1. Home
  2. Cruise Styles
  3. Luxury Cruises Cruise Reviews
Cruise Ratings
5,914
1,765
1,189
706
380
See Reviews For
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
A scenic cruise is a real five star experience. It’s quite an investment, but you do get a quality experience. The crew are sensational, they were very attentive and nothing was too much trouble. The food was always fresh, beautifully ... Read More
A scenic cruise is a real five star experience. It’s quite an investment, but you do get a quality experience. The crew are sensational, they were very attentive and nothing was too much trouble. The food was always fresh, beautifully presented and a wonderful variety at all meal times. I would strongly recommend it. The facilities & food are brilliant. Most of the tours were enjoyable and gave us a good glimpse of important attractions and local cultures. Nikola our cruise director was very professional and enthusiastic and always ensured all passengers were well informed of upcoming events, times and places to meet which resulted in smooth transition from ship to tour & back to the ship again... The water levels in the rivers were apparently problematic, but the captain & crew moved the ship along when needed to make sure we could get through ok which we are very thankful for. This cruise really was value for money and definitely will look at travelling with Scenic again in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose the Serenity having travelled on the Espirit and the Harmony and because we wanted to do a Baltic Sea Cruise. We have suite 11060 which is fine and it an added benefit to order dinner from any of the dining establishments. The ... Read More
We chose the Serenity having travelled on the Espirit and the Harmony and because we wanted to do a Baltic Sea Cruise. We have suite 11060 which is fine and it an added benefit to order dinner from any of the dining establishments. The check in was seamless. Our butler and cabin attendants, Jose and Lydia, were the best!!!! You could not find anything lacking in their lovely demeanor and commitment to our well being. The first two days we were in Copenhagen. The weather was less than attractive, rainy and overcast, but the city's personality shown through. The Danes are a wonderful people, very conscious of the environment, very hygge, the perfect city to start the cruise. The second port in Germany was kind of a bust. The town was ‘eh’. It is a nice little seaside town in Northern Germany. We took a long walk into town along a boardwalk filled with German tourists. English was rather sketchy. I recommend getting off the main tourist area and walking into town. They have a lovely church square and a sweet little park that the local use. Day 4 was the day at Sea and Formal Night. The cruise seemed very casual. Less than half the men was saw adhered to Crystal Casual or the Semi Formal attire. We had dinner in the dining room which is where our problems started. My husband was the first to succumb to the norovirus the morning of day 5. I will not subject you to the details, but suffice it to say it was extremely unpleasant. The medical team admonished him for not washing his hands enough, and he was quarantined leaving me to go to a lower floor overnight. His poor health lasted two days missing Helsinki and one day in St. Petersburg. I succumbed the 2nd day in St. Petersburg missing St. Petersburg and Tallin. I did not expect to find the Norovirus in such a high end cruise. I don’t have an official count but the ship has seemed very quiet and the medical center was very busy both days we visited. An airborne food disease is not the ‘fault’ of guests. It is the responsibility of the ship to provide a clean and disenfected environment. The first evening aboard the ship I witness tissue on the ground on the 11 floor, trash left in a stairwell to the work out room and napkins in the elevator. Really! On a Crystal ship! We have sailed on 17 different cruise ships since 1991 and this is the first time we have encountered the Norovirus. As far as other aspects of Crystal, I have yet to find a barista on board at least at the Marketplace that can make a decent cappuccino. How can you call yourself a luxury cruise line when the coffee station cannot make cappuccinos and don’t use the proper size cup to get the ingredients correct. I don’t drink alcohol but I do love my mocha and cappuccinos. Sorry to say, I have not had a decent one since we left the d’Angleterre hotel in Copenhagen. Excursion desk. My question is this, how can I purchase my ticket to the Russian ballet 5 months in advance and be seated with the crew, when someone who bought their ticket for the excursion a couple of hours before the show had tickets in the second row. Also, did I mention we purchased penthouse suite? That just did not make sense to me☹️. Also, you need better excursions. The company that took us to Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg also took us to a place to purchase souvenirs. On another day a private guide we arranged to use to a souvenir shop and the items were 40-50% less. Beware! I thought the service staff was great. Crystal society rep was less than lack luster, I approached while my husband was in the room, he was getting up to join his friend at the Cruise Sale desk. I stopped him to tell him what was going on, he did not ask me sit just let me talk to him in an open lobby, and immediately joined his friend when I was finished talking. I don’t like to say never, but after having travelled on the Espirit, I will not ever take another voyage on Crystal Serenity. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Traveled with my wife, two daughters (in their 20s), their boyfriends and one of his daughters (9) on the Celebrity Eclipse departing July 7 returning July 14 round trip from Vancouver. We stayed in Vancouver at JW Marriott Parque for ... Read More
Traveled with my wife, two daughters (in their 20s), their boyfriends and one of his daughters (9) on the Celebrity Eclipse departing July 7 returning July 14 round trip from Vancouver. We stayed in Vancouver at JW Marriott Parque for three nights prior to the Sunday departure. We had two full days in Vancouver. I woke up first thing in the morning and walked to the Canada Place Cruise Terminal to watch a HAL ship dock, walked back to the hotel and met up with the family. We did the Capilano River Regional Park (recommended), and then Gas Town. Had lunch at a restaurant named Local-ok. My wife and I had dinner at Provence Marinaside-excellent and enjoyed tasting many different BC wines. They are able to draw a glass or taste out of any bottle with a syringe and nitrogen. Following day went to Granville Island by Ferry (recommended) and then the Science Place (I have aged out of this attraction but interesting and more suited for young children. Dinner with everyone at Floata in China Town-food was excellent but ambiance was like being in the twilight zone. It is on the third floor of a mostly empty shopping center and it appears more like a banquet hall than a restaurant. The food made up for the atmosphere. Great Dim Sum and Peking Duck. That night, hung out at a bar on a 6th floor terrace-Paul McCartney was in concert next door, so we listened to the end and the encore while we enjoyed our nigh caps. Embarkation day my wife and I went to Mass at the Holy Rosary Cathedral and returned to the hotel to meet the kids et al and catch a private transfer to the terminal. I arranged the transfer through the concierge in a micro bus, rather than hail 3 cabs. There is no Uber et al in Vancouver. We arrived about 12:45 pm at the terminal and it was not too crowded. My wife and I were in a suite, so we all breezed through except for the bottleneck and US ICE. It took, about 30 minutes to clear. Once on the other side, we were met by a greeter and escorted on board and to our cabins. My wife and I were in RS 1612 and the children were in connecting Veranda staterooms 9233-9255. Suite was awesome, so was the butler and the steward. It was really nice to have the living area for congregations. First night we all dined at Luminae. Excellent food and service. Better quality wines than MDR. We did pay for our children to join us, but it was worth the price for the wines. There are higher quality wines not on the menu and you do not pay any up charges. First day at sea we explored and ate lunch at Sushi on 5-Lobster R amen highly recommended. Dinner at Muranos (excellent). Second day was Sitka. We watched the arrival from the Helicopter pad. I have been to Sitka many times before (cruises and fishing). So my wife and mostly walked, shopped, and did walk through the Historic Park. You now shuttle to town from a cruise dock located about 10 miles north. Last time I was in Sitka on a cruise, it was a tender. Kids did excursions. Third day was Hubbard Glacier-breathtaking. We catered a lunch in our cabin (sushi, salads, apps, and roast beef sandwiches). Very cool to entertain in your suite with a Glacier in the background. There was an excursion for an up and close view of the Glacier, in hindsight this would have been a very cool excursion. Next day was Junea. I hired a cab from the taxi line for a morning tour and we went to Mendenhal, the Arboretum and the Tram. Highly recommend all and the cab kept us away from the crowds. We had a late lunch of crab and Tracey's (recommended), shopped and then a drink at the Red Dog Saloon (must see). Dinner that night was MDR. Next day was Ketchikan were my wife and I went Zip lining. Good excursion but in hind sight on a short port day, I rather would have explored Ketchikan. My wife's advise is to book the excursions on longer port days, so you also have time to explore. Dinner was at Tuscan. Highlight was the appetizers. I order an upcharged NY Strip-flavor was good but the texture was mushy (think more short rib than steak). Stick to the apps and Italian offerings. Next day was at Sea with lunch at Sushi 5 and dinner at Luminae. We did the ship's tour which was very cool. My daughter won a bingo while playing our cards. I told her I would split the winnings, so I used my half to spread some love to the crew who had taken care of us so well the prior week. Embarkation is painless in suite class. My wife and I bar hopped the prior evening while our butler packed for us. So we just went to bed, woke up about 8:00, was at Michael's Club by 9:00, and hung out until after the last boarding group was called. We were escorted off the Ship through Customs. Two of our party disembarked first thing in the am to catch a flight home by 12:20 pm, they made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare in a cab. The remaining group needed a large Taxi, so we had to wait about 25 minutes for them to procure one. We stayed at the Westin Grand (JW was nicer but the service was very good). We went to church, had Pho and then went to the Maritime Museum with dinner at Granville Island. We walked home (doable but about an hour) and had Gelato as a reward. To bed for early return Passage home was unremarkable except for realizing we needed a duffel to fit our dirty clothes with the original space in our suitcases displaced by our purchases. Went downstairs at 6:30 am to inquire as to procuring luggage on an early Monday in downtown Vancouver from the bellman. The Concierge overheard my conversation, told me to sit tight, and procured me a large hard suit case from housekeeping that was left by another guest. Returned to my room, insured the lack of contraband in said suit case, and from leaving the hotel to sitting in the Maple Leaf Lounge was one hour. Every night was saw a show which we enjoyed. We also enjoyed Milos (a naturalist lector), the various live music and the silent disco. The ship is impeccable and so is the service. 95% of our food was delicious. I highly recommend the suite experience for two main reasons, first, you get to cut in line for everything and second you have free reign of the restaurants. My only expenses on the ship was inviting my kids plus to dinner, two excursions and the terrible steak. I did have some trepidation about a mass market ship but it exceeded my expectations and we reserved a cruise from Ireland to Iceland on Celebrity for next summer. The Ship itself is beautiful and well laid out. Time passed to quickly while on this cruise. I didn't even have time to visit the Casino other than 45 minutes of Blackjack showing my daughters how to play. My wife and I cruise with Crystal over Thanksgiving leaving from Miami. I will write a comparison then, but Celebrity is a great cruise for families in that my wife and I were abler to enjoy a Crystal like experience, while my kids enjoyed the plethora of activities available. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
NORWEGIAN EPIC REVIEW Some background on me to begin. I’m a 32 year old male bachelor. Norwegian Epic was my 17th cruise overall, and the 2nd that I’ve taken with NCL. Others include 9 with Celebrity, 5 with MSC, and 1 with ... Read More
NORWEGIAN EPIC REVIEW Some background on me to begin. I’m a 32 year old male bachelor. Norwegian Epic was my 17th cruise overall, and the 2nd that I’ve taken with NCL. Others include 9 with Celebrity, 5 with MSC, and 1 with Carnival. Like many of my cruises, I sailed with my 76 yr old father who has some health issues. —And although, it’s a cruise to spend some father/son time together as we live in different states, he usually goes to bed quite early, and I enjoy the night life well into the wee hours of the morning… So, inevitably It ends up becoming a “singles” cruise for me. Before I describe the ship and everything else about this amazing cruise, I think it’s important to point out a Difference with Norwegian as I see them.... First off, this is not going to be a doom and gloom review... As I do view this cruise, and ship very favorably.... But I’ll start out with a fundamental disagreement that I have overall with NCL. As Compared to the other lines that I’ve sailed with....(Twice now with NCL), they are the Kings and Queens of overly casual. Very few people dress up. I guess that I’m a rare traditionalist millennial when it comes to this opinion....I wear a sport coat often to work, and that’s in south Louisiana where it’s needless to say, quite warm for most of the year. I also, as a bachelor enjoy when women take the time dress up. Cruising is the last romantic way to vacation. There’s something about going to sleep at 2AM with a bottle in your hand in the middle of a beautiful ocean and awaking in an exotic location somewhere in the Caribbean or Mediterranean. Buuuuttt, in a nutshell, I guess that I’m not the world’s biggest fan of “Freestyle Cruising”. —It’s not so much the dress attire that turns me off, it’s the fact that very little if anything is structured at all. For instance, virtually every other cruise line particularly my 2 favorites (Celebrity and MSC) have two main entrainment shows per night. —You organize your dinners(whether it’s a specialty restaurant, or one of the main dinning rooms around whichever show that you choose to attend.) —It’s a real simplistic way to cruise. There’s no overthinking it...It comes a little more natural. Freestyle cruising is more like trying to decide most of your shows, dinners, and evening hour activities on the first day of the cruise or even pre-cruise. Nothing is actually “freestyle” about it... You’re forced to decide your show times, or speciality restaurant times or even dinning room times in some cases by the end of the first evening unless you want your dinner at 11pm. I get what Norwegian is trying to do with freestyle cruising. —I understand that they want to give passengers options...And I truly see why they’ve had so much success doing this... **But I also see why other lines have been reluctant to head in their direction. And I get it now. ON TO THE POSITIVES: The EPIC might be the perfect cruise ship for the Mediterranean. It’s not quite Norwegian’s best or biggest ship. As I thought that the ESCAPE(which I sailed in 2017 was nicer and much more updated and had better social gathering points and creature comforts and cabins). But it has all of the things that modern cruisers want(including me). Plus your itinerary, and getting to see some of the cradles’ of civilization(especially those in Europe) is something to greatly credit. Although the ship holds over 4000 passengers, you rarely ever feel crowded. That’s a small advantage to a ship that was built 10 years ago, as opposed to some of the newer ships that are only a few years old that I’ve taken recently. The ship was also refitted 5 years ago... So you hardly notice any wear and tear at all. The ship also flows very well. Unlike some of the newest ships, there’s very few instances to where you can’t walk from one end of a deck to the other. —It really helps with getting around. EMBARKATION: A+ If you’re reading this about to take a Mediterranean cruise out of Barcelona or Civitavecchia, do yourself a favor and opt-in on the transfer from the airport to the cruise port. —You can do this directly on the NCL website. Well worth the $50(round trip) per person. So $100 total for two people. We were sailing out of Barcelona and took the transfer charter bus from the Barcelona Airport to the cruise port(which took around 20-25 mins or so with traffic). —It’s only about 10 miles apart. It really is the easiest route to go. The cruise port check-in was a breeze. Maybe 20-25 mins from entering the port to stepping on the ship. Barcelona only has 3 cruise ships on a Sunday, so it doesn’t seem to back up with people quite as much as Miami, or Lauderdale. Also, we arrived pretty early at the port as our flight was a red-eye into Barcelona. (We were on one of the first transfer buses from the airport to cruise port)....And credit to Norwegian for allowing you into your stateroom by noon. It was great to set down cary-on bags and get a view of the stateroom before exploring the ship. THE SHIP ITSELF OVERALL: A- I found the ship pretty easily navigable. My advice would be to take the time to really explore the ship on the first day, and you should be pretty good to go by day two. I tend to explore any ship that I sail as much as I can on the first day and make it a point to have a drink at every bar. —That usually gets you around pretty well ;) My advice, if you’re sailing the Mediterranean, and flying in that day from the U.S., make sure to do a little exploring around the ship before you pass out for your cat nap before the vacation begins. STARTING FROM THE TOP The Pool Deck(s): A+ The Pool Deck is spacious, and really has A TON of deck chairs that they’ve found every nook and cranny to put in. Like most cruises, deck chairs fill up quickly with towel clips, bags, and magazines holding chairs for sometimes hours before they’re actually occupied. But, I legitimately found very little overcrowding on any of the pool decks(including the actual pool deck 15). There was always available lounge chairs at any time of day(including sea days). Like the majority of newer NCL ships, slides and kiddo pool areas take up a large portion of the deck, but they really weren’t a nuisance(even if you’re looking for less kids and more relaxation).... If somehow the slides or kid areas near the main pool do bother you, EPIC smartly made “Spice H20” which is a smaller pool deck towards the back of the ship also on deck 15. —It’s an adult only pool. But I seriously found plenty of relaxing areas in the main pool area. Spice H2O also has several nighttime parties throughout the cruise. There’s also a Pool deck up high(even if you’re not a Haven passenger) on Deck 18. You access this via the main pool deck right near the outdoor part of the Buffett. Not much on 18 except deck chairs. The Bars/Lounges/Clubs: A- EPIC really does have a solid variety of bars to satisfy most tastes. I really enjoyed “Shakers Martini Bar” as the best overall bar itself. VERY VERY good drinks. It’s also near several of the speciality restaurants on Deck 7, and is right above the casino and near the theater. “Shakers” also has several pianists who play sing along music in a subtle non-annoying way. My other favorite drinking spot on the ship was “Bliss Ultra Lounge”. It typically starts off in the evening as a karaoke bar, and transcends later in the night to a full night club. Trust me, if you’re young and single, this is most likely where you’ll find your cruise romance lol. There were other honorable mention bars as well. The main pool deck bar(name escapes me as I write) is one of the largest pool deck bars at sea. Although it’s probably one of the most crowded on the ship, again you rarely have to wait more than a min or two before your drink order is taken. Also, if you’re a big craft beer person, O’Sheeans Irish Pub is very popular. O’Sheeans also has bar food like wings, cheese sticks ETC... Casino, Shops, and General Areas B+  As it’s well published, NCL EPIC has one of, if not THE largest casinos at sea. It seems to go on over half of the entire Deck 6. Stretching from Manhattan Main Dinning Restaurant(rear of the ship) all the way to O’Sheeans Irish Pub(which is mid-to-forward of the ship) If you like the tables, slots, or simply watching the action like me, It’s truly a massive entertainment center of the ship. If you’re a player, this is YOUR SHIP. SHOPS: Some of you might not care much about the shopping of the ship considering the destinations within your itinerary. I found the shops decent. (Not great/not bad)… The best store in terms of variety on the ship is the cosmetics and fragrance store(don’t remember the name). The watch store also has a pretty good variety. Other than that, nothing really comes to mind. Seems to have fewer shops and duty free alcohol stores or much smaller than ships equal of Epic’s size. —Not a big deal as like me, I’m sure very few of you choose a ship for the shopping. GENERAL AREAS: The general areas on Epic are pretty good minus one glaring exception…The vast majority of newer ships have main promenades(which serve as the central gathering points of the interior of the ship). —You’ll typically have bars, a dance floor, restaurants nearby, and a view of either 3 or 4 decks at one time. --Those of you who like Celebrity know that that area of the boat is near the martini bar on Solstice Class ships, and the Edge. Those who like MSC know that that area is around the Swarovski Staircases. NCL EPIC doesn’t seem to know where to send people in the interior, and it almost spreads people out too thin, limiting the action and interaction between passengers. Again, seeming to cater to the “Freestyle” cruising idea. In other words, “you choose wherever you wanna go”....Even Norwegian’s newer ships like the ESCAPE do a better job having a true main promenade. Again, some of you might roll your eyes at that, or think that I’m knit-picking on that one. But, if you cruise often like me, and aren’t necessarily entirely loyal to one line, you might get what I’m trying to say. The interior of the ship is very very nice though with lot’s of variety. No complaints at all about the condition of the ship, or the décor. All very nice! –I’m sure that this was improved during the refitting in 2014-2015. THE FAMED AND CONTROVERSIAL EPIC STATEROOM LAYOUT DEBATE: B+ Like pretty much all cruise ship cabins, it was small and served it’s purpose. Like I said earlier, I am a 32 year old bachelor... and although I always get a balcony room on any ship that I sail on, I can’t tell you that I ever spend much time in my state room other than to sleep and get dressed. But, for what it’s worth, the state room was very nice, and modern. You are on a cruise ship to have a good time, and be around other people, and get some sun. —You can’t do any of those things by staying in your room. One huge plus is the closet/drawer space. —Amazing for your sized stateroom. On to the big debate about the bathroom lol... I’m sure that most of you have read the controversy over the bathroom set up. There is no doubt that many others have nailed the fact that it is definitely unconventional....The toilet is on one side of the entrance of the stateroom with a sliding fogged glass door for privacy. And the shower is virtually a twin copy of that on the other side. Then, the sink is just outside of the shower openly in the stateroom. —I really think people overly pan this situation unfairly. —It’s really not that bad. One big argument to play the devils advocate for those hatters of this situation is that if you’re a married couple, one spouse can shower while the other is using the sink to get ready without being on top of each other like you’d be in a regular cruise bathroom. Also throw a kid into the room with that couple, and it’s logical and realistic that a wife can be doing her makeup at the sink, the husband is showering, and the kid can still use the bathroom all at the same time without stepping on each other. What other conventional stateroom can you do that in??? It’s really NOT THAT BAD. Buuuuutttt, strange layout nonetheless. THE PASSENGERS AND CREW: A+ This cruise had a very fun crowd! I was absolutely shocked at how many millennials and Gen-“X”ers were on this cruise considering the expense for American’s to take a Mediterranean cruise, and the added costs associated with traveling to get to Europe in the first place. But, there were many young professionals on the ship. Norwegian seems to do a great job at attracting younger passengers without stooping to the spring break Carnival college kid crowd. Although there were lots of younger people on the ship, NOT ONE AGE GROUP seemed to dominate the masses. One of the most balanced cruise crowds that I’ve ever seen. I was shocked at how balanced the crowd was. Also, tons of single millennials on the ship to hang out/flirt with. I’m not saying that I was necessarily looking for a “target rich” environment… But It certainly makes things more interesting if you catch my drift haha. ***Although, I have no data to back up my numbers…. I would guess that the age of passengers on the ship was: 30% Gen X, 25 % Millennials, 20% Baby Boomers, 15% Seniors, 10% Gen Z/Children Nationalities on board were: 45% of passengers were American, 40% European, 10% Latin-American, 5% from other parts of the world. Crew: I cannot say enough great things about the EPIC staff! These people, no matter whether they’re a stateroom attendant, buffet bus person, or an officer were simply perfect. They’ve mastered the art of service. I would give you specific examples, but we’d be here all day. One thing that I’ll point out was the bartenders were great! All were friendly, fast, and after a few days would remember your drink. —Truly remarkable for thousands of people circulating in and out week after week. SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS, MAIN DINING ROOMS, AND BUFFET My father and I ate at 5 of the 7 speciality restaurants on board. This isn’t super typical of everyone who adds speciality dinning to their cruise, as most people will eat at between 2 or 3 restaurants. In no particular order, opinions/grades on the 5 that we ate at: * Le Bistro (French) B+ The food at Le Bistro was pretty good. Not great. I heard several others sitting around us that they were really enjoying the cuisine but there’s a huge caveat for me with the fact that I’m from Louisiana and live in New Orleans. Please understand that I have access to some of the best French food available in the US on a daily basis. * La Cucina (Italian) A+ The food at La Cucina was excellent! Great starter salads, beautiful charcuterie board/antipasto and ton’s of Italian favorites. I had the veal and it was excellent! * Shanghai's Chinese Restaurant B- The meal was decent. But Not nearly the best Chinese food that I’ve had at sea. Much better Chinese on Celebrity Equinox....Called “Silk Harvest”. Their biggest problem is that they are missing some of the American favorites of Chinese. No General Tso Chicken and many other thing’s that Americans would expect from a Chinese restaurant. * Cagney’s Steakhouse D+ Unfortunately one of the worst meals that I’ve ever had at sea. I ordered my ribeye “medium”, and it came out still mooing. Also, the ribeye was 50% fat. I love ribeyes and cook steak often at home, and understand that that cut of meat will have extra marbling, but this was absurd. My father ordered his steak medium-well, and it came like a piece of leather. We both ended up just eating our salads and sides(which were fair at best), and cast aside the steaks. —The staff tried to make it right though. (Plain and simple, Cagney’s just sucks. Tried it on the NCL Escape as well, and thought the exact same thing). —You’d think a steakhouse would be one of the easiest to operate. * Teppanyaki (Japanese hibachi) A+ This was the second best meal that we had behind La Cucina. The food was excellent, as was the enjoyment of the hibachi experience. And the hibachi chef’s were entertaining and hilarious. The food was excellent. Great variety of Steak, chicken, shrimp, muscles, veggies, and rice. ***As you can see from above, 4 of the 5 were good, with 2 being great. Very disappointed in Cagneys on both the Escape and the Epic. MAIN DINNING ROOMS: A+ There are two main dinning rooms on EPIC. “Manhattan” and “Taste”. Manhattan is a little dressier with a little bit more formal setting. Whereas Taste is a little more laid back with more of a traditional menu. We only ate at Manhattan once, and both really liked it. —Very similar menus and atmosphere to other comparable ships. BUFFET: A+ Good choices for breakfast and lots of variety. Pretty typical for a mega ship buffet, but added variety. They seem to a little better job on breakfast than other lines (particularly with omelette stations)... They have omelette stations and other quick to order stations all over to try and get it to you fast. Although we only ate lunch once at the buffet, again there was a good variety of American favorites and various salad bars, and other ethnic cuisine. One thing that we loved was the burger/grilled items outside near the pool deck. Easy to grab lunch and to get back to your deck chair. ENTERTAINMENT: B+ If you remember my opening, you know that I don’t particularly care for “freestyle cruising” because of having to schedule everything so early... Nothing is more prevalent of that than the main theater shows on EPIC. THE SHOWS: “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" and "Burn the Floor," are the Two main headliner shows in the theater. Both were entertaining and high energy. Really liked “Burn The Floor”. Drag isn’t necessarily my thing, but still thought Priscilla was hilarious. Unlike most cruise lines, I do give NCL a lot of credit for their (what I call) “sub-shows”. —Which are smaller venues with comedians, or other shows within smaller venues around the ship. The best show on the ship hands down was called “Cirque Dreams Epicurean” Held in the “Spiegel Tent”. —Which a smaller dinner theater near the main theater. Given the small theater and the rapid changing of the various stages, you feel like the actors and acrobats are right on top of you! It’s interactive as well! There is a charge for this show as they serve dinner as well. It was about the price of a specialty restaurant. Book early! The shows fill up rapidly and were sold out for most of the cruise. Another “sub-show” was “Howl At The Moon” located in Headliners Comedy Club —Free and open to anyone, three musicians play various instruments and take requests from the audience for hours... They were AWESOME! Plus, you can come and go as you please. They typically play for about 4 hours. 8-11PM is clean in case kids are there. After 11PM is uncensored(which is more enjoyable) Speaking of Comedy....One MASSIVE negative which robbed my ENTERTAINMENT GRADE OF BEING AN “A” was no comedy show at all! —Not Even in the comedy club! —I’m not sure if this was just for this cruise, or whether NCL plans on ceasing comedy shows or what the deal was??? MISCELLANEOUS POSITIVES: -I found a lot less nickel & diming on EPIC. -One of the biggest varieties of speciality dinning, along with free speciality dinning options. -The ship really does well with excursions which is important when you’re in Europe given the language differences. -NCL Might have the best premium drink package on earth! Way less expensive than Celebrity and MSC, and you can order virtually anything. They also don’t “drink count” as I call it. In other words, if I ordered two drinks at a time, I didn’t need two cruise cards. They just did it(Believe me my friends, that is rare) MISCELLANEOUS NEGATIVES: -The WiFi was the worst I’ve ever had at sea. Mind you that both my father and I bought the premium unlimited packages on that. Had to constantly re-boot and try for sometimes 7 to 8 times to just to sign on. I get it, I was on vacation and some of you will say that I should’ve unplugged. But, I’m in management with a media company and have to check my email once a day during weekdays for emergencies even when on vacation. -No free bottled water. —Seriously. With a premium drink package, you can order all the Patron, Grey Goose, or Johnny Walker Blue Label you want, BUT NOT bottled water unless you want to pay out of pocket. Otherwise, you get a glass of tap water. Never seen that on 17 cruises except this. IN CLOSING: This cruise was amazing because of the three main factors. 1.) The itinerary, 2.) the people on the ship 3.) the crew. Yes, the ship is nice. But you’d be dazzled by some of the newer ships that other lines have come out with recently. I give the overall grade of B+ to the entire cruise. Inconsistencies in the food, the WiFi, freestyle cruising and a few lesser things narrowly cost EPIC an “A”. —Still a great cruise. Cheers to you on your next voyage! -Matthew from New Orleans, Louisiana Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Our first Crystal River Cruise aboard the Mahler one of their five river ships gave us many special moments to remember. We just completed the sojourn from Amsterdam to Budapest itinerary. We are savvy cruisers having experienced many ... Read More
Our first Crystal River Cruise aboard the Mahler one of their five river ships gave us many special moments to remember. We just completed the sojourn from Amsterdam to Budapest itinerary. We are savvy cruisers having experienced many ocean itineraries aboard vessels of differing sizes. Instead of detailing the ship itself which was 2 years old, I will tell you the design team knows and understands the elements of how to make the cabins comfortably luxurious and the common areas beautiful letting the natural light and colors blend harmoniously with the water and sky. The cabin size was more then adequate. The bed and bedding, choice of various pillow types covered the bases. The dining with attention to detail, creativity, menu selections were of exceptional quality time after time. Each dinner was a favorite until the next dinner. The meat cooked to the perfection it deserved. The lobster and shellfish, caviar were of excellent quality Vegans, Gluten free, and vegetarians can all expect to be happy. Food allergies are immediately noted and special meals can be created to suit you with a personal discussion of your desires. Shore excursions were well managed with smaller groups organized from the larger group. Mahler has just 106 paying guests with its own new spacious road buses. Never a problem getting on or off. Staff at the ready for any assistance before you went ashore and there to greet you upon your return. For many it was their first Crystal experience and the comments were all positive day after day with guests sharing their own “I cannot believe this person did this for me or that for me.” I loved hearing their stories because I already knew what was in store when we booked, a trip well worth the price paid. The inclusive Crystal pricing is the way to go if you have never done so before. All speakers and entertainment were top notch. Crystal has lifetime customers and we are definitely part of this group. Love this company. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We thought we booked the same line we took on another cruise, but it turned out to be the Crystal Serenity, which was even better. The staff were happy, which we like because it means the company treats them well, then they treated us ... Read More
We thought we booked the same line we took on another cruise, but it turned out to be the Crystal Serenity, which was even better. The staff were happy, which we like because it means the company treats them well, then they treated us very well. We liked the way every time we sat down, whether it was in the central lounge on Deck 5 or the Forward lounge on Deck 12, there was someone approaching us to ask if there was anything they could get for us. It was called an "amenity" cruise, and it was indeed. We were treated extremely well from the time we arrived at the ship, throughout the cruise, and when we left to go home. The food was fabulous, the prosecco, chamboard cocktails and wine flowed freely, and there were light activity shore excursions that I could enjoy. Crystal is definitely now my favorite cruise line, and I hope we can take another cruise with this line soon. Having talked with others who have taken other cruise lines to the same locations, I find that the fact that Crystal allows you to take as many or as few shore excursions, but only pay for the ones you take, is an advantage. As my ability to walk decreases, I would take fewer shore excursions, but would enjoy every bit of the cruise as much or more than I did this time. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Chose the cruise based on the itinerary and comments from our cruise company that Azamara was really good! It was excellent! Smaller ship with 690 people and very much adult focused which we loved, room was great - bed super comfortable ... Read More
Chose the cruise based on the itinerary and comments from our cruise company that Azamara was really good! It was excellent! Smaller ship with 690 people and very much adult focused which we loved, room was great - bed super comfortable and kept neat and tidy and clean always. Common areas including The Living Riom and Thw Den we’re so inviting and warm. Really enjoyed them. Pool was perfect .never crowded, nor were the hit tubs! Lots of dining options.. Food was outstanding as was the service. Captain Carl was great and his team did some pretty impressive manoeuvres! Tony the cruise director did a great job órgano for many events and entertainment... especially the Azamaxing evening in Koper Slovenia... very impressive! Really liked having a local tourism rep come on at every por and provide some guidance! All round a 10! Will be sailing (soon we hope) with Azamara again! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
After our 21 day cruise in April on the Seabourn Ovation (our first with Seabourn) we had been impressed. When we noticed the itinerary of the Odyssey for the Greek Odyssey Cruise we got all excited. For us, the Mediterranean is our ... Read More
After our 21 day cruise in April on the Seabourn Ovation (our first with Seabourn) we had been impressed. When we noticed the itinerary of the Odyssey for the Greek Odyssey Cruise we got all excited. For us, the Mediterranean is our favorite cruising destination. There were some islands on the itinerary that were new to us, while others we already knew but were keen on seeing again. We were curious too, how the smaller and older Odyssey would compare with the newer Ovation. Both have a similar layout and they have about the same number of crew. We were pleasantly surprised that our cabin on the Odyssey was more comfortable, our veranda suite on the Ovation had been very narrow and the fake wood paneling too dark. The beds on the Odyssey seemed also wider and there was no hazard of rolling off the bed during sleep. Both ships interiors didn't impress us as luxurious, the used materials simple and inexpensive. But, the service of the crews was truly remarkable and memorable. The service on the Ovation was even better, despite the higher number of guests; on the Ovation each one of the crew knew our names after only a few days, we couldn't believe it. Maybe it had to do with the exceptional leadership of the cruise director Handre; he was absolutely wonderful, a role model and he made every guest feel welcome and especially cared for. The ambience on the Ovation was very personal and familiar, we had never before experienced anything quite like it and felt genuinely at home. On the Odyssey it was a little less personal but still very good. We did find the quality of the food on the Odyssey even better; we loved the fresh fruits plus nuts, chia and linseeds at the breakfast buffet. The "Earth and Ocean" on the pool deck we had avoided at first from our negative experiences on the Ovation but found out on the Odyssey the food there was often excellent. It probably comes down to the actual crew and cooks on your cruise. This was our 10th cruise in the past 3 years. We had started out with Silversea, Regent, Oceania and now Seabourn. Regent is still our favorite, they are more expensive but everything is included including wifi and excursions. We rate Seabourn second and can't wait to sail with them again if an itinerary catches our fancy. Oceania had the most luxurious ship, the Marina, our penthouse suite was superb but their cuisine is the best for overweight and obese passengers only. Oceania offers long and fantastic itineraries, if only the cuisine could be more healthy. We had been very happy with Silversea as it was our first cruise line, now that we have sailed on other lines, Silversea seems no longer attractive for us; their ships were old and tired, always in need of renovation; the much too frequent formal evenings exaggerated considering the conditions of the vessels; plus we find Silversea too expensive. The Odyssey is the perfect choice for itineraries with as few days at sea as possible. It is a small ship with all the advantages of small vessels, but for sea days we missed a jogging or at least a walking trail, the gym was too small where a few bikes were just facing a wall; I personally choose to run up and down the stairs for an hour during our sea day. But for a transatlantic cruise f.e., we would choose another ship. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We had been on many of the cruise lines in the past but really preferred the river cruise to the save my pool lounge chair mentality. So we thought we would give Viking Ocean cruise a try due to the number of people. We are so glad we ... Read More
We had been on many of the cruise lines in the past but really preferred the river cruise to the save my pool lounge chair mentality. So we thought we would give Viking Ocean cruise a try due to the number of people. We are so glad we did... specialty dining was so great. Easy dealing with food allergies too. The World Cafe was our choice most of the time. Great selection and after a full day of excursions we enjoyed cocktails and casual dining. The spa is the surprise. Beautiful facility open for all for free without scheduling a service. We enjoyed that daily. We also took advantage of the silver package. The wines and top shelf vodka was such a deal!! We are planning our next and will be going with Viking again. Alaska vista was indescribable, the captain did an amazing job getting us so close to Hubbard glacier and rotating 360 so everyone had a front row seat! Thanks to all Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Our first Oceania Cruise was on the Marina and we were so “wowed” we booked the Sirena to sail 5 months later. We did not come back from this one overwhelmed with a sense to book the next one ASAP. First, the things that were a ... Read More
Our first Oceania Cruise was on the Marina and we were so “wowed” we booked the Sirena to sail 5 months later. We did not come back from this one overwhelmed with a sense to book the next one ASAP. First, the things that were a little less than fantastic The spa deck was very small and hard to find a seat on some days. So, the concierge upgrade was not really worth the money. The bathrooms were very tiny and, we knew going in it was a smaller ship but, if you are on the toilet with the door closed it was sideways sitting. The room stewards were not as intuitive as to what we needed. For example- on day one we had champagne in a bucket that we didn’t drink on boarding as in it was more fun after sail away. When we came back to the room to drink- the bucket was gone and the champagne on the counter. We had to call to get the bucket back. The buffet restaurant was not quick with water, tea or coffee. Most breakfasts we had to flag someone down to get us more. There was link flexibility in changing restaurant dinner times even with empty tables. The good- heck it is still a fantastic line! The food is fantastic and who doesn’t like grilled lobsters. Honestly, the best food you can have at sea. The main dining room and speciality restaurants had great service. The ship is very clean. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
For those interested in a comparison, let's look at the differences between Oceania and Princess. We were on the 18-day Dublin-Copenhagen segment. This was our first cruise with Oceania. We are elite with Princess. We chose this ... Read More
For those interested in a comparison, let's look at the differences between Oceania and Princess. We were on the 18-day Dublin-Copenhagen segment. This was our first cruise with Oceania. We are elite with Princess. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary: Norway and northern Russian ports. Oceania has considerably less merchandising pressure. There is no crew of photographers. The crew seems under less pressure to sell extras. There are no "cruise ship art" events. Speciality coffees and sparkling water are available without extra charge. Speciality restaurants are available without extra charge. On the other hand, the cheapest bottle of wine on Oceania is about $10 a bottle more than on Princess. That generally put wine above what I was willing to pay. The ship felt less crowded and there was never a problem finding outdoor seating (although the Northern itinerary may have had something to do with that). 650 passengers instead of thousands does make for a different (and pleasant) experience. Oceania does live up to its reputation for good food. The dining room food was consistently a notch better than Princess. The buffet food was also very good. However, the buffet was typically more crowded than I'm used to on Princess. Our cabin (C1 ocean view) was equivalent to what we'd expect on Princess. Surprisingly, the cabin steward was good, but not as good as is typical on Princess. There were two ship lecturers. We only went to the lectures by one, but she was outstanding (https://cruisethroughhistory.com}. I liked the smaller venue for ship shows, although the noise level (at times 90db or more) was louder than I'd like. Passenger demographics: Oceania is a bit older and fellow passengers are on average wealthier. They also have a tendency to provide lots of details on their previous exotic Oceania cruises. At first that was useful, since we've not been on Oceania before, but enough was enough.... Shore excursions are overpriced. We generally don't book ship excursions, but we took their tours to make life easier for the three Russian ports, and we booked the bird safari at North Cape (a mistake). In Lerwick we hired a cab for the day. I tried to rent a car, but waited too long. I'd recommend planning ahead and getting a car. Even if you feel a bit uncomfortable driving in the UK, traffic on Shetland Island is thin. We walked around Bergen, a lovely port. Instead of the Oceania excursion to Mt. Floyen, we booked in advance on-line (https://www.floyen.no/en). Efficient and lots less money. In Kristiansund, there is a company that takes off from the cruise dock and heads up the local fjord for a lot less than Oceania. The Russian tours were fine, although private packages would have saved money. North Cape was a good tour — but we could have done it for less than half the Oceania price on our own. My advice is to rent a car (there is a company at the pier that will rent a car for 1500 NOK). That would allow both the bird safari and a drive up to North Cape, and save a whole lot of money. Thee is also a public bus, although an expensive one, from the pier to North Cape. The tourist office at the pier has the details. Although the cruise to Flam is spectacular, I can't say I'd recommend the railroad trip — but if you do take it, don't book with Oceania. You can either book on-line in advance or buy a ticket once you get there. Flam itself is a town of about 500 that absorbs thousands of cruise ship passengers, and is entirely uninteresting on its own. Cabs in Copenhagen (Uber withdrew from the city) are readily available at the cruise terminal and will set you back less than the Oceania transfer. In sum, Oceania is about twice the price (or more). If I had a choice between them I'd take Princess assuming identical itineraries. However, Oceania's smaller ships bring one to places Princess doesn't. I wouldn't hesitate to book Oceania again — but only if the itinerary was one that Princess could not match. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We were so excited to sail with Silversea through Alaska. I must say the excursions have been great, the rooms are nice and the food very good (although no healthy options available.) Where the boat really fails is it’s amenities. The ... Read More
We were so excited to sail with Silversea through Alaska. I must say the excursions have been great, the rooms are nice and the food very good (although no healthy options available.) Where the boat really fails is it’s amenities. The gym is very poorly equipped and overcrowded (weights do not go over 20kg and it is cheap equipment.) Where it really fails is the pool. It is a very small pool that I’m sure it nice but we haven’t been able to get into it since we’ve been here. The pool is filled with kids every hour of the day. Parents are not watching, kids are sliding all over the wood and pushing each other into the pool. It’s a safety hazard and inconvenient for anyone who is looking to have a relaxing vacation, or a swim after a hot day. If you want a room and food Silversea is great. But I believe most people go on a cruise for the full experience. If so, you’re better off on a different boat. We will not be cruising with Silversea again. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We had taken a Viking River cruise and loved. I wasn't sure what to expect on there smaller ocean ships. It was and incredible surprise. They offers so much entertainment and the staff was prefect, after several days you were on a ... Read More
We had taken a Viking River cruise and loved. I wasn't sure what to expect on there smaller ocean ships. It was and incredible surprise. They offers so much entertainment and the staff was prefect, after several days you were on a first name basis, every staff member spoke English which was very nice, you wanted for absolutely nothing. Port excursions were excellent and well organized. Being 67 I appreciated this is not a cruise line for children nor is it a cruse line for gamblers who spend there day in a casino. Minus kids and gamblers made for a great atmosphere of fun and conversation. On a late arrival back to the ship after and all day trip to Berlin were were greeted by 200 of the ships crew in line out side the ship with a welcome back, music, champagne and horderves. Upon arriving at our cabin we found a plate of finger sandwiches, deserts and a bottle of win which a letter from the captain apologizing for the German train system delay, they did this for all 600 people who were on that train. Tell me what other cruise line would do that. I will continue to be a loyal Viking customer. Big ships with 5000 of your closest friends are not necessarily better Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This is my fourth cruise with Oceania. I have been on both the Riviera and the marina. Well both ships are lovely, I have to say that I enjoyed the Riviera the most. I find the ship to be simply beautiful. This service is always so helpful ... Read More
This is my fourth cruise with Oceania. I have been on both the Riviera and the marina. Well both ships are lovely, I have to say that I enjoyed the Riviera the most. I find the ship to be simply beautiful. This service is always so helpful and cheerful. We had a penthouse suite as I was traveling with my father and aunt. The room was clean, well appointed, and had plenty of room. We all had enough space to put away all her clothes. The suitcases fit comfortably under the bed. They would unfold a sofa bed every evening that my dad slept in. I wanted to sleep in it but he insisted that it was more comfortable. The walking closet was large enough to act as a changing room. I am usually out all day on a tour or exploring on my own. I have no real interest in on board activities or entertainment. I found the chamber music group that played in front of the grand dining room and martinis bar to be absolutely delightful. I enjoyed the afternoon tea. However, I notice that they no longer have the pastries and sandwiches set up as self serve. You had to wait to be served with the little cart that goes around. There are some ways I see that the line is cutting back since they have been acquired by Norwegian line. I hope this doesn’t continue. The tea was still delightful. We had our transfers from the airport to our ship and from the ship to our hotel handled through Oceania. This was very efficient and made embarkation and Disembarkation pretty easy. The only trouble was is that there were so many people who had booked the room at the grand Brittania hotel in Athens that they were somewhat overwhelme. Oceania did their best to accommodate us while we waited to be checked in. The only problem I encountered during the cruise was with regard to their policy on booking on board. They provided numerous handouts stating that you could save $600-$1200 if you booked on board depending on the length of the cruise you chose. However that so-called discount only brought the cost down to what was their published prices less $100, you also got 100 on board credit. This is not the $600 to $1200 that The handouts indicated. Also the onboard Oceania ambassador I found to be Unhelpful and disingenuous. It seem that she was more concerned on her commission then in booking us in an appropriate room. Oceania is a great product they do not have to rely on this shady kind of marketing. I find the food to be generally of high-quality on the ship. I do agree that the offerings in the grand dining room tend to be very boring. Also if you expect your steak in the polar grill to be very rare, you have to order it “blue“. If you say rare you will get something like medium rare. I have already booked a Caribbean cruise and a cruise that goes to southeast Asia next year. I feel Oceania is kind of on the cusp here, it is still a very high-quality product, I just hope corporate doesn’t ruin a good thing. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Our first mistake was assuming that, like Viking, Silversea cruises would be adults only. In fact, out of 580 passengers, 76 were children, about two thirds of those under 5 years old, or even babies. There are virtually no facilities for ... Read More
Our first mistake was assuming that, like Viking, Silversea cruises would be adults only. In fact, out of 580 passengers, 76 were children, about two thirds of those under 5 years old, or even babies. There are virtually no facilities for young children on the ship, so they were mostly bored and amused themselves running up and down the stairs and corridors uunsupervised. The swimming pools and hot tubs were completely taken over by the kids, even though under 12's were not supposed to use the hot tub. They also made their presence felt in the dining rooms, crying and tipping over chairs, and rather spoilt some of the excursions. We were particularly shocked when, on the first day, young children were helping themselves from the buffet using their hands. Aside from the children, there were several other things that were disappointing. The restaurant menu only changed once and then only a few items were different. We had one instance of shockingly rude service in the grill restaurant. The alternative restaurants were fully booked months ahead. We found that there were few places to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee and that these were usually very crowded indeed. The room service meal we had one evening was supposed to be served course by course within 20 minutes. In fact, it took an hour to arrive and then it all came at once, except the wine, which took a further 15 minutes to arrive and the meal was only warm, not hot. The room was not always as clean as I would like and the bath supplies were not replaced except when I asked. We had been advised to have a low floor cabin for wildlife viewing, but we were over the lounge and had quite a bit of noise from the activities there, notably the bingo, quizzes and late night music. On the plus side, the cabin was amazing and the bathroom was superb. The bed linens were very luxurious, as were the toiletries and there was a choice of pillows. All the food and drink was included, and this was mostly of a very high standard. We also had a selection of fresh fruit in the cabin every day. The scenery and excursions were excellent and we were very lucky with the weather and wildlife sightings on the trips. However, overall the experience fell well below what we had expected from this luxury brand. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Embarkation went smoothly although we didn't embark from Basel but from Bruisach, and we had to wait at the airport a while because an abandoned piece of luggage caused the airport lock down. The ship was spacious and airy, and ... Read More
Embarkation went smoothly although we didn't embark from Basel but from Bruisach, and we had to wait at the airport a while because an abandoned piece of luggage caused the airport lock down. The ship was spacious and airy, and the cabin comfortable with the balcony in use all the time, which made it seem even more spacious. Dining was good. We always used the main dining area, and enjoyed the alternate menu option on a couple of occasions. The Table La Rive was exceptional and the Portabello restaurant was also good. We thought the chefs were exemplorary, working in such a small space, and we had never tasted lamb chops like it ever! We enjoyed the musical interludes both on board and the special event in the baroque palace. Then we made friends in the bar afterwards, dancing the night away. Service was exceptional, the staff were all friendly, professional, and attentive. All areas of the ship were exceptionally clean. Also the turn down service when the cabin had its second cleaning of the day was excellent. We enjoyed the shore excursions, we usually chose the guided walking options to get to know the town we were staying in, and the Mercedes Benz tour was mind blowing! We did think the tours were a little short, and there could have been an afternoon option, but also enjoyed the time to relax on the balcony. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I went to an information session and decided to book. They lived up to my expectations. Everything was organized and the staff was exceptional. One disappointment was that we did not start our cruise in Switzerland as planned. We ... Read More
I went to an information session and decided to book. They lived up to my expectations. Everything was organized and the staff was exceptional. One disappointment was that we did not start our cruise in Switzerland as planned. We were bussed right to another port and were not informed prior. The cruise line should have given us an explanation prior to the trip but did not. We therefore did not see any of Switzerland. The cruise director could have been a bit friendlier on the one on one basis. Dining staff were excellent, mainly Zoran and Nikolai. The room attendant did a fantastic job. Monica in the bar area was superb. Wonderful vacation and it was just as they say in the brochure....out of a fairytale. I would recommend Scenic to anyone. The fact that everything is paid up front and organized from the beginning was a big relief. One thing I did notice was that they did not have any music on the sundeck or any entertainment during the day such as a large chess board to pass the time and have some fun while in between ports. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We recently cruised on the SCENIC Opal on the Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam. This was supposed to be a ‘luxury’ cruise. Last year, we had a fantastic experience cruising the Douro River on their Evergreen ship. We couldn't ... Read More
We recently cruised on the SCENIC Opal on the Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam. This was supposed to be a ‘luxury’ cruise. Last year, we had a fantastic experience cruising the Douro River on their Evergreen ship. We couldn't fault anything. All the staff were professional, courteous and friendly. We thought the Scenic Luxury Cruise would be equal or better, but we were wrong. In our opinion, the Evergreen cruise rated 5 star ... the Scenic cruise 4 star. A number of the staff were unprofessional, and were trying too hard to be funny. When I asked if the sandwiches at the bar could be toasted, a straight faced "NO" is not the answer I wanted to hear, followed by "just kidding!" Also, at dinner when I asked if I could have a glass of wine, "No we don't have any" wears thin over time. Staff mucking around with each other in front of customers also wears thin, especially this incident: Female bar worker prodding and annoying a male bar worker who was trying to serve me. Eventually, he got tired of her and said "talk to the hand". She replied with "talk to the finger" (holding up her middle finger!) Not what I expected to see on a so called ‘Luxury Cruise’! Early one morning, I left 4 shirts to be ironed only (no washing). When they hadn't arrived by 6pm I called and they were delivered to my cabin a few minutes later. They must have used a cold iron, because they were still creased! One night, I ran out of orange juice in the bar fridge and asked for more. I was promised a carton instead of a small bottle ... the juice never arrived. One morning I overheard a man asking the tour manager what port we were in. She sarcastically replied "you would have heard that in the Port Talk". He said he wanted a card with the port address because he was going on shore and wanted it in case he couldn't find where we were later that evening ... but she reacted before he finished his question. The barman was adding tap water to tall drinks (Mojitos, Midori Splice etc). When I sent a letter of complaint to SCENIC, I was told they are supposed to top up with sparkling water or lemonade … not tap water. Why aren't the bar staff trained properly? I've said it before, and I'll say it again ... this is supposed to be a luxury cruise! I realise maintenance has to be carried out during a cruise, but first impressions are lasting impressions, so seeing a letter missing from the SCENIC OPAL sign on the side of the ship wasn’t a good look! It was fixed, but a few days later another letter was missing! A number of passengers were rolling their eyes at dinner each night when served half a bread roll. Were we on rations?! Also, the lettuce/tomato/fetta/olives salad served for starters was pitiful and any half decent restaurant or café would be embarrassed to serve it. It doesn't take much effort to come up with a simple, yet tasty salad ... e.g. rocket lettuce/pear/walnuts/pomegranate topped with a sprinkle of shaved parmesan. We paid a lot of money for this cruise, and expected quality ingredients, not limp lettuce. The food in general was good, but the food on the Evergreen Douro cruise was better (and the food on Celebrity ocean cruises is far superior). The cabin was very comfy and roomy, but it would have been nice to find a complimentary toothbrush and toothpaste in the bathroom. When I asked for one, I was told they didn’t have any. To their credit, the bed was fabulous! Also, the shower was great. On the last day, I tried to submit the electronic cruise survey using the screen/keyboard in the cabin, but it wouldn’t allow it. I also tried on my mobile phone, but it quit before I could complete the survey (it closed just after giving comments on Room Service). The same thing happened when I used one of the ship’s iPads (it also closed just after the Room Service question). When I told the woman on the desk, she just shrugged her shoulders … didn’t offer any explanation or solution. Very poor customer service. After speaking to some other people on the cruise, we found we weren’t the only ones with complaints about staff. I am curious to know if anyone else was unable to complete the electronic cruise survey. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The duration and locations, especially starting on the Black Sea. Very happy we went from east to west as it consistently got better all the way to Prague. Budapest and Prague were great large cities and the smaller towns like Durnstein ... Read More
The duration and locations, especially starting on the Black Sea. Very happy we went from east to west as it consistently got better all the way to Prague. Budapest and Prague were great large cities and the smaller towns like Durnstein and Pecs were great surprises. The Passion was very nice with a small spa, but the exercise room was way too small. I couldn't lift the weights up as they hit the ceiling and the max weight was 10k. Matre'd was very accommodating to my wife's pepper allergies and there were some vegetables at the breakfast buffet for me. The tours of the towns and cities were well done, although most of the guides have their speech idocincracies. The presence of the Habsburg family made it a special themed cruise and more personal (only the portion from Budapest to Regensburg). By the end, we had heard the stories repeated so many times about Sissy, that we didn't want to hear anymore. Would have liked to have been involved with more sustainable activities and performances, like our Avalon cruise on the Mekong. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Iceland bucket-list trip on a tired old ship. Everything about the ship was off on this trip--rooms were worn, carpets stained, tables scratched, etc, tours late or over-booked, food so-so-ish, and service mostly good, but occasionally ... Read More
Iceland bucket-list trip on a tired old ship. Everything about the ship was off on this trip--rooms were worn, carpets stained, tables scratched, etc, tours late or over-booked, food so-so-ish, and service mostly good, but occasionally lax. Everyone from the Captain, yes the Captain, on down seemed unhappy with the ship and the itinerary. Rumors circulated that the Captain had complained about being saddled with this route at the Captain's dinner--"what did I do to deserve this...." My sense was that Windstar was just trying to get through a few more cruises on this ship before it enters drydock for a major overhaul in October. The ship's team talked constantly about the need to move on--every complaint was met with a sigh and a promise that the overhaul will fix all bad things. Don't like the broken shower faucets? We're fixing it. Don't like the drink stains on the table? We're replace them all. Wonder about all the repair work? Give us some duct tape and come back a year from now. Windstar did this to itself in many ways. Part of selling future cruises on this Iceland trip was to explain the company's desire to add cabins to every ship--the plans were widely advertised to passengers as a way to keep Windstar in the small-ship category by getting as close to 350 cabins without crossing over. Hence, the conversation was almost always about how tired the ships all are--"we'll be converting staterooms on the Wind Star here and on Star Pride there, etc., but will never go over. The whole dialogue was a distraction and left me wondering why we weren't told that this was a bucket of bolts before booking. And it definitely was a bucket of bolts. It was a great ship ten years ago after it was updated before joining the Windstar fleet, but it has suffered at every turn and the company has spackled its way to the drydock. Food was good, but this ship is not designed for an Iceland itinerary--not easy to eat outside when it is near freezing outside. And the inside amenities were, as noted, aging. Three ancient treadmills and two stationary bikes is not a fitness room and looping the same movies over and over day by day is not an entertainment program. As for ongoing service, reception desk was great but couldn't solve most problems--took us too long to get small things fixed and the ship was confused from time to time with scheduling, in part because Captain Surly was anti-social. The frontline staff was terrific as usual--highly motivated, but worn out by a brutal schedule. Lovely folks out of SE Asia for the most part on short-term contracts and 7-day schedules. Got to love them for their enormous effort. Nothing they could do about the ship's condition so far from the penny-pinchers in Seattle. Would I go on another cruise with the Windstar fleet after this? Absolutely. It's a fine company that cares about quality. I just wouldn't sail with them again this year or next. Give Windstar time to work through the kinks as its fleet goes into the renovations--these are major, major changes that involve cutting ships in half and adding new sections of cabins (see the promotional material at https://www.windstarcruises.com/starplus/). This is not just a little paint and new beds. I'm of the opinion that how a ship goes out is just as important as how it comes in. This cruise was a joy on many levels, but our satisfaction was IN SPITE of the company, not because of it. They have let this ship decline ever since they decided on the upgrades and it shows. Be careful about this, Windstar. Your own advertising about the upgrades contains the shadow of the neglect you've tolerated as everyone waits for the teardown. It showed on this voyage. If we had known more about it before booking, we would have taken another ship. Once burned, forever shy? (Oh, why does embarkation have to be such a crowded mess on Windstar? Not enough people and too little space to do this right on this ship. A mess and uncomfortable. Is that because the all-you-can-drink package sales-team is trying to make a sale? It's the last stop on this brutal, unhappy welcoming.) Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The crew were unfailingly friendly yet efficient. The organisation of embarkation, disembarkation and the multiple excursions was flawless, and supplemented by daily debriefing/briefing sessions which ensured passengers were well informed ... Read More
The crew were unfailingly friendly yet efficient. The organisation of embarkation, disembarkation and the multiple excursions was flawless, and supplemented by daily debriefing/briefing sessions which ensured passengers were well informed as to the requirements and expectations for each day's activities. Shore excursions were supervised by highly qualified, well-informed and enthusiastic scientist/naturalists, and we visited stunning locations which are only accessible by boat (or helicopter). While encouraged to participate, passengers could do as much or as little as they wished. With only 175 passengers aboard, there was a great sense of community on the ship. Cabin accommodation was very comfortable, well laid out and kept spotlessly clean and replenished by twice-daily staff visits; individual balconies were a bonus. There was plenty of space for lounging and relaxation. Facilities included a gymnasium and sauna/spa/massage. Although there were only about 15 children on board, they were well catered for by the cruise director and her team (and, to their parents' great credit, the children's behaviour was beyond reproach). There were ample entertainments laid on in the evenings and at night. Meals were superb in variety, cuisine and presentation, with excellent wines included (no need to subscribe to the "superior" beverage package!); all dietary requirements were catered for. Only complaint: too short! Would we go again? Definitely! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
During the last few years we have cruised on Viking, Oceania and now Crystal and having compared these cruises I can readily say that Crystal is by far the best. All of the ships are very similar in size and number of passengers, about ... Read More
During the last few years we have cruised on Viking, Oceania and now Crystal and having compared these cruises I can readily say that Crystal is by far the best. All of the ships are very similar in size and number of passengers, about 850. The difference is the amenities, service and food service. Crystal had excellent entertainment and lecturers who spoke about the what we would see and do on the trip and excursions. All of the excursions were excellent and on all excursions a crew member from the ship also went. All of the meals and food service was excellent and you can order just about anything even if it is not on the menus. The difference between Crystal and the other cruise lines is like comparing a Toyota Camry to a BMW. Both will get you to your destination but the BMW will get you there in a much more luxurious manner. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
For our tenth or so cruise, we chose Seabourn Sojourn to Alaska. We are very happy with that decision. We had a balcony suite. I think all cabins are suites. Not a separate room, but a large cabin with separate sitting area and curtains ... Read More
For our tenth or so cruise, we chose Seabourn Sojourn to Alaska. We are very happy with that decision. We had a balcony suite. I think all cabins are suites. Not a separate room, but a large cabin with separate sitting area and curtains separating the lounge area from the bed. There is a separate shower with glass door, a bit small, but good for a ship; and a tub. Double sink vanity which is a very nice touch. Large, good quality soaps that last and last. Upon arrival, your 'Seabourn Alaska jacket' is waiting for you in your suite. This is no throwaway rain poncho; but a high quality fleece-lined, multi zippered-pocket jacket with stowaway detachable hood. There is a table and large chairs you can really dine at! And when room service arrives, the table is set with white linen and the meal is served. As advertised, there is always champagne and anything else available, either in room or at the bars. We thought the food was very good. Even the 'buffet' (Colonnade) offers sit-down table service at all meals, so really, it is either buffet or full serve restaurant with daily specials and 'classic' (permanent) choices. We found this restaurant to be pretty well as good as the full Restaurant, and it is a bit more casual, with fewer courses. That can be a good thing! You can dine here either inside or out; with heaters on the outside patio. oh, and blankets, too. There is also pool/patio side dining; which was also very good. Maybe a bit lighter meals. You can be shielded by the side glass walls, or totally al fresco on the pool deck. Delightful, as were the tapenades etc served with the meals here. We are not connoisseurs of wine, so we were satisfied with the choices. If you don't care for the daily suggestions, just ask for something else. The service is very good. The specialty restaurant, known either as The Grill by Thomas Keller, or, more prosaically, as 'Restaurant 2', was not that special. The food was good, but the service was not particularly polished, and we found the small room surprisingly noisy. Maintenance details in our suite were taken care of without our asking; the 'stewardess' (that's what the company calls them) did the reporting of items not quite right, and someone came to fix them. The F & B manager, a busy and gregarious guy named Antonio, made a point of stopping on a very busy day to wish me a happy birthday. That's the kind of attention to detail; not to mention the banner in the suite and a bottle of nice wine! There is a fairly large gym for such a small ship. We walked through it once ;) There are quite a few lectures on various topics given during the cruise. These were very informative, and add to the appreciation of the cruise. Thankfully, these are recorded and available on the in-suite tv. It's hard to keep up! Many of the excursions are launched right off the boat on the Zodiacs/kayaks kept on the ship. The guides seem very knowledgeable. Most people we met liked the ship's excursions very much; although they can get pretty pricey. Minor, very minor, quibbles: the bar staff didn't always seem to know much about available beers; some of the staff in the Square didn't always seem to know what was going on. But answers would be gotten. We don't care that much what the entertainment is, because we'd rather admire the view; so I am not commenting on it as we saw little of it. The band was good. There were very few small children or teenagers on the ship, despite it being July. It will be an adjustment to go back to a 'lesser' standard of suite or service. Hard to believe that this is, after all, still a Carnival ship. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. We would very much like to go back with Seabourn. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We managed to book our cruise/expedition at a very good price due to a late booking, our previous cruise with Scenic Eclipse was cancelled at very short notice. Which was disappointing at the time, but Silverseas have now gained a loyal ... Read More
We managed to book our cruise/expedition at a very good price due to a late booking, our previous cruise with Scenic Eclipse was cancelled at very short notice. Which was disappointing at the time, but Silverseas have now gained a loyal follower! I can't imagine travel on any other line after the great experience that we had. We were met at Oslo and Tromso by Silverseas agents and professionally looked after till we boarded the ship. We had managed to upgrade to a Silver suite on the Silver Cloud, which is, in effect 2 cabins together, so a separate bedroom/dressing room with two shower rooms/toilets. Our butler was efficient, polite and a real gentleman, "Arun" helped to make this trip memorable. With only about 230 passengers, the voyage is made all the more enjoyable as it is possible to meet more people, who are from all over the world, and we met some very lovely people. The food was of an exceptional standard, real fine dining, and the staff on all levels were polite, friendly and knowledgeable. How they manage to remember all our names is a mystery, but they do, The Zodiac trips were well organised with a priority on safety, which is encouraging given the choppy seas at times, and also the land excursions to see the wildlife were also expertly organised, with forward parties going on shore to check out safety i.e.meaning making sure there were no Polar bears loolking for an early meal! It is the first trip we have had in many years, that we were not wanting it to end. Full credit to Silverseas and the ace team that they have working on the Silver Cloud, they made the expedition into one our our most memorable trips.. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was the first Viking Cruise we have taken, previously having sailed with Disney. The whole ship exudes quality both from the quality of furnishings, food and crew. The transfer arrangements went smoothly and without hitch. We had a ... Read More
This was the first Viking Cruise we have taken, previously having sailed with Disney. The whole ship exudes quality both from the quality of furnishings, food and crew. The transfer arrangements went smoothly and without hitch. We had a starboard cabin on deck 5 (5053) which had everything we needed and exceeded the quality of Disney product. The self service restaurant was where we had breakfast and lunch and food and choice were excellent. Evenings we are in The Restaurant which was waiter service and had the most wonderful server in Sophia - a credit to Viking, in our view. The food was well presented and delicious. One night we ate in Manfredis which was Italian specialty and delicious. We didn’t visit the Chefs Table but did lunch a couple of times in Madsens, the Scandinavian restaurant which was excellent. My only criticism was that some guests seemed to get to eat in Manfredis regularly and there should be limitations so that everyone can benefit! I have to say that the entertainment team were awesome led by Cruise Director Bevin, no mean singer in his own right either. His assistant Brian Rodriguez had an amazing voice and the vocalists Dan, Becky, Maddy and Damien performed shows each night that would not have disgraced the West End and backed by a terrific band. The crew from Capt Olav downwards were friendly and could not do enough for us. Special mention for Olex our barman as well. Shore excursions lived up to Vikings cultural enrichment theme and were well organised. We have already booked our next cruise whilst onboard! Read Less

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise