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103 Transatlantic Luxury Cruise Reviews

This was my fourth transatlantic crossing on board Queen Mary 2, but the first during the summer season. This was not the most memorable Overall: The weather was excellent for this transatlantic crossing, very sunny and minimal ... Read More
This was my fourth transatlantic crossing on board Queen Mary 2, but the first during the summer season. This was not the most memorable Overall: The weather was excellent for this transatlantic crossing, very sunny and minimal sea state. The ship was rather quiet during this crossing, during the day and during the evenings. The day time program wasn't particularly exciting or eventful and the passengers didn't seem to want to stay up too late in the evenings, even during formal nights. By midnight, the ship was very quiet and the bars even started to close. This was not a "party" sail like my usual pre-Christmas crossing. Cruise critic organized an informal meet and greet on the second day of the voyage. It was well attended and it let me meet the people in the forums. I enjoy transatlantic crossings a lot and despite some negative comments here, it is almost certain that there will be a fifth transatlantic crossing on board Queen Mary 2 in my future. Ship: The Queen Mary 2 is a special ship and I've always enjoyed her design and layout. While there are some quirks and oddities about her design (i.e. Decks 2/3 between A and B stairwells and getting the Queen's Room and G32), she is beautiful ship in the art deco style. One never feels crowded on board the ship. The Carinthia Lounge remains the area to avoid on the ship (it has a very retirement home feeling). The ship is showing some wear and age, but overall maintenance is still very good. Cabin: I had an obstructed view cabin, but it was a good cabin, possibly the best obstructed view cabin because it was behind a small boat rather than a full sized lifeboat. Dining: Britannia Restaurant. The food in the Britannia Restaurant for this crossing was average, not as great as it had been in the past. It was still very good but didn't feel as special as previous crossings. Presentation remains excellent, but the menu wasn't that exciting. The desserts were also rather plain this crossing. King's Court. Always busy, especially at lunch. Finding a table next to a window is nearly impossible and the food is average, but consistent. Golden Lion Pub. The pub lunch is always a good choice when the menu at the Britannia restaurant doesn't appeal to me. It serves traditional pub classic dishes such as fish and chips, or chicken tikka masala. Room Service. It was decent. I usually get room service breakfast. The food/coffee/tea is never piping hot, but that's expected given that its being delivered and the galley is rather far away. Entertainment: Evening shows: Cunard has never been known for their evening entertainment, so I wasn't expecting anything spectacular. The singing and dancing of the Royal Court Theatre Singers and Dancers was what I expected. Though other passenger's descriptions were harsher ("a high school production"). Lecturers: The selection of lecturers for this crossing was not the greatest. None of the lecturers really interested me and the comments from the other passengers were mostly negative as well. Planetarium: It's always nice to be able to attend the planetarium shows, but the show is always the same "stars above the north Atlantic." Service: The bartending staff remains excellent, my favourite bartender was on board and I have sailed with her for all of my voyages. My steward wasn't the greatest this year, but was still decent. The sommelier assigned to our table wasn't very good, rather than recommending me wines, he would just give me to the wine list and have me select the wine. I noticed there were a lot of trainees on board, so service was a bit slow. Shopping: Souvenirs remain a weakness of Cunard. The souvenirs are either overpriced and tacky or just overpriced. It would be nice if Cunard could get some decent and reasonably priced souvenirs. Their selection has improved over the years, but still has a lot of room for improvement. Embarkation: Very smooth this year, no queues, the fastest embarkation in Southampton I've ever had. But I found out that this was the case because there were a lot of people already on board who did not embark in Southampton. Disembarkation: Disembarking in Brooklyn is always frustrating. There was about an hour's delay from when I was scheduled to disembark to when I actually got off the ship. Then the queues to get through US Customs was a nightmare. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Cunard boasts that the RMS Queen Mary 2 is the only true ‘ocean liner’ afloat in the world today, though I have not yet discovered why it is said to be different from, for example, the Queen Victoria or the Queen Elizabeth, the other ... Read More
Cunard boasts that the RMS Queen Mary 2 is the only true ‘ocean liner’ afloat in the world today, though I have not yet discovered why it is said to be different from, for example, the Queen Victoria or the Queen Elizabeth, the other two Cunard ships currently in service. (A fourth ‘Queen’ is due to be launched in a couple of years’ time). The Queen Mary 2 (QM2) is the largest of the three at present in service with a length of 1132 feet, a crew of 1292 and capable of carrying almost 2700 passengers. It is the flagship of the Cunard fleet and one of only two RMSs (Royal Mail Ships) in the world. Being that size, the corridors are very long and it is extremely easy to get ‘lost’, though there are nearly always helpful crew members on hand to guide passengers who feel disoriented. Everything about this ship is on a grand scale and very spacious. It has a charming, ‘old world’ style to it which distinguishes it from most cruise ships. It is elegant, rather than flashy, and the majority of its passengers tend to be that little bit older, though there are exceptions. In our view, the directional signage around the ship could be improved and we feel that, whilst it is intentionally fairly discreet, it should be re-evaluated to help ‘lost and confused’ passengers. For example, because the Britannia Restaurant is designed to be split level and straddles two decks, it is not possible to walk all the way through to the theatres without first going up in a lift (elevator), walking along a couple of decks higher and then descending again in another lift. This took us (and many others) quite a while to fathom out! We had decided to celebrate our 45th wedding Anniversary in August, 2019, by trying a Cunard ship for the first time. (We had been on numerous cruises in the past with different cruise lines, mostly in the northern hemisphere, but never before with Cunard). Our two-way transatlantic crossings saw us travelling from Southampton to New York and back, with just a day in the ‘Big Apple’. We just love ship life and found it quite relaxing knowing that we hadn’t any shore excursions to think about, except for in New York itself, of course. It was our intention to spend a relaxing two weeks at sea. We knew from past experience that there would be plenty on board to keep us occupied and stop our becoming bored, but we would also have plenty of opportunities to simply take it easy. The extensive library on board the QM2 is excellent and the Planetarium feature is also well worth a visit. We were checked in very efficiently at Southampton. Based on our past experience of being required to wait, on occasions for a couple of hours, in a lounge on board, we enquired if our stateroom was ready for us. We were told that it was, but that there had been a leakage of water so there might be a large fan in the room. That seemed OK to us and we proceeded on board and up in the lift (elevator) to our deck 10. Arriving at our stateroom (10097), we noticed a hive of activity in the vicinity and were quickly advised that our room had been flooded so that we could not enter. In fact, the furniture (including the bed) had been removed and the room was being re-carpeted! We couldn’t even leave our carry-on bags in the room. (We particularly did NOT wish to have a Butler and this affected our choice of stateroom). We were able to enter our stateroom after about 90 minutes and it looked just perfect. No-one would have been aware of the earlier problems, except for an unpleasant smell from the drains under the bathroom which persisted throughout both legs of our voyage. We drew this to the attention of our Cabin Steward, Dave, and were visited soon after by Emerson, our Deck Housekeeper. He acknowledged the problem and offered us a change of stateroom to another farther down the same corridor but we declined politely as we had, by then, unpacked all of our clothes and couldn’t face the disruption that would have been involved in a move. He offered us a concession which we accepted with gratitude and handled the situation extremely well. Dave had left a bowl of fruit in our stateroom which was replenished daily, as was the refreshments tray. Complimentary still and sparkling water was also provided each day. We had hoped for a walk-in shower so were disappointed to see a shower over the bath which my partially disabled wife found particularly difficult to use. (She is not in a wheelchair). We had all of the usual facilities in our room. The bed was very comfortable, as were the pillows, and we slept well every night using the simple temperature controls. There was plenty of drawer space and more than enough hangers to meet our needs. We had an in-room safe too. There were fresh fluffy towels, warm bathrobes, a coffee making machine, plus tea and coffee making facilities. It was great to be able to relax on our balcony (with 2 chairs and a table) on sea days. Our ‘smart’ TV was very good and, in addition to BBC World News, BBC HD, SKY News, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News, a Cunard lectures channel, and a Cinema Channel, we (sorry, I) was delighted to be able to watch ‘live’ soccer matches from the English Premier League! The Master in command for these two ‘voyages’ (NOT cruises!) was Captain Aseem A Hashmi. What an excellent communicator he is and so personable too. He inspired confidence and proved to be a most entertaining speaker. He was regularly seen around the ship speaking to passengers and answering their questions with the utmost patience and a friendly smile. He was always approachable and a great example to other crew members. We dined in the Princess Grill on table 18, a table for 6, where Carmelia, Vincent, Jayson and Sommelier, Christian, looked after us well. Generally speaking, the food was good, but we all thought it lacked that extra something we had been led to expect from Cunard. I can give three specific examples to illustrate why we were a bit disappointed. First, one of us ordered the Lobster Bisque one evening and it was nothing like any bisque I had ever seen or tasted – more like a consommé! Second, one my wife ordered a cheese soufflé one night but the texture and taste were all very substandard. Third, my wife and I ordered (a day in advance) the duck a l’orange to share one evening. It looked great when it was cooked and served expertly at the table, but was dry and chewy – not at all enjoyable, I’m afraid! (Overall, we all agreed that the Celebrity ships’ Aqua Class food was better, which we found surprising!) Our best meal by far was one night in the Verandah Restaurant, for which there is an additional charge of $40 per person. That was truly excellent with great service! As my wife has a partial disability, we decided to opt for the in-room breakfast because it was easier for her. The efficiency of this food service could not be faulted but, whilst realising that there are logistical problems in offering such a service on board such a large ship, we have to say that the food was only ever lukewarm. We used the efficient on-board laundry service and the self-service laundrette – a most useful facility for 7+ days at sea! The Canyon Ranch Spa Club is extremely expensive and exploits its captive clientele. Moreover, we all felt it is an absolutely appalling disgrace in this day and age for Cunard (and they are not alone) not only to charge for the use of the Wi-Fi facility, which is both slow and variable in quality of signal anyway, but to apply exorbitant charges – 30 minutes for just $15; 120 minutes for $45; and 480 minutes for $135 – when most public spaces in the 21st century, including public transport, provide the facility free! This is tantamount to taking unfair advantage of Cunard guests for what is, in any event, an unreliable service! The entertainment shows in the main Theatre were very good and, as a former competition dancer, I must say how very impressed I was with the dance troupe and the 4 main singers. There were several good guest speakers on board too, including a Canadian astronaut and a costume designer, who were most interesting. We also had the pleasure of watching the English National Ballet workshops and performances. Even though we are not ballet fans, we enjoyed them very much. We were not impressed by the Entertainments Director, Paul O’Loughlin, who seemed to imagine he was a ‘star’ in his own right! Our ‘special places for a coffee or an alcoholic drink were the Chart Room and the Commodore Club. We also greatly enjoyed the Carinthia Lounge at lunchtime for a delicious light snack and a drink. We found that the Golden Lion Pub was also very comfortable, but it can be difficult at certain times to find a table as its popularity, especially with British travellers, means it can be pretty busy. All of these venues had ‘live’ entertainment from time to time, usually in 45 minute slots. We didn’t really use the Queens Lounge (?) except for the Captains Cocktail party but it is a beautiful, large venue. All drinks on board carry an automatic 15% service charge. Before we had set off from home to catch the Queen Mary 2, we had been advised that a film crew would be on board on the return voyage back to Southampton. We were even given the opportunity of applying to be ‘extras’. The advance warning advised that there might be a few restricted areas when filming was taking place but gave an assurance that any disruption would be kept to a minimum so as not to spoil our enjoyment of the voyage. Well, we were never inconvenienced and only saw the filming a couple of times. At no stage was there a problem on such a large ship, and we were pleasantly surprised to see such ‘A listers’ as Meryl Streep, Candice Bergen and Gemma Chan (and others) at work. (We understand the film is to be released in 2020). In summary, the Queen Mary 2 copes well with everything the North Atlantic can throw at it so it was a smooth sail in both directions, in spite of 14 feet waves at one point. We did enjoy our first Cunard voyage, but not quite as much as we had expected. We might sail Cunard again in the future, but it probably would not be our first choice unless the itinerary particularly appealed to us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I chose this cruise when it was first offered because I'd never been on Silver Seas, I liked the itinerary, and the single supplement was within reason. I was a little concerned given some of the negative reviews, but my on board ... Read More
I chose this cruise when it was first offered because I'd never been on Silver Seas, I liked the itinerary, and the single supplement was within reason. I was a little concerned given some of the negative reviews, but my on board experience bore no relation to what I'd read. It was wonderful in almost every respect. I loved it and will be back. I was in a veranda cabin and will say more about it below, but it was big enough for two people to be comfortable and lap of luxury for a single like me. The bed was wonderful. Dining was maybe a little disappointing as my expectations were pretty high, based on how the line is promoted. Over all, the food was good, occasionally outstanding, but now and then sub par. For example, I ordered venison on one occasion. The plate came with two generous pieces, one succulent and delicious, the other like shoe leather -- not supposed to happen. On another occasion, the wine steward told us the red was Carménère, which made me happy as I like that wine, but, in fact, he was pouring from a bottle of Cabernet. When I pointed this out, a bottle of the former quickly appeared, but it was surprising the steward didn't know what he was pouring. As to the wines, overall, I thought they were fine and, if neither of those offered appealed, a substitute was readily at hand. I ate lunch at the Terrazzo buffet several times and many items were dried out and tasteless, while others were perfect. So, food was a little uneven in quality. One thing I must note, though -- Silver Seas serves the best hot dog on the planet. I'm not kidding. It's big and comes with a slice of very crisp bacon, a house made cucumber based relish and is served on a bun that has just a hint of cinnamon flavor to it. The sides are a delicious slaw and a little pot of great fries and onion rings. Not to be missed. I must have had eight of them by the time I disembarked. I thought the entertainment was good over all, especially the three piece combo, but it was the speakers who were truly exceptional. I've done a number of expedition cruises where the speakers are tremendous and many normal type cruises where the speakers are often lamentable. The three on this cruise, though, were all interesting and well informed in their areas. I didn't miss one and was never disappointed. Service is absolutely first rate almost all the time on this ship. The butler and room attendant were terrific, bartenders friendly, skillful and responsive, wait staff very good over all. You definitely have the sense that the crew are happy to be where they are. Officers could have been a little more engaged with the passengers, but the Captain was a treat -- witty and forth coming with details. The ports were all interesting and the overnight in NYC a huge plus -- saw Hadestown and was walking distance from the ship to the theater. The sail up the Thames and under Tower Bridge to moor next the the HMS Belfast was jaw dropping. I won't ever forget it and were so lucky to have perfectly sunny skies. The overnight in London was a second big plus. I was able to host a friend for dinner on board and the food that night was superb. I did a few of the sponsored excursions and they were fine and the prices seemed reasonable enough to me. Would I sail on Silver Seas again, of course I would, if the single supplement is fair and the itinerary good. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our first Oceania Cruise. Past cruises with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Disney. I did a lot of research. We decided on the cruise because we have wanted to visit Ireland (this cruise docked on Cohn and Dublin) and the ... Read More
This was our first Oceania Cruise. Past cruises with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Disney. I did a lot of research. We decided on the cruise because we have wanted to visit Ireland (this cruise docked on Cohn and Dublin) and the transatlantic crossing intrigued us. We arrived early; at the dock 11:30 am. Embarkation in Manhattan was very easy, quick. We were on the ship in 10 minutes. A group of 6 adults, we headed to the Terrace Cafe for lunch which, though very crowded, fed us well. While at lunch, they announced our cabins were ready. We traveled Concierge level A3. Our cabin was spacious, spotless. Our luggage had been delivered. We quickly unpacked and set off to explore the ship. The fact that the ship was on the smaller side attracted us as well. It was easy to navigate. We saw the spa, met the artist in residence, saw the teaching kitchen. Muster drill was ...a muster drill. Dinner that night was at Toscana. While at lunch we were approached with an open reservation so we took it. It was delicious. So let’s just get the food out of the way. Dinner at all the restaurants was delicious, including the main dining room. We ate at Toscana twice, at Jacques twice, and at Pollo once. We passed on Red Ginger even though it was most highly rated, most of our group were not fond of Asian food. The rest of the cruise we ate in the Grande Dining room for dinner, many lunches and a few breakfasts. And this is Cruise was the only Cruise we actually had dinner at the buffet. And it was enjoyable. We also enjoyed the afternoon tea. Their service from stateroom attendants to all servers, bar service, every employee we had contact with, was excellent. The entertainment with 1 exception was adequate. The exception, Chuck Wagner was excellent. Now the reason for the title. Even with all the preparation and research, the weather had a severe effect on this cruise. Weather in Canadian ports was forecasted to be normally high 49s low 50s. It snowed in Halifax, so our stop in Newfoundland was cancelled. Snow accumulated on the decks and verandahs. 6 or more inches as well as deeper drifts. Access to the open decks was prohibited, though I do not know why you would want to go out anyway. Five straight sea days followed of rocking, crashing waves and rolling. We truly missed having access to an indoor pool on the ship. We grew tired of the movies. There were enrichment talks, usually 2 per day at 50 min. each, trivia but by sea day 4 we couldn’t wait for a port. Our day in Cobh, home of Blarney Castle was cold and rainy. We enjoyed our excursion but for the first 1/2 hour the windows were so steamed on our bus we could see nothing out of them. Wiping just gave us brief glimpses before they steamed up again. When we got back on board, we were informed that the weather was too bad and our Dublin stop was cancelled. We stayed in Cobh an additional night. The next day the weather was still so bad, it made walking into the small city undoable. We did enjoy the museum on Irish immigration and the Lusitania and Titanic in the welcome center 10E each and the small but well supplied shop as well. When we finally continued on our journey, the captain and crew were finally able to get us out of the rolling, rocking seas and we made the last two scheduled port stops, in Saint-Malo and Le Harve. We enjoyed the warm spring weather there and on our last sea day. We were content with our excursions. One aside, now that I’ve had the experience. We had never been to Paris and after discussion and research did decide to do the one day excursion from Le Harve into Paris through the cruise line, though it was pricey. It is 6 hours (3 to, 3 back) travel, another hour plus ride around the city to see the main sights, 1.5 hours on your own (20 min searching for a toilette) and 15 min photo op at the Effiel Tower. My opinion now...not worth it. Do something closer to Le Harve. On the whole, it was less than expected experience. Are we glad we went? Yes. We enjoyed much of the cruise. Had we been on RC or another line with a ship with more to do, the sea days would have been more easy to get through. If we were with our children and grandchildren, this is not the line we would have chosen. We knew that when we booked. On the up side, we can plan a British Isles-Ireland Cruise with the kids. Debarkation was a mess due the the face to face with British immigration and having to collect our passports before leaving the ship. We waited in lines that at times had no end. Seriously. No one knew where the end of the line was and the crew was not able to help the situation. Still they were pleasant with hundreds of seniors many of whom were acting like toddlers at Disney. We were in line with a gentleman who had an excursion at 8:30 am. It was 7:45 am. We did not get to the passport station until 9:15. I hope they held his tour. I don’t know who is to blame for that mess. We had a pleasant bus ride to the airport. All the air arrangements were made through Oceania and it was as pleasant as a day spent at Heathrow and an 8 hour transatlantic flight could be. Same movies as onboard. Some things you just can’t control. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This is my third transatlantic crossing on board Queen Mary 2. I've gotten to know the ship very well and the quirks of the ship. I enjoyed the cruise a lot, but perhaps not my favourite transatlantic crossing. Ship: She is a ... Read More
This is my third transatlantic crossing on board Queen Mary 2. I've gotten to know the ship very well and the quirks of the ship. I enjoyed the cruise a lot, but perhaps not my favourite transatlantic crossing. Ship: She is a beautiful ship, her public spaces are spacious and the art deco decor is nostalgic and hearkens back to the golden age of ocean liners. You never feel that there are too many people on board Fellow passengers: sociable and friendly, no major issues Cabin: The cabins show a bit of wear, especially in the bathroom Dining: I felt there was a lot of pork this year, I felt in past years there were more beef options. Activities: Afternoon tea: always a classic event on board QM2. It happens daily and great afternoon activity Fitness opportunities: The gym isn't particularly big but if you enjoy running, running on the promenade deck is always enjoyable. Entertainment: Cunard Insights (Lectures): very good, a lot of interesting lecturers and topics, always something I look forward to attending while on board / Evening Entertainment: like always, nothing spectacular, but Cunard is not known for their singing/dancing shows. Service: Service on board was good. I've gotten to know a few of the crew, and have my "favourite" bartender that has served me on all my QM2 voyages. Port/Shore Excursions: N/A since this was a transatlantic crossing. Value: As a luxury cruise, it is not the cheapest cruise but I enjoyed my time on board and I didn't splurge this year or try to hold back either. Would I go again: At the end of the voyage, I didn't think I wanted to do another transatlantic crossing in QM2 again since I felt I had done all that I could on board, however, given that I'm booked to do another QM2 transatlantic crossing in August 2019, I guess I really enjoy my time on board. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We enjoy cruising with Viking. They are first class and do not “nickel and dime” you. The service is excellent and the crew is very good. Everyone working on the ship is friendly and says hello with a smile. The food is outstanding ... Read More
We enjoy cruising with Viking. They are first class and do not “nickel and dime” you. The service is excellent and the crew is very good. Everyone working on the ship is friendly and says hello with a smile. The food is outstanding and the two specialty restaurants serve unique food . It is nice traveling with only adult passengers and also not getting harassed by photographers. The entertainment is average. We usually enjoy the lectures and classes , however, we did not enjoy them on this cruise. The topics were not interesting or relevant for us. I don’t care about somebody rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. The cruise port talks were not well done and the moderator seemed to be just reading his presentation. The two cruise directors were very friendly and personable- Mark and Heather. The two musical shows that Heather and her assistant, Brian Rodriguez, put on were very good. They both have beautiful voices . The glitches on our cruise were associated with the transition from one cruise to the other. It seemed that they forgot we were doing a B2B and we got no communication about the second half. There was a considerable change in the service for the second cruise and service wasn’t as good as the first part. There were long waits in the dining room for just service and food . Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Service is exceptionally excellent by all staff allways. Food is not up to expectations: very refined on the printed menus but too many different ingredients result sometimes in lack of genuine taste. Thomas Keller Grill is just ... Read More
Service is exceptionally excellent by all staff allways. Food is not up to expectations: very refined on the printed menus but too many different ingredients result sometimes in lack of genuine taste. Thomas Keller Grill is just o.k., nothing exceptionnal. For lunch at the Collonade, there is not much variety for the cold dishes and salads: allways the shame shrimps and salmon and salads. The breakfast on the terrace outside the Collonade is a magic moment and very well served. The tea time at the Observaton Bar is also a delicious experience. And after dinner, the same observation bar is a cozy place to enjoy a night cap with Jacqui's singing at the piano. We did not like the noisy entertainment games at the pool deck (Costa style), but they took place just 2 or 3 times. Entertainment and activities were not very interesting, we expected more lectures and classical music performances (piano 1 time, violin 1 time). But all by all, it was a marvelous experience, the weather in november on the south atlantic was sunny and warm, but above all, the way the staff makes you feel as a king all the time is the best reason to come back! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise because we haven’t been to the Canary Is., and were looking forward to visiting. As explained earlier, we still haven’t visited them.. The Captain Did the right thing by avoiding the 70ft waves that hit Tenerife. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we haven’t been to the Canary Is., and were looking forward to visiting. As explained earlier, we still haven’t visited them.. The Captain Did the right thing by avoiding the 70ft waves that hit Tenerife. The Company did the wrong thing by not crediting our accounts or offering some compensation for the missed ports and fuel savings. it was also wrong to not totally reimburse passengers for the price of booked tours. Embarkation and disembarkation were handled efficiently. We will not let Oceania book our airfare again. this was their second chance. this time we travelled for 21 hours joining the ship in Barcelona from Phoenix. we actually enjoyed the 8 sea days with no schedules to keep or ABC tours to take. did a bus tour on our own in Malaga, a very lovely town. entertainment on board was to our liking. Yes, the production company is young. But, unlike some, the singers can indeed dance, and the dancers also can sing. a few flat notes here and there. If you want Broadway caliber, those BIG ships or Broadway are the Place for you. all on board staff, except one front desk guy seems to be happy doing their jobs and were very kind. We did meet two women who enjoyed soaking In their tubs. Most of us wish the showers had taken the place of those tubs which just took up valuable space. How small? well, If you dropped your soap you had to open the door to be able to bend down and retrieve it. Hubby says this is the best food at sea, Regent is right there in the running too.we enjoyed all the specialty restaurants. Food at Jacques, as you may guess, is very rich. the main dining room offers a fine selection each meal as well as the waves grill and the big buffet. the special brunch buffet featured all the ice carvings and specialty desserts, and beautiful fruit and.vegie displays. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Third time on the Voyager, and sixth sailing RSSC. Good news: the regular cabins are still great; house keeping still strong and service oriented; refurb quite good; great menus in the restaurants; alhough food is very good, quality no ... Read More
Third time on the Voyager, and sixth sailing RSSC. Good news: the regular cabins are still great; house keeping still strong and service oriented; refurb quite good; great menus in the restaurants; alhough food is very good, quality no longer outstanding, and quite inconsistent; service WAY BELOW standards we always loved. Never had to ask for coffee, water and beverages in the past —— this time it was the norm. Wifi was the WORST! Regent probably had no choice but to give it for free. Been involved in mergers and acquisitions —— understand how new owners assume that they can operate the new acquisitions better and more economically than previous owners. In my opinion NCL either reduced F and B staffing or have new members that are not well trained. Captain and crew did a great job navigating the storm! Felt sorry for the room service waiters —— they really had a workout! Took our first Crystal cruse last year. Other than cabin size, service and food was superior. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our fourth crossing of the North Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2. As on the previous trips we opted for a obstructed view cabin on deck 8. We like the location, close to the gym, Commodore Club and buffet and outdoor promenade on ... Read More
This was our fourth crossing of the North Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2. As on the previous trips we opted for a obstructed view cabin on deck 8. We like the location, close to the gym, Commodore Club and buffet and outdoor promenade on deck 7. As it was a winter crossing we got some of the famous North Atlantic weather (motion of the ocean as the captain put it), two days of huge swells and waves and after that heavy wind. The ship pitched quite heavily but did not roll, it was a humbling experience to watch the sea wash by when enjoying a cocktail in one of the ships many comfortable bars. We had breakfast in our cabin for six days out of seven. It was delivered promptly as ordered but lukewarm. Lunch in the Kings Court buffet was a positive surprice, with good selection, no queues and wonderful views from the bay windows overlooking the promenade deck. We especially liked the sushi assortment. Lunch and dinner in the graceful Britannia restaurant was ok, with some hits and some misses. Food was always delivered quickly, service was impeccable and portions of good size. Some of the fish was a bit overcooked, some dishes lacking in taste, but in general we were always well fed. This time we chose late dining at 20:30 which in our opinion is better than the early 18:00 sitting, especially if you can't decline the delicious afternoon tea at 15:30. Late night buffet in the Kings Court was a bit of a disappointment. But you will never feel hungry on the QM2. As the outdoor promenade was closed for two days due to high winds we began our day on the treadmill in the gym. After that it was time for some tea, reading and wave watching in the Commore Club, followed by the nautical announcement at noon by the wonderfully entertaining captain Chris Wells. After lunch some more reading or attending lectures or simply having a nap before afternoon tea. Then a visit to the planetarium, some more reading perharps, enjoying the wonderful Ukrainian string trio in Carinthia Lounge with a glass of wine, before dressing for dinner. On day two everybody was invited to the Captain's Cocktail Party and on day four we attended Cunard World Club party, hosted again by the captain. After dinner it was time for the show, which we saw on four nights on this crossing. The performances consisted of some average singing and dancing, easy to watch for an hour but you weren't left hungry for more of the same. The music heard around in the ship in various locations by the harpist, pianist and the mentioned string trio was very good and fitting to the upscale surroundings. The lectures, pub trivia and planetarium shows seemed to be very popular as was ballroom dancing in the Queens Room and G32 disco for late night entertainment. The best thing to do on the Queen Mary 2 is to enjoy the wonderful public spaces of the ship. As the ship is designed for the Atlantic crossing where there may be days on end when you can't enjoy the open decks there must be enough interior space to accomodate the whole population of the ship without feeling crowed. In this the QM2 excels and you always manage to find a nice spot for yourself. Commodore Club, Carinthia Lounge, Chart Room and the Champagne Bar are extremely comfortable and classy spots to look at the waves and people passing by with a nice drink in your hand. Luckily the drinks are of good quality and made of premium brands, as the prices are not cheap. Tea in the Commodore $4, Vesper martini $15. A bottle of perfectly drinkable white wine in the Britannia can be had for $35 which is not that bad. Service in the bars was impeccable, friendly and courteous without being intrusive. Crossing on the QM2 is not for everyone, but if you feel even a little inspired go for it. Average age on this winter voyage was 60+, with just a handful of children and hardly any teens. It is the only ship in the world where you can relive some of the romance and thrill of the way how people travelled a hundred years ago in the first class of the grand ocean liners. It is a very well built quality ship and it's owners and officers are very proud of her. She was designed to feel classic and classy, not modern and she has aged well. With some attention to the cabins in the future she will an even more enjoyable experience. As this was our fourth crossing in five years I think it's now time for a brake but we will be back. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Getting on board in Southhampton was a breeze. Ship is beautifully decorated. The ship’s library was huge, with more books than some schools’ libraries. Our stateroom (with balcony) seemed slightly larger than similar rooms ... Read More
Getting on board in Southhampton was a breeze. Ship is beautifully decorated. The ship’s library was huge, with more books than some schools’ libraries. Our stateroom (with balcony) seemed slightly larger than similar rooms we’ve had while cruising. Dining room meals were varied and creative, with some occasional misses. Lunch buffets were very good; breakfast could use some variety. We were highly pleased with our waiter team. Slot machine odds in the casino seemed more generous than other ships we’ve been on (meaning we won). Shows were uniformly excellent. Most guest speakers were entertaining. The in-house singers/dancers, band, and guest artists were great. Overall, great value for the money: we had a package with 5 nights London hotel for a modest price. That being said, we have some suggestions for improvements for Cunard • TV needs to include US sports. We got American cable news, but only Brit sports, other than one NHL game. At least show NFL in the lounge, not to mention the World Series. • Rooms need to have clocks, or have the phone (which has the time) next to the bed. • Internet connection on public computers needs to be faster or cheaper: it’s slow, as on other ships, and overpriced (like a lot onboard) for what you get. • The room assigned to bridge games was too small, limited to 13 tables. People had to be turned away. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Enjoyed the whole Silversea experience. But they MUST attend to the internet issue. Cabin was excellent so was service. Menu not changed very often which was disappointing. Ship had unexplained juddering at speeds above about 15 knots. No ... Read More
Enjoyed the whole Silversea experience. But they MUST attend to the internet issue. Cabin was excellent so was service. Menu not changed very often which was disappointing. Ship had unexplained juddering at speeds above about 15 knots. No relationship with sea conditions. Maybe caused by the recent lengthening. Was a bit unpleasant at times. Crew were almost all very obliging and cheerful. I would put our experience on Silver Spirit a little below Crystal. The entertainment was not as good as expected. The amplification of singers and instrumentalists was way over the top and spoiled the effect of good musicians. Not everyone is as deaf as the amplification suggested. These various negatives have prevented me from giving our cruise a top rating. By far the most serious matter was the appalling internet service. We hope to sail on Silversea again but would not do so unless this problem is fixed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
transatlantic cruise -from New York to Southampton, then back to New York. We were impressed with the entertainment program - Royal Cunard Theatre company - dances & singing -from North American, South American, Russia, all around ... Read More
transatlantic cruise -from New York to Southampton, then back to New York. We were impressed with the entertainment program - Royal Cunard Theatre company - dances & singing -from North American, South American, Russia, all around the world. Special guests -Laura Magnn- soprano, Gary Lovini - violinist, Lynn Trefzger -vocal Illusion, Annette Wardell - the stunning show of favorites from stage screen & opera, Roy Locke - the magic of the Musicals, Amethyst's Paul & Kathryn present "Alchemy" -a show filled with Medleys & musical mayhem, pianists Maria Garzon, Daniel Johnson. Throughout the ship there were musical programs -guitarist Paul Garthwaite ,pianist - Ferry P Bedi ,Sunrise String Quartet from Ukraine , Harpist Laura Szabo Everyday between 3.30 -4.30 pm there is tea time in the Queen's Room ,with different musical performance. Throughout the day there were different lectures - Giles Ramsay - on history & literature Jacki Hill Murphy -on traveling the length of the River Amazon & Siberia,Colin Hobbs on History & supersonic adventure, Derek Tedder on journalism, Suzannah Lipscomb on witchraft & England's Reformation. Embarkation went smoothly. Disembarkation - was a big chaos.The ship was delayed by 5 hours , due to emergency problem -a helicopter came to pick up a passenger 2 days prior to disembarkation day to a hospital in New Foundland. ports & shore excursions - well organized complain- disembarkation was delayed by 5 hours , passengers waited in different lounges from 9.00 am to 12.00 noon , without any snack or drinks , no compensation . Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Perfect Domestic style itinerary. New York to Nova Scotia to Bermuda. The Insignia is one of the smaller Oceania ships but was just as pleasant as the larger Marina and Riviera class ships. 684 passengers and 400 crew members. The ship ... Read More
Perfect Domestic style itinerary. New York to Nova Scotia to Bermuda. The Insignia is one of the smaller Oceania ships but was just as pleasant as the larger Marina and Riviera class ships. 684 passengers and 400 crew members. The ship is getting a retro fit along with the other "R" class ships in December. I would love to sail on it again after the upgrade. The crew was excellent in every respect, from the Captain to the Cruise Director, Shawn Carter and especially the food and beverage crew. Our housekeeping staff Drujon and Aislyne, saw to every detail and kept our room spotless! We stayed in Cabin 7049 which is an A1 Balcony concierge class. (However, there is no concierge lounge on the smaller 'R' class ships) as there is on Marina, Riviera & Sirena, so I'm not certain what concierge is. We did receive priority boarding and disembarkation. Why Oceania? Class and Food. Dress is smart casual (what you would wear out for a nice dinner), however, many people were flaunting the dress code and entering the Main Dining Room for breakfast and lunch, as well as tea time in outfits that were more appropriate for 'Waves' grill. One negative note: Insignia currently has only two premium restaurants (Polo Grill which is American fare, think primo steak! and Toscana, which is Italian). After the retrofit, I understand Insignia will also receive a 'Red Ginger' restaurant which is fantastic Asian fare, having had this on both Marina and Riviera on prior sailings. Wish they had room for Jacques as well! The one negative note on this cruise was both on our last voyage on the Riviera (2016 Mediterranean) and on Insignia, the Toscana staff seemed befuddled, when it came to service. After being seated, we waited nearly 20 minutes before someone came to take our order. We informed the waiter that we had not even been provided menus and the sommelier had never visited. The food was also not quiet the quality it should have been. Everything was just a tad off. Polo Grill however was exceptional as always! My only regret is that we did not find out as Concierge members, that we were entitled to two nights in each venue not just one. We would have especially liked to try Toscana again to see if the problems continued. However, this was not enough for us to change our mind that Oceania remains our favorite, above the other cruise lines we have sampled including, however Holland is Very close and closing in. Their cookies and breads are better than Oceania), Celebrity, and Carnival. Believe me, you can't go wrong on any of these lines, but Oceania is worth the extra $$ Also, if you drink more than 4 glasses of beer or wine, buy the beverage package $59.95 per day. While beverage package beer and wine lists could use some updating (Oceania, please add Blue Moon to your beer package). It took me 7 days to finally find 'Pauliner' which became a substitute. Entertainment - is very limited. An orchestral quartet playing at dinner and tea time (why they play at dinner and not after is beyond me. They are fantastic but you don't get to hear them except enroute to dinner or after). Insignia had 6 singers, and a ventriloquist/comedian that put on varying variety shows. They were good but the small ensemble is underwhelming. However, no one chooses Oceania for the entertainment. Her is Advice for those booking Oceania tours, we received three free shore excursions with our booking. We chose: 'Historic Boston & Cambridge' (OK, but disappointed that no time was made to stop at the cemetery's. Just a quick stop at Old North Church and Harvard). I would recommend the Boston 'Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour'. Also, the narrator talked far too much, apparently afraid that if any silence occurred on the tour, he was not doing his job. 'Acadia National Park & Carriage Ride' - Carriage ride is a misnomer! It is a wagon ride over the Rockefeller carriage trails. OK, but we all wished we had spent the time in Bar Harbor which was the highlight stop on our cruise. We could have visited two days there! 'Historic Halifax & RMS Titanic Museum' - The museum was a let down as we had seen more Titanic artifacts on a traveling exhibit in Chicago a few years ago. The visit to the cemetery was the highlight and (don't miss) part of this excursion and the our guide was excellent at relaying the history. On our own: Newport RI - we purchased tickets through the City Visitor Center, one block from the tender dock and visited the Vanderbilt mansion (Breakers) and Marblehead mansion at our own pace. Very reasonable, I think $38 per per person. Kind of like a hop on/off bus that allowed you to go at your own pace. Worth the price and great city! Bermuda - We purchased a tour through Viator called 'Horseshoe Beach Excursion' about 1 month prior to sailing. Enroute from Halifax to Bermuda, we received a note that Viator had refunded our money, but no explanation as to why the excursion was cancelled. However, we took the bus (1.5 hours) from St. George's, where our smaller Oceania boat went through a very narrow and scenic passage into harbor, all the way across the island to Hamilton and then to Kings Wharf. Great shopping. We then took the ferry back to St. Georges (45 minutes) direct by sea. Very nice, AC was wonderful after a hot day. I would love to do this cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Accommodations are very nice. Rooms are well appointed with nice decor. Very comfortable beds and pillows. Our room steward Fernando was very good. The Commodore Club was our favorite bar with lovely furnishings and a great views. Also ... Read More
Accommodations are very nice. Rooms are well appointed with nice decor. Very comfortable beds and pillows. Our room steward Fernando was very good. The Commodore Club was our favorite bar with lovely furnishings and a great views. Also very nice were the Carinthia Lounge and the Chart Room. The three balls during our transatlantic were fantastic. The themes, the dancing and the music were very enjoyable in the Queen’s Room. Canyon Ranch Spa was very good. We enjoyed the three-day pass with unlimited access to the relaxation lounge, pools, sauna and steam rooms. Entertainment was very good. Guest entertainers were great. The on board cast is a great team of talented singers and dancers and the bands musicians are also wonderful. Afternoon tea in the Queens Room was lovely. Nice white glove service. Good selection of finger sandwiches and cakes. Warm scones with jam and cream are plentiful. We enjoyed out time at the library. The view is refreshing and relaxing. My biggest disappointment was the food quality, taste and presentation at the Britannia Restaurant. It is far from luxury cruise line standards. The service from the waiters and sommeliers is good. Food at the Kings Court buffet was better, not a lavish display with abundant options as in other cruise lines, it feels the stations are small with limited selections. The planetarium was a waste of time. Once you go past the first show in hopes the second will get better, you are sure to stay away for the rest of the voyage. The show is a pre-recorded, blurry projection with nothing interesting. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
A lovely liner but it took us nearly 7 days to find our way around. Some of the public rooms are badly placed and access is not easily found. The presentations and entertainment were excellent which helped pass the time away when ... Read More
A lovely liner but it took us nearly 7 days to find our way around. Some of the public rooms are badly placed and access is not easily found. The presentations and entertainment were excellent which helped pass the time away when crossing the Atlantic. An observation also was that the public toilets were not clearly marked and hard to find. A great experience to travel on this beautiful liner. There were plenty of board games available for passengers to enjoy and if anyone is interested in learning bridge, there are great classes available. Obviously bridge has a big following as there were intermediate classes. The tables and seating in the Kings Court, where people can dine casually, are mostly hidden from view when entering the buffet area. Instead of just walking in and seeing what tables were available, a person has to walk up and down looking in the “nooks and crannies”. We much preferred the Lido on the Elizabeth and Victoria which provided clear and open views of the dining area. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
With a bit of trepidation, we boarded the QM2 in Southampton....concerned about the weather (forecast for storms), the location of our cabin in those storms (deck 12), the dress code (planned to rent a tux for DH) and the rumored ... Read More
With a bit of trepidation, we boarded the QM2 in Southampton....concerned about the weather (forecast for storms), the location of our cabin in those storms (deck 12), the dress code (planned to rent a tux for DH) and the rumored snobby-ness of crew and passengers. Our cabin (Club Balcony) was very clean, similar in size to most low end balcony cabin on Celebrity, but well laid out. The bathroom was tiny, though. Steward in our area was very friendly and paid attention to our 'style" of comings and goings. Cabin made up very quickly. The forecast storms did make the crossing bad for sunbathers for sure....decks often closed due to high wind and rain.. But for us a smooth ride with a mild rocking as the ship and huge waves passed each other. Did take meclizine to prevent any issues...but probably didn't need. Dh was unable to rent a tux...none close to his ordinary size. So he made do with his dark coat and pants, a white shirt and a black bow tie...I doubt anyone noticed. Many men were dressed in tuxes on the THREE formal nights, but many just in suits. It is actually nice to see nearly everyone dressed for dinner! Some ball gowns, some long and formal gowns..mostly cocktail dresses and the black slacks and formal top uniform. (If not your thing you are supposed to stay on deck 7..buffet, lounge and public areas....coat and tie seemed the rule there) Think like you're low end royalty and enjoy! Staff seemed busy and not able to take the time to socialize much. I would imagine those who are regulars get better service, but we had no complaints. Our waiter was very well trained and at the same time warm and friendly. Loved the set table for each meal (B-L-D) in Britannia Club...food was the same as the main dining room..although the flambes for desert may have been just in the Club. Lectures were nearly all great, shows variable but worth watching, and the music wonderful all around the ship. Did not do any classes ($35 for a watercolor kit??). But new friends seemed to enjoy. Events normally held outside had to be indoors crowding the public spaces...but weather happens. (a pool on deck 12 was covered) Cons....high cocktail prices for what you got. terrible disembarkation...little signage, no announcements in public area, staff unclear on why the delays (1.5 hours late getting off). Once off...very fast through immigration. Lots of luggage placed in wrong piles...and frantic groups searching for their bags. (amazing # of huge bags...must be using the ship to move to Florida for the summer) Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The Pros....... - Consistently brilliant service and cuisine in all 4 speciality restaurants, particularly Red Ginger and Toscana....all 4 had particularly professional and hard working Maitre D's. The Malaysian lamb special was a ... Read More
The Pros....... - Consistently brilliant service and cuisine in all 4 speciality restaurants, particularly Red Ginger and Toscana....all 4 had particularly professional and hard working Maitre D's. The Malaysian lamb special was a highlight. - Service in Martinis when Karla was on duty was spectacular; she worked the room like a Maitre'D when not mixing the perfect Martini. I've met excellent bartenders in Martinis in the past, but they've always stayed behind the bar. - Our stewardesses were exceptional....lots of small touches that I've not seen before. - Our Butler, Ram, was our best so far. He was discreet, replied to his pager rapidly, and was almost disappointed not to be given any extra tasks by us. - Reception staff were particularly friendly and efficient. This department seemed to have upped their game....on our 13 O cruises prior to this Reception had been a weak link. - New internet system seems more stable and marginally faster. - A fantastic itinerary despite the change in emabarkation port from Montreal to Trois Rivieres due to water levels on the St Laurent. - The Enrichment lectures on ocean liners were brilliant, with the lecturer pitching his presentations very well. The cons...... - Handling of the embarkation port change, our travel agent only informed us of the change on the day of embarkation at 0400 with no guidance as to how to get to Trois Rivieres. This had been hampered by a holiday weekend in the UK. Oceania UK had informed agents on the Saturday, when Miami had told them of the change on Friday........to avoid this delay Oceania in Miami should have just emailed all passengers directly to avoid this game of chinese whispers. There was also no mention of the emabarkation port change once on board. - Whilst we don't normally participate in trivia and other activities, we are normally on nodding terms at the very least with the Cruise Director. This is the first time that I have NEVER seen a Cruise Director around the ship.....quite remarkable for a 15 day cruise! His announcements were dire, describing St Pierre et Miquelon as "Very small with nothing to do". Announcements and the TV show seemed to be pitched to a more mainstream cruise line level. Activities, particularly on sea days, were uninspired. - Entertainment, despite recently touted improvements, are still pretty dire. The only difference being that the company is larger. A bunch of glee club rejects acting like prima donnas. I'm glad I don't come on O for the entertaiment.... - Canyon Ranch seemed to be deserted, and no effort was made to get people in. Staff were aloof, and seemed to form 2 cliques with the Indian manager and his fellow countrymen, and those of other nationalities....didn't seem a happy department. - Up until now, I had always found Grand Dining Room service as good as the specialities, but on this occasion it was a little erratic. No major mishaps though. Things were better at lunchtime though when the Speciality Maitre D's and Head Waiters were running the show. - Whilst still maintained to a very high standard Marina seems to be ready for a dry dock/refit. Some minor details were noticed in our suite e.g. flaking varnish on railings, carpet had been patched several times with a few frayed edges. - Destinations staff unhelpful and disinterested unless you're buying a tour, the manager with a badger style haircut was particularly unhelpful. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This cruise was listed as going from Montreal to Southampton and when we booked (end of 2016 onboard) we opted to take their air/ground package. We flew first to Brussels from Manchester and then onto Montreal. Coming home (to get back ... Read More
This cruise was listed as going from Montreal to Southampton and when we booked (end of 2016 onboard) we opted to take their air/ground package. We flew first to Brussels from Manchester and then onto Montreal. Coming home (to get back to the car) Oceania booked us a BA flight from T5. Surprisingly we were the only people on our inbound Air Canada flight although we met another passenger at Montreal from Birmingham (there was a coach load came in later in the day from LHR). It was at this point we discovered that due to the level of the St. Lawrence waterway Marina could not get under the Laviolette bridge at Trois-Rivières so the cruise would start there rather than in Montreal. We were informed that our package now covered the 2hr bus ride to the new location the next day and thus we were sent on our way to the Fairmont Chateau-Champlain for the night. [Apparently Oceania had known this since the previous Friday – this was Monday – and whilst I had received three emails saying ‘Book onboard’ from them I had heard nothing about the change in plans – either directly or via my agent. When I went online that evening the website had already been changed!]. Having arrived early in the afternoon we got out and made the most of the sun in Montreal – the same the next morning too before we had to check out. The coach transfer was interesting as we saw the flooded land all the way along the road. Trois-Rivières turned out to be a lovely town and they tried very hard to do everything for us. This was their first ever turn around and they did themselves proud. We were onboard by about 1pm and our cabin (Concierge level) was ready inside 30 minutes – just time to grab some library books and a bite to eat. With an overnight in this port we now had plenty of time and made the most of it with a walk the first afternoon to get our bearings and then a longer one the next day to Le Parc de l’île Saint-Quentin where we saw the flooding first hand and had close ups with the wildlife (woodpeckers, marmots, black squirrels, tree creepers to name a few). A lovely town and the people came down to see the ship from the promenade….. The next port was Québec. The ship parks near the centre and it is a short walk through the old port and up to round town (the only walled city north of Mexico!). We followed a tourist walk (avoiding all the road works/digging) and then did the Dufferin Terrace and the Governors Walk to the Plains of Abraham before returning to the ship through Petit-Champlain. Another lovely sunny day and lots to see, good chance to try French again….. The day after was Saguenay and what a change those miles east made. We started with snow flurries and in the wind it felt below freezing – it was a shame for the locals in that few ventured far, even in the afternoon when the sun got out (although it didn’t feel much warmer!) Still the shops sold a lot of thermal wear…. A sea day next and all the usual activities onboard a cruise ship (lectures, trivia, games) as well as Oceania’s specialities – the Cuisine Centre (fee charged) and the art classes (free). Corner Brook was our first stop in Newfoundland and again we met snow flurries but soon the sun shone and we were on the free shuttle to town where we did a small trail walk (Three Bears) with views over the city and then the Corner Brook Stream and Gorge Trail. Again it was cool and the small craft market in the local mall (Sunday) did a good line in woollen gloves/hats. The next day we were in France. St Pierre and Miquelon are a group of islands just off Newfoundland that is a self-governing overseas territory of France (spot the tricolor and EU flags). Today was sunny but with a cold wind and whilst we took a shuttle into town we walked back (Monday today and a lot of shops/services are closed). In the afternoon we climbed the hill behind the ship and did a hike to Cap a l’Aigle viewpoint and then beyond two lakes (Etang Frecker) into the country. Its quite bleak and grey beyond the treeline but the views were great. We then had to do another immigration into Canada to be able to call at St. Johns. St. John’s was much acclaimed by many onboard compared to the previous three ports (more to do, bigger place, more shops) but I’d enjoyed exploring the smaller locations and we had plenty to see and walk. We walked from the ship up Signal Hill and then round on a circular route past Ladies Lookout , Cuckold Bay – where Marconi’s message was received – and into Quidi Vidi village and harbour (very quaint) before heading back to town past the lake. We even manged to find a coffee shop for lunch with live local music – impromptu but fun. It was warmer here but strange to see so many homeless/beggars – including younger girls – they were all polite though. We left Canada at 2pm and then it was three days across the Atlantic. This was our first ocean crossing and we weren’t sure we would find enough to do (that we liked). The first full day was a bit bumpy but realistically it was a very smooth crossing – just grey and cool all the way. It was also quite windy – one day had a 30+knot wind across the deck and the upper decks were all closed for safety. This led to the walkers being inventive (indoors and out) to do their daily exercise! Finally, landfall at Cobh (for Cork). Immigration had to be completed (face to face) onboard before you could go ashore. Cobh is a lovely little place with lots to see, it was the last landfall of the Titanic of course. Cork is a train ride away (the station is next to the ship) but most people decided after their visit it wasn’t worth it – another ‘big city’. It also had a few demonstrations on – one in support of the Palestinians and then a couple both for and against the repeal of the 8th amendment. Next day (Sunday) was Dublin and a chance to see the Book of Kells. I’d booked my tickets online before we left home and it certainly jumped the queue (even at 10am) but it was so busy. Lots of tour groups of course – some of whom didn’t seem that interested… The Trinity College Library is just awesome. Monday was Holyhead (Holy Island off Anglesey) and whilst most of the tours went to North Wales we made the most of the sun and warmth and walked the Anglesey Coastal path – friends went to Treaddur Bay on the bus. The shuttle here was provided by the town and it became swamped at lunchtime (especially as it coincided with a ferry loading for Dublin – traffic jam!). Much better result for the day than we imagined. Then our final half day at sea (working our way round Wales and Cornwall to Portland) so plenty of time to be packed before our trip into Weymouth. The town put on the shuttle again which dropped us near the old port. Again, it was a bit of an issue getting back at peak time, but the sun was shining, and it could have been worse – just a shame there was no drop off near Chesil Beach for a walk. Then overnight into Southampton and the easternmost pier (splendid view of all the cars for export!) and the start of the trip home. Disembarkation was easy and efficient. This was a great itinerary (interesting ports and a mid-Atlantic crossing) spoilt by the weather. We concluded that Marina with her open deck, no covered pool and constrained inside space is not such an appropriate choice where good weather is not guaranteed. I would however love to do these ports in Canada again later in the season when everything was open and active and see the ‘real’ region. Otherwise we enjoyed the cruise and met some interesting people. There were more Brits than usual (about 200 in 1230) but we were still well outnumbered by the North Americans. Quite a few had done the previous voyage as a back to back (from Miami up the eastern seaboard) and some were carrying on for the next voyage down the coast of France and Spain. We had over 800 Oceania Club (past passengers) members onboard and the highest ranking had sailed over 900 days at sea with Oceania. The food was very good although I’m glad to report portion sizes in the speciality restaurants had reduced slightly which I was all in favour of. The Grand Dining Room continued to shine with different menus every day. Many people made use of it for breakfast and lunch too. Afternoon Tea was usually busy and now features ‘special days’ such as Cupcake Tea, Éclair Tea and Chocolate Tea. The Vegan breakfast bar (for smoothies, juices and other non-dairy options) in Waves Grill worked well and I enjoyed the variety on offer. Staff were friendly and helpful although there were one or two small language issues across counters. The Terrace Café buffet was fully served which obviously helps control health issues and food wastage. We also noted toiletries were replaced based on consumption and thus there were times when you ran quite short until the next service; another small cost cutting exercise I presume. Restocking and refuelling seem to occur in various locations throughout the voyage and this seemed to work well as the fresh fruit held to the end (even if the natural Greek yoghurt ran out with three days to go). Rather than take a drinks package we chose the 7-bottle wine package (effectively half a bottle a day) and between that, buying the odd drink and the Captains Cocktail reception (free drinks for all on one evening for a couple of hours) that was more than enough for our requirements on the 15-day sailing. WiFi is available free to all (one item per stateroom) but it was very slow at times – especially on sea days. It also restricts access to streaming and video. You can pay extra for access to such sites – but then access doesn’t guarantee bandwidth to use them! The coffee shop, Baristas, was again well used and seemed a focus of the ship at times. The main crew were Italian females who worked in the mornings (doing service in Toscana in the evening). Other bar staff took the afternoon shift. Behind this is the library and I felt disappointed that there seemed less books than previously (we were on early and went straight there and allowing for the back to backers). I didn’t see that many new books and the shelf labelled New York Times Best Sellers was used for other purposes. The Guest Exchange had also disappeared – people dropped them wherever rather than in the Games Room where the shelf was designated but poorly filled. The Concierge Lounge was nearly always busy, and its coffee machine struggled for a while before breaking down under the strain. Eventually three engineers turned up to replace it with a new one. The Spa Deck to which we have access was used sparingly due to the weather – even some sunny times were closed due to the wind. The new Concierge inclusion of up to three bags of laundry (max. of 20 items per bag) worked well for us although I still did a big self-wash/dry on the last at sea morning so I came home with almost everything clean. This bundled laundry was offered across the ship on some days at a fixed price (circa $25), the launderette is still $4 for a wash and dry. The balcony was not used as much as usual because of the weather conditions but I did use it in port on a few days. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The ship is gorgeous, the staff is supreme, the food is wonderful. Our only criticism is regarding activities and entertainment. The highlight of every afternoon was Bingo and team Trivia. Not our idea of exciting and unique ... Read More
The ship is gorgeous, the staff is supreme, the food is wonderful. Our only criticism is regarding activities and entertainment. The highlight of every afternoon was Bingo and team Trivia. Not our idea of exciting and unique entertainment. There was also only a limited amount of board games on the ship. Throughout the 16 day cruise, food service was very slow, but the food quality was superior, as was the staff. The issues seemed to always be in the kitchen. One night, in the level 4 dining room, it took over 3.5 hours to complete dinner. We gave up on the idea of dessert. The head chef was very kind and seemed quite good at her job. I did go on a tour of the galley. I will give the benefit of the doubt. It’s a newer ship and there is a learning curve. They need to figure out how to shift focus on specific restaurants when business has higher than normal traffic. With all this said, we generally had a very good experience and plan to continue to use Silversea. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We wanted to try a transAtlantic cruise and the 13-day trip from San Juan to Lisbon seemed perfect. We had delightful weather the first 10 days, interesting weather the last three. Our bad that we didn't realize that the trip was as ... Read More
We wanted to try a transAtlantic cruise and the 13-day trip from San Juan to Lisbon seemed perfect. We had delightful weather the first 10 days, interesting weather the last three. Our bad that we didn't realize that the trip was as much for maintenance as for our pleasure, so we can't complain that deck crews were occasionally in the way of outside activities. The cuisine was perfect. The wine list was very interesting. Crew were positive and professional. We didn't expect to be entertained, so the daily astronomy lectures, French conversation and trivia competition were a nice surprise. We will go again. If there was one small quibble, it is the antiquated wiring in our cabin. A lot has changed in the 30 years the Pride has been sailing. Most of us carry a variety of electronics, all of which need plugging in at some point. Our suite had three outlets, two in the living area and one in the bathroom. The 220 in the bathroom didn't work and the 120 in the main cabin couldn't seem to get a steady grip on the plug. It seems like rewiring the ship would be a daunting project, but something akin to the Bose docking station that sits in front of the old sound controls might make ours lives easie - a nicely installed power strip if the electrical system is up to it.. One other quibble: Embarkation was slow, hot and frustrating. The ship began boarding an hour after hotel check-out, so passengers were left to their own devices to find shade until the gates opened, which a hundred meters of shade beckoned just beyond the gate. Wait! One more tiny quibble: TV selection was pretty good with reasonably current movies, but one can watch the same documentary about the Panama Canal so many times. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My wife and I have just finished cruise #2813 Ft Lauderdale/Barcelona April 6-20 and it was very good overall. After many years of sailing with Silversea and seeing it decline in some luxury aspects, I decided to point out some differences ... Read More
My wife and I have just finished cruise #2813 Ft Lauderdale/Barcelona April 6-20 and it was very good overall. After many years of sailing with Silversea and seeing it decline in some luxury aspects, I decided to point out some differences from many years ago to today in hopes that their management might consider some changes. Boarding procedures for this cruise were excellent, as usual. They could not be improved. In past years, upon entering your suite, there would be a good champagne on ice and the various shipboard credits and memos to read. This trip, there was a second rate champagne on ice and no credit or memos. After e-mailing my wonderful travel agent-Michele at Riverside Travel in Dallas, these items appeared the following day around noontime..with no explanation! The butler introduced himself in a friendly manner, and tried to answer our questions about electrical connections, but had to have additional help. He was obviously less experienced than previous butlers we had had but he was trying to be helpful. Dinner first night was good as usual. Lunch next day on pool deck, I had a delicious hamburger with a slice of cheese inside along with a paper lining that separates the cheese!. Staff personnel very apologetic..minor detail. Some of the differences that I and others have experienced over the years reveal that Silversea has diminished from a Great Luxury Cruise Line to a very good one. Some of these differences would have no operating economic impact,on the company but they would have a positive impact on clients. They include 1. in almost every meal the butter was cold and hard as a brick 2. several times when I requested some soft cheese, it was delivered cold and hard 3. few choices of beer were available on the pool deck 4. diminished service on the pool deck while service personnel were standing around not paying attention 5. several times when "crispy, crispy bacon" was requested, it came limp 6. the galley tour and buffet are no longer offered None of these examples are major problems, but they did not occur in years past. They indicate lack of supervision, training and commitment that make a distinctive difference between a "good" or "very good" cruise and a Great Cruise. Some suggestions would incur additional expense to the company... 1. having on menus the availability of a complete variety of premium foods such as prime shrimp, lobster, lamb, beef and other premium fresh and saltwater products. 2. For the first time on Silversea, in my experience, there was no Epoisse cheese and other well known cheeses 3...only one eau-de-vie, Pear Williams, instead of a wide variety of digestifs that once were standard. 4. Very little foie gras and quality caviar were offered. 5. Some passengers commented that a good champagne was not in their suite upon arrival but was furnished upon request. In years past, the guests were always welcomed to their suites with a good champagne on ice. 6. No cheese cart is now offered in the dining room and that used to be a classy touch. 7. The afternoon tea service has been diminished from before. Obviously Silversea knows about these and other items not offered or available today. My guess is that this is for economic considerations. The phenomenal growth of Silversea attests to its success and I hope it continues. I believe there is a large enough segment of the luxury market that is willing to pay more for the very best in service and food.....there is now considerably more competition in the luxury class and I wish to continue cruising with Silversea, but with the class and style of the original Silversea. I recognize and applaud the positive changes in Silversea from the beginning years, such as the butler service, the Hot Rocks venue, improved t.v. service reception, and free wifi throughout the ship, among others. It is obvious that Silversea recognizes the need to make changes. I had requested the e-mail address of the owners in order that they may be aware of these comments but my request was denied. I did send a letter to the Manager of Guest Relations, expressing some of these thoughts. To my surprise, the day after I sent my letter I received a thoughtful and appreciative letter from him indicating that my experiences were not in keeping with the highest standards to which Silversea aspires. He said he has discussed my correspondence with the "fleet operations executive team as we are committed to total guest satisfaction." I am pleased to know that my comments are being taken seriously. I have already booked two suites and paid in full for a Caribbean cruise on the Silver Wind departing November 15th, 2018. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My wife and I have done 20+ cruises on many different lines but latterly we have been mainly with Silversea. We joined Silver Wind in Fort Lauderdale and were onboard by 11.45 and drinking our first champagne of the trip in La Terazza when ... Read More
My wife and I have done 20+ cruises on many different lines but latterly we have been mainly with Silversea. We joined Silver Wind in Fort Lauderdale and were onboard by 11.45 and drinking our first champagne of the trip in La Terazza when it opened for lunch at noon, Regulars on the Wind will know that is rather like a pair of old shoes - very comfortable but not in the first flush of youth. . Dining was variable. La Dame was probably overpriced at $60 pp. Both the MDR and La Terrazza produced some excellent meals but not consistently.. Hot Rocks was the most enjoyable for both quality and service. We had only one room service meal - an early breakfast when going on a tour. The guest speakers were all very good and the shows were OK. The Silversea singers were not in the same league as the ones on our last Silver Wind cruise last May. Cruise Director , Allan King was excellent - always very visible around the ship and he put on a show himself which we thoroughly enjoyed and was the best attended of the whole cruise. This was a trans Atlantic cruise so not too many ports. The weather during the crossing was sunny and the ocean was calm. The only ship's tour we took was to the Alhambra Palace at Grenada when the ship was docked in Motril. This was an excellent tour - about 40 passengers split in to 2 groups and was well worth doing. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Really a 4.5. Embarkation in Miami extremely easy especially if you were in one of the larger suites like we were--a Master Suite. But really it was only the difference between no wait and at most a 3-4 minute wait, there were over 15 ... Read More
Really a 4.5. Embarkation in Miami extremely easy especially if you were in one of the larger suites like we were--a Master Suite. But really it was only the difference between no wait and at most a 3-4 minute wait, there were over 15 agents taking care of the formalities. One unusual thing--first time ever in 2+ cruises that we were allowed to keep our passports. Ship itself is gorgeous--still has that new ship smell :). It's subjective, but it may live up to the "most luxurious cruise ship" tag from Frank del Rio. Master suite was very good with a couple of flaws that made us wonder if Frank had ever examined it personally. First,the living room couch was quite possibly the least comfortable couch we have ever tried to sit in. Very low and hard back. They had put lots of cushions on it, but all that meant was if you tried to sit up in it or lean back to watch TV you slipped off. Only one arm chair so only one person at a time could be comfortable watching a movie. Also, couch set up far too close to the TV for comfortable viewing. Butler and stewards moved the couch for us about four feet back for a proper viewing distance. TVs themselves large and proper Hi-def feed of a large movie selection. However, seems like most cruise lines these days content themselves with MSNBC and Fox news so if you want anything in the middle you get BBC. Moreover no ESPN so only Sky Sports and if you have a 75%+ American clientele all soccer all the time isn't great especially during March Madness. The other cabin oddity was no fewer than 15 switches (in rows of 3) that do exactly the same thing. You can turn on or off all the lights in the foyer, living room, and dining area at once but can't choose any subset. I sincerely hope they fix both of those things in drydock. We did get a chance to see the famous $5K/day/person Regent Suite as we got invited to a small dinner party there. It is over-the-top with built in spa, the $75K bed (apparently the Splendor will have a $150K bed), lots of Lalique crystal, etc. Food was generally excellent at both lunch and dinner (we believe strongly in sleeping in on sea days especially when losing an hour most nights going eastward). Lots of lunch venues open, both buffet and sit down. We found the food considerably better than that we have had on the other Regent ships, particularly in the MDR. The new MDR menu provided a huge number of choices and quality didn't slip because of that variety. There is a Senior Executive Chef who reports directly to the GM instead of two a F and B manager--we met him on a galley tour and he is extremely impressive. Of the specialty restaurants, Pacific Rim is surprisingly good--I put it that way because we are from N. California so are Asian food snobs. There was excellent variety and quality and most of the dishes were reasonably authentic. Yes the bulgogi was really a nice sliced steak with a soy-based sauce instead of the true Korean item and they should train the wait staff to pronounce the iconic Vietnamese soup pho as "fuh" vs. "foe," and the menu should make it clear you can get both hot and cold sake (it only says cold but they were happy to serve hot at the proper temperature). But those are minor quibbles. I rate the quality about as good as the Nobu restaurant on Crystal with more choices and actually better than Jade Garden on Oceania (which is good, not just nearly as authentic). They push the lobster tempura (which is good), but be sure to try the duck, the pho, the miso cod, and the stir-fried greens, and the green tea ice cream among other dishes. Chartreuse was also excellent in all respects although selection a bit limited. Much better than the earlier Regent Signatures incarnation. The whole dover sole is particularly good. Prime 7 a bit disappointing actually, appetizers, sides, and desserts very good, but steaks only fair without a proper char and not as marbled as prime steaks should be. Seti Mari is still a confused concept. Is it a buffet or sit-down restaurant? The bit of both doesn't really work IMHO. Toscana on Oceania hugely better for Italian food as is Prego on Crystal. The baker on Explorer is really good-both for desserts in the restaurants and especially at afternoon tea. Entertainment generally good to excellent. Production company one of the better ones we've seen--rivaling Crystal in that regard. Guest entertainers mostly very good to excellent--a husband-wife pair called "Somewhere it's Five O'Clock" was new to us and did two shows with actual modern pop and rock music (and some classic rock too). (Although we may have been the only couple that recognized their opening song "Little Talks"--that's by Monsters and Men if it comes up on a ship trivia quiz). However, the guest comedian was something out of the Dean Martin era when joking about drunk drivers and the female anatomy was considered funny. Nowadays it's both sexist and offensive. That caused me to downgrade the entertainment rating one notch. Service top-notch in all respects from wait staff to cabin attendants/butlers to cruise director and his staff. If anything Regent may have gone overboard in responding to some earlier comments in this forum about slow or mediocre service, at one dinner we counted 8 times a waiter, head waiter, or maitre'd came over to ask if everything was excellent. I thought of putting up a sign that said "things are perfect." The only problem with our butler was that he made us feel guilty we didn't give him enough to do--I had to convince him we could find our way to dinner without him. Internet service only fair. Sort of OK for first half of cruise, then they had problems switching satellites in mid-Atlantic which led to 3 days of unusable service. Not a matter of too much simultaneous use--service terrible at 2am during that period. The similarly sized SIlversea Silver Muse with a comparable passenger load and "free" internet throughout had almost land-based speed on a crossing we did six months earlier. Speed these days is simply a matter of money and technical competence. Finally ports and excursions, a fairly minor part of a crossing and particularly true on this voyage. There were five port days scheduled and two+ got cancelled. The first day in Bermuda, while it was sunny, winds were up to 60 mph gusts. Some deck furniture that was not completely tied down literally flew off the ship. So almost all excursions that day were canceled. Unfortunately that meant that re-scheduling everyone on excursions the second day proved impossible. Our tour in Funchal was just ok--guide could have been a lot better. The tour of the Nerja caves near Malaga was spectacular. If you haven't seen them you really need to do so. Largest underground "theaters" I've ever seen and an excellent guide. And then came the unique-to-us part of the cruise. We were sailing from Malaga to our last port of Alicante before ending in Barcelona. Our captain woke us at 3:30am to tell us that the ship was going to be making some unusual turns because a passenger had gone overboard on the Norwegian Spirit which was just ahead of us. Five ships in the area including several from the Spanish Coast Guard and two helicopters spent six hours searching the area--the passenger, who it turns out had jumped overboard, was never found. We were released from the search, skipped Alicante, and had an extra sea day. Overall, this was a very good to excellent crossing aboard a superb ship that I believe will get even better when they fix a few glitches. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
A customary trip to the Caribbean in Princess grill, the suite was fine with a very efficient cabin attendant, the kitchens made a good efforts with the food and the service in the Princess Grill was commendable. The Concierge Seltran ... Read More
A customary trip to the Caribbean in Princess grill, the suite was fine with a very efficient cabin attendant, the kitchens made a good efforts with the food and the service in the Princess Grill was commendable. The Concierge Seltran Ebillo was personable and efficient. The evenings entertainment was good particularly from the group called the Rewind Project. However the trip itself encountered bad weather and in particular on the return trip there was storm force 11 and if you have ever been in that you would know. There was little respite at night or day for around 48 hours. Waves hit like torpedos, and everything rocked and creaked. If I had a complaint it was the tannoy system. the Captain clearly liked to speak for far to long and repeat himself( - must have come from a holiday ship or something, experienced captains don't do that) and often announcements were made through the cabin speakers when they needn't have been, ie crew exercises etc. Not great when you are trying to catch up on sleep. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017

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