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Sail Date: March 2019
We chose a 3 night Sydney - Burnie - Melbourne cruise as a sampler and introduction to Cunard cruising. Embarkation was reasonably painless. We arrived a little earlier than the allocated boarding time and was told to board anyway. We ... Read More
We chose a 3 night Sydney - Burnie - Melbourne cruise as a sampler and introduction to Cunard cruising. Embarkation was reasonably painless. We arrived a little earlier than the allocated boarding time and was told to board anyway. We dropped off bags, queued for about 15 minutes and then found ourselves on-board. Finding our cabin was easy as we were escorted by our cabin steward who did a good job of explaining our cabin facilities. The cabin was comfortable and clean, though no larger than what we've previously experienced. Power is via British and American sockets, which is no problem, but there were no USB sockets. The bathroom was small but everything worked as expected. The bed was comfortable, but I found the pillows too soft. A nice touch was a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine on ice in the cabin. As a tip for Cunard though, next time source a wine that is drinkable. Two lunches and breakfasts were in the Lido buffet. As a buffet, the food was reasonable quality with a good variety. Shouldn't have to pay extra for espresso style coffees though. One lunch and dinners were in the Britannia Restaurant. This was disappointing. The food was no better than a reasonable RSL club bistro. The service was reasonably attentive though a little hit and miss. After our first night's dinning I found myself with someone else's keycard. This was quickly fixed up at the purser's office and provided a lesson to check the card after purchases. A highlight of the food experience was the high tea, which we experienced on our second day. Being our only day at sea, it was very popular and the overflow ended up in the Britannia Restaurant. The tea (or coffee) was plentiful and hot, the food, sandwiches, scones and sweets, were spot on and the service was attentive. Drink prices were on the expensive side, especially once you remembered to convert from USD and add the gratuity. Being Australian, gratuities, and tipping in general is a pain. If it is part of the standard or expected cost, just roll it into the overall price and be done with it. Then we can decide to tip if we feel the service deserves it. Overall though, the service was good. We didn't take in a show but did experience some of open the entertainment on other nights. The bands were what you would expect and reasonably entertaining. We took in a talk by a historical expert regarding WWII Japanese hold-outs (refusing to surrender after the war) in the Pacific. I found this interesting as I enjoy the historical aspect, but it wasn't to my wife's taste. My wife though did sample the shopping, fortunately without much success. Our one port day was in Burnie, Tasmania. This a good, honest working town, but not a very inspiring cruise destination, especially as it was a public holiday and would have been completely dead if it weren't for hundreds of cruise passengers wandering around looking for something to do. There were very few cafes and you couldn't even have a beer and lunch in a pub as they were all closed. At least the mayor was there to greet us when we came down the gangway. We didn't do any organised shore excursions, but my sister, who was part of our cruise group, did, and enjoyed the Cradle Mountain excursion. Overall, the ship had a decor in keeping with it's image and wasn't overcrowded. We weren't disappointed, but now feel we've done the Cunard experience and probably won't be sampling it again. We are going on a longer Oceania Mediterranean cruise later this year. It will be interesting to compare that experience. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
A bucket list type trip for sure! The Galapagos islands were truly mesmerizing. They were remote, unspoiled, filled with animals (many endemic to Galapagos) and the scenery was over the top. We chose Silver Seas as it had great ... Read More
A bucket list type trip for sure! The Galapagos islands were truly mesmerizing. They were remote, unspoiled, filled with animals (many endemic to Galapagos) and the scenery was over the top. We chose Silver Seas as it had great ratings and we wanted a slightly larger ship with very experienced naturalists. While the ship holds about 100 people, I think we only had about 85 on board and it never felt crowded. Silver Seas has this down pat! From the moment you arrive at the airport, it is well organized and orchestrated. You never felt rushed or like you were part of a herd. Each experience was personalized and the staff and crew were very polite, respectful and helpful. Each day, you wake up early and head out for excursions. Most days, there were options to choose from. Each excursion started in a zodiac and you headed out to explore an island, snorkel, kayak or visit a small town. Each zodiac had a guide who lead you through the excursion and ensured each guest got the most out of it. The animals are a highlight of the whole trip. They are not afraid of people and you get a very up close (but not too close) experience with sea lions, birds, iguanas, fish and so much more. The ship itself was very nice. Rooms were spacious (for a cruise ship) and well appointed. Your personal butler ensured you had everything you needed and was quick to respond to any special request. Every time we left the room, they came in and cleaned and straightened it up. The ship wasn't new but well kept up. There was only one restaurant and the Grill on board. We had breakfast at the restaurant buffet each morning and chose to have lunch in the Grill on the deck of floor 5. We alternated between the Grill and main restaurant for dinner. The food was very good in both. I do think they could expand the Grill dinner menu beyond on the hot rocks as it was fun the first night and then got a little old. The restaurant food was all excellent and what I would expect at a fine dining establishment. Our fellow travelers were generally 40-60'ish years old and liked a very active vacation. There is little time to rest during the week. You could choose to skip excursions but then why go on this trip? It was action packed and crazy busy but exactly what we expected. There was only 1 child on our trip and about 10 teenagers who seemed to really enjoy it. Most people were part of bigger (6-12 people) groups which included families, siblings, multi generational, friends, etc. One word of warning which Silver Seas is clear about - this is not a trip for anyone that is mobility challenged. The ship isn't set up for it and the excursions all require you to go up and down steep steps on a rocking ship to the zodiac and often disembark in to the ocean and walk ashore to hike on a rugged trail. There is no entertainment on the ship other than a small piano bar for pre-dinner cocktails while watching the sunset. Most people were in their cabins by 10pm resting up for another big day of excursions. Overall, this was a once-in-a-lifetime trip although we may go back again one day and see the Western part of the archipelago. Also, we chose March as the seas were warmer for snorkeling although the air temperature was very warm too. It is the rainy season, but we didn't see even a drop of rainy and it was sunny each day. Can't recommend this trip on the Silver Galapagos highly enough! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Why is the photos so expensive. When you dont buy it they throw all away?? Their are many people that look at the photos but dont buy. It is very nice pictures but really expensive. Think about cheaper prices as to throw everything away.. ... Read More
Why is the photos so expensive. When you dont buy it they throw all away?? Their are many people that look at the photos but dont buy. It is very nice pictures but really expensive. Think about cheaper prices as to throw everything away.. The food staff rooms and entertainment is very nice. On our 2 nd trip their was also more fish available. Deserts and so many of a variety of fruits were avaible. Cocktail of the day was also our favourite The staff is helpfull and friendly. We enjoy all the entertainment . We did not see the Sokkie singers too much to mingle with them as it would have been nice. On Portuguese Iland with all the changes and enough shades was awesome. We will definitely go on another cruise. Prices is resonible. Their is 1 more last thing. The hairdryer does not work as the laat time Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I am writing this review after a 3 day pre-cruise itinerary in Hong Kong and first full day, while fresh in my mind. I will add further updates. The airport pickup and transfer well, even though they were not prepared for 4 people with ... Read More
I am writing this review after a 3 day pre-cruise itinerary in Hong Kong and first full day, while fresh in my mind. I will add further updates. The airport pickup and transfer well, even though they were not prepared for 4 people with 2 pieces of luggage with carryons each (although that is what we told them we would have). The Langham Hotel was excellent in all aspects - location, rooms, breakfast provided. The first day tour was just hotel transfer to the hotel, but we booked our own private tour which was great. Day 2 with Regent was really sub-par, made worse by rainy, cloudy weather. Nevertheless, we stuck to the itinerary of a train trip to the top of Victoria Peak for the (non)view (we went to the top to re-board our bus and spent no time there). Then on to our lunch at Stanley Market (which was a pretty poor example of a street market compared to the center of Kowloon). We ate at an authentic buffet lunch of —— German food in Hong Kong! Day 3 was a long trip to Po Lin Monastery (of course the cable car was closed) , a better than expected vegetarian lunch, then a visit to tourist trap Ngong Ping village. Pretty lame day - definitely best to explore on your own and set up private tours. The mid-cruise feedback form was filled with issues. We have not heard back from the crew - do not believe the “commitment to excellence.” They are committed to apologizing and being empathetic, as they have much practice from what I have heard from many other cruisers. More specifics: 1] The towels placed on the poolside chairs are changed once a day. If someone is lying on the towel and leaves, the towels are reused for the unsuspecting next poolside guest. 2] First day of the cruise (we paid plenty extra for alcohol included, but no Riesling wine (they did find one bottle for the 12 day cruise) and no Pina Colada mix ( after 9 days they did get off the ship to get more mix, but ran out after 1 day). 3] Salad poolside is served warm - not kept on ice or refrigerated. The salad plates are hot, also not kept in a cooler. Who really wants warm salad? 4] Same for the sodas. Warm Coke cans are opened - so they are not carbonated well. Poured over ice results in flat, diluted soda. I’ll stick to water, but it is warm if you want it from a bottle (or boxed water) - only water from the ship is cold (gee - wasn’t it brown water in my room)? Even refrigerator in room barely kept drinks cool. 5] Although I had expected great service due to a smaller ship with a high staff:passenger ratio, I felt that the service was really poor compared to Oceana. At the buffets, people were leaning over food and mis-handling the serving utensils (not very hygienic) similar to any Golden Corral in the U.S.)- as opposed to being served by gloved staff. It frequently took my asking servers multiple times to bring me drinks, bread, etc. Sometimes I just got up to do it myself. 6] The food menu is pretty extensive - which is good. The food is generally good (although I personally did not think it was uniformly good, but I did have alternative choices) - not as good as the restaurants I had experienced on Oceana but much better than Royal Carribean. Prime 7 is very good. The staff in the Italian buffet are understaffed and running around making it a hectic, not relaxing dinner, but better the second night. 7] When going on tours, only warm water is handed out when leaving the ship. Cold water is not routinely given out on the buses. Generally, the tour buses are good, the tours are pretty average to sub-par. 8] Now at day 10 after completing Bangkok “2 day“ visit. Rather than dock in Bangkok as was in the original itinerary, we docked 2.5 hours away in Laem Chabang. The excuse was low tide (we found out after boarding, others found out 1 week before). I am sure the real reason was it cheaper, as there were no other cruise ships in our port and other cruise ships were docked in Bangkok at the same time. The times of our docking did not change, so there was no way to reasonably go to Bangkok on day 1, with the “alternative offered was to go to Bangkok on day 1 (and at my own expense) book a hotel room and book my own tours to return on day 2 at 1:30 PM. On day 2 we left at 6 AM to have a very rushed visit to the Grand Palace, canal ride on the Chao Phraya river and a buffet lunch at a Sheraton hotel before returning at 1:30 PM - spent more time driving than touring - 2 days wasted in Thailand. I need to come back another time to actually visit the sites and see Bangkok! The entertainment has been better than expected. Staff are pleasant and very apologetic. When we explained our concerns personally to the ship General Manager, she was understanding and apologetic, offering a laughable $750 credit toward a future cruise, with no adjustment to the top dollar price of this cruise. With more protests, we were offered $750 each current cruise credit or $1500 eachfuture cruise credit. 9] The regular internet is very spotty, which I have found. To be fairly typical at sea. I paid for the upgrade to streaming internet, but became good friends with the internet guru with my daily visits due to inability to access the internet, and inability to stream (I tried to video stream a Peloton 45 minute exercise program, which worked for 12 minutes during my 45 minute exercise period). Other sites would not stream at all. Finally, I was told I would not be charged the $120 for the fast internet access I was not receiving). The good parts of this cruise: 1] The staff are friendly and try to be helpful, but are poorly trained (not their fault) and are limited with the ability to fix issues with a ship that should be taken out of service. The 10 day dry dock is not going to repair all the issues with the ship. They did try hard to address the many issues. 2] Bed is comfortable. The suite is comfortable (excluding the smell, toilet and brown sink water). High beds had plenty of storage underneath for big luggage. 3] Good quality entertainment. 4] Very good food and food choices. 5] We received a credit in order to book our own air travel, and were met in a timely fashion at the airport. Luggage transfers were seamless and done well. 6] Itinerary was good (better than the ports actually docked or the time allotted for touring). 7] Although it took great effort, we did receive $ credit. It did not make up for the lost time and aggravation of our vacation, but at least it was a token acknowledgement that there are major issues with the ship that were known beforehand but not publicized. We paid for a Ritz Carlton , and got a Motel 6 (sorry to Motel 6- as I am sure they have clean water in the bathroom Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We really lucked out and had fantastic weather for March. Northern lights were spectacular in Tromso. We took a private tour with indvidulltromoso and was better than the one Vikng offered. The weather was sun shine in Bergen also where it ... Read More
We really lucked out and had fantastic weather for March. Northern lights were spectacular in Tromso. We took a private tour with indvidulltromoso and was better than the one Vikng offered. The weather was sun shine in Bergen also where it usually rains 360 days a year. As far as the ship, it is beautiful. The few issues we had with service were quickly remedied by the guest service and restaurant managers. Entertainment was good quality, especially for a ship this size. Food was great. Every night in the buffet were crab legs, shrimp etc. Crab legs were split and easy to eat and delicious. We would definately sail with Viking again and again. Good value as you are not nickled andf dimed constantly. Room service was great for coffee and breakfast....Our cabin was good...floor in bathroom was heated and a little too much though. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. All in all, I would highly recommend. Enrichment lecturesd were also very good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this trip to once again hopefully experience the northern lights and to have the luxury of this beautiful ship. The itinerary looked good with overnight stops at Tromso and Alta. Embarkation was seamless, withing 15 minutes of ... Read More
We chose this trip to once again hopefully experience the northern lights and to have the luxury of this beautiful ship. The itinerary looked good with overnight stops at Tromso and Alta. Embarkation was seamless, withing 15 minutes of arriving at Tilbury we were having lunch in the World Cafe and our holiday had started. Very impressed. Our stateroom was ready early and we were given a guided tour of the facilities in the cabin. On my mentioning that I did not drink coffee (there is a coffee maker in the cabin) the steward straight away fetched me a kettle and kept the teabags topped up - he kept the cabin spotless for the cruise and chatted and laughed with us every day, making the experience a bit more personal. We ate mostly in the World Cafe as it was very relaxed and the food was tasty and plentiful. We tried the pool grill and the afternoon tea which were both great and Manifredis italian had great service and great food, The service in every bar and lounge and dining was second to none, Very impressed. There were plenty of interesting lectures to attend, and we enjoyed sitting in the Explorers lounge watching the fjords go by with a tasty waffle and fresh fruit. We relaxed in our cabin most evenings and watched a film on the TV so cannot comment on the evening entertainment. The included excursions were informative and gave us an oversight into each port. The highlight of the trip was 'Chasing the lights' at Tromso where we were treated to a spectacular display of the Aurora about an hour or so outside the town, so many photos ........ On the way home we had the honour of a glimse of 2 Killer whale from our balcony,,,another hightlight. a quick photo and they were gone. March is certainly a good time to take this cruise. The weather was great, even a sunny day in Bergen !! Disembarkation was fairly uneventfull although there was no rep at Oslo to help out. All in all a fantastic holiday and thank you to all the ships staff for a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We stayed 3 nights at the Radisson Aquatica in Bridgetown before we boarded the Royal Clipper. This was a good way to acclimatized to the lovely warn weather as we have had a long cold winter in southern Ontario. The hotel was old and in ... Read More
We stayed 3 nights at the Radisson Aquatica in Bridgetown before we boarded the Royal Clipper. This was a good way to acclimatized to the lovely warn weather as we have had a long cold winter in southern Ontario. The hotel was old and in need of some updates but the staff was wonderful. On Mar 2nd we boarded the Royal Clipper and were amazed by the efficient and quick check in procedure. we took a walk around the vessel and discovered that the ship is in pristine condition, extensive use of brass and teak really gives it the old sailing vessel aura. We found even the deckhands polite and friendly. The best part is that the ship actually sails without engine for most of the voyage. The raising of the sails is a spectacle not to be missed. It never got old. The cabins were roomy and spotless. Our cabin steward Diana was discreet, yet attentive and the room was always tidy. The food was at a five star hotel level. There was always a good choice of entrees for dinner and the breakfast and lunch buffets were excellent. The service on board was second to none. The servers in the elegant dining room were also first class. Our server Marko was always friendly and very efficient. The bar staff was equally as good and Leandre the Tropical Bar tender always had a ready smile and knew my name after the first day. (Could be a bad sign??). The shore excursions were primarily by the ships tender. This ship had a very nice pair of tenders with open sides to let the ocean breeze in, not like the enclosed life boats on other vessels. That was a nice addition. There were never large lines and crowds to deal with as there wee only 200 passengers on the ship. The only criticism was a major mix up with pre ordered wine. It took the head bartender 3 days to sort that out. Our problem did not seem to be a priority to him. Despite that glitch I would not only go again but highly recommend this ship to anyone who appreciates sailing vessels. This one is the ultimate. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We had already booked a 12 day Galápagos Adventure with another company. Our travel agent suggested the Aria post cruise as we were already in South America! The Aria is state of the art, gourmet food, 4 enthusiastic knowlegable guides, ... Read More
We had already booked a 12 day Galápagos Adventure with another company. Our travel agent suggested the Aria post cruise as we were already in South America! The Aria is state of the art, gourmet food, 4 enthusiastic knowlegable guides, and adventures galore. Imagine breakfast floating on the Amazon, paddling a dugout canoe with a tarantula swimming alongside, Mimosas in a skiff at sunset and nighttime searches for anacondas! I kid you not! It is worth every cent and memories will remain forever! Please do not buy Jaguar handbags from the locals. You cannot bring them back through customs! But do buy their silver jewellery, fruits, nuts and beaded earrings. Customs also confiscated spices, seed necklaces and bracelets. The Aria Amazon had a great little gift shop with a tasteful selection of both costume and expensive jewellery at fair prices. Meant to have a massage but no time! Be sure to attend cooking class and a Pisco Sour workshop! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
As a first time cruiser I was not sure what to expect however with excellent accommodation, excellent food, attentive, competent and friendly staff, there was little that could or did go wrong. Dining...Didn't need to upgrade to ... Read More
As a first time cruiser I was not sure what to expect however with excellent accommodation, excellent food, attentive, competent and friendly staff, there was little that could or did go wrong. Dining...Didn't need to upgrade to any of the packages on offer and ate mostly in the Windows and Patio areas. a delight. Booze....Didn't need to upgrade to any kind of premium package, the wines on offer were excellent as was the rum punch and beer. The Spa...Young lady insisted that I needed a haircut and I did, received and excellent haircut and not overpriced. Entertainment...The house band were excellent, the singers could sing and the dancers could dance. They all came together on the White Night event and were terrific. The set shows however were more high camp and cheesy than anything else, , although 70 this year I was brought up on the Stones and Beatles and Genesis, Pink Floyd etc If anyone plays Sweet Caroline to me again I will probably hit them. We were treated to terrific reggae with Third World and some chap from a West End Show who knew his stuff. In saying all that no one goes on a cruise for the entertainment. Excursions...Didn't go on any of the ships as found them overpriced, It was easy to get a local taxi in most of the Islands to take us round for an hour and cheaper. Everyone worked hard to ensure a good time was had by all. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Embarkation and disembarkation was relatively smooth. Don’t expect much hospitality. Employees are not excited about their jobs so don’t expect many smiles either. We spent much extra to stay in a (PHS) Penthouse Suite and was ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation was relatively smooth. Don’t expect much hospitality. Employees are not excited about their jobs so don’t expect many smiles either. We spent much extra to stay in a (PHS) Penthouse Suite and was advertised our own personal Butler, (which was shared by many other suites so personalized is the farthest from the truth.) He is given too many rooms to service. We also understood we would have preferred tendering, (which we were first to get tickets, but told we would be last. Yep, last to tender.) We almosted missed our excursion. Does the ship care? Nope! If you book through them then you are first to tender. *Know b4 you go! Next the food. Why does everyone rave about the food? Ugg! My wife got sick on the fish. It was not cooked though enough. The Caesar salad is soaked in dressing every time! It was gross! Our friends lobster was over cooked. The buffet breakfast is pretty good but basic. We ordered room service breakfast. The scrambled eggs were runny, boiled eggs inconsistent. The fruit was mushy & over ripe most of the time. If you wear a hat to dinner, be prepared to be kicked out!! We were late for almost every port with little time anyway. Then paying extra to be in a PHS and having to be last to tender. What a slap in the face. Bottom line: a PHS gives you nothing extra really! The laundry service is terrible it took four days to get 20 items back! Four tiny washer & dryers for the whole boat so get ready to stand in line!! Now Entertainment: (———.) that describes it. VERY limited, basically nothing. The butler &/or staff is always pressuring you to buy something like an excursion or wine tasting or martini tasting (they must be getting a commission!) It just sucks!!! The rooms are small and closets are too. We have sailed other cruise lines and not had such a terrible experience. Oceania is not for me. Read Less

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