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84 Mediterranean Repositioning Cruise Reviews

Okay. I still think Viking Ocean cruises are the best. Our first Viking ship - the Sky - broke down & our cruise was truncated. BUT, overall, our recent Amsterdam to Barcelona cruise was above average: The ship is beautiful and, even ... Read More
Okay. I still think Viking Ocean cruises are the best. Our first Viking ship - the Sky - broke down & our cruise was truncated. BUT, overall, our recent Amsterdam to Barcelona cruise was above average: The ship is beautiful and, even though this was a full cruise, there’s still some places I haven’t made it to... Torshaven - I’m looking at you! I love that this is an adults-only cruise for the discriminating traveler. I also liked that the line has retained its dress code of casual elegance for dinner... surprising but good! Now for some negatives, to help Viking retain its reputation as The Best: Improve the excursions!! I found both the included and optional to be lacking. The size of groups, pacing, and especially the guides could have been better!! One thing that might help is to do like on our River Cruise. Have one enduring group for the “go-getters” and at least one for the “handicapped and ‘slow-getters’ like photographers.” On that same line, my husband and I did not feel we got the value of our $99 ea Andalusia excursion. A large part of it was tasting the regional food, yet putting a whole bus-load of guests around a long cafeteria table with no choice of foods except the lackluster offerings served by lackluster cafeteria-type employees was an insult!! And the food was not tasty, much less plentiful. Limited to one glass of sangria... Really? 2) Other things noted: the restaurant service ON THE SHIP seems to have slipped since 2015, as well. On our first cruise the staff not only knew us by name but remembered something of our preferences! More training needed in these days?? Oh! And another biggie ( re: lack of personalization): I started in, I think it was April, to try to make the staff aware of a special double-70th birthday reunion for my former college roommate & myself. I wrote several times, spoke to some people and even filled out forms for the exact words I wanted on the cake (to follow our celebratory dinner at Manfredi’s.) I, of course, agreed to pay a hefty charge for this service, yet it was never correct!!! To Viking’s credit I don’t believe we ever got charged for the cake (?), yet we got one we never ate brought to our cabin as a welcome gift... compliments of ourselves?! They also brought us a small non-personalized cake following the dinner - but only after a special request from my husband to our waiter. It was not how I wanted this special dinner for a friend of 50 years to be! I never even got a response, much less compliance, to what I had requested. And finally - about food service: the first room-service breakfast we ordered was not tasty at all and everything was cold. On our second try we specified clearly what we wanted (“hot”, “browned” etc) and it was only minimally better. This was a favorite part of our first (2015) Ocean cruise with Viking!! 3). A couple of suggestions that would make the staterooms even more comfortable: have not only top sheets, but also thin blankets available for those who can’t adjust to the comforters in duvets Provide small microwaves to just re-heat stuff (ie. coffee, croissants) Cut out the Cruise Directors’ unnecessary morning-chatter-announcements... or at least make them later. They annoy us late sleepers. They woke me up - yet I couldn’t really hear them! I suggest only NECESSARY announcements piped into the rooms (not what we can also read in the Dalies/weather etc.) Just beef up the Viking app a bit more with daily changes, etc. 4) And one last complaint: that Immigration check in our Portsmouth stop was inexcusable! We decided that that was the one excursion we would skip (in exchange for a luxurious morning in bed) because we didn’t want to get up early for the immigration check and had such a short time in port anyway. Imagine our dismay at being rooted out with no time to put on makeup or anything! And it is unreasonable if you are not going ashore at all. Why can’t you just check for the necessary sticker when people LEAVE THE SHIP - or, at least, warn people of this crazy requirement in the pre-cruise literature?! SO, it seems with all of the above, I must have hated this trip. NOT SO! It was actually great in sum total, and I will continue to recommend Viking Ocean cruises to everyone I know!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Food was dreadful and allways delivered to the table luke warm or cold. Restaurant Menu very basic and repetirive Very limited variety Waiters friendly and helpful but maitre de's dusmissive of any complaints Buffet was ... Read More
Food was dreadful and allways delivered to the table luke warm or cold. Restaurant Menu very basic and repetirive Very limited variety Waiters friendly and helpful but maitre de's dusmissive of any complaints Buffet was chaotic and the food wss exactly the same every day for 23 days Bar staff and cabin cleaning staff friendly and polite Drinks included in the package purchased were very limited Reception, excursion and managerial staff wrre rude and unhelpful dealing with any complaints (and the queue of ppl complainting every day at reception was long) Entertainment / animation/ activities were rare and what was provided was poor and shows were mediocre Inteenet package purchased was slow and on several sea days not working at all. In cabin movies (pay per view) did not work and froze Announcements on the ship were overly loud and in multiple languages Shops on bpard very expensive and items for sale never changed in 23 days with no cheaper items or sales Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
To visit castl Gandolfo and Carcassonne and to experience Muse. Restaurants. I always thought I would prefer separate individual restaurants as you have on Muse. But, now that I experienced that I was totally wrong. The restaurants were ... Read More
To visit castl Gandolfo and Carcassonne and to experience Muse. Restaurants. I always thought I would prefer separate individual restaurants as you have on Muse. But, now that I experienced that I was totally wrong. The restaurants were great. The food was wonderful. But, we never got to know anyone. It was like dining in a restaurant onshore. The main reception bar area was huge. We always went to the bar on our other cruises (2 world SS cruises, plus others). On Muse we never went once. Too impersonal. The arts restaurant is a great idea. We went there a few times. We prefer dining in our suite on longer cruises. After one exhausting excursion we decided to have dinner in our suite. But, you can only have the 24 hr menu in the suite. I was shocked. We had an owners cabin aboard Oceania once and the butler brought us food from all the restaurants. I could have Italian and my husband oriental. If they can do it, SS can do it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I have sailed a lot, probably close to100 cruises. On Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, I have spent over 360 days. But I was so impressed with everything about this voyage, I’m not sure I ever will go back to any other line; I think I have ... Read More
I have sailed a lot, probably close to100 cruises. On Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, I have spent over 360 days. But I was so impressed with everything about this voyage, I’m not sure I ever will go back to any other line; I think I have found my new home on the seas. embarkation and disembarkation both went very smoothly, a benefit of sailing with only 900 other passengers. This was not only the first and last day of the cruise but also for every port we visited. We were in Suite 4000, a ES1 category. Before sailing, I looked at the diagram for the owner’s suite on deck 7. I wondered if I would have wanted or needed everything provided in that cabin. Once we boarded and were settled in our suite, I was perfectly happy and would not have wanted to move upstairs. Heck, even the lowest standard cabins on Vining Ocean are better than many higher-level cabins on other cruise lines. I have often been a Grills passenger on Cunard. The Queen’s Grill on QM2 is considered by some to be the best restaurant at sea. Although Wiking does not offer dishes prepared table side, the quality and presentation and variety is equal to the food on other ships. Open dining was a delight and we never had a wait, It was nice to have the alternative dining restaurants and not have to pay extra. The rotating menu at the Chef’s Table was a deal. We ate there five nights during the month we were on board. Wine (which was not bad) and beer (which I don’t drink) were free during meals and I never paid for non-alcoholic beverages and coffee away from the restaurants. I consider it a benefit not to have a casino on the ships, photographers always wanting to take your picture, and on the shops on board lining the hallways as they apply their wares. I loved not having announcements every hour. The lecturers were very good and well-versed to discuss their topics, especially the port talks. Evening stage shows were above-average and well attended, but not the glitzy performances produced on larger ships. At least one excursion is free in every port. I participated in some of those and they were fine. The optional, paid excursions were well run and educational. Good variety of options. The gym is good, plenty of machines. Never crowded. A great spa and - since the line is Norwegian - great sauna, jacuzzi, ice water buckets AND a snow grotto. Imagine a snowball fight in the Suez Canal, I can’t say enough to complement the Viking professionals who made this such an enjoyable adventure. I liked it so much that I already have booked a one month journey next summer. I am sold on Viking! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The disappointment started with the embarkation. The process did not go smoothly at all. I have an injured left leg and should not walk for far lengths. The airport provided a wheelchair and the cruiseline said they would provide a ... Read More
The disappointment started with the embarkation. The process did not go smoothly at all. I have an injured left leg and should not walk for far lengths. The airport provided a wheelchair and the cruiseline said they would provide a wheelchair as well. When I got there, there was not chair for me. The women say my orthotic boot and gave me Priority Boarding. The issue it, there was absolutely no crown control. There was ONE line for priority boarding which included both handicap and VIP guests. All the guests, not jus the VIP guests packed all of the lines, and people were even pushing me to get on the boat. I left and told them that I can not get in line and I was told that cannot control what their guests do!!! Get ready to be RUN OVER by wild Europeans on the Fantasia. Do not purchase their excursions. They say that people speak English but in reality, the accents are so thick that you will no understand them anyways. Deborah in Rome spoke very poor English and during the whole tour in Rome the microphones did not work at all. We could never hear her. We took 3 excursions- Rome, Pisa, and Monaco. In all 3, you have very limited time to actually STOP and enjoy a site, or take a picture, or enter a small shoppe. They are so concerned with you being back by 3pm, even if the boat doesnt leave until 5:30pm!!! Its better to take a taxi or do a local tour. MSC excursions are not worth it. Also, only ONE local destination offered free shuttle buses into the city center, I think it was La Spezia, but should be all cities. With dinning, they are far too strict. You have to be seated by 7pm and if you are not you can loose your place in dinning and have to eat at the buffet. The buffet is NOT wheelchair friendly. I was only using a wheelchair temporarily, not permanently, but still, no staff offered to help me. The cruise itself is not very wheelchair friendly, which made me feel very bad for people who are actually permanently disabled. For example, there is no wheelchair only elevators. There were actually not enough elevators. There are also no automatic doors throughout the entire ship so you have to rely on other people to help you through the doors. Also, the counters in the dinning room are far too high for anyone in a wheelchair to take a plate, see the food, and serve themselves. My husband had to help me every day, because the staff never assisted. Once, a kind waitor assisted me when he saw me limping with coffee. Definitely the worst part of our trip and what ruined our whole trip was when our cabin was flooded with water when a pipe burst at 2am. I woke up to water in our room in the middle of the night and had a panic attack. They later told us that we were LUCKY they had an extra room available for us to sleep in that night. They even wanted us to go back to the soiled room the next day. Our items were soiled with dirty pipe water and many of our items were not cleaned for when we were scheduled to disembark 2 days later. They refused to return our money for the price of our cabin for those 2 nights and refused to provide any compensation for our shoes or even let me fill our a complaint form. We have been trying to contact customer service for the pipe even specifcially but no one has returned our contacts. All in all, this cruise line is NOT wheelchair friendly, has no automatic doors or dinning assitance, and did not own up to their responsiblity for our cabin and items. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Like another reviewer on Discovery 2. We have been cruising with Thomson/Tui for many years and agree with everything they have said. Celebration was our favourite ship until Discovery came and then we saw how tired Celebration looked. Our ... Read More
Like another reviewer on Discovery 2. We have been cruising with Thomson/Tui for many years and agree with everything they have said. Celebration was our favourite ship until Discovery came and then we saw how tired Celebration looked. Our first cruise on Discovery was really good ;we were really impressed so we booked another. There were 2 years between the cruises. We were shocked how tired it looked in such a short time. In the buffet dining area tables were taking a long time to be cleared. The choice of food was not as good as the previous cruise. Entertainment was nowhere near as good as the Celebration. Since all inclusive has come onboard as non drinkers we believe we are subsidising the drinkers who seem to order for the sake of it. The dress code has well and truly gone down. Seems you can wear what you like despite the rules. Due to how things have changed we are now looking at other cruise lines which is a real shame. The crew on the Celebration is what made us return year after year. Our first Captain on the Discovery was from the Celebration. He told us Tui knows the love Celebration has and they want to replacate that on all their ships. Sadly they are going badly wrong and will loose alot of their valued customers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We choose to travel on Horizon for many reasons, firstly the sailing dates suited us very nicely and also it was a maiden voyage of Horizon. We came to know many fantastic staff on board during our cruise, Ms. Erbu from Turkey who was ... Read More
We choose to travel on Horizon for many reasons, firstly the sailing dates suited us very nicely and also it was a maiden voyage of Horizon. We came to know many fantastic staff on board during our cruise, Ms. Erbu from Turkey who was very nice, caring and helpful to us, , Ms Melina from Romania, Felix- from Peru, Vicktor from Hungry, David from Peru, Nikolina from Bosnia, Milutia from Bosnia , Frank who kept our rooms clean and tidy, There were many more staff that we had met and they made our our trip a great and memorial one. You had a great cruise director Mike. He made all the shows great and enjoyable for everyone. They was many varieties of food on board, We, both have highly recommended cruising to many of our friends. The shows every night was fabulous. we look forward to our next cruise on Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We have sailed twice previously on Oceana, once when she was quite new and once when she was looking ready for a re-fit. This time the re-fit had been completed and she was looking fresh with new carpets and furniture; but let down a bit ... Read More
We have sailed twice previously on Oceana, once when she was quite new and once when she was looking ready for a re-fit. This time the re-fit had been completed and she was looking fresh with new carpets and furniture; but let down a bit by not refitting the cabins or doing some general maintenance on things like balcony doors that needed a lot of power to open and were very hard for a woman to operate. But I have digressed a bit and will start with the transfer to Southampton. This cruise was a re-location cruise to Malta and we were transferred quite efficiently by coach from Manchester Airport to Southampton. Booking in and embarking the ship was one of the quickest we have experienced from Southampton, and as an added bonus the cases were waiting when we got to our cabin. The main thing we noticed was the pungent smell in the cabin, which we soon pinpointed to the shower curtain; why they dont just change them as a matter of course each cruise is beyond me. We were on fist dining in the MDR as it suits us due to medication issues, the food was always of good standard and served by a great team. The buffet was of similar quality and the midnight snacks and hot chocolate were also very good. The midnight buffet was a great place for a chat with the staff and wind down before bed. Entertainment in the theatre was some of the best standard I have seen for a while, and the entertainment in the bars were also good; just wish they didn't have to disrupt musicians with quizzes. Disembarking went well and we were transferred to Malta, not a long wait and back home. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Great accommodations, the room was beautiful, the balcony was perfect and relaxing, the drinks and snacks in fridge was wonderful. The chefs are attentive and food was surpurb, attentive table service and professional all around. The ... Read More
Great accommodations, the room was beautiful, the balcony was perfect and relaxing, the drinks and snacks in fridge was wonderful. The chefs are attentive and food was surpurb, attentive table service and professional all around. The ship was Beautiful and clean. Great excursions and well organized. We loved their organization getting on and off ship. We were so impressed with every staff member in how attentive to detail they were to each guest. Would love to go again anywhere but need to save save save. We are hoping to find something in our price range. Best vacation ever! The only negative is that we left my set of car keys in nightstand drawer. I contacted Viking 2 days later describing my set. They sent me someone else’s keys. I have discussed several times but no solution. I still have another persons keys. Without my knowledge they changed the file as “resolved” when it wasn’t. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Ship is old but OK, Service is very good, polite, helpfull... Cabin could be better. Excursions are very expensive and not good organised, to get on and off the boat it is a war, a fight to be the first ! Dining is like a hundreds of ... Read More
Ship is old but OK, Service is very good, polite, helpfull... Cabin could be better. Excursions are very expensive and not good organised, to get on and off the boat it is a war, a fight to be the first ! Dining is like a hundreds of hungry pigs doing a hold-up on the buffet! The theme restaurants are better for the service, food is as bad as in the self service. Once I had risotto with St Jacobs scallops , sorry was only 1 slice, about 1/5 of a scallop!! An other day we had Pintade.... the leg who has been warmed up in a microwave, it was hard as a stone!! Also pay attention to your drinks.... not included and very expensive if you want to enjoy cocktais, wine, etc .....I hoped to have a good reposing cruise, but it turned out in a horrible experence. That is why I do not want to let you have the same disillusion Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This was our second Viking Star cruise, first the Inagural year Venice to Istanbul. We arrived in Athens three days early an toured on our own. Once we boarded the Star, we felt we had arrived home. The most welcoming part was several of ... Read More
This was our second Viking Star cruise, first the Inagural year Venice to Istanbul. We arrived in Athens three days early an toured on our own. Once we boarded the Star, we felt we had arrived home. The most welcoming part was several of the bartenders remembered us from two years prior. When you are addressed as Mr. Lang and welcome back, that was it, this was going to be a great trip. Tours— Highly recommend Mykonos by 4X4 vechicle trip, Nazareth & Sea of Galilee Shore Excursion, and last and most memorable From Naples The Vistas & Villages of the Amalfi Coast Shore Excursion. The last one stops in Sorento shipping and Delightful 3 Star restaurant lunch. The road trip along the coast were as advertised most scenic, I finally got the Amalfi Coast off my bucket list after 3 prior visits. Food— My favorite Restaurant is Manfredi’s, memorable fine dining, Chef’s Table was disappointing both trips, the Restaurant is better. My breakfast and late night treat was Mamsen’s in the Explorer Lounge on Deck 7. Interesting note the Executive Chef David McDonald is the only cruise chef I have ever seen throughout the ship we’re food is served- “inspecting the troops”, so to speak, everyday. He has the time to talk to guests- a mark of a true professional. Future bookings and discounts were not available on this cruise because of the official reservations agents departure, a letter was given to some Explorer Members to use this code. I missed the window due to health issues, but will try now on an Amazon Cruise in December 2019. The staff in all corners of the ship were very professional, I believe this is due in part to the original crew who set and maintain a high standard for all new members. All in all Viking out got it right, I hope this experience is transferred the new Ocean ships coming on line. Last — This is not a family cruise for younger folks, I believe as it was modeled this way. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
The cruise was superb, nice stops , great service, cleanliness at the highest level. The food everywhere was superb, highlights were Jacques first, Red Ginger a close second, Toscana s and Polo. The best salad certainly was the ... Read More
The cruise was superb, nice stops , great service, cleanliness at the highest level. The food everywhere was superb, highlights were Jacques first, Red Ginger a close second, Toscana s and Polo. The best salad certainly was the Watermelon and Duck salad served at Red Ginger. The Tournedos Rossini at Jacques was incredible as well as the Mille Feuilles dessert. At Toscana s I had The Filet mignon covered with a Gargonzola cheese sauce. I literrally cut my filet mignon with my fork. The tiramisu there was to die for. Anyway not a bad meal or a bad choice anywhere, the food was great. The Suites was great , the bedding and towels were first class. I could not find fault anywhere. The few things missing, more flowers or flower arramgements on the tables . One small annoyance was the fact that they did not have any way for you to verify your credit statement in your cabin, the only way is to go down to the customer service desk and ask for a printout. The other bugaboo was that they do not put the charge for daily tips on your invoice until the last day. Entertainment was not great but its a small ship. Small ships have many advantages, like no lineups, elevator when you want them, availability everywhere but one thing that suffers is usually entertainement Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Itinerary... and value! My brother and I have always wanted to visit Portugal and the Bahamas, which were both spectacular. The stop in the Azores was an additional treat! The crew was exceptional, and the entertainment surpassed my ... Read More
Itinerary... and value! My brother and I have always wanted to visit Portugal and the Bahamas, which were both spectacular. The stop in the Azores was an additional treat! The crew was exceptional, and the entertainment surpassed my expectations. (I am a musician, and have high expectations.) Well done in every respect. Even my trip to the Ship's Doctor for a sinus infection was a highlight! The speaker for the cruise was also a highlight, as was our visits to the two specialty restaurants. Our cabin was spacious and comfortable, and the public rooms were wonderfully laid out and beautifully decorated. Bravo! We especially liked the small - but very informative - exhibit on Vikings. Very well done, as was everything else on the cruise. We hope to do another Viking Ocean cruise in the future... having now done two river cruises and one ocean cruise. Viking is exceptional in every respect. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Thought we would try Discovery 2 as it is an ex Royal Caribbean ship. They had great crew, seemed really happy, which is always a bonus. Plenty of time in the ports of call. The only thing we didn't like was the casino as this ... Read More
Thought we would try Discovery 2 as it is an ex Royal Caribbean ship. They had great crew, seemed really happy, which is always a bonus. Plenty of time in the ports of call. The only thing we didn't like was the casino as this is always a fun part of a cruise. In this case it was far too small with only one crowded roulette table and dull electronic slot machines. Other than that we had a great time. This cruise was on an all inclusive drinks package. We chose to upgrade to premium but not really necessary as lots of branded drinks included. Passengers dressed smartly for dinner. Great saxophonist and a good comedian. Excellent club on Floor 11. Decent evening meals. A much more chilled experience to have breakfast in the main dining rooms rather than search for a table in the buffet restaurant. Get a cab to town if you travel to Madeira its only 10 euros and saves a huge walk. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this 16-day Iberian cruise because the ship called on 13 different ports. We booked this back in May, so I had plenty of time to research everything and read every review, all 358, and really get a feel for what to expect. ... Read More
We chose this 16-day Iberian cruise because the ship called on 13 different ports. We booked this back in May, so I had plenty of time to research everything and read every review, all 358, and really get a feel for what to expect. The first problem I had was with Cruise Critic's Excellent rating and the rating given by passengers. It didn't make sense until I started reading the complaints; toilet is crooked, no library, long lines, poor entertainment, smoking in the casino, etc. Let me assure you that the complaints listed are merely observations. I wasn't sure we made such a great decision to book this vessel. Don't get me wrong, some people had some legitimate issues, but for the most part, everything else I read was blown out of proportion. The toilet. I'm 6ft tall and I could sit straight on the throne, but my knees did touch the glass of the shower enclosure. Turn a little and viola, not touching. I'm quite sure this was not a design flaw, but a genius move to make the bathroom larger. No library. I've been on many a cruise and I rarely, if ever, remember someone perusing the library for the latest on the NY Times bestseller list. Come on, people. Everyone in the crow's nest had an eReader of some kind. The games were assembled a little haphazardly and no cribbage boards (brought my own). Big deal. Long lines. I'm not sure if the ship was filled to capacity, but at the market stations in the Lido Market I never had more than 2-3 people in front of me. No problems here at all. We did have to queue up for quite sometime when we handed over our passports to the Brits. I met some very nice people standing in line. Poor entertainment. Wrong. We attended 4 shows and 3 were excellent while 1 was good. The Lincoln Center performers are world class musicians. I really don't like classical music, but after listening to one of their performances, went to three more. They were fantastic. There were no dueling pianos. Bummer. BB Kings is rocking and loud and I did remember a review stating that if you got a cabin over the Queen's lounge, you would be sorry. I think they might be right as I passed in the hall over the lounge I could feel the bass quite well. Smoking in the Casino. ITS A CASINO and why did we make smokers criminals? I saw a few slot players smoking, but never smelled anything. No smoking at the tables and a few nights were smoke-free. Not an issue at all. All in all, the Koningsdam is a beautifully and tastefully appointed vessel. I'm not sure that all passengers on board were rolling in dough, but if you do have a substantial portfolio, this is the ship you want to be on. The service is great, stewards awesome, and the food is very good. We ate in the Culinary Arts, Canaletto, and Tamarind. All very good and worth the up charge. We only ate in the Dining Room twice as it takes at least an hour, maybe two and we were always uploading daily pics and planning for tomorrow. The food was very good, however, we simply didn't have the time. I did put down three burgers at Dive In. Tasty! We purchased the unlimited laundry service and the Quench drink package. Worked out perfectly as we could always grab a 1.5 literbottle of water whenever we wanted and mixers for our pre-ordered booze. I will add my own observations to help maybe make some sense of this situation. This ship has both classical and contemporary lines making up much of the musical theme found almost everywhere. I got a strong sense that older HAL cruisers were reluctant to the changes taking place. Maybe I'm wrong, but I got the impression many felt they were being pushed out. I can appreciate that, but in the meantime, enjoy this floating palace. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this particular cruise because of the various unique ports. Well, we obviously did not do our homework. Portland was Weymouth, Seville was hours away, as were Pisa and Florence and Rome from the ports. The excursion prices were ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because of the various unique ports. Well, we obviously did not do our homework. Portland was Weymouth, Seville was hours away, as were Pisa and Florence and Rome from the ports. The excursion prices were outrageous. We met people that had paid just under $100 for shore excursions to the port towns that were walking back to the ship as the excursions were mostly drop offs with long periods of time in between pick ups. The ship is a selling machine. From the time you get on board you are constantly being barraged with announcements, mail, tents on tables and desks to buy excursions, photos, jewelry, specialty restaurant experiences, spa treatments etc. Even water was being sold as you exited the ship's gangways... for 10 to 20 times the price you would pay when you get into the town. We calculated that there was a Sommelier for every 4 tables at dinner time! They sold 8500 bottles of wine on our cruise alone! The ship is beautiful. The rooms and common areas are bright and modern. The bathrooms have modern fixtures and ample room. The room stewards could not have been more friendly or attentive. The table and buffet service was excellent. Most meals were very good. Most of the shows and lectures were good. The Digital Workshop was good, but you have to line up a half hour before the class to get a seat. The World Theater is modern, but only holds 800 people. They had 3 35 minute shows each night to accommodate 2500 guests. We had 9 ports in a row. Too many to thoroughly enjoy as we were exhausted from walking every day. We would not book a cruise with subsequent ports more than 4. Good cruise, but over 50% of the guest were sick with colds. I came home with pneumonia. Nice mix of ages and ethnicity of guests. We met a lot of wonderful people when dining each night. The dining room hosts were extremely accommodating and we never waited to be seated at a table area of our choice. That was a big plus. We really liked the Deli and Dive Inn as alternatives to the dining room and the Lido buffet. We were extremely pleased that all food was served in the Lido buffet rather than everyone helping themselves. Embarkation took 3 hours! We arrived at 11:20 and got to our cabin at 2:20pm! It took 2 hours just to weave through the lineup to get to the desk, then another period of time to wait in chairs to be called to board. This was exhausting. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We take a spring and fall trans-Atlantic crossing every year and selected this sailing to try the new Pinnacle class ship. Summary: We found the Koningsdam to be too large. The ship is indeed beautiful, cabins are well appointed ... Read More
We take a spring and fall trans-Atlantic crossing every year and selected this sailing to try the new Pinnacle class ship. Summary: We found the Koningsdam to be too large. The ship is indeed beautiful, cabins are well appointed and public areas are spacious and modern. The Dutch Cafe is a nice addition. The downside is there are lines of everything on board, as well as for disembarking and embarking at ports of call. Sadly, the sophisticated and classic signature features of Holland America have been lost in the Pinnacle Class design. The Koningsdam is comparable to any Celebrity, Princess or Royal Caribbean ship - nice, but no longer "special" or brand-differentiated. Service - we encountered delays and decline in service in dining venues and bars. The ratio between servers and passengers seemed to be insufficient and staff appeared to be overwhelmed. We complained on the second day of the journey via "Share your Thoughts" program and were assigned a head waiter throughout our 31-day voyage who treated us with "white-gloves". While we appreciated the remedy, the commentary amongfellow passengers of poor service persisted during duration of voyage. Health & Safety Concerns: We identified several and reported during voyage. The most critical was Breakfast Bread Basket in MDR: there is no longer a waiter tasked solely with the distribution of pastries/bread from a tray. The position has been eliminated and a replaced with a basket on the table. This basket remains on the table from one seating to the next and is touched/handled by guests as they rummage thru the contents, looking for the coveted chocolate croissant or muffin usually on the bottom. We never saw the baskets replaced. Several mornings, we found "half" pastries in our basket. This is a germ Petri dish which partially explains the flu outbreak on during our voyage. There was no "mandatory" use of antibacterial gel entering the MDR or Lido either. Previously, a staff member was "stationed" by the dispensers to "encourage" use. Overall comments: 1) The Pinnacle Class is a radical design departure from the cherished hallmark features of Holland America's fleet that have attracted and retained a faithful following: intimate ships, elegant and classic designs, excellence in service and cozy venues. 2) The "Music Walk" in theory was probably a brilliant idea. In practice, it was a disaster. Our preference is for classical music and the Lincoln Center Stage is a welcome addition - yet it is impossible to enjoy the performances because of the location: noise and smoke descending casino staircase; pass-thru traffic to/from theater and forward elevators; noise/chatter from adjacent Billboard Bar and the proximity to BB Kings Lounge. 3) BB Kings Lounge is no longer "enclosed" and the noise is too loud and far reaching. They are a great group, but not to be heard from bars located further away from the Queens Lounge. 4) A new feature on this voyage was a "Pub Crawl" - one would expect to see this on a Carnival FUN ship, not on Holland America. A loud, obnoxious, intoxicated group going from bar to bar has no place on a Holland America ship. 5) In striving to "up the ante" and create a WOW entertainment factor, the options and quality fall short compared to Celebrity, Princess and Royal Caribbean: a) the piano and happy hour has been eliminated from the Crows Nest; b) overlapping days off in music venues: there were several days on the 31-day voyage when there as no live music anywhere on board until 8:15p, and only in one venue. Several days, two performer groups were off on the same day. Not having live entertainment in the "Music Walk" on sail away from both Rotterdam and Civitavecchia was anti-climatic and very depressing. Second seating dinner guests had no music before dinner on these days. c) the HAL singers and dancers performed the same shows on each of the back-to-back (B2B) segments. Other HAL sailings and cruise lines rarely repeat a show on B2B segments. d) Guest performers and shows were mediocre and pale in comparison to options available on competitor lines, namely Celebrit, Princess y and Royal Cari e) Since the acquisition by Carnival Corporation, we've noticed a steady trend in cutbacks, as evidenced by the elimination of: Black & White Officer Gala, Librarian and library with vast selection of books, Neptune Split Pea Soup event on bow on trans-Atlantic crossings, Explorer's lounge evening chocolate truffle treats, Filipino and Indonesian Crew Shows and cruise logs at end of each voyage, to name a few. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
First of all be aware: when they want you to buy the cruise the small words hidings behind the lines. did you know any person need to pay 10 euros plus to the privce? 70 euros more! i didn't see it because it is written in ... Read More
First of all be aware: when they want you to buy the cruise the small words hidings behind the lines. did you know any person need to pay 10 euros plus to the privce? 70 euros more! i didn't see it because it is written in small latters so you won't know untiil the demand it on board. nobody will tell you, just because you signd already and now you will need to pay. After i already gave tips to any batrhender!! the price is include 15% more for service aotumaticolly!! even if you take something from the minibar they will take 15% service charge!! for what?!? so 15% more of service, plus 10 euros per day to person, in my case 2 people, (170-190 euros more just for service!!!). i even took in 5 euros package for social networks internet one day they took me 3 euros more for signing and i did it alone! in ther internet! no service! didn't i paid enough on the cruise already?? the other thing all day long same food in breakfast and dinner. If you are not Italian don't go! because almost al the activities and shows in italian!! if i would know everything of it in the beggining i will not even come to the cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
It is our third cruise with Silversea and we very much enjoyed the cruise, as on the previous opportunities. The cabines are spacious, with varanda. The service is the best point of the cruise: butler, room attendant, attendants at ... Read More
It is our third cruise with Silversea and we very much enjoyed the cruise, as on the previous opportunities. The cabines are spacious, with varanda. The service is the best point of the cruise: butler, room attendant, attendants at the restaurants and pool. Shows are top: the dancers from Bolshoi offered an incredible experience. The six young people (dancers , singers ) should also be congratulated for their fantastic performance. The food and wine were perfect. Excursions were well organized, but passengers sould get more detailed information on the timing and difficulties (foreseen time before first stop with the bus, more precise expected difficulties, and not only "moderate amount of walking"). Should be remembered that people may not speak English. We understand that English is the world wide language, but at least on TV, there might be Spanish,French, Italian channel and not only six (!) English and one German speaking channel. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
The principal reason to chose the cruise was because I liked the different ports and the company of the cruise. It was incredible visiting all the cities, except for Brindisi, I don´t understand that stop. The worst thing was the shows, ... Read More
The principal reason to chose the cruise was because I liked the different ports and the company of the cruise. It was incredible visiting all the cities, except for Brindisi, I don´t understand that stop. The worst thing was the shows, they had always the same style but with different type of music, they weren´t amazing. I only enjoyed the first one. The dinner was good but the cabin too short for 4 people, we couldn´t stay the 4 at the same time because we hadn´t space. The service was one of the best parts, they were always there whenever you needed them. The teenager´s club was entertaining and the kids had a lot of fun there because they met people from all around the world. They loved the disco and the different themes that the disco had. In general it was a positive experience and we enjoyed it a lot. We would definitely repeat it Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
i am happy with the result. in fact, I am going to repeat in one week but this time i will try in Central America. The staff was correct, not nice not unfriendly and the animation team was also good. I didnt like the dance teacher, she was ... Read More
i am happy with the result. in fact, I am going to repeat in one week but this time i will try in Central America. The staff was correct, not nice not unfriendly and the animation team was also good. I didnt like the dance teacher, she was believed, rude and unfriendly with some guests and she laught when someone couldn´t follow the dance class. We weren´t dancer, we just wanted to spend some funny days!! the room was perfect and clean at the first view but we found one tshirt and shoe under the bed and I promise it didn´t belong to us. We paid for all inclusive but we have to pay for juices, ice creams and creppes. I think that if you offer all inclusive service, it should have all the drink and food from the cruise. I am very displease with the excursions and all transfer. The price was really expensive and we paid 4 mor times from de boat in Mikonos just for buying inside de cruise. I think you could give more information about the ports, the transfers and in general, about what we have to do. In my opinion, you should think that nobody knows nothing about how to move in a cruise so all people need information and organization. I also can´t understand why we had to pay for one picture that we couldn´t choose and the staff decided to left in our room. In general I happy with MSC, the experience was differente that I though but it was correct. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Spanish Sunsets Cruise : Date of Cruising: 28 May to 4 June 2017 Having cruised previously with Princess, Royal Caribbean and P&O on their larger ships holding 3,500 passengers, we were a little nervous about booking a western ... Read More
Spanish Sunsets Cruise : Date of Cruising: 28 May to 4 June 2017 Having cruised previously with Princess, Royal Caribbean and P&O on their larger ships holding 3,500 passengers, we were a little nervous about booking a western Mediterranean cruise with Thompson (now rebranded TUI), on their newly refurbished flagship ‘Discovery 2’. The TUI ship is a lot smaller carrying just 1900 passengers. Obviously, on ‘Discovery 2’ you don’t get the feeling of space as on the bigger ships and there is no ice rink, sports court, flowrider, water slides, large promenades, zip wires, etc … that you get on the larger cruise ships, everything is obviously scaled down, but so is the price. This ‘Discovery 2’ is a ship that was previously owned by Royal Caribbean but sold to TUI who then have rebranded it along with a major refurbishment in May 2017. I was presently surprised by what I saw and experienced and in most areas my expectations were exceeded. The cabin was first class and on a par with the other cruise liners we have sailed with. It was spacious and well equipped and had we had no complaints what so ever. The restaurant where we dined for our evening meals (Gallery 47), was also excellent with a varied menu and delicious food. The service from the restaurant staff was also first class. No complaints from me and I’m a fussy eater. Breakfast and lunch was in the Islands buffet restaurant and again the food was very good. It did get busy at peak times but going slightly earlier or later meant you could always get a table. (Peak time for breakfast was around 9am). Generally the look of the various areas of the ship was good and taking into account that it was a ‘refurbishment’ and not a ‘refit’ a good job had been done. Most importantly there was new carpeting throughout which is important as nothing makes a ship look more ‘tired’ than worn faded carpeting. There was a variety of entertainment around the ship and most was of a reasonable standard and some excellent. The main disappointment were the shows in the main theatre. Although the singers and dancers were very talented, their choice of material was disappointing and song choices could have been a lot stronger. The production and scenery was good and the seating was very, very comfortable, it was just a shame the the material chosen for them to perform was not the best. Also TUI could have done better by having more variety with professional artists being brought onboard to perform that were of a higher calibre than the TUI resident dancers and singers, as good as they were. There was one variation during the week when we had a comedy magician who was OK but not the best. Most of the crew were very courteous and helpful and the room stewards good although they were not as visible and as ‘chatty’ as some on other cruises we’ve been on. There were two pools (both with jacuzzis), one indoor and one outdoor. Both were of good quality and the indoor one was not overcrowded, as was the outdoor one, but that probably wasn’t helped with the week of our cruise being Spring Bank holiday week, and so there was a large number of children onboard. There were plenty of sun beds around the ship and if you looked around you could find a variety of shaded areas. In summary: There is an old saying that ‘you get what you pay for’, and that is certainly true here. You just get the feel that things are just not quite as big, as plush, as roomy and of the same quality as the cruise companies I’ve made mentioned previously, but for what you pay it is good value for money. As you can probably tell, I’d prefer to cruise with Princess, Royal Caribbean, P&O etc, but for a cheap one week cruise in the Mediterranean then it’s worth considering if ‘money is not is a little tight’. Having spoken to others that have previously sailed with TUI/Thompson, I think this is a step up for the company and the effort they are putting into raising their image and brand in the cruise market is to be commended. If you’ve booked a cruise on ‘Discovery 2’ then I suspect you’ll enjoy it as long as you don’t expect the same experience as on the larger cruise liners who specialise in this type of holiday. I hope this review has proved useful and if you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me at glyn.day@ntlworld.com. Cheers, Glyn Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We spent a good week because the family company we had was great, but the service on the cruise is better. I have been to other shipping companies and this was the first time with MSC and I think some services are better. To start the ... Read More
We spent a good week because the family company we had was great, but the service on the cruise is better. I have been to other shipping companies and this was the first time with MSC and I think some services are better. To start the tour service, I think they should take care of the explanations of the excursions to the clients, they do not give enough information. The dinners are very monotonous, there is no animation of any kind, for example, dinner of the captain and the captain? He does not come to dinner, you go to take a picture with him .. it should be him who comes to see his customers. Dinner in white ... And ...? if .. people wear white And ...? I do not see animation or support on the part of the waiters and so all the nights ... The animation for the day a little loose ... the daytime entertainers do not look for customers, they do not encourage them to go out and participate ... they are not animations that encourage them to participate. We took a person with a wheelchair, we received in the cabin a letter so that any help we needed to call a number and ask for a person and after three days calling and complaining at the reception, we are still waiting for us to be called and we were asked to apologize at least, because no one picked up the phone and the time we got it they answered us in English (we are Spanish) and they told us that there was nobody that could attend to us and they hung up the phone. We complained at the reception and until today ... without solution, thanks to which between us we could find solution, but not thanks to the supposedly special attention that had that person on board by the circumstance of going in wheelchair. Cruise in size, visually huge and where they take care of the boat a lot, but not the customers, appearance of luxury and seriousness that you need to make the customer feel comfortable. The cabin very nice, size and cleanliness, the life that gives the balcony is amazing. I will return and continue to cruise, but with other companies as before, with companies that take care of their customers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We approached this cruise with some trepidation. We had done the Bay of Biscay a couple of times in rough weather on the big car ferries so no problem there. But we had not used Thomson flights or holidays for some ten years following a ... Read More
We approached this cruise with some trepidation. We had done the Bay of Biscay a couple of times in rough weather on the big car ferries so no problem there. But we had not used Thomson flights or holidays for some ten years following a dispute over flight seats. (On a holiday to Egypt we did not get the allocated seats we had paid for in advance) The flight turned out to be alright but the registration in the terminal at Malaga was a shambles. A two hour queue before we got on the ship. We had an outside plus cabin midships on deck seven which we thought was very good until we woke up on day two to find no heating in the cabin. That day in Cartergena was cold and wet. It was finally solved on day three after breakfast,it was at this point we started to relax and enjoy ourselves. We dined in the Orion Waiter Service Restaurant for breakfast and dinner,we found it very pleasant away from the queues and jostling in the buffet restaurants and helpful to be able to resist the urge to top up your plates. We preferred a table for four as we found we met with nice and interesting people. Any table with more seats ran the risk of meeting the cruise bores, (we've been on thirty or more cruises)- to be avoided at all cost. We did eat in the Lido and Sirens buffet restaurants during the day which were well stocked with a large variety of hot and cold food.We found the service very good everywhere and the food especially in the Mistral a la Carte Restaurant for a birthday celebration was excellent. A highlight of the cruise was a tour of the bridge which we found very interesting. The entertainment was mostly just OK, we preferred the piano bar after dinner, very relaxing with a good singer. The cruise lived up to our expectations which we thoroughly enjoyed. Nice weather in Valleta, Kotakolon, Kefallonia and Corfu certainly helped. Thomson Cruises have certainly got their act together and we will be cruising with them again soon Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Food and facilities were generally excellent. Terraza was a bit hit and miss - excellent the first time and not so good the second time. Sushi Restaurant was great - first timer for sushi and I loved it.. Stars Supper Club has the ... Read More
Food and facilities were generally excellent. Terraza was a bit hit and miss - excellent the first time and not so good the second time. Sushi Restaurant was great - first timer for sushi and I loved it.. Stars Supper Club has the potential to be excellent (great music and ambiance) but food wasn't quite up to scratch. Stars has a tapas/small plate menu, so each morsel has to be perfect and they really weren't. The Grill has excellent steak and shrimp. The main Restaurant was great every night. Wine selections could not have been better - if we didn't like the daily selection we asked for others and got them at no extra charge. Service was excellent in some areas but not so good in others. Passengers want personal service from crew and now that they have to use iPads in the dining areas for food orders the personal service and interaction has been removed. I think the iPads affected the level of service. Use the iPads away from the customer - After you have taken the order. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017

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