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Sail Date: January 2015

I have just read Grahambythesea blog, and agree very much with his review. I expected a high class standard of service, I gave had better !! We went for the formal dining. On the first night we were pushed into a small back dining area, ... Read More

I have just read Grahambythesea blog, and agree very much with his review. I expected a high class standard of service, I gave had better !! We went for the formal dining. On the first night we were pushed into a small back dining area, no atmosphere and very draughty. We asked to be moved which was great, but the service was dreadful. On more than one occasion the waiter started to clear plates away before other quests on the table had finished, we had to tell them twice about it.

Customer service was appalling. Trying to get a taxi booked from the ship was impossible. We were told to go to the info desk on the port. Anyone who has been to Dubai will know this is the biggest port in the world, it is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Entertainment on board was below par, apart from a couple of acts

Not going to Aquaba was the biggest disappointment,I am sure the delay outside the Suez cauld have been avoided.

Chipped cups and lack of clean cutlery in theKings Court. Won't be doing this again in a hurry

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Sail Date: December 2014

What a wonderful trip we had. The food was fantastic. Try to make your reservations quickly for the La Veranda. We had a chance to eat there twice on the cruise. So nice to have only 320 guests on the ship, so we got to know a lot of ... Read More

What a wonderful trip we had. The food was fantastic. Try to make your reservations quickly for the La Veranda. We had a chance to eat there twice on the cruise. So nice to have only 320 guests on the ship, so we got to know a lot of the other passengers. The service was so great. The food was special, and with the free drinks, we were able to do some proper wine pairing throughout our meals.

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Sail Date: December 2014

We have taken several cruises on Oceania, Celebrity, and on Cunard's Queen Victoria. This was our favorite in many ways. Though it's hard to top Oceania for food, we had excellent meals at all times on the Queen Elizabeth. Service was ... Read More

We have taken several cruises on Oceania, Celebrity, and on Cunard's Queen Victoria. This was our favorite in many ways. Though it's hard to top Oceania for food, we had excellent meals at all times on the Queen Elizabeth. Service was also outstanding, in the restaurants, from our cabin steward, and at the main desk. We never passed anyone who didn't greet us in eleven days.

The itinerary could not have been better for us. Though we have lived and worked in Europe and traveled a good deal, there were several stops at places we've never been. The two ship excursions we took, in Barcelona and in Lisbon, were outstanding. In Livorno we rented a car and drove to Vinci which is one of our favorite places in Tuscany.

Specific to us, midway through the trip we learned of my husband's brother's death. The staff on board could not have been more helpful. They allowed him to use the ship's phone for a good many calls without any charge, and were extremely kind in all instances.

We were very impressed with the gorgeous Christmas decorations on board. The ship is beautiful and spotless, and we will be looking toward Cunard in the future.

 

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Sail Date: December 2014

What a lovely way to spend Christmas and New Year's Eve. Out first time with Cunard but definitely will not be the last.

The ship is magnificent, (bit warn in places) stateroom more than adequate and we found the staff to always ... Read More

What a lovely way to spend Christmas and New Year's Eve. Out first time with Cunard but definitely will not be the last.

The ship is magnificent, (bit warn in places) stateroom more than adequate and we found the staff to always be pleasant and more than helpful. Dining room experience was up and down but fortunately we shared a table with excellent company which took away from the pain of poor service. Did not see any of the artists or night time entertainment as we thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment in the Golden Lion and ballroom. Pub lunches were excellent as were the trivia quizzes.

Excursions are overpriced and we did the snorkelling with the turtles in Barbados which we were very disappointed with. I may be bias having spent many years living in the U.K. But this trip is high on my list of very memorable holidays.

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Sail Date: November 2014

Cruise Barbados to St Martin

This was our second Seabourn cruise(1st being on the Pride in March) and as expected the crew were typically Seabourn and exceptional.Captain Stig was the Master and what a great guy he was.It would ... Read More

Cruise Barbados to St Martin

This was our second Seabourn cruise(1st being on the Pride in March) and as expected the crew were typically Seabourn and exceptional.Captain Stig was the Master and what a great guy he was.It would be unfair to single out anybody for special praise as it would be very unfair on the others.

The Spirit was in very good shape for her age and we had no problems at all with everything working perfectly.

Only two minor niggles were the food not being up to Seabourn standards i.e. some evenings having cold plates resulting in food cooling rapidly and occasonally food being undercooked.

Weather was mixed with heavy rain on leaving Barbados and gradually improving until a beautiful beach day on Prickly Pear.

All in all we loved our 2nd Seabourn experience and met some lovely fellow cruisers.

 

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Sail Date: November 2014

Since sailing on the Crystal Symphony I want to sail only with the Crystal Family!

I reckon that is why many people have 300 to 500 sailings with her! First of all, the staff. They are so friendly and helpful. Not a sour face in ... Read More

Since sailing on the Crystal Symphony I want to sail only with the Crystal Family!

I reckon that is why many people have 300 to 500 sailings with her! First of all, the staff. They are so friendly and helpful. Not a sour face in sight. Your drink of choice is remembered by them and automatically placed in front of you.

The nice thing is that everything is included . Tips, drinks etc.

The shows ! In 25 nights of sailing on 2 shows were repeated. Wow! In all three Bars there was live music every night. My favourite Thomas, in The Cove!

The music at the sail always at the pool was a great idea! Then the talks! What

Informative speakers. The dance hosts were available 3x a day! Our days were Jam packed! The cabins were very neat and tidy. The bathrooms adequate. My gripe: get rid of that tub chair and put s stool in it's place! Please!

We stayed mid ships on deck 7. Close to everything.

Visits to the spa is a must even if you just want to go for a steam or sauna.

The shops were a delight as new stock and clothes were continuously introduced.

The table for 8'for solo travelers was a great idea.

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Sail Date: June 2014

My husband and I celebrated our 35th anniversary with a Baltic cruise. We decided to go with regent. We were not disappointed in anyway. We can't splurge too often to sail on regent but when we can we will. The service, food, excursions ... Read More

My husband and I celebrated our 35th anniversary with a Baltic cruise. We decided to go with regent. We were not disappointed in anyway. We can't splurge too often to sail on regent but when we can we will. The service, food, excursions were exceptional. If I needed something, i put a notepn the door in the morning and it was in our suite by the afternoon. The walk-in closet and the bathroom were impressive. From start to finish, we were pleased .

A few tips are:

1 - if you stay at the scandic hotel - bring a washcloth and a travel clock since this Danish hotel doesn't include them. The breakfast buffet was varied and tasty.

2 - Pre-book your reservations at the specialty restaurants since they are small and really worth eating there.

3 - go from Stockholm to Copenhagen. Copenhagen wasn't as appealing. I would have preferred ts spend time in clean Stockholm.

4 - we paid the extra money for the airline since we had certain wants. After speaking to others, it was well worth the extra cost.

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Sail Date: May 2014

We’ve just finished up a May 2014 cruise ending in Stockholm on the Silversea Whisper having previously completed three cruises on the Regents Mariner in 2013, 2011, and 2010. A Silversea crew member mentioned that they considered ... Read More

We’ve just finished up a May 2014 cruise ending in Stockholm on the Silversea Whisper having previously completed three cruises on the Regents Mariner in 2013, 2011, and 2010. A Silversea crew member mentioned that they considered Regents their biggest competitor, so I decided to write this review comparing the two cruise lines. My wife and I are well-traveled, experienced in the culinary world, and focused on detail. Some of the distinctions I make below may not matter to you; you should evaluate my comments in light of our backgrounds, our cruising experiences to date, and your personal requirements.

First, the ships. We prefer the greater spaciousness of the Mariner. The fact that it holds twice as many passengers makes no difference with the logistics of restaurant seating or anything else on board; it does make a difference given the size differences in docking in ports. My wife thinks the Mariner is “prettier”; I have little idea what she means by that. I like the larger gym in the larger ship. We learned that noise generated in docking procedures is greater in the smaller ship and also depends greatly on cabin location; this is not a problem unless these procedures begin at 4:30 in the morning. As a classical pianist I prefer the Mariner because it has an acoustic piano on board whereas the Whisper has only electronic pianos which I thoroughly dislike. There were a few opportunities for me to entertain some of the passengers with music on the Mariner and they seemed to be very appreciative.

The staff. The staffs of both cruise lines are trained to be courteous, helpful, friendly, and they succeed. I did not find any real differences between the two cruise lines other than a casual observation that the Silversea crew seemed to be a bit friendlier and more personable.

Service. In two of the restaurants on the Whisper there were a few minor mix ups, occasional excessive time to address refills, and other inconsistencies. For example, in the Whisper I received breakfast cereal in the cabin with no milk, hardly a disaster. Another time I did not receive what I ordered, and we also once received a room service request form that had already been filled out by someone else. In the main restaurant in the Whisper we had two good experiences and one mediocre one where the time to get refills for water as well as wine exceeded a reasonable amount of time. This could not be attributed to the number of people in the restaurant at the time as it was not busy. We did not experience these minor annoyances on the Mariner. We did take the galley tour on the Whisper and that was very informative.

Dining. We know a lot more about food than wine; we have eaten in more than a few one, two, and three Michelin star restaurants in Europe as well as the US. Overall the food is comparable save two comments: we think the wine selection as well as table wine is better on Silversea and we think Le Champagne is worthy of one Michelin star. This is not meant to denigrate Signature on the Mariner as that is also excellent and does not require the $40 upgrade charge as does Le Champagne. The room service menu on the Mariner offers quite a few more selections than the Whisper but that may be due to it being a larger ship with twice as many passengers.

Silversea’s dining reservation policy states that reservations can be made at three of the four restaurants, including the pool deck, but we were surprised to learn that sometimes they were fully booked. I would have expected this at the upscale restaurants but not the pool deck. We also learned that restaurants on the Whisper may look half empty even though fully booked, the reason being that 20 concurrent seatings at a time are maintained as a maximum in order to allow sufficient time to move food from one part of the ship to another. We don’t remember this limitation being the case on the Mariner.

Entertainment. The crew of the Mariner put on quite a show at the end of our last Regent’s cruise. On our Silversea cruise I was somewhat amused to hear one of the female singers open the program singing a baritone aria (Figaro) on opera night.

Wireless. Wireless is poor on both ships. I understand the Mariner has been upgraded so maybe that is an unfair outdated comment. There are passengers like myself who need to continuously monitor financial matters while onboard; to have wireless connections dropped with no warning while trying to manage transactions and read important financial news is totally unacceptable.

Time to fix problems. When we checked into our cabin on the Whisper I noticed a line of black mold that ran the entire length of the inside casing of the shower door. I notified Reception and within 5 minutes it was determined that it could not be cleaned. Immediately someone appeared to strip the caulking and replace it. High marks for response time, but questionable marks for inspections that should have caught this beforehand. There were also four gashes on the desk that should have been repaired prior to releasing the cabin for passengers.

Dress code. We like Regents’ code: business casual after 6PM, jackets not required. We would strongly encourage jackets for men in the Regents upscale restaurants. We find the dress code on Silversea to be confusing and inconsistently enforced. We saw men in the lounges at upscale restaurants without jackets while we were told in one of the lounges that we needed to go back and get them. That was especially irritating since a man at the next table was sitting there without a jacket. The clientele of Silversea and Regents is not likely to show up as slobs, so I maintain there must be a way to accommodate people who like to dress for dinner and those who think business casual with optional jacket is a reasonable policy. I’m guessing that Silversea’s dress code policy accommodates the demographics of their passengers which I suspect has a higher percentage of Europeans whereas Regents has perhaps a higher percentage of Americans.

Maruzza Foundation. On the Silversea Whisper a passenger is automatically signed up to donate $1 per day to the Maruzza Foundation. While I look favorably on the work this foundation does, I do not like to be automatically signed up for donations. I was told the Foundation is not set up as a not for profit organization, that is it’s not a 501(C)(3). In the brochure provided onboard there is no information on the efficiency of the organization as measured by the percentage amount spent on overhead compared to the percentage amount that goes directly to the people needing help. For these reasons we declined to contribute. Passengers who choose to donate should check with their tax advisors as to whether their donations are tax deductible.

And finally a few summary comments. Both cruise lines work very hard to satisfy their passengers and both maintain high standards. We think Regents does so more consistently. We liked the galley tour on Silversea and encourage Regents to offer onboard tours. We liked the Mariner’s captain and all the officers along with some of the crew members greeting us upon return from one of the Regent’s excursions and encourage Silversea to do the same. In short we recommend both cruise lines but will likely return to Regents provided they maintain reasonable prices. For those of you who have had the patience to read this long review I hope it has been helpful.

 

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Sail Date: February 2014

My wife and I booked a 10-day cruise with Oceania in February, 2014, along with two senior widows mainly because we had never been to Belize, Honduras or Guatemala, which were on the itinerary. We had cruised with Oceania once ... Read More

My wife and I booked a 10-day cruise with Oceania in February, 2014, along with two senior widows mainly because we had never been to Belize, Honduras or Guatemala, which were on the itinerary. We had cruised with Oceania once previously and found their onboard service very good.

We normally book our own flight a day in advance to avoid any flight problems.

However, Oceania included the airfare in our booking, citing in their brochure that they recommended this, and, if there were any problems, Oceania would solve them for us.

Well, we had problems, and they let us down. Not only that, they managed to get another $262. out of each of us in order for us to get to the ship.

Our flight was booked out of Edmonton at 12:15 AM MST on February 2, connecting in Toronto at 8:05 AM EST to arrive in Miami to board the ship.

The flight from Edmonton was late leaving, but still arrived in Toronto 40 minutes before the scheduled departure for Miami. However, we were met at the gate by Air Canada representatives saying we couldn't get on the flight to Miami, despite holding boarding passes issued in Edmonton. (Overbooked?) We protested, and were sent upstairs to an Air Canada desk to try to arrange an alternate flight.

They tried to get us to Atlanta, with a connection to West Palm Beach, but that didn't work and we were left with a late afternoon flight arriving in Miami after 7 PM.

We made 4 attempts to contact Oceania by phone while in Toronto, hoping to have them help us, but were constantly put on hold and no one ever spoke to us. (The Oceania brochure we were given gave two phone numbers, but their 800 number stated it was only valid in the USA) Our calls cost us $80.

On arrival in Miami, Air Canada had no idea where our luggage was, but they gave us a number to call the next morning. Air Canada did book a hotel for us for one night.

The next morning, we contacted Oceania. They tried to get us to Key West (first stop on the cruise) but we were told they were not allowed to board passengers there.

Our only alternative was to fly to Cancun, Mexico, (3rd day of the cruise) then to take a van ride to the ship which would be in Costa Maya. The catch to this was that while Oceania paid for the flight to Cancun, we would each have to pay an addition $262. to pay for the van. Not daring to go home and risk losing everything, we bowed to their alternative.

Oceania never contacted us in Miami where we had to book our hotel for an additional 2 nights. Constant calls to Air Canada failed to locate our luggage.

By the time we arrived at the ship, we had missed 3 full days of our 10-day cruise.

We were told to talk to the concierge about our problem. His first solution was to offer us FREE LAUNDRY!!

(This for people with no luggage) Then he said they would give us 25% off in the gift shop. We finally were given free e-mail connection to contact our travel agent and our families. The luggage never did catch up to us and it arrived back in Edmonton 3 days before we did.

We contacted both Air Canada and Oceania about our complaints when we got home.

It was our belief that we had a contract with Oceania to get us to the ship, and the problem with Air Canada was Oceania's problem.

Visa covered some of our expenses, and trip interruption insurance covered most of the hotel and meal expenses.

However, we lost 3 full days of our cruise, had to go without any of our luggage, which upset all of us.

Oceania thought they were being big-hearted by offering us $1,000. off our next cruise. Of course that would have meant us giving them another large sum of money to do this. They also suggested we should have carried more trip interruption insurance!!!

We have told many cruisers and travel people about this shabby treatment by a supposed upscale cruise line, and I don't think this has improved the image of Oceania.

My wife and I have done 33 cruises so far, and had several problems with luggage missing the ship, etc.

In every one of those cases the cruise line went out of their way to make us continue to use their services.

At the very least, we should have been repaid for the 3 days we missed and for the van ride.

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