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104 Transatlantic Luxury Cruise Reviews

A customary trip to the Caribbean in Princess grill, the suite was fine with a very efficient cabin attendant, the kitchens made a good efforts with the food and the service in the Princess Grill was commendable. The Concierge Seltran ... Read More
A customary trip to the Caribbean in Princess grill, the suite was fine with a very efficient cabin attendant, the kitchens made a good efforts with the food and the service in the Princess Grill was commendable. The Concierge Seltran Ebillo was personable and efficient. The evenings entertainment was good particularly from the group called the Rewind Project. However the trip itself encountered bad weather and in particular on the return trip there was storm force 11 and if you have ever been in that you would know. There was little respite at night or day for around 48 hours. Waves hit like torpedos, and everything rocked and creaked. If I had a complaint it was the tannoy system. the Captain clearly liked to speak for far to long and repeat himself( - must have come from a holiday ship or something, experienced captains don't do that) and often announcements were made through the cabin speakers when they needn't have been, ie crew exercises etc. Not great when you are trying to catch up on sleep. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
we were picked up by coach and had a great journey down and embarkation was quick and easy. The ship was great and the food was excellent. The entertainment was very good but we are getting a bit fed up of Roy Walker who seems to ... Read More
we were picked up by coach and had a great journey down and embarkation was quick and easy. The ship was great and the food was excellent. The entertainment was very good but we are getting a bit fed up of Roy Walker who seems to have been on every cruise we have had. We had a couple of stormy days one was a force 10 the day after leaving Ponta Delgarda and the other one was sailing back through the Bay of Biscay which was force 11. In fact the captain (who only looks about 17) came on the speaker in the middle of the night to pacify the passengers. The only complaint was the passengers, we have never come across such a miserable ignorant bunch, The ship seems to attract them so no more Queen Victoria for us. One last thing, do not get on the mini buses in Barbados because the way they jam you in with the fold down seats its just a disaster waiting to happen Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Our cruise...sorry....Voyage on the beautiful Queen Mary 2 in November across the Atlantic was a very relaxed and tranquil affair. The vast majority of passengers were British over 70’s and as a 43 year old I felt quite a youngster for ... Read More
Our cruise...sorry....Voyage on the beautiful Queen Mary 2 in November across the Atlantic was a very relaxed and tranquil affair. The vast majority of passengers were British over 70’s and as a 43 year old I felt quite a youngster for the first time in a while. The boarding in New York was not the most pleasant we have experienced, with long queues. However once we arrived on board, the QM2 was magnificent. A sophisticated central atrium, classy furnishings and a large central corridor allowing the ship to feel spacious and opulent. There are many lovely rooms, bars and restaurants each with their own individual characters always keeping things elegant. The food on board is wonderful, truly the highlight of this cruise. The service in the Britannia restaurant is muddled but understandable with so many guests to feed. Sometimes we found the food in the Kings Court Buffet more enjoyable than the Britannia. I must mention the cakes and sweets were truly beautiful, amazing and unbelievably good and you just wanted to keep taking photos to show everyone back home. Our Balcony cabin was very nice and well looked after and I must mention the bed was surprisingly comfortable. But I must say the general attitude of the staff and crew was cold, curt and not too warm, unlike other ships we have experienced. That doesn't go for everyone, but it was the majority. We felt this was a little sad. The lectures and shows were good, but not amazing compared to other ships we’ve traveled on, but I guess this is a very personal point of view, others who were in their 70’s might well have enjoyed things more. The Planetarium was interesting and something different to experience onboard a ship. Overall, we had an enjoyable and very relaxing time onboard the beautiful QM2 from New York to Southampton, but live in hope that if we travel on her again the crew might have cheered up a little bit by then. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Chose this cruise (Rome to Miami) for the ship and the TransAtlantic experience. The food, cabin staff and dining staff service were absolutely first rate. This was our first "all-inclusive" cruise experience and we found it ... Read More
Chose this cruise (Rome to Miami) for the ship and the TransAtlantic experience. The food, cabin staff and dining staff service were absolutely first rate. This was our first "all-inclusive" cruise experience and we found it very relaxing not to always be reaching for your cabin card. The entertainment was generally above average, although the magician did a juvenile routine that clearly had not been vetted for adult cruisers. The folks at the destination desk left a lot to be desired, both in terms of knowledge of the ports and excursions they offered. The end result was a lot of confusion as to what excursions were appropriate and where exactly they went. The enrichment activities were not effective even though they were offerings from Smithsonian. The topics were either too narrow and esoteric or of such limited interest that most passengers watched the tape of the presentations so they could turn them off when they got bored. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I like re-positioning cruises, for the days at sea; having cruised so many times and places since the 1970s. Overall, my trip was good: and put me in mind of Royal Viking (though maybe not quite so good on some things, perhaps due to time ... Read More
I like re-positioning cruises, for the days at sea; having cruised so many times and places since the 1970s. Overall, my trip was good: and put me in mind of Royal Viking (though maybe not quite so good on some things, perhaps due to time moving on, and standards not so high now as they were many years ago). It was disappointing that a refurbishment was being done during the cruise, instead of in dry dock (as, in my view, it should have been). This meant inconvenience from such things as materials being stored in passenger deck space, paint smells being unavoidable at times, whilst painting - and stored paints not properly sealed - was going on. Also furniture, carpets, curtains and such, was being changed such that the decor was not at its best. Also, who thought of a wavy line carpet for a ship's passenger area?! (If you weren't feeling seasick before, well ... {though i do not suffer from this personally}) The bartenders were not up to the standard of Fritz, my old Swiss trained mixologist from Royal Viking days, and didn't work as fast as him either; nor able to hold a conversation at the same time, as he did! But, every member of the crew, ship and hotel side, was eager to help, friendly, and keen to be assured that they were doing what was wanted; even though at least one passenger gave them a hard time all the time. This included bar, restaurant and entertainment staff. Definitely six star cruising on that score. The ship itself wasn't the most modern (hence, maybe, the refurb), but facilities were acceptable, if not top notch. My stateroom was well looked after by both Lorenzo, the butler, and the maid (whose name, shamefully I have forgotten; perhaps because the wrong name was put on my card in my stateroom). Breakfast in my stateroom was always promptly brought, and enjoyable; and the cleaning first rate. Dining was not set, so one could eat wherever and with whoever one wanted; and there was 24 room and food service, if that was required. Given that it was all-inclusive, it took an effort not to overindulge in alcohol, and in making that effort, I discovered that the no-alcohol wines on board were very palatable, to me anyway. The food itself was good and varied, although the meats were not always cooked to the degree requested: but were always re-cooked/re-done when queried. The entertainment was alright: no big (fading) names, and no-one likely to become big, in my opinion; but enjoyable when one made the effort to attend a show. I only took one shore excursion, which was ok, and enjoyed more for the visit to Rick's Bar (yes: I know the film never got any nearer to Casablanca than a Los Angeles airport for the final scene), as Casablanca is my favourite film. Don't cruise Silversea if you've got children with you: there is nothing for them, and they would be bored. I travelled as a single, and the 25% supplement is less than other lines offer: which given the fares, was very helpful. However, I was disappointed at having to pay over $400 for 24/7 wifi and internet access. One hour a day free is not enough, and easily exceeded if one forgets to log off, which many do. At these cruise prices, free wifi all of the time should be standard. I'm in the process of trying to book my next Silversea cruise, so yes, I will cruise them again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We were returning from a driving tour of Scandinavia. The timing of the cruise met our needs. Viking River Cruise experienced; looking forward to a Viking ship. The Viking Sun is a first class experience. Right sized. Lots of space. ... Read More
We were returning from a driving tour of Scandinavia. The timing of the cruise met our needs. Viking River Cruise experienced; looking forward to a Viking ship. The Viking Sun is a first class experience. Right sized. Lots of space. Area for improvement- on board booking for future sailings. After an informative one hour overview, only one representative on board, was insufficient. No email contact. Response to a hand written inquiry on a 2018 cruise from Tokyo to Vancouver was via a voicemail to our Cabin. No return voicemail available. We were advised we were ‘wait listed’. Would receive no on ship booking incentives. Oh well. That said... The overall facilities are fantastic. The Crew was well educated with experience on Regent and Celebrity where we had sailed. We continually thanked the Crew for their ever present smiles and thoughtfulness. Looking forward to our next Viking Salinger experience. Alaska? Asia? Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
WE love Crystal. However, when it takes 45 minutes to get served in no man's land for their dining by reservation anytime dining program, it makes me wonder what is going on with this company. Is profit driving a wedge into what was ... Read More
WE love Crystal. However, when it takes 45 minutes to get served in no man's land for their dining by reservation anytime dining program, it makes me wonder what is going on with this company. Is profit driving a wedge into what was excellent service, fantastic food and beverage service at your fingertips? Heaven help you if you make a reservation for 7:45 for the main dining room. You are in between seatings and depending on where you are seated, service is dismal. We felt that not only was service lacking, but their servers didn't seem dialed in, more interested in just getting you something, the attentiveness wasn't there and many crew seemed new. There also seems to be less crew/servers, the servers to guest ratio seems less and service suffers. Getting a drink at the pool after 5:15pm or so is almost impossible and so I walked back to the Tastes bar to get my own in my bathing suit and cover up, but still dripping wet. I'm sure they didn't like seeing me there but I don't like not being served and to make it easier on the crew, since there seemed to be so few of them, I though I'd just go get a drink myself. Gone are the fresh berries. You have to know "who" ask for them at breakfast, and even then, they dole them out with a mere 5 berries at a time. No truffle honey, probably have to ask for that too. In general, the food just didn't seem to be what we fondly thought of as the Crystal difference. I think if you want the old Crystal experience you can still get it, you just have to ask and know "who" to ask when it comes to food and beverage service. . Having said all of this, yes of course we will still cruise Crystal, but there are changes and new guests may or may not notice. The lectures and guest speakers remain out of this world and I can't help but think I get to go back to college when I am onboard. Kudos to Crystal for having the best of the best in the world for cruise speakers. Both our embarkation and debarkation had issues and thank God we weren't in a hurry, otherwise we'd have missed our plane. Ft Lauderdale terminal was a nightmare for many for a variety of reasons. It was very inexcusable in many passengers opinions. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Loved the itinary. Saw many places I never been before. Service was great. The quality of service is amazing. Staff knew our names quickly and everyone greeted us when we were walking around the ship. Entertainment was great. The ... Read More
Loved the itinary. Saw many places I never been before. Service was great. The quality of service is amazing. Staff knew our names quickly and everyone greeted us when we were walking around the ship. Entertainment was great. The quality of the singers was outstanding and the magician was top notch. Onboard activities were fun. Disliked the need to make reservations for every meal. Prefer open dining to meet people. Also menus did not change and became boring after 16 days on the ship. The quality of good was very good with the exception of one entree which was Luke warm when served. The variety of shore excursions was extensive and expensive. Preferred just walking around the villages as they were charming. The itinary was great. I have sailed Asilversea wide before and it is my favorite cruise line. It is good value for the money and provided a wonderful experience and way to travel. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise because of: 1) the itinerary; and 2) the fact that it was a "bridge cruise." The itinerary was wonderful, but we felt some frustration at having only a "taste" of some of these wonderful places! ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of: 1) the itinerary; and 2) the fact that it was a "bridge cruise." The itinerary was wonderful, but we felt some frustration at having only a "taste" of some of these wonderful places! We could have used 2 days in Waterford, Galway, Quebec, Charlottetown, Sydney, and a few other places. Unlike other cruises, the excursion guides did NOT have headset systems so they could be clearly heard while walking through attractions/towns. This was our first Silversea cruise. The ship was just beautiful. The stringent dress code and reservation system is going to be changed, I know -- everyone complained. On other cruise ships, we have requested to dine with others -- with the Muse's reservation system, it was difficult to do this. Even when we asked to dine with others, we were placed on our own because that's the way the reservation system worked. We struck up conversations with others who were seated at adjoining tables, and that was fine, even though they were seated when we were already having our main course, etc. We felt that repeat customers were favored (we get why) and that there was an "in-group" of regulars. Even the get-together for first-timers turned out to be just a champagne toast -- they didn't help make connections among the group. The "bridge" part of the cruise turned out to be one daily duplicate game, only on sea days. The directors were helpful, but they told us they were constrained by the ship's other activities. SO -- it wasn't really a "bridge cruise" and the details I had been given over the phone about frequency of games, etc. turned out not to be accurate. (I had been told that there would be two duplicate games per day on sea days.) While the ship was beautiful, we aren't sure we will go on Silversea again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was our 26th Silversea Cruise, over 300 days, first time on the Muse. Since it was the Muse's maiden crossing, we considered it part of the "shakedown" process. Spent two nights in Southampton before sailing. ... Read More
This was our 26th Silversea Cruise, over 300 days, first time on the Muse. Since it was the Muse's maiden crossing, we considered it part of the "shakedown" process. Spent two nights in Southampton before sailing. Chilly, windy, rainy. Found a good pub/restaurant, the Duke of Wellington, best fishn'n'chips I've had. Visited Stonehenge, but it was very crowded, windy and rainy, so elected to go to the ubiquitous gift shop. Plus, admission is up there in price. Boarding was easy on sailing day. Since suites were not available until 2pm, we were able to have lunch in Atlantide or Terrazza. There were a couple of friends on board whom we had met on an earlier cruise, so that helped pass the time. Found our Silver suite easily, two of 3 suitcases arrived quickly, and we had a sense of how to unpack, i.e. whose stuff went where, etc. It seemed that there were fewer drawers in the closet area. more shelves. The entire suite was larger than on the Spirit, but seemed to have less drawer space. It will be interesting figuring out where a third person's stuff is going to go, since we will be on the Muse again in December, with one of our sons accompanying...he gets the couch. Suite bathroom was adequate. Loved the large shower. "Rainfall" shower head was stationary, i.e. we couldn't position it to direct the water flow. First two nights was difficult getting hot water, took a long time to get it even warm, if at all. After that there was plenty of hot. The shower leaked water under the shower door frame if the movement of the ship made the water in the pan flow away from the drain. That got fixed quickly, the gaps beneath the shower door frame were sealed. I had an iPod with me, so playing our own music on the Bose player in the suite was easy. The rest was as expected; we would have liked to use the verandah more, but the weather was not conducive, except for a day or two in Canadian/St. Pierre waters. The ship color scheme is lighter than on the Spirit, including the carpeting. The carpeting could be problematic in that it will show stains more easily. Plus, it was starting to "pill" in our suite, and it looked like a couple of seams were about to give way. The lighter colors give more of a sense of spaciousness. We felt there was an overabundance of plastic, not a lot of wood trim. Dining: food was overall excellent, service inconsistent at times (almost seemed like we were forgotten, depending on the restaurant). Bar service was the usual. We were victims of the restaurant-dictated dress code (which I understand is reverting back to a ship-wide dress code: much better!). Atlantide was formal, as was La Dame. The rest of the restaurants' attire were informal or casual. Quite a mix of attire in the evenings. We did see some shorts in the evening as well. Not many tuxes in Atlantide that we could see, although I had my own, La Dame seemed more formal than Atlantide, as did the service. Spaccanapoli (pizza restaurant) had very good pizza. You could get a "custom-made" one, there were lots of ingredients. The pool grille at lunch was overall so-so. The Reuben sandwich on the menu was undercooked and not all that tasty OR attractive: the cheese wasn't even melted, even after I sent mine back. Hot Rocks, which we usually visited on embarkation night, was good, more menu selections. But cold and rainy, and no infrared heaters (luckily they provided blankets, but still....). We went to Silver Note once. The menu was confusing, service spotty. Entertainment so-so. One night we had a "campfire" dinner with our friends in our suite. Dinner order was confined to the room service menu, which was adequate, but not what any of us expected. On other ships, dinner is available in your suite course by course via the main restaurant menu, but not so on Muse, since there was no main restaurant. The forward observation lounge on Deck 11 was underused most of the time. No coffee in the morning, had to go to the Arts Cafe on deck 8 for coffee and snacks. Woefully inadequate seating for as popular a place as it was, but what to expect when the Arts Cafe was the only place to get a coffee before 9 am, when the pool bar opened (but just the bar, no food)? Speaking of the bar, the main "bar" is the Dolce Vita, very spacious, large enough for a lot of passengers. Bar service at times seemed non-existent. If you weren't in the bar-staff's line of sight, you got passed over. We did not attend any of the musical shows (usually were too late from dinner). The magician was good, and we got a lot out of the enrichment lectures about ocean liners, the development of the cruise industry, and cruising now and in the future. Didn't attend any of the port talks, but they were available on TV. Seating in the the show lounge was not comfortable. The couches were fine; you had to share the drink table with the people in the single chairs in front of you, IF they were willing to share. The single chairs were narrow and hard. Ports: First one out of Southampton was Falmouth. We did a shore excursion, "Coastal Trek and Pub Lunch". It was about a 4-mile walk on a mostly narrow up-and-down trail, somewhat treacherous from the rain. Even in dry weather it would be treacherous. A lot was along a cliff: if you fell over the side, onto the ricks and into the water you'd go. Far longer and more strenuous than the description led us to believe. The pub was the Witch Ball. We had a separate eating area, seemed jammed in like sardines. Not enough "loo" space. Women were using the gents'. If you were a fitbit user, this trek (and it truly was a trek) gave you plenty of steps. Overall pricey. We didn't go ashore at the Ireland ports. At St.John's, Newfoundland, we went on our own, walked to the Castle Hill area. At St. Pierre we were tied up at the pier...EZ off and on. Caught the shuttle bus from the ship to the "downtown". Colorful buildings, vibrant streets (from kids and traffic). We did plenty of walking around town, two of us walked back to the ship. Very picturesque. We did another shore excursion at Sydney, Nova Scotia: Cape Breton fiddle concert. Was really fun. We even square danced. Then went to a little place for lunch "in town". My wife had poutine, just for once, and I had pizza...which was much better than the poutine. Charlottetown, PEI was the best as far as we were concerned. Weather was gorgeous, there was a farmers' market in town, there were plenty of shops to visit and restaurants serving mussels and other seafood. And good beer. Great walk. We had to skip Gaspe because of speed restrictions on ships due to right whale migration. We didn't see any right whales, probably not being in the right place at the right time. We were also canceled out of a Gaspe shore excursion, a walk through a forest. After our Falmouth experience, we weren't too disappointed. So we spent an extra day "at sea" on the way to Saguenay, PQ. Sailed into the St. Lawrence and up the Saguenay River. Very scenic. Big problem, however, was that the river guide's narration was only able to be heard in the hallways and some of the public rooms and on the decks. Not on the verandahs, as advertised. So we really didn't get much more out of it than seeing the land go by. Luckily the weather was good enough that we could venture out onto the (quiet) verandah from time to time. Saguenay had the best pierside tourist greeting service we have ever seen. Most everyone was bilingual and we were indeed warmly greeted as we got off the ship. We did a little "hike" of our own on some of the city streets. Since the tide was out, we were able to get down to the beach by the pier easily. The pedestrian area on both sides of the pier was more like an esplanade. At Quebec City, we had a private tour that was pre-arranged. Learned a lot, saw a lot. Would recommend. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Interesting ports of call but the free wifi is limited to one hour a day and the actual charges are horrendous. Their advertising is misleading as other Silverseas ships will offer full time wifi to frequent customers but not the Muse. ... Read More
Interesting ports of call but the free wifi is limited to one hour a day and the actual charges are horrendous. Their advertising is misleading as other Silverseas ships will offer full time wifi to frequent customers but not the Muse. Its an example of trying to increase profit at the expense of their customers, for a supposed all inclusive service. The new dining concept causes some problems for the passengers and limits the menu selection available, and it is difficult to book the venues on line before the cruise. This is further complicated by the fact that you don't know the menus for each venue when you are doing the booking. its an interesting concept that simplifies the range of meal options available by transferring the style selection to the specific restaurant. Each restaurant has a limited fixed menu and style, so it will interesting to see of the concept survives. Overall the ship is an excellent design with basically all services at the stern apart from some of the main restaurants, and the view through the windows of these restaurants are rather restricted , I guess to encourage some conversation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Viking Sky – Bergen to Montreal – September 9-23, 2017 Why this cruise? There were two major reasons for selecting this cruise. First, we wanted to experience this new class of ships which had received such stellar reviews. Then ... Read More
Viking Sky – Bergen to Montreal – September 9-23, 2017 Why this cruise? There were two major reasons for selecting this cruise. First, we wanted to experience this new class of ships which had received such stellar reviews. Then there was the itinerary, especially Lerwick in the Shetland Islands, where we had never been and which I especially wanted to visit. Unfortunately the stop in Lerwick was canceled due to bad weather, so we had a failure on one aspect. With respect to the rest of our cruise and the ship itself we can report a goodly number of high marks, coupled with some minor, but annoying lapses on the part of Viking. The Ship. By any standard, Viking Sky is a beautiful ship. At 48,000 gross tons, with 8 full decks and a length of 745 feet, it is perfectly balanced, sleek and looking like what an ocean cruiser should be – a ship and not a hotel in the water. With only 930 passengers, the space ratio is 51.6 – very high and distinctly at the luxury level. The furniture and furnishings are eclectic Scandinavian, running to mostly light woods, with a few pleasantly contrasting dark brown pieces, and a variety of surfaces. One could move about easily, with no sense of crowding during the day, and with many seating areas. The overall concept is “light and bright”. It was interesting to note that there is no hotel style “front desk” for guest services. Instead there is a pleasant area off the atrium on Deck 1, with three office desks with facing arm chairs, and two to three guest service people at these desks. Similarly, the excursion booking center had two desks, also off the same atrium area. The complete absence of a casino was appreciated by one and all, I believe. The atrium is marked by a wide staircase leading up to Deck 2, and above the landing a huge “screen”, about 20 feet high by 15 feet across was used for an extraordinary variety of showings, from scenic photos to blow-ups of works by the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. The Explorer’s Lounge on Decks 7 and 8 has two levels facing forward, although the upper level is smaller and without a bar. The Wintergarden room, just forward of the main pool on Deck 7, is delightful, with a glass ceiling providing nice light. It was used every day for tea, accompanied by music provided on a rotating basis by the classical trio, the pianist and the guitarist. The pool itself was covered during most of this cruise, only being opened on the last two days when warm weather made it suitable. It still did not get much use. The “Infinity” pool aft of the buffet on the Aquavit Terrace was never used, and the terrace itself was rarely used on this chilly cruise. Deck 1 also provided the site for many daily musical recitals by the trio, the pianist and the guitarist. Our cabin. Our cabin was number 6069, labeled as a “Deluxe Verandah”; and was the most common cabin on board. At 270 square feet, including the verandah, it was a reasonable size, and while attractive, did have some design issues. Our principal complaint was the lack of drawer space. The “desk” with a lift up vanity mirror was not much use, and the refrigerator was also useless for us. There were two armchairs and a small table, but the set-up would not have worked out well for in room dining. The closet was next to the bed, which made for some inconvenience when dressing. The bathroom was spacious with plenty of room, but the shower head kept swiveling to one side, despite requests to fix it. We did appreciate the fact that the bathroom floor was heated, and that the mirrors did not fog up. The lighting system was very good, with nice reading lamps over the bed. There was a large TV-Information screen opposite the bed which provided a good deal of data about the ship location, weather, one’s booked excursions and specialty dining reservations, port talks, reprises of the enrichment lectures, movies, TV shows, one’s shipboard account and live television. This last was somewhat erratic, since it was dependent on the ship’s location, and many of the stations were in the UK. While the “map” of the ship’s location was very sketchy, the rest of the information was useful and entertaining. There was one area which was confusing and not helpful. The telephone did not connect with the Guest Services front desk. Using the “Guest Services” button brought up a menu which was not helpful, focusing on services we did not need. Using the “Housekeeping” button often resulted in an unanswered ringing. Dining Food is always a center of any cruise, both as to cuisine and the dining environment. In both these respects, Viking Sky scores very well. The décor, table settings, space and atmosphere of the main dining room, and the two specialty restaurants, Chef’s Table and Manfredi’s were all one could expect. The World Café buffet was also quite nice, but, as is not uncommon on all cruise ships, was crowded on occasion. Mamsen’s is a small purveyor of Norwegian specialties near the Explorer’s Lounge, and also was a very attractive venue. There is also a small pool grill with buffet offerings. The quality of the food was generally quite high, with some lapses. For example, when we opted to eat dinner at the buffet one night, the veal roast I tried was not only tough, but cold. In fact, the purported “hot dishes” often were merely tepid. And on prior cruises we had become used to more than one soup offering in the buffet for lunch. The breakfast selections were all one could ask for as to selection and taste. As is the case on every cruise ship, the machine for toasting bread, English muffins and bagels was slow, and required two efforts to produce real toasting. Every cruise ship seems to use the same less than efficient toasting machines. Oh well! The service in all aspects was quite good and friendly. Viking uses a unique system in its dining rooms. The waiters use small cell phones to send the orders to the kitchen, apparently in order to speed things up so that they do not have to go back and forth as much. It does seem to move things along, which we appreciated. Overall we would rate the total food experience at 93-94 out of 100, a tad below both Crystal and Oceania Marina. The Crew Overall the crew experience was very good, friendly and reasonably efficient. The Cruise Director, Aaron was very pleasant and usually informative as to events and happenings. He also has a very professional singing voice, having appeared on the Broadway musical stage. The sailing experience and excursions left something to be desired. While the weather was not under anyone’s control, we felt that the management of the sailing time, which resulted in several port delays, left a lot to be desired. We were told that Canadian authorities insisted on slower sailing time in the St. Lawrence estuary due to whales, but we think Viking should have been aware of that and compensated accordingly. There also was considerable confusion concerning some of the excursion debarkation procedures. The entertainment By and large, this was quite good. The six singers and two dancers did a nice job. The classical trio, consisting of a cello, flute and violin played very well, and the piano and guitar soloists also were good. There were five “enrichment” lecturers, all of whom had some excellent presentations. There was a comedian who we did not see. The excursions. We lost two excursions due to bad weather. The first was a private trip with two other couples on the Shetland Islands, and the other a ship’s short tour on Nanortalik, Greenland. The ship’s tour on the Faroe Islands was quite good, but the short stay in Qaqortoq was pretty much a bust. At L’Anse aux Meadows we opted for a whale watching trip that was somewhat cold, but did give us good views of the whales. At Saguenay we again chose a special inland tour which was quite good; but delayed. So we were late for the included excursion. This was a live stage show, which was late in getting started and did not end until after 7:00 P.M. It was pretty bad. We returned to the ship in time for dinner at Manfredi’s. In Quebec we both did an included short morning tour around town. I then did an afternoon tour of a Huron Indian Village and follow up tour of Quebec, both of which were nice. Conclusion. This was a largely excellent cruise, on a beautiful small ship, with quite decent accommodations, fine food, very good entertainment and enrichment lectures, and an overall fine cruising experience. The weather could have been better, but that was not Viking’s fault. Overall we would definitely recommend the Viking Star series of ships for memorable cruising. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The ship is fantastic and the food was incredible. Our room was a delux veranda and other than the closet door being difficult to access it was certainly adequate. The bathroom was quite large with lots of storage. The balcony was ... Read More
The ship is fantastic and the food was incredible. Our room was a delux veranda and other than the closet door being difficult to access it was certainly adequate. The bathroom was quite large with lots of storage. The balcony was comfortable with its chairs and table. I have had better room stewards on other ships but room service was outstanding. Service in the bars was very good but quite varied in different parts of the dining room. Sometimes it was quite slow or uneven. It was interesting how you were assigned different areas of the dining room so you experienced different views and wait staff. Food was exceptional. Best I have ever had on any cruise. Entertainment is geared to the intellectual and many of the lectures are at odd times..during normal meal times. Most people could be found reading, relaxing, or talking to fellow travelers. Trivia was well run and lots of fun. The indoor spa experience was really fun and something everyone should try but I don’t think was heavily used. My biggest disappointment was that two of our ports were cancelled..the Faroe Island and one in Greenland and were not given any kind of compensation. I know they said it was for safety reasons but I took pictures of sailboats passing us and they were having no trouble navigating the waters. We waited 465 days for this particular trip and to miss 2 of the ports was extremely disappointing. I will go on another Viking cruise because of the ship and the food but will be more selective about the ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We picked this cruise because it offered stops at many interesting places that are otherwise not easy to get to. We chose Viking because of the excellent experience we had on previous river cruises with the company. The ship is ... Read More
We picked this cruise because it offered stops at many interesting places that are otherwise not easy to get to. We chose Viking because of the excellent experience we had on previous river cruises with the company. The ship is beautiful. Very clean and well laid out, and tastefully appointed. A variety of public rooms and places to eat from quiet to very sociable. Service is friendly and professional. Good variety and quality of food. Our stateroom was large, bright, and well thought out with a small balcony (as all of the rooms on this ship). We did miss two ports of call (to be expected - this was the North Atlantic in September, after all). But we were never at a loss for things to do. Most of our ports of call were quite small and quiet, but very interesting. Tours sponsored by Viking were worthwhile and well run. I would recommend spending extra time at the beginning (Bergen) as the town is beautiful and the surrounding fjordland countryside is spectacular. The trip ended in Montreal, where you should also spend some time, as it is a wonderful city. My best memories - hard to decide. Touring the fjords from Bergen, the wild landscape of the Faroes, little places in Reykjavik my son pointed us to, cruising wild fjords in Greenland, L'anse aux Meadows (mmm squashberries), some of the custom meals in the Chef's Table, and just enjoying all the moods of the North Atlantic from the deck or the Explorers Lounge. I would recommend this cruise for couples, who are interested in a little adventure as opposed to just entertainment. I say a little adventure, as stays are only for a day and you don't get a chance to really explore, but you can always pick your favorite port and come back---- Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Chose Viking as we heard good things about it. The Viking Sky was so lovely and the common areas were beautifully arranged for comfort and privacy. Loved all the many books available to borrow with no sign out---just use on the honor ... Read More
Chose Viking as we heard good things about it. The Viking Sky was so lovely and the common areas were beautifully arranged for comfort and privacy. Loved all the many books available to borrow with no sign out---just use on the honor system. We were disappointed to miss two ports---feel like we were cheated out of the experience we chose this cruise for. Seems like the captain has the option of by-passing a port or two to possibly save the cruise company money--or save time for himself. Any port that's missed saves thousands in port fees, pilot assistance and tendering fees. Weather is often the excuse that we hear, but it seemed that rain was the only weather issue obvious. The dining was first class in all areas except Chef's Table which was like eating in Grand Central Station---very noisy and not relaxing at all. We found many of the foods prepared with too much salt----tasty, but too salty, especially the daily soups. There was a good variety of foods to choose from so that the monotony factor was minimal. We liked Mamsen's for breakfast as it was so peaceful and quiet up there early each morning. It only has a few choices for breakfast, but good oatmeal and waffles made for pleasant eating. Not sure we would take another Viking cruise, but we did have a good time on this one. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My wife and I were aboard the Silver Whisper (cruise 4723) departing Southampton, England on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, and arriving in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on Friday, September 8, 2017. It was our second Silversea cruise having earlier ... Read More
My wife and I were aboard the Silver Whisper (cruise 4723) departing Southampton, England on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, and arriving in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on Friday, September 8, 2017. It was our second Silversea cruise having earlier gone to Antarctica, etc, aboard the Silver Explorer. The Silver Whisper rides very well. The engines are quiet and even in North Atlantic 12-15 seas, the roll was negligible. Many times, you had the feeling we had to be in port only to open the curtains to see we were still moving. The public areas are all well designed and well kept. The dining rooms are large and comfortable. It's nice that guests can dine alone or in groups at any meal at any time. The maitre d's and wait staff are polished and friendly. The food - at all venues and in room service - was excellent, always brought at the right temperature, and sensibly portioned. First-rate. The "house coffee" at breakfast was not the best, leading many guests to order cappucinos/americano. The buffet area (lunch & dinner) could be larger. Le Champagne, the posh restaurant, is headed by an excellent maitre d' and staff and they serve a wonderful meal but the nearly windowless room doesn't have much of an appeal. The Panorama Lounge is a nice space and could certainly offer more in the way of a light breakfast. The Observation Lounge is rather lifeless. A better chair arrangement, tiered somehow, would offer better views. The Bar - for obvious reasons - is probably the livliest space on the ship. Excellent pianists & singers in the bar. The Grill by the pool, weather permitting, is casual and has a great lunch menu and a fun grill at night. Our cabin/suite on deck 6 was excellent, with a large sitting area, a rather stiff sofa (sleeper) and a private balcony. There is a very good walk-in closet. The bathroom had both a full tub and separate walk-in shower. Excellent towels and toiletries. My problems with the room were limited to the wi-fi which was unreliable and slow. Admittedly, we took the free, daily hour but the wifi experience did not meet Silversea standards. The in-room television needs a sports channel that carries American sports. The "map channel" that charts the ship's course uses maps of such a scale that they are almost useless. We will not see our 65th birthdays again and yet we were among the youngest guests on this cruise. Perhaps a 17-day cruise during back-to-school weeks isn't one likely to attract younger people, but you can disregard the brochures and ship promotional material, this cruise skewed old. The entertainment was poorly chosen. A guest violinist was excellent. The house trio and the ship's two pianists were first rate - otherwise there was too much "show tune" fanfare indifferently lit but earnestly performed. Given the guests, how many people were up for the late-night karaoke and disco nights. Get real. The cruise itinerary was well-planned - Cornwall-Ireland-Reykyavik and "sunny, Southern Greenland" were wonderful. The last week, however, was a slog. It is always subject to weather adjustments but we felt that our Canada changes were mishandled by Silversea. It was too rough for the tenders at L'Anse aux Meadows, so that stop was cancelled. But that came after we had already been told our visit to the Gaspe (three days out) was being cancelled because of some slowdown mandated to avoid the numerous right whales in the area. So, all we got was a forgettable day in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. The people were nice but, how can I say this, there is NOTHING to do or see in Corner Brook other than the ever-belching stacks of a paper plant. Some people took bus tours looking down on islands they had just sailed past. And it was raining and it was Canadian Labor Day - everything was closed. Some creative thinking at Silversea (skip Corner Brook and go to Gaspe?) would have helped. HQ could have found a better alternative than napkin folding competitions in the Panorama Lounge. I give the Silver Whisper ship an A. The food and drink, dining and suite staff an A. I give the larger cruise experience a B. As for "the ratings" below, it is really unfair to have to things like enrichment, excursion and entertainment overall. The offerings on Silversea were all above average but "very good" seems too strong. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We have been on Oceania before and loved it and this was a great itinerary. The cabin was a little disappointing. It seemed a bit worn out. The bathroom has a big bathtub shower in addition to a small stall shower. Cabin steward was ... Read More
We have been on Oceania before and loved it and this was a great itinerary. The cabin was a little disappointing. It seemed a bit worn out. The bathroom has a big bathtub shower in addition to a small stall shower. Cabin steward was excellent. Food on Oceania has always been fantastic but this time we were disappointed. There are 4 specialty restaurants which were all excellent but the main dining room which is beautiful was not as good as in the past. The food was good but the selections were not as good. Overall we still love Oceania and would cruise again. The ports were very good and Oceania provides a free shuttle to the center of town in a lot of the ports. We generally do our own tours because we like smaller groups and lower prices than those tours that Oceania offers. The entertainment was good. We had a violinist, a piano player, a comedian and a magician in addition to the ship's singers and dancers. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise and cruise line because of the itinerary. The reviews closed the deal. The standard room and bathroom are "big," the stateroom attendants were great. The air conditioning worked great. The ship is ... Read More
We chose this cruise and cruise line because of the itinerary. The reviews closed the deal. The standard room and bathroom are "big," the stateroom attendants were great. The air conditioning worked great. The ship is comfortable, not too large, not crowded for the most part. Feels like a country club. The dress code is country club casual at all times, so no need for men's jackets or ties. Embarkation and disembarkation could not have been easier. There were crew members to help you find your luggage upon leaving. The restaurants offer plenty of variety. The food is good but not better than you can find at good restaurants in the big cities. The service is great except for the end of the meal. The coffee service is sporatic, sometimes non-existant. The main dining room coffee is awful, so get a cappucino or have the waiter get the americano from the machine. The room service breakfast quality was not so great. We gave up and ate at the buffet. We tried the dining room for breakfast, but it was just too slow and nothing special. Besides, a blueberry in the pancake I ordered in the dining room exploded on me and my shirt, the ship cleaned the shirt for free. The cruise directors were great. The few shows we saw were forgettable but the band was always good. There is only one show seating, so if you eat late, you will miss most of the entertainment. The crew, under questioning, say people go on Oceania for the food, not the shows. We went to one trivia contest, it was fun. Since this cruise was port-intensive, there was no time for the mundane shipboard activities. The guest lecturer was great. The onboard internet was slow, if it worked. When in port, better to use your phone data plan. There were some decent and some really bad port excursions. If you go to Ibiza, stay on the ship. "Overview" tours can be slept through. Better to concentrate on one particular aspect. What really makes this ship and cruise line are the passengers. They are predominately well-off, educated, and sociable, and older. It is easy to meet people and make friends. While this ship is a cut above the big lines like Holland and Celebrity, it is not quite perfect. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We got a great deal so the trip was a no-brainer. The room was as advertised. Large compared to our other cruises. I know that baths are important to some, but I think those square feet could be better spent elsewhere. I loved the ... Read More
We got a great deal so the trip was a no-brainer. The room was as advertised. Large compared to our other cruises. I know that baths are important to some, but I think those square feet could be better spent elsewhere. I loved the little extras. Free sodas and water and self serve laundry services. I didn't feel that Oceania was trying to nickel and dime us. The food in the main dining room started off sort of bland for the first few days. It got better as time went on. The buffet was good and I really liked the "specials". The specialty restaurants were outstanding. The miso sea bass at red ginger and the filet at the polo club were highlights. The service was almost too good. After being served portions at the buffet, our plates were taken from us and taken to a table of our choosing. I must bring attention to the culinary workers. We had a very rainy bike ride in Sweden and came back soaked. My iphone was in my flooded pocket and started glitching. I went to the culinary center, asked for and was given a bag of rice to dry out my phone. It worked, saving my pictures as well as the phone. My big regret was that we did not port in Amsterdam and instead went to Bremerhaven. The captain said it was too stormy to use the locks. The cruise director later said that other ships had tried and failed, bobbing all night in the rough water. I tried to check but I couldn't find the info. I don't blame them if this was truly the case. I must say that any other problems we had were not the fault of Oceania. I should also mention the cabin stewardess down the hall that we had several conversations with. On the last night (I'm sure their busiest) I felt like I was getting an ear infection. I mentioned it to her and in 5 minutes she was at my door with qtips and alcohol pads. Great service. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our third time on Marina and fifth with O. Service and food slipping a bit since they were bought by Norwegian. Food very inconsistent even in each restaurant. Still good but a little less so. Great itineraries make it first ... Read More
This was our third time on Marina and fifth with O. Service and food slipping a bit since they were bought by Norwegian. Food very inconsistent even in each restaurant. Still good but a little less so. Great itineraries make it first choice though. Will give hard look at others or next cruise. Size of ship just right although we prefer their smaller ones like Regatta. Starting to hsell junk watches and such in public lobby, a definite downgrade for a lux ship. Entertainment is sparse and since we had to be up early each day for the ports, most were 8 or 9 AM we did not bother with many. No smoking policy is wonderful. Good selection of alcohol brands and experienced bartenders. Choice of ports outstanding but as with most cruise lines excursions offered should be passed in favor of arranging independent excursions and posting them on Cruise Critic. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
OCEANIA adverts: Featuring FREE Unlimited Internet, plus choose one of the below FREE: 4 - 10 FREE Shore Excursions FREE House Beverage Package $400 - $1000 Shipboard Credit We booked this cruise while travelling on ... Read More
OCEANIA adverts: Featuring FREE Unlimited Internet, plus choose one of the below FREE: 4 - 10 FREE Shore Excursions FREE House Beverage Package $400 - $1000 Shipboard Credit We booked this cruise while travelling on the Marina last autumn, one reason for which was an interest to compare the small Oceania ships with the 'identical' Azamara Journey, which we like very much. The larger Riviera and Marina are lovely, and set a high standard throughout. Firstly, a word of warning. One of the features which attracted us was 'Free Unlimited Internet'. Don't be fooled by this. The internet service was awful. Connection was difficult at any time of day (except, perhaps, the middle of the night) sometimes taking up to 15 minutes, and even logging out was a pain. Often one just gives up trying. You might be better choosing one of the alternative offers and paying for your internet. My first impression on boarding was that the Insignia decor appeared a little 'tired' by comparison with Azamara, and as I became more familiar with it that seemed to be the case. Also the package was sold as Concierge level, but there was no Concierge lounge. Food: dinner generally excellent in the Grand Dining Room; (85% excellent, 15% disappointing). Toscana, disappointing, Polo semi-disappointing (it is a steak restaurant. If one asks for rare, there is no excuse for it to be presented well done, and have to be sent back.). We heard that Oceania has a higher budget per person for food, and it was possibly of a slightly higher standard. Entertainment: High standard, but Az higher. More varied lectures would be appreciated. Nightly chocolates: both identical, and both boring. Staff excellent, although not quite as friendly as Azamara. Cabin as Az; bathroom small but OK. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise because it was Oceania, and because of its 2 day stay in Cuba. Overall we were not disappointed. It was our fourth Oceania trip, the first on Marina - though we have cruised on Riviera before, her sister ship. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was Oceania, and because of its 2 day stay in Cuba. Overall we were not disappointed. It was our fourth Oceania trip, the first on Marina - though we have cruised on Riviera before, her sister ship. The itinerary highlight was Cuba, which we loved. The rest comprised Cozumel, Harvest Caye, Roatan and Nassau. Harvest Caye is a disappointment, a small private island owned by NCL, Oceania's parent company, which could be anywhere. Cozumel and Roatan are pleasant stops, and Nassau a typical Caribbean port with a small town feel, and full of the usual tourist shops. Boarding in Miami was a little slow, with a 20 minute queue to get into the terminal, after which things went fairly smoothly. Marina is a lovely ship, and the 1200 passenger size is perfect. We were so glad not to have been on the other giant ships we saw disgorging their passengers at some ports of call. The cruise was full, but there was never a queue at any of the restaurants or the entertainment venues. Service was of a very high order, and all of the staff maintained the extremely high standard one expects of Oceania. Food was excellent, though drinks are on the pricey side, especially with the 18% service charge that is added to every purchase. Entertainment was ok, though not brilliant. You need to be eating by 7.30 at the latest if you are to make the evening show at 9.30pm. If you visit Cuba, remember to take currencies other than US Dollars to exchange for Cuban pesos, since dollars are subject to a 13% exchange charge by the Cubans. Sterling, Euros, Canadian Dollars are all fine though. Overall a memorable cruise thanks to the Cuba experience and the comfort and quality of the Marina. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We had a great Butler. Specialty restaurants were excellent. Buffet dinners were excellent. Main dining room a step below but good. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Suite was excellent. Would like to have seen 2 ... Read More
We had a great Butler. Specialty restaurants were excellent. Buffet dinners were excellent. Main dining room a step below but good. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Suite was excellent. Would like to have seen 2 sinks in bathroom. Shower tough for me to use but I'm 6'5". Very well furnished. Bed very comfortable. Walk in closet well done. Entertainment was very good. Enjoyed in house dancers and singers. Thought band was excellent. Comedian very funny. Enjoyed Cruise director and staff. We do not use ships port and shore excursion. Do them on our own through Cruise Critic roll call. Very overpriced and do not enjoy being bused with 20 to 40 people. Not a ship that caters to children. Atlantic was rough most of the trip. Had to avoid Azores because of weather. Went to Madeira instead. Excellent cruise, Excellent ship. Excellent service. Would certainly sail with Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We initially were made aware of this cruise by Go Next which was actively promoting this cruise last year, however we ended up booking it through our own travel agent for a slightly better deal. As others have mentioned, French ... Read More
We initially were made aware of this cruise by Go Next which was actively promoting this cruise last year, however we ended up booking it through our own travel agent for a slightly better deal. As others have mentioned, French Polynesia is beautiful, remote, and quiet. It was extremely hot and humid when we visited, but we enjoyed it immensely. Oceania did promote this accurately as not for children, and in fact only 1 lonesome child was on the ship, which was nice for those of us who need a break from grandchildren. We had never cruised Oceania before, so my remarks will compare it and the smaller ship adventure to our previous cruises with larger ships and other cruise lines. Our package included the cruise, flights, WiFi, gratuities, and 4 excursions, which made it so much easier when it came to the final bill. Soft drinks and bottled water were included, the bar fridge was stocked with soft drinks, and bottled water was included as we disembarked each day. drinks were very expensive at over $11 for a mixed drink, and $7 for beer, so if you are a big drinker, you might look into the drinks package. The gift shops had only high end items, one of the two shops was dedicated to a brand of high end jewelry and the other had minimal, but high end clothing. Embarking the ship was easy and smooth. Tendering was easy with only 600+ passengers, also no photographers, no art auctions. On the negative side, the buffet was small and limited, but very good. Entertainment was limited with a large lounge instead of a theatre without tiered seating. The ship also seemed to ride a bit rougher with its small size, even though the seas were calm, more of a bounce in the fore and aft where the dining room and entertainment were located. It was a real bonus that the specialty restaurants were no extra charge. The Tuscan Grill was so so, but we loved Red Ginger with excellent food and service and a great maitre d'. As on many cruise ships lately the food, service and staff were excellent. The cabins were slightly smaller than we have had, with the bathroom noticeably smaller, but they were well appointed with a super comfortable beds and bedding. Our Oceania experience was great, but not better than we have had on other cruise lines. The small ship experience was good for this itinerary, but we probably prefer ships with 1000-1800 passengers. This itinerary was wonderful and relaxing, just what we were looking for; however we could have missed the 3 days that it took to get up to Nuka Hiva, as on a small ship there isn't a lot to do on sea days. We would recommend this cruise for the quiet adventure, and the ship to those who prefer to do without all the hype and hassle of the huge ships. Passengers on this cruise were mainly American and well travelled. We enjoyed sharing a table at meals and hearing new travel stories. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was our first cruise on Oceania, the 12 day ‘Pure Polynesia’ on Sirena. We tend to be land based travellers, but some places are just better by ship. Sirena is a smaller ship, which we prefer. The ship, refurbished in 2016, is ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Oceania, the 12 day ‘Pure Polynesia’ on Sirena. We tend to be land based travellers, but some places are just better by ship. Sirena is a smaller ship, which we prefer. The ship, refurbished in 2016, is beautifully decorated and maintained, with lots of dark wood and brass, immaculately clean. Being a smaller ship there is not that much room for guests to spread out, and it started to feel a bit smal toward the end of the cruise. The pool area is especially small, and people wanted shade as it was so hot. The lounges were coveted real estate, and just like resorts, the lounge hogs reserve early in the day, and keep them all day. Sirena discouraged this, but did nothing to correct it. There are other areas on the upper decks where pool staff can place lounges, but this is done only at your request. Embarkation and dis-embarkation were seamless. We actually arrived before our appointed time, due to hotel check out. We were checked in without any hesitation. Dis-embarkation was also smooth. Our luggage was picked up the night before & we left the ship after breakfast. We did all of our own planning, including flights, hotels before and after the cruise. We heard grumbling from passengers who had Oceania do the planning. Part of it was expense, but can’t comment further as this was not my experience. There are three dining rooms, plus the buffet and pool-side grill. The grand dining room serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, as does the buffet. Specialty restaurants include Red Ginger, serving Asian cuisine, while Tuscan Steak is a steak-house with Italian flavor. Both are beautifully decorated, and at no additional charge. Given our status on the ship, we were entitled to pre-book one meal at each specialty restaurant. You can book additional dinners, based on availability during the cruise. Red Ginger was our favorite, but only by a bit! The food was incredible at both! The grill by the pool serves good burgers and sandwiches for lunch. Breakfast at the buffet served a varied selection, which became a bit routine by the end of the cruise. There are occasionally flow problems as the main walkway is narrow. The buffet offered a special breakfast, Eggs Benedict, or some variation daily. This was offered in the center of the buffet. It took 4-9 minutes to prepare your selection. Either you waited there, causing a bit of a log jam in the area, or the server could bring it to your table. But they had no organized way of identifying you, so the servers often wandered around trying to find you. A smarter method of doing this is needed. Lunch and dinner at the grand dining room were excellent. There were many (too many!) choices for dinner. The Jacques Pepin signature dishes were delicious. All was beautifully presented. Food is a big highlight of Oceania, so prepare to be fed! The ports of call were excellent on this cruise. We were at sea for a few days in the early part of the cruise heading to the Marquesas Islands. It was a bit rough and unbelievably hot at sea. The Captain reported the sea and air temperature as 89 degrees one day! There was no relief even in the wind! We enjoyed experiencing the remoteness of Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas. I picked up some amazing craft jewelry from the co-op by the dock. Wish I bought more! Sirena invited local dancers from the island to perform on the ship in the evening. It was an amazing show! We don’t usually attend the shows, so can’t comment much here…except the theatre is not tiered and can be hard to see for those of short stature! We found the excursions to be expensive, but wanted to experience as much of the islands as we could. We decided to book the unlimited passport package for $989 (each). A few excursions had an extra charge on top. Overall we were quite pleased with the excursions. Our focus was being on the water and snorkelling as much as we could. We swam with the stingrays and sharks, snorkelled beautiful coral gardens and did a sunset cruise in Bora Bora! Some passengers negotiated with locals for less expensive adventures when they came ashore. It seemed to work for them. But the ship will wait for you if you are back late from one of their excursions! The staff on the ship varied from young to very experienced. All of the staff worked extremely hard on Sirena, and did an amazing job to make sure the guests were happy. A few who really stood out include: Maitre’d Leandro, Susan (Red Ginger), Sara (Tuscan Grill); Bartenders Igor & ‘Joe’; sommelier Nicola; our cabin attendant, Vanessa. But there were so many who worked behind the scenes, or whose name I missed, that kudos go to the entire crew. We chose the premium drinks package. It was an extra $480 + gratuities. This gave us the option to drink anything they offered, with the exception of full bottles of wine. (Other cruise ships give a discount on full bottles with this package.) Overall we were quite satisfied with the package. All of the bartenders made excellent mixed drinks. The wine sommelier/stewards are in the dining rooms helping guests match wine with their meal. There are not enough wine stewards for the grand dining room and the wine sometimes arrived after the course it was meant for. These individuals are literally run off their feet doing their best to keep up, but there simply aren’t enough of them! We were absolutely not impressed when the ship ‘ran out of’ most wines we wanted the last dinner of the cruise…and the list was long! We requested a discount to purchase a full bottle of wine, and miraculously the wine we wanted was found. This did not end the cruise on a positive note. I would cruise with Oceania again. It was a notch above other cruises I’ve taken, but just a notch. Some passengers continued on to Australia. While the itinerary sounded great, I was ready to get off the ship! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017

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