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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
I travelled with family and they recommended this cruise line having sailed with them before. The ship is smaller than what I have previously cruised on so I was concerned about motion - turned out to be a non-issue (not sure if it was ... Read More
I travelled with family and they recommended this cruise line having sailed with them before. The ship is smaller than what I have previously cruised on so I was concerned about motion - turned out to be a non-issue (not sure if it was just the ship or the calmer waters we sailed mostly in Alaska). We were traveling with my senior citizen mother so the smaller ship was a great size for her to easily navigate. Although the ship was at capacity we never felt crowded, never waited in any line, and service was impeccable. Cabin was spacious (Verandah Suite Deck 8) and we had 3 in the room with no issues. Bathroom was very spacious and the shower was wonderful with great water pressure. Loved the towels and bath amenities. Our butler was excellent, and it was a nice service. We booked tours in all our ports independent of the ship so I cannot comment on this aspect. Entertainment was basic and we did not do much during the day other than bingo while at sea, which was fun. The evening entertainment was just OK. The best show was the tribute to Queen. Casino is small but not overly crowded. One table each for blackjack, poker and roulette and there were some slot machines. The ship was beautiful and well kept, service outstanding as I mentioned. A few blips to be aware of: 1. Embarkation timing could be seriously improved. We arrived in Anchorage the day before the sailing and took the scenic railway to the ship with the cruise line the next day. Our bus to the train did not depart until 1230pm, so the morning was quiet and sort of boring with not much we could do. The train ride was pleasant, scenery was beautiful, but the ride was long and we arrived at the boat close to 6pm. We were on the last car of the train so last to exit and get on board. As soon as we got on board it was muster drill time, we did not even have time to walk around the ship and get acclimated. After muster we had to get ready for dinner and felt very rushed to unpack and get organized. Rather than keep us in Anchorage, it would have been better to have us depart and arrive at the ship an hour or so earlier to allow passengers to get their bearings. I know most passengers arrive on the train so it gives the crew max time to prepare the ship, but there should be a happier medium. 2. Remember to bring converters. The USB ports did not work and there were not enough USA outlets. There were no converters available to us when we asked our butler and we did not read that converters were recommended to bring- our fault for not asking I guess. 3. Restaurants were overall pretty good. Some blips in service and food quality during dinners in both Atlantide and La Terrazza. I thought the food was good but I think I expected better given the luxury level of the line- it was not much better than I have experienced on other 'less luxurious' ships. What was nice - service was outstanding all over the ship, maitre d's addressed you by name within 24 hours of being onboard, staff was friendly everywhere, and the available wine and any beverage you want anytime were certainly nice! So overall we had a wonderful cruise on the Muse and for our Alaska trip but I am not sure I would book again with them at this time. I reserve the right to reconsider my comment though if I cruise again and see significant advantages to Silver Sea. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We Carefully Choose viking Orion for our Alaska cruise when first available in 2016 because of ships open vista views and as a small ship also very importantly the itinerary and full package details . As our first Viking voyage we have ... Read More
We Carefully Choose viking Orion for our Alaska cruise when first available in 2016 because of ships open vista views and as a small ship also very importantly the itinerary and full package details . As our first Viking voyage we have been very satisfied and loved the ship it’s ambience decor space and lovely staff. With the amazing Alaskan scenery and fantastic wildlife and wilderness al around us we had one of our best ever holidays thank you viking, We started with a pre cruise in Vancouver lovely city, wonderful hotel by the bay , the pre cruise tour and lunch alfresco after boarding and sail out was lovely with seaplanes landing and taking off around us , and boats of all descriptions paddle steamers , sailing and small pleasure cruising craft to other ships then the cruise up the inside passage humpbacks sighting wonderful scenery sunsets and all enhanced by the ship! Really very good food right through the voyage onboard Orion majority of our meals we ate seafood,. Enjoyed all of the restaurants onboard, open seating only waited the once for a table but seated in restaurant reception with offers of drinks! There’s also a bar in the restaurant where you can have a pre dinner drinks . We enjoyed all our ports of calls and trips with only one complaint about the lunch on our Haines bear search and wildlife tour which was dealt with with a small refund to compensate however no bears seen but then that’s wildlife although we were probably not going to see any as Haines had hosted the state fair a few days earlier, trip highlights amazing Juneau glacier helicopter and dogsledding and glacier and whales trips , Valdez sail out amazing beautiful weather swimming in the infinity pool and hot tub and escorted out by high speed coast guard rigid inflatable with machine gun mounted and manned past all the Valdez salmon fishing fleets which were laying nets ! A James Bond moment! Dinner that evening a favourite with to start soft shell crab , lobster Thermidor and desert a lovely soufflé , with lovely wines and all made exceptional by Alaska delivering with beautiful scenery and Orca’s seen alongside during dinner !!! A Most memorable evening I must also thank the staff on Orion Nearly all were fantastic except for the future cruise lady? The shows on board such a small ship were all delivered by the Orion team and were excellent thank you to Jade And Karine and speedy and the viking band also bar waiters stewards Ivan and Corrinia ? Overall a fantastic holiday experience one of our very best highly recommend this voyage and ship if viking can keep price correct Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our second Windstar cruise following last summer’s Norway/Iceland voyage which was marvelous. Sufficiently marvelous that we invited three friends from NYC to join us this time. We previously sailed once on Regent which was but ... Read More
This was our second Windstar cruise following last summer’s Norway/Iceland voyage which was marvelous. Sufficiently marvelous that we invited three friends from NYC to join us this time. We previously sailed once on Regent which was but decent and once on Silversea which was slightly better than decent. Windstar ran rings around them on both our sailings aboard Legend and Pride. See our cabin review below, it was very good and comfortable but also most expensive suite available. You get what you pay for. My friends had regular cabins (following luxury marketing rules, these are referred to as suites, haha) which they thought sumptuous, comfortable and well designed. This cruise had half-a-dozen naturalists on board, fully credentialed for all things Alaska including flora, fauna — birds, orcas, whales, otters, seals, sea lions, glaciers, earthquakes, volcanos, weather, cultures, and more. Plus, they led many of the zodiac and other excursions so could narrate in real time. This was a case where having an onboard marina on deck 3 made a qualitative difference and enhanced the cruise for many. Because this ship carries only 212 passengers max, we were small potatoes when it comes to the gargantuan vessels you may be imagining. And that’s exactly how we like it! When it comes to Alaska, we were able to cruise where larger vessels (Regent, Crystal, Disney, Princess, etc.) cannot go — right up lengthy fjords to glacier front (Tracy Arms Fjord and Kenai Fjord). Not to mention some of the sweet smaller villages. On a twelve-day voyage we had only two sea days. Food was very good and better than that. Room service meals very good. Coffee uniformly very good. Cappuccino in the Yacht Club was marvelous. Our “crew” of five were mostly delighted and sometimes wowed. Wines — we eschewed drink package and opted for two bottles of wine at dinner every night: the Sokol pinot noir and a sancerre or pouilly fume. The lectures were relevant, excellent, informative and fun. Great delivery with enthusiasm. As for entertainment, we did not go there, we are classical music sorts. Staff was amazingly kind, efficient and on top of their game. Not a snooty nose to be seen. An occasional incompetent in the dining room but that happens. The Captain stood at top of gangway to greet and farewell passengers when boarding and disembarking. He is quite the gentleman with a lovely British accent. Ship environs are comfortably chic, no godawful “art.” Plenty spacious. Yacht club crowded only on the two glacier days and then, only in the mornings. Furniture very comfortable with nary a bulky vulgar barrel chair to be seen. Fellow passengers trended to the fit middle aged, less-fit middle aged and older, some younger folk, and a few in recovery including me (broken leg/ankle four months gone). Plus my beloved Jim the Demented. Meanwhile Alaska is drop-dead gorgeous and fascinating; just exactly the sort of place that lends itself to cruising. We now are motivated to look into a train tour and a Denali expedition. Can’t say how wonderful was Alaska, disvover it for yourself. No, I do not (yet) work for the Alaska Tourist Board. It was a grand voyage, and lovely to travel with our own comfy crowd who like to scrabble and puzzle. For us, Windstar is perfect, the motor “yachts” that is. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The ship was beautiful, clean and staff / crew were wonderful. Our cabin was large and we were on deck 5 which has smaller cabins than the other decks. It was roomy and laid out well. We were in 514 and it was noisy when they dropped the ... Read More
The ship was beautiful, clean and staff / crew were wonderful. Our cabin was large and we were on deck 5 which has smaller cabins than the other decks. It was roomy and laid out well. We were in 514 and it was noisy when they dropped the anchor. Actually the whole room vibrated. Entertainment was fair. Lectures were very good. Excursions were great, but pricey. The food was a bit of a disappointment, and we were hoping for better. Alaska was beautiful but there were quite a number of older people on board and they had a difficult time getting on and off the ship for excursions. In Alaska you need to do the excursions to get the full picture. I would recommend this cruise. The Sojourn is really the perfect size ship. Not too big and not typo small. It. Was easy to get around the ship because of its size. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The Sojourn is an excellent ship. Almost everything is inclusive. Thomas Keller aka “The French Laundry and Per Se Signature restaurant “. You can only reserve it once on the cruise. Do not fret over it. The main dining room and ... Read More
The Sojourn is an excellent ship. Almost everything is inclusive. Thomas Keller aka “The French Laundry and Per Se Signature restaurant “. You can only reserve it once on the cruise. Do not fret over it. The main dining room and the second restaurant have daily menus on Thomas Keller inspired cuisine. I will post copies of it later. Service on the ship was impeccable. One morning the executive was and the Food and Beverage manager was making eggs Benedict for guest directly in the open dining room. Very rarely see this type of service in other high end ships. The free flowing wine, champagne and spirits was great and top shelf items. Imagine having Nicholas Ferrilaut champagnes constantly being poured for guests. Now I know the taste of great caviar. On the first full day I told the wait staff at the restaurant that I prefer a low sodium diet due to hypertension That was noted and in all my meals. Seabourn is quite a bit more than most of the others but it is well worth the price. In other cruises they push for the wine package , other paid extra restaurants but on Seabourn there is no premium $$$ restaurant. Every meal is like you are going to a specialty restaurant. There is no extra cost unless you want the super rare wine. Seabourn has their own expedition crew on board. This is a major difference than others. On most excursions these crew are experts and knowledge of the event. They are naturalist and have done these expeditions themselves The Seabourn Venture group on board is great. Overall I give the Seabourn Sojourn crew ten plus stars. Extra kudos to the Food and Beverage manager and his excellent team. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We selected Regent because we have friends who highly recommended Regent as the best in the business. We were a party of 9 on this cruise to Alaska. 1 Grand Suite, 3 Penthouse Suites, and 1 Concierge Suite. The cabins were very nice ... Read More
We selected Regent because we have friends who highly recommended Regent as the best in the business. We were a party of 9 on this cruise to Alaska. 1 Grand Suite, 3 Penthouse Suites, and 1 Concierge Suite. The cabins were very nice although the Grand Suite had A/C problems from the start and took repair on several occasions. This should have been repaired prior to boarding. All other staterooms were in good condition except for a bathroom door that needed repair. Lets talk about water. Yes water. Regent has decided to process their own bottled water with little information as to where the water is coming from other than to say they have a new filtration system. We preferred Evian water which they had but it was like pulling teeth to make sure it would be available. Many times we would wait 5 to 10 minutes for our waiter to locate and provide us our request which is unacceptable. Also our Butler made it clear that it was not readily available. Really, on a 6 star ship Evian is not available. Somehow throughout the cruise we were accommodated. They are pushing their new water claiming that it is more ecological for the environment. I guess Regent no longer recycles? Lets talk about the food. We have been on several other cruise lines some with the same rating as Regent and others with 5.5 Stars and their food is much superior to Regents. We dinned in the Steak house that apparently serves USDA Prime Beef. Trust me this is not Prime Beef unless the new definition is bring a chain saw with you to dinner. The veal is also very tough. There is no question in our minds that NCL is using their standard beef selection from their other lines on Regent. We dined their several times and the beef just does not add up to choice much less Prime. The main dinning room was just ok and most of the food is pre prepared, and when served shows dried out edges on the food, in some cases food was served cold. Breakfast, lacks any special flair and the pancakes on one day were literally inedible and the bacon was full of grease and clumped together. Typical cafeteria style food. Does this sound like a "6" star ship ? Lunch, was ok but again nothing special like other 5.5 and 6 star ships. They also had a grill outside near the pool that had no ventilation and you could eat their but then you needed to wash your clothes and take a shower as you smelled like you had been working as a short order cook. This is not an exaggeration by any means. With the cabin categories we had for the 9 people and Butler service you would think making dinner reservations would be easy. Think again. The ship is well maintained overall and pleasant. The captain did a 5 minute viewing of Hubbard Glacier as he did not plan ahead for the bad (fog) weather and their was a ship right behind ours that was on schedule for their viewing of the glacier. One of the main reasons for the cruise is the Glacier but somehow the Captain missed the memo. We cannot say this was a bad cruise but neither can we say it was a great cruise and by no means a "6" Star cruise. This is the problem when great cruise lines get bought up by larger more generic cruise lines. They try and integrate less with more and end up average. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Traveled with my wife, two daughters (in their 20s), their boyfriends and one of his daughters (9) on the Celebrity Eclipse departing July 7 returning July 14 round trip from Vancouver. We stayed in Vancouver at JW Marriott Parque for ... Read More
Traveled with my wife, two daughters (in their 20s), their boyfriends and one of his daughters (9) on the Celebrity Eclipse departing July 7 returning July 14 round trip from Vancouver. We stayed in Vancouver at JW Marriott Parque for three nights prior to the Sunday departure. We had two full days in Vancouver. I woke up first thing in the morning and walked to the Canada Place Cruise Terminal to watch a HAL ship dock, walked back to the hotel and met up with the family. We did the Capilano River Regional Park (recommended), and then Gas Town. Had lunch at a restaurant named Local-ok. My wife and I had dinner at Provence Marinaside-excellent and enjoyed tasting many different BC wines. They are able to draw a glass or taste out of any bottle with a syringe and nitrogen. Following day went to Granville Island by Ferry (recommended) and then the Science Place (I have aged out of this attraction but interesting and more suited for young children. Dinner with everyone at Floata in China Town-food was excellent but ambiance was like being in the twilight zone. It is on the third floor of a mostly empty shopping center and it appears more like a banquet hall than a restaurant. The food made up for the atmosphere. Great Dim Sum and Peking Duck. That night, hung out at a bar on a 6th floor terrace-Paul McCartney was in concert next door, so we listened to the end and the encore while we enjoyed our nigh caps. Embarkation day my wife and I went to Mass at the Holy Rosary Cathedral and returned to the hotel to meet the kids et al and catch a private transfer to the terminal. I arranged the transfer through the concierge in a micro bus, rather than hail 3 cabs. There is no Uber et al in Vancouver. We arrived about 12:45 pm at the terminal and it was not too crowded. My wife and I were in a suite, so we all breezed through except for the bottleneck and US ICE. It took, about 30 minutes to clear. Once on the other side, we were met by a greeter and escorted on board and to our cabins. My wife and I were in RS 1612 and the children were in connecting Veranda staterooms 9233-9255. Suite was awesome, so was the butler and the steward. It was really nice to have the living area for congregations. First night we all dined at Luminae. Excellent food and service. Better quality wines than MDR. We did pay for our children to join us, but it was worth the price for the wines. There are higher quality wines not on the menu and you do not pay any up charges. First day at sea we explored and ate lunch at Sushi on 5-Lobster R amen highly recommended. Dinner at Muranos (excellent). Second day was Sitka. We watched the arrival from the Helicopter pad. I have been to Sitka many times before (cruises and fishing). So my wife and mostly walked, shopped, and did walk through the Historic Park. You now shuttle to town from a cruise dock located about 10 miles north. Last time I was in Sitka on a cruise, it was a tender. Kids did excursions. Third day was Hubbard Glacier-breathtaking. We catered a lunch in our cabin (sushi, salads, apps, and roast beef sandwiches). Very cool to entertain in your suite with a Glacier in the background. There was an excursion for an up and close view of the Glacier, in hindsight this would have been a very cool excursion. Next day was Junea. I hired a cab from the taxi line for a morning tour and we went to Mendenhal, the Arboretum and the Tram. Highly recommend all and the cab kept us away from the crowds. We had a late lunch of crab and Tracey's (recommended), shopped and then a drink at the Red Dog Saloon (must see). Dinner that night was MDR. Next day was Ketchikan were my wife and I went Zip lining. Good excursion but in hind sight on a short port day, I rather would have explored Ketchikan. My wife's advise is to book the excursions on longer port days, so you also have time to explore. Dinner was at Tuscan. Highlight was the appetizers. I order an upcharged NY Strip-flavor was good but the texture was mushy (think more short rib than steak). Stick to the apps and Italian offerings. Next day was at Sea with lunch at Sushi 5 and dinner at Luminae. We did the ship's tour which was very cool. My daughter won a bingo while playing our cards. I told her I would split the winnings, so I used my half to spread some love to the crew who had taken care of us so well the prior week. Embarkation is painless in suite class. My wife and I bar hopped the prior evening while our butler packed for us. So we just went to bed, woke up about 8:00, was at Michael's Club by 9:00, and hung out until after the last boarding group was called. We were escorted off the Ship through Customs. Two of our party disembarked first thing in the am to catch a flight home by 12:20 pm, they made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare in a cab. The remaining group needed a large Taxi, so we had to wait about 25 minutes for them to procure one. We stayed at the Westin Grand (JW was nicer but the service was very good). We went to church, had Pho and then went to the Maritime Museum with dinner at Granville Island. We walked home (doable but about an hour) and had Gelato as a reward. To bed for early return Passage home was unremarkable except for realizing we needed a duffel to fit our dirty clothes with the original space in our suitcases displaced by our purchases. Went downstairs at 6:30 am to inquire as to procuring luggage on an early Monday in downtown Vancouver from the bellman. The Concierge overheard my conversation, told me to sit tight, and procured me a large hard suit case from housekeeping that was left by another guest. Returned to my room, insured the lack of contraband in said suit case, and from leaving the hotel to sitting in the Maple Leaf Lounge was one hour. Every night was saw a show which we enjoyed. We also enjoyed Milos (a naturalist lector), the various live music and the silent disco. The ship is impeccable and so is the service. 95% of our food was delicious. I highly recommend the suite experience for two main reasons, first, you get to cut in line for everything and second you have free reign of the restaurants. My only expenses on the ship was inviting my kids plus to dinner, two excursions and the terrible steak. I did have some trepidation about a mass market ship but it exceeded my expectations and we reserved a cruise from Ireland to Iceland on Celebrity for next summer. The Ship itself is beautiful and well laid out. Time passed to quickly while on this cruise. I didn't even have time to visit the Casino other than 45 minutes of Blackjack showing my daughters how to play. My wife and I cruise with Crystal over Thanksgiving leaving from Miami. I will write a comparison then, but Celebrity is a great cruise for families in that my wife and I were abler to enjoy a Crystal like experience, while my kids enjoyed the plethora of activities available. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We had been on many of the cruise lines in the past but really preferred the river cruise to the save my pool lounge chair mentality. So we thought we would give Viking Ocean cruise a try due to the number of people. We are so glad we ... Read More
We had been on many of the cruise lines in the past but really preferred the river cruise to the save my pool lounge chair mentality. So we thought we would give Viking Ocean cruise a try due to the number of people. We are so glad we did... specialty dining was so great. Easy dealing with food allergies too. The World Cafe was our choice most of the time. Great selection and after a full day of excursions we enjoyed cocktails and casual dining. The spa is the surprise. Beautiful facility open for all for free without scheduling a service. We enjoyed that daily. We also took advantage of the silver package. The wines and top shelf vodka was such a deal!! We are planning our next and will be going with Viking again. Alaska vista was indescribable, the captain did an amazing job getting us so close to Hubbard glacier and rotating 360 so everyone had a front row seat! Thanks to all Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We were so excited to sail with Silversea through Alaska. I must say the excursions have been great, the rooms are nice and the food very good (although no healthy options available.) Where the boat really fails is it’s amenities. The ... Read More
We were so excited to sail with Silversea through Alaska. I must say the excursions have been great, the rooms are nice and the food very good (although no healthy options available.) Where the boat really fails is it’s amenities. The gym is very poorly equipped and overcrowded (weights do not go over 20kg and it is cheap equipment.) Where it really fails is the pool. It is a very small pool that I’m sure it nice but we haven’t been able to get into it since we’ve been here. The pool is filled with kids every hour of the day. Parents are not watching, kids are sliding all over the wood and pushing each other into the pool. It’s a safety hazard and inconvenient for anyone who is looking to have a relaxing vacation, or a swim after a hot day. If you want a room and food Silversea is great. But I believe most people go on a cruise for the full experience. If so, you’re better off on a different boat. We will not be cruising with Silversea again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
For our tenth or so cruise, we chose Seabourn Sojourn to Alaska. We are very happy with that decision. We had a balcony suite. I think all cabins are suites. Not a separate room, but a large cabin with separate sitting area and curtains ... Read More
For our tenth or so cruise, we chose Seabourn Sojourn to Alaska. We are very happy with that decision. We had a balcony suite. I think all cabins are suites. Not a separate room, but a large cabin with separate sitting area and curtains separating the lounge area from the bed. There is a separate shower with glass door, a bit small, but good for a ship; and a tub. Double sink vanity which is a very nice touch. Large, good quality soaps that last and last. Upon arrival, your 'Seabourn Alaska jacket' is waiting for you in your suite. This is no throwaway rain poncho; but a high quality fleece-lined, multi zippered-pocket jacket with stowaway detachable hood. There is a table and large chairs you can really dine at! And when room service arrives, the table is set with white linen and the meal is served. As advertised, there is always champagne and anything else available, either in room or at the bars. We thought the food was very good. Even the 'buffet' (Colonnade) offers sit-down table service at all meals, so really, it is either buffet or full serve restaurant with daily specials and 'classic' (permanent) choices. We found this restaurant to be pretty well as good as the full Restaurant, and it is a bit more casual, with fewer courses. That can be a good thing! You can dine here either inside or out; with heaters on the outside patio. oh, and blankets, too. There is also pool/patio side dining; which was also very good. Maybe a bit lighter meals. You can be shielded by the side glass walls, or totally al fresco on the pool deck. Delightful, as were the tapenades etc served with the meals here. We are not connoisseurs of wine, so we were satisfied with the choices. If you don't care for the daily suggestions, just ask for something else. The service is very good. The specialty restaurant, known either as The Grill by Thomas Keller, or, more prosaically, as 'Restaurant 2', was not that special. The food was good, but the service was not particularly polished, and we found the small room surprisingly noisy. Maintenance details in our suite were taken care of without our asking; the 'stewardess' (that's what the company calls them) did the reporting of items not quite right, and someone came to fix them. The F & B manager, a busy and gregarious guy named Antonio, made a point of stopping on a very busy day to wish me a happy birthday. That's the kind of attention to detail; not to mention the banner in the suite and a bottle of nice wine! There is a fairly large gym for such a small ship. We walked through it once ;) There are quite a few lectures on various topics given during the cruise. These were very informative, and add to the appreciation of the cruise. Thankfully, these are recorded and available on the in-suite tv. It's hard to keep up! Many of the excursions are launched right off the boat on the Zodiacs/kayaks kept on the ship. The guides seem very knowledgeable. Most people we met liked the ship's excursions very much; although they can get pretty pricey. Minor, very minor, quibbles: the bar staff didn't always seem to know much about available beers; some of the staff in the Square didn't always seem to know what was going on. But answers would be gotten. We don't care that much what the entertainment is, because we'd rather admire the view; so I am not commenting on it as we saw little of it. The band was good. There were very few small children or teenagers on the ship, despite it being July. It will be an adjustment to go back to a 'lesser' standard of suite or service. Hard to believe that this is, after all, still a Carnival ship. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. We would very much like to go back with Seabourn. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
During the last few years we have cruised on Viking, Oceania and now Crystal and having compared these cruises I can readily say that Crystal is by far the best. All of the ships are very similar in size and number of passengers, about ... Read More
During the last few years we have cruised on Viking, Oceania and now Crystal and having compared these cruises I can readily say that Crystal is by far the best. All of the ships are very similar in size and number of passengers, about 850. The difference is the amenities, service and food service. Crystal had excellent entertainment and lecturers who spoke about the what we would see and do on the trip and excursions. All of the excursions were excellent and on all excursions a crew member from the ship also went. All of the meals and food service was excellent and you can order just about anything even if it is not on the menus. The difference between Crystal and the other cruise lines is like comparing a Toyota Camry to a BMW. Both will get you to your destination but the BMW will get you there in a much more luxurious manner. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise and ship because we had been on the same ship with a different itinerary less than 2 years ago. We even chose the same room. We were told that the ship had been refurbished. Not so, at least in our cabin. So many ... Read More
We chose this cruise and ship because we had been on the same ship with a different itinerary less than 2 years ago. We even chose the same room. We were told that the ship had been refurbished. Not so, at least in our cabin. So many things were wrong that it is hard to know where to begin. We boarded the ship at 2PM and didn't get our luggage until 5:30PM. The staff was all flustered. Something was off with the staff the whole voyage. Our cabin had stains on the carpet, rust on the balcony and lots of mold. The service at the restaurants was awful. The staff was inattentive and didn't clear tables, so we all ended up waiting or sitting at dirty tables. We had lots of trouble with our reservations at the specialty restaurants. The food was decent, but not terrific. Even on the first night, when the staff was introduced, they were not "on." Something felt off the whole voyage. We were supposed to leave Ketchikan at 4PM and didn't leave until 4am, so we missed all of our excursions and one whole day in port. That left us at sea for 3 out of 6 days. We got little in the way of an explanation and were each offered a voucher for $750 good on another cruise. Who would want to take another Regent cruise after this one...Viking is so much better and we are very avid high end travelers... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
North to Alaska! A review of our recent voyage on the Regent Seven Seas Mariner from Vancouver BC, Canada to Seward Alaska Alaskans are justifiably proud of their state! And, as we found out…. in Alaska size really does matter (as ... Read More
North to Alaska! A review of our recent voyage on the Regent Seven Seas Mariner from Vancouver BC, Canada to Seward Alaska Alaskans are justifiably proud of their state! And, as we found out…. in Alaska size really does matter (as we were reminded constantly!). Alaska is BIG! So big they consider Texas "Cute" :-) So BIG that if the outline of Alaska is superimposed on the outline of the "Lower Forty-Eight” It stretches from COAST-TO-COAST! BTW... most of the t-shirts appear to be somewhat of an exaggeration :-).... I'm just sayin' Alaska! It's also stunningly beautiful and awe inspiring on many levels and in its big BIG way! Overview and Why My wife said “it’s time to visit Alaska” and I agreed. We looked at the various options and decided a cruise would be just the thing to give us the opportunity to experience a wider sampling of what Alaska had to offer… in a pampered sort of way of course! We looked over the different cruise offerings and decided to try Regent Seven Seas despite the much higher price tag attached. We reasoned there were some perks offered that would somewhat offset the higher costs. 1. It is an “All Inclusive” cruise line so alcoholic beverages are included. Not that my wife is a big drinker (she’s not :-) but I have been known to tipple a bit. 2. A gourmet food experience that Regent advertises as “Exquisite Cuisine” 3. All balcony suites on the ship (SS Mariner) 4. And the real equalizer… A very good selection of included shore excursions. The only excursions that sported an additional cost were usually the helicopter and seaplane sort of excursions and a few of the all day things. I thought to myself “we could make up the difference in cost by taking advantage of this”. 5. Regents reviews and reputation as a first class, luxury cruise line. Note: I should have dug deeper! As we discovered some of the above is true and some not so much. Purchase Experience The purchase experience couldn’t have been easier. After choosing the cruise I simply called Regent and spoke to one of their representatives. He was helpful and guided us through the process smoothly. One thing to note is that Regent supplies airfare and all transfers as a normal perk of your cruise package. You can save some money by doing it yourself of course but then you have to take care of all airport/hotel transfers yourself. In the case of the Seward to Anchorage transfer (2.5 hours) that could be up to five hundred dollars! If you book one of their cruises and are flying intercontinental the covered airfare is Business/First Class. Since ours was not an intercontinental flight it was cattle car class. But, since the flights were direct to Vancouver and a direct return from Anchorage it was all good… On the surface this looked like a great cruise. It was rather shorter than many of the other itineraries (only 7 nights) on Regent or the other cruise lines. That was good for us as this was sort of a last minute decision (at least for us) and was only booked three months prior to departure. Looking at the cabins we a booked a “Concierge Suite” and were "treated" to an extra day in Vancouver at the Four Seasons Hotel. I liked this idea, not because of the extra day in Vancouver, but because we arrived a day ahead of the cruise to minimize any possibility of a travel snafu. Pre-Cruise - Pick up at the airport went well. Regent was well represented and greeted us as we exited customs. Transfer to the hotel was in a nice van with five other passengers. We were dropped off at the Four Seasons the rest of them went on to the Trump Towers. Luggage was handled appropriately while we checked in at the front desk. The hotel clerk immediately tried to up-sell us to a suite. If I understood her correctly it was “only” $950 for the night. After a split second I was able to choke out… “No thank you…” I told her… “we will be fine for the one night in the room booked by Regent.” The Four Seasons itself was nice but somewhat tired.... definitely showing its age. The neighborhood was fine and great for walking. After taking a walk we looked at the hotel food offerings and opted to go outside. At the recommendation of one the hotel bell staff we tried the Cactus Club Restaurant just down the street. It was great! A great choice whenever in Vancouver! Regent supplied a good breakfast through the hotel the next morning and at 11:45 we were bused to the Ship. Embarkation - started smoothly. We had to once more go through customs only this time it was US customs as our destination was, of course, Alaska. We had one heart stopping moment as one of the Canadian customs agents announced we needed to have our “TICKETS” in hand. “TICKETS??!!?? I don’t know anything about stinking TICKETS!” I started canvasing our neighbors in line to find while most had a printout of their “ticket” many did not. I snagged the first official looking (uniformed) person I could find and asked the question….”Do we REALLY NEED a ticket?” Thankfully the answer was “No, just show your passport and state what ship you will be boarding…” Whew! First bullet dodged. Heart Stopping moment #2 We wended our way through customs (Thank you sir, enjoy your trip!) and made our way through the Regent line to the check-in counter. They had eight or ten positions open and were smoothly processing passengers until, of course, I step up and hand them our passports. We took pictures in turn and then the agent went to find our ship passes and keycards and came back empty handed. While the agent approached us still clearly standing there in line another passenger pushed passed me and my wife and laid her documents on the counter glaring at the gate agent. I paused just a second and politely (kind of) said “excuse me… I don’t believe we are quite finished here.” She looked at me like I had a bug on my nose… for a moment I didn’t think she was going to yield but she did sort of huffing and puffing and with a bit of blustering and posturing…. Turning back to the gate agent I noted she appeared somewhat flustered as she told me it would be just a moment before calling a floor supervisor over. I glanced back to see “Pushy Lady” visibly fuming at the delay. Smiling inwardly I turned back to the agent now joined by a supervisor. I heard snippets of their conversation and understood her to say she couldn’t find our reservations in the system or our keycards in the pile. The supervisor calmly typed for a moment and pointed something out to the agent, left and came back with our documents a moment later while the agent stood frozen smile on her face. All was well and we boarded the ship leaving the dazed gate agent and “Pushy Lady” behind. We boarded the ship thinking to go directly to our room and drop off our carry-on stuff. Well that was the plan but we discovered that our boarding time was considered “early” and nothing was ready. In fact they later made a ship-wide page to the effect the rooms were off limits until announced. That could have been made clear upfront but it was not. A simple note via eMail or being told that at check-in would have been sufficient but neither effort was made to the best of my knowledge. A kind of ship-wide announcement in a semi-scolding tone was made but probably was not the best way to make that known. In any event we were able to tour the public areas of the ship and have a nice lunch at the Pool Grill. Initial Impressions Initial impressions of the Mariner were very favorable. As we moved about the public areas of the ship we were struck by the cleanliness and overall well maintained look of the vessel. The lounges, the restaurant areas, the seating areas and other public areas were clean, comfortable and inviting. Public toilets were spotless. The Pool Grill and Pool Deck was a great place to chill out while waiting for our room to become available. Food was sampled and found to be of good quality served buffet style. The Mariner is one of the oldest ships in the Regent fleet but has aged gracefully and appeared to be in great condition and more than serviceable. When we were finally able to enter our cabin it was a pleasant surprise. A very spacious “shotgun suite” awaited us. The suite contains a sleeping area that can be separated from the seating area by a heavy drape. The seating area has a, more or less, full size couch (actually more “Love Seat” size), small table, 55” flat screen TV atop drawer/vanity area, bar essentials (glasses and corkscrew) and a mini fridge stocked with beer and soft drinks. You also have the option to customize the stocking of the mini-fridge by contacting your room steward. Fresh fruit along with a bottle of Champagne were waiting for us. Neither of us are much in the way of champagne drinkers so it eventually went back into the fridge to be passed along to the next customer or, hopefully, a crew party. The WALK-IN CLOSET had a generous supply of hangers with ample room for clothes and a nice row of drawers for storage. The closet also has a safe and the Life Vests. The bathroom is large with a very reasonably sized shower equipped with both rain shower and hand held shower heads. Each suite has its own balcony… excuse me…. Veranda…. that was generous in size with two wicker chairs and a small table and topped with Teak decking. All in all a SWEET Suite! Tipping Mariner is a “No Gratuity” ship. “Gratuities are neither expected or required” as it was stated. That is certainly the case and never was there a hint from any of the crew that they were fishing for a tip. The Hospitality Crew and the Room Service Crew was universally polite and attentive and I could fault none of them. I enjoyed several conversations with several of the service staff. The majority seemed to be from the Philippines with several other Asian nations represented. There were also many others from Eastern Europe and Russia. The officers and administrative crew again represented several nations with our Captain from Italy, the Cruise Director from the US, and the rest from all points in-between. While our service crew and operational crew seemed to really be engaged in their jobs, our administrational and entertainment directors really just seemed to be “phoning it in” and were somewhat disconnected and appeared somewhat distracted. Entertainment - was a mixed bag. There were several entertainment venues on the ship. Most of the lounges, including the Observation Lounge, Mariner Lounge and Horizon Lounge had grand pianos or even a full stage that were in turn manned by a pianist, a duo (guitarist and a singer), single guitarist, or a full band. There was also the late night Stars Lounge that featured either Denis and Elina (Guitar and Vocalist), Karaoke or a jukebox request sort of thing. The Constellation Theater was the venue for the Broadway style Mariner Production Cast singers and dancers with the Mariner Orchestra (6 piece), the Featured Entertainers and the occasional movie. Throughout the voyage we took in several shows and found them to range from very good to just OK. Since Broadway shows aren’t our thing we really did not attend too much of the Mariner Cast Productions. What we did see was fun and good but did not strike me as stellar. The band was always good and the singers/dancers good but a bit variable. The “Headliner” this trip was Matilda with Patrick Murray. Billed as "Jamaica's Number One Comedienne" Matilda is a ventriloquist's dummy and the alter ego of Patrick Murray. Together a charming and funny duo! Overall the entertainment seemed slightly sub-par for a uber-luxury, and expensive, cruise line experience. The voyage itself was a relatively short itinerary. That was what we were looking for as we have much longer cruise coming up in August so thought this shorter cruise would be ideal… as it turned out, it wasn’t the best choice we could have made. Our published itinerary; June 25th – One night extension in Vancouver, Canada June 26th – Embarkation – Vancouver, Canada June 27th – Cruising the Inside Passage June 28th – Ketchikan, Alaska June 29th – Juneau, Alaska June 30th – Skagway, Alaska July 1st – Sitka, Alaska July 2nd - Cruising the Hubbard Glacier July 3rd - Seward, Alaska – Debarkation This looked like the ideal short-form itinerary but it wasn’t to be. What it ended up looking like was this; June 25th – One night extension in Vancouver, Canada June 26th – Embarkation – Vancouver, Canada June 27th – Cruising the Inside Passage June 28th – Ketchikan, Alaska June 29th – CANCELLED - Juneau, Alaska Just another lovely day “Cruising the Inside Passage” June 30th – Skagway, Alaska July 1st – Sitka, Alaska July 2nd - CANCELLED - Cruising the Hubbard Glacier Just another lovely day “At Sea” July 3rd - Seward, Alaska – Debarkation A little about about the TWO MAJOR stops on the itinerary were missed for different reasons. On the second day of the cruise one of the starter engines for one of the main engines failed stranding us overnight in Ketchikan Alaska. That might have been marginally OK if they had let us off the boat to go explore Ketchikan (again) at night... but no, that didn't happen. Instead they kept quiet about the issue even though everyone could see that the departure time had come and gone. A 4:30 pm departure had slipped to 4:30 AM with no information forthcoming from the Captain or the Cruise director. And, even as we got started, it was easy to see the ship was not running on both main engines and was just limping along! The constant TV presence of our Cruise Director, Andy, still extolling the wonderful sights we were about to see in Juneau suddenly shut off without a word leaving only a blank screen. Finally mid-morning there was an announcement.... Cruise Director Andy informed us that due to the (and only just now announced) engine problems. we would be skipping our stop at Juneau and would have another lovely day at sea on our way to Skagway. The passengers grumbles were louder than both engines when working. I was very disappointed because Juneau would have been our first Glacier experience! In my opinion it was unconscionable, inconsiderate and childish of Regent to keep us, the passengers, in the dark for so long on the status of the mechanical problem. It also blows my mind that a mission critical part was not stored on the ship. Sometime in the early afternoon we all heard and felt the second engine start and the ship jumped back up to a brisk 15 knots. Too little too late to save our Juneau stop.... In any event... while a major stop on our voyage was canceled we were still going to go to the face of the Hubbard Glacier, one of the four largest Tidewater Glaciers on the planet, and the largest in Alaska, on the next to last day of our trip. Right!!??!! We were supposed to go in, on the last day of our sail on the SS Mariner, through Disenchantment Bay to the face of the Hubbard glacier. The Hubbard Glacier is the largest tidewater glacier in North America and is a stunning seventy-six miles long, seven miles wide and over one thousand two hundred feet deep at the foot of the glacier! At least that is what we were told. Cameras were checked and rechecked.... Parkas and foul weather gear donned and snugged up tight. The big day comes and several passengers, including myself, are up early on the top deck freezing our "you know what’s" off. As we started to round a bend in the fjord called Disenchantment Bay we were faced with a monstrous wall of dense fog still several miles ahead stretching from mountain to mountain across the bay. The Captain and the Passage Pilot made the decision not to enter the fog because of some significant icebergs floating about. A second major disappointment was about to rear its ugly head... This one weather related :-0 Whether right or wrong, or for better or worse, we were told we could still see the glacier as that bright line across the top of the fog bank!.... I, for one, would have rather NOT HEARD that little tidbit! Disappointment on Disenchantment Bay how apt is that?.... Ironic or not???!!! This second MAJOR disappointment on this short voyage was very hard to take. Really, I certainly have no issue with the safety decision that was made... just disappointed (once again). After returning to the cabin to lick and bind my wounds (metaphorically speaking of course!) I emerged and prepared for our now established daily routine..... BREAKFAST, LUNCH and DINNER! The next day was Seward and the end of the trip. This was a rather pricy disappointment… but live and learn :-) But! We liked what we saw and experienced in Alaska so much that my wife and I agreed we would return in a year or so and give a different cruise line a chance! A brief note on the rest of the stops and sights we did see. I liked Vancouver, at least what I saw of it was a beautiful city and it would certainly be worth spending some time in the city and the area… at least more than a night and part of a day to see more of the city. Chinatown maybe??? Ketchikan, Skagway and Sitka were great stopovers and with more time in port could have been fantastic! Hey wait! We had that extra time in Ketchikan that was totally wasted and inaccessable! Seward, well, nothing to say or see… Got off the ship…. Got on the bus. The Food I know that this is what some of you were waiting for so here goes…. Regent touts the food on board as; "EXQUISITE CUISINE" "Nothing can elevate travel quite like cuisine. That’s why we take so much pride in creating exquisite dining experiences that are nothing short of superb. Experience all the wonderful flavors and delightful scents of choice cuisine from around the world." (direct from the Regent website) It goes without saying that the food is one of the most important components of a cruise for many passengers. From elegant A La Carte dinning to the Grand Buffet the food is oft the star. And while, for the most part, the food at most of the Regent Mariner venues was good, sometimes VERY good, it was far from consistent. Here I’m just going to detail our experiences at the two Regent Specialty Restaurants, Chartreuse French Restaurant and Prime 7 Steak Restaurant and give you a few overall impressions about the other eating venues. Chartreuse French Restaurant That evening I had scored an early reservation (it was the best I could do) at one of the Regent Signature Restaurants, Chartreuse a French Restaurant. I was excited to try what Regent called "Modern French Cuisine". While the dining room was well appointed and comfortable the initial service, and later the food, were a disappointment. We were the first in the restaurant (right at our appointed time) and service was, for lack of a better word.... inattentive. For being the first customers (read ONLY Customers) it took a while to be noticed and seated. The sommelier was slow in visiting the lone table we were occupying . Then the sommelier immediately tried to up-sell me to a $275 bottle of wine and it took me just a moment to catch on. I did ask him what the featured wines were that evening and he recited them showing them to me on the wine list. Regent advertises as an "all-inclusive" cruise and indeed they are. Two wines were included that night, as in every night, a red and a white. But.... If I had not noticed the tiny prices following some of the selections I would have purchased a $125 to $300 bottle of wine. When I quizzed him about the menu he reluctantly confirmed that there was indeed an "upcharge" for those particular premium selections. I told the sommelier please just bring the "house red" after I was clued into the rules. He was visibly disappointed at the lack of the sale :-) I afterwards found that there may have been additional wine selections included for the asking. However, even though I had asked, no other options were offered or clarified. The waiter came to the table immediately after the sommelier vacated and told us of that evenings chef's special choices then left us to peruse the menu. He returned after an appropriate amount of time and left with our order. For appetizers my wife ordered Escargot and I ordered the seared Duck Foie Gras. Entrees were roasted lobster for her and double cut Lamb ribs for me. The Escargot were terrible. Served in a disgusting gravy of some sort they were rubbery and served removed from the shells, a good indication they were (possibly) frozen or even (GASP!) from a can. My Foie Gras was somewhat better. It was nicely displayed/presented with three little apricot dots arranged on the plate. Taste was meh... rather tasteless and bland. The entrees didn't fare any better. My wife's entree, Roasted Lobster with Scallop Mousseline, Green Asparagus and Fava Beans (no Fava Beans were visable), was displayed well but was extremely overcooked resulting in a tough, tasteless piece of unrecognizable meat. The vegetables that were there were fine and well cooked. My lamb was delivered beautifully presented and flanked by two Chickpea Fritters. However I had ordered the lamb Medium RARE. It arrived terribly overcooked and tough. As a result of this criminal treatment of what likely started as a decent piece of meat it was largely tasteless and tough. My desert, Creme Brûlée was well presented and was tasty, rich and creamy with a satisfying sweet/bitter crunch from the caramelized sugar on top while the wife's Chocolate Napoleon was inedible. Prime 7 Steakhouse Tonight was our second specialty restaurant reservation. This time at Regent's steakhouse, Prime 7. We had been by the restaurant several times on the way to the Compass Rose and it was always busy and packed. We had a late reservation at 8:30 pm on the 30th. We showed up about five minutes early and were asked to wait in the lounge area. The Maitre D' came and collected us after a short wait at 8:33.... Perfect! After being seated we were immediately approached by our waiter and the sommelier. The menu as suitable for a steakhouse, was simple and to the point featuring mostly beef offerings with a few chops, seafood and poultry choices. We made our orders and sat back with a little of the house vino. A Palate cleanser of Tomato Bisque was delivered to the table followed closely by the appetizers. The presentation on her appetizer, the Tuna Tartar was very nice and she enjoyed it. My appetizer was Foie Gras Sliders with Rhubarb Chutney. It came out looking like two tiny little hamburgers, which I thought entirely appropriate for a steak house lead-in and they were delicious. Our entrees arrived. She had ordered King Crab and I ordered a 18oz Bone-In Ribeye. Mine was delicious! This was at least a pound of steak-y delicious-ness. Billed as a Prime, Dry-Aged piece of meat, it was cooked perfectly to my ordered medium-rare temperature with a beautiful seared crust on the outside. It was all I could do not to pick up the bone and start gnawing away at the steak like a wild animal. Luckily I was able to control myself and waited until the end of the meal before waving the bone around making a fool of myself. As delicious as my steak was, my wife's King Crab was not. She certainly received a big ol' plate of Crab. But that plate was overcooked, dry and lifeless. She could finish only a small portion of the total before calling it quits. I definitely felt bad for her and told her so between mouthfuls of my perfectly done steak! Dessert was Cheesecake for me and a Berries in Creme Anglaise for her. Both were a good choice and satisfied that Dessert Jones.... We said thank you to our stellar waiter Rochcelle.... and headed out. Some brief thoughts on the other dining venues…. Compass Rose – Compass Rose is the main dining room. Comfortable and well-appointed we found food here consistently good. Everything, with few exceptions, was well prepared and generally tasty no matter what was ordered. Service was always prompt and extremely courteous. Surroundings and ambiance were open, elegant and comfortable. It is open seating and we were always able to score a table by a window. Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner it is always menu driven. La Veranda – Our choice on deck 11 for Breakfast and Lunch. La Veranda is buffet style serving. More elegant and more variety than the adjacent Pool Side Grille Buffet. It was consistently good. In the evening La Veranda transforms into the menu driven (only buffet in sight is a salad bar) Sette Mari At La Veranda Italian Restaurant. Sette Mari is a great alternative to the Compass Rose and other eating venues. The food is very good with a good Italian themed menu offering. The Pool Grille - was the one breakfast, lunch and dinner venue that allowed a casual dress in the evenings. The food there was served buffet style and usually had a good mix of everything from hamburgers to some simple seafood selections. Ice Cream and deserts were also featured along with a Fresh Juice Bar. For convenience it was located adjacent to the Pool Bar. NOTE: One thing that was, unfortunately, true across ALL of the RESTAURANTS is that they could not deliver a piece of fish that was not overcooked to the point of being criminal. Shrimp and Scallops on the other hand were usually delivered perfectly. Lobster and Crab… not so much. Meat temperature was better with my lamb served at Chartreuse being the major exception. My steak at Prime 7 was perfection! I also give you this as a sample excursion/meal… A Shore Excursion that featured a Crab Feast! Note that this was one of the MANY Shore Excursions that was supplied at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE. Cruise St. George Inlet and Crab Feast We enjoyed our time in Ketchikan walking around the city before going to a Crab Feast. Before the feast we went on a bus trip and then a small boat into the St. George Inlet. we saw some Bald Eagles and pulled up a crab trap to play with some crabs (yes, I know what that sounds like :-) Heading back to the small boat dock restaurant, The George Inlet Lodge, we indulged in our feast. It was all served with a large heaping bit of wit and wisdom from Asley our Charming Young Lady (I never thought I would live long enough to use that term... But there it is!!) of a server. It was very simply, a salad, a cold beer, and a never ending pile of the best Crab I have ever eaten. If you ever find yourself eating Crab at the George Inlet Lodge and served by Asley give her a big hey from Regent 06/28/2019 :-) Debarkation was fairly well organized but had a few hiccups. Debarkation occurred through an exit on Deck 6. Luggage was tagged and picked up from the cabin the night before. We had our breakfast and then made our way to the Coffee Connection area on deck 6 to wait for the call to exit and board the buses that would take us to Anchorage. The only sore spot was the ladies toilets on deck 6 were closed for whatever reason (men's was fine). My wife had to go down one deck to get to a bathroom..... That would not have been that much of an issue but all of the other ladies-in-waiting had to do the same and almost immediately a line formed. There were of course other public bathrooms but on the higher decks and not as convenient. As the traffic became heavier in the one bathroom on deck 5 the toilet paper ran out and was not replenished. It seemed to be “a not so fond farewell....” The bus ride to Anchorage (2.5 hr) was fine but stretched to 3.5 hours because of an accident on the one highway to Anchorage. Upon arrival, because our flight was in the evening, we were taken to the Anchorage Hilton to a "Hospitality" area arranged by Regent. For the end of a supposedly "high-end" cruise the "Hospitality" area was rather weak.... It was an old, no longer used, restaurant at the top of the Hilton. It was a bit tired looking and had little in the way of amenities. No water, hours old coffee, no hot water, and only a tray with a few cookie crumbs being there. No one replenished anything during the time we were there. There were people to help us with the shuttle transfer to the airport at our designated/selected time. We went out for lunch and settled on a nearby restaurant called "The 49th State". It was a casual nice place and had cold freshly on-site brewed beer and upscale pub grub. We ordered a pizza featuring Reindeer and Elk sausage that we enjoyed very much. When in Anchorage it would be a good lunch or evening meal stop! We wandered about downtown Anchorage for another hour or so and returned to the hotel for our trip to the airport and back to “The Lower Forty-Eight”. The wrap up! The Regent cruise wasn’t a total bust. The accommodations (cabin) and the hospitality crew are first rate. The fact that out of five stops we only truly made three was more than a little disappointing. I can’t say that Regent didn’t offer an accommodation because of the issue in by-passing Juneau, they did. But, it was not enough, in my opinion. What was offered was a $750 per passenger ($1500 total) off the your NEXT CRUISE with Regent. Sorry, those of us that were on this voyage, at least in my case, were not going to sign on again. We have been home now since the 4th of July and have heard nothing from Captain, Cruise Director, Chief Engineer or Regent Corporate concerning what happened. That seems like a bad case of “don’t give a crap” at the very least. A head-in-sand attitude at best. Regent is billed as one of the world’s premiere cruise lines which is why we gave it a whirl. Reviewers rate Regent very highly… I can only speculate they were not on our cruise! Would I cruise again with Regent? No, not as it stands now. That said…. If the perfect itinerary at a decent price appeared at the perfect time… I never say never :-) Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted to see Alaska & our travel agent advised us that Regent would offer us the best experience and value. Things didn’t go well at all & we feel we never got a true Alaska vacation as promised or the Regent experience! The ... Read More
We wanted to see Alaska & our travel agent advised us that Regent would offer us the best experience and value. Things didn’t go well at all & we feel we never got a true Alaska vacation as promised or the Regent experience! The ship lost an engine & we had to eliminate Juneau as a port & we had to eliminate the Hubbard glacier due to fog. We were at sea 3 of the 6 days. Not what we wanted and were only offered a $750 credit towards a FUTURE cruise to be booked within a year! In addition, restaurants were difficult to get seated in. Even the no reservation Italian restaurant had an hour and a half wait to be seated! Finding a table for 4 was virtually impossible. And to top things off, the casino manager cheated my husband out of winning a black jack tournament by verbally helping the other person in the finals! He then begged my husband to keep it inside the casino. We had 3 witnesses, reported it to executive concierge and the guest relations office has declined to offer an apology and/or give us any monetary compensation for a very bad cruise for so many reasons. Even my travel agent tried in vain to get us $1500 cash instead of future cruise credit, but they refuse to budge. What a terrible way to do business! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We have done 3 Viking River cruises and enjoyed them all. So, we decided it was time to try a Viking Ocean cruise. First and foremost, Viking needs to have BETTER included excursions. In just about every port the included excursion was ... Read More
We have done 3 Viking River cruises and enjoyed them all. So, we decided it was time to try a Viking Ocean cruise. First and foremost, Viking needs to have BETTER included excursions. In just about every port the included excursion was really no better than us getting off the ship to explore the little Alaska town we were in. In-fact, in Ketichikan we bought our own tickets to attend a "Lumberjack Show" (lasted just over 1 hr), and they cost $35pp. Why couldn't Viking have offered that as an included excursion? Bottom Line: Offer better included excursions and try and have more than 1 available in each port! Second, remove the curtains in the "Living Room", by the coffee bar and on the 2nd level. You can't see thru this material and it would be nice while your having a drink or coffee to see the scenery!! Third, you REALLY need to train your bartenders better. After trying two Pina Colada's and a frozen Daiquiri I gave up on any frozen offering. Each time the ice was not pulverized enough so when you tried using the straw, it would always get clogged. And yes, I went to THREE different bars and had the same very poor results. Hell, the first time my wife ordered a Banana Daiquiri, they brought it to her in a martini glass. No kidding, a Martini glass. Lastly, the entertainment was, for the most part, a joke. Every night a member of the ship's staff "entertained". The 4-some (2 guys, 2 gals) who did the Beatles show and the Abba show did a pretty good job, but the overall result was very un-polished and amateurish. We never (on a 10-night cruise), had a "head-liner" or a professional comedian or magician. Kudo's to the guys and gals who worked the stage EVERY night, but they should be "fill-in" acts not the main show each and EVERY night!!! If VIKING wants to compete with Azamara and Oceania they need to heed these words and I am sure the words of many other seasoned travelers. We have done one Azamara cruise, and VIKING isn't even close to them when it comes to food quality (and choices), entertainment, and overall service. We haven't tried Oceania yet, but have friends who have done both (Viking and Oceania), and MUCH prefer Oceania. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We sailed on the Quest from Seward to Vancouver and it was one of the best (of many) cruises that we have done. The voyage through the Alaskan scenery is almost indescribable. We have taken so many pictures and everybody says they are ... Read More
We sailed on the Quest from Seward to Vancouver and it was one of the best (of many) cruises that we have done. The voyage through the Alaskan scenery is almost indescribable. We have taken so many pictures and everybody says they are wonderful but we don't think that they show the beauty of the area as much as looking at it "in real life". The different ports were very good, perhaps with the exception of Icy Straight Point. It's good to get off and have a walk around but if you're looking for lots to do or see, then you'll be disappointed. Our cabin was the 1st level of suite, it was roomy and exceptionally well looked after by our room steward. The bathroom is small however. We did have a bath with the shower included with the dreaded shower curtain but that is being picky and certainly didn't upset us in any way. The MDR was very good and we also ate in the steak restaurant (twice because it was so good) and the Italian. We didn't enjoy this as much however this was due to personal taste rather than quality of food or service. What can i say about the staff - they were wonderful. Whether you dealt with staff in the buffet, MDR, speciality restaurants or in the service areas (guest relations, concierge or house keeping), they were wonderful. They find a way of being friendly and very helpful but still getting the job done. A great balance ! regarding excursions - I did the whale watching trip in Juneau which i would highly recommend (i couldn't count all the whales we saw) and my husband did the salmon fishing trip - both of which were excellent. Very well organised both on and off the ship. My husband did the salmon sports fishing in Sitka and was very disappointed with it, particularly after such a good trip in Juneau. We met lots of passengers that did the fishing trips and by the sounds of things Sitka trip was the "odd one out" of high standards. It's also worth mentioning the Azamazing evening which was local to a port and where we watched a Lumberjack show. It was great fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Praise is also due to the Buffet staff as we all landed in there when we got back on board and it was exceptionally well organised. Embarkation and disembarkation were both handled very well and were very smooth. As you meet passengers during the cruise you realise how many folks are return "Azamara's" and suffice to say, we enjoyed the ship so much we have booked again for next year (albeit a different destination). My final point is praise for a few folk. Air Canada lost our luggage and we were facing the possibility of having nothing before we sailed. Luckily, one case just before we left but it was another 5 days before we got the 2nd one. The Concierge (Adrian i think) was superb, he took over and said that he would speak and sort. It didn't resolve the situation but it certainly made everything easier so our thanks to him. Also to the shop staff (Lois) who went out of their way to try and help us get the items that we needed. Due to this out first few days weren't ruined. Here's to next year :) Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Have cruised well over 30 times, when our favorite line had culture change we decided to try Seabourn. It was an Alaska Cruise which may be unique for Seabourn so we may have seen them at their very best. We were able to see touch and ... Read More
Have cruised well over 30 times, when our favorite line had culture change we decided to try Seabourn. It was an Alaska Cruise which may be unique for Seabourn so we may have seen them at their very best. We were able to see touch and feel the real Alaska unlike any large ship could do. You take excursions from the ship Zodiac and Kayak with an incredible staff from the ship. Ship, staff, food all amazing, smaller ship is a big deal! After all the up charges on other lines Seabourn is cheaper.We are hooked, if our old line had gotten a bit strange we would have never discovered this jewel. The Alaska experience is something a larger ship could not provide just because of sheer numbers. Your guides live on the ship with you and are top caliber people. The Staff not only conducts the tours but lectures during the day! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our 9th Silversea cruise all previous being on Spirit and Shadow, so we were keen to sample the Muse. We stayed in Fairmont Waterfront pre cruise, and exceptional hotel, top tip, choose a harbour view Gold floor room. It was ... Read More
This was our 9th Silversea cruise all previous being on Spirit and Shadow, so we were keen to sample the Muse. We stayed in Fairmont Waterfront pre cruise, and exceptional hotel, top tip, choose a harbour view Gold floor room. It was a mixed experience on the Muse. The new Musification decor and the ship did not disappoint, a stunning ship and much improved over the older ships. The crew as always were superb, always friendly professional and a delight. However, we for sure noticed a slipping of previous standards. The main points we noticed, all small, but it's the small detail that counts: This was an Alaskan cruise, with the spotlight on scenery and wildlife, previous Silversea cruises always had binoculars in every cabin, wow, not any more, when I asked the reply from the Cruise Consultant was, it cost to much as guests steal them, a lowering of standards. I was surprised to see on the open forward deck, Zodiacs and Kayaks tied down, very unsightly. It became clear during the cruise that this cruise was partially an Expedition cruise, unfortunately this was not made clear in any pre cruise matterial. One day of the cruise was modified, without any pre cruise notice, to facilitate the expedition element as the ship moored for 12 hrs in Rudyard Bay, yes lovely scenery but after 12 hrs looking it became tiresome, it was all for the Expedition and tours using Zodiacs and Kayaks. Dining in the La Terrazza restaurant was very disappointing, the changes have created a more open cafe concept, very noisey taking away its previous charm. Top tip, try it once but dine in Atlantide, Silver Note or La Dame, these are all very good. We noticed the service was not as before, standards from Silversea are dropping, these points are small but important, to me all drink measures are smaller, canape are meager, one other guest called it the "Meega Muse" Also lacking was the old Silversea luxury of a waiter taking ladys by the arm to escort to table. Sliding standards. And what happened to the luxury touch of your butler giving you a choice of toiletries for your cabin. Sliding standards. If you have this option, take the Juneau Silver King Lodge tour, amazing wildlife and lunch. To summarise; Yes Silversea are exceptional and I would certainly cruise with them again and recommend them. However, the new Musification is missing something, I'm not sure what but they seem to have just taken there eye off the ball, and are cutting back on small luxury items, but I would suggest that it's just those small luxury touches that have made Silversea. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
After having completed over 100 cruises, covering some 1300 nights, we wished to try the "small ship" experience of Azamara. After reading reviews of a number of various smaller "up-scale/luxury", we decided on ... Read More
After having completed over 100 cruises, covering some 1300 nights, we wished to try the "small ship" experience of Azamara. After reading reviews of a number of various smaller "up-scale/luxury", we decided on Azamara, for our "test run". Being on a "smaller" ship, there was a discernible ( but not annoying) feel of some ship movement in open choppy seas. This was somewhat expected, if we encountered rougher sea conditions. One of the advantages of cruising in this category suite is the varied dining options. For dinner there are two specialty restaurants, "Aqualina" and "Prime C" available each evening (complimentary) as well as the main dining venue "Discoveries Restaurant", or the buffet "Windows Café". Of course en-suite dining is also available, for all meals (complimentary). One would have no need to "go hungry", at almost any hour. We did not attempt to find food at 03:00, but surmise it might have been available. We did have one issue that was somewhat of a nuisance. When we initially entered our suite the temperature was very warm, so we lowered the setting on the thermostat, in the living room.. After a while and not seeing any change we found another thermostat in the bedroom. We lowered the setting there also -- still no change. When our suite attendant and his assistant stopped by to introduce themselves, we mentioned the too warm temperature to them. They attempted the same changes that we tried, with no discernible change. Shortly after that Wayon (Cabin Attendant) returned with a technician to resolve the issue. The tech removed the covers from the thermostats, and checked some electrical connections, and shined his flashlight into the output vents. He then told us that "all was now, O.K." Two hours later, no real change was evident. When we met out butler, Xaviar, after that, we told him of the air-conditioning situation, he said he would have it fixed. He returned a short time later, with the same technician and another person, possibly the tech's supervisor, They went through a similar routine, and declared the situation resolved. There was actually a bit of cooler air coming out of two of the three vents (one in bedroom and two in living room). One of the vents in the living room was still putting out warmer air? The next day, we received a received a request from the Hotel Director for comments as to how the cruise was going, so far. We commented that the only "issue" we had encountered was that of the air conditioning, and said that was not something we expected to encounter on a "luxury cruise line" -- three (four, counting our response to his note) requests for relief, with no real resolution of the issue. Right about then, our Suite Attendant stopped by to inquire how things were progressing -- we told him about all that had transpired with the air conditioning. He said he would look into it again, and within an hour, another tech (actually two different techs) came by to look/see and made a few adjustments --- Voila !!! COOL air. Wayon surely saved the day (and perhaps the cruise) and allowed us to enjoy our, now comfortable suite (Sweet/Suite). We only had one other hiccup throughout the rest of the cruise -- more on that later, We had read a number of comments about the "poor quality" which are included (complimentary) for all passengers. We found the quality ranged from "drinkable" to "pretty good", and the prices for 'exceptional" wines was not totally out of line -- even left the ship with some unused OBC (On Board Credit). We ate dinner in the specialty restaurants just about every evening, and cannot recall any meal that was less than excellent. Some of that was assuredly due to the wonderful/attentive care of Kris (our usual waiter in Prime C), and the excellent Sommelier, Milena. There were also other advantages afforded to guests staying in Club Owners Suites. One of these was the "Best of the Best" dinner -- even though the title is a bit "over the top". For this event, the "Drawing Room" (see Deck Plan) was converted into a private dining venue for the evening. The dinner was by invitation and hosted be the Captain and the Hotel Director, also at the table were the Staff Captain and Chief Engineer (don't ask who was driving the ship). Each course was presented by the Executive Chef, with an explanation of the preparation, and the wines were presented by the Sommelier, with the rationale for each pairing -- these wines were definitely "top shelf". All of this was coordinated by the Ship's Concierge. The Guest List, as best as we could determine, were the occupants of the six Club Owners Suites and (perhaps) the couple on-board with the highest number of Azamara cruises. Along with the invitation to this dinner, the same guests were offered the opportunity for a private Bridge Tour and also to experience a tour of the Engine Control Room, hosted by the Chief Engineer. Whilst on the subject of Senior Officers/Managers, they were very visible (and approachable) to just about any passenger, throughout the cruise.-- a very nice touch. The only disappointment we encountered was the "Azamazing Event" which took place in Sitka -- we were contacted , via telephone, prior to the cruise to ascertain if we would be attending the event, supposedly to allow for "special" seating arrangements. Despite what we had read about the Azamazing Events on past cruises, on this particular cruise, no special seating arrangements were made for those passengers in the top suites. Instead disembarkation for transfer to the event venue was done by "Deck Number". We were assigned to Group 5. When we arrived at the venue, we were directed to seating by Group Number. Instead of being in the "Reserved Section" on the main level, our group (5) relegated to a cramped corner of the balcony, where the temperature was very warm. From what we could see/hear of the presentation/show, it seemed to be very good. We felt like we were perhaps in the upper deck, corner seats at something like the Super Bowl. When we were leaving the venue, we asked the Hotel Manager, "Why the change in seating?" He told us that he was not consulted on the "arrangements" ??? Truly the "low point" of the entire cruise, even worse than the "air conditioning scenario". That situation was at least reconciled. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise, and would do another cruise aboard Azamara, just not in the immediate future. Whilst on board, we did book another cruise -- on Celebrity. Azamara has a cruise with a similar itinerary to the one we booked with Celebrity, but we are more confident about the total experience we will receive aboard Celebrity. That does not mean we will not return to Azamara - - just not in the near future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Bucket list cruise that fulfilled all expectations. Visited Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Ketchikan. Not forgetting the amazing Hubbard Glacier. Saw so much wildlife including a brown bear who came within 15ft of us. Too many experiences ... Read More
Bucket list cruise that fulfilled all expectations. Visited Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Ketchikan. Not forgetting the amazing Hubbard Glacier. Saw so much wildlife including a brown bear who came within 15ft of us. Too many experiences to list. Took tours through Celebrity. Booked them online before we sailed which was much cheaper. All the tours were excellent. See below for cabin reviews. Blu restaurant food was excellent although the service could be very hit and miss. The Oceanview Restaurant always delivers excellent food although i felt that cleanliness of the tables could have been better. Dined in Le Petit Cuisine which was excellent. This is a must visit especially with children. The Cocktail Bar is a lot of fun and the measures very generous! Only went to one show this time which was ok. Made the most of the stunning sunsets from the Sunset Bar. Would highly recommend this cruise, certainly the top one we have done. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was my 5th cruise with RSSC, so I already knew I would like it. Here are some of the things I like about it. The Mariner is just the right size-small enough to go places others can't and large enough to have multiple places to ... Read More
This was my 5th cruise with RSSC, so I already knew I would like it. Here are some of the things I like about it. The Mariner is just the right size-small enough to go places others can't and large enough to have multiple places to dine and hang out. I like that it is really all inclusive, once on the ship I don't have to spend another dime if I don't want to. I like that even the lowest tier suites are large by the industry standard and are very comfortable and include a veranda. I like that it is generally all adult. On this cruise there were a few children, but they had special programs for them. There are no mandatory formal nights or assigned meal times. They generally offer a good selection of shore excursions, many of which included for free. The specialty restaurants are good, but the food in the main dining room is always very good as well. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Tokyo to San Francisco, 23 days of being pampered, educated, and involved. This was our first Crystal cruise, and hopefully it will not be our last. This “Movie and Theater” themed cruise offered speakers, documentaries and ... Read More
Tokyo to San Francisco, 23 days of being pampered, educated, and involved. This was our first Crystal cruise, and hopefully it will not be our last. This “Movie and Theater” themed cruise offered speakers, documentaries and entertainers. Our days at sea were filled with lecturers and performances. Tours from the ship in various ports were a little bit pricey, but enjoyable. The ship is small enough to be able to meet people more than once. Dining room staff was friendly. Special meal orders were served graciously. Symphony is an older ship, but is very well maintained. A few more electrical outlets would have been helpful, as would have been more prompt repairs to malfunctioning washers and dryers. Over all, cruising on Crystal Symphony was a wonderful experience! Special kudos to Saleh, our waiter who anticipated our every need. Remi, the head waiter, was a miracle worker who brought my the next day’s menu so that my requested salt free meals could be prepared for me. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Thought this was going to be a trip of a lifetime! Not so much. The cabin was awesome-as was the butler and steward. Well except for the thermostat. You had to literally reset this every couple of hours. The butler said it was controlled ... Read More
Thought this was going to be a trip of a lifetime! Not so much. The cabin was awesome-as was the butler and steward. Well except for the thermostat. You had to literally reset this every couple of hours. The butler said it was controlled by corporate. Really? We spent a ton of money on this trip, I really wanted it to be special. Not so much. We got the same room service as everyone else. The same treats as everyone else. The food was blah. The Haven was ok for the first day. After that the same menu got really tiring. We ventured out to the other restaurants. Do NOT waste your time at La Cicina. The Taste, Savor and The Manhattan room all have the same menu. I do recommend Cagneys. It made us feel special. Tepenyakis was good except our chef was SICK! Sad the DR. Told him not to sing. He had a few coughing fits but was nice enough to turn his head. We tried the Local. Do NOT think you will get a grilled cheese sandwich here. It’s two pieces of toast with a piece of cold cheese in between. Sorry my husband offered to show the chef how to cook it, but they just kept saying sorry and sent us a bottle of wine. Room service was ok, but everything was cold. I really enjoyed the balcony and the views. Ship was rough the first night, my 27 year old daughter got seasick. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Selected it because it was a ten night with more ports! Sitka, ketchikan, juneau, skagway, icy strait point, victoria and Dawes glacier. Eclipse is a beautiful ship, the entertainment was excellent and of course luminae was great. Michaels ... Read More
Selected it because it was a ten night with more ports! Sitka, ketchikan, juneau, skagway, icy strait point, victoria and Dawes glacier. Eclipse is a beautiful ship, the entertainment was excellent and of course luminae was great. Michaels club on this ship has a small bar and lacked the interaction with the bartenders and other cruisers as compared to solstice and reflection. This particular cruise included longer times in each port which made the experience more relaxing. Alejandro the cruise director was funny and had the cruise packed with top notch entertainment in the theater. Also, the naturalist, Milos was a real treat and full of information about the geography and animals in the area. When we were finished shopping in juneau we stopped in the mini post office and packed everything in a if if fits it ships box. For twenty bucks we avoided the hassles of possibly having over weight luggage on the way home. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We have cruised with Celebrity on five previous occasions and have enjoyed every one, however this particular cruise experience was very dissapointing. The Cruise itinerary and ports visited were good but the on board experience was ... Read More
We have cruised with Celebrity on five previous occasions and have enjoyed every one, however this particular cruise experience was very dissapointing. The Cruise itinerary and ports visited were good but the on board experience was very disappointing. The biggest problem was food quality and choice. The ocean view cafe and the main restaurant was absolutely appalling. The constant sales push to dine in one of the specialty restaurants was way over the top and became extremely annoying. It seems the constant pushing of the specialty restaurants coincided with the drop in food quality in the free/included restaurants. The gym staff were extremely arrogant and unhelpful. The senior staff and officers were generally invisible but if you did run across them they where arrogant and very aloof. The only redeeming Feature was the junior staff. The wait staff in general were very good, the standouts were the cafe al bacio, ensemble lounge, Sushi on five and the international bar, the best of all was our stateroom attendant in fact he was the best attendant that we have had so far. I have complained to Celebrity but as you would expect there has been no response. The experience was so bad we will not use Celebrity again! Read Less

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