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339 Montreal to Canada & New England Cruise Reviews

Weather in northeast was far too cold to enjoy the beautiful cities of Canada and New England. Embarkation looked like a greased pig rodeo with two individuals (later three) controlling the crowds. The "herder-in-charge" ... Read More
Weather in northeast was far too cold to enjoy the beautiful cities of Canada and New England. Embarkation looked like a greased pig rodeo with two individuals (later three) controlling the crowds. The "herder-in-charge" was too busy chatting with guests (at the head of the line) to keep the processing running smoothly, with agents waving at him frantically to get his attention to send over another person to check in. The subordinate, on the other hand, was constantly distracted by questions, problems, and other issues so that people were jumping the line to check in. When the chatty man in charge noticed the line jumpers, he verbally attacked the other who was facing the crowds. They finally added a third person to make their system work properly. Ship was beautiful. Cabin was clean and well kept. Water was NOT softened leaving the skin and scalp very dry. Dining was good, but not great as there were not too many "simple food" options for people with dietary restrictions. Food too rich. Service was exceptional. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. All of the cities were places of interest to us and we had not visited them before. We took advantage of the pre cruise add on. Our hotel, Le Germaine, in Montreal had just re-opened after an ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. All of the cities were places of interest to us and we had not visited them before. We took advantage of the pre cruise add on. Our hotel, Le Germaine, in Montreal had just re-opened after an update. The update is quite modern, think chairs hanging on chain from the ceiling. The hotel is in an ideal location for walking to downtown. The bed was comfortable, shower large and wonderful, and the staff could not have been any better. The pre cruise itinerary enabled us to tour not only Montreal but also Ottawa. Oceania had quick embarkation and fast delivery of our luggage. The Riviera cabin with a veranda was perfect for us. The furnishings were standard but the linens and towels were pristine and new. Our cabin attendants, Suresh and Wilmer, kept our room cleaned and the refrigerator stocked at times when we were out, so we never knew they were even around. Our short conversations with Wilmer were pleasant and his smile and friendliness made him a standout in our mind. This was a very casual cruise with no formal night. Most of the female cruisers dressed in slacks and nice tops for dinners. A very few wore a dress. Men don't need to pack even a sports jacket. Laundry use of washers and dryers was free and detergent was supplied. Had I known, I would have packed less. Dining at the specialty restaurants was excellent, as was the service. We especially loved the Red Ginger and were lucky to get 2 nights there. The watermelon and crispy duck salad and the Sea Bass entree were outstanding. Check with restaurant reservations to see if there is room to add extra to your 4. Thanks to Oceania for including the specialty restaurants without an uncharge. Loved lunching at the Waves Grill. A main Dining Room tip: orders at shared tables will not be taken until the table is full. Entertainment was mostly very good. There was one magician that we didn't like due to the shrill yelling kind of delivery he had. He might have been a great magician but his delivery made the magic go away. One comedian was great the first night but a following night had too many "fart" jokes to be funny. Yes, our crowd was old-er but come on. Boutique options were limited. I was interested in the perfumes etc. at one shop. I observed that the clerk was quite friendly with the 2 customers in front of me. However, when I stepped up and asked questions, I felt that I was treated almost rudely by said clerk and not a valued customer. Perhaps I didn't have the look of $$ ? We loved all the ports that we visited but think the ship excursions were over priced. EX: 2 hour walking tour at 119.00 per person! Book from a local or go on your own at most places and you will do so much better than the Oceania excursions. The only exception was the 2 day hop on in NYC. I thought that one was reasonable. On tender days the wait to get off was terribly long. One day we didn't get off until noon. There must be a more efficient way for this. Disembarking was swift, our luggage was gone from in front of our cabin the night before to claim before boarding our bus to the airport. We did so enjoy our trip but would caution that this was a ship of elderly persons. This is not a cruise for children. I would not recommend it for those who are looking for lots of shipboard fun. There were daily Mensa quizzes, trivia, bean bag toss, golf, an art scavenger hunt, and a few other activities. Perhaps this was in part to the ports and time of year. I don't know about Caribbean experiences on Oceania. Enjoy your trip! PS. Points were given for joining in on the quizzes, trivia, etc. At the end of the trip there was a point redemption for awesome items. I scored a fleece lined windbreaker, t shirt, and purse holder! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Oceania is my favorite cruise line, always has excellent food and service. From the stewards to the servers in the dining areas, always outstanding service. Dijon and Suprano took good care of us, always available to our needs. Sedeep in ... Read More
Oceania is my favorite cruise line, always has excellent food and service. From the stewards to the servers in the dining areas, always outstanding service. Dijon and Suprano took good care of us, always available to our needs. Sedeep in the grill in the Terrace Cafe always greeted you with a big smile and asked you what your needs were and often brought our hot dishes to our table if time permitted since my husband is disabled. Jason also assisted him with breakfast ordered an omelette and bacon and brought it to his table. Buddha in the Toscano was outstanding. He provided extra assistance by cutting his food in bite size pieces since he had noticed he had a walker. Mark in the Polo Grill was great too. He also assisted my husband with his steak. All were very caring and helpful, always with a smile. glad I was able to cancel some excursions in New York city because of weather and schedule a panoramic one. My only problem is not enough accessible rooms/cabins. If you look around what is the average age of most your guests and they’re in walkers, wheelchairs, and have walking canes. They put a chair in the shower, it was so big that there was no room for him to step in the shower and it did not fit in the tub either. If you could at least position some hand rails in the shower and tub to hold on to while taking a shower it would make a BIG difference for your physically challenged guests. It would also help every one during rough seas. I already made a reservation for an Alaskan cruise for next year so we could get a handicapped cabin. The Regatta has ONLY 3 Handicapped rooms available in the whole ship an they are inside cabins Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Recommended by travel agent having been cruising 22 years with Holandamerica Asamara Majestic Princess and Celebrity we thought by reputation this could be good .This Ship is tired ,in need of refit .All staff ,food, and shows first class ... Read More
Recommended by travel agent having been cruising 22 years with Holandamerica Asamara Majestic Princess and Celebrity we thought by reputation this could be good .This Ship is tired ,in need of refit .All staff ,food, and shows first class . Time of year for this cruise area should cease September 30th much to cold, ports missed, ports of call retailers closed for end of season Now you know research better than I. This has been the most disappointing Cruise EVER. Embarcation dreadfull .Ship late arrival due to prop fouling ship lines , force 9/11 gale, Ports missed ,other Ports we should have stayed longer like Boston 6 hours not near enough, a day and a half would have been much better.only had time for city hop on hop off bus and quick shop. We were looking forward to this Cruise and knew it was the fall and dressed accordinglay ,this was our first time on a small ship with 290 guests metting new friends and world travelers exchanging travel stories etc Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
After having been on 4 Silversea cruises, we chose the Canada and New England cruise at this time to be able to sail into NYC. It was a thrilling experience! We have sailed on the Wind, the Spirit (twice), and the Cloud. Each ... Read More
After having been on 4 Silversea cruises, we chose the Canada and New England cruise at this time to be able to sail into NYC. It was a thrilling experience! We have sailed on the Wind, the Spirit (twice), and the Cloud. Each cruise was excellent. We loved the small-sized ship, and the crew was exceptional. The personalized service of Silversea, from the butler to the maitre d'hotel, was also superb. We were always greeted with a friendly smile and many times, greeted by name at the reception area, excursion desk and restaurants. We were disappointed with a windy day which prevented us from anchoring in Newport, but the crew and staff immediately planned activities for our unexpected day at sea. Although not a new, glitzy ship, we noticed updated decor as the ship was refurbished last year. It was understated elegance in all the public areas. We ate in all the restaurants except the grill due to weather. The food is outstanding, as we had remembered from all of our previous cruises on Silversea. The afternoon tea was a favorite time, with Trivia with the cruise director. We would have preferred the enrichment lectures be more in line with the ports we visited, giving history and landmark information. The excursions were very enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because Bridge at Sea was holding a bridge event, the bridge was fine- the ship was a huge disappointment. The interior spaces are old and tired, wear and stains on every surface. The room was tiny, we knew that, but ... Read More
We chose this cruise because Bridge at Sea was holding a bridge event, the bridge was fine- the ship was a huge disappointment. The interior spaces are old and tired, wear and stains on every surface. The room was tiny, we knew that, but we didn't know that the beds weren't full sized, the brochure said "queen-sized", instead they were shorter and narrower than standard beds. Nice quality linens, though. The much touted butler introduced himself the first day and asked if we needed anything. My wife asked for an extra washcloth each day and bar soap (shower gel was provided but we like bar soap), we got two extra washcloths and two bars of soap on the last day (TIP DAY!). That was the total of our interactions with our superspecial personal butler. Dishes from room service breakfast were cleared away during dinner. In a tiny cabin, having the dirty dishes around all day was both disgusting and inconvenient. Room service food was uniformly cold. In the restaurant, they had lobster on the menu every night. Folks, in Ohio we call crustaceans this size "crawdads" and they were always shrouded in a gloppy cheese sauce or gravy mix. "Lobster Thermidor" was the same cheese sauce AND gravy mix with a mushroom. La Dama, specialty restaurant for a $120 upcharge, was adjacent to the smoking room and the nauseating odor permeated the room. We are unsure what the specialty was, the food was the same as the regular restaurant. La Terraza, the Italian grill, was, obviously, Italian. On Silversea, Italian means that everything has a large dollop of Parmesan cheese and cilantro cooked in, we prefer to add Parmesan or cilantro to taste, asking for a dish without Parmesan and cilantro we were told everything was prepared in advance and it wasn't possible. They did make fresh pasta for every dish but it wasn't very appetizing unless you liked it to the chef's taste. One time, they had pasta with onions and garlic (and Parmesan and cilantro) and they made it fresh for my wife - plain pasta in olive oil, no onions or garlic. The Small Ship Experience - while heavily touted as an advantage of premium lines, we never stopped at a port that didn't have a 2,500+ passenger ship from a popularly priced cruise line and the large ships get the dock while we had to tender. Most the ports were 1/2 days and tendering took a big chunk of time. Summary - I wouldn't go on Silversea again, if the trip was free Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Nice cruise with great food, entertainment and service encounter part of a nor'easter in Halifax, but we just stayed overnight so it wasn't a big deal. Overall we had lots of sunny days to see the colors. Missed Bar Harbor, but ... Read More
Nice cruise with great food, entertainment and service encounter part of a nor'easter in Halifax, but we just stayed overnight so it wasn't a big deal. Overall we had lots of sunny days to see the colors. Missed Bar Harbor, but it would have been raining. Weather this time of year isn't always great. We've been on about 20 cruises and the singers and dancers on this one were the best. Amazing talent. Veendam is in great shape after dry dock earlier this year. They haven't messed up the Crows Nest like on some of the newer ships - and there still is a library. And we like it's (relatively) small size. Only critisizm would be we'd like more noncommercial (IE pay) activities on sea days. Since we don't gamble, shop of go to the spa, activities were limited in choice. Not sure what Orange thing was - we just got a menu with a different cover at dinner. Same menu. And a guy with an orange tie showed us to our same table. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I'm always curious to see if my assessment of a cruise ship matches the typical review of it I read here on Cruise Critic. Reviewers correct on the food, entertainment and things to do ... mostly pretty mundane. But the ship itself ... Read More
I'm always curious to see if my assessment of a cruise ship matches the typical review of it I read here on Cruise Critic. Reviewers correct on the food, entertainment and things to do ... mostly pretty mundane. But the ship itself is in immaculate condition after a fall 2019 retrofit. And the crew was one of the sharpest and friendliest I have encountered on the high seas, except for a few letdowns in the dining room. Also love the size of the ship, easy to get around with a max of 1,400 passengers. Our New England and Canada fall colors cruise encountered some storms and we could not get in to Bar Harbor or get off the ship at Halifax. An extra wine tasting was added, and it's nice they do them, some lines don't, but HAL uses mostly cheap wines . One habit I find distasteful is their tendency during wine tastings and Lido food service to begin to shut things down too quickly. Other lines not so bad on that score. HAL loves these Microsoft classes but after a decade it's gotten old as people now focused more on cell phones than laptops. Our cabin with a small porthole was fine but several people related horror stories about plumbing problems and rude service at the front desk. HAL needs to revisit its offerings of things to do .. why not try some new, creative things instead of the same old same old you have run for decades! The food? In typical HAL fashion had some great lunches and dinners and a a couple that were flops. Soups not as good as they used to be on HAL ships. We don't even try the Pinnacle anymore because they just can't cook a steak right! The stops we made were fine ... loved Quebec City and the North End of Boston. Also enjoyed small towns Charlottetown and Sydney and their friendly people. Found the casino in Sydney and also their nice waterfront boardwalk. People complained that there is nothing at the pier at Port Canaveral. Overall glad we did the cruise and HAL is fine if you don't get thrown for a loop by a few things not to your liking. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were looking forward to seeing the fall colours down the coast of New England and indulge ourselves in some luxury. We could not fault the cabin or the service onboard - both were excellent. But much of the food was not really to ... Read More
We were looking forward to seeing the fall colours down the coast of New England and indulge ourselves in some luxury. We could not fault the cabin or the service onboard - both were excellent. But much of the food was not really to our taste - a very burnt-tasting lobster bisque and some odd flavour combinations (not sure what they did to make the avocado toast taste nothing like a fresh avocado) though Toscana served some of the best pasta I have ever tasted. The entertainment was ho-hum - good dancers but poor voices and the Smile String Quartet did not raise a smile at any time (very serious young ladies). The saving grace was the Riviera Show Band who were great. However what really shocked us were the prices of the excursions. You can always expect that they will be pricey from the ship - but up to 3 times the price of the same excursion booked independently is price gouging. My suggestion is to book some excursions independently before you leave - Quebec, Portland and and Bar Harbour are too beautiful to miss because of budget and there are very good independent companies that offer great value. It was also disappointing to spend 2 days sheltering at sea during a storm and not be provided with anything other than the set daily activities to compensate for not seeing Boston and Rhode Island. Some of the activities were naturally over-crowded seeing nobody was on shore. A bit of imagination and the addition of some extra entertainment would have helped raise the mood and overcome the disappointment. But the worst part was the disembarkation - a queue that was so long it took us nearly an hour to leave the ship. We have never experienced that on any cruise before. What we always remember is the beginning and the end - and the ned was very bad indeed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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
Viking ships were known to us. We chose the Eastern Seaboard cruise because this is an area we were not familiar with. The standard of onboard living was excellent. The cabin appeared spotlessly clean and the dining to a high standard as ... Read More
Viking ships were known to us. We chose the Eastern Seaboard cruise because this is an area we were not familiar with. The standard of onboard living was excellent. The cabin appeared spotlessly clean and the dining to a high standard as we had experienced on previous voyages. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and well organised. Viking say that they place emphasis on the ports of call but we found these to be of variable quality. We were unable to visit Montreal as extensively as expected because an "Extinction Rebellion" demonstration blocked the access to the city centre so this was a disappointing start. The visit to Quebec City was really interesting and in fact we could have usefully spent two days there. The time we had available was insufficient to appreciate the town. Saguenay and Conde were much less interesting to visit except that a theatrical performance reenacting their history gave us a good insight into the settlement of the area. Portland Maine was disappointing. The tour gave little historical facts but preferred to emphasise the cost of housing. The only site of interest was a lighthouse (boring). We would have much preferred to visit Halifax and were disappointed not to do so. Boston was more interesting from the historical point of view. The sail into the New York harbour was spectacular with the views of Manhattan, Staten island and the Statue of Liberty. A short coach tour was interesting but again most of the information concerned the astronomical cost of accommodation. Our take home impression was that the stopping places should be replanned to give greater emphasis on Montreal, Quebec, Boston and New York. Halifax and not Portland should be included. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We wanted to try Viking Ocean and to see the St. Lawrence Seaway. We also did the pre-trip extension because we wanted to visit Toronto (to see friends) and Niagara Falls. Even with 900 passengers on board, the ship did not seem ... Read More
We wanted to try Viking Ocean and to see the St. Lawrence Seaway. We also did the pre-trip extension because we wanted to visit Toronto (to see friends) and Niagara Falls. Even with 900 passengers on board, the ship did not seem croweded There were places to sit when listening to music, and we enjoyed the Explorers Lounge. The common areas were spotless. The thermal Spa is not to be missed. A daily visit to the Spa was spectacular. Our cabin was a deluxe veranda on Deck 7. It was an idea location as it is close to the Explorers Lounge, Mamson's, Wintergarten, World Cafe, Pool and Pool Grill. Despite the location, there was no noise from these venues. Our refrigerator was stock with soft drinks and snacks that were replenished daily. There was room in the refrigerator for bottled water and a carton of milk for the coffee and tea that we brewed and enjoyed in our cabin. We separated the bed into twins. This was not ideal as it limited access to the closet. Every meal exceed our expectations. We never waited for a table in the Dining Room or World Cafe. The food was tasty and well prepared. We ate at Manfredi's more than once. We usually eat later in the vening so this worked well for us. We just kept checking if there were any additional reservations. The service in all venues was always prompt and friendly. We tried the afternoon tea and did not care for the tea selections. The included red wines with dinner were average. We enjoyed the Beatles and Abba shows. The pianoist was very good, and she would take requests. We did not attend the port talks or other lectures. The service from everyone on board was excellent and given with a smile. Not having a casino and its smoke smell, photographers, and art auctions were a big plus for us. We enjoyed the shore excursions. In Saguenay and Gaspe, the included tours were on school buses. I found the seating very incomfortable for my 6'6" frame. In Boston, we did a tour on a Duck boat. It was fun. Our guide in Quebe City was the best local guide we have experienced in a long time. 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
The first time we saw the Viking Sea was on "Mighty Ships" on TV. Right away we fell in love with the idea of trying it out. It seemed to us a the ideal ship for us: no kids, no Casino, no smoking, no bingo or any of the other ... Read More
The first time we saw the Viking Sea was on "Mighty Ships" on TV. Right away we fell in love with the idea of trying it out. It seemed to us a the ideal ship for us: no kids, no Casino, no smoking, no bingo or any of the other circus attractions you find on other ships. It took us a while but finally our 20th wedding anniversary was the ideal excuse for booking this trip. The online portal helped a lot to organize most of the planning for activities on board (excursions, dining, spa). Also the live-chat was frequently contacted to clarify some details. First negative: not always the information I received in the chat was accurate, sometimes I heard the complete opposite from the next advisor than what I was told before. We had to give up booking our flights using Viking as they were not able to provide the connections / class / airline we were looking for. Unfortunately this way we lost $ 1,250 on promotion value. The well sized cabin was clean and comfortable. A little bit short on storage (Deluxe Veranda), but we could manage. The bathroom was amazing. Second negative: a small issue was the mini-bar door, which didn't close properly, so the motor was continuously on to keep the temperature. Noisy over night. Third negative: Due to a vibrating vacuum pipe we had a terrible metallic clatter every time somebody on the deck below flashed their toilet. Extremely annoying, especially over night. The itinerary was great even though it was slightly adjusted due to speed restrictions in the St. Lawrence River. Overall we were very happy and we've already booked our next trip on the Viking Venus. 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
This was 3rd Oceania Cruise, second on this ship. The selections in the Main Dining Room were very good on our previous Oceania Cruises so we expected a similar experience on this cruise. This was not to be. The food was good generally, ... Read More
This was 3rd Oceania Cruise, second on this ship. The selections in the Main Dining Room were very good on our previous Oceania Cruises so we expected a similar experience on this cruise. This was not to be. The food was good generally, the buffet and specialty restaurants were excellent but getting additional reservations in the specialty restaurants beyond the Two which came with our cabin category was impossible except for very late seatings. The Main dining room food was generally tasty BUT the choices on the menu were very limited with prime rib, lobster or other expensive cuts very seldom being seen on the menu. The Oceania Accountants have seemed to taken the position that if you want the good food you better buy the expensive cabins so you get more seatings in the specialty restaurants. Never let the bean counters run the menu! The rest of the cruise was fine except the weather caused us to miss three of the ports which was not the fault of Oceania. 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

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