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1,897 Luxury Cruise Reviews

We have had excellent trips on Oceania and were on the Riviera three years ago. We had particularly enjoyed the food and the very excellent service from a dedicated and well trained staff so we eagerly chose Oceania/Riviera again. ... Read More
We have had excellent trips on Oceania and were on the Riviera three years ago. We had particularly enjoyed the food and the very excellent service from a dedicated and well trained staff so we eagerly chose Oceania/Riviera again. Unfortunately, Oceania had been bought over by NCL recently and the change in management was very evident. The food was still very good to excellent, the cabin category we chose, penthouse 1 was still very well appointed, clean and comfortable. What was really different was the quality of the service. We had always been impressed by the helpfulness, kindness, speed and efficiency of the Oceania service. The NCL management seems to be saving on staff. Everywhere, the staff was rushed, harassed and seemingly uncomfortable. In the Terrace and Grand dining room, the service was seriously understaffed leading not only to longer wait times for food delivery but also to less personal attention. On earlier trips, Terrace staff immediately would see me, an older person, and rush to carry my plates. On this last trip, that happened only occasionally - perhaps not because of the service staff but because they were all rushed off their feet most of the time. Friendly chats with staff which we had enjoyed on earlier trips were really not possible. The housekeeping staff did their jobs very well but it took longer for cabins to be cleaned in mornings because there didn't seem to be enough of them to do the job. And, finally it seemed to us that many of the staff no longer had happy, smiling faces but seemed to be unhappy, going through the motions of service while counting the days to their next home leave. NCL has a different philosophy of cruise ship management catering to a different and younger clientele but applying the same criteria to Oceania has led to a downgraded service. We are not sure if we will choose Oceania again Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We just returned from the magnificent cruise around the western islands of the Galapagos with Silverseas. The voyage is as amazing and wonderful as most reviews have said here. Actually, we both read a great many of the reviews on this ... Read More
We just returned from the magnificent cruise around the western islands of the Galapagos with Silverseas. The voyage is as amazing and wonderful as most reviews have said here. Actually, we both read a great many of the reviews on this website and we were well prepared for the cruise (and yes, we saw in advance the BBC documentary Islands that Changed the World). Even so, our expectations for the Silver Galapagos were significantly exceeded and we cannot recommend this cruise highly enough. Apart from the islands themselves, a great strength of this cruise is the staff of the Silver Galapagos. All are from Ecuador and many are from the Galapagos themselves (especially the guides). There is an esprit de corps among the staff that is like family, along with a great pride in the islands. It is a real joy to spend time with them for the week. An additional strength, as several review here have said, is the seamless integration for logistics (much of that provided on land by Abercrombie and Kent). From plane to hotel to airline to boat and back, everything works like clockwork. If you have been on many cruises, you know this outcome is an exception, not the rule. The outings are well designed and even better executed. We were never disappointed. Take everything they offer is our advice. We are in our mid-sixties and found everything feasible. When Silverseas says “challenging”, they mean that most of the participants will do well and a handful will lag behind. Yes, it is hot sometimes, especially without cloud cover. And yes, there are currents and waves in the open ocean for kayaking and snorkeling. Take the advice of the staff seriously, but based on that advice go for it. And yes, do bring the clothing suggested by Silverseas for the week. As many have said here, a major weakness onboard is the food. We reject the frequent argument in these reviews that hiring restrictions (only Ecuadorians) accounts for this problem. We ate at the amazing restaurant Zazu in Quito and were blown away by the excellent food there. OK, perhaps the head chef at Zazu is Peruvian, but everyone else there seems Ecuadorian. Also, we acknowledge the problem of provisioning – we started at San Cristobal and it was days before we came close to another port that would allow onboarding fresh food. The first day at lunch, we had grilled octopus that was the best we had ever eaten anywhere in the world. Three days later, the same dish at the Grill was tough and barely edible. The real issue seems to be the chefs and the management at Silverseas that tolerates and enables them. There are two problems. First, the chefs are not worldly or sophisticated. The phrase “Galapagos effect” in economics and business strategy refers to very sheltered agents that are not subject to selection effects outside their narrow home environment. Some of the dishes the head chef makes are amazing (like every one of his ceviches) and some are truly awful (like the salad of tomato, crabmeat, and blue cheese dressing we were served one evening). In any sophisticated environment, the latter dish would be promptly pulled. Silverseas apparently provides minimal feedback and direction for the very promising head chef, and he suffers as a consequence. Second, the chef is way too pleased with traditional Ecuadorian peasant food. May I be clear that the problem is traditional food, not any origin in Ecuador. I am from the Old South in the USA, where vegetables were cooked beyond any nutritional value, where items were fried to a crisp or smothered in gravies, where no spices were ever used, all modernized with the occasional molded Jell-O salad. Ugh. The traditional cazuela we were served onboard the Silver Galapagos was mostly tasteless and uninteresting. In contrast, the modern fish cazuela we had for lunch at Zazu in Quito was wonderful and impressive. As several have said here, Silverseas plays the “expedition card” way too frequently to justify its weak management and execution for food services. The one significant complaint I have for this cruise is apparently a rare problem: the snorkeling masks offered by Silverseas are not that well maintained. The first mask I was given leaked at the sides, though the problem was small enough that I completed the outing with only irritated eyes as an issue. The replacement mask I was given flooded at the mouthpiece and was completely unusable. I found three other guests who suffered the first problem (out of the 24 to 30 guests on three snorkeling outings for me), and only one other guest who suffered the second problem. Fortunately for her, her mouthpiece flooded at the initial outing at a beach; she swam onshore and an English-speaking guide pulled a pebble out of the mouthpiece for her. My mouthpiece flooded in the open ocean, and the driver on the Zodiac spoke not a word of English and had no idea what to do in my case. I later found out that most but not all Zodiacs have replacement masks onboard, so Silverseas expects these problems. However, Silverseas does not inform guests of the replacements and (at least in one case) does not train drivers for replacement. If you do the math, you can see these problems are not frequent. Nonetheless, I would strongly encourage you to bring your own mask – though Silverseas can be a bit prissy over use of your own mask; one guest brought a bright yellow snorkeling mask and was prohibited from using it. Overall this is an impressive and wonderful cruise. A little preparation in advance on your part will add to this awesome experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Our first cruise on Viking Ocean and the Viking Star did not disappoint. A beautiful ship and the staff was excellent. BRINSLEY as cruise director did a great job and was very organized. The guest lecturers were very good and We enjoyed ... Read More
Our first cruise on Viking Ocean and the Viking Star did not disappoint. A beautiful ship and the staff was excellent. BRINSLEY as cruise director did a great job and was very organized. The guest lecturers were very good and We enjoyed the fact that if we missed the real time lecture, we could view it later in our room. All the public areas were beautifully decorated and cozy. Loved tea at 4:00 although personally I would have preferred it earlier. We saw the Northern lights on at least 4 different days both in Alra and Tromso and from the ship. Didnt realize that to the naked eye you can't always see the colors. You see them on your camera but to your naked eye they may appear as a hazy white mist. They were still beautiful to see on your camera. Make sure you bring warm clothing and hand and feet warmers as it was minus 22 degrees Farenheit! And fleeced lined thermal underwear! We also brought bib snow pants and it was still cold. Definitely recommend it though. The extra excursions were so much fun, dogsledding, snowmobiling, sami huts and going to the ice hotel to see the sculptures. I think the overnight stay in the ice hotel isnt worth doing...no inside restrooms and very basic accommodations. We did private light tours and I would highly recommend the one we did in Tromso with Enjoy the Artic tour, only 8 of us and he was very helpful with cameras and settings. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Embarked in Barbados after a 3-day visit to that pleasant but (to me) mildly dull island. Embarkation was so easy we weren't sure if we were done (!) and cabin was available immediately. Our butler Daniel has helped me understand ... Read More
Embarked in Barbados after a 3-day visit to that pleasant but (to me) mildly dull island. Embarkation was so easy we weren't sure if we were done (!) and cabin was available immediately. Our butler Daniel has helped me understand the point of a butler on a cruise ship (on prior ships we never saw them, didn't see the point) - eg. he polished my husband's shoes without us asking and found him a tie when we realized it was the one thing he failed to pack. yay Daniel. Embarkation in Fort Lauderdale was more formal (by colour group) but also went very smoothly. Itinerary from Barbados to Fort Lauderdale was good, pretty islands and no big deal when we hit rough weather and went to St. Thomas rather than San Juan (captain made the right/safe decision). We did 3 shore excursions through the ship and all were good - no big bus tours, well-organized and fun. Our 4th planned excursion was cancelled though - apparently no one wanted to watch dolphins in Key West (?!!). I thought perhaps that with this small ship (388 passengers) we might have ports where we were the only ship, but NO. Caribbean is swamped with ships now and even small islands like Bequia had multiple in harbour (though our counterpart there was the lovely Sea Cloud). Despite the small size, this is a miniature "full-size" cruise ship: it has a full show lounge (with great sightlines), a lounge with a decent dance floor, an all-day espresso cafe, etc. It has been recently refurbished and the decor is modern and attractive (except the main Restaurant which looks 1980's). I liked that there are (sort of) 5 dining venues, though we didn't really have any meals in the Arts Cafe (only very light food there). The Terrazzo restaurant is really special at night, actually much more attractive than the Restaurant and sitting outside there is magical. Pool grill is what you expect and the menu is very limited; Evening poolside menu is even more limited, so fun to try once but then we were kinda done with it. in the evening it becomes "Hot Rocks", a concept I do not embrace (they will cook your food and plate it on request, but somewhat reluctantly). We decided not to pay the big surcharge for La Dame as we found the cruise expensive to begin with, and the room is very blah (others on the ship enjoyed it, though). I strongly recommend they improve 2 issues (which hold for pretty much ALL luxury cruise lines and maybe all cruise lines, so this is not ship/line specific: 1) green practices - please eliminate single use plastics, especially drinking straws. There is no need for plastic water bottles when people go ashore - provide a re-usable carafe per cabin that can be sterilized between guests; toiletries should be provided in refillable bottles not millions of tiny plastic ones. 2) smoking - it is no longer OK to permit smoking in enclosed or semi-enclosed restaurant, this is not allowed in North America or in most of Europe so I am sure smoking passengers would understand!!! One entire side of the semi-enclosed pool area was for smokers and in the evening when it was "Hot Rocks" it was a smoking section. Day and night the pool area would fill up with smoke even though there were only about 20 smokers on our sailing. They have an indoor Connoiseur Club and an outdoor open deck area - that should be sufficient. (as for cigars, personally I think they should be banned anywhere but the CC - the stench really is intrusive, and more than once I saw people vacate the pool area when someone lit up a cigar). This is a health issue for the cruiseline employees, not only the guests. In terms of "room to improve" specifically for Silversea and Silver Shadow, the main issue is food and beverage service. The food is tasty and there is good variety. The bar service was fine. The complimentary wine selection is impressive BUT what they have on board is top secret, and it was an endless struggle to know what wine was available. There is no list, they won't provide a list, and even meeting with the sommelier did not result in any list (unlike Silver Discoverer, which provided a verbal list...). The solution was to say "no thank you, could we speak to the sommelier please?" every time a waiter approached us with a wine bottle, but that was really a headache and not always taken with good grace by the waitstaff. This approach really is not in keeping with the sophisticated guest that Silverseas suggests they are hoping to attract. Also, there were a LOT of minor food service errors, which added up to an overall "average" impression. One easy fix would be to use different glasses for sparkling vs flat water!! (I was constantly getting flat water poured into my sparkling and most did NOT remove the glass when it was pointed out).None of this was terrible, but at the price we expected better. Finally, every cruiser wants a different experience and sometimes, a ship may be delightful but not an ideal fit for you. For the interest of others considering this ship, I will give my impressions of the passengers on board; this is only my impression, and of course, other sailings and other itineraries may attract a different group. Relative to our experiences on Crystal and Regent, we found that this passenger group were less interactive; it was not a very diverse group (mostly white, married couples from the US and UK, aged 60-80), and although people were pleasant enough when we started conversations, with a few exceptions most seemed to prefer the exclusive company of their spouses. There were more people in the bars before vs after dinner; the shows were poorly attended (though pretty good); it was not so much an atmosphere geared to "making new friends". There were few organized activities, even on the sea days (exception: ping pong tournament, which was the friendliest event on the ship). If you are an older married couple who just want some "don't bug us" quality time together, this may suit you perfectly. We missed the more frequent chatting, dining and dancing with other couples that we had enjoyed on other ships.I think this would be a rather tough trip for a single passenger traveling alone, unless that person was really keen on alone time. Overall, I enjoyed the cruise and the ship, but I do think that for the high prices, the food and beverage service should be improved. I would go on Silversea again if the price or itinerary was right, but it won't be my first-choice luxury cruise line (based on this experience). Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Just returned from a 5-day cruise on the Infinity and wanted to share some of my thoughts on the experience. I was bit hesitant in booking this since the ship will be going into dry dock for a complete make over later this year and many ... Read More
Just returned from a 5-day cruise on the Infinity and wanted to share some of my thoughts on the experience. I was bit hesitant in booking this since the ship will be going into dry dock for a complete make over later this year and many have commented on the ship looking a bit tired. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised that all the public spaces were very well kept and I really liked the more traditional style layout and the “Solstice” like décor. We had an Aqua Class cabin on deck 11 and absolutely loved the location. It was very quiet, and I rarely heard any noise from the movie screen above or the pool deck. I am so glad I chose this deck over the Aqua Class cabins on deck 9 with the dramatic overhang from the deck above. One thing I want to confirm is that the balconies actually get slightly larger in depth from aft to forward on deck 11. We were in cabin #1104 and It looks like cabin #1103 & #1102 have the largest balconies, but only by about a foot or so. Since there was much discussion on this topic I am posting a photo to try and show this. My biggest gripe about the cabin was the size of the bathroom and shower. It was definitely one of the smallest I have ever experienced, and I don’t think the upcoming makeover will be able to address this. I loved the fact that there was a traditional wide promenade deck that did have some deck chairs to enjoy the ocean from, which is a rarity now on any of the newer ships. I sailed on the Solstice and did like the style and décor of the ship, but I am not a fan of the Edge from everything I have read and the photos and videos I have viewed. The design seems a bit extreme for Celebrity in my opinion. I thought the staff was excellent on this ship and will say the customer service provided was probably the best on any cruise we have taken. I thought the entertainment in the main showroom was quite good, but did not like the very loud and obnoxious d-jays at the pool. The hip-hop music vibe was not fitting for the demographic on this cruise. They also turn the very classy atrium and stairway area into a club each night with the same d-jay and style of music. Sitting and trying to enjoy a coffee in the classy Café Boccio and martini bar in the evening and having to listen to this loud music was not very pleasant. I get they are trying to create a party vibe with the lack of a true disco on this ship, but this was not the place to do it or at least they could try to mix up the style of music to cater to a more diverse crowd and lower the volume a bit. The average age were people in their 50’s and 60’s, not teens and 20’s. As far as the food goes, I loved Blu and think it is worth every penny if possible to upgrade to Aqua class just to dine there. I did not like the buffet at all. It is always crowded and the food quality was not that great. I stuck with the fresh made pasta bar and salads. Pizza and burgers were OK, but the entries were mostly unidentifiable and awful. I did like the pastries and desserts in both the buffet and at Blu. We did try the Petite Chef at Quisine and the Tuscan Grill. Both were excellent and the food was very good. If I had to chose one over the other it would definitely be the Tuscan Grill. I liked the show at Quisine, but once would be enough. We had the full 4 perks which included the premium drink package which was great, but you need to do the math and make sure it is worth springing for the extra cost. We also had the premium internet which was surprisingly fast for being on a ship. I posted previously regarding the lack of free movies on board. It was reported here that Celebrity had lifted the pay per view policy and was offering free movies in the cabin, but that was not the case on the Infinity. Only 1 free movie per day on the TV! All in all it was a great cruise and wanted to share some thoughts. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Escaping Illinois in January was a great plan! Unfortunately, the ocean was a bit angry and we could not dock at the first 2 ports. Additionally, excursions were cancelled because of weather. The Viking Sea is a beautiful vessel and ... Read More
Escaping Illinois in January was a great plan! Unfortunately, the ocean was a bit angry and we could not dock at the first 2 ports. Additionally, excursions were cancelled because of weather. The Viking Sea is a beautiful vessel and the staff could not have been better. We enjoyed having a choice of restaurants, multiple bar locations, a luxurious spa and plenty of books for borrowing. Having an included tour at each location was a very convenient way to get the overall picture of each island. We found the tours that we were able to take were equal to or more than what we expected. Viking ocean cruises include a lot of things that are extra on other cruises. And, they were very prompt in refunding the money for cancelled excursions to our shipboard account. Our Cruise Critic meet and mingle reception was very nice. It was a good time to meet and visit with other cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise explicitly because there were no “at sea days”. We chose Viking because of stellar reviews with no casinos nor children. Being a very new boat, just 4 or 5 years old added to the allure. The airfare (which was ... Read More
We chose this cruise explicitly because there were no “at sea days”. We chose Viking because of stellar reviews with no casinos nor children. Being a very new boat, just 4 or 5 years old added to the allure. The airfare (which was included right from Victoria) was a bonus. Connections were in the acceptable range, but actual flights were hardly direct. It took 24 hrs pretty well both ways door to cabin door & back - very long. The boat itself was near perfection. Very clean and extremely well kept. Crew was exemplary in almost every way. The organization of the entire cruise was near to flawless. The food was exceptional, and all the restaurants (not cafeteria) were very well managed. Very limited wait times for seating & service were always acceptable. The stateroom, penthouse balcony, was spacious & well thought out. The head was lovely - only room for 1 person at a time, but that was to be expected. I thought the balcony was a little small, but still offered us lovely moments to enjoy the sea air & magnificent views. The included excursions were informative, didn’t love the giant coach drives, but they had their good points. Most of the optional excursions were terrific. Especially the catamaran trips. On the downside weather became a problem right from the cast-off. We left a few hours behind schedule which could have been an issue with our 1st port of call, however that became moot when we couldn’t even dock at our 1st port of call. Nor the 2nd one! All other ports were achieved. Another weather issue disallowed us to experience our most highly anticipated excursion. This was further exasperated when my husband & I got separated when I returned on board after the cancellation of our excursion to unload our gear, only to be denied at the gangway to leave the vessel as it was about to be repositioned. We were given inaccurate information as to a timely disembarkation notification. Many of us were very upset not knowing how long this would take. It took over an hour for us to reunite, almost ruining our ability to see any or much of the island. The crew worked hard to try to correct anything they possible could - that must be said. My only negative comments regarding the food & beverage aspect would be the World Cafe, & the overburdened Wintergarden. Workers could not seem to keep up with busing tables every time we went there. In the Cafe we sat at dirty or unset tables in order to have a meal. Drinks also either took a long time to get or there was no table service apparent. I went to the bar to get our alcoholic beverages each time we went there except once. Ted talks were well liked as were various cinema or theatre activities. I will try to go on another Viking Cruise for sure, however I cannot say the same for my husband. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Seeing the Northern Lights was on our bucket list. This was the first cruise we noticed that offered that opportunity. We have sailed Viking before so we were aware of the restaurants, food, etc. so we snapped at the chance and signed up. ... Read More
Seeing the Northern Lights was on our bucket list. This was the first cruise we noticed that offered that opportunity. We have sailed Viking before so we were aware of the restaurants, food, etc. so we snapped at the chance and signed up. Obviously, sailing the north Atlantic in JANUARY is probably not the smartest thing to do if you get sea sick easily, and there are no guarantees that the northern lights will even be out. But, no "pain", no gain! The weather was not cooperating right out of the gate. We left Tilbury and headed to Stavenger in moderate seas. Leaving Stavenger, we were almost immediately notified that we would skip Bodo because of the heavy weather. We sailed the largest fjord in the area to pass time...…….it was gorgeous scenery. Further, the captain sailed inside passage routes as much as possible. After Narvik, we sailed to Bergen for a two night stay. However, the seas were very rough and we were very late into Bergen, like so late all excursions were cancelled\ in Bergen. Viking was very open in keeping us up on the (lack of) progress and was very quick to refund all cancelled excursion costs. So, if you take this cruise, do not be surprised if the weather causes problems and modifications to the schedule are made. As we were there for the lights, we took an optional excursion that went out and searched for the lights. Well, we saw them on the excursion but the lights were very unimpressive. We were also told that to take pictures of the lights you needed to take a 5-6 second exposure. So, the next night, while on board the ship, the announced that the lights were out and could be seen right from the ship, in port. We went out and WOW, were blown away by the display. I said that I was going to try and get a picture with my cell phone camera...…....easy to delete bad pictures so no real effort...……..but to my amazement, I got several really god pictures of the lights!!!!!!!!!!! We were tickled pink! (Just remember to turn off the flash on your cell phone). The first day we arrived, we ate at the World Café. We walked in and right in front of us were two staff members that remembered us from the last cruise. we remembered them also...……..it was an "ah-ha" moment. So, if you think you will never see crew and staff again, nor will they ever remember you name, you are wrong, at least on these Viking ships, We were greeted by them like it was old family day! I was impressed! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
On the positive side, the Viking Ocean ship was great and a nice size, only about 800 passengers. But it had high quality entertainment, great enrichment lectures, a great fitness area, and super public spaces. The food, like the river ... Read More
On the positive side, the Viking Ocean ship was great and a nice size, only about 800 passengers. But it had high quality entertainment, great enrichment lectures, a great fitness area, and super public spaces. The food, like the river cruises, was great, maybe even better than the Viking Long Ship in Europe. Service in all areas was superb, especially guest services, which I used a lot to get advice on all the tours. I again was so impressed with all the pleasant greetings every day reflecting just how good Viking training is in customer service. Visitors should take into account that this cruise is a little riskier than other Viking cruises because Cape Horn has some of the most turbulent seas in the world. Half the ports in Chile and Santiago were quite cool, mainly in the 50's, and one of the port visits was canceled due to high winds, resulting in four straight days in rough seas. The guides we had in two of the eight ports did not speak very good English and were not very polished. These were in two smaller cities in the southern parts of Chile and Argentina, challenging places to find good tour guides. The good ones we had, such as in Ushuaia, were from Buenos Aires. The guides in the bigger cities like Buenos Aires were fine. The port visits in the first half of the cruise, mainly Uruguay and Argentina, were boring, except for Buenos Aires and beautiful Ushuaia. There was just not that much of interest. If I were doing it again, I would cruise just the Pacific side of South America. The cruising in the Chilean Fjords and other areas such as the Puerto Montt area were gorgeous, and Valparaiso was the best larger size city on the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise on the recommendation of friends. With only 200+ passengers, it was an exceptionally friendly/personal cruise among the passengers. Since there’s no elevators, there was no worry about being hit by electric ... Read More
We chose this cruise on the recommendation of friends. With only 200+ passengers, it was an exceptionally friendly/personal cruise among the passengers. Since there’s no elevators, there was no worry about being hit by electric wheelchairs or walkers. The food is outstanding and served 5 times each day Service by the waiters, cabin stewards, etc., was of highest quality The ports visited often required anchorage due to visiting less frequented places that offered excellent water sports, beaches and shopping opportunities in areas of shallow waters. It is a square rigged sailing ship with the majority of its passengers returning from previous experiences on the same Royal Clipper. The staff is available, personable, and very professional. The cabins are well decorated with mahogany and brass with more than adequate storage. The beds are comfortable and well dressed. The dress code is relaxed and only in the evening is “business casual” the standard. Snorkeling, scuba, kayaking, swimming are offered from a sports platform with equipment supplied ate no cost. Evening entertainment often provided by local performers, no faux broadway type. Selecting this cruise is reserved for able bodied adventurous passengers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Previous river cruises with Viking was the main incentive to try and ocean cruise. The accommodation and cabin facilities were very good including services of our steward in the cabin. She was very attentive to our requirements and kept ... Read More
Previous river cruises with Viking was the main incentive to try and ocean cruise. The accommodation and cabin facilities were very good including services of our steward in the cabin. She was very attentive to our requirements and kept the cabin well appointed throughout. The food on bard was very good including the specialty dining. Enjoyed use of the spa and facilities. Entertainment shows were very good and well worth attending. Not overely impressed with some of the shore excursions particularly when I felt that they were just occupying time without too much purpose. Overall the cruise was very good value. Travel to and from uk was okay but would prefer a single flight to arrive at the ship. Less hassle involved with transfers. We enjoyed the space on board Viking Star and the layout appeared very good. Would have appreciated better evening snacks to eat made available. Staff were very friendly and tried to assist with our requirements. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Due to the delays this trip was a long time coming. We are to disembark in 4 days at the end of what will have been a fantastic 3 week trip to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica and wanted to share our experience as ... Read More
Due to the delays this trip was a long time coming. We are to disembark in 4 days at the end of what will have been a fantastic 3 week trip to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica and wanted to share our experience as there were very few reviews available for us, GREAT THINGS ABOUT THE SHIP AND TRIP The expedition staff could not have been more helpful or knowledgeable, the landings carefully chosen and executed extremely professionally. Lectures very good. The food everywhere was superb and often imaginative. Only buffet at lunch and sensible portions otherwise, The wine and drinks offerings excellent Lots of space onboard the ship. The staff in every area without exception were superb, friendly, courteous without being obsequious, and professional at all times. Cabin well equipped with every type of socket (adapters not required) Quality of furnishings, however......... NOT SUCH GREAT THINGS ABOUT THE SHIP AND TRIP No Parkas when we loaded - apparently stuck in customs! Many people did not have a warm jacket (myself included) we were issued with macs, no warmth then after a few days an assortment of different ski jackets arrived, - to be fair the staff had ‘bust a gut’ to get these but there were so many complaints and compromises on sizes etc. No Sub, not told until half way through voyage that a part or software was not working and sub grounded despite best efforts. This was a HUGE disappointment to a lot of people. Design, there are some aspects of the ship not easily rectifiable that do detract from the voyage enjoyment. These design aspects defy logic and have been mentioned in previous reviews. The observation lounge - kitted out with very comfortable furniture and coffee machine where you can observe nothing but the bow outside decking area! Despite being a library and quiet reading area there is dreadful piped music 24/7 that apparently cannot be switched off, this is true of music throughout the ship, hey guys expedition yacht with people, exploring nature please not jingly music everywhere. Also mentioned in previous posts but unless you have been onboard hard to Believe the swimming pool really is in the middle of the restaurant with 2 showers next to dining tables. It is the joke among all staff and guest and apparently nobody very uses is, as one guest said why would you walk between the tables in your sluggos. It isn’t however a joke as a guest as a swim and relax would have been very nice and cannot imagine if you were on a warm weather cruise, the pool and hot tub was emptied shortly after sailing for most of the voyage as apparently the water slops out too much! As the steam and saunas are segregated there is nowhere you could have a dip and then relax as a couple. The main lounge is vast and as such never has an intimate feel. All of the seating along the sides is fixed faces in and incredibly uncomfortable. Extremely deep seats so you either perch or sit back with legs off floor but whichever you cannot look out (of an expedition yacht) the tables are huge and fixed so no conversation across tables or flexibility, Sharp edges everywhere, glass edges at the head of every stairs, square chrome handrails, doors from loos open into corridors? No floor numbers as you walk up the stairs and despite the ‘millions’ spent on art no colour anywhere. The ship is grey and brown, all very high quality fittings but why not put some nice artwork up as you walk up and down the stairs or in the lounge instead of black and dark glass and chrome everywhere, or splashes of colour with some soft furnishings, it appears the ship is waiting to be dressed. OVERALL A great ship and staff (that in our experience that could not be improved upon) but a couple of the design decisions greatly detract from the experience- observation deck and (lack of) pool Easily rectified would be to ditch the music in certain areas and to select some more appropriate music when applicable, Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Choose this cruise because it is Regent. Also the itinerary matched what we were looking for and the timing was great. Great itinerary. The service on the ship was great. The food was great. The people were great. We will probably not ... Read More
Choose this cruise because it is Regent. Also the itinerary matched what we were looking for and the timing was great. Great itinerary. The service on the ship was great. The food was great. The people were great. We will probably not cruise on the Navigator again unless the itinerary overcomes the lack of a forward observation lounge and the vibration and engine noise. I should mention that in our cabin there was no noticeable noise or vibration worth mentioning. The ship was clean and the cabin every bit as nice as those on the Mariner and Sojourn. The biggest criticisms that we have is that there is no forward observation lounge, the ships engines created a lot of vibration (and some noise) in the stern of the ship and the ship rocked and rolled more that the other ships we were on. The lack of the forward observation lounge is probably the biggest issue. On our other 2 cruises we were in the lounge to see sail-away and arrivals everyday. This was the go to location for us to have an evening cocktail. We really did not visit the bars on the Navigator. The pool was adequate. Never had problems finding a chaise lounge. Plenty of service from the bar. We both participated in needlepoint during tea on the sea days. Almost finished a project. Mallory, the support/costume lady for the entertainment troupe led the activity and was a great host and fun to talk with. The stage shows were good solid performances. We went to several. One of the dancers, Kevin, in particular was a standout. Incredibly athletic and danced beautifully. The staff and crew are all very service oriented. Would have been 5 stars except that on our last Regent and Seabourn an incredible portion of the personnel knew us by name and knew our preferences. Only a small handful did on this cruise. The food in the Compass Rose was all well prepared and served attractively. The menu was varied with a combination of choices available every night and a great a selection of daily "specials." There was only one day when we had a hard time finding something we wanted to order. Most days it was hard to select from among several selections all of which we wanted to try. The experience in Prime 7 was also great. We ate in Prime 7 twice. We both had Alaskan King Crab Legs (2 pounds!) on the first night and I had them again while my wife had the Maine Lobster. For both you had the choice of in shell or out. Where's the fun if you do not have to disassemble them your self. If all you are looking for is steak those who had it said that it was equally good in both Compass Rose and Prime 7. The breakfast buffet in La Veranda was good. There were adequate choices on the buffet plus cooked to order eggs and a daily special. We ate lunch at the pool grill several times. The burgers and sandwiches were good. There were 2 theme lunches Greek and Satay. The Greek food was tasty but not authentic. The Greek Captain should have helped them deliver an authentic experience. The Satay was great with meat and fish choices and all the correct sauces. The deserts in all the venues were great. Embarkation 5 out of 5 Embarkation was simple and fast. The only delay was that there was only a single security station to check ID to board. The check in was on the ship and was simple and rapid. The cabins were available early and our luggage was waiting Moorea, French Polynesia 4 out of 5 Had a great excursion for dolphin watching with a PhD who worked at UC Berkley labs on the island. Fakarava, Tuamotu Archipelago 2 out of 5 We arrived at Fakarava and anchored. The Captain waited about and hour and decided conditions were too bad to allow tender operations so this stop turned into a sea day. The Cruise Director and his team worked hard to get a new schedule of activities prepared and had it ready shortly after we departed the lagoon. Nuku Hiva, Marquesas 4 out of 5 Had a great tour with locals round the island. The tour was in 4WD pickups. The information shared was interesting. Only real complaint is that the leader do not speak English too well. It did make fun for the those of us who know a bit of French to get the ideas across to all the group. Rangiroa, French Polynesia 4 out of 5 Great snorkel tour Bora Bora, French Polynesia 5 out of 5 Fantastic "all" day tour. Polynesian day and Motu lunch. We circumnavigated the island in a outrigger motor boat. Stopped at 2 places to snorkel. We say lots of colorful corals, a large moray eel and at the second stop snorkeled with black tips sharks and sting rays. The day ended with a Polynesia feast on a small private motu (island.) Food was great and it was fun sitting at picnic tables in the shallow water. Based on recommendations we will likely return here and stay for a few days at the Le Meridien or St. Regis. Raiatea, French Polynesia 3 out of 5 Raiatea was beautiful. We would like to go back for a couple of days. We did a snorkel tour to Taha'a Coral Gardens. It was a drift snorkel. Having to go in a line with inexperienced snorkelers was a disaster. Many people ended up being forced into the coral and were scrapped up. Huahine, French Polynesia 5 out of 5 Fantastic island tour in a pickup with room for 8 on benches in the truck bed. Ride was comfortable. The driver/tour guide was knowledgeable, interesting and engaging. This is another island that we would like to visit again. Disembarkation 5 out of 5 Extremely easy. We were traveling independently after the cruise and taking the ferry to Moorea. We were invited to debark anytime after 8 but before 9. Luggage was waiting with helpful guys to dig it out for you. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have been wanting to do a South America cruise for some time now and this holiday cruise was a perfect time for us. This was our 15th cruise with Celebrity. The cruise director, Alejandro from Argentina, was an absolute riot. We loved ... Read More
We have been wanting to do a South America cruise for some time now and this holiday cruise was a perfect time for us. This was our 15th cruise with Celebrity. The cruise director, Alejandro from Argentina, was an absolute riot. We loved this guy. The entertainment was excellent too as was our dining room service with David from Kenya. His assistant Alvin was also outstanding. We loved the itinerary and were overwhelmed by the beauty of Patagonia and especially the scenery as we sailed through the Beagle Channel. In Punta Arenas we took the ferry out to Magdelana Island to see the Magellanic penguins and their newborn chicks. You can get to Magdelena Island by zodiac or ferry. We opted for the slower ferry in case of rough seas. Fortunately the seas were calm and the ride out - though slow - was uneventful. The ferry looks like a Higgins Landing Craft that hit the beaches in WW2 at Normandy. You are inside however and go down into the bottom just before landing on the island. They drop the ramp and off you go. We had an hour on the island and saw thousands of penguins, their chicks and seagulls and their chicks - who also nest there. The place that really surprised us was Uruguay. We spent a day in Montevideo with an outstanding tour guide and the next day went to Punta del Este, Uruguay which is a magnificent resort area. Beautiful homes, beaches, condos, restaurants, a busy harbor area with all the yachts and sailboats you would see in Miami. It was very classy. We ate at a nice restaurant on the water and had excellent food and service. Uruguay is a very progressive country, very secular which surprised us. The cruise through the Chilean fjords was beautiful and dramatic as you might imagine. Overall, we loved this cruise, The eclipse was showing its age in a few places but the food, service and itinerary made up for this. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We looked forward to visiting countries in South America, places we hadn't been, and especially seeing natural places and animals there. Mostly, I was disappointed. We saw little of either. Penguins could only be seen from a distance ... Read More
We looked forward to visiting countries in South America, places we hadn't been, and especially seeing natural places and animals there. Mostly, I was disappointed. We saw little of either. Penguins could only be seen from a distance in the Falklands, as wasted stop in my opinion. We did get to see many penguins on the extra excursion in Puerto Madryn after a 2.5 hour bus ride; it was worth it. Other than that, we saw the Amalia Glacier. No other fjords. No waterfalls. Too many sea days by far. A few cities that weren't spectacular. We liked Montevideo, Uruguay the best. Buenos Aires was good. Shore excursions were better than on the Great Britain cruise. Viking did take good care of us, as usual. I hate to cruise with any other line now that I'm so spoiled. All processes run much smoother than on other cruise lines. The staff was so responsive to our needs. They go a little overboard on creating fancy dishes that don't really appeal to me, especially when many include gluten that I can not tolerate. I looked forward to getting home to my basic foods. We had the best entertainment on this cruise that I have ever experienced. Tango dancing, harp playing, singer--all were incredible! Enjoyed the planetarium and getting to see the night sky afterward. Really appreciated having bridge playing available on the many sea days. The Jupiter is a great ship, except for not having good tables for playing bridge except in the dining room. The staff make Viking cruises the best. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this trip for a few reasons: 1) the itinerary - to sail around Cape Horn/southern ocean 2) Timing - wanted a trip over the holidays (this one was from Dec 19-Jan 4) 3) Friends had sailed on the Oceania Marina ship To the ... Read More
We chose this trip for a few reasons: 1) the itinerary - to sail around Cape Horn/southern ocean 2) Timing - wanted a trip over the holidays (this one was from Dec 19-Jan 4) 3) Friends had sailed on the Oceania Marina ship To the Baltic a couple of summers ago - and had raved about their experience SERVICE: Overall, the service was fantastic - ratio of Crew to Passengers is 1.56:1 - - with 1250 passengers I think. We were told there are146 chefs on board and can see that this must be true. This makes sense, as the food on Oceania is ranked as one of their big selling points. All of the day to day crew on board couldn’t have been nicer/more pleasant/professional - from housekeeping, butler, waitstaff. Not such great marks for the Reception Desk, Concierge, Destination Services and Reservations desks - we were never greeted with enthusiasm or smiles - and were made to feel as if we were bothering them. NOTE TO OCEANIA: Those desks are your first face to the customer - would recommend that you staff them with pleasant and accommodating people. We never saw the Officers - who made themselves scarce - with the exception of the “Meet the Bridge” cocktail reception and the Captain who said Farewell at the end during the “Crew Salute”. We would have liked to have heard and seen the Bridge Officers more often. FOOD: There were four Specialty restaurants - NO UPCHARGE for any of the Specialty restaurants which was great- and you were able to book One reservation at each restaurant in advance of departure. Because we had a PH1 suite, we were able to reserve as of Oct 5th. The food in all was very good, but service at their signature Jacques, was less than stellar. Don’t overlook the Grand Dining Room which had a different menu every night and fantastic service! And the Terrace Cafe (amazing breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets!). SPA: Used the Spa for Acupuncture (3 sessions) and a manicure - - those were all great - however, I didn’t like the hustle/upsell for products or additional sessions - it was fairly high pressure. Did Pilates and Yoga classes - they were OK - they guy leading the classes is really more of an intense “Bootcamp” guy - used the equipment in the gym - plenty of it - water bottles, towels, mats, well equipped gym. Because we had a Penthouse suite, we had access to the private Spa Deck, which to us, was such a nice perk. It was super quiet, soothing music, right on the bow of the ship - in nice weather, it was a perfect place to be - watching the ocean in front of you, sitting in lovely cabana seating, and also had two hot tubs up there. Spent time reading and relaxing there. Being our first Oceania cruise, we were favorably impressed, but others we met who have done numerous (Oceania) cruises - mentioned that the ship/food were not as up to snuff as it used to be before Norwegian acquired them. To us, It was a beautiful ship, everything very clean - and the food was fantastic. However, you can see that materials/carpets/furnishings could use a touch up - and from what we heard, they are planning a refurb in April/May 2020. ITINERARY: overall, the ports of call were nothing to write home about - but we were on this cruise for Cape Horn, Falkland islands, Ushuaia, Chilean Fjords - and we were IN AWE and not disappointed. 1) Started in Buenos Aires - recommend that you arrive in BA early. We gave ourselves two full days there and it was perfect. Oceania had us in the Alvear Art Hotel which was really nice and modern - big rooms, lots of USB ports, great shower, bedding, etc - the contemporary sister to the more lush Alvear Palace. Did a Tango show one night (booked it through Viator - $156 for two of us - at Piazola (?) - fantastic two hour show, plus dinner, plus option to take a 30 minute tango lesson - which we did and it was a lot of fun. Day 1 (arrival in AM) Walked around the city - walked to the Recoletta Cemetary (Eva Peron burial site) - we used the Tour Guide who shows up there every day at 3pm for a two hour tour, and so glad we did - we would have missed so much otherwise. Had dinner at hotel because we were exhausted. Day 2 - full day of walking to The Obelisk and to Plaza de Mayo. (FYI, pronouncing “y’s” is the sound of “je”. So, Plaza de Mayo sounds like Plaza de Majoh). Gorgeous architecture all over BA - very French - The Paris of South America as it’s called. Plaza de Mayo is the home of banking and federal buildings including the Catedral Metropolitana de Buenos Aires (gorgeous! Make sure you walk through and spend time) and the Casa Rosado (Pink House) where Eva Peron stood on the balcony to address the people of Argentina. Returned to hotel mid-day and had a delightful lunch buffet and iced teas and included a glass of wine! - Total of $33 (!) for Two people! Prices in BA very good. 2) Montevideo (Uruguay) - felt like you needed to be on your guard a bit - the market area was interesting and felt safe enough - but you probably don’t want to wander off too much more without a guide. not much to see there. 3) Puerto d’Este (Uruguay) - ended up skipping this due to incoming inclement weather and the Captain wanted to keep moving to stay in front of the system - which was appreciated - (we still had very uncomfortable seas for a 12+ hours, but subsided. 4) Puerto Madryn - nothing to write home about - We had an excursion planned to see the Penguins at Punto Tombo - but ended up bailing on it - because it was going to be a THREE HOUR drive each way - and then only one hour of seeing penguins. Didn’t feel like doing the 6 hour drive for penguins. We were glad we cancelled - and there were plenty of other opportunities to see Penguins in other portions of the trip. Instead, we got off the ship and walked for an hour or so into/around town - nice little beachy town, clean, civilized and didn’t seem so poor, like Montevideo did (nor as sketchy). Huge tide comes in and out of there. And the sea seemed dirty, especially close to shore, like sewery... (Smelly for sure). 5) Falkland Islands - very cool that we were able to even get there. Many cruises cannot make it in there if there is rough weather. We arrived on Christmas morning, thus, not much open, but it was great to walk around and look at the charming British homes/shops. 6) Ushuaia - WOW FACTOR all the way - this was where the trip REALLY took off. Woke up to a brilliant, clear, sunny crisp morning - and a gorgeous harbor filled with sailboats and dramatic snow-capped mountains all around us. EXCURSION: Boarded a high speed catamaran for 90 minutes - packed with people, stopped for about 90 minutes at Estancia Haberton (oldest farm in Argentina) and then took a two hour bus ride back which had spectacular scenery (and a few moments of good naptime!) Sailed the Beagle Channel for about 90 minutes - saw Terns, Sea Lions, Lighthouse, Mountains 7) Cruising CAPE HORN & BEagle Channel - AWESOME! SO EXCITED that we got to circumnavigate the Cape Hornas Islands - truly the last slice of land before you get to Antartica. There was talk that we were going to skip it - due to what looked like poor weather conditions, but the weather-gods were with us, and Captain decided (after much prodding from us and fellow passengers) to do Cape Horn - - after all, THIS is the reason we chose this itinerary! In addition to seeing the infamous Cape Horn, we also Enjoyed a full day of Glacier after Glacier - magnificent!! EXCURSION: Estancia Fitzroy - sheep farm - About a 90 minute bus ride each way - to a very cool sheep ranch - saw tons of old artifacts - old plane, trucks, dishwashers, stoves, demonstration on sheering sheep, little calves that I got to nurse with milk, baby lambs, big bull and cows and llamas and herding dogs - watching them corral the sheep. 
Wonderful Lamb BBQ lunch - with salads, wine, dessert 8) Cruising the Chilean Fjords (two days) - beautiful as well - tucked into the archipegleo (thus better/smooth sea conditions) and saw islands after islands going by. (We LOVE the sea days - getting into the rhythym of the sea, having time to relax, read, exercise, spa - and think we had more Sea Days than land days on this itinerary which was perfect for us. 9) Puerto Charabuco - as we started heading north on the Pacific side of South America - EXCURSION: did a Wellness Excursion on New Years Day - a 90 minute catamaran ride through beautiful fjords, mountains to Thermal Hot Springs where we relaxed/rejuvinated in three different thermal pools - they served us drinks, waters, snacks - and then another catamaran ride back - volcanos, and gorgeous scenery! 10) Puerto Montt - Disappointing and Dirty. (This is a place where you SHOULD have an excursion planned!) We did not have an excursion, so got off the ship and walked to “the Markets” - little shanties with trinkets for sale - didn’t buy anything - crossed over the street and were going to walk into the Centro (center of town) but as we proceeded, lots of homeless, urinating/deficating in the streets, graffiti all over - it was gross - so we cut our walk short and went back to the “Civilization” of Oceania Marina. 11) Cruising Pacific Ocean to San Antonio (Santiago disembarkation) - at sea for a day EMBARKATION: Good and smooth DISEMBARKATION: Fubar - could have been better organized process ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES ONBOARD: 1) They had a few speakers - but our favorite was Greg Wheeler, a retired (10 year) professor from Cal State Poly. As a Geologist, he taught us a lot about the earth, ice ages, volcanos, glaciers, etc - we always looked forward to his lectures and tried not to miss them. 2) Hands on Cooking Classes with “Chef Steph” (Stephanie Hirsch - who used to work with Julia Childs for many years). THESE CLASSES WERE EXCELLENT!! $69 per class - you work in pairs - my husband REALLY loved these classes as well. Really cool clean kitchen - we watched and listened up close while Chef explained what we were cooking, doing, how to prepare - and then she sent us back to our workstations to do it. Then you get to eat your cooking and everything was Fabulous! (We did our classes at 4pm - 6pm - - SUGGESTION: Try to book for 10-Noon classes - because then you can eat your food without guilt - especially if you have dinner plans, you will be too full to eat dinner if you do the 4pm class!) 3) The head chef - French guy can’t remember his name, brought along a side kick each time - either the Italian Pastry Chef, etc - and it was a like a comedy show - - very entertaining yet also instructive. (Not to be considered a substitute for Chef Steph classes, though!!) ENTERTAINMENT: While some of the entertainers were not top notch, what made it worse was the lame audience. Passengers just sit there - don’t show any energy - didn’t clap or inspire the performers. C’mon people - lighten up, have some fun, show the entertainers you appreciate their efforts, at least. - There was a group of singers/dancers who were sweet young things, seems that they are getting their start. Not necessarily top notch Broadway talent, but you have to start somewhere and they had great energy and were fun to watch. They performed three or four nights. - Salvatore Hasard - multi-faceted musician and singer who performed on two nights - FANTASTIC - plays multiple instruments and great voice. - Paul Hughes - also FANTASTIC - singer, crooner, does standards - i.e. Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble - really great - Nicole Sasser - female trumpet player and singer - very personable and a good musician- but to her credit, she plowed through despite a Dead Audience. - Comedian and Magician - who we did not go to see CRUISE DIRECTOR: Speaking of Comedian, Peter Roberts always had a good joke or two each day -but he was a bit of a flamboyant clown. I think Oceania would do better to be represented with a more upscale professional tone - not stuffy - but someone who epitomizes the class and service of Oceania. WOULD DEFINITELY DO THIS TRIP AGAIN. And will go with Oceania again. Very impressed overall with the quality and service we experienced. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The Regent ships are smaller. Approximately 750 passengers and 500 crew. The amenities; service, food, entertainment; are fantastic. The cruise is all inclusive (the cost of alcohol, food, tips, excursions are generally all included). ... Read More
The Regent ships are smaller. Approximately 750 passengers and 500 crew. The amenities; service, food, entertainment; are fantastic. The cruise is all inclusive (the cost of alcohol, food, tips, excursions are generally all included). Certain premium items (high end alcohol, tours, spa services) need to be paid extra for. A $400 per room credit is provided to pay for some these types of items. Excursions are at times lacking/hit and miss. Sometimes I think it would be best to research and pay extra for each shore tour through Viator or Trip Advisor. I like to hear as much information as I can from a tour guide, and the ship excursions don't always provide that. One excursion in Nassau was a complete waste of time. We traveled on a small boat to a nearby island through swells. There was maybe 80 of us on this boat, packed in like sardines. There did not appear to be any life preservers. I was somewhat concerned. The place we visited was overpriced and our "stingray" excursion ended up being stingrays kept in a large pen off the beach so we ended up staying away and sitting on the beach drinking overpriced/cheap beer. Our room was really nice and large. Our deck was spacious, covered, and included outdoor furniture. Our fridge was stocked with beer and, during the cruise, I believe we received in our room up to two bottles of wine/champagne. Bathroom was double sink and included one shower and a bath/shower. Large bed, walk-in closet and sitting area with flat screen TV. Entertainment in the ship's theater was very good. Several full cast musical shows were provided, along with two shows from a guitarist. A lecturer on some days would provide insight on the local customs, etc. I think the cruise could do better to provide a lecturer each day specific to the island community to be visited. Service in general is very, very good but towards the end of the cruise I noticed that bar servers seemed to be growing testy and tired. Restaurants were excellent. Wines, foods, liquors were all top notch. Be prepared for many passengers who are quite elderly and everything that may come along with that. We experienced several situations of elderly folks, likely wealthy, who appeared to feel they were somewhat entitled and were very rude. Don't be shy about bringing too much luggage and dressing up. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We embarked from Lisbon on Dec.16th at 11:00 PM. On Dec.17th at 12:00PM the Captain made announcement we are unable to sail to the Azores due to stormy seas and for our passengers safety. We are sailing to Mederia and will be there ... Read More
We embarked from Lisbon on Dec.16th at 11:00 PM. On Dec.17th at 12:00PM the Captain made announcement we are unable to sail to the Azores due to stormy seas and for our passengers safety. We are sailing to Mederia and will be there tomorrow. The ship was rolling sideways all day long and into the night. I have been on 60+ cruises and I know when the stabilizers are not on, the ship doesn't roll side to side, up and down yes. Many passengers where sea sick and one female passenger was injured due to a fall. Why are the passengers safety at risk? Who is responsible? The Captain or Viking or both. On Dec. 19th the Captain states we are not sailing to Bermuda due to rough seas. Our friends on board the ship where supposed to meet relatives in Bermuda. They called their relatives and gave them the bad news. They stated the water around Bermuda was like a lake. Someone is not telling the truth. Why was our cruise ship traveling at 16 knots when cruising speed is 20 knots? The stabilizers were activated the day we left Mederia causing a drag on the ship and consuming more fuel. Viking made a decision to cancel Bermuda due to fuel consumption and to conserve fuel by traveling 16 knots or didn't have enough time for Bermuda and get back in time to Miami. The service was excellent. The food at breakfast and lunch was excellent. The food at diner was average. The Chef's Table should be closed, the food was terrible. The ship itself was beautiful and tastefully furnished with a lot of space to relax. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My husband and I just completed the Uniworld “Splendors of Egypt & The Nile” twelve-day cruise/tour of Egypt. I would like to elaborate on our experience, which was for the most part very positive. EGYPTOLOGIST I’ll ... Read More
My husband and I just completed the Uniworld “Splendors of Egypt & The Nile” twelve-day cruise/tour of Egypt. I would like to elaborate on our experience, which was for the most part very positive. EGYPTOLOGIST I’ll start with the most important element of this trip, our Egyptologist. His performance was crucial to the success of the trip. Without a qualified guide the journey would have been pointless. Akram, our guide, did not disappoint. Before the start of the official tour Akram took us to see some of the more minor pyramids and then to visit the Bazaar. I knew after spending that first half day with him that we were in for a treat over the coming days. He was so well qualified and versed on all aspects of ancient Egyptian history and modern Egyptian culture as well. Even more important, his enthusiasm for “all things Egypt” was contagious. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert on the Pharoahs, temples and pyramids but I certainly have a much better understanding of the subject after spending a week and a half with Akram. Akram’s official duty was to guide us through the magical country of Egypt; in reality he “wore several other hats”. He also took on the responsibility of helping two passengers with mobility issues that both required wheelchair assistance. It was a daunting task he tackled head on. The various sites posed unique challenges as far as handicapped access goes but Akram handled the often-awkward situations with aplomb. I spoke at length with one of the handicapped passenger’s relatives who had nothing but glowing praise for the help Akram had provided in order that their spouse could fulfill their lifelong dream of an Egyptian cruise. In addition, he took charge of tipping the bathroom attendants at the various sites for the entire group. Handling all these tasks often demanded he be in two places at once. There was a lot of pressure, but he never lost his cool. One change/addition I might suggest is to provide Akram with an assistant to handle the rest room duties and enable him to concentrate on his guiding. Perhaps the bus driver could assist in this area. ITINERARY The itinerary was well designed to maximize the number of sites visited. Some of us commented that we felt we had packed a month’s worth of touring into eleven days, To be honest the pace was brisk and we were pretty tired at the end of the day; however, it was completely worth every 7:00 a.m. starting time to reach the temples before the crowds descended. Many reviews of this cruise addressed the action-packed nature of the cruise but still some people complained to Akram about it, even though the logistics involved were not within his control. In our opinion the optional excursion to Abu Simbel was the highlight of the trip. It was well worth the extra effort and expense involved getting there. We were told that going forward it will be incorporated into the regular itinerary. This is excellent news as anyone interested in Egypt would really miss if they passed over these amazing temples. The subcontractor handling the entire trip for Uniworld was Spring Tours. I felt they did a good job. The bus drivers were professional and the buses were clean and comfortable. RIVER TOSCA SHIP I will admit to being pleasantly surprised by the ship especially after reading quite a few negative reviews of the ship. Granted it is an older vessel but our cabin appeared to have newer, clean carpet and fresh paint. We found it quite cozy. The staff on the boat was lovely. They were always pleasant and helpful. We loved the food. They had a lot of variety and daily offered some local dishes to sample. The highlight was the evening they served an Egyptian buffet—delicious. PRE- AND POST CRUISE STAY Of course, it is hard to criticize the Four Seasons. It is a little pricey for meals but with a sumptuous breakfast buffet included, it was easy to get through the day on the calories provided by that meal alone. UNIWORLD TRANSFERS/LOGISTICS This is the area where I have my one criticism of our trip. We booked our flights and initial incoming transfer independently as we spent several extra days in Cairo at the Four Seasons before start of Splendors of Egypt & The Nile” twelve-day cruise/tour. Despite numerous to communicate our arrangements with Uniworld corporate they were not at all helpful in facilitating our liaison with the other passengers on our excursions. A serious of lengthy phone calls with both the Four Seasons and Uniworld in the US were required to finally sort things out. Apparently, Uniworld is really only set up to deal with customers who buy their entire package—air/cruise/hotel. They are not motivated to provide assistance to the independent travelers. I recognize that you must differentiate between the corporation and the actual subcontractor, Spring Tours, in these situations. All in all, it was a marvelous cruise and I would recommend it without reservation to anyone, who like us, has Egypt on their “list”. PS: One more negative comment about corporate Uniworld. I made considerable attempts to post this 98% review directly on Uniworld's web site. First they told me it had to be "researched". Then when I called directly they said I had to be "invited" as it was submitted through a third party. Finally, they e-mailed me and said to submit to them directly--what I wanted to do in the first place. What are they afraid of? Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Why not spent some nights on the Queen Elizabeth as part of Pre Xmas celebrations, I thought. We were on her not so long ago in Feb and then in April on her way to Japan for the Sakura or Cherry Blossom. So this is really, a novel way for ... Read More
Why not spent some nights on the Queen Elizabeth as part of Pre Xmas celebrations, I thought. We were on her not so long ago in Feb and then in April on her way to Japan for the Sakura or Cherry Blossom. So this is really, a novel way for us to past the time away. We were just back from her sister ship in the Med in Sept. Making the best use of her while she is in Australian waters. Otherwise, it will be a long flight to London and coach to Southampton. We note some differences sailing here and in Europe. Some of our Aussies are pretty laid back to the point that some wear, thongs and shorts and T-shirts for the evening performances in the Royal Court Theatre and other places in the evening. It is like a country bush setting for some of them and they might be missing the salient point of cruising on the Cunard. We have heard previous comedians joking about the Aussie dressing standards which you have to laugh when you think about how true it is. Seriously, couldn't some of them put a little bit more effort to dress and look good for one's sake and lend a bit more ambience to the evening for everyone's sake. Britannia served some excellent food and lobsters, my favourite marine crustacean delicacy on the 2 formal nights and on 3 other nights. This totally, repudiated my one gripe about the lack of lobster when we were sailing on the Queen Victoria in Sep/Oct. Either the executive chef must have heard my gripe or sailing in Tasmania, means lots of lovely lobsters for all of us. The selection of dining cuisine was very good and delicious and certainly, much better than our recent experience in her sister ship. Lucky, maybe. Entertainment was excellent and as to be expected. We loved Top Hats show performed by the Royal Court Theatre dancers and singers. Good story and good acting. Horace stole the show, we think but Bettini was funny. And so are the Palladium Nights and Hollywood Nights shows. Lana MacFarlane provided the lovely vocals and Tom Scott the guitarist, and the Queens Room Orchestra, provided some lovely music for dancing which we enjoyed very much. That is how we past our time away. We visited the Emu Valley Rhododendron gardens and the famous Hellyer Whisky distillery. The gardens were pretty and well landscaped and I imagined will be even much more beautiful during spring when the flowers blossom or in autumn, when the foliage turned yellow and red. In Hobart, we walked about Salamanca place and went shopping in Elizabeth street downtown and in Adelaide, the ship generously provided an hour long drive shuttle bus to Rundle Mall shopping centre, and so we did more shopping. The winds exceeded 22 nautical miles per hour and for the passengers safety, we were not allowed to tender to go to Kangaroo island. This must have disappointed many hundreds of passengers especially those with children wanting to see some lively kangaroos and seals. Our monies for the full day excursion monies were automatically refunded very quickly and seaday activities were immediately put on by the ship entertainment team to keep everyone happy and busy. What a great effort by all. Overall, we were very happy with the cruise. We met many interesting and lovely people on board. The service was very good and friendly throughout the ship. Looking forward to the next cruise to NZ next month. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I had always wanted to go to Australia. My husband and I had a great time. Processing to board and disembarkation went very smooth. Our time in Bali before setting sail was at a beautiful resort. The entire crew took such good care ... Read More
I had always wanted to go to Australia. My husband and I had a great time. Processing to board and disembarkation went very smooth. Our time in Bali before setting sail was at a beautiful resort. The entire crew took such good care of us. We felt so special, the housekeeping staff always remembered our names and the dining experience wonderful with a wide variety of choices. Having our laundry done was a real treat. The ship was spectacular, always clean and beautifully decorated. We really enjoyed the shipboard talks and entertainment. Most of the shore excursions were extremely hot and physically demanding. Many of the participants had trouble along the way. Use of the tenders to primitive location didn’t always go smoothly, ours hit and pierced the fiberglass hull at Komodo Island. The things we saw were once in a lifetime from the Komodo dragons to the awesome beauty on the towns and shoreline of Australia. I leaned so much about this country that I didn’t know. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our third cruise with Viking, one river cruise, one Adriatic ocean cruise. The ship staff from the valet to the captain were outstanding. Always friendly & helpful. The ship was great, too. Easy to navigate with lots of ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Viking, one river cruise, one Adriatic ocean cruise. The ship staff from the valet to the captain were outstanding. Always friendly & helpful. The ship was great, too. Easy to navigate with lots of amenities. The size of ship is perfect for the ports we visited during the cruise. The number of passengers is excellent without kids & needless entertainment. If you want casinos or shows, this is not your cruise line. The entertainment was outstanding. Excellent musicians & classy, comforting music. The food is consistently good, but after several days, the selection was getting limited. We ate at The Restaurant most of the meals, but also at Manfredi's where the food was outstanding. Bar area in Atrium on first deck is always fun. Now the excursions. We have been to about half of the islands on the cruise so we did not select excursions for Tortola, St Kitts, St Martin/Sin Maarten or Barbados. For our second day in Puerto Rico we did the Ell Yunque Rainforest which was a good excursion. Guide was very good. We did not leave the boat at Tortula. At St Kitts, we taxied to the Carambola Beach Club instead of a cruise excursion. Relaxing time. In Dominica, we did the Freshwater Lake & Hot Pools excursion. Our guide was very good, but the lake & hot tubs were pretty disappointing. In Barbados, we got a taxi tour with another couple. It was one of our favorite onshore day having visited The Crane Resort at Crane Beach, a cross-island tour & a visit to the Sandy Lane high-end resort & golf course. Over the top in luxury! In St Lucia, we did a cruise excursion on a catamaran & lunch at The Ladera Resort which was over the top, too. Beautiful view of the Piton peaks & a great lunch. This was by far the best Viking excursions for the cruise. In Antiqua, we did the Amazing Antiqua cruise excursion. Our guide was very knowledgeable & friendly, but the tour was lots of boring driving. The Shirley Heights & Nelson's Shipyard were interesting. We have done St Martin so we stayed on the ship. Our last day was in St Thomas & we took a taxi to Megens Bay beach which was very pretty & relaxing. Overall, a very enjoyable cruise. We will do more Viking cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have been in love with Viking since our first River Cruise! We've been on 3 Ocean Cruises since. However, our last experience aboard Orion was not up to our expectations: The accommodations at both our pre- and post-tours were ... Read More
We have been in love with Viking since our first River Cruise! We've been on 3 Ocean Cruises since. However, our last experience aboard Orion was not up to our expectations: The accommodations at both our pre- and post-tours were beautiful! What we couldn't figure out was why there was such a problem going from the Hotel to the ship. It seemed to be too many people and not enough busses. Why was this not foreseen? It was very chaotic and time consuming. The same thing happened several times throughout the holiday, at Komodo people were lined up on the pier (98 degrees, F) to get the tender, and it took us over an hour to board the catamaran to go out to the Great Barrier Reef. Compared to our other experiences, Viking seemed very disorganized. We were also discouraged with the choices at the Chef's Table: Almost EVERYTHING was too spicy or, on the only non-Asian night, they served fish.....not for our pallets. We also had much greater expectations for the Planetarium: Other than a very quick explanation of the zodiac by the resident expert (whose company we really enjoyed) it was used for short 3-D movies (which we have at home) and not really used as a planetarium! Although this cruise was our choice, we thought some of the ports were less than interesting or exciting. ie: Thursday Island, Airlie and Newcastle. We should have not depended on the "included" excursions. As we are sure that we will be on other Viking adventures, and we understand that in the Ocean Industry, you are still a "start-up" company, the over-all staff, though mostly bend over backward, is still in the "rookie" stage. As an odd thought, at 18 months, this was the oldest ship that we've been on! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Buenos Aries to Rio de Janeiro 10 night cruise. We arrived 2 days before departure to explore Buenos Aries. The ship put us up at the Alvear Palace Hotel. Wow! What a spectacular hotel. Highly recommend it. We booked a walking tour ... Read More
Buenos Aries to Rio de Janeiro 10 night cruise. We arrived 2 days before departure to explore Buenos Aries. The ship put us up at the Alvear Palace Hotel. Wow! What a spectacular hotel. Highly recommend it. We booked a walking tour guide through the hotel. Great way to see part of the city and hear the interesting history. The cemetery "village" is a must. If you enjoy steak and a hip evening scene, book dinner at Parrilla Don Julio's. Short taxi ride from the hotel in an adorable neighborhood with lots of small shops and a ton of night life. They serve champagne while waiting for tables. We had a lovely time on the Mariner. While it isn't nearly has luxurious as the Explorer, it's still a luxury liner. Other than the bathroom and closet space being quite small compared to the Explorer, it was basically the same Concierge cabin and amenities. The staff for the most part were awesome. Very professional, friendly and attentive. The downsides were some of the excursions and the mediocre onboard entertainment and food choices. There was no cultural aspects to the entertainment or the food on board. When we travel, we like to experience that. The food in the Compass Rose dinning room was fine but not all that interesting. The Italian restaurant (loved loved loved the appetizer bar) and Prime 7 steakhouse offered more interesting food so we ate there most nights. The first few excursions were a let down, but they did get better. The Montevideo Old Town walking tour was listed as strenuous but was anything but that. We were on a bus most of the time and the little walking we did was to a very small shopping mall where we did have delicious churros. The Juanico Winery excursion is a not to miss in Montevideo. Next stop - Punta del Este, Uruguay - excursions were good and interesting. I did the bike tour and my husband id the Sea Wolves Island tour. We enjoyed both. The biking group included a range of abilities. The guide let us more experienced riders bike ahead at our pace which was great. In the afternoon, we walked from the pier to one of the beautiful beaches in town to experience the scene. Worth the walk. Rio Grande, Brazil - a required passport stop. We signed up for afternoon walking tour but the folks who went in the morning came back to the ship with awful reviews so we bagged it. Guess there isn't anything to see here. It's just a big ugly port. Porto Belo, Brazil - The cable car excursion is lovely. The walk through the "rain forest" (a park with pictures of animals and birds) wasn't but it goes with the cable car ride to the top so a necessary piece. We also spent time on our own walking to the beach. Santos, Brazil - a large city and a long ride from the pier. We did the Best of Santos and Guarja excursion. The "largest aquarium" is quite small and for kids. Not worth the stop. Lunch together was a real treat, as was the excursion to the beach. Wish we had had more time there. Some shopped. We walked the beach. What a fun scene. Parati, Brazil - Now we're talking. This is a gorgeously preserved Portuguese colonial an Brazilian Imperial town, dotted with tropical islands. The historic area right off the pier is traffic-free, cobblestone-paved streets with horse drawn carts everywhere. The small buildings have brightly painted doors decorating the historic buildings. Definitely not to miss. We walked around on our own for a few hours then did a short historic walking tour with a guide then an afternoon 4-Wheel/Land Rover drive into the rain forest through the country, to waterfalls and a rum distillery. One of the best excursions of the trip. Ilha Grande, Brazil - We did a morning Schooner/snorkeling trip. It is a beautiful sail around the coast. The swimming was a treat but not really a snorkeling excursion. Yes there are fish but no reef so not what we are used to when snorkeling and all the boats came to the same cover so it was very crowded. I'd still recommend this excursion for the sail. In the afternoon, we walked to a beautiful beach in the bay and ate on the beach at Lua Mar (recommended to us by the our local schooner captain) - fabulous. Have the seafood stew. It's amazing. Buzios, Brazil - Absolutely beautiful beach town, popular spot for the Rio de Janeiro crowd. In the morning, we walked on our own out to a beautiful cove beach past the white church on the hill with the statute of Mother Teresa. You can walk or take a cute little water taxi over. We walked but the water taxis looked like fund. We were supposed to take another schooner ride around the coast in the afternoon but ended up staying at the beach all day. On our walk back to the pier, we stopped for drinks and Accai and the Bardot restaurant right on the water overlooking bay dotted with sail bots. A perfect end to a fun beach day. Rio de Janiero, Brazil - disembark ship in the morning. Ship transfer to our hotel - JW Marriott right on Copacabana Beach! Book through the ship so you are guaranteed a room overlooking the beach. Rooms weren't ready when we arrived so they put us in a conference room. We checked our luggage and headed out to walk the beach. This is the largest and beautiful beach. Not too too crowded when we were there. Lots to see and do. And they serve food and Caipirinhas on the beach!! We returned to the hotel in the afternoon, moved our luggage into our room and left for city tour, which we booked through the hotel. The trip to Sugar Loaf Mountain and the Corcovado/Christ the Redeemer are not to miss. the next day we explored on our own walking from our hotel over to Ipanema beach and shopping. A fun day trip. Seemed much quieter on Ipanema than Copacabana beach so glad we stayed at Copacabana. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Cruised in December 2019, departing n arriving Singapore (14-days) on the Regent SS Voyager. Our family comprised 6 adults - several of us are veteran luxury cruisers, one of us is a first-timer. We had heard good things about Regent ... Read More
Cruised in December 2019, departing n arriving Singapore (14-days) on the Regent SS Voyager. Our family comprised 6 adults - several of us are veteran luxury cruisers, one of us is a first-timer. We had heard good things about Regent SS, and decided to give the Voyager a try. My most recent luxury cruise was on the Seabourn Encore, so I’ll use that as a reference point for my review of the Voyager. Overall Ship design The ship in general is well-designed, though dated in parts. The Concierge Suite we had was attractive, functional and comfortable. Linen was superb, aircon sufficiently cold. Shower water pressure was on the weak side of adequate. Toiletries were from L’Occitane. I prefer the Molton Brown range offered in the Encore, but that’s a personal thing.No comb nor toothbrush/paste was provided - I’m not sure if housekeeping would have provided gratis if I had asked, as I’d brought my own. Still. Nice as the Regent is, the Seabourne Encore is a notch higher in the styling & design department - in their public areas as well as the suites. Dining Getting seated in Compass Rose was always efficient and prompt. The menu there is excellent. Sides for each dish and accompanying sauces were available separately. Healthy options were available as well (recommended by the Canyon Ranch Spa). Wines were decent to excellent. I found the food to be consistently good, better than the cuisine I enjoyed on the Encore. I routinely ate lunch on the pool deck, preferring to eat and chill rather than sit in a restaurant for an hour or more. The burger and hot dog counter was always a popular spot, as was the ice-cream section. The cafe on Deck 5, Coffee Connection, was very popular and we often could not find seats there, though it wasn’t much trouble to take away and sit elsewhere but nearby. The coffee was passable but the pastries, cookies and fresh fruit were always delicious. Shore Excursions The included tours were not great, but I attributed it more to the ports of call rather than to Regent itself. There was nothing compelling to see nor do in several of the stops. We had to miss Koh Samui due to bad weather. At the overnight dock at Laem Chabang, we decided to bus to Pattaya instead of Bangkok along with everyone else. We stayed overnight at the Hilton in Pattaya. Bangkok was a 120-minute bus-ride away, Pattaya only a half-hour. That was a good decision as we got to enjoy a change of scenery and cuisine. We felt the extra expense was worth the while. Entertainment The entertainment on the ship was good, though I’m not a great fan of cruise-ship cabaret-type shows. But that’s just me. The musical performers in the various lounges were very good. Misc Facilities The free laundry located on every floor was helpful, and it never seemed too crowded. The library was adequate as well, though I’d brought my own e-books. Good range of movies in the suite TV. Wifi was adequate, though it occasionally dropped off to zero at points along the cruise. Our package (free) allowed for 4 devices, but I’m not sure if this is offered to all suite classes. Card key Oh, good grief…. that infernal card-key. My wife and I had a running competition to see who had the higher number of tries to unlock the suite door. I won with 9 tries. And no, I didn’t keep the card key with my phone or other electronic devices. Changing the card didn’t help. Service My main gripe (and it’s a big one) is not the food quality but the food service. Food quality is subjective; service is not. I’m not picky about being waited on. I want my food to come without flourish and fanfare. But certain basics are non-negotiable - particularly when Regent charges a premium for it. Orders were mislaid or forgotten, wrong dishes were delivered, or delivered very late…etc. This happened at every single food outlet (including Prime7), and at almost every meal. We never got through a single meal without something going wrong. This sad experience was shared by numerous passengers we chatted with. The service staff was always friendly and warm - so I attribute the faux-pax to bad training and/or inexperience. I’m sure the staff were trying their best, but the problem seemed to be systemic. I would not accept this level of service from ANY restaurant, and am disappointed to have had to accept it from Regent. Staff on deck were great, always ready to offer towels and water. The pool deck often got crowded though, especially on sea days. Conclusion We had a great time on the cruise, all things considered. Will I cruise Regent SS again? Perhaps when I hear that the food service has improved, or if the prices drop significantly, or after the next upgrade. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019

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