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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Beautiful ship with large cabins and plenty of public spaces to get away. Lots of restaurants, but food choices were somewhat limited. Like most cruises, there were minor issues along the way, but we really enjoyed this cruise. ... Read More
Beautiful ship with large cabins and plenty of public spaces to get away. Lots of restaurants, but food choices were somewhat limited. Like most cruises, there were minor issues along the way, but we really enjoyed this cruise. Embarkation seemed a bit disjointed with multiple stops. Staggered times based on suite category meant no big lines and cabins immediately ready. Our boarding opened at 2:00 pm. Don’t get too comfortable unpacking and miss lunch as the hours are limited. Welcome champagne glass and a full bottle waiting for you in the suite. We toured and photographed the ship after lunch. Disembarkation went as scheduled with full room service breakfast available (a rarity on most lines). Out of the cabin by 8:30 am, we waited until 9:15 for our group to be called right on time. Uber for two to FLL was less than $12 + tip. Why would anybody spend more for a bus transfer? Ship. So much room throughout the ship that we often asked ourselves, “Where is everybody?” Like many newer ships, this ship has the plethora of quiet places to “hide out.” Lots of elevators and stairs made it a snap to get around. Service and Amenities. Mostly what I would expect for a luxury cruise line. All-inclusive alcohol and wine flowed freely. Water, iced tea, and juice at the gangway with cold washcloths back on the ship. Friendly staff always greeted guests in passing, but don’t expect them to remember your name like they do on much smaller ships. Bulgari toiletries. All the toys in the cabin except binoculars. (I bring my own anyway.) No fresh flowers or fruit in our cabin. Clientele. Most people we met were very experienced cruisers. Some were avid Silversea clients, but quite a few were on their first Silversea cruise. A fair number of Brits. The clientele age was more varied than we expected. We quickly made friends with a lot of interesting people and enjoyed their company throughout the cruise. This is not a ship for kids, although the one 5-year old girl onboard got a lot of attention. Entertainment. Six singers and dancers did all the shows, including their solo acts. Other musicians also onboard for piano music, etc. Enrichment activities. Ira Feldman was our destination lecturer. He was very informative and approachable. We didn’t spend time doing most of the other cruise trivia, bingo, bridge, etc. We like doing puzzles and this ship could use a better location than the card room for that purpose. Restaurants. Very different arrangement than many other cruise lines and we were quite confused when trying to make pre-cruise online reservations. I’ll try to provide the information I wish I had before boarding. There is a cluster of four restaurants on Deck 4. Atlantide is the closest thing to a main dining room and doesn’t require reservations unless you have special requests. Menu only changed slightly once during the cruise. Indochine is similar with an Asian menu, but we never went there. Seishin (Asian) and LeDame (French) are the small, premium restaurants that are pricey and small. Hot Rocks (aka The Grill) is outside on Deck 9 by the pool. For lunch they serve burgers, but for dinner you cook your own food on a hot stone. Just upstairs overlooking the pool is the pizza restaurant Spaccanapoli. It’s not really a dinner restaurant, per se, but it does have a dinner menu if you want pizza. La Terrazza is the buffet converted to a sit-down Italian restaurant in the evening with both indoor and outdoor seating. Surprisingly, it had some of the best food on the ship, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Finally, Silver Note is a nice restaurant on Deck 8 that transitions into a piano bar with dancing at night. Menus vary by restaurant, not by day, so the idea is to try the different venues if you want variety. Finally, Arts Café is a gem of a place to get snacks next to Silver Note. That is where they serve afternoon tea with scones, cake, sandwiches, etc.. Unfortunately, the amazing cakes are replaced with only chocolate after dinner. It’s a good place to get an after dinner drink. The biggest critique I have is that afternoon post-shore excursion food was limited. Waiting an hour to get a burger from The Grill or room service just doesn’t cut it when you have been walking all morning and you are starving hungry! The simple fix would be to provide more substantial food (e.g. sandwiches, sushi, fruit, cookies, etc.) at the Arts Café during the entire lull period between lunch venues closing and dinner venues opening. Food Quality and Service. We were disappointed in the quality, variety, and availability. Although we had a few excellent meals, most were just average, which was disappointing for a luxury cruise line. Appetizers were typically the best part of the meal. Our lobster tails were overcooked. Steaks were not very tender and often undercooked. Lots of good fish choices, so we ate a lot of fish. Service was too often painfully slow, sometimes taking 2 ½ hours for a three course meal. What is it about some ships and the timing of the coffee? I like to drink my coffee with dessert, but the coffee usually came 15 minutes after dessert was served and long gone. Our last dinner onboard at La Terrazza was the best food and service of the cruise. Dress code. Two formal nights and five other nights requiring jackets for men. I would prefer more nights of “country club casual” or a dress code based on restaurant venue. Wearing formal clothes or even a jacket to an outdoor pizza restaurant didn’t make sense. Internet. Finally! Free, unlimited internet. Still ship-slow and sometimes difficult to get a good connection, but at least you are not being billed for every minute. Upgrades to higher speeds and more devices were available. Self Service Laundry. With machines on every floor, we were actually able to find open machines on a sea day, which made quick work of the laundry we needed washed. Free with a confusing soap dispenser. Machine instructions were practically non-existent and also perplexing. It didn’t help that the machine labels were German and the water temperatures were degrees Celsius. Cruise lines could really help out their guests by providing no-nonsense guides in English with recommendations about which of the 14 cycles (from 20 min to 3 hours) works best for most clothes. Spa & Fitness Center. Lots of treatment rooms. We enjoyed the Thermal Suite, which was an extra package price and limited access. Silversea could take a tip from Oceania and provide free Gatorade. Smoking. This was one of our main reasons for not sailing Silversea earlier. It is now reasonably restricted and the occasional whiffs of smoke from a designated smoking area did not bother us much. Ports. Santiago de Cuba, Grand Cayman, Cienfuegos, Havana, Bimini. Most people were on this cruise to see Cuba. Almost everybody went ashore to get a chance to see it firsthand. We invested heavily in shore excursions primarily because we didn’t know what to expect in terms of access and meeting the U.S. requirements to visit Cuba. All the Cuban tours were operated by Havanatur and transportation was provided on relatively new Chinese buses with toilets (an amenity you will appreciate in Cuba where every bathroom has an attendant with their hand out for a tip). Our shore excursion guides were all high quality. Everything was on time and the three sea days were a welcome respite from touring. An unexpected extension to our time in Havana allowed last-minute shore excursions to the nightclubs and shows. Friends we met through Cruise Critic were able to book their own independent tours, but we did not have the time to do all the advanced research and booking. Tenders. This was the first Silver Spirit itinerary to Cuba so there were many learning opportunities. Particularly problematic was the tendering service. Some of the tender rides were 35-45 minutes, but this was not entirely Silversea’s fault. Even this relatively small ship was not allowed to get close enough in some of the ports to have reasonable tendering times. This caused several of us to miss evening plans in Santiago because we could not get back to the ship in time to go back for the evening shows. Havana was the only port where we used a dock, which was a real luxury after all the tendering. The one big misstep was in Bimini, where bad management of tender rotations caused an hour wait that made several of us miss our afternoon shore excursion. The ship staff accepted full responsibility and refunded our ticket prices, but it was disappointing. In summary. We’ve never taken a perfect cruise, but expectations can be high for luxury cruise lines like Silversea. However, after 18 cruises on a variety of lines, this cruise makes our top 3, with Regent and Azamara. We loved the location and size of our cabin. Now that we understand the system, we will make better dining choices next cruise. Cuba is a must see and we will be back in the future to see the progress. Overall, we really enjoyed this cruise and will be back Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Silversea advertised a series of Asia cruises with their "Far More in the Far East" special, and wow, did it deliver. I chose this Singapore-to-Hong Kong voyage for several reasons: the timing worked for me, I liked the balance ... Read More
Silversea advertised a series of Asia cruises with their "Far More in the Far East" special, and wow, did it deliver. I chose this Singapore-to-Hong Kong voyage for several reasons: the timing worked for me, I liked the balance of ports and sea days, the itinerary would take me to so many places I've never been but have longed to visit, and the Silversea specials put this all-inclusive luxury voyage comfortably in my price range ($1000 air credit, $1000 onboard credit, most excursions included, 5% discount for previous SS travelers, 5% discount for booking onboard a previous cruise, and then a surprise 3-category upgrade just a few days before sailing -- it all added up to a reasonable price). The Shadow is one of the older ships in the fleet, but she is graceful and well maintained. After previously sailing on her smaller sibling, the Wind, the Shadow at first seemed so much larger. Within a day, that feeling diminished and she seemed perfect to me. My suite seemed bigger than I expected, although the pool seemed smaller than expected. On this particular voyage, we had spectacular weather until the final few days, and the pool deck was filled to capacity. There were short waits (under 5 minutes) for the morning buffet at popular times on port days, but generally passengers were well distributed throughout the ship. It was easy to find quiet places to sit, or more active places for company. Embarkation in Singapore is odd simply because you have to walk through a mall to reach the desk. Once in Silversea's hands, however, the process was easy and pleasant -- under 10 minutes from starting the process to sitting in the Panorama Lounge enjoying my 2nd glass of welcome bubbly. I dined at every possible venue, preferring La Terrazza for breakfast (waiters will bring you eggs to order and cappuccino, but everything else comes from the vast buffet). My meal in the upcharge La Dame was as extraordinary as advertised, while two dinners at the casual Hot Rocks were good fun with good company. The Restaurant does include a small selection of regional selections every night, and I found they were nicely done -- especially the lemongrass beef. Over the 2 weeks, I dined in La Tarrazza for dinner on 4 occasions, always enjoying the upscale Italian cuisine and handmade pastas. As others have said, luxury trappings are nice, but it is the warmth and professionalism of the crew that make Silversea so special. Without exception, every staff member on board was at the top of their game, remembering names and orders, anticipating wants or needs, offering a compliment or a steady arm, making conversation with real connections, sharing insights from their homelands. I found this to be true throughout the ranks: from the captain to the room attendant, from the wait staff to the officers, from the earnest care of the butlers to the often invisible work of the maintenance crew and accountants. Of everything on this near-perfect voyage, I think I will miss the crew the most. Would I go again? Yes. And I would enthusiastically recommend it to others. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
After cruising with 6 other cruise companies, we were excited to have gone supposedly upmarket to Silversea. We were very disappointed.The whole ship is urgently in need of refurbishment, which apparently will happen later this year. The ... Read More
After cruising with 6 other cruise companies, we were excited to have gone supposedly upmarket to Silversea. We were very disappointed.The whole ship is urgently in need of refurbishment, which apparently will happen later this year. The cabins are not that big, the balcony was tiny. The flat screen TV was out of the ark, was tiny and couldn't easily be seen from the bed. For 3 days the a/c didn't work properly, the fridge had to be changed as it also wasn't cold! The food in La Terraze was excellent at breakfast and lunch, but awful at dinner. The main restaurant food was usually lukewarm, sometimes not cooked. The service was poor with little response to any complaints. The complimentary wines were good, but bizarrely it is company policy to not have a list of complimentary wines. Instead you are presented with a white and a red as choice for the day. It is not made clear that there are other alternatives, and we spoke to several people who had no idea even late in the cruise.They do, however, have a long list of wines at extra cost! Incredibly, there was no complimentary NZ Sauv Blanc available for the entire cruise due to a procurement error. You have to play 20 questions with the sommelier to find what choice there is.This was incredibly annoying. The staff were generally very friendly and helpful, the room attendant and butler were very efficient. Room service was efficient but again the food was usually cold. The other guests made the cruise for us, together with a great itinerary and good weather. There was general agreement that Silversea were overpriced, very disappointing and to be avoided in future. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
My Husband and I just finished our Viking cruise to Cuba. It was amazing! We started from Newark New Jersey to Miami with no problems. We were picked up at the airport and were taken to the port with zero problems. Check in ... Read More
My Husband and I just finished our Viking cruise to Cuba. It was amazing! We started from Newark New Jersey to Miami with no problems. We were picked up at the airport and were taken to the port with zero problems. Check in took 5 minutes and went straight to our cabin 6063. Cabin was very nice and great location. One floor up to pools, pool grill, World cafe, and bar. We were greeted by our room Stewart June who was excellent. All the restaurants on the ship were excellent. The crew were all helpful and polite. Juiguian greeted us always in “The Restaurant” with her smile. I can’t understand how someone could say there were not enough choices of food. Or they didn’t like it. How much more could one eat? I am a picky eater and I always could find something great to eat. Everyone on the ship were always greeting us and asking if we needed anything. We have been on many different cruise lines, what we loved about this ship was the size. Our tours were great. Going through customs was a piece of cake. We had Judy take us around Cienfuegos. She was so well informed and explain life in Cuba. It was an extremely hot day but what do you expect from Cuba. Rather have 90 degrees than the 30’s in New Jersey. I don’t know what some people were expecting to see, we were surprised at what we did see. Our trip to Havana with George was incredible. I don’t know how he spoke from 8:00am to 8:00pm. We learned so much history, way of life, customs, etc etc We were so happy to go in the old cars . It only cost us $5.00 each to drive for a good 20 minutes. My only regret about the day trip was that I missed out of the over night stay at the Tropicana. We heard the hotel was very nice and the show was fantastic. Out last tour was a “Catamaran “ ride which really should be called a Boat ride. We were so tired from the two other tours that it was nice just to sit and take in the sight. We couldn’t go to our last port because it was going to be hard to leave the port because of high winds. Better safe than sorry. We had an extra day at sea to enjoy the beautiful weather. We didn’t exchange any money. I used euros for people at the stands and US dollars in the stores they took us to. Departure day was also very organized. Luggage, transportation, airport all went perfect. My Husband and I have no negative comments about Viking Star and Cuba travels. We are so glad to have seen a country that will hopefully change for the better. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
From the moment we arrived at the Buenos Aries airport to board our charter flight to Ushuaia , the attention to detail with this cruise line was evident. From having boarding passes ready to go, to buses in you should wear divided by ... Read More
From the moment we arrived at the Buenos Aries airport to board our charter flight to Ushuaia , the attention to detail with this cruise line was evident. From having boarding passes ready to go, to buses in you should wear divided by language, there was nothing it was left chance. The ship was immaculate and in wonderful shape, however it pale by comparison to the genuine friendliness and graciousness of the crew. They are relaxed elegant manner in meeting guest’s requests, made it an absolute delight to be on board. As Antarctica cruise, the coordination of people in and out of zodiacs was masterful and without incident. The food was wonderfully proportioned in the main dining room and for those of preferred self service, there was a buffet on the sixth deck. The lectures from the expedition crew we're insightful, pertinent pertinent, and well delivered. The trip lived up to the value proposition of a luxury cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose Azamara and this itinerary based on the recommendation of friends who did it a couple of years. ago. We too weren't notified of the change of embarkation point, but noticed the ship in the "wrong port" the night ... Read More
We chose Azamara and this itinerary based on the recommendation of friends who did it a couple of years. ago. We too weren't notified of the change of embarkation point, but noticed the ship in the "wrong port" the night before from the roof top bar of our hotel. Sailing on smaller ships is a great experience. More attention from crew and an altogether sense of community familiarity that just happens among the passengers. We had a balcony room, midship on the deck 6. It was very comfortable and the small shower was adequate. Because of weather or just being out and about we really didn't use the balcony much but it was nice to have. The crew was always attentive, the entertainment very, very good, and most meals were well prepared. However more attention should be given to timing and suggestions as when to eat in the dining rooms if you want to make a show. Any time after 7.15pm creates a rush. Prime C was a disappointment, the food was just ok, the service slow and the room needs to be refurbished. Aqualina though did not disappoint. My only other comment on the food was that there way too much. Something was always there, available and too inviting. We did several exercise classes. More thought needs to given to the space required as many were popular and people couldn't participate. However they were advertised as 45 minutes, but most were barely 30. The Amazing Evening in Melbourne was in a beautiful recital hall with a performance by a top Australian vocal artist. Very enjoyable. The White Night was well done, the production performers professional and personable. Dancing in the Living Room to the Sound Sensations became a nightly destination for us. The crossing to New Zealand was a day and a half of rough seas, but part of cruising. But we found there were too many sea days, especially when they were back to back. All the ports provided something to do, some more that others. Napier was special and unique with its art deco architecture. We don't do cruise sponsored shore excursions. We find better value and choice is always available at the port. Cruise lines ask you think about the environment when using towels, etc, but they don't do anything about the amount of newsletters, brochures, invitations and sale announcements they produce. There must be better and more efficient ways to communicate to your guests and cut down on paper useage. It was ridiculous on this cruise. Overall, there is no reason not to consider Azamara for fun and enjoyable experience. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We went on this cruise , after hearing how great viking was . Boy were we disappointed . First the good things, the boat was clean new and well decorated . The cabins were the same and they probably had the biggest bathroom that we have ... Read More
We went on this cruise , after hearing how great viking was . Boy were we disappointed . First the good things, the boat was clean new and well decorated . The cabins were the same and they probably had the biggest bathroom that we have ever encountered. The Italian speciality restaurant had the best food on the boat. All the staff that we meet , from the bartenders to the room steward were professional, help-full and friendly. Now the bad . I have always wanted to visit Cuba , its on my bucket list so we decided to try viking due to its itinerary and excursions. We signed up for the one on one salsa class , well it was 12 fellow cruisers to one spanish speaking instructor . It was described as an air-conditioned studio, well it was an outside patio of a bar . On the ride over all the guide talked about was about the rich people that used to live here and how the revolution has helped the people . I went for the culture not a political rally . Second we signed on for the catamaran tour. It was a double decker boat with plastic chairs . We were also signed up for the "kitchen table " this is where we were going to shop on the island with the chef prepare the meal and have dinner . It was cancelled , we found out later that it had been cancelled since they went to Cuba . The meals in the main dining room were disappointing , they seems to not have enough staff and for the few meals we ate there we were always asking for something . This is the first time we had to eat most dinners at the buffet . I know most people do but we r foodies and actually relayed our opinion to the head chef. But the kicker was the captain decided not to go to the second port due to bad weather . We went back to our room and got on the internet and found out that this was not true. The staff told us that the have not visited that port in the last 3 cruises . We were not the only disappointed travelers , that's all people talked about at happy hour and all the next sea day . When we got back home we had an email offering that viking would give a voucher for 500 dollars for a next cruise . I call viking customer service , discussed my concerns and the fact that I consider this to be false advertising . I was put on hold . they came back with 750 each , I refused and asked for ALL my money back. Again I was placed on hold and this time I was offered 250 dollar cash if I signed a non-disclosure form , I refused I stated that why would I go on another cruise when I was lied to so many times. I explained that we cruised a lot and if we were told the truth about Cuba we would have picked another itinerary . .Nothing, so I hung up . My job now is to spread the word about viking cruises and how they treat people . Gregg Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was my 8th overall cruise, and I chose this trip for the amazing immersive itinerary of Cuba. From the moment I stepped on the Journey, I appreciated the calming decor. It was so great to be on a ship of only 600 - you really got to ... Read More
This was my 8th overall cruise, and I chose this trip for the amazing immersive itinerary of Cuba. From the moment I stepped on the Journey, I appreciated the calming decor. It was so great to be on a ship of only 600 - you really got to know your fellow passengers...especially if you're an outgoing guy like me. We ate almost every meal at the discoveries restaurant and were VERY pleased with the quality, presentation, and taste of the food. I've been avoiding red meat recently, and they always had at least two fish choices(other than salmon)! i asked for freshly steamed broccoli and they always delivered on any request that I had. The entertainment wasn't extensive - but we did enjoy both shows by our cruise director...the VERY tall and lovely Eric! Please, please, please...book private tours of cuba! Do not take the cruise's excursions. they tell you that it is difficult when you get to cuba and that you can't get off the ship if you don't have a tour booked...NOT TRUE!!! All three of our private tours were AMAZING...private air-conditioned cars from the 50's. Do your research on TripAdvisor - and book with confidence! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I have never been on Oceania before (only Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America and Regent) and after the experience I had, I am going to try and limit my cruise experiences to Oceania, if at all possible. The way I was ... Read More
I have never been on Oceania before (only Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America and Regent) and after the experience I had, I am going to try and limit my cruise experiences to Oceania, if at all possible. The way I was treated, the quality of the ship desgin and materials, the quality of the staff, the itinerary, and most importantly, the dining experience just set this cruise line above all others that I have experienced - and by a wide margin. The cabin (9110) had a large veranda and felt spacious. The bathroom was impressive with a full tub and a rainshower head in the shower. The water was perfect temperature throughout the cruise. Of course, the most important person we met was Lilya, our cabin stewardess and she was nothing short of magnificent - keeping everything so neat and tidy and it always felt the room was in perfect condition. Her warm demeanor meant everything to us and we will always love Ukraine after having her cheerful, professional and detailed assistance every day. We also loved Chrismerelda on our Concierge floor - such a lovely person and so responsive and helpful with our specific needs. In fact, we loved the entire Concierge floor experience - and the espresso machine was worth its weight in gold. We loved the speciality coffee bar on Deck 14 overlooking the pool. We loved the Waves sandwiches, the afternoon tea in horizons, the terrace cafe for breakfast and the Grand Dining Room for nightly dinners (though it was our least favorite experience). And that's because the specialty dining on this ship simply cannot be beat. Toscana was authentic and welcoming. Jaques was a delightful visit to France. Polo Club prepared perfect steaks (and a very inattentive woman as sommalier), and Red Ginger was our favorite of all - with special thanks to the Maitre D' who was nothing short of a true 'boss' - we are indebted to her for our service and experience there. The spa was much better than on other ships and we loved the Canyon Ranch products (especially the post-sun cooling product). Nice gym and very relaxing private spa deck. The theatre space was intimate, as was the lovely piano bar and we enjoyed that. In fact, the ship NEVER felt full (though it was 100% occupied). The artwork throughout the ship made a particular impression on me - from sculpture to paintings and of course the lalique everywhere. It felt more like a luxurious art gallery than a state-of-the-art disco and I appreciated the more sophisticated approach. Besides the speciality dining, I have to say that the approach of charging up front for coffees and sodas and not making me use a card every five minutes felt like a great indulgence and I much prefer that approach. And the specialty dining not having additional charge also made me more relaxed. We didn't purchase any shore excursions because the ports were all accessible and easy for us to navigate to blue waters and private beaches. I loved that the ship was the smallest of all my previous experiences and it felt size-appropriate for Tahitian islands. Embarkation was fast and professional - a tremendous team boarding and leaving. I would dearly love to sail on the Marina again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
I have now taken 4 voyages on Crystal Symphony, and 11 total on Crystal (including one river cruise) and on this cruise had the best combination of sea days and (to me) new interesting ports to visit. I felt the service was better than ... Read More
I have now taken 4 voyages on Crystal Symphony, and 11 total on Crystal (including one river cruise) and on this cruise had the best combination of sea days and (to me) new interesting ports to visit. I felt the service was better than ever. The staff were happy and did seem more relaxed and content, which helps me feel more relaxed during my vacation. Ambassador hosts were charming and good for company at shared tables even getting me on the dance floor a couple of times. The headwaiter was fabulous and also the wines were fantastic. I did several spa services which were quality and worth the cost. Trivia was again a highlight on sea days and all in all the cruise was filled with movies, lectures, shore tours, and great food, company and beverages. I guess we also hit the jackpot as we did have calm enough seas to get onto Easter Island for the day tours, which is a novel experience. I indulged in some great modern dishes in the dining room and was very well taken care of regarding my dietary restrictions. Also it was great to see that bartenders no longer automatically add straws in every drink. Now I can stop saying "no straw please" with my orders. Oh also I got to play table tennis doubles one afternoon! Kept in shape taking the stairs onboard, walking the promenade deck and snorkelling in Moorea! I highly recommend this itinerary, it was a real getaway and super for getting away from the winter. Read Less

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