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10,379 Luxury Cruise Reviews

Some background information on the cruisers: Couple in early to late 50's. Have over 200 days on Seabourn this was our first river cruise. Embarkation: We made our own way to the ship at it was very easy to locate. We arrived ... Read More
Some background information on the cruisers: Couple in early to late 50's. Have over 200 days on Seabourn this was our first river cruise. Embarkation: We made our own way to the ship at it was very easy to locate. We arrived around 12.15 and as our suite was not ready we looked around the ship and then had a buffet lunch. Very easy embarkation process. Ship decor: I have heard some posters on cc say they would not sail on Uniworld because they did not like the decor. What a pity to miss out on experiencing Uniworld for this reason Decor is subjective but I will say right now that I loved the decor and really appreciated the fine eye for detail that this ship had. Would I furnish my home in this theme, certainly not but as I was only living with this decor for 15 days I really enjoyed it. I felt like I was living in one of Maria Theresa's palaces and the theme of the ship made sense when we did indeed visit some of her palaces. The Ship: We loved the Leopard bar at the back of the ship and would meet friends there every evening before dinner. We also had a light lunch of soup and sandwiches one day outside which to be honest is too noisy when the ship is moving. The main dinning area never felt crowded but I will say that most of the round tables were taken first as these are much easier to move around when you are getting up and down to go to the buffet. I like that the blinds were moved up and down automatically by the staff if the sun was shinning in guests eyes. The Viennese cafe we hardly used but you could always go down there and make yourself tea or coffee and have a pastry. The Theatre room looked lovely and cozy but we never used this either. The pool we did use and more than a few times. I have heard that guest think it a strange location for a pool but we did not feel this at all. Yes you can see into the pool from the Leopard bar which gives that room a more spacious feel and the mosaic tiles in the pool are truly beautiful. However once a guest enters the pool all the glass becomes frosted and no-one can see in. The pool was heated to a nice temperature and we enjoyed our swims in there. For those of you going on the Maria Therese I encourage you to try the pool out. The main lounge area was very nice and the veranda at the front was also well used. It had an automatic shade that when sunny could be extended. The only problem with this area was that it was the smoking area and we had a few heavy smoker on this cruise so we did not use it very often. The top deck had a lot of chairs and a lot of sun coverage and we saw many passengers doing their daily walking around the deck. We liked this area but because of the bridges were had to go under it was closed for a long portion of the trip. The Staff: In this area Uniworld really excel. To me the staff were as well trained as Seabourn staff and they were very friendly in an unfamiliar way. They had the balance just right. The staff could not do enough for you. No, was never an answer we were given. Chad the tour director was an ex-Seabourn staff member and he was very professional and friendly. He was well liked by all the guests. The Food: We enjoyed the food and wine on this cruise. The lunch buffet was always varied and both at lunch and dinner they often had a local specialty. The wines were a real surprise for us as the quality and variety was far better than anything we are offered on Seabourn. Some of the fish dishes on the dinner menu were not to my liking but there was always something I enjoyed to order. I would say that the food and wine were of a very good quality and presentation and we were very pleased with Uniworld in this area. Passengers: There were 35% Americans %35% Canadians 20% Australians and the rest were European. They ranged in age from mid 30's to late 70's and maybe a few in their 80's. Nearly every passenger was very mobile and energetic. Uniworld always had an easy walking group which consisted of about 6 guests. This worked well as they held no-one up and had there own group where they had no pressure to keep up with the group. The guests were all friendly and we had some fun nights. Excursions: We used the ship's bikes at one port and found them to be really good. They also offered you bike helmets if you wanted them. We did most of the walking tours and found all the guides to have very good English. The voice box system worked really well but when they say do not forget your voice box for the tours they really meant it. The guides may have one to spare but on one occasion a guest forgot her system and there was no spare for her. This was at the later part of the cruise so she should have been in the habit of taking it from her room before a tour. My husband did the tour to the BMW factory and really enjoyed it. As this tour was finishing around 2.30 the ship was concerned they would not get back in time for lunch so gave all the guest going on this tour 15 Euro to buy lunch in town. This meant a number of men found a beer garden had german sausage and steins for lunch. The 15 Euro well and truly covered their lunch and beer and a very merry group returned to the ship late that afternoon. We paid for the optional tour to the Vienna Musical and this was well and truly worth the price. Not only did they have music but they had two opera singers and some ballrooms dancers doing the Viennese waltz. So even if your not a music buff you never became bored. We also did the optional tour to the winter palace and this was also a very good tour. Again Chad really worked hard to make these tours run smoothly. All our groups returned to the bus on time and we never had a problem with waiting for anyone. On one tour a passenger from another ship missed their bus and we took them back to the port. This never happened with our group. Entertainment: We did not enjoy the singer in the lounge so we really did not go there in the evenings. One night they had a guitar player/singer and he was very good and we along with other guests really enjoyed him. We are not into local folk music so did not go and see the Um pa band. We did get up and dance one night but most evenings found us up on the deck taking in the sights (there was a service bell up on the deck should you require a drink) and enjoying a wine. Or if the deck was closed then we enjoyed the back of the Leopard bar either inside or outside. My husband attended all the lectures and he enjoyed them very much. Also Chad was on the speaker up on the top deck during our cruise where there were lots of castles explaining the history of the region on the castles. This we really enjoyed. We also appreciated the lack of announcements in our room or on the deck to give us inane information we gad already read in our daily schedule. Extra: Our butlers said they would like to give our friends in suite 407 and us a special surprise. At 500 p.m. they came to our room and set up caviar and a bottle of Champagne. They then proceed to very ceremoniously bring out a saber and de-cork the champagne by swiping the saber down the seam of the bottle. It was a great sight to see and we had so much fun. They also gave us a small gift each before we left the ship which was greatly appreciated. We were leaving the ship early in the morning at 5.30 a.m. and as we were catching a train to Prague the ship gave us lunch boxes so we would not be hungry on the train. We had sandwiches, cake, fruit and juice and snickers bars. Uniworld really wanted to please their guests and in our case they certainly did. We are going to Egypt with Uniworld in November and I hope I can post as positive review on our return. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Having only previously only been on a sea cruise which we did not enjoy due to bad weather, too many guests, too much vibration from the engine etc., we joined the Viking Sun with an open mind. The travel to the port was very well ... Read More
Having only previously only been on a sea cruise which we did not enjoy due to bad weather, too many guests, too much vibration from the engine etc., we joined the Viking Sun with an open mind. The travel to the port was very well organized, without undue delays, which gave a good start to our holiday. When we got onboard, from the word go, we received a warm welcome which continued throughout the cruise. When I booked this cruise, I asked for an upgrade if a cabin became available and fortunately one came available after the first night. Without this upgrade we would have been disappointed with the D Stateroom that we initially booked. With only around 180 guests, this made is much easier to meet people and get around the ship. We enjoyed the excursions and the flexibility of having additional excursions, which we did take up. It was also helpful to have the choice when to return back to the ship during the 'city visits'. The friendly service we received at 'meal times' was excellent continued during the week, the entertainment was good but would have appreciated more variety. We enjoyed the cruise very much, the disembarkation was very well organized. Just one problem to end with, was having to change at Paris Airport in the short time available following a delay in the flight from Basel Airport. It took about an hour to get to the correct terminal, just in time. We enjoyed the cruise so much, so we have already booked next year for the Romantic Danube cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Our cruise was great, the ship was beautiful, the crew always ready to assist. The excursions for the most part were very good, however some of the local guides were very poor. The lectures and on board entertainment was top notch ... Read More
Our cruise was great, the ship was beautiful, the crew always ready to assist. The excursions for the most part were very good, however some of the local guides were very poor. The lectures and on board entertainment was top notch The pre cruise and post cruise excursions were a waste of money. I will never use this again. If I take another Viking cruise I would plan this totally on my own and not use Viking Viking air was also terrible. Our reservations were completely messed up we had confirmed reservation on overbooked flights. With no seats available. We had paid for Econmy Comfort but ended up seating in cramped seats in the last row of the plane. Customer service with Viking travel and Viking air can be rated at a C- once they have your money. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Although there were over 900 passengers onboard, the thoughtful and intelligent design of the ship made all aspects of the shipboard experience feel intimate. I always felt as if I were dining in a small to midsize restaurant. I liked ... Read More
Although there were over 900 passengers onboard, the thoughtful and intelligent design of the ship made all aspects of the shipboard experience feel intimate. I always felt as if I were dining in a small to midsize restaurant. I liked the variety of locations and cuisine that were available for dining. The food was consistently very good, but I was especially impressed with the dinners at Manfredi's, which I thought were equal to those at the best Italian restaurants in New York City. I found the menus at the Chef's Table to be disappointing; a little too nouvelle and pretentious for my taste. I really loved the Viking Star and was sorry to disembark after 15 nights. All of the public areas on the ship were beautiful and comfortable. There were so many inviting spots that I did not have the time to visit. I will be looking for another opportunity to travel on this ship. I found all of the service to be excellent onboard and all of the staff to be knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. I would have liked to stay a little longer at some of the ports. I think the guides were very good, but wished that there had been the opportunity to visit more of the museums, galleries and shops, rather than just riding around on a bus. I generally enjoyed the additional excursions more than the tours which were included. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This cruise was a wonderful! The ship was beautiful! Attention had been paid to all the details. The public areas were quiet, comfortable, & clean. The service was very good. All staff we met were helpful and eager to please. We ate ... Read More
This cruise was a wonderful! The ship was beautiful! Attention had been paid to all the details. The public areas were quiet, comfortable, & clean. The service was very good. All staff we met were helpful and eager to please. We ate in every venue at least once. We found the food to be delicious! We ate most in the buffet because we liked our choice of food and time. We also found our room service to be a positive experience. (We like room service on early excursion days.) We liked the way the lectures and much of the entertainment was related to our location. We were happy with all our excursions and we had a mix of optional & included tours. All in all, we couldn't have asked for a better experience. I didn't want it to end! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Wonderful trip with great ports of call. The cabins were very well appointed and cabin stewards were very attentive. Public spaces on the ship were fabulous, very spacious and never a problem with finding a private place to read or ... Read More
Wonderful trip with great ports of call. The cabins were very well appointed and cabin stewards were very attentive. Public spaces on the ship were fabulous, very spacious and never a problem with finding a private place to read or visit. Excellent dining choices on the ship, including speciality restaurants. Multiple choices for swimming pools, none of them were crowded even though they were a bit small. Entire staff onboard were very professional and extremely courteous. The ports of call were very interesting and the enrichment programs were very helpful and informative. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
What a great ship! Uncluttered, beautifully designed, never crowded, except on rare occasions in the theater. We were also impressed by the ship's stability in heavy seas. For a time, between Stavanger and the entrance to the Fjord ... Read More
What a great ship! Uncluttered, beautifully designed, never crowded, except on rare occasions in the theater. We were also impressed by the ship's stability in heavy seas. For a time, between Stavanger and the entrance to the Fjord leading to Flam, we were in the North Sea during a storm .The Captain told us afterwards that winds were up to 70mph and seas as high as 20ft. The ship slammed into some of the waves, but overall, it was very steady and little or no rolling. Our cabin was on 8 Deck, Forward, so we would have felt the movement more than others. We slept through most of the storm and awoke to the magnificent views of the Fjord. The selection of shore activities was on the whole very good. In St. Petersburg, we took the 2 day package "Ultimate St. Petersburg" Our guide was excellent but St. Petersburg is just overwhelmed with tourists. We were one of 7 ships in port. The other ships were carrying probably 2500 to 3000 pax each and with our 900, you are talking about 18,000 or so people all wanting to visit the same places at once. It became very crowded at times, especially at Peters Hof. Our favorite town was Tallinn in Estonia. Very quaint and unspoiled. We did the tour in the morning with hundreds of others, but came back in the early evening when most tourists and ships had gone. We had a wonderful meal in town. We skipped the "Berlin Your way" Trip as the forecast called for 102F temps. Instead, we did the Rostock tour, which included a river cruise to the town followed by lunch at a brewery. On our return, we had a delightful afternoon in Warenmunde. This is a destination in itself. Well worth a visit and it is just behind where the ship docks. The stop in Aarhus was great, but too short. We just had time to do the walking tour and then we had to be back on board. Aarhus was town with a number of places that one could go back to and re-explore, but there was no time. Dining on board was a real pleasure! We decided on Open Dining, so we did not use the Main Restaurant frequently. When we did, we were impressed with the menu selections, food quality, service levels and choices. We enjoyed Manfreddi's Italian Restaurant on two occasions. Good menu and excellent food and wines. The "Chef's Table" was a bit of a disappointment. We had read that menus were changed infrequently, however, for this trip, they seemed to change them every 4 or 5 days. The menu is take it or leave it!. No choices. It is a 5 course tasting menu, often overdone with excessive "foam" dishes. Of all the dining experiences, this is the one that needs attention. Maybe a good first quality grill! (Even with a surcharge) Our favorite for meals was the World Cafe on Deck 7. Whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner the food is wonderful. The presentation is always fresh, the assortment and quality of food, second to none! King Crab legs, tiger prawns, Sushi, Lobster Vol au Vent, Prime Rib, sirloin, veal-you name it it was there. The wine quality was great and the service exceptional. Tables were cleared and re-laid very quickly. You have to try the Winter Garden for Afternoon Tea. Always popular and very good! Mamsons on Deck 7 was a great place for waffles and all things Norwegian. The embarkation process was a breeze. Very quick and efficient. The security for getting off and back on the ship for shore excursions was efficient and friendly. The disembarkation process was as smooth as is possible. We waited in the theater for our scheduled time and then left the ship, found our luggage and were helped to the bus to go to the station at Bergen. Entertainment was moderate. We did not expect a high level, but what we got was good. The lectures were interesting and well attended. Overall, the "Viking Star" far exceed our expectations.It lives up to all the hype that Viking put out about it. The physical design of the ship was great, the staterooms well designed. Food and beverages were excellent. The crew were very friendly and always smiling. We would certainly recommend this ship and Viking, to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
this was our 4th Viking river cruise and to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. We had a wonderful precruise trip to Kraków. We then suffered a 6.5 hour minibus transfer to Prague. Before leaving I asked about this transfer and was ... Read More
this was our 4th Viking river cruise and to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. We had a wonderful precruise trip to Kraków. We then suffered a 6.5 hour minibus transfer to Prague. Before leaving I asked about this transfer and was assured it was a short comfy trip. After our day in Prague we were transferred to the Beyla a beautiful new ship designed for the Elbe. The water level of the Elbe had been noted for several weeks earlier to be very low. Viking did not warn us about how this might Affect our cruise. As a result the ship was not in Melnik so we missed that beautiful city entirely and boarded at Bad Shandau. The Elbe is barely a river; more like a wide creek. The captain had to call and wait for water to be released several times before we could sail. One earlier Viking ship was stranded for three days and the passengers bussed for hours to the next port. Many of the former East German cities we stopped at looked deserted. At Wittenburg the bus drivers refused to return to the ship as we were promised so many of us cooked in the record hot temperatures for 2 hours before they opened the bus and turned on the A/C. There was no Viking tour in Berlin; surely. Bus tour could be part of that last day. The food was not inspiring. The staff were great. The ship was clean and beautiful and only a few months old. We had paid for a French balcony yet for at least three days another Viking ship tied up alongside completely blocking our view and forcing us to close the blinds as the deckhands of the other ship were working outside our cabin. I wrote to the CEO shortly after our return and have not had the courtesy of a Reply after nearly four weeks.....and this was our fourth Viking river cruise! Viking knew in the early spring that the Elbe water was very low. A reputable company would have cancelled cruising under those circumstances or, at the very least, offered customers a consideration for the terrible experience. DO NOT CRUISE THE ELBE Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We did two Viking river cruises back to back (Elegant Elbe and the Rhine) Both cruises were great. The ships and staff were very accomadating. We really enjoyed the excursions as this was our first river cruises, very educational.The food ... Read More
We did two Viking river cruises back to back (Elegant Elbe and the Rhine) Both cruises were great. The ships and staff were very accomadating. We really enjoyed the excursions as this was our first river cruises, very educational.The food was not lacking in any way. Both ships were very nice, we enjoyed the smaller ship on the Elbe river. What we didn't enjoy was the airline booking that Viking provided. It was the milk run both ways. We booked these cruises over a year ago. With all the none stop flights from Seattle to Europe we had to make two stops getting to Berlin. Coming home we had to make two stops back to Seattle. The problem was that fellow passengers with Viking Air were booked nonstop back to Seattle. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
The staff was terrific. Lee Oliver, our cruise director was outstanding. Very informative and very helpful when we had questions. The wait staff was exceptional. Darwin our waiter was the best. Very attentive and explained things ... Read More
The staff was terrific. Lee Oliver, our cruise director was outstanding. Very informative and very helpful when we had questions. The wait staff was exceptional. Darwin our waiter was the best. Very attentive and explained things about the cities we would be visiting as we cruised to them. Bayan I believe her name to be although I know I misspelled it. She is from Bulgaria was a delight and also very attentive. Our room steward was very nice. Our room was always emaculate. And she always had a smile on her face. We enjoyed the entertainment on board. I liked our ship a lot. Very clean and very pretty. Would love to come back for another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was a fantastic cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. The history of the various towns and cities brought past studies to life. The tours were wonderful and you had plenty of time to explore on your own. Need 2 days in Vienna. The ... Read More
This was a fantastic cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. The history of the various towns and cities brought past studies to life. The tours were wonderful and you had plenty of time to explore on your own. Need 2 days in Vienna. The educational/educational programs were informative. Coming into Budapest at night is a sight one will never forget. The accommodations and meals were a treat. The staff was very nice and helpful. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was my first major cruise. After reading some reviews of earlier cruises, I understood that there could be problems. I attributed the problems others had reported to the growing pains that happen with any new venture. I arranged ... Read More
This was my first major cruise. After reading some reviews of earlier cruises, I understood that there could be problems. I attributed the problems others had reported to the growing pains that happen with any new venture. I arranged my own travel from Roanoke to Stockholm and my return from Iceland. It allowed me the flexibility to travel on a great business class fare and to arrive a day early. I stayed at the Hotel Riddergatan which was well located and reasonably priced. From the moment I embarked, the Viking experience was first rate. I was traveling solo and found the staff and other guests welcoming. Each day was an adventure from the first cup of coffee in my room to a nightcap in the Explorer Lounge at night! Timing is everything and they had it down to a science by the time I cruised. I chose to do both included and "for a fee" shore excursions. They were informative and provided a good overview of the ports of call. I'm already planning to return to some destinations so I can see them in more depth than a cruise allows. I must say something about my dining experience. I ate meals at all the venues and found the food to be well prepared and delicious. I usually ate breakfast at the World Cafe or Mamsen's. The waffles with fruit and a drizzle of chocolate were a real treat at Mamsen's. World Cafe had all my favorite starters...yogurt, fresh fruit, and a pastry or bacon and made to order eggs on other days! Lunch by the pool, in The Restaurant, or at World Cafe offered so many choices that no two days were the same! It was so nice to relax with a glass of wine or a beer as I shared a meal with new found friends. I limited tea at the Wintergarten to 2-3 times a week. If I was going to pack on pounds this is where it would happen ...innocently. The open-faced tea sandwiches and pastries were such a treat and impossible to pass up! I enjoyed dinners at The Restaurant where they seated me at shared tables or at tables in such close proximity to other tables that it was easy to strike up a conversation with those nearby. I had the privilege of tasting all three menus at The Chef's Table. With a set menu, it isn't for everyone. Each time I was there, the food was delicious and impeccable. Manfredi's was another favorite...so much so that it was not easy to get reservations. While the food was excellent, I'll never forget watching the curtain of water that washed over the windows as we ate! The North Sea made sure we knew where we were. The only downside was being in the group that disembarked at 5:45 a.m. and a mix-up with my flight for the post-trip in Iceland. What would I change? I'd build ships that had some single cabins. It stings to pay for two when I only eat, drink and do the included shore excursions for moi! Thus my lower ranking on Value for Money. Would I go again? A resounding YES! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We enjoyed our trip on the Viking Star so much. We had traveled with Viking on 8 river cruises and had such a good time. The ocean cruise with Viking was even better. I have many food allergies and never have to worry. The steward for ... Read More
We enjoyed our trip on the Viking Star so much. We had traveled with Viking on 8 river cruises and had such a good time. The ocean cruise with Viking was even better. I have many food allergies and never have to worry. The steward for our cabin helped me when I needed a container to soak my feet. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We wanted to try a smaller, brand-new ship on this Baltic cruise. We had been to most of the same ports in 2003 on the late Norwegian Dream, a 2500 passenger ship; the fact that the Viking Star was around 900 passengers, and everything was ... Read More
We wanted to try a smaller, brand-new ship on this Baltic cruise. We had been to most of the same ports in 2003 on the late Norwegian Dream, a 2500 passenger ship; the fact that the Viking Star was around 900 passengers, and everything was included, helped make the decision for us. The food in every restaurant - from the poolside grill to the casual buffet to the specialty restaurants was excellent. We were surprised at the quality of all the restaurants. The main dining room, while large, never felt overwhelming, because it was divided into smaller areas. Even with open unreserved seating, there was never a wait. The servers were friendly, efficient, and thoughtful. For example, my wife ordered scallops one night, and the server told her it was a small portion; she gave her a double portion. The included wines were pretty good; the Carlsberg beer was excellent, and served at no extra charge in every restaurant. The Italian restaurant served the best veal chop I've ever had. The casual World Cafe. a buffet, had freshly prepared food from an open kitchen, and the gelato available for lunch and dinner was a guilty pleasure. We had signed up - and paid for - dinner at the now-closed world-reknowned Noma. We discovered that that excursion had been cancelled, and not only were we given a full refund, but we were taken to a substitute Michelain- starred restaurant, Geranium, for no charge. We were disappointed to find that Viking and Noma had cancelled their relationship even before the first sailing. We took advantage of some of the included tours, and a few optional ones. Excellent choices and quality. We loved the spa - especially the snow room and whirlpools/saunas - and there was no surcharge for these. The entertainment was ok - very energetic singers and dancers, with recorded music and lots of electronic visuals. The music in the living room was delightful. We also enjoyed tea in the Wintergarden - very proper English style. I highly recommend the Viking Star - there was very little to complain about, and lots to like! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
What a wonderful trip! The reason I did not give an excellent rating is due to the excursions and overall food choices. The excursions were very disorganized and the guides were somewhat lacking and very politically biased. We ... Read More
What a wonderful trip! The reason I did not give an excellent rating is due to the excursions and overall food choices. The excursions were very disorganized and the guides were somewhat lacking and very politically biased. We actually hired through the Internet our own guides in Russia and Berlin. We found this decision to be point on and a better choice than what Viking was providing. We have been on several cruises and for the price of this cruise was expecting the food to be exceptional. The food was not exceptional and the fixed menu at the chefs table was not to our liking at All. Perhaps, it was just our palates. Overall, it was all Awesome cruise and a great adventure! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Things we liked: ---Small ship with only about 250-300 people on board. Could get closer into the city than other larger ships. ---Our cabin was a Veranda Suite although I don't know which level Veranda Suite. Deck 6-mid ship, a ... Read More
Things we liked: ---Small ship with only about 250-300 people on board. Could get closer into the city than other larger ships. ---Our cabin was a Veranda Suite although I don't know which level Veranda Suite. Deck 6-mid ship, a perfect location. Cabin had a queen sized bed with luxury linens and a choice of pillows, large fluffy towels in the bathroom. Bathroom has double sinks, a shower and a tub and very nice toiletries. We had a couch and a small table as well, and a small deck with a sliding glass door. And a refrigerator stocked with water and soft drinks and any alcohol of your choosing. ---Service was excellent. The staff bends over backwards to be gracious and helpful. Our butler was a lovely man who every day brought us snacks and lemon twists for martinis. The woman responsible for cleaning was just as nice. The staff is unobtrusive, but there if you need them. ---Dining was easy. No waiting in lines. The dining room staff use iPads to take and send orders into the kitchen. Food was outstanding for a cruise ship. Let's face it, they can't do everything a restaurant can. I mean they're feeding almost 300 people a night. But lots of choices--from fresh fish, to filet mignon, lamb, pork, and daily, homemade pastas which were excellent. All their salads were fresh and crisp and they had a variety of starters for every meal. And, of course, the desserts. I never eat dessert at home. I ate dessert every night and at lunchtime when I was on the ship. If people complain about the food, I don't understand. Given the constraints the kitchen staff has, I think they put out a very good product every day. ---We went to the theater a few nights to watch the show. Six singers--and very good ones--sang show tunes and/or opera the nights we went. There was other entertainment (disco), but we didn't partake. ---The ship tries to give you your money's worth by stopping at two extra ports (Tallin, Estonia and Helsinki, Finland) but for me the reason for the cruise was St. Petersburg, Russia. We took the ship's tours in Tallin and Helsinki. Three hour bus tours that hit the important sites. What was most interesting to me, though, was listening to the history of these cities. The tour guides in each of the two ports on our tours were excellent and knowledgeable. In Helsinki, our tour consisted of an hour bus tour and then an hour and a half sail in the harbor. It was a beautiful day so the sail was great and you get a good view of the city and the surrounding area. We opted for a private tour in St. Petersburg through a local tour company, Alla Tours. They were terrific and much cheaper than the ship sponsored tours. ---Because the ships are small, easy and seamless on/off processes. ---The Whisper had two lounges, a bar, a casino, a game room, library, shops, spa and workout room. Everything you need just on a small scale. Things that annoyed us: ---Children. There were a few children on board, which ordinarily shouldn't be a problem, except for their parents who appeared to pay little attention to them. Unfortunately for us, the two families with the children were on our deck. The kids ran up and down the corridors from early a.m. to late p.m. They shrieked and stomped and were generally loud. We heard from a few people that they had to leave the pool area because the kids made so much noise. Kids will be kids, but Silversea is not a cruise line for children. There's nothing for them to do. If you're going to take your children on such a cruise, at least make sure they behave and have some consideration for others. I chose Silversea because their literature is very specific about these cruises really not being meant for children. I suppose they cannot bar kids, but at least do something to ensure their behavior is acceptable. ---WiFi. We were told at booking that WiFi was free. It was not. No big deal for us because we were off the ship everyday and could check e-mail etc. But it appeared that the booking agent and Silversea must have had their wires crossed. ---Liquor/Wine. The "free" liquor they offer was very good. Two of my traveling companions drink vodka, the other scotch. Their preferred brands are Grey Goose and Johnnie Walker Black, call liquors at bars. Those two liquors came "free". However, Silversea's choice of wines were not great. I like to sip a Chardonnay before dinner. Their only choices were Hess and Bogle, neither is a premium wine; they're not even mid-range wines. If I wanted a better wine, I had to buy a bottle for $50. Of my three complaints, the one that bothered me the most was the children. If I wanted to be around loud, noisy kids, I'd take a Disney Cruise. Overall, though, a very nice experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I have long wanted to visit St Petersburg and revisit some of the old Baltic ports I visited 10-20 years ago on business and see more of them at leisure. This cruise was perfect, with 2 overnights in St Petersburg so that you can get to as ... Read More
I have long wanted to visit St Petersburg and revisit some of the old Baltic ports I visited 10-20 years ago on business and see more of them at leisure. This cruise was perfect, with 2 overnights in St Petersburg so that you can get to as many of the wonderful sites there as possible and stops in the Baltic republics, Finland, old East Germany and Denmark as well as an overnight in Stockholm. This was our first cruise and a true delight. People saying standards have slipped don't gel with my experience, things were so well organised in general, with complicated logistics of many different tours on the same day well handled with the minimum of delay. The suite (Penthouse A) was perfect, so stabile and quiet, so comfortable and lacking little except maybe more power points that someone from the UK could use (our adapter are large so when 2 are close together you can only use 1 of them) but unplugging the iPod unit (bit old fashioned now, I use bluetooth speakers when travelling and as modern iPod 6 doesn't fit it anyway) managed OK. The service was excellent, from the butler who was great through any staff we met who were friendly, polite and very helpful. The crew must be well managed at officer level for such consistent good customer relations. The food was great in all restaurants, though I liked the choices in Compass Rose best, Prime 7 is OK but just a standard London type steak house really, what I possibly missed was a good eastern choice. The curry lunch was good, the beef vindaloo actually spicy, surprising given the normal blandness of so much USA food. Let's have a good Thai/Chinese or Indian restaurant on the new ship. Service was good in all restaurants, the standard wine good enough mostly so that better wines really a waste of money, though the Sav Blanc and CabSav in Prime 7 were virtually tasteless, but then Sav Blanc most is poor. The tours which I had really looked forward to after looking through and booking then well in advance were mostly great, as luckily was the weather. I could happily have missed out Helsinki (especially when the shuttle bus driver took an hour off when we were trying to get back to the ship for our lunch, but Scandinavian customer service is often poor and you expect them to put their own breaks ahead of yours I guess even if you are only there for a few hours). ST Petersburg was the highlight of the cruise. Russian customs have got much more user friendly in recent years , especially since they did away with the landing card, and queuing was minimal (you should have tried going to Moscow before Domodedevo opened , back in the 1980s it was hell). The Regent only tour to Catherine's Palace in the evening was a triumph with the music, dancing and the meal + lack of crowns, and the timing at Peterhof was perfect too. The enrichment lectures were great and there always seemed a lot going on even if you just wanted to sit on the balcony and drink champagne, which always seemed to be there on ice!! Our only bad incident on the trip was an awful rep in the Hermitage who had no feeling for the people she guided, walked off quickly without a backward glance all tour and at the end lost us completely for 15 mins which could have been very serious. She had made no effort that we could see to find us, maybe hadn't missed us as she never counted, and I have no faith they would have done much to look for us, glad we found the bus eventually on our own. I put this on the feedback form and the Destinations people kindly called me to check and said they would look into it. So they really do read the feedback forms. A great 1st cruise and we will be back again, though the onboard discounts were nowhere near attractive enough to make us jump in again without checking the market as we have no fixed opinion yet where to go next. Our one bugbear all trip was the Internet. It is hopeless, so 20th century speed wise and hard to access and to quit. They really need to spend some money on getting a fast wifi available in port (Tallinn and Helsinki have great ones) as well as improving the speed and ease of use on ship. It just doesn't wash anymore saying its difficult. Its just technology and can be sorted. It needs to be, more and more people live on line and will not put up with slow on line service when they start cruising. Small niggles though, a great experience and a wonderful ship and crew. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Regent claim six star all inclusive of premium wines. Ran out of French rose on third day. No NZ wines at all! We did two back to back cruises and despite re-stocking in Copenhagen they ran out of Sancerre and Pouilly Fuisse 13 days into a ... Read More
Regent claim six star all inclusive of premium wines. Ran out of French rose on third day. No NZ wines at all! We did two back to back cruises and despite re-stocking in Copenhagen they ran out of Sancerre and Pouilly Fuisse 13 days into a 20 day cruise. In the end we bought ourselves some wine in Kristiansund. If we could find a decent supplier why couldn't they? This was our sixth cruise (140 days) with Regent and the second one where they have run out of certain wines. The Regent standards are undoubtedly slipping. Service on board is still excellent but staff are embarrassed and very apologetic of situation. Entertainment was adequate apart from a terrible American comedian. We agree with other reviews regarding the shamble prior to tours. You can wait for ages in the theatre and be addressed as if we are in nursery school or old peoples home! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We had a great time even with the record high temps. The information that Viking gives on the tours and pre-tour information was very informative! The staff were the BEST! This was the third cruise for the beautiful new ship. Food on the ... Read More
We had a great time even with the record high temps. The information that Viking gives on the tours and pre-tour information was very informative! The staff were the BEST! This was the third cruise for the beautiful new ship. Food on the ship was very delicious and choosing the local options was one of the best parts! Going into Budapest at night was a great bonus!! The lights were great. My husband's favorite tour was the Pub Crawl!!! Our bar staff went out of their way to remember what we wanted but would always ask first just to check! The size of the river ships are just right for the number of people. It was worth every dime that we spent!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was only the 3rd voyage for the very new Viking Mimir, between Amsterdam & Budapest in June/July of 2015. We were still celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. We did our homework by talking with friends who had taken this ... Read More
This was only the 3rd voyage for the very new Viking Mimir, between Amsterdam & Budapest in June/July of 2015. We were still celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. We did our homework by talking with friends who had taken this cruise and viewing internet blogs and private videos. Our experience exceeded our expectations. The cabin and dining services were the best we've ever experienced on a cruise ship. Our needs were well met from the airport pick-up through the return at the end of the cruise. Food quality and options were outstanding; we looked forward to each and every dining experience. Cruising by day took advantage of the scenic Rhine River and Danube River (Wachau Valley). Cruising at night through the many locks was well-time and hardly noticeable. Tours were well-planned with highly congenial and informative local guides; daily briefings of upcoming tours were very helpful. Daily presentations and evening entertainment were most enjoyable. Since we do ballroom and country dancing, we made the best of the small dance floor. The pianist provided a wonderful choice of listening and dance music. We have lots of memories (and photos) and have already book another cruise for 2016. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Having been fortunate to have seen much of Europe with Viking on the larger rivers I was extremely pleased with what we encountered with our most recent cruise, The Cities of Lights, Prague to Paris this past June. After leaving Prague, ... Read More
Having been fortunate to have seen much of Europe with Viking on the larger rivers I was extremely pleased with what we encountered with our most recent cruise, The Cities of Lights, Prague to Paris this past June. After leaving Prague, one of Europe's most charming cities, we meandered along quiet, and very scenic waterways, stopping at delightful towns along the way. Towns like Bamberg and Miltonberg were absolutely wonderful. The quality of the food and service on board was extraordinary. The excursions were informative, insightful and done at a very enjoyable pace. The whole cruise we were surrounded with beautiful countryside at a very peaceful, relaxing speed. When we reached Paris we were able to see the Eiffel Tower, just a block away from our hotel. What a sight-it never fails to impress, especially at night. This cruise was an unexpected treasure and truly one of the very best I have ever experienced. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We flew to Stockholm from Washington, DC (Dulles International) via Icelandair, changing planes in Reykjavik. We upgraded to business class air through Viking which was very expensive, but worth it. Service and food on board were ... Read More
We flew to Stockholm from Washington, DC (Dulles International) via Icelandair, changing planes in Reykjavik. We upgraded to business class air through Viking which was very expensive, but worth it. Service and food on board were excellent. We were met in Stockholm and driven (motorcoach) to the ship. Our penthouse junior suite was ready, and we were impressed with the room. It was beautiful. All meals on board were fantastic; including the main restaurant, the two no-surcharge specialty restaurants, the pool grill, and the informal panorama cafe. Beer and wine were served with all lunches and dinners in all the venues. Service was outstanding. Excursions were included in every port at no extra charge; we did take some optional tours as well, and were very happy. Unfortunately, we both caught colds during the cruise, and weren't up to going to Berlin, where the temperature was around 100 degrees. We paid for an optional excursion, and thought we'd have to use our travel insurance, but they nicely refunded our money with no questions asked. We both saw the ship's doctor, and were pleasantly surprised at the facility, the treatment, and the reasonable fee. Disembarkation was the easiest I've ever encountered on a ship. We took the optional extension to Iceland, and except for the smallest hotel room I've ever seen in a Hilton, (the room and the bathroom were both tiny!) we had an excellent time with a good, friendly, knowledgeable guide. The flight home was on time and comfortable. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
The 4 couples that made up our travel group are well traveled and have cruised previously, most notably, on Regent and Crystal. None of us had been on Seabourn before and we wanted another luxury experience for this Baltic Cruise so we ... Read More
The 4 couples that made up our travel group are well traveled and have cruised previously, most notably, on Regent and Crystal. None of us had been on Seabourn before and we wanted another luxury experience for this Baltic Cruise so we selected the Seabourn Quest. On balance, we truly enjoyed our experience, but I don't think any of us would say we "loved it" the way so many previous cruise critic reviewers said we would. The ship itself is well laid out but the decor of both the main dining room and the observation bar were a disappointment. The dining room felt overly crowded and was very noisy (the hard wood floors didn't help). The observation bar was minimalist modern, but the furniture was down right uncomfortable so I grew tired of it rather quickly. All of us expected a much more elegantly appointed ship. Our suites, however, were wonderful. Two couples opted for Penthouse suites while the other two were in veranda suites. We loved the layout, the furnishings, the comfort of the beds and the bathrooms were superb. The poolside area was great and so was its bar and restaurant. I personally very much enjoyed the library/coffee area. What is missing from the Quest, however, is the nooks and crannies we have been able to find on other ships that allow you to slip away for more privacy. We had been told to expect excellent service and while service continued to improve each day, we had a number of mishaps which were disturbing. Room service was 45 minutes late on one occasion and never arrived on another. One couple held a cocktail party in their penthouse suite for the 8 of us and they ordered wine, champagne and assorted appetizers the previous day. When it did not arrive as scheduled, they called and were told that it had been delivered but no one was there to receive it. Really? After the phone call it did arrive within about 10 minutes. In another mishap, one of our travel mates was in tears because the suite staff mistakingly threw out a large zip lock bag containing a knitting project she had been working on for over a year. When we were returning from an excursion, she noticed several men unloading trash from the ship. On a whim, she asked if any of them had seen it. We were actually incredulous that one of the guys did remember seeing it and had set it aside. So there was a happy ending thanks to the efforts of this one person. We had also been told that the wait staff would call you by name after the first day or so and would remember your drink preferences. Not so. We ate dinner in the main restaurant at the same table with the same wait staff 4 nights, and we always went to the observation bar afterwards. No one ever knew who we were or called us by name or remembered our preferences for anything. All in all, a disappointment from our expectations. The food on Seabourn is a cut above the other cruise lines we had been on and it was a great treat for me to have caviar and champagne every afternoon. However, there were mishaps in the main dining room as well. On the formal night, 6 of us ordered the lobster and 4 of us sent it back because, while nicely presented, it was mushy and tasteless. On the last night, 3 of us ordered quail and while no one sent it back, it was dry and tasteless. Some of us had taken the galley tour and we realized just how difficult it is to put out consistently great food so we were somewhat forgiving about these mishaps. But, Seabourn, you really should do better. We thought Restaurant 2 was outstanding and the service was impeccable. On the Sail Away, my husband and I arrived late and all the caviar was gone; however, when one of the servers say my disappointment, he asked where we would be sitting and I pointed it out. Within minutes we had a lovely tray of caviar with all the trimmings. How nice was that. Wine choices were also quite good. On other cruise lines we've had to pay extra for premium wines. That was not necessary on Seabourn; the daily selections were excellent. A note about shore excursions. If you are sailing to St. Petersburg, as we did, then hire an independent, licensed Russian guide and driver. This was far less expensive for our group then if we had arranged for excursions off the ship. The experience was magical and our guide was so knowledgeable. We had 3 very full days of sightseeing plus 2 night activities including the opera. While we were exhausted by the end of it, we saw just about everything there is to see in this amazing city. All in all, the cruise was very good. Perhaps our expectations were too high, but Seabourn presents itself as being #1 in the small ship luxury cruise line category and frankly, I'm not sure its worth the additional expense. While we will continue to sail in the luxury cruise category, I would probably only chose Seabourn again based on the itinerary being offered but in making that decision I would also consider value for money. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Background - This was my wife's first cruise and my first cruise since family trips as a child on Carnival. We’re both experienced travelers in our 30’s. We were traveling with my parents and two of their closest friends (all in ... Read More
Background - This was my wife's first cruise and my first cruise since family trips as a child on Carnival. We’re both experienced travelers in our 30’s. We were traveling with my parents and two of their closest friends (all in their 60’s). We selected this port-intensive (9 of 10 days in port) itinerary because of the three day/two night stay in St Petersburg and because of my parents’ previous experience on Regent having taking a cruise in the Med a few years ago. Hotel Info – The complimentary pre-cruise hotel was at the Sheraton in the heart of Stockholm. This was a popular cruise hotel as there was a river cruise that had also put up guests at the hotel and boarded their buses at the same time as Voyager. The hotel offered complimentary breakfast buffet and was conveniently located. The hotel lobby bar staff members were particularly friendly. Our only complaint (and one we heard from a number of other guests) was that the A/C wasn’t very efficient providing little in the way of cool air. Ship Info – Extremely comfortable ship with one of the best crew to guest ratio’s (1 : 1.56) as well as space per guest (59 : 1). The only time we saw anything approximating a crowd it was during the embarkation lunch at La Veranda where our group of six was split into 2/4 to be seated at shared tables so that we didn’t need to wait. Activities – As a midsize ship Voyager offered most of the activities you’d find on a larger ship though on a more intimate scale. The pool and hot tubs rarely had more than one or two people using them (though that probably had a lot to do with the 70 degree temperatures in the Baltic). The library offered a vast selection of reading material and ample quiet corners. The casino was small but offered a good mix of table games as well as machines. The card room always had a handful of guests. With only one day at sea and long days in port most of our time was spent on excursions. Fitness - We utilized the fitness center twice and found it fairly small but efficient. Equipment was dated and in need of replacement. The jogging track on deck 12 was nice though the surface could be slippery on damp mornings and with only two very small signs there was a great deal of confusion about clockwise vs. counterclockwise circulation. Service – The Voyager crew were largely friendly and helpful with a great number of them truly thoughtful and genuine. We’re fairly relaxed and rarely asked for anything “special” but were never disappointed when we did have a request. More often our needs were already anticipated with little reminders like loading up on bottled water before heading out on an excursion, having a table of snacks laid out for us after a late return from the marathon day-trip to Moscow on the Sapsan Train. Port & Shore Excursions – We took at least one excursion in every port and in some cases did back to back tours taking full advantage of Regent’s (mostly) free excursion program. The tours included: Tallinn, Estonia: Kadriorg Palace/Tallinn Environs (3 out of 5, walking around the historic walled-city after the tour was arguably more enjoyable than the tour though our guide could not have been nicer) St Petersburg/Moscow, Russia: Highlights of St Petersburg (3 out of 5 stars, would have been higher were it not for the 45 minute stop at the tchotchke shop), An Evening of Russian Ballet (5 of 5), Best of Moscow by High Speed Train (5 out of 5, thank you to our wonderful guide Alex who was with us from the dock to dock), The Hermitage: A Wealth of Art and Architecture (5 of 5, the Regent tour gave us a 1 hour head start on the crowds), Canal Cruise & Shopping (3 of 5, the cruise was nice, the store they took us to for shopping left a lot to be desired) Helsinki, Finland: Helsinki by Sea & Fortress Island (4 of 5, though had I to do it all over again I would have just walked around this beautiful and safe city on our own as we did after the tour finished up) Riga, Latvia: Turaida & Segulda (5 of 5, this trip out to a national park which included castle ruins, sculpture gardens, a grotto, quant shopping…was the “sleeper hit” of the cruise) Klaipeda, Lithuania: Soviet Nuclear Weapon Site (2 of 5, only because the Soviet Nuclear Weapons site was so disappointing b/c it had been looted following the fall of the USSR so there was very little of the original installation in place. The guide and driver were wonderful, pointing out their childhood villages, spotting Stork nests (a huge thing in Lithuania) and even pulling over for us to take pictures of the baby Storks, sharing with us their love of this small but beautiful country, taking us to lunch at a quaint restaurant, and giving us all pointers for a few minutes of walking around Klaipeda following the tour). Warnemunde, Germany: Fairy Tale Castle Schwerin (4 of 5, this tour took us from the ugly industrial port on the Autobahn to a boat which took us across a large lake to Shwerin Castle which was breathtaking on the outside. The inside of the castle was disappointing as it: was incredibly crowded, was incredibly hot, did not include audio tours but instead a soft-spoken guide who could not be heard over the roar of the crowd, and the castle had been damaged/looted during/after WWII leaving virtually no original art or furniture in the castle.) On our next cruise at this port we’re planning a private driver tour of Berlin based on recommendations from others on this cruise who had booked their own and saw more, in greater comfort, and still got back before the Regent Bus Tours. Embarkation Port – 45 Minute bus ride from central Stockholm to the Port in very heavy traffic. At the dock check in was straightforward and easy. Only “issue” was the previously mentioned embarkation lunch. Dining – Good experiences in Signatures and Prime 7, though we felt guilty not eating dinner on those nights with Alberto our Waiter and his team in Compass Rose. They were by far the highlight of the staff taking great care in everyone who ate in their section and garnered a huge fan base by the third night everyone was a repeat guest as they all loved Alberto as much as we did. Alberto never failed to surprise us with a starter that he thought we’d enjoy, an extra dessert, or an order of lamb chops (my favorite) for the table to share. Our group of six made a point of going to the main dining room on disembarkation day for breakfast (something we rarely did) to give Alberto goodbye hugs. Overall the food was good though not exceptional; for us it was about the service and the people serving us. The included alcohol policy was hugely convenient as there was no time spent signing for things, fighting over who was going to pick up the bill etc. This added to the elegance and ease of the cruise. Our wine steward in Compass Rose was great and did impromptu wine-pairings for us and was very excited when we came to dinner without our travelling companions as he knew we would order by the bottle based on his recommendation (at an additional charge but with very reasonable mark-ups). Entertainment – We aren’t big show people. We went to one of the dance shows one night (not our thing) and the crew talent show (hard not to love these for the sheer effort shown by the crew members who participate). Disembarkation – Exceptionally easy! After breakfast we took our hand luggage down to the luggage area where we easily located our suitcases, rolled them out to the taxi stand where we immediately located two euro-vans to take the six of us to our hotel. After hearing all of the difficulties others have experienced with other lines and ports we felt very fortunate to have ended our trip in Copenhagen. Summary – A wonderful experience start to finish and seemingly habit forming. Less than 60 days back at work and we just booked a 10 day Reykjavik to Stockholm itinerary on Oceania to experience the sister line and based on the limited overlap with our Regent Stockholm to Copenhagen cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
First I have dreamed of going to Russia all my life and here I went. The country is spectacular with wonderful culture, architecture and history. The Viking tour guides were Russians and knew their areas perfectly. They provided great ... Read More
First I have dreamed of going to Russia all my life and here I went. The country is spectacular with wonderful culture, architecture and history. The Viking tour guides were Russians and knew their areas perfectly. They provided great care for our personal needs and had as all the information we could want to know about their country. Food and food service was the best. The crew was wonderful. I couldn't have picked a better company to provide me with everything I ever dreamed about Russia. My little maid was delightful too and the gift shop hostess went above and beyond to help with with some items. I especially loved the way they escorted us to the airport and stayed until everyone made it though customs rather than just dumping us off at the curb. Rooms are small, but all cruise ship rooms are small. Loved it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015

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