It appeared we would see all coasts and important ports of New Zealand - that was not the case. We missed 2 ports due to high seas. One was major. We did not see any of the western coast. We discovered later that the ship frequently ... Read More
It appeared we would see all coasts and important ports of New Zealand - that was not the case. We missed 2 ports due to high seas. One was major. We did not see any of the western coast. We discovered later that the ship frequently cannot go to the west coast. See we spent 4 days in a row at sea. We also went to two small dingy towns instead of staying longer in two quaint towns. We never stayed over night in any town so we’re unable to book nocturnal tours to see penguins or kiwis.
Luggage handlers were painfully slow.
Food was adequate, nothing special. There were only 4 restaurants. One required reservations to be made before the cruise. It was nothing special. One was poolside but closed for 3 nights. So it was sushi or cafeteria food. On arrival our room had a bowl of over ripe fruit. We had brown lettuce in our salad twice. Room service food was cold so we reverted to only ordering coffee in the morning. They could handle that.
The bathroom outlets will not support any hair appliances. You must do hair drying and curling in a dim hallway outside the bathroom. Showers are very small.
Entertainment offered was for for the over 70 crowd or lounge lizards.
We contacted customer service day 1 of our cruise and have not heard from them yet even though we called our travel agent to nudge them. We were approached by some managers in the restaurant who apologized and asked how they could help. However it was in front of groups of people, so we were uncomfortable with trying to resolve issues in that venue.
However the maids and waitstaff were wonderful. Read Less
New Zealand and Australia have been on my wife and my bucket list for a while and we did it on this cruise. It was as beautiful as we hoped. As was our cruise ship the Silver Muse. It is a new ship and very well done. Our cabin was ... Read More
New Zealand and Australia have been on my wife and my bucket list for a while and we did it on this cruise. It was as beautiful as we hoped. As was our cruise ship the Silver Muse. It is a new ship and very well done. Our cabin was exceptionally well laid out and the crew was very very friendly. It was obvious that Silver Seas has put their best onboard. For example, I normally have a night cap of Baileys Irish Cream and coffee in our cabin every night but the coffee maker was for espresso and not American coffee. But I found a bartender just down the hall that listened to me and prepared my night cap exactly the way I like it every night. Each crew member we passed smiled and said hello.
Embarkation was somewhat disorganized. Check in on the dock was quick but we did arrive at a time where there were not very many people. But it was not complete. We had to do some further check in on the ship and this was a bottleneck. There were only four lines to service guests and they were backed up. Disembarkation was very easy. But again we were staying at a hotel in Auckland and did not have to leave with a lot of people.
We tend to eat in our cabin but there are lots of dining venues. I was able to get sushi for lunch one day by just walking in and sitting down. Unfortunately the sushi rice was like the kind you get in a supermarket, not very good. We did not do any of the speciality dining but the main dining room was beautiful and all the food on board was very good. Except maybe for the hamburgers, in this day of gourmet burgers these were pretty bland. But then there were the pizzas, best we have had. Also, the lobster was just OK. Kind of hard to describe but while not badly prepared it was a little tough. One big problem for me. I have a gluten allergy that causes me to break out if it eat it. I spent most of the cruise broken out, meaning I was getting gluten, so if you are celiac i would not cruise on this ship.
We did not do any of the silver Seas tours but heard complaints from other passengers. We also heard from one couple in a Silver Suite like us but on deck 9 that were kept up till midnight because they were under the kitchen for the Grill. They could not get another Silver Suite but had to sleep in a smaller cabin and spend the day in their suite. I would not stay on deck 9 under the area around the pool and kitchen because of all the activity.
The biggest negative on the ship was the entertainment system. Watching involved a lot of buffering. In other words having what you are watching pause while the system caught up. I mean a lot, at times every few minutes. This happened for onboard movies, “live” feeds, and even the bridge camera. We even had the system get in a mode where it took over a minute to respond to a click on the remote. A reset took care of that but no amount of resets took care of the buffering problem. In addition, the system was hard to use. There was no easy way to navigate a movie and the home button on the remote did not take you home on the system.
Overall we enjoyed our cruise. Having such a nice cabin and crew more than made up for the other issues we ran into. Read Less
We chose this cruise because we had not been on the Crystal for a few years and as it was a round trip return from and to Los Angeles it seemed to be very convenient. For years we have been trying to convince our friends to try the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had not been on the Crystal for a few years and as it was a round trip return from and to Los Angeles it seemed to be very convenient. For years we have been trying to convince our friends to try the Crystal and were finally able to get them to come with us only to find it was not as good as it used to be.
The lunch buffet was so bad that we just gave up after a couple of days. We tried the dining room which turned out to be even worse
The specialty restaurants were fabulous. The food, staff and atmosphere were exemplary. The ship did not appear to be as clean as it used to be. Our suite which had been refurbished seemed smaller due to the new configuration but the shower was incredibly worth the extra money.The toiletries were horrible, with artificial scent which I am highly allergic to.
Entertainment was excellent. However, the casino rules were disgusting and no wonder it was always empty.
Lastly - to have 6 ports on a 7 day cruise on the West Coast was a total loss. Aside from San Francisco and Cabo San Lucas (which was not on the itinerary) are the only 2 safe and exciting places to stop at. Most passengers complained they did not enjoy the quiet ocean experience when the ship is at sea. Crystal needs to recognize that plus the savings on Port Charges could benefit the pricing for passengers. Read Less
We had been on a Silversea cruise to Alazka on Silver Shadow and loved the size and service. The Muse was even better. We traveled with my Brother and his wife and it was there first Silversea experience. From the minute we arrived at the ... Read More
We had been on a Silversea cruise to Alazka on Silver Shadow and loved the size and service. The Muse was even better. We traveled with my Brother and his wife and it was there first Silversea experience. From the minute we arrived at the terminal Silversea treated us with class and diginity. We arrived at Sydney terminal at around 11am and thought we would try and drop off our luggage. We were pleasantly surprised that we were allowed to get on the ship and start our cruise. What a bonus. The service was amazing. After 2 days almost every crew member knew our names. We sat at the pool bar and ordered 4 separate drinks (Joey is the best). The next day he saw us coming and prepared the exact 4 drinks as ordered the day before. Sounds simple but it was special.
The best addition that the Muse had was the pizza restaurant. We are pizza snobs and love Neopolitan style pizza. The pizza chef is from Florence but he had it down pat. Amazing Diavola pizza, almost as good as we had in Rome. We cannot say enough about the various restaurants. No complaints anywhere. I have read other reviews and we are either easy to please (Do not think so) or others may be expectting Michelin star restaurants.
We spent a good amount of time at the pool deck with other couples we met and the pool staff were incredible. So many special people attended to everything we asked for and then some.
The Muse has so many places to get away from it all and get an espresso, snack or a drink. The additional size of the Muse (%50 I think) compared to the 400 on the Shadow was not noticed.
I could go on and on but have to go back to work. Congratulations to the Silversea team, a home run. We already booked our next cruise (On the Moon) Read Less
My partner and I with a group of friends cruised on Silver Muse for 14 nights from Sydney to Auckland. It was a wonderful cruise that exceeded all expectations; we have been cruising with SIlversea for over 20 years and have been on each ... Read More
My partner and I with a group of friends cruised on Silver Muse for 14 nights from Sydney to Auckland. It was a wonderful cruise that exceeded all expectations; we have been cruising with SIlversea for over 20 years and have been on each of the Silversea vessels many times; this was our first time on the Muse and we absolutely loved it. We were very impressed with the new direction that Silversea is taking: everything seemed to be more modern and more upmarket (and the product was terrific in the first place.)
Lets start with the ship: its gorgeous! The layout is similar to the Spirit with certain areas expanded and improved, the décor is beautiful with a modern and elegant look, all of the rooms and spaces are accounted for with new additions such as the cute Arts Café and a supersized Lobby/Dolce Vita area, and the outdoor space has been enhanced with a pool and deck area that is longer/larger than the equivalent space on the Spirit (before it was lengthened) and an extra Jacuzzi aft. All good. We had a Deluxe Veranda Suite that was simply beautiful; the suites are (I think) slightly larger than on the Spirit but the new and very beautiful interior design makes the suites feel roomier and brighter. There was a super bathroom, good walk in closet, and lots of storage; all as expected on Silversea. Everything being new and fresh is a good thing and we enjoyed our Suite very much - simply superb!
Dining was extraordinary: the food was terrific in each of the eight restaurants. The dining and reservation issue seems to have worked out on the Muse; the system is now perfected. We had advance reservations for many evenings and everything went according to plan; on our non-reservation evenings (when we ate at Atlantide or Indochine) we never had a problem getting a table directly even around 800PM which seemed to be the peak dinner hour. The décor at the restaurants is pretty and each venue has its own design and style. The food at each Restaurant was wonderful: we ourselves were surprised that we enjoyed Indochine as much as we did. Of course, La Dame is a wonderful dining experience and our dinner at Silver Note was an adventure in dining. So much fun. We also thought that the wines being served (and there was much variety in the standard categories) were rather good; Frank, the chief sommelier who we know for years, was onboard and very gracious towards us.
The service that we received onboard was nothing short of spectacular; we knew many of the crew members and (I think) that they were genuinely happy to see us. At the restaurants, we were catered to at each and every meal regardless of venue - the head waiters and maître d's always checking and making sure that we were pleased. A big thanks to all of them, especially Giwa who made sure everything went well. Waiters, bar staff, and the pool staff were all active and engaged, knew our names by the second or third day, and looked after us. Our butler, Alan, was marvelous and took care of many details for us (including a ridiculous amount of laundry) and Sam, our cabin attendant did an outstanding job looking after of our cabin which was always spotless. Although we do not do ship shore excursions, the members of the shore excursion team were helpful and assisted us with a smile. All good.
As for entertainment and activities, its standard Silversea. The singers were lovely and had talent and we went to a few shows.....but entertainment has never been and never will be Silversea's strongest point; this is not where small ship cruise lines excel. The cruise director, lecturers, entertainers and social staff were all engaged and passengers seemed quite happy. The only odd thing was that many of the production shows were scheduled for 615PM which we found unacceptable as we don't care for early shows; scheduling the shows early left us with little to do after dinner. It was not a big deal, just strange.
As always with Silversea, embarkation was a breeze (from curbside at the port to La Terraza for Lunch in less than 30 minutes) and debarkation was even quicker with us leaving exactly at the designated time.
Our Sydney to Auckland itinerary was lovely: this is the third time that we have done this cruise over the years but Australia and New Zealand are absolutely beautiful and the ports of Burnie, Picton, Napier and Gisbonre were all new to us. And, its always wonderful to spend a few days in Sydney before embarkation. I cannot comment on the shore excursions: we make our own arrangements and tour independently with private guides so that we can set out own pace (we move more quickly than most ship operated excursions) - it works out better for us.
Our only issue was internet at sea; its frustrating and remains so on the Muse. In our technology driven world where we are all dependent on the internet for just about everything, its time for internet at sea to catch up. I understand that this is not a Silversea issue (we have had the same problem on Regent and other small ship cruise lines) but, nonetheless, reliable and fast wifi is a necessity and not a luxury in 2019.
In summary, we had a wonderful experience on Silver Muse and look forward to her sisters Silver Moon and Silver Dawn joining the fleet; as a "small-ship person" I never thought that my partner and I would like the "larger" Muse as much as we did. Also, we adapted to the multiple dining venues much more easily than we thought we would - we both always loved the ease and simplicity of the Restaurant on the smaller Silversea vessels. We cant wait to return and are already planning our next voyage with Silversea: we are deciding between the Med and Northern Europe for the summer and its probably South America next winter Read Less
My wife and I had put off too long a trip to Antarctica and finally took that long awaited itinerary. I wish we had done so earlier!! The entire experience (with one small exception) went off without a hitch and, as usual, we enjoyed the ... Read More
My wife and I had put off too long a trip to Antarctica and finally took that long awaited itinerary. I wish we had done so earlier!! The entire experience (with one small exception) went off without a hitch and, as usual, we enjoyed the family-like Azamara experience.
This being our 10th Azamara cruise we had a pretty good idea of what to expect, though The Pursuit is a recent addition to the Quest and Journey. The layouts are identical so it was just like returning home. A number of the crew were familiar transfers from the other ships so it really did feel like family.
The ship was renovated before being put into Azamara service with the new Deck 5 layout sans Casino. Honestly, on this size ship, the casino was little more than a nice diversion and the extra space in the newly converted "Den" was put to good use.
Though we had a 7 day stretch where we were limited to staying on the ship, it seemed to pass quickly with the interesting "cruise by" itinerary of the Alaskan peninsula. Passing a number of HUGE icebergs was also a favorite of all onboard. Best of all, we were lucky to have pretty calm seas passing through the Drake Passage twice and the horror stories some people told us about never came to pass.
Entertainment was varied, though by necessity it is limited to guest entertainers and a small ensemble of singers and band. Still, they were excellent, professional, and interactive.
The stops were all interesting and fun, and the AZAMAZING EVENING in Montevideo was a presentation of the Urguayan Carnivale and was one of the top two AZAMAZING EVENINGS we have experienced! Read Less
If Viking Ocean were publicly traded I would buy stock. The ships are the perfect size, you never feel crowded. The most remarkable thing is really the crew. Viking has the happiest crew on the ocean and this makes all the difference in ... Read More
If Viking Ocean were publicly traded I would buy stock. The ships are the perfect size, you never feel crowded. The most remarkable thing is really the crew. Viking has the happiest crew on the ocean and this makes all the difference in the way they interact with passengers.
Our room stewards, Kari and Rosiel added a great deal to our overall enjoyment. They were extremely attentive to our needs and were always joyful.
We enjoyed the entertainment especially dancing at the Torshavn. The band and bar staff were really good.
The guides and transportation for all the excursions exceeded our expectations. My experiences with Viking tours have opened up new opportunities for my future destinations with Viking because of the confidence I have in their planning and safety considerations.
Cruising with Viking is the best we have ever experienced. We have already booked an exciting trip in October 2020. Read Less
We have not done an Ocean cruise for 15 years. We have been taking land tours and River cruises instead. Before we stopped we had been on 8 Ocean cruises. I was very excited to discover this Antarctica Cruise and on a ship we had sailed ... Read More
We have not done an Ocean cruise for 15 years. We have been taking land tours and River cruises instead. Before we stopped we had been on 8 Ocean cruises. I was very excited to discover this Antarctica Cruise and on a ship we had sailed twice before (as the Royal Princess!) and had loved! The ship is a perfect size for those of us who like a smaller number of passengers. I thought the redo of the interior was fine. The "living room" is a very popular spot to hang out during the sea days with the loungers always in demand. Passengers "save" seats so I was not able to try them. The following are my impressions of the cruise:
.Cabin 7100---awkward furniture, was always moving the coffee table to get to veranda or loveseat, plastic shower curtain made shower dark and liked to wrap around the body.. Ship shore excursions---too expensive. arranged tours online with private vendors for all ports.
.Service--room steward great, staff friendly, buffet staff attentive, Discoveries staff needs more training (multiple use of seating charts, we were "forgotten" about during our meal several times and sat for 20+ minutes waiting to be checked on
.Dinning/food---BUFFET food greatly improved, theme of buffet advertised daily in program, DISCOVERIES menu posted outside restaurant only so had to make trip to check its menu before deciding where to eat daily, menu lacking in variety and food was not outstanding, no soufflé/bananas foster/prime cuts of meat/lobster. Main dinning room has suffered from having specialty restaurants as only place to enjoy those foods.
AQUALINA specialty (ate X2) no change in menu from one week to the next, soufflé outstanding but majority of food did not stand out. Two brunch meals in Discoveries were outstanding events! Chocolate buffet was crowded due to small venue area.
.Activities--daily activities have not changed in 15 years. I spoke to Tony the cruise director two times about this and he was very receptive to my criticism. Enjoyed: ABBA dance night, photo contest/lectures from professional staff photographer, enrichment lectures (including NASA lecturer who hosted eclipse viewing) , movie nights, Polar club. HIGHLIGHTS Azamazing event & White night party!
All in all this was an exciting itinerary! Was happy with the change of dress to "country club casual". The ship captain was very interactive with guests and went out of his way to maneuver ship for exceptional scenery viewing. Would recommend this itinerary/ship with the knowledge that dinning in Discoveries is not a highlight. I hope this review helps other cruise lovers pick their next adventure! Read Less
BBMacLaird, CBO - Azamara Club Cruises has responded
Thank you birdyrobin for the review! We appreciate it.
This is a nice cruise ship.
Before going I had read some negative comments about the larger Seabourn boats.
This proved to be completely unfounded,as at no point did it feel crowded and we did not have to wait for any meals in the ... Read More
This is a nice cruise ship.
Before going I had read some negative comments about the larger Seabourn boats.
This proved to be completely unfounded,as at no point did it feel crowded and we did not have to wait for any meals in the main restaurant or the Colonaide.
Bar service was brilliant in the Club and Pool Deck.
Overall cleanliness and repair is first class on what is addmitidly a new boat.
The crew were without exception pleasant and easy going. There were obviously a few new people on the crew but they seemed to settle down quickly into the routine.
The passengers were a nice mix of Americans,Europeans and Antipodeans which gave the ship a relaxed and pleasant vibe.
We failed to get into a couple of places due the weather but unfortunately that’s the thrill of cruising. The issue was dealt with well by customer services in my view.They did however take a bit of unnecessary grief from a small group of passengers but most people carried on relaxing and eating and drinking.
Embarkation and disembarkation were well run.
The only issue that in my view was a problem concerned passports.These were kept by the ship for the entire cruise,however you needed photo ID in the ports in NZ, this was not advised prior to travelling and caught a few people out. I have registered my displeasure with Seabourn and my agent. Purely by chance my wife and I were carrying our driving licences as we were going to hire a car later in Australia.
The cabins are lovely with loads of storage and everything worked.
The only unpleasant room on the boat is the gym which as on all cruise ships is ludicrously hot.
Overall great cruise with some nice people and a good crew. Read Less
We liked this cruise because we don’t typically want days at sea. This was a St. Maartin to Barbados. Cruise was 7 nights which is short but perfect for us, especially on a ship with few entertainment options. The food was outstanding ... Read More
We liked this cruise because we don’t typically want days at sea. This was a St. Maartin to Barbados. Cruise was 7 nights which is short but perfect for us, especially on a ship with few entertainment options. The food was outstanding but selection was pretty much exactly the same each day. Occasionally an extra different main dish was offered in most restaurants. We would have liked to have some local food recipes offered but this was not the case. We could have been sailing anywhere in the world and have the same menus. For example, none of the restaurants offered any spicy food , jerk recipes, etc,
EACH OF THE Caribbean ports had beaches. Seabourn did not offer excursions on many of the ports. We did book a third party 7 hour snorkel, hike, swim option with Adventure Antigua which was terrific and less expensive than what was offered by the ship.
We were in a V4 room near the bow of the ship. Rm 702. It was a lock off from a large suite at the bow, but we never heard any noise from them. The only noise issue we had was a couple of nights/early morning from raising or lowering the anchor. Obviously that didn’t last long. Even though the ship was fully booked we never felt crowded. There were lots of nooks and places to hang out where we were virtually alone. The only issue around this is that there’s is only one small pool and most of the time it was full of people standing in it with cocktails. Impossible for a swim. One thing that we liked was several hot tubs on different decks. We didn’t see any children on the ship except babes in arms and that would make sense as there was little for young children to do.
Entertainment was adequate. The singer and dancers were surprisngly talented but the shows weren’t very well staged and didn’t take advantage of it. Ship staff and management were always available and frequently took the time to stop and chat. The first night we had issues wth getting waited on in a timely manner but on the second day when we were asked for our feedback, mentioned that, and never had a problem again.
WiFi was quite good every day. We were offered free WiFi with our cruise price and we were happy to have it. There were also several computers on board in the library/ coffee shop area which were rarely in use but a great option. My husband was always able to get live football games that he didn’t want to miss. We would choose deck 7 again as it was convenient to everything. We would probably choose mid ship or the aft, given a choice again ,as it is closer to access to coffee bar, elevators to other restaurants, library and guest services.. but the ship is so small that the bow of the boat was fine. Room service is available all day and always arrived promptly and the food was hot.
On our final day we were planning to stay at the last port. Since we had to,leave the ship early and couldn’t check in until late, we took a Seabourn excursión that ended at the airport that day because they carried our luggage. At the end of the excursion, we simply collected our luggage and took a taxi from the airport to our hotel. This worked really well as we were able to see the island that we were disembarking on during the gap and could just enjoy the beach on our last couple of days of vacation.
We felt that there was good value for the money, especially after staying before and after in hotels in the Caribbean. We would take Seaborn again, but would probably stick to their shortest trips due to lack of variety in food and entertainment. Read Less