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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our first time on Viking Ocean. We have cruised 4 times before with Viking River, and about 35 other ocean cruises. My review is in comparison with Azamara, Princess and Celebrity cruises. The Ship: Very clean, modern and well ... Read More
This was our first time on Viking Ocean. We have cruised 4 times before with Viking River, and about 35 other ocean cruises. My review is in comparison with Azamara, Princess and Celebrity cruises. The Ship: Very clean, modern and well maintained. Staff was always walking around with a basket of cleaning supplies, looking for any spot to clean. Lots of areas to sit and read, play games with others or chat. In the atrium they have electronic game tables. Decks 1,2 and 7 are public areas so it was easy to find things. Interactive electronic boards by the elevators helped you out if you couldn't find something. Cabin: We had a basic cabin that was comparable to most other cruise line veranda rooms. The bed was comfortable and the room was relatively quiet, but often times that depends more on your neighbors. It only had 3 drawers for clothes, which was a drawback. On the positive side, the desk had a lighted compartment and storage area for cosmetics and the bathroom floor is heated. It got too warm sometimes and there is no way to control the temperature. Dining: My expectations were probably set too high since friends had said the food was great. The speciality restaurant, Manfredi's, was superb. I had higher hopes for the Chef's table with the paired wines. The Asian dinner was good, the Mexican wasn't like Mexican food I've had before and the restaurant was only half full for that menu. I could always find something that I liked in the main restaurant, but not the fish except salmon. I sent the sea bass and red snapper back because it was basically tasteless. Portions are small, but that was a good thing for us. Entertainment: Absolutely superb. A cast of 4 singers plus the cruise director were wonderful. They had more shows than most cruise lines we've been on. Only one entertainer brought on for the last show which we missed. Activities: There were 4 lecturers and I attended 2 sessions. They were OK bu if you had a special interest in the wildlife, for instance, you may enjoy it more. They need more things to do during days at sea e.g. group zumba classes, etc. There's no casino, no bingo. Each day there was a 45 minute talk on the next port led by the cruise director. It was short, to the point, and most importantly no discussion on which shops to go to. The shore excursion manager would also give a brief overview of available tours, and how to get around the port. Service: Outstanding. Everyone on the ship was friendly, smiling, and willing to help. The service was attentive in all the restaurants. Ports and shore excursions: We had 4 ports in Iceland, one in Faroe Islands and 4 in Norway. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary and were not disappointed. These are small ports that offer natural beauty and geological wonders. We used private tour companies for most of our excursions because we like smaller tour group sizes, they cost less, and you have control over the itinerary. The included tours are full bus loads, 2 hours of driving, pointing things out and 2-3 stops for photos. I would have liked longer times in port so we would have time to explore on our own after our tours. The ship always arrived around 8:00 and left by 5:00 or 6:00. Azamara stays in port usually until 8:00 - 10:00pm. We booked a future cruise with Viking Ocean as well as River, so that validates our experience with them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Embarkation was a breeze especially since the ship was in port overnight. Liked our cabin, especially the bathroom. There is never enough storage but Viking has tried to include more than other lines. A few days into the trip we ... Read More
Embarkation was a breeze especially since the ship was in port overnight. Liked our cabin, especially the bathroom. There is never enough storage but Viking has tried to include more than other lines. A few days into the trip we asked for a pad over the mattress because the mattress needed to be softer for us....it was brought immediately....our cabin attendant, Fery, is the best!! The ship is beautiful, spacious and never really felt crowded. The food in the Restaurant was the best and our favorite waiter, Edward, always had excellent recommendations. The food in the specialty restaurants was good but not excellent...really enjoyed the restaurant food more. The singing team put on great shows. Got to know and enjoy the company of Damien who shared his pictures of the puffins he got on an excursion with us. The excursions were o.k., some better than others. I usually plan my own excursions but since everything was expensive on this trip, opted for the included ones. Would we go again.....most likely not....For us there was too little to do on the ship. If they included different crafts other than embroidery and /or more ways to interact with other passengers...only had one Trival pursuit type game the entire trip. Not all day is spent off the ship on excursions, something should be offered besides food and drink even on port days. It was a beautiful scenic trip, but now we gave seen what we wanted to see in Iceland. The Faroe Islands were an interesting stop and Norway was exceptionally beautiful...our second time to Flam. BTW.... If you plan to take the ships train/bicycle tour, be aware that the bike ride does not begin at the trains terminal, but about half way down on the way back to the city. My husband was disappointed and had we known we would have planned the bike ride independently from the terminus. All in all, we had a pleasant time on board and in the ports. If you are happy doing your own thing most of the time...Viking is a good choice...definitely for the oldest crowd...which we are not there yet and probably won't be before we stop traveling. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Iceland bucket-list trip on a tired old ship. Everything about the ship was off on this trip--rooms were worn, carpets stained, tables scratched, etc, tours late or over-booked, food so-so-ish, and service mostly good, but occasionally ... Read More
Iceland bucket-list trip on a tired old ship. Everything about the ship was off on this trip--rooms were worn, carpets stained, tables scratched, etc, tours late or over-booked, food so-so-ish, and service mostly good, but occasionally lax. Everyone from the Captain, yes the Captain, on down seemed unhappy with the ship and the itinerary. Rumors circulated that the Captain had complained about being saddled with this route at the Captain's dinner--"what did I do to deserve this...." My sense was that Windstar was just trying to get through a few more cruises on this ship before it enters drydock for a major overhaul in October. The ship's team talked constantly about the need to move on--every complaint was met with a sigh and a promise that the overhaul will fix all bad things. Don't like the broken shower faucets? We're fixing it. Don't like the drink stains on the table? We're replace them all. Wonder about all the repair work? Give us some duct tape and come back a year from now. Windstar did this to itself in many ways. Part of selling future cruises on this Iceland trip was to explain the company's desire to add cabins to every ship--the plans were widely advertised to passengers as a way to keep Windstar in the small-ship category by getting as close to 350 cabins without crossing over. Hence, the conversation was almost always about how tired the ships all are--"we'll be converting staterooms on the Wind Star here and on Star Pride there, etc., but will never go over. The whole dialogue was a distraction and left me wondering why we weren't told that this was a bucket of bolts before booking. And it definitely was a bucket of bolts. It was a great ship ten years ago after it was updated before joining the Windstar fleet, but it has suffered at every turn and the company has spackled its way to the drydock. Food was good, but this ship is not designed for an Iceland itinerary--not easy to eat outside when it is near freezing outside. And the inside amenities were, as noted, aging. Three ancient treadmills and two stationary bikes is not a fitness room and looping the same movies over and over day by day is not an entertainment program. As for ongoing service, reception desk was great but couldn't solve most problems--took us too long to get small things fixed and the ship was confused from time to time with scheduling, in part because Captain Surly was anti-social. The frontline staff was terrific as usual--highly motivated, but worn out by a brutal schedule. Lovely folks out of SE Asia for the most part on short-term contracts and 7-day schedules. Got to love them for their enormous effort. Nothing they could do about the ship's condition so far from the penny-pinchers in Seattle. Would I go on another cruise with the Windstar fleet after this? Absolutely. It's a fine company that cares about quality. I just wouldn't sail with them again this year or next. Give Windstar time to work through the kinks as its fleet goes into the renovations--these are major, major changes that involve cutting ships in half and adding new sections of cabins (see the promotional material at https://www.windstarcruises.com/starplus/). This is not just a little paint and new beds. I'm of the opinion that how a ship goes out is just as important as how it comes in. This cruise was a joy on many levels, but our satisfaction was IN SPITE of the company, not because of it. They have let this ship decline ever since they decided on the upgrades and it shows. Be careful about this, Windstar. Your own advertising about the upgrades contains the shadow of the neglect you've tolerated as everyone waits for the teardown. It showed on this voyage. If we had known more about it before booking, we would have taken another ship. Once burned, forever shy? (Oh, why does embarkation have to be such a crowded mess on Windstar? Not enough people and too little space to do this right on this ship. A mess and uncomfortable. Is that because the all-you-can-drink package sales-team is trying to make a sale? It's the last stop on this brutal, unhappy welcoming.) Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary around Iceland. The scenery is as we have hoped. We were on Star Legend previously and loved the food and lack of lines. Star Breeze delivered on the same strengths. We spent a lot of time on deck ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary around Iceland. The scenery is as we have hoped. We were on Star Legend previously and loved the food and lack of lines. Star Breeze delivered on the same strengths. We spent a lot of time on deck 8 in the Yacht club because of the cold and windy weather, and limited activities. The officers did provide interesting information during our visit to the bridge. We made our own plans for our onshore activities. The local tour guides we found ahead of time were wonderful. The local TI staff are also helpful in directing us to walk paths and hiking trails. In traveling counterclockwise, cabins with even numbers will have the better shore views. We were disappointed in not seeing any puffins. Apparently there has been drastic decline in puffin population. The sea was a little rough the first night but ok after that. Cabin service was outstanding. I wished there is at least one stationary bike with back support in tge Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I did not know whether to title this review “The Last Cruise” or “The $22,000 Colds.” As much as we like Crystal, in 2018 I had booked a cruise on Pro-Iceland for a 7-day cruise of just Iceland. But in April I was in hospital ... Read More
I did not know whether to title this review “The Last Cruise” or “The $22,000 Colds.” As much as we like Crystal, in 2018 I had booked a cruise on Pro-Iceland for a 7-day cruise of just Iceland. But in April I was in hospital with heart problems and we cancelled the cruise and got all of our money refunded from our travel agent David Butterfield of All Cruise Travel in California. By late summer of 2018 I was feeling much better and we booked the Iceland-northern Norway cruise on the Crystal Serenity for 2019. Unfortunately by February I had more heart problems and was back in the hospital for 45 days and three operations. But, damn it; we were not canceling the 2019 vacation. It turned out I should have stayed at home, The cruise was Reykjavik to Copenhagen over 17 days. We had two prior cruises on the Crystal Symphony that were great. Getting There: We love Icelandair! It is the only airline we can afford to fly first class on (they call it Saga Class), but getting a flight from St. Louis to a city served by Icelandair can be a problem. You have to get your baggage after your domestic connecting flight and recheck it. We went through Chicago this year, which was a bit of a mistake. The International Terminal is nowhere close to any another terminal, requiring a bus ride across the airport complex. We were delayed two hours for a 45-minute flight because they had to replace a seat (apparently there was a human discharge.) Once in Chicago things were a little smoother, with one exception. I left an “Andy Carpenter” mystery novel by David Rosenfeld that I was in the middle of on a luggage cart stand. The flight to Reykjavik was great and in fact one of the flight attendants was on our Iceland Air flight in 2006. She did not appear to have changed a bit in 13 years. There was a free large bus from the airport to the dock. This is where I frist discovered I would be having problems. The long walk to the bus showed my heart was still having issues. I had to stop about every 100 feet to catch my breath caused by my heart beating too fast. I had left instructions that if I die on this vacation to give my body to a medical school in Reykjavik or Oslo and save the shipping costs back to the U.S. THE SHIP AND THE CRUISE: The unusual: There was a long line to get onto the ship. It was outside and there was a cold wind blowing with drizzle. This was unusual for us as past Crystal Cruise there were no lines. The Usual: Since Crystal is “an all inclusive” line I have referred to it as the “Cruise Line for Alcoholics.” Passengers were met at check-in by staffers holding trays of glasses of Champagne. Once on board check-in was very fast and efficient. The Stateroom: We got what we paid for even if it was about $7,500 a person for 17 days. The stateroom was small. The only chair in the room was a desk chair. The sofa was narrow and low to the ground with a vinyl covering. You had a tendency to slide off of it. Unlike the beds on the Symphony which had firm mattresses, the bed had a soft uncomfortable mattress and the cruise was for 17-days. If you are in colder climates dry hair is a must and there were two hairdryers, one in the bathroom and the other by the desk. Since our last Crystal cruise they added large screen TVs. There was no disk player in the TVs to play DVDs or music on CDs. However the new large screen TVs came with a selection of downloads that included 84 movies, TV shows and several hundred music selections. The bathroom was nice with a couple exceptions. There was not a walk-in shower but a high wall bath tub/shower combination. The tub was short. Since most people on Crystal are going to be older, this creates two problems. It is difficult for people with knee and hip problems stepping over the high wall of the bathtub. It also seems that the tub was so small it would be difficult to get in and out of it unless you are 5-foot-1 or smaller. A walk-in shower would still need a higher lip, since the drain is slow during peak hours of use, but it would better than the tub. The other areas of concern was that they could use another “grab bar” in the shower and one next to the toilet seat, which like all other seats on the ship is low. THE FOOD: As usual the Crystal food was better than I have had on any other cruise line. There was one exception. One night in the main dining room T-Bone steak was on the menu. My steak was so tough that you could not cut it with steak knife. This was not an isolated bad piece of meat. Diners at other table had the same problem. If you could cut off a piece you ran the risk of choking on it. WHAT? They did have Beef Stroganoff on the menu. I didn’t look closely to the menu since everyone knows Beef Stroganoff is served on noodles. Everyone knows that except the chef and cooks on the Serenity where it is served on rice. The Main Dining Room: It is named the Waterside. As usual there were no lines or long waits to be seated. Service was very efficient but not rushed. My wife had a favorite waiter and we sat in his section on most nights. This was good as I did not have to feel guilty about not leaving a dozen waiters a tip, I could simply leave one large tip at the end of the cruise on our ship’s account for one waiter. Beyond the call: All the desserts were good depending what you like. My wife asked a question if they ever had Strawberry/Rhubarb pie. They don’t, however a maitre told her to come back the next night as he would have one especially baked for her. They did and she said it was very good (I’m not eating rhubarb on a bet.). The same thing happened at the Palm Court bar on the 12th level. I was easy as I always wanted a Coke or a Dr. Pepper. But my wife enjoys mixed drinks. One night she ordered a “Bee’s Knees” cocktail. The staff was unfamiliar with the drink. But the bartender looked it up on the internet and the next afternoon she was served a Bee’s Knees. The specialty restaurants: These were all good, plus they had a few items on the menu that were not part of the specialty dishes for spouses who hated the normal specialty items. At the Silk, a Chinese restaurant I was disappointed they did not have my favorite “Lo Mein” on the menu, but I was well aware that “Lo Mein” is not really Chinese, but something sold at American Chinese restaurants. Bistro: We would often skip the traditional breakfast and go to the Bistro on Deck 6 for fresh fruit and muffins. At night we would often skip dessert in a dining room and go to the Bistro where they had a number of desserts for you to pick from including chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate truffles (I started with 3-truffles a night and by the end of the cruise was downing six.) plus desserts in cups such as Crème Boule. ENTERTAINMENT: Dan Davies in the Piano Bar, The American Saloon, isn’t American but is an Australian. He also was the best entertainment on the ship. He was funny and showed signs of being a very good jazz pianist. He won’t be selling any CDs of his vocals, but still he was worth several trips to his venue. The majority of the passengers got sick with colds and sore throats Dan was not an exception, but his piano work was so good on the nights he could not sing it was still very entertaining. The passengers’ requests were a problem. People should realize the piano bar guys hate playing the Piano Man and My Way. It didn’t stop the passengers from requesting them and Dan reluctantly playing them. There were two comics on this cruise, both British entertainers. One was very good and the other was barely “OK.” On July 4, a British female singer with a number of performances in shows in London’s West End was the featured entertainer. On the program it stated there would be patriotic 4th of July songs for the Americans. I thought it was odd that a Brit would be singing songs reference a war that King George III lost. My worries disappeared when the only song she sang was “When the Saints go Marching In” which has nothing to do with American Independence and is most associated with New Orleans which belonged to the French until 1804, The Crystal Quartet was a group of musicians from the Philippines. They performed music from the American Songbook and pop tunes through the 1980s. They usually played in the Palm Court on the 12th floor. This is also where the ships male dancers, the Ambassadors, who danced with single women or wives whose husbands could not dance, were found on most nights. You could detect a slight accent of the female singer, with one exception. When she would sing songs made famous in the 1950s by the “Singing Rage Patty Page” she sounded just like her. TORTURING OLD PEOPLE: Just like in the cabins, in the bars and lounges all the chairs were extremely low to the floor. In the Palm Court there were four high back chairs that were actually off the floor and they were always occupied. Older people getting up from all the other furniture sounded like a Rice Krispies commercial, “Snap, Crackle and Pop” coming from people’s knees. THE CON: One lecture on the ship was “The History of the Swiss Watch.” The lecture was not by a nice person from Switzerland but by a Brazilian, who happened the run the ship’s “Watch Shop.” He handed out raffle tickets to people attending, but the winner was not announced at the end of his talk in the movie theater. You had to follow him to the Watch Store where he would draw the winning ticket for a small gift certificate. I did not follow him to the store. I felt I was being scammed and walked in the opposite direction. THE DIRT COVE: On thing that really amazed me was that for a ship that was in dry dock for an allegedly complete interior overhaul, was how filthy the white chairs in the Crystal Cove. These were covered in dirt and it is hard to believe that staff was not aware of their condition. This is one of the higher priced cruise ships in the world. You would expect the furniture to be clean. HIGH MARKS: Chief Concierge Marco Juen from Germany went out in the rain and got us a taxi to standby when we simply asked if there were any cabs available while the ship was docked in Tromso, Norway. Juen told us to have a seat. We thought he was going to make a call. Instead he went off the ship and retuned in 10-minutes, wet and telling us there was a cab waiting for us. MOST POPULAR GUY: That would be the guy manning the Scoops Ice Cream bar from noon to 6pm on the 12th level next to the Trident Grill. This guy was serving up Ben and Jerry’s and soft serve for six hours straight, often getting unusual requests to mix the flavors in half or quarter scoops. Regardless how busy he was and how stupid the request was, he always had a smile on his face. FREE: This was the first time on a cruise ship where the computer/internet service was completely free. The ship had a computer room with at least 12 computers available for passengers. Several other computers had leading newspapers’ online editions at no charge. SYMPHONY VS SERENITY: While we found almost everything on the Serenity to be very nice, we preferred the Symphony. Everyone we spoke to who had been on both ships said the same thing. TOURS: My wife and I often differ on places to see. I like to see where people live and styles of houses. She likes to go to where the tour busses are going to famous locations. To handle this dilemma we try to find a taxi that will give us an hourly rate. On this cruise we found that the taxi was often cheaper than the ship’s tour bus trips. The only problem was in some smaller towns there were no taxis to hire. The last full day of the trip was in Copenhagen. The ship offered a free shuttle bus into downtown Copenhagen. It was about a 30-minute ride one-way. It was a rainy day and they rain increased when we got downtown. We just stayed on the shuttle bus and went back to the ship. We got a free 1-hour tour of Copenhagen, a city we had been to before and spent lots of time on a sunny day seeing the tourist sites. WEATHER: Iceland was relatively warm with temps around 54f. In the Norway towns north of the Arctic Circle there were July days where the temperature was near freezing with a combination of drizzle and snow. THE COUGH AND SNEEZE: By the end of this cruise at least half the passengers were coughing and sneezing. Both my wife and I went to the Ships Medical Center. We knew better than to rack up a big bill by seeing the doctor. Instead nurses gave us cold medicines that were very reasonably priced. My wife was in bed for three days on the ship and a week after our return. I was carrying a wash cloth to cough into while on the ship. Counting the cost of the cruise, airfare and other transportation, plus the dog sitter back home our total cost was around $22,000 and perhaps in years to come the biggest memory with be the cough and cold. DEPARTURE: My wife had signed up for the shuttle bus from the dock to the airport. On our last full day on the ship we learned that a taxi to the airport was the same price as the bus or cheaper. Marco Juen at the Concierge Desk had no problem cancelling the bus. We were then able to reserve a taxi with someone from Copenhagen’s Tourist Bureau who was on the ship. It turned out the taxi fare was cheaper than the bus. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our 24th cruise on Crystal and the first after the Serenity came out of dry dock. We took this cruise to relax as my husband was recuperating. The boarding process in Reykjavik was a little off as there was no cruise terminal ... Read More
This was our 24th cruise on Crystal and the first after the Serenity came out of dry dock. We took this cruise to relax as my husband was recuperating. The boarding process in Reykjavik was a little off as there was no cruise terminal but Crystal handled what they were given very well. Once onboard we received our cruise cards without any wait and enjoyed a champagne lunch at Waterside. The ship was immaculate and the service superb. The menus in the Waterside contained many new selections as well as traditional ones and we walked into the dining room each evening, received a table for 2, and never had to wait whether we dined at 6:30 or later at 8pm. The cabin stewardess went out oh her way to make sure we were comfortable. The lido personnel were as attentive as ever even ordering from the grill for us. The onboard activities were over the top, as this was a double theme cruise, mind,body, and Soul. And a wine theme. There were over 6 lectures per day on sea days and so many other events and parties that you had to choose, as you could not do them all Even though the ship was full, there was never a problem getting seats for meals, or at the shows. The entertainment was the best I have experiences so far. Ports were wonderful, even with cool and misty days, we enjoyed them all Disembarkation was flawless. We sat in the Galaxy lounge no more than 5 minutes till we were escorted to baggage claim and our motorcoach to the airport in Copenhagen. Truly a memorable cruise. We relaxed, had wonderful meals, saw magnificent scenery and experienced another wonderful cruise on Crystal Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise as we had always wanted to visit Iceland & Norway. The travel arrangements from the UK were good. The transfer from airport to ship was well organised and our guide was very knowledgeable and gave us a very ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had always wanted to visit Iceland & Norway. The travel arrangements from the UK were good. The transfer from airport to ship was well organised and our guide was very knowledgeable and gave us a very good summary of Iceland’s history as well as pointing out landmarks during the transfer. Embarkation was quick and smooth as we had pre registered our credit card. No long queues as can happen on some cruises. The cabin was very clean and comfortable. The whole ship was clean and people were working constantly to keep it spick and span. There were a number of restaurants to dine in. Some had to be booked but it was possible to eat a number of times in these. It was not possible to book in the main restaurant. On 2 occasions we had to wait but were then brought a drink while waiting. We ate in the World cafe, a buffet for breakfast and lunch but not for dinner. We prefer more formal dining for dinner. The choice of food was good and the presentation was interesting. Overall a good standard. The lectures on board were very interesting and enriching, especially those given about the Geology of Iceland. The optional excursions were good but expensive. Some of the included excursions were coach trips. These were OK but not exciting. We enjoyed our trip very much and rate it among the best we have ever done. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The Star Pride is relatively small (abt 250) with everything scaled down to that size. Service was competent & friendly & more than sufficient to handle the guests efficiently. With all of the well publicized problems with virus ... Read More
The Star Pride is relatively small (abt 250) with everything scaled down to that size. Service was competent & friendly & more than sufficient to handle the guests efficiently. With all of the well publicized problems with virus transmission aboard ship, one would have expected a staff more focused on this issue. Although there were hand sanitizer stations available on the ship (e.g. outside of dining areas) the staff was not involved, at all, in encouraging passenger use as was the practice on other cruises. There seemed a fetish to learn every passenger's name by the 2nd day as if that would automatically elevate one's perception that it alone signified personal service. Perhaps that desire to provide personal service motivated some dining & cabin staff to inappropriately address guests by their given name. Food quality was uniformly superior. A free "specialty" restaurant (Candles) was disappointing. It was not special in any sense of the word. The space used for serving breakfast & lunch was utilized. The tables were "on top" of each other. The service was competent but not fine dining. The menu was limited. After our initial experience, we cancelled our future reservations there & chose to dine in the main dining room. The Fitness Center was poorly conceived--mediocre equipment was squeezed in to a too small low 'ceilinged' room that almost always felt crowded & somewhat unsafe because of that. Two different mediocre duos (keyboard & singer) provided the "entertainment." Too many of the shore excursions were excessively priced. For those who did not choose strenuous activities, they generally consisted of long boring bus tours sprinkled with differing quality of attractions. The disembarkation process was flawless as was the transfer to the airport. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We had wanted to try a Regent cruise for a long time and had actually booked one in 2011 but I ended up in the hospital and we had to cancel. So when we decided on a British Islands trip we decided that this was the one to fulfill that ... Read More
We had wanted to try a Regent cruise for a long time and had actually booked one in 2011 but I ended up in the hospital and we had to cancel. So when we decided on a British Islands trip we decided that this was the one to fulfill that long postponed desire. We went with the concierge suite for the extra hotel day in Reykjavik which we did enjoy ( although the excursion we went on was longer than I had anticipated and we ended being up for about 40 hours before hitting the sack that night). The suite was spacious, our steward was very attentive but the bed was higher in the middle than at the edges so sleeping was an adventure every night. For a luxury cruise line the tv entertainment was the most limited that we had on any of our cruises (this was our ninth) and soon got boring. We were used to larger ships so this was something new to us - a ship that had almost as many crew members as passengers. The service was great from the bar staff to the dining room staff to our room steward. We soon got to know the names of many of them and they remembered us as well. The food was very tasty but aside from the everyday choices the daily specials were limited - more so than on some other cruise lines. I was particularly disappointed in the lobster. Good lobster has a sweet flavor with a soft texture when prepared well - the two times I had it on this cruise failed on both criteria. It had little flavor and was a little tough - very discouraging. That was balanced out by some different takes on staples like onion soup. A redeeming factor for meals was the buffet - they did have a small but varied selection that was different and, at times, more exotic than on other cruises we had been on. We always enjoyed ourselves there. Entertainment and activities were limited but the ones they had were enjoyable - they just needed more than the one offering but on a small ship ( Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary. We had no reason to believe that the ship was as rundown as it was. Dark dingy hallways, bathrooms that have not been touched since the launch of the ship in 1995. It was literally dangerous ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary. We had no reason to believe that the ship was as rundown as it was. Dark dingy hallways, bathrooms that have not been touched since the launch of the ship in 1995. It was literally dangerous trying to enter the tub/shower. There is no elevator above the 8th deck so getting to the spa is an adventure...not a good one. The ship is going into dry dock this fall, however it is not clear why. The Wind's owners have taken a fix it only if absolutely necessary. That means the stateroom is so very old that they replace a curtain only when it is torn, or the carpet when it obviously is disgusting. They advertise their ships as five star cruises. They are at best two or three. The food is mediocre at every level. The hors d'oeuvres served only at 6:30 in the evening, not before, were inedible. Dried out and a mystery to what they might be. Mixed nuts or potato chips at the bar, only if you asked. The meals served in the dining room are ordinary and must come from a Silver Seas commissary used by all of their ships. They are certainly not of 5 star quality...again two to three. In conclusion, everything about Silver Seas is done "on the cheap". Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Chose this 15 day trip with Seabourn because of our interest in travel around Iceland and Norway. Our previous experience has been with Oceania and Regent. Overall, the cruise was excellent, particularly the competence and attitude of ... Read More
Chose this 15 day trip with Seabourn because of our interest in travel around Iceland and Norway. Our previous experience has been with Oceania and Regent. Overall, the cruise was excellent, particularly the competence and attitude of the staff and the attention to detail. Ironically, the worst service we received was in the Thomas Keller specialty restaurant. Variety and quality of entertainment was quite good, especially for a small 480 passenger ship. Food generally was excellent, with only complaint being the lack of variety of food offerings during off hours. The Ventures shore excursions (hiking, kayaking, zodiacs,etc) were exceptional, with amazingly qualified Seabourn employees as guides. Standard shore excursions, however, were hit and miss, and several of the ports of call should have been skipped as either uninteresting or repetitive. My biggest issue with the cruise, however, which obviously is no fault of Seabourn, is the overwhelming advanced age of the vast bulk of the passengers. I am 70 and my wife 64, and we both felt like youngsters. Don't get me wrong, the clear majority of passengers were friendly and engaging, but you can't be in a group of 450+ aging passengers and not come away with a number of stories and impressions about how difficult some seniors can be to deal with. Read Less
93 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We have sailed on Regent going back to when they were Radisson, ( Pre-Regent days), and thought they were excellent. We last enjoyed them a year ago in Alaska, and we were looking forward to sailing on their new ship the Explorer. ... Read More
We have sailed on Regent going back to when they were Radisson, ( Pre-Regent days), and thought they were excellent. We last enjoyed them a year ago in Alaska, and we were looking forward to sailing on their new ship the Explorer. Advertised as the most luxurious ship a-float, we thought this would be the ultimate in Regent Cruising. Suffice it to say I assume that the cost of the ship and its extensive art work and decor must be paid for somehow, and so cuts must be made. It is the little things such as food served lukewarm, or tepid. A request at lunch for a German or dutch lager beer and getting served " Tiger Beer " from the Philippines. A Concierge that immediately responds; "We are not offering any Compensation", when all you were doing was making them aware of an issue, ( while never asking for any compensation). Ordering an Asian stir fry dish listed on the menu in the Pacific Rim Restaurant and being asked how you wanted it cooked? Really? Going to the Patio for lunch and taking a dish from the stack just placed by the kitchen staff and finding the first plate still has food residue stuck on it. When reported and shown to the server, they simply took it away and left the stack of dished it came off of in place for other passengers to take their plates from. I have no idea if the other plates were clean or may have also have had some residue stuck on them as well. Is it possible as Regent has increased the size of this newest ship to add more passengers that they have lost ability to continue to provide World Class Customer Service? Our overall experience made us feel as if we were on a Princess, or Celebrity Cruise, good but not " Luxury Class, not world Class. Goodbye Regent and Hello NCL. Service for the masses, good but not luxury. For us, if I want that type of service I can Cruise with Princess, or Celebrity, or Royal Caribbean. For luxury though, I will be comparing to SeaBourn, and SilverSea Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise due to its unique Itinerary. We've had enough of St. Petersburg, which dominates the other Scandinavian cruises. We had never been to Iceland, the Faroe Islands or the Shetland Islands, or most of the other stops ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to its unique Itinerary. We've had enough of St. Petersburg, which dominates the other Scandinavian cruises. We had never been to Iceland, the Faroe Islands or the Shetland Islands, or most of the other stops in Norway, Denmark or Sweden. My wife has never seen Norway. We loved Explorer during our Panama Canal New Year's cruise at the beginning of the year. It sails superbly, even in rough weather. Explorer is one of our three favorite cruise ships, the others being Oceania Riviera and Marina (whence came Explorer's wonderful teaching kitchen, pan-Asian restaurant, and spa layout). Voyager and Mariner would come next on our list. The infinity pool is underutilized; people seem not to realize it's open to everyone. We went through the Panama Canal from there; far better view than from the Observation Lounge one criticism is the infrared "sauna," which isn't close to being hot enough for sauna lovers. Also, running out of aqavit on a Scandinavian cruise is inexcusable! Food and service were excellent. We favor Pacific Rim and Prime 7, but Chartreuse was very popular too, though there is a strong split opinion; we much prefer Jacques on Oceania). Compass Rose is far better than the MDR on Oceania, but try to get a table in the quieter back rooms. One secret is the superb authentic Irish Coffee made in the Cafe. Entertainment as good, especially the British comedian. Smithsonian lecturer was knowledgeable but a very mediocre monotone speaker; Regent needs to find more dynamic speakers. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
This cruise took us from Iceland, through the Faroe and Shetland Islands, to Norway, Sweden, and ending in Copenhagen. What a wonderful experience - we will find it difficult to “go back” to regular cruising. The service was ... Read More
This cruise took us from Iceland, through the Faroe and Shetland Islands, to Norway, Sweden, and ending in Copenhagen. What a wonderful experience - we will find it difficult to “go back” to regular cruising. The service was outstanding, drinks were generous and ubiquitous, our cabin was so luxurious that we didn’t mind spending time in it, excursions were informative and geared to the capabilities of the “over 55” set that is the primary passenger profile. Beautiful ship with original artwork, glass sculptures, etc. Only complaint is that, since airfare is included, they make the arrangements, and you have no say in your air itinerary unless you pay a $175pp fee. Domestic airfare is coach, not what you expect for a luxury line that transports you in Business Class for overseas travel. Our next cruise leaves Miami and ends up in San Francisco - we don’t expect to have to travel coach cross-country, and the cost for upgrade is very high. The rebate if you choose not to use their airfare is not enough to cover travel cost. We do like the convenience and security of using them to book air, but wish that they would just include travel arrangements that are suitable for a luxury vacation for ALL of their cruises.. We did have to stand outside in a cold wind with slight rain, waiting to embark onto the ship. Other passengers told us that having to stand in line out in the cold (and it’s cold in Iceland even in August) was not normal. Did not like that. Hotel in Reykjavik was poor, but they are building more new ones all around. Our room was small, no A/C so we had to keep the window open even in the rain, listening to the traffic below. Mold in the shower. I suggest RSSC find a better hotel there or get the Blue to improve. Read Less
74 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise partly because of the reviews and partly because it went to a few places that we have not been before. First, the good: They had an excellent lecturer aboard and I thought his presentation was phenomenal. ... Read More
We chose this cruise partly because of the reviews and partly because it went to a few places that we have not been before. First, the good: They had an excellent lecturer aboard and I thought his presentation was phenomenal. They had one great restaurant: Chartreuse, for French, but you can only book it once. The suite was adequate, lots of drawer space. The seating area could be partitioned off with curtains, so it could be considered an actual suite. Decor is very dark with low ceilings. I am 5’6” and could place my whole hand on the ceiling. Now the negative: We have cruised before with Seabourn and Silverseas. This did not compare to those lines in any way. The main issue is the overall experience: We felt like cattle. Like many other luxury lines, they include the tours in your price, but unlike others our experience, they make no attempt to control the quality of the tours. On Silverseas, we had a crew/staff member on every bus and on every tour. If something went wrong, that person was able to manage it or intervene. Regent makes no effort to even ask for reviews of the tours. The most obnoxious part was the tour departures: They ask you to line up early on board to turn in your tour ticket and get a bus number. There are a lot of buses on a 700 guest cruise... then you wait and wait in the very dark “Constellation Lounge” until your bus is called. Often twice a day. You spend a very long time hanging out in this lounge with staff repeating the same thing over and over... Then you line up to offload and get on the buses. I do not remember any waits or lines for the tours on with either Silverseas or Seabourn. Finally, the food is just ok. They rely heavily on buffets. Their returning customers seemed happy with that. There was exceent restaurant, Chartreuse. The other two were just OK. There seemed to be a dichotomy of opinion between people who cruised with them often and the newcomers to Regent. The returning customers thought it was just the best experience, and the newcomers were talking mutiny. Our experience was exactly what we wanted to avoid on a cruise. Perhaps it is caused by the move back to larger ships. It has put us off cruising for the future. One of the reasons we chose Regent was because of the glowing reviews. Please don’t be fooled. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was our 45th cruise and our 3rd cruise on Crystal. We were intrigued by the itinerary - from Reykjavik to Portsmouth. The weather, admittedly, was dicey for the entire time (cold, windy and frequent showers) but we always try to not ... Read More
This was our 45th cruise and our 3rd cruise on Crystal. We were intrigued by the itinerary - from Reykjavik to Portsmouth. The weather, admittedly, was dicey for the entire time (cold, windy and frequent showers) but we always try to not let that impact the overall experience. Crystal excels in top-notch service and this cruise was no different in many respects. Our stateroom attendant was terrific and never failed to bring fresh ice each afternoon at 5 pm as we had requested. Typically we enjoy having a cocktail on our verandah as we sail away from each port but, because of the weather, we ended up visiting one of the many bars instead. The Crystal Dining Room is darn near perfect. The menus have been refreshed while still offering a number of traditional selections. Our waiter, Miroslav (Miki), was absolutely amazing and the sommelier, Lorena, was probably the best we have ever had aboard a ship. We chose the flexible dining option and it worked perfectly every night. Kudos to the Maitre d' and Asst Maitre d' for having such a uniformly excellent staff. Even at luncheon which was open seating we always had terrific service. Prego, in our opinion, is a waste of time. The staff there have a cavalier, if not aloof, attitude. The menu is either extremely dated or, in many instances, offers food which barely passes for Italian of any region. Symphony is 20 years old now and beginning to look, and perform, like a dowager in comparison to newer luxury vessels. The bathroom of our verandah suite was small and cramped and the vanity, with two plastic washbasins, was the smallest we've seen in years. The sofa in our cabin is really a chair and a half. And it's a hassle to dress with closets having sliding doors close to the bed. Our biggest disappointment in this cruise, however, was the itinerary. Before we sailed, one change had already been made to the originally published ports of call. The "maiden" call at Djupivogur, Iceland was an enormous waste of time. The few who went ashore, as we did, came back shaking their hands in amazement at why we had even stopped. The stop at the Isle of Skye was on a Sunday - almost nothing open in port and the shore excursions sold out quickly. Belfast and Dublin were fantastic, weather notwithstanding, but the call to Waterford was cancelled due to rough seas which the tenders could not cope with and we stopped in Cork (Ringaskiddy) instead. The last port of call, Fowey (Cornwall), was abandoned for the same reasons and we steamed on to Portsmouth instead, arriving there at 2.00 pm. Shore excursions were not arranged but a complimentary shuttle took folks to a local shopping mall (American style) with the same brands we have back home. I will close with the same comments I made after our Crystal Serenity cruise in December 2016. The efforts to expand the Crystal brand in recent years with river cruises, luxury air, luxury yacht, and so on seem to have resulted in the line losing sight of its core product. We have a cruise later this year scheduled on Silversea and a cruise next May reserved for the newest Seaboard ship. We heard similar comments from a number of other passengers. At this point we don't envision returning to Crystal in the near future. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Friends raved about Crystal and we loved the itinerary from Reykjavik to England. This cruise had no sea days and was packed with interesting ports. It was a perfect way to celebrate a 30 year wedding anniversary. We arrived late ... Read More
Friends raved about Crystal and we loved the itinerary from Reykjavik to England. This cruise had no sea days and was packed with interesting ports. It was a perfect way to celebrate a 30 year wedding anniversary. We arrived late afternoon to meet Symphony in Reykjavik harbor. Our exploration of Iceland in a rental car convinced us that driving requires more time than expected, so we opted to miss the first evening's dinner and drove off to the Fontana spa for a wonderful adventure. Every other evening was spent on the ship and we loved it. Food and entertainment exceeded our very high expectations each night. Symphony is a wonderful ship. It is well arranged and spacious enough that a full load of passengers won't ever feel very crowded. Service is great and the ship is kept "crystal" clean. We were impressed with how well the ship performed in very rough seas. A quick comment about the food is in order. The dining room and two specialty restaurants are wold class. They rival the best restaurants in major cities. The food options elsewhere on the ship were somewhat mixed. There were many choices at the Lido buffet, but the offerings were too often lukewarm or cold. We also had a couple of mediocre breakfasts in the dining room. A second cup of coffee was sometimes easy but sometimes difficult. By contracts, the Bistro Cafe was always terrific. There were usually wonderful espresso drinks, service, and snack selections at that location. Also, Symphony will be greatly improved by tech and decor updates this October. I would definitely cruise on her again after the next dry dock refurbishment. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
I love Crystal, for its outstanding service, friendly crew, beautiful ships, delicious food, and lectures/ other activities. Everything during my 3-1/2 weeks onboard was amazing, from the shore excursions to the cabin stewardess. ... Read More
I love Crystal, for its outstanding service, friendly crew, beautiful ships, delicious food, and lectures/ other activities. Everything during my 3-1/2 weeks onboard was amazing, from the shore excursions to the cabin stewardess. Embarkation and disembarkation were painless, with no waiting at any point. One never feels "herded" on Crystal. I particularly appreciate the approach to the Solo traveler---Crystal welcomes us, charging somewhat less than double the fare for a cabin, depending on the cruise. They also host "Table for Eight" dinners in the specialty restaurants, so that one need not dine alone, unless preferred. There were many Solo travelers on my cruise. This ship and its sister, the Serenity, are scheduled for major upgrades later this year, and, while I'm sure the results will be lovely, I will miss the Symphony just as it is. The Bistro is one of my favorite spots for a cappuccino with ocean views. Also, there is a fine selection of sweet and savory snacks, though one could easily make a meal of them. My cabin was my retreat when I needed downtime--- I kept it very neat and tidy, and therefore it was plenty roomy. The suitcase fits nicely under the bed. I didn't even use half of the storage drawers. Lectures are a particular favorite of mine, and we had several, on subjects as varied as Donald Trump, Atlantic Ocean geology, and the Ancient Romans. We also had several excellent concerts, as well as fine ballet dancers performances. All in all, though I just got home last night, I would go again in a heartbeat, and, in fact, am already booked on Crystal for 2018 and 2019. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Chose this sailing for an interesting itinerary and read many rave reviews about Crystal. Have previously sailed Silversea and The World Ship so I am very familiar with the luxury category. Crystal just did not measure up. But first, the ... Read More
Chose this sailing for an interesting itinerary and read many rave reviews about Crystal. Have previously sailed Silversea and The World Ship so I am very familiar with the luxury category. Crystal just did not measure up. But first, the positives...the maitre d' in the MDR was excellent and solved a sticky seating issue for us and the ship was spotless. The specialty restaurants were very good and a nice change from the MDR. I had an excellent massage in the spa and the gym seemed to be big enough for the size of the ship and it had good equipment. Entertainment was also good and I appreciated the self service laundry rooms. We took 2 ship excursions that were well organized with very good guides. Among the disappointments...standard balcony cabin was tiny with the tiny slippery leather sofa being so uncomfortable we couldn't use it at all so we took turns sitting on the chair. The ship constantly vibrated and swayed - even in port! No one bothered to learn our names...we were M'amsir to most of the staff. Food was inconsistent being excellent sometimes and very much hotel banquet-like at other times. The included wines were also a very mixed bag with only a very few being drinkable. Service in the dining room was also spotty being great one night and terrible the next. The Lido is not a luxury experience at all...chaos reigned as we had to repeatedly ask for coffee some days and 3 different people would repeatedly offer coffee the next! We found hair on the buffet food more than once. Breakfast in the MDR was the worst service of all as we again had to ask for coffee repeatedly and plates were removed while we were still eating! Room service was just plopped down still on the tray right onto our tiny table. On Silversea the waiter would bring a tablecloth and set the table, flowers included! We came away feeling the company over-promised and under-delivered and is closer to a mass product than the true luxury experience advertised. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We chosse this cruise because we wanted to see a lot of Iceland. We met 2 fellow Cruisers on the Cruise Critic Roll Call, and we arranged two private tours together for the two days preceding the cruise. Embarkation and Disembarkation ... Read More
We chosse this cruise because we wanted to see a lot of Iceland. We met 2 fellow Cruisers on the Cruise Critic Roll Call, and we arranged two private tours together for the two days preceding the cruise. Embarkation and Disembarkation iwent smoothly because we were only about 250 passengers. The cabin was comfortable. The crew was great. I was greeted with hugs by Liani and Kristen who were crew members on the Star Pride and remembered us from our previous cruise last year. The food was consistently good. The night of the barbecue dinner was very cold and and windy, so we were dining wrapped in blankets. If you want to see Iceland, this is a great way to do it, The country is beautiful and the Icelanders are wonderful. The shore excursions were all very good. my only complaint would be that the special event, a church concert and cocktail party, were nothing special. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We spent a few days in Reykjavik on our own and stayed at Reykjavik4You apartments because I liked the location more for walking in town. It turned out that Seven Seas gave us enough back for ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We spent a few days in Reykjavik on our own and stayed at Reykjavik4You apartments because I liked the location more for walking in town. It turned out that Seven Seas gave us enough back for not staying in their preferred hotel that it almost paid for our 2 night stay in Reykjavik. The ship seemed very nice to us. It was lovely having pretty much everything paid for. It meant we never gave a second thought to whether or when we wanted drinks or similar items. It isn't that we drank that much, but it was nice not thinking about it in reference to cost. On the other hand, we may have taken more shore excursions than we actually wanted since they were mostly free, which lessened free time for exploration. We were in concierge suites because it didn't cost that much more than basic ones and gave us the first choice on shore excursions. Our steward was excellent about keeping our cabin clean and providing plenty of what we liked the most without our saying anything to her. For example, she kept us in red grapes when we didn't eat the green ones, while my mother's cabin was supplied predominantly with her favorite green ones. The food was probably the biggest let down on the cruise. After a couple of room service breakfasts, we had all our morning meals in La Veranda, and they were very nice. When the weather was good enough, we ate on the rear balcony. We usually had lunches in La Veranda or the Pool Deck, as well. The meals were fairly simple, but fine. Our dinners in Compass Rose were almost always fine. They weren't gourmet, but they were well prepared with fresh ingredients. Dinner in Setti Mare at La Veranda was not good. None of us enjoyed eating dinner there at all. The specialty restaurants were a particular let down. Prime 7 gave us fairly tough steaks and lobster, among other dishes. The desserts weren't very good either. It isn't a restaurant I would have gone to a second time or a first time if I were to cruise on their ships again. Signatures, which I think is no longer on Voyager, had better dishes, but not that great. Occasionally we got nice appetizers in the Observation Lounge with our before dinner drinks, but usually they weren't very good. The cookies that were out on the pool deck and the coffee lounge were generally no better than packaged cookies, and the afternoon teas didn't offer much that we liked, either. We didn't take advantage of the entertainment services except for enrichment lectures and their cirque show, both of which we enjoyed. Service really was good on Voyager. Everyone seemed to make a big effort to greet us, and the staff who checked us on and off the ship learned our names very quickly. The shore excursions were hit and miss. Some were marvelous, and some were a waste of time. Our favorite was a free one to Vigur Island in Iceland. Our least favorite was a river walk in Oslo, which turned out to be a creek that mostly went past nondescript factories that had been converted to apartments or office buildings. We are not very experienced cruisers as we've only been on 3 other cruises: a Holland America week in Alaska, an independent Galapagos week long cruise, and a one week riverboat cruise on the Columbia and Snake Rivers in Oregon and Washington. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2016
Chose Viking Star due to previous excellent experience on Viking River. Viking Star absolutely top notch in line with Viking River. No nickel and dime for premium dining - I think we ate 6 times at Manfredi's - no charge for beer ... Read More
Chose Viking Star due to previous excellent experience on Viking River. Viking Star absolutely top notch in line with Viking River. No nickel and dime for premium dining - I think we ate 6 times at Manfredi's - no charge for beer & wine. No forcing passengers to navigate casinos, photographer and useless vendors like other cruise lines. Included port excursions were great per viking usual - what other cruise line would charter a train instead of a bus for a long ride. The included wi-fi was definitely not up to snuff. But that is the ONLY problem on the Viking Star. We added pre-cruise excursion to Iceland and post- cruise Bergen to Oslo. Viking needs to work on negotiating what they advertise with their hotel partners. In Iceland - rooms were not available when we arrived. In Oslo Viking did not have anyone at the hotel when our Viking bus arrived. The hotel staff tried to accommodate but it was several hours before rooms and airport transfers worked out. Definitely not up to Viking standards. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2013
As Silversea fanatics, we never thought we would "jump ship." It was the itinerary on the Voyager, --Reykjavik to Copenhagen that sold us on Regent. The ports were stellar -- Reykjavik, Isafjordur, Akureyri (Iceland), Torshavn ... Read More
As Silversea fanatics, we never thought we would "jump ship." It was the itinerary on the Voyager, --Reykjavik to Copenhagen that sold us on Regent. The ports were stellar -- Reykjavik, Isafjordur, Akureyri (Iceland), Torshavn and Copenhagen (Denmark), Lerwick (United Kingdom), and Alesund, Geiranger,Flam, Bergen, and Oslo (Norway). We were absolutely delighted with Regent. The Voyager is a lovely ship, -- sleek, simple elegance. We had a Horizon View suite (highly recommended.) As previous reviews of the Voyager have provided excellent in-depth coverage of the ship, I thought I would simply add a few highlights. BLOCK PARTY Genius! At the sound of ship's "cocktail bell," we were invited to grab a glass from our rooms and head out into the hallways to meet our neighbors. Wine, champagne, and appetizers were served by the ship's staff. Captain Gianmario, General Manager Franck Galzy, and Cruise Director Willie Aames combed the decks and hallways greeting the guests. The atmosphere was festive and fun. From then on, we could greet our neighbors by name. Such a creative, thoughtful touch. CHAMPAGNE AND CAVIAR FOR BREAKFAST A lovely Sunday breakfast tradition. What luck! We had two Sundays on the ship. Talk about living la dolce vita. ENRICHMENT LECTURES We have lost count of the number of cruises we have taken. At least fifty. Sandra Bowern was, in our opinion, the best enrichment lecturer of all. Not only was she supremely knowledgeable, -- her engaging, cheerful, charming, and warm style was absolutely wonderful. ESPRESSO MACHINE IN SUITES There are many venues on the ship for coffee, including room service. The problem, we find, is that in order to obtain coffee, one most likely will have to encounter people. We love people. After a cup of coffee, that is. (We barely talk to each other until at least a half cup is downed.) Sipping espresso from our balcony with our darling little demi-tasse cups while arriving at the port of day ... exquisite. ENTERTAINMENT We thoroughly enjoyed the shows. We especially appreciated the variety of the shows and the talent of the Jean Ann Ryan Singers and Dancers. Real dancers! With real bodies ... wow. Seriously -- on some cruise lines the dancers have so much silicone that, in case of emergency, possibly the best survival technique would be to simply hold on to a dancer. (Guaranteed floatation.) The trio in the Voyager Lounge, Nature's Rhythm, drew us in nightly. They played a variety of music and the dance floor was rarely empty (but not full, which was sweet.) The tall one who played the base had the most amazing voice. They were also hilarious...sprinkling a dose of their quirky dry humor throughout their show. THE STAFF What a personable lot! All of them. Two stand out: Willie Aames, the Cruise Director, was one of the most down-to-earth cruise directors we've met. Willie even conducted the non-denominational Sunday service. He crafted a lovely service, sharing his experience of going from a movie star-to playboy-to becoming an ordained minister. Very touching. Willie was a refreshing change from the "Rico Suave" types we're used to. In fact, he was often seen wearing hand knit sweaters from the local Scandinavian ports. He was approachable and genuinely kind. Conny the Concierge was our hero. Icelandair managed to lose our luggage. The agent at Icelandair promised our luggage would arrive the following day. Nope. Not the following day, either. Or the next. We called a number of times and the agent, let's just call him "Lars Liarsson," kept promising: "your luggages vill be dare een da morgen." Once we got onboard and gave the information to Conny, she was all over Icelandair. And effective. She gave us frequent updates on her progress. On day four of the cruise, she personally delivered our suitcases. We doubt that we would have been reunited with our luggage without Conny. So grateful. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In wrapping up, we were, basically blown away in the best way by the entire cruise. We encountered just one glitch: THERE IS ALWAYS ONE (in every crowd) Regent Seven Sea's "no tolerance" policy on smoking was another influence in our decision to try RSSC. It was not long after setting sail that we were aware that someone was smoking. Uninvited carcinogens aside, we are also stench-averse. And what a stench! Once we traced the location of the culprit, we left a nice note on his cabin door requesting that he cease smoking on his balcony. It might have been my imagination, but it seemed as if he stepped it up. I don't much like being a tattle-tale, but we were cruising in one of the most staggeringly beautiful places, -- blessed with a sheer abundance of purifying pristine alpine air...and yet -- there was that stench. We made a report. The situation was immediately investigated, but the guy denied that anyone in the cabin smoked. What could they do? So the stench continued. So...do you know what I did? I shot him. With my camera. It was a good shot. Crystal-clear obvious who was smoking and where. The guy was that idiot-arrogant...leaning on his balcony, just puffing away. He saw me take the picture. What a scowl! Then he disappeared. So did the stench. Ah. Clean, clear air. He didn't smoke on his balcony again until the last morning of the cruise. I guess he figured: "what're they going to do? Kick me off the ship?" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ With a twelve night cruise and only one negative experience, we can call this one fabulous cruise. We will forever treasure our memories of our Vikings and Vistas voyage on the Voyager. We can hardly wait for our next cruise with RSSC. Read Less

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