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43 Transatlantic Luxury Cruise Reviews

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
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
The disembakring experience in NYC ruined the cruise. There was no representative from Silversea to assist passnegers attempting to find the bus to LaGuardia airport. No one on the ground knew which bus was destined to this airport. We ... Read More
The disembakring experience in NYC ruined the cruise. There was no representative from Silversea to assist passnegers attempting to find the bus to LaGuardia airport. No one on the ground knew which bus was destined to this airport. We literally wandered around trying the street to find our bus - again NO ONE from Silversea was there to assist this operation. Bus driver admitted he was not familar w/ streets of NYC. He refused to take passengers to their terminal besides terminal B at LaGuardia. I was forced to gather all my luggage abd walk through the airport terminal w/ my luggage trying to find a transit bus to transport me to the Delta terminal at LaGuarda - terminal D. It was a total mess - many passengers were visibly upset. This was excusable on the part of Silversea - you had our money and now we were less than human. Someone from Silversea should be TERMINATED for this toal lack of civilty and service. Many people on the bus voiced the consensus opinion that this will be our last cruise because of the fiasco in NYC. As a trained PH.D. ethicist all the people on the bus to Laguardia should receive financial compensation for the disgraceful behavior we were treated by Silversea. We were viewed as cattle who did not to be treated as a human being.I would gladly talk to some representative, but doubt my opinion matters. You failed to make this cruise memorable by the manner you treated people disembarking the ship in NYC. Shame on Silversea!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I had been on QM2 before in 2004 for her maiden Caribbean trip, 18 years ago and remember the experience as exciting (especially sail-away with a band playing us away on the quayside and free bubbly!), delightful and sophisticated. Maybe ... Read More
I had been on QM2 before in 2004 for her maiden Caribbean trip, 18 years ago and remember the experience as exciting (especially sail-away with a band playing us away on the quayside and free bubbly!), delightful and sophisticated. Maybe it's because I am older now and have become more demanding as regards to the finer things of a civilised existence that I found the recent crossing to New York quite depressing. Embarkation was delayed due to computer problems, the red carpets were rolled up and we finally reached our twin porthole 'stateroom'/cabin an hour late. Have the shower cubicles always been that small and unpleasantly plastic with a plastic curtain which did not quite hang to the floor? And I am sure the complimentary toiletries were for two people previously and of a higher quality. The ship may have been re-mastered but why so gloomily in places? Just like last time it took us quite a few days to get our bearings from Deck 6 Stairway A at the front of the ship to Deck 2/3 Stairway C where most of the important things were located. I walked barefoot, carrying my high heels to the Britannia restaurant. The two waiters were lovely, the sommelier supercilious when I ordered a medium-priced $60 bottle of wine and made it last three evenings. The food was excellent. However, the starters had turned into appetisers or amuse- bouches, the mains into slightly larger starters, artistically decorated with one French bean or two spears of asparagus. The puddings were small, the 'petit fours' apologetic along the lines of marshmallows, cloying chocolate truffles and crystallised ginger. Just as well we went to King's Court for breakfast and at lunchtime to choose our own food from a vast selection of very good international cuisine. It was not always easy to find a place for 3 friends to sit down as it was crowded all the time. I can't comment on the entertainment in the evening as we had the second sitting and did not feel like staying up. Anyway I do not like shows with singing and dancing and a lot of whooping and whistling, but that was my choice. The classical concerts during the day were excellent as were the lectures by a neurosurgeon, a little bit different and thought-provoking. The high-end shops were obviously overpriced in these days of internet shopping around and the market stalls in the Grand Lobby sold tacky stuff from the Far East to which any self-respecting person would give a wide berth. (Excuse pun!) Overall impression? The once so elegant QM2 now appears downmarket, overcrowded, serving expensive alcoholic drinks mainly consisting of ice cubes, eager to make money/profit at every opportunity. No such thing as a free lunch as you would have paid dearly for it initially. One consolation: With all that walking along endless corridors to get anywhere, I did not put on weight despite eating all the fattening things I would not normally have at home. The three added on days in New York were soul-destroying, boiling hot and humid, stinking, a cacophony of noise and a relentless tide of humanity. But that's another story. Never again....... Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We are on a cruise from New York to Iceland and we picked the cruise for its destinations. The ship is old and is poorly maintained; lots of rust,scuff marks,stained carpets,faded wood on the decks.The vibration in the cabins is ... Read More
We are on a cruise from New York to Iceland and we picked the cruise for its destinations. The ship is old and is poorly maintained; lots of rust,scuff marks,stained carpets,faded wood on the decks.The vibration in the cabins is constant and unbelievable like sleeping on top of a freight train. The food is on par with Hometown buffet.Ar breakfast the hot foods were covered in grease.No fresh yogurt or berries.There are few choices for food on the ship with restrictive hours.The room service took forever and was poor quality. For dinner you are forced to dress up and go the main dining room so you don’t starve and you see fed like warm mediocre food. Most of the senior patrons don’t seem to mind or notice.We have been on about 29 cruises and this is by far the worst. There was bad weather last night and many cabins and hallways leaked and were inundated with water.Ernember this is an old ship. There is virtually no entertainment or enrichment programs and at the moment the pool and jacuzzi ms are drained with a full day at sea.The days entertainment choice a movie in the theater? The staff are very nice and well trained for the most part but they have very little to work with. I would stick with Silversea,Viking and Seabourn if you wish to experience a luxury cruise. Give these guys a miss unless you like bad food and old ships and a vibrating cabin where you can’t sleep. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We are long time Regent customers but had not sailed with Regent for two years account a previous problem. In the interim, we sailed with luxury lines, Crystal, Seabourn and Oceania. We chose the transatlantic crossing to try the new ... Read More
We are long time Regent customers but had not sailed with Regent for two years account a previous problem. In the interim, we sailed with luxury lines, Crystal, Seabourn and Oceania. We chose the transatlantic crossing to try the new (for us) Explorer and because of the price. We also love going to Bermuda. We had an overnight in Bermuda where I chose to wear formal Bermuda attire, of coat, tie, Bermuda shorts and folded over knee socks (picture attached) I was asked to leave the bar as I had shorts on. Next, I experienced the only poor service, rude employee, of the cruise, the reception desk manager. I explained that we were docked in one of the most formal British protectorates in the world and that my attire was local custom, and requested to be allowed to wear formal Bermuda attire in Bermuda. The correct answer for the location was to check with the hotel manager or else make a simple apology. Instead I was given a lecture about local customs and how bad it could be in Papua, New Guinea (loin cloth). Steam was rising from my ears. With my bad experience highlighted I will say that the ship lives up to its billing of the most luxurious ship ever built. There is marble granite and exquisite light fixtures - EVERYWHERE. The overall decor of the ship is no less than 10 out of 10. Words and pictures can't describe it adequately. When I went into a private stall in the restroom I was in an eight foot by four foot marble box. Simply amazing. Service was generally excellent in all dining venues and bars. The ship was not completely full and extra visits to the specialty restaurants were available, especially if you were willing to share a table or eat late. Food in the main dining room, The Compass Rose was excellent. Of all the restaurants we rated Prime 7 as number 1. We did not enjoy Pacific Rim, but we are not Asian food fans so please consider this review neutral there. Overall passengers on the Explorer dressed better than other lines, a plus for us. 80% of men wore jackets at night and half of those wore ties. Our room was a Penthouse which we enjoyed (see below). We enjoy butler service on cruises and have learned to make use of them. Unfortunately, we did not get the best one as service could be slow or forgotten. We spoke with other passengers who had no problems so I must assume that we just drew the wrong one. We went on two shore excursions which were excellent and included. We missed the final port due to engaging in a man overboard search and rescue for a passenger from another ship who had fallen or jumped overboard. So, with all of the great that that can be said about this cruise why only 2 stars? Beyond the bad experience in Bermuda we can say that it boils down to value and inflexibility. Value - we have seen Regent take price increases each year. We chose this trip due to its lower cost and included business class return air from Spain. Backing out, my estimated value for the cruise, we paid just over $500 per day per person for the cruise. Good deal, but a quick check of category Penthouse B cabins this summer will reveal prices that can approach $1500 per day (which include business air). Over the past few year Regent strives to make more and more included. Shore excursions, drinks, specialty restaurants, and just starting - free laundry. To get the full value for all of this you need to take advantage, and most of us don't. And then there is another phenomenon that seems to be more prevalent on Regent than on other top lines. My wife and I call it "forced shopping". On this cruise we had a combined total of $1,100 (USD) shipboard credit. The credit came from American Express, the ship and the travel agent. Regent is"all inclusive" and Since we are not big spa people, and don't partake in top shelf spirits or wine, we have to spend it (or lose it) in the shops. We ended up purchasing lots of stuff we never would have elsewhere. And the shops aren't cheap. Up until about 2010, you were able to visit the future cruise consultant and roll the shipboard credit into a future cruise. That ended and we became free agents in the luxury market. Finally, inflexibility. The shorts incident aside (a perfect example) we found that the staff works from a very regimented script or playbook. One day we told our (excellent) waitress that we were praying for calm seas. She lets us know she was praying for a calm boss. On the last full day, we completely packed early in the morning and stashed the bags under the bed. The cabin steward pulled out the completely full bags and put them on the bed, because - that was what the script called for. In fairness this may be Regent's way of managing service but we found it to be a little stiff. We will be back on Regent but it will likely take 2 years or more. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Cabin was dowdy, old stained curtains, shower smelt of mold! The fan didn’t work so the mirror fogged up so much you couldn’t see a thing in it! Bathroom wasn’t cleaned properly! Black stain in the loo, and smelt of urine! Stain ... Read More
Cabin was dowdy, old stained curtains, shower smelt of mold! The fan didn’t work so the mirror fogged up so much you couldn’t see a thing in it! Bathroom wasn’t cleaned properly! Black stain in the loo, and smelt of urine! Stain of looked like dried on milk up the wall! They seriously need upgrading! The money Cunard have spent on upgrading has not gone into the balcony rooms, I guess it’s gone into the new luxury apartments! Cabin was not vacuumed for nine days! Had to ask for it to be done! Was not clean when we arrived! Food wasn’t great! The choice in the self service restaurant wasn’t good on some days! Shows were very good! Costumes were amazing! Commadores announcements were good, he kept us informed of the weather etc! The wine sommelier was excellent! The entry into Fort Lauderdale was long and tiring with only four immmigration officers to check in over two thousand Passengers! I felt sorry for the old and infirm of which there were many! The art classes were so busy with so many people we only went to a few then we gave up as it was to crowded! This was our tenth Qunard cruise! We won’t be doing another! Very disappointed! It is no longer a so called “luxury”experience! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and because the Viking Sea was a new ship. We have been on a Viking River Cruise and enjoyed the cruise. The embarkation was easy to move through and our luggage was delivered promptly. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and because the Viking Sea was a new ship. We have been on a Viking River Cruise and enjoyed the cruise. The embarkation was easy to move through and our luggage was delivered promptly. We found the ship to be fantastic, beautifully decorated and easy to navigate. No area of the ship ever felt crowded. The crew, for the most part, was be top notch, very friendly and accommodating. The food was very good with varying venues. The beverage package was a bargain, but I do not remember that it was marketed that well. We were very disappointed in the air arrangements on both ends of the trip and would probably do our own in the future. Shore excursion information was not delivered to customers in a timely manner. We thought choices were very limited and were not executed well. Because of a biking event, we were not able to see Bergen except from the water and we were there 1 1/2 days. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose the Muse because we have liked SilverSea based on our previous experiences and we like long transoceanic voyages. So we chose the 16 day UK to Montreal. We were extremely disappointed. Our disappointments went well beyond the ... Read More
We chose the Muse because we have liked SilverSea based on our previous experiences and we like long transoceanic voyages. So we chose the 16 day UK to Montreal. We were extremely disappointed. Our disappointments went well beyond the expected teething issues with a new ship and transplanted crew. SILVER SEA has obviously worked hard to CUT COSTS in the RESTAURANTS and the ACCOMMODATIONS. 1) All the restaurants REQUIRE RESERVATIONS FOR DINNER. It is nearly impossible to get a restaurant you want when you want it, even if you book months in advance. You are stuck with your advance bookings for the duration of your voyage. The preferable restaurants are fully booked all the time. 2) There is NO WALK IN DINNER RESTAURANT on the ship. Every restaurant is a reservation only "theme restaurant," a concept by some "restaurant consultant" who obviously knows little about high end cruising and what high end customers want and expect. 3) The RESTAURANT MENUS ARE FIXED and are VERY LIMITED. Each restaurant has a fixed menu of few items and the menu DOES NOT VARRY day to day. For 16 days we looked at the same food choices. UGH. And if you do not enjoy Asian or "pay extra" you are stuck with Italian or the limited Atlantide menu. 4) The lack of RESERVATION FLEXIBILITY means you cannot change your reservations mid-cruise to include new fiends or acquaintances. 5) The food was often POORLY PREPARED. I had a tuna steak, ordered MR, it was served brown on the outside and still frozen in the middle. The lettuce at the La Terrace buffet for lunch was freshly showered every single day, but not dried. 6) We had to accept a dinner reservation twice at the outdoor GRILL. Outdoor on the pool deck is fine in the Caribbean, but the North Atlantic in September? No. Windy and so cold we needed two hot stone cookers to cook our meal. Yes, they did serve blankets, but most guests gave up for room service. 7) ROOM SERVICE was slow and cold. We quickly gave up on that option. 8) STORAGE SPACE IS ABYSMAL. In the Silver Suite on the older ships we were used to storage space and shelves galore. Muse has NO storage to speak of. The refrigerator cabinet top is completely occupied with the coffee maker etc. There are two small sofa tables and a desk. The desk has two small drawers and the top is largely occupied by the various cruise materials. The vanity is small and without real storage. The hair dryer was stored in the trash can. The "dinning table" and chairs are fine. 9) Our Silver Suite had a big closet, but NO BUREAU, anywhere. The large closet had some closely spaced shelves located below counter level. The only way to access them was to bend way over and struggle to see what was on them. Accessing therm was nearly impossible. There were NO clothing drawers. 10) The furnishings were sparse and not suited to purpose. The big "comfy chairs" for relaxing and reading had no arms and were so uncomfortable that they were useless. Sitting and reading in them was impossible. The sofa (a pull out for a 3rd guest) was so deep that throw pillows were necessary to sit back, uncomfortably. 11) While I cannot point to any specific complaint my sense was that the ship is understaffed. Service in the restaurants was often slow and usually sparse in the lounge areas. 12) The overall operational attitude of the ship is illustrated by this example. The forward 11th deck lounge was teeming with people as we sailed from one port. I went to the bar and asked for a drink. The bar tender told me "no, it is not six o'clock yet." The clock above the bar displayed 5:58. The concept for the design and use of the restaurants and public spaces is poor for the purpose of the ship. The staff is well intentioned, if sparse. I was particularly impressed by the Sommelier and his team. Silver Sea can solve some of the problems with this ship over time, but her basic design will limit resolving most of them absent a total rework. She looks good but does not live up to the hyped brochures or the SS reputation. Silver Sea fumbled with this ship and the concepts supporting it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Where to begin?? I chose Silversea because I had always wanted to sail on a smaller ship, and this 17 year old ship only holds 382 passengers. The itinerary was a 14 night sailing from Seward, Alaska to Tokyo, Japan. ... Read More
Where to begin?? I chose Silversea because I had always wanted to sail on a smaller ship, and this 17 year old ship only holds 382 passengers. The itinerary was a 14 night sailing from Seward, Alaska to Tokyo, Japan. Silversea's marketing materials boasts luxurious accommodations, free beverages, and a butler with every suite (all cabins are considered suites). So far so good.... but, in my opinion, that is where the marketing materials and reality part ways. Bus transfer to the Train Station: Having pre-purchased a transfer from the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage to the train station located adjacent to the Anchorage airport, the day before embarkation day I went down to the Silversea's representative's desk in the hotel lobby to collect a time slot ticket that would allow me on the bus. That went smooth enough. however we were told to be down there to hand over our luggage no later than 9:30 a.m. on embarkation day. Problem was there was no one there to take the luggage, no rep at the desk, and several of us ran around trying to figure out if we were even in the right place. Finally, the Rep arrived and a porter started scooping up the luggage left beside the Rep's desk, and we all just hoped it would go to the correct place as it seemed very hap hazzard. Transfer to the Ship: A complimentary transfer was provided through Silversea from the train station in Anchorage to the port at Seward. The description of this 4 1/2 hour journey said that 'refreshments' would be provided. Said 'refreshment' was about 2 ounces of sparkling wine to make a 'toast'. The seating on the train was on very tight bench seats with a table in front of you, so there was people on each side of the table looking directly at each other. We had been warned that there was no room for carry-on luggage and they didn't disappoint on that score. You had a space below your bench seat that was about 12 inches in height, which would accommodate a handbag, and perhaps a very small camera bag. We were 1/2 hour late leaving and basically from 12:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. if you wanted to eat or drink anything you were forced to order ridiculously overpriced beverages and tasteless food from the caterers that had the contract for the train. Arrival at the port: Since our 'check-in' had been done at the train station boarding the ship was quick and smooth. We were told to go to 'The Bar' on deck 5 where some very confused looking staff fumbled around and then you were assigned a miserable looking (in my case anyway) butler to show you to your cabin. It is one of those things that is supposed to make Silversea look good (in their minds anyway) but actually makes them look disorganized, and is off-putting with the lack of social skills by your escort. Cabin: I was in a mid-ship balcony on deck 6. It was pretty much as advertised and there were no problems at all. The 'teak deck' they advertise is just some teak planks placed over top of a steel deck, so not even as nice as the surfacing you would find on Celebrity's balconies. Oh well, it's an old ship so that can be forgiven. The nice thing about this cabin was its proximity to the laundry facility. The laundry machines become very busy during the cruise (and don't trust the time read outs on the machines) so it was easy to nip back and forth checking on my laundry. Food and Dining experience: Okay folks, hold on to your hats because this to me was the most unbelievable disappointment on this ship. The main dining room (cleverly named 'The Restaurant') is not a pleasant venue at all. Most nights it was kept at a temperature slightly above that of a meat locker. Even with the room half empty the service is painfully slow, the food arrived barely warm, and the food taste and quality was poor beyond description. The filet mignon was absolutely disgusting. They don't ask you how you want it cooked, and if you inquire they say they don't need to know!?! What arrives is a bland looking grey blob that looks like it was parboiled and finished off in a frying pan. If you don't believe me I invite you to pay a small fortune to sail on the Shadow and experience it yourself. After the second visit to this dimly lit, freezing cold, venue I refused to have dinner there again, so spent the rest of the cruise dining in La Terrazza, Le Champagne, and on one occasion The Grill (Hot Rocks). Le Champagne ($40 per person) and The Grill (free): I would recommend both of these dining venues. I went to Le Champagne three times and felt is was well worth the cost. Both food and service were outstanding! La Terrazza ~ this is the venue that serves as the 'buffet' for breakfast and lunch. However, it is far superior to a traditional buffet found on the non-luxury cruise lines, so it easily transitioned to a quaint Italian themed venue in the evening. I had registered as requiring a gluten free (gf) menu. To give you a frame of reference on Princess when you register as gf each evening after dinner the Maitre'd brings you the next evening's menu and works with you to advise which dishes can be adjusted to be gluten free. You then pre-order your specially prepared gluten free dinner (and can also pre-order lunch) for the following evening. In La Terrazza on the Silver Shadow ~ you arrive and are handed that evening's menu with 'Gluten Free' scrawled in handwriting across the top. Beside each dish is the hand written notation 'NO', 'NO', 'NO' and then eventually a check mark for a dish that doesn't contain gluten. News flash: I don't need these Bozos to point out which dishes contain gluten, I know that already. If I didn't know better I would have thought I was being punked!! Bare in mind folks this is a cruise that easily costs four times more than a similar itinerary on Princess, and this is their idea of providing 'luxury' service. Having been on 62 previous cruises with many different cruise lines it soon became apparent to me that the Chef/Chefs on this ship think they are above even the Captain, and rule with an iron fist. If I had a nickel for every time they removed prawns from the menu and replaced it with tilapia, or we were told 'No' for a request made at dinner, I'd be rich! Okay, so I could go on and on but you get the picture. I just want to leave you with one final experience that really brought into focus the Shadow's senior staff's attitude towards the passengers. One morning we were in port and I chose to remain on the ship. Around 10 a.m. I went into the Panorama Lounge to get a cappuccino and noticed four senior officers (Including the Hotel Director and the Head Maitre'd) sitting in one corner of the lounge. I took a chair a couple rows away from where they were sitting but noticed that they had lowered their voices when I came in. Well, as time went on their voice became easily audible and their comments shocked me. First they complained how the Cruise Critic passengers want a gathering organized on the ship, but they only talk to each other online and don't bother mingling once on board. Then the conversation moved on to how demanding the passengers were in the dining room, how they complained that the fish wasn't fresh, etc. etc. The degree of resentment towards the passengers exhibited by these officers was unbelievable. So there you have it folks. If you want to pay through the nose for sub-standard food, and be viewed as enemy #1 by the senior staff, have at it. Personally, I don't feel the need to drain my bank account for that kind of experience, especially since I had significantly better service and food on the Carnival Conquest last November. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We have 300 nights on Silversea and usually love the experience they have to offer. We are well known to the staff, whom we love. This time, we sailed for 28 nights from Lisbon to Montreal in September 2017, six months after the launch of ... Read More
We have 300 nights on Silversea and usually love the experience they have to offer. We are well known to the staff, whom we love. This time, we sailed for 28 nights from Lisbon to Montreal in September 2017, six months after the launch of the ship (plenty of time to work out the kinks). Unfortunately, the Silver Muse did not provide any luxury despite the hype in the brochures and the extreme friendliness of the waiters. I had to wear ear plugs at night when the sea was even a bit rough because the ceiling creaked so loudly and the balcony door banged. The sewer-gas smell in our otherwise very nice bathroom was off-putting to say the least. It did get fixed. There seemed to be no professional chefs on board and no one in charge of the restaurants. We've had better food and better organized service in hospital cafeterias and retirement residences. We quickly memorized the menus that never varied, and we got tired of the meals being served somewhere between room temperature and lukewarm. In the Terrazza buffet, the pasta chef was sullen, his pasta often incompletely cooked (crunchy, not al dente) and covered in stone cold sauce. They never turned on the radiant food warmers in the Terrazza, so that the scrambled eggs, home-fry potatoes, and Asian lunch dishes (clearly made from leftovers) were barely warmer than room temperature. The soup was never hot; even when I sent it back three times, they never got it hot -- I was told the Terrazza kitchen was three decks down, which is why the food got cold on the way up. The service in Terrazza was friendly but disorganized; the restaurant managers were usually in hiding or chuckling in a corner with the head waiters; the chefs never made an appearance to check on the quality of their dishes, so they had no idea of the inferior results sitting on our plates. One head waiter was outstanding; she was the only one to actually supervise and pitch in when necessary; her name is Eileen. The officers rarely ate in any of the restaurants, and now I can see why; they probably got much better fare in their officers' mess. Atlantide, the premier complementary restaurant, served the same boring food every night: a hunk of fried fish or fried meat on a cold plate served with a few tasteless, boiled vegetables. No variation, art, creativity or skill went into any of the meals. Almost anyone can boil up a few veggies, throw a piece of meat on a grill, and then toss the lot onto a cold plate. But this was supposed to be six-star luxury. There were two nice appetizer dishes; but having the same things over and over got very frustrating and tiring. La Dame, the $120-for-two restaurant had terrible seating (you stared at either the wall or the wine rack), indifferent service, and pretentiously described food that was not served hot and was not as tasty as we can make for ourselves at home. The entertainers (Chantal and Esther) in the Silver Note supper club were lovely but the food was just plain weird. How can a bowl of rice mixed with quinoa, served dry and on its own, be classified as a appetizer? The tough lobster on mashed potatoes, served lukewarm, was edible but not exactly gourmet. We love Asian food, but the Asian Indochine restaurant produced nothing tasty or authentic. Our local takeaway Thai and Indian places serve much better fare. The Arts Cafe, run by Jason and staffed by the delightful Jhowel, Paulo, Richard, and Juan, was the dining highlight for us. Afternoon tea was served at four from proper tea pots with perfect scones along with real clotted cream and jam. Whoever made the scones really knows how to bake a scone (that person needs to teach the other bakers how to make American muffins and pancakes that are not a wet mass of partially cooked dough.) Jimmy and Luke were the terrific cruise director and his assistant. They added greatly to our enjoyment of the cruise and we felt very lucky to have them. Jimmy does a wonderful Team-Trivia and Luke an excellent Name-that-Tune. Both are warm and welcoming to the guests on a individual basis. Sad to say, we will never sail again on the Silver Muse. And before sailing on any Silversea ship again, we will need to find out whether all the ships have adopted the disastrous idea of the unvarying menu. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I am a travel agent and frequent traveler. We have cruised Oceana many times but now it appears the ”bean-counters” are in control. There were noticeable differences in overall food and services from previous cruises. This was a ... Read More
I am a travel agent and frequent traveler. We have cruised Oceana many times but now it appears the ”bean-counters” are in control. There were noticeable differences in overall food and services from previous cruises. This was a 27 day cruise and offered $1600 in shipboard credit for our basic balcony cabin. It’s easy to offer lots of OBC when everything is already overpriced to start with. (Nickels and Dimes) For the food service, there was little change in selections, but the food quality was noticeably reduced, especially in the Specialty Restaurants where the service was still great, but the food was not nearly as good. On arrival home, we had a steak that was far superior in taste and tenderness than any we had in 4 visits to the Tuscan Grill. Oceana is no longer the leader in shipboard Cuisine. Meals are now average at best. The cost of the land tours is outrageous. In Corfu we docked next to a Holland America Ship, and much to my surprise I was logged on to their shipboard WIFI. I found the Holland America tours almost identical to Oceana in description, hours, and group size, except every Oceana tour was a minimum of 45% and up to 55% (actually $55 to $180) more expensive per person. That’s about $225 more per port for a couple. (Nickels and Dimes). Martini's Bar had excellent service, but drinks were short, and expensive. Standard pre-dinner drinks for two were about $25, not appropriate for captive customers on a ship. (Nickels and Dimes) I’ll probably start suggesting Azamara or Viking Sea to my customers. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I had sailed on Oceania 3 times on the Marina & Riviera the disappointment was not about the size of the ship it was the decline of Oceania in general. Embarkation: Process went well, fast and easy. Walked aboard, instead of a ... Read More
I had sailed on Oceania 3 times on the Marina & Riviera the disappointment was not about the size of the ship it was the decline of Oceania in general. Embarkation: Process went well, fast and easy. Walked aboard, instead of a glass of champagne and staff with smiles, we received this comment, "Need to see your sea pass card. After giving it to him, he said, "your cabin won't be ready until 3 p.m.." This was now 12:30 and we were dismissed. We spent our time in the library, which was fantastic, actually authors you have heard about. After a horrible, cereal laden hamburger at the grill and a smoothie that was like water flavored juice the announcement was made--cabins ready. Food: Now this is where Oceania used to be the top of the line, well that ship has sailed so to speak. As previously noted, the burgers were preformed tasteless and smoothies/milkshakes were made with ice chips and sugar water turning out to be tasteless and thin. Speaking of tasteless, all the food was bland and tasteless. Several times I had "Jacques Pepin's signature dishes" for dinner and at the Bistro--hugely disappointing. Food looks beautiful but tastes like nothing. I can recall only one dish that was fabulous, a Risotto with Smoked Ricotta. Portions were inconsistent as well, some large and others tiny, for example my Chicken and wine dish--large, table mate ordered scallops, she receive 3 tiny scallops sitting on 3 equally tiny potatoes--that's it. Do not order the Rack of Lamb it was horrible. Pad Thai noodle dish made with fettuccine noodles. My table mate and I ordered a shrimp dish. When we complained about the lack of taste, that it could use something, even garlic, the waiter offered to get us some garlic ??? I never finished any entree, due to non flavor or just plain bad tasting. The Terrace Cafe seemed a little better, but still not up to previous standards Tuscan Grill: We ate in the Tuscan grill to celebrate my husband's birthday he was really looking forward to great meal--again the disappointment. Crab cakes good, my Dover sole good, very small portion along with a small portion of Lobster Risotto--which tasted ok. My husband's steak was mediocre at best, he also ordered a martini, which came without olives, since they didn't ask I am assuming they actually knew how to make one. I ordered coffee with cream, it was not cream, probably skim milk--really? Coffee tasted as if it was made in the morning and reheated all day. They did provide an approximately 6 inch square birthday cake and the staff sang "Happy Birthday" . After serving us each a 2 inch portion with ice cream, we never saw the cake again. Normally, they ask if you want it sent to your cabin or take it with you. Maybe they re-used the Happy Birthday portion. Red Ginger: Generally very nice, however portions have reduced considerably and the rice was very dry. Happy Hour: From 5-6 each night, must be the same drink. Take note, happy hour martini's are served in very small glasses. To get the standard drink, you must order a double--so much for happy hour. Tea: The 4 o'clock tea on the Oceania, used to be quite the event. Crowded with passengers, being served wonderful selections by white gloved waiters. Well, the waiters are still white gloved, but the selection is dismal and it's no longer crowded. The one time we attended, we had to dodge repairmen who were working on the lights in the venue. Entertainment: Didn't expect very much, so not disappointed. The house band and performers were great. One comedian was very good, and one ventriloquist very bad, walked out on that one and another one. Nothing else to do right after dinner. We had eight sea days, thank God for the gym and pool, it saved our sanity. They had two speakers mostly about fish or ships. Did attend two lectures one climate change and one about Antoni Gaudi--very informative. Otherwise, nothing but Bridge and Trivia, if that's your thing you will be happy. Crew: One thing that has remained constant on Oceania, is the wonderful staff. Always very friendly and attentive. I do believe our cabin stewards were over worked as evidenced by our wait to enter our staterooms on embarkation and that our cabin was never done before 12 noon on the majority of days. They told us they had 21 cabins--way too much. Destination/Tours: The destination staff is really a sales staff, so don't expect any useful or correct information from them. One port we all had to return to our rooms for our passport "since they will check them" no one ever did. Oceania also held on to passports for 8 days, any country who needed to see them, could have obtained that information. They also provided a sheet of "information" on the next day's port in your cabin. It would be extremely helpful if they also provided a small walking map of the port city on the back. They never provided any maps, blaming the port's representative for not providing enough. We all had to find the information center in each port. We try not to take ship's tours, especially on Oceania. However they did give us 5 free excursions--no complaints except the one in Cartagena which spent too long showing us, golf courses, and too little time showing us the ruins of the old town. Gym: Small, however great equipment. One complaint is the sales staff used space that people generally did floor exercise and free weights to put on his sales seminar's-- to about 1-3 people. He needs to find another venue, not inconvenience the paying guests. Pool: Great pool area, lounge chairs plentiful on this trip, despite the great weather all covered in terry cloth covers. Hot tubs, nice. Internet: We also got free internet service, so no complaints there. The internet manager was very helpful and patient with everyone. Service was generally good. Conclusion: I am very saddened to see the erosion of this once great cruise line. You can see this in the little details, skimping on food quality. condition of the ship such as cleanliness and maintenance, lack of variety of activities. It is evident by those of us with cruising experience and detail oriented minds that since NCL's acquisition of Oceania we are no longer having that luxury experience. Were it not for the wonderful staff, there is really no point in spending a higher fare on this ship line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
It was on my friends bucket list so that was the reason for the cruise. I have cruised with Thompson princess and silverseas before but I expected to be wowed when I eventually arrived on board from the worst embarkation I have ever ... Read More
It was on my friends bucket list so that was the reason for the cruise. I have cruised with Thompson princess and silverseas before but I expected to be wowed when I eventually arrived on board from the worst embarkation I have ever experienced but I wasn't. I guess you are paying for the prestige of the boat and the name Cunard .our friends who haven't experienced other cruises were wowed however, I thought the staff in general were lacklustre apart from our wine waiter who was joyous and enthusiastic. Good cabin space for clothes was a plus but very unpleasant smell in the bathroom throughout and a rusty balcony. Hadn't expected to have to pay extra for classes such as Pilates either. Food on the whole very good apart from the chaos of kings court at lunch time. By the 5th day looking at the ships itinerary was rather struggling to find enthusiasm for the same options. Special mention to the sports staff especially the golf guy who always had a smile . Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was a disappointment made less pleasant by negative customer relations attitude. To put into perspective we are regular Regent cruisers in recent years (having also used Seabourn and Silversea), and indeed have a further cruise booked ... Read More
This was a disappointment made less pleasant by negative customer relations attitude. To put into perspective we are regular Regent cruisers in recent years (having also used Seabourn and Silversea), and indeed have a further cruise booked with Regent in 2017 on Voyager. Overnight in Rome was in a good hotel to which we would return - the Westin Excelsior. Well positioned too. Regent agent embarkation was a bit disorganised as we were not told which area of the hotel to meet in, and our bus went early without us despite being near the agent desk at the time! The ship is indeed very luxurious in its build and furnishings and this has been much trumpeted - the most luxurious cruise boat ever built etc. This did not extend to the finish of our suite - nor some of the thought that should have gone into it (see below). Dining was generally very good and the Pacific Rim a good addition. We definitely preferred the old Signatures over the new Chartreuse (as did a number of people we dined with). The restaurant which really needs a makeover is Sette Mare which has been providing the same starters for all our last few cruises. We liked the new pool grill set out (some reviews don't seem to but it makes for more friendly conversation and better table use). Bars were all in general good with very good serving staff. We were pleased to see an new alternative to the very repetitive Jean Ryan group - but whoever designed the upper sight (or lack of vision) lines in the main theatre!? Whilst the 7 piece band from Ukraine was very good and versatile as well as playing good jazz, the pre and post dinner band/music combination was not as good as on the other Regent cruises. One evening there was an excellent guitar/singer combination which the CD said he would repeat - but it didn't happen! Ross the pianist was very good but overused and therefore necessarily repetitive. Guest entertainers were good but why have an excellent magician on board for 6 days between Madeira and Bermuda and give him only 2 spots. His specialty was table magic - he could have come into the dining rooms too. Our problem in particular was the suite 1202, a Penthouse (A) - for what its worth 1203 had similar problems. Basically a connecting lounge and bedroom area with a partition which had a double sided TV. A nice bathroom with multi jet shower and two sinks and walk in wardrobe. Fittings were nice. A very efficient butler service. Therefore a little more than we usually have as it was an inaugural crossing on a luxury boat. Beware -- - significant noise from the Observation bar came from below as synthesised music accompaniment because the speakers are in the false ceiling below our floor. This was also evident daily at the quiz with the microphone in use. Partially resolved by piano only after 11pm. - suite door rattled at night needing adjustment. - the dressing room door would come open at night spontaneously with noisy latch sounds - and several times despite closing. Had to be adjusted. - Air conditioning noisy and would not turn off. This required repeat visits by the engineer. On one occasion it just came on spontaneously again at 1am needing a visit to turn it off. Not good on the most luxurious boat etc... - There was no means of keeping the bathroom door open such that using the adjacent sink it hit you repeatedly in the back. A design fault we had to solve ourselves by using a robe belt tied to a towel rail (on the most luxurious etc..) - Sliding doors built into the partition slid backwards and forwards on their own. We had to put chairs against them at night until the butler produced some wooden wedges. another design fault on the most luxurious etc.. - Whilst there was a lot of movement on the Atlantic, which does not in itself trouble us, no boat we have been on in various rough seas ever creaked in the walls and ceiling like this one! Worst was in the bulkhead above the bedhead - again a point brought up in conversation with other cruisers. What on earth was in there causing it? - Wind noise from the two double veranda doors was excessive even in the Med before the Atlantic. Pulling, pushing, reclosing did not help. I found drilled out door locks on both doors where staff had attempted adjustment (remember it was only launched in July). When we discussed these problems with the General manager and Concierge we were informed it was a problem they knew about and was to be rectified with new locks and seals! Why were we not told about this rather than finding out for ourselves? Why wasn't the work done prior to an Atlantic crossing? We were offered daily taping of the doors to partially alleviate it. Unbelievable in the most luxurious cruise liner etc.. - and of course the infinity pool - a special feature of this boat - was out of action with engineers working on it during the cruise. We had to sleep with ear plugs in most nights and poor quality of sleep detracts from overall enjoyment. Why had we paid the extra?? Understandably there has been correspondence via our cruise organiser with Regent Customer Services. We were offered a £500 pp cruise credit prior to disembarkation but we considered this an insult. Despite lengthy letters this has only been increased to £750 and our Cruise agent on speaking with the Customer Services was told that 'her seniors' would not allow more. I suggested the 'seniors' may wish to discuss it with me but nothing so far. If a hotel room is unsatisfactory you are moved or don't pay the accommodation - we of course have paid upfront. Regent letters are full of platitudes re overall good feed back, and feedback being taken seriously. They hope we will take another Regent cruise when we already have one booked. Not good to put in the letter! At the time of our return Channel 5 ran a double documentary on the building of this ship, noting' the race' to complete for the maiden voyage - clearly a lot of the final finish was substandard. Customer relations deny this. We have been loyal to Regent and given very good prior reports of our cruises. On this occasion all we wanted was for Regent to put their hands in the air, say we're sorry we got it wrong for you, and make a realistic compensatory gesture. We would have been pleased to acknowledge such in this review. I'm sorry, whilst wether we may travel on Regent again after 2017 depends on our next experience (which has previously been good), Explorer is unlikely to be a choice. It could and should have been so different and a major part is how it was handled by customer relations. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Comparisons are important, and a good way to paint a valid description. Crystal is considered one of the best 6 star line if you will. We've cruised with them previously which we enjoyed and can serve as an easy comparison. The ... Read More
Comparisons are important, and a good way to paint a valid description. Crystal is considered one of the best 6 star line if you will. We've cruised with them previously which we enjoyed and can serve as an easy comparison. The boarding experience in Lisbon was up a shabby ramshackle tented gangway. Not even a "Hello and welcome aboard" and certainly no welcome drink nor semblance of service . Following a pleasant check in clerk we were directed to the elevators dragging luggage. What 5 star hotel or cruiser have to been on where nobody accompanied you to the room/cabin ? That should have been the warning signal of what to expect. Don't swallow the ploy that Crystal sell the 'first night in port' as a plus for arriving pax. Not so, its another cost saver for the company calculated you lose whilst the company gains. $500 per person or more a night buys the best luxury accommodation in 5 star hotels with a wide choice of dining possiblities in any major cities departure port, instead of wasting time and money in a tiny uncomfortable cabin on board. However this cruising standard we considered; in common with many of co cruisers, was lower than the benchmarks Seaborne or Silver Sea. The Symphony is well down the scale. Claims as to being 6 star and the # 1 exclusive cruise line are wild exaggerations of the truth. Without doubt Crystal is on a major cost cutting exercise under the new management. If you are looking for luxury cruising and value for money you are advised to look elsewhere. The Symphony is tired, and badly in need of a refit. Old cheap prints do nothing to enhance the outdated furnishings in very small cabins.The overall impression is clearly of overwhelmingly sloppy management. On day 2 we attempted to speak with the Hotel Director and was told we have to make an appointment by email instead of simply calling him on his mobile or pager. Herein undoubtedly lies the root of the management problem. This is an incapability or planned device to avoid responding in a timely manner. 6 hours later and only after contacting the head office in California, did the Director respond. The only positive is the ship is immaculately clean.. Waiting crew on open decks (breakfast or lunch) mainly Philippinos have an uncontrolled tendency to be over friendly and in ones face. Failing to clear dirty dishes from table in a timely fashion because theres never a manager in sight, doesn't make their presence more appealing. 48 hours following my complaint, the matter was recitified to normal anticipated standards, proving the management had dropped standards as a norm. Sloppy as accused. Dining room waiters are very good and we have no complaints. However, again the restaurant manager is noted by his absence during service. Food is above average, but the kitchen does not excel merely good Bistro standard to be found in any major European City. . Housekeeping likewise is not paying attention to their managing, or the beds would be properly dressed instead of simply being thrown together. They do not turn beds down at night. No flowers, chocolates nor fruit nor champagne in the pokey tiny cabins. Two normal sized people cannot pass each other between the wall and the foot of the bed. Bar staff are acceptable, but here as all of the ship, in every single aspect lacks professionalism. There's not one part of the ship nor its operation I would commend as being excellent or at best equal to 4 star. Unfortunate, for it is precisely that Holy Grail which ships of this calibre strive for. Entertainment was very poor. A Transatlantic cruise needs distracting quality shows. A scheduled stop at the Azores was cancelled by the Captain, claiming a risk of Hurricane force weather conditions. This was either a figment of his imagination or more likely an economic decision driven by cost cutting. I was a professional racing yacht skipper, well able to read meteorological charts and forecast weather with the best and I saw no valid reason for this decision. In fact I was 100% correct , there was no bad weather for the day we should have docked. The CEO and her Board need to travel more, taking note of their competition. Sampling it would have them disembarking with their eyes cast down and worried for the future expectations of their shareholders. Improvement will not occur rapidly, requiring a major change from CEO and management. This particular cruise remained an unfortunate place to be, for 13 days failing our high but justifiably balanced expectations in every field. The experience will likely leave an unpleasant memory as a waste of money. This fairly ordinary form of transatlantic transport could be had at half the price and probably more enjoyable for expectations wouldn't be high. it was a relief to disembark in Miami. Detailed letters of justifiable complaint to the CEO remain unanswered 2 months later, as yet another indictment of poor management . When the CEO has not to common commercial decency to respond, nor make a offer of retribution is an indication of where the root problem lies. She couldn't care less - shareholders take note ! Watch this website for further in detail description. Finally. Take our valid advice as regular cruisers for more than 20 years, always in 5 star or better ships. You would not be doing yourself any favour by cruising Crystal. David. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We waited a bit to write this review of our Crystal Symphony transatlantic in October in order to gain perspective and not overreact. After reading the previous post on the same cruise, we felt we also needed to provide feedback on what ... Read More
We waited a bit to write this review of our Crystal Symphony transatlantic in October in order to gain perspective and not overreact. After reading the previous post on the same cruise, we felt we also needed to provide feedback on what was, overall, a disappointing cruise. This was our 5th Crystal cruise and second transatlantic. We loved the first transatlantic and have always loved the lectures, dancing, Silk Road, Prego and the Big Band theme. We booked this cruise for relaxation, dancing, food and our experience with past Crystal cruises. Boarding in Lisbon was unorganized with no welcoming signs or agents. We found our way to registration and, after we were on the ship, found our own way to our cabin. The cabin was just as expected in size and amenities. However, there was no welcoming bottle of champagne. There was, as we had requested in the past, a fan and a top sheet on the bed. We had brought our usual duct tape to tape down the lights in the closet, which turn on every time a door is opened. We were appalled to open the refrigerator and find a moldy, half eaten canister of caviar. There were no water bottles in the cabin. We opened a dresser drawer and found a plastic bag full of a white powder. It was obvious the cabin stewardess had not been vigilant in her preparation of the cabin. This, unfortunately, continued throughout the cruise. We consistently had to ask for water, four times for Kleenex, for wine glasses, new shampoo and towels. We finally called the head of housekeeping just to get basic amenities. We asked for a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc for the cabin. We received Pinot Noir. The stewardess said they did not have Sauvignon Blanc. When we told the sommelier, he sent two bottles to the cabin. We did not ask her again. After the third day, the air conditioning in the room did not work properly. We went to the desk and put in a maintenance request. When we returned to the cabin there was a note that they had “adjusted” the vents. It made no difference. The cabin remained very warm and we were so grateful that we at least had a fan to move air. We asked two more times for repair of the a/c and no one came. We finally went to the desk again and demanded to see the hotel director. They would not let us but said they would be certain to get the a/c fixed. No one came. Finally, the second last night of the cruise, we were woken at 11 pm by someone who offered to change our cabin due to poor air conditioning. We were shocked at being called so late and declined to move cabins at that late date. This lack of maintenance is totally unacceptable and not what we have experienced in the past. We were given a table for 2 next to the waiters’ station in the dining room. We considered asking to move but really liked our waiters Nuno and Fabio who did a fantastic job in serving us. They were just exceptional. We also appreciated Roland’s extra efforts and genuine care. Julius did a nice job as sommelier and found us some lovely complementary white wines such as Sancerre and Chablis which frankly, were as good as the four bottles of wine we purchased off the proprietors list. We also loved the staff at the Trident and Lido, especially Rikki and Norman who went above and beyond in service. Food in the main dining room was for the most part very good. It was prepared as ordered and hot when it arrived. Trident Grill sandwiches were delicious. We highly anticipated our dinner at Silk Road and even made a second, fee-required, reservation because we had enjoyed it so much in the past. We do not know what happened, but our dinner there was a disaster. We were seated at a table and ignored for at least 15 minutes. We finally got menus and water. We then waited another 15 minutes to order. When the shrimp tempura arrived, it was all batter and almost no shrimp. Another guest that I spoke with later also told us they were very disappointed in the lack of shrimp in their dish. My husband’s sushi was mushy and my cod entrée was “off”, did not smell right. I could not eat it. That evening, my husband was sick with food poisoning from the sushi he had eaten at Silk Road. Luckily we had medication for food poisoning and he felt better the next day, but he was off his feet and did not eat for a day. We reported this but no one contacted us. We cancelled our second reservation at Silk Road. Prego was better, especially on our first visit. The service was good and our food, especially my lamb chops, and the beef carpaccio, were excellent. The second time, on a fee required basis, the service was slow and impersonal and the veal was overcooked and tasteless. The carpaccio and mushroom soup were as good as usual. I do not know what happened to the specialty restaurants. But they are not really “special” anymore. The staff seemed to go about the motions, but there is no enthusiasm and the menu offerings are getting old. The ship itself was very clean and the Palm Court especially looked nice. We enjoyed time in the Avenue bar, especially when Name That Tune was on. Our team won twice out of three times. I wish I could say the same for Trivia. There was a large crowd attending Trivia each day and we had a convivial team who won a few times. However, the dancers who put on Trivia gave the impression they would have preferred to be anywhere else. They had no enthusiasm and in fact, a number of the answers were totally incorrect. This resulted in a small altercation with one member of another team and the staff. And, the worst incident was the final sea day when a passenger was allowed to ask his made up questions for Trivia. It was insulting to the rest of the passengers who love Trivia to have this man flaunting “his” knowledge. The highest score was 3 correct, as he showed off his esoteric “knowledge,” and trick questions. But I guess it gave the staff responsible for Trivia time off. BAD IDEA! And one of the worst changes to Trivia and other games were the “prizes.” We do not play Trivia for the rewards, but now Crystal is giving certificates for 15% off items in the shops and the spa. The problem was the spa coupon was only good for port days – we skipped the Azores due to weather and had all sea days, and no item I wanted in the shop qualified for the coupon. Crystal should not force passengers to buy something (or give worthless certificates) in order to have a prize for Trivia. Bring back the t-shirts or don’t give anything at all. The theme of the cruise was Big Band, and the Tommy Dorsey orchestra was the main event. We have sailed with them before and they gave good performances. There was an emphasis on ballroom dancing and it is the reason many passengers book this crossing. However, this time there was a real issue with the dance instructors, Ambassador Hosts and the dancers. It is wonderful that Crystal accommodates the single lady passengers who wish to dance by having Ambassador Hosts with which to partner. In the past, they have done a marvelous job. However this time, at dance lessons morning and afternoon and in the evenings with the bands, the regular passengers were literally shoved to the side and off the dance floor. We were forced to dance in the aisles and side of the room while the Ambassadors and their alternating partners took over the floor. After about 6 nights of being pushed, shoved, and banged into, we simply gave up and went to listen to the piano player in the Crystal Cove. This also applied to the dance lessons. The morning teachers were good and took time to explain steps and practice. Then we got with our partners and practiced. However as time went on, the Ambassadors and single ladies took over the floor, edging others out. We practiced in the aisles. In the afternoon, the instructors went so fast and added so many steps that no one knew what was going on except those who were experienced dancers. And, when we asked questions of the instructors, they said they were too busy to answer. We are not new to dancing, but we truly hoped to be able to refine our steps. This did not happen. Perhaps Crystal needs to separate classes into experienced and less experienced. It would give more room on the dance floor for practice as well. The worst incident with an Ambassador Host occurred in the Lido one day when we were having lunch. One of the Hosts was eating with the Golf Instructor at the table next to us. Both of them were loudly making fun of and criticizing guests for their appearance and inabilities. It was embarrassing to hear and they should be ashamed of their attitude toward paying guests. We skipped the Azores due to “bad weather” although the seas remained calm. We therefore had 9 straight sea days to St. Thomas. The usual lineup of speakers were onboard and the speaker on the oceans and sea life was exceptional. Also the speaker on Broadway and the theater who provided singing commentary was great. However, the general’s presentation, in our opinion, contained bigoted comments with incorrect information on his slides. For example, they were not the “Mongrels”, they are the Moghuls. We can’t quite put our finger on what went wrong with this cruise. Some of the service was exceptional. Others were rote and unfeeling. The ship, although clean, seemed tired and in need of refurbishment. Basics such as maintenance of air conditioning were lacking. Front desk staff, while pleasant, did not act on requests. Officers were non-apparent. Overall it just lacked that special “Crystal feeling.” It was the first cruise we completed where we were glad to be off the ship. We reported all the problems on our survey. We have heard absolutely nothing from Crystal. Due to our issues, we cancelled the Serenity Antarctica cruise we had scheduled for February and booked with another cruise line. It is too important a cruise to take another chance on Crystal at this time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
A beautiful ship with spacious staterooms, good entertainment, good food at all times, pleasant and helpful staff. Expensive shops, expensive photographs, and a disgraceful rate of dollar to pound. All in all, all needs and wants were ... Read More
A beautiful ship with spacious staterooms, good entertainment, good food at all times, pleasant and helpful staff. Expensive shops, expensive photographs, and a disgraceful rate of dollar to pound. All in all, all needs and wants were catered for as you would expect from a holiday such as this. Unless you're a smoker, that is. Then they put you in serious trouble on this line. Flew out to New York, and arrived back having travelled on Queen Mary 2. Very taken with all the glamour and attention given initially, realising that for me, this was the holiday of a lifetime. Not so. One area, outside, at the very back of the ship, with NO protection from any of the elements, was one small area designated for cigarette smokers. However, if you should be a pipe or cigar smoker, you will be treated as a human being who has paid for their expensive holiday, as we all did, and receive comfortable and safe conditions inside the ship's Churchill Room. So I'm so much less than they are then?! All forms of disability, including service veterans had to go to that area without exception. Here's a thought for you Cunard. Why don't you just stick your neck out all the way and make your ship or line, the first non-smoking line. Not only, I'm sure, will you be applauded by many, you will stop people like myself paying an 'arm and a leg' to be told they have no entitlement to be treated as any other person on board your ship. Thanks for the rest of the experience, but had I known better, I would never have sailed with you. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our first time on Oceania. I had heard only good things about this cruise line. We were told that food was excellent, service great and ship lovely. Most of the aforementioned did not hold true. During the life raft drill, ... Read More
This was our first time on Oceania. I had heard only good things about this cruise line. We were told that food was excellent, service great and ship lovely. Most of the aforementioned did not hold true. During the life raft drill, before we even left port, we were told that this was a sick ship and that there was Norovirus on our ship. They then said safety measures would be in place. This entailed cleaning the entire ship constantly-wiping floors, ceilings. railings and outdoor tables and chairs. At dinner we were giving salt and pepper paper packets. This went on for a week. The library was sealed. No cards were given out, no games were available. The laundry was closed. The cruise people worked extremely hard, but we should have been told before we boarded the ship in Malta that there was sickness aboard. Cabin-- Our cabin was fine-great storage, but rundown looking. Our sink was chipped and the air did not work properly. It took 2 days and 4 people to fix the problem. The head of housekeeping tried to repair our sink. Our stateroom attendant was not efficient and it took the head of housekeeper to rectify our problems. We couldn't get ice on time when asked for three days and toiletries were not replaced until I went to reception. The Social director, Erica, was wonderful and adorable and extremely helpful. Our cruise was supposed to go to Bermuda, but was diverted due to an approaching hurricane. I feel that there must have been better options for Oceania to substitute Bermuda than with Nassau. Nassau is not a port you would go to for two days. There had to be a better port that was out of the path of the hurricane. Dining--Polo and Tuscana had an electrical problem one evening and the restaurants were closed- this also affected the Terrace restaurant. The food was good and Ryan was excellent. The ports, except for Nassau were great. They were interesting and worth a stop. Nassau was worth a 20 minute stop, definitely not a two day stop. The entertainment was ok. Oceania is not know for their entertainment, but Erica and Sam did there best and were enjoyable. The shops were just fair. The sundry part of the shop had nothing for colds or sore throats except and drops. All in all I don't think we will cruise on Oceania again. Except for the food, nothing was worth the cost. Oceania took the easiest way out by sending us to Nassau, instead of a more interesting port in the area. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We liked the itinerary. But we're quickly disappointed by things onboard starting as soon as we saw our Penthouse Stateroom. Nothing was different from 4 years earlier and now the decor was tired and the room overall outdated. Then ... Read More
We liked the itinerary. But we're quickly disappointed by things onboard starting as soon as we saw our Penthouse Stateroom. Nothing was different from 4 years earlier and now the decor was tired and the room overall outdated. Then as soon as we pulled out of port we were informed that we were on a "sick" ship. A number of the crew and passengers had norovirus and the onerous sanitation processes had to continue until no one had reported these sick symptoms for 72 hours. This went on for the entire first week of the cruise. The food we were quick to discover, was not of the same high quality we had experienced on our 4 previous Oceania cruises. The quality just wasn't there. And, the crew were often surly and short with the guests. NOT ACCEPTABLE. Then, due to weather issues, instead of the final port before returning home being Bermuda, we docked for 2 days in Nassau--the poorest, cheapest port Oceania could have selected. Everyone was fed up by then. I heard many, many complaints from the passengers--many of whom had never before traveled with Oceania--say never again. Back to Crystal!! How sad. Oceania, you owe your long time supporters an apology. Your major distinction was high quality food and service, and you have lowered your standards to a level that you will lose your image and position in the cruise world. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Having read some of the other reviews for my cruise I feel it must just be me and as such I am going to just keep this factual. Where to start, well we arrived at Southampton with happy heart looking forward to the trip. We cruise often ... Read More
Having read some of the other reviews for my cruise I feel it must just be me and as such I am going to just keep this factual. Where to start, well we arrived at Southampton with happy heart looking forward to the trip. We cruise often and done the transatlantic crossing before and love sea days. Our allocated boarding time was 1pm and we turned up on time. The queue we had to join took almost two hours to get through. Even though the terminal is called the QE2 Cunard stated that the boarding was nothing to do with them and conducted by the port agents. Funny but when we boarded the Queen Victoria in June a similar occurrence meant we were standing around for a similar time. Anyway once on board we went to our cabin. A club balcony cabin on deck 12. Looking forward to the re-mastered interior. The brochure stated a complete refit. Well we did have new carpet and bed. The rest was as it was before except better. On entering the room it looked like it was snowing there so many white paint splashes on the balcony windows. The balcony door handle didn't work properly and had to be changed. The balcony floor and furniture was covered in paint splashes, white and black, and had to be sanded clean. The bathroom had a chipped sink and the toilet seat was so loose one couldn't sit properly on it and the flush popped out in your hand after being pressed. We also found that there were missing covers on some light switches. The guest relations manager who I insisted accompany me to the room looked shocked but stated that as the ship was full no other cabin was available, we were prepared to pay extra if necessary. It took three days for the faults to be rectified. The club restaurant service was good but we found the food mediocre, that of course could be just us. Bar service was so-so except for the Commodore Lounge on 9 deck which we found excellent. We had booked a Blue Note Jazz cruise with Gregory Porter as the main act. Cancelled at the last minute and replaced with Herbie Hancock. Yes it's in the small print, Cunard can change acts at any time. The ship sails well with hardly any motion and the kennels are A1. Entertainment is a personal thing so I will leave it at that. A few points for anyone reading this planning a trip. There are aspects of the ship which appear noisy when at sea. If I was every to travel on this ship again I would choose cabins in the forward section and not next to the lifts which give out a loud bell ring on arrival, Be aware of the drinks prices - look up the drinks menu on the Cunard site. All prices plus 15% service charge. The fitness centre was overcrowded nearly all of the time and the walkway around deck 7 full of runners. Felt sorry for the cabins underneath. Also if you are thinking of a grill experience look at the restaurants location, you don't look out at the sea but the walking/running walkway. Well having survived the trip I had cause to take up some matters with the parent company 'Carnival'. I will not say more other that it took a lot of time and trouble to get anywhere. All in all a very disappointing time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Embarkation was quick and easy. Our room was ready and was overall impressed with the efficiency. Although this ship has recently undergone a remastering and will always be the Icon of the Seas - we still found it tired looking. I am ... Read More
Embarkation was quick and easy. Our room was ready and was overall impressed with the efficiency. Although this ship has recently undergone a remastering and will always be the Icon of the Seas - we still found it tired looking. I am not sure what the remastering included - but we had a 2 year old Daily Itinerary stuck between the artwork on the wall above our bed to stop it rattling. Evidently - they don't dust picture frames. The food in the Kings Court is akin to Luby's Cafeteria. Some days its ok - other days it looks remarkably like last night/this mornings left overs. Not at all impressed. The addition of the Godiva Lounge was our saving grace - the stodgy treacle pudding and vanilla sauce (custard that wasn't thick enough.........) was way too much for us on a hot sunny day on the ocean. So we took ourselves to Godiva for something cooler and more refreshing. The Lion pub is the Lion pub. Doesn't quite make it as a pub - but it is a nice place to meet people and while away on evening and the hostess "in charge" of introducing the entertainment did a wonderful job of keeping everyone engaged in a fun way - without demanding that everyone get involved. All in all, sad to say - we use the QMll as a means to get to England without jet lag and nothing more. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Having cruised on NCL, Celebrity, Princess, Disney and Holland America LIne (cruise line of choice of late), we were looking forward to our experience on Riviera and our "step up" from mass market lines to Premier cruising on O. ... Read More
Having cruised on NCL, Celebrity, Princess, Disney and Holland America LIne (cruise line of choice of late), we were looking forward to our experience on Riviera and our "step up" from mass market lines to Premier cruising on O. We researched so that we would be familiar with Oceania and planned what we thought would be nice change from what we were used to on other cruise lines. Our embarkation was very smooth and rooms were ready at 1:00 p.m. Our room was very, very nice (PH), well laid out, tons of outlets, beautiful bathroom, huge walk in closet, etc. Everything you could ask for. The ship is very pretty as well. What we were to discover is that although the cabins and ship are lovely, it was all looks and no substance. Service was very inconsistent on the ship. While there were some good waiters and crew, the poor, uncaring ones outnumbered them. It could be difficult to find a table in the Terrace Grill as tables were not cleared off and left with dirty dishes. Service in the specialty restaurants was the same. The only waiter who asked if we were enjoying our meal was in Jacques (along with one waiter in the GDR). In the rest of the restaurants, we were ignored, left to sit with dirty plates for over 45 minutes on several occasions. (This included Polo where one of our table mates could not eat any of his meal and it sat there on his plate staring at him). Speaking to the restaurant managers did little to improve the situation. While we did not enjoy our meal in Red Ginger, our friends who had a different waiter did. Our food had most likely sat under a heat lamp far too long and suffered accordingly. Their service was far better than ours. So, you could be in the same restaurant at the same time and have a totally different experience because of the inconsistency in the service. Jacques was fabulous as was the service there. Highly recommend. We also did La Reserve and Privee and these were very good. Fabulous service and food. Both of these come at a cost, but the service and experience were certainly worth it. Overall, the ship does not deliver the gastronomy experience and service that it promotes. Other than the few exceptions mentioned, we have had better service on mass market lines. Sadly, Noro raised it ugly head on this cruise. Now, we have been on Noro ships before and it doesn't have to be the end of the world. It can put a bit of a damper on things but normally these outbreaks are handled well. This was not the case on our cruise. Management was non - existent. No communication other than to say we were over 2%. While the ship closed the self serve laundries, other than applying goop on surfaces, little else was done. Pool, hot tub, casino, computer room, library all remained open for everyone to touch. Worse, the silverware, cutlery, glasses were all out in the open at both Waves and the Terrace Grill. Food was placed out prior to 5:00 a.m. (Pastries, fruits, etc.) in Waves and the Terrace Grill uncovered and unprotected. Salt and pepper remained on the tables along with the sugar cubes in the GDR, etc. Tea cups in Horizons are out long before tea time for anyone to touch or handle. No wonder the ship couldn't defeat Noro. Looking back, I am not surprised at the Noro outbreak since the Culinary Class chef was allowing people who were coughing to take the class despite the health stipulation you must sign to take the class. Service continued to deteriorate to the point that when we received our mid cruise survey, a letter requesting a meeting with the GM was sent to discuss issues. We received a form letter back and were unsuccessful at a meeting. O's management stuck their heads in the sand and left the passengers in the dark. Had they communicated it would have improved things somewhat. A lot of new crew boarded in Barcelona and while the tendency is to blame the new crew, the ones we met were the ones giving the good service. Many of us were disappointed with the last minute announcement (at dinner time the night before we were to dock) that Bermuda's Ministry of Health had refused the Riviera permission to dock. (We were supposed to have a two day stay here.) That was more revealing than any information the ship had provided to us. This added two sea days to our Transatlantic crossing so instead of 5 days at sea, we were 7 days. There were no special events or additional activities planned for these two days. Same old, same old. There was no token apology as you see on other cruise lines. No opening of bars, not even a cheap glass of sparkling wine. It just appeared that no one in management cared, so why should the rest of the staff? In fact, passengers nearly got treated as nuisances as our cruise was drawing to a close. Disembarkation was horrific. I have never seen such a bad one. People came from every crevice on the ship trying to get in the line. There was little staff there to keep things organized so it took far longer than it should have. Inconsistency is a huge issue on this ship. If you luck into the right waiters, you can have a great experience on this ship. If you don't......beware - like us, you may feel you didn't get what you paid for. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We had an amazing experience on Marina in 2013 when we went to Brazil. The ship was fantastic and the service was first rate. Our butler was exceptional and kept in touch with us on a daily basis. I still have a little wooden parrot at ... Read More
We had an amazing experience on Marina in 2013 when we went to Brazil. The ship was fantastic and the service was first rate. Our butler was exceptional and kept in touch with us on a daily basis. I still have a little wooden parrot at home named in his honour. We therefore booked with Oceania again for a trip to Miami. Once agin we booked an Oceania suite and for nearly two years looked forward to the trip. Our first impressions at Barcelona were extremely good. At just after 11am we boarded the ship. The whole process of boarding took about twenty minutes and was completely hassle free. As Riviera is a sister ship to Marina we immediately felt at home and once again had a wow moment as we entered our suite. For the first few days all seemed well and we enjoyed our time. The only thing we could find to criticze was the new thelassa pool on the spa deck. It had little seating and the controls were hard to access and in anything but dead calm sea you tended to be sloshed from one end to another. The food was exactly as we had expected. Toscana was enjoyable as was Polo grill and Red Ginger was brilliant. Jacques we didn't like but that was mainly because the food was not really to our taste. Service in Jacques made up for that though and service was generally good in Polo and Toscana. I have to say though that the service in Red Ginger eclipsed all others. We also used Waves and the food was as before and what you would expect from a grill on deck. We had a sneaking suspicion that food at The Terrace was not as good and despite the huge selection often struggled to choose anything. The quality of the hot items often left a lot to be desired. We attended the "Rock the wok" cookery course. This consisted of us brushing a marinade onto salmon, chopping a few vegetables and cooking them and then assembling a couple of bits of sushi. It was a pretty poor experience that taught us nothing new..... In those first few days we noticed that we had little contact with our butler and on the occasions that we did contact him it wasn't a great experience. For example we ordered an in suite breakfast so that we could get out early for a tour. the breakfast was nearly twenty minutes late and ( I know this might seem a little petty) but he didn't bother to set it out. On another occasion we rang at 3.45 and asked for tea but he snapped back that we would have to wait until after 4pm as the scones had not been cooked. On another occasion I was leaving the cabin when I met the butler returning some items from the laundry. I told him my partner was in the cabin and he could knock despite the privacy sign. When he did so he told my partner that "Your friend said it was ok to knock". if he found our sexuality awkward he could have referred to us by name. I would say our super stewardess knew our names within minutes of first meting us and never failed to greet us when she encountered us Just before we arrived at Medeira we began to hear rumours about the Norvo virus and upon leaving the crew began in earnest to start disinfecting everywhere. Certain services were curtailed (particularly the laundrette) and the crew worked tirelessly to bring things under control. I would certainly not blame Oceania for the outbreak of this bug but I think they share responsibility for the following reasons. Firstly, when we embarked at Barcelona there was absolutely no effort made to get passengers to concentrate on hygiene such as using the sanitizer gels around the ship. Had this been done at an early stage the extent of the outbreak would probably have been much reduced. As it was we had five days in which there was no effort made to take control. Secondly, when precautions were implemented they were not consistent. For example, salt and pepper pots were not removed from tables until quite late into the cruise in certain venues. I used the gym every day and saw the most awful examples of personal hygiene there - it was not until the last three or four days of the cruise that I saw staff there supervising the gym to get people to wipe down the equipment. Given that cleanliness was key to combatting the bug it also was crazy that the laundrettes were closed making it harder for passengers to have clean clothing. I am not sure compensation would have been appropriate for what happened but I think letting passengers have at least one complimentary set of clothing to the main laundry would have been reasonable. We received no updates from anyone about the illness on board and it was only the day before we were due to get to Bermuda that we heard that we were not going there. The tone from those in charge was a little arrogant. It was as if they could not utter the word "sorry" in case they made themselves liable in some way. The ship then noticeably slowed down as we were told that we would head towards Bahamas for a two day stay. The extra sea days were difficult for crew and passengers alike. One day in Nassau is a day too many and two was exceptionally tedious. It is hard to see its charms and the tour we had of the "highlights" felt a little desperate and made the loss of Bermuda more keenly felt. By his time too we had had to get used to all meat being incinerated in all of the restaurants for health reasons apparently. As we neared the end of our cruise our butler was supposed to return our passports. Other butlers had contacted guests in the morning and organised things. Ours did not and when we found him at 11.50 am he told us we would have to queue at reception to retrieve it. His attitude towards us had made us feel uncomfortable and we effectively stopped using his services as a result some time before . At the point of disembarkation we also discovered that we had not had a form to complete from him which would have detailed our preference for disembarkation. We therefore were amongst the last to be called to leave the ship. I cannot say for certain why we had this experience with the butler. In the UK equality has become so entrenched that we hardly ever consider that we are different from anyone else. Perhaps we should be more aware that this is not always the same elsewhere. We met some wonderful people on the cruise and they made up for the shortcomings of the cruise in no small part. It is also true that the crew (on the whole) worked their socks off and we're delighted to be able to recognise some of those in the end of cruise questionnaire. With a heavy heart I am really sorry to say that I am not going to return to Oceania. I know all cruise lines have diehard adherents including Oceania and they will howl with outrage at my comments and seek to point to my failings rather than those of Oceania but I can only relate experiences from our viewpoint. I fully accept that others will have had very different experiences....... Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
VEGETARIANS BEWARE! We had heard and read so many rave reviews about the QM2 food, Basically if you are a Vegetarian forget it, it was as if we were from another planet, We were served bacon in an Omelette and one main meal comprised ... Read More
VEGETARIANS BEWARE! We had heard and read so many rave reviews about the QM2 food, Basically if you are a Vegetarian forget it, it was as if we were from another planet, We were served bacon in an Omelette and one main meal comprised Spinach leaves with Grapefruit segments. They were useless and after offering the aforementioned salad seemed totally unable to cope. carnivores have a huge choice, our choice was non existent. Even the famous afternoon tea where the cakes were all covered in gelatine, they don't have a clue!!! The staff are all very friendly and offered to help, however, they did manage a nut roast, just a nut roast, no vegetables, no gravy, we had to ask for vegetables which when you are obviously in the minority somehow makes the situation worse. Complete waste of my money we expected the ritz and got the local burger bar. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015

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