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59 Europe - All Repositioning Cruise Reviews

The Viking experience covered everything! Our early morning flight to Barcelona arrived early and there was our welcoming Viking Red waiting for us at the baggage claim. Private car transfer to precruise Renaissance hotel and into our ... Read More
The Viking experience covered everything! Our early morning flight to Barcelona arrived early and there was our welcoming Viking Red waiting for us at the baggage claim. Private car transfer to precruise Renaissance hotel and into our room by 9:00 a.m. Talked with the Viking rep about the area and got great local recommendations. Transfer to ship, panoramic bus trip allowed the Sky and the hotel time to prepare for the next round of guests. Embarkation process was relatively quick and we were onboard by lunchtime. Room access was timely and met our stateroom stewards for a overview. These guys, worked hard and were always willing to get us what we needed. Dining - really looked forward to the alternative dining. Loved the ability to check the menus using the Viking Voyager app and make adjustments and additional reservations. The Chef’s Table was wonderfully imaginative, but we are the adventurous types. Manifredi’s indeed served enormous portions, asparagus become my favorite side. The dining room was good, but we found the World Cafe served the same food and ended up there more than we expected. We didn’t have the Silver Spirits package but enjoyed the included wines, paying for an occasional cocktail. Activities-cooking demonstrations, bridge tour, galley tour, movies under the stars, live entertainment, port talks were all included. Additional charges for wine tasting, cooking class in the Kitchen Table, and spa treatments. The service was wonderful, the staff doesn’t seem to know the word ‘No’, except ‘no problem’. They seem genuinely happy working for Viking. Viking doesn’t nickel and dime their employees or their guests, the staff doesn’t have to pay for their uniforms, their WiFi, or their flight home. The ports weren’t congested, probably due to the April sailing. Only occasionally, did we share the port with othe cruise ships, including the RCCL’s newest behemoth. Boy, was I happy with the 930 passengers size! Probably the reason the Sky was moved to the prime docking location near the Columbus monument instead of terminal 3 in Barcelona. The shore excursions were staggered, but even so, that’s where the congestion happened as the gangway opened and the staffed filled the tours and headed the groups out to the waiting buses. Included Shore excursions generally included bus tours with stops. The value of these was greatly affected by the individual guide. Optional excursions were as described, read the description and listen to the port talk to set expectations. The MyVikingJourney reservation process was cumbersome at times, with Sold Out tours and late additions. Mixed or inaccurate responses from the 800 customer help line added to the confusion. But overall, apprehension was wasted effort, Viking knows their successful business model. (Tellus@vikingcruises.com was much better than the 800 number.) After just a few days, we were talking to the onboard cruise consultant to take advantage of promotions to book our next Viking adventure. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our second Viking Ocean... fantastic! We love the ship, it is port-intensive,love the 2 days in port at the start and the end, the flowing wine at lunch and dinner, the heated bathroom floors, the wonderful staff, the mostly great ... Read More
This was our second Viking Ocean... fantastic! We love the ship, it is port-intensive,love the 2 days in port at the start and the end, the flowing wine at lunch and dinner, the heated bathroom floors, the wonderful staff, the mostly great food. We had a great cruise director and mostly good entertainment-- some even great! We didn't know that this was a repositioning cruise but we believe it was...to take the ship from the Mediterranean up to the Baltic. In 14 days there were 11 great cities with 1 exception- Porto Portugal which we were in just too short a time (6 hours). B ecause it was repositioning (we think) the price was very good. As for the food, we mostly chose the Restaurant which is the formal dining room, but not one of the 2 "specialty" dining options. We loved Manfredi's and were able to get a private room 2 nights as there were 10 in our group. We were not that fond of the Chef's Table so tried it once and did not go back. That menu is limited and "foam" is used in lots of the choices! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our first ocean cruise with Viking, although we've taken several river cruises. The Viking Sky was a beautiful ship in every way. The staff was exemplary, the food was wonderful, the excursions were terrific, and the ship ... Read More
This was our first ocean cruise with Viking, although we've taken several river cruises. The Viking Sky was a beautiful ship in every way. The staff was exemplary, the food was wonderful, the excursions were terrific, and the ship itself was wonderful. Our cabin was like home away from home, with a comfortable bed, large bathroom, and two TVs. The veranda was large and welcoming, and we enjoyed being on the veranda when we had some downtime (although we kept busy!) The specialty restaurants, Manfredi's and Chef's Table, served delicious food, and the service in both was outstanding. The excursions we selected were excellent - as usual, the Viking guides were professional and knowledgeable. Although one guide was not as good as the others, overall we were extremely pleased. We enjoyed this cruise so much, we have signed up for another one (this one to the Mediterranean) next March in 2019!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was an excellent way to get a taste of 7 countries. The Viking cruise line gives you highlights of each stop, handouts and talks. They also share their Viking history throughout the cruise. The food was local and delicious. We ... Read More
This was an excellent way to get a taste of 7 countries. The Viking cruise line gives you highlights of each stop, handouts and talks. They also share their Viking history throughout the cruise. The food was local and delicious. We dined at both specialty restaurants. The Chef's Table was very disappointing. Had we known what they were serving we probably would not have gone. The service was horrible. Everyone in our group wrote a bad review and we were invited back to try again. The food was OK but the service was much improved. We also ate at Manfredi's. The service was very good and the food was fabulous! I would eat there every night if I had a choice. The menu is huge and quite varied. We ordered small plates and sides so that we could try more items. They did not disappoint. The guides were knowledgeable, and in many cases, entertaining. It was a bit fast-paced but I guess that's the nature of this particular cruise. There was some repetition in Barcelona but we came early and had taken the tours then. We fell in love with Barcelona! I could live there and love it. The tours really needed to include free time at the end to walk around and shop a bit. The tour of Cartagena was mostly in the mountains, showing us the devastation caused by mining that started with the Romans. Granada, home of Picasso was lovely. Could have stayed longer. Porto was beautiful. The port wine is delicious. Falmouth is not really a tourist town but they are friendly. Portsmouth. We opted to see Stonehenge. It was awe-inspiring. I would love to go back. LeHarve. We opted for the Paris tour and were not disappointed. The guide was great and if I ever got the chance to return I would hire her as my guide. She gave us a grand tour upon arrival and made suggestions on how best to see Paris in the time we had. Our 4 hours was not wasted and it made us want to return to see more. The tour of the fishing village outside of Amsterdam needed work. We spent too much time walking back and forth. The guide did his best to accommodate people who truly should not have been on the tour. Bruges. We toured Gent, city of chocolate and beer! We had chocolate for lunch and were not disappointed. The city is full of history and pride. Bergen. I am glad we booked extra time in this beautiful city. The people are friendly. The food, although expensive, is fabulous. This is a vibrant country. the people never stop. Oslo. I cannot say much about Oslo because we didn't really get to see it due to changes beyond our control. We only had a brief bus tour and a very late dinner and had to fly out the next morning. I would consider going back to actually tour it right. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The ship was full, so c. 2000 passengers. I believe there were c. 150 kids on board, but they were almost unnoticeable - must have been kept occupied and away from the bulk of the passengers! Whilst the age range was mixed, I would say ... Read More
The ship was full, so c. 2000 passengers. I believe there were c. 150 kids on board, but they were almost unnoticeable - must have been kept occupied and away from the bulk of the passengers! Whilst the age range was mixed, I would say typical passenger was in the 60 - 80 age bracket. I am a regular with Royal Caribbean (RCCL) which, whilst not perfect, definitely ticks many of my boxes! We booked on this one at short notice of ony 2 days because the holiday we had been booked to go on was cancelled due to poor weather. Would I holiday with P&O again? On balance, probably not - no major flaws, but I think all the cruise lines have a particular style, cater to a particular audience, and for me that is RCCL rather than P&O. I don’t regret P&O as a last minute choice, however! Pros Great wine at reasonable price. Coke in bottles for £2.75. Champagne £7.75. They even had Cloudy Bay Sauvignon in the main dining rooms! Heinz ketchup/salad cream, Marmite, Kelloggs cereals in buffet - excellent. Magnums and Judes icecream on sale by pools - fab. Afternoon tea was excellent (but I prefer personal teapot, rather than long-stewed version served to all). Freshly made cakes and scones - it would be rude not to try them all!... Teacakes, crumpets and a hot savoury (e.g. sausage rolls) always on offer with afternoon tea. Real cream in all desserts - RCCL use artificial cream, which is horrid, so top marks to P&O. Minimal announcements to disturb the peace (unlike RCCL, who have lots, and repeat each one in several different languages) The organisation was excellent - for example, the process for leaving the ship and transfer to airport. Incredibly slick & easy, given they had 2k passengers to handle (including this one, who left her iPhone on the transfer coach. Staff were so kind, and went off to find it for me.) Cons Signs encouraged you to open doors to toilets in public areas with tissue - but usually no bins around to put tissues in! I don’t think I saw any staff cleaning the public toilets in the whole 10 day period - can’t get away from them on RCCL cruises! And they seemed to regularly be “out of service”. No crispy bacon at breakfast - stewed, with lots of white “stuff” oozing out. Only skimmed milk for breakfast - tasteless. Why no choice? Tours were expensive and not a great experience for me. I went on one that was 5 hours in all, and was squashed on the back seat, in the corner on a 53 seat bus - I couldn’t see anything at all! The tours were very much token “sightseeing” of key things - in a group of up to 53 it is almost impossible to hear what is being said by the tour guide, and the group can only go at the pace of the slowest person (usually with a walking stick) after long toilet breaks. Highly frustrating and unsatisfying. I cancelled the last two I had booked. I would have liked the option of more things to do and be active with e.g. Segway, things that kids would enjoy. Food in the main dining rooms was OK in quality, and I think catered for the tastes of a retired British population. Lots of very old-fashioned British options (e.g. collar of bacon, steak & kidney pudding). Food in the buffet was good, and was themed each evening. Lots of fresh salads, with a wide choice of dressings. I loved the cous-cous. I suspect many of the sauces (e.g. curry variants) were pre-made, jar versions - gloopy with thickener, inauthentic flavours. Edible, though. Daily roast was probably the best option. The entertainment was... uninspiring. The entertainment team didn’t even seem to enjoy it much themselves! We did a picture quiz one night (name the book/album cover) - they whizzed through it so fast, didn’t revisit questions at the end. Seemed keen to get it over and done with. I did bingo a couple of times - minimal explanation, very functional. Assumption was that the audience was regulars... which they probably were! It is much more of an “event” on RCCL ships - I positively look forward to it as a highlight (have “the t-shirt” and branded seal...), even though it is more expensive! The music and shows did nothing for us at all - although we enjoyed Manuel Martinez, the mildly abusive magician! They showed films once or twice a day - would have been good to have had some of them shown more than once. If you were off on a trip and it was during the day, you missed it. Staff in public areas were excellent - we had a “base” in the main atrium, and the staff quickly recognised us, what we drank and how we liked our drinks. Always lovely to be welcomed with a smile by someone who knows your name. I spent quite a lot of time in the Spa having treatments. If you enjoy massage etc worth looking out for their “offer of the day” - typically c. 1 hour for around £70. Great value - especially as their routine treatments are usually £100+. You can book the “offer of the day” for the next day from the previous evening. Didn’t use the gym, sauna or steam room. Didn’t use the shops - extensive range of jewellery, and quite a good range of clothes, snacks etc. But I’m not on a cruise ship to shop! The above are all personal niggles, and I’ve tried to be fair and point out where they really did deliver. Oceana provided exactly what they promised, the issue is that it wasn’t really what I wanted. But that’s not their fault. It was amazing value @ £960 per person for a balcony cabin, including return flight home and £110 each room credit, for 10 days). I wouldn’t go again by choice for me, but I can think of people I know to whom I would absolutely recommend a P&O cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Mediterranean. To that end it achieved all we wanted. Although given that it happened over the Easter period you would have thought that the cruise line would have known that some of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Mediterranean. To that end it achieved all we wanted. Although given that it happened over the Easter period you would have thought that the cruise line would have known that some of the ports of call would have been closed on certain days because of religious sensitivities and that they could have arranged the itineraries some what differently. Apart from the service given by our waiters and cabin steward I found in general that the service on the ship was poor. The food was not to my liking as I prefer plain cooking, in fact this was the first cruise that I have been on where I lost weight. The reception desk staff were worse than useless and could not or would not give any help at all. The entertainment was excellent particularly the Headliners. The shore excursions were typical of excursions that all cruise lines book and were no better or worse than any others. The ship could have offered a little more organisation to disembark for the tours other than a short line in the daily paper saying to proceed ashore a little before departure and find your coach. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We booked this cruise 18 months before departure so have been looking forward to it for some time. As this was a re positioning cruise we were bussed from return airport to Southampton. Everything went well and embarkation was efficient. ... Read More
We booked this cruise 18 months before departure so have been looking forward to it for some time. As this was a re positioning cruise we were bussed from return airport to Southampton. Everything went well and embarkation was efficient. We enjoyed this cruise. The food was good, and we met some good company when freedom dining in restaurant. The ship is in great condition throughout with the exception of Footlights theatre. We found the seating in there uncomfortable, although not too uncomfortable to enjoy shows. The only negative I had issue with was the timing of the shows, first one at 8.30pm and second at 10.30pm. This was an issue for us as in other ships first show starts at approx 7.30pm which allows you to see first show, have dinner in restaurant and then see second show. We mainly ate in restaurant for dinner and had breakfast and lunch in the limited menu Cafe Jardin (no cost for breakfast or lunch). Menu consists of a small buffet and limited served options, which we found more than satisfied us. I have never seen this option on other P&O ships. We do not generally like the buffet option (smash and grab) for our dining, but on the two or three occasions we used the Plaza buffet we were pleasantly surprised. I would say that the Plaza buffet was the best we have experienced on any ship. Initially we thought our cabin on the small side, we soon got used to it and everything was fine. In general we had a great cruise even though the weather was a bit colder than expected. We failed to land at Mykonos due to high winds. We felt that service, food and entertainment were great. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Love Viking & loved the itinerary! Many of the ports we had not visited before. Also loved the idea of a few sea days as this ship is so comfortable. We were just ready to enjoy all that Viking had to offer on this remarkable ship...as ... Read More
Love Viking & loved the itinerary! Many of the ports we had not visited before. Also loved the idea of a few sea days as this ship is so comfortable. We were just ready to enjoy all that Viking had to offer on this remarkable ship...as we had been on it just a year ago. However this was our 4th Viking cruise. I recommend Viking to everyone. We love the richly rewarding historic lectures on the culture of the areas we are visiting! No Casinos and picture pressure! Truly a relaxing adventure. The entire trip was so very enjoyable, from Bergen Norway to Barcelona Spain! Viking does everything to ensure your comfort & safety. We did have to forego our Falmouth England port because of weather but thanks Captain for thinking of our safety first! The employees/crew are so friendly and will go out of their way to help in any way. Need more hangers for your clothes, pillows...how many?...done! On other cruise ship I have had to pack extra hangers or layer everything! Food was for the most part outstanding! In each dining room we were treated like royalty! We didn't enjoy the Chef's Table so much and I heard the same from many other people, we were still hungry after 4 courses. The included wines served daily with meals were plentiful, excellent quality & variety. Also appreciated the plentiful water whether on ship or off! Entertainment & lectures were simply outstanding! Viking only fell short on the included tours in a couple ports. River included tours are handled much better & make provision for a "leisure" tour selection for folks who have walking issues. The free time in Knokke, Belgium was a waste, very little open, prices no one could afford in very exclusive shops that were! Couldn't wait to board the bus! I never heard a positive comment. Wish we could have just explored the historical little town of Damme, I think it was, that we drove though. Other tours were exceptional! Guess you can't win them all but I think Viking needs to re examine this aspect. These included tours makes Viking unique in the the cruise industry but that could change quickly. Also our last day in Barcelona lacked communication on the optional "An Evening of Flamenco" ( not worth the $139 pp) as we had to switch docks late in the afternoon and that caused all types of confusion. They combined our included city tour with it as we had to change the time 2 1/2 hours and we wouldn't have known this if we hadn't have ask! Thus our city tour ended up in the dark, with very low visibility, right before our dinner. Hated to disembark and head for the USA...Looking forward to cruise #5 soon! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Great value for an itinerary that covered several areas that we had not visited before. The offer of two guests for one fare with free air was too great a temptation. The trip was excellent except for somewhat rough seas for a couple of ... Read More
Great value for an itinerary that covered several areas that we had not visited before. The offer of two guests for one fare with free air was too great a temptation. The trip was excellent except for somewhat rough seas for a couple of days. It could have been a lot worse! The excursions were well planned, and for the most part were interesting and informative. The service on the ship was excellent. Our cabin was kept spotless and the dining was always good. Most of the dishes were very good, but other options for special order were also available. One evening I ordered a New York strip steak that was as good as any I have ever had--even at some very expensive restaurants. The entertainment was also excellent, as were the informative talks about European history and environmental issues. We especially enjoyed the entertainers. The three young female vocalists were especially talented and performed in a most professional manner. The string trio also was an elegant touch to the trip. We have been on a number of ocean and river cruises, but the cruise director on this one was the best I have ever seen. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We really enjoyed this cruise as our first Viking Ocean cruise. We had three disappointments, however. The one day we had for shore excursions in Bergen, Norway didn't occur because a major bicycle race was taking place which ... Read More
We really enjoyed this cruise as our first Viking Ocean cruise. We had three disappointments, however. The one day we had for shore excursions in Bergen, Norway didn't occur because a major bicycle race was taking place which didn't allow for the various tour buses for the excursions. We found out about this a few days before the cruise. With Bergen being such a big port for Viking, we feel someone should have known about this disruption well in advance and warn us so we didn't waste time booking a shore excursion in addition to the "included" excursion. Disappointment #2 was having to miss our port stop in Falmouth. We had to sail directly from Portsmouth, UK to Porto, Portugal to avoid a storm coming to the UK. The onboard history lectures were really great and primarily focused on World War I and II events. The theme of the cruise was "Trade Routes of the Middle Ages", so disappointment #3 was the lack of lectures on that theme. Our stateroom, the food, the stafff, were all excellent and we really enjoyed our time onboard and in the various ports. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We've crossed the Atlantic on the QM2 a bunch of times, but this time was memorable because of the rescue at sea of a yachtsman from a disabled craft. We watched from our balcony, and then learned from a Q & A session between the ... Read More
We've crossed the Atlantic on the QM2 a bunch of times, but this time was memorable because of the rescue at sea of a yachtsman from a disabled craft. We watched from our balcony, and then learned from a Q & A session between the Captain and the rescued seaman. Very interesting. Otherwise, we keep coming back to the Queen Mary because of the beauty of the ship and our favorite experiences on board. We most love the Chart Room and go there for cocktails before dinner and the nightly jazz concerts after dinner. Also love the Commodore Club atmosphere day and night. We slept in a Princess Grill cabin, which suited us well because of the extra space. We tend to hang out a lot in our cabin, especially during the mornings, so the extra space was very important. The cabin is well enough designed and furnished. Enjoyed a series of lectures by Christine Roussel on art and history in New York. Also enjoyed the headline entertainers including a West End cabaret singer and a group of male vocalists. Plenty to do on board during the day, and some of our favorite activities are workouts at the fitness center and walking the promenade on Deck 7. Food quality in Princess Grill was adequate, although definitely not big city restaurant quality. A little too much in the direction of standard cruise ship fare. Service in Princess Grill was also adequate, again nothing special. We went to the Verandah for dinner one night and were underwhelmed by the quality, shocked by the noise from the kitchen and doubly shocked by an argument from our waiter. Also went to Coriander one night and were disappointed by the bland South Asian food, too bland even after we specifically asked for spicy food. I think the chef ignored our request. We will be back on board in October and hopefully many times after. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was the follow up cruise to our Atlantic crossing and it was a good choice. The Baltic itinerary was very busy compared to the crossing but there were no scheduled speakers, which would have been a plus to gain a better understanding ... Read More
This was the follow up cruise to our Atlantic crossing and it was a good choice. The Baltic itinerary was very busy compared to the crossing but there were no scheduled speakers, which would have been a plus to gain a better understanding of the history of each port. The food in the main dinning room was fine but the choices were a little slim, with no effort made to bring any local flavor to the menu. On the other hand, the Windjammer cafe, while often crowded during peek periods, had a better than usual list of options including some local fare and the service there was above average. I only used third party excursions (Google SPB) and liked the smaller group sizes and the ability to savor local food at each port. Finally, I must mention how well the ship handled the cold weather we experienced. With temps in the 40's and 50's every day, the ships design was nearly perfect. All that glass acted as a wind break and only the main pool and sport decks were, effected by the wind and cold. There were other venues to keep you occupied, like the gym or the indoor pools and spas. All in all I would be happy to sale on the Renaissance class ships any time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My husband had some medical treatment so thought it would be good for him to recouperate so booked on Black Friday. Unfortunately on11 April he had another operation and although able to travel was not well enough to get off the ship. ... Read More
My husband had some medical treatment so thought it would be good for him to recouperate so booked on Black Friday. Unfortunately on11 April he had another operation and although able to travel was not well enough to get off the ship. Room excellent (same as Azura). Cabin Steward good except for one mistake. Food good for us although some people did not agree. Found it better than P & O. Had not been on Princess line for some time. Entertainment generally good although too many tribute artists who were not that good. Some acts excellent. Do not like the Outdoor film area particularly April/May from UK to Med. Weather inappropriate although some people were in the rain and with rugs around them. Crazy. Not comfortable seating areas around pool all jammed together with the usual early morning pegs and towels and bags but no passengers. Staff did not stick to the notice that after a certain period of time if no passenger items would be removed to give people a chance to sit out. Atrium entertainment extremely noisy around a lot of the floors of the ship and could not hear the reception area people because of the noise. Reception Staff. Some not helpful with a slight attitude problem others excellent. More training needed. If they did not know an answer they should say they do not know but will find out and leave a message on the room phone. First morning for breakfast in restaurant there was chaos with staff who may have just got on the ship. Took about 1.5 hours to get served and then it was incorrect. Maitre D' called too room numbers but nothing actually done. They must have thought it would keep us quiet. Restaurant service sometimes very slow so missed show. Shuttle Bus services: not as good as other shipping lines when docked in port areas where passengers not allowed to walk to gate. Usually provided by dock authorities but at Marseilles Princess own but charge $14 return to old port which was excessive for a relatively short ride. Many people very angry that they did not tell passengers of free port shuttle a few hundred yards from the ship. This did not go in as far as Princess one but options should have been given. Had some difficulty with some services and became irate so saw a "sensible" receptionist who said we could reduce the gratuities which we did. Generally found ship a bit too large for our preference. Disembarkation: 1.5 hrs late because of delay due to bad weather but went fairly well. Would probably try another cruise now that we know how they operate and learned a lot from passengers waiting to leave the ship a bit late but knowledge for later. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise because it provided a diverse selection of countries since it was a relocation cruise for the Viking Sky .Our cabin was very comfortable and although the door to the balcony had a bit of a rattle the staff responded ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it provided a diverse selection of countries since it was a relocation cruise for the Viking Sky .Our cabin was very comfortable and although the door to the balcony had a bit of a rattle the staff responded quickly to our complaint. They had to come back several times because it was a problem that kept reoccurring. The 24 hour room service was excellent and the breakfast served in our cabin helped us plan our daily activities in advance. Housekeeping was excellent and the staff was always ready to assist us in all our needs. Dining was something to look forward to every day since food was prepared exquisitely in all of the dining venues throughout the ship. Shore excursions were very well carried out with plenty of time to enjoy each port of call. We were forced to skip Porto due to bad weather and that was disappointing but the rest of the cruise was delightful. Cruising the Kiel Canal was an unforgettable experience as we sat in our balcony sipping wine and enjoying the sights. I would not hesitate to do it again because Viking offers an excellent cruise with all your needs very well taken care of. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly and the crew 's assistance was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
First off as disclaimers: This was a last minute long weekend and was very cheap. We both realised that not everything would be up and running and that TAs would be on board. We have done nearly 30 cruises in last 9 years so not ... Read More
First off as disclaimers: This was a last minute long weekend and was very cheap. We both realised that not everything would be up and running and that TAs would be on board. We have done nearly 30 cruises in last 9 years so not newbies. First time with Princess though. Positives: Ship nice externally. Internal décor not to my taste but ok. Staff were very nice and friendly but as first cruise and maiden season usually best staff are put on new ships in our experience so expected good service. Kotor was lovely to return to. That's it unfortunately! Now the moans Food totally tasteless in main dining room and buffet. Soundproofing worst by far we have ever experienced on ship Ship brand new but no USP. Pointless seawalk which is done once by everyone once and forgotten. Cabins right under it anyway so everyone can see into your room! Cinema at sea not used enough. Smoking area right under cabins. They did move us eventually though. If had no alternative on busy cruise then we would be very angry. Really bad design. Also smoking allowed in parts of casino which made it no go area for us. This is 2017. We shouldn't still be pandering to smokers anti social behaviour. Extra charges on bill on more than one occasion which had to be argued to get removed. First time with princess and probably last unfortunately as the staff were nice but product not up to standard. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this ship because it was calling at ports that we had not visited before. The ship is tired and is really ready for it's refit at the end of the year. It was cold on board and people complained to reception. In the ... Read More
We chose this ship because it was calling at ports that we had not visited before. The ship is tired and is really ready for it's refit at the end of the year. It was cold on board and people complained to reception. In the evening the selection of food in the Plaza buffet was not very extensive and also lacked variety, however, the staff were excellent, we couldn't fault them. If, like me you are disabled and cannot get up and down stairs then this is not the ship for you because, if any of the ports on your cruise are tendered you will not be able to get to the tender platform. I was told there was not a lift that would take me from deck 4 down to deck 3 to get to the tender, so I was unable to go ashore. This is the only ship that I have encountered this problem . As this was our first cruise on Oceana, we gave them the information needed regarding my disability and needs when we booked but no-one advised me regarding the tendering situation of this ship. We are having to cancel another cruise booked on this ship in August/September because of this problem. Disembarking was excellent and the accessible shuttle buses were brilliant. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
The ports were wonderful and the people in the countries were all very friendly. No fear in any city. the ship did its best to avoid germs, but people avoided the hand washing stations, and many were sick on the ship. The ships doctor ... Read More
The ports were wonderful and the people in the countries were all very friendly. No fear in any city. the ship did its best to avoid germs, but people avoided the hand washing stations, and many were sick on the ship. The ships doctor advised Airborne and charged a woman $460 for the 2 trips she made to see him. The food was poor everywhere, and if you wanted a better meal, it was extra $ along with an 18% tip. Not sure why if you pay $29.95 extra for lobster, it gets a tip on top of that. No washer/driers on board, but they do offer laundry specials frequently. Room steward was great, but no chocolates if you are bronze level. Small detail, but annoying. Entertainment was superior to other cruise lines I have been on. More variety of entertainers disembarkation was very easy. embarkation not too long of a wait. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise because of the ports that it was visiting during it's repositioning. Dining room & buffet food was average though they charge extra for steak and lobster. Other cruises we have been on usually offer them at ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports that it was visiting during it's repositioning. Dining room & buffet food was average though they charge extra for steak and lobster. Other cruises we have been on usually offer them at least once during your cruise at no extra cost. Specialty restaurants were good but some items on the menu were the same thing that you could get in the buffet or dining rooms at no charge? We enjoyed the 24 hour pub the most. Didn't feel like you were on a ship. I must say that the staff was the most friendly that we have ever had on a cruise. In the last 2 ports we were given hand outs with port information. I'm not sure why this wasn't available for all ports. This was our first time with Norwegian. Overall we were very happy with the cruise. We would certainly consider another sailing with them. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We enjoyed our impeccably clean modern cabins which were tastefully furnished and very comfortable. The bed was excellent. The ship offers a tremendous amount of enjoyable space throughout, a place for every mood, time of day, desire for ... Read More
We enjoyed our impeccably clean modern cabins which were tastefully furnished and very comfortable. The bed was excellent. The ship offers a tremendous amount of enjoyable space throughout, a place for every mood, time of day, desire for privacy or company. The food was excellent in all dining facillities, consistently fresh and of high quality. The Italian restaurant really stands out! Viking staff was very friendly, helpful and always capable. We much enjoyed being mostly in rather casual attire on a ship which offers room for every taste and fashion. On this trip we visited (or sampled) many countries from Norway to Athens, Greece. All excursions were well organized, enjoyable and informative. We probably 'overbooked' on this first cruise and will take it a little easier next time. Our airport pickup and dropoff was flawless. Viking was a really great overall experience. Our next Viking cruise in the West Indies is already booked. Go if you can! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
My wife and I chose Viking Ocean cruises because of our previous 4 sailings on their River cruises and to see if the standard was as high. Which it was. Never having done an Ocean cruise before we did not know what to expect however ... Read More
My wife and I chose Viking Ocean cruises because of our previous 4 sailings on their River cruises and to see if the standard was as high. Which it was. Never having done an Ocean cruise before we did not know what to expect however that was soon rectified from arrival at the airport by Viking reps to the embarkation at the port which was seamless. The staff mostly all young were terrific. Once on board our cabin was a deluxe veranda which was spotlessly clean as was every other part of the ship. Dining on board was very good with 2 quality restaurants Manfredis Italian and the Chef table which were excellent. I should mention there are 2 pools on board one on the 7th deck with retractable roof and an infinity pool at the stern. Both great also they have a fitness suite plus on deck 2 Entertainment on board was great with an evening show in the theatre and an classical trio, solo pianist and solo guitarist who played during the day and evening in various parts of the ship. Every member of staff you spoke to or they saw you first were pleasant, civil , polite and attentive. Nothing was a problem to them. They were always smiling, Shore excursions were varied and good. I must mention the hygiene on board it was first class they were always cleaning from first thing in the morning till last thing at night. We will be doing another probably next year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was not my first cruise, but considering every other cruise I'd been on was courtesy US Navy it certainly rates as the best. All kidding aside, I had always dreamed of going on a ship and not doing any work. For the type of ... Read More
This was not my first cruise, but considering every other cruise I'd been on was courtesy US Navy it certainly rates as the best. All kidding aside, I had always dreamed of going on a ship and not doing any work. For the type of experience I sought Viking delivered. After an eventful year I needed some time to simply decompress. If this is the experience you're looking for I recommend Viking. The Viking Sea (and its identical sister ship the Viking Star) is ideal venue for relaxation offering a comfortable, unhurried experience. If you're looking for hustle and bustle, constant stimulation, and amusement park experiences Viking is not for you. If you're looking for a family cruise Viking is not for you. The Viking Sea has no casino, no rock wall, no waterslides, no cross branding, no shopping malls, no photographers, and no kid zone. In fact the minimum age to sail with Viking is sixteen. If, however, you're looking for adult themed activities that stimulate the intellect and enrich the soul, if you're looking for comfort, if you're looking for charm and grace Viking is just what you're looking for. The ship is elegant but not gaudy. Straight lines, wood grain, and gentle pastels dominate the decor. You embark the ship on deck 1 directly into a central atrium that Viking calls the Living Room, and with good reason. Sofas and armchairs are scattered throughout this expansive, multi-level space, some creating conversation areas, others offering intimate privacy. Bookshelves line many of the walls inviting bibliophiles like myself to simply wander the space and peruse the titles. I spent many an afternoon in a little niche with the art albums. Other public spaces are just as inviting. My favorite by far was the Explorer's Lounge on deck 7. This two level lounge looked out over the bow of the ship and was a perfect spot for whale watching (I'm happy to report that whales and dolphins were both sighted during my voyage). It, like many other public spaces aboard, was graced by bookshelves lining the bulkheads. Nearly every evening found me stretched out on a sofa reading my latest find. My previous cruise line's spa facilities were subpar (believe it or not the US Navy doesn't have much in way of creature comforts). The spa facilities aboard the Viking Sea I found to be quite luxurious. Whether hot or cold, fresh or salt water, steam or snow, the Nordic Spa had it all. Yes, they had an actual snow grotto on board (though it was closed for one day for defrosting and maintenance). After about fifteen minutes in the steam room one would think that the snow grotto would be unbearably cold but it felt quite invigorating. Just outside the spa are some small luxury shops. While it was nice to be able to browse the items I never felt pressured to buy nor did I feel like I was in a shopping mall. There was a shop that sold toiletries and other sundries which was convenient. I must admit I did not go to many of the evening entertainment shows (though I made friends with several of the performers) so I cannot comment on the quality of the entertainment but the theater itself is nicely laid out with plenty of leg room between rows. This has the added bonus of not having to embarrassingly squeeze around people (or be squeezed around) if you have to leave for any reason. The last night of our cruise, though, our cruise director performed. It turns out she is quite an accomplished mezzo soprano. Her accompanying musicians performed in the pool area every afternoon as did the classical trio and the guitarist (though in different areas at different times). All were excellent musicians but their repertoire was limited. I could tell toward the end they were getting tired of playing the same songs. Possibly the biggest difference from US Navy cruise lines was the quality of the food. There were quite a few dining options (though not, I'm sure, as many as some of the larger cruise lines) and the quality of each of them was excellent. I particularly appreciated that there was no extra charge to dine in the specialty restaurants, though reservations are required and availability depends on stateroom class. Portions look small to the eye, but the food was so well prepared and there were so many courses that I was never left dissatisfied. I ate quite often at the World Cafe on deck 7. I appreciated the convenience of the buffet style serving. Waiters were always on hand to provide you with any beverage of your choice. Another of Viking's selling points is that beer, wine, and sodas are complimentary with your meal so I never felt as I was being nickel and dimed. This was a repositioning cruise for a newly commissioned ship so the itinerary was quite unique. One of the reasons I chose this particular cruise is because it offered a good mix of days in port and days at sea. I appreciated having some extended time at sea to be able to just experience the ship and not feel that I was simply being rushed from port to port. But the ports were magnificent. We departed Bergen and were originally scheduled to debark in Istanbul. Political instability in Turkey resulted in its cancellation which was disappointing but understandable (especially since the coup happened a week before our departure). Two ports in Spain were added which more than made up for Istanbul's cancellation. Between Spain and Portugal, for a few days I felt like I had traveled back to the Fifteenth Century. Wandering the cobblestone streets of medieval villages, basking in the glorious architecture of the churches, sipping coffee (or something a little stronger) on a sidewalk cafe. It was all quite seductive. It was as slow and leisurely a pace of life ashore as it was aboard. My only regret is that there was so little time in each port. Viking's ocean ships are small ships and are able to reach smaller ports that other cruise ships can't. This results in more of a cultural experience than a "let's move the party ashore" experience. I don't recall seeing one neon sign or pink cocktail with an umbrella and I'm happier for it. This mentality carries over to the ship itself both in its apportionment and the professionalism of its crew. It is, as I state in the title of this review, elegant but understated, an experience I highly recommend for those who seek a slow pace and civilized experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
A brilliant itinerary :Venice, Croatia (Dubrovnik, Split, Koper) Montenegro, Valletta, Slovenia, Italy (Ravenna, Catania and Salerno)Pretty good weather (though heavy rain in Venice) and a very nice crew. The food was generally very good. ... Read More
A brilliant itinerary :Venice, Croatia (Dubrovnik, Split, Koper) Montenegro, Valletta, Slovenia, Italy (Ravenna, Catania and Salerno)Pretty good weather (though heavy rain in Venice) and a very nice crew. The food was generally very good. We were unfortunate enough to need the medical team in an emergency and I can't thank them enough, they were brilliant.Only two moans: the water in the pools tasted salty but I was assured it wasn't salt water. I found this unpleasant to swim in as it stung my sensitive skin. A bigger problem for us was the siting of DJ Crazy Prince most nights on the landing over the main staircase atrium by the cocktail bar so that when we were sitting enjoying a quiet pot of tea after dinner ( in the only place you could get actually one, al Bacio cafe) we were assaulted by loud thumping "techno" and disco music from the floor below. This meant 3 decks had this noise. The same younger (ie 40 ish) guests - maybe 20 of them- were dancing and enjoying this most nights but I don't think it was to the taste of many older (typically cruiser) guests. We would have had a better cruise if EITHER the DJ was in a more enclosed area- one of the bars perhaps- OR we could have got our tea and coffee somewhere quieter, such as Celllar masters. I asked about taking a tray through as they were adjacent facilities but i was told if i did so I would have to have a paper take away cup...not the experience I wanted. This was due to the design of the ship, I don't recall this as a problem on Celebrity Eclipse. Otherwise a lovely cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
BACKGROUND: We are frequent, experienced travelers and have taken over 25 cruises on at least nine different lines. We booked the 20 day Christening Cruise of the Koningsdam (actually 13 day Christening and 7 day Norway) for the ... Read More
BACKGROUND: We are frequent, experienced travelers and have taken over 25 cruises on at least nine different lines. We booked the 20 day Christening Cruise of the Koningsdam (actually 13 day Christening and 7 day Norway) for the off-the-beaten-path ports and the chance to sail on a new ship. We had previously taken one HAL cruise in 2005. SHIP LAYOUT: There are parts of the Koningsdam that are lovely and much of the music-related art is interesting and unique (even though art work depicting David Bowie and the Sex Pistol’s Sid Vicious seem ironic on a line whose passenger base averages in their 70s). All of the public space is on Decks 2 and 3 and Deck 9 and above so it is not a difficult ship to find your way around. For all its updated glittery spaces, the ship feels dark and a bit claustrophobic. Unfortunately, the Koningsdam does not hold crowds well and can feel quite crowded with numerous difficult traffic patterns. For example, on Deck 10 overlooking the pool, one must wind a narrow path (barely 2 feet clearance) past immovable hard-as-rocks white couches and deck chairs/beds with curtains dangling between. There are few places to really relax on this ship (especially if you want to be sheltered from sun or wind). The deck chairs around the pool are inexplicably jammed together (about 5 inches apart) and many of the chairs throughout the ship’s lounges are designed very low and with no or very low armrests. Even most of the chairs in the Crow’s Nest were uncomfortable, contrary to our one previous experience on HAL. One thing you will find aplenty are bars including one in the Lido Buffet; from one, from one you are always in sight of the next one. There are dedicated wine blending and whiskey tasting areas which appeared to be underutilized. FOOD & DINING OUTLETS: (See below for food outlet related service.) The majority of the food on the Koningsdam is mediocre and, as expected, tastes mass-market produced. It is exactly what you would expect when serving 2,500 people. The food in the Dining Room is usually a low-grade cut of meat or poultry with a starch and virtually no vegetables. Everything is extremely salty—you can feel your blood pressure rising with each spoon of soup. Desserts are dry—we stuck to the ice cream sundaes. Every night, we had to ask for an extra bowl of vegetables. The gala night offerings were better with a quality filet and lobster tail available. The Lido Buffet is an unequivocal disaster. Although the food is fine by mass-market standards, the atmosphere is chaos—there are no trays so one must run from station to station and stand in queues up to 10 deep trying to find a complete meal while juggling plates. The stations are illogically set up so all your food is cold by the time you find or return to a table with the added problem of so many tables being cleared and reset so slowly. The Dive-In pool grill is standard hot dogs and hamburgers with good crispy fries. The NY Deli and Pizza outlet by the pool is a good option for a quick breakfast but serving only two bagel sandwiches and cold cereal (still vastly preferable to the chaos of the Lido). The Deli also serves good sandwiches and OK pizza. We wanted to try the Dutch Café but the line was always really long or they were out of what we wanted. We experienced two up-charge specialty restaurants: the Pinnacle Grill and the Culinary Arts Center. The Pinnacle Grill filet was good quality and we liked the idea of numerous sides (starches and vegetables) to choose from; it is a shame that this food is considered ‘premium and extra cost’ when just a few years ago, this was the level of cruise ship food in the dining room. The Culinary Arts Center was our best food experience by far and the only one that met our standards for food and service on the Koningsdam. The top-notch food was freshly prepared in the open kitchen; if anything, there was a bit too much food served (a cocktail and wine were included in the upcharge). SERVICE: Based on our 30 years of traveling at all price points, the service and attitude of ALL the staff on the Koningsdam were the WORST we’ve ever experienced and an all time low! Multiple times a day for 20 days, we had experiences of appalling and unacceptable attitudes and service. HAL should be ASHAMED of the Koningsdam’s lack of customer service! The one exception was our room attendants who were always pleasant, efficient and responsive. The only good dining service we received was at the Culinary Arts Center. The laundry is prompt. However, the rest of the staff (and their processes) are inefficient, indifferent, unhygienic, unresponsive and especially RUDE--always quick to roll eyes at requests and argue. This includes Guest Services and especially the majority of staff associated with any food-related outlet. I left three messages to speak to the Hotel manager about our terrible experiences and never heard a word from him. Even the cruise director is rarely seen and just ignores passengers in passing. Obviously, this lack of customer service is an attitude set from the top down. Examples of poor service we experienced are extremely numerous but here are a few: --The public restrooms are woefully unattended; one evening I had to report to Guest Services the disgusting condition of a restroom with dirty tissues and towels all over the floor, no toilet paper and dirty sinks; --When asked a question about our 7 day Norway segment, a Guest Services employee raised her voice and kept arguing that the next segment was 14 days and I was wrong; after she finally checked and answered my question, where was no apology for her tone and behavior; --The Dining Room ‘Anytime’ seating was total chaos with waits well over an hour some evenings, even when large numbers of tables were empty; the Ocean Bar and nearby corridor where they send people to wait with beepers was standing room only; --Was served raw Crème Brule in the dining room (yes, burnt sugar on top of a raw egg); --Was offered a sandwich at the NY Deli that they said was “returned by a lady who didn’t want it;” --Had an over three-hour dinner in the Dining Room as the server would just disappear as we sat with dirty dishes in front of us for 45 minutes between each course; --Staff would consistently roll their eyes if we requested anything ‘extra’ like additional vegetables or more potato chips; --Requesting a table for four at Tea, the manager actually yelled at us that we needed to sit separately and when we insisted on sitting at an empty table for four, he punished us by not serving us for 15 minutes then came back in 5 minutes to snatch away the tea things while we were still eating; --I suggested to the Lido manager that it would be great to have ice cream and cookies available in the Lido in the afternoon; he very aggressively told me that I should go spend money at the gelato stand; --And on, and on and on… Yes, the staff was that rude. In fact, the abominable service was the talk of many passengers even ones we met on excursions; some HAL loyalists said they would never sail the line again. Obviously, this is a company that does NOT have a culture of customer service and does not know how to train and/or motivate staff. ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVITIES: The Koningsdam’s World Stage is a wonderful venue. Even with three shows a night, be aware that it fills up quickly. Unfortunately, in 20 days, it was used to good effect only a handful of times. Their ‘Frozen Planet’ production by the BBC with live music by the ship’s orchestra is excellent! Their production shows are good quality even if the choreography is a bit frantic and amateurish. The individual entertainers are pretty much standard mass-market cruise types. The exception was a magic act that was so bad, the audience was streaming out and those that remained offered a few pity claps. The Lincoln Center Chamber ensemble is excellent; as is the BB King group—but unfortunately they are so loud for the venue, it’s impossible to enjoy them for more than a song or two. In the dueling piano lounge, the pianists are good but their voices are weak and repertoire limited. The Casino is fairly large, allows smoking and appears to be underutilized. Second run movies are shown on a large screen on the pool deck on some evenings (there is no movie theater). Unfortunately, the timing isn't great; one show starts at 7 pm and interferes with dinner and a second show is at 10 pm which runs too late for early touring on a port intensive itinerary. The at-sea daytime activities were a huge disappointment, especially compared to other lines. There was daily trivia but were very few enrichment lectures; almost all of the activities were revenue generators like bingo, paid fitness classes, paid cooking demonstrations, etc. Overall, with virtually no comfortable places to relax and read, no daytime movies and no interesting activities, at-sea days were boring. ITINERARY & CHRISTENING: The 13 day Christening segment was a ‘one off’ itinerary that repositioned the ship from Italy where it was built to Amsterdam, which will be its homeport. Having traveled extensively in Europe, the ports on this segment allowed us to tour some interesting places we had not visited before such as Seville (from Cadiz) and Santiago Del Compestelo (from Vigo), Spain and Bayeux (from Cherbourg), France. We enjoyed returning to Oslo on the 7 day Norway segment and visiting Flam and Stavenger for the first time; however, the stop at Kristiansand was uninteresting. For exploring the ports, we toured several DIY, took a few private tours, and used a few of the ship’s excursions. It was interesting to witness a portion of the ship’s Christening ceremony by the Queen of the Netherlands (passengers had to choose which part of the ceremony they would attend). However, the whole occasion was incredibly elitist. It was obvious that the Carnival/HAL corporate representatives that came aboard for two days received vastly better service than the paying passengers. PASSENGERS: Perhaps because of the Christening, but the vast majority of the passengers on the Koningsdam appeared to be older seniors, age 70 and above. Many people we met were staunch HAL loyalists who rarely traveled any other way. During the 13 day Christening segment, there were passengers from America, Canada, Australia, UK and a large contingent from the Netherlands. On the 7 day Norway segment, the average age dropped a bit (we actually saw a few children) and the number of Dutch passengers increased and seemed to become the majority. SUMMARY: Based on our 35 years travel experience, after 20 days on the Koningsdam, we will never ail this ship or HAL again. In today’s competitive mass-market cruise industry, there are any number of better alternatives if value for your vacation dollar is a priority and you have standards for the service and food you will accept. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
My soul mate and I selected this cruise to cruise on Celebrity to Barcelona last year. We are Elite members and had enjoyed sailing with Celebrity. My soul mate went to the Lord in February. Since the cruise was scheduled for April 15 and ... Read More
My soul mate and I selected this cruise to cruise on Celebrity to Barcelona last year. We are Elite members and had enjoyed sailing with Celebrity. My soul mate went to the Lord in February. Since the cruise was scheduled for April 15 and we were traveling with friends I decided to continue on the cruise. I called Celebrity and told them my wife of 63 years passed away and still desired to go on the cruise. They said fine but the cost for a single cabin is 200% for the Sky Suite you booked. I repeat 200%. The same as two people in the cabin. I hope Celebrity enjoys the money they charged my wife while she is in heaven. Once on the ship I went to the Spa to use the stream room. i was to told I could not use the stream room because I was not on the Aqua deck. I am in the Sky Suite which cost more and a Elite member and was told if I wanted to pay $140 I could use the stream room. I don't know who makes the rules but they need to reconsider. My cabin attendant was outstanding. In fact all of the staff were just great. The food was very good. The bar attendant in the special room for suites was truly outstanding. All most every night she was the only bar tender and she worked so hard to mix drinks, serve the drinks and clean all the tables. she deserve a medal. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Some background before I write this review - we have taken numerous cruises on all levels of ships around the world (small, medium, large, riverboats, etc.) so we have a lot of reference points on what we like and expect as a function of ... Read More
Some background before I write this review - we have taken numerous cruises on all levels of ships around the world (small, medium, large, riverboats, etc.) so we have a lot of reference points on what we like and expect as a function of the price point and the specifics of what the cruise line advertises and offers as compared to their competitors. Having recently traveled on Viking (river cruise in China which we absolutely loved!), we wanted to try another ship with a small number of passengers. After a thorough search, we decided to give Windstar (and the Star Legend) our business - per their advertisement - "fully refurbished boat, approximately 200 passengers, gourmet food and wine, world class gym, elegant staterooms and unique and memorable shore excursions'. So let's discuss what was accurate and what was off the mark - the pro's - very spacious stateroom, cabin attendant was excellent, on-board entertainment was very enjoyable, Candles dinning was great, majority of crew worked very hard to make the trip memorable, and select staff management (Elena and Bianca) worked very hard to listen to our concerns and to the extent practical within their control make our travels and pleasant as possible, and the people were so much fun to meet. The cons - (1) for a refurbished ship, the interior was in dire need of a fresh paint and varnish (age of the ship was not well hidden), the bathroom was not updated - pealing paint and wall tiles in shower were old and separating), (2) wine - not paired with dinner or the countries visited, wine tastings were poorly planned and executed (rushed so the room could be turned over for dinner, no wait staff to serve additional portions to the customers, and wine selections ran out during dinner, "wine expert" was not organized and could not keep the attention of the customers) - we stopped going after day four, quality of wines served were average to below average at best and had low Wine Spectator ratings, (3) on-board dinning service - very dis-jointed for the first three days - meals were late (i.e. not everyone was served at the same time), side dished were missing or wrong, and if you ordered fish it was guaranteed to arrive overcooked and dry, (4) food quality - got better as the days went by but serving three shrimps on top of rice is not gourmet, (5) bar service - with the exception of a few bar staff, very inconsistent service for mixed drinks - long wait (10 minutes), wrong order, glass half-filled - deferred to wine and beer to avoid the the hassle which was not our preference, (6) broken water system during seal day - no showers or running water - things happen at sea so my issue is not that this happened but how the ship handled the situation - the captain made an announcement at approximately 9 am and mentioned that the water system broke and we would make a stop at Brest for repairs - not apologetic in any form and tried to make a joke about it - not funny for the guests who were stuck on board without a bathroom or shower - in terms of compensation - NONE...we asked them to open the bar and provide free drinks and were denied....the system was repaired and then broke again around 10 pm (no notice from the captain) - I called the front desk and the staffer did not understand why I was mad as he did not get a chance to shower (paying customer versus employee....where is the training...), (7) off-board dinner in Bordeaux - very elegant, classical music, wine in the courtyard and then dinner - only one selection - a meat dish that was served raw to myself and three others at our table - after 15 minutes and sending it back twice I decided not to eat the dried out mass in front of me. Two wines were served of which one was a beautiful 2001 Margaux - we each had one glass and asked for another bottle - they "ran out" even then we observed other tables actively getting additional bottles, (8) world class gym - broken equipment and missing weights - need I say more, (9) excursions - unlike Viking or other high end cruise lines, Windstar only includes two free shore excursions and the guests have to pay for any other trips so desired - the selections were marginal at best with the most notable being a wine tour of a local vineyard in the Medoc region of Bordeaux - expected elegant wines and encountered less than marginal samples - would have expected a higher quality vineyard to be made available. We did email Hans (CEO) a note summarizing our experiences and have not received any reply as of this review - not terribly surprised since he already has our money and from the experiences listed above, apparently does not have a keen focus on customer service. Some final thoughts and impressions - we probably wont use this cruise line again unless Han's contacts us and don't recommend anyone else using them unless you do a full due-diligence on all high end cruise and read the review, the ship management fell flat on attention to details and building/maintaining a strong and consistent team to perform and execute their respective duties flawlessly every time, and if you are going to offer a marginal experience then charge a marginal price so expectations can be tempered with reality. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015

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