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Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because it was recommended by a friend who also was traveling with us. It was beyond our expectations. The only complaint we had was the carpet in our cabin either needed replacing or a good shampooing. When we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was recommended by a friend who also was traveling with us. It was beyond our expectations. The only complaint we had was the carpet in our cabin either needed replacing or a good shampooing. When we mentioned it, someone came to our door and apologized for the condition of the rug and explained that once this cruise was completed, the entire ship was getting an overhaul. The food for the most part was very good. I think they need to have better entertainment though. We ate in The Grand Dining Room, Jacques, Toscana, The Polo Grill and the Red Ginger. All the meals were delicious. The tours we picked were also pretty good. Our cabin was 10063 and we had concierge service which was exceptional as was our cabin steward I Wayan was also wonderful net our every need. On the whole I would definitely recommend recommend the Oceania Riviera Ship. The staff was wonderful and courteous. There was one problem with disembarkation, Our bus took us to the wrong terminal , he took us to number 2 instead of number one. We had already taken all of our luggage from the bus and then had to put it back on and that was a pain for we got to the airport later than we had expected with not as much time to get something to eat before we had to get on the plane. It probably would have been much better if we had taken a taxi and also less expensive. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I never saw the notice for the Meet and Mingle in the daily happenings in the ship's program although I did see the signs for the get together, but did not know when it was happening. Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba were most ... Read More
I never saw the notice for the Meet and Mingle in the daily happenings in the ship's program although I did see the signs for the get together, but did not know when it was happening. Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba were most interesting and more vintage cars than I expected, The ship was perfect, as were the staff and food. Manfredi’s and The Chef's Table were such a treat, as were the many buffets. We met so many nice people on this cruise, everyone with such different backgrounds and perspectives. The onboard lectures were fantastic as were our guides on the excursions. The infinity pool was nice as was the regular pool, and the Aquivit Terrace was so nice and casual. I enjoyed being in my swim suit/robe and eating on the terrace. What a treat! Anastasia is a gifted piano player, and we enjoyed listening to her in the evenings. The launderette on our floor was nice to have. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Always wanted to travel the Mississippi River by riverboat. It was a relaxing and very informative cruise. Especially liked the shore excursions to the Civil War battlefields. The boarding process was the easiest and quickest that I ... Read More
Always wanted to travel the Mississippi River by riverboat. It was a relaxing and very informative cruise. Especially liked the shore excursions to the Civil War battlefields. The boarding process was the easiest and quickest that I have experienced. We took advantage of the pre-cruise package that included a tour of Graceland, two nights as the Graceland hotel and transportation to the ship. The ship as immaculately kept and the staff could not have been more professional and attentive. Our cabin was the largest we have had on a cruise with floor to ceiling sliding glass doors opening to a private balcony with chairs and table. We made stops in Vicksburg, Natchez, St Francisville, Baton Rouge, Oak Alley, and New Orleans. There were on board lectures about the Mississippi River and the Civil War battlefields that we visited given by very informative experts. The shore excursions were excellent with very informative tour guides. The food was excellent and service was quick and efficient. Disembarkation was very organized. They provided transportation to the Airport in New Orleans as well as an optional two hour bus tour of the city on the way to the airport. We have already signed up for another cruise with American Cruise Lines in 2019 "Maine Coast and Harbors". Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My wife and I are retired hoteliers/ restaurateurs from the UK so are not always the easiest to please as we tend to have too many opinions regarding hospitality! But having read some other very negative reviews from earlier recent ... Read More
My wife and I are retired hoteliers/ restaurateurs from the UK so are not always the easiest to please as we tend to have too many opinions regarding hospitality! But having read some other very negative reviews from earlier recent cruisers on Silver Wind we were concerned that we could be embarking on a nightmare experience. However having cruised the same ship previously a few years ago in South Africa we couldn’t readily equate these to our own positive memories . So we feel obliged to try to convey our own feelings regarding our voyage which bore little resemblance to some of these previously negative rantings. Yes that previous cruise was a warm weather one four years ago, but in a notoriously rough Indian Ocean (even in Summer) and this was to be mainly in November in northern Canada and the North Atlantic so we always knew it was going to be a cold and potentially rough trip, but you know that before you book and we couldn’t really understand how others had clearly failed to factor that into their own planning and were then blaming Silversea and expressing surprise at rough seas and missing ports. Surely these were always situations likely to happen so please don’t moan about the elements and blame the cruise line as there is clearly nothing that Silversea or indeed any other cruise lines can do about the weather! On boarding in Montreal all went as smoothly and seamlessly as normal with Silversea, and of course, no queues. We were pleased to be greeted in reception by a number of familiar personnel including Bar Manager, Newton, who we had met on previous cruises. Also Cruise Director, Colin Brown, who as someone else stated should be cloned, as he really is one of the best that we have encountered and this was our third cruise with him in charge. He looks after all the entertainment and enrichment programmes. These included two enrichment lecturers and a superb group of Voices of Silversea who were basically six professional singers, two operatic and four more general but all with their own individual talents. Additionally there was an onboard pianist and a Silversea trio who provided background entertainment throughout the ship. Two guest entertainers, a magician and a guitarist also came on board for a few days at different times to bolster the offering as this was a 16 day cruise. We felt they were both a bit underwhelming but that is probably because the Voices on this voyage were so good. Additionally Colin, who is a classically trained concert pianist, arranged a number of piano concerts in conjunction with the two opera singers and also performed some amazing classical duets with the onboard pianist, Olga, who was also outstanding. The crew in general were of the usual high Silversea standards. As ever mostly smiling and welcoming. Though I have to say that some of the restaurant staff (only a few to be fair) were not quite as friendly as we have experienced on other Silversea Cruises where they normally get your name quickly and address you by it from very early on, which is always impressive. Ever since the introduction of their iPad booking system a few years ago this standard seems to have fallen away somewhat unless they remind themselves by looking at your picture and name which they now get by entering your suite number into the iPad system. Maybe they were a bit tired after some seven weeks of cruising since they left London, most of which had been under some pretty appalling weather conditions! Our Suite Butler, Parveen from India, however, did an excellent job of looking after us throughout the voyage and was always on hand to attend to our every need, and our suite attendant Christine, from the Philippines, kept our suite immaculate throughout the voyage. Reception and Shore concierge staff were also very friendly and helpful and a great improvement on some we have experienced on other voyages. The hotel manager however was rarely seen by us out and about the ship and maybe that reflected on some of the staff performance? Captain Arma and the navigation bridge officers did a great job. They were all frequently seen around the ship and also kept us extremely well informed about weather conditions etc and, most memorably, carefully plotted a safe way around a huge storm that brewed up over the Gulf of St Lawrence by hugging the coast of Prince Edward Island and going very slowly for a couple of days to avoid the worst of the weather and keeping the ship as stable as possible. He kept all the passengers and crew fully informed at all times and despite a bit of rocking and rolling one evening the ship remained amazingly smooth, despite the gale blowing outside, and we never noticed any passengers confining themselves to their cabins with all the restaurants operating as busily as ever! He only once had to come onto the tannoy at 11pm on one evening to suggest that it was not a good idea to still be walking around the ship anymore! But it was reassuring that he was still on the bridge so late in the evening and in fact most everyone had gone to bed anyway and we actually had probably our best nights sleep so far being gently (or not) rocked into slumber. By the morning everything had calmed down and in the end that was really the only properly bumpy bit of this cruise. The storm did indeed mean us missing two ports of call but the first only for safety reasons as we had arrived and anchored, but it was a tender port and the Captain wasn’t convinced he could get everyone safely back to the ship, and the second because the local coastguard had closed the fairly narrow access channel…so the Captain had no option anyway. Talking to some of the crew it appeared that the ship had endured some pretty appalling weather all the way from London across to Iceland and then over to Canada for approx 7 weeks on the previous four or five cruises so, despite us being the last cruise out of the north for the winter, we actually probably had the best weather....so who knows? Just guess anyone should bear this more in mind if you choose such an itinerary in any year! Yes apparently the ship had had some sort of mechanical issue in Montreal a couple of cruises before our one that delayed departure by two or three days but to be fair to Silversea everyone on that one was reimbursed a third of their fare for that incident. Yes the ship is twenty three years old now and showing a bit of age externally but that will be sorted out when it dry docks shortly. The interior however was as clean and smart as ever with the public areas having been spruced up last year. Apparently the staterooms will be getting a “Muse-ification” refurbishment update during the upcoming dry dock in December. The suite bedrooms (or at least our one) actually seemed in pretty decent shape decor wise despite previous critical comments made on other CC Silver Wind reviews, though the TV system could certainly do with an update which is apparently happening with a more modern system being installed. For some reason it appears the update will not include the bathrooms which doesn’t make a lot of sense as the bathrooms are probably the weakest thing on Wind being rather on the small side with a rather small in length bath (not great if you are reasonably tall). However it does have an excellent power shower in addition to a hand shower, but it is one that you have to climb into the bath to use so not the easiest perhaps for some less mobile guests. We have also travelled twice on Silver Spirit in the past couple of years and have always particularly enjoyed that ship but mainly due to its larger size and thus the greater choice of dining options. Having said that Wind is half the size of Spirit and you benefit from a very cosy clubby atmosphere on board. We were on Wind for 16 days this time and didn’t really get bored with the Menus as they changed pretty much daily (every few days for La Terrazza) and the pool deck hot rocks grill, which we also love, was pretty much out as an option (even though it was still available with rugs and heat lamps) given the very cold weather in Canada and the northeast US. We actually got the chance to do a shipboard visit to see the newly stretched version of Silver Spirit when it came into Montreal a few days prior to our cruise on Wind and we really liked the updated decor and new restaurants that have now brought Spirit very much up to Muse standards. Anyway all in all it was an enjoyable and interesting cruise on Silver Wind and I would suggest others should quite simply ignore some of the earlier terrible reviews posted on cruise critic which in our mind really seem to have stemmed from experiencing some dreadfully bad weather rather than the ship itself! We would certainly be very happy to cruise on this ship again and can reassure others to go for it if they might be having any doubts. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
the ship was very good, and we especially enjoyed the quality of the food in the main dining room. The weather, less so. We boarded in 80 knot winds (really) that tore an Azamara ship off its moorings that almost struck us. Our cabin was ... Read More
the ship was very good, and we especially enjoyed the quality of the food in the main dining room. The weather, less so. We boarded in 80 knot winds (really) that tore an Azamara ship off its moorings that almost struck us. Our cabin was spacious, and the closet space was a pleasant surprise. They have an Illy coffee maker, and should put out instructions to avoid messing it up the first few times you try. We only went to two of the shows (all shows are at 9:30 except the crew show on the last night; perhaps they might consider a 7:00pm show once or twice for those of us who wanted to eat later or earlier. Re shore excursions, they also need to ensure they put out maps for the day's location every day. It was missing most days, and would be useful. The fitness center was better than anticipated; they have water and Gatorade in the room, too. The machines are set to stop every 25 minutes, so you have to re-start it if you go longer. The weight machines are great, free weights up to 50 pounds, too. We wound up in port an added day due to high seas, missing our first stop as a result. We also couldn't dock in Monte Carlo due to dock damage there, so we were schlepped by bus for 3 hours from Marseilles. Not the ship's fault, but no rest for the weary at the end... Shore excursions were generally good to very good. We did Florence on our own, using the ship's "on your own" tour. They stopped at a leather factory, and also at a view overlook, which really cut into our time. If they had advised ahead of time what our arrival time in Florence would have been, we could have avoided sprinting to our assigned time at one of the galleries. The Monserrat optional tour was great (if you don't like steep, winding roads, be cautious) especially the lunch buffet on the way back. One of the best buffets I've had (and that's saying a lot). Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose Viking Sky specifically after seeing it on TV as we loved the style & size of the ship for our first cruise. As we only wanted to try a week, the itinerary suited us as we had only visited Corfu in the past. Embarkation: ... Read More
We chose Viking Sky specifically after seeing it on TV as we loved the style & size of the ship for our first cruise. As we only wanted to try a week, the itinerary suited us as we had only visited Corfu in the past. Embarkation: We were quite impressed by the communication from the booking procedure, through to departure & on arrival in Venice there were many Viking representatives in evidence. We were aware our stateroom (3056) would not be available to us until 2pm & we were due to arrive at the ship by about midday so I asked at the airport if we would be allowed on the ship to look around etc but was told no, we would have to wait at the port terminal until our allotted time. This was not the case at all but the representative on our transfer bus didn’t offer any advice over the microphone & in fact alarmed us a little on approaching the dock as he called the ship the Viking Star twice!! There seemed to be an assumption that we were all previous Viking passengers & so we just followed him to the cruise terminal where he left us. Check-in at the terminal was efficient & we then made our way onto the ship where we were greeted with champagne & towels & took a seat in the immediate lounge area. After 20 minutes or so we realised that many of those on our coach had moved elsewhere so we asked if we could go around the ship & were then told please go & have lunch or whatever we wanted until our stateroom was available. Fortunately an announcement was made about 1.15 that all rooms were now ready so we headed to our room & our luggage was waiting outside for us. Our cabin steward arrived & introduced himself, gave us info for the room etc & he did an excellent job, along with the entire housekeeping team, all week. Stateroom: The room was quite generous in size, apart from a bit tight at the end & wardrobe side of bed, but we were generally very comfortable. Bathroom also bigger than expected but found the underfloor heating a bit stifling at times. Although the shower is reasonably powerful, the temperature fluctuates so you needed to be a bit careful. Quite pleased to find the sound proofing was very good as we never heard anybody really; just a bit of music drifting from the atrium sometimes as we were nearby. We didn’t spend much time on our verandah but it was good to be able to open the door at times On one evening we received a note to say they would require access to our verandah from 0800-1500 the following day for maintenance work. We weren’t happy with that idea & why it couldn’t be done at the end of our trip, but as soon as we spoke to Guest Services, they confirmed the work could wait. Restaurants/Bars etc: We enjoyed breakfast in the World Cafe as you could be as quick as you wanted, & had room service at one port where we were not taking an excursion so fancied a lazier morning. Dined mainly in the main Restaurant & only had to wait about 15 minutes one evening. Had some lovely food there & more than enough choice on the menu each evening. House wines also excellent & poured generously. It can be very busy in there but because the area is in smaller sections you don’t feel you’re in a large dining room. Staff deal with everything in a friendly efficient way & cope very well. Unfortunately we didn’t prebook Manfredis beforehand as we didn’t know when & where we might like to dine. However in hindsight we should have booked & then cancelled if necessary as there were no slots any time of any day. It was quite apparent that some people were dining there frequently. We were however offered the chance of the Manfredis menu in a side room on a mixed table of 12 for our last evening but we declined. Loved the various bar & seating areas, our favourite being the Explorers Lounge. A small selection of food is available in Mamsens & we felt they could have varied that more. With just 1 or 2 exceptions every member of staff was polite, friendly & efficient & we enjoyed passing comments with them. Entertainment: Some of the music was a bit of a cruising cliche so we tended not to listen to that. However, special mention of the excellent Beatles & ABBA songbook evenings by the group of 4 & also the stunning performance by Heather Clancy, the Cruise Director along with Gary Jerry on his piano. It was nice also to have members of the crew, the Captain etc introduced in various ways. Excursions: We only took 2 walking tours as our first 2 tours didn’t happen due to weather conditions affecting the itinerary. Unfortunately Venice was having their worst weather & flooding for 10 years so the Port was closed & water transport was cancelled on the day we were due to go out & about. We were also unable to leave as scheduled so were delayed until the next day & had a day at sea, having to miss out Split altogether & head straight to Dubrovnik. Sail away from Venice was still amazing despite the wind & rain!! We enjoyed the 2 tours we did but I think it’s luck with which guide you get as our two guides were completely different in their approach. Disembarkation: A huge task which they handle quite efficiently. Although you have to vacate your Stateroom by 8am, you then have time for breakfast etc. However I don’t know how they assess which group to put you in as we had to leave at 9am, getting to the airport 4.5 hours before our flight so had to just hang around for 2.5 hours until check-in opened. Summary: Overall we enjoyed our first cruising experience; we loved the ship & would possibly consider another cruise in the future. It would seem from fellow passengers that Viking compares very favourably to some other cruise lines but I guess you get what you pay for as Viking are certainly at the higher end price wise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I am not sure we would sail with Azamara again. Let me explain a bit about our experience. Embarkation: As someone in a wheelchair, we chose Azamara because they claimed they were accessible. When we arrived? No ramp, stairs. We were ... Read More
I am not sure we would sail with Azamara again. Let me explain a bit about our experience. Embarkation: As someone in a wheelchair, we chose Azamara because they claimed they were accessible. When we arrived? No ramp, stairs. We were shown to the embarkation point, which was a stairway up to the ship. When I asked where the ramp was, I was told that it was being used to load the luggage. So, 4 small employees -- probably Filipino, since they made up a huge proportion of the staff -- carried me in my wheelchair up the stairs. This is okay in places like India, where I have no expectations around accessibility, but very surprising on an American-owned ship, docked in Europe. Especially since they have a whole section on their website about accesssibility. Cleanliness: Lipstick on the champagne flutes in our suite. Lipstick on the glasses in the lounge they call the Living Room. When our first glass of wine arrived it was covered in lipstick and fingerprints. I went to the bar to get another glass and the surly bartender proceeded to pour my wine from the dirty glass into a cleaner glass. We left. Suite: Was a nice size and the accessible bathroom was pretty good -- could have used more shelves, and the toilet was surprisingly low for a wheelchair-accessible room. Bed was comfy and the balcony was a good size. Service: very mixed. Staff in the living room were not very competent. They never got the orders right and had to be sent back to get the proper beverages. Staff in the main dining room were good. Staff in the 2 specialty restaurants were very good. So a bit surprised at how the service levels varied. Butler for our suite was outstanding. but the stewards were very junior. The overall look of the ship was nice. The ship is too small for rough weather. There were hurricane-force winds which meant our first two ports were cancelled -- we spent two nights in Civitavecchia. Cannot imagine doing a transatlantic crossing on such a small ship. We ended up going to Nice instead of Monte Carlo, which was actually better for us, since Nice is flat. Palma de Mallorca was fantastic, and we loved going back to Valencia. Our two nights in Livorno meant that we could do a nice visit to Lucca, and spend one beautiful sunny day exploring Livorno. The "Azamazing evening" was quite simply, dreadful entertainment. Food and wines: We are foodies and we enjoy good wine. The food in all the restaurants was okay, but we did not like the fact that the menus in the two specialty restaurants never changed -- so it got boring quickly. The wines included in the fare were the cheapest wines they could get. We do not drink a lot of cocktails or mixed drinks, but the drinks menu skewed heavily to liquor and not wine. The wines on the "for purchase" menu were extremely over-priced, and were mostly American. Inexplicable considering we were in Europe. Corkage fees are only $10, so once we got into some ports, we headed straight to a liquor store to buy good wine to take on board. I think the owners have really cheaped out on entertainment. They had an appalling 3-person trio in one of the lounges. They had a decent pianist in another place, and there was a good jazz quartet at the Saturday brunch. They had one person for the "enrichment" lectures who seemed really out of her depth. And they don't appear to invest in staff training. We would rank this number 3 of the cruises we have done. Cunard 1, Oceania 2, and Azamara a distant 3. I realize the staff are fairly new and not all of them are fully trained, but this is a cruise line who seem to want to compete with Oceania, and they do not. The staff in the Living Room seem to hate their jobs and there was a surprising amount of surly Russian staff who seemed to hate the guests and each other. Inexplicable, since it's a nice looking room. When I filled out their online questionnaire, I told them that I could not figure out who their target market was, but it was clearly not us. Did we hear back from them? Crickets... Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We booked a guarantee obstructed view cabin. Never again. We were allocated cabin 4076. This was right over the state of the Queen's ballroom. The noise started every night at eight and continued till half twelve. Loud base beat and music ... Read More
We booked a guarantee obstructed view cabin. Never again. We were allocated cabin 4076. This was right over the state of the Queen's ballroom. The noise started every night at eight and continued till half twelve. Loud base beat and music vibrated wall and floor. Only suitable if you like to stay up late. Food was very good and plenty of choice. Entertainment was excellent particularly on sea days.enrichment lectures were excellent. Staff very polite and efficient. Drinks are very expensive and also have 15% service charge added making a beer around £7 and a soft drink £3. Wine was even more expensive with a large glass of wine costing over £10. A very traditional cruise ship with an art deco feel throughout. No covered pool or hot tubs. There is a definite class system on board this ship. Money talks!!!! Excursions similar to other cruise lines. Quite expensive but generally well organized Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We booked a V1 suite but at the time they had an offer of a 2 suite upgrade to V3. We were advised that we had been allocated a V6 suite just under two weeks from departure. An up sell letter had arrived some 2 months from departure asking ... Read More
We booked a V1 suite but at the time they had an offer of a 2 suite upgrade to V3. We were advised that we had been allocated a V6 suite just under two weeks from departure. An up sell letter had arrived some 2 months from departure asking for £999 each for a V5/V6 so we were glad we hadn’t taken up the offer. Embarkation We received no help with the luggage at the airport. On departing the arrivals baggage hall we were met and moved to an initial holding spot while others joined the group. We were then moved to another holding spot further on which at least had seats. Ground staff didn’t seem to have a clear idea of what they were doing. Eventually we were marched on again hauling our luggage all the way to the coach which was a considerable distance. It was interesting that the 6* cruise line treated us this way when Cunard took their passengers luggage immediately after exiting the reclaim area. On arrival at the port we were surprised that we didn’t have to complete a health declaration form? Also surprising was that there was no pressure to use the hand wash on boarding. We checked in in the main theatre and headed for our cabin but there was nobody to direct us to our cabin so make sure you know where to go before you arrive on the gangplank. Likewise there was no information on what dining was available on boarding. Our Cabin Steward did meet up with us after lunch with the soap selection and a glass of champagne. Life on board The theme of very little information continued on board. There were few announcements from either the Captain or the cruise director but this did increase slightly towards the end of the cruise. I heard one crew member rather bravely tell the Captain that some passengers were asking if he had left the ship as they never heard from him!! Until almost the end of the cruise there were no announcements when the ship was cleared to go ashore or where the gangway was located (it sometimes changed from the Herald the previous night). When we left Naples, our first port of call, we should have been heading for Trapani in Sicily but the next day we found a letter outside our cabin saying we were not going to Trapani due to bad weather. There was no information on what the revised itinerary was to be. The senior crew were almost invisible on board particularly the captain and there were no photos of them published in the Herald to enable us to spot them. The Wi-Fi on board was expensive which is again surprising for a 6* line when it is now provided free on many other economy cruise lines. The Cabin was well laid out and well maintained although now showing signs of heavy use with chips and scrapes. There is lots of storage. We got a bit fed up with the push to release cupboard doors after a while. There is no real walking area on the ship and in better weather the top deck will be jammed with sun loungers. We are glad we tried a shorter cruise before we booked 21 days to Antarctica. Our one sea day was enough for us on this size of ship. Our cabin was on deck 7 below the patio grill so we experienced some noise from pool deck above. Bad weather also produced a few creaks and groans so earplugs were essential The weight of the bath robes we found a problem. They were both extra large size? Whilst good quality bath robes are nice we found these too heavy to use. Following the introduction of the larger ships other reviewers commented on the staff competence. Some staff are obviously still in training but we never found this to be a problem. In general the service was excellent even in the upper reaches of the pool area. Smoking made walking round deck 9 unpleasant likewise having a coffee outside on deck 7. The weather on our cruise was bad so we didn’t have the opportunity to walk/sit in these areas much but if the weather had been better if would have been a problem Food and Drink Having followed the boards on CC I made sure that I got the complementary wine list when on board but when I asked for some of the wines the sommelier didn’t recognise them? I let her see the list and she said they must have changed it without telling her. Subsequently I got another one but this was completely different (and different from the one posted a few weeks back on CC). We found it best to ask for what you want and see if they can find it. We found a French waiter who came from Bordeaux and we asked him if they had any nice French wines so he gave us some advice. They do push the cheaper “featured wines” such as Trivento Malbec or Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc but don’t accept them and they will find you something better. Wine glasses are the same size for red and white wines (unless you buy a bottle) and they carefully only pour to around a third full. They are quite small glasses so you don’t really get through a lot of wine at dinner unless you get multiple refills. We liked the Stoneburn Sauvignon Blanc but it seemed to be running out towards the end of the cruise and the Oyster Bay was being pushed again. We also tried the Trivento but it was poor but liked a French Merlot and Bordeaux. These were the only 3 wines we uncovered that we liked so the limited wine selection meant we got a bit bored with it. We asked for specific beers (mainly ales) in the preferences section online but nothing was provided apart from 2 cans of Becks. I raised this with the cabin steward and she said she would investigate but nothing appeared. I also asked the bar tender at the pool and the club but they didn’t seem to know what they stocked. I saw a John Smiths beer can on board and then found Old Speckled Hen in the pool bar but both soon ran out due to the number of British on board. After a week on board they found some more ales and my cabin fridge was restocked but it wasn’t with any of the ales I asked for. We found the seating arrangements in the Colonnade quite poor. It was difficult to get in and out as the chairs are big and heavy. There are few tables for 2 so people tend to sit on the outside of a table for 4 making it difficult to get a seat on occasions. It gets really busy when the outside area can’t be used. On our third evening and one subsequently the Colonnade became reservations only making the main restaurant even busier. We saw some couples waiting in the club bar most nights to get a table. One of the highlights for me on a cruise is to have a cooked breakfast which I never have at home. I was not impressed with the hot breakfast on this ship and only ordered it twice. The only bacon available was crispy American which is all fat, the sausages were inedible, the hash browns were partly cooked grated potatoes etc. I tried a different order next morning so asked for medium poached eggs on toast. They arrived partly raw and runny sitting on a small piece of soggy toast. So what can go wrong with pancakes? Well Seabourn can show you. Soggy partly cooked in the middle and again inedible. Fortunately the cereal and fruit selection (some canned) was ok as were the yoghurts. The croissants at breakfast were also poor and many people picked them up in Seabourn Square together with a fresh coffee and took them into the Colonnade. The MDR dinner portions were just adequate if you had all 4 courses (including a desert). Side orders are available but are not on the menu but provided if you ask. They don’t always come in a separate dish but are added to your main plate. We had dinner in the TK grill one night and it was just OK. The clam chowder was awful and not very warm and the lobster was tough but the Dover sole was excellent. The service was too fast and we were out in one hour! Contrary to other reviewers there was no attempt to sell expensive wine to us. Perhaps we looked too poor. The plates in all dining venues were cold which particularly in the buffet where the food was only warm to start with made it difficult to have a warm meal. On balance we preferred the lunch meals in the colonnade to dinner in the MDR. Somehow the choice of food suited us better. We had one formal night on an 11 night cruise which hardly justifies carrying your posh clothes. The dress code was not enforced. One chap seated at a hosted table turned up in the MDR wearing a scruffy long cardigan and no tie on formal night!! Some staff were pulled out of the MDR to do room service at the last moment one night just as we entered and this caused chaos as they main server wasn’t told. They had no help for almost half an hour so service backed up. In general however the service was good. We found a nice table with good serving staff on our first night and asked for the same table every night. The coffee shop was excellent and we picked up our morning coffee here every day. The staff provided a carrier for us to take it back to the cabin. The snacks here were difficult to resist on occasions especially the profiteroles! Disembarkation The Disembarkation letter arrived a few days out but is was very ambiguous and when we sought clarification from reception she kept saying it is a “standard letter”. When we pushed her she said “I am trying to explain it to you”!!! Not exactly friendly! Can’t Seabourn have someone who has English as their first language read such standard letters and check they make sense. Disembarkation was a bit chaotic as we were told not to leave ship early as the luggage may not be ashore but on the other hand we were told to allow enough time to get our luggage and get to the bus? Our luggage labels were number/colour coded but no announcements were made when we should head to the gangway (which was located near to the cabins on deck 5 – the worst possible place on the ship. Conclusion We enjoyed our cruise in spite of the bad weather – but it could have been so much better. The embarkation/disembarkation needs improving, communication could be much better, the food could be better, the ship layout needs some changes at its upcoming refit, the WiFi should be included and the complementary wines should be improved. On balance we prefer Regent ships, the included excursions, flights and transfers and the food and unless we see a special itinerary at a special price we probably won’t use Seabourn again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Absolutely lovely cruise.... staff from room cleaners through to management were excellent... bar staff fab.. Anthony in the squid and anchor and lllian in the whisky and gin bar were fantastic.. Clifford our brilliant house keeper was ... Read More
Absolutely lovely cruise.... staff from room cleaners through to management were excellent... bar staff fab.. Anthony in the squid and anchor and lllian in the whisky and gin bar were fantastic.. Clifford our brilliant house keeper was tops never a problem to do anything for u... food choices galore restaurants staff amazing... these guys work long hours but are always polite and give u the time of day... would 100% book with marella explorer again... had a problem with our room nothing major.. but the ship manager got us moved straight away.... fabulous time couple of days a bit wet but hey 15 nights without cooking makes up for that... entertainment good.. broadway show room is like going to London except in London u don’t get complementary drinks... ship was very clean literally inside and out were kept clean daily and more than once a day... couldn’t ask for a better first time cruise The 6 days going across to the Caribbean were long but hey we knew wen we booked... oh and the guys at the Lavizza coffee port loved seeing me at 7am every morning Read Less

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