273 New York (Manhattan) Luxury Cruise Reviews

Told this USED TO BE a great cruise line. Times have changed tremendously!! Definitely a 3rd rate ship in need of professional leadership at the corporate level. The ship is run as though they going broke!! You pay for two ... Read More
Told this USED TO BE a great cruise line. Times have changed tremendously!! Definitely a 3rd rate ship in need of professional leadership at the corporate level. The ship is run as though they going broke!! You pay for two fares for you and your partner, then are told the so called free internet can only be used by one of you at a time??? Or you can pay an additional $270 for the other person. They allow one bar of shower soap for two people to last 2 weeks. The same with the small bottles of lotion and shampoo ! Of course, you can purchase more.... Food quality has definitely declined significantly!!!! And the portions are meager as you almost beg for more. Waiters have been ordered not to ask would you like another drink, unless it is one you are buying. We would never cruise with Oceania again. Caveat emptor.. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our opportunity to sail on the christening voyage of the Scenic Eclipse from New York came as a last-minute opportunity due in part to the cancellation of earlier trips when the yacht's completion was delayed through shipyard issues. ... Read More
Our opportunity to sail on the christening voyage of the Scenic Eclipse from New York came as a last-minute opportunity due in part to the cancellation of earlier trips when the yacht's completion was delayed through shipyard issues. While our earlier cancellations were disappointing, Scenic and our travel agent always looked after us, refunded our payments promptly and made every effort to provide alternate travel options for us to consider. It was with some trepidation that we booked on the Scenic Eclipse so early in its sailing schedule, particularly given some of the early feedback we had seen. We needn't have been concerned. The quality of the vessel, the service of the staff, the impressive excursions and a most amazing selection of dining options all contributed to a most wondrous and memorable experience. it all started with the Christening ceremony in New York, a classy and intimate experience, appropriately reflecting the grace and charm of the yacht's godmother Dame Helen Mirren. Sailing quietly out of New York harbour that afternoon, past the Statue of Liberty was the start of an amazing two weeks that will be forever etched in our memory. The 12 days we spent on board the Scenic Eclipse were simply not enough to enjoy every amenity this outstanding vessel had to offer. Each meal provided us an opportunity for a different experience, from the exciting theatre of the Chef's Table, the fine dining experience of the French inspired Lumiere restaurant, the incredible taste of Asian at Kokos and so much more. With menus changing every 4 nights, the choices were simply amazing and when all you wanted was something casual for breakfast or lunch there was always the beautifully appointed Yacht Club or Azure. Each venue was tastily decorated reflecting its own particular theme, the artwork was beautiful, and each dining experience was supported perfectly by its own unique cutlery and crockery, a presentation that showed how well the entire experience had been thought through. The common areas of the yacht are spacious and luxuriously appointed with fine art, modern styling and best of all designed so that noise is minimal. One can engage in conversation without shouting and competing with neighbouring guests. Finally, I can hear what is being said without the bang and clatter normally found in the surroundings of other vessels. The major observation areas on Decks 5 and 10 easily accommodate the compliment of guests found on this luxury yacht and together with the spacious balconies available with all suites are a great way to enjoy those remarkable views as you sail across the globe. With all onboard presentations available in cabin through an amazing array of technology ,the theatre may seem unnecessary for some, but the luxury and comfort of your own gold class recliner is well worth being there in person as well. It must be remembered that this is a discovery yacht, an expedition cruise and not a floating entertainment cinema, but there is still quality background music, singing and entertainment provided in the lounge area and theatre, again without it overpowering normal conversation. The expedition team is well educated, with varied experience in all manner of topics, entirely consistent with our expectations of what such a voyage should deliver. The shore excursions are what we expected and more, a great balance between planned and unplanned excursions. It is not a River Cruise, or classic Ocean Cruise, this is a new category of travel, and with it a new standard is being developed. The helicopters, the most spacious we've ever been in, the submarine, an outstanding unique visit to the water world, the kayaks, the Zodiacs, all of these are just the start of our adventure and they deliver in the most amazing and adventurous way. Our onshore visit to Rose Blanche in Newfoundland, we believe, is an example of the future of what discovery yachting will continue to provide. This small village with a stunning landscape and friendly people is off the cruise ship tourist route due to its remoteness and inaccessibility. The Scenic Eclipse is the first vessel in the course of its normal itinerary to visit and with it a truly remarkable set of experiences greet us, the new discovery traveller. We reach the small harbour on our Zodiac, after leaving the Scenic Eclipse offshore and are greeted by the enthusiastic local community who walk with us to the community hall where they provide us with tea, food and entertainment before escorting us around their town. For us this is the essence of what discovery cruising is all about and we know that our time here in Rose Blanche will be the first of many similar amazing and unique opportunities on this wonderful vessel. On returning to the yacht, we retire briefly to our luxurious spacious cabin and prepare for another tasty lunch, looked after so well by the wonderful staff, before sailing south to our next port. We want for nothing on this adventure, bar maybe extra time to fully enjoy the abundant opportunities and features of this amazing discovery yacht. We will return next year for a longer cruise, to enjoy the luxury, hospitality, stunning landscapes and discovery adventures that Scenic Eclipse we know will provide us. This our first voyage on the world’s first six-star discovery yacht is everything and more than we had hoped for and we must thank Scenic and its staff for providing us with so many memories in our travel adventures. Well done - an exceptional experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First off, I want to congratulate Oceania on the updated interior of the Insignia, The interior decorators did a fabulous job making the ship brighter and warmer. We had a Concierge verandah and the cabin, though on the small side, was ... Read More
First off, I want to congratulate Oceania on the updated interior of the Insignia, The interior decorators did a fabulous job making the ship brighter and warmer. We had a Concierge verandah and the cabin, though on the small side, was extremely comfortable with a great bed, linens and towels. With the addition of shower doors, the small shower was a non-issue for us. This was our 3rd Oceania cruise(Nautica and Riviera previously) and we thought the food was the best of all 3! We ate 4 times in the speciality restaurants and for the 1st time I finally had a delicious steak in Polo(other several times on previous cruises the steaks in Polo were almost unedible). We ate the rest off our dinners in the GDR and thought the food and service was excellent. Yes,the waiters seemed somewhat overworked, but overall we enjoyed the GDR over The Terrace because it was less hectic. The menu is smaller, but if it didn’t appeal to us, we ordered the Jacques Pepiin salmon or chicken.(The chicken was perfect). The ship was incredibly clean and housekeeping did a great job keeping our cabin(7041) spotless. The cruise itself hit a lot of ports(Boston, Bar Harbor and Quebec were are favorites) It would be fantastic if the ship overnighted in Boston and Quebec City and missed some of the minor ports(we didn’t go to Sydney to outrun Dorian). The only entertainment we went to was the comedian who was very funny. Out of our approximately 35 cruises(about 20 on Celebrity) we thought this was one the very best! Again, Bravo Oceania! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Everything about our cruise was great! We boarded very easily in NYC The ship, though older, is kept clean and well appointed. Restaurants: all were excellent! And I do consider myself a foodie! Have been on NCL, RCL, MSC, and way ... Read More
Everything about our cruise was great! We boarded very easily in NYC The ship, though older, is kept clean and well appointed. Restaurants: all were excellent! And I do consider myself a foodie! Have been on NCL, RCL, MSC, and way back on an Italian Line. Cunard was great in all areas; Buffet, Main Dining Room, and Verandah! Not a single line can cook a steak as well as Verandah! (Ships cannot use open flame so it’s difficult to cook a great steak without a flame!) The other point is cleanliness. Having been on all RCL mega ship crossings and each of their buffet rooms were not kept very clean when dining was going on. Waiters would wipe tables onto floor and often tables were hardly cleaned! So QM2 touché! Shows were ok. Not great but enjoyable. The walk/run deck was great! The Aqua Therapy was phenomenal and well worth the $$! Finally, as we enjoy the elegance of the QM2 the evenings, 3 of them formal, were great. The others require a jacket at dinner. (Tux are available and worth it!) The masquerade and roaring 20’s nights were a lot of fun. If you want casual go on a 7 day island cruise. If you enjoy great conversation, stimulating lectures, time to reflect and read great food, great drinks, formal evenings then go on QM2! And finally they do not beg for good reviews! PS our review for excursions says Excellent. But their weren’t any! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My first impressions began with late lunch on embarkation day in Kings Court. Dodging employees with food carts, they didn’t give way for guests - to the point of being dangerous. Good food selections available, although meat over cooked ... Read More
My first impressions began with late lunch on embarkation day in Kings Court. Dodging employees with food carts, they didn’t give way for guests - to the point of being dangerous. Good food selections available, although meat over cooked to toughness. First day party impressive poolside and music was excellent as we watched NYC fade away. Our eight-person seating companions at dinner each evening were excellent and we promised to stay in touch. Disappointed in repeated shows in planetarium. Was hoping for something other than dark matter and meteorites. Arson lecture was really good. As was lecture on British history. Live shows excellent in theater but very short. My very favorite restaurant was the Golden Lion. Trivia contests and space sharing brought us in contact with so many fine people for the fun competitions. My biggest concern was uneven flooring that felt like rotting wood under carpets, especially in the casino. With all the alleged grandeur, this seemed dodgy. Would not opt for balcony cabin again. North Atlantic, even in dead summer, is not conducive to enjoying outdoors. We didn’t use it. Food good in Britannia but as I don’t drink much alcohol, waiter acted as if I was less than when I ordered a soft drink with my dinner. Public spaces are beautiful. I might do it again, but looking at nothing but water for seven straight days was trying. I was excited on day six when I saw actually spied a bird as we approached land. All in all, I wasn’t all that impressed after reading all the glorious reviews about this glamorous ocean liner. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We had not previously been on an ocean cruise, but for our 50th wedding anniversary we wanted to treat ourselves to something special. So we booked a 15-night New York to Southampton cruise with stops in Canada, Iceland, Scotland and ... Read More
We had not previously been on an ocean cruise, but for our 50th wedding anniversary we wanted to treat ourselves to something special. So we booked a 15-night New York to Southampton cruise with stops in Canada, Iceland, Scotland and Ireland. It was a world away from our usual quiet life in rural Tasmania, but we had high hopes that the Queen Elizabeth would give us a truly memorable cruising experience, and we were not disappointed. Check-in: We boarded at the Manhattan cruise terminal which was easily accessible from our central NY hotel. Our cruise was the final leg of a much longer itinerary that had started in Vancouver, so this was not a full change-over day for the ship. Consequently there were only a few other passengers arriving at the same time, and the whole process was quick and easy with no queuing. We had been given a 12.30 check-in time and within 20 minutes we were in our cabin with luggage already delivered. It probably doesn't get any better than that; our holiday was already off to a perfect start. Cabin: We had dug deep for our anniversary treat and booked a Q4 Penthouse midships on deck 7. This was truly wonderful; a large and well appointed room with plenty of space to relax both inside and out on the balcony, a walk-in wardrobe with more than enough hanging space for 15 evenings of dress-up finery, a huge comfortable bed, and a bathroom with shower, deep spa bath and separate toilet. Nothing about the room was a disappointment, and the experience was made extra special by the butler Manny and his team. They were incredibly attentive with the room fully cleaned while we were at breakfast, everything restocked including the complimentary bar, fruit and flowers replaced regularly, canapes delivered each afternoon, and refresh/turn-down every evening while we had dinner. One of the really nice Cunard touches is that the staff know you by name and make a genuine effort to remember and deliver on your personal preferences. Meals: We ate mostly in the Queens Grill restaurant but also tried a couple of pub lunches after days ashore, and had room service occasionally. All were good, but the Queens Grill is exceptional for both the food/drink and for the service. It is a relatively small restaurant, less than 100 guests, and because you can eat at the time that suits you (for example, arrive for dinner anytime between 6.30pm and 9pm) it never seemed overly busy or crowded. There was really nothing that we could say to fault this restaurant; the range and quality of food was outstanding, plus a dedicated chef would try to produce anything off-menu if given a few hours notice and if they had the ingredients onboard. We asked for rabbit pie one evening which really wasn't much of a challenge for the chef but was duly produced and served at our table with theatrical panache. The Queens Grill provides a very sophisticated and indulgent silver-service atmosphere, part of the overall Cunard theme of reprising the 1940s/50s heyday of transatlantic voyages. In keeping with this, most Grills guests dressed “smart casual” for breakfast and lunch, then everyone dressed more formally for the evenings in keeping with the designated dress code of the day. Activities: During sea days there was always plenty to do onboard, both for organised activities or do your own thing. You can be as active or inactive as you like. We really enjoyed the outdoor games areas with quoits, croquet, carpet bowls, shuffleboard and paddle tennis, plus swimming and table tennis. Entertainment: The main entertainments included a classical concert most afternoons and then ballroom dancing and 2 theatre performances each evening. We found the shows to be mostly of an okay standard; enjoyable, glitzy and good enough for free onboard entertainment but not really outstanding. The theatre has a number of private 2-person boxes which can be reserved at an extra cost with champagne and nibbles on some evenings but are otherwise available freely to anyone who arrives early. Stewards are on hand to bring drinks. All passengers are expected to respect the after-6pm dress code in the theatre and ballroom. Final reflections: We researched Cunard here on Cruise Critic and elsewhere before deciding that they were likely met our needs. We were aware that a number of reviewers have not been happy with their Cunard experience but this often seems to be related to differing expectations of the type of cruise that these three “Queens” offer. This is not a party boat, and not primarily targeted to families and other younger cruisers although there are some facilities for children. The target market is very clearly aimed at a generally older group who enjoy a slower and more genteel pace of life. Other frequent criticisms of Cunard seem to focus on the so-called “class” system, the after-6pm dress code, and the price of drinks. In our experience this “class” distinction is really a non-issue; it's no different from most airlines where you can book economy and get a good service or book a more expensive seat that gives you perks like shorter queues at the airport, more personal space on the flight and a larger choice of meals. It's a choice for everyone to make, unlike a real class system in which there is usually no choice. The after-6pm dress code seems to annoy some people but in our view is central to understanding what Cunard is offering its passengers. Things like the flamboyant art-deco style throughout the ship, the white-gloved waiters, the traditional afternoon teas, the ballroom dancing, the silver-service ambience in the main restaurants, are all designed to create an evening atmosphere of old-world elegance, charm and sophistication. The ship and the crew deliver on this, and the passengers are also expected to deliver. The entire Cunard cruise is a piece of theatre in which passengers live the retro experience of an age when good manners and gracious living were valued. Nobody is forced to dress formally – there are areas of the ship that are more relaxed – but clearly for the vast majority of passengers the evening elegance is an important part of what makes the cruise special. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was the first time my wife had been to Europe, so what better way to see lots of places and spend five days as see crossing the Atlantic than sail on the beautiful Norwegian Pearl. We have sailed the Pearl Five times and loved it ... Read More
This was the first time my wife had been to Europe, so what better way to see lots of places and spend five days as see crossing the Atlantic than sail on the beautiful Norwegian Pearl. We have sailed the Pearl Five times and loved it every time. The ship is in great repair and the staff is always friendly. The food on every cruise we have made on the Pearl is always above par to say the least. Embarkation out of New York was a breeze and getting off the ship in Amsterdam was just as easy. No issues or time wasted on either end of the 2 week trip. Our stateroom was amazing and had its own private hot tub on the balcony along with a tub and seperate shower in the stateroom. The haven area was great, as it was on all our other trips on the Pearl. In two weeks we ate in every resturant at least once and some twice and they were all above other cruise lines dining experiences. The entertainment was equal to or above what we have had on other ships. The Ports were all really exciting and we had an excursion picked for every port so there was no disappointment there either. All our excursions were booked thru NCL and they were worth the money. Our only regret was we had to come back to the real world of work at the end of our cruise. We have come to feel like we know this ship better than most other ships we have been on and we have never been disappointed with anything on the Pearl. Service, food, entertainment, staterooms and public areas are always the best that can be expected of a cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Mostly staff were friendly and polite, but not all, a couple were vert curt and rude, and seem to begrudge serving you, except in our dining room in the evenings, which was always good. I am always polite and expect the same in return. I ... Read More
Mostly staff were friendly and polite, but not all, a couple were vert curt and rude, and seem to begrudge serving you, except in our dining room in the evenings, which was always good. I am always polite and expect the same in return. I had terrible Food Poisoning after having Scrimp soup. The Medical team didn't seem interested, they just sent up some Paracetamols, which they promptly charged me for. Then whilst I was in bed recovering they wanted to send in chemical cleaners to the room. I was told that other's went down with this same Food Poisoning by someone on the ship, but Cunard are now denying this and putting it down to Novo virus. It was Food Poisoning! It took me weeks to recover. Also, my companion on the ship had a terrible reaction to the shower gel. He couldn't see out of one of his eyes and he looked like he'd been in a boxing ring for days and done 6 rounds. They couldn't have cared less about that either. Although the food made me ill the waitress at our table was delightful and the service from her and her colleague was excellent. As well as this there was an awful smell of sewage coming up through the sink in our room. The carpets were dirty in a number of places too. I don't know how they can call this 5 star? I'd been on this ship before, but it has gone down hill. Go on a cruise with another company, the Customer Services with this one are rubbish when you have a problem. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I went carnival prior to this cruise and was not happy with the services. Staff was not as friendly. There were to many people, you couldn’t getting in pool or hot tub. You had to wait in cafe lines for food due to so many people. Shows ... Read More
I went carnival prior to this cruise and was not happy with the services. Staff was not as friendly. There were to many people, you couldn’t getting in pool or hot tub. You had to wait in cafe lines for food due to so many people. Shows were all reserved so if you didn’t reserve things, good luck getting into anything. Several restaurants and shows that you had to pay for. Different server every night for dinner. We missed our port because water was to choppy. I was not pleased at all with this cruise line or the mega ship. We did pay to upgrade to a balcony and got a handicap balcony, which was big and very nice. We had friends and family in cabins and a regular balcony and the rooms are smaller than normal. There was no organization when getting off the ship. We didn’t travel with children this time but people who did said there was no room left in the kids club because there was so many children on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We wanted to sail again on a small ship. Since this cruise was NY to NY it made sense. This was the best cruise we have been on. Every thing was excellent. The ship, the food, the shows and the service. The Captain was very visible and ... Read More
We wanted to sail again on a small ship. Since this cruise was NY to NY it made sense. This was the best cruise we have been on. Every thing was excellent. The ship, the food, the shows and the service. The Captain was very visible and personable. The Cruise Director Eric was a hoot and very talented. Food in the main dining room and the best with at least a dozen selections every night. Food in the Steak House and Italian rest. was excellent with terrific service. They could not do more for you. the shows were great, Singers and dancers were great. Eric CD had a great voice. The Amazing Night aboard the Yorktown was the tops and something we never experienced before. The White Night in Bermuda was also a one of a kind. Everyone of the Staff and crew were extremely friendly and always said hello and how are you. Even the passengers were great. Having a Bridge Director pushed it over the top. 53% of the passengers were past Azamara guests. We became one as we booked another Amazing Cruise on board. It would be great to see more Azamara cruise out of NY. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our first Oceania Cruise. Past cruises with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Disney. I did a lot of research. We decided on the cruise because we have wanted to visit Ireland (this cruise docked on Cohn and Dublin) and the ... Read More
This was our first Oceania Cruise. Past cruises with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Disney. I did a lot of research. We decided on the cruise because we have wanted to visit Ireland (this cruise docked on Cohn and Dublin) and the transatlantic crossing intrigued us. We arrived early; at the dock 11:30 am. Embarkation in Manhattan was very easy, quick. We were on the ship in 10 minutes. A group of 6 adults, we headed to the Terrace Cafe for lunch which, though very crowded, fed us well. While at lunch, they announced our cabins were ready. We traveled Concierge level A3. Our cabin was spacious, spotless. Our luggage had been delivered. We quickly unpacked and set off to explore the ship. The fact that the ship was on the smaller side attracted us as well. It was easy to navigate. We saw the spa, met the artist in residence, saw the teaching kitchen. Muster drill was ...a muster drill. Dinner that night was at Toscana. While at lunch we were approached with an open reservation so we took it. It was delicious. So let’s just get the food out of the way. Dinner at all the restaurants was delicious, including the main dining room. We ate at Toscana twice, at Jacques twice, and at Pollo once. We passed on Red Ginger even though it was most highly rated, most of our group were not fond of Asian food. The rest of the cruise we ate in the Grande Dining room for dinner, many lunches and a few breakfasts. And this is Cruise was the only Cruise we actually had dinner at the buffet. And it was enjoyable. We also enjoyed the afternoon tea. Their service from stateroom attendants to all servers, bar service, every employee we had contact with, was excellent. The entertainment with 1 exception was adequate. The exception, Chuck Wagner was excellent. Now the reason for the title. Even with all the preparation and research, the weather had a severe effect on this cruise. Weather in Canadian ports was forecasted to be normally high 49s low 50s. It snowed in Halifax, so our stop in Newfoundland was cancelled. Snow accumulated on the decks and verandahs. 6 or more inches as well as deeper drifts. Access to the open decks was prohibited, though I do not know why you would want to go out anyway. Five straight sea days followed of rocking, crashing waves and rolling. We truly missed having access to an indoor pool on the ship. We grew tired of the movies. There were enrichment talks, usually 2 per day at 50 min. each, trivia but by sea day 4 we couldn’t wait for a port. Our day in Cobh, home of Blarney Castle was cold and rainy. We enjoyed our excursion but for the first 1/2 hour the windows were so steamed on our bus we could see nothing out of them. Wiping just gave us brief glimpses before they steamed up again. When we got back on board, we were informed that the weather was too bad and our Dublin stop was cancelled. We stayed in Cobh an additional night. The next day the weather was still so bad, it made walking into the small city undoable. We did enjoy the museum on Irish immigration and the Lusitania and Titanic in the welcome center 10E each and the small but well supplied shop as well. When we finally continued on our journey, the captain and crew were finally able to get us out of the rolling, rocking seas and we made the last two scheduled port stops, in Saint-Malo and Le Harve. We enjoyed the warm spring weather there and on our last sea day. We were content with our excursions. One aside, now that I’ve had the experience. We had never been to Paris and after discussion and research did decide to do the one day excursion from Le Harve into Paris through the cruise line, though it was pricey. It is 6 hours (3 to, 3 back) travel, another hour plus ride around the city to see the main sights, 1.5 hours on your own (20 min searching for a toilette) and 15 min photo op at the Effiel Tower. My opinion now...not worth it. Do something closer to Le Harve. On the whole, it was less than expected experience. Are we glad we went? Yes. We enjoyed much of the cruise. Had we been on RC or another line with a ship with more to do, the sea days would have been more easy to get through. If we were with our children and grandchildren, this is not the line we would have chosen. We knew that when we booked. On the up side, we can plan a British Isles-Ireland Cruise with the kids. Debarkation was a mess due the the face to face with British immigration and having to collect our passports before leaving the ship. We waited in lines that at times had no end. Seriously. No one knew where the end of the line was and the crew was not able to help the situation. Still they were pleasant with hundreds of seniors many of whom were acting like toddlers at Disney. We were in line with a gentleman who had an excursion at 8:30 am. It was 7:45 am. We did not get to the passport station until 9:15. I hope they held his tour. I don’t know who is to blame for that mess. We had a pleasant bus ride to the airport. All the air arrangements were made through Oceania and it was as pleasant as a day spent at Heathrow and an 8 hour transatlantic flight could be. Same movies as onboard. Some things you just can’t control. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was to be the cruise of a lifetime. A chance for my wife to visit some of the many places I had visited while on business travel. Titled by Oceania “Museums to Mosaics” We called it the “Cruise from Hell” along with some ... Read More
This was to be the cruise of a lifetime. A chance for my wife to visit some of the many places I had visited while on business travel. Titled by Oceania “Museums to Mosaics” We called it the “Cruise from Hell” along with some other long time (29 Oceania cruises) cruisers. Things stated going downhill at our second port – Halifax. It was very cold and started snowing as were leaving the port. The next morning there was over a foot of snow on the swimming pool and deck. Many of the crew members had never seen snow and found it fascinating. The visit to St Johns, Newfoundland was canceled due to stormy weather. My wife had lived in Newfoundland 50 years ago and was anxious to see how it had changed over the years. All in all it was a very disappointing start to the cruise. Crossing the Atlantic in the heavy seas for five days did get many people quite queasy, which led to distributing barf bags by the elevators. It was rough enough that safety belts for the beds would have been appreciated. People had to hold on to the railings and walls to go along the corridors to keep from falling. When we arrived in Cork, Ireland the wind was very strong with sideways rain and very cold. Fortunately the Jameson Distillery tour was indoors. The visit to Dublin for the next day was canceled due to heavy seas and gale force winds so we spent the day in our cabin in Cork. The next disappointment was arriving in London/South Hampton on Good Friday. I had really wanted my wife to at least have a brief visit in London. This meant there was to be no visit after planning on it for a year and half (since we had booked the trip). We were not informed of the no London tours until I asked the Destination Services manager when we were going to be able to select them on the cruise. We had asked out travel agent prior to the trip when we were going to be able to schedule a London tour (like all the others we preselected) but were told we had to wait until we got on the ship. Then we then proceeded to visit Bordeaux on Easter Monday, which is a celebrated holiday in France, with practically everything closed. The next stop in Biarritz was canceled due to heavy seas in the Bay of Biscay (that precluded using tenders to disembark). I guess Oceania is not aware that the Bay of Biscay is notorious for rough seas. The last straw was visiting Malaga on May Day, May 1st – another holiday with the shops closed. The tour was supposed to be easy – the guide had very poor English skills and appeared to be trying out for the Olympic speed walking team. My wife had to sit down and wait for the tour to return with no available free rest rooms. To Summarize: Cruise Length 28 days Sea days 8 scheduled (11 total) Missed ports 3 total Stop not available due holiday 1 (London) Ports limited due to holiday 3 I understand that Oceania does not control the weather. However, they do control the scheduling. In previous years the “repositioning cruise” had been scheduled in May. If the cruise had been scheduled just a week later, Good Friday would have been at sea, Easter would have been in Cork and London would have been available for a visit. I had expected that Oceania would take holidays into account when scheduling trips and try to optimize passenger enjoyment. I guess I was wrong. The message this sends is that passenger satisfaction is a sorry second to revenue maximization. Oceania does many things quite well. The food is good albeit somewhat uneven in the specialty restaurants. The desserts in the Grand dining Room are superb and the crew members we interacted with were well trained, friendly and courteous. The entertainment was much better than previous cruises and the comedian (Martin Beaumont) was terrific in both his shows. We paid over $30,000 for what we consider a $15,000 cruise at best. I had hoped Oceania would have reached out to people who had done the 28 day cruise but after 2 ½ weeks we have heard nothing from Oceania. Never again do we plan cruising on Oceania or any of its’ related lines. Postscript: We did complain to Oceania thru our travel agent and received a very disappointing self serving reply offering a $600 total ship credit on another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I'm platinum on NCL and Carnival. I prefer not to fly so I generally cruise out of NY or Baltimore. I chose this cruise as it was my 50th bday and didn't want to do the usual 7 day cruise to the Bahamas. I took my entire ... Read More
I'm platinum on NCL and Carnival. I prefer not to fly so I generally cruise out of NY or Baltimore. I chose this cruise as it was my 50th bday and didn't want to do the usual 7 day cruise to the Bahamas. I took my entire family on this trip (8 of us) and 3 friends came as well. I upgraded to a 2 bedroom suite on the private Haven floor, room 14006. My family, friends, and I had an excellent time. The food was great. Service in the Grand Pacific dining room the 1st night didn't go so well, but we'll chuck it up to our large group and 1st cruise night issues. My only 2 complaints are: 1. They skipped the last port of St Thomas Mon 3/25/19 because they were expecting a storm on Wednesday and wanted to get ahead of it. Other passengers stated they were on this same cruise before and the same thing supposedly happened. 2. We were supposed to arrive back in NY at 10am. I had hired a limo service to pick us up at 11am. We arrived in NY at 6am and they MADE us get off the ship BY 10am (the time we were SUPPOSED to arrive) so my family and friends had to stand outside for over an hour in 40 degree cold waiting for our ride from PA because NCL didn't stick to their own itinerary & because the inside terminal was closed due to the ship not picking up any new passengers as the ship was repositioning to Boston. This was my 7th time on the NCL Gem. I enjoy this ship. I truly enjoy the Haven and have sailed in that type of room often. I did have an excellent 50th birthday, my family truly enjoyed themselves. However an otherwise perfect cruise was tainted by an inconvenient, avoidable, and frustrating debarkation. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I was on this cruise to celebrate my birthday. The ship was nicely decorated for the Holidays with even a small Christmas tree in our suite. We got lots of chocolate in the suite, at tea, and in the Princess Grill. Only 4 other ... Read More
I was on this cruise to celebrate my birthday. The ship was nicely decorated for the Holidays with even a small Christmas tree in our suite. We got lots of chocolate in the suite, at tea, and in the Princess Grill. Only 4 other people showed up for the Cruise Critic gathering on the first sea day. This lack of interest has happened on the past few cruises, no matter what line. They were setting up for a wedding where we met so I felt like I was in the way. One of the ladies told us about the books written by the bar waiter, so I bought them and look forward to reading them. He graciously signed them for me. We didn't stay up for NYE, so were interested in what was reported in a blog by one of the other passengers. We were in the Princess Grill which was wonderful. I booked the Veranda Steakhouse for my birthday, the last evening. Should have stayed in the Princess Grill, it is much nicer, less hectic and has better food, although we did have a couple of kids in PG who let loose once in awhile. Did not expect that. Cunard overbooked the PG and offered us and some others a free cruise if we would downgrade. We refused the offer. We had sailed on the QM2 once before in the sheltered balcony they offered us which was okay, but I wanted to see how the PG was in comparison with when we were upgraded to PG on the QE2. I am glad that we did it, but don't think we will do it again. Been there, done that. We had been to all of the ports before, so didn't take any excursions even though we had quite a bit of on board credit. Our port schedule was changed when it was too rough to go to Antigua and St. Kitts replaced it. This was on Boxing Day which is the start of their Carnival celebration. Stores were closed except the port shops and there was a big parade and crowds of people. We had to tender there and in St. Lucia. The weather was pretty good except for rain off and on in St. Maarten. The ship is very nice but sometimes difficult to navigate. The Queen's Room was very crowded at times. The entertainment was great but we had to get there early to get a decent seat. This happens on other ships though. Having some free internet time was nice but it was so slow that I couldn't do much. Missed seeing the American football games, particularly the Rose Bowl, only British soccer was shown. The water in the outdoor pool was cool even in the Caribbean, so I went to the hot tub on the Grill deck. They even served tea and scones up there which was very nice. I was surprised that even though the children seemed to have their own pool, they were still in the pool that said it was only for age 18 and over. The warmer indoor pool was full of kids, so I only went there once. We received two lovely cups and saucers with the Cunard ship logos on them, wondered if everyone else had. We had discarded some of the luggage tags that we put on prior to boarding and then found out we were supposed to use them again for disembarkation. Have never done this before on any of our cruises. I still had one on my larger bag, but it was placed in the wrong area in NY, as was my other bag with a new, handwritten tag they gave me. It took me awhile to find my bags and the people there didn't seem to know what was going on. Not sure if we will ever go on a World Cruise, but if we do, it will not be on this line. I am getting used to the other lines which don't make me dress up. We did like formals in our younger days. My number of cruises is about to pass my age, so I guess that's why my tastes are not what they used to be. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
There is ONLY 1 Oceanliner in the world like it,and its not to be confused with a cruise ship. Every day was an Event and it wasnt the locations or destinations that made the cruise special it was the the cruise it self, even the crew ... Read More
There is ONLY 1 Oceanliner in the world like it,and its not to be confused with a cruise ship. Every day was an Event and it wasnt the locations or destinations that made the cruise special it was the the cruise it self, even the crew loved sea days . Its smooth even in the Atlantic, there is a sense of occasion and dining at the princess grill was nothing short of exceptional and with a cellar of over 400,000 bottles on board the choices are plentiful and and fruitful.Every dinner was a dinner party nobody could wait to talk about the day and enjoy the evening .The rooms are spacious the staff is exceptional. I was so impressed that i booked another cruise Now before you think this is a retired persons ship, you are almost correct most have retired in there 40s or semi retired. I have travelled on other lines however if you like a more serene cruise with a sense of occasion with out screaming children this is it .sailing out of New York Harbour has history and probably the most iconic entry/ departure port in the world. The rooms are great , I have say they are better insulated than other liners so you dont hear almost anyone, the downside of this insulation is internet, it is best used in public areas or leave the door ajar. I personally can't wait for the next one, for me and probably more 80% of the passengers on board the only question is "when can we do this again.?" Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
QM2 – NY to Southampton 11th to 18th November 2018 My wife and I are in our mid-60’s and have sailed with Cunard now for 125 days or so since 2011 on all their ships. QM2 is not our favourite ship, but we took advantage of their ... Read More
QM2 – NY to Southampton 11th to 18th November 2018 My wife and I are in our mid-60’s and have sailed with Cunard now for 125 days or so since 2011 on all their ships. QM2 is not our favourite ship, but we took advantage of their offer this last summer to, effectively for free, include two nights at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Times Square (room only – normally c300$ per night), plus transfers from JFK to the hotel and from the hotel on the 11th to the cruise terminal. You had to book by telephone or via a travel agent and not online. I insisted on an early morning flight for Friday 9th, this meaning we would have at least 50% of Friday in NY + all-day Saturday, rather than arriving late-pm US time as most did. We booked the cheapest inside cabin for this voyage as there is not much to see from a balcony but sea, mist, waves and rain at this time of the year. How did it all go? The flight was with BA leaving at 0830hrs UK time arriving in JFK c1100hrs US eastern time. BA actually supplied a decent breakfast and service was fine and flight ok. We pre-booked our seats and checked-in online before the flight. On exiting JFK Arrivals, we were met by two very nice Cunard reps’ who greeted us by our first names. It turned out we were the first two on the day of a 100+ total, but the only Cunard passengers on that flight. As a result, they had provided a taxi just for us and we were in our hotel room by 1pm – fantastic. Cunard have a desk in the hotel foyer, manned at certain times and later in the day we were able to confirm transfer times for the Sunday to the ship. Transfer to the ship? This was 100% fine at 1100hrs on the Sunday. Luggage was collected from rooms by porterage before departure, but we had to eyeball it before boarding the coach and likewise at the cruise terminal. The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is basically a large shed with not much to commend it, but as Platinum Cunard World Club Members we bypassed the already mounting huge queues and were onboard by 1300hrs and the large cases arrived shortly afterwards. The cabin? We had 6209, which is an Inside on Deck 6 and as it so happens is directly under the so called ‘Chef’s Galley’ at the after end of the Kings Court Buffet on Deck 7. It is a smallish cabin, albeit with the usual shower and w/c etc., large double bed and sufficient storage space. Unfortunately, during the day one could hear from time to time, food trolleys being moved overhead and at night the distant sound of vacuuming. This was not a terminal problem, but might really irritate some people. If you have a choice, do not choose any cabin anywhere on Deck 6, as Deck 7 is the main self -service buffet, Grills Restaurants + promenade/lifeboat deck are all immediately above. Food? Super meals in Britannia Restaurant (we were second dining) but the buffet was so-so for lunch. Breakfast in the same ‘served’ restaurant or the buffet was 100% fine – decent choices, but probably hotter in the ‘served’ restaurant. The only comment on the dinners is: Why cannot they simply do as any of their eight choices a meat or fish dish without it being covered in fancy sauces. Even roasted Haddock had to come with a weird coconut sprinkling over it all, making it look like a cheap pullover. Tasty it was, but bog-standard fried cod and chips would have been nice as an offering. You can get this in the Golden Lion ‘pub bar’ as one of their lunch menu items, but this was always jam-packed from c1130hrs every day. We had to pretend to be interested in ‘Killer Darts’ between 10.45hrs and 1130hrs to get a table for two for a somewhat early lunch. Afternoon Tea in the Queens Room? Nice, but join the queue early! Speakers and Entertainment? John McCarthy was the headline speaker (Beirut hostage crisis) + a variety of other speakers including a retired RN officer talking about submarine warfare in three sessions + Commodore Connell talking about ‘defence matters’ – he is/was UK Naval Attaché in Washington at the time of the voyage. In the evenings it was the usual diet of song and dance, comedians you haven’t heard of, specialist musicians (finalists but not winners in Britain’s got Talent etc.). On the last night the entire Cunard team did Broadway Rocks, which was very good. Service? Always good and friendly. The downside of the voyage. We will never have an inside cabin again unless it is a cruise with numerous ports of call – 7 days was, for us, claustrophobic. It is nice to have some natural light though a window, or door. Drinks are massively overpriced in comparison to P&O and there is a 15% auto gratuity on every one purchased. For example, the Californian Rose wine we like at dinner was a total of 41.40$ a bottle (say 4 glasses) compared to the same on P&O for a flat £17.50. Cunard are now offering a drinks package for, wait for it, 69$ per day per person when all in the same cabin. That would mean you would spend 966$ for the seven days for the two of you for a half-decent reduced selection of drinks from the menu and some of, but not all, the speciality coffees/teas and water. We did not choose that option – did anyone? Auto gratuities? I joined the long queue on the first day at reception having them removed or reduced. P&O are removing them entirely in May 2019. Champagne Bar? – rarely saw anyone in it in the evenings. A few young people onboard including one or two babies, but by far the average age of passenger must be 60+. Cunard must advertise heavily amongst the LBGT community because there was a significant and noticeable presence onboard – some going out of their way to dress and appear radically different from everyone else. Cunard have dedicated meetings for LBGT, Friends of Dorothy as well as Friends of Bill W on all their ships. This is fine by us, but might be offensive to some. On the other hand, Mrs Essex Man noticed that many of our older ladies seemed to feel that ‘glitter’ in its various forms was the in-thing this year. Evenings can be boring – you either have the bars, usually with some form of musical accompaniment, the theatre, G32 which is a small dance floor with a group or DJ who seems to like ABBA, or the Queens Court huge dance floor and seating area. This is predominantly for ballroom dancing which is not everyone’s cup of tea nowadays in-spite of Strictlys’ success. Films – poor choice and always at wrong times. Dinner in Britannia – Cunard must introduce Freedom Dining like P&O and other cruise lines ASAP. 8.30pm is too late to dine for many of us, but 6pm is also too early for some and why go to the buffet when you are paying a lot of money for proper service? We have never had a problem getting a table in Freedom Dining on P&O, particularly if one is prepared to share a table for 6 or 8. It is nice to meet other people – and you will probably never see them again on the same voyage if they are boring. In summary, the whole thing was okay, but Cunard are now living in a bygone era and having trouble filling QM2 (at least trans-Atlantic). Captain Wells (a great guy) admitted as much when he mentioned that QM2 will be trialling voyages going via Dublin, Liverpool. Iceland and Canada before arriving at NY – in other words, more of a cruise than a straight seven-day voyage A to B. And price? It was £1240 each including the cabin for 7 nights, flights, hotel and all transfers for the total of 9 days, so it was a bargain. We spent a grand total of 419$ on drinks, a photo + a reduced gratuity of 50$ each for the 7 days. To be honest though, we had more fun on MSC Magnifica in early-October for £700 each INCLUDING their standard Classic drinks package and all in a Balcony Cabin for 7 days around Northern-Europe, and we did not starve either! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We travelled Eastbound on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 in November, so expected possible rough seas, which did not really materialise, which was good! The QM2 is a beautiful ship, one of the last "Liners" - as opposed to cruise ... Read More
We travelled Eastbound on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 in November, so expected possible rough seas, which did not really materialise, which was good! The QM2 is a beautiful ship, one of the last "Liners" - as opposed to cruise ships - and the food (Princess Grill) and the service both in the restaurant and cabin, was immaculate. There is something to do from 6.30 am - 2.00 am if you wished to be constantly occupied, and what is offered is very varied and interesting. Our cabin was lovely with comfortable beds and a decent sized shower room. Only quibble is that it would be nice to have a shelf or two on which to put personal toiletries. However, the wine is horrendously expensive. Just two glasses of very ordinary NZ Sauvignon Blanc (currently selling in Tescos at £7.00 a bottle) was $51 and a bottle of NZ Cloudy Bay SB was $65.00. And two gin and tonics in the Carinthia Lounge were $21.00 which, seeing as they are mostly tonic water, seems really excessive. But the main rip-off on board is the photographic department. Their prices are very high, but they know they have a "captive audience", and everybody is going to want to purchase their photo with the Captain, if available, so they can charge $35.00 for an 8 x 10 inch photo. They sent round a card which said: "Spend over $90.00 in the Photo Gallery tomorrow and get a free photo". This implies that if you spend, say, $92.00 you are entitled to a free photo. We ordered $119.00 worth of photos and asked how to get the free photo but were informed that we had not spent enough to entitle us to the freebie because, if they deducted $35.00 from $119.00 we were under the $90.00 limit. This seemed to contravene the terms of the offer, but in order to get the free photo we had to order another photo which brought our total to approx. $150.00. They then deducted the cost of the "free" photo, which brought our final total to $129.80. The offer stated unequivocally that you are entitled to a free photo if you spend "over $90": we spent well over that but still had to spend more to get the free photo. We should have just stayed with our order and forgotten about the so-called "free" photo. We think this is downright dishonesty, and sadly, because of this bad experience, I shall downgrade the "Onboard Experience" to two stars. It would have been five stars otherwise. The photographic department is run by a company in Southampton, to whom we have written, but they have not bothered to reply. Apart from the sour taste left by the photo department , we really enjoyed our journey on the QM2. It is a wonderful experience, the staff cannot do enough for you and we had a truly good time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Ive completed nearly 20 cruises but wasn't sure how I would cope with 7 sea days as I was worried I would be bored. Needn't have worried as there was so much to do we couldn't fit it all in! Cabin was a balcony cabin. ... Read More
Ive completed nearly 20 cruises but wasn't sure how I would cope with 7 sea days as I was worried I would be bored. Needn't have worried as there was so much to do we couldn't fit it all in! Cabin was a balcony cabin. We booked a sheltered cabin on the advice of the cunard rep and it was great. Didn't use it that much (just to look out to sea and for whale / dolphin spotting) but we were certainly sheltered from any wind and rain. Cabin was spotless and up to the normal standards. Compact but plenty of room for everything. Ive travelled on all the cunard ships, Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean and this was certainly the best food we have had. Evening choices- the lamb rack was excellent, lobster, beef always good. I did have pheasant and don't think it was a popular dish and was a little overcooked as i think it was on the pass too long but was quickly swapped for another choice. Kings Buffet always had a lot of choice and plenty of places to sit. You do have to walk round all the sections as they are split into types rather than all being together but made it feel more like a restaurant than a canteen so appreciated this. Always appreciate having real plates rather than plastic plates and mugs. Entertainment suited us. Really interesting lectures (Tom Parker Bowles, Dickie Arbiter), Planetarium wasn't as good as expected but think i was probably a little tired when we went. We did the bridge classes which were great fun. Lots of good music and dancing all around. We couldn't fit in everything we wanted to do each day. I like dressing up and i think nearly everyone dressed for dinner.Very casual in the day and anything goes. the theatre shows weren't to my taste. The welsh comedian was good. Service everywhere was excellent The art gallery was also excellent and Alex and co did a great job, thank you Would definitely recommend and have booked again (booking onboard is really worth it and you get so much on board credit ) Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Our first experience on a Viking Cruise ship and we loved it! We enjoyed the small size of the ship; the beauty of the ship and the crew! We have cruised on luxury lines for 20 years; this relatively new line competes with them all. For ... Read More
Our first experience on a Viking Cruise ship and we loved it! We enjoyed the small size of the ship; the beauty of the ship and the crew! We have cruised on luxury lines for 20 years; this relatively new line competes with them all. For the accommodations, amenities, the Spa, the the main dining room, The Restaurant, and the Italian specialty restaurant, Manfredi's, we are returning. But most of all we will remember the crew members. Their service and training places this line #1 overall at the present time. Additionally, we like the Norwegian atmosphere of the ship; the decor is beautiful--much white and beige color. The furniture is comfortable and we loved the fireplaces throughout the ship. Officers and Staff are very visible around the ship and are so comfortable chatting with all the guests. We like that this line permits no children on the ship. For only 930 guests onboard, the ship seems very spacious! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We have just returned from the worst cruise experience ever. The atmosphere on board when the ship docked at Halifax was close to a mutiny. The Captain was being asked to explain why we had endured four days out of ten on the sea instead ... Read More
We have just returned from the worst cruise experience ever. The atmosphere on board when the ship docked at Halifax was close to a mutiny. The Captain was being asked to explain why we had endured four days out of ten on the sea instead of one. Why the ship had arrived at Halifax at 22-00 ? My wife had to spend the day in the cabin due to the ship circling for most of the day feeling sick and giddy. Then to add insult to injury a bill was received from the Doctor for $445 for my wife’s treatment for sea sickness---a more appropriate action would have been a note and some flowers to say sorry. It is outrageous to charge a single dime for her treatment caused by the ineptness of the ship . One of your ship staff admitted that out of the last seven scheduled stops at Sydney only once did the ship dock There were many guests calling for an explanation from the Captain and were given the lame excuse that he was asleep. There was not any explanation given for the delayed arrival at Halifax. The General Manager was given an extensive list of cabin numbers so that he could offer an explanation for the delays but he did not have the courtesy to reply. There were free drinks offered to say sorry but these are of no value if you are teetotal Additionally I had requested an anniversary cake and it took three reminders before the “surprise” arrived. The helpful waiter offered to deliver it to our cabin and we are still waiting for its arrival……. I complained about the portion size of the fish at the Toscana restaurant and did not get a proper explanation, only an ansafone message saying that the Restaurant manager will call back. I am still waiting….. The attraction to the cruise was New England in the Fall and the attractive eight places to visit. In the event there were only four Can’t help feeling that the Cruise was for the benefit of Oceania and not its passengers so that passengers could spend more while the ship sailed the Ocean. How wise was it for this voyage to have taken place given the weather conditions in the Atlantic at this time of the year I would like to say that the staff in the dining room and cabins went out of their way to be helpful. The ship was tastefully fitted out but I felt that the entertainment was under par Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our 7 time with Oceania.. Anyone planning on taking a cruise with Oceania Cruise line please read this, what I affectionately call my CRUISE FROM HELL. I have never done this before but we have been treated so badly by this ... Read More
This was our 7 time with Oceania.. Anyone planning on taking a cruise with Oceania Cruise line please read this, what I affectionately call my CRUISE FROM HELL. I have never done this before but we have been treated so badly by this cruise line others should know what happened. Please, Please Share, People need to be warned. My husband and I took the Fall Splendor Cruise from New York to Montreal, leaving on Tuesday, October 23rd for 10 nights. It started in NYC and we immediately noticed a drop in temperature. Boarding the ship was easy and our cabin, Vista suite was ready early. Our first night on the ship and our cabin was very cold. By the time we reached Boston it was unbearable, so we called down and a repair person was sent up. The blowers weren't working right was the first of many diagnosis's. The one door to the outside was bleeding air very badly so someone else would come up to fix that. The blowers were adjusted and the doors were sealed better. Once we docked in Boston, our first port of call, we got off the ship for a little while and took the provided shuttle to Quincy Market. We were bundled but it still was very cold. We were notified that our intended stop in Sanguenney was cancelled because the authorities had closed the park there because of cold weather. It was too cold even for Canada. That night our room was again very cold. We called again and this time the thermostat wasn't working right so that was replaced but our door still kept whistling. They would work on that too. While in Newport, RI, we heard that there was a "Nort easter" coming. We became concerned but was told the ship wouldn't put us in danger. We skipped Bar Harbor, the highlight of the cruise for us, as it wasn't safe to dock.The second trip change On the way to Halifax the seas were so rough, too rough for any ship to be out and I spent the night in agony, throwing up all night and moaning. I couldn't pick my head off the pillow without throwing up. I prayed for daylight and hoping to be on Terra firma by 7 Am at the latest, but the announcements kept coming all day long that the port was closed Finally I called the infirmary and spoke to the Nurse. It was Sunday and they were not on duty, so I paid whatever I couldn't take it any more. I received two shots. I couldn't stay in 7005 as the nurse told me that is the worse place to be with the night we just had. There was no promise of the next night being any better. Finally at 8:30 PM we did dock at Halifax as the ship had to refuel. They stopped for 3 hours in Halifax, which was not much of a stop. We were then advised that we’d be skipping the intended stop in Sydney, change number 3. Would be leaving Halifax at 0200 and sail “forever” in whatever seas there were to Quebec City. We decided “enough was enough” and got off by 9:30 PM luggage and all. A taxi driver, Rex, a native of Halifax told us that no ships should have been out on a night like the one that just passed. My husband and I agreed with him. It felt so wonderful to be on solid ground. This was our 7th cruise with Oceania and we trusted the cruise line. You had many films on the TV about their plans to refurbish the Insignia. I think they waited too long. The ship was not in great shape and that door never stopped leaking. The cabin did warm up after they changed the thermostat, and we spent 3 of the 5 nights on the ship freezing. This cruise should either not been scheduled at all or have been cancelled as soon as they saw the temperature dropping and that a storm was coming in, that is why all those ports were cancelled. This was too late in the season for Oceania to have a cruise to Montreal. They did put us in danger so Please do not take a cruise on Oceania, because I care about your safety and comfort, Oceania does not. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Both embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. We were always treated with a welcoming attitude by the crew in all departments. Very professional but also very personable. Having been on Holland America and Oceania, which we also ... Read More
Both embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. We were always treated with a welcoming attitude by the crew in all departments. Very professional but also very personable. Having been on Holland America and Oceania, which we also thoroughly enjoyed, Viking has made a lasting impression! Due to its smaller size and number of passengers as well as the comfortable open and inviting common areas and our relaxing cabin, we found this cruise met and exceeded our expectations! The cabins are spacious and have plenty of storage, especially in the washrooms. They were meticulously maintained and replenished daily. Restaurants and dining areas, of which there are several, provide various menus. The convenience of booking on the TV screen gives passengers the opportunity to book last minute and to check availability, which was the same procedure for booking tours. Great movie selection on the TV as well. Enjoyed all the entertainment we saw, very age appropriate. Also continuous throughout the day in different areas. We did take the included excursions which we enjoyed as well. We are looking to book future trips with Viking....but so far the ones we are interested in are booked through to 2020! Obviously says something about the product and this company! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We are a married couple (no kids) in our 40's who are early retirees and travel permanently. We added cruising as a mode of travel over the last couple of years and are no sailing around 100 days a year. Most of our cruises have been ... Read More
We are a married couple (no kids) in our 40's who are early retirees and travel permanently. We added cruising as a mode of travel over the last couple of years and are no sailing around 100 days a year. Most of our cruises have been on the mid size ships of the major lines (Celebrity, HAL, NCL) with one cruise on Regent. We are in the midst of trying a variety of new lines. Overall we thought Viking was a beautiful ship with amazing food and service. The inclusives don't suit our style and the fellow passengers are more mature (no problem for us) and quite conservative, they felt similar to the crowds you encounter on HAL sailings. We embarked smoothly in New York, sailing down the Hudson being gorgeous. Restaurant was limited to the buffet which was a surprise, service at the outdoor tables is a problem and continued all cruise. Our cabin was available from 2pm which was good. The ship is lovely, clean Scandinavian design which makes for a comfortable atmosphere. The design leads to a feeling of space and we rarely encountered crowded spaces. The rear infinity pool is a highlight as is the atrium with its amazing screen. The double story explorers lounge is comfortable and one of the better crows nests we have experienced. Our cabin was a DV1 on the 8th floor (top floor) amongst the suites.As a DV it had a coffee machine which I loved. It was a good size with a light colour palette. The balcony had 2 chairs and a table but was only half covered on that level. Noise was rarely a problem. The smart TV was easy to use and had loads of movies and all the lectures available.The bathroom was a good size with heated floors. The bed was very comfortable. Our attendant was superb. The negatives are storage, it is really poor with so much under utilised space and a cupboard that is tight against the bed and difficult to access and led to us bumping into each other regularly. Our airconditioner was broken and we almost froze to death, after being repaired it was so noisy we had to have insulation installed to cover it. Dining - a real highlight. The restaurant did superb food, Manfredis the Italian was probably the best I have had at sea. The waiters were very good and the wine stewards were excellent.The buffet had very good quality (especially sushi and seafood at night) but the fact that you serve yourself is unhygienic and the lack of table service made it feel a little ordinary. The Chef Table was hit and miss, we thought the Asian menu was some of the worst Asian food we have eaten (we are Australian and travel to Asia frequently) the spice menu was superb. However this restaurant felt like a cafe at best and was clearly used as a training ground for staff with service patchy at best. The wine was never ready with the courses except for the cold sweet wines which were inexplicably poured half an hour early. Dress code is very relaxed and surprisingly there is no dress code on foot wear at all so it was strange seeing men wearing reef sandals and women in basic flip flops. Entertainment - average at best but to be fair we knew this beforehand. The Viking vocalists were underutilised. The guest entertainers were mixed, we loved the female vocalist but underwhelmed by the magician. The CD was an excellent performer as was the ACD. The classical trio, pianist and guitarist and Viking band were all excellent. I enjoyed the nightclub atmosphere which was quiet but fun. There were many lectures throughout the cruise on a variety of topics but with great weather throughout the cruise we missed many of them. There is a putting green and shuffleboard. Loads of board games. We loved walking the promenade or top deck for exercise. Viking includes access to the Spa which surprisingly we utilised frequently. The facilities were first class. The only problem is you have to share it with other guests the majority of which don't shower before using the facilities and even worse many leave the steam sweaty and enter straight into the spa pool (gross). Similarly at the outdoor pools we never saw one person shower before entering. Drinks - we bought the drinks package as included beverages was limited to beer and wine at meal times. We prefer more flexibility. We thought the package was good value but would rather not have to buy it and forgo wifi and shore excursions. One annoying aspect was the reluctance of the ship to provide San Pellegrino sparkling water despite having the package. It took 3 days of relentless pursuit to receive a bottle and then a complaint before it was provided without resistance. Small aspects like this hold Viking back from feeling truly luxurious. Wifi was poor, skype impossible, Facebook inaccessible. Basically limited to email and simple web pages. Not worth it as an "incusion". Service - very good overall. We had a poor experience early when a bartender yelled at my wife despite her not uttering one word, other guests left the bar in protest and several others along with 2 staff members checked to make sure we were ok. The first few days also saw us being ignored by staff to the preference of older passengers. Once we informed management these issues were corrected immediately and the rest of the cruise was generally perfect. We are fortunate to have visited many of the countries the crew are from and this led to many great conversations. I think the fact that tips are extra is cheap given how much Viking is charging. Shore excursions - as it was our first Viking we limited our excursions to the included ones. These were generally bus tours doing general overview tours. They were very average in quality (most regular passengers said they were much poorer than what is experienced in Europe). The weather was great and if we had our time again we would simply do our own thing and spend more time on the beautiful beaches. We met many great people but we also encountered many judgemental fellow passengers who seemed to be upset that "younger" passengers would be onboard. This was annoying and very strange as we are hardly teenagers. In summary, we loved the ship and service, the itinerary was fun and the weather was superb. We felt the price was high relative to their luxury competitors and the inclusions don't fit our cruising style (would prefer drinks and tips than poor wifi and excursions) however given Viking's success I think they are unlikely to change anything. Clearly more popular with the more mature crowd. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I've heard wonderful things about Viking river cruises, and wanted to try the new ocean itinerary that didn't require overseas travel. Admittedly, the Caribbean is not my favorite destination in general, but it was a lot more ... Read More
I've heard wonderful things about Viking river cruises, and wanted to try the new ocean itinerary that didn't require overseas travel. Admittedly, the Caribbean is not my favorite destination in general, but it was a lot more accessible than any of the other itineraries. The most unpleasant part of the trip was the redeye flight on American. The lights from all of the video screens, constant service of drinks, and other activity made it impossible to sleep. (Of course, we all know how uncomfortable and crowded coach seats are!) Transportation was arranged by Viking. The flight arrived in Miami approximately 5:30am and we were not allowed to board until the afternoon. If we were to do another East Coast cruise, we would definitely elect to go a day or two early. Once we were on the ship, our moods immediately improved. We loved the cabin. The TV offered large selection of movies and very interesting documentaries. The entertainment was average for a relatively small vessel. The singers were great and the classical pianist was excellent. The other acts were adequate, but not memorable. The main theater was probably too small for the number of passengers on the ship. We had to get there 20-30min early in order to get a seat. There was generally only one performance at night. We ate in the buffet 90% of the time and enjoyed it completely. We tried the dining room on 3 occasions (1 each for breakfast, lunch and dinner), and decided not to go back because the service was so slow. One dinner alone took 2.5 hours. The fitness center was fabulous. We did not use the pools because they were too crowded. A free excursion was included at every port. We tried 3 of them and couldn't wait to get back to the ship. The busses were unsafe (in my opinion). For example, there were no seatbelts. On one bus seat backs wouldn't stay upright- they would fall backwards. One of our destinations was the site of a land bridge which had fallen into the ocean and was not there anymore. There were reportedly a couple of minor accidents on the excursions. My complaints regarding the excursions were certainly not the fault of Viking. The destinations were simply places that were not very interesting, and in some places unsafe. I would definitely return to Viking when they have West coast voyages. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise just to relax after an illness and it fit the bill. The service staff were all very helpful and the World Cafe (buffet) was excellent, with very attentive staff and plenty to choose from. The quality of food here was ... Read More
We chose this cruise just to relax after an illness and it fit the bill. The service staff were all very helpful and the World Cafe (buffet) was excellent, with very attentive staff and plenty to choose from. The quality of food here was superior to the main dining room as the service was very spotty, and the menus lacking in quality and choices. Manfredi's restaurant and service were top notch with a huge menu and all the dishes we had were excellent. The ship was full on the 14 day Caribbean cruise in October, and we found the activities lacking both during the day and in the evening. It was near impossible to get a table on the deck in the shade where you could have lunch and the classical guitarist by the pool at lunchtime was out of touch with a Caribbean cruise. I was hoping for a little upbeat music to accompany the scenery. For a "Luxury" category ship, there was no concierge. no port information given nor anyone to help with questions. No shopping or sightseeing hints. You were left to fend on your own. The staff sitting at desks ( no front desk here with purser etc) were very pleasant but could not answer any questions , they had to refer to someone else then get back to you. Overall the ship was very attractive. I thought the multi level atrium was a waste. There were 3 floors of nothing but tables and chairs. unattractive to look up at. Perhaps some of that space could have gone to another lounge or small showroom. Only one craft session for a 14 day cruise, and very limited speakers. Had I gone on this cruise to be entertained or join in some activities, I would have been very upset. I was not looking for that, but I talked to many guests who were very disappointed in the lack of activities. My first Viking Ocean Cruise, and I think my only one. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018

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