Originally chosen because of small size and all inclusive.
SHIP - DEFINITELY NOT HANDICAPPED FRIENDLY. In almost all cases use of a rolling staircase of 20+ steps was needed for getting on/off ship. On board only 296 passengers was a ... Read More
Originally chosen because of small size and all inclusive.
SHIP - DEFINITELY NOT HANDICAPPED FRIENDLY. In almost all cases use of a rolling staircase of 20+ steps was needed for getting on/off ship. On board only 296 passengers was a definite plus - no lines or waiting. Smaller ship did not appear to handle rough weather as well as its larger brethren. There were 5-6 foot waves rolling end to end in the swimming pool one afternoon.... Casino has 1 Blackjack table.
CABIN - Suite - disappointing - small (I do not believe the sq ft figures advertised). We were cramped with 2, would be impossible with 3. Also poor for the mobility challenged as the tub/shower requires getting over a 2 foot step in barrier (tub 2 feet deep).
DINING - real mixed bag here ranging from fair at best for dinner in Restaurant (poor selection, very small portions, false advertising - prime rib was at most 1/4 inch thick and weighed about 3 ounces. Saving grace here is to ask for all day dining menu as well and get better choices (steak, fish. even pasta etc.) On the other end of the scale the dinner we had in La Dame ($60 pp extra) was the best meal we have ever had on a cruise! Buffet for lunch was the best alternative with quality and variety. The Grill was good for 1 dinner, Italian dinner got 1 like and 1 didn't like from us.
CREW - the friendliest and most accommodating of any cruise line we have been on.
SHORE EXCURSIONS - only took 1 (Grand Turk) as most were too long (3-4) hours. It was only fair - uncomfortable "bus" and ran over scheduled time. Majority of excursions were activity/water oriented. Read Less
Viking does a nice job but did not think thru their excursion offerings of this cruise. First, it was mostly in the dark, which was to be expected on a cruise above the Arctic Circle in January. but, many of the museums, shops and ... Read More
Viking does a nice job but did not think thru their excursion offerings of this cruise. First, it was mostly in the dark, which was to be expected on a cruise above the Arctic Circle in January. but, many of the museums, shops and excursions sites were closed or inappropriate for January.
We did an independent tour which stayed out at night for over 8 hours to see the lights and were given a meal, heavy snow suits, boots and head lamps and a fire. Then we did Viking’s tour in Alta. Vikings night tour offered a few fires, no heavy clothes, and brownies. The venue was too small for the over three bus loads of people. No way to keep warm so we gave up and went back to ship.
Take your own warm clothes. Also, included excursions were many times lead by unqualified guides. Could not answer questions like, who is the king, what are the salaries, what is the education system.
On the ship’s third floor, three shower drains froze and people were moved. The wait staff had to wear coats because the dembarking door was by the Atrium. Viking did not consider the environment when they took this ship to the Arctic in winter.
If you are prepared, maybe this is the cruise for you.
FYI, we did not see the Northern Lights. Way too cloudy and lots of snow. Read Less
Overall crew and food was good
Some of the excursions did not live up to their descriptions
Shore excursions staff communication were an issue.
Tried to book a future cruise but the logistics of process were frustrating and we ... Read More
Overall crew and food was good
Some of the excursions did not live up to their descriptions
Shore excursions staff communication were an issue.
Tried to book a future cruise but the logistics of process were frustrating and we cancelled the trip
Special restaurants outstanding both in service and quality of the food.
Cabin steward was excellent and met all our needs and special requests
Free laundry service was a pleasant surprise
Some of the islands still show signs of devastation from the hurricanes
Best tour was the catermaran sail and snorkeling to turtle cove on St Thomas. It was our last excursion and was a fine way to end our cruise
I was good to be on a smaller ship that was able to dock at all the ports because we do not like to have to go ashore on a tender. That always seems to consume a lot of time Read Less
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
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
The January 2019 10 Day Cuba cruise was our 46th, and first on Azamara. Since the cruise right before ours experienced an outbreak of Norovirus, our ship was under the strictest controls the entire 10 days. You could not touch anything, no ... Read More
The January 2019 10 Day Cuba cruise was our 46th, and first on Azamara. Since the cruise right before ours experienced an outbreak of Norovirus, our ship was under the strictest controls the entire 10 days. You could not touch anything, no condiments on the tables, etc.. Overall, we were surprised at how many things were just not good on this ship, but grateful for those that worked. Journey is a 20 year ship, one of the former Renaissance ships, and at 30,000 tons it is easy to get around, big enough to hold 660 guests comfortably with enough dining options to avoid crowds. Even with only 4 elevators for the whole ship, there was hardly ever a wait. Our balcony cabin, deck 7 near the mid/rear elevators, needed a face lift, even thought the write-ups said that the ship was fully renovated in 2016? The bathroom is very, very tight and shower ridiculously small. For a premium-priced ship, the cabin was a major disappointment. There was, however, enough storage since the cabin is old style with drawers and two closets. The bedding, pillows are upscale and comfortable with nice duvet comforter, and better quality sheets. While on board our main comparison was to the Oceania cruises we took on Riviera, a 55,000 ton, small ship as well. Just on the basis of food alone, there is no comparison.The food on Oceania was superb, on Journey very mediocre, except for a few evenings when the Chef did a very good job. The food in Journey's Windows Buffet, deck 9 was poor at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Except for breakfast, since on many days there was no other option ... we tried to avoid Windows, as much as possible. Bacon, fatty and greasy, same fruit each day, along with the exact same eggs, and other breakfast offerings. One day and one day only they had very good blintzes ... never to be repeated. At lunch and dinner there were too many stews. A better alternative to Windows at breakfast or lunch was Discoveries dining room ... serving breakfast and or luncheon on sea days and The Patio, deck nine for hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled lamb, chicken, nice salads, sides including terrific french fries during an expanded lunch hour. In fact the french fries all over the ship were very good, as well as the breads and rolls. The first several days the dinner meals in Discoveries Dining Room were poor. Then after the fourth or fifth day, the food seemed to get better. Many guests we talked with complained about the food. Some good choices in Discoveries were the Escargot, Shrimp Cocktail, French Onion Soup, Osso Buco, Veal Schnitzel ( superb), Strip Steak, Caesar Salad. We quickly found that the best desserts on board were the Gelato and terrific Sorbets ( real sorbet, not sherbet). Sorbets became our go to dessert on board. One night I relented and had the Creme Brulee and it was a bit curdled. During one of the evenings, the ship hosted a "White Night" party with a terrific buffet ( even lobster tails and super jumbo shrimp ), numerous appetizers, main dishes and dancing. It was a great evening. They also hosted a "German" lunch buffet ( in Discoveries) the last sea day on the ship which was superb. Ten different types of sausage, roast pig, veal schnitzel, cheese spaetzle, assorted salads and desserts, all accompanied by an "OOM PAH Band". Also towards the end of the cruise they hosted a "chocolate extravaganza" , deck 5 near the shops. While the spot was clearly the wrong place on the ship to have this event, ( way too small of an area), it was a wonderful gesture to have desserts, candies made out of chocolate. We bought a three pack of three dinners in the specialty restaurants ( $70 pp which included two nights in Prime C; one night in Aqualina). Best choices in Prime C - Filet Mignon and Chateau Briand for two. Aqualina had a wonderful Dover Sole ( get it with butter and lemon sauce, not the Putanesca sauce). The one positive thing I can say about this ship is that they are willing to make changes in some of the entrees ... leaving out ingredients, or pairing other sides with your entree. The shows/entertainment were DISMAL. The ship's singers only performed 2-3 times during the 10 days, with the Cruise Director and Assistant Cruise Director being the talent on one night each. The special guitarist, Nestor Santurio was very good. His two night performance of Flaminco, Santana tunes, etc. was very good, but his second night was overshadowed by the choco fest, scheduled during his concerts. We did enjoy the one speaker who gave 4 talks ( Dr. Reben Peylomal) about Cuban history and politics. This ship needs major help in evening shows/general entertainment. The one and only pool is about 20' x 15' with cut ins for the two jacuzzis. You really could not swim unless it was in off hours, and no one else was in the pool.The one strong suit of this ship is service.The mostly Indonesian, Phillippino, Indian Staff is very helpful, willing to please and is genuinely more friendly than we have ever experienced on any ship. A special shout out to: GOMER; SULTAN; GODSON, some of our restaurant servers and our cabin attendants AGUS AND AARON. We appreciated their services.
This ship gets an "F" in internet services. First for those who do not travel with tablets or laptops there are only 4 computers in the Living Room on Deck 10 front of ship, seated by the most uncomfortable couches. Worse than being the slowest internet on the high seas, YOU CANNOT CONNECT TO YOUR EMAIL IF YOUR CARRIER IS COMCAST.NET. The Internet Manager admitted that they do not have the bandwidth to reach Comcast.net and in fact no one has ever been successful in connecting with their Comcast.net email account on this ship. I could not reach it directly or indirectly via MAIL2WEB.com. For this reason and this reason alone we would never cruise on Azamara again. We were totally "incommunicato" for 10 days. This is the first time in 46 cruises we could not connect to our email account.
Some of the benefits they package into their expensive fare includes a pretty liberal beverage package with modest red and white wines; Beck's, Bud and Newcastle draught beer; Pina Colada's, Strawberry Daiquiri's, Bloody Mary's and yes Mojito's .You have to ask them to make the Mojito with house rum or they will try to charge you an extra $5.95. We thought the beverage package was pretty good. You don't have to present your seapass ... just order the drink you want, including soda, water, juices, etc..The ship also includes all gratuities but charges for specialty restaurants ( which Oceania includes gratis ).
CUBA: We booked this cruise over a year ago, because this was the only ship going to the 3 ports ( Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba) , for what was supposed to be a multi-night, extended period for each port. Havana was supposed to be 3 days, but just a few days before we left , Azamara cut it to two days and extended Cienfuegos to two days and Santiago to an overnight and one day. Havana should have been 3 days, Cienfuegos one day and Santiago a full two days. Ship's tours were very long, too long ... some running as long as 7-8 hours and others 5 1/2 hours. Guests were coming back to the ship exhausted, especially since the average age on this cruise was late 60's. As usual they tried to put the fear of God into you about rules and regulations for Americans touring in Cuba. We learned that you could arrange your own private tours with Govn't sanctioned tour companies, see much more and pay about half what the ship charges. $299 for two people to do the American Classic Car tour in an old convertible is at least $100 to $150 more that what the private tour companies charge. Ditto for night tours, to night clubs etc.. The contrast of cities, architectures, stories you hear about Cuban dictators is absolutely heart breaking. Yet the resolve of the people to survive, under the worst of conditions, is heart warming. We took a horse and carriage tour one day and were so saddened to see all the skinny horses doing their best to pull the carriages and then find out when they outlive their usefulness are eaten, as Cubans will eat horse meat. Just as skinny roaming the streets are dogs and chickens don't survive that long because a chicken dinner is only affordable once per month. Fresh eggs are coveted, but hard to obtain. You can't eat the chicken and expect it to keep laying eggs. Santiago was the biggest surprise and seemed to have some industry, lush lands for plantings and better housing options. This is where Fidel is buried as well as the hero Marti.
Overall we had a good time and were grateful to finally see Cuba which is frozen in time. We truly hope things will improve for this nation of warm people. Unfortunately it will take an investment infusion of $ mega billions to bring it into the 21st century. Who will take on that task?
One final comment, one of surprise. About four days into the cruise, guests were provided a survey form. It was a short form and we responded by including comments about the food, and how disappointed we were, so far. We also commented about the poor internet service. A few days later, we were eating in the specialty restaurant, and after our meal the Specialty Restaurant Manager came to our table and asked if we enjoyed the meal, which we did. He thanked us for filling out the survey form and being so candid. We were shocked that he knew about our comments and even more surprised that he chose to approach us about what we said. Apparently our responses were listed on the ship's computer system for restaurant management to read? Read Less
The Viking Sky was impeccably clean and was kept that way throughout the cruise. The arrival process at the Rome airport was efficient and fairly rapid. We did not stay at the airport more than about 30 minutes before we were on our way ... Read More
The Viking Sky was impeccably clean and was kept that way throughout the cruise. The arrival process at the Rome airport was efficient and fairly rapid. We did not stay at the airport more than about 30 minutes before we were on our way to the ship. At the ship the embarkation process was quick. The agents greeting were friendly and focused on getting us on board as quickly as possible. Once on board, we were greeted and told that lunch would be served beginning in about one-half hour. Until that time we were directed to the pool bar where drinks were available. This first lunch was served in the World Cafe, the ship's buffet or at a buffet pool-side; two different menus. All the food was consistently good. While we were getting to know our fellow passengers an announcement was made that all staterooms were ready for occupancy. We gladly proceeded to our stateroom for a rest after the long trans-Atlantic flight. We found our bags on the bed in our stateroom ready to be unpacked. Our stateroom was somewhat larger than the staterooms of most ships with a sitting area adjacent to the balcony. A large digital TV was on the wall at the foot of the bed which positioned it well to be seen in bed or in the sitting area. The one deficit to the room was space for storing clothes. There was a huge closet, but most of our clothes were not for hanging, and even if they were there were not enough hangers. The drawers were not in a convenient place and two of the four drawers were filled with amenities for the cabin. Most our our clothes stayed in our suitcases during the cruise under the bed. Necessitating dragging them out every time you wanted to change. There was a nice drawer refrigerator that the steward kept stocked with soft drinks and sweets. To get what you wanted all you had to do was ask. The room also had a keurig type coffee machine with various k-cups for personal use. I found his a waste of space. Coffee was always available aboard ship or through room service. The bathroom had an ample shower and was well stocked with the branded supplies for Viking, same as on the river cruises. The towels were thick and enjoyable to use. There are several complimentary laundrettes aboard which make cruising easier. Our cabin steward was efficient and eager to please. He was always available and ready to serve. There are several restaurants aboard the ship, including two specialty restaurants, Manfredi's an Itallian restaurant and the Chef's Table a restaurant with a chef determined menu and wine pairings, if you choose. The food and service is immpecable, but the availablilty is determined by class of cabin. So don't expect to get reservations more than once or twice. The other, open, restaurants are just as good and much more accessible. The "Restaurant" is the sit down restaurant with a menu that includes standards each day and a special menu from the locatiion visited and daily specials. The service is routinely attentive focused on an enjoyable meal experience. The World Cafe is the buffet. Most times the offerings mirror the menu in the Restaurant. with additional offerings from local supply. The World Cafe also has daily standards, including sushi and a rotating gelato bar. The service here can be somewhat spotty. Frequently is was difficult to find someone to stop and take drink orders. There was also a daily buffet pool side. This buffet was generally focused on seafood or smaller hand items like wraps or burritos. The drink service here is a little better, but still spotty. Drink service throughout the ship started out very efficient, but by about the third day it was difficult to find a server without waiting too long. The cruise itinerary was the big disappointment of this cruise. I booked the cruise primarily because it was published a stop in Tunis, Tunisia. I have always wanted to see Carthage. Shortlly after booking Viking announed that because of political issues Tunis would be replaced with Naples, Italy. This was not exactly what I consider a one to one exchange, but because the cruise company has a stranglehold on the carriage contract the paying customer has no recourse. I tried to get them to cancel my booking (this was about 10 months before sailing), but they would not do so. Not the best customer service. But that was not the end of the itinerary chaos. In the midst of the cruise, our less than brave captain, decided he did not want to sail into Trapani Sicily with a forecast of high winds. So we sat in Naples for an extra half day. In place of a several hour tour of Trapani we got a two hour unaccompanied visit to the National Archeological Museum in Naples. Not a real one to one exchange either, but did Viking care? No. In thirty years of cruising it is the first time I have had a cruise stop cancelled mid-cruise. Again, the carriage contract was totally in favor of the cruise line with no recourse for the paying passenger. Viking is an expensive cruise, they should find ways to accomodate the paying customer. The included excursions on this cruise had llittle depth or substance. Most of them were based in bus travel and little time on foot. This was completely different than my experience on the viking river cruises where most of the time was taken up on foot visiting local sights. They were a complete disappointment. The paid excursions were expensive and most of the time scheduled at the same time as the included excursions. The only excursion that had much foot time was in Valencia and it was really enjoyable. I don't know why they had the QuietVox listening system. They only used it twice during the week.To show how cheap the entertainment was, the cruise director, who wasn't seen directing much, had to do a show himself. The enhancement lecturers were inconsistent and less than adequate. Disembarkation in Barcelona was a breeze. While it was early in the morning for us because of a plane schedule, it was done well. the ship was elegant and well maintained. The staff was pleasant and friendly, never failing to greet when you passed them on the ship, including officers. The food was quality and enjoyable. The downside was the considerable lack of understanding that the customer should be considered first in all decisions, not the bottom line. These cruises are moderately expensive so expectations should be higher. Those expectations were not met. Read Less
We came with high expectations but they were not met. This is not entirely the fault of Regent Seven Seas but ours in choosing the wrong destination. We have been often on Seabourn, on Silversea and on Crystal so feel able to give a ... Read More
We came with high expectations but they were not met. This is not entirely the fault of Regent Seven Seas but ours in choosing the wrong destination. We have been often on Seabourn, on Silversea and on Crystal so feel able to give a balanced comparison.
First off the ship was new, clean and well maintained. As a piece of equipment it couldnt be faulted. So the ship is nice.
But it wasn't all good. The mainly Filipino crew were very pleasant and polite. But often things didnt go right--delays and confusion with orders. We think this might be because there might be a shortage of crew for the tasks allocated. It's probably a middle management issue. The food was OK but not superlative but really, it would be hard to have a valid complaint about the food.
The entertainment was amateurish and a bit embarrassing at times. The crew tried hard but we were expecting something better. Also there were little bits and pieces found on Seabourn that Regent Seven Seas didnt do. Seabourn usually has live music and a bit of a party as a ship leaves port but on this cruise you could have been on a cargo ship.
But the real issue is the itinerary. This is not Regent's fault: we made the decision ourselves although they might have oversold the delights of the ports. You can hardly expect them to point out the flaws--no one would book. But the ports were dismal. Some seemed to be concrete arms around which tacky tourist shops selling the most appalling junk were congregated. The Mayan ruins were not well explained although in our case we used the services of our archeologist daughter who was with us to fill in the many gaps. So the destinations were totally forgetable and I certainly wouldnt bother revisiting any of them. But as I said, that was our choice and Regent can't be expected to turn the ports into something they are not. But be warned.
On some cruises we felt we were on a floating mauseleum such was the age of the other guests. But pleasingly here there were a scattering of families with children and people still professionally engaged rather than in their 80s and 90s. So I think there is a need to pick which cruise might attract younger types, assuming that is what you prefer.
So in summary, the ship was nice and the food OK. But the little touches that make a cruise were missing and at these prices you'd expect them to go that extra mile. But they didnt. Read Less
We have been on over 50 cruises and have been on all types of ships and cruise lines .My biggest measurement of a cruise is value for the dollar . So if you pay a lot you should get a lot and the same the other way . This cruise line ... Read More
We have been on over 50 cruises and have been on all types of ships and cruise lines .My biggest measurement of a cruise is value for the dollar . So if you pay a lot you should get a lot and the same the other way . This cruise line just is not worth what you pay unless you uses everything that is included in the price . There sales pitch is that if you add up all your expenses on a typical cruise that you get a better value . In this case that did not happen . The ship is very nice an very clean . If you are a big drinker of hard drinks and go on a lot of excursions then this cruise line would be better for the cost . The food was always top notch and for dinner there where a great many options that you could have every night . The service is amazing with everyone being very nice at all times . I do love the fact that you can get simple drinks at the pool with out having to use your card all the time . I also find its really had to decide if the small ships with limited people ( nice around the pool ) or large ships with bigger suites for the cost and more entertainment is the way to go . So I guess we will just have to keep trying .... Read Less
We had done a Viking River Cruise and we were looking for a Viking cruise close-by. We drove down from Orlando, everything went well getting on board and of course the customer service was wonderful. The entertainment was also ... Read More
We had done a Viking River Cruise and we were looking for a Viking cruise close-by. We drove down from Orlando, everything went well getting on board and of course the customer service was wonderful. The entertainment was also surprisingly good. What it was lacking was: 1)variety at the locations/islands, like an included day at the beach would have been nice, the 3 included tours were all of ruins, and maybe a little more time in Cozumel, we were hardly there, 2) a little better with the communication and care of us when we are off the boat, when we were on Viking River it was amazing how well they took care of us, but on this trip, the first tour was during lunch and it wasn't made clear that no lunch was being provided and there was no real place to grab lunch, which was a real issue since my mother and I are diabetic, luckily I had enough snacks to keep us from having a sugar crash, but it was really close, 3) on the Viking river cruises the do a few meals to celebrate the locations we were visiting, but there wasn't anything like that on this cruise, 4) the shops on the boat, I would think you would have at least one shop with things that match with where the cruise is going, like items for a Caribbean cruise. I will have to say you can't beat the rooms, the balconies, and the customer service on a Viking boat, but the rest of the trip was a bit of a bust. Read Less