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Sail Date: April 2019
We sailed on the Silversea Silver Shadow from Dubai to Athens in April of this year - our third Silversea cruise . We had loved our previous Cruises on the Shadow and the Silver Spirit and particularly liked the cabin comfort and the ... Read More
We sailed on the Silversea Silver Shadow from Dubai to Athens in April of this year - our third Silversea cruise . We had loved our previous Cruises on the Shadow and the Silver Spirit and particularly liked the cabin comfort and the attentive service where nothing was too much trouble. This cruise was so different. 1. Cabin Comfort. Yes the Shadow is now a bit shabby and very much in need of the up and coming refurbishment but this was not the problem. From previous cruises we knew, the beds were hard. My back does not cope with hard beds so as usual at the time of (early) booking I had requested one of the egg-crate mattress toppers plus pillows from the list given. We had previously never had any problem with these requests. When we boarded this time it was ‘sorry there are only 7 mattress toppers on the ship and they are all taken.’ Huge hard pillows on our beds. Further pillows brought in - some the same, others just slabs of very firm. Pillow menu mentioned but profuse staff apologies and ‘Sorry but this is all we have’ Pillow menu not available. Previously always enjoyed and been comfortable sitting on the balcony. New Balcony chairs very high and deep - my feet could not reach the ground and the wire edge dug into the back of my legs. Staff tried hard but nothing more comfortable available than lots of padding with pillows. My back and neck suffered badly from the hard bed, the hard pillows and not being able to sit comfortably on the balcony - I could not believe I had paid so much money to endure such discomfort. 2. Cabin Air conditioning control - poor to non existent. When we arrived in our cabin at 2pm it was sweltering - the air con wasnt working. Fixed late evening by the engineer taking down part of our cabin ceiling. Control still iffy and a few days later - cabin freezing cold -again fixed late evening. Show lounge and parts of the main restaurant often freezing - apparently problems with the themostat. 3. Staff service. Nothing like our previous attentive experience. Our poor butler was rushed off his feet between two decks. Apparently there was a staff shortage and it would often take him over an hour to respond to a call - if at all. When sitting on the upper decks, there were rarely any staff around. If we wanted seat cushions or a coffee it was a case of walking down to the pool deck, and either carrying items up two decks ourselves or waiting till someone was available - by which time the coffee was cold. 4. On the positive side the food in the restaurants was as good as ever, the staff themselves as welcoming and as lovely as ever, embarkation excellent and the excursions we went on mainly ok other than the very hot, small, basic souk on a wasteland area in Oman. All our concerns might be small issues in isolation but taken overall this was not the luxury cruise experience we had previously had with Silversea. Maybe we were just unfortunate on this particular cruise. Because of our previous good experiences we already booked another three week cruise before we went on this one and have since thought long and hard about whether to continue with the booking. After apologies and reassurances from the UK Guest relations manager ie that the Silver Shadow is being refurbished and that all will be fine re our requests etc. we have reluctantly decided to go ahead. I only hope he is right. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this cruise for its itinerary-UAE, Oman, India, Maldives, Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique, and South Africa. The shore excursions left a lot to be desired. The stop in Abu Dhabi coincided with a marathon. ... Read More
I chose this cruise for its itinerary-UAE, Oman, India, Maldives, Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique, and South Africa. The shore excursions left a lot to be desired. The stop in Abu Dhabi coincided with a marathon. The downtown area was completely shut down and our hop on/off bus driver had no idea what to do. We went around the same block three times and circled a round-about four times in succession. After an hour and a half, the bus stop at public toilets for us. Everyone was afraid to get off at the three stops he managed to get to for fear they'd never see another bus. Why did the shore excursion department not know about this and cancel this tour? In Nosy Be, Madagascar my shore excursion included a beach stop. Not a beach on the same side of the island as the pier (where other excursions went), but one that was 45 minutes down a crater filled road! By the time we got there, there was no time to swim (the beach had no changing or shower facilities) and the guide moved up departure time AFTER people headed to the shoreline. Almost every excursion included a "market" stop. How many times does a person need to smell fish and meat covered in flies while it rots in the sun? I chose an excursion to a Zulu "village" in South Africa expecting to visit a real residential village. An hour and a half ride to a hotel with a cultural entertainment area-a recreated "village." Heck, one of the women didn't even know the steps to the dance. In Durban, they didn't know the market would be closed on New Year's Day! So the guide tried to fill in time by taking us to the wealthy part of town and to the soccer stadium. Unfortunately, the tour bus didn't pull up on the stadium side of the street and one of the passengers was hit by a car crossing the street. I was a little surprised that none of the excursions on this cruise went anywhere near a jewelry store or upscale shopping area. Several of these countries are known for the gemstones they mine. The Nautica was fine and my cabin was good. I dined most of the time in the Buffet since the food was as good or better the the restaurant. I did try the restaurant once. The service was slow. My server replaced my standard silverware with a salad fork and a fish knife for a steamed salmon entree with green beans which I couldn't cut. I ate in both the alternative restaurants; food and service were excellent. The worst part of the cruise was embarkation. The documents said it was at 1pm so a lot of people showed up at 1pm. A LOT OF PEOPLE! Several hundred! They made no arrangements for the crowd-no chairs, no water, nothing! Like others, I stood in line for more than 2 hours while crew with gold bars on their shoulders smiled at us. I can understand that they might not know this could happen, but THEY COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING once it did. What would it take to have a crew member unstack the chairs that were leaning against the wall? They could have handed out number tags (the ones used for shore excursion buses) to group us and call us up when it was our turn. We still would have waited 2 hours, but we could have been seated while waiting. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We cruised on Regatta (sister ship) a few years ago (Rio-Amazon-Miami) and had a very positive experience. This cruise (Dubai-Capetown) was disappointing in comparison. The ship is slightly aged, but kept in excellent condition. ... Read More
We cruised on Regatta (sister ship) a few years ago (Rio-Amazon-Miami) and had a very positive experience. This cruise (Dubai-Capetown) was disappointing in comparison. The ship is slightly aged, but kept in excellent condition. We upgraded to concierge verandah cabin for this trip so were prepared for the level of accommodation; no complaints. We're still not sure what "concierge service" means, though. The service was good but we didn't know what to expect above and beyond what we got on our previous cruise. We found the food and service to be excellent, especially in Toscana. I have difficulty hearing in noisy environments, so after our first meal in the Grand Dining room, I learned to request seating just inside the entrance, away from the busy waiters' serving stations. The entertainment was of average quality. A couple of the professionals were extremely talented; a couple were not. Some of the scheduled entertainers were no-shows or delayed due to travel or visa problems. One such delay resulted in an impromptu Passenger Talent Show: mildly entertaining but not what we hoped for. The String quartet was excellent -- highly professional, and the ship's band was super talented. The six young on-board performers were equally talented. They put on several very entertaining Broadway-type shows as well as separate performances. No disappointment there! With a number of sea days, there were activities like bracelet-making, embroidery, bingo, and other parlour games -- not of interest to us. Two "Enrichment" speakers helped fill in the days: one was well-informed and entertaining while the other was rather pedantic and didn't hold our interest. Surprisingly, there were no "Destination" Speakers. Adequate information about upcoming ports was very lacking and very missed! Activities (e.g., more and varied speakers) and more substantive entertainment would have helped the long sea days pass. In retrospect, the cruise itinerary could have been better thought-out. One or two of the four stops in India could have been skipped, with the time added to other stops. Sailing for a day or two (or more?) just to spend a few hours in the next port, now seems like a waste of time. For instance, we sailed west for about two days from Seychelles to Mombassa, then part of a day to Zanzibar, and then a day and a half back east to Nosy Be (Madagascar) where we anchored for only six hours! In our case, Madagascar was of more interest than four stops in India. After an hour delay in tendering plus 40-minute boat rides to and from Nosy Komba to see lemurs (a couple hours) there was no time left to go ashore in Nosy Be or any other part of Madagascar! Very disappointing! Being rather inexperienced with shore excursions, and concerned with being left behind if we were delayed returning to the ship, we opted for the security of booking through Oceania. Never again! The excursions we chose (based on brief, sometimes inaccurate or misleading descriptions) were mostly disappointments. Expensive disappointments. As an example, an excursion in Durban was described as "panoramic", which, to me, suggests there will be stops where photos of interesting places can be taken. The actual excursion was a half-hour drive to "Umhlanga Rocks" ( apparently not a natural formation, but a high-end residential community instead), another half-hour drive to "Ballito" (apparently a small beach town, popular with locals) where the guide disappeared to apparently look for restroom facilities, leaving us to wander on our own for 15 minutes, then another hour-long drive back to Durban, where we drove non-stop through the downtown area, trying to snap pictures of places like "...the Theatre, where they have plays...". As another reviewer remarked, too many excursions are made up of too many people: the guides are often too far from most of the group to be heard clearly (both on the buses and on walks). And even guides in "third-world" excursions should understand not to let their charges get strung out for a hundred feet in unfamiliar narrow streets and pathways. These examples reflect our (and others') experiences on a large percentage of our excursions. Assuming we ever do cruise with Oceania again, it's very unlikely we'll use their excursions. Many people we met aboard (some had multiple Oceania cruises) were equally disappointed and expressed strong doubts about using Oceania again. The general opinion was that after Oceania was acquired by Norwegian, cost-cutting and short-term profit-taking have caused a noticeable reduction in the level of service. Unfortunately, our many good experiences on this cruise (especially with the crew and staff members) were offset by the excursions and other disappointments; we don't expect to use Oceania in future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
The itinerary was the reason I chose this cruise, but the on-board experience was the best of any of my 12 cruises, including Crystal, Azamara and 4 other cruise lines. The price was also very reasonable since there was basically no ... Read More
The itinerary was the reason I chose this cruise, but the on-board experience was the best of any of my 12 cruises, including Crystal, Azamara and 4 other cruise lines. The price was also very reasonable since there was basically no need to add any “extras.” Dining venues were excellent! Besides specialty restaurants, there was a sushi bar, grill at the pool, great buffet, and comfortable dining in the main dining room. Food was excellent, and all special requests were honored - off-menu items were picked up at the next port if not already onboard! Places to get snacks like in the spacious fest relations area were great! Enrichment talks were a favorite. The history of each area was explained with first hand stories and pictures by very knowledgeable and entertaining speakers. Entertainment shows were first class with a nice variety of comedy, dance, magic, etc. Hard to imagine a better experience! Californiajack Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Everything, really everything was perfectly organized. Embarkation and disembarkation were organized. You have 5 restaurants for choice and only one of these five you have to reserve for. Service, food, drinks whenever you want, ... Read More
Everything, really everything was perfectly organized. Embarkation and disembarkation were organized. You have 5 restaurants for choice and only one of these five you have to reserve for. Service, food, drinks whenever you want, anything you might need, you get it. Champaign, caviar as much as you want. Excursions were well organized and at a reasonable prize Five restaurants at choice and you receive their menu every evening for the following day. You can order any wine , champagne, beer or water for your fridge, as much as you want. Room service works well and we had a table on our balcony set up with table cloth every morning for breakfast. You can also ask for a 3 or 4 course diner in your suite at the time you want. We can only recommend this company and we will certainly make our next cruise with them- We tried different other cruise companies , but his is the best. ......and when you think what you get for the price you paid it is not relly expensive. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The itinerary from Dubai to Capetown along with an opportunity for the excursions to Taj Mal and a safari in Africa was unique, The food on this ship was of an exceptional, quality, service and restaurants, were without a match with any ... Read More
The itinerary from Dubai to Capetown along with an opportunity for the excursions to Taj Mal and a safari in Africa was unique, The food on this ship was of an exceptional, quality, service and restaurants, were without a match with any other cruise ships that we have sailed on and this is no exaggeration. Although, not a reflection on the ship’s crew or staff, there were excursion experiences that did not measure up to our expectation. We would suggest that the cruise line staff place more attention on the planning and quality of the excursions to ensure they reflect the passenger expectations of a luxury cruise. Overall experiences on this vacation cruise, including add on three day excursions before and after the actual 30 day cruise were with a few exceptions first class. While there are probably parts of this itinerary we would not repeat, certainly there are others we would very much like to visit again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I chose this trip because of the itinerary and Sil Seas reputation. We went to Abu Dhabi where were were looking forward to seeing the new Louvre; t it was closed on Monday when we arrived!!! Why weren't we told so that we could ... Read More
I chose this trip because of the itinerary and Sil Seas reputation. We went to Abu Dhabi where were were looking forward to seeing the new Louvre; t it was closed on Monday when we arrived!!! Why weren't we told so that we could have gone there from Dubai where we had two days to spend? Two of the five Gulf States were not worth a visit. BTW, Silver Seas should have specified just how "long sleeves' and "appropriate attire" were defined by the mosques. Several women were not allowed in, and I managed to buy long wrap just in time. The food on board was poor!!! The breads were stale, un-warmed and the same old same old every single night. Same old desserts at night as well. Service poor on deck 4 restaurant; we came in at 8 and ended up being 20 minutes late for the ten pm show. Voices of Silver Seas were good only with soloists or duets. Hypnotist was an insult!!! Lectures were uneven: the Indian father and daughter, especially the former, were difficult to understand (accent). Maldives where we landed was a dump. Disembarking took two hours; checking into Seychelles another three. Too late to do anything there. We should have spent several days visiting the beaches and the Botanical Gardens and skipped the Maldives and two of the Emirates. Drill inadequate; our room with hundreds others sent to the theatre instead of muster station. What if theatre was on fire or flooded??? Exercise balls in gym filthy; no elastic stretch bands in sight. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We boarded the Silver Spirit in Dubai and sailed over to the Seychelles - lovely itinerary with some nice sea days as well. Getting onboard the ship was easy and very fast and just no Q's at all. The ship looked lovely and the ... Read More
We boarded the Silver Spirit in Dubai and sailed over to the Seychelles - lovely itinerary with some nice sea days as well. Getting onboard the ship was easy and very fast and just no Q's at all. The ship looked lovely and the staff were amazing. We ate in most restuarants my favourite been the main dining room and Hot rocks which is up on the pool deck - gorgeous when you are in port to dine up here. The suite was gorgeous lots of space and very nice furnished with a great dressing room area for your clothes and shoes so it keeps your suite tidy. The butler and room attendant looked after us very well and kept our bar and toiletries stocked up. I would bring the butler home if I could. The beauty of Silversea after the lovely ships, staff and food is the size of the ships you sail right into the ports and some destinations you actually over night in which is lovely to do. However if you don't over night they seem to spend a lot longer in port than other cruise ships and the fact you sail right into the port with out getting on the tender boats is a big plus. We did some of the ships excursions which were excellent in Cochin we went on the River Boat and in the Maldives we did the beach visit to a resort - for such a wonderful destination we really needed more time. In Mumbai we took the private car trip with guide which we enjoyed as we could determine how long we were going to stop. Guests onboard are a mix so you find you are not dominated by any nation and a real nice European feel onboard the ship. Entertainment - there is a show each evening and the performs sing extremely well - we liked sitting in the bar and listening to the piano player or the Jazz bar was just excellent. Also enjoy going up to the DJ and sitting on the terrace listening to the music after dinner. Totally recommend for people who like the nicer things in life and enjoy real quality. Not much activities for children so you don't find children onboard really. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
When I got on board I thought gosh this is lovely this new ship, then after a few days I began to find design faults. You could not walk round the deck above the pool as there was not enough room from the end of the sun beds. The theatre ... Read More
When I got on board I thought gosh this is lovely this new ship, then after a few days I began to find design faults. You could not walk round the deck above the pool as there was not enough room from the end of the sun beds. The theatre had lots of seats with restricted views because of large pillars. I did not like where the piano bar was situated as you thought you were going into the Grill. The staff in the restaurant upstairs were very surly, and non smiling which is not good enough. I have not experienced this on other ships. I went on this cruise as I had done it before on the Odyssey and came off in Mumbai to fly up to Jaipur, Agra and New Delhi. I loved it so much I wanted to do it again. Well it was very expensive but a lovely experience again. We were given an eye mask and a plastic bag of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body lotion. What an insult. Everyone gets eye masks on aircraft and to give us these shower gels etc was not on. The beautiful hotels we stayed in gave us wonderful stuff. We had far better stuff the last time I went. Seabourn is definitely cutting back and it shows. It is not good enough as they would not cut the price of the cruise or give us FREE Wifi All the Americans get the perks, not the Brits. On the last morning I went down to the Square to query something on my bill. Well the guy was positively rude to me and I was so angry I walked away before I said something to him. Not good customer service. Dr Lawrence Blair was wonderful and gave very interesting talks. Well done to him. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Having cruised about 10 times with Princess and twice with Seabourn, there were a number of things that did not meet our expectations; mainly food preparation. Ingredients were excellent and in most cases dishes are excellent, until the ... Read More
Having cruised about 10 times with Princess and twice with Seabourn, there were a number of things that did not meet our expectations; mainly food preparation. Ingredients were excellent and in most cases dishes are excellent, until the sauce is served. Most sauces taste the same and have some strange taste; maybe there is Balsamic vinegar where none should be. Most sauces are the same dark color. Short ribs should be served with the reduced braising liquid, not the strange sauce which they called Jus. Princess always has appropriate and well-made sauces. Thomas Keller was very disappointing: roast chicken overdone, Dover Sole Meuniere spoiled with capers. Crab cakes were the best ever. Caesar Salad in the restaurant and the Patio are better. Several other guests shared our view of Thomas Keller. Fish for lunch on the Patio was always very good. Breakfast in the Colonnade was always very good with a nice selection of hot and cold meats as well as fruit. Coffee and service in Seabourn Square was excellent. Service in the restaurant was excellent: Melanie and her team and Eddie. Bar service was good but not as professional as other Seabourn or Princess. Likewise for room make-up. There were lots of activities on board, especially on sea days to keep us entertained. Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We selected Esprit based on her itinerary - the Seychelles sounded like a good idea to get away from cold, grey Germany in February. I was also curious about the ship herself and how 'the vibe' would be with such a small ... Read More
We selected Esprit based on her itinerary - the Seychelles sounded like a good idea to get away from cold, grey Germany in February. I was also curious about the ship herself and how 'the vibe' would be with such a small passenger contingency. Overall, we enjoyed our trip - we jokingly called it the voyage to nowhere because the islands are so close together. But that's the idea - island hopping with a private yacht. BTW, we didn't do Dubai - those two days were not included in the price to European customers. The decor was lovely, understated elegance with soothing colors. There was a very nice flow to the ship and it 'lived' bigger than what it is. You could always find a nook or cranny to sit and read. We also enjoyed the Yacht Club - it really felt like a cozy living room and was such a comfortable place to relax with a pre-dinner drink with new friends and listen to Mark entertaining on the piano. Food was superb, especially for dinner. The chef was great and totally exceeded our expectations for creativity, high quality and number of choices. I was also was very pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of offerings at breakfast and lunch. My only (minor) nit was that I wished more advantage could have been taken to source local products, especially the wonderful fresh fish and fruit. I don't believe anything was purchased locally. Wine choices were good, especially given the size of the ship. Billecart-Salmon was the house champagne and wines by the glass were also fine. They had a very nice cellar, where we indulged a few evenings. Ramon, the sommelier, may be young but don't let that fool you. He has trained extensively and passed many of the wine world's important exams and certifications. Cocktails were excellent too. Service, almost without exception, was top notch. Very personal attention (as you would expect with the passenger:staff ratio). There were a couple of minor glitches, due to a 'lost in translation' problem with some of the wait staff (English not being their mother tongue). But they are so friendly and eager, it's easy to overlook :-) Service at dinner was flawless as was cabin service. And our butler, Nathaniel, was awesome. He just couldn't do enough for you. Cabins: We had 308 but most are the same size, so I don't think it really matters. Space is well utilized, there was enough storage and everything well laid out. There was a Nespresso machine, as well as a selection of chocolates that were replenished regularly and sweets in the afternoon. Shower was adequate size, towels were big and fluffy. Lighting not too good for doing make up, though. The bed was very comfortable. One rather big negative for us: We missed a balcony far more than we thought we would. Sometimes it's just nice to have fresh ocean air and sit outside by yourself with a glass of wine. Shore excursions: We were very active and did every shore excursion on offer. Here is an area for improvement: Communication was not what it should have been regarding the difficulty level and also things like: Wear insect repellent and long pants. Description of the shore excursions often just didn't match up with the experience itself. Some were much easier and at least one much harder. There was one particular shore excursion which was really like a rock climbing expedition: No path, scrambling upwards over rocks and roots, very slippery due to rain. We were okay, but there were people who really struggled. Shore excursions in general were just 'okay'. Also, didn't get to play with many of the 'toys' on the marina because of weather. Can't control that. Also couldn't do caviar in the surf (same problem - poured rain) but they had a nice, civilized champagne and caviar in the Yacht Club. WiFi was supposed to be 60 min/day/per person. Turned out to be unlimited. Very nice touch and it worked well, too. Check in and check out all went smoothly. Again, it's what I would expect, given the small size of the ship and number of staff. Officers were always around and interacted with the guests. So all in all, a very pleasant experience and we enjoyed it. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Wouldn't book a Thomson cruise ever again! Poor flight, horrible airport miles from the port as they don't fly to the nearest international one. Very old ship, very noisy and bathroom in badly need of updating. Can here cabin ... Read More
Wouldn't book a Thomson cruise ever again! Poor flight, horrible airport miles from the port as they don't fly to the nearest international one. Very old ship, very noisy and bathroom in badly need of updating. Can here cabin neighbours next to you. Food repeated and shows were boring after a few nights of watching them Excursions expensive for what you got. Sunbeds need replacing and you could never find one without a towel on. Unless you wanted to spend money on all the extras the basic price and drinks package didn't include very much. On a positive the staff were lovely and friendly. Just a shame Thomson sell an itinerary that won't be repeated because of safety concerns around the middle east. I will recomend anyone considering booking to not bother and choose a company that specialize in cruising! Have booked to go with celebrity x and their brand new ship Edge in two years time....can't wait! I liked cruising just not with Thomson! Their post customer service department is a joke and reply with a standard i'm sorry but nothing more. Avoid at all cost Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Second cruise with Oceania. First on Nautice. Chose the cruise because of itinerary which was great. We knew the smaller ship as we had been on Azamara. Oceania was better experience. Both embarkation and disembarking were trouble ... Read More
Second cruise with Oceania. First on Nautice. Chose the cruise because of itinerary which was great. We knew the smaller ship as we had been on Azamara. Oceania was better experience. Both embarkation and disembarking were trouble free. Negatives was there were little alternate activities during sea days but it gave you time to recover! , and late 9.30 show...but cruise for me is not for the entertainment, that is an additional option. only minor comments. Service was good ( although a little slow a the start of voyage...think the crew were new). Other negative was cost of wines. Cabin staff were helpful and pleasant. In fact when opportunity came to give nominated staff dining experience ...( at an auction) the cabin staff were chosen. Shore excursions we used were average, Used " Free excursion" which aren't really free! although given the ports were limited options. The other were pretty pricey. Staying with Oceania for future cruises. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Dubai to Cape Town via India, the Indian Ocean and East Coast of Africa. We visited some exotic places which are all intersting in their own way but not many you would want to return to. Seychelles stands out as somewhere to go if you like ... Read More
Dubai to Cape Town via India, the Indian Ocean and East Coast of Africa. We visited some exotic places which are all intersting in their own way but not many you would want to return to. Seychelles stands out as somewhere to go if you like sun and beaches to laze on but as a cruiser I don't think we will go back. The best bit about cruising is the onboard experience, which is made up of all the elements of staff, food, drink, entertainment, activities, ship amenities. Regent scores on staff in all departments. The extra mile they go to is exceptiona. One example is visiting a sister ship in harbour to get a case of my favourite wine that had run out and when that had gone going ashore to find a close replacement. No prompting from me. Also coming to my suite to deliver a bottle as soon as it was on board. Amazing. The cruise director Ray Solaire is a very interesting man of many talents and sets the scene for the entertainment staff amply supported by Jenna and the dancers, who run all the games and fun during the day. I thought the inclusive tours were fine and very well organised. The production shows are great and some of the guest artists are fine but two violinists was a little too much. This area could be improved but it must be difficult to get acts to fly half way around the world to visit ships for a few days. Loved Rays puppet shows and singing. I think some guests expect too much, just appreciate the effort they all put in and enjoy it. Food - It's not 6 star by any means. The Compass Rose is adequate generally and good on the odd evening. Service is fine but it does not disguise the quality of the dishes. To maintain their 6 star rating Regent need to addrss this arrea urgently. Prime 7 and Signatures make a great speciality addition but are not consistant and vary from superb to average. The Verandah breakfast buffet is repetative but fine for lunch and great for the evening when it turns into a French or Italian. Probably the best food on the ship. Shame it's not served in a more formal environment. In all you get a great family feeling on the ship, which is down to the efforts of the crew from the Captain down. Loved the crew show. Definately recommend it if the itinary is right for you. However it is expensive and if Regent address the food issues it wolud be the perfect cruise experience. Read Less
102 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
From Dubai to Cape Town was our 4th cruise on Regent and our second on The Voyager with the last one being Asia in early 2014. What a difference a year and a half and a corporate take over makes. There is an entire level of service gone ... Read More
From Dubai to Cape Town was our 4th cruise on Regent and our second on The Voyager with the last one being Asia in early 2014. What a difference a year and a half and a corporate take over makes. There is an entire level of service gone from the restaurants i.e. runners or bus boys; so there is no one to clear and set the tables other than the wait staff who are now extremely over worked. Even the Maitre'Ds are pitching in to clear and set the tables even in the specialty restaurants which leaves diners waiting at the entrance ungreeted and unseated. The staff has not had the detailed Four Season's training that was previously done. There seems to be a orchestrated "slow down" on pouring of coffee and wine. The wine list quality has dropped some; but is acceptable. The pre dinner canapes at the start of the cruise consisted of chips and pretzels. After complaints, some canapes were added. Cocktails are still a good pour. We ate most of our meals in Compass Rose and specialty restaurants. The menu variety of CR was fine; the Signature and Prime 7 menu stayed pretty much the same. Prime 7 was disappointing as the steaks and prime rib were tough. The top deck buffet was more of a "feeding frenzy" which says more about the passengers than the ship or the crew. This was the rudest group of people we have ever cruised with. Norwegian Cruise Line must be marketing to a different client base. The day time on board activities are old and tired - Bingo, Bago, Bridge, Quilting, Trivia. Sounds like a nursing home. As for the Officers, there is very little done in public relations. There is minimal "meeting and greeting" expect for the cocktail party. Would be nice to see the GM and Captain "working the room" so to speak. I can't say enough about our cabin crew in 947 - Derlen and Edgar. They worked very hard and our cabin was in top shape. In fact, the entire crew is working extremely hard and are, in my opinion, over worked. The Jean Ann Ryan dancers and the Regent band were the best we've experienced on any cruise. We were disappointed enough in the cut backs on this cruise, that we did not book another one. We had previously booked a cruise in May on The Voyager and we'll see if improvements have been implemented. The overall conversation among returning cruisers is that things are not as good and detailed oriented as before and that the ship is short staffed. We hate to see Regent sink into mediocrity. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
The fun of this one month cruise was destroyed by the fact that the ship missed 4 ports of the 19 included in the itinerary, including Maldives, due to the declaration of the State of Emergency in the eve of our arrival (but without any ... Read More
The fun of this one month cruise was destroyed by the fact that the ship missed 4 ports of the 19 included in the itinerary, including Maldives, due to the declaration of the State of Emergency in the eve of our arrival (but without any evacuation of the thousands of the tourists in the country) and the most beautiful of the Seychelles islands, La Digue and Praslin, according to the captain because of the state of the sea (apparently the sea was flat but the landing was made in longboats and Oceania did not want to take any risk at all, in my opinion). We missed also Richard´s Bay, maybe the largest port of South Africa, officially due to the strong winds that prevented the arrival of the pilot by helicopter and we lost a precious afternoon in Cape Town, because of the rough seas that delayed our departure from Durban for four hour . Actually we arrived to CP at 9.00 PM and I expected to go to the Waterfront or to Long Street by night but Nautica just docked about 4.00 AM of the next day, surely to save expenses. Then we were putted out of the ship before 9.00 AM. More negative points: the extravagant prices and the bad quality of the shore excursions, the dubious level of most of the night shows, the quite expensive and low speed internet (it should be free, taking in account the price that the passengers were paying). Some positive points however: good food, especially in the main dining room, very comfortable veranda stateroom, staff attentive and pleasant. Final balance: I have no intentions to return to Oceania cruises, there are more exciting and cheaper alternatives. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
For our 5th cruise on Oceania we were really excited about the Dubai to Cape Town itinerary. Decided to upgrade to a Penthouse due to the length of the cruise - what a mistake!! Noise from the Terrace Café and kitchen/dish washing area ... Read More
For our 5th cruise on Oceania we were really excited about the Dubai to Cape Town itinerary. Decided to upgrade to a Penthouse due to the length of the cruise - what a mistake!! Noise from the Terrace Café and kitchen/dish washing area directly above us was constant from before breakfast to 1am to 2am at night. Only after I went upstairs at 1:15am and personally observed the staff banging dishes, shoveling ice into bins, washing big metal trays did the GM direct the staff to complete their work by 11pm. Despite promises to the contrary Oceania provided no compensation except for a token discount on a future cruise. Very, very disappointing. Unlike our prior Oceania cruises, the staff on the Insignia seemed tired, more interested in just doing their jobs rather than going the extra mile to provide cheerful service (the exception was our butler Andy who was outstanding). Personally observed the front desk staff being rude to guests. Lack of follow up on special requests and lots of passing the buck to someone else rather than seeing a matter to completion caused uncomfortable aggravation. My guess is that the growth of the cruise industry and/or Oceania has created a real shortage of trained staff and us passengers suffer as a consequence. Food, as always, is the big plus at Oceania. Had 10 dinners in the specialty restaurants but would rate only 1 as very good (none rated as outstanding), most as good but 4 with food or service issues that resulted in a below average or poor rating - something we had never experienced on our 4 prior Oceania cruises. Unlike prior Oceania cruises there seemed to be a directive to limit the size of portions. Wine selection and service is not Oceania's strong suit but to pour a 'corked' wine at a high end tasting seminar was a new low for us. Bottom line, Oceania appears to be slipping badly - not sure we will travel with them again and/or ever recommend them again (certainly don't waste the $ on a Penthouse stateroom) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
4½ stars. We went on the "Indian Ocean " cruise, calling in at 10 countries, mostly difficult-to-get-to islands, including Madagascar (3 ports) and finishing in Capetown. We were apprehensive on this cruiseline after ... Read More
4½ stars. We went on the "Indian Ocean " cruise, calling in at 10 countries, mostly difficult-to-get-to islands, including Madagascar (3 ports) and finishing in Capetown. We were apprehensive on this cruiseline after reading so many complaining reviews. We did note that many of the grumbles were of a minor nature. The ship was quite small, comfortable and homely. Staff were generally excellent, There was a multinational set of passengers, mostly Italians. The port destinations were exotic and pioneering in some cases. A phenomenal opportunity to get to see them. This was an adventure cruise. We were well pleased with the food. Lunches in particular always had a good seafood selection and fresh fruits and salads. (It was irritating to not have gratis water on the dining table. Take your own bottle in!) The captain was excellent - out-running a cyclone down the coast of Madagascar and presenting well to passengers. There were a few issues with mis-organisation - including on one occasion letting young inexperienced childcare staff run the issues of tender tickets. They treated us like infants. There was no senior member of staff there. It is a pity this cruise is not appearing on the 2015 list. I would implore Costa to run this again. i would definitely not hesitate to sail with Costa in future. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014
My husband and I are world travelers and have cruised many times on both ocean going ships and river boats. We love both equally, but for different reasons. When this most exciting itinerary came up with the potential for unique learning ... Read More
My husband and I are world travelers and have cruised many times on both ocean going ships and river boats. We love both equally, but for different reasons. When this most exciting itinerary came up with the potential for unique learning experiences and adventures in exotic places, it beckoned to us and we booked the trip a full year in advance (a first for us), and were looking forward to it. THE JOURNEY BEGINS: Our arrival in Dubai was an unmitigated disaster. If we hadn’t seen fellow airline passengers who we knew to be on our ship, we would never have found the local agent who was herding the group together for the bus ride to our hotel. But we weren’t going to same hotel as the other guests. Not sure why, but when we inquired if we would be picked up in the morning for the pre-arranged tour to Abu Dhabi and the Grand Mosque, reason enough to travel half way around the world, we were assured that we would be. No one on the hotel’s reception staff knew anything about Oceania; we were on our own. Arriving in the lobby first thing in the morning, we saw an Oceania reception desk being set up but the lady didn’t know anything about the tour we thought we were booked on. She told us we had a private tour scheduled for the afternoon, but we were on our own for the morning. Private tour sounds nice; a luxury car with driver and tour guide just for the two of us. So far, so good. We discussed with the guide what we’d like to see, at which point he took us on his own idea of a tour. And while some of it was interesting, he insisted that his driver go faster so we could arrive at a special shopping area to look at rugs before the shop closes. I had no interest in this, but we were his captives. We politely succumbed to the presentation of very expensive decorative rugs with gold embroidery on black velvet, but afterwards the guide chewed the clock at the end of the day so he wouldn’t have to take us anywhere else. We arrived back at our hotel in time for dinner, but without having had a true experience of Dubai. The next morning we were taken by car to the ship tied up at the pier. Another car took our luggage. Imagine the car getting lost in the parking lot with the ship clearly visible? It did. Not a good omen on the second day of a 30 day trip. ABOUT THE SHIP: the Nautica was recently refurbished and was spit and polish impeccable. Throughout the trip the crew kept it immaculately. Kudos to them. The main dining room wait staff and stateroom staff were personable and efficient. Service was excellent everywhere on the ship. And the food was the best we’ve ever had in a ship’s main dining room. Jacques Pepin created the menu and I can’t say enough good things about it. Food was always freshly prepared, imaginative, and excellent. It’s only because of my restraint at the dessert course (and the fact that I always took the stairs instead of the elevator) that I came home without having gained any weight. The opportunity was certainly there. The ship’s décor was, in my opinion, designed to create the illusion of elegance; but it was as though Downton Abbey style furnishings were purchased at Bombay Company, and was enhanced with brocade drapes and faux Oriental carpets. Even the “bookcase” in the entry to the dining room had trompe l’oeil dishes in it. It was all about illusion. And this became the theme of my experience of the ship; the illusion of luxury and of the administrative staff being helpful. They weren’t. When we complained about missing the Grand Mosque on the first day, the tour desk staff, while polite, told us there was nothing that could be done about it, but they would try to do something for us since the ship would be in Abu Dhabi the next day. But we were scheduled to visit a camel market in Ai Anin, a 6 hours (!!!) round trip drive.” Sorry,” they said, “We can’t help you since there’s no switching tours in the last minute. But we’ll try.” Huh? They succeeded in creating a sense of something being done to mollify us, but with no results. So frustrating. We learned to expect this throughout the trip. THE TOURS: we sat on a bus for the entire day going to Ai Anin to spend 10 minutes at a camel market and another 10 minutes watching a man climb a date tree. Really? We never saw the Grand Mosque, and most likely never will. I could go on and on about other missed opportunities, about really inferior tour guides, about bumpy jitney (not bus) rides on muddy, pitted roads. But the icing on this particular cake was when the owner of a destination restaurant in the outback of Mozambique told us that he receives only $40 per person that has to cover his expenses for the preparation of lunch, the wait and kitchen staff, three musicians and 6 dancers to entertain us, and we paid $169 per person for this. The tour guide on the jitney said not one word during the 3 hour round trip ride from and back to the ship. Good thing I did my homework about the region before we left home, otherwise I wouldn’t have a clue about what I was seeing. THE OTHER GUESTS: When we travel we enjoy socializing with our fellow passengers, and many of our dearest friends are people we met and toured with around the world. It’s one of the great benefits of travel. But, sadly, it didn’t happen for us on this trip. In my opinion, the other guests, while lovely people, were what I termed “Destination Charm Collectors,” now able check this place and that off their bucket list. IN CONCLUSION: When I reflect back on this trip and review the many photos that I took, I feel fortunate to have been able to see parts the world so foreign to me, but regret that I felt so “bubble wrapped” that my experiences of these places was quite limited. Yes, I was in Zanzibar, but I spent three hours on a spice plantation in 95 degree heat, and never saw the city at all except from the pier. And, considering how big the world is and how many places there still are to see, and truly experience, I doubt that I’ll get back to this part of the world any time soon. And if I do, it certainly won’t be with Oceania. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014
My husband and I are world travelers and have cruised many times on both ocean going ships and river boats. We love both equally, but for different reasons. When this most exciting itinerary came up with the potential for unique learning ... Read More
My husband and I are world travelers and have cruised many times on both ocean going ships and river boats. We love both equally, but for different reasons. When this most exciting itinerary came up with the potential for unique learning experiences and adventures in exotic places, it beckoned to us and we booked the trip a full year in advance (a first for us), and were looking forward to it. THE JOURNEY BEGINS: Our arrival in Dubai was an unmitigated disaster. If we hadn’t seen fellow airline passengers who we knew to be on our ship, we would never have found the local agent who was herding the group together for the bus ride to our hotel. But we weren’t going to same hotel as the other guests. Not sure why, but when we inquired if we would be picked up in the morning for the pre-arranged tour to Abu Dhabi and the Grand Mosque, reason enough to travel half way around the world, we were assured that we would be. No one on the hotel’s reception staff knew anything about Oceania; we were on our own. Arriving in the lobby first thing in the morning, we saw an Oceania reception desk being set up but the lady didn’t know anything about the tour we thought we were booked on. She told us we had a private tour scheduled for the afternoon, but we were on our own for the morning. Private tour sounds nice; a luxury car with driver and tour guide just for the two of us. So far, so good. We discussed with the guide what we’d like to see, at which point he took us on his own idea of a tour. And while some of it was interesting, he insisted that his driver go faster so we could arrive at a special shopping area to look at rugs before the shop closes. I had no interest in this, but we were his captives. We politely succumbed to the presentation of very expensive decorative rugs with gold embroidery on black velvet, but afterwards the guide chewed the clock at the end of the day so he wouldn’t have to take us anywhere else. We arrived back at our hotel in time for dinner, but without having had a true experience of Dubai. The next morning we were taken by car to the ship tied up at the pier. Another car took our luggage. Imagine the cars getting lost in the parking lot with the ship clearly visible? They did. Not a good omen on the second day of a 30 day trip. ABOUT THE SHIP: the Nautica was recently refurbished and was spit and polish impeccable. Throughout the trip the crew kept it immaculately. Kudos to them. The main dining room wait staff and stateroom staff were personable and efficient. Service was excellent everywhere on the ship. And the food was the best we’ve ever had in a ship’s main dining room. Jacques Pepin created the menu and I can’t say enough good things about it. Food was always freshly prepared, imaginative, and excellent. It’s only because of my restraint at the dessert course (and the fact that I always took the stairs instead of the elevator) that I came home without having gained any weight. The opportunity was certainly there. The ship’s décor was, in my opinion, designed to create the illusion of elegance; but it was as though Downton Abbey style furnishings were purchased at Bombay Company, and was enhanced with brocade drapes and faux Oriental carpets. Even the “bookcase” in the entry to the dining room had trompe l’oeil dishes in it. It was all about illusion. And this became the theme of my experience of the ship; the illusion of luxury and of the administrative staff being helpful. They weren’t. When we complained about missing the Grand Mosque on the first day, the tour desk staff, while polite, told us there was nothing that could be done about it, but they would try to do something for us since the ship would be in Abu Dhabi the next day. But we were scheduled to visit a camel market in Ai Anin, a 6 hours (!!!) round trip drive.” Sorry,” they said, “We can’t help you since there’s no switching tours in the last minute. But we’ll try.” Huh? They succeeded in creating a sense of something being done to mollify us, but with no results. So frustrating. We learned to expect this throughout the trip. THE TOURS: we sat on a bus for the entire day going to Ai Anin to spend 10 minutes at a camel market and another 10 minutes watching a man climb a date tree. Really? We never saw the Grand Mosque, and most likely never will. I could go on and on about other missed opportunities, about really inferior tour guides, about bumpy jitney (not bus) rides on muddy, pitted roads. But the icing on this particular cake was when the owner of a destination restaurant in the outback of Mozambique told us that he receives only $40 per person that has to cover his expenses for the preparation of lunch, the wait and kitchen staff, three musicians and 6 dancers to entertain us, and we paid $169 per person for this. The tour guide on the jitney said not one word during the 3 hour round trip ride from and back to the ship. Good thing I did my homework about the region before we left home, otherwise I wouldn’t have a clue about what I was seeing. THE OTHER GUESTS: When we travel we enjoy socializing with our fellow passengers, and many of our dearest friends are people we met and toured with around the world. It’s one of the great benefits of travel. But, sadly, it didn’t happen for us on this trip. In my opinion, the other guests, while lovely people, were what I termed “Destination Charm Collectors,” now able check this place and that off their bucket list. IN CONCLUSION: When I reflect back on this trip and review the many photos that I took, I feel fortunate to have been able to see parts the world so foreign to me, but regret that I felt so “bubble wrapped” that my experiences of these places was quite limited. Yes, I was in Zanzibar, but I spent three hours on a spice plantation in 95 degree heat, and never saw the city at all except from the pier. And, considering how big the world is and how many places there still are to see, and truly experience, I doubt that I’ll get back to this part of the world any time soon. And if I do, it certainly won’t be with Oceania. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
This was our third Oceania cruise, and as much as I hate to say it, not our best. We chose it because of the amazing itinerary. Dubai and several Emirates, India, Maldive Islands, Seychelles (on the bucket list), and down the coast of East ... Read More
This was our third Oceania cruise, and as much as I hate to say it, not our best. We chose it because of the amazing itinerary. Dubai and several Emirates, India, Maldive Islands, Seychelles (on the bucket list), and down the coast of East Africa to Capetown. I've read some of the very unflattering reviews of the restaurants, that was not our experience at all. It's tough not to repeat some menu items over a 30 day period in part of third world countries. Fresh giant tuna were bought fresh on the pier in the Maldives, we saw them bringing them in. Cold food was never a concern. We rarely ate at the buffet, why would you when the dining room service was very good, if not at times excellent. The Senior staff knew our names within a few days, Marina one of the captains had our decaf lattes ready at the drop of a hat. I honestly would say that there are probably going to be changes in the food once NCL get up and running with the line. That could be a problem. The staffing did seem a little my shy than usual on Oceania. One review called the dining room breakfast boring, how can Eggs Benedict be boring every day??? Just the fact it was available everyday was joy! And there was a different special every morning. But the pastries were heaven, baked fresh every day, I wish I knew where in the US to get a chocolate croissant like those. And the poolside grill with Surf & Turf sandwiches with truffle fries were great! I am in the food and wine business, so critical. The wine list is poor at best, and overpriced regarding quality. Our room was another matter. It was very large as it was a "Handicap Accessible" room. It could have used a little facelift. But considering the ocean temp was 88 degrees, the humidity was unbelieveable. People didn't use their balcony's, it was too hot. Not Oceanias fault. Last one in the category, inside. the aircon ran 24/7, and it never got above 69 degrees in the room. I did come down with a bronchial issue. But our stewardess Alexsandra was amazing. Always ice and our preferred sodas. What is never mentioned is Oceania looks the other way about bringing on your own alcohol. We never took the Oceania excursions, they are expensive. I worked with great travelers on Cruise Critic and we arranged super tours on our own, and made great friends that I'm sure we'll see again. We did have to bypass Mombasa, it too was on the bucket list, but there were terrorist threats, and the American Embassy closed, not a good sign. so we spent an extra day in the Seychelles, a great trade off. They were very unspoiled, with beautiful beaches. We brought our own snorkel gear so we were very flexible. Nautica is a small ship, no big theatre. No big production shows. The staff entertainment were great, and you got to know them, they also ran all the activities onboard. They were great fun, we won lots of points for prizes at the end. My husband also did quite well at the Texas Hold'm games on sea days, kept him happy! I did Trivia with a raucous bunch. The Cruise Director Julie James was one of the best directors ever!! all in all it was a long trip. What is the hardest was the 40 hour door to door return from Capetown, but there's no other way to go that far. Our biggest complaint was Emirates Air, won't fly them again!! Ever!! It was an 8800 mile sea voyage, smooth for the most part, and the best time of year to go. It wasn't cheap, but I am afraid what will happen with the NCL takeover. Eastern Africa is not ready for tourism yet. Mozambique and Madagascar are big, crowded Third world cities. 60% unemployment, 7th grade free education. No cute animal running around. People looked at us differently, like all tourists are wealthy, and they looked envious at our cameras that were common to Americans as costing a year wages for some of them. We did see some amazing sights, Zebras roaming a winery pasture. A half day safari in Richards Bay. Beautiful fish seen from standing on the pier, the water as so clear. So read between the lines of all reviews, did we get what we paid for? Maybe...but we were safe where we needed to be safe, and the food was good. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014
We are experienced cruisers(25+), however this is our first cruise with Oceania. We were very disappointed from our first encounter with the reservations agent to our final step off the ship. The only reason we took this cruise was no one ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers(25+), however this is our first cruise with Oceania. We were very disappointed from our first encounter with the reservations agent to our final step off the ship. The only reason we took this cruise was no one else offers this specific itinerary. We do not feel that we received the value commensurate with what we paid for this cruise. The reservation agents rarely returned our calls and when they did they did not have the answers to our questions. The most important question was how the prepaid Visa service worked. And they charge more than if you just went directly through CIBT. This biggest disappointment of the whole cruise was the food in the dining room at dinner. The entrees were never hot, barely lukewarm. And the dining room wasn't that busy because a lot of guest ate in the Terrace Café (buffet) because the selection was better and it was hot. Also, the lattes ordered after dinner were warm - not hot. We sent them back several times and still never got hot coffee. Sadly the service in the dining room was inconsistent. You quickly learned which area to ask to be seated. There were several times we would sit at our table for close to 10 minutes before we were even acknowledged. We jokingly called it the Invisibility of Two because we were a table for 2. One very pleasant surprise was that within a week the maitre' D knew our names. We finally felt like we mattered to the staff. The two alternative restaurants, Toscana and Polo Grill, were excellent and the service was exceptional. We had a cabin on deck 3 which was perfect because it's not a through deck so the only people down there are the guests in those cabins. We met our neighbors and they always request Deck 3 just because it is so quiet. The shore excursions are quite expensive and we did feel we got a very good value for the money. Because we were in such different locations we didn't feel comfortable going it on our own. Thank heavens they had DVDs to borrow because the evenings entertainment was not to our liking. They had a string quartet that played classical music several nights, 4 production shows, a couple of male singers and a flautist. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
Our fourth Regent Cruise, third with Voyager. We have also cruised with Oceania (3). My first cruise review. If you haven't been with Regent before and are thinking about it - DO IT! Most reviews are fair, accurate and most ... Read More
Our fourth Regent Cruise, third with Voyager. We have also cruised with Oceania (3). My first cruise review. If you haven't been with Regent before and are thinking about it - DO IT! Most reviews are fair, accurate and most complimentary; but I have read some astonishingly poor reviews and wonder what some people expect and where they will go next so do have a pinch or two of salt when doing your research. Regent is luxury in all areas. I won't repeat the advertising you can see, rather give some humble opinions. Check in was quick and efficient, you are offered a glass of champagne which is a nice touch, but some will feel a small glass of bubbly is a waste of time. If boarding at lunch time, which is served until about 4pm that is a good place to start while you luggage is placed in your suite. We always enjoy that first Veranda buffet of the trip with a glass or two of good wine. Suite: The suite was soon available with a bottle of champagne on ice to help with the stress of unpacking and trying to get the odd clothes hanging space in the dressing room from the wife! As always everything was pristine in set up and cleanliness. The suite staff, when you see them, are cheerful and always on the go. They always kept the highest standards in the suite, tidying twice per day at our convenience. You have a fridge which is maintained with your choice of drinks, and water is freely available. Restaurants: All are good and offer a very wide variety. I am fussy for hot plates and was never disappointed. Staff will always try to cater for individual wishes if they can, e.g. portion sizes. For us the choice of included wines is impressive - Sancerre, Pouilly Fume, Macon Lugny, Italian Pinot Gritio, Cotes de Rhone, and good clarets come alongside the new world choices. They recommend wines with dinner, but you won't offend by asking for what you like. Again the waiters are great everywhere, working hard with a polite and happy demeanour. We enjoyed the special pool deck lunches (e.g. Indian and seafood). Bars: Just imagine walking into a top rate bar/pub to be served with exactly what you want from quick, efficient staff. The barmen are worth watching for cocktail making skills alone. We also like with good quality canapés served early evening ('cos it could be minutes since you last ate!!). Pool area: Again great staff who keep loungers, drinks and towels in good supply, but there can be problems with the usual "lounger reservers" who plonk stuff down the go off for hours when others want to sit in the sun (or more importantly the shade). Do complain to managers and they will act. The problem arises as there are too few loungers if many guests want to use the pool area. Entertainment: A variety of bands, singers, dancers, comedians, musicians, lecturers, cards, casino games, quizzes, deck games, and a library. You guessed it.... you can't do it all, and sad if you can't find something you like. Spa: Not used, but looked expensive to us poor folk! Gym: Not used but walking around the top deck (7 laps = 1 mile) is good fun either in port or at sea. Captain and crew: Captain Daniel was a pleasure through out and a worthy pool volleyball "mate" when he could get way from driving. His senior managers are most approachable to hear good or bad things, I think they really do want to know and have seen them act when necessary. All other crew are hard working and enhanced our lovely cruise experience. Itinerary: Dubai - to Cape Town through the beautiful Indian ocean, and in November/December. Yes it is a dream come true. Wealthy UAE states, chaotic India, Maldives and Seychelles, African wildlife and finish in the best city in the World. Sea days made a restful break from sightseeing. With Regent you can book trips included in the price which is helpful and reassuring. They gave a good variety so choose carefully. The standard of guide and transport did vary of course. Again destinations are down to your taste. We enjoyed: sand dune safaris in Abu Dhabi and Fujairah, dolphin cruise and Omani coast, the mayhem of Mumbai, beautiful Seychelles beaches, forest and monkeys of Zanzibar, lemurs of Madagascar, the hippos and crocs at St Lucia near Francis Bay, Durban safari at Tala and all of Cape Town. We did not care for Goa/Mangalore/Cochin despite loving India from previous holidays. The Maldives visit was very poorly managed. We have been to these beautiful islands many times. This did not do them justice. We arrived at 3pm (it gets dark at 6pm) and parked near Male (the scuffy and boring capital + no alcohol allowed). We left the following morning so no chance to do anything then. Regent could have arrived early morning giving a full day to for example: sea plane sightseeing, diving, snorkelling on beautiful reefs, visiting truly deserted coral islands, visiting truly five star resort islands. Smoking: As a non smoker It was good to see smoking areas so that people did not smoke in risky places. To be fair the smoking areas appear the most sociable with laughter often heard from the groups there. On occasions the smoking areas were too confined for the numbers. The cigar lounge also smelt too smoky from outside, better air con would help. Children: There were only two, very well behaved children who caused no issues to us. We do not want to be near noisy children and fear the worst now that "reduced" child prices have started to appear in brochures on some cruises. If you are like us do your research to avoid the pleasures of sharing the pool with other people's noisy little darlings. Will we go Regent again - Definitely Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014
So many people will never cruise Oceania again. We were first & last but there were many loyal multi cruisers who commented how the line has declined.We met atleast 6 who will never return & one was in owner suite .Since it's ... Read More
So many people will never cruise Oceania again. We were first & last but there were many loyal multi cruisers who commented how the line has declined.We met atleast 6 who will never return & one was in owner suite .Since it's sale quality is gone & they are penny pinching. The one constant was the high quality meat brought in from USA. The menu repeated many times & desserts were ordinarily awful,food served cold.Very difficult to get restaurant RSV & then shocked to see they were usually only 1/2 full or had no turnover. The breakfasts were boring same buffet -they even lied to me & told me I have been eating chicken or beef sausage when it was pork which I can't eat ! They have a platter of umpteen kinds of herring but only 1 choice of cheese.Some got sick from hollandaise.Free juices were a cheap sugary or watered down premix.Boring old style low end lunches from the 60's. Excursions were double the cost & terribly organized. Many mistakes & they don't refund even when they break the contract. One tour we had a broken down bus with broken mike so no air or commentary. People got sick yet they did nothing. The staff was disgusting-same unprofessional male tour staffer Bus 11 or others never even offering elderly their seat in another bus.Brazilian guy at tour desk even yelled at me when they charged me for a tour I never ordered. Check your statements.Even when they knew about error the onus is on you w no apologies.Don't expect service or kindness if you are disabled. One friend in wheelchair was bowled over even though he was the 1st waiting for shuttle-they did nothing,bus filled & it went without him. If u ask for reserved seating no one checks & regular folks sit in rsv without being told to move. One man with 2 walking sticks was pushed to back of the bus.There were no activities, culture shows, history lectures,local entertainment. Night shows very average & cheap out dated programs with minimal costumes.Best were 4 nights of 2 broadway actors.The lighting was unprofessional & minimum band opportunities for passengers to dance. Social Staff also clueless-no variety or imagination. The pool deck party had NO decorations or food. Dead ship, no fun, no one in casino or lounges. The only good thing was the wonderful hard working staff, Without them they have a ghost ship ! Try Princess for better value .organization,professionalism & fun activities, Choose Seaborne in same price bracket with more class,food creative quality fine modern dining & amazing caring tour operators. They even reimbursed us for our private tour because they arrived late in port & we missed the train to town.There was no PA commentary on interesting things when arriving or departing a port. no music or siting info.One night the captain didn't warn that we were entering current yet he was dining when the boat made a huge tilted lurch-staff were even caught off guard. Very scary yet no one cared to calm nerves.They never had water or juice, cold towels at gangplank upon return in 90-100degree temp or welcome at embarkation..Not one flower on any dining table. No colourful decorations on buffet or serving counters.This company thinks highly educated affluent won't notice this minimalism. Don't waste your money because Oceania isn't using it for much. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014
My review is my experience on the Oceania Cruise Line. This 30 day cruise was my wish trip. My mother who had been to many of the ports was kind enough to go with me. We both have been on many cruises, but not the cruise line Oceania. My ... Read More
My review is my experience on the Oceania Cruise Line. This 30 day cruise was my wish trip. My mother who had been to many of the ports was kind enough to go with me. We both have been on many cruises, but not the cruise line Oceania. My mother usually travelled the higher class cruise lines so Oceania I felt would be OK. FIRST: The first day on the ship I like to get everything in order like the internet set up, extra dinners and check on excursions. I booked our trip directly with an Oceania representative who had told me my mother and I had 200 free minutes each. The internet girl on the ship was very nice, but said I had to talk to the front desk. The front desk said I had to talk to the Concierge desk. I spoke to the Concierge and he informs me there is nothing he can do. I asked him if he would let me check my e-mail and I could give him the name of the Oceania representative. He told me I could not use his computer and would have to pay the internet center to check my e-mail. He spoke to me insisting that there was nothing he could do and he would check with the home office on Monday and this was Friday. He did not raise his voice, but he was extremely arrogant. He told me how long he had been with Oceania and basically I was out of luck. I had never been treated like this before. I was tired and got teary eyed which is very unlike me. When I got back to the room, my mother said she was surprised someone would treat a passenger this way. The next day I went to the internet department and the girl allowed me to use her computer to check to see who my Oceania Representative was. I then went down to the Concierge and told him her name and he had already found it and sent her an email. He never bothered to call my stateroom to let me know. He e-mailed her and she said she did not give us any free internet minutes. I was upset and asked to see her e-mail. He would not show it to me. This man lacked any form of customer service. I then asked him to leave a message for the General Manager. The GM called me 2 days later and only after I said something to the front desk. The GM said he would have to check with the home office who said NO, but after 4 days the GM decided to give us the internet minutes. Why would anyone let a customer go through this ordeal. I did write the Oceania Representative and the Oceania main e-mail line. The representative said she had not given us 200 minutes. I could not believe it. SECOND: When we were on the pre tour in Dubai my mother and I were suppose to have 2 beds. They told us they did not have any available. Keep in mind we booked this trip in July 2014. They said they would give me a roll a away bed which was so uncomfortable and an upgraded room that included a larger closet. Why would we need a bigger closet when we were there for 3 nights and lived out of our suitcase?? We did have a king bed in the room, but my mother likes to sleep alone. Meanwhile when I got on the ship, I was exhausted. THIRD: It took my mother and I two hours to eat at a two person table. The servers we had acted like they did not know what they were doing. The food was cold most of time so we decided to eat in the Café most nights. The Café was excellent and the food was hot. FOURTH: The excursion desk/personnel were not organized. They did not solve our issues and many other peoples issues. This was the talk on the ship. They just said they had to check with the Home Office and then nothing was done. There were times the excursions were just bad. FIFTH: Before the cruise our Oceania Representative suggested we book a hotel room in Capetown because there were no excursions set up yet. My mother is 86 years old so waiting in the airport all day was not an option. The Oceania Representative said we could change it after they posted excursions. I asked the excursion desk about Capetown excursions and they said they would know sometime in the middle of the cruise. When the excursions came out, I tried to book one and was told I had to cancel the hotel 45 days before the cruise began. I was never told this. In fact, I was told the opposite. They said they would check with the Home Office and they said NO. Meanwhile we paid over $300 each for the hotel room. We had met a nice couple who had booked a private car through Oceania. They asked us to join them, but we would now need a van to accommodate all the luggage. We paid $200 each for this 4 hour excursion in Capetown. The excursion desk said it would be easier for them if we would pay the couple we met directly and they would charge them the full price. This is what we did. SIXTH: The ship had been remodeled, but the bathrooms were not. All they did in our stateroom was caulk over the mildew. After a few showers, the caulking started to drop off. The drain in the bathroom constantly smelled. They said they tried to do something, but it did not work. On a thirty day cruise this is unacceptable. OVERALL my experience on Oceania's Nautica was not worth the expense of what is suppose to be an upscale cruise line. Read Less

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