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Ambience Questions


blond10
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Hi all

 

We are due to sail with Ambassador on the Ambience, for the first time. We are sailing round the Mediterranean in April. We have a balcony cabin, we have read mixed reviews about the ship, but it was the itinerary that appealed to us.

 

Would any previous cruisers be willing to answer a few questions about this ship?

 

many thanks

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/5/2023 at 1:32 PM, blond10 said:

Hi all

 

We are due to sail with Ambassador on the Ambience, for the first time. We are sailing round the Mediterranean in April. We have a balcony cabin, we have read mixed reviews about the ship, but it was the itinerary that appealed to us.

 

Would any previous cruisers be willing to answer a few questions about this ship?

 

many thanks

I was on a 5-night Christmas Markets cruise last December. Will happily try to answer any questions.

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Martha & Britboys - could I also ask - would you go again on Ambience and would you book anything on Ambition yet or would you wait for reviews ?

 

I’m considering booking for 2024.

 

thanks

Edited by paulatsea
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We're sailing on Ambience again at the end of March (11 nights Northern Lights cruise to Iceland). We did book it before we took the Christmas Markets cruise but would have been willing to cancel and sacrifice the deposit if we hadn't been happy. 

 

Overall impression was good - for us she's a good sized ship with plenty of food and drink offerings for the number or passengers.

 

Yes, the cabins are tired and ready for a refurb but we spend very little time in the cabin so were happy that our interior was a good size, was comfortable and was kept spotlessly clean by Tony our lovely cabin steward.

 

Yes, some of the public spaces were crowded, but it was a cold-weather winter cruise on a ship that (judging by the amount of seating on the pool deck and other outdoor areas) is really designed for a percentage of the passengers to be outside during the day... we expect that the cruise to Iceland will be the same but would imagine that on a warm-weather cruise it would be different.

 

Yes, some people were complaining about the time taken to get drinks service etc, but from travelling on other cruises and reading other message boards this is by no means an isolated issue to Ambassador and is widespread across the industry. What I will say is that all the crew that we saw were going above and beyond to try and minimise delays and to provide the best service they could. 

 

I'm by no means an "Ambassador cheerleader" but we've taken other more expensive cruises and we think for the price Ambassador stacks up pretty well, but as I see it said many times on Cruise Critic - "your mileage may vary"! If you do decide to book for 2024 I hope you have a great time too. 

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1 hour ago, paulatsea said:

Martha & Britboys - could I also ask - would you go again on Ambience and would you book anything on Ambition yet or would you wait for reviews ?

 

I’m considering booking for 2024.

 

thanks

I'm torn about booking another cruise with Ambassador or not. There are lots of positives about Ambience but some not-so positives too. I need to be convinced that the air-con issues have been resolved. There seem far fewer concerns being raised about it on current reviews, so hopefully that is a good sign. The other issue for me with Ambience is that the swimming pool isn't heated.

Ambition looks to be much more modern in her refurbishment and - for me - has better alternative dining options. She is smaller than Ambience, and I am wondering what the passenger/space ratio will be like and what her passenger flow will be.

I'm very interested to see the itineraries for next year and will certainly consider booking with them again. An interesting itinerary at a reasonable price would probably tempt me.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

We have just returned from our second cruise on Ambience, both were great cruises with interesting itineraries, we did 3 weeks to Greenland in July 22 and just returned from 3 weeks to Cape Verde and Canaries which was a late booking to get some winter sun as we had visited the ports before. We have no complaints, I could mention a few observations which I could for every cruise we have been on. We like Ambience, she is dated but friendly. We have noticed improvements from our July cruise as she was still being worked on. We had no issues with the AC either time but was aware of issues in July. She still needs some refurbishments around the ship especially the Palladium theatre. The food was excellent and varied, the entertainment was also very good, there were 8 different shows and various guest artists.

The cruise was full this time as being only half full in July. I was pleasantly surprised that she didn't seem over busy when full, there were pinch points in the Harbour market buffet at busy times and around the pool deck on sunny sea days, but nothing I have not seen on nearly every other ship I have cruised on. The restaurant service was hit and miss at times, we were first sitting on a table for 4 which we shared with friends, our waiter Christian and assistant Karen were experienced and served us well, there was an odd occasion when the kitchen had a queue of waiters collecting food but again nothing we have not experienced before on other lines. I did notice that there seemed to be a few older staff in the restaurants which did not have the best grasp of the English language, I am guessing this could be a consequence of the general staff shortage which we have experienced on other lines since covid, plus I am assuming that staff will be taken from Ambience to staff Ambition.

As experienced cruisers we would have no problem cruising with Ambassador again as they have some great itineraries and a good selection of longer cruises. They are a budget line but give great value, another plus point for us is that they are mainly adult only.

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10 hours ago, yorkshirephil said:

We have just returned from our second cruise on Ambience, both were great cruises with interesting itineraries, we did 3 weeks to Greenland in July 22 and just returned from 3 weeks to Cape Verde and Canaries which was a late booking to get some winter sun as we had visited the ports before. We have no complaints, I could mention a few observations which I could for every cruise we have been on. We like Ambience, she is dated but friendly. We have noticed improvements from our July cruise as she was still being worked on. We had no issues with the AC either time but was aware of issues in July. She still needs some refurbishments around the ship especially the Palladium theatre. The food was excellent and varied, the entertainment was also very good, there were 8 different shows and various guest artists.

The cruise was full this time as being only half full in July. I was pleasantly surprised that she didn't seem over busy when full, there were pinch points in the Harbour market buffet at busy times and around the pool deck on sunny sea days, but nothing I have not seen on nearly every other ship I have cruised on. The restaurant service was hit and miss at times, we were first sitting on a table for 4 which we shared with friends, our waiter Christian and assistant Karen were experienced and served us well, there was an odd occasion when the kitchen had a queue of waiters collecting food but again nothing we have not experienced before on other lines. I did notice that there seemed to be a few older staff in the restaurants which did not have the best grasp of the English language, I am guessing this could be a consequence of the general staff shortage which we have experienced on other lines since covid, plus I am assuming that staff will be taken from Ambience to staff Ambition.

As experienced cruisers we would have no problem cruising with Ambassador again as they have some great itineraries and a good selection of longer cruises. They are a budget line but give great value, another plus point for us is that they are mainly adult only.

Thanks for the report Phil.

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11 hours ago, yorkshirephil said:

We have just returned from our second cruise on Ambience, both were great cruises with interesting itineraries, we did 3 weeks to Greenland in July 22 and just returned from 3 weeks to Cape Verde and Canaries which was a late booking to get some winter sun as we had visited the ports before. We have no complaints, I could mention a few observations which I could for every cruise we have been on. We like Ambience, she is dated but friendly. We have noticed improvements from our July cruise as she was still being worked on. We had no issues with the AC either time but was aware of issues in July. She still needs some refurbishments around the ship especially the Palladium theatre. The food was excellent and varied, the entertainment was also very good, there were 8 different shows and various guest artists.

The cruise was full this time as being only half full in July. I was pleasantly surprised that she didn't seem over busy when full, there were pinch points in the Harbour market buffet at busy times and around the pool deck on sunny sea days, but nothing I have not seen on nearly every other ship I have cruised on. The restaurant service was hit and miss at times, we were first sitting on a table for 4 which we shared with friends, our waiter Christian and assistant Karen were experienced and served us well, there was an odd occasion when the kitchen had a queue of waiters collecting food but again nothing we have not experienced before on other lines. I did notice that there seemed to be a few older staff in the restaurants which did not have the best grasp of the English language, I am guessing this could be a consequence of the general staff shortage which we have experienced on other lines since covid, plus I am assuming that staff will be taken from Ambience to staff Ambition.

As experienced cruisers we would have no problem cruising with Ambassador again as they have some great itineraries and a good selection of longer cruises. They are a budget line but give great value, another plus point for us is that they are mainly adult only.

Thank you for the up-to-date review, we sail again on 23 March (just ordered our covid tests) so it’s good to hear things are pretty good on board. 

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Thank you for the review of your cruises Phil …. Both exceptionally helpful for us as we are due to board on the 3rd April.

Could you advise what you found happened on formal nights please?  We are interested to know how many “dressy nights” are usual per week (ours is an 11 night cruise) and what adherence there is in general to the dress code.  

We like to dress up and are happy to pack our glad rags but don’t want to overload our suitcases with extra clothes that we more than likely won’t wear.

Also could you comment on the live music on board at the moment and whether there are plenty of opportunities to dance.  
Thank you 😊 BG

 

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8 minutes ago, BestGuessed said:

Thank you for the review of your cruises Phil …. Both exceptionally helpful for us as we are due to board on the 3rd April.

Could you advise what you found happened on formal nights please?  We are interested to know how many “dressy nights” are usual per week (ours is an 11 night cruise) and what adherence there is in general to the dress code.  

We like to dress up and are happy to pack our glad rags but don’t want to overload our suitcases with extra clothes that we more than likely won’t wear.

Also could you comment on the live music on board at the moment and whether there are plenty of opportunities to dance.  
Thank you 😊 BG

 

Formal night was well attended with the majority wearing dinner suits or suits. There is usually one formal night per week so not sure whether you will get 2 on an 11 night cruise, we were informed a few weeks before by email. We like to dress up on formal night so pack accordingly.

There was plenty of live music around the ship each night with late cabarets in the observatory sometimes with the resident groups and sometimes with show singers or a mixture of bands. Not sure about dancing, there were announcements and there were dance teachers/hosts aboard.

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Thank you Phil, we will definitely look forward to packing our evening gear then.  As far as the dancing goes, I was thinking of a dance floor with suitable live music to enjoy dancing to.      We like a good party band who are able to play most genres of music and create a lively atmosphere.
As this will be our first experience with Ambassador we will be keeping an open mind but we are looking forward to it very much.

Thanks again for your feedback. 

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27 minutes ago, BestGuessed said:

Thank you Phil, we will definitely look forward to packing our evening gear then.  As far as the dancing goes, I was thinking of a dance floor with suitable live music to enjoy dancing to.      We like a good party band who are able to play most genres of music and create a lively atmosphere.
As this will be our first experience with Ambassador we will be keeping an open mind but we are looking forward to it very much.

Thanks again for your feedback. 

There are dance floors in the Purple Turtle lounge and the Observatory, the resident bands did have a good range of songs. 

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We had a nightmare with our AC (Cape Verde Cruise), It's not resolved at all. We began with a freezing room, we got that fixed after 2 days. 3 days later it was sweltering hot, it must have been over 35'C in our room. We had to sleep with the door open for 5 days before it was resolved. The thermostat isn't connected to anything, I saw the engineer take it off. They have to do every room manually, when we went to reception there was a list of 100+ rooms that needed fixing. Ambassador have tried to get the ship back online on the cheap and it's showing. The elevators are knackered and need replacing. I also think they will fail another safety check soon, one of the liferafts was moving a lot. There is no way of fixing the AC unless they put the ship into port for a month or two to get it resolved properly with modern technology. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm surprised that the people who suggest that the food was excellent were on the same cruise as me.

 

For me, the food usually met the expected quality for the price that I had paid, but it was far from what I would call excellent.

 

And in amongst the bunch were some real stinkers, that I really should have sent back (but didn't because I hate to see things wasted)

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