3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Family vacation with our two teen sons. Firstly we booked a 15 night cruise with Regent at no time did they tell us that the cruise was two bolted together. Beware this seems perfectly normal and somewhat shady. The net effect is that ... Read More
Family vacation with our two teen sons. Firstly we booked a 15 night cruise with Regent at no time did they tell us that the cruise was two bolted together. Beware this seems perfectly normal and somewhat shady. The net effect is that entertainment and menus repeat for both weeks... I think this is very unfair and should be addressed and I would advise people to check prior to booking unless you dont mind having a mirror image of the first part of the cruise in your second week. Ship: First time on Seven Seas and was bursting with excitement. I found the ship to be boring to be honest lacking the distinction and a personality I was expecting from Regent. Everything seems underwhelming not pretty and basic fit out Cabin: Best part of the ship nicely appointed decent size room and bathroom, balcony was a bit cramped to move around on but useable. Bed was very comfy. Staff: Very mixed firstly on the pool deck their never seemed enough of them but given the drinks were included one cant help but think this was deliberate. As a result the staff at the pool bar were unwelcoming and stressed certainly no service. The staff in the buffet were mixed in respect to attitude, one felt that the training was lacking with a number of staff many seeming distant and uninterested. The supervisor in Prime 7 was damn right rude I think he felt he owned the place! Prime 7 was okay but we didn't have a compulsion to go back. I have dined in far better on more traditional steak restaurants on cruise ships Prime 7 was average at best. Shore excursions: well a mixed bag supposedly all inclusive despite anything decent being charged for. The chargeable ones were good albeit out trip to the Ferrari museum 1.5 hour drive each way ended up leaving us just 45 mins to get round before being hearded back onto the bus. In the event they refunded just $30. Sums up Regent in my opinion...Cheap! I have been on Silverseas and Seaborne and have seen reviews that Regent are better. In my opinion they are in a different class. Both the aforementioned are far beyond Regent in every way for example both offer cold towels round the pool Regent does not, both offer fresh fruit kebabs at the pool Regent does not. Both offer deck dining quality at night Regent offers burgers. All very low end with high end pricing. In the end its everyone's choice but for me this was an excellent itinerary and we as a family had the trip of a lifetime, Regent had every opportunity to win our business in the future and simply failed to achieve the high standard they advertise themselves to be. We wont be back!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Chose the cruise based on the itinerary and comments from our cruise company that Azamara was really good! It was excellent! Smaller ship with 690 people and very much adult focused which we loved, room was great - bed super comfortable ... Read More
Chose the cruise based on the itinerary and comments from our cruise company that Azamara was really good! It was excellent! Smaller ship with 690 people and very much adult focused which we loved, room was great - bed super comfortable and kept neat and tidy and clean always. Common areas including The Living Riom and Thw Den we’re so inviting and warm. Really enjoyed them. Pool was perfect .never crowded, nor were the hit tubs! Lots of dining options.. Food was outstanding as was the service. Captain Carl was great and his team did some pretty impressive manoeuvres! Tony the cruise director did a great job órgano for many events and entertainment... especially the Azamaxing evening in Koper Slovenia... very impressive! Really liked having a local tourism rep come on at every por and provide some guidance! All round a 10! Will be sailing (soon we hope) with Azamara again! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This is my fourth cruise with Oceania. I have been on both the Riviera and the marina. Well both ships are lovely, I have to say that I enjoyed the Riviera the most. I find the ship to be simply beautiful. This service is always so helpful ... Read More
This is my fourth cruise with Oceania. I have been on both the Riviera and the marina. Well both ships are lovely, I have to say that I enjoyed the Riviera the most. I find the ship to be simply beautiful. This service is always so helpful and cheerful. We had a penthouse suite as I was traveling with my father and aunt. The room was clean, well appointed, and had plenty of room. We all had enough space to put away all her clothes. The suitcases fit comfortably under the bed. They would unfold a sofa bed every evening that my dad slept in. I wanted to sleep in it but he insisted that it was more comfortable. The walking closet was large enough to act as a changing room. I am usually out all day on a tour or exploring on my own. I have no real interest in on board activities or entertainment. I found the chamber music group that played in front of the grand dining room and martinis bar to be absolutely delightful. I enjoyed the afternoon tea. However, I notice that they no longer have the pastries and sandwiches set up as self serve. You had to wait to be served with the little cart that goes around. There are some ways I see that the line is cutting back since they have been acquired by Norwegian line. I hope this doesn’t continue. The tea was still delightful. We had our transfers from the airport to our ship and from the ship to our hotel handled through Oceania. This was very efficient and made embarkation and Disembarkation pretty easy. The only trouble was is that there were so many people who had booked the room at the grand Brittania hotel in Athens that they were somewhat overwhelme. Oceania did their best to accommodate us while we waited to be checked in. The only problem I encountered during the cruise was with regard to their policy on booking on board. They provided numerous handouts stating that you could save $600-$1200 if you booked on board depending on the length of the cruise you chose. However that so-called discount only brought the cost down to what was their published prices less $100, you also got 100 on board credit. This is not the $600 to $1200 that The handouts indicated. Also the onboard Oceania ambassador I found to be Unhelpful and disingenuous. It seem that she was more concerned on her commission then in booking us in an appropriate room. Oceania is a great product they do not have to rely on this shady kind of marketing. I find the food to be generally of high-quality on the ship. I do agree that the offerings in the grand dining room tend to be very boring. Also if you expect your steak in the polar grill to be very rare, you have to order it “blue“. If you say rare you will get something like medium rare. I have already booked a Caribbean cruise and a cruise that goes to southeast Asia next year. I feel Oceania is kind of on the cusp here, it is still a very high-quality product, I just hope corporate doesn’t ruin a good thing. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My husband and I just returned from a wonderful 11-night cruise on board Regent’s Seven Seas Voyager. After months of anticipation, we can’t believe that our voyage is over. We knew the first half of 2019 was going to be a pressure ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from a wonderful 11-night cruise on board Regent’s Seven Seas Voyager. After months of anticipation, we can’t believe that our voyage is over. We knew the first half of 2019 was going to be a pressure cooker, so it was important to have a major trip on our calendar to keep us going through the winter and spring. More importantly, we needed to go somewhere spectacular to celebrate my husband’s 60th birthday. Choosing the Cruise and Making Reservations: We decided to set sail for the Dalmatian Coast and the French/Italian Rivieras. Planning for our Adriatic/Mediterranean adventure began in July 2018 when we logged on to a number of cruise line websites to research our options. We focused on Seabourn, Silver Seas, Celebrity, Cunard, and Regent. After significant discussion, we chose Regent, which offered excellent and all-inclusive pricing, great itineraries, and convenient travel dates. Being a bit of a control freak, I did not use a travel agent; rather, I contacted Regent directly through its website and its toll-free telephone number. I called Regent on a Sunday to finalize the reservation. The agent was friendly, efficient, and knowledgeable. After 30 minutes on the phone, we were confirmed on the Voyager for its 11-night “Treasures of the Mediterranean” cruise, departing from Venice on Saturday, June 15 and ending in Monaco on Tuesday, June 25. We opted for a Concierge Suite on Deck 7 (Suite 738.) While the cruise itinerary did not include any sea days, we were attracted to the fabulous port calls of Split and Dubrovnik in Croatia; Durres (for Tirana), Albania; Corfu, Greece; Taormina, Sorrento (for Capri), Civitavecchia (for Rome), Livorno (for Florence/Pisa) in Italy; and St. Tropez, France. The user-friendly Regent website is the perfect place to manage your cruise experience. As soon as the reservation was final, I was able to sign on to complete our guest information forms. Most importantly, the site provides a calendar of key dates, including when you can make excursion and specialty dining reservations. Once I had those dates in hand, I programmed task items into my personal Outlook account and set reminders so I wouldn’t forget to act. During the eleven months between making the reservation and our departure date, I checked the Regent website numerous times just to remind myself that we had a fabulous vacation in our future. In October 2018, my husband and I sat down at the computer to review all of our excursion options. It took us about an hour to make our choices. Most of Regent’s excursions are included in your cruise fare and we were pleased that we could reserve space eight months ahead of time– one less thing to worry about on embarkation day when the lines at the excursion desk are long and many popular tours are sold out. Moreover, if we changed our minds about a certain excursion we could cancel or book an alternative at any time. In March, Regent opened online reservations for the Voyager’s specialty restaurants – Chartreuse, a charming French bistro and Prime 7, a traditional American steakhouse. There is no upcharge for either restaurant, but seating is limited so I highly recommend making reservations ahead of time. The Trip Begins: After months of anticipation, the sun finally rose on Thursday, June 13, 2019. We spent the morning packing and preparing the house for our pet sitter. After saying goodbye to our two beautiful dachshunds (our most precious possessions,) the car service to SFO pulled away from our house in Marin County. The exact time was 10:27 a.m. in California, or 7:27 p.m. at our first destination -- Venice. Air Arrangements and Ground Transfers: Regent cruise fares include roundtrip business class airfare, even if your port of embarkation and port of disembarkation are different. In our case, we began in Venice and ended in Monaco. If you decide to make your own air transportation arrangements, Regent will issue you a credit. Because most cruise lines don’t include business class airfare as part of their standard cruise fares, I normally make our own air reservations. We will not fly economy class, so on previous cruises we purchased our airline tickets independently – sometimes with cash and other times with cash + points. For this trip, however, I took a leap of faith and decided to let Regent make the air arrangements for me. I wasn’t about to give up total control, however, so I paid $350 ($175/pp.) to submit an air deviation request, which allows you to pick your own carrier and routes. Air deviation requests are accepted beginning 270 days before departure and must be made at least 35 days before departure. In our case, we wanted to fly on a Star Alliance carrier (for the points) and we wanted at least the outbound connection to be in Europe. 270 days before departure, I contacted the Regent Air Deviation Department with a list of five possible itineraries. My first choice was on Swiss Air, with connections through Zurich. Unfortunately, seats were not available. My second choice was on Lufthansa, with connections through Germany. Space was available and reserved. Regent sent me a confirmation email (with the Lufthansa booking code) on the same day and even was able to assign us our preferred seats. And even though the ticket was purchased through Regent, we earned United Mileage Plus PQMs with the business class bonuses. Our departure from SFO was delayed about an hour because of various ground issues (occupied gate for incoming flight from FRA and the breakdown of a catering truck.). We arrived at FRA with about 35 minutes to clear European passport control and connect to our next flight. Luckily, there were nearly 40 people on our flight who were connecting to VCE, so the Lufthansa ground staff had a special bus waiting for us that first took us to a lower level private room where we proceeded through passport control, and then to our A320. In the end, we left FRA 15 minutes late, but arrived at VCE on time at 2:00 p.m. Our luggage did not make the connection. This was the only major hiccup of the trip. As is common in Europe, there were not separate baggage offices for each airline at VCE. Instead, issues related to lost luggage for all airlines are outsourced and handled by one company. The Regent representative who met us (and many others) at VCE knew exactly what to do and before you know it I was at the front of the line at the baggage office. My bar-coded baggage tags were not useful. The agent told me that she did not have the ability to track our bags and that we would have to file a claim. She further said that once the bags arrived at VCE, they would be delivered either to the hotel that night or to the ship the next day. She added, however, that the delivery schedule was up to the driver and she could not guarantee that we would receive our bags before our ship sailed the next evening. There was no Lufthansa representative in the baggage hall and calls to Lufthansa both in Germany and the United States were fruitless. The next Lufthansa arrival from FRA was scheduled for 3:30 p.m., so we decided to wait in the baggage hall (a secure area, so we could not leave.) It was delayed and did not arrive in Venice until 4:45 p.m. Unfortunately, our bags were not on that flight either. We were exhausted, frustrated, and annoyed. Luckily, just as I was about to have a public and ugly meltdown, I got a text message from Lufthansa that said our bags were being loaded on to a flight that was expected to arrive at VCE shortly after 6:00 p.m. We were not confident, however, that they would be delivered to us either that night or the next day, so we decided to wait at the airport. Finally, around 6:20 p.m., we had our bags in hand. In retrospect, I am glad we waited at VCE. One couple who was on our flight from FRA to VCE and on our cruise did not receive their bags until one week later. All during our time in the baggage hall, we kept the Regent representative apprised of our situation. When we learned that the bags would be arriving sometime around 6:00 p.m., he told us that the last transfer to the hotel departed at 6:00 p.m. Keeping in mind that all of our transfers were included in our cruise fare, we asked him what arrangements would be made to get us to the hotel. He said we were on our own. We asked him if he could wait for us or give us some sort of voucher for transportation, but he refused and said there was nothing he could do. In the end, he left without us and we spent the equivalent of $145 for a private water taxi to the hotel. I brought this issue to Regent’s attention once we were on board the Voyager. The front desk clerk profusely apologized, documented all of the details, and called me two days later to tell me that I would receive a $145 credit to my onboard account. Nice job Regent. On the back end of the trip, Regent provided coach service from the pier in Monaco to NCE. The ride was comfortable and scenic. We arrived at NCE with plenty of time to spare. Hotel Accommodations in Venice: At 7:00 p.m. (local time) on Friday, June 14, our water taxi pulled up to the dock in front of the Hilton Molino Stucky in Venice. We were excited, but exhausted from traveling nearly 24 hours – the last five of which were spent at VCE’s baggage claim area, but as I said above that was just a hiccup and we were happy. The Hilton Molino is a wonderful hotel on Giudecca Island. The building is a former pasta factory. How Italian!!! Our room was small, but lovely, with a large bathroom that included a separate shower stall. The king size bed was comfortable. It was a great place to spend our first night abroad. The hotel was included in our cruise fare and Regent made the reservation for us. It was a great choice. Having traveled to Europe often, we knew that if we wanted to get a good night’s sleep, we needed to remain awake as late as possible. So, upon arrival at the Hilton we quickly changed clothes and headed to the hotel’s outdoor restaurant, Bacaromi, for dinner. It was delightful to sit in the open air and watch the sun set as the boats traveled back and forth along the Giudecca Canal. After dinner we took a brief stroll in the immediate neighborhood before heading up to our room where we promptly fell asleep. The next morning we rose around 6:00 a.m. feeling rested and ready to go. Before a satisfying buffet breakfast in the hotel restaurant, we checked in with the onsite Regent representative, who told us that we were booked on the 1:45 p.m. water shuttle from the hotel to the Port of Venice. This gave us plenty time to wander around the city. The Hilton has a free water shuttle to San Marco Square, so off we went to explore. Embarkation, Ship, Cabin, and Sail Away: We returned to the Hilton around 1:00 p.m. Earlier that morning, we left our luggage outside our room so it could be picked up and transferred to the ship. We asked the Regent representative if we could catch an earlier water shuttle to the port. There was one about to depart and she told us to hop on. Twenty minutes later, we were at the Venice passenger ship terminal. Check in was a breeze. We filled out a health form, and presented the agent with our passports and credit card. In return, she gave us our “key card” room key and maps of the ship. Shortly thereafter, we breezed through security and boarded the Voyager via a gangway that was connected to Deck 4. There was not a photographer at the gangway to take our picture as is common on so many other cruise lines. We did not miss this service. We were on board at 1:45 p.m. The ship’s interior and public space décor is classy and understated. She is not the flashiest ship at sea, but she is comfortable. We particularly liked to hang out in the Observation Lounge on Deck 11 for a pre-dinner cocktail and afternoon trivia matches. We also spent a lot of time outside on Deck 12. We liked to be on that deck early in the morning as we sailed into our next port (so peaceful) and often were back in the evening as we sailed away. The dress code never gets any more formal than elegant casual, which essentially means no jeans, shorts, or t-shirts in the public spaces after 6:00 p.m. No need to bring a tuxedo, tie or suitcoat. After spending all day in the hot sun, it was nice to be able to relax at dinner in an open collar shirt and slacks. Three weeks before departure we received an email from Regent with a reasonable offer to upgrade to a Penthouse Suite. My husband and I discussed the offer and decided to accept it. We were assigned to Suite 787, which is in the aft of the ship. We have been in aft cabins before on other cruise lines and enjoyed the experience. They tend to be quieter. We have never been disturbed by engine noise or exhaust, and we like having the both the port and starboard side views. Our suite was approximately 300 square feet, with a 50 sft. veranda. Regent informed us well ahead of time that the suites would not be ready until 2:30 p.m. on embarkation day. Nevertheless, curiosity got the best of us, so the first thing we did was to make our way to Suite 787, primarily to see its location vis-a-vie the stairs and the elevators. Just as we got to the cabin, an announcement was made that all of the suites were ready for occupancy. Great timing!!! Penthouse Suites come with butler service. The butler serves in-suite meals (we had breakfast in our suite a number of times.) Had we asked, he would have packed and unpacked for us or would have arranged a cocktail party in our cabin. Each evening he delivered a tray of canapes, and made sure that our bar remained stocked. Once a reservation is confirmed (and up to seven days before departure,) passengers can submit personalized requests on the Regent website to select in-suite preferences for premium beverages, snacks, bedding, pillow types, and arrangements for special occasions. Our suite had a large bathroom with a shower and a bathtub. We are not bathtub people, so I would have taken that space to enlarge the vanity for his/his sinks and to install a private toilet, so one person could shower/shave, while the other person could poop in private. The walk-in closet was surprisingly large with plenty of room for all of our clothes and shoes. The bedroom and adjoining sitting room were the perfect size for two people. In addition to the beds, there was a small, but comfortable couch, an armchair, a coffee table and a built-in shelf under the television. The shelf is too narrow to be used as a desk. Underneath the shelf is the mini-bar cabinet that also houses barware. At the back of our cabin was the sliding-glass doors that led to the veranda, which included two lounge chairs and a small table. The interactive flat-screen television offers complimentary movies on demand, standard channels include MSNBC, CNN (and unfortunately Fox News), Sky News, CNBC and BBC World, plus 15 channels of music. You can also see the view from the Bridge Cam, tune in to the nautical information channel and watch the Destination Services channel to learn more about your ports of call. There are electric outlets throughout the suite, but only two U.S.-standard outlets. The adjustable thermostat indicates hotter or cooler, but not specific temperatures. We adjusted it to the coolest setting possible and were quite comfortable. The individual reading lights above the bed were a nice touch. Our cruise was scheduled to depart Venice at 5:30 p.m., but because of the June 2nd crash of the MSC Opera into the River Countess, local authorities placed restrictions on cruise ship traffic in the Giudecca Canal. As a result, only one cruise ship per hour was allowed into the canal. There were seven other ships in port with us, so our departure was delayed until 10:00 p.m. Despite the delay, it was a delightful sail away. The Passengers and Crew. Regent is a luxury cruise line. Nearly everything is included in your fare, so it is pricey compared to other lines. We were expecting the passengers to be couples primarily in their 40s and older traveling without children. We were wrong. This particular cruise had a number of large families with multiple children ranging from infants to kids in college. We were told that this was highly unusual, and that most of the time Regent draws an older crowd. Although we did not want or expect to be on a “family” cruise, the kids (for the most part) were well-behaved, and did not interfere with our positive experience. (The one exception was the one group of kids on Deck 8 who got their kicks playing with the elevators, and knocking on cabin doors and then running away. I had a brief run-in with their nasty, nasty grandmother in the elevator. She has no reason to be proud of her bratty grandkids, but I digress…) My guess is that more than 65% of the passengers were American (luckily, we saw no MAGA hats), and 20% were from Great Britain. The other 15% primarily were from China, Australia, and Germany. Public announcements were limited and were in English only. The crew, of course, comes from everywhere. The captain was Italian. The crew was impressive. Customer service was paramount. From the minute we stepped on board, we felt that each crew member made us the center of attention. Whenever we passed a crew member in the hall, they would smile and greet us with a warm hello. They were friendly, helpful, and approachable. Many of them had a terrific sense of humor. They worked hard and did their best to create a luxurious, but relaxed atmosphere. Our butler and cabin attendant were fantastic, and the waiters and bartenders went out of their way to make us feel special. This was our 13th cruise and this was the best crew by far. The only small exception was the Destination Services staff – more on that below. We met some wonderful people on board, which formed our “circle of friends” for the entire voyage. So far, we have done a great job at keeping in touch with each other through social media. Regent doesn’t force people to socialize, but provides ample opportunities to do so. One interesting Regent tradition is the “Block Party.” Once each cruise (on this one it was the day we sailed away from Corfu), everyone is encouraged to step into the hallway around 6:00 p.m. to meet their neighbors. During this social hour, waiters make their way through the ship with champagne and hors d’oeuvres, and the senior staff circulates around the decks to say hello. It was a fun and relaxing way to meet people. Food and Entertainment: The food on board was excellent. La Veranda and the Pool Grill, both on Deck 11, were great options for breakfast and lunch. For breakfast we rotated between room service, sitting on the aft deck at La Veranda, and a more formal breakfast in Compass Rose. My favorite breakfast was the Avocado Toast in Compass Rose, although the Eggs Benedict (not on the menu) was a close second. We both agreed that the ship’s “house blend” coffee was horrible. Most mornings we ended up at the Coffee Connection on Deck 5 for a decent cup of coffee or for a cappuccino. We often ate lunch on shore. The highlight was a fabulous ravioli in Rome and a seaside lunch in St. Tropez at La Terrasse at the Cheval Blanc Hotel. Outstanding!!! Lunch on the ship was either at La Veranda or the Pool Grill. I liked the informality of the Pool Grill, which offered a wonderful selection of salads, fruits, and sandwiches, in addition to hamburgers and hot dogs that were made on a real outside grill. Dinner, of course, was the main meal of the day. Most of the time we ate in the Compass Rose, which offers open seating until 9:30 p.m. We usually ate at 8:00 p.m. – sometimes alone, but often with some of our new friends. The menu was extensive and changed daily, although some of the appetizers were offered every night (the crab and avocado starter was exquisite.). Also offered daily were USDA prime steaks and seafood, prepared a variety of ways. We are not big meat eaters, but we both agreed that the steaks on the Voyager were phenomenal. Service in Compass Rose was consistently attentive. On our first full day on the ship we had dinner at Chartreuse, which Regent describes as a “chic Parisian fine dining restaurant.” The service and the cuisine exceeded our expectations. When we first arrived we were seated at a table toward the back of the restaurant. We noticed, however, that a couple at a window table were about to leave. We asked the maître d’ if we could move, and he made sure the table was cleared and cleaned quickly after the couple left. The highlight of the dinner was the cheese soufflé, which was light, airy, and delicious. My husband’s scallops were divine. Each scallop was topped with a thin sliver of prosciutto, which added texture and additional flavor. On our third day we had dinner at Prime 7. Prior to leaving home, I let Regent know that this would be a celebration dinner for my husband’s 60th birthday. Not only did our butler decorate our cabin that day with a “Happy Birthday” banner and balloons, but the Prime 7 staff had champagne and a decedent chocolate birthday cake ready for him. When the time came, the restaurant staff gathered around our table to sing Happy Birthday. It was an evening to remember. Our Prime 7 dinner was out of this world. I had the goat cheese, red pepper, and portabella tart to start. The crust was buttery and flaky, and the flavors delighted my palate. For my main course, I had the traditional surf and turf and my husband had a steak. The cruise fare includes unlimited drinks – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, including most premium wines and beers. I am not a big drinker, but I really enjoyed the Aperol Spritz in the Observation Lounge. My husband enjoys his beer, occasional cocktail, and wine at dinner – not to mention his Bailey’s on the rocks night cap. We did not attend any of the shows in the Constellation Theatre. We preferred to have dinner around 8:00 p.m., and unlike at home where we tend to eat fast, dinner usually lasted around two hours. A couple of times we stopped by the casino (gross winnings of $225), but because we are early risers, we often were back in our cabin by 11:00 p.m. Excursions and Ports of Call: My only complaint about our itinerary was the lack of sea days; they are my favorite. Sea days are incredibly relaxing and a great time to truly unwind. Because we left Venice late, our arrival in Split was delayed until Noon the next day, which gave us at least a morning at sea. We chose our excursions before leaving home, but made a couple of adjustments on board. Excursions are arranged by the ship’s Destination Services crew. They were the least impressive staff group on board. They were often rude, a bit bossy, and didn’t seem interested in answering your questions or assisting you with changes. On a positive note, our excursion tickets were waiting for us in our suite when we boarded. Check in for all excursions was in the Constellation Theatre on Deck 4, and was generally efficient. In most ports, we were alongside the pier, so it was easy to get on and off the ship. In three ports – Taormina, Sorrento, and St. Tropez, we used tender boats to get to shore. Although some of the tenders were crowded, the crew did an excellent job getting people from ship to shore. I’m not going to review each excursion here; rather, here are some observations. In Split, we signed up for an excursion to historic Trogir, about 20 miles west of Split, which ended with a short walking tour in Split, including the Diocletian Palace. In retrospect, we should have spent more time in Split. We didn’t get a lot of time at the Palace or an opportunity to see other landmarks in the city. Trogir was interesting, but we spent too much time there. In Taormina (you dock in Naxos) we originally signed up for the Mt. Etna tour, but were so glad that we changed our minds and opted instead for a walking tour of Taormina. The city, which is 1,200 feet above the sea, is spectacularly beautiful. Rome was a bit of a bust. We’ve been to Rome before and have seen most of the major sites. On this trip, we did “Rome on our Own,” which only included roundtrip express train service from Civitavecchia to the city. Rome in June is not the place to be if you only have eight hours. It was hot, dirty, and crowded. (We spent a week there in January and it was delightful.). Lunch was fantastic and our second visit to the Vatican museums was somewhat enjoyable. In retrospect, however, we should have opted for another excursion that did not take us into the city. Lesson learned. The biggest fail logistically was in Sorrento. We opted for an excursion to Capri with two other couples. This required a tender boat ride to the pier in Sorrento, a hydrofoil boat ride to Capri, and then a minibus ride to Anacapri. Anacapri is on the highest part of the island at the base of Monte Solaro. Once there we hopped on the Monte Solaro chair lift. The ride was spectacular. During a 13-minute ascent to the summit we enjoyed splendid views of the Gulf of Naples with Vesuvius in the background, the Gulf of Salerno, the Isle of Ischia and the breathtaking beauty of the blue Mediterranean. Monte Solaro is the highest point on Capri and provides stunning Kodak moments. You ride alone on the chair lift and it is not for anyone who has a fear of heights. You can hike back down to Anacapri from Monte Solaro, but we opted to take the chair lift round trip. After our visit to Anacapri, we took a minibus down to Capri town in the middle of the island. While we had a wonderful lunch at Ristorante di Giorgio, we felt like we should have been a bit more discerning and not let our tour guide pressure us into eating there. Still, we couldn’t complain about the views of the sea or the wonderful pizza. Things fell apart after lunch. To get back to the ship we had to take a funicular down to the port of Capri, take the hydrofoil back to Sorrento, and then catch the tender boat back to the ship. Unfortunately, Regent held all of the excursion groups in Capri until a set time instead of letting us make our way back to the ship on our own. The result was long lines, big crowds, lots of waiting around, and a 2.5-hour trip from Capri back to the ship. Not fun. Disembarkation: On our penultimate day, we left St. Tropez at 11:00 p.m. and made our way to Monaco – 60 nautical miles away. We were awake and on Deck 12 at 6:00 a.m. as we approached Monaco and docked alongside Quai Prince Rainer II. This would be a day where we saw the sun rise over Monaco and the sun set behind the Golden Gate Bridge, 5,989 miles away. I was very sad that the cruise was ending. The prior evening, we place our luggage outside our suite so the crew could off load it in Monaco. After a final breakfast in our cabin, we disembarked at 9:00 a.m., claimed our luggage, and boarded our coach transfer to NCE. The trip home on Lufthansa (NCE-MUC-SFO) was uneventful (no issues with our luggage) and we arrived home at 9:00 p.m. Our dogs were very happy to see us, and we were overjoyed to see them. Our Mediterranean adventure exceeded our expectations. It was a great way to spend our vacation time. We were very pleased with our experience on the Voyager and would not hesitate to sail with Regent again. In fact, while on board we made reservations for an August 2020 voyage on the Seven Seas Navigator from Amsterdam to Barcelona. The countdown has begun…..!!!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My room was in bad need of repairs, which should have been done, before I stepped aboard. I had to spend the first 3 days, asking for repairs. This was a concierge room. The lunch was only open until 2pm, and if you left to go ashore ... Read More
My room was in bad need of repairs, which should have been done, before I stepped aboard. I had to spend the first 3 days, asking for repairs. This was a concierge room. The lunch was only open until 2pm, and if you left to go ashore , you returned to only a grill by the pool. Food should be supplied to everyone especially lunch on a fancy cruise. the ice cream closed at 4pm for the day. Who doesn't want ice cream at night. The shows were mediocre at best. Not professional , like on a big cruise. The food was just ok. the excursions were not planned well, and we barely got water upon returning from each excursion. The customer service desk, was not very helpful, and the excursion desk was always closed, so you couldn't ask questions. This was not worth the money, and I paid a fortune. I asked for a partial refund and was denied. I can go on and on with many other issues on this boat. It was not well prepared for guests, and not customer friendly. I did like the spa, although the changing room was not kept up , and was always flooded and dirty. Nothing to ever do at night. No disco, no nothing. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We booked our Viking Mediterranean Odyssey cruise and pre-stay in Venice We traveled with another couple, two close friends, who also booked with the same agency, Cruise Planners. In just about every aspect, this trip exceeded our ... Read More
We booked our Viking Mediterranean Odyssey cruise and pre-stay in Venice We traveled with another couple, two close friends, who also booked with the same agency, Cruise Planners. In just about every aspect, this trip exceeded our expectations. Our pre-stay in Venice was perfect. What a wonderful city for exploring the maze of narrow streets, canals, shops, and restaurants. Viking put us up in the Hilton Molino Stucky hotel in Venice. The hotel was beautiful with very clean and spacious rooms, a great location away from the crowds, and just a short complimentary water taxi ride to St Marks Square. With our pre-stay and overnight in Venice on the ship, we had a total of three days in Venice - a great beginning to a great cruise. Our ship, the Viking Star, immediately impressed us. This ship was Viking’s first ocean ship and therefore its oldest, but you wouldn't have known that. With its modern, bright Scandinavian decor, it was one of the cleanest ships we have ever seen. Viking included complimentary wine and beer at lunch and dinner, transfers, and two on-board specialty restaurants. Wi-Fi was free and unlimited, and it worked well in cabins and public areas – better than any of the other ships we have sailed. At sea, we were even able to use the Wi-Fi for face time and Wi-Fi phone calls, which is impossible on most cruise ships. One of the most enjoyable complementary inclusions was the Nordic spa, which had a salt water thalassotherapy pool, a steam room, a hot tub, a sauna, heated ceramic lounge chairs and a cold plunge pool, as well as a unique "snow grotto". We also enjoyed the unique infinity pool with a great view from atop the stern of the ship as we cruised along. The ship layout was easy to learn, and navigate as it had a nice, common sense flow to its design. Before our trip we attended a Viking presentation and were told that a ship of this size would normally accommodate about 1200 passengers, yet Viking reduces that to 930 passengers, giving the ship a less crowded feel. This isn't something I put a lot of faith in. After all, when is the last time you cruised and the ship didn’t feel crowded, especially around the buffet? However, Viking was right. The ship really didn’t feel crowded at all. It was easy to relax and enjoy the ship amenities, and we never had a problem getting a lounge chair like many other ships. We had stops in Split, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Naples, Rome, Florence, Monte Carlo, Marseille, and Barcelona with a day at sea. At each port, Viking supplied a free included tour. Most of these were walking tours with some better than others, but we were able to break away from the tour at any time and always had ample time to explore on our own. In addition, there were opportunities to book additional tours at cost. One of the best was an all-day small group tour with a separate tour provider, the Shore Excursion Group, that we did of the Amalfi, Positano, and Sorrento coast with two other couples – a remarkable day that we will always remember. We felt that the food on the ship was OK – not bad but not outstanding either. The important thing to note was that there are several venues for eating, so finding something to our liking was never a problem. As an example for dinner, we had choices of the two specialty restaurants (with reservations), the main dining restaurant, the world café (buffet) and a themed buffet provided at the pool-side grill. The onboard entertainment was very good, with a solo guitarist, solo pianist, string duo, house band and a house vocalist quartet. There were two occasions when local entertainment was brought onboard and we felt that Viking has the opportunity to improve their shipboard entertainment by bringing more good off-Vegas talent onboard for short periods in a manner similar to other cruiselines like Celebrity. The service from the crew was outstanding and the staff seemed genuinely cheerier than what we have seen on other cruise lines. One crew member, who had worked the cruise industry for many years, on several of the major cruise lines told us that Viking was the best company to work for. He told us they really took care of its employees and in his opinion life with Viking was much nicer than any of his other gigs. This positive attitude showed from all of the staff that we encountered throughout the ship. We had a wonderful cruise experience from Viking and Cruise Planners and look forward to more in the future. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Chose this cruise for itinerary an Regent's reputation. Overall really beautiful ship. Very well maintained. Excellent cabin and bathroom with more storage then we could use. Outstanding food. Service was excellent and very friendly. ... Read More
Chose this cruise for itinerary an Regent's reputation. Overall really beautiful ship. Very well maintained. Excellent cabin and bathroom with more storage then we could use. Outstanding food. Service was excellent and very friendly. One port of call skipped and another changed because of weather(obviously not Regent's fault). They did not handle the excursion changes well. Included excursions were average at best. Entertainment was poor. At this price point that was inexcusable. I discussed this mid-cruise with the cruise director. She mentioned the production cast changed for our cruise and were busy rehearsing and could not provide many entertainment activities during our cruise (just 2 shows in 10 nights-one of which was at 9:30 pm the night before the end of the cruise when bags needed to be out by 11 pm). I found the shows to be really dull. Very few entertainment options around the ship.Overall the entertainment was inexcusable. I wasn't given a discounted fare for the lack of the entertainment due to the need to rehearse. They should have been fully ready when the cruise started. The boat does need one dining venue which is casual at night (and not the very limited Pool Grill which is open to the elements). This is important for if you have a late arriving tour you may not want to change for dinner. Overall not worth the cruise fare. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
From Italy with Love was the title of the cruise. We chose this cruise because of the ports of call. It was a birthday and anniversary cruise and Regent did not disappoint. Regent surprised me with a birthday cake and champagne ... Read More
From Italy with Love was the title of the cruise. We chose this cruise because of the ports of call. It was a birthday and anniversary cruise and Regent did not disappoint. Regent surprised me with a birthday cake and champagne upon sailing and the same on our anniversary. Personal attention is their key. The itinerary was great. We had never sailed Regent Seven Seas and have been totally spoiled with the smaller ship, service and food. The Concierge cabin is spacious and the difference between the Superior was the one night in Venice before the cruise. The transfers from airport to hotel to ship were all included and what a difference it made. When figuring the cost difference, there was no comparison to upgrade to the Concierge. We did the hotel add on at the end of the cruise. The hotels are 4-5 star and the service was wonderful. The Majestic Roma was beautiful and upon arrival and departure, Regent had reps to help. This was especially noted at the airport when Vincenzo took us from the cab right on through check in to the TSA pre-check. No matter what suite you choose, make sure to look at the deck plan to choose a cabin with the extra balcony as you will appreciate the added space. It's easily recognizable! Included items: All alcohol/beer/wine/sodas are included in the cost and the info says that your suite frig is replenished daily. Our suite was to be outfitted with alcohol/wine/soda but we had to ask our cabin attendants on a daily to replenish diet coke and wine. The specialty restaurants were included and an added bonus. It's nice to go into a bar, sit down and order a glass of wine and not get a bar bill at the end of the cruise. Excursions are also included and, for the most part, were top notch. There is no need to tip as they are also included. However, we did give a little extra to our cabin stewardesses and a few in the cocktail lounges and restaurants who went above and beyond. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We picked this ship and cruise line because we had a wonderful experience on the Explorer in 2017 going from Barcelona to Rome. We wanted to complete a trip around the boot so we started in Venice and ended up in Rome this time. Our ... Read More
We picked this ship and cruise line because we had a wonderful experience on the Explorer in 2017 going from Barcelona to Rome. We wanted to complete a trip around the boot so we started in Venice and ended up in Rome this time. Our first experience with Regent was so fun, we really didn't think it could be topped. This trip was every bit as nice and even more fun because we knew the "lay of the land" on the ship and met a lot of very nice people. The ports and excursions were great! The ship is beautiful, our suite was wonderful, the thermal suite is amazing, and the food was good! But, the best thing of all this time, as well as last time, was the friendliness, dedication, personal attention, and professionalism of the crew. We did not have (and don't need) a butler. Our room steward and assistant were wonderful and kept everything in tip top shape, attended to any requests efficiently, and smiled through it all. The service we received was excellent everywhere on the ship! We are already thinking about our next cruise and will definitely stay with Regent, because I don't think it could be any better. (Business Class air from San Francisco to Europe, pre-cruise night in a 5 star hotel with buffet breakfast, all transfers, tips, drinks, and excursions included). We definitely got spoiled! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Wonderful cruise! We traveled with another couple and had side by side rooms. Our cabins were beautiful and spotless. We were thrilled that they were able to open the veranda divider while at ports. Apparently, this partition must be ... Read More
Wonderful cruise! We traveled with another couple and had side by side rooms. Our cabins were beautiful and spotless. We were thrilled that they were able to open the veranda divider while at ports. Apparently, this partition must be closed while the ship is in motion. This made visiting back and forth so easy! We chose the included tours at each port, and couldn’t have been more pleased. Due to winds we stopped at Villefranche instead of Monaco. It turned out to be one of our favorite towns, and Viking still provided us with a short bus trip to Monaco. We did hear a few older passengers stating that the excursions were more strenuous than they expected. We are all in our 60’s, and had no problem at all. The food was excellent, and the silver spirits package was well worth it! The nights we made it to the evening (9:15) show...it was great, especially when local entertainers came onboard. The staff was fantastic! I would definitely recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
The itinerary, length of trip, expense, and outstanding reviews led us to this booking. The food was delicious, and the wait staff was well trained. The spa afforded a lovely break at the end of the day. The clientele were generally older ... Read More
The itinerary, length of trip, expense, and outstanding reviews led us to this booking. The food was delicious, and the wait staff was well trained. The spa afforded a lovely break at the end of the day. The clientele were generally older which made for quieter cruising. The full English tea daily was magnificent and a great time to meet new people.i my husband and I enjoyed all the amenities onboard and were delighted to find that there were no hidden expenses. Al-in-all this was an excellent value for the quality of service provided. We have already booked another trip and chose to try a river cruise after talking with seasoned Viking travelers. We will be taking a trip down the Rhine and Mosel rivers which will bring back many memories of our early married life when my husband was stationed with the USAF in Germany more than 40 years ago. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
My wife and I chose this cruise because it includes a tremendous opportunity to see a lot of Art Galleries and Museums as well as locations that are historically and socially significant. As has been our experience with all of our other ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise because it includes a tremendous opportunity to see a lot of Art Galleries and Museums as well as locations that are historically and socially significant. As has been our experience with all of our other Viking cruises, all facets of travel - from arrival to departure and everything in between - were handled beautifully by the Viking organization. The setting was elegant, and the people were incredible! Our cabin was roomy and well kept. The food was delicious and plentiful. Vikings chefs really know how to cook a variety of food styles and can please the most picky eaters. The specialty restaurants offer an elegant setting to try new dishes, and the staff in them are friendly and personable. The entertainment was fun - really enjoyed the classical music in the Living Room in the afternoons and evenings as well as in Wintergarden during tea time. We found the service to be second to none. The included excursions were fun and informative, and the optional excursions offered a wide variety of experiences you don't find on other lines. All things considered, we can't wait for our next trip on Viking! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Nautica is one of 8 identical ships built for Rennaissance cruise line. Azamara have 3 and Oceania have 4. They are small enough to get into ports which larger ships cannot and therefor have better itineraries. the weather on this cruise ... Read More
Nautica is one of 8 identical ships built for Rennaissance cruise line. Azamara have 3 and Oceania have 4. They are small enough to get into ports which larger ships cannot and therefor have better itineraries. the weather on this cruise had several days of rough weather resulting in missing the first port which was changed to Naples. We did back to back cruises and the weather improved as we headed south. The food on this cruise was outstanding. The main dining room frequently produced meals the equal of the speciality restaurants. This included the lunch menu. Additional meals in the speciality restaurants could be booked at the desk in the terrace cafe every morning.The other outstanding feature was the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff from general manager to cabin steward. This attitude more than made up for the weather. We chose the excursions from the 3 choices of the "o" life choice before the cruise so we did not have to pay extra to the cruise fare. The excursions were standard and similar to what can be obtained on other cruise lines. If we had paid the prices extra we would have been overcharged by some margin. Similarly the prices for alcoholic beverages were very high. The cabins on the "r" class ships have small bathrooms. When the forthcoming upgrade of Oceania's ships takes place it would be money well spent if the shower cubicle were extended as well as putting on a folding door. This would be preferable to to cosmetic changes. We benefit from the excellent Oceania loyalty programme. We are disappointed that in November 2019 the higher grades may be penalised If the food service and itinerary are priorities Nautica is a good choice. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
As someone who loves to be pampered I choose the 6 star cruise lines as my preferred option whenever I can. We have cruised many times on the Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony and have always been curious as to how they compare to ... Read More
As someone who loves to be pampered I choose the 6 star cruise lines as my preferred option whenever I can. We have cruised many times on the Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony and have always been curious as to how they compare to Seabourn. This cruise in the Adriatic from Venice to Athens was our chance to try the Seabourn Ovation which is the newest in Seabourn's fleet having only been launched this year. What makes a 6 star ship? It is not the price of the cruise. It is of course the food, the accommodation, the entertainment and above all the service. So how has our experience so far compared to that on say the Crystal Serenity? I am comparing a Balcony cabin on the Serenity with the entry level cabin on the all-suite Ovation (which are similar in price). Food - Both have excellent food. Caviar is served on both but on Crystal it is served a couple of times a cruise on special dinners. On Seabourn it is served on special dinners but can also be ordered anytime. I like caviar so Seabourn wins in that department. The food on both is excellent. I cannot fault either. I like the different themes on Seabourn with a degustation menu inter spread with the regular menu on different days. I prefer the breakfast selections on Seabourn in the buffet but I prefer that there is an egg station on Crystal. Seabourn has its eggs made to order and then served at the table. Both lunch buffets are fine. The Serenity has a better burger grill and the fries are always hot. The Ovation is a bit hit and miss, but if you specify that you want it especially hot they will ensure that it is done. The Thomas Keller Grill restaurant is great on the Ovation and you can book in as many times as you like without extra cost. The specialty restaurants on the Serenity must also be booked but after eating in each twice per cruise then a small charge is made for additional visits. Having said that, the Silk Road Japanese restaurant on the Serenity is far superior to the Sushi restaurant on the Ovation which has mainly sashimi and sushi without the great hot food items that the Serenity also offers. Food - its a tie. The Accommodation - The Seabourn Ovation is new. The Crystal Serenity is clean and tidy but is of course not new. The staterooms on the Ovation are truly beautiful. they are wide, spacious and very ergonomically satisfying with more than ample closet and drawer space. Crystal is okay but cannot match Seabourn. The bathrooms on the Ovation are also very spacious with both a separate shower and bath. They are much bigger and much better. The beds and bedlinen on both ships are superb. They are as good as each other. The sitting area on the Ovation is much larger with a much better working table and a larger television. Accommodation - Seabourn Ovation is better The Entertainment - There are many aspects to entertainment which are not just the nightly shows in the theatres. There is the enrichment programs, the trivia and games programs, and there is musical entertainment. The Ovation has primarily three areas to hear music. There is the Club which features two bands that rotate, there is the Observation lounge which features a pianist and singer and there is the bar in the Thomas Keller Grill featuring a pianist. Crystal serenity has an area similar to the Observation lounge with a live band, it has an area midship also with a band playing dance music and it has a very cosy piano bar. In addition there is live music before and after dinner in the Crystal Cove bar area. For music Crystal is better. There are more choices and the piano bar is an especially fun place to listen to music after dinner if you don't want to go to the show. The enrichment programs on Crystal are also much more extensive with a variety of guest lecturers and a lot of teaching programs from golf lessons to computers. Crystal has an extensive library with a dedicated librarian. Seabourn has a much more modest selection of books. There is a movie theatre showing current movies in the afternoon and evenings on the Serenity but no movie theatre on the Ovation. There are also other quirky types of entertainment such as the magic performances put on for small groups at a time by a member of the Magic Castle. These shows get to be known by word of mouth and are not generally advertised on the Crystal serenity (or Symphony). Shows are shows and both ships have good and bad productions. Crystal being a bigger ship perhaps has more capacity to put on more extravagant productions but those that we have witnessed so far on the Ovation are pretty good too. Both ships have duplicate bridge and lessons, but because the Crystal Serenity is larger there are more participants on that ship. The area that is always of great fun for us is the trivia. Serenity has teams of no more that six while Ovation encourages up to ten per team. The host on the Ovation is the Cruise Director, Handré, and he is fantastic! The prizes on the Ovation are much better too. Hands down Ovation wins. Entertainment - overall the advantage is still to Crystal The Service - This is the big one. A ship cannot be considered six star if the service is poor. Neither has poor service, but one has got it much more right. On both ships the drinks are complimentary although special wines can be purchased for an additional price. I prefer Crystal here as they seem to have the concept that since the regular wines are complimentary, when you order and pay for a special wine it should not be at full mark up. The bartending and wait staff on Crystal are also much better at attending to customers. There is never a long wait to either order or to be served. Sadly, I cannot say that about the Ovation. On more than one occasion the table service was so slow that I had to go to the bar to order drinks myself. On two occasions because of being busy our drinks order was forgotten entirely. Sadly this is not six star service. I can only hope that it is because the ship is new and there are still some teething problems. I will say that management truly has a desire to improve. We have already been given a mid cruise survey which we filled out with helpful feedback and which again I must say was taken very seriously. Unfortunately, the waiters in the outlets likewise do not appear to have the same training as Crystal gives their staff. It is the little things like reaching across dishes to remove or place glasses, forgetting to bring condiments and having to be reminded. Also it is the either over or under attendance of the waitstaff who do not yet have the correct pacing to their service. The staff on both ships soon know your names and it is always pleasant to be recognised and appreciated. Both ships do that well. Summary - These comments of mine might seem a bit pedantic to you, my fellow cruisers, but i offer them because I believe that when you are paying for cabins on a six star ship in excess of a thousand dollars a night that the service, food, accommodation and entertainment should rightly be expected to be of a much higher standard than normal. I hope that this review is helpful. In summary, both ships and by extension both cruise lines are wonderful to cruise with, but for my money Crystal still holds the advantage. I know that both Seabourn and Crystal have their loyal followers so what say you? Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because it was recommended by a friend who also was traveling with us. It was beyond our expectations. The only complaint we had was the carpet in our cabin either needed replacing or a good shampooing. When we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was recommended by a friend who also was traveling with us. It was beyond our expectations. The only complaint we had was the carpet in our cabin either needed replacing or a good shampooing. When we mentioned it, someone came to our door and apologized for the condition of the rug and explained that once this cruise was completed, the entire ship was getting an overhaul. The food for the most part was very good. I think they need to have better entertainment though. We ate in The Grand Dining Room, Jacques, Toscana, The Polo Grill and the Red Ginger. All the meals were delicious. The tours we picked were also pretty good. Our cabin was 10063 and we had concierge service which was exceptional as was our cabin steward I Wayan was also wonderful net our every need. On the whole I would definitely recommend recommend the Oceania Riviera Ship. The staff was wonderful and courteous. There was one problem with disembarkation, Our bus took us to the wrong terminal , he took us to number 2 instead of number one. We had already taken all of our luggage from the bus and then had to put it back on and that was a pain for we got to the airport later than we had expected with not as much time to get something to eat before we had to get on the plane. It probably would have been much better if we had taken a taxi and also less expensive. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
As first time cruisers with Oeania, chose this cruise for two reasons: (1) had reserved twice and cancelled because found very similar cruise at almost the same price with Regent Seven Seas, and (2) this cruise took us to places we wanted ... Read More
As first time cruisers with Oeania, chose this cruise for two reasons: (1) had reserved twice and cancelled because found very similar cruise at almost the same price with Regent Seven Seas, and (2) this cruise took us to places we wanted to see again (Dubrovnik, Kotor, Valeta, Monaco, Marseille), price was very attractive and the potential alternative (RSS) is no longer in quality and value what it once was. Our experience began arriving at Venice 3 days before embarkation only to encounter record flooding forcing us to almost swim to our hotel just off Piazza San Marco and again swim to emark on the Riviera. Fortunately, we were able to find a porter to take our bagggage and buy boots to waddle behind him.. Embarkation was OK, having to walk under the drizzling rain for abour half a mile, but quick and easier than expected. Cabin was as expected, not large but not small, adequate balcony, very well maintained and excellent attendants. Bathroom much larger than expected with all the amenities expected, shower equally as expected. And by expected we mean in terms of Oceani's own promotional advertising and our own perception comparing other cruise lines we have experieced such as Azamara, Cunard, Crystal and Regent Seven Seas. Dining was much better than expected even though twice we found hairs in our meals. The quality and variety of the food quite good, if not excellent, served by crew members who prevented passengers from touching the food even when doing so would not have affected other food. Service was not only clean and efficient, but very friendly and helpful. All dining areas were bigger and amplier than in most other ships we have cruised, with the decoration very comfortable, if not attractive. Very few times were we forced to wait for a table, which upon being vacated were immediatly cleaned and prepared for use again. Better than expected, since it constantly attracted our attention, was the quality and variety of fruits at breakfast time, especially tropical frutis like papaya and mango, along with kiwi, which were almost always ripe and sweet. Less than expected, the variety of plain bread (as opposed to sweetened breads and pastries), such as what one finds at bakeries and in fact in ALL other ships we have cruised (especialoly european style breads, which are much better than american style breads). We tried breakfast at the main dining room once and decided it was not for us. We never visited the main dining room at lunch and only once for dinner, both times deciding it was not for us.. (No comment regarding food and service,) The buffet lunch was equally good in quality and variety , as was the buffet dinner (although we frequented the specialty restaurants as often as we could, considering them much better in all respects. Particularly Polo Grill and Red Ginger, without implying that Jacques and Toscana were inferior. Significantly more attractive than the other three was the service at Red Ginger and in our view the quality and variety of offers at the Polo Grill was superior to the other three. But all were excellent and we recommend taking advantage of them every time possible. Entertainment was for us good but not excellent. In our view, the singers were not what we expected in terms of profoundness and extension of voice. Their dancing was very good, but as in other ships rather mechanical and repetitive. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the performances and would suggest Oeania add more comics, magicians (the one who performed was above excellence and should be hired as a permanent contributor) and classical piano performers. In this respect, a comment regarding the theater. Although excellent in seat comfort and amplitud, we consider it should be improved by either raising the stage or increasing the incline. It is very difficult to really enjoy performances from the back because of insufficient incline or the stage too low. At the various bars and public rooms such as Horizon, the performers were all excellent, particularly when playing classical mushic. Suggest adding more music appropriate to the predominantly elderly passengers (such as us) with pieces from the 30s to the 50s. The pool area actually better than expected because of its size and comfort. The elevators very efficient and ample, although at times somewhat unavailable due to excessive traffic, which is to be expected. Our Consierge was excellent and the facility equally excellent, both in all respects, as our two cabin attendants. We did have difficulties with the toilet, which several times decided to have its own way forcing us to call for help from the Reception to reestablish its proper functioning condition. We do not know the cause and look forward to having it permanently fixed as soon as possible. Reception staff was efficient but we found it too serious and somewhat unfriendly in many occasions, perhaps because of their long hours at work and the many requests they may have been receiving from guests like us. Hence, not what we expected, when comparing with other cruise ships we know. Bar tenders, on the other hand, were at all times very friendly although not as efficient or well prepared as perhaps they could or should have been. In this respect, we do praise Oceania for its Happy Hours that reduced the price of drinks by half, since their premium package is overwhelmingly unreachable ($59.95 pp/day meaning daily ingestion of 4 drinks at an average price of $15 per drink to just cover the cost, whether wine or spirits), since walking to one/s cabin was not always smooth. Excursions were as expected, including the tenders when needed. Well organized and exercised. Excursion staff, however, not very helpful in resolving issues. This happened to us with respect to disembarkation, which they could have easily resolved but insisted they could (would) not. In the end, what we had requested became null because the ship did not apply its established rules, deciding in favor of the flexibility we had requested (we are sure this had nothing to do with our request, rather due to port authorities). Finally, we were surpried to see so many passengers with disabilities, more than what we expected, even when we have cruised on Regent Seven Seas (many times) and Cunard (also many times), and even more surprised with the excellent service to attend to those in need, at all times and at all places. Even when not necessary or needed, some crew member would appear to serve if and as required, quite often even when not required, just in case. Hence, the cruise line's demonstrated preparedmess at all times, even if or when affecting passenger tranquility -- frequent crew exercises and avoiding two planned ports (Spanish Canary Islands) because of a potentially troublesome ocean, enabling us to enjoy two additional days at sea (which was minimally motioned, in my opinion although no in my wife's opinion). Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose Viking Sky specifically after seeing it on TV as we loved the style & size of the ship for our first cruise. As we only wanted to try a week, the itinerary suited us as we had only visited Corfu in the past. Embarkation: ... Read More
We chose Viking Sky specifically after seeing it on TV as we loved the style & size of the ship for our first cruise. As we only wanted to try a week, the itinerary suited us as we had only visited Corfu in the past. Embarkation: We were quite impressed by the communication from the booking procedure, through to departure & on arrival in Venice there were many Viking representatives in evidence. We were aware our stateroom (3056) would not be available to us until 2pm & we were due to arrive at the ship by about midday so I asked at the airport if we would be allowed on the ship to look around etc but was told no, we would have to wait at the port terminal until our allotted time. This was not the case at all but the representative on our transfer bus didn’t offer any advice over the microphone & in fact alarmed us a little on approaching the dock as he called the ship the Viking Star twice!! There seemed to be an assumption that we were all previous Viking passengers & so we just followed him to the cruise terminal where he left us. Check-in at the terminal was efficient & we then made our way onto the ship where we were greeted with champagne & towels & took a seat in the immediate lounge area. After 20 minutes or so we realised that many of those on our coach had moved elsewhere so we asked if we could go around the ship & were then told please go & have lunch or whatever we wanted until our stateroom was available. Fortunately an announcement was made about 1.15 that all rooms were now ready so we headed to our room & our luggage was waiting outside for us. Our cabin steward arrived & introduced himself, gave us info for the room etc & he did an excellent job, along with the entire housekeeping team, all week. Stateroom: The room was quite generous in size, apart from a bit tight at the end & wardrobe side of bed, but we were generally very comfortable. Bathroom also bigger than expected but found the underfloor heating a bit stifling at times. Although the shower is reasonably powerful, the temperature fluctuates so you needed to be a bit careful. Quite pleased to find the sound proofing was very good as we never heard anybody really; just a bit of music drifting from the atrium sometimes as we were nearby. We didn’t spend much time on our verandah but it was good to be able to open the door at times On one evening we received a note to say they would require access to our verandah from 0800-1500 the following day for maintenance work. We weren’t happy with that idea & why it couldn’t be done at the end of our trip, but as soon as we spoke to Guest Services, they confirmed the work could wait. Restaurants/Bars etc: We enjoyed breakfast in the World Cafe as you could be as quick as you wanted, & had room service at one port where we were not taking an excursion so fancied a lazier morning. Dined mainly in the main Restaurant & only had to wait about 15 minutes one evening. Had some lovely food there & more than enough choice on the menu each evening. House wines also excellent & poured generously. It can be very busy in there but because the area is in smaller sections you don’t feel you’re in a large dining room. Staff deal with everything in a friendly efficient way & cope very well. Unfortunately we didn’t prebook Manfredis beforehand as we didn’t know when & where we might like to dine. However in hindsight we should have booked & then cancelled if necessary as there were no slots any time of any day. It was quite apparent that some people were dining there frequently. We were however offered the chance of the Manfredis menu in a side room on a mixed table of 12 for our last evening but we declined. Loved the various bar & seating areas, our favourite being the Explorers Lounge. A small selection of food is available in Mamsens & we felt they could have varied that more. With just 1 or 2 exceptions every member of staff was polite, friendly & efficient & we enjoyed passing comments with them. Entertainment: Some of the music was a bit of a cruising cliche so we tended not to listen to that. However, special mention of the excellent Beatles & ABBA songbook evenings by the group of 4 & also the stunning performance by Heather Clancy, the Cruise Director along with Gary Jerry on his piano. It was nice also to have members of the crew, the Captain etc introduced in various ways. Excursions: We only took 2 walking tours as our first 2 tours didn’t happen due to weather conditions affecting the itinerary. Unfortunately Venice was having their worst weather & flooding for 10 years so the Port was closed & water transport was cancelled on the day we were due to go out & about. We were also unable to leave as scheduled so were delayed until the next day & had a day at sea, having to miss out Split altogether & head straight to Dubrovnik. Sail away from Venice was still amazing despite the wind & rain!! We enjoyed the 2 tours we did but I think it’s luck with which guide you get as our two guides were completely different in their approach. Disembarkation: A huge task which they handle quite efficiently. Although you have to vacate your Stateroom by 8am, you then have time for breakfast etc. However I don’t know how they assess which group to put you in as we had to leave at 9am, getting to the airport 4.5 hours before our flight so had to just hang around for 2.5 hours until check-in opened. Summary: Overall we enjoyed our first cruising experience; we loved the ship & would possibly consider another cruise in the future. It would seem from fellow passengers that Viking compares very favourably to some other cruise lines but I guess you get what you pay for as Viking are certainly at the higher end price wise. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Although I had sworn I would not sail Regent again after a terrible experience a few years back on Mariner (Istanbul-Istanbul), I was tempted by the new ship, positive comments by other cruisers and a convenient itinerary in the Med. A ... Read More
Although I had sworn I would not sail Regent again after a terrible experience a few years back on Mariner (Istanbul-Istanbul), I was tempted by the new ship, positive comments by other cruisers and a convenient itinerary in the Med. A good price didn't hurt either! By way of background, we are regular cruisers on Seabourn (Gold) and Hapag-Lloyd Europa Gold), as well as 3 Crystal cruises (Silver (including their Yacht) and 1 Oceania Marina cruise. We are Silver on Regent. We were blown away by the pre-cruise transfers and hotel. Everything went super smoothly - plenty of staff available, private water taxi to Hotel Danieli in Venice, private water taxi to ship the next day. Air (inc. a deviation in Barcelona where we stayed longer) also very seamlessly handled. The Explorer is a beautiful ship, well laid out and with plenty of space. Although the ship was full, it never felt that way. We loved our PH (1408) - great location - and we got an excellent butler (Vinit). That is not always a given, believe me. I thought the hallway entry way space was not efficiently utilized though - a place to hang coats would be nice. Service was wonderful: consistently personable, always with a smile, attentive. They had plenty of staff, so we never waited in any of our dining venues, even when Compass Rose was full, especially after Captain's events, shows, etc. Never a problem. Dining: We were only able to secure 1 extra reservation (in Prime 7) in addition to the 3 allowed. Food was a disappointment for us. Nothing drastically wrong, just uninspired. Dishes sounded wonderful on paper, but really didn't deliver on the plate. Pacific Rim, which we really were looking forward to, was pretty watered down Asian cuisine. There were a few stand-out dishes (Miso black cod for one) but the sides were generally bad: The fried vegetable rice and the stir fried noodles (both recommended by our server) were gummy and inedible. We liked Chartreuse, Prime 7 was also fine. Compass Rose did better with standard items than adventurous ones, so if you're a steak/lobster/shrimp/repeat kind of person, I think you would be happy. Big negative for us: The wine. The first time in all my cruises, and I do mean all, that I was unsuccessful in obtaining a list (even hand written) of what complimentary wines they had. I asked our butler, our servers, every sommelier, including the head sommelier. What is important to me, as a trained Court of Masters Sommelier, is which winery the wine comes from. The 'somms' and servers I think are trained to stick to their story and not offer additional information. If you find out on your own, then you can have them if you ask. (I saw an Oyster Bay SB and an Ancient Vines Zin, for example, on another table.) Even a mid cruise comment card, detailing my woes, brought no response. I do understand that for 90% (maybe more) of the passengers, those 2 offerings per night were just fine. We're not cocktail drinkers, although we tried a couple here and there. It seems the cocktails are more the focus than wine. Explorer has many lovely bar venues with a wide range of cocktails and high quality liquor available. Shore excursions were about what you would expect from included offerings: Buses, sometimes several going to the same spot, with about 30 people per bus. Tour guides were not very good, and I was reminded of why we book independent arrangements :-). We did pay for 1 tour (to Syracuse) and it was certainly not any better than the 'free' tours. Disembarkation went as smoothly as embarkation. To sum it up, while I overall still prefer SB and Hapag Lloyd and Crystal, I would cruise with Regent again on Explorer (and possibly new ship Ovation) if the itinerary and price were right. Wouldn't do over 14 days though - food and wine not good enough to stay longer. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Previous experience with Seabourn. Out of the blue my son said could we go on a cruise together just the two of us? We chose This one with Seabourn.Everything went without a hitch. Seabourn made all the arrangements and everything went ... Read More
Previous experience with Seabourn. Out of the blue my son said could we go on a cruise together just the two of us? We chose This one with Seabourn.Everything went without a hitch. Seabourn made all the arrangements and everything went like clockwork. Everything promised was as stated. We could not fault the inclusive wines (excellent list - always ask to see what the choice is and have your favourites). No need to spend more on food and drink. All bars are free and food is always available if needed. Our cabin maid was a young Russian lady who proved to be excellent. She was studying to be a Marine engineer so she was very bright. The ship is small and very well equipped and presented. All the crew were faultless. Food was always excellent. My son liked the Thomas Keller grill best, but then he is a meat eater and I am not. We met some lovely people and made several new friends. Don't miss the quizzes they are great fun. Never be afraid to ask if you want something done. The cruise director and her assistant were very professional. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
It was recommended to try and the dates worked into our time schedule. We thought it was a nice balance between being active and having time to relax on board ship. Having the personal Butler and maid was a very nice touch. All personnel ... Read More
It was recommended to try and the dates worked into our time schedule. We thought it was a nice balance between being active and having time to relax on board ship. Having the personal Butler and maid was a very nice touch. All personnel on the ship were all nice, helpful and extremely pleasant. It would be nice if basic excursions were included in the pricing. We were disappointed that we were wait listed on many excursions. Internet on the ship was included but it ended up costing us additional fees (unknown to us- until we got home) through our phone carrier. Our favorite port was Santorini & spending hours in Oia, and least favorite was Rhodes. In Rhodes we did an 8 hour excursion that was only fair (it included a Greek meal that was poor). We were in Port at Rhodes for 2 days and the old town was just Ok- crammed with locals trying to get you to eat at their restaurant or buy their goods. Other than that we loved all of the quaint ports (Nafplion, Rovinj, Dubrovnik, Corfu). As an aside- Getting to the ship in Venice was a horrible experience.and Silver Sea's should really address this. Clear instructions were not provided and we spent hours lugging our suit cases to the main port in Venice only to find out the ship was parked at another port 2 miles away. We were unable to find taxi for an extended period of time. We ran into others that were in the same situation. Overall it was a great experience and we would definitely do this again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We went with a wine group which selected the Silver Muse as its ship for the cruise. It is a new ship, having launched in 2017. Overall, the ship is very nice. It is a smaller ship about 600 passengers. Much has been made of the 8 ... Read More
We went with a wine group which selected the Silver Muse as its ship for the cruise. It is a new ship, having launched in 2017. Overall, the ship is very nice. It is a smaller ship about 600 passengers. Much has been made of the 8 restaurants on board. What we found out is that if you want to go to a restaurant that requires reservations (Atlantide and Indochine are the only "walk in" restaurants on board), make your reservations as soon as you book your cruise. We were able to get only 2 reservations; the others were already booked solid. Fortunately, the wine group had reservations in most restaurants. Therefore, we ate in all restaurants but Kaiseki. That having been said, our favorite restaurant was Atlantide, followed closedly by Hot Rocks, also known as The Grill. Atlantide had great Chilean sea bass and a nice atmosphere. At Hot Rocks/The Grill, they heat stones to 450 degrees F for 20 hours. You select what meat or seafood you want to cook. Then they put the hot stone slabs in front of you, and you cook your own food. Frankly, the filets we cooked there were the best beef we had on the cruise. Despite the claimed excellence of La Dame, we were less than impressed. The steaks were overcooked. Silver Note was enjoyable, especially with the pianist and the singer, but the menu is limited. LaTerraza had mediocre food and spotty service at night. La Terraza is the buffet at breakfast and lunch. Sometimes we were invisible at a breakfast table and practically had to tackle someone to order coffee, tea or an omelette. Being on Deck 8 was good because of Cafe d'Arts, aka the coffee bar. We could walk down the hall and get coffee, tea, cappuccino, etc as well as snacks beginning early in the morning; the only thing is that it doesn't stay open late. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. We enjoyed the bartenders on Deck 10, the pool deck. Some of the servers were lackadaisacal in waiting on people at tables along the sides. One outstanding exception was Egbert (yes, that is his name). He went out of his way when we got back late from a shore excursion. He went up to Spaccanapoli to order and to get our pizza, as well as to serve us drinks. He was the only waiter we encountered who deserved a tip. We didn't check out the entertainment that much. The night we did go was all right, but nothing outstanding. Our butler Kiran was outstanding. Our room steward was good but virtually invisible. Room service was good. If you can't get into a restaurant, order room service. Overall, the staff was friendly and cheerful. There were various activities onboard. Since we had no sea days, however, we did not participate much except for trivia, which was fun. The shore excursions were good. We took the ships excursions in Rominj,Corfu, Santorini, Nafplion and Rhodes. We had a private excursion in Dubrovnik. The history and architecture were outstanding, and some had amazing views. Be prepared to walk a lot. Many people enjoyed the excursion to Corinth, although we did not personally go. If you plan to go to popular tourist spots such as Dubrovnik and the Greek isles, do not go during July and August if you can possibly avoid it. Not only is it hot, there are seemingly a million people in those places. Even going in October was crowded when 4,000 "of our closest friends" got off a monster Holland America for tours. On Santorini if you plan on taking the tram down, wait until the hordes from Holland America or some other behemoth ship leave before standing in line to go down. We were in line for over an hour because of people from the Holland America ship. Of course, you can also walk down 500+ steps to the shore, but you have to avoid donkeys and their droppings. Or you can ride a donkey down, although some said that it was more difficult going down than going up. We enjoyed some of the tropical drinks from the bar on the pool deck. Unfortunately, none of the bartenders were proficient in making drinks such as a martini or a vodka gimlet, which was surprising considering the luxury line offering. The outside decks on the aft of the ship were nice. The chairs outside the smoking lounge on deck 8 were especially comfortable. If it isn't too cold or breezy, dining outside at La Terraza for breakfast and lunch is pleasant. One night, however, while we sat outside on deck 9, water poured down from the deck above onto me. It had been raining that day. A design flaw in the ship apparently directed the water onto my chair because it was under the awning, not under the metal part of the deck above. Never have experienced anything like that before on any ship. The ship offers a free laundry room on each deck. The bad news is that there is only 1 washer and 1 dryer per deck. The really bad news is that the laundry room on our deck was so small that if someone opened the door while you are bending down to put something into the dryer, you can get hit in the head. The room was positively tiny. Given the spaciousness of other parts of the ship, that room could have been make larger. Apparently, some other laundry rooms were not that tiny, however. The lounges were well appointed and comfortable. There were only a few children on board. I would not consider it a ship that would have a lot of activities for children. There was a shuffleboard area and ping pong/table tennis upon request. There are a number of lounges in various parts of the ship, although the ones around the pool are at a premium. There is a walking track on deck 11. The gym was small but modern. Due to constant shore excursions, we did not use the gym, though. The spa looked nice, but again we did not use it. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise, but it was not a flawless experience. For a new ship, we found the water temperature issue incomprehensible. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Ultra-luxury ship: Well, I don't know about that. It seemed a little bland. The decor is beige on beige for the most part. Cabin: Bed is extremely comfortable. Pillows are comfortable. Bathroom is well-appointed. Balcony ... Read More
Ultra-luxury ship: Well, I don't know about that. It seemed a little bland. The decor is beige on beige for the most part. Cabin: Bed is extremely comfortable. Pillows are comfortable. Bathroom is well-appointed. Balcony over the sea is smallish (two people only) but nice. Small love-seat. TV's are in the mirrors, which is fine unless there is a reflection because you would like to have your curtains open to view the sea. Entertainment: umm... no. Corny at best. Pool: Smallish, but it is a small ship, so what do you expect. Restaurants: Mostly good. Except Indochine.... supposed to be Thai and Japanese (or something like that) fusion. Not good. In fact we all got up and left and didn't finish our meals. Wait staff: Some good, some bad. Butler/maid: Ours were very good. Reception Desk staff: HORRIBLE. Rude, unhelpful and in general not at all what they should be. Disembarking: Fairly smooth. Organized tours: some good, some not so good. This was a business cruise, so everything was included. If I had gone on a normal cruise where I had to pay premiums to go to certain restaurants or get certain drinks, I would have been VERY unimpressed. My first cruise... not so sure it won't be my last. It was okay, but certainly I wouldn't think it to be worth the money they normally get for these types of ventures. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Chose this cruise for the dates, the itinerary and for the nice reviews our friend gave. However, I found the cruise to be lacking in several key areas. First, the ship was old and dated and desperately in need of refurbishment. Second, ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the dates, the itinerary and for the nice reviews our friend gave. However, I found the cruise to be lacking in several key areas. First, the ship was old and dated and desperately in need of refurbishment. Second, the food was beyond awful. Other than breakfast, totally inedible, There was to nights that my wife could only eat soup and breadsticks. The specialty restaurants were fine, but they charged EXTRA (not so on Seabourne) and we literally had to beg to get in, as they would NOT allow reservations pre-boarding, and once we boarded, they claimed all booked up. Talk about a Catch-22. Third, the cabin was disgusting. there was an old and moldy shower curtain that, because the shower was so small, was constantly touchy our bodies. (photos on request). Talk about a dirty feeling! For the SAME price of a Seabourne cruise, this vacation was sorely lacking. Avoid this cruise line and spend your money elsewhere. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I took my husband and three adult children to Croatia on the Azamara Quest. The ship was lovely, (smaller than most - 600 passengers). The service was phenomenal, the food was outstanding, the cabins were very comfortable and well ... Read More
I took my husband and three adult children to Croatia on the Azamara Quest. The ship was lovely, (smaller than most - 600 passengers). The service was phenomenal, the food was outstanding, the cabins were very comfortable and well maintained. Although my family had a wonderful time, I would not highly recommend this cruise for twenty-somethings, unless you are with other families with similar aged kids. My kids kept themselves busy at the casino, and while there is music and some entertainment which is enough for us 50+ year olds, it’s not the kind of entertainment a 28 year old wants. I would however, recommend this cruise line and cruise ship for anyone 50+. The food in the main dining room was superb. We are a family of cooks and foodies and really found most meals to be very good to outstanding. Daniel in the dining room seemed to always be there when needed. The stateroom attendant, Giri, was perfect. He was there when we needed him and Took great care of us. The wait staff was plentiful and always smiling. I will return. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We sailed on this ship because of the itinerary and because we had sailed on the Silver Whisper 9 years ago -- that time the ship was exceptional and we have wonderful memories of that cruise. The ship is now showing its age and needs a ... Read More
We sailed on this ship because of the itinerary and because we had sailed on the Silver Whisper 9 years ago -- that time the ship was exceptional and we have wonderful memories of that cruise. The ship is now showing its age and needs a complete makeover - - not just a change of the carpet - - a complete makeover. It needs to be modernized both as to technology and aesthetics - - furniture and furnishings. Also, the engine room smell in the middle of the ship needs to be completely resolved! The crew and the service were the best part of our experience. The food in La Terrazza was very, very good, the food in the Restaurant was good, but not exceptional. Hot Rocks was okay - - a bit messy until the chefs cooked our meal for us. Our meal in La Dame was very disappointing - - who rolls Dover Sole? You're catering to people who have options and are blessed to experience some of the nicer things in life. Yes, we are on a cruise ship, but comparing the luxury you advertise to the luxury offered at some of the fine hotels (e.g., Four Seasons and small Relais Chateaux hotels), they are superior to you - - - you need to step up your game. We would not sail on the Silver Whisper again - - maybe a new Silver Sea ship but not a ship that is nearly 20 years old. Read Less

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