54 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
NEVER AGAIN!! Completed a segment of the Oceania Around the World 2019 cruise. Treated like a second class citizen by ATW Travelers who were given special privileges while the rest of us treated as if we did not belong despite the ... Read More
NEVER AGAIN!! Completed a segment of the Oceania Around the World 2019 cruise. Treated like a second class citizen by ATW Travelers who were given special privileges while the rest of us treated as if we did not belong despite the dollars paid being very high.(The ATW cruisers made up nearly 3/4 of the cruisers onboard) . Atmosphere onboard - us and them - it was dreadful. Crew extremely nervous of upsetting any ATW cruisers. Specialty restaurants completely empty by 9pm - no atmosphere with most ATW cruisers in bed by this time. Menus at Oceania Toscana restaurant not overhauled in 14 years. Food offering very “yesterday” very heavy. ATW given priority for all sittings at specialty restaurants before 8pm. Constantly asked by other cruisers and crew if we were “Seggies” the name given by ATW cruisers to the perceived “second class” i.e.those who were NOT on the ATW Cruise. Made very clear we should - stick together and not bother the ATW’s. At least there were many wonderful “Seggies” but all of us felt we were treated - differently -in all aspects of the day to day cruise life compared to our past crushing experiences. Shore excursions were outrageously overpriced and slow. Those with permanent injury and unable to walk unaided, taking excursions they could not complete without assistance. Ship encouraged it -simply money making. Entertainment onboard was very ordinary and if there were acts that invoked fun they were quickly told off by the ATW travelers via the Crusie Director making most entertainment bland and boring compared to other luxury cruises we have experienced. MOST DISGUSTING OF ALL was witnessing the BAD BEHAVIORS of grown Women to each other and the crew over OF ALL THINGS - NEEDLEPOINT. Crowd control became necessary after physical fighting and crying broke out over not getting their desired Needlepoint pattern. Ship made daily announcements about the need to obey security at the morning Needlepoint distribution. Very large groups of ATW women joining together- physically fighting, lying, pushing and shoving to gain advantage over others. Ongoing ridiculous abhorrent behavior that would seem funny BUT it was ugly to watch and unfortunately very TRUE!!! We also sadly paid handsomely for the privilege to witness this - ship could not control them. Clothes were stolen out of ships dryers and worn by other ATW passengers and when challenged they answered “ prove it’s yours “. ATW cruisers organized their own exclusive sessions onboard for various things taking over the use of public space and telling Seggies they must leave the area. Crew would tell us to move or the ATW people would make their lives hard. Yoga sessions were conducted by a passenger who was NOT a trained, sanctioned employee of Oceania. She and her ATW students demanded and were given exclusive use of the gym while not allowing Seggies to attend their sessions or access portion of the gyms common area during her sessions. Again we were told not to question it - they had priority. The list goes on -It was absolutely horrible !! More like traveling with a very self indulged group of Aged Care Retirement people. Never again!!. This was NOT - repeat NOT - a Luxury Cruise it was the Cruise from HELL! Travel on a segment of any ATW cruise with Oceania at your own risk. If you still have life in you and you wish to enjoy your hard earned vacation dollars in a good environment explore other cruise options. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first Oceania Cruise. We chose this ship for the itinerary. This ship is the smallest I have ever sailed on and at first I was a bit concerned but I found it to be a wonderful ship. It is a bit worn but it is being updated ... Read More
This was our first Oceania Cruise. We chose this ship for the itinerary. This ship is the smallest I have ever sailed on and at first I was a bit concerned but I found it to be a wonderful ship. It is a bit worn but it is being updated soon. The staff is excellent. They knew our names after a few days. Service was great. Food was wonderful. Our favorite was Tuscano. This was a 21 day cruise and we did have quite a few sea days. Loved them. There were plenty of activities for us. We were with another couple and played a lot of cards. Our cabin was concierge level and this gave us free wifi for one item but we learned how to use multiple phones/ipads without too much trouble. We didn't do a lot of the entertainment in the evening but the ship's crew were very good the little we did see. We did use the casino, however not many people seem to enjoy the gaming. Did not really enjoy our cruise director but that is just a personal point. Our ports were fabulous. We booked all private tours so can not speak to the ship's excursions. It is an older crowd and there were no children on board. We met some very lovely people on this cruise. Read Less
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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We just returned from an amazing voyage to Arabia. 19 days voyage. what can I say. spectacular. suites are super large, big tvs with lots of entertainment choices. we booked suite 1014 category V6 and loved the location. everyday ... Read More
We just returned from an amazing voyage to Arabia. 19 days voyage. what can I say. spectacular. suites are super large, big tvs with lots of entertainment choices. we booked suite 1014 category V6 and loved the location. everyday when we went for dinner we would see the pool lit up and just made us smile. it was truly magical. my husband described the feeling of being in the ship, like being in your country club. in our case, they knew our names, and greeted us all the time by our names. they knew our food preferences and always made sure we were accommodated. Thomas Keller Grill was superb. We found the dining room to be a little slow for our taste. if we wanted to leave by a certain time we would tell the maitre d ahead of time. we like to eat by 7PM and go to the show at 8:45PM. most of the time it worked perfectly. we ate once in the evening at the patio grill and it was great. I know of plenty of people that never got dressed up for dinner and just ate dinner at the patio and the colonnade. colonnade had a sit down area instead of buffet and also an outside patio. we chose to have cappuccinos in the morning in our suite but go for breakfast at the patio of the colonnade every day . truly delightful. we ate lunch most days either at the sushi restaurant or the patio. LOVED. excursions were great. we did 4 of them with the cruise. there was caviar on the surf at an island of Abu Dhabi . super fun. temperatures for this cruise is for people that like warm weather like I do. some days temps were 100 such in muscat. cannot wait to return. we did put a deposit for a future cruise , and this deposit will give us 5% in a future cruise that we book and we have 4 years to book or we get our money back. we know and saw lots of people playing trivia, and that a big thing. they had many teams, and it was competitive. also, bridge was big. art classes were busy, which I never went, and lots of guests went to the lectures . they were super interesting and you could watch them live in your suite, or later in your tv with on demand. we met Wonderfull people and there quite a diverse array of passengers from every country. met some nice single people and first time cruisers and they were all having a fabulous time. 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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
If anyone had told us that we would be returning to Dubai less than 6 months from our last embarkation from that port, I would have thought them crazy. But then we received a Seabourn brochure this winter that had an itinerary with ... Read More
If anyone had told us that we would be returning to Dubai less than 6 months from our last embarkation from that port, I would have thought them crazy. But then we received a Seabourn brochure this winter that had an itinerary with pricing that we could not pass up. This was the chance to try out a true “luxury” line. Even though we already had a deposit on a cruise for 2019 that would include the Suez Canal and bucket list destination Petra, travel on Seabourn’s Encore would be in a larger cabin with more amenities. So, this April, we found ourselves back in the UAE. We took advantage of Seabourn’s air as the price, after applying their air credit, was better than what we could get on our own. We made our own hotel arrangements and stayed at the JW Marriott on Abu Baker Al Siddique Road, near the metro. This time we added an extra day for a visit to the Emirate of Sharjah and also made it to Burj Khalifa and the Jumeriah Mosque in Dubai before boarding Encore on April 22. Check-in went quickly and we proceeded to lunch in the Colonnade as our cabin was not quite ready. Our first surprise was that the buffet was self serve – a definite change from any of the lines we had recently been on and the second was an oddly placed structural column in front of the hot food area. These were small matters that were soon forgotten as the announcement was made that the cabins were ready. Our guarantee cabin was on Deck 7 which is the perfect deck for quick access to Seabourn Square, which is the hub of activity for the ship. We were immediately impressed with the granite bath with its double sink, tub and separate shower, comfort height toilet with soft close lid and ample storage. The makeup vanity in the hall is perfect for hair care. It was topped with a sprig of fresh orchid and the name card of our stewardess, Patience, who appeared shortly after we arrived to introduce herself and offer a selection of designer soaps. She did an excellent job keeping our suite spotless for 19 days. There were so many great things about the cabin that it’s almost hard to remember all of them: plenty of storage space (including the walk in closet with double row for hanging and the chest of drawers), curtains that were functional and not just decorative so you could actually separate the sleeping and living areas, a full size couch, a glass table large enough to be set for proper en suite dining, the stocked bar. Ah, the bar. Seabourn totally won me over with the ice bucket kept inside the mini fridge so there are always plump ice cubes available. Two bottles of our preferred liquor were provided along with set-ups and once the beer preference was established, the fridge was always fully stocked. While there were no USB charging ports, there were plenty of 110/220 outlets for all of our needs. The spacious veranda was an enjoyable spot to indulge in caviar and shrimp cocktails brought by room service The evening turn down service usually included a little surprise (NO towel animals thank you) along with the next day’s Herald, Dining Guide and obligatory chocolates, although in Seabourn’s case they are designed in collaboration with Thomas Keller and Armando Manni! On different evenings there were eye shades, a Seabourn book mark, Holy items from Jerusalem and a cute paper boat with our ship id picture set on an opened page of the World Atlas provided to each stateroom. Seabourn delights with small details. We felt the food was probably the best we’ve had at sea though there were a few disappointments with dishes not being hot enough or over done but usually things were easily corrected. We missed having a pasta station where the dish is cooked to specific requests but perhaps that would have been accommodated had we asked. The largest dining venue, the Restaurant is located mid ship and offers 4 or 5 different entrees daily in addition to the “always available” and includes vegetarian options for most courses. Dinner tends to be a drawn out affair but the time goes quickly when there is such good conversation. We accepted invitations to two hosted dinners and thoroughly enjoyed the evenings. The Grill by Thomas Keller is by reservation only and features several courses that are prepared or finished tableside. The Colonnade is popular for breakfast and lunch with several items cooked to order, though many items appear every day and there are not many desert options. Themed menus with table service are usually the norm for evening in the Colonnade. Dining on The Patio by the pool is available for lunch and dinner with a limited selection, with one evening being very good and another being less than marvelous. Sushi is a delightful small venue, both with the menu and service. Specialty coffees and small snacks are available from the baristas in Seabourn Square for a good number of hours and a proper tea is served at Tea Time in the Observation Bar. One of Seabourn’s specialties is the bread sticks and they make them by the thousands every day – so good! In case you don’t get enough to eat at a meal, there is freshly made gelato available on the patio or at Seabourn Square for much of the day. There are not many loungers around the main pool but there are hot tubs and a small pool on the rear of Deck five and another hot tube on the front of Deck 7 that provide more space for sun lovers. The bar servers attended to these areas bringing ice water and special request drinks. There are also loungers on the front of Deck 12 with no shade but it offered an excellent vantage for viewing the Suez Canal. There are also stations set up with amenities such as sun tan lotion, eyeglass wipes and bug repellent (for the Suez transit) Announcements are kept to a bare minimum so it’s helpful to keep the daily Herald handy to sort out the day's events. There were plenty of things to stay busy on our nine sea days including “Conversations” with four brilliant guest lecturers, dance lessons, two art classes per day, bridge lessons and much more. A galley tour was offered and was so popular that those on the waiting list were treated on the second tour with champagne and lead by Head Chef Giuseppe himself. If you are a fan of art auctions or bingo, Seabourn is not the line for you because you won’t find them on board. About one third of the guests were from the US, followed by Australians, Canadians and then a wide mix of travelers from Europe which made for fun teams for daily trivia. We went to slightly less than half of the evening shows which were all quite good and the Seabourn singers and dancers were excellent. Our ports included Sir Bani Yas (Abu Dhabi), Doha, Muscat, Salalah, Aqaba, Ashdod, Haifa, Santorini, and disembarked in Piraeus. We booked the Desert Island Game Drive on Sir Bani Yas through Seabourn as it is a private island with not many options. The drive is not terribly exciting except for seeing hundreds of Arabian Oryx which have been brought back from near extinction thanks to the Oryx Conservation Group. This island was also the site of Seabourn’s signature caviar in the surf and fabulous barbeque with all of the supplies being brought from the ship. Our Roll Call was very quiet compared to other lines but we were we were able to form private tours for Oman and Israel. We used private vans hired by Seabourn for Jerusalem and Galilee for customized tours that included Bethlehem in Palestine which was a sobering experience. We were comfortable doing Doha on our own and took cabs to the souk and the Museum of Islamic Art. We booked a private guide for just the two of us in Aqaba so we could make the most of our time visiting Petra and Wadi Rum. We had the thrill of being picked up by private yacht at the tender point in Thira and spent 5 hours cruising the caldera and enjoyed lunch overlooking Thirassia. After a silent disembarkation, our seamless transfer in Piraeus was handled by Seabourn with plenty of time to make our 1:30 flight to Newark via Zurich. We appreciated the attention to detail and concern for passenger comfort from the entire crew starting with Captain David Bathgate and his senior staff, cruise director Ross Roberts and assistant director Ashley Edwards, Guest Relations staff (who have the patience of saints) the hospitality team, stewardesses, seamen. The Captain was very friendly and visible, starting from when we first met him on a tender, to participating with trivia questions and judging the boat building contest. He was even present to wish us farewell on our last trip down the gangway, along with Ross, Ashley and the staff from Sushi. Ross is arguably the best cruise director we’ve had the pleasure to sail with and added much to making this a memorable journey. We really enjoyed our fellow passengers, the crew and not have to think about whether or not anything we wanted was “extra” as virtually everything is included in the fare. Hopefully there will be another Seabourn cruise in our near future. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Cruised from Dubai to Southampton from the 19th.April-10th. May ----had a sheltered stateroom -4021-which our steward , Dayle , kept immaculate , there wasn't anything that was too much trouble for him even supplying us with fresh ... Read More
Cruised from Dubai to Southampton from the 19th.April-10th. May ----had a sheltered stateroom -4021-which our steward , Dayle , kept immaculate , there wasn't anything that was too much trouble for him even supplying us with fresh milk daily rather than using sachets of milk. The Stateroom was very good with plenty on storage and where we were situated was very quite , no noise from anywhere and the sheltered balcony at first being a concern was in the end great, I would recommend . We had late seating in the Britannia restaurant . The food was excellent every evening and plentiful [ I cant understand when I see reviews saying the food is not good ,I'm sure people don't eat better at home !! ] also we had lunch some days in the Britannia and it was equally as good . The Kings Court was also very good with plenty of choice and variety . There was one very bad thing that I picked up on , the so called baked ham offered as a carvery was a vacuum packed ham that had been baked of not a baked gammon as one would expect from Cunard , I'm speaking as one that worked in the meat and food industry all my working life. All other areas for food such as the Carinthia Lounge and the Chefs Galley also very good . The Boardwalk Café a complete waste of space as was the whole area of the deck around the café with no shelter and at times the temp. was in the 40's where we were. Evening entertainment was very good on the whole ,as where most insight lectures and afternoon concerts . One thing that did concern was on the last two evenings on board we where told that the ships resident dance and vocal entertainers couldn't perform because the stage lift didn't work and couldn't be fixed---well the rumour was this wasn't the case and the dancers were under rehearsed and the second rumour was employment issues with the staff ???------I personally believe that there wasn't a problem with the stage ?? . Service I found throughout the ship was excellent although some staff could smile a little more especially security staff.----My main concern with the QM2 is the layout of the ship , one does compare and the layout seems odd when comparing with both the Queen Victoria and the Queen Elizabeth , the pool areas have no shade not many tables around and don't seem as part of the main ship--I hope that makes sense , I'm not a ship builder so maybe it's because the QM2 is a liner and not a cruise ship.---Still had a fantastic time , enjoyed every day. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This was our 5th Cunard cruise and second on QM2. The cruise was 3 weeks from Dubai to Southampton transiting the Suez Canal which we had never done before, this and visitng Petra was the main reason we booked with Cunard as our travel ... Read More
This was our 5th Cunard cruise and second on QM2. The cruise was 3 weeks from Dubai to Southampton transiting the Suez Canal which we had never done before, this and visitng Petra was the main reason we booked with Cunard as our travel agent had a pre cruise offering of a South Africa trip 3 days 2 nights travelling on Rovos Rail from Petoria to Capetown and 2 nights in Cape Town before flying to Dubai for 2 nights so this was the main reason we booked with Cunard. There were just over 350 passengers doing the whole world cruise and we were told that's half the number there usually is, the remaining passengers like us were doing segments. Embarkation in Dubai was well organised and fairly quick, we were on board by 12:30pm and we made our way to the Kings Court for lunch which at that time was very busy but we did get a seat. Our cabin was available by 1pm, we got one suitcase quite quick and unpacked but the other didn't arrive until just before the boat drill however we managed to unpack in time for dinner. We were first seating in the Brittania Restuarant at 18:00, a bit early but the later sitting was too late for us. We had asked for a table for 2 which we got however these tables are so close together they are tables for 4, our table was 350 was not in a good position in the restaurant and I wouldn't recommend it. Food is always subjective and in my opinion the restaurant food was neither great or bad just mediocre , it was always presented well and was piping hot however not very inspiring. The waiters were always very busy but they were attentive and helpful. The food in the Kings Court was good, plenty of selection at breakfast and lunch, we had dinner a couple of times and we were surprised at the selection and the good quality of food available in the evening, it was very popular with guests who wanted casual dining. We had dinner in the Verandah Restaurant which was a nice change but not worth the $49 each to dine there, only 2 other tables were booked when we were in, I wonder why! There was alternative dining set in an area of the Kings Court and this had 5 different menus which changed every week there was American, Asian, Mexican, Italian and Indian, we ate there on one occasion and the food was very nice, there was an additional charge of $19.50 each for the privilege. Alcohol and mixers/soft drinks in the bars were very expensive especially when there is an 18% service charge on top, you also have to buy water, yoj an get it by the glass from a dispenser in the Kings Court, water is complimentary on a number of cruise lines and hotels bit not on Cunard. We purchased good wine ashore to drink in the restaurant and paid the corkage fee of $20 which was more cost effective. Service in the main was good and the majority of staff were friendly and helpful however there were some staff who were quite sullen and gave the impression that they didn't want to be there, this isn't White Star Service, in addition there was no interaction with the officers and passengers, we only saw the Captain on two occasions during the 3 weeks on board, at the welcome on board party and the loyalty club party. There are free laundries for passengers to use on each deck, there were always queues of people trying to get a machine, there were 4 each washing machines and dryers and they were constantly busy, this is not a nice place to be as people get quite annoyed and I witnessed a few arguments e.g the same passenger using 2 washing machines a 2 driers this tends to frustrate people. We had booked trips through Cunard to Petra, Herculaneum and Rome, although expensive they were good, well organised trips with excellent guides so felt they were good value for money. The celebrity speakers, Antony Horovitz, Sally Gunnell, a retired customs officer and forensic scientist which unfortunately I don't remember their names were all interesting The theatre company was okay and we enjoyed most of the guest entertainment especially the Barricade Boys, Mike Doyle and Kev Orkian Disembarking in Southampton was quick and easy. Would we travel with Cunard again, possibly if the price was right but there are other cruise lines out there who offer a superior service and are much better value for money. 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
The cruise linked some new ports for us with some we wished to revisit. Also a brief Western Med cruise on Azamara had really impressed. Suite benefits also very attractive. With the one exception of the Azamazing Evening (which ... Read More
The cruise linked some new ports for us with some we wished to revisit. Also a brief Western Med cruise on Azamara had really impressed. Suite benefits also very attractive. With the one exception of the Azamazing Evening (which definitely was not!), the cruise exceeded expectations. The food in the specialty restaurants and the buffet is outstanding. Crew went out of way to be helpful. Suite kept immaculately and goodies just kept arriving. Would i recommend? Yes without a doubt. Azamara Journey is R6 in the former Renaissance fleet. An ideal size which with under 700 passengers can reach smaller ports. It also has a more intimate fell. The way the Captain and Cruise Director Eric worked together was a joy to behold and experience. The ports of call were very interesting and. Contrasted nicely. The Kuala Lumpur ships tour was particularly well organised. It more than made up for the disappointing Azamazing evening in Colombo where Taj Hotels put on some lovely Sri Lankan dancing interspersed with some dire westernised singers. At embarkation in Singapore we were embarrassingly held by Customs because we had some small Azamara bottles of sports. We were eventually allowed off without a fine if we paid USD 42. Duty. A trap for the unwary. Azamara could usefully warn passengers. A brilliant very memorable cruise with 2 small glitches which in no way detracted from a wonderful cruise. We aim to sail Azamara again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose the cruise because of the itinerary to Southern India and Sri Lanka. The departure point was Dubai and we had never been there either. New ports were hard to ignore. Dubai and the UAE were special. The architecture, the ... Read More
We chose the cruise because of the itinerary to Southern India and Sri Lanka. The departure point was Dubai and we had never been there either. New ports were hard to ignore. Dubai and the UAE were special. The architecture, the buildings, the people and the culture were fascinating. Surprised that the city was so clean. Booked three tours on Viator: Top 5 places to see, Falconry in the desert, and a day trip to Abu Dhabi's Grand Mosque. Our stateroom was a Spa Suite which was beautiful. We had a huge washroom with separate sinks. There are many drawers for clothing storage and many closets. Definitely spacious. The drawback to these suites on the 9th deck is the smoking section nearby. “Spa suite” should be in a healthy area of the boat. We had to walk through thick smoke to enter our room. Not good placement for a suite. The entertainment was nice, the speakers were excellent. Bingo was disappointing in that few people showed up for the game. Cycling in Goa was a disappointment in that it was cancelled due to poor turnout. Dined in Prime steakhouse and the Italian Restaurant. Food selection was excellent. We did not care for the dining room atmosphere. Overall, great cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We booked this cruise as it was planned to visit Madagascar which was cancelled due to a plague outbreak. Extra days in the Seychelles and a visit to Reunion were substituted. It was our first time on Crystal, although we have cruised with ... Read More
We booked this cruise as it was planned to visit Madagascar which was cancelled due to a plague outbreak. Extra days in the Seychelles and a visit to Reunion were substituted. It was our first time on Crystal, although we have cruised with all the major cruise lines and we were not disappointed. The recently refurbished Symphony is stunning especially the Palm Court which is situated on deck 11 at the frount if the ship, unfortunately this was always very quiet and sometimes lacked atmosphere in the evenings. The evening entertainment was varied and excellant, the Resident singers and dancers and orchestra were outstanding. The food was excellant in all dining areas and we especially liked Prego the Italian themed Restaurant, during our cruise we had 4 visits to the Speciality Restaurants. The staff thoughtout the cruise were very good to excellant a special thanks to Norman on the Lido deck so cheerful and efficient. Our stateroom was on deck 7 and although it seamed small at the outset, we soon settled in, the shower was the most powerful we have had on any cruise. The weather throughout the cruise was hot and sunny with the usual daytime activities e.g. trivia and a series of lecturers on board, just a personal view here but we would have liked a little more activity, just a personal opinion. Embarkation was a breeze on the ship within 15 minutes. Unfortunately the ship transfer to a local hotel and airport transfer at the end of the trip was very disorganised. We had been to all the other ports before and therefore arranged our own trips. We would definitely travel with Crystal again, it is like an excellant Boutique hotel at sea. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
i had great expectations prior to my cruise on Crystal Symphony and was not in the least disappointed. The food was varied, well presented, interesting and simply delicious. I have seen some criticism of the Brazilian Restaurant. I simply ... Read More
i had great expectations prior to my cruise on Crystal Symphony and was not in the least disappointed. The food was varied, well presented, interesting and simply delicious. I have seen some criticism of the Brazilian Restaurant. I simply don't agree with that review, and found the food delicious and the staff very professional. There are plenty of choices for restaurants on board this ship and ones which meet all requirements, which is important when the passengers are so diverse in their origins and tastes. Buffets can be not to everyones taste but when of such a high quality and freshness cannot be considered below any reasonable persons standards by any means. The staff on board were a credit to Crystal Cruises and were a joy to meet. The entertainment was varied and of a very high standard to all tastes. Embarkation and Debarkation procedures were very professional and streamlined and the free WIFI, although slow at times, was a good addition to the overall services provided by such a wonderful Cruise line. 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was a sixteen day cruise that started in Dubai and ended in Singapore. We choose this cruise not for the itinerary but the experience of sailing on the Seabourne Encore. The ship exceeded our expectations it has a very well designed ... Read More
This was a sixteen day cruise that started in Dubai and ended in Singapore. We choose this cruise not for the itinerary but the experience of sailing on the Seabourne Encore. The ship exceeded our expectations it has a very well designed lay out and feels much bigger than it is. The crew was friendly, attentive and very professional. The restaurants (4) had varied menus and rank among the best we have had on any cruise. The entertainment was of high caliber and varied, also we had no trouble getting sitting for the shows. One design flaw is they have some structural supports that blocks some seats in the showroom. They had 4 different speakers that sailed on most of cruise and they gave really interesting talks on all the sea days. The ports in the middle east were interesting but not really worth going back to. The Indian ports on the other hand starting with Mumbai has lots history but it has bad air pollution and horrendous traffic which impacts touring. Mangalore is really an industrial seaport and has very little to offer. Cochin our last Indian stop is one of the best places in India for a visit lots of history and interesting things to see and buy. Colombo was very interesting and scenic and I would go back. Singapore I have been to before and is one of the worlds great cities, my daughter and family also live there so that was another reason we picked this cruise. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
First time on QM2...Arrived Dubai by air and spent 3 nights in JW Marriott (outstanding hotel)and had an "evening with Katherine Jenkins" which was excellent...did several private tours within Dubai...very good value. Overall ... Read More
First time on QM2...Arrived Dubai by air and spent 3 nights in JW Marriott (outstanding hotel)and had an "evening with Katherine Jenkins" which was excellent...did several private tours within Dubai...very good value. Overall impression of Dubai was Very good and would go again for a holiday. Boarding QM2 was not good and waited for over 6hrs for our luggage to come to our stateroom. As we were in the Queens stateroom on deck10, unable to attend our first lunch as we had no change of cloths.....shorts not accepted for lunch. Went ashore (privately) in Muscut. The trip round Yemen into Red sea was uneventful, thank goodness, although QM2 was well prepared.... Aquaba and Petra came next....outstanding trip and well worth going all this way for.... The 12 hrs though the Suez canal was another highlight of this trip...(think even better than the Panama canal)....Onto Limasul (Cyprus) and Messina and Naples, where we again went on a private trip to Sorrento, so had the day to ourselves...Then onto Lisbon and finally Southampton. Disembarking was another nightmare, created by Cunard. .Being on the Queen's suite, no priority given to us. They wanted to wait till ALL baggage we in hall before we could go down, this meant a huge jam in hall....top Suites should have been released much earlier..... Having done a World cruise on QE 2 yrs ago, we expected better from this cruise.... Entertainment was poor to very poor and we walk out twice.....only one lecture was of a high standard, John Peters....the others not so good. The Royal Theatre was not that good. No seats are bookable, so you had to rush your dinner to be seated 1 hr before the shows to get a good seat. The seats are like a 'big couch" with no arms.....not very comfortable either. The Pursers office seemed not to care about their jobs very much and on the 3 occasions I used them, found them rude....it was as though they were talking down to the older passengers.....ave. age must have been 65.....I found this attitude very concerning. Our Queen's stateroom was excellent, and made up for other short comings of this cruise. Very big with plenty of room and cupboards....Balcony was huge and excellent for sunbathing. The Grills dining couldn't be faulted either. Excellent choice of menu and service outstanding. This cruise left us with the impression , that Cunard were at the end of their World cruise and wanted to fill up the ship from Dubai with 900 people....that meant entertainment and ports of call suffered.....even the Captain, who was retiring, seemed to have lost interest. The QM2 has just been 're-mastered', unfortunately they should have looked beyond the new furnishings Value for money , this was a poor cruise and we would not travel on the QM2 again but stay with the QE instead....we have already cancelled our cruise on QM2 for 2018 and will go in 2019 on QE......speaking to our fellow passengers in the "Grills" they too had the same opinion, that QE was better. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We booked an excursion to Paphos in Cyprus. The description of the tour which appealed to us was 1. Taken to Paphos and have three hours free time to explore independently or 2. Visit the Villa and see the mosaics and the tombs of the ... Read More
We booked an excursion to Paphos in Cyprus. The description of the tour which appealed to us was 1. Taken to Paphos and have three hours free time to explore independently or 2. Visit the Villa and see the mosaics and the tombs of the kings and lastly 3. Take a stroll along the harbour. However, we were given no choices at all! We were dropped off at the harbour and left there. There was only a few restaurant and tacky gift shops. I was in a wheelchair and on 24/7 oxygen. We tried to find some shops but it was a long trek and we only found a very small mall and went back to the harbour and waited there for a coach to return. We put in an official complaint at this persons desk when we returned and received 10% refund which was an absolute joke we had wasted our money and our day in Cyprus. The literature is completely misleading and if we had known what was in store we still could of taken the free shuttle bus or gone to Limassol where apparently the guests had a fantastic time which made us even more fed up ..... I keep trying to get in touch with the excursions specialist team as we was advised to do once we got back to UK but I have had no luck getting through so needed to vent my feelings somewhere. As for the cleanliness of the newly refurbished Kings Court, we found it dirty, especially the walls next to the tables, the skirting, the windows. Infact, a lot of the communal areas needed TLC. They were cleaned but the staff were very lethargic and did everything at a snail's pace and didn't seem to take any pride in the fact that they were on a Cunard ship, although they cleaned they didn't clean the edges or the corners. This is where germs lie ......... 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
Sail Date: April 2017
I have always liked the Whisper but will never take a segment of a world cruise again. In this segment, the majority of the passengers had been on this cruise since January and had established little groups to dine, drink and socialize ... Read More
I have always liked the Whisper but will never take a segment of a world cruise again. In this segment, the majority of the passengers had been on this cruise since January and had established little groups to dine, drink and socialize thus the new passengers had to find other new passengers in order to have a good time. This segment from Dubai to Athens had fewer new passengers due to the possible danger passing Yemen and other countries in the news but the tours to Luxor, Petra and Gisa were very worthwhile and Silversea takes precautions and has never had a threatening incident. The familiar crew on the Whisper helped make the trip more enjoyable. On the next segment from Athens to Monte Carlo, it was reported that 160 new passengers would board so I'm sure they outnumbered the tired world cruisers but we have cruised the Mediterranean many times and had seen many portsand we departed the Whisper in Athens. The food was wonderful in all dining venues and tasted better than I had remembered. The evening entertainment was professional and entertaining, Day lectures were educational and worthwhile and included a travel professional who highlighted the upcoming tours with a visual presentation describing history and cultural advice and additional sights. On days at sea, two speakers entertained passengers, one on British spies during World War 1 and two The other speaker told us his fascinating experience in Africa with camels. He actually rode by camel across the Gobi desert. Also on the British experience in Africa. The swimming pool was active with sun worshippers throughout the day as well as the hot tubs. Underwater exercises took place at 2 pm followed by water volleyball at 3. 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
65 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
The first of Seabourn's "larger" ships changed too many of the things that made the previous generation special. The common areas, floor by floor: 12 - the new Retreat area is peculiar and expensive. I understand an ... Read More
The first of Seabourn's "larger" ships changed too many of the things that made the previous generation special. The common areas, floor by floor: 12 - the new Retreat area is peculiar and expensive. I understand an effort to generate revenue from otherwise dead space, but $350 for a day's access to a large tv screen and top-shelf liquor, under canvas, isn't sensible. I predict this will quickly be replaced by a golf simulator. 11 - Observation has suffered from the wider space and bad lighting. A vaulted ceiling over the bar simply leaves the rest of the room feeling small and cheerless. 10 - treadmills overlooking the stern are a modest improvement, but the trade-off was loss of the terrific relaxation area in that spa spot. That spa area has been shrunk and moved to a dark, cheerless hallway. It is necessary to walk through the reception area to access the only toilet. I rate the entire spa/gym area slightly worse than the older ships despite an increase in space. 9 - Colonnade has more space, but deployed it oddly, with a U-shaped buffet line consuming table space. Seabourn for some reason decided to have hosted dinners here, and that really doesn't work. Patio grill swapped ends of the ship and somehow lost shaded seating space, an unfortunate design outcome. Pizza remains excellent. 8 - TK Grill has a very nice piano bar with, on this cruise, a brilliant entertainer. The Grill is very proud of the Thomas Keller association, so limits cruisers to two dinners. No great loss. Lobster Thermidor was overlooked and horrid, sole overlooked and overdressed, and "daily specials" were anything but special. Steak was the best I've had on Seabourn, but only average by any other measure. 7 - No great changes to Seabourn Square, although the changes were harmful. Bookshelves are too low to be able to see titles. The customer service area has no single entry, so disciplined queuing is impossible. Coffee bar is unchanged, although for some reason the lunchtime sandwiches have disappeared and Grandmother Cake continues to be held in reserve until 11 am. 6 - Grand Salon eliminated two of the three video screens, meaning that a large portion of the seating suffers from obstructed views. Big step back. 5 - laundry ... oh, wait, THERE IS NO LAUNDRY!!! 5 - Club is simply awful. Bartender must go to the kitchen to make a drink. Lighting is poor, but the lighting design on the entire ship is bad. Big loss of a formerly terrific gathering spot. 4 - dining room is not changed much, although again, lighting is badly designed. For some reason, the kitchen on this cruise has been unable to produce a meal in less than 90 minutes, a long time to wait for unremarkable food. Menu continues to shrink, so the kitchen ought to be able to get the meals out. Steak here remains a very bad idea ... bad cuts, badly prepared. New Years Eve surf and turf was inedible. Senior staff is carried over from other ships, and is generally excellent. But there is a real Upstairs/Downstairs element here, with line level crew launching F bombs around passengers in a very un-Seabourn fashion. I'm sure this will be brought up to Seabourn standards, but needs attention and training. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We have sailed with Azamara 4 times and probably this last cruise was a little less value than the others . Overall the cruise was as usual excellent as far as food and service was concerned but it's the little things , the wine ... Read More
We have sailed with Azamara 4 times and probably this last cruise was a little less value than the others . Overall the cruise was as usual excellent as far as food and service was concerned but it's the little things , the wine particularly the white was generally awful several times the whole table at dinner sent it back on enquiry we were told that if we want better we could opt for the wine package this is supposed to be all inclusive, also many of the spirits i.e. Jameson's and Blue Saphire etc etc are no longer included which was a shame . These are small things but it's a 5 star cruise why start to ruin it for the sake of nicer wine and a few bottles of spirits come on Azamara don't spoil it . We are sailing on Celebrity eclipse in February it will be interesting how it compares, we have drink package included and have upgraded that to include the Jameson's and Blue Sapphire and we have 400$ to spend on board which will help with wifi cost . Read Less

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