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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My wife has never been to the east coast and I have on business. I wanted her to see the fall colors of New England so we booked this cruise. We did not get off to a great start, their shore people were pretty rude. But our butler was ... Read More
My wife has never been to the east coast and I have on business. I wanted her to see the fall colors of New England so we booked this cruise. We did not get off to a great start, their shore people were pretty rude. But our butler was phenomenal and the staff onboard was great with one exception.. I mentioned that I enjoy having Baileys in coffee as a nightcap and a couple of hours later there was a full bottle of Baileys in our cabin which I enjoyed for the duration of our cruise. My wife and I are private people and enjoy eating in our cabin rather than in the dining room. Our butler did a wonderful job of of taking care of this task for us. I still remember his"Happy Good Morning" when I would call him for a request. He did a great job of taking care of any special requests we had. The staff onboard were really great too. Anywhere you went the staff was helpful and courteous. This was especially true for the dining room and specialty dining. Speaking of which, I was able to get sushi onboard, a treat for me. Dining was definitely four star. The one disappointment was a person organizing the grouping for a tour. They got really grumpy when we were late and missed the boat to shore. We have not cruised with Crystal before and did not know where to look for the start times of the tours. So I checked with the front desk for the start time but they gave me the wrong time. Eventually they refunded the price of the tour. But all in all I would rate the staff on board as excellent. The ports were great. The mansions in Newport were spectacular and the history in Boston was wonderful. We opted for a private tour booked by our travel designer and followed the freedom trail. Bar Harbor and Nova Scotia were also interesting ports. The time in the ports was generous and the small size of the ship made for easy on and off. In general the tours were good. We did go on one where they turned us loose to walk through town and did not give us good directions for the place to meet back up with the bus. So we walked past it and had to rely on directions from a local to get back to it. But we did enjoy the tours. On one tour where we had lunch they went out of their way to accommodate my gluten allergy. We did not participate in any of the entertainment, so cannot comment on that. But the ship was great. There was often some kind of small group playing music in the atrium which added to the elegance. We definitely would sail with Crystal again. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and because we were tired of sailing on the extra large cruise ships. The Star did not disappoint. Embarkation was flawless and so very easy. Our cabin was exceptional, the crew was very ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and because we were tired of sailing on the extra large cruise ships. The Star did not disappoint. Embarkation was flawless and so very easy. Our cabin was exceptional, the crew was very well trained and extremely friendly. Our waiter and his assistant along with the wine steward were knowledgeable, well trained and took personal care of us. Some of the included shore excursions were not great, but many were. This was the first time Viking had done this particular itinerary so I think they learned from our feedback on the excursions. We loved the Explorer's lounge and used it quite frequently, especially when sailing out of Boston harbor and into New York harbor in the daylight hours. The Viking staff involved in the transfers from the ship to the hotel in New York at the end of the cruise were informative and debarkation was as smooth as embarkation. What a treat that was! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We wanted a cruise that had several Canadian ports and liked the southbound route. We were very pleased with the Viking Riverboat experience, so we hoped Viking Ocean cruise would be the same. Viking exceeded our expectations. Extremely ... Read More
We wanted a cruise that had several Canadian ports and liked the southbound route. We were very pleased with the Viking Riverboat experience, so we hoped Viking Ocean cruise would be the same. Viking exceeded our expectations. Extremely clean rooms and staff that were there with every request. Great food, local and true to Norwegian taste. Beautiful common areas and a spa with many features. You pay more upfront for the experience, but do not have additional costs once on board. Laundry, Spa, drinks ( soft and alcohol) are free. Top notch entertainment every evening. Educational sessions about the local area daily. Additional excursions were all reasonably priced and set up with local tour guides that were very knowledgeable. Most of the passengers are retired or nearly retired, and enjoy a relaxing stress free cruise experience. We personally, had an issue with dinning bookings that our travel agent messed up. On board, Viking accommodated us quickly. Viking is highly recommended by us. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Almost every aspect of this trip from start to finish was fabulous. Our cabin was roomy and we chose a location at the very back of the ship so we had a greater viewing area from the patio, The cabin was roomy and the bathroom was a very ... Read More
Almost every aspect of this trip from start to finish was fabulous. Our cabin was roomy and we chose a location at the very back of the ship so we had a greater viewing area from the patio, The cabin was roomy and the bathroom was a very pleasant surprise. It was a very luxurious size for a cruise ship. Our room attendants were delightful. They were so friendly and helpful and they always greeted us by name. All of the meals were delicious and the staff was very attentive and always helpful. We often chose to join groups at larger tables and that was always interesting and added to the meal experience. I ABSOLUTELY loved the classical ensemble that played in the atrium most evenings. The music was beautiful and created such an elegant atmosphere to enjoy a drink before dinner. The wait staff in the atrium bar were so friendly and helpful. The excursions at each port were informative and entertaining. The guides were very knowledgeable and the transportation was comfortable. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
My family selects a cruise based on the itinerary, as we view the ship as a floating hotel. We had been on the Viking Star during part of its “maiden voyage,” the year before we booked our second voyage on the ship. We had been on ... Read More
My family selects a cruise based on the itinerary, as we view the ship as a floating hotel. We had been on the Viking Star during part of its “maiden voyage,” the year before we booked our second voyage on the ship. We had been on several Viking River Cruises. We found the Viking River Cruise line to be exceptional in quality, service, itineraries, and value. At first glance, Viking cruises are more expensive than other cruise lines. However, Viking included shore excursions and beer and wine with meals. The Viking Star cruise was titled “In the Wake of the Vikings.” It started in Bergen, Norway, which is the Viking Cruise Line’s headquarters. The itinerary included stops in Lerwick, Scotland, the Torshavn Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, Saguenay, Quebec and Montreal, Canada. The cruise is fifteen days in length, with three sea days. The sea days included lectures, sea watching, or whale watching. The Explorers Lounge is located on decks seven and eight. Passengers can sit in the Lounge and listen to lecturers discuss the Northern Lights or the Ocean, or look for whales. It was very windy on our voyage. There are entrances and exits on both sides or the Explorers Lounge. Both entrances and exits have two very heavy doors, with signs instructing everyone to close one door before opening the second door. Of course many of the passengers ignored the signs and opened one door while the other was still open, causing the very dangerous slamming of one door of very heavy doors. No one was hurt by the above unsafe door opening. It is worth noting that there is a Medical Doctor and several Registered Nurses on staff. There is an advanced Medical Center on Deck A, the bottom Deck. The North Atlantic is notorious for being very rough. Several relatives on both sides of our families came from Ireland. They came after the coffin ship era but before the cruise ship era, i.e., the late 1800s. Family verbal histories attest to the rough North Atlantic. We had visited the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, Norway prior to going to Bergen, Norway. It is amazing to see a Viking Longboat in the museum and imagine crossing the North Atlantic in such a boat. The Vikings landed in Reykjavik, Iceland ca. 870 AD. They landed in Greenland circa 986 AD and in Newfoundland, Canada circa 1000 AD. The Viking Star has stabilizers and was built for the North Atlantic. But the cruise was still very rough. The roughness of the sea would be the only “problem” noted on the cruise. The Viking Star holds approximately 900 passengers. Each cabin has a balcony with an ocean view. The cabins are all adequate in size and amenities. WI-FI is provided through out the ship. The on board meals are all very good and varied. The wine with the meals is also varied to compliment the meal. Although not advertised, champaign and / or mimosas is provided with breakfast. My only negative comment would relate to the rough North Atlantic Ocean. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We had a wonderful experience with Seabourn a couple of years ago. We loved the service food and the itinerary. When we were looking for a cruise this fall Silverseas offered the most suitable itinerary. Having read some of the reviews on ... Read More
We had a wonderful experience with Seabourn a couple of years ago. We loved the service food and the itinerary. When we were looking for a cruise this fall Silverseas offered the most suitable itinerary. Having read some of the reviews on this site we were a little concerned that Silverseas would not live up to Seabourn's standards. WRONG! We LOVED the service, food and the included excursions that were included with this first class line. We enjoyed it so much we have booked another cruise aboard the Silver Whiper September 2017. To be fair the cabin and parts of the ship were a little dated and needed service and we knew she was scheduled for dry dock. Our buttler made up for that. The fridge was always full with our beverages of choice and the ice bucket was never empty. Toiletries replenished and room service was alway prompt and our breakfast arrived hot! Thank You Silverseas for you top notch level of service and delicious food. See you in September. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
As we had never experienced a River Cruise we were very pleasantly surprised to find that we enjoyed the cruise immensely. The crew were all excellent, the ship was most comfortable and kept spotlessly clean. The design of the ship was ... Read More
As we had never experienced a River Cruise we were very pleasantly surprised to find that we enjoyed the cruise immensely. The crew were all excellent, the ship was most comfortable and kept spotlessly clean. The design of the ship was super, very modern and they seemed to have thought of everything when planning the interiors. The food was delicious, dinners well balanced, not too heavy with 4 or more courses. Unfortunately the weather after Budupest turned cooler and wetter, but this was October and only to be expected. The guides onshore were all excellent and we enjoyed the walking tours very much. The cruise director was superb at her job, as were the other crew members. I agree with other reviewers that it is not ideal to be sometimes moored right alongside another boat, but River cruising is so popular that this is inevitable, there are many cruise boats on the Danube. All in all I would recommend a River Cruise with Emerald as a very relaxing and enjoyable way to see areas of Europe. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I was the lucky winner of a Paul Gauguin cruise to Tahiti and the Society Islands. Amazingly, our room was not the lowest level, but had a beautiful picture window! Our room was ideal, and included a small in-room safe (large enough for ... Read More
I was the lucky winner of a Paul Gauguin cruise to Tahiti and the Society Islands. Amazingly, our room was not the lowest level, but had a beautiful picture window! Our room was ideal, and included a small in-room safe (large enough for a tablet but not a small laptop) and restocked beverage refrigerator. The climate control in all areas of the ship was amazingly comfortable, particularly with the heat and humidity (which I loved, don't get me wrong!) of the gorgeous French Polynesian islands. The meals were wonderful--healthy and delicious choices were the norm! Room service was included, too. The ship's amenities included a small gym--very nice for a ship this size. The staff were truly outstanding! The port talks were a refreshing change from larger ships' sales pitches--the excursions were actually presented at the end, with independent options (eg. bicycle rentals on Bora Bora) also mentioned. Snorkel gear are included, and can be picked up in advance of excursions. We enjoyed the underwater diving helmet experience (we are non-swimmers), and would highly recommend it. As well, the guided archaeological walk on Moorea was also excellent. Friendly, casual, and yet very attentive service made the cruise perfect! A small error occurred prior to embarkation, but was remedied more than adequately, reflecting the high professionalism of the staff and the integrity of Paul Gauguin. Thanks so much, Paul Gauguin, for fulfilling a dream! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise to visit the Amalfi coast and ports we had not visited before. Though some of the destinations may not have been our first choice the shore excursions were excellent. The food, staff and service were superb in ... Read More
We chose this cruise to visit the Amalfi coast and ports we had not visited before. Though some of the destinations may not have been our first choice the shore excursions were excellent. The food, staff and service were superb in the main restaurant and the public areas. The Britannia Restaurant menu was incredible and nothing too much trouble, thankfully the portion size was just right and we never felt 'overfaced' with a needless amount of food. Though if we ever needed a quick fix the 24 hour Lido buffet choice is mind boggling. To say this ship is due for refurbishment in a few months is remarkable and a credit to Cunard's maintenance. We had a balcony cabin which was excellent. This was only our 4th cruise but the entertainment was varied and to the highest standard we've seen on a cruise ship. The only poor part of the cruise was the weather which was unavoidable. Can thoroughly recommend Cunard and will be definitely going on the Victoria again. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was our 9th cruise with Cunard and 6th on the QE. Occasionally Cunard lets us down where elements of Carnivalisation become all too apparent; sometimes the service lacks the finesse I would expect; occasionally a member of staff ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise with Cunard and 6th on the QE. Occasionally Cunard lets us down where elements of Carnivalisation become all too apparent; sometimes the service lacks the finesse I would expect; occasionally a member of staff isn’t quite as well trained as I would hope. However, most of the time Cunard get it right and occasionally perfect. After boarding the ship we quickly felt like Cunard had read our minds and solved many of the little niggles we had had previously. On this short voyage we experienced excellent service, very good food and a chance to relax. From booking through to disembarkation, with only minor exceptions, the service was polite and almost flawless. My prepaid on board credit was on my account straight away; our room steward was faultless and our waiter at dinner in the Britannia Club was exceptional (normally works in the Grills). The purser's desk staff were polite, efficient and helpful. Shortly after boarding (which was immediate and efficient, and before 12pm), we received complimentary champagne, strawberries and gourmet canapés as a gift from Cunard Customer Services; I am still not sure why we got these but I suspect it was as we had just booked our honeymoon on QM2 for 2018. Whatever it was for, it was a very nice touch. We noticed a few changes such as an improved Veuve Cliquot champagne menu in the Midship’s Bar with the addition of a champagne tasting where you can buy 3 small glasses of various champagnes including La Grande Dame for $25 per person, served with strawberries and canapés. Caviar was also available but was not presented as described and I’m convinced there was not 50 grams as there should’ve been. Reasonable value at $60 had it been presented a little better with blinis and garnish; not the melba toast we received. We ate in the Verandah twice and the food was exceptional; during a voyage last year it was not as good as it normally is, but was back on form this time. The service was also spot on and the Maitre'D superb and helpful. We encountered some new standard Britannia menus too but also many that we have seen before; some are getting a little repetitive but are still very good. The Britannia Club a la carte menu is improved from what I remember; it is a little larger with a more interesting variety: a very good compromise between Britannia and the Grills. We also ate in the Lido a couple of times and were quite impressed with the standard and variety, and the addition of plentiful smoked salmon which is always welcome. Service generally was very good; the staff were very polite and helpful and our waiter at dinner had a wonderful sense of humour. An exception is that the service in the Commodore Club continues to be a little slow, however there do appear to be more staff than previous cruises so Cunard may have listened to feedback here. However the selection of canapés, hot and cold, served with drinks are worth waiting for. I also enjoyed trying a variety of new cocktails and softails. The on deck drinks service was a little slow too, ordering a drink from the hot tubs can only be described as painful. The overall ambience of the ship was wonderful as always, with most people adhering to the dress code. The harpist, violinists and pianists were wonderful and elevated the ambience further. The world club party was very good too, an excellent variety of complimentary drinks and canapés and a great Captain with a sense of humour. We made use of the complimentary wine tasting for World Club members. The 4 wines tried were very interesting and it didn’t just feel like they were trying to sell us the wines. The sommeliers hosting the event were for the most part polite and knowledgeable. I shall certainly attend another wine tasting. I didn’t like how we had to wash our glasses in between each wine and couldn’t have a fresh glass; there were only 4 wines after all. The ship is in a very good state of repair and it appears maintenance is taken seriously with a rigorous routine for touching up wear and tear. Finally, the weather deserves a mention. Not within Cunard’s control of course, but the combination of excellent weather, good service, good food and picturesque locations made for a handful of perfect moments (and photographs to remember them by). The Ports of Call: Vigo - A pleasant surprise. We went for a walk to the top of the hill and the castle remains. Some wonderful panaromic views can be enjoyed from here. Lisbon - Keep your hands in your pockets and don't stop moving. We took an excursion here to the lovely walled town of Obidos; this was quite good although the guide on the coach was a little boring. Was very busy initially which wasn't great but it soon quietened down and was a beautiful place. We walked the town walls, again offering great views, and visited an shop selling a large selection of wines and spirits offering free samples (always good). We tried a very interesting local gin. Now for Lisbon itself. In the afternoon we walked down to Black Horse Square. Within the space of 15 minutes walking around the square and up the main road from there we were approached no less than 6 times by arab-looking men trying to sell us drugs; we soon realised this was likely a distraction to pick pocket. Thankfully we had our hands in our pockets. Whenever we stopped we were approached and it became quite scary. We decided to quickly return to the safe haven of the ship. Lisbon itself does look very nice from a distance, maybe an organised tour next time. Porto - A Cultural Gem Much better than Lisbon; again we took an interesting tour here visiting the cathedral, stock exchange palace and a port wine cellar with a port tasting. Very well presented with an excellent tour guide and quite good value. Porto felt much safer than Lisbon. An interesting history and charming place to explore. Cherbourg - It is what it is. A good base to explore northern France. We hired a car and drove to the Normandy beaches and American Cemetery. Easy to do a good round-trip in 4-5 hours without being hurried as you tend to be on ships tours. Overall, I am very happy with this cruise. The whole experience was wonderful and I was sad to disembark. I am very much looking forward to my next Cunard cruise, particularly on Queen Elizabeth. Please read my other reviews from previous cruises for a more comprehensive reviews of the ship; its decor etc. Read Less

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