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326 Montreal to Canada & New England Cruise Reviews

All the Viking cruises are of an excellent standard and all ships seems to be the same design so you feel at home very quickly. Staff are excellent, cabin spacious and well maintained. Wifi access good, food good. The only poor thing ... Read More
All the Viking cruises are of an excellent standard and all ships seems to be the same design so you feel at home very quickly. Staff are excellent, cabin spacious and well maintained. Wifi access good, food good. The only poor thing we have found on Viking recently is the quality of the musicians who play, usually as a duo or sometimes pianist. Do Viking not listen to them before they are engaged? The standard is so poor, the repertoire so limited and mostly more of a funeral type of music that we have found that we 'dodge' these 'musicians' who play in the open areas. Excursions are always excellent and well organised. Viking appear to be expensive, and their prices seem to be increasing considerably, but you do on the whole get good value for money. Viking do look after their customers well and pay attention to detail. Would recommend Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We've been on 8 Viking cruises over the past 15 years. The 5 river cruises were truly excellent, as were the 2 ocean cruises (Mediterranean and Baltic) which we took in 2015 and 2016 when the ships were brand new. As a result, ... Read More
We've been on 8 Viking cruises over the past 15 years. The 5 river cruises were truly excellent, as were the 2 ocean cruises (Mediterranean and Baltic) which we took in 2015 and 2016 when the ships were brand new. As a result, we were very surprised to see how much the quality of the onboard experience has fallen over the past 3 years. There have been numerous cutbacks that affect guests, at the same time that Viking has channeled huge amounts of money into advertising and new ship construction. That's why, despite a beautiful ship and superb service, we have given our recent cruise on the Viking Sea merely a "Very Good" rating. Viking no longer provides an "Excellent" cruise experience despite what their TV advertising says about their past awards. Here are some examples of the cutbacks we experienced: 1) Included excursions -- With the exception of one port where we were taken to a very interesting stage show, all the included excursions were bus tours with one local guide and about 45 passengers. Viking never sent one of their staff members on the bus to troubleshoot problems (eg. Quietvox system not working) or check on excursion quality. Most excursions were too rushed (eg. 15 minutes to see a museum) and were just plain boring. On 2 occasions, we were taken to places where most of the attractions were closed. Obviously it's cheaper to send guests on bus tours in groups of 45 than it is to offer walking or biking tours with groups half that size. 2) Food choices -- In the buffet restaurant, the food choices are fewer and there is more repetition from day to day. For example, at any breakfast there were only 4 cereal choices and on most days those were of junk food quality (Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, etc.). We asked for granola on the first day but it wasn't provided until the last 3 days of the cruise. 3) Evening entertainment -- It was the worst we have encountered on any cruise ship. Shows in the theatre were 100% music and the singing was mediocre. We never saw a comedian or magician who could have added some variety. In the lounges, there was no string quartet, merely a thin-sounding violin/cello duo. Nor was there a jazz trio. There was only one lounge pianist who was classically trained and sounded very stilted when she tried to play pop tunes. 4) Enrichment classes -- Many were free on past cruises but on the Viking Sea, all had fees. Yoga classes were $10, cooking classes were $59, and to attend a scarf-tying workshop, you had to buy a scarf from the boutique at a ridiculously high price. 5) Temperature control -- There wasn't enough heat provided in the theatre and it was always uncomfortably cold. Instead of having staff turn up the thermostat, guests were offered blankets to keep them warm during the stage shows or lectures. 6) Drinks -- There's no bottled water provided in staterooms any more. Instead, there is a flask of warm water sitting on the desk all day because it's too large to fit in the room's bar fridge. Despite Viking's very high cruise fares, soft drinks are not provided free of charge except at meal times. Nor is the stateroom fridge replenished with soft drinks as on other luxury cruise lines' ships. 7) Loyalty -- There are minimal rewards for loyalty to Viking. We've probably spent around $100 000 on Viking cruises. However, we still just receive $200 off our cruise fare as a past client and get a free drink at an onboard reception with the captain. To add insult to injury, someone who books a Viking cruise for the very first time and pays for one of the more expensive staterooms is allowed to reserve excursions and specialty dining weeks before us. It's very obvious that Viking values how much you spend onboard much more than it values loyalty over many cruises. 8) Prices on missing stateroom items -- Probably all cruise ships experience theft of items provided in staterooms but Viking has recently responded by posting a ridiculous price list of what they will charge your credit card if something is missing when you disembark. (eg. tissue box - $280; toothbrush holder $145). The prices bear no resemblance to the actual value of those cheaply-made items. 9) WiFi -- It's included in all areas of the ship according to Viking's advertising. However, that doesn't mean it resembles in any way the service you receive from your home internet provider. Viking's WiFi comes from a low-quality system that obviously hasn't been updated to meet the current needs of cell phone and laptop carrying passengers. During much of every day, it was extremely slow, taking up to a minute to access any web page after clicking the mouse. Moreover, on one at-sea day, no WiFi was available and the system broke down again on the second last and final day when guests needed to print boarding passes. Instead of assigning a couple of staff members to print boarding passes for guests, using staff computers, Viking did nothing. In summary, people who had previously cruised with HAL or NCL and were first-time Viking guests, seemed to think the Viking Sea experience was a step up. We, on the other hand, found all the cutbacks to be disappointing and annoying. We've already booked our next 3 cruises, and all of them are with Oceania, --- a cruise line that doesn't make the mistakes mentioned above. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My husband really likes the Viking experience, and we liked the itinerary. Although I see that no opportunity is provided for negative comments, I will do so here. We were extremely disappointed to be kept "in the dark" about ... Read More
My husband really likes the Viking experience, and we liked the itinerary. Although I see that no opportunity is provided for negative comments, I will do so here. We were extremely disappointed to be kept "in the dark" about arrangements for our post-tour excursion via train to Oslo. A few days before disenbarkation we went to the guest services and the asian lady with shorter hair would NOT give us ANY information!! She merely pointed to the information in the Viking today flyer and started reading that aloud to us. Of course, we had already read that! Although she wasn't actually rude to us, she was cold, detached and disengaged. Obviously she couldn't have cared less about us. Sadly, I didn't look at her name badge. After disembarkation, we had NO IDEA what was going to happen to us, other than we would board a train. We were taken on a surprise tour of Bergen, which turned out to be our 3rd time past many of the sites. Most of the folks on that bus and later on the train were griping about not receiving any information. Furthermore, when we arrived in Oslo, we didn't know that we would be going on another bus tour there and didn't even know the name of the hotel! I vomited on the bus due to the rough bus ride. One couple on the train had been given a paper outlining the post-tour excursion. Why didn't the rest of us receive that??? My other complaint is about local currency. We knew that the ship did not provide local currency. I had called ahead and learned that Euros would be accepted by our tour guides in some countries and US dollars would be in another. However, I felt bad giving different currencies to these folks, and we had nothing to pay for restroom visits, either. Local guides shouldn't have to keep exchanging the currencies. And we would hardly want to get zlotys when we are only in Poland for 1/2 day. I wrote out a detailed suggestion to guest services, summarized as follows: Guests could pre-order packages of local currencies, paid in advance. I suggest providing roughly $10 of local currency for each country visited. These could be bundled in manila envelopes for us to pick up. Then we would have enough local currency to be able to tip our local guides appropriately, pay for use of restrooms, and maybe have enough leftover to buy a few postcards or something. Guest services left a message on my phone, summarily rejecting my suggestion by saying that they don't provide local currencies. I feel that this is a valuable and practical suggestion that I wish would be considered. I got kind of tired of the buffet food in 15 days. The Asian food at the Chef's table was disgusting. We didn't go to any of the entertainment events. Shore excursions were mostly good, but I regretted not knowing about the museum of hardanger fiddles before we got to Stavanger. I did not enjoy to train ride to Berlin - too long, and city is kind of ugly. I think that shorter excursions to charming villages closer to the port would have been better. Excellent service by wait staff, most were pleasant and engaging. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Had to be bussed 4 hours to the second port because the ship was under repair. Had to wait in the lobby for hours for a bus because they had no idea when we would go. We were compensated $75 for the trouble. Communication for ... Read More
Had to be bussed 4 hours to the second port because the ship was under repair. Had to wait in the lobby for hours for a bus because they had no idea when we would go. We were compensated $75 for the trouble. Communication for Immigration back into the country and tendering were also very poorly handled. The good news was the food was better than other lines I’ve been on and the ship was very clean. We paid extra for Club Orange which I thought was worth it. Our upgraded stateroom was clean but in need of updating. There was NO outlet in the bathroom and only one in the room. More closet space than expected. The staff in general were very pleasant. The highlight of the trip was when we got off of the cruise to spend time in Boston. We were with some friends or else this itinerary (Montreal to Boston) would have been too boring for us. Unless you really, really want to see these ports I don’t recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
There were three stops on this cruise that were not worth one hour much less a day!Trois Rivieres,Quebec, Corner Brook,Newfoundland to name two. The food in the main dining room was mediocre at best and the service there was poor. I ... Read More
There were three stops on this cruise that were not worth one hour much less a day!Trois Rivieres,Quebec, Corner Brook,Newfoundland to name two. The food in the main dining room was mediocre at best and the service there was poor. I have cruised Oceania many times and felt this is no longer a first class experience. On sail aways, like from New York, all they had was a band and no wine or champagne like they used to. The food in the two special restaurants was excellent...Toscana and Polo. The service in these was excellent but you are limited to two nights at each on a 17 day cruise! The Concierge "Suites" in this ship, Insignia, are very small..especially for a 17 day or linger cruise. Note that if you take the 8 "free" excursions and you are a couple that means on four excursions each! Any additional and you pay extra. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise because of the ports it included specifically Quebec City, Charlottetown, New York, and Bermuda. The rest I didn’t really care one way or another. Both Charlottetown and Bermuda were cancelled - not Oceania’s fault ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the ports it included specifically Quebec City, Charlottetown, New York, and Bermuda. The rest I didn’t really care one way or another. Both Charlottetown and Bermuda were cancelled - not Oceania’s fault for Bermuda - weather was bad. Substituted Corner Brook,Nfld for Charlottetown- not impressed - never heard a reason. 2 other Canadian ports were cancelled due to high winds and they were tender ports. I am travelling solo and this is not the ship to do that on. Entertainment is boring - music is boring. Most passengers are very “old.” I am a senior too but most of the passengers were “old” even for me and everyone was in pairs. Some people were friendly others were not. They had a meet and greet for solo travellers - 2 of the men that showed up were cousins travelling together - both were married - so not solo. One man and one woman were travelling together - so not solo. Just because they weren’t married doesn’t mean they were alone. 3 that showed up were part of the entertainment group - and knew each other well - so not solo. I don’t mind being alone but the staff made you feel awkward sometimes because you took up a table. I guess some people don’t understand those of us that like to be alone. The problem was because the weather was cold no one was using the outside tables. Everyone seems to like Oceania’s food but I wasn’t overly impressed. One chef they had working the grill was not very pleasant - and lucky me - he was the one I always got to take my order. They had too many waiters sometimes - clearing plates before you were finished with them. The hours their restaurants serve is too restricted. Breakfast ends too early - if you don’t eat by 10 am you have to eat at lunch. And, if you are late for lunch because you went ashore your only option was the outside grill if it was before 4 pm. They had 2 nights with a red ginger theme - and I ate in my room the second night because I didn’t like anything on the menu. Never used my reservations for the specialty restaurants- couldn’t imagine sitting there by myself. They often had snacks in other areas but they were all carbs - pastries, cakes. I have read other reviews about the passengers on the world cruise being cliquey- and I agree. They have games they play just for them. Cabin bed and linens are great. The steward looking after my room was great - very efficient. But after a few days I started to smell a “sewer like” smell on my floor. ?? Not sure what that was all about. Very limited shopping available. Sell on-board cruises like crazy. Most other people seemed to like Oceania- so maybe I am the odd one. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. I really wanted to do the east coast of Canada. And the departure from Montreal was very appealing. The destinations did not disappoint. I was totally charmed by the east coast, and will ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. I really wanted to do the east coast of Canada. And the departure from Montreal was very appealing. The destinations did not disappoint. I was totally charmed by the east coast, and will definitely return! The reason that I felt compelled to write the review was because of the outstanding service and dining on this ship. I have been on many different cruise lines and am an experienced cruiser. Up until this point my favorite cruise line was Celebrity. I have to admit that Holland American Lines lived up to it's hype. The food was amazing, and the service was impeccable! I especially want to give a shout out to our dining room staff, Mahendra, Subatra Smith our waiter, and Jonathan our wine steward! The cabins were larger than I have experienced on other cruise lines, which was a nice surprise. They were also kept spotless by our cabin stewards. The shower allowed enough room to shower and shave comfortably! The entertainment was geared more towards an older crowd and would probably be my only slight criticism. Although we enjoyed the trios, quartets, and piano man...people on the younger side may have found it boring. And the shows although well performed, were definitely a little dated. But that would be my only complaint. We took two ship excursions, one in Sydney and one in Bar Harbor. The Sydney one was the hiking tour to Ban Usige Falls, and was very picturesque. I fell in love with Baddeck. And the tour guide Wendell was a very spry 78 years old! The other excursion was the small group guided tour of Acadia National Park. Once again our tour guide was very knowledgeable. I did go to the gym once, and attended a body stretching class. The instructor was quite good and was constantly checking to see that everyone was doing the moves properly. Overall I would rate my experience on HAL as 5 stars, and I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our second cruise with HAL. The first was through the Panama Canal and was memorable. This one was more memorable for the Cons than the Pros: Pros: We like the Neptune suites because they are spacious and there is access ... Read More
This was our second cruise with HAL. The first was through the Panama Canal and was memorable. This one was more memorable for the Cons than the Pros: Pros: We like the Neptune suites because they are spacious and there is access to the Neptune Lounge, breakfast in the Pinnacle Restaurant, the complementry laundry, and the Concierge who is very helpful for anything that comes up. The crew was excellent and our cabin stewards were very helpful. The drinks were well made and reasonable, but they do tack on a 15% gratuity in spite of the $16 per day gratuity assessment. Who does that go to? The hamburgers by the pool were very good. The no sugar added desserts were excellent. WIFI was faster than other ships. That means it was adequate. LOL Cons I thought the food was lacking, except for the Pinnacle Restaurant. We ate in the main dining room twice. The first time I had halibut which was overcooked and dry. The second time I had pot roast which was bland and required salt and pepper. I mentioned the overcooked halibut to the concierge and got a phone call from the head waiter offering to make another reservation and also the food services officer stopped by at our table at breakfast to apologize. This would indicate that the crew is very serious about the food. That's why I feel it is a budget constraint causing the "just average" food. The food in the buffet was just average, except for the fried shrimp, which were so small that you could not see the shrimp in the breading and the NY steaks were somewhat tough. I think the budget was screwed down pretty tight. A big problem was that the buffet seemed understaffed, causing lines at the various stations. By the time we found a table, our food was usually cold. Kids were running around everywhere and the table density in the buffet was very high and made it hard to walk between tables. WIFI is not included, but is available at a flat rate. $139 per week per device. The per device sucked as you had to knock off the other person to get on wifi. The speed was pretty good for shipboard wifi. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was my third Holland America cruise. My two prior experiences were very good. Food in the main dining room in the past was good to excellent. On my past trips there was sufficient entertainment and on board activities. Not so on ... Read More
This was my third Holland America cruise. My two prior experiences were very good. Food in the main dining room in the past was good to excellent. On my past trips there was sufficient entertainment and on board activities. Not so on this cruise. Food in the main dining room was okay to poor. On the gala evening, the lobster in the surf and turf was old and cooked to death. So too was the filet which was tasteless. I opted for the optional Rudi's Sel de Mer dinner and was well pleased. Excellent food, excellent service. As to the entertainment, the dance numbers in the variety show entertainment were pretty good, but the vocal numbers were aimed at a 12 year old audience and you had to endure them to see the dancers. There was a very good jazz band playing in the ocean lounge, which unfortunately was not the best venue for engaging with the music. A violinist and pianist were the bids for classical type entertainment but the pianist was not very talented. The staff was, as always on HA, excellent. That is, my cabin stewards, the restaurant servers and wine stewards all were exemplary. My suite was always clean and well provisioned. Not so the customer no service staff in the atrium. When they did not know the answer to a questions, they sent me away instead of trying to find the answer for me. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I think this particular cruise is all about expectations. We read the reviews... older boat, older crowd, not the best entertainment, etc, etc. Because we already knew this going in, we had a wonderful time! We took out 12 and 5 year old ... Read More
I think this particular cruise is all about expectations. We read the reviews... older boat, older crowd, not the best entertainment, etc, etc. Because we already knew this going in, we had a wonderful time! We took out 12 and 5 year old kids and we had 2 oceanview staterooms (2525 and 2529). Pros: The food was overall very good. The buffet tasted like normal cruise food, but the dining room had some really good dinners. I would say they excelled at the meats and sides. The soups and salads were average. The desserts were amazing. There were 4 entertainment options we liked. They did a live concert to Planet Earth 2 which was really beautiful. The comic was funny enough. There was a violin duo that we enjoyed, and we liked the America's Test Kitchen presentations. We liked that the pools were not crowded and we could always find a lounge chair. We were also VERY impressed with how we really didn't wait in line for anything. Our last cruise was on Disney and we felt like a heard of cattle everywhere we went. On the Zaandam, our embarkation was immediate, our bags were in our rooms quickly, our shore excursions days were a matter of just walking off the boat and we didn't wait in line for dinners. The longest line we had was waiting for our crepes in the morning ;-) The best part of this cruise was probably the ports! We were only at sea one day. Prince Edward Island and Quebec City were what I was hoping for, and we loved Bar Harbor, Maine. If you want to enjoy Sydney, you must do an excursion. We just walked off the boat to the town and it was a major disappointment. Halifax was OK. Cons: It's an older boat. Everything was clean and nice, but having been on many other cruises, there was nothing cool or exciting to see. Just your average boat layout with shuffleboard and ping pong. I was surprised at how much you had to pay extra for things like exercise classes and soft drinks. I was also surprised at the prices of the spa options. For this reason, we didn't do the spa although we would have liked to. The kids club staff was very nice, but they were always closed. We would get flyers about kids club the morning of, but the flyer would say you needed to call the day before to reserve your spot. So that was frustrating. Overall, very smooth sailing, super friendly staff and fellow passengers and we had a delightful time! We did come across a handful of older people that did not appreciate the energy of our kids so that was a bit hard, but we also came across an equal amount of truly amazing people that treated our kids so wonderfully. My kids didn't want to get off the boat! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
There were 2 couples sailing on this cruise (fifth we have done together), we chose it for the itinerary. The embarkation was flawless. We arrived at the cruise terminal and we finished all the paperwork and were boarding the ship by noon, ... Read More
There were 2 couples sailing on this cruise (fifth we have done together), we chose it for the itinerary. The embarkation was flawless. We arrived at the cruise terminal and we finished all the paperwork and were boarding the ship by noon, half hour or so. The ship is older but quite lovely and well maintained. We were in Vista suite 7050 and our friends were next door. The room steward opened the balcony door between so we could share visits and happy hours etc. our room steward was phenomenal. He left ice in the bucket twice a day as well as fruit in the basket on our coffee table. We always bring a small extension cord as there are never enough outlets. We enjoyed the breakfasts in the Lido Cafe. Very wide selection of foods and if you ordered cook to order eggs,pancakes,waffles,omelets they were good. The cooks serve you mostly so as to decrease the cross contamination, which we appreciate. We never took any of HAL excursions due to cost. Over time we have found that going on private tours is much nicer and generally not a huge cost difference. We are then able to stop and take pix as often as we choose. We had the most difficulty with dinner service. We were at the second seating at 730 pm which we liked, however the shows were at 9 pm and even though we told our waiters we wanted to be out in time we never got to a show on time. The shows are only 40-45 mins long so that’s a big deal. The dinner food was ok not great. My husband who is celiac has always been visited by the maitre d on our previous cruises to choose dinner options for next evening. On this cruise we were visited a couple of times and most of the time he was on his own to choose. They did have gf next to a couple of items but we knew from previous experience that some of the other choices could be changed slightly to accommodate. No one was there consistently to help with this. We did enjoy a few of the entertainment acts such as The BBC orchestra,PJ Walsh a comedian and Mike Robinson a ventriloquist comedian who was very good. All in all we were happy with the cruise and the ports and the ship. There were a couple of areas where improvements could be made. Disembarkation was also a breeze. We were able to choose a time and we were off right on time to get our luggage and continue our trip in Boston. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Interesting ports and sights. Husband and Wife have cruised Holland America 3 times and other mid line ships 12 times. We are active early 70's. Chose window cabin over balcony due to past experience with the weather being too cold ... Read More
Interesting ports and sights. Husband and Wife have cruised Holland America 3 times and other mid line ships 12 times. We are active early 70's. Chose window cabin over balcony due to past experience with the weather being too cold to enjoy the balcony. PRO: . Interior and exterior of the ship is in superb condition for a 19 year old ship. Not so much for the Hull. . Food was tasty and plentiful. . Staff were all very friendly and unusually outgoing. . Bathroom nicely updated and modern. . The first Comedian show of one hour was the best ever experienced. . "Frosty Chocolate Mint Buzz", a Holland America recipe is a great drink choice. Similar to an adult milkshake. . Enjoyed the Fiddle and Kitchen dance party in Charlottetown. Too $$$. . We split eating between the MDR, the Buffet and specialty restaurants. All fine. CON: . Weak to non-existent entertainment, excluding the three main stage shows. . Bar & lounge entertainment geared to those born in the 1930's or maybe before. *Cabin person entered cabin (last morning) between 7:00 to 7:30 AM and made the bed, put fresh linens in bathroom all while we were at breakfast. Our personal belongings were not fully packed for departure and we were not finished with the bathroom, etc. How unsanitary for the arriving guests. He also left the arriving guest names and their Signature Beverage package cards on the desk. So much for privacy! . Bathroom has a consistent urine smell even after we requested the floor be cleaned with Bleach. . Crows Nest dance music guy just doesn't select the right music for the vast majority of those who wish to dance. Only takes place after 10 PM. each night. SUMMARY: Go for the ports even though the weather is iffy. Generally the Pro and Con balance out but H.A. needs to curtail cabin entry, by staff, prior to guests final departure. If you find these details in my review are helpful to you...please let me know. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise because of the ports of call. Due to the weather ( which was awful) we were not able to stop in Sydney, Nova Scotia. I did enjoy Quebec and our private tour with Tours By Locals, Claude was our guide and he was beyond ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports of call. Due to the weather ( which was awful) we were not able to stop in Sydney, Nova Scotia. I did enjoy Quebec and our private tour with Tours By Locals, Claude was our guide and he was beyond excellent, I would recommend Clause to everyone going to Quebec . I also enjoy a private tour to the Bay of Fundy in Halifax by Bruce's Tours, I recommend him to all, he also was excellent. The weather is Bar Harbor caused trip to Callilac mountain to be cancelled. We were told o free bus service until July to the national park, but weather was an issue.Back to the ship. The service in the dining room was very slow, each and every night. Food was just ok. To get a good steak or fish dinner you needed to go to the speciality dining which they charge extra for. One good night in the dining room, the second gala night, the food was very good. Our room steward was excellent, always a clean room and kind friendly service.The test kitchen is located in a small room if you don't get there early you are out of luck. Same room for bingo same problem. I do not recommend going on this cruise in May weather is not good. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Travelling alone for the first time I found the staff very helpful,friendly and accomodating. The choice of meals in the Main Dining Room was very limited and was very salty overall including the Terrace Grill.Overall I enjoyed it. The ... Read More
Travelling alone for the first time I found the staff very helpful,friendly and accomodating. The choice of meals in the Main Dining Room was very limited and was very salty overall including the Terrace Grill.Overall I enjoyed it. The Ship was on it's last voyage before dry dock where it was getting a complete overall,so a lot of the other things will not apply. I loved the itinerary of this cruise because it was one of the few that included Bermuda, but because of the time of year we encountered some bad weather and could not get into one Port but nonetheless I still enjoyed the Cruise. The entertainment at night was varied,but wasn't of the caliber of some of the other cruise lines. The Dining Room staff were accomodating in trying to seat me with another couple most of the time. I met a lot of many wonderful people on the cruise which is why I love travelling on a smaller ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We were a little nervous booking this particular cruise due to the ship going into dry dock immediately after. We figured the weather would be iffy due to the time of year (11/2-11/18) and did have a few chilly, rainy days. We missed only ... Read More
We were a little nervous booking this particular cruise due to the ship going into dry dock immediately after. We figured the weather would be iffy due to the time of year (11/2-11/18) and did have a few chilly, rainy days. We missed only 1 port, Bar Harbor, due to tender issues. For the most part, the ship was in good repair and other than some slightly worn upholstery it was well kept and all areas very clean. Our stateroom, 8000, is considered a suite and was lovely and included a 3 cushion full sized sofa, 2 club chairs and a glass table in addition to a very comfy bed. There was plenty of storage and the bathroom must be larger than other levels as it was plenty big. Oh, and the live orchid in the room was a lovely touch. A slight disappointment was the main dining room with their menu of sameness. Oh, there’d be a special few items thrown in daily but it wasn’t exceptional. What WAS fabulous was The Polo Grill and the grilled lobster tails and grilled shrimp every evening in the buffet. We found the Italian restaurant, Toscana, to be just okay. Husband returned one entree, a veal dish. I tasted it and agreed it wasn’t good either in texture or taste. I will say staff immediately swooped in and expedited his new order. The buffet is handled very well. No cruiser touches the food. You indicate what you want and staff prepare your plate THEN, more often than not, another staff member steps in and carries your plate to your table. There’s no self serve of food or drink. Another true highlight is tea time which is a lovely event served with a background of a string quartet. The house band was good with one member being exceptional. Staff was fabulous. The cruise director, Shawn Carter, was one of the more engaging CD’s we’ve met. All service staff were quick with their greetings and generous in their thank you’s. The only flaw we encountered was a rather disengaged front desk staff but that blip was more than made up by the butler who couldn’t do enough for us. He was so well trained and seemed sincerely vested in our enjoyment. I wasn’t expecting much in the way of entertainment but was surprised—pleasantly. In addition to several enrichment talks (on the ports of call, on the history of where we were traveling, to an marine biologist giving talks on various sea life) the evening show included a comedian, a magician, several singers, a fabulous guitarist, a pianist. True, there’s no production numbers like you find on larger ships but the shows are more like lounge acts. Very intimate and entertaining. There was the usual bingo, trivia, karaoke, bracket making. WiFi was usually good—not speedy but adequate save one day the satellite wasn’t functioning well as some streamed newscasts on the TV were not working either. So would I sail Oceania again? Yes!!! I enjoyed the quietness of the ship, the lack of rowdy games, loud music or intrusive photographer. Fellow passengers were a mature, well traveled group which made for interesting conversation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
My wife and I are retired hoteliers/ restaurateurs from the UK so are not always the easiest to please as we tend to have too many opinions regarding hospitality! But having read some other very negative reviews from earlier recent ... Read More
My wife and I are retired hoteliers/ restaurateurs from the UK so are not always the easiest to please as we tend to have too many opinions regarding hospitality! But having read some other very negative reviews from earlier recent cruisers on Silver Wind we were concerned that we could be embarking on a nightmare experience. However having cruised the same ship previously a few years ago in South Africa we couldn’t readily equate these to our own positive memories . So we feel obliged to try to convey our own feelings regarding our voyage which bore little resemblance to some of these previously negative rantings. Yes that previous cruise was a warm weather one four years ago, but in a notoriously rough Indian Ocean (even in Summer) and this was to be mainly in November in northern Canada and the North Atlantic so we always knew it was going to be a cold and potentially rough trip, but you know that before you book and we couldn’t really understand how others had clearly failed to factor that into their own planning and were then blaming Silversea and expressing surprise at rough seas and missing ports. Surely these were always situations likely to happen so please don’t moan about the elements and blame the cruise line as there is clearly nothing that Silversea or indeed any other cruise lines can do about the weather! On boarding in Montreal all went as smoothly and seamlessly as normal with Silversea, and of course, no queues. We were pleased to be greeted in reception by a number of familiar personnel including Bar Manager, Newton, who we had met on previous cruises. Also Cruise Director, Colin Brown, who as someone else stated should be cloned, as he really is one of the best that we have encountered and this was our third cruise with him in charge. He looks after all the entertainment and enrichment programmes. These included two enrichment lecturers and a superb group of Voices of Silversea who were basically six professional singers, two operatic and four more general but all with their own individual talents. Additionally there was an onboard pianist and a Silversea trio who provided background entertainment throughout the ship. Two guest entertainers, a magician and a guitarist also came on board for a few days at different times to bolster the offering as this was a 16 day cruise. We felt they were both a bit underwhelming but that is probably because the Voices on this voyage were so good. Additionally Colin, who is a classically trained concert pianist, arranged a number of piano concerts in conjunction with the two opera singers and also performed some amazing classical duets with the onboard pianist, Olga, who was also outstanding. The crew in general were of the usual high Silversea standards. As ever mostly smiling and welcoming. Though I have to say that some of the restaurant staff (only a few to be fair) were not quite as friendly as we have experienced on other Silversea Cruises where they normally get your name quickly and address you by it from very early on, which is always impressive. Ever since the introduction of their iPad booking system a few years ago this standard seems to have fallen away somewhat unless they remind themselves by looking at your picture and name which they now get by entering your suite number into the iPad system. Maybe they were a bit tired after some seven weeks of cruising since they left London, most of which had been under some pretty appalling weather conditions! Our Suite Butler, Parveen from India, however, did an excellent job of looking after us throughout the voyage and was always on hand to attend to our every need, and our suite attendant Christine, from the Philippines, kept our suite immaculate throughout the voyage. Reception and Shore concierge staff were also very friendly and helpful and a great improvement on some we have experienced on other voyages. The hotel manager however was rarely seen by us out and about the ship and maybe that reflected on some of the staff performance? Captain Arma and the navigation bridge officers did a great job. They were all frequently seen around the ship and also kept us extremely well informed about weather conditions etc and, most memorably, carefully plotted a safe way around a huge storm that brewed up over the Gulf of St Lawrence by hugging the coast of Prince Edward Island and going very slowly for a couple of days to avoid the worst of the weather and keeping the ship as stable as possible. He kept all the passengers and crew fully informed at all times and despite a bit of rocking and rolling one evening the ship remained amazingly smooth, despite the gale blowing outside, and we never noticed any passengers confining themselves to their cabins with all the restaurants operating as busily as ever! He only once had to come onto the tannoy at 11pm on one evening to suggest that it was not a good idea to still be walking around the ship anymore! But it was reassuring that he was still on the bridge so late in the evening and in fact most everyone had gone to bed anyway and we actually had probably our best nights sleep so far being gently (or not) rocked into slumber. By the morning everything had calmed down and in the end that was really the only properly bumpy bit of this cruise. The storm did indeed mean us missing two ports of call but the first only for safety reasons as we had arrived and anchored, but it was a tender port and the Captain wasn’t convinced he could get everyone safely back to the ship, and the second because the local coastguard had closed the fairly narrow access channel…so the Captain had no option anyway. Talking to some of the crew it appeared that the ship had endured some pretty appalling weather all the way from London across to Iceland and then over to Canada for approx 7 weeks on the previous four or five cruises so, despite us being the last cruise out of the north for the winter, we actually probably had the best weather....so who knows? Just guess anyone should bear this more in mind if you choose such an itinerary in any year! Yes apparently the ship had had some sort of mechanical issue in Montreal a couple of cruises before our one that delayed departure by two or three days but to be fair to Silversea everyone on that one was reimbursed a third of their fare for that incident. Yes the ship is twenty three years old now and showing a bit of age externally but that will be sorted out when it dry docks shortly. The interior however was as clean and smart as ever with the public areas having been spruced up last year. Apparently the staterooms will be getting a “Muse-ification” refurbishment update during the upcoming dry dock in December. The suite bedrooms (or at least our one) actually seemed in pretty decent shape decor wise despite previous critical comments made on other CC Silver Wind reviews, though the TV system could certainly do with an update which is apparently happening with a more modern system being installed. For some reason it appears the update will not include the bathrooms which doesn’t make a lot of sense as the bathrooms are probably the weakest thing on Wind being rather on the small side with a rather small in length bath (not great if you are reasonably tall). However it does have an excellent power shower in addition to a hand shower, but it is one that you have to climb into the bath to use so not the easiest perhaps for some less mobile guests. We have also travelled twice on Silver Spirit in the past couple of years and have always particularly enjoyed that ship but mainly due to its larger size and thus the greater choice of dining options. Having said that Wind is half the size of Spirit and you benefit from a very cosy clubby atmosphere on board. We were on Wind for 16 days this time and didn’t really get bored with the Menus as they changed pretty much daily (every few days for La Terrazza) and the pool deck hot rocks grill, which we also love, was pretty much out as an option (even though it was still available with rugs and heat lamps) given the very cold weather in Canada and the northeast US. We actually got the chance to do a shipboard visit to see the newly stretched version of Silver Spirit when it came into Montreal a few days prior to our cruise on Wind and we really liked the updated decor and new restaurants that have now brought Spirit very much up to Muse standards. Anyway all in all it was an enjoyable and interesting cruise on Silver Wind and I would suggest others should quite simply ignore some of the earlier terrible reviews posted on cruise critic which in our mind really seem to have stemmed from experiencing some dreadfully bad weather rather than the ship itself! We would certainly be very happy to cruise on this ship again and can reassure others to go for it if they might be having any doubts. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise to visit ports that we had not been to and to see the fall colors. Because we live in Florida, we had forgotten how cold and rainy it gets this time of year. Of course the cruise company does NOT have control of ... Read More
We chose this cruise to visit ports that we had not been to and to see the fall colors. Because we live in Florida, we had forgotten how cold and rainy it gets this time of year. Of course the cruise company does NOT have control of those elements. This is our first cruise since I joined cruise Critics. I did not know how to contact the other members for the meet and mingle events, therefore we did not participate. We have another Regent cruise beginningin January and hope to understand the process better. The service and food were both excellent. Compass Rose has such a diverse menu with excellent selections. The talent that I watched, the Regent Production team put on excellent shows. We played trivia most days and had fun meeting other guests and trying to come up with the correct answers. We really liked the size of the ship and the easy of getting around. Our butler and room steward were both 5 star. We believe the excursions that Regent includes are every bit as good or many times better that we pay extra for on other cruise lines. We had a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Silver Spirit, Montreal to NYC. Have sailed too many cruises to list but over the past 12 months have been on Crystal and Queens Grill in Cunard. This Silver Spirit cruise was a return to Silversea having sailed on Cloud, Wind, Shadow ... Read More
Silver Spirit, Montreal to NYC. Have sailed too many cruises to list but over the past 12 months have been on Crystal and Queens Grill in Cunard. This Silver Spirit cruise was a return to Silversea having sailed on Cloud, Wind, Shadow and Whisper in the past (and had all very nice cruise on those other Silversea ships) Ship: Looks brand new, loved the cabin and and cabin bathroom. I found the ceilings too low on some decks and the ship really chopped up (a bit claustrophobic here and there). Some public rooms were too small to handle the ships passengers (Panorama) and some too large (Dolci Vida - which looks like an airport business class lounge). I'm still unsure about the new decor direction, it was really repetitive and kinda boring/cheap looking in some areas. Lighting was awful, in the dining rooms and la Terrazza were all lit like shopping malls. Also on the smaller ships La Terrazza was a beautiful space, on the Spirit, it looked like a mass market ships buffet restaurant. Cabins: Great, they were nicely updated, loved the bathrooms and our butler and cabin steward were tops. No complaints! Food: This is where Spirit falls and falls hard vs her competition. The non changing menus coupled with the new ipad ordering is a mess and will prevent me from sailing Silversea again. You are asked prior to every meal for your room number and name; super mass market. The ipads are slow and not flexible resulting in missed courses, incorrect orders, etc. The first night I never got my entree, was told kitchen was now closed and to order from Room Service, really? Second morning never got my breakfast, only or it to show up on day 7. Want your steak medium, order it rare was the given direction. I also hated the new slate type dishes in Atlantide, it felt like those dishes were all preprepared just waiting for your meat and sauce selection. All veal chops on the ship were inedible (even our waited guided away from ordering them). So in 10 nights, I had the same soup 5 times, same salad and three different steaks that all tasted about the same. Sad for a luxury line. Lunch in Atlantide was great, great daily menus and diverse food selection. We tried LaTerrazza, it was ok, I had the veal - bad choice. Silver Note was fun, but a one and done place. We cancelled LeDame as we didn't want to risk paying $240 for four of us to have the same dreary dinner food we had been having all week. Ports: We missed two and weather was awful, but thats not the ships fault. Its still a beautiful part of the world Service: Overall fine, but really a sense that there are rules to be followed, want a dish from next door? No. Would a bar server ever remember my room number or drink, Nope. Other passengers would let others know alternative menus were available, but never from the staff. 45 minutes between courses, yup...The whole experience felt too mass market compared to Seabourn or Crystal. We had fun thanks to the DJ and other passengers we met, always great meeting others. Since this seems to be the new direction for Silversea, I hope that they get guidance from Royal Caribbean or at least the cash they need to bring their experience levels back up to prior cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We just returned from a ten day trip on the Silver Spirit, Montreal to New York City. Out of 25+ cruises this was hands down the worst because of the weather. It was 29 degrees F in Montreal, we got stuck in Quebec City because of a ... Read More
We just returned from a ten day trip on the Silver Spirit, Montreal to New York City. Out of 25+ cruises this was hands down the worst because of the weather. It was 29 degrees F in Montreal, we got stuck in Quebec City because of a blizzard, Saguenay port was closed because of the weather, Baie-Comeau was closed because the dock was wrecked by the storm and it was rain, snow, sleet and fog in all but Newport RI. So I must give this trip two marks, overall trip a 2 while just the Silver Spirit a 8. I blame the weather 50%, myself 25% for booking a trip to Canada this late in the season and Silver Sea 25% for selling a trip this late. The attitude aboard the ship from Captain on down was it was too late in the season. The Ship: The Spirit looks like a new ship and just like the Muse in many places. She was very clean and organized with no problems that I encounter. The crew was great, service top notch. The unlimited internet and the interactive TV worked great. We were in cabin 1117, a new Silver Suite added when she was stretched. Great cabin in a great location. Very quite and right by the elevator and midships enough motion wasn’t a issue. Food: The Spirit now has the same restaurant arraignment as the Muse and the same room service. I really do not like the fact that the menus do not change at all in the evening in any restaurant, it gets very boring. Some will say they do change however after 23 days on both ships I have never seen a change, I also find the room service menu boring, almost like a Diner. I tried to get a lobster dinner, which is a special order, and just got the run around. I am really not impressed by the food. I never got a bad meal however there is no wow factor in any of it. I can not recommend SS to a foodie. Accitivies: For a ship with a very small stage their group did a great job. There were six singers who put on various shows, all very good. There was a three piece band which was OK along with a male and female singer who worked the lounge, also OK. I was surprised they didn’t bring in any guest acts. There was a lecturer onboard also. Overall I like SS but after trying them twice I just can’t get excited about their restaurant concept. I would sail them again however at their price point there are better options I believe. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Awesome service, accommodations and great culinary options! My husband and I boarded this cruise too celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and had a wonderful experience. Despite the bad weather, and missed ports, we enjoyed all the ... Read More
Awesome service, accommodations and great culinary options! My husband and I boarded this cruise too celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and had a wonderful experience. Despite the bad weather, and missed ports, we enjoyed all the ports we did get to visit! The staff on board accommodated our every whim and the dinning options were fabulous. The rooms are very spacious and serviced twice a day which was very nice. We loved all the common areas and the numerous activities that were offered. We especially enjoyed trivia play each day at 4:45pm. Who doesn't like drinks, friends, and some trivia! We made some wonderful friends on board as well! The ports were beautiful and full of fun and exciting excursions suiting every level of activity. Because of our ship's size we could get into most ports without having to tender to shore. I would definitely recommend this cruise and especially Silversea cruise line. We can't wait to book our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We have cruised on Regent, Crystal, Viking, Celebrity, Princess and Cunard and although our experience with Seabourn was very good, there was something about Seabourn that did not live up to all the hype. The plus points are excellent ... Read More
We have cruised on Regent, Crystal, Viking, Celebrity, Princess and Cunard and although our experience with Seabourn was very good, there was something about Seabourn that did not live up to all the hype. The plus points are excellent cabin sizes, good food, good service and staff (most of the time), excellent safety and security procedures and the all inclusive nature of the cruise. Seabourn Quest is a very stable and capable vessel and is well designed with lots of outdoor and indoor space, which meant that although the ship was full, it never felt crowded. The atmosphere was relaxed and fellow passengers were a pleasure to travel with. The Antarctic experience was amazing and well organised with an excellent expedition team, who were knowledgeable and experienced. The negatives were the inclusive wines for the first half of our 60 day cruise were awful. The premium wines were expensive and we felt disinclined to spend even more money on wine, when we had paid a small fortune for the cruise in the first place. The Seabourn shore excursions were overpriced and underwhelming. We cancelled most of them once we realized that we could do the excursions ourselves at a greatly reduced priced. The overland adventures to Macchu Pichu and Torres del Piene were excellent but very expensive. A handful of the staff were rude and unhelpful. The service was not always 5 star because there seemed to be insufficient staff in certain bar areas. Charging $189 for a 2 hour zodiac or kayak trip in Antarctica was outrageous considering the price of the cruise. They should be included in the cruise price. The Thomas Keller Grill restaurant was rather ordinary and the entertainment options on board rather limited. Crystal and Regent offer better value for money and better food and wine. We disembarked in Buenos Aires after 60 days onboard and were abandoned to total chaos, where we waited 2 hours in sweltering temperatures trying to find a taxi. We had 5 suitcases, limited luggage trolleys and were trying to queue with 10,000 other cruise passengers who had arrived at the terminal at the same time. Seabourn should have warned us about this situation as they knew that 4 other cruise ships were due to dock at the same time. A word of warning - book a car in advance through Seabourn (at an outrageous price of $100 for a 20 min journey into the town centre, which would cost $15 by taxi. Or book a car privately as BA cruise terminal can be a complete nightmare!!!! I would sail with Seabourn again but only if the itinerary was a good one. They are a good cruise line but not that good and you are paying top dollar! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I was interested in a cruise that either left from New York or came back to that port which meant I would be home in and hour or so. I flew to Montreal and spent the first night and second day onboard, unpacked and being pampered. ... Read More
I was interested in a cruise that either left from New York or came back to that port which meant I would be home in and hour or so. I flew to Montreal and spent the first night and second day onboard, unpacked and being pampered. Crystal met me at the airport and escorted me to a waiting bus. That was a lovely touch since it was raining and the hostess carried the umbrella. The line has buses waiting for all arriving customers throughout the day leaving every half hour for the ship. Your luggage is taken at the airport and to your room within hours while you can start eating and drinking on your ship. My room was quite nice with a more than comfortable bathroom. SInce I had twin sinks, I used one in the AM and one in the PM. There is a tub shower that I really enjoyed, bathing most of the time with the luxurious ETRO products supplied by Crystal. There was more than enough space for all my things and plenty of hangers. I toured the ship and found lots of nooks to hang out in, some of which served coffee and nibbles. There is a lovely library, well stocked and just 3 shops which are open when at sea. There are 4 specialty restaurants including Silk, a wonderful Chinese restaurant that served the best hot and sour soup I've ever tasted and I eat a LOT of Chinese food! You are able to eat in the specialty restaurants 3 times during the cruise and I found Prego, the Italian, to be my favorite. There is also Umi Uma Nobu's Japanese restaurant and a lovely main dining room which serves 2 different menus at each meal. Breakfast is also served in the Market as a buffet. Fun can be had in Churrascaria, a Brazilian style restaurant where you get your salad at the bar and then after sitting down, waiters come around with skewers of meat, chicken, shrimp, pork and the tenderest lamb chops you can find anywhere. Most of the trip was fine with 2 nights of rockin' and rollin' on rough seas but that's to be expected in the north Atlantic. I saved my real raves for the entertainment which was the BEST of any I've ever had on a cruise. From the singers and dancers to the special guest stars, it was First Rate and memorable. Too many to name but needless to say, every night was a joy! Another standout for me was the lectures by General Nick Halley. He was fascinating and informative. Kudos to Crystal on that aspect of the trip. About the leaves, not the greatest but not the fault of the cruise line either. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Booked this cruise to see the fall leaves...weather was crappy...Not Crystal's fault. The ship and crew were great. The food and service were excellent. Smaller ship and passenger list meant not as much waiting for shore ... Read More
Booked this cruise to see the fall leaves...weather was crappy...Not Crystal's fault. The ship and crew were great. The food and service were excellent. Smaller ship and passenger list meant not as much waiting for shore excursions..etc. The entertainment was very nice since it was a smaller ship. We enjoyed the bistro and the hamburgers. They were the best. The speciality restarunts are a plus with no extra charge. The shore excursion were arragned well. There was always a Crystal person on the tours. Service was always spot on. Every time you sat down, there was someone available to get you a drink. When the ship docs, the attrium becomes very cold..this was an October cruise and have the ship open all day made the attrium very uncomfortable. The embarkation and disembarktation process was very smooth. When we disembarked, it seemed as if we were the only ones on the ship. Imigration was smootn. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
It was a very small cabin and we could not even put suitcases away or under the bed. We had no hot water in the cabin for 4 days.despite assurances from Cutomer Service staff s that it was being fixed. It was sold as a concierge ... Read More
It was a very small cabin and we could not even put suitcases away or under the bed. We had no hot water in the cabin for 4 days.despite assurances from Cutomer Service staff s that it was being fixed. It was sold as a concierge cabin but we did not have a concierge waiter or any service. We could not make a Wifi connection because a poor signal in the cabin despite being offered "free Wif" as part of the deal. The computer room did have a better connection but that was down for 24hours.. There were no external TV services for the first week of the voyage due to a "problem with the satellite". Despite many problems the Customer service staff did very little to help and the cruise did not live up to the reputation of an upmarket cruise line. Since our return we have complained and were told that our complaints had been and were offered an increased on-board spend on our next cruise. When we pointed out that we were inlikely to go another cruise with their Company "they were disappointed". Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We were visiting friends in Canada and figured that a cruise down the east coast of the USA would be a great way to see lots of places we haven't been to before. This was certainly the case, though unfortunately we did miss 2 ports ... Read More
We were visiting friends in Canada and figured that a cruise down the east coast of the USA would be a great way to see lots of places we haven't been to before. This was certainly the case, though unfortunately we did miss 2 ports because of bad weather. The weather cant be helped and we were at the end of the season, so that was a risk we took I guess. Overall we enjoyed it; we've cruised with HAL before and like the smaller ships and relaxed elegance they exude (no swinging gantries and rock climbing walls!) but on this cruise we realized that that quiet elegance brings an older demographic with it and some cruises can be almost comatose....maybe all those snowbirds heading south for the winter? Whatever, we embarked without fuss and were quickly in our stateroom 3360, which turned out to be a great choice (well, there wasn't a lanai available when I booked but this was the next best thing, just a few steps to the promenade deck and the weather turned out to be less than conducive to sitting out anyway for most of the cruise.) Small but plenty of storage, pretty standard but everything in excellent condition, neat and tidy and clean. Bathroom looked to have had a recent makeover, very up to date fittings and the shower was the best! I had read some horror tales about Rotterdam beforehand but found our stateroom to be just great. (OK, a suite would be greater, but hey...:)) We ate mostly in the MDR at night, found the meals to be generally very good, with the exception of a fish dish served (at a Mariners' lunch) which was noticeably undercooked. Several people commented on it so I'm guessing that this got back to the kitchen. But otherwise we enjoyed some excellent meals - the salmon is a favourite of mine and always good and I had the most delicious Surf n Turf there. I like that the portions are not huge, (hey if it's not enough, order another!) so that you don't feel you've overeaten if you have dessert! The service in the MDR is consistently attentive. We also enjoyed an excellent dinner in Canaletto where the portions seemed enormous but were very good indeed. Breakfast and the occasional lunch were in the Lido - pretty much whatever you wanted for breakfast; the lunch offerings seemed the same every day and if you had dinner there as well, I couldn't see any difference really. That could become a little boring if you didn't venture down to the MDR on occasions. We ranged around the various bars and tended to frequent the Crow's Nest most often. There was a pianist in the Ocean Bar who crashed away so loudly that you couldn't hear yourself or anyone else speak. A couple of people asked if he could play a little more gently but apparently not. We moved over to the port side chairs when possible which was better but they were mostly full.... wonder why? Entertainment was a bit tame, a comedian... oh dear... and a saxophonist who was actually very good musically but had trouble communicating with his audience. There was a trio of English chaps who did English pop singers of the last couple of decades, they were good I thought and their choreography was excellent. Later in the cruise they did a show which was (I think) a tribute to the Rat Pack and that was good too, as long as you accepted that they weren't the originals! I liked their youth & energy and enjoyed their shows. Keep them on, HAL! As for port excursions, we did 2 ship trips and did our own thing otherwise. The day at Charlottetown was cancelled as the port was closed for bad weather; that was disappointing but unavoidable and again at Oak Bluffs where the weather was too rough for tendering in. Both were ports we'd been looking forward to unfortunately. The silver lining was that we headed straight for New York after Martha's Vineyard was a no-go and berthed there at 6pm after a fabulous sail-in up the Hudson, with great views of the city as we came in. The excursions people aboard had quickly organized a couple of buses to do an evening tour round the city and these were great, we drove all around the various boroughs and spent an hour on our own in and around Times Square, which we hadn't expected to be able to do on the original plan. That left all next day to do what we could in NY, so that was good. Kudos to the team for organizing that! Finally, a word about the service on HAL ships - truly, their staff is their greatest asset. the crew are unfailingly smiling and obliging under all circumstances, and I've seen some pretty borderline behavior from passengers on occasions. How can people be so rude?? Enjoyed the cruise, possibly might look at another line next cruise as this was approaching saturation level for wheeled devices and made us feel old..(!!) but maybe it was just that cruise? Overall we do enjoy HAL - just needs a bit of a rev up with regard to entertainment and activities (you can only do so many Trivia Quizzes and the Test Kitchen offerings were... dull.) Read Less
Sail Date October 2018

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