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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Itinerary and time of year were good. The ship itself was clean and the staff were lovely. Our butler was fantastic. The sky suite however - not acceptable. We've sailed with Celebrity 3 times and all were on S class (just so you ... Read More
Itinerary and time of year were good. The ship itself was clean and the staff were lovely. Our butler was fantastic. The sky suite however - not acceptable. We've sailed with Celebrity 3 times and all were on S class (just so you know I'm comparing apples to apples) The loveseat was filthy. Stains that should have been cleaned long ago and if not possible, replace the loveseat. It makes one wonder about sanitation. The top sheet on the bed was frayed every day. Granted, the part that's tucked into the bed, but I sleep with the sheets pulled out and that's how I saw their condition. Clean, yes. But frayed. There is also something in the bath water, or the cleaning supplies used in the tub because I broke out in a rash everywhere the bathwater touched. This is the 2nd year in a row on the same ship. So I started using the bottled water for my face and neck and presto - no rash. Of course, I can't bathe in bottled water, nor do I really know if it's a water problem or a detergent, but something's not right. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We’ve sailed with Seabourn and Hapag Lloyd before and were interested to try Crystal for a short six day cruise to see how life would be on a bigger ship. In some respects Serenity was excellent. The food in the MDR, Waterside, ... Read More
We’ve sailed with Seabourn and Hapag Lloyd before and were interested to try Crystal for a short six day cruise to see how life would be on a bigger ship. In some respects Serenity was excellent. The food in the MDR, Waterside, was varied and to a very high standard. Service was quicker than Seabourn and Barbara was a wonderful waitress. Service and dining in the speciality restaurants, Prego and Umi Uma, was absolutely first class. The decor is very old fashioned though. In the Italian Prego, that is almost forgivable as there is at least some soul to it. In Umi Uma the decor is dark, soulless and like a department store restaurant in the 1980s...it really could have done with something in the recent refit. Absolutely no problems with the wonderful cuisine and good quality included wines and spirits. We had a Penthouse Suite which, although only lightly refreshed on the recent refit, was very well appointed, with lots of space and well thought out. Our butler Richard was an absolute marvel...he deserves six stars for his positive can-do attitude and for serving meals in the cabin so well. Our stewardesses were completely wonderful and the cabin was kept pristine all through. The bathroom is good but old fashioned and the Etro toiletries are poor. Topped-up chocolates were unbelievably good. Enrichment was good. Entertainment was superb...better than Seabourn, with higher production values and a great theatre. The things that were missing were hard to put a finger on. Overall it was probably the ‘holiday’ feeling and warmth that you instantly get on Seabourn and Hapag Lloyd, the overall ship design and the ability to settle into that ship easily. Many of the staff and crew were excellent on Serenity, but many were also less than engaged and tired. The crew was invisible...however the entertainment director was fantastic. The ship doesn’t flow. It’s hard to find your way around. It feels old fashioned and it shows that the recent dry dock only refreshed certain areas. The fountain in the main atrium is a tacky shopping centre disgrace. The outside areas are poorly used: the back of the buffet area is too small and unshaded; there is no pool bar and no outside evening parties. Maybe it was just the time of year? Passengers from all over the world. Mainly US, China and Japan and many in groups. Ports were good, tendering OK but not as good as on Seabourn or Hapag Lloyd. Overall, maybe we are just used to a smaller ship? We’d still come back at the right price and itinerary though! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our 4th Viking Ocean cruise and it pains me to only give the Orion a 4 star review. The Orion is definitely NOT an example of the Viking Ocean quality we have experienced on past cruises. Many new cruisers we talked to said ... Read More
This was our 4th Viking Ocean cruise and it pains me to only give the Orion a 4 star review. The Orion is definitely NOT an example of the Viking Ocean quality we have experienced on past cruises. Many new cruisers we talked to said they would not sail Viking again. Viking did a terrible job with communication. Our cruise documents stated we were sailing out of Yokohama, we sailed out of Tokyo Bay which created problems for those who booked hotels in Yokohama. Apparently due to the cruise being advertised as 23 days (it was 22 days) many had flights out of Vancouver the day after we arrived, plus Viking didn't have a berth for the ship so they offloaded our baggage in the middle of the night and then anchored in Vancouver Harbor. We had to tender for disembarkation. It was not as bad as it could have been but the next cruise pax were not allowed to board until 5:30 pm. that evening. FOOD: Manfredi's: food was sub par at best with entrees being so overcooked they were mostly inedible. The service was absolutely terrible. We ate there three times and cancelled our 4th reservation. Chef's Table: We had 4 meals there and most were excellent (didn't like the California one). The service was superior. For a 22 day cruise there were only 6 different menus so the choices were minimal. World Cafe: Eggs benedict under warming lights, no longer cooked to order. Omelette station nice, but the wait, long. The selection for both breakfast and lunch was tedious with most entrees tasting the same. All curries tasted alike. Sandwiched were no longer made to order. Main complaint however was the service with most waiters really not knowing what to do. At most breakfasts and lunches we were not offered beverages until our meal was almost finished. Restaurant: Most meals very good with a good selection to choose from. We would have liked to see some local offerings like Alaska Salmon, since we were in Alaska but none was offered. The service here was very spotty, some nights excellent, some nights not. In general most supervisors in the different restaurants seemed untrained and lazy, not really seeing the problems. Entertainment: Very good Port Talks: OK Enrichment: Very Good Cabin Stewards: Excellent Embarkation: Very good Disembarkation: Tenders Excursions: Nothing exceptional, except for expensive optional tours, mostly which were good. Planetarium: Interesting but a bit over hyped. Explorer's Lounger: Excellent servers We have signed up for another Viking Ocean Cruise so haven't given up on Viking. We just feel the crew in general needed more direction and training. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our third cruise with Viking ocean. We chose this trip for the itinerary. We had never been to Asia and liked the ports in both Asia and Alaska. Crossing the Int’l Dateline added to the attraction. We were in the Orion in ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Viking ocean. We chose this trip for the itinerary. We had never been to Asia and liked the ports in both Asia and Alaska. Crossing the Int’l Dateline added to the attraction. We were in the Orion in Jan-Feb visiting New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia. This crew was better trained and worked well together. We were pleased with most aspects of the ship. A few little things need work, but nothing major. You know what you get with Viking-it is an older crowd but activities/entertainment were sufficient for us. While some of the entertainment was the same, they did a good job at adding new entertainers. As Viking enters new parts of the world they are learning their way with shore excursions and local customs. Shore excursions were well managed. They do a good job at calling people at the right time and keep waiting times to a minimum. Checkin staff did a great job. Local guides were good. A sufficient level of activities were offered. EMBARKATION a breeze. You can arrive well before your checkin time. You are greeted with a glass of champagne and invited to use the open restaurants. Your luggage will be in your room by your assigned checkin time. DISEMBARKATION-we had a curve thrown as we could not stay in port because of too many ships in Vancouver. Luggage was offloaded in the middle of the night. We didn’t hear a thing. We disembarked via tender according to flight times. Full breakfast services available. You had to be out of your stateroom by 10am. Tenders left according to schedule with staff assisting everyone. Our luggage was waiting at our terminal at the airport. One of the most efficient operations we have experienced. CABINS Deck 3. Be careful of location. Torshavn noise is audible almost every night. Not late into the night, but it may bother some. A very convenient deck. DINING-Dining room and World Cafe offered a varied selection. Soups could use some improvement. Replenishment of eating utensils/napkins was too slow. Chef’s table-staff could use better training. One visit we had two wine pairings and no food. The French menu was too rich; not a good balance between first and main courses. Manfredi’s was very good, but don’t try to have pasta as a separate course-throws them off! SERVICE in general was excellent. Lounges and bar waiters were great. Most were very personable-not long before they know your name and cabin #! Room steward was wonderful-Edwin. SHIP-beautifully appointed. Always spotless. This ship has a dome. I don’t think this is a feature that will be included in the rest of the fleet. Makes the 8th floor area very hot. Eliminates a nice viewing/drinking area. Don’t know if that is the reason why the 7th floor area of the Explorers lounge tends to be cold. The skins on the sofas are starting to shed. Most people rolled them back to protect their clothing! PORTS/excursions. Viking’s first visits to ports can present problems. Most of our excursions were organized. In cases where we took local shuttles the scheduled were mixed. We ended up seeing what we wanted to see. ACTIVITIES-a little more variety on sea days would have been good as this was a long cruise. Lectures varied and sufficient. Like the ability to view the port talk in your cabin on the following day. Very good selection of shows/movies on the in-room system. Free internet a great feature-reception was generally good. Suggestions-have hot water in the World Cafe for hand-washing. There were some illness problems. The internet system in the room for onboard account, reservations, etc needs immediate help. The ship can not control or correct any errors. The dining for Chef’s Table had the wrong info for almost 8 days. The general website also had errors for our trip. The map wasn’t corrected until a few days before we sailed. On board future booking-a great offer that we used. However, you need to book a specific cruise that you know you won’t be using. Mucks up the booking system for other Viking customers and the whole reservation system. Viking needs to keep its attention to detail at a high level as they release the rest of the fleet! We will sail with them again! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We selected the short May 4-11 cruise from Athens to Rome to have the opportunity of trying the Crystal experience. We have cruised in Silversea and Seabourn exclusively, and are happy with both lines. We found Serenity to be a solid ... Read More
We selected the short May 4-11 cruise from Athens to Rome to have the opportunity of trying the Crystal experience. We have cruised in Silversea and Seabourn exclusively, and are happy with both lines. We found Serenity to be a solid vessel...good bones, as is often said. We opted for a Penthouse with Verandah and were very pleased with its layout and features. I especially liked the back-to-back desk, one prepared to serve as a vanity. The lighting was very good in the suite and especially in the vanity area. The bathroom included two basins and a very comfortable shower enclosure. There was a jetted tub, which we did not use. I was pleased to see the many drawers, shelves and nooks to organize our belongings. However, the best feature of the suite was Rao, our wonderful butler, and the two housekeeping attendants. We are have had butler in Silversea (which provides butlers for any suite level) and they have been very good, but Rao was so pleasantly effective! The best of the lot. We were pleased with all dining venues, especially Waterside and Prego, except for The Marketplace. This venue acts as the breakfast and lunch buffet style cafeteria. The offerings were good, but not as good as in Colonnade and Trerraza (SB and SS respectively). We did not like it mainly for its layout. The table/chairs are set in a very narrow space, galley like, and most times the waiters' stations were almost besides us. We very much preferred Waterside. We had unusually cold weather and could not use the pool. However, we found the pool to be small, narrow and with less depth that those in SS and SB. Also, there is no food/bar service at the pool. Overall level of service was very good...except for one incident, reported and corrected. I rate the gym the best. I especially enjoyed the cardio-disco classes offered; they were a lot of fun and quite challenging. We never had any problems accessing the treadmills for our daily routines. Entertainment and daily activities offerings were so much better than in SS and SB!! The dance classes led by Beverly and Curtis were very popular, and all the participants enjoyed them very much. The shows were varied and included a comedian, as well as a magician from the well known Magic Castle in Los Angeles. In summary, we plan on booking Crystal in the future, especially longer trips, in order to enjoy all the daily offerings on sea days. However...if weather is very good, other pools may beckon us. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise when it was first offered because I'd never been on Silver Seas, I liked the itinerary, and the single supplement was within reason. I was a little concerned given some of the negative reviews, but my on board ... Read More
I chose this cruise when it was first offered because I'd never been on Silver Seas, I liked the itinerary, and the single supplement was within reason. I was a little concerned given some of the negative reviews, but my on board experience bore no relation to what I'd read. It was wonderful in almost every respect. I loved it and will be back. I was in a veranda cabin and will say more about it below, but it was big enough for two people to be comfortable and lap of luxury for a single like me. The bed was wonderful. Dining was maybe a little disappointing as my expectations were pretty high, based on how the line is promoted. Over all, the food was good, occasionally outstanding, but now and then sub par. For example, I ordered venison on one occasion. The plate came with two generous pieces, one succulent and delicious, the other like shoe leather -- not supposed to happen. On another occasion, the wine steward told us the red was Carménère, which made me happy as I like that wine, but, in fact, he was pouring from a bottle of Cabernet. When I pointed this out, a bottle of the former quickly appeared, but it was surprising the steward didn't know what he was pouring. As to the wines, overall, I thought they were fine and, if neither of those offered appealed, a substitute was readily at hand. I ate lunch at the Terrazzo buffet several times and many items were dried out and tasteless, while others were perfect. So, food was a little uneven in quality. One thing I must note, though -- Silver Seas serves the best hot dog on the planet. I'm not kidding. It's big and comes with a slice of very crisp bacon, a house made cucumber based relish and is served on a bun that has just a hint of cinnamon flavor to it. The sides are a delicious slaw and a little pot of great fries and onion rings. Not to be missed. I must have had eight of them by the time I disembarked. I thought the entertainment was good over all, especially the three piece combo, but it was the speakers who were truly exceptional. I've done a number of expedition cruises where the speakers are tremendous and many normal type cruises where the speakers are often lamentable. The three on this cruise, though, were all interesting and well informed in their areas. I didn't miss one and was never disappointed. Service is absolutely first rate almost all the time on this ship. The butler and room attendant were terrific, bartenders friendly, skillful and responsive, wait staff very good over all. You definitely have the sense that the crew are happy to be where they are. Officers could have been a little more engaged with the passengers, but the Captain was a treat -- witty and forth coming with details. The ports were all interesting and the overnight in NYC a huge plus -- saw Hadestown and was walking distance from the ship to the theater. The sail up the Thames and under Tower Bridge to moor next the the HMS Belfast was jaw dropping. I won't ever forget it and were so lucky to have perfectly sunny skies. The overnight in London was a second big plus. I was able to host a friend for dinner on board and the food that night was superb. I did a few of the sponsored excursions and they were fine and the prices seemed reasonable enough to me. Would I sail on Silver Seas again, of course I would, if the single supplement is fair and the itinerary good. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We were on the Seabourn Sojourn with friends who were in suite 737. Their cruise was ruined by the constant loud noises from the patio bar on deck 8 above their suite. It ruined our cruise as well since our traveling companies were so ... Read More
We were on the Seabourn Sojourn with friends who were in suite 737. Their cruise was ruined by the constant loud noises from the patio bar on deck 8 above their suite. It ruined our cruise as well since our traveling companies were so upset. We visited their room to hear for ourselves. If it were my room I would have considered jumping overboard. Otherwise a very nice cruise. Seabourn does a great job in most areas so this room situation was a shock. The crew did manage to move them mid-way thru the cruise. I would not go on a cruise for free if I had to stay in Suite 737 on the Sojourn or sister ships Odyssey and Quest. Our suite, in contrast, was on deck 8 and was quiet and comfortable. The biggest issue we had on this trip was the last minute cancellation of a shore excursion due to the low number of people who signed up. We had no resources to research other options and were disappointed that Seabourn couldn't find a way to conduct the tour using a mini-van or car instead of the originally assigned bus. As expected, the food on Seabourn ranges from very good to excellent. Our dinners in the Grill by Thomas Keller were exceptional with professional, gracious service and superb food. We also noticed service improvements in the main restaurant and Colonnade. On our previous Seabourn cruise we noticed some service issues as many experienced staff were transferred to the two new and larger ships. We disappointed that the Patio Grill has been renamed Earth and Ocean which tries to offer a more upscale dining option. We much prefer the relaxed style and basic grilled foods of the Old Patio. There's only so much elegant food and service you can eat! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose a Scenic cruise as we wanted luxury for our first ever cruise and it was our Golden wedding. We have never wanted a cruise before as we did not relish the though of rough seas .All of the transfers and day trios were faultless.Our ... Read More
We chose a Scenic cruise as we wanted luxury for our first ever cruise and it was our Golden wedding. We have never wanted a cruise before as we did not relish the though of rough seas .All of the transfers and day trios were faultless.Our problem was the fact the cruise we chose to see the tulips in Holland was on tidal rivers and at times it was really rough .Tge ship sailed every night and as it was very noisy we hardly slept for a week. We also had a terrible smell in our bathroom .Cabin 103 on the jewel deck.Weather wasn’t good and it was very cold therefore could not spend time on upper sun deck .Nothing to entertain us in the afternoons so was a bit boring .Would not have taken this cruise if we had known the North Sea comes into the rivers in that area Read Less
9 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The cruise was good, restaurant, bar and housekeeping staff were exceptional, but if you had to deal with the cruise director, there was no service, just talking down to you very rudely. The shore excursions were very good, however all ... Read More
The cruise was good, restaurant, bar and housekeeping staff were exceptional, but if you had to deal with the cruise director, there was no service, just talking down to you very rudely. The shore excursions were very good, however all the best tours were already booked, as it was a world cruise, which we were not aware of, so almost all of the deluxe tours that you had to pay for were full. We enjoyed the Captain's daily message at noon each day to give everyone the details regarding weather, ocean conditions, and location and how far we were from the next port of call. We found the 7 sea days to be very long, as there were not enough interesting things to do on board. They did have activities such as bridge, different talks and trivia, but they were all on the dry side. We did purchase the beverage package, but at the end, it was not worth it, as we certainly didn't get our money's worth, and you can only drink so much. Beer and wine were included with the meals, so if you are happy with that, you probably don't need to buy the beverage package. We found the food very good, and mainly ate in the World Cafe, as we preferred to serve ourselves, rather than waiting for service in the other restaurants. The ship was beautifully decorated everywhere, and the rooms were very good. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
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
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first experience with Viking and, though all-in-all a good cruise, we departed feeling like there was room for some improvements. Viking’s reputation and recent ratings speak for themselves, so my wife and I were very ... Read More
This was our first experience with Viking and, though all-in-all a good cruise, we departed feeling like there was room for some improvements. Viking’s reputation and recent ratings speak for themselves, so my wife and I were very much looking forward to this cruise, our sixth. We sailed from Barcelona, Spain on the Viking Sea ocean ship, ending up in beautiful Bergen, Norway. The 15-day itinerary along the west European coast was very attractive to us, both in length and variety of ports to be visited. We expected an above-average experience, which Viking pretty much did deliver, but they fell short in some unexpected areas. Spoiler alert: yes, we will likely sail with them again, despite the lapses that I’ll try to articulate here, along with some well-deserved compliments. The highlights/stars of the cruise were, for us, the ship and the crew. Both were exceptional compared to previous cruise experiences. I need to start somewhere so I guess I’ll go in alphabetical order. And since I usually refer to a ‘ship’ as a ‘boat’ I’ll talk about the Viking Sea first. ;-) Our last cruise had nearly 5000 passengers on it – way, way too many. Without going into details, the crowds, lines, noise were obvious issues. ALL of that was absent on this cruise. The Sea carries up to 930 passengers. There is no casino, no interior cabins, no huge shops, no children, no photographers; everything is scaled-down from the bigger liners, yet we never once felt harried or even particularly delayed, even while getting food at the buffet. The longest line we stood in was at the U.K. stop where everyone had to go thru a formal immigration interview. At first the number of folks queued up seemed exceptionally daunting, but we were whizzed in and out of there in no time. Much appreciated. The interior of the boat was stunning. Built in 2016, it was modern, well-organized and immaculate. The décor spoke to my Scandinavian roots; I’ve always been a fan of that type of furniture coupled with the clean, eye-pleasing space design. One unexpected detail we liked were the leather-wrapped stateroom door handles and hallway safety railings; very plush. The customer service/lounge area on deck one was appropriately called ‘The Living Room’ and instantly evoked sophistication and comfort at the same time. A few decks up, the Wintergarden lounge area amidships was especially attractive. I can’t find the words to describe it – do yourself a favor and Google it real quick. Our favorite area ended up being the Explorer’s Lounge at the bow on deck seven. It had two levels, the lower featuring a bar and LOTS of comfortable seating; the upper level was smaller, a bit more private and very quiet. Both had panoramic, 180 degree views of the outside. Side doors led to an exterior walkway in front which provided, IMO, the best forward-facing views of port arrivals and sail-aways. Every evening at 6 we were treated to either a violin/cello duet or piano music, which further enhanced the pre-dinner, end-of-the-day unwind, accompanied by refreshing libations and the new friends we met. I’m not a spa guy, but as promised to my wife I tried it on the last sea day. I felt it was modest, though classy; that is the space was in keeping with the rest of the décor. It seemed rather small to me, likely due to the boat’s size. That probably also explains why all the chaise lounges were taken. I hung in as long as I could, but on my way out I couldn’t resist checking out the Snow Room, a small rustic chamber with real snow in it. I sat for a few moments and actually felt somewhat refreshed. Never seen one of those before! (Avoiding the extreme temptation to say it was ‘cool’!) Ok, how was the room? We were in a Deluxe Veranda stateroom on deck 5, ALL the way forward on the starboard side, right below the bridge. The size (270 sq. ft.) and layout were serviceable. The bathroom was relatively spacious and featured a heated mirror and floor. The heaters were activated automatically when you inserted your sea pass card to activate the room lights, but they could not be turned off until you left the room (or took your card out). The heated mirror prevented fogging during showers and worked well. I didn't like the warm floor, in general, as it tended to heat up the whole bathroom space. My wife, who is always cold, loved it. For some reason there was only one little 22” towel rod in there, which pretty much forced us to have most of the towels changed out each day. If there’d been one or two more I would’ve gladly re-used those linens. The living area was comfortable, with a nice big flat-screen monitor in front of the bed. A small wet bar tucked in the desk had a nice assortment of snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. There was a bit of extra space to cool off wine bottles and food. The balcony was smallish, but not tiny. If the weather had been less windy I could see the two of us hanging out there more often than we did. The under-hanging search light just outside the railing (part of the bridge structure right above us) was only a minor annoyance. The MAJOR annoyance was the lack of dresser and shelf space. We got only three small drawers and a couple of open shelves in addition to an un-remarkable closet space. This was confounding given the open wall areas where they could have thrown up one or two shelf/drawer units. Some new friends showed us their Penthouse Junior Suite on deck 8 and that one had an actual dresser, in addition to more room. Another issue was the nightlight. Located at floor level near the bathroom, it was BRIGHT. We first tried covering it with some tape we’d brought, but we soon realized that a folded-up towel was required; it was that annoying. Mad, mad props to Viking Sea's crew. On our last cruise this element was a memorable low-point. This time, everyone (literally), no matter if he/she was a deck hand, housekeeping, or bridge officers, always looked us in the eye, smiled and offered a pleasant 'Good morning', ‘Enjoy your day', whatever. This simple gesture is essential, IMO, for an enjoyable cruise experience. The customer service personnel were knowledgeable, the bartenders were personable, and the wait staff were very attentive (with one lone exception, see below). The highlight came after our Bruges, Belgium excursion. As our bus pulled up to the boat, we were greeted to the sight of a huge red carpet and a double line of what appeared to be most of the senior officers and staff. Music was playing, hands were clapping, feet were stomping, and we got the 'welcome back aboard' of a lifetime! Gosh knows how long they had to stand out there; we were one of the last tour groups to return. I asked a waiter about it later and he indicated that they do this at least once a cruise, pretty much at random. How fun. Nice touch Viking! We also enjoyed the many educational lectures they offered, most of them aimed at the ‘middle ages trade routes’ theme of the cruise. Their ‘Port Talk’ presentations gave us useful info on the next port of call and the scheduled excursions. If we missed anything, we could view a recording of it later on their internal media system. I’m not a night owl so I can’t comment on the evening entertainment. Speaking of excursions, everything was very well organized. There were always plenty of personnel around to direct us and answer questions. The tour guides were fun and professional. Accommodations were made for folks using crutches, wheelchairs, etc. The disembarkation process on the final day was very efficient (sort of a one-way, final excursion, right?). No lines, we were whisked thru the terminal where our baggage, porters to carry them and taxi cabs were all waiting. Sadly, I need to move on to the "irks" part of this review, i.e. the food. The buffet was, maybe predictably, repetitive after a while. They did throw in some variety, most of which was not for my palette unfortunately. At breakfast, the scrambled eggs were Eggbeaters; to get a real egg you had to order an omelet or grab an Eggs Benedict (on which the ham slices were always way too small). The coffee was mostly bitter to my taste, and for some reason, you had to go from one end of the buffet to the other just to pair a bagel with some cream cheese. And I can't for the life of me understand why they couldn't, at least once in a while, put out some seasoned ground beef, chopped lettuce, cheese and tortillas so I could have a taco or something (i.e. Mexican food). They had Italian, they had Spanish, they had Asian - what gives? Overall, the food tended to be under-seasoned and bland, period, with very few options to jazz it up other than ground pepper or some Tabasco sauce. The memorable food-related highlight was our dinner at the 'Chef's Table' and an Asian-style menu. It was fantastic. Very gourmet-style, each course was as pleasant to look at as it was to eat. For daily faire, the burgers were excellent, and the buffet’s bakery always had a wide variety of tasty breads, rolls, pastries, etc. The low light was Manfredi's, their flagship Italian restaurant. Number one, I couldn't read the menu, it was ALL in Italian. I knew I wanted the rib eye steak, their signature dish, but I needed the waiter to help me choose a side. The food was good (yes, I can recommend the rib eye), but as we were eating, the waiter decided to disappear. From then on, we had to ask for everything: plates to be cleared, dessert menus, ready to order, etc. A second waiter eventually came by, and our desserts instantly appeared. Great, but where's the coffee we ordered? So we waited. And waited. Finally the first waiter decided to check in and he went off to look for coffee. The maître d’ stopped by - we had three people looking for coffee and the desserts were still sitting (granted, our choice). Sadly, it didn't end there. My wife's Tiramisu was a gloppy mess; just one little layer of sponge at the bottom, topped off in a coffee-cup-sized container with some kind of whip creamy, chocolate swirly, ... glop. We got back to our room and we're thinking 'Holy cats, what just happened?!' It was extremely disappointing, especially given the high regard in which the restaurant was held. Just a few more random observations to offer and I’ll wrap up (thanks for hanging in!). The captain had an irksome habit of docking early. We enjoy sail-ins and are willing to get up early to watch the early-morning ones when the opportunity avails. The Viking Daily newsletter always provided lots of info including arrivals/departures so we planned accordingly. More often than not we woke up to realize that we were already pulling into a port long before our alarm was due to go off. Oh well. Another frequent irk was the spotty wi-fi. It seemed to happen mostly during the day – the signal would just quit. Lastly, at many ports Viking would arrange for shuttles, or at least guides to help independent sightseers to explore on their own. This was completely absent at Amsterdam, which was especially confusing after my wife (being much more adventurous than I) found out that, with just a bit of advice from a fellow passenger, a short walk led to a very attractive part of town. The boat’s resources were silent on this. One last remark, and I don’t consider it to be a knock, is that the boat, at 745 feet long and 94 feet wide, got tossed around a quite bit in the choppy seas we encountered coming into the English Channel, then later in the North Sea. It got a bit dicey at times, where you had to walk really carefully when you were moving around. I doubt a larger boat would ride that way but IMO it just added to the experience. So, all things considered, it was a very enjoyable cruise. A lot of this was due to the spectacular, unusual stretch of clear, moderate weather we enjoyed in all the ports we visited; no rain, not even many clouds. The rain finally did arrive - on the day we departed. Viking, for the most part, came through with a wonderful experience, just as we expected they would. I remember on the last full day, a few of us were in the Explorers Lounge filling out Viking’s lengthy feedback questionnaire and it became apparent we were all struggling with how to rate the cruise with “As Expected”, “Better Than Expected”, etc. We all ‘expected’ an exceptional experience from Viking, but it seemed weird to choose “As Expected” because it felt like we were dinging them. In fact it was a compliment – we expected better and Viking delivered. On that basis, we’re more than willing to look into another ocean cruise with Viking. Too, I strongly suspect that we’ll try one of their river cruises in the future. And on that note, I’ll close. Thank you for reading this – I hope you’ve found it helpful. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This was my 3rd cruise, my previous being on Silver Discoverer and Silver Shadow. When I booked the itinerary was to Central America but it got changed towards the end of 2019 to being Cuba and Cape Canaveral but Silversea hadn't done ... Read More
This was my 3rd cruise, my previous being on Silver Discoverer and Silver Shadow. When I booked the itinerary was to Central America but it got changed towards the end of 2019 to being Cuba and Cape Canaveral but Silversea hadn't done its research and so the itinerary changed swapping Cape Canaveral for the the Bahamas - Nassau and Bimini - ultimately we ended up overnighting in Nassau instead of even going to Bimini so it was all a bit disorganised from that respect. No compensation was offered for the fact that I ended up on a completely different voyage to the one I booked! Regardless of all that, Silversea was as usual a great way to travel although I believe the restaurant menu layout has been changed to encourage guests to eat less courses than my cruise the previous year (prior to the takeover). Silversea excursions are always informative and I saw some great places, I fell completely in love with Havana and plan on going back for a proper visit in the not too distant future. The one area Silversea could really work on is the show lounge entertainment. The cast are always amazingly talented but they're stuck with Luna Rossa choreography and badly fitting costumes when they do the full cast shows. The individual shows are much more fun as personalities shine and you get properly entertained. Also making opera singers join in with musical theatre style shows is just wrong! I was very lucky that we had Colin as our cruise director and as a classical pianist he was able to provide some real music to let the opera singers shine. Read Less
6 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We really loved our Viking cruise and as Viking regulars appreciated the familiarity and excellent service from the very friendly staff. I will get the negatives out of the way straight away - there are administrative shortfalls on board. ... Read More
We really loved our Viking cruise and as Viking regulars appreciated the familiarity and excellent service from the very friendly staff. I will get the negatives out of the way straight away - there are administrative shortfalls on board. These may be common to all the ships - there are many minor administrative errors between finance, guest relations and excursions. There has been some reorganisation since the early days and things have definitely gone backwards in this area. We had several finance errors on our account which needed resolution. On the other hand we do love Viking - the food on board was very good indeed - I don't think we had a bad meal in a month, We enjoyed all the restaurants several times. There were a few issues with room service breakfast on the first sector, and also the bar staff could be "variable". There were a lot of crew changes during the month we were on board and this could make things difficult I am sure. Our cabin stewards were amazing for the full four weeks. The entertainment is low key which we like but there is always something to do if that is what you want or a nice corner in which to read and chill. We went from Bangkok to Tokyo and enjoyed the schedule very much indeed. It can be a challenging programme and those with limited mobility should think twice before heading out into Asia . Overall we were very pleased and have no hesitation in booking with Viking again. We think the value for money equation compared to the competitors is excellent and are very satisfied. It could be really excellent if the problems are properly addressed. There is no point in expanding fast if the standards cannot be maintained. Read Less
3 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
10 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
16 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
18 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
3 Helpful Votes
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
6 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We decided to go on this cruise because I would celebrate my 70th birthday on the ship, I had never been to the Caribbean, after 10 cruises we decided to try out a more luxury ship and finally we wanted to visit New York for the first ... Read More
We decided to go on this cruise because I would celebrate my 70th birthday on the ship, I had never been to the Caribbean, after 10 cruises we decided to try out a more luxury ship and finally we wanted to visit New York for the first time. We had previously sailed on the Tahitian Princess many years ago. It was also an R class ship, identical to the Journey. We loved the ship and the destinations then. Firstly, the negative things: The shower was very small compared to other ships. We could barely turn around in the shower. On the White NIght evening there were no where near enough tables for the passengers. We managed to obtain a table eventually but many passengers told me they had to eat in one of the restaurants and missed out on all the White Night Entertainment. I was very disappointed on my 70th birthday. We decided to eat at the Aqualina Restaurant as it was a special night. We had a Premium Beverage Package where nearly all brands of drinks are included. The waiter offered us a bottle of wine which I thought was included. He did not tell me till after he had opened it that there would be a $40 charge.for the wine on top of the $30 admission. On other cruises on my birthdays the crew had always sang happy birthday to me and given me a cake and a free bottle of wine. Not on this ship!!! The last thing and most important thing that infuriated us was people getting up early and putting personal items on deck chairs to reserve them for the day. Signs up saying not to do this, but the crew were not enforcing it. On a nice day do not expect to find a free deck chair on this ship. Because of this we may not sail on the Journey again. When we pay a premium for a cruise we do not expect to have to sit in the lounge on a nice day!!! On a positive note. we found the crew exceptional and all passengers very friendly, The atmosphere on this was great and we have made some friends which we will keep in touch with. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Good Eastern 8 day trip itinerary , Great ports with off setting departure times . Ship was in Great Shape and crew/staff were terrific ,warm and friendly. Dinning was ok/good with no major flaw's, main dinning was accomplish in ... Read More
Good Eastern 8 day trip itinerary , Great ports with off setting departure times . Ship was in Great Shape and crew/staff were terrific ,warm and friendly. Dinning was ok/good with no major flaw's, main dinning was accomplish in less than an hour and a half . Buffet items were also ok and with the amount of passengers that ship ship holds, items seemed fresh and not picked over Wife and I attended 2 shows and found them good, Vintage Pop and Soulbound which was our favorite the best , interaction with the players and audience make the show even better , don't want to spoil it but get there earlier for added extra's We do have issue's with what Carnival Horizon has done with the theater and seating thou, depending on where you are seated the view from the 2nd level is limited to viewing the main level as now there are no more fixed row seating on the first level and the show has extended from the stage onto the main level area . So some of the acting is out of view with the current new design if you are seated on the 2nd level . Show last about a half hour Comedy show's where just ok as we did see all comedies that week both their PG and R rated versions . there were 4 total comedies on our cruise 4900 passengers this week with spring break and didn't find the lines terrible... 5-10 mins before a show and seating was pretty easy Up-Charge restaurants were good as usual We did Pig and anchor with live entertainment while dinning , J.J's Asian and Bonsai Teppanyaki with the chief show very funny as he prepared our meal . We also had reservation set for the Steakhouse and when they called to confirm our reservation they informed us that since it was formal night dress shorts would not be allowed but jeans were ok ? As we have always done formal night's on our previous cruises we decided to pass on this cruise and just be lazy and on vacation, we did find this to be very disappointing as we both were looking forward to the Steak house as we have dine there on several other cruises and they are normally very good and worth the charge and did have jeans also but as they made it an unannounced stipulation to dine prior to our reservation made 6 months earlier that just annoyed us as we were the patrons paying additional for this restaurant . so a tip , make sure that its not a formal night when you make your reservation, as this was the first time we encounter an issue if your not planning on bring formal wear. Casinos seem to be paying with several witnessed good jack pot pay outs also speaking with several people thru out the cruise said the tables were friendly also . So go have a great time if your planning a Horizon trip and don't let the small stuff bother you, as we found on this trip there weren't many at all !!! Good Sailing ! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I'm platinum on NCL and Carnival. I prefer not to fly so I generally cruise out of NY or Baltimore. I chose this cruise as it was my 50th bday and didn't want to do the usual 7 day cruise to the Bahamas. I took my entire ... Read More
I'm platinum on NCL and Carnival. I prefer not to fly so I generally cruise out of NY or Baltimore. I chose this cruise as it was my 50th bday and didn't want to do the usual 7 day cruise to the Bahamas. I took my entire family on this trip (8 of us) and 3 friends came as well. I upgraded to a 2 bedroom suite on the private Haven floor, room 14006. My family, friends, and I had an excellent time. The food was great. Service in the Grand Pacific dining room the 1st night didn't go so well, but we'll chuck it up to our large group and 1st cruise night issues. My only 2 complaints are: 1. They skipped the last port of St Thomas Mon 3/25/19 because they were expecting a storm on Wednesday and wanted to get ahead of it. Other passengers stated they were on this same cruise before and the same thing supposedly happened. 2. We were supposed to arrive back in NY at 10am. I had hired a limo service to pick us up at 11am. We arrived in NY at 6am and they MADE us get off the ship BY 10am (the time we were SUPPOSED to arrive) so my family and friends had to stand outside for over an hour in 40 degree cold waiting for our ride from PA because NCL didn't stick to their own itinerary & because the inside terminal was closed due to the ship not picking up any new passengers as the ship was repositioning to Boston. This was my 7th time on the NCL Gem. I enjoy this ship. I truly enjoy the Haven and have sailed in that type of room often. I did have an excellent 50th birthday, my family truly enjoyed themselves. However an otherwise perfect cruise was tainted by an inconvenient, avoidable, and frustrating debarkation. Read Less

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