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541 Transatlantic Luxury Cruise Reviews

With over 300 sea days on Holland America, we felt it was time for a change, and wanted to try out Viking Ocean. We could not have been more pleased with the overall experience. Check-in was swift and easy, with our documents awaiting ... Read More
With over 300 sea days on Holland America, we felt it was time for a change, and wanted to try out Viking Ocean. We could not have been more pleased with the overall experience. Check-in was swift and easy, with our documents awaiting us. We were also able to access our cabin earlier than promised. Our cabin was a Deluxe Verandah - nicely laid out, great bathroom with heated floors (also useful for drying wet clothes!), modern and clean. The TV systems are state of the art, and extremely useful - an example being the replay of lectures, etc. shortly after they are done live. It would be nice if the system had real-time data on navigation items such as course / speed / wind etc. Be aware that drawer space is somewhat limited, even with the extra ones in the closet on Sun, but the beds are high enough that even large suitcases are easy to store there, and can be used as additional storage. Our only cabin knock was the proximity of the closet to the bed - somewhat awkward to get at. Larger cabins don't have either of these two issues. Dining was excellent - the quality of food was high, and there are multiple choices. The open faced sandwiches in Mamsen's are exceptional - except for the calories, you could live on them! World café is good, with limited crowding, and would be excellent when the weather permits dining outside on the stern deck. The Restaurant is fully open seating, but we never waited more than a few minutes, even at peak times. The serving systems in the Restaurant seem to have multiple "handoffs" between the staff, and occasionally resulted in a missed request, but they were speedily corrected. Of the two specialty restaurants, we loved Manfredi's (Italian) - be sure to reserve as early as you can, as it's very popular. The Chef's Table was good, not great - some excellent dishes, some mediocre. We largely relied on the included shore excursions, as they tended to do an overview tour, and allow personal exploration afterwards. The two optional tours we used were well organized. Service levels throughout the ship were outstanding - even on a short cruise, the staff quickly learned to recognize us, and were always eager to assist. While we missed the chance to get to know our dining stewards as well as we have previously in a fixed-seating environment, we were able to make a few connections over the trip. Being so new, the ship is pristine and very stable and quiet. Maintenance is discreet, and not intrusive. And, the internet service put every other cruise line that we've been on to shame - a real leg up for staying in touch. Bottom line - we've booked two more voyages! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Great cruise line. Awesome ship and service. One of the best designed ships we have ever been on. Wraparound Promenade deck. Thermal spa outfitted with more different treatment areas (whirlpools, snow room, dry sauna, steam room, etc). ... Read More
Great cruise line. Awesome ship and service. One of the best designed ships we have ever been on. Wraparound Promenade deck. Thermal spa outfitted with more different treatment areas (whirlpools, snow room, dry sauna, steam room, etc). Great fitness room. Most rooms between the common areas on decks 1-2-7-8 limiting how many stairs to traverse to get between rooms and common areas. Ship had no feeling of crowding anywhere. Common services desks designed to address client needs. Ship was largely digital meaning that many things could be accomplished through television set in the stateroom. Service was exemplary in every way. Wait times throughout the ship were short or non-existent. Service was highly anticipatory. All administrative activities including embarkation and debarkation, as well as port visits were professionally and efficiently handled. Very good food, using fresh, high quality ingredients. Food was well prepared and tasty. Special requests were handled by the culinary staff with aplomb. World Cafe had most items of the Restaurant + some additional surprises. Mamsen's deli was okay, but the Pool Grill was outstanding. Both Manfredi's and Chef's Table were very good. Could have offered more traditional desserts. On-board activities, while not lacking, could have been more robust. Afternoon tea was great featuring more than 12 types of tea. Enrichment lectures were good also and were recorded for later viewing in the staterooms. No casino or bingo which was a plus. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is our first cruise with Viking and we are converts! We have cruised with most other lines and while we don't consider ourselves "cruise people", we do end up taking a fair amount of cruises. We really enjoyed the low ... Read More
This is our first cruise with Viking and we are converts! We have cruised with most other lines and while we don't consider ourselves "cruise people", we do end up taking a fair amount of cruises. We really enjoyed the low key luxury decor of the ship. I read an interview with the CEO of Viking and he described his line as "the thinking man's cruise rather than the drinking man's cruise." I think that this sums it up perfectly. The library on the ship was amazingly well thought out and the educational presentations were outstanding. We also were blown away by the thoughtful touches on the ship - like a free laundry room on each floor. A special shout out goes to all of the staff - they were so helpful and friendly. I never felt like they were chiseling for tips. Truly, Viking felt like a Four Seasons Hotel at sea. We will definitely be back. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
embarking was quick and easy. once we were on the ship at 3.30pm we were advised that the ship would be leaving that night instead of the original plan of the next evening due to weather which meant we missed the port of Bergen as it was ... Read More
embarking was quick and easy. once we were on the ship at 3.30pm we were advised that the ship would be leaving that night instead of the original plan of the next evening due to weather which meant we missed the port of Bergen as it was too late to do anything that day. Big seas means we also missed Shetland Islands and Faroe Islands. instead we made for Iceland and had 2 make up ports of Akureyri and Isafjordur. both tiny stops. We then had to forgo Nanortalik due to 'weather'. When we got to Dagueanay.....well it isn't it was the port town of La Baie, 20 kms from the main city. No shuttles were pour on. We had to find a local bus or taxi of we es bed to go into the city. We reached Quebec, the best port of all and we had to be back on board by 3.30? surely we could have stayed longer given the fact how much we had missed out on previously? into Montreal at 4am? that to me says we definitely could have had longer in Quebec. The included tours were ok. Need more for active people. Not everyone is over 75. The entertainment was average. The singer's were ok but only did 3 showed in 2 weeks. The magician was awesome. bring on more odd this stuff. Comedians etc Classical pianist? yuck. start catering for the 50 year olds. We are your future cruisers. The cabins are nice and clean but not enough storage in deluxe verandah. put more shelving in instead of so much hanging space. had to leave most of our stuff in our suitcase which was frustrating. Noise in the cabin is totally unacceptable. rattling and banging in the walls, creaking like we were on an old Spanish Galleon or on the first fleet to Australia. that is no exaggeration. I still couldn't sleep with earplugs and a pillow over my head. Who wants to be sleep deprived their whole holiday? It was brought to Guest Services attention the 2nd day and their response was" its the weather" not good enough. Even when the seas were calm it was the same. Everyone we spoke to said the same thing, their cabins creaked and rattled also. Italian ship builders obviously can't get that right. Staff were friendly enough but ask for anything out of the ordinary and it's like the biggest deal. Ask for small portion, can't do it. Ask for 2 scoops of icecream, can't be done. Communication was terrible. We never knew when the ship was getting into port or leaving until the night before. couldn't plan anything. when in Reykjavik we dashed back to the ship between ships tours to grab lunch and check the Tax refund process to be told the ship want leaving until 8pm so we would have plenty of time. We got back from our second tour to hear that the ship was leaving at 6 and no time for any last minute shopping at the terminal shops and that the VAT guy was leaving. Asked for assistance again from Guest Services to see if anyone could help us with a Garmin charger for our watches as ours had been left on the previous viking cruise we had gotten off to get on this cruise. never heard from them again. The food was quite good in quality and the head chef Paul was great. constantly checking the quality and his people. Took great pride in his food and his people. We have previously cruised mainly with Azamara. Hard not to compare the 2. I'd choose Azamara every time. We chose this cruise for the itinerary but at the end of the day it missed too many ports. Why not call it for what it is. Transatlantic repositioning cruise. Not one for the destinations. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Numb, as in unbelievable, Numb as in over whelming, Numb as in booked another cruise with Viking for next year. We had seen the TV documentary "Mighty Ships" showcasing the "Viking Sky" and a week later were booked ... Read More
Numb, as in unbelievable, Numb as in over whelming, Numb as in booked another cruise with Viking for next year. We had seen the TV documentary "Mighty Ships" showcasing the "Viking Sky" and a week later were booked for our cruise on the "Sea", I had Viking do all our bookings for our transportation to Oslo, as well as our Oslo and Bergen extensions. We were not disappointed, as everything went well, with ground transportation, the 2 hotels we stayed in, as well as the train trip between Oslo and Bergen. I beloved they saved us about $4,000 Cdn, (for 2 people) as I booked the airfare using a dummy account, and was well satisfied with the outcome, and that didn't include booking hotels or train trip. Upon our arrival at the cruise terminal, we were informed we would leave Bergen a day early (disappointed) and miss the Shetland and Faroe Islands (disappointed), but would have two extra ports in Iceland (Wow), due to stormy seas as the remainder of Hurricane Dorian hit the area. A few other changes were made due to rough seas, but Viking and the Captain made the changes ahead of time, allowing replacements and relocations so our cruise wasn't days at seas. This allowed us to cross the Arctic Circle, and spend extra time in Iceland, a place we might have never returned to, as well attended to the safety of the ship and passengers / crew aboard. I have mobility issues and use a walker. The tours we took, were OK for our limits, as we were allowed to wander at our own speed and were given a time and place to meet, which we adhered to. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze, except at Quebec City. I knew, as Viking stipulates in their "FAQ" area, you are responsible for getting yourself off and on without crew assistance, but at Quebec City no wanted to take my walker on or off, and it was a long stand waiting while the walker sat on the pier. The boarding ramp also in Quebec City was not handicap friendly due to the small steps (my ability of using steps, not the port or ship or anyone else's ability). All other ports, crew couldn't have been nicer or more obliging getting the walker on and off, and assisting on ramps and tenders. The ship was beautiful, simple lines but very elegant. We had so much space and a good choice of areas to sit, depending the mood and what we wanted to see or the hear the music provided by the onboard musicians. The "Living Room" was divided into smaller sitting rooms (about 8 to 10 seats), each with art work, a multitude of reading material, ornaments on tables and shelves and thro-blankets and cushions giving a very warm and at home feeling. The food overall, was very good, sometimes things weren't great or what we expected but that's standard wherever you go or even at home. The "Restaurant" had wonderful choices, with standard fare on the left side of the menu and seasonal / regional choices on the right side. We mostly ate from the right side, and enjoyed what we ordered. Service was professional, and the odd time things did get dis-jointed, but we always got what we wanted, and if something was forgotten, it was there in seconds. We never left hungry. "World Cafe" had a nice choice of foods, and they would prepare to order. We only had lunch there, as we preferred the "Restaurant" where portions are controlled, as we always filled our plates way to much, and hate to waste food. "Manfretti's" was wonderful, especially the rib-eye steak, but learned we can order or split portions if we choose. We were very pleased we could have 4 dinners there. We had one dinner at the "Chef's Table", which was Asian and wonderful, but we choose not to return for the Mexican themed dinner. At both specialty restaurants, the servers explained the menu to us in great detail, as well as the wines we ordered. We paid for the "Silver Spirits" package which included upgraded wines at meals, and any alcohol or soft drinks on board. The jury is still out, whether we would get it again. I kept of tally of what we ordered, and we broke even. The upgraded wines aren't a big deal for us, and we are not big drinkers, but ordered a few specialty drinks we wouldn't of had if we were paying for each drink. However, it was nice knowing you wouldn't get a large bill at the end. The crew were "amazing" and everyone on board made our holiday special, from their hellos in the hallways or greeting us by name in the food and bar service areas. They remembered our likes or dislikes or could predict whether we were having 2 black coffees or 2 Absolute and tonic. High Points: 1) no children 2) no up-selling 3) included internet (worked well most of the time) 4) no photography or photographers in your face 5) treated like responsible adults (not to many party people on board) 6) no pushing future cruises, it was made known you could book on ship (which we did because we wanted to, not because of pressure) There is much more to tell, bu the highlight was, Viking did us well, and we look forward to our next cruise in June 2020. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because we have always wanted to see Iceland and wanted to go back to Bergen. So this was the perfect cruise for us. This itinerary was perfect as we got to visit Greenland, Newfoundland and Canada. We have been to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have always wanted to see Iceland and wanted to go back to Bergen. So this was the perfect cruise for us. This itinerary was perfect as we got to visit Greenland, Newfoundland and Canada. We have been to Antarctica so this was our chance to go to the Artic Circle. The service from the staff was great especially our cabin stewards and Ronald our waiter at Dinner. Every night at dinner he would go over the menu and discuss each dish by telling us what was in the dish and how it was prepared. We especially enjoyed the talks given on the Human Planet. What beautiful pictures and very interesting about how the photography was done. The excursions were very interesting to visit some of the old Viking villages to see how they lived. Also got to see a replica of an old Viking ship. Couldn't image how the survived in those boats. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my fourth transatlantic crossing on board Queen Mary 2, but the first during the summer season. This was not the most memorable Overall: The weather was excellent for this transatlantic crossing, very sunny and minimal ... Read More
This was my fourth transatlantic crossing on board Queen Mary 2, but the first during the summer season. This was not the most memorable Overall: The weather was excellent for this transatlantic crossing, very sunny and minimal sea state. The ship was rather quiet during this crossing, during the day and during the evenings. The day time program wasn't particularly exciting or eventful and the passengers didn't seem to want to stay up too late in the evenings, even during formal nights. By midnight, the ship was very quiet and the bars even started to close. This was not a "party" sail like my usual pre-Christmas crossing. Cruise critic organized an informal meet and greet on the second day of the voyage. It was well attended and it let me meet the people in the forums. I enjoy transatlantic crossings a lot and despite some negative comments here, it is almost certain that there will be a fifth transatlantic crossing on board Queen Mary 2 in my future. Ship: The Queen Mary 2 is a special ship and I've always enjoyed her design and layout. While there are some quirks and oddities about her design (i.e. Decks 2/3 between A and B stairwells and getting the Queen's Room and G32), she is beautiful ship in the art deco style. One never feels crowded on board the ship. The Carinthia Lounge remains the area to avoid on the ship (it has a very retirement home feeling). The ship is showing some wear and age, but overall maintenance is still very good. Cabin: I had an obstructed view cabin, but it was a good cabin, possibly the best obstructed view cabin because it was behind a small boat rather than a full sized lifeboat. Dining: Britannia Restaurant. The food in the Britannia Restaurant for this crossing was average, not as great as it had been in the past. It was still very good but didn't feel as special as previous crossings. Presentation remains excellent, but the menu wasn't that exciting. The desserts were also rather plain this crossing. King's Court. Always busy, especially at lunch. Finding a table next to a window is nearly impossible and the food is average, but consistent. Golden Lion Pub. The pub lunch is always a good choice when the menu at the Britannia restaurant doesn't appeal to me. It serves traditional pub classic dishes such as fish and chips, or chicken tikka masala. Room Service. It was decent. I usually get room service breakfast. The food/coffee/tea is never piping hot, but that's expected given that its being delivered and the galley is rather far away. Entertainment: Evening shows: Cunard has never been known for their evening entertainment, so I wasn't expecting anything spectacular. The singing and dancing of the Royal Court Theatre Singers and Dancers was what I expected. Though other passenger's descriptions were harsher ("a high school production"). Lecturers: The selection of lecturers for this crossing was not the greatest. None of the lecturers really interested me and the comments from the other passengers were mostly negative as well. Planetarium: It's always nice to be able to attend the planetarium shows, but the show is always the same "stars above the north Atlantic." Service: The bartending staff remains excellent, my favourite bartender was on board and I have sailed with her for all of my voyages. My steward wasn't the greatest this year, but was still decent. The sommelier assigned to our table wasn't very good, rather than recommending me wines, he would just give me to the wine list and have me select the wine. I noticed there were a lot of trainees on board, so service was a bit slow. Shopping: Souvenirs remain a weakness of Cunard. The souvenirs are either overpriced and tacky or just overpriced. It would be nice if Cunard could get some decent and reasonably priced souvenirs. Their selection has improved over the years, but still has a lot of room for improvement. Embarkation: Very smooth this year, no queues, the fastest embarkation in Southampton I've ever had. But I found out that this was the case because there were a lot of people already on board who did not embark in Southampton. Disembarkation: Disembarking in Brooklyn is always frustrating. There was about an hour's delay from when I was scheduled to disembark to when I actually got off the ship. Then the queues to get through US Customs was a nightmare. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Everything about our cruise was great! We boarded very easily in NYC The ship, though older, is kept clean and well appointed. Restaurants: all were excellent! And I do consider myself a foodie! Have been on NCL, RCL, MSC, and way ... Read More
Everything about our cruise was great! We boarded very easily in NYC The ship, though older, is kept clean and well appointed. Restaurants: all were excellent! And I do consider myself a foodie! Have been on NCL, RCL, MSC, and way back on an Italian Line. Cunard was great in all areas; Buffet, Main Dining Room, and Verandah! Not a single line can cook a steak as well as Verandah! (Ships cannot use open flame so it’s difficult to cook a great steak without a flame!) The other point is cleanliness. Having been on all RCL mega ship crossings and each of their buffet rooms were not kept very clean when dining was going on. Waiters would wipe tables onto floor and often tables were hardly cleaned! So QM2 touché! Shows were ok. Not great but enjoyable. The walk/run deck was great! The Aqua Therapy was phenomenal and well worth the $$! Finally, as we enjoy the elegance of the QM2 the evenings, 3 of them formal, were great. The others require a jacket at dinner. (Tux are available and worth it!) The masquerade and roaring 20’s nights were a lot of fun. If you want casual go on a 7 day island cruise. If you enjoy great conversation, stimulating lectures, time to reflect and read great food, great drinks, formal evenings then go on QM2! And finally they do not beg for good reviews! PS our review for excursions says Excellent. But their weren’t any! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Cunard boasts that the RMS Queen Mary 2 is the only true ‘ocean liner’ afloat in the world today, though I have not yet discovered why it is said to be different from, for example, the Queen Victoria or the Queen Elizabeth, the other ... Read More
Cunard boasts that the RMS Queen Mary 2 is the only true ‘ocean liner’ afloat in the world today, though I have not yet discovered why it is said to be different from, for example, the Queen Victoria or the Queen Elizabeth, the other two Cunard ships currently in service. (A fourth ‘Queen’ is due to be launched in a couple of years’ time). The Queen Mary 2 (QM2) is the largest of the three at present in service with a length of 1132 feet, a crew of 1292 and capable of carrying almost 2700 passengers. It is the flagship of the Cunard fleet and one of only two RMSs (Royal Mail Ships) in the world. Being that size, the corridors are very long and it is extremely easy to get ‘lost’, though there are nearly always helpful crew members on hand to guide passengers who feel disoriented. Everything about this ship is on a grand scale and very spacious. It has a charming, ‘old world’ style to it which distinguishes it from most cruise ships. It is elegant, rather than flashy, and the majority of its passengers tend to be that little bit older, though there are exceptions. In our view, the directional signage around the ship could be improved and we feel that, whilst it is intentionally fairly discreet, it should be re-evaluated to help ‘lost and confused’ passengers. For example, because the Britannia Restaurant is designed to be split level and straddles two decks, it is not possible to walk all the way through to the theatres without first going up in a lift (elevator), walking along a couple of decks higher and then descending again in another lift. This took us (and many others) quite a while to fathom out! We had decided to celebrate our 45th wedding Anniversary in August, 2019, by trying a Cunard ship for the first time. (We had been on numerous cruises in the past with different cruise lines, mostly in the northern hemisphere, but never before with Cunard). Our two-way transatlantic crossings saw us travelling from Southampton to New York and back, with just a day in the ‘Big Apple’. We just love ship life and found it quite relaxing knowing that we hadn’t any shore excursions to think about, except for in New York itself, of course. It was our intention to spend a relaxing two weeks at sea. We knew from past experience that there would be plenty on board to keep us occupied and stop our becoming bored, but we would also have plenty of opportunities to simply take it easy. The extensive library on board the QM2 is excellent and the Planetarium feature is also well worth a visit. We were checked in very efficiently at Southampton. Based on our past experience of being required to wait, on occasions for a couple of hours, in a lounge on board, we enquired if our stateroom was ready for us. We were told that it was, but that there had been a leakage of water so there might be a large fan in the room. That seemed OK to us and we proceeded on board and up in the lift (elevator) to our deck 10. Arriving at our stateroom (10097), we noticed a hive of activity in the vicinity and were quickly advised that our room had been flooded so that we could not enter. In fact, the furniture (including the bed) had been removed and the room was being re-carpeted! We couldn’t even leave our carry-on bags in the room. (We particularly did NOT wish to have a Butler and this affected our choice of stateroom). We were able to enter our stateroom after about 90 minutes and it looked just perfect. No-one would have been aware of the earlier problems, except for an unpleasant smell from the drains under the bathroom which persisted throughout both legs of our voyage. We drew this to the attention of our Cabin Steward, Dave, and were visited soon after by Emerson, our Deck Housekeeper. He acknowledged the problem and offered us a change of stateroom to another farther down the same corridor but we declined politely as we had, by then, unpacked all of our clothes and couldn’t face the disruption that would have been involved in a move. He offered us a concession which we accepted with gratitude and handled the situation extremely well. Dave had left a bowl of fruit in our stateroom which was replenished daily, as was the refreshments tray. Complimentary still and sparkling water was also provided each day. We had hoped for a walk-in shower so were disappointed to see a shower over the bath which my partially disabled wife found particularly difficult to use. (She is not in a wheelchair). We had all of the usual facilities in our room. The bed was very comfortable, as were the pillows, and we slept well every night using the simple temperature controls. There was plenty of drawer space and more than enough hangers to meet our needs. We had an in-room safe too. There were fresh fluffy towels, warm bathrobes, a coffee making machine, plus tea and coffee making facilities. It was great to be able to relax on our balcony (with 2 chairs and a table) on sea days. Our ‘smart’ TV was very good and, in addition to BBC World News, BBC HD, SKY News, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News, a Cunard lectures channel, and a Cinema Channel, we (sorry, I) was delighted to be able to watch ‘live’ soccer matches from the English Premier League! The Master in command for these two ‘voyages’ (NOT cruises!) was Captain Aseem A Hashmi. What an excellent communicator he is and so personable too. He inspired confidence and proved to be a most entertaining speaker. He was regularly seen around the ship speaking to passengers and answering their questions with the utmost patience and a friendly smile. He was always approachable and a great example to other crew members. We dined in the Princess Grill on table 18, a table for 6, where Carmelia, Vincent, Jayson and Sommelier, Christian, looked after us well. Generally speaking, the food was good, but we all thought it lacked that extra something we had been led to expect from Cunard. I can give three specific examples to illustrate why we were a bit disappointed. First, one of us ordered the Lobster Bisque one evening and it was nothing like any bisque I had ever seen or tasted – more like a consommé! Second, one my wife ordered a cheese soufflé one night but the texture and taste were all very substandard. Third, my wife and I ordered (a day in advance) the duck a l’orange to share one evening. It looked great when it was cooked and served expertly at the table, but was dry and chewy – not at all enjoyable, I’m afraid! (Overall, we all agreed that the Celebrity ships’ Aqua Class food was better, which we found surprising!) Our best meal by far was one night in the Verandah Restaurant, for which there is an additional charge of $40 per person. That was truly excellent with great service! As my wife has a partial disability, we decided to opt for the in-room breakfast because it was easier for her. The efficiency of this food service could not be faulted but, whilst realising that there are logistical problems in offering such a service on board such a large ship, we have to say that the food was only ever lukewarm. We used the efficient on-board laundry service and the self-service laundrette – a most useful facility for 7+ days at sea! The Canyon Ranch Spa Club is extremely expensive and exploits its captive clientele. Moreover, we all felt it is an absolutely appalling disgrace in this day and age for Cunard (and they are not alone) not only to charge for the use of the Wi-Fi facility, which is both slow and variable in quality of signal anyway, but to apply exorbitant charges – 30 minutes for just $15; 120 minutes for $45; and 480 minutes for $135 – when most public spaces in the 21st century, including public transport, provide the facility free! This is tantamount to taking unfair advantage of Cunard guests for what is, in any event, an unreliable service! The entertainment shows in the main Theatre were very good and, as a former competition dancer, I must say how very impressed I was with the dance troupe and the 4 main singers. There were several good guest speakers on board too, including a Canadian astronaut and a costume designer, who were most interesting. We also had the pleasure of watching the English National Ballet workshops and performances. Even though we are not ballet fans, we enjoyed them very much. We were not impressed by the Entertainments Director, Paul O’Loughlin, who seemed to imagine he was a ‘star’ in his own right! Our ‘special places for a coffee or an alcoholic drink were the Chart Room and the Commodore Club. We also greatly enjoyed the Carinthia Lounge at lunchtime for a delicious light snack and a drink. We found that the Golden Lion Pub was also very comfortable, but it can be difficult at certain times to find a table as its popularity, especially with British travellers, means it can be pretty busy. All of these venues had ‘live’ entertainment from time to time, usually in 45 minute slots. We didn’t really use the Queens Lounge (?) except for the Captains Cocktail party but it is a beautiful, large venue. All drinks on board carry an automatic 15% service charge. Before we had set off from home to catch the Queen Mary 2, we had been advised that a film crew would be on board on the return voyage back to Southampton. We were even given the opportunity of applying to be ‘extras’. The advance warning advised that there might be a few restricted areas when filming was taking place but gave an assurance that any disruption would be kept to a minimum so as not to spoil our enjoyment of the voyage. Well, we were never inconvenienced and only saw the filming a couple of times. At no stage was there a problem on such a large ship, and we were pleasantly surprised to see such ‘A listers’ as Meryl Streep, Candice Bergen and Gemma Chan (and others) at work. (We understand the film is to be released in 2020). In summary, the Queen Mary 2 copes well with everything the North Atlantic can throw at it so it was a smooth sail in both directions, in spite of 14 feet waves at one point. We did enjoy our first Cunard voyage, but not quite as much as we had expected. We might sail Cunard again in the future, but it probably would not be our first choice unless the itinerary particularly appealed to us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had not previously been on an ocean cruise, but for our 50th wedding anniversary we wanted to treat ourselves to something special. So we booked a 15-night New York to Southampton cruise with stops in Canada, Iceland, Scotland and ... Read More
We had not previously been on an ocean cruise, but for our 50th wedding anniversary we wanted to treat ourselves to something special. So we booked a 15-night New York to Southampton cruise with stops in Canada, Iceland, Scotland and Ireland. It was a world away from our usual quiet life in rural Tasmania, but we had high hopes that the Queen Elizabeth would give us a truly memorable cruising experience, and we were not disappointed. Check-in: We boarded at the Manhattan cruise terminal which was easily accessible from our central NY hotel. Our cruise was the final leg of a much longer itinerary that had started in Vancouver, so this was not a full change-over day for the ship. Consequently there were only a few other passengers arriving at the same time, and the whole process was quick and easy with no queuing. We had been given a 12.30 check-in time and within 20 minutes we were in our cabin with luggage already delivered. It probably doesn't get any better than that; our holiday was already off to a perfect start. Cabin: We had dug deep for our anniversary treat and booked a Q4 Penthouse midships on deck 7. This was truly wonderful; a large and well appointed room with plenty of space to relax both inside and out on the balcony, a walk-in wardrobe with more than enough hanging space for 15 evenings of dress-up finery, a huge comfortable bed, and a bathroom with shower, deep spa bath and separate toilet. Nothing about the room was a disappointment, and the experience was made extra special by the butler Manny and his team. They were incredibly attentive with the room fully cleaned while we were at breakfast, everything restocked including the complimentary bar, fruit and flowers replaced regularly, canapes delivered each afternoon, and refresh/turn-down every evening while we had dinner. One of the really nice Cunard touches is that the staff know you by name and make a genuine effort to remember and deliver on your personal preferences. Meals: We ate mostly in the Queens Grill restaurant but also tried a couple of pub lunches after days ashore, and had room service occasionally. All were good, but the Queens Grill is exceptional for both the food/drink and for the service. It is a relatively small restaurant, less than 100 guests, and because you can eat at the time that suits you (for example, arrive for dinner anytime between 6.30pm and 9pm) it never seemed overly busy or crowded. There was really nothing that we could say to fault this restaurant; the range and quality of food was outstanding, plus a dedicated chef would try to produce anything off-menu if given a few hours notice and if they had the ingredients onboard. We asked for rabbit pie one evening which really wasn't much of a challenge for the chef but was duly produced and served at our table with theatrical panache. The Queens Grill provides a very sophisticated and indulgent silver-service atmosphere, part of the overall Cunard theme of reprising the 1940s/50s heyday of transatlantic voyages. In keeping with this, most Grills guests dressed “smart casual” for breakfast and lunch, then everyone dressed more formally for the evenings in keeping with the designated dress code of the day. Activities: During sea days there was always plenty to do onboard, both for organised activities or do your own thing. You can be as active or inactive as you like. We really enjoyed the outdoor games areas with quoits, croquet, carpet bowls, shuffleboard and paddle tennis, plus swimming and table tennis. Entertainment: The main entertainments included a classical concert most afternoons and then ballroom dancing and 2 theatre performances each evening. We found the shows to be mostly of an okay standard; enjoyable, glitzy and good enough for free onboard entertainment but not really outstanding. The theatre has a number of private 2-person boxes which can be reserved at an extra cost with champagne and nibbles on some evenings but are otherwise available freely to anyone who arrives early. Stewards are on hand to bring drinks. All passengers are expected to respect the after-6pm dress code in the theatre and ballroom. Final reflections: We researched Cunard here on Cruise Critic and elsewhere before deciding that they were likely met our needs. We were aware that a number of reviewers have not been happy with their Cunard experience but this often seems to be related to differing expectations of the type of cruise that these three “Queens” offer. This is not a party boat, and not primarily targeted to families and other younger cruisers although there are some facilities for children. The target market is very clearly aimed at a generally older group who enjoy a slower and more genteel pace of life. Other frequent criticisms of Cunard seem to focus on the so-called “class” system, the after-6pm dress code, and the price of drinks. In our experience this “class” distinction is really a non-issue; it's no different from most airlines where you can book economy and get a good service or book a more expensive seat that gives you perks like shorter queues at the airport, more personal space on the flight and a larger choice of meals. It's a choice for everyone to make, unlike a real class system in which there is usually no choice. The after-6pm dress code seems to annoy some people but in our view is central to understanding what Cunard is offering its passengers. Things like the flamboyant art-deco style throughout the ship, the white-gloved waiters, the traditional afternoon teas, the ballroom dancing, the silver-service ambience in the main restaurants, are all designed to create an evening atmosphere of old-world elegance, charm and sophistication. The ship and the crew deliver on this, and the passengers are also expected to deliver. The entire Cunard cruise is a piece of theatre in which passengers live the retro experience of an age when good manners and gracious living were valued. Nobody is forced to dress formally – there are areas of the ship that are more relaxed – but clearly for the vast majority of passengers the evening elegance is an important part of what makes the cruise special. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our first Seabourn Cruise. We were on board for 45 days, Dover to Montreal via Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Labrador. The Viking historical highlights were the Hvalsey church in Greenland and the Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Sadly, ... Read More
Our first Seabourn Cruise. We were on board for 45 days, Dover to Montreal via Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Labrador. The Viking historical highlights were the Hvalsey church in Greenland and the Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Sadly, the St. Kilda landing was scrubbed due to inclement weather. The scenic highlights were the fjords and glaciers of Prince Christian Sound, and the cultural highlights were Isle of Man, Reykjavik, and Nuuk (Greenland). Good itinerary, but we saw other, more nimble ships making the same calls (notably Ponant and Scenic), so there are alternatives to Seabourn. We were in cabin 826 (they call it a "suite") which is roomy with a generous balcony, but with what we consider design flaws. The TV is poorly positioned for comfortable viewing, the lighting for the table is not optimal, the closet is cramped. The twin sinks in the head are nice, but with a good shower, the bathtub is unnecessary, and uses space better allocated to the closet (the old "R" vessels have dressing room/closets which we much prefer). The vanity is well done. We were surprised that no binoculars were provided (as we had on Silversea), this on a cruise where icebergs, whales, polar bears, sea birds, and calving glaciers are spotted and watched. The common spaces are elegant and roomy. The six elevators run like a charm and one hardly ever waits for a ride, even when the crowd exits the shows or lectures. Tender shuttles, quay landings, and shore excursions were run very smoothly. The food is very elaborate, excessively so in our opinion. Lots of choices, but all of the gourmet "nouvelle" style, with rich sauces and elegantly presented. Plain dishes can be ordered from room service or at the patio restaurant, the latter being an uncomfortable place in the northern latitudes. Staff is extraordinarily attentive - room service comes very promptly, table service will see your plate whisked away as you put down your fork, your wine glass refilled while still two-thirds full. Our impression is that the obsession with delivering over-the-top service results in a somewhat tense and forced amiability on the part of the wait staff. The staff is drawn from a very diverse set of nationalities, a departure from the more cohesive crews of filipino or indonesian origin on other cruise lines, which we have found to be more relaxed and genuinely warm. The captain made daily detailed announcements about weather outlook and sailing status, and the attention to navigation and safety was very thorough. We were able to witness the bridge protocols on a port departure, and everything was conducted very carefully and by the book. Quiet competence and superb attention to safety. There is a striking schizophrenic aspect to the QUEST, originally designed for sailing warm waters and subsequently modified for high-latitude cruising: it is a deluxe ship trying to masquerade as a quasi-expedition platform. Of the 45-day cruise, no more than three of four were of shirtsleeve temperature with clear skies, yet every day the lounges around the pool were lined up with fresh towels (and thus forcing passengers to walk on a delaminating portion of the teak deck, rahter than on a safer path!). The outdoor restaurant provides infrared heatlamps and blankets for each table. The "expedition" complement of ten or twelve "zodiacs" is clearly insufficient to take more than a quarter of the passengers off at any one time. There is an extra charge of $150 per hour per person for such excursions, again not much in keeping with the expedition structure we have experienced elsewhere. A week or ten days, rather than 45 days, might have worked better for us on this Seabourn cruise. We'll likely choose to go with one of our other favorites (Regent Seven Seas, Silversea, Ponant, Windstar) on our next cruise . Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We (2 couples) chose this cruise to return from a European vacation rather than fly back to the US. We knew the cruise would be very formal but as one English passenger said when I queried him about his experience on the 2nd day of the ... Read More
We (2 couples) chose this cruise to return from a European vacation rather than fly back to the US. We knew the cruise would be very formal but as one English passenger said when I queried him about his experience on the 2nd day of the cruise, "They are quite serious". LIkes: We booked the Brittania Club, therefore we had our own private dining table for four each night with the same servers. The food was truly excellent, on par with Oceania Cruise line, which is noted for it's food. (Kudos to our servers, Brendo and Orsulah). We ended up eating breakfast, lunch and dinner in the restaurant. We only gained an average of 2 pounds per person for a 7 day cruise and we believe that is because we mostly avoided the Kings Grill, which is very chopped up, located in several separated rooms with a limited selection of food. We understand it had been upgraded in 2016 from the original design. I cant see how it could have been much worse then. Also, the brewed coffee in the restaurant is very good, unlike the machine coffee in the Kings Grill. We had dinner one night in the Verandah steakhouse restaurant for a small upcharge of $39 per person and it was the best steak we have ever had. 35 day aged beef. The Enrichment and Art seminars, Tea Time and Gala Evenings were spot on great! We didn't mind the tuxedo and formal dress evenings and enjoyed the Masquerade Ball. The planetarium and Queen's Theatre were great venues also. Dislikes: Probably because we have been spoiled by cruises on Oceania Marina, Rivera, & Insignia and Holland Statendam and Koningsdam, we didn't appreciate the QM2 as much as we should. Even with the retrofit in 2016, she looks a bit tired. Very chopped up, no flow to the design. What's with the Churchill and Chart room locations? You have to go through the Brittania Dining room to access the Queens Ball room or go through the Art Gallery up and down stairs to access. Also, the aforementioned non functional Queen's Grill area. The Library boasts 8 thousand books and a room the size of an average family dining room and each passenger is restricted to 2 books at a time with the shelves locked during night hours? That's when most insomniacs need to find a book. We found this very unusual as Oceania ships boast great libraries with a barrista next door. Their libraries are unlocked and open to all cruise passengers 24/7. Finally, what ever you do don't buy the liquor package!!! Very limited pours (50 ml) which makes no sense, as it requires the staff to service you more often. (However, once they see you have a drink sticker on your card, they avoid you like the plague, and you practically have to tackle them to get service). This occurred in every lounge but was particularly acute in the Golden Lion Pub! The wine steward in the Brittania Club restaurant also was put off by our asking for wine refills at dinner, until 3 days before the cruise ended, when he finally increased the pours, which saved him extra trips. (We were not heavy drinkers, drinking no more than 2-3 50 ml pours at dinner) or any other sitting. The package was very restrictive, nothing over $11. If you want to purchase a $20 cocktail, you have to pay $16 (purchase price less 20%), which begs the ? why purchase the liquor package? Also, our traveling companions, (one who drinks and one who cannot drink because of medical reasons), cleared with Cunard corporate that if she brought a Doctor's excuse that he could by the package but she wouldn't have to. We spent the better part of the first afternoon being shuffled between the Purser's office, the G. L Pub and were even sent to the spa, because no one could or would make a decision on allowing our friend to purchase the liquor package alone. Finally, a bartender in the G.L. Pub told us in great whisper (I am not exaggerating) that he would allow it if our non drinking friend would purchase the $30 per day beverage package (water, soft drinks and coffee). You could not purchase wine by the bottle at dinner like on Oceania or HAL only by the 50 ml glass because of the liquor package restriction. The ship was good in the water, you never really felt any motion. However, it felt as if It was designed more for sailors than passengers and the staff was not there to serve you as much as ensure that all rules and regulations would be followed and not be infringed on! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Previous Cunard experience on Queen Victoria and sailing back home instead of flying. The relaxation of being aboard for 7 days without having to get up and out for excursions. Looking for a truly relaxing vacation being treated ... Read More
Previous Cunard experience on Queen Victoria and sailing back home instead of flying. The relaxation of being aboard for 7 days without having to get up and out for excursions. Looking for a truly relaxing vacation being treated royally. These are the reasons we needed a Cunard vacation. We were not disappointed. Nothing, really nothing, went awry. The embarkation process was amazingly smooth. We boarded the ship and about a half hour later our luggage arrived. This proved to be just the preview of how things were to play out for the rest of the trip. The cabin, see the cabin review, was beautiful. The dining experiences again amazing. Yes the menu options were grand, but Osman the Matre' D would come to the table and ask and give recommendations for off menu options. Foie Gras, an iceberg salad made to order, the Grand Marnier souffle, ask and it was yours. The casino was small. Not very many options. Roulette, Black Jack, 3 Card Poker, Texas Hold'em type game (not against players but similar to 3 Card Poker) and a few slots. One woman hit the same machine for 4 jackpots in 2 days. The beauty of the ship, the cleanliness of the decks, I walked the decks about 3 in the morning and found more than a few people vacuuming and cleaning the common areas. Loved it so much we booked next year's trip onboard already. Wish we found this years ago. So very happy we found it at last. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We brought this crossing, Southampton to New York, as an alternative to flights. Little did we know it would provide the tranquility we craved following two weeks of sightseeing. Cunard QM2 has the best entertainment ever experienced ... Read More
We brought this crossing, Southampton to New York, as an alternative to flights. Little did we know it would provide the tranquility we craved following two weeks of sightseeing. Cunard QM2 has the best entertainment ever experienced at sea. The service is impeccable. While we would rank the food at the Brittania restaurant as rather unremarkable, the Kings Court (buffet) was excellent! Their specialty salads were outstanding. One can also order pasta or pizza, prepared from menu choices (non-buffet), while at Kings Court. We did this, one evening craving pizza. It was fresh from the oven to our table, piping hot. The beds are so comfortable! The evening entertainment included a vocalist, a flautist, along with the ship’s Royal Court Dancers. Top notch. Don’t forget the band, also superior to other ships! Lounges provided a stringed-quartet, a harpist, and jazz band. The latter group did a Dixieland Jazz lunch which was just plain fun. Kudos to Cunard! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise only for the sailing under London Bridge which was definitely the highlight . We haven’t sailed on Silversea for a few years (as Crystal is our cruise line of choice) and remember luxuries like Perrier Juneau ... Read More
We chose this cruise only for the sailing under London Bridge which was definitely the highlight . We haven’t sailed on Silversea for a few years (as Crystal is our cruise line of choice) and remember luxuries like Perrier Juneau being the house champagne and the crew knowing your name within a couple of days aboard, the soap menu on arrival and your mini bar being stocked with your choice of spirits or liqueurs, the flurry of napkins being placed in your lap whether in the dining room or out on deck dining , cocktails being made and offered while you lay in a deck chair outside well none of that happened this time around. Embarkation was very easy with no wait time and straight on to the ship where we were greeted with a glass of bubbly and then left to our own devices. We had lunch in the Terazzo which was a buffet which was tasty but all the food in the warmer was only tepid and we had to flag a waiter to get water or a drink and again to get coffee so not a great start. After this happening for the first two days we addressed that and a few other problems with the Hotel manager then the service was definitely improved for the rest of the cruise. The food In the dinning room and the Italian restaurant was very good and good service and a table was mostly available when we decided to go for dinner. The entertainment was very average with 3 guest entertainers a violinist,a singer and a pianist, then 2 other resident pianists plus the cruise director Colin who did piano recitals so it was all rather too much of the same and far too high brow for us.The singers and dancers were good but the sets were almost non existent and the shows were very hit and miss. We are a couple in our 50’s and felt the entertainment is aimed at a senior crowd which seems to be their market. The stateroom we had was a vista suite and was very comfortable and in good condition but still had the dated bathroom with a pathetic shower and the bath drained very slow so constantly showering in about 6 inches of water, the aircon was constantly too hot and even on the coldest setting was sweltering causing quite a few sleepless nights.The Butler and our steward were very good and breakfast was delivered on time with hot coffee and the stateroom always clean. The water in the cabins and the restaurants was desalinated and you had to ask for bottled water as it was never offered and the champagne was Monopole but Pommeroy was available but you had to request that also which was very annoying obviously another cost saving measure. The ship overall was well presented but was very dull decor throughout the lounges with mute colours and no feeling of comfort or luxury ,the pool area was brown on brown with no comfortable seating like outdoor couches or cushions or sculptures or art just a few pots with small fake plants in ,the grill area had no cushions on the seats and drinks served in plastic. Overall the ship didn’t have the wow factor we have come to expect from other luxury cruise lines we travel on like Crystal or Seabourn it was good but there are lots of good cruise lines out there Like Holland America or Oceania that you don’t have to pay the premium prices we paid for this cruise. We will not be back to Silverseas again and talking to a lot of guests onboard and on cruise critic a lot of them felt the same way. Shame as this was once a very good experience! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I chose this cruise when it was first offered because I'd never been on Silver Seas, I liked the itinerary, and the single supplement was within reason. I was a little concerned given some of the negative reviews, but my on board ... Read More
I chose this cruise when it was first offered because I'd never been on Silver Seas, I liked the itinerary, and the single supplement was within reason. I was a little concerned given some of the negative reviews, but my on board experience bore no relation to what I'd read. It was wonderful in almost every respect. I loved it and will be back. I was in a veranda cabin and will say more about it below, but it was big enough for two people to be comfortable and lap of luxury for a single like me. The bed was wonderful. Dining was maybe a little disappointing as my expectations were pretty high, based on how the line is promoted. Over all, the food was good, occasionally outstanding, but now and then sub par. For example, I ordered venison on one occasion. The plate came with two generous pieces, one succulent and delicious, the other like shoe leather -- not supposed to happen. On another occasion, the wine steward told us the red was Carménère, which made me happy as I like that wine, but, in fact, he was pouring from a bottle of Cabernet. When I pointed this out, a bottle of the former quickly appeared, but it was surprising the steward didn't know what he was pouring. As to the wines, overall, I thought they were fine and, if neither of those offered appealed, a substitute was readily at hand. I ate lunch at the Terrazzo buffet several times and many items were dried out and tasteless, while others were perfect. So, food was a little uneven in quality. One thing I must note, though -- Silver Seas serves the best hot dog on the planet. I'm not kidding. It's big and comes with a slice of very crisp bacon, a house made cucumber based relish and is served on a bun that has just a hint of cinnamon flavor to it. The sides are a delicious slaw and a little pot of great fries and onion rings. Not to be missed. I must have had eight of them by the time I disembarked. I thought the entertainment was good over all, especially the three piece combo, but it was the speakers who were truly exceptional. I've done a number of expedition cruises where the speakers are tremendous and many normal type cruises where the speakers are often lamentable. The three on this cruise, though, were all interesting and well informed in their areas. I didn't miss one and was never disappointed. Service is absolutely first rate almost all the time on this ship. The butler and room attendant were terrific, bartenders friendly, skillful and responsive, wait staff very good over all. You definitely have the sense that the crew are happy to be where they are. Officers could have been a little more engaged with the passengers, but the Captain was a treat -- witty and forth coming with details. The ports were all interesting and the overnight in NYC a huge plus -- saw Hadestown and was walking distance from the ship to the theater. The sail up the Thames and under Tower Bridge to moor next the the HMS Belfast was jaw dropping. I won't ever forget it and were so lucky to have perfectly sunny skies. The overnight in London was a second big plus. I was able to host a friend for dinner on board and the food that night was superb. I did a few of the sponsored excursions and they were fine and the prices seemed reasonable enough to me. Would I sail on Silver Seas again, of course I would, if the single supplement is fair and the itinerary good. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I will start my review by saying my wife and I are 60, a little plus and minus. We have been on about 30 cruises with most of our time spent on Celebrity ships. Except for the Paul Gauguin, this was our first entry in what I expected to ... Read More
I will start my review by saying my wife and I are 60, a little plus and minus. We have been on about 30 cruises with most of our time spent on Celebrity ships. Except for the Paul Gauguin, this was our first entry in what I expected to be the high-end cruise market. I have to start by giving the crew of this ship the highest possible praise. Not sure how Regent makes it happen, but I believe that every crew member we ran in to actually loved their job and wanted you to feel 100% pampered. The service was absolutely fantastic in every way and everyone was so nice. The other thing that made the cruise nice was the all inclusive nature of the cruise. If you stay out of the spa and shops there is really no reason to spend one dime on the cruise. They even have a tremendous selection of movies on demand in the room for those times you just want to kick back. I will say that although there is no tipping required, with the level of service you get, you will want to tip and we gave money to numerous people around the ship in addition to our normal room stewards and bartenders. In general the ship is old, but it does have a level of elegance that we enjoyed. It was like going back in time a bit when we first started cruising. I will say that the vibration that everyone talks about was worse than expected. Read my comment under room for that piece, but I would never take this ship across the big oceans again. I did like the layout of the ship and it was unusual with the main dining room in the middle of the ship and everything else at the back of the ship to include the show lounge. It had some nice touches like a putting green on the front of the ship and ping pong table on one floor. The pool is a salt water pool and since the ocean was cold, no one used the pool. My wife and I and maybe one other couple used the hot tub which are fresh water and were nice. My wife enjoyed two massages in the spa and liked those. They are a little pricey so watch for the specials. Internet was OK for email and messaging, but not for streaming or sending pictures. Entertainment was good, but just let me say that with the average age of passengers at or above 70, most of the entertainment was like being stuck in an elevator for 16 days. Need I say more so practice up on your ball room dancing. Ports were great and the shore excursions were on par with what you would normally pay for except these were free. The groups seemed smaller as well which was nice. This may be a result of the mobility of many of the passengers. Embarkation was easy, but debarkation was supposed to start at 7:00 AM, but did not start until around 8:15 AM. So what are my complaints? First, except for the service I mentioned, everything was average to poor. This would be fine except when you put it in the value for your money category the price is way too high for what you get. Even in the Prime 7, reservations required restaurant the food was average at best and the lobster and crab tasted old and watered down from being frozen for so long. They missed the mark on many normal recipes. My wife planned to send them in a couple because we were not sure what they were making in some cases. My advice is to try things you have never had so you have no preconceived expectation. Finally I am going to end with my pet peeve, “Water Quality”. Every ship I have been on has said that the water out of the tap is better then water out of the bottle. After the brown and yellow water that came out of our taps we were told to not drink it. How can you pay this kind of money pour a bath that looks like diarrhea water? They did make it better by replacing filters twice outside our room, but really? They go through so much bottled water that they literally have pallets of water stored on the back decks where passengers should be able to go, but I assume for safety they are limited to crew only. So in the end, if you want a cruise to snooze, read a book or two and eat average food, this is the one for you. For me and the money spent, I think I will try something else because I do not see Regent as an upscale cruise line, just an all-inclusive one. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was the first time my wife had been to Europe, so what better way to see lots of places and spend five days as see crossing the Atlantic than sail on the beautiful Norwegian Pearl. We have sailed the Pearl Five times and loved it ... Read More
This was the first time my wife had been to Europe, so what better way to see lots of places and spend five days as see crossing the Atlantic than sail on the beautiful Norwegian Pearl. We have sailed the Pearl Five times and loved it every time. The ship is in great repair and the staff is always friendly. The food on every cruise we have made on the Pearl is always above par to say the least. Embarkation out of New York was a breeze and getting off the ship in Amsterdam was just as easy. No issues or time wasted on either end of the 2 week trip. Our stateroom was amazing and had its own private hot tub on the balcony along with a tub and seperate shower in the stateroom. The haven area was great, as it was on all our other trips on the Pearl. In two weeks we ate in every resturant at least once and some twice and they were all above other cruise lines dining experiences. The entertainment was equal to or above what we have had on other ships. The Ports were all really exciting and we had an excursion picked for every port so there was no disappointment there either. All our excursions were booked thru NCL and they were worth the money. Our only regret was we had to come back to the real world of work at the end of our cruise. We have come to feel like we know this ship better than most other ships we have been on and we have never been disappointed with anything on the Pearl. Service, food, entertainment, staterooms and public areas are always the best that can be expected of a cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Mostly staff were friendly and polite, but not all, a couple were vert curt and rude, and seem to begrudge serving you, except in our dining room in the evenings, which was always good. I am always polite and expect the same in return. I ... Read More
Mostly staff were friendly and polite, but not all, a couple were vert curt and rude, and seem to begrudge serving you, except in our dining room in the evenings, which was always good. I am always polite and expect the same in return. I had terrible Food Poisoning after having Scrimp soup. The Medical team didn't seem interested, they just sent up some Paracetamols, which they promptly charged me for. Then whilst I was in bed recovering they wanted to send in chemical cleaners to the room. I was told that other's went down with this same Food Poisoning by someone on the ship, but Cunard are now denying this and putting it down to Novo virus. It was Food Poisoning! It took me weeks to recover. Also, my companion on the ship had a terrible reaction to the shower gel. He couldn't see out of one of his eyes and he looked like he'd been in a boxing ring for days and done 6 rounds. They couldn't have cared less about that either. Although the food made me ill the waitress at our table was delightful and the service from her and her colleague was excellent. As well as this there was an awful smell of sewage coming up through the sink in our room. The carpets were dirty in a number of places too. I don't know how they can call this 5 star? I'd been on this ship before, but it has gone down hill. Go on a cruise with another company, the Customer Services with this one are rubbish when you have a problem. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This ship is beautiful. It’s like being on a private yacht, especially when it is nowhere near full. It’s so easy to get everywhere and the decor is very soft aqua with neutrals. Our cabin was lovely and beautifully kept by our steward ... Read More
This ship is beautiful. It’s like being on a private yacht, especially when it is nowhere near full. It’s so easy to get everywhere and the decor is very soft aqua with neutrals. Our cabin was lovely and beautifully kept by our steward Manshuri. It’s really nice to have coffee capsules and different teas available and the mini bar has spirits, soft drinks and water. We were greeted by the Captain who was always around and gave an in depth weather forecast in the lounge daily. All the crew were wonderful and quickly remembered drinks etc (thanks Jay Jay, Richie and Berenice in the lounge) The whole dining process was wonderful all the way through. The staff again were great but special mention must be made for the chef Michenon Ludovic. The food he produced was Michelin star status although, we believe from other passengers, not the normal Ponant food. We looked forward to every meal and we’re not disappointed. From beef Wellington to Halibut with sesame and Asian sauce, to Chateaubriand spectacularly served at our table either by the chef or one of the restaurant managers. We had a gorgeous seafood tagliatelle with lobster, huge prawn and tiny mussels - the list goes on. It made it truly a gourmet cruise. Because it was a transatlantic cruise we were led to believe there would be no entertainment. However we had a great duo( her voice was great), a concert pianist and a singer with 3 dancers - how they dance when the ship is moving I don’t know. The cruise director, María (who was lovely) was very inventive and used the crew for talks or demonstrations and meet and greet sessions We even had a few hours in Funchal, not on the itinerary, which was unexpected but lovely Embarkation was a bit basic but we were in Cayenne which is not a cruise port!! All in all we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and would definitely like to repeat it Thank you to all on board (crew and Passengers)for making it so good Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This one fit a particular time frame .We only had the first leg of 11 days . Had never had a chance to take a Seabourn cruise before . Very happy .They couldn't do enough for us .Came up with an extension cord for the C Pap machine . ... Read More
This one fit a particular time frame .We only had the first leg of 11 days . Had never had a chance to take a Seabourn cruise before . Very happy .They couldn't do enough for us .Came up with an extension cord for the C Pap machine . Stocked fridge and bar had a full liter of good vodka .Svedka , I think . Mixers, beer , champagne . Room stewardess was always ready to go . Dinning room had some slow arrivals of food at times . But all the food was excellent .They could cook , fish , steaks , pasta . The Colonnade buffet on the back deck was always good .Pool bars and dining line was a great choice in the afternoon for a late lunch .Open to 3:30 . Used room service for breakfast 4 different mornings . Arrived in 20 to 25 minutes and hot .Transfers booked through Seabourn worked fine , even with a flight delay .They were there to meet us . We got our luggage frisked in Lisbon on disembarkation .The Seabourn Rep was on the spot to assure us we would get a cab to the airport when we missed the main bus with everybody else . Even sent a very sweet Portuguese woman ( cute as a button ) with us to make sure we knew where we were going inside the airport . Actually went in with us . Bar people , deck crew , waiters were all on top of it at all times .Entertainment was very good of what we saw . Did a special afternoon opera segment on the deck with the main show vocalists one afternoon . Pouring Patron Margaritas at the pool .l .All you can eat , drink and no tipping or bar bill at the end . But I did leave a small thank you for the housekeeping girl and a bartender .Not expected though .A great time . The best weather the crew had ever seen on this crossing . Just lucky . Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The cruise itself was great. The rooms are large and well appointed, and the food is overall pretty excellent. It's amazing that we were at sea for more than a week, and yet they were still able to provide outstanding fruits and ... Read More
The cruise itself was great. The rooms are large and well appointed, and the food is overall pretty excellent. It's amazing that we were at sea for more than a week, and yet they were still able to provide outstanding fruits and salads. The Thomas Keller restaurant is intimate and outstanding and worth doing at least once during the cruise, and there's no extra charge. The service was very good. It's not the same standard I've experienced on past Seabourn trips. I remember staff throughout the ship would greet me by name, even on a first encounter. That made a huge impression and spoke to a level of excellence. After all, if the staff knows your name, they will remember other things about you too, like what you tend to drink or eat. That leads to anticipatory service - you are offered what you want, before you even ask for it. That level of service seems to be gone on Seabourn. Still, it's outstanding by most measures. The passengers on a long crossing tend to be a different crowd than you'll find on shorter cruises. Frankly, they're friendlier. There's so much time to get to know people, and we really enjoyed the passengers we met. But ultimately our trip was spoiled when my belongings vanished when transferred from the ship to shore in Lisbon. I would find out much later that my luggage ended up being mixed in with other passengers' valuables and put in a taxi. The response to my missing belongings was troubling. At the pier I was placated with false promises of an immediate response. Then in an effort to get me to move along, Seabourn gave me a number to call for help and an email address. No one answered the phone and the automated response from the email told me I'd get a reply within two weeks. No one responded to my requests for information until after I posted publicly on social media after an entire day of silence. Then there was a bunch of blaming of local pier workers, who Seabourn had hired, but then acted like those workers were an entity out of their control or responsibility. In the end, fellow passengers and their travel agent solved the problem of my missing belongings. I spent two days of my three-day visit to Lisbon dealing with the problem, which included meeting with the Portuguese police. Other passengers I met on the Odyssey told me later that they also had problems with wayward belongings. When I heard that I was not alone, I followed up with Seabourn's corporate office, and wrote a personal letter to the company president. I received a we're-sorry-you-feel-that-way response. That's pathetic, and a sign that upper management has no intention of dealing with a very serious security gap. My advice: enjoy the ship, but don't trust Seabourn with your valuables. Carry on and off the ship all of your belongings. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our first Oceania Cruise. Past cruises with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Disney. I did a lot of research. We decided on the cruise because we have wanted to visit Ireland (this cruise docked on Cohn and Dublin) and the ... Read More
This was our first Oceania Cruise. Past cruises with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Disney. I did a lot of research. We decided on the cruise because we have wanted to visit Ireland (this cruise docked on Cohn and Dublin) and the transatlantic crossing intrigued us. We arrived early; at the dock 11:30 am. Embarkation in Manhattan was very easy, quick. We were on the ship in 10 minutes. A group of 6 adults, we headed to the Terrace Cafe for lunch which, though very crowded, fed us well. While at lunch, they announced our cabins were ready. We traveled Concierge level A3. Our cabin was spacious, spotless. Our luggage had been delivered. We quickly unpacked and set off to explore the ship. The fact that the ship was on the smaller side attracted us as well. It was easy to navigate. We saw the spa, met the artist in residence, saw the teaching kitchen. Muster drill was ...a muster drill. Dinner that night was at Toscana. While at lunch we were approached with an open reservation so we took it. It was delicious. So let’s just get the food out of the way. Dinner at all the restaurants was delicious, including the main dining room. We ate at Toscana twice, at Jacques twice, and at Pollo once. We passed on Red Ginger even though it was most highly rated, most of our group were not fond of Asian food. The rest of the cruise we ate in the Grande Dining room for dinner, many lunches and a few breakfasts. And this is Cruise was the only Cruise we actually had dinner at the buffet. And it was enjoyable. We also enjoyed the afternoon tea. Their service from stateroom attendants to all servers, bar service, every employee we had contact with, was excellent. The entertainment with 1 exception was adequate. The exception, Chuck Wagner was excellent. Now the reason for the title. Even with all the preparation and research, the weather had a severe effect on this cruise. Weather in Canadian ports was forecasted to be normally high 49s low 50s. It snowed in Halifax, so our stop in Newfoundland was cancelled. Snow accumulated on the decks and verandahs. 6 or more inches as well as deeper drifts. Access to the open decks was prohibited, though I do not know why you would want to go out anyway. Five straight sea days followed of rocking, crashing waves and rolling. We truly missed having access to an indoor pool on the ship. We grew tired of the movies. There were enrichment talks, usually 2 per day at 50 min. each, trivia but by sea day 4 we couldn’t wait for a port. Our day in Cobh, home of Blarney Castle was cold and rainy. We enjoyed our excursion but for the first 1/2 hour the windows were so steamed on our bus we could see nothing out of them. Wiping just gave us brief glimpses before they steamed up again. When we got back on board, we were informed that the weather was too bad and our Dublin stop was cancelled. We stayed in Cobh an additional night. The next day the weather was still so bad, it made walking into the small city undoable. We did enjoy the museum on Irish immigration and the Lusitania and Titanic in the welcome center 10E each and the small but well supplied shop as well. When we finally continued on our journey, the captain and crew were finally able to get us out of the rolling, rocking seas and we made the last two scheduled port stops, in Saint-Malo and Le Harve. We enjoyed the warm spring weather there and on our last sea day. We were content with our excursions. One aside, now that I’ve had the experience. We had never been to Paris and after discussion and research did decide to do the one day excursion from Le Harve into Paris through the cruise line, though it was pricey. It is 6 hours (3 to, 3 back) travel, another hour plus ride around the city to see the main sights, 1.5 hours on your own (20 min searching for a toilette) and 15 min photo op at the Effiel Tower. My opinion now...not worth it. Do something closer to Le Harve. On the whole, it was less than expected experience. Are we glad we went? Yes. We enjoyed much of the cruise. Had we been on RC or another line with a ship with more to do, the sea days would have been more easy to get through. If we were with our children and grandchildren, this is not the line we would have chosen. We knew that when we booked. On the up side, we can plan a British Isles-Ireland Cruise with the kids. Debarkation was a mess due the the face to face with British immigration and having to collect our passports before leaving the ship. We waited in lines that at times had no end. Seriously. No one knew where the end of the line was and the crew was not able to help the situation. Still they were pleasant with hundreds of seniors many of whom were acting like toddlers at Disney. We were in line with a gentleman who had an excursion at 8:30 am. It was 7:45 am. We did not get to the passport station until 9:15. I hope they held his tour. I don’t know who is to blame for that mess. We had a pleasant bus ride to the airport. All the air arrangements were made through Oceania and it was as pleasant as a day spent at Heathrow and an 8 hour transatlantic flight could be. Same movies as onboard. Some things you just can’t control. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was to be the cruise of a lifetime. A chance for my wife to visit some of the many places I had visited while on business travel. Titled by Oceania “Museums to Mosaics” We called it the “Cruise from Hell” along with some ... Read More
This was to be the cruise of a lifetime. A chance for my wife to visit some of the many places I had visited while on business travel. Titled by Oceania “Museums to Mosaics” We called it the “Cruise from Hell” along with some other long time (29 Oceania cruises) cruisers. Things stated going downhill at our second port – Halifax. It was very cold and started snowing as were leaving the port. The next morning there was over a foot of snow on the swimming pool and deck. Many of the crew members had never seen snow and found it fascinating. The visit to St Johns, Newfoundland was canceled due to stormy weather. My wife had lived in Newfoundland 50 years ago and was anxious to see how it had changed over the years. All in all it was a very disappointing start to the cruise. Crossing the Atlantic in the heavy seas for five days did get many people quite queasy, which led to distributing barf bags by the elevators. It was rough enough that safety belts for the beds would have been appreciated. People had to hold on to the railings and walls to go along the corridors to keep from falling. When we arrived in Cork, Ireland the wind was very strong with sideways rain and very cold. Fortunately the Jameson Distillery tour was indoors. The visit to Dublin for the next day was canceled due to heavy seas and gale force winds so we spent the day in our cabin in Cork. The next disappointment was arriving in London/South Hampton on Good Friday. I had really wanted my wife to at least have a brief visit in London. This meant there was to be no visit after planning on it for a year and half (since we had booked the trip). We were not informed of the no London tours until I asked the Destination Services manager when we were going to be able to select them on the cruise. We had asked out travel agent prior to the trip when we were going to be able to schedule a London tour (like all the others we preselected) but were told we had to wait until we got on the ship. Then we then proceeded to visit Bordeaux on Easter Monday, which is a celebrated holiday in France, with practically everything closed. The next stop in Biarritz was canceled due to heavy seas in the Bay of Biscay (that precluded using tenders to disembark). I guess Oceania is not aware that the Bay of Biscay is notorious for rough seas. The last straw was visiting Malaga on May Day, May 1st – another holiday with the shops closed. The tour was supposed to be easy – the guide had very poor English skills and appeared to be trying out for the Olympic speed walking team. My wife had to sit down and wait for the tour to return with no available free rest rooms. To Summarize: Cruise Length 28 days Sea days 8 scheduled (11 total) Missed ports 3 total Stop not available due holiday 1 (London) Ports limited due to holiday 3 I understand that Oceania does not control the weather. However, they do control the scheduling. In previous years the “repositioning cruise” had been scheduled in May. If the cruise had been scheduled just a week later, Good Friday would have been at sea, Easter would have been in Cork and London would have been available for a visit. I had expected that Oceania would take holidays into account when scheduling trips and try to optimize passenger enjoyment. I guess I was wrong. The message this sends is that passenger satisfaction is a sorry second to revenue maximization. Oceania does many things quite well. The food is good albeit somewhat uneven in the specialty restaurants. The desserts in the Grand dining Room are superb and the crew members we interacted with were well trained, friendly and courteous. The entertainment was much better than previous cruises and the comedian (Martin Beaumont) was terrific in both his shows. We paid over $30,000 for what we consider a $15,000 cruise at best. I had hoped Oceania would have reached out to people who had done the 28 day cruise but after 2 ½ weeks we have heard nothing from Oceania. Never again do we plan cruising on Oceania or any of its’ related lines. Postscript: We did complain to Oceania thru our travel agent and received a very disappointing self serving reply offering a $600 total ship credit on another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We enjoy sea days and this had 8 of them, which were blissful and relaxing The ship and crew were great, as were the food and facilities. St Maarten was a waste of time and the tour was awful on a rusty, uncomfortable, aged bus. The other ... Read More
We enjoy sea days and this had 8 of them, which were blissful and relaxing The ship and crew were great, as were the food and facilities. St Maarten was a waste of time and the tour was awful on a rusty, uncomfortable, aged bus. The other excursions were excellent. All in all an ideal cruise with first class service from Viking staff, especially at the bars and restaurants. The Chef's Table and Manfredi's are a must to dine in. The cabins are nicely appointed, comfortable and very quiet. The Spa facilities are great and the main spa is free to enjoy, unlike with certain other cruise lines. The 2 pools are just fine, especially as Viking is adults only so no screaming kids clogging up your swimming freedom. The captain is great and makes this the cheeriest, most friendly ship we have experienced. The entertainment is good enough, though some cruise lines offer more in this department. Viking is our number one choice for cruises. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019

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