6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We've traveled throughout much of Europe and a little in South America, but two countries we had not been exposed to were Brazil and Portugal, so when this cruise was announced we jumped at the opportunity. It also helped that the ... Read More
We've traveled throughout much of Europe and a little in South America, but two countries we had not been exposed to were Brazil and Portugal, so when this cruise was announced we jumped at the opportunity. It also helped that the cruise line was offering a double cabin upgrade (veranda for the price of an inside cabin), and the extras offered (gratuities and basic drink package) were not common on ocean crossing cruises. Even with all our travel, we are relative neophytes in the cruising game, having only taken a total of four over the years. The most recent cruises were on Celebrity, which we now use as our standard against which to judge others, and we were anxious to compare this "upscale" cruise line to those. We arrived in the departure city, Rio, a day early and took in the sights, and then the next morning taxied to the port. As the ship is small and only holds about 700 guests, the lines were short in the registration area, and it was only a matter of 15 minutes before we were boarding the ship. The wait to get into our cabins was also short, and luggage arrived quickly. A bit of good news we received once we were on the ship was we were able to use our Celebrity points to get some perks on Azamara (including a free hour of wifi time). Our cabin was small (category V3 on deck 7), but it had plenty of closet space and places to store the luggage. We met our cabin stewards, Dyna and Gouri, right after finding the cabin, and they carefully wrote down our requests for stocking the minibar and other requirements. For the rest of the cruise they tended to our needs perfectly and unobtrusively, always with a smile on their faces. At the muster drill we learned an interesting fact: Apparently Norovirus, the scurge of cruising, manifests itself within 24 hours of embarkation. So the cruise line doesn't allow guests to touch any of the serving utensils in the buffet for the first day. Not sure if other lines have adopted that practice but we didn't hear of any outbreaks during our cruise. For the remainder of the cruise we learned the ins and outs of Azamara cruising. The ratio of guests to crew is less than two to one, and there are always management staff around to ensure every operation runs smoothly. In the buffet they are constantly providing coffee refills, taking away plates, filling up your wine glass or other drinks. In the main dining room it's all open seating, meaning you meet new people each day. After the first couple of meals we were especially pleased with one of the servers, Doma (from India), and so from that point we requested to be seated in her area each night. She and her assistant, Wayan (from Indonesia) took great care of us, remembering our drink preferences and other details, and becoming great friends by the end of the cruise. Other dining options were the small cafe on the pool deck, where you could get hamburgers, salads, chicken wings, etc., as well as frozen yoghurt for dessert, and two specialty restaurants (which we didn't take advantage of). Both my wife and I felt the food quality was excellent, with plenty of choices at all times, and there were always two types of red and white wine each day, which we enjoyed. There were also special occasions, such as buffets outside on the pool deck. One of those was their "White Night" where everyone is encouraged to wear white. Food was plentiful (including zillions of BBQ lobster tails), and live entertainment and dancing lasted late into the night. Since the weather was quite chilly and windy that night, they provided blankets to everyone. Another special offered was the Chocolate Fantasy, with every chocolate concoction you could ask for including two fountains. Entertainment ranged from magicians to singers to comedians, but our favorites were Four on the Floor, their resident singing group. A special event was the crew talent show, where various crew members showed off their singing and dancing skills. It was great fun seeing people we knew on the crew and finding out they had such great talent. For us other reasons Azamara stands out are (1) small ships and easy to get around, (2) free guest laundry with free detergent, (3) free shuttle buses to take guests from the ship to the city center in each port, (4) drink packages and prepaid gratuities even on ocean crossings, and (5) crew members that take pride in ensuring your happiness and satisfaction. Those and everything else about Azamara are the reasons we found we were in a great minority of only cruising once with the line. Nearly everyone we spoke with had cruised with Azamara 5, 10, 15 or 20 times. One couple had been on nearly 50 Azamara cruises! We definitely will cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
First of all, on our many cruises we've never had such a warm and fuzzy crew, we felt like part of an extended family, and it was genuine. The crew actually bids to come back to the same ship because they like being around each other. ... Read More
First of all, on our many cruises we've never had such a warm and fuzzy crew, we felt like part of an extended family, and it was genuine. The crew actually bids to come back to the same ship because they like being around each other. We never witnessed grouchiness or tension among the staff, in definite contrast to the larger cruise ships we've been on in the past. The service was hence over the top. Perhaps it was just our L'Austral crew, but e.g. the front desk ladies were amazing, juggling all day in at least 2 languages, and manning the reception 24/7. Always friendly with a smile, and anything we asked for was done, taken care of or checked on with efficiency. We never felt 'second class' by not being French, and 99% of the French passengers were very friendly once you tried a few words in French.. I think sometimes people get insecure and appear standoffish until you get to know them a little. Due to the itinerary, we had a significant number of Aussies, Germans, Austrians, some Brits, someone from Iceland, and a handful of Americans. Several multilingual passengers, and an unusually high number of solo travelers. That being said, it does help to speak French, since the naturalists, cruise director etc are all native French people, and not every joke or comment can be translated properly into English. All announcements were always in both French and English. The captain was very involved and you seemed to run into him often. He was there, coming in another Zodiac when ours had engine problems, always ready to help out. He navigated that vessel safely and very smoothly. His background is commanding icebreakers, so a transatlantic is probably much easier work for him. Overall recommendations: Although there's 3 elevators, they don't reach everything, for example the marina. Not a good ship for wheelchair, crutches, or walker. Cane may be okay if you can negotiate 1-2 flights of stairs. Currency on board is Euro, but you can settle your account in USD, and if you book a future cruise on board, the quote can be done in either currency. The onboard boutique/store does NOT have sunscreen, nail clippers, antacids... so don't forget those. They have mostly clothing, a few gifts, small amount of jewelry and handbags. Most of the clothing is for use in Antarctica. All high quality (mostly made in France and Germany), and thus pricey. If you wish to leave tips, you have to have cash. Unlike on other cruise ships, where you can add a tip to your bill, you can't do that on Ponant. The services in the spa already include a service charge. Food/drink: Be prepared to gain weight - we felt like Thanksgiving turkeys.. especially the desserts are too delicious to pass up, plus they have daily varying homemade gelato.. ugh. The pastry chef is top notch, French of course. And then the cheeses...! Our ship wasn't full, so during the first 2 weeks, dinner was either buffet on 6, or sit down on 2, and lunch was only buffet. You can always get coffee drinks, croissants and fruit in the main lounge on 3 in the a.m., and coffee/tea with some type of goodie from 4pm-5pm, main lounge as well. Open bar using decent brands, top shelf is extra. Their champagne is pretty good, and on certain occasions, Veuve Cliquot comes out. House wines red/white/rosé are overall decent. If you like beer, you'll be probably disappointed. Mostly Heineken, and e.g. Corona amazingly has to be paid for. Main dishes range from okay to superb - it really depends who's cooking and what. The mostly Indonesian crew is of course best at fish etc, even room service fish was fantastic. The Peruvian carving chef was amazing. Lamb most of the time was awesome. Be aware most of their beef and pork meats (roast, loin etc) are cooked 'rare' and are quite fatty. Room service club sandwich was the best sandwich we've ever had, period. Now if you can't find anything to strike your fancy, just talk to the restaurant head guy or directly to the chefs, they will come up with something for you. Spa/fitness: actually got a haircut, Elsa was very good and took a whole hour, only 65Euro. The hammam looked nice, very hot in there and we were in the tropics, so didn't use. Fitness center looked nice, mostly deserted. The saltwater pool is a decent size for a small ship, due to internal ramp you can't swim laps but it's nice to hang out or tread water. As far as the itinerary - the Brazilian government has now banned all non-Brazilian vessels from anchoring off Fernando de Noronha. It was quite a bummer, but nothing could be done about it. We received 250Euro onboard credit each as a compensation. OB credit can't be used for future cruise deposit, certain visas they arrange for you, or tips as I mentioned above. Since basically everything is already included, we "had to" shop at the boutique, DH got a real Panama Hat and I bought an Icebreaker vest and 2 Breton sweaters, nice souvenirs! Brazil: Rio - loved it and will try to return Paraty - very quaint, difficult walking on cobblestones, not touristy, and no public RR Salvador - broke my heart to see how they let their city deteriorate in so many ways.. even in the public market prostitution was going on. Very sad. Recife/Olinda - Would love to return to see the Olinda Carnaval. We had dancers from Olinda come to the ship to present a show and they were spectacular. Olinda walking tours are quite the workout walking steep hills in high heat and humidity. Guinea-Bissau, Bijagos Islands There was a couple (he French, she Portuguese) who lives on Keré Island, who acted as cultural intermediaries. Our naturalists came from Antarctica and that's where their expertise lies, not Africa, so they did not have much information. Honestly, most of my information was from documentaries I had found online at home, prior to the voyage. The Islands are definitely not touristy (there's rarely a ferry from Bissau), most of the village inhabitants are very reserved and do not interact. It appears they asked a couple of women to put on their 'good dress' and sit by the walking trail, so people could get their selfies with a person from Bijagos. I felt we were being intrusive overall, although I understand they authorized the visit and Ponant helps finance e.g. a water well etc for the villages. If you're a snorkeler/diver, this is not your spot, water murky with very low visibility. Sadly, we saw almost no wildlife, wrong season, normally there are lot of birds, hippos etc. Senegal-Dakar Well, we spent the day at an African family's B&B in Dougar, 45 min E of Dakar, and about 20min from the new airport. We booked through airbnb.com and they reconciled us with Senegal. Before we arrived there, I couldn't get out of Dakar fast enough, between peddlers, noise, the smell of urine, Sahara dust, and traffic insanities... Considering you don't wait in line for anything except the Zodiac embarkations, and the whole ambiance, it's definitely a luxury line and we're glad we chose this trip. Regardless of the itinerary glitches, we enjoyed ourselves and were thoroughly relaxed, so we booked another/ future cruise onboard, which will be on one of the sister ships. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Dining in main dining room was average. However, the dining in the specialty restaurants was very good. Liked the choice of 5 dining options. High cost for tours. Best decision is to organize a private tour on Cruise Critic and use Tours ... Read More
Dining in main dining room was average. However, the dining in the specialty restaurants was very good. Liked the choice of 5 dining options. High cost for tours. Best decision is to organize a private tour on Cruise Critic and use Tours by Locals. Overall service was very good. The butler was excellent and the cabin service was very good. Prices in the shops was way out of line. No general sundry shop to purchase small items. Did not like the idea that they would not let you on the ship until noon. Other cruise lines will allow you to board early and wait in a common area until cabins are ready. Disembarkation was not satisfactory. Since we had a late flight we purchased a transfer package that included wait time in a hotel. The hotel day room supplied a minimum of snaks and drinks along with broken chairs. Probably not Crystals fault. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Relaxation in luxury. Although far more expensive than some of its competitors I believe this cruise line gives value for money. Its detail tp the design of the cabins are well thought out with loads of space even for the most discerning ... Read More
Relaxation in luxury. Although far more expensive than some of its competitors I believe this cruise line gives value for money. Its detail tp the design of the cabins are well thought out with loads of space even for the most discerning traveller. The entertainment was first class and was viewed in total comfort of individual seats, if one so wished. Tables around the seats allowed for your drinks to be within easy reach. The theatre offered good views of the stage no matter where you sat. The specialty restaurants were diverse and true to their character. Swimming pool of a reasonable size for a cruise ship. On the top deck there was a mini golf and various other ways to entertain oneself if not desiring to sunbath. An amazing amount of sunbeds which well cared for by diligent willing staff. Personally, would travel with Regent Cruise line again should the opportunity present itself. I have no reservation recommending this cruise line. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our first ocean cruise, but I am sure that it cannot get any better than this cruise experience on Regent Explorer. We stayed in a Penthouse A suite (917), which is beautiful and very functional room, with a huge balcony. The ... Read More
This was our first ocean cruise, but I am sure that it cannot get any better than this cruise experience on Regent Explorer. We stayed in a Penthouse A suite (917), which is beautiful and very functional room, with a huge balcony. The walk-in closet in the Penthouse suite is a bit small, but we still managed to fit the contents of two big suitcases into to it without any problem. The empty suitcases can conveniently be stored under the bed. The shower cabin is absolutely fantastic and so is the quality of the bed. We arrived at the pier in Rio de Janeiro for embarkation at around 1:30pm and we were onboard 15 minutes later. Everything was so well organised, and it continued like that throughout the cruise. The cruise was fully booked, but the only time it felt crowded was upon embarkation when everyone was having lunch in the Veranda/Pool restaurants, but after the suites became available, it never felt crowded again. We initially didn't really know what to use the butler for, but he turned out to be extremely helpful and useful. He really made us feel special and pampered. He served a couple of breakfast on our terrace, which was a wonderful way to start the day. We were generally totally amazed by the service, which is very attentive and rather personal. During our 12 nights cruise from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires, we had three dinners in each of the restaurants Compass Rose, Prime 7, Pacific Rim and Chartreuse. We also had several lunches in the speciality restaurants. The food was generally very good to excellent. We were not fans of Sette Mare/La Veranda, as the place looks a bit like a canteen. Furthermore, we were not impressed by the breakfast, which was exactly the same every day and some of products were rather cheap/industrial, and the fruit was often unripe. We are in our early fifties and were surprised to be among a relatively young crowd without a single wheelchair or rollator onboard, perhaps because the cruise included many anchor ports. Some of the ports of call were great, while some were very forgettable. The same goes for the excursions. We had two fantastic biking trips. We don't really care about the shows, lecturers etc., so I will not comment on that. We used the gym daily, which was really great, spacious and lots of equipment. I also had two nice massages in the spa. The weather was hot and sunny throughout the cruise, but it was surprisingly easy to get sun-loungers around the pool. Only on our single sea day, it became rather busy. The ship is absolutely gorgeous and in perfect condition. The all-inclusive concept is really great, but also a little dangerous as we definitely ended up eating and drinking too ;-) We loved our first ocean cruise experience and now look forward to the next on Regent Splendor. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
There are now so many awful cruise reviews that despite not usually writing a review I am forced to do so to redress the balance Having read the reviews of Marina over time I believe that some people only go on a cruise so that they can ... Read More
There are now so many awful cruise reviews that despite not usually writing a review I am forced to do so to redress the balance Having read the reviews of Marina over time I believe that some people only go on a cruise so that they can complain about it afterwards whereas my only complaint for the trip as a whole is that it would have been much better had a number of ignorant, rude and objectionable passengers stayed at home. This is how I found the cruise. Ship We found the ship to be in excellent condition, well ran and well maintained. All of the staff we encountered went out of their way to be helpful and ensure that we were having a good time. We were in a Concierge Cabin on deck 9 Mid Ship and did not suffer from Vibration, excessive noise or too much rock and roll although at the front of the ship it was noticeably more so. Concierge lounge was good for early morning coffee and cake. There were a small number of children on board however this was not a cruise suitable for them. Cabins. Clean, comfortable and spaceous with sufficient storage and size of bathroom to satisfy most people. Despite the huge range of termperatures on this cruise it was neither too hot or too cold was always keep very tidy by the room attendant and suffered from no external noise problems. The bed was particularly comfortable and the choice of amenities of a good standard. Ideally, it could have had coffee making facilities but my only real complaint was the fact that during rough weather the closet rattled so much I had to wedge it closed. Restaurants We eat at all of the restaurants and found the food to be of a very good quality throughout. Service was equally good and there was a real desire by the staff to please the passengers on board. Alcoholic drinks were sometimes a little slow arriving however this was more to do with how this is organised with the Sommeliers being responsible for wine and therefore being fewer in number than the general waiting staff I had booked one visit to each of the speciality restaurants beforehand and was able to obtain additional bookings on board, 2 more at each, without problem. Our favourite was Red Ginger because of the exemplary levels of service as well as excellent food. Of note also is the Waves Grill which served excellent Sandwiches at lunchtime. Bars Most days we frequented the pool bar and in the evening Martinis. The service in the pool bar was great and staff again excellent. Martinis had an amazing Pianist called Andre Mieux who was by far the best entertainer on board the ship and the cocktails particularly the Big O, very good. We purchased the Prestige Select drinks package for the cruise and found that it was for us value for money particularly when a 25% surchange was applied to all drinks whilst in Brazilian waters on top of the 18% gratuity normally added to each drink Entertainment Proved to be a bit of a mixed bag with some which we liked other no so good Most people found that the shows are not the same on a small ship as in the West End or Vagas so will always generate comment. Personally I would have liked to have seen a little more local culture rather than acts such as An Evening with Allen. Enrichment Lectures I fell asleep at the only one I attended Shore Excursions Generally handled well by the staff on board with the booked tours getting off the ship first. Generally, they are expensive and most people we met preferred to take the chance and book their own. We did a mix of both however careful research is needed for a private tour and this takes time. Getting on and off. Mostly hassle free on embarkation less so on disembarkation due to the onward travel arrangements and large number of people. Overall this was an excellent cruise which was good value for money and I will definitely book another in future. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Interesting itinerary, all inclusive ( my cruise account was USD $ 14.50 at disembarkation) high standard food variety, expertly presented in modest portions, very good complimentary wine, with fairly price premium wine list for special ... Read More
Interesting itinerary, all inclusive ( my cruise account was USD $ 14.50 at disembarkation) high standard food variety, expertly presented in modest portions, very good complimentary wine, with fairly price premium wine list for special occasions. Brilliant Sommeliers food and wine six course lunch which was thoroughly educational. Great coffee shop with a properly trained Barista adjoining a well stocked library with daily copies of at least 6 international newspapers available. Free laundrettes and wifi were real bonuses. Free excursions varied in standard but were usually worthwhile - always the option to break off and individually explore if the group shuffle got you down. The crew were well trained and appeared to enjoy their jobs. The operation was expertly lead by a female Captain who engaged with passengers and ran a well oiled organisation. Given that there were a number of critical Cruise Critic posts I was very surprised at the overall high standard of the vessel immediately prior to a major refurbishment. It should be outstanding after being worked on for 20 days by 1400 contractors and the crew. This is truly an all inclusive, high quality cruise experience. The rate per day on this trip was excellent value for money but most future cruise are priced at considerably higher levels. I suspect Viking will take market share from Regent but they are lifting their game and competing hard. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Absolutely fabulous! Great food and friendly service. Since Mariner was due for refurbishment in a few weeks, I was concerned that it would be very "tired". I found that was not the case. The refurbishment had to be ... Read More
Absolutely fabulous! Great food and friendly service. Since Mariner was due for refurbishment in a few weeks, I was concerned that it would be very "tired". I found that was not the case. The refurbishment had to be postponed a year because of damage by Hurricane Matthew to the facility that was to do the work. We got a reasonable offer to upgrade to a Penthouse suit from our deluxe suite G. The suit was roomy and well appointed. It was fine but the remodeling next year will be welcomed. Since we upgraded we had a butler who was very attentive. However, I have never felt that a butler was a necessity. Captain Teo Srdelic was very friendly and reacted well with the guests. Cruise director Paul Reynolds did a great job as did his assistant, Olivia. The staff was outstanding. A new menu in the Compass Rose restaurant was initiated after our first leg. The new menu is great (we had experienced it on the Navigator and Explorer last year). Then new menu caused a bit of delay in service for the first night or two. We were warned about this but after a couple of days the delays were not longer there. Disembarkation was a little delayed due to the Miami baggage handlers. Read Less
105 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and because we had heard that Regent was a 5 star experience. Our last cruise was on Oceania Nautica and we had absolutely loved it. We decided to try Regent with it's all-inclusive liquor and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and because we had heard that Regent was a 5 star experience. Our last cruise was on Oceania Nautica and we had absolutely loved it. We decided to try Regent with it's all-inclusive liquor and excursions. First, what we liked: Our cabin was great (Penthouse with a fabulous butler). The all-inclusive liquor meant we didn't feel nickel-and-dimed at every turn. The room attendants were incredible and the destinations team were very helpful. I loved Marla, the Social Hostess and Terry Breen, the guest lecturer. And what we didn't like: Meals could go on forever, since there didn't seem to be enough waitstaff to bring the courses. The waitstaff was uneven, as well - some were attentive and helpful (thank you Gianluca, Tomaz and Federica!) and others seemed to be waiting for their shift to be over, while providing the minimum amount of attention. And the food was also uneven. For example, in the beginning, the hollandaise sauce was pretty good. After the first week, they forgot how to make it and served a tasteless, gloppy substance. Whatever happened to the lemon juice? I also admit that I really missed the Lido on Nautica. There was no place to have a completely informal meal in the evening - all the restaurants had dress codes. That's fine, but sometime you just want a plate of salad after a day of excursions! The reception desk didn't provide very good followup on requests. But my favorite incident was this: One morning, we were having breakfast in our cabin before setting off for an excursion, when we heard a loud "BANG". It was the glass in the slider to our verandah breaking! Most of the glass remained in the door frame, but there was a substantial amount of glass shards sprayed into the room. I called the butler, who arrived and was shocked. We left to get breakfast at one of the restaurants and to go on our trip. When we got back, the workers were still replacing the glass. This was completed by the time we returned from lunch. No one from management ever bothered to come and see if we were all right. The butler showed up as we were getting ready for dinner and I told him that I expected someone to at least ask if everything was okay. When we got back that night, there was an impersonal note of apology from the hotel manager and a box of chocolates. Okay, we actually were fine and I love chocolate...but the point is just that there was never any actual concern for an incident where we could have been seriously hurt. It is this lack of attention to detail that (to me) makes the difference between a top-notch experience and an okay one. My other complaint was the spa. The women's locker room had none of the niceties that one would expect - no dressing table, no lotions and especially no hair dryers. Really? Read Less
44 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This cruise was from Rio de Janeiro to Miami on March 8, 2017 on regent Seven Seas Mariner. This was the worst high end cruise line I have ever experienced. We have been cruising on Seabourn and Crystal for the last 5 years. We ... Read More
This cruise was from Rio de Janeiro to Miami on March 8, 2017 on regent Seven Seas Mariner. This was the worst high end cruise line I have ever experienced. We have been cruising on Seabourn and Crystal for the last 5 years. We decided to try Regent as they had an itinerary that was attractive and we wanted to see how they compared. We liked the all-inclusive fee structure with business class air. Well the business class was only on the international flight and not the other 5 flights we needed to get to Rio from our house and back. What were the issues? 1- The service they used to transfer us from the airport to the hotel (we had one night in Rio before the cruise) was a disaster. They gather about 10 us from the United flight and said they were waiting for some additional people. We waited about 30 minute more and we were all getting anxious to leave. No more passengers came so they told us to proceed to the bus. Well out the door we went into a very hot and humid curb side and NO bus. We waited about 10 more minutes and a rundown very small bus arrived. Finally we would get some relief from the heat. No we didn’t as the bus air-conditioning was on but it was cooler outside the bus then inside. Everyone opened the windows. Not a good way to get the first taste of Regent. I know that better busses were available as the bus that took us from the hotel to the ship was fine. My grade F-. 2- The main dining room, Compass Rose, had the worst service on any ship that we have used. In the 21 day cruise I had to ask for more water every meal except for 2. The salt and pepper shakers both contained salt (one was labeled pepper) three times and once the adjoining table had the same issue. One time they gave us only 3 menus for the four of us. After 5 minutes we had to ask for another. We once finished our first course and they had not asked us if we wanted wine. We had to ask for it. The servers in this main dining room were both under staffed and not trained. Service for the most part was slow. I know this sounds like nit picking but when this happens meal after meal it is annoying. On no other cruise have we had such consistently poor service. Grade, D. 3- One morning at 7am they were making announcements in the public areas for 1 hour. Now you were not supposed to hear this in your room but it did wake me up and was very annoying. Our room was 834 and not that close to any public areas. Another F. 4- The lecture for the most part was just one person. I am use to a variety of lectures and various topics. Give them a C based on variety. What did I like? 1- The shower was the best of any ship. Regent has started to convert their shower tub arraignment into just a shower. We had one of the converted cabins. Shower an A+. 2- The butler and room attendants were very good and friendly. I’d give them an A. Will we travel on Regent again? Probably not. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Desire to visit the listed countries in South America and good experience in the past with Cunard . Cunard and imagine cruises got my name wrong and despite numerous attempt to correct this up to 6 weeks before the trip commenced. ... Read More
Desire to visit the listed countries in South America and good experience in the past with Cunard . Cunard and imagine cruises got my name wrong and despite numerous attempt to correct this up to 6 weeks before the trip commenced. Air tickets Transfers etc. We're all issued in the wrong name. Hence I'm having difficulty claiming my frequent flyer points with B.A. And other connected airlines. The name was corrected on the site but didn't get through anywhere else??? Boarding in Rio was hell . Confusion everywhere . The guide left us in a bus garage ! We were very disappointed with the food and service in the Britannia restaurant. We were on the Queen Victoria 8 years ago and were very impressed with the excellent standard of food presented everywhere , particularly in the restaurant. However we finally gave up and chose to pay to dine in The Verandah which served the standard of food and service we had experienced in precious cruises including the Queen Mary just one year ago, we also dined in La Piazza which was very average . We were and are not alone in our commentary . Everyone we spoke to who had sailed with Cunard previously felt the same I.e. That the standard had dropped enormously. Some will never travel with Cunard again . I found it extraordinary that few spoke up about this when we had the opportunity to do so . However they won't be back, In addition some of the guides onshore were truly dreadful . The staff in the travel section were pretty average . Again compared to previous cruises. The cabin crew and Purser's staff were very good and of the same standard we had found previously. There's no doubt economy is in the air but I truly believe it's 'short term gain and long term pain' the amount of custom they have lost must be enormous. Still perhaps they're looking at a different clientele . Who knows. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
What a difference a year makes. Early 2016, Queen Victoria, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco via the Panama Canal, great cruise, great service, could not wait to book a cruise on this vessel for 2017. Early 2017 Rio to Valparaiso. ... Read More
What a difference a year makes. Early 2016, Queen Victoria, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco via the Panama Canal, great cruise, great service, could not wait to book a cruise on this vessel for 2017. Early 2017 Rio to Valparaiso. Apart from being on the same vessel just about everything else was just plain bad. It started in Rio, took three hours to check in and the chaos had to be seen to be believed. No Cunard staff to be found when we turned up, were given a number and told to go sit by Cunard appointed ground crew and we just sat. Finally movement, the crowd moved as one towards the single entry point, which created more chaos as people with the wrong numbers were turned away. Line jumping was rampant and the few Cunard personnel that were now standing behind the desk just let it happen making those that were trying to remain orderly more angry than they already were. Finally we were on board, and found our way to our cabin. Standard balcony on deck 7. No surprises, we had been here before and everything in the cabin was fine. Booked a Britannia first sitting table for 6, received a table for 10, company was fine, but the Britannia room first sitting was far from full and we could so easily have been allocated our preferred dining sitting. The Britannia dining experience was an experience for all the wrong reasons. It was obvious to us the bean counters (aka accountants) had taken control of the kitchen both in food quality and quantity. At times the serving team was very embarrassed to be serving up such miniscule portions. Not a day went by when food was not left on plates around our table and even though the serving staff enquired as to why we were leaving food, we were just too polite to let them know the real truth. Food in the Lido was no better, bland, poorly cooked and just plain and tasteless most of the time. Service in the Lido just about non-existent, with poor table clean up and the best way to get new cutlery was to go and get it yourself. Our only tour booked was to see the Penguins in Puntas Arenas. Yes the weather was iffy, but fine and sunny with a breeze blowing but far from what could be considered dangerous. Due to late arrival our tour departure time was changed, but we turned up on schedule and left for the short trip to shore ten minutes late. On shore there was no one to tell us where to go, but sheeplike we all followed each other and found our appropriate coach number and boarded. The coach left the dock area and our tour guide started to tell us of what we were going to see. In mid-sentence he stopped, told us the trip had been cancelled and we were going back to the port area. We arrived back, no Cunard people in sight and were left to work out what to do next. We chose to amble around the town. To this day we have not heard from Cunard as to why the trip was cancelled, or received an apology or any other acknowledgement apart from a curt letter in our room that night telling us our trip payment had been refunded to our credit card. (and even that had a difference of $20.00, I suppose for credit card fees etc. going against us) Could things get worse after the chaos in Rio, yes they could, try getting off in Valparaiso? The vessel arrived 4 hours late, but several time the Commodore announced the vessel would still be leaving on time that evening, I guess nothing stops a Queen from leaving on time. We were told via announcements that general departure from the vessel would be about 30 minutes behind schedule, it wasn’t. We sat with about 1000 other passenger trying to depart and waited, and waited. Then it was our turn to slowly make our way through the chaos to the departure point, wait for a bus to take us to the terminal and then wait inside the terminal for our baggage to arrive. Finally our bags arrived, brought out on airport style luggage trollies, about 4 bags at a time. We left the departure area glad to be away from the Cunard fiasco. So what has gone wrong with Cunard? Food quality, portions and service deteriorated to unbelievable levels in just a year. This factor alone was the talk of the vessel. Can’t see us lining up for another Cunard cruise. Cabin steward great. Entertainment, good some nights, dull and boring other nights. Speakers really good and interesting, perhaps the best part of the cruise. First time we have ever removed gratuities from a shipboard account and just gave to those that we thought deserved. And we know we weren’t the only one to do that. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was our first Oceania cruise- and we're glad we did! I have been hearing about how great Oceania was from friends for several years, but we have become quite partial to our familiar Celebrity. We've also cruised with ... Read More
This was our first Oceania cruise- and we're glad we did! I have been hearing about how great Oceania was from friends for several years, but we have become quite partial to our familiar Celebrity. We've also cruised with Seabourne, and actually preferred Oceania in that it seemed a little less pretentious, and the specialty restaurants were wonderful. We chose this cruise because of the amazing deal- we ended up with internet, cabin credit, free gratuities, and a drink package, as well as free shore excursions for a very reasonable price. On Celebrity, we always upgrade our beverage package to the premium one, but were really glad that we did not on this cruise. Generally, we mainly drink wine with our dinner, and don't drink a lot that isn't around meal times. The basic beverage package covers all wines and beer with meals- with no price limit by the glass. This differs from Celebrity in that the better wines are only available on the premium package. Probably different if you wanted to drink several cocktails in the evenings. We flew into Rio de Janeiro, and elected to come three days early to go to the Iguazu Falls- so glad we did! It was very easy to arrange to just tag a one hour flight to Fos do Iguacu onto our incoming flight and carry on. We easily booked a hotel- the Viale towers- that was more than reasonable for the price and right in the middle of town, so that we had a choice of restaurants. Tip- go onto Trip Advisor- there were a few very good restaurants to choose from. Try The Mafia- lovely little Italian place- make a reservation- they will come and pick you up from the hotel. Also eat at Zaragoza- great old style elegant Spanish restaurant with wonderful paella. We found that the desk staff at the Viale were very helpful. The breakfast came with the room and it was very good, with lots of selection of hot and cold food, as well as a very good cup of coffee. From the Viale, we took the staff's recommendation and caught the local bus to the Brazilian side of the falls- for about 1.50$. The bus stopped right at the entrance, and we only walked about one block. It was very easy to spend 2-3 hours walking around the paths at the falls and we walked over to the bird sanctuary after- about 2-3 blocks away. A lovely day! The next day, the staff arranged a taxi to take us to the Argentinian side of the falls- for about 45.00$ he helped us through the border crossing and waited for us for four hours while we were at the falls. It was nice to see them from both sides- you do get closer to the falls from the Argentinian side, but you are above them, so it gave a great perspective of their size to have seen them from below the day before. We flew back to Rio easily, and checked onto the ship by 11 am. We just took a taxi from the airport to the ship for about 30 dollars. We were able to sit in the buffet restaurant, until our room was ready at about one. We had been offered and accepted an upgrade to a Penthouse suite so really enjoyed the extra space. The bed, as per reputation, was extremely comfortable. There was more than enough storage space, with a walk in closet, as well as many drawers in the room. We had a butler for the first time, Akshay- who was lovely, but underutilized as we didn't quite know what we were supposed to be asking him to do! He shone our shoes, ironed a few things, and helped us get reservations practically nightly for the specialty restaurants. The ship was not full, or I assume that would not have been possible. Despite our understanding that there was only one reservation at each of the restaurants per cruise, the reservation desk in the main lobby was very reasonable to work with to find reservations on a daily basis. Try all of the restaurants- Red Ginger was definitely our favourite- the duck confit and watermelon salad was so good! Because we had a penthouse suite we were also able to order off the specialty restaurant menus for room service and we did have a few of those salads along the way. The staff were amazing in the entire ship and called us by name, and remembered our favourite wines for dinner. We had breakfast daily in the Terrace restaurant- lovely to sit outside with a huge selection of foods, juices and coffee drinks. Even dinner was very good in the Terrace when you wanted a break from the two hour multi course dining experience. The Grand Dining room was great for dinner. All in all, the only trouble was figuring out how to ration out the places to eat so that you didn't feel overfull all of the time. We finally tried the 4 pm tea in Horizons on a rainy day in Buenos Aires, and it was lovely, with a four piece string band playing classical music. The only problem with the tea was that it was hard not to overindulge and ruin your dinner! The ship itself has many lovely quiet areas to hang out in- the library is exceptional, and adjoins the coffee shop- so you can sit and read in deep comfortable leather chairs while sipping cappuccino and munching on bakery treats. We had access to the area at the front of the spa for lounge chairs and hot tubs- also a great spot. We went daily to the trivia sessions- Peter, our cruise director was so funny- and he seemed to deal pretty well with the die hard, very serious, fight to the death teams that were really taking themselves way too seriously. We went to several of the entertainment shows- a British band called 5 O'Clock Somewhere were absolutely fantastic. The ships own crew were pretty good. The house band was also quite good. We enjoyed the educational lectures about the local area that were put on in the afternoons. There were no cooking classes due to some funny Brazilian laws. However, I must admit that we go on holidays to relax and love to spend a lot of time just chilling and reading our books, so I'm not really a good judge of quality of the shows- We loved the air of relaxation that the boat promoted. All in all, I'm very happy that we tried Oceania, and look forward to sailing with them again. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Background: We are veteran cruisers and travelers. This was our 27th cruise, our 7th cruise on Oceania and our first cruise that included ports in Brazil, including a week on the Amazon river. It was our longest cruise to date (22 ... Read More
Background: We are veteran cruisers and travelers. This was our 27th cruise, our 7th cruise on Oceania and our first cruise that included ports in Brazil, including a week on the Amazon river. It was our longest cruise to date (22 days). Our primary reasons for cruising on Oceania are their unique itineraries and destinations. Our cruise was re-booked in its entirety right at final payment time to take advantage of the O-Life benefits (excursions, beverage package, internet, shipboard credit). I have some minor mobility issues but these are usually not a concern on the ship or in most of the ports we visited. Pre-Cruise package: We arranged for our own air using miles and flew into Rio De Janeiro on United airlines, arriving November 15. We booked the pre-cruise hotel package through Oceania, which was very expensive, but probably worth the cost in this city. The hotel was the JW Marriott on Copacabana Beach, a very nice hotel with good service and views of the beach. We had two excellent half-day tours with a great guide (Licia) and enjoyed the area and restaurants around Copacabana beach. The transfers were also professionally done. Embarkation and ship: We embarked on Insignia on November 19. The embarkation process was quick and efficient. Insignia is one of the "R" ships in the Oceania fleet and is the oldest. The ship definitely showed its age in various areas, included outdated carpeting and furnishings, barely readable elevator buttons, old signs for ship areas by and on the elevators, etc. The art is uninteresting for the most part. Although we have been on the sister ships Nautica and Regatta and also noticed some outdated and worn infrastructure, it was the most prominent on this ship. Other passengers also noted and commented on the infrastructure. Cabin: Our cabin was an A3 concierge veranda cabin. It was cozy but fairly comfortable, with a small balcony. The bathroom is tiny, but manageable. There is plenty of storage space in the closets and drawers and under the bed. The bed was very comfortable, one of the top features of an Oceania cruise (great pillows, too). Activities: Our primary activity that we participated in on-board was Trivia, which was done at least once a day. This was competitive and fun. Most of our ship time was relaxing and we had a lot of outdoor time because of the climate. Service: The service on Insignia was very good, but was not as superb as previous Oceania cruises. Our requests for water/juice/coffee or other drinks occasionally had to be done more than once in the various dining venues. Service in the Grand Dining Room was exceptionally slow and we only ate in this venue twice. The counter service in the Terrace Cafe was excellent, as was the service in Polo Grill and Toscana (the two specialty restaurants). Our cabin attendant did an acceptable, not outstanding job, on cabin maintenance (trash wasn't always removed, water bottles were not replaced). We did have excellent service from the Oceania Club Ambassador (we like Oceania enough to always consider future cruises and did book a future cruise on-board). We also had laundry done three times and they did prompt and excellent service. Dining: Oceania Cruise Lines is known for the quality of their food. The food on-board Insignia was high-quality for the most part, but the "wow" factor was just not there. With the exception of a few specialty dishes featuring Amazonian fish, the menus were quite repetitive. The beef products (steak, hamburgers, etc.) were not very good at all, with tough and flavorless meats and strange textures. Seasoning was done blandly, even with stir fry dishes and sauces were also not very exciting. The pasta dishes were among the best bets and the pizza (lunchtime in the Terrace) was very good. Everyone was anxious to have BBQ, Mexican food or some other comfort or spicy foods by the end of the trip. Entertainment: Oceania is not known for its entertainment and this cruise was no exception. We went to a few shows that were ok, with the passenger/crew talent show being the most fun. The Insignia Show Band was outstanding, an excellent jazz group full of superb musicians. On the other hand, the pianist/vocalist in Martini's ruined this favorite venue for us. He was singularly untalented, playing piano in a bizarre and mistake-filled style; his singing was worse, a half-talking grunting "sing song" that was very off-putting. Martini's business was down substantially because of this guy and we avoided it during the golden happy hour. We did not use the small casino and it seemed very empty on most sea days. The boutiques are nice but small, and we did find a few bargains after we left Brazilian waters (a 25% tax on on-board purchases is in place while you are in Brazil). We did not use the Canyon Ranch spa services. Internet: The internet on Insignia is the worst we have had in the last 10-15 cruises; it was never better than the slowest dial-up modem speed and often required re-logging in multiple times to stay on-line. I had the free internet, but my spouse bought the unlimited internet to do some work and was very frustrated by the experience. When we arrived in Miami, one of the INMARSAT satellite dishes was being dismantled and replaced, a condition they had to know about during the cruise. My spouse has written to Oceania asking for at least a partial refund for the internet (not likely to happen, I'm sure). The Oceania@Sea representative was useless and rude. Ports and shore excursions: We had five free excursions each, which helped the overall cost of the excursions. The excursions were good to very good. Probably the best tour overall was in Recife, Brazil (an all day expedition to a variety of places) and we also enjoyed the tours in Manaus, Santarem (piranha fishing!), Parintins (the amazing Boi Bumba show) and Barbados. The Amazon river was fascinating and we had two stops in small villages that were quite interesting, besides our stops in Manaus, Santarem and Parintins. We did not leave the ship in San Juan, Puerto Rico and our final port, Punta Cana (DR) was canceled due to rough tender conditions. The primary purpose for the cruise, seeing the Amazon river and its tributaries, was the top highlight. Other ship services worth noting: I came down with acute bronchitis due to the heat, humidity and agricultural smoke on the river in the Amazon (having suffered from chronic asthma). The ship's doctor and nurse were superb - very caring and the nebulizer treatments they recommended helped me get back to normal very quickly. The tender crews are phenomenal and are very cautious helping those who are disabled (also true in my case). Disembarkation: We chose to disembark on our own with our bags due to an early flight in Miami. After some delays clearing the ship, the actual process was extremely quick and we were on our way to the airport in minutes. Summary: Our Amazing Amazon cruise was very memorable because of the unique places we saw on the river and the great weather we enjoyed on almost the entire cruise (lots of outdoor time), plus we crossed the equator three times. It was not the best Oceania experience, but we are still loyal to the cruise line and are working a future booking from the open booking we did on board. We like the size of the "R" ships and hope they can do some upgrades in the future on Insignia to make it more up-to-date. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We cruised last year on Regatta from Lima to Buenos Aires and had a fantastic voyage. We cruised this year from Rio to Miami. Very disappointed, would not choose Oceania again. -a definite lack of service throughout the ship. Asked for ... Read More
We cruised last year on Regatta from Lima to Buenos Aires and had a fantastic voyage. We cruised this year from Rio to Miami. Very disappointed, would not choose Oceania again. -a definite lack of service throughout the ship. Asked for tea, water, and refills continually. Did not have cranberry juice or camomile tea available. Some days the omelet maker could not be bothered to get bacon or cheese for omelets. - the cruise director was worthless. Very few activities, especially at night. The entertainment was bad and boring. The young entertainers only performed twice in 23 days. Only one show at 9:30 or 9:45.... Many people were just not interested in Brazilian guitar players or singers. - the voice mail system did not work and no one would comment. No messages could be retrieved. Had to knock on the door or a friend or slip note under the door. - the staff seemed bored; they wanted to be elsewhere. Had to ask the housekeeper twice for hair conditioner and then she said she did not have any on her cart this time. -shore excursions were a waste of time and expensive. Took the yellow submarine in StBarts. Saw less than 4 varieties of fish... -during the outbreak of the norvovirus when the library and self serve laundry were closed; the casino was open with the exchange of chips and use of the slot machine. This was not the usual Oceania cruise; too many expectations were not met. We think everyone just wanted to get to Miami and go home. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
We had never been to South America so we decided on this cruise. Rio De Janeiro and Buenos Aires were places on our bucket list. Our final decision for this trip was that the price of this cruise seemed to be quite good. Oceania is ... Read More
We had never been to South America so we decided on this cruise. Rio De Janeiro and Buenos Aires were places on our bucket list. Our final decision for this trip was that the price of this cruise seemed to be quite good. Oceania is a our favorite cruise line. The size of the ship is perfect for us. Not too much waiting. Food is excellent, especially at the specialty restaurants. Service is also excellent. Overall we enjoyed this cruise very much. We met some new friends. The excursions were a bit weak on this trip. Locations not as good as in their europe offerings. Some excursions had such bad traffic that most of the time was spent on the bus. Also, this cruise had more ports which required tendering from further away. There were a lot of complaints due to the length of time and weather situation (hot!). The South America cruise is good if you like warm weather. There isn't as much to see as the Europe cruises. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
Our cruise started in Rio on March 7, 2015 and ended 3 weeks later in Miami, visiting Recife, Brazil before entering the Amazon for a week then out to the Caribbean ports of Barbados, Devils Island (part of French Guiana), Barbados, Puerto ... Read More
Our cruise started in Rio on March 7, 2015 and ended 3 weeks later in Miami, visiting Recife, Brazil before entering the Amazon for a week then out to the Caribbean ports of Barbados, Devils Island (part of French Guiana), Barbados, Puerto Rico and Nassau before ending in Miami on March 28. Check-in was slow in Rio as they only allocated one window to the lower categories, while allocating three windows to the expensive staterooms--this was the first time in 12 cruises that I was disappointed with the check-in process. However, once on the ship after an hour, we had our usual exceptional service that we have come to expect on Oceania cruises. The service was exceptional all the time; the room, albeit somewhat small, was spotless and the bed was very comfortable. However the TV was small and the channel selection was inadequate (I complain about this on the comment card after every cruise, but it hasn't changed over the years). The food and service in all the restaurants was great, including the buffet. I guess if I have one complaint, it was the hot dogs and hamburgers in the Waves grill--I thought they were undercooked, but still well presented. I learned to ask for them well done when I went there for lunch (but you can still go to the buffet or grand dining room for lunch). The cruise director--Ray Michaels--was definitely the best I've had on any ship (and I've had several). Very personable, always around, and also very talented (he headlined two of the shows). Everyone liked him. We didn't take any port excursions. On Oceania, they are overpriced and undervalued, and I've learned to find my own on the internet, or just get a taxi at the port (especially if you're with another couple). The entertainment was good, but not great. Because these are not huge ships, the lounges are not very big. The shows are less than an hour, but still worth your time. Communication is very good. There is a newsletter put in your stateroom every night with good information about upcoming activities and timetables. There are also several announcements throughout the day over the P.A. system. Overall, we had a great time, and booked another cruise while on board. We will continue with Oceania cruises once or twice a year as long as the quality doesn't go downhill under their new NCL ownership. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
This was our first Azamara cruise and will not be our last. From the very first day until the last, the service was superb. The food was excellent in both the Discoveries Restaurant and the Window's Cafe. We particularly enjoyed ... Read More
This was our first Azamara cruise and will not be our last. From the very first day until the last, the service was superb. The food was excellent in both the Discoveries Restaurant and the Window's Cafe. We particularly enjoyed dinners in the Window's Cafe sitting at the stern of the ship, enjoying the sunset and breeze. The waiters and staff were super responsive and friendly. Noteworthy staff - Jennifer, Erwin, Joey, Lyric, Carlos, and of course the entire management team, and many more. The Captain was everywhere and Eric DeGray is, without a doubt, one of the most talented Cruise Director's I have ever encountered. He is to be commended for the excellent entertainment throughout the ship but particularly the evening productions. Azamara promises an Azamara Evening. I fully expected a visit to a touristy attraction where we would get some champagne and see Tango dancers but the Azamara went over and above! We were so impressed and entertained and really overwhelmed by the Azamara evening. We were taken to a famous archeological site, the El Zanjon de Granados, where we toured the historic tunnels only to arrive at an impressive dining area with a Tango production artistically describing the history of Tango through narrative and dance. The Journey was elegantly furnished, clean and lovely. Our cabin was not exceptional but a bit higher standard than other RC lines and the bedding and pillows are what made it seem a step above, as well as draperies and furniture. We had a nice balcony. Any complaints that I was aware of (we had very few) were addressed quickly and earnestly by staff. So impressive. There is a laundry room which is helpful on long cruises. Of course, best time to use it is very early and not "at sea" days. The Land Discoveries were excellent, well organized, and efficient. I felt safe and well prepared for all excursions. One great treat are the Cultural Presentations which are offered in advance of and for all ports visited. The speakers were informative and added humor and their own prior experience, and were available for the entire cruise which was really very nice. Lastly, we encountered some of the most delightful fellow passengers who were interesting and friendly. I can't wait to travel on Azamara again. It was truly one of our best vacations. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
This was our first cruise with Azamara. Most of our cruises have been with Crystal and Celebrity. We are a couple in our late 30s and really enjoy a more subdued, upscale environment. I was a little worried having booked this cruise, as ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Azamara. Most of our cruises have been with Crystal and Celebrity. We are a couple in our late 30s and really enjoy a more subdued, upscale environment. I was a little worried having booked this cruise, as the photos of the ship online make the decor look very dated and old-fashioned. I was also concerned about being on a much smaller ship than we are used to. However, I needn't have worried on either count as the ship was fabulous. As soon as we embarked, I saw how the "classic" decor of this ship really works and created a cozy, high-end environment. The ship, while older, has obviously been well-maintained and we saw very few areas that need updating (most notably, the hallways and soft-goods in the rooms should be updated). We found the ship very easy to navigate, quick to get from one area to the next and very comfortable. The Azamara service doesn't disappoint (except by the rude girls at Guest Relations), as staff members are readily available to assist with whatever your needs might be. We really appreciated never having to wait for a drink, as servers are constantly checking on guests. This is a BIG change from Celebrity, where it is next-to-impossible to get a drink server's attention. Crew were generally very friendly and available. The officers are very visible as well. Azamara holds one Azamazing Evening per cruise. Ours was in Rio de Janeiro. We were bussed to a location where we were offered cocktails and given a Samba show. It wasn't "amazing", but it was a fun night and we appreciated doing something that we wouldn't have seen on our own. The transport to the event was seamless. The return transport was a little less so, but wasn't bad. Food was uniformly good all around the ship; although the buffet could use a little more imagination and variety. We found most of our meals in the main dining room to be good to excellent. We also dined in Prime C and Aqualina, both of which offered fabulous service and excellent food. The main weak point were the gross sandwiches offered in the buffet for those of us returning from the Azamazing Evening. We stayed in a Club Continent Suite, which was a fantastic room - very large and had everything we could want. We were very happy to have so much storage space and not to have to climb over each other. The only drawback was the location being under the buffet (noisy), but that could have been prevented had we checked the deck plans. We will continue to cruise primarily with Celebrity, because we do enjoy the activities on the larger ships, but we really enjoyed Azamara and wouldn't hesitate to sail with them again (in fact, we have one booked for 2017!) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014
My husband and I have had our third Oceana cruise in 5 years, -and each one has been progressively worse in several major respects. While the specialty restaurants provide interesting Culinary choices, you only get 4 chances to dine here. ... Read More
My husband and I have had our third Oceana cruise in 5 years, -and each one has been progressively worse in several major respects. While the specialty restaurants provide interesting Culinary choices, you only get 4 chances to dine here. The remaining meals are boring, tasteless, lacking in choices and ridiculously small in portions. They have eliminated so many dining selections over the year that I actually lost weight on our last cruise. As one of many examples we sailed in slough America the entire cruise but the fruit the offered was not fresh, ripe, edible nor did they even serve bananas. The room service is good only if you pay the money to sail at concierge level. The tender service is disorganized and sparsely some ports. Entertainment is not worth going to. You will always find someone to serve you wine or alcohol, presumable because they make their money I honestly think you get more for your money on Royal Caribbean Read Less
30 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2014
My wife and I are British, fit 70+ and have sailed with several cruise companies, both all inclusive and standard however Regent is at the bottom of our list now. As we were sailing from Rio de Janeiro to Barcelona we reserved through ... Read More
My wife and I are British, fit 70+ and have sailed with several cruise companies, both all inclusive and standard however Regent is at the bottom of our list now. As we were sailing from Rio de Janeiro to Barcelona we reserved through Regent two extra nights in the city. The hotel was in the process of refurbishment in preparation for the World cup and was far from luxury in any sense of the word. 1) We flew from England to Rio to pick up the seven seas mariner for the transatlantic cruise. No problem with the cruise other than it was nicknamed "The crypt kickers cruise" because of the predominance of ancient passengers! Consequently after about 10.30pm we thought everyone had jumped overboard!! The night before embarkation in Rio was in with the overall price however because we wanted to see Rio we booked through Regent two extra nights at the Rio Sheraton. They charged £382 per person for the priviledge of staying in a hotel that was in the middle of refurbishment for the World soccer cup.Below is a list of just some of the problems. 1) There was no bar inside the hotel, only a small makeshift bar in the middle of the dining room. 2) There was no evening dining in the hotel, only two external restaurants which were only average. The barbeque restaurant's meat was tough. 3) The air con in our room constantly dripped condensation. My wife slipped on the wet floor and almost injured herself. 4)We had no hot water for two days. After attention we had barely warm water. 5) The room iron did not work and had to be replaced. 6)The room hairdryer plug did not fit the socket and had to be replaced 7) The refurbishment team were noisy all day. We booked through Regent two tours for which they charged $219 per person per trip. One consisted of a coach ride through the city via Ipanema and Copacobana beaches and up sugar loaf mountain on one day and "Christ the redeemer" the next. A total rip off!!!! Think hard before you give Regent your hard earned cash. Never again!!! Considering the ship. It was due for refurbishment itself and judging by the state of the carpets it needed it. All in all the crew and staff in general were excellent however some of the meals were not top quality. The evening entertainment was good but there could have been more variety.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
This was our first trip with Regent. Started in Rio & then to West Africa, the Canaries, Morocco, Malaga finishing in Barcelona. The captain & staff were first class. Nothing was too much trouble. Our penthouse suite was kept ... Read More
This was our first trip with Regent. Started in Rio & then to West Africa, the Canaries, Morocco, Malaga finishing in Barcelona. The captain & staff were first class. Nothing was too much trouble. Our penthouse suite was kept immaculately. The included tours were a mixed bag. In Malaga our guide had difficulty shepherding the coachload of passengers through the crowded back streets. On arrival at the Picasso Museum we were informed that only small groups were allowed in & our party would have to be split. As part of the second batch we were asked to wait outside the building. Stood there for 1/2 hour whilst another guide appeared & tried to negotiate admittance. Wasn't worth the effort. None of Picasso's important works were displayed. Even more variable was the food on board. A light breakfast in the room included soggy toast. Was replaced the following day with soggy Danish. Dispensed with these & tried a favoured American staple - waffles. Arrived in equally poor condition. Having sampled some poor cooking we were invited to meet the chef & catering team. They were aware of problems & informed me that these had been "identified". The worst cuisine was in the Italian restaurant when for 3 nights they changed the format to Spanish. My wife's paella was dry. Tasted as though it had been reheated. My own cod dish wrapped in cabbage was inedible. The maître d' explained it was a new dish that had not been well received. Catering standards fell short of other luxury lines. Oceania is part of the same group but offers better food. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2014
REGENT CRUISE online ads said "OVER 300 UNLIMITED EXCURSIONS INCLUDED on the $30,000 cruise that my wife and I had paid for Rio to Miami 21 days cruise. Weeks before the start of the cruise, we were wait-listed on about 50% of our ... Read More
REGENT CRUISE online ads said "OVER 300 UNLIMITED EXCURSIONS INCLUDED on the $30,000 cruise that my wife and I had paid for Rio to Miami 21 days cruise. Weeks before the start of the cruise, we were wait-listed on about 50% of our excursions that we signed on. In Fortaleza, our first excursion after embarking from Rio de Janeiro, the captain arbitrarily chose not to dock the ship; thus deprived the over 650 passengers a much-needed stop after several sea days. The water in Fortaleza was calmed when we look out the veranda contrary to what the Captain claimed that the ship had difficulty with the gangway. He made the excuse that “his decision was to insure the safety of the passengers. At St. Bart's we failed to get our excursion ticket “Highlights of St. Bart’s” because “we were on the Wait-List.” Michael the Destination staff asked us to wait stand-by at the Constellation auditorium. After almost 2 hours, he asked us to go ashore and wait again for another 2 1/2 hours. Another Florida couple also waited. Regent load the passengers with tour tickets on several waiting taxicabs. When it was our turn to ride the waiting taxicabs; Michael decided not to utilize the waiting taxicabs and informed us that there would be no tour for us ---5 hours after we waited patiently. The evening SHOWS were mostly mediocre compared to the many cruises that we have done with Seabourn, Celebrity, Norwegian, Holland, Windstar etc. Regent Cruise is like the equivalent of HMO in healthcare. Pay first before the services are delivered. The problem is once Regent got the payment of $30,000; we saw great deal of reluctance in delivering the promised services which Regent advertised. Many Regent customers were likewise disappointed by Regent’s poor management of the cruise line and their “false and misleading advertising.” Safe to say we and another couple from Hawaii will never cruise Regent again. We plan to cruise 3-4 times a year. Regent will not be on our list. There are better values for the money with Seabourn at ½ the price of Regent. Avoid Regent Cruises.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2014
First time on Silversea; most comparable cruise we have been on was Seabourne, so that is the best comparison. We took a mid-ship veranda which was very comfortable: king bed, full-size couch, separate closet, shower and bathtub, toilet in ... Read More
First time on Silversea; most comparable cruise we have been on was Seabourne, so that is the best comparison. We took a mid-ship veranda which was very comfortable: king bed, full-size couch, separate closet, shower and bathtub, toilet in separate room. We boarded in Rio, traveling to Paraty, Santos, Puente del Este, Montevideo and Buenos Aires. Silver Spirit is approximately 4 years old and accommodates 550 guests; on the trip the loading was approximately 500. Positives: * Cruise director was one of the best we had every met; made the entire trip fun. Seemed to work more than 15 hours each day. * Food was excellent across the restaurants; service was not consisten. * Veranda room was bigger than comparable room on Seabourne * Speciality restaurants Palazzo and Pool Grill (not charging additional money) were excellent and many guests gravitated there for dinners * Butler service was excellent; we were well looked after several times a day * Gym not large, but adequate; track on 10th level (10 laps = 1 mile) * Entertainment was good (a group of 6) who tried hard; most events were well attended * We traveled over SuperBowl Sunday; cruise director managed to buy the tv rights and 200+ guests had a wonderful evening on the sea watching the SuperBowl, with delicious snacks Negatives: * Dining Room service was terrible for breakfast and lunch; staff not interested in serving us. One breakfast we sat for almost 2 hours. We gave up on the Dining Room and ate in the buffet restaurant (Palazzo) instead which was excellent. * Specialty restaurants charging $30 per person per meal were not worth the additional cost, in our opinion. Food was not significantly better. * Internet was ridculously expensive. Best deal was 1000 minutes for $250 and then 250 minutes for $85. Almost twice as expensive as Seabourne. Also many complaints by passengers about difficulty to log on and log off, despite an "internet concierge." * Many private cocktail parties curtailed use of bars in the early evenings * Concierge desk rarely helpful; worst staff we encountered on the ship * Silversea wants each guest to make a contribution to a Silversea charity run by the family; you need to opt out of your contribution is automatically added to the bill * Very little notice about bridge and kichen tour; concierge refused to make a second tour despite many guest requests. As noted above, concierge more interested in creating impediments than granting requests. * Enrichment lectures were very uneven. One of the guest lecturers, a former Ambassador in South America many years ago, was not very informed and was criticized by guests. * The barbecue, which prior guests told us was a highlight, was cancelled because of a rain forecast. Seemed to us that the barbecue could have been held on another night with good weather. * Ship excursions were very expensive! Many guests traveled on their own. Ports: Many of the ports that Silver Spirit used on this trip are container ports, requiring a bus trip (provided for free) or a long walk to the actual port terminal. * Rio de Janeiro (2 days) -- so much to see; continual worries about pickpockets and personal safety in certain areas; traffic was terrible! * Paraty -- very little to do; very poor city, difficult tender. Most guests left after an hour or two to return to the ship. Another port would have been much more fun, or two days in Puente del Este! * Santos -- nice port city with good shopping and gateway to Sao Paolo * Puente del Este -- beautiful beaches, great shopping; Bevery Hills meets South Beach; friendly people * Montevideo -- interesting city with beautiful beaches, great architecture and fun shopping; friendly people * Buenos Aires (2 days) -- wonderful city which holds its own even with economic difficulties. Wonderful to spend an evening there   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
Our first trip on Oceania was on the Marina--South American Holiday. We boarded in Rio de Janeiro on December 8 with departure on December 9, traveled around the Cape eventually to Valparaiso and disembarked in Valparaiso on December 28. ... Read More
Our first trip on Oceania was on the Marina--South American Holiday. We boarded in Rio de Janeiro on December 8 with departure on December 9, traveled around the Cape eventually to Valparaiso and disembarked in Valparaiso on December 28. Overall experience was wonderful!! The ship is beautiful, as many have already mentioned, and the ports were very good giving us a great experience in four South American countries--Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile. We could never have visited on a land tour as much as we did on this cruise. Just for background: my husband and I have done about 10-12 previous cruises. The most recent ones were three on Regent's Voyager over the last 5-6 years. We did the Baltics, Hong Kong to Bangkok and a B2B Greece and Turkey on Regent. Previous to those three we did several other cruises in the 80s and 90s. Most of our travel has been land tours throughout Europe, Canada, China and a week in Egypt. A good friend is an avid Oceania cruiser and encouraged us to try Oceania. I must admit that we had an Oceania suite which is an astounding cabin--certainly the best we have ever stayed in. It is spacious, comfortable, with the best bedding we have ever experienced in any hotel or on any cruise. We were on deck 12, very convenient to the pool, to the Waves bar and Waves grill and to the Terrace dining room/café. Our butler, Ismail, was superb. He anticipated our needs and made frequent suggestions which he thought might improve our experience. He made several reservations for us at the specialty restaurants (above and beyond our pre-cruise reservations), booked a couples massage for us at the spa, served us room service two nights when we had just run out of energy and was there whenever we had a thought about what we wanted to do next! Kosta, our room steward, evidently had a camera on our door because we no sooner left our room than he serviced it before our return (many times while we were at breakfast with no expectation that the room would be cleaned while we were out). We did a combination of private tours for just the two of us with tours we arranged through Cruise Critic with some other folks prior to embarkation. The tours we arranged through Cruise Critic turned out to be some of our best experiences. The people were very friendly, the folks who did all the arranging should be given medals of honor (thanks, Howard and Martha--you are my idols!) and we were so pleased with the level of exposure we got in each of those ports. We didn't do any of the ship's excursions; I must say we heard many complaints from others about the poor quality of the ship's tours. We were patting ourselves on the back for using the Cruise Critic roll call feature. We had 8 sea days for our 21 day cruise. We have never been on that long a cruise (14 days was our longest previously) and were a bit concerned about the number of sea days. I cannot begin to tell you how much we enjoyed the sea days! How incredible to be able to enjoy the ship and socialize in a different way than when you are on an excursion or just meeting folks at dinner and, maybe, never really getting to know them. We did three of the cooking classes, several wine tastings, bingo (both of us won--how did that happen!) and lazing on deck. Neither of us sit in the sun very much (both cancer survivors) but you can still enjoy the pool sitting in the shade, reading and people watching! As for the ports, we loved Buenos Aires (great private guide, fabulous tango show, a culinary excursion with the ship's chef), Puerto Madryn (don't let anyone tell you that you won't enjoy a penguin rookery--the penguins are astounding) and Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego--has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth! We also really enjoyed the other ports with the exception of Rio de Janeiro--poor infrastructure, dirty and just uninspiring. On the ship itself, we found Jacques to be our favorite specialty restaurant with Toscana and Polo closely tied for second. Frankly, we found Red Ginger to be overdone with the food not particularly appealing to us. That's our opinion and I know flies in the face of what many others have found. We visited Red Ginger once and that was it for us. The Grand Dining Room was just okay. The food was average and frequently we found only two or three things on the menu that we might want to eat. We had some service problems in the Grand Dining Room; during one dinner they messed up one of our appetizer orders and both of our entrée orders. On another dinner, they messed up one entrée. At breakfast one morning they messed up one order. We just found little consistency in service although the servers were always trying. Frankly, I think they were understaffed. We watched one main waiter try to handle seven tables with no real assistance one evening. I wasn't surprised by the mistakes when I noticed that. One outstanding experience was the Christmas Eve buffet brunch--it was fantastic--I don't think I have ever been to a better buffet brunch--the dining staff outdid itself. I am not a fan of the Terrace Café either. Frequently, breakfast was a zoo with everyone showing up at the same time (right before excursions) trying to get breakfast. We had the same experience at dinner. Having lobster tail as a choice during dinner did not make up for that fact that we never felt relaxed during dinner; would we get a table or have to wait, watching like a hawk for someone to be finished and get up and walk away so we could get a seat--this is not a five star experience! It was always a concern about how crowded the serving areas would be and how long we would have to wait in line to get an order of lobster tail or something else from the grill. The two nights we ordered room service were to avoid having to go to the Terrace Café. Both my husband and I tried not to compare Oceania to Regent's Voyager but the contrast was most evident in the Terrace Café and was not to the benefit of Marina. We did enjoy the Waves Grill and had lunch there several days; the sandwiches were good and the "control" by the staff to ensure orders were accurate made it seem more relaxed and enjoyable compared to the Terrace. Bars were a pleasure in that there were always plenty of bartenders and wait staff. We particularly enjoyed the Waves Bar during the sea days and the Martinis bar for our happy hour before dinner. The staff of both were excellent, very friendly and always trying to make sure you had a great experience. We had a great trip and thoroughly enjoyed South America. Some additional comments on our experience on the ship: we chose a beverage package; we still found it a chore to have to show our card every time we wanted a drink. (Maybe there is a message here to us that we just wanted too much to drink!) We much prefer Regent's all inclusive when one doesn't need to show a card. I realize this is a minute problem; however, it did take away some element of the experience. The entertainment was average but we were expecting that so I won't compare it or complain about it. It provided some enjoyment although not necessarily one of great quality. The Main Dining Room was an overall disappointment. Food choices were not particularly great and it was understaffed. It never felt like a fine dining experience. The specialty restaurants are outstanding--I would go to sea just to eat in them again! The canapés offered through butler service at happy hour were a disappointment. Again, while we tried not to do so, we did compare it to hors d'ouevres we experienced on Regent. Regent had shrimp cocktail, crab claws and other "bites" of that level if you wanted them every evening. We didn't order the canapés after the first day on Marina because they just weren't very good. There were numerous activities during the day but they quickly became repetitive as the same activity at the same time was repeated pretty much throughout the cruise each and every day. Overall we did greatly enjoy the ship and its beauty, the fantastic itinerary and the great people we met especially on our excursions. We experienced sharing a table at dinner a few times and had some great dining companions during those dinners. It seems most of our shipmates were very well traveled and enjoyed meeting others making such experiences a lot of fun. The itinerary is what is most important; all other things being equal, we would go back to Regent if the itineraries are quite similar as the negative things I mentioned above did impact our experience.   Read Less

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