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4 Reykjavik to Canada & New England Cruise Reviews

Just returned from three week cruise on Riviera. Have cruised with them before but I think they have gone downhill. Many small problems. Late for several excursion because of management issues. Three tours was cut short because of ... Read More
Just returned from three week cruise on Riviera. Have cruised with them before but I think they have gone downhill. Many small problems. Late for several excursion because of management issues. Three tours was cut short because of problems but we were offered no compensation. Twice we had serious tender issues and once had to be towed back to ship. Crew was good but I think there are management issues. Most disappointing was the excursions.Descriptions did not match reality. They over-hype the excursions. leading to a disappointing experience. Management unresponsive to our issues.Disembarkation was an issue. We were told breakfast a 5:30 but when we got there they said it was a mistake and had to wait until 6:30, another in a series of management miscommunications. Leave the ship was 30 min.later than we were told. Special restaurants were all excellent. The manager of Red Ginger was very impressive and ran a top notch operation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We loved Oceania so we booked a trip from Iceland, through Greenland, Canada, and the coast, to New York. Plenty of headaches leaving and returning to the ship because of the tenders. Lots of ineptness by the staff. Plenty of "hurry ... Read More
We loved Oceania so we booked a trip from Iceland, through Greenland, Canada, and the coast, to New York. Plenty of headaches leaving and returning to the ship because of the tenders. Lots of ineptness by the staff. Plenty of "hurry up and wait." We arrived in Reykjavik at 6:30 a.m. and were taken to a hotel but first, we waited for an hour at the airport as the staff tried to find our names and cross them off separate lists. Sounds simple but each staff person (3) had to cross our name off of their own lists and thus caused a delay. Then, instead of waiting in the warmth of the airport, they sent us outside, temps in 40's, and made us wait for busses that arrived 30 minutes later. Next, we went to a hotel and waited in a conference room for four hours until they brought us to the ship. It would have been nice to drop us off in a shopping district but we all sat around waiting. When we got to the ship, we all waited outside in the rain in one long line. No cover. Poor start. We signed up for six excursions. They have you arrive in the Riviera lounge 15 minutes before the star of your tour. Twice we waited because of tender trouble. All four tenders were not operating. We sat in our seats for two hours. Those with private tours were screwed. When you stay in a port for 7-8 hours, such delays are inexcusable. In St. John, we arrived for our tour 90 minutes late. The highlight was returning to the ship in a heavy downpour. Lightning, hail, an inch of rainfall. The bus stopped and our tour guide said, "Please stay on the bus, the weather is bad but it will usually clear up in ten minutes." OK. I'll sit. An Oceania representative showed up and said we had to leave immediately because the tenders are waiting for us. All 40 of us, some with walkers and canes, made their way to the dock some 75 yards away, sloshing in an inch of water as lightning flashed above us. When we got to the dock, there were no tenders. NO TENDERS! She lied to us to get us off the bus so we could hurry up and wait. We all waited outside, under a roof, cold, wet and pissed, for a half hour until the tender arrived. It stopped raining in ten minutes. Thank god no one was struck by lightning. This was inexcusable and showed that Oceania had no concern for people's safety. The other thing we noticed is that, unlike other cruises, the wait staff didn't return and ask if you wanted refills of your beverages if you didn't have the alcoholic beverage package. I'm a water and iced tea drinker. The experience with the tenders has soured our view of returning to an Oceania cruise. It is one of the most expensive cruise lines and you shouldn't have mistakes like this. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our cruise on the Silver Cloud from Reykjavik to Montreal and the on to New York: Journey to Iceland: As we always try to arrive a day before we join the ship we flew from Germany to Iceland on Saturday. The flight was uneventful ... Read More
Our cruise on the Silver Cloud from Reykjavik to Montreal and the on to New York: Journey to Iceland: As we always try to arrive a day before we join the ship we flew from Germany to Iceland on Saturday. The flight was uneventful but I would not mention Icelandair as one of the better Airlines. Service was not too good; the plane seemed to be in desperate need of rehab. The hotel had arranged a pick u p for us since we always arrange for our own travel arrangements. The driver brought us straight to our hotel which was the Radisson SAS 1919, which is also used by Silversea for the Pre-Cruise Nights. The room (a deluxe room) was ok, nothing special but nice. We had dinner in the restaurant that night and I have to say service was terrible. Not only was my mom covered with salad dressing when the girl cleared the table, also we had to wait forever for food and drinks. Already on the first evening we got the news the ship would be arriving late the next day due to rough weather for several days. The next morning the message was...the ship will arrive around 6 pm. Silversea had arranged that all guests would be transferred from the Radisson Hotel to the Grand Hotel since that one is larger and there would be more space to spend the day. We decided to keep the room for the day (we had to pay another night) and wait there. A lot more relaxing. At the end the ship arrived at 5 p.m. and we drove to the harbour at 7 p.m. All the other passengers joining the ship that day had Dinner at the Grand Hotel and joined the ship at 8. Departure was delayed from 6 p.m. that day to 12:30 p.m. next day. In my opinion Silversea did handle the very complicated situation well and did the best they could do. Embarkation: Not much to say here since we were the only ones arriving at that time. The other 94 passengers arrived one hour later and altogether there have been 120 people in-transit. The Ship: I know many people have been disappointed that the Silver Cloud did not undergo the same extensive renovations as the Silver Wind. Speaking for myself and also for my mother - we are more then happy about it. We've seen several pictures from the Silver Wind and we don't like the changes there at all. So we were happy with what they did on the Cloud. We love the new flat screen TV's they have in the suite now (we always have a Veranda Suite). Furniture, carpets, curtains etc. looked all very good to us. Also the public rooms have been in a very good condition. Of course you will always find a few marks and scratches somewhere but there was nothing disturbing us. The pool has been renovated too and looks really good with the new tiles. Unfortunately the weather on this cruise did not really invite us to go swimming. The Food: For sure something you can always discuss about. With food you can never please everybody. We liked most of the food. On the last day we heard many people thanking the chef for the great food. But of course we also heard people saying we did not like this or we did not like that. And always the answer was "what would you like, could we do something else for you". The Crew: The crew has been as always lovely and wonderful. The only thing we did not like is this butler service. We don't need it and we don't want it. I have no idea what they are doing all day because since they are there all the stewardesses have been demoted to Assistant Stewardesses and they all have to clean about 14-16 suites by themselves. And that is a lot especially because he butlers only refill the minibar, change the fruits etc. For us it would be perfect if they would go back to the old system. The guys in the bar and the restaurant have been hardworking but always friendly and everybody remembered our names and what we preferred to drink. The Captain was doing an amazing job since we had lots of problems with the weather. We had to cancel one port cause of rough sea and arrived 7 hours late in New York cause of bad weather. The ports: Our first port was Narsarsuaq in Greenland. A small village (140 people living there) with an airport and a cafe. The reason for docking there has been for sure the tours to the glaciers. Since we've seen glaciers in Chile before we didn't go this time, also the tours have been fully booked. I spoke to some people afterwards and they all loved it. After another day at sea we were supposed to anchor off L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Unfortunately rough sea did not allow that so we had to cancel this port. Lot of people have been really disappointed but there was nothing the Captain could do. Tendering would have been just too dangerous. So went on to St. John's, Newfoundland. Nice city but the weather was not nice again. So we only took a little walk and did some shopping. Next port of call - St. Pierre, one of the islands of St. Pierre et Miquelon. We docked there on a Sunday, most of the shops were closed and the town itself was very quiet. Not really a lot to see in my opinion. From St. Pierre we sailed to Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Due to the bad weather there was again not much to do. Normally the countryside is very nice but with all that fog and rain you could not see a thing. From Newfoundland we sailed into the St. Lawrence River and the Saguenay River. Weather was again dreadful but we had the chance to see Beluga Wales, Blue Wales and Dolphins. And I have to say seeing Belugas that close to the ship has been worth the whole cruise. Reaching Quebec we finally saw the sun. Wonderful for such a beautiful city. I could spent hours just strolling through this lovely town. We walked around the Lower and Upper Ville, and discovered a few more things. Next stop was Montreal for two days. First day the rain made Embarkation and Disembarkation not really easy for the crew but I am sure they did their best. We decided to stay on board the first day and luckily the next day the sun was out and we took the bus in town. Discovering all of Montreal ...well almost all. Not really possible to see everything in one day. Back in Quebec we decided to walk around again. Unfortunately the little place was so crowded. 4 cruise ships in town are way too much. Gaspe, Quebec is another really small place. Many people took a scenic tour to PercE and seemed to really like it. Due to an accident of my mother, all we got to see was the hospital of GaspE. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, we've been here a few years ago and it is really a lovely place but not when it is raining and windy. So again, only a little stroll through town and some shopping. If someone is interested in Anne of Green Gables, that is the place to go. Sydney, Nova Scotia and Halifax, Nova Scotia, due to the bad weather, yes we still had storm, rain and freezing cold temperatures we could not see or do much there. I mean there is no reason to drive for example to Peggy's Cove if you won't be able to see the famous lighthouse or so. Boston, yes the rain was following us. Most people had to pack anyway and it was a Sunday. Some went out shopping or for lunch but many people stayed on board. New York we were supposed to go through the Cape Cod Canal at 6:30 pm Sunday evening. Due to rough sea and strong winds we have been delayed and went through at 2:30 at night. This caused a 7 hour delayed arrival in New York. Problems for many people that had to change their flight but providing a stunning sail in to New York for all of us. Finally the weather was great. Cold but sunny and blue skies. The cruise was great despite the weather. Food was wonderful; the crew friendly and extremely helpful not only after my mother had the accident and was confined to a wheel chair for the rest of the cruise. The ship looks great to us. And we are looking forward to our next cruise on any of the Silversea ships. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
We embarked in Reykjavik, Iceland, a lovely city, on a clear summer day with temperatures well into the 70's, after following SS's Arctic packing list for long underwear, layers, and sweaters, wondering if we would have occasion ... Read More
We embarked in Reykjavik, Iceland, a lovely city, on a clear summer day with temperatures well into the 70's, after following SS's Arctic packing list for long underwear, layers, and sweaters, wondering if we would have occasion to use any of our polar gear. We were on a quest to follow the path of the Vikings from Iceland to Greenland, to Vinland, and also to visit remote areas to view glaciers, icebergs, and wildlife,especially polar bears, on Zodiac boats, but with the sumptuous comforts of Silversea. My husband and I had not been on an expedition cruise before,and were very excited to be on the Prince Albert during its inaugural year. Embarkation was smooth, and our cabin, in the "Explorer" class, was roomy for an expedition ship. We had a problem with our TV reception which was soon rectified by the engineering staff, but exemplified the minor "kinks" on the ship which was brought into the SS fold rather quickly and which has some continuing small issues that are still being addressed. More on that later. The ship was fully booked for this cruise, with approximately 120+ passengers. The passengers were a very congenial, sociable group and we were able to meet most over drinks, lunch or dinner. Being such a small group, there was a feeling of intimacy on the trip, with the frequent sighting of familiar faces. The crew and expedition staff were also most professional and welcoming. Waiters, bartenders, room stewards, masseuses, and all onboard soon identified passengers by name and recognized preferences. The level of service was excellent. Our first day was a sea day, crossing the Denmark Strait en route from Iceland to Greenland. Seas were relatively smooth. Captain Paul Heslop, who introduced himself and his crew, steered us safely to Greenland. There we visited Skoldungen Fjord,a remote and beautiful spot,and took a hike over spongy tundra after venturing out for our first Zodiac trip. The scenery was breathtaking; unfortunately the native insect population was out in full force to welcome us and feasted on the unsuspecting visitors! SS had apparently not anticipated the "welcome" by the local insect populace, as several unlucky waiters were sent ashore to set up a champagne table for the passengers to sample while waiting to board Zodiacs back to the ship. They had no takers, as all were busy swatting away the attacking hordes and envying those prescient passengers who had worn head nets. This unfortunate scene was not repeated, and SS must be given points for trying to live up to its "every desire fulfilled" motto, although insect repellant rather than champagne would have been welcome. From there we headed for Prins Christian Sund, enjoying beautiful weather. The Sund cuts through the Southern tip of Greenland, and provided very smooth sailing and spectacular scenery: mountains, glaciers, and icebergs. We again embarked on Zodiacs and were able to proceed close to pristine waterfalls, calving glaciers, and icebergs galore. THe glaciers and icebergs were often a "windex"-colored aquamarine. There was not a sign of humans except for our small bunch. As we were often told by ship's staff, this was an "expedition", not a cruise, and the landscape did not disappoint. Throughout the cruise, in our time at sea, or between Zodiac tours, the expedition staff gave informative, interesting lectures about topics which were pertinent to our trip. They were all interesting and entertaining; my only criticism would be that sometimes they were a bit too detailed and academic for the general audience that was the passengers. The other "entertainment" onboard was the ship's keyboard artist, Daryl, who did an excellent job entertaining passengers after a long day of Zodiac adventures, and even encouraged some dancing on the small dance floor. We visited villages in Greenland as well as ruins of Norse settlements. We had the opportunity to do some more hiking, and happily, the insects were not an issue. All stops were very interesting, and we continued to have sunny weather, although it was cold enough at times on the Zodiacs to justify the packing list of Arctic gear. Greenland showed itself to be a stark, formidable, and beautiful land. The expedition staff and local guidesoffered commentary at all stops. While it goes without saying that passengers must by carefully "herded" at remote landings to ensure that all are safe from local fauna, such as polar bears (we had an armed local fellow onboard for that portion of the trip), and that no one is left in uninhabited areas, it did seem that, in the towns, villages, archeological sites, and recreated Norse settlements (the local versions of Colonial Williamsburg), that there was a bit too much of the school teacher mentality of "keeping with your group". Sometimes husband and I just wanted to wander about to soak in the local ambience. While we certainly weren't stopped from doing so, there was a bit of an overabundance of groupthink, but this was the inaugural season, and I am sure it will be worked out. Having said that, there were occasional "group" lapses. We went on the "long" hike in a Nunavut, Canada, port, and were told to stay with our group, which was accompanied by 2 Parks, Canada, staff, with rifles, as well as expedition staff, as the local black bears had adopted Grizzly bear behaviors, and would, we were told, stalk and kill people. Nonetheless, when the long hike became a vertical hike and was a bit much for the majority of the group, the rifles continued with the small group that made the summit, leaving the rest of us apparently unprotected until their return. Fortunately, no stalking was encountered. It may have been that the folks ahead could oversee all, but it was a bit disconcerting as the group, in this case, did not stay together, but was considerably spread out. In Nunavut, Canada, we saw numerous polar bears from the Zodiacs, which was awesome. Also saw impressive bird cliffs. Expedition leader Combrink and Captain Heslop are to be commended for varying the planned itinerary to take advantage of local information of polar bear locales to enable us to see them. Every effort was made to ensure that all passengers saw the wildlife. The passengers were divided into 4 groups for Zodiac disembarkation, but, if a spectacular polar bear sighting was encountered, the disembarkation was flexible to help to ensure that all saw the wildlife. While some groups had more sightings than others, everyone saw numerous bears and ship staff did its best to accommodate all. We did hear that there was a prospect of viewing a walrus "haul-out", which we did not see, that, while not on the published itinerary, was within range. We don't know what considerations may have affected the decision to stick with the planned itinerary, but local knowledge of locations of wildlife, we hope, will be carefully considered for future voyages. Unexpectedly, we were able to view aurora borealis on 2 nights, which was a great treat! The stops in Labrador and Newfoundland toward the end of the trip were quite enjoyable with much information about the fishing industry and informative local guides. Again, however, SS should be aware that not everyone is always looking for the guided tours. Silversea did take advantage of local offerings, and we saw drum dancing, Inuit throat singing, and had a snow crab feast. Food onboard was very good, although lunches often outshone dinners, especially when it came to dessert offerings. Also, duck and suckling pig at lunch were superior to some dinner entrees. However, dinner was a very pleasant experience, with good wines, excellent service,and great company. One memorable dinner featured Captain Heslop (or his staff-not sure who was actually responsible) negotiating a "slalom" course through a field of icebergs as all enjoyed fine cuisine. What an experience! And I must make a special mention of sommelier Karolina, who was indefatigably pleasant and always offering her creations immediately in the reception area, such as a marvelous hot chocolate (with a variety of possible alcoholic embellishments!) as the chilled passengers returned from a Zodiac tour. Even on this excursion ship, there was a very adequate fitness room and a wonderful masseuse, whose attentions were very much appreciated. There was also a beauty salon which seemed to be much engaged, although we did not use that particular ships service. I heard some comments from fellow passengers that the ship was still a "work in progress" as to details in the public areas like paint and spackling around some window areas where previous configurations had obviously been changed, and had not been completely rectified. However, I think some of that has to be expected during an inaugural season, and undoubtedly SS will be handling many of these matters between NYC and Florida, when no passengers will be onboard. We are disappointed to note that the Prince Albert will not be returning to an Arctic itinerary, as we thought there was much to explore in this region that we could not see on this cruise. We hope that SS will return to this area at some time, as we much enjoyed our trip, and, despite some minor issues, would definitely travel with Silversea on an expedition trip or otherwise, again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2008

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