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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
This Silversea Cruise was an excellent experience. The boat was top class, the staff were exceptional and the food very good. The ports of call were well organised with information of each port being provided via a nightly news letter ... Read More
This Silversea Cruise was an excellent experience. The boat was top class, the staff were exceptional and the food very good. The ports of call were well organised with information of each port being provided via a nightly news letter and/or talks explaining the facts of the next port. there were numerous activities onboard although we did not participate. There was a choice of dining by ourselves or joining some fellow cruise passengers if you wanted. A very big bonus is the fact that you do not feel like you are putting your hand in your pocket every time your wanted a drink of some food. Everything is included which provided for a relaxed and hassle free cruise. If there was one criticism if would be on leaving the ship the organisation could have been better when tranferring from ship to customs. It was a little disorganised at the coach transfer. This normally would not be an issue except it is the last point at which you touch the Silversea service, this should be equally if not more important than joining the ship. A very small thing and would certainly not change my recommendation that Silversea is a marvellous way to see the world and relax Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We got on board in Budapest tired from the all night plane ride, but excited. The crew welcomed us aboard and showed us to our stateroom (3rd balcony). At the evening group meeting they informed us that one of the large generators has ... Read More
We got on board in Budapest tired from the all night plane ride, but excited. The crew welcomed us aboard and showed us to our stateroom (3rd balcony). At the evening group meeting they informed us that one of the large generators has failed. This was after we unpacked everything for a two week cruise to Amsterdam. They told us the ship will be dry docked for at least 3 days. We will be bused to two different hotels at two different locations. We thought this was some kind of joke. The joke was on us. People's reaction was shock and huge disappointment. We found out later that this problem existed five days before we arrived. From that point on we never made our destinations on time. The generator was replace in Linz, Austria on the following Sunday. For two weeks we essentially became a rushed bus tour. The crew on the Aegir were fantastic. They did the best they could. How did management let us on board without acknowledging they had a problem? They could of given us a choice. Two days before we reached Amsterdam with a new generator we found out the other large generator failed. We couldn't wait to get off this cursed ship. As you may know these cruises aren't inexpensive. This was a once in a life time adventure for many of us. They offered us a 25% refund and a 25% discount on our next cruise. Who in their right mind would go on another Viking Cruise!!! We feel a 50% refund is reasonable. I'm not the type of person who likes to complain. But when you meet wonderful people on board, some in their 80's, this will be their last big vacation. Management was never upfront with us before we arrived. Viking has a great reputation and I'm sure this experience is not the norm. But how can we recommend this cruise line after being treated like herded sheep. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Seabourn really do exceed your expectations. Nearing 100 nights on Seabourn one does wonder if the next cruise will be as good as the last one. Well it was. From the moment we were met by Paulo on the dockside who warmly welcomed us ... Read More
Seabourn really do exceed your expectations. Nearing 100 nights on Seabourn one does wonder if the next cruise will be as good as the last one. Well it was. From the moment we were met by Paulo on the dockside who warmly welcomed us to the last day of farewells Seabourn Sojourn made you feel special and part of the family. The itinerary in the Med was excellent, the stewardess first class, the food with chef Neal was amazing, the staff so attentive and the entertainment with cruise director Sophie excellent for a ship of this size. What more could one ask for? Nothing is too much trouble and if you need help a visit to Seaboard Square where the staff will sort it out for you. And of course while there order a coffee from the amazing Monika or Laura. Gripes are few, but smoking on balconies must be stopped, and hot coffee for breakfast outdoors in the Colonnade would be appreciated, but wow what a great time we had. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Don't spend the money on the precruise pkg. We went direct to the hotels website and booked an over the water bungalow for half the paul gaugain price. We had read that paul gaugain was rated #1 small cruise line in the world. I ... Read More
Don't spend the money on the precruise pkg. We went direct to the hotels website and booked an over the water bungalow for half the paul gaugain price. We had read that paul gaugain was rated #1 small cruise line in the world. I don't know how that could happen!! We have sailed several other cruise lines all over the world and i would place any of them head and shoulders above pg. On our departure day several of us had arrived early (as we had to depart our hotels). We stood in the sun (not enough shade or chairs) without even water offered for several hours before being allowed to board. The ship has 3 restaurants and two of them only change their menu once during the entire 10 days. L'etolle was the best offer. You would think in french polynesia that you could snorkel anywhere. Not so. If you want to snorkel you have to pay for an excursion. The exception is pg's private "island" where it isn't worth getting wet for. We tried to arrange a dive trip but found the man handling the dive desk was so obnoxious we gave up and chose to just snorkel instead. The crew was the exception!! The crew was fabulous. From the our butler, abner, all the way to the captain. All were marvelous. Eduardo in la veranda was a great help in selecting wines. Herrnie waited on us with skill and a great sense of humor. We couldn't have asked for a better crew. I can't say enough good things about them. The last day we were charged $15. Just to have the ship call a taxi for us. One last jab at the pocketbook? Such a lack of class on pg's part!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
I have done multiple cruises on large cruise ships both alone and with friends/family. This was my first trip on a small ship (322 passengers) and I was concerned about whether it would be a good fit for a solo cruiser. In fact, I was ... Read More
I have done multiple cruises on large cruise ships both alone and with friends/family. This was my first trip on a small ship (322 passengers) and I was concerned about whether it would be a good fit for a solo cruiser. In fact, I was not the only solo cruiser on board, there were about 5 of us. I had been concerned about dinner as there is no assigned dining, but in the main dining room I never had a problem asking to be seated with others at a large table. The ship also has 2 reservation only restaurants, where the seating was not as smooth. I tried making a reservation for myself and asking at the time of reservation to be seated with others. I was told that would not be possible without their permission. Two other solo cruisers were dining in the same restaurant on the same night, but it took us to put ourselves together. No problem, the main dining room was just fine anyway. Be advised that if you want to go to the reservation restaurants, do it very early in the cruise as they book up. Also, the reservation restaurants only change their menu one time during a 10 day cruise, the main dining room changes nightly. Couple of tips about going: Yes, the weather is warm but the airports, airplane and the common areas of the ship can be cold. Take more long pants and light sweaters. The dining room is not dressy, but pants rather than shorts is appropriate. Take cash money, do not expect to rely on ATMs onshore. The small islands the ship visits do not have stores, banks, internet cafes etc like you may be used to in say Hawaii. You do not need to get the local currency at home as the ship's exchange rate is just fine. Pay for the ship's internet package. It is not a bad deal as on large cruise ships. Even a large tourist island such as Bora Bora only has one internet cafe. Sign up for shore trips from home for the best selection, but because they don't bill you until the end of the cruise, you can change your mind while on board the day before the activity. Take water shoes not just flip-flops. There are some beaches where you get off in the water and some beaches that have some coral rock where water shoes are just better. The no-tipping and unlimited alcohol are great. Not a trip I would advise for alcoholics as pretty much anything all day and all night that you want to drink is available without additional charge. Makes for a nice bill when you leave: just shore trips and internet. Bottom line: Very pricey and very worth it whether you are solo or not. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
Viking Grand European Cruise was crafted perfectly. The tours were in the morning after breakfast with ample time to freelance sightsee on your own after lunch. The vibe on the ship was totally relaxed. The total amount of passengers was ... Read More
Viking Grand European Cruise was crafted perfectly. The tours were in the morning after breakfast with ample time to freelance sightsee on your own after lunch. The vibe on the ship was totally relaxed. The total amount of passengers was under 200, which allowed for a great intimate atmosphere. Open seating at dinner meant we met new people ever night. The food was nicely prepared each evening and the service was outstanding in all departments. We will defintely be doing this again! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
Budapest to Bucharest was a great trip itinerary. Stay in Romania was especially good with extension up to Brasov. Distance into cities which we thought we would actually be docked inside was disappointing. Cruise Director programs were ... Read More
Budapest to Bucharest was a great trip itinerary. Stay in Romania was especially good with extension up to Brasov. Distance into cities which we thought we would actually be docked inside was disappointing. Cruise Director programs were really good. Food was below cruise ship quality. Tours were good, but some of the tour guides were very poor. Home tour in Croatia was fantastic. Serbia and Western Bulgaria were depressing; Eastern Bulgaria very impressive. Scenery was really fantastic. Cruise ship staff on Embla was good, but not as good as on preceding cruise on Alsvin. Hotels in Budapest, and Bucharest were quite good as was Brasov. The Director for Extension in Romania was exceptional in his knowledge, helpfulness, and desire to teach you about the area. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Loved every bit of the cruise, and hopfully will be able to put another cruise together for 2016. Services onboard were great. The variety of entertainment was very "local" and fun to watch. Shore excursions were just long ... Read More
Loved every bit of the cruise, and hopfully will be able to put another cruise together for 2016. Services onboard were great. The variety of entertainment was very "local" and fun to watch. Shore excursions were just long enough. We booked our flights thru viking and we could not be happier with the follow trough from start to finish. I didn't expect the help from the viking staff when we got to the airport when the trip was over. Our cabin was on the lower floor, and was a little smaller than some of the other rooms, but there was more good about the room than there was bad. We had more privacy than some of the rooms that had balconies. Food lended itself to the local dishes and was a good treat. I can't say enough about the excellent presentation of the food dishes each meal. I have heard that there are fancier and more upscale river cruises available, but for my money I don't think that there is any better river cruise line than Viking River Cruises. Thanks for the memories! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
We loved everything about our Danube Cruise. The ship, crew, food, accommodations were all excellent. The included excursions as well as a couple of optional ones were top notch. Guides were very informative and the sites were ... Read More
We loved everything about our Danube Cruise. The ship, crew, food, accommodations were all excellent. The included excursions as well as a couple of optional ones were top notch. Guides were very informative and the sites were extraordinary. The free time in the cities we visited was our favorite part, but only because the tour guides were so helpful so that we knew how we wanted to spend that time. We cannot say enough good things about the food on board, as well as the service. The included wine was a highlight as well. We loved the size of the ship and being able to sit in deck and see all sides was wonderful. The day we cruised the Wachau Valley, we sat on deck all day and that may have been the best day of the cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
It is difficult to specifically identify a particular aspect of the cruise that made the cruise excellent...it was a diffusion of many aspects. My wife suffers from acute Irritable Bowel Syndrome and usually "accommodates" the ... Read More
It is difficult to specifically identify a particular aspect of the cruise that made the cruise excellent...it was a diffusion of many aspects. My wife suffers from acute Irritable Bowel Syndrome and usually "accommodates" the menu to minimise the impact but chef on the Skirnir was determined to ensure the food served to my wife had no impact on her at all. He took time from his busy schedule to meet one-on-one with my wife each morning after breakfast to discuss the day's evening menu and establish a "few deviations" that was a compromise of the excellent cuisine served on-board and what my wife's condition could handle. The bar and food staff were simply awesome...they were friendly, helpful, compassionate, lovable, entertaining, ..... just fantastic. Nothing was a problem and a problem was nothing. Our cabin attendant, Archie, was always ready to provide assistance with a cheery attitude. I have fallen into the mistake of mentioning specific personnel...this is a problem because everyone on-board who provided a service to us as quests were outstanding. For example, I am an Professional Electrical Engineer, and as such very interested in the workings of the cruise ship. I went to the main desk to see if I could arrange a walk through the engine room at some time during the 15 day cruise. The Chief Engineer was contacted immediately and within a few minutes he was showing me the workings of the vessel at the engine room level. My wife and I, as a result of our experiences on-board the Skirnir have been recommending Viking to anyone that has shown interest in taking a European river cruise. We will definitely traveling with Viking in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
We traveled on the new ship Viking Skirnir. What a lovely ship. We were treated at the gangway and introduced by the crew who took our cases on board and we checked in and they took our luggage to our room with us. This ship was its ... Read More
We traveled on the new ship Viking Skirnir. What a lovely ship. We were treated at the gangway and introduced by the crew who took our cases on board and we checked in and they took our luggage to our room with us. This ship was its 6th trip. Our suite was just amazing with all the things we hoped for. We could not fault a thing. We toured around the top deck where they have a walking area and a golf area for putting,as well as a deck with lovely chairs and tables. We found the staff always willing to help if you needed it. They organised all our day trip activities with ease. We had Joey as our host for each day's planning he was funny but very professional. The entertainment was enough at night the paino player could play anything good dancing music. Our tours out each day were well planned and we had plenty of time to explore for ourself if we wanted to. The meals were lovely and the staff really looked after everyone. This river cruise is very different to a ocean cruise so do not expect a theatre for your entertainment. We all fitted in the dinning room at once for our meals, and the tables you could choose where ever you wanted to go t. From memory they were settings from 6-10. I think we had 196 on our ship. We could not fault the staff and the ship had everything we hoped for and more. For I think it was two days we could not use the top deck to sit out on as we had a lot of low bridges to go under, but there was seating on the 2nd and 3rd decks so it was not a problem. One must put up with this as the bridges are quiet low in places. Can not wait to do another cruise with Viking..I would suggest you start at Amsterdam and arrive at night time into Budapest the lights were stunning coming into Budapest. Almost all the folk were on top deck when we arrived into Budapest, camera flashing all around us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
We had a great cruise but be aware the ship just tootles around, doesn't really go anywhere much! Out of 7 nights, 3 were in Bordeaux (great town) & 2 in Libourne (not much there). We were warned that the cabins are small but ... Read More
We had a great cruise but be aware the ship just tootles around, doesn't really go anywhere much! Out of 7 nights, 3 were in Bordeaux (great town) & 2 in Libourne (not much there). We were warned that the cabins are small but we were still surprised at just how small they are. Service was outstanding, food pretty good. Would have been nice to eat outside but, from what we could gather, that was a bit difficult for the staff! All the tours from the ship were excellent except that a couple of guides talked too much. Our program was in a completely different order to the brochure and, yes, they do have the disclaimer, but an explanation would have been nice. We didn't enjoy being berthed next to other ships at night but I guess that is river cruising for you. This is not a criticism of Uniworld but of Bordeaux - if they want ships berthed along the river they need to move the very LOUD skate park away from where the ships are docked. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We took the June cruise on Nautica circumnavigating the British Isles in a veranda room. This was our first trip on Oceania and there were many good points: check-in was the smoothest I can recall on a cruise, and so was debarkation. The ... Read More
We took the June cruise on Nautica circumnavigating the British Isles in a veranda room. This was our first trip on Oceania and there were many good points: check-in was the smoothest I can recall on a cruise, and so was debarkation. The staff were uniformly friendly and attentive. Food in the main dining room was excellent throughout. Vegetarian choices abound but there are plenty of real food dishes to eat! Bars provided good service. Those of us who have cruised for many years can remember when liquor and wine at sea were a bargain, but no longer. There were two periods each day when all food service shut down for a couple of hours, which is not a terrible imposition, but the question is why? Life on board was not uniformly excellent. Culture on this ten night cruise turned out to be 4 lectures each 45 minutes long about cities we would visit. And that was that. Excursions were very pricey; we took five and were not always pleased. On the up side, there is a good library of dvds and players in the staterooms. This ship is clean and well maintained, especially for its age (roughly 17). Next time we are trying one of Oceania's two newer ships (and trying to ignore the excursions). Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
Boy did we have a great time! The food was unbelievable. The chef made a real effort to ensure we were experiencing the fruits, cheeses and wines of the season and area we were travelling through. No request was too small and nothing was ... Read More
Boy did we have a great time! The food was unbelievable. The chef made a real effort to ensure we were experiencing the fruits, cheeses and wines of the season and area we were travelling through. No request was too small and nothing was overlooked. We had a silver package which meant we could imbibe with the appropriate wines and before dinner cocktails without worry of an enormous bar tab at the end. The entertainment was all good; a nice variety of music and musical programs to listen to, sing along with and dance to if the mood took. A nice size boat; so we got to know quite a few fellow travellers and were on nodding terms with the rest. Our state room was well maintained through-out the cruise and I enjoyed coming back to the room at the end of the evening to discover new towel sculptures, flowers and fresh fruit! We really enjoyed the shore excursions; just the right combination of walking, sightseeing and commentary. Once again, there was variety, steam train, vineyards, art galleries etc - a good mix - something for everyone Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We are a couple in our mid thirties who took a seven night cruise on the queen Victoria from Rome to Venice. This formed part of a wider European vacation. Overall we did enjoy our holiday but we wanted to make this review so passengers ... Read More
We are a couple in our mid thirties who took a seven night cruise on the queen Victoria from Rome to Venice. This formed part of a wider European vacation. Overall we did enjoy our holiday but we wanted to make this review so passengers can be informed as the queen Victoria is a different set up to other cruises. We were in a deluxe inside room on level 8. Perfect floor. One down from the buffet, pools and generally nicer to be higher up. The room was big, well serviced, of high quality and our deal came with a bottle of verve on arrival which was a lovely touch. The boat is very luxurious and has strict dress requirements. We attended the main restaurant on two nights, one formal, one not (both require a jacket). Although a lovely room the food was relatively cold and by way of example would you expect tinned pears in a pear and rocket salad in a five star restaurant? Advice.....if you can't get fresh pears don't make that salad. The room was understaffed with drinks taking a long time and although the food was nice it was not our scene. As a vegetarian I was offered a menu every day to choose from for the next night which was wonderful. But....after two nights we tried the buffet. Yes you collect your own food and the chairs aren't pretty but it's a five star buffet. Hot food, lots of choice and if you don't like the wealth of food on offer fresh pizza and pasta can be made to order. You don't go on a boat like that for pizza but we did have one one night when we didn't like the buffet choices and it was lovely. Best of all you can choose the time you eat dinner, go In normal clothes and it's quiet. Drink service is fast and easy. We spent a couple of nights watching the sunset whilst everyone else either ate in the first sitting of the posh restaurant or were getting blamed up for second sitting, it was magical. Pools are fine, busy though, chairs taken quickly on sea days so we sat at the tables, smoking side most people avoid but few smoke so it's nice and quiet. The age demographic is older, 60, 70s and the main conversation topic is boasting about the last cruise they went on. We felt quite looked down on by some, although some people were lovely. Mostly though if you can ignore people who think they are better than they actually are then it is fine. All the staff are lovely but these European destinations are packed with so many boats when you arrive you get no feel for the country. Souvenirs are tacky, crowds are awful. For that reason we would not go on another cruise until we have mobility issues. This cruise caters beautifully for the elderly. There is dancing, instrumentals, options to basically not walk at all. We only watched the comedian show who was good, otherwise we watched free movies in the room, as social areas you have to wear a jacket. Coffee card is a con for espresso drinkers, we were sold a free coffee with every ten.... Espresso is cheaper than milky coffees but counts for one use. We asked specifically when buying about espresso and this card was blatantly mis sold. Alcohol is very pricey. We had the soda package as we like soda water, costs 2.75 usd per glass otherwise. Spa is nice, has specials each day which are the best value, best value is on a port not a sea day. You have to pay 300usd to use part of the spa for 7 days.....all adds up so if you want all of the services book with someone who gives you what seems like too much on board credit but geez you need it just to have a normal holiday. We had booked one port excursion but cancelled as we didn't fancy going out anywhere with the people on the boat. No refund. Most ports you can do on your own anyway but I would suggest not booking as they don't offer refunds, In general if dressing up is your thing, you don't mind crowds and are either a bit full of your own importance of can ignore people who are its a nice cruise. Just expect extra costs. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
This was an impulse trip that my husband wanted to do. I thought going on this trip might be a little boring. Boy was I wrong. First of all the boat is beautiful. Fully renovated in the true style of the time. Our room had a veranda and it ... Read More
This was an impulse trip that my husband wanted to do. I thought going on this trip might be a little boring. Boy was I wrong. First of all the boat is beautiful. Fully renovated in the true style of the time. Our room had a veranda and it was great having coffee service bought to the room each morning and sitting out there watching the river roll by. The beds are as comfortable as any five star hotel. The crew is outstanding, always smiling and ready to help you. Most of the time they were coming over just to see if you need something. They have the formal dinning room which is beautiful and the food was wonderful. Great selections everyday. If you want more casual dinning, go to the front porch and enjoy the open air dinning. The shows are spectacular, a seven piece orchestra and great performers. Something unique each night. The ports that we stopped at are historical and very interesting. You have the option to do tours that are included in the price or premium tours that they offer. We did about half and half. One of the great things about the cruise is because this is not a huge cruise ship, you get to know the people on board. We made some lifelong friendships this week. All in all it was a great trip and we will definitely go again. They are several different routes you can take. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We are back from the cruise and really enjoyed it. The suite was the largest we have been in on any cruise, river or ocean. The ship was only a little over half full, so we got a lot of great attention, but I believe if the ship had been ... Read More
We are back from the cruise and really enjoyed it. The suite was the largest we have been in on any cruise, river or ocean. The ship was only a little over half full, so we got a lot of great attention, but I believe if the ship had been full we still would have gotten the same attention. The couple that had the stateroom were told that it was our anniversary and we wanted a queen bed, and they had no problem switching with us. We decided to send them a gift basket for their trouble and talked to the hotel manager (Eric Lang) to get one sent to their suite. He was great. He went to 3 different spots to find a gift basket and card. Then afterwards he told us the company was picking up the costs. Suzanne lost her camera on the first day, which was the only negative on the trip, but since it was the first day instead of the last, it wasn’t that bad. When we were visiting the Franklin County Museum in Pasco Washington, we asked the administrator (Sherel Webb) if she knew where we could buy a digital camera and she thought the drug store next door and called to be sure they had one and we were able to purchase an inexpensive one for Suzanne to use on the rest of the trip. Suzanne had a question on a piece of embroidery that was on display and asked if she knew where we could get one for her to make. Sherel called the woman who donated the item to see if she knew where to get it, but she didn’t. Sherel then checked the internet for sites that might have it. After we got back Sherel had emailed us a couple of more sites for Suzanne to check. The woman was amazing. This trip was so great we have placed a deposit on a new cruise American Queen is offering on the Mississippi. It is 23 days from St Paul to New Orleans. Previously you would have had to book 3 separate legs to get the whole thing at a much greater cost. The hotel (Davenport Historical) we stayed at the first night was fantastic and absolutely beautiful. Read Less
89 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
The reviewer "Regent Ain't What She Used To Be" provides a detailed review we entirely agree with. Unlike that reviewer we had not sailed with Regent before. Our cruise experience was with Seabourn. We believed the two ... Read More
The reviewer "Regent Ain't What She Used To Be" provides a detailed review we entirely agree with. Unlike that reviewer we had not sailed with Regent before. Our cruise experience was with Seabourn. We believed the two cruise lines were similar. In our experience they are not. Seabourn prides itself on the interaction between staff and clients - this is the major failing we found with Regent. As noted by other reviewers, staff seem overworked and undertrained. Many categories, such as the sommeliers throughout the ship, are sommeliers in name only. They could offer, poorly, the wine of the day, but struggled to deal with any request beyond that. More generally we made a number of inquiries with staff, none of which were adequately dealt with. The answer typically was "I don't know", there was no offer of follow up or further assistance. Compared to Seabourn the food was ordinary and very repetitive. Typically we left most of it on our plate. Other guests we befriended, who had travelled with Regent previously, bemoaned the fall in standards. We agree with comments in other reviews about the time consuming, frustrating, process of allocating clients to excursions and disembarkation. Put simply there seems to be a lot of double handling and lengthy delays. All tour allocations are funnelled through one person who seems easily distracted. On one occasion a guest arrived very late for a tour, the organiser left a theatre full of other clients while he dealt with this one latecomer who, given the circumstances, should have been left behind. If you arrive 20 minutes after the departure time for a tour it is unreasonable to have any expectation of being on that tour. We would not travel with this cruise line again. Read Less
93 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
This was our fourth Regent cruise and first on Voyager. We are seasoned travelers, having been all over the world, mostly doing our own trip planning (we are 60 and 68 respectively). After our last trip to Europe in 2014, we looked ... Read More
This was our fourth Regent cruise and first on Voyager. We are seasoned travelers, having been all over the world, mostly doing our own trip planning (we are 60 and 68 respectively). After our last trip to Europe in 2014, we looked forward to cruising as we know we can unpack once, not rent cars, or schlepp bags in and out of hotels. We enjoy seeing the world go by from the balcony or aft deck, and of course, the all-inclusive aspect of Regent is appealing. I am torn between a rating of 2 or 3...but given what you pay for a Regent Cruise, I ultimately came up with a poor rating. Here's why: Suite: Upon entering the cabin we are greeted by champagne and eagerly browse all the information on the desk. Oddly, I noticed was an envelope with shore excursions addressed to someone else along side an envelope with our tickets. I took the envelope to the Destination Desk and she simply tore up the other persons' tickets and tossed them in the trash. No explanation. The next odd thing occurred while we were unpacking. I opened the closet door and it literally broke - the top hinge snapped and the door swung toward me, just missing my head. Fortunately the bottom hinge held. We immediately called reception and reported the problem. It took 6 hours before someone came to fix it. We were told that maintenance was "too busy preparing to sail" to assist until later. I was surprised to find a large stain on the carpet in front of the makeup table and the small night light along the floor askew and leaning out. We also noted a strong smell of diesel in the hall outside our suite. Fortunately it didn't permeate our suite. Dining: By far the biggest change since our last trip. Food, other than the premium restaurants was not good. Settle Mari had the same tired menu every night with gloppy pastas and dry veal. La Veranda for breakfast was only good if you stuck to fresh fruit and ordered eggs made to order. The hot buffet items were greasy, pastries dry. Compass Ross was slightly better, but service was so slow for breakfast - the explanation given to use was that their kitchen is primarily focused on room service in the morning. Pool Deck Grill varied widely. "Themed" lunches could be acceptable or awful. Signatures and Prime Seven were noticeably better, but I agree with other reviewers that the sommelier was laughable. When I asked for a recommendation on a non-oaky chardonnay, he said he hadn't tried any of those on the list, but he'd "heard" good things about the Louis Jadot Meursault (what?). We stuck with beef or lamb and found they were very good. Lobster was consistently dry and very small portion wise. Entertainment: Other than the Orchestra and the Piano player in the Observation Lounge, the entertainment is sub-par. Amateurish stage shows. I hate to be snarky, but my daughter's high school musicals were better than these shows. The James Bond night was so bad, we left early. Disappointed in Team Trivia this time. I joined friends to play as a team and always had to track down a server for a tea cup and hot water. Cakes and sweets were awful - dry and tasted like they'd been thawed from previously being frozen. Also, if Ray (the Cruise Director) wasn't available you ended up with dancers from the show substituting badly. Crew: I highly suspect that they have reduced the overall crew size and cut back on training. It was hard to find a waiter in the Observation Lounge after dinner and we never once had a server wait on us onside on the Horizon Aft deck - we always had to go in the lounge and hunt for a server. Never once saw the Captain. General Manager occasionally strolled around, but never smiled, said hello, nothing. On the other hand, our Cabin steward was fabulous, always smiling and greeted us by name. The guy running the Computer room is pretty good, given he has crappy equipment (soooo slow desk tops) and has to answer the same question a thousand times a day "I can't get WiFi to work!" Excursions: Ranged from great to awful. As others have noted, the process to get onshore for excursions is disjointed and poorly managed. Other than the young man, I think from Chile, the other Destination Desk crew appeared overwhelmed and negative. Many guides were weak, but again, some were amazing - Rollie in Belfast was exceptional! I felt overall that we spent way too much time on the buses. Some stops were just not interesting at all - Kristiansand and Skagen. Overall impressions are that things have slipped as far as quality and service. On our previous trips, servers would practically fall over themselves to carry your plate from the buffet to your table in La Veranda and the Pool Grill - happened ONCE on this cruise. Also, on previous cruises your wine was topped off continuously. We often waited for refills and had to tell them what we were drinking! Given the price paid, I no longer believe Regent is a good value. We spoke to many other travelers who agreed with us, many of them having sailed with Regent since the Radisson days. I hate to say it, but I think we're done with Regent. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We were surprised to find the bitterly negative reviews. There are always a few glitches, but overall it was great fun with excellent service. This was a busy cruise with only one sea day, and lots of excursions to handle with some people ... Read More
We were surprised to find the bitterly negative reviews. There are always a few glitches, but overall it was great fun with excellent service. This was a busy cruise with only one sea day, and lots of excursions to handle with some people going on more than one per day. I suspect the previous excursion boarding system was changed because some people don't think 'rules' apply to them and were walking out early before their excursions were called to snag the seats they wanted. They were perhaps the same folks who commandeered the handicapped-designated seats this trip, but were clearly not. We had no problem with the system, just that the excursions returned late most of the time. The excursions themselves that we were on were generally fine. We found service excellent from room stewardess to restaurant staff to front desk. Food was likewise generally excellent, though a bit too often jived up with hot spices for our tastes. I was especially peeved to find lemon pasta at La Veranda so laden with hot something that it was inedible, with no warning. The hot taste had no business being there; you could taste nothing else. But some things, like sea bass in La Veranda (a special for the evening - the menu did in fact vary with specials to supplement the regular menu), for example, were truly outstanding, some of the best fish we've ever had. We did notice, however, the baguettes were not as good as previously, either, although they are at the mercy of local ingredients for baking. The chocolate-themed tea was very well done. Re Regent food v. Oceania food: In general we've been more pleased with Regent's food than O's. Our last O cruise was on Marina and we were disappointed in the food. One night in the main restaurant, literally nothing sounded appealing, a problem we did not encounter this trip. Wine was a disappointment, however. It was clearly not as good as previous Regent cruises, with the exception of sparkling wine, Meritage, and some Cabernet in La Veranda. Cocktails were fine. Our smallish glitches: When we finally arrived by bus from LHR to the Mayfair hotel for our included stay, they said they did not have a reservation for us. It was taken care of. On a few occasions, our toilet quit flushing; it was taken care of, apparently a system problem. On at least two nights, just as we tried to drift off to sleep, loud thumping/clanging from the pool machinery made that impossible; it was taken care of. The Canyon Ranch Spa was engaging in what appeared to be overzealous and nontransparent upselling; it was taken care of, but beware. Re entertainment, Cruise Director Ray's performances were great, as usual, but the others were hit and miss. The Jean Ryan performance company in general did a fine job. We have a longer voyage already scheduled for fall, but beyond that we're not sure if we'll continue, despite making gold status and liking "all-inclusive". The prices keep climbing, and I've found their administrative offices much less than responsive, even to written letters...as in no response at all, which is just unacceptable from a company to whom we've paid over $50k this year. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
My husband and I travelled with my brother and his wife on a 7 night cruise from Paris to Normandy and back. We have done several cruises before, but this was our first river cruise and loved the smaller, more intimate style offered. We ... Read More
My husband and I travelled with my brother and his wife on a 7 night cruise from Paris to Normandy and back. We have done several cruises before, but this was our first river cruise and loved the smaller, more intimate style offered. We had rooms 321 and 324. While the rooms were small, we found we weren't in them all too much and were quite comfortable. We loved the layout with the beds facing the wall of windows! What really stood out to us was the staff. Our servers (Shady, Mihai and Elvis) quickly learned our preferences for beverages and were attentive and welcoming each and every time. The Captain greeted us each and every time we boarded the ship after a day spent on shore. I had my hair, eyebrows and lashes tinted by Anette for a very reasonable price. She made me feel and look beautiful! Our room steward kept our cabin spotless and well stocked with complimentary water and bath amenities. The food was delicious from start to finish. There are plenty of choices to appeal to all tastes and the free pouring wines and beer at dinner were an nice inclusion. Chef visited each table every evening and was present during the ample morning buffet. Our cruise director ensured that everything ran smooth, no easy task for 100+ people, all with their own wants and needs. I don't know when she had the time to sleep, but she was always present with a smile on her face. After cruising with Avalon, I am hooked and have already researched other cruises they offer that we are interested. Well done! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
My wife and I were tired of cruising on mega ships in ports where the shopping frenzy was only exceeded by the amount of people you had to push through to walk down a street. We decided on trying a small ship experience and chose a ... Read More
My wife and I were tired of cruising on mega ships in ports where the shopping frenzy was only exceeded by the amount of people you had to push through to walk down a street. We decided on trying a small ship experience and chose a Chateaux and Wine cruise. Cruising on a river was an interesting experience in itself. Instead of hitting a gigantic port or waiting for your number to be called for a tender, we would pull up to a simple floating dock; no muss no fuss. We loved the excursions and the expertise of the guides and the all-inclusiveness of the cruise price. It was far preferable to the mega ships trying to sell you something every minute you were onboard. The relaxed, non pressure atmosphere onboard and the food service were all beyond our expectations. Overall, we will definitely be planning another river cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
We have been of a number of Viking cruises, and although on this particular cruise there is not a great amount of sailing it is very relaxing, the area around Bordeaux is beautiful and the villages and vineyards you visit during this ... Read More
We have been of a number of Viking cruises, and although on this particular cruise there is not a great amount of sailing it is very relaxing, the area around Bordeaux is beautiful and the villages and vineyards you visit during this cruise are superb. Our Veranda A stateroom was very comfortable. The restaurant where it is open seating is first class and the food and service were again is excellent. The dinner prepared by the ships Chef and crew at Chateaux Kirwin in Bordeaux was exceptional and a real highlight of the cruise. We met some really lovely people also on this cruise, and again we were looked after so very well by the excellent Viking Staff on board. Embarkation and disembarkation were very efficient. Would do this cruise again. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We’ve just returned from a 14 night River Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam on the new Avalon Illumination. All other River Cruisers have to adhere to is a maximum length, width and height requirement in order to pass through the many ... Read More
We’ve just returned from a 14 night River Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam on the new Avalon Illumination. All other River Cruisers have to adhere to is a maximum length, width and height requirement in order to pass through the many narrow locks (68 on our trip) and under the low bridges. The ship met and exceeded our expectations in all aspects, staff- service – rooms – food – entertainment and excursions. This is a comprehensive review, so sit down and enjoy. EMBARKATION: Unlike the hustle bustle and congested traffic at most cruise ports, this was by far the easiest to deal with. Avalon arranged a meeting area at the Intercontinental Budapest Hotel on the riverfront on the Pest side. The Cruise Director, Hans and a few staff members were there to greet us and answer any questions. The hotel stored our luggage and a conference room was set up with coffee, tea, soda and water. You could then explore the city on your own until 3:30PM. Trams, metro and buses were close by and the hotel was within walking distance of a pedestrian shopping street, restaurants, bars, churches, museums, bridges to the Buda side and a park overlooking the river. You then boarded buses and were taken to the docking spot. A cold refreshing beverage was offered, your passports collected (only for 24 hours) and a staff member escorted you to your room where your luggage was awaiting – no credit cards and signing of papers – all of that was taken care of later in the week. DEMOGRAPHICS Our ship was almost fully booked with guests from many countries – Most were from Australia, Canada, US and UK. Ages ranged from 20’s to 90’s with most being mid 50’s to mid 70’s. Announcements were made in English only but the staff were multilingual and could assist anyone when needed. STAFF The staff is friendly, well trained, caring and efficient. They soon know you by name, know your favorite beverage whether at mealtime or Happy Hour, and any of your idiosyncrasies – such as a glass of ice for me at every meal. It is apparent that they love their work – smiling, helping each other and pitching in when needed with trash removal and luggage delivery at times – even the Captain and Musician gave a hand. ROOMS Cabins are on three decks. Staterooms on 170 sq. ft. are on the 1st deck- These have windows at shoulder height. The new concept in Avalon’s design of cabins are on the 2nd and 3rd decks. These are called Panoramic Suites – they bring the balcony into the room – thereby gaining 30% more space. One whole wall is a triple sliding glass door and another wall is all mirrored. Just slide the door back and you have a Balcony Sitting room/Bedroom……a great concept that we loved. The decor is more contemporary than traditional in shades of blue, gray and silver with dark wood accents. There is plenty of storage – luggage space under the bed, closets with hanging rods and shelving, dressers and bathroom cabinets. A stocked minibar carries an extra charge, a moderate size safe easily holds I-Pads. The granite and marble bathroom has a large shower with glass door, great water pressure and instant hot water. L’ Occitane products, a powerful hairdryer and a lighted make-up mirror are especially appealing to women. The only thing I found missing was a line to hang clothing or bathing suit to dry. The bed was extremely comfortable with a foam mattress topper and a duvet – the beautiful orchid plant added a nice touch to the room. DINING Food is such a subjective matter, but we found the choices and preparations to be equal or better than most other cruise lines. Breakfast and Lunch are served Buffet Style with one or two specials featured each day to be ordered from the kitchen. Features at Breakfast were Sparkling Wine and a made to order Omelet Station while Lunch always had a Pasta station, a carving station, and sodas but no alcoholic beverages. Lunch options on some days included a Grill Lunch on the Sky Deck (reservations needed) and a light lunch in the Panorama Lounge consisting of two hot dishes, soup, sandwiches, salads and desserts. Dinner was served at 7PM at tables set for four, six or eight in open seating. Regional Wine and Beer flowed freely – you’ll never find your glass empty. Most meats and fish will be served during the two weeks – Steaks, Rack of Lamb, Veal Chop, Sauerbraten, Goulash, Chicken, Pork ,Lamb Shank, Meatballs, Bratwurst, Schnitzel, Shrimp, Tilapia, Scallops, and even Lobster Tail and Foie Gras. Vegetarian options are very creative and change each night. Soups are exceptional – must have had a dozen different flavors. The meal ends with an array of cheeses and the best Bavarian Cream desserts – especially at Tea Time. Another alternative to Dinner is the “Bistro” served either in the Panorama Lounge or on deck if in port with good weather. This consists of about 2 dozen “small plates” ranging from appetizers to offerings from main courses, salads, veggies, cheese and desserts – you don’t have to order – they are all presented during the meal. During the Galley tour the chef explained to us that these change sporadically in order to get feedback from guests before incorporating them into the regular menu (reservations needed – only 24 seats). There are two self-serve coffee stations with specialty coffees (a charge if ordered in the dining room). The station in the aft lounge also has tea, hot chocolate, pastries, cookies, fruit, muffins and donuts at different times during the day – It is open 24 hours. This is also where you can get ice for your room. ENTERTAINMENT A River Cruise does not have the option of the many venues that ocean cruisers have. Avalon has hired very professional talented entertainers and lecturers. We had a resident musician who played quiet piano and sax music in the lounge for lunch, tea, Happy Hour and later in the evening more lively music for dancing. Drink prices are reasonable……most expensive that I saw was $10 for Long Island Ice Tea – most were in the $5 - $8 range and between 5:45PM – 6:45PM they are ½ price. Some excellent local entertainers came aboard while in port – musicians, singers or dancers and two lecturers also joined us between stops. EXCURSIONS This is another aspect of River Cruising that we like – excursions in every port are included. Our Cruise Director Hans, gave a briefing in the lounge each evening just following Happy Hour prior to dinner. He gave a brief history of the next port and explained the excursions in more depth. A complimentary walking tour with bus transportation, if necessary, was offered each morning. Local guides with good English skills lead us while we wore personal headsets so that we could hear the commentary clearly. Optional excursions are offered in the afternoon – pricing very well - $45 to $65 range and in some ports you had the choice of an alternate complimentary excursion such as a Jewish Heritage walk in Cologne. If we were sailing in the afternoon – many times the Cruise Director carried on a commentary of the passing villages, scenery, monasteries, castle, fortresses and vineyards. FITNESS The fitness center was small with about 5 pieces of equipment – but was never crowded. Biking was offered in two ports and you’ll get plenty of walking while visiting the interesting ports. I wear a Fitbit and averaged 5.83 miles per day – on three days it was 11.5 plus miles. Have another delicious dessert!!! OUTDOOR The Sky Deck covers the length of the ship and is well equipped with loungers, chairs, tables and overhead sails to provide shade if wanted. There is also a small Jacuzzi there. There was never a boring moment on this cruise – so much to see and experience – all led by staff that were eager to share what they could with you. Very highly recommended. There are lots of choices in both length of cruise and destination. Watch for the many “specials” that are offered and treat yourself to a memorable vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
Returned from a recent Viking Danube river cruise with another couple and had an incredible time.The Viking Var was our home for the next 8 days and Viking did NOT disappoint. The entire crew was caring and friendly. The ship was always ... Read More
Returned from a recent Viking Danube river cruise with another couple and had an incredible time.The Viking Var was our home for the next 8 days and Viking did NOT disappoint. The entire crew was caring and friendly. The ship was always clean. Meals from breakfast to dinner were great. Seconds? No problem. Want two dessert's no problem. Even have a bottle of water for you as you leave for your tour. Viking is aware that you have choices and they put the "C" in customer satisfaction. Only 182 people on board, so it seems like a private ship. No lines, no waiting. very organized. I look forward to booking another Viking cruise. PS. I would arrive at least a day before departure, so as to avoid any plane problems and get used to the time difference. Spend the extra time and money to visit Prague, you will not be disapointed. Read Less

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