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Gnoelj

SILVER SEAS VS AZAMARA, OCEANIA & VIKING

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Posted (edited)

We are looking at a cruise on the Silver Shadow.

 

However, we have never cruised with Silver Seas. Our past experience has been with Viking Ocean, Azamara and Oceania (and a few others).

For folks who have cruised with Silver Seas as well as with either Azamara, Oceania or Viking (or all of them), could you perhaps tell us what you think the quality  and experience is  like comparing cruising with Silver Seas , and with either or all of these three cruise lines? Would we be overwhelmed or underwhelmed?

 

For us, what is important is the quality of meals and wines on board. For sit-down non-buffet meals, in the restaurants,  what would drive us up the wall (well, just a little bit!) would be to sit for long periods of time before the food arrives!  Food served hot is also high on our list for extra brownie points!!!

 

We realise that on board activities (especially entertainment in the theatre) on Oceania and Viking are not  really their strengths (we know some folks rave about the 0n-board cultural enrichment talks on Viking, but we were not too sure about), You tell us,  what do you think their activities are like on  Silver Seas ships compared to  ships on those 3 cruise lines?

Just for information, if we book on the Silver Shadow, it will just be one of their standard verandah. On Oceania, we usually prefer their “O” ships rather than the smaller “R” ones. Strangely enough, for Azamara, as all their ships are “R” ships, for some reason, we did not mind that at all!

 

Looking forward to hear from you with your views. We learn new things every day, that’s our motto!

 

 

PS: We are going to place this discussion on all the boards of the four cruise lines, to get a more balanced view from various cruisers.


PPS: Just to show that we have not "deserted" Azamara, we have already booked our next cruise with them !

Edited by Gnoelj

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We've sailed on AZ and Viking and Silversea, although it's been quite some time since SS.  We are now looking to move on from AZ because we are especially disappointed in the quality of the wines and we are seeking food and wine a step above AZ.  We feel AZ's value is slipping and the quality is not matching the price point.  We definitely had a higher level experience on SS, better food and wine, larger standard stateroom, slightly higher level of service.  Maybe a little too much service.  I don't need someone to carry my plate from the buffet and we don't really need butler-type attention.  SS was perhaps a bit too formal (not a fan of formal nights) in ambience and service.  I thought Viking was very comparable to AZ except the new ships are so much nicer (but also bigger with 950 people).  If I could combine AZ's ambience and low-key approach with SS or Seabourn food and wine it would be a win-win for me!  If I did a world-cruise, I'd probably choose Viking for all the amenities and because I loved the ship (more indoor amenities -- pools, hot tubs, extensive spa, solarium, etc.) and much better for a long cruise.

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Is Viking now offering an included Beverage Package.   I have friends who just returned from a Med Cruise and said that wine and beer were only included during meals. There were no shows and no scooters on board.   If this meets your needs definitely switch, they would be happy to have you.

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10 hours ago, Covepointcruiser said:

Is Viking now offering an included Beverage Package.   I have friends who just returned from a Med Cruise and said that wine and beer were only included during meals. There were no shows and no scooters on board.   If this meets your needs definitely switch, they would be happy to have you.

 

Standard Viking fares offers wine and beer only during meals.  However, they also offer the following which (forgive me and please correct me if I am wrong) which Azamara may or may not offer

  • Free Wi-Fi and PC station
  • Free speciality restaurants
  • Included shore excursion in almost every port
  • Complimentary use of spa facilities
  • Afternoon tea with finger sandwiches, macarons and pastries with live relaxing music in their Winter Garden restaurant(Azamara's afternoon tea in their buffet restaurant, was a bit of an afterthought on our last cruise some time back. So they might have changed)
  • A special "pop up" food bar  called "Mamsens" which offers some of the best and yummiest cakes , pastries and sandwiches on the High Seas!
  • Gratuities included (for UK passengers, at least)
  • A very classy felt bag for passports, etc. and proper leather(?) baggage tags
  • All their cabins have verandahs and there are are no inside cabins or oceanview cabins on any of their ships

 

Like Azamara , they also offer discounts for future cruises of those passengers who have cruised with them before (through cruise membership club).

 

From our couple of cruises with Viking, their entertainment was probably one of their weak spots. We had the unfortunate experience of having the same Cruise Director (on Viking) on two cruises, and we were less than impressed with her choice of entertainment or lack of it.  Their senior officers on our Viking cruises were not as friendly as those on Azamara  (although  they were not unfriendly) and there were definitely no Azamazing evenings! On the whole, in spite of the poor performance of their Cruise Director, for us, Viking provided a very good cruise "package", nice spa, food was good, service was good,  accommodation excellent , staff seemed very efficientwarm and helpful, and we would happily cruise with them again.

 

Edited by Gnoelj

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We have had two Viking cruises.  Entertainment was much better on them than on our Azamara Pursuit cruise last year.  We particularly like the 'nightclub' venue Torshavn.    Excellent musicians, great choice of music.  Good lively fun.  Much better than the late night offerings in The Living Room on Azamara on that particular cruise.  Poor trio and DJ.  Everyone went to bed.

On our one Oceania cruise everyone disappeared to bed at about 9.30.

On Viking there certainly were production shows - plus films shown in the Theatre. 

 

The Spa on Viking is wonderful.  Bathrooms excellent.  Ship beautiful. Crew great.  We had the Silver Drinks package thrown in on our UK booking.

 

Having said the above, we are booked on a Journey B2B next June - mainly because of great itineraries.  I love the way that each Azamara cruise is slightly different and we get to see a couple of new places.

Edited by Mrs Miggins

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22 hours ago, Mrs Miggins said:

Having said the above, we are booked on a Journey B2B next June - mainly because of great itineraries.  I love the way that each Azamara cruise is slightly different and we get to see a couple of new places.

 

That to me is the real weakness of Viking Ocean – they do the same itineraries over and over and again the next year.  As they add ships, they add a few itineraries – but it's still over and over.  And all the itineraries are what I call 'smorgasbord,' visiting as many countries as they can squeeze in a week – nothing like Azamara's country-intensive cruises.

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I understand how you feel. Since the quality of wines and food are important to you, I think Silversea will meet your expectations. Onboard experience on Silversea cruises is really good. Shore excursions not so much. I find the shore excursions overpriced and average in quality. Cabins are also spacious and nicely appointed.

 

Have you considered Crystal? Excellent food, wine and service.

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We sailed on the Silver Shadow about two years ago, and have sailed several times on Azamara, before and after the Silverseas cruise. We wrote a detailed comparison of our impressions of both at the time as per above. Of course, things could have changed since then. We certainly have enjoyed our Azamara cruises since then.

 

David and Julia

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