15 Shanghai Luxury Cruise Reviews

We were on the Seabourn Sojourn with friends who were in suite 737. Their cruise was ruined by the constant loud noises from the patio bar on deck 8 above their suite. It ruined our cruise as well since our traveling companies were so ... Read More
We were on the Seabourn Sojourn with friends who were in suite 737. Their cruise was ruined by the constant loud noises from the patio bar on deck 8 above their suite. It ruined our cruise as well since our traveling companies were so upset. We visited their room to hear for ourselves. If it were my room I would have considered jumping overboard. Otherwise a very nice cruise. Seabourn does a great job in most areas so this room situation was a shock. The crew did manage to move them mid-way thru the cruise. I would not go on a cruise for free if I had to stay in Suite 737 on the Sojourn or sister ships Odyssey and Quest. Our suite, in contrast, was on deck 8 and was quiet and comfortable. The biggest issue we had on this trip was the last minute cancellation of a shore excursion due to the low number of people who signed up. We had no resources to research other options and were disappointed that Seabourn couldn't find a way to conduct the tour using a mini-van or car instead of the originally assigned bus. As expected, the food on Seabourn ranges from very good to excellent. Our dinners in the Grill by Thomas Keller were exceptional with professional, gracious service and superb food. We also noticed service improvements in the main restaurant and Colonnade. On our previous Seabourn cruise we noticed some service issues as many experienced staff were transferred to the two new and larger ships. We disappointed that the Patio Grill has been renamed Earth and Ocean which tries to offer a more upscale dining option. We much prefer the relaxed style and basic grilled foods of the Old Patio. There's only so much elegant food and service you can eat! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This is our 3rd Regent cruise, and 2nd on the Mariner. Happy on the 1st & 2nd cruises, but not so on this one. Let's start with the good points: * Excursions: Wide choice and well executed. * Drinks: Good variety, and ... Read More
This is our 3rd Regent cruise, and 2nd on the Mariner. Happy on the 1st & 2nd cruises, but not so on this one. Let's start with the good points: * Excursions: Wide choice and well executed. * Drinks: Good variety, and quality. Wines range is excellent. Bar staff are great, and very flexible. Shout-out to Maya in Observation lounge for her great mixing skills. * Rooms/Ship: Nothing to complain about here. Very quiet (no noise from corridor or rooms next door). Matched expectations and the brochure promises. * Entertainment: Standard fare. Not what we come on a cruise for. * Lecturers: Up there with the best we have seen. * Main Dining Room (MDR): Never denied a table. Good food & varied nightly, but a bit unimaginative. A few small hiccups with a lunch that took 90 mins to arrive, but not a show stopper. But the elephant in the room is the fiasco that is the congested La Veranda/Sette Mare. BREAKFAST (La Veranda) * The congestion is horrible. One example: Toast is made by 1 staff member, and the numerous guests waiting for their toast block the already narrow passage. * The limited space makes some guests pushy and rude; especially if time is short before an excursion. * Saw one guest served under-cooked fried eggs; she did not eat them. * Never went a 2nd time. LUNCH (La Veranda) * Best described as an unpleasant bun-fight on busy days. Continuously running out of things (Main dishes, butter, cheese, etc). When asked, staff would replenish but it just adds to the crazy congestion, frustration, and delays. * Staff will take orders and deliver - which is great is you want your food cold. DINNER (Sette Mare) * 4 nights in a row: Denied a table for 4 between 19:30 ~ 20:15. Usually told the wait was 45 mins. Or told: "Suggest you come at 18:30 tomorrow". So we went to MDR each time. * 5th time lucky, but underwhelming food. So what is the problem? As we were on the same ship just 3 months ago, and did not have the same issues, I concluded it is simply that when full (as it is on this cruise) the La Veranda/Sette Mare simply can not cater properly for the guests on board. This is especially acute if the weather means the pool grill is unpopular that day/night. Once we realised all our frustrations centred on La Veranda/Sette Mare, we simply stopped going there. The little frustrations vanished and we really enjoyed the rest of the ship & cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I would like to give a bit of back ground info on myself so that when reading this review you can judge if it is relevant to what you deem important in your cruise experience.  My husband and I are in our late 50's early 60's we ... Read More
I would like to give a bit of back ground info on myself so that when reading this review you can judge if it is relevant to what you deem important in your cruise experience.  My husband and I are in our late 50's early 60's we have over 250 days on Seabourn, 150 days on Silversea and 60 days on Regent.  We sailed the Navigator for a month and loved that ship (even though I felt it was a little crowded at times).  We sailed on the Mariner in Nov/Dec 2018 and enjoyed the cruise experience very much.  We would sail on either of the three lines mentioned but the itinerary comes first for us.  In fact we have a Silversea cruise booked in June 2019, I will be taking my mother on the Voyager in August and we have a Seabourn cruise booked in February 2020.  In this review I won't go into the ports because there have been live blogs done of this cruise so I feel that is redundant.  What I will do is talk about the on board cruise experience.  I'm a positive person and I'm aware how fortunate we are to be able to vacation in such a luxurious way but want to give both the positive and negative views of our latest cruise so it may help others in selecting a cruise line that suits their needs whilst also giving a realistic view of what to expect and not what the glossy brochures portray. The good: Cruise director: John Baron is probably my favourite cruise director.  We sailed with him on Seabourn (his first actually) and then again on both Mariner cruises we have taken.  He is friendly, approachable a good entertainer (his show was really enjoyable) and a great trivia host.  We have also sailed with Marla (his assistant) on Seabourn many times and it is always nice to catch up with her. Compass Rose and both specialty restaurants.  Food was very good at all three of these restaurants. Wine: I feel Regent along with Silversea offer the best wines on any cruise line we have been on.  I also really appreciate the wine tasting of non revenue wines that Regent does.  I wish other cruise lines did this.  The selection of beer and spirits is very good. Cocktails:  The best of all three lines as mentioned above.  Yes, Seabourn has this new mixology cocktail menu.  Very trendy but honestly IMO not as good as Regents offerings.   Shore excursions:  I know a lot of guest really enjoy having the all included shore excursions.  I'm not a fan really as I like to do a bit of both and I know I could do that on Regent but I feel in some way I have already paid for these so I may as well take them.  I find I'm far more adventurous when sailing Seabourn or Silversea as I do a bit of both the cruise lines excursions an independent excursions.  Having said that I can not fault both the organization and the tours themselves.  They are as good as anything that you would pay for on either Silversea or Seabourn.   We did two tours that included lunch and both were a highlight of the trip. Room Service:  I really like the way Regent handles room service.  You place your order and then they call you just before it arrives to your room.  We often have breakfast in our room and it is so nice to get this call and be ready for when it arrives.  Seabourn and Silversea call you after to ask how your food was and inform you that they are going to pick up the tray.  Every time! This gets annoying and feels somewhat disingenuous.  Also when you ask for a glass of Champagne from room service they bring you a bottle.  Seabourn will bring you a glass.  So kudos to Regent for that. Quietness and stability of the Mariner:  This ship rides so smoothly in rough seas and we had a couple of days of those.  The noise insulation is very good.  Never heard our neighbour or any guests in the passage ways.  No vibration that we felt. Breads:  My husband loves bread (french bread in particular) and I will agree with him that Regent has the best bread of the three cruise lines.  Crusty French bread and great artisan breads. Internet: My husband is Tech person and he finds it very important to have good internet access so he can keep in touch with his business.  He appreciates that you can have multiple devices connected in your room.  The not so good: Waiting two hours to be served lunch in Compass Rose.  I later spoke with Ricky (Food and Beverage Manager) and he explained they were implementing a new ordering system and had some teething  problems. This did get better as the cruise went along.  We did get numerous apologies for the wait. He also let know that on our last cruise there were only 500 passengers on board and that this cruise they was at capacity with a full ship. La Veranda:  I can not tell you how disappointed we were in this venue.  Crowded beyond acceptable.  Extra tables were put in the walkway on both side of the buffet and whilst this was appreciated by guests trying to find a table it made the buffet even more crowded.  A full ship with early spring weather (some sunshine but mostly cool) and the Veranda could not handle the passenger numbers.  Management needs to have a good look at this problem.  Perhaps offering a special menu in Compass Rose for lunch to entice more passengers to dine there at lunch would help.  We just avoided going there as it was a disaster.  People bumping into one another.  Dishes running out (seafood platter) and people waiting in queues for 10 minutes to get a portion.  They just did not cope with the amount of guests trying to dine here.  People couldn't find a table, food running out, long waits for it to be replenished.  I also found the food here to be unimaginative.  This is where Regent falls down.  Seabourn's buffet is so much better in variety and quality.  I will say the pizza was good but honestly that was about it. Regent makes the best burger as sea I have ever tasted.  That is where the good ends.  Look at what Seabourn and Silversea do at night on their pool deck.  A real alternative dinning option.  The buffet on the Mariner for lunch is not great at the pool deck.  They had a Mexican buffet and Greek one day and that was just okay but they could really improve on the food offerings here. Afternoon Tea:  Again this is an area where Regent falls behind the other two lines.  Chocolate afternoon tea.  Same tea bags that you can get in any venue and a couple of the cakes were still frozen.  If it is not a special afternoon tea event, you get a small buffet and an offering of tea bags.  Both Seabourn and Silversea have a tea selection which is served at your table and on Silversea a tower of afternoon tea snacks.  Some times we like to skip lunch and just do afternoon tea but we did not do this on Regent. Entertainment:   Some good and some not so good.  The pianist Nicky was fantastic.  The Duo at the bar at the back of the ship are great in the disco but not really suited to pre- evening dance music.  An example of this is that we had a full ship and only 4 or 5 couples dancing.  They are not great and we had them on the last Mariner cruise as well.  Seabourn wins out in this regard as they have a trio and a guitarist and also a pianist so you have much more choice.  Silversea is about the same as Regent.  The guests entertainers were also a mixed bag.  The Australian entertainer was very good.  The Filipino vocalist who won The Voice (or something similar) was good the first night but not so good the second night.  The entertainment is not the most important part of a cruise for me but I do like to dance before and after dinner and we did not do much of this on this cruise as the Duo was really not good.  Summary: As you can see there are more positives than negatives and we really did enjoy this cruise.  Having said that we have never experienced so many little hiccups on one cruise before.  Yes, no cruise is ever going to be perfect or perfect for every guest on board but there were a lot of little hiccups that I have not mentioned. These hiccups happen on all cruise lines but on this cruise there were more than usual.  I have tried to be honest and balanced in my review as I think this helps perspective guests set their expectations and helps them to select a cruise lines that works for them.  I usually like to end my review with would I cruise on this ship again.  Well, yes and no.  I would not cruise Mariner on a cold weather cruise where there was a possibility of a full ship.  I would probably cruise Mariner again a hot weather cruise if the itinerary was right but it may not be my first choice. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We booked a 50 day cruise with Cunard Queen Mary 2 primarily to visit Petra, Rome plus about 20 other countries. The cruise departed Feb 23 from Shanghai to April 14 in South Hampton. While boarding in Shanghai, I was bumped by a luggage ... Read More
We booked a 50 day cruise with Cunard Queen Mary 2 primarily to visit Petra, Rome plus about 20 other countries. The cruise departed Feb 23 from Shanghai to April 14 in South Hampton. While boarding in Shanghai, I was bumped by a luggage handler and my knee was scratched. The scratch became infected by Feb 27 and I had to take antibiotics for the whole cruise, so we never saw any of the sights we intended. After the cruise, we submitted our claim to a Cunard cruise claims adjuster because I needed to continue antibiotics April 15 to June 12. The Cunard claim adjuster gave us a runaround and distorted facts to avoid paying any fair compensation. I wrote the President of Cunard asking to be treated fairly in compensation, and were emailed in return indicating since we purchased our cruise in the USA he could do nothing! I wondered why they are marketing in the USA if they cannot treat folks that book in the USA fairly in compensation. I must say the Cunard medical staff is excellent, but their onboard antibiotic selection is limited. The exercise facilities are limited for a person with a knee infection caused by Cunard. The pools are beautiful and clean, but someone with a leg infection can not use the pools or hot tubs. From the stern from the 11th floor or above, one can see 3 pools on 3 different levels. Dining room food is limited quality but good variety; and deserts are for a European palate. With my leg infection we were forced to do things we normally would not do, viz. painting, read and gamble. The casino has really nice folks working there and the odds aren't bad as my wife and I bot one several times. The art classes or lessons was a fantastic experience. On level 2 at the pursers desk or level 3 at the shops the central foyer is a classic 0 the flowers display is the nicest we have ever seen on any ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We loved our previous cruise with Marina and wanted to try another Oceania cruise. We selected this particular cruise because it was exactly the itinerary we wanted. We had been to Japan before but wanted to spend time in Kyoto and ... Read More
We loved our previous cruise with Marina and wanted to try another Oceania cruise. We selected this particular cruise because it was exactly the itinerary we wanted. We had been to Japan before but wanted to spend time in Kyoto and Tokyo, and we wanted to return to Hong Kong and Shanghai. The itinerary was exactly what we wanted. It also helped knowing that this cruise line quite often provides transfer to the port city centers free of charge. After Marina, it was difficult for the Nautica to compete. The food was good, better than any of the other five or six cruise lines we have used before, but not Marina-quality. The service excelled. Far, far better than other cruise lines, and there is no "nickel and diming" which was the reason we stopped cruising previously. Our cabin was quite well-maintained. We will be cruising with Oceania Nautica again, in January, which tells the tale. However, I must agree with others that the Destinations planning, lack of shore information, and the tours needed a lot of work. Our ship excursions provided guides that did not speak English well, no hearing sets were provided although there were very large groups on the excursions, and the excursion groups bumped up against other excursion groups on the same ship. Although the execution of the excursions was poor, the planning was very good. The excursion destinations were very good. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Second Cruise on Nautica and both have been great. The staff is great and do their best to make sure you enjoy the experience. As usual on any Oceania ship the food was well above any other line. While they do not prohibit children, I ... Read More
Second Cruise on Nautica and both have been great. The staff is great and do their best to make sure you enjoy the experience. As usual on any Oceania ship the food was well above any other line. While they do not prohibit children, I do not believe they would enjoy this ship. The ship is small and has no activities for children. Seniors will especially enjoy this ship as it is easy to get around. The ship is small which has advantages and disadvantages. In most cases you disembark very close to the city centers. Since a little over 600 passengers are on board you will have ample opportunity to meet your fellow travelers. I highly recommend a sharing table early in the cruise. On the down side, small ships have limited entertainment. I found the cast shows very entertaining, but they are not Broadway productions. Also, the bathrooms are very small, so very tall or large folks will have an issue with that. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Our pre-cruise with Oceania to Xian to see the Terracotta Warriors was wonderful. Oceania took care of every detail. Our hotel in Shanghai and Xian were both excellent. The airport transfers with the pre-cruise was smooth and ... Read More
Our pre-cruise with Oceania to Xian to see the Terracotta Warriors was wonderful. Oceania took care of every detail. Our hotel in Shanghai and Xian were both excellent. The airport transfers with the pre-cruise was smooth and uneventful. Our guide traveled with us to from Shanghai to Xian and back. He spoke English very well and was a wonderful guide in Shanghai when we toured Old Town Shanghai before generation. We had another tour guide for Xian, who was very knowledgeable about the Terracotta Warriors and in the museum. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. My TA told Oceania that I was allergic to down feathers and my preference for diet cokes. We were in our cabin only a few minutes when our cabin attendant welcomed us and assured us the down feathers were removed from our cabin and to assure me the diet cokes would be checked to make sure we would not run out! Our cabin attendant and her assistant were excellent. My husband and I both thought the cuisine was outstanding at the informal Terrace, Waves, Grand Dining Room, and Specialty restaurants. We were also very happy with the cappuccino bar. We had a mixture of private tours and Oceania shore excursions. All in all, we were happy with the Oceania shore excursions. We only had one tour guide in Okinawa, Japan that was hard to understand. We loved all the ports we visited and even spent one night off the ship in Kyoto. We will definitely cruise on Oceania again especially the smaller ships like Nautica and Insignia. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We travelled in QM2 for a short 10-day leg of the ship's current world cruise, taking advantage of a generous sale that had been advertised. In short, the experience was everything we expected, and more. Every aspect of the ... Read More
We travelled in QM2 for a short 10-day leg of the ship's current world cruise, taking advantage of a generous sale that had been advertised. In short, the experience was everything we expected, and more. Every aspect of the ship's service was of a very high standard. Crew members, waiters and cabin stewards quickly got to know our preferences and routines, and provided personalised service to match. Our balcony cabin was about the usual size for a cruise ship cabin of that standard, but was well designed and comfortable. Despite some review suggesting otherwise, we found the quality of the food in all locations to be excellent. The main dining room (Britannia) provided a varied menu of high-quality dishes. The buffet (King's Court) had a good variety of excellent food, and we were especially impressed with the 'alternative dining option', "Bamboo", which is well-worth the additional charge. We also dined at The Veranda Restaurant, for one meal. While this was also exceptional, we doubted whether it was really worth paying the significant surcharge for this restaurant, given the quality of food and service at the other locations. A very full program of entertainment and 'enrichment' options was offered. There was certainly something for everyone. However, we found that some shows in the main theatre were a little lacking. Indeed, for some reason, the ship's own company of singers and dancers presented the same show just three nights apart. Surely they must have more than one show in their repertoire! One big plus for QM2 is its size. This allows for generous and numerous public spaces. Unlike other ships of a similar size that take up to 4000+ passengers, QM2 accommodates only about 2500 passengers. This means that bars, restaurants, lounges and theatres are never crowded. You can always find a quite place to sit and read, or enjoy the company of others. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary which started in china and included japan,vietnam,cambodia and thailand. Initially the weather was cold,nearly freezing but warmed up as we headed south finishing at 97 in bangkok. There was a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary which started in china and included japan,vietnam,cambodia and thailand. Initially the weather was cold,nearly freezing but warmed up as we headed south finishing at 97 in bangkok. There was a lot more security than on previous trips, so check in took 20 minutes even though there were only a handful of people in front of us. We had our chinese visa before we boarded but the ship arranged for the cambodia one and charged our onboard account. Unlike us citizens we did not need one for vietnam. as usual on oceania the food was excellent. We were able to book into the speciality restaurants as many times as we liked even though we had an outside cabin. We much enjoyed the grand dining room and toscana but thought the food in polo was not quite as good as on previous cruises. There seemed to be a lot of new staff in the restaurants and the service was consequently patchy. The cabin service on the first night was dreadful but improvrd to very good for the rest of the cruise. the impression of the chinese ports was of the shear size of the cities with huge numbers of tower blocks. Vietnam and cambodia in contrast were poor and primitive. The on board lectures were excellent in explaining such things as the chinese one child policy and its consequences.the advantage of a small ship is that it can get to the centre of ports when larger ones dock way out. This was helpful in shanghai,saigon and bangkok but we were disappointed in hong kong to be at the new cruise terminal which was wholly inappropriate for a small ship. We had to walk 3/4mile just to get out of the terminal and no shuttle was provided. Ha long bay was a highlight and the excursion boats were docked at the ship's tender platform which saved an extra journey. The method of despatching the excusions resulted in unnecessary long lines in the nautica lounge. Marina does it better.the overpriced ship's excursions were of reasonable quality but the tour guides did not speak very good english. In chan may the guide gave a lecture on the history of vietnam which droned on far too long. The ship was generally in good condition except that one of the four elevators was out of service for the whole cruise. Oceania have drastically raised their prices recently and the standard of service does not justify these new prices although it is a lot better than large mass market ships. We benefitted from the very generous loyalty programme which covered the costs of all the excursions we wished to take. Overall an enjoyable and educational experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Had traveled on Oceania in the past, including Nautica. Loved the cruises but this last cruise was a true nightmare. Moldy shower curtains. Dirty dinning room curtains. Food offerings were limited as compared to past cruises. Staff was ... Read More
Had traveled on Oceania in the past, including Nautica. Loved the cruises but this last cruise was a true nightmare. Moldy shower curtains. Dirty dinning room curtains. Food offerings were limited as compared to past cruises. Staff was trying to do its best, but passenger/crew ratio, I would guess, was lower than usual. Room service was awful. One shore excursion was scheduled for 3 hours duration and tour guide "decided" to extend the tour one additional hour even though most folks on bus wanted to get back based upon the scheduled time. Excursions was expensive for the value and sights seen. Entertainment was as to be expected on a smaller ship. Overall, the ship is really getting long in the tooth and needs to be refurbished or taken out of service. When we discussed the situation with the concierge, he agreed and we received a $2,000.00 credit toward another cruise. Oceania would not have offered the credit if it did not agree with our assessment. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
After reading so many positive CC reviews on the Crystal experience my wife and I decided to book a world cruise segment Shanghai to Japan nearly a year in advance.Expectations were running extremely high and remained so until a month ... Read More
After reading so many positive CC reviews on the Crystal experience my wife and I decided to book a world cruise segment Shanghai to Japan nearly a year in advance.Expectations were running extremely high and remained so until a month before sailing until we were told that due to Chinese regulations a day had be shaved off of our stay in Shanghai.I contacted Crystal asking if they would pay for my independently arranged flights to be changed at there expense they agreed then revoked on there agreement, hence we now lost a day in this fantastic city, our first time visit, once on board the CEO asks for initial feedback, I fed this back seen by the Hotel Director who advised it was being looked into, it was offered to have the flight changes refunded, as the flights had not been changed suggested equivalent cruise credits and was told 23rd April 2016 this would not happen, in summary offer/refused, offer/refused, not what I expected from a premium luxury cruise brand. Not onto the cruise experience, Embarkation was a breeze well handled and luggage in cabin prior to us arriving. Cabin was tiny really tiny for a luxury ship difficult to access wardrobes as they were extremely close to one side of a bed, toiletries were extremely basic for a luxury cruise brand, it was keep clean apart from one evening we returned to the cabin with a service tray ( not ours ) stating "" DO NOT TOUCH "" on it , called housekeeping and they could/would not give reasons as to why! Ship was beautiful kept really clean ( must have been as a result of the recent low CDC score ) and the public areas were generally good although showing signs of wear especially in the spa where there were stools with holes in etc. Now onto the food, this was not really up to standard maybe we was just unlucky but in 14 days only had one reasonable meal at the beginning of the voyage .The tastes were bland, unseasoned and often was delivered luke warm, we were told that on world cruises they have to not season food as the average age of clients is much higher and they prefer bland basic food, as compensation I was offered chilli flakes and Tabasco sauce, nice touch.The Buffet and deck grill were probably the best food offerings on our cruise, we also tried Prego, Silk Road and Tastes as alternative dinning all just average. The best aspect of the cruise were the staff, most appeared happy in there work and engaged with you and served well, some commented on cut backs since new ownership as when I asked for a Peronni or Moretti Italian beer was told used to offer but has been deleted due to it being a couple of cents more per bottle. Excursions , not very well organised and extremely expensive, for example over $400 USD per person for a 3 hour one stop visit to a tea ceremony, bonsai museum .There seemed to be poor organisation in clearing immigration in ports visited sometimes waiting in line for over an hour.The overland 3 day tour to Bejing was excellent and well organised this was included in the cruise fare. Whilst on the cruise Edie the CEO gave a lecture of the very ambitious expansion plans that she is heading up with the new owners, exciting as they are I couldn't help feeling that Crystal may be heading down the Renasance route. On speaking with many loyal Crystal Cruise clients they were really up set as to how the standards are falling so very quickly, they remain loyal as to the offers they get on future cruises make it difficult to divorce Crystal, the main issue was the cost cutting along with the sub standard food offered, they all blamed the new parent company. Would I book another Crystal Cruise ? No not unless there would be a guarantee of much better food , shore excursion and land base divisions keeping to there word. I have taken over 55 cruises probably 10 on premium lines and I am really sorry to say my Crystal experience did not come any where remotely close to meeting expectations, I feel duty bound to post ( in my opinion ) my experiences as I would not wish other potential first time Crystal cruise clients to experience what I did.This review is not intended to offend but is actual findings as reported on the post cruise questionnaire and directly to Crystal. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
From the first day to the last day, this trip was outstanding! Our guide, Bob, was most congenial, shared his background (most interesting), shared his in depth knowledge of his country and cared for us as a Mother Hen cares for her ... Read More
From the first day to the last day, this trip was outstanding! Our guide, Bob, was most congenial, shared his background (most interesting), shared his in depth knowledge of his country and cared for us as a Mother Hen cares for her chicks. The 5 Star hotels were a real pleasure to experience, from the Lobby Ambassadors, to the rooms, to the flower arrangements, to the food! Viking assumed responsibility for all things while on this trip; Baggage, boarding passes, tickets to excursions, you name it and they handled it. While the Viking Emerald was a bit "tired" looking, the staff, food and activities more than made up for it. Dining aboard was a pleasure complimented by staff that not only remembered your name, but what your most favorite drink was. Our cabin was clean, comfortable and fresh smelling. The entertainment aboard was centered around the culture of China which we found enjoyable and entertaining. The shore excursions provided us an opportunity to experience multiple UNESCO sites and most of the best known attractions of China while adding to our knowledge of a culture that is thousands of years old. We have recommended this trip to many of our friends as "the trip of a lifetime". Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We were really looking forward to this trip and although we should have expected a significant number of Chinese we didnt expect the way they behaved which really was an eye opener. I really think RCI and their Agents should inform ... Read More
We were really looking forward to this trip and although we should have expected a significant number of Chinese we didnt expect the way they behaved which really was an eye opener. I really think RCI and their Agents should inform potential passengers what to expect. We were informed that staff turnover is high due to the way they are treated by the passengers. Embarcation turned out to be great as we were taken through priority boarding. Don't know why but much appreciated. Service on board was generally very good but it was obvious a significant number of staff were new and still learning their role. The staff we spoke to were all appreciative and very polite. From conversations with them they were annoyed at how the majority of Chinese passengers were behaving and their attitude to the staff. Food. If you go on this trip use the restaurants with formal service. Windjammer is like a cattle market where you are jostled out of the way. Guests pile plates of food and expect to be at the front of all "queues". No respect for other passengers. Restaurants. We were disappointed to find that the Grande restaurant wasn't formal as described in all the information and taking a suit/evening dresses is a waste of time as diners turned up dressed as they wanted. Some wore shorts and tee shirts. We felt the shows were average. They had some glitz and glamour but not that entertaining. Several shows we couldn't see as we couldn't speak Chinese. During the cruise numerous announcements were made in Chinese. We had to ask staff for a translation in case they were relevant to us. This was also the case with a number of raffles made on board. The winning tickets tended to be announced in Chinese and no translation. The charge of 50 dollars for WiFi is expensive considering it wasn't that great a connection. The ship itself is excellent with great cabins and public areas. Well designed and you dont feel as though there is nearly 5000 passengers on board. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
What a wonderful trip, this being my second time with Viking in China. This is a different ship that the last time, but just as nice and comfortable with the greatest room steward I have ever had on any size ship. The selection and ... Read More
What a wonderful trip, this being my second time with Viking in China. This is a different ship that the last time, but just as nice and comfortable with the greatest room steward I have ever had on any size ship. The selection and variety of food, the quality of the free wines and beers on the ship was everything anyone could want. Service also was efficient and fast, with young men and women who were more than happy to being their jobs. The highlight of the ships entertainment was put on the ships own crew, what a great job, their young man doing all the arrangements has a great future ahead of him. Tours were of the best to be offered in China, with excellent local guides, our group leader was also on his toes at all times and we covered everything we needed to see without feeling rushed. The land portion was at 5 star hotels, great clean comfortable rooms excellent meals and service. It was amazing to see how much China has changed in the ten years since I had been there last. For those who would love to see China I can highly recommend Viking with any of the other trips that they offer. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Cruise review - Seabourn - The Pride, 7/29/2010 to 8/10/2010 Shanghai, China to Kobe, Japan I want to be clear about one thing ... we have placed a $1000.00 deposit for a future cruise on Seabourn. I am in the hospitality business and ... Read More
Cruise review - Seabourn - The Pride, 7/29/2010 to 8/10/2010 Shanghai, China to Kobe, Japan I want to be clear about one thing ... we have placed a $1000.00 deposit for a future cruise on Seabourn. I am in the hospitality business and this review will sound very critical about what some might consider trivial. Overall, we had a fabulous time, ate well, drank more than we should, met some of the most interesting people, and were served by a staff that appreciates their guests. Our Cabin - Who wouldn't be happy with the size and the amenities in the cabin? We are first time Seabourn cruisers who had placed a reservation for a GTY Suite ... and we were "gifted" a balcony suite on the 6th level ... one of the more expensive rooms. Upon entering the suite, the promised champagne was on the coffee table along with a rather sad spray of orchids. The flowers were changed 4 days later, which was 8 days past their prime. Our requested liquor was not in the room and we were informed by our stewardess that it would not be possible to have it stocked until after the ship had sailed. She did call someone and within 30 minutes, the bottle of Jack Daniel's and the bottle of house chardonnay that were ordered arrived. On both bottles, a green sticker was placed on the label, indicating that they had borrowed these bottles from one of the bars on the ship ... the color coding is a method to insure that the bottles stay on the bar where they were issued. In the rush to please, they didn't realize that the bourbon bottle had been previously opened. Yes, it could have been contaminated ... but I decided to chance it! We ran out of Chardonnay day two and had to bring it to the attention of the staff 36 hours after we ran out. It was replaced right away, and in fact ... by the time we left the ship ... there were 4 bottles of chardonnay in the mini-fridge! Point is, we shouldn't have had to tell them that it needed to be replaced. There were 2 engineering issues in the room ... the shower rod was pulled away from the ceiling and one of the stoppers in one of the sinks would not open to allow the waste to drain. Both problems were fixed as soon as we mentioned them. There was a sock behind the curtain leading to the balcony left by a previous guest ... The lone sock was placed in the trash ... this housekeeping issue was not reported. The bed is GREAT, the TV channel selections are far above any that I have seen on any other cruise line, the bath products are SUPERIOR, and who wouldn't be happy with Frette linens! We never heard our neighbors on either side, so the problem of noise must have been corrected during the recent re-do. Only one 110 outlet and that is in the vanity area. I hear people talking about not paying the extra for a Juliet balcony ... but we LOVED it. I am not sure if it was Seabourn or the Tourist Agency for the individual ports, but there was always arrival or departure entertainment. Our location on the ship was facing almost all of the entertainment ... so we never had to go on deck to enjoy it ... We felt like we had box seats at a theater! The robes that were in the closet were "cold climate" robes ... that really couldn't be worn in the heat & humidity of an Asian Summer. The stewardess had the habit of leaving the bath stopper in the middle of the tub lying on its side ... small issue, but I was always afraid of stepping on it when entering the tub. Also, I am surprised that there are no grab bars that are convenient to allow stability as you enter & and exit the tub. We had to ask for our soap to be replaced ... and this was done so by a stewardess that was assigned to the cabins across the hall. I heard of others on the ship having baths drawn and rose petals strewn around ... we never saw any of that. The Food & Restaurants - We kept hearing about the quality of food on Seabourn ... We enjoyed it, but found the food on Celebrity to be better. What brought the overall experience down was breakfast. Day one ... we decided to eat in the main dining room. After we placed our order, we sat ... waiting for coffee ... which arrived 15 minutes later, in spite of the fact that there were less than 10 people in the main dining room. Our order arrived 40 minutes after we sat down ... but only ½ of it. My wife seasoned her plate (Sorry ... she does this to every dish prior to tasting!) ... when I noticed that this was not her order. We called the waiter over explaining the problem. He apologized ... and promptly re-served the seasoned plate to the table next to us. Now, some of you might not think this is gross ... but we do. The next issue was, and I have heard this from other reviews ... the crumbs were swept away from our table and re-set for the next guest, in spite of the fact that the table cloth was stained. We decided never to eat breakfast in the main dining room and headed to the Veranda for our remaining breakfasts. Here is where the BIG problem is ... a total lack of supplies. You had to hunt for a napkin, coffee cups were at a premium, and if a chaffer was out of food ... it took 20 minutes to have it refilled, since the food for the chaffers comes from the main kitchen. I found it interesting that the Captain would stroll in daily and be totally oblivious to the total lack of supplies and organization. I never saw the hotel manager ... Well, not totally true. I saw him once at a dinner table dining with 2 other crew members. I was "told" that he is a numbers guy. This is evident in the lack of supplies and organization. "Auto pilot" is a good term ... and the staff is gracious enough to overcome the shortcomings ... but this will fade. The Hotel Manager needs to be on the floor and not in front of a calculator. Dinner was fine, but nothing exceptional. The Galley Lunch was sensational ... and the Grill on the deck was wonderful! Restaurant 2 ... I was able to secure a reservation one night. Tried 6 times. What happens is that you can reserve 48 hours out. We didn't think about making a reservation until day 2 ... and there was a waiting list of 24. This was the pattern daily. The experienced cruiser on Seabourn would make their reservations daily for the next 48 hours ... adding a day out daily. When the menus were published, they would either keep the reservation of cancel it ... We were on 4 waiting lists and never got called for a last minute opening. Now for the controversial DINNER INVITATION topic! We were called on day two at the last minute to fill in for a cancellation at a crew table. We had made dinner plans with several other couples that we had met, thus ... we too declined. After that we received a formal invitation almost daily ... delivered after we had left for our excursions ... and well after we had made plans for that evening. We declined all but one, asking if there were room for our guests as well. It was flattering to be included, but embarrassing to decline most of them due to the invitations being delivered so late. Most people, I would hope, make plans either the previous day or the morning of. The Entertainment - What can I say ... Wonderful. We enjoyed trivia on sea days. We love any casino when we walk away with more than we entered with ... SO, we LOVED the casino! One slot machine was broken the entire cruise ... and when there are only seven machines the broken % is high! Nick and Sam ... YOU ARE THE BEST! The Gratuity issue - The policy might be that the staff doesn't expect any gratuity ... but they do. I have never seen such slick money palming in my life! We passed out more $50's and $20's, and I dare say the KGB would have missed these transactions! The Spa - My wife had nail work done twice and I had a haircut. I explained to the stylist that the BEST haircut I had ever had was on a Carnival Cruise ... it still is. My wife was pleased with the work she had, and went back to buy product on their shelves as well. My wife wanted a facial waxing but this service was not offered. Strange that a cruise line that caterers to the older set wouldn't offer waxing! The Gift Shop - NICE stuff! Not cheap, but the quality called for that. I bought 3 mini-bottles of Polo (the scent I brought spilled). $41.00 for the 3 which I didn't think was that out of line. Like everyone says ... The Pool is very awkward and seldom used. The hot tubs are nice, but only set at 100 degrees ... Never a problem with getting a deck chair, but never saw anyone getting a free deck massage like is advertised ... and, it was not a weather issue. We had great weather every day ... OK, HOT YES! But no rain. Excursions - On this cruise, you could do it all yourself. Every port, except for one, offered free shuttle busses. The one that didn't offer a bus was located at the street car stop! We booked 6 excursions. I didn't think they were all that expensive ... but I believe it would be just as easy to do what we paid to have done for us ... on your own. The Guests - MOST were first time Seabourn Cruisers due to the heavy discounting that it took to fill the ship. If there was one, there were 80 travel agents on board! I was told that there was one couple who had paid full price, but they were offered a 50% discount after the "talk" on board of this cruise being so cheap. Well, the discounting worked for us! We are coming back ... hoping to be on the maiden voyage of the Quest leaving from Barcelona on 7/20/2011. The Staff - Kudos to Lena, Patrick, Victor, Jan, Oscar, and 99% of your service staff. How do they remember your name after ½ of a day on board. My name is a simple one, but they knew all of the guests! They also remember what you drink, how you like your steak cooked, and what type of white wine you like. The best staff I have encountered anywhere ... but be careful. Your management on board is not looking at the details. You have 72 lights out in your main lounge. These are burned out ... not turned off to save power or reduce the glare ... burned out light bulbs ... a major sign of lack of attention to detail by management. During some of the formal gatherings, there were public jokes made by the senior staff that could have been offensive to some of your guests ... although not directed at me, I was offended by them. Although not a Seabourn issue ... on our cruise one of the passengers brought bags of nuts from their state and gave them to staff members ... as well as throwing them off of the ship to the entertainment that was provided during a sail-away. While this was happening, a room service delivery was being made ... we asked for his reaction and he confirmed that this passenger, although had good intentions, was insulting the staff/entertainments with these gifts ... "Throwing bananas to monkeys." Although the intentions were good, this act was perceived as demeaning. Be aware ... not ALL gifts are appreciated! I know that I have said several negative things that some might find over the top. If you felt that I ignored the positive, remember ... the positive is expected. I told you that I am in the hospitality business, and it is my job to notice when things are not 100%. I inspect hotels for a living ... and this is a floating hotel. The issue that would have failed this ship during an inspection was the sock found in the room. The other issues would have still kept the ship in a passing position ... so much so that it would have ranked in the 90th plus percentile. I am only offering these constructive criticisms to assist with improvement. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010

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