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Sail Date: March 2019
This was the third Royal Caribbean cruise for my fiance and I. We've sailed on Oasis of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas, and thought Mariner would be a good in-between. Since the cruise was short, this was a precursor to a Disney ... Read More
This was the third Royal Caribbean cruise for my fiance and I. We've sailed on Oasis of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas, and thought Mariner would be a good in-between. Since the cruise was short, this was a precursor to a Disney trip we took after disembarking. We chose Mariner because it was recently updated and appeared to have great night life. We flew into Miami the evening before and stayed at the Ramada airport hotel. It was our second stay there, and we love it. Very cheap, but clean and the attached pub is really good. The following morning we took an Uber to the port. The terminal is brand new and beautifully designed. When we arrived at check-in, we were surprised to see someone with just an iPad. The employee took our photos on the iPad, checked our documents and sent us through security. We received a paper with boarding info an a bar code, but no Sea Pass cards, which we were confused by. It turned out that the paper we received was our temporary sea pass until we got our rooms at 1pm. I found this to be super strange and inconvenient, as paper gets wet when trying to get bartenders to scan it on the pool deck. Several people were confused about this as well, I'm not sure when they stopped printing Sea Pass cards at check-in. When we boarded, none of the bars on board were ready, and most locations on top deck were still being cleaned. We did find one bar open but they were out of several items. It was strangely quiet compared to when we boarded our other cruises. No music, not a ton of crew members around. We did go on the bow a few times, and it's SO cool. Definitely check that out if you can, we didn't have access on our other cruises. Once we set sail the bars were fully stocked and open, and everything was in full swing. We got into our stateroom at 1:30, and our luggage was there early as well, although we actually found it down the hall waiting at the wrong door. Our steward's name was Sid, and he was very nice, though we only saw him twice, and not until the second day. He did a great job, we were just used to having more of an introduction than we got with him. I always enjoy that personal touch that the stewards bring with formal introductions. Our interior stateroom was comfortable and identical to all the others we've had. We were on Deck 10 and felt a lot of vibration in the evenings, but otherwise it was great. On the second night in the hallway there was a terrible sewage smell that luckily didn't penetrate through the door into the room. It was gone the next day but alarmingly strong the entire evening. Overall, the ship was well run but the cruise itinerary was very predictable. The stage show put us to sleep. The Quest was awesome as usual, and the ice show was great as well. We saw the comedian on the final night and found him to be average. We also went to the Perfect Couple Game Show, but both thought Love and Marriage was better. They did not offer it on this cruise. There were also several themed street parties on the promenade. The balloon drop was very cool, but otherwise these parties were repetitive and I never want to hear the Cupid Shuffle again in my life. Also, the Red nightclub experience was not worth our time, as most of the cruise was full of spring breakers who just wanted to create mosh pits and jump all over everyone trying to dance. I DO highly recommend the silent party called "Hush"...just go to it. You won't regret it! We did shop on the Promenade, but had issues with our Sea Pass account. I went to purchase a shirt and didn't have spending privileges. It turned out that our account hadn't been set up properly, but the store cashier was very rude and loudly exclaimed in front of everyone that I must not have enough money when my card didn't work. We ate in the dining room the first evening, which was good. Nothing too special, the menu is pretty similar on all RCCL ships. On the second evening we went to Jamie's Italian. It was incredible! Highly recommend it. We both loved everything they brought out and even tried new foods. Loved everything, would eat there all nights if I could. The final night we ate in the Windjammer which was good comfort food and I had no complaints. Our first port was Coco Cay. We were the first ship to ever dock at the new pier, which was pretty cool! We rented a beach bed for $125 which came with lunch, Evian water, floating mats and drinks service. Worth every penny. It was so peaceful, an absolutely perfect day. We also went to the floating bar and saw a shark and stingray in the water. We went snorkeling in the roped off area but didn't see a ton of fish this time. Last trip they were everywhere. We figured it had something to do with the tide. Next we went to Nassau. Last trip we went to Atlantis but this time we decided to just get lunch and head back to the ship. We went to Fat Tuesday for daiquiris. The rest of the day was spent on top deck at the pool. Overall, a good cruise. I wouldn't say it was my favorite but it was good. There were definitely moments where we felt things could have been handled better. The entertainment is all the same across the cruise line and we felt like we'd just seen it all before. I did enjoy the food and Coco Cay the most, and I think our next cruise we will be mixing it up and staying away from the short itineraries. We just want more time to soak things in. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We just came back from Azamara Pursuit from BA to Rio. We previously sailed on Celebrity, Princess, Holland, Cunard, Oceania, Costa, RCI and Carnival. This was our 12th cruise. Our benchmark is Oceania (we sailed on the Riviera last ... Read More
We just came back from Azamara Pursuit from BA to Rio. We previously sailed on Celebrity, Princess, Holland, Cunard, Oceania, Costa, RCI and Carnival. This was our 12th cruise. Our benchmark is Oceania (we sailed on the Riviera last September). Overall Pursuit is a great ship and we had an amazing time. However we liked the Riviera better. Here is why. The service is excellent, comparable to Oceania. But sometimes things seem a bit less organized. For example, some of the excustions were delayed 15-20 minutes. Never happened on Oceania. Also there are some lines when leaving the ship and coming back. Nothing major, not even close to what you see on big ships, but still slightly longer waiting times than Oceania. The dinner in the MDR is great, but not as good as Oceania. The open seating works very well for us, never had to wait for a table. The buffet is disappointing. Good quality, but selection is pretty limited. It is not bad overall, but few levels below Oceania. The buffet area itself is also very small and feels a bit crowded at times. Internet is probably the worst we experienced so far on cruise ships. 300kbps is not what you would expect from a luxury line in 2019. It is also pretty expensive at $20/day. We paid last year $10/day on Princess (and the speed was 20 times faster). And we sailed on older ships with much higher internet speeds. Major disappointment. Spa does not have couple massage. This is the first time on any ship that we were not able to do a couple massage. The massage itself was very good. Cabin on Oceania was small, here it's even smaller. Not a big deal, we don't spend much time in the cabin. Entertainment is mediocre at best. They don't have a real theater like on larger ships, just a big lounge with chairs. No angle, so if you don't sit on few first rows, the view is pretty limited. They cannot really provide a good evening entertainment when there is no real theater. Also not too many daily activities, and the ship feels a bit sleepy at times. The pool area is small and feels a bit crowded. Usually no problem to get a chair, except for sea days. Hot tubs are smaller than usual and not hot enough. Service is fantastic as you can expect from a luxury line. Staff is very friendly. Very limited food options. If you want to have a snack after 9pm, the only option is room service. Dress code is relaxing, no formal nights, which is perfect for us. The azamazing event was very nice and well organized. Great atmosphere. The show itself felt a bit amateur. The pre even buffet was very crowded and poorly organized. White night was nice, but we came late from our tour in Sao Paulo, and no seats available on deck 9. They simply cannot accommodate everyone on the white night because the pool area is not big enough. Why to do white night on port day like Sao Paulo when the ship is at port till 9pm, and not sea day or port with shorter port time? Excursions were another disappointment. While we appreciate smaller groups, some of them were poorly organized, and some guides were not professional. I believe Azamara made a business decision to focus on certain things and ignore other things. Their customers obviously don't care about internet, or certain daily activities like dance classes, zumba, music at the pool etc. Overall great ship, great service, good food, but we prefer Oceania Riviera. Both lines are still better than mainstream ships from Celebrity or Princess which feel much more crowded, with longer lines. But in my opinion, Riviera offers the best of both worlds: still a small ship, which still feels much less crowded, but at the same time, much better food, more activities, and better entertainment. And it actually has a better crew/passengers ratio than Azamara, so service is at least as good if not better. We did appreciate the excellent service, less crowded buffet, smaller groups on shore excursions, no lines etc. compared to the big ships. I guess we just expected better from Azamara. We might sail with Azamara again if the itinerary and the price are right, but all other things equal, we would definitely prefer Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We wanted to experience South America. With one exception (Paraty) the ports of call did not disappoint. The Azamazing evening was a Carneval show in Montevideo. It was well organized and great entertainment. We bought the indulgence ... Read More
We wanted to experience South America. With one exception (Paraty) the ports of call did not disappoint. The Azamazing evening was a Carneval show in Montevideo. It was well organized and great entertainment. We bought the indulgence package which was well worth the extra money. We also got upgraded to a suite without asking ! That alone should make it five stars but there were some downsides as well. - One of the ‘guest relations’ staff turned out to be anything but. The others were great. - Because we had a lot of OBC, we booked some tours. The ‘gaucho’ tour in Uruguay was disappointing as we went to a dairy and crop farm. Talk about false advertising. - We had butler although he did not really enhance the experience. - The indulgence package included the specialty restaurants. However, it’s not open seating and booking something was very though. The attitude of the person doing the booking did not help. - The app needs work. It’s not updated and does not match the daily program. There is a lot of paper that could be saved...... The food never disappoints and the staff go out of there way to please you. The entertainment was solid and there are plenty of activities. The specialty restaurants are also top notch in food and service as was the Chef’s table. The staff was great in helping us transfer to another room for next cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
As part of a HoA package from DRW to SIN. Embarkation in DRW was a fiasco as 3hours after boarding we had to disembark to retrieve our passports from immigration, only to be immediately taken off us by a member of crew in the terminal. The ... Read More
As part of a HoA package from DRW to SIN. Embarkation in DRW was a fiasco as 3hours after boarding we had to disembark to retrieve our passports from immigration, only to be immediately taken off us by a member of crew in the terminal. The terminal was also full of people wanting tax refunds with no clear delineation of which "queue" was which ! Mind you we never needed a Chinese visa, another smart move by NT politicians! Balcony cabin was quite good, 5124. although the tenders were directly below the balcony which obstructed the view a little. Half bottle of champers was appreciated, gave a false impression of what was to come such as paying for a nondescript bottle of Australian water. Samsung TV was a smart TV, however, nobody on board smart enough to fully use its technology, eg., no bill display, no menu displays, no details of going ashore, nada ! In fact the secretariat generated piles of expensive heavy glossy paper, must do wonders for fuel consumption. No welcome aboard at DRW or cocktail invitation, in fact the only welcome aboard was when we returned to the ship in HKG. HKG arrivals also received invites, we did not. Major interest appears to be "Dress code" when what you really want to know is where do we need a tender. There were several "Gala h" evenings for which I wore my Galah tie !!. Had to wear a jacket in the Britannia restaurant. Food, service was excellent although several spelling mistakes on the menus & the Sea Brass, aka Bass, provenance was always from the last port of call, amazing how these Bass get around. Bottle of house red, which was from a good vintners in London, ended up at US$40 a bottle ! We found the Lido cafeteria most acceptable, as always pick your times, avoid 1pm. If you have a "see food" allergy it could be a problem, I see food & eat it ! The answer is to use room service for breakfast at least. Amazingly no extra charge, always arrived on time but often with elements missing, no QC on the trays going out ? Saving grace was the pub which served excellent lunches (no extra charge) with Guinness at US$6.90 a pint. Never bothered with the so called "speciality" restaurant, especially when you see the cover charge. Was neither fish nor fowl & did not offer anything special. One day out the Royal Arcade liquor store had a special so eg 2litres of Famous Grouse for US$42, which kept us going to SIN. All this kerfuffle about taking alcohol onboard is rubbish. We took a bottle of champers in carry on & our bags contained 1 litre of Plax mouthwash which had changed colour, funny that. If your bags are correctly labelled they are whisked away through the x-ray by the handlers Excursions, aka a necessary evil in some places. Nha Trang return to ship was a catastrophe with all the tour buses returning at the same time with just one tender in operation. Enormous queue of people, mostly open to the elements, until someone at least told bus drivers to keep passengers on board with the AC on. Reason given that only facilities for one tender were available. Appears to be a normal problem otherwise how come there were staff distributing cold towels & water? Disembarkation in SIN was a breeze once you eventually got off as the port staff had bags clearly defined by tag & colour, beats BNE hands down. In conclusion, if you are loaded, don't mind spending hours for something to happen when going ashore & into all the social climbing bling then no problem. Otherwise we shall stay with P&O which has a much more egalitarian approach. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise to continue our exploration of the South Atlantic, having already been on a Seabourn Antarctic cruise the year before. We embarked in Ushuaia, Argentina and had been there the year before. This cruise included a ... Read More
We chose this cruise to continue our exploration of the South Atlantic, having already been on a Seabourn Antarctic cruise the year before. We embarked in Ushuaia, Argentina and had been there the year before. This cruise included a flight from Santiago to Ushuaia as part of the total cruise fare. And this is where things became odd. We were awakened at 1:30AM in Santiago, Chile, to join the charter flight to Ushuaia that left at around 6 in the morning. We had initially been told by Silversea's agent that because Silversea had chartered the flight, there would really be no issue with baggage. However, when we received our cruise documents, there was a baggage restriction of 50 pounds, per person. That necessitated considerable reorganization of our luggage situation as we had traveled a long way to get to the cruise and had post-cruise safari plans in Africa. The flight left after some delay and we arrived in Ushuaia only to find that we could not go directly to the ship but had to go onto a lunch somewhat out of town. This disappointed us because we were tired and might have preferred to see some of Ushuaia rather than go riding on a bus out of town to a countryside restaurant. Following the luncheon, we returned to the ship at around 2pm and boarded. Oddly enough, though, for all of the effort expended in getting us to Ushuaia very early, the ship did not depart until around 10pm. We feel this issue might have been better handled so as not to drag people out of bed at an unholy hour. We also felt that had we known of the baggage limitation and the hour of departure in advance, we might have made our own flight arrangements from Sao Paulo, our first stop in South America. Further, once on board, we came to learn that there had been a pre-cruise tour offering to Iguazu Falls. We were disappointed to learn this as we truly would have been interested in seeing the falls, having traveled all the way to South America from East Asia. On board, we elected to purchase an upgrade to the free internet provided to every passenger on the ship. This proved to be nothing but a waste of money and I would warn anyone against it. The charge was some $350.00 and the upgrade proved to be just as slow as the free service. The other negative was that we had confusion with a name on the cruise documents. We contacted Silversea's agent about this and he assured us that proper documents were on the way. The head office never managed to send the documents on time and they were not received until we returned home. One last annoyance was the daily briefing held by the expedition staff. This occurred every evening at 6pm, often after a day of going on 2 excursions. Though attendance was not mandatory, one felt compelled to go as details of the next day's activities were spelled out at that time. Perhaps this could be better managed in future. As for the positives, they are many. The food on board was excellent. Our cabin, though smaller than balcony cabins on Seabourn and Regent, was comfortable and functional. The staff on board were superb, especially our valet and the room steward. We felt that anything we needed or wanted was somehow found promptly appeared. The expeditions were excellent and we certainly appreciated the efforts that the expedition staff went through day in and day out - it is no simple matter bringing people safely ashore in isolated places, through sometimes rough surf. And the scenery on shore was spectacular, to say the least. Though two expeditions were done a day and one might have felt tired, they still were worth every minute and any effort. Shore excursions were fine but perhaps, Silversea might let people know the options available for shore excursions in advance of sailing. Would I recommend a Silversea Expedition? Definitely. But be aware of the issues I highlighted as attention to them could make for an even better experience. We did not travel with children and this type of voyage might better be best for people who are mature enough to grasp the significance of what one is experiencing. Would I go again? Yes! But mindful of the negatives that I mentioned. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
MSC Preziosa - Yacht Club - 5-19 March 2019. Caribbean from Barbados via Cruise Club UK. The cruise consultant, Ian Lazarus, delivered on every promise and commitment made. He has been superb throughout the whole process and I would ... Read More
MSC Preziosa - Yacht Club - 5-19 March 2019. Caribbean from Barbados via Cruise Club UK. The cruise consultant, Ian Lazarus, delivered on every promise and commitment made. He has been superb throughout the whole process and I would strongly recommend using his services if booking a cruise package. Our second Yacht Club experience having been on board Fantasia last year. We were a party of 6 taking up 3 cabins but this assessment is largely confined to mine, my wife’s and our friend’s experiences. All in all, not as positive on this occasion compared to the near faultless holiday of last year’s transatlantic. FLIGHTS We prefer to travel Premium Economy. This time on Virgin but these were chartered flights by MSC. The experience outbound was very good but inbound less so in a 23 year old jumbo with limited staff to look after 450 passengers. However, since this provision was directly by Virgin, it would be inappropriate to criticise MSC. TRANSFERS Once again, airport to ship was very good but in reverse, the coach arrived earlier than we were advised; was an elderly conveyance with poor (almost non-existent) air conditioning. EMBARKATION & DISEMBARKATION MSC (for Yacht Club) do this better than anyone (we have travelled in Suites with P&O, Celebrity & RCI). Escorted onto and off ship. SUITE No different - perfectly adequate “de-luxe type” cabin - small balcony but the huge “exclusive” top deck area more than compensates. I say “exclusive” but this year it wasn’t. Non Yacht Club passengers accessed this space easily as the two entrance doors were not secure enough. Staff never challenge (not allowed to) and I found myself escorting 5 passengers out of this private area during our 2 week cruise with others unchallenged. Small babies of an age to still be in nappies accessing the jacuzzis with their parents; young teenagers diving in the no diving pool and cigars being smoked in a smoking area next to a sign “no cigars.” TOP SAIL LOUNGE First class facilities & service. BUTLER After the faultless experience courtesy of Putra last year, we struggled with Olivier this year, mainly because of his poor English. La PALMERAIE (Yacht Club Restaurant). One word. PEPÉ There are not enough superlatives to describe this amazing man. The Restaurant Maître Di (officially the Supervisor). He misses nothing. His staff love him. The passengers revere him - in truth, they adore him. Not only is he in complete control of all that happens, he never loses focus on his customers. He is the ultimate professional but is so personable that he is never less than entertaining. The personal service we received was beyond first class as his team aspire to his own very high standards. MSC MUST retain his services because on the strength of this experience, our next cruise would be assured. Thankfully, the Yacht Club Restaurant in the new ships is an integral part of Yacht Club rather than at the opposite end of the ship. YACHT CLUB STAFF It seems unfair to single out anyone but there MUST be special mentions for our lovely waiters, Anna, Nayara (unfortunate to fall sick - hope she is OK), Durian, Zaheem, Luis and Reina (day time concierge). However, I was much less impressed with the night Concierge. Mr. Simone Piletto very much needs some guidance on the provision and delivery of effective customer service and the avoidance of the attitude he displayed toward me on two occasions. Perhaps he was annoyed I had disturbed his Facebook access. SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS Despite a complimentary visit being included for black card guests (4 of us are) we declined offers to the Sushi and Italian eateries. They simply had no appeal since the lay-out was in no way inviting. In any event, why would we miss the chance to be looked after by Pepé and his excellent staff? However, our daughter & son-in-law did pay for a visit to the Galaxy (Sushi Restaurant) and described the food as excellent. LIFTS Strange as it may seem, this was an irritating regular occurrence, even for butlers. Yacht Club cards rarely delivered the exclusive provision to decks 15-18 and we very regularly found ourselves travelling randomly up and down or the cards simply didn’t work. TO SUM UP We do enjoy Yacht Club very much, despite these frustrating instances. However, with us usually travelling as a 4 (we took our daughter & son-in-law with us on this occasion), our deposits for trips on Seaview (Yacht Club) in November 2019 (Barcelona to South America) and on the same ship in December 2020 (Dubai) are now in some doubt. These deposits are, of course, via Mr. Lazarus at Cruise Club UK. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Since we first started cruising, about 4 years ago, we always wanted to try Cunard and see what the real difference was at this level of cruising. This was our 15th cruise so we have a few ships to compare it to. First impressions were ... Read More
Since we first started cruising, about 4 years ago, we always wanted to try Cunard and see what the real difference was at this level of cruising. This was our 15th cruise so we have a few ships to compare it to. First impressions were amazing. Gorgeous decor, lovely stateroom, beautiful rooms to relax in, we were very impressed. On sailing might, we went to the Verndah restaurant which was first class, even the following night in the Britannia dining room, the food and service were top notch as was the first couple of shows that we went to in the main theatre. At this point of the cruise this was 'best cruise ever' material. Then we came to Sydney and 1700 people disembarked, with 1700 new people embarking and for what we could see a lot of first time cruisers, getting the chance to experience Cunard at a reasonably lower cost, given that this was only a 5 day cruise, to Tasmania and back. The whole vibe of the ship changed, people were older loud, rude and obnoxious, the English Pub was always full, so Trivia was standing room only, the buffet was full and almost impossible to get a seat there for breakfast. There were many old people with scooters and walking frames. I have never seen people with walking frames on a disco floor, but I guess there is a first time for everything and good on them for giving it a go! We really were ready to disembark after 9 days, a first for us. All in all QE is a beautiful ship with first class food and service but maybe it's that we are just not old enough. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Small ship with under 100 guests and adult only. Booking through to leaving the ship was extremely well organised. We had a penthouse balcony cabin which gave excellent space for clothes as well as a sofa and chair, fridge, large tv etc ... Read More
Small ship with under 100 guests and adult only. Booking through to leaving the ship was extremely well organised. We had a penthouse balcony cabin which gave excellent space for clothes as well as a sofa and chair, fridge, large tv etc .The staff,[ particularly our cabin steward Alvin] couldn't have been better. The ship is not for people who want glitz and chandeliers, it has a comfortable elegance. The entertainment was good but not a lot of it and we would have liked it to be a little more varied. All of the restaurants were excellent far better than other cruise lines we have been with and afternoon tea was lovely. A free trip was offered on each island and the ones we went on were okay but not outstanding, the free trip we took on St Thomas should have come with a warning for back pain sufferers. The vehicles were open buses with it felt like no springs on very rough bumpy roads. We took taxis to the beach on a few occasions on different Islands with no problems until St Thomas when I wanted a nostalgic trip to Magens Bay which is unchanged and beautiful the water is so clear it is not neccesary to snorkel to see the fish they swim around your feet. unfortunately the taxi driver didn't return for us, luckily for us another couple shared their taxi with us. We would cruise with Viking again but we were very cross that we had to disembark at 7.45 for a flight at 1pm which meant a long wait at San Juan airport and another of 4 hours in New York. we would look more closely at travel arrangements made by Viking in future. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We had been on the ocean ships before so knew what to expect. The boat is not that old the décor the same as other of the ocean ships. The layout virtually identical. So that makes a great experience or does it? The main plus is that you ... Read More
We had been on the ocean ships before so knew what to expect. The boat is not that old the décor the same as other of the ocean ships. The layout virtually identical. So that makes a great experience or does it? The main plus is that you get what you expect if you have been with them before. Much is the same, like the speciality restaurants and the casual dining venue and the general layout .The continuous growth of the company raises interesting possible concerns. Staff training needs to be good and standards maintained. It feel at times they are on the edge with inconsistent service levels at restaurants and dining venues. Casual eating at breakfast and lunch saw staff being moved around often to "cover" an area then be countermanded by another staff member which left gaps in cover. Food was not consistently hot, when advised the answer was not really acceptable as they said you could ask for hot plates. This was something of a challenge when you asked for hot plates, staff consistently looked surprised and often had to search around. The trips were in the main quite good for the places visited. They were of reasonable length and the party sizes good. The worst was the delay we had to an already Viking scheduled late arrival of 9 pm. We eventually reached our cabin at 1 in the morning. The staffing level was small on arrival and transfer to the ship was slow. It was clearly not unexpected. Departure was equally disappointing off the ship by 8 for a flight in the afternoon at 2 pm. 6 hours and not even a cup of coffee provided. Basically you lose a day travelling at each end not great value Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
A great itinerary in Southeast Asia. This was my fifth Regent cruise, and found the overall experience very good, but slipped from past Regent Cruises. Ship recently refurbished and very attractive. Would have rated it excellent, but ... Read More
A great itinerary in Southeast Asia. This was my fifth Regent cruise, and found the overall experience very good, but slipped from past Regent Cruises. Ship recently refurbished and very attractive. Would have rated it excellent, but for the dining experience, which I found to have slipped compared to previous Regent cruises. Menu in the Compass Rose was adaquate, not particularly creative. Service was inconsistent for both food and wine. I understand that a major staff change was made in port, an explanation, not an excuse. Dinner in Prime 7 a big failure. Ordered a filet, medium. Received a filet well done on outside, red raw on the inside. Not certain how they did that, other than cooking meat not completely thawed.Other dining options Dining in Chartreuse a beautiful experience. An imaginative menu, perfect excecusion. Have always enjoyed Regent, bot there were enough stumbles to suggest looking at other cruise lines Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our third Seabourn cruise, second on the Quest and we chose this one because we wanted to see Antarctica. Once again, we entered a world of comfort, luxury and plenty, all delivered with kindness and good humour by the hard ... Read More
This was our third Seabourn cruise, second on the Quest and we chose this one because we wanted to see Antarctica. Once again, we entered a world of comfort, luxury and plenty, all delivered with kindness and good humour by the hard working staff and crew. However unlike our previous two Seabourn cruises, we were quite disappointed by the vegetarian food on offer. Cabin Our cabin was on Deck 6,and right up the front of the ship. We had a beautiful big room with a verandah, a separate lounge room, a big comfortable bed and a big bathroom with a bath, with high quality and plentiful bath products and big, soft towels. There was plenty of storage and the view from the verandah was uninterrupted. However on the rare occasions we sailed through rough seas, we certainly rocked a lot. We will book a cabin mid ships on our next cruise. We like good air flow when we are sleeping and once again, the air conditioner did not meet our needs. The cabin was too stuffy and we had the same problem last year and on the Encore the year before. We solved this by bringing our own fan and we were very comfortable. A couple of times throughout the cruise, we had a "meet your neighbours" party. This is a great idea. Dining My husband and I are vegetarian and although there was plenty for us to eat, a lot of the dishes were mediocre. They were very bland and often stodgy and we seemed to have those bland and stodgy dishes over and over again. However we often dined with passengers who chose the meat dishes and they reported that their steaks were succulent and their chicken and pork were cooked to perfection. It's as if Seabourn are ticking a box to say they cater to vegetarians but then fail to produce fine food. However the vegetarian options on the two occasions they held a Galley Market and the special Indian buffet dinner they held one night in the Colonnade were outstanding. We also placed a special breakfast order for vegetarian congee and this dish was also outstanding. The chefs can clearly prepare beautifully spiced dishes when necessary and I only wish they could do it all the time. Vegetarians on all cruise ships seem to be treated with the same contempt as someone who asks for an overcooked steak and I don't think we deserve that. There's a whole market of cashed up vegetarians Seabourn could attract if they really tried to cater to our needs. The waiters on Seabourn are the best of the best. Incredibly inspiring people, I may be in the minority here, but I don't like or understand Seabourn's practice of having the staff offer an arm to a woman, which the woman is then under some pressure to grab while they are escorted to their table in the Restaurant. It is not a custom I am used to and the feminist in me really objects. I always feel uncomfortable and I'm sure these busy young people have better things to do. We have dined in upmarket restaurants all over the world and have not experienced this practice anywhere else. Perhaps they could have an opt in policy for those who enjoy this experience and leave the rest of us alone. Drink The wine ranged from good to acceptable and there was always plenty to choose from. There was a huge variety of cocktails and they were plentiful. The bar staff were wonderful. Public Spaces Even at full capacity, Seabourn ships never feel crowded. We could always find a quiet spot to read or simply watch the world go by. On the other hand, if we wanted company or entertainment, there was always somewhere to go. The whirlpool on deck 6 was a haven for us and we usually had it to ourselves. It was the place to be when sailing away. . Fitness Centre My husband attended the complimentary stretch and exercise classes each day and found them excellent. The instructor was very capable and he gave my husband lots of advice on how to continue the program once he came home. Entertainment We were on the Quest last year, so this time when we went to the shows put on by the extremely talented Seabourn singers and dancers, we were surprised to find that the shows were exactly the same as last year. Even some of the costumes were the same. Seabourn encourages us to be repeat cruisers and we are very happy to oblige, but it would be nice to see something different. The entertainment on the whole was very good but tended to be middle of the road and designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Seabourn's passengers are generally well educated and sophisticated, but most of the music would have appealed to our long deceased parents. For heaven's sake, we were alive in the sixties and went through one of the most profound musical revolutions in history. We can handle entertainment which is current and inspiring and multi-dimensional and I'm sure the talented entertainers onboard would have loved performing this type of material. On the other hand, we were huge fans of Josie and the trio in the Club and we usually ended up there every night. Now they really can handle modern music. We also enjoyed the various parties on the pool deck and in the Club. Jess, the Assistant Cruise Director is an outstanding entertainer. Staff and Crew Iggy and the expedition team were outstanding and I can't thank them enough for the wonderful experience they arranged for us in Antarctica. We always knew exactly what we had to do and when we had to do it and all the time they shared their incredible knowledge with us. They were always true professionals while being kind and warm and funny. The Captain was also a true professional and a wonderful communicator and we always knew we were in good hands. The weather is volatile going to and from Antarctica and each day he told us what the weather was doing and how he was going to deal with it. We were very impressed. The staff in every Department were well trained and incredibly good at their jobs. Seabourn only employs the best of the best and it shows. Excursions Antarctica was the highlight of this cruise and Neko Harbour was the highlight of Antarctica. It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. We were fortunate that the weather was perfect for the 6 days we were there, so we saw everything we set out to see. Only 100 people are allowed on shore at any one time and Seabourn's expedition team organised us like a military operation. We knew exactly what we had to do and when we had to do it. They helped us on and off zodiacs, even those passengers with disabilities, and helped us once we were on shore. They laid out trails for us and kept us away from the seals basking on the beaches and the penguins' walking trails, but we were close enough to see them. The penguins were lovely. The expedition team also made sure we cleaned our boots before we returned to the ship so we didn't cross contaminate the next place we went to. Otherwise we covered a large area of the continent of South America and the excursions were really well organised and great value. The outstanding sights were the fjords in Chile, the Falkland Islands, Buenos Aires, Montevideo and everywhere in Brazil. Passengers Mostly American with a few Australians and English but quite a few other nationalities as well. Age range 60 and upwards. Mostly well educated, well travelled, lovely people who were thrilled to be on board such a lovely ship, living in the lap of luxury and having such a wonderful experience. They were a pleasure to spend time with. However it always amazes me how a small minority are constantly complaining about anything and everything and thought nothing of being very rude to the staff. They seem to get off on it. Internet Very patchy and as other reviewers have said, it should be part of the package. In summary, this was a wonderful experience and going to Antarctica was life changing. Seabourn Quest is one of only a handful of small ships that can go there and we were very fortunate to be able to take this journey. I'm sure we will now all be ambassadors to make sure this remarkable place stays as pristine as it now is. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose Azamara and this itinerary based on the recommendation of friends who did it a couple of years. ago. We too weren't notified of the change of embarkation point, but noticed the ship in the "wrong port" the night ... Read More
We chose Azamara and this itinerary based on the recommendation of friends who did it a couple of years. ago. We too weren't notified of the change of embarkation point, but noticed the ship in the "wrong port" the night before from the roof top bar of our hotel. Sailing on smaller ships is a great experience. More attention from crew and an altogether sense of community familiarity that just happens among the passengers. We had a balcony room, midship on the deck 6. It was very comfortable and the small shower was adequate. Because of weather or just being out and about we really didn't use the balcony much but it was nice to have. The crew was always attentive, the entertainment very, very good, and most meals were well prepared. However more attention should be given to timing and suggestions as when to eat in the dining rooms if you want to make a show. Any time after 7.15pm creates a rush. Prime C was a disappointment, the food was just ok, the service slow and the room needs to be refurbished. Aqualina though did not disappoint. My only other comment on the food was that there way too much. Something was always there, available and too inviting. We did several exercise classes. More thought needs to given to the space required as many were popular and people couldn't participate. However they were advertised as 45 minutes, but most were barely 30. The Amazing Evening in Melbourne was in a beautiful recital hall with a performance by a top Australian vocal artist. Very enjoyable. The White Night was well done, the production performers professional and personable. Dancing in the Living Room to the Sound Sensations became a nightly destination for us. The crossing to New Zealand was a day and a half of rough seas, but part of cruising. But we found there were too many sea days, especially when they were back to back. All the ports provided something to do, some more that others. Napier was special and unique with its art deco architecture. We don't do cruise sponsored shore excursions. We find better value and choice is always available at the port. Cruise lines ask you think about the environment when using towels, etc, but they don't do anything about the amount of newsletters, brochures, invitations and sale announcements they produce. There must be better and more efficient ways to communicate to your guests and cut down on paper useage. It was ridiculous on this cruise. Overall, there is no reason not to consider Azamara for fun and enjoyable experience. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
This cruise went from Papeete, Tahiti, to Lima, Peru, with stops at Bora Bora, Fakarava, Pitcairn Island and Easter Island. At Pitcairn the local inhabitants (descendants of the Bounty mutineers) come on board to sell crafts and eat ice ... Read More
This cruise went from Papeete, Tahiti, to Lima, Peru, with stops at Bora Bora, Fakarava, Pitcairn Island and Easter Island. At Pitcairn the local inhabitants (descendants of the Bounty mutineers) come on board to sell crafts and eat ice cream; one of them gave an interesting talk about life on the island. At Easter Island we were unable to land because of rough seas (apparently a fairly common occurrence). There were a lot of days at sea; two between Fakarava and Pitcairn, and four between Easter Island and Lima. There was a wonderful naturalist, Gloeta Massie, who gave brilliant and funny talks a few times, and a lecturer who talked a few times about Easter Island and Pitcairn. There were a lot of fun programs organized by the staff and the cruise director, Peter Roberts. Excellent bridge lessons and duplicate bridge, putting contests on a mini-golf course, shuffleboard, trivia quizzes and Mensa challenges, some movies. There were shows, music and karaoke that we did not attend because they were late at night. The food was excellent, with four specialty restaurants - Italian, steakhouse, French and Chinese/Asian fusion, with no extra charge. Dining was also excellent in the main dining room and the buffet restaurant. But: The prices for the excursions were exorbitant - about 4 times what is cost for locally arranged excursions - and the transfers were wildly overpriced. Oceania offered airport transfers for $359 US and a hotel transfer for $119 per person. We went online and booked a private car for two of us for $35 with Lima Limo www.limalimo.pe . The driver, Geraldo, was so good that we hired him to take us around Lima that afternoon to see the Larco museum (fantastic!) and the gold museum; he charged us $90 US for 5 + hours; then he took us to the airport the next day from our hotel for $35. One trick: taxis and limos for the most part cannot come to the location of the ship at the cruise pier; you need to take the bus to the pier gate. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our first cruise - three nights Melbourne-Burnie-Sydney. Unfortunately the first impression was a negative one of just over an hour in the queue to board. Apparently everyone (several hundred people) had been told to arrive at the ... Read More
This was our first cruise - three nights Melbourne-Burnie-Sydney. Unfortunately the first impression was a negative one of just over an hour in the queue to board. Apparently everyone (several hundred people) had been told to arrive at the same time of 12 noon. We were standing in a slow moving queue like cattle. Very poorly organised and managed. Once on board we were seriously impressed by the beautiful decor and high quality throughout the ship. Our Balcony Stateroom (category BA) was more than we had expected. Our Stateroom 5110 was a disabled accessible cabin with far more space than the regular ones in this category. Our balcony was large enough to hold two banana lounges and two chairs! Meals were generally high quality with plenty of choices, especially in the Britannia restaurant where we took dinner each night (early sitting). Service in that area was a bit hit and miss however. On one occasion the next table had their second course before we got our first. On another night we had to ask twice for the wine list. We enjoyed lunch in the Golden Lion pub and had two other lunches at the Lido buffet. The Lido was just ok, salads in particular were extremely plain and unimaginative. Room service breakfast was mixed - lovely scrambled eggs with sausage and hash browns but a really basic and tasteless fruit salad. Toast was also tasteless. I suspect the sliced bread had been frozen but rolls and scones seemed to have been freshly baked. Breakfast in Britannia was excellent however, although on the sea day with everyone on board it was rather slow. The Royal Court Theatre put on two good shows (the house singers/dancers plus a Beatles tribute band) but you had to be early to get seats, especially if you wanted to sit with friends. We really enjoyed an art lecture and a talk by a cinematographer about the Titanic. Drink prices were on the high side of reasonable but internet pricing was extortionate. At about A$1 per minute we decided to go without, which did us no harm but meant we had a pile of emails and texts when we docked in Sydney. No tissues in our stateroom. As first time cruisers we were very surprised that we had to put our luggage outside our room the night before arrival. Had we known this we would have taken an airline carry on bag for use in the morning. Overall a terrific experience but with a few shortcomings that would not be hard for Cunard to address. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This trip should b a no brainer for SS, but it's not. To many little issues turn into stupidity. Examples, a Milk shake in US is made with ice cream and milk, they use no milk but use ice. Very difficult to explain how to make ... Read More
This trip should b a no brainer for SS, but it's not. To many little issues turn into stupidity. Examples, a Milk shake in US is made with ice cream and milk, they use no milk but use ice. Very difficult to explain how to make since there order system doesn’t allow explanations. The restaurants have a set menu, which means no different meals. Oceania, Regent, Crystal all have new menus for dinner every day, they also post outside what that nights menu is. The food is good but trying to customize a meal is difficult as you must order at least 24 hrs in advance. All, except 2 restaurants, must have a reservation, even though they are not filled. With empty tables at 8PM, you cannot just walk in. When we boarded we were told we needed an Australian Visa...but why wasn’t that notification made prior to boarding? So, request was made by Muse, but they applied to agency other than govnmt. Which charged more than double, notification was made about the problem and I was told I had to solve it. Fortunately others had same problem, so Muse handled the problem. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
For the past 20 years, my husband and I cruised at least 2-3 time per year. We have been on Royal Carnelian many times, Princess, and finally graduated to Regent and Oceania. We absolutely love Oceania, even their three smaller ships ( ... Read More
For the past 20 years, my husband and I cruised at least 2-3 time per year. We have been on Royal Carnelian many times, Princess, and finally graduated to Regent and Oceania. We absolutely love Oceania, even their three smaller ships ( though they might show a sign of aging, the service, food, and bedding are amazing!). We try very hard to continue on Oceania only, however, they do not always have the dates or places we are looking for.We decided to try Vikings Sea this year. Beautiful ship, large bathrooms, but the bed and pillows were clearly made of straw. When we asked for another pillow, we were told that it was all they had. That aside, the food was definitely inferior to any 5 star cruises. You could barely get a cup of tea after 9 pm. Being on vacation, we decided not to concentrate of these inconveniences, and enjoyed the trip. To sum it up, although the ship itself deserves a 5 star rating, the rest, such as untrained staff, terrible bedding,very average food , and most importantly the attitude of customer relations, would keep us AWAY FROM VIKING in the future. Oceania, you will NOT be beat by Viking! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We took a seven day Eastern Carribean cruise on the Ofyssey. Didn’t get off the ship much because we have discovered over the years that most Carribean Island adventures are pretty fungible. We took an upgrade opportunity for one of ... Read More
We took a seven day Eastern Carribean cruise on the Ofyssey. Didn’t get off the ship much because we have discovered over the years that most Carribean Island adventures are pretty fungible. We took an upgrade opportunity for one of the 4 spa suites on 10 accessible only via spiral staircase in the spa- a good pick. Great outdoor deck at the rear, plenty of inside space, huge bath and shower, lots of amenities. BUT broken and unfixed/unfixable blind in the BR and a fridge door actually fell off, but was timely fixed. We found the staff uniformly friendly and accommodating - more so than on the Encore. English not always so good. Lots of trpical drink trays in constant circulation. Top shelf liquor at all bars and restaurants. House wines OK but nothing special. Restaurant decor and some public areas could use refresher. More self-serv launderettes would be helpful. Restaurant/Keller selections good to excellent. Colonnade buffets generally pretty good. Room service- too slow and too cold. The coffee, like virtually every cruise ship we’ve been on, was bad - there must be some special secret and cheap robusto blend they all buy. Espresso sometimes OK and cappuccinos were tolerable. All in all, we liked this ship although my companion thought there too many smoking areas. We liked the Encore better even though it was larger and will probably try other Seabourn ships before we come back here. Wishing you clear skies and calm seas. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise over others , first ,balconies, a must while cruising the South Pacific. Second ,reputation. We were not disappointed, from start to finish, the crew of the Paul Gauguin take care of your every need. Pick up at Tahiti ... Read More
We chose this cruise over others , first ,balconies, a must while cruising the South Pacific. Second ,reputation. We were not disappointed, from start to finish, the crew of the Paul Gauguin take care of your every need. Pick up at Tahiti airport and taken to hotel was smooth and efficient, as was embarkation, quick ,efficient, and with in minutes we were escorted to our cabin. My only disappointment with the cabin was the dated bathroom, still a bath tub with shower attachment......needs to be updated. Everything else was great.Our room stewardess just couldnt do enough for us, and when she found out it was our 50th anniversary, decorated our cabin with balloons,banner,flowers on the bed and more.....Anna was a darling. 3 restaurants gave way to a great variety of great food , wine, spirits ,beer was free flowing throughout the dining and day, mainly French wines but you only had to ask for one of your chose. Lots of activities going on during the day , piano bar with a very talented piano player to entertain. Crew night and nightly entertainment by the Polynesian dancers, disco and an amazing band, or just sit and chill out on deck. Plenty of shore excursions to choose from, also 2 days at the Paul Gauguin private beaches. One could not fault the service all members of the crew gave. Would we go again, yes,but for longer next time,7 days just was not long enough.........not everything was perfect hence I did not rate as Excellent, but it was so close........ Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Ship is pristine and service could not be more friendly or professional. Entertainment is high quality but the emphasis on classical music gets a little tiresome. Professional lectures were excellent. Dining is varied and delicious with ... Read More
Ship is pristine and service could not be more friendly or professional. Entertainment is high quality but the emphasis on classical music gets a little tiresome. Professional lectures were excellent. Dining is varied and delicious with food served hot. Cabin is smaller than indicated in the photo, with insufficient storage space.Balcony very small. We particularly enjoyed the spa with the snow grotto and the exercise classes were excellent. Included excursions are boring and the others are extremely expensive. Prices not disclosed until 30 days before departure. Sledding by huskies was a lot of fun but lasts 15 minutes. An excursion to see the northern lights was supposed to include being taken to several places to try to see the lights. Stayed in one place. Never saw the lights. Another couple went with a private company and saw the lights for hours! Most of the city stops were on Sunday so no shopping opportunities. Scenery in Norway is beautiful and we may go back in summer, just probably not with Viking. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Caribbean snorkeling cruise. Great space in the penthouse suite. Chose for the itinerary but wish they stayed longer in Bonaire. Did not like that we had to wear a life preserver is when taking the cruises excursion to snorkel. Food was ... Read More
Caribbean snorkeling cruise. Great space in the penthouse suite. Chose for the itinerary but wish they stayed longer in Bonaire. Did not like that we had to wear a life preserver is when taking the cruises excursion to snorkel. Food was quite good but wish there was more variety as 12 days I would’ve liked to seen different choices. Overall Oceania did a great job with organization embarkation disembarkation and meeting my requests. Pre-ordered particular juices ahead of time and we did indeed get them. Privee was very good. It was our third time booking Privee and it’s a fun evening. Jaques is way too creamy and rich. How could somebody possibly ruin escargot? By smothering cheese all over it. The easiest muster we ever did...thanks for that, luggage arrived by the time we entered suite... Crew friendly and helpful. Bingo run well until too many people ....had to stand in line for 30 min to purchase cards...unacceptable...Should have had several stations or areas to purchase cards to avoid long lines. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We wanted to see Cuba without having to experience the land based hotels which all of our friends who had traveled there said were not pleasant. And so we figured we would try a Viking Ocean experience based on several of their river ... Read More
We wanted to see Cuba without having to experience the land based hotels which all of our friends who had traveled there said were not pleasant. And so we figured we would try a Viking Ocean experience based on several of their river cruise trips. To tell you the truth is was truly a mixed experience. The ship was very manageable, clean and convenient. The cabin was great. Well stocked, king size bed, heated bathroom floors, great ventilation and temp control and the cabin steward was a 10+. The tours were mixed - some good, some bad - but it's always based on who your guide is. What was truly disappointing was one of the "included" tours which the ship's staff advised us not to take. Say what? You put us on a tour that's no good? Well then change it - don't advise us to pay more for an optional one. The dining room was not ready for prime time. There is a big difference between "unhurried" dining and SLOW. One night we sat at the table for 15 minutes waiting to be approached and nothing happened. Had to raise my hand and ask who had our table and one could tell by the looks on the faces that no one had a clue. But every night the service was that way. Alternate dining room reservations were simply put, a pain and not worth the effort. The buffet was good though and never disappointed. When the staff was asked how long they had been on board or with Viking the lack of experience was astounding. We really felt we were providing on-the-job- training and it was annoying. Entertainment was a mix of lectures and some shows. Lectures were great and shows were okay but in fairness it is a smaller ship and lacks some facilities We're booked to be on that same ship next year for an extended voyage but we are seriously rethinking it. I don't want to suffer more Viking growing pains. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Due to the delay we only embarked on 26Jan 2019 sadly missing two days of fun we were looking forward to..nevertheless once on board we were in awe of the beauty & magnitude of the ship & then the fun started. We loved the various ... Read More
Due to the delay we only embarked on 26Jan 2019 sadly missing two days of fun we were looking forward to..nevertheless once on board we were in awe of the beauty & magnitude of the ship & then the fun started. We loved the various lounges & bar areas for relaxation & good music. The dining sittings in the restaurant caters for everyones needs & the staff serving guests with a smile & then having the opportunity to meet wonderful people at the table we share with.Our highlight the sushi restaurant (my favourite). Our balcony cabin for two very spacious & clean..the staff (& that includes everyone) very friendly & helpful at all times & they work long hours daily. Its also fantastic on the pool deck soaking up the sun & having fun with activities organised by the entertainment team.Its your lucky day if you win something.The shows in the theatre outstanding!!!Professionalism beyond words! The cruise overall is too much to see & do & theres too little time..definitely another cruise planned for the future.. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Dining in main dining room was average. However, the dining in the specialty restaurants was very good. Liked the choice of 5 dining options. High cost for tours. Best decision is to organize a private tour on Cruise Critic and use Tours ... Read More
Dining in main dining room was average. However, the dining in the specialty restaurants was very good. Liked the choice of 5 dining options. High cost for tours. Best decision is to organize a private tour on Cruise Critic and use Tours by Locals. Overall service was very good. The butler was excellent and the cabin service was very good. Prices in the shops was way out of line. No general sundry shop to purchase small items. Did not like the idea that they would not let you on the ship until noon. Other cruise lines will allow you to board early and wait in a common area until cabins are ready. Disembarkation was not satisfactory. Since we had a late flight we purchased a transfer package that included wait time in a hotel. The hotel day room supplied a minimum of snaks and drinks along with broken chairs. Probably not Crystals fault. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Friends recommended. This was our first Scenic Cruise. The cruise was excellent overall and the service, food, drinks were particularly noteworthy. Everything was very nicely and efficiently organized and there were no hick ups. It was ... Read More
Friends recommended. This was our first Scenic Cruise. The cruise was excellent overall and the service, food, drinks were particularly noteworthy. Everything was very nicely and efficiently organized and there were no hick ups. It was always nice to see the face of Joyce who was the person in charge of hospitality, every time we came back from a land-tour or went to the dining room. Similarly many of the staff will always welcome us back with a cold towels and a drinks as we returned to the ship. They were always smiling and were ready to serve as as best as possible to increase our comfort. We also enjoyed most if not all Tour Directors and Tour Guides. Only thing we were disappointed with was the optional and sometime the Enrich land tours. Some of them really didn't have any cultural, educational or historical significance - just a simple and almost irrelevant walk-about. Bicycling tour in Champasak (Pakse) was awful,dangerous and boring. The roads were in poor shape and bicycles were also in bad shape. There was a lack of cultural and entertaining tours which would have given us insight of the country's/town's music, dance, traditions or history. Also we found during the dinner time that most people stayed with their country's people like the Australians will sit with Australians and the British will sit with their fiends from UK. So, there were not must opportunities to mix and socialize during the dinner. Scenic should try to encourage cross-socialization. However we met lots of nice people during land tours. The Gala dinner at the Angkor Temple was excellent, very special and well organized. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Third time on Oceania, first time on the R-Class Nautica. Had a great time on this 30-day cruise up the east coast of Africa and then Asia seeing some out of the way places but meeting some great people onboard. The biggest detractor on ... Read More
Third time on Oceania, first time on the R-Class Nautica. Had a great time on this 30-day cruise up the east coast of Africa and then Asia seeing some out of the way places but meeting some great people onboard. The biggest detractor on this cruise was time and how long it takes to get from point A to point B. Itinerary Planning - This is a shared responsibility between Oceania Corporate and the Captain of the ship. These itinerary’s are made years in advance and must be executed by the Captain at the helm. Durban - 3 hours late, Maldives - 5 hours late, Phuket - 5 hours late - Unacceptable. The reason given, currents were bad or wind was high. This tired ship can only do about 18,5 knots, we didn’t have high seas or storms to contend with, this was an example of poor planning and not having enough time reserve between ports of call. The skip of Mombasa for terrorist threat is understandable but could have been communicated sooner, the add of Praslin in the Seychelles deserves an “At a boy”. Ship - Loved the size of the ship and the old world charm but its time for an upgrade. The common areas were in good shape and are still receiving the TLC they deserve. Would like to see Toscana and Polo combined to make room for Red Ginger with the scheduled refurbishment. The Nautica Lounge has a nice layout to it but when the entertainment uses the dance floor instead of the stage it can be difficult to see what is going on. Didn’t see a lot of activity in the casino, this space could get better utilization. Enjoyed the spa deck on the front, a quiet space for reading, and the hot tub there was great. Dining - Ate in all the venues and service level was top notch. This was really evident in the Terrace Grill. During the morning rush there were countless “Good Mornings”, tables were reset quickly, and beverage servers ever present. Enjoyed the regional specialty nights especially the game night of Kudu, Springbock, Crocodile, and Impala. For the GDR did not experience the same quality as previous sailings, the deserts were routine. Saw the same menus in Toscana and Polo as year prior, shouldn’t these change a bit. Entertainment and Activities - You can’t expect the same performance level that is received on a 2500+ passenger ship. With that said this group or entertainers and dancers held there own and then some. You got to know these performers throughout the 30-day cruise as they were the ones hosting the various activity games onboard. I think you will see Paulina and Luke have their own headline acts soon. John’s comedy/magic show should become a regular act. He was pretty darn good at having fun at the daily trivia forum. Was glad to see bridge lessons being offered as corporate had said they wouldn’t prior to the cruise. Bridge should be expected on a cruise of this duration. The string quartet every evening in the atrium was well received and glad to see them get two headline shows. The off-board entertainers and lecturers were pretty good. Ports and Shore Excursions - Took this cruise mainly for the itinerary and was not disappointed. Arranged mostly private tours with the CC forum prior to embarkation. These were well done and received a more intimate experience than the Oceania sponsored trips. The tendering process was orderly with a sensitivity to private excursions. Oceania needs to cut their fees in half to be competitive. Met some interesting fellow travelers from various points of the world. By sharing evening dinner or Happy Hour you get to exchange in some great conversations. We enjoy Oceania and will return. Read Less

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