and not just a scenic cruise by. this was achieved with Ponant. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We had sailed twice before with Windstar in the Caribbean on the sailing ships and their laidback, intimate style suited us. We chose this cruise for the itinerary. It was excellent in every respect. An example: there was a problem with ... Read More
We had sailed twice before with Windstar in the Caribbean on the sailing ships and their laidback, intimate style suited us. We chose this cruise for the itinerary. It was excellent in every respect. An example: there was a problem with the IT on embarkation, and after about ten minutes we were just told to not worry, go and have lunch and we will be told when it's sorted. We were given access to our cabins to drop bags, which were locked being us. Just a small example of how quickly problems are sorted on a small ship. The service, food and crew were outstanding. Very personal service. Bar staff quickly know your name and your favourite drink. Cabins were spacious and very comfortable. The officers were very visible and friendly. The captain was around the ship every evening chatting to guests. The complimentary private event was good, and the deck barbecue outstanding. Most of the ports were interesting, and we met some lovely people. Sail always were special, particularly from Venice. On disembarkation the captain and hotel manager stood at the foot of the gangplank and personally thanked every guest for sailing with them. That's personal service. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was my first river boat cruise. The Scenic people, the boat and the excursions were first rate. The all inclusive nature of the vacation was what made it special. The three days in Prague with guides allowed of to see many sites which ... Read More
This was my first river boat cruise. The Scenic people, the boat and the excursions were first rate. The all inclusive nature of the vacation was what made it special. The three days in Prague with guides allowed of to see many sites which we may have missed. The transfers to the boat were made in first class coaches. The welcome onto the boat seemed very easy. The staff on the ship were friendly and very helpful. The food and wine were first rate and available any time of the day, and the minibar was restocked as required complimentary. A special mention to our cruise director J.J. an Australian, who was born in Budapest, he was extremely knowledgable, friendly and funny, he made his daily remarks enjoyable and interesting. Our captain ensured that although for part of the journey, we were in fairly shallow water, we got through safely. I am not sure if we will take another European river boat cruise, as we have other places to see,but if we do, it will be with Scenic, a first class operation which I fully endorse. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Excuse my english, I am German. We chose this cruise especially because of starting in Lisboa. Some new ports (Cadiz, Marseille, Portofino) but also known ports - but who can tell, "I know this city". We explored Lisboa for ... Read More
Excuse my english, I am German. We chose this cruise especially because of starting in Lisboa. Some new ports (Cadiz, Marseille, Portofino) but also known ports - but who can tell, "I know this city". We explored Lisboa for 3 days and Rome for 2 days - both much too short ! Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. It is better to order a taxi in Civitavecchia before you cruise. After we were lucky to catch a taxi we found two other couples (by shouting out !) who joined us to different hotels in Rome (65.-€ per person). Second cruise on the Marina. Ship is great, cabin (Veranda) too. Dining is excellent wherever you go, so you need not go to speciality-restaurants; even the buffet is great and comfortable. Service is perfect. We did not like all Entertainments. But we liked "5 o´clock or somewhere" and "Laszlo and Claudia" much. Shore excursions are very good and informative but much too expensive. We had 4 free. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We have taken several voyages on Regent cruise ships and decided to try what was advertised as comparable to Regent for a Western Mediterranean cruise on Seabourn Sojourn October 2016. The dining experiences were flawless and there was ... Read More
We have taken several voyages on Regent cruise ships and decided to try what was advertised as comparable to Regent for a Western Mediterranean cruise on Seabourn Sojourn October 2016. The dining experiences were flawless and there was enough liquor offered to float a boat. However, if you are looking for excursion experiences off this ship, which we were, they were lacking. I called the cruise line several times during the planning stage, but they would not reveal their excursions until after we had paid for the entire cruise. For several destinations, there were only 2-3 options for 425 people. Our traveling companions were not able to join several excursions because the destination opprtunities were "sold out." One excursion we booked was cancelled at the last minute, with minimum interest by destination services to find another option for us. And then the service...our suite "stewardess" is in the wrong career. I called guest services every day for things like wash cloths, the daily Hearld (ship info), and more. She never called us by name, left one bar of soap for two people to last eleven days, gave us toiletries that had been used by others (less than half full), and never completely cleaned the bathroom. I cleaned the floor just to get rid of the smell. Our friends said she "was young and inexperienced." The liberal smoking policy on the Sojourn was reported elsewhere, so I can only reiterate that it was an issue. Neighbors smoking on their verandas meant that we could not use our veranda during their frequent smoke breaks. There were other places to go on the ship where you did not have to smell second-hand smoke, which we did. Overall, Seabourn Sojourn offered a luxury vacation, like Regent, with excellent food and beautiful common areas. Unlike Regent, Seabourn had limited shore excursions, a bothersome smoking policy, and very poor housekeeping service, The disembark procedure was wonderful, leisurely breakfast the last day with a couple of hours to connect with luggage off ship. But maybe I was just happy to leave. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
We went on this cruise because we did the Baltic last August and it was superb. We signed on for another cruise in the exact same Oceania suite. The recent experience was not so good. I was served a raw chicken leg in the dining room ... Read More
We went on this cruise because we did the Baltic last August and it was superb. We signed on for another cruise in the exact same Oceania suite. The recent experience was not so good. I was served a raw chicken leg in the dining room and the lobster thermidor in Jacques was lukewarm, the beef in the steakhouse was tasteless and tough, caeser salad dressing tasted like it comes from a bottle. Overall the food was not nearly as good as last year. The service was not as good a last time either. We were served dinner in out suit over an hour late one evening. Was there a merger in the past 13 months? The shore excursions are pretty boring and pretty expensive. We won't be back. At this point I would rather fly to europe, stay in a good hotel and get a better feel for the country. Since the trains are so good in europe why not use them? Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My husband and I are Americans and the fact the majority of passengers were not from the USA intrigued us. There were approximately 165 passengers on our cruise and there were 15 Americans. We were pampered from the moment we arrived on ... Read More
My husband and I are Americans and the fact the majority of passengers were not from the USA intrigued us. There were approximately 165 passengers on our cruise and there were 15 Americans. We were pampered from the moment we arrived on the ship. The food was delicious and varied. Breakfast and lunch were buffet and you could also have a light lunch in the lounge area if you preferred. For dinner you could eat at a table for 2 or join a group. We thought we would eat by ourselves most of the time but ended up eating with new friends almost every day. The excursions were well organized and the tour guides were young and very informative with a good sense of humor. Our cabin was large with a sofa and 2 chairs and a floor to ceiling window for good light. There also was balcony with 2 chairs. Both windows could be opened if you wanted fresh air. The bathroom was well organized with plenty of storage space for your toiletries. However, the staff made the cruise for us. Everyone was so friendly and efficient. They seemed to be enjoying themselves as well. Nothing was too much trouble for any of the wait staff. We found the passengers to be very friendly and outgoing. I could not recommend this cruise line more highly. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
When thinking about our Viking cruise up the Elbe I will always remember Guntar...he looked and talked like Arnold. Which made the trip extra entertaining. The crew was so warm and embracing. Every single one was there to help make our ... Read More
When thinking about our Viking cruise up the Elbe I will always remember Guntar...he looked and talked like Arnold. Which made the trip extra entertaining. The crew was so warm and embracing. Every single one was there to help make our trip as enjoyable as could be. The wait staff was above and beyond. After one meal they knew what your drink preferences were and had them immediately ready. Food was plenty and most often very delicious. The breads were absolutely heavenly. Found myself enjoying seed bread and Brie at every meal, and sometimes for my meal. Just superb. The Malbec wine that was served was also perfect for our taste. The daily excursions were easy going, but very interesting, informative and entertaining. Trip to the beer pub stands out, as does the castle where we sampled the best struddle. The little town that became the concentration camp all Though sad was a must see, for history sake. Really shook me up though. Treats like warm cookies or schnapps waiting for us upon return from an excursion were a special from the captain. He seemed like he really enjoyed having us all on his beautiful ship. Yes the Beyla is a must take river cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I am just off my second Silversea cruise of the year. First was Alaska from Anchorage (Seward) to Vancouver (7 days) aboard the Silver Shadow, and the latest on the Silver Spirit round trip from Fort Lauderdale (11 days). Silversea ... Read More
I am just off my second Silversea cruise of the year. First was Alaska from Anchorage (Seward) to Vancouver (7 days) aboard the Silver Shadow, and the latest on the Silver Spirit round trip from Fort Lauderdale (11 days). Silversea run nearly a flawless high end all inclusive cruise experience. I cannot imagine Seabourn, Crystal, Regent or the others in this category being any better. I am hesitant to try them out because Silverseas is so good. The Silverseas experience starts with embarkation, which is usually a nightmare on bigger cruise lines. They manage the logistics perfectly. A color coded embarkation system is used to insure there are no lines, no waiting and your luggage is in your suite when you arrive. There you are greeted by your butler. Your butler will do stuff for you then, like unpack your clothes, but you really want to do that your self. The only thing to use him for upon arrival is for him to grab you a bottle of champagne to sip on your veranda while you sail out of port. The butler will come in handy later. Your basic Veranda suite is a marvel of design, space is utilized perfectly. There is a huge walk-closet, and enough nooks, crannies, drawers, shelves to fit everything. (Tip-your suitcases fit under the bed). The bathrooms are astounding-walk in showers, a full size tub, and marble everywhere. It all works. The suite is about 375 square feet which, given its layout, can handle a trip of up to 4 weeks, without you going stir crazy. For me, a veranda is a must, sitting out there with a bottle of champagne as you enter and exit ports is an experience like few others. No complaints, they get a perfect 10. There is one major tip about booking. After deciding on a cruise book early, so you can select the exact stateroom you want. Study the ships deck plans very carefully. You want to avoid the following-cabins near elevators, cabins that are on hallways leading to various venues, particularly restaurants, these will be subject to alien noise, like other passengers talking or singing while walking down hallways. Otherwise your rooms are quiet as tombs. Another (tip) is select a cabin mid-ship not fore or aft. Cabins in the front and rear of the boat are more subject to pitch and roll. I didn’t think this would be a factor on a winter Caribbean cruise but I was way wrong. For three days we were in the midst of 8-12 waves which caused the cancellation of the entirety of one stop, the Turks and Caicos, and the cancellation of particular excursions in other ports. No trip from Tortola across to the Baths at Virgin Gorda, 30 years ago one of the most beautiful, unspoiled beaches in the Islands. I really wanted to see if it had been ruined by development. And no golf in Punta Cana, the sea was too rough to tender (the use of small boats to get from ship to pier if the port has no dock large enough to handle even a small cruise ship). Another factor in booking your cruise early is Silversea's has an early reservation policy for its restaurants other than the main dining room, fittingly called The Restaurant. On both my ships, there was a fancier, Relais&Chateaux room, called Le Champagne, offering multi-course menu at a surcharge of $40 per person, and La Terrazza, offering an Italian menu for no extra charge. The Silver Spirit also had a pool side restaurant called the Grill, and a Japanese restaurant called Seishin, this again for a $40 per person surcharge. La Terraza was the best, it had superb pasta, even its risottos were creamy and al dente, a feat hard to pull off in a small restaurant on land, let alone a 100+ seat restaurant on the a ship. The food at Le Champagne wasn’t much better than the Restaurant, (tip-you can order 7 courses there if that’s what you want). Seishin came in #2, it had excellent sushi and sashimi, as well as real treats like Waygu beef. On a 7 night cruise I would book La Terrazza for 3 nights. I perhaps would book Le Champagne on formal night, just to be ritzier. I wouldn’t book the Grill again at all, there you cook your own food on a hot rock. Too much work. Be advised that Silverseas has a dress code for its dining rooms. On a formal night, which I find to be a nice old school tradition, about 50% of the men wore tuxedos, the other wore dark business suits which is fine. Then they have what they call informal and casual nights. Informal means a sport coat and long pants, casual means a sport shirt and slacks. Shorts are banned after 6:00 PM. They will send you back to your room to change if you have shorts on, and will offer you a sport coat if needed on an informal night if you don’t want to make the trek back to your room to get a jacket. Some may find this stuffy, I didn’t, it adds a bit of elegance to the experience. A final word on early booking. Get trip insurance, it minimizes the risks of booking well in advance and gives considerable peace of mind. Naturally all this pampering doesn’t come cheap. It is expensive. But these days no more so than high end Caribbean resorts. Places like Cannel Bay, Jade Mountain and Dorado Beach are running $1200+ a day, and this without food and alcohol. The all-inclusive approach works well. On Silverseas the Champagne they serve, for example, is the real thing, an off label of Piper-Heidsieck called Monopole, which you can drink all day if you wish. It retails for around $40 a bottle in the US. Silverseas does not go cheap and cut corners. In the dining rooms you are served lobster, filets, rack of lambs, veal, and other high end entrees. The food is uniformly very good but not great. I had better food traveling in the Queen’s Grill class on Cunard. But as a British actor who I became acquainted with on this cruise said, he was on a 4 week leg, his bar bill on Cunard was $9000 for 4 weeks. They liked free champagne at lunch. So will you. Read Less
58 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Ship is beautiful, rooms just as described, beds great, tours were very good. Food was hit and miss but not really what I hoped for, had as good or better at other resorts for a fraction of the price. Some parts of the meals seemed ... Read More
Ship is beautiful, rooms just as described, beds great, tours were very good. Food was hit and miss but not really what I hoped for, had as good or better at other resorts for a fraction of the price. Some parts of the meals seemed prepared way ahead of time and looked and tasted like it. Service in the specialty restaurants was iffy, especially the French and Asian, there it was bad to pushy and a number of guest had the same impression. The Compass Rose had by far the best servers and some of the best meals, the open seating Italian was the worst especially service and food fair. The food\service was a big disappointment and for the price of these cruises it was not a good value. Wi-Fi was basically useless and everyone had the same complaint. Checked with their business center and they basically told me it was my new tablet, and I should only use Apple products although they did not work either. I needed to check back for business and this was a real problem, went 2 days before I got connected and then it would disconnect me. Spent hours during the course of the cruise trying to connect which I would have preferred to have been enjoying my cruise. Tried to check the TV for news especially on the hurricane in the SE US but same basic problem, only connected occasionally and then it would go away. Didn't matter where we were at port or at sea, same problems and same complaints from every guest I spoke to. It's hard to say if I would try Regents again, just did not seem to have their act together in many fields vs. the cost and other options. Read Less
69 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My wife and I sailed on October 4th from Monte Carlo to Athens. We have cruised 9 times on 7 different cruise lines. This was our first time with Regent. The ship, common rooms and cabins were the best I have ever seen. However, the ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on October 4th from Monte Carlo to Athens. We have cruised 9 times on 7 different cruise lines. This was our first time with Regent. The ship, common rooms and cabins were the best I have ever seen. However, the staff and crew were new and therefore the service was not as good as I had hoped. The free internet was spotty and inconsistent. The ship also had some problems with the sewage system which left foul odors in the hallways. But in fairness, this is going to happen with any new ship as it “shakes out” it problems and concerns. Activities and entertainment were also not up to par with “the most luxurious ship in the world”. They were good, but not great. Shore excursions are included with Regent, but were too compact and too fast paced. It is very hard to enjoy the scenery around you when you become focused on not losing your tour guide. Dining was excellent as was embarkation and disembarkation. But with the cost the cruise compared to what you get, I don’t feel this was worth the money and I probably will not cruise with Regent again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
50th anniversary. Wifi was expensive and a constant headache. Transfer to laguardia airport was mishandled. Not enuf buses, crowds of people waiting outside the ship for a bus, most of them quite elderly. No place to sit or get out of the ... Read More
50th anniversary. Wifi was expensive and a constant headache. Transfer to laguardia airport was mishandled. Not enuf buses, crowds of people waiting outside the ship for a bus, most of them quite elderly. No place to sit or get out of the elements. Thank goodness it did not rain. No excuse for Cunard not to know how many buses necessary for the transfer. This info is provided well in advance of the cruise. Just very, very mishandled! Shore excursions very pricey. Ship staff was generally pleasant and helpful. This cruise was the worst we have been on. We would not recommend this ship. Signage to gangways and other areas of this gigantic vessel was very poor. Getting from one place to another took more time than necessary because there were few directional signs. Self laundry was not available 24/7. Did not open until 7:30am and shut down at 9pm. Ugh! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We have sailed in voyager three times. We have enjoyed every voyage very much. For us everything was perfect! We had a suite and a butler who was the epitome of efficiency. Our suite was Immaculate every day. A ceiling light bulb went out ... Read More
We have sailed in voyager three times. We have enjoyed every voyage very much. For us everything was perfect! We had a suite and a butler who was the epitome of efficiency. Our suite was Immaculate every day. A ceiling light bulb went out and it was changed almost before we hung up the phone to report it to our butler. Our canapés were simple but we hardly needed them. We enjoyed every restaurant and found the service excellent, even when they were very busy. Every crew member we encountered was pleasant, had a smile, was eager to please. Our excursions were fine we only had one guide who seemed - perhaps new at the job and was a little too much giving out dates of history. Our other guides were knowledgeable friendly and intelligent. Three of whom I know loved their job! And were exceptional. Given the time frames for the tours they crammed a lot of interest Into a short time. All the coaches were clean. The places we were taken for snacks were excellent and thoughtfully chosen. We have no complaints whatsoever. Our locations at times required somewhat long coach rides but we counted that as part of the visit. We have booked our next cruise and cannot wait to go. Our only problem is we would love to try explorer but we love voyage so much. I feel Lucky to have such a dilemma. We also appreciate all inclusive. No concerns about tipping although we did tip our steward and stewardess as well as the butler since we were personal contact with them every day. We enjoyed the krew kapers very much. Think these young people including those who work below decks to keep things running smoothly do an excellent job and know it is difficult to be away from family and friends for extended periods of time. We loved our vacation and will enjoy our next one I'm sure as well. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We read so many negative comments on Cruise Critic about the Sirena, we were worried about this experience ! Well, not to worry.... the cruise was wonderful ! Sirena is absolutely beautiful!!! Well appointed in every area! Horizons ... Read More
We read so many negative comments on Cruise Critic about the Sirena, we were worried about this experience ! Well, not to worry.... the cruise was wonderful ! Sirena is absolutely beautiful!!! Well appointed in every area! Horizons has been much improved and is lovely, even adding bathrooms! Contrary to many complaints I read, the food is still 5 star! Jacques Bistro at lunch in the GDR is a nice addition with yummy daily specials! Speciality restuants equally yum, especially Tuscan Steak House! The Terrace Cafe and new grill, the best!!!! STAFF is beyond compare!!! From first greeting to disembarkation goodbyes....the staff exceeded expectations! Shout outs to Veni. Waylon. Maria. Ariel Glen(room service was awesome). Angeline, Clifford, Lucy...... the list goes on and on Entertainment....diverse and enjoyable. Especially the Production Show company! They sang their hearts out for us!!! Guest lecturer....fascinating!!! A + Sirena and staff!!!! We did excursions on our own.... mostly hop on hop off buses. In Bermuda, we were right downtown Hamilton !!! That was awesome ! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I chose this ship and this cruise for the following reasons; a) My partner and I are pass cruisers with this line. b) we had completed six weeks in Europe and this was the perfect way to return to US. c) ship newly ... Read More
I chose this ship and this cruise for the following reasons; a) My partner and I are pass cruisers with this line. b) we had completed six weeks in Europe and this was the perfect way to return to US. c) ship newly refurbished. Embarkation for us was early and wonderful. Cabin was ready before expected. Cabin, Category A1 was nothing special. It was clean and well finished off. Our outside veranda was roomy, however the floor drain was clogged for the entire trip. This rendered the deck not so usable. The food was beautiful and not anything to complain about in both the specialty restaurants and main dining room. The Terrace Cafe however was disappointing and congested. Tables were too close, isles were too small, servers were not helpful and spook and understood limited English. We had the unfortunate event to go to Hospital which was the most expensive thing I did while on the ship. Two batches of pills, for 10 days, were over $550.00USD which was not disclosed prior. My efforts to speak with ship officers about the high price went no where. Having had just completed a 30 day cruise on Sirena's sister-ship, Nautica, We also sailed on a 30 day cruise on Marina and thought that Sirena's refurbishment was short changed and not worthy of a repeat visit. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Smaller ship for us which we enjoyed, clean, recently refurbished, no loud music, no kids on this cruise, many areas to read and relax, easy access around the ship, no lines, superb food, good selection of wine, smaller cabins and ... Read More
Smaller ship for us which we enjoyed, clean, recently refurbished, no loud music, no kids on this cruise, many areas to read and relax, easy access around the ship, no lines, superb food, good selection of wine, smaller cabins and particularly small shower area, plenty of storage. Excellent large library. Good fitness center not busy. Very nice large steam/shower room and the private hot tub, and rarely any other passengers on my many visits. We were a party of 10 sometimes eating dinner together and enjoyed the round tables for easier conversation. Particularly enjoyed the grilled lobster tails/jumbo very fresh tasting shrimp and sushi in the Terrace Cafe almost every evening. The illy coffee in the barista was outstanding. Non alcoholic drinks are all included. Entertainment/shows were ok for a small ship. Several movies. Nice laundry room normally not crowded takes tokens for nominal charge at reception desk. We would usually meet at Martini bar or Horizon lounge up top for pre dinner drinks. Our onboard credits more than covered all on board expenses including gratuities,alcohol and even some clothes purchased in the shop.We had read the many negative reviews prior to our cruise so we were pleasantly surprised as we certainly enjoyed the ship and the overall cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
If you read this review, you should also read the reviews by ChrisChicago June 2016 and disappointed traveller October 2016 regarding the Scenic Diamond Bordeaux cruise. ChrisChicago, was in the same premium/ over priced cabin as we were. ... Read More
If you read this review, you should also read the reviews by ChrisChicago June 2016 and disappointed traveller October 2016 regarding the Scenic Diamond Bordeaux cruise. ChrisChicago, was in the same premium/ over priced cabin as we were. This was our fourth Scenic holiday, the first three were wonderful experiences, close to faultless and we have recommended all three to others. This cruise, due largely to issues with the accommodation missed the description of wonderful by quite a margin. Our pick up at the airport was late. After waiting for 15 minutes I rang Scenic Europe, the gentleman answered promptly and indicate he would investigate and he did call back. Our pick up arrived around 20 minutes later. The late pick up was one aspect of my written complaint to Scenic on our return. There was no offer to reimburse the call charges. We had booked a premium priced junior balcony suite on the starboard side and were very satisfied with the size and features of the cabin. Of the 11 nights cruising, we spent 7 nights and a number of days moored at the dock in Bordeaux with the starboard side against the dock. The dock is a public place and there was a constant stream of pedestrians, cyclists etc all of whom overlooked the cabins and balconies on that side of the boat. The view from our balcony included the gangplank, the dock, muddy water and assorted pieces of rubbish. The promotional brochure for this cruise depicting guests enjoying use of the balcony we feel is highly misleading. We hardly used the balcony. Due to the close proximity of the gangplank and the public dock area, to maintain privacy, we had to draw the curtains morning and evening when the cabin lights were on. This was little better than a cabin with a porthole but at a premium price. ChrisChicago's photograph gives some idea of the view from the balcony. Scenic's replies to my emails regarding this issue indicated little understanding or acknowledgement that there was a problem with this situation. The off ship experiences were pleasant and by and large very enjoyable, but some involved hours of coach travel. In some ways it was less like a cruise and more like a coach tour where the accommodation was a moored ship in Bordeaux. On board, the staff, crew, service and food etc were excellent. If you're planning this Bordeaux cruise, do not book unless you are guaranteed a portside cabin. Read Less

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