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45 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We cruise a fair amount – mostly Seabourn and previously Silversea and have heard lots or positive things from fellow cruisers about about SeaDream. We were on a short four day cruise from Barbados to Barbados. We were looking ... Read More
We cruise a fair amount – mostly Seabourn and previously Silversea and have heard lots or positive things from fellow cruisers about about SeaDream. We were on a short four day cruise from Barbados to Barbados. We were looking forward to a nice suite (tick), excellent food (tick) and some pleasant (possibly staid) evenings in a piano bar. We found ourselves on a party ship with at least three groups of families or friends celebrating birthdays and life. I suspect we were unlucky due to the nature of the voyage but on reading the promotional materials on the ship it does seem that SeaDream is setting out its stall as a ship to enjoy celebrations and as such it is doing a great job for these people. Would highly recommend for this purpose. The top deck at night was a full blown and rather fantastic party. The dining room got quite noisy – we met a couple who had to walk out they were so overwhelmed by it. The general vibe was just not what we wanted – more what I would imagine Club Med or Costa cruise. The question I ask myself is would we come again knowing there were not to be groups? The answer is still no. The ship is too small for us. We badly missed a veranda (somewhere to escape from the very busy pool area), we missed a bar being open after dinner (did not open till 9.30), we missed having a bottle of wine in our room (forbidden – only by the glass) and we missed choices of places to eat with different ambiences. The ship is undoubtedly kept immaculately but it is aging and the competition in this band is fierce. Would also comment that the white wine choices were pretty average or not really to my taste. There was a tolerable French Sauvignon Blanc which saved the day. Also whites and champagne were rarely cold enough. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We originally travelled on the ship nine years ago when it was owned by Seabourn. We decided to revisit the ship for sentimental reasons. The ship is now run by Windstar. All I can say to anyone who is thinking of doing the same not to ... Read More
We originally travelled on the ship nine years ago when it was owned by Seabourn. We decided to revisit the ship for sentimental reasons. The ship is now run by Windstar. All I can say to anyone who is thinking of doing the same not to do so as you will be very disappointed. The experience was a million miles away from the experience we previously had. It was like everything that made the cruise so special with Seabourn had been taken away and the cruise with Windstar was down to the absolute basics. On Seabourn the food is stunning. With Windstar the food was on the whole uninspiring and in many cases tasteless. On Seabourn the wine is of a very high standard and included. With Windstar we had difficulties finding decent bottles worth buying. On Seabourn the courtesy of the staff is exceptional. On Windstar the service was over familiar and some of the staff walk around the ship with their hands in their pockets and some were even entertaining their own family and friends on the ship while leaving guests unattended to. I do not want to recall the number of times I had to re-order food or drinks because the first order never arrives. On Seabourn there is a refined party atmosphere. On Windstar there was no atmosphere and hardly any entertainment provided on an evening. We were in bed most nights by 9.00 p.m. as there was nothing to do. In the main bar for pre-dinner drinks, the bar was closed shortly after 7.00 p.m. so that the staff could help elsewhere. When we complained, there was no offer to redress the position and instead we were asked to complete a complaint form ! A member of the senior staff spoke to us on the last day to ask whether we had enjoyed our holiday. We said not and the lady concerned just walked away and did not dare ask us why or what could have been improved. This came as no surprise since the senior staff appear very complacent and uninterested. The overall standard of the ship when run by Seabourn was exceptional. It was very sad to see how tired the ship has become. I dare not recall how many times I said to my partner "this would not happen on Seabourn" when we encountered a problem. If you treat a cruise on this ship like a bargain basement cruise or a school holiday you will be ok. If you have high expectations this will not be for you. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Overall, a very good cruise. We were on a Thanksgiving Day cruise to the eastern Caribbean, with port calls at five islands. Getting the negatives out of the way first. Cabins are very small, and the bathroom and shower are ... Read More
Overall, a very good cruise. We were on a Thanksgiving Day cruise to the eastern Caribbean, with port calls at five islands. Getting the negatives out of the way first. Cabins are very small, and the bathroom and shower are extremely tiny. We spent very little time in the cabin, so size was not an issue, but I did hear many gripes about the teeny tiny bathroom and showers from other passengers. The "White Night" evening dining experience in St Marteen was a total fiasco, with long slow lines for food, insects on food, limited food selection, crowded dining conditions. Passengers made it worse by attempting to reserve tables first, then getting in the long food lines. Someone would place a flower or a book on a table for six and then claim they had "reserved" the table. Ridiculous, we did like many and just ignored their inconsiderate reserve nonsense. Of course, this led to a few heated discussions, but you meet a few jerks on every cruise. So silly the way some women dress up in evening gowns and stiletto heels on a ship that emphasizes casual dining. The cost of internet service is absurd, and this service should be free, included in the cost of the cruise fare. Moreover, additional computer terminals are needed in the internet "in touch" cafe. The land excursion department blew it badly in the British Virgin Islands for the "Schooner Sail Away and Swim." The tender pulled up to the dock and no one from Azamara was there to direct people where to assemble for the tour. Then, the ship cut the tour short one hour, claiming they had to depart the port on time. As a token apology, Azamara refunded one-third the cost of the excursion. They should have refunded the entire cost of the land excursion, since they did not live up to the terms of tour contract. Disembarkation on the last day of the cruise was another fiasco, with no one from Azamara outside in the parking lot to direct people to buses which would take them to Miami International Airport. Making matters worse, Azamara employees were cutting into the customs line and going to the front, like they had some special privilege and were superior to everyone else. This created an extremely poor public relations image of Azamara and needs to be corrected immediately before I would ever consider going again on an Azamara cruise. There is no excuse for Azamara employees to be cutting into the customs line, like they are someone special. Positives were many and made for a great cruise. Our cabin attendants were among the best I have ever seen. There was nothing they could not do in an effort to please us. Every little detail and request was immediately handled in a cheerful efficient manner. Fantastic incredible service, and I had no problem giving the cabin attendant generous gratuity. Same for the dining staff. The food in the Windows Cafe was superior, with a huge selection for all three meals. Wait staff service was beyond belief, friendly, efficient, and courteous at all times. Cabins have a flat-screen TV which also allows you to review your on board account, store purchases, purchased land excursions, ship credit, etc. The bow camera channel provides weather information, time, ship position course and speed, etc. You can also make maintenance requests, order room service, request items for your cabin, etc, all through the interactive flat-screen TV. Public areas on the ship are beautiful and very comfortable, with a bonus of never being crowded, a distinct advantage of a small ship. I note that virtually all ship personnel will greet and acknowledge you when passing in the passageways and other locations. Doors are held open for passengers, and all staff are always eager to help and assist, if needed. This is an adults only ship, which makes it so nice. There is absolutely nothing for children or teenagers to do on this ship and no special place for them. All activities are geared for mature adults only. So please do not ruin it for everyone else by bringing your kids with you on this ship. Moreover, your kids will be so bored that they will drive you and everyone else nuts. Be considerate, leave the kids and teens home or take them on a Carnival cruise. Riding a small ship is great, in that you can visit smaller ports and see foreign people up closer in small towns. Azamara Quest operates its own tenders, and we were often greeted with cold towels and drinks, upon return to the pier for the ride out to the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
This cruise being a repositioning cruise offered a penthouse with butler at an affordable price on one of Oceania newer vessels the Riviera..The butler was able to get us into the specialty restaurants on additional nights as well as ... Read More
This cruise being a repositioning cruise offered a penthouse with butler at an affordable price on one of Oceania newer vessels the Riviera..The butler was able to get us into the specialty restaurants on additional nights as well as deliver in room breakfast of any food not only the ones listed on the breakfast card Highlights included some outstanding tours particularly the one organized by the Culinary Institute in Madeira which includes sampling wines shopping in an open market where we were give 5 euros per individual to buy food and lunch where we were able to taste some local dishes such as the black scabbard fish The ships food is excellent and I particularly love the lobster tails off the grill. The entertainment ranged from excellent to mediocre depending on the evening The room stewards were excellent and so was our butler We only travel on Oceania because there in no dressup and no photographer Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We prefer slightly smaller ships but in the same or better class. This was our first exposure to Oceania and we were comparing this experience to Seabourn. The ship was very nice and the Penthouse Suite was just a bit larger than the ... Read More
We prefer slightly smaller ships but in the same or better class. This was our first exposure to Oceania and we were comparing this experience to Seabourn. The ship was very nice and the Penthouse Suite was just a bit larger than the standard suite on Seabourn. Food was very good overall and the 4 specialty restaurants were a pleasant surprise--we tried all of them and a couple of them more than once. But I did notice they used a lot of salt in their menus--I would have preferred a bit less salt. Cooking classes were fully booked so I did not get to participate in those. Only one show per night was surprising for a ship with 1000 passengers (ship was not full so don't know if this was the norm). Decor and public areas were very nice but it took a bit to find those "special places" to hang out on sea days. Shore excursions on Cape Verde and Recife were marginal. We did an independent excursion from Cadiz to Seville which was much better than the one done by the ship (having compared notes with those who took that one). Overall a very good cruiseline--we would definitely take another Oceania cruise but Seabourn is a bit better. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We just returned from our 21 cruise with oceania and have never been disappointed. The food is outstanding and the service is splendid. From juice coffee and great omelet in the morning to a wonderful lunch in the afternoon, the nightly ... Read More
We just returned from our 21 cruise with oceania and have never been disappointed. The food is outstanding and the service is splendid. From juice coffee and great omelet in the morning to a wonderful lunch in the afternoon, the nightly meal is out of this world ! You can enjoy grilled shrimp and lobster tails every evening at the terrace grill, which also has many other choices from salads to a carving station to desserts. From the loyalty programs that Oceania has, we took our free cruise (20) to the far east. Oh my, what an experience, no hangups, no delays, no missed connections. When we arrived in Singapore it was 6am and we could not board till 1pm, so Oceania took us to a 5star hotel where we were given a full breakfast buffet in a very good atmosphere and a lounge to rest . At 12 a bus furnished by Oceania took us to board the ship. Once again a smooth cruise, Boarding and leaving the ship is very efficient because of the number of passengers 1,250 on Riviera and Marina..Do yourself a favor and cruise Oceana!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
I'm a huge history and ancient mythology student and "fan". We went to so many of the places I've always dreamt of seeing. We could have had two days in Rome to have been able to see more of that wonderful city. ... Read More
I'm a huge history and ancient mythology student and "fan". We went to so many of the places I've always dreamt of seeing. We could have had two days in Rome to have been able to see more of that wonderful city. Every location had tours / activities with knowledgeable guides. Only one exception was in Cyprus, the guide was an archeologist in France and merely read the information from the signage, repeated herself, and interested in having coffee and visiting with locals at the sight. With some travels using walkers and canes, she did not insure their safety but let them "explore". Loved Rhodes and the cooking class, the guide with us, gave us hints on the town and shopping, reminded us of our timing and afterward let us shop and walk back to the ship. Jerusalem’s guide respected all religions and answered all questions on the historical locations and made it great. Pompeii was a dream come true to able to walk back in time in a city of pure history, when we were told we were only seeing a section and there were to more explore, let alone that a third remains unexcavated, you felt and were awed by the history. I've many people of the wonderful crew, so helpful and positive, the beauty of the ship, the cultural treasures in music, art and lectures available to you, the availability of the Spa, and lastly the indescribable cuisine available for each meal but particularly for dinner. We felt like we were going to the best restaurants in the Mediterranean every day. Our fellow explorers were as interesting as everything we did and made friends immediately which added to the magical experience. It was a small group of educated adults to share your time with. No children or teens and no hard selling of photos and other “items” so everywhere on cruises made you know that this is a quality experience. I came home planning my next Viking Cruise - No other cruise line could ever match the once in a lifetime experience of a Viking Cruise. You have spoiled my daughter and I for any other cruise be it river or ocean. We are anticipating a special river cruise when my grad-daughter earns her Doctorate in a few years. We can’t wait to enjoy the Viking experience again. Brava! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We had cruised at sea many times over the years with a variety of high-end lines. More recently, we have been exploring Europe and we took two Viking cruises last year. These are very good products and we enjoyed them very much.They are ... Read More
We had cruised at sea many times over the years with a variety of high-end lines. More recently, we have been exploring Europe and we took two Viking cruises last year. These are very good products and we enjoyed them very much.They are advertised as all-inclusive, but they are not really, as you have to pay for drinks other than lunch and dinner, and you have to tip, which I hate with a passion. We were attracted to Scenic's advertising and booked a week's tour up the Rhine from Amsterdam. We returned two days ago, with a general view that Scenic is a clear winner over Viking in every way. The environment in the public areas is cleanly detailed in a modern style, with huge areas of glass. This is carried through to the circulation spaces, most of which are lined with white glass. Bars are completely open and well stocked. The wine list is substantial, though cruising through German waters revealed a number of unfamiliar wines to try. Food is very good in the main restaurant and better in the 'La Rive', which is fronted as a gourmand experience and can only be use once a week. I didn't like the menu for the other special restaurant (Portobello), so we didn't eat there. Excursions were enriching and excellent and for the most part, Scenic used their own fleet of buses to shadow the ship as it passed along the river so that they were available at ecah town if needed. Entertainment included soloists for Zither and Violin, and a German wit who 'taught' us all some German. Some electric bikes are available too, but I didn't see them used much. Tipping is banned, both aboard and on tours and busses. In fact the Cruise director asked to be informed if anyone tried to solicit a tip. I think this has to do with the company being Australian. In fact, the majority of passengers were Australian, with a moderate contingent from UK and a few from USA Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We sailed from Barbados to Barbados on the Silver Spirit from 20th November to 8th December 2016 to the Amazon. Silversea is our favourite cruise line and we are loyal Venetian members. However standards have fallen considerably despite ... Read More
We sailed from Barbados to Barbados on the Silver Spirit from 20th November to 8th December 2016 to the Amazon. Silversea is our favourite cruise line and we are loyal Venetian members. However standards have fallen considerably despite there being only 153 passengers on board. Silversea was known for staff who addressed passengers by their names. No more. A fellow passenger proved it after fifteen days on board. The waiter and barman did not know his nor his wife's name despite being frequent Silvetsea passengers. Do crew not care to learn the names of passengers over two weeks? A shame as that small detail which made passengers feel at home has been forgotten over the years. Bring back the tradition with regular staff training and check ups. The food menus now repeat over three days for lunch. Why? While on food, the menus are non creative, the chips soggy and the meats overdone despite orders for medium or rare cuts. The bread is sub standard, served cold and can be at least warmed for the guests. Imagine cool soup and colder bread. The Seshin menu and food quality is not to standard. Why have fresh sushi and sashimi on a menu when the fish is obviously refrigerated? Best to stick to Pan Asian, South Asian or Far Eastern food. This said The Champagne, Stars and Poolside Hot Stones Grill is superb. The saving grace these days in Silversea are the staff like Cruise Director Moss Hills, the service staff from the butlers to the waiters and bar personnel who go all out to make a passengers stay comfortable and luxurious. On the other hand the Hotel Director Maurius cared not to reach out to passengers nor even wish them a simple Good Morning on the decks. This despite a friendly Captain Mino Pontello and Chief Engineer who made an appearance daily on the decks to greet passengers. This is a critique only to improve our favourite cruise line. Please pull your socks up and revert to your once excellent standard. We sail in a few days on the Silver Whisper through the Panama Canal from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco and hopefully Silversea will have set a renewed standard over the festive season and for 2017. As true well wishers of Silversea, looking forward to excellent service henceforth. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This was our first Viking sea cruise. Cruise critic are very positive about this firm with many 'excellent' comments and the deal offered, less than two months before departure, looked too good to be true. We'd previously ... Read More
This was our first Viking sea cruise. Cruise critic are very positive about this firm with many 'excellent' comments and the deal offered, less than two months before departure, looked too good to be true. We'd previously been on a Viking River cruise, which we'd thoroughly enjoyed, so we thought we'd give it a go. Well, I am delighted to say that out of the 15 or so cruises to date this one was the best by quite a way! Many firms tell us that there staff are their greatest asset but, in my experience, the Viking Sea staff were streets ahead of other cruise companies. Maybe because of the guest/ staff ratio, they have more time to talk to the passengers but whatever the reason all staff on the ship were unfailingly courteous, helpful and engaging: nothing appeared to be too much trouble. To be fair, our transfer from Rome airport to Civitavecchia was less than satisfactory and Viking should think about the agents that they use in Rome for their transfers, as first impressions are important but as soon as we arrived at check in everything was smooth and seamless. Dining WOW! One of the main stereotypes of cruising is that you will eat far too much good food. Not always so ,in my experience, but everything here was fabulous. Even the burger bar was a triumph. The food was interesting, of high quality and varied. The self service ice-creams and coffee were spot on and the waffles and cakes in Mamsen's to die for. Evening dining was no less of an experience. The main dining room was friendly, spacious with an extensive choice and the service here was consistently outstanding. We dined at Manfredi's three times and enjoyed everything but I particularly liked the Bistecca Fiorentina and the dark chocolate Amaroni Cremosa. Not quite as wowed with the Chef's table but the wine pairing was interesting and I mostly enjoyed the food.. Not sure that a set menu is a winner. I found it a little pretentious. We 'did' afternoon tea once and again we were not disappointed. Enrichment activities Much enjoyed: a variety of speakers on a variety of stimulating, relevant topics. No 'dumbing' down. Loved artwork through out ship and 'Munch moments' before diner. Also the small museum and the many and varied books were a definite plus. Entertainment Only area we felt wasn't excellent. Started well with Opera Conservatoire but felt rest of evening shows lacked a certain something. Films rather traditional. Cabin 4108 Well designed, plenty of power outlets, very comfortable bed, lots of storage space (maybe a bit more drawer space on a 14 night cruise would have been useful). New ship ,so no issues with worn carpets etc. but cabin steward and his assistant brilliant in all respects keeping the place immaculate. Bathroom great, not a shower curtain in sight! and the heated floor is a bonus. Balcony no different to Celebrity, P&O etc but did have a voile in front of curtain. Would I go with Viking again. the answer is a resounding yes!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
The ship was elegant, a perfect size, beautifully finished, with no crowding. Free wi-fi was a huge bonus. All crew members were super-friendly, while professional and efficient; they seemed genuinely happy in their jobs – we felt Viking ... Read More
The ship was elegant, a perfect size, beautifully finished, with no crowding. Free wi-fi was a huge bonus. All crew members were super-friendly, while professional and efficient; they seemed genuinely happy in their jobs – we felt Viking looked after them particularly well compared with other lines. There were too many to mention all our favourites by name but Angelo stood out as a maître d’hôtel par excellence. Give the man a promotion! There were no photographers, no art gallery, no hard-sell of anything – how refreshing. The entertainers (musicians, singers, dancers) were a significant cut above those on typical cruise ships. There were four outstanding “enrichment” speakers too. Our cabin (5043) was spacious and comfortable. The shower room was superbly fitted with plenty of storage, a large shower cubicle, powerful shower, heated mirror and underfloor heating – one of the best. And…no towel animals! Dining was memorable, especially in Chef’s Table where the menus (fixed but changing every three days), food, presentation and service were outstanding. We loved being able to choose between four venues every evening Afternoon tea was a treat, with scones and cream much superior to Cunard’s, and a vast selection of teas. It’s unfortunate that the tea was nearly always lukewarm though – when will people learn that good tea cannot be made without boiling water?! We thoroughly enjoyed the spa. Sauna to steam room to snow grotto to Jacuzzi to bucket of cold water over the head! The included excursions were very mixed and in fairly large groups of 30-something. They consisted mainly of bus/walking tours although the boat trip from Mykonos to Delos was a high point. A lot depended on the guide, of course, and they were as variable as usual. We don’t normally go for big-group guided tours, preferring to do our own thing, perhaps using a local guide or car rental, and we haven’t changed our minds. Our favourite port days were probably the day we used the Carmelit subway and walked in Haifa and the day we rented a car in Rhodes – no big group, no waiting for people to get on/off the bus, no lollipop to follow! Criticisms? Arrival at Rome airport and transfer to the ship was disorganised and chaotic. We’d have liked more quizzes (only got them on sea days), but perhaps that’s just us. Port maps/guides would have been welcome, as would a simply deck plan. Self-service tea was hopelessly slow (and, Viking, jugs of warm water don’t cut it!); all they need is a boiling water tap by the coffee machines. And it was a little too “American” at times, for non-Americans (although, to be fair, the majority of passengers were American). That’s about it. This was probably our favourite cruise to date, the low point being over-crowded, commercial Jerusalem. Viking may be pricier than the likes of Cunard and P&O but is great value. You really do get what you pay for and we’ll be back for more very soon. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
My husband & I had wanted to go to Greece. When I was researching travel options, I found this cruise available & going to the Holy Land really appealed. The ship was lovely with excellent customer service. We especially ... Read More
My husband & I had wanted to go to Greece. When I was researching travel options, I found this cruise available & going to the Holy Land really appealed. The ship was lovely with excellent customer service. We especially enjoyed the enrichment lectures and got to know & visit with some of the lecturers. It added a lot to the various ports of call, especially Athens & the Holy Land. On the shore excursions in Israel, especially, we enjoyed having lunch in two different kibbutz & enjoyed learning about that aspect of Jewish culture. The food was excellent. The most moving experience was standing by the Sea of Galilee, on the spot of the Sermon on the Mount, and hearing those words read aloud. I'm afraid we may be spoiled for any other cruise line and have already been debating what our next trip with Viking will be. I can't wait! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Sadly this cruise was totally miss-sold as a Big Band Cruise, as the only sign of the theme was on the Saturday Night with a Big Band Ball in the Queens room (The theatre orchestra joined up with the Queens Room orchestra) Most of your ... Read More
Sadly this cruise was totally miss-sold as a Big Band Cruise, as the only sign of the theme was on the Saturday Night with a Big Band Ball in the Queens room (The theatre orchestra joined up with the Queens Room orchestra) Most of your longer cruises have this same Big Band Ball on one the evenings, so this was nothing out of the ordinary, we would have expected far more on what was advertised as a themed cruise. On the other two nights there was nothing extra in the way of Big Band music or theme. We feel the cruise was miss-sold to us as a special Big Band themed cruise, and was actually no different to any other Cunard sailing. Boarding the ship in Southampton was a total pleasure, and really fast. This is a massive improvement of previous experiences with Cunard. The ship was well maintained as always, with bar and stateroom staff friendly and pleasant. Sadly the waiters in the Britannia Restaurant were miserable at best, avoiding any kind of interaction with us. We were not even asked if everything was ok with the food. The choice and food quality in the Britannia was the worst I have experienced in 60 cruises. The menu choice was tiny and the quality and presentation of the food you received lower than you would expect from a Weatherspoon’s! We felt this was really poor, to the extent that we did not go back on the second and third nights. We found the room service, casual dining, and Golden Lion Pub food to be of a far higher quality, better presented, with a fantastic choice. This was the first time on any cruise that I have not wanted to dine in the main restaurant because the food was not good enough. Something has really gone wrong with the quality, choice and service in the Britannia Restaurant, as the evening meals are supposed to be a special event, rather than mediocre at best. Sadly our thoughts on the Britannia Restaurant food were echoed by many passengers we talked to on-board. One afternoon we were waiting in the Queens Room for afternoon tea whilst the waiting staff were laying the tables, throwing the saucers down like Frisbees in front of you, ignoring all conversation we tried to make, with no smiles or niceties at all. This really is not what we expect from Cunard. Our stateroom attendant in cabin 1034 was a credit to Cunard. Polite friendly and efficient. If only the Britannia waiting staff could be like this. We did have some rough seas on the cruise, which is to be expected in November. The magnetic wardrobe door catches need to be reinstated in cabin 1034, as the wardrobe doors were banging open and close all night on two occasions. This did not do much for our sleeping. One final issue, we had reason to ask the front desk staff what the weather was like in Zeebrugge before heading ashore. The reply was a shrug of shoulders and “I don’t know” Maybe some training in customer service would be useful in this area? Over all this was not anything like the Cunard cruises I did in 2012 and 2013 and I am unlikely to return. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We did the trip 8 years ago and wanted to see the Marquesas again, they are the best of all. The people that live there are friendly and put out so much effort to welcome you. If you buy native crafts this is the place to do it. They make ... Read More
We did the trip 8 years ago and wanted to see the Marquesas again, they are the best of all. The people that live there are friendly and put out so much effort to welcome you. If you buy native crafts this is the place to do it. They make it. The dance and singing on Tahuata was the best I have seen. They were having so much fun. Such a lovely place to live. The food was great and the staff were as good as ever. We enjoyed our meals in which ever dinning room we were seated. We continued to learn about these wonderful islands from Mark Eddowes. He gave tips on the crafts and artists we might see. We felt safe walking around the islands hiking and taking pictures. Even if we do not speak the languages, we were able to sing songs that were know by both the natives and ourselves. Each in our own language. That made a lasting memory. They also liked to show us the tattoos that are family inspired. We could have spent more time with these people and the beautiful topical setting. We live on the coast of Oregon and I will be more welcoming to visitors, playing forward the kindness of the lovely people I met on this latest trip. Travel should teach us things and we learned so much about this part of the world. thanks to on board hosts and entertainers. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Background: We are veteran cruisers and travelers. This was our 27th cruise, our 7th cruise on Oceania and our first cruise that included ports in Brazil, including a week on the Amazon river. It was our longest cruise to date (22 ... Read More
Background: We are veteran cruisers and travelers. This was our 27th cruise, our 7th cruise on Oceania and our first cruise that included ports in Brazil, including a week on the Amazon river. It was our longest cruise to date (22 days). Our primary reasons for cruising on Oceania are their unique itineraries and destinations. Our cruise was re-booked in its entirety right at final payment time to take advantage of the O-Life benefits (excursions, beverage package, internet, shipboard credit). I have some minor mobility issues but these are usually not a concern on the ship or in most of the ports we visited. Pre-Cruise package: We arranged for our own air using miles and flew into Rio De Janeiro on United airlines, arriving November 15. We booked the pre-cruise hotel package through Oceania, which was very expensive, but probably worth the cost in this city. The hotel was the JW Marriott on Copacabana Beach, a very nice hotel with good service and views of the beach. We had two excellent half-day tours with a great guide (Licia) and enjoyed the area and restaurants around Copacabana beach. The transfers were also professionally done. Embarkation and ship: We embarked on Insignia on November 19. The embarkation process was quick and efficient. Insignia is one of the "R" ships in the Oceania fleet and is the oldest. The ship definitely showed its age in various areas, included outdated carpeting and furnishings, barely readable elevator buttons, old signs for ship areas by and on the elevators, etc. The art is uninteresting for the most part. Although we have been on the sister ships Nautica and Regatta and also noticed some outdated and worn infrastructure, it was the most prominent on this ship. Other passengers also noted and commented on the infrastructure. Cabin: Our cabin was an A3 concierge veranda cabin. It was cozy but fairly comfortable, with a small balcony. The bathroom is tiny, but manageable. There is plenty of storage space in the closets and drawers and under the bed. The bed was very comfortable, one of the top features of an Oceania cruise (great pillows, too). Activities: Our primary activity that we participated in on-board was Trivia, which was done at least once a day. This was competitive and fun. Most of our ship time was relaxing and we had a lot of outdoor time because of the climate. Service: The service on Insignia was very good, but was not as superb as previous Oceania cruises. Our requests for water/juice/coffee or other drinks occasionally had to be done more than once in the various dining venues. Service in the Grand Dining Room was exceptionally slow and we only ate in this venue twice. The counter service in the Terrace Cafe was excellent, as was the service in Polo Grill and Toscana (the two specialty restaurants). Our cabin attendant did an acceptable, not outstanding job, on cabin maintenance (trash wasn't always removed, water bottles were not replaced). We did have excellent service from the Oceania Club Ambassador (we like Oceania enough to always consider future cruises and did book a future cruise on-board). We also had laundry done three times and they did prompt and excellent service. Dining: Oceania Cruise Lines is known for the quality of their food. The food on-board Insignia was high-quality for the most part, but the "wow" factor was just not there. With the exception of a few specialty dishes featuring Amazonian fish, the menus were quite repetitive. The beef products (steak, hamburgers, etc.) were not very good at all, with tough and flavorless meats and strange textures. Seasoning was done blandly, even with stir fry dishes and sauces were also not very exciting. The pasta dishes were among the best bets and the pizza (lunchtime in the Terrace) was very good. Everyone was anxious to have BBQ, Mexican food or some other comfort or spicy foods by the end of the trip. Entertainment: Oceania is not known for its entertainment and this cruise was no exception. We went to a few shows that were ok, with the passenger/crew talent show being the most fun. The Insignia Show Band was outstanding, an excellent jazz group full of superb musicians. On the other hand, the pianist/vocalist in Martini's ruined this favorite venue for us. He was singularly untalented, playing piano in a bizarre and mistake-filled style; his singing was worse, a half-talking grunting "sing song" that was very off-putting. Martini's business was down substantially because of this guy and we avoided it during the golden happy hour. We did not use the small casino and it seemed very empty on most sea days. The boutiques are nice but small, and we did find a few bargains after we left Brazilian waters (a 25% tax on on-board purchases is in place while you are in Brazil). We did not use the Canyon Ranch spa services. Internet: The internet on Insignia is the worst we have had in the last 10-15 cruises; it was never better than the slowest dial-up modem speed and often required re-logging in multiple times to stay on-line. I had the free internet, but my spouse bought the unlimited internet to do some work and was very frustrated by the experience. When we arrived in Miami, one of the INMARSAT satellite dishes was being dismantled and replaced, a condition they had to know about during the cruise. My spouse has written to Oceania asking for at least a partial refund for the internet (not likely to happen, I'm sure). The Oceania@Sea representative was useless and rude. Ports and shore excursions: We had five free excursions each, which helped the overall cost of the excursions. The excursions were good to very good. Probably the best tour overall was in Recife, Brazil (an all day expedition to a variety of places) and we also enjoyed the tours in Manaus, Santarem (piranha fishing!), Parintins (the amazing Boi Bumba show) and Barbados. The Amazon river was fascinating and we had two stops in small villages that were quite interesting, besides our stops in Manaus, Santarem and Parintins. We did not leave the ship in San Juan, Puerto Rico and our final port, Punta Cana (DR) was canceled due to rough tender conditions. The primary purpose for the cruise, seeing the Amazon river and its tributaries, was the top highlight. Other ship services worth noting: I came down with acute bronchitis due to the heat, humidity and agricultural smoke on the river in the Amazon (having suffered from chronic asthma). The ship's doctor and nurse were superb - very caring and the nebulizer treatments they recommended helped me get back to normal very quickly. The tender crews are phenomenal and are very cautious helping those who are disabled (also true in my case). Disembarkation: We chose to disembark on our own with our bags due to an early flight in Miami. After some delays clearing the ship, the actual process was extremely quick and we were on our way to the airport in minutes. Summary: Our Amazing Amazon cruise was very memorable because of the unique places we saw on the river and the great weather we enjoyed on almost the entire cruise (lots of outdoor time), plus we crossed the equator three times. It was not the best Oceania experience, but we are still loyal to the cruise line and are working a future booking from the open booking we did on board. We like the size of the "R" ships and hope they can do some upgrades in the future on Insignia to make it more up-to-date. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We had never sailed on Viking and wanted to try a new line. We did not explore our departure city but did the Bacardi rum factory instead. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. Getting through customs was very easy. The ship was ... Read More
We had never sailed on Viking and wanted to try a new line. We did not explore our departure city but did the Bacardi rum factory instead. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. Getting through customs was very easy. The ship was beautiful, the staff were exemplary and the food was great. The salt shakers in the upstairs dining area need updated and the mini bar supply needs improved.. we would love to do Costa Rica and the Panama Canal just not sure if on Viking or another line.. We were pleased with the spa area- we had massages and took advantage of the Nordic spa room. We were a little disappointed with the main dining room - when we ate there the first night we were there for three hours with a lot of waisted time. The food food was not bad but the service needed improvement. Our experience with the Italian restaurant was the same the first night - service was not top notch. Overall the cruise was very nice and we would do Viking again. We would like to do a river cruise one day. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Excellent itinerary. First class accommodations. Viking tours are very well organized. The food is outstanding and the service is the best of any cruise line on which we have travelled. When you are on a shore excursion, everything has ... Read More
Excellent itinerary. First class accommodations. Viking tours are very well organized. The food is outstanding and the service is the best of any cruise line on which we have travelled. When you are on a shore excursion, everything has been planned in advance. Only one shore excursion had a marginal meal. The size of the ship is also a positive. There were only about 700 passengers, which meant that you rarely had to wait for any service or event. The ship rode very well, even in heavy weather, and was well maintained. There was no drop off in service or food regardless of whether you were in a "specialty" restaurant or the regular restaurant. The public areas were always clean with plenty of chairs, and lounges. The staterooms were cleaned twice a day. My only complaint was that the mattresses on both beds were not firm enough. The stewards were excellent and very attentive. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We always wanted to go to Antarctica but searched for a little more comfort than the typical icebreaker offered. Le Lyrial with its reinforced hull and 122 staterooms gave us that small ship feel to get us into all the little bays and ... Read More
We always wanted to go to Antarctica but searched for a little more comfort than the typical icebreaker offered. Le Lyrial with its reinforced hull and 122 staterooms gave us that small ship feel to get us into all the little bays and ports whilst travelling in style. Our window cabin (307) was the cheapest but, being designated "disabled", much larger than the standard balcony stateroom. Heaps of space. Dining location alternated depending on our mood between the a-la-cart Gastronomic on deck 2 and more casual Grill restaurant on deck 6. The food was wonderful. Interestingly it became necessary to reserve a table at the Grill for an evening meal, it was so popular. As you would expect, activities centred on the expedition nature of the cruise with a good dose of lectures from the many expedition crew members. French and English lectures were scheduled separately and were superb. With 2 zodiac trips, a day we didn't have much time for the evening entertainment so can't comment. Most spare time was spent just catching up with others in one of the 2 public rooms. An open bar made that a very pleasant pre-dinner ritual. The service on board was excellent, plenty of staff, some of whom we soon got to know quite well. We sensed, however, some tension between the French-speaking passengers and one senior Italian crew member where her french announcements weren't deemed adequate. The expedition crew were excellent and couldn't have done a better job of keeping us safe whilst finding the best possible landing sites. If landing was unsafe a revised location was quickly and seamlessly established. They then manned the zodiacs and made themselves available on-shore to answer the many questions we all wanted answering. The volume of wildlife was mindblowing. We all tried to stick to the flags marking a separation from the thousands of penguins, seals and birds but the animals don't know the rules and just come right up to you to investigate. One tip is to make sure that South Georgia is included in your Antarctic expedition. The Antarctic peninsular was great. South Georgia was amazing. Literally millions of wildlife. Read Less
90 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This cruise was entitled "Sumptuous Safaris" and had it not been for the pre cruise safari, which was the highlight of the trip, it would have been an absolute disaster. On embarkation we were asked for our "yellow fever ... Read More
This cruise was entitled "Sumptuous Safaris" and had it not been for the pre cruise safari, which was the highlight of the trip, it would have been an absolute disaster. On embarkation we were asked for our "yellow fever cards", which we didn't have and had not been requested to have by Regent. We were told that we should contact our GP and get copies emailed to us, and if we didn't we may not be able to get off the ship at some ports. Finally they said that we would be contacted by someone once on board. This never happened, so we never knew what the fuss was all about. The ship didn't sail on schedule apparently due to bad weather so we had an extra day in Cape Town, we were left to our own devices. When we retuned to the ship there was a letter offering a tour around Cape Town, somewhat too late as it had already left 2 hours previously. Due to the delayed departure and a further delay at East London we missed three out of the seven ports we were supposed to visit, therefore three of the seven booked tours were not available to us. When we eventually got on a tour in Namibia the bus broke down, and we were stranded in the desert for 2 hours only to return to the ship having missed this tour as well. Regent did however compensate us for this disaster with some significant 'on board' spend which was appreciated. We select these cruises primarily for the itenary therefore we are very disappointed when 50% of our tours were not achieved for one reason or another. This was our fourth cruise with Regent and we have always had a good experience up until this cruise, quite frankly I became fed up from hearing other passengers exclaiming the virtues of other so called 6 star cruise operators. Unfortunately things could have been managed better in difficult circumstances, ideally this cruise should have never taken place. The wrong location for the time of year. When you learn that the same cruise in 2015 experienced problems due to bad weather and that this cruise is not being offered in 2017 or 2018 then you wonder why it was offered to unsuspecting customers in 2016. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Embarkation at Southampton was acceptable - much as other cruise companies. Our cabin, a sheltered balcony was, again, quite acceptable - and albeit winter, I in particular appreciated the balcony. But we were fortunate in having ... Read More
Embarkation at Southampton was acceptable - much as other cruise companies. Our cabin, a sheltered balcony was, again, quite acceptable - and albeit winter, I in particular appreciated the balcony. But we were fortunate in having exceptionally calm weather on both crossings. Our cabin stewardess did her job adequately. But really, no more. What we booked was a cruise encompassing the Atlantic crossings and two weeks along the New England and Canadian coasts. It was the only way, we thought,of seeing a part of the United States and Canada without flying. So, 28 days on board the ship on a round trip. And this is where Cunard failed us. Because what that Company did was to create and market four seperate cruises: Southampton - New York; New York - Quebec; Quebec - New York; New York - Southampton. Everything turned on that weekly cycle. The menu repeated every week. And quite a limited menu at that. The entertainment repeated every week - you could have, for some the dubious, pleasure of the same singing and dancing shows four times. If you could have stood it. We had RADA on board and their main production turned on the same weekly routine. For a company of actors, knowing - because I told the principal on the second day - that many of the ship's passengers would be on the ship for 28 days, they did not extend themselves. Easier, of course, to do the same thing. Each week. But it was so obvious that this was four seperate week cruises. Each week we got the same notice that we were assigned the same table. Granted we were ofthe common herd in Britannia class. So I cannot speak for the higher grades. Those could well be worth the extra money because the standard of food was poor to fair. Never good. Falling well below the standards of P & O. What did change each week were the lecturers and some of these were very good and some were rather average. The emphasis, for the two weeks in the USA and Canada, was in favour of the American passengers and that was understandable. The ports of call were, for us who had never crossed the Atlantic by air or sea before, marvellous. The trips booked via Cunard were good, and other via Viator, excellent. The destinations were, save one, truly wonderful. Would we do it again? Yes. Would we travel on the Queen Mary 2 again? No. P & O have similar tours on Aurora and Arcadia, and, were we to do it again, we would use one of them. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
My husband and i love viking we love traveling with them. This time we used the free airfare promotion and let me tell you not worth the free! Viking travel department needs to step it up. everyone we talked to was booked out of their ... Read More
My husband and i love viking we love traveling with them. This time we used the free airfare promotion and let me tell you not worth the free! Viking travel department needs to step it up. everyone we talked to was booked out of their local airport and not with that local airports hub airline. I live in salt lake city, delta is the hub airline, we were booked on american airlines. others on our ship experienced the same issue. So we were booked on a red eye flight, so after working all day, leaving work, packing and getting to the airport to catch a 12:15 am flight i was already awake more than 18 hours. We land in north carolina and have a 4 hour layover. then we board and have another flight into san juan. The pick up at the airport process was fine, we got to the ship and checked in easily and got to our room. The cabin was delightful, the first meal on the ship we made reservations for manfridi's italian, glad we did, it was the best meal of the cruise. it was so wonderful we made another reservation for another night. (Thanksgiving Dinner Night, since there was no real Thanksgiving meal on the ship) The liv spa was my favorite location on the ship, i loved the snow grotto and the nordic spa experience, i booked a massage with maria from norway and she was wonderful. It was very relaxing and the massage table is heated, and it moves up and down, it helps you get up off the bed like a hospital bed. It was so nice. the pool in the spa and the hot tub and sauna and steam room got plenty of use. but mostly i liked to go and get the affirmations every day. the star theater was nice but honestly i liked watching movies in bed with my husband at night alone. The laundry service was a huge plus to cruising, because i was able to pack a lot less and bring more souvenirs home. The laundry soap is automatically added to the machine for you, so you do not need to pack your own. The laundry room itself has a tv and a couch so you can sit and watch your clothes and a movie. The west indies explorer included tours were nice, but i was hoping for more walking tours and less bus tours. The only walking tour the entire time was old san juan. It was great, the workout is what i was hoping for. like the river boat cruises you get some walking and learning. but with ocean cruises you get tour guides and a bus and some of the tour guides were really hard to understand. the optional excursions were worth the money most of the time. El yunque rainforest drive, was beautiful. sea trek helmet diving, the water was murky and you could not see a lot of fishes, the advertisement showed a lot of fish.. It was kind of a let down the day we went. harrison's cave was awesome! st. Kitts scenic railway was an awesome tour. mix and match perfume class in st. Martin worth every penny, the butterfly farm, sad do not waste your money, the snorkel tour was also much better than the helmet dive. The snorkle at shipwreck and turtle cove was awesome in st. Thomas. the legendary kon tiki was not as advertised. Now onto getting off the ship... What a nightmare, you are relaxed and had a great cruise, let me start off with this... You had to get your luggage out in the hall at 10:00 the night before, your carryon luggage needed to have all the stuff you needed for the next morning. you get up at 6:00 then go battle for breakfast with everyone else because we all have to be off the boat no later than 9:30 am. the trip to the airport was fine, but they drop you off and leave you there, and if your flight is not taking off till 3:00 in the afternoon you were stuck at the ticket area waiting to check in for your flight for a minimum of 3 hours. Then when you can check in you have to go wait at your gate for another 4 or so hours. and you were lucky if they even had your flight booked. Several people still had their flights as "pending" when they got to the airport and viking customer service was not even open for 4 more hours after they were supposed to check in. So a lot of people had to purchase their own tickets to get home because viking travel department with the viking free air promotion royally screwed up. Talk about leaving a sour taste in someones mouth after a wonderful and relaxing cruise to deal with that. It was not fun. so if you book a viking cruise reconsider the free air! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
Enjoyable but certainly not 5 star. Embarkation was a shambles & upset a lot of people before they started their vacation. Come on Azamara - it's not rocket science and you must be able to do better than this. Staterooms were very ... Read More
Enjoyable but certainly not 5 star. Embarkation was a shambles & upset a lot of people before they started their vacation. Come on Azamara - it's not rocket science and you must be able to do better than this. Staterooms were very comfortable although a bit small, however I think the bathrooms were the smallest we have experienced on any ship, particularly the showers. However, having said that they were spotlessly clean & well maintained. Very comfortable bedding & lovely décor throughout the ship which certainly gave it the club-like feel. Staff were generally quite friendly but this was not consistent. Food was of a consistent high standard in the main Dining Room and was certainly 5 star in the speciality steak restaurant. Entertainment was average but there were two or three stand-out artists. The Azamara evening was certainly amazing. Overall it was an enjoyable & relaxing experience after a hectic 10 days in India. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
Southern Caribbean.-small ship-Inclusive package Embarkation from airport cumbersome--check in @ terminal very efficient. Disembarkation @ 5:15 AM very organized with coffee & transport to airport. Ship was very sleek & ... Read More
Southern Caribbean.-small ship-Inclusive package Embarkation from airport cumbersome--check in @ terminal very efficient. Disembarkation @ 5:15 AM very organized with coffee & transport to airport. Ship was very sleek & clean. Cabin layout/storage above expectation. No children. Not handicapped friendly--wheel chairs on board for emergencies only. Dining-Buffet variety excellent -rock crab claws had no flavor(probably soaked in water to defrost). The 2 upscale restaurants were below par--ate at each & canceled 2nd chance and ate mostly @ THE RESTURANT. The music in the Atrium was boring & repetitious. Room service excellent. Overall staff service very good. Mini Bar included the Penthouse Veranda replenished daily--2 beers,1 mini bottle each of scotch, gin, vodka, rum. Sodas & candy bars. Shore excursions included were extremely disappointing. Winding rough bus rides in the hills to visit a church, graveyard with tombs decorated with blue and white tiles. The expectation visiting the Caribbean is the water, beaches etc. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Well the Owners Suite 8064 was fabulous. There were several bad reviews of these suites right under the Terrace Cafe on deck 9.. because of the tables and chairs scraping on the floor above but since the retrofit in 2014 they must have ... Read More
Well the Owners Suite 8064 was fabulous. There were several bad reviews of these suites right under the Terrace Cafe on deck 9.. because of the tables and chairs scraping on the floor above but since the retrofit in 2014 they must have put some material under the Teak floors above to silence the noises.. We only heard something a very few times and was very unremarkable. Crew was so gracious and ready and able to take care of any item you needed. Granted we were in an Owners Suite and the Butler wouldn't let us do anything for ourselves.. I actually was upset that I walked up one flight of stairs to get us a beverage at the bar directly above.. Said it was HIS JOB .. i just told him I would call him next time... I DIDN"T... just sneaked up and got them myself.. I needed to Move my body... LOL Food was superb in all the restaurants.. Give them a 6 star on food ...for sure.. Loved the specialty restaurants so much we only ate in the main dining room 2 times out of 12 days.. the rest were in Polo Grill and Toscana Italian.. Ok the only complaint is the fact you have to buy your own beverage package and shore excursions and pay gratuities.. Since they are owned by NCL and it owns Regent SevenSeas which includes everything in the price it would be great if they did that with the other 6 star line Oceania... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We were a little suspect of Oceania since we had been inundated by marketing material since we booked our cruise - back in March. But we enjoyed it very much. The Regatta is the perfect sized ship - easy to get around, you didn't ... Read More
We were a little suspect of Oceania since we had been inundated by marketing material since we booked our cruise - back in March. But we enjoyed it very much. The Regatta is the perfect sized ship - easy to get around, you didn't have to hike from one end to the other. We noticed many special features that other cruise lines don't have..... free water and sodas in your cabin; free water when you leave for excursions; 4 free excursions; free dining in the specialty dining rooms; two "happy hours" each night with buy one-get one free drinks (and they weren't watered down drinks); and even free "virgin" cocktails. The staff was very warm and helpful. The excursion staff was very helpful, and didn't rush you into making a decision. Unfortunately, because of tropical storm Otto, we had to miss two ports, one of which was the Panama Canal, but that wasn't the fault of the Captain or the staff. The menus were varied and attractively served. We met many people who had sailed MANY times on Oceania. We perused the upcoming itineraries and booked our next cruise for two years out. The cabins are about the same size - other than suites, but it is the "extras" that might get you to upgrade - like extra options to eat in the specialty dining rooms, and priority embarkation and disembarkation. In-cabin dining was very special, prompt and the food was hot - even hotter than at the buffet. Highly recommended.. Read Less

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