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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I'm going to break my review into some basic areas that really are the things most folks look for on river cruise. The Tours, Food, Accommodations, Ambiance and staff. Let me start with the easiest first...Staff. Staff: Uniworld ... Read More
I'm going to break my review into some basic areas that really are the things most folks look for on river cruise. The Tours, Food, Accommodations, Ambiance and staff. Let me start with the easiest first...Staff. Staff: Uniworld certainly knows what it's doing when it comes to hiring the "best of the best" as we found each and every person on board to be kind, engaging, fun, service oriented and just lovely. In particular Adrian, our Waiter, was Amazing, as was a bar waitress named Sylvia. Always a smile, they remembered the smallest details: How you like your drink, or the type of coffee you enjoyed. Our stewardess kept the cabin SPOTLESS and we were so impressed with how quickly they did their work. Can't praise them enough! Food: Meal quality was a little uneven. In particular Uniworld always has some basics on the menu in case you can't find anything you like in the daily featured dishes at dinner. The "Everyday" menu included things like Chicken and Steaks and Salmon and while prepared pretty well, the quality of the ingredients seemed to be lacking a bit. Strongly suggest they look to their purveyors to up that quality of the proteins on board. The breakfast and Lunches are all buffets and they were really excellent always plenty of choices. The dining room is a bit tight with big comfy chairs but overall a very pleasant place to spend a good portion of the evening. Again, the staff shined with complimentary wine flowing. Overall dinners were OK, just not at the level we were expecting at this price point. Tours: This is where I feel Uniworld really shines and is totally the reason to pay a little more for Uniworld. We saw other lines with huge groups of people but Uniworld had these small intimate group tours around the various cities. We couldn't have been more impressed with the guides (they get the best of the best) and loved the 'do as the locals do" visiting markets, riding public transit with our guide and learning ever so much, about the daily lives of the locals. A++++. Accommodations: So Uniworld claims to have the best beds on the rivers and indeed they do. Seriously it's no joke, these beds are off the chart. It's like sleeping in a gloved hand, resting on a cloud. I could go on and on but suffice to say, you will want to try, as we did, to figure out how to get this bed home with you! The decor is really quite something, shall I say " Over the Top". Makes you feel like you are staying in one of the palaces that you've toured each day. Initially I was a bit taken aback, but quickly realized it was replicating the experience of old Europe and very quickly I fell in love with it all the tufts and frills. while I wouldn't decorate my home this way, the style and glamour immersed you in the European style and we loved it! Ambiance: Sadly on our sailing there wasn't a piano player in the lounge and that was a miss, as a little music during cocktail hour and afterwards would have made the product come to life a little more. Uniworld does bring on entertainment in some of the ports but would have loved a little more consistency in this area. I found the other guest on board to be quite social and we met tons of new friends. Bottom Line: It's worth the extra $$. You will be wowed and super comfy! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This is our third Scenic Cruise both previous ones were in Asia and were outstanding in ALL RESPECTS. We were a little taken aback atvthe sizebof alm the ships on the Danube as ours and all others seemed to have over 150 passengers ... Read More
This is our third Scenic Cruise both previous ones were in Asia and were outstanding in ALL RESPECTS. We were a little taken aback atvthe sizebof alm the ships on the Danube as ours and all others seemed to have over 150 passengers which to me was like a cruise line with 4000 plus passengers! Having said that the organisation of the cruise was outstanding and our every wish was accommodated! It was hard to understand why do few cruises go through to the Black Sea as the further north we went the demands of more and more tours became apparent and quality deteriorated! And we travelled in April! The staff in our ship were equivalent to the outstanding crew we had experienced in Myanmar and The Mekong! Our butler service by ATI and Stat made the journey so much more enjoyable and they are to be commended similarly the joviality of the senior butler Chris was appreciated by all! The Cruise Director was happy to meet our needs as because of a disability I cannot walk far and we had all our requests accommodated! The cruise on the Danube was relaxing and enjoyable the countries visited were historically interesting and we enjoyed the experience! I would not want to further up and suffer the issues of overwhelming Numbers! Each passenger has their own expectations we had ours met by the splendour of the Riger and countries the absolute attention to detail by our Bali butler ATI and the help of our support butler from Serbia Stat who was a source of great local information to us! Thank you staff we enjoyed The first night at The Marriot in Bucharest is best forgotten and the company should look for a better venue! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband and I just came home from the Lisbon to Barcelona cruise in April. It is our third cruise with Windstar. Pros: The staff is wonderful. They know your name by the second day. The food is good particularly the barbeque ... Read More
My husband and I just came home from the Lisbon to Barcelona cruise in April. It is our third cruise with Windstar. Pros: The staff is wonderful. They know your name by the second day. The food is good particularly the barbeque on the deck. There is a nice variety of food to please everyone. The suites are spacious. King size beds, a sitting area, a double variety bathroom, and a walk-in closet. The ship is very clean. The security on and off the ship is good. The shore excursions to Gibraltar, Alhambra and Seville were very good. The daily programs and nightly talks are very helpful for background information. Embarkment and disembarkment are quick and efficient. We extended our stay at the end of the trip to Barcelona. It was wonderful! Cons: The shore excursions are expensive. WiFi is not included and should be. Wine and beer should be included not an additional charge. A lovely vacation! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
After 2 amazing days in Rome, my wife and I set out on the NCL Spirit for an 11 day adventure to Greece, Malta and more of Italy. We booked an aft facing penthouse suite with large balcony not only for the space, but the service that was ... Read More
After 2 amazing days in Rome, my wife and I set out on the NCL Spirit for an 11 day adventure to Greece, Malta and more of Italy. We booked an aft facing penthouse suite with large balcony not only for the space, but the service that was promised. This ship does not offer a "Haven" experience, but suite guests get some similar perks. We have sailed in a Haven room before, so we can give an honest comparison. Without the Haven amenities on this ship there is not a dedicated dining room and lounge area to enjoy besides the steak house for breakfast and lunch. For dinner you are on your own unless you buy extra meals in the specialty dining rooms. This cruise came with 4 nights of specialty restaurants and we purchased 5 more. Before we sailed this seemed like a good idea but the only 2 good restaurants to eat in that could be reserved early was the French Bistro and Cagney's Steakhouse. The food and service was very good but grew tiresome by the end of 11 days. Other areas on the ship served decent food and didn't cost any more money. Suite guests also have the services of a concierge and a butler. This was the same service Haven guests have on other ships but there is no one specific place to go see either person. Instead you can call. Every time we called either person, they immediately answered and took care of us. In particular, our concierge Monica was simply outstanding! We had a problem with all of the amenities we had received with our cabin purchase and she took care of the issue within an hour of my call to her. We changed reservation times on more than 4 occasions and she always got us a table when we wanted it. She was the best part of our suite perks for sure. In short, we feel you cannot compare the Suite experience with the Haven experience. The exclusivity of the Haven is far above and the cost is definitely higher as well. Here are a few examples... At embarkation, we were given a #7 boarding card and had to ask if suite guests get priority. Of course our documents were checked properly and we received a #1 boarding pass. We then had to ask if there was a section in the waiting area for suite guests as well after we were told to sit anywhere and wait for # 1 to be called. This was all wrong because there is an area for Owners suite and Penthouse suite guests to check in. Unfortunately some of the staff were not aware and it did not make us feel like we were getting the exclusive treatment that was sold to us. The issues mentioned above that were fixed should never have been issues in the first place. When you book a cruise and get a price that includes all of the extras you check off, like Ultimate beverage package, Shore excursion credits, WiFi and Specialty restaurants, you should not have to go to anyone and wonder why you are being charged at the bar, dinner and WiFi. Seems like something got missed and if we didn't have a concierge to help, we would have spent a lot of time in line trying to fix it ourselves. The priority you get in each port of call is a nice perk for suite guests. If you have a booked excursion, you meet in Cagney's instead of the theater. You get off first and then wait for everyone else on your tour on the bus. Haven guests have it a little nicer in that they are escorted in a private elevator on and off the ship avoiding crowds of people. On this ship, the room we had was very nice. Some of the furniture is getting a bit dated but there was plenty of space and the bed was very comfortable. We were in cabin 9210 and a few evenings when the ship is at full throttle, the vibration and noise could be bothersome to some people. My wife and I did not mind too much. At normal cruising speed, it was fine. Current photos of this cabin are attached. We could not find any current information leading up to our cruise so we hope this helps. As far as the ports are concerned, this cruise was fantastic! Even though we did not call Santorini due to the lift not working on the island, we were able to visit some amazing places in just 11 days. Athens, Mykonos, Rhodes, Chania, Valleta, Messina, Naples and Livorno round trip from Rome. Simply amazing!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first Oceania Cruise. Past cruises with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Disney. I did a lot of research. We decided on the cruise because we have wanted to visit Ireland (this cruise docked on Cohn and Dublin) and the ... Read More
This was our first Oceania Cruise. Past cruises with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Disney. I did a lot of research. We decided on the cruise because we have wanted to visit Ireland (this cruise docked on Cohn and Dublin) and the transatlantic crossing intrigued us. We arrived early; at the dock 11:30 am. Embarkation in Manhattan was very easy, quick. We were on the ship in 10 minutes. A group of 6 adults, we headed to the Terrace Cafe for lunch which, though very crowded, fed us well. While at lunch, they announced our cabins were ready. We traveled Concierge level A3. Our cabin was spacious, spotless. Our luggage had been delivered. We quickly unpacked and set off to explore the ship. The fact that the ship was on the smaller side attracted us as well. It was easy to navigate. We saw the spa, met the artist in residence, saw the teaching kitchen. Muster drill was ...a muster drill. Dinner that night was at Toscana. While at lunch we were approached with an open reservation so we took it. It was delicious. So let’s just get the food out of the way. Dinner at all the restaurants was delicious, including the main dining room. We ate at Toscana twice, at Jacques twice, and at Pollo once. We passed on Red Ginger even though it was most highly rated, most of our group were not fond of Asian food. The rest of the cruise we ate in the Grande Dining room for dinner, many lunches and a few breakfasts. And this is Cruise was the only Cruise we actually had dinner at the buffet. And it was enjoyable. We also enjoyed the afternoon tea. Their service from stateroom attendants to all servers, bar service, every employee we had contact with, was excellent. The entertainment with 1 exception was adequate. The exception, Chuck Wagner was excellent. Now the reason for the title. Even with all the preparation and research, the weather had a severe effect on this cruise. Weather in Canadian ports was forecasted to be normally high 49s low 50s. It snowed in Halifax, so our stop in Newfoundland was cancelled. Snow accumulated on the decks and verandahs. 6 or more inches as well as deeper drifts. Access to the open decks was prohibited, though I do not know why you would want to go out anyway. Five straight sea days followed of rocking, crashing waves and rolling. We truly missed having access to an indoor pool on the ship. We grew tired of the movies. There were enrichment talks, usually 2 per day at 50 min. each, trivia but by sea day 4 we couldn’t wait for a port. Our day in Cobh, home of Blarney Castle was cold and rainy. We enjoyed our excursion but for the first 1/2 hour the windows were so steamed on our bus we could see nothing out of them. Wiping just gave us brief glimpses before they steamed up again. When we got back on board, we were informed that the weather was too bad and our Dublin stop was cancelled. We stayed in Cobh an additional night. The next day the weather was still so bad, it made walking into the small city undoable. We did enjoy the museum on Irish immigration and the Lusitania and Titanic in the welcome center 10E each and the small but well supplied shop as well. When we finally continued on our journey, the captain and crew were finally able to get us out of the rolling, rocking seas and we made the last two scheduled port stops, in Saint-Malo and Le Harve. We enjoyed the warm spring weather there and on our last sea day. We were content with our excursions. One aside, now that I’ve had the experience. We had never been to Paris and after discussion and research did decide to do the one day excursion from Le Harve into Paris through the cruise line, though it was pricey. It is 6 hours (3 to, 3 back) travel, another hour plus ride around the city to see the main sights, 1.5 hours on your own (20 min searching for a toilette) and 15 min photo op at the Effiel Tower. My opinion now...not worth it. Do something closer to Le Harve. On the whole, it was less than expected experience. Are we glad we went? Yes. We enjoyed much of the cruise. Had we been on RC or another line with a ship with more to do, the sea days would have been more easy to get through. If we were with our children and grandchildren, this is not the line we would have chosen. We knew that when we booked. On the up side, we can plan a British Isles-Ireland Cruise with the kids. Debarkation was a mess due the the face to face with British immigration and having to collect our passports before leaving the ship. We waited in lines that at times had no end. Seriously. No one knew where the end of the line was and the crew was not able to help the situation. Still they were pleasant with hundreds of seniors many of whom were acting like toddlers at Disney. We were in line with a gentleman who had an excursion at 8:30 am. It was 7:45 am. We did not get to the passport station until 9:15. I hope they held his tour. I don’t know who is to blame for that mess. We had a pleasant bus ride to the airport. All the air arrangements were made through Oceania and it was as pleasant as a day spent at Heathrow and an 8 hour transatlantic flight could be. Same movies as onboard. Some things you just can’t control. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My first time on this ship and with this cruise line, we picked this because of its itinerary and its smaller size. It didn't start off smoothly but the cruise line fixed the problem and everyone was compensated very well. We did ... Read More
My first time on this ship and with this cruise line, we picked this because of its itinerary and its smaller size. It didn't start off smoothly but the cruise line fixed the problem and everyone was compensated very well. We did explore the embarkation port which was Singapore stayed 5 days and loved it a most beautiful city with so much history. The Quest ship is still being updated, there was some construction going on during the voyage, not too intrusive. I was in a suite club continental, everything was new and updated huge bathroom, king bed, new carpets, large balcony and many more perks that come with the suite cabin. There are unlimited dining options in the specialty restaurants all included and wonderful we ate in both Aqualina and Prime C excellent service! Also, all international buffets were outstanding. Entertainment was fantastic loved all of the local shows, Ports and excursions were good the only thing, I found it very hard to understand and hear the local guides speak, especially when in a group of 25 or more, they should provide headsets on all the tours. Overall we did enjoy this trip and all the beautiful ports, service by the cruise is outstanding and they really go out of their way to make you feel at home. I would consider another cruise in the future for sure! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This is our 3rd Regent cruise, and 2nd on the Mariner. Happy on the 1st & 2nd cruises, but not so on this one. Let's start with the good points: * Excursions: Wide choice and well executed. * Drinks: Good variety, and ... Read More
This is our 3rd Regent cruise, and 2nd on the Mariner. Happy on the 1st & 2nd cruises, but not so on this one. Let's start with the good points: * Excursions: Wide choice and well executed. * Drinks: Good variety, and quality. Wines range is excellent. Bar staff are great, and very flexible. Shout-out to Maya in Observation lounge for her great mixing skills. * Rooms/Ship: Nothing to complain about here. Very quiet (no noise from corridor or rooms next door). Matched expectations and the brochure promises. * Entertainment: Standard fare. Not what we come on a cruise for. * Lecturers: Up there with the best we have seen. * Main Dining Room (MDR): Never denied a table. Good food & varied nightly, but a bit unimaginative. A few small hiccups with a lunch that took 90 mins to arrive, but not a show stopper. But the elephant in the room is the fiasco that is the congested La Veranda/Sette Mare. BREAKFAST (La Veranda) * The congestion is horrible. One example: Toast is made by 1 staff member, and the numerous guests waiting for their toast block the already narrow passage. * The limited space makes some guests pushy and rude; especially if time is short before an excursion. * Saw one guest served under-cooked fried eggs; she did not eat them. * Never went a 2nd time. LUNCH (La Veranda) * Best described as an unpleasant bun-fight on busy days. Continuously running out of things (Main dishes, butter, cheese, etc). When asked, staff would replenish but it just adds to the crazy congestion, frustration, and delays. * Staff will take orders and deliver - which is great is you want your food cold. DINNER (Sette Mare) * 4 nights in a row: Denied a table for 4 between 19:30 ~ 20:15. Usually told the wait was 45 mins. Or told: "Suggest you come at 18:30 tomorrow". So we went to MDR each time. * 5th time lucky, but underwhelming food. So what is the problem? As we were on the same ship just 3 months ago, and did not have the same issues, I concluded it is simply that when full (as it is on this cruise) the La Veranda/Sette Mare simply can not cater properly for the guests on board. This is especially acute if the weather means the pool grill is unpopular that day/night. Once we realised all our frustrations centred on La Veranda/Sette Mare, we simply stopped going there. The little frustrations vanished and we really enjoyed the rest of the ship & cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I would like to give a bit of back ground info on myself so that when reading this review you can judge if it is relevant to what you deem important in your cruise experience.  My husband and I are in our late 50's early 60's we ... Read More
I would like to give a bit of back ground info on myself so that when reading this review you can judge if it is relevant to what you deem important in your cruise experience.  My husband and I are in our late 50's early 60's we have over 250 days on Seabourn, 150 days on Silversea and 60 days on Regent.  We sailed the Navigator for a month and loved that ship (even though I felt it was a little crowded at times).  We sailed on the Mariner in Nov/Dec 2018 and enjoyed the cruise experience very much.  We would sail on either of the three lines mentioned but the itinerary comes first for us.  In fact we have a Silversea cruise booked in June 2019, I will be taking my mother on the Voyager in August and we have a Seabourn cruise booked in February 2020.  In this review I won't go into the ports because there have been live blogs done of this cruise so I feel that is redundant.  What I will do is talk about the on board cruise experience.  I'm a positive person and I'm aware how fortunate we are to be able to vacation in such a luxurious way but want to give both the positive and negative views of our latest cruise so it may help others in selecting a cruise line that suits their needs whilst also giving a realistic view of what to expect and not what the glossy brochures portray. The good: Cruise director: John Baron is probably my favourite cruise director.  We sailed with him on Seabourn (his first actually) and then again on both Mariner cruises we have taken.  He is friendly, approachable a good entertainer (his show was really enjoyable) and a great trivia host.  We have also sailed with Marla (his assistant) on Seabourn many times and it is always nice to catch up with her. Compass Rose and both specialty restaurants.  Food was very good at all three of these restaurants. Wine: I feel Regent along with Silversea offer the best wines on any cruise line we have been on.  I also really appreciate the wine tasting of non revenue wines that Regent does.  I wish other cruise lines did this.  The selection of beer and spirits is very good. Cocktails:  The best of all three lines as mentioned above.  Yes, Seabourn has this new mixology cocktail menu.  Very trendy but honestly IMO not as good as Regents offerings.   Shore excursions:  I know a lot of guest really enjoy having the all included shore excursions.  I'm not a fan really as I like to do a bit of both and I know I could do that on Regent but I feel in some way I have already paid for these so I may as well take them.  I find I'm far more adventurous when sailing Seabourn or Silversea as I do a bit of both the cruise lines excursions an independent excursions.  Having said that I can not fault both the organization and the tours themselves.  They are as good as anything that you would pay for on either Silversea or Seabourn.   We did two tours that included lunch and both were a highlight of the trip. Room Service:  I really like the way Regent handles room service.  You place your order and then they call you just before it arrives to your room.  We often have breakfast in our room and it is so nice to get this call and be ready for when it arrives.  Seabourn and Silversea call you after to ask how your food was and inform you that they are going to pick up the tray.  Every time! This gets annoying and feels somewhat disingenuous.  Also when you ask for a glass of Champagne from room service they bring you a bottle.  Seabourn will bring you a glass.  So kudos to Regent for that. Quietness and stability of the Mariner:  This ship rides so smoothly in rough seas and we had a couple of days of those.  The noise insulation is very good.  Never heard our neighbour or any guests in the passage ways.  No vibration that we felt. Breads:  My husband loves bread (french bread in particular) and I will agree with him that Regent has the best bread of the three cruise lines.  Crusty French bread and great artisan breads. Internet: My husband is Tech person and he finds it very important to have good internet access so he can keep in touch with his business.  He appreciates that you can have multiple devices connected in your room.  The not so good: Waiting two hours to be served lunch in Compass Rose.  I later spoke with Ricky (Food and Beverage Manager) and he explained they were implementing a new ordering system and had some teething  problems. This did get better as the cruise went along.  We did get numerous apologies for the wait. He also let know that on our last cruise there were only 500 passengers on board and that this cruise they was at capacity with a full ship. La Veranda:  I can not tell you how disappointed we were in this venue.  Crowded beyond acceptable.  Extra tables were put in the walkway on both side of the buffet and whilst this was appreciated by guests trying to find a table it made the buffet even more crowded.  A full ship with early spring weather (some sunshine but mostly cool) and the Veranda could not handle the passenger numbers.  Management needs to have a good look at this problem.  Perhaps offering a special menu in Compass Rose for lunch to entice more passengers to dine there at lunch would help.  We just avoided going there as it was a disaster.  People bumping into one another.  Dishes running out (seafood platter) and people waiting in queues for 10 minutes to get a portion.  They just did not cope with the amount of guests trying to dine here.  People couldn't find a table, food running out, long waits for it to be replenished.  I also found the food here to be unimaginative.  This is where Regent falls down.  Seabourn's buffet is so much better in variety and quality.  I will say the pizza was good but honestly that was about it. Regent makes the best burger as sea I have ever tasted.  That is where the good ends.  Look at what Seabourn and Silversea do at night on their pool deck.  A real alternative dinning option.  The buffet on the Mariner for lunch is not great at the pool deck.  They had a Mexican buffet and Greek one day and that was just okay but they could really improve on the food offerings here. Afternoon Tea:  Again this is an area where Regent falls behind the other two lines.  Chocolate afternoon tea.  Same tea bags that you can get in any venue and a couple of the cakes were still frozen.  If it is not a special afternoon tea event, you get a small buffet and an offering of tea bags.  Both Seabourn and Silversea have a tea selection which is served at your table and on Silversea a tower of afternoon tea snacks.  Some times we like to skip lunch and just do afternoon tea but we did not do this on Regent. Entertainment:   Some good and some not so good.  The pianist Nicky was fantastic.  The Duo at the bar at the back of the ship are great in the disco but not really suited to pre- evening dance music.  An example of this is that we had a full ship and only 4 or 5 couples dancing.  They are not great and we had them on the last Mariner cruise as well.  Seabourn wins out in this regard as they have a trio and a guitarist and also a pianist so you have much more choice.  Silversea is about the same as Regent.  The guests entertainers were also a mixed bag.  The Australian entertainer was very good.  The Filipino vocalist who won The Voice (or something similar) was good the first night but not so good the second night.  The entertainment is not the most important part of a cruise for me but I do like to dance before and after dinner and we did not do much of this on this cruise as the Duo was really not good.  Summary: As you can see there are more positives than negatives and we really did enjoy this cruise.  Having said that we have never experienced so many little hiccups on one cruise before.  Yes, no cruise is ever going to be perfect or perfect for every guest on board but there were a lot of little hiccups that I have not mentioned. These hiccups happen on all cruise lines but on this cruise there were more than usual.  I have tried to be honest and balanced in my review as I think this helps perspective guests set their expectations and helps them to select a cruise lines that works for them.  I usually like to end my review with would I cruise on this ship again.  Well, yes and no.  I would not cruise Mariner on a cold weather cruise where there was a possibility of a full ship.  I would probably cruise Mariner again a hot weather cruise if the itinerary was right but it may not be my first choice. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The Silversea expedition ship Silver Cloud may be old, but it’s totally modern, attractive and comfortable. My wife and I had a wonderful 34-day cruise in spring 2019 from Capetown to Lisbon, stopping at 17 places in western Africa. Our ... Read More
The Silversea expedition ship Silver Cloud may be old, but it’s totally modern, attractive and comfortable. My wife and I had a wonderful 34-day cruise in spring 2019 from Capetown to Lisbon, stopping at 17 places in western Africa. Our suite was great, as were the staff and the public areas. Food ranged from good to very good, sometimes excellent. There were shortcomings. Three scheduled ports were dropped before we left because of security issues. People booking this cruise in the future need to know they may not get all the ports they paid for. Also, not all the ship excursions were well-run and supervised. And the enrichment speakers could have been better. The Ship. Built in 1994 and heavily refurbished in 2017, the Cloud looks like a real ship. It’s almost perfectly maintained. Painters were frequently seen doing touch-ups, a sign of a well-run vessel. Suites have pleasant, usable balconies, two chairs, a sofa, a coffee table and a desk, and small but utilitarian bathrooms with a shower. Storage space was okay. We asked to have one chair removed, as it crowded the room and wasn’t needed, but the staff refused. Soundproofing between rooms was inadequate. Basic wifi was free and worked well most of the time. Air conditioning was okay. We had Room 622—a perfect location. The pool area had sufficient lounges, but one of the whirlpools was too cold and sometimes closed and complaints failed to correct the situation. The captain, Vincent Taillard, and the ship officers were cordial but standoffish. The social director, Moss Hills, was delightful. And quietly famous. Years ago, with another company, he helped lead the successful abandonment of a sinking cruise ship. The Food. We’re critical people, and we mostly enjoyed the meals. A few dishes seemed too edgy. The breakfast buffet could have used more variety. And, like seemingly all cruise ships, the Cloud featured awful frozen hash-brown potato patties. A reuben sandwich at lunch was terrible. How about some simple recognizable grilled sandwiches? Overall, we had good choices and found the food at least good and sometimes excellent. I had fillet mignon four times—really good each time. Wine and cocktails flowed freely. We enjoyed every glass of wine we drank, although we realize they don’t serve $40-a-bottle wine. Room service food was good. Waiters were good. The Restaurant, where you don’t need reservations, was the best. La Terrazza, which features Italian in the evening, lacked variety. The Grill, on the outdoor deck, features a grill-your-own meat on a hot volcanic rock. We went once. Never again. I guess some people like the concept. We don’t. Why not just have a good outdoor grill/barbecue? There is a specialty French restaurant that requires a steep extra charge. The Expedition. The Cloud fell short here. Admittedly the itinerary was ambitious, including places were many ships never go, in a difficult environment. We wanted to experience the sights and culture of west Africa first-hand. We did. Every port offered a least one shore excursion covered by the ship fare. Some were great. Some were okay. Some sadly lacking. Some didn’t deliver what was promised when we reserved. Guides were sometimes poor. Supervision from the ship expedition staff was too-frequently lacking. The expedition leader, Nicki D’Souza, was not up to the task. Silversea needs to hire people from Tauck to demonstrate how to run tours. We had one great speaker—a former top assistant to Nelson Mandela. But where were the black professors, journalists or politicians from west Africa? Not on our ship. Conclusion. We’re not sure we’d book the cruise again. It’s really expensive. The missed ports and the shaky shore excursions were irritating. We could and should have gotten more for our money. But we accomplished a lot of our goals and we learned and we had fun. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We are loyal Viking River cruisers (5 trips) and decided to give Viking Ocean a try. We have traveled on other ocean cruise lines. Generally, things went pretty well for us, though there were a few bumps during the first couple of days. ... Read More
We are loyal Viking River cruisers (5 trips) and decided to give Viking Ocean a try. We have traveled on other ocean cruise lines. Generally, things went pretty well for us, though there were a few bumps during the first couple of days. We love the Viking Orion. With only about 900 passengers, it is small and intimate but still has everything we wanted. If you are looking for casinos or large Vegas-style reviews - the Viking Orion is not for you. The good: wine and beer included with meals, free internet, free launderette, free excursion in each port, heated bathroom floors, comfortable beds, adequate sized cabins, alternate restaurants included, outstanding lecturers and speakers, friendly & efficient crew, good food selection and preparation, verandas on all cabins, the "Explorer Dome". Ample storage in cabins. Certain class cabins get free minibar and laundry. Awesome use of state of the art technology everywhere on board. Spa area. Many quiet comfortable spaces to read and relax. Infinity pool. Musicians and singers were all good. What we thought could be improved: Dining Room was crowded - seemed like there were too many tables for the space. Excursions - We usually take the "Easy or Leisurely" excursions due to some mobility issues - Choices were limited. Need magnifying makeup mirror in bathroom or elsewhere in cabin. Itinerary - Bali to Hong Kong - Sihanoukville, Cambodia is awful. Dirty, polluted - No reason for any passenger to go there. Singapore - Needed an overnight there - not just one day. Vietnam, Singapore, Kuala Lampur, Bangkok, Bali, Hong Kong were all very good . Indonesian ports other than Bali were just okay - not great. We'll cruise again with Viking Ocean, but will carefully select the itinerary based on Mobility-friendly excursions. Read Less

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