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8 Mediterranean Repositioning Cruise Reviews

Our bucket list cruise did turn out to be a "Cruise of a lifetime", but, not in the way we hoped. Arrived 3 days early in Amsterdam and had a wonderful time exploring that city. Embarkation was a breeze and we were delighted ... Read More
Our bucket list cruise did turn out to be a "Cruise of a lifetime", but, not in the way we hoped. Arrived 3 days early in Amsterdam and had a wonderful time exploring that city. Embarkation was a breeze and we were delighted with the cabin (11134), initially. Evenings were interrupted by folks playing basketball dspite the sign stating activities were to end at 5 PM. So easy to fix, just put the balls away! Dinner the first evening in the Summer Palace proved to be on par with an Applebee's. Formality of service proved to be nonexistent, quality of food was mediocre. Exploration of other options proved more fruitful, specifically, Indigo and Cagney's with formally trained servers. The entertainment, overall, was quite good. There wa an acrobat male and female team that were incredible. The ships crew of singers and dancers were on par with other cruises. Their "Legends" show was outstanding. Activities were spotty, poorly timed and some never happened. Service was subpar compared to other cruise experiences. Having numerous mishaps it appears that communication is their biggest pitfall. All mishaps (but one) were rectified, but, only after having to be (begrudgingly) a squeaky wheel. This was a repositioning cruise that came up short as one of the ships engines experienced problems that were not rectified. Our cruise ended 2 ports early and missed another enroute. This was my first Norwegian cruise and will be my last. Poor communication, training and management failing to manage seems to be the primary problem. Yes, a cruise of a lifetime and one that will never be forgotten. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We like Viking. It was going to the Azores which we had wanted to see and had never been to during any of our travels. We have sailed on Viking Ocean 4 times now. This was a cruise that did not live up to our expectations. The cruise ... Read More
We like Viking. It was going to the Azores which we had wanted to see and had never been to during any of our travels. We have sailed on Viking Ocean 4 times now. This was a cruise that did not live up to our expectations. The cruise director was very talented herself but pretty much dominated the cruise and did not let the other entertainers perform to the best of their abilities. The food which is usually excellent was still good but the service in the restaurants was unusually slow. Disembarkation was truly a disaster. Handled by the shore excursion manager it could not have been worse. This is the second time we have had this manager for shore excursions on Viking. Unfortunately he is not the best and often unorganized or ill prepared. In addition he is not accessible and does not speak English very well which makes him hard to understand. The ship is excellent and most of the staff would do anything for you. Since this cruise had 8 scheduled sea days there should have been more activities. We would be unlikely to take such a cruise again however we most likely will travel again on Viking. Read Less
Sail Date December 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 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
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
My husband and I chose this cruise as we love the Viking River cruises. The ship is beautiful, well appointed and easy to navigate. Well done!!! We enjoyed the game tables that helped pass time at our at sea day. We found that ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise as we love the Viking River cruises. The ship is beautiful, well appointed and easy to navigate. Well done!!! We enjoyed the game tables that helped pass time at our at sea day. We found that the ship's restaurant and Chef's Table staff are still learning the art of serving and customer service. Rather being served all at once at a large table, some waited for over 5 minutes for everyone to get their meal while our food got cold waiting for everyone to begin. Some staff offered many excuses rather than taking decisive action. The Restaurant was soooo loud it was like we were having a shouting match to hear. We found Manfredi's staff the best on the ship, very efficient and pleasant. We don't normally like buffet dining but we chose the World Cafe several evenings because it was quiet and the wait staff very friendly, attentive and accommodating. The food prepared on the Aft Terrace was always cold because of the weather. Perhaps, close it if temperatures do not permit a pleasant experience. Breakfast Room Service was always great and timely. We were anxious to feel the same "Valued Customer" feelings as we had onboard your River Cruises.Unfortunately, the sequence for booking excursions was extremely disappointing. If we didn't pay the higher stateroom cost, we got locked out of some of the optional excursions which forced us to find a private Tour Guide. It made us feel less than Valued Customers. We found out the Algiers Casbah excursion only had 60 seats. This is not very equitable for the other 800 passengers. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We have had a few princess cruises, and must admit that I was disappointed with the ship as far as the different size of the bars and especially the putting green. We had always had such fun on the deck after dinner, and enjoyed it with ... Read More
We have had a few princess cruises, and must admit that I was disappointed with the ship as far as the different size of the bars and especially the putting green. We had always had such fun on the deck after dinner, and enjoyed it with friends. But on this ship it was non exsistant. Far too small. The wheel house bar, by far our favourite one on princess, was half the size . It is such a popular bar for many, which meant that many had to turn away and go to another one. As always the crew were exceptional. Nothing was too much trouble for them. I think she has gone in for a well, not before time, refit. On the whole a thoroughly enjoyable cruise. Although I wont be cruising in August! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I Suppose you get what you pay for. Our experience of cruising is limited and entirely related to late booking saver fares involving allocated interior cabins. Presumably, any responses to complaints (and any sympathy) is likely to be ... Read More
I Suppose you get what you pay for. Our experience of cruising is limited and entirely related to late booking saver fares involving allocated interior cabins. Presumably, any responses to complaints (and any sympathy) is likely to be viewed on that basis. However, our previous two cruises were with Cunard (QM2 and QV) on these arrangements and we would rate both of these as excellent. These cruises are, therefore, our benchmark and we approached our first P&O cruise expecting something similar (we paid slightly more, on a per day basis, than on the Cunard cruises). Firstly, there were some positives. The Oceana is a comfortable, clean and generally attractive ship, comparable, in many ways, to the Cunard QV. The embarkation procedures were highly efficient and the allocated cabin was exactly what we expected. The Cabin steward was a smiling, friendly and efficient young man on his first cruise. The itinerary was attractive and the weather was fine. The staff was generally polite and friendly and the entertainment was generally very good (Vernon Lewis was outstanding). A major problem became apparent on the first night. The allocated cabin was on Deck 6 below the Yacht & Compass pub which featured live music until 12.15am. This was apparent in the loud transmission of bass sounds (you know what I mean – you can’t hear the music – just a continuous thumping sound). This drowned out the television and made any attempt at sleep impossible – we are early risers and prefer to be in bed and asleep by before 11pm. We naturally complained but with little result – apparently no other cabins were available although we were offered an upgrade, for around £400, but with no guarantee of peace and quiet. Anyway, the P&O representative assured us that it would not occur every night (it did!). Thus we were obliged to keep out of the cabin until after midnight, going to the late shows and amusing ourselves in the ship until then. The other major disappointment was the food. We were allocated to Freedom dining which generally worked well apart from a chaotic evening when other passengers boarded at Genoa – we abandoned the long queues that evening and ate (I hesitate to say dined !) in the Plaza buffet. The food in the Ligurian restaurant was pretty standard fare for the first few nights then appeared to deteriorate rapidly until some of the food toward the end of the 17 day cruise can only fairly be described as awful. Examples were two chicken dishes consisting mainly of chicken wings and skin, lobster consisting of shell with virtually nothing in it and a desert (Bananas Foster) which seemed like tasteless black substance with a few flakes of pastry and a little syrup. The omnipresent curry dishes were virtually all the same flavour (the naan bread was like rubber) and the Wednesday breakfast special, kedgeree, turned out be a curry with a few egg slices in it. Fine dining? I don’t think so! The service in the restaurant also deteriorated with menus being snatched away and obvious signs of impatience when making selections from usually quite unattractive menus. The Plaza buffet was best avoided most of the time, particular to avoid that small, but growing, number of cruise passengers who have never been introduced to any concept of good manners and respect for other people. This group, of course, ignored all dress codes and, presumably because of political correctness, these were not enforced. In contrast, the great majority of the many children embarking in Genoa were well dressed and extremely well behaved and a credit to their parents. We were informed by a fellow passenger that a lot of the problems could be attributed to a transfer of experienced staff to the new Britannia. Certainly many of the dining room staff seemed awkward and poorly trained and the attitude of the reception staff could be much improved. Well, as we say, you probably get what you pay for and cruising is generally quite attractively priced. We largely enjoyed it because it is always our intention to do so - concentrate on the good points and try to live with the bad. Every cloud has a silver lining – weight gain (for two) after the last Cunard cruise was 11lbs whereas we lost 2lbs during this one. We never say never but a further cruise on P&O in highly unlikely unless there is no realistic alternative. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015

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